1914–15 Stoke F.C. season

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Stoke
1914–15 season
Chairman Mr E. Reynish
Manager Peter Hodge
Stadium Victoria Ground
Southern League Division Two 1st (38 points)
FA Cup Third Qualifying Round
Top goalscorer League: Arthur Watkin (24)
All: Arthur Watkin (31)
Highest home attendance 8,000 vs Brentford (25 December 1914)
Lowest home attendance 3,000 vs Swansea Town (17 September 1914)
Average home league attendance 4,625
Home colours

The 1914–15 season was Stoke's sixth and final season in the Southern Football League.

After the resignation of chairman Hurst and manager Alfred Barker, the board elected Mr E. Reynish as the new chairman and brought in Scotsman Peter Hodge as the club's new manager.[1] With war on the horizon, there was debate as to whether football should be cancelled; it wasn't, but a number of clubs in the Southern League Division Two withdrew, claiming it to be unpatriotic.[1] Stoke had a good season and won the division with 38 points, which prompted the club to seek re-election to the Football League. They were successful in their efforts and after seven seasons Stoke could finally reclaim their place in the Football League.[1] However, at the end of the season the league was indeed cancelled due to the war and Stoke would have to wait until 1919 to play league football.[1]

Season review[edit]

League[edit]

The 1914–15 season opened up against the backdrop of World War I and there was a lot of debate to whether the football should continue.[1] The season started but after a number of games several clubs resigned from the Southern League claiming it to be unpatriotic.[1] These teams were Caerphilly, Leyton, Mardy and Abertillery.[1] Their records were expunged and results against these clubs were void.[1]

Stoke, now under the management of 39-year-old Peter Hodge the former boss of Raith Rovers, led the Division from virtually from the start.[1] There was a familiar feeling to the squad with Dick Hope and Fred McCarthy the only players to come from outside the local area.[1] Two departures in 1914 were William Smith whose long term leg injury got the better of him and skipper Ernest Mullineux.[1] An impressive start was made to the 1914–15 season and a draw against Brentford on Christmas Day was only the third point Stoke had dropped.[1] Stoke went on to comfortably claim the league title. There was also the emergence of Arthur Watkin who top scored with 24 league goals.[1]

Stoke's success prompted them to apply for election to the Football League at the annual general meeting held on 19 July 1915.[1] The bottom two clubs Leicester Fosse and Glossop North End, were obliged to seek re-election, but Glossop only secured one vote, while Stoke took 21 and saw them duly re-instated in the league.[1] Later on in the meeting it was also announced that the League would be cancelled due to World War I and Stoke would have to wait longer to re-claim their place in the Football League.[1]

FA Cup[edit]

Stoke recorded their largest FA Cup victory this season an 11–0 victory over Stourbridge albeit in the preliminary round.[1] Stoke went on to beat Birmingham Corporation Tramways and Brierley Hill Alliance before losing to Walsall.[1]

Final league table[edit]

Pos Club P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Stoke 24 17 4 3 62 15 4.133 38
2 Stalybridge Celtic 24 17 3 4 47 22 2.136 37
3 Merthyr Town 24 15 5 4 46 20 2.300 35
4 Swansea Town 24 16 1 7 48 21 2.285 33
5 Coventry City 24 13 2 9 56 33 1.696 28
6 Ton Pentre 24 11 6 7 42 43 0.976 28
7 Brentford 24 8 7 9 35 45 0.777 23
8 Llanelly 24 10 1 13 39 32 1.218 21
9 Barry 24 6 5 13 30 35 0.857 17
10 Newport County 24 7 3 14 27 42 0.642 17
11 Ponytpridd 24 5 6 13 31 58 0.534 16
12 Mid Rhondda 24 3 6 15 17 49 0.346 12
13 Ebbw Vale 24 3 1 20 23 88 0.261 7

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

Results[edit]

Stoke's score comes first

Legend[edit]

