CHAPTER 43. RISE, LUTON, RISE
10th February 1894. Taken from the Luton Reporter of 17th February 1894.
“LUTON TOWN v. WEST HERTS.
On Saturday afternoon these clubs played their return fixture on the Dunstable-road ground, when, though the weather was brilliantly fine, an exceedingly high wind sadly interfered with the play. The visitors, who were beaten in the preliminary encounter at Watford, were very strongly represented, while Luton had their best available team. The spectators numbered about 2,000. The start was delayed in order to enable visitors from West Herts. to witness the opening portions of the game, and the periods were limited to 40 minutes each. 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). West Herts : Goal, S. King ; backs, J. R. Paull and H. M. Harford ; half-backs, H. M. Washbourne, F. C. Robins and J. Penney ; forwards, F. Slaughter and C. Harrison (right), F. A. Sargent (centre), W. S. Coles (captain) and C. Wheeler (left). Referee, Mr. W. J. Wilson (F.A.) ; linesmen, Messrs. C. H. Peacock (West Herts.) and G. Hinson (Luton). The fact that Julian failed win the toss necessitated Galbraith starting the game against the gale. The Luton quintette got down cleverly, but Paull returned over the centre line with a back kick. A minute later, when danger was offered by the visitors, Vickers came to the rescue. Chesher was guilty of a mistake which nowadays can rarely be attributed to him ; but Harrison sent out. Bee was called upon to cover a mistake by Chesher, and he acquitted himself splendidly, a burst of applause hailing this clearance. Coles profited by slips on the part of Luton players and sent in a long attempt, this raising by about a yard. The “reds” were punished for fouling Wheeler, and from the free-kick the ball was sent on the net. The Lutonians next made their way up the field, despite the strength of the wind and the sturdiness of the West Herts. defence, but their stay here was not of long duration, Julian finishing it by sending the ball over the corner line. Wheeler, who had not been rendering himself so conspicuous as had been anticipated, missed a splendid chance which was presented to him by one of his right wing companions, and then Bee once more received an appreciative cheer on saving magnificently. The same player was again in display a minute later, and then Allen put in some noteworthy play. A corner off Chesher was followed by the Luton front string attacking the West Herts. fortress, and Galbraith struck the post with a very fast shot. Watkins had been paying close attention to Wheeler, the well-known left-winger, and about this time a sample of really good tackling was provocative of some applause. Slaughter fouled Allen badly and was duly punished, and from the free-kick Luton made their way up the field. Hands against Finlayson, however, stopped their progress, and for a space the exchanges were every even. Later on the homesters attacked strongly, and two or three shots in succession went directly into the goalkeeper’s hands. A foul by one of the West Herts. men against Galbraith was visited by the referee with his displeasure, and the home combination succeeded in forcing a corner, this performance being repeated a minute afterwards. Galbraith sent in a long dropping shot which just failed, and then one of the Luton men was pulled up for getting offside. This event was following by another noteworthy circumstance. The ball had been sent into the hands of the goalkeeper whom Allen at once pluckily charged, and King called forth some cries of disapprobation by striking on the forward’s head with his hands. When Julian had distinguished himself by coming through exceedingly well, Allen sent in an excellent attempt which the keeper saved just as splendidly. Coles had a try from long range, and then Wheeler was stopped for fouling, the referee pulling him up presumably for adopting jumping tactics. Slaughter sent the ball into the side of the net. Hands near goal looked ominous for the fortunes of the locals, but the visitors did not seize their opportunity. But this reproach was removed a few minutes later, when off a foul by Wheeler Coles rushed up and scored, Taylor having headed down in front of goal, a shot having been sent down from the left wing. The interval arrived a little later, and the score remained unaltered. With the wind in their favour in the second half Luton started very strongly and in a minute Dimmock sent high over the bar. Brown missed by about a yard, and the same player a little later on evoked laughter by sending the ball yards over the bar when he had the goal at his mercy. The right-winger was very much in evidence just now, for after he had been stopped for getting off-side he struck the side post. The same player stoned for his failure, for from a pass by him Dimmock was enabled to heard in a splendid goal and thus equalised the scores. Hands against either team was notched, and then a corner to Luton off Penney. Shortly afterwards, from a long throw-in, Galbraith sent the ball past King, thus giving the Lutonians the lead. The leaders were now having pretty much the best of matters, and eventually from another well-judged pass to Brown Allen was now enabled to increase their lead. A decision in favour of Luton was followed by one against them and Wheeler kicked through but was penalised for infringing the off-side law. From a corner Allen sent the ball into the net, but the point was disallowed. From this point to the end the “reds” continued to assert their superiority, and on more than one occasion experienced very hard luck. Their most strenuous efforts, however, were not productive of the desired result, and when the finish arrived the victory rested with Luton by three goals to one. The game was not remarkable for any great excellence of style, but considering the disadvantage under which they laboured, Luton’s show is to be regarded as a creditable one. Bee in goal was the most successful player, one or two of his saves being little short of marvellous. The West Herts. team exerted themselves well, but Wheeler was scarcely up to his reputation. The referee on the whole gave satisfaction, but at the close he met with a hostile reception, the crowd not understanding that the time had been cut short.
A disgraceful scene took place at the finish, a crowd behaving very badly towards the referee. Several men were reported to the committee in connection with the matter, and it was determined to stamp out rowdyism of the kind. To this end cautions were given, and one man has been informed that to him the field will be closed for this season. The authorities are to be commended for thus courageously grappling with a difficulty.
When the Lutonians journeyed to Middlesbro’ recently some kindly personages obtained promises to a considerable amount of the purpose of presenting to the players an acknowledgement if they succeeded in winning. It is pleasing to know that the gallant fight of the “reds” against insurmountable difficulties has met with hearty appreciation, and that their struggle has been rewarded. The sum of 12s. 6d. has been presented to each of the players, and the gift has evoked expressions of gratitude.
LUTON CHARITY CUP.
