1977–78 Stoke City F.C. season

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Stoke City
1977–78 season
Chairman Thomas Degg
Manager George Eastham,
Alan A'Court,
Alan Durban
Stadium Victoria Ground
Football League Second Division 7th (42 Points)
FA Cup Fourth Round
League Cup Second Round
Top goalscorer League: Garth Crooks (18)
All: Garth Crooks (19)
Highest home attendance 21,012 vs Tottenham Hotspur (29 October 1977)
Lowest home attendance 10,613 vs Bristol Rovers (10 December 1977)
Average home league attendance 15,038
Home colours

The 1977–78 season was Stoke City's 71st season in the Football League and the 24th in the Second Division.

With Stoke back in the Second Division for the first time since 1963 morale around the area was low and was not helped by a poor start to the season away at Mansfield Town. George Eastham was sacked in January 1978 and Alan A'Court took over as caretaker manager. Unfortunately for A'Court he was in charge of just one match which was one of the most infamous in the club's history, a 3–2 defeat at home to non-league Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup. Alan Durban was appointed manager and his new signings brought life back into the squad and guided Stoke to a respectable 7th position.[1]

Season review[edit]

League[edit]

With Mr T.Degg now Chairman and the club in the Second Division, with little or no money at his disposal and rumblings that Peter Shilton wanted to leave the picture was far from rosy.[1] George Eastham, who was now given the managers job on a permanent basis sold veteran John Mahoney to Middlesbrough for £130,000.[1] Into the club came experienced midfielder Howard Kendall from Birmingham City for £165,000, full-back Alec Lindsay from Liverpool, Paul Richardson from Chester City and David Gregory from Peterborough United. These new arrivals would go on to have mixed success at Stoke.[1]

Stoke's first match in the Second Division for 14 years was against Third Division champions Mansfield Town on 20 August 1977. They lost 2–1 at Field Mill where the fans let the club down badly, as after the match there was a riot.[1] The disenchantment was patently obvious and it was no surprise when Shilton moved on to Nottingham Forest for £240,000.[1] Eastham was starting to become a worried man and with goalscoring still a major problem he brought in Viv Busby for £50,000 but he also failed to impress.[1] It was becoming obvious that Eastham could not make it as a manager and he was sacked in early January.[1] Alan A'Court took over as caretaker manager and in his only match in charge, Stoke lost to Blyth Spartans.[1]

The Stoke board decided to appoint Shrewsbury Town's Alan Durban as the club's new manager, Durban an ex-Wales international had made over 600 appearances in the Football League and he immediately introduced some much needed discipline into the club.[1] His first signing was Brendan O'Callaghan, brought from Doncaster Rovers for £40,000. O'Callaghan made a dream start to his Stoke career coming on as a substitute in the home match against Hull City, and he scored from a corner with his first touch.[1] Goalkeeper Peter Fox also arrived as Stoke ended the season in decent enough form finishing in 7th place which was respectable considering at one stage they were lying in 18th.[1] However it was a strange season as despite finishing in 7th Stoke were only five points away from relegation.[1]

FA Cup[edit]

After easily defeating non-league Tilbury 4–0 in the third round Stoke were drawn again at home to non-league opponents, Blyth Spartans. Stoke struggled to cope with the part-timers on a terrible pitch and with the match seemingly heading for a replay, Terry Johnson scored the winning goal for Blyth to complete an FA Cup giant-killing.[1]

League Cup[edit]

Bristol City's Kevin Mabbutt scored the only goal as Stoke exited this season's League Cup at the first stage.[1]

