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AFC - Match Report
match report 1938-39 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Aberdeen 3 - 1 Celtic
Kick Off:  2:15 PM   Armstrong 20, Biggs 40, Warnock 64.       Divers 28  
Attendance: 23,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen


SIGNS are that Aberdeen have turned the corner. Their display against Celtic at Pittodrie was most encouraging. The score of 3-1 in no way flattered the Dons. Following a shaky start they went from strength to strength and were definitely the better team in the second half.
There was an all-round improvement. There was more solidity in defence and more thrust and spirit in* attack. If the players continue to reveal the same buoyancy and enthusiasm in the future then better results are a certainty.


In spite of a heavy ground and leaden ball, the exchanges were fast and keen throughout, and the football was of a surprisingly good standard. The Dons adapted themselves to the conditions more successfully than their opponents. They made the ball do most of the work, while Celtic persisted in the close-passing game, a policy that did not pay.
Although they did not start brightly. Aberdeen were first to score. The goal came in twenty minutes. Armstrong beat both Lyon and Kennaway to a low cross from Warnock, and the home leader succeeded in jabbing the ball into the net. Eight minutes later Celtic drew level when Divers broke through on his own, eluded Nicholson and Dunlop and beat Johnstone with a fast rising shot.
The Dons regained the lead five minutes before half-time. Kennaway could only push out hard shot from Armstrong following smart work on the right, and Biggs ran in to meet the ball and send into the net.


Celts had a lucky escape just on the interval. Armstrong cut through the defence on his own Only one goal was scored in the second half, but it was the best one of the game and sealed Celtic's fate. It came in nineteen minutes. Biggs sent the ball ahead to Armstrong and the centre waited for Lyon before parting to Warnock. The winger cut in and let go a terrific shot which beat Kennaway all ends up.
The home defence was more confident and showed better understanding than it has done for weeks. Johnstone was a better 'keeper than Kennaway on the day's showing. His handling the greasy ball was well-nigh perfect. Although opposed to a smart winger in Murphy, Cowie emerged from the game with credit. He revealed sound positional sense and there were times when he was good as a fourth half-back.


Adey played his best game since coming Pittodrie. The left back was unperturbed by the fact that faced Scotland's right winger and the fact that little was seen of Delaney speaks volumes for the work of Adey.
Crum was another Celtic star who was most subdued. This reflects credit on Nicholson, who was a stalwart in defence. Dunlop was the better wing-half, although Thomson worked hard.
Honours in attack go to Biggs. The heavy conditions appeared to suit the big Englishman. He was strong and forceful on the ball and was responsible for many of the attacking movements. Warnock was another who proved a success. He gave the Celtic defence a lot of trouble.
Armstrong led the line well. His smart inter-changing position with Warnock often had the opposing defence in difficulties. Hamilton did many clever things, but Strauss the extreme left had poor game. made the mistake holding the ball when it would have paid to have parted.


Hogg was outstanding in the Parkhead defence. His tackling and kicking were first-rate. Geatons was the best half-back and tried hard to keep his forwards employed. Divers was the best of the attackers. A powerful inside forward he was difficult check. He was as effective at inside right as inside left he changed places with Watters in the second half. The only other visiting forward to take the eye was Murphy.

Source: Press & Journal, 27th December 1938

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Johnstone, Cowie, Adey, Dunlop, Nicholson, Thomson, Warnock, Hamilton, Armstrong, Biggs, Strauss.

Unused Subs:


Celtic Teamsheet:  Kennaway; Hogg, Morrison; Geatons, Lyon, Paterson; Delaney, Watters, Crum, Divers, Murphy


Referee: A. Henderson, Kirkcaldy

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