ANOTHER CUP DEFEAT FOR WIMBLEDON - Plucky Display Against Brentford.
Under the new regulations of the London Challenge Cup competition the professional clubs can field their reserve teams if they so desire. On Monday Brentford paid Wimbledon a nice compliment by putting out their strongest available side. There was only two changes from the side which won at Torquay on Saturday and according to the official programme these were unavoidable as J. Lane and Adamson were on the injured list. Bann took Adamson's place at left-back and Roberts, the ex-Swindon player, came in at inside-right to allow W. Lane to lead the attack.
Wimbledon had Dowden and Gregory back, but Evans was absent and Gardner partnered O'Brien. It was, therefore, hardly to be wondered at that Wimbledon received their quietus in the competition with such a strong side against them. But the amateurs gave a plucky display and had Dowden been in anything like his real shooting form Wimbledon would have got at least five goals. On the other hand, it must be said that Brentford took things leisurely in the second half and were content to indulge in fancy work against their less experienced rivals. The artistry of W. Lane was a feature of the match and it is no exaggeration to say that had the centre-forward wanted he could have doubled the score for his side. Time after time he worked the ball to an easy shooting position but instead of letting drive he calmly passed the ball to a colleague on either his right or left. Lane made the openings for most of the goals and near the end he scored one himself just to show how it could be done.
The Wimbledon forwards were clever individually, especially Gardner, O'Brien and Hopkins. The first-named was the best of the quintette, for he was always harassing the Brentford defenders, and Salt and Bann had their work cut out to hold him. But Gardner, like his other colleagues, made a mistake in neglecting O'Brien. The outside-right should have been given much more to do than was given him in the second half, for when he got the ball he always showed he could beat the left-back and cut in to trouble Fox. Hopkins also displayed extreme pluck, but Dowden hesitated in tackling a defender and also in his shooting. Lloyd was no match for the burly Stevenson, but he did not do badly, taking the game all through. Wade was the most constructive of the halves, although Caesar was seen to advantage in breaking up attacks in the first half. Sowter was very reliable at back and Whisker did all that was expected of him in goal. Gregory was not so sounds as usual.
HOW THE GOALS WERE SCORED
Brentford asserted their superiority at the outset and Whisker made a wonderful save from Roberts when he turned the ball round a post. The scoring was opened after ten minutes, Blakemore converting a centre from Berry. A minute later Berry received a pass by Lane and, running through, scored rather easily. A first-time shot from Dowden went very close and O'Brien, taking a shot on the run, landed the ball on top of the net. Wimbledon had more of the play for a time, but Dowden was easily held, although Gardner and Hopkins gave him some smart passes. Play had been in progress twenty-five minutes when Lane dribbled the ball practically half the length of the field and back-heeled to Blakemore, who scored with a powerful low drive. The professionals now rested on their laurels, and Wimbledon took advantage of this easing-up with commendable promptitude. Dowden crossed the ball to the right and O'Brien rounded Bann and put in a centre from which Gardner scored. For a time Wimbledon made the professionals realise that they could not do simply as they liked and the game became very interesting. Blakemore, however, put an end to Wimbledon's hopes when he beat four opponents in a spectacular dribble and scored a fourth goal. It is to their credit that Wimbledon kept pegging away with determination and just before half-time the heavy deficit was reduced. Goodchild sent in a long short and Stevenson fell in attempting to clear. The back held the ball between his feet while lying on the ground, but Hopkins managed to take it away from him and shoot. Fox parried the ball and an exciting tussle followed in the goalmouth before the ball went out to O'Brien, who made no mistake. Half-time: Brenford 4 Wimbledon 2.
The play in the second half was too one-sided to be interesting. Brentford did a lot of pretty passing in which the halves and forwards shared. Blakemore was really a fourth back and Lane was content to let Berry or Roberts have shooting practice rather than take a shot himself. The outside-left and the inside-right tested Whisker fairly frequently and the visiting goalkeeper brought off some smart saves. Ten minutes after the interval Berry scored a fifth goal after Lane had done the work. Wimbledon had several chances of scoring. On one occasion Dowden got through to within a few yards of goal and had plenty of time to put in his shot. His hesitancy proved fatal, for just as he lifted his right foot to have a bang Stevenson came along and bowled over the centre-forward. Dowden should have had the ball in the net long before the back could get to him. Fox saved a long shot from Gardner, but dropped the ball, and Hopkins had a shot charged down by Bann with the goalkeeper out of position. A few minutes before the end Lane, who had been toying with the opposition, flicked the ball to Foster and when the winger returned it Lane headed through. Brentford this won by the convincing margin of six goals to two.
[ --- Wimbledon Boro' News]