Wednesday, 15 November 2017

1964-65 - Part two (Walsall, West Brom and England U23s)

Posted by Tony Hutton


SATURDAY 14TH NOVEMBER, 1964

F.A. CUP FIRST ROUND AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL 

WALSALL 0 BRISTOL ROVERS 2 (Stone, Jones R.)

Carling; Rope, Gregg; Bennett, Smith, Athey;
Harrison, Meek, Clarke, Hodgkisson, Taylor;

Hall; Hilliard, Jones G.; Oldfield, Davis, Stone;
Jarman, Brown, Jones R., Hamilton, Munro;

Referee:- J. Lowry, Neath

Walsall with utility player Colin Harrison on the wing in place of McMorran, who was ineligible, lost this cup tie after only three minutes play. Brown was brought down just outside the penalty area and the free kick had to be retaken. From the second effort all the Bristol players moved towards the ball, taking the defence with them but Oldfield cleverly chipped the ball across to the unmarked Stone running in unchallenged to head low into the net.


This early reverse unsettled Walsall and only fine saves from Carling kept the score down. With Rovers having the advantage of the rain, wind and slope, Walsall's only threat was a long shot from Taylor which almost had Hall in trouble. Half time 0-1.

Walsall went all out for the equaliser in the second half and it nearly came during a thrilling sequence of events mid way through the half. Meek beat his man cleverly and centred to Bennett whose low ground shot was fumbled by Hall. Taylor raced and the goalkeeper was glad to concede a corner. Clarke's header  from the corner beat the keeper but was cleared off the line.


Hamilton had the ball in the net for Rovers after 75 minutes but it was disallowed for off side.  A long cross field pass found Jones in the 86th minute, he rounded Smith, dribbled past Carling and scored with ease to put Rovers further in front. Just before the end Walsall were awarded a penalty and rather surprisingly Meek, who had earlier been injured, was nominated to take it. His shot was not very well placed and Hall had no difficulty in saving.



SATURDAY 21ST NOVEMBER, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0 ARSENAL 0

Potter; Cram, Williams G. (capt); Howshall, Jones, Simpson;
Clark, Brown, Astle, Fenton, Hope;

Burns; Howe, McCullough; McLintock, Neill, Court;
Tawse, Radford, Baker, Eastham, Armstrong;

Referee:- I. Faulkner, Liverpool

A late change brough in 18 year old Aberdonian Brian Tawse for his Arsenal debut. Albion experimented with Bobby Hope on the left wing against former Albion favourite Don Howe.
Hope got the bette of Howe in the early clashes and once got over a fine centre which landed on top of the Arsenal cross bar. Eastham showed some splendid footwork and from one of his crosses Potter dropped the ball, but recovered before the well built inside right Radford could get to the ball.


Arsenal's approach play made them look the most dangerous side, but Clark had the best chance of the half for Albion. He was clear through with only the goalkeeper to beat but shot wide from six yards out. Half time 0-0.

Albion missed a great opportunity of going ahead just after the interval. Brown headed Clark's pass against the bar and then with no one near him hurriedly hooked the ball wide. Arsenal full back McCullough provided the next thrill with a great run of fully sixty yards. No one challenged him as he raced into the penalty area, Potter hesitated then advanced but the Irishman shot too soon and the ball sent wide.


With defences in command there was little further excitement until the closing minutes, Astle having been carried off with a head injury after 65 minutes. His return was the signal for an onslaught on the Arsenal goal, but he hit his best chance straight at the goalkeeper and Baker missed a goal chance at the other end by driving hard over the bar.


WEDNESDAY 25TH NOVEMBER, 1964

UNDER 23 INTERNATIONAL AT HIGHFIELD ROAD, COVENTRY         Attendance 27,476

ENGLAND UNDER 23s 5 (Jones, Murray, Ball, Hinton, Chivers) RUMANIA UNDER 23s 0

Glazier (Coventry City); Badger (Sheffield Utd), Thompson (Wolves) capt.; Newton (Notts Forest),
Mobley (Sheffield Wed.), Hunter (Leeds Utd.); Murray (Chelsea), Tambling (Chelsea), Jones (Sheffield Utd.), Ball (Blackpool), Hinton (Notts Forest);
Chivers (Southampton) substituted for Tambling.

Hajdu; Lupescu, Perescu; Halmageanu, Dinue, Coe;
Matei, Naftinara, Pavlovici, Iancu, Abram;
Adm substituted for Pavlovici and Andrei fro Hajdu.

Referee:- Jean Tricot (France)


Coventry's recent progress off and on the field brought them their first international match. It was very well supported and after a rather disappointing first half burst forth into an England victory to make the evening a memorable one indeed. The crowd were entertained in the modern manner with local pop stars 'The Applejacks' on the pitch before the kick off.

The star of the first half was undoubtedly the visiting goalkeeper Hadjdu. Using his great height to advantage he kept out powerful shots on the run from Jones and Murray as well as a cunning ship shot from Alan Ball. It was the Blackpool player who was to prove the star of the England side, he was here, there and everywhere with boundless energy and enthusiasm and no little skill.










































SATURDAY 5TH DECEMBER 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0 CHELSEA 2 (Bridges, Graham)              Attendance 15,518

Potter; Fairfax, Williams G. (capt); Fraser, Jones, Lovett;
Foggo, Fenton, Astle, Hope, Clark;

Bonetti; Hinton, McReadie; Hollins, Mortimore, Harris;
Murray, Graham, Bridges, Venables (capt), Houseman;

Referee:- L.G. Hamer, Bolton

Albion introduced 17 year old Graham Lovett, who was playing as an amateur in the fourth team last year.  His season started with the third team in the Midland Intermediate League, but he has played the last eleven games for the reserves in the Central League. He only became a full time professional a month ago and replaces Simpson who is dropped for the first time since signing from Peterborough last season after a run of 62 games. Cram is also dropped at right back and he is replaced by Fairfax. Chelsea have also dropped an established player in Bobby Tambling who is replaced on the left wing by 18 year old Peter Houseman.

John Arlott used to fill in his time between cricket seasons by writing football reports for the Observer - here is his verdict on this match.




Jeff Farmer of the Wolverhampton Sporting Star was given a little more space than Mr Arlott.










The final stages of the game described by the Birmingham Sports Argos.

But the final word on this well reported game goes to Edwin Buckley in the Sunday Express.




SATURDAY 12TH DECEMBER 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH      Attendance 28,500

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 (Kaye) MANCHESTER UNITED 1 (Law)

Potter; Fairfax, Williams G.; Fraser, Jones, Simpson;
Foggo, Kaye, Astle, Hope, Clark;

Dunne P.; Brennan, Dunne A.; Crerand, Foulkes, Stiles;
Connelly, Charlton, Herd, Law, Best;

Referee:- G. Davis, Romford

This week's report is by Eric Woodward of the Birmingham Sports Argos.






Tuesday, 14 November 2017

1964-65 - Part one (Poor start to the season)

Posted by Tony Hutton


SATURDAY 22ND AUGUST, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM           Attendance 25,608

ASTON VILLA 1 (Woosnam) LEEDS UNITED 2 (Johanneson, Charlton)

Sidebottom; Wright, Aitken; Tindall, Sleeuwenhoek, Deakin;
Wylie, Baker, Hateley, Woosnam, Burrows;

Sprake; Reaney, Bell; Bremner, Charlton, Hunter;
Giles, Weston, Storrie, Collins, Johanneson;

Referee:- K. Dagnall, Bolton



My home town club Leeds United had been promoted to the First Division and although I had never had any strong attachment to them I was curious to see how they would fare in their first game back in the top division. Their first choice centre forward Peacock was injured but otherwise they were at full strength. Interesting note in the programme commenting on Leeds reputation as a 'tough' side last season. It said that Leeds can refute this suggestion as in 43 years in the Football League they have only ever had two players sent off.

Leeds did not get off to the best of starts. After Sprake had safely held a long shot from Tindall, Hateley raced away down the right wing. He did very well to round Bell near the corner flag and sent over a perfect centre for Woosnam, timing his run and jump perfectly, to head into the net.




However Leeds soon hit back and Sidebottom had to go to full stretch to punch away the winger's cross when Johanneson broke away. After fourteen minutes the scores were level. Hunter swung across a centre to Weston, completely unmarked. His shot on the volley was deflected by Sidebottom's foot, but only to the onrushing Johanneson who hit it first time into the net with great force.



Five minutes later the diminutive Collins appeared on the scene for the first time with a surprise chip shot from 25 yards which beat Sidebottom and hit the upright, the rebound went straight to Storrie but he he squandered a simple chance by shooting wide. Villa hit back and were unlucky not to get a penalty when Charlton appeared to handle. Then Hateley with a tremendous leap got in a great header from a Wylie centre but it went just wide. Half time 1-1.


