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1897-98 London League (Division One)

The start of the 1897/98 season saw several new signings – Simon Chisholm, a half-back, and two forwards, James Reid and Percy Mills. For the opening game at the new ground, Thames had arranged a friendly with Northfleet. The attendance was disappointing, with just over 200 present to witness the 1–1 draw. However, a week later there was an improved attendance of 1,000 for the visit of Brentford in the London League. New signing Jimmy Reid scored the Thames goal in a 1–0 victory.

The FA Cup began and Redhill were beaten 3–0 at home, with Chisholm scoring twice. Next up in the Cup was another home tie with Royal Engineers, who were beaten 2–1. Unfortunately further progress in the FA Cup was halted when Thames lost 2–0 to St Albans.

In the league in October, the 3rd Grenadier Guards were beaten 1–0 and local rivals Leyton were thrashed 4–0. During November and December the team remained unbeaten, with a 3–0 victory against Barking Woodville and the 2nd Grenadier Guards being beaten 5–1, following a hat-trick from Edwards. In the New Year the impressive league form continued with hat-tricks for Gresham against Stanley, who were beaten 3–0, and a further hat-trick for Edwards in the 7–3 victory over Bromley. By April there were only two clubs in contention to win the league, with Thames having just one more point than Brentford. The two teams met at Brentford before a crowd of 3,000, boosted by a party of 200 from Thames who had arrived by boat. It was a fast and furious encounter which saw Brentford triumph by 1–0. The final day of the season arrived with Thames at home to the 2nd Grenadier Guards. Despite an injury to Dove and having to play with ten men, Thames won 3–1. There were joyous scenes as the news came through that Brentford had been beaten, which meant that Thames were London League champions.

THAMES IRONWORKS FEDERATED CLUBS

September 1897

Speaking at a meeting of the Thames Ironworks Federated Clubs Mr Arnold F Hills said
"As an old footballer myself I would say to the players' get into good condition at the beginning of the season".

The Football Club colours at this time were:
Royal Cambridge Blue shirts White knickers and Red cap, belt and stockings

Players for 1897-98
Goal: D. Fu
rnell
Backs: W, Tranter, F. Chalkley
Half-backs: C. Dove, F. Dandridge, D. Bird, S. Chisholm
Forwards: A. Older, G. Gresham, E. Hatton, J. Reid, Edwards

Furnell and Chisholm were new players, Tranter was currently being troubled with rheumatism in his leg.

Any Member of the Thames Ironworks employees can enrol with the Football Club on payment of 2/6 (12.5p) for the season.

BRENTFORD

Memorial Grounds

1 - 0 (Reid)

11 September 1897

Furnell, Chalkley, Dove, Chisholm, Dandridge, Bird, Mills, Gresham, Hatton, Edwards, Reid

REPORT:

Brentford:

Gillett, Williams, Lugg, Smith, Edney, Charlton, Knapman, Field, Hudson, Richardson, Dailly

REDHILL : FA Cup 1st Qualifier

Hermit Road Ground

3 - 0 (Chisholm, Gresham, Penkett [og])

18 September 1897

Furnell, Chalkley, Tranter, Dove, Dandridge, Chisholm, Older, Hatton, Reid, Gresham, Edwards

REPORT

Redhill:

Peskett, Alvey, Rawlinson, Batten, Evans, Kerr, Anerley, McKay, Riddulph, Gavin, Hawkes

ROYAL ENGINEERS TRAINING BATTALION : FA Cup 2nd Qualifier

Memorial Grounds

2 - 1 (Hatton, Reid)

25 September 1897

Furnell, Chalkley, Tranter, Dove, Dandridge, Chisholm, Older, Hatton, Reid, Gresham, Edwards

A well contested game was witnessed between the two teams at Canning Town. The visitors took the lead in the first half through Millar following a run by the long legged and speedy May. After crossing over the Ironworks obtained the upper hand, the Engineers held on until ten minutes from time when goals by Hatton and Reid put the Irons' into the next round.

Royal Engineers Battalion:

Shorey, Tyler, Watson, Edwards, Ferrier, Holland, May, Starkey, Duggan, Hutchinson, Millar

LEYTON

Memorial Grounds

4 - 0 (Reid 2, Gresham, Hatton)

2 October 1897

Furnell, Chalkley, Neil, Dove, Dandridge, Chisholm, Denham, Gresham, Hatton, Reid, Edwards

On the splendid, but un-get-at-able ground of the former club. The home club were at full strength, but the visitors were minus Elliott, Read and Russell, their places being taken by Inns, Fraser Downey and Papinean. The home team at once made tracks for the visitors' custodian, but Stirling was in grand form and quite 25 minutes elapsed before he was beaten by Hatton. Leyton then pressed and Massey put the ball through, but the whistle blew for offside (a very doubtful decision). Thames then pressed again and Reid did the needful. Thames led at half-time by two goals to nil. The second half was a repetition of the first and in the end Thames won by 4-0.

