Team: Hunt, Tyler, Hughes (F), Walburn, Keeps, McKenzie, Davies, Hughes (R), Smith, Ward, Wallington
On 13th February 1897, Rangers took on Hammersmith Athletic & Chiswick in a London League (Division 2) fixture.
The following match report later appeared in the West London Observer:
‘A wet morning gave place to a dull and showery afternoon last Saturday, when this match was played at Chiswick, before some 800 or 900 spectators, a very large attendance considering the miserable weather.
Payne lost the toss and consequently the home side kicked off up the slope.
The visitors at once began to get down towards the home goal, but never became dangerous until Part had a shot to save, which he cleared rather weakly, but Smith then banged it over.
The homesters then worked the ball up to the other end, and Tyler conceded a corner, which, however, proved useless. Directly after Bennett got away on the right wing, but was badly fouled by Hughes.
The game now became fast and furious, both goals being visited in turn, but the defence of the home side was impenetrable. Part, however, had one or two shots to save, which he negotiated safely with great coolness.
The home forwards also got away several times, but though they passed, Hughes and Tyler could never succeed in beating Hunt. Consequently half time arrived with the score-sheet a blank.
After the restart the “Hammers” went off with considerable dash, and they now having the advantage of the slope at once began to press, and with Wilson now playing a dashing game, the forwards improved considerably.
Two corners were conceded to the homesters in quick succession, but nothing resulted from them.
After this, play was for a long time in mid-field, until a corner was forced by the home forwards, which Jones dropped splendidly right in the mouth of goal, but Craven unfortunately headed just over.
This was a great disappointment to the home supporters, but they were not to go long unrewarded, as directly after a free kick for hands was given against the Rangers some 20 yards out, from which Wastie headed the ball on to one of the opponents, who put it between the posts and the “Hammers” one up.
The home side at once returned to the attack, and Bartlett had hard lines in not scoring with a fine shot, which struck the cross-bar.
After this the visitors made great efforts to get on terms, but the home defence was quite enough for them every time, and consequently the “Hammers” gained another two points in the League, and defeated the Rangers by one goal to nil.’
Rangers had better luck a week later when they recorded a 1-0 win against Stanley.
(Thanks to Colin Woodley for forwarding me the match report)