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CHAPTER 38. Rare flashes of brilliancy

CHAPTER 38.  Rare flashes of brilliancy

The prospects for the new season had been good but the results had not been as good as expected especially the 6 1 home defeat to Mansfield Greenhalgh.  See the committee meeting of the 19th October.  Vickers was off form – it would be revealed later that he had a bad knee.  The club had signed him up and paid him a handsome sum and the player apparently disguises his bad knee.  No medicals at this time that we know of.  Also at the committee meeting there is mention of disharmony in the team.  Galbraith starts to talk about it then the minute book page is ripped out so we do not know the full details.

7th October 1893.  Taken from the 14th October 1893 Luton Reporter.  


The match upon the fixture card of the Luton club for last Saturday was one with the new Royal Ordnance Factories organisation, but the fact that they were included in a cup tie forced the Luton authorities to look elsewhere for opponents.  The Royal Engineers at Chatham were induced to make the journey to Luton, and their presence was sufficient to draw a large crowd, those present numbering close upon 3,000.  The weather was, on the whole, fine, though one or two slight showers fell over the ground during the afternoon.  There was little wind and no sun, and the fact that the players were almost enshrouded in gloom towards the close should impress upon those concerned the necessity of making an earlier start.  At 3.40 the teams faced the centre ring in the following order :—Royal Engineers : Goal, Corporal Wilson ; backs, Corporal Colling and Sapper Allbritt ; half-backs, Sapper Ward, Lieutenant Hall, and Corporal Charlesworth ; forwards, Sapper France and Corporal Clarke (left), Lieutenant Cowie (centre), Sapper Wooding and Sapper Miller (right).  Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and J. Wilson ; half-backs, A. H. Taylor, J. W. Julian, and J. Watkins ; forwards, P. Hayes and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and R. Vickers (left).  The referee was Mr. J. Wright, and the linesmen were Sergeant Lockwood (Engineers) and Mr. J. Bennett (Luton).  The home captain was successful in obtaining choice of positions, and elected to play from the Dunstable-road end.  Lieutenant Cowie started the match, and his companions during the first half minute succeeded in getting close to the corner line, but a goal kick relieved.  At this early stage of the game Hayes and Taylor distinguished themselves.  Luton next attacked very vigorously, and a couple of splendid centres by Watkins formed a very notable feature of the play hereabouts.  The Engineers’ outside left ran down his wing and sent the ball into the net at a great pace, but no score was allowed, he having been off-side.  The Lutonians were again seen to considerable advantage a little later, but they were not allowed to have matters all their own way, and Wilson was called upon to relieve on one occasion—a feat which he achieved in commendable fashion.  Galbraith appeared to be slightly injured now, but not sufficiently to demand his abstaining from further operations.  Vickers was being afforded far more opportunities of distinguishing himself than usual, and it is pleasing to be able to state that the availed himself of these to the utmost.  One of his passes was splendidly put in as the result of excellent combination between Finlayson and Galbraith, and it was with the utmost difficulty that Corporal Wilson was enabled to preserve his charge from downfall.  Finlayson, who has recently demonstrated his great ability, shortly afterwards put in a very fine high shot, and to the delight of the onlookers this fell into the net, and thus the homesters were given the lead.  A second or two later Finlayson met with exceedingly hard luck in failing to repeat his performance, and for a space the play was confined pretty much in the neighbourhood of the Engineers’ goal.  Wilson sent in a capital attempt on one occasion, and Colling only relieved with difficulty.  Vickers sent the ball in at a great pace thereafter, and struck the side of the net.  An exciting time ensued in the vicinity of the visitors’ goal, and Finlayson came perilously close to scoring.  A foul against the soldiers produced a scrimmage, and from this the hall was forced through, thus increasing the Lutonians’ total.  From the kick-off the ball was again brought down by the home representatives, but they failed in forcing it through and subsequently the Engineers had a spell up the other end.  A corner to Luton was followed by Corporal Wilson conceding a free-kick by carrying the ball too far in his hands, and it was only the custodians’s admirable behaviour that prevented the Luton score being increased.  The story of the next few minutes was one of an almost continuous attack by the “reds,” and while Hayes sent over the bar Vickers forced Colling to conceded a corner.  Galbraith sent in a hot attempt, which was very capably headed out.  The Engineers failed before the half-time period to elude the vigilance of the home backs, and accordingly the score at the midway stage stood at two to none in favour of the locals.  It should be mentioned that Finlayson left the field before the interval, having sustained a considerable shaking, and his side were deprived of his services during a considerable portion of the second half.  Directly after the resumption the military men displayed far better style, and during the first few minutes they had certainly the best of the exchanges.  On one occasion it was only the fine defensive ability of Taylor that was responsible for a strenuous attack on Bee being averted.  Julian emulated the example of his fellow half-back a little later.  The Engineers, however, made a bad use of their opportunities, and either shot the ball over the cross-bar or over the corner line.  Vickers at one time centred in fine style, and Hayes obtained a corner.  Finlayson at this stage resumed, and was greeted with a general burst of applause.  After a considerable amount of scrambling play the visitors managed to score.  This success seemed to nerve them to increased efforts, and after a time they had distinctly the best of matters.  The home side woke up later on, and the strength of the Engineers’ defence was taxed to the utmost.  Neither side succeeded in scoring again, and when the end came the Lutonians had won by two goals to one.  It is not too much to say that this total should have been far exceeded and that the form of the winners was not by any means what it should have been.  Vickers showed a welcome improvement in his tactics, and Wilson was far more reliable than last week.  The forward who exerted himself with the most success was Finlayson, who elicited enthusiastic shouts by his performances.  The half-backs were strong, and Chesher and Bee did their work satisfactorily.  On the whole the match was not remarkable for excellence of combination one either side.  The visitors were by no means perfect in this respect, their style resembling that of some amateur combinations that we have knowledge of.  Heavy kicking and long passing were the methods adopted, and these failed conclusively in their effect.