Leyton:

Holledge, Niel, Sharples, Bullock, Cretchley, Russell, Goer, Mann H., Stone, Mann C., Rome

ST. ALBANS CITY : FA Cup 3rd Qualifier

Clarence Park

0 - 2

16 October 1897

Furnell, Chalkley, Taylor, Dove, Dandridge, Gillies, Hird, Hatton, Reid, Gresham, Edwards

The rail fare to St Albans from Kings Cross was 2/1 (10p) return.

St Albans City:

Margetson, Sanders, Sharp A., Vinsen, Groom, Sharpe E., Brown, Laughton, Giddings, Allen, Dimmock

3rd GRENADIER GUARDS

Herne Hill

1 - 0 (Reid)

23 October 1897

Furnell, Neil, Tranter, Dove, Taylor, Chisholm, Edwards, Hird, Gresham, Reid, Gillies

REPORT

 

3rd Grenadier Guards:

Unknown

LEYTON

Leyton County Ground

3 - 1 (Gresham, Hird, Hounsell)

30 October 1897

Furnell, Neil, Tranter, Dove, Taylor, Chisholm, Gillies, Reid, Hounsell, Gresham, Hird

Harry Hird was sent off after disputing the referees decision in awarding Leyton their penalty.
 

Leyton:

Stirling T., Elliott, Papineau W., Fincham, Sprouston, Cartwright, Thomson, Leyland, Russell, Masset, Carr

LONDON FA HEARING

9 November 1897

At a meeting of the London F.A.; Harry Hird (Thames Ironworks) right winger was suspended for one week following his misconduct during the game with Leyton on October 30th.

BARKING WOODVILLE

Memorial Grounds

3 - 0 (Gresham 2, Reid)

13 November 1897

Furnell, Neil, Tranter, Dove, Taylor, Chisholm, Nichols, Gresham, Hounsell, Reid, Gillies

During the match Wynne the visitors half back sustained an injury that required him to leave the field. The Ironworks sportingly allowed 'Woodville' to replace him with Graham.

Barking Woodville:

McCappin, Cullen, Chalk A., Breens, Wilson, Wyanne, Evans, Caswell, Chalk E., Inglis, Anderson

HENRY HIRD

Born: West Hartlepool September 1874

 

Came down from Stockton on Tees early in the 1897/98 season. Was specifically an 'out and out' right winger, but did occasionally play as a wing half. Although reasonably tall at sft loin he was a very fast and tricky winger, whose crosses were of a high quality, so much so that a number of goals came as a result of his accuracy during the season that the Irons won the London League Championship. He was also capable of scoring himself, occasionally preferring to have a shot at goal rather than cross the ball, and netted 5 goals in the league and four in friendly matches. He was a regular in 1898/99 making 19 appearances and scoring 3 goals when the Irons won the Southern League Second Division Championship, but he laid on many goals for others. He also made 12 starts in the Thames & Medway Combination, scoring on 3 occasions, and 3 in the F.A. Cup scoring one goal. One game that he started but

did not finish was a London League match against Leyton in October 1897 when he got his marching orders, which made him the first (known) Irons player to be dismissed. Henry made just one Southern League, one T & M and three F.A. Cup appearances in 1899/1900, but continued in his employment at the yard as a ships plater, living at 33 St Martin’s Avenue, East Ham

NOVOCASTRIANS : London Senior Cup (3rd Qualifying Round)

Ponders End

3 - 1 (Cooper, Hounsell, Jones [og])

27 November 1897

Furnell, Neil, Tranter, Dove, Dandridge, Chisholm, Edwards, Cooper, Hounsell, Gresham, Morrison

REPORT:

 

Novocastrians:

Hart W., Jones, Chapman, Ward, Thorpe, Hutchinson, Williamson A., Williamson F., Coleman, Jeeves, Olley W.

2nd GRENADIER GUARDS

Memorial Grounds

5 - 1  (Edwards 3, Gresham, Hird)

2 December 1897

Furnell, Dove, Tranter, Gillies, Taylor, Chisholm, Hird, Reid, Hounsell, Gresham, Edwards

REPORT:

 

2nd Grenadier Guards:

Bellmore, Powell, Neal, Siddell, Shearyn, Mathers, Godfrey, Newton, Hooten, Burke, Corner

ILFORD

Sports Ground, Ilford

3 - 3 (Hird 2, Reid)

11 December 1897

Furnell, Neil, Tranter, Dove, Taylor, Chisholm, Hird, Gresham, Reid, Gillies, Edwards

REPORT:

 

Ilford:

Smith, Markham E., Hollingshead, Markham F., Markham W., Howard, Hutchins, Morgan, Gilderson, Porter A., Porter E.