After their bright start Villa faded away completely in the second half. Leeds had a commanding defence in which Charlton was outstanding and with Bremner and Collins, lying very deep, controlling mid field, they should have scored more than one goal in this half. It came after 61 minutes. Charlton robbed Woosnam in the centre circle, sent Storrie away down the right and set off up field. When Storrie crossed the ball, Chalton was perfectly positioned to head the ball home off the foot of the post.

The only time Villa looked like equalising was when a powerful drive from Burrows struck the bar before going over. Villa look set for another season of struggling on this performance but Leeds should do very well, particularly when Peacock is fit again to give them more finishing power.



MONDAY AUGUST 24TH 1964

CENTRAL LEAGUE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA RESERVES 2 (Park, Lee)
NEWCASTLE UNITED RESERVES 2 (Allen, Robson pen.)

Gavan; Fraser, Briggs; Parker G., Bradley, Pountney;
Roberts, Lee, Park, Martin L., Martin J.;

Hollins; Craggs, Butler; Luke, Pickering, Moncur;
Robson, O'Neill, Cummings, Allen, Taylor;


WEDNESDAY 25TH AUGUST, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 4 (Clark, Brown 3) SUNDERLAND 1 (Jones o.g.)

Potter; Cram, Williams G. (capt); Fraser, Jones, Simpson;
Foggo, Brown, Kaye, Hope, Clark;

Forster; Irwin, Ashurst; Harvey, Hurley, McNab;
Usher, Herd, Sharkey, Crossan, Mulhall;

Referee:- R. Harper, Sheffield


Sunderland, newly promoted, had fifteen year old schoolboy international, Derek Forster, playing his second game in five days. He soon showed his worth by tipping a shot from the speedy Clark round the post. Clark continued to be the main threat to Sunderland, his speed proving too much for the lumbering Irwin. However it was the visitors who surprisingly took the lead.

Harvey sent a long lob into the goalmouth and although Potter could have collected unchallenged, centre half Stan Jones jumped to head clear, mistimed it and ball went over Potter and into his own net. Albion hit back strongly with Hope prominent in midfield, but it was not until the thirty ninth minute when they equalised. Kaye's right wing centre being headed home by Clive Clark.

Two minutes later Kaye again provided the opening for Albion to go ahead, his fierce shot striking the crossbar and allowing Tony Brown to fire in the rebound. Half time 2-1.

The visitors tiny forward line was never in the game during the second half, all they had to offer being some delicate touches from the two Irish internationals Harvey and Crossan. Hurley fought hard in defence but his full backs were overrun for the most part. Forster, after a shaky start, performed well and brought off one spectacular save. After sixty four minutes the third goal came when Brown tapped the ball home from Foggo's cross. A similar move brought the final goal, and Brown's hat trick, with only a minute to go.

A convincing win for Albion but it must be said against a very poor Sunderland side.


 TUESDAY  15TH SEPTEMBER, 1964           

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 0 WORKINGTON 4



SATURDAY 26TH SEPTEMBER

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 (Cram pen.) BURNLEY 2 (Irvine 2)




SATURDAY 3RD OCTOBER, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (Matthews) BARNSLEY 1 (Leighton)



MONDAY 5TH OCTOBER, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

ASTON VILLA 1 (Pountney) EVERTON 2  (Gabriel, Scott)              Attendance 20,000

Sidebottom; Wright, Aitken; Tindall, Sleeuenhoek, Lee;
MacLeod, Pountney, Hateley, Wylie, Burrows;

Rankin; Parker, Brown; Stevens, Labone, Harris;
Scott, Harvey, Pickering, Gabriel, Temple;

Referee:- M.A. Fussey, Retford


This was Villa's seventh defeat in eleven matches - a record which places only Wolves below them in the first division table. Without two of their most experienced players, Woosnam and Deakin, they put up a hard fight against the smooth performers from Merseyside. Villa had the better of the first half, MacLeod in particular playing extremely well and putting over many fine crosses.

From one of these Hateley got in Villa's best scoring effort of the half with a flicked header, but young Rankin, who has recently replaced Gordan West, made an equally fine save. Stevens in his new found berth at wing half, and two of the few home grown Everton players, Harris and Harvey, were most impressive. England centre forward Fred Pickering got little change out of Sleeuwenhoek and indeed despite all their fancy ball play, Everton's only real effort of the half , following a fine move, was a shot from Harris which Sidebottom did well to save. Half time 0-0.

