Nov 10 – Denaby 4 Frickley 2 – Frickley Forget Themselves at Denaby

November 1923

Mexborough & Swinton Times, November 10

English Cup Third Qualifying Round

A Sad Day

Frickley Forget Themselves at Denaby

Players Ordered Off

Denaby United 4, Frickley Colliery 2

Little that is pleasant will linger in the memory regarding Saturday´s cup-tie at Denaby, We had an example of local rivalry and cup-tie zeal in its very worst form. The visitors, sad to say, gave the impression by their tactics that “victory by fair means or foul” is their motto. It was significant that the worst acts of the day were committed when Denaby were apparently carrying all before them. Unfortunately, the persistent use of foul methods by the Frickley men caused some of the Denaby players to lose their tempers too. As a result, Matt Taylor, the Denaby captain was ordered off the field. This occurred in the second half, and a little later Luke, the Frickley back, who had received a warning from the referee very early in the game was also dismissed. Stoppages on account of injuries to players were occurring every few minutes in the later stages of the game. Altogether it was a most unpleasant and regrettable business all round.

As for the actual play, it was to a large extent controlled by the high wind, which made the ball do the most ridiculous things, whenever it was raised a few yards in the air. Under the conditions, Denaby gave a remarkable display. Except for a brief period in the latter portion of the first half, they were masters of the game. At the outset they took the initiative and never gave Frickley an opportunity of using the usual tactics to throw their opponents off their game. They were superior in every department, and but for Frickley´s unscrupulous methods would have won in much more decisive fashion. The attack was in irresistible form.

It was estimated that over 1,000 followers from the South Elmsall district travelled by rail and road for the match. The spectators numbered 2,700 and the receipts were just over £95.

Froggatt won the toss and Denaby thus had the severe handicap of the wind against them in the opening half. But they made light of it, at once moving up to the attack. Webster made a good clearance, and Thompson saved a header from Godfrey after Scriven had centred. Slack saved another dangerous situation when Hamilton returned a cross by Scriven. Luke stopped Scriven near the corner flag.

Denaby the sooner adapted themselves to the conditions. Frickley were a long time in getting into their stride. Hamilton was fouled when attempting to get past three opponents, and Briggs ran up against Luke in an attempt to break through. Shaw was badly fouled, but Taylor missed with the free kick.

Bromage made his first clearance in kicking away a long shot from the Frickley left. Whittaker, receiving a long pass from his own backs, suddenly turned and shot hard, and with splendid aim. Bromage´s alertness and agility enabled him to save magnificently. From the resultant corner, Reynolds drove a yard or so over.

Luke turned out a very accurate centre by Scriven from the very goal mouth. Denaby had a grip on the game, and after sixteen minutes got a goal. Scriven shot splendidly from the wing and Thompson knocked the ball down against the post. From the rebound GODFREY scored.

The Frickley attack bestirred itself, and the Denaby backs were busy for some minutes. Dougharty kept Bromage well covered. Denaby were soon advancing again, and Thompson once more saved a Godfrey header from a Scriven centre. The wind buffeted Godfrey in an attempt to seize on a good chance. Froggatt headed past a corner kick from Wainwright. Shaw and Scriven made a great raid but Luke ended it in a manner which caused the referee to make a note of the back´s name. Barely a minute more had gone, when he attempted to stop a splendid run by Scriven in similar fashion, but the winger jumped almost over him and got in a glorious cross shot which Thompson had all on to save.

Rowbotham was injured in a raid at the other end. A free kick, taken by Whittaker, hit the bar with great force. The same forward again hit the bar with a pot shot. Then Slack was involved in a little scene, and the referee stopped the game. Calling all the players together, he lectured them for a minute or two.

Hamilton next made a brilliant effort, eluding three opponents to screw in from near the goal line a shot which Thompson turned over for a corner. A hot scrimmage followed the corner kick, the Frickley defenders getting rattled and kicking wildly under the pressure.

After 35 minutes, a corner kick dropping right under the bar, was headed in by REYNOLDS – an opportunist goal. Following it, Godfrey and Briggs made clever single handed efforts, but were stopped by vigorous tackling. With only five minutes more gone a free kick near the Denaby penalty area was taken by SLACK, who shot hard at goal. Coope, standing under the bar, got his head to it, but so great was the force that he only succeeded in turning it past Bromage and into the net.

