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Archived News from September 2006

21st September 2006 22:03

After an absence of 44-years, the then last league fixture a 0-4 reverse at Crewe on March 3, 1962, Accrington Stanley made an emotional return to the league on August 5, 2006, thus being a 0-2 defeat at Chester, a side Accrington also faced in the fateful 1961-62 season. That season also saw an expunged goal-less draw at Peel Park between Accrington and the Stags on September 4, 1961 where 4161 (attendance figure courtesy to an excellent Accrington statistical site http://www.accringtonstanley.has.it made surely by one person in Sweden as the e-mail address was greger.lindberg@bredband.net linked from the official Accrington site http://www.accringtonstanley.co.uk ) saw the Stags line up as follows (courtesy of the centenary book): Wyllie, Toone, Bradley, Williams, Phillips, Morris, Wagstaff, Coates, Straw, Chapman R, Stringfellow. And one player from the then Accrington side in 1961-62, goalkeeper Alex Smith, ever-present that fateful season, later kept goal for Halifax and played in both games against the Stags in 1970-71, for instance. And in the Stags' second championship season, 1976-77, Smith was Preston goalie and played for them in the opening game at Field Mill on August 21, 1976, when the Stags won 3-1. After that game, Smith did not keep the Preston goal before April 2, 1977, then playing seven consecutive games, the last league game for Preston being a 1-0 home win against Gillingham on April 26, 1977. Smith played 33 games for Accrington, 19 for Bolton, 341 for Halifax and eight for Preston.

But Saturday's visit to Field Mill will be the first of an Accrington side since March 22, 1961, when the sides played a goal-less draw in front of 3095. Three days later, on Easter Saturday 1961, the Stags won at Peel Park to a 4-1 scoreline in front of 2414 at Peel Park who saw Wagstaff score twice, Wragg once and Ogilvie from the spot. That Accrington side had a goal-poacher, named George Hudson, who hit the net on 35 occasions, equalling the club record set up by George Stewart in 1955-56.

And in the middle fifties, the old Accrington Stanley side had their best moments under the management of Walter Galbraith. In the seasons of only one club being promoted from the now defunct Division 3 (S) and Division 3 (N), Accrington finished runners-up twice, in 1954-55 behind Barnsley, and in 1957-58, behind Scunthorpe and in 1955-56 and 1956-57, Stanley finished third. Therefore, Accrington, which were the ONLY side to deny the Stags a Field Mill league goal in 1957-58, a 2-0 victory in Stagsland on January 25, 1958 in front of 7154, were along with the Stags founder members of the inaugural Division 3 way back in 1958-59.

On January 3, 1959, Accrington were in fifth position when they travelled to Field Mill. There, the Stags won 3-2 after two goals from Barrie Thomas (later Scunthorpe season record scorer) and one from Griffiths in front of 6815. After that game, Stanley plummeted down the table and finished 18th, just two rangs above the Stags, and in the following seasons, the teams were relegated together with Accrington conceding a third level record 123 goals.

The Stags faced Accrington in all seasons they played together in the old Division 3 (N), the first encounters taking place in 1932-33. That season, in the Stags' first-ever visit to Peel Park, they suffered their biggest defeat in any game between the sides when just 2477 saw Accrington fell the Stags 6-0 in front of just 2477 at Peel Park, a venue where the Stags have won on just four occasions, the biggest in the last not-expunged game. On the other hand, Accrington have only won at Field Mill three times, the first a 3-1 on April 17, 1933 when Prior netted the consolation goal witnessed by 3869. Twice, the Stags have won 5-0. Firstly on February 10, 1934, when 4441 saw Harry Johnson net twice, Munnings, Kilcar and Bytheway once. Secondly, a few seasons after the end of World War II. In the 1950-51 season, when the Stags had their then best FA Cup run, reaching the fifth round, the Stags routed Accrington 5-0 again. On March 23, 1951, 4504 saw Coole strike twice, Fox, Reeve and Barks once apiece. That was the fourth out of five consecutive Field Mill wins over Accrington without even conceding a goal. That season, Accrington successfully applied for re-election and an oddity in that case was that the later successful manager Galbraith then managed New Brighton, who failed at Workington's expense.

The old Accrington Stanley side were founder members of the old Division 3 (N) in 1921. Before that, another Accrington side had figured in the league. Accrington FC, nicknamed The Owd Reds, were in fact founder members of the Football League in 1888, founded in 1878, playing at the highest level for five seasons, then being relegated after test matches and then failed to get elected to the then new second level.

