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FA Cup 1888/89, Final

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-04-25 17:51:04

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The highly anticipated match of the season, the 1888/89 FA Cup Final, was the 18th final played. This time, Preston North End F.C., which despite having a spectacular team in recent years, had never won the competition; they, however, would play the final for the second time in a row. On the opposing side, Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. would hold their first disputed final.
On that season the clubs have opposed each other twice, both being league matches. The first, which was played at Wolverhampton, was won by Preston North End by 0:4. The second match took place at Deepdale, which the champions gained 5:2. With an eventual title conquest, Preston North End would go on to be the first unbeaten campaign in history in terms of major titles played during the season — FA Cup & League Association. Wanderers, on the other hand, would crown a beautiful journey during the FA Cup stages, in addition to obtaining a third place in the Football League.
One thing that drew a lot of attention to the match was the national aspect of each team. Many cheered for Wolverhampton Wanderers because they are a team completely made up of English players; Preston had a cluster of Scots and English.
FA Cup, Final: 30/03/1889, Saturday 16:00. Preston North End F.C. — Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. 3:0 (2:0) Place: Kennington Oval, London — Referee: Sir Francis Arthur Marindin, Weymouth. Attendance: between 25.000 and 30.000. Umpires: Lord Kinnaird & J. C. Clegg. Preston North End F.C. XI: Mills-Roberts — Howarth, Holmes — Drummond, Russell, J. Graham — Gordon, J. Ross, J. Goodall, Dewhurst(c), Thompson. Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. XI: Baynton — Mason, Baugh — Fletcher, Allen, Lowder — Hunter, Wykes, Brodie(c), Wood, Knight. Goals: Dewhurst(14min), Ross(24min), Thompson(67min).
Both teams took the field a few minutes before four o'clock, and punctually to time the game started. Preston North End were clothed in white jerseys, their opponents wearing shirts of dark red and white stripes. The Wolves men had black bands on their arms, as tribute of respect to the memory of their captain's father, who died a few weeks before the match.
From the start of the game, there was a fiercer dispute due to the Wanderers' tough play and their frequent corner wins. The match was disputed, but Preston North End showed a more showy and superior football. More precisely after the tenth minute, Preston North End's superiority was notorious. The short, scientific passing game stood out over the kick and rush practiced by Wolverhampton Wanderers. Just around 14 minutes into the game, after a move from the right in which Jack Gordon passes the ball back, Jimmy Ross finishes and hits the post. The audience could not believe that the ball had not entered. However, with a nice flying shot, almost at 15 minutes, right in the extreme left, Fred Dewhurst opens the score. 1:0.
With the goal scored by the North End team, the team leveraged its performance even more, so it didn't take long to complete another goal in the match. That's when even though the Wolves game had been much more physical, Preston North End managed to put their old style into practice and more effectively. By Jimmy Ross's lightning strike, Preston North End, in the 24th minute, adds another goal to the scoreboard. 2:0.
The first half of the match ended with a very confident Preston North End and a Wolverhamton Wanderers not as effective as they could have been, largely because of Mills-Roberts. As for the Wanderers, Baynton looked quite nervous. Even, for many, the Wanderers goalkeeper allowed the ball to pass through his hands.
The second half kicked off with a series of attacks through a tougher Wanderers game; always aiming for kicks and long rushes and conquering corners with each attack carried out. Over time, as much as the attacks were constant, the Wanderers team was unable to transform the offensive actions into goals. It took a while for Preston North End to adjust to carrying out attacks. 22 minutes after the restart, just after a Jimmy Ross centred a ball in which Sam Thompson was leaning more towards the center of the opponent's area, the left winger scored the third goal for Preston North End. 3:0
After the goal scored by Sam Thompson, Wolves had almost given up the match, as there would no longer be so many chances to conquer an incomparable feat. The offensive right side.
Interestingly, all of Preston North End's goals were created through the offensive advances of Jack Gordon and Jimmy Ross, especially the latter. Nick Ross' younger brother hit the post on the first goal, scored the second of the match and assisted Sam Thompson on the third goal. No goals conceded.
