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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


Sep 16, 2012
strangely enough,today 21.01.78(or9)..was the last time i went to Crewe. Five of us in a MINI...
We parked up near the ground and went to a pub on the corner.
One of us said to the barman" not many fans here today"...he replied.." no there wont be,the games been called off"...
So straight back to the mini,newspaper out and decided to go and see a game in Birmingham.
Half way between Crewe and Brum the bloody car broke down on the motorway.
So we got back to Southend very late,no game and stone cold sober!!! Not a good day
What happend to the mini car .


Dec 22, 2012
I went to Crewe v Blues games in 70-71 and 71-72. My nan got me a train ticket to the game so i went with two of my mates S.P & C.D. She got it for me as a present either christmas or birthday,im not sure.
But the 71 game was in April (my birthday) and 72 in January(so maybe xmas pressie).I looked at my 72 programme and it looks more "battle worn"so i think it was that match.
Kids being kids,we got there early and what i also remember was the CAFC corner flag which i liked went missing !!The ground at that time was still open.
As a few Blues fans were waiting(as you wrote Stu) outside the ground,the groundsman came out and said" he saw who "borrowed" it,give it back or he will get the Police".He didnt and the Police never came.
As you know those days,we sometimes waited outside the ground for the players to give out "comp tickets".
After the game we waited by the ground,time to kill,before the train left for London:We got "sussed out"(again) by a gang of maybe 10 lads and were chased up to the station which ,iirc,was not far from the ground.
We showed our train tickets and hid.We waited somewhere till we heard information say the London bound train was arriving at the platform.We then went to the platform,the train had just stopped when we heard"there they are"..they were all on the bridge in the station and then came running down the stairs after us.
We got into the trains toilet and stayed in there for about 5 minutes after the train had left the station....were happy days.


Dec 22, 2012
What happend to the mini car .
The RAC/AA repaired it on the motorway...The two biggest lads,the driver and Stevie Pen...(who sadly passed away last year i think it was) sat in the front..Joe,John and myself squashed up in the back...Stevie Pen....,a real good lad and big.In the 70s,he would go and watch support the Blue Boar sunday team.BB had a good team with some real good lads playing for them.He (SP) used to drink or at least start off in the Bell pub


Mar 22, 2013
Saturday January 22, 1972 - Division 4
Newport County (1) 2 (Hill 15', Thomas 90+2')
Southend Utd (0) 0
Somerton Park, Newport, Wales. KO: 3.15
Attendance: 3,535

Newport County:
T Lynch, D Williams (A Smith), M Sprague, L Hill, S Aizlewood, B Harris, W Hooper, J Thomas, W Brown, G Young, D Jones.
Southend Utd: J Roberts, R Ternent, A Smith, D Elliott, B Albeson, J Jacques, T Johnson, B Best, B Garner, G Moore, P Taylor (B Lewis 70').

Match Report
Having said it so many times that Standard readers must be sick to death of reading it, I sincerely and solemnly promise that this will be the last time this season that I write this verdict of a Southend United performance…it was a game that they should never have lost!

Never have Blues started off so confidently and looked so good in the early stages. Even after dropping a goal behind after 15 minutes, they still seemed to have it all tied up.

Yet once again they disintegrated back, front and middle to lose all the initiative they had gained to be hammered into the ground by a team the ought to have laughed out of existence, writes ALF SMIRK.

Forgetting the County’s first goal, which United did with apparent and justified ease at the time, the final score-line really centred around the two injury-time periods at the end of each half, both of which overran by at least a couple of minutes.

With the first half running into its 47th minute, Bill Garner, back after being kept out a week earlier with a flu-bug, received a through-ball on the right from Dave Elliott. Garner’s experience and aplomb enabled him to keep his head and dribble around County goalkeeper, Terry Lynch, then with the gaping net in front of him, he somehow managed to hit his shot well wide from no more than 15-16 yards.

That miss proved to be the turning point!

In the first 12 minutes Ray Ternent had had a shot well saved following a good build-up and Gary Moore, powering forward from mid-field. had seen three efforts scrape the target.

Even after Len Hill, the prodigal son returned to Somerton Park on loan from Swansea, had shot County into the lead following a three-main move which had the United defence in a tangle, it was still Blues who called the tune.

Spud Taylor found himself in a similar position as confronted Garner just before the interval but opted for a low shot as Lynch came out and saw the ball swing just wide of the far post. Taylor hammered another shot just over the bar after being put clear by Billy Best, and Terry Johnson failed to connect with an Alex Smith cross after a great run.

Skipper Joe Jacques and Elliott had both cleared dangerous situations in United’s goalmouth but a two-goal lead at the Interval in United’s favour would have about represented the balance of play and difference in ability.

But what a change after the interval! Best netted immediately on the resumption after Garner pulled the ball back from the by-line and it could only have been that Garner was offside why the goal was disallowed.

But that just about wrapped up United’s efforts!

County gradually got more and more into the game and, although rarely probing deep enough, still looked more threatening than United on the breaks. The threats alone were sufficient to produce bags of vocal encouragement from the majority of the 3,535 spectators.

Just as gradually, United went out of the reckoning, even after introducing Bernie Lewis to substitute for Taylor after 70 minutes and pushing Best up into a front four Formation. But their nearest effort was a Garner header over from a Jacques cross.

Taylor probably still wonders what he had or had not done to be selected for dismissal, as during that second half he had been no worse, even if no better, than any of the others. One can only assume it was a tactical ploy of manager Arthur Rowley who, at that time, had nothing to lose.

All was lost as injury time added two minutes to the second half and, with practically the last effort, Jeff Thomas on the six-yard line and with his back to the United goal, tried an overhead kick which sailed into the top of the net.

To say the least, it as discouraging if not, indeed humiliating. While it is always difficult in the professional football world to settle for even one point away from home, if United want to grab promotion they should be murdering the Newports in the division. home or away.

In my opinion, United should be trying to kill off opposition like this right from the start instead of commencing a stranglehold which they hope might prove fatal in the end. As has been proved so often this season, once the stranglehold loosens, the victims begin to fight back. That’s not murder, It’s suicide!

League Table


Sep 2, 2007
Rye Sussex
Saturday 22 January 1972 Newport County 2 Southend United 0

Having played Newport County a lot in Div 3 South and a couple of games in Div 3 we renewed acquaintances with them in 1966/67 in Div 4. Before this match we had lost all 5 games at Newport in Div 4 had scored just once and conceded 16 with a 2-0 defeat our best result there.

Somerton Park with its speedway track was not the best of grounds for watching football on a cold January day.

Bill Garner came back in for Dave Barnett and Bernie Lewis returned to the bench.

So we missed lots of chances conceded in the 16th minute – missed lots more chances and Newport clinched it in the 92nd minute. For some reason there are some places where you never get a result. So a 2-0 defeat and we slipped out of the top 4 and the Essex derby to come the next Friday evening when worse was to come.

Meanwhile, Arthur Scargill had got the miners out on strike and that was going to impact on our football.


Dec 22, 2012
As i've written before...bloody Newport County were our boggie team.
We maybe broke that NCFC "voodoo" in Dec 77,when we came back from 0-2 to win 4-2 at Roots Hall.A night to remember....then the next season ,i think the last away game,we got promoted at home V Rochdale the week before...and Southend took over Newport...not sure what the score was ..but the "voodoo" i'm sure/hope was broken