Mexborough & Swinton Times, December 22/12/1923
Last Minute Goal
Wombwell Seize Chances – and a Point
Redford “Comes Back”
Denaby United 2, Wombwell 2
In the last minute of a game which Denaby appeared to have well in hand, Wombwell snatched a goal and a point. It was a sad disappointment to Denaby followers, for their team had done by far the biggest part of the attacking and had often swarmed round the Wombwell goal. But a mixture of ill luck and erratic finishing prevented the goal coming. There were too some very good saves by Hopkins.
Denaby were below form, and it was the hesitancy of defenders which gave away the last-minute equalising goal. The forwards went in too much for intricate manoeuvres when near goal, and there was a weak spot in the line. Clarke, who displaced Damms showing a certain amount of cleverness, but being too slow, and lacking that little extra burst that, on two occasions would easily have given him goals.
Wombwell were not at full strength, Low being a looker-on, and Addey filling his place, and Drew was also absent. Another player among the spectators was Lilley, whom Denaby had just got from Worksop.
The flag over the grandstand flew at half-mast in tribute to the Late Mr. B. Hadfield.
Hamilton winning the toss, Denaby had the sunshine on their backs, and the forwards were soon advancing. From a partial clearance Kennedy tried a drive, which was charged down, but he again got possession and dribbled on, this time however, shooting too high. Hamilton put across a fine centre, and Hopkins fisted it a few yards out. While he was still out of his goal, Shaw got possession and shot, but H. Ward booted the ball away from under the cross-bar. At the other end Hulme headed a centre by Cox. A free kick was awarded Denaby just outside the Wombwell penalty area, but Kennedy missed with it. A run and centre by Hamilton left Clarke and Godfrey with the ball at their feet close in, but Addy appeared and after a tussle, emerged with the ball and cleared. Shaw gave Cooper an opening, but the winger got the ball on the side of his foot, and spun it well over the line.
A good centre by Cooper was smartly headed in by Godfrey, but Hopkins was ready. The ball was quickly returned and there were cries of “penalty” when a defender appeared to handle Shaw got in a shot, which certainly seemed to hit Addy on the hand, but again the referee took no notice of the claims for a penalty.
Alcock at last got a chance, and Haslem, worried by him, nearly blundered in putting the ball back to Harrison for he did not tap it hard enough, and the goalkeeper had to race to get to it first. A great shot by Redford was splendidly saved by Harrison who followed up by running out and dribbling the ball clear to kick up field. Cooper carried it on and gave Hopkins a shot to deal with. Talbot broke away and swung the ball over to Cox, whose shot sent it whistling a foot or so past the corner of the woodwork. Cooper, served with a clever pass by Clarke made an individual effort, but finished weakly.
Denaby gathered their forces for a wholehearted assault, the movement beginning on the right. Then the ball went to Cooper who made desperate attempts to get it in the goal, but Godfrey headed wide. Chambers next went off alone, winding up with a clever shot for Hopkins to save smartly. With the Denaby forwards moving on him swiftly in line, Hopkins rather wonderfully got one hand to the ball, sent in at point-blank range by Shaw. The latter was fouled a few feet away from the penalty area and Kennedy´s free kick hit the bar the ball shot in the air and Hopkins fisted out as it came down, being charged over by Kennedy as he did so. The Denaby men strove hard to get the ball through, but the defence held them at bay.
Denaby´s hard worked for goal came after 23 minutes play. Chambers took a free-kick from near the middle of the field, and Hopkins ran out to meet his shot. He only pushed the ball away a few yards, however, and GODFREY had crushed it into the unguarded net in a trice.
Cox made a determined dash, but was forced on to the goal-line and his screw shot hit the net behind the post. Following a corner kick at the other end, Hill and Godfrey, by well-judged passes, gave Shaw a chance and he shot well for the top corner of the goal but Hopkins made a great save. Another heavy assault by Denaby was robbed of its effectiveness by the forward´s hesitation to shoot, but Kennedy seized an opening to let drive, Ward got in the way of that shot – to his sorrow.
Hopkins saved a headed from Godfrey, following a well-placed corner kick by Hamilton. Then Alcock sent Cox away, but the latter´s centre was kicked away by Kennedy. Denaby led by the only goal at the interval.
The second half opened with a Denaby attack, and Kennedy was very prominent. He once stood still, with the ball motionless at his feet, and calmly took a survey of the battlefield before making his pass. Then he suddenly took it into his head to bustle through on his own, and was only held off with difficulty, as he tried to dribble the ball into the net. Cooper screwed in a characteristic centre, and Clarke, with an overhead kick dropped the ball to Hamilton, who was unmarked, but the winger clean missed it. The attack was maintained, and Hopkins after saving a header from Godfrey snatched a cross shot by Cooper from just inside the post. There was only one team in it in the first few minutes of the half, and yet, after 12 minutes Wombwell equalised. The ball was sent towards midfield and was swung across to REDFORD. He went alone, beat all opposition, and scored with a low shot into the far corner of the net.
The next incident of note, was a terrific scramble in the Wombwell goalmouth, during which there was an amazing amount of wild kicking and missing. It was crude work. Wombwell began to take a little greater share of the game after this, and Haslam had some difficulty in stopping a raid by Talbot and Alcock. The play became rather scrappy for a period, both sets of forwards having turns on the attack, but neither getting very dangerous. Fresh zest was given to the game, however, in the 25th minute, HAMILTON,
who had changed places with Clarke, snapped up a forward pass by Kennedy, who had dribbled his way up and put the ball past Hopkins. A minute later Wombwell had a wonderful escape. Shaw got the ball across from the left and Cooper, receiving, deliberately side-stepped into position and shot with great force. The ball hit the cross-bar and rebounded, and Shaw promptly slammed it back at a terrific pace, but it hit Hopkins and again went out. Hopkins deserved credit for being in position, but luck was certainly on his side for he had no time actually to save.
A foul by Haslam on Talbot brought a free kick to Wombwell, just outside the penalty area, Cox lobbed the ball neatly over the heads of the crowd of players for the top corner of the goal, but Harrison saved well.
Kennedy led a Denaby sortie, himself taking the ball about half the length of the field, but Clarke failed to get to the ball for a possible shot. The same player was remiss in similar fashion a minute or two later, when clever work by Hamilton and Godfrey had given him an opening.
Kennedy once more essayed a single-handed dash, but collided with some opponents and went down when it appeared he would be successful. Cooper shot right across the goal from a pass by Hamilton. But these and other vigorous efforts of Denaby´s failed and in the last minute came the shock. The ball was sent among the Wombwell forwards, Alcock spun it aside to the left, a defender missed a kick and REFORD slipped the ball into the net as Harrison dashed desperately out.
On the run of the play it might be said that Denaby were a distinctly unfortunate team. On the other hand, Wombwell deserve full credit for seizing their chances. A very pleasing feature of the game from their point of view was Redford´s return to goal-scoring form.