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Memory Lane 50 Years ago - 1971-72 Promotion Season - Match by Match - Saturday 22 January 1972 - Another defeat at Newport County

sufc_statto

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Friday November 26, 1971 - Division 4
Southend Utd (3) 4 (Best 23', 39', Garner 35', 84')
Stockport County (2) 2 (Lawther 18', Webber 41')
Venue: Roots Hall KO: 7.30
Attendance: 9,302

Southend Utd: J Roberts, R Ternent, A Smith, D Elliott, B Albeson, D Barnett, T Johnson, B Best, B Garner, G Moore, B Lewis. Sub: P Taylor.
Stockport County: A Ogley, R Charter, D Renwick, S McMillan, P Hart, R Wright, P Chisnall, H Ryden, K Webber, I Lawther, B Wilson.

Match Report
If ever a display had been needed to prove United’s right to be in contention for the Fourth Division promotion race and title, if they are not careful, then this one before 9,302 spectators at Roots Hall on Friday night could not have been better timed. They were up against a team with so little to offer it just wasn’t true. They gave them a goal start, galloped ahead, let the opposition get back into the picture, then applied the killer punch with contemptuous arrogance, writes ALF SMIRK.

Stockport were allowed into the game purely on United’s beneficence. The fact that the result was so close for so long was the only thing that retained the fans interest, especially in the second half after they had seen five goals before half-time. The two points were all that really mattered to United and, provided they learned from their mistakes, it could not have been a bad exercise.

With skipper Joe Jacques kept out of the side by what manager Arthur Rowley described as an “injury”, Dave Barnett was drafted into the back four. And while Barnett himself didn’t have a bad game, in fact some of his covering was the best for some time, there was a lack of understanding that led to far too many open spaces.

County’s Ian Lawther took advantage of the first when he stabbed in a ball flicked on my Sammy McMillan from a Bev Wilson corner in the 18th minute. Until then had been the only team in it.

But they soon settled down again and were level within five minutes. Barnett headed on a Terry Johnson corner and Billy Best nodded the ball home. Johnson and Best had shots cleared off the line before Bill Garner put United in front after 35 minutes. Johnson crossed high from the right and Garner beat everybody at the far post to nod the ball down just inside the upright.

Another four minutes and Blues went further ahead. Best got a second chance following a Bernie Lewis centre and he banged in his 100th goal for United since joining them from Northampton around four seasons ago.

Instead of pulling away, Blues were hauled back to a one goal advantage four minutes before half-time. Hughie Ryden rolled a pass back to Keith Webber, lurking on the edge of the box and Webber’s first-timer rocketed into the roof of the net.

The second half was a bit of a bore compared to the first. County goalkeeper, Alan Ogley keeping them in the hunt with two fine saves from Best and Gary Moore, the latter a reflex action after Moore had done well to volley in his effort as he was falling.

McMillian and Phil Chisnall, both former United favourites, were pushed forward in the second half as Country were encouraged by Blues’ failure to increase their lead, but although they made the most of their limited opportunities, United were by now much more solid at the back and were determined not to give anything else away.

The result was wrapped up, albeit belatedly, six minutes from the end. Garner raced on to a through ball from Dave Elliott and hit it into the back of the net.

Just before the final whistle, John Roberts did well to get to a shot from Ryden which might have made the final scoreline even more ridiculous. County were never in the same class as United and really, under the circumstances, did well to make as much a game of it as they did.

If facts and figures are worth anything, it was United’s highest score of the season and County were only the second side to score more than once in a league game at Roots Hall this season.

League Table

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LBBlue

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Friday 26th November

After the previous Saturday's memorable FA Cup win it was a return to Friday night league action.

Stockport County, who were 5th from bottom, provided the opposition.

They were captained by their leading scorer and our former player Sammy McMillan. Sam had been signed for us from Wrexham by Ernie Shepherd in September 1967 in theory to give us a greater goal threat. A former busby babe who played 15 times in their first team scoring 6 goals, he also had got two caps for Northern Ireland. He then moved to Wrexham and scored 52 times in 149 games - so had good goal scoring credentials. It didn't go too well for him at Southend - in the season he signed he only scored once in 26 games, ironically when he was playing alongside centre half Eddie May as we threw promotion away.

