Saturday, 11 March 2017

1960-61 - Part one (Walsall's success continues)

Posted by Tony Hutton

TUESDAY 23RD AUGUST, 1960             Attendance 11,032


WALSALL 5 (Richards, Whale og, Taylor, Hodgkisson 2) SOUTHEND UTD 1 (Wall)

Christie; Haddington, Guttridge (capt); Dudley, McPherson, Rawlings;
Askey, Faulkner, Richards, Hodgkisson, Taylor;

Threadgold; Williamson, Whale; Costello, Watson, Dicks;
Stenhouse, Corthine, Houghton, Price, Wall;

Referee:- A. Holland, Barnsley

Third Division football returned to Fellows Park with a vengeance. Walsall gave a brilliant display and against a team which put up more opposition than the score suggests. Former Sunderland star, Harry Threadgold, was soon in action to save from Taylor and Faulkner, Richards shot inches wide and Hodgkisson hit the woodwork. The first goal came after twenty one minutes play and it was a characteristic effort by left winger Colin Taylor.

Just when Walsall's superiority was being challenged by some good football from Southend, he picked up a loose ball, raced clear of three defenders and crashed in a terrific shot from twenty five yards. However, Southend hit back to equalise in a most unusual manner. Haddington, with all the time in the world, attempted a needless back pass, which caught Christie unawares and went for a corner. Wall took the kick and Haddington, standing by the near post, appeared to have the ball covered but at the last moment stepped aside. All goalkeeper Christie could do, seeing the ball only at the last moment, was to help it into the net.
Price then had a header disallowed for off side, but it looked as though Southend might get on top. H.T.1-1.

Kicking down the slope in the second half Walsall took command. Two minutes after the restart, Threadgold could only palm out a high centre from Taylor and Richards had an easy task to head it into the net. Then after sixty nine minutes the Saddlers made it 3-1. Southend expected Taylor to centre, but he suddenly burst along the goal line and hit a hard low ball across the face of the goal. So hard in fact that full back Whale hardly knew what hit him as the ball cannoned off his foot into the goal.

Walsall were now playing delightful football with the ball playing ability of Dudley and Hodgkisson much in evidence. In seventy two minutes it was 4-1, Hodgkisson rounding Dicks and shooting past the oncoming goalkeeper. Two minutes later Hodgkisson again shook off two defenders and placed it under the diving Threadgold. So a convincing win in the end after a few problems in the first half.



WALSALL 3 (Richards, Taylor, Faulkner) TORQUAY UNITED 0

Christie; Haddington, Guttridge (capt); Dudley, McPherson, Rawlings;
Askey, Faulkner, Richards, Hodgkisson, Taylor;

Gill; Bettaney, Penford; Hancock, Northcott (G), Rawson;
Baxter, Cox, Northcott (T), Bond, Pym;

Referee:- A. Edge, Liverpool

A heavy rain storm shortly before the kick off soaked the ground and killed hopes of a large crowd. Both teams had difficulty in controlling the ball on the slippy surface, but it was Torquay who threatened to score first. Rawson lobbed a free kick to Bond who raced through unchallenged until Christie dived at his feet to save. Faulkner shot just wide from an Askey centre and then after seventeen minutes Walsall took the lead.

Hodgkisson lobbed a free kick into the goal area and Richards got his toe there first to prod the ball home. Pym, the outside left, was proving to be Torquay's danger man. From one of his passes Bond was again clean through but he shot hurriedly straight at Christie. Then at the other end Gill palmed away an Askey centre to Taylor and the winger's first time shot struck the goalkeeper's legs.

Richards got in a grand diving header from another Askey cross but it was straight at Gill. Then Christie did well to save a twenty yarder from Lawson as he slipped on the wet ground. A cannonball from Taylor was then charged down and Richards shot from the rebound was deflected over the bar. Half time 1-0.

Taylor was soon in action again, running on to a pass from Faulkner his low shot was so fierce that Gill could not hold it, but managed to grab it at the second attempt. Torquay were still in the game and a fine centre from Baxter was headed only inches over the bar by Northcott. Then Baxter, who was giving Guttridge a trying time, broke clean through and dribbled round Christie, but only managed to push the ball wide of the empty goal.

The home crowd's fears were put to rest in the sixty fifth minute when Colin Taylor did it again and set them roaring. Picking up the ball near the half way line he raced through on his own and left Gill standing with a left foot shot from the edge of the penalty area. It was Walsall all the way now and Faulkner completed the scoring when he neatly controlled a fine through pass from Hodgkisson to shoot past Gill from close range.

MONDAY 5TH SEPTEMBER, 1960                          Attendance 24,945


BLACKPOOL 1 (Charnley) EVERTON 4 (Harris J., Vernon, Collins, Temple)

Waiters; Armfield, Martin; Kelly (J) capt., Gratrix, Durie;
Matthews, Lea, Charnley, Mudie, Campbell;

Dunlop; Parker, Green; Gabriel, Labone Harris (B);
Temple, Collins (capt), Harris (J), Vernon, Ring;

Referee:- F. Cowen, Manchester

This was Everton's first away win since April 14th, 1959. About time too, for Johnny Carey, their manager has spent really heavily to build up his present side. Everton introduced eighteen year old full back Green for his first league game and he was up against no less than the incomparable Stanley Matthews.

Green really need not have worried about this at all, for although the great Stanley did beat him on several occasions and floated across perfect centres, they were all wasted and he received such poor support from this really wretched Blackpool side that he might as well have stayed at home. Everton were obviously the better side in the first half, although they could not convert their superiority into goals. The only goal they did get was from close range by speedy centre forward Jimmy Harris. Half time 0-1.

In the second half Everton seemed to have got over the shock of being in the lead away from home and really turned on the heat. Man of the match was that little Scottish schemer Bobby Collins. He was here, there and everywhere, directing the whole course of the match. Everton's second goal was a beauty, Roy Vernon collected the ball some way outside the penalty area and suddenly let fly. Before Waiters could move the ball was lodged behind the iron stanchion in the back of the net.

Blackpool got consistently worse, their left winger Campbell and left half Durie being particularly poor. The only shining light was England full back Jim Armfield, who time and time again broke up attacks and started some of his own with powerful runs upfield. His opposite number Alex Parker was also outstanding in his use of the ball, as were both Everton wing halves. The real power of this team though lies in their inside forwards.

What a pair, Bobby Collins and Roy Vernon. Either of them could have score the third goal as Tommy Ring's cross found them both unmarked in front of goal. Vernon let it run and Collins calmly rolled it home.
Reserve outside right 'Shirley' Temple who looks quite a useful stand in for Micky Lill, scored the fourth with a fine left foot shot, after another piece of Bobby Collins trickery.

Finally when it was all over bar the shouting Ray Charnley, who had previously been bottled up completely by Brian Labone, scrambled in a consolation goal for Blackpool. The must need an awful lot of consoling after a terrible display like this one.




Hopkinson; Hartle, Banks; Stanley, Higgins (capt), Edwards (B);
Birch, Hill, McAdams, Parry, Holden;

Brown; Baker, Henry; MacKay, Norman, Blanchflower (capt);
Medwin, White, Saul, Allen, Dyson;

Referee:- R.T.E. Langdale, Darlington

Spurs came to Burnden Park with the impressive record of five game played and five game won. After a little anxiety they went away with their sixth victory tucker under their belt. The Real Madrid of English soccer drew a crowd twice as big as the previous best at Bolton this season. Spurs were without leading goal scorer Bobby Smith and teenager Frank Saul made his first league appearance.

