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Motherwell 3 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Motherwell 1 - 1 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Motherwell scorers: Hill, Stewart, Stewart (pen)
Aberdeen scorers: Blackburn, Blackburn.

27/02/1909 | KO:

At Motherwell before 4000 spectators. The home team had the best of matters in the first half. Mutch was severely tested on several occasions, but was always on the spot. Hill opened the scoring shortly before the interval. The visitors were then making a better show, and Blackburn equalised from near the corner flag, taking MacFarlane completely by surprise. The game was more evenly contested during the second half, and Motherwell scored softly through Stewart. Shortly afterwards Blackburn struck the cross-bar, and Niblo, catching the rebound, equalised. Play was even towards the close, and Stewart scored for Motherwell from a penalty kick. The game was value for a draw. Result :- Motherwell, three; Aberdeen, two.

Source: The Scotsman, 1st March 1909

The return league fixture between Aberdeen and Motherwell was played off at Fir Park, Motherwell, on Saturday. The weather was favourable, but the ground was somewhat heavy after the rainfall in the early part of the day. At half-past three the players lined up as follows:-

To Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Wilson, McIntosh, Low; Blackburn, Simpson, Niblo, O'Hagan, H. Murray.
Motherwell: Macfarlane; Mclean, Rattray; Sneddon, McNeil, Nicol; Johnstone, Stewart, Hill, Tait, Robertson. Referee - Mr. J. B. stark, Airdrie.

With no wind or sunn, little advantage was gained by Aberdeen in winning the toss. Motherwell started off in brisk style, and had the best of matters for the first 10 minutes. The Motherwell left wing pair were particularly lively, with the result that Wilson and Colman were early called upon to display their defensive powers. Wilson, for a time, could not get into his game, leaving Colman to deal with the clever Motherwell left wing. Robertson twice got clear away, but Colman succeeded in checking the outside left at close quarters. The Aberdeen right back was in particularly good form, his returns being strong and well-judged. Motherwell continued to keep Aberdeen confined to their own half of the field, and it was not until Niblo sent a long pass out to Murray on the left wing but the visitors were enabled to cross the half-way line. Motherwell, however, returned to the attack, and ultimately scored through Hill. Robertson began the movement leading up to the goal. He worked along the left, and then crossed to the centre, where Hill picked up the pass, dashed between Mcintosh and Hume, and finally shot the ball into the net with a capital drive, Mutch being beaten all the way. Aberdeen responded gamely, Low forcing the play along the left wing. Blackburn collided with trapped Rea near the touch line, the first named being laid out for a few minutes. He resumed playing, but appeared to be suffering from the effects of his mishap. Play ruled even for fully a quarter of an hour, but Aberdeen, if anything, were the more dangerous side. Following upon a straight pass along the centre of the field, O'Hagan tested Macfarlane with a swift drive at close range, but the old Aberdeen goalkeeper saved finely. Aberdeen continued to monopolise the game, but their forwards were inclined to keep the ball too close, and were repeatedly at fault in not opening out the game. Robertson was the leading forward on the Motherwell side, and had many lively tussles with Colman. Twice Robertson sent across lovely passes to the opposite wing, but Johnstone and Stewart failed to clinch matters when it came to shooting. A long shot from Mclean was cleared under the bar by Mutch, while next minute Murray and O'Hagan had a combined run half the length of the field. The ball was finely centred by Murray, and Niblo, rushing between the backs, had a clear run to wards goal. He shot weakly, however, with the result that Macfarlane easily cleared. The Aberdeen centre could probably have scored had he closed in on Macfarlane instead of shooting from about 20 yards out. Play improved on both sides. Up to this stage there have been a lot of useless kicking, the ball being too often in the air, while the finishing of the respected forward lines was faulty. A neat bit of play by Low enabled O'Hagan two runs straight ahead with the ball at his feet. The inside left beat three players in his run to wards goal, but the old weakness at close quarters was again evident when O'Hagan shot harmlessly over the bar. Hill, Robertson, and Stewart made repeated attempts to break through the Aberdeen defence, and there were several sharp encounters between Hill and McIntosh. Owners were evenly divided, although the Motherwell centre on one occasion gave Nicol a fine opening, which was turned to account by the left half. Nicol sent in a fast shot, which Mutch just managed to clear. Rattray, left back, injured his knee whilst tackling Blackburn, with the result that the first named went off the field for a few minutes. During his absence Aberdeen equalised the game. Niblo got on the ball, and then passed straight ahead for Blackburn, who raced in front, and just caught up the pass near the goal line. The right winger evidently intended to cross the ball to the centre, but his shot went curling into the far corner of the net - a surprise goal, Macfarlane being quite deceived by the swerve of the ball. There was no further scoring up to half-time, when the teams crossed over level - one goal each, are correct criterion of the run of the game.

