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Aberdeen 0 - 0 Johnstone

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Johnstone

Scottish Cup First Round

26/01/1907 | KO:

A Drawn Game

Played at Aberdeen, before 4000 spectators. From the start footing was extremely difficult. Aberdeen made more progress than the visitors, but Johnstone showed a grand defence, and many a good run by the home side ended in a fruitless corner or a bye. There was no scoring at half-time, though on play Aberdeen deserved to have got home. In the second half Johnstone made more progress and had several good shots at MacFarlane, who was in capital form. Aberdeen made a desperate rally at the finish, and Low all but scored. Result: No scoring.

Source: The Scotsman, 28th January 1907

The officials and supporters of the Aberdeen Football Club considered that they were lucky in the first round draw by having the Renfrewshire team Johnstone, at Pittodrie, but the Johnstone eleven proved to be no mean opponents, and the result was a goalless draw, so that Aberdeen will have to travel to Johnstone next week unless they succeed in tempting Johnstone back to Aberdeen for a big guarantee. The weather conditions greatly handicapped the Aberdeen team, who, owing to the slippery ground, and the bustling style of play of their opponents, were never allowed to get settled down to their usual game. The pitch was hard and frostbound, and a cup tie should not have been played on it, as the players ran great danger of serious injury. The crowd numbered about 5000, and included over 200 Johnstone enthusiasts, who travelled by special train to see their team perform. Teams:-

Aberdeen: Macfarlane; Boyle, Brebner; Halkett, Strang, Wilfred Low; Macdonald, Henry Low, McKinley, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Johnstone: R. McCormack; Armour, James McCormack; Mercer, Bowie, McClymont; Roberts, Dougal, Reid, Frame, Irvine.
Referee - Mr. Nesbit, Edinburgh.

Johnstone kicked off, and at once got into their stride, sending the ball out to their extreme wingers, who made ground rapidly. Their dash into Aberdeen territory was repulsed, and the local forwards got on the run, Macdonald, on the right, finishing by sending behind. From the bustling style of the visitors' play, their promptitude in parting with the ball when tackled, and their big kicking and speedy following up, it was at once seen that they would trouble the Aberdeen defence. On the other hand, Aberdeen endeavoured to play the careful placing and passing game, but they failed owing to the hard and slippery pitch, and were usually knocked off the ball before they could get in their judicious touches. The Johnstone men were heavy, and they very naturally used their weight to some purpose. A big punt by Boyle was returned by Armour, who in his rushes and springs frequently risked a heavy fall. The Johnstone forwards looked dangerous when on the rush, and the Aberdeen backs had often to turn and race them for the ball, which had been punted well forward by the half-backs. To check one of these rushes, Brebner had to kick into touch. Johnstone were playing a lively, but by no means finished, game, and their raids were not relished by the local spectators. Roberts twice shot hard for the Aberdeen goal, the ball on each occasion being just the least thing short. Aberdeen if not so daring as their opponents, by their superior skill again and again worked the ball into Johnstone territory, but their forwards declined to take the same risks of broken bones as the Johnstone backs, who jumped and punted and headed with a fearless abandon which amounted at times to desperate disregard of risks. The only shaky player on the Johnstone side was the goalkeeper, whose saving lacked in confidence and judgement. He fisted rather weakly a drooping shot from Halkett, who got the ball from Lennie. About fifteen minutes from the start, the Aberdeen forwards and half-backs hemmed Johnstone into a narrow area of the east end of the field, and for a prolonged period pottered away, trying to find an opening, their gingerly movements contrasting with the energy and dash of the Johnstone defenders. O'Hagan slipped when well placed, and lost an opportunity, and a shot from Macdonald was got away by Johnstone, who packed this goal while the persistent attack lasted. Lennie also lost a chance, missing the ball close in, as it was sent behind by Armour. One of the Johnstone players was hurt at this stage, but soon recovered. It was through a free kick from a foul by Strang, that for the first time in 15 minutes that Johnstone forwards got on the run. The ball went into touch, and soon the Aberdeen forwards were in the vicinity of the opposing backs. After the Johnstone goalkeeper had saved from Lennie, Strang banged the ball high over the bar, and the Aberdeen pressure came to nothing. Macdonald from a header by Strang, skied the ball when a straight shot might have found the net. O'Hagan, dribbling for position, was fouled, and from the progress made following the kick, Strang grazed the crossbar with a hard drive. Macfarlane was first called upon, owing to a miss by Strang. Frame shot hard and Low and Macfarlane cleared. Back came the ball, Brebner cleverly interposing and punting well down the field. Aberdeen again pressed, but could not get the ball into the net, McKinley muddling when presented with an opening. Several of the Johnstone players, when pressed, shown a tendency to kick the ball the wrong way, and following a corner kick thus presented, Henry Low had a good shot at goal, the ball rising a trifle high, and going over the bar. At times the Aberdeen defence was hard pressed, and Macfarlane made a mistake which might have given Johnstone a goal. Saving a shot from the left, he kicked low and straight out to Bowie, who, with practically an open goal, completely missed the ball, which went to Roberts. The Johnstone outside right drove in hard, his shot being intercepted by Wilfred Low, who kicked clear, and ended a critical situation for Aberdeen. There was no change in the game until the interval. Aberdeen while allowing superior skill, being strangely impotent when struggling with the Johnstone defence for the mastery.

