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AFC - Match Report
match report 1938-39 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Aberdeen 2 - 1 Albion Rovers
Kick Off:  2:15 PM   Biggs 51, Grant 59.       Dempsey 7  
Attendance: 13,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen


Three things prevented Aberdeen beating Albion Rovers at Pittodrie by a much bigger margin than the odd goal in three - bad finishing, bad luck, and McClory, and the greatest of these was McClory.
The Coatbridge 'keeper put up a wonderful display. Shots rained in on him in the second half after Aberdeen had taken the lead, but he proved unbeatable, even to the extent of saving a penalty-kick in the closing minutes.


One can have nothing but praise for the 'keeper, but, at the same time, the Aberdeen forwards must be criticised for their lack of initiative when it came to rounding off clever outfield play.
To insist on inter-passing and attempting to walk the ball into the net is never a paying policy. It might have cost the Dons a point, despite the fact that they had 75 per cent, of the play.
Aberdeen started as if they meant to sweep Albion Rovers off their feet, but the visitors had other ideas. In seven minutes the Dons found themselves a goal down.
When Cowie miskicked Love was left with nobody to beat but Johnstone. In trying to place the ball away from the 'keeper the centre struck the post, but Dempsey was in position to score.


Hopes of Aberdeen ever scoring were beginning to fade when, six minutes after the start of the second half, they drew level. Thomson let Strauss away on the left, and Biggs netted with a header from the winger's cross.
The winning goal came eight minutes later from a free-kick. Strauss was brought down just outside the penalty area, and Grant performed the seemingly impossible when he found the net with a shot which passed a crowd of Coatbridge players and entered the net near the post.
Although Johnstone had a restful afternoon compared with McClory, the Aberdeen 'keeper nevertheless deserves praise for his display. He brought off two of the best saves of the match. Both were from McPhillips - one in each half. He dived to the post to prevent a shot by the winger finding the net in the opening period, and after the interval he clutched a header which seemed certain to produce a goal.


Cowie made a promising debut for the Dons at right back. He started nervously and was mainly responsible for the loss the goal, but gradually settled down and finished the best back afield. His positional play was good and his clearances were accurate.
Nicholson, who was tried at left back, had a poor first half, but once he grasped the essentials full back play he did quite well. Grant at centre half gave an excellent display defensive football, and Scott at right half showed skill and enterprise in attack. Thomson was not seen at his best until Aberdeen took the lead. His distribution was poor.
There was no real personality in attack. Brady was most prominent. He was energetic and was not afraid to shoot. It was the inside left's unlucky day. He had more tries than any of the other forwards and missed the two easiest chances - when he sent against the crossbar from close range and when he failed to convert the penalty award.


Hamilton was smart on the ball, but did not vary his play enough, and Strauss made the mistake of holding the ball when he should have parted with it. Armstrong, who was experimented with at outside right, was only moderate. He could beat the back, but for a centre forward his play was surprisingly lacking in thrust.
Biggs as leader of the attack was disappointing. He was lacking in ball control and this cost him several chances.
It is surprising to find Albion Rovers so near the foot of the table. They played with spirit at Pittodrie and should soon improve their position.
McClory stole the honours, but they had other stalwarts in defence in Waddell, strong right back, and McClure. a courageous and hard-working centre-half. The wing halves did not impress.


The forwards played open, direct football. but were lacking constructive ability. McPhillips was the best of the line, although his finishing was not so good as it might have been. Bell and Dempsey were lacking in polish, but were inside forwards of the never-say-die type.

Source: Press & Journal, 12th December 1938

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Johnstone, Cowie, Nicholson, Scott, Grant, Thomson, Armstrong, Hamilton, Biggs, Brady, Strauss.

Unused Subs:


Albion Rovers Teamsheet:  McClory; Waddell, Beath; Sharp, McClure, McLetchie; McPhillips, Dempsey, Love, Bell, Louden


Referee: J. Baillie, Motherwell

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