15 March 1913: Woolwich Arsenal’s last win in Plumstead

by Andy Kelly

100 years ago Woolwich Arsenal were coming to the end of the club’s annus horriblis. Prior to this date the Reds’ league record read:

Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Points
29 2 9 18 18 55 13

They were bottom of the First Division table, seven points from safety. The two games that had been won were at Sheffield United and Manchester City. The long-suffering fans hadn’t seen a league win at the Manor Ground all season.

It was no surprise that only 8,000 hardy souls turned up to watch West Bromwich Albion’s visit, expecting another thrashing. However, they were pleasantly surprised to see the only goal of the game scored by skipper Percy Sands, his first goal in more than four years.

This was the best run of the season, two wins and three draws in five games, but it wasn’t to last. No more wins were registered during 1912-13 so this was the last game that Woolwich Arsenal won in Plumstead.

Below is a report from the Kentish Independent. You’ll see that it is far more descriptive than today’s newspaper reports, actually telling the story of the game. There is also news of the Middlesex team’s pointless whingeing. And I don’t think the cartoon on the left would be seen as politically correct these days.

 Click on the image to make it larger.

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