1914–15 Watford F.C. season

Watford
1914–15 season
Stadium Cassio Road
Southern League First Division 1st
FA Cup Sixth qualifying round (eliminated by Rochdale)
Southern Charity Cup First round (eliminated by Luton Town)
Top goalscorer League: George Edmonds (17)
All: George Edmonds (17)
Highest home attendance 8,000 (vs Luton Town, 2 April 1915)
Lowest home attendance 1,000 (vs Southend United, 3 February 1915)
Home colours

Watford Football Club are an association football team from the county of Hertfordshire, England. The 191415 season was their nineteenth season of league football, since joining the Southern League as West Hertfordshire for the 189697 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 191920 title on goal average by Portsmouth.[5]

Background

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 20 win over QPR. Despite a 100 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 191415 included David Donald, Billy Dryden and Tommy Mitchell.[6]

Southern League

Despite Britain's declaration of war in August 1914, the Southern League continued as normal for the 191415 season. Watford started their campaign on 2 September with a 21 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 30 home win against 191314 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 20 defeat to West Ham United and a heavy 60 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 32 win at Gillingham.[2]

Results

Legend

  Win   Draw   Loss

[11]

2 September 1914 Watford 21 Cardiff City Cassio Road
Ronald
White
Attendance: 1,500
5 September 1914 Portsmouth 23 Watford Fratton Park

Edmonds
Ronald
White
Attendance: 7,000
12 September 1914 Watford 30 Swindon Town Cassio Road
Edmonds
White
own goal
Attendance: 3,000
16 September 1914 Watford 00 Brighton & Hove Albion Cassio Road
Attendance: 1,500
19 September 1914 Southend United 00 Watford Kursaal
Attendance: 4,000
26 September 1914 Watford 22 QPR Cassio Road
Edmonds
Hastings

Attendance: 5,000
3 October 1914 Millwall 03 Watford The Den
Tattersall Attendance: 15,000
10 October 1914 Watford 20 Bristol Rovers Cassio Road
Val Gregory
Ronald
Attendance: 3,000
24 October 1914 Watford 01 Reading Cassio Road
Attendance: 5,000
4 November 1914 First round Luton Town 20 Watford Kenilworth Road

7 November 1914 Watford 00 Northampton Town Cassio Road
Attendance: 6,000
14 November 1914 Watford 10 Crystal Palace Cassio Road
Hastings
28 November 1914 Watford 01 West Ham United Cassio Road
5 December 1914 Norwich City 20 Watford The Nest (football ground)

Attendance: 3,000
12 December 1914 Watford 40 Gillingham Cassio Road
McLauchlan
Waterall
Attendance: 2,500
19 December 1914 Sixth qualifying round Rochdale 20 Watford Spotlands

Attendance: 4,000
25 December 1914 Watford 11 Exeter City Cassio Road
McLauchlan Attendance: 2,000
26 December 1914 Exeter City 41 Watford St James Park



Hastings Attendance: 6,000
1 January 1915 Cardiff City 23 Watford Ninian Park

Edmonds
Green
Tattersall
Attendance: 1,900
2 January 1915 Watford 21 Portsmouth Cassio Road
Edmonds Attendance: 3,000
23 January 1915 Reading 11 Watford Elm Park
White
3 February 1915 Watford 21 Southend United Cassio Road
Ronald
own goal
Attendance: 1,000
13 February 1915 Bristol Rovers 23 Watford Eastville Stadium

Edmonds
Green
Attendance: 1,000
20 February 1915 Watford 30 Croydon Common Cassio Road
Hastings
Ronald
Attendance: 3,000
27 February 1915 Watford 40 Millwall Cassio Road
Edmonds
Green
Hastings
Ronald
Attendance: 3,000
6 March 1915 Watford 52 Southampton Cassio Road
Green
Hastings
Kennedy
Ronald
Tattersall

18 March 1915 QPR 25 Watford Loftus Road

Edmonds
Green
Val Gregory
Tattersall
Attendance: 5,000
27 March 1915 Watford 20 Plymouth Argyle Cassio Road
Edmonds
Tattersall
Attendance: 3,000
2 April 1915 Watford 24 Luton Town Cassio Road
Kennedy
Ronald



Attendance: 8,000
3 April 1915 West Ham United 20 Watford Boleyn Ground

Attendance: 10,000
6 April 1915 Swindon Town 60 Watford County Ground





Attendance: 1,000
10 April 1915 Watford 21 Norwich City Cassio Road
Edmonds
Kennedy

Final standings

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 191920 season.[11]

TeamPWDLFAGAPts
1Watford38228868461.47852
2Reading382171068431.58149
3Cardiff City382241272381.89548
4West Ham United381891158471.23445
5Northampton Town3816111156511.09843
6Southampton381951478741.05443
7Portsmouth3816101254421.28642
8Millwall London3816101250510.9842
9Swindon Town3815111277591.30541
10Brighton & Hove Albion381671546470.97939
11Exeter City381581550411.2238
12QPR3813121355560.98238
13Norwich City3811141353560.94636
14Luton Town381381761730.83634
15Crystal Palace London381381747610.7734
16Bristol Rovers381432153750.70731
17Plymouth Argyle388141651610.83630
18Southend United381082044640.68828
19Croydon Common38992047630.74627
20Gillingham38682443830.51820

Players

Statistics

Key

P: Games played

G: Goals scored

Name Position P G P G P G
League Cups Total
Bob Barnshaw Centre half 11000110
Harold Bulling Full back 35020370
George Edmonds Centre forward 3517103617
Albert Green Inside forward 23800238
Fred Gregory Full back / Wing half 38220402
Val Gregory Wing half 32310333
Ernie Grimsdell Full back 100010
William Hastings Outside forward 34620366
Sam Hatton Full back 001010
Jim Kennedy Centre half 32320343
James McGuire Outside forward 300030
Joe McLauchlan Centre forward 632083
F.A. McMorran Wing half 601070
Peter Ronald Inside forward 35910369
Alex Stewart Full back 37010380
Tommy Waterall Outside forward 3310203510
Charlie White Inside forward 19420214
Skilly Williams Goalkeeper 38020400

References

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. 1 2 3 4 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. 1 2 Watford Season by Season p. 59
  7. 1 2 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. 1 2 3 Watford Season by Season p. 60
  12. Dinant Abbink; Richard Rundle (24 July 2005). "England: Southern League final tables". RSSSF. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
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