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AFC - Match Report
match report 1923-24 fixture list
Scottish Cup Semi Final Second Replay 
09/04/1924
 
Aberdeen 0 - 1 Hibernian
Kick Off:  5:00 PM         Walker  
Attendance: 12,000
Venue: Dens Park, Dundee
Aberdeen's Exit from the Scottish Cup. HIBS FOR FINAL; WINNING GOAL DISPUTED.
A goal scored two minutes from the end of the game gave Hibernians the victory yesterday at Dens Park, Dundee, in the second replay in their semi-final tie with Aberdeen. In the two previous meetings on the same ground not a goal had been scored, and it seemed certain that extra time would again have to be played, when a lucky goal settled the issue. But the Hibernians, who had been shooting poorly all afternoon, and, indeed, had done very little shooting, forced the pace towards the finish, and just before the deciding goal came Dunn made a great effort, and had hard luck to see his first time shot strike one of the posts. The ball rebounded into play, and Ritchie might have scored had he not been taken by surprise. Immediately afterwards, however, Ritchie put in a nice centre, and after a lively scrimmage in front of the Aberdeen goal, Walker stretched out a foot as the ball was passing along and had the satisfaction of seeing the ball roll into the net between the goalkeeper's legs. Just before the goal there was a claim for a "penalty" by the Hibernians for handling, and a counter claim by the Aberdeen men for a similar infringement. The referee, however, ruled that the goal was a good one, and so the Hibernians went into the final to meet the Airdrieonians on Saturday week at Ibrox Park, Glasgow for the second time in successive years, and with practically the same team.

It was a keenly-contested cup tie, if the football was not of a high class. Either side might have won, and perhaps there was some justification for the Aberdeen claim that they were unfortunate to lose. Harper, it is true, had more difficult shots to deal with than Blackwell, and he had one brilliant save from Miller, the Aberdeen centre forward, in the first half. Against that, however, could be put Dunn's fine effort when the ball struck the post, and the fact that just before half-time Walker missed an open goal from a fast centre by Ritchie. If Aberdeen were more dangerous in shooting, the Hibernians played the more constructive football. The defences on both sides were good as in both the other games between the clubs, and McGinnigle, of the Hibernians, was the best of the four backs. Templeton, who replaced the injured Dorman, did well after a shaky opening. Jackson was the best of the Aberdeen halves, and was particularly useful in defence. Shaw was outstanding as half for the Hibernians, and both Kerr and Miller did a lot of valuable work. The Hibernian half-backs served their forwards better than the other trio. Neither set of forwards combined particularly well. Murray, who played in McColl's place, was continually a source of trouble to the Aberdeen defenders, but could seldom get in a shot. Ritchie and Dunn made up the best wing on the field.
There was a crowd of about 12,000, and the drawings amounted to nearly 400.

Source: The Scotsman, 10th April 1924

 
The hopes that were entertained that the Aberdeen Football Club could celebrate its majority year by winning the Scottish Cup were blasted at Dens Park, Dundee, yesterday, when in a dramatic finish, Hibernian scored the only goal, which enabled the Edinburgh team to reach the final for the second year in succession. Yesterday's was the third meeting of the teams in the semi-final stage; the two previous encounters at the same venue resulted in no scoring, and this too, after extra time had been played in the second encounter. It was a beautiful spring day in Dundee, and the pitch was in splendid condition, although its hard surface, and the light ball, combined with a rather tricky breeze, repeatedly upset the calculations of the players. The attendance of 12,000, which included excusionists from Aberdeen and Edinburgh, was only fairly satisfactory.

Aberdeen Unfortunate

On the run of the play Hibernian are fortunate to find themselves in the final. Not only was there an element of indecisiveness about their goal, but, over all of the game, the winners had slightly the worse of the argument. Chances were missed by both sides, but Aberdeen, not only by reason of their more frequent raids upon Harper, but also for the numerous occasions on which the Hibs defenders scrambled away their clearances, were more deserving of victory, At the same time, they might have had the game well won before Hibernian got through a disputed goal three minutes from the end.

The Goal Disputed

The all-important goal followed a quick transference of play from Harper's end just when everybody was prepared for extra time being played. Ritchie sent over a high ball, and, following this, there was a scramble in the Aberdeen penalty area. The ball and blocked, and ultimately went to Walker, who, from close range, sent it into the net past a crowd of players. Aberdeen hotly disputed the award on the ground that Dunn had stopped a clearance with his hand prior to Walker getting possession. Referee Dougray, however, refused to overturn his decision.

Two Exceptional Shots.

