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Memory Lane 50 Years ago Today- 1971-72 Promotion Season - Wednesday 3 May 1972 - We finish as runners up! - Southend United 2 Gillingham 2

LCBB72

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Sep 16, 2012
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2,830
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 .
 

ozzie

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Dec 22, 2012
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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.
 

ozzie

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Dec 22, 2012
Messages
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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
 

sufc_statto

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Mar 22, 2013
Messages
91
Saturday January 22, 1972 - Division 4
Newport County (1) 2 (Hill 15', Thomas 90+2')
Southend Utd (0) 0
Venue:
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
1642812667656.png
 

LBBlue

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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.
 

ozzie

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Dec 22, 2012
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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
 

LBBlue

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Location
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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

Both those games were in the 77/78 promotion season under Dave Smith.

The 4-2 win was on Dec 9 - 2-0 down with 15 minutes left having been played off the park. Gerry Fell smacked in 2 Tony Hadley and Derrick Parker got the others. The flying pig, Alan Foggon was still playing for us then.

The away game was the last game of the season, 2-1 win having been a goal down at half time. Neil Townsend and Derrick Parker. 2,364 was the crowd. This was the only time we won in Newport between 1961 and last February! We have not done much better in Swansea, Cardiff and Wrexham......

Mind you in 81/82 they won 4-0 at Roots Hall in the first home game and the following season we managed 1 in a 4-1 defeat. I think they had John Aldridge then.
 
Last edited:

TSG

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Both those games were in the 77/78 promotion season under Dave Smith.

The 4-2 win was on Dec 9 - 2-0 down with 15 minutes left having been played off the park. Gerry Fell smacked in 2 Tony Hadley and Derrick Parker got the others. The flying pig, Alan Foggon was still playing for us then.

The away game was the last game of the season, 2-1 win having been a goal down at half time. Neil Townsend and Derrick Parker. 2,364 was the crowd. This was the only time we won in Newport between 1961 and last February! We have not done much better in Swansea, Cardiff and Wrexham......

Mind you in 81/82 they won 4-0 at Roots Hall in the first home game and the following season we managed 1 in a 4-1 defeat. I think they had John Aldridge then.
Had a mate who walked out of the 4-2 game with a good 20 mts to go, "I'll get the drinks in, this is ****!' His face when we walked in & told him the score, remember iit to this day 😄
 

LBBlue

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Friday 28th January 1972: Southend United 1 Colchester United 4

Well, local derbies occasionally throw up freak results and this was totally unexpected. After they had beaten us 1-0 at Layer Road in October they had been having a pretty grim time with only 2 wins in their next 13 matches and we had won 10 successive League and Cup home games. So almost a cast iron home banker.

We kept the same 11 that had lost at Newport with Spud Taylor retaining his place. They had an unsettled side and were playing some youngsters -20 year old Mickey Cook, 19 year old Steve Leslie, 18 year old Steve Foley, 18 year old keeper Barrie Smith with 17 year old Lindsay Smith and 18 year old Phil Bloss on the sidelines.

How could this be anything other than an easy win.? I guess the players must have felt the same and a bit of complacency probably crept in.

The Friday night derby crowd wasn't great - only 8,971 and we had the "offest" of off days with the youngsters Leslie scoring twice, and Foley once with the fourth from Mickey Mahon.

Spud scored ours as we trialed 2-1 at half time and got well and truly stuffed.

We then had a two week break in the league- probably a good thing- our next opponents Reading had reached the 4th round of the cup, where they narrowly lost 2-1 to losing finalists Arsenal at Elm Park in front of nearly 26,000.

Floodlight football was about to be banned because of the miners strike.

Bill Garner had been given a three week suspension - just a number of weeks then not a fixed number of games. So the first game he was due to miss was postponed.

With all the goals we were conceding, Arthur Rowley decided we needed a new goal keeper and Derek Bellotti joined from second division Charlton with Peter Hunt going the other way. Bellotti had played three games on loan for us in 1970/71.

A friendly was arranged for the following Friday which we lost 1-0 to Bristol City. Bellotti was brilliant and we had a trialist from Luton, Gary Jones, playing for us.

The next League game was now another home game against 2nd place Brentford, one we couldn't afford to lose and Garner would still be suspended.
 

