Sep 08 – A Shock for Scunny – Kennedy Stoned

September 1923

A Shock for “Scunny”

Denaby did one of the big things of the afternoon in snatching a victory at Scunthorpe. They had a rare tussle for it and it was a slice of luck that pulled them through in the end, for Josh Burkinshaw – of all men – let them off at the critical point of the game, midway in the second half, when a goal either way comes with the weight of two. The crowd were still gnashing their teeth – and they do gnash at Scunthorpe when Scriven put the lid on it by going through with a rough-and-tumble goal.

It was the second time already this season that the Warmsworth youngster had supplied a timely goal. Just before this he had fired in two wonderful shots which were as splendidly saved.

The game, as a game, was spoiled by the ill-temper of the crowd, and by excitement and spleen among the players. Joe Kitchen, usually one of the coolest and most equable of players, was considerably ruffled by the tumbling and thwarting he got. Sam Kennedy would allow him no “law” at all, not the length of a boot lace, and though he was once or twice too clever for Sam, the big Denaby centre-half´s speed beat Joe more often than not, and Joe didn´t like it.

All the trouble came from that wing, however, Meredith is undoubtedly one of the fastest and cleverest lads in Midland League football to-day, and Scunthorpe have done well to keep him. The left wing was ineffective for the most part, and Haslam and Charlie Taylor had it secure almost from the first, Burkinshaw, in the centre, was active and menacing, but was too erratic to be really effective. The goal he scored was a nice bit of timing, though Meredith´s centre made it a “sitter”.

Denaby will have unpleasant recollections of the match, for the crowd had set their hearts on a Scunthorpe victory, and turned very sick and sour when Scriven´s goal ruled that out. They huzza´d like children when the referee sent Jimmy Haslam to fetch a ball that he had kicked out in a burst of petulance, but hat gratification did not last them long, and they went home with little appetite for tea. Sam Kennedy was the special object of their resentment, as he deserved to be, I suppose, for he did more to dash Scunthorpe´s hopes than anybody else. However, Sam got it in the neck, literally, some sportsman of the true pig-iron breed getting him there with a stone as he left the ground, and then disappearing modestly down a side-street.

This happened while the Denaby team were making their way across the road to a temporary dressing-room in the gasworks canteen. The Scunthorpe club are blameable, I think, for sending their visitors out of the round to dress and accommodating their own team under the stand. Courtesy and hospitality ought to have combined to suggest the opposite arrangement, if only one dressing-room was available on the ground. In any case it was the duty of the club to give the visiting players adequate protection from the crowd. They made not the slightest attempt to do so, and on the contrary exposed them unnecessarily and unkindly to the risk of a conflict with the crowd. Denaby United have reported the incident to the Midland League authorities, and if they get no satisfaction themselves it is possible that other visitors to Scunthorpe may have reason to thank them for the protest.

Josh Burkinshaw, who still lives at Denaby, has been refused permission to train on the Denaby ground, and the Scunthorpe people announced this in their programme on Saturday adding a gentle appeal to the Denaby committee to reconsider their attitude.

Denaby United are not under-rating Darfield their opponents to-day in the extra-preliminary round of the English Cup, and they will send their strongest team available, remembering that clubs like Denaby. Mexborough, and Worksop Town have gone down on the Low Valley ground before today. They may be without Taylor and Godfrey, though Matt, expects to be fit to take the field. In any case, the side they will send ought to make sure.

It is rather a nuisance having to play in the extra-preliminary, especially away, and to a small “gate”, for Wombwell will presumably draw off the bulk of local support with their Midland League match. But Denaby should have thought of all that last year, and thrashed Doncaster Rovers instead of taking a thrashing. Mexborough, who went a round further than Denaby, are exempt from the extra-preliminary and enter the competition a fortnight hence, with Liversidge visiting.

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