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I FOOTBALL. LB-r VETERAN.] I must take a little credit to myself for predict- ing the success of Oswestry in the Shropshire Cup tie against St. George's. I can truthfully say I told you so," after seeing the splendid all-round form of Oswestry against Ironbridge about a month ago. I then said that if Oswestry kept up their form they need not fear St. George's even though they had to beard the lion in his den. Well, my prophesy came out all right, and I am heartily glad of it for the sake of the plucky little border team. Now to the match. To say that the home team were surprised with the play of the visitors is only a mild way of expressing it. They were thoroughly well beaten on the day's play by superior skill, combination, and speed. For St. George's, the goal keeper did his work very well, and Morris was superior to Turley at back, and certainly saved his side from a heavy defeat. The half-backs worked hard, but time after time were completely beaten by the speedy front rank of the visitors. Bould in the centre was the pick of the forwards. For Oswestry, Dick Jones was as good and safe as ever in goal, and the backs, J. Edwards and Grainger were well nigh impassable, and the com- mittee would do well not to move this pair-at least not till after further trial. Edwards saved coolly and well, and Grainger tackled in excellent style. Wharton in his new position was a decided sucoees. Lloyd worked hard, and England quite played up to his best form. The forwards were all good, though L. Benbow was out of his place at centre forward, but managed to net three goals in a neat and cool fashion. Jack Evans (captain),, was in much finer form than against Newtown,1 probably he did not have to face such a tough customer as Worthen. He and his partner, J. A. Benbow, worked well all through the game. The two Jones' on the left were very clever, and their tricky runs were capital. j The same team play against Newport to-day, and I will again assume the role of a prophet and pre- dict a win for Oswestry and a consequent move up the League ladder. The United have a big pro- gramme for the next week or so. Newport at home to-day, and on Boxing Day the two teams are out. One to meet St. George's at Wellington for the League, and the other to do battle against the Majestic" club, Liverpool, at Oswestry. The following Saturday Hereford is the destination, and on New Year's Day Newtown is the bill of fare, and if Oswestry in this match play up to last Saturday's form there will be a grand and hot struggle for supremacy. While Oswestry were covering themselves with glory with St. George's, our near neighbours, Newtown, were doing ditto at Hereford. This was a splendid match and the Newtown men are to be congratulated on regaining their form. It would not be fair to single out any players for special mention where all did so well. The play of the visitors was brilliance itself, and the match was fought out in a most gentlemanly manner. This, of course, is quite in accordance with the prestige of Newtown, and their clever play and gentlemanly conduct always earns commendation from all spectators on visitors' grounds. Would that other clubs played the game in a like manner. The supportors of Hereford were rather vexed at the defeat of their team, but to do them justice, they did not grudge the visitors their victory, for they knew it was well deserved. It is not every visiting team that can go and take down a strong home lot and then be congratulated by the latter on their victory. The Hereford hon. secretary is evidently a thorough sportsman as well as a keen footballer. Here is an ektract from a letter which he has sent to the genial hon. secretary of the Newtown club. Dear Mr. Lloyd, I can not personally regret the result of our match yesterday, much as I should have liked our fellows to have won in view of our Christmas engagements. Newtown played the fastest and most scientific game we have seen at Hereford this season, giving much satisfaction to our real sportsmen. Please thank your team on behalf of my committee." This is the letter of a thorough gentleman and sportsman to boot and is a great compliment to the Newtown men. Well, they deserve it too. As Oswestry and Newtown are now in such rare form their meeting will be the event of the season in this neighbourhood and the gate at Newtown on New Year's Day will be about a record. No lover of the game should miss this grand treat if he can possibly avoid it. Both teams are preparing for a keen fight and are equally confident, not even the following match against Shrewsbury will be a keener one than this. Newtown of course will have the benefit of the home ground and that gives them quite a goal to start with, but the Oswestry men play on a ground very similar and it should not make so much difference to them as