Yeovil Town Story Part 19
The Yeovil Town Story : Other Pages

THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 19

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SEASON 1954-55 : 'DOUBLE' SUCCESS COMES TO HUISH

After the dramatic improvement in the fortunes of the club under new manager Ike Clarke the season before, hopes were high for the 1954/55 campaign. These hopes were quickly dented, Yeovil losing 2-5 at home to Hereford United on the opening day of the season in front of 6,108 spectators which was followed three days later by a 0-3 defeat at Llanelly.

However, by early October Yeovil had moved to the top of the table following resounding home wins over Llanelly 4-0 (4,268), Chelmsford 5-0 (4,649), Bedford 4-1 (5,404) and Barry 7-1 (5,817). November brought Yeovil down with an almighty jolt, losing 1-3 at Barnstaple in the 4th Qualifying Round of the F.A. Cup. Meanwhile, plans were well underway to install floodlights at Huish.

Over Christmas, Yeovil played Kidderminster Harriers twice, losing 1-5 at Aggborough, but trounced the Worcestershire side 9-1 at Huish on Boxing Day, having held a slender 1-0 interval lead the Reserves also moved to the top of the Western League Division Two Table, following their 8-0 win over Peasdown Miners Welfare (1,676).

At the turn of the year, the first team were still top of the Southern League - 5 points clear of Gloucester City and 6 points clear of Guildford City. In a Reserve game at Taunton on 22nd January, Jimmy Hindle (who had broken his leg the previous March) was making his comeback - but tragedy struck again when he sustained another broken leg.

It was planned to open the new floodlights with a friendly game against Portsmouth on 21st February, 1955 but this game was postponed at the last minute and it fell to a Tottenham Hotspur XI to do the honours on Tuesday, 8th March. Spurs had nine players with first team experience in their team but Yeovil won 2-0 in front of 4,031 spectators.

The following week Portsmouth came to play the postponed match and won 4-0 in front of 8,052 spectators. Although floodlight football had really caught on in Yeovil, the club were to allowed to play any competitive games under lights until the end of March when they defeated Bath City in the Somerset Professional Cup, 3-1.

On 19th March, Yeovil's championship hopes received a set back when Weymouth won 4-3 at Huish in front of a 'gate' of 8,306 paying £596. This defeat also knocked Yeovil off the top of the table for the first time in over five months. They soon got their act together again to set up a grandstand finish to the last week of the season.

To older supporters, 5th May and 7th May, 1955, will stand out in their memory for ever. On those two days Yeovil did the 'double'. Tonbridge came to Huish to play the second leg of the Southern League Cup Final, the first leg at the Angel ground the previous week ending 0-0. Yeovil completely outplayed the Kent team to win and take the cup 3-1 (6,000). The Tonbridge goalscorer that day was Harry Robshaw, later destined to join Yeovil.

The stage was now set for the final game of the season on 7th May when 9,000 people turned up for the match against Hastings United, who were lying third in the table. Yeovil required one point to win their first ever Southern League Championship. Had Yeovil lost, Weymouth would have been champions and their players were sat in the Stand hoping for a Yeovil defeat. With only 15 minutes remaining. Yeovil were trailing 2-1. Jim Frazer collected the ball midway inside the Bruttons End. Then, just outside the penalty area, he unleashed a shot which flew past the goalkeeper and into the top left-hand corner of the net. Yeovil were the Champions!

The Somerset Professional Cup was also won and the Reserves gained promotion by winning the Western League Division Two Championship. Season 1954/55 was truly a great one for the club and the weekly wage bill of £230 plus bonuses and overheads of a further £100 was fully justified.

Link: 1954-55 First Team Fixtures And Results.

Link: 1954-55 First Team Scorers.

The double winning side of 1954-55
The double winning side of 1954-55.

Back Row (L-R): J. Stewart, I. Compton, C. Marsh, B. Grist (groundsman), W. Lunn, W. Brown, D. Pantling.
Third Row (L-R): P.A. Hardy (director), W. Muir, E.P. Blake (director), D. Rogers, J. Langford (trainer), B. Singleton, S. Abbott (trainer), K. Lewis, S. Pinder (director), D. Warren, L.H. Pearce (director).
Second Row (L-R): B. Edwards. E. Barber (director), M. Ryan, I. Rendall (director), J. McKay, E. Loney (director), J. Fraser, A.G. Goswell (director), M. Reid, G.E. Templeman (director), G. Dominey.
Front Row (L-R): R. Vincent (director), D. Topping, W.H. Farthing (chairman), E.C. Wheeldon (president), I. Clarke (manager), S. Johnson (past president), R.G. White (vice-chairman), M. Nagy, A.R. Lamb (director).

The Yeovil Town Story : Other Pages

THE YEOVIL TOWN STORY : PART 19

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