Saturday, 29 October 2016

Memorable Midlands season 1953-54 - Part four

Posted by Tony Hutton




Chilvers; Horne, Flavell; Dean, Bridgett, Green (capt);
Morris, Tarrant, Holding, Jones (G), Columbo;

Hughes; Haines, Hayward; Thomas, Wilcox (R) (capt), Witcomb;
Birch, Lucas, Saward, Graham, Wharton;

Referee:- A.A. Howlett, Swindon

The first game of the New Year brought Walsall down to earth again after their victory on Christmas Day.
Still firmly anchored at the bottom of the league, they faced a side containing several Welsh international players and a new signing in centre forward Saward from Cambridge United. Walsall replaced veteran goalkeeper Flack with local youngster Gordan Chilvers and continued with the experiment of playing ' hat trick hero' Holding at centre forward.

The morning's thick fog had cleared, but the ground soon became very muddy. Walsall started off well with moves down the right by Dean and Morris. Tarrant headed straight at Hughes from Morris's corner.
Columbo got in a shot but was well wide, another just skimmed the bar and a third was saved by Hughes with difficulty. After about half an hour Newport scored when Birch's centre was pushed out by Chilvers to Graham who banged it home.

Lucas, once with Swansea, was the inspiration of Newport with very accurate passes. Saward was having a hard first game against Bridgett and the other centre half Wilcox never let Holding get going. Jones and Tarrant both played well in midfield but could not get through Newport's packed defence. Hughes was very shaky in goal and did not look like an international player.

Newport's forwards were their strongest department. Morris was not quite up to his normal standard for the Saddlers and skipper Green did not have a very good game, although Dean and Flavell gave improved displays. Towards the end play became very rough and Lucas was guilty of the worst foul, not what you expect from a player-manager. Graham went off injured for a while but Newport were worthy winners in the end against a side which could not reproduce their second half showing on Christmas Day.




Sims; Short, Pritchard; W.J. Slater, Shorthouse, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Broadvent, Swinbourne, Wilshaw, Mullen;

Merrick; Hall, Green; Kinsey, Newman, Boyd (capt);
Astall, Murphy, Lane, Rowley and Govan;

referee:- B.M. Griffiths, Newport (Mon)

Following the transfer of their South African forward Ted Purdon to Sunderland, Blues brought in 17 year old centre forward Jack Lane. Smith and Warhurst were unfit for the visitors so National Serviceman Newman and inside forward Kinsey deputised, Boyd moving to left half. Goalkeeper Bert Williams was
Wolves only absentee and Nigel Sims deputised.

After a thaw and light rain the ground was very soft and both teams
got great cheers of welcome as they came onto the field. Wright won the toss and Wolves piled on the pressure from the start as befits the bookmakers 10-1 favourites to win the cup. They soon forced two corners on the left with the vivid orange coloured ball. Newman twice stopped Swinbourne with sliding tackles. Many passes went astray and it was difficult to control the ball.

After settling down Blues came more into the game and Govan showed he was going to be a lot of trouble for full back Short. After twelve minutes Wolves scored, Short's clearance was headed down to the left by Swinbourne for Wilshaw to crash the ball home off the crossbar. Two minutes later, to most people's surprise,
Blues equalised! Kinsey started it by passing to Peter Murphy, who put a marvellous through pass between the Wolves defenders for former Wolves junior Ken Rowley to run onto and crash home.

A fitting end to a remarkable come back by the former Wolves man. Wolves attacks were being repelled by Birmingham's strong defence - Merrick, Hall and Green all played very well and Wolves main attacking strength on the wings was unable to get going. Birmingham went all out for another goal and Murphy's shot was tipped over the bar by Sims. Then another forty yard effort by Boyd was pushed over by the Wolves goalkeeper.

Lane was trying very hard for the Blues, but seemed to inexperienced for a cup-tie of this nature. Then Mullen's shot hit the post and went out. Wright played a tremendous game pumping passes to the forwards. Hancocks had a good chance when put through but Merrick dived courageously at his feet and the ball ran clear. Swinbourne had the easiest chance so far but tried to place his shot which struck a post and rebounded. Half time 1-1.

