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AFC - Match Report
match report 1899-00 fixture list
The Aberdeen 7 - 1 Dumbarton
Kick Off:    Shiach 3, Gray 2, Fullarton, Opponent o.g.       Millar  
Attendance: 2,100
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
This was the first ever football match at the newly opened Pittodrie Park. Alex Shiach scored the first goal at either end of the ground and the first hat-trick.

Pittodrie Park, the splendid new ground acquired by the Aberdeen Football Club, was formally opened on Saturday in presence of a large company. The weather, unfortunately, was wet and disagreeable, but the visitors could see that, when the club complete the laying-out and banking of the part of the field available for spectators, the ground will be second to none of the kind north of Glasgow. The Aberdeen - the senior Association football club in the city - was founded in 1881, and at first located themselves in the old recreation ground at the Reclaimed Land, afterwards at Holburn Grounds, and latterly at Chanonry, Old Aberdeen. The Chanonry ground, however, has been acquired by the university in connection with the botanic garden, and the club have been fortunate in securing Pittodrie Park, in Merkland Road East. The ground, which has been secured on a ten years lease from Mr Knight Erskine of Pittodrie - though on a sub-tenancy from the corporation at first - is 4 1/2 acres in extent. An area of 156 yards by 85 has been levelled, and the playing pitch measures 110 yards by 70. At present the ground provides accommodation which will enable 10,000 spectators to see the whole of the field of play, but a gradual process of banking will be carried out, and when this has been completed equally good accommodation will be found for 32,000 spectators. A covered grand¬stand is seated for 1000. An excellent cycle track and a cricket pitch are in course of formation. The ground will also be admirably adapted for such gatherings as the Hospital Saturday and Police Sports. It has been enclosed by a strong wall and paling, and the total cost of the work has been about £1000. The engineers for the laying out of the ground were Messrs Beattie and Macdonald, Bridge Street; and the contractors were:- For the laying out of the ground and erecting enclosing wall, Mr. Peter Tawse: outside paling, Mr Thomson, Stonehaven; grandstand and paling round the playing pitch, Mr J. Farquhar, Broomhill Road, Aberdeen.

The club arranged a match with the Dumbarton team for the opening of the ground, and 500 invitations were issued to leading supporters of the game in the city, the Town Council also being invited. Among those present were:- Baillie Lyon, who was accompanied by Mrs Lyon, Baillie Taggart, Councillor Milne, president of the club; Councillors Glass, Maitland, Cooper, and Kendall Burnett, Mr D. L. Pressly, Mr G. M. Aitken, solicitor; Mr Alex. Clark, solicitor; Mr A. T. Nicol, solicitor; Mr A. W. Edwards, solicitor; Mr John Clarke, Chanonry; Mr John Croll, solicitor; Mr John McHardy, schoolmaster; Mr A. J. Tulloch, Mr H. Wylie, Mr W. Jaffray, Sir T. J. Blann, Mr F. Lawrence, Mr Charles Stronach, Mr Thomas Hynd, schoolmaster; Mr Wm. Watt (J. Taylor and Co.), Mr E. Tait, actuary, North British and Mercantile Assurance Company; Mr Alex Cowie, Imperial Hotel; Mr D. B. Lothian, Mr R, Wait, North of Scotland Bank (Commercial Road Branch); Mr Henry Ross, Mr Geo. Stephen, etc. There was a large attendance of the general public. Before the opening ceremony the Aberdeen team and leading officials were photographed, Baillie Lyon being in the group.

