Only 16,000 spectators witnessed the league match between Aberdeen and Rangers at Ibrox Park, Govan, on Saturday. Fine weather favoured the game, while the pitch was in capital order. The teams were:-
Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Wilson, Moffat, Miller; H. Murray, Simpson, T. Murray, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Rangers: Lock; Law, McKenzie; May, Stark, Gault; Bennett, Gilchrist, Gordon, McPherson, Hogg.
Referee - Mister J. Rennie, Falkirk.
Aberdeen started off in spirited fashion, Lennie and O'Hagan being prominent in the first minute of the game. The left wing pair carried the play to the Rangers' goal-line, where Lennie crossed cleverly to the centre. T. Murray was in waiting for the pass, which he turned to good account, Lock saving under the bar. The Rangers responded with a brisk attack on the right wing. Gilchrist got on the ball near the centre of the field, and subsequently transfer and to Bennett. The latter raced ahead, beating Hume on the run, but his parting shot was badly directed. The "Light Blues" kept up the pressure for a time, McPherson and Hogg each having tries for goal, but for the most part their shooting was far from deadly. The game was fought out on fast lines, the pace being remarkably keen, considering the great heat. Most of the play was confined to the Aberdeen left wing and a Rangers' right. Lennie and O'Hagan were particularly aggressive, and May and Law were kept continually on the move in their efforts to keep out the Aberdeen left wing. Indeed, for a time the work on the Aberdeen left was a feature of the game. O'Hagan played a most unselfish game, and never lost an opportunity of allowing Lennie to get away on his own. One specially good shot from the inside left - the best attempt at scoring up to a certain stage - caused lock to fall on his knees in order to effect a clearance. Play was very evenly divided, first one side and then the other appearing two advantage, although Aberdeen were, if anything, the better balanced team. So far, the experiment of playing Hogg, Rangers, on the extreme left had not met with any measure of success, and this, perhaps, explains the reason why the home team gave Bennett as much of the ball as possible. The right-winger, however, showed poor judgment in his finishing, and consequently Mutch was rarely in difficulties. Lock, on the other hand, but several awkward shots to deal with. A clever movement on the part of Lennie, T. Murray, and O'Hagan almost brought a goal to Aberdeen. The Rangers' backs were beaten, and T. Murray sent in a low curling shot. Lock managed to divert the course of the ball, but fumbled badly in his efforts to clear, and just when a goal appeared likely to fall to the visitors, Lock scooped the ball behind the post. Aberdeen surprise the Rangers by the clever, go-ahead football and had a goal been registered at this stage the Aberdeen players who have got nothing more than they deserved. Gault put in a lot of effective tackling for the home team, with the result that H. Murray and Simpson could make little headway. The Aberdeen half-backs played a steady, plodding game, with Wilson always prominent, the right half at times following the ball all over the field. An exciting bout between Hogg and Colman was ended when both players were seen to fall full stretch on the ground. Good placing by May led up to a brisk attack on the Aberdeen goal. Colman and Hume, however, defended splendidly, and twice within 5 minutes the right back in through a crowd of players with the ball at his feet. Gilchrist lost a capital chance of scoring after receiving a nice pass from Bennett, while next minute Gordon was pulled up for offside within a couple of yards of the Aberdeen goal. Following this incident, the visitors came away strongly on the left wing, Law being repeatedly in difficulties with Lennie. The right back adopted the plan of kicking out whenever he saw that Lennie was to get the better of him. Mackenzie, on the other hand, kicked with capital judgement, but he had a comparatively easy task in dealing with the Aberdeen right wing. At least Galt was more effective than me so far as tackling was concerned, and thus the left back had as a rule plenty of time to get in his kicks. Play never slackened, teams disputing every inch of ground in the most determined fashion. Moffat was prominent for useful head work near goal, and then Lennie came to the front with a spanking run on the left. Leaving the backs in the year, the Aberdeen forward, when capitally placed, gave T. Murray an easy opening, but the centre was too slow in picking up the pass, McKenzie rushing back and clearing. A gain Murray was at fault in not clinching a fine cross from the left, while later on he sent the ball too far ahead after getting between the backs. Two corners in succession availed the Rangers nothing, and then followed a fine bit of work by Lennie and O'Hagan, who were admirably backed up by Miller. The first-named dribbled right through the defence, beating three opponents single-handed, but was badly fouled by Law just when within a couple of yards of goal. The left-winger was assisted off the field, having sustained a severe bruise on the ankle. Aberdeen were awarded a penalty for Law's infringement, and Moffat easily beat the goalkeeper. At this stage the Rangers fell away greatly in their play, the Aberdeen half-backs keeping a firm grip of the opposing forwards, although Bennett and Gilchrist occasionally threatened danger. The Rangers' defence was severely taxed, Simpson having hard luck with a shot that struck the bar, but an offside infringement by Aberdeen gave relief to the Rangers.
