On a frostbound pitch, and in cold, wintry weather, Aberdeen and Third Lanark played off their Scottish League fixture at Pittodrie Park on Saturday. Previous to the hour of starting, and number of men were employed and scattering a large quantity of sand over the pitch, but nevertheless the ground was all against good play, owing to the slipper a nature of the surface. The teams lined up at 2:45 as follows:-
Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Davidson, Wilson, Low; Blackburn, H. Murray, Niblo, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Third Lanark: Brownlie; Sloan, Hill; Fairfoull, Ferguson, Dickson; Johnstone, Hosie, Richardson, Kidd, Cross.
Referee - Mr. Matthew, Greenock.
Colman won the toss for Aberdeen, who played towards the pavilion end, with a breeze in their favour. With the ground in a very dangerous state, and keeping in view their meeting in the Scottish Cup competition at Cathkin Park next Saturday, both teams declined to run any risks at the start of the game. Play on the whole was uninteresting during the opening 15 minutes. The players - particularly the third lanark men - had not only great to difficulty in keeping their feet, but the wind proved somewhat troublesome on the fast ground. The ball repeatedly bounded over the players' heads and into touch, while at other times the leather rolled harmlessly out of play when the Third Lanark backs could have returned it down the field. Niblo had a nice opening at the start of the game, but shot over the bar, while Lennie put the ball behind after a smart run a few minutes later. A corner to Aberdeen was sent past by Lennie, who, later on, lost a comparatively easy chance of scoring by shooting high over the bar. Aberdeen had most of the play, the visitors being unable to make any headway against the wind. Cross, on the left wing, occasionally lead the way towards the Aberdeen goal, but Colman and Hume were seldom in difficulties. The Aberdeen right back time and again topped the ball in front of Brownlie, who had to be particularly active in clearing his lines on two occasions. The goalkeeper was almost beaten when he misjudged and drooping shot from Colman, but Brownlie, luckily for his side, just managed to save his charge but tipping the ball round the outside of the post when a goal appeared almost certain for Aberdeen. At this stage Blackburn, was greatly in evidence on the Aberdeen right wing. A cross from the right winger was picked up by Niblo, who shot straight for the net, Brownlie clearing not a moment too soon. An overhead kick by Murray took Brownlie by surprise, the goalkeeper saving cleverly almost under the bar. Gradually Aberdeen assumed the upper hand, and for a time the Third Lanark men were completely outplayed. Blackburn and Murray were specially prominent, but all over the local front rank displayed a wonderful amount of dash and skill on the frozen ground.
Twenty minutes after the start Aberdeen opened the scoring, and it was quite in accordance with the run of the game that the first goal should come from the right wing. Blackburn dashed away on his own, and keeping the ball was thoroughly under control, he completely beat the Third Lanark defence. Cutting in words, Blackburn got in to a good position for scoring, and when he finally beat Brownlie with a hard drive, the crowd showed their appreciation of the right winger's fine play by cheering him again and again. The Cathkin men responded with a brisk attack on the Aberdeen goal, but their pressure was only of short duration. A rousing return by Colman sent Aberdeen straight away to the other end of the field. Niblo, Lennie, and O'Hagan joined in a pretty of movement, which almost brought another goal, the Aberdeen centre forward slipping when quite close to Brownlie. Murray and Blackburn were very troublesome on the right wing, so much so that Hill was very often left standing, being very weak in his tackling. A fine bit of play by Blackburn was followed up with across to the left. O'Hagan rounded the backs and drove hard for goal, Brownlie saving brilliantly on the ground. O'Hagan again had a capital try and landed the ball in the net, but was adjudged offside. The Glasgow Cupholders could make no impression on the Aberdeen defence, Colman and Hume being very reliable, while their kicking was clean and judicious. A fast drive from Lennie was accidental they stopped by Sloan in the goalmouth, the ball striking the right back on the leg when he was crossing over in front of goal to tackle Lennie. Close on half-time Aberdeen Fairlie hemmed in their opponents, Lennie, Niblo, and O'Hagan indulging in a round of clever passing and repassing, which completely baffled the opposing backs. The ball was then crossed to the centre, where Murray just failed to take advantage of an opening. However, he worked his way next minute towards the goal line, and centred squarely in front of goal. O'Hagan snapped up the pass,and, without a moment's hesitation, the inside left banged the ball into the net. A minute before the interval Blackburn scored a third goal, the result of a brilliant shot on the run, following upon clever work on the Aberdeen left wing.
In the second half Aberdeen had to face a strong wind, while a heavy shower of snow also handicapped them to some extent. However, the local players set to work in a thorough business-like fashion. Within 3 minutes after the restart Aberdeen obtained a fourth goal. Murray forced to play along the centre of the field, and subsequently passed out to Blackburn on the wing. The latter tricked the left back, and then made tracks for goal. Instead of shooting, however, he passed to Murray, who promptly shot the ball into the net, Brownlie having no chance. Four goals up, Aberdeen were now in a tolerably safe position, even although baffling against the wind and snow. The Third Lanark now began to take a more serious view of the situation. Cross and Kidd forced the game on the left, and two shots from the first named caused Mutch some on easiness in the Aberdeen goal. The shots sent in, however, lacked sting; indeed, the visitors were very weak in their efforts to score. A weak clearance by Hume was taken advantage of by the Glasgow front rank. The ball came out to Kidd, who steadied himself and then let drive, his shot landing in the corner of the net. This led to an improvement in the play of the "Reds." Colman was prominent for Aberdeen, his kicking being specially good against the wind. Fine work by O'Hagan and Lennie was followed by a brisk attack on Brownlie's goal. Niblo got through between the backs, but lost a couple of chances of scoring, although the centre forward could scarcely be blamed for losing his openings at close quarters owing to the slipper a state of the ground. As the game progressed, Aberdeen's superiority fairly astonished the spectators. The front rank was particularly lively, Blackburn and O'Hagan shining, the right wingers football being quite a feature of the game. A fifth goal came to Aberdeen, Lennie beating Brownlie with a fast drive from a centre by Blackburn. Not to be denied, Aberdeen came away again in irresistible fashion, and when O'Hagan scored the sixth goal of the Glasgow men were thoroughly beaten side.
Aberdeen were easily the better team throughout, and the score does not exaggerate their superiority. The winners' forwards played cleverly, Blackburn and O'Hagan being specially good. About 5000 spectators witnessed the game, the drawings amounting to £112 1s 6d - gate and stands included.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 1st February 1909