1877 May Match vs North Fitzroy

Saturday 26 May - Melbourne Ground
Crowd - 2000-3000

Melbourne 1 (Longden)
North Fitzroy 0 (half time 1-0)

Match win by 1 goal

20 players of Melbourne faced 25 of North Fitzroy in the first match contested under new football rules designed to reduce violent incidents and rough play. Players were now forbidden to use their hands around an opponent's neck to bring him down, but most players ignored the new rule and continued to practice the manoeuvre.

Despite their numerical advantage the Fitzroy team "lacked weight and reach", and were noticably slower than their opponents. Melbourne lost the toss and were forced to kick into the wind, but still managed to take the ball to the Fitzroy goal in four kicks before it was defended. All throughout the match the players were impeded my spectators spilling onto the ground.

The Melbourne players proved better in the air, often flying above several Fitzroy players to take a mark. Eventually F. Baker had Melbourne's first shot on goal from 20 yards out but missed the lot. Eventually, after some resistance by the Roys, Langdon kicked the opening goal for Melbourne.

The sides changed ends at half-time, giving Melbourne the chance to kick with the wind and many of the fans moved ends as well in anticipation of more scoring. None was forthcoming though, and with light fading Fitzroy eventually accepted their fate.

Shortly before the end of the game one of the Melbourne players "had his woollen knickerbockers plucked clean off him". With only his shirt, stockings and boots to protect him from the cold a member from the MCC pavilion was forced to lend him a coat.

Selected team
Sillett (c), McDonald (vc), Anthony, C. Baker, F. Baker, Barrass, Bennie, Booth, Coldham, Cooke, Cooper, Downes, Johnson, Lamrock, Longden, McKie, Moffatt, Page, Suhard, Webb.

Emergencies - Fraser, Houston and F. Page

The Argus - 26/05/1877
The Argus - 28/05/1877

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Wednesday 30 September 2015 21:34:51 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 11)

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