To-morrow (Saturday) the Lutonians meet the Sherwood Foresters, the fixture having been arranged since it was ascertained that the homesters would have a bye in the English Cup contest.  The Foresters team will be as follows :—Goal, Private Cragg ; backs, Sergeant Pykett and Private Bacon; half-backs, Private Smith, Drummer Garton and Private Whitehead ; forwards, Privates Wheat and Potter (right), Private Roberts (centre), Sergeant Hoare and Private Vernor (left).


The match between these teams should have been played at Luton on Saturday, but owing to the field being occupied by the Town Club, the members of the Luton Reserves team journeyed to Hitchin, and a good game resulted in a win for the visitors by five goals to love.  There was a large number of spectators on the field when the teams faced each other in the following order :—Luton : Goal, A. Tearle ; backs, Conquest and Read ; half-backs, W. Walker, Simpkins and Gazeley ; forwards, Dimmock and Catlin (left), Groom (centre), Hurcombe and Brown (right).  Hitchin : Goal, Abbis ; backs, J. Davis and E. O. Foster ; half-backs, Latimer, the Rev. — Gainsford and Spencer ; forwards, Hicks and Pryer (right), Fox (centre), Jeffs and Williams (left).  The Rev. Mr. Bannerman was the referee, and Messrs. Hinson (Luton) and Wooding (Hitchin) discharged the duties of linesmen.  It will be seen that a change had been effected in the constitution of the Luton team, Conquest and Hurcombe both being fresh players.  The former is a member of the Stanley Football Club and the latter of the Montrose.  Wood and English were also absent from the Hitchin team, so that neither party played their full strength.  Tearle won the toss, and elected to play up the field, but with the sun and wind in his favour.  Fox started the ball, and Hicks and Pryer carried it down the field, but Conquest cleared with a fine shot, sending the ball nearly the whole length of the field.  From the return Dimmock obtained possession of the ball, and he, together with Simpkins and Read, did some good work.  Gainsford, however, relieved, and sent the ball into the Luton goal, but Tearle cleared, and Groom getting hold of the ball passed to Dimmock who centred to Brown, and the last-named player scored, with a lovely shot, the first goal of the game.  From the re-start the Hitchin forwards made several attempts to break through the Luton defence, but they were unsuccessful, the ball being sent into the middle of the field.  Jeffs afterwards made a fine run, but unfortunately spoiled his performance by kicking the ball behind the posts.  From the kick off Hurcombe carried the ball down the field, and passed to Brown, who centred, but Foster cleared.  Brown, however, shortly afterwards again centred, this time in a splendid manner, and Catlin put on the finishing touch, two goals being thus scored.  During this part of the game Tearle was called upon to save several times and discharged his duties with marked ability.  Conquest was also very prominent towards the close of the first half of the game, and indeed there was nothing to find fault with in the whole of the work put in by the Luton team.  At half-time the score was Luton 2, Hitchin none.  After the interval Groom re-started the ball, and the Lutonians carried it down the field.  Hitchin, however, quickly returned, and pressed around the visitors’ goal for nearly 10 minutes.  Several shots were put in, but they were nicely cleared by Tearle or sent behind the posts, and consequently  the home team failed to score.  The pressure was relieved by Read, and Luton then went away.  Hurcombe ran down the field in a sportsmanlike manner, and centred the ball to Groom, but that player was a little too far away to render much service, and Davis obtained possession.  In kicking the ball, however, he managed to put it through his own goal, and by this means a third point was scored by the visiting team.  From the re-start Fox placed the ball well up the field, but it went out of play.  Spencer threw in, but shortly afterwards Simpkins gave a corner.  The centre kick, however, was cleared by the same player.  Gainsford then played up, and another corner was conceded by Simpkins, and cleared by Read with a big kick.  Dimmock raced away with the ball, and centring to Hurcombe, that player put on the fourth point.  Hitchin then carried the ball up the field, and Pryer put in a good shot which Tearle cleared with a drop kick, and very soon afterwards he was again called upon to clear.  An amusing tussle subsequently took place between Walker and Spencer, the latter’s stature being nearly six feet, whilst Walker is not anything like so tall.  Walker, however, came off best, but the ball went out of play.  Hitching thereafter tried hard to score, but Gazeley, with some fine play, cleared several times, and from a fine centre by that player, Dimmock sent the ball through.  Soon afterwards Williams had an unsuccessful try at the visitors’ goal, the ball going behind the bar.  Luton then pressed, Hurcombe and Dimmock becoming very aggressive, and Abbis was called upon to save.  Davis was now playing well and cleared in good style from a slight scrimmage in goal.  The ball was then taken to the Luton quarters and the home team pressed for some time, but they were unable to break through the visitors’ defence.  Consequent gave a corner, but the centre kick was cleared by the same player.  Latimer placed to Pryer, who centred finely, but Tearle was too sharp for them and saved, a corner, however, being conceded.  Latimer took the kick, and Groom cleared.  Nothing more of an interesting character took place, and the game resulted in a win for the visitors by five goals to nothing.  For the visitors the whole of the team played well, the combination being very fine; and Latimer, Pryer, Gainsford, Abbis, Spencer and Fox were the pick of the home team.  A word of praise is also due to the referee whose decisions gave unbounded satisfaction to both parties.


HITCHIN-ROAD v. CHAPEL-STREET.—The football enthusiasts of these schools met on Saturday on the Moor to decide their first encounter.  This was the first match in which the Hitchin-road boys had played, and they gave a good account of themselves by a big win over their school mates of Chapel-street.  The Chapel-street lads were surprised by the way in which their adversaries rushed the ball up the field, and evidently had not expected to meet such a determined side.  After the first goal had been scored against them they had plainly lost heart, and did not appear to do their best.  Evans on the left wing of Chapel-street was in fine form, as also were the half-backs of the same team.  The remainder of the team were lacking in dash and courage, a defect which must be remedied if they wish to hold their own in future matches.  The five goals of Hitchin-road were scored in good style by Watkins and Gray, who were well assisted by the other forwards in the team.  The Hitchin-road goal-keeper, Bates, also played well, and had plenty to do in the first 20 minutes of the game.  Result : Hitchin-road 5, Chapel-street 0.

It should, perhaps, be explained that the first stimulus to the formation of the League was given by the splendid game played at Luton last Spring by the schoolboys of London and Sheffield, when the wish was expressed that fixtures should be arranged between these Leagues and a team of Luton schoolboys.  The Luton teachers have taken up the idea, and the Luton Schoolboys’ Football League is the result.  There are eight teams in the League, though one of these is, up to the present, a rather doubtful starter.  When the school examinations are all concluded the teachers will have more leisure to attend to the recreations of their scholars and two or three matches will be played every Saturday.  The Town Committee has generously granted the free use of their ground on Saturday mornings for the inter-school fixtures, and the Christ Church Football Club has also volunteered the use of their ground.  Admission to the matches will at present be free.  What is now needed is financial assistance to obtain colours for each team and footballs for the matches, for it is much more interesting to witness a match when the opposing sides are easily distinguishable.  Efforts are being made to get together a strong side to meet the South London League boys when a suitable date can be arranged.  It should be added that the first match in connection with the League was played a fortnight ago, when Waller-street beat Buxton-road by four to none.

9th Oct 1893 committee meeting –

“Team selected against Sherwood Foresters – E. Bee, goal; Backs left to Secretary to write to Mr Julian and Mr Rostron Bowker to obtain 1 back each for Saturday 14th, either of these failing, Wilson to fall into his place; Watkins, Julian and Taylor, half backs; Hayes, Galbraith, Finlayson, Allen and Vickers, forwards.”  

“resolved that Mr H. Whitby’s resignation be accepted”.  

Gate money for Saturday 7th £19 3s 5d, Pav 7/4.  Gate money for Tuesday 3rd, 18/8, tickets £2 5s 0d.

Expenses of reserves to Hitchin 19/-

Admission to 2nd Scots Guards be 6d, Pav 3d

“Several committee members complained of non members using the ground and club property.  It was therefore proposed by Mr Webdale, seconded by Mr Hinson and carried that a policeman be stationed at the entrance to ground from 1 to 4 to prevent the same”.  

“Resolved that teams belonging to the Luton School League be allowed the use of the Town ground on Saturday mornings until further notice”.  

“That Secretary write Mr W. Puddephatt calling his attention to the language used by him on Saturday Oct 7th”.  

“The club representative on the Central Committee reported that they had decided to take over the ground upon the clubs responsibility subject to Mr Cumberland agreeing to the same.  This was considered very satisfactory and their representatives were complimented for having brought the matter to so successful an issue”.  

“Proposed by Mr Webdale, seconded by Mr Wilkins and carried that Mr Davey get out specifications for grand stand, the Secretary to advertise for tenders as soon as they are ready”.  

“That Secretary obtain a new set of shirts the reserves to take those in use at the present time”.  

14th October 1893.  Taken from the Luton Reporter of 21st October 1893.  


The Luton Town Club had been set down to compete last Saturday in the first round of the qualifying competition of the English Cup, but owning to the paucity of the entries in the Ninth Division it had been decided to give the whole of the clubs contained in it byes.  The Lutonians thereupon engaged the Sherwood Foresters to visit them from Colchester.  This team, which made so good a bid last year for the Army Cup, had met the Luton players three times last season, when the results were two to one in favour of the homesters.  On Saturday there was a crowd of close upon 3,000 persons, and the weather, though dull, remained fine during the afternoon.  The teams were as follows :—Sherwood Foresters : Goal, Private Cragg ; backs, Sergeant Pykett and Private Bacon ; half-backs, Private Smith, Drummer Garton, and Private Whitehead ; forwards, privates Wheat and McMahon (right), Private Roberts (centre), Sergeant Hoare and Private Vernon (left).  Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, L. Burrows and J. Wilson ; half-backs, A. H. Taylor, J. W. Julian, and J. Watkins ; forwards, P. Hayes and H. Galbraith (right), J. Finlayson (centre), F. Allen and R. Vickers (left).  Mr. J. Wright was referee, and the linesmen were Private Chadwick (Sherwood Foresters), and Mr. W. Wheeler (Luton).  It will be seen from the Luton list that Chesher did not make his appearance, his injured foot having necessitated a lengthy rest.  His place was filled by Burrows, who is a member of the Royal Arsenal Athletic team, and Finlayson was tried in the centre, Galbraith appearing at inside right.  Luton won the toss, and had the advantage of a slight wind in the first half.  From the start the Foresters pressed, but Burrows relieved with a very find long kick.  Bee was called upon to fist out a little later, but the homesters thereafter took their turn at pressing, and the right wingers exhibited good style.  The solders’ left wing managed to bring the ball near the Luton goal, and Wilson in saving conceded a corner.  Taylor was exhibiting particularly fine style hereabouts.  The game was not very old when from a free kick for hands Galbraith opened the scoring.  The leaders continued to press, and the most noteworthy points during the next few minutes were the showing of considerable improvement by Wilson and a capital exhibition on the part of Burrows.  A little later the Foresters took advantage of a mistake on the part of the home defenders, and equalised with a splendid flying shot.  With the scores level fouls were awarded against Allen and Vickers, and a very strong attack was made on the Foresters’ goal.  Hayes shot over when he appeared to have a capital chance, and the same player struck the side of the net after a capital combined run by the whole of the forwards.  The Sherwood left wing continued in evidence, and the outsider finished up a good run with an excellent attempt.  A corner to Luton was followed by the home side keeping up the pressure for a space.  A determined struggle ensued in the neighbourhood of Cragg’s charge, and it seemed that a score was inevitable.  First-rate defensive ability, however, was displayed, and despite the utmost efforts of the attacking force they were unable to lower their opponents’ colours.  Julian was pulled up for a foul, and in the meantime Taylor continued to perform brilliantly.  Vickers, who display had not been of the highest possible class, missed very badly when an admirable chance was presented, and Hayes sent over the bar a minute later.  The Foresters did not throw their chances away, however and when an opportunity presented to Sergeant Hoare, that player sent the ball past Bee at a great pace.  This gave the military men the lead, and when half-time arrived the score continued to stand at two to one in their favour..  During the second period the Luton men had to face the wind, and Galbraith resumed his accustomed position in the centre.  The most noteworthy feature of the second half was the  phenomenally good play of Taylor.  Time after time he distinguished himself, and on one particular occasion he managed to bring the ball right through.  The Lutonians had by far the best of the exchanges, and at one period Galbraith sent in a magnificent shot, which Cragg experienced very great difficulty in keeping out.  After a foul by Julian, the Foresters had a bit the best of matters.  As the game proceeded a very unpleasant incident occurred, Pykett and Galbraith being concerned.  It is difficult to readily determine what took place but, as far as could be seen the Foresters’ back threatened the Luton centre man with his fist, an action which called forth howls of derision from the spectators, this hostile demonstration being continued for some minutes.  Minor points to both sides had to be chronicled, and towards the close Taylor sent in a couple of beautiful centres, which were not improved upon, though the leaders had a very anxious time.  Just before the finish the Foresters’ score was added to in somewhat singular fashion.  A long shot was sent in from the right wing, and the ball travelled quite 25 yards before it arrived at the goal.  Bee apparently made no attempt to stop its progress, and the he afterwards explained that he had concluded the player who last kicked the ball was off-side.  This appeared to be the opinion of a good many, but the referee allowed a goal, a decision which was amply justified by an admission on the part of a couple of the Luton players that the point was without suspicion.  The visitors thus won by the pronounced margin of three goals to one.  It is not necessary to enter into any lengthy explanation of the cause of the defeat.  For some time past it has been gradually dawning upon the minds of local enthusiasts that the defence of the home side is not nearly so trustworthy as it should be.  In times past the great strength of the team was in the reliability of its backs, but in almost every match this season we have had exhibitions the reverse of acceptable.  The difficulty is to suggest a means of coping with the drawback, and credit must be given to the committee for doing the best in their power under the circumstances.  Vickers is not by any means redeeming the promise of his display at the beginning of the season, and last Saturday a very mediocre show was relieved by exceedingly rare flashes of brilliancy.  If he does not soon improve the local executive will have to consider what steps should be taken.  Of the other forwards the youngest showed the best display, while of the half-backs Taylor seemed to stand head and shoulders above his comrades in point of excellence.  It must be conceded that the winners showed better combination than the losers.  Their kicking and heading were alike good, and they fully deserved their victory.

At a meeting of the Football Association on Monday night the Luton Town Club were cautioned for paying Vickers before being registered, and Vickers was also cautioned.

On Wednesday the draw for the second round of the English Cup contest took place, when Luton Town were drawn against the Old Westminsters.  The other ties in the ninth division were as follows : Norwich C.E.Y.M.S. v. Swifts ; Wolverton v. Casuals ; Polytechnic v. Sherwood Foresters.  The matches are to be played on the first Saturday in November, and Luton will have to play on the Old Westminsters’ ground.

16th October 1893 committee meeting –

“Secretary do make William Cross of Dalmuir an offer of 30/- per week providing his references are satisfactory.  Also resolved to write to Messrs Thompson  of Manchester and Mack of Nottingham asking for references and terms”.  

Team selected against 2nd Scotts Guards for sat 21st – E.Bee, goal; Taylor and Cheshire, backs; Watkins, Julian and Taylor, half backs; Hayes, Finlayson, Galbraith, F. Allen and Dimmock, forwards.

Gate money for Sat 14th, £17 13s 6d, Pav 2/-.  

Price of admission to Millwall reserves 3d Pav 2d.  

“Resolved that secretary arrange games in the Chatham district on Monday and Tuesday after the Chatham match if a decent guarantee is forthcoming”.  

“Resolved that a tracing and specifications of grandstand be sent Messrs Smart, Dunham, Neville, Pryer, Pratt, Foster asking them to tender for the same, tenders to be sent to the secretary not later than 6 o’clock on Thursday”.  

“Proposed by Mr Arnold, seconded by Mr Thompson that Wilson be discharged at once.  Amendment proposed by Mr Barford seconded by Mr Fryerer that the matter be left until after 2nd round English Cup.  The Chairman put it to the meeting when 5 votes for the amendment and 2 for the proposition”.  

“That Messrs Vickers, Galbraith and Wilson should be asked to appear before the committee at 9 o’clock on Thursday 19th”.

Committee to meet on Thursday at 8.30 to consider the tenders and meet the players.  

Secretary render a financial statement.”

19th Oct 1893 committee meeting –

“Letter received form Mr Julian.  Meet the players before discussing the tenders.

“Mr Vickers was the first to come before the committee.  The Chairman asked him if he could account for the falling off in his play.  In reply Vickers acknowledged that he was not playing up to form but added that a man could not always expected to be in form.  The Chairman then addressed Vickers as to his moral character thinking that might have some effect on his play. In conclusion he said probably he would be given another trial but if no improvement was made he would have to leave the team”. 

“Galbraith was next to appear but in his case it was thought the best thing to offer suggestions with regards to his play.  Mr Galbraith promised to consider them and do his best for the club.  In answering a few questions put by the committee it became evident that there was a certain amount of ill feeling existing between the….” PAGES MISSING

21st October 1893.  Taken from the Luton Reporter of 28th October 1893


On Saturday the Army Cup holders visited Luton, and a further testimony to their popularity was given by the attendance of upwards of 3,500 spectators.  The weather was brilliant, bright sunshine flooding the ground during the afternoon.  As will be seen from a perusal of the list, the Guards were not by any means fully represented.  So serious were the defections that their crack left winger had to take up a position at back.  The Town representatives had given Wilson a rest, and his place was filled by J. Taylor (a brother of the ex-captain of the team).  Vickers, too, was missing, and the vacancy was covered by the inclusion of Dimmock, a member of the Reserves team.  The sides were :—Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee; backs, W. Chesher and J. Taylor ; half-backs, J. W. Julian, A. H. Taylor, and J. Watkins ; forwards, P. Hayes and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left).  2nd Scots Guards : Goal : Pte. F. Wood ; backs, Pte. Hyslop and Corpl. Brown ; half-backs, Ptes. Morley, A. Stirling, and Alexander ; forwards, Ptes. Fry and Fox (right), Pte. McElheney (centre), Ptes. Jameison and Cambridge (left).  Mr. J. Wright acted as referee, and the Luton linesman was Mr. E.A. Barford.  The home capt. won the toss, and set the enemy to defend the Dunstable road goal with the sun and a stiff breeze in their faces.  From the start the soldiers came down the field in determined fashion, and in less than a minute Bee was called upon to fist out, a task which he performed very satisfactorily.  From a free kick against the Guards Dimmock sent in well, but the shot was a trifle high.  After a time the “reds” attacked in force, and so determined was the inroad that Wood was severely taxed to preserved his charge from downfall.  On one occasion a corner was conceded, but the Bedfordshire men did not profit by it.  Hands against Luton was awarded, and then the local players maintained a  stout bombardment of the Guards’ fortress, the desired result eventually being obtained after a splendid struggle.  The success of the homesters was hailed with rapturous applause by the spectators.  A little later some ineffective kicking by two or three of the Luton back division made things look bad for their side, but in some inexplicable fashion the ball curled round the post instead of into the net as it at one time threatened to do.  Immediately afterwards Dimmock centred magnificently, and Finlayson profited by the opportunity.  The Guards a few minutes after sent the ball in in good style, but Bee was on the alert, and  by some capable play managed to fist out.  Another determined onslaught by the military followed the awarding of minor advantages to the leaders, and at one stage only good exhibitions by Allen and other sufficed to avert the danger.  The Town forwards next exerted themselves, and so admirably  did Galbraith, Finlayson, and Hayes combined that a corner resulted.  The Luton centre man secured in fine style, but he finished up by steering the leather over the cross-bar.  A goal against the Scots was succeeded by a capital  pass by Dimmock, Hayes sending over the line.  Wood was troubled just afterwards, and he acquitted himself capably, while a minute later Dimmock lodged the ball on the net.  The same player put in a fine attempt from the side line, which missed by very little.  When Galbraith had been pulled up for off-side, Hayes passed across the goal, Allen missing by the merest trifle.  Wood was tempted to leave his post by a good kick from Dimmock, and so fierce was the Luton attack that a goal was well-nigh secured, the Guards’ keeper staving this off by giving a corner.  The Scots pressed a little later, and McElheney was unlucky enough to send the ball behind the line instead of through the posts.  The play until the midway stage thereafter ruled in favour of the homesters, and it was only the stubbornness of the visitors’ defence that prevented the score mounting.  Some excellent passing by the home forwards was witnessed, but despite all their efforts they failed to improve their advantage.  In the second half the soldiers showed improved form, but they were outplayed at all points.  The game had been in progress for a considerable period when Luton scored from a free kick for hands.  Dimmock being last on the ball.  The Guards managed to get through once before the finish, and accordingly Luton won by three goals to one.  The prevailing sentiment amongst the spectators was one of pronounced satisfaction at the improvement shown by the home players.  Not only was their forward combination immeasurably superior to what has hitherto been witnessed, but the defence was also infinitely stronger.  The feature of the forward play was the accurate centres by Dimmock, whose display was a vast improvement on recent exhibitions by Vickers.  Chesher was safe, and J. Taylor was a welcome acquisition.  It must be conceded that the Guards were not nearly so strong as usual, but considering the many chances which the Luton men neglected, the result can only be regarded with satisfaction.  During the next fortnight the homesters have all their work cut out, but if they demean themselves as satisfactorily as they did on Saturday they will have no cause to be ashamed of their performance.

LUTON CHARITY CUP.—The draw for the first round in the Luton Charity Cup competition place on Tuesday evening, Mr. H. Beecroft presiding.  The following was the result :—Rushden v. Hitchin, Wolverton v. Chesham, Luton Town v. Luton Montrose, 1st Scots Guards v. 2nd Coldstream Guards.  The first round has to be played off on or before February 10th, 1894.  The first-named clubs have the choice of grounds.

TOWN CLUB COMMITTEE v. GEORGE-STREET.—The members of the Town Club committee obtained a brilliant victory on Monday afternoon, when they vanquished a team representing George-street by three goals to one.  The play was not of the most scientific order in the world, but the few spectators present had a capital return for their money, for there was a continuous fund of amusement.  The committee scored a few minutes from the start, and added another point from a free kick.  In the second half the George-street centre man managed to steer the ball past the committee’s custodian, but the balance was restored a little later by the committee’s forwards scoring in great style.  The play was faster at the outset than towards the finish, as might, perhaps, be imagined.

LUTON MONTROSE v. ST. ALBANS RESERVES.—Played in Bury Park on Saturday, in fine weather, and the opposing teams were as follows :—St. Albans Reserves : Goal, C. Stevens ; backs, C. Moon and H. C. Fowler ; half-backs, R. J. Ironmonger, S. H. Philips, and H. S. Rudd (sub) ; forwards, H. Mence and Pates (sub) (right), P. Linley (centre), G. Fowler, and H. Payne (left).  Luton Montrose :—Goal, Fisher ; backs, B. Sanders and G. King ; half-backs, J. Goodliffe, A. Hoy, and W. King ; forwards, G. Roe and W. Deacon (right), R. Fuller (centre), F. Hoy, and C. Colling (left).  Mr. J. Folks acted as referee, and the linesmen were Messrs. W. Bailey (St. Albans) and W. Rudd (Luton).  The kick-off was not made until  4 o’clock, when the home team started the ball against the wind.  Shortly after the commencement a corner was conceded to Luton, and within less than five  minutes of the start the first point was scored by Fuller, who headed through for his side.  A second and third goal for the home side were scored before a quarter of an hour had elapsed, the first being put through by Roe.  The Montrose team again pressed, but failed to score, and the visitors afterwards ran down, the ball going behind.  Roe later on obtained another  goal for his side, and hands against Luton resulted in the home forwards breaking away and a fifth goal being notched to their credit, quickly followed by a further one.  St Albans scored from a free kick for hands in front of their opponents’ goal, and this was the only goal they scored during the game.  Linley was responsible for the point.  St Albans again pressed, and a corner against Luton resulted, this being followed almost directly afterwards by a seventh goal for the home team obtained by Fuller.  The Montrose goalkeeper was about this time called upon to save, and the visitors shot over the bar.  A scrimmage in front of the St. Albans goal proved resultless, a fast shot being well kept out by the goalkeeper.  An eighth goal for Luton was obtained by Roe, and at half-time the score stood at 8—1 in favour of Luton.  During the second half the ball was almost entirely in the Herts. team’s side, and a scrimmage in front of goal ended in a further point being added to the home team’s score.  Before the close of the game two more goals were  obtained by Luton, and when the match closed at half-past 5 Montrose were winners by 13 goals to one.  When the proceedings terminated it was almost dark, and the game, owing to the inequality of the teams, was of a somewhat uninteresting character.  On the home side Fuller, Colling, Roe, and Hoy among the forwards, Goodliffe among the halves, and Sanders of the backs, did well, and the visitors’ defence was better than the play of their forwards.

28th October 1893.  Taken from the Luton Reporter of 4th November 1893.  


Amongst the most important fixtures on the Town Club’s list are those with the prominent London organisation familiarly termed the “Dockers.”  Last season the Luton men managed to come within a goal of their adversaries on either occasion, but this year it is claimed for the Millwall players that they are a far more formidable combination.  The match last Saturday was at Millwall, and the journey thither was undertaken by upwards of a hundred enthusiastic followers of the fortunes of Luton.  The long and tedious journey was occupied with a discussion as to the probable outcome of the day’s proceedings, and when it became known that Chesher would have to be substituted at back owning to this being too unwell to appear, the spirits of the excursionists fell considerably, and it was generally considered that a substantial reverse was in prospect.  The players made the journey with the ordinary travellers and they did not reach and they did not reach the East End club’s ground very long before the hour announced for the start of the match.  At about 3  o’clock, however, the teams made their appearance.  Luton were the first to leave the dressing-room, and they were cheered by the crowd of something like 3,000 who were present, while the Millwall men were accorded a very hearty greeting on entering the field a minute later.  It should be here explained that the East End club have changed their colours since last year, their uniform being now dark blue with a very pronounced white stripe.  The teams ranged up in the following order :—Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, R. Vickers and J. Wilson ; half-backs, J. Watkins, J. W. Julian, and A. H. Taylor ; forwards, P. Hayes and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left).  Millwall Athletic : Goal, O. Caygill ; backs, J. Graham and W. Davies ; half-backs, G. Aitken, T. Robertson, and T. Willing ; forwards, A. Wilson and E. Jones (right), J. Lindsay (centre), W. Cunningham and F. Hollands (left).  Referee, Mr. S. R. Carr ; linesmen, Messrs. S. Pakes (Luton) and E. Clark (Millwall).  The Luton captain won the toss and took advantage of a fairly strong wind which was blowing.  Lindsay started the ball, and from the kick-off the visitors secured and carried the ball down in good style.  The result of the effort was that Caygill was forced to clear his goal in half a minute from the start, and achievement on the part of the “Reds” which was well applauded by the spectators.  The homesters retaliated, and Cunningham finished up a capital run by making a somewhat weak attempt at goal, Bee easily clearing by running out.  Hands against Allen was followed by that player and Dimmock going down in good style, a superb bit of heading by the inside left being much admired.  Davies cleared, however, and the “Dockers” made an incursion into the Luton territory.  Vickers displayed considerably more reliability in his new position than had been the case previously this season, and twice he averted danger by splendid long kicks.  Hayes managed to get his hands in the way of the ball, and the usual free kick followed.  Matters looked rather ugly for Luton soon afterwards, Lindsay being pulled up for off-side when close to the “Reds’” fortress.  Bee conceded the first corner of the game by carrying the ball behind the line, and from the kick into goal the leather was headed over the bar by Lindsay.  Wilson was emulating the example of Vickers, and his display was being warmly commented on by a friendly portion of the onlookers.  Millwall next attacked fiercely, but could not score, and twice in the next few minutes the referee awarded free kicks for hands against them.  Watkins brought punishment to his side by fouling, and subsequently the Millwall backs gave a very find exhibition.  The plucky attempts of the Luton forwards to pass them being frustrated.  Allen on one occasion kicked over the Millwall line  when he appeared to have a capital chance.  The home right wing next made a fine run and finished up with a grand shot, Bee giving another corner in clearing.  The Luton keeper was similarly unfortunate a little later, but both corners were allowed to pass without  being improved upon.  Hollands was showing up very prominently, and a shot from his foot missed by a trifle.  Wilson was also unfortunate, one attempt by that player failing owing to the absence of the centre man from his post.  A foul against Luton was succeeded by Julian heading in in fine fashion, Caygill having some difficulty in getting rid of the ball.  The Lutonians were now having considerably the best of matters, and the attack continued for some minutes.  During this period Galbraith sent in a capital shot, this unfortunately going just over the bar.  Hayes centred splendidly, and the Millwall captain experienced considerable difficulty in averting the danger.  The homesters was penalised for fouling, and Hayes had a good opportunity, which he did not improve upon.  Dimmock made a capable run shortly afterwards, but he was too closely watched to be very dangerous.  Galbraith was somewhat badly fouled by Robertson, who was paying the Luton centre man full attention, but Watkins sent the leather over the line instead of into the net.  Hollands, however, received the ball when standing offside, and he was visited with the usual punishment.  The Millwall forwards were not nearly so smart as the visitors had been led to imagine.  They had been muddling badly, and shortly afterwards neglected to take advantage of the goal being opened before them, Jones being responsible for the blunder.  It should be interpolated here that Vickers continued to play excellently, his long kicking being quite refreshing.  Galbraith and his fellow-forwards were putting in some very useful work, and  once he sent in a beauty, a groan of disappointment from the Luton faction intimating that it had gone a little wide.  Another corner against Luton was followed by the East-enders pressing for a minute or two, but Vickers demeaned himself capably and removed the danger.  It should also be stated that Julian was distinguishing himself and was performing a tremendous amount of work, his efforts in stemming the rushes of the Athletic forwards being so admirable as to frequently elicit plaudits from the spectators.  Finlayson and Hayes ran down in good style, but Galbraith lost the ball, the result being that the play was transferred to the Luton end.  The Millwall forwards struck the side of Bee’s net twice in rapid succession, and just before the interval the Lutonians forced Caygill to exert himself in order to prevent the downfall of his charge.  At half-time the score showed this result : Millwall, 0 ; Luton, 0.  The visitors’ team entered upon the second portion of the game in good spirits, for it was admitted on all hands that they had performed exceedingly well, their display in the opening portion of the game being little if any inferior to that of the much-vaunted “Dockers’” eleven.  The homesters, however, had the advantage of the wind, though this had fallen considerably since the commencement of the match.  The Londoners are noted for the determined fashion in which they play, a and from the manner in which they started the second period it seemed that they had made up their minds to administer a thorough drubbing to the straw town men, for the moment the whistle announced the resumption of hostilities the ball was sent over the Luton post, and a second or two afterwards it was kicked over the Luton line.  Once or twice the “Reds’” defence was sorely taxed, and at length came about the downfall of their citadel.  Millwall secured a corner off Taylor, and though Bee saved finely the ball was returned and forced through by half a dozen of the “Dockers.”  The struggle was so fierce that it was next to impossible to determine who last touched the ball, but it was claimed for Lindsay that he deserved the honour.  The Luton players were  by no means dispirited by this reverse, but on the contrary infused additional dash into their display.  Dimmock made a good run along the line, but sent the ball behind the posts, and the Millwallians failed to score.  Taylor steered the leather over the cross-bar, and a foul against Luton was followed by Hayes sending a magnificent attempt  from the side line, the ball going over the top.  A foul against Millwall was registered, and then the “Reds” showed up prominently in the neighbourhood of Caygill’s posts.  The ends were visited in turn, and the game was exceedingly fast.  Shortly afterwards a great misfortune happened to Luton, Vickers receiving so severe a kick on the leg that play had to be suspended for some five minutes.  The Luton back pluckily resumed, but he might as well have been off the field for all the avail his services were after the accident.  This ill luck was followed by another misfortune, Cunningham scoring in somewhat scrambling fashion.  The Luton men attempted strenuously to retrieve their fortunes, but despite their utmost efforts they failed.  Towards the close play became even faster, and so well did the visitors behave that what was practically a team of 10 men managed to prevent the crack London team from adding to their total.  When the end came Luton had been defeated by two goals to nil.  This is the least severe defeat which the “Dockers” have administered to opponents this season, and it is one which the Luton players can regard without any feelings of regret.  It should be conceded that the winners were the better team, but they were exceedingly hard put to it at times, and the goal margin may be fairly considered to represent the calibre of the opposing sides.  It is not necessary to enter into any detailed criticism of the performance of individual players, for without exception the visiting side showed up well.  Of course some were more prominent than others,  but judged all round the play was as good as could have been wished.  Either the Millwall players did not display their true form, or the Luton team is considerably better than we have been in the habit of regarding it.  It is understood that the same eleven will meet the Old Westminsters to-morrow (Saturday in the English Cup tie.