Scott's deceptive pace on the right wing brought Everton two goals within five minutes of the second half and settled the destination of the two points. Sidebottom turned his first shot onto the foot of the post, but Gabriel was on hand to slide it across the line. The next goal was a beauty, Scott outpaced Aitken, no mean feat, and hit the ball on the run from just inside the penalty area. The ball went like a bullet through a gap about a yard wide between the goalkeeper and the near post.

Everton eased up after this and were content to roll the ball around, not bringing out their full armoury which recently brought them six goals at St Andrews. However Villa struck back and Wylie pushed a finely judged through ball to the hard working Pountney and his accurate shot from just inside the area beat Rankin all ends up.


SATURDAY 24th OCTOBER 1964


LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 3 (Clark 2, Astle) LIVERPOOL 0           Attendance 22,000

Potter; Cram, Williams G. (capt); Howshall, Jones, Simpson;
Clark, Kaye, Astle, Hope, Carter;

Lawrence; Byrne, Moran; Milne, Lawlor, Stevenson;
Callaghan, Hunt, St. John, Graham, Thompson;

Referee:- J. Lowry, Neath

League Champions Liverpool have not set the Mersey alight this season and in fact there are only five teams below them in the table at the moment. Without strong man Ron Yeates they were not match for a lively Albion side, led enthusiastically by their recent signing from Notts County Jeff Astle. With Milne and Stevenson busy in defence and St John stifled by Howshall's close attention throughout, Liverpool's strikers Hunt and Thompson never got anywhere.

In fact Liverpool's only scoring efforts throughout the whole game was a Graham shot which Potter punched round the post and a long range shot from Stevenson which skimmed the bar late in the game.

Albion took the lead after 20 minutes when Lawrence could only block Astle's shot for Clark to score from the rebound. Just before half time came the best goal of the match. A beautiful long centre from Hope out on the right found Astle perfectly positioned near the far post to jump high and head the ball into the net. Half time 2-0.

Albion kept on top during a dull second half which was only enlivened when Clark scored the third goal from Astle's centre.


SATURDAY 7TH NOVEMBER, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL           Attendance 10,108

WALSALL 1 (Clarke) OLDHAM ATHLTIC 2 (Martin, Lister)

Carling; Roper, Gregg; Bennett, Smith, Athey;
Meek, McMorran, O'Neill, Clarke, Taylor;

Swan; Branagan, McGinn; McCall, Williams, Martin;
Ledger, Colquhooun, Lister, Bowie, Bartley;

Referee:- R. Tinkler, Boston

Walsall anchored firmly to the bottom of the league scored a welcome away win at Exeter last week and introduced for his home debut Trevor Smith, former Birmingham City and England centre half.
Also in the side were new signing Jimmy McMorran from Third Lanark, formerly with Aston Villa, and Colin Taylor, playing his third game since returning from Newcastle. How they need some of his old goalscoring form.

With the biggest crowd of the season to urge them on, Walsall were far from impressive in the first half and but for several fine saves from Terry Carling could have been in serious trouble. O'Neill  was injured yet again and forced to spend the second half on the right wing holding his arm. However it was Walsall who took the lead after 59 minutes with a rather lucky goal. Goalkeeper Swan dropped a high cross and young Alan Clarke was on hand to prod it home.

Ten minutes later Oldham's left half Martin was allowed to come through on his own unchallenged and as the defence expected him to pass he let fly from nearly thirty yards out and his fine shot hit the corner of the net. The winning goal for Oldham came fifteen minutes from the end and was rather a freak affair. Carling went to the edge of the penalty area and kicked clear, but the ball hit a Walsall player, rebounded to Lister and the Oldham centre forward immediately lobed the ball over the stranded goalkeeper and into the net, leaving the unfortunate Saddlers still anchored at the bottom.




Saturday, 11 November 2017

1963-64 - Part five (Blues & Walsall escape the drop)

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 28TH MARCH, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH

WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0 WEST HAM UNITED 1 (Hugo)

Potter; Howe, Williams G.; Fraser, Jones, Simpson;
Foggo, Fenton, Kaye, Jackson, Clar;

Dickie; Kirkup, Burkitt; Peters, Brown, Moore;
Brabrook, Boyce, Byrne, Hugo, Sealey;

Referee:- V.J. Batty, Cheshire

An unfamiliar West Ham team possibly with the forthcoming cup final with Preston in mind, included Dickie in goal, Kirkup a late replacement for Bond at right half, Martin Peters in for Bovington and Hugo replaced Geoff Hurst at inside left.

Clive Clark was Albion's danger man during the first half with several speedy runs down the left gave Kirkup quite a bit of trouble, but Albion could not find the final killer touch. 'Budgie' Byrne the clever West Ham centre forward, who is being talked up as a possible for England v Scotland, was also prominent with some nice touches but again the finishing did not really challenge goalkeeper Ray Potter.

