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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Motherwell

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Motherwell

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Murray, O'Hagan.
Motherwell scorers: Nicol

07/03/1908 | KO:

This Scottish League game was played at Pittodrie, before 4000 spectators. Play ruled even in the first half. Motherwell scoring by Nicol. Murray equalised shortly after, and the sides crossed level. Aberdeen were the better side in the second half, MacDonald saving several splendid shots. O'Hagan scored the winning goal fifteen minutes from time. A punishing game ended :- Aberdeen, two goals; Motherwell, one.

Source: The Scotsman, 9th March 1908

Motherwell were the visitors at Pittodrie on Saturday, when they met the Aberdeen team in the Scottish League competition. The weather was fine, and there was an attendance of about 4000 spectators. Teams:-

Aberdeen: Macfarlane; Colman, Hume; Halkett, JJ Simpson, Low; Macdonald, Muir, Murray, O'Hagan, R. Simpson.
Motherwell: Macdonald; Mclean, Rattray; McConnell, McNeill, Nicol; Johnston, Stewart, Reid, Donaldson, Robertson.
Referee - Mr. J. Muir, Motherwell.

Aberdeen had to face the sun, but even with this drawback the opening minutes was sensational. Low stopped an attempt by the visiting right wing, and then O'Hagan did some pretty touching, which he followed up by placing prettily in the centre and between the two backs. Murray rushed up, and got in a terrific straight drive, which the custodian stopped with difficulty. Some work of a warm description of the Aberdeen end was followed by invasions of both territories. Reid had a good snap at Macfarlane, which Rab just knocked down in time; and then came a spell of excitement in front of Macdonald. The backs appealed for offside against Murray, who shot softly. The keeper fell on the ball, and Murray tried to get it through, but without result. Once more Motherwell made off, and the fusilade in front of the home citadel resulted in the first goal coming to the strangers. Nicol got in quick shot at close range, and the ball rebounded from the lower side of the bar into the net. Aberdeen at once made for MacDonald's charge, and the custodian had to give a display of his ability in clearing. He caught a firm shot, and recalled his way out from a crowd of Pittodrie men, ultimately sending well up the field. Murray, with his confreres on the left wing, exhibited their skill in a combined passing run, and then Bobby Simpson tried a punt from the corner. The ball skimmed past the goalmouth, and was banged into play again by Macdonald. Low got on well out, but his kick was too strong, and the sphere soared high over the bar. The Motherwell men looked alike lot, but they were exceedingly good workers, and there seemed to be our rare understanding among them. They were perhaps a little lucky in sapping the first goal, but they had as much of the attack as had Aberdeen up to this stage. Murray was leading the Aberdeen van in great style, and clever movements by him and Murray often lead to good openings being presented. There were many fine touches of a practical nature by the Aberdeen players, and although the visiting defenders were quite mediocre, they managed to clear the lines. Stewart had a try that went over the bar, and then after some midfield play, Murray was seen to burst through on his own. The backs did their best to harass the Aberdeen pivot, and McLean deliberately attempted to bring him down. Murray kept on his course, however, and with a tricky left of the ball with his left foot, placed it over the head of the keeper and into the net. Amid great cheering, the local band again moved down on Macdonald, and Simpson, on the left wing, after beating McLean, sent in a cross characteristic of Lennie. Murray was in a splendid position to touch home but he missed unaccountably, and although Muir tried to effect a recovery, Rattray stepped in first and the situation was saved. Motherwell pressed up on the right, and forced a corner, but a subsequent foul relieved, and Murray, with O'Hagan and Simpson, worked the ball up. Simpson was more than a match for McLean every time, and on this occasion Bobby gave the back the slip, and trying a flying shot from the margin, which nearly found the mark. Towards half-time Aberdeen did all the pressing, but there was a lack of bustle about their play. McNeill got a nasty knock on the need from Muir, but was soon able to resume. Then ensued a series of exciting moments in front of Macdonald, in which both Low and bobby Simpson had fine efforts.