An exceptional campaign indeed; the final was a reflection of that. In total, Preston North End F.C. scored 11 goals in just 5 matches, and conceded no goals to any opponents — the first feat in FA Cup history. In addition, in the semi-finals they eliminated West Bromwich Albion, who had won the final of the 1887/88 edition against the Prestonians and also eliminated them in the 1886/87 edition. Also, alongside Wanderers — 1876 — and Old Carthusians — 1881 —, each having defeated the Old Etonians by three goals to nil, Preston North End marked then the highest goal amount victory in a final. Comments
Free Critic | 01/04/1889
This year's final was quite as interesting as any of its predecessors, though Wolverhampton Wanderers appeared at the Oval for the first time. On Saturday morning it seemed as if we should have rain, but fortunately it kept pff, and there was a spledid attendance. Some say 30.000, but I will be content with 25.000, and it was a good job Mr. Alcock had made an alteration in the playing portion, which was about fifty yards nearer the pavilion than in previous years, and this enabled the spectators to occupy the terraces all round the ground.
It takes a final tie or an international to force the average Londoner to put on his "stove-pipe" and invest in a hansom; but on Saturday they drove up in shoals, whilst the rough, outspoken provincial "fellahs" were en évidence everywhere. It was a fine sight, and the arrangements made seemed in every way admirable, though it would not have been any worse had Mr. Alcock arranged to have had the press a little nearer the telegraph operators. The "Cackler" eas along, minus, at my special request, the sisteen-year-old "shiner" with which he adorned himself at the "Varsity Sports" the previous day; and the "Bounder" arrived at 3:47, with a "get up" like a real duke. There were some very rabid Wolverhampton people with screeching voices just behind us, and our "Bounder" happened to get right under the jaws of the noisiest and screechiest of the whole crew. You should have seen the glances of withring contempt by the great man — they would have kicked anybody but and excited Midlander, and the "Bounder" was at last forced to give in and quit. The Preston team were the first to appear, and had a food cheer; but the Wanderers were best received, and the Birmingham people soon made themselves heard. The North End eleven was not settled until Saturday morning, and the teams turned out as follows: North End: Mills-Roberts, Howarth, Holmes, Drummond, Russell, J. Graham, Gordon, J. Ross, J. Goodall, Dewhurst, Thompson. Wanderers: Baynton, Baugh, Mason, Fletcher, Allen, Lowder, Hunter, Wykes, Brodie, Wood, Knight. Umpires: Lord Kinnaird and J. C. Clegg. Referee: Major Marindin.
The North End had the wind in their favour the first half, and soon took the ball to the Wanderers end, but Baugh and Mason were not to be trifled with, and it was not longere Brodie led his men at a good speed to the North End quarters, where Wykes just topped the bar. It was a pretty near thing, and our Midland friends at once foretold another defeat for North End. But the Prestonians kept their heads cool, and gave us a good exhibition of passing, and they had slightly the best of the play, but not much for the Wanderers displayed any amount of energy, and had they been a little less wild when they got up, Mills-Roberts would have had more to do.
The North End were playing the correct game, and in 15 minutes from the start Ross put in a stinger against the bar, and people were explaining how unlucky it was, when Fred Dewhurst rushed up and put the ball through. The Wanderers appealed for the ball having been over the line; but the two umpires did not agree with the appeal, thpugh it was said the Major did. The North End now had a lot of the play, and kept Baugh and Mason fully employed. They certainly deserved to score, but when they did it was with a vert simple customer, and Baynton was palpably nervous as he partially caught the ball, and then allowed it to roll slowly between his legs. For a time this seemed to dishearten the Wanderers, and North End kept up the attack, but towards the close of the first half Brodie and hi men again went on the job, and looked likely to score on more than one occasion, Mill-Roberts saving a real hot one from Knight, while Hunter and Wykes each put in some capital centre, and had it not been for some really fine play on the part of Howarth and Holmes. I'm afraid the clean sheet for North End would have been blotted. It was not to be, however, and half-time came with North End leading by two goals to none. On the officials coming to the lines the excited individuals previously referred to cried out that they were playing fourteen men — a remark not at all justifiable.
