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AFC - Match Report
match report 1908-09 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
15/08/1908
 
Aberdeen 4 - 2 St. Mirren
Kick Off:    McNair, Blackburn, Blackburn, Muir.       Cunningham, Brown  
Attendance: 8,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
The football season of 1908-9 opened auspiciously for the Aberdeen first team on Saturday, a crowd of about 8000 spectators witnessing a keen and spirited game, which resulted in a splendid victory by the ground team over Saint Mirren. The weather conditions were delightfully pleasant for the crowd, but the players were far from comfortable in the sweltering heat. The teams were:-

Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Halkett, McIntosh, Wilfred Lowe; Blackburn, Muir, Mcnair, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Saint Mirren: Grant; White, Wilson; Key, Robertson, McAvoy; Clements, Paton, Brown, Carmichael, Cunningham.
Referee - Mr. McNaught, Whiteinch.

The Saint Mirren team were the first to issue from the pavilion, followed a few minutes later by Aberdeen. In their new outfits the players looked fresh and smart. A fast pitch gave promise of a lively game. Aberdeen won the toss, and played two wards the sea with the sun at their backs. From the start Saint Mirren and seemed determined to rush the Aberdeen defence, and for a time their aggressiveness prevented the local men settling to their usual game. The Paisley forwards were fast and eager, and several times left the Aberdeen half-backs, only to meet with a resolute pair of backs, Colman in particular showing fine judgment in his tackling and clearing. Mutch, Aberdeen's goalkeeper, was the first to handle, a fast, low shot from Brown giving him no trouble to deal with. Throughout the first half there was a good deal of hard midfield play, with little to arouse the enthusiasm of the crowd. A sweeping rush by the Aberdeen forwards shook the Paisley defence, and Grant distinguished himself by smartly taken the ball from the Aberdeen centre forward. The famous Aberdeen international left wing, Lennie and O'Hagan, were liberally plied with the ball, but, being closely watched, they were seldom able to get clear away. Saint Mirren were frequently dangerous, and nothing but great good luck saved the Aberdeen goal on one occasion, Paton sending in a terrific shot which rebounded off the crossbar. It is not often that the linesman is rendered hors de combat, but this happened on Saturday, when one of the flag men was bowled over and had to be taken to the pavilion for treatment. Play had been in progress for about half an hour before there was any scoring, and, to the disappointment of the spectators, it was the visitors who started the goal-taking. Cunningham, running past the opposition, shot obliquely across the Aberdeen goal, and Mutch, who made little effort to reach the ball, was some what easily beaten. On the run of the game, Saint Mirren deserved the lead. Nettled by the reverse, Aberdeen displayed more vigour and they had hitherto done, the half-backs in particular forcing the play forward, and stubbornly and resisting the on rushes of the Saint Mirren forwards. Three times the Paisley goal was in danger, but on each occasion Grant was at his post, and was equal to the calls made upon him. In the last quarter of an hour of the first half the Saint Mirren and forwards seldom got past midfield, so keen and determined of the Aberdonian's in their struggle for the equaliser. The resolute and steady Paisley defence, aided by the eagerness of the attackers, who made numerous mistakes, preserved the Saint Mirren goal, and when the whistle blew for half-time the tide of attack had turned, Saint Mirren and being in the act of negotiating a corner kick, given away by Colman in a moment of hard pressure.

Starting the second half in dashing style, Aberdeen equalised in less than a minute, McNair skipping passed White, and beating Grant with an easy, but well-calculated shot. This was exciting enough, but what followed was overran almost sensational nature. A momentary rally was made by Saint Mirren, the result being a call upon Mutch. Then the local men, playing crisp football, and swinging the ball from wing two wing, simply overwhelm the Saint Mirren defence. A brisk attack on Grant ended in the ball being swung across from the left. Muir tried to reach it and failed, and his partner Blackburn got the chance, and made no mistake, driving the ball into the net from 5 yards out. The crowd had hardly ceased cheering, when the Saints dashed away to the other end, and Brown, tricking the defence, slipped through and beat Mutch with a clever shot. Thus three goals had been scored in about five minutes, and the teams were on an equal footing. Hume, the Aberdeen left back, made a bold attempt to stop brown, and in doing so injured his leg, and had to go to the pavilion, so that Aberdeen were back short during the remainder of the game. Notwithstanding the handicap, the Aberdeen men played with great dash and skill, and by constantly attacking kept their weakened defence from being too severely strained. Colman was seldom in trouble, for which he had to thank the tireless trio of half-backs in front of him. The Aberdeen right wing were now are being well-plied with the ball, and they made ground quickly, and, like O'Hagan and Lennie, gave great trouble to the Paisley defence. Grant saved a fine shot by Lennie, but shortly after had to acknowledge defeat for the third time. Mcnair, darting cutely to the left, from near the goal line sent the ball to Lennie, who centred, and Blackburn getting the ball on the run drove it into the net, giving grand no chance. Saint Mirren and did their best to retaliate, but they could make no headway, being well held on all hands. The Paisley team's fate was settled when Aberdeen scored their fourth goal, Muir, in fine position, getting a cross from the left, and netting easily. There was no further scoring, and Aberdeen won a plucky and well-deserved victory.

