Welcome to this week’s edition of “Throwback Thursdays,” where we take a trip back in time to spotlight some of the clubs that made their mark on the New England soccer landscape over the past century.
This week, we look back at a midseason match between the Fall River Marksmen and the Paterson Silk Sox on Feb. 4, 1923 at Marks Stadium in North Tiverton, R.I. The Fall River Evening Herald expected a rousing match in its primer: “Either team in the contest is a mighty good bet.”
PATERSON BEATS MARKSMEN 2-0
PLAYED THE MAN INSTEAD OF THE BALL
February 4, 1923
NORTH TIVERTON, R.I. – The Fall River Marksmen’s 11-match undefeated mark at their home grounds came to end on Sunday after they were handed a coat of whitewash by a speedy Paterson F.C., who claimed a 2-0 victory at Marks Stadium.
Thomas Murray broke the seal right before the interval, while Frank McKenna, the club’s leading scorer on the Silk Sox, added one more to his ledger midway through the second stanza. Fall River boy Pete Renzulli returned to his old stomping grounds and the goalkeeper played well enough to leave the Paterson net undisturbed.
Fall River opened the match by playing some of its usual tip-tap combination play, a feature of their many wins at the home grounds. Although this style of play was only seen in spurts, it nearly resulted in a goal. Joe Quinn, the club’s new outside left forward, brandished a wicked shot from a crude angle that, had it been a trifle lower, would have beaten Renzulli. Instead, it grazed the top of the bar, and the chance evaporated like a plume of smoke from the nearby stacks.
Despite their moments of dazzling play in the first half, Fall River was run ragged near the interval. Displays of selfishness and individualism were the order for the remainder of the match. Even though the club featured a pair of new outside left players – Quinn and Jack Kershaw – the attack often veered right, where a collection of crosses continually failed to find teammates.
While the hosts were busy undermining their form, the guests decided it was high time to take advantage. Some of the partisan crowd may have deemed the first score lucky, but it mattered not to Murray. With the intermission approaching, the Pats’ inside right forward seized upon a poor clearance from keeper Tommy Whalen and knocked into the net with his head.
In the early stages of the second half, the Marksmen attempted to disrupt inside left forward Jack McGuire. The plot to deny McGuire of opportunity was a flawed one; instead of trying to pick his pocket, he was continually shoved, and Johnny Reid and Alec Lorimer – who essayed to lay out the Paterson forward – could’ve been ejected for their transgressions.
Nevertheless, Paterson persevered, thanks to another defensive flub. Midway through the second half, fullbacks Ned Tate and Alex Kemp tried to work the ball near the right periphery. That was until Tommy Duggan laid siege and stole the ball before crossing it to an unmarked McKenna inside the area. With ample time to dope out Whalen, the Silk Sox center forward simply feinted left, then slotted it through in the lower right hand corner of the goal.
With the crowd razzing Whalen – perhaps undeservedly – the Marksmen tried to launch a comeback. But on a hard surface full of ruts and crevices, it was clear to all in attendance that the hosts were simply off their game on Sunday. They’ll have to rediscover it next Sunday when they host Philadelphia at the Stadium.
|Renzulli, g||Whelen, g|
|Reynolds, rfb||Kemp, rfb|
|Whitehead, lfb||Tate, lfb|
|Scott, rhb||Dalrymple, rhb|
|Pryer, chb||Orr, chb|
|Herd, lfb||Lorimer, lfb|
|Duggan, orf||Woutezes, orf|
|Murray, irf||Reid, irf|
|McKenna, cf||Brittan, cf|
|McGuire, ilf||Kershaw, ilf|
|Irvine, olf||Quinn, olf|
Score – Paterson 2, Fall River 0. Goals scored by – McKenna, 2*. Referee – Welch of Boston. Linesmen – White of Pawtucket, Carroll of Greystone. Time – 45-minute halves.
(*Editor’s note: The original box score in the Fall River Evening Herald credited McKenna with both goals, even though the preceding game report detailed that it was Murray who scored the first Paterson goal.)
AMERICAN SOCCER LEAGUE
New York 3, Bethlehem 3.
Paterson 2, Fall River 0.
New York 4, Harrison 0.
Bethlehem 1, Brooklyn 0 (exhibition).
Games next week
Philadelphia at Fall River