The Aberdeen met a county eleven at the Central Park, in the first round of the Aberdeenshire Charity Cup. The weather wad splendid, the ground was in perfect condition, and there was a huge crowd of spectators. The teams were: Aberdeen: Ramsay; Ketchen, Wood; Ross, Singleton, Ewen; Murray, Whyte, Toman, Fred Whitehead, Frank Whitehead. County Eleven: Wood; Noble, Howie; Marr, Watson, Philips, Mitchell; Jack, Davidson, Gordon, Wallace. The colours were: Aberdeen, white ; County eleven, red.
The county men won the toss of the coin, and Toman set the ball in motion. The forwards at once took the leather in charge, and in about one minute from the start Toman with little or no difficulty scored the first goal. This was met with a round of applause. From midfield the Whites again bore down upon the county citadel, but on this occasion the defenders were more successful, and after a short tussle the Reds made up the field. Philips and Watson wrought hard, and in a twinkling the ball was circulating within a few feet of Ramsay. But the Aberdeen custodian, with the strong assistance of Ketchen and Wood, was able to repel all attacks and the sphere was returned to neutral territory. Once again, however, the County men got up the field, and only by fisting out with all his energy could Ramsay keep his charge intact. In course of time the Chanonry players by combination managed to get across the line. The brothers Whitehead had a brilliant run along the left wing, but when within shooting distance they were cleverly tackled. Singleton had a try at goal before the defenders could properly collect themselves. A behind was the only result. Before long the Whites again bore down upon the County goal, and Murray had a splendid pass from the right. Whyte smartly received the leather, and sent in a stinger, which, however, grazed the cross bar on the wrong side. A corner then fell to Aberdeen, but without result, Singleton shooting too high. An exciting run transferred the scene of hostilities to the other side of the field. Mitchell, on the right, showed to advantage, but lack of speed lost him what appeared to be a good chance. Within the next few minutes another corner kick was conceded to the city men, and then followed an interesting and exciting piece of play. Time and again the Aberdeen players endeavoured to force the leather between the posts, but as often was it returned. Both of the Whiteheads were conspicuous, and nothing could be better than the defence of Wood. On one occasion the County made a determined effort to break away, and a slip on the part of Ewen gave them an advantage. But the Whites soon retrieved their position, and Frank Whitehead secured a second goal. A few spasmodic runs on the part of the Reds did little in aid them, and in about five minutes from the notching of the last goal White registered a third point. Despite this series of reverses the County continued to play with unabated enthusiasm and dash, and at times their skilful tackling brought forth the spontaneous applause of the spectators. They had a hard fight, however, as the Aberdeen men were playing really well. Ewen sent in a dangerous shot from the left, but Wood at once received the ball in his arms, and threw it as far from him as possible. A header by Toman met with a similar reception, and, after some uninteresting play, the whistle sounded half time. The scores were: Aberdeen 3 goals, County nil.
After the usual interval the teams again took up position, and the County men now had the incline in their favour. The period opened with a dashing run by Aberdeen along the field. A foul pulled them up, and Wallace smartly passed the leather down to the goalmouth. Ewen and Wood retaliated, and crossed the sphere to the left wing men, who made the most of their chance and took the ball to the opposing goal. A throw in placed it in the charge of Mitchell, and he with the greatest alacrity made off with all the speed of which he was capable. His career was short lived, as the Aberdeen men were, before the game was a minute older, in the vicinity of the County citadel. Murray at length tipped on the ball to Fred Whitehead, and that player sent it home. This raised the Aberdeen total to four. It was then the turn of the Reds to try their luck at shooting. Davidson had hard lines in missing the goal by inches. Wood by a strong kick relieved the pressure, but his compeers failed to follow up the leather, and in a few seconds the teams were in the thick of a scrimmage at the mouth of Ramsay's charge. When the excitement was at its height Watson forced the ball past, the custodian, and scored the first goal for the County. A scene of enthusiasm followed, and the applause was renewed as the Reds were seen to return to the attack as soon as the game was re-started. But the ensuing play was sufficient to cool down the enthusiasm of the numerous County partisans. The Whites proceeded to carry out some aggressive tactics, and Wood had plenty to do to ward off all the shots which were directed to him. He succeeded, however, and then the Reds, by beautiful combination, rushed down the field. Ketchen and Wood were in readiness, and a few stout kicks sufficed to take the ball to a safe distance. Aberdeen immediately went north, and forced a corner, which was taken by Ewen, but that player made a mess of the chance. The Whites still continued to press, but the defence of Wood and his backs prevailed. The Reds next retaliated, and went down the field in good style, but were quickly pulled up before Ramsay had occasion to trouble himself. Wood next had to bestir himself, but a goal kick was the only result of the northerly run of the Whites. Play now raged from end to end of the field. Singleton, who had been using his hands rather freely during the first part of the half, was sharply pulled up by the referee. He made ample reparation for his offence, however, putting the finishing touches to a fine combined run and then scoring the fifth point for Aberdeen. For a time the Whites continued in the immediate vicinity of the County goal, and a corner fell to them, which was well placed, but the goalkeeper managed to fist out. The locals, however, were not to be denied, and still keeping up the pressure Fred Whitehead put on the sixth goal. The result of the game now seemed to have been put beyond all doubt and the spectators began to leave the field, while several turned their attention to a junior match which was being played in the neighbourhood. The Aberdeen continued to keep the upper hand, and rarely allowed the Reds to pass half-field. Frank Whitehead had a comparatively easy chance to score from a pass which Singleton sent over to Fred, but the outside man made a mess of it by shooting over the bar when there was absolutely nothing between him and the goal. Up till the end the game consisted of a series of rushes by both teams, Aberdeen, however, having the best of them. Within a few minutes of time Fred Whitehead, from a scrimmage, added a seventh point, and the game ended: Aberdeen 7, County 1.
Source: Aberdeen Journal, 25th March 1893