Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Midlands miscellany 1951-52 (Part three)

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 17TH NOVEMBER 1951                      Attendance 28,000

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

W.B.A. 3 (Lee, Griffin, Allen) MANCHESTER CITY 2 (Rickaby og, Hart)

Sanders; Rickaby, Millard; Kennedy, Vernon (capt), Barlow;
Griffin, McCall, Allen, Ryan, Lee;

Trautmann; Brannagan, Hannaway; Paul (capt), Rigby, McCourt;
Meadows, Hart, Westcott, Broadis, Clarke;

Albion were at once on the attack and Trautmann was called upon to make three
brilliant saves in the first five minutes. However, after seven minutes he was beaten and Albion were one up. Allen cut in from the left and his centre was pushed home by Lee.



Kennedy with a beautiful pass gave Allen another chance, the centre forward shot on the turn but there was Trautmann again diving full length to save. Albion continued to play brilliant football and dominated the play. After Ryan had got the ball in the net but was given off side, Albion scored their second goal after nineteen minutes play.

A perfect through pass from Barlow found Griffin unmarked and the winger beat Trautmann with ease. In the very next minute however, Manchester surprisingly reduced the lead. Sanders only partially cleared a centre and Rickaby in trying to prevent Hart scoring , succeeded in sending the ball into his own net. No doubt heartened by this unexpected success, the visitors came into the game much more frequently, well prompted by the brilliant ball play of Ivor Broadis. However Vernon was keeping a firm grip on Denis Westcott, the former Wolves centre forward, and the only real danger seemed to come from Broadis and Welsh international Roy Clarke. H.T. 2-1.

Albion continued to dominate the game throughout the second half thanks mainly to the fine work of their two wing halves, Kennedy and Barlow. Allen was also in fine form and gave City's centre half, Rigby, a most uncomfortable afternoon, indeed nearly all Rigby's clearances ended up in the crowd. After sixty three minutes Albion scored again, this time it was a grand effort from Allen following a corner kick.

Hart scored a second for City just before the end, but Albion were worthy winner.


SATURDAY 24TH NOVEMBER, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 2 (Dixon 2) MIDDLESBOROUGH 0             Attendance 30,000

Martin; Lynn, Parkes; Blanchflower, Moss (F), Dorsett (capt);
Smith (H), Thompson, Gibson, Dixon, Goffin;

Ugolin; Robinson, Dicks; Bell, Blenkinsopp, Gordan (capt);
Delephena, Fitzsimmons, Spuhler, Mochan, Hartnett;

Referee:- Mr. T.L. Wood, Bury;

The visitors were without their England inside forward Wilfe Mannion, who was injured last week. His place was taken by Scotsman Neil Mochan, recently signed from Greenock Morton. Theo Boro' team had quite an international flavour about with Italian/Scotsman Rolando Ugolini in goal, coloured West Indian Lindy Delephena on the right wing and two Irishman Fitzsimmons and Hartnett also in the forward line. Villa tried Colin Gibson, normally an inside forward or winger, as their sixth centre forward of the season.


After the clever Blanchflower and Thompson had proved dangerous to Boro', Villa took the lead after eighteen minutes play. The move was started by Dorsett, who give the ball to Dixon, on to Gibson, who then gave Dixon a beautiful return pass for the inside left to score with a first time shot. Villa continued to dominate the game right up to half time and just before the interval Stan Lynn was able to come upfield and let fly with one of his terrific drives. However Ugolini somehow managed to save. Half time 1-0.


  
The ability of Lynn and Dorsett to hit the ball hard proved invaluable in the muddy conditions, they were able to find their men whereas other players' passes were stopping half way on the treacherous surface. Villa went further ahead after sixty six minutes play and it was again Dixon who scored. He pushed the ball past Blenkinsopp and ran on to beat Ugolini with ease. Both teams were now tiring and it was not surprising considering the heavy conditions. Midllesborough made a late rally but despite two good efforts from Mochan, the versatile Irishman Con Martin, again playing as an emergency goalkeeper was never troubled.


SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION TWO

BIRMINGHAM CITY 2 (Smith 2) NOTTS COUNTY 0

Merrick; Green, Badham; Boyd (capt), Atkins, Warhurst;
Stewart, Purdon, Briggs. Smith, Wardle;

Smith; Southwell, Deans;  Brunt, Leuty (capt), Simpson;
Broome, Jackson, Lawton, Johnston, Crookes;

Referee:- Mr. A. Blythe, London

Birmingham's attack were soon in action and looked in good form against a none too sure defence. After nineteen minutes inside left Smith put the home team ahead from a centre by Stewart after Briggs had put the winger away. Lawton, of whom little was seen, got on one good shot which beat Merrick but went just over the bar. Birmingham continued to have the better of the play. They were shooting often but were very inaccurate, particularly the South African Purdon. H.T. 1-0.

Frank Broome, formerly a team mate of Leon Leuty at Derby, put a grand pass through for Crookes, but Boyd managed to race back to clear in time. Then Birmingham went further ahead and again Smith was the scorer, this time a neat header from Briggs' centre. It was nearly all Birmingham now and but for some fine saves by the balding Smith in the County goal and some wretched shooting by the forwards, they would have achieved a much bigger victory.


SATURDAY 8TH DECEMBER, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM           Attendance 35,000

ASTON VILLA 2  (Thompson, Dixon) NEWCASTLE UNITED 2 (Duncan 2)

Martin; Lynn, Parkes; Blanchflower, Moss (F), Dorsett;
Smith (H), Thompson, Gibson, Dixon, Goffin;

Simpson; Cowell, McMichael; Harvey (capt), Brennan, Robledo (E);
Walker, Foulkes, Duncan, Robledo (G), Mitchell;

An entertaining game with both teams willing to attack. Newcastle were without centre forward Jackie Milburn, but his deputy the Scotsman Duncan did well scoring both their goals.

Villa continued their improved form of recent weeks with Irish international Danny Blanchflower again outstanding. Goals from the reliable partnership of Thompson and Dixon kept Villa in the game.


SATURDAY 22ND DECEMBER, 1951                             Attendance 7,000

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 2 (Bridgett 2) PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 5 (Govan, Russon og, Tadman 3)

Lewis; Holding, Green; P. Aston, Russon, Walters (capt);
Bowen, O'Neill, Bridgett, Evans, Giles (P);

Shortt; Ratcliffe, Jones; Dougal, Chisholm (capt), Porteus;
Astall, Dews, Tadman, Rattray, Govan;

Plymouth, strongly challenging for promotion, were captained by their strong centre half Jack Chisholm, formerly with Spurs and Brentford. They also included Welsh international goalkeeper Bill Shortt and one of the Third Division's most prolific goalscorers in Maurice Tadman.


After Walsall had attached during the opening minutes, Playmouth soon began to show their class. One delightful move saw the ball travel across the field from Dougal to Govan, who centred perfectly only for Astall to head into Lewis's arms. After fifteen minutes following a mistake by Walters, little Govan went through on his own to open the scoring. Walsall immediatley had a great chance to equalise. Bridgett, normally a centre half, but playing at centre forward today was grounded by a tackle from Chisholm. He managed to push the ball to Evans who shot past the unsighted goalkeeper, but Ratclifee cleared off the line.

