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Saturday, 13 March 1886
British International Championship 1885-86 (3rd) Match

Ireland 1 England 6 [1-2]

Ulster Cricket Ground, Ballynafeigh Park, Belfast, County Antrim
Kick-off (DMT): 'at twenty minutes to four'; 'at 3.45'

Attendance: 'about 4,000 spectators'; 'between 4,000 and 5,000 spectators'.
[an Irish attendance record]

England's second visit to Ballynafeigh, third visit to Belfast, and Ireland
Jack Hastings won the toss either George Shutt, Ben Spilsbury or Tinsley Lindley kicked-off
[1-0] Jimmy Williams 15
 'Condy headed to Williams, who, by a low, swift shot, drew first blood'

[1≡1] Ben Spilsbury 'considerable time elapsed'
'equalised by a low swift shot'
[1-2] Ben Spilsbury 'a few minutes after'
'Leighton got possession and centred to Spilsbury'
  [1-3] Ben Spilsbury HAT-TRICK
[1-4] Fred Dewhurst

Tinsley Lindley

[1-6] Ben Spilsbury
second half goal times unknown.

Match Summary

Officials [umpires and referees are of equal relevance]


Team Records


Nicholas Lane Jackson
36 (1 November 1849), West Hackney, London (Corinthians FC)
(FA Hon. Secretary)
John Sinclair
30 (27 August 1855), Belfast
(Irish FA)
played for Ireland against England in 1882
James E. McKillop
Scotland (SFA vice-President)

Ireland Team

Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours "...and the Irish blue jerseys".
Captain Jack Hastings Selection Ireland Selection Committee;
P 1 of 2, W 0 - D 0 - L 1 - F 1 - A 6.
Ireland Lineup
  Gillespie, Josiah Shaw 18
49 days
23 January 1868 G Hertford FC 2 11ᵍᵃ
  Watson, James 30/31 1855 RB Ulster FC 4 0
47   Devine, Alexander Oliver 25/26 1860 LB Limavady FC 1 0
  Molyneux, Thomas Bryson 28
238 days
19 July 1857 or 1868 RHB Cliftonville FAC 9 1
mst apps
  Crone, William 22
195 days
31 August 1863 CHB Distillery FC 6 0
  Hastings, John 27/28 1858 LHB Ulster FC 6 0
Williams, James Richard nk not known OR Ulster FC 2 1
  McClatchey, John 22/23 1863 IR Distillery FC 2 0
  Johnston, Samuel James 19
176 days
18 September 1866 CF Distillery FC 4 1
  Condy, John 24/25 1861 IL Distillery FC 2 0
48   Turner, William Stewart 19
292 days
26 May 1866 OL Cliftonville FAC 1 0
reserves: not known
team notes: Tom Molyneux equals the record of most appearances along with Alex Dill.
records: This is Ireland's eight consecutive defeat and twelfth consecutive match without a victory.
2-3-5 Gillespie -
Devines, Watson -
Molyneux, Crone, Hastings -
Williams, McClatchey, Johnston, Condy, Turner
Averages: Age 23 years 277 days
-24 years 94 days10
Appearances/Goals 3.5 0.2


England Team

Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours "The English wore white" white or dark shorts, and dark socks

Percy Walters Selection Following the trial matches, The Football Association Committee, with Secretary Charles W. Alcock having the primary influence.
first new captain for three years
P 1 of 4, W 1 - D 0 - L 0 - F 6 - A 1. P 26 of 31, W 11 - D 4 - L 11 - F 80 - A 56.
  team chosen at 23 Paternaster Row on Monday evening, 8 March 1886
There is a small possibility that Tinsley Lindley, debuting in this match, was the captain, making him the youngest ever.  At least four sources name Percy Walters including the team photo of the day, The Sportsman names George Shutt. The Northern Whig names Norman Bailey!
England Lineup
(a record-equalling high ten changes to the previous match)
  Rose, William C. 24
102 days
1 December 1861 G Preston North End FC 4 3ᵍᵃ
first/second Northender to represent England
  Walters, Percy M. 22
164 days
30 September 1863 RB Old Carthusians AFC & Corinthians FC 3 0
125   Baugh, Richard 22
27 days
14 February 1864 LB Stafford Road Railway Works FC 1 0
the only Stafford Roader to represent England
126   Shutt, George 24
85 days
18 December 1861 RHB Stoke FC 1 0
the second Stoke player to represent England only app 1886
127   Squire, Ralph T. 22
184 days
10 September 1863 CHB Cambridge University AFC, Old Westminsters AFC & Corinthians FC 1 0
128   Dobson, Charles F. 23
185 days
9 September 1862 LHB Notts County FC & Corinthians FC 1 0
the tenth County player to represent England only app 1886
129   Leighton, John E. 20
352 days
26 March 1865 OR Nottingham Forest FC & Corinthians FC 1 0
the 6th/7th Forest player to represent England only app 1886
130 Dewhurst, Frederick 22
87 days
16 December 1863 IR Preston North End FC & Corinthians FC 1 1
first/second Northender to represent England
131 Lindley, Tinsley 20
137 days
27 October 1865 CF Nottingham Forest FC, Cambridge University AFC & Corinthians FC 1 1
youngest competitive scorer so far the 6th/7th Forest player to represent England