In a hectic second half Broadbent was Wolves best forward, but Blues' defence, with skipper Len Boyd outstanding won the day. After sixty seven minutes Murphy scored following Astall's corner with a very fine shot. Eight minutes later Shorthouse was injured and had to go on the wing, Wright went to centre half and Wilshaw to left half. Hancocks wandered to no great effect. Wilshaw's smile on scoring the first goal had long gone when he trudged off the field, whereas Murphy was mobbed by overjoyed Blues' fans. The favourites had been knocked out in the third round!



WALSALL 1 (Morris) LINCOLN CITY 1 (Finch) - after extra time.        Attendance 15,000                

Chilvers; Horne, Green (capt); Grubb, Bridgett, Tarrant;
Morris, Finlay, Flavell, Jones (G), Columbo;

Lowery; Green (H), Killin; Wright (capt), Emery, Owen;
Munro, McDowall, Graver, Dykes, Finch;

Referee:- Mr. A. Jones, Liverpool

 A tremendous F.A. Cup replay in muddy conditions on a Thursday afternoon attracted a crowd of
15,000 which was Walsall biggest attendance since the 1948-49 season. The bottom club in division three south had held their second division opponents 1-1 in the first match at Sincil Bank on Saturday and given them the hope of being in the fourth round.

Thursday afternoon was somewhat inconvenient for a sixteen year old schoolboy. However myself and a friend who had an art lesson at school that afternoon, persuaded the teacher that we should go out for the afternoon on our bikes and draw a landscape picture for him. This indeed we did, in record time, with a distant view of the Walsall cooling towers (the biggest landmark we could find). Then we cycled off to Fellows Park arriving about half time. We propped our bikes against the perimeter fence and stood on the saddles to see over it.

At three quarter time we were admitted free and saw the end of normal time and half an hour's extra time.
The details of the first half are from the local press reports of the time. Both sides had to change because of a colour clash and Walsall turned out in royal blue shirts, white shorts and claret and blue socks. Lincoln were in white shirts and black shorts. Killin, a left back signed from Manchester United in 1952 was making his first appearance for City. Right back Dykes moved to inside left displacing Birch. Walsall were unchanged from the first match, with yet another full back tried at centre forward. This time it was the Worcestershire cricketer, Jack Flavell.

Lincoln's first two raids were stopped by Horne. The Lincoln defence seemed unsteady and Lowery saved from Columbo, who later headed into the side of the net from Morris's corner. Bridgett was troubled by prolific scorer Andy Graver, but Columbo managed to get in another shot as Walsall searched for the vital first goal. Lincoln defenders three times scrambled shots of the line. Killin was watching Morris closely, then McDowall missed an easy chance for Lincoln. It was end to end stuff and Flavell moving off side spoilt another home attack.

The Walsall keeper, Gordan Chilvers saved a terrific shot from Graver and then Columbo went close again at the other end. After twenty nine minutes Chilvers allowed Munro's low centre to slip away from him for Finch to score. Jones had a shot deflected by Green but then eight minutes later Walsall equalised to the delight of the crowd. This goal earned the club £40 from various benefactors. After saving a curling centre from danger man Columbo, Lowery was beaten when Morris tapped through the outside left's corner.

Walsall were now on top and Lincoln defended frantically, Jones was brought down in the penalty area - but no penalty. Columbo went close yet again, Horne was injured but recovered and Flavell again spoilt things by getting off side - oh for a proper centre forward rather than a full back in that position. H.T. 1-1.

Early in the second half Graver missed a fairly easy chance and then Dykes, after Graver had let the ball run to him, struck a post from a good position. Bridgett and Horne were outstanding in defence for Walsall, for whom Jones and Columbo combined very well and Morris alone of the twenty two player seemed to have stayed the pace which was very fast on the muddy surface.

