Date: 2 August 1937
Venue: Subiaco Oval, Subiaco, Western Australia
Western Australia: C.Mitchell, A.Lloyd, Jock Henderson, Stan Cherry (c), Jack Walmsley, M.Charlton, Bill Brackeridge, W.Fyfe, J.Hepton, Jack Conduit, Dave Birnie
England Amateur XI: L.Huddle, H.Robbins, J.Strasser, Jimmy Lewis, T.Leek, John Sutcliffe, W.Parr, S.Eastham, R.Matthews, L.Thornton, E.Collins
A quality English Amateur XI defeated Western Australia 6-1 in the final game of their 1937 tour of New Zealand and Australia. R.Matthews led the way with four goals as Jimmy Lewis and L.Thornton also found the net for the visitors whose defences were breached late by Bill Brackenbridge. “The local side put up a particularly good showing against solid opposition,” (1) reported the ‘West Australian’ newspaper, “it was a big handicap for the State side to take the field without having had a run together, especially against opponents of the calibre of the English.”
England’s squad for the two-month tour included seven players that represented Great Britain at the previous years’ Olympic Games in Berlin. The Australian leg opened with wins over New South Wales (3-1) and New South Wales Northern Districts (5-4) before going down for the first time to Australia (5-4). England defeated Queensland (2-1) and Australia (4-0), lost for a second time to Australia (4-3), then fired back with a trio of victories Australia (4-3), Victoria (6-1) and South Australia (10-0) on the way west.
England pressed into attack from the opening whistle and with 12 minutes gone opened their account via a powerful low strike from Matthews that beat State custodian C.Mitchell. Not content with a one-goal lead, England went looking for another would have had it had A.Lloyd not been positioned well to head off the line after Matthews met a corner. The State should have been awarded a penalty after John Sutcliffe handled Jack Conduit’s goalbound drive, however, referee A.Tolliday signalled for play to continue.
Almost immediately England spirited the ball to the opposite end where Matthews found the back of the net for a second time. Good combination work by W.Fyfe, Brackenbridge and Stan Cherry created an opening for the hosts but the attack was broken by the English backs. Lewis increased the difference to three goals before Matthews completed his hat-trick as the visitors finished the half strongly. England were unfortunate not to have taken a bigger lead into the break with Thornton and Matthews both rattling the woodwork.
Western Australia showed considerable improvement after the turnaround, Dave Birnie was thwarted by J.Strasser while Conduit had a goal disallowed despite the linesman saying the ball had passed over the line. With E.Collins and S.Eastham leading the way, England slowly regained control and T.Leek’s effort from near the halfway line crashed into the upright. Not long after Matthews’ angled strike hit one post and rebounded across the face of goal to nestle just inside the bottom corner of the net.
Brackenbridge made sure the visiting defence was kept on their toes but his low shot was pushed out for a corner by L.Huddle. It was third time lucky for Brackenbridge who soon after drove into the net after a defender blocked his initial attempt. There were opportunities for the west to further reduce the deficit but poor finishing denied them the goals they sought. Thornton had the final says by converting a long pass from Collins.
(1) p.7, the ‘West Australian’ newspaper, 3 August 1937
Back to the www.footballwa.net State Team Index
This page was last updated on the 30th December 2012