22 March, 1912 at Middleton Park

Kirtlington (1) 1 -  Bletchington (0) 1

Referee: J. Ray Linesmen: W. Smith W. Clifton

Kirtlington: E.R. Norridge F. Woodley E.R. East W. Scarrott A. Harrison W. Walton R. Edgington A. Calcutt, L. Kirtland E. Edgington G. Wickson

Kirtlington Scorers: L. Kirtland 1

Bletchington: S. Savin T. Morris B. Childs A. Taylor A. Ward M. Howe J. Timms A. Herbert R. Collett, J. Taylor B. Read,

Bletchington Scorers:  J.Taylor 1

This, the chief attraction of the season in village football, drew its usual large and enthusiastic crowd, about five hundred spectators witnessing what proved to be a decidedly interesting game, although the afternoon was dull and frequent drizzling showers descended. Kirtlington were slightly the more aggressive team in the opening half, and scored a goal without response. In the second portion the tables were slowly turned and Bletchingdon gradually asserted themselves as the better team, and twelve minutes from time obtained a deserved equaliser. The remaining minutes were full of excited suspense, and just on time J. Taylor hit the post, after beating the defence, and the ball rebounded and was cleared. Extra time was played, but neither net had been visited at the end of half-an-hour, and the teams left the field, both with hopes for the future.


At the outset the Bletchington left wing was in evidence and Woodley relieved by putting out of play. Norridge was first called upon and his clearance led to an attack by Kirtlington, which culminated in offsides against Kirtland. A foul against Collett was well placed by Woodley, but the Bletchington defenders were safe, and the leather was cleared without difficulty. For a foul on Harrison a free kick was awarded and East placed well up, but the Bletchington defenders again cleared their lines. Ding-dong proceedings were the order, each side occasionally looking dangerous, although Kirtlington appeared the more aggressive team. Some particularly smart midfield play was frequently seen, especially when Harrison had his say in the proceedings. Offsides were given against Collett in a Bletchington attack, and J. Taylor distinguished himself with numberous solo runs. The Kirtlington wing men were both in a determined mood and after sundry abortive efforts a run by R. Edgington culminated in a ideal centre which Kirtland took advantage of. This player gave Savins no chance with a breast-high shot, thus putting Kirtlington a goal up. Five minutes later a further exciting incident took place, when Savins, the Bletchington custodian, was called upon. This player stopped the shot, and following the ball out for some yards, carrying it the three fatal steps after passing the penalty area. A free-kick was promptly given, which Woodley took, and a throw up subsequently followed, but the leather was cleared. Harrison essayed a shot from twenty yards, but this went by, and hearabouts Kirtland scored an offside goal. At the other end Norridge was tested with a variety of efforts, and a couple of high shots sailed over the cross-bar, but the goalkeeper kept his charge intact. Kirtlington attacked again, and Savins made a safe clearance as the interval whistle went with the score :

Kirtlington 1, Bletchington 0.

On resuming, the Kirtlington territory was first visited, and Collett was pulled up for offsides. The Bletchington defence then underwent a severe ordeal, and Kirtland got in a stiff shot, which, however went straight at Savins, who cleared with difficulty. Each end was visited in turn and as the game drew out Bletchington appeared to be easily holding their own. Herbert put his man in a position for many wing runs, but he seldom got past Walton, and when he did, East always came to the rescue with success. The Kirtlington defence underwent a narrow escape a little later, when a shot by Collett was brilliantly pulled from beneath the cross-bar by Norridge, who finally cleared the ballfrom the corner of the goal. But this episode had an unfortunate ending, for J. Taylor rushed up, and Norridge's thigh and head appeared to come into contact with the upright, and he was laid out, and underwent attention for about ten minutes. Some spectators thought the ball actually went beyond the inside of the cros-bar, but the Bletchington players were evidently not of that opinion, and did not appeal for a goal. The Kirtlington goalie limped throughout the match, but was not severely tested again. Wickson placed several admirable corners in the half, but a resolute defence did not permit them to be turned to account. Twelve minutes from time, happened, I suppose, what one could call the most sensational of the sensational, for at that period J. Taylor equalised for his side. Eluding the defence he had but Norridge to beat, and the crowd paused breathless at this crucial moment, and Taylor tapped the ball past the Kirtlington goalie in the coolest fashion. This was a sterling goal and most of the spectators showed their approval in the usual way, for the point was well deserved, whilst the more ardent Bletchington supporters used their vocal organs with considerable pandemonium. A minute from time J. Taylor was again conspicuous, and, after getting through, Norridge advanced, and the former player was left to effect a very awkward shot to score. His final shot hit the post and rebounded in play, to be eventually cleared by a defender. The whistle went for time with the score :

Kirtlington 1, Bletchington 1.

After a brief consultation an extra half-hour was commenced, but it cannot be said that the proceedings were of the entertaining nature that had characterised the preceding ninety minutes. Of course the players put all the "beef" they could muster for the "decider", but they had undergone a vigorous ordeal and the pace slackened noticeably. In the first quarter a corner fell to either team, and both proved fruitless. After crossing over, the game was even, but defence prevailed over attack, except for a little trouble that Taylor caused the Kirtlington defence, the ball finally going out of play. The final whistle went with the score :

Kirtlington 1 Bletchington 1.

It has been decided that the match shall be replayed on April 6, with the ground and time the same, and that the officials in charge of the recent match should be unaltered.

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