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First game at Ash Lane? 115 years ago today?

Posted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:00 am
by cavjj
Club's key dates in history page suggests that today (12th August) is the 115th anniversary of our first ever game at Haig Ave (Ash Lane).

'The Book' makes no mention of what this first game may be. Dan's site suggests the first league game was Stockport Reserves so I presume the first game must have been a friendly or cup competition, but was just curious as to what the first game was.

Re: First game at Ash Lane? 115 years ago today?

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:51 am
by SfcFPA
I've found no evidence so far of an earlier game at Ash Lane than 5th September.
The move happened during the close season with the last game at SNR being the game against Darwen which finished off the previous season.
On 5th Sept v Stockport Councillor Trounson was present at the game to kick off, which suggested it was ceremonial for a reason. The entire gate receipts for the game were also set aside to cover the cost of the move from SNR to Ash Lane.

Re: First game at Ash Lane? 115 years ago today?

Posted: Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:30 pm
by SfcFPA
I have done a little digging and there were in fact two practice matches at Ash Lane prior to the aforementioned September 5th game against Stockport County.
Mark Iddon's excellent book on the 1905/06 season provides information for both of them. Neither featured external opposition and both were made up of a mix of known players, reserves and trialists.

The first was Saturday 19th August and there were 1500 in attendance to watch the Whites (principle players) take on the Stripes(reserve players).
A game clearly took place but as there was no actual opposing club and it was instead an internal affair I guess this would be the equivalent of an open training session these days.

The second practice match was along the same lines and this took place on Saturday 26th August 1905.

The players involved in both games are known but I'm not sure I could justify giving any of them an appearance, even for a friendly.

The first fixture against an actual opposing club was on 5th September as previously mentioned. This I believe should still be regarded as the first game at Ash Lane and was considered such that the Mayor, Councillor Trounson set the ball rolling.