It not seemed odds on North End, though they had the wind to face, but the Wanderers went at it with a will, and certainly it was not through a lack of determination that they did not core. The North End men appeared to take it rather easily, and the forward seldom got over the half-way line, but from the wild manner in which one side played, and the equally cool style displayed by the other, we could easily see hot it would end. For all that, there were several good shots put in, but Mills-Roberts was not to be beaten, and eventually the North End forwards woke up, and Gordon put in some really capital centres right off the line. They were not turned to account, however, but presently one of Ross's was, for Dewhurst gave Thompson an opportunity of earning the gold medal promised by a Prestonian for each member of the team who scored, and Sam crashed the ball through. An appeal was made for oil-side, but it was no use, and I don't see how it could have been. The game was now in favour of North End, whose for. wards were playing a capital game, and they had several near chances of scoring, but did not manage it. Then another change came over the game, and the Wanderers were again on Mills-Roberts's track, but they once more met by admirable defence, and were sent away empty.. handed. On one occasion from a free-kick they had desperately hard lines, but it was not to be, and the Cup was practicallywon, when about ten minutes from time it was brought in front of the press stand admidst derisive sbouts at its insignificance. Towards the finish the spectators commenced to go across towards the pavilion, and in a very short time they got on the ground, and I fancy there was about a minute to play when the Major stopped the game, with the North End winners by three goals to none — a result only equalled on two previou occasions: bu the Wanderers in 1876, and the Old Carthusians in 1881. A FREE CRITICISM
I always attempt to give honest and free criticism of the play and the players in all the matches I see. No doubt many teams feel that I am severe, and probably North End had that impression from what I said about their Sheffield exhibition; but I fearlessly assert that anything I have said has been stated with a full conviction that it was the truth, and if I have annoyed any club or player it has not been done with that intention, but simply because, whatever my private feelings may be — and I freely admit i wanted North End to win the Cup, for they deserved it — I endeavour to give as impartial, free, and candid an account — no matter whom it offends — as lies in my power.
Now, as to Saturday's game. The two points in which the North End excelled were in the goal-keeping and the forward play. The Wanderers backs and half-backs were quite equal to those of the North End, but their goal-keeper was weak and nervous, and their forwards were — well, wide. They seem to place a great amount of reliance on the kicking and rushing game, and though this may come off against a defence not particularly strong in physique, it does pay against men averaging about 12st. The Wolverhampton forwards went in for a long indiscriminate passing, but the North End backs and half-backs are much too good for that sort of thing. On the other hand, Dewhurst's lot adopted the short passing which has made North End famous, and the opposing defenders were not able to cope with it. Then, nobody would call the Wanderers' forwards deadly shots. Certainly, Mills-Roberts had more to do than Baynton, but the reason can be given in a very few words. The North End backs could trust their goalkeeper and the Wanderers couldn't. Whenever it was possible Baugh and Mason cleared, but at the other end there was a palpable contrast, for Howarth and Holmes coolly looked after the men whilst Mill-Roberts cleared.
I know a lot of people calculate the state of the game by the number of shots each goalkeeper has to conceed with but it is unfair to do so when one is a past master and the other and apprentice. There was any ammoun of criticism after the match, even the most hot-headed Wanderer could not say that the best team had not won; and Mr. Allt, one of the most fair men I have met, said that they had been beaten by a more scientific team. That is so — not in the backs or half-backs, but in the forwards, and that is where we ought to look for science. Whilst the Wolverhampton men went in for hard — very hard — and determined — very determined — play, North End plodded away with a distinct system; and though Lowder, Allen, and Fletcher often enough broke it up, it came off, and, as I have said before, to this and the superiority in the matter of goalkeeping, North End owe their victory.
The defence of both sides was much admired and I must say that I never saw better in any match. Confident in the powers of their goalkeeper, Howarth and Holmes were coolness itself, and seldom made a mistake. Both of them kicked strongly and tackled well, and they had plenty to do, especially in the second half. Before the match I was strongly of opinion that Robertson would be a better man than Drummond, but I now confess that Mr. Sudell and his committee were wise in their selection, for Drummond was, to my mind, the best half-back on the field, though a lot of people seemed to think Russell was. Russell worked hard, it is true, and was quite a match for Brodie, but he was not as useful as Drummond. Graham went about it in his usual style, and few players of his age can keep going like him.