Walsall spoilt several movements by poor shooting and after twenty two minutes Plymouth went further ahead when Russon , attempting to clear a centre from Tadman, put through his own goal. Plymouth's finishing was as good as Walsall's was poor and when another miskick by Walters gave Tadman the ball, he pushed it out to Astall whose centre was netted by the centre forward. Govan was having a splendid game on the left wingt against Walsall's inexperienced defenders and from anothe of his accurate centres Dews, the Worcestershire cricketer, scraped the crossbar with a header.
On the stroke of half time Tadman scored again to put Plymouth 4-0 up!

Plymouth tended to rest on their laurels, but after fifty four minutes Jack Bridgett scored in a goalmouth scramble after a Bowen centre. Then in sixty two minutes Plymouth made it 5-1, when Lewis left his goal to intercept an Astall centre, put could only push the ball back to the winger, who side-footed it to Tadman to push into the empty net. Bridgett scored a second goal for Walsall shortly before the end.

WEDNESDAY 26TH DECEMBER, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 1 (Smith L. pen) ASTON VILLA 2 (Smith H., Thompson)

Parsons; Short, Guttridge; Baxter, Chatham, Wright (capt);
Smith (L), Walker, Pye, Wilshaw, Mullen;

Martin; Lynn, Parkes, Blanchflower, Moss (F), Dorsett (capt);
Smith (H), Thompson, Walsh, Dixon, Goffin;


 For this Boxing Day local derby Wolves were without several regulars in defence and struggled against a full strength Villa side who scored twice through winger Herbert Smith and Thompson. Wolves only reply came from the penalty spot when Les Smith, acting as deputy for Johnny Hancocks, scored. The big Boxing Day crowd went home disappointed but against a second team defence, apart from skipper Wright, Villa achieved a fairly easy victory.


SATURDAY 29TH DECEMBER, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 3 (Whitfield 3) BLACKPOOL 0                               Attendance 25,000


Parsons; Shorthouse, Gibbons; Baxter, Chatham, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Broadbent, Whitfield, Dunn, Mullen;

Farm; Shimwell, Garrett; Johnston (capt), Hayward, Kelly;
Hobson, Taylor, Mortenson, Brown, Perry;

Three days after their home defeat by Villa, Wolves made changes in both full back positions and introduced reserve centre forward Ken Whitfield for the first time. The return of Hancocks and Broadbent also strengthened the team considerably. They faced a full strength Blackpool apart from the absence of Stanley Matthews who was replaced by Albert Hobson.

Wolves were a completely different team from the poor performance on Boxing Day and played with much greater speed and enthusiasm. The beneficiary of all this was young Whitfield who scored all three goals on a sensational debut. Blackpool seemed to be suffering from a Christmas hangover and were never really in the game.

      header found the net on his way to a hat-trick.                                   

Sadly these three goals were the only ones Whitfield ever scored for Wolves in nine appearances, before moving on briefly to Manchester City, then spending most of his career at Brighton where he became a centre half.


















Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Midlands miscellany 1951-52 (Part two)

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER, 1951                 Attendance 26,000

LEAGUE DIVISION TWO AT ST ANDREWS, BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM CITY 1 (Briggs) SOUTHAMPTON 1 (Dudley)

Merrick; Hall, Martin; Boyd (capt), Badham, Warhurst;
Stewart, Purdon, Briggs, Ferris, Wardle;

Stansbridge; Ellerington, Sillett; Horton, Wilkins, Mallett;
Jones, Day, Dudley, Purves, Edwards;

The Blues were without two regular defenders Green and Atkins. Badham moved to centre half in place of Atkins and the two youngsters Hall and Martin were at full back. Tommy Briggs, the former Grimsby goalscorer, was making his first home appearance. After a spell of pressure by Birmingham in which Horton headed out a shot by Purdon from under the bar, Southampton began to get on top.

Merrick had difficulty in saving a forty yard free kick from young left back Peter Sillett and then punched a shot from Day over the bar. After twenty seven minutes Frank Dudley the fair haired former Leeds United centre forward, scored with a fine shot following a left wing centre. 


From this point up to the interval it was all Birmingham. With the right winger pair of Stewart and the South African Purdon prominent, many scoring efforts were saved or blocked by defenders, notably a full length save by Stansbridge from Briggs.
Half-time 0-1.

Birmingham again dominated the play in the second half and Purdon missed two great chances to equalise early on. Spurred on by Warhurst, who had a great attacking game at wing half, Birmingham forced corner after corner and despite many hectic goalmouth scrambles just could not get the ball into the net. Finally just ten minutes from time Boyd sent the ball down the right wing to Purdon, who beating Sillett as he slipped, back-heeled the ball to Briggs who scored with a fierce shot.

The remaining ten minutes consisted of a fierce Southampton goal bombardment in search of the two points they deserved on the run of play but the home defence held out despite several near misses by this good looking Southampton side. 


SATURDAY 6TH OCTOBER 1951               Attendance 28,000

LEAGUE DIVISION TWO AT ST ANDREWS, BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM CITY 1 (Higgins) SWANSEA CITY 1 (Turnbull)

Merrick; Hall, Martin; Boyd (capt), Atkins, Warhurst;
Stewart, Higgins, Briggs, Rowley, Wardle;

King; Symons, Beech (G); Lucas, Weston (capt), Williams;
O'Driscoll, Thomas, Turnbull, Allchurch (I), Bellis;

Birmingham changed their inside forwards as Ferris was playing for Ireland, former Wolves player Ken Rowley deputised, and another Irishman Jimmy Higgins returned to the exclusion of Purdon. The early stages were marked by good saves from both goalkeepers, Birmingham's Merrick and Swansea's 17 year old schoolboy international
Johnny King.

Birmingham went ahead after twenty one minutes play following a throw in. The ball went to Rowley, who in turn passed to Briggs for the centre forward to pull it back to Higgins who scored with a fine shot from the edge of the area. This goal inspired the home side and King was forced to make a brilliant save to prevent Rowley adding a second goal.


Little had been seen of the Swansea attack mainly because Boyd had been marking the golden boy of Welsh football, Ivor Allchurch, very closely. Their best scoring chance came from left winger Bellis, who shot just wide after being put through by Thomas. The Swansea defence was not having things all their own way either, perhaps the penalty of their full back playing too square.

The two former Grimsby colleagues Briggs and Wardle were combining well, and following the winger's favourite back heel trick which rarely succeeds, Briggs missed a good chance by not anticipating the move. However when Wardle got over a grand centre, the centre forward got in an equally good header only for King to make yet another splendid save and tip the ball round the post.

Very surprisingly Swansea immediately broke away to equalise. A centre from Bellis was beautifully headed past Merrick by centre forward Turnbull. This goal seemed to spur on the Welsh side and Merrick saved another good header, this time from Allchurch who was now showing some of his obvious skill. Birmingham were the superior side during the first half and just on the interval Briggs found his way through the centre only for his great drive to be pushed round the post again by the brilliant young Swansea keeper. Half time 1-1.

Birmingham's young right back Jeff Hall, was injured on three separate occasions during the second half and spent much of his time on the right wing, although he was far from being a useless cripple and caused King to make two more outstanding saves from fierce right foot drives.

Despite this handicap Birmingham continued to dominate the play and but for the good work of King would undoubtedly have won by a handsome margin. As it was Swansea nearly surprised them when Allchurch beat Stewart, who had taken Hall's place at right back and had only Merrick to beat, but the goalkeeper positioned himself well and saved with ease.


SATURDAY 13TH OCTOBER, 1951                 Attendance 35,000

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 5 (Pye 3, Hancocks, Dunn) BOLTON WANDERERS 1 (Lofthouse)

Williams; Short, Gibbons; Deeley, Shorthouse, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Dunn, Wilshaw, Pye, Mullen;

Hanson; Ball, Higgins; Wheeler, Barrass, Edwards;
Codd, Moir (capt), Lofthouse, R. Parry, Langton;


All the headlines today were about fifteen year old Raymond Parry, Bolton's schoolboy international who became one of the youngest ever players in league football history.


Despite a bright start the youngster could not really contribute much as his team were never really in the game dominated by the Wolves two outstanding wingers, Hancocks and Mullen. They laid on most of the goals for Jesse Pye, who helped himself to a hat trick.


Wolves had two youngsters in the line up with left back Len Gibbons and wing half Norman Deeley both fitting in well. Lofthouse scored a consolation goal for Bolton who were a well beaten side at the end.

SATURDAY 20TH OCTOBER, 1951                  Attendance 6,309

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1  (Hughes) BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION 1 (SIRRELL)

Lewis; Holding, Green; Walters (capt), Russon, Devlin;
Bowen, Hughes, Winter, Evans, Allison;

Baldwin; Mansell, Tennant; Willard, McCoy, Wilson;
Reed, McNichol, Bennett, Sirrell, Keene;

With 29 goals from 13 games so far this season the visitors were the highest scorers in the division and were lying fourth in the table just three points behind leaders Norwich City. Walsall on the other hand were fourth from bottom.

Walsall's fortunes look set to improve, they led for much of last week's match at Milwall before losing 2-1. Today's game saw them hold the powerful Brighton attack, apart from one goal from former Bradford Park Avenue player Jimmy Sirrell, and earned themselves a welcome point.

SATURDAY 3RD NOVEMBER, 1951               Attendance 20,000

LEAGUE DIVISION TWO AT ST ANDREWS BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM CITY 2 (Stewart, Briggs) BARNSLEY 1 (McCormack)

Merrick; Badham, Martin; Boyd (capt), Atkins, Warhurst;
Stewaret, Higgins, Briggs, Rowley, Wardle;

Hough; Lindsay, Hudson; Jarman, Glover, Baxter;
Smith, McMorran, McCormack, Taylor, Jones;


Barnsley, who had Tommy Taylor on leave from the Army, fielded no less than three centre forwards and its was Cecil McCormack, the blond former Middlesborough player, the club's leading scorer, who proved the plan worked when he scored after only four minutes. A bad back pass from centre half Atkins resulted in Smith nipping in to give McCormack the goal on a plate.

Birmingham nearly equalised at once when Stewart cut in from the wing and crashed a shot past Hough only for it to hit the crossbar. After a period of constant pressure, Birmingham equalised after seventeen minutes. Warhurst put the ball through the middle to Tommy Briggs who beat Lindsay and shot. Hough made a brilliant diving save, but could only push the ball out and Stewart raced in to crash the ball home.


Hough distinguished himself with several really fine saves and it was mainly due to him that Birmingham did not go into the lead before half time. Barnsley were handicapped by an injury to their centre half, Glover, which necessitated him moving onto the wing. Half-time 1-1.

Barnsley started the second half with Jones the former Sheffield United winger at right back, Lindsay at centre half and the injured Glover on the left wing. It was therefore not surprising that Birmingham kept up the pressure on the visitors' goal, although it was obviously going to be difficult to beat Hough who was in splendid form. However, he was beaten eight minutes after the re-start when Briggs scored with a fierce ground shot from Stewart's pass.

So it continued until the end with Barnsley's patched up side on the defensive throughout, but Birmingham failed to add another goal, partly because of poor finishing, but mainly because of Hough's goalkeeping. Praise must also be given to Jones who did remarkably well as an emergency right back.


SATURDAY 27TH OCTOBER, 1951                Attendance 35,000

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 0 MANCHESTER UNITED 2 (Pearson, Rowley)

Williams; Short, Pritchard; Crook, Chatham, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Dunn, Wilshaw, Pye, Mullen;

Allen; Carey (capt), Redman; Gibson, Chilton, Cockburn;
McShane, Pearson, Rowley, Birch, Bond;

An almost full strength Wolves side, missing only centre half Shorthouse were no
match for the more youthful United side with Redman, Gibson and the teenage left wing pair of Birch and Bond all doing the bit alongside the more experienced players.

It was the two English international forwards, Stan Pearson and Jack Rowley who scored the goals, but the performance of the youngsters bodes well for United's future.


SATURDAY 10TH NOVEMBER, 1951                Attendance 35,000

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 1 (Mullen) PRESTON NORTH END 4 (Wayman 2, Horton 2)

Sims; Pritchard, Gibbons; Crook, Shorthouse, Wright (capt);
Smith, Dunn, Wilshaw, Pye, Mullen;

Gooch; Cunningham, Scott; Docherty, Marston, Forbes;
Finney, Horton, Wayman, Beattie, Morrision;

A below strength Wolves side without England's goalkeeper Bert Williams, with a shoulder injury, as well as outside right Johnny Hancocks were no match for a talented Preston side prompted by Tom Finney. Suffering their second successive home defeat Wolves were never really in the game with centre forward Charlie Wayman showing that you do not have to be tall to score goals from centre forward.

Inside right Ken Horton scored the other two in a good all round performance by North End. The Scotsman Tommy Docherty was always in the thick of things in midfield and Australian Joe Marston was a tower of strength at centre half. However it was the talented forward line that took the eye and for a side only promoted last season, Preston should have no difficulty in holding their own in the top division.







Monday, 30 November 2015

Midlands miscellany 1951-52 (Part one)

Posted by Tony Hutton



SATURDAY 18TH AUGUST, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION TWO AT ST ANDREWS, BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM CITY 2 (Higgins, Trigg) BURY 1 (Daniel)

Merrick; Hall, Green; Boyd, Badham, Ferris;
Stewart, Higgins, Trigg (capt), Rowley, Berry;

Goram; Fairclough, Bodle; Greenhalgh, Hart, Bardsley;
Hazlett, Griffiths (capt), Plant, Daniel, Slynn;

Referee:- Mr. A. Murdoch, Sheffield

I started the new season with an intention to watch more football at Birmingham City in order to see most of the second division teams that I had not see before. The ground was bathed in sunshine as is usual on the opening day of the season. There was quite a bit of local interest in the visitors' team as Harold Bodle, appearing at left back, was formerly an inside forward with Birmingham. Ken Plant used to play for Nuneaton Borough and Frank Slynn is a product of Birmingham Works football.

