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).

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Black Country football 1950-51 (Part four)

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 6TH JANUARY, 1951

F.A. CUP THIRD ROUND AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 2 (Dixon, Thompson) BURNLEY 0

Jones; Lynn, Parkes; Canning, Martin, Moss (F);
Goffin, Thompson, Dixon, Gibson, Smith (L);

Strong; Woodruffe, Mather; Attwell, Cummings, Bray (capt);
Chew, Morris, Spencer, McIlroy, Hays;

A large crowd saw Villa through to the next round in a rather dull affair which
provided little in the way of entertainment. Dixon, in the unfamiliar role of centre forward, scored the first goal and Tommy Thompson the second. These two were to become regular fixtures and goalscorers from the inside forward positions.

Burnley showed little in attack despite the presence of Irishman Jimmy McIlroy but their defence looked  solid for most of the game with seven players of the 1947 cup final team when they lost 1-0 to Charlton. One of the newcomers is centre half Tommy Cummings who looks a fine prospect having taken over the position from Alan Brown.

Villa will be hoping for an extended cup run to compensate for their rather disappointing league form this season.

SATURDAY 13TH JANUARY 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 1 (Walker) BLACKPOOL 1 (Mortenson)

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

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

Referee:- H.T. Wright, Macclesfield

A last minute choice at centre half for Blackpool was Jack Ainscough, playing his first league match. He played with the coolness of a veteran and completely subdued the dashing Swinbourne. Wolves has nearly all the play in the first half and Walker put them ahead after only eight minutes. This followed a period of hectic defence by Blackpool in which three shots were charged down on the line.

After this however, despite Hancocks' trickery on the right wing, Wolves could not penetrate the strong defence, in which every member, particularly Ainscough, played well. Goalkeeper George Farm did well making several brilliant saves.

After twenty seven minutes Stan Mortenson equalised with a grand goal. Alan Brown pushed the ball down the centre for him to run onto and going at full speed he outpaced the entire defence before crashing the ball past Bert Williams. Stanley Matthews had a very quiet game on the wing for Blackpool.

SATURDAY 20TH JANUARY, 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 2 (Winter 2) GILLINGHAM 1 (Lewis)

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

Gage; Marks, Lewin; Boswell, Kingnorth, Ayres;
Burtenshaw (C), Lewis, Thomas, McGuire, Veck;

Since the last home game with Exeter, Walsall had suffered two more away defeats at Ipswich and Bournemouth, which meant that they were now only above bottom club Crystal Palace on goal average. Efforts had been made to strengthen the side and to day saw the debut of William O'Neill an Irishman signed from Burnley. A native of Cork, he was previously with Chelmsford and Belfast Celtic.

Another newcomer was centre forward Jack Winter, a 22 year old from Sheffield United. Sutcliffe was given a rare opportunity and Allison, the former Reading winger, was also given an opportunity in a much changed side.

Gillingham, had been re-admitted to the Football League this season after going out in 1937-38. After struggling early on they appear to have turned the corner and last Wednesday broke their league scoring record by beating Exeter 9-4. Lewis who got three earlier in the season against Walsall got another hat-trick.

Apart from a short spell at the opening of the second half there was not a goal look about Gillingham today. It was their defenders who took most of the honours. They gave a gallant display against a lively Walsall attack, greatly improved by the inclusion of O'Neill and Winter. It took the newcomers some time to fit in with the rest of the forward line and before a working understanding had developed Gillingham went ahead with a snap goal by Lewis early in the second half.

The other Lewis, the Walsall goalkeeper, kept out terrific shots by Burtenshaw and Thomas. Then the Walsall forward settled down. In the 68th minute Bowen swung over a high centre which Gage failed to gather and Winter whipped the ball into the net. Six minutes later O'Neill sent Allison away on the left and his accurate centre was headed in by Winter to give Walsall two very valuable points.

SATURDAY 27TH JANUARY, 1951

F.A. CUP FOURTH ROUND AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 3 (Walker, Mullen, Swinbourne) ASTON VILLA 1 (Dixon)

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

Jones; Parkes, Dorsett; Cannng, Martin (capt), Moss (A);
Dixon, Gibson, Walsh, Thompson, Smith (L);


The turning point of this game, or perhaps the end of the game as far as Aston Villa were concerned, came after thirty four minutes play. Wolves were then leading 2-0 and Villa were awarded a penalty for an alleged foul by Crook. Skipper Con Martin, instead of entrusting his penalty expert Dick Dorsett with such an important kick, decided to take it himself. He shot hard and low for the corner of the net to Williams' right, but with a fantastic leap Williams threw himself across goal to save.