The current Accrington club was formed in 1968, then called Accrington Stanley 1968, and entered the Lancashire Combination in 1970-71, finishing fifth on 35 points after 30 games, the record courtesy of the 1971-72 Rothman's Football Yearbook being Played 30, Won 15, Drawn 5, Lost 10, GF 65, GA 52, Points 35. And after three seasons in the Conf, Accrington were crowned Champions last term. Oddly enough, Oxford United, who were elected upon Accrington resignation in 1962, last season were relegated to the Conf.

Both sides come afresh from very good League Cup results against Premiership opposition. While the Stags were the first side to put a goal past Portsmouth, Accrington even forced Watford to extra-time and penalties at Vicarage Road, only just losing 6-5 on penalties.

In the FA Cup, the former Accrington Stanley club locked horns with the Stags on four occasions. On November 24, 1934, the Stags routed Accrington 6-1 at Field Mill in front of 7750 who saw Hunt and Johnson net twice, Dellow and Atkinson once. In the end, the Stags reached the third round, finally losing 2-4 away to Burnley. On December 6, 1952, the Stags travelled to Peel Park and won 2-0 thanks to goals from Fox and Adam, setting up the all-time Field Mill attendance breaker in the third round at home to Nottingham Forest on January 10, 1953. Seven years later, the Stags again won at Accrington, this time in the first round on November 14, 1959, Stags scorers being Humble and Nugent. Again, the third round was the FA Cup terminus for the Stags. In the following season, Accrington beat the Stags 3-0 at Peel Park on November 30, 1960. Accrington then forced a 1-1 draw at Preston in the third round.

In the League, Accrington come afresh from two straight home wins, and when they beat Wrexham 5-0, it was the first time since September 24, 1960, an Accrington crowd had watched five home league goals, the victim then being Oldham, who succumbed to a 5-1 scoreline, while the Stags come from two goal-less away league defeats. But in the latest Stags home game, they routed Accrington's fellow promotees Hereford 4-1, while Accrington were only a few miles away from Stagsland, only losing 2-3 at Notts County after two late Stanley strikes.

Played for both sides (until 1961-62): Harry Broome, Jimmy Heathcote, Wally Hunt, John Jepson, Tom Lockie, George Mee, Stanley Mercer, Jacob Parsons, Jazz Rattray, William White.

Home games: P 19, W 12, D 4, L 3, GF 40, GA 19
Away games: P 19, W 4, D 6, L 9, GF 25, GA 38

Season Home Date Away Date

1932-33 1-3 1933-04-17 0-6 1933-01-02 Div 3 (N)
1933-34 5-0 1934-02-10 1-1 1933-09-30 Div 3 (N)
1934-35 2-1 1934-12-15 0-2 1934-09-19 Div 3 (N)
1935-36 3-1 1936-04-10 1-1 1936-04-13 Div 3 (N)
1936-37 2-1 1937-03-13 3-0 1936-11-07 Div 3 (N)
1947-48 1-0 1947-11-15 0-1 1948-04-03 Div 3 (N)
1948-49 2-0 1949-01-22 1-1 1948-09-11 Div 3 (N)
1949-50 2-0 1949-08-29 2-2 1949-08-24 Div 3 (N)
1950-51 5-0 1951-03-23 2-0 1951-03-26 Div 3 (N)
1951-52 3-0 1951-08-27 0-1 1951-08-22 Div 3 (N)
1952-53 0-0 1953-04-13 2-2 1953-01-31 Div 3 (N)
1953-54 1-1 1953-09-12 1-5 1954-01-23 Div 3 (N)
1954-55 2-2 1954-09-11 2-3 1955-01-22 Div 3 (N)
1955-56 3-2 1956-03-30 1-3 1956-04-02 Div 3 (N)
1956-57 1-3 1956-12-29 3-3 1956-09-01 Div 3 (N)
1957-58 0-2 1958-01-25 1-4 1958-03-29 Div 3 (N)
1958-59 3-2 1959-01-03 0-2 1958-08-30 Div 3 (old)
1959-60 4-1 1960-04-02 1-0 1960-03-21 Div 3 (old)
1960-61 0-0 1961-03-22 4-1 1961-03-25 Div 4 (old)

FA Cup:

1934-35 6-1 1934-11-24 (1st round at Field Mill)
1952-53 2-0 1952-12-06 (2nd round at Peel Park)
1959-60 2-1 1959-11-14 (1st round at Peel Park)
1960-61 0-3 1960-11-30 (2nd round at Peel Park)

Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)


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