SATURDAY 5TH DECEMBER, 1959 Attendance 20,600
F.A. CUP (SECOND ROUND) AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL
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
LEAGUE DIVISION FOUR AT FELLOWS PARK, WALSALL
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'.
MONDAY 28TH DECEMBER 1959
CENTRAL LEAGUE AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH
WEST BROMWICH ALBION RESERVES 1 (Smith) WOLVES RESERVES 0
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.
SATURDAY 2ND JANUARY, 1960
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
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
F.A.CUP (THIRD ROUND) AT THE HAWTHORNS, WEST BROMWICH
WEST BROMWICH ALBION 3 (Kevan 3) PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 2 (Anderson, Penk)
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
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.