The contest between these teams on the Town Ground on Saturday afternoon resulted in the home team sustaining the first defeat of the season, their record up to the present being in every way satisfactory.  They have played four matches altogether, and have scored 13 goals to their opponents four, Saturday being the first occasion on which two goals had been scored against them in any of the matches.  The visiting team was a decidedly strong combination, and their record is even more brilliant than that of Luton.  They have also played in four matches, their most formidable opponents being North Kent, Old Caledonians, and Windsor, all of whom they defeated.  On Saturday they were without their usual forward Jones, and Goodwin, one of the backs.  There were nearly 700 spectators on the ground, when the teams faced each other in the following order :—Millwall : Goal, T. Lockwood ; backs, H. Cooper and A. Everson ; half-backs, O. May, J. Harvey, and Broadis ; forwards, B. Wiggins and A. Burton (right), C. Cleavy (centre, T. Boundy and B. Pettitt (left).  Luton Reserves : Goal, A. Tearle ; backs, C. Read and P. Harden ; half-backs, Walker, J. Simpkins, and H.  Gazeley ; forwards, W. Brown and Hurcombe (right), G. Groom (centre), W. H. Catlin and Conquest (left).  Mr. I. Smith, Luton, was the referee, and Mr. J. Fenton was the Luton linesman.  Tearle won the toss and Millwall started the ball with a somewhat strong wind against them.  From the commencement the game was very fast, both goals being visited several times, until eventually Pettitt kicked out.  From the throw in Read secured the ball and took it down the field, but Burton obtained possession passed to Cleavy who made a good attempt at scoring.  Tearle, however, fisted out the fine style, and thus prevented what looked like a certain goal.  A free kick for “hands” having been given to the home team, Gazeley passed to Groom, who took the ball into the Millwall quarters, where it was kept for a short time.  At one time Catlin appeared to have the goal at his mercy, but failed to take advantage of his opportunity.  The visitors then showed up well, and gradually worked the ball to the Luton goal, and Boundy scored the first point for the visitors after about 10 minutes’ play.  Soon after the re-start Millwall again pressed and forced a corner, but the wind carried the ball some distance down the field.  Notwithstanding the disadvantage of playing against a strong wind, the visitors played a capital game, and continued to press for some time.  Eventually the home forwards rushed the ball down the field, Conquest secured and passed to Groom, who however failed to take advantage of a favourable opening.  Cooper then sent the ball amongst his forwards, and after a bit of smart play Pettitt completely beat Tearle and scored the second goal.  Play ruled fast and loose for some time, and at half-time the score was Millwall 2, Luton 0.  Soon after the interval Luton commenced to press, and Catlin sent in a good shot, but the wind carried the ball wide of the post.  The visitors carried the ball down the field, but it was quickly returned, and Brown put in a nice centre, which, however, Groom failed to take.  Give and take play followed, and Tearle had to save.  Lockwood shortly afterwards had to throw out.  Brown then centred nicely and Catlin almost scored, but the wind again carried the ball behind the goal.  Play became very loose, and continued so for some time, neither team apparently making any effort beyond kicking the ball indiscriminately about the field.  Indeed, as a display of football this part of the game was a failure altogether, and the spectators began to show signs of impatience.  A scrimmage subsequently took place in front of the visitors’ goal, and Walker put in a good shot, which Lockwood failed to negotiate, and the first goal for the home team was thus scored.  This seemed to put a little life into the home team, and for some minutes they played with some dash and vigour, but gradually the game developed again into very loose play, and a dispute about a thrown in caused a short stoppage.  Both goals were visited in turns, but nothing further was scored, and the final result was : Millwall 2. Luton 1.