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Aberdeen 2 - 0 Raith Rovers

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Raith Rovers

Div 1 (Old)
Aberdeen scorers: Lennie 35, McIntosh 75.

20/08/1910 | KO:


Raith Rovers paid their first visit to Aberdeen with First Division status, and though they were not successful against the Northerners they gave a good account of themselves. There was an attendance of about 7000 spectators. The Fifers in the first period laboured under the disadvantage of facing the bright sunshine, but throughout this half there was a sustained equality between the sides, neither team for long asserting superiority. Defensive work dominated the game, the attacking forces being strongly held. Lennie scored the only goal of the period with a somewhat lucky shot, which was deflected to the net by the upright. Aberdeen early in the second half established a superiority, and for much of this period the Rovers were on the defensive. Their rearguard answered the exacting call well, and repeated attempts on the part of Aberdeen to score were frustrated. Eventually, however, McIntosh increased the Aberdeen lead with a fine shot from close quarters. Raith were unable to overcome the sturdy Aberdeen defence, and the game ended in a win for Aberdeen by two goals to nothing. The Rovers were better in defence than aggression, but the winners were a better balanced side.

Source: The Scotsman, 22nd August 1910
Photos: Evening Express 22nd August 1910

Aberdeen enthusiasts have every reason to be satisfied that success which has attended their club at the opening of the Scottish League season. At Pittodrie Park on Saturday the local team defeated Raith Rovers, the Kirkcaldy combination which has just recently been admitted to first-class circles, by 2 goals to 0. Great interest was taken in the match, I and, with ideal conditions prevailing, there was an attendance of about 7000.
Play in the first half was over rugged nature, accounted for by the fact that neither side got settled down to anything like definite action. The Rovers, who were handicapped by having to face a strong sun, but great vim into their ill-sustained movements, and quite early upset the locals' plan of action, the consequence being that play was often dull and uninteresting. As the game progressed there came an improvement in the play of the locals, although the doggedness of their opponents kept goals from accruing. After 35 minutes' Lennie scored for Aberdeen, and from this point onwards, although the Fifeshire team played pluckily, the home men were masters of the situation. Aberdeen made numerous excursions upon the fife goal in the second period, and although they only once scored again - a brilliant effort by Macintosh - they were really more superior to their opponents than the score suggests. Aberdeen won the match, in the first place, because they were the more experienced side, and because their play contained more of the scientific element than their opponents. Throughout the game was really a duel between the First and Second Division styles of football. The Rovers' movements were seldom thought out, and the whole explanation of their failure lay in the fact that the members failed to give each other the necessary support which is now essential for success in a first-class football field. Aberdeen by no means gave a perfect display, yet their form in the closing stages of the game should do much to dissipate the feelings of doubt existing as to the ability of the team as now constituted to maintain the reputation of a Aberdeen in the football world.


Both teams showed alterations from those which had appeared in earlier games. On the Aberdeen side, Macfarlane occupied the left-half position, vice Miller, injured. Raith rovers headed rearranged forward line, McAulay being dropped and McNeill drawn in at centre-forward. The sides were:-

Up Aberdeen: King; Colman, Hume; Wilson, Wyllie, Macfarlane; Soye, McIntosh, Murray, Travers, Lennie.
Raith Rovers: Ewing; Inglis, Cumming; Donacher, Aitken, Philip; Thorburn, Simpson, McNeill, Gourlay, Gibson.
Referee - Mr. J. S. H. Mark, Parkhead.

