27/02/1892 Bangor Wales 1-1 Olphert Stanfield
John Clugston, Willie Gordon, Robert Stewart, Nathaniel McKeown, Sammy Spencer, Bill Cunningham, William Dalton, George Gaffikin, Olphert Stanfield, Sam Torrans, John Peden
Ireland had a pool of players with superior ability to previous Irish squads in recent history so expectation was enhanced going into the annual match with Wales. In the previous ten matches between the country’s Wales had won seven, Ireland two with one match drawn.
The match took place on a bright day at Penrhyn Park in Bangor (Wales) but media reports at the time complained about the “inadequate provision for the comfort of the many spectators” within the enclosure.
With the players on show it was expected that the game would be entertaining however, the play from neither side “rose above mediocrity”. There were glimpses of good play from both sets of forwards, with some “brilliant runs” being made however, the majority of the match was lacklustre.
The play was fairly even between the sides during the early stages of the game but Wales quickly managed to “assume the upper hand” and on 15 minutes Benjamin Lewis (Chester City) scored for the Welsh. Wales continued the pressure but Ireland goalkeeper John Clugston (Cliftonville) was having a good game. The score remained 1-0 to Wales as the half-time whistle was blown.
The second half was marginally better than the first in terms of play. Ireland began to take some authority of the game through John Peden’s (Newtown AFC) and William Dalton’s (Linfield) attacks, but it wasn’t until the 87th minute that Ireland equalised.
Olphert Stanfield (Distillery) “cleverly ran the ball down and ended with a successful shot at goal.” The goal was disputed by the Welsh team as they believed an Irish player was in an offside position however, the referee allowed it to stand. The full-time whistle was blown shortly afterwards with a final scoreline of Wales 1 – 1 Ireland.
On 27th February 1985 (and then again in 1987) Irish Republican terrorists placed car bombs close to Windsor Park in Belfast. The target on both occasions was the Northern Ireland v England games.