So far as the style and run of play were concerned, the second half was almost a repetition of the first, Aberdeen and Johnstone attacking in terms, with few really good tries for goal on either side. The feature of the game was the resolute Johnstone defence, and the skill with which the whole visiting team played for a draw. The second half opened with a flying visit by the Johnstone forwards to the east goal, Roberts sending behind. Aberdeen repaid the visit, O'Hagan slipping in front of the Johnstone goal, when in the act of shooting. The Johnstone goalkeeper miskicked in clearing from O'Hagan, and gave away a corner. A groan from the crowd signalised up a weak effort by O'Hagan, who, getting a pass from Macdonald, and with an open goal in front of him, lifted the ball over the bar. The game was stopped for a few minutes owing to an accident. Henry Low, jumping height to get the ball, was sent heels overhead by McClymont, who got under him. Low fell with a thwack on his back, and had every breath knocked out of his body by the heavy contact with the hard ground. The referee gave a free kick. A few minutes later Macfarlane, at the other end, had to handle, picking the ball up from a centre by Roberts, and afterwards catching a long, drooping shot from Dougall. After a visit to the Johnstone goal by the Aberdeen forwards, where a dangerous cross by Henry Low was intercepted by Bowie, Macfarlane was again called upon. The local goalkeeper tried a little dodging run on his own account, and was very nearly bundled into the net, man and ball, by Reid. Rub narrowly evaded the bull-like rush of the big Johnstone centre, who could not resist the temptation to trip the custodian when on the hop, with the result that a foul was given. For a period of Aberdeen could not break away, despite the pathetic cries of the anxious supporters, and it began to dawn upon the crowd that there was just a possibility of Johnstone drawing or even winning. Forged on by the shouts of their supporters, who yelled, "Come away, Aberdeen," until their throats must have been sore, the home team, in the closing 15 minutes, played with desperate energy, which was quite equalled by the grim pertinacity of the Johnstone defenders. In a hot attack upon the Johnstone goal almost under the crossbar, Frame, lying on the ground, scooped the ball out with his hands, but the Referee Nisbet paid no heed to be excited cry of "Penalty!" James McCormack, the Johnstone left back, was injured in almost the same way as Henry Low, but he also speedily recovered. Aberdeen played hard for goal, Johnstone for a draw, and in the end, Johnstone succeeded in their object, the result of a poor game being - Aberdeen, 0; Johnstone, 0.

Comment on such a game is hardly necessary. Strenuous it certainly was, but it was a futile strenuousness. Aberdeen were not happy on the hard, slippery ground, and absolutely failed to show their real form; while Johnstone, not seeking goals, but rather hard to avoid them, and force a draw, played the only possible game for them, and did it well. Gate, £100; stand, £15.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 28th January 1907

Aberdeen's Misfortunes.

After the previous week's display against Kilmarnock one would think that there was some bad Omen hanging over Aberdeen. Of course, the frost-bound pitch hampered them in their usual mode of play. Johnstone put the ball well in front, and seldom attempted combination, as it appeared impossible to get or pass the ball away with accuracy. Combination was at a discount, and seldom or never came off. This was Aberdeen's failure. Their passing, at one time short, was on the next turn too strong. What play there was in the first period was in favour of the home side, and only resolute defending and packing goalmouth kept McKinley getting through twice. The accidents to Macdonald and Brebner, also had a deterrent effect on the side playing with their wonted dash. On the other hand, Johnstone's play was all dash, with little method. Seldom was McFarlane called on throughout the entire game, but this was mainly due to Brebner's fine defence, assisted by Boyle; the latter going off his, game in the closing stages. It was a game that defies detailed description, for there was very little continuity of action on either side. McCormick and his co-defenders had certainly the most work to do, the attack lacking sting.
In our opinion, Aberdeen wanted to run the ball through the goal. which was a mistake. Had they gone in for shooting at long range we are confident they would have met with moee success. The too close drlbbling on the hard ground put Aberdeen to a decided disadvantage, not one of the players performing up to anything like his usual form. A draw at home looks very bad on paper, but some consolation is to be found in the results of other ties in the same round. Without doubt Aberdeen could beat Johnstone next week if they get them on a suitable pitch, but it is tantalising that they should practically throw away their chance by timidness, which is inexplicable in a first-class team.