The Motherwell team was rearranged after the interval, owing to Rattray's injury. The left back went outside left, Robertson picking up the inside position. While Tait appeared at left half and Nicola left back. Aberdeen had the benefit of a slight wind in their favour when the game was restarted, and were soon in the vicinity of the Motherwell goal. Mclean relieved in quick succession with a couple of strong punts, and from one of his returns, Colman got possession. The Aberdeen right back sent the ball along to Niblo, who tricked the opposing defence with a smart bit of play. Racing ahead, Niblo had a glorious chance of scoring, but he finished with a weak shot that went wide of the goal. O'Hagan and Simpson each had shots at goal, but Macfarlane had plenty of time to clear, there being little sting in the shooting. Aberdeen appeared likely to gain the lead at any moment, the reorganised Motherwell team being unable to make any headway. Robertson and hill, however, eventually changed the play to the other end. The first named received the ball from a throw-in, but was blocked by Colman. Robertson, however, passed neatly two Stewart, who beat Mutch with a fast drive from about a dozen yards out. The school came after 7 minutes' play, and was quite unexpected, for Aberdeen had had the best of matters up to this stage. The Aberdeen forwards then fell off greatly in their play, but the three half backs put in a lot of telling work. Wilson opened out the play, but his work went for nothing owing to the weakness in front. The Aberdeen goal ran a narrow escape when the Motherwell front rank bustled the backs, the ball being ultimately sent behind by Hume, who appeared to strike the leather with his hand, the incident being on notice to buy the referee. Brisk work by Murray on the Aberdeen left caused Macfarlane some uneasiness in the Motherwell goal. Murray sent in a couple of fine shots in rapid succession, the goalkeeper clearing on each occasion with little to spare. Aberdeen took the game in hand, and would have scored had it not been for the resolute defence of McNeil, Mclean, and Nicol. The last named saved an almost certain goal when he headed out a shot from under the bar. A run by Blackburn almost half the length of the field, followed by a cross to Niblo, ought to have brought the equaliser to Aberdeen. Niblo had simply to touch the ball as it came across the goalmouth in order to diverted into the net, but the centre completely missed the leather, and a fine chance was thus lost. Aberdeen could not complain of want of openings, for the Motherwell backs were none too safe in their returns, but the visitors failed in their shooting. Colman and Hume were very safe at back, the first-named being quite the best player on the field. 15 minutes from time Colman took a free kick in midfield, and placed the ball with fine judgment to Blackburn. The latter at once shot for goal, the ball striking the far post with great force and rebounding into the net. Niblo raced through and made doubly sure, but the referee had signalled for goal before Niblo's final effort. The game was now level - two goals each - and the subsequent play fully warranted the impression that the points would be divided. 3 minutes from the close, however, he'll run forward to catch up a pass near goal, Hume at the same time attempting to block the ball. The Motherwell centre stumbled over Hume's leg, and, to the surprise of most people, the referee gave a penalty. Stewart took the kick and beat Mutch with a fast drive. Aberdeen made a desperate effort to draw level in the last minute, but no further scoring took place and the game ended - Motherwell 3 goals, Aberdeen 2.

Motherwell were lucky in securing both points, for the game was just value for a draw. When the Aberdeen side Colman played a sterling game, and was undoubtedly the most prominent player in the team. The gate amounted to £60 5s.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 1st March 1909

Motherwell Teamsheet
Macfarlane; Mclean, Rattray; Sneddon, McNeil, Nicol; Johnstone, Stewart, Hill, Tait, Robertson
Attendance: 3,000
Venue: Fir Park, Motherwell
Referee: Mr. J. B. Stark, Airdrie
Next Match
27 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen