On 23 April 1904, Manchester City won their first major trophy, beating Bolton in the FA Cup final. But it was not without controversy.
Manchester City were making their first appearance in the final, while Bolton had been there before, losing to Notts County 4-1 in 1894. But City were the favorites for the 1904 clash, as they were sitting at the top of the First Division table, while Bolton occupied the seventh position in Division Two.
Over 60,000 people filled the stands at London's Crystal Palace for the match and watched as the two teams played a balanced game for the first twenty minutes. But in the 23rd minute, City forward Billy Meredith (pictured) collected a pass from his teammate George Livingstone and beat Bolton keeper Dai Davies with a dribble to put the ball into an open net. Some commentators later claimed that Meredith had been offside, but the goal stood and turned out to be the difference on the day.
Bolton enjoyed the better part of possession throughout the second half, but could not get the ball past City keeper Jack Hillman and lost, 1-0.
City nearly completed the double, but lost 1-0 at Everton two days later to finish as runners-up in the league to Sheffield Wednesday.