A Pictorial History

FOOTBALL PROGRAMMES

WEST HAM UNITED

Steve Marsh & Stuart Allen

Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved

theyflysohigh logo

1954-55 Eastern Counties League

Manager: ?

GREAT YARMOUTH TOWN : Eastern Counties League

Wellesley Reecreation Ground

1 - 2 (Musgrove)

21 August 1954

Codd T.

Nelson W.

Hallas

Johnstone

Nelson A.

Noakes

Fenn

Matthews

Chapman

Walker

Musgrove

PETERBOROUGH UNITED : Eastern Counties League (First Round)

London Road

1 - 3 (Johnstone)

28 August 1954

Codd T.

Cooper

Hallas

Johnstone

Nelson A.

Noakes

Fenn

Matthews

Chapman

Smith J.

Musgrove

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR : Eastern Counties League

Cheshunt

2 - 3 (Harris, Walker)

1 September 1954

Rhodes

Cooper

Hallas

Johnstone

Nelson A.

Noakes

Musgrove

Harris J.

Chapman

Walker

McDonald T.

ARSENAL : Eastern Counties League

Upton Park

6 - 2 (Dixon 2, Stroud 2, Chapman, Wragg)

4 September 1954

Rhodes

Ling

Cooper

Johnstone

Walker

Noakes

Wragg

Chapman

Stroud

Smith J.

Dixon

MARCH TOWN : Eastern Counties League

G.E.R. Sports Ground

0 - 5

7 September 1954

Rhodes

Cooper

Cantwell

Johnstone

Nelson A.

Noakes

Musgrove

Chapman

Arnott

Smith J.

McDonald T.

STOWMARKET : Eastern Counties League

Cricket Meadow

0 - 0

11 September 1954

Rhodes

Cooper

Hallas

Johnstone

Nelson A.

Noakes

Wragg

Matthews

Chapman

Walker

Halley

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 'A' : Eastern Counties League

Upton Park

0 - 0

18 September 1954

Gregory

Ling

Cooper

Johnstone

Nelson A.

Walker

Wragg

Chapman

Dixon

Matthews

McDonald T.

ARSENAL 'A' : Eastern Counties League

Hendon

0 - 5

22 September 1954

Gregory

Ling

Chapman

Pattison H.

Dixon

Nelson A.

Barrick

Smith J.

Stroud

Paisley

McDonald T.

BURY TOWN : Eastern Counties League

Kings Road Ground

0 - 1

2 October 1954

Chiswick

Cooper

Hallas

Johnstone

Nelson A.

Taylor

Wragg

Matthews

Chapman

Smith J.

Dixon

CRITTALL ATHLETIC : Eastern Counties League

Cressing Road

0 - 2

16 October 1954

Chiswick

Cooper

Dixon

Lansdowne

Nelson W.

Hallas

Stroud

Arnott

Wragg

Chapman

Colfor R,

CLACTON TOWN : Eastern Counties League

Old Road Ground

1 - 5 (Arnott)

23 October 1954

Rhodes

Chapman

Cooper

Lansdowne

Johnstone

Taylor

Walker

Fenn

Arnott

Matthews

McDonald T.

COLCHESTER UNITED : Eastern Counties League

Layer Road

2 - 2 (Dixon, Johnstone)

30 October 1954

Clish

Ling

Hallas

Johnstone

Walker

Lansdowne

Wragg

Arnott

Dixon

Berry

Tucker

STOWMARKET : Eastern Counties League

Cricket Meadow

0 - 2

13 November 1954

Rhodes

Cooper

Hallas

Johnstone

Nelson A.

Noakes

Wragg

Matthews

Chapman

Walker

Haley

COLCHESTER UNITED : Eastern Counties League

Layer Road

2 - 1 (Tucker, Wragg)

20 November 1954

Chiswick

Cooper

Hallas

Johnstone

Lansdowne

Noakes

Wragg

Arnott

Chapman

Matthews

Tucker

PETERBOROUGH UNITED : Eastern Counties League

London Road

1 - 1 (Arnott)

27 November 1954

Chiswick

Cooper

Hallas

Taylor

Walker

Lansdowne

Wragg

Arnott

Chapman

Matthews

Haley

CAMBRIDGE UNITED : Eastern Counties League

Abbey Stadium

1 - 0 (Chapman)

4 December 1954

Clish

Cooper

Hallas

Lansdowne

Nelson W.

