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Rangers 5 - 2 Aberdeen

Div 1 (Old)
Rangers scorers: Grant 16, Fiddes 22, Fiddes 32, Fiddes, Fiddes 71
Aberdeen scorers: Biggs, Armstrong 70.

17/12/1938 | KO:




ABERDEEN'S defensive problems are still with them. Hopes that recent changes would produce a solution were dissipated at Ibrox Park on Saturday. The Dons were beaten 5-2, and had the finishing of the Rangers been up to the standard of their outfield play there would have been more than a three-goal margin between the teams.
The fact of the matter is, the Aberdeen defence was a failure. For long spells the Rangers attackers did pretty much as they liked. The Dons had bad day, and it can be taken for granted that there will be changes in the rear divisions for this week's game with Celtic at Pittodrie.


Nicholson was out of his element at left back. He could find no method checking Fiddes, the Light Blues' right winger, who had something of a field day - he scored four of the five goals. Grant at centre half was no more successful against Smith.
Aberdeen reorganised their team in the second half. Grant and Nicholson changed places, and although there was an improvement in the play of the Englishman, Grant did not hit it off as a full back. The forward line was also rearranged. Armstrong took over the leadership. Biggs went to inside left and Brady to outside right. These forward changes did make for livelier attack.
An injury to Smith led to alterations in the Rangers side. The centre went to outside left after an absence of ten minutes the second half. Waddell crossed the right wing and Thornton went to centre, with Fiddes at inside right. Despite these changes the Light Blues continued to hold the balance of play.
Rangers were sounder than Aberdeen defence and quicker and more cohesive attack Smith missed two grand scoring chances before the homesters took the lead in sixteen minutes. McKillop initiated the movement. He gave to Smith and the centre, in turn, transferred to Venters. The inside man rounded Grant and gave Johnstone no chance.


The second Rangers goal came six minutes later. A quick clearance by the Rangers defence saw a thrilling race for possession between Nicholson, Johnstone, and Fiddes. The trio met near the corner of the penalty box, but the home player was the first to get his boot to the ball, and sent it into an empty goal.
The game was as good as won in thirty-two minutes, when the Light Blues got third goal. Smith put Thornton through and the inside man ran on to send against the upright. The ball came out to Fiddes and before Johnstone could regain his feet the winger drove into the roof of the net.
During Smith's absence in the second half Rangers scored their fourth goal. It came from a free kick, and was the result of bad marking. Venters slipped the ball out the right and Fiddes crashed it into the net before Biggs could intervene.
Aberdeen opened their account twenty minutes from the finish. A right wing attack ended in Armstrong sending into the net. Practically from the re-centre Rangers broke away, and Fiddes and Venters raced through for the former to score his own fourth and his side's fifth goal.
Biggs scored a smart second goal for the Dons when he took advantage od a pass from Strauss to beat Gray and send into the net. Hamilton should have made it three in the closing minutes when Brady presented him with a first-class chance.


Cowie was Aberdeen's most reliable. He showed fine positional sense. Johnstone, in goal, was not so confident as usual and seemed to be at fault when the second and third goals were netted. Scott was easily the best half-back. The right-half was a trifle slow in recovery, but was strong on the ball, and showed sound constructive ideas. Thomson had his hands full with first Thornton and then Fiddes, and was seldom seen in an attacking capacity.
The forwards suffered from lack of support from behind. Armstrong and Biggs showed improvement when they went to centre and inside-left respectively. Hamilton was far below his best form, and Strauss took little credit from the game. Brady was as hard-working as usual, but could not be written down a success.
Dawson, in the Rangers' goal, was seldom troubled. Gray and Shaw were a safe pair of backs, and only for a short spell in the second half was the Ibrox defence stretched. Simpson had lost some of his speed, but is still a useful player., while both McKillop and Symon played their parts in their side's success.
Fiddes' four goals testifies to his ability to grasp his chances, but the winger was given too much scope. Venters played well. He was strong and forceful. Thornton was a clever schemer, and Waddell will improve with experience. Smith did not prove a success as leader of the attack. He was slow and this fault led to the loss of several scoring chances.

Source: Press & Journal, 19th December 1938

Rangers Teamsheet
Dawson; Gray, Shaw; McKillop, Simpson, Symon; Fiddes, Thornton, Smith, Venters, Waddell
Attendance: 30,000
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Referee: M. C. Dale, Glasgow
Next Match
20 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Hampden Park, Glasgow