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AFC - Match Report
match report 1897-98 fixture list
Scottish Qualifying Cup Second Round 
Orion 4 - 2 Victoria United
Kick Off:    Low, Alexander, Hogg, Thom       McPherson, Henderson  
Attendance: 0
Venue: Cattofield, Aberdeen
Grand Display at Cattofield.
Before one of the largest crowds ever seen at a football match in Aberdeen, Orion and Victoria United met at Cattofield on Saturday afternoon in the second round of the Scottish Qualifying Cup ties. In view of Orion's success in this competition last season, the event was looked forward to locally with great interest, and it was fully expected that, on their own ground, Orion would be able to account for their opponents from over the water. Since the elevens last faced each other numerous changes have been made in the personnel of each, and as both have been successful in obtaining a fair share of southern talent, keen speculation has prevailed as to which could now lay claim to the honour of being the superior team. The weather was not altogether favourable, a strong blustering wind blowing from end to end. Punctually to time, the teams lined up as follows: Orion - McBean; Ross, Scott; Currie, Low, Dawson; "Alexander," McFarlane, Thom, Wilson, Hogg. Victoria United - W. Allan; McNeil, A. Allan; Morrice, Moffat, Thornton; McPherson, Henderson, Carlin, Burnett, Ritchie. Mr W. McLeod, Cowlairs, Glasgow, was referee.

Orion won the toss and elected to play in the first period up the incline and against the wind. The United kicked off, but the forwards were not permitted to remain long in possession of the ball, Hogg snatching it away and, along with Wilson, carrying it up the wing in fine style. McNeil, however, was successful in circumventing the Orion men, and sent the ball down the field. The United's forwards then had their first look in, but they got the right about from Ross. Thom now got hold of the ball and had an opportunity at the United's goal, but his parting shot was weak. Play for some time raged in midfield, the forwards on both sides working with great determination. Burnett had a try at goal, but shot wide and from the kick-off, Orion piloted their way to the other end, where Thom and Wilson distinguished themselves. End to end visits ensued, the onslaught, of the United being if anything the more dangerous. A pretty bit of passing by the Blues' forwards brought them in close proximity to McBean, and McPherson sent in a low treacherous shot which was cleverly returned by Ross. The Torry combination again made play, but a foul in front of the Orion's uprights relieved the pressure for a moment. Hogg and Wilson were again in evidence on the left wing, their dangerous rushes exciting general admiration. At the end of a brilliant dash to the other goal by the Victoria, Carlin passed the ball across the front, but another forward not being handy, a splendid opportunity was missed. The game again became a series of rushes from goal to goal, the backs on both sides displaying superior defensive powers. A corner against the United looked rather ominous, but the sphere was ultimately scraped away by the backs. The ground team kept up the attack Thom going for goal, and getting in a spanking shot, which was a trifle too high, but in excuse for this, it may be stated that he was considerably hampered by Moffat. Faster and faster went the game, the players bringing all their ingenuity into force to get the ball through, some exciting passages took place in front of the United's citadel, but W. Allan, who had been defending superbly, managed to scoop the leather out of danger. Up to this point, the honours of the afternoon had been about equally divided, although the Torry combination, with the advantage of the incline, were oftener in their opponents' territory. The Victoria forwards were working in a spirited mood, and a fine combined rush brought them near McBean's charge. McPherson, negotiating a pass in first-class style, sent in a well-directed shot, which evaded McBean, and was thus successful in bringing the first goal of the afternoon to the United. The success of the Victoria was well received. Orion's tactics were afterwards characterised by great skill. A strong invasion almost brought them level, but Allan rose to the occasion and spoiled Hogg's attempt. Again advancing in a well extended line, the Orion forwards clustered round the United's goal, and a hot shot from Thom was stopped by Allan only on the line. At length, the visitors threw off the pressure, but for some time could not get beyond midfield. Here, however, Henderson got possession, and sent a beautiful overhead shot towards McBean. As was expected, the Orion custodian was powerless to save, and a second goal was thus placed to the credit of the Torry men. Play was afterwards favourable to Orion. Thom again was conspicuous in front of the goal, but his shot travelled high. Half-time was afterwards announced, with the score standing 2-0 in favour of Victoria United.

