Arsenal F.C. – Our record against the Toon

This is an incredible accounting of our first ever official league game – it was in Division 2 against Newcastle United and was played at The Manor Field on September 2nd 1883.

The report is courtesy of the brilliant “The Arsenal History” website ……..

Competition: Football League Division Two

Location: Manor Field, Plumstead

Attendance: 10,000

Referee: Joseph Tillotson

Match Report:
Arsenal 2
Shaw, Elliott

Newcastle United 2
Crate, Sorley

Woolwich Arsenal’s inaugural Football League appearance was played at the club’s “new” ground, the Manor Field, having vacated the Invicta Ground during the summer. A bumper crowd, travelling from all parts of London, turned up to witness the first Football League game played in the south of England.

Joe Powell had the honour of captaining Arsenal for this historic game and won the toss, allowing Newcastle to kick off at 3.30pm on a glorious autumn afternoon.
Newcastle started well and caused a commotion in Arsenal’s penalty area from a corner, Charlie Williams fisted away and William Jeffery eventually cleared. But Arsenal drew first blood when, after just six minutes of play, Elliott broke through, fed Charlie Booth on the left wing and his cross found Walter Shaw who, with a terrific shot, put the ball into the net just out of Ramsay’s reach. This maiden League goal was met by rapturous applause from the crowd.

The game then settled down, play was very even with each team playing different styles: Newcastle playing more as a unit whilst the Arsenal players preferred to create their own chances. This was much in evidence as Newcastle had a good spell of possession resulting in Jock Sorely forcing Williams into a good save, and winning a series of corners. In amongst Newcastle’s possession, Arsenal twice broke away and James Henderson was unlucky to hit the post and also headed wide from a Booth cross.

Shortly after the break Arsenal went further ahead when, following an impressive solo run from his own half by Booth, Arthur Elliott beat Alex Ramsay with a stinging shot. There was a hint of offside by Elliott but the referee was not best placed to see it.

Thinking that they had won the game, Arsenal eased off which allowed Newcastle to continually press the Arsenal goal. Powell and Williams seemed to be equal to everything Newcastle threw at them but eventually, after 65 minutes, Tom Crate got through to score through a melee of players.

This goal spurred the Magpies on and they equalised in a similar manner a couple of minutes later through Sorley, despite protests for offside from Arsenal. This resulted in a frantic finale as both teams went all out for the win, but no more goals were scored resulting in a 2-2 draw which, on the balance of play, was the fairest result.

2 September 1893 Woolwich Arsenal v Newcastle United


Woolwich Arsenal: C Williams, J Powell, W Jeffery, D Devine, B Buist, D Howat, D Gemmell, J Henderson, W Shaw, A Elliott, C Booth.

Newcastle United: A Ramsay, H Jeffrey, J Miller, R Crielly, W Graham, J McKane, J Bowman, T Crate, W Thompson, J Sorley, J Wallace.

Arsenal v Newcastle all time results:

Written by GunnerN5


38 Responses to Arsenal F.C. – Our record against the Toon

  1. mickydidit89 says:


    I was enjoying the morning session vids and clips, and of very high quality they were too

    Thanks Chas

  2. chas says:

    Cheers, GN5.

    That Lee Dixon photo is after he scored a headed goal at St James’. The third goal of these five.
    (p.s. Paddy’s run for the second 🙂 )

  3. Big Raddy says:

    chas. Great vids this morning. Thank you

  4. Big Raddy says:

    1983?? What are we … The Gruaniad? (old joke)

    Fine work GN5. The EPLrecord away is impressive, as is the even handed report of that early game.

  5. LB says:

    Yes, I agree, top vids this morning.

    That weather report is amazing.

  6. LB says:

    And I agree with Gandhi and Einstein, great minds think alike and all that.

  7. LBG says:

    Echo, echo re vids, Chas,
    Weather report ” don’t park near a water hydrant at five foot of water. You wont get pushed by a fire truck, but you might get a hydrant up your…….exhaust pipe!

  8. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks GN5

    I had completely forgotten they were our first ever League opponents, and sorry to read that at two up, we “eased off” thinking the game was already won.