LCBB72

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Friday 28th January 1972: Southend United 1 Colchester United 4

Well, local derbies occasionally throw up freak results and this was totally unexpected. After they had beaten us 1-0 at Layer Road in October they had been having a pretty grim time with only 2 wins in their next 13 matches and we had won 10 successive League and Cup home games. So almost a cast iron home banker.

We kept the same 11 that had lost at Newport with Spud Taylor retaining his place. They had an unsettled side and were playing some youngsters -20 year old Mickey Cook, 19 year old Steve Leslie, 18 year old Steve Foley, 18 year old keeper Barrie Smith with 17 year old Lindsay Smith and 18 year old Phil Bloss on the sidelines.

How could this be anything other than an easy win.? I guess the players must have felt the same and a bit of complacency probably crept in.

The Friday night derby crowd wasn't great - only 8,971 and we had the "offest" of off days with the youngsters Leslie scoring twice, and Foley once with the fourth from Mickey Mahon.

Spud scored ours as we trialed 2-1 at half time and got well and truly stuffed.

We then had a two week break in the league- probably a good thing- our next opponents Reading had reached the 4th round of the cup, where they narrowly lost 2-1 to losing finalists Arsenal at Elm Park in front of nearly 26,000.

Floodlight football was about to be banned because of the miners strike.

Bill Garner had been given a three week suspension - just a number of weeks then not a fixed number of games. So the first game he was due to miss was postponed.

With all the goals we were conceding, Arthur Rowley decided we needed a new goal keeper and Derek Bellotti joined from second division Charlton with Peter Hunt going the other way. Bellotti had played three games on loan for us in 1970/71.

A friendly was arranged for the following Friday which we lost 1-0 to Bristol City. Bellotti was brilliant and we had a trialist from Luton, Gary Jones, playing for us.

The next League game was now another home game against 2nd place Brentford, one we couldn't afford to lose and Garner would still be suspended.
To be honest I always thought that John Roberts had been treated badly and did not deserve to lose his place , he had came in the previous season and solved our goalkeeping problem .
 

sufc_statto

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Mar 22, 2013
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91
Friday January 28, 1972 - Division 4
Southend Utd (1) 1 (Taylor 30')
Colchester Utd (2) 4 (Foley 22', Mahon 27', Leslie 68', 73')
Venue: Roots Hall KO: 7.30
Attendance: 8,871

Southend Utd: J Roberts, R Ternent, A Smith, D Elliott, B Albeson, J Jacques, T Johnson, B Best, B Garner, G Moore, P Taylor. Sub: D Barnett.
Colchester Utd: B Smith, M Cook, B Hall, B Cram, E Burgess, B Garvey, J Gilchrist, S Leslie, S Foley, M Mahon, B Gibbs.

Match Report
What went wrong? This must be the obvious question to be answered when United hold their inevitable inquest into last Friday night’s Roots Hall defeat. It wasn’t only a defeat; it was a complete massacre as Blues slumped and were dumped to their heaviest home defeat of the season.

The scoreline could happen to any team at any time, but the fact that it dropped Blues two places in the promotion race of the Fourth Division is secondary to what it may have done to their self-respect and confidence, writes ALF SMIRK.

Manager Arthur Rowley has actually to find the answer to three questions – what went wrong but also how and why. And they are answers which most of the 8,871 spectators will be eagerly waiting to hear.

United were blitzed out of existence by a five-minute spell in each half, each of which brought two Colchester goals. The first gave them a two-goal lead and the second a 4-1 advantage which was obviously going to be match-winning. But while the last two, under the circumstances, were understandable, if not entirely forgivable, the first two qualified for neither of these categories.

How much longer United are going to concede goals from dead-ball, set positions, must be Rowley’s biggest problem? Colchester’s first two both came from corners.

It is not only clever to use inswinging corners with a howling gale behind you, it is obvious! Neither is positional defence against such pIoys clever; they are equally obvious!

Yet when Mick Mahon in-swung his 22nd-minute corner from the right, Sieve Foley nodded it into the net from close range without a challenge. Mahon’s inswinging corner from the left five minutes later was even more effective…it crept under the crossbar without another player getting anywhere near it!

It was to Blues credit that the reduced the arrears three minutes later when Spud Taylor hit home a free-kick from 25 yards which went through a wall of players and goalkeeper Barry Smith’s hands.

