Gloucestrians Accused of Spreading Alarm, Despondency - and Smallpox?!
Extract from the Gloucester Chronicle dated 7 Mar 1895.
The long lingering hope which had been cherished by the members of the Stroud Football Club for many months past has been rudely shattered to the winds, and they will perforce have to remain still another year ere that hope of defeating Gloucester will become an accomplished fact.
Some of the leading lights in the town of Gotham exerted their utmost to get the match put off because of the outbreak of smallpox in Gloucester, but in this they failed. Not content with this, they had the town placarded with large posters urging the inhabitants not to mix with Gloucestrians, and no doubt they were evidently surprised when nearly a thousand persons put in an appearance from Gloucester on Saturday, and the question now remains whether any evil effects followed the migration of so many citizens?
Let that be as it may, the match came off with the result that the home team had to acknowledge defeat by a goal to nothing. Had a referee of any pretentions as to a practical knowledge of the game been officiating, the score would have been a larger one, as the Gloucester team had the best of the game all through, besides getting over the line with certain tries which were disallowed, but for what it is difficult to understand.
While Stroud were fully extended, they never became really dangerous, and the citizens are to be congratulated upon the result, a result which was achieved by superior all-round play, notwithstanding the off-side tactics adopted by Butcher and Daniels, the home half-backs.
It was a good fight and the better team won.