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© Chris Byrne 2010

1908-1910: England v Germany At The White House

City’s second Isthmian League season did not get off to a very successful start as the side had to wait until mid-November before they registered their first win. They had, however, had a well-attended victory over the Royal Engineers in October, when a hat-trick from the Reverend William Jordan was enough to edge out a team that included six players who had been in the R.E. team that had beaten Stockton in the previous season’s Amateur Cup Final.
During October local eyes were also on the Olympic Games being held in London, where three players in the Great Britain football team (in truth the England Amateur XI), Kenneth Hunt, Herbert Smith and Frederick Chapman had turned out for the City, and a fourth, Albert Scothern, had played for England in September but wasn’t picked for the Olympic Finals. Yet another member of that Olympic team, Arthur Berry, would play for City in a few year’s time.
The team cruised through to the gold medal with 12-1, 4-0 and 2-0 victories over Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark respectively.

1908 Olympic Squad

The 1908 Great Britain Olympic Football Team:

Back Row (L to R): Lord Kinnaird (FA), Kenneth Hunt, Walter Corbett, Herbert Smith, Horace Bailey, Frederick Chapman, Bob Hawkes, Mr F Davis (FA).
Front Row (L to R): Arthur Berry, Harry Stapley, Vivian Woodward, Claude Purnell, Harold Hardman.

The Club was again given exemption until the final (Fifth) Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, but faced a long trip to take on Birmingham & District side Wrexham. They left Oxford at 8.30 and arrived at their destination at 1.00, and then suffered a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of the regular winners of the Welsh Cup who, coincidentally, had Arthur Berry playing for them on the day.
There was not much luck in the Amateur Cup either. Entering in the First Round they defeated Uxbridge at the White House, but then travelled to Tufnell Park in London. Scothern returned to the side for this game, and Gillams took over in goal from Walter Keates, but City were not playing well and the Park took a two goal lead by the 15 minute mark, though Davis did do well to score for City before the half time break.
In the second half Gillams collided with an opponent and had to go off, Scothern deputising in goal: this did not bode well for City, and their hosts added a third goal to their tally. Thomas notched City’s second just before close of play, but it was too late to matter. City made an exit from the Amateur Cup at the earliest stage for several years, bringing to an end one of the most consistent runs any team had yet achieved in the history of the Amateur Cup. It was not a disaster, but a reminder that reputations could be lost as well as gained.
Isthmian form improved and there were four wins and two draws in their six matches at the start of the New Year and they finished sixth in the expanded league – with newcomers Bromley taking the championship.
Interestingly the biggest match of the season at the White House didn’t directly involve the Club, but there were enough local players on view to ensure a large turnout for the Amateur International between England and Germany. (Click the button for more detail --->)

Compared with recent campaigns, the 1909-10 season was one without any real highlights. There was a convincing 5-0 Isthmian win against West Norwood in mid-October, but then the team had to wait until February for another league victory. They slipped to seventh (out of ten) in the league as Bromley again topped the table.
Exempt until the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup they faced a difficult trip to Kent to play Southern League New Brompton. It was bound to be a tricky day for the City as they were missing several of their best players. Scothern was playing for England; Davis and Miley were in the Oxford University side; and Kerry and Farquharson both turned out for their College: St John’s! The Kent side, later to change their name to Gillingham, had had a fine Cup run two seasons before when they had beaten Sunderland and then held Manchester City to a draw before narrowly losing the replay. They were far too strong for the understrength City side winning 9-1.
Chesham Town were beaten in the First Round of the Amateur Cup, but City came off second best to another Kent side in the next round as Bromley won 2-0 at the White House.
There was another European tour at Whitsun - to Germany again. The two German sides they met, Berlin Union FC and Hertha Berlin, were both beaten, but Southend United, also on tour, followed in New Brompton’s footsteps and displayed the strength at that time of the Southern League by going one better than their Kentish colleagues and demolishing City 10-1.

Upton Park Prog.

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