CHAPTER 42. WASHERS 2 PLAITERS 1
The 1st round of the F.A. cup had been reached and the opponents were Middlesbrough Ironopolis known as the “Nops” or the “Washers.” The latter nickname came from the slang for a penny which was the admission price. They had won the Northern League three years in a row so were formidable opponents and the superior team in the town. Their downfall was imminent as a strike by miners, who formed the vast majority of their support, proved fatal to their finances. The club struggled on until May 1894 when they disbanded.
The report below gives us some great details of the trip and the storm that hit the ground before and during the game. The destruction of the stand clearly didn’t help the Washers financial position. The game did not help the Straw Plaiters finances either – our expenses came to over £25 but our share of the gate meant a £20 loss on the game. Three years earlier that loss would have probably been the end of the club but in 1894 it could be absorbed.
Note the schoolboys league game – something which helped the club tremendously as youngsters were developed and fed into the Town team. The standard of junior football in Luton seems to have been much higher than surrounding towns with clubs such as Montrose and Clarence being especially prominent. Finally, note that the club agrees to affiliate with the newly formed Bedfordshire F.A..
27th January 1894. Taken from the Luton Reporter of the 3rd February 1894.
“LUTON AND THE ENGLISH CUP.
“WASHERS” BEAT THE “PLAITERS.”
MIDDLESBROUGH IRONOPOLIS v. LUTON TOWN.—Saturday last was an exceedingly important date in the history of the Luton Town Club, for it witnessed their appearance for the second time in the completion proper for the English Cup, a contest which is engaged in by 32 of the most prominent teams in the country. The system of selection is perhaps sufficiently well known, but it may briefly be explained that about a score of the strongest clubs in the North are joined by 10 divisional champions, who have to fight their way through a preliminary competition. Two years ago, after exerting themselves brilliantly in the qualifying rounds, Luton Town found themselves drawn against Middlesbrough Town. The Lutonians were at that that time far less formidable an organisation that now, but they made a fair show against the Northern rivals on afield which was rendered well-nigh unplayable by ice and snow. This season the calibre of the combinations whom Luton has had to meet in the opening round has been far higher than was the case two years since, and the credit attached to the title of champion is proportionately more worthy to be desired. The first encounter was with the Old Westminsters, when the “reds” overturned most estimates by defeating the old boys by one goal to nothing. This match was decided on their opponents’ ground, but in the next round the Lutonians were fortunate enough to be drawn to play at Luton, when they vanquished Norwich C.E.Y.M.S. by five goals to one. Colchester was the scene of the next match, and the Sherwood Foresters were the adversaries. When the full period had been played the game stood at two goals all, and in the extra half-hour the Bedfordshire players scored another point ; but the referee stopped the operations on the score that darkness would prevent further play. On the Saturday before Christmas the Luton men manifested their superiority by defeating the soldiers after a splendid struggle by two goals to one. The Ironopolis (or “Washers” as they are called in their own town from the fact that most them are engaged in some way in dealing with iron in its manufacturer) had no such records as this to show, for they were one of the exempted sides, but the fact that they had progressed a good way into the competition in previous seasons and their name, as one of the strongest clubs in the North, sufficed to show that Luton had an exceedingly heavy task in hand. There were no reliable means of adequately forecasting the chances of the locals, but there were many in this district who flattered themselves that their favourites had an exceedingly good chance of making their way into the second round. It is understood that the players themselves ere sanguine before the match, and that they started on their lengthy journey in the best of spirits. By arrangement, the Midland Company stopped the North express on Friday due to leave shortly after 1 o’clock, and the members of the team, with which was Harry Whitby as a reserve, were accommodated with a saloon, being joined by half-a-dozen visitors. The team had a splendid send-off, some 200 or 300 enthusiasts assembling at the Midland station to wish them bon voyage, one elderly lover of the game indicating his wishes by scattering rice freely over the members of the eleven as they entered the carriage. The first stop of any importance was made at Sheffield, where a visit of an hour enabled the travellers to partake of tea in comfort. Resuming the journey, they were joined by the members of the Sheffield United team, who were travelling northwards to play at Newcastle in the same competition, and the Lutonians were interested by having pointed out to them the most prominent of the Sheffield representatives. The remainder of the journey was satisfactorily accomplished, another stay having been made at York, and the iron town was reached at about 8 o’clock. The players at once proceeded to Liddle’s Temperance Hotel in Bridge-street, a comparatively short distance from the station, while the other members of the party looked in another direction for hotel accommodation. Both the eleven and the visitors were glad to retire comparatively early, but a furious hurricane and other causes prevented much rest being obtained. The “reds” took it easy on Saturday morning, but before mid-day they had paid a visit of inspection to the ground on the Paradise-road, which is situated at the Linthorpe end of the town. They were astonished to find that not only was the ground in far from good condition, but that the stand and players’ shed were in a disreputable state. At the time of this visit a very pronounced gale was blowing from end to end of the ground, and it was generally agreed that there was little prospect of a scientific display.