Denaby attacked more strongly, Kennedy adding his weight to the forward line, but Froggatt and Luke made clearances. The persistent Briggs again bored through and whipped in a shot which Thompson saved finely with one hand. Luke turned out a great shot, with the goalkeeper beaten. Bromage had a long shot to clear as the result of another spasmodic Frickley raid. The interval arrived with Frickley decidedly lucky to be a goal ahead.

After the Changeover, it was all Denaby. Against the wind they had much more than held their own; with it behind them, they were irresistible. Within two minutes Frickley had lost their lead. A long kick by one of the Denaby defenders was carried right into the goal. Thompson misjudged the ball´s flight, and SHAW headed it in. Frickley were under very heavy pressure in the succeeding minutes, and could do little but kick out. Several shots were just wide, and again and again the defence had to tussle at close quarters to keep the energetic Denaby forwards at bay. Scriven was brought down in very nasty fashion by Slack. Hamilton, after clever manoeuvring, put across a fine centre, and Scriven turned it just past the post. Luke nearly turned a long shot by Peters into his own goal. The Frickley backs weakness was being revealed by the test. The Shaw-Scriven combination kept the defence ever in difficulties, and Thompson once had to trust to his foot to turn out a volley from their direction. The goalkeeper also cleared a header from Godfrey and saved well a first time shot by Shaw, giving a corner. From the flag-kick, BRIGGS scored with a header, putting Denaby ahead once more, after 65 minutes of play.

Frickley flung themselves into the business with desperate energy, but were up against superior skill, pace and combination. Denaby had the game well in hand and it was on realising this that Frickley resorted to foul means of holding up their opponents. Briggs started a clever short-passing movement, carried on by Shaw and Godfrey, as the result of which Thompson had to throw hastily away from a crowd of attackers, and Luke gave a corner. From yet another of Scriven´s great centres, Thompson made a good save from Shaw. Briggs hooked in an overhead shot from Hamilton´s centre, and Thompson saved again.

Then, with the last 20 minutes of play entered upon, came the saddest happenings of the game. Belk and Kennedy were injured in collision, and the latter had to go off. Barely had the game been re-started, when there was something dangerously near a free fight among the players. What Matt Taylor´s part in the trouble was could not be see. But the referee ordered him off. Kennedy returned, but there were fresh stoppages, other players being injured.

The best goal of the day came in the 78th
minute of the game. BRIGGS got hold of the ball on the wrong side of the halfway line, and immediately dashed off alone. Beating all opposition he finished with a shot which gave Thompson no chance.

Three minutes later, after Scriven had been badly fouled by Slack, Briggs was again off in similar fashion. This time, Luke stopped him in the most unsportsmanlike matter possible, and was promptly ordered off the field. His behaviour during the game was not put in better light by the mocking bow with which he responded to the excusable “boo´s” from the stand.

Frickley made a sort of “last hope” sally, but Kennedy fell back to help the defence, and it came to nothing. Frickley were a well-beaten team, and Denaby kept up the offensive to the end. But a good deal of the sting had gone out of the attack, for the simple reason that the men hesitated to take risks of further injury. Most of them already suffered the results of Frickley´s tactics. Shaw cleverly set going by a heel pass of Godfrey´s went on to make a magnificent shot which Thompson save splendidly. Briggs also came very near, again dribbling right in, but Thompson jumped up and got his hands to the ball as the forward, after bringing him out, tried to lift the ball over his head into the net. The game petered out rather lamely in the end having been completely spoilt by the visitor´s utter lack of a sense of sportsmanship.

The relieving gleam in the gloom of the memories of the game is that of the fine form shown by Denaby. The attack was in great form, forceful, clever and incisive. Scriven played a magnificent game, and he and Shaw were the best wing on the field. But Hamilton and Briggs were very little behind them. Hamilton did brilliant work though he did not get so many chances as Scriven. Briggs was one of the hardest workers on the field, though Shaw ran him close in that respect – and he took a lot of holding. His two goals were good ones, the last being a sparkling effort. Godfrey was perhaps, the least effective of an extremely effective lot.

The halves and backs were sound, and Bromage did well. Peters, Kennedy and Hill did not allow Rowbotham and company much scope, but on the other hand kept their forwards very well supplied with the right sort of passes and backed up the attacks.

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