(Editor’s Note: Welcome to our new feature – “Throwback Thursdays” - where every week we’ll take a trip back in time to spotlight some of the clubs that made their mark on the New England soccer landscape. This week, we pay a visit to January 28, 1922 – a date that witnessed a clash between Fall River United and J & P Coats during the first year of the American Soccer League.
You’ll note that some of the references only contain last names, which was not unusual in publications of the period.)
FALL RIVER, Mass. – Whether it was indeed a jinx, or just a patch of poor luck, Fall River United fell once again in devastating fashion to J & P Coats, who claimed a dramatic 2-1 win over their hosts in an American Soccer League clash at the Athletic Field.
Bob Millar opened the scoring for the Threadmen, while Paddy Butler equalized for the locals. But Weall had the final say when his last-gasp winner beat keeper Chick Albion by a fortnight in a scene remarkably similar to a fourth-round Cup tie between the sides weeks earlier.
The Uniteds played a dashing game against their adversaries from Pawtucket, R.I. Opportunities flowed for Fall River, but too many of them failed to find the back of the net. In the first half alone, no fewer than four grand chances were left on the table. They were masters of match - but they were masters of letting their supporters down, just the same.
Millar made them pay for their ineffeciency in the 28th minute. In a scrum in front of the net, Millar received a pass from Shepard, and even though he stumbled to keep the ball at his foot, he managed to pull the trigger on a shot that some believed was aided by the wind before it kissed the twine.
Disappointed, but not yet defeated, Butler gave the home crowd something to cheer about a minute later. He received a pass from Corrigan, who feinted a shot before sending it to Butler. From there, Butler took a touch and sent it past Coats keeper Knowles to knot the score at one apiece.
Fall River threatened again when center forward Connie Lynch went forward and was keen to strike before he was fouled just in front of the area. Butler found another chance that was athletically denied by Knowles.
With the wind at their backs for the second half, it appeared that the Uniteds were destined to claim victory on this particular Saturday afternoon. But the Coats fullbacks, Reynolds and Lappin, were up to the task, and dismantled the locals’ chances time and time again in the second stanza. Lappin, in particular, had a knack for what some deemed “unsportsmanlike tactics” when he continually allowed the ball to go and shoved his man away from it.
As well as Reynolds and Lappin played, it was Weall who would get the glory. The speedy inside lefter dispatched a shot from inside the 18 that would have beaten any goaltender in the final moments to seal the victory for Coats.
|J & P Coats||Fall River U.|
|Knowles, g||Albion, g|
|Lappin, rfb||Boorth, rfb|
|Reynolds, lfb||Littlejohn, lfb|
|Gallagher, rhb||Lynn, rhb|
|McIntosh, chb||Potts, chb|
|Brookes, lhb||Butler, lhb|
|Kershaw, orf||Sundberg, orf|
|Kenney, irf||Corrigan, irf|
|Millen, cf||Lynan, cf|
|Weall, ilf||Parker, ilf|
|Sheppard, olf||Weir, olf|
Score – J & P Coats 2, Fall River United 1. Goals scored by Millar, Butler, Weall. Referee – Nome of New Bedford. Linesmen – Riley of Fall River, Robinson of Pawtucket. Time – 45-minute halves.
(All information from this story came from a Jan. 30, 1922 report in the Fall River Herald).