Win Draw Loss

Southern Football League Division Two[edit]

Match Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
1 12 September 1914 Coventry City A 3–1 2,000 McCarthy, Herbert, Hargreaves
2 17 September 1914 Swansea Town H 1–0 3,000 McCarthy
3 19 September 1914 Ebbw Vale A 1–0 2,000 Hargreaves
4 22 September 1914 Barry H 2–0 5,000 Tempest, Jones
5 3 October 1914 Ton Pentre H 4–1 5,000 McCarthy, Parker, Watkin (2)
6 17 October 1914 Stalybridge Celtic A 0–1 4,000
7 21 October 1914 Merthyr Town H 4–0 5,000 McCarthy, Herbert, Tempest, Bradley
8 14 November 1914 Llanelli H 3–1 4,000 Watkin (3)
9 21 November 1914 Pontypridd A 1–0 2,000 Watkin
10 28 November 1914 Mid Rhondda H 8–0 4,000 Watkin (3), A Smith, Tempest, D Smith (2), Holmes (o.g.)
11 5 December 1914 Newport County A 1–0 3,000 Watkin
12 12 December 1914 Pontypridd H 5–0 4,000 Watkin (2), D Smith (2), Murray (o.g.)
13 25 December 1914 Brentford A 2–2 3,000 D Smith (2)
14 26 December 1914 Brentford H 3–0 8,000 Jones, A Smith, Watkin
15 9 January 1915 Newport County H 3–1 3,500 Watkin, Tempest, Hargreaves
16 16 January 1915 Coventry City H 5–1 5,000 Watkin (3), Tempest, A Smith
17 23 January 1915 Barry A 0–0 2,000
18 6 February 1915 Ton Pentre A 1–0 1,000 D Smith
19 6 March 1915 Merthyr Town A 0–0 3,000
20 13 March 1915 Stalybridge Celtic H 1–1 6,000 Watkin
21 20 March 1915 Llanelli A 2–1 2,000 Watkin, Jones
22 3 April 1915 Mid Rhondda A 2–4 1,000 D Smith (2)
23 5 April 1915 Ebbw Vale H 10–0 3,000 D Smith, A Smith (4), Watkin (5)
24 24 April 1915 Swansea Town A 0–1 4,000

FA Cup[edit]

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorers
PR 26 September 1914 Stourbridge H 11–0 1,500 Herbert (2), Watkin (5), Hargreaves, McCarthy (3)
1QR 10 October 1914 Birmingham Corporation Tramways A 3–2 1,000 Parker, Watkin (2)
2QR 24 October 1914 Brierley Hill Alliance H 1–0 2,000 McCarthy
3QR 7 November 1914 Walsall A 0–1 3,500

Squad statistics[edit]

Pos. Name League FA Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Bert Gadsden 6 0 2 0 8 0
GK England Richard Herron 18 0 2 0 20 0
DF England Alec Milne 24 0 4 0 28 0
DF England George Turner 24 1 4 0 28 1
MF England Sam Baddeley 1 0 1 0 2 0
MF England James Bradley 18 1 4 0 22 1
MF Wales Joe Jones 24 3 3 0 27 3
MF England Charlie Parker 22 1 4 1 26 2
MF England Stan Ripley 1 0 0 0 1 0
FW England Tom Bailey 6 0 0 0 6 0
FW England Reg Forester 0 0 1 0 1 0
FW England Henry Hargreaves 23 4 4 1 27 5
FW Scotland Dick Hope 2 0 0 0 2 0
FW England Billy Herbert 7 2 4 2 11 4
FW England Fred McCarthy 7 5 3 4 10 9
FW England Alf Smith 18 7 0 0 18 7
FW England Dick Smith 17 10 0 0 17 10
FW England Billy Tempest 24 6 4 0 28 6
FW England Billy Tompkinson 1 0 0 0 1 0
FW England Arthur Watkin 20 24 4 7 24 31
Own goals 2 0 2

References[edit]

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