to other teams. In the scratch match between the Aberystwith Town and Excelsiors the former lot easily ran out winners of a one sided game. The play in the first half was of an even character although the Town had slope and wind to contend with. In the second half it was simply a bombardment of the Excelsior goal, shot after shot being fired in. Hughes showed good form in goal. W. R. Jones and Llew. Owen in the ranks of the town were welcomed back. The Town all played a good game and to-day they will give Llanidloes a teazer. Jack Davies was the best of the Excelsior forwards. To say the very least Llanfyllin had real hard lines in their replayed Welsh Cup Tie with Shrews- bury Railway officers. Llanfyllin won the toss and defended the Railway goal. Some good play was shown by both teams. The visitors (Llan- fyllin) playing very pluckily. At half time the game stood 2 to 1 in their favour. In the second half the Llanfyllin men pressed for a time but lost several good chances by bad shooting. About 7 minutes from time one of the Llanfyllin men quite accidentally touched the ball with his arm within the six yards limit and to the surprise of the players a penalty kick was given from which the game was equalised. Time arrived with the game a draw, and the Llanfyllin men seemed quite upset and lost heart altogether in the extra half hour. The home team added three and thus entered the next round. They will have to meet the Newtown Reserve but have the advantage of ground. The Welshpool men have only themselves to thank for being out of the next round. They lost their match on Saturday against the Shrewsbury Reserve entirely through the unsteady play of the forwards. With ground and wind against them the Shrewsbury men only beat them in the first half by 2 goals to 0, and one of these was a fluke, through a little misunderstanding on the part of G. Pryce. In the second half Welshpool pressed all through but used very poor judgment near goal. Shot after shot the forwards sent in at long ranges, but did not rush up enough. The half backs, backs and goal-keeper played a grand defensive game and it was not their fault the game was lost. The Shrewsbury men were pushed more than they have been in any of their previous Cup matches this year be it said to the credit of the Welshpool men. Most of them have been won by big majorities. The Shropshire League list remains pretty much as it was last week. Newtown are a capital second and practically occupy the same position as Shrews- bury and with a much better goal average, if they only win to-day at Ironbridge their chance of again heading the list will be a good one. Porthywaen are deposed from the head of the Village League and Morda now occupy the place of honour. They well deserve it as their goal average is a splendid ode. Up to the present the team has act lost a match. In the League matches the Blackburn Rovers are coming up hand over hand to the top, though they will scarcely overtake Aston Villa. The latter have played 20 matches and gained 30 points The Rovers have 22 points for 16 matches. The Burnley men have to be reckoned with before the final settling day arrives. SHROPSHIRE AND DISTRICT LEAGUE. Up to and including Saturday, Dec. 16th. F2SM»1A Played Won Lost Dr'n F'r Agst Ptø Shrewsbury 8. 7. 1. Newtown 7. 6. 1. Whitchurch 7. 4. 2. 1 28.19 9 St. Georges 5. 3. 2. 0.12. 9. 6 Ironbridge. 6. 3. 3. 0.15.16. 6 Wellington 6. 3. 3. 0.14.16. 6 Hereford 7. 2. 5. 0.14.21. 4 Oswestry United 6. 2. 4. 0.12.20. 4 Newport. 9. 1. 7. 1.20.33. 3 Market Drayton 5. 1. 4. 0. 6.24. 2 VIILAGB LEAGUE. Goals. Played Won Lost Dr'n F'r Apt Pts Morda 5. 4. 0. 1.10. 3. 9 Porthywaen 5. 4. 1. 0.24.10. 8 Criftins. 7. 3. 2. 2.14.16. 8 Pant. 7. 2. 2. 3.24.24. 7 Gobowen- 7. 2. 3. 2.15.14. 6 Lodge™ 5. 2. 2. 1.14.11. 5 Whittisgton. 6. 2. 4. 0.13.15. 4 Ruyton 6. 1. 4. 1.18.22. 3 1-0siotffmid 2. 0. 2. 0. 3.10. 0 FIRST CLASS LEAGUE TEAMS. Played Won Lost Drawn Points Aston Villa 19 12 3 4 28 Sheffield United 17 9 5 3 21 Blackburn Rovers 15 9 4 2 20 Burnlev 16 9. 6 1 19 West Brom. Albion.17 8 6 3 19 Wolverhampton Wan.16 8 6 2 18 Notts Forest 16 7. 6. 3 17 Everton 16 7. 7 2 16 Sunderland 15 6. 6 3 15 Stoke.17 7 9 1 15 Bolton Wanderers .15 7 8 0 14 Derby County 15 6 7. 2 14 Preston North End 16 5 9 2 12 Sheffield Wednesday 18 3 9 6 12 Newton Heath 15 4 10 1 9 Darwen 15 4 10 1 9 ELLESMEBE RANGERS v. WHITCHURCH ST. ALKMCNDS.