1871–72 FA Cup

1871–72 FA Cup

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1871–72 FA Cup

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The 1871–72 Football Association Challenge Cup was the first staging of the Football Association Challenge Cup, usually known in the modern era as the FA Cup, the oldest association football competition in the world. Fifteen of the association's fifty member clubs entered the first competition, although three withdrew without playing a game. In the final, held at Kennington Oval in London on 16 March 1872, Wanderers beat the Royal Engineers by a single goal, scored by Morton Betts, who was playing under the pseudonym A.H. Chequer.

The leading Scottish club Queen's Park entered the competition and managed to reach the semi-finals without having to play a match, due to a combination of an inability to agree venue, opponents withdrawing from the competition and byes. After holding Wanderers to a draw in the semi-final, however, they could not afford to return to London for a replay and were themselves forced to withdraw, giving their opponents a walkover into the final. At the time the competition also employed a rule which stated that, in the event of a drawn match, both teams could be put through to the next round at the organising committee's discretion, which occurred on two occasions.

Background

The Football Association, the governing body of the sport in England, had been formed in 1863, but for the first eight years of its existence, its member clubs played only friendly matches against each other, with no prizes at stake. ...
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