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.;.A.)-'-"(,\.-L.LL.L.. gossip…

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;.A.) ( -L .LL.L.. gossip rnoAi THE FOOTBALL FIELD. A WEEKLY CAUSERIE FROM ALL QUARTERS. Tho followers of Aston Villa are greatly con- cerned in the offers which the Mkllanders have irade to Burnley to transfer the English Cup-tie from Turf Moor to the headquarters of the Villa in Birmingham, bat although the? com- mittee of the famous Midland club included the original offer of £ 400 to £ 500. I hear that tho Burnley directors have net the least inclination to accept it. On the contrary, they declare thai* they will not be tempted to tranj>i'«r the venue or play and thus disappoint their followers. In the meantime, the Villans aro doing all that they can to strengthen their te-am, for a defeat in the first round proper would mean a great kxs. tiSpecial care was taken of the plover# duriner the holidays, and thoy are to undergo the usual course of training for too. all-important ouprtie. Codling, whose portraK I giv» this week, is ^P0. 9^ finest defensive playera in tha back division, and, being sturdily built, &nd pot^se&w'd •oi a- nice turn of speed, he is useful behind a gpeedy lot of forwards. His tackling i quite a feature of his play, and few men are <*> clover at getting out of a tight corner. His posi- tion in the team during the cup campaign is assured. Ernie W illiams, of Ryde, who, it W fore- shadowed, after his smart performance in the Hants v. Kent County match Plumstead. would be sought after by some s ) 'Club, has been prevailed upon bv a Arsenal to sign on for the First Division ..gue. Williams, who in engaged in the scholastic pro- fession at Portsmouth, has also been secured by 'the Pompey Club to pity in the Southern and R CODLING,. Aston Villa. Wrsf-ern Leagues. During his several years' con- nection with the Ryde Club, young Williams liae had more than one offer to play for prominent mainland clubs, but until now ho lias stuck loy- ~a!ly to the club in which he served his appren- ticeship, and of which ho is now such a. distin- guished right wing forward. A very promising club is Luton, the Straw- plaiters," as the players are called, having estab- lished quite a reputation in the Southern League .after a chequered career extending over the long period of twenty-one years, for it was in 1885 that the present club was brought into being through the amalgamation of the Lutou Wan- derers and Excelsior. Professionalism was recognised in 1891, the me' being paid the purely nominahamount of half-a-crown a match, with an xtra sixpence for •out match< .u- uio&e players who lost money because of having to leava work before noos on Saturdays were also paid extra. Mr. Charles Green is now the secretary, and it may bo said :at once that mattrtl are very different nowa- days, the working of the club being, a'big thin" Mr. Green is a hard worker and a most estimable official. At the end of eeaaon 1904-5 a change of ground was essential, and the present enclosure, centrally situated, HI a credit to the directors of ,the club, who manfully tackled a mOtõt embar- .rassing situation, and provided wi -excellent ground. Without furnishing anything in thoroature of a real surprise—apart from the achievement of Manchester City in holding their own.at Sun- derland-Saturday's games in the First League presented one welcome feature in the large mea- sure of success attending clubs playing away from home. Not for many weeks had visiting a fared anything like «o w^ll..Newcastle United won at Manchester, Aston Villa at Bol. ton, Preston North End at Stoke, and Bristol City at Nottingham; while Woolwich Arsenal drew at Derby, as well aa Manchester icity at RokerEark. llndeed, the only ins c decisivettriumpha :for borne clube occurred at Blackburn, and Bir- mingham. Sheffield Wednesday, who, after ful- filling sixteen engagements with only oitg defeat, now appear to hare struck a -vei* of .ill-success, found themselves unsqual to the task of making .an even fight with Everton at Goodieon, and Woolwich Arsenal somewhat disappointed expec- tations in merely drawing at Derby, seeing that Derby County had lost fire gamM in sucoestHon; but otherwise matters went vary well with tho more prominent club& A goal down at the interval, Newcastle United beat Manchester United by 3 to 1, and consequently retain first place in the competi- tion, bat their only advantage over Everton con- sists in having scored an equal Bomber of Pointa in one match fewer. Sheffield Wednesday, CQn- sequent upon their defeat at Everton, no tongcr possess any lead over Woolwich Arsewdl, and tthose two clubs are cloeely pressed by Aaton Villa. No team haare made a bieger advance wrifhin ,the pmt six months than Preston North End, who at Stoke obtained their fourth successive victory.. North i £ ad, indeed, oan claim to ibare iBcore d 11 points oat of a possible J2 m their iast six engagement& For a time they were handicapped in the matter of defence, bwt -now matters are remedied in that reepeot. and on Saturday, for the first timb for several vreeas, they enjoyed the aaeiefcaee* of Bond. taa E»g- hand outaide right. Another club doing well are Bristol City, four of whose laatfive niatches have IreøtÎltOO- in Victor j. Last week-end tlie West Cosntry team found themselves opposed at Trent Bridge toNotts Conaty, and in the ranks of the latter otan weve two eew reerwits'—Matthews, of Astoa Vula, and A. J.&n M-of Birmingham. Twioe Notts secured the lead. but Bristol anatched a winning goal at the fisuah. '1 Ha. OBAB&BB GBSBK. V em A a. /B.XV At tteanita, on mauro, Uta mou- •ere given one of the hardest games tpey have I xperienced hy a Coraiok fifteea. Displaying I plenty of resolution, the Cornish forwards proved themselves fully a match far the oppcainfi pack, and indeed stayed th^ better, holding to soma cxil--it the upper hand in the later stages. Corn- j wall had the satiefaflkion ef seoring filik, hut W aniii-eino hopes that %ilia early auoeeAw Wight 4 havM raised were sp"diy dispelled. In ttpid sixx^iHon the South Ahjcans gained three triee, •sd t,hougltthe, coujd hot score again they held tfaeut lead to the end Aa ;n on immi pt ir' i;&Tnes, y I<( j superior pjic ni:^ c!o\,r)_ 4 lx>i h IN attack and «.it>fvnce. V-HM, .< .'01111..<11 WJIS n- i' h bettor than that o~ t ••• .■ rve-iiiiiirters. ':1d i.ui-"vi :'ie t '1t' of t}-, afternoon. Still, rt the i-1*' v i'-1 i ;:t equal to i'iio occasion, and tf.uit eo.'M y l>- 'cTe-J o; them, Uie counf/ forw«r<l« »t least did splon- di<U.v, anu tlie side as a whole, may Lo couyiatu- j'latfvl on running heir formiua'ule opponents >;&o closely. The Springbok-; have now finishod their Eng- lish matches, and they have cortainly plaved up to their reputation, if .not actually a little" above it. With one exception—tho draw with Eng- I land—every match on English soil was won. Scotland beat ihem, but a great triumph was their win over Wales, and before one of the biggest* crowds ever got together, even in the Principality, is still a hot-bed of the Rugbv game. It is a fine tribute to Western football thnt the v- 'tor,- were so closely pressed by a Cor- nish fifteen. Finding TOUCH IX DIFFICULTIES.

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