One hundred years ago this week in Philadelphia soccer history, area soccer fans could look forward to Allied American Amateur Cup matches, an intercity match between Pennsylvania League leaders Hibernians and Newark New Jersey’s Scottish Americans, as well as league play. Unfortunately, rain would wreak havoc on area soccer fields leading to the cancellation of several games.
The Victors team of the Pennsylvania League had been scheduled to travel to northern New Jersey to play Newark’s West Hudsons on Saturday, Feb. 22 and then Paterson’s True Blues the next day but inclement weather saw both games cancelled. Fortunately for the Victors, their manager had received a telegram indicating the games had been called off before the team boarded their train north.
The intercity match between Merion Cricket Club and New York Boys’ Club was also cancelled because of the weather as was an away match between Tacony and Jersey City.
The bad weather didn’t prevent the Pennsylvania League’s Hibernians from hosting Newark’s Scottish Americans in a 5–1 victory at Hibernia Park at Second and Allegheny and, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reported on Feb. 23, “the few spectators who braved the elements were well repaid for the chances they took.”
The Hibernians center forward McNichol finished the day with a hat trick, this despite taking an early kick to the ankle that “marred his play somewhat” and eventually resulted in him leaving he game in the second half. The Inquirer reported that at one point in the second half “McNichol, who had been resting on the side lines having his leg attended to, rushed out and took the ball away from a Scottish player.” The referee promptly stopped play and ordered a restart “which was the right thing to do according to the rules, for the moment McNichol left the field of play he was regarded in the same role of a spectator, and he made the ball dead by running from the sideline to play it.”
Jack Taylor scored Hibernians two other goals, the Inquirer reporting that the outside right “centered with all of his former skill when he and Freddie Highfield played together on the famous Albions,” winners of the Pennsylvania League title in 1905-06. The Inquirer match report continued, “His display in yesterday’s contest stamps him as being one of the best wingers in the Pennsylvania League, that is when he feels like playing, for Jack is noted for stalling if he gets half a chance and taking things as easily as possible, which in consequence affects his play somewhat.”
The Inquirer match report concluded, “There is not a weak in the Hibernians’ team, every player appearing to fit in at the psychological moment and doing his proper share of the work.”
The weather saw the postponement of two Philadelphia’s Amateur Cup matches but seven matches went ahead as scheduled. To give a sense of the geographic reach of the tournament, the second round included Reading of the Allied American first division, who easily defeated Philadelphia’s Clan MacDonald 4–0 of the Allied American second division; Wilmington’s Irish Americans of the Allied American second division, who swamped fellow Allied American second division side Germantown Boys’ Club 7–1; and Marcus Hook’s Allied American second division team Viscose, who played first division side Kensington to a 3–3 draw. The scheduled match between Philadelphia Athletics and Camden was postponed.
It was a banner day for Tacony teams in the cup tournament, with Tacony AC topping fellow second division side Windsor 4–2 and Disston, also of the Allied American second division, defeating third division St. Nathaniel, 4–1.
The sole American League game of the weekend saw league-leading Boys’ Club nearly lose out to the Victoria team from Swarthmore in a wild game that ended 4-3. Boys’ Club scored two goals in the first half only to see Victoria pull level with two goals in the the second half. Boys’ Club than went ahead only for Victoria to pull level again. The Inquirer reported on Feb. 23, “From now to the finish play was fast and furious, and only one minute before time Heinbacker scored the winning goal for Boys’ Club.”
In the United League, North Philadelphia suffered its first defeat of the season, falling 5–4 to Vincome in another wild contest. In “a rough played” match at Washington Park at 26th and Allegheny, Frankford defeated Budd Manufacturing Company 4–1 to draw level with North Philadelphia in the United League standings. Logan dropped out of third place after falling 2–1 to Roxborough. Logan missed two penalty kick opportunities to give Roxborough their first win of the season. P.H.L. moved into third place with a crushing 9–3 win over Christ Church. Seven of P.H.L.’s goals came in the first half.
Hibs and Tacony to host St. Leos of St. Louis
On Feb. 24, the Inquirer reported that Hibernians and Tacony would host St. Leos of St. Louis on their East Coast tour in March. The tour, which was backed by the American Football Association, organizers of the American Cup tournament, would take place during the Easter holidays.