The encounter had been fixed to commence at half-past 2, and at that hour about 1,500 persons had assembled, this number subsequently being swelled until about 2,000 were present. The weather conditions continued to be execrable, for not only was the wind as high as ever, but a drizzling rain had by this time commenced to fall. It was generally conceded that whoever won the toss would stand the best chance of winning the game, for it was justly pointed out that the side which had been struggling to preserve their goal intact in the first half would be somewhat exhausted by the end of that period. Shortly before the time announced the Luton team made their appearance, and were exceedingly warmly greeted, a special cheer being reserved for Galbraith, who came on after the remainder of the players, this recognition being due to the fact that the Luton centre man formerly played for the Ironopolis. The “Nops” followed their adversaries attired in cherry and white stripes, and they were enthusiastically received. At half-past 2 the referee (Mr. J. H. Strawson, of Lincoln) took charge of the elevens in the following order :—Middlesbrough Ironopolis : Goal, R. Ord ; backs, J. Bell and R. Oliver ; half-backs, D. McNair (captain), D. Gray, and H. Allport ; forwards ; W. Adams and F. Hunt (right), J. M. Moonie (centre), J. Grewar and T. Hunter (left). Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, J. Wilson and W. Chesher ; half-backs, J. Watkins, J. W. Julian and A. H. Taylor ; forwards, R. Brown and J. Finlayson, (right) H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left). The most important alteration in the home team was that Grewar, who is regarded as one of the finest half-backs in England, had been transferred to the forward rank in order to replace Wallace, who was prevented by an injury from demonstrating to the Luton section of the crowd that he is one of the most formidable forwards in the north. The linesmen were Messrs. T. Welford (Bratton) and J. Lowles (Derby). A sigh of disappointment was emitted by the Lutonians when they discovered that Julian had lost choice of positions, but the inevitable had to be faced, and so Galbraith started operations against a pronounced hurricane and rain storm. The ball proceeded only a few yards into the homesters’ territory, and was soon returned over the centre line, and in order to show the extraordinary kick by one of the home contingent the ball went out clean over the grand stand about a minute from the start. When a goal kick had been obtained Wilson accidentally kicked through his own goal, this action being the result of the adverse conditions under which Luton were playing. Hands for Luton was once of the next noticeable features, the ball being pretty much confined to the Luton quarters. Indeed, it seemed impossible for the defenders to get very far. A little later, however, some exceedingly good passing was put in by the “reds’” front rank, Galbraith being particularly noticeable, and the result of this was that the visitors were enabled to turn the tables on their opponents and become for the nonce the attacking force. This was not of long continuance, and the leather was again brought into proximity to Bee’s charge, and Chesher in saving conceded a corner. A struggle in front of the Luton uprights followed, but no score resulted, the ball eventually going behind the Bedfordshire men’s line. Grewar was rendering himself very conspicuous in his new position, and on one occasion a grand shot from his foot was as grandly cleared by Chesher in front of goal. The Middlesbrough men shortly afterwards sent in another beauty, which struck the bar and bounded over, to the chagrin of the home sympathisers and the delight of the visitors. Moonie, who had been far from noticeable up to now, sent in a capable attempt which was as finely cleared. A foul against Luton was followed by hands against the “Nops” twice in rapid succession, both these free kicks giving considerable relief to the “reds,” who were being severely pressed. Hands against the defenders afforded an opportunity to Grewar to send in a very hot shot, and an evil result was only avoided by Wilson heading over the bar—a dangerous expedient in any case, and a particularly risky method of clearing in such a high wind. Of course a corner followed, but this was nugatory, and the same fate befell another free kick off Wilson. Just afterwards the spirits of the small band of Luton sympathisers were aroused by the ball being taken over the half-way mark for the second time in the game, this being the result of some extremely pretty play on the part of Brown. The wind and the opposing defence were too strong a combination for the plucky little right winger and the sphere was again brought into the Southerners’ confines. Hands right in goal off Taylor appeared ominous, nut Hunt removed all danger by heading over the cross-bar. The “Nops” were not showing anything like the capable style which had been expected of them, and they failed to profit to the full of the excellent opportunities which the high wind afforded them. They removed a little of the reproach, however, about this time, Hunt opening the sore for them in good style. In spite of this reverse the Southern forwards continued to exert themselves strenuously, and they looked very much like scoring when Dimmock and Allen put in a magnificent short passing run. Taylor presented an excellent opportunity of scoring to