There was a football crowd over 7,000 at the Essex Senior Cup final on the Ilford ground on Saturday, when Leyton beat Harwich and Parkeston 1-0.
It was a well-contested game, full of incident, but lacking good football. Leyton were regular inside forwards, Boatwright and Gibbins, but their deputies did splendidly, and the team as a whole was much superior to the Harwich men, who showed only too plainly that the strain of their recent excess of football had made itself felt.
On several Saturdays Harwich had been playing two matches, one after the other, in order to fulfil their fixtures, and they had been engaged in five cup finals. Saturday’s game showed that they were leg weary. Instead of their usual excellent teamwork there was much aimless kicking, and their forward line could make little or nothing of the Leyton defence, which was in great fettle, Loveday and Clark being in splendid form at back, and Marley. Page, and Mercer excellent in the middle line. Pearce, inside-left, was the pick the forwards with Collins, who captained the side, a tremendous worker at outside-right. Holding re-appeared in the Leyton goal after an absence of several months through injury, but he did not have a great deal to do.
Harwich were disappointing. Day was subdued by Page, and Caesar had an unhappy afternoon against inspired Marley, Floyd, and Harries, the backs were often out of position, although the half-back, particularly Mallows, worked hard throughout. It was unlucky for Self, in goal, that his only mistake in an otherwise polished display should have cost his side the match. He misjudged Richardson’s shot twenty-five minutes after the start.
Leyton are also the holders of the London Charity Cup, and finished third in the Athenian League. Harwich are holders the A.F.A. Cup and have scored 203 goals this season, having averaged 200 per season for the last three seasons.
The Shrimpers won the toss and Leyton kicked off against a stiff wind. W. King, the Harwich left-half, was injured but soon resumed. Leyton, who throughout had the better of this half, pressed heavily, but the Harwich defence was sound. In a breakaway, Rowland missed good scoring chance for Harwich. At the other end, Self saved grandly from Sarjeant. Harwich had their moments, and once Day, with an overhead kick, all but scored. After twenty-five minutes, Richardson scored for Leyton with a ground shot which deceived Self, who fell a fraction too late. Leyton were on top up to the interval, but could not increase their lead, although once Self made great save from Richardson.
Harwich improved in the second half, but found the Leyton defence too good. Upson missed for Harwich, and Self cleared Foreman’s shot. Play generally was poor, but not lacking in excitement. Richardson had wretched luck with a fine drive, and Self punched away from Sarjeant. Harwich should have equalised in the last two minutes, but Day, with an open goal, sent wide. The game ended with Leyton pressing heavily.
The cup was presented to the Leyton captain by Sir James Slade. J.P., C.A., president of the E.C.F.A. congratulated both teams, and mentioned that this was the eighth time Leyton had won the cup.
The receipts were £387, making a total of over £800 for the two finals.
Teams:—Leyton: T. G. Holding; A. W. Loveday, P. B. Clark; H. J. Marley, A. Pago, C. F. Mercer; E. C. Collins, R. G. Richiardson, G. A. Foreman, J. Pearce, A. Sarjeant.
Harwich; W. Self; H. Floyd, F. Harries; F. Mallows, H. Willats, W. King; A. Rowland, E. Duffield, A. Day, \V. Caesar, L. Upson. Referee: W, H. Hirst, Chelmsford.