Fortunate in respect that he won the toss, Colman, the Aberdeen skipper, sent Rovers to face the rays of a burning sun. Travers assayed a movement in conjunction with Lennie, but an infringement sent play to the Aberdeen end, where Colman kicked clear. Wriggling work by Simpson allowed Thorburn a free field, but the winger finished weakly. Good work by Soye and McIntosh troubled the fife defence, and there was great excitement when Ewing had to leap to catch one of Murray's hooks. Simpson initiated of Rover attack. First he forced a fruitless corner off Macfarlane, and then his play led up to Hume having to head away from Gourlay. Several times Aberdeen tried to make headway, but worrying tactics by the opposing halves kept them out of Ewing's range. For a time interest centred on the visitors' left, where Colman was loudly cheered for magnificent clearances. Lennie, the ever-popular, once he got on the move, gave the Rovers' defence a most trying time, and although he was often repulsed by force of numbers, his superb dribbling drew out the enthusiasm of the crowd. Travelers let his partner away in splendid style on several occasions, but Cumming often proved a stumbling block to the pair's progress. Never once during a trying. Did the Fifeshire team Y. Lowe, and their quick footwork and rushing tactics completely disorganized the Aberdeen attack.
A movement taken part in by the Aberdeen right met a fate which had been a lot of many others, and was made abortive by Ewing running out and kicking clear. Once up twice in the decisions of the referee did not meet with the approval of the crowd, and, in consequence, he was subject to some wordy abuse which a football field can well do without. Although play was not of a high order, it was by no means uninteresting, and there was plenty of excitement for the crowd. Murray, the home centre, was frequently sandwiched between the visiting backs, who had often little to spare in their clearances. At King's end, Thorburn had a typical centre, and the keeper tipped the ball from Gourlay's head when a goal looked certain. The Aberdeen forwards showed little signs of settling to their game, and the crowd were often ready to give their advice. Soye skied from a most favorable position, and then Murray had two fruitless corners. Lennie effected a wandering role, but although his elusive work was pretty to look at but did not please the crowd sighing for goals. The local supporters had there trying moments, and one of these came when Thorburn squared nicely past the backs, and Gibson, rushing in, had a great shot which skimmed the bar.
Aberdeen after this showed signs of weakening, and Ewing was the central figure during the exciting moments which followed. He cleared an unexpected hook drive from Murray in great style, but no sooner had he done this than a scrimmage followed, and Travers tipped the ball past the outside of the post. With 35 minutes gone attention was riveted to the left, where Murray had worked the ball nicely out to Lennie.


Steadying himself, the winger drove hard and sure, and Ewing, striking the ball against the upright, allowed it to slip into the net. After this Aberdeen attacked vigorously, and Cumming, with a fearless tackle, repelled Travers and Lennie, only to see Soye fasten onto the bad return, and after some manoeuvring Lennie again tested Ewing. The home backs kicked with great vigour, and from one of Colman's returns Murray forced a corner, which was cleared, and half-time arrived with the scores dash Aberdeen 1; Raith Rovers 0.

The sun had disappeared when the teams again took the field. The local men forced matters from the offset, and Murray had a drive blocked by Aitken. In jumping to head the ball along with an opponent Soye had his head injured, and had to retire for a time. By swinging passes Aberdeen made ground, and although corners fell to their lot, they failed to augment their score. A foul let Rovers into Aberdeen territory, and Simpson, who had ever been a trier, shot past. A narrow escape followed of Ewing's goal, Soye tipping past by inches, while the keeper had to fist away from Lennie. Wyllie essayed a shot, but was palpably off the mark. Never once did the Fife men lie down, and while they were active themselves, they kept all the divisions of the Aberdeen team on the move. From an ideal cross of Soye's Aberdeen's goal register might have been augmented by Lennie, who misjudged to goal by inches. Numerous corners fell to the homesters, but try as they would they could not Pierce the stubborn defence of the Rovers. Thorburn and Simpson occasionally tried to make headway, and were invariably spoiled by Hume. A great effort to secure the equaliser was made by Philip, who had a drive which grazed the post, with King at the other end of the goal.


Murray and McIntosh got off from the centre of the field, and the last-named getting possession, beat Ewing with a rising shot from just inside the penalty line, after 75 minutes' play. At this stage the enthusiasm of the crowd was at a high pitch, and they clamoured for more goals. Back when the Aberdeen forwards to the attack, but in the face of great odds the Fifeshire defence never wavered in what for them proved to be the most trying time of the game, McIntosh got through again, but he slipped when in the act of shooting, Murray had a shot from 30 yards out, which Ewing saved at the expense of a corner. From this Rovers got off, and Simpson, after beating the Aberdeen defence, had dire luck in seeing his parting shot hit the Aberdeen cross-bar. Aberdeen again swooped down on Ewing, and twice within a minute Lennie might have scored. Once when he threw viewing out of his charge he misjudged the situation of the goal, and the ball rolled harmlessly past. At this stage the Rovers were completely outplayed, and the whistle sounded with the score - Aberdeen 2; Raith Rovers 0.

The amount taken at the gate and stands amounted to approximately £190.

