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History

100 years ago today, our first Football League win

The centenary of our victory over Millwall

30 August 2020

It was on this day, 30 August, 100 years ago that we won our first points in the Football League. Millwall were the visitors to Griffin Park with more than 12,000 packing into the stands for our first ever home game in the league.

Included in the starting XI was Jack Durston (centre back, above). The 6 foot 5 inch goalkeeper had missed the season opener at Exeter City as he was helping Middlesex win just their second-ever County Championship. Having bowled 30 overs of medium-fast at Lord's, Durston jumped in a taxi to get to Griffin Park for the game when stumps were drawn at the end of play on the Monday. 

Another player who missed the weekend defeat at St James Park was Reg Boyne. The striker, who had emigrated to New Zealand as a child, was top scorer during our final Southern League season and came back in to lead the line. 

The Chiswick Times report on the game read as:

"Judging by the extraordinary numbers that patronised the games, football appears likely to have a record season. On Saturday the crowds were of considerable dimensions. Brentford's game at home attracted over 12,000 and the Club has made arrangements for a big attendance at the fixture with Exeter tomorrow. 

The opening game in the Western city did not show The Bees in a very interesting light but the visitors were unfortunate with good shots in front of goal, whilst Elliott was handicapped by an injured knee. The match served, however, to point out the weak places which were remedied on Monday. 

Millwall is a club that has spent a lot of money on improving the team, and many folks fancy the East End club will be near the top at the end of the season. The display against Brentford on Monday, however, whilst producing much pretty forward work, revealed a lack of decision in front of the net. 

Brentford snapped up one goal opening and turned it to account and by this goal The Bees won the first points, and incidentally talent money. It is not generally known that clubs may now reward the players with £2 for a win and £1 for a draw.

Durston, fresh from his efforts to win the County Championship at Lord's, hurriedly left cricket and reached Brentford in time to guard the goal, and a really fine game he played too. His height, quickness of eye and dash all helped him to defy the Millwall men, particularly in the second-half, when shots were rammed in on him. Rosier, the direct contrast in point of stature to Durston, was briliiant at left back. He has quickly touched his best form. 

I liked the play of the new half-back Challinor. He was handicapped with a bruised ankle, but this did not prevent him bottling up Dempsey and Sutherland - the Millwall left-wing. He has many deft touches and robs his man cleanly. Distributing the ball effectively, he should prove a substantial aid to the middle line. Levitt played unassuming, but nevertheless reliable, game at centre-half, whilst Amos is the artist of the line. 

Boyne played with more dash than usual, which, if maintained, should ensure him his position. Morley foraged well and made clever openings. He appears sometimes to keep the ball too long but there are brains behind his movements which were indicated by two lightning strikes at Lansdale, which a less capable man would have missed"

 


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