The game was not marked by any brilliant football. The players found it difficult to keep the light ball on the ground, and, in an atmosphere of excitement, there was much silly passing by both of attackers, and, except for MacLachlan and Davidson, very little serious attempt at constructive play by defenders. What little football there was, however, came from Aberdeen, who were more methodical as a team than were their opponents, but, while proving superior in fast raids, they were unable to clinch matters when it came to be a question of beating Harper. Several time in both periods of the game Grant and Smith on the wings flicked over lobbed centres, but even when the inside forwards did get possession and evaded the opposition their shots invariably lacked either sting orr direction. There was one notable exception to this in the first half, when Miller, on the run, delivered a terrific shot, which Harper saved in brilliant fashion, and cleared after deflecting the ball to the right of the goal. This fine effort may be said to have been counter-balanced in the second half, when a shot by Dunn struck the upright. Still, it was Aberdeen who accounted for of the pressing and most of the attempts at goal, if only the latter had carried a little more weight. The game had its see-saw periods, but, on the principle that it was the team which defended better and attacked more frequently than their opponents, and had more attempts to locate the net, Aberdeen and not Hibernian ought to have qualified for the final.

Aberdeen's Strong Defence.

Aberdeen played the same team as in the two previous meetings, but Hibernian made two changes. Templeton at left back and Murray at centre-forward took the places of Dornan and McColl respectively. In a game in which defence ought not really to have been master of attack, the Aberdeen rear division were as sound as in the earlier games. Blackwell again proved himself a most reliable keeper. He was in no way to blame for the goal, and it is a question whether or not he was fouled just before Walker scored. In the early minutes of the game there was a similar scramble in front of the Hibernian goal, and on that occasion the referee saw fit to give a free kick against Aberdeen for an alleged foul on Harper. The two incidents appeared to provide a parallel. Hutton was a strong, robust back, who rather demoralised the wing opposed to him, and to be penalised unnecessarily for what seemed the legitimate use of his weight. Forsyth, however, was the steadier and more resourceful back. Repeatedly he was seen to advantage in accurate tackling when such as Ritchie, Murray, or Dunn looked like going through.

The Aberdeen Forwards.

The losers were splendidly served at half-back, Jackson was not the dominant figure he was in the previous ties, but on this occasion the ability was better distributed over the line. MacLachlan was the best all-round half-back on view, and the manner in which he stopped the opposition and let his forwards away and backed them up was delightful to watch. Davidson, too, played a capital game, his tackling being much improved, and his purveying to his forwards was quite good. Jackson was the same old tireless worker, and never let the Hibernian inside trio out of hand.
If the forwards could have capped their midfield work by more accurate and more vigorous shooting they would have made history for the club. The wingers, Grant and Smith, did alI that was required of them. Both lobbed over inviting upon which the inside trio failed to improve, and in addition both had Harper in serious difficulties. Miller played a forceful game at centre-forward, but too often was left to chase up long returns by the defence, the catching up of which depended on opposing defenders missing. His great shot in the first half was worthy of a goal, but there were occasions when he failed to get his foot properly behind the ball when favourable opportunity presented itself. All the same, Miller played well. Paton's deficiency in weight, and more especially in height told against his effectiveness, and his inability to put force into his shooting lost more than one good chance for his side. Now and again he did open out the play, but more often he hung on the ball, to be easily dispossessed by more hefty opponents. Rankin accounted for no small amount of forcing tactics, but his inaccuracy in getting the ball away to advantage nullified any effectiveness that might have been expected of him. In the course of the game Aberdeen forced a number of corner-kicks, but at these the big Inside-left was usually crowded out so that he could not bring his head into play.

About the Winners

The winners were not at all convincing. Near the close they gave indication of leg-weariness, although those symptoms disappeared after they scored. Not only because it was belated, but in the manner of their obtaining their goal, they must be deemed exceedingly fortunate. Harper effected a number of fine saves, notably from Miller, and an awkward high ball from Smith in the second half, but on one occasion, when on the right of his goal he fumbled and lost possession, and was lucky not to concede a goal, Rankin edging the ball over the goal line but not below the bar. He was well supported by McGinnigle and Templeton, but there were periods in the first half when both showed a tendency to miskick under pressure. In the second half, however, they touched top form. In the middle line Millar was a strong destructive force, and to his fine defence in covering up, the Hibs owe a lot. Kerr and Shaw in the wings scarcely touched the standard of Davidson and MacLachlan on the other side. The Hibernian forwards were a dashing lot, but their combination was never very pronounced, this being due to the comparative failure of Murray. Ritchie's long dribbling runs down the centre were a great source of danger to Aberdeen, but he rather spoiled the effect by his wild shooting from long range; still he could be marked as the winners' most dangerous forward. Dunn was next in order, this clever little player excelling in attack and defence. Waker was crowded out, but Halligan was a subtle schemer whose good work was lost on the men who flanked him.

