The return League match between Motherwell and Aberdeen at Fir Park, Motherwell, on Saturday, was favoured with good weather, and resulted in a win for Aberdeen by one goal to nothing. The pitch although somewhat soft in certain places, was in first-rate order, and there were fully 6000 spectators present. The teams were:-
Motherwell: Hampton; Johnston, Kelly; Robertson, McNeil, Nicol; Blair, Hanson, Butler, Gray, James, Johnston.
Aberdeen: King; Colman, Hume; Davidson, Wilson, Millar; Soye, Murray, McIntosh, Travers, Lennie.
Referee - Mr. J Dougary, Nitshill.
The opening exchanges were fought out in midfield, but Motherwell gradually carried the play into the Aberdeen Territory, mainly the result of strong, forcing work by McNeill at centre half. Nicol was also a prominent at left half, but the home forwards were well held by Colman and Hume. The game on the whole was uneventful until Lennie got away on the left, and, passing to Travers, the latter player was checked by the Motherwell right back ere he had time to steadied himself in front of goal. Motherwell returned to the attack, Johnston and Gray giving lots of trouble on the left, while Butler was very energetic in the centre. Place Motherwell front rank looked like scoring, but Hume and then Wilson cleared in front of the Aberdeen goal. A long drive from Davidson caused Hampton to run out and clear, while Travers followed with a low shot, which was easily saved by Hampton. After 15 minutes play the visitors took the lead after some clever work on the right wing. Soye dashed away from near midfield, and finished a spanking run with a cross to the centre. Travers got on the ball, and, after a short tussle with the opposing defence, the inside-left beat Hampton with a fast drive along the ground. Aberdeen were now the more aggressive side, and a great effort by Lennie gave rise to much enthusiasm. McIntosh started the movement near midfield, and subsequently whipped the ball out to Lennie. The latter rounded the right back, and, running straight for goal, let drive for the far corner of the net. His shot was well directed and beat Hampton, but the ball struck the upright and rebounded into play. Again the Aberdeen left winger tricked the defence, and then tipped the ball to Travers. The latter, however, allowed the ball to pass between his legs on towards McIntosh, but the latter was apparently unprepared for the pass, and the chance of scoring was thus lost. Travers, however, ought to have shot when Lennie first gave him the ball. At this stage Motherwell were outplayed, but their backs responded with some capital defence work. Still Aberdeen ought to have improved upon several likely openings, travers, McIntosh, and Murray being weak in their attempts at goal. The home forwards occasionally broke away, but rarely got in touch with King. Davidson, Wilson, and Millar gave their forwards capital support, and the Aberdeen front rank replied with some very pretty football, although without any tangible result. Soye sent across many accurate centres, while Lennie was also good in this respect, but the Motherwell men defended in rare style. The pressure was ultimately transfer to the other end of the field, Butler, Blair, and Gray leading a spirited attack by the home forwards. The centre managed to force a passage between the backs, and finished with a lovely shot. The ball appeared to be going right away from King, but the goalkeeper sprang across to this left-hand side, and brought off a wonderfully good clearance. Next minute he cleared a header from Johnston, while later on he caught the ball after it had returned off Hanson. Keeping up the pressure, Blair sent across a dangerous centre from the right. The ball travelled past several players in front of goal, and finally landed at Johnston's feet, but ere he got his shot in, king dashed out and nipped the ball from his toes - and daring save at a critical time.
The second half opened in brisk fashion, with McIntosh leading an Aberdeen attack. The centre passed out strongly to Soye, who planted the ball right into the Motherwell goalmouth. The backs, however, cleared the danger, but the visitors returned with another dashing movement. Lennie was the leader on this occasion, and, after slipping past Johnston, the left winger sent in a high shot, which just missed the near corner of the net. The game now entered upon a regular ding-dong affair, both sides showing up strongly in the defence. Aberdeen's narrow lead inspired the Motherwell men with great hopes of at least equalising the game. A free-kick to the home team close to the Aberdeen goal was followed by some very exciting passages between the visitors' defence and the Motherwell forwards. Wilson headed away a shot from McNeill, while Millar cleared a hot attack, following upon a corner. The pace got faster as the game advanced, and the crowd was worked into a high pitch of excitement when the home forwards repeatedly attempted to rush the Aberdeen defenders off their feet. Colman and Hume, however, never got flurried, and as a result King had practically no saving in goal. A free-kick against Aberdeen almost brought a goal to Motherwell, but Hume cleared splendidly, while later on Wilson tackled Butler at close quarters, but the centre half got a nasty knock on the knee, and went lame. He resumed a few minutes later, however. Aberdeen ultimately had more of the play, Lennie, McIntosh, and Soye being conspicuous in strong bursts down the field. Hampton twice saved stinging shots from McIntosh, and it soon became evident and the occasional dashes by the visiting forwards were far more dangerous than the persistent pressure of the Motherwell men. To the end the game was keen to a degree, but there was no further scoring, and the match ended - Aberdeen, 1; Motherwell, 0.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 23rd January 1911