A fast and exciting game was witnessed at Pittodrie on Saturday, when the Aberdeen had as their opponents of the Airdrieonians, the conquerors of Queen's Park in the Scottish Cup ties. A crowd of about 6000 spectators witnessed the game, which was played under favourable conditions, except that the ground was rather soft and heavy. The teams were:-
Aberdeen: Macfarlane; Boyle, Gault; Halkett, Strang, W. Low; Robertson, H. Low, Mackie, Edgar, Lennie.
Airdrie: Duncan; Davidson, Rombach; Ferguson, McGran, Findlay; Gildea, Thompson, O'Rourke, Tarbat, Tennant.
Airdrie, although they lost the toss and kicked off with the sun in their faces, were not long in showing the pace for which they are noted. Playing of three, open game, and running and passing at top speed, a somewhat unsettled the Aberdeen team, whose slower and more showy style of play was in striking contrast. The Airdrie forwards, and particularly the centre, O'Rourke, wasted no time in "gallery" work, and made a straight line for goal whenever an opportunity presented. The first dangerous shot of the match came from O'Rourke, but Macfarlane was at his post and brought off a smart save. A dashing run by the Aberdeen forwards, led by Lennie, finished weakly, the outside left's cross failing to find support. From end to end the ball travelled with Airdrie quick and sure both in picking up and parting with the ball, and the Aberdeen defence had to do a deal of running to keep their lines clear. Macfarlane was cheered for a plucky save, the Aberdeen goalkeeper snatching the ball from Thompson's toe close in. For a time play was fairly even, with the injury forwards looking dangerous on the run, but invariably well held by the Aberdeen half-backs and backs. Excitement run high when Thompson, after running through the Aberdeen defence, was tripped up by Gault inside the penalty line. Findlay took the kick, and Macfarlane, by a timely spring, got his fist on the ball and sent it out. Findlay, following up, got the ball on the rebound, and screwed it again into goal, Macfarlane fortunately again intercepting it with his fist and punching it out. Mac's double save from a penalty was one of the smartest feats of goalkeeping seen at Pittodrie for some time. Encouraged by the failure of the visitors to score from the penalty, the Aberdeen team took the game in hand, and Mackie netted the ball, but not before the whistle had blown for an infringement. A few minutes later the Aberdeen centre skilfully accepted with his head a pass from Lennie, and swiftly turned it into the Airdrie goal. But Duncan, however, was on the alert, and saved brilliantly. For a time the Aberdeen forwards, admirably supported by the backs and half-backs, made things warm for the Airdrie defence, and Duncan shone. A keen pressure ended when Edgar missed a shot a few yards from goal. Away the year the forwards dashed to the other end, and Gault failing to clear, Gildea dashed in and placed the ball in the net. At the other end Lennie made off with a clear field, but Duncan, running out, reached the ball before Lennie and averted danger. Airdrie's second goal came as the result of a fast combined effort by the Airdrie forwards, the chief actor in which was the speedy and clever centre, O'Rourke. The ball was repeatedly sent into the Aberdeen goal, and Macfarlane saved one shot on the line. The active Airdrie players kept the ball in the Aberdeen danger zone, and ultimately Ferguson, from a pass by O'Rourke, netted the ball, and Macfarlane was beaten a second time. One after this reverse Aberdeen again applied pressure, and Duncan was called upon to save a long shot from Henry Low, who could not be accused of want of trying, for he had three shots at Duncan while the pressure at this stage lasted. A clever run by Edgar ended in a pass to Lennie, who shot wide. Lennie repeatedly beat Davidson, but nothing came of his work. Aberdeen strove hard to pierce the Airdrie defence, and failed, although a long shot by Strang and a fast one from Mackie's foot gave Duncan an anxious moment, Mackie's shot being turned aside at the expense of a corner.
In the second half Aberdeen started strongly, but weak finishing by the forwards near goal nullified all the good outfield work. One a long shot by Strang, who ploughed his way through the Airdrie defense, was smartly saved by Duncan. Airdrie again got into their stride, and outplayed Aberdeen, their speed and quick, accurate passing proving too much for the slow Aberdeen defence, and Boyle and Gault had to put in all they knew to beat back the incessant attacks of the visitors. Macfarlane was again called upon. At the Airdrie end Mackie sent in a clever left-foot shot, which Duncan had to throw himself full length on the line to turn out. Indeed, the ball looks suspiciously like being over the line before the Airdrie's custodian for his hand on it. One end to end play, Airdrie very fast, untiring, and forcing, and grand defensive work on both sides, continued to be the characteristics of the game. Davidson, running back, punted out a great shot by Lennie, who got a pass from Boyle after the Aberdeen right back had carried the ball half-way up the field and passed all opposition. Away to the other end went Airdrie, and Boyle, hard pressed, gave away a corner, from which Macfarlane fisted out. Gildea was injured and for a time Airdrie played with ten men, and even when shorthanded they were more than a match for the ground team. Henry Low had and other creditable try, but Duncan could not be beaten. In a scrimmage the Airdrie goal had several narrow escapes, a shot striking the cross-bar and rebounding into play. Aberdeen worked hard for goal. Henry low shot fast and straight, and Duncan fisted out weakly. Mackie rushed in, and neatly popped the ball into the net, and Airdrie's lead with reduced to a goal. In the last 10 minutes Aberdeen got something like the top form, and were all over Airdrie but against a resolute and dashing defense, and with the old weakness in the front line, they failed to score the equaliser, and had to retire beaten by a better team.
To the amount drawn at the gates was £130, and the stands realised £30.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 19th February 1906