1895–96 Southampton St. Mary's F.C. season

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Southampton St. Mary's F.C.
1895–96 season
President Dr Henry William Russell Bencraft
Secretary Charles Robson
Stadium Antelope Ground
Southern League 3rd
FA Cup Round 1
Top goalscorer League: Jack Farrell (10)
All: Jack Farrell (14)
Highest home attendance 12,000 vs Sheffield Wednesday (1 February 1896) (FA Cup)
Home colours

The 1895–96 season was the eleventh since the foundation of Southampton St. Mary's F.C. and their second in league football, as members of the Southern League. They finished the league season in third place behind the previous season's champions, Millwall Athletic, and Luton Town. In the FA Cup they reached the First Round Proper for the second consecutive season, where they were defeated by Sheffield Wednesday, of the Football League.

Pre-season[edit]

In the spring of 1895, Charles Robson had been appointed secretary to Southampton St Mary's Football Club, then playing in the Southern League.[1] As secretary, he was responsible for signing new players and agreeing player contracts as well as being involved in team selection – the day to day coaching and training of the players was in the hands of the trainer.

One of Robson's first acts as secretary was to accompany Alfred McMinn, one of the club committee, on a trip to the Potteries to recruit players. McMinn was a native of Staffordshire and was "most persuasive on his home turf".[2] On this trip, Robson and McMinn signed six players: Jack Farrell, Samuel Meston and Willie Naughton from Stoke, Watty Keay from Derby County, Joe Turner from Dresden United and Alf Wood from Burslem Port Vale, as well as recruiting Stoke's long-serving trainer, Bill Dawson. The Saints committee were anxious to secure their services and signed then before the Football League season was over. Port Vale and Stoke lodged a complaint with the Football Association about "poaching", and an emergency FA meeting was held at Sheffield, resulting in the Saints being severely censured for negligence. St Mary's were ordered to pay their own costs, plus £4 6s 3d to Stoke and £1 13s to Port Vale. McMinn was suspended for a year and Dawson for a month. Wood's registration with St Mary's was cancelled (shortly afterwards he moved to Stoke).[1][3]

A proposal was put forward that the name of the club should be amended from Southampton St. Mary's to plain Southampton F.C. – this was rejected on the grounds that the club could no longer be called "The Saints" if the official name was changed.[1] One change that was approved was that the team jerseys should be red and white halves rather than red and white quarters.[1]

League season[edit]

The entrance to the Antelope Ground

The 1895–96 season was the Saints' second in the Southern League, having finished third in the inaugural season. The team started the season badly, losing four of the first five matches, all of which were away from home. The poor start to the season was blamed on the inability of the new players to settle in the area.[1] Eventually, under trainer Dawson's guidance, the team's form improved and there were only two further league defeats; after mid-December, the team suffered only one defeat and kept eight "clean sheets", despite first-choice goalkeeper Tom Cain missing several matches through injury. At the end of the season, they finished third behind Millwall Athletic and Luton Town, with the top three positions identical to the previous year.

Top scorer in the league was Jack Farrell with ten goals from his 17 appearances. The highlight of the league season was the visit of Millwall on 21 March 1896 when a crowd of 8,000 saw the Saints defeat the reigning champions 2–0, with goals from Charles Baker and Joe Turner.[1]

In addition to the Southern League and FA Cup matches, the club played nearly 30 friendly matches, including a 9–0 victory over the Dublin Fusiliers and a 13–0 victory over the City Ramblers, in both of which Jack Farrell scored five goals. There were also victories over Dundee and Tottenham Hotspur.[4]

At the end of the season, the Saints had to vacate the Antelope Ground, which had been sold for re-development, and moved to the County Ground, partly through the connections of the club's president, Robson's former Hampshire strike partner, Dr. H. W. R. Bencraft, who was also Hon. Secretary to the cricket club.[5]

League results[edit]

Date Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers
14 September 1895 Millwall Athletic A 0 – 1
21 September 1895 Chatham A 1 – 3 Naughton
28 September 1895 Reading A 2 – 3 Naughton, Turner
5 October 1895 Royal Ordnance A 2 – 1 Farrell (2)
19 October 1895 Clapton A 3 – 7 Angus, Baker, Farrell
26 October 1895 Luton Town H 2 – 1 Naughton, Turner
16 November 1895 Ilford A 1 – 0 Rogers
30 November 1895 New Brompton A 0 – 1
7 December 1895 Swindon Town H 4 – 2 Littlehales, Naughton, Taylor, Turner
21 December 1895 Reading H 5 – 0 Keay (3), Farrell, Littlehales
18 January 1896 Chatham Town H 4 – 0 Farrell (2), Naughton (2)
25 January 1896 Royal Ordnance H 5 – 0 Baker, Keay, Littlehales, Naughton, Turner
15 February 1896 Swindon Town A 2 – 0 Baker, Littlehales
7 March 1896 Luton Town A 0 – 3
21 March 1896 Millwall Athletic H 2 – 0 Baker, Turner
28 March 1896 New Brompton H 5 – 0 Hodgkinson (2), Baker, Farrell, Naughton
3 April 1896 Clapton H 2 – 0 Farrell, Keay
4 April 1896 Ilford H 4 – 0 Farrell (2), Keay, Turner

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss

Top of league table[edit]

Position Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against GA1 Points 2
1 Millwall Athletic 18 16 1 1 75 16 4.69 33
2 Luton Town 18 13 1 4 68 14 4.86 27
3 Southampton St Mary's 18 12 0 6 44 23 1.91 24
4 Reading 18 11 1 6 45 38 1.18 23

