1873 FA Cup Final

1873 FA Cup Final

The 1873 FA Cup final was the second final of the world's oldest football competition, the FA Cup. It was won by the Wanderers, claiming their second victory in the competition, after they beat Oxford University 2-0 at Lillie Bridge on March 291873. Unusually, the final was held in the morning, so as to avoid a clash with the annual Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race which was held on the same day. [cite book |last= Matthews|first= Tony|authorlink= |coauthors= |title= Football Firsts|year= 2006|publisher= Capella|location= |id= ISBN 1-8419-3451-8 ]

Sixteen teams entered, including Queen's Park of Scotland.

Route to the Final

As holders of the competition, the Wanderers received a bye all the way to the final, with Oxford University playing in each of the previous rounds. As a "challenge cup", it was intended that after the first FA Cup Final, all FA Cup winners would receive such a bye, but the 1872-73 competition was the only time this system was ever used. In the first round Oxford University played Crystal Palace and won 3-2 at home. In the second round, they were drawn away to Clapham Rovers, winning 3-0.

In the third round Oxford University were paired with the previous season's runners-up, the Royal Engineers. They won 1-0 and went on to play Maidenhead in the only match of the fourth round. They won that game 4-0.

Queen's Park, the only Scottish entrant, were given a bye to the semi-final stage but were unable to raise sufficient funds to travel to London and scratched from the tie against Oxford University, giving the students a walk-over to the final.

Match details


date = 1873-03-29
time = Morning
team1 = Wanderers
score = 2 – 0
report =
team2 = Oxford University
goals1 = Arthur Kinnaird goal
Charles Wollaston goal
goals2 =
stadium = Lillie Bridge, London
attendance = 3,000
referee = Alfred Stair, London

Match report

The match kicked off in the morning to avoid a clash with the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, thereby allowing the specatators to witness both sporting events.

The students had the best of the early stages of the game, requiring Howell and Thompson in the Wanderers' defence to work hard to keep the University forwards at bay. After a half hour of constant pressure from the students, the Wanderers took an undeserved lead following a weak back pass from an Oxford defender which was pounced on by Arthur Kinnaird who was able to score easily.

The teams then changed ends, as required under the rules of the time. Both teams continued to play attacking football but with neither side making any clear cut chances. As the game neared its end, Oxford became desperate to score an equalizer and pushed their 'keeper into attack. Unfortunately for the students, this plan back-fired when Wollaston broke through and scored a second goal for the Wanderers, who thereby retained the Cup which they had won in its inaugural year. [cite book |last= Gibbons|first= Philip|authorlink= |title= Association Football in Victorian England - A History of the Game from 1863 to 1900|pages=pp.38-39 |year= 2001|publisher= Upfront Publishing|location= |id= ISBN 1-84426-035-6 ]


External links

* [http://www.rsssf.com/tablese/engcup1873.html 1872-73 Competition Results] at rsssf.com
* [http://www.soccerbase.com/results3.sd?gameid=15726 Soccerbase summary]
* [http://www.sportingchronicle.com/FACUP/1873.html Line-ups]
* [http://www.fa-cupfinals.co.uk/1873.html Match report at www.fa-cupfinals.co.uk]

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