QUEEN'S PARK'S FIRST LOST GOAL
The name of the Vale of Leven player who scored the first
goal ever taken from the Queen's Park, deserves to be handed down to
posterity. It was a famous deed in the annals of football, to storm a virgin
fortress, which had withstood many sieges successfully for a period of
nearly eight years—namely, from 9th July, 1867, until 16th January, 1875. It
was done in a great game, forcible as games go nowadays, for charging
—strenuous, unlicensed, yet fair charging—was legitimate in those days. A
Scottish Cup tie, too, played on Hampden Park. It is strange to read that
"there was a good deal of speculation on the event in a small way, five to
two being freely laid on the Queen's Park, and, as results proved, those who
did so were in the right." A special train was run from Alexandria, and in
the city the match was the principal topic of conversation. The crowd of
10,000—a large turnout at the time—was comprised, we are informed, of "a
mixed mob of gentlemen and roughs." The latter tore up palings, and used
them as vaulting poles. The Queen's Park scored first. "Herriot" (whose real
identity was Highet) made a clever thrown-in, and followed up hard,
centering to M'Gill,. who shot through, and secured an unmistakable goal,
amidst the loud cheers of the partisans of the home team. Then came the
Vale's turn. Dickson, the Queen's Park custodian, had been forced to kick
off several times, and "a hand," followed by a place kick from M'Lintock,
right in front of the goal, caused the home backs to crowd under their
tape.. A corner kick was the result. M'Lintock placed the ball well to R.
Paton, who, with his head, in a scrimmage forced it through, just as
half-time was called. To R. Paton, then, belongs the honour of being the
first Scot to score against the Queen's Park. Both sides were now even; but
the confidence of the Queen's Park men in their ability to win the match:
was not abated. The getting of the winning goal was no
mean task. Weir and M'Neil were doing great work, both being artful dodgers.
We are told, Ferguson of the Vale, who showed astonishing speed, backed by
M'Lintock, charged furiously at every one before him, worked the ball up the
Queen's right wing, and it was sent into touch for safety. The ball came
back down the field diagonally to the Vale's left corner, where H. M'Neil
got a place kick for "a hand," and, passing the ball neatly to Philips, the
latter passed it to Weir, who again served it to M'Neil, who sent it
through. This was the winning goal. Though twenty minutes were to go, the
reporter gravely states " the game was now virtually over." So it was, as no
more goals were scored. "Weir, who had been getting rather severe treatment
all day, was afterwards furiously charged, and had to retire lame, with his
right leg badly cut." "Herriot" played with great dash and pluck, and backed
up Harry M'Neil, who at the outset was "knocked out of tune by repeated
charges," but latterly made some splendid runs, and showed greater pace with
the ball at his foot than his fleet-footed opponent, Ferguson. M'Kinnon and
M'Gill did timely work in the centre, and T. Lawrie also played
determinedly, but found that his forward man, Weir, was too well watched for
him to be of much service. " It is a well-known fact Weir can keep
possession of the ball for a time against any single player in Scotland, but
from the outset he seemed to be 'spotted' as a dangerous man, and had to
stand furious charges from M'Lintock and others of the Vale men on the
opposite wing." Campbell had several tries at goal, and played well
throughout. Philips took his falls unconcernedly. Neill and Taylor, at back,
did well ; the former never missed a kick. Dickson had more goalkeeping to
do than Wood, but proved himself all there when wanted. In criticising the
Vale players, the reporter is hard on M'Lintock, who showed himself a
dangerous man as left half-back. "The styles of play of the two clubs were
widely different. That of the Queen's Park is much the more scientific, all
of their forwards relying upon their skill in dribbling, and their ability
to place the ball in the best position to make use of it. A good many of the
Vale men, notably one of the half-backs, seemed to devote themselves to
heavy charging, more apparently with a few to temporary disablement of the
object of the attack." Such was the football of the time.
Queen's Park Team—J. Dickson; J. Taylor and R. Neil ; C.