In 1968/69 he showed what a great footballer he was playing either at centre half or in midfield appearing 43 times in the League and Cup as we scored goals for fun but let too many in as well. McMillan Clayton, Chisnall, Hamilton, Best and Moore - we had some great footballers lining up for us.

1969/70 didn't start too well, however Sam did score a hat trick as we beat Brentford in a League Cup First round Second replay at the Den ( those were the days !) Billy Best had broken his leg in the third league game of the season and Sam was being played up front again. We went 8 games without a win - Ernie chucked it in and eventually Sam left in December 69 to sign for Wrexham's rivals Chester, before signing for Stockport in July 70.

He was joined at Stockport in September 71 by his old Busby babe mate Phil Chisnall. I hadn't realised that Chisnall was still a Southend player at the start of 71/72.
Phil joined us from Liverpool at the start of 67/68 - a fantastic signing for a fourth division club. An inside forward he finished top scorer in 67/68 with 17 goals.

The rest of his time with us didn't live up to that first season. In 68/69 he started just 31 League games, but played every game in the cup run. 69/70 - 33 league starts and 70/71 just 29 starts hardly appearing after Xmas as Arthur Rowley brought in new singing Dave Elliott who took his place. Phil's last game for us was April 3 1971 when we won 4-0 at Darlington. In all he played 162 times scoring 32 goals.

Stockport finished the season one off the bottom and both Chisnall and McMiIllan had played their last League games, 10 years after they had been playing together in the First Divison for Man Utd.

The game itself - we had to make a change with Dave Barnett coming in for Joe Jacques after 5 games unchanged. We got the win we expected with Bill and Billy getting 2 each.

That put us top of the table and we were still there on Saturday evening as both Brentford and Southport lost... Happy days. The crowd dropped below 10,000 after 5 consecutive double figure gates. with 9,299 attending.

The fixture list coming up showed 5 of the next 7 League games were away from home plus an away cup tie at Bournemouth. It was going to get harder. 8 games later we had dropped to 6th place - 6 points behind the leaders Scunthorpe. By then Arthur Scargill was having an influence on the football as well.
 
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sufc_statto

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Saturday December 04, 1971 - Division 4
Cambridge Utd (1) 1 (Greenhalgh 3')
Southend Utd (0) 1 (Lewis 77')
Venue: Abbey Stadium, Cambridge. KO: 3.00
Attendance: 6,260

Cambridge Utd: P Vasper, J Thompson, V Akers, A Guild, T Eades, C Foote, R Walton, B Greenhalgh, D Lill, J Collins, P Phillips.
Southend Utd: J Roberts, A Smith, R Ternent, D Elliott, B Albeson, J Jacques, T Johnson, B Best, B Garner, G Moore, B Lewis. Sub: B Myton.

Match Report
The most frustrated spectator among the 6,260 fans at the Abbey Road Stadium on Saturday, must have been the Bournemouth “spy” weighing up Southend for the second round F.A. Cup game at Dean Court next Saturday. I would hate to have to give his report writes Alf Smirk.

He must be wondering how to explain Southend’s position at the top of the Fourth Division and be in even more of a dilemma to understand how they came to beat Aston Villa in the first round. All of which, of course, could work out in United’s favour on Saturday.

This was certainly not one of Blues’ best displays. Yet to gain a point while struggling away from home is one of the secrets behind promotion. To their credit, while struggling for long periods, United were always in with a chance, never gave up, snatched an equaliser and might easily have netted a winner.

They struggled mainly because ot their on inadequacy which gifted the home side into a three-minute lead. A harmless cross from the right evaded goalkeeper John Roberts’ grasp, Alex Smith dallied on the goal-line and the ball was slid into the net.

From then on, while Cambridge had little to offer in the footballing arts and crafts, they were quicker on the ball, quicker into the tackle and quicker into the breaks.

Despite the return of skipper Joe Jacques, Blues creaked a bit at the back, conceded far too much space in mid-field and were ineffective up front.

Home ‘keeper Peter Vasper suffered from double vision after an 11th minute clash with Bill Garner but thereafter was only troubled by two long shots from Jacques. The first he palmed out with great difficulty and the second he knew little about as it dipped just over the crossbar.