Then Walsall should have scored twice, Flavell broke through but shot poorly at Lowery, then the Lincoln goalkeeper tipped Colmbo's shot over the bar. Then followed a punishing half hour of extra time with both teams exhausted by the heavy pitch. Findlay went close twice, he played very well. Flavell tried very hard, if only his shooting had been as good as his distribution. He was well supported by Grubb, playing out of position at wing half and Tarrant. The teams now face a very difficult second replay at Notts Forest next Monday.

(The second replay produced a chapter of accidents which saw Walsall lose the match 2-1 with no luck on their side at all. They started well and went ahead after only eight minutes with a goal from Finlay. Then things went wrong in a big way. First Holding, back at centre forward, stubbed his toe in the ground so severely after only twenty minutes, that although he hobbled back twice, he was unable to continue after half time. Soon after this disaster skipper Green tried to head back to the goalkeeper who had just changed position and gave away an own goal. Half-time 1-1.
With only ten men Walsall fought on but the final misfortune came in the seventy second minute when a corner kick threw them into confusion as the linesman made a gesture as if signalling the ball had gone out of play. The referee played on, Graver headed it goalwards and Green stopped it with his hand. Despite the Walsall protests the referee awarded a penalty and Whittle scored. A great effort by the Saddlers but everything went against them).



WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 0 ARSENAL 2 (Logie, Lishman)       Attendance 45,974

Williams; Short, Pritchard; W.J. Slater, Wright (capt), Flowers;
Hancocks, Broadbent, Swinbourne, Wilshaw, Mullen;

Kelsey; Wills, Wade; Dickson, Dodgin, Forbes;
Milton, Logie (capt), Holton, Lishman, Roper;

On last week's cup form a win for the Gunners was indicated and so it turned out. Shorthouse was unfit, so Wright moved to centre half and Williams returned in goal. There was the usual greeting of red and white balloons for Arsenal. Mullen got in two centres early on but was robbed by Milton when the ball came back to him. Flowers beat his man and got in a centre which Kelsey caught. Arsenal's first attack saw Logie give Milton a perfect pass and the winger raced past Pritchard easily but Williams saved his cross at the second attempt.

A similar move brought Arsenal's first goal when Holton took up position well out on the right.
Billy Wright believed him to be offside, but when Logie put a precision ball through, right back Short was seen to be playing him on. He cut inside and Logie had only to tap his centre into the net. Flowers then went through for Wolves and his fierce shot hit the bar and rebounded. With Milton cutting straight through the defence several times, only the heroic efforts of Wright prevented further goals.

Wolves nearly scored through left back Pritchard when he took a free kick from well out. Dodgin misjudged it and Kelsey had to dive to save. Arsenal then combined beautifully - Logie, Forbes, Milton, Logie, Roper and then a wonderful save by Williams. He saved brilliantly again from a Holton header after Milton had broken through once more. Finally Kelsey could only turn Swinbourne's shot against the crossbar. H.T. 0-1.

In the second half it was now nearly all Wolves. Logie had to go off briefly and Hancocks had stitches put in his head. Williams saved another certain goal, diving at Holton's feet. Near the end with Logie limping on the wing, Roper broke away and Lishman, the former Walsall player, headed a second goal. Man of the match was Arthur Milton, closely followed by both goalkeepers. Forbes was also outstanding for the visitors and Flowers and Slater both gave good displays for Wolves. Wilshaw was the pick of the home forwards, but Wright never looked out of place at centre half and still continued to do the work of two men.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Memorable Midlands season 1953-54 - Part three

Posted by Tony Hutton



WOLVES 4 (Swinbourne 2, Wilshaw, Hancocks pen) SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 1 (Woodhead)

Williams; Short, Pritchard; Slater, Shorthouse, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Broadbent, Swinbourne, Wilshaw, Mullen;

Ryalls; Conwell, Curtis (capt); Gannon, O'Donnell, Davies;
Finney, Quixall, Jordan, Sewell, Woodhead;

Referee:- J.H. Clough, Bristol

With  international inside forwards Sewell and Quixalll combining well Wednesday had a good start and Woodhead, receiving from Sewell, cut in cleverly to beat Williams after only six minutes. After twelve minutes however Hancocks' fierce drive rebounded from Ryall's body for Wilshaw to equalise. Just before half time the tiny winger did score himself, this time from a penalty after Broadbent had been brought down and an earlier appeal turned down.

