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- On this day in 1892...
See also the penultimate paragraph. A goup of "reformers" wanted to steer the club in a different direction. In the close season they would put forward candidates at the AGM and gain some control of the affairs of the club. You will recall the 8 pointed star on our shirt started in 1892/93 - one of the meanings in Christianity is "Regeneration." see al the theories here http://thestrawplaiters.com/eight-pointed-star-badge/
From the Luton Reporter of the 2nd April 1892 -
“Luton Town v Tottenham Hotspur.
This match was played on the Town ground on Saturday, and ended in a victory for the Town Club by three goals to one. About 700 spectators were present, and the weather was suitable. The Hotspurs brought a fairly representative side; but Paul, H. Whitby, and Burley were missing from the home eleven, and their places were filled by home men. The teams were as follows:- Luton: Goal, A. Tearle; backs, A. Sanders and A. Hoy; half-backs, A.H. Taylor (capt), J. Wright and G. Boston; forwards. H.W. Oclee (centre), F.K. Whitby, G. Deacon (right), W. Chesher and W. Dimmock (left). Tottenham Hotspur: Goal, C.V. Monk; backs, W. Coulson and J.C. Ball (capt),; half-backs, H.D. Casey, S. Briggs and H. Bull; forwards, L. Sykes, W. Harstile (right), C. Tyler (centre), A. Hepburn and H. Williams (left). The visitors won the toss, and for the first few minutes had somewhat the best of matters, but Hoy and Boston thereafter transferred the fray to the other end, and Monk’s charge had a narrow escape, the ball going behind. Oclee next rushed to the assault and looked like scoring, when one of the backs kicked into touch. The Tottenham men pressed a trifle during the ensuing portion, but play was very slow and uninteresting. At length the monotony was dissipated by the Luton account being opened. The ball was brought up in capital style by Chesher and Oclee, and being passed across the goal to F. Whitby, the latter banged it through. It was considered by many that the point was an off-side goal, the player standing just by one of the posts. Luton missed a grand chance directly afterwards, but after a quarter of an hour they atoned for this. Chesher and Dimmock ran up the left wing in good style, and the latter sent the leather skimming through just out of reach. It was an excellent shot, and the player was loudly applauded. Wright next sent a shot into the goalkeeper’s hands, and the Hotspurs experienced hard luck, the ball being steered over the bar from a “corner.” Deacon headed out once when Dimmock had centred splendidly. When half-time arrived the Town men were leading to two to none. In the second portion both teams pressed at times, but it was not until the game was well advanced that any advantage was obtained. Some scrambling play took place in front of the Luton goal, and the ball went through off one of the home players, this giving the visitors their first notch. After this reverse the homesters exhibited smarter form and they repeatedly assailed their opponents’ citadel, Oclee and Dimmock being particularly unfortunately failing to score. At length Chesher added a third from a pass from Oclee, but he was palpably off-side. The point was disputed, but the referee (Mr J. Bennett) adhered to his decision. No further score was made, and the game ended as stated. Hoy, Taylor, Wright, and Oclee showed best style for the winners, while for the vanquished Monk, Coulson, J.C. Ball, Sykes and Williams played well. The linesmen were Messrs Dagley (Hotspur) and F. Evans (Luton).”
Gate Money £4 5s 6d.
With Bat Ball and Bicycle reported as follows;
“It cannot be said that the local spectators were provided with anything very high class last Saturday after the fortnight’s vacation by the Town Club. The fixtures was with the Tottenham Hotspur and, seeing that the team figured fairly well in the Luton Cup contest, it had been expected that some good play would be witnessed. The Lutonians, however, had three of their best men missing from the ranks, and though substitutes engaged in their stead were fairly capable it must be confessed that there was a distinct weakness in the team. The visitors, following the example set by Edmonton a few weeks since, donned scarlet jerseys, and the onlookers witnessed the unfamiliar spectacle of several of the locals wearing white, though other members of the eleven adhered to the familiar cardinal.