Played = Matches played; Won = Matches won; Drawn = Matches drawn; Lost = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GA = Goal average; Points = Points scored

1 Teams tied on points were separated by use of goal average.

2 The points system: 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a defeat.

FA Cup[edit]

In the FA Cup, an away victory over local rivals Freemantle in the First Qualifying Round was followed by comfortable home victories over Marlow (5–0), Reading (3–0) and Uxbridge (3–0).[1] In the First Round proper, the Saints received a home draw against opposition from the Football League First Division for the second consecutive year, this time against The Wednesday. Saints' trainer, Bill Dawson, spent the week leading up to Wednesday's visit with extra training for the players, taking them through their paces on Shawford Down.[6]

For the match, played at the Antelope Ground on 1 February 1896, the crowd was estimated at 12,000, by far the largest yet recorded for a football match in Southampton.[6] The Saints had to play their third-choice goalkeeper, Walter Cox as Tom Cain was injured, and the Royal Artillery refused to allow on-loan 'keeper "Gunner" Reilly to play.[6] The Saints took an early lead, through Watty Keay, before two goals from Alec Brady[7] gave Wednesday the half-time lead. Wednesday increased their lead shortly after the break, and although Joe Turner got one back, the Saints were unable to score an equalizer.[6] Wednesday ran out 3–2 winners and went on to win the Cup the following April.[7]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
12 October 1895 1st Qualifying Round Freemantle A 5 – 1 Farrell (2), Littlehales, Naughton, Turner 5,354
2 November 1895 2nd Qualifying Round Marlow H 5 – 0 Turner (2), Farrell (2), Meston 4,000
23 November 1895 3rd Qualifying Round Reading H 3 – 0 Taylor, Naughton, Keay 5,000
14 December 1895 4th Qualifying Round Uxbridge H 5 – 1 Naughton, Keay, Turner 4,000
1 February 1896 Round 1 Proper Sheffield Wednesday H 2 – 3 Keay, Turner 12,000

Player statistics[edit]

Position Nationality Name League
apps
League
goals
FA Cup
apps
FA Cup
goals
Total
apps
Total
goals
FW  Scotland Angus, JackJack Angus 3 1 1 0 4 1
FB  England Baker, CharlesCharles Baker 18 5 5 0 23 12
GK  England Barrett, JackJack Barrett 3 0 0 0 3 0
GK  England Cain, TomTom Cain 10 0 0 0 10 0
GK  England Cox, WalterWalter Cox 3 0 5 0 8 0
HB  Scotland Dale, JimmyJimmy Dale 3 0 2 0 5 0
FW  England Farrell, JackJack Farrell 17 10 5 4 22 14
FB  Wales Hamer, DavidDavid Hamer 4 0 1 0 5 0
HB  England Hodgkinson, JohnJohn Hodgkinson 7 2 1 0 8 2
HB  Scotland Inglis, Sergt.Sergt. Inglis a 1 0 0 0 1 0
FW  Scotland Keay, WattyWatty Keay 15 6 5 3 20 9
FW  England Kiddle, BobBob Kiddle 1 0 0 0 1 0
HB  England Littlehales, AlfAlf Littlehales 17 4 5 1 22 5
HB  Scotland McMillan, JohnJohn McMillan 4 0 0 0 4 0
FB  England Marshall, GeorgeGeorge Marshall 8 0 3 0 11 0
FB  Scotland Meston, SamuelSamuel Meston 18 0 5 1 23 1
FW  Scotland Naughton, WillieWillie Naughton 17 8 4 3 21 11
FB  England Phillips, GunnerGunner Phillips b 1 0 0 0 1 0
GK  Ireland Reilly, MattMatt Reilly 2 0 0 0 2 0
FB  England Rogers, JoeJoe Rogers 8 1 1 0 9 1
HB  England Smith, VictorVictor Smith 1 0 0 0 1 0
HB  England Taylor, ErnieErnie Taylor 8 1 2 1 10 2
HB  England Thomson, LachieLachie Thomson 12 0 5 0 17 0
FW  England Turner, JoeJoe Turner 17 6 5 5 22 11

Key[edit]

Notes[edit]

Transfers[edit]

In[edit]

Date Position Name From
October 1895 GK Tom Cain Everton
October 1895 HB Jimmy Dale Stoke
April 1895 FW Jack Farrell Stoke
December 1895 HB John Hodgkinson Tunstall
April 1895 FW Watty Keay Derby County
March 1896 HB John McMillan Heart of Midlothian
April 1895 FB Samuel Meston Stoke
April 1895 FW Willie Naughton Stoke
April 1895 FW Joe Turner Dresden United

Departures[edit]

Date Position Name To
November 1895 FW Jack Angus Retired
October 1895 GK Jack Barrett Retired
Summer 1895 FW Jack Dorkin Retired
Summer 1895 HB Bill Furby Freemantle
July 1895 FW Fred Hollands Millwall Athletic
Summer 1895 FB William Jeffrey Retired
December 1895 FW Bob Kiddle Retired
Summer 1895 FW Arthur Nineham Freemantle
Summer 1895 FW Harry Offer Retired
Summer 1895 FW Herbert Ward Retired
Summer 1895 GK H. Williamson Royal Ordnance Factories

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Chalk & Holley 1987, p. 18.
  2. ^ Juson & Bull 2001, p. 36.
  3. ^ Juson & Bull 2001, pp. 36–37.
  4. ^ Chalk & Holley 1987, p. 211.
  5. ^ Chalk & Holley 1987, p. 216.
  6. ^ a b c d Bull & Brunskell 2000, pp. 16–17.
  7. ^ a b Collett 2003, p. 545.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]