Dimmock by a well-judged pass, but the outside left man dashed the hopes of his supporters by shooting over the bar. Julian had been playing brilliantly, and two free kicks in rapid succession were noticed to him hereabouts. By means of the wind the ball was driven down the field and an opportunity was presented to Bee of displaying his rare defensive ability. A grand shot from one of the “Nops’” forwards must have given the Luton keeper an anxious time, but he behaved splendidly and eventually Moonie headed behind. After a corner off Wilson, Adams headed through and thus succeeded in increasing his side’s lead. Moonie struck the post and again Bee rendered himself conspicuous. A foul against Julian was next awarded and a corner against the “reds,” but nothing definite resulted, the leather being sent behind. Dimmock put in one of his lightning runs, but afterwards the ball went out of play off Taylor, who was doing a tremendous amount of work. Allen displayed exceedingly good style just now, and Dimmock was by no means in the rear of his colleague in point of excellence. Grewar headed over the Luton goal at this point, and despite the fact that hands was given against them the “Nops” maintained the pressure and Julian gave them a corner in preserving his side’s fortress intact. Hands against Taylor near the goal threatened danger, and Oliver sent in a long shot from fullback, while McNair experienced hard luck immediately afterwards. The history of the game just now was that of a succession of attempts by the Middlesbrough players, for Hunter headed over and Moonie missed an excellent opportunity. When Bee had saved grandly from Oliver, a Middlesbrough player was penalised for handling the ball at the Luton end. The referee created some dissatisfaction by passing over a like infringement of the rule by Allen and punishing Bell for such an offence. Luton shortly afterwards made another excursion up the field, and Galbraith and Brown exhibited capable style, the latter ultimately missing a fine opportunity of centreing. Hands off Wilson, who had changed positions with Julian, again transferred the scene of operations, and the next items of importance were a foul against Galbraith and a corner against that player’s side. Hunter having been pulled up for an infringement of the off-side law, Finlayson was punished for fouling Moonie. Oliver took the kick, and the ball went through the Luton posts, but inasmuch as it did not touch a second player no score was allowed. Watkins followed the lead of other members of his side by conceding a corner, and Finlayson was responsible for a like action a minute or two later. Hands against the homesters afforded their adversaries another opening, which was taken advantage of by Galbraith and Brown, the former exhibiting exceedingly good judgment. This attack was not long continued, however, and the exchanges thereafter took place at the other end of the field, a corner against the strangers being the only further advantage which accrued to either eleven before the interval, when the score stood :
Ironopolis, 2 ; Luton, 0.
After the resumption Grewar went back to his accustomed post, and Gray joined the front rank men, the obvious intention being to set the former at liberty to watch Galbraith. That he had fully determined to do this was manifested in the first minute, for Grewar was pulled up for fouling the Luton centre man some-what badly. It should be explained that the wind had by this time dropped considerably, and that so far as weather conditions were concerned the teams were on an equality. Despite this and the terribly hard task they had had in defending previously, the Lutonians exerted themselves strenuously, and things looked well for them when Dimmock finished up a splendid run two minutes from the re-start by scoring with a high shot which went in out of reach of the goal-keeper. A corner for Luton was followed by Brown sending in a good attempt which went high over the bar, while a little later a miskick by Chesher enabled one of the “Nops’” front string to distinguish himself similarly. A fast long attempt by Dimmock threatened danger, but it was headed away by Oliver at the expense of a corner. Brown was punished for handling, and Allen for an alleged foul, and then the homesters were pulled up for pushing the last-named. The Lutonians attacked in force, but hands pulled them up, and a corner to them was unproductive. A magnificent shot by Brown fully deserved to score, Ord saving in marvellous fashion. A couple of fouls against the leaders were given in rapid succession, and then the homesters obtained a corner off Watkins. McNair, who had been exhibiting unnecessarily foul tactics, was hurt a trifle, but he was soon enabled to resume. The “Nops” subsequently attacked, and Bee had to save from Hunter and Gray. A foul against Middlesbrough was sandwiched between a couple of decisions against Taylor for handling, and two free kicks in favour of the “Washers” were noticed. Dimmock later on put in the best run of the day, and after eluding two of his speedy opponents finished by forcing a corner, but this was not improved upon. Thereafter there was little of interest to chronicle, save that towards the end the “reds” infused a trifle more dash into their display and threatened to score. This was not effected, however, and when the end came the homesters had qualified for the second round, the scores being:
Ironopolis, 2 ; Luton, 1.
