The term league engagement between Aberdeen and the Airdrieonians was played at Broomfield Park, Airdrie, on Saturday. The teams met early in the season at Pittodrie, when Aberdeen won by 2 goals to 0. The weather on Saturday was miserable. Rain fell heavily throughout the day, and when the game was started the field was sodden, and long before the finish the players were thoroughly drenched, while the pitch was terribly cut up. At 2:20 the teams turned out as follows:-
Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Halkett, McIntosh, Low; McEchern, Simpson, McNair, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Airdrieonians: Duncan; McLay, Rombach; McConnell, McGran, Finlay; Nichol, Thompson, Hunter, Donaldson, Young.
Referee - Mister D. Riddell, Edinburgh.
The game opened in a heavy downpour of rain, Airdrie having the benefit of a slight breeze. Aberdeen had once took the game in hand, their forwards being prominent for neat play, and for a time the Airdrieonians were kept strictly on the defensive. Simpson was the first to catch the eye among the Aberdeen players. The inside right, catching up a pass from McNair, tried a long shot, which went spinning past Duncan, who had advanced to meet the ball. Luckily for the Airdrieonians, however, Simpson's shot struck the crossbar, the ball rebounding into play. The Aberdeen half-backs played sterling football, keeping the Airdrie front rank well in hand, while at the same time he did not neglect their own forwards. The first break away by the Airdrieonians came from the left wing. Young tricked Halkett, beat Colman on the run, and when near the corner crossed the ball in front of goal. The ball, however, went out of play, and once more Aberdeen were busy at Duncan's end. Despite the heavy going and greasy ball, the play was wonderfully good. Aberdeen excelled in forward play, and on the run of the game should have been at least one goal up. O'Hagan, picking up a pass from Lennie, got right through between the backs, but hesitated, and thus allowed McLay plenty of time to recover, which the back did successfully. Aberdeen came very near scoring when Simpson shot past after clever work by McIntosh. The Aberdeen backs were seldom troubled, their work for the most part being made up of strong punting, mainly owing to the strong kicking of Airdrie half-backs. Airdrie forced the game on the right wing, and the ball was ultimately crossed to the left. Finley rushed up the field, and sent in a terrific drive, which was brilliantly saved by Mutch close to the crossbar. Finlay and Mutch deserved all credit for their smart play. The rain came down in torrents, and the pitch in certain parts was more like a bog than anything else. This was particularly the case near the touch line opposite the reserved stand. Low was conspicuous for clever tackling and feeding. He appeared to revel on the muddy ground, with the result that the Airdrie's right wing was seldom in evidence. Hunter burst away on one of his characteristic dash is down the centre, but was pulled up for offside within a few yards of goal. Still, Aberdeen were the better side, their forwards working well together on the heavy ground. There was a tendency, however, to keep the ball too close, particularly near goal. The Airdrieonians' backs were seldom idle owing in great measure to the weak tackling of their half-backs. Lennie and O'Hagan took the ball between them almost half the length of the field. Lennie tried a shot from about a dozen yards out from goal, the ball striking McLay when the goalkeeper was practically beaten. Simpson ran right through the Airdrie defence, but was harassed by Rombach. The inside right crossed to the left wing, and Lennie, rushing in, banged the ball into the net. Offside, however, was given against the left winger - an extremely doubtful decision, for so far as could be seen, Lennie was undoubtedly behind the ball went Simpson crossed. McEchern broke away on the right, and slipping past from Barr, who fell on the soft ground, the right winger screwed the ball beautifully from near the corner flag. The ball, however, struck the outside of the net, and went behind. Hunter raised the hopes of the Airdrie supporters with a smart dribble down the centre. New coal he cut out to the left wing, and attempted to beat Mutch with a swift drive. The centre forward, however, overbalanced himself on the slipper a turf, and thereby lost an easy chance of scoring. The Airdrieonians held the upper hand for a time, but Hume and Colman were equal to all calls, Mutch being really troubled. The game on the whole was an interesting one, and clever play was witnessed on both sides. Colman blocked a hard drive from Donaldson, but the right back got winded immediately afterwards in again checking a fast shot by the entry inside left. After a few minutes' stoppage, Colman resumed, although feeling obviously the effects of Donaldson's shot. 20 minutes from the start the Airdrieonians opened the scoring, although Aberdeen had enjoyed practically three-fourths of the game up to that stage. Young took a corner kick, the ball landed right in front of the Aberdeen goal. Regular melee ensued, Low and Hume taking gallant efforts to clear. Nichol, outside right, banged the ball against a crowd of the Aberdeen players, and then hunter dashed in and steered the ball into the net. Aberdeen thereafter attacked with great vigour, Lennie being specially prominent. He drew out the defence, and then slipped the ball back to O'Hagan, who, however, shot wildly over the bar from a capital position for scoring. Another bit of clever play by Lennie was followed up by Simpson heading the ball right into