The First Season We Met - Leicester
Chelsea first encountered Leicester in their inaugural season of league football but the East Midlands side had yet to adopt the ‘City’ as part of the name. Formed in 1884 as Leicester Fosse due to playing matches at a playing field on the Fosse Road. By the time Chelsea came on the scene, Leicester Fosse had been members of the football league for ten years.
Chelsea had started the 1905-06 season extremely well and although they remained in touch with both Bristol City and Manchester United throughout, they never really threatened to move above the 3rd place in the table that they occupied for the vast majority of that first campaign.
Chelsea were in 3rd place when they went to Filbert Street on 30th September 1905 and in front of a 7,000 gate they secured another impressive away victory thanks to a 10th minute goal from James Robertson.
For the return fixture at Stamford Bridge on 5th February 1905 a gate of 6,000 attended. Not too bad considering it was a 3.00pm kick off on a Monday afternoon.
Those who did attend were treated to a six goal thriller and it was James Windridge who got things underway by scoring in just the 2nd minute of the match. James Robertson then repeated his feat at Filbert Street by scoring again in the 10th minute. Even at such an early stage the points seemed to be in the bag, but Leicester then got a foothold in the game. Albert Hodgkinson reduced the deficit in the 25th minute and five minutes later the visitors drew level when James Blessington found the net.
An even bigger shock came in the 40th minute when Archibald Hubbard put Leicester ahead, the home side completely stunned. However, they roused from their slumber and within a minute Frank Pearson equalised for Chelsea, the score 3-3 at half time.
The second half proved just as exciting but incredibly there were no further goals and the spoils were shared. Over the two games it was Chelsea who fared the better and over the course of the 20th Century some stirring encounters would take place between the two sides in both league and cup football.
By Paul Waterhouse, Bygone Chelsea 1905-99