The team returned by a train leaving Middlesbrough at about half-past 7, and reached home at about 5 o’clock on Sunday morning.
Our special reporter writes as follows with reference to the game :—I must at the outset confess that on undertaking the journey the thought of Luton being able to win had not seriously presented itself to my mind, but the excitement which prevailed amongst the occupants of the saloon, coupled with their alluring manipulation of paper form, imbued me with a modicum of their optimism, and when I reached the land of the “Nops” I was at least hoping for the best. All that was to be heard in Middlesbrough went to give further justification for harbouring pleasing thoughts—the decadence of the club, the loss of some of their best players, and the falling out at the last minute of Wallace (their crack forward) were only a few of these. “Hope told a flattering tale” on the eve of the great encounter, but anxiety came with the morning of the eventful day. A visit to the scene of operations was far from reassuring, for not only was the turf far from what the “ reds” are accustomed to, but a perfect hurricane was sweeping from end to end of the pitch. The verdict arrived at by the Luton men and their sympathisers was that victory would doubtless not with those who were fortunate enough to obtain choice of ends, and as the day wore on this prognostication was found to be the general conviction amongst the cognoscenti. In the Northern papers I had read overnight that a record gate was anticipated, and before my vision floated sights of a great crowd of spectators and a large accession of funds to the Luton club’s exchequer ; but nothing of the kind happened, and I should think the outcome will be that the Luton executive will be considerably out of pocket by their journey to the iron town. At the time play commenced the crowd fell far short of 2,000, and at no time did it exceed that number. Who could wonder that none but enthusiasts left their own firesides ? A terribly cold wind swept down the ground bringing with it drenching rain, and altogether the surroundings were about as uninviting as they could well be. The Luton visitors thanked their stars that one of the two grand stands had been spared by a recent cyclone, though even here their experience was not altogether pleasant. The game may be dismissed in a comparatively brief space, for at no time was there anything but the slightest modicum of science displayed. Although they lost I unhesitatingly aver that the Lutonians were the better team. The splendid manner in which they defended their fortress in the opening half evoked expressions of admiration from even the north country spectators—which is saying a vast deal. Of course when the time came to change ends the exertion which they had undergone told its tale, but the fact that the Ironopolis could not again break through the defence, while the “reds” scored, speaks volumes for the Southerners. The bad cup luck which generally falls to the share of the Bedfordshire players was very pronounced on this occasion, for no sooner had the teams changed over than it was ascertained that the wind had dropped almost to a dead calm. It must not be supposed that I am endeavouring to apologise for the Luton men’s failure to secure the victory ; my object is to state their case justly. It is obviously absurd to argue from the point of view “if something had happened.” I fearlessly assert that given equal conditions and good weather the Ironopolis would scarcely repeat their win. Their forwards compared badly with the Luton front string at their best, and a Middlesbrough gentleman observed in my hearing that the centre forward “can’t shoot for nuts”. The winners’ captain acted wisely in withdrawing Grewar from the forward line in the second half, for the defence was thereby greatly strengthened, and Galbraith was not given an opportunity of distinguishing himself. At the same time Gray deserves great credit for the excellent show which he made at centre half-back ; indeed, for a reserve, his display was phenomenally good. The wing men were of little use in stopping Brown and Dimmock in the second period, though McNair made up for his failure in this direction by imparting an unwelcome amount of abuse of weight into his exposition of the game. The backs were good, Oliver being the better of the two, while Bell was no match for Dimmock in smartness of pace. Ord saved some exceedingly hot shots ; one in particular from brown was a stinger, and all the beholders wondered how the custodian managed to keep the ball out of the net. The adverse circumstances to which allusion has already been made very effectively prevented the Luton lads showing at their best, for when they cross over many of them were palpably exhausted. The outside forwards did some splendid work, but Galbraith was too closely watched to be very dangerous. The inside men were very noticeable, for while Allen’s pluck elicited commendatory remarks Finlayson’s excellent method was justly admired. Of the half-backs Julian was again injured, McNair being responsible, but despite this drawback he put in some exceedingly useful work. Taylor was of little use in the second half, and Watkins had then apparently had about enough of it. The backs defended splendidly when the “Nops” were persistently attacking, while Bee covered himself with glory by his sturdy behaviour as a custodian. There is understood to be a change of getting the winners to Luton during their forthcoming visit to the South, and I would advise the Luton committee to approach them, for the encounter would undoubtedly attract a great amount of attention. To sum up, I think that under their fair conditions the “reds” would reverse Saturday’s verdict. By the way, I ought not to omit a reference to the referee, who was head and shoulders above some Southerners in point of excellence. He admittedly made mistakes, but none of these were serious, and he gave general satisfaction. Sub rosa it may be stated that Mr. Strawson formed an exceedingly flattering opinion regarding the calibre of the Lutonians. Looked at all round I think the losers have every reason to be proud of making such an excellent fight against overwhelming odds.