There was much more Blues effort after the interval but pressing forward left openings at the back. lf Cambridge left-winger Peter Phillips had been on form he would not have wasted three opportunities which left him clear: he shot wide from all of them.

Roberts kept Southend in the game with a great save from a David Lill header shortly into the second half and Billy Best shot just wide after Ray Ternent had pushed him a short ball on the edge of the box.

Phillips missed his second chance shortly afterwards before Southend got on terms in the 77th minute with goal as “jammy” as that presented to the opposition. Bernie Lewis, now on on the right, cut inside past two defenders before shooting from around 20 yards. The shot looked to be mi**** but a defender missed his attempted clearance, Dave Elliott ran in front of Vasper and the ball crept Inside the near post.

Southend almost went in front in the 82nd minute wehn Gary Moore, who had seen two of his long-range shots almost hit the floodlights, surprised everyone when his third cracked .against the crossbar. Just before the end, Phillips missed his best chance of the ‘game when he was left clear from a throw-in but after spearing his way through the defence: he put his final shot well off the target.

United must have been disappointed with their inability to put their moves together. It was a pity Blues erred so early. As long as they were leveI they were chasing two points. Once they dropped behind they had to be happy to settle for one.

Two United players not to tarnish their reputations were Dave Elliott for his mid-field application and Bill Garner, who; came well into the game after

League Table
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ozzie

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Was that the game(been to CUFC many times) that maybe "Leigh Comm" has a "fracas" in the Abbey road end???
 
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Billy Bests boot laces

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Was that the game(been to CUFC many times) that maybe "Leigh Comm" has a "fracas" in the Abby road end???
Yes, we hired a coach from there & went 50 handed!. There were a couple of 'eventful scenarios' on the long walk to the ground, as we got the coach to drop us off at the station. One of those included Jaffa getting a 'right hander' from a 'Hairy' when walking along the main High St!.
We got in the ground early, & went in their end. Their crew turned up & tried unsuccessfully to run us out, which ensued a mass 'free for all' for a few minutes!.
We stayed in there until half time, then walked round to the 'allotment end', as we were kicking that way in the 2nd half. It was dark when the game finished, & i don't recall any 'episodes' whilst walking back to where the coach was waiting for us.
 

LBBlue

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Saturday 4th December - a point at Cambridge United

This was Cambridge's second season in the League having taken Bradford PA's place for the 70/71 season. Their first season had not gone brilliantly -they had finished on 43 points - the same as us - 5th from bottom - just avoiding having to apply for re- election. In their first season they had Trevor Roberts, Mel Slack and John McKinven playing for them - but had strengthened over the summer and had signed Brian Greenhalgh from Huddersfield - and he had a much bigger influence on our season in April.


As the match report reads the game was pretty nondescript. The pressures of being league leaders and there to be shot down - we struggled and were probably fortunate to get a point. As home sides dominated to a much greater extent though - 50 years ago - an away point was always a good point - especially with still 2 points for a win..

The biggest disappointment for me was that Trevor Roberts was not playing for them.

Trevor had come back into their side having been treated for lung cancer the previous season and had played every game so far in 1971/72 apart for their previous game at Barrow the week before . He missed both the games against us in 70/71 while he was recovering. He was back in their side the following week but only played a further 4 matches for them before a recurrence of his lung cancer.

He sadly passed away less than 6 months later on 2 June 1972 aged just 30.

A fitting tribute from Cambridge United to Trevor - a true legend and a very brave man - RIP Trevor

https://www.100yearsofcoconuts.co.uk/news/category/trevor-roberts
 

LCBB72

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Yes, we hired a coach from there & went 50 handed!. There were a couple of 'eventful scenarios' on the long walk to the ground, as we got the coach to drop us off at the station. One of those included Jaffa getting a 'right hander' from a 'Hairy' when walking along the main High St!.
We got in the ground early, & went in their end. Their crew turned up & tried unsuccessfully to run us out, which ensued a mass 'free for all' for a few minutes!.
We stayed in there until half time, then walked round to the 'allotment end', as we were kicking that way in the 2nd half. It was dark when the game finished, & i don't recall any 'episodes' whilst walking back to where the coach was waiting for us.
A dozen or so Leigh boys decided to make our own way up to Cambridge as some of us were barred from Leigh Com and with friction between some of us and some Leigh Com and had a very eventfull day .
 