In the third minute of the game Bolton shocked the Spurs by going ahead. A shot from Holden was only parried by Bill Brown and with the goalkeeper still on the ground, Hill calmly pulled the ball back to 
McAdams who shot into the net. This was only the Irish international's second game for
Bolton and the crowd have soon taken him to their hearts.

The game went on at a fast and furious pace, with Bolton's more aggressive style giving them more of the play than Tottenham's simple and cleverer game. McAdams nearly scored again with a hook shot from Birch's centre and it looked as if the league leaders were heading for defeat. However Spurs brilliant combined moves came more into evidence and after Hopkinson had done well to turn a drive from White over the bar young Saul looked certain to score.

The young centre forward, not yet showing the effects of Higgins powerful tackles, hit the post with his shot and the ball was scrambled clear. Bolton came again and a header from McAdam's and a Parry thunderbolt both hit the woodwork with Brown beaten. Half time 1-0.

Bolton carried on where they left off. Holden's low centre was gathered by Edwards and his shot passed only inches wide. Then a perfect cross from Birch was hit first time by Parry only for the ball to lodge between goalkeeper Brown's legs. After ten minutes of the second half Tommy Banks, the Bolton full back, appeared to strain a thigh muscle and went on to the wing for the remainder of the game.

This proved to be the turning point as Bolton went to pieces and spurred on by Blanchflower and MacKay the Spurs went to town. Les Allen equalised with a header from Dyson's precision cross after seventy one minutes and three minutes later John White volleyed home what proved to be the winning goal. Spurs played exhibition stuff for a while with both full backs proving themselves complete ball players. Bolton staged a late rally but without success and in the very last minute Hopkinson was call upon to make a brilliant save from Terry Dyson.



WALSALL 2 (Richards 2) CHESTERFIELD 1 (Maddison)      Attendance 11.043

Christie; Haddington, Guttridge (capt); Dudley, McPherson, Rawlings;
Davies, Faulkner, Richards, Hodgkisson, Taylor;

Powell; Clarke, Sears; Mays, Blakey (capt), Frear;
Gilbert, Havenhand, Lewis, Foley, Maddison;

Following away defeats at Newport and Watford, Walsall just managed to beat Chesterfield, but the manner in which victory was accomplished did not satisfy their supporters. In the first five minutes Walsall missed a glorious opportunity of going ahead. Richards put Taylor through but the winger's first time shot flashed inches wide. Then Lewis from an excellent position headed over the bar for Chesterfield.

Walsall eventually took the lead after twenty five minutes of undistinguished football. Dudley cleverly lobbed the ball over a line of defenders and Richards was allowed to run on unchallenged to score with the defence unsuccessfully appealing for offside. He was onside when the ball was played to him. Walsall nearly scored again in the next minute after a shot from Taylor had been scrambled away. Davies, making his first appearance of the season, shot into the side netting.

After the Chesterfield goalkeeper, Powell, turned away a brilliant diving header from Richards, Chesterfield equalised. They had always looked dangerous and after thirty four minutes Madison sped away on his own to beat Christie from a narrow angle. Lewis should have put the visitors ahead two minutes later when shot against the bar from a fine pass by Havenhand. Faulkner also hit the bar for Walsall when put through by Guttridge. Half time 1-1.

After a lively start to the second half Walsall again faded away and it took a brilliant point blank save by Christie from a tremendous shot by Havenhand to bring the terraces back to life. Christie had to received attention to his bruised knuckles. Then at the other end Powell made an equally brilliant twisting save from a Colin Taylor cannonball. The best opportunity so far fell to Faulkner but he tamely put the ball straight at Powell.

Eventually after seventy four minutes, Richards scored the winning goal. He breasted down a corner kick from Davies and crashed the ball high into the net. The referee allowed the goal despite Chesterfield protests that Richards had handled the ball. The only shining light in a very poor game was the splendid form of Chesterfield left half Brian Frear, previously a Huddersfield Town inside forward. He was easily the man of the match.

MONDAY 3RD OCTOBER, 1960                   Attendance 12,141


WALSALL 3 (Foster, Taylor, Davies) SHREWSBURY TOWN 2 (McLaughlin, Harley)

Christie; Sharples, Guttridge (capt); Dudley, Palin, Rawlings;
Davies, Foster, Richards, Faulkner, Taylor;

Miller; Walters, Skeech; Wallace, Pountney, Harley;
Pragg, Starkey, Ambler, Rowley (capt), McLaughlin;

Referee:- L. Callaghan, Glamorgan

Walsall were without Haddington, McPherson, Askey and Hodgkisson due to injuries. Glanville Palin, signed from Wolves during the summer, made his debut at centre half. Outside right Pragg was also making his first appearance for Shrewsbury, who were led by their player-manager Arthur Rowley.

From the kick off McLaughlin raced through to gain a corner but this was cleared and Walsall immediately gained a corner on the left at the other end. Taylor swung the ball over and Trevor Foster running in jumped high to head the ball into the net. A splendid effort for the young inside forward's first league goal. Straight from the kick off Foster had the ball in the net again, but his one was disallowed for an infringement by another player.

McLaughlin, the young Irish winger released by Birmingham City, was proving to be Shrewsbury's best attacker. He was unlucky not to gain a penalty when brought down by two defenders. Shrewsbury were clearly playing the better football at this stage of the game and Walsall's defence was hard pressed to keep them out. The equaliser did come however after twenty nine minutes. Veteran player manager Arthur Rowley lobbed a free kick into the penalty are and Palin could only head it down to the feet of McLaughlin who promptly crashed it in for a well deserved goal.

This seemed to spur on Walsall for a time and Miller made excellent saves from both Rawlings and Faulkner. However five minutes before the interval Shrewsbury shocked the home supporters by taking the lead. Young Pragg beat Dudley out on the right and sent over a centre which went behind his forwards, but Harley a very energetic wing half, was following up well and he hit a grand shot first time well out of Christie's reach.
So Shrewsbury, third from the bottom of the league, went in for the interval with a well deserved lead against the team which are third from the top and only two points behind Grimsby, the leaders. H.T. 1-2.

Walsall were expected to come out and bombard Shrewsbury in the second half, especially as they were kicking down the slope towards their favourite laundry end, but they were strangely subdued. Young Foster looked very tired, which is only to be expected and the absence of Hodgkisson seemed to disjoint the whole forward line. The large collection of league managers in the stand must have been more impressed with young McLoughlin than the man they had apparently all come to watch - Colin Taylor.

Shrewsbury continued to play splendid football and Christie was called upon to punch a point blank shot from Starkey over the bar and then to save two splendid drives by wing half Wallace. Rowley, a rotund figure these days, prodded and probed from his centre of operations in midfield and how Walsall must have wished they had a general of his calibre to open up the Shrewsbury defence.

At last after seventy five minutes Walsall went into action. Skipper Bill Guttridge tore down the left wing like an express train, with the crowd roaring him on. His centre was only partially cleared and Colin Taylor was on the spot to crash the ball home with his right foot before Miller could see it. This goal really set Walsall alight at 2-2 and Colin Taylor at last began to show his admirers a glimpse of his real form.

Three minutes later he swung over a shot cum centre which beat goalkeeper Miller, rebounded from the far post and gave John Davies a simple task to shoot the ball into net for his first goal of the season. This sudden burst took all the fight out of Shrewsbury and Walsall coasted to a victory which the looked very unlikely to gain during the first half.



