Arsenal v Newcastle 2 September 1893
by Andy Kelly
For this game, we go back to Arsenal’s pioneering days when they became the first team south of Birmingham to play in the Football League.
Date: Saturday 2 September 1893
Competition: Football League Division Two
Location: Manor Field, Plumstead
Referee: Joseph Tillotson
Newcastle United 2
Woolwich Arsenal’s inaugural Football League appearance was played at the club’s “new” ground, the Manor Field, having vacated the Invicta Ground during the summer. A bumper crowd, travelling from all parts of London, turned up to witness the first Football League game played in the south of England.
Joe Powell had the honour of captaining Arsenal for this historic game and won the toss, allowing Newcastle to kick off at 3.30pm on a glorious Autumn afternoon.
Newcastle started well and caused a commotion in Arsenal’s penalty area from a corner, Charlie Williams fisted away and William Jeffery eventually cleared. But Arsenal drew first blood when, after just six minutes of play, Elliott broke through, fed Charlie Booth on the left wing and his cross found Walter Shaw who, with a terrific shot, put the ball into the net just out of Ramsay’s reach. This maiden League goal was met by rapturous applause from the crowd.
The game then settled down, play was very even with each team playing different styles: Newcastle playing more as a unit whilst the Arsenal players preferred to create their own chances. This was much in evidence as Newcastle had a good spell of possession resulting in Jock Sorely forcing Williams into a good save, and winning a series of corners. In amongst Newcastle’s possession, Arsenal twice broke away and James Henderson was unlucky to hit the post and also headed wide from a Booth cross.
Shortly after the break Arsenal went further ahead when, following an impressive solo run from his own half by Booth, Arthur Elliott beat Alex Ramsay with a stinging shot. There was a hint of offside by Elliott but the referee was not best placed to see it.
Thinking that they had won the game, Arsenal eased off which allowed Newcastle to continually press the Arsenal goal. Powell and Williams seemed to be equal to everything Newcastle threw at them but eventually, after 65 minutes, Tom Crate got through to score through a melee of players.
This goal spurred the Magpies on and they equalised in a similar manner a couple of minutes later through Sorley, despite protests for offside from Arsenal. This resulted in a frantic finale as both teams went all out for the win, but no more goals were scored resulting in a 2-2 draw which, on the balance of play, was the fairest result.
Line-ups (Newcastle picture above – Arsenal picture below):
Woolwich Arsenal: C Williams, J Powell, W Jeffery, D Devine, B Buist, D Howat, D Gemmell, J Henderson, W Shaw, A Elliott, C Booth.
Newcastle United: A Ramsay, H Jeffrey, J Miller, R Crielly, W Graham, J McKane, J Bowman, T Crate, W Thompson, J Sorley, J Wallace.
Facts about the match or players:
The crowd was entertained by the band of the 2nd Kent Artillery Volunteers.
Joe Powell would go on to die in tragic circumstances. Complications set in having broken his arm in a game in 1896. He died a few days later from tetanus. His funeral was attended by several thousand fans as well as representatives from Woolwich Arsenal and other football teams. A collection was organised for his wife and children, and the money raised was used to buy a tobacconist shop to provide ongoing income for his family.
William Graham wasn’t wrong with his prediction as Newcastle won the reverse fixture 6-0 later that month. However, in this game a number of Woolwich Arsenal players, including Charlie Booth, were struck by stones thrown from the crowd. The Newcastle committee apologised for the conduct of the home crowd to Arsenal director Fred Beardsley whilst the team were at the railway station making their way home.
Arthur Elliott has the distinction of being the first Arsenal player known to have been sent off during a game. He received his marching orders on 23 November 1892 against Ipswich Town for persistent foul play.
|Arsenal v Newcastle FA Cup Games|
|23 Apr 1932||L||1||2||Final|
|15 Feb 1936||D||3||3|
|19 Feb 1936||W||3||0|
|03 May 1952||L||0||1||Final|
|16 May 1998||W||2||0||Final|
|09 Mar 2002||D||1||1|
|23 Mar 2002||W||3||0|
|26 Jan 2008||W||3||0|
We have met Newcastle 8 times in the FA Cup and have a positive record of – W4, D2, L 2 but sadly the only two losses were in the Cup Final.
|Arsenal FA Cup Final Appearances|
TA’s Preferred (maybe predicted) lineup:
I believe a few players could do with a mini-break and a few other players are in need of playing. To the former group I count Tierney, Holding, Saka, Laca and maybe Auba. The latter group could include Partey (fit again?), Gabriel, Elneny, Nelson, AMN, Willock, Eddie, Chambers (if available), Azeez, Pepe and maybe Auba (if it is deemed a good game for scoring a couple).
It is hard to tell how seriously Newcastle will take this game. Maybe the players see it as a good competition to aim for silverware, or they regard this as too hard a game to win (as it is away from home). But as always, Arteta cannot take a win for granted and needs to put out a hungry and strong starting 11.
Here is my preferred lineup:
Most important thing is to have a solid midfield and central defence. So I would opt for experience there. AMN and Soares are the nr2 full backs and they should play. Leno will have to play unless Arteta is a courageous man and will give Runarrson another chance tomorrow. I doubt it, but maybe he should. I love the 4-2-3-1 system as it allows us to give different players a chance to excel,and in the three sort-of-nr10s positions behind the CF – most likely to be Eddie – we can play a number of options. I guess Arteta will play at least one of Pepe, Willian or Auba in that three, and that would be fine with me, but I would love to see how the likes of Willock and Nelson would perform there. Another game for ESR is on the cards but maybe, just maybe, Azeez will get a surprise start? I am also hoping Willian will play in the central nr10 position tomorrow as he could do with a good, confidence building game. Final question is, will Balogun get a chance… maybe even a start?