An early start in the Scottish League match at Parkhead, Glasgow, was responsible for the comparatively poor attendance at the commencement of the game, but gradually the vacant places were filled up round the enclosure, and it was estimated that fully 12,000 spectators witnessed the game. The Celtic were at full strength, while Aberdeen lacked the services of Halkett (right half) and McAulay (inside left), both off owing to injuries. The teams lined up at 2:20 as follows:-
Aberdeen: Macfarlane; Boyle, Gault; W. Low, Strang, H. Low; Robertson, Edgar, McNicol, Henderson, Lennie.
Celtic: Adams; McLeod, Orr; Young, Loney, Hay; Bennett, McMenemy, Quinn, Somers, Hamilton.
Referee - Mr. Murray, Stenhousemuir.
The Celtic had the benefit of the wind at the start, and it was a fairly evident that the heavy ground was all against a fast game. Play opened very quietly, with Celtic pressing. Boyle was prominent with sure tackling, while his kicking was likewise reliable. For a time Aberdeen could make little headway until Boyle drove the ball out to Robertson on the right wing. The latter was successfully tackled by Orr near the corner flag, and then the Celtic forwards kept the Aberdeen defence busy. Quinn tried to force his way through single-handed, and immediately afterwards he attempted to rush Macfarlane into the net, ball and all. The goalkeeper, however, cleared, but not before he found himself at full stretch on the ground, with Quinn on top of him. The Celtic still had the best of matters, but their finishing was in direct contrast to the outfield play. Aberdeen ultimately got relief through Henry Low working the ball beautifully up the left wing, and finally shooting straight for goal. He was too far out, however, and Adams easily cleared. The Celtic forwards indulged in many pretty movements, but they were inclined to pay more attention to their passing and repassing instead of shooting for goal. A lively bit of play by Lennie raised the enthusiasm of the crowd to a high pitch. The left winger tricked three Celtic players in succession, and then the ball was sent to the right, where Edgar and Robertson made tracks for Adams. Strong back play by McLeod and Orr prevented the Aberdeen forwards from getting dangerous. Bennett led off an attack by the Celtic front rank, but still the goal anxiously look for by the Parkhead supporters was a long time in coming. On play the Glasgow men deserved at least one goal, but the Aberdeen half-backs and backs played the spoiling game to perfection. McNicol opened out the play for his side, and first Henderson and then Edgar forced the game towards the Celtic goal, but weak shooting spoiled any chances of scoring. A miskick by W. Low was cleared by Boyle rushing in just in time. After fully 15 minutes' play the Celtic opened the scoring, a long shot by Hay - almost from the touchline - beating Macfarlane. An appeal for offside, however, ought to have been sustained, for McMenemy was clearly in an offside position when he rushed in on Macfarlane and blocked the latter's view of the ball. Quinn was subsequently stopped by Boyle a few yards from goal, and the Celtic centre forward was almost through again when the Aberdeen right back stopped his progress. Maintaining the offensive, the Glasgow team completely hemmed in their opponents, and a magnificent centre by Bennett was smartly cleared by Macfarlane. All over the play could not be characterised as fast, but there was plenty of good football shown on both sides. Several times the Aberdeen players broke away, but the Celtic half-backs played a strong, forcing game, and they had a safe pair of backs behind them. A dashing run by Hamilton almost brought disaster to Aberdeen. The left winger got past all opposition, and then crossed to the centre, but Quinn failed to take a pass when in a good position. Time was wearing on, but the sturdy defence of Aberdeen kept the Celtic at bay. Getting into line, the Pittodrie forwards gradually forced the play to the other end, and once Edgar was pulled up for offside when there was no infringement. Lennie subsequently gave Young no end of trouble, the former repeatedly getting the better of the right half-back. McNicol, Lennie, and H. Low kept up the attack, and for a time the prospects of Aberdeen brightened considerably. But the Celtic fought desperately hard for another goal. The pressure at one period of the game round the Aberdeen goal was so severe that three corners fell to the Celtic in succession. Latterly McNicol got away in the centre, but his progress was stopped through getting offside. Aberdeen, however, were having most of the play, due in great measure to the breaking-up tactics of their half-backs. Edgar repeatedly made ground and his passing out to Robertson was one of the features of the game. Robertson, however, was invariably brought up by Orr, although the right winger more than once sent the ball to the centre, only to find McNicol too late to make the most of his opportunities. Towards half-time Lennie got away on the left, and, steadying himself, sent in one of the finest shots witnessed during the game. Adams saved his goal in marvellous fashion, getting down on the ball, and clearing almost on the goalline. Lennie again and raised the enthusiasm of the crowd with a brilliant effort, the ball skimming the cross-bar. The Celts made a last attempt to increase their lead before half-time, and Quinn was almost through when Gault stopped him.
