In the final game for the championship of the Herts County League on Saturday, at the Clarence Park, when St Albans City met Ware, a hard struggle was expected and expectations were more than realised. The ground was in good condition, but the sun was powerful and the wind strong.
Ware won the toss and chose to kick up the slope with the wind in their favour. For the first ten minutes play was confined to the St Albans area and once Price cleared when the visitors were well in. St Albans woke up a little and attacked; Green was well placed when he received, but a weak shot rendered the effort null for, although the goalie miskicked, the ball was not travelling fast enough to go over the goal-line. From a scrimmage in front of goal matters were extremely dangerous for St Albans, but after a few seconds, during which the ball travelled backwards and forwards across the goalmouth, Patrick nipped in and cleared. Hosier got to the ball and making his way down the wing, put in a high shot but the ball skimmed over the bar. Ware returned and one of the forwards netted the ball, but it was from an offside position. Quickly following this Clarke, for Ware, received and put in a beautiful shot which Kerrison did well in saving at the expense of an unproductive corner.
Returning, the Ware quintette worked up and Ford, in the centre, scored with a pretty shot. This brought the Citizens to their senses and they quickly went in the direction of the visitorsâ citadel, where Butcher put in a shot which easily beat the goalie and put St Albans on a level with their opponents. After this play became a little more exciting and it was not long before Ware were leading by a second goal, which was scored by Ford after a good run. Quickly, subsequent to this, Ware returned again and Kerrison, running out to save, was beaten but Davis fetched the ball off the goal-line with a fine effort. Soon after this a scrimmage in front of the home goal looked almost certain to prove dangerous, but the position was relieved. From the clearance the homesters got away and Butcher receiving, gave to Hosier, who scored with a splendid shot. Shortly afterwards half-time arrived with the scores level.
Restarting, the homesters immediately rushed away and forced an abortive corner. Following this, a run between Hosier and Butcher saw the latter put the wrong side of the post. St Albans were having the better of the game now and a number of abortive corners were forced. St Albans ran up and Weston had a good chance, but put into the goalieâs hands. At the other end Kerrison fingered over the bar from a long shot by Clarke. The game now became very exciting. Green got down and forced a corner, which proved abortive and this was quickly followed by a second, which ended in a like manner. The City were mostly on the attack now and several fine shots were saved by the backs and goalie in this period.
Then Ware took a turn at attacking and Davis and Patrick at back were kept busy. From a well placed corner kick Kerrison saved well, but Clarke netted from the rebound. Getting to it again, R.G.Harradence scored with a good shot, giving Ware a two goals lead. St Albans now looked in and Walker, getting up, beat his opponents and scored with a shot which the goalie could not stop. Following upon this Reynolds forced a corner and from the place kick by Hosier, Butcher made the scorers level. From now on to the conclusion play was evenly divided and the game ended in a draw of 4 goals each.
Throughout the game fouls were fairly frequent. The game became rougher and, before the finish, the majority of the spectators were in a rage at the rough play of some of the Ware players. Davis and Patrick gave a fine account of themselves at back and the halves were fairly strong. The forwards did not appear to exert themselves until near the end and a good number of opportunities were lost. Ford, for Ware, was
was very tricky and their forwards played better than the Albanians. The backs were safe, But the goalie was rather weak.
When the teams left the field the crowd gathered round them and a player who was alleged to have interfered with Hosier was attacked. He was hit in the eye and it was only after very hard work that the officials of the City Club could get the man inside the dressing-room. As it was his eye was badly cut and bruised and he had to be attended by a doctor.
Reprinted from âThe Herts Advertiser and St Albans Timesâ 1st May 1909.
Ware won the Championship on goal average.