Emley 0-1 Barking – FA Amateur Cup 3rd Round

February 15, 1969

Replay after first match on 1st February 1969 was abandoned with Barking leading 2-0 after 55 minutes

The first match remains a highlight in Emley’s history mainly due to the fact the Welfare Ground’s highest ever attendance was recorded.  Somehow 5,134 people crammed into the ground, but another factor that epitomises football at Emley was the deciding factor – the weather.  The ground had been frozen, but on the day, strong winds and rain greeted the players at kick-off.

Barking played in the Isthmian league, the same as Dulwich Hamlet from the 2nd round tie.  But they were doing much better than their London rivals and were a different proposition for Emley.  This was evident in the first minute when Barking took the lead through a fierce strike by Ford.  Emley came back at them however and Wilson netted, only to be given offside.  The conditions were deteriorating, but the Londoners dealt with them the best and were on top at half-time.

The referee decided to continue the game as the players could apparently still keep their feet, but soon the torrential rain turned to sleet.  Barking extended their lead through Wilsonham, but the conditions were now farcical and the referee called a halt after 55 minutes.  Half the crowd had given up by then and were on their way home.

The Emley weather had saved Emley and the game was rescheduled for the following Saturday.  But an inspection on the Friday declared the pitch unplayable, partly due to the damage it had sustained the previous week.  Barking turned down a proposal to play the game at Huddersfield’s Leeds Road in midweek, so the game was instead rescheduled at Emley on the 15th February.

This time, the weather was sunny, however the pitch was covered in snow!  Amazing work by the Emley committee and volunteers however somehow made it playable, apparently under some pressure from the F.A.  This time 2,928 turned up, so it must have felt positively roomy.

As in the first game, Emley got off to a slow start, and Barking took the lead from a corner in the 9th minute, Page forcing the ball home.  The referee had missed the start of the game as he was late arriving (he’d missed his train connection), and he took over from the linesman after 15 minutes of play!  He soon had some work to do to separate the players after a punch-up.

Barking continued to dominate the first half, but in the second, Emley finally found their feet.  Morley and Kettlewell started to find ways through the Barking rear guard.  Eventually, Emley got the ball in the net and the crowd celebrated.  But, Barnard had punched the ball in (this is a familiar story in Emley’s Amateur Cup exploits as Pamment had done the same against both Evenwood and Dulwich).

Kettlewell then had a golden chance when one-on-one with the ‘keeper, but he smothered the chance and despite Emley’s best efforts, Barking held on for their win.

Team (1st game): Casson; D Hall, Ellam; Wood, J Hall, Matley; Wilson, Whiteley, Pamment, Kettlewell, Morley.  Sub: Barnard.  In the second game, Barnard came in for the injured Whiteley, with Battye as sub.

Headlines and photographs courtesy of Huddersfield Examiner and the Huddersfield and District Chronicle

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