Campbell and J. Philips; T. Lawrie, J. B. Weir, D. M'Gill, W. M'Kinnon, T.
C. "Herriot" (Highet), and H. M'Neil.
Vale Team—W. C. Wood; W. Jameson and A. M'Intyre; J.
M'Intyre and A. M'Lintock; R. Paton, J. Ferguson, M'Gregor, A. Lamont, J.
Baird, and M'Dougall.
Umpires—W. G. Mitchell (Queen's Park) and J. B. Wright
(Vale). Referee—Mr. Davidson (Eastern).
Once the maiden fortress was stormed by Vale of Leven,
January, 1875—the fortress which Queen's Park had for so many years defended
so valiantly—the secretary had to report to the annual general meeting of
1875 that four goals had been lost that season—one to Vale of Leven, two to
Clydesdale in the second of the series of three games in the Scottish Cup
semi-final (0-0, 2-2, 1-0), and one in the first return game against Notts
at Nottingham (1-1). The first game with Clydesdale was played at Kinning
Park, 20th March, 1875. The second had Hampden Park as the venue, on 27th
March, and this match assumes an importance from the fact of other two goals
being lost. A strong breeze interfered with fine play, so the "Herald"
report goes. With one or two exceptions, the teams were unchanged. First
honours were in favour of Clydesdale, Anderson scoring, kicking in
beautifully from the corner. Sides being changed, the Queen's Park gained
the advantage, formerly held by their opponents, of a favourable wind, and
at once hemmed Clydesdale in their own territory, speedily securing a goal,
well kicked by one of the M'Kinnons. (It was William who scored this goal.)
Honours were thus well balanced; but the Clydesdale were soon placed again
in the lead, and again by Anderson, who sent the ball through from the
centre. On changing positions for the third time (ends were changed in those
days after each goal), Highet succeeded in following Anderson's example, and
on the time being called the match ended again in a draw. Both the goals
scored against Queen's Park were obtained by Fred. Anderson, the Clydesdale
cricketer and footballer. He was a member of Queen's Park from 28th
October, 1872, until 26th November, 1873, when he and W.
C. Thomson resigned together. The third game went to Queen's Park by one
goal to none. In regard to the final of that year, 10th April, 1875, on
Hampden Park, Renton furnished the opposition, and Queen's Park won by
three-goals to nothing. We read: "Many friends of the strangers (Renton)
were present, a few of the more exuberant being at first disposed to lay
odds on their chance. During the interval the strangers were refreshed by
their admirers, without avail." The team which represented the Queen's Park
in this final was : R. W. Neill; J. Taylor (captain) and J. Philips; C.
Campbell and J. Dickson; T. Highet, H. M'Neil, W. M'Kinnon, A. M'Kinnon, T.
Lawrie, and J. B. Weir.
QUEEN'S PARK'S FIRST DEFEAT
The Queen's Park, after holding a record unique in
football, met with what was nothing short of a calamity from the Wanderers
at the Oval, London, 5th February, 1876. Up to this match no reverse had
been recorded against the club, and this was the ninth season of its
history—a phenomenal record truly. The Wanderers had been met twice before—
4th March, 1872, in the initial competition for the English Cup, just
instituted, a draw—no goals—being the result; and again, 9th October, 1875,
at Hampden Park, the Queen's Park being in the ascendant by five goals to
none. The third meeting was the return to the second game. How the
Association game had risen in the estimation of the public, who demanded
good descriptions of the more important games, is evidenced by the column
report telegraphed from London to the "North British Daily Mail" on the
Sunday after the match ; full and critical in style, and sympathetic in
tone, seeing the Queen's Park met its Flodden—its first defeat. Snow had
fallen overnight; the ground was a quagmire. There was a bitter wind with a
good deal of north in it, and only a thousand spectators—one-tenth of the
number at the game at Hampden Park between the same clubs a few months
before. The ground was much too narrow, and consequently the ball was ever
getting out of play. Several times it was kicked on to the pavilion, and
over the spectators; once the ball went clean over the pavilion. After
Hampden Park, this was against the Queen's Park team doing themselves
justice. Notwithstanding, the deponent states he never saw a faster, or
finer game, or one more gallantly contested. If there was any advantage in
the early part of the game, it lay with the Wanderers, as Dickson had to
exercise his cleverness to avert hostile demonstrations against his charge.
