The Aberdeen team visited Falkirk on Saturday in a League fixture. The weather was altogether unsuitable for football, being very warm, while the pitch was somewhat heavy. Fully 7000 spectators were present when the teams lined up at 3:30 as follows:-
Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Davidson, McIntosh, Low; Blackburn, Muir, McNair, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Falkirk: McKenna; Leishman, Gibson; Ross, Anderson, Collins; Simpson, J. McTavish, Clark, R. McTavish, Davidson.
Referee - Mr. A. Edwards, Glasgow.Aberdeen won the toss, but gained no advantage, there being no wind. Play opened briskly with Falkirk pressing down the left. Davidson got away, but, with nobody in front of him with the exception of the goalkeeper, the Falkirk outside left shot past the outside of the posts. Aberdeen responded with a breakaway on the left wing. Admirably supported by O'Hagan and Low, Lennie beat Leishman in a sprint along the wing. The outside left banged the ball into the goalmouth, where McKenna saved on his knees. Keeping up the pressure, Aberdeen almost opened the scoring, a fast drive from McNair being finally cleared by McKenna. The goalkeeper again distinguished himself in dealing with a grounder from the Aberdeen inside left. So far, Aberdeen had had the best of matters, for any of the three shots saved by McKenna would probably have taken effect have there been a less capable goalkeeper. 8 minutes after the start, Aberdeen were deprived of the services of Hume, who twisted his ankle in a tussle with Simpson. During Hume's absence, McIntosh went left back, while Blackburn dropped into centre half. Although thus handicapped, Aberdeen played pluckily, Colman shining in defence. Lennie, too, was prominent with clever, forcing runs along the touch line, and from one of these clever movements on the left Lennie got right through the Falkirk defence, only to be shouldered off the ball by Leishman near the goal line. The ground was very heavy and the ball greasy, but, nevertheless, the play was rarely dull, the game on the whole being evenly divided. Aberdeen played the more scientific football, whereas Falkirk depended more on the strong kicking of their half-backs and quick following-up tactics of their forwards. The rearranged Aberdeen team were able to hold their own, the forwards playing splendidly together. A sprint along the right wing by Lennie, followed by a clever pass to the centre, almost brought a goal to the visitors. O'Hagan was just a second too late in reaching the ball when McKenna rushed out and kicked the leather up the field. Next minute Falkirk were attacking for all they were worth at the other end. Davidson, outside left, broke away, and from near the corner flag centred in front of Mutch. Clark picked up the pass, and banged the ball towards the net. Mutch, however, darted across the goalmouth, saving brilliantly on the ground. He only managed to save the shot, however, the ball rebounding a few yards down the field. In a moment McIntosh came to the rescue of the goalkeeper, clearing with a strong kick. The ball travelled with great rapidity from end to end. First Falkirk were pressing vigorously near the Aberdeen goal, when a rousing return by Colman transfer to play to the other end. Clever work by Lennie enabled McNair to force his way right through between the backs. The centre forward went straight for goal, and from 10 yards range sent in a very fast shot, which McKenna saved close to the upright - a brilliant bit of goalkeeping. Up and down the ball travelled, with both teams giving of their best. Falkirk, however, held the upper hand for a time, the disorganised Aberdeen front rank handicapping the visiting team. Hume returned, after 15 minutes absence, but he was limping badly. Mutch brought off a capital clearance, following upon fine work by Davidson, the Falkirk left-winger, who was easily the best forward on his side. Simpson, outside right, was rarely seen, and even when he was presented with an opening he made poor use of his chances. Strong play by the Falkirk centre-half went for nothing, owing to the weakness of Clark, centre-forward, Colman being too smart for the home team's inside forwards. McNair started a promising run in which all the Aberdeen forwards joined. The centre was finally left in possession of the ball, but just within shooting distance he was pulled up by Leishman, who raced right across the field after his partner was beaten. Mutch twice saved good shots from the Falkirk inside left, while at the other end Blackburn and Muir came very near scoring, a last-named shooting past after making a good attempt at goal from a difficult to angle. Half an hour from the start Aberdeen obtained what proved to be the only goal of the match. Lennie sent the ball across nicely from a corner, which was cleared. Lennie again got on the ball and passed back to Low, who, and about 10 yards from goal, took deliberate aim, and, with a fast, rising shot, completely beat McKenna. It was a capital shot and the goalkeeper could scarcely be blamed for failing to clear. Right up to half-time the game was fought out with great determination. Aberdeen kept their lead and the interval arrived with a game standing - Aberdeen 1, Falkirk, 0.
