The next season, on learning that the Old Centrals had lost 1-0 against Hanover at Peckham, while their reserves were being beaten 3-1 at home, he commented, somewhat shrewdly: "I have not received details of the games played last Saturday. This probably accounts for it."
The campaign continued much the same as before, friendly opponents came and went, but the Wimbledon Old Centrals kept on winning, so that by the end of their first three seasons they had been beaten just 11 times in 61 outings, in a spell that also saw them switch home pitches.
The Common Conservators decided that the Old Centrals had outgrown their Robin Hood Road side facility. The ball was creating problems for passers-by in their carriages, they said. The exact location of Wimbledon's next home pitch on the Common is unclear, but there is evidence to suggest it was between West Place and The Pound, as a daughter of a player of those formative years remembers he and his brother changing in a nearby cottage.
Now big things were beckoning for the boys of the Wimbledon Old Centrals. A new president was elected in Mr. W. Van Sommer, while Mr. W. H. Bishop was now club secretary, replacing Mr. Jenkins. The Independent was again suitably impressed. "With a good captain who will look well to the scientific part of the game, and see that his men are well drilled in both long and short passing, they ought to do better than ever this season."
A word of warning, though. "I should advise them not to fly at too big a game," the report concluded. The Old Centrals, however, took no heed. The Herald Cup was the big competition contested locally, and they decided to go for it. Their Cup debut came on December 3, 1892, but just as the Independent had warned, it was to prove a bad day, all round. It bucketed down; they lost 4-0; and their dressing room was robbed.
It was a prowler, "of the thieving type," according to The Independent, who got into their Fox and Grapes dressing room and made off with Ned Scrutton's watch and chain, and 13 shillings out of Anstee's purse.
But that Herald Cup defeat, at the hands of Battersea Albion, was the first team's only reverse of another successful campaign, with 12 wins in 22 starts, while off the park, too, the club's business affairs were looking equally healthy - the profit and loss account for the year showing a handsome seven pounds, eight shillings and 10 pence ha'penny in favour of the former.
This page has been visited 201 times.
The contents of this site are (c) their respective owners. If you wish to use anything within, please check their status first.
If you have any information, photographs, comments, additions, memorabilia or corrections to this site please contact us