1914–15 Watford F.C. season

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Watford
1914–15 season
StadiumCassio Road
Southern League First Division1st
FA CupSixth qualifying round (eliminated by Rochdale)
Southern Charity CupFirst round (eliminated by Luton Town)
Top goalscorerLeague: George Edmonds (17)
All: George Edmonds (17)
Highest home attendance8,000 (vs Luton Town, 2 April 1915)
Lowest home attendance1,000 (vs Southend United, 3 February 1915)
Home colours

Watford Football Club are an association football team from the county of Hertfordshire, England. The 1914–15 season was their nineteenth season of league football, since joining the Southern League as West Hertfordshire for the 1896–97 season. Watford finished the season as champions of the Southern League First Division, winning 22 and drawing 8 of their 38 league matches.[1] In other competitions, Watford were eliminated from the FA Cup in the sixth qualifying round by Rochdale, and from the Southern Charity Cup by fellow Southern League team Luton Town. The club's manager was Harry Kent, and its top scorer George Edmonds, with 17 goals from 35 appearances.[2] Other notable players included Skilly Williams, who began what would be a 13-year period as the club's first choice goalkeeper,[3] and Fred Gregory, whose goal against Gillingham sealed the title for Watford.[4] Gregory and Williams were also the only two men to play in all 40 of Watford's games.[2]

As a result of the suspension of league football due to the First World War, Watford were the reigning champions for the next five years, until they were beaten to the 1919–20 title on goal average by Portsmouth.[5]

Background[edit]

Although he had managed Watford since the departure of John Goodall in 1910, Harry Kent made two final competitive appearances in December 1913, before retiring completely as a player.[6][7] Watford lost both matches, and off the pitch Kent had an equally difficult season. Watford finished in 18th position in the Southern League First Division, and only managed to avoid relegation on the final day of the season with a 2–0 win over QPR. Despite a 10–0 thrashing of Bournemouth in their opening FA Cup match, they were defeated by Gillingham in the following round.[7][8] Furthermore, financial difficulties forced Kent to offload several key players at the end of the season. Top scorer Thomas Ashbridge and full back Harry Pantling were sold to Sheffield United for £500 each,[9] while first choice goalkeeper Joe Webster transferred to West Ham United for £300.[10] Other former first team regulars to leave the club before the start of 1914–15 included David Donald, Billy Dryden and Tommy Mitchell.[6]

Southern League[edit]

Despite Britain's declaration of war in August 1914, the Southern League continued as normal for the 1914–15 season. Watford started their campaign on 2 September with a 2–1 win against Cardiff F.C. They continued their strong start to the season with a run of 6 wins and 3 defeats from the opening 9 fixtures, including a 3–0 home win against 1913–14 champions Swindon Town. However, the following two fixtures yielded consecutive league defeats to Reading and Southampton, and Watford's remaining 8 games of 1914 provided only two further wins.[11]

The new year brought a dramatic change in fortunes for Watford's season. Watford won 10 and drew 2 of their first 12 games of 1915, with George Edmonds, Peter Ronald and injured Charlie White's replacement Arthur Green all scoring freely.[2] A win and a defeat against Luton Town, a 2–0 defeat to West Ham United and a heavy 6–0 loss at Swindon enabled Reading and Cardiff to close in on Watford's points tally and goal average. But Watford secured the title in their penultimate match, with Fred Gregory scoring the decisive goal in a 3–2 win at Gillingham.[2]

Results[edit]

Legend

  Win   Draw   Loss

[11]

2 September 1914 Watford2–1Cardiff CityCassio Road
Goal Ronald
Goal White
Goal Attendance: 1,500
5 September 1914 Portsmouth2–3WatfordFratton Park
Goal
Goal
Goal Edmonds
Goal Ronald
Goal White
Attendance: 7,000
12 September 1914 Watford3–0Swindon TownCassio Road
Goal Edmonds
Goal White
Goal own goal
Attendance: 3,000
16 September 1914 Watford0–0Brighton & Hove AlbionCassio Road
Attendance: 1,500
19 September 1914 Southend United0–0WatfordKursaal
Attendance: 4,000
26 September 1914 Watford2–2QPRCassio Road
Goal Edmonds
Goal Hastings
Goal
Goal
Attendance: 5,000
3 October 1914 Millwall0–3WatfordThe Den
Goal Goal Goal Tattersall Attendance: 15,000
10 October 1914 Watford2–0Bristol RoversCassio Road
Goal Val Gregory
GoalRonald
Attendance: 3,000
24 October 1914 Watford0–1ReadingCassio Road
Goal Attendance: 5,000
4 November 1914 First roundLuton Town2–0WatfordKenilworth Road
Goal
Goal
7 November 1914 Watford0–0Northampton TownCassio Road
Attendance: 6,000
14 November 1914 Watford1–0Crystal PalaceCassio Road
Goal Hastings
28 November 1914 Watford0–1West Ham UnitedCassio Road
Goal
5 December 1914 Norwich City2–0WatfordThe Nest (football ground)
Goal
Goal
Attendance: 3,000
12 December 1914 Watford4–0GillinghamCassio Road
Goal Goal McLauchlan
Goal Goal Waterall
Attendance: 2,500
19 December 1914 Sixth qualifying roundRochdale2–0WatfordSpotlands
Goal
Goal
Attendance: 4,000
25 December 1914 Watford1–1Exeter CityCassio Road
Goal McLauchlan Goal Attendance: 2,000
26 December 1914 Exeter City4–1WatfordSt James Park
Goal
Goal
Goal
Goal
Goal Hastings Attendance: 6,000
1 January 1915 Cardiff City2–3WatfordNinian Park
Goal
Goal
Goal Edmonds
Goal Green
Goal Tattersall
Attendance: 1,900
2 January 1915 Watford2–1PortsmouthCassio Road
Goal Goal Edmonds Goal Attendance: 3,000
3 February 1915 Watford2–1Southend UnitedCassio Road
Goal Ronald
Goal own goal
Goal Attendance: 1,000
13 February 1915 Bristol Rovers2–3WatfordEastville Stadium
Goal
Goal
Goal Edmonds
Goal Goal Green
Attendance: 1,000
20 February 1915 Watford3–0Croydon CommonCassio Road
Goal Hastings
Goal Goal Ronald
Attendance: 3,000
27 February 1915 Watford4–0MillwallCassio Road
Goal Edmonds
Goal Green
Goal Hastings
Goal Ronald
Attendance: 3,000
18 March 1915 QPR2–5WatfordLoftus Road
Goal
Goal
Goal Goal Edmonds
Goal Green
GoalVal Gregory
Goal Tattersall
Attendance: 5,000
27 March 1915 Watford2–0Plymouth ArgyleCassio Road
Goal Edmonds
Goal Tattersall
Attendance: 3,000
2 April 1915 Watford2–4Luton TownCassio Road
Goal Kennedy
Goal Ronald
Goal
Goal
Goal
Goal
Attendance: 8,000
3 April 1915 West Ham United2–0WatfordBoleyn Ground
Goal
Goal
Attendance: 10,000
6 April 1915 Swindon Town6–0WatfordCounty Ground
Goal
Goal
Goal
Goal
Goal
Goal
Attendance: 1,000
10 April 1915 Watford2–1Norwich CityCassio Road
Goal Edmonds
Goal Kennedy
Goal