Blues’ one and only chance of saving the match and their faces came in the opening 20 minutes of the second half. They piled everything forward, switching Billy Best up front for a swap wIth Gary Moore and bringing all cylinders into action to get on terms. Bill Garner headed wide from a Dave Elliott free-kick, Best over-ran only by inches a long clearance by John Roberts, and another Best effort rebounded off a post into Smith’s arms.

An equaliser at this stage and there could have been an entirely different story to write, but it was not to be!

Then, suddenly, it was all over! Colchester, always quick on the breaks and having the United defence in a tangle every time they set up an attack, took advantage of a stretched Blues’ defence to net twice again in a five-minute spell.

In the 68th minute Eric Burgess slotted a beautiful ball through a square bunch of defenders for 18-year-old Steve Leslie to hammer gis short past Roberts. Another five minutes and the move was repeated, this time Leslie applying the finishing touch after John Gilchrist had put him clear.

In between these two goals, Joe Jacques had seen his close-in shot hit a defender on the line and rebound out. Then a minute into injury time, Moore blasted high and wide if not handsome from only a few yards out.

Blues’ faults were easy to trace. The never had sufficient cover at the back, were beaten to the bail in mid-field and given the run around up front by a set of youngsters with less than half their experience.

The obvious view of the uninstructed and uninformed would be that if Blues started to any set plan, then very few of the players seemed to know anything about it,
or it went seriously wrong somewhere between the dressing room and the pitch.

Having preached for years that “application” was just about the only thing wrong with United’s approach to the game, I must now add that “dedication” plus a killer instinct are their two most immediate requirements.

All is not yet lost, but United have to find something in the very near future or it soon will be!

League Table
1643401022365.png
 

Zeuss

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Dave B—-want to reply to your request but need your email address or mobile number !
Seems like one that might be missing here:
Friday 4th Feb 1972
1st team friendly,arranged as neither team reached the FA Cup 4th round.
Southend (0) 0 Bristol City (0) 1 (Fear,(pen))
Kick-off 7.30
Referee: B.J.Homewood
S.U. Manager :A.Rowley
D.Bellotti,R.Ternent,A.Smith,D.Elliott,B.Albeson,D.Barnett,T.Johnson,B.Best,G.Jones,G.Moore,P.Taylor.
B.C. Manager: A.Dicks !
R.Cashley,T.Cottrell,T.Jacobs,J.Emanuel,D.Rodgers,G.Merrick,T.Tainton,L.Wilson,J.Galley,T.Ritchie,D.Bartley. Sub. K.Fear
 
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Messages
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The Col U game sticks in my mind because the Pak cleared out and became empty towards the end in disbelief with the feeling that we were going to throw promotion away again . Little did we know we were about to go on a long undefeated run!
 

LCBB72

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Messages
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Seems like one that might be missing here:
Friday 4th Feb 1972
1st team friendly,arranged as neither team reached the FA Cup 4th round.
Southend (0) 0 Bristol City (0) 1 (Fear,(pen))
Kick-off 7.30
Referee: B.J.Homewood
S.U. Manager :A.Rowley
D.Bellotti,R.Ternent,A.Smith,D.Elliott,B.Albeson,D.Barnett,T.Johnson,B.Best,G.Jones,G.Moore,P.Taylor.
B.C. Manager: A.Dicks !
R.Cashley,T.Cottrell,T.Jacobs,J.Emanuel,D.Rodgers,G.Merrick,T.Tainton,L.Wilson,J.Galley,T.Ritchie,D.Bartley. Sub. K.Fear
I believe that G.Jones was from Luton for Southend to have a look at , it was his only game . The next month March Southend signed Jones Luton team mate ex Manchester United Peter Woods .
 

ozzie

Manager
Joined
Dec 22, 2012
Messages
1,932
I have a confession to make...after fifty years!
The reason why we went on that bad run,after the B&BAFC match was my fault..
Coming back from that game the fan coach stopped for us to buy (somewhere)some Fish&chips...being a schoolboy,only income being a paper round (which was spent watching us play H&A)..i did not have enough money...so i took 10 pence from one of those "charity stocking" things hanging on the wall.To help pay for my meal...
I done a "runner" from school and started my first job in the beginning of Feb1972..
I felt bad about it and thought this could be my fault that the Blues were so poor.So when i went to the next away game(maybe Exeter?),i put 10 pence into a charity box...and we started to get better....and thats the God`s truth,that all happened...so i`m sorry to you all about that..NOW i feel better....who need`s a church confession box!!
 
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