Aberdeen played their third Scottish League fixture for the season on Saturday, when the Hearts were met the Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, in presence of 12,000 spectators. The weather was favourable for the game, although somewhat warm, while the ground was in first-rate order. The Aberdeen team showed two changes compared with the side that opposed Third Lanark on the previous Saturday, Wilson and R. Simpson playing instead of Davidson and Soye. At 3:30 the elevens lined up as follows:-
Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Wilson, Moffat, Miller; H. Murray, R. Simpson, T. Murray, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Hearts: Muir; Collins, Russell; McLaren, Mercer, Nellis; Sinclair, Walker, White, Harker, Cole.
Referee - R. T. Murray, Stenhousemuir.
Aberdeen opened with a brisk attack on the Hearts' goal, Lennie and O'Hagan leading the way. The ball was crossed from the left, Collins being unable to check the progress of the Aberdeen left wing. Russell, however, came to the rescue, and transfer to play to midfield, where Harker and Cole took up the running for the Hearts. A strong return by Colman was followed by another break away on the Aberdeen left, but Collins pulled up Lennie before the latter became dangerous. Thus early in the game it became evident that both teams were in particularly good form. A neat bit of play by Walker set the Hearts' front rank on the move, Sinclair catching up a pass from his partner and racing straight for the Aberdeen goal. The Hearts' outside right crossed to the left wing, where Cole was awaiting the pass. His attempt an goal, however, went wide of the mark. Aberdeen forced the pace on the right, Simpson beating Nellis on the run. The latter recovered, however, but sent the ball over his own goal-line. H. Murray placed a corner-kick finely into the goalmouth, where Wilson just missed scoring with a header. The game preceded on fast lines, with little or nothing to choose between the teams. The Hearts played strong, dashing football, but were met by a strong defence, which she fused to be beaten, Colman and Hume being frequently cheered for their accurate kicking. Mercer was prominent at centre-half for the Hearts, his great height enabling him to head the ball clear whenever the Aberdeen forwards threatened danger. The visiting forwards, however, were inclined to keep the leather too much in the Ayer. Wide passing characterised Hearts' forward play for a time, but as a line the front rank did not combine successfully. White lost a glorious chance of scoring after Harker had slipped the ball clear for the centre to rush through on his own. Cole did many clever things in the open, but he twice failed in his shooting when he had only the goalkeeper to beat. On one occasion he was within a dozen yards of goal, but the outside-left banged the ball recklessly past the outside of the upright. Aberdeen next opened out the play on the right wing, H. Murray racing past Russell in splendid style, finishing with a fast drive which just missed the net. So far the goalkeepers had not been seriously tested, although the Hearts' goal had a miraculous escape following upon some clever work by the Aberdeen front rank. T. Murray raced past the backs, and was actually within 3 yards of the goal when Nellis and Russell dashed across and hustled the centre-forward off the ball in the nick of time. Nellis ultimately got the ball away just as Murray was sent sprawling on the ground. White was once more placed in possession quite close to the Aberdeen goal, but again the Hearts' centre failed to clinch matters. Mutch cleared a long drive from Mercer, while next minute Aberdeen were attacking at the other end of the field. A fast drive from Lennie was blocked by Russell, and then the Aberdeen left-winger shot past from the rebound. Away when the Hearts to the Aberdeen end of the field. The visiting backs were hard pressed, but they were rarely at fault in their clearances. Sinclair was fairly off in his shooting, for twice he was presented with comparatively easy chances, which he threw away in a most reckless fashion. Cole, too, spoilt a capital chance, after clever work by Mercer and Walker, while White also failed to improve upon Walkers fine work in the open. Indeed, the shooting of the home forwards was distinctly off the mark. H. Murray and Simpson were conspicuous on the Aberdeen right, and most danger came from these two players. T. Murray tried to break through in the centre, but Mercer seldom allowed the Aberdeen centre to get a shot in. O'Hagan forced his way along the left, and appeared to have the goal at his mercy when he passed back to Lennie. The latter was tackled by McLaren, who transferred to Walker, but the inside right was smartly pulled up by Hume. Moffat was frequently in evidence with strong, forcing play. He was one of the outstanding men on his side, although Millar was also seen two advantage at left half. The game on the whole was interesting, although at times the kicking of the half-backs was too strong, and this had a marked effect on the forward play on both sides. The Hearts, if anything, had most of the play, but Aberdeen were more dangerous at close quarters. Near the interval the game brightened up considerably. Sinclair, Cole, and Harker forcing the pace, but the forwards as a line lacked shooting ability. Close on the interval the Hearts' goal narrowly escape downfall. Simpson sent in a terrific drive along the ground, Muir saving at full stretch. The goalkeeper was unable to get the ball away, however, when H. Murray rushed in and just managed to get his foot on the ball when Muir, with a great effort, managed to avert an almost certain goal, turning the ball round the corner of the post.
