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AFC - Match Report
match report 1908-09 fixture list
Div 1 (Old) 
Aberdeen 0 - 2 Rangers
Kick Off:          Bennett, Campbell  
Attendance: 9,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
The weather broke down in the forenoon, and that kept the crowd from coming up to expectations. The Rangers worked well at the start, but Aberdeen pressed for a considerable time, and were unfortunate to be two goals down at half-time. The goals were got by Bennett and Campbell, the first one being a fine effort. The second period was contested in a scrappy vein. Mutch got more to do in the second period than Rennie. Result :- Rangers, two goals; Aberdeen, nothing.

Source: The Scotsman, 7th September 1908

The 9000 spectators who, despite the inclement weather, assembled at Pittodrie Park, Aberdeen, on Saturday expected to witness a great game between the local team and the famous Glasgow Rangers in a Scottish League fixture, but they were disappointed, the play being of a straggling nature throughout, and almost entirely lacking in the finer points of combination. The disappointment commenced before the game, when it became known that while Rangers were at full strength, the Aberdeen directors had to rely on a weakened and rearranged team, Muir and O'Hagan, the two inside forwards, being absent through injury and illness respectively. The necessary rearrangement took the shape of placing McNair, the centre, to partner Lennie, Simpson taking Muir's place on the other wing. The teams were:-

Rangers: Rennie; Sharp, Craig; Gordon, Campbell, Gault; Bennett, McPherson, Murray, Livingston, Smith.
Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Halkett, McIntosh, Low; Blackburn, Simpson, Wilson, McNair, Lennie. Mr. J. W. R. Ferguson, Falkirk, was referee.
A short time before the start of the game the rain ceased, after a more or less continuous and drizzle for 4 hours, this making the turf heavy and greasy. There was a light, shift a north-westerly wind.

The Aberdeen captain had the advantage of the wind, but this did not prevent the Rangers making progress from the kick-off by Murray. Halkett fouled, the free kick giving the Glasgow men more ground. For a time the Rangers kept the ball close in on the Aberdeen goal by smart passing, the pressure being strongly resisted by the Aberdeen half-backs. McIntosh ultimately placed the ball well out to Lennie, who ran past Sharp, and sent in a fine centre, which caused Rennie to concede a corner. Blackburn kicked badly from the flag, and in a few minutes Rangers were at the other end, where Colman robbed the left wing, and returned strongly. Alex Smith and Bennett were being well plied with the ball, and both were closely watched by the opposition, Low using his weight against Bennett to some purpose. There was no doubting the superior combination of Rangers at this stage, although its effectiveness was spoiled by the rugged, dour methods of the Aberdonians. Tom Murray, the Rangers centre forward, and the first of numerous sudden pools-up for offside, when he was sending a nice, clean pass ahead for Smith to pick up. Dissatisfied with the forwards' attempts to pierce the Aberdeen defence, Sharp came ambling up the field and into the thick of the fray, only to be left behind in a breakaway by Aberdeen, the end of which was a terrific shot by Wilson, luckily blocked by one of the Rangers getting in the way. Rangers continued to show up well in the open, and invariably made progress up to a point, their movements when they tried to close in on the Aberdeen goal being thwarted by the Aberdeen half-backs and backs. Notwithstanding the Rangers defence - Sharp, cool and calculating, but occasionally suffering from the results of his jaunty confidence; and Craig, steady and sure - the active Aberdeen forwards frequently got to close quarters with Rennie, who had to hold a hard drive from Simpson. At the other end Smith finished a characteristic run with a fast grounder, which was short. In the Aberdeen goal Wilfred Low snapped the ball from the toes of Bennett, just as the ex-Celt was about to pop it into the net, the result being a corner. In a heart attack on the Aberdeen goal, Mutch saved from Smith and Murray in quick succession, brushing aside two Rangers who tried to impede him. Smith was always in his place when wanted, and never failed to pick up the pass is intended for him. A high shot was sent in. Mutch fisted the ball up, but it dropped back into the goal, and would have fallen into the net but for Wilfred Low, who ran back and got in his kick almost under the bar. Aberdeen men attacked, and Blackburn beat Craig, only to be robbed by Sharp. Rennie handled a long shot. For a time Aberdeen played strongly, and had the Rangers' defence in tight corners. Wilson, who was here, there, and everywhere, sparing neither himself nor his opponents, gave Rennie a terrific low shot, the Rangers stopping the ball on the line with difficulty. Several long shots were sent in to Rennie, the internationalist seeming to regard the saving of such as child's play. Murray, the Rangers' centre, could not get up steam, for if he was not given off side, he was knocked off the ball, and sometimes off his legs, not always by fair tactics. The bustling, rushing play of the Aberdonians baffled the Rangers in their frequent attempts to settle into a combined game, the play at this stage being characterised by what might be called "every man for his own hand." It was certainly hard lines for Aberdeen that, after hammering away at the Rangers' defence the light blues should break away and finished by scoring a soft goal. Colman was responsible. He failed to stop Smith, who ran in, and flash the ball across to goal front to Bennett, who was standing absolutely unmarked. Bennett tipped the ball into the net, Mutch throwing himself full-length in a creditable effort to do the next to impossible. Lennie, who on account of the absence of O'Hagan was seldom effective, his disinclination to come to close quarters with Sharp being very noticeable, aroused some enthusiasm by beating three opponents in a close bout, the good work coming to naught owing to Sharp intercepting the pass. Mutch saved from Smith, dodging Murray in the goal. Rangers had now the upper hand, and scored again, Campbell banging the ball past Mutch from 20 yards out. The shots looked saveable, only Mutch's few might have been obscured, as Campbell shot over the heads of several players. From now until the interval Rennie had nothing to do, and Mutch, at the other end, had no difficulty in dealing with several long shots. Just on half-time Halkett twisted one of his knees. He was able to go on, although a limping badly.