The Celtic went off with a rush on resuming, and seemed certain to score, but Macfarlane effected a grand saved before the second half was many minutes old. Boyle and Gault stood up gamely to the Celtic forwards, who were rarely allowed time to settle down at close quarters. Bennett and McMenemy monopolised the play for a time, and the first named kept on sending the ball into the centre, but the Aberdeen backs were rarely at fault, Boyle in particular playing finely. Wilfred Low followed up a clever bit of tackling by slipping the ball to Robertson, who was blocked by Orr a few yards from goal. The Celtic were now compelled to act strictly on the defensive, and a long shot by Gault was cleared by Adams. Twice the goalkeeper got rid of shots by Lennie and Edgar, and had the other forwards exhibited the same cleverness Aberdeen would probably have equalised. Strang generally had the better of Quinn in the open, and most danger came from the Celtic right wing. McMenemy made a great effort to put on a second goal, and only the timely intervention of Wilfred Low saved the situation for Aberdeen. Bennett missed a rare opportunity of scoring, where he had only Macfarlane to beat from very short range, but he sent the ball wide of the goal. Aberdeen never gave up hope, and when the whole front rank bore down on Adams the equalising goal almost came from Lennie, who shot with great force from a difficult to angle. The goalkeeper undoubtedly performed a grand piece of work, for the ball came towards him at great speed. The Aberdeen players were distinctly unfortunate at this stage of the game, and the play was worthy of a goal. Brilliant tackling and equally effective kicking by the Celtic backs kept out the Aberdeen. On one occasion Edgar and Strang had an opportunity of drawing level, but while each expected the other to shoot, the chance was lost by the hesitation, and one of the Celtic defenders stepped in and transferred the play to midfield. Still, the two Aberdeen players mentioned played fine football in their respective positions. First the Celtic the left wing and then the right pair gave the Aberdeen defence a lot of trouble, Macfarlane at one time being a lucky in getting the ball away during a scrimmage. Boyle got hurt during an exciting struggle near goal, and then Gault was laid out for a few minutes, but both were able to resume. Close on time Celtic came away with a rush, but the worrying play of the Aberdeen half-backs was too much for the home team. The Celtic almost scored as the result of two corners, but the ball was got away each time. No further scoring took place, however, and the game ended in a win for the Celtic by 1 goal to 0. Although at times the winners excelled in neat footwork, Aberdeen, on the other hand, were little behind. The defence, however, was very good.
The divisible gate money at mounted to £250 7s 9d, which was the largest sum taken in any football much in Scotland on Saturday
No fewer than 400 excursion mists travelled by the special Caledonian train to Glasgow for the purpose of witnessing the much it Parkhead. The train left Aberdeen at 8:00 a.m., And was timed to arrive in Glasgow at 11:30, but a splendid run was registered, the excursion arriving in Glasgow fully 10 minutes before the shed till time. The team, accompanied by the directors and other officials, travelled by the same train, and a special saloon carriage.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 11th December 1905