New England Soccer Today

#TBT: Falcos Too Fast for Fall River F.C.

Photo: Fall River Evening Herald

Photo: Fall River Evening Herald

After a summertime hiatus, we welcome you back to the latest installment 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 first week of the inaugural American Soccer League season in 1921. The league kicked off with eight teams for its debut weekend, which was set for September 17 & 18, 1921.

Note: All information provided in the following game report was drawn from the September 19, 1921 edition of The Evening Herald (Fall River, Mass.)



Home Eleven Gets Busy After Falcos Tally Twice and Ties Count — Visitors Land Winning Goal Near Finish

September 17, 1921

FALL RIVER, Mass. – Fall River United and the Holyoke Falcos helped usher the start of the biggest soccer league ever formed in this country in a gritty game that gave way to a goalfest, which the guests got the better of in a 3-2 win at the Athletic Field.

A match that was marked by fouls and physical play early eventually turned into a barnburner in the second half, where five total goals were scored by the sides.

Ernest Logan opened the bottle shortly after the break, while teammate J. Brown added another to put the Falcos ahead early in the second stanza. But the Uniteds marched right back with goals from Hughie Weir and Paddy Butler before James Downie’s late goal decided it once and for all to give the Farr Alpaca side the victory.

Heavy rains made for a soggy pitch, and both sides looked to gain any advantage they could in the early going. The passing may not have been crisp, nor the runs all that sharp, but a spirited first half of soccer gave the sparse crowd of 1,100 in attendance their money’s worth before the break.

With the ball sufficiently water-logged when the teams went into halftime, a new ball was introduced. And the guests wasted no time making good use of it.

Photo credit: The Evening Herald (Fall River, Mass.)

Photo credit: The Evening Herald (Fall River, Mass.)

Moments after referee Carroll signaled the start of the sequel, Logan exploited a stretched Fall River defense and made easy work of the game’s first goal when he blasted a shot from the center of the area through.

Five minutes later, Brown joined his teammate on the scoresheet when he received a pass from the right and sent it past keeper Chickie Albin to double the advantage.

Brown’s goal may have padded the guests’ lead, but it also served to awaken the hosts. The combinations from Fall River improved, and put the Falcos on their heels. The inspired form allowed Weir to score after getting a short pass from Ralph Craffi near the area.

Not long after, Fall River filed another response on a scene that would surely stick in the minds of those on hand to witness it. After trapping it on the bound, Butler cut inside and blasted a shot from 30 yards that bulged the back of the net, and just like that, leveled the affair.

The Uniteds’ pluck and determination was evident throughout much of the second half, and chances were evident to push ahead. But in the waning moments, they relaxed, and as a result, allowed Downie to plant the game-winner with relative ease seven minutes from full-time.

The lineups:

Fall River.       Falcos.
Albin, g…….g, W.Gray
Lindsey, rf……rf, Burnett
Booth, lf……lf, Maycock
Wall, rhb…….rhb, McKenzie
McFarlane, chb…chb, A. Gray
Parker, lh, ir, il….lh, Moodie
Adams, or…….or, Smith
Butler, ir, lh….ir, Brown
Alves, cf….cf, Logan
Weir, il, ir…, Downie
Craffi, ol…..ol, W. Bowdall
Score: Farr Alpaca 3, Fall River F.C. 2. Goals by: Logan, Downie, Brown, Butler and Weir. Linesmen: Smith for Fall River, Walter Dowdall for Falcos. Referee: Carroll of Greystone, R.I. Time: Two 45-minute halves. Attendance: 1,100.

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