I hardly know what to say about the forwards. The whole five of them were playing — as they should do to be a success; and whilst Ross and Gordon were responsible for the most "taking" bits — particularly in centring — I should not like to say they were the best; for Goodall passed most judiciously, and Fred Dewhurst was a totally different man to the one I saw lolling about the field at Sheffield with his hands in his pockets. Thompson appeared to be early knocked off the ball, but for all that he played the whole ninety minutes, and was no sooner down than he was up again and at it.
I have referred to the weakness of the Wanderers' goalkeeper, and I fancy that the soft moment which he allowed the second goal to be scored had a bad effect on the team. He certainly saved one or two shots well and few luckily, but with the same number that Mills-Roberts had to deal with I am afraid the Wanderers' look-out would have been very black indeed. No one could blame the backs and half-backs, though I must say that Allen did not play as well as I have seen him. For all that he was most useful with his head and never tired. Charlie Mason — who, I should think, is pretty near in the category of veterans, and a good sample, too — was in capital form, and received splendid assistance from Baugh; in fact, the play of the four backs was really splendid. Lowder took my fancy most of the half-backs, and he had certainly the most puzzling wing to face. Fletcher was always on the look-out, and though there was not the slightest tinge on undue roughness about his play he had too much weigh for Thompson. I have nothing but praise for the defence, but i cannot say I admired the forward play. There was too much of the trust-to-Providence style aboyt it.
The passing of the wings was indiscriminate, and though a quick rush often brought it off, as a rule the North End backs were good enough. Brodie, Wykes and Knight pleased me best, and they all had any amount of go in them, but their passing nad shooting was wildness itself, and most of the shots Mills-Robers had to deal with were not the result of any pre-conceived potion. They kicked high in the air, and there was almost a total absence of what is the most pleasing to the eye — short, scientific passing. The amount of energy displayed would almost have unnerved most sets of backs, but those of North End stuck to their guns, and nullified the best efforts of the Wanderers. Their style of play is not pretty to a spectator, and I can safely say that if the Wanderers' attack had been as strong as their defence the Cup would not have found its way to the town I consider is justly entitled to it — not exactly because they have won it, but because their play of the last three years merits it. After the battle the spectators crowded in front of the pavilion and heartily cheered both teams, the winners, of course, coming in for most of the good things. The Preston men took their victory in a very sensible manner, and the two teams chatted as comfortable as if they had not been playing for an hour and a half against each other as hard as they could. N. J. Ross was smilling, and quite delighted at his old and his new friends bringing of what they have been striving to do ever since Ross made his appearance in Preston, and which they did not succeed in doing until he was away for a few short months. Hard lines on Ross.
Then there was J. Brodie, the Wanderers' captain, having a comfortable rub down, and accepting defeat in a most sportman-like manner, with the remark that they had not as much to lose as North End had to gain, and he considered the best team had won.
Then Mr. Sudell took his great victory, the result of many years hard work, with as much composure as he accepted defeat last year, when he told me that a club that could not lose was not fit to win. All he said was that he thought they deserved it. The crowd waited outside for the presentation of the Cup, and ultimately the Major came out and handed it over to Fred Dewhurst.
He complimented North End on their brilliant victory, and the only discordant note was when he said, in referring to the Wanderers, that every credit was due to them because the team was composed of local talent. There is nothing wrong in that, only the inference that no credit is due to North End account of their team not being a local one. I don't quite see it, for the rules have been adhered to by them, and the Cup has been honestly won, though some of my Birmingham friends don't think so. They have repeatedly shown their superiority over other teams, and surely they are entitled to the Cup.
