Hampstead, while not placed actually at the foot of the Athenian League, have a record worse than that of any of the other thirteen clubs, as they have secured only six points out of a possible 24. It was hoped that on Saturday, when they were meeting West Norwood, who had yet to win their first match in the competition, that the tide of disaster would be stemmed, but another loss - the seventh in succession - was sustained, West Norwood deserving their win by five goals to three. The game ran on fairly even lines during the first half, and at the interval Hampstead were only one goal down, but the superiority of West Norwood was evident on changing ends, their forwards being much more dangerous in front of goal than the visiting five. Had Shearcroft been successful with a penalty kick a different tale might have been told, but he made a sorry mess of the opportunity, the ball being sent high over the bar out of the ground. At that time West Norwood were leading by two goals, but though Wise, from a well-placed corner kick by Deeks, reduced the margin, West Norwood responded with a fifth goal, and at the end Hampstead were a well-beaten side.
It will be seen [from the line-ups following this report] that Bloxham, who has played many good games for Hampstead, displaced Clarke, who has been off-colour, and that Dowse was given another trial at inside-right. Anderson was again preferred to Houghton.
Although the defence was at fault now and again, there was an improvement on some previous games. The backs kicked strongly, and Bloxham made full use, though quite legitimately, of his weight. True, he lacks polish, but he never shirks work, and frequently he saved his side from disaster. Brown kept an excellent goal, though he was defeated five times. On no occasion could it be said that he was really at fault. Wardlaw seemed to be the best of the halves, but the line does not seem to be so effective as in past days. At one time it was the most powerful section of the team.
Individually the forwards did good work, but there was once again a weakness in front of goal, some good opportunities being missed. Shearcroft headed one fine goal, but his work as a whole was not convincing, and the outside men often failed to get in their centres. There were many times when good combination was futile through lack of shooting. Admittedly Jones maintained his reputation as one of the best goalkeepers in the League, but he had far less work to do than Brown thanks to the sturdy defence of the home backs and a good centre-half in Tolhurst. West Norwood's forwards were always dangerous, two of the best attackers being Warnes, who scored two goals, and Vince, who, for the second week in succession, did the hat trick. Parsons had a hard handful in Warnes, who was both speedy and tricky, and also a forceful shot.
Hampstead might have scored in the first few minutes through Dowse, who will have few better opportunities of scoring than were then found for him. It was disappointing to find him fail twice, the first chance being the more glaring. Vince then scored for West Norwood. The home side realised the value of an open game, and the ball went from wing to wing rapidly. One centre from Howell, who had received from Wise, ought to have been turned to account, but Shearcroft failed. Following a marvellous save by Brown from Williams, Hampstead equalised through Wardlaw, who shot from about twenty yards out. It was a good goal, if somewhat unexpected, and put life into the visiting side, who for a time quite held their own.
West Norwood, however, took the lead again, their second goal obtained by Warnes being one of the best, and immediately afterwards, from a corner, Brown did well to prevent further disaster by jumping to the ball through a ruck of players. Territorially Hampstead had an advantage, but found Jones a great stumbling block, one of his finest saves being from Deeks. Vince scored West Norwood's third goal after he had been thwarted more than once by Brown, and then Shearcroft, from a corner kick taken by Deeks, brought the score to 3-2 with a beautiful head touch.
Hampstead did not show to such good advantage in the second half, although there were times when it seemed they might be able to share the spoils. Following good work by Cruse, Warnes scored a fourth goal for West Norwood, and a minute or so later the ball again entered the net, but, happily for Hampstead, the referee allowed an appeal for offside. Then came the penalty kick for Hampstead which Shearcroft failed to put to advantage, and after that Jones had a very easy time, it being impossible for the visiting forwards to get within shooting distance. There was a gleam of hope when at last from another corner kick by Deeks, Wise scored a third goal for his side, but before the end, while it was almost impossible to follow the play through failing light, Vince completed Hampstead's discomfiture, and by scoring his third goal brought victory to West Norwood by five goals to three.