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4th November 1912 – Slaughtered at home

by Andy Kelly

This weekly series charts Arsenal’s final season in Plumstead and the move to Islington that, effectively, saved the club’s very existence.

Saturday 2nd November 1912

Woolwich Arsenal were visited by a Manchester City team that was in touch with the league leaders. With the Reds’ recent form of six league games without a win and four consecutive defeats there wasn’t a great deal of optimism amongst the local fans. This was shown in the low attendance of less than 9,000.

Arsenal’s mis-firing front line was re-shuffled once again. 18 year old Billy Spittle was handed his debut in place of Randall and Burrell returned to the team in place of Winship.

Woolwich Arsenal lined-up:

Crawford

Shaw     Peart

Thomson     Sands     McKinnon

Greenaway     Flanagan     Hanks     Spittle     Burrell

And Manchester City’s team was:

Goodchild

Henry     Fletcher

Bottomley     Eadie     Holford

Hoad     Wynn    Taylor     Jones     Dorsett

Arsenal started the game brightly with Spittle and Hanks testing Goodchild. A melee resulted in an Arsenal corner but City’s height superiority showed and they cleared into touch. A quick throw-in from Thomson allowed McKinnon to have a shot on goal but this was cleared by a defender. The first goal came after ten minutes. Jones looked offside but was waved on by the referee and he made no mistake from City’s first shot at goal. They almost doubled their advantage immediately but Wynn shot wide from close range. Hanks was given a run on goal from a through ball by Flanagan but he was hustled off the ball. Then Percy Sands ventured forward, shooting from well outside the penalty area. Goodchild could only punch the ball out to Spittle but the youngster headed over. The home team continued to push for an equaliser. Goodchild punched away a corner and then saved the return shot. As we see so often today, Arsenal’s opponents broke away and looked dangerous.Taylordashed past Shaw and Peart, and left Crawford standing with a cross-shot which, luckily for the Reds, hit the crossbar and fell easily for Crawford to catch. Crawford made a great double save from Dorsett and Jones’ follow up. Arsenal then broke away and Spittle forced a save from Goodchild. The first-half finished with Dorsett again making a nuisance of himself, forcing Peart to concede a corner. Once again, Woolwich Arsenal were behind at half-time.

The second-half started with Manchester City having the better of the play. Crawford came out of his area to clear the danger after Jones was put through byTaylor. However, after 57 minutes the Manuel Almunia of 1912 wasn’t so lucky as Wynn beat him to another through ball and the City forward hit hard and low into an empty net. Five minutes later it was 3-0 to the visitors as Crawford could only palm Wynn’s shot into the path of Taylor who slotted home. Arsenal didn’t give up hope though. Burrell’s centre following a great run was punched out by Goodchild. Subsequent headers failed to reach the target and City broke away through Hoad but Shaw stopped him with a fantastic tackle. Shortly after this Shaw had a long range shot that Goodchild did well to hold on to. Greenaway and Spittle had half-chances but they couldn’t find the back of the net. Arsenal’s dismal day was rounded-off after 82 minutes whenTaylorscored with a rising shot. It could have been worse but Jones contrived to head over with Crawford nowhere to be seen. Woolwich Arsenal 0 Manchester City 4.

Arsenal chairman, Henry Norris, wrote in his regular column in the West London and Fulham Times that things were looking pretty bad for the Reds. The only saving grace was that Tottenham and NottsCountywere equally as poor as Arsenal which kept the Gunners out of the relegation zone for another week.

 

 

Pld

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

GA

1

Aston Villa

12

7

3

2

37

15

17

2.47

2

NewcastleUnited

11

6

4

1

19

9

16

2.11

3

ManchesterCity

10

7

1

2

15

5

15

3.00

4

BlackburnRovers

12

5

5

2

28

14

15

2.00

5

OldhamAthletic

11

5

5

1

15

9

15

1.67

6

BoltonWanderers

11

6

1

4

16

17

13

0.94

7

SheffieldWednesday

10

6

1

3

16

22

13

0.73

8

West BromwichAlbion

10

5

2

3

20

13

12

1.54

9

DerbyCounty

10

5

2

3

15

17

12

0.88

10

ManchesterUnited

10

4

3

3

15

12

11

1.25

11

BradfordCity

9

4

2

3

14

13

10

1.08

12

Sunderland

11

4

2

5

21

20

10

1.05

13

Liverpool

12

5

0

7

20

21

10

0.95

14

Everton

11

4

1

6

15

19

9

0.79

15

Middlesbrough

10

3

3

4

11

18

9

0.61

16

SheffieldUnited

10

2

3

5

15

18

7

0.83

17

Chelsea

11

3

1

7

11

17

7

0.65

18

Arsenal

11

1

3

7

7

21

5

0.33

19

Tottenham Hotspur

9

0

3

6

11

26

3

0.42

20

NottsCounty

9

0

1

8

5

20

1

0.25

 The reserves travelled to Tottenham to play for points in the South Eastern League.

Three changes were made to the team. 22 year-old amateur Bernie Ruggles came in for Randall, Madge replaced Spittle who was called into the first team and Winship swapped his first team spot with Burrell.

Wilson

Rogers     Ford

Ruggles     King     McEachrane

Lewis     Madge     Payne     Graham     Winship

The game was dominated by the defences with no goals being scored in the first-half. Mason put Tottenham ahead and then Jarvie scored an own goal to level the game and there were no more goals registered. The draw left the reserves second in table, one point behindChelseabut with two games in hand.

Other news – Andy Ducat left Ancoats Hospital on Monday. He had been in there since breaking his leg on 14th September.

Previous stories in this series:

28th October 1912 – Another defeat, but still above Tottenham

21st October 1912 – Woolwich Arsenal to move to North London!

14th October 1912 – The wheels start wobbling

7th October 1912 – Title winning form from Woolwich Arsenal

30th September 1912 – Another week, another point.

4 comments to 4th November 1912 – Slaughtered at home

  • Gord

    Andy Kelly, was that article I ran across at Portadown of any use? Should I continue to post things like this?

  • Andrew Ryan

    Andy,

    Seems familiar to now in that the wheels have come off, except we were ahead of Spurs in the league in 1912 at this point.

    … And we had the luxury of a visionary chairman in 1912, something we don’t have now.

    Andrew

  • aleese

    @ Andy,
    Cartoon is not as obviously bloodthirsty as usual, but a clever reference to the Titanic.

  • Andy Kelly

    What’s worrying me is that the sale of Andy Ducat is similar to that of RVP. The straw that finally broke the camel’s back after years of selling off the best players.

    I’ll try to get this week’s article published in the next couple of days. You’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for the next horror show. There are some cartoons from earlier years that would get us a nine match ban (or four matches if you’re the former England captain) if we published them.

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