The first event of note in the second half was the forcing of a corner by the Aberdeen right wing. From the kick in, J. J. Simpson made a valiant effort at goal, but the ball rebounded off the upright, and shot across to bobby Simpson on the right, who in turn drove in once more. The winger's try, however, was high and strong, and the chance was gone. There was a marked change in the Aberdeen play, there being more bustle and earnestness about it, but after they had pressed for a short spell, a misunderstanding on the part of Low and the local defence the Motherwell off. Robertson kicked behind, and much to the surprise of the crowd the referee gave a corner, which, however, proved fruitless. A brief stoppage was caused as the result of a clearing punt by Colman who sent the ball over the grandstand. A new sphere was called for, and the game resumed with Motherwell pressing. Reading missed a good chance with his head, but it was not long before they were back at Mcfarlane's end again. Halkett conceded a corner, but Low got his head on the ball from the kick-in, and the game once more resolved itself into an exchange in midfield. Simpson put an end to this, and his cross bounded off Murray's head to Macdonald at the opposite margin. The winger's effort was unsuccessful, but the pressure was maintained in Motherwell territory fill a foul relieved. From this advantage the visitors made headway on the left, and Reid again banged high when he got the ball a few yards from the goalmouth. The game was less interesting in the second half than in the first period, but a surprise goal to Aberdeen put a different complexion upon the play. The ball was worked up on the left, and O'Hagan was seen to dribble his way through the defence. It seemed that nothing would stop the Irishman, and he finished his effort by placing the ball easily in the net. Motherwell came off with a rush after this, but the tide soon turned, and Murray was seen to spend up the centre alone. He was too far out, however, and a forward kick allowed Macdonald to clear. Your distinguished himself with a fine run, followed by a goal, but the point was disallowed, as the referee had whistled for a touch. Chances were missed at both ends, but there was little excuse for Murray when he failed to send home a pretty cross from Macdonald. Motherwell were put in on the pressure, and made valiant efforts to penetrate the Aberdeen defence. The home team were somewhat fortunate to retain their goal lead, four on several occasions the citadel had the narrowest escapes from falling. The ball was being constantly banged in to wards Macfarlane, and a shot that must've found the net was hooked out by Wilf Low, while a minute later Macfarlane himself had to tip over the bar. This pressure was maintained till time was called, and the sounding of the whistle came as a welcome relief to the local defence.

The game is not difficult to sum up, and a majority will agree that, in view of mother Wells display in the closing stages, they were value for a share of the points. They were just a trifle lucky in drawing first blood, but even this did not seem to have much effect on the Aberdeen men, who played throughout the whole of the first period and a way that suggested something of the "friendly" order. There were some displays of nice tricky work in the outfield, in which Murray, Muir, and O'Hagan were prominent, while Simpson was also smart at times, but the strangers went in more for sound practical movements, and exhibited some good football. Murray's equalising goal was a nice one, and he deserves every credit for the masterly way he took it. The rest of the front line were in good form, and O'Hagan is deserving of commendation for his goal in the second period. Among the halves, J. J. Simpson worked hard with his colleagues, Low being particularly prominent two wards the finish. The defence was as good as usual. On the visiting side, Reid was the pick of a good quintette, and of the halves it need only be said that they displayed a creditable amount of activity and skill. The backs might have been more steady, but Macdonald never faltered in goal, and but for his nerve the visitors might have sustained a heavier defeat than they did.

The gate amounted to £115.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 9th March 1908

Useful Points.

Aberdeen had to take the field on Saturday, minus two of their best players, and had to face Motherwell with their strongest eleven. To take the two points was a really good bit of work for those left behind. On this occasion Halket lost the toss and had to face wind and sun, but this did not appear any disadvantage at the start for Murray had everybody beaten but the goalkeeper and he was lucky to save the shot sent in. It took Motherwell some time to settle down, but once they got their footing they were not easily shaken off. Aberdeen went in for close dribbling, and were robbed of the ball time and again, when in fine position, by their dallying too much at close quarters. Motherwell opened the scoring by half-back Nicol, who fastened on to a save from Macfarlane which the backs ought to have cleared. This infused more life into the play; Aberdeen showing excellent foot¬work in the open but woefully weak in ratting. Murray had the honour of equalising, and the manner in which he did it was worth going to see in itself. He tricked a half and both backs in the neatest manner possible, and racing right into goal gave Macdonald no chance. By simply wasting the ball with over-elaboration Aberdeen very nearly came to throwing away their chances in the second half, till O'Hagan with a rare solo run put his side on the lead. Many were the chances lost through this, the home side taking matters too easy in our opinion. However, they won, but we say they ought to have had more goals for their play.

