1877 June Match vs Barwon

Saturday June 23 - Melbourne Ground
Crowd - 3000

Melbourne 1
Barwon 1 (half time 0-1)

Match drawn

Goalkkicker: Bennie 1

For the first time the reversable grandstand in the MCG was used for fans to watch a game in the parkland outside. Plans to fence off parts of the ground to stop spectators from encroaching onto the playing field had not yet materialised though, and those fans not in the grandstand still spilt onto the field of play.

The visitors came to the metropolis as the surprise packet of the season, and assembled the best team they'd ever put together in an attempt to beat the best side of 1876.

Barwon won the toss and kicked with the wind but Melbourne had the first real scoring chance, with Fred Baker missing an easy chance. The Reds continued to attack relentlessly and Barwon didn't get the ball across half-way for the first fifteen minutes of the match - and were rattled by the rough play of the Melbourne side.

Finally Barwon started to work their way back into the match and against the run of the match they scored first. Melbourne attacked again but Baker missed another chance from 20 yards out - which might have gone through but flew so high that the goal umpire was unable to tell which side of the sticks it had flown, and at half time the visitors led by a goal.

The second half started in controversial circumstances when Melbourne, kicking with the wind, seemed to kick a perfectly good goal through Cooke which was disallowed by the Barwon umpire. The match was suspended while the controversial call was debated, and eventually the goal umpire stood aside for the secretary of the club to take over instead.

Shortly after the restart Barwon missed a chance to go two goals in front, before the ball landed in the crowd and several fans were upended in the scrimmages. One fan stuck his foot out to deny Langdon a chance to pick up the ball but only succeeded in having the Melbourne man chase him up the hill to Wellington Parade with 600 fans following them. Eventually the man got free and Langdon had to return to the game without extracting his revenge.

Melbourne had two more shots, F. Baker going close again, before in near darkness Bennie managed to score the equaliser. It was reported that the goal came courtesy of the crowd, who had encroached 30 yards on the playing field and the ball landed amongst them a spectator handed it to Longden, who in turn gave it to Bennie to kick through as fans stopped Barwon's goalkeeper from blocking the shot.

During the match a spectator spoilt Longden's kick by reaching it from the crowd and putting his foot in the way of the ball. This caused Longden to chase him, and the Melbourne player pursued the fan all the way to the park gates at which point he had to turn around and rejoin the match.

Best were Longden, Bennie and Sillett.

Some sources give an attendance of up to 10,000.

The Argus - 25/06/1877
Geelong Advertiser - 25/06/1877
Australasian - 30/06/1877

Created by Supermercado. Last Modification: Monday 09 April 2018 09:26:35 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 7)

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