Ideal football weather favoured the return League match between the Rangers and Aberdeen at Ibrox Park, Glasgow, on Saturday. The ground was in capital condition, while there was little or no wind. There were about 10,000 spectators. Teams:-
Rangers: Rennie; Law, Craig; May, Stark, Gordon; Bennett, Gilchrist, Campbell, McPherson, Smith.
Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, J. S. Lyon; Halkett, McIntosh, Low; Blackburn, Simpson, Niblo, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Referee - Mr. Lyon, Hamilton.
Play opened strongly in favor of the Rangers, their left wing being particularly aggressive. Smith was prominent with several capital centres, which, however, were not utilised to the best advantage, Campbell being somewhat slow in meeting the ball. McPherson had a good try, but much cleared finely, while next minute the goalkeeper was again called upon to save a fast drive from Campbell. Mutch cleared confidently on both occasions. Lyon, Aberdeen's latest acquisition, early caught the eye by reason of his fearless tackling and reliable kicking. He blocked a long shot from Smith in neat fashion, and then drove the ball far up the field. His effort gave Aberdeen an opportunity to transfer the ball to the other end of the field, but Niblo was pulled up for offside just when the visitors got dangerous. A strong return by Craig brought the play once more to the Aberdeen end. Gordon was very clever at left half, and it was from a long pass by Gordon to Smith that the left winger eventually got clear away on his own. Rounding the defence, Smith crossed to the centre. The ball came two wards Bennett, who rushed in from the wing, caught the ball before it reached the ground, and banged it against the post, the leather eventually rebounding into the net. Thus the Rangers opened the scoring 7 minutes after the start. The goal was thoroughly deserved on play. Lennie and O'Hagan opened out the game for Aberdeen. A spanking run by the first named was followed by a long pass across the field to Blackburn. The outside-right made a great effort to reach the ball, but was beaten by Craig, who returned strongly down the field. The game, although not exciting, was on the whole interesting. First one side and then the other took matters in hand, although the Rangers were generally the more dangerous lot near goal. Bennett sharply turned in a shot from the goal-line, Mutch rushing out and clearing, not a moment too soon, for Campbell was on him like a flash. McIntosh, Low, and Halkett were frequently in evidence, and had now got more in touch with the opposing forwards, who failed to maintain their opening form. Aberdeen equalised after 25 minutes' play. From a throw-in, Niblo fastened onto the ball, and worked his way out to the left wing. Dribbling nicely ahead, the centre-forward eventually beat the right back, then cut into goal. Near the goal-line, he passed back to Lenny, who drove straight for the net. The ball struck Craig, and then rebounded to Simpson. Without a moment's hesitation, the inside-right hand the ball into the net, high up, far out of Rennie's reach. On an equal footing, both teams played keenly for the lead, but there was no further scoring up to half-time. The Aberdeen goal, however, narrowly escape downfall, but the backs and Mutch defended strongly.
The Rangers restarted facing the sun. The game reopened at a fast pace, the play all over being in advance of the first half. Lennie Fairlie came to the front, his quick movements on the left being quite a feature of the match. Niblo sent out a long pass to the left-winger, and soon the latter was seen sprinting past May and Law. Cutting into goal, Lennie appeared certain to score. However, the Rangers' backs pressed hard on the left-winger's heels, and he eventually crossed to the right. Blackburn raced ahead to get the ball, but was blocked by Craig, and us a good opening was lost. Coming away again, the Aberdeen forwards kept the play close to the Rangers' goal. A finely-placed corner from Lennie was followed by exciting play at goalmouth. The ball came out to Halkett, and a smart header by the right-half almost brought a goal, but Rennie sprang across to the right-hand corner of his charge and cleared. This smart bit of goalkeeping spurred on the Rangers, Bennett leading the way on the right. Lyon returned finely, however, but then it came back a second time, and, running smartly along the wing, centred right across the goalmouth. Campbell met the ball squarely, and literally scraped it into the net. The Rangers were now a goal up, but were scarcely value for their lead. Aberdeen responded gamely, but could make nothing of the Ibrox defence, Craig and Law tackling and kicking with great skill. Aberdeen made repeated efforts to get the equaliser, but were rarely dangerous, even when enjoying the bulk of the play. Rennie was practically a spectator, for he seldom handled the ball, Law and Craig being equal to all demands, although the first named was occasionally in difficulties with Lennie. The left-winger was really the only Aberdeen forward who appeared capable of making any impression on the Rangers' defence. McIntosh put in an immense amount of work at centre-half, and it was largely due to his efforts by Campbell was prevented from improving upon Smith's crosses. Feeling crept into the game, and some lively tussles were witnessed between Niblo and Stark. Both were penalised, and ultimately the referee gave each a word of warning. Rangers scored a third goal midway through the second half, and this point practically decided the game. So long as the score stood at 2-1, there was just an off-chance of a Aberdeen equalising, but when the home team got a rather lucky third goal, interest in the game fell away greatly. The last goal came in a somewhat surprising fashion. Colman tipped the ball too Mutch from a goal-kick, and the latter picked up the ball, and was just in the act of punting it down the field when the referee gave a free kick to the Rangers. The players on both sides were completely taken by surprise, for there was no apparent infringement. Stocks took the kick, and tipped the ball to Gilchrist, who promptly tipped it into the net. Two wards the finish, Lennie made several capital attempts to break through on his own, and almost succeeded on one occasion. Steadying himself, he let drive from a dozen yards out, the ball striking the side of the net and going behind.
To the gate amounted to £194.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 29th March 1909