At the outset the Lutonians were all at sixes and sevens, and it was not until a considerable period had elapsed that they settled down. In the meantime the visitors were having the best of some scrambling exchanges, and more than once they threatened danger. The home defence, however, was impenetrable. The Town men at length aroused themselves and some passable play took place. The ball was brought down in good style, but chances in front of goal were not taken advantage of. The first point obtained by the Lutonians was exceedingly doubtful, but no protest was lodged. About the second goal there could be “no possible, probable shadow of a doubt,” for Dimmock was some yards from the uprights when he scored. The notch was splendidly obtained and the player deserved the round of applause which he was awarded.
The “Spurs,” as Tottenham men are dubbed, did not manage to open their account until well on in the second half, and then only through a mistake by one of their opponents. The Town retaliated a few minutes afterwards, but again considerable doubt was expressed with regard to the genuineness of the score. The visitors entered a strong protest, but was, of course, ineffectual, the referee’s decision being final. It seemed to many present, however, that “some one had blundered,” an opinion which I must confess to having fully coincided. The Hotspur made some every warm remarks afterwards regarding the official and expressed themselves desirous of again meeting Luton under different circumstances.
Of the homesters Hoy exhibited grand defence, and his comrade was in better form than he ha been of late, though he is not yet the same brilliant back that he was once considered. Taylor and Wright were reliable in the second line and Boston acquitted himself well. Amongst the forwards Oclee was most admired; he played with as much dash as ever, and was always where he was required. He made one or two mistakes near goal, but these were atoned for by his general pluckiness. Deacon was not by any means faultless, but he showed a refreshing disposition to recognise the existence of a centre forward, a remark which applies equally well to his wing fellow. I am glad to see a departure from the selfishness which has hitherto characterised the right wing; it is a good sign, and I trust it will be continued. Cheshire and Dimmock played fairly well together and the latter justified his selection.
On the Tottenham side Monk behaved splendidly in goal, and the backs did a vast amount of work. The centre half-back, too, exerted himself strenuously , and more than one of the Lutonians fell before him in a charge. Sykes was the cleverest of the forwards, but he was closely pursued in the honours direction by the outside left. The team as a whole were heavy and powerful, and they exhibited passable style, but they would not stand much chance against the full eleven of the “reds.”
To-morrow will decide whether the Town representatives are to have the honour of meeting Millwall in the Luton Cup final a fortnight hence, and I am free to confess that if they do not play an infinitely better game game than last Saturday’s I would not give much for their chances. It is generally considered here, I know, that the 1st Scots Guards are no match for the locals, but their form this season entitles them to respect, and if they lose tomorrow it will not be for the lack of trying. The “reds” on the other hand, are certain to exert themselves to the utmost, and with decent luck they may win. Let us hope it may be so.
A protest was lodged by Kettering against the first semi-final being awarded to Millwall Athletic. The ground alleged were the ineligibility of two players, and the stopping of the game five minutes before time by the referee (Mr Maynard). The cup committee have dismissed the protest.
By the way the record of the Town Club to date is an excellent one. They have played 27 matches, including cup ties, and have won 18, seven having been lost and the remaining two drawn. The goals scored for them number 92 and the total against them stand at 41.
I learn that a numerously signed memorial has been forwarded to the executive asking that a meeting of subscribers should be summoned to consider the reorganisation of the team. Some unnecessary heart burning seems to have been caused by this. There is no doubt there is still room for improvement in the team and until the weak spots have been strengthened the club cannot progress much further. With a slightly better eleven the Lutonians would be entitled to rank amongst the best teams of the South. It is not for me to suggest where the weakness lies, for it is patent, and the sooner it is remedied the better.
The meeting of the Kettering and Grantham Rovers in the Kettering Cup final on Saturday produced a draw of one goal each, after a game not entirely devoid of roughness. I am told that towards the close the Rovers experienced execrable luck, and should have won. However, the result is a good thing for the charity. On Saturday the takings exceeded £120 and there is certain to be a large crowd present when the antagonist do battle again."
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