1884 FA Cup Final
|Event||1883–84 FA Cup|
|Date||29 March 1884|
|Venue||Kennington Oval, London|
|Referee||Major Francis Marindin|
The 1884 FA Cup Final was contested on 29 March 1884 by Blackburn Rovers and Queen's Park at the Kennington Oval. It was the first appearance both by a Scottish club and Blackburn Rovers in an FA Cup final. Both teams started the tournament in the first round, with the cup marking the first occasion where Queen's Park did not withdraw from the tournament. Rovers won 2–1, with goals from Jimmy Douglas and Jimmy Forrest; Robert M Christie scored for Queen's Park. The two teams would go on to meet once more in the final of the following FA Cup final in 1885.
Route to the final
Queen's Park were invited to compete in the 1883–84 FA Cup, despite being from Scotland. They had previously been invited on several occasions from the 1871–72 competition onwards, but ultimately withdrew on each occasion. Their most successful runs had been in both 1871–72 and 1872–73 when they reached the semi-final each time before withdrawing. On each occasion since, they had withdrawn from the cup without playing any matches. Queen's 1883–84 FA Cup campaign began on 6 October 1883 with a 10–0 victory over Crewe Alexandra in the first round. The second round saw their first home game, and a 15–0 victory against Manchester F.C. on 1 December. They defeated the Welsh team from Oswestry in the third round, 7–1. They were drawn at home against Aston Villa in the fourth round where Queen's won 6–1. The fifth round was their lowest scoring game of the campaign, where they won away to Old Westminsters 1–0. In the semi final they defeated Blackburn Olympic 4–1 to set up a final against the other Blackburn based team.
Blackburn Rovers also started their campaign in the first round, where they won their first game at home against Southport Central 7–1. The second round saw them drawn away to South Shore and a further victory by a margin of 7–0. They defeated Padiham 3–0 in the third round, once again at home, and in the fourth round against Staveley 5–1. They defeated Upton Park 3–0 in the fifth round, and Notts County in the semi final 1–0.
Queen's Park went into the match as the favourites, being the most successful club in Scotland at that point and having developed a style of play involving short passing which was not in use in England at that point. Blackburn Rovers were seeking to emulate the success of rivals Blackburn Olympic, who won the previous year's FA Cup.
The match was refereed by Major Francis Marindin of the Royal Engineers, who was also President of the Football Association. His two umpires were Charles Wollaston of Wanderers and C. Crump of the Birmingham Football Association. According to initial estimates there were around 10,000 to 12,000 spectators, making it one of the highest attended matches in the south of England. The weather was described as "bright and seasonable", Queen's won the coin toss and chose to defend the gasometer end. Rovers kicked off, and play quickly turned in the Scottish team's favour and they made the first two attacks. The work of Inglis and Sowerbutts saw Rovers take control of the match briefly, but Queen's Park were awarded an indirect free kick for handball inside the Blackburn half. The ball was shot straight into the Blackburn net without touching another player, and so no goal was awarded. Rovers quickly gained a corner kick but failed to score.
Queen's went on the attack once again, with Christie going on a run but losing possession to Hargreaves. After around 30 minutes of play, the Hargreaves passed the ball to his team-mate Douglas who went on to score Rovers' first goal. Queen's Park then committed the second handball of the game, giving Rovers a free kick. Brown took the ball up the wing, and centred it towards Forrest, who turned the ball into the back of the Queen's Park goal and put Blackburn two ahead. In response, Queen's Park's attacks on the Blackburn defence increased, and they scored through Christie before half time.
Queen's Park took the advantage early on in the second half, and a series of rapid attacks followed the break. The Scottish team were only prevented from scoring in one goal mouth scramble by the teamwork of Arthur and Suter. Rovers appeared to have switched to a defensive posture, and conceded a further corner kick, but nothing came of it as Gow kicked it behind the goal. A further handball just inside the Queen's Park half resulted in a solitary attack for Blackburn, ending in Brown sending the ball over the crossbar. Further attacks Queen's Park followed, but one further attack from Blackburn led to a shot from Brown which many in the crowd thought crossed the line before Gillespie cleared it. Blackburn dominated the final five minutes of the game, and the match ended 2–1; all three goals were scored in the first half.
29 March 1884
|Blackburn Rovers||2–1||Queen's Park|
|Robert M Christie|
- 90 minutes.
- 30 minutes extra-time if scores are level, at captains' discretion.
- Replay if scores still level.
- No substitutes.
Queen's Park would ultimately become the only Scottish club to reach the final of the FA Cup, although they returned the following year where they again faced Blackburn Rovers. The 1884 final was the first of a winning streak for Blackburn, with the team retaining the cup for the following two seasons.
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