Albion perhaps came the closest to scoring in the first half when Dickie missed a cross from Kaye and Fenton pushed it towards the empty net only for Kirkup to appear from nowhere to clear off the line. Half time 0-0.



The second half became a mid-field battle with little forward momentum, despite the efforts of Bobby Moore for West Ham and the energetic Fraser for Albion. The deadlock was eventually broken after 72 minutes when a Hammers breakaway ended with young Hugo pushing the ball home from close range for what proved to be the winning goal. Albion despite having most of the play could not break down the visitors' defence.


Albion were already secure in mid-table in contrast to their other West Midlands rivals, Wolves, Villa and Blues, who were all struggling in the bottom half.


MONDAY 30TH MARCH, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL               Attendance 5,356

WALSALL 2 (Foster, Palin pen.) CRYSTAL PALACE 2 (Whitehouse, Holton)

Tennant; Palin, Kletzenbauer; Bennett, McPherson, Dudley;
Foster, Matthews, Llewellyn, Hodgkisson, Meek;

Glazier; Long, Townsend; Stephenson, Wood, Howe;
Kellard, Whitehouse, Holton, Burridge, Imlach;

Referee:- F. Cowen, Manchester


Crystal Palace top of the table before tonight and heading for promotion faced a Walsall side still trying to avoid relegation to the Fourth Division. The Saddlers had a much changed side due to injuries and were soon up against it when Kellard crossed from the right for former Albion man, Brian Whitehouse, to head the visitors into the lead. Cliff Holton, the former Arsenal player, was always in the action and his powerful shooting threatened further goals.

Palace were well on top at this stage although Meek had Walsall's best effort with a long range shot comfortably held by the impressive Palace keeper Bill Glazier. He was back in action just before the interval when he came out to punch clear a high lob by Jimmy Dudley. Half time 0-1.

Walsall began the second half with more enthusiasm and Glazier was constantly in action for a while diving at Dudley's feet and then more fortunately deflecting a hard drive from Meek with an outstretched leg. Palace, rather against the run of play, went two up after 59 minutes. Imlach, the former Forest man, took a corner on the left and Stephenson headed it on for Holton to make no mistake from close range.

Palace rather sat back at this stage confident they had the two points in the bag and must have been rather surprised, as were most of the smallish crowd, by Walsall's grandstand finish. With only five minutes remaining Hodgkisson took a corner on the left and Foster running in headed a splendid goal.
Walsall now piled on the pressure and Stan Bennett, despite an injury, came close with a header from another Hodgkisson cross.

Into injury time and Palace were panicking now and Stephenson handled the ball inside the penalty area. Referee Cowen had no doubt and pointed to the penalty spot. With the crowd roaring the home side on, up stepped Granville Palin who had been playing in the reserves for the last eight weeks.
He made no mistake and crashed the ball past Glazier with the last kick of the match, to earn a valuable point for the Saddlers.


SATURDAY 11TH APRIL, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (Matthews)  HULL CITY 1 (Rafferty)

Tennant; Palin, Kletzenbauer; Bennett, McPherson, Dudley;
Matthews, Foster, Clarke, Hodgkisson, Meek;

Swan; Davidson, Butler; Garvey, Milner, Simpkin;
Rafferty, Sharpe, Chilton, Henderson, McSeveney;

Referee:- J.W. Bullough, Bolton

Walsall were without recent signing from Northampton Bert Llewellyn and his place at centre forward was taken by teenager Alan Clarke. The home side got another point last weekend in a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth but the relegation spots are unlikely to be decided until the very last match.

Both sides nearly scored in the opening minutes when Tennant did well to stop Henderson's effort and then Clarke was just wide at the other end. Clarke continued to be well in the action as did the dangerous Chris Chilton for Hull. Walsall certainly had most of the play but could not take their chances particularly a glaring miss from Matthews who failed to connect after Clarke's shot beat the keeper.

Hull got the ball in the net just before half time with a header from McSeveney, but the referee had blown for off side. In what had been a lack lustre half Walsall had another chance but the final pass went astray which had been a regular problem for both sides. Half time 0-0.

The mistake ridden game continued in the second half and the crowd became even more restless over the continuing mistakes. Walsall tried to re-shuffle the forward line with Foster on the right wing and Matthews moving inside to his more regular position. Meek was troubled by an injury and was never really in the picture.