Wolves dashing centre forward Roy Swinbourne added two further goals during the second half. The first from a centre by Hancocks and the second after Wednesday's young goalkeeper had made a brilliant save from the hard shooting wing man. Hancocks was therefore involved in all four Wolves goals and on the whole gave Wednesday skipper Norman Curtis quite a hectic afternoon.

Wednesday's main failing was shooting power in front of goal. They schemed well but unfortunately Clarrie Jordon has lost the goal scoring touch which was so prominent in the early years of his career. O'Donnell did quite well against the lively Swinbourne, following him everywhere and Gannon was a sound, constructive wing half. For Wolves Williams, Pritchard and Shorthouse stood out in defence while all the forwards, with the notable exception of Mullen, had fine games.



WALSALL 1 (Morris) TORQUAY UNITED 3 (Collins 2, 1 pen, Dobbie)

Chilvers; Horne, Flavell; Tarrant, Bridgett, Russon;
Grubb, Green (capt), Jefferies, Jones, Morris;

Hayes; Parfitt, H. Smith; Lewis, Webber (capt), Norman;
Shaw, Collins, Dobbie, Mills, Bond;

Ted Tarrant, signed from Hull City, made his debut for Walsall and Gwyn Jones, from Leeds United, made his home debut. Amateur right back Harry Smith, from West Bromwich Albion, made his debut for Torquay.

In Walsall's first raid Jefferies shot into the side netting but when Torquay swept upfield they scored a perfect goal. Dobbie, the former Middlesborough player, ran up the right wing and his perfect centre was headed into the top corner of the net by Collins. Tarrant soon showed up well with a twenty yard drive going just side. Despite the heavy ground Torquay's on the floor football  was paying dividends.

Their forwards, well supported by two attacking wing halves, combined extremely well, with Ron Shaw and Don Mills the dangermen, but the other three all doing well also. Webber was usual calm, cool self and the full backs supported him manfully. Walsall went near on several occasions but their shooting was terrible.
Russon, near the left hand corner flag, lobbed the ball over Hayes' head, only for a wall of defenders to stop
Jeffries and Grubb.

Walsall's main weakness seemed to be the left flank, Flavell leaving Shaw far too much room to work in and Russon giving a very poor display. In contrast the rest of the defence played quite well, Chilvers making some good saves and Horne and Bridgett giving their usual satisfactory performances. The forwards as usual were a great disappointment, but improved somewhat in the second half when Grubb ad Morris changed places. Green was out of place in the forward line and Jones improved as the game went on.

                                                                 Sam Collins (Torquay)

Collins scored Torquay's second goal from a penalty and Dobbie the third, heading in a long left wing centre by Norman. Morris eventually scored a consolation goal in an untidy goalmouth scramble.



WALSALL 3 (Holding 2, Jones) CREWE ALEXANDRA 0                 Attendance 12,877

Chilvers; Horne, Flavell; Dean, Bridgett, Green (capt);
Grubb, Alsopp, Holding, Jones (G), Morris;

Floyd; Mould, Briggs; Morris, Lees, Murphy (capt);
McGuigan, Boyle, Bettaney, Broome, Curzon;

Referee:- A.A. Howlett, Swindon

Walsall, firmly entrenched at the bottom of division three south, played in Aston Villa's colours, the ones in which they beat Arsenal in the F.A. Cup of 1933, and brought in full back Eddie Holding at centre forward, Norman Alsopp at inside right, Dean at right half and skipper Bill Green at left half. Crewe made many changes, Ron Floyd ex-West Bromwich Albion was given his first game in goal, Lees came back at centre half, Briggs moving to left back. Outside right McGuigan was the only forward to retain his place. Veteran former Villa and Derby County player Frank Broome, now 39, was at inside left and youngsters Bettaney at centre forward and 17 year old Curzon at outside left were brought in. Crewe played in royal blue shirts and were without regular right half Meaney, who had been suspended for fourteen days.