LUTON TOWN v. LUTON MONTROSE.—In consequence of the failure of the Montrose to obtain consent from the Association to play this fixture, the match had been awarded by the Charity Cup Committee to the Town Club, but the latter, in sportsmanlike fashion, waived their right to the game and consented to meet the juniors. The contest took place on Wednesday afternoon on the Athletic ground, when in magnificent weather there was surprisingly good attendance of spectators, as many as 1,000 occupying positions. The start was delayed, and it was approaching 4 o’clock when the teams put themselves under the control of the referee in the following order :—Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and R. Vickers ; half-backs, J. W. Julian, A. H. Taylor and J. Watkins forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left). Luton Montrose : Goal, E. Fisher ; backs, H. Sanders and G. Rowe ; half-backs, J. Goodliffe, A. Hoy, and F. Day ; forwards, S. Moody and G. King (right), R. Fuller (centre), F. Hoy and C. Colling (left). The referee was Mr. Armstrong, of Luton, and the linesmen were Messrs. G. Folks (Luton Montrose) and J. Wright (Luton Town). The Town men won the choice of positions, and the Montrose started operations from the Dunstable-road end. Hands against Luton was the first noticeable point, and then Brown was pulled up for getting off-side, while hands against Galbraith followed immediately. When the Town centre forward had put in some exceedingly clever dribbling Day distinguished himself by coming through, and Vickers followed suit. Sanders deprived Allen in fine style, and thereafter Galbraith had a narrow escape of scoring, Fuller saving splendidly. Luton pressed severely and Brown missed by a foot. A foul against the Montrose was taken, and a keen struggle took place in front of the juniors’ uprights. Despite a strong attack, however, the ball would not go through, and hands against Vickers removed the fray to the other end. Some shouting was caused by the Montrose kicking through after a free kick, but inasmuch as the ball did not touch a second player no score resulted. The Montrose defended splendidly, and it was this that was responsible for the failure of their opponents to open the scoring. The astonishment of the onlookers the Montrose were first to break the ice, King sending the ball past Bee at a great pace. Dimmock soon after equalised, and when the interval arrived the score stood at one all. Three minutes from the re-start Finlayson put his side ahead, profiting by a well-judged pass by Galbraith. A minute later the ball struck the Montrose posts after a free-kick and rebounded into play, and Allen and Galbraith managed between them to rush the leather past Fuller. Allen was responsible for the fourth point and Galbraith put on a fifth in exceedingly clever fashion. Allen very prettily headed a sixth, and the spectators began to think that the Montrose were in for a very heavy beating. The play, however, slowed down very considerably, and despite the endeavours of the Town Club to further improve their total they failed to succeed, and when the end came they had won by six goals to one, and had thus qualified for the semi-final. The game can scarcely be described as poor, for the Montrose showed unexpectedly good style. They were never, however, a match for their formidable adversaries, and they were lucky in escaping with so comparatively small an adverse balance. Best form for the Montrose was shown by Fuller, Sanders, Day, and the left wing pair, while most of the Town players rendered themselves conspicuous at times. Mr Armstrong was quite a success as knight of the whistle, his decisions being on the whole acceptable to the generality of the onlookers.
OTHER TIES.—Two out of the four matches in connection with the Luton Charity Cup completion were played on Saturday, the following being the results :—Wolverton beat Chesham, 3—0 ; 1st Scots Guards best 2nd Coldstream Guards 1—0. Hitchin and Rushden should also have played, but the former scratched.
12th Feb 1894 committee meeting –
“Letters from Kettering, Rushden, Lincoln City, Hornsey United, Caledonians and Mr Barford of Luton Charity Committee.
“Resolved to wire Burton Swifts, West Bromwich and Grantham Rovers for terms for Saturday 17th if the guarantee required is not above £20 West Bromwich £15 for Grantham Rovers and Burton Swifts. Secretary to close with the most profitable”.
“Team selected against Montrose, Saturday and Kettering as follows; Bee, Cheshire, Vickers, Taylor, Julian, Watkins, Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson, Brown. Referee for Saturday Mr Wright, Linesman, Mr Shane. Referee for Monday Mr Wright, Lineman Mr Wheeler. Linesman for Wednesday Mr Wright.
Gate money for Saturday 10th £28 3s 11d. Pav £4 10 4d.
“Resolved that Secretary write J. Strawson Lincoln City stating that the dates he offers are filled”.
“It was asked by Mr Austin if something could not be done with regard to interfering with the referee on Sat 10th. Mr Pakes reported Mr Rodgers and Mr Wright, Mr Custance,. After considerable discussion it was resolved that Mr Rodgers be excluded from using the grand stand for the rest of the season and if occurring again he would be reported to the Association. Mr Custance be excluded from the ground for the remainder of the season”.
“Resolved that the barrier to the grand stand be altered according to Mr Davey’s instructions”.
“Resolved that the Secretary advertise for advertisements to fill the spaces in the grand stand”.
“Resolved that 2 boards with no readmission painted on be supplied for the ground”.
17th February 1894. Taken from the Luton Reporter of the 24th February 1894.
“LUTON TOWN v. GRANTHAM ROVERS.