goal. Duncan sprang across from one side of his goal area to the other, bringing off a capital clearance. Aberdeen were undoubtedly playing the better football, but were met by defence that gave nothing away. Rombach and McLay were practically unbeatable. A daring clearance by Duncan was loudly cheered. He rushed out of his goal, nipped the ball from Simpson's feet, and did not lose control of the ball until he had guided it with his hands to within a yard of midfield. A fast shot from the Cole was easily cleared by Mutch, but a minute later his charge fell for a second time. McLay took a free kick near midfield, and placed the ball beautifully to Hunter, who was standing quite close to the Aberdeen goal. Without a moment's hesitation on to wheeled around and banged the ball with terrific force into the net. Airdrie's lead was not true criterion of the run of the game, but, all the same, they snapped up their chances and profited accordingly. A smart passing run in which the entire Aberdeen front rank joined, was finished by Lennie striking the side of the net with a screw shot from near the goal line. Another attack by Aberdeen was checked by McLay punting strongly down the field. Simpson broke away near the centre, and transferred to McNair, who, close to the penalty line, sent in a brilliant shot - the best in the match - which beat Duncan all the way, the ball landing in the corner of the net. Only a goal down, Aberdeen took the game in hand, the Airdrieonians being seldom across midfield. Halkett was badly fouled near the penalty area, and from the free kick which followed Airdrie goal ran a narrow escape, McLay clearing in time. Aberdeen for a time were all over their opponents, but the visitors most numerous openings through lack of shooting powers. O'Hagan and McNair were clever in the outfield, but weak near goal. Lennie, however, had are rare try, a stinging shot from the left winger striking the upright. Lennie again got away, but was forced off the ball by McLay. Try as they could, Aberdeen could not score, largely due, however, to unnecessary dallying in front of goal. In this way the Airdrie backs invariably got the ball away in plenty of time.
When the game was restarted the ground was in a fearful state, will the rain showed no sign of abating. Aberdeen were the first to break away, McNair leading off in the centre. He sent in a capital shot, which McLay deliberately struck with his hand, the ball rebounding down the field. The referee, however, did not observe the incident. Gradually the Airdrieonians got into their stride, and for fully 15 minutes the Aberdeen goal underwent a severe bombardment. The pressure was most severe, and first Low and then McIntosh pulled up Airdrie right wing pair close to the goalmouth. Halkett, too, saved a certainty by kicking clear from almost under the crossbar. Airdrie improved right along the line, their forwards being quick on the ball, and never lost any time in making tracks for goal. Young crossed finely from the left, and Thomson, inside right, rushing in, had the goal practically at his mercy. He was blocked by Hume, however - not a moment too soon. Hunter burst away in the centre, and had a clear course towards goal, when McIntosh recovered grandly, and robbed the speedy centre of the ball. The game hunter raced away, but this time he was pulled up for offside. Donaldson was prominent on the left wing, and would probably have scored had he not been fouled by McIntosh. Two free kicks to the Airdrieonians close to the Aberdeen goal were badly placed by Finlay. Simpson opened out the game for Aberdeen, and sent in a high drooping shot. Duncan misjudged the flight of the ball, which slipped through between his hands. The ball bounced on the goal line - many were of the opinion that it was over - and after an exciting scramble, the goalkeeper finally got the ball away. At the other end Thompson missed scoring with only the goalkeeper to beat. Played never slackened, and all over the contest was very keen. The Airdrieonians were the better side this half, Aberdeen failing to sustain their form of the opening half. Thompson, Hunter, and Young had all capital tries for goal, but somehow the Aberdeen defenders managed to keep the home forwards from scoring until hunter registered a third goal, mainly as the result of a weak bit of play by Hume, who failed to clear up ball sent across from the left wing. With a comfortable lead the home team were now are practically assured of the points. Aberdeen lost heart, while their opponents played a cool, confident game. Simpson and McEchern each had good shots, but Duncan and McLeay cleared in rapid succession. McIntosh and Low were of great assistance in the Aberdeen defence, for Colman and Hume, although not playing poorly, were somewhat below their best form. Airdrieonians' continued to hold the upper hand. Aberdeen being stretched to the uppermost in keeping out the opposing forwards. Nichol got away on the right, and crossed in front of goal. Halkett struck the ball within the penalty area, but the referee took no notice of the incident. The ball went spinning across to Young, who was unmarked. Losing no time, he trapped the ball and banged it into the net. Near the close Lennie came away in great style, beating McConnell, McLeay, and McGran and finally crossing to the centre. Simpson fastened onto the ball and sent it spinning into the net. Aberdeen made another effort to further reduce the leeway, but time arrived with a game standing:- Airdrieonians, 4 goals; Aberdeen, 2.
Gate, £43 19s 3d; stands £9 18s 6d - total, £53 17s 9d.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 7th December 1908