The Scots too were very busy. At the end of half an hour the Wanderers took
the ball down to their opponents' end, and became entitled to a corner kick.
The ball was well placed by Maddison, and, after a momentary scrimmage,
pressed under the tape from Wolliston's head. There was nothing noteworthy
until the call of half-time. The game up to this point had been good,
spirited, and very fast indeed, but the Scots, it must be admitted, had had
the worst of it, independently of the goal scored against them. The
Englishmen had to work very hard to resist the untiring pertinacity of the
Scots. Ends had been changed only five minutes when Heron, after a fine run,
passed the ball to Wolliston, who sent it to Kendrick, and the last named
kicked a second goal for the Wanderers. The play was wanting in striking
individual features, but continued to be distinguished by wonderful agility
and pluck on the part of the Queen's Park men, who saw all hope of repeating
the victory of October depart from them. A really splendid rush by the
Queen's Park was almost crowned with success. A kick at goal just failed,
and the Wanderers won by two goals to none, and the Queen's Park had to
lower its flag for the first time in its history. The great weakness was the
partial disablement of Weir, who had twisted his knee a few weeks back, and
could not play in anything like his usual brilliant style. Indeed he should
not have played at all, as, invaluable as he was when well, a man with a
"game" leg is out of place in a football match. Of the Queen's Park, Harry
M'Neil, M'Gill, and "Herriot" were the most prominent forwards, while
Campbell and Taylor distinguished themselves in the back play. It is no mere
complimentary phrase to say the Scots played well enough to win nine games
out of any ten. They were agile, speedy, and, of course, plucky. The crack
Glasgow club is a little ahead of all other Association clubs, and were they
to compete for the Football Association Challenge Cup they would be first
favourites." So the chronicler avers. The reporter seems to have been more
familiar with the English players than the Scots, as he does not detail the
work of the latter individually, while of the former he mentions every man.
Queen's Park Team—J. Dickson ; J. Taylor (captain) and R.
W. Neill; C. Campbell and J. Philips; H. M'Neil, J. B. Weir, D. M'Gill, W.
M'Kinnon, T. C. "Herriot" (Highet), and M. M'Neil.
Wanderers' Team—W. D. Greig; W. S. Rawson and A. H.
Stratford; P. H. Birley (captain) and F. M. Maddison; C. H. Wolliston,
Herbert Heron, H. S. Otter, C. H. T. Metcalfe, Frank Heron, and J. Kendrick.
Umpires—W. C. Mitchell (Queen's Park) and C. W. Alcock
Referee—R. A. Ogilvie (Clapham Rovers).