Noakes

McDonald

Arnott

Chapman

Matthews

Haley

LOWESTOFT TOWN : Eastern Counties League

Crown Meadow

1 - 1 (Lansdowne)

11 December 1954

Clish

Cooper

Hallas

Johnstone

Walker

Chappin

Chapman

Arnott

Lansdowne

Matthews

Haley

CLACTON TOWN : Eastern Counties League

Old Road Ground

1 - 0 (Arnott)

18 December 1954

Clish

Cooper

Hallas

Johnstone

Walker

Lansdowne

Wragg

Arnott

Stroud

Matthews

Haley

EYNESBURY ROVERS : Eastern Counties League

Alfred Hall Memorial Ground

1 - 3 (Stroud)

8 Janaury 1955

Clish

Cooper

Nelson W.

Johnstone

Walker

Lansdowne

Wragg

Arnott

Stroud

Matthews

Haley

GREAT YARMOUTH TOWN : Eastern Counties League

Wellesley Recreation Ground

1 - 1 (Arnott)

15 January 1955

Clish

Cooper

Nelson W.

Johnstone

Walker

Lansdowne

Chapman

Arnott

Stroud

Franklyn

Haley

CHELMSFORD CITY RESERVES : Eastern Counties League

New Writtle Street

4 - 2 (Arnott 2, Brown, Haley)

22 January 1955

Clish

Chapman

Nelson W.

Cooper

Walker

Lansdowne

Fenn

Arnott

Brown

Matthews

Haley

CAMBRIDGE UNITED : Eastern Counties League

Abbey Stadium

2 - 3 (Arnott, Haley)

5 February 1955

Clish

Cooper

Nelson W.

Johnstone

Walker

Lansdowne

Stroud

Arnott

Chapman

Matthews

Haley

EYNESBURY ROVERS : Eastern Counties League

Alfred Hall Memorial Ground

1 - 2 (Stroud)

12 February 1955

Clish

Walker

Nelson W.

Cooper

Nelson A.

Noakes

Stroud

Arnott

Dixon

Matthews

Haley

HARWICH & PARKESTON : Eastern Counties League

Royal Oak Ground

3 - 0 Stroud 2, Wragg)

26 February 1955

Clish

Chapman

Cooper

Smith J.

Walker

Noakes

Wragg

Arnott

Stroud

Matthews

Haley

CHELMSFORD CITY : Eastern Counties League

New Writtle Street

4 - 1 (Arnott 2, Brown, Matthews)

5 March 1955

Clish

Cooper

Chapman

Bing

Brown

Noakes

Franklyn

Arnott

Stroud

Matthews

Haley

CRITTALL ATHLETIC : Eastern Counties League

Cressing Road

2 - 1 (Arnott, Stroud)

12 March 1955

Clish

Cooper

Chapman

Bing

Walker

Noakes

Franklyn

Arnott

Stroud

Winters

Haley

NORWICH CITY 'A' : Eastern Counties League

Carrow Road

0 - 1

17 March 1955

Rhodes

Cooper

Nelson W.

Parker

Walker

Bing

Fenn

Smith J.

Blackburn

Matthews

Haley

LOWESTOFT TOWN : Eastern Counties League

Crown Meadow

1 - 2 (Walker)

26 March 1955

Clish

Cooper

Nelson W.

Johnstone

Lansdowne

Noakes

Fenn

Pyke

Walker

Matthews

Haley

NORWICH CITY 'A' : Eastern Counties League

Spotted Dog Ground

2 - 0 Johnstone, Smith)

28 March 1954

Rhodes, Cooper, Hallas, Johnstone, Brown, Lansdowne, McDonald, Pyke, Fenn, Smith J., Haley

GORLESTON : Eastern Counties League

Recreation Ground

0 - 2

9 April 1955

Clish

Cooper

Chapman

Matthews

Walker

Lansdowne

Franklyn

Pyke

Winters

Haley

McDonald T.

