Arsenal anniversaries 31 March: Arsenal’s first ever FA Cup semi-final



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The anniversaries

31 March 1890: Arsenal 3 Mr WH Loraine’s XI 1.  Who was Mr WH Loraine?  Regrettably, at this moment we don’t know – although we have found a picture which suggests WH Loraine had a shop in Stockton on Tees around this time.  But it is also possible that he was a referee with his own team, as was the case with Arthur Bourke

31 March 1891: Arsenal continued to test themselves against FL clubs with a match against Nottingham Forest.  Although they lost this and games against Derby and Sunderland, the club was encouraged in its move towards professionalism.

31 March 1893: Building up to their entry to the League, Arsenal took on three friendlies in four days – this one against Middlesbrough which Arsenal won 4-1 in front of a very respectable crowd of 8000.

31 March 1906: Arsenal played in an FA Cup semi-final for first time.  Prior to this they had never gone beyond the second round, and spent most of their time in the qualifying rounds.

31 March 1917: Women in the WAAC were sent to the battlefields in France, for the first time

31 March 1918: Reginald Horace Cumner was born in Cwmaman.  He played in the 1938/9 campaign and the 1945/6 season (when the FA Cup was played but there were no league matches), and three times for Wales before moving on to Notts County.

31 March 1919: Arsenal appealed against Fulham’s victory in the London Victory Cup on the grounds that Fulham had knowingly played not one, but half a team’s worth of ineligible players.  Arsenal won the case, Fulham then appealed and the London Combination failed to invite Sir Henry Norris to the hearing and awarded the game to Fulham. Norris, who was a director of both clubs, resigned as a director of Fulham.

31 March 1921: Regulations prohibiting a post-war reduction in salaries were removed and pay cuts were immediately introduced.  Miners refusing to accept this were locked out but the transport industries refused to strike in support although they refused to handle imported coal.  It was felt the nation was once more on the brink.

31 March 1939: Britain signed an agreement to support Poland in the event of an invasion.

31 March 1955: Jack Kelsey’s international debut.  He went on to play 41 times for his country.

31 March 1958: Mel Charles signed from Swansea.  David Dodson and Paul Davies moved the other way.  Charles later said signing for Arsenal was the biggest mistake of his life, but after leaving Arsenal he never again played in the top division.

31 March 1961: Fulham 2 Arsenal 2 (Herd scoring both for Arsenal).  It was the last Arsenal game for Joe Haverty. In July he moved to Blackburn Rovers after 114 games in seven seasons with Arsenal.

31 March 1962: Arsenal 4 Aston Villa 5.  Two each for Skirton and Strong in front of 20,107.  The only other time in the season that Arsenal scored four was in a 4-4 draw with Leicester.

31 March 1969: Jimmy Robertson took over the number 7 shirt from Radford.  It was not until November of the following season that Radford became the regular centre forward wearing 9 – and about that time Robertson faded from the scene totally.

31 March 1970: Charlie George scored in a 2-1 defeat away to Ipswich.  It was his sixth league goal of the season and the last goal he scored until 1 February 1971.

31 March 1971:  Arsenal reached the F.A. Cup Final by beating Stoke City 2-0 in the semi-final replay with goals from Graham and Kennedy.  It took Arsenal to their first Cup Final in 19 years.

31 March 1973:  The last Arsenal appearance of Frank McLintock.  Arsenal 0 Derby 1. McLintock was substituted and subsequently sold to QPR and the dream of regaining the title faded as Arsenal gained just one win from the six remaining games after this.

31 March 1975: Arsenal 1 Sheffield U 0.  After one win in the last eight it was a desperately needed victory to help Arsenal stay in the top division.  Kidd got the goal with 24,338 in the crowd.

31 March 1979: Arsenal beat Wolverhampton W (managed by John Barnwell) 2-0 in our 14th FA Cup semi final, played at Villa Park.  Stapleton and Sunderland scored (as they did in the final), taking each to five goals in the Cup for the season thus far.

31 March 1984: Coventry 1 Arsenal 4 with Talbot, Whyte, Robson and Mariner scoring.  This was the third game in a sequence of league matches in which Arsenal won three 4-1, and lost the other 0-4.

31 March 1986: Arsenal 0 Watford 2.  The second of three consecutive defeats in a run of one win in eight.  Arsenal were sixth in the table, 12 points behind the leaders.

31 March 1998: Arsenal beat Bolton away 0-1 with 10 men, and Seaman kept a clean sheet for Arsenal for 150th time. It was the 5th game in six in which Arsenal scored only one goal, but five of those games were wins, and the other a draw.   It was also the conclusion of eight in a row clean sheets – a record for the club. (30th league game of the 2nd Double season: part 1part 2part 3).

31 March 2001: David Rocastle died.  Arsenal beat Tottenham 2-0, the first goal scored by Pires wearing, as always, number 7.  After leaving Arsenal in 1992 Rocastle played nearly 100 league games for Leeds, Man C, Chelsea, Norwich and Hull.

31 March 2010: Arsenal 2 Barcelona 2 in the Champions League.  Walcott and Fabregas scored in a game in which Puyol was sent off.  Barcelona won the second leg 4-1.

31 March 2015: Diaby, Arteta, Wilshere and Debuchy, all long term injuries, appeared together in the first half of a friendly game against Brentford, as part of their recovery programme.  Arsenal won 4-0 with goals from Wilshere, Crowley, and Iwobi (2)

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