Arsenal in the FA Cup – 100 years ago.

I have a special feeling about 16th January 1910, as it is the day on which Making the Arsenal (the novel) starts its story.  Jacko Jones has been sent off to wildest Plumstead (then part of Kent, not a part of London) to watch the FA Cup first round match, Woolwich Arsenal v Watford).

Lacking much to say about the game he turns in a bizarre and eccentric piece which comments on the dress code of the crowd, the food at the pie stand, and the beer in the pubs.  Only half way through does he get to the actual game.

The piece is very much the start of the adventure, and part of it is now available on line (see the end of the match review below).  I hope you enjoy it.

Arsenal 3 Watford 0

Arsenal moved through easily as expected into the second round of the FA Cup on January 15th 1910.  Southern League Watford offered no real challenge, even to a team in as much trouble as Woolwich Arsenal.  The crowd was 8668 – remarkable not because it was low (which it was) but because the reference books have it so accurately recorded.  Most crowds 100 years back are listed in round figures (10,000, 15,000 etc).

Arsenal put out the same team as they would have done had this been a league game – and not surprisingly, because they were playing just one game a week now the Christmas rush was over.   No League Cup, no European games, just the FA Cup (which all the first and second division teams entered at round one) and the League.

McKellar got one and Lewis got the other two goals – I have written about both players in a little depth in earlier entries.

In other results both the eventual finalists drew:

Blackpool 1 Barnsley 1

Stoke 1 Newcastle 1

Barnsley won their replay 6-0, Newcastle 2-1.

Elsewhere Burnley 1 Manchester United 0 meant that 100 years ago, as now, Man U (who were the cup holders) were unable to progress beyond the first round in which they played.

The FA Cup in more detail

The smaller clubs played through the preliminary rounds (of which there were five), with clubs entering at different stages according to their status and their previous cup records.  Here’s the list of results from the final qualifying round (source

  • Accrington Stanley 1-0 Brentford
  • Bishop Auckland 1-1 South Bank
  • Chesterfield 1-1 Crewe Alexandra
  • Clapton 1-1 Shrewsbury Town
  • Croydon Common 0-1 Leyton
  • Kettering 0-5 Coventry City
  • Mexborough Town 0-0 Carlisle United
  • Rotherham Town 0-1 New Brighton
  • Southend United 4-2 Hastings & St Leonards
  • Stoke 0-0 Exeter City
  • Tunbridge Wells Rangers 0-6 Workington{1}
  • Wycombe Wanderers 0-4 Watford

One interesting name – Croydon Common, a Southern League team owned by Henry Norris.

Then in the first round we got…

  • Birmingham 1-4 Leicester Fosse
  • Blackburn Rovers 7-1 Accrington Stanley
  • Blackpool 1-1 Barnsley
  • Bradford City 4-2 Notts County
  • Bradford Park Avenue 8-0 Bishop Auckland
  • Brighton & Hove Albion 0-1 Southampton
  • Bristol City 2-0 Liverpool
  • Burnley 2-0 Manchester United
  • Bury 2-1 Glossop
  • Chelsea 2-1 Hull City
  • Chesterfield 0-0 Fulham
  • Crystal Palace 1-3 Swindon Town
  • Derby County 5-0 Millwall
  • Gainsborough Trinity 1-1 Southend United
  • Grimsby Town 0-2 Bristol Rovers
  • Leyton 0-0 New Brompton
  • Middlesbrough 1-1 Everton
  • Northampton Town 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday
  • Norwich City 0-0 Queens Park Rangers
  • Nottingham Forest 3-2 Sheffield United
  • Oldham Athletic 1-2 Aston Villa
  • Plymouth Argyle 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur
  • Portsmouth 3-0 Shrewsbury Town
  • Preston North End 1-2 Coventry City
  • Stockport County 4-1 Bolton Wanderers
  • Stoke 1-1 Newcastle United
  • Sunderland 1-0 Leeds City
  • West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Clapton Orient
  • West Ham United 1-1 Carlisle United
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers 5-0 Reading
  • Woolwich Arsenal 3-0 Watford
  • Workington 1-2 Manchester City

And what is so noticeable is how familiar the teams are to us.  Very few names there that would strike us as odd.  Leeds City became Leeds United, Clapton Orient eventually became Leyton Orient and so on, but not too many huge surprises.

Next week, back to the league with a home game against Middlesbrough.

You can now read an extract from the book MAKING THE ARSENAL and read a series of reviews at

(c) Tony Attwood 2010

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