WALSALL 1 (Hodgkisson) COVENTRY CITY 1(Kearns)                     Attendance 13,053

Christie; Sharples, Guttridge (capt); Hill, McPherson, Rawlings;
Askey, Faulkner, Richards, Hodgkisson, Taylor;

Lightening; Kletzenbauer, Bennett; Nicholas, Curtis (capt), Kearns;
Stifle, Straw, Satchwell, Farmer, Imlach;

Referee:- J.H. Hemingway, Pontefract

Despite the mud and fog there was plenty of excitement for the season's biggest crowd so far for this Friday night battle of the two Midlands rivals. Walsall were without wing half Jimmy Dudley and introduced local lad Ken Hill. Walsall had not been able to sign Notts Forest centre forward Tommy Wilson in time for him to play tonight, but he will add considerable experience to the Walsall squad.

Walsall soon gave goalkeeper Albert Lightening plenty to do in the early stages, but Coventy urged on by Imlach on the left wing retaliated with a burst of speedy football which had the home defenders in trouble. Straw hit a post from Imlach's centre and then Satchwell's effort was blocked by Christie's body. Then Walsall came back strongly and Taylor hit a post, Richards had a header finger tipped over the bar and Lightening saved at full length in the mud from Hodgkisson. Taylor had to leave the field briefly for treatment to an ankle injury. Half time 0-0.

Richards nearly scored soon after the interval but Bennett brought off an amazing goal line clearance by hooking the centre forward's header off the line. McPherson also suffered an ankle injury and Walsall seemed up against it with two players not fully fit. Walsall's attack was getting bogged down in the mud and Askey who had looked dangerous was not getting enough of the ball. Coventry in particular gave away a lot of free kicks as the game threatened to get out of hand.

Coventry scored the first goal of the game in the seventy first minute as McPherson slipped in the mud and could only partially clear a cross from the right. The ball fell just right for wing half Kearns who hit it high into the net from the edge of the penalty area. Walsall fought back and within ten minutes had the equaliser following yet another free kick, which Rawlings planted into the area for Richards to head it down to Hodgkisson running in at pace to score from close range.

That was the end of the scoring in a hard fought game in very difficult conditions. Hopefully the weaknesses in the Saddlers forward line will be remedied once the signing of Tommy Wilson from Forest has been completed.



WALSALL 0 YEOVIL 1 (Taylor)                 Attendance 11,887

Christie; Sharples, Guttridge (capt); Dudley, McPherson, Rawlings;
Askey, Faulkner, Richards, Hodgkisson, Davies;

Jones; Lyons, Hayward; Albury, Blackburn, McLaughlin;
Pounder, Paton, Kelly, Taylor, Ashe;

(Report from Wolverhampton Express and Star)

(Report from Birmingham Post)

Friday, 3 March 2017

1959-60 - Part five (Walsall/Burnley/Real Madrid)

Posted by Tony Hutton



BIRMINGHAM CITY 0 BARCELONA 0                          Attendance 40,500

Schofield; Farmer, Allen; Watts, Smith (capt), Neal;
Astall, Gordon, Weston, Orritt, Hooper;

Ramallets; Olivella, Rodriguez, Gracia; Segarra (capt), Gensana;
Coll, Koscis, Martinez, Ribellas, Villaverde;

Referee:- L Van Nuffell, Belgium

Barcelona in the Midlands for the second time this month, after trouncing Wolves 9-2 on aggregate in the European Cup, were without star inside forward Juan Suarez and brought in an unknown reserve Enrique Ribelles. The visitors must have got a shock when they stepped out on the pitch for although it had rained on and off during the day no one expected to see the top surface covered with water. The conditions may have been one of the reason why the conquerors of Wolves failed to produce the devastating form of which they are capable.

Another reason mentioned in some quarters was that they treated this match as unimportant, with the second leg coming up in Barcelona  which they are sure to win and with more important games with Real Madrid in the offing in the Spanish League as well as the European Cup, they could well afford to take things easy.

Barcelona only really threatened to score during the opening minutes when Louis Coll looked most likely to do the trick, but for the most part they were chase and harried off the ball by the hard tackling Birmingham defence who performed magnificently. In attack Birmingham's best players were the two wingers Gordon Astall and Harry Hooper who thrived on the long passes which reached them from defence. Hooper missed two chances during the second half but the worst of the lot was by Weston shortly before the end.

The Spaniards defence was however much too powerful for the inept Birmingham inside forwards, Gensana and Segarra the present Spanish international wing halves being in a class of their own. As far as the attack was concerned only Coll, with some brilliant dribbles and Martinez to a lesser extent, showed anything like their normal form. Koscis just ambled through the game almost unnoticed and Villaverde shrugged his shoulders at the fierce tackles and got out of the way.

Altogether a very disappointing game and while giving Blues credit for their fighting defence, one must assume in view of the different in this performance and that at Wolverhampton that the Barcelona side were saving themselves for greater things to come.

The second leg of this final was not played until 4th May when Barcelona predictably won by 4-1. Two goals from Hungarian winger Czibor and one each from Coll and Martinez were sufficent for Barcelona to take this rather long drawn out trophy which had been going on since 1958.



WALSALL 2 (Billingham pen, Hodgkisson) GILLINGHAM 3 (Shepherd 2, Terry)

Christie; Haddington, Sharples; Billingham, McPherson (capt), Dudley;
Askey, Faulkner, Richards, Hodgkisson, Taylor;

Simpson; Proverbs, Hunt; Smith, Hughes, Hannaway;
Bacon, Shepherd, Terry, Pulley, Brown;

Referee:- R.H. Windle, Chesterfield

The league leaders Walsall kept the same side which beat Oldham 4-2 and Southport 4-1 during the previous week. Walsall did all the early attacking and it came as a surprise when Gillingham went ahead after eleven minutes. Outside right Bacon beat Sharples and Shepherd running in hit his centre first time from the edge of the penalty area to score a fine goal.

From now on it was all Gillingham. Playing fast constructive football their lively forwards had the Walsall defenders running round in circles. After both Pulley and Shepherd had missed good chances, the visitors scored again in thirty minutes. Brown put over a perfect centre from the left which found Terry opposite the far post and the centre forward scored with a grand header which went over Christie and dropped just under the bar.

Five minute later Walsall pulled one back when Taylor was brought down as he was going through and Peter Billingham scored from the spot. Gillingham's two centre forward plan troubled McPherson and when a bouncing ball beat the Walsall centre half, Terry was able to head on to Shepherd who scored his second goal with a low shot. Half time 1-3.

Walsall attacked strongly during the second half determined to draw level at least as Gillingham are only the third tea to score more than two goals against Walsall this season, the others being Watford and Peterbrough (in the cup). They had bad luck when Richards headed only inches wide from a Dudley free kick and again when a close range drive by Asked was pushed over the bar by Simpson.

Eventually after seventy three minutes Walsall managed to score a second goal. Askey headed the ball down to Hodgkisson who scored with a close range shot. The pressure was on now as the Saddlers went all out for an equaliser, but it would not come and the resolute Gillingham defence held out to the end. A very disappointing result for the home side following their two fine away wins, but Gillingham certainly deserved the points on their first half showing alone.

MONDAY 18TH APRIL, 1960                                   Attendance 22,788


NOTTS COUNTY 2 (Hateley, Roby pen) WALSALL 1 (Hodgkisson)

Christie; Haddington, Sharples; Billingham, McPherson (capt), Dudley;
Askey, Hodgkisson, Davies, Richards, Taylor;

Smith; Butler, Noon; Sheridan, Loxley, Carver;
Roby, Joyce, Hateley, Forrest (capt), Withers;

Referee:- G. McCabe, Sheffield

A large crowd turned up to see the two leading teams of the Fourth Division do battle, including about 5,000 who had travelled from Walsall. Both teams unexpectedly lost at home on Saturday and both made several changes.

Walsall did most of the early attacking down the right wing where Askey looked in good form. County retaliated with a fine run by left winger Alan Withers, but after twenty three minutes Walsall deservedly took the lead to the delight of their supporters. Dudley passed to Taylor who pushed it on down the left to Richards. He squared it across goal and Hodgkisson was on hand to hit it home from twelve yards.