From the nature of the play in the first half, it was fully expected that Orion would have some difficulty in parsing their opponents' score before the finish of the game. On restarting, Orion, headed by Thom, raced downfield, but their career was checked by Moffat. Only for a moment, however, for again Orion were pounding at Allan's charge. The goalkeeper gave a corner in saving; and "Alexander," kicking in finely, Low rushed the ball into the net, registering the first goal for the Orion. Determined to gain the equalising point, the Orion returned to the attack with renewed vigour, and the United's defenders had to be on their best mettle. Two fouls occurred in front of the strangers' uprights, both being cleared only with difficulty. Try as they could, the Victoria could not get rid of the close attentions of the home quintette, and corners innumerable had to be conceded, all of which, however, proved void of result. Orion threw away golden opportunities through bad judgment, and from the excellent defence shown by the Torry eleven, it appeared as if they would be unable to equalise. On again getting within range, Thom passed the ball to "Alexander," who neatly landed it in the net. Although they were now on level terms, Orion did not appear to be content to rest on their oars, and with twenty minute to go they renewed the attack with increased ardour. Time and again they were within an ace of scoring, but McNeil and Allan for some time successfully frustrated their efforts. Such a continued spell of pressure, however, soon began to tell on the stamina of the Victoria, and at length Orion were successful in obtaining the leading point, Hogg scoring from a well-taken pass. Play afterwards continued in favour of Orion, and, although the United made one or two feeble attempts to break away, they were unable to do so. Shortly before the whistle blew, Thom put on a fourth goal for Orion, and a determined and well-contested game ended: Orion, 4; Victoria United, 2.

Source: Aberdeen Journal, 27th September 1897

Both teams turned out at full strength in the 2nd round of the qualifying ties, and performed before a monster crowd. Orion had the luck to win the toss, and as usual decided to face the incline and a fairly strong wind. It was early seen the pace was to be a scorcher. The opening passages were of a very even nature, both ends being visited frequently. Jim Thom and Moffat were having some tussles, in which Jim usually came off best. McPherson and Henderson on the Vics' right and Wilson and Hogg on Orions' left treated the crowd to a lovely exhibition of forward play. From a run down McPherson opened the scoring with a grand shot taken well out. Henderson repeated this performance shortly afterwards, and the first period ended Vics 2, Orion 0. During the first half both sides played a very fast game, and should both have had a few goals to their credit. The shooting of the Stripes was particularly weak, while the Vics five seemed to lose their heads when near goal.

Before the recommencement the wind had increased considerably, and the Orion supporters were confident their pets would win easily. At the kick-off the Stripes forwards paid Allan a visit, and a corner was conceded. Webster took the kick, and placing the ball beautifully, John Low dashed in and headed through. The enthusiasm of the crowd knew no bounds, and they cheered on the Stripes continually. Orion responded finely and hemmed in the Blues, whose citadel must have fallen repeatedly but for the grand saving of Allan. The continual pressing was bound to tell on the Vics, and Webster shortly afterwards put on the equalising point amidst tremendous excitement. Vics tried hard to improve their position, but their efforts were nipped in the bud by either Scott or Ross. Orion still hovered round their opponents' goal, and Hogg ultimately gave his team the lead, while Thom put on a fourth soon after. With two goals in hand the Stripes, led by Jim Thom, indulged in some sand-dancing. No further scoring took place, and the game ended in a win for the Stripes by 4-2.
The game, although of a robust nature, was pleasantly contested all through, and most efficiently refereed by McLeod, the old Cowlairs international back. It would be scarcely fair to individualise any of the winning team, so well did the whole eleven play. Webster had to leave before the end of the game, and the Stripes finished with ten men. The forwards gave a well-nigh perfect exhibition, and should prove a thorn in the flesh of most of the survivors in the ties. The back division has never been stronger. Since the inclusion of Scott at back the team have played with more confidence, and we confidently expect that the Stripes will have considerable say in the destination of the "pot." The forward line of the losing side gave an indifferent display of combined play. On the right wing McPherson and Henderson were as near perfect as anyone could wish. Carlin was dis¬appointing, Burnett useless and Ritchie got little chance. Of the halves Moffat was best. Thornton is not at home on the wing. Morrice was only fair. McNeil at back was decidedly off, and had to play second to Allan, who repeatedly covered his partner's mistakes. Allan gave a brilliant display of goalkeeping, and saved time and again what looked like sure goals.

Source: Bon-Accord, 30th September 1897

Orion Teamsheet:  McBean; Ross, Scott; Currie, Low, Dawson; "Alexander," McFarlane, Thom, Wilson, Hogg


Victoria United Teamsheet:  W. Allan; McNeil, A. Allan; Morrice, Moffat, Thornton; McPherson, Henderson, Carlin, Burnett, Ritchie


Referee: Mr. W. McLeod, Cowlairs

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