Boston United 4-3 Leeds United

Mather Cup

28th April 1948

The Boston United Benevolent Cup, or as it is more commonly known - The Mather Cup, was presented to the club in 1947 by Mrs A. Louise Mather of the White Hart Hotel. It can be used as a trophy to be given to the winners of a challenge match between Boston United and any other club, the match to be played in Boston. The second team to challenge for the cup was Leeds United, who brought their Second Division team over to Boston for the match. Their forward line included two internationals; David Cochrane (Northern Ireland) and Aubrey Powell (Wales). The midfield alone had cost Leeds £29,000 in transfer fees. In charge of the team at Boston was Jimmy McGraham, who had been appointed manager just three weeks earlier following the resignation of Freddy Tunstall who had fallen out with the club's directors.

It didn't take long for the Second Division side to take the lead against their Midland League opponents. In the 10th minute POWELL netted with an overhead kick from four yards out following a goalmouth scramble. Soon afterwards Boston had an excellent chance to level the scores when Jim Milburn gave away a penalty, but Harry Fearnley in the Leeds goal saved Beaumont's spot kick. In the 28th minute Boston did finally equalise. Brown swerved past two opponents and released Tommy Mitcham who broke forward and sent a ball into the middle, where Jack STONE cracked it home. The cheering had not died down when in the next Boston attack Stone was fouled in the area resulting in another penalty. This time Roy HOUGHTON took the kick and he made no mistake. Two minutes later Boston went further in front after Stone dummied Jim McCabe and tapped the ball to Phil BARTLEY who scored with an oblique drive from just inside the area. No more goals were scored in the first half so Boston went in at the break leading by three goals to one.

Roy Houghton

Roy Houghton

Within a minute of the start of the second half Leeds pulled a goal back through Ken CHISHOLM. Six minutes later the teams were back on equal terms when MILBURN scored from the penalty spot after Bartley handled the ball. Boston's winning goal arrived in the 51st minute, and it was an absolute cracker. The Leeds team later described it as being more brilliant than any goals seen during their Second Division campaign that season. Beaumont siezed on a loose ball on the edge of his own area and broke forward with great speed. Pulling the Leeds defence out of position he passed forward to Tommy Mitcham. Mitcham instantly flashed the ball to Jack STONE who fired home a meteoric drive. Close to the end of the match Leeds were denied a penalty after Clark fisted the ball onto the post, but neither the referee nor the linesman saw it.

A week after the match Leeds manager Major Frank Buckley signed up Boston's centre half Roly Depear. The terms of the transfer were that Boston would receive £500 in cash immediately followed by a further £300 after Depear had played 10 first team games. Leeds also promised to bring their first team back to Boston the following year for a Mather Cup rematch. Depear's transfer wasn't quite as profitable as hoped as Leeds sold him on to Newport County for £8,000 after playing just five games for them. In the Mather Cup game the following season Leeds lost again, this time 2-5 in front of a crowd of 5,749.

Boston Utd: 1. Jock Bayne, 2. Rawding, 3. Clark, 4. Beaumont, 5. Roly Depear, 6. Phil Bartley, 7. Roy Houghton, 8. Jack Stone, 9. Harry Sharp, 10. Cyril Brown, 11. Tommy Mitcham.

Leeds United: 1. Harry Fearnley, 2. Jimmy Dunn, 3. Jim Milburn, 4. Jim Bullions, 5. Con Martin, 6. Jim McCabe, 7. David Cochrane, 8. Aubrey Powell, 9. Albert Wakefield, 10. Ken Chisholm, 11. Billy Heaton.

Attendance: 6,219

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