Five minutes later County equalised with a splendid goal. Withers, a very tricky winger, broke away down the left and sent over a grand centre. Tony Hateley, jumping high, flicked his head and sent the ball just inside the post as Christie dived too late. A goal which must have reminded County supporters of the great Tommy Lawton. Roby missed a chance soon afterwards and Walsall were on the defensive right up to the interval.
Half time 1-1.

County really piled on the pressure in the second half and the Walsall defence in which Sharples was noticeably shaky and McPherson not at his best, had a struggle to keep them at bay. In the fifty first minute
 after Christie had been drawn out of goal, Haddington punched a shot from the bustling Hately over the bar and Roby scored from the resulting penalty.

County nearly added to their total twice in the next minute when first Haddington cleared off the line and then Christie brought off a grand one handed save. The Walsall attack was now almost non-existent and Roby and Joyce were playing havoc with the left flank of the defence. One particularly fine move ended with Joyce heading against the bar.

Walsall began their usual late rally and very nearly forced a draw when Richards swung over a perfect ball from the left and Hodgkisson met with his head only for Smith to save at the second attempt. So two very valuable points for the home side.

Both teams were in fact promoted to the Third Division at the end of the season. Walsall as Champions with 65 points and Notts County as runners up with 60 points




Schofield; Sissons, Farmer; Watts, Smith (capt), Neal;
Astall, Gordon, Weston, Murphy, Hooper;

Blacklaw; Angus, Elder; Adamson (capt), Cummings, Miller;
Meredith, McIlroy, Pointer, Robson, Pilkington;

Referee:- R.E. Smith, Newport (Mon)

Burnley with two games in hand on Spurs and Wolves the only two clubs ahead of them have a great chance of pulling off the league championship title and Birmingham still had an outside chance of being relegated. So this match was vital to both sides.

The visitors were without England outside right John Connelly and Birmingham continued with veteran Peter Murphy at inside left. Murphy, recently brought back from the third team, has virtually saved the Blues from relegation and scored two goal in the 4-2 win over Sheffield Wednesday last Saturday.

Burnley went all out into attack from the start, the clever footwork and short corners soon had Birmingham in trouble down the left wing and a surprise shot from McIlroy was brilliant saved by goalkeeper Schofield. After this early onslaught Birmingham made several tentative advances, but on nearly every occasion Hooper used the ball very badly.

With those two splendid wing halves Adamson and Miller gaining control Burnley returned to the attack. After Schofield had saved well from Miller he dropped a shot from Pilkington, but luckily no one was there to profit from his mistake. Pointer header into the net but was given offside. Then a most curious decision by the referee when he awarded an indirect free kick to Burnley after Meredith had been blatantly brought down inside the penalty area. Half time 0-0.

Birmingham's attack was very ragged and the only occasion on which Blacklaw was worried was during a terrific goalmouth scramble which was more like a Rugby scrum than an attack by a first division forward line. However it looked as though the hard work of Smith and Schofield would keep Burnley out. Then with only twenty minutes left Smith slipped and Pointer had only the goalkeeper to beat, but in trying to lob it over the keeper's head he only lobbed it gently into Schofield's waiting arms.

Soon afterwards came the decisive moment of the match when Meredith, the clever little reserve winger, beat Farmer and then Neal out on the right and crossed a low ball across the face of the goal. Pointer just touched it on and there was Pilkington, completely unmarked, with all the time in the world to place it into the corner of the net.

With just two matches remaining Burnley went on to take the League title. They drew nervously at home to Fulham but won the last match away at Manchester City 2-1 to finish the season on top.
Wolves took second place behind Burnley but also added the F.A. Cup by beating Blackburn 3-0 at Wembley. The victorious side is seen below.

Wolves team of cup winners - back row - Harris, Finlayson, Flowers, Slater (with cup), Broadbent, Clamp, Showell. Front row - Stobart, Horne, Murray and Deeley.

WEDNESDAY 18TH MAY, 1960         Attendance 127,621* (some papers quoted 134,000)         

REAL MADRID 7 (Di Stefano 3, Puskas 4) EINTRACHT FRANKFURT 3 (Kress, Stein 2)

Doninguez; Marquitos, Pachin; Vidal, Santamaria, Zarraga (capt);
Canario, Del Sol, Di Stefano, Puskas, Gento;

 Ley; Lutz, Hoffer; Weilbacher (capt), Eigenbrodt, Stinka;
Kress, Lardner, Stein, Pfaff, Meier;

Referee:- J. Mowatt, Scotland

Real Madrid had reached the final by beating their great Spanish rivals Barcelona in the semi-final, winning 3-1 both home and away. Having seen Barcelona destroy the English champions, Wolves, in the quarter finals, I was amazed at this result.

The front page of the German football magazine 'Kicker' describes Alfredo Di Stefano as the 'field commander' even before the game started in their special report from Glasgow.

Eintracht Frankfurt were paying their second visit to the city of Glasgow, having overwhelmed Glasgow Rangers 6-3 in the second leg of their semi-final after beating them 6-1 in Frankfurt.

After nineteen minutes of this remarkable game Eintracht outside right Kress in the centre forward position surprised red hot favourites Real Madrid by pushing home a right wing centre to give the Germans the lead.
Three minutes later the great Alfredo Di Stefano got in on the act. Canario rounded his full back in the tiniest of spaces on the right and pulled it back for Di Stefano to hit home from close range.

Then a swerving shot from Del Sol escaped Loy's grasp and in the instant it slipped from his hands, Di Stefano was there again to crashing the ball into the roof of the net. Just before half time Ference Puskas broke clear on the left and from a narrow angle sent a terrific shot into the net. Half time 3-1 to Real Madrid.

                                     Eintract attack (above) and defend (below)

After fifty four minutes speedy Gento was charged off the ball and a rather harsh penalty was awarded to Madrid. Puskas, instead of blasting it as one would expect, just sent the goalkeeper the wrong way and calmly rolled the ball into the corner of the net. Five minutes later Gento  was away like a bullet down his wing, near the goal line he turned and sent across a perfect hard centre. Puskas threw himself at it, headed it into the corner and ended up in the back of the net himself. 5-1 to Real and a truly brilliant goal.

After seventy minutes Puskas scored his fourth and makes it 6-1 with a brilliant left foot shot on the turn which thunders into goal. Then in a near goal a minute rush, centre forward Stein for Eintracht worked his way past three men and scored a grand goal to make it 6-2. Immediately from the kick off, Di Stefano had the ball and in a flash he was past four defenders and the ball was nestling in the right hand corner of the net. 7-2 in seventy two minutes!

Two minutes later Vidal mis-hit a back pass and Stein was on hand to score again for Eintracht. That finished the scoring at 7-3, but every minute of this game was exhibition stuff. Real Madrid seem to have reached perhaps the nearest to football perfection we shall ever see. Every player in their side was a true artist and there was no weak line. As for Di Stefano, Puskas and Gento, they must rank among the greatest geniuses this great game had ever produced. After Zarraga had been presented with the cup, Real ran around the ground in a lap of honour and was there ever such a roar of appreciation from just short of 130,000 people on any football ground anywhere in the world, never mind just Hampden Park.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

The big match No. 6 - Wolves v Barcelona 1960

Posted by Tony Hutton

The following report is as written some fifty seven years ago when English champions Wolves took on the might of Barcelona in the European Cup.