Walsall were soon on the attack and Morris shot wide from well out. Holding was soon prominent and was keeping the forwards together well. His first shot, hampered by two defenders went well over. Walsall were keeping Crewe penned in their own half and whenever they broke away Bridgett and Horne soon repelled them. The Saddlers had three consecutive corners, all good ones. Morris' first inswinger hit the corner of the goal. Walsall's inside men were playing particularly well and when Alsopp put Gwyn Jones through the tiny inside left's shot struck the bar as he was tackled.

Alsopp and Grubb combined well but goalkeeper Floyd was in good form. Then Green went near with a header and a thirty yard drive. After thirty three minutes it was 0-0, after 34 minutes it was 2-0! Holding beat Lees on the edge of the area and hit the ball into the corner of the net. Then immediately Jones scored a similar goal amidst great excitement. Straight way after half time Walsall scored again. Full back Flavell had a terrific shot which rebounded to Holding who hit it into the empty net as Floyd had moved across goal for Flavell's shot.

Broome had moved to his old position of outside right and soon after Dean was injured and also went on the right wing for Walsall, with Grubb moving to right half. Murphy, Crewe's skipper, tried to score several times but got little support. Lees and Briggs were next best to Floyd in the Crewe defence and Boyle was the pick of the forwards. Ralph Ward on the bench must have been very disappointed with his team's performance.
Walsall's forwards all played well, supported by two good wing halves and deserved their place in the third round draw.



WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 3 (Hancocks 2, 1 pen, Wilshaw) MANCHESTER CITY 1 (Davies)

Williams; Short, Pritchard; W.J. Slater, Shorthouse, Wright (capt);
Hancocks, Broadbent, Swinbourne, Wilshaw, Mullen;

Trautmann; Branagan, Little; Revie, Ewing, Paul (capt);
Hayes, Hart, Meadows, Davies, Clarke;

Referee:- A. Murdoch, Sheffield.

During the first half hour the play was very even, but after twenty five minutes Roy Clarke made a brilliant run down the left beating two men, drawing a third and then passing to Davies, who had switched with Hart, for him to drive into the corner of the net. Ten minutes later, after prolonged Wolves pressure, Ewing slipped and Wilshaw had only Trautmann to beat, but Ewing lying on the ground pulled his leg back as he was about to shoot! Hancocks took the resulting penalty and scored with a terrific accurate shot in the right hand corner, which Trautmann very nearly got to.

Previously the German goalkeeper had saved City time and time again, one brilliant save from Hancocks' point blank left foot shot, he then punched a powerful Swinbourne header over the bar and dived to catch one from Wilshaw. After sixty minutes, Mullen's centre started a scramble and Wilshaw shot in with Trautmann out of goal. A minute from the end Hancocks managed to beat him again following Mullen's centre.

Branagan played well at full back, but his headwork was not up to standard. Little and Ewing , although strong in the tackle, were always vulnerable to skill and speed. The strong point of City's team was at wing half. Don Revie giving a very cool display, one speciality being his collection of the ball from Trautmann's clearances. Roy Paul was even better, with long curling passes straight to Roy Clarke's feet. This made Clarke City's danger man, as he was able to do what he liked against Short, his sparkling runs being a feature of the game.

Davies and Hart did not fit in as inside forwards. Hayes, who had a good turn of speed, suffered from lack of support and Meadows although outplayed by Shorthouse, was very good with his head and went near on several occasions. Williams, Pritchard and Wright were next best in defence for Wolves. Unfortunately Broadbent's shooting and passing at times was very bad.



