The Aberdeen team had as their opponents in the Scottish League (Second Division) fixture at Pittodrie on Saturday the well known Edinburgh team St Bernard's. A crowd of between 5000 and 6000 spectators witnessed the game, which was played on an excellent pitch, but in a rather unfavourable light. The Saints came north to Aberdeen determined to win. The team was considerably strengthened by the introduction of several new players. Aberdeen were somewhat weakened by the absence of Augustus Lowe, their centre forward, who was suffering from a bad cold. His place was taken by Edgar, one's of the reserves. The teams well:-
Aberdeen: Macfarlane; Murray, D. McNicol; Halkett, Strang, Low; Robertson, G. McNicol, Edgar, MacAulay, Ritchie.
St Bernards: Coghlan; Buchanan, McNeil; Greig, Smith, McCracken; Anderson, McGettigan, Hunter, Devlin, Connor.
Referee - J. Dougary, Glasgow.
At the start of the game, the St. Bernard's went off as if they had been wound up to go at express speed. The style of play was it wants seen - bustle, big kicking, and quick following-up. Lithe men, accustomed to this go-ahead style, they're kicking was sure, and their speed such that it made the Aberdeen players look quite laggard in comparison. The game was not a minute old when the Aberdeen goal had a narrow escape. Strang misfielded and overhead kick, and D. McNicol, hotly pressed, head to head over the line, thus giving away a corner. The qualifying cupholders for a long time played a disappointing game. They appeared to be quite unstable easier to adapt their play to the game of their tall, heavy opponents, or to settle down into their own tricky, short-passing style. Devlin growth the ball into the net, but simultaneously with his kick, the referee's whistle had blown for offside, so the gold did not count. A clever bit of play by the Aberdeen forward line looked promising. Robertson, smartly beating McNeil, crossed the ball low and fast to MacAulay, who, instead of intercepting it and trying to dodge the onrushing Buchanan, cutely jumped over the ball, and allowed it a free passage to Ritchie, who, dashing up the left wing, shot. The clearing by McCracken cost this Saints a corner and other creditable attempt to open the scoring for Aberdeen was made by Edgar, who sent in a tricky overhead shot from 20 yards out with considerable force. Davy cleared. So far, generally the most noticeable points in a rather disappointing game were three in number -the weakness of the Aberdeen half-backs, particularly Strang, who failed almost every time to hold in the slippery, active, go-ahead St Bernard centre forward, who was very trickily helped by Devlin; the dangerous non-stop runs of the close-dribbling said centre forward, and the sterling back play of McNeil, who sure kicking I and ever-successful intercepting of Robertson's dreaded crosses steadied and added confidence to the play of the Edinburgh team. The game went on in ding-dong style, Hunter and Devlin giving the Aberdeen defence no end of trouble, and keeping the crowd on tenter-hooks. At half time there was no scoring, although St Bernard's on played be served a goal of two.
Aberdeen, it could be seen, made an effort at the beginning of the second half to get into their stride, but the Saints refused to slacken in their play. The Pittodrie men then adopted the long-passing game, with such effect that they soon had the pool of the Saints in midfield, although they failed to break down the start the defence of the two St Bernard backs, who seldom made a mistake, and two got more free kicking and they should have got. McAulay was specially noticeable all through this half for his clever generalship. It was due to him that Robertson was able to easily slip round McNeil, with the ball at his foot. Roberts and sprinted down until near the corner flag, and crossed with unerring precision. Was waiting eagerly, and getting his head on the ball, he switched it into the net high up in one of the corners, far out of Coghlan's reach. The Saint Bernards seemed to feel that to be a goal down was scarcely their due, and the way in which the besieged the Aberdeen goal for the next 10 minutes was painful to the crowd to witness. On one occasion the ball bobbed about in front of Macfarlane, who twice threw himself at it. Through it would not go. Macfarlane, lying at full length on the ground, got his fist on the ball at last with three or four of the Edinburgh men scrimmaging around him. The fist-away was weak, but one of the Aberdeen men ultimately got his foot opponent, and the intense pressure was relieved. It was not for long, however, for the St Bernard centre forward, slipping through between Murray and D. McNicol, and leaving them hopelessly behind in the race, completely beat Macfarlane with a low, fast shot, which no goalkeeper could have saved. Both teams laboured hard for a lead, but the defence at either end withstood all the attacks. Owing to the darkness and the thickening haze, it was now are almost impossible to follow the game from the press box, but for 15 minutes the players flitted about in the ever-gathering gloom. With 5 minutes to go, the referee, who'd run about and exerted himself a great deal in order to follow the play, stopped the game on account of his inability to follow the play, the score thus being -Aberdeen 1, Saint Bernard 1.
The game will have to be replayed at Aberdeen. The gate amounted to about £100.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 5 December 1904