WOLVES 2 (Murray, Mason) C.F. BARCELONA 5 (Koscis 4, Villaverde) 

Sidebottom; Showell, Harris; Clamp, Slater (capt), Flowers;
Deeley, Broadbent, Murray, Mason, Horne;

Ramallets; Olivella, Rodriguez, Gracia; Segarra, Gensana;
Coll, Koscis, Martinez, Suarez, Villaverde;

Referee:- L. Van Nuffel, Belgium

The Spanish champions made several changes from the side which beat Wolves 4-0 in Barcelona on February 10th in the first leg. The most surprising was the inclusion of a comparative unknown Louis Coll at outside right in preference to the Brazalian Evertisto de Macedo. Sandor Koscis was included in preference to his fellow Hungarian Kubala, who it is understood is in the middle of a private feud with team manager Herrara. Sidebottom continued to deputise for the injured Finlayson in the Wolves goal.

Early in the game two low, hard centres from Horne passed across the face of the Barcelona goal, but no one was on hand to tap them into the net. The Spaniards soon settled down to play brilliant football and their first two chances both fell to Coll. He shot over with his first effort, but Sidebottom brilliantly saved the second. After twenty five minutes Wolves were awarded an indirect fee kick inside the Barcelona penalty area. All eleven players came back to pack the goalmouth and the kick was scrambled clear.

Then after twenty nine minutes despite all Wolves speed and fury, Barcelona took the lead with a simple goal. Martinez, on the goal line to right of the goal manoeuvred the ball cleverly round three defenders and pulled it back for the unmarked Koscis to score from close range.

After thirty five minutes Wolves raised a slight hope for their rather despondent supporters with an equalising goal, which was however somewhat fortuitous. Olivella, attempting to kick out from the edge of the goal area, had his clearance blocked by the advancing Murray from whose body it rebounded past Ramallets. Wolves now increased their pressure, but could make little headway against a Barcelona defence outstanding both in the air and it's ability to get out of trouble by playing football. Every goal kick which Wolves took seemed to find the head of Segarra or Rodri to put Barcelona back in possession.

The visitors second goal came three minutes before half time and again it was scored with effortless ease. Coll took the ball down the right, pushed it forward to Martinez, who square it inside to Koscis and the ball was in the net. Martinez, the man from Paraguay, normally a winger was proving a most effective centre forward. Half time 1-2.

Wolves, although already facing a seemingly impossible task, kept on fighting hard and only a brilliant diving save by Ramallets prevented Peter Broadbent from equalising. The contrast between the two side was becoming even greater. Wolves with the exception of the brilliant Slater, were all running around in circles with not results and Barcelona, ball players to a man, were strolling through the game, making it look all too easy.

They really rubbed it in with their third goal in the sixty first minute. Martinez ambled in along the goal line from the right, stopped at the junction with the penalty area and put his foot on the ball, Harris stood between him and the goal and waited for the centre forward to make the first move. Suddenly he did move.
Putting his toe under the ball, he lobbed it over the unfortunate Harris' head, ran round and chipped it against the face of the crossbar. The immaculate Suarez, running towards the corner flag, chased it at top speed as it ran loose on the left and smartly back-heeled it to Villeverde cutting in from the wing. His centre beat Sidebottom and there was Koscis again to head it into the net, when Coll returned it from the right. A magnificent goal.

Wolves were really finished now and Barcelona turned on exhibition stuff. After seventy four minutes Koscis who was now walking his regal way through he game scored his fourth goal. Brilliant play by Suarez in midfield put Coll away down the right, his centre found the Hungarian perfectly positioned to hit an eighteen yard shot past Sidebottom Clamp, who had throughout played an attacking game, paved the way for Mason to score another consolation goal for Wolves four minutes later, but still Barcelona came back for more.

Coll, rated a third choice at outside right, again made the goal. Dribbling his way down the right his centre found the Uruguayan outside left Villaverde in the centre forward position. He swept through two defenders as if they did not exist and hammered the ball home from the edge of the area.

So at last Wolves' proud record of not being beaten by any foreign side on their own ground was shattered by what must have been the most brilliant exhibition of football ever seen at Molineux. It was a team triumph, every man superb in ball control, positional play and intelligence. All Wolves had to offer in return was fighting spirit and this was nowhere near enough to make these master craftsmen of soccer break into a gallop. They played football as it should be played, they made it look easy and they made Wolves look anything but the best team in England.

                                           Suarez consoles Deeley at the end.

However, no one can be blamed for this defeat, Wolves gave of their best and it was not good enough. The crowded English league programme and the climatic conditions under which football is often played in this country are to blame. Wolves methods, based on speed and fitness, have proved successful in the past but it is now proved that true skill will triumph in the end.

1959-60 - Part four (Villa winning on all fronts)

Posted by Tony Hutton




Pratt; Thompson, Briggs; Lumsden, Sleeuwenhoek, Deakin (capt);
Ashe, Baker, Brown, McMorran, Jones (A);

Guinn; Thurnham, Gomersall; Hill, Harold, Oakes (capt);
Fletcher, Pearson, Eccles, Aimson, Wagstaffe;

Referee:- J.K. Taylor, Wolverhampton

Aston Villa became favourites for the F.A. Youth Cup when they beat the powerful Wolves side 5-1 in the previous round. They have certainly acquired the pick of the Midland schoolboys of last season and the youth side is proving just as successful as the first team, which is top of the Second Division.

Villa included two players with first team experience in left half Alan Deakin and sixteen year old Norman Ashe who became Villa's youngest ever league player when he played against Swansea three weeks ago.
Partnering Ashe was fifteen year old Alan Baker. These two played together for both Brierley Hill and England boys last season. Manchester City had only one player with league experience in Alan Oakes, whose build and ability has caused him to be labelled as a second Duncan Edwards.

Villa had just the better of the play in a very close first half and it seemed as though their younger and smaller side would perhaps wilt under the heavy going, particularly when the snow started to fall just before half time.
However three minutes before the interval the home side took the lead. Baker pushed the ball forward as if intending to shoot, but McMorran intervened and his shot on the turn with his left foot cracked in a grand goal. City's best effort during this half was a brilliant run by left winger Wagstaffe which took him past four men. Half time 1-0.

After the interval Villa were even more on top and their defence played immaculately. Centre half Sleeuwenhoek, right back Thompson and right half Lumsden were particularly impressive but skipper Deakin had rather a poor game. In attack the tiny right wing pair came into their own with Baker managing to avoid the attentions of the powerful Oakes on  numerous occasions to slip perfect passes inside the full back.

From one such move Ashes's powerful shot was brilliantly saved by Guinn. Two free kicks, both taken by Oakes caused some concern to Villa, the first was headed against the bar by Pearson and rebounded into the surprised goalkeeper's hands and from the second Oakes hit the side netting with a powerful shot.

Villa's second goal came five minutes from the end. A through ball from Baker was chased by the energetic Brown and Thurnham in trying to pass back turned it past his goalkeeper for Brown to chase and tap into the net just before it crossed the line.

Unfortunately Villa came unstuck in the next round of the competition losing away at Chelsea, the eventual winners, at Stamford Bridge by 3-0. Chelsea went on to win the two-legged final with Preston North End  5-2, with Bobby Tambling scoring a hat trick in the second leg. Also in the Chelsea team were Peter Bonetti and Terry Venables.

