There was a big crowd at Pittodrie on Saturday, when the Whites entertained the Academicals from Hamilton in a friendly fixture. The ground and weather were both perfect when Mackie kicked off for the homesters. Hamilton were the first to press, and McNab had a soft try for Barrett, which, however, did not require much exertion from the goalkeeper to kick clear.
The visitors still kept up the pressure, but their finishing was weak, and nothing resulted. Johnstone bounded off on the left for the homesters, and finished by centreing nicely, but the Academicals' defence cleared. Shinner then had a grand try, which the visitors' custodian managed to get away with difficulty. After having the best of the exchanges C. Mackie broke through the second leaguers' defence, and beat Edmonds from close in. Not long after the centre again distinguished himself by finding the net with a fast drive. The Whites had to act on the defensive for a short time, Barrett having to handle more than once, but at length they got off, and McKay was fouled outside the penalty line. Strang took the kick, and scored with a fast low shot, giving the goalkeeper no chance. On the run of play this was not deserved, but the home quintette were in great shooting form, and the Hamilton custodian had to handle frequently. The visitors' front rank by nice combination took the ball well up the field again and again, but their shooting was poor. Half-time arrived with the homesters holding a three goal lead.
On resuming the Academicals were soon hovering round Barrett, who had constantly to be on the alert, but at length the front rank broke away, and McAulay found the corner of the net with a low shot. The visitors now took the game in hand, and Barrett had to save from McNab, McIllveney, and McLauchlan in quick Succession. A foul was given against McNicoll for holding, and from this the visitors scored their first and only goal - the ball being headed into the net past Barrett. After some uninteresting play Shinner broke away on the right, and ended up a nice run by beating Edmonds with a perfect rocket shot taken from the touch line near the corner flag. He quite deserved the ovation which greeted him for his brilliant goal. Nothing occurred worthy of note until the whistle blew, when the scores stood - Aberdeen 5, Hamilton Academicals 1.
Points from Pittodrie.
With everything favourable for a good game, we were rather surprised at the feeble display given by the Second League champions. We cannot believe for a moment that they showed their true or best form.
They showed good outfield play, excelling in a nice steady passing game, but they seldom shot, and when they did their tries were very weak.
Edmond, although losing five goals, gave a clever and masterly display.
The want of their two regular backs - especially the old Celtic man Welford - must have upset their defence.
Dickie and Brownlee showed fine kicking, but their want of understanding was very apparent. The latter has just been signed on, and should prove a real capture. He gave a grand display on Saturday.
Scholes, McIntyre, and Kilday got through an immense amount of work, and could nowise be blamed for the heavy defeat.
The front rank never got properly going, and were inclined to take things easy.
McNab, the old Queen's Park man, was the best of the lot and put in a lot of hard work. He is an adept at the charging game, and can shift a man off the ball very smartly.
One or two home players felt his shoulder in no uncertain fashion, and even McNicol was "downed," the old Q.P. man however, falling too with the impact.
McIllveney was the only other forward who showed anything like form.
In the home goal Barrett was very safe, and with a little more elbow-room might have kept his goal intact.
We have seen both backs give a much better display.
Strang was in grand form at centre-half, and put in a great amount of good, honest, hard work.
Both Sangster and Low were in fine trim, and gave a taking display. The latter is without exception the most improved man in the Aberdeen team.
We have seldom seen the home quintette in such good form and it is the hope of many that they keep it up. Without prejudice we give the honour to C. Mackie and Shinner of being the pick. Both players had nicely taken goals to their credit. The outside right's point was a perfect beauty.
Johnstone showed good form, but was inclined to keep the ball too long to himself.
For once in a while McAulay was not up to his usual, but for all that he had a well-taken goal.
McKay's display is very hard to criticise. There is no doubt he has some grand touches, and no one will deny but that he is willing. He fails, however, at the critical period.
The game was pleasantly, contested, and Mr. Walker's position as referee was a sinecure.
Source: Bon-Accord April 21, 1904