The local football executive were without a match for Saturday, owing to the fact that Rushden, who had arranged to play on that day, were unable to send their first team, and the Luton committee had wisely decided that a second meeting with an amalgamation such as was met at Rushden was not desirable. Negotiations were entered upon with various clubs, with the result that for a guarantee the Grantham Rovers arranged to visit the strawopolis. The meeting was all the more eagerly anticipated, inasmuch as the teams had met in the Kettering Cup some years since, and that the nearest Luton could get to winning was to play a drawn game. The manifest improvement which has taken place in the Luton team, however, led a good many to anticipate a victory. So far as the weather was concerned the day could scarcely have been worse, for rain fell heavily during the whole period devoted to play. The ground was in a dreadfully bad state, and some indication of the difficulties confronting the players may be gather from the fact that it was well-nigh impossible for an ordinary pedestrian to maintain a footing on the slippery turf. Under these circumstances the game which ensued was not remarkable for its fastness. The sides turned out punctually as follows :—Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, R. Vickers and W. Chesher ; half-backs, J. Watkins, J. W. Julian and A. H. Taylor ; forwards, F. Hoy and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left). Grantham Rovers ; Goal, Broadbent ; backs, Tucker and Brittain ; half-backs, Chamberlain, Smith and Archer ; forwards, Flinders and Senior (right), Freeman (centre), Wilson and Burke (left). The referee was Mr. J. Wright, and the linesmen were Messrs. Keall (Grantham) and J. Wilson (Luton). F. Hoy was given a place in the team instead of Brown, who was too unwell to appear. Luton won the toss and immediately after the start got down nicely. Galbraith had an easy chance presented to him in the first minute or two, but he preferred sending the ball over the line.. The “reds” again went away at a great pace, but the centre man put himself off side and thus prevented any further progress being made for the time being. The operations were conducted in midfield for a space, and so even were the exchanges that little is necessary to be said about them. A foul against Finlayson was the first noticeable point of any importance, and hands against the wearers of the stripes followed. The Rovers managed to get up the field in good style, but the ball went out, and the same side were stopped for infringing the off-side rule. Dimmock accidentally sent out of play when he had apparently a good opportunity of opening the score, and hands against Luton was recorded twice in rapid succession. Hoy, who had not up to now been showing the best of form, made amends by sending in a good attempt, which went just outside the post. The “reds” were showing exceedingly good style despite the heavy going, and the Midland Leaguers were showing form by no means to be despised. The game had been in progress a good time when hands against Grantham enabled Taylor to open the scoring, an achievement which was hailed with lavish applause from the grand stand, which was crowded to excess. The Lutonians were apparently stimulated by this success, and put in some exceedingly good efforts, but the only result was that the ball was sent over the line. Galbraith was unfortunate enough to handle the ball when in a good position, and the same player was badly fouled a little later, the referee evoking a burst of execration and derisive laughter by giving the decision against the appealing side. When Grantham had been stopped on the score of off-side Allen missed by about a foot with an open goal, the wonder being how he could possibly have missed. Julian was playing a magnificent game ; he was always safe, his heading being particularly fine. At about this time Allen passed with good judgment to Hoy, who sent the ball past Broadbent in good style, and thus scored the second point for the homesters. The interval arrived a little later, at which the score stood as follows :—Luton, two ; Grantham Rovers, none. On the resumption the “reds” had the wind and rain against them, but despite this they infused a good deal of spirit into their play. Immediately after the re-start a tremendous struggle took place in front of the Rovers’ goal, and it seemed to a good many that Hoy scored. The referee awarded a corner, however, and the disappointed Lutonians had to be satisfied with this. A corner against the home side was followed immediately by another conceded by Chesher, but this was disposed of without evil result. A little later a shot from the Grantham left wing puzzled Bee, who attempted to kick it out, but though he succeeded in touching it he failed to get rid of the danger and the ball found its way into the net. Broadbent was given a stinging shot to deal with just afterwards, and Allen tried hard to force the keeper through, but failed. Finlayson thereafter experienced hard luck, while Chesher was unlucky in giving a corner. Bee saved splendidly by throwing out, and hands near the Luton goal threatened disaster, which was staved off admirably. The referee called forth another expression of disapprobation by awarding a foul against Luton. Grantham were stopped for fouling Dimmock, and from a free kick awarded to the visitors for a similar cause the ball was forced past Bee out of a scrimmage, and thus the scores were equalised. A period of even play ensued, but towards the close the Luton men managed to obtain a third notch, the ball going through off one of the Grantham men and thus they won a finely contested game by three goals to two, and stamped themselves as a really formidable organisation, for the Grantham Rovers’ position in the Midland League shows that they are a team who take a lot of beating. The wretched state of the ground and the greasiness of the ball were responsible for a good many slips on the part of the players, and under these circumstances it would be unfair to criticise defects. On the whole both sides played a good game, though the palm must be given to the winners. Some of the decisions of Mr. Wright, as has been indicated, failed to give satisfaction to the spectators, and there was undoubtedly cause for disagreeing with some of these. There is no excuse, however, for the very violent display on the part of some occupants of the grand stand, and the sooner a certain section of the spectators learn how to behave themselves the better it will be for themselves and for those whose misfortune it is to be compelled to sit in their immediate neighbourhood. Disgusting language and foul remarks are not desirable things in the grand stand, and the committee may be advised to take such steps as will lead to the detection of offenders in this direction.