Fred did not like the ordeal of making a speech, and wanted Mr. Sudell to receive the Cup, but that gentleman thought it was the captain's duty, and Dewhurst had to go on, and very well he did — better than I have heard him before in the oratorical line. Mr. Sudell was called upon, and the finish was three cheers for the Wanderers, called for by "Captain" Dewhurst. The proceedings were afterwards of the jolly order, as may be imagined, and at the Criterion cheers without end were given for both teams. Charlie Sudell looked supremely happy, and didn't cry this year, and Mrs. Sudell and all the young Sudells were up in town to share in the great victory — the crowning event of their father's long career in the football world.
"Sir John" Woods was quite affectionate. The Wolverhampton I can only say that very few clubs have had the luch to pull it off the first time they have played in the final, the exceptions being the Old Carthusians and Blackburn Olympic, and I hope that next year they will make another gallant struggle, and that they will be better supported in it by their own towns-people than they have been this year. They ought to be. Grumbler | 30/03/1889
This has probably been the tamest final I ever witnessed and it also established a record, no club having previously won by a majority of three goals. In the earlier portions of the game the Wanderers used their weight unmercifully, Fletcher on one occasion sending Thompson flying several yards. The North End retaliated somewhat, but their charging was nothing like that of their opponents. In the mutual exchanges, the Wolves were oftenest on the attack, but when the North End once got settled down they exhibited far the best football.
The first goal by Dewhurst no one could have stopped, as it curved in just under the bar on the extreme left. Baynton ought to have stopped the second, as it slipped through his fingers, but the third was the result of splendid combination. Mills-Roberts was only once seriously called upon, and responded nobly, whilst Holmes especially at back was perfect. Pilgrim | 01/04/1889
Having witnessed every final tie for the Association Cup since the Wanderers first won it in 1872, I may, as a veteran, add a few words of congratulation to the Preston North End club on the long sought victory of Saturday last. To have struggled up gamely year after year, to be beaten by ill luch or adverse decision on professional questions, wa almost enough to break the heart of any other than a thorough sportsman like Mr. Sudell, and the Preston team may now be said to have reached the height of their ambition, That the better team won, on the day's play, there can be no doubt, and however proud we were last year that a purely local English eleven were successful, it was not the Wolverhampton Wanderers day, and they found perhaps, like West Bromwich Albion, that it takes two or three visits to get used to the Oval, or to have a chance of winning there. The Preston eleven comprised seven Scotchmen, and it is the first time any of Scotland's players(in any number) have got the coveted medals presented by the Football Association.
Baugh struck me as being a large-hearted player, for the never gave up, and Brodie(who everyone will be glad has his international cap) was likewise full of play to the last. The Wanderers goalkeeper might have saved the second goal, but he and Mills-Roberts had plenty of other opportunities of showing what they were made of. The enourmous crowd were very orderly — quite a record gate I hear, and many hundreds turned away, and it is a wonder thei did not storm the barries. The poor Surrey Committee were in a fever over their "cricket pitch" being trampled on by that beastly football, but the balm of Gilend in the shape of a large share of gate will make it up. More exciting finals have been seen, as the score of three to none is quite a runaway for this match. At half-time for some ten or twelve minutes the Wolverhampton men looked very much like emulating the "Throstles," for they played the North End hard, and secured corners galore, but that third goal crushed them. It was a beatifully fair one that "Sandy" Thompson negotiated. The first scored was, in our opinion, off-side, Gordon being nearly on the line when he crossed to the lefts.
The Staffordshire club play a hard and fast game, but the Preston men are as big, stronger, and clever to boot, and the best testimony is that of the previous performances of the pair in their friendly matches, and the undoubted fact that if they met again to-morrow, or next week, the same club would win. Rambler | 30/03/1889
The first quarter of an hour was well and hardly contested, and then the North End appeared to get in their old style and had considerably the best of it felt in next quarter, their forwards passing very well indeed. Sometimes the Wanderers broke away but found capital defence. Mills-Roberts saved twice very brilliantly at the other end. Dewhurst and Ross each scored, the latter being a very soft customer. The next quarter was rather more even, but still the North End had the best of it.
At half-time their lead of two goals seemed likely to be sustained, for their play was far in advance of that of the Wanderers. The defence on both sides had been capital, especially that of the backs. Gordon, Ross, Hunter, and Knight had been the best of the forwards.