The crowd that turned out to witness the holiday match between Aberdeen and the Pilgrims from England at Pittodrie yesterday was comparatively large. The pitch was in good condition when the teams turned out as follows:-
Aberdeen: King; Colman, Hume; Davidson, J. J. Simpson, Macfarlane; Hay, Simpson, Niblo, Roberts, Lennie.
Pilgrims: Lemoine, Milnes, Milton, Wilkinson, Stapley, Lintott, Currie, Vann, Sim, Coopland, Sharp.
Referee - Mr. Edwards, Aberdeen.
The Pilgrims pressed from the start, and after Sim had missed an easy chance, Niblo came up in the centre and passed to Lennie, who shot weakly behind. Play was uninteresting. The English halves were turning the Aberdeen attack without much difficulty. Currie made up on the right, and King made a bad miss of the return. Coopland stepped in and scored easily. The home custodian got a few more shots to hold, and then Lennie raced down from the middle line. He passed the Pilgrims in his usual style, and running close in, drove hard into the net. Lemoine in his attempt to save, tumbling into the net, from which he had difficulty in extricating himself. Aberdeen's set up a rather surprising pressure for a time, and Simpson had a rare long drive, which Lemoine had trouble in getting rid of. Niblo diddled too long in front of goal, and Sim carried the ball up the field. Lennie brought the venue to the other end again, and Simpson almost found the net from the winger's cross. The strangers were an energetic lot, and their middle line hustled the home van to some tune. He could not keep the local lads in hand, however, and Lennie, in particular, seemed to be in his element. He diddled constantly, but Milnes brought the winger to earth in the penalty area as the Aberdeen man was about to shoot. Niblo took the free kick, and made a palpable miss of it. Aberdeen set up a series of attacks, and showed tricky work, but it was sometime before they got the leading point. The ball came down on the right, and Niblo, after wriggling into the centre, twisted the ball past the keeper. It was evident that the players were in a holiday mood, with Aberdeen perhaps most energetic.
Aberdeen worked up on restarting, and Lemoine had several hot shots to deal with. Sharpe came down on the left at a great pace and deliver defined, true ball. King was ready and returned well, and Aberdeen again returned to the attack. Niblo tried to head in, but fell in the attempt. The Pilgrims showed signs of waking up, and Sim was the next to test King. The English men played clean football, and for a short spell it seemed that they must equalise. The home custodian was remarkably safe in goal, and he effected a great save on the ground and with Sim on top. The game was more interesting, with the ball travelling from end to end and lots of fine running. Currie lead a dangerous in caution, but Macfarlane cleared nicely and let Lennie off. The wing man travelled at a great rate and finished with a lovely cross, which went a-begging. A foul to Aberdeen gave the homesters another point, Bob Simpson finding the net at close range. From the kick-off the Pilgrims' front line swept down the field, and Sim scored a rattling good goal. A few minutes later the equaliser came through the pivot. Sharpe run down on the left and drove for goal. King failed to clear, and Sim, who was handy, easily placed in goal. Away again went the Aberdeen, and a cornered put them on the lead again in two minutes' time. The ball hovered in front of goal, and at last Niblo got at it and scored. More pressure by Aberdeen brought the fifth point, through Simpson. From this stage onward to the finish, the game resolved itself into a burlesque. Aberdeen simply played with the English men, and hemmed them in in front of their own goal. Hay foot on the sixth point, and then Lennie, declining an open goal, waltzed round the Pilgrims' on the goal-line, and finished by scoring in what looked suspiciously like accident. Still the fun ruled that the strangers' end, and when a penalty was granted, shouts of laughter rose when Hume was called forward to take the kick. The back placed easily, and immediately after Roberts had the ball in the net, but offside was given. Hay added number nine in the closing minutes, but, had the local men exerted themselves, they could easily have made double figures of it.
With the exception of a brief period in the early stages of the second half, the game was typical of a holiday friendly, neither team seeking to exert themselves. Sharpe was easily the best of the Pilgrims' forwards. The halves and backs were disappointing, but Lemoine gave a creditable display. Aberdeen were never seen in real and missed work, but Lennie was in his element from start to finish, and easily fit for the opposition. Niblo played a sound game, while Simpson frequently sent in rare shots. The halves and backs had pretty much of a quality. King gave a creditable exhibition in goal, dealing with quite a number of really dangerous shots.
The drawings amounted to about £30.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 6th January 1909