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AFC - Match Report
match report 1938-39 fixture list
Scottish Cup First Round 
Aberdeen 1 - 0 Albion Rovers
Kick Off:  2:45 PM   Strauss 72.        
Attendance: 19,016
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen


PHEW! That was a narrow squeak Aberdeen had against Albion Rovers at Pittodrie. The Dons won by the only goal of the match. The majority of the spectators had made up their minds that a replay was inevitable when Strauss notched the winning goal eighteen minutes from the end. Aberdeen officials and players would not have been so happy this morning had they had to make the journey to Coatbridge on Wednesday.
It was a fortuitous sort of goal that carried the Dons into the second round. A long throw in by Dunlop went to Hamilton and the inside-right headed it down for Strauss to send past McClory. At the same time, Aberdeen, with a little luck, would have won by a more emphatic margin.


Shortly after the goal Strauss was brought down by McClure inside the penalty area. Adey took the kick and hit the ball with terrific force, but it went straight to the 'keeper. The Rovers were lucky, too, when McClory ran from his charge and failed to hold a shot from Pattillo and a try from Strauss was cleared on the goal-line by McClure. Afterwards the 'keeper lost control of another try by Pattillo and the ball struck the post.
All who saw the game could but admire the fine fighting spirit of the visitors. Their defence was magnificent.
All's well that ends well, but the Dons will have to play a lot better than they did on Saturday if they are to make a prolonged stay in the competition. The forwards were particularly disappointing. They allowed themselves to be upset by the first-time tactics of the Coatbridge defence and seldom moved with their usual smoothness.


The game did not provide brilliant football, but there was no lack of keenness. On the whole, however, the defences generally had the measure of the attacks. Johnstone, in the home goal, had few really testing shots to deal with.
Cowie, at right-back, revealed his usual good positional sense, but there were occasions when he was inclined to delay his clearances too long. The same could not be said of Adey. The left-back played cup-tie football. He rattled into the opposition and cleared first-time.
Aberdeen's mainstay in defence, however, was Nicholson. The centre-half played soundly and skilfully, and the Rovers could find no path to goal down the middle. The wing halves have played better. Thomson was always prominent in the first half, but he faded away after the interval. Dunlop was the more consistent player.
Warnock and Hamilton worked well together in the opening period, but the winger fell away in the later stages. The inside-right helped in defence as well as attack and was the best of the five. Biggs did not reveal his best form, and although Strauss tried hard he did not meet with a great deal of success.
Pattillo got few chances to shine against McClure. The Dons leader was a tireless worker, but his lack of ball control proved a handicap.
One can have nothing but praise for the Albion Rovers defence. Waddell and Beath were a pair of never-say-die backs, while the three half-backs were good. Had the play the forwards been up to the standard of the mid-line the Aberdeen defence would have had a much more difficult time.
The outstanding visiting player was Sharp, the right-half. He was a power in defence and did grand work in forcing on the forwards. McClure was almost as prominent as the right-half.
The forwards were poor. Burke and Keirnan, on the right-wing, threatened most danger. The inside man was clever on the ball and tried hard to keep the play open. Love found Nicholson an insurmountable barrier, but the centre looked as if he would have been dangerous with better support.

Source: Press & Journal, 23rd January 1939


Into Second Round

There was not much enthusiasm displayed at the end of the first round Scottish Cup tie between Aberdeen and Albion Rovers at Pittodrie, even although the Dons have advanced in the tourney. One reason was that Aberdeen had just scraped through by a solitary counter, but the more important factor was that the game was much too grim for the liking of most people. The players seemed to be obsessed with the importance of the occasion, and, playing orthodox, safety-first football, took no risks. Defences, indulging in destructive tactics, were on top throughout, and there was a lack of exciting goalmouth incident. The result was that spectators longed for a light-hearted touch.

Steadiness at Back

The most satisfactory aspect of the game from Aberdeen's point of view was the steadiness of the rear lines, where Nicholson was the dominating personality. Indeed, so effective were the defenders that Johnstone, in goal, had a very easy day - he had not one really dangerous shot to deal with, for the Rovers' forwards were never allowed to get within shooting distance. The Aberdeen front line was kept in an almost equally tight grip, so that the result was almost stalemate.

The Dons, playing with more craft and purpose than their opponents, just deserved to win. The goal that counted so much started with a long throw-in into the goal area by Dunlop, taken twenty-seven minutes after the interval. Hamilton headed the ball down to Strauss, who flashed a low drive into the corner of the net. Then, minutes later, Pattillo slipped the ball to Strauss, who, careering down the middle pursued by two men, was brought down. Adey took the resultant penalty kick, but McClory saved splendidly. The back thus lost a great chance of making the issue secure, and Aberdeen had to defend dourly to the end.

Source: Aberdeen Bon-Accord and Northern Pictorial, 26th January 1939

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

Unused Subs:


Albion Rovers Teamsheet:  McClory; Waddell, Beath; Sharp, McClure, McLetchie; Burke, Kiernan, Love, Dempsey, Louden


Referee: G. Henderson, Kirkcaldy

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