On 2nd April 2010 Woolwich Arsenal went to Bristol, to play City, and came back with a 1-0 victory. McGibbon, the hero of the previous weekend (which was Easter, 100 years back) was not playing, presumably with an injury picked up at Chelsea.
The goal was scored by Lawrence, the inside left, playing number 10, his fifth of the season, which made him… joint top scorer. We were the lowest scoring club in the first division.
The game was utterly different from Chelsea on Easter Monday – instead of the 40,000 that attended the Stamford Bridge game we had just 8,000 – although their ground could hold a lot more. But the score was the same, and it was a lifeline.
It was in many ways a relegation battle, with Woolwich Arsenal just one from bottom, and Bristol C still facing the possibility of going down, although looking for the collection of clubs below them them to help them stay up.
And for once the results were going Arsenal’s way with the table looking like this after the game…
Bottom seven in a league of 20, bottom two go down automatically. (Two points for a win).
Bury Played 33 Points: 28
Middlesbrough Played 33 Points: 26
Bristol City Played 33 Points: 26
Woolwich Arsenal Played 34 Points: 26
Tottenham Hotspur Played 33 Points: 25
Chelsea Played 34 Points: 25
Bolton Wanderers Played 34 Points: 20
The point about including Bury is that this was Woolwich Arsenal’s next match. Bury at home on April 9th.
Intriguingly after that game Woolwich Arsenal also had to play Aston Villa, who on this weekend 100 years ago won the league, now being seven points clear of Notts County who only had three games left to play.
Technically Sheffield United could still catch Villa, but the goal average of United was so inferior to Villa that it would have needed a series of record breaking scores to make it happen.
As for Norris, he was remaining quiet, possibly waiting to see if Arsenal would survive before deciding to put a lot of money into saving the club.
You can read the whole story of Arsenal in 1910 in “Making the Arsenal.” The details are here.
(c) Tony Attwood 2010
Arsenal today can be read at www.blog.emiratesstadium.info