Empire Exhibition Trophy – Part 4 – 26th May 1938

The headlines concerning the first tie in the Empire Exhibition Trophy in the Glasgow Herald on this day in 1938 were concise and pointed;

FOOTBALL WITH

THRILLS

………………………..

Exhibition Tourney

Opens

…………………………..

Replay at Ibrox

Tonight

……………………..

The Wearsiders had three Scots in their team, all down the left side, Hall at full-back, Hastings at left-half and Gallacher at inside-left. Two English internationals were in the side, Bobby Gurney at centre-forward and Raich Carter at inside-right. All in all, Sunderland FC was a formidable proposition and had been doing special training for what they regarded, like many others, as a British Football Championship.

The Celtic team which took the field was the same one that beat Rangers in the Charity Cup final ; Kennaway, Hogg, Morrison, Geatons, Lyon, Paterson, Delaney, Carruth, Crum, Divers and Murphy.

hogg

A crowd of around 55,000 was in the stadium and they saw a fascinating contest. Celtic looked the better side in the early stages but the longer the match went on, the more Sunderland came into it. Both sides made some good openings but could not finish off their work and the interval was reached without a goal. The best chance for Sunderland came in the 51st minute when Raich Carter directed a powerful header towards the corner of the net and only a superb save by Joe Kennaway saved Celtic. Just on the final whistle, a good move between Johnny Divers and Johnny Crum left the latter with the whole goal to aim at but unfortunately, he drove his shot wide.

And so to extra-time, the first half of which was fairly even. In the second period, however, Sunderland looked the team more likely to score with Kennaway making another fine save, this time from left-winger Burnbanks. For all the English sides’ pressure, though, the Celtic defence held firm and the match finished as a goalless draw.

It had been a very competitive game of football but also a fairly tough one. Both Delaney and Carruth of Celtic were obviously carrying injuries in the latter part of the match; while goalkeeper Mapson of Sunderland was also hirpling during the extra-time.

By the rules of the competition, the replay would take place 24 hours after the first tie, in fact, on this day in 1938. The schedule did not leave much time for players to recover from their exertions. It might be not so much a case of the better team winning, more likely that the fitter and stronger team would go through.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

While the players of Celtic and Sunderland ran out at Ibrox on this day for the replay of their first round tie in the Empire Exhibition Trophy, over in Paris, England were playing France in the third match of a continental tour. In the first game, they had beaten Germany 6- 3 at Berlin in front of a crowd of 105,000; had then travelled to meet Switzerland in Zurich where they lost 1-2 with nearly 47,000 watching; and on this day in 1938, at the Colombes Stadium before 25,000 spectators, they beat France 4-2, with Stanley Matthews in the side.

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