There was little to choose between the two teams in the early stages and it was Bury who took the lead after nineteen minutes play. A pass from Bardsley was deflected to Daniel just outside the penalty area and he scored with a beautifully taken shot.
Birmingham had perhaps a litle more of the game up to the interval, but play was ragged on both sides and the crowd had little to get excited about. Half time 0-1.


Three minutes after the interval, thanks mainly to Berry, the Blues equalised. The little left winger, who prefers to play on the right, dispossessed Fairclough and put over a beautiful centre from which Trigg scored with ease. With skipper Griffiths Bury's only dangerous forward, the Blues defence was rarely troubled and it came as no surprise when Birmingham went ahead after sixty four minutes.

This followed an attack started by the forceful Irishman Ferris who, after going off injured, returned with blood stained shorts to match his red hair. Higgins scored from close range and this completed the scoring. On the whole it was a fair result, although Birmingham must show much improved form to repeat their promotion challenge of last season.


WEDNESDAY 22ND AUGUST, 1951

FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 1 (Swinbourne) DERBY COUNTY 2 (Harrison, Powell)

Williams; Short, Pritchard; Baxter, Shorthouse, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Dunn, Swinbourne, Pye, Mullen;

Middleton; Mozley, Revell; Mays, Oliver, Walker;
Harrison, Powell, Stamps, Morris, McLaren;

THURSDAY 23RD AUGUST, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (Evans) ALDERSHOT 0

Lewis; Jones, Green; Walters, Russon, Devlin (capt);
Bowen, O'Neill, Winter, Evans, Allison;

Nichol; Rogers, Jefferson; Taggart, White, Macauley;
Bonnor, Laird, C. Mortimore, Menzies, Flint;

Walsall started their season on Saturday with a 1-0 home win against the powerful Bristol Rovers thanks to a goal from Hugh Evans, a new signing from Bournemouth.
Evans repeated the dose today to get the Saddlers off to an excellent start with four points in the bag already.


Aldershot on the other hand started their campaign with a home defeat to Northampton. Their most notable players are England amateur international centre forward Mortimore, Bonnar an Irish international from Barnsley and Flint the fomer Spurs reserve winger.


MONDAY 10TH SEPTEMBER, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 1 (Goffin) HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0

Martin; Parkes, Aldis; Blanchflower, Moss (F), Dorsett;
Smith (H), Thompson, Pace, Dixon, Goffin;

Wheeler; Howe, Kelly; McGarry, McEvoy, Battye;
McKenna, Nightingale, Taylor (J), Hassall, Metcalfe;

Villa sprang a major surprise by fielding Irish international defender, normally a centre half or left back, in goal. Despite being somewhat unorthodox at times he managed to keep a clean sheet and impressed with his confident approach to his new task.

Goffin scored the only goal of close faught game in which Town showed very little in attack. Blanchflower continued to impress with his precision passing.


THURSDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 0 SHREWSBURY TOWN 4 (Collins 2, Ayton, Brown)

Lewis; Jones, Green; Walters, Russon, Devlin (capt);
Bowen, O'Neill, Winter, Evans, Allison;

Egglestone; Potter, Lewis; Bullions, Depear, Crutchley;
Collins, Ayton, Jackson, Brown, Roberts;

Referee:- R.J. Leafe, Nottingham                         Kick off 6 p.m.


After their good start to the season Walsall came unstuck in a big way against a very lively Shrewsbury side in very poor weather conditions. John Camkin's report below sums up proceedings particularly his comment that Walsall cannot possibly play as badly again.



SATURDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION TWO AT ST ANDREWS, BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM CITY 2 (Badham, Dorman) DONCASTER ROVERS 2 (Green og, Martin)

Merrick; Green, Martin; Boyd (capt), Atkins, Warhurst;
Stewart, Dorman, Badham, Ferris, Wardle;

Wakeman; Makepeace, Graham; Brown, Bycroft (capt), Miller;
Dubois, Martin, Tindall, Lawlor, Giles;

Referee:- Mr. F.H. Gerrard, Preston  



With only five points from eight games so far this season, Birmingham introduced two regulr defenders into their forward line in Badham and Ferris. Doncaster were without their player-manager Peter Doherty, wing half Walter Jones, the former Blackpool player, and goalkeeper Hardwick. Alan Wakeman, the former Aston Villa player to his first game in goal for Rovers.

After Merrick had difficulty in reaching a back pass fom Atkins, another back pass, this time from Green, eluded him and Doncaster were a goal up afte only three minutes. Doncaster's forwards were combining very well, none better than the two Eire internationals Lawlor and Giles, who were together last season with Drumcondra.

After twenty seven minutes the Rovers went further ahead, a mistake again by Green leading to the goal. He headed a right wing corner straight to the feet of Martin, who scored with a fierce left foot shot. However four minutes later Green made amends when he took the ball through well into the Rovers' half before lobbing it into the centre for Don Dorman to head a goal from close range. Half-time 1-2.

Birmingham showed improved form during the second half and Wakeman was called upon to make several fine saves in quick succession. After seventy minutes Birmingham got the equaliser which had been threatened for some time. It was again Green who made the goal, running down the right wing and swinging it across for Badham to score a similar goal to Dorman's with his head.


SATURDAY 22ND SEPTEMBER, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 2 (Thompson, Goffin) LIVERPOOL 0      Attendance 50,000

Martin; Parkes, Aldis; Blanchflower, Moss (F), Dorsett;
Smith (H), Thompson, Moss (A), Dixon, Goffin;

Ashcroft; Jones, Parr; Taylor (capt), Hughes, Paisley;
Payne, Baron, Stubbins, Williams (R.B.), Liddell;

Referee:- Mr. A. Brown, Middlesborough

With Dave Walsh and Derek Pace both unfit, Villa continued their experiment of playing defender Amos Moss at centre forward. Con Martin, the Eire international full back or centre half, continued in goal! Within seconds of the start Liverpool very nearly scored. From the kick-off Baron pushed the ball out to Liddell who made ground and and centred accurately to Payne, but Martin was in position to save.


Thompson and Blanchflower were combining well for Villa and Amos Moss was beating Hughes in the air, often directing the ball down well to his inside forwards. Villa's best effort so far was a great drive from Thompson which resulted in an equally brilliant save by Ashcroft who flung himself full length to push the ball round the post.

Ashcroft, deputising for Sidlow in goal, then made another great save, tipping a good effort from Dixon over the bar. From the corner however, Villa took the lead after thirty minutes play when Thompson crashed home a terrific shot. Ashcroft made two more wonder saves from Thompson and Dixon and how the crowd cheered him.


