The Boxing Day match at Clarence Park between St Albans City and Luton Clarence was a remarkable one. Both teams have had very successful runs and of the two the Clarence had the better record in the number of wins and goals scored. Therefore this match was looked forward to with more than ordinary interest.
Miserable climatic conditions prevailed and the ground was in a very slippery condition. Nevertheless, there was a large crowd of spectators and the Clarence brought a fair number of supporters with them and these received an unpleasant shock, for they saw their team trounced to the extent of seven goals to one.
Luton are unused to being beaten, especially by such a margin, and some of the players lost their better feelings and, showing an utter disregard for anything in the way of sportsmanship, resorted to tough tactics. The outco0me of this was that five of the Luton players were ordered off by the referee viz., H.Parsons, H.Lane, F.Lane, E.Macara and W.Ansell. This was in the last five minutes and after the whole of the scoring had been done.
Luton were beaten all round and but for Bacon in goal would have suffered even greater defeat. Odell, F.Lane and H.Lane were the more conspicuous of the Luton side. Of the City, the star of the team was Walker, who was all too good for the visitor’s defence and gave the openings for most of the City goals. Hughes was also very fine and obtained no less than five goals.
The behaviour of the Luton Clarence players on Monday is much to be regretted. The game was not a rough one. Fouls were few and far between right until well in the second half and then the Luton players, after being pulled up for one or two slight fouls and heavy charges, seemed to lose all judgement and tripped deliberately. Undoubtedly the bad feeling was all on the side of Luton. Everyone can realise that to make a visit full of confidence, backed up by a fine record, and then to go down slap-bang, is not very palatable, but one would expect a set of footballers – sportsmen – to have accepted such a position with better taste than did the Clarence. There can be no disguising the fact that Luton were disagreeably surprised – very much so, and when the City put on goal after goal it touched them keenly. It was not until all scoring had been done that the players were ordered off,
Every commendation must be given to Mr.J.J.P.Cole, the referee, for the admirable way he managed the game. He did well, at the first sign of ill-feeling, to call the players together and warn them and even better when he carried out the gist of his warning in ordering the players off for kicking and fouling.
The game itself was remarkable for the fine forward work of the City and of Walker and Hughes in particular. Butcher, who was to have a trial with West Ham at Hastings yesterday(Tuesday), went splendidly at the start, but dropped off. Webb played a magnificent game at back and Patrick was also in fine form. Both goalkeepers did themselves much credit.
The match brings the City’s Spartan League record to the following figures :- Played 5, Won 5, goals for 32, against 5. Who said City for the Championship ?
Boxmoor scratched their County League match with City, which was down for Christmas morning.
Reprinted from the “The St Albans Post” 29th December 1909.