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Leith Athletic 0 - 0 Aberdeen

HT Score: Leith Athletic 0 - 0 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)

27/12/1930 | KO:


About 4000 spectators saw a hard-fought battle at the Marine Gardens, Portobello, between Leith Athletic and Aberdeen, and it ended in a goalless draw. The final result greatly flattered the Northern team, who, with the exception of a short period in the early stages of the game were seldom in the play as an attacking force, and it was sheer dogged defending by their rear trio which prevented the Athletic winning. The high wind spoiled any attempts in the nature of clever combined play, but one looked for teamwork from an experienced lot of players such as those of the Aberdeen side. Instead, much of their play was poor in the extreme, and only McLean and McDermid of their forwards seemed to be able to overcome the close attentions of the Athletic half-backs. The old Celtic man twice came near ro scoring. Merrie, Yorston, and Love failed to live up to their reputations, and the centre especially was a weak finisher. As a line they could not circumvent the Leith half-backs, who all played well. Reid at centre half was outstanding, and the flank men kept nicely in touch with their front rank. Anything that the halves failed to do was easily accomplished by Mitchell and Forrest, who were steady a s rock, and provided Steele with such good protection that the goalkeeper had a very quiet afternoon. The forwards, if better than the visitors' five, did not do as well as at Falkirk, chiefly because Laidlaw's scheming was not so much in evidence. In Nicol, however, the Athletic had a dashing centre, and ne fine effort from his foot near the end of the first half was deserving of a goal. In Carruthers he had a worthy helpmate. In the first half especially, the little winger was full of running, and it was well for Aberdeen that Smith, Cooper, and Jackson were n such fine form. The rear trio were the soundest part of the side, and the goalkeeper was especially clean in his handling of difficult cross shots. In front of them Hill was the best half-back. He found Carruthers a troublesome opponent at times, but he was very good when attacking, and much more should have been made of his excellent service. Aberdeen must consider themselves lucky to have got away with a point.

Source: Glasgow Herald, 29th December 1930

Wretched atmospheric and ground conditions were mostly responsible for the poor display of football served up by Aberdeen and Leith Athletic in their goal-less draw at the Marine Gardens, Portobello.
The pitch cut up early, and a fierce wind throughout and heavy ram during the second half added to the discomfort of players and spectators. In the circumstances good play was well-nigh impossible, but it was a fast and dour, if not exciting, encounter.

What Was Lacking.

Although a draw did justice to both it was a game which Aberdeen might easily have won, but they lacked an opportunist. The Athletic, too, missed a player of that type, but while the attackers failed, credit is due both defences for the dogged resistance offered.
The winning of the toss enabled Aberdeen to have the assistance of the wind in the first half, but they did not find it an unmixed blessing, ball control being very difficult and accurate shooting a matter for great judgment.
Playing well on the wings the Aberdeen attack had the Athletic defence repeatedly in trouble, but none of the inside forwards could connect when it came to locating the net.

Two Escapes.

The Athletic, although only occasionally on the offensive, were more dangerous; indeed they were twice unfortunate not to take the lead. Laidlaw had a shot finely stopped by Smith when the latter was out of his goal, and on another occasion the Leith inside right was unfortunate enough to shoot against the bar.
Aberdeen essayed many shots, but these were mostly off the mark, and the others Steele rather easily disposed of.
A mistake by Mitchell, the Leith right back, let Merrie clean through on one occasion, but he could only shoot into the goalkeeper s hands.

Bad Finishing.

Against the wind in the second half Aberdeen made quite a good show, in fact attacked more frequently than the Athletic had done in the earlier period. The same weakness in finishing was again in evidence, the few shots that were gent in were mostly off the mark.
Smith, in the Aberdeen goal, although frequently in action, had little of a dangerous nature to deal with, and generally it was a game in which defence was master of attack.

Outstanding Players.

In front of a sound goalkeeper, Cooper and Jackson showed their best form, the latter evidently now having quite settled down to his new position. After a moderate display in the first half, Falloon came away strongly in the second, when he got through a tremendous amount of destructive play.
Black and Hill both played well, but the conditions did not suit the forwards, among whom Yorston and McLean were best.
The Athletic defence was not so convincing as that of Aberdeen, but it was the stronger department of the team. Steele was a dependable keeper, and in front of him, Forrest, Reid, and Crawford did splendid work. The best of the forwards were Carruthers, Laidlaw, and Young. There was an attendance of about 4000.

Source: Press & Journal, 29th December 1930

Leith Athletic Teamsheet
Steele; A. Mitchell, Forrest; McNeil, Reid, Crawford; Carruthers, Laidlaw, Nicol, Young, Johnston
Attendance: 4,000
Venue: Marine Gardens, Portobello
Referee: J. Thomson, Hamilton