QPR lost 1-0 to a Woolwich Arsenal “A’” Side in 1897 but, ‘Kilburnites are flocking to the Rangers’ Standard in their Thousands’

The following article appeared in the Kilburn Times on 17th September 1897:

‘On Saturday last the attendance at the Harvist-road enclosure, West Kilburn, showed a still further increase. The official return gave nearly 6,000 as being present. With glorious surroundings, a grand afternoon’s sport was witnessed.

Although the local players sustained defeat, all who saw the game contended they were quite the equal of their famous professional opponents.

Woolwich Arsenal “A”: Leather, Shrewsbury, Carver, Hogbin, Grey, Davis, Nash, McDavid, Lewis, Heath and Duff.

Rangers: F. Hunt, H. G. Teagle (captain) and F. Hughes (vice), R. Walburn, J. Musselwhite and R. Blyth, J. McKenzie, A. Wallington, J. Gilmore, R. Hughes, and E. Wallington.

Mr R. Worthing refereed, and play commenced at about 4.15pm, amidst enthusiastic cheering. It was undoubtedly the biggest crowd ever gathered at a single football match in West or North-West London.

Although the Rangers lacked Flint and Evans’ valuable services in the forward line, they soon compelled Woolwich to concede several corners.

The Arsenal have lately had a series of easy victories over several powerful clubs, took matters easily, Ashford United, their own first eleven, Old St. Stephens and the Kent League clubs (in competitions they were undefeated champions last season), are amongst their victims.

The Rangers much surprised their visitors by the really grand display given. Both Wallingtons and McKenzie centred magnificently time after time.

Leather, however, aided by his backs, defeated Gilmore’s weak exertions in the centre. Suffice it to say, half-time saw a clean score-sheet.

On resuming, Queen’s Park, who lost the toss, continued to equally share the play with their opponents, and the scene on the ground, packed with spectators, much excited, was a grand one.

E. Wallington was soon noticeable for some of his brilliant sprints. Musselwhite proved that he was a match for all his opponents in cunning.

Eventually the Arsenal, who unfortunately displayed a too liberal use of their weight, scored by the aid of Lewis.

Play then became tremendously exciting, and the Rangers were very unlucky in not equalising. Time was called by Mr Worthing, who kept the players well in hand, with the score, Arsenal one, Rangers nil.

In criticising the play of Saturday, it was generally conceded by Woolwich that the Rangers had given them a very stiff fight. Had the Rangers possessed a good centre-forward, they must have won.

Otherwise, the team all round is grand, although the backs might kick lower, and the right-wing forwards be improved. Then the team would indeed be A1.

However, we anticipate quite a host of big doings in West Kilburn. Already Kilburnites are flocking to the Rangers’ standard in their thousands, and this Saturday, against Windsor and Eton, the following should enable Queen’s Park Rangers to enter Round 2 (was actually the 1st qualifying Round) of the English Cup competition:

Hunt, Tyler, and T. Hughes, Walburn, J. Musselwhite, and Blyth, McKenzie, W. Evans, Dr. Flint, R. Hughes, and E. Wallington. Reserve, A. Wallington.

The pavilion is now removed to its proper position on the football ground. Refreshments and other conveniences will now be effected.

Queen’s Park Rangers’ “A” team start their season by visiting Tottenham Waverley 1st at South Tottenham.

Although Hunt and Parkin are cricketing, and Tyler is playing for the first, the match should serve to test the players’ abilities in view of the coming cup-ties.

Mr J. Millard, junior, their hon. secretary, has now removed to11, Hartland-road, Kilburn.’

The Rangers won that preliminary Round FA cup-tie 3-0 against Windsor & Eton the following Saturday,

Steve Russell

(Thanks to Colin Woodley for sending me the article)