Denaby Utd – Denaby United 1 Wath Athletic 0 – Denaby Start Well

August 1922

Mexborough Times, Aug 26th

Denaby Start Well
Splendid Game with Wath
Denaby United 1 Wath Athletic 0

Denaby: Ekins; Haslam and Taylor; Reed, Cowan and Hill; Hamilton, Kemp, Bretnall, Godfrey and Powell.
Wath Athletic -; Topham; Williams and Dawson; Finney, Nutall and Hargreaves; Holt, Burkinshaw, Cameron Shaw and Wilson.

Denaby United season opened on Saturday under the happiest auspices. The weather was beautiful, there was a satisfactory attendance, and an exhilarating game resulted in victory for the Denaby colours – all this in refreshing contrast to the last season, when Denaby began with a defeat and went on to surrender a home point to one of the weakest teams in the Midland league.

There is gratifying evidence of a revival of interest in football at Denaby. Whe crowd numbered not far short of 3,000, and displayed a good deal of fair-minded enthusiasm, the player Wath athletic coming in for quitea meed of admiration. The game receipts – £111 – were quite good for a nine penny foundation.

Denaby turned out the advertised teams, and George Hill , the new Denaby captain, opened inauspiciously by losing the toss. There was not much in that, anyway.Denaby wereset to face a light breeze coming from the cricket field, and their defence was once called upon to stem some ugly rushes, on the Wath left, where Shaw and Wilson were very active and combined with omnious method. For 10 minutes or so, Tommy Haslam and Percy Reed were the busiest men on the field.

The first rush over, the Denaby folrwards gathered up the threads of the game, and went away in extended order,Topham being early called upon by Godfrey and then by Powell . It was at once seenthat the chief strength of either attack was in its left wing, and this was borne out by the whole course of the play, although aglimpse of the old Hamilton was occasionally seen. He roundedHargreaves very prettily on one occasion andcentred beautiful, but “chick” Dawson was on the ball before Bretnall could gather it, and he partially cleared. In the scramble that followed, Powell was fouled by Finney , but the freekick was placed wide. When Wath next attacked, Cameron and Burkinshaw were prominent with a clever little manoeuvre which put the Wath centre forward into position, and he brought Elkins down full length with a lovely drive. Elkins pushed the ball away, and Cameron was on it again; this time heading for the angle,but the Denaby keeper recovered finally and put the ball round.
Holt placed theflagkick with deadly accuracy, but relief came to Denaby through Wilson
impeding the goalkeeper. Then at the other end we saw some pretty playby Bretnall, which was nullified by offside against Powell .

The scene changed very swiftly and both goals were rapidly and repeatedly in danger. On one occasion Haslam robbed Cameron in the nick of time following an imperfect clearance by Cowan, and the next instance Topham was brought out to theheight ofhis powers to deal with a shot from Hamilton . Thefirst half passed without a goal being scored, but it was full of interesting incident and there was a practically nothing to choose between the rival teams.

The game took the same impartial course when it was resumed. Topham was early in action against Hamilton and cleared like a master, while at the other end finest individual effort of the match was applied by Wilson, the Wath outside left, who put in a wonderful centre, which went sliding across the bar and beat Ekins butfortunatly Hill dropped back and claimed before the Wath right couldcome up.

Then Josh Burkinshaw tried to bore through and got in a good shot as Cowan and Hill closed in on him. Play was swiftly transferred and Bretnall was in full cry for goal when Hargreaves nipped across and dispossessed him at the point of aim.

Matt Taylor , who had a great game throughout, was brilliant here about. Nothing came amiss to him; he was here, there, and everywhereand was the life and soul of the Denaby defence. He sent Bretnall going again and the old Wednesday man put Kemp in with a lovely opening but Kemp could not control the lively ball andfouled itwith the goal at his mercy.

Then Percy Reed put Denaby in peril by handling very close in, and Burkinshaw drove the freekick straight at Ekins who gathered coolly and cleared. Once more Denaby seem certain to score this time through the fault of Len Williams , who misskicked and let in Kemp and the Doncaster man pushed the ball out to Hamilton but he failed to gather it and kicked it over the line. The only goal of the game came a quarter of an hour from the end. Hamilton and Brentall had been very active and, for a minute or two the Wath defence have been hard-pressed. Topham wasbrought out to make a fine save from Hamilton, but he could do no more than sling the ball clear of the besieging forwards. It went out KEMP who had hung back a little, andhe landed it into the top of the net with an excellent first-time drive. Thiswas an unexpected setback for Wath, who had been playing so well as to justify thehope thatthey would whether through this first difficult match. The visitors resumed the attack with unabated courage, and Denaby had some anxious moments before the end. Still it was Wath who were in the greater danger, especially when Finney handled the ball just on the penalty line and Mr Kenyon passed itby unnoticed. As it hapened the ball went over to Kemp again but this time he shot over the bar.Right to the endWath struggled and strove and the whistle came as a greatrelief to Denaby.

It was a delightful game, pleasant and interesting throughout, clean and good tempered – in all respects to swap Midland league football to be, especially between neighbouring clubs. Denaby were highly pleased with their victory, the more so that it was gained over such respectable foemen. The feature of the play was the capital combination on the left wing and either side – Shaw and Wilson for Wath, and Godfrey and Powell for Denaby, were outstanding in attack.

Bretnall did not find things coming much his way, and neither did Cameron , though both men are formidable enough, and it was very creditable in Cowan and Nutall to keep them quiet. Cowan hasthetrue instinctof the centrefor the long drive, and was one of the best marksman view, thoughTopham wasnot to be beaten at Cowan’s range. Kemp , except for a few cool, veteran touches, of which Hamilton got the benefit, did nothing exceptional beyond the beautifuland all-important goal he scored. Neither Hamilton nor Holt shone with the accustomed lustre. The 2 exDenaby men of the Wath team werewatched with interest and subjected to alittle mild chaff. Burkinshaw was not quite happybut “ Chick” Dawson played a splendid game at full-back. Here Matt Taylor had the chief honours of defence, though Haslam

and Williams were also good, and the two goalkeepers very cool and reliable. Topham could not have saved Kemp´s shop being hopelesslyhemmedin and unsighted. Ekins , showed capital judgement, particularly on the critical occasion when Burkinshaw took a Freekick Close in. Of the half backs, Hargreaves mightbe said to have been the pick of the six. He played a beautiful all-round game, stimulating the attack and reinforcing the defence right from the First, and must be given credit for tying up the Denaby Right-Wing, George Hill was almost as effective for the Denaby Side and Reed and Finney were also very active, though not so u niformly successful. Both the centrehalves showed themselves very fit keystones of Defence.