QPR’s 1909 Friendly against Ton Pentre

Team: Shaw, McDonald, Fidler, Mitchell, Wentworth, Wake, McNaught, Steer, Travers, Whyman, Barnes

Ton Pentre is a South Wales village situated in the Rhondda Valley. Despite the area being a hotbed for Rugby Union, a football club was formed at least as far back as 1896.

The club secretary, a Mr Walter Chillington succeeded in arranging a friendly against the Rangers, which was played on Monday 20th September 1909. A match report appeared the following day in the South Wales Daily News:

‘With the object of fostering the soccer code in South Wales, the Southern League Football Association have arranged fixtures with the leading teams in South Wales, the first of which was fulfilled in the Rhondda at the Ynys Park ground, Ton Pentre, on Monday afternoon.

From the appearance of the gate it would seem that any additional interest in the code was not required. Long before the match was timed to start, spectators had arrived by train and tram, and many walked over the neighbouring mountains from Maerdy and other hill towns.

On Saturday the Rangers defeated Plymouth Argyle by two goals to nil, and it was naturally expected that Ton’s ground record would be broken by the crack 1st Division Southern team.

Musical selections were given by Cory’s Prize Band, pending the arrival of the teams.

Ton were the first to attack, Will Jones being prominent with some fine headwork. McDonald made an effort to clear with a header, but Parry secured and was given a fine opportunity to send across to Fyfe, but misjudged his kick.

The Rangers attacked but the Rhondda men were soon back again, and the visiting goal had a narrow squeak from a shot by T. Davies, Shaw kicking in the nick of time.

A sharp burst by the visitors enabled Travers to open the scoring with a shot, which gave Percival no chance.

Immediately after Fyfe beat the two full-backs, but missed the net through a weak effort.

Up to now Ton were fairly holding their own, and following an unsuccessful attempt at goal by Curtis at long range, Will Jones slung out the ball to Tommy Davies, whose kick went wide.

Ton kept up a persistent attack, and from a pretty forward movement Tommy Davies made a delightful centre close in and Fyfe equalised amid loud cheering.

Maintaining their superiority, Curtis increased Ton’s lead after McDonald had made an unsuccessful effort to hustle him off the ball.

Steer forced his way to the mouth of the Ton goal, but Will Jones sent the ball well up the field, and in a scramble in front of goal, Curtis dashed up after he had beaten Fyfe and beat Shaw when he was laying full length on the ground.

The Rangers towards the interval forced a couple of corners, which proved to no avail. Half-time: Ton Pentre 3 – Queen’s Park Rangers 1.

Resuming, the Rangers almost scored in the first minute, Percival being applauded for his fine save from Travis.

In the subsequent attack McDonald centred well, but the Ton backs cleared and away went the forwards to the other end, where Parry tricked McDonald and came within an ace of adding to the Ton score.

The Rangers after this gave a fine exhibition of forward play, and the Ton goal had a couple of narrow squeaks from successive shots by Travers and Whyman.

Quickly the venue was changed, and Tommy Davies raised a cheer with a shot, which, however, missed the mark.

The visitors were awarded a corner, and in a melee in front of the goal, Jones, Ton’s full-back, got injured, and had to temporarily retire.

In the succeeding play Ton failed to hold the elusive Rangers forwards, who, however, proved weak in shooting.

Steer, who shot the two goals (actually credited as one, McNaught scored the other) against Plymouth on Saturday, next received an injury, and had to be carried off the field.

The visitors towards the end of the game brought off some fine bursts of passing, but failed to add to their score.

The Rangers certainly gave the Rhondda men an object lesson in combination, but they were woefully lax in shooting.

In shooting, Curtis took the palm, and J. Williams and Parry on the wing more than held their own. Hugh Williams at centre-half fed the forward line with unfailing regularity. Jones and Russell defended well, and Percival in goal added to his reputation.

For the visitors, Travers, Barnes, and McNaught proved a smart trio of forwards. Shaw in goal brought off brilliant saves.’

The present club was formed in 1935 and currently play in Division One of the Welsh Football League.

Steve Russell

(Thanks to Colin Woodley for unearthing the match report)

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