Friday, 29 March 2013

On this day in 1900, Bury made it to the FA Cup final

Taken from

Thursday March 29th 1900 - At Bramall Lane
Charlie Sagar is in the right of the second row. He is arguably
Bury's finest ever footballer.  
BURY 3 ( Sagar 70, 114, McLuckie 89)
Thompson, Darroch, Davidson, Pray, Leeming, Ross, Richards,
Wood, McLuckie, Sagar, Plant
NOTTINGHAM F. 2 (Capes 30 secs, Calvey 2) Allsop;, Peers, Iremonger; Coles, McPherson, Norris, Capes;
Calvey, Beveridge, Morris, Spouncer
Referee - Mr Scragg of Crewe Half-time 0-2
Full-time 2-2
After extra-time 3-2 Attendance 15,000

QUALIFYING FOR THE final of the most famous football competition in the world for the first time would have been a magnificent achievement in itself. But to come from two down, after just a couple of minutes, and go on and win in extra time was remarkable by any standards, and even more so in light of the fact that Bury only appeared at the ground eight minutes after the advertised kick-off time.

Blame for this clearly lay at the feet of the club’s executive committee, who, seeking to reduce costs at a time of great financial hardship within the club, delayed the team’s departure to the very last minute knowing that even if the trains employed had all run to time the side would reach Sheffield only forty five minutes before kick-off.

True, Bramall Lane is no distance from the central station but that would have still meant a hurried change for the team even if everything had run smoothly.

Almost from the off things went badly,thirty minutes late on pulling into Manchester Victoria, the Bury team were forced to change on board the train for Sheffield. Arriving at just two minutes before the advertised starting time the players jumped into waiting taxi cabs and emerged from them to run straight on to the pitch.

With Forest ready and waiting the game was quickly under way, and with no time in which to settle Bury were a goal down before thirty seconds had been played.

Both sides were unchanged from Saturday’s match. Kicking off, the Nottingham side moved the ball out to Spouncer at outside left and his fine centre was cracked home by Capes. Less than a minute later it was 2-0 when after conceding a free-kick Thompson was at fault when he misjudged Calvey’s shot from twenty yards. The cheers of the Nottingham contingent were loud and prolonged, and thoughts inevitably drifted forward a few weeks to the cup final. Could Forest win the FA Cup for a second time in three seasons?

Bury fans, estimated to be around 400, were stunned. Silently they gazed on as their heroes worked to prevent Forest grabbing a third, which would surely have finished the tie. Spouncer might have done better when well placed, Capes and Calvey worked hard to increase the east Midland side’s advantage but Bury held on to give themselves an outside chance when the whistle sounded for half-time at Bury 0 Nottingham Forest 2.

On the restart all hopes of a fightback seemed to have disappeared as Bury toiled to make any impression on the game.Thompson twice kept his side in the tie with fine saves from Capes and his partner Calvey. Morris should should have left the Bury keeper with no chance after Capes’s cross found him unmarked just fifteen yards out but the Welsh international showed none of his usual class by flashing his shot well wide.

Finally Bury pushed up into their opponents’ half, but with Allsop in fine form there was disappointment as Sagar, Plant and McLuckie had their shots saved.With just over twenty minutes remaining it looked very much as if Bury were destined to fall out of the 1900 FA Cup at the penultimate hurdle.

Wood had been anonymous but turning on the ball he forced Allsop into a full length diving save, and whilst the keeper was able to block McLuckie’s follow-up shot there was nothing he could do when Sagar emerged to touch home the loose ball. Now it was the turn of the Bury followers to make themselves heard, and when Sagar pushed home a shot after a corner it seemed that the Lancashire side had somehow hauled themselves level. Not so said the referee disallowing the goal for handball.

Forest were under siege, but might have finished the game off when Calvey was left in the clear but his tired legs wouldn’t take him the forty yards towards goal and Bury’s backs were back to clear.
On 89 minutes Bury won a corner. Plant took it and McLuckie roared in to bullet a header past Allsop and into the net to make it 2-2, which is how it finished at full time.

‘It was decided to play extra time.’ - Yorkshire Post

Bury,buoyed by the last gasp equaliser,looked much the fresher side when extra time started. Thompson, though, almost gifted Forest the lead; dropping back to grab a shot from Morris he had spilt. McLuckie was unfortunate at the other end, his shot passing narrowly wide and with little to choose between the sides the first period of extra time ended with the score at 2-2.

With eight minutes left the game seemed certain to end in a draw after McLuckie missed an easy chance after Plant picked him out. But, with six minutes left, Sagar silenced the Forest faithful in the crowd, shooting home from just inside the penalty area.There was no Forest comeback and at the end the small number of Bury fans who had managed to make it to Sheffield were jumping deliriously having seen their side play magnificently to win 3-2.

A Sheffield correspondent says – ‘As soon at the game was over referee Mr Scragg was insulted by a Forest official in the dressing-room for allowing extra time to be played.
‘Peers was asked for the official’s name, but declined to give it, but Mr Scragg has determined to report the matter to the Association.The gate was £445 2s, accounting for an attendance of 11,200, apart from tickets guaranteed by the Association.’ - Cricket and Football Field.

‘It was a good stroke of business on the part of Albert Duckworth when he ordered his men to continue the fight for an extra half hour. Whilst we sympathise with the Forest, we must warmly compliment Bury on their wonderful achievement. It was victory well earned and richly deserved.

Richards and Wood’s work saw all the goals created from that side. Sagar played a wonderfully smart game.

McLuckie is a fine centre-forward.

Plant’s centres were a feature of the afternoon.
The halves and backs were excellent, Leeming and Davidson pleasing us greatly.
Of Thompson it would be impossible to speak too highly.
Never was a game more completely pulled out of the fire.
It was later reported that the players had been awarded a bonus of £15,
£10 for the win and £5 for Saturday’s draw.
‘This was the best game of the season’ - Yorkshire Post

Bury would play Southampton in the final after the Saints beat Millwall Athletic 3-0, courtesy of two Millward goals and a single Jimmy Yates effort, in the replay at Elm Park, Reading.

Formed, like Bury, in 1885, Southampton St Mary’s had joined the Southern League at its inception in 1894.The competition was to become the most dominant in Southern and Central England until 1920 when almost its entire top division was absorbed by the Football League to become the Third Division.
Large crowds meant Southampton were able to compete for the best players in Britain.After winning the Southern League title for the first time in 1896-97 the club became a limited company and dropped St Mary’s from their title but never their nickname! Further Southern League title success, during their first season at the Dell, followed in 1898-99.

Southampton had beaten Everton in the first round of the 1900 FA Cup.When the second round match against Newcastle United was abandoned because of bad light the replayed match witnessed Roddy McLeod, replacing the injured Joe Farrell at centre-forward, play possibly his finest game for the Saints, the Northern side going home hammered 4-1 with the new man grabbing two. Success at home to
West Bromwich Albion in the quarter-final followed, when McLeod notched the winner in a 2-1 success. 

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