Thursday, March 8, 2012

8 March 1873 - We'll Go Ahead And Call It Evinced, Then

On 8 March 1873, England and Scotland met for just the second time, with both teams getting their first goals. Unfortunately for Scotland, England got more of them.

After playing to a scoreless draw in Glasgow the previous November, the teams held a rematch in London at the Surrey Cricket Ground, better known as The Oval. The Scots were led by Queen's Park goalkeeper Robert Gardner, while England were also captained by their goalkeeper, Crystal Palace's Alexander Morten. (At 41 years, 113 days old, Morten remains the English record-holder for oldest debutant and oldest captain.)

Playing before a crowd of 3,000 people, England adopted a slightly more defensive formation for the match, abandoning their previous 1-2-7 for the 2-2-6 used by Scotland. Even so, they scored the opening goal, with William Kenyon-Slaney netting in the first minute. Alexander Bonsor doubled the lead nine minutes later, but Scotland drew level with goals from Henry Renny-Tailyour (12') and William Gibb (20').

The Scots tired in the game's latter stages, however, and conceded another goal to Kenyon-Slaney (60'), followed by one more to Charley Chenery (75') to end the day as a 4-2 win for England.

The subsequent match report said "If any proof were necessary to evince the growing popularity of the winter game of wielders of the willow, there was sufficient evidence on this occasion to convince the most sceptical that football, if only aided by fine weather, is a game that could take its place among the leading pastimes of the day."

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