Aberdeen Daily Journal, 22nd August 1910

Aberdeen opened their League campaign on Saturday against Raith Rovers, the latest addition to the Scottish League. The management must have been well pleased with the response the public made to their appeal for support, the crowd being the largest at an opening game since Aberdeen became First Leaguers. No doubt there was curiosity to see how the Rovers would shape, and there were the new players on the home side to be criticised on their first serious attempt on their own pitch.M

The weather was a trifle warm for a hard game, but the playing pitch was in capital condition. The visitors appeared first, and were followed a few minutes after by the home side. Donald Colman was successful in naming the right side of the coin, and gave the visitors the disadvantage of playing against the sun and what little breeze there was.
Play could not be described as thrilling to start with, there was an evident rustiness in the movements that required to be rubbed off, and this was not confined to one side more than the other. For the first twenty minutes the kicking was wild, and a lot of needless running was resorted to through faulty passing by the forwards. These haphazard. movements resulted in the backs having plenty of time for free kicks, and we were wondering when the teams would settle down to some sort of combination.
By some spirited advice on the part of the home captain Aberdeen began, to move better. The ball for the most part had been confined to the left-wing, but the game opened up a bit when Soye made the first really dangerous cross, which Murray was only a few seconds late in getting. Succeeding this came the most exciting bit of the game so far, when Thorburn raced away. Beating the defence, he squared for Gibson to score, and, had he steadied himself, the Rovers would have got the first goal, but instead he shot hard past the post to King's evident relief.
The home halves had now evidently found their bearings. Wylie in particular showed capital judgment with some well executed passes, so that the forwards forced themselves more into the limelight than they had at any other part of the game. As a result of this Aberdeen showed clever football, and it was only their due when Lennie opened the goal scoring for Pittodrie in a League match for the season. It was a deceiving shot, and one which Lennie has deceived many a goalkeeper with. It had the appearance of going past, but curled into the far corner of the net well out of Ewing's reach. This proved to be the only goal scored during the first half, which was strenuous, if not methodical, and the players were anxious for a breather.

After a fairly decent interval the players were again set agoing. An offside decision brought the wrath of the crowd on the poor referee not for the first time. Although we considered him right in most cases, he was wrong when he pulled up Murray who was going off on his own. It was quite apparent now that Aberdeen were out to win. They were smarter on the ball, quicker at parting and, shooting, which only the vigilance of Ewing and Inglis kent from materialising.
Macintosh captivated the whole assemblage by scoring as fine a goal as ever was scored in Pittodrie. He just got it away when he was blocked, but he had sufficient angle and pith on the ball that gave Ewing no earthly chance of saving. Aberdeen should have added another couple of goals, but this ended the scoring. On one occasion Lennie was too sure and, missed an open goal, while again Murray got within inches of scoring.
Only once did the Rovers get a chance of scoring, and that was well in the game when the front line got all in on King, but they failed, as before in shooting wildly over the bar. Aberdeen thus chronicled their first League win by 2-0, and on play they deserved to do so.


The Rovers were best served by Ewing and Inglis in the defence, which the halves performed only moderately, Aitken being the best of the three. Forward, Thorburn is a flier, and has a capital control of the ball. He has a willing partner in Simpson. Gourley, too, fed Gibson well, and the latter appeared to be the best shot, but just a trifle reckless.
On the home side King underwent his baptism well. and demonstrated that with a couple of good backs in front of him he can do as well as those who have been there before him. Colman and Hume were splendid, and saved the situation repeatedly. At the start the halves were very erratic, Wyllie throughout being most consistent, while Wilson could not anticipate the play as he usually does. Macfarlane, once he got to know his men, played capitally, though a bit slow to begin with. The forwards were eagerly scanned, although they could not at first be classed as Al. Before the finish it became evident they will make a good line, bar accidents, once they understand each others' little ways. Lennie early caught on, as he generally does, by some droll trickery. Travers quite upheld his reputation as a feeder, and is one who is not afraid to score on his own. Murray played unselfishly, and seems to have regained his strength, for we cannot remember his doing so well last season as he did on ,Saturday.
Macintosh began very indifferently, putting in a lot of hard work which did not appear to come to anything. He is not so smart and nippy as his predecessor, but seems to be equally sure of where his goal lies. Up to the time Soye was hurt he was a genuine success on the wing, and will keep his place on Saturday's form. Altogether Aberdeen made a fair show to start with, and if the right spirit is there they will win a lot of games.

Source: Bon-Accord, 25th August 1910

Raith Rovers Teamsheet
Ewing; Inglis, Cumming; Donacher, Aitken, Philip; Thorburn, Simpson, McNeill, Gourlay, Gibson
Attendance: 7,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Mr. J. S. H. Mark, Glasgow