11th February 1893 Celtic 2 Abercorn 4 League
Having won the Scottish Cup in 1892 by beating Queen’s Park 5-1 in the final at Ibrox, the Celtic players, the committee and the fans were hoping for further success in the following season.
PHOTO: CELTIC CUP-WINNING SIDE 1892
Initially, the league season rather stuttered, good results being interspersed with poor ones. After starting with a good win over Renton, Celtic then dropped two points against Hearts and one against Rangers before going on a fine run, winning the next five matches, against Clyde 3-1, Dumbarton 3-0, St Mirren 3-1, Hearts 5-0 and Leith Athletic 1-0.
On this day in 1893, a Celtic party travelled over to Paisley to meet Abercorn in the clubs’ second league meeting of the season, Celtic having won the first 3-2 at home. Abercorn had been founded in 1890 and were one of the founder members of the Scottish League but they were always competing – usually unsuccessfully – with St Mirren for the support of Paisley’s football community and were having a poor season.
However, that afternoon they rose to the occasion and beat Celtic 4-2, the latter’s goals coming from James ‘Tooty’ Davidson and Sandy ‘Duke’ MacMahon. It was a much-needed wake-up call for the Celtic team; three days later they had to face St Bernard’s in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.