On the Players.

Motherwell ought to be proud of their goalkeeper, for he kept his side from being well beaten on Saturday. The backs were both good, though McLean resorted to unfair means more than the other. The halves worked hard but did not feed their for¬wards as they might have done. Reid and Stewart divided the honours in the, forward line. Macfarlane was very safe with all he got to do, Coleman being the better of the two backs, Hume miskicking too often to be judged in good form. Low was head and shoulders above anybody in the middle line; Simpson did well at centre-half, but was afraid to let himself out. The forwards gave a fine exhibition of dribbling, too fine to pay, but as they got the necessary goals to win they will be satisfied. They will not have to be content with two goals on the 21st, and the sooner they get on their shooting boots for practice the better.

Chatty Bits.

Willie Lennie got a great reception on his arrival home on Saturday night.
The demonstration of the crowd was well meant,but if they consulted the wishes of the player they would refrain from doing the same again.
There is nothing that Lennie detests more than a scene like that which awaited him on Saturday. He would prefer to get home quietly, without being hustled about by admirers.
Unanimous verdict of those at Dens Park was that Lennie is a sure starter against England.
He was the only forward on the field who had supreme control of the ball, when he got it.
There was a general outcry that Macfarlane would make a better partner to Lennie than McColl; experience showed the reverse.
Unless Thomson is made to do duty as a back, the half-back line of Saturday will take a deal of searching to improve on.
Of course the Anglo-Scots game may unearth something worth looking at. It generally trots out a new aspirant.
The Irish international being due on Saturday, a halt will be called to these games till the semi-final round is past.
Wales, having won the last three games, were naturally disappointed at losing on Saturday.
The game at Pittodrie on Saturday was a trifle overdone with elaboration.
We should have preferred a good lead in goals before this was indulged in.
Muir had a fine goal disallowed on account of the ball being out of play before he fastened on.
The refereeing left a lot to be desired on the offside rule. We are a long-suffering lot in the north, and have to put up with some queer decisions.
We were not surprised at the A team going down to St. Johnstone, after we learned the team that was sent away.
The forwards were a promiscuous lot, and were only feeling their way at the finish.
They missed John James Simpson in the middle line, as the ground and play would have suited him to a nicety.
The popular centre-half did not disgrace himself with the League team, and had a great shot which deserved a goal.
His only fault was in lying too far back. If he had gone into the play more he would have met with more success.
There will be another breaking-up of the A team on Saturday, with so many away and laid up with injuries.
We expect to see a rousing final between Peterhead and Aberdeen A on Saturday.
Mr. John Nisbet, Edinburgh, has promised to referee at the final, if his other engagements permit.
We are informed that there is not an atom of truth in the report that Aberdeen had offers for several of their players.
O'Hagan left for Ireland on Monday, and will spend a few days at home before he goes up to play against Scotland.
In the opinion of Charlie, Scotland will have to get a strong team to cross the Channel if they mean success.
Bristol Rovers and West Ham played a drawn game on Saturday. The three old Aberdeen players get special mention. Gault, on the one side, and Boyle and Strang, on the other, Seem to have played exceptionally well.
There is some word of the great Celtic-Falkirk game, which is due this week, being postponed till a later date.
The Celts want something soft before the cup-tie, especially when several of their best men are away on International Business.

Source: Bon-Accord, 12th March 1908

Motherwell Teamsheet
Macdonald; Mclean, Rattray; McConnell, McNeill, Nicol; Johnston, Stewart, Reid, Donaldson, Robertson
Attendance: 4,500
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Mr. J. Muir, Motherwell
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