A Gloomy Outlook.

It would appear from the casual remarks heard at Pittodrie on Saturday that the cup ties, instead of helping the financial prospects of the club, will result in a serious loss. We know that it was the intention of the directors to offer a substantial guarantee to get Johnstone back to Pittodrie for the re-play, and even if they were successful, they would have had to get into the next round before there would be any substantial gain in the ties. Owing to the weather; Saturday's gate was £119 odds, the half of which goes to the visiting club, less the stand drawings. This is hardly sufficient to run a first-class team and pay everything. Aberdeen's having to travel on Saturday to Johnstone will be a very serious drain on the funds, as we learn that the greatest drawings there never reach £20. Johnstone would only have to guarantee fifteen railway fares, and half-gate over, which would mean the matter of ten guineas, so that our friends would be considerably the gainer by their half-gate at Pittodrie, and the chance of winning at home. The outlook is not at all hopeful meantime.

A Vain Effort.

Aberdeen made a strong effort to get Johnstone to revisit Pittodrie on Saturday but failed. This will mean a considerable financial loss to the home side and to Johnstone, which cannot be helped. If the Aberdeen go about their business in a proper way on Saturday, they ought to come out top at the finish. Provided all the men are sound, there is no desire to change the team from last week, except, perhaps, to make room for Ward, who has strong support for the centre position. The team will not be definitely fixed on till the men are reported on as fit and well, but the team will be selected out of the following:- Macfarlane, Boyle, Brebner, Gault, Halket, Davidson, Strang, W. Low, Macdonald, H. Low, Ward, McKinley, O'Hagan, and Lennie. Mr. J. Nisbet will again referee.

Chatty Bits.

Quite a list of minor injuries had to be attended to at the close of the match on Saturday.
Besides- the nasty turnup which Henry Low received, his knees were badly bruised with falls in the sand.
Macdonald had his eyebrow cut in two places, and one knee damaged. Lennie also had some sand to get dislodged.
It is expected that all these will he remedied before the tie is due on Saturday.
The Johnstone officials were highly pleased with their visit to Pittodrie, and while some were favourable to the re-play in Aberdeen, others were not.
It was left to their usual meeting on Monday night before a final settlement was made as to when the replay would take place.
They have a clever outside left in Irvine, while their lanky centre-half put in a lot of good work for his side.
Reid looked a dangerous centre, but was inclined to stick too long to the ball.
Brebner was the surest defender Aberdeen had, and along with Tom Strang planted some good shots towards goal.
Strang was easily the best of Aberdeen's trio, Halket coming next, while Low got the ball taken too often from him to be effective.
MKinley worked hard, with Macdonald and Lennie backing well up. Henry Low got badly shaken up, while O'Hagan took little risks on the hard pitch.
Their play was not a patch on that given against Kilmarnock.
If they play as they can do away there is little fear of the result; but we trust they will not wait till the last moment before they put on the spurt.
Aberdeen had a representative at Johnstone on Monday trying to induce them to come north again this week.
It was no use. Johnstone declined all overtures, and the tie will have to be played on Saturday at Johnstone.
This will come as a hard blow to Hamilton Academicals, who had arranged to run a special train from Hamilton.
Hamilton Academicals were due at Pittodrie in the return League fixture, and this will make the fifth game which Aberdeen will be in arrears with in the League.
Aberdeen are due at Brechin in their return Northern League fixture, and unless an alteration can he made Pittodrie will be vacant on Saturday.
To have nu fixture on at Pittodrie will never do. It is a grand chance to play off the final for the County Cup.
The Aberdeenshire Association should see to this, and get the final knocked off when they have a clear Saturday presented to them.
With so many on the injured list, we believe that Aberdeen can hardly raise a team this week.

Source: Bon-Accord, 31st January 1907

Johnstone Teamsheet
R. McCormack; Armour, James McCormack; Mercer, Bowie, McClymont; Roberts, Dougal, Reid, Frame, Irvine
Attendance: 5,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Mr. Nesbit, Edinburgh
Next Match
03 Dec 2023 / 15:00 / Easter Road, Edinburgh