The Scottish League fixture at Dens Park, Dundee, on Saturday, between Aberdeen and Dundee, attracted a large crowd of spectators, fully 14,000 witnessing a stirring encounter in favourable weather. Although somewhat soft on the surface, the pitch nevertheless was in fine trim, with the result that some really good play was served up. At 12:30 the teams lined up as follows:-
Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Davidson, Wilson, Miller; H. Murray, Simpson, Soye, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Dundee: Crumley; Chaplin, McEwan; Lee, Dainty, Comrie; Bellamy, Langlands, Hunter, Macfarlane, Fraser.
Referee - Mr. D. J. Liddell, Glasgow.
Both teams received an ovation when they appeared on the field. Colman won the toss, and Aberdeen had the benefit of a slight breeze in the first half. The opening stages were lively, and on the whole the play was evenly divided. Lennie was the first to catch the eye, but after beating Lee on the run, the left-winger, was smartly pulled up by Chaplin. Gradually the Dundee right wing came to the front, a long pass from Langlands to Bellamy being picked up by the latter near the touch line. Cutting into goal, the right-winger was fouled by one of the Aberdeen defenders, and for a time the visitors' goal ran several narrow escapes. Mutch saved cleverly from Langlands, while next minute Macfarlane headed past, the bald just passing over the crossbar. A long drive from Bellamy was easily cleared by Mutch, and then Aberdeen came away in strong fashion, Lennie and O'Hagan combining splendidly on the left wing, while Murray was also seen two advantage on the right. Long, swinging pass is characterized the Aberdeen forward play, and this style of game led to a great deal of work being thrown on the Dundee backs and half-backs. Twice within five minutes' Lennie centred right into the Dundee goalmouth, only to witness his work thrown away owing to the inability of the other forwards to take advantage of their openings. The Dundee defence, however, played steadily, and were rarely in difficulties, Lee frequently falling back to the assistance of Chaplin and McEwan. Indeed, the write-half was the most conspicuous player for his side during a vigorous attack by Aberdeen. The Pittodrie men were ahead of their rivals in the finer points of the game, I and, all over, there were no weak spots in the team at this stage of the game. With all their cleverness, however, the Aberdeen forwards were rarely allowed to get a shot in, so keen was the tackling of the opposition. On one occasion Murray almost succeeded in beating Crumley, the goalkeeper saving cleverly while on the ground, with three Aberdeen forwards striving hard to get at the ball. Crumley, however, managed to avert danger, but next minute his goal had a lucky escape, a slow shot from Simpson rolling past the outside of the upright when the goalkeeper was at the opposite end of the goal area. Keeping up the pressure, Aberdeen were seen to great advantage, their football being nippy, and altogether ahead of that shown by Dundee. A smart combined run by Fraser and Macfarlane, however, almost caught the Aberdeen defence napping, but Colman came to the rescue with a rare bit of tackling, while Hume pulled up Langlands and Bellamy just when the right-wing pair were racing straight ahead in the direction of goal. The play was almost entirely free from questionable tactics, the referee being rarely called upon to interfere in the game. The pace never slackened, and lots of really high class football was witnessed. Goals, however, could not be obtained, the strong defence set up by both sides being too good for the opposing attacks. Near the interval the players eased up for a time, but in the closing eight minutes of the first half both sides worked tremendously hard for goal. A fine drive by Fraser was headed clear by Hume, while Lennie and Soye had good tries at the other end. Bellamy lost a fine chance of scoring when he shot from fully 20 yards' range instead of running right into goal, while dainty and hunter failed at goalmouth after good work by Langlands. Just on half-time Aberdeen came away with a fine rally, the entire front rank joining in the movement, but Lennie's parting shot went wide of the net.
To the second half was responsible for some very fast football - indeed, the game during this period was even more stirring and the opening 45 minutes. Dundee laid off in promising style, and no sooner had the game been restarted down the home forwards were down on Mutch in a body. A long shot from the right almost caught Mutch unawares, but the goalkeeper cleared all right. Wilson set his forwards agoing. Murray founding Comrie in fine style, but McEwan brought up the right-winger, but gave away a corner at the same time. Dundee, however, were soon at the other end of the field, their wing half-backs playing capital football, for they not only kept the Aberdeen forwards in check, but also gave Bellamy and Fraser numerous openings. The Aberdeen half-backs, on the other hand, exhibited signs of tiring, although Wilson was frequently in evidence and rarely allowed hunter to get far afield. Two capital tries by Bellamy struck Colman and Wilson in the goalmouth, while later on the last named successfully blocked Bellamy on the goal line. A corner followed, and once more the Aberdeen goal ran a narrow escape. First Mutch fisted clear, and then Colman headed a way not a moment too soon. A sudden breakaway by Lennie, O'Hagan, and Soye caused uneasiness in the Dundee camp. Murray joined in the movement, leaving his place on the right and for a few minutes played as an inside left. He got on the ball within a few yards of Crumley, and that once let drive, is shot being one of the best sent in during the match. The goalkeeper made a wonderful clearance, however, and again Dundee took up the running. Only the soul and determined defence of Aberdeen kept the home team from gaining the lead. Colman was always in evidence, while Mutch made no mistakes, fielding the ball with great skill, and being generally in the right position in dealing with high shots. On one occasion, however, the goalpost came to the assistance of Mutch. Following upon a corner, the ball was sent up the field by Wilson, and McEwan meted on the drop. The left back returned the leather without hesitation, his shot striking the upright with tremendous force, Mutch being powerless to save, for just as McEwan delivered his shot the goalkeeper was at full stretch on the ground. Later on a header from Langlands struck the opposite upright, and in the midst of a regular melee in the Aberdeen goalmouth Wilson got a bad kick from Hunter. It was quite a accidental, however, for Hunter as ounce was just on the point of shooting for goal, when the centre-half nipped away the ball, with the result that hunters boot came in violent contact with Wilson's ankle. Hunter lost a rare chance of scoring a few minutes later. He got right through between the backs, and then, with the ball at his feet and only Mutch to beat, the centre, for some reason that was not apparent, suddenly drew up and was easily blocked by Wilson. Till the close the play was tremendously hard and full of excitement, but neither side could score, and the end came with a game standing level - no scoring.
The match was splendidly contested, the football being of a high class throughout. Dundee were, if anything, the better side, and ought to have one. The Aberdeen defence was very sound, Mutch, Colman, and Hume being at the top of their form. Wilson was the pick of the half-backs. All the forwards did well in the first half, but fell away in the second period. Murray was the pick, with Lennie and O'Hagan next in order of merit. On the Dundee side lee, Comrie, Langlands, Macfarlane, and the backs and goalkeeper were the most prominent players.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 3rd January 1910