Final league table[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Bolton Wanderers 42 24 10 8 63 33 +30 58
2 Southampton 42 22 13 7 70 39 +31 57
3 Tottenham Hotspur 42 20 16 6 83 49 +34 56
4 Brighton & Hove Albion 42 22 12 8 63 38 +25 56
5 Blackburn Rovers 42 16 13 13 56 60 –4 45
6 Sunderland 42 14 16 12 67 59 +8 44
7 Stoke City 42 16 10 16 53 49 +4 42
8 Oldham Athletic 42 13 16 13 54 58 –4 42
9 Crystal Palace 42 13 15 14 50 47 +3 41
10 Fulham 42 14 13 15 49 49 0 41
11 Burnley 42 15 10 17 56 64 –8 40
12 Sheffield United 42 16 8 18 62 73 –11 40
13 Luton Town 42 14 10 18 54 52 +2 38
14 Orient 42 10 18 14 43 49 –6 38
15 Notts County 42 11 16 15 54 62 –8 38
16 Millwall 42 12 14 16 49 57 –8 38
17 Charlton Athletic 42 13 12 17 55 68 –13 38
18 Bristol Rovers 42 13 12 17 61 77 –16 38
19 Cardiff City 42 13 12 17 51 71 –20 38
20 Blackpool 42 12 13 17 59 60 –1 37
21 Mansfield Town 42 10 11 21 49 69 –20 31
22 Hull City 42 8 12 22 34 52 –18 28

Key: P = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

Results[edit]

Stoke's score comes first

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss

Football League Second Division[edit]

Match Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
1 20 August 1977 Mansfield Town A 1–2 14,077 Lindsay 88' (pen)
2 24 August 1977 Southampton H 1–0 13,867 Crooks 77'
3 27 August 1977 Burnley H 2–1 12,835 Lindsay 10' (pen), Crooks 80'
4 3 September 1977 Millwall A 0–0 9,679
5 10 September 1977 Sheffield United H 4–0 14,217 Gregory 26', Kendall 30', Lindsay 43' (pen), Crooks 60'
6 17 September 1977 Hull City A 0–0 9,126
7 24 September 1977 Sunderland H 0–0 18,820
8 1 October 1977 Bolton Wanderers A 1–1 20,799 Kendall 20'
9 4 October 1977 Oldham Athletic A 1–1 8,458 Smith 6'
10 8 October 1977 Crystal Palace H 0–2 17,749
11 15 October 1977 Brighton & Hove Albion H 1–0 16,290 Gregory 53'
12 22 October 1977 Blackburn Rovers A 1–2 10,221 Hird 31' (o.g.)
13 29 October 1977 Tottenham Hotspur H 1–3 21,012 Crooks 75'
14 5 November 1977 Cardiff City A 0–2 8,428
15 12 November 1977 Fulham H 2–0 14,155 Waddington 25', Crooks 40'
16 19 November 1977 Luton Town A 2–1 9,384 Kendall 26', Crooks 38'
17 26 November 1977 Blackpool H 1–2 15,132 Cook 90'
18 3 December 1977 Notts County A 0–2 9,309
19 10 December 1977 Bristol Rovers H 3–2 10,613 Richardson 2', Crooks 38', Kendall 82' (pen)
20 17 December 1977 Fulham A 0–3 8,014
21 26 December 1977 Charlton Athletic H 4–0 14,345 Busby 68', Crooks 72', Scott 73', Conroy 80'
22 27 December 1977 Orient A 0–2 6,192
23 31 December 1977 Southampton A 0–1 23,460
24 2 January 1978 Mansfield Town H 1–1 13,834 McGroarty 26'
25 14 January 1978 Burnley A 0–1 11,282
26 25 February 1978 Bolton Wanderers H 0–0 19,280
27 4 March 1978 Crystal Palace A 1–0 14,702 Busby 55'
28 8 March 1978 Hull City H 1–0 13,890 O'Callaghan 78'
29 11 March 1978 Brighton & Hove Albion A 1–2 24,797 Richardson 60'
30 14 March 1978 Sheffield United A 2–1 12,950 Kendall 39', Crooks 72'
31 18 March 1978 Blackburn Rovers H 4–2 18,989 Scott 55', Crooks (3) 66', 67', 90' (1 pen)
32 22 March 1978 Tottenham Hotspur A 1–3 30,646 Crooks 16'
33 25 March 1978 Orient H 5–1 14,595 Kendall 3', Crooks 9', Gregory 20', Waddington (2) 35', 73'
34 28 March 1978 Charlton Athletic A 2–3 7,956 O'Callaghan 30', Crooks 48'
35 1 April 1978 Cardiff City H 2–0 14,804 Waddington 5', O'Callaghan 32'
36 4 April 1978 Sunderland A 0–1 11,161
37 8 April 1978 Blackpool A 1–1 12,261 O'Callaghan 15'
38 12 April 1978 Millwall H 2–1 12,370 O'Callaghan 40', Crooks 66'
39 15 April 1978 Luton Town H 0–0 15,544
40 22 April 1978 Bristol Rovers A 1–4 8,182 Crooks 32'
41 26 April 1978 Oldham Athletic H 3–0 11,260 Kendall 44', O'Callaghan 70', Busby 80'
42 29 April 1978 Notts County H 1–1 13,789 Crooks 84'

