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The Wellingborough Post, 4th June 1886, transcribed by Kay Collins
Football Contest at Higham Ferrers in 1886

No less than sixteen teams entered for the Football Contest, held at Higham Ferrers, on Saturday List, but in the first round, in the absence of the Earls Barton Wanderers, against whom they were drawn, the Higham Rovers, second team, obtained a bye. The contest came off in beautifully Hue weather, but it is quite a mistake for the promoters of football contests to allow play at so late an hour as to prevent the leather being seen. Appended is a complete list of the teams, with details of this favourite dribbling game:—

Rushden Rovers—C. Parker, goal; C.Allen, S.Allen, backs; A. Dickens, H. Boddington, half backs: W. Freeman (captain), F. Chettle, and W. Maddams, forward.

Higham Rovers—W. Miller, goal; J. Cross, S. Middleton, backs; W. Mace, A. Cotton, half backs; C. Horrell, T. Draper, and W. Blundell, forwards.

Rushden Robin Hood—W. Hinde, goal; A. Chettle, F. Perkins, W. Denton, backs; J. Seabrook, J. Parker, G. Beetson, and T. Knight, forwards.

Wellingborough Britons—W. Walden, goal; W. Berrill, A. Luck, backs; Dickens, H. Mayes, half backs; H. Negus, W. Knight (captain), and B. Kingham, forwards.

Thrapston Wanderers—J. Lane, (captain), goal; F. Curtis, J. Druce, backs; C. Wills, C. March, half backs; G. Beal, T. Bray, and subs., forwards.

Wellingborough Excelsior—J. Sharp, goal; Fred Crane, F. Wood, backs; H. Howe, F. Brown, halfbacks; S. Randall, J. Mundin (Captain), and S. Haynes, forwards.

Irchester Stars—Walter George, goal; A. Bond (captain), F. West, backs; C. Bayes, J. Goddard half backs; G. Cowley. W. Smith, and F. Bayes, forwards.

Ringstead—T. Fensom, goal; F. Robinson, back; W. Roberts, A. Mayes, half backs; F. Attley (captain), H. Wheatley, A. Ruff, and J. W. Attley, forwards.

Irthlingborough Hawks—E. Horn, goal; T. Keech, back; Fairey, E. Vorley, half backs; J. Bingley, A. Partridge (captain), R. Perkins, and H. Massom, forwards.

Higham Rovers—(2nd team)—H. Parker, goal; A. Pack, back; C. Bates. W. Richardson, half backs; T. Parker (captain), W. Randall, J. Nottingham, and A. Lawrence, forwards.

Irthlingboro' Britons—C. Ablet. goal; J. Dickerson, back; E. Neville. E. Massom, half backs; A. Keech, A. Perkins, F. Lilley, and A. Bugby (captain), forwards.

Wellinghorough Stars—W. Shaw (captain), goal; A. Church, W. Sissman, backs; C. Luck, A. Deiton, half backs; B. Wording, C. Craddock, and C. Robinson, forwards.

Raunds Wanderers—W. Groome, goal; F. Lack, W. Bugby, backs; O. Nunneley, F. Wilmer, half backs; W. Richards (captain), C. Robins , and J. H. Edwards, forwards.

Chelveston Wanderers—W. White, goal; F. Newell, Arthur Driver, backs; W. Bridgford, F. Robins, half backs; W. Holyoak, Albert Driver (captain), and R. Evans, forwards.

Higham Swifts—S. Wilson, goal; C. Fletton, R. Gadsby, backs; F. Martin, G. Smith, half backs; J. Eaton, B. Garfield (captain), and T. Hall, forwards.