QUEEN'S PARK'S FIRST DEFEAT AT HOME
It was another wretched day, in more senses than one,
when Vale of Leven, in a Scottish Cup tie, on Hampden Park, 30th December,
1876, caused the Queen's Park to lower its colours a second time in any
encounter, and the first at the instance of a Scottish club. Rain fell all
the time the game lasted, and the ground was a perfect quagmire. What is
sauce for the goose is also equally efficacious for the male bird, were the
styles of play the same. Dumbartonshire football has ever been different
from the close inner dribbling and scientific passing which the Queen's Park
had developed, and cultivated since its inception. It was a small but
demonstrative crowd of two thousand who ventured out on this inauspicious
afternoon. " Yelling, hooting, and calling out the players by cognomens were
nothing compared to the coarse and vulgar pleasantries indulged in. Happily
no ladies were present in the vitiated atmosphere." Rather severe criticism,
but apparently it met the case. With such ground to play on, the eleven who
could last longest would undoubtedly win, and the theory was well
illustrated in the latter half of the game, when the Vale had the upper
hand. The Queen's Park did not play nearly so well together as their
opponents, and showed a decided want of that condition which had previously
carried them to victory on many a hard-fought field. Against the gale and
driving rain, the Vale had a bad time. Campbell had one of his headers into
goal from a free kick, the spectators imagining a goal had come. Highet had
another header past the left goal-post, and Wood, the Vale eleven custodian,
experienced a bad time. M'Kinnon kicked clean into the
goal-mouth for Wood to strike out. Now the whole team closed in on the Vale
goal., Weir ended a short and brilliant run by shooting straight, but Wood
got the ball away before he was charged by M'Kinnon and Highet. They
protested the ball had been through. The umpires disagreed, and the referee,
Mr. John Graham gave no goal. A shot from Weir, straight for goaL struck the
umbrella of one of the umpires, and the chance was lost, Twice Campbell took
corner kicks, which were got away by the Vale backs. Unfortunately for the
Vale one of the backs "punted the ball with the wrong side of his head,"
and, followed by M'Kinnon and "Senior," it went through the besieged goal,
amidst great excitement, and at last the efforts of the Queen's Park were
rewarded, the game being twenty minutes old. After this the Queen's Park
were making it hot for the Vale, and Wood got busy again. At this stage of
the game the ball was useless, and a new one had to be produced. Pools of
water lay on the ground, one of which is referred to as a "pond." Now the
Queen's Park had to face the weather odds. Few expected they would have to
play a purely defensive game. Their play lessened in vigour and dash, the
energy and staying powers of the Vale actually increasing. There is a reason
for everything. Eight minutes saw a wild cry of "hands" raised by the
Queen's Park. Baird, Ferguson, and Lindsay rushed away. The ball came from
M'Dougal to Baird, and the latter dribbled down, watching Dickson, and
scored amidst the wildest excitement. The Queen's claimed a foul, and; as
the umpires could not again agree, the referee voted a goal—a result which
was hailed with cheers, hisses, and yelling on the part of the spectators.
The report here declares Baird was one of the finest forwards that Scotland
has produced. Twenty minutes later Dickson cleared a shot from Ferguson,
falling on his knees in saving. Back the ball came from the foot of Baird,
and after a determined scrimmage, during which the ball rolled in front of
the fortress, the Queen's Park goal was stormed for the second time. The
Queens Park fought very hard after this, but it was of no avail ; the Vale
forwards were "as fresh as paint," and showed fine offensive play. Five
minutes from time Weir, Highet, and M'Kinnon brought the ball to the verge
of the Vale of Leven goal, and just as "Senior" was about to give the
finishing touch, M'Intyre cleared safely. The Queen's were thus beaten by
two goals to one on their own ground, in sight of their standard, which had
never before been lowered in Scotland. We are gravely informed charging was
indulged in to an unlimited extent, but instead of helping the success of
each it rather diminished it. For the Queen's Park, M'Kinnon, Highet, and
Neill played best, and at times Weir and M'Neil showed splendidly, but Weir
was too well watched to do much mischief. On the Vale side, Baird, Lindsay,
Ferguson, and M'Lintock completely excelled their former efforts—Baird being
the best man on the field—and Wood did great work in goal. Few will grudge
the Vale of Leven the proud position they had now won for themselves with
their determination and pluck. It was a great achievement, but the after
proceedings were peculiar, and the details form another story.
Queen's Park Team—J. Dickson ; J. Taylor (captain) and R.
W. Neill; C. Campbell and J. Philips; W. M'Kinnon, A. L. "Senior," J. B.
Weir, H M'Neil, T. C. Highet, and J. T. Smith.
Vale of Leven Team—W. G. Wood; A. Michie and A. M'Intyre;
W. Jameson and A. M'Lintock; J. Ferguson (captain), J. Baird, J. M'Gregor,
R. Paton, D. Lindsay, and J. M'Dougal.
Umpires—A. Rae (Queen's Park) and J. Wright (Vale).
Referee—J. Graham (Clyde).