LUTON TOWN v. KETTERING
On Monday the Lutonians opposed another Midland League, this time the Kettering team being the adversaries. The weather was brilliantly fine, and there was a good attendance, about 2,000 being present. It was generally anticipated that after Saturday’s win the homesters would not experience much difficulty in securing the victory, but this forecast was falsified. The teams turned out in the following order :—Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and R. Vickers ; half-backs, J. W. Julian (captain) A. H. Taylor and J. Watkins ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left). Kettering : Goal, Pack ; backs, Wallace and Toseland ; half-backs, Panter, Peters and Mableston ; forwards, Hitchcock and Starr (right), Phillips (centre), Macdermot and Dixon (left). The referee was Mr. J. Wright, and the linesmen were Messrs. W. G. Wheeler (Luton), and G. West (Kettering). The visitors won the toss and elected to play with the wind but against the sun, and upon Luton devolved the task of defending the goal at the pavilion end. The ”reds” started well, and in less than a minute hands against Kettering enabled Brown to centre beautifully. When the home forwards were coming up in good style Galbraith passed badly, and thereby mulled a good chance. For fouling the Luton centre man a penalty kick was awarded against the Midlanders ; it was taken by Julian, who sent the ball into Pack’s hands instead of between the posts. Hands against the home side was followed by some capital defensive play on their part. Next Dimmock sent in a grand shot which struck the cross-bar and fell into play, Galbraith and Allen putting on the finishing touches. Immediately afterwards Kettering got the ball past Bee, but the point was adjudged off-side. From a pass by Dimmock Brown breasted in, but despite a struggle the ball could not be forced through, and the pressure was relieved by Brown being declared off-side. By good combination Kettering got down and shot. Bee fisted out but had not put sufficient strength into the blow, and the leather was at once sent into the net, the scores being thus equalised. A foul against Brown was followed by a corner to his side, and then Vickers was penalised for fouling the ball going through from the free kick without having touched a second player. When a scrimmage had taken place near the Luton fortress, the home forwards west away splendidly and following a corner Galbraith scored in very clever fashion. The Lutonians attacked fiercely afterwards, the half-backs playing a particularly sturdy game. After Dimmock had struck the side of the net Galbraith sent over the bar from a pass by Brown. Eventually from a great struggle in front of goal Galbraith obtained a third point, and from this stage to the interval the exchanges ruled in favour of Luton. Crossing over with the wind in their favour it was generally considered that an easy win was in store for the “reds.” The Lutonians gave the Kettering defence a particularly warm time of it and Pack was kept busy, the Luton front string all taking shots. Several attempts by Galbraith in rapid succession failed by the merest trifle. At length a change came over the scene. Vickers badly twisted one of his knees and had to be carried off the field, and the loss of a man sadly interfered with the display. Julian went back and brought Allen to centre half—an action which was regarded by most folks to have been an error in judgment, for it resulted in taking the sting out of the home attack. The visitors fully profited by the weakness,. From a corner they obtained a goal very luckily, the ball hitting the post and curling into the net. A scrimmage near goal ended in the totals being equalised, and a little later the lead was secured by the Midland Leaguers. From now to the end the Lutonians struggled gamely to retrieve their fortunes, but in this they failed, and in the end the Kettering men gained a somewhat fluky victory by four goals to three. In the first portion of the game the home combination was vastly superior to that of the visitors, and it was only the unfortunate accident to Vickers that was responsible for the defeat. It may be interesting to note that the “reds” have now won 21 games, lost five, and drawn one, while they have scored 76 goals against 39.
LUTON CHARITY CUP.
The draw for the semi-finals has resulted as follows :—1st Scots Guards v. Luton Town, on March 17 ; Wolverton L. and N. W. v. Rushden, on March 31.
LUTON GORDON v. DUNSTABLE GRAMMAR SCHOOL.—On Saturday on the Grammar School ground this return match was played. The Gordon team was as follows ; Goal, B. Tomlin ; backs, D. Dockrill (Capt.) and S. Knight ; half-backs, Breed, Wilkinson and Grewer, forwards, Fensome (centre), Ord and Gibbs (right wing), Spratley and Lenard (left wing). Referee Mr. H. Impey. The Grammar School won the toss and Fensome started against the wind and rain. Phillipson scored four times for the School. The second half was more even but the School scored twice, and a one sided game ended ; Grammar School, six ; Gordon, nil.
19th February 1894 committee meeting –
“Letters received from Mr Rodgers, C. Squires City Ramblers and S.J. Brown, schoolboys league.
“Team selected against City Ramblers for Sat 24th. Bee, Cheshire, Wilson, Watkins, Julian, Taylor, Brown, Finlayson, Galbraith, Allen, Dimmock. referee Mr Wright, linesman Mr Smith.”
Gate money for
Wednesday 14th £11 15s 0d Pav £1 0s 11d
Saturday 17th £12 1s 8d Pav £5 10s 6d
Monday 19th £25 11s 11d Pav £2 19s 6d
Gatemen for Sat 24th Messrs Webdale and Wilkins
Resolved to allow the school boys league use of ground for Wednesday after Easter”.
“Messrs Pakes and Thompson then gave notice that as Mr Rodgers had apologised, at the next meeting of the committee they should move a resolution with regard to the same”.
“Carried that the Town play off the semi of the Luton Charity Cup on the first date viz., March 17th”.
“resolved that in future we have 4 police, Secretary to use discretion as to where to place them”.
“resolved that club pay expenses of tea for Kettering”.
“Secretary write Leicester Fosse for terms for a Monday match at Luton”.
“That Railway expenses for 2 journeys be paid Messrs Julian and Bee. The other players to receive 5/- for lost time”.
“That Secretary write Mr Webdale calling his attention to the committee rule with regard to attendance”.
“Expenses of reserves to Hornsey United £2 13s 10d.
Expenses re cup tie with Montrose
Printing 8/6, Police 4/-, Mon GNR 1/- 13/6
Ground man 4/-, gatemen 5/- 9/0
Total = £1 2s 6d
Thus leaving £12 15s 11d minus £1 2s 6d to be divided between the clubs, viz. £11 13s 5d, Montrose share £5 16s 8d”.
“Secretary write Mr Robins of Watford and Mr Dickerson of St Albans asking them if they would write the Charity Committee stating themselves to be members of our club, so as to make them eligible for the Luton Cup”.
24th February 1894. Taken from the Luton Reporter of 3rd March 1894.
“LUTON TOWN v. CITY RAMBLERS.
Played on Saturday, in splendid weather, before a moderate number of spectators, scarcely 1,000 being present. The visitors had a fair team, including the noted back, McGahey ; while Wilson took his place in the Luton team for the first time since the English Cup tie at Middlesbrough. The sides were as follows :—Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and J. Wilson ; 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). City Ramblers : Goal, J. May ; backs, C. McGahey and G. Ritchie ; half-backs, J. Bentley, W. B. Mordin, and F. Withington ; forwards, R. C. Dundas and N. Nobbs (right), N. Ingram (centre), W. H. Bentley and S. Sermon (left). The referee was Mr. J. Wright, and the linesmen were Messrs. T. Evans (City Ramblers), and Isaac Smith (Luton). The home team won choice of position and set the Ramblers to play with the sun full in their faces. The locals had the best of the opening exchanges, but failed to profit by their chances, Taylor and Galbraith missing narrowly. Allen with a clear goal shot into the side of the net, and the same player a little later sent in an excellent attempt, which was brilliantly saved. Hands against either side followed in rapid succession, and from a corner conceded by Ritchie, Galbraith missed. The City men subsequently took a turn at pressing, but they also failed to profit by the ground which was made, the ball going out over the Luton line. From a scrimmage the Ramblers opened the score, this success being received with mingled cheers and laughter, the cachinnatory exhibition obviously being intended for the “reds’” indifferent display. This manifestation of feeling had barely subsided when Allen evoked a genuine outburst of applause by equalising in capital style. The little player experienced hard luck a minute later from an exceedingly fine pass by Brown, this indeed being one of the most noticeable portions of the day’s play. The Ramblers got through, but the outside left, who was derisively denominated “Trousers” by the crowd, spoiled by getting offside. Allen put on a second notch, and a little later came very near scoring a third. The home side did most of the pressing thereafter, and should have scored more goals, but their bad shooting and the excellent defence of their opponents combined to prevent this, and when the interval arrived the score stood : Luton two ; Ramblers, one. On the resumption the play became of a more mediocre character, and when Watkins had scored a goal from a corner kick interest in the game practically ceased. When the end came Luton had won a poor game by three goals to one. For the visitors McGahey, Nobbs, and the goal-keeper played in good style, while Mordin rendered himself conspicuous by the foul tactics which he adopted. For the homesters Allen performed brilliantly.
