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7th September 1912 – 100 years ago in Plumstead

by Andy Kelly

7th September 1912

Having drawn their opening game, the first team travelled north to Liverpool for their next fixture. Arsenal had never won at Anfield, having drawn two and lost seven, with Liverpool winning the corresponding fixture 4-1 the previous season.

Arsenal lined-up as they had on Monday:

Crawford

Shaw     Peart

Thomson     Sands     McKinnon

Greenaway     Common     McLaughlan     Flanagan     Winship

Liverpool’s team was:

Campbell

Longworth     Pursell

Lowe    Ferguson     Scott

Goddard     Tosswill     Miller     Gracie     Lacey

Showery weather did not deter a good crowd of 25,000 turning up at Anfield Road.

Liverpool had the better of the early play. Lacey narrowly missed after Crawford could only partially save a Miller shot. Arsenal came close to scoring before Miller put the home side ahead. Towards the end of the first half Arsenal came back into the game with Winship narrowly shooting wide.

The teams crossed ends with the score Liverpool 1 Woolwich Arsenal 0.

Liverpoolcame out in the second half all guns blazing. Goddard scored a screamer that Crawford had no hope of reaching. Arsenal had a short spell of dominating but after this it was all Liverpool. Goddard scored Liverpool’s third, and final, goal from a Lacey cross.

The Kentish Independent once again described Arsenal as being unlucky and the result wasn’t unexpected following Arsenal’s previous form at Anfield. No reason to panic at this stage of the season.

London’s other two First Division teams also not faring so well. Chelsea and Tottenham had both lost their two opening fixtures. The table on the evening of 7 September 1912 looked like this: 

 

 

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

GA

=1

Liverpool

2

2

0

0

5

0

4

=1

ManchesterCity

2

2

0

0

2

0

4

3

Aston Villa

2

2

0

0

4

1

4

4.00

4

SheffieldWednesday

2

2

0

0

6

3

4

2.00

5

Everton

2

1

1

0

2

0

3

6

West BromwichAlbion

2

1

1

0

3

1

3

3.00

7

NewcastleUnited

2

1

1

0

3

2

3

1.50

8

BoltonWanderers

2

1

0

1

2

2

2

1.00

=9

DerbyCounty

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

1.00

=9

SheffieldUnited

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

1.00

=9

Sunderland

1

0

1

0

1

1

1

1.00

12

BlackburnRovers

2

0

1

1

2

3

1

0.67

13

NottsCounty

2

0

1

1

1

2

1

0.50

14

OldhamAthletic

2

0

1

1

1

3

1

0.33

=15

Arsenal

2

0

1

1

0

3

1

0.00

=15

ManchesterUnited

2

0

1

1

0

1

1

0.00

=15

Middlesbrough

2

0

1

1

0

2

1

0.00

=18

BradfordCity

1

0

0

1

1

3

0

0.33

=18

Tottenham Hotspur

2

0

0

2

2

6

0

0.33

20

Chelsea

2

0

0

2

0

2

0

0.00

Teams level on points had their position decided by goal average. This was calculated by dividing the goals scored by the goals conceded. One major flaw is seen with the two teams at the top of the table. As they had both conceded no goals, a true figure could not be calculated so they are both given equal placing. However, having scored five goals Liverpool were obviously in a better position than ManchesterCity.

The reserves opened their South Eastern League campaign with a 4-0 home win against Tunbridge Wells Rangers. The Arsenal team included six amateur players. Following the financial problems in 1910 it was decided to field as many local amateurs within the reserves to keep costs down. This measure was still in effect two years later.

The team lined up:

G.Burdett*

E.Penderghast*     T.Wilkinson*

King     Grant     McEachrane

F.Groves*     W.Madge*     E.Hanks*     Payne     Burrell

Scorers: Hanks 3, Payne 1.

The players with an asterisk were amateurs whilst those in bold had either played in the first team or would go on to play in the first team.

As previously mentioned King, Payne and Burrell had joined from Leyton following that club going into liquidation. It was reported this week that Payne was owed £30 in wages from Leyton which was to be investigated by the Football Association.

Another amateur player, William Spittle, who had impressed during the public trial matches, was signed as a professional on 7 September. He would go on to spend seven years at the club but only managed seven league games.

Finally, a strange change in job roles. Groundsman Alec Rae was given the position of reserve team trainer (equivalent to a coach these days). Rae was originally from Durham and moved to Plumstead during the 1890s, becoming groundsman around 1900. It seems a strange choice but it may have been another effort to economise.

4 comments to 7th September 1912 – 100 years ago in Plumstead

  • Can you imagine, Andy (et al) how proud the ancestors of the Arsenal (and Liverpool) players are to know those ‘unknowns to us’ had played in this (and so many more games)for such BIG clubs.
    25,000 crowd (away fans doubtful)…
    …another wonderful bit of History re Arsenal, and football.

    Big thanks.

  • Tony Attwood

    Andy, this is sensational. Thank you so much for all the work on this.

    As I said at the AISA meeting last year – your house must contain nothing but old newspapers, the way you trace all these records.

  • I used to have loads of old newspapers but thanks to the A3 scanner at work, what took up a fair chunk of the loft now fits on a memory stick!

  • Sampat Prabhudesai

    In the end its strange that Liverpool finished 12th in the league.
    And in the WORST season of our history both London clubs finished at least 10 points clear of us. [approximately 15 points in today’s format]

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