Golders Green's chief trouble was weakness in front of goal, none of the inside forwards being able to accept chances. Their whole attack lacked the punch so characteristic of the Finchley forward line, which always looked far more dangerous on the move. Both defences played well.
A.E. Hart, who came in for Barlow in the Golders Green goal, played a fine game, and W. Boston, at right-back, gave a good display, but B. Weaver, at centre-half in place of Ron Graves, who has joined the Army, had a difficult task holding Neary. F. Boston was the pick of the forwards.
Finchley were well served by Masters and Milne in the half-back line, while all the forwards were in good form. The third goal was scored by sixteen-year-old W. Sperrin, who has never before featured in the Finchley goal scorers.
The start of the local "derby" was quiet enough but with Finchley having the advantage of the wind, they were generally on top in this half. Both sides made ineffective attacks, Griggs and F. Boston being prominent at the Finchley end, and Hadnutt and J. Sperring at the Green end.
Golders Green were making praiseworthy efforts to score, and once Ellison nearly forced his way through, but Young stopped him as he was about to shoot. Griggs shot rather weakly a moment later when he was in a good position. The centre-forward went very near to scoring in the tenth minute; he got right through but shot straight at Wildman when he should have had the ball in the net.
Finchley's first real attack came after eleven minutes, when Blythe ran down the wing and centred high. Hart came out but the ball went over his head and Neary headed into an open goal. The home team began to pile on the pressure after this success and J. Sperrin, who was in brilliant form in this half, raced down the wing, cleverly beat Robson and crossed the ball to Neary. The centre-forward flung himself at it, but his header went a fraction of an inch wide.
The second goal came after twenty minutes, J. Sperrin again showing his value on the wing. He centred, but Blythe, who had cut in, missed the ball. Neary secured, and taking careful aim, placed the ball well out of Hart's reach into the net.
Golders Green were at their lowest ebb at this period, neither their attacks nor their defensive movements being very sound. Once, however, when F. Boston centred to Griggs, the centre-forward's shot crashed against the side netting.
Neary almost achieved his hat-trick in twenty-five minutes when he met a pass from Blythe close in and carshed the ball against the underside of the crossbar with Hart well beaten.
A Golders Green defender, in attempting to pass back to the goalkeeper, gave away a corner, and just after this the same player nearly put through his own goal in trying to do the same thing. Hart had to dive to put the ball round the post for another corner.
Finchley's third goal came from good work by Hadnutt and J. Sperrin, the ball eventually going to W. Sperrin, who put in a fine shot to beat Hart.
Towards the end of the first half Golders Green made some team changes. F. Boston went to left-back, Robson to outside-right, and Owen to outside-left.
Half=time: Finchley 3; Golders Green 0.
After the interval Golders Green played better football and Finchley were kelp more on the defensive than the attack. Robson, now at outside-right, and Ellison both had drives that went over the bar, and it was some time before Finchley got going. They were soon driven back again and Cochrane, Ellison and Griggs combined well to give the centre-forward a shot.
Excitement at the Finchley End was intense when Owen dribbled cleverly and got the ball past the advancing Wildman. Three Golders Green men were there to take the ball, but each failed when it came to shooting. Owen, now a very live wire in the visitors' attacks, again centred and again the inside forwards failed to take advantage of the opening. The Green were pressing hard and scoring opportunities were not lacking, but they were not accepted.
Finchley improved towards the end and all the hope of a Golders Green goal faded.