Liverpool now tried their well known switch of wingers, but Parkes, who has always been something of a bogeyman for Billy Liddell, followed the wandering Scot by changing places with Aldis. The balding veteran went on to play Liddell right out of the game. After forty two minutes Villa increased their lead, Thompson put a grand pass through for Goffin in the inside left position and he went on to score with ease. Half time 2-0.


With Liddell and Stubbins rarely able to get going, little was seen of the visitor's attack, but after eighty one minutes they looked certain to score, a beautiful through ball from Baron found young Brian Williams, a wing half and long throw expert normally, clean through the middle. However, just as he was about to shoot, Dorsett raced up from behind and whipped his legs away. From the penalty kick, Liddell usually so sure, tamely hit the ball against the post.





Saturday, 28 November 2015

Black Country Football 1950-51 (Part six)

Posted by Tony Hutton

WEDNESDAY 4TH APRIL, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 (Barlow pen) BLACKPOOL 3 (Mudie 2, Mortenson)

Sanders; Rickaby, Millard; Kennedy, Vernon (capt), Ryan;
Gordon, Dudley, Barlow, McCall, Lee;

Farm; Shimwell, Garrett; Johnston (capt), Hayward, Kelly;
Matthews, Mudie, Mortenson, Brown, Perry;

Referee:- E. Plinston, Warrington

Blackpool, who will meet Newcastle in the FA cup final in just over three weeks time and who are third in the league,have now taken nineteen points out of their possible twenty two since New Year and are unbeaten from that date. They strolled through this match never needing to play all out and certainly look fine prospects to win the cup.


McCall, a former Blackpool player, missed a great chance to put Albion ahead in the first half, when with Farm out of his goal, he rolled the ball towards the empty net only to see centre half Eric Hayward dash up and clear off the line. Albion also squandered further chances in the second half by bad shooting, but on the whole the Blackpool defence was rarely troubled.

Once Mudie had opened the scoring, two further goals came easily from Mudie again and the speedy Mortenson, who had some great tussles with centre half Jack Vernon.
Albion's only reply came from a last minute penalty by Ray Barlow, who looked out of sorts at centre forward and should return to his proper wing half position.

(Despite my prediction Blackpool did not win the FA Cup Final on April 28th when they were beaten 2-0 by Newcastle United with both goals scored by Jackie Milburn).

SATURDAY 7TH APRIL 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 4 (Winter 3, O'Neill) COLCHESTER UTD 2 (McKim 2)

Lewis; Jones, Dearson; Walters, Russon, Devlin;
Bowen, Hughes, Winter, O'Neill, Allison

Wright; Harrison, Rowlands; Berryman, Stewart, Elder;
Jones, McKim, Keeble, Turner, Church;

Colchester United, newly elected to the Football League this season after their various giant killing acts in the FA Cup, were resplendent in their blue and white striped shirts, reminiscent of Huddersfield Town who were one of their cup victims not so long ago.


They took part in an entertaining game which saw the resurgent Walsall side home to another good victory, notable for a hat trick from centre forward Jack Winter and another goal from the former Burnley man O'Neill. These two have worked wonders since they signed together and despite two goals from inside forward McKim, Colchester were well beaten in the end.


Probably their best known player is centre forward Vic Keeble, who recently scored a hat trick against Plymouth in just twelve minutes. However he found it hard work today against the improving Walsall centre half Ron Russon. So another valuable two points for the Saddlers which keeps them four points clear of the re-election zone. More displays like this should see them well clear.

(This match always sticks in my memory as after the game, with a couple of friends, we investigated the area underneath the main stand and to our surprise found several hundred unsold programmes for the game. As avid programme collectors we asked one of the officials if we could have them and were told we could as they would only go in the bin. After advertising in a national football weekly we were inundated with mail from all over the country and soon established a collection of every league club programme in the country!)


SATURDAY 14TH APRIL, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 3 (Dixon, Smith, Parkes pen) PORTSMOUTH 3 (Phillips, Reid, Parker)

Rutherford; Parkes, Aldis; Blanchflower, Moss (F), Dorsett;
Smith (H), Thompson, Walsh, Dixon, Goffin;

Butler; Stephen, Ferrier; Scoular, Flewin, Dickinson;
Ryder, Reid, Munday, Phillips, Parker;

After having rather turned my back on Villa since Christmas it was interesting  to find a somewhat changed team who provided an entertaining game against the former league champions who also had a few new faces.

Villa's major signing was Irish international wing half Danny Blanchflower from Barnsley and other newcomers were left back Peter Aldis and outside right Herbert Smith. Portsmouth had Jimmy Stephen, the Scottish full back from Bradford Park Avenue and two new wingers in Ryder and Parker. However their ever strong half back line remained in place.

It was end to end stuff with goals coming regularly and Portsmouth looking as if they would take the points until a late penalty from veteran Harry Parkes earned Villa a draw.


MONDAY 16TH APRIL, 1951

BIRMINGHAM COMBINATION AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL RESERVES 1 (Dean) DUDLEY TOWN 0

No match programme for this game - the first time I had ventured to see Walsall Reserves play. The only players I can recall are a trialist goalkeeper called Tolliday (whatever happened to him) and three youngsters who were on the verge of the first team. They were Eddie Holding a full back, George Dean a wing half, who scored the only goal and inside forward Arthur Corbett who captained the side.





THURSDAY 19TH APRIL, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (O'Neill) WATFORD 0

Lewis; Jones, Dearson; Walters, Russon, Devlin;
Bowen, Hughes, Winter, O'Neill, Allison;

Morton; Egglestone, Jones (B); Paton, Fisher, Wilson;
Brown, Jones (M), Thompson, Varty, Laing;

Referee:- W. Ling, Cambridgeshire.

Today's referee, Mr Ling, has recently been appointed to offciate at the FA Cup Final on Saturday week. The visitors were in even worse re-election trouble than Walsall, lying second from bottom with 26 points from 41 matches, whereas the Saddlers were fourth from bottom with 33 points from the same number of matches.

Watford included recent signing Thompson from Brighton at centre forward and former Birmingham City winger Bobby Laing. The home side were on a good run, being unbeaten in their last four matches, including a valuable away draw 1-1 at Bristol Rovers last week.

This game was far from a classic, but the narrow victory enabled Walsall to avoid the indignity of having to apply for re-election to the league. The change from the mud of recent weeks to a dry ground was welcome, but unfortunately there was a strong wind to play tricks with the lively ball and consequently mistakes were to be expected.

Walsall appeared to have missed their chance when playing with the wind in the first half and defences held the upper hand. Both goalkeepers made smart saves and Watford had a narrow escape when centre half Fisher got his head to a drive from O'Neill which looked a winner all the way.


Walsall too were lucky when Dearson cleared a shot from Laing which had beaten Lewis. A draw seemed likely, until with fifteen minutes to go O'Neill got the all important goal with an opportunist effort in one of several lively goalmouth scrimmages.