On Saturday morning the Higher Grade boys met a team selected from the other schools as follows :—Watkins (Hitchin-road), goal ; Sanders (St. Matthew’s) and Hobbs (Chapel-street), backs ; Wright and Eaton (Christ Church), and Ball (St. Matthew’s), half-backs ; Hearn (Queen’s-square), Furlong (Christ Church). Evans (Chapel-street), Boston (St. Matthew’s), and Deacon (Christ Church). Forwards. The Higher Grade team, with the wind at their backs, had matters pretty much their own way in the first half, and scored six goals to their opponents’ one. The Higher Grade right wing was especially prominent. On resuming, Brown (St. Matthew’s) took the place of Sanders at back, and this at once put a different appearance on the game. Wright at half-back also changed places with Ball and effectually marked the Waller-street right wing. The combined team made a good show in the second half and scored twice to Higher Grade once. the game ending—Higher Grade, 7 ; Combined Schools, 3. The winners played a good combined game, and well deserved their victory. Most of the combined team played well individually, but were lacking in the necessary combination. Wright at half-back, Hobbs at back, and Furlong and Hearn, forward, were the pick.
Local footballers will be interested in knowing that arrangements have been made for the South London boys to meet the Luton boys on the Town ground on Easter Wednesday.
26th February 1894 committee meeting –
“Letters received from Mr Barford, Luton Charity Committee, C. Bullock, Kettering, C.W. De Lyons Pike, Crouch End, J.G. Beckton, Middlesboro, A.E. Boyce Football Charity Saturday and C.D. Pepper.
“Team selected against Chatham for Sat March 3rd. Resolved to play same team as last week with the exception of Watkins whose place Mr Thompson proposed Mr Fryer seconded should be filled by Mr Robins of West Herts in order to qualify him for the Luton Charity Cup”.
“Proposed by Mr Horn seconded by Mr Thompson and carried that secretary write to the Association for referee asking for Mr Chase if possible, Lineman, Mr Horn”.
Gate money for Sat 24th £18 16s 3d. Pav £3 0s 0d.
Gatemen for sat March 3rd, Messrs Austin and Arnold.
“The Secretary then stated that during the week one of the Royal Arsenal Directors had stated to Mr Julian that he thought home and home matches could be arranged providing two dates on Mondays could be agreed upon. A short discussion took place with regard to the same, when it was thought to be a rather under handed way in approaching us in the matter, but as it was felt it would answer our purpose to play home and home fixtures , the Secretary was empowered to write Royal Arsenal we had heard through a director they would be pleased to arrange matches for any Mondays this season, and offer them Monday March 5th at Luton and April 23rd at Plumstead. In the event of these dates being accepted Mr Hinson proposed Mr Horn seconded that at this match everybody pay, carried”.
“It was resolved that whoever was on the gate every member should be made to show his ticket as it had been intimated parties had gained admission by passing through as members”.
“It was then proposed by Mr Thompson, seconded by Mr Arnold and carried that as Mr Rodgers had acknowledged his guilt with regard to using obscene language on the ground and had apologised to the committee for the same, the minute made at a previous meeting prohibiting him from using the grand stand for the remainder of the season should be rescinded and the Secretary to notify him of the same”.
28th February 1894 committee meeting –
“Secretary read a letter from Mr H.G. Greenwood Royal Arsenal submitting March 5th at Plumstead and Easter Tuesday at Luton. The date for Luton was really impossible as a match was already arranged for it. Mr Arnold then proposed, seconded by Mr Horn and carried that we accept March 5th at Plumstead providing they can come to Luton April 2nd or 16th. Linesman Mr Fryer failing him Mr Hackett, next Mr Hinson”.
“Secretary also stated that he had a letter from South London League asking for a larger guarantee than he had agreed upon formerly”. “Carried that as it was not an important fixture the match be scratched and advertise for strong team for that date”.
“Having received a wire from Chatham to kick off at 3 o’clock since the bills have been issued. Resolved to have slips issued and fastened to the bills already issued as far as practicable.”
“”Having received a wire from Mr Robins of West Herts stating able to play on Saturday 5th”.
3rd March 1894. Taken from the Luton Reporter of the 10th March 1894.
