Aberdeen and middlesbrough met at Pittodrie last night and the game, or, as it was termed, an "exhibition match." The weather was unfavorable, and a thick, drizzling rain was falling when the teams turned out as follows on a heavy pitch:-
Aberdeen: Macfarlane; Colman, McIntosh; Halkett, Wilson, Low; Murray, Thompson, Dalgarno, O'Hagan, Lennie.
The rules for: Haskell; Campbell, Watson; S. Aitken, A. Aitken, Verrill; Brawn, Bloomer, Common, Dixon, Thackeray.
Referee - Mr. R Brebner, Aberdeen.
It was early evident that the game was to be of a purely exhibition nature, for most of the work was in the outfield. Both goals were visited, and a feature of the game was a nice combination shown on both sides, while the ball travelled at a rapid pace. Aberdeen's first real effort at goal was through Dalgarno, who made Hassell spring to the post to save. At the other end Colman and McIntosh had their hands full, but they offered a sturdy opposition to the Englishmen's tricky and skilful attack. Common was keenly watched by the crowd, and his forceful movements were the subject of favorable comment, four, there was strong, he played with exceptional neatness and freedom from fouls. It was he who gave Rab his first taste of the Englishmen's sting, and that it was hot was clearly evident from the custodians manner in returning. There were many close things at the Middlesbrough end, but Campbell and Watson were a strong pair, and when the local forwards did get in an effort it was generally with the backs in such close attention that they could not get the proper direction on the ball. The first goal came to the Englishmen, and it demonstrated the skill and speed of the visitors in a marked degree. Murray made a foul shy, and from the resultant kick a leather was forced up the left, and then flashed across to the right. Brawn caught on, and, speeding up the margin, he banged in a swift, slanting shot which beat Macfarlane completely. Up to the interval the owners were very equally shared, and no further scoring took place.
The second period was not long started when Aberdeen put the game level, and the honour of the goal was equally divided by Lennie and Dalgarno. Left-winger got well in, and made a try for goal. Hassell only partly saved, and Dalgarno, who was ever on the outlook for an opening, rushed in and crashed the ball into the net. Bloomer was much inquired about, but in his position at inside right he was not seen too much advantage the well on in the second half, when he gave one of his characteristic exhibitions of diddling, finishing up with a great shot which made Rab shiver. The pressure was mostly at the Aberdeen end, and Macfarlane quite distinguished himself by effecting some great saves. On one occasion Bloomer sent in a low grounder, and the custodian threw himself on the ball, stopping it at the post on the goal line. Halkett had to leave the field owing to a strained muscle in his thigh, and Tom Murray came back to the middle line, so that the home attack was weakened on the right. There were several dangerous cross is in front of Macfarlane, but after a series of these invasions Aberdeen took up the pressure, and some good tries came from the centre and left wing. O'Hagan and Lennie were prominent, and a judicious pass from Dalgarno resulted in Lennie making good progress and almost finding the net. Further misfortune befell the home team, for Lennie had to go to the pavilion to seek attention to an injury to his leg in consequence of a kick. Despite their depleted force, the local men kept up a stiff pressure which ultimately gave them the lead. The backs had a long spell of defensive work, and Thomson seized the opportunity to rush in between the backs and drive into goal. This had a beneficial effect on the play, which had deteriorated considerably. Common came rushing down on his own, with Dixon in close attention, but the run was blocked, and Wilson delighted the crowd with a display of tricky work, which made two or three of the Englishmen looked decidedly foolish. The visitors tried hard for the equalizing goal, but the Pittodrie defence held out till the end.
In summing up the game, credit must be given to Middlesbrough for superior work in the outfield and greater speed, their efforts being more confined to giving an exhibition of football and to the actual scoring of goals. The combination was pretty to watch, but none of their open "big" men came much into prominence. Aberdeen, on the other hand, while contributing to a great extent to the "show" work, had more practical intentions, with the result that they won the match minus two of their players. The drawings amounted to £30.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 1st May 1908