Wolves had taken the lead in twenty eight minutes through Johnny Walker, after a powerful drive from Hancocks had rebounded from the crossbar, and add it to it three minutes later. Swinbourne beat Martin and although the linesman raised his flag, the referee waved play on and the centre forward put the ball in the net despite Villa's protests. Half time Wolves 2 Villa 0.

Dixon scored for Villa two minutes after the interval, but despite good play by Thompson and Smith, Villa could not score another. Mullen sealed Wolves victory with a powerful first time shot following a Hancocks free kick seven minutes from time.

SATURDAY 3RD FEBRUARY 1951

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 2 (Walker, Mullen) CHARLTON ATHLETIC 3 (Hurst, Jeppson 2)

Parsons; Short, Pritchard; Crook, Shorthouse, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Walker, Swinbourne, Dunn, Mullen;

Bartram; Croker (P), Lock; Fenton, Phipps, Johnson;
Hurst, Evans, Jeppson, Vaughan, Kiernan;

Referee:- W. Ling, Stapleford

Parsons deputised for Williams in goal for Wolves and although he cannot wholly be blamed for this surprise defeat he was obviously nervous and this seemed to be communicated to the rest of the defence.

Wolves, fifth from the top, had a score to settle with Charlton, fifth from the bottom, as the Londoners had beaten them earlier in the season. However, Wolves were denied their revenge and Charlton became the first side to take four points from Wolves this season.

For the first ten minutes of the game Wolves attacked strongly and with the Charlton defence looking anything but confident it seemed as though Wolves would win easily.
However, Gordon Hurst, the balding outside right, suddenly emerged from his own half with the ball, swept past a couple of defenders in midfield and was away on his own with only Parsons to beat. The deputy goalkeeper seemed undecided on what course to take and stood rooted to his goal line when he should have advanced and Hurst placed the ball past him easily for a grand goal.


That was the only score up to half time, but after the interval Charlton confirmed their superiority with two more goals in the 49th and 73rd minutes. Both of them scored by their new Swedish international centre forward Hans Jeppson. Wolves finally got going after the third goal and hit back strongly with goals by Walker and Mullen, but by then it was too late and Charlton had brought off a famous victory.


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Black Country football 1950-51 (Part three)

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 2ND DECEMBER 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 3 (Hancocks 3) WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 (Ryan)

Williams; Short, Pritchard; Crook, Shorthouse, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Dunn, Swinbourne, Smyth, Mullen;

Heath; Rickaby, Millard; Dudley, Vernon (capt), Barlow;
Allen, Ryan, Richardson, Wilcox, Lee;

My first two visits to Molineux had ended in surprise home defeats for the Wolves, but today things got back to normal with an emphatic win in the Black Country derby game. Johnny Hancocks, the tiny winger, with the terrific shot in both feet, won this match almost on his own. He bewildered Len Millard with his clever body swerves and Norman Heath in the Albion goal was equally all at sea with the winger's powerful shooting.

Albion had most of the early play, but Hancocks got the first goal after nineteen minutes with a powerful drive following a pass from Mullen. Fourteen minutes later he hit across a strong high centre and as Swinbourne jumped for it, without making contact, Heath tried to punch it over the bar but only succeeded in helping it into the net.
Half-time Wolves 2 Albion 0.

The second half was played in difficult conditions with snow falling for most of the time. Ryan put Albion back in the game when he scored with a hard drive after sixty four minutes. This was the Irishman's first goal of the season. However, Hancocks was not finished yet, and twelve minutes later made certain of a Wolves victory when, receiving the ball from Dunn, he drove the ball past the well beaten Heath to complete his hat trick and to make his season's total thirteen goals in fifteen matches.

