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1911 - 1912 - FA CUP SUCCESS

Posted on: Mon 26 Apr 2010

1911/12

THE 1909-10 season finally brought Barnsley to the attention of English football as they reached the final of the F.A. Cup.

The following season was to be a great disappointment as they finished 19th in the second division had to apply for re election.

They were also knocked out of the F.A. Cup at an early stage.

Manager Arthur Fairclough was allowed to bring in four players but only Archie Taylor, a full back, made the starting line-up for the opening match.

It was to be a losing opening game but they followed that with three straight wins when another of the newcomers Ron Cornoch was introduced and scored three times in those games.

It was to be a false dawn for they failed to win any of their next six games.

It was during this time that centre half and skipper Tommy Boyle was sold to Burnley.

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It was a bad time for the club as many fans boycotted games in protest over the transfer.

Another of the new players, Ernest Hanlon was brought in to replace Boyle but he found it too big a task and was soon displaced by local youngster Phil Bratley.

He was a natural and became the regular choice.

Results though remained mixed and as December came the team were still in the lower half of the table.

Over the Christmas period inside forward Paddy Travers returned to the team after injury and the team secured a maximum six points from the three games.

The next three league games all ended goal less and it was during this period that the F.A. Cup began.

The first round was to be played away at fellow second division team Birmingham.

A creditable goal less draw was achieved and after a postponement because of snow the replay was won 3-0 with Lillycrop netting twice.

The team was now having a settled look to it and an unchanged line-up took care of Leicester Fosse in the next round thanks to a single goal by Lillecrop.

The third round brought a trip to first division Bolton. By now cup fever was beginning to take hold and over 34,000 bolstered by over 4,000 from Barnsley turned up.

The Reds went two up through Lillycrop and Leavey and although Wanderers pulled one back the quarterfinal now beckoned.

When you get to the quarter final you can only wish for a home tie and Barnsley got the nod against fellow Yorkshire club Bradford City.

City were a first division team and as current cup holders were made slight favourites.

It was a tight affair that ended in another goal less draw and four days later, again the teams could not produce a goal in the replay.

The following Monday a third match took place amidst an unbelievable atmosphere.

More than 37,000 were packed into the ground with thousands locked outside.

Walls were scaled and gates smashed down as fans tried to gained access into the ground.

On a number of occasions play was held up due to spectators flooding onto the pitch and after 85 minutes the referee had had enough and with the game again goal less abandoned the match.

Unfortunately for the Reds winger Leavey broke his leg and for the first time in the Cup Barnsley had to make a change with youngster Jimmy Moore replacing him.

This time the game took place at Bramell Lane and for the first time goals came.

Barnsley were 1-0 up through Travers before going 2-1 down.

Then Lillycrop headed home an equaliser to take it to extra time.

He struck again near the end and the Reds had reached their second semi final in three seasons.

League form was beginning to suffer which was disappointing because the team was in a position to make a serious bid for promotion but the priority was the cup with the semi final due to take place just nine days after the epic quarter final had finished.

The match against Swindon Town at Stamford Bridge has been described, as one of the most brutal semis ever to have taken place.

As usual for Barnsley it ended goal less and the press of the time were bracing themselves 'for another bloody encounter'.

It was not quite as bad this time and keeper Cooper became a hero by saving a penalty before Bratley headed home the goal that took Barnsley through.

More games were crammed in and again Fairclough rested some of his Cup hero's but when the final arrived all were fit and ready to take on West Bromwich at Crystal Palace.

It was another uncompromising game and like so many of the previous ones in the season ended goal less.

Barnsley won the toss to select the choice of ground for the replay and picked Bramell Lane.

The game was again not pretty but with just two minutes of injury time remaining the greatest moment in Barnsley's history took place as Tufnell moved steered the ball into the net.

It was a joyous moment for the team and town and the celebrations were shown as the bus carrying the team back to Barnsley was accompanied all the way back to the town centre.

For all their cup success the team still managed to finish in a creditable sixth position, 12 points behind the promoted pair of Derby and Chelsea while Leeds City and Gainsborough had to apply for re election.


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