A Pictorial History

FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES

WEST HAM UNITED

Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved

theyflysohigh logo

1953-54 Football Combination

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE : Football Combination

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : Football Combination

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : Football Combination

NORWICH CITY : Football Combination

FULHAM : Football Combination

LEICESTER CITY : Football Combination

ARSENAL : Football Combination

CHELSEA : Football Combination

READING : Football Combination

IPSWICH TOWN : Football Combination

BOURNEMOUTH & BOSCOMBE ATHLETIC : Football Combination

PORTSMOUTH : Football Combination

FULHAM : Football Combination

CARDIFF CITY : Football Combination

NORWICH CITY : Football Combination

MILLWALL : Football Combination

LUTON TOWN : Football Combination

SORRY NO IMAGE

LEICESTER CITY : Football Combination

Home Park

0 - 2

2  January 1954

Taylor

Nelson W.

Cantwell

Parker

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Stroud

Gazzard

Musgrove

Upton Park

4 - 1 (Barrett, Gazzard, Kearns, Tucker)

16 January 1954

Chiswick

Nelson W.

Cantwell

Parker

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Kearns

Gazzard

Tucker

White Hart Lane

1 - 1 (Kearns)

23 January 1954

Chiswick

Nelson W.

Cantwell

Parker

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Kearns

Gazzard

Tucker

Carrow Road

2 - 1 (Barrett, Kearns)

30 January 1954

Taylor

Nelson W.

Cantwell

Parker

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Kearns

Blackburn

Musgrove

Upton Park

7 - 2 (Tucker 3, Kearns 2, Blackburn, Southren)

13 February 1954

Taylor

Nelson W.

Cantwell

McGowan

Brown

Noakes

Southren

Foan

Kearns

Blackburn

Tucker

Filbert Street

0 - 2

27 February 1954

Taylor

Nelson W.

Kinsell

Parker

Brown

Noakes

Southren

Barrett

Kearns

Foan

Tucker

Highbury

1 - 5 (Blackburn)

6 March 1954

Taylor

Wright

Kinsell

O'Farrell

Brown

Noakes

Southren

Barrett

Blackburn

McGowan

Tucker

Upton Park

2 - 1 (Barrett 2)

13 March 1954

Taylor

Wright

Nelson W.

Parker

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Stroud

Foan

Tucker

Elm Park

3 - 3 (Southren 2, Barrett)

20 March 1954

Taylor

Nelson W.

Hallas

Johnstone

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Dixon

Foan

Tucker

Upton Park

2 - 0 (Sexton, Tucker)

27 March 1954

Taylor

Nelson W.

Hallas

Bing

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Sexton

Kearns

Blackburn

Tucker

Dean Court

0 - 4

3 April 1954

Taylor

Nelson W.

Hallas

Bing

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Sexton

Kearns

Gunning

Tucker

Upton Park

3 - 1 (Blackburn, Kearns, [og])

10 April 1954

Taylor

Bond

Nelson W.

Noakes

Brown

O'Farrel

lSouthren

Foan

Kearns

Blackburn

Tucker

Craven Cottage

4 - 1 (Kearns 2, Sexton 2)

16 April 1954

Taylor

Wright

Nelson W.

Noakes

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Sexton

Kearns

Blackburn

Tucker

Ninian Park

1 - 1 (Sexton)

17 April 1954

Taylor

Wright

Nelson W.

Noakes

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Sexton

Kearns

Blackburn

Tucker

Upton Park

3 - 0 (Kearns 2, Tucker [pen])

19 April 1954

Taylor

Wright

Nelson W.

Noakes

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Barrett

Kearns

Blackburn

Tucker

Upton Park

3 - 1 (Kearns 2, Sexton)

24 April 1954

Taylor

Wright

Cooper

Noakes

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Sexton

Kearns

Blackburn

Tucker

Kenilworth Road

1 - 2 (Dixon)

28 April 1954

Taylor

Wright

Hallas

Johnstone

Brown

Noakes

Wragg

Sexton

Dixon

Blackburn

Musgrove

Upton Park

4 - 6 (Kearns 2, Blackburn, Tucker)

29 April 1954

Taylor

Wright

Nelson W.

