Hampstead's undefeated record on their own ground was broken on Saturday in the return Athenian League game with Kingstonian, the visitor's virile centre-forward, H.C. Mann, doing the hat trick in the last ten minutes, and bringing victory to his side [by 3-1] after Hampstead had appeared certain winners. The only goal scored previously was credited to Hampstead by H.W. Shearcroft from a penalty kick, this being obtained after half-an-hour's play. Apparently it was not a grave offence, and some were of opinion that the extreme penalty should not have been exacted, but having marked the spot where the ball had been handled, the referee had no hesitation in giving his decision.
Hampstead put the same side in the field that had gained such a well-deserved victory over Enfield in the F.A. Cup, R. Wardlaw (the captain) still being an absentee owing to injuries. Kingstonian were well represented, a new half back in W.B Triesman being introduced. It was not one of the pleasantest of games, for while there was nothing serious to call for the intervention of the referee, one could not get away from the fact that the Kingstonians were all out to avenge the defeat on their own ground a fortnight ago.
It was, of course, a great disappointment for Hampstead to be beaten on the post, but no injustice would have been done to either side had the game ended in a draw. Kingstonian's football was of a higher calibre than that shown in the first game but, unfortunately, Hampstead's forwards did not come up to expectations. G.P. Deeks was the pick of the five, and G.F. Howell did good work, particularly in the second half, but the inside trio lost innumerable chances. Had one half of the opportunities offered them been accepted defeat would not have been their lot.
A strong wind affected the play to some extent, but it was fought out at a rapid pace, the heavy kicking of both defences causing the venue to be changed very rapidly. H.L.Pease (to whom Wardlaw's lucky coin seems to have been transferred) again won the toss, and, in addition, proved not only a sound captain, but one of the best players on the field. Bearing in mind the effectiveness of the Kingstonian forward line, his was no easy task, but once again he was instrumental in reducing the value of the work of F. Macey, the clever Amateur International inside-left, to a minimum.
Until the closing stages there was little to cavil at in Hampstead's defensive work, W. Houghton and A.Anderson (the former in particular) ably seconding Pease's efforts, while time after time the movements of the visiting forwards were thwarted by R.S. Clarke and A. Parsons. Early in the game Parsons was injured, but his subsequent work proved that nnothing serious had happened.
Play in the first half was slightly in favour of Hampstead, one of the best shots in the game coming from Deeks, who also had hard luck in not improving upon a centre by Howell. At the other end Mann was a very troublesome customer, and it was large odds on the citadel being captured when he had the ball practically on the goal-line. T.T. Brown, Hampstead's young goalkeeper, once again, however, proved his resourcefulness, and thoroughly deserved the applause showered upon him for his timely clearances.
Early in the second half an overhead kick by Wise proved troublesome to L.G.P. Harman, the Kingston goalkeeper. Some improvement in the play of the home forwards was seen, but, as in the first half, some glorious chances were missed. In one case Howell, who was in quite his old form, was the culprit, as from a corner, taken by Wise, he spooned the ball over the bar. The Kingston goal seemed to have a charmed life, and though Evans, who had previously shown signs of lameness, had to leave the field for a short time, there was no reason to think that Hampstead would do worse than divide the spoils. Then came the [change] as Kingstonian, who had throughout combined effectively and favoured long passing methods, swept through the defence and scored three times through Mann. Until this time Brown, Clarke and Parsons had done wonderfully well, and no one had conceived that in ten minutes they would have given away three goals.
Such [?] is deserving of praise, though the result was disappointing to Hampstead, whose work had earned for themselves a point. It was apparent to all where the weakness was manifest, and the forwards will have to play much better if Waterlow's are to be beaten tomorrow (Saturday) at Dunstable. The defence was rattled towards the end but until then had given no anxiety. On the Kingston side Mann (centre-forward) and Craddock (centre-half) stood out prominently.