ILFORD

Memorial Grounds

4 - 0  (Bone, Gresham, Ried, [og])

1 January 1898

Furnell, Neil, Tranter, Gillies, Taylor, Hickman, Edwards, Reid, Bone, Gresham, Foss

REPORT:

 

Ilford:

Smith, Hollingshead, Markham E., Wallis, Markham W., Hanure, Porter F., Porter A., Gilderson, Morgan, Hutchins

STANLEY

Memorial Grounds

4 - 2 (Gresham 3, White [og])

8 January 1898

Furnell, Neil, Tranter, Gillies, Taylor, Chisholm, Hird, Gresham, Hounsell, Reid, Edwards

White the visiting goalkeeper put through after Hird had tried with a fierce shot. White was injured shortly after and Arnott replaced him in goal. There was no more scoring before half time.
Smith levelled the scores just after the break. This appeared toawake the Irons from their slumber and Gresham scored from a free kick, Gresham then increased the difference to two before Ward got one back for Stanley. Gresham completed his hat trick to make the score 4-2. Mclean, Stanley's number 10 had to leave the field with a twisted knee and the visitors finished with 9 fit men and a lame goalkeeper.

Stanley:

White, Morton, Smith, Stubbs, Reid, Morran, Lanham, Arnott, Ward, McLean, Payne

2nd GRENADIER GUARDS : London Senior Cup (Fourth Qualifying Round)

Memorial Grounds

15 January 1898

Thames Ironworks given bye to next round : 2nd Grenadier Guards withdrew

BROMLEY

Memorial Grounds

7 - 3 (Edwards 3, Hounsell 2, Gillies, Graham)

15 January 1898

Furnell, Neil, Tranter, Cox, Chisholm, Gillies, Hird, Edwards, Hounsell, Reid, Gresham

Neutral venue could not be found for this second replay. Bromley won the toss for choice of grounds.

Bromley:

Bayman, Carr, Jeary, Ridgway, Gedney, Norman, Field, English, Osborne, Carter, Harvey

ILFORD

Memorial Grounds

1 - 3 (Gresham)

22 January 1898

Furnell, Neil, Tranter, Bird, Dandridge, Chisholm, Morrison, Gresham, Hounsell, Reid, Edwards

The Pitch was very soft as a result of recent rain. Despite a poor playing record Ilford are still a force to be reckoned with. In the first half the visitors dominated and it was only due to the stout defence of Furnell, Neil and Tranter that Ilford had only Morgans goal to show after 45 minutes. In the latter period Irons came more into the game but two further goals gave them too much to do and their only reply was scored by Gresham.

Ilford:
McCappin, Hollingshead, Markham E., Wallis, Markham W., Markham F., Porter E., Porter A., Howard, Morgan, Hutchins.

STANLEY

Captain James Ground, West Brompton

1 - 1 (Gresham)

26 February 1898

Heath, Neil, Tranter, Taylor, Gillies, Chisholm, Hird, Reid, Fitzjohn, Gresham, Edwards

REPORT:

 

Stanley:

Line-up Unknown

BARKING WOODVILLE

Vicarage Field

0 - 0

12 March 1898

Heath, Neil, Rooff, Chisholm, Taylor, Gillies, Hird, Gresham, Hounsell, Reid, Edwards

REPORT:

 

Barking Woodville:

Goodman, Culling, Chalk, Dean, Wilson, Breens, Baiss, Hatton, Graham, Inglis, Kirk

BROMLEY

Queensmead Recreation Ground

5 - 1 (Reid 3, Hird, Hounsell)

19 March 1898

Heath, Neil, Rooff, Gillies, Taylor, Chisholm, Hird, Reid, Hounsell, Gresham, Edwards

REPORT:

 

Bromly:

Bayman, Sharpe, Wright, Hutchison, Gedney, Darby F., Wyborn, Sewell, Osborn, Hole, Russell

3rd GRENADIER GUARDS

Memorial Grounds

3 - 1 (Hounsell 2, Neil) 

2 April 1898

Heath, Neil, Tranter, Dove, Oxspring, Chisholm, Hird, Reid, Hounsell, Gresham, Edwards

REPORT:

 

3rd Grenadier Guards:

Rafter, Milarvie, Creed, Baggaley, Hill, Dawe, Farrell, Porter A., Sheeran, Moon, Tomlinson

BRENTFORD

Shotters Field

0 - 1

23 April 1898

Heath, Neil, Tranter, Dove, Oxspring, Chisholm, Hird, Reid, Hounsell, Gresham, Woodcock

REPORT:

Brentford:

Pennington, Swann, Luff, Charlton, Edney, Smith, Lloyd, Dailly, Rough, Field, Knapman

2nd GRENADIER GUARDS

Memorial Grounds

3 - 1 (Hounsell 2, Gresham) 

30 April 1898

Heath, Neil, Tranter, Dove, Oxspring, Chisholm, Hird, Reid, Hounsell, Gresham, Foss

Thames Ironworks away fixture : Switched to Memorial Grounds

REPORT:

 

2nd Grenadier Guards:

Line-up Unknown

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