The 1948/49 season marked Yeovil Town's silver jubilee as a professional club. Manager
Alec Stock had been busy in the close season recruiting the likes of right-half Arthur Keeton
from Torquay United, centre-half Les Blizzard from Bournemouth, right-winger Billy Hamilton
from Chester, centre-forward Eric Bryant from Mansfield Town, inside-left Ray Wright from
Exeter City and left-winger Jack Hargreaves (the former Bristol City player) from Reading.
With nine points gained from the first five matches in the Southern League, the campaign
started encouragingly. Even so, few could have dreamed of the universal acclaim that was to
come the Club's way later in the season during a sensational run in the F.A. Cup.
The F.A. Cup run started on 13th November, when Yeovil Town travelled to Newport to play
Lovell's Athletic. Yeovil were trailing 2-0 at half-time, but a Lovell's defender then tried
to pass the ball back to his goalkeeper from fifteen yards out only to mis-kick it, fiercely,
the ball zipping into the roof of the net; a fine, unstoppable shot! Yeovil went on to win 3-2,
but most of the 1,200 in the crowd went home feeling that little more would be heard of
Yeovil in the F.A. Cup that season on the form shown that day.
In the First Round Proper, Yeovil were drawn at home to Romford from the Isthmian League.
Romford had won through from the Preliminary Round of the competition and had defeated
Gillingham in the previous round. In fact, they came to Yeovil having won all their last
ten games and brought 1,500 supporters to help swell the 'gate' to 8,638. Goals from Bryant,
Hamilton and Hargreaves put Yeovil well ahead at half-time; Bryant scored again ten minutes
from the end to complete the rout.
In the Second Round, Yeovil Town were drawn away to old rivals Weymouth (then in the
Western League) in an all-ticket match which drew just under 12,000 spectators who paid 1/- to
stand on the terraces. A special train to Weymouth was arranged at a fare of 3/9d. When the
draw was announced, Alec Stock must have known something, for he said: "We are convinced this
is 'Our Year' as far as the Cup is concerned".
On the day, Yeovil proved far superior to Weymouth and again won 4-0. Bryant scored twice
before half-time, with wingers Hamilton and Hargreaves scoring in the second half.
Yeovil Town had once again reached the Third Round, this time to be drawn at home to
Bury from the Second Division. The match was played on 8th January, 1949, and attracted a
crowd of 13,315 with the eyes of the nation watching the last Non-league side left in the
competition. The cameras of Gaumont British News were also at the ground.
The game itself was exciting, but the issue was never in doubt. Bury were a curious
mixture of nerves and complacency, with Yeovil physically and mentally tough. Yeovil took
the lead in the seventh minute through a Hargreaves header and Massart replied for Bury
after nineteen minutes. Then, just before half-time, Wright put Yeovil in front again.
Hamilton got Yeovil's third midway through the second half to put the issue beyond doubt.
The celebrations started immediately and the crowd did not even begin to move away until
an hour later, after Alec Stock had spoken to them over the loudspeakers. He thanked them
for the wonderful support ... and only then did they begin to drift away. Besides, it was
Link: 1948-49 First Team Fixtures And Results.
Link: 1948-49 First Team Scorers.