SATURDAY 9TH DECEMBER, 1950

FRIENDLY MATCH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 3 (Bridgett, Bowen, Millard) SHREWSBURY TOWN 3 (Hope, Brown, Griffin)

Lewis; Jones, Walters; Dean, Russon, Green;
Bowen, Millard, Bridgett, Corbett, Morris (F);

Egglestone; Potter, Lewis; Bullions, Ashworth, Crutchley;
Griffin, Jackson, Hope, Brown, Butler;

Referee:- J. Harper, Walsall

Shrewsbury, in their first season of league football, have recently got into their stride in the Northern section of the Third Division. After rather a bad start they have now got fifteen points from nineteen matches against Walsall's thirteen points from a similar number of matches in the Southern section.


Including in the visiting side were Jim Bullions, the former Derby County player and Ron Crutchley formerly with Walsall. The home side continued the experiment of playing centre half Jack Bridgett at centre forward. Bridgett it was who gave Walsall an early lead, but within a minute Jackson had equalised.

Bowen and Millard added further goals to give the home side a 3-1 lead after only twenty minutes play. Walsall then seemed to remember it was only a friendly and eased off considerably. The result of this was that midway through the second half goals from Brown and Griffin gave Shrewsbury a draw.

SATURDAY 18TH DECEMBER, 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 2 (Wilcox, Richardson) ASTON VILLA 0

Heath; Rickaby, Millard; Kennedy, Vernon (capt), Barlow;
Allen, Wilcox, Richardson, Ryan, Lee;

Hindle; Parkes, Dorsett; Canning, Martin, Moss (A);
Sellars, Thompson, Craddock, Dixon, Smith (L);

Having won their first home game since September last week against Sunderland, Albion were all out to improve their lowly league position against somewhat under strength local rivals Aston Villa, who are two points below them. The introduction of a young red haired inside fowad, Eddie Wilcox, helped Albion last week as he scored one of their goals.

Albion took the leaad after only five minutes play and it was young Wilcox who scored again with a fine header from a Barlow centre. Villa had slightly more of the play for the remainder of the first half but could make little headway against a strong Albion defence in which Kennedy and Barlow were outstanding at wing half.
Half time Albion 1 Villa 0.


Albion went further ahead after fifty five minutes. A free kick from Allen was brought down well by Wilcox who gave Richardson an easy goal from close range. The home side continued to dominate the game and both Barlow and Richardson were unlucky not to score. The only occasion on which Villa looked like scoring was when Barlow kicked a shot from Sellars off the line.



TUESDAY 26TH DECEMBER, 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVES 3 (Swinbourne, Hancocks, Dunn) HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1 (Hassall)

Williams; Short, Pritchard; Chatham, Shorthouse, Crook;
Hancocks, Dunn, Swinbourne, Wright (capt), Wilshaw;

Wheeler; Gallogly, Kelly; Hunter, McEvoy, Boot (capt);
McKenna, Nightingale, Taylor (J), Hassall, Metcalfe;

Referee:- J.W. Topliss, Grimsby


Molineux has been the scene of some of Huddersfield's heaviest defeats in the past and having at one point this season conceeded twenty goals in three succesive matches (including an 8-0 defeat at Middlesborough) they must have been rather apprehensive about today's Boxing Day visit. The reason that they kept the score down to reasonable proportions was the fine display of goalkeeper Wheeler who made many fine saves, His two best efforts were from full-blooded shots by Wright, back in his old inside forward position, and Hancocks.

All the goals came in the first half, the first one from a a hotly disputed penalty. It was apparently awarded for a handling offence. Hancocks poweful shot hit the base of the post before entering the net. Swinbourne, who worried McEvoy throughout, scored the seond after twenty seven minutes from close range and Dunn headed the third ten minutes later. Hassall headed a neat goal for the visitors five minutes from the interval, following a corner taken by Metcalfe. Half time Wolves 3 Town 1.

Wolves could not get into their stride in the second half, mainly because of the grip, Kelly, a former Wolves player, kept on Hancocks. Wright and Wilshaw were Wolves most dangerous forwards, but they could not get past Wheeler in the Town goal.

If Huddersfield's finishing could have matched their approach play they might easily have won this game as the Wolves defence often panicked under pressure without the steadying influence of Wright at the back. Shorthouse, however, was an exception and was outstanding throughout the game.


