Denaby Utd – Rotherham Town 1  Denaby 2 – Blow Struck For Championship                                      

1 February 1908

Mexborough and Swinton Times February 1, 1908

Denaby’s Great Victory
A Blow Struck For The Championship                                      
A Remarkable Display

Rotherham Town 1  Denaby United 2

Many eyes were fixed on Clifton Lane on Saturday – many eyes besides the 5000 pairs which come with their owners through the turnstyles. The great match of the season – the Midland league Homeric struggle – took a place at Clifton Lane, Rotherham Town and Denaby United met for the first time this season – a fateful meeting. So much depended on the issue. Apart from the irresistible Sheffield clubs, Rotherham Town and Denaby United had taken the eye very much in the Midland League competition, with the result that recently they have been jostling one another in the struggle for third place, and for the honour of giving battle to the leaders for final honours.

Rotherham Town’s fine form was particularly noticeable in the early stage of the season, before the English Cup had come to worry them, before they suffered a series of blows in the sale of Harrop, Leighton and Jones. While the last six weeks Rotherham had been falling off a little, Denaby United have been improving at a marvellous pace, actually winning seven matches off the reel, with the result that the issue was so fine, a defeat for either club was almost bound to mar that clubs chance of championship honours.

The weather was well adapted for football, being beautifully mild and the turf springy. There was however, a fairly stiff breeze driving from end to end of the ground. There was a splendid attendance, 45,000 delegates, and a very strong Denaby backing was noticeable in sight and sound. The teams had a great reception as they faced each other.

Denaby United:

Hancock (captain); Ramsden, Marshall; Nimrod T.Kelly, Hofton; Blackburn, Dyal, C Kelly, Speight, Ball

Rotherham Town:

Micklethwaite; Beevers, Heaton; Needham, Brooks, Palethorpe; Ryalls Lumb, Cowell, Shearman, Tasker


Rotherham started with their faces to the sun and wind, and their preliminary burst on the left saw Ramsden hard pressed. The danger being cleared, Blackburn snapped a very pretty forward pass, and Dyal, taking the ball sent a brilliant drive across, the ball going by the far post.

Denaby at once took up the running and T Kelly fed Ball beautifully, the latter getting in one or two clever centres. In the course of a brief visit to the Denaby end, Hofton made a bad miskick in front of goal, recovering himself, however, on the instant. Ball rushed away to the other end where the first corner of the match was forced – to no purpose, Cowell heading away cleverly.

A Rotherham Fusillade

Then pretty work by Lumb resulted in a nice pass out to the wing, where Ryalls and Ramsden collided, the Denaby man getting the best of matters and clearing nicely.  Ryalls came again, however, and though dogged by Hofton got in a beautiful centre which came to nothing. Rotherham were hot on Denaby’s trail, however, and Lumb beat Hofton to pass back to Ryalls, who sent in a dangerous high shot which Ramsden cleared. Palethorpe however came along and sent in a glorious cross which had Hancock well beaten. The ball however, swerved past the far post as Lumb rushed into the net – a wonderful escape. Don’t you were attacking with rare vigour, and a shrewd shot from Ryalls will splendidly cleared by Marshall. Lumb and Ryalls was causing a whole world of trouble, and Nimrod and Hancock did well to concede a couple of fruitless corners.

Denaby’s Turn

Speight relieved the pressure by cannoning away a shot of Ryalls, and E Ryalls was coming along nicely, when he was brought down by Brooks. Denaby took up the running a corner was forced and splendidly placed by Blackburn, for Ball to place outside. Rotherham set up a hot attack, and play proceeded busily in front of Hancock, while Nimrod lay on the ground in considerable pain, as a result of a too vigorous header. Shearman finished up the attack sat with a stinging shot, from an offside position, Hancock saving well. Midfield play followed for a space until Blackburn securing at the flag kick sent in a glorious centre which Beevers just edged out of the way of the waiting Ball. Hofton twice handled the ball deliberately, and Kelly once upset Cowell in unorthodox fashion.