MARCH TOWN : Eastern Counties League

G.E.R. Sports Ground

0 - 0

16 April 1955

Clish

Cooper

Chapman

Matthews

Nelson A.

Taylor

Franklyn

Pyke

Fenn

Winters

Haley

GORLESTON : Eastern Counties League

Recreation Ground

1 - 2 (Fenn)

23 April 1955

Clish

Nelson W.

Chapman

Johnstone

Walker

Lansdowne

McDonald

Arnott

Fenn

Matthews

Haley

BURY TOWN : Eastern Counties League

Kings Road Ground

3 - 3 (Arnott, Franklyn, Haley)

28 April 1955

Rhodes

Cooper

Nelson W.

Walker

Nelson A.

Johnstone

Franklyn

Pyke

Arnott

Matthews

Haley

HARWICH & PARKESTON : Eastern Counties League

Royal Oak Ground

4 - 1 (Bing, Moore, Stroud, Wragg)

30 April 1955

Clish

Cooper

Kinsell

Bing

Brown

Lansdowne

Wragg

Moore

Stroud

Matthews

Haley

PETERBOROUGH UNITED : Eastern Counties League

London Road

3 - 1 (Franklyn, Moore, Stroud)

6 May 1955

Clish

Cooper

Chapman

Johnstone

Walker

Matthews

Franklyn

Barrick

Stroud

Moore

Haley

1953-54 ECL 1955-56 ECL Season 1954-55 54_08_28 Peterborough United v. WHU ECLC 54_09_01 Tottenham Hotspur v. WHU ECL 54_09_04 WHU v. Arsenal ECL 54_09_18 WHU v. Tottenham Hotspur ECL 54_10_16 Crittall Athletic v. WHU ECL 54_10_30 Colchester United v. WHU ECL 54_11_27 Peterborough United v. WHU ECL 54_12_04 Cambridge United v. WHU ECL 54_12_11 Lowestoft Town v. WHU ECL 54_12_18 Clacton Town v. WHU ECL 55_01_15 Yarmouth Town v. WHU ECL 55_01_22 Chelmsford City v. WHU ECL 54_08_21 Great Yarmouth Town v. WHU ECL 55_02_05 Cambridge United v. WHU ECL 55_02_26 Harwich & Pakestone v. WHU ECL 55_03_05 Chelmsford City v. WHU ECL 55_03_12 Crittall Athletic v. WHU ECL 55_03_17 Norwich City v. WHU ECL 55_03_26 Lowestoft Town v. WHU ECL 55_04_09 Gorleston v. WHU ECL 55_04_16 March Town v. WHU ECL 55_04_28 Bury Town v. WHU ECL 55_04_30 Harwich & Parkeston v. WHU ECL 55_05_06 Peterborough v. WHU ECL

The only change in the constitution of the Eastern Counties League is the resignation of Chelsea 'A'

SORRY NO IMAGE

SORRY NO IMAGE

SORRY NO IMAGE

SORRY NO IMAGE

SORRY NO IMAGE

SORRY NO IMAGE

SORRY NO IMAGE

SORRY NO IMAGE

SORRY NO IMAGE

SORRY NO IMAGE

The official final score of this game was Yarmouth Town 2, West Ham United 1. In the opinion of our entire team and several others present it should have been a 1-1 draw, for the homesters' "winner" seven minutes from time appeared to have hit an iron support outside the goal and from thence rebound into the field of play; however, despite heavy protests the referee decided that the bal! had gone inside the posts and to have rebounded from a defender— and to put it briefly the Hammers were a naturally disappointed side when they left the field.

Prior to this we had an even share of the game and deserved a point. The fishermen had gone ahead midway through the first half: after we had taken some time to settle down, but ten minutes from the interval a cross-pass from Fenn was converted by Musgrove.

This was John Smith's first appearance in our "A" side, another of our ground-staff (George Fenn) having made his debut on the previous Saturday.

After even opening exchanges the homesters went in front, a pass from ex-Hammer Terry Woodgate paving the way for their first goal. Gordon Johnston then sent in a 30-yard pile-driver after half-an-hour"s play to make it 1-1 but right on half-time the 'Boro again took the lead. Halfway through the second half Chapman hit the Bar, and had his shot been just a little lower we would have probably earned a draw, but a close-range success ten minutes from time decided the issue in favour of the Midlanders.