When the game was resumed it was seen that Halkett, owing to his injured knee, was next to useless, and he soon left the half-back line and went forward. Whether due to the Rangers being content with their two-goal lead, or whether they could not get into their swing owing to the worrying tactics of the opposition, it was cleared before the second half was long in progress but their play was not of the high standard associated with their reputation. The play of the Aberdeen team was poor, and that of Rangers was little better. Much had little to do, and Rennie absolutely nothing during the progress of the second half. Smith, on the Rangers' left, was active, but seldom has is shooting been so much off the mark, while on the other wing Hume and Low, between them, held Bennett. In saving a long shot, much gave Smith a reminder that he was nuts to be charged with impunity. No man on the field work harder than Wilson, who charged about like a warhorse. A good deal of roughness was apparent, and fouls were frequently penalised, players on both sides getting words of warning from the referee. Murray was badgered by the crowd regarding his anxiety to score, and his failure to do so. Once up twice he made creditable efforts, Mutch clearing at each try. The Aberdeen goalkeeper has a style of his own, and when, after a fist out under the bar, he returned a rocket shot with a flying kick, the experts shook their heads at such an unorthodox clearance. It was effective, nevertheless. Halkett, who was lying well up the field, waiting for some on child for a one-legged football or to do, was suspected by the Rangers' of playing 'possum when, getting a nice pass, he made off two wards Rennie, and sent in a cross which Lennie netted after the whistle had sounded for offside. Alec Smith provided the next incident with a fast shot, which Mutch managed to turn round the post. A misunderstanding between Hume and Mutch, for which the back was responsible, almost led to another goal for Rangers. Smith sent in an oblique shot, and Hume rushing into the goal crossed Mutch's line of vision. As the ball darted across to goal Mutch got his fist on it, and managed to knock it to side. In the closing minutes Mutch saved again from Smith.

Apart from several periods in the first half, the game was a poor one from the spectators point of view, although undoubtedly stubbornly contested. The Rangers played far below first-class standard, and, probably due to contagion, were, for the greater part of the game, as loose and disjointed in their method as the Aberdeen team.

The gate amounted to 182, and the stands to 31 - total, 213.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 7th September 1908


Rangers at Pittodrie.