Noakes

Brown

O'Farrell

Southren

Foan

Kearns

Blackburn

Tucker

54_01_02 Plymouth Argyle v. WHU Reserves 54_01_16 WHU v. Tottenham Hotspur Reserves 01 54_01_23 Tottenham Hotspur v. WHU Reserves 54_02_27 Leicester City v. WHU Reserves 54_02_13 WHU v. Fulham Reserves 54_03_06 Arsenal v. WHU Reserves 54_03_13 WHU v. Chelsea Reserves 01 54_03_20 Reading v. WHU Reserves 54_03_27 WHU v. Ipswich Town Reserves 01 54_04_10 WHU v. Portsmouth Reserves 01 54_04_16 Fulham v. WHU Reserves 54_04_19 WHU v. Norwich City Reserves 01 54_04_24 WHU v. Millwall Reserves 01 54_04_28 Luton Town v. WHU Reserves 54_04_29 WHU v. Leicester City Reserves 01 1952-53 Reserves 1954-55 Reserves Season 1953-54 54_04_17 Cardiff City v. WHU Reserves 54_04_03 Bournemouth v. WHU Reserves

Our Reserves were not so fortunate in their match at Home Park against Plymouth, losing a hard game by 2-0.

The only consolation and comfort we could take from the game was in seeing Roy Stroud and Noel Cantwel! successfully emerge from trials following their recent injuries.

A first-minute goal by the Spurs came when Harmer sent the ball through to Marchi; Chiswick. challenged the centre-forward and the ball rebounded to outside-right Pruden for the latter to net. That proved to be one of the few occasions when the Spurs were really in the game, for it was nearly all Wt;t Ham attacks after that. Our inside-forwards opened up the game completely, and although we had two good claim, for penalty-kicks ignored we succeeded in drawing level after 30 minutes when Barrett hit a through pass from Parker first time to score with a fine shot. Half-time 1-1.

Within five minutes of the start of the second-half we went ahead; Gazzard was fouled inside the penalty-area and Tucker made no mistake with the spot-kick. Then Parker forced a corner, took the kick himself and sent over a fine pass for Kearns to score a brilliant goal with his head. Finally, with about ten minutes to go Gazzard made a dash through on the left and completely deceived Ward from an angle to set the seal on our 4-1 victory; a margin which might easily have been doubled.

This sound defeat of our nearest rivals for Combination honours has considerably enhanced our prospects of completing the Combination Cup and league, "double."

At Carrow Road we gained both points on a surface covered by about three inches of snow. Barrett gave us a half-time lead with a goal after 20 mintues play but the homesters equalised with a speculative  "swerver"  from the touchline in the seond-half before Kearns made it 2-1 in our favour by netting from Southren's rebound off the 'keeper  with ten minutes to play.

For the second time this season Fulham Reserves sustained a crushing defeat at Upton Park, on this occasion, the Cottagers could count themselves distinctly unfortunate to be so heavily overcome, for they were not so greatly inferior, and indeed could fairly claim that for long spells they played the better soccer.

When Kearns headed home Southren's cross-pass in the first minute we had visions of a big score in our favour, especially as we forced seven corners in the first 25 minutes. However, having weathered this onslaught the visitors temporarily shattered our hopes by adding to their 13th minute breakaway equaliser when Newcombe made another fine run to make it 2-1; it seemed they would hold this lead at the interval, but Tucker charged Hart over the line following Southren's corner to level the score at 2-2 three minutes from half-time.