SATURDAY 21ST APRIL, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 0 CRYSTAL PALACE 0

Lewis; Jones, Dearson; Walters, Russon, Devlin;
Bowen, Hughes, Winter, O'Neill, Allison;

Hughes; Harding, Edwards; Rodd, Cushlow, Chilvers;
Broughton, Whittaker, Marsden, Buckley, Hanlon;

As Walsall were already safe and Crystal Palace are certain to have to seek re-election, neither team had anything particular at stake and with the players handicapped by a tricky wind and a lively ball, the game was one of the poorest at Fellows Park for a long time. Typical end of season stuff one might say.

Walsall started as if they were going to pile up a big score, but after Bowen and Winter had missed easy chances they fell away badly and were not better then the very disappointing Palace side. Marks for perseverance could be given to the respective centre forwards, Winter and Marsden, but they were allowed little scope by the close marking they received from Cushlow and Russon and neither side included anyone else capable of shooting accurately.

Palace included Bill Whittaker, for whom they paid a substantial fee to Huddersfield Tow, but several of their other acquisitions this season have been unable to retain their places in what has been a very poor season for them. Fellow Park seems to be something of a bogey ground for Palace as they have yet to win here. This was their twelfth league visit and their seventh draw. The other five having been lost.


WEDNESDAY 2ND MAY, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 0 NEWCASTLE UNITED 1 (Robledo G)

Williams; McLean, Short; Crook, Russell, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Broadbent, Swinbourne, Dunn, Mullen;

Fairbrother; Cowell, Corbett; Harvery (capt), Brennan, Crowe;
Walker, Taylor, Robledo (g), Hannah, Mitchell; 


The cup winners, Newcastle United, came to Molineux fresh from their 2-0 victory over Blackpool at Wembley on Saturday, but without their two goal hero Jackie Milburn. The Chilean, George Robledo, moved to centre forward tonight from his usual inside left berth and scored the only goal of the game to end a very satisfactory week for the Geordies.

Newcastle would also finish fourth in the first division league table behind champions Spurs, Manchester United and Blackpool. Strangely enough the three midlands sides all finished together just below half way. Wolves had a disappointing 38 points and Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion both had 37, just five points ahead of the two relegated teams Sheffield Wednesday and Everton.


THURSDAY 3RD MAY, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (Bowen) BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION 0

Lewis; Jones, Green; Walters, Russon, Devlin;
Bowen, Corbett, Winter, O'Neill, Allison;

Ball; Tennant, Mansell; Willard, McCoy, Wilson;
Reed, McNichol, Garbutt, Bennett, Keene;

The last home league match of the season ended on a high note, with another narrow victory this time by a single goal from winger 'Toddy' Bowen against a side also struggling in the bottom half of the league table.

The first half of the season was very difficult with an unsettled team in which changes were so frequent that no fewer than twenty players were called upon and only sixteen points came from the first twenty six league matches. Fortunately a decided turn for the better set in immediately following the signing of Winter and O'Neill, since when the team have obtained twenty four points from nineteen matches.

This improvement not only resulted in a move up the table out of the re-election zone, but a welcome increase in attendances. A crowd of 14,278 saw the opening game with Plymouth Argyle, but this had dropped to 3,677 for the visit of Reading in December. By February 11,941 saw the Northampton match and a fortnight later 14,247 saw the game with Notts Forest.

With one more league match remaining Lewis and Jones are so far the only ever presents and Walters and Dearson have only missed two games each. Leading goalscorers are Dearson 10, Winter 8, Hughes 5, Skidmore 5 and O'Neill 4.


MONDAY 7TH MAY, 1951

FESTIVAL OF BRITAIN MATCH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (Hughes) RACING CLUB OF HAARLEM O

This was one of a series of matches being played all over the country against foreign club sides to celebrate the Festival of Britain. Racing Club Haarlem were the first Continental side to be seen on the ground. They play in one of Holland's four first divisions, the winners of which compete in a final tournament to decide the national champions.

Perhaps the most striking difference between the game as we know it and the Dutch variety is that if if rains over there a match is not played or if the rain comes after the game has started the referee has power to stop it! Racing Club operate no fewer than thirteen sides, at different age groups. All matches are played on Sundays and substitutes are allowed.

It must be said that the game was not of a very high standard, Walsall winning by the only goal of the game. It was more like a stroll in the park and an occasion of goodwill rather than good football.


SATURDAY 12TH MAY, 1951

FESTIVAL OF BRITAIN MATCH AT ST ANDREWS, BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM CITY 0 DINAMO ZAGREB 2 (Dvornic, Cajkovski)

Merrick; Green, Martin; Boyd, Newman, Dorman;
Dailey, Stewart, Trigg (capt), Rowley, Berry;
James substituted for Stewart during the second half.

Stincic; Delic, Hovic; Puksec, Horvat, Reasic;
Cimermancic, Sencar, Wolfl (capt), Cajkovski, Dvornic;

Referee:- Mr A. Bond, Fulham

To end the 1950-51 season I paid my first ever visit to the Saint Andrews ground of Birmingham City, which was somewhat difficult to get to involving a long walk from Birmingham city centre.
                                               
The first half of this very poor game saw the Zagreb club playing beautiful approach football, but as we have come to expect of Continental sides woefully weak when it came to shooting. During the second half they seemed to have found their shooting boots and after veteran international centre forward Wolfl had seen three successive shots saved by Merrick, kicked off the line by Martin and one hit the post, Dinamo took the lead.


This was in the sixty fourth minute when outside left Dvornic, a very speedy player, cut in and scored with a low, hard shot. Sixteen minutes later his inside partner, Cajkovski, added a second. Outstanding in the visitors defence was their giant centre half, Ivica Horvat, who played so well for Yugoslavia against England at Highbury. His great height of six foot four inches made him unbeatable in the air and that was where most of Birmingham's centres ended up.




































Back in Yorkshire for Easter 1950-51

Posted by Tony Hutton

(The Easter school holidays in 1951 gave me an opportunity to visit my grandparents and other family friends back in my home county of Yorkshire. So not only a change of scene but able to see matches at Huddersfield Town, Leeds United and Hull City)

SATURDAY 24TH MARCH, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT LEEDS ROAD, HUDDERSFIELD

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 2 (Nightingale, Taylor (J)) DERBY COUNTY 0

Wheeler; Gallogly, Kelly; McGarry, McEvoy, Boot;
Nightingale, Glazzard, Taylor (J), Hassall, Metcalfe;

Webster; Bell, Revell; Mays, Oliver, Musson;
Harrison, Stamps, Lee, Morris, McLaren;

Referee:- B.J. Flanagan, Sheffield

Huddersfield, desperately battling against relegation (yet again), had right half Bill McGarry, recently signed from Port Vale, making his home debut and experimented with inside forward Albert Nightingale on the right wing.

Right from the start, Nightingale was prominent in Town attacks and after eleven minutes play he cut inside and beat Webster with left foot shot from a narrow angle.
Two minutes later they were further head when Jeff Taylor headed a fine goal from McGarry's free kick. 

the Town centre forward leaps to head the winner.