After Henderson had gone close for Hull, Walsall to everyone's surprise suddently found themselves in front. in the 66th minute Clarke passed to Matthews on the edge of the area and his left foot shot sailed into the far corner of the net for his fourteenth goal of the season for the club's leading goalscorer.

It was too good to last however and seven minutes later Hull equalised following a McSeveney corner on the right. Milner headed the ball on and Rafferty nodded it into the net. Despite a frantic finish neither side could get the winner and Walsall hung on for another point by the skin of their teeth.


WEDNESDAY 22ND APRIL, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT ST ANDREWS, BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM CITY 3 (Lynn pen., Leek, Hellawell) LIVERPOOL 1 (Hunt)

Withers; Lynn, Martin; Hennessey, Smith, Foster;
Hellawell, Bloomfield, Thomson, Leek, Auld;

Lawrence; Byrne, Moran; Milne, Yeats, Stevenson;
Callaghan, Hunt, St John, Arrowsmith, Thompson;


Liverpool have already been crowned as League Champions with a five point lead over Manchester United whereas the Blues are deeply involved in a relegation battle. Ipswich are already down but it is now between Blues and Bolton for the other relegation position. Bolton entertain Wolves on Friday night and Birmingham are at home to Sheffield United on Saturday in their last games.

Birmingham came out all guns blazing in front of an enthusiastic crowd urging them on with the club song 'Keep right on to the end of the road'. It took only six minutes for them to go ahead when after Moran appeared to handle, Leek's shot beat keeper Lawrence only for full back Byrne to push it clear of goal with his hand. 'Stan the Wham' Lynn made no mistake with the penalty as usual.

In seventeen minutes Blues went two up when Lawrence saved from Thomson, but could only push it out and Leek scored from the rebound. The third goal came five minutes before half time when right winger Mike Hellawell raced seventy yards down the right wing. The ball came back to him from Thompson and he cracked it home. The crowd were in ecstasy by now and invaded the pitch only to receive a stern warning over the public address that the game would be abandoned if this happened again.  The poor league champions did not know what to make of this all action Birmingham side. Half time 3-0.


Liverpool did not give up after this avalanche of goals and fought back strongly in the second half. They had the ball in the net on two occasions but each time off side was the decision. Hunt hit the bar with a powerful shot and centre half Ron Yeats came up in attack at regular intervals. It took them until the 75th minute to get a goal and Roger Hunt who had been in the thick of the action got it. He headed against the bar, then shot against the goalkeeper and headed the goal from the resulting corner.

Eight minutes from the end the Birmingham winger Bertie Auld was sent from the field following a clash with fellow Scot Ron Yeats. It was an isolated incident in the game, but despite pleas for leniency from both sides he had to go.

Gilbert Merrick, former international goalkeeper, now the Blues manager who has often been under fire this season, got full praise in the local press. His tactics of playing two centre halves, Smith and Foster, was a novelty in those days and he also switched the forward line around to good effect.

The league table now looks like this:-

Bolton                      P41   W10  D8  L23  PTS28

Birmingham               41       10     7    24         27

Ipswich                       41         8     7    26         23


(As it happened Wolves won 4-0 at Bolton and Birmingham managed to stay up by just one point after beating Sheffield United 3-0)




SATURDAY 25TH APRIL, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 2 (Matthews, Meek) PETERBOROUGH UNITED 0             Attendance 5,611

Tennant; Palin, Kletzenbauer; Bennett, McPherson, Dudley;
Meek, Matthews, Foster, Hodgkisson, Wills;

Duff; Hopkins, Singleton; Wright, Rankmore, Jackson;
Thompson, Moulden, Dougan, Smith, McNamee;

Referee:- S.J. Kayley, Preston


After losing four games in a row during March put themselves deep into relegation trouble, a mini revival of four successive draws had given the Saddlers a chance of safety and today's last home match of the season was crucial. Top scorer Matthews was welcomed back after injury and Foster moved to centre forward to the exclusion of Alan Clarke.

Walsall started off in lively fashion but could not get that valuable early goal. Several chances went begging due to poor finishing. The former Villa veteran Derek Dougan tried to get the 'Posh' going but did not get much support. After a period of concerted pressure Walsall eventually took the lead after 22 minutes. Foster, who is now playing with much confidence, beat his man, drew the defence and made a perfect pass for Matthews to beat the off side trap and hit the ball into the net.

Matthews has now scored fifteen goals this season and this one was greeted with a great roar from the home supporters who were already beginning to believe that the great escape was a fact. They had a let off when Graham went close from the visitors but just before half time the home side were two up.
It was Foster again who made it, this time beating two men before laying on a perfect pass for little George Meek to side foot home from close range. Half time 2-0.

