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AFC - Match Report
match report 1939-40 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Aberdeen 3 - 1 Celtic
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   Christie, Hamilton (Pen), Strauss.       Crum  
Attendance: 35,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen

Neither Team on Top of Form in First Match of Season


THEY say a good start is half the battle. If that's the case, Aberdeen should be on the high road that leads to championship honours. I would like to think so, but their victory over Celtic, creditable performance though it was, does not justify such opinion.
Celtic have no cause for complaint in regard to the result. The Dons deserved to win, but congratulations must be tempered with a note of warning. It would be foolish to place too much faith on one result.
Aberdeen's football machine did not always move smoothly. It rattled at times. But, of course, it was the opening match of the season, and the players may take a little time to settle down.
Saturday's success should have one good result - it gives the players confidence. It's "away" form that counts when it comes to reckoning up championship chances, however, and not until I have seen them against Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday first am I prepared to pass a definite opinion on their prospects.


Celtic disappointed. Their defence wilted under pressure, and their attack was ragged. They have problems to solve if they mean to gain for themselves a place among the leaders.
Aberdeen's rear division had a greater air of confidence, but even at that their marking at times was faulty. With a real go-getter in attack - a McGrory for instance - Celtic might have scored more than once.
There was something missing in the Pittodrie attack. Clever, even polished at times, it lacked that vital spark when it came to producing goals.
The lights changed to red for the Celtic defence when Strauss was in possession. The South African seems to have recovered his old fire. He was the most dangerous attacker on the field in the first half. Hogg will vouch for that.
Biggs helped him quite a lot. The inside man covers a lot of ground during a match. He doesn't always have great deal to show for it, but he is a trier all the time.


Armstrong threatened little danger. Lyon blocked the way down the middle, and the centre was always in difficulties.
It would pay him to be more direct. It was not until the second half that Hamilton's football produced any tangible results. I thought he might have provided Christie with a better service. The former Queen's Park player is clever and energetic. He took his goal well and promises to pay his way.
Half-back honours went to Dunlop. His long throw-ins worried the Celtic defence. They were as good as corner kicks. Thomson had his work cut out against McDonald and had little spare time to assist the men in front. Nicholson was unsettled by the fact that he missed the first penalty award.
Johnstone in goal inspired confidence. Cowie, after an indifferent start, blossomed into the soundest back afield. Adey contrived to keep Anderson on the touchline and the winger was never prominent.


Hogg was the weakest link in the Celtic defence. He failed get a grip of Strauss and was at fault When the winger opened the scoring, Kennaway did not seem altogether happy, and he revealed a lack judgment when the third goal was netted. Morrison played fairly soundly.
Lyon was the backbone of the Parkhead rear, and but for him they might well have lost by a bigger margin. He worked tremendously hard to turn the tide. Geatons had good constructive ideas, but Paterson for the most part confined himself to shadowing Hamilton.
Divers, Crum and McDonald were a clever inside trio, but their play lacked finishing power. The inside left was the best of the three. Crum is quick and agile, but he lacks weight.
Delaney, often Celtic's match-winner, was badly missed. Anderson showed little enterprise, and Murphy on the other flank was not a great deal better.


Penalty awards went a long way towards deciding this game. Both Crum and Strauss missed scoring chances before Aberdeen took the lead. The Celtic centre duffed his shot after Divers had engineered an opening, and Strauss blazed the ball straight to Kennaway from a neat slip from Armstrong.
Ten minutes after the start the South African opened the scoring with a grand goal. Following a throw-in on the right Cowie swung the ball over. Hesitation on the part of Hogg proved fatal. Strauss came racing in to head the ball into the net well out of the keeper's reach.
After twenty-six minutes' play Armstrong made an opening for Hamilton. The inside right seemed well set to score; when he was brought down inside the penalty area by Morrison. Nicholson took the kick and lashed the ball past.
This escape acted like a tonic on Celtic, and they immediately made tracks for Johnstone. Paterson pushed the ball ahead to Divers, and the inside left transferred to Crum. The centre was round Nicholson like a flash, and ran on beat Johnstone, who had left his charge in a desperate effort to avert disaster.
Eleven minutes after the start the second half the Dons were awarded another spot kick, when McDonald handled inside the area. This time Hamilton took the kick, and the ball was safely lodged in the net.
Six minutes later Christie made the issue secure with a third goal. Celtic fought on bravely, but it was obvious that they were a beaten team. Christie gets full marks for this goal. Strauss, working on the left, lobbed the ball into the middle. Morrison and Christie went for it, and the winger cleverly managed to get his foot to the ball and twist it away from Kennaway, who had run from his charge.

Source: Press & Journal, 14th August 1939

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

Unused Subs:


Celtic Teamsheet:  Kennaway; Hogg, Morrison; Geatons, Lyon, Paterson; Anderson, McDonald, Crum, Divers, Murphy


Referee: J. L. Provan, Airdrie

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