ASTON VILLA RESERVES 1 (Tyrell)  EVERTON RESERVES 4 (Mayers, Potts, Saunders 2)

M.J. Pinner; Lamb, Hunt; Spencer, Proudler (capt), Barrett;
Slatter, Roberts (K), Pace, Tyrell, Roberts (K.O.);

Leyland; Heyes,------; Grant, Woods, ------;
Mayers, Lewis, Saunders, Potts, Stewart;

Referee:- J.A. Turner, Willenhall

Although Christmas Eve and very cold there was blue sky and bright sun. Everton did most of the attacking during the first half and were unlucky not to score. This was due to a fine performance by M.J. Pinner, the Cambridge University player, in goal. Villa's back were not quick enough for Everton's speedy wingers - 19 year old Mayers and Canadian Gordan Stewart. Villa's attacks were occasional break-aways and none was more prominent than young K.O. Roberts on the left wing. His namesake also had quite a good game.
Villa rather surprisingly scored when Tyrell pushed in Slatter's centre from close range.  H.T. 1-0.

                                                          Mike Pinner (Aston Villa)

In the second half Everton found their shooting boots, Mayers scoring the first from Pott's pass. Mayers returned the compliment and Potts, the former Burnley player, scored himself. The after a brilliant run by Jackie Grant, Ron Saunders slammed the ball in to the empty goal. Then the centre forward scored another after good work by Stewart and Gwyn Lewis, who had only a quiet game. Both half back lines were outstanding, particularly Grant and Woods for Everton and Barrett for Villa. Everton's backs played well, but Heyes showed a tendancey to use his right foot too often. Leyland was a safe goaly for Everton, but for Villa Pace was too small at centre forward, and apart from his simple goal, Tyrell did not come up to expectations.

(Of course both Harry Potts and Ron Saunders had long managerial careers in years to come.)




Flack; Horne, Flavell; Dean, Bridgett, Green (capt);
Morris, Tarrant, Holding, Jones (G), Columbo;

Gill; Tennant (capt), Langley; McIlvenny, South, Wilson;
Gordan, Munday, Addinall, Sirrel, Foreman;

Referee:- W. E. Dellow, Croydon

Christmas Day morning and most of the long suffering Walsall supporters faced a long walk to the ground as no buses ran today. However they were rewarded by one of the home side's best wins for some time.
Walsall introduced new signing Donald Columbo (no relation to the TV detective who appeared years later) an outside left from Portsmouth, who was opposed by one of his former team-mates Albert Munday.

During the first half Walsall gave a very poor display in both passing and marking. Flack, the former Fulham player, did not look at all confident in goal and when he failed to punch clear a centre, Munday scored seven minutes before half time. Horne played well against the tricky South African, Dennis Foreman who also pla cricket for Sussex. The other cricketer on the field, Jack Flavell of Worcestershire, left 'Flash' Gordan open too much and was often beaten or speed.

Dean had a poor game, but Bridgett was his usual safe self. Green's passing was not up to standard, but he and Morris had been involved in a car accident before the game. Morris did play well against Brighton's best defender, the former Leeds United man Jim Langley. Columbo is a sound player but unlikely to do anything particularly brilliant. Half time 0-1..0

In the second half Walsall suddenly came to life. Gill could not hold a shot from Tarrant and emergancy  centre forward Holding, normally a full back scored with ease. Tarrant, Holding and Jones all played very well as South, the Brighton centre half, was always vunerable. Holding scored a second after Bridgett had come upfield and then amazingly completed a 'hat trick' from Jones' pass. Tarrant very nearly scored a fourth when clean through, but his shot hit Gill's knees and rebounded to safety. Only Munday looked dangerous for Brighton and in the end it was convincing victory for the Saddlers to send the fans home happy for their Christmas turkey.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

The big match 2 - England v Hungary 1953

Posted by Tony Hutton


INTERNATIONAL MATCH AT WEMBLEY STADIUM                   Attendance 100,000

ENGLAND 3 (Sewell, Mortenson, Ramsey pen) HUNGARY 6 (Hidegkuti 3, Puskas 2, Bozsik)