There is no mistake about it, the Rangers have a fine team this season. A set of finer-built athletic players have not visited Pittodrie for some years. The majority of the players have reached International honours, and those who have not are equal to such a call any time. When they stepped on the field on Saturday the local crowd gave them an encouraging reception, but there was a sort of blank dismay when the Aberdeen men tripped out. O'Hagan and Muir were absent, the latter through injuries to a muscle, and the inside left had caught a chill. On such an important occasion to see two of the best forwards off was viewed with feelings of consternation by the spectators. The directors looked anything but pleasant when they knew that O'Hagan was unfit, as they had expected up to the last minute that he would turn out. Wilson took up the centre position, with McNair at inside left, and Bobby Simpson partnering Blackburn on the right. Rangers kicked off, their progress being stopped by the backs, only to be repeated shortly after when Mutch saved a soft shot from Macpherson. Aberdeen then took the game in hand, and with a little steadiness at goalmouth they ought to have scored. Rennie was not to be beaten, and while the play was fast and exciting round his charge he dealt with some fine shots from Wilson and Simpson. Though the home side did everything but score for a time, a break-away run by Smith, which ended in Bennet scoring, took the heart out of the Aberdeen men. More disasters followed; Campbell having a huge drive from the penalty line beat Mutch a second time. Then Halket suffered from a kick and was useless for the remainder of the game. The play, which reached a fairly high level in the first half, degenerated considerably in the second, and there were more hard knocks and back-heeling than there was need for - a good deal of this work going unheeded. Aberdeen did well to keep the Rangers from scoring at this point, though the defence were lucky at times. Under the circumstances to be beaten by two goals to nil was no disgrace, and had Aberdeen been at full strength we think they would have reduced the gap.

The Players.

Harry Rennie has lost none of his cunning or clearness of vision judging by his display at Pittodrie. Sharp and Craig gave a fine exhibition of back play, with the halves backing up and sending out well to their forwards. The wing men caught the eye most, Smith being best, with Bennet not far behind. Macpherson was easily the best of the inside men, Murray and Livingstone comparing unfavourably with the ex-Liverpool man. Mutch kept a splendid goal, Coleman was the better of the two backs, Hume making the fatal mistake in leaving Bennet uncovered when the first goal.was scored. ,Macintosh was the best half throughout and had Murray on a string most of the time. Halket was good till he was hurt, while Low seems to have lost pace. Lennie was a distinct failure, and Blackburn little better, M`Nair being the best in the outfield, with Simpson and Wilson good triers all the time.

Chatty Bits.

The weather clerk was in bad terms with the footballers on Saturday.
In several cases in the West the clubs had considerable difficulty in finishing their games.
Aberdeen were fortunate in regard to the weather in so far that it cleared in time before the match to allow the local crowd to get in in comfort.
The rain also kept off during the progress of the game at Pittodrie, with the result that they had the largest "gate" in Scotland.
There was nobody more disappointed at being unable to play than O'Hagan himself was. Charlie was eager to play up to the last minute, when the doctor declined to allow him to strip.
Muir's injury was occasioned at Shawfield, but he thought it so slight that it would wear away. On trying to sprint, however, he completely collapsed. He expects to be right for this week.
The Rangers meant to win the points, and found the opposition stiffer than they expected.
Tom Murray would rather play in the same team with Macintosh than against him. Tom had a week-end in Aberdeen renewing old acquaintanceship.
The special train from Glasgow did not prove a success, and the Rangers expect they will have something to pay the railway company.
Aberdeen's injured men are doing well, but it is doubtful if they will all be fit for Saturday.
The local team have been rather badly hit this season with injured players.
The reason of Dalgarno's absence in the A team on Saturday was through an injury he received at Shawfield.
With a little luck Aberdeen A should have drawn at Dens Park on Saturday.
It is a long time since Aberdeen had to record two defeats in one day. One or other used to keep up the reputation of the club.

Source: Bon-Accord, 10th September 1908

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Mutch, Colman, Hume, Halkett, McIntosh, Low, Blackburn, Simpson, Wilson, McNair, Lennie.

Unused Subs:


Rangers Teamsheet:  Rennie; Sharp, Craig; Gordon, Campbell, Gault; Bennett, McPherson, Murray, Livingston, Smith


Referee: Mr. J. W. R. Ferguson, Falkirk

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