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May 9, 1920 – Fore River SC falls in U.S. Open Cup final

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Fore River’s Jack Kershaw, who had been expected to be a reserve, because of an ankle injury, scored eight minutes before halftime for Fore River. Marre and Dunn countered in the second half.

May 9, 1920 – St. Louis Ben Millers 2:1 Fore River SC at Federal League Baseball Park (Att.: 12,000)

Fore River hoped to capitalize on tactical savvy and technique, plus the fact the St. Louis teams “are used to playing only 60-minute games,” according to The Boston Globe.

“It will be a test of the American style of soccer (St. Louis) against the more studied British (New England) idea of play.”

Kershaw, like many of his Fore River teammates, began playing in Britain. Kershaw coached the Harvard University team in 1927 and ’28.

Fore River Shipyard fielded soccer teams starting in the early 1900s, developing a passionate following. The team’s field is still in use, complete with clubhouse, in the Quincy Point section. The “Shipbuilders” competed in the Southern New England Soccer League, winning the SNESL in the 1915-16; 1918-19; and 1920-21 seasons. Fore River reached the quarterfinals of the 1919 U.S. Open Cup and the final of the 1920-21 American Cup. Fore River eliminated Robins Dry Dock of Brooklyn in the 1920 U.S. Open Cup semifinals and lost to Robins (5-2) in the 1921 American Cup final in Harrison, N.J.

Fore River’s semifinal win over Robins in Pawtucket, R.I., April 10, 1920 generated exuberant commemorations. Underwood’s equalizing goal off a cross from 18-year-old Farquhar was greeted with “such a dancing and war whooping as was never staged at a soccer game before,” according to The Boston Globe.

After Kershaw’s deciding score: “Fore River men went wild. It took the mounted police to get the ground clear of the excited fans from Quincy and Boston.” After the game, “ … the Royal Rooters, with their 40-piece brass band and their pipe band, paraded through the city. They snake-danced their way down to the railroad station with Mayor Whiton of Quincy in the front rank. The Fore River players were located in their hotel and serenaded.” The Fore River team returned to Quincy for more celebrations … “arrived home at 8:30 this evening and were given a flattering reception. The Fore River Band played on the steps of the City Hall and the Kilties’ pipe band headed the parade of players and supporters to the Fore River clubhouse. Plenty of red fire was burned along the line of march.”

The SNESL disbanded after the 1921 season, as some teams joined the original American Soccer League. Fore River continued to produce strong teams, Jackie Lyons going on to play for the U.S. in the 1928 Olympics.

TODAY IN NEW ENGLAND SOCCER HISTORY

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