There was great rejoicing in Finchley on Saturday night when it became known that the local football club had beaten Hampstead Town by one goal to nil in the fifth qualifying round of the London Senior Cup. Earlier in the day a big contingent of Finchley's supporters accompanied the team to Avenue-ground, Cricklewood-lane, but they formed only a small fraction of the great crowd of 3,500 who gathered to watch the match. It was generally anticipated that a keen struggle would result from the clash of these near neighbours, who so rarely find themselves in opposition, but the odds were slightly in favour of Hampstead on account of a 2-0 win in a previous encounter this season, as well as a fine record of successes in various competitions. Finchley had not much to recommend them in the way of League points or cup victories, but recent performances in which they have displayed surprisingly good form indicated that they could be relied upon to give a good account of themselves. it was a great disappointment to many that their front line had to be weakened owing to the ineligibility of T. Carter, but R. Massey was brought in from the Spartan League team to fill the vacancy at inside-left and the selection proved, on the whole, a wise one. Apart from that position Finchley were at full strength, while Hampstead fielded their strongest side. Overhead, the conditions during the afternoon were ideal, but the heavy rains had played havoc with the pitch, which, early on, gave up sticky and heavy and showed a tendency to stick to the players' feet.
McCalmont was fortunate in winning the toss and he took full advantage of the luck by putting Hampstead to kick against the sun, which had disappeared behind the dressing room when the teams changed ends. Goodwin was the first of the two goalkeepers to touch the ball, but he had to go out to pick it from the mud where it stopped from a very tame kick by Dicks. The next moment saw Hampstead attacking hotly, and Reinke raised the hopes of his side by heading just wide a fine pass from Pease and shooting hard into Catt's hands. Nash was next given a splendid opening, but he disappointed by sending the ball soaring over the bar, and then Ball was unsuccessful with two shots, the first being cleared by McCalmont and the second going outside. A brief visit to the other end, during which Massey and Brassey both narrowly missed the mark, and the home forwards were set going again by Pease, who dropped in a long shot that Catt had to punch over the bar. Reinke headed over from the resulting corner and after a temporary stoppage for an injury to Clarke, who left the field for a few minutes, Banning initiated a nice movement which Brassey annulled by losing control when he only had the goalkeeper to beat. The inside-right, however, made up for it soon after by sending in the best shot the match had so far produced, but Goodwin proved equal to the occasion and also dealt confidently with efforts by Jones and Turner.
Then after nearly twenty-five minutes play came what proved to be the winning goal. Burrell put in a superb centre from the left wing and the ball travelling straight across the goal mouth Jones came up from the other flank and sent it into one corner of the net well out of Goodwin's reach. It was a good goal, well worked for, and the shot, taken from a difficult angle, was one that deserved to score. Finchley looked like losing their lead a few minutes later but Wise, presented with an easy chance by Cousins, headed outside, while Reinke, after forcing his way to the front of the goal, finished weakly with a shot wide of the mark. Catt saved smartly from Wise and Reinke, and Banning at the other end forced Finchley's first corner, but Burrell put behind from the flag kick excellently placed by Brassey. Things looked black for Finchley just before the interval, when Pease was fouled perilously near the penalty area but the free-kick was headed over and the whistle blew a minute later to bring relief.
In the second half Hampstead made determined efforts to get on terms and for the first ten minutes after the resumption Finchley's goal underwent many narrow and lucky escapes. Wise and Nash both refused good opportunities of scoring the equaliser and three forwards were on top of goal when Robinson cleverly got the ball away. Wise had hard luck with a "header," which struck the cross-bar and rolled over, and Reinke twice came within an ace of doing the trick. Jones was the only visiting forward who could make any effective headway against a sturdy defence, but he was repeatedly pulled up when going well by Clarke, who was in great form at back. Brazier was injured, apparently by the heavy ball, and had to be carried off, but Finchley were too tired by this time to benefit much by the decrease in the number of their opponents. So they concentrated on defence, and their methods, although perfectly legitimate, greatly incensed the home supporters. There was a great deal of needless kicking out, but apart from the waste of time, it was questionable whether this gave the visitors much advantage, for often a reckless shot by one of the defenders transferred the play nearer their own goal. Pease took a prominent part in attacking during the closing stages of the game, and one of his shots nearly wrecked an upright, but that was as near as he could get, and the forwards, man for man, all showed an amazing disregard for the direction of the goal. But there were thrillls right up to the last minute and it was a timely intervention when the referee stopped the game to give Finchley a victory which they were exceedingly fortunate to obtain.