WEDNESDAY 27TH DECEMBER, 1950

CENTRAL LEAGUE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA RESERVES 1 (Smith H) MANCHESTER UTD RESERVES 1 (Riches)

Jones (K); Ashton, Vinall; Lamb, Aldis, Daly;
Sellars, Higgins, Pace, Bullock, Smith (H);

Crompton; McNulty, Byrne; Lowrie, Jones (M), Blanchflower (J);
Violett, Clempson, Riches, Lynn (capt), Bond;

Referee:-  J. Sedgely, Stoke



With the young Wolves side having slipped badly by twice losing to Sheffield United, Villa reserves lying second in the Central League had a chance to narrow the gap at the top. They were the better side during the first half and took the lead after fifteen minutes play when Smith tapped home a centre from Pace, who had moved out onto the right wing. Previously Smith had shot against the post from a free kick and Pace had hit the other post with a header.

United, with a very young side, apart from veteran goalkeeper Jack Crompton, were looking threatening on several occasions particularly down the left where one of the youngsters, Bond, was the pick of the forwards. After one of his corners, Jack Blanchflower shot just over the bar. Half time Villa 1 United 0.

Manchester, with four players who were to become members of the famous Busby Babes side in Roger Byrne, Mark Jones, Jack Blanchflower (brother of Danny) and Denis Violett, came more into the game in the second half. Keith Jones, in the Villa goal, brought off a magnificent one handed save from a close range shot from Clempson. Then Bond had a good chance to score also from close range, but he shot over the bar. Finally after eighty three minutes centre forward Riches ran through the centre on his own to score a well deserved equaliser.


SATURDAY 30TH DECEMBER, 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE SOUTH AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 0 EXETER CITY 2 (McKay, Smith)

Lewis; Jones, Walters; Dean, Russon, Dearson (capt);
Morris (F), Bowen, Bridgett, Devlin, Hughes;

Lear; Warren, Clark; Fallon, Doyle, Davey;
McClelland, Lynn, Smith, McKay, Regan;


Walsall had played three games in four days already over the Christmas period and clocked up a substantial mileage in the process. They got their first away win of the season 1-0 at Southend last Saturday, thanks to a second half Devlin goal, then held Newport County to a goal less draw on Christmas Day morning. The following morning, Boxing Day, they were away against Newport again and this time lost 3-0.

They had played at Newport without the injured Billy Green and local boy Dean made his first appearance as deputy. They were further in touble when Jack Bridgett was injured during the first half which caused a wholesale reshuffle

The visitors today, Exeter City, had only ever won twice on this ground in twelve visits, but are having a good season, lying in tenth place although six sides are level on twenty six points. Walsall are now struggling four places from the bottom, so it came as no surprise that Exeter gained their seventh away win of the season. Exeter snapped up two chances whereas Walsall lacked an opportunist capable of taking advantage of many openings which their forceful attack provided.

Both teams played good football in the snow at times, but the City had the smarter forward line in which the two wingers were outstanding togehter with this season's signing from Huddersfield Town, Lynn, who was a clever schemer at inside right.
Walsall's defence in which Ron Russon was a sound centre half and newcomer Dean showed considerable skill at right half, did well to keep the scoring down to one goal, scored by McKay in the nineteenth minute.

An unlucky slip by Henry Walters enabled Smith to increase the lead half-way through the second half. After that Walsall faded and escaped a heavier defeat only because shots by McClelland and McKay rebounded off the post and the crossbar after passing out of reach of the diminutive Lewis in goal.





Monday, 2 November 2015

Black Country football 1950-51 (Part two)

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 23RD SEPTEMBER 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 2 (Walsh, Lee) BURNLEY 1 (Spencer)

Referee:- H.T. Wright, Macclesfield

Sanders; Rickaby, Millard; Kennedy, Vernon (capt), Ryan;
Allen, Williams, Walsh, Barlow, Lee;

Strong, Woodruffe, Hayes; Kirkham, Cummings, Bray (capt);
Stephenson, Morris, Holden, Spencer, Hays;

George Lee, Albion's most dangerous forward, put them ahead three minutes before half time. The first half had been very even up to this point with Burnley's forward line, particularly Welsh international Billy Morris, always looking dangerous. The Albion defence, with Joe Kennedy outstanding, was also in fine form.