Final standings[edit]

Two points were awarded for a win, one point for draws, and none for defeats.[12] Due to the war, no clubs were relegated at the end of the season, although Croydon Common ceased trading before the start of the 1919–20 season.[11]

Goalkeeper Skilly Williams played in every competitive game.
Team P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Watford 38 22 8 8 68 46 1.478 52
2 Reading 38 21 7 10 68 43 1.581 49
3 Cardiff City 38 22 4 12 72 38 1.895 48
4 West Ham United 38 18 9 11 58 47 1.234 45
5 Northampton Town 38 16 11 11 56 51 1.098 43
6 Southampton 38 19 5 14 78 74 1.054 43
7 Portsmouth 38 16 10 12 54 42 1.286 42
8 Millwall London 38 16 10 12 50 51 0.98 42
9 Swindon Town 38 15 11 12 77 59 1.305 41
10 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 16 7 15 46 47 0.979 39
11 Exeter City 38 15 8 15 50 41 1.22 38
12 QPR 38 13 12 13 55 56 0.982 38
13 Norwich City 38 11 14 13 53 56 0.946 36
14 Luton Town 38 13 8 17 61 73 0.836 34
15 Crystal Palace London 38 13 8 17 47 61 0.77 34
16 Bristol Rovers 38 14 3 21 53 75 0.707 31
17 Plymouth Argyle 38 8 14 16 51 61 0.836 30
18 Southend United 38 10 8 20 44 64 0.688 28
19 Croydon Common 38 9 9 20 47 63 0.746 27
20 Gillingham 38 6 8 24 43 83 0.518 20

Players[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Key

P: Games played

G: Goals scored

A depiction of the 2–3–5 formation used by Watford for the majority of the season. Wingers were then more commonly referred to as outside forwards; the wide and central half backs were known as wing halves and centre halves respectively.
Name Position P G P G P G
League Cups Total
Bob Barnshaw Centre half 11 0 0 0 11 0
Harold Bulling Full back 35 0 2 0 37 0
George Edmonds Centre forward 35 17 1 0 36 17
Albert Green Inside forward 23 8 0 0 23 8
Fred Gregory Full back / Wing half 38 2 2 0 40 2
Val Gregory Wing half 32 3 1 0 33 3
Ernie Grimsdell Full back 1 0 0 0 1 0
William Hastings Outside forward 34 6 2 0 36 6
Sam Hatton Full back 0 0 1 0 1 0
Jim Kennedy Centre half 32 3 2 0 34 3
James McGuire Outside forward 3 0 0 0 3 0
Joe McLauchlan Centre forward 6 3 2 0 8 3
F.A. McMorran Wing half 6 0 1 0 7 0
Peter Ronald Inside forward 35 9 1 0 36 9
Alex Stewart Full back 37 0 1 0 38 0
Tommy Waterall Outside forward 33 10 2 0 35 10
Charlie White Inside forward 19 4 2 0 21 4
Skilly Williams Goalkeeper 38 0 2 0 40 0

References[edit]

General
  • Jones, Trefor (1998). Watford Season by Season. ISBN 0-9527458-1-X.
  • Jones, Trefor (1996). The Watford Football Club Illustrated Who's Who. ISBN 0-9527458-0-1.
  • "Watford: Historical Football Kits". Historical Football Kits. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
Specific
  1. ^ Richard Rundle. "Watford". Football Club History Database. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d Watford Season by Season p. 61
  3. ^ Illustrated Who's Who p. 243
  4. ^ Illustrated Who's Who p. 101
  5. ^ Watford Season by Season p. 62
  6. ^ a b Watford Season by Season p. 59
  7. ^ a b Illustrated Who's Who p. 267
  8. ^ Watford Season by Season p. 58
  9. ^ Illustrated Who's Who p. 26, 181
  10. ^ Illustrated Who's Who p. 237
  11. ^ a b c Watford Season by Season p. 60
  12. ^ Dinant Abbink; Richard Rundle (24 July 2005). "England: Southern League final tables". RSSSF. Retrieved 7 July 2010.

External links[edit]