In the first round, Ringstead beat Irchester by 1 point to nil: Wellingborough Excelsior beat Irthlingborough Britons by 2 goals and one point to nothing; Irthlingborough Hawks beat Thrapston Wanderers by one goal and three points to nil; Rushden Robin Hood beat Wellingborough Stars by one goal and two points to one point; Wellingborongh Britons beat Chelveston by one goal to nil; Rushden Rovers beat Higham Rovers by one point to nil; Higham Swifts beat Raunds by one goal to two points. The latter contest caused much amusement for the Swifts were quite lads—in fact little more than boys—and their victory over their much heavier opponents was hailed with cheers. Undoubtedly the Raunds men took matters too easily at first, and throughout played a slower game than they would have done, as they purposely avoided charging. The youngsters did capitally, worked pluckily, and passed well. Higham Ferrers were not defeated by their Rnshden opponents until they had played an extra ten minutes. In the Second Round the Rushden Rovers met the Rushden Robin Hood, and after a very even game, defeated them by one goal, which was obtained by Maddams in the second half, while Freeman intercepted the back.—The Wellingborough Britons, with superior weight, defeated the Higham Swifts, Kingham kicking a goal before half time. For all that the youngsters played up pluckily.—Irthlingborough Hawks defeated Ringstead Stars by a goal and a point after a fast game.— Higham Ferrers Rovers (2nd team) met Wellingboro' Excelsior. The first-named team pressed its opponents up to half time, and T. Parker placed a point to the credit of his side. Soon after changing ends, Nottingham rushed up and passed to Parker, who, with an excellent sharp shot, put the leather between the goal posts. The Third Round was then drawn for, and the first teams to take the field were the Wellingborough Britons and the Irthlingborough Hawks. The Britons, with the hill somewhat in their favour, immediately attacked, but "hands" being given against them, relief was afforded to the Hawks, who rushed up the field. Knight, however, put in a long shot, and Kingham contrived to so use his head as to gain a point. Bingley, Massom, and Perkins invaded the Britons' territory, but Berril and Luck were on the alert, and Keech at the back had some work to do. After ends were changed, Fairey and Partridge showed good form for Irthlingborough, and a "corner" was secured. Nothing came of the kick, and Knight placed the leather into neutral ground with the aid of Dickens. Nothing further resulted, the Britons thus adjudged winners by one point.—The contest between the Rushden Rovers and the Higham Rovers (second team) was productive of some exciting play. Higham had the best of the field in the first portion of the game, and Randall and Lawrence sprinted along until stopped by C. Allen. Maddams retaliated, and secured a corner, but Higham attacked, and a hot shot by Parker hit the post. The ball, however, rebounded into the field, and Chettle gave relief by running the length of the ground. Nottingham soon changed the aspect of affairs, but Freeman earned applause by dribbling right down the centre until grounded by Pack, Dickens shot a little too high, and halt time was called. The game now became very fast, each side showing capital form, and at last Nottingham kicked a goal for Higham amid cheers. Soon after, Maddams, running down, gave Freeman the opportunity of equalising matters, and just on the call of time Boddington made the Rushden victory effectual by securing another goal. It was almost dark when the Wellingborough Britons and the Rushden Rovers took their position on the field for the Final Round. The Britons winning the toss, played with the slope in their favour. Maddams started the ball for the Rovers and passed to Chettle, who dribbled prettily up the right wing and centred, thus putting his opponents' goal in danger. When matters were beginning to look a bit serious, Luck went to the rescue, and with a good kick sent the ball into touch. Knight and Mayes then pressed the Rovers' goal for a short time without effecting anything, and combined play on the part of Boddington, C. Allen, Chettle, and Freeman caused the contest to take place in the middle of the ground. Ends were then changed, and S. Allen replying to the kick-off by a fine counter-kick, Freemam passed to Boddington and allowed him to score a point. A second point was almost immediately obtained by Freeman, and just before call of time the Rovers got a third point, thus securing first prize. The Britons had second, and the third was divided between Higham Rovers (second team) and the Irthlingborough Hawks. Mr. W. H. Evans, of Rushden, acted as referee, and everything passed off most pleasantly. The Rushden National School Band played lively selections during the afternoon and evening, and dancing was indulged in.

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