STRAW PLAITERS’ EARNINGS.—The special report of the English Land Restoration League for 1893 contains the following passages as to the earnings of straw-plaiters in this part of the country :—The women of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire are largely engaged in a sorely-sweated industry—the making of straw-plait. The work is paid for by the score yards, at from 1½d. or 2d. (for four-straw “rustic”) to 5d., or for the most difficult kinds, such as 16-straw brilliant, 6d. or 7d. per score. In some cases the straw seems to be found by the dealer ; generally the worker has to pay for it. Thus when the Van visited Great Offley, women were there making an 11-straw plait in two colours at 5d. per score, from which about 2d. must be deducted for the straw. A woman whom the lecturer interviewed at Hemel Hempstead was making “7-straw split.” She had to provide herself with a “mill” costing half-a-crown, and a “machine” (4d.) for splitting the straws. A bundle of white straws cost 5d., and one of the blue straws, 3d., which must be brought from the dealer to whom the plait is sold. The straws will work up, if good, into about five score of plait. If the plait is exceptionally good, the price paid is 4d. per score, but the price is liable to arbitrary reduction if the dealer is not satisfied. The five score would, therefore, not bring more than 1s. 8d., from which 8d. must be deducted for the cost of the straw. “If I commence about nine in the morning and leave off at nine at night,” said the woman, “doing some house work between whiles, I can do 25 yards, which will bring me in ‘clear’ about threepence. It is poor enough pay, but as I have the children to look after I can do nothing else.” Where this sort of work is largely done, the homes of the labourers are grievously neglected, and intemperance is said to be prevalent. There is no doubt that the dealers form a “ring,” in whose hands the poor workers are helpless. When the “Red Van” visited the Tring Plait Market on September 8, the dealers, taking advantage of the fact that harvest was nearly over, and that many of the men whose wives were plaiters were out of work, were reducing the already starvation prices by a halfpenny or more per score yards ! The hat-making appears to be but little better. The women who make men’s “boaters,” for instance, are paid by the “score” at 2½d. or 3d. As a “boater” will take about three-quarters of a score of plait, the net price for making, after paying for thread, is about three-halfpence per hat.
LUTON TOWN v. CHATHAM.
The Chatham club paid their first visit to Luton on Saturday in order to play the return game with the Town Club. The suspension of their ground for the remainder of the season had aroused considerable sympathy for the authorities, and there was large attendance, the crowd numbering about 2,000. The weather was all that could be desired, and the ground was in good order. Ten minutes behind the time fixed the teams lined up in the following order :—Luton : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and J. Wilson ; half-backs, J. C. Robins, J. W. Julian and A. H. Taylor ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left). Chatham : Goal, T. Jones ; backs, P. Flannery and J. Brockwell ; half-backs, J. Bell, H. Duffield and H. Lewis ; forwards, A. Hall and G. Enfield (right), J. Brisley (centre), J. Kinnear and J. Stanford (left). The referee was Mr. H. Chase (Woolwich), and the linesmen were Messrs. W. G Wheeler and G. Horn. It will be noticed that Robins (formerly of Sittingbourne and now of West Herts.) was given a trial by Luton, and that the Chatham side was strong, the only important absentee being Robertson. The home eleven lost the toss, and started against the sun. They went off well and were soon in the vicinity of the visitors’ goal, but the danger was averted by the fine play of the Chatham backs. Allan showed up prominently and Wilson kicked well, while Dimmock and Taylor were next to distinguish themselves. When a corner had been conceded by the strangers, Chesher became conspicuous, and for a space the home combination had all the best of the exchanges. Hall next put in a fine run and forced Bee to handle, but this attack was easily dispose of, and the Lutonians were soon found in their opponents’ territory once more. Dimmock missed a chance of scoring when in front of goal. Robins was playing well hereabouts, while the Chatham front string were exhibiting improved form. Bee tipped the ball over the bar, and Allen shortly afterwards made a plucky overhead shot at Jones’s charge. Dimmock and Galbraith made good attempts, and then Chatham were stopped for infringing the offside rule. The visitors were forced to struggle hard to avert the downfall of their fortress a minute later, several shots in rapid succession being sent in. During this period the heading of the Chatham backs was superb. Dimmock sent the ball into the net in grand style, but the whistle had blown, a Chatham man being on the ground. One of the visitors’ half backs fouled Allen very badly, and was duly hooted by the spectators, who were for once in a way right in thus expressing their disapprobation. The same player (Bell) repeated these tactics a little later and was punished by the referee, while immediately afterwards another exhibition of foul play was similarly visited. After free kicks against either side Brown, who had been playing a fine game, sent out. The remainder of the first half was pretty much in favour of Luton, who experienced the hardest of luck in failing to score. When the interval arrived the score had not been opened. Luton went off at a great pace in the second portion and were soon swarming round the Chatham citadel. Some laughter was caused by one of the visitors mistaking the side line and picking up the ball before it had gone out of play. Hands was promptly awarded, and Brockwell had the misfortune to head through his own goal, and thus open the scoring for the “reds.” Stimulated by this the locals renewed their efforts, and from a well-judged pass by Julian Dimmock was enabled to put on a second notch. Scarcely a minute had elapsed when Galbraith obtained a third goal with a splendid long shot, the ball slipping through the keeper’s hands. Dimmock notched a fourth, and from this time onwards the Lutonians had all the best of the game. No further scoring took place until just before the operations ceased, when Galbraith cleverly put on a fifth. The homesters accordingly won a fast and closely-contested match by five points to none. The winners all played in excellent style, Robins affording considerable satisfaction by his sterling display. It should be said that he was transferred to centre half-back in the second half, and in this position he showed to advantage. For the losers the backs played finely, while the forwards were exceedingly tricky. Jones was a capable goalkeeper. The decisions of the referee proved acceptable to the onlookers. This success by the Lutonians over their fellow Southern Leaguers, coupled with their victory at Chatham, stamps them as the superiors of the Kent team, and further indicates that they are in the first batch in the South of England.
5th March 1894 committee meeting –
“Letters received from Messrs Finch Bedford, Hartwell Rushden, Thompson South London league.
Gate money for Sat March 3rd £23 12s 9d, pav £2 9s 10d.
Team selected against Rushden Sat 10th. Bee, Cheshire, Wilson, Taylor, Julian, Watkins, Dimmock, Allen, Galbraith, Finlayson, Brown. Resolved that Secretary speak to Dimmock respecting putting a little more heart and dash into his play”.
“Referee. Write to Association for referee asking for Mr Wilson preference”.
“Mr Arnold gave report of League meeting stating that only one thing of importance was brought forward viz. that no clubs be allowed to make fixtures until all League matches are arranged”.