The Morning Leader, commenting on the performances of the Southerners, says :—Luton’s performances was undeniable the most meritorious. Bee was a revelation, and I strongly doubt whether any other club would have returned so creditably from a visit to the Nops.
The Globe remarks :—A very creditable show indeed was made by Luton Town, who may by some be held a southern club, against Middlesbrough Ironopolis. Just beaten 2 goals to 1, Luton did not have much the worst of the game.
The Athletic News writes :—The game, considering the fierce wind, may be said to have been a good one, both sides playing with great determination throughout. Bee behaved splendidly for the visitors, and his dexterity kept down what would have been a big score. The backs were both reliable, Wilson for preference, whilst the halves were ever on the alert, the veteran Taylor being as good as the “Nops” quintette, and if I except Dimmock, who played a good game, and Allan, the remainder were nowhere, Galbraith being very disappointing—but perhaps the watchful Grewar had something to do with his poor display. The same paper observes that the Luton team retired gracefully from the competition.
LUTON RESERVES v. ST. MARY’S, LEWISHAM.—This match was played on the Town Ground on Saturday, when there was a good number of spectators. The weather was fine, and the teams ranged up at about 3 o’clock. Mr. W. G. Wheeler acted as referee. Lewisham won the toss and Luton kicked off against the wind, which was blowing very strongly in the direction of the Dunstable-road. At first Luton invaded the visitors’ territory, but the ball soon returned to the home side of the field, and a corner was given against them. Vickers passed well to Conquest, who took the ball down the field in fine style, a corner resulting. Hands being given near the Luton goal a scrimmage ensued, the ball finally going behind. Deacon soon afterwards sent in a good shot, and later on Payne admirably stopped a rush by the home forwards. Deacon had an opportunity of scoring when the ball had been taken down the field by the Luton front line, but he sent a wide shot. The game was now for a short time carried on near the Reserve uprights. The scoring was opened a little later by Deacon, who sent in a successful shot. Richards kicked over his opponents’ goal, and later on Conquest made a good shot which resulted in a corner. The home fortress was placed in jeopardy for a moment by Reed missing his kick some distance from a goal. From a scrimmage in front of Lewisham’s sticks Deacon shot through, and just before half-time Turner scored for his side, the score thus standing at the interval at two to one in favour of Luton. After half-time Luton had matters more in their own hands, and a series of scrimmages near the Lewisham citadel was ended by Goodliffe shooting wide. The visiting goalkeeper had to save once or twice, and the Reserves finally added to their score just before time, Conquest sending the ball through. The game concluded at three to one for Luton.
HIGH TOWN IRONOPOLIS v. EXCELSIOR.—We have received a note intimating that the Ironopolis played a mixed team of the Excelsior first and second on the People’s Park on Saturday last and won after as interesting game by two goals to one.
LUTON SCHOOL BOYS’ LEAGUE.
CHRIST CHURCH v. CHAPEL-STREET.—These teams met on the Montrose ground on Saturday morning Chapel-street won the toss, and took advantage of the wind—that same wind which was felt at Middlesbrough, doubtless. The Chapel-street boys could not get near the other goal, and the wind prevented Christ Church from scoring. In the second half the latter scored three times ; and if the right wing had been fed more freely the score would have been larger. Result ; Christ Church, 3 ; Chapel-street, 0.”
