Although the Scottish football season officially opened last Tuesday, it was not until Saturday that play became general. All the clubs in the various leagues were engaged. Large crowds turned out at the various centre, and some interesting play was witnessed.
Aberdeen opened their League season at Pittodrie, when Raith Rovers were opposed and defeated by 3 goals to 1. Play throughout was of a mixed nature, yet the 10,000 spectators present were fairly well satisfied considering it was a first of season game. The football superiority of the home side was manifest throughout, and never at any time, determined and energetic though they were, did Raith Rovers compare favourably with their opponents. While the aim of the Aberdeen Club was to obtain and prevent goals by combinative work - and they were only partly successful - it seemed that the Rovers appeared to attain the same ends by less scientific means. While at periods of the game Aberdeen gave glimpses of really good football, and gave snatches of a settled game, the Rovers never appeared to do so, and, playing an uneven Second Division game from start to finish, their defeat was the penalty. Although a full season has now elapsed since they left the Second Division of the League, and the side has undergone several changes in the interval, their contact with First Division clubs has not yet sufficed to rid them of the less well-conceived game which, while it pays in the Second League, will be of good avail only in a few games in their present competitions, where the science of the game should be, and is, higher, to the detriment of individual and rush football. The Rovers are a side whose game may well be calculated to upset the play of reputed football combinations, and unless an improvement comes in the interval, this will be the means of bringing the few victories which the Rovers at present constituted may expect. Aberdeen's 3-1 victory no more than represents their superiority, albeit the side had many failings; considering their known abilities, thy have more than the Rovers, who, foreign to a steady game, did as well as might be expected under the circumstances. Too much should certainly not be expected from teams at the commencement of the season. Introductions of new players are bound to upset the old style and give birth to fresh movements, and it is necessary that time should elapse before the team becomes properly accustomed to each other's game, while there are bound to be misjudgements in passing until the fixed methods of the side have had time to materialise. Briefly put, Raith Rovers lost because their style could never beat a side of the skill and calibre of Aberdeen. For about five-sixths of the game Aberdeen were the aggressors, and the absence of more goals was due to the spoiling tactics of a defence whose energies were concentrated on the prevention of goals to the entire neglect of their own credit account, and to the fact that the judgement of the players has not yet had time to mature. There were many Aberdeen movements which gave promise of brilliance spoilt in the making as often by their own players as by their opponents, but taking these as examples of the finished article, when once the side has settled down there should be no denying the football capabilities of the team. On the move the forward line goes much faster than last year's and there is not nearly the same amount of hesitancy which marked that period's play.
The pretties piece of play in the match led up to Aberdeen's first goal. Colman, lying flat, managed to get the ball away to Lennie, and he and Wood carried it up the field. Subsequently McIntosh passed it to Soye, and finally it returned to Main before it found a resting place in the net. There were many pretty forward movements by the Aberdonians after this, and there was no lack of excitement near the visiting goal. McIntosh and Main were never slow to harass the backs, but in these they found the best division of the visitors' team. At times the eagerness of the home forwards lost chances by shooting over or wide. Rovers, on the other hand, never had a scoring chance in the first half, even although King was not without the zone of danger. Up to the closing stages when they came away strongly, Rovers were well held in the second half. In this period, besides scoring other two goals, Aberdeen had other two disallowed, one for offside and the other for a foul on the goalkeeper, and this fact should suffice to give an idea of the play. Aberdeen's second goal came from a penalty, McIntosh being fouled by Cumming. The place kick was given to Wyllie, and McLeod, although he touched the ball, failed to stop its progress. Aberdeen, both by individual and collective movement, made many inroads in the Fife defence, which never wavered. The third goal came from an accurate cross by Lennie, which McIntosh neatly converted. The disallowed goals came from McIntosh and Main, who were ever on the move. Wood executed some magnificent dribbles, and as the result of one of these McLeod was fortunate to stop a drive from Main, who gave the goalkeeper little scope. Near the end of the game King had to deal with a series of lofty shots, but these he handled confidently. A surprise shot by Hastie from outside the penalty area found its billet, however, but apart from this, the superiority of the home team was really not challenged, and they were deserving winners of a game of extremes.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 21st August 1911