“Carried that the Secretary write to the Association for permission to play a Benefit match for Mr A. Taylor. Date and club to be fixed in the meantime. Sec to approach West Herts for a Wednesday match”.
“Carried that having no dates open and already given up 3 Saturdays on behalf of Charity we could not see our way to entertain the proposal of Millwall to play a benefit match in aid of Poplar Hospital”.
Monday 5th March 1894
“LUTON TOWN v. ROYAL ARSENAL.
Considerable interest was manifested in this fixture, which was decided at Plumstead on Monday afternoon. It was the first occasion on which the Royalists had condescended to play their fellow-professionals, and a great amount of speculation had taken place over the result. About 100 journeyed from Luton shortly after mid-day and helped to swell the crowd of 3,000 who were present. The weather was brilliantly fine, but the ground was bumpy. The sides were as follows :—Woolwich Arsenal : Goal, Williams ; backs, Powell and Storrs ; half-backs, Davis, Boyle, and Buist ; forwards, Crawford and Henderson (right), Shaw (centre), Elliott and Bryan (left). Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and J. Wilson ; half-backs, J. Watkins, J. W. Julian (capt.) and A. H. Taylor ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre). F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left). The referee was Mr. N. Whittaker, and the linesmen Messrs. Gemmell (Arsenal), and G. Hinson (Luton). The visitors won the toss, and took advantage of a strong wind which was blowing. The start was punctual, and when the Lutonians had secured possession from the kick-off hands against Galbraith was given. The kick was badly taken by the Arsenal men, who were playing in white, and the ball went out of play. Galbraith got away nicely, but he sent the ball out in execrable fashion. When Chesher had distinguished himself the Arsenal worked their way through, but threw away an opportunity. Chesher was a trifle injured, but was soon able to resume. Dimmock made a plucky attempt to pass Powell, but failed, the stalwart back being one too many for him. Brown, from a pass by Galbraith, struck the cross-bar, but he was penalised for infringing the off-side rule. Crawford made a fine run, and afterwards shot, Bee conceding a corner. Dimmock caused some amusement by sending high over the bar when he had a splendid opportunity of scoring. Hands against Julian was followed by a foul against Boyle. Crawford forced a corner, and then the Lutonians had a turn at the other end, Julian putting in a fine centre which Powell was puzzled to dispose of. Wilson took a free kick which was awarded against the Arsenal for hands, and he sent it out, while Storrs was soon after called upon to relieve. Henderson shot outside the posts, and hands against Shaw followed. From a throw in but Taylor Davies conceded a corner, and next Crawford was stopped for getting off-side. The Arsenal had a narrow escape of scoring but this was followed by a corner off Davies. Allen headed in splendidly, but Williams behaved well in goal. A good exhibition by Wilson had a set-off in a bad display by Dimmock, and thereafter Storrs gave hands in front of his goal. A great struggle took place, but this was ineffectual. Watkins was penalised for a foul throw in, and a minute later Brown had hard luck in failing to score. A foul against the Arsenal was the next noteworthy point. Julian was hereabouts playing grandly. Buist took a shot at goal, which was a long way from scoring, and subsequently some laughter was caused by the referee pulling up Dimmock for an alleged off-side display. The Woolwich contingent played up strongly, and forced Bee to handle. Another foul by Davies was chronicled after a period of even exchanges. The Lutonians attacked, and Julian twice in rapid succession placed splendidly in front of goal. The visitors’ captain was badly fouled by Henderson, who was duly punished. The “reds” maintained the pressure, but in spite of their most strenuous efforts they could not succeed in forcing the ball past Williams, who behaved exceedingly well in the midst of determined rushes. Allen sent in along attempt which went just outside, and subsequently the visitors maintained a steady bombardment of the Royalists’ citadel until the interval arrived, when the scoring had not been begun. It was generally anticipated that after the excellent show made by the visitors the game would not prove a run-away one, and thus it proved. With the wind at their backs the Arsenal made a far better show. Soon after the commencement of the second period Taylor gave hands, and the Luton goal had a narrow escape, Henderson missing by inches only. The second half was not very old when the Woolwich men succeeded in opening their score. Bee saved in good style, but failed to clear, and Bryan rushed up and put on the finishing touch. Stimulated by this the Arsenal got down again directly afterwards, and Shaw sent over. The little players from Bedfordshire were by no means willing to confess themselves beaten, and they retaliated by making a very smart attack, Galbraith delighting the onlookers by putting in some exceedingly tricky play. The Arsenal struck the bar, and a minute after Galbraith was hurt by Storr, a foul being given. From this Luton made a stout attempt to equalise, but luck was against them and they could not get past Williams, whose save was an admirable one. The Luton representatives continued to exhibit good style, but Henderson was soon afterwards presented with a good chance, which he threw away. A great opportunity to the Royalists followed, but they failed to score. Bee conceded a corner in disposing of one attempt, and Buist sent over the top. An exhibition of weakness on the part of the Luton defenders resulted in the Arsenal putting on a second goal. Wilson conceded a corner, and another was given by Watkins. Galbraith subsequently made the best individual run of the day, and he was very unlucky in failing to score at the finish. As the end drew near both sides redoubled their efforts and the visitors had somewhat the best of the exchanges. They failed to score, however, and a splendidly contested match resulted in a hard won victory for the homesters by two goals to none. It should be mentioned that during the course of the second half the Arsenal were deprived of the services of Henderson, who was somewhat badly kicked by one of his comrades. It must be frankly stated that the better team on the day’s play won, and considering the fact that some of the Lutonians were by no means up to form the great wonder is that the adverse balance was not very much larger. Dimmock was altogether a failure, and Allen even was not seen at this best. The backs displayed an unfortunate tendency to getting too far up the field. The Arsenal defence won them the match, for though their forwards were capable and smart the backs were seen to greater advantage and had all their work cut out to prevent the visitors from scoring.