Merrick (Birmingham City); Ramsey (Spurs), Eckersley (Blackburn); Wright (Wolves - capt), Johnston (Blackpool), Dickinson (Portsmouth); Matthews (Blackpool), Taylor (Blackpool), Mortenson (Blackpool),
Sewell (Sheffield Wednesday), Robb (Spurs);

Grosits; Buzansky, Lantos; Bozsik, Lorant, Zakarias;
Budai, Kocsis, Hidegkuti, Puskas (capt), Czibor;

Referee:- L. Horn (Holland)

This was a match I saw on television (in black and white of course) on a Wednesday afternoon when I bunked off school (or played truant as it was called then) where I should have been playing rugby union in the rain. I had read great things about the Hungarian team and was not disappointed. They not only took England's record of not losing at home to a foreign team but tore it to shreds by playing a brand of football that no one in this country had seen before.

I have kept all the press reports and pictures from that day all these years and still remember it clearly after almost sixty three years. They remain the greatest team I ever saw apart possibly from the Real Madrid side of a few years later, who also included the amazing Hungarian captain Ferenc Puskas.

The press reports and pictures speak for themselves.

Memorable Midlands season 1953-54 (Part two)



WALSALL 0 MILLWALL 2 (Stobbart 2)

Chilvers; Horne, Flavell; Green (capt), Bridgett, Slynn;
Grubb, Dean, Morris, Allsop, Smith;

Brewer; Jadine, Fisher; Short, Bowler (capt0, Heydon;
Hazlett, Stobbart, Neary, Saward, Hartburn;

Walsall included a new left wing pair, Norman Allsop at inside left from Hednesford, who was previously with West Bromwich Albion, and outside left Alf Smith from Bilston. Millwall had a much more experienced side captained by Irish international Gerry Bowler and Including Short, the former Leeds United wing half, Heydon from Liverpool, George Stobbart ex Newcastle and Luton and 'cannonball' Frank Neary, from Queens Park Rangers.

Milwall's forwards combined well and took the lead after only three minutes play when George Stobbart pushed Hartburn's free kick into the net. After a period of Millwall pressure Walsall started a series of attacks, but whenever a centre from the wings came over the rock like Bowler would be there to head it clear. It was obvious that he was the most outstanding and coolest player afield and he was well supported by the rest of the defence.

Stobbart scored his second goal after half an hour when put through by Neary. Smith, the tiny winger, was Walsall's best forward and should develop into a useful player. At half time he changed position and shirts with Grubb. Walsall now got in a series of good raids, one of which developed into a fierce scrum in the Millwall goalmouth. Saward was the only Millwall forward who looked out of place, although Neary had a quiet game against the efficient Bridgett. Hartburn and Hazlett were both very nippy wingers.




Pidcock; Beddow, Perry (capt); Nicholls, Holding, Evans;
Dawson, Beastall, Seager, Scarlett, Smith:

Thomas (K); Hadfield, Neville; Aston, Weston, Thomas (M);
Barber, Duggins, McKaig, Russell, Giles (capt);

Burton Albion (then very much a non-league side) included four ex Walsall players, Phil Aston their former England amateur international, Barber, Duggins and Phil Giles who was made captain for the day. Burton were without regular goalkeeper Townsend, formerly with Derby County and left half Dave McAdams from Leeds United.

Burton started off with two quick raids by Phil Giles and soon settled down to play some good football. In Walsall's first attack Seager shot just wide Walsall's former players were showing the way, Giles getting in some good runs down the wing, Duggins shooting hard at every opportunity, he hit the bar with one fine effort from fully thirty yards and Aston made up a strong half back line alongside player manager Weston and reserve Thomas. Both backs played well and Ken Thomas was a very good stand in for Bill Townsend.

After about thirty five minutes Burton got a penalty for hands by Nicholls. Russell took the kick but Pidcock managed to push it away to his right. Burton should have been well ahead at the interval but they did not manage to score until ten minutes into the second half. Centre forward McKaig scored after being put through by Barber. Giles cut in from the left to score the second just  before the end.