Up to shortly after the restart the Hearts' centre forward lost a fine chance of scoring. He was within a few yards of goal with the ball at his feet, but somehow he got into a tangle, and before he had time to get his shot in Miller and Hume bustled the centre forward off the ball, and soon Aberdeen were the attacking party at the other end. Some pretty play was witnessed in the Aberdeen front rank, the ball being passed from player to player in a manner that called forth unstinting cheering from the huge crowd. A long, drooping shot from the Aberdeen outside right was cleared by Muir, the ball being ultimately punted down the field by Collins. Strong, forcing play by the Hearts' half-backs kept the Aberdeen on the defence for a time. First Wilson and then Moffat came to the front in warding off a brisk attack - in which walker was conspicuous - by the Hearts' forwards. A regular melee ensued at the Aberdeen goalmouth, where Moffat was prominent with his head. An dangerous movement by Cole and Harker was cleverly checked by Colman. H. Murray lead the way in a determined attack by the Aberdeen forwards. Murray got round Nellis and Russell, but hesitated near the goal-line, and before he could get into position a second time Nellis robbed him of the ball. All over, Aberdeen were the better side this half. At least their football was a bit above that shown by the Hearts. Play continued fast - indeed, the pace in showed no signs of falling off, the teams striving with might and main in their efforts to open the scoring. McLaren had a lovely shot from half-back, the ball skimming the crossbar, although Mutch was in readiness to deal with the shot. Next minute Sinclair failed badly near goal - indeed he was almost under the bar when he caught the rebound off Hume, and shot wildly past the outside of the net. This was followed by H. Murray sending wide of the posts at the other end after a clever run along the right wing. Lennie and O'Hagan made little progress on the Aberdeen left wing, Collins invariably having the best of matters when dealing with a well-known pair. Twenty minutes from time walker came away with some really brilliant work for the Hearts. He was apparently bent on scoring, for he sent in a terrific drive from close range, which almost brought disaster to the Aberdeen side, but Mutch made this spring at the ball and cleared in capital style. Walker made a second attempt to beat Mutch, but this time his shot went spinning over the bar. The excitement at this stage was intense, were a goal to either side practically meant the winning of the game. The Hearts' played desperately hard, being cheered on by the huge crowd, but the Aberdeen defence never flinched, Colman and Hume defending sturdily, while Wilson, Moffat, and Miller tackled in the most resolute fashion. With 10 minutes to play, Aberdeen lost the best chance of the game. H. Murray had played a great part in the match but he failed to cap a fine afternoon's work when he shot past an open goal after receiving the ball from Lennie. Murray had apparently made up his mind to beat Muir with a fast drive, but he put too much force behind his shot and sent the ball flying past the outside of the net. The Hearts rallied in great style. Two corners fell to them in rapid succession. Mercer headed the first into goal, Mutch clearing in brilliant fashion. Again the ball was returned, and a most exciting scramble ensued. Cole and White, however, failed to beat Mutch, and Aberdeen breathed freely when they were awarded a three kick. Play was keen to the close, but time was called with the teams on an equality- no scoring.
A draw was a fitting result to a highly interesting encounter, the Aberdeen, with the least bit of luck, would probably have pulled off the game. Although the drawings were not disclosed, the receipts were a record four and Aberdeen match in Edinburgh, and must've reached at least £300.
,b>Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 6th September 1909