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 National Amateur Cup final between District League power St. Michaels (Fall River, Mass.) and the Gallatins (Gallatin, Pa.) at Bigberry Stadium on May 14, 1939.
Note: All information provided in the following game report was drawn from the May 15, 1939 edition of The Evening Herald (Fall River, Mass.)
St. Michaels Conquer Strong Gallatin Team to Win Title
Pennsylvania Team Beaten at Bigberry
Accidental Goal by Derosa Early Handicap to Visiting Club
May 14, 1939
FALL RIVER, Mass. – St. Michaels of this city were crowned National Amateur Cup champions after staking a 3-1 grand final victory over the Gallatins of Pennsylvania at Bigberry Stadium on Sunday.
An own goal from the Gallatins gave the Fall River outfit an early lead, while Joe Medeiros and Mack Almeida widened the gap. Joe Chislaghi scored the lone goal for the Gallatins.
With the victory, the National Amateur Cup trophy remains in Greater Fall River for another year. The Ponta Delgadas won the competition in 1938, and their manager Tosca Correia handed the trophy over to St. Michaels manager Polly Costa following Sunday’s championship clash.
It was an inauspicious start to the match for the Gallatins, who gifted their hosts with an own goal shortly after kick off.
In an attempt to clear a cross from the left wing, Gallatin fullback Derosa headed it toward 19-year-old goalkeeper Fred Garcia. But the pass caught Garcia flat-footed, and the leather rolled into the back of the net.
But even though the own goal didn’t help their cause, the Gallatins proved worthy opponents. With a strong wind at their backs, the Pennsylvania selection outplayed St. Michaels for much of the first half with the use of excellent combination play and steady defense.
Many Chances Missed
St. Michaels were afforded many opportunities to make the score more decisive, especially in the second half. But it wasn’t until the waning stages that the locals put the result out of reach for the Gallatins.
In fact, the Gallatins’ defense remained strong for much of the match. Had Derosa’s accidental goal not happened, it’s fair to say that the Gallatins could have found a way to beat their hosts.
Evidence of this came in the 35th minute when Chislaghi sent it across the goalmouth for a teammate. But the ball took a wild carom off of fullback Manny Martin before settling into the back of the net to level the score.
Score on Free Kick
St. Michaels responded five minutes after Chislaghi’s equalizer, and in stunning fashion. A free kick was awarded to the locals about 25 yards from goal, and it was from that distance that Medeiros uncorked a shot that lodged itself into the upper 90 to reclaim the lead before the interval.
The second half saw better play from St. Michaels, though their finishing was certainly suspect. Prior to his goal, Mack Almeida was the worst offender.
Frankie Souza put one on a platter for Almeida midway through the second half, but the center forward guided it right toward Garcia for an easy save. Two more chances fell by the wayside after Almeida headed one just wide, while another shot cleared the crossbar.
Despite the agonizing misses, Almeida would redeem himself before the final whistle sounded.
Mack Gets One
On a lobbed ball from Tony Isadore, Almeida slipped past a Gallatin fullback and ripped a hard shot that Garcia got his hands to. But the force of the drive was too great, and the ball slipped through to give Almeida the goal that eluded him all afternoon.
Almeida’s goal was just what St. Michaels needed as the Gallatins threatened to equalize with full time approaching. Goalie Tony Michaels was called upon to make a brave save on a point blank shot from John Roman to close the guests’ account for good. The summary:
St. Michaels – Michaels g, J. Moniz rfb, Martin lfb, Medeiros rhb, J. Almeida chb, F. Almeida lhb, A. Moniz or, Johnson ir, M. Almeida cf, W. Isadore il, Souza ol.
Gallatins – Garcia g, Derosa rhb, H. Chislaghi lfb, F. Lorenzi rhb, Bedogne chb, Paterlini lhb, J. Roman or, Vascarella ir, J. Chislaghi cf, Lyons il, Vicnick ol.
Score – St. Michaels 3, Gallatins 1. Goals – Derosa (accidental), Medeiros, M. Almeida, J. Chislaghi. Substitutions – A. Isadore for F. Almeida, Harrison for Lorenzi, Trouffa for Vascarella. Referee – Fox. Linesmen- Clark and Silvia. 45-minute halves.