The Play Described

Aberdeen had slight assistance from a breeze in the first half. They started well. A free kick by Hutton was defelcted for a fruitless corner. The first Hibernian thrust originated with Dunn, who let Ritchie away, and the latter looked like going through when he was smartly dispossessed by Jackson. For a period there was much midfield play, and, with the ball continually in the air, the football was poor. Ultimately Aberdeen set up a vigorous attack, and shots by Davidson and Smith went behind. Miller finished a long run by sending over, but although they pressed, the Aberdeen attackers could not locate the goal. A retaliatory raid by Ritchie saw his cross headed clear by Davidson, and Blackwell later had to field from a free kick by Shaw. A high bouncing ball was only caught under the bar by Blackwell and deflected for a corner, Jackson bringing relief. Rankin and Miller indulged in a bout of close passing, which had the Edinburgh defence in difficulties, but good covering-up staved off disaster. A ball from Grant was palmed out by Harper to Smith, who shot past. An exciting tussle ensued in front of the Edinburgh goal, which was saved by the referee signalling a foul on the goalkeeper. Not to be denied, Aberdeen again took up the attack, and Rankin had a lovely shot which just missed the goal. This was followed by a run by Smith, who centred behind. An individual effort by Ritchie had the Aberdeen goal in danger. He centred along the ground and several players pursued the ball until it reached Walker, who, with only Blackwell to beat, shot feebly behind. At the other end Harper at the foot of the post held a swift shot from Grant. Then came one of the tit-bits of the game. Miller raced ahead, and while on the run delivered a terrific shot. Harper, with a cat-like spring, was just able to knock the ball to the right, and, following up, completed the clearance before Smith could get in. Aberdeen continued to hold the upper hand. Jackson had a shot, which went high. Ritchie, for the Hibs, had another dash down the centre, but he was neatly dispossessed by Forsyth when about to shoot. A free-kick taken by Smith led up to another corner, but the Hibs crowded their goal, and at the interval were fortunate to be on level terms, the score-sheet being blank.

Unrewarded Pressure.

Aberdeen resumed where they left off, but, although they hovered about their opponents' penalty area, could not get in a telling shot. From a centre by Grant, Miller did turn in a slow ball to Harper, but he cleared easily. Ritchie was the Hibs raider-in-chief, and, after a long run, he shot-wildly over the bar. At this stage the game took a turn in favour of Hibernian. Blackwell fisted away a high ball from Ritchie, and, in a scrimmage, he had to clear a surprise ground by Millar. Momentarily, the Aberdeen defence wavered, and was Blackwell again called upon by Murray. Subsequent to this Hibernian were again thrown on defence. A dropping shot by Smith landed on the top of the net, and, following this, a cross from the left-winger was allowed to go abegging. Paton and Rankin both hesitated, and when Miller shot, Templeton got in the way of his effort. Aberdeen kept at it, and after Rankin had headed into Harper's hands. Jackson shot wide. Play was quickly transferred, and after Blackwell had saved finely from Dunn, Paton, at the other end, overran a fine pass by Grant. Shortly afterwards Paton, from a pass forward by Miller, missed good chance of scoring by shooting weakly into Harper's hands. At this stage, Hibernian were hard pressed. Even Hutton joined in the attack, and a long run by him was only stopped on the Hibernian 18 yards line, when his shot was smothered. Ritchie again raised the siege and swept the ball over the Aberdeen goal from a free-kick. Harper fielded a soft shot from Grant, and then, out of his goal, fumbled a ground ball from Smith, but, luckily for the keeper, Rankin sent behind. Aberdeen continued to be the aggressors, and Harper had to jump to clear an awkward high ball from Smith. They forced another corner, but the ball was got away after a scrimmage. Then came another Hibernian revival. A fast drive by Dunn struck the Aberdeen upright, but was eventually cleared. With four minutes to go, Ritchie broke away, and his centre led to the fateful goal. In the closing stages Hibernian were attacking.

Source: Press & Journal, 10th April 1924

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Blackwell, Hutton, Forsyth, Davidson, Jackson, MacLachlan, Grant, Paton, Miller, Rankin, Smith.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

Hibernian Teamsheet:  Harper; McGinnigle, Templeton; Kerr, Millar, Shaw; Ritchie, Dunn, Murray, Halligan, Walker

Bookings:

Referee: T. Dougray, Bellshill

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