Mexborough and Swinton Times December 31, 1910
The Great Encounter
Denaby United 3 Mexborough Town 3
Having steered clear of each other in the Cup ties, the first of the League matches between Denaby and Mexborough was more than usually interesting, and needless to say quite the “star” turn In the Don Valley holiday programme.
Considering the marks lamp inspector Oriel interest in football this season, the boxing Date “gate” at Denaby was on the whole satisfactory, quite the biggest crowd of the season gathering on the Colliery enclosure, where for the first time there was something in the nature of a real live football atmosphere.
Mexborough were fortunate at being at full strength, but Denaby had evidently not that spirit of peace and goodwill, for as the teams turned out it was seen that their Demon shot, Jones, and the fallen “Star,” Lang, were not in the usual places. I believe there were under the ban of club suspension for insubordination.
The return of Teddy Dyal certainly compensated somewhat and it must be said that the youngster Hilton did by no means disgraced the position of outside right, when he showed a good knowledge of the game all through.
A Lively Start.
It was not a great match. There have been better encounters in the history of the two clubs, but there have been many worse. Perhaps the most predominant feature was the all-round earnestness that may marked most of the players, and there were one or two of the Mexborough side who did not put themselves about unduly. The start was a lively one, Mexborough crowding on a lot of pace to get the first in, and Connolly was, so to speak, the “first man in.” But he made a sad hash of a good opportunity.
Denaby responded with great spirit, and Charlie Bisby, who had stopped the gap created by the disorganisation of the front line had hard lines with a lively header, which passed just over the far upright. Gradually the Denaby attack, splendidly served by the Westwoods and Nimrod, were probably the nippiest players on the field, began to exert dangerous pressure, and with Murray anything but certain in the town defence, Crump was repeatedly fetched across in a hurry.
Both Dodsley and Hilton sent across some trouble, but despite their persistency Denaby could not get through, and a sensational turn in the tide of attack came when Tomlinson this across the top side to send in an accurate parting centre. It killed right into the goal, and Sheppard, who was right in the line of flight, misjudged it, and helped it into goal.
Denaby were very determined, and Fitton, who bustled about in the centre to some purpose, nearly forced his way through to find Crump an impossible barrier. Another fast burst by Tomlinson was vetoed by Jackson, and Denaby return hotfooted to the attack. In a fatal moment, Murray beat down the ball with his hand, and Mr Pallistowe had him spotted. Gregory, the official penalty kicker, made no mistake, and the teams were level.
Almost immediately Denaby to retain the lead, but Dodsley, after defeating the town backs, kick the ball as if it was a Christmas pudding instead of a lively piece of leather to be permeated rather than cajoled. The Mexborough forwards specialise more in individualism and quick dashes, and Denaby undoubtedly had a greater number of opportunities.
At the interval the teams stood one all.
Denaby restarted as if they intended to make short shrift of the Town defence, and with Beech obviously nervous and clumsy in fielding there were some thrilling exchanges in front of him. For quite 10 minutes the Denaby halfbacks kept showing the ball well in front, but even Teddy Dyal’s foraging was of no avail, and in the nature of things again suddenly veered the other way, when Wathey shook off a strong challenge, set up an attack which bore fruit indirectly, inasmuch as it is an example of what Connolly, who had been strangely dominant to the necessity for an effort.
The Lead Regained
He secured possession about the halfway line, and, running clean through, gave Sheppard too big a handful to hold, with the result that Gladwin had only to push it through.
But Denaby were not done with. They again set themselves to equalise and succeeded. Beech, in quick succession, was twice nearly beaten, and at the third attempt Denaby were through with a good goal by Hilton, who took a centre from Dodsley while the Town defence was in a tangle.
Hardly as the cheers died away before there was a big counteroffer. Tomlinson speeding away on the left, to go on and shoot a magnificent goal, while Nimrod and Jackson stood appealing for a foul. But the folly of stopping play and taking referee decisions for granted was evidenced when the goal was allowed. This was a stroke of luck for Mexborough, the winger undeniably controlled the ball with his hand.
So for the first time Denaby found themselves behind, and to their credit, be it said, for the third time they bucked up and went for the equaliser, which they got in the drizzle and darkness which mark the closing stages. A bit of the real Dodsley was shown and the tricky footwork and a fine centre led to Dyal bringing the ball home. For the first time in the match Teddy actually smiled. So ended a fast and vigourous game in which the players roughed it, and thus kept up the tradition.