Frankly, we had no complaints whatever about the game or the result. It was competently handled and was watched by a very sporting crowd which numbered a little over 6,200 this figure is believed to be a record for a Reserve Team game at Peterborough, and augurs well for this enterprising club who have joined the Eastern Counties League this season.

Terry Mcdonald (the former West Ham Schoolboy) was making his first appearance in our "A" side, and although still a comparative "lightweight" stood up well throughout the game.

The 'Spurs side included a great deal of experience and settling down quickly they went ahead in the first five minutes. Walker equalised for us shortly afterwards but a penalty-kick gave the home side a 2-1 advantage at half-time. A goal from Harris after the interval oace more put us on level terms but a clever move by Brooks ended in Spurs settling the issue a quarter-of-an-hour from time, a 3-2 score bringing them both points.

 

With both our First XI and Reserves away from home we staged an Eastern Counties League match at Upton Park. The inclusion of three amateurs in the side and the presence of three centre-forwards in the forward-line gave our third-string a rather strange-looking line-up but there was never any semblance of disjointedness in an XI which over-ran what on paper appeared to be a strong Gunners' team by 6-2.

Wragg, Dixon and Stroud scored one goal each before half-time to give us a 3-0 lead and soon after the resumption Dixon netted another to put us four up. A goal by the visitors temporarily interrupted our scoring-spree but Chapman and Stroud put us further ahead before the North Londoners ended the scoring in the closing minutes.

 

A re-arranged fixture in the same competition took us to March (Cambridgeshire), where we met March Town United for the first time in the Eastern Counties League, they having joined this season.

Unfortunately our third-string failed to reproduce anything like the form they had shown against the Gunners, and with everything going against them went under by a five-goal margin. The nearest we came to scoring was in the first-half when a shot hit a defender on the shoulder and was deflected over the bar for a corner, and although our approach-work brought applause from appreciative spectators the majority of our attacks petered out.

The home side included several players of experience, among them manager Oscar Hold (ex-Norwich City), goalkeeper Ephgrave (ex-Southampton), Beach (ex-Leyton Orient) and Malpass (ex-FuIham). They took full advantage of our lapses and kept'.on top for the majority of the 90 minutes—thus jumping into second place in the table.

Unfortunately torrential rain swept the pitch soon after the start and all players were running about with water literally oozing out of their boot-top; this naturally eliminated all possibilities of good soccer, and a draw was the fairest result.

 

Away games for our First Team and Reserves on September 18th provided us with the chance of meeting the Spurs "A" at Upton Park.

Naturally, the greatest interest on this particular occasion was the return of Ernie Gregory following an absence dating back to the first week of last February when he was left out of our First XI following injury. It's been a "long path back" for Ernie, but the success of the treatment he has undergone was adequately proved by his performance, and it seems that it will not be long before he is completely fit for all demands upon his services.

Ernie Gregory was again included in our "A" Team for ihe match with Arsenal "A" at Hendon.

There were thus three ground-staff youngsters in the forward-line (Barrick. Smith and Macdonald) and three members of the Storey Athletic team among our XI (Pattison. Nelson and Paisley).

Despite the lack of experience the Hammers succeeded in holding the strong Gunners' side to one goal at the interval, but a disastrous ten minutes after the resumption found the opposition netting four times and we went down by 5-0. Although the score against them was heavy we nevertheless congratulate the youngsters who made such stalwart efforts in the circumstances.  

We lost our Eastern Counties League game against Bury Town by the only goal, scored about a quarter-of-an-hour after the interval from the penalty-spot. Both sides missed several opportunities throughout a somewhat unsatisfying game, and a little more steady shooting could have brought several more goals to both sides.

The first hour of this game was very even, neither side being able to find the net. However, at the end of this period our third-string were reduced to ten men, Stroud leaving the field through injury, and the home side took the lead shortly afterwards. We reshuffled our team towards the finish, but could not gain the equaliser, and with 15 minutes to go the Athletic made the issue safe with a further tally.

We renewed our acquaintance with Derek Jackman in this game. Derek has now signed for Crittalls after