29th January 1894 committee meeting –
“Team selected against 2nd Scots Guards for sat 3rd feb. Bee, Vickers, Cheshire, Taylor, Julian, Watkins, Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson, Brown. Linesman away Mr Austin. Linesman Home Mr Thompson. Referee at home Mr Barford.
Gate money for Sat 27th £3 16s 9d. Pav £1 4s 3d.
Gatemen for Saturday Feb 3rd, Messrs Arnold and Austin.
Expenses of team re Middlesboro £25 13s 10d.
“Carried that the Secretary request Mr Finlayson to attend the committee meeting on Monday Feb 5th at 8.30”.
“The Secretary read the proposed rules for the Southern League which were thought to be satisfactory and as a meeting was to be held on Friday Feb 2nd, Mr Arnold was appointed as representative on the League Council for Luton Town”.
3rd February 1894. Taken from the Luton Reporter of 10th February 1894.
“LUTON TOWN v. 2ND SCOTS GUARDS.
The return game between three teams took place at Tufnell Park, London, on Saturday last, when about 50 Lutonians accompanied the local eleven to the scene of the encounter. The Guards had been vanquished earlier in the season at Luton by three goals to one, and it was anticipated that another victory would be obtained by Luton, especially seeing that Hyslop was now missing from the side. The Tufnell Park ground was in a wretchedly bad state ; indeed, so swampy was one side of the pitch that accurate kicking was impossible. When the time for commencing arrived there were close upon 3,000 present, and the weather was all that could be desired. The teams turned out as follows :—2nd Scots Guards—Goal, Pte. Wood ; backs, Col.-Sergt. Lees and Corpl. Brown ; half-backs, Ptes. Morley, Sinclair, and Sterling ; forwards, Ptes. Fox and McElheney (right), Pte. Fry (centre), Ptes. Jamieson and Fraser (left). Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, R. Vickers and W. Chesher ; half-backs, J. Watkins, J. W. Julian and A. H. Taylor ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson, (right) H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left). The referee was Mr. R. Chase (Referees’ Association), and the Linesmen were Messrs. Gill (Scots Guards) and A. F. Austin (Luton). It should be mentioned that Lieut. Gosling was playing for the Old Etonians in the Hants. Cup against Sheppey United, and that Vickers appeared in place of Wilson, who had sustained an injury to one of his knees at Middlesbrough in the previous week. Luton lost the toss, and kicked off against a strong wind, the start being made 10 minutes after the advertised time. The homesters got down at the commencement, and Fox sent out badly, while hands against the soldiers removed the fray to the other end. The Lutonians improved their position by means of some extremely good high passing and a throw in gave them further advantage, but another throw in took the ball down again somewhat. The “reds” returned and showed such good form that general applause greeted their efforts. Fraser put in an admirable run down the wing, and mainly through his instrumentality a corner was secured by his side. The visitors retaliated, their corner being conceded by Morley, but it was not improved upon, Galbraith failing to take advantage of an opportunity. The military charged down in determined fashion and McElheney sent the ball over the line. After Sinclair had badly fouled Finlayson, Allen experienced hard luck in failing to score. Bee saved grandly from McElheney and Chesher afterwards cleared splendidly, his coolness and correct kicking greatly impressing the onlookers. The Bedfordshire men thereafter narrowly missed, Galbraith sending the ball about a yard on the wrong side of the post. Dimmock sent in a capable attempt which Wood negotiated just as capably, and then a foul on Galbraith by the Guards was visited with the usual punishment and with cries of “Play the game, Guards,” from the spectators. Wood effected a wonderful clearance a little later, two of the Lutonians attempting vainly to dispossess him. Play had up to now been pretty much confined to the bad side of the ground and considerable amusement was caused by the performances of the players in the swampy portion. There was a general disinclination to fetch the ball when it went over the line, and the careful manner in which the Luton linesman progressed in its pursuit evoked great laughter. Hands against Luton was awarded amid a chorus of derision from the crowd, who were certainly not prejudiced against the visitors, but the advantage by no means benefited the Scots, for the leather went over the line. A great struggle shortly afterwards occurred near the Guards’ goal ; Luton attacked in determined fashion, but they found Wood impassable. In the course of the melee a penalty kick was awarded to Luton on the ground that one of the defenders had handled the ball within the prescribed limits. Galbraith took the kick, but Wood stopped the ball by falling on his knees. Chesher was next afforded an opportunity of exhibiting his qualities, which he did to the satisfaction of the crowd. Hands against Brown was followed by a magnificent save on the part of the Luton