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AFC - Match Report
match report 1953-54 fixture list
Scottish Cup Second Round 
13/02/1954
 
Duns 0 - 8 Aberdeen
Kick Off:          Buckley 45, Buckley 75, Buckley 10, Leggat 22, Hamilton 49, Leggat 63, Hamilton 85, Buckley 17.  
Attendance: 700
Venue: Hawthorn Park, Duns
Should These Grounds be Passed By S.F.A.?
The Aberdeen team arrived at Duns for the second-round tie of the Scottish Cup in pouring rain. All afternoon many workers had been at Hawthorn Park to deal with the water, but as the time of the kick-off approached, conditions became worse.
Duns kicked off, and at once both sides had the greatest of difficulty with water splashing in all directions. Martin was first to handle and after Smith came into action Duff sent past at the Aberdeen end. The spectators laughed at the capers of both sides, but it was no laugh for the players. Bootland was to the fore with a cross which was headed over. The First Leaguers were as much at sea as Duns with a ball that just would not travel. A pass-back by Holt failed to travel, and Buckley netted after ten minutes.
Gradually Aberdeen got the better of matters, and from a corner by Leggat Buckley headed number two for Aberdeen. Sharp carried the ball up strongly for Duns, but his parting shot was well saved by Martin. All the players were now more like mudlarks than footballers. A determined effort by Walker ended with another Martin save. Aberdeen went further ahead when Leggat beat smith at the second attempt. Duns hung on well enough, but the training and experience of Aberdeen always told. Buckley completed his "hat-trick" when he rounded Holt and shot into the net.

The overhead conditions had improved at the beginning of the second half. Aberdeen resumed on the offensive and forced a corner which was well placed by Wishart for Hamilton to add a fifth goal. Wishart was allowed to go through amidst strong claims of offside but his shot hit the upright. Smith went twice full length to save. Then at the other end Reid missed narrowly. Walters had a shot blocked in the strong Duns pressure. Aberdeen went on the offensive again and Leggat scored the best goal of the match from a cross from the right.

Source: Evening Times, 13th February 1954

 
At the close of the Duns-Aberdeen tie at Hawthorn Park Aberdeen officials informed the secretary of the local club that they would allow them to retain the entire "gate." As a result of the bad weather the crowd was well under the 1000 mark, so that Aberdeen would have received only the bare guarantee, 15 railway fares and 20 (because the clubs are more than 100 miles apart) - about 60.
The Aberdeen party left Aberdeen on Friday, stayed the night in Edinburgh, and travelled in a special bus from Edinburgh to Duns and back. Their expenses must have been in the region of 150.

Source: Glasgow Herald, 15th February 1954

 
Flood at the corner flag. Picture: Evening Express

WHAT constitutes a suitable ground according to S.FA. cup rules?

My idea was that the ground had to be enclosed by a wall or solid fence to prevent free access to the precincts of the club. Hawthorn Path, Duns, scarcely conforms to this standard. One end of the ground, where the solitary entrance was situated, was enclosed by corrugated iron, but the remainder was enclosed only by a three-strand wire fence and open fields. And is the Tarff ground or some of the others any better than Duns? Yet, according to rule, the grounds must be approved by the S.F.A. The game Itself was almost laughable, mainly due to the condition of the ground. Both in a playing sense and physically the Dons were much better equipped than their rivals to withstand the testing conditions.
It was all too easy for the Aberdeen players, and I suspect the score would have been bigger on a normal playing surface. It will give you some idea of the difference between the teams when I say that I don?t think Fred Martin in the Aberdeen goal handled the ball more than half a dozen times in the second half.

Cup Reform

Representatives of the Scottish League and the S.F.A. were this afternoon discussing the possibilities of Scottish Cup reform. North clubs seem to have done the case of the small clubs a lot more good on the field and in the matter of attendances. Berwick Rangers, however, must be excepted.

The deplorable state of the playing pitch at Duns was not the responsibility of the club. In normal circumstances I should imagine, the playing surface would be quite good. Heavy rain before the start must have kept the crowd down and I estimated the attendance as between 500 and 700. The Duns officials were unable to provide gate drawings at the finish as they had 1000 tickets out on sale.
They would have been lucky of the covered their expenses. The Aberdeen club would have received no more than the bare guarantee of fifteen railway fares, plus an additional 20 because the clubs are more than 100 miles apart. This in all would have amounted to 55.

Sporting Gesture

The Pittodrie club made a sporting gesture at the finish when Mr William Mitchell, the chairman, told the Duns' secretary that the Aberdeen officials had decided to allow his club to retain the entire ?gate.?
I could have a good deal more sympathy with the Duns club in their financial troubles were they fostering and developing the game in the area by playing local lads. In fact, there was not a single local player in the team against Aberdeen. Most of them hail from Edinburgh and district, and I understand a special bus is chartered weekly to take them to the matches.

By Norman MacDonald, Evening Express 15th February 1954

Duns Teamsheet:  Smith: Bremner, Muir; Sharp, Holt, Paton; Burns, Reid, Duff, Walters, Bootland

Bookings:

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Martin, Mitchell, Caldwell, Allister, Young, Glen, Leggat, Hamilton, Buckley, O'Neil, Wishart.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

Referee: W. P. A. Bissett, Edinburgh

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