    Fottballers eh! 🙂

  9. mickydidit89 says:

    Chas @9:49

    I’m genuinely amazed at how some people creatively use their spare time. This is brilliant. Wish I knew how to copy and paste it somewhere, although where that would be I have no idea

  10. chas says:

    Those of a nervous disposition look away now…

  11. RC78 says:

    Great post and for some reason, despite Newcastle’s form, I am not feeling confident about this game at all because I think that Benitez can frustrate Emery tactically so I can really see them press us and play long balls. They have some decent players wth:
    – Yedlin, Lascelles, Kenedy, Diame, Atsu, Ayoze, Joselu and Rondon

    so it will not be a walk in the park despite the stadium’s name (sorry for the poor joke)

    I would play a tough team:
    Cech – Lichten, Mustafi, Sok, Monreal – Guendouzi, LT, El Neny – Ramsey, Auba – Laca

    Xhaka, Miky and Ozil coming from the bench when needed

  12. LB says:

    That’s a bit defensive RC and no Granit or Hector to be seen anywhere.

  13. Big Raddy says:

    This is an inspiring read.

    If you live near Barnet it would be fun to attend the game and boo Sheringham everytime he touches the ball.

  14. RC78 says:

    LB I said tough team to beat 🙂

  15. Gööner In Exile says:

    “Charlie Williams fisted away and William Jeffery eventually cleared”

    Sorry I got to this line in the report and started doing my own Julian Clary like gags.

  16. Gööner In Exile says:

    Being serious again great piece on Kanu, We have some friends who were told during pregnancy that their child had a weak heart, possibly wouldn’t carry to term, and possibly wouldn’t make it through delivery. Long story short she did make it to birth through amazing work of NHS, was delivered by C Section at St Thomas’s hospital, and pacemaker fitted within hours at a Great Ormond Street. Ten years later she is as active and annoying as every other 10 year old, and due to continuing brilliance of Bristol Children’s Hospital able to plan for a career as a paedeatric heart specialist (why wouldn’t she want that?).

    If Kanu can do that for others less fortunate in this world more power to him.

  17. mickydidit89 says:

    Tough opposition….ROLF
    2-3-5 it is

    Nacho Auba Laca Danny Bell
    ………..Mikhi Torr Mesut
    ……………Sok Must

  18. mickydidit89 says:

    Ha ha. Just checked me facts. Newcastle have so far accumulated a grand points total of……..drum roll……one 🙂 🙂

  19. chas says:

    They only lost 2-1 to Citeh – better than us, and they were away!

  20. chas says:

    Nacho and Hector as the plimsoll wingers – love it.

  21. chas says:

    Micki Torr Mesut protecting the back 2 sounds strong

  22. mickydidit89 says:

    1. You don’t only lose. You lose

    2. Wingfenders is what they are, although in this formation, zero emphasis on the fenders side of things

    3. Protect the defence? Screw ’em. That’s their problem

  23. mickydidit89 says:

    Must go. Out for fish ‘n chips 🙂

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Oh, I am deeply envious – fish and chips. I dream of quality British fish and chips (as well as Jane Fonda in Barbarella)

    Something tells me UE will not pick Micky’s team.

  25. mickydidit89 says:


    Fantastic F ‘n C’s they were too

    Now, UE.

    Of course he won’t select my XI. The reason? Weak.

    It would take a man with an iron will to field that set up. I, of course, possess that kind of inner steel. Sure, we’d take one or two beneath the waterline, but with the power we’d have up top, everything in sight would be sent to the bottom.

  26. chas says:

    Hmm, we’d be holed but they would reach the sea bed first.
    Listen to this, Unai!

  27. GunnerN5 says:

    Thanks for the comments, I’ve been out and about with my family today.

  28. fred1266 says:

  29. fred1266 says:

    Ozil crack me up dey

  30. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Cloudy with extended sunny periods here. Expect the same from the game this afternoon.

  31. chas says:

  32. chas says:

  33. chas says:

  34. chas says:

    Hoping to see a few Laca smiles today.

  35. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post (without tags)

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