King's Lynn 0 Aston Villa 4
13th April 1898
The exhibition match of the season on the Walks Field, Lynn, was well attended, but did not draw so large a gate as the Sheffield United game of last year.
Lynn started the game against wind and sun, but after a few touches of the ball the Villa caught on, and in the easiest possible manner, guided it, with short passing by Wheldon and Garatty, through the defence.
When well up a long cross over transferred the ball to Cowan. who let out short and sharp, but Gay saved.
Harry Smith and Holroyd then tried the same tactics with like success, but Armes's shot went obliquely before the pacts and behind.
The Lynn right wing frequently got away during the match, and gave the backs a lot of trouble. About five minutes from the start the pros. showed a smart bit of form in a grand run down, and the ball was
delivered to the moment in the right place for Sharp, with whose shot Gay failed to cope. Almost within a minute from a corner the ball was first cannoned among the half-backs, and then the Villans captain saw an opening through the crush and let fly a buster, which had reached the back of the net almost before Gay was aware the shot was made. Claret and light blue then went more easily. and it was interesting to watch the "play" of the men as they exhibited individual trickiness, combined runs, and the like.
The Lynn defence had plenty of work, and did exceedingly well, Stevens in particular sticking to his men like a leech and playing a good game.
George, the Aston Villa custodian, did not have quite a sinecure, but, except on two or three occasions during the game, he save his shots without having to move from any position he took up, the ball each time going straight into his hands. Once he had to run out with the ball to clear.
Gay did his work splendidly, and, needless to say, he had a good deal to do, and had to bustle around in doing it. A good many of the Villa shots went very wide of the posts, however. About twenty minutes in the second half the Villa forwards were all round the Lynn goal, and sharp scored a third goal.Soon after Lynn had a chance from a free kick for a bad foul, that a few feet nearer goal would have entailed a penalty kick.
Arnes had shot and George fisted out to Evans to clear. Harry Smith rushed and got the ball, but the back tripped him, and thus saved an almost certain goal.
The free kick was, of course, cleared. The Villa's fourth and last goal was got within five minutes from "time," Sharp netting the ball from a pass by James Cowan after a corner.
Wheldon was just about to take a shot, when the whistle sounded, and a grand ninety minutes' entertainment ended :-
Aston Villa ....... 4
Lynn .............. 0
Aston Villa - George, goal; Evans and Bowman, Backs; James Cowan and Crabtree, Half-Backs; John Cowan and Fisher, right; Sharp, centre; Wheldon and Garrity, left-forwards.
Lynn - E Gay, goal, Rev A C Roger and G Girton, backs; J Sporne, J Stevens and H Haylock, half-back; D Holdroyd and H Smith, right; R L Armes, centre; F Sneat and J Slator, left forwards.
Referee - Mr C W Winkley