Welcome to this week’s edition of “Throwback Thursday,” 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 venture back to the 1939 Eastern title match of the National Amateur Cup competition. The match pitted St. Michaels (Fall River, Mass.) and the Hosiery Locals of Philadelphia against each other at Bigberry Stadium on Apr. 23, 1939.
Note: All information provided in the following game report was drawn from the Apr. 24, 1939 edition of The Evening Herald (Fall River, Mass.).
Fall River Team Scores 2-0 Victory Over Philadelphians
Goals Made in Second Half by Mack Almeida, Frank Souza; Crowd of 3,038 Attends Eastern Final Amateur Cup Competition; Referee Makes Hit
FALL RIVER, Mass. – Only one team stands between St. Michaels and the National Amateur Cup as the Fall River outfit staked a 2-0 victory over the Hosiery Locals of Philadelphia in Sunday’s Eastern title game at Bigberry Stadium.
A scoreless first half gave way to goals from Mack Almeida and Frank Souza in the second stanza, while Tony Michaels stopped everything that came his way to give St. Michaels the right to play the Gallatins (Pa.) who won the Western title.
The locale for the final is unknown, but there are strong indications it will be played in Fall River in two weeks.
Largest Crowd in Years
A paid crowd of 3,038 witnessed an even match that saw both sides venture forward, only to come away empty handed before the break.
The second half was another story, though. In the 65th minute, a Joe Medeiros free kick caught goalie Paton off his line, but was unable to punch it away. Sensing the opportunity before him, Almeida raced over to head the ball into the back of the net and put the hosts on top.
Goalie Has No Chance
The second tally of the afternoon came to pass when Souza’s low drive following a corner kick found its way into the back of the net. His low shot flew through a group of players, which shielded Paton’s view before it was too late.
Prior to the Almeida and Souza goals, St. Michaels had carried the play from the start of the second stanza. Strong defensive play from the Philadelphians held back their adversaries from scoring earlier, while the St. Michaels goal was rarely threatened in the second half until Souza’s goal.
Great Save by Michaels
With time fading fast, the visitors’ attack gathered steam, forcing Michaels to make a sensation save to keep the sheet clean. Ready to act on any potential shots from a scrimmage inside his area, Michaels raised his left hand to deny a quick shot that entertained visions of meeting the twine.
Moments before the final whistle, the Philadelphians grazed the crossbar twice on close-range shots. These efforts represented the guests only real threats to St. Michaels, who had reclaimed control of the match shortly thereafter.
Break for Visitors
Though play was generally even in the first half, goalie Paton was called into action to make a collection of saves. St. Michaels nearly got on the board early when Almeida grabbed a pass from Tony Moniz, then linked up with Souza, who attempted to put his shot on frame.
But working with a tough angle, all Souza could do was watch as his shot rolled across frame. The St. Michaels winger attempted to reclaim his own shot, but his second attempt meandered over the end line for a goal kick. The summary:
St. Michaels – Michaels g, J. Moniz rfb, Martin lfb, F. Almeida rhb, J. Almeida chb, Medeiros lhb, A. Moniz or, Johnson ir, M. Almeida cf, W. Isadore il, Souza ol.
Philadelphia – Patton g, Stevenson rfb, Smith lfb, Majkowski rhb, Weilenman chb, Good lhb, Reese or, Knox ir, Suni cf, A. Suni il, Bee ol.
Score – St. Michaels 2. Goals – M. Almeida, Souza. Referee – Phil Fox of New York City. Linesmen- DeNardo and Medeiros. 45-minute halves.