The type of football in the London League is somewhat more robust than that seen in the Athenian League, and Hampstead Town, when pitted against teams which occupy even a lowly position in the London League, have sometimes been beaten. The most recent instance was when Finchley conquered at Cricklewood-lane. The visit of Millwall United in the Middlesex Senior Cup on Saturday afternoon therefore prepared supporters for a stiff fight. This was forthcoming, although in the end Hampstead Town had secured the right to visit Barnet in the next round by five goals to one. The visitors admitted the justice of the result, although they claimed, and perhaps rightly, that they were beaten as much by the mud as by the superior play of their hosts. The ground was admittedly in a shocking state, and many will be thankful when the Town have settled down on a well-drained pitch.
Hampstead had the team that beat Wycombe Wanderers except that Wardlaw, feeling unfit, gave place to H.J. Dimmock at left-half. The youngster did fairly well, but the change did not make for strength. The other reserves, S. Bloxham, at left-back, and J. Ashby, at inside-right, also gave satisfactory displays. We do not think Bloxham is yet qualified to have a regular place in the team, although he works hard. Ashby, however, seems a distinctly good find, and promises to fill a position which has not been satisfactorily filled before this season.
The visitors started the game in a manner which was impressive, but the attack having been resisted, Hampstead opened the scoring at the end of five minutes' play, Reinke getting the ball out of a ruck of players and giving Ashby a chance, which he promptly accepted. Such an encouraging start gave life to the front line, their work being much in advance of what has been seen in some matches or two. Cousins, perhaps now accustomed to heavy going, lifted the ball better from the wing, and from one of his centres Wise had distinctly hard lines. From another centre Wise put the ball into the net, but the whistle had gone for offside against Reinke. However, at the end of twenty minutes, Wise, who was in fine shooting form, made no mistake with a chance that was offered to him by Cousins. C. Field, one of the Millwall backs, had his foot injured, but happily soon recovered, and then, after Pease, at centre-half, had sent in a long shot which looked decidedly dangerous, there was an excellent combined movement by the Millwall forwards, Hall, in the centre, making a good effort to beat Goodwin. His failure did not dishearten him, for shortly afterwards good work by McKinley, at outside-right, led to Millwall's clever centre finding the net. It was a really good goal. Reinke, as usual, did quite a lot of unnecessary bustling in the hope that he would baffle the defence in taking place kicks, and we think it would be wise if he curbed his energies in this connection. Once he was penalised for charging the goalkeeper. Just on half-time Goodwin made a grand save, and after Wise had beaten three opponents and almost brought full reward for that work a penalty kick was granted to Hampstead. Pease hit the bar, and the ball was got away, and some of the home supporters were not displeased, as it appeared to be an offence which might have been overlooked.
In the second half Hampstead had much the better of matters, and despite the hard work of G. Weeks, who played a fine game at right-back, Lilley, the Millwall goalkeeper, was constantly troubled. Now and again the Millwall forwards, who have scored an average of three goals in every League match, gave evidence that they possessed skill, but, unlike Hampstead, they could not find the net in the second half. Wise scored Hampstead's third goal from Ashby's centre, Reinke got the fourth after Pease had sent in a long shot which the goalkeeper saved but could not clear, and just on time Wise had the pleasure of completing his hat-trick.
Considering the weather, the gate of about 2,000 was satisfactory, and the game triumphed over ground troubles in a really wonderful way.