Mexborough and Swinton Times April 5, 1929
Bolton Tactics Win.
The Luck of Cup Final Ties.
Bolton 2, Conisboro’ 0
The working of the Manvers Main Collieries seriously affected the attendance at Hampden Road on Friday morning for that institution; the Montagu Cup competition final tie. The attendance was not much over 2,000 and the receipts not within £10 of last year’s similar event, when Ashwood Road won the popular trophy.
Bolton won it this time. They were cheered on by a loud-voiced and tireless phalena of supporters; while Conisboro’ strove in silence. That lack of enthusiasm in the crowd typified the losing fight Conisboro’ fought after the first 20 minutes or so of a hard-going game. They started like winners with smart, clever football which promised plenty of goals. Then Bolton dashed a way from a spell of hard-pressed defence and dashed the ball into the net. A few minutes later Conisboro’s reprisals ended in a great shot that was charged down by a Bolton defender—obviously with his hand. The ball was travelling in the right direction and how Lunn could have stopped it, was difficult to see. But Mr. Elmer did not see a case for a penalty award and the Incident ended there.
So did Conisboro’s chances of winning. From that point Bolton got a strangle hold on the game and they clinched the matter early in the second half with a fluky goal that was characteristic of the luck that favoured them during the ninety minutes, Conisboro’ were much the better team but Bolton won the cup. So does it rather frequently happen in final ties (partisans of that other Bolton please note!)
The game was won and lost in those few minutes of the play, with less than a quarter of the ninety minutes gone; but after that the Bolton halves were the deciding elements. They, with Robinson and Walker, were the men of the day. Robinson is a right winger of exceptional promise and it is rather surprising that Wath were cognisant of his merits and yet did not persevere with him. Walker was an unpolished but bold and dashing, entre-forward who had to be watched all the time.
So different to Conisboro’s leader of attack! He had been spotted by Huddersfield and was engaged for a trial by that famous club; but he revealed little justification for that distinction on Friday morning. Even an understandable desire to avoid risks was not sufficient to explain his ineffectiveness. The real cause of it was the careful watch that three Bolton men kept on him almost incessantly throughout the game; and I contend the best centre-forward in the world can be rendered ineffectual if three strong men with a rudimentary knowledge of the game decide to play policemen on him. Riley may yet turn out a centre forward of class: because he may get his chance among colleagues who will have a picnic if three members of an opposing defence give them their heads and give all their attention to Riley. Friday morning’s goings-on reflect much more soverely on the rest of the Conisboro’ forwards than they do on Riley. He was hampered by reputation: they were not. And that was Conisboro’s fatal weakness: they would have played exceptionally pretty football, and played it effective if their leader had not been as good as put out of action. They lacked adaptability, that is all.
Early play was in Conisboro’s favour. Their methods were better and their combination superior to Bolton’s. Bolton were more direct but for a time were well held by the Conisboro’ defenders. Charlton made some tricky runs but his centres were blocked. In one of Bolton’s rare raids they scored. Robinson made a good centre and WALKER met the ball and shot the ball into the net well out of Harrison’s reach. That was all the scoring in the first half.
In the second half Bolton were more dangerous and Walker led the forward line well. The backs were the better part of the two teams, particularly the Bolton pair who had to face a better organised attack.
WALKER scored Bolton’s second goal and it was a fluky affair. Harrison got to the ball but let it slip over the line. Conisboro’ rallied towards the end but were a tired and disheartened team.
The goalkeepers played well, especially Lunn. Kent and Hopper were the better backs but Hagger and Chivers did good work. Both half back lines were good on occasions. Conisboro’s forwards played the better football, but could not stay the pace. Chariton and Stephenson tried hard. Bolton’s forwards were a thrustful lot with Fawden and Walker outstanding. Robinson was the best winger on the field when he was at his best.
Bolton: Lunn; Kent, Hopper; J Walker, Stanstield, Dainty, Robinson, Fawden, G. Walker, Willetts.
Conisboro’: Harrison; R. Hagger, Chivers, Wildman, Gregory, Noble; Chariton, Cook, Riley, H. Hagger, Stephenson.
Referee: J. Elmer, Parkgate.
Mr. G. H. Cooper presented the cup to Bower Bolton’s little mascot and thanked the spectators for their support. The match marked the climax of their effort since the war to raise £1,000 for the Montagu Hospital. He congratulated Bolton on their success and wished Conisboro’ better luck next time. About twenty years ago Conisboro’ Cliffe° were in the final tie and had to play six times before the issue was decided. Mr. Cooper presented the 22 players with medals.
The receipts were £55 10s.