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FA Cup Third Round, 12th January 1952

Until their exploits during the mid-1960’s Rover’s achievement in winning a third-round tie at the Leeds Road fortress home of Huddersfield Tow was regarded as their best ever performance in the FA Cup. While they have been to the Fourth round before, some 15 years earlier, to win away at the home of the first division club, albeit one struggling near the foot of the table, was the stuff of dreams for the 5,000 Tranmere fans who invaded Yorkshire in charabancs and by train. While the record book shows Rovers won thanks to a goal apiece from Tommy Tilston and Abe Rosenthal the real hero on the day was goalkeeper Harold Lloyd who played the game of his life to keep out Huddersfield and was only beaten by a penalty on the day by a penalty. At the final whistle Lloyd was mobbed by his teammates including Lloyd Iceton who raced from the touchline to embrace the Welsh custodian. While some of the defending in front of him was at times desperate, Lloyd remained refused to accept that any town shot was unstoppable. In the second half Glazzard released a rocket of a shot which seemed destined for the top corner but Lloyd took off like a jet propelled with raised arm to tip the ball over the bar. Glazzard threw up his hands in despair and then stood and applauded. While Lloyd’s faultless performance had the local in Huddersfield drooling and championing him for Wales, he was aided on the day by some determined defending. Harold Bell was a colossus at centre-half, heading and tackling everything that moved while either side of him Millington and Ray Williams were Trojans as Huddersfield grabbed the ascendancy. But Millington made one mistake on the stroke of half-time, bringing down Davie and Metcalfe scored from the spot. That should have been it, for up to that point Tranmere had offered absolutely nothing as an attacking force. Davies and Tilston were anonymous, Bainbridge got bogged down in midfield and Rosenthal could have sold a few ice creams to the crowd such was his lack of involvrment. Out of the blue, though, Rovers equalised on 53 minutes. Iceton was at last given a good ball and he first tricked and then outpaced Gallogly, Town’s Irish international full-back, before whipping over a dangerous centre. Tilston caught McEvoy napping and got ahead of him to glance a neat header past Mills. Some 5,000 Birkenhead voices cheered and hats, scarves and rattles were flung into the air but there was better to come. Davies then centred from the rotund but mercurial Abe Rosenthal, who was loitering on the edge of the box. With a clever feint he evaded a challenge from Town’s best player, McGarry, sidestepped Kelly and then unleashed a drive of unbelievable power which nested in the back of the net before Mills moved. Bizarrely, Tranmere had scored twice from 4 chances, while Huddersfield must have had 50 attempts but failed to take any other then the spot-kick. There was 1 dampener though. A minute from time Ray Williams was carried off with a serious injury – a damaged kidney- which ended with him being kept in hospital for 3 days. Unfortunately, he missed all the celebrations when the team returned home to Birkenhead as heroes, but later he made a full recovery.

Huddersfield Town: Mills, Gallogly, Kelly, McGarry, McEvoy, Quested, Metcalfe, Glazzard, Davie, Simpson.

Tranmere Rovers:
Lloyd, Gibson, Steele, Millington, Bell, R. Williams, Davies, Bainbridge, Tilston, Rosenthal, Iceton.

Referee: F.L. Overton (Derry)


v Huddersfield 1952



MOTTO: UBI FIDES IBI LUX ET ROBUR which means "Where there is faith, there is light and strength."

Designed by Ned O'Toole, Paul Harmon and Oisín Ronan.
Special thanks to Tranmere Rovers Football club for the information.