"It was at that point that the original referee arrived. According to the Derby Daily Telegraph, Kirkham claimed to have been “misdirected by a ticket collector at Halifax”, resulting in the missed connection. He’d set off from his home in good time, but arrived at Newcastle Road three hours late.
As the teams loitered around the clubhouse at what seemed to be half-time, many in the crowd suspected there had been a hitch – and rumours began to spread that the match wasn’t a league game after all. "
Episode Eighty Five of the Blizzard Podcast looks at 'A Game of Three Halves' by David Moonie, the story of why the 1894 meeting of Sunderland and Derby Country stretched to 135 minutes, first published in Issue Twenty Five in June 2017.
You can read the article here.