Peterborough nearly got back in the act early in the second half, but Bennett blocked Jackson's shot proving that he is another of the younger brigade who has come on a lot. Foster, who could do no wrong, jumped high to head just over the bar in the next Walsall attack. Soon afterwards Foster was in the action again when he deflected a powerful shot from Matthews towards goal only for Duff to save well.

Peterborough rallied towards the end of the game and had several good opportunities to score but the former Coventry man, Kletzenbauer, cleared off the line with Tennant beaten. Further efforts were blocked by defenders and Tennant dived full length to save an effort from Graham. By then though the Saddlers were home and dry and good value for those essential two points.

(Walsall had one remaining fixture to play - away at Queens Park Rangers on 1st May. The original game had been abandoned after 26 minutes due to a power cut which meant no floodlights were available. However by the time of the replay Walsall were already safe and the 3-0 defeat was irrelevant).

TUESDAY 28TH APRIL, 1964

TESTIMONIAL MATCH FOR ALBERT McPHERSON AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL PAST & PRESENT 4 (Myerscough 2, Richards, Guttridge)
ALL STAR XI 4 (Kevan 2, Pace 2)                                        Attendance 6,419

Boswell (Shrewsbury); Jones (WBA), Guttridge (Macclesfield); Hill (Norwich City), McPherson (Walsall), Rawlings (Port Vale); B. Taylor (Shrewsbury), Hodgkisson (Walsall), Richards (Port Vale), Myerscough (Wrexham), C. Taylor (Newcastle United);

Matthews (Derby County); Saward (Coventry), Thomson (Wolves); Tindall (Aston Villa), Flowers (Wolves), Robson (Fulham); Hellawell (Birmingham City), Kevan (Man. City), Pace (Sheffield Utd),
Haynes (Fulham), Burrows (Aston Villa);

This was a well deserved testimonial match for Walsall's skipper and centre half Albert McPherson, who has been such a faithful servant for ten years, including the two glory years of successive promotions. All the old favourites turned up from clubs all over the Midlands, together with a host of big names including Haynes and Robson from Fulham, Ron Flowers from Wolves and Derek Kevan, formerly of West Brom. but now at Manchester City.

  (Cartoon by the brilliant Norman Edwards of the Birmingham Sports Argos)

The All Stars took the lead in the 13th minute when Kevan, despite mishitting his shot, found the net.
Four minutes later the speedy Derek Pace of Villa scored the second, but Albert Myerscough  reduced the lead with a header almost immediately. The same player made it all square with a fine shot from a Tony Richards pass, but Pace again put the visitors in front with a good header from Hellawell's cross. Half time 2-3.

Goals by two all time favourites Bill Guttridge and Tony Richards put the icing on the cake for the supporters to put Walsall in front 4-3. However ten minutes from the end big Derek Kevan, with a powerful shot, put the All Stars level.

So honours even and a great occasion which paid a fitting tribute not only to an exceptional player but a real gentleman who has been a credit to the game and his club.


Finally for the 1963-64 season here are the two goals scored by Preston North End in the FA Cup Final which was won 3-2 by West Ham United.


Friday, 10 November 2017

1963-64 - Part four (Walsall & Blues both in trouble)

Posted by Tony Hutton


SATURDAY 11TH JANUARY 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 3 (Matthews 2, Roper) MANSFIELD TOWN 1 (Wagstaffe)    Attendance 4,376

Tennant; Gregg, Sharples; Roper, McPherson, Dudley;
Meek, Matthews, Wiggin, Hodgkisson, Foster;

Treharne; Jones, Humble; Chapman S., Gill, Morris;
Wagstaff, Govan, Hall, Chapman R., Scanlon;

Referee: L.J. Harmer, Bolton

Critics of Walsall's recent poor form demonstrated by putting a placard on the centre of the pitch which said 'you buy or we go' before the kick off. The Saddlers had lost eight of their last ten games and introduced 18 year old goalkeeper David Tennant for his first ever league game.

Matthews, after going close for Walsall early on, put them ahead after only six minutes. It was a sloppy goal with full back Humble mis-kicked and just teed the ball up for Matthews to score with ease. Walsall were well in charge and went further ahead after 13 minutes. Hodgkisson sent a wonderful pass out to Meek on the right wing, who pulled it back from the goal line. Centre forward Wiggin headed it down to Matthews, who hit it on the volley past Treharne.