custodian, who was winning golden opinions. He followed this up by saving in spite of the utmost efforts of four or five of his adversaries who got him down and kicked ball and keeper indiscriminately. The spectators hooted the soldiers freely and cheered the referee when he awarded a foul against them. A corner against the “reds” followed, the ball going out of danger. The Lutonians made another determined onslaught and two or three of their forwards kept Wood busy for a space, but they could not elude the burly guardsman, who was lavishly applauded for his display. The Guards and Luton steered the ball out in succession when they appeared to possess an admirable opportunity of opening the record. At length Luton scored, Allen heading through after a stiff fight in front of Wood. This success was freely cheered by the onlookers, whose sympathies had been won by the grand exposition which was being given by the Lutonians. Finlayson was pulled up for getting off-side, and when one or two minor decisions had been noted the interval arrived with the visitors leading by one goal to none. When operations were resumed it was seen that McElheney and Fry had changed places, while Julian filled Bee’s post in goal for a couple of minutes. Taylor greatly distinguished himself hereabouts, and was awarded his need of recognition. A large number of throws in on the swampy side of the ground were chronicled, in each case great fun being caused. The “reds” had much the best of matters, and it was only Wood’s excellent conduct in goal that prevented the score raising very rapidly. Following a corner obtained by Brown, Galbraith sent in a hot attempt which was only cleared with difficulty. The Guards’ left wing took the leather to the other end and forced a corner, but this was not productive of the desired effect, the ball going over the line and striking a policeman. Dimmock sent in a fast long shot which Wood negotiated well, and this was followed by a strong attack on the part of the Bedfordshire players. When Bee had once more been called upon, Luton put in some exceedingly good play. Finlayson was badly fouled and Vickers was pulled up for pushing, another foul being awarded against the “reds” a little later. A fourth foul was the next point of interest, the Scots being the offenders. Taylor, who had been obtaining general recognition by a sterling display, called forth special round of cheering just now by breaking through and scoring with a good long shot. Vickers exhibited brilliant style, and Allen finished up a good run by an execrable attempt at goal. Taylor was penalised for fouling, but no evil results followed, the ball being sent behind. When the Guards had shaved one of the posts with a shot which deserved to score, Vickers attracted attention to himself by steering the ball through a neighbouring bedroom window and smashing a vase. Taylor was slightly injured, but resumed, and subsequently the Luton men attacked in fine style. Both sides showed up prominently towards the finish, but the score remained unaltered at the close, when it stood as follows : Luton, 2 ; Guards, 0. It was freely admitted on the ground that the winners were the better team, and that the sore formed a good criterion of the play. The winning forwards were infinitely clever than their opponents, and their quickness in securing the ball combined with their neat passing were greatly admired. It was asked at the conclusion, “What would have been the score if the ground had been dry?” Of course that is a question which it is impossible to answer, but it could safely be averred that the number of goals scored by Luton would have been greater. It is no disparagement to the other forwards to say that Allen was the hero of the hour ; he played splendidly. The remainder of the front string all worked well, Finlayson and Galbraith being especially clever. Taylor covered himself with glory in the half-back line, while Julian played grandly, and Watkins exerted himself well. Chesher was quite a success, and Vickers atoned for some recent failures by making a really creditable show. Bee was a safe possible, and it is a good indication of his merits that popular admiration is increasing towards him week by week. The Guards played a good game on the whole, but Wood alone saved them from a very savers defeat. The referee afforded satisfaction, though one or two of his decisions were not devoid of suspicion.
To-morrow (Saturday) West Herts. play their return match at Luton, when the game is to start at 3 15 in order to enable Watford visitors to witness the play. The homesters will put in the same team that defeated the Scots Guards. On Wednesday the Town Club meet the Montrose in the Luton Cup. The match had been awarded to the Town Club, but inasmuch as the Emergency Committee of the National Association had allowed the Montrose to proceed with their fixtures pending the formation of a County Association it was felt that it would be a sportsmanlike act to meet the Montrose. The card is blank for the following Saturday, but on Monday, February 19, the Kettering (Midland League) team are to visit the town.