The Aberdeen men combined better than the Saint Mirren and, and in the second half were, collectively, a much superior team, although the visitors included several outstanding individual players. The two new Aberdeen forwards performed creditably, Blackburn, in particular, giving general satisfaction as a dashing winger and good call-getter. McNair appeared to be slow, but knows his position.

To the amount drawn at the gate and stands was 199 12s.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 17th August 1908

 
Np>Aberdeen Start Well.,/p> The general impression of those who closely followed the teams in the first half in the opening game at Pittodrie was that the team was either undertrained or shaping very poorly. At the same time we must not forget that the St. Mirren came North on Friday, so that cramped legs in a railway carriage could not be put furth as a reason for failure should that come their way. To be plain, they came North with several new men, and were anxious to give them every possible chance to do well.
There was a considerable disparity in the physique of the two teams when they stepped on to the field. St. Mirren looked and shaped at the start like finished articles ready for the fray. Aberdeen were very disjointed in their opening movements, and did not dance so sprightly on the green sward as they were wont to do in the past season. For a considerable time St. Mirren were the most aggressive side, giving a feeling of uneasiness to the home supporters when they got near goal. With such persistency did the Saints move that they richly deserved the goal which Cunningham put through. Following on this Aberdeen came away strong, and finished the better side. At lemon time both teams were a trifle hot, and complained bitterly on the effect the heat had on their play.

Goals Galore.

If the home crowd were a little impatient in the first half for goals, they got them to their hearts' content before the echoes of the re-start had died away. On kicking off the ball travelled to the left, where Wilfred Low shoved it across to McNair, why raced off, clearing Robertson and White in his career, and Grant coming out to meet him, the new pivot simply tapped the ball into the net.
This was only a taste of what was to come.
Another raid resulted in Muir banging a second past Grant Then Paton had to show us that St. Mirren were not done with. The appeal for off-side appeared perfectly legitimate, but it wa allowed to go and the teams were once again equal. This all occurred inside the matter of seven minutes, which was pretty good work for a start. Aberdeen asserted themselves from this point, but, unfortunately, they lost the assistance of Hume, who got his ankle sprained and had to retire for repairs. Blackurn had a couple of goals on his own : even with ten men the "Black and Gold" held a bit more than their own and won by 4-2.

On the Players.

Grant was the outstanding player on the St. Mirren side, both backs being a bit flukey in their work. Keys and Robertson were the pick of the middle line, while our fancy for the forward players lay with Paton and Clements.
Aberdeen's defence played soundly, Mutch doing all that was asked of him in capable manner, while Coleman and Hume were reliable and sure. The halves, Halket, Macintosh, and Low, were all good, though the "wee un" was the pick of the lot. The forwards were disjointed in the first period, but got to know each other better the longer they played. This was evident by the result, though, in our opinion, Charlie O'Hagan put in most work, which proved most effective on many occasions.

Chatty Bits.

Pittodrie looked very nice on the surface for an opening game, but the pitch was extremely hot and the players had difficulty in keeping their feet.
McNair scored the first goal of the season for Aberdeen. How many more will come from the foot of the same player remains to be seen.
Blackburn has become a favourite with the crowd, but none of the new men have ousted the old idols.
The left wing are as popular as ever. Charlie O'Hagan and Lennie have still the greatest number of admirers.
St. Mirren had a good many changes in their team from that which defeated Aberdeen a year ago. We cannot say that there was an improvement in the new lot.
Donald Coleman was the best back on the field, and Hume was not far behind till he got hurt.
We are pleased to know that Hume is not likely to be off the field for very long, as there has been a considerable improvement in his injury this week.
The gate drawings on Saturday beat all records for an opening match by over 20. The total all in was 199 12s.
This clearly demonstrates that a good team, going well, always pays.

Source: Bon-Accord, 20th August 1908

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Mutch, Colman, Hume, Halkett, McIntosh, Low, Blackburn, Muir, McNair, O'Hagan, Lennie.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

St. Mirren Teamsheet:  Grant; White, Wilson; Keys, Robertson, McAvoy; Clements, Paton, Brown, Carmichael, Cunningham

Bookings:

Referee: Mr. McNaught, Whiteinch

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