When the game was restarted, Aberdeen were the first to become dangerous. A pass from O'Hagan gave Lennie an opening, the last named skimming the crossbar with a fast drive. Falkirk retaliated on the right wing, and were awarded a corner. J. McTavish met the ball with his head, but sent a leather over the bar. Even play characterised the game for a time. A brilliant run and cross by Lennie was followed by McNair rushing straight for the goalkeeper, who was fouled close to the upright, Aberdeen thus losing a fine chance of augmenting their score. Falkirk forced the pace after this incident, their half-backs driving the ball straight ahead, and rarely allowing Aberdeen to cross midfield. McIntosh and Lowe defended with rare skill, while Colman was very reliable in checking the onward rushes of the local front rank. Hume's lameness handicapped and somewhat, but he nevertheless defended with plenty of pluck. Stewart Davidson was also useful in keeping out the Falkirk forwards. It was noticed that when the teams turned out after the interval, Clark, centre, and R. McTavish, inside left, had changed places in the Falkirk front rank. About quarter of an hour after the restart, Davidson made a beautiful opening for Clark, who, however, to the surprise of everyone, missed scoring when within a yard of goal with only Mutch in front of him. Over-anxiety on the part of the Falkirk forwards was probably the cause of their weakness at close quarters. Blackburn and Muir brought relief to Aberdeen with a combined movement along the right wing. Near the corner of the penalty area, Collins, left half, fouled the ball with his arm - quite a trivial offense - but the referee had no other course open than to award a penalty. Colman took the kick, but landed the ball over the crossbar. Falkirk played up strongly after the seascape, but somehow, with all their pressure, the home forwards rarely troubled the Aberdeen goalkeeper. This was mainly due to the fine defence set up by Colman and Hume, notwithstanding the accident to the last-named player. A surprise shot from Muir almost brought a goal to Aberdeen, the Falkirk left back, in his efforts to clear, turning the ball in the direction of the net, but, fortunately for his side, the leather went just outside the upright. Almost for the first time during the game, Simpson, the Falkirk right winger, brought off one of his quick movements on the wing. He finished with a perfect cross, which landed within a few yards of Mutch. Here are regular scrimmage ensued, and then Colman was seen emerging through a crowd of players with the ball at his feet. The right back was undoubtedly the strong man in the Aberdeen defence, his resource and sure returns being quite a feature of the struggle. The play, however, was by no means brilliant, but there was plenty of excitement. The game was stopped for a few minutes owing to an injury to R. McTavish, sustained in a collision with the Aberdeen goalkeeper. Ten minutes from time, Hume had to retire, being again hot on the ankle. McIntosh fell back, and did splendidly in the defensive work for Aberdeen. Repeatedly the Aberdeen goal underwent a narrow escapes, I and, 4 minutes from time, Falkirk were awarded a penalty for McIntosh charging Simpson inside the area. Anderson took the kick, sending the ball hard against Mutch, who saved the shot. The Falkirk centre half caught the rebound, and past the ball to Simpson, who, however, was adjudged offside just as he screwed the ball into the net. Away when to Aberdeen to the other end, Lennie leading the attack and finishing with a stinging drive for goal. McKenna, however, made this spring, and saved high up near the corner of the crossbar. Another attack by Aberdeen was suddenly stopped when the referee sounded time.
The game was a hard one all through, and although Aberdeen deserve all credit for their highly-meritorious win, the Falkirk men, on the other hand, but deserving of at least one point. All over, the match was value for a draw. Gate, £137 19s 3d.
Source: Aberdeen Daly Journal, 5th October 1908