—Played at Ellesmere on Saturday. In the first half the Rangers played a man short but they pressed their opponents continually who only crossed the half way line once or twice, but the home forwards played very badly and were only leading by one goal to none at the interval. The Visitors now had the assistance of a strong wind and they forced the play, and eventually scored making the game equal. The Rangers then played up and gave the visitors' backs plenty to do, and Lloyd put the Rangers ahead. Play now became even but at last the Saints scored again the ball going through off Dawson's foot. Each side strove hard to add the winning goal, but neither side could obtain it and the game ended in a draw 2 goals each. The game was very rough all through. Rangers team :—Goal, H. Dawson backs, J. Smith and E. Davies half-backs, A. Roberts, W. Jones and J. Smith; right wing, T. Wellings and W. Lloyd; left wing, F. Roberts and J. Sides; centre, H. A. Urion. Linesman, Mr. C. Roe; referee, Mr. S. Higley. SHROPSHIRE CUP.-2ND. ROUND. WELLINGTON ST. GEORGE'S v OSWESTRY UNITED. Following the visit of the United Reserve to St. George's the first team had occasion also to journey there last Saturday, as by a strange coincidence the United first and second team had to play away from home against St. George's in both the senior and junior competitions. The elders, however, managed to do what the juniors could not, and came away with a handsome victory. The home team played their full strength of professionals and it was anticipated that the Border Band would receive their quietus. Oswestry, on the other hand had slightly re-arranged their team owing to illness and other causes, but still the eleven they placed on the field was a very good one. J. Edwards played full back with Grainger, and Wharton was put right half back. M. Jones again partnered his namesake whilst L. Benbow was once more put in a new position, viz., centre forward. The changes worked very well, and since the United club started they have not shown finer combination than was the case in the first-half of last Saturday's match. The home team in the second period of the game, threw much roughness into their play, and twenty minutes from time an unfortunate accident occurred to Norton their right half-backs. Lloyd and he appeared to block the ball together and somehow Nortons leg must have got twisted in doing so, for it was found that he had broken a small bone, and he had to be carried off. The St. George's loss cannot, however, be put down to this as both theit- goals were scored after it took place. Mr. Maclllwraith, of Shrewsbury, was the referee, and he got the men together in good time. Oswestry won the toss and elected to play with the wind, but this was not of much advantage. St. George's got into the Oswestry quarters in the first minute and Jones had to save.- The pressure was not kept up, and the United worked the ball cleverly up to the other end with the result that N. Jones chalked one up to Oswestry. The ball bounced through off one of their back. Even play followed for a time, one lovely shot from M. Jones dropping over the bar. Gradually, however, the visitors assumed the upper hand, and the St. George's citadel narrowly escaped on two or three occasions. Edwards afterwards saved grandly for Oswestry, and a good run down came to nothing. Roden had a chance but dallied with the ball till Edwards robbed Aim. J. Evans got away splendidly on the right wing and sent right over to M. Jones who cleverly centred to L. Benbow and he with a cool shot scored goal number two for Oswestry. The Saints woke up a bit but could make no head- way, and were not allowed to get within shooting distance. Just before half-time a fine run by the visitors right resulted in a third goal, J. Evans banging the ball into the centre, and while three or four Saints were waiting for the drop the little centre man got his head in the way and the ball was steered into the net. Half-time:— Oswestry United 3 goals; Wellington, St. George's 0. After changing ends the visitors still kept up the pressure, and Haynes kept out some good shots. Morris also defended well, and had it not been for him things would have been bad for the home team. M. Jones got in a trimmer which the goal-keeper luckily saved. Twenty minutes from time an unfortunate accident happened to Norton, the St. George's right half-back, and from this time they played ten men. Strange to say the home team immediately opened their score, Morris putting a long shot through from back. This had the effect of rousing the Oswestrians, as two minutes afterwards J. A. Benbow made their total four. From a scrimmage St. George's got a second point, again quickly followed by a fifth for the visitors after some clever play. Nothing further was scored, and the United thus pass into the semi-final. OSWESTRY UNITED. R. Jones, goal; J. Edwards and A. Granger, backs; W. Wharton, E. Lloyd and A. England, half-backs; J. Evans (captain), J. E. Benbow, L. Benbow, N. Jones and M. Jones, forwards, Linesman—Mr. A. M. Jones. ST. GEORGE'S, WELLINGTON. Haynes, goal; Morris and Turley, backs; Norton, Noden and Pickering, half-backs; Pinkston, Matthews, Bould, Duckers and Kendrick, forwards. Referee—Mr. Mclllwraith, Shrewsbury. ABERYSTWYTH v. ABERYSTWYTH EXCELSIORS. A scratch match between these clubs