Hassall had a great chance to increase the lead but took the ball too far and Webster was able to dive at this feet to make a good save. Glazzard hit the post with a header from a Metcalfe centre and although the Derby wingers threatened danger at times, Huddersfield were on top for most of the game.

The second half was marred by poor finishing by the home forwards who had countless opportunities to increase their lead, but failed to do so. However, they can take consolation from the fact that McGarry looks a very good signing indeed and should play a big part in keeping Huddersfield in the first division.


EASTER MONDAY 26TH MARCH, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION TWO AT ELLAND ROAD, LEEDS

LEEDS UNITED 3 (Stevenson, Charles 2) HULL CITY 0

Searson; Dunn, Milburn; Kerfoot, Kirk, Burden (capt);
Harrison, Igglesden, Charles, Stevenson, Williams;

Robinson; Hassall, Varney; Jensen, Franklin, Mellor;
Harison, Smith, Ackerman, Revie, Burbanks;


A match which started in sunshine finished in a blizzard, much to the consternation of the spectators on the Kop end (of which I was one), who got a soaking. Conditions for the players became almost improssible but the young Welshman, John Charles, revelled in it and his move to centre forward paid off with two goals. This despite the fact that he was up against former England centre half, Neil Franklin. 


Both teams showed many changes from Saturday with the busy Easter programme taking its toll. Many regulars were missing none more so than Hull player manager Raich Carter, whose prompting and inspiration was badly missed by the visitors, who only managed a consolation goal from Don Revie.

Many team changes during busy Easter weekend


EASTER TUESDAY 27TH MARCH, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT LEEDS ROAD, HUDDERSFIELD

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 (Taylor J.) WEST BROMWICH ALBION 2 (Barlow 2)

Wheeler; Gallogly, Kelly; McGarry, McEvoy, Boot;
Nightingale, Glazzard, Taylor J., Hassall, Metcalfe;

Sanders; Rickaby, Millard; Kennedy, Vernon (capt), Ryan;
Gordon, Smith, Barlow, McCall, Allen;

Town fielded an unchanged side from Saturday's game with Derby but could not match the same winning performance, despite another goal from Jeff Taylor. Albion made an unusual change by moving left half Ray Barlow to centre forward. The move paid off with the tale, fair haired player grabbing two goals to win the game for the visitors.


SATURDAY 31ST MARCH, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION TWO AT BOOTHFERRY PARK, HULL

HULL CITY 2 (Gerrie, Ackerman) CARDIFF CITY 0

Robinson; Hassall, Varney; Jensen, Franklin, Mellor;
Harrison, Revie, Gerrie, Carter (capt), Ackerman;

Joslin; Williams (G), Sherwood (capt); Hollyman, Montgomery, Baker;
Tiddy, Marchant, Grant, McLaughlin, Edwards;

Referee:- I.A.M. Mackay, London

Hull City were without their regular left winger Eddie Burabanks and Alf Ackerman, the South African, normally a centre forward had his first league game in that position.
Hull comfortably placed in the middle of the table, had little to worry about, but Cardiff, second in the table to Preston, needed every possible point for their promotion effort.

Both sides got in good attacking movements during the first few minutes. Cardiff's main danger seemed to be their nineteen year old right winger, Mike Tiddy, but Neil Franklin, the big money signing from Stoke, was in commanding mood in the middle of defence. After ten minutes play Hull took the lead when a free kick was awarded ten yeards outside the penalty are for a foul on Gerrie. The kick was taken by player-manager Carter whose shot was deflected behind the barrier of Cardiff defenders to Revie. The inside right shot against the post and Gerrie, running in, hit it into the net.

Ackerman appeared to be settling down well on the left wing and responded well to maestro Carter's promptings. The Hull defence was in full command of the situation with Varney and Mellor prominent in blotting out the dangerous Cardiff right wing.
Half-time 1-0.

Tiddy showed his speed again early in the second half, he rounded Varney, but again the immaculate Franklin was on hand to head clear. Cardiff were making a good fight of it but could make little impression on the Hull defence, in which Robinson the former Blackpool goalkeeper was rarely called upon.

After seventy three minutes Hull increased their lead when, from Carter's pass, Gerrie side flicked the ball to Ackerman cutting in from the left and he slammed it into the net. This stung Cardiff into action and Robinson was at last brought into the game to deal with two splendid shots from left half Baker. The goalkeeper  saved the first one brilliantly and the second one dropped just over the bar. A good win for the Tigers.









Friday, 27 November 2015

Black Country football 1950-51 (part five)

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 10TH FEBRUARY 1951

F.A. CUP FIFTH ROUND AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 2 (Dunn 2) HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0

Williams; Short, Pritchard; Chatham, Shorthouse, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Walker, Swinbourne, Dunn, Mullen;

Wheeler; Hepplewhite, Kelly; Batty, McEvoy, Senior;
Glazzard, Hassall, Taylor (J), Nightingale, Metcalfe;

A rare chance to catch up with Huddersfield Town who made a good game of it
despite a few positional changes which saw regular centre half George Hepplewhite at right back against the speedy Mullen. It was my first sighting of Don McEvoy who was to become such a stalwart for Town at centre half.

The game was decided by two goals from Scottish inside forward Jimmy Dunn and the powerful Wolves defence was able to hold the Town forward line in check for most of the game.

THURSDAY 15TH FEBRUARY, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (Winter) BRISTOL ROVERS 2 (Bradford, Morgan)

Lewis; Jones, Skidmore; Walters, Russon, Devlin;
Bowen, Dearson, Winter, O'Neill, Allison;

Hoyle; Bamford, Fox; Edwards, Warren, Sampson;
Bush, Bradford, Lambden, Morgan, Watling;

Referee:- B.M. Griffiths, Newport, Monmouthshire.

Walsall, fresh from a 3-1 home win over Aldershot faced the team of the moment. Rovers having reached the sixth round of the FA cup for the first time and also pressing for promotion in third place. Three of their players were involved in a car accident on Monday and Rovers applied for a postponement, but it was not granted.
Walsall were obviously keen to play, having won three and drawn one since the signing of Winter and O'Neill.

However, Rovers with three reserve players in the side took two more valuable points to take them to second in the league behind Notts Forest. Brian Bush, one of the reserves on the right wing, had the beating of left back Skidmore and sent over the corner which brought the first goal for Bradford. Bush also laid on the second goal in the 25th minute his centre being headed home by Jim Morgan.

Walsall did get what proved to be a consolation goal from Winter in the 65th minute, but Rovers always looked dangerous on the break. Winter, the former Sheffield United player, headed the goal from a short cross by Dearson and the only othe Walsall player to impress was Henry Walters with his usual untiring display in defence.

Bristol defended well in the last 25 minutes and goalkeeper Bert Hoyle made one glorious save as Bowen picked his spot from only eight yards out. Rovers now face the daunting task of travelling to Newcastle United in the sixth round of the cup.

