Chapter 100 – Wanderers v Queens Park

Today’s Morning Post heralds Monday 4 March 1872. The Football Association Cup has four teams remaining: Queens Park, Wanderers, Crystal Palace and Royal Engineers.

Queens Park deploy their formation on the Kennington Oval. Gardner in goal, Ker and Taylor at back, Hepburn and James Smith at half-back, with six forwards: Leckie, Robert Smith, Edmiston, Walker, Wotherspoon and Weir. 

Wanderers’ Alcock wins the toss, electing to play with the wind and sun in their faces.

Queens impress immediately with Weir, Wotherspoon and Smith combining with quick passing play and encamp around the English goal, much to the surprise of the Wanderers’ defence. However disaster strikes as Donald Edmiston sustains an injury, severely debilitating his play. Eventually, Wanderers force play upfield with Queens’ defence quelling continued attacks. 

The teams change ends at half-time. Queens continue with great energy and accurate passing, whilst Wanderers’ demonstrate their excellent dribbling game. With ten minutes remaining, Alcock shoots and the ball skims the tape of Gardner’s goal. The Wanderer’s appeal. 

I hold my breath. 

“No goal.”, shouts the referee.

I dig my nails deeper into my palms, as one final Wanderers’ attack is thwarted. The game ends, drawn.

Queens leave undefeated. Wanderers’ leave astonished. They had expected easy passage to the final. 

I congratulate everyone and ask David Wotherspoon a question.

“What happens next?”

———————————- © Graeme Brown 2019 ————————————-

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