Ten minutes after the interval, Spencer equalised for Burnley following an overhead kick by Morris. Albion's wining goal did not come until three minutes before the end of the game when Walsh beat Cummings for about the only time. His shot passed just under the crossbar to win the points.

SATURDAY 7TH OCTOBER, 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 3 (Hancocks, Dunn, Swinbourne)
MIDDLESBOROUGH 4 (McCrea 2, Spuhler, Walker pen)

Parsons; McLean, Shorthouse; Croook, Chatham, Russell;
Hancocks, Dunn, Swinbourne, Mullen;

Ugolini; Robinson, Hardwick (capt); Bell, Whittaker, Gordon;
Reagan, Delephena, Spuhler, McCrea, Walker;

Referee:- J.H. Clough, Bolton

My first ever visit to Molineux proved to be quite an occasion. Wolves who had won the cup in 1949 and finished second in the league (on goal average) in 1950 were just starting one of the most eventful periods in their history. However, today they were missing goalkeeper Bert Williams and captain Billy Wright both playing for England against Northern Ireland in Belfast. Wilf Mannion was also missing for Middlesborough because of the international.

There was no absence of incident and excitement which proved that Middlesborough's current position of second in the league table is a true one. Wolves took the lead after only five minutes play when Dunn headed a Mullen centre down to Swinbourne who scored his ninth goal in eleven games. The centre forward nearly scored again when he deflected a shot from Dunn, but Ugolini threw himself across goal to save.

Middlesborough did not seem upset by this early Wolves pressure and settled down to play some good constructive football. After 25 minutes Spuhler found himself in an unmarked position and McCrea, the former Charlton man, headed in his centre. The inside left put the visitors ahead ten minutes later when he drove Reagan's cross past reserve goalkeeper Parsons. Half-time 1-2.

Four minutes after the interval Crook fisted out a header from Walker and the outside left took the penalty himself and made no mistake. Wolves fought back to level terms with two goals in two minutes through Hancocks and Dunn and looked as though they might win with Hancocks giving George Hardwick, the former England captain, plenty of trouble.

Middlesborough came back again with the decisive goal after Walker had beaten Chatham and laid on the perfect pass for Spuhler to score easily. Hard to say what would have happened if the three England men had taken part, but they too would be happy with a 4-1 win in Belfast with Billy Wright among the scorers.

Middlesborough 1950-51

SATURDAY 14TH OCTOBER, 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 (Walsh) LIVERPOOL 1  (Taylor)

Sanders; Rickaby, Millard, Kennedy, Vernon (capt), Barlow;
Allen, Williams, Walsh, Betteridge, Lee;

Referee:- R.A. Mortimore, Huddersfield

Albion, with Betteridge playing his first game of the season at inside left, dominated the play for most of the game, and but for poor finishing would undoubtedly have won by a considerable margin. The home side hit the post on two occasions, had innumerable shots charged down and perhaps most unlucky of all Betteridge sent in a shot which Ashcroft knew little about, but the ball hit the goalkeeper's body and was deflected out of danger.

It was not until seventy minutes had elapsed before Albion eventually took the lead through Dave Walsh. This was the Irishman's 100th goal for the club. With little being seen of the Liverpool attack and danger man Billy Liddell being blotted out by Stan Rickably there seemed little danger of Albion loosing their lead.

However, in a breakaway three minutes from time Sanders just failed to get to a Liddell centre and Phil Taylor scored from close range to give Liverpool a point they scarcely deserved.

SATURDAY 21ST OCTOBER, 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 1 (Canning) ARSENAL 1 (Logie)

Hindle; Parkes, Dorsett; Canning, Martin, Moss (F);
Sellars, Gibson, Edwards, Dixon, Smith (L);

Swindin; Scott, Smith (L); Shaw, Compton (L), Mercer (capt);
McPherson, Logie, Goring, Lishman, Roper;

Last season's cup winners Arsenal were without Wally Barnes and Alex Forbes, playing for Wales and Scotland respectively at Cardiff and Villa were also without two Welshmen, Ivor Powell and Trevor Ford.


This game was ruined as a spectacle when Arsenal full back Lionel Smith had to leave the field due to injury. Don Roper moved from the left wing to left back and put up a splendid performance to completely subdue Villa's new outside right Sellars.