The second-half opened with several scoring threats by both sides, and we felt that we did deserve a penalty when the ball struck a defender's hand whilst he was on the goal-line, but it was not until the 70th minute that Tucker drove home from the 18-yard line to put us ahead. Within three minutes Blackburn crashed in our fourth tally after a Tucker-Kearns move for his first Combination goal and then in the 81 st minute Tucker completed his "hat-trick" with another 15-yarder. Two minutes later Blackburn chased a loose ball, passed to Tucker—and Kearns headed his second from the winger's cross-pass; then in the last minute Southren went through on his own for the final counter to round off an entertaining afternoon.

Missed opportunities cost our Reserves a couple of points against Leicester City, at Filbert Street Ground, for although they played good mid-field soccer their finishing was sadly lacking. From start to finish it was a tale of "what might have been," and the Blues were quick to avenge their previous defeat here in the Combination Cup Semi-Final. They scored mid-way through the second half to take the lead and added another two minutes from time.

Our only "consolation" was that on the same afternoon the Spurs' Reserves lost by the only goal at Fulham whilst Luton Town Reserves dropped a point in sharing two goals at Norwich. Thus we still head the table.

We took the initiative at the start and were quickly ahead through a goal by Blackburn, who crashed a left-foot shot home from Tucker's pass; the same player nearly netted again shortly afterwards, his header from a cross-pass by Kinsell hitting the bar. Maintaining this constant pressure we were still denied an increased lead when shots by O'Farrell and McGowan were both headed off the line with the goalkeeper beaten, but it appeared that sooner or later we must add a second tally. However, such was not to be, for the Gunners weathered the storm and then scored two goals in five minutes before the interval to take a half-time lead.

The second-half was very keen and we looked as if we might well save a point until the homesters went further in front with about 17 minutes to go. This started a spate of scoring that brought them three goals in a dozen minutes— and it was a very disappointed Hammers' side that left the field with a 5-1 score against it, as with a little extra fortune in the opening period the margin might easily have been reversed.

Although our margin of victory was only 2-1 we dominated the majority of the play; but the visiting 'keeper kept us at bay until halfway through the first half making especially good saves from Foan, Tucker and Barrett. However, the latter player finally gave us the lead, only for the Pensioners to equalise within ten minutes of half-time, their centre-forward heading home a cross-pass from the right-wing.

The interval score was 1-1, and both teams went hard at it upon the resumption, no quarter being asked or given. Our inside-forwards and wing-halves continued to play well and open up the game, so it was no surprise when Stroud and Barrett combined for Barrett to slip the ball past the keeper to net his second goal about 20 minutes from time.

This victory has strengthened our position at the head of the table, as Luton Town dropped a home point to Bournemouth and the Spurs lost by 3-1 at Plymouth. However, one " dark horse'" we may have to watch is Arsenal, for the Gunners' second-string has been meeting with a run of success lately and are moving up the table even though they are still several points in arrears.

Our Reserve Team that visited Reading showed considerable alteration from the line-up of !ate, and included in the XI were two youngsters making their debut in Combination soccer. These were Geoff Hallas (who signed pro in early February) and Bobby Johnstone who became a Hammer less than 12 months ago; both newcomers played their part nobly in a 3-3 drawn game, and it is obvious that with a little more experience these players will easily "make the grade."

Having the better of the exchanges we took an early lead when Southren scored, but the homesters came back to level it up. Once more Southren put us ahead and we well-earned the half-time 2-1 margin, but unfortunately seemed to ease off after the resumption which allowed the Iliscuit-men to gain a 3-2 advantage. Then with but ten minutes to go, Barrett netted to make it 3-3 and bring a fair result. On the whole it was a rather drab game spoiled by the cloggy conditions, and although there were half-a-dozen goals these were the only higniights from the spectators' viewpoint.

A 2-0 home victory over Ipswich Town Reserves was the means of our second-string strengthening therr position at the head of the Combination, for although present runners-up Luton Town gained a 4-0 home win against Cardiff City, third-place "dark horses" Arsenal succumbed by the only goal against the Spurs at White Hart Lane.

We thus improved our hopes of gaining that elusive "cup and League" double in the Combination.

