King's Lynn 1 Lowestoft 1
12th February 1898
Grand weather favoured the football on Saturday. With the Walks ground in fine. order and the day just warm enough for the onlookers, without being too sultry for the players, the conditions were regulated to a nicety for an excellent afternoon s sport. The home side played the same team as on the previous Saturday, with the exception of Haylock being substituted for Medlock and Girton's inclusion in the vanguard in Scott's absence. Lowestoft were also fully represented.
The position of affairs in the running for the Sterry Cup and championship made the match an important one for the home side, in view of eventualities at Yarmouth, whilst the qualifications of the Lowestoft team were also another consideration in the tide of events. Another Beccles referee (Mr Balls) conducted the game.
KING'S LYNN - E. Gay, goal; A. C. Rogers and J. N. Worman, backs ; J, Sporne, J. Stevens and H. Haylock, half-backs ; D. Holdroyd, H. Smith (right), G. Girton (centre). P. Sneath and J. Stator (left), forwards.
LOWESTOFT. A. Ayres. goal ; E. Chambers and W. Beatton, backs ; J. Mewse, W. Mare, and W. Tripp, half-backs ; T. Masson, G. Crews (right), J. Dixon (centre), J. Cole and W. Wilkins (left), forwards.
Winning the toss the Lowestoft captain decided to kick into the Workhouse end goal, but with the wind blowing nearly straight across and no sunshine no advantage accrued. The game opened rather in favour of the visitors, but they were not allowed to approach the home goal. Lynn made their first determined attack following on a free taken by Rogers, and the forwards persisted so well that a corner was awarded them, but to no avail for the home defenders were soon engaged again in repelling the Lowestoft attack. Combination by Sneath and Slator upset the Lowestoft defenders and Girton was given a fine chance right in front, but the centre forward was not quick enough and his shot was spoilt by the backs. Interesting exchanges followed, during which neither side got dangerous, the defenders working hard and effectually. Beatton showed up with some good play of an easy, leisurely character, and Tripp, the Lowestoft left half, was prominent in his department as a dashing and clever player. The visitors at last broke through and Gay saved an easy one. A shot was made by Smith on Lynn forcing the game and before the ball was cleared Lowestoft gave another corner. This Sporne kicked and the ball sailed straight to Ayres' outstretched arms, whence it was repulsed to where Girton was standing, and from the latter's shot Ayres again knocked it away, but Smith was more successful and sent it into the net, to the delight of the home supporters. This success fairly roused the homesters, who set a great pace and gave the impression of fairly overrunning the Lowestoft pack.
Girton once nearly turned a centre to account and soon after, owing to a mistake by the backs, Haylock put in a fine flag- kick from which Ayres smartly fisted out, and then Stator was nearly doubling the score. When Lowestoft, did get away they were pulled up for offside, and then close attention by the defence made Masson shoot wide. Fouling by Lowestoft half-way in their end was dangerous, but Haylock made a wide shot.
Then the Lowestoft right made the running. slipping through past Haylock and Worman the pair were not stopped till Gay had twice kicked away. The game became pretty lively towards the interval more fouling than was agreeable being contributed.
Cole made an excellent shot for Lowestoft, whose forwards were making some strong rushes in their endeavour to score. Ayres had on one occasion to run away from his charge at a ticklish moment, but the crisis was averted.
A rather rare occurrence in the shape of a foul against Sporne then happened. Beatton took the kick (near the home goal line) and a critical moment in the Lynn goal resulted, the ball eventually being got behind for a corner, the first at the Lynn end. This was safely dealt with, and at the half-time rest the score was--
KING'S LYNN 1 goal,
Early in the second half Ayres disposed ably of a daisy cutter from Girton, but was not so successful on Harry Smith sprinting through and shooting, the hall hitting the custodian and going behind. The corner was got away, however. Play was soon seen to he of a different character in the second half and more energy than was at all necessary was infused into the game. Indignant voices from the crowd were continually to be heard, one "a familiar and lusty one" drew to its owner the attention of the referee, who had occasion to approach the ropes in remonstrance. The home defenders were hard taxed, the forwards rather shrinking from the lunges of their opponent, Tripp, (an unfortunate name for a footballer) was especially active in a decidedly ungentle manner, his repeated vicious looking charges after the ball was quite away from him telling its tale on the home forwards. His earlier good play made this falling off the more regrettable. The Lowestoft tactics, instead of being taken advantage of by the home side appeared contagious, for losing their heads, some of them also tried the bluffing game and the whistle was much in request. Not so much used, though, as it might have been, for many grievous infringements went unpunished. Harrry Smith several times almost unaided dashed away brilliantly, but Lowestoft were mostly pressing and gained several corners.
Just before the end the visitors' left wing were sailing in when Rogers robbed them end charged Cole to keep him off Gay. This was within the twelve yards line and although the charge appeared a perfectly fair one, the referee ordered a penalty. Cole took this, and Gay stopped the ball, but it went out towards Crews, and the Lynn men being too much struck with consternation to bustle around and get the ball away, Crews scored with a shot that gave Gay no chance. At the end of the 45 minutes of exciting play. which certainly could not be called football, the score therefore was a
At the conclusion a section of the crowd demonstrated clearly, if roughly, their disapproval of incidents during the match, but the noisy throng leaving the field were kept in order by the police, though not before a Lowestoft player had received some rough usage.
Report by permission of the Lynn News