New England Soccer Today

#TBT: Marksmen, Steelmen Draw 1-1 at Polo Grounds (3/16/1930)


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 an Eastern National Cup Final between the Fall River Marksmen and perennial foe Bethlehem Steel back on Mar. 17, 1930 at the Polo Grounds in New York, NY. The Globe (Bethlehem, Pa.) previewed the match in this fashion on Mar. 15, 1930: “Two of the cleverest center forwards ever seen in this country will be opposing each other when the ball is set in motion – Archie Stark, of Bethlehem, who has so far scored 28 goals this season and Bert Patenaude, of Fall River, who has 25 tallies to his credit. Both are scoring artists and great opportunists.”

Note: The information provided in the following game report was drawn from the Mar. 17, 1930 edition of The Globe.

Stark’s Heroic Effort in Cup Final Ruled Out by Referee Charlie Creighton.

March 17, 1930

NEW YORK – Goalkeeper Johnny Reder was called upon to make a vast collection of saves, while Andy McNabb canceled out an Alec Dick goal as the Fall River Marksmen salvaged a 1-1 overtime draw to Bethlehem Steel before 15,000 fans at the Polo Grounds on Sunday.

After a scoreless first stanza, the Steelmen struck first around the 55th minute from Dick, who boasted the only shot that Reder couldn’t stop  on the afternoon. But just when it appeared a Bethlehem victory was imminent, McNabb tallied in the 75th minute to send the match to overtime.

Controversy erupted in the second 15-minute overtime period when Archie Stark secured the go-ahead. Or at least appeared to until referee Charlie Creighton consulted with one of his linesmen, who ruled that Stark had slapped the ball in with his hand.

While the Marksmen were happy to sit in with the return leg in New Bedford, Mass. in mind, the Steel had no such inclination. In the first half alone, Reder was called upon to make no fewer than 16 saves, while his counterpart, Tom Fraser, was barely bothered in collecting only two.

Despite its failures to beat Reder in the first half, the Steelmen broke through early in the second stanza. In the 55th minute, Stark blazed through the heart of the Marksmen midfield before laying it off to Dick, who sent it across frame, where it inadvertently skimmed off of McAuley’s forehead for the score. Dick was credited with the score.

Bethlehem found a golden chance to make it a two-goal gap not long after. Stark, who’d been battered all afternoon by the Marksmen backs, was tripped up inside the 18 and a penalty was awarded. Big Bill Carnihan’s shot from the spot went wide, much to the chagrin of the 500 Steelmen supporters in attendance.

Carnihan’s miss gave the Marksmen the lifeline they needed late, and as they’ve  done so often in the past, took full advantage. In the 75th minute, McNabb went down the right and ripped a hard shot that was saved by Fraser. The rebound spilled to Bobby Ballantyne, who returned it to McNabb, and the plucky outside right made good on his second attempt.

McNabb’s goal sent the game to overtime, where a decimated Bethlehem bunch scratched and clawed for the go-ahead. They appeared to grab it in the second overtime period when a scrum in front of Reder appeared, and nearly instantly, Stark, Johnny Jaap and Massie turned away to shake hands and congratulate each other with the ball in the back of the net. But the referee was skeptical, and sought the attention of his linesman, who advised that the ball had been slapped in by Stark. Thus, the goal was disallowed.

The match ended minutes later, with the Marksmen happy to walk away with the series level. The replay will take place in New Bedford on Sunday, Mar. 13.

Bethlehem – Fall River
Fraser – G – Reder
Finlayson – RHB – McGill
McGregor – LHB – R. McAuley
Reid – RHB – McPherson
Carnihan – CHB – Priestley
Pitt – LHB – Ballantyne
Gillespie – OR – McNabb
Jaap – IR – Gonsalves
Stark – CF – Patenaude
Massie – IL – J. McAuley
Dick – OL – White
Substitution – Nilson for Gonsalves. Goals – Dick, McNab. Referee: C. E. Creighton. Linesmen, F. DeGroof and M. Hutchinson. Time of halves, 45 minutes and two extra periods of 15 minutes each.

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