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AFC - Match Report
match report 1939-40 fixture list
Aberdeen 4 - 0 Arbroath
Kick Off:  2:45 PM   Strauss 17, Armstrong 26, Strauss 27, Armstrong 65.        
Attendance: 3,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
ABERDEEN'S senior football revival on Saturday did not prove the success anticipated. Probably the fact that the competitive element was missing was mainly responsible.

It was unfortunate too, that Arbroath provided poor opposition. The Dons were well ahead of their opponents in teamwork and individual play.
On this display Aberdeen seem well enough equipped to play a prominent part in any competition which may be organised. Johnstone, Cowie and Cooper comprised a sound defence.
The play the home half-back line was only moderate, but the attack was well ahead of the Arbroath quintette.
The Dons took the lead in seventeen minutes when Strauss took advantage a chance made by Ferguson. Nine minutes later Armstrong* scored a clever second goal off slip from Ferguson.
Strauss made the total three, one minute later, when he raced up the middle after a through pass from Bain and sent the ball flashing into the net. The only goal of the second half was scored by Armstrong in twenty minutes. The centre beat Stewart and sent into the net at the second attempt.

Source: Press & Journal, 25th September 1939



(By "MAC")

JUDGING by the size of the crowd at Pittodrie to-day for the game between Aberdeen and Arbroath, enthusiasts in the city have little time for friendly games. Football without competition evidently makes little appeal.
This was the first match since the outbreak of war, but there was a crowd of only 3000 when the teams took the field. The only regular members of the Arbroath team that were missing were Urquhart, left half, and Hughes, inside left. The Dons were as selected.



A misunderstanding between Waddell and Cowie in the first minute had the home goal in danger. The Aberdeen defenders left the job of clearing a loose ball to one another. Moir, the Arbroath centre, nipped in. The former Mugiemoss player, however, hesitated, and Cowie was able to recover.
The Dons' attempts to make ground met with no success, and another rally by the Red Lichties again exposed weakness on the part of the home defence. This time Dunlop made a faulty pass, and with Johnstone out of his charge a try by McCulloch was on its way to goal when Cooper cleared.


Strauss raised Aberdeen hopes with a run and shot, but his elevation was at fault. Clever work by Armstrong showed the Dons in a better light. The centre parted to Smith, and then met the winger's cross with his head. Anderson saved smartly, and he distinguished himself again when he tipped over a fierce drive by the home leader.
Ferguson almost gave Aberdeen the lead when he broke through from a pass from Smith. His first shot was blocked, but he recovered, and Anderson saved at full length.
There was as narrow a squeak at the other end when Moir broke through. Johnstone was out of his charge, and again Cooper came to the rescue by kicking clear.


In seventeen minutes Aberdeen took the lead. Armstrong and Ferguson carried the ball through and the inside left put STRAUSS in possession.
The South African had nothing ado but beat Anderson, and he did this smartly.
The extreme wingers brightened things up. Smith darted down the right and Strauss' header from his cross struck the bar.
Arbroath replied with a vigorous attack. Gould raced off on the right. Both Johnstone and Moir went for the ball and it bounced clear to M'Culloch. The winger was set to shoot when Dunlop hooked the ball away.


Aberdeen's second goal, in twenty-six minutes, was the culmination of a clever movement. Strauss, lying well back, sent the ball ahead to Ferguson and the inside man parted to ARMSTRONG. The centre wheeled and shot, the ball striking the upright on its way into the net.
One minute later STRAUSS made the Dons' total three. He went flying up the middle after a through pass from Bain and his shot went flashing into the net high up.
Arbroath replied through Gould. A solo dash by the right winger looked like bearing fruit until Johnstone dashed from his charge to kick clear. With a three goals' lead the Dons eased up, and twice Armstrong shot recklessly when he could have done better. Another Arbroath raid saw Vannet miss narrowly with a good try.
Arbroath were lucky when Smith finished a grand run with a neat slip to Armstrong. The centre released a fierce shot. but the ball struck the underside of the crossbar and came out.
(Half-time: 3-0)



Arbroath made a good start in the second half, and McCulloch should have reduced the leeway. He was clean through and shot over from close range. Smith repeated the performance at the other end from a fine pass from Armstrong, only his chance was not such a good one as McCulloch's.
The Dons were the better moving side, and Ferguson almost did the trick with a magnificent drive. Back went Arbroath, and Moir followed up a long clearance from Fordyce. The Gayfield centre got there first, but his lob finished on the roof of the net.
Ferguson was always prominent in the home attack with neat slips and clever footwork. He made an excellent chance for Armstrong but the centre, pursued by Gavin, shot hurriedly and the ball went wide.
The Dons were not exerting themselves unduly, but the visitors could consider themselves lucky when Armstrong picked up a pass from Taylor, beat three men, and shot against the 'keeper.


With twenty minutes played the Dons were four up. Taylor sent the ball through to ARMSTRONG. The centre bat Stewart at the second attempt and sent into the net.
Arbroath were game to the last and in a quick counter attack Gould brought Johnstone into action with a clever overhead kick.
It should have been five when Strauss leaped high to head a cross from Smith against the crossbar. The ball struck the woodwork with a terrific wallop, and the player had stunned himself in making the attempt. He recovered after attention.
Moir had a chance for Arbroath. He was through, but hurried his shot and drove the ball against Johnstone, who was squatting on the ground.


Arbroath's right wing got going and Stewart flashed in a glorious drive which Johnstone did well to push past the post with one hand. Gould followed with a splendid screw shot from the right touchline but again Johnstone was equal to the occasion.
Aberdeen made several raids on the Arbroath goal, but their finishing was below par.

Source Evening Express, 23rd September 1939

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Johnstone, Cowie, Cooper, Dunlop, Waddell, Taylor, Smith, Bain, Armstrong, Ferguson, Strauss.

Unused Subs:


Arbroath Teamsheet:  Anderson; Fordyce, Becci; Vannet, Gavin, Stewart; Gould, Miller, Moir, McInally, McCulloch.


Referee: W.Jaffrey, Aberdeen

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