Councillor Milne, speaking from the grand¬stand, then said it fell to him, as president of the club, to introduce Baillie Lyon, who had so kindly come forward to open their new ground, and than whom he did not believe that anyone was better known to or more respected by an Aberdeen audience. (Applause.) Statements had been made about football being a brutal game, but the referee had command of it, and it was as unlikely for a man to play unfairly, with a good referee, as it was for a burglar to break into a house with the eyes of the detectives upon him. (Applause.)
Baillie Lyon, who was loudly cheered, said that while he had taken part in a good many functions since he became connected with the Town Council, he had never had anything to do with the opening of football ground, though he had done, risky things, such as riding on a motor bus and galloping on a steam fire engine along the street of London. (Laughter and applause.) But even that was quite safe work in comparison with what he was told he would have to do that day. ("Oh" and laughter.) When Councillor Maitland told him that there was to be a Town Council football match before the match proper commenced, he thought that, if he (Baillie Lyon) were captain on one side, and his burly friend Councillor Croll captain on the other side, a good deal of damage might be done. (Laughter and applause.) But, joking apart, he had much pleasure in being present and declaring the ground open. (Applause.) As to football, he trusted that the game that was to be played would be engaged in for pure love of sport, that it would be devoid of roughness, and that there would be no bad language. (Applause.) He was sure that with Councillor Milne as president everything possible would be done in that direction. He thought the Town Council of 20 years ago or thereby were to blame for allowing all the open spaces near the centre of the city to be built upon, and making no attempt to preserve any as recreation ground. He had fought for years for a winter garden, and that was now taking shape; but the Town Council had made no provision in the centre of the city for a ground for football, cricket, etc. In securing Pittodrie Park the Aberdeen Club had done well, and when the ground was properly bid out it would be one of the best north of Glasgow. (Applause.) He wished the club every success, and to commemorate the opening of the ground he would present a trophy to be competed for, but would leave it to the committee to decide the conditions. (Loud applause.) In conclusion, the Baillie formally declared the ground open. He then kicked off the ball, and the game commenced.
The drawing from the general public amounted to £40. In the course of the afternoon, tea and other refreshment were served to the invited guests, a good many of whom were ladies, and excellent arrangements were made by the committee and joint secretaries.
The teams were: Aberdeen: Bisset, Henderson, Mackie, Cameron, Wilson, Thomson, Livingston, Mackay, Fullerton, Gray, Shiach. Dumbarton: Millar, Thomson, Mitchell, Gillan, Richmond, Kennedy, McLosky, Campbell, McCormack, G. Millar, Fullerton. Mr James Phillips acted as referee.
The teams were loudly cheered us they appeared on the ground. The game was well contested throughout, but after the first break away by Dumbarton was almost entirely in favour of Aberdeen. Had the Aberdeen men put a little more "sting" into some of their shots in front of the enemy's goal, they would have had a few more points to their credit. As it was, they did very well. Aberdeen was denied after many promising openings, but at length Shiach, as the result of a determined attack, banged the ball into the net and notched one for the home team. Shortly afterwards Fullerton scored number two. Aberdeen, repeatedly swarmed up to Dumbarton goal, and Gray secured the third point. Two minutes later the same player finished a beautiful run by scoring the fourth goal. Half-time found Aberdeen leading by 4 to 0.
The second period opened sensationally. Shiach beat the Dumbarton custodian twice in as many minutes. Dumbarton rallied, and retaliated through Millar. After some dull play, Aberdeen got a seventh goal off one of the Dumbarton backs. The game ended: Aberdeen, 7 goals; Dumbarton, 1 goal.

Source: Aberdeen Journal, 4th September 1899

It was a pity that Dumbarton had to come north minus four of their regular players. The score represents the run of the play - Aberdeen holding the whip hand all through. The Dumbarton have a gem in their centre half. He was the only one who played anything like football. Davie Gray and Shiach carried off the honours for the Whites. "Fairmer" was also in great form, clearing again and again in capital style. Henderson was distinctly off. Keeper Bissett did all that was wanted without fault. He seems all right. The half-backs could have been better. Most of them seemed to have roving commissions for the day. It was but proper that the Whites should win the opening engagement on Pittodrie Park. By the way, cannot a more suitable name be got for the grounds?
Secretary Ellis was here, there, and everywhere, attending to the large number of guests who accepted invitations. He is to be congratulated on the manner he executed his share of the proceedings.

As all know the Aberdeen and Vies play off at Pitoddrie (sic). where there is every promise of a warm 90 minutes' play. The Aberdeen will not have such a walk over as last week.

Source: Bon-Accord, 7th September 1899

The Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Bisset; Henderson, Mackie; Cameron, Wilson, Thomson; Livingstone, Mackay, Fullarton, Gray, Shiach


Dumbarton Teamsheet:  Millar; Thomson, Mitchell; Gillan, Richmond, Kennedy; McLosky, Campbell, McCormack, G. Millar, Fullerton


Referee: Jimmy Philip, Aberdeen

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