The following is the judgment of the Morning Leader representative as to the calibre of the Lutonians :—“Luton did not happen to meet the Arsenal at anything like their best although the home team played a better game than they did against the Caledonians the other day. On the assumption that Luton displayed their average form they are a very smart lot of players indeed. They may think that on their own ground they would just about beat the Arsenal, and though they might manage it once now and again, they will not get many outside of Luton to believe they are the equals of the Reds on any ground. With careful nursing and the strengthening of one or two weak spots there is no saying how far the Lutonians might go. Even now they are perhaps as good as one or two of the weaker Second League clubs. They could do with a good left back. I think Wilson may turn out a rare good man. Julian, I should say, is the pick of three fair half-backs, but he was a little flustered yesterday. I like the three inside forwards, especially Galbraith, but the outside left is of little account.
10th March 1894. Taken from the Luton Reporter of 17th March 1894.
“LUTON TOWN v. RUSHDEN.
The visit of Rushden to Luton on Saturday was regarded with considerable interest, inasmuch as the teams were thought to have excellent chances of meeting in the Luton Cup final. The result of a rough and by no means scientific game was a ludicrous victory for the visitors, who recent thrashing at the hands of the Arsenal Athletic would appear to show that they are not particularly skilful. The day was brilliant, and the play was witnessed by a goodly crowd. The teams were as follows :—Luton Town : Goal, E. Bee ; backs, W. Chesher and J. Wilson ; half-backs, J. Watkins, J. W. Julian (capt.) and A. H. Taylor ; forwards, W. Brown and J. Finlayson (right), H. Galbraith (centre), F. Allen and J. Dimmock (left). Rushden : Goal, F. Johnson ; backs, J. Lilley and W. Clarke ; half-backs, T. Minney, A. Bailey, and H. Parker ; forwards, J. L. Stanley and H. C. Lewis (right), T. Litchfield (centre), F. Tear and G. H. Claridge (left). The referee was Mr. W. J. Wilson (South London Schools Association), and the linesmen were Messrs. S. Allen (Rushden), and H. Shane (Luton). The start was delayed for a quarter of an hour by the late arrival of the referee whose train had been detained at St. Pancras. Luton lost the toss, and played against a strong wind and sun. By means of some excellent passing Luton got down, but Rushden retaliated, though they had not progressed far before they were pulled up for off-side. Some splendid heading by Taylor and the forwards got the ball down, and a corner followed. When Bee had been called upon to save, a corner was conceded by Watkins. The game was splendidly contested, the Luton forwards displaying good combination. Hands against Bailey was followed by Stanley and his wing companion bringing the leather up finely, Claridge finishing by sending it high over the bar. Fouls against Rushden were given in rapid succession, after which Stanley went away at a great pace, but his side was stopped for foul play. Galbraith and Dimmock passed well, and Brown sent over the top. The most noticeable feature of the play hereabouts was the persistency which which Bailey watched the Luton centre man ; the shadowing by the stalwart Northants. player evoked laughter and derision from the crowd. Julian sent in a grand long shot which almost scored, and thereafter Galbraith missed badly. Allen was penalised for fouling Bailey, and from the free kick Rushden scored, Wilson touching the ball on its passage through the goal. A corner off Chesher followed, and Dimmock sent over the cross-bar. Ends were changed with the score standing at one to none in favour of the visitors. The second half was closely contested, but Luton had by far the best of the exchanges. The Lutonians were unlucky in failing to score, their attacks being at times very strong. The Rushden men unduly used their weight repeatedly, and it was this that enabled them to claim a fluky win by one goal to nothing. At one time the game resembled a free fight more than anything else, and altogether it is a pity that the local committee did not accept the advice which was given in these columns some months ago, and decline to meet the Rushdenites again.
LUTON AND DERBY COUNTY.—A “Lover of Football” writes from Derby with regard to the match with Derby County for Easter Monday. He states that the last year’s team did not include one of the Leaguers, and suggests that the Luton committee should get the names of the players, if possible. He pertinently adds that he cannot see that it will be any honour for Luton to beat Derby County second or third team.
12th March 1894 committee meeting –
“Letters received from Messrs J.W. Julian, A Ferguson of Royal Scots Fusiliers, G. Jenkins of Leytonstone Atlas, G. Peacock of West Herts, W. Rollet of Romford, B.W. Lockyer of Peckham, A.T. Sutcliff of Burnley, W. Ruffell of Poplar Rovers, J. Boddington of Finedon, T. Talbot of Bow, J. Newton of 3rd Grenadiers, J.C. Bulmer of Derby County, F. Lockwood of Royal Engineers, G. Fraser of 1st Scots Guards, G.S. Francis of Vampires, T. Murray of 2nd Scots Guards, A.P. Davis of Westcombe Park, A.J. Gray of Old St. Lukes, W. Millett of Red Cross Band, G.H. Barford of Luton Charity committee, A. Sharp of St. Albans, A. Rostron Bourke of Referee’s Association, G. McMillan of Leith, E. Atley of Rushden, A.J. Beere of Cardiff Barbarians, J. Bunton Skeggs of Poplar, G.J. Sowerby of Gainsboro, W. Henderson of Millwall and G.A, Hume.
“It was resolved to accept Poplar and Bow for the reserves and Finedon for 1st eleven”.
“resolved to allow the Red Cross Band to play a selection on the ground on Easter Monday”.
SOME DETAILS MISSING AS PAGE IS TORN “but secretary to write to West Herts and Dickerson about assistance with our Easter matches?”
“Proposed by Mr Hackett and seconded by Mr Austin and carried that a deputation consisting of Messrs Horn, Arnold, Thompson and Shane wait upon the players and have a few words with them in the dressing room before the match on Saturday the 17th”.
Gate money for Sat 17th £28 16s 3d. Pav £3 16s 2d.
Expenses of reserves to Bedford £2 0s 7d
“Resolved that 1st team rest on March 31st”
17th March 1894. Taken from the Luton Reporter of the 24th March 1894.
It is intended to publish a special halfpenny edition of this paper on Saturday night under the title of The Luton Echo. It will contain reports of important events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and full accounts of football matches on Friday and Saturday. The issue will be on sale at 6.30, and those who are wishful of reading the Finedon match should procure a copy.”