was played on the Vicarage ground, Aberystwyth, on Satur- day afternoon, before 600 spectators, and in fine weather. A previous match terminated in a win for the Town by five goals to one. The Excelsiors winning the spin of the coin, elected to play down the slope during the first moiety, and also with the wind at their backs. Morris commenced operations. Dougall repelled an attempt to break away and for some time play was confined to midfield. At lenth the Excelsiors van effected a break, and made tracks for the Town citadel, but Ellis sent over the cross-bar. Bowen a moment afterwards had to concede a corner to save, but Jack Jones saved, and the sphere was put in motion by Morris, Garner and Owen. Their pro- gress however was well impeded by J. Davies, and R. Davies had to concede a corner, from which play was transferred to midfield. It was ultimately con- veyed to the Town territory, and Jack Davies sent in a shot which Jack Jones fisted out, but Davies, with his return shov a beauty—brought about the downfall of the stronghold. A movement on the right wing was repulsed by Dougall, but urging the pressure they exacted a corner, which, however, proved abortive. Hughes was called upon but saved, and the Excelsior van indulged in a run down the ground. Jack Davies shot wide of the mark. A run by Rea culminated in the Excelsior goal being assailed, and Hughes's best efforts were requisi- tioned to avert disaster, a splendid shot by Morris being fisted out. The Town goal was subsequently beseiged, but defensive tactics was a stubborn factor there, and the venue was soon changed, Owen and Garner being mainly responsible for the manoeuvre. They placed the globe in dangerous proximity to the Excelsior citadel, but J. Davies tackled in splendid form and sent the leather into mid-field. A momentary raid on the Town goal was followed up by a run by Garner and Owen. Dougall, however, repelled, and Ellis and Phillips made away. Bowen repulsed the invaders, and Rea and Edwards were favoured with a break away. Hughes had to deal with two difficult shots aimed at the stockade, but he acquitted himself splendidly, and the sphere was put in action in the centre. Morris, Garner and Owen again looked in, and passed to Edwards, who was on the qui vive, and that player sent a daisy cutter through the uprights. The point was disallowed on the plea of an infringement of the offside rule. Jack Jones was afterwards called upon, and he com- passed a capital save. A run by the Town rights afforded Edwards another opportunity, and he again landed the ball into the net. An incursion was afterwards made into the Town citadel, which was besieged for a time, Jones fisting out a capital shot from Jack Davies. Half time found the score: (Aberystwyth 1 goal Excelsiors 1 goal On change of ends, it soon became apparent in whom the remainder of the game would be in favour. Having the advantage of the slope and wind, the Town were immediately en evidence and assumed the aggressive. The Excelsior stronghold was subjected to a fierce fusilade, but the backs offered stout opposition, and for a long time nothing tangible could be scored. The custodian was in fine form and fisted out shots from Rea, Morris and Smith, but from a well-placed corner by Rea, Garner put the ball into the net with a neat screw shot. Again the point was disallowed on the plea of offside. Morris, R. Davies, D. Morgan, and Owen then had shots, but failed to notch a point. At length R. H. Evans and Jack Davies secured possession and paid a visit to the Town territory, Jack Jones was called upon by T. Hughes to fist out which proved to be the only shot aimed during the latter moiety. A brillant run by Rea and Edwards ensued. Rea sent in a good shot which Hughes foiled, but Smith returned and Edwards banged into the net. D. Morgan afterwards had a shot at the Excelsior goal, but Hughes saved. A corner, however, was conceded, and Owen took it. He centred beautifully and Garner headed through. The Excelsiors now clustered around their fortress, at which shots were aimed by Morris, Garner and D. Morgan. Rea scored No. 4, with a long shot. W. R. Jones, R. Davies, Morris, Owen and Smith shot but it was Garner who effected its downfall a fifth time. Hughes played a fine game in goal. The Excelsiors now improved, but Bowen and W. R. Jones were impregnable barriers. Score at call' of Time Aberystwyth. 5 goals Excelsiors 1 goal ABERYSTWYTH. Goal, Jack Jones; backs, W. R. Jones and J. Bowen half-backs, H. Smith, D. Morgan and R. Davies; right wing, Llew. Owen and Jack Garner (capt.); centre, Morris; left wing, J. Henry Edwards and J. C. Rea. EXCELSIORS. Goal, Edw. Hughes; backs, W. Michael and W. S. Dougall; half-backs, W. Williams, Thos. Hughes and J. Davies; right wing, Jack Davies and R. H. Evans; centre, W.J.Mason; left wing, D. Ellis and Tom Phillips. Referee—Mr. R. Peake.