Rangers opened the second half as though they were to carry everything in front of them. Gordon and Gilchrist were specially aggressive, but they were met with a strong defence, Colman getting through a vast amount of sterling work. Hogg got more of the ball this half, and although he certainly shaped awkwardly as a left-winger, he nevertheless proved troublesome with his drooping centers from the wing. A spurred by Lennie - who had resumed after the interval - was checked by Lowe, who, however, was penalised for foul play. Then ensued a terrific bombardment of the Aberdeen goal. For well nigh a quarter of an hour the visitors did not cross midfield. Gilchrist, Hogg, May, and Gordon all had tries for goal, but in almost every instance the ball rebounded off one or other of the Aberdeen defenders, although Mutch rarely touched the ball. The Aberdeen forwards lay back on their goal, a proceeding that was quite uncalled for, as it would have paid the team better had the front rank opened out the game more. Play during this half was of the most exciting description. The Rangers rushed matters for all they were worth, but they were frequently penalised for questionable tactics. The ball was seldom away from the Aberdeen goal, but the visiting backs, admirably supported by the half-backs, kept the Rangers from equalising of time. May had two capital shots, both being blocked by Colman, while Hume smartly pulled up Bennett when the latter was well on his way to goal. The struggle was waged at a great pace, Aberdeen defending for all they were worth. Their goal, however, had a narrow escape when the right wing pair beat Hume, the ball being eventually crossed to the left. Wilson completely missed his kick, Colman followed his example, while Hogg, rushing in, failed to profit by the Aberdeen players miskicks, the Rangers' left-winger shooting on the wrong side of an open goal. However, the Rangers eventually equalised. There was a regular melee in front of the Aberdeen goal, the ball being sent to wards Mutch fully half a dozen times in quick succession, but on each occasion a leather rebounded up the field. Gordon at last got an opening, and literally forced the ball into the net. This was followed by a change of tactics on the part of the Aberdeen. The ball was kept moving from wing to wing, the game being now more open and very evenly divided. The Rangers' goal almost fell as the result of forcing play on the part of Wilson, Simpson, and H. Murray. Lock saved a shot from Simpson, Wilson following up and getting the ball off Lock, who is scented only a few yards away. The goalkeeper was out of his position when Wilson hooked the ball to O'Hagan, who headed towards the net. An exciting struggle ensued, the ball striking the undercard of the Barr and bouncing on the ground. Viewed from the press-box the ball appeared to be over the goal-line when one of the Rangers' backs kicked clear. A claim by O'Hagan for goal was ignored, and next minute Bennett was seen racing along the right wing. A fast drive from the winger was kicked out by Mutch - a rather risky mode of saving - while a corner to the home team was likewise cleared by Mutch. Fifteen minutes from time the Rangers took the lead. Gilchrist, who had been very prominent this half sent in a fast shot, which struck Moffat just when Mutch was in a position to save. The ball was deflected to the opposite corner of the net, and although Mutch made a praiseworthy effort to avert disaster, the ball bounced off his hand and into the corner of the net. Aberdeen played up desperately hard for the equaliser. Lennie sending in a couple of fine shots without result. The game never slackened down, both teams striving their utmost right up to the close.
The Rangers were fortunate than carrying off the points, for they did not deserve to win on the run of play. Aberdeen gave a very good account of themselves in their first visit to Glasgow this season, and deserve credit for their good display. Colman, Wilson, Lennie, and O'Hagan were prominent among the Aberdeen players, while Lock, McKenzie, May, Galt, Gilchrist, and Bennett were the most successful members of the winning team. The divisible gate was estimated at over £400.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 20th September 1909