Mexborough & Swinton Times – September 17, 1910
Denaby’s Disastrous Day
Sheffield United Reserve 3 Denaby United 1
The vim and sparkle which breathed through Denaby football in the last half of the home match with Sheffield United Reserve the other week gave us high hopes of a double victory over the Laners, and with the idea of seeing the “Colliers” put up at least a good game, I made the to the city of Sheffield on Saturday last.
The game was by no means uninteresting, though the play scarcely ever reached the traditional standard of either team. A dull, though grey atmosphere, hung over the ground: indeed, it seems to be part of the Sheffield United club’s premises, that cloudy effect andfootball was not cheerful to watch. There would be about 2,000 people present when “Nudger” Needham turned out with his men, and the veteran of Bramall Lane got an enthusiastic reception.
Ernest Needham will shortly be at the iron-grey stage. It is surprising that a man should age rapidly in appearance while his limbs retain the vigour and elasticity of youth. United’s full-lack line was changed completely. Smith making his appearance in front of Mitchell at right-tack. The halves were McGuire, McCormick, and Needham. In the front line Charles gave place to Peeke, the line being Tweddle, Peeke, Cook, Brind, and Brandon.
Denby put in precisely the same team as that which beat the Brarnall Laners so handsomely the previous week, namely. Sheppard, Middlemiss and Gregory. Nimrod, Jackson, and Swinbourne, Lang, Dyal, Jones, McAllister and Thackrah
We will not go into the details of a game which had a lot too of Sheffield United in it for our fancy. Denaby opened in sensational fashion. The very first movement of the game was in the direction of the goal, and culminated in Thackrah sending across a lovely centre, and Jones transferring, the ball to the net at ten yards’ range without allowing it to touch the ground. It was a smart piece of work, and everything happened inside a minute. Mitchell was obviously deceived by the movement, for he had waited for Jones to trap the ball before shooting. This goal was a valuable lemon to forwards generally on the virtue of pot-shots. They are the most dangerous form of attack yet encountered by the most experienced defences.
After this. I am sorry to say, Denaby scarcely ever looked like scoring again. For the greater part of the half the Denaby defence was taxed to the uttermost, and though it rose to the occasion splendidly, and the lines were kept clear right to the interval, that was the fault of the United forwards. They had heaps of good scoring chances, and threw them away by bad marksmanship. Cook, the ginger-headed, was an especial offender. In his desire to break Sheppard into small pieces, he went yards wide. The distinguishing feature of this half, and, indeed, all the whole game, was the brilliant wing play of Tweddle, who refused to be crushed by the united strength of Swinbourne and Gregory, and played a great game on the right wing. He is evidently a big favourite at Bramall Lane already, for his work earned rounds of hearty applause. He is rather too lightly built for important football, but he is. nevertheless, a cut above, the rest of his colleagues, who, but for the splendid support they got from behind, would have presented little difficulty to the Denaby defence. Desaby had reason to congratulate themselves exceedingly as they walked off at the interval one up.
The Other Goals.
The second half commenced like the first with a surprise goal. Straight from the kick-off the home team advanced on the Denaby goal, and Nimrod, in the heat of exchanges, very nearly converted a well meant overhead kick into a goal against his own side. United stuck to it, and Sheppard, who had done some splendid work in the first half, was kept busy listing and handling and clearing away. At last he was tempted out of his goal, and while he was busy with the whirling mob Cook shot at the open goal, hit the aide post, and had the satisfaction of seeing the bell rebound off Swinbourne into the net. Swinbourne walked back to the middle feeling, no doubt, a sick and sore and sorry man, for the Denaby defence had worked desperately in a desperate case.
Denaby tried in vain to hold the Sheffield’s who item more at home on the even level turf then on the undulating Denaby ground, and with the Bramall Laners led by the master-hand, Needham, they found the task just too much. In five minutes Denaby were again driven into their goal-mouth, until at last it was impossible to get the ball sway — so thick was the crowd under the bar—and Cook again put on the finishing touch.
Denaby did not lack pluck and had their forwards been better led they might have pulled the game round, even at that stage. But Jones, however good he might be within sight of goal, was fairly easily held by McCormick in midfield. Lang, save for one nice run and a shot at an acute angle, was a passenger, and Thackrah was having the offside theory worked on him repeatedly by the United backs. So that it soon became a hopeless case, and the issue was settled seven minutes from time with a goal from Brind, all, if he did nothing else, got the only decent goal on the home side.
And so Denaby, after leading at half-time lost by a clear goal.
The game was interesting without being brilliant, and several United, having the greater part of the play, deserved, I suppose, to win.
Our defence proper was superior to theirs, but they beat us by great halfback play. McGuire, McCormick and Needham were in grand trim, and scarcely gave our forward line a chance. Lang was a great disappointment. He was practically non-est all the game, and Dial’s good footwork was nullified. Jones was never happy, and what with the rough handling he got and the relentless hold McCormick had of him, he had scarcely room to turn around. The left-wing never looked like being effective, and Thackrah was too much offside to be useful. The Denaby halves were behind the standard of the Sheffielders.
What was once Denaby’s strong point threatens to be a source of weakness. Nimrod is as nippy and quick as ever, but both Jackson and Swinburn are on the big slow sign. No fault could be found the Denaby defence. Middlemiss was the best back on the field. He was very strong and resolute, his kicking, and he, along with Nimrod, kept United’s left-wing remarkably quiet. Gregory, too, lacked a good length, and Shepard while he had a gruelling experience, kept a splendid goal. Considering his lack of experience, he was remarkably cool, and several times saved wicked -looking “certainties.”