Story of the Season.

May 1909

Star Green ‘un – Saturday 01 May 1909

Story of the Season.

The past football season in the Don Valley has not been notable for out of the ordinary, and the only championship of any prominence that has come this way goes to the credit of Denaby United Reserve, who have secured the honour of the Sheffield Association League virtue of good and consistent football.

But the greater interest of the district has, of course, been centred in the Midland League, in which our premier clubs have not done quite so well was anticipated. The closing matches locally were singularly featureless, and the “Curtain” this time did not fall such exciting situation as that last year, when the final scene of all saw Wednesday Reserve annex the championship by the narrow margin of two points over Denaby United, the runners-up.

And the Villagers failed to climb so high again in the season just finished, they have finished fourth or fifth from top (according to how Bradford have concluded their fixtures), which is satisfactory when the strength the clubs constituting the competition is considered.

And Mexborough Town, though still far too lowly placed in the estimation of local followers the, game, have improved last year’s, closing figures to extent three points; not much, true, but for all that sufficient to indicate advance.

The battles of “Town v. Village,” i.e. the meetings of Mexborougb and Denaby, have, as usual, produced tbe best “gates” the season, and this continuance of a keen, but withal friendly rivalry, baa had much to do with the popularity football in the Don Valley.

For the third season succession. Denaby have finished ahead of Mexborough. and the consistently high places won by the “Colliers” have built for Denaby a reputation as one the attractive “draws” the competition.

As cup-fighters, however, Mexborough Town have lived up to history, and their beating of Denaby, by a goal to nil, in the English Cup Competition put  them in the way of making quite acceptable of money, which will have its effect on the clubs balance-sheet.

I am not a “figure fiend,” simply because statistics do not show the misfortunes that attend all clubs in some degree in the course of long campaign, more than they indicate the influences, weather and otherwise, that contribute to the contrariness of form. But, for all that, comparative “table” of the records of our leading clubs for the past three seasons will not be out of place in this column. Here it is:

From the above it will seen that United have had the pull over their local rivals both in attack and defence.

The aggregates for three teams work out follows:

Denaby Utd:  For 227 goals, Against 145 goals, Points  146

Mexborough: For 185 goals, Against 217 goals, Points  112

So that in the last three seasons Denaby have gained 34 points more than Mexborough, or Mexborough’s full total for the season just ended. .yet in the three seasons there has been , precious little between the teams whenever they have met on the field of play, which only goes show that figures not prove everything.

Mexborough’s return of points for the last competition is comparatively poor considering the increased cost of running the team. For the 3 points advance the 1907-8 campaign, the Management Committee have had to pay no small ,amount in increased wages to players, and it is well for the club that in a reason productive, possibly, of records in both income end expenditure, that the transfer of Palmer to Notts Forest has brought in a  three-figure cheque to its banking account. For in spite of the loyal support spectators, but for this fat transfer fee, and the probability another (of smaller dimensions), with the prospective going of Gadsby, and the goodly profit made out of the English Cup competition, the present Management Committee would be facing heavy financial deficit.

Personally, I hope that the annual meeting will reveal a pleasant change of affairs from that which obtained the close the 1907-8 season. At that time the club was in low water, but prominent townsmen came the rescue and took over the management and existing liabilities with the intention keeping the old club running to provide attractive sport for tho workers of the district.

In these circumstances, the mishaps to players, early on, and particularly the death of poor Windle as a result of that ill-fated game Barnsley, came at an inopportune time. And it is because of these misfortunes that the expenses have grown with the income. The club, under the new regime, has been excellently managed, and there every reason to hope that with the coming of next September Mexborough football will experience progress from all points of view.

For next season Tompkins (centre-half), Crossley (right-half), Clarke (goalkeeper) of the old team, and Gough, a new and prominent right-back, have already been signed on, and now the close season has arrived, the Committee will not allow the grass to grow under their feet getting further good men for future requirements.

At Denaby. I am told, most of the old players are likely “sign on” for another season. The club there has not had the financial support accorded in Mexborough, nor has it made much out of the English Cup and transfer-fees, but it has the advantage being able run a team at cheaper cost, owing, mainly, to the proximity of the Denaby and Cadeby collieries, which the players can get regular employment at a wage which makes them content to take smaller payment for football than would otherwise be the case.