On this day in 1908, Celtic met Aberdeen at Pittodrie in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup. On their way to the final, Aberdeen had beaten Albion Rovers (3-0), Dundee (3-1; in the second replay) and Queen’s Park (3-1); Celtic had knocked out Peebles Rovers (4-0), Rangers ( 2-1 at Ibrox) and Raith Rovers (3-0).
Celtic had won the trophy the previous season, beating Hearts 3-0 in the final and they were the definite favourites for this match. They were also leading the league table, heading for a 3rd consecutive title win, while the Whites – as Aberdeen were known at that time – were in 8th place. Aberdeen’s chief hope was that ground advantage would be in their favour, as semi-finals in those days were not played on a neutral venue.
Celtic certainly put out a strong side – Adams, McNair, Weir, Young, Loney, Hay, Bennett, McMenemy, Quinn, Somers, Hamilton – but Aberdeen proved to be doughty opponents on the day, only a single goal by Jimmy McMenemy putting Celtic into the final, where they would meet St Mirren.
NB. This was outside-right Alec Bennett’s final season with Celtic. He had joined the club in 1903 from Rutherglen Glencairn and had proved himself to be a very talented and successful performer, as 53 goals in 152 appearances as a winger would suggest. However, Alec did seem to have his differences with Celtic, not only having an uncertain relationship with manager Willie Maley but, as a non-Catholic, feeling uncomfortable with the decidedly pro- Catholic ambience prevalent at Celtic Park at that time. In May 1908, Alec Bennett moved to Rangers, with whom he spent the next nine years.