There was a sudden change in the weather conditions at Aberdeen on Saturday afternoon, and many who set out for Pittodrie in fine spring-like weather were caught in a heavy downpour of rain before they reached the ground. Despite the inclemency of the weather, there was a large attendance, and the game between Aberdeen and Airdrie, in the second round of the Scottish Cup, was witnessed by fully 10,000 spectators. Airdrie were without Greenwood at centre forward, who is suffering from an injury. Mister T. Dougray, Nithshill, was referee, and the teams were:-
Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Wilson, Macfarlane, Miller; Murray, Simpson, Soye, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Airdrie: Ewart; Davidson, Hill; Gray, McGran, J Young; Webb, Thompson, Nichol, Donaldson, S. Young.
From the kick-off, O'Hagan made headway until he was intercepted by McGran, but the clearance was only partial, and Miller punted well in towards the Airdrie citadel, where Lennie engaged in about with Davidson. The big back came out successful, and the visitors had a brief spell of attack. S. Young gave Mutch his first test, although it was not a serious one, and then Webb delivered a fine ball which drooped over the bar. Aberdeen quickly turned the tide, and a pretty cross from Murray was caught by O'Hagan. There was a crowd of players in front, however, and the Irishman did not get enough force into his shot to drive it through. From this stage onward the locals put up a severe pressure, and when Hill miskicked the home right wing looked like having a chance. The defender recovered well, however, and got the ball clear before Simpson could operate on it. The left couple took up the attack, and Lennie, after circumventing Davidson in comical fashion, delivered a shot to Ewart which forced the custodian to throw behind. Another fruitless corner came to Aberdeen, and the bulk of the defensive work fell upon Davidson and McGran, who were both prominent for fine clearances. Home supporters had no reason to grumble about the display of the local men. The frontline worked splendidly together, and the halves, in addition to checking Airdrie attack, kept their forwards well supplied with the ball. Aberdeen's game was a winning one, and the leading point came 10 minutes from the start, as a result of brilliant combination by the right wing and equally good finish on the left. Murray and Simpson worked up, and the outside man, circumventing Hill, drove hard across, where Lennie was waiting. It was a swift and difficult ball, but the left winger without hesitation caught it up and drove hard and straight for goal. The direction was true, and before Ewart was aware of the fact the ball was in the net. This early success, fully merited on play, was received with great cheering. Airdrie seemed to be fired by the reverse, and carried the game into Aberdeen territory. They had a strong and unwavering defence to meet, and it was not long before the venue was once more changed. The local right wing was more than a match for the Airdrie opposition, and Murray's speed kept Hill and Young perpetually in hot water. The fleet winger had some rare touches too, and it was only Hill's superior weight that prevented him from getting at Ewart when the pair engaged in a bout between the corner flag and the goal. After a brief invasion, during which Donaldson had a try at Mutch, O'Hagan and Lennie were seen working their way down. The Irishman kicked well forward to give the pivot a chance, but the punt carried the ball too far forward, and in a race for it between Ewart and Soye the former won by a second. There was now a slight relaxation of the pressure, and Airdrie were allowed to operate in home territory, but the backs and half-backs were more than able to keep the ball out with the danger zone. Gray had a try at goal, and then the Aberdeen left wing once more made progress. Lennie finished with a deadly cross. Davidson's height gave him the advantage, but he cleared with his head. There was a spell of work in the outfield, in which the home men showed clever combination, but this was not noted that, and Aberdeen became anxious for more points. To this end the whole front rank worked up, and the Aberdeen defenders were sorely taxed to repel the attack. Murray got in a beauty which went a trifle wide, and then O'Hagan parted to Lennie, who failed to catch on and allowed the sphere to go into touch. Airdrie made a good effort at rallying, and displayed good combination, but the run was ultimately nullified by poor finishing work. Aberdeen's attack became more persistent, and the halves began to have tries at goal. Macfarlane, who had been footing in some great work, drove a lovely ball from far out, and McGran, while failing to intercept, succeeded in diverting the flight of the ball behind. Airdrie were constantly checked in their attempts to make progress towards Mutch, and time and again O'Hagan and Lennie were cheered for smart footwork. Twice they gave good opportunities of scoring. Soye was too slow the first time, and next Murray was palpably offside. Under the strain of our tremendous pressure, the Airdrie defence tottered, and it was quite apparent that it was only a question of time before a second point came. The backs and halves were entirely outclassed by the attack which came from all parts. The local middle line was doing its work well, and their efforts were supported ably by the forwards. The left wing was probably the more tricky, but Murray and Simpson were brilliant in forceful, effective work which was productive of many opportunities. A cross from Simpson to the centre was accepted by Soye, who drove straight and true. Ewart covered the ball, but he was altogether defeated a minute later when similar work on the left gave Soye the same chance again. The pivot's shot was at close range, and the Airdrie keeper had no chance of saving. There was no slackening of the Aberdeen attack, and repeatedly, until the interval, there were shots from all quarters. Throughout the half Airdrie were all together inferior to Aberdeen in every department, and the run of play would have been more accurately represented by a heavier score for Aberdeen.
When the teams resumed the rain was still heavy, but there was no abatement in the interest of the onlookers. The surface of the pitch was soft, but it had little effect on the play. Airdrie were first to attack, and some young gave the local defence some trouble, but it was only temporary, and Murray and Simpson soon change the venue. Murray dashed in a rare high ball, which caused you ought to jump. Another of Airdrie's infrequent runs in combination promised result. Donaldson forced a way through the half line at midfield, and parted to Nichol, who in turn gave the ball to Webb. The latter raced well up the wing, but made a bad centre, which allowed Hume plenty of time to punt clear. Following upon this two fouls close in were awarded against Aberdeen, but these advantages were of no avail, and in a short time Aberdeen were at the old game of worrying the visiting defence. A foul brought temporary relief, but excitement again ruled on a shot from the right kicked the ball hovering on the crossbar. Airdrie were having a little more say in the game in the second half, and they set up a slight pressure. Thomson delivered an awkward shot almost from the corner flag, and then Mutch was called upon to deal with a hard and straight drive from Nichol. Hume miskicked, and Mutch had to come out to save. This proved to turning point, and in a minute the Aberdeen attack was harassing the Airdrie defence. After a spell of pressure O'Hagan tipped the ball over to Simpson, and the inside man finished with a hot drive, which brought a third point to Aberdeen. The result was now are beyond doubt, but Aberdeen were not satisfied, and worked hard for more goals. Murray, with a shot from the touch line, the Ewart go full length in the mud. Airdrie made strenuous efforts to reduce the leeway, and on one occasion Mutch was rendered helpless. Following upon a foul the ball was driven straight in, and had it been on the right side of the post the keeper would not have reached it. It was a hopeless contest, however, and without undue exertion Aberdeen maintained their lead till the finish.
Nothing could be more decisive than Aberdeen's victory. Airdrie were never seen to less advantage on Pittodrie. Aberdeen were superior in all departments, with a steady defence, but assured middle division, and a set of forwards that defied all opposition. The contrast was great, for while the locals were all good, the Airdrie lot were uniformly mediocre, with the exception of Ewart, who was brilliant at times. The backs and halves were exceedingly shaky, and among the forwards Webb and S. Young were the best of a weak quintette.
ABERDEEN v CELTIC
In view of a Aberdeen playing the Celtic in the third round of the Scottish Cup at Parkhead on Saturday first, it may be of interest to state that at the match between Celtic and Third Lanark on Saturday the gate money amounted to £1250 and stands to £170, representing an attendance of fully 56,000.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 14th February 1910