Spilsbury, Benjamin W. 21
224 days
1 August 1864 IL Cambridge University AFC, Derby County FC & Corinthians FC 2 5
fifteenth brace scored, sixth hattrick scored, third four-goals scored
132   Pike, Thelwell M. 19
116 days
17 November 1866 OL Brentwood FC, Cambridge University AFC, Old Malvernians FC & Corinthians FC 1 0
youngest player to represent England competitively so far only app 1886
reserves: not known
team changes: Norman Bailey was due to captain this match, but had to drop out, his was the only change from the original named team, he was replaced with George Shutt.
team notes: Apparently Blackburn Rovers FC and Swifts FC players, including Jimmy Forrest and the Bambridge brothers, were not picked for this match as both teams were appearing in the FA Cup semi-final against each other.
Had Norman Bailey or Charlie Bambridge played, it would have been a record-breaking eighth consecutive match for England. As it is, Billy Mosforth's record remains unbroken.
Percy Walters' brother, Arthur, also played for England in 1885.
appearance notes: Billy Rose is the eighteenth player to make four appearances.
33 players have now played for England three or more times, and 62 have done so more than once.
records: England play seven new debutants for the first time since against Ireland in 1882.
They have now gone on a record unbeaten sequence of five matches, and as a consequence, they have returned to 50% success rate for the first time since 1874.
"the English players made the journey by 'bus from the Imperial Hotel".
2-3-5 Rose -
Walters, Baugh -
Shutt, Squire, Dobson -
Leighton, Dewhurst, Lindley, Spilsbury, Pike
Averages: Age 22 years 52 days Appearances/Goals 1.5 0.1
youngest team so far least experienced since 1877
"In the evening the teams dined at the Imperial Hotel" - Belfast news-letter, Monday, 15 March 1886


       Match Report Manchester Courier, Monday, 15 March 1886

In magnificent weather the international football match, England v. Ireland, took place on Saturday at Belfast. The attendance of spectators was larger than has been seen at any previous match, and the ground was in capital order. The English team arrived on Friday, and after a day's rest turned up in splendid condition. After having been photographed the teams took to the field at 3.40, and England having won the toss Shutt, of Stoke, who replaced Bailey, kicked off against the wind and hill. In about 15 minutes Williams took the first and only goal for Ireland. This was a complete surprise for all parties concerned, and immediately the visitors took up the offensive, the result being that by their magnificent passing, which was admired by all, two goals were secured by Spilsbury before half time. After the change of ends the Englishmen still had the best of the play, and although the Irish goal keeper did his very best to defend his position, the visitors would not be denied. Their splendid passing was everywhere loudly praised; indeed it must be said that it completely demoralised the home team. Several exceedingly brilliant attempts were made by the Irish forwards to retrieve their position, but it was all in vain. The Englishmen steadily added to their score, and when time was called the game stood six goals to one in favour of the visitors. Of these, Spilsbury obtained four, Dewhurst one, and Lindley one. Throughout the game it was easy to see that the Englishmen had the best of it, but the prevailing  feeling was that Ireland should have made a better stand, seeing that the team chosen was about the best that could have been picked. It is hardly necessary to state that Rose, as a goalkeeper, could not be excelled, and that the play of Shutt, Spilsbury, Lindley, and Dewhurst, was of a high-class character; while on the Irish side Gillespie, Watson, Johnson, Hastings, M'Clatchey, Molyneux, and Crone was all that the most fastidious could desire. The English team was certainly the strongest one, and it is no disgrace to the Irishmen that they have been again beaten so decisively on their own ground.

       Match Report The Times, Monday, 15 March 1886

Ireland suffered another reverse at the hands of the England eleven on Saturday at the grounds of the Ulster club at Belfast. There was a very large attendance of spectators. Successful in the toss, the home team chose the end which gave them the advantage of the wind. Lindley kicked off for England. Good passing between the English right wings having been checked by the home backs the play became even. Williams scored the first point of the game for Ireland, whose success was naturally greeted with loud applause. England speedily retaliated, and Spilsbury brought the score level, while shortly afterwards Dewhurst obtained a second goal for the visitors. Nothing further was registered before half-time. Positions having been exchanged the form of the England team improved. Indeed, throughout the second half of the game Ireland were continually acting on the defensive. Four times was the ball driven under their cross-bar, thrice by Spilsbury and once by Lindley.
              In Other News....
It was on 13 March 1886 that the Prime Minister, William Gladstone finally revealed his plans for an Irish parliament in Dublin. The Home Rule Bill, which followed, was to split the Liberal party and bring down the government, four months later.   The rugby union international between Scotland and England, delayed by a week because of heavy snow, ended scoreless in Edinburgh.
Other Football Results (13 March 1886)
Football Association Challenge Cup Semi-Final:
Blackburn Rovers 2 Swifts 1
   Derbyshire Cricket Ground, Derby
Walton, Sowerbutts ~ Bambridge
no Rovers' or Swifts' players were chosen for England because of this match
Blackburn Rovers defeated Swifts, 2-1, at Derby, in the F.A. Cup semi-final. Swifts' goal was netted by Charlie Bambridge, who had scored eleven times for England, including the equaliser against Scotland, the previous year.
In the final, Blackburn were to complete a hat-trick of victories in the competition, the last occasion that the trophy has been won by the same club in three consecutive years.
Although some friendly matches were played on this day, specifically Accrington—Notts County, Burnley—Great Lever, Nottingham Forest—Small Heath Alliance, West Bromwich Albion— Walsall Swifts, Bolton Wanderers—Derby County, and an Inter-Association match between Sheffield and Nottinghamshire, none were impacted by the England fixture.

      Source Notes

Jonny Dewart at Northern Ireland's Footballing Greats
Cris Freddi's England Football Factbook
  The Football Association Yearbook
Original Newspaper Reports