Team: Collins, Lyon, White, Bowman, Hitch, Bull, Hamilton, McCairns, Murphy, McGowan, Wilson
Rangers travelled to Craven Cottage on 24th October 1903 to take on Fulham in a Southern League fixture. The following match report appeared the following week in the ‘Illustrated Police News:
‘The Southern League fixture between Fulham and Queen’s Park Rangers on Saturday at Craven Cottage was very interesting, seeing that these same teams will again meet on Saturday next to contest which side shall have the honour of entering the next round of the FA Cup.
When in September they met the Rangers colours carried the day, and their 2-0 victory earned them a couple of London League points.
Since that day the Fulham men have improved wonderfully, and they were expected to triumph over their neighbours, who had to leave Archer and Newlands out of their team.
Quite a great crowd of people had assembled when the players entered the field. “Captain” Collins, of the Rangers, having won the toss, Connor started the game for Fulham.
A corner was soon gained by Fulham as the result of a fine individual effort on the part of Soar.
The Rangers almost immediately followed suit, but their corner earned them a penalty and a goal. Orr was the culprit, and the referee, on the qui vive, noticed his unfair charge on Murphy, and hence the penalty from which Murphy himself scored.
A few minutes later, and after a period of fast but equal play, Soar, with a very clever shot, equalised.
Chances during the next few minutes were offered to Wilson and Connor, but both being hard pressed were unable to turn them to account.
Some smart work by Soar and Fletcher punctuated a period of pressure by the Rangers.
The crowd was growing intensely excited with each succeeding minute of the match, but for long the next goal could not be obtained.
More chances fell to both sides, and McGowan ultimately accepted one that came his way, and gave the Rangers the lead. Before the conclusion of the half, Fletcher, from a free kick, equalised.
It was a strenuous fight, which the spectators saw in the second half of the game.
The defenders on both sides did splendid work, Fryer repulsing a saucy charge by little McGowan that caused no small amusement.
The game ultimately closed with the first half score of 2 all remaining unaltered.
The Fulham team, it may be mentioned, have left London for Matlock, where they will remain until next Saturday, when they again meet their neighbourly opponents of Kensal Rise.’
It was said that the Fulham goalkeeper, Jack Fryer, was one of the heaviest players to have taken to a football pitch!
That cup-tie the following week ended in a 1-1 draw, but Fulham won the replay 3-1 at Craven Cottage.
(My thanks to Colin Woodley for unearthing the match report and the wonderful illustration. Thanks also to Gordon Macey for his assistance)