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Aberdeen 1 - 3 Motherwell

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Motherwell

Scottish Cup Semi Final Replay
Aberdeen scorers: Scott 49.
Motherwell scorers: Mathie 65, McCulloch 85, Bremner 88

29/03/1939 | KO:





THERE'S no hard luck story in connection with Aberdeen's defeat in the Scottish Cup semi-final replay at Ibrox Park. Motherwell were the better team, and deserved to go forward.

The Fir Park eleven showed a 50 per cent, improvement on Saturday's display, while the Dons had deteriorated.
The cause of Aberdeen's defeat does not lie with the defence but with the forwards. The line was a failure.
For only ten minutes at the start of the second half did the Pittodrie attack show anything like their best form. For the other eighty minutes they were a disjointed company, lacking in constructive ideas.
When they took the lead four minutes after the start of the second half, hopes of Aberdeen appearing in the final were bright.
It was only a flash the pan, however. Even so most people had made their mind that extra time would be necessary when McCulloch put Motherwell ahead five minutes from the whistle.


A third goal by Bremner two minutes from the end served only to emphasise the Lanarkshire team's superiority.
Motherwell's chief advantage lay in attack - their forwards showed better understanding. They were sharper and showed an ability to seize their chances which Aberdeen never developed. It may be said that the absence of Pattillo and Biggs made all the difference to the Dons. I doubt this very much.
The centre-forward had to receive medical attention on the morning of the match and was pronounced unfit tor duty, while on account of the heavy ground was decided it would be more advantageous to play Scott than to risk Biggs, who was injured on Saturday.
Armstrong was the best of the Aberdeen forwards. He was opposed to Blair, the key man of the Motherwell defence, but was on his toes all through. He showed intelligence in distributing the play, but he was badly handicapped by lack of support.
Scott was a failure. His only claim to recognition was the fact that he scored Aberdeen's only goal. He was slow, seldom parted with the ball to advantage, and altogether showed little enterprise.


Strauss, his partner, might have won the game. Twice golden opportunities fell to the South African and twice he failed to take them.
The first came just on half-time. With a neat swerve and an accurate through pass Armstrong gave Strauss clear run in on goal, but the winger, with nobody to beat but the 'keeper, sent over. Then, before Mathie put Motherwell on level terms, he got another opportunity and again he failed to " mac siccar."
It was a quick interchange of position between Warnock and Armstrong that made the opening. The centre got across a grand ball and it fell at the South African's feet. Instead of steadying himself, he took the ball as it came him and shot wide.
Warnock, on the right wing, could make little headway against Ellis. The left back had him completely subdued.
Hamilton, too, was below form. The inside-right gave only a moderate display. His football seemed to have lost its usual crispness and accuracy.


Aberdeen's defence fought valiantly. Johnstone had chance with the shots that beat him and had to his credit a number of really excellent saves.
Nicholson and Cowie, however, claimed the honours so far as Aberdeen were concerned. The centre-half's motto was " Thou shalt not pass," and it was seldom Indeed that Mathie threatened danger.
Cowie, right back, played with coolness and skill that inspired confidence. He had a troublesome opponent in McCulloch. Adey, although he lacked the repose of his partner, played soundly - a trifle weak in the tackle, but strong and accurate in kicking.
Thomson was the better wing half, and with Scott lending little assistance he had an unenviable task. In the first half Thomson put up a brave show, but towards the finish he was tiring rapidly, which was not surprising.
Dunlop was not so effective against Stevenson yesterday as he was on Saturday. Motherwell's veteran inside forward was always a potential source of danger. His ball control and ability to hold the ball and open out play was quite a big factor in his team's success.


Motherwell's defence never faltered. Murray, in goal, had an easy time, and Ellis, at left back, was a tower of strength. He was absolutely fearless in his tackling, and his well-placed clearances often turned defence into offence.
Blair was the Number One half-back. Strong and steadfast, he shared the honours with Ellis in the Motherwell defence. M'Kenzie was again the better wing half.
The secret of the success of the Motherwell attack lay in the fact that they seldom held the 'ball. Generally they parted as soon as it came to them, and there were times when the Aberdeen defence found these tactics a trifle disconcerting. There was a decided improvement in the line as a whole, but more particularly in the play of the right wing.
Ogilvie got over some good balls, and Bremner was strong, forcing player with a dangerous shot.
It was fortunate for Aberdeen that Nicholson had a good grip of Mathie, for the Fir Park leader was sharp as a needle. Stevenson and McCulloch on the left wing worked well as a pair, and it was the extreme winger who actually proved the match winner.


All the goals came in the second half. Aberdeen, who opened the scoring, restarted in stylish fashion. With four minutes played they were ahead. Strauss broke away on the left. His cross was blocked, but he regained possession. Again he attempted to cross, but the ball struck Wales and ran clear to Scott. The inside left released a terrific shot which gave Murray no chance.
With twenty minutes gone Motherwell drew level. It was a free kick awarded against Strauss that led to the goal.
McKenzie swung the ball into the goalmouth, and Mathie headed in. Johnstone dived sideways to push it out. but the Motherwell leader was ready and waiting to head into the net.
Five minutes from the end Motherwell struck a decisive blow when they took the lead. A fast attack developed on the left, and when the ball came over McCulloch appeared from " nowhere," to crash it into the net.
Two minutes from the end. Bremner gathered the ball from a back-heeler from Ogilvie, rounded Nicholson, and flashed in a left-foot drive into the corner of the net.

Receipts, exclusive of stand and tax. £1698.

Source: Press & Journal, 30th March 1939

Motherwell Teamsheet
Murray; Wales, Ellis; McKenzie, Blair, Telfer; Ogilvie, Bremner, Mathie, Stevenson, McCulloch
Attendance: 40,539
Venue: Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow
Referee: J. M. Martin, Ladybank
Next Match
20 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Hampden Park, Glasgow