From THE COTTAGERS' JOURNALS

The official Fulham programme for Saturday, 14th September 1907, Fulham v Lincoln City.

The editor (Merula) is commenting on the previous week’s victory at Derby County, which followed an opening-day defeat at home to Hull.

That’s better, deah bhoys, that’s a great improvement! There’s nothing like “Ramming” it home, especially at Derby. In fact, it was your Derby. Besides, these away-from-home victories give a glow to the system, an elasticity to the step, and a genial sort of a kind of a kindly feeling towards the whole world, which are worth some hard work to obtain. You feel it like that, no doubt? And quite right and proper, to! Does you almost as much credit as the victory itself! Every philosopher knows (and aren’t we philosophers over our pipes and ‘baccy?) that however hard it may be to win, it is much harder to lose. “Hard lines,” says our dear neighbour; but we know, unless we are more innocent than we ought to be, that his blarneying tongue is secretly thrust into the side of his mug (not of beer, though).
You don’t want your pals to try to cheer you up with half-hearted, or even whole-hearted condolences, and with flaunting hopes. It is much better to have a satisfied “cumfy” sensation which has been earned by yourselves, and gives you the right to greet your friends cheerily, and to smile readily and not entirely unkindly when your enemies try to misunderstand or minimise your merits. These successes give a spice to life, and also, I observe with consternation, are filling up my space in The Cottagers’ Journal. But that’s how it should be.
 
   The actual result is, however, just what I expected. I wrote last week that I anticipated our victory after a tough fight, adding, “Ram it home, lads, ram it home!” But anticipation and realization are not often the same. Therefore the brass band may fairly let itself blow like anything this blessed day, and even the big drum with the lesser drum may bang away in honour of the event. And yet, and yet – there is “a long road to trabble.”
     However, sufficient for the day is the pleasure of last Saturday’s doings. I did not see them, but learn on the best authority that Fulham got not a point more than it fairly deserved. Now points on the Baseball Ground have to be earned, for it gives an advantage to those who know its peculiarities. Besides, the Rams are keen on promotion, and are terrors before their supporters.
    The weather was dismal and wet, and still the attendance, some 8,000, was larger than the County could usually attract last season. The artistic finish of our team, its dour and yet gay animation, and its high repute, prove lively attractions at all the places which it visits. It is agreeable to be able to give as much pleasure as you receive, even in regard to such minor matters as “gates” – which are not so much anathema to the A.F.A. as that droll body would have folk believe.
      It did not take long for Fulham to prove that it could score, and almost before the Derby spectators had warmed their seats, our lads were ramming it home. “’Twas strange, ’twas passing strange,” yet true, that gave Freeman his chance, and he made so far free as to send the ball quivering into the net. “O, what a surprise!” Was Freeman remorseful for the sorrow he had so freely ladled out for Maskrey? By no sort of means. On the contrary, he manifested, within a ridiculously short space of time, a further anxiety to repeat the dose. He would have done the trick, too, if a ridiculous cross-bar had not stuck in the way. Then when Bevan took the ball on the rebound, the “ref” whistled him off-side. But the Rams were getting “pretty considerable riled,” and showed it by the way in which they made Leslie Skene skip about to save his position. But the International was right there every time, just the same as if his feet pressed his native heath (if any). In fact he was “whiSkene” about here, there, and everywhere, to the glory of Fulham and the discomfiture of the Derby Rams.
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