Our task against Ipswich was not easy, for they belied their lowly place in the table and put up a very stern fight before goals by Tucker and Sexton ended their hopes. Tucker's goal was an individualistic effort after a through pass from Blackburn and sufficed to give us an interval lead; Sexton's success was also well deserved, for he weaved his way through the defence to score with a " blaster " from a very acute angle, when the visiting rearguard was apparently expecting him to attempt a pass to one of our other well-marked forwards.

We were deposed from the leadership of Division I of the Combination for the first time since we went to the head of the table after the Christmas holidays. At that time it was the Spurs" Reserves whom we replaced on the the topmost rung, but it is Luton Town whom we now find at the head of the championship race with a two-point lead over ourselves but having played two games more. Our other nearest rivals-the Arsenal—slipped up by dropping a home point to Leicester City, and losing to Cardiff City at Ninian Park.

One direct contribution to our "fall from grace" last week-end was a 4-0 defeat at Dean Court by Bournemouth Reserves. The game almost defies description as far as we are concerned, with the Hammers playing all the football and the Cherries scoring all the goals. Our team mounted attack after attack on the homesters' territory following excellent approach-work, but with the assistance of the woodwork (which was struck three times) and some near-misses our opponents retained a clear sheet. At the other end the Seasiders made sporadic breakaways and netted two goals in each half by taking the majority of the small number of opportunities presented to them.

The home officials were completely surprised by the margin of their success, for they stated that we were among the best two or three visiting teams seen on their enclosure this season and like us they could hardly understand the reason for our complete non-success.

At Upton Park a 3 1 victory over Portsmouth Reserves kept our Reserve XI in second place in the Combination table. In a hard-fought match two shots by Kearns (the first following good work by Tucker; the second after a through puss by Blackburn, the ball being deflected into the net by a defender) and another good shot by Blackburn (nicely taken from a Southren comer) resulting in our goals. In the other vital championship match in this competition Luton beat Arsenal 5 3 at Kenilworth Road to retain their two-point lead, but our Reserves have two games in hand.

For the opening game of the holiday programme at Craven Cottage went all out from the start and  took a 2-1 half-time lead and ended up as worthy winners by 4-1, thus virtually sealing the fate of the Cottagers who will feature in Division II of the competition next season. Keams and Sexton each netted twice, but as we also hit the woodwork three times it needs little more than that fact to show how superior we were on the afternoon's play.

The same side made the journey to Cardiff on Friday noon to meet the City Reserves at Ninian Park. Here again the woodwork intervened on our opponents' behalf, and it was struck on no less than five occasions by Hammers' efforts. Added to this we were disallowed a goal when the referee changed his decision after consulting a linesman; from our viewpoint we were "robbed." for the Bluebirds' full-back appeared to be standing on the line with his right foot whilst his left leg hooked the bail back. However, we did gain one point through Sexton's successful effort as the homesters had gone ahead in the first minute of the game; this made the merit of our performance even more enhanced, and to say we had 75% of the play would be no exaggeration.

Monday afternoon's game was at home to Norwich City Reserves: we made one change - Barrett for Sexton. By half-time we were three up through goals by Kearns (2) and Tucker (penalty), and it was a case of "cruising home" after the interval. It might have been an even more pronounced victory had not Nelson pulled a muscle in the second-half, and we fee! that mention should be made of Tucker's performance in deputising for him at left-back alter this mishap - it was "one out of the book;" well done. Ken!                        

Actually our winning of the championship was decided much earlier than we had anticipated, for we did not look for Luton Town Reserves to be defeated at home last Saturday; however, Reading were fighting to avoid one of the last four places that bring relegation to Division II, and they gained a 3-2 victory at Kenilworth Road in their efforts to get out of that zone. As our own chaps notched a 3-1 win here against Millwall that put us in an unassailable position before facing Luton Town in our next fixture.

1953-54 Football Combination

West Ham United

Football Combination Champions & Combination Cup Winners