FRIDAY 29TH JANUARY 1960                   Attendance 6,945


WALSALL 2 (Davies, Faulkner) BARROW 1 (Bannan pen)

 Christie; Haddington, Guttridge (capt); Dudley, McPherson, Rawlings;
Davies, Faulkner, Richards, Hodgkisson, Taylor;

Hardwick; Staniforth (capt), Robinson; Clarke, Marsden, McGlennon;
Lowes, Bannan, Robertson, Murdoch, Kemp;

Referee:- Major C.H. Dennis, Surrey

Walsall played this match on Friday night to avoid clashing with cup ties at West Bromwich and Wolverhampton tomorrow. However the atrocious weather conditions spoilt hopes of a bumper gate. The ground was completely waterlogged and the groundstaff were forking it right up to the start. Barrow field a very experienced side. The player manager Ron Staniforth is the former Huddersfield Town and England full back, Dick Robinson, his full back partner, played for the Football League whilst at Middlesboroough and goalkeeper Ken Hardwick, formerly with Doncaster, was once picked for England Under 23s despite being over thirty at the time!

Both teams played good football considering the conditions but Walsall were on top. However they did not manage to open the scoring until the thirty seventh minute. Rawlings, who had a fine game, sent Taylor away and his high centre found Davies in his now customary position in the centre to score with a fine header. Walsall were prevented from going further ahead by several fine saves by Hardwick. He showed remarkable anticipation and was well supported by his experienced defence who played with the utmost coolness, particularly Staniforth, in difficult conditions. Half time 1-0.

Barrow's forward line rarely got going and the Walsall half back, all in good form, saw that they did not get far. Robertson a bustling centre forward, got little change out of McPherson. Walsall's second goal, by then long overdue, came in the seventy first minute. A splendid through pass from Hodgkisson found Faulkner, who ran on inside the penalty area to crack the ball past Hardwick as he came out. This was the inside right's twentieth goal of the season.

With the game almost safe Walsall eased up and Barrow got in their most dangerous attacks of the game. In one of these, former Liverpool forward Bobby Murdoch seemed to throw himself over Haddington's outstretched leg. The referee however had not doubt about awarding a penalty and Tommy Bannan crashed the ball into the corner of the net to Christie's left as the goalkeeper swayed to the right.



ASTON VILLA 4 (Thomson 3, Hitchens) HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0 

Sims; Lynn, Neal; Crowe, Dugdale, Saward;
McEwan, Thomson, Hitchens, Wylie, McParland;

Wood; Gibson, Wilson; McGarry (capt), Coddington, Low;
McHale, Law, Connor, Massie, Hawksworth;

Referee:- Major C.H. Dennis, Surrey

Villa, top of the league, were unchanged from the side which knocked First Division Chelsea out of the cup last week at Stamford Bridge. Huddersfield were without Yorkshire cricketer Ken Taylor and brought in Low at left half. The town included former Manchester United goalkeeper Ray Wood and the wonder boy of British football, Dennis Law.

Huddersfield's right wing looked dangerous with McHale making good use of his excellent service from Law, however Neal, who is reckoned to be the Villa player who has made most progress this season, showed that his reputation for speedy recovery is quite justified. McEwan, not getting much change out of Wilson, wandered to the inside left position, slipped past McGarry and pushed the ball across to the unmarked Thomson who promptly slammed a low shot past Wood.

Villa went further ahead after thirty six minutes and again Thomson was the scorer. Crowe lobbed a free kick into the goal are, McParland headed it backwards over Coddington and there was Thomson to fling himself full length and head a beautiful goal. Half time 2-0.

Law had shown some brilliant touches but on the whole his display was much below the standard expected of him and the Huddersfield team were hardly in the same form which they showed when beating West Ham 5-1 away from home in a cup replay recently. Connor sent a cleverly angled header into the Villa net but was ruled offside.

Then in the fifty ninth minute Bobby Thomson completed his hat trick when he chased a long ball from McParland down the centre, outpacing Low and crashing a low shot past Wood. Huddersfield were not finished yet and urged on by Law and Massie they brought the best out of Villa's defence. McHale and Hawksworth made Sims bring off two really outstanding saves. The one in which he dived at Hawksworth's feet and as the winger lobbed the ball over him, flung up an arm to flip the ball clear was magnificent.

Hitchens failed to find the net when it seemed impossible to miss, but in the seventy fifth minute a long goal kick from Sims gave him the chance to gallop clear down the middle to draw Wood out of goal, side step him in his own clumsy way and place the ball into the empty net for goal number four.



ASTON VILLA 2 (Hitchens, McParland) PRESTON NORTH END 0            Attendance 69,732

Sims; Lynn, Neal; Crowe, Dugdale, Saward (capt);
McEwan, Thomson, Hitchens, Wylie, McParland;

Else; Wilson, Walton; Milne, Richardson, Smith;
Dagger, Thompson, Finney (capt), Sneddon, Taylor;

Referee:- R.J. Leafe, Nottingham

Villa who are already heading for promotion from the Second Division took on Preston, who without any league worries, were concentrating on the cup in the hope that Tom Finney would at long last get a cup winners medal before retiring.

In front of a huge capacity crowd, possibly a record for a second division club, Preston suffered a setback soon after the start when former Villa player Tommy Thompson received a knee injury which slowed him down considerably. Villa did all the early attacking an came nearest to scoring when McParland, who had moved into the middle, had a powerful shot saved by goalkeeper Fred Else. The home side did take the lead in the tenth minute with rather a lucky goal.

A long pass from Lynn found Hitchens in the centre. The centre forward rounded reserve centre half Richardson and veered towards the left. The whole defence obviously expected him to pass to the onrushing McParland, but he suddenly turned back the other way and crashed in a shot which was deflected by Walton into the far corner of the net as Else dived the other way to cover the original line of Hitchen's shot.

After this the first half was riddled with missed chances by both side, Hitchens should have scored easily from four yards out and then a brilliant Finney run on the left, in which he lobbed the ball into the goalmouth over Sims' head, saw first Dagger and then Sneddon miss glorious openings. Half time 1-0.

Preston, despite their clever midfield play, were getting nowhere. There was no fight or enthusiasm in any of their forwards who seemed to give up as soon as it became obvious that Dugdale had got Finney bottled up. Villa's fighting spirit, even if sometimes their football was rather crude, was much more suited to the cup tie atmosphere. The best Preston effort came from Dagger who sent in a fierce drive only for Sims to bring off a brilliant diving save.

As the game drew towards its undistinguished close and Villa's superiority became more evident, McParland came into his element. He ranged the entire width of the field with his long striding runs, barged defenders out of the way and generally played havoc with the struggling North End defence, weakened considerably by the absence of Cunningham and Dunne.

McParland's moment of glory came in the seventy eighth minute, McEwan dribbled in from the right, lobbed the ball into the middle and there was the Irishman racing in to chest the ball down, brush aside Wilson as if he did not exist and blasted the ball into the roof of the net. Villa march on to the semi-finals.

On the 26th March Villa played Wolves in the Cup semi final in front of 55,000 at the Hawthorns, West Bromwich. Wolves won the game 1-0 with a goal from Norman Deeley and went on to beat Blackburn Rovers 3-0 in the final at Wembley.

However Villa did go on to win the Second Division title with 59 points and were promoted back to the First Division together with Cardiff City who finished just one point behind them.



WALSALL 2 (Hodgkisson, Askey) EXETER CITY 2 (Calland 2)

Christie; Haddington, Guttridge (capt); Dudley, McPherson, Rawlings;
Askey, Faulkner, Richards, Hodgkisson, Taylor;

Jones; Foley MacDonald; Mitchell (capt), Oliver, Thompson;
Stiffle, Rees, Wilkinson, Calland, Dale;

Referee:- R.J. Leafe, Nottingham

Walsall still with a comfortable lead at the top of the table have been slipping lately. The crowning insult came last Saturday when they lost at home to Northampton 2-1. To make things worse Northampton  had been without inside forward Tebbutt, who broke a leg, for more than half the game. Bill Moore, Walsall's manager, said that he did not intend to make sweeping changes as he felt that the tension of being at the top was beginning to tell on his players. However outside right Davies, who had a particularly poor game, asked to be dropped and Colin Askey took his place.

