The first meeting for the season between Dundee and Aberdeen under the auspices of the league attracted fully 18,000 spectators to Dens Park, Dundee on Saturday. The weather was favourable for the game. although the ground was somewhat hard in certain places. The teams were:-
Dundee: Crumley; Neal, Lawson; Comrie, Dainty, Mair; Bellamy, McLauchlan, Hamilton, Macfarlane, Lindley.
Aberdeen: King; Colman, Hume; Wilson, Wyllie, Millar; Soye, McIntosh, Murray, Travers, Lennie.
Referee - Mr. Ferguson, Falkirk.
Aberdeen won the toss, but, with no wind or sun, little advantage was gained by the visiting side. Dundee were early on the move with wide passing from wing to wing. A free-kick to the home team was cleared by Colman, and Aberdeen were soon at the other end of the field, mainly as the outcome of smart play by Murray. The centre-forward ultimately slipped the ball out to the right, but Lawson stopped the movement with a strong return, which sent the leather in the direction of Bellamy. Thus early in the game it was evident that Dundee had discarded their close-passing methods in favour of a freer, better paying style of play. A clever bit of work on the part of Dainty, Hamilton, and Lindley, during which the ball was headed from one player to the other, brought Dundee into Aberdeen territory, but Hamilton spoiled the movement by getting offside. Dundee, however, came away in great style, Lindley leading the attack, but Colman stepped in and cleared with a strong point. Gradually Aberdeen shook off the opposition, Murray giving his forwards are fine lead, but the wing men did not respond to his forcing tactics. Soye, however, did manage to cross the ball in the direction of Crumley, and, before the goalkeeper had time to clear, Murray rushed in and almost scored, centre-forward heading the ball just outside the upright. This was the first real attempt at scoring since the start of the game. Keen tackling by both sets of half-backs and resolute back play by the defenders kept the respective forward lines well under control. Indeed, a feature of the early stages of the contest was the effective checking of the forwards on either side. Hamilton tried hard to open out the play for Dundee, but he was closely watched by Wyllie, the centre-half being one of the most prominent men on the field at the start of the game. Capital shot by Miller almost brought a goal to Aberdeen, Crumley experiencing great difficulty in getting rid of a high ball. This incident led up to some keen play on both sides, which were very evenly matched. Murray just failed to get his food properly behind the ball when near the penalty line, and thus lost a fairly easy chance of scoring. In fairness to the centre-forward, however, it must be said that he was in a rather awkward position when he caught up the pass. Dundee broke away on the left, Lindley leading the attack. The left winger grew out the defence, and then crossed the ball to the centre. With practically an open goal, McLauchlan jumped up to head the ball but missed it. Another burst through by Dundee was followed up by clever work on the part of Macfarlane. He gave Hamilton a fairly easy opening, but the latter completely missed the ball, and Hume, rushing in, quickly transfer of play to the other end of the field. The Aberdeen forwards, however, were not particularly effective at close quarters, although Murray was an exception. On one occasion he screwed the ball nicely across from the left, Crumley saving and full stretch. The goalkeeper tipped the ball onto the crossbar, where it rolled along for a short distance, and then dropped into the field of play. Lawson, however, was on the lookout, and cleared before the Aberdeen forwards were in a position to turn their advantage to account. The game on the whole was evenly contested. Following Lawson's clearance, came a sudden dash by Hamilton, Macfarlane, and Lindley, but Coleman and Hume were quite unable to cope with the quick-passing movements of their opponents. So far, the Aberdeen and left wing had done little or nothing in the game, Lennie being well held by Neil - indeed, in Dundee right back was playing a particularly good game for his side, and got strong assistance from Dainty, who always late well back when Aberdeen were dangerous. Good placing by Mair led up to a spirited attack by Dundee, in which Macfarlane, Hamilton, and Lindley were prominent. A last-named, however, over-ran the ball near the touch-line, and a likely chance of scoring was lost. The left-winger, however, they'd better use of a second opening made by Macfarlane, the ball being sent goalwards at a terrific pace. Luckily for Aberdeen, the shot went past the far upright when King appeared to be well beaten. Bellamy and McLauchlan were seldom in the game, Miller and Hume holding the right wing pair whenever they became dangerous. Thirty minutes after the start the first corner in the match bell to Dundee, and it brought the first goal to the home team. Lindley sent the ball across from the left, and Hamilton quickly beat King with a header. The game brightened up considerably after Dundee had scored, and when Murray slipped the ball across to McIntosh there followed an exciting tussle in front of Crumley. The Aberdeen inside right headed the ball goalwards, but Crumley cleared splendidly. Dundee replied with a strong attack and the other end. A corner, admirably placed by Lindley, almost brought another goal for the home team, Comrie heading the ball just the least thing too high. Played ruled even to the interval.
Aberdeen made tracks for Crumley as soon as the game was restarted. Lennie tripped meal, and at once cut into goal, finishing with a capital shot, which the goalkeeper caught near the upright. Macfarlane was prominent from Dundee enforcing the game, but a lot of his work went for nothing through the failure of his partner to make headway. An exciting bit of play was witnessed close to King. We'll Bellamy and McLauchlan began a combined movement on the right wing. Hume checked Bellamy, but the ball rebounded to McLauchlan. The latter cut into goal, and then slipped the ball along the ground to the opposite wing. Several players missed the ball, which finally came to Hamilton, but he could not get around quick enough, and finally lost possession within a yard or so of King. Later on Hamilton tried to beat the Aberdeen goalkeeper with a long drive, but there was no staying behind the shot. King, however, fumbled the ball, but with no one close up he had plenty of time to clear up the second attempt. Pulling themselves together, the Aberdeen players went straight ahead for the other end of the field. The home defence failed to beat back the rushing forwards, and Mcintosh went right through between Neal and Lawson. With only Crumley to beat, however, Mcintosh failed to get the ball, which was sent flying past the outside of the upright. Had a gold fallen to Aberdeen at this stage, there is no saying had the game might have gone. Hamilton came prominently to the front after the seascape of the Dundee goal. The famous centre was the means of bringing the other forwards into line, with the result that the Aberdeen defence was stretched to the utmost. Strong, rushing tactics characterised the play of the home forwards, and only the sterling work of the backs prevented Dundee from adding to their score. Macfarlane at last beat King, but the previous infringement caused the point to be disallowed. Lovely work by Hamilton and Macfarlane browsed the enthusiasm of the spectators, but Bellamy was at fault on two occasions when he shot wildly past when in fine positions for scoring. Later on, however, he sent in a terrific drive, which King saved marvellously. The persistent pressure, however, was eventually rewarded with a goal. Macfarlane lead to drive from fully 30 yards, and landed the ball in the corner of the net, King being surprised, for the ball was in the goal ere he made his spring to the opposite corner of his area. Aberdeen made a final rally in the closing minutes, but the Dundee defence held out. Shots from Travers, McIntosh, and Murray were charged down by the backs, while Crumley twice within 2 minutes of the ball away when hard pressed in goalmouth.
Dundee were the better team on the day's play, and were worth the winners. Aberdeen were well served by their backs and half-backs, but were weak in the front rank. The gate was estimated at £346.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 14th November 1910
Pictures: Dundee Courier