New England Soccer Today

#TBT: Marksmen Give Whalers a Christmas Beating (12/25/1924)

Photo  credit: The Fall River Globe

Photo credit: The Fall River Globe

Welcome to a very special Christmas 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 a Christmas Day clash between the Fall River Marksmen and nearby rival New Bedford Whalers on Dec. 25, 1924. The first-place Marksmen entered the match boasting a high-power offense that posted a 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Field Club on Dec. 21. Incidentally, the seventh-place Whalers also claimed a win from Philadelphia in their last match, a 3-0 victory on Dec. 20.

Note: All information provided in the following game report was drawn from the Dec. 26, 1924 edition of The Fall River Globe (Fall River, Mass.).

Croft and Morley Play Marvelous Soccer – Half-back Line Flawless – Defense Impenetrable – Clean Cut Victory

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – Fall River handed New Bedford a Christmas beating with a brilliant array of soccer that speared the Marksmen to a 2-0 win at Battery Park on Thursday before a crowd of 2,000.

Fall River presented its owner, Sam Marks, with a Christmas gift that was beautifully wrapped by goalscorers Dougie Campbell and Harold Brittan. Goalkeeper Findlay Kerr was rarely tested, but nevertheless did well to keep the Whalers out of the Marksmen’s net.

The first place Fall River selection toyed with the Whalers all afternoon, showing their class on combinations and well-orchestrated ventures. Making it even more impressive was the trifle detail that a thin coat of snow blanketed the pitch, a situation that would’ve hampered the efforts of most ASL outfits.

New Bedford showed its pluck in the first 20 minutes by mildly testing the Fall River selection. But it was clear to all in attendance that the caliber of Fall River’s game was unparalleled. In fact, their style could be summed up in two words: marvelous football.

The defending champions wasted little time announcing their intentions. Inside of seven minutes. Harry McGowan crossed it for Brittan, who headed a powerful shot on frame that goalkeeper Arthur Taylor got his fingertips, leading to a Fall River corner. McGowan sent it central from the flag and after a brief scrimmage in the box, where Campbell pushed it through to give his side the early advantage.

The play was fast and furious throughout the first half. Despite Campbell’s tally, the Whalers’ defense remained strong, keeping their adversary at bay. But they benefited from a bit of misfortune when McGowan attempted to volley a cross on frame only to be undermined by the unpredictable trajectory of a snow-covered ball.

Although the Marksmen dominated the first half, they only had one goal to show for the superiority going into halftime.

Taylor was like a jack rabbit in the second half, as he adroitly made a slew of saves to keep the score close. Campbell and McGowan kept the New Bedford backs busy, just as they had in the first half.

Then, in the 61st minute, Campbell went down the right channel and sent it central, where a number of players jockeyed for the ball. Brittan emerged the victor by snaring it, then blasted it past a frozen Taylor to make it a two-goal margin.

Brittan appeared to strike again minutes later when he beat Taylor again before the referee ruled him offside.

A cry for a penalty erupted from the guests when Jack Izatt brought down Tommy Croft on the box after the latter slipped through a stew of Whalers defenders. But referee McCabe was unswayed, and the play went on without interruption.

The best the Whalers could muster didn’t arrive until the closing moments. Bob Marshall sent a cross to Johnny McGuire, who ripped a shot off the post.

The Marksmen will take on J & P Coats on Sunday in Fall River, a day after the Threadman host the Whalers in Pawtucket.

The summary.

Taylor, g……………….g,Kerr
Wilson, rb…………….rb, Tate
Izatt, lb………………, Kemp
Sinclair, rhb…………rhb, McPherson
MacIntosh, chb……chb, Reeside
Cochrane, lhb…….lhb, Lorimer
Adair, or…………….or, Campbell
McGuire, ir………….if, Croft
Cameron, cf……, Brittan
Jackon, il…………, Morley
Marshall, ol……….ol, McGowan

Score – Fall River 2, New Bedford 0. Goals – Campbell, Brittan. Referee – McCabe, Philadelphia. Linesmen – Carlin and Wylie.


Indiana Flooring 4, Boston 1
Newark 4, Giants 2
Bethelehem 4, Fleisher Yarn 1
Brooklyn 3, Philadelphia
Coats 5, Providence 2

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