This seems to be Villa's problem position and Sellars does not look likely to solve it.
After Jimmy Logie put ten man Arsenal ahead, it was nearly all one way traffic but Villa could only manage one goal through reserve wing half Larry Canning, who scored with a fierce shot from the edge of the penalty area.

             Don Roper doing a good job as emergency full back for Arsenal.

SATURDAY 28TH OCTOBER, 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 (Barlow) TOTTENHAM HOTSPURS 2 (Medley, Walters)

Sanders; Rickaby, Millard; Kennedy, Vernon (capt), Barlow;
Elliott, Williams, Richardson, Smith, Allen;

Ditchburn; Ramsey, Willis; Nicholson, Clarke, Burgess (capt);
Walters, Bennett, Duquemin, Bailey, Medley;

Referee:-R.J. Burgess, Reading

The Spurs, newly promoted from the Second Division, have already set the First Division alight with their brilliant push and run football and their star studded line up was obviously a severe test for the home side.


The visitors playing calm, and often brilliant, man to man football took a comfortable two goal lead by half time. Both goals were scored by their wingers. The first by Medley and the second headed in by Walters, who ran on to a precision free kick from Ramsey at just the right moment. Stan Rickaby managed to keep danger man Les Medley in check but centre forward Len Duquemin perhaps the least publicised of the Spurs forward line, often had Jack Vernon in trouble.

Ditchburn was rarely troubled but made two brilliant saves in the early stages and dealt with everything thereafter in the most confident of manners. Ramsey was immaculate at right back and Burgess, a most inspiring captain, was a force in both attack and defence.

Albion finally scored their consolation goal with only two minutes remaining, Barlow brushing past three opponents before cracking a great thirty yard shot in off a post.

SATURDAY 4TH NOVEMBER 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT MOLINEUX, WOLVERHAMPTON

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 0 ARSENAL 1 (Lishman)

Williams; McLean, Pritchard; Chatham, Shorthouse, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Walker, Swinbourne, Pye, Mullen;

Platt; Barnes, Smith (L); Forbes, Compton (L), Mercer (capt);
McPherson, Logie, Goring, Lishman, Roper;

Referee:- W.H.E. Evans, Liverpool


Arsenal, the league leaders, were fortunate to encounter Wolves on a day when their forwards could not find the target. For most of the game play was fairly even with Arsenal seeming the more methodical whereas Wolves violent attacks usually finished in wild shooting. Swinbourne in particular missed two good opportunities in the first half by shooting over the bar.

Platt, an extremely efficient deputy for George Swindin, did very well to save a fierce shot from Mullen, and later a similar effort from Hancocks which came when he was partially unsighted. Hancocks, so often Wolves match winner, was effectively bottled up by Lionel Smith, recovered from his recent injury at Villa. Arsenal's outside right McPherson was able to do more or less as he liked against the indecisive Pritchard.

It was from one of the Arsenal winger's centres that the only goal came. Chatham half stopped, the ball, confusing Williams in goal, and Lishman, the former Walsall player, was able to scramble the ball home from close range.

The England selectors watching this game cannot have been impressed with either of the centre forwards as international candidates, but both Lionel Smith and Leslie Compton, dominant throughout, may well caught their eyes.

SATURDAY 25TH NOVEMBER 1950

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0 MANCHESTER UNITED 1 (Birch)

Heath; Rickaby, Millard; Dudley, Vernon (capt), Barlow;
Allen, Gordon, Richardson, Ryan, Lee;

Allen; McNulty, Aston; Gibson, Chilton, Cockburn;
Bogan, Pearson, Rowley, Birch, Mitten;

United were without their captain Johnny Carey for whom McNulty deputised at right back. They also included an 18 year old inside forward Brian Birch and it was he who scored the only goal of the game. It was his first league goal and came after an hour's play when he headed into the net during a goalmouth scramble.

Albion's defence played well throughout, with Vernon blotting out Jack Rowley, and Rickaby and Barlow also outstanding. The forwards however rarely got going and the nearest they came to scoring was when Ronnie Allen hit the bar. Lee was racing in for the rebound but Reg Allen, Britain's most expensive goalkeeper, recovered to clear.
Bogan and young Birch, their least experienced players, were Manchester's best forwards with Allenby Chilton the pick of the defence.