Skipper Perry was Walsall's best defender with promising right back Beddow a close second. Smith was the best forward.




Chilvers; Horne, Flavell; Green (capt), Bridgett, Russon;
Morris, Dean, Jefferies, Allsop, Slynn;

Goodwin; Keetley, Drummond; MacDonald, Hardy (capt), Rushworth;
Stephens, Gaynor, Hobbs, Cheney, Harrison;

Referee:- E.S. Vickery, Bristol

Both centre forwards were playing their first matches for their respective clubs. Ron Jefferies had been signed by Walsall from Aston Villa and Jack Hobbs was deputising for the injured Frank Fidler.

In Walsall's early raids Morris tended to shoot over the bar instead of crossing the ball. Walsall attached all the time and Bill Green got in a splendid shot which Goodwin could just reach to push over the bar. From the corner Green again shot over. Jefferies was trying hard but lacked support. Horne was prominent in Walsall's defence against Bournemouth's best forward Harrison, previously with Leeds United. After about forty minutes Walsall scored. Slynn cut in on the left and sent in a grand shot, Goodwin dived and pushed it out but Fred Morris was on hand to push the ball home.

Allsop came more into the picture during the second half and Slynn had another good shot saved by Goodwin, the goalkeeper who played for Eire (Republic of Ireland) when they beat England four years ago.
Bournemouth were awarded a penalty when Horne blatantly tripped Harrison just inside the area. Gaynor took the kick but shot three yards wide.

Bournemouth's attacks broke down against Bridgett and Hobbs hung too far back to be of any danger. Horne and Flavell were shaky at times, but on several occasions saved certain goals with desperate last minute tackles. Bournemouth came into the game more towards the end but their finishing was always at fault. Hardy was their outstanding defender.



WEST BROMWICH ALBION 6 (Allen 4, Nicholls 2) CARDIFF CITY 1 (Chisholm)

Heath; Williams, Millard (capt); Dudley (J), Kennedy, Barlow;
Griffin, Ryan, Allen, Nicholls, Lee;

Howells; Harrington, Sullivan; Baker, Montgomery (capt), Blair;
Tiddy, Dudley (F), Grant, Chisholm, Edwards;

Both  teams were without international full backs, Rickaby for Albion and Sherwood for Cardiff.
The visitors started brilliantly and it came as no surprise when they scored after only five minutes. Ken Chisholm, running in as the ball was kicked to beat the off side trap, dived full length to head home Blair's free kick. Blair, previously an inside forward, and his wing half partner Baker were playing really great stuff at this stage. Then after fifteen minutes t he tide began to turn when Allen, apparently off side, but played on by a defender, equalised. It was one way traffic from this point with the Albion half back line dominating the game. Allen, in marvellous form, scored again after twenty eight minutes from Griffin's centre and then shortly before half time, when put through by Ryan, jinked his way round Cardiff's demoralised defence to complete his hat trick.

        Ken Chisholm scores the opening goal for Cardiff

Allen's fourth goal, again following a pass from Ryan, came from a powerful shot which Howells did not move for being apparently unsighted. By now young Harrington, normally a wing half, was finding his first game at full back a bit too much and Lee was able to do as he liked on the left wing for Albion. In the closing minutes, goal poacher Nicholls, after missing many previous chances, pushed two more goals in. The first from close range from Lee's cross, the second heading in a Griffin centre.

Allen's display must rate as one of his very best, for apart from scoring four goals himself, he created innumerable openings for his fellow forwards. The whole Albion defence was brilliant with Stuart Williams deputising most capably for Rickaby against the experienced Welsh international George Edwards. Only Ryan could match Allen's excellence in the forward line.

For Cardiff goalkeeper Howells never gave up and made many fine saves in what could have been a double figure score for Albion. Sullivan and Montgomery did well in defence but the forwards lacked speed and cohesion.