The Daily Mail, September 29, 1913
By P. G. WODEHOUSE.
Leicester Fosse .... 3 Bristol City ... 0
Leicester is so bracing. The ball had hardly been kicked off when Douglas raced away on the right and put in a fine centre. Instantly Mortimer, Howling, Kearns, and the ball were lying in a tangled heap in the net. Howling had no chance to save. Nor had Kearns, who hurled himself into the fray with the idea of somehow doing something to avert disaster. Mortimer, having reached the ball with his head, carried rather than propelled it between the posts. The whole movement was suggestive partly of a bit of music-hall juggling and partly of an egg-and-spoon race, with a pantomime rally to conclude with. And the Fosse was one up.
The game was resumed at a great pace. Where the Fosse forwards got their energy on a tropical day like Saturday is a mystery. They could not have displayed more dash in mid-winter. Splendidly supported by their halves, more particularly the lengthy Harrold, they executed movement after movement, Douglas sending in a number of accurate centres. Once Howling saved well, and once the ball was kicked over the line; but it never got far away from the Bristol goal. Howling stopped two more shots, and it was not till Broad made a good run on the right that Bristol had any share of the game at all.
After Broad’s shot, which went wide, Bristol continued to attack, but without much conviction, and Clay finally sent the ball back to Bristol territory with a long kick. Here some good work was done by Kearns, the most prominent man on the Bristol side all through the game. King and Douglas both shot well, but without success. Banfield cleared, but Douglas came back again with a fine run which ended in a high shot that did no damage. The Bristol forwards were always trying to get moving, but were too well looked after by Harrold, McWhirter, and King. Eventually a free kick near the Fosse goal gave them a chance, but Nicholson shot over the bar.
About this time the dash of the Fosse forward line was somewhat subdued owing to Bristol’s one-back policy. Banfield made a practice of lying well up the field. This seemed to bother Douglas in particular, and he was called back on several occasions, at the beginning of promising runs, for being offside. Waterall, however, showed up well on the other wing with a good centre, which Mortimer headed over the bar. The Fosse continued to attack and forced a corner. Kearns cleared from the kick. Waterall got away again, but nobody was in position to take his pass, and Wedlock started a return attack which ended in Brebner being called upon for the first time. He had been standing there basking in the sunshine for just thirty-five minutes. He had not, however, allowed his mind to wander from the distant game, and he stopped the shot without difficulty.
Douglas again fell a victim to the one-back form of strategy soon after this, but the kick did not relieve Bristol, Benfield coming through with the ball, which, however, went over the line. Broad and Fuge did their best to break through but were pulled up, and a very vigorous attack by the Fosse forwards led to two shots in quick succession by Mortimer, both of which were stopped by Kearns. Just before half-time the Fosse forced two more corners, but there were no further developments; and the whistle blew with the Bristol goal in danger but still intact.
The opening of the second half was even more sensational than the start of the game had been. Going off with a rush, the Fosse scored another goal within a minute of the kick-off. Benfield and Waterall started the attack, passing and repassing in brilliant style. When near the line Waterall put in one of his unerring centres and Mortimer headed a neat goal. No knockabout effects this time; just an ordinary, restrained, gentlemanly kind of goal.
There was no stopping the Fosse for the next ten minutes. Mortimer sent in another shot from a centre by Waterall, which Howling saved. Banfield cleared, but the ball was soon back and went over the line. Another shot by Mortimer rebounded off Howling and fell at the Fosse centre-forward’s feet. He instantly repeated the process, but this time missed by inches. It was only a few moments later, however, when, attacking again, the Fosse forwards brought the ball to the goalmouth, and Mortimer, taking advantage of one of the few blunders which Kearns made during the afternoon, did his hat-trick with a clever shot which gave Howling no chance. A minute later Douglas nearly scored, but Wedlock managed to clear; and Bristol at last relieved a pressure which had lasted nearly a quarter of an hour without a break.
Bristol, though outplayed, had been trying hard, and now for the first time they began for a brief while to have the better of the game. Their revival only lasted some five minutes, but during that time they were threatening on several occasions. Fuge missed a difficult shot, and Wedlock did some clever work. With only a few minutes to play, the Fosse again secured control of the game, Stoodley and Mortimer being prominent. Kearns cleared, and the match ended with a wild shot by Fuge which missed handsomely.
The Fosse now stand second in the Second League tables; and judging by their present form they should be competing next year among the heavy-weights. Their forwards show splendid energy, and on Saturday were combining like a machine. Mortimer, by reason of his three goals, secured the honours of the day, but in each case it was the fine work of the outsides which made them possible. Waterall’s centring was tremendous. Currie and Clay were very safe at back, and Harrold at centre half only made one mistake during the game. For the losing team Kearns toiled heroically. Broad was excellent; but, like the bloodhounds in the travelling company of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” he got poor support.
Not counting Brebner, there were about 18,000 spectators.