Rocks Ahead for Micklethwaite

A brief visit to Rotherham and let in Dyal, who with Kelly, was going beautifully, when the movement was spoiled by Blackburn’s dallying. Play continued in the Rotherham quarter, and a beautiful volley from Hofton went inches wide, with Micklethwaite impotant. Dyall came away splendidly and served Blackburn, who, after beating two of his men was easily robbed by Eaton.

Rotherham went ahead from a goal kick and from a scrimmage on the left sent in a likely -looking centre which dropped on the net.

Half-time arrived with no score, although the half had been a fast one and shooting prolific.

The Restart

With the wind developing, Denaby’s prospects were anything but rosy, and the Town at once got “on the job,” being repelled in timely fashion by Marshall. However, the Town returned and this time Marshall had to concede a corner. From the free kick Lumb was very near to scoring, the ball striking the crossbar with Hancock and unsighted by the sun. Another corner followed, this was unproductive. A neat save by Hancock relieved a critical situation. Rotherham came again, but a promising movement was spoiled by Cowell getting offside. Lumb took up the attack a moment later and sent in a characteristic shot which, fortunately for Hancock was just wide.

The Turn of The Tide

It was practically from this point that the tide of play began to roll towards the Rotherham goal, and rarely did it ebb. In the course of a hot attack Dyall was stunned for a moment through heading the ball, and when play had been resumed Ball went away at a rare pace, rounding Beevers nicely and finishing up with a terrific shot, which saw Micklethwaite at his best.

An amusing interlude occurred here, for in repelling the enterprising Speight, Henry Beever’s knickers sustained extensive damage. He flashed into the dressing room, and flashed out again, with only an odd flash between the 2 flashes. His quick change feat was greeted with much applause from the appreciative throng.

Denaby were now attacking in real earnest. Dale, was the great man of the game, rushed up and passed to Blackburn, who sent in a terrible shot which was only inches wide. In the course of a brief visit to the other end Shearman shot slowly into the hands of Hancock, who only partially cleared, and then Lumb spoiled a grand exhibition by taking a flying kick at an open goal – and missing. At the other end Kelly, the recruit, was presented with a great chance of opening the scoring as a result of a fine centre from Ball, but stage fright was strong upon the youngster and he let the chance go by. Then Palethorpe came along with a beautiful shot from 30 yards range, which Hancock saves in the face of an oncoming rush.

The Goals Arrive

But his goal succumbed next minute, for 20 minutes from the restart as a result of pretty work on the right, Ryalls centred shrewdly and Shearman easily netted the ball, though the position of the scorer was doubtful. After this Denaby let Rotherham feel the full force of their attack. From the kick-off Dyal and Blackburn went to the wing at up express speed, but again C Kelly failed to gather the centre when a glorious chance presented itself.

However Denaby’s goal was not long in coming, and it was in this way a remarkable goal. Dyal, who was playing with the skill and strength of three men on Saturday, worked his way through the backs to Micklethwaite, who came out to meet him. The wily Denaby man made the ball rebound from the goalkeeper in the direction of the goal and then he had nothing to do but to rush forward and put through the empty goal. This was 10 minutes after Rotherham’s goal and a second goal for Denaby were soon forthcoming. Blackburn went away like a steam engine, and centred hard and low. Micklethwaite made a second mistake of the match, fumbling the ball, and eventually seen the volatile Ball place it past him.

Denaby  Triumphant

There was 10 minutes to go, but the Town never looked like equalising. Denaby had now complete control of the game, and their halves we are playing like angels, tying the Rotherham attack hand and foot. T Kelly kept sending in an occasional hot shot, and each time he was near enough to cause Micklethwaite alarm. The Rotherham custodian was getting through the work of three or four men, and a lively couple of minutes at the hands of Kelly, Dyal and Blackburn, but he was now very sound. Time was wearing, and the crowd which had eventually arrived in its own mind as to the result, was settling rapidly towards the gates. With a couple of minutes to play, Eaton and his men mustered together the remnants of a shattered energy, made a last attempt at the equaliser. Ryall’s centre was a beauty but Hancock also rose to the occasion. Then on the verge of time, Ramsden gave away a corner. It was the town’s last chance and they did not take it.