Bristol City away
So having given ourselves a lifeline by beating Chelsea away, and with just a handful of games to go, Woolwich Arsenal had to take on Bristol City.
As an away trip this was a rarity since leaving aside the two London clubs Arsenal’s away games were long distance affairs to the north. This one used Brunel’s Great Western from Paddington.
Bristol City was formed in 1897, initially being Bristol South End, before merging with Bedminster (who themselves were previously Southville).
Bristol City joined the Football League with much local protest about the bringing in of undesirables, in 1901 and were, like Woolwich Arsenal, an absolute outpost. At the time only Birmingham City were outside the north – aside from the London clubs. Their first game was against Blackpool
They came into Division 1 in 1906 after winning the Second Division and in their first year in the top league became runners up. It was a position they were never to reach again.
But by the time they met Woolwich Arsenal at the end of the 1909/1910 season they were still a force in the land, having been in the cup final the previous season (losing to Man U at Crystal Palace).
Prior to this game Bristol City were 14th, only two points above Woolwich Arsenal with a game in hand. This meant that they were certainly not safe from relegation, despite being six off the bottom, and a defeat at home to one from bottom Arsenal could well be a disaster for Bristol.
It was getting very tight.