Source: The Scotsman, 23rd February 1914
COSTLY LAPSESAlthough the standard of play never faded, it was a game of peculiar terms in as much as victory twice seemed assured to either team, before Saint Mirren finally gained what, in view of their two league defeats from Aberdeen this season, can only be described as a sensational victory. None would seek to deny that Aberdeen were the cleverer team on the day's play, but they succumbed through two lapses on the part of what has lately proved a strong and reliable defence. Saint Mirren were a team of workers rather than of polished methods, and considering their brave fight against the advantageous influences which help a home team in a cup-tie, they were worthy of all praise for their uphill struggle. If it did not pretend to the same class of football as attempted by Aberdeen they played the better cup-tie game, since they went out for the few chances that presented themselves, and having snatched the league, they played to keep it, and succeeded.
INDIVIDUAL BRILLIANCESaint Mirren some success was due more to individual brilliance and two all-round ability on the part of the team, and it was something in the nature of a triumph for the non-professional that both of their goals should have been scored by J. H. Speedie, the outside left, and the only amateur in the game. It can be said that he snapped up the only two chances Saint Mirren had of scoring. But what Speedie did in attack for his side Reid, right back, and O'Hagan, goalkeeper, accomplished in defence. These were really the two who saved Saint Mirren, and if the last-named player was twice fortunate when out of his goal, it can be said that he gave a brilliant display. Reid was clumsy and cumbersome in his methods, but he was a tower of strength, and contributed no less to the success of the Paisley team and did O'Hagan and J. H. Speedie. It was a towsy game, in which the argument of the survival of the fittest was largely in practice, and there were numerous stoppages to allow for injured players being attended to. Fouls were not infrequent, but in an exciting cup-tie little else could have been anticipated, since the eagerness and excitement of the players vied for the premiere factorship.
ABERDEEN SHORTCOMINGSIn attack Aberdeen were much more dangerous side than Saint Mirren, and yet, although defeated the onus of missing opportunities can and justifiably be laid to their account. One occasion a shot well, and that their marksmanship did not meet with more tangible result was solely due to the brilliant goal keeping of O'Hagan, who emerged triumphant from what appeared at times hopeless situations. Where the Aberdeen attack failed was in the leading up work, when an excusable over-anxiety led to congestion and consequent muddling of effort. The half-backs were seen two better advantage in attack than in defence, and it was their weakness in tackling, coupled with the two fatal lapses, are led to the downfall of their goal that brought about their defeat.
RUN OF THE GAMEThe first half was barren of goals, although in the period Aberdeen had much the better of the exchanges, and O'Hagan had saved brilliantly from Travers, Main, and Wyllie, and his goal had a narrow escape from a well-taken free kick by Colman. The Saint Mirren wingers had both troubled the Aberdeen defence, and Stevenson headed very narrowly past from a corner, while Colman deflected a scoring like a shot from Elmore. The re-awakening came in the second half, in the early part of which the Aberdeen players made a vain appeal for a penalty kick. O'Hagan was again the hero of the situation, and given dashing display of goalkeeping in the face of terrific onslaughts by the Aberdeen forwards. Just when Aberdeen appeared likely to carry the day, Saint Mirren scored. 10 minutes had gone when Gray, the Saint Mirren right winger, broke away and, with the sun shining strongly in its face, Colman failed to tackle. The ball went to J. H. Speedie well in the centre, and, taking deliberate aim, he sent the ball underneath Greig, who misjudged his drive. In less than 10 minutes, and after Soye had crossed brilliantly the ball went to Travers, who equalised with a terrific shot, the ball rebounding from the back of the net into the field of play. After that Aberdeen practically bombarded the visitors' goal, but again Reid and O'Hagan kept them from their purpose. Then came the final and fatal blow to the home team, just when their prospects were highest. The visitors' right broke away and Wyllie hesitated to tackle Elmore, who shot. Greig got the ball and a difficult position, but was only able to push it out to J. H. Speedie, who, rushing in again, gave Saint Mirren the lead. After that Aberdeen made spasmodic efforts to equalise, but all to no avail, and the retired beaten to the great disappointment of the huge crowd of spectators.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 23rd February 1914