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The PL League Boss⭐
Apr 28, 2006
PL Headquarters Hullbridge
Here is the second article about Season SEASON 1931-32 as was printed in the Southend v Millwall programme. DoDtS

Extracts from the “Forgotten Years of the Kursaal”By Peter William Baker
Researched from the Southend Standard

After finishing fifth in the League in season 1930-31, their highest so far, a 2-0 win on the opening day of the season had optimism high for an even better season.

Div 3(South)
No. 2 Monday 31st August 1931

Coventry had finished fourteenth in the season just gone having won eleven drawn four and lost six but had scored fifty five goals which was only three less than champions Notts County. Their opening game of the current season had been lost at Fulham 3-5. The United left Southend at 11.20 for the six o’clock Kick off, with just one change to the team, Baron taking the injured Shankly’s place. If Saturdays game had been below par this performance wasn’t recognisable as the same team, gone was the lack of cohesion replaced by a speedy and accurate combination. Yet both goals came late in the game, the first a twenty yard pot-shot from Crompton which just slipped in under the bar, the second a well worked move where the ball went from the backs to the half backs to the intermediate line to Pike, from Pike to Crompton, Crompton to Baron who slipped the ball past the keeper. The attendance was nearly 14,000 spectators. Only two games gone but Southend were top of the league.Team: Moore; French and Robinson; Dixon, Wilson and Donoven; Barnett Jones, Baron, Pike & Crompton.

Other Division Three (South) results on Monday 31st August 1931
Bristol Rovers 1-1 Q.P.R.
Cardiff City 1-1 Brighton
Clapton Orient 1-3 Crystal Palace
Luton 1-0 Northampton
Norwich City 1-1 Mansfield Town

Wednesday 2nd September 1931
London Combination: The Junior Blues played Coventry at the Kursaal and recorded their first win of the season by 4-2.

Division Three (South) results on Wednesday 2nd September 1931
Exeter City 0-3 Fulham
Gillingham 1-1 Reading
Swindon Town 4-1 Watford
Torquay United 1-1 Bournemouth

Division Three (South) results on Thursday 3nd September 1931
Thames 1-1 Brentford

The two new refreshment buffets were opened on Saturday although the final touches had only been completed about an hour before the match was due to start. They were evidently much appreciated but ladies are urgently needed and a few boys also to help in this sphere. Badges are on sale at 9d (4p) each It is hoped to have a few cushions for hire for stand patrons.
From the Southend Standard 3rd September 1931

It was my privilege last football season to witness the match between Notts County and Southend United at Nottingham and there were two instances which occurred there that the directors of Southend United might consider, viz. (1) the unemployed of Nottingham were admitted at a special entrance at half price. (2) the football was drawn for at half time by means of the counterfoils of the tickets sold being put into a bag.
From the Southend Standard 3rd September 1931

By 1931 the wireless was commonplace in many homes but it was another twenty five years before most homes had a television set however the cinema was thriving at this time. After the Jazz singer had been released in 1927, “talking pictures” were very popular and silent films would soon disappear. The craze for talking pictures affected Southend like everywhere else and they had a good selection of cinemas and films showing, with programmes usually changing midweek.. With admission prices from as little as 6d up to 2s (2½d to 10p) you would probably see two full length feature films plus a trailer, ground admission to the Kursaal was 1s (5p) for adults so the Cinema was real competition for Southend United. Southend had many cinemas such as “The Plaza” which was situated in Southchurch Road, on the south side towards the White Horse, the building had a dome and is still standing. They were showing Dracula, in the Bela Lugosi Classic and was showing three times a day at 4-00, 6.40 and 9.20, however some five years later the British board of censors banned Horror films. Other cinemas included “The Strand” close to Warrior Square, “The Rivoli” in Alexandra Street, “The Ambassadors Theatre” in Tyler's Avenue, “The Kings Hall, in Hamlet Court Road and the “Mascot Theatre” on the London Road, Westcliff.

Div 3(South)
No. 3 Saturday 5th September 1931

Luton had finished seventh the previous season having only lost three of their twenty one home games, they had started the current season with a 1-2 defeat at Reading and a 1-0 home win over Northampton. Despite the cold and the wet this was a game well worth watching, and turned out to be a brilliant success for the United. At the end of the game a Luton director was heard to say “We were well beaten, the Strawplatters opposed the clockwork attacks of the visitors with a hustling tearing game that might have upset many a side but not the United”. The Southend team was unchanged and the goal scorers were Barnett, Baron and Wilson and that the Blues had won so convincingly, despite injury problems was a surprise from a side that had made few changes in the close season and of which opinion had been sceptical. Three wins out of three scored seven conceded one. Southend were top of the league.
Team: Moore; French and Robinson; Dixon, Wilson and Donoven; Barnett Jones, Baron, Pike & Crompton

London Combination: With Shankly, Hall and Tunbridge all on the injured list the Reserves but out a side which included three amateurs so in the circumstances a defeat by a single goal against Luton at the Kursaal wasn’t such a bad result. However with the last kick of the game Southend did put the ball in the net, but the referee had blown his whistle for full time just half a second before. S. Hatfield the Southend back received the tragic news that his sister had been killed in a bus accident, “though he must have suffered considerably he did well and acted as captain”.

Div 3 (South)
5th September 1931....P...W....D....L....F....A....P
1....SOUTHEND UTD....3....3....0....0....7....1....6
2....Brighton & Hove. ..3....2....1....0....5....3....5
3....Bristol Rovers...... 3....1....2....0....9....4....4
4....Bournemouth....... 3....1....2....0....6....3....4
5....Fulham.............. 3....2....0....1....9....5....4
6....Crystal Palace..... 3....2....0....1...11....7....4
7....Watford............. 3....2....0....1....9....8....4
8....Cardiff City......... 3....1....1....1....6....3....3
9....Exeter City.......... 3....1....1....1....4....4....3

Other Results 5th September 1931
Bristol Rovers 6-1 Crystal Palace
Cardiff City 5-1 Reading
Coventry City 2-0 Thames
Exeter City 4-1 Brentford
Gillingham 2-1 Fulham
Clapton Orient 4-0 Mansfield Town
Norwich City 0-0 Northampton
Q.P.R. 0-3 Bournemouth
Swindon Town 1-2 Brighton
Torquay United 3-6 Watford

Three wins, two of which had been away and the Blues were top of the league, it had looked like Crystal Palace would be the main competition after 7-0 and 3-1 wins but they had surprisingly lost 6-1 at Bristol Rovers. Already a point clear, Southend now had two home games to consolidate their position at the top.

Forthcoming Matches:
Monday 7th September 1931.......SOUTHEND UTD. v THAMES............Division 3 (South)
Saturday 12th September 1931....SOUTHEND UTD. v CARDIFF CITY......Division 3 (South)
Saturday 12th September 1931...Cardiff City v Southend United.........London Combination
Monday 14th September 1931.....Fulham v Southend United..............London Combination
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