LUTON RESERVES v. COWLEY ATHLETIC.—The match between these teams on Saturday afternoon took place on the Town Ground in good weather and before some 600 spectators. The teams were as follows :—Cowley Athletic : Goal, J. L. Hunsly ; backs, H. Robert and C. Hochstrasser ; half-backs, H. Hochstrasser, G. H. Dixon and W. H. Bell ; forwards, H. Coope and V. Simons (right), F. E. Hart (centre), A. R. Bell and W. V. Bell (left). Luton Reserves : Goal, R. Fox ; backs, H. Whitby and P. Harden ; half-backs, F. Gazeley, J. Simpkins and P. Reed ; forwards, J. Reed and W. Catling (right), G. Groom (centre), W. Deacon and F. Conquest (left). Mr G. H. Barford was referee, and the linesmen were Messrs. W. Mickeburgh and J. Bennett. Luton won the toss and defended the pavilion-end goal, the visitors kicking off against the wind. It was at once seen that with the advantage of the wind the home team were immensely superior to their adversaries, and the ball was taken into the latters’ territory almost immediately after the start, where it remained for the most part for the rest of the game. A corner was obtained against the Athletic immediately after the start, and shortly afterwards Harden from back sent in a shot which skimmed the top of the bar. After another ineffectual shot the ball was taken to the other end of the filed and Reed relieved. Ten minutes from the start the scoring was commenced, Catlin putting in a goal for his side. Then the visiting centre-forwards ran down well, but a little later the game was again all in front of that player’s goal and Catlin again scored, a claim for off-side being disallowed. A series of free-kicks for hands was given not far from the Cowley goal, and after the last of these Catlin succeeded in putting the ball through, thought the score was not allowed on account of off-side. Afterwards “Joe” Reed centred well. Huntly saved well, but Conquest sent through, and not long afterwards P. Reed again scored. The Athletic forwards succeeded in running down the field but were pulled upon for off-side. Two more goals were obtained before half-time, and when the interval arrived Luton had obtained six points to their opponents’ none. On changing sides the Athletic appeared to be about to retrieve their previous ill fortune, for their forwards pressed well, and hands was given against Luton near the latter’s uprights. Simons shot over the bar and a little later a corner was obtained for the visitors. The ball was then taken down to the Cowley end by Conquest and Deacon, and the latter added to his side’s total. A mistake was made by Conquest in failing to score when within a few yards of goal with the goal-keeper absent from his charge. W. Bell made a good run down but shot wide, directly afterwards Hart scored for the visitors. Another goal for Luton was obtained by Groom. That player again scored just before time, and the game closed at nine to one in favour of Luton. The game was of an uninteresting nature, as may easily be imagined, and the result of the match was of a similar nature to that of a large number of the Reserves’ home fixtures, for in nearly every game they have vanquished their opponents by a large majority.
STREET FOOTBALL PLAYING.
Ernest Jeakins, 94, High Town-road and Frederick Froud, 13, Cardigan-street on Friday.—P.S. Kitchener spoke to seeing the two lads kicking a ball about the street.—The Head Constable intimated that he did not wish to press the case, but he had received so many complaints about lads playing football in the street that he had been forced to place men on duty in the streets in plain clothes.—The lads were fined 2s. 6d. each.
5th Feb 1894 committee meeting –
“Team selected against West Herts for sat 10th. Bee, Cheshire, Vickers, Watkins, Julian, Taylor, Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson, Brown. Linesman Mr Hinson, referee one from the association”.
Gatemen for sat 10th, Messrs Barford and Davey.
Gate money for Sat 3rd £3 4s 9d. Pav 16/5.
Resolved Sec write West Herts asking them to come as early as possible”.
“Carried that the offer of Kettering for a match on any Monday for the guarantee of £6 be accepted and that Monday Feb 19th be offered them”.
“That we affiliate ourselves with the Bedfordshire Association”.
“Resolved that Messrs Horn and Wheeler attend as delegates from L.T. at the forthcoming meeting of Bedfordshire Association and that Mr Horn be the representative on the Committee”.
“Carried that Sec write to the Luton Charity Committee offering to play the Montrose on Wednesday 14th”.
Mr Finlayson then came before the committee and after a few words of advice from Messrs Hackett, Thompson and Barford promised to try his best to keep from the drink”.
Expenses of team to Tuffnell Park to play Guards £2 7s 8d.”