FA Cup[edit]

Main article: 1977–78 FA Cup
Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
R3 7 January 1978 Tilbury H 4–0 16,301 Cook (2) 5', 85', Gregory 25', Waddington 29'
R4 6 February 1978 Blyth Spartans H 2–3 18,765 Busby 56', Crooks 58'

League Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
R2 29 August 1977 Bristol City A 0–1 17,872

Friendlies[edit]

Match Opponent Venue Result
1 Cádiz CF A 2–1
2 UD Salamanca A 0–2
3 Finn Harps A 2–1
4 Port Vale H 3–2
5 Stafford Rangers A 3–2
6 Thurles Town A 7–2

Squad statistics[edit]

Pos. Name League FA Cup League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Roger Jones 39 0 2 0 0 0 41 0
GK England Peter Shilton 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 0
DF England Alan Bloor 5(1) 0 1 0 1 0 7(1) 0
DF England Danny Bowers 6(1) 0 1 0 0 0 7(1) 0
DF England Alan Dodd 42 0 2 0 1 0 45 0
DF England Howard Kendall 42 7 2 0 1 0 45 7
DF England Paul Johnson 3(2) 0 0 0 0 0 3(2) 0
DF England Alec Lindsay 20 3 2 0 0 0 22 3
DF England John Lumsdon 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
DF England Jackie Marsh 34 0 2 0 1 0 37 0
DF England Geoff Scott 23(1) 2 2 0 0 0 25(1) 2
DF England Denis Smith 41 1 0 0 1 0 42 1
MF England Jeff Cook 5(3) 1 1(1) 2 0 0 6(4) 3
MF Republic of Ireland Terry Conroy 20(2) 1 1 0 0 0 21(2) 1
MF England David Gregory 22(1) 3 1 1 1 0 24(1) 4
MF England Adrian Heath 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0
MF England Paul Richardson 32(1) 2 0 0 1 0 33(1) 2
MF England Steve Waddington 36(2) 4 2 1 1 0 39(2) 5
FW South Africa Desmond Backos 1(1) 0 0 0 0 0 1(1) 0
FW England Viv Busby 21(1) 3 2 1 0 0 23(1) 4
FW England Garth Crooks 41(1) 18 1(1) 1 1 0 43(2) 19
FW England Dave Goodwin 4 0 0 0 1 0 5 0
FW Northern Ireland Jimmy McGroarty 3 1 0 0 0 0 3 1
FW Republic of Ireland Brendan O'Callaghan 13(2) 6 0 0 0 0 13(2) 6
FW England Geoff Salmons 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
FW England Dennis Thorley 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0
Own goals 1 0 0 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Matthews, Tony (1994). The Encyclopaedia of Stoke City. Lion Press. ISBN 0-9524151-0-0.