Scanlon, the former Manchester United winger, had the best chance for Mansfield when he broke away through the middle. However the young Walsall goalkeeper Tennant showed good anticipation to race out and clear the ball. This gave him added confidence which he showed when jumping high to make a good catch from a high centre.

Mansfield did pull one back after 35 minutes when right winger Ken Wagstaff appeared in the inside left position and scored from 20 yards out with Tennant diving the wrong way, either due to a deflection or being unsighted by his own defenders. Mansfield continued to threaten until the interval but Walsall just managed to hang on to their lead. Half time 2-1.

After another period of Mansfield pressure Walsall went further ahead after Foster had been fouled.
From the free kick just outside the penalty area Dudley floated a perfect cross for Roper racing in to head it over the advancing goalkeeper. Mansfield came back strongly again and Tennant was forced into several good saves, doing well to keep out both Hall and Roy Chapman.




SATURDAY 1ST FEBRUARY, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 1 (Matthews) SHREWSBURY TOWN 1 (Clarke)


FRIDAY 28TH FEBRUARY 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION THREE AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL

WALSALL 0 MILLWALL 2



SATURDAY 29TH FEBRUARY, 1964

LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT ST ANDREWS, BIRMINGHAM

BIRMINGHAM CITY 1 (Thomson) TOTTENHAM HOTSPURS 2 (Jones, Greaves pen.)

Withers; Martin, Green; Hennessey, Smith, Beard;
Auld, Bloomfield, Thomson, Leek, Thwaites;

Hollowbread; Baker, Hopkins; Beal, Norman, Marchi;
Jones, White, Brown, Greaves, Dyson;

Referee:-J. W. Bullough, Bolton



Top of the table Spurs came to St Andrews with a three point lead from Liverpool, who have two games in hand. The Blues on the other hand were just one place above the two relegation spots with only Bolton and Ipswich below them. Since Christmas Blues have only won one game which was a surprising 2-1 away win at Manchester United. Their last two games were both away on Merseyside and they lost to both Everton and Liverpool.

Bertie Auld, Birmingham's Scottish winger, was back after a month's suspension and was soon in the action with an inswinging free kick which Thomson nearly got a touch to in the crowded goalmouth.
Spurs had new signing from Arsenal Laurie Brown at centre forward, although he is normally a centre half who lost his place to Ian Ure at Highbury. He too was soon involved when he headed a Baker free kick over the bar.

Brown had another chance beating TrevorSmith to the ball but Withers made a good save. Somehow the game lacked sparkle and there was little goalmouth action for some time. Greaves was off the field briefly receiving attention to an injury but when he returned his corner led to Spurs eventually taking the lead after 36 minutes. Norman out jumped Beard, the ball bounced awkwardly in the crowded penalty are and Jones scored with a point blank header.

Greaves nearly added to the score with a long range shot brilliantly saved by Withers before Thomson made the miss of the match for Blues. He beat Norman with ease but with only the goalkeeper to beat completely mis-kicked and the ball trickled well wide of goal. Blues had one or two more good chances before the interval but could not convert them into goals. Half time 0-1.

For the second half Blues switched their wingers so that Auld could return to his more familiar position of outside left. After a close range effort from Greaves Birmingham came back hard with Auld much more involved in the action. In the 53rd minute the Scottish winger took the ball from Smith after a fine run up field by the big centre half. He went round Baker on the outside and pulled the ball back into the middle for Thomson to push home from close range.  All square and Blues hopefull of pulling off a surprise win.

However, they failed to continue their pressure on the Spurs goal and eventually after 67 minutes conceded a penalty which Jimmy Greaves put away with ease. Once in the lead Spurs defence tightened up and Blues were really outplayed by the end of the game despite all their frantic efforts to get an equaliser. More trouble for Blues but Spurs even without some of their big names looking good.


SATURDAY 14TH MARCH, 1964

F.A. CUP SEMI-FINAL AT VILLA PARK, BIRMINGHAM

PRESTON NORTH END 2 (Dawson, Singleton) SWANSEA TOWN 1 (McLaughlin)

Kelly; Ross, Donnelly; Lawton (capt), Singleton, Davidson;
Wilson, Ashworth, Dawson, Spavin, Holden;

Dwyer; Evans R., Hughes; Johnson (capt), Purcell, Williams;
Jones, Draper, Thomas Todd, McLaughlin;

Referee:- J. E. Carr, Sheffield

















































Jimmy McLaughlin left beats Alan Kelly in the Preston goal to give Swansea the lead.