Roy Faulkner missed a great chance to put Walsall ahead soon after the start when he broke through the middle on his own. With only the goalkeeper to beat he lobbed it over his head but just over the bar as well.
Walsall continued in the same vein as Saturday and their attack could make little progress against the very solid Exeter half back line, which dominated the game.

Half way through the first half, Hodgkisson appeared to make a theatrical fall when fairly tackled inside the area, but experienced referee Reg Leafe had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. However justice was done when McPherson shot straight at Jones who saved the kick easily. A defensive mix up between McPherson and Christie led to the ball running loose in front of goal and Calland had a simple task to roll the ball home.
Half time 0-1.

Exeter continued to play far superior football while Walsall went from bad to worse. The whole team seemed affected and every pass went straight to an Exeter player. The visitors went further ahead when Calland broke away on the right and beat Christie with a fine shot from the edge of the penalty area.

The last quarter of an hour brought about a belated Walsall revival. Ken Hodgkisson got their first goal with a shot from close range which passed underneath the goalkeeper's body and shortly afterwards Colin Askey scored the equaliser. After a scramble in the goalmouth the ball came out to the outside right whose shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down into the net despite the frantic efforts of the packed defence. The Saddlers went all out for the winning goal in the closing minutes but try as they did, they had left their effort too late and were fortunate indeed to take even one point.

Despite a few setbacks along the way Walsall did eventually clinch the Division Four title and were promoted to the Third Division along with Notts County, Torquay United and Watford.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

1959-60 Part three (F.A. Cup action)

Posted by Tony Hutton

SATURDAY 5TH DECEMBER, 1959                       Attendance 20,600


WALSALL 2 (Richards, Billingham) PETERBOROUGH UNITED 3 (Rayner, McNamee, Smith)

Christie; Haddington, Guttridge (capt); Billingham, McPherson, Rawlings;
Davies, Faulkner, Richards, Hodgkisson, Taylor

Daley; Stafford, Walker; Banham, Rigby (capt), Chadwick;
Hails, Emery, Raynor, Smith, McNamee;

Referee:- K. Stokes, Retford

Peterborough, the famous Midland League side are well known for their giant-killing feats. Today they brought over five thousand supporters to Walsall for this all ticket match which set a new ground record. The 'Posh' had already knocked out Third Division Shrewsbury in the previous round and their manager, Jimmy Hagan, was confident that they could strike another blow towards league status by beating the Fourth Division leaders.

The visitors received a shock in the first thirty seconds when Faulkner raced away down the right and sent over a low cross which Richards prodded into the net as Banham completely mis-kicked. Walsall seemed to be heading for another easy win but in Peterborough's firs serious attack the scores were very nearly levelled. Christie came out of goal but failed to grasp the ball as he dived at Smith's feet.

The ball ran loose and Raynor instead of crashing it into the open goal hit the underside of the bar. The ball bounced down and Smith headed towards the still empty net but this time it went over the bar. A real let off for the 'Saddlers'.

After fifteen minutes however, Billingham who had returned to the team after an absence due to a thigh injury collapsed with a similar problem and had to leave the field Faulkner moved back to wing half which was unusual in view of Hodgkisson's experience in that position. Billingham did return but only as a passenger on the wing. Petereborough began to get on tope and it was no surprise when they equalised after forty minutes.

Smith put McNamee away down the left, the winger beat Haddington, lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Christie's head and there was Raynor to head the ball home. Half time 1-1.

It looked as though Billingham was all right at the start of the second half and he resumed in his normal postion, but he soon broke down again and limped along at centre forward. After several near misses Peterborough took the lead after fifty three minutes to the delight of their supporters. Hails lobbed the ball over from the right and McNameee raced in to score from a narrow angle.

Walsall really began to fight back now but their injury handicap was too great and after a period of sustained Walsall pressure the non-league side broke away to score again with a calmly taken goal by Smith which made it 3-1 to the visitors. Far from finished Walsall fought on and from a Davies centre Billingham managed to prod the ball home with his good ledg before collapsing in agony and having to be helped back to the centre line.

So at 3-2 to Peterborough after seventy minutes, Walsall had all to play for and despite having nearly all the play in the last twenty minutes they could not get the ball in the net and on the whole the delighted visitors thoroughly deserved their victory. League status for them cannot be far away and Walsall will have the consolation of being able to concentrate on their promotion battle for the rest of the season.

SATURDAY 26TH DECEMBER, 1959                     Attendance 13,191


WALSALL2 (Davies, Faulkner) GATESHEAD 2 (Whitfield, Murray)

Christie; Haddington, Guttridge (capt); Dudley, McPherson, Rawlings;
Davies, Faulkner, Richards, Hodgkisson, Taylor;

Williamson; Dawson, Moffitt; Hobson, Lackenby, Aitken (capt);
Stephenson, Lumley, Murray, Steele, Whitfield;

Referee:- L. Callaghan, Merthyr Tydfil

Walsall, five points clear at the top of the league, looked certain winners against Gateshead, fourth from the bottom, in this Boxing Day clash. However the atrocious ground conditions and driving rain brought both teams down to the same level. Walsall continued with Jimmy Dudley their recent signing from West Bromwich Albion for his third match.

Walsall with the advantage of the slope pressed at once, obviously with the idea of repeating last week's performance at Crewe where they scored four goals in the first twenty five minutes. However it was not to be, the forwards missed several good chances. Gateshead who had been moving the ball well shocked everybody by taking the lead in the fourteenth minute.

Stephenson sent across a low ball from the right and it ran right across goal for Whitfield, cutting in from the left, to hit it into the net from close range. This seemed to spur on the home side who have come from behind to win several times already this season. The equalising goal came in thirty six minutes when Davies took Faulkner's pass, moved inside to the centre forward postion and cracked in a left foot shot which Williamson got his hands to but could not prevent it entering the net.

Within seven minutes Walsall playing grand football at this stage went in front. Faulkner chased Hodgkisson's lob down the middle and despite the close attention of two defenders pushed the ball home from the right hand edge of the goal area. Half time 2-1.

Walsall faded out completely in the second half and Gateshead prompted by their experienced skipper George Aitken, the former Sunderland and Scotland wing half, played football far above the standard one would expect from a club in such a lowly position. Lackenby the former Newcastle player was a tower of strength at centre half and Lumley the old Charlton inside forward a fine schemer in midfield.

Main incidents of the second half were a shot from Taylor which hit the post, a brilliant diving save by Christie to push out a long shot from Aitken and the great display of Albert McPherson at centre half for Walsall. Then came the great talking point of this match in the very last minute of the game.

Gateshead's centre forward was standing yards offside but a pass down the middle glanced off McPherson's head thus playing Murray onside and he promptly banged the ball into the net. The linesman was still standing with his flag up for offside, but the referee awarded a goal and, despite vigorous protests from the Walsall players, declined to consult the linesman. So 2-2 the final score and a vital point lost by the 'Saddlers'.




Potter; Cram, Williams S.G.; Setters (capt), Wood, Styles;
Dixon, Aitken, Lovatt, Smith, Gaskell;

Sidebottom; Kelly, Tether; Kirkham, Corbett, Jones (capt);
Lill, Durandt, McBride, Stobbart, Mannion;

Referee:- D. Pritchard, Walsall

Albion created something of a sensation by leaving Stuart Williams, the Welsh international full back, Maurice Setter, the England Under 23s and club captain and outside right Andy Aitken, out of the first team which travelled to play Notts Forest today. They also included a new signing from the Manchester area, seventeen year old Jack Gaskell. Wolves included recent signing from Kilmarnock - Joe McBride, together with six players with first team experience.

Albion did all the early attacking and it came as no surprise when they took the lead after only nine minutes play. Setters started the move with a cleverly flicked header to right back Bobby Cram who pushed it down the line to Lovatt. His centre was taken by Smith, who brushed past two men before beating Sidebottom with a fierce shot into the roof of the net.

It was all Albion right up to half time with little Gaskell getting the better of Kelly on several occasions. After a time Dixon and Smith changed positions, but Aitken who is a clever ball player was Albion's best forward.
Half time 1-0.

In pouring rain Wolves pressed more heavily in the second half but Albion's compact defence never looked like conceding a goal. Wood at centre half completely blotted out McBride and Stuart Williams kept Wolves' most dangerous forward, Micky Lill, well under control. Gwyn Jones, normally a full back, played like one in the first half, but in the second half managed to come up into attack a bit more. Durandt worked hard for Wolves but Styles gave him very little room to move in.

Wolves should have been awarded a penalty towards the end when Styles blatantly pushed the ball away with his hand, but the referee did not see it. He did see Lill try to steer the ball into the net with his hand however and that ended Wolves hopes of getting a point.


LEAGUE DIVISION ONE AT ELLAND ROAD, LEEDS               Attendance 20,000

LEEDS UNITED 1 (McCole)  LUTON TOWN 1 (Turner)

Burgin; Ashall, Hair; Cush (capt), Charlton, Gibson;
Crowe, Cameron, McCole, Peyton, Meek;

Baynham; Dunne, Daniel; Groves (capt), Kelly, Pacey;
Bingham, Turner, Brown, Cummins, Gregory;

Referee:- W. Crossley, Lancaster

Both teams started the New Year and the new decade in a perilous position at the foot of the First Division table. Luton, last year's cup finalists, have had a shocking time since Syd Owen retired as a player and took over the club management. Leeds have improved lately and surprised everybody by winning 4-1 at Tottenham last Monday. McCole, the centre forward signed from Bradford City earlier in the season, has proved a consistent goal scorer.

 After a very scrappy start Luton took an early lead after only nine minutes play. Danger man Billy Bingham, the Irish international, broke away on the right and pushed his centre along the ground to Gordon Turner who hit it first time into the net. Leeds replied strongly however and within five minutes they were level.

A lob down the centre appeared to be passing outside the left hand post for a goal kick and Dunne stood and watched it pass him. However McCole raced in behind him and from an almost impossible angle managed to hook the ball into the net. Baynham stuck out a despairing hand at the last minute but could only help the ball on its way.

Leeds were now dominating the game but their finishing was poor and it always seemed likely that Luton would score again as the forwards all moved well in their rare attacks. Excitement came when an in swinging corner from Meek was caught by Baynham, who had both feet behind his line, however the referee waved play on. Then Peyton pushed a perfect through ball down the centre to McCole but the centre forward allowed the ball to run past him and thus missed a perfect scoring opportunity as Baynham dashed out to dive at his feet. Half time 1-1.

The second half was again nearly all Leeds but their England under 23s winger, Chris Crowe, had a very disappointing game and was the main reason why many good moves broke down. He continually tried to go round Daniel on the outside and every time lost the ball or just won a corner.

Towards the end Leeds attacked fiercely in search of a winner and were fiercely urged on by their fiery skipper, Irishman Wilber Cush. It was all in vain and McCole only emphasised their poor finishing when he blazed another simple chance yards over the bar. The Leeds defence looked sound with Ashall and Jack Charlton both doing well. The inside forwards were not very effective and it is to be hoped that Don Revie will soon be fit again after his back problems.

Interesting to note from the match programme that a young man by the name of Billy Bremner was operating on the right wing for Leeds United reserves.

SATURDAY 9TH JANUARY, 1960                                Attendance 26,150



Wallace; Howe, Williams G.E.); Drury, Kennedy, Robson (capt);
Jackson, Burnside, Allen, Kevan, Hogg;

Barnsley; Stacey, Fulton; Williams, Fincham, Casey;
Penk, Carter (capt), Bellett, Waldock, Anderson;

Referee:- G.W. Thorpe, Swindon

On paper this should have been an easy win for Albion who, with their new look side, had produced their best form of the season in beating Preston North End 4-0 last week. Graham Williams has replaced his fellow Welshman Stuart Williams at left back and Chuck Drury has taken over the place of Maurice Setters, transferred this week to Manchester United. Bobby Robson as well as taking over the captaincy has settled down at left half and Alex Jackson look like solving the problem outside right spot.

Plymouth a struggling second division side had two former Albion players in their line up in goalkeeper Geoff Barnsley and skipper and leading scorer Wilf Carter. The visitors experimented with former Chelsea full back Wally Bellett at centre forward after his four goals for the reserves from that position last Saturday.

Both goalkeepers wore vivid red sweaters in view of Argyle's green shirts and presented a very colouful spectacle. Light snow was falling at the start but did not last long. Albion dominated the early stages and their first chance fell to Jackson who worked inside two defenders but with a clear shot at goal managed to hit it straight at Barnsley in the Argyle goal. Hogg was dangerous in Albion attacks but again with a great chance to score the winger sliced his right foot shot and the ball slowly trickled outside.

The first goal which had threatend for so long did not come until half an hours play had gone. Jackson put across a fine centre to the far post, which just cleared the centre half's head, and Kevan was perfectly positioned to head the ball home. Very little was seen of the Plymouth attack as was understandable with both inside forwards back in defence, but the two small wingers both looked dangerous, particularly Anderson who beat Howe with ease on several occasions.

Albion's next best effort came from Burnside, of whom little had been seen. Allen touched on a Hogg centre to him and the clever ball juggler lobbed the ball over Barnsley's head but just over the bar as well to land on the roof of the net. Half time 1-0.

After Barnsley had distinguished himself with a full length save from a powerful drive by Allen, Plymouth at last swung into action. Anderson picked up a loose ball and sent in a fierce shot which hit a defenders foot and passed just wide of the upright with Wallace standing as if hypnotised. With Fincham, the former Leicester centre half now dominating the middle Plymouoth were definately having more of the play and it came as no surprise when they equalised after fifty seven minutes.

The ball was swung across from the right and Howe standing by the far post just watched it go over his head, obviously believing it would go oout for a goal kick, but Anderson racing in on his blind side crashed the ball first time into the net from a narrow angle. Plymouth's joy was short lived, only six minutes in fact.

Hogg put over yet another perfect centre and Jackson sent in a grand shot which Barnsley went down full length to save, but he could not hold the ball and Kevan rushed in the push the ball home with the goalkeeper still on the ground. After seventy minutes Kevan virtually settled the match by completing his hat trick. Don Howe chipped a perfect free kick into the goalmouth and Kevan running in at speed sent a perfect header into the net to make it 3-1 to Albion.

Plymouth were not finished yet however and three minutes later scored again due to slack marking by the Albion defence. The ball came into the middle and Penk found himself with the ball infront of him and a wide opend space down the centre, so he promptly crashed the ball home from near the penalty sport. Kevan nearly scored again when he raced through on his own but Barnsley dived at this feet to save.

So Albion just scraped him with a most unimpressive display. Perhaps it was over confidence or perhaps Plymouth excelled themselves. They certainly served up football better than one would expect from the bottom half of the second division and if they had not concentrated on defence so much and had used the wingers more, they might well have sprung a major surprise.

Asit was their experiement of playing Bellett at centre forward was a complet failure as he was outclassed by the faultess Kennedy. Robon was the only ohter Albion defender to impress and Kevan who worked very hard throughout was the pick of the forwards, although the erratic Hogg of course had his moments of brilliance.