The Story of The Blues
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Wanderers FA Amateur Cup run of 1930/31
Games so far:
1st Round - London Caledonians 1 Wycombe Wanderers 4
2nd Round - Wycombe Wanderers 6 Walthamstow Avenue 1
3rd Round - Wycombe Wanderers 6 Romford 2
4th Round - Metropolitan Police 1 Wycombe Wanderers 1

1930-1931 Having drawn the original tie 1-1 at Imber Court, The Wanderers selection committee for the replay against 'The Peelers' sat the following Monday (23rd February 1931) and named Arthur Greenwell as the only change from the first tie as replacement for the injured John Timberlake. George Tapping was named as first reserve. The committee also made arrangements to host what would be the biggest gate seen to that date at Loakes Park, this included agreeing that comlimentary tickets for the stand be issued to "wives and sweethearts of players and ditto all committees, press and visiting officials and county officials."

F.A. Amateur Fourth Round proper replay - Saturday 28th February 1931
Wycombe Wanderers versus Metropolitan Police
At Loakes Park - Attendance: 10,881 (receipts £311)

Bucks Free Press’ ‘Touchline’ was scribe once more to witness Wycombe Wanderers make history. Another record crowd of almost 11,000 supporters filled Loakes Park, and found a pitch that was in a very heavy condition, which together with a strong wind would not make this an easy replay to win.

It was the Wanderers who settled better to the conditions in the early stages with Rance playing the ball up field to Brown who fired his shot over the bar. Cox then cleared when the Police threatened with their first attack and the game continued at a fast pace. Badrick’s long pass found Simmons, who crossed after some tricky wing-play only for Vernon to be beaten in the air by the Police defence. The visiting players found it difficult to get any momentum and were regularly slipping in the mud. Wanderers sought to take advantage and two successive corners resulted in goalmouth scrambles but the ball just couldn’t be forced into the back of the net.
A record attendance flocked to Loakes Park for the Amateur Cup tie with Metropolitan Police on 28th February 1931 - picture by Sweetland, Bucks Free Press
Further outstanding play by winger Simmons earned Wanderers two more corners. The first was cleared but the second caused yet another melee, the loose ball falling for Simmons whose cross-shot was headed inches over the bar by Brown. The visitors responded and Cox had to concede the first corner for the Police. Shortly afterwards, Malkin broke through down the wing and crossed low and hard across the Wanderers goal-mouth but there was no-one to finish a gilt-edged chance for the visitors. By this stage The Police had clawed themselves back into the game which had become a far more even contest.

The stalemate didn’t last for much longer though as the ball was played to Avey who slipped between the two Wycombe centre-backs and raced down on goal before smashing the ball past the helpless Kipping to give the visitors the lead. This immediately galvanised the Wanderers who put the Police goal under constant pressure. A series of corners were defended gamely by the visitors until one was cleared to edge of the area only for Dick Braisher to fire home a beautiful dipping 20-yarder into the back of the net beating Police glovesman Moody all ends up.
The main stand at Loakes Park filled for the Amateur Cup tie with Metropolitan Police on 28th February 1931. Picture by Cyril W Roberts as published in the Bucks Free Press
Wanderers continued to bare down on the visitors goal seeking a lead to take into half-time. It was only down to the profligacy of the Blues forwards that that lead didn’t come as several chances went begging. Simmons again provided much of the supply, in particular one beautiful cross which found Braisher who fired his shot against the Police crossbar.

Half-time: Wycombe Wanderers 1 Metropolitan Police 1

Wanderers didn’t allow the half-time interval to interrupt their dominance and soon went close again, Britnell firing across the goal and agonisingly wide. Two more corners followed but the Police defence held firm and cleared. All of the play was in and around the visitors penalty area and soon Vernon found himself with an opportunity to shoot only to see his effort hit the bottom of the post. Britnell and Braisher were leading the opposing defence a merry dance and were said to have been “delighting the Wycombe crowd with some clever football.”

Controversy followed as a clever pass found Britnell in on goal who slotted the ball past Moody and into the net only to see the referee rule the goal out for offside. The players themselves were surprised at the decision, which the referee explained to ‘Touchline’ after the match, saying that he had no doubt about the goal being offside but he did not want to make a mistake in such an important match that he consulted with his linesman. Interestingly he said “Britnell was offside the moment he secured the ball.” There was also more frustration for the home followers when Wanderers were awarded a penalty only for Vernon to fire his effort straight at the 'keeper.

The Police began to play aggressively and forced three corners in as many minutes and Kipping was finally being kept busy. Then followed the pivotal point of the tie and perhaps the destination of the Cup itself. The visitors created a wonderful opportunity to take the lead, the ball being played to Avey with an open goal at his mercy only for the forward to place the ball horribly wide.

Doug Vernon has just scored Wanderers winning goal. Bill Brown is seen coming forward to congratulate him - picture by Cyril W Roberts as published in the Bucks Free PressThree minutes later Doug Vernon received the ball in the middle of the pitch, turned and raced away. Tricking man-after-man he closed in on goal and confidently fired the ball past Moody, the ball nestling in the back of the net as the Wanderers faithful celebrated a quite brilliant and memorable goal. The remaining minutes of the game saw no further opportunities created for the Wanderers but no real scares at the other end and the referee blew the full time whistle. Wycombe Wanderers had won, and were in the semi-finals of the FA Amateur Cup for the first time in their history.
Final score: Wycombe Wanderers 2 Metropolitan Police 1

Wycombe Team: Kipping, Crump, Cox, Badrick, Rance, Simmons, Greenwell, Brown, Vernon, Braisher and Britnell.
Scorer: Braisher 37, Vernon 80

Metropolitan Police Team: Moody, Woodcock, Belt, Rhodes, Ivey, Edermaniger, Dyer, Bateman, Avey, Haldin, Malkin.
Scorer: Avey 30

The national press also covered this game in a fair amount of detail. These are some extracts:

"Wycombe began the second half at a great pace and had the better of the game but 10,000 spectators groaned when Vernon missed a penalty. His fine goal near the end full redeemed this blunder. Wycombe won because they were the better balanced side and shade faster on the ball." Daily Mail

"Wycombe were undoubtedly the cleverer footballers, but the deadly tackling of the Police defenders upset most of their attacking schemes...The main strength in Wycombe's team lies in their forward line. There is a decided touch of class about Vernon's play, and Brown and Braisher are very tenacious inside forwards." Sunday News

"To win a cup tie in such circumstances is always a good performance for the first goal very often has a most important effect on the subsequent play. The goal which won the match for Wycombe, scored by Vernon, of the Royal Air Force, in the second half, was one of the best individual efforts ever seen on the picturesque ground. Vernon dribbled through a whole bunch of opponents before calmly placing the ball into the net for a really spectacular goal. All through the match exciting incidents were cropping up. Wycombe were undoubtedly the better side and deserved their victory." Evening News

"Twice since the war have Wycombe reached the fourth round; then had thier hopes dashed. This skilful team - without their captain - has bourne out my prophecy that they would have a considerable say in the Cup argument this season. To stay the pace of the Spartan champions and win on the post is a great performance." Sunday Dispatch

Wanderers were drawn against fellow Isthmian Leaguers Woking in the Semi-Final. The game was set to take place at the neutral ground of Newbury Park, Ilford on Saturday 7th March 1931.
Click here for memories of that game.

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