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ozzie

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So we have now one week till ,IMO, the most violent game/away game of the season.B&Bfc away.Been there before with Brother Grimm`s coach.There is a picture of us in the 69 ?? handbook.Also another "zoner" wrote he is in that picture.....Like Villa at home a game never to be forgotten
 

LCBB72

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So we have now one week till ,IMO, the most violent game/away game of the season.B&Bfc away.Been there before with Brother Grimm`s coach.There is a picture of us in the 69 ?? handbook.Also another "zoner" wrote he is in that picture.....Like Villa at home a game never to be forgotten
That game has to be the most violent away games that Southend had ever been involved in .
 

LCBB72

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Were you at Gillingham from the start of our escapades?
I was , I will remind a certian Leigh Boy who had a razor put down the back of his sheepskin at Bournmouth in one of the many rucs on the Bournmoth North Bank that some people think that Gillingham was the big one .
 
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Pak66

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I was , I will remind a certian Leigh Boy who had a razor put down the back of his sheepskin at Bournmouth in one of the many rucs on the Bournmoth South Bank that some people think that Gillingham was the big one .
We are not up to either game yet so our tales of both can come later
 
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Suffolk 'em all
As it was the build up to the 71/72 season, thought it might be appropriate to post here and perhaps some of you might be interested to know that my article on the 1971 Russian tour has made it to the latest edition (no. 77) of the retro football magazine 'Backpass'.
The mag is well worth a subscription IMHO - if you want to know how many times Ronaldo farts in an hour then maybe its not for you, but if you want to read some top articles on football in days gone by then it could be what you are looking for. The subscription link (and no MODS, I'm not on commission terms!) is: Here

Pic 17.jpg
 

LBBlue

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Saturday December 11 FA Cup Round 2 – Knocked out of the Cup Away to Bournemouth and Boscombe Athletic.


What more could you want having knocked out Aston Villa in the first round? I am sure we were hoping for something easier than Bournemouth away.


Bournemouth who had trundled along in Division 3 with us since the twenties until we got relegated in 65/66 - the only clubs that had played at the same level for so long…. They had lasted until 69/70 when they, like us, tumbled into Division 4 rather than getting promoted. They took a gamble and gave Kevin Bond’s dad John his first manager job at the age of 38 having played over 500 league games for West Ham and Torquay. He had retired a year earlier. His team evolved in that first season 70/71 and won promotion at the first attempt, runners up to Notts County, as he picked up trusted experienced players from opponents in the lower two Leagues (usually their best player who could probably have moved to a higher level club) and a few ex Hammers and Torquay players who he played with.

We had been there on Good Friday the previous April and had got well and truly stuffed 4-0 as they finished runners up to Notts County. Bond had inherited Ted McDougall who having failed to make the grade at Liverpool had moved to York City aged 20, where he scored 34 times in 84 games. He’d scored 21 times for Bournemouth when they got relegated and half way through 70/71 Bond reunited MacDougall with Phil Boyer. Ted rattled in 42 league goals that season and 7 more in the cup.

As we went to Dean Court, Bournemouth were second in Div 3, behind Notts County, on 28 points having lost just 2 League games. Ted had already scored 19 league goals, plus 2 in the League Cup, and just the record breaking 9 in the first round of the FA Cup against Southern League Margate.

Just like in the first round, our match had the highest attendance in the round 14,634 squeezed into Dean Court.

We had our strongest side out – the one that had started 11 of the previous 14 games. We gave as good as we got on and off the field. Arthur Rowley went out of his way in the programme for the next home game thanking the travelling supporters for the encouragement we gave the team – who apparently had had 5 days in Majorca building team spirit leading up to the game.

Of course, Boyer and MacDougall scored and out we went 2-0. Bournemouth just missed out on promotion to Brighton and Villa. In September 72 MacDougall went to Man Utd for a few games before calling in at West Ham on the way back to Bond who had moved to Norwich in 1973 taking Boyer and a few more Bournemouth team mates with him. The end of 74/75 they were back to Div 4 riddled with debt as after MacDougall left Bond kept signing old players who were well past their best. Sounds familiar!


My lasting memory is of Bill Garner’s fingers being propelled towards Tony Powell’s eye balls and wondering how he got away with it! It was that kind of competitive game.
 
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