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AFC - Match Report
match report 1939-40 fixture list
Dewar Shield Final 
Aberdeen 2 - 2 Falkirk
Kick Off:    , Armstrong 10.       Stewart 24, Dawson  
Attendance: 12,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Another Unimpressive Display by Dons
This match attracted a good crowd for a Dewar Shield match and many feared it would be the last game they saw for a while as the storm clouds gathered over Europe. Aberdeen opened the scoring completely against the run of play after ten minutes when Armstrong headed past McKie. Falkirk had opened brightly and the left wing pairing of Dawson and Miller had the Dons defence at full stretch. Falkirk pushed Aberdeen back into defence and got a deserved equalizer after 14 minutes when Stewart's shot went in off the upright following a corner. Aberdeen restored their lead when Biggs scored with a rising volley after Armstrong lost possession. Their lead only lasted five minutes, and Falkirk equalized again through Dawson. Johnstone parried Carruthers shot out as far as the Falkirk winger and he made no mistake.
All the goals came in a frantic first half, and while both sides had chances to win the game in the second period, Falkirk were well worth another chance. Duffy had proved an able replacement for Keyes and Jimmy McPhie had the measure of Strauss, Aberdeen's South African winger.
This match and the game on the following Saturday were to be the last appearances from several players and Falkirk's great side of the late 30's soon broke up as players joined the forces or took part in war work. This was undoubtedly Falkirk's best side since the first decade of the century and they were capable of challenging for major honours-even the League title itself.
The League tables stood, as if frozen in time as a record of what was, and what might have been. Writing in the Falkirk Herald, Watchman commented: "It seems pointless now that this country is at war and football will be completely suspended for no one knows how long, to review the happenings of last Saturday in the sphere of local football. We shall always remember, however, that the Bairns finished with a win which made them the closest challengers to Rangers."

Source: Falkirk FC programme 31st January 2009




FALKIRK refused to relinquish their grip on the Dewar Shield at Pittodrie last night. They played Aberdeen to a 2-2 draw in the final, and, let it be said, they thoroughly merited the right to a replay at Brockville.

If the Dons are to win the trophy next Wednesday, they will have to show a big improvement. They did not impress. The forward line last night was a thing of shreds and patches. The right-wing pair, Hamilton and Christie, had a poor game. The line lacked balance.
Falkirk are the best team Aberdeen have played this season. They were sure in defence, and the attack, well supported by the half-backs, played crisp, clever football. The visiting forwards had one fault - they could not turn their smart outfield play into goals. Had their finishing been on par with their leading-up work, Aberdeen would have lost interest in the Dewar Shield competition for another season.
The Bairns were seen at their best in the opening period. Their football was of a high standard. It was good to watch, yet they were twice in arrears. The Dons had their period of ascendancy. For the closing twenty minutes of the game Falkirk were confined to the defensive.


I thought the home defence played well, although there was slackness when Falkirk scored their first goal. Johnstone was all right, and Cowie played well in the second half. In the opening period the right back found Dawson a troublesome opponent. Cooper was steady all through.
Nicholson was sound, but Thomson and Dunlop were too busy trying to check a lively Falkirk attack to engineer movements. The right half's long throw-ins were a menace to the visiting rear lines.
Biggs was the best of the home forwards and he only came in flashes. He missed a grand chance in the closing stages, but was responsible for the best goal of the game. Strauss was dangerous in the first half, but McPhee had him in a tight grip after the interval.
Armstrong tried hard. He did not meet with much success, but the ball did not run very kindly for him. Hamilton has seldom been seen to less advantage. The inside-right had a poor game and must improve. Christie, on the wing, was neglected for long periods, but even allowing for this I am still doubtful of his abilities as a right winger.


For the first ten minutes there was little enthuse over. At this stage Aberdeen took the lead and the exchanges became more lively. The goal was a well-taken affair. Hamilton headed long throw-in by Dunlop into the middle and Armstrong glanced the ball into the net.
With twenty-four minutes played Falkirk deservedly drew level. Following a corner Stewart played the ball against an Aberdeen defender. The home defence was slow here. The centre was given time to recover and his second try entered the net off the post.
Biggs restored the Dons' lead. Thomson placed a free-kick well and Armstrong turned the ball into the middle with his head. Before it could touch the ground the inside-left whipped it into the roof of the net.
Five minutes later the Bairns were level terms again. Johnstone dived full length to push out a shot from Carruthers and Dawson was lying in position to tap the ball into the net.
The biggest thrill in the second half came at the Aberdeen end. Dawson cut across the field and after beating two men slipped the ball to Carruthers. Johnstone was out of his goal. The outside-right shot strongly and the ball was entering the net when Cooper rushed across to block it.

Source: Press & Journal, 31st August 1939

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

Unused Subs:


Falkirk Teamsheet:  McKie; McPhee, Peat; Duffy, Shankly, Murray; Carruthers, Anderson, Stewart, Miller, Dawson



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