(Bristol Rovers did in fact hold Newcastle, the eventual cup winners, to a goal less draw at St James's Park, only to lose the replay at Eastville by three goals to one)



SATURDAY 17TH FEBRUARY, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 4 (Skidmore 2 (1 pen), Devlin, Dearson) MILLWALL 0

Lewis; Jones, Skidmore; Walters, Russon, Devlin;
Bowen, Dearson, Winter, O'Neill, Allison;

Finlayson; Quinn, Jardine; Short, Bowler, Reeves;
Johnson, Constantine, Neary, Morgan, Jones (J);

Despite having been in action only two days earlier Walsall fielded an unchanged side.
The bounced back in style from the defeat on Thursday and had a runaway win over a Milwall side which included several big name players.

Star of the show was powerful left back Bill Skidmore with two tremendous goals from his trusty left foot. The first from a penalty and the second from a free kick. Further goals from former striker Devlin and Dearson helped the home side to one of their biggest wins for some time.

SATURDAY 24TH FEBRUARY 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 (Dudley) DERBY COUNTY 2 (Stamps, Harrison)

Sanders; Rickaby, Millard; Kennedy, Vernon (capt), Barlow;
Allen, Dudley, Richardson, McCall, Lee;

Webster; Parr, Mozley; Ward, Oliver, Musson;
Harrison, Stamps, Lee, Morris, McLaren;

The home attack did not seem able to get going at all during the first half and it came as no surprise when Derby took the lead after thirty four minutes. Jack Stamps scored a typical goal with a grand shot on the turn which gave Sanders no chance at all.

Neither side looked dangerous in front of goal, Derby's centre forward Jack Lee being blotted out by Jack Vernon and the tall fair haired Oliver giving little scope to Albion's Richardson. Derby's best fowards were Stamps and clever little Johnny Morris always scheming for an opening. Half-time 0-1.

Ten minutes after the restart Jimmy Dudley scored a well taken goal for Albion following a good combined forward move. Albion now piled on the pressure and almost overwhelmed the hard pressed Derby defernce. Richardson and Lee both hit the bar and Terry Webster made many good saves in the Derby goal. However Albion just could not get the ball in the net.

With only seconds left to play Derby snatched the winning goal. A free kick taken by England international wing half, Tim Ward, caused a mix up in the penalty area and outside right Harrison dashed in to push the ball home.

SATURDAY 3RD MARCH 1951

LEAGUE DIVISON ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 4 (Swinbourne 2, Hancocks 2) SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 0

Williams; Short, Pritchard; Russell, McLean, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Walker, Swinbourne, Dunn, Mullen;

Morton; Jackson, Curtis; Gannon, Packard, Witcomb;
Marriott, Froggatt, Ricketts, Thomas, Woodhead;

Referee:- A.C. Denham, Preston

Wolves, cup semi-finalists against Newcastle next week and seventh in the league, faced a desperate Sheffield side who are facing relegation after being promoted only last season. Wolves had burly Angus McLean deputising for Bill Shorthouse at centre half and Wednesday experimented with tiny winger Wally Ricketts at centre forward.


It was soon evident that Wolves would stroll away with the game as after twelve minutes Roy Swinbourne headed a grand goal when Dunn back-headed the ball to him. Nine minutes later Hancocks, in great form, cut inside his full back then advanced into the penalty area to score with a fierce left foot shot.

Four minutes later Wolves were three up after another Hancocks centre and there was Swinbourne to head it into the net again. Half time 3-0.

Wolves eased up somewhat during the second half and added only one more goal when Hancocks scored with a long range effort almost from the touchline. The key to Wolves domination of the game was the success of their two wingers. Hancocks did as he liked against Curtis, although the left back did clear three scoring efforts off the line. The right back Jackson, playing only his third first division game, was also unable to control Mullen on the Wolves left wing.

Wednesday did contribute some attractive approach play but the only forward with any ideas of finishing was Redfern Froggatt who sent in one effort which struck Williams' body then hit the upright and bounced out again. Little Ricketts had a hopeless task trying to get the better of his huge opponent, McLean, and it seems very unlikely that this experiment will be continued.

SATURDAY 10TH MARCH, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL O NOTTS FOREST 2 (Collindridge, Leverton) 

Lewis; Jones, Skidmore; Walters, Russon, Devlin; 
Bowen, Dearson, Winter, O'Neill, Allison;

Walker; Hutchinson, Thomas; Morley, Gager, Burkitt;
Scott, Johnson, Leverton, Capel, Collindridge;

Referee:- R.A. Mortimore, Huddersfield

Forest, top of the league now by only one point after recent defeats were stiff opposition for Walsall despite the home side's recent revival. Forest's manager, Billy Walker, had built up a fine side. His most recent acquisition  being former Sheffield United winger Colin Collindridge.

Notts Forest 1950-51

Walsall's recent good form saw 2,000 fans travel to Port Vale's new ground last week, where the Saddlers obtained a hard earned point, thanks to a spectacular first goal for the club by Henry Walters. The stalwart defender is in his fifth season with the club and his first goal looked like gaining a victory until the equaliser went in with ten minutes remaining.



The following two press reports make interesting reading
concentrating on the two Yorkshiremen in Walsall's ranks
left back Bill Skidmore and centre forward Jack Winter.

(Forest did eventually win the Third Division South title at
the end of the season with a six point margin over Norwich
City. They scored a total of 110 goals and conceeded only
40 in their 46 matches)

 

SATURDAY 17TH MARCH, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 2 (Walker, Swinbourne) PORTSMOUTH 3 (Munday 2, Reid)

Williams; Short, Pritchard; Russell, Shorthouse, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Broadbent, Swinbourne, Walker, Mullen;

Butler; Stephen, Ferrier; Scoular, Froggatt, Dickinson;
Harris, Reid, Munday, Philips, Gaillard;

The visitors, Portsmouth, had won the first division league title for the previous two seasons, but were now struggling below half way in the table five places below Wolves. There were a few changes in personnel for the champions, the most notable of which was the switching of England international outside left Jack Froggatt to centre half, which seemed a most unusual move. However he took to his new position like a duck to water and proved an excellent replacement for former captain Reg Flewin.

Two newcomers were in the Portsmouth team, a smallish centre forward Albert Munday who scored two goals in this match and a Belgian outside left Marcel Gaillard. The rest of the side with two international wing halves, Jimmy Scoular of Scotland and Jimmy Dickinson of England, remained unchanged and they certainly taught Wolves a lesson today, winning a close match by 3-2.

Wolves gave a debut to a young inside forward Peter Broadbent recently signed from Brentford who was to become an England international and stayed at Wolves for fourteen seasons.
Portsmouth goalkeeper Ted Butler
outjumps Wolves Roy Swinbourne.

(The programme notes which follow make interesting reading on several counts. The most notable item being the first one which mentions stretchers being used to deal with victims of a surging crowd in one of the closely packed corners of the ground at Hillsborough. Remember this was in 1951, many years before the dreadful disaster of 1989.)

(On a lighter note the final item which refers to the Wolves 'D' team of the time, reminds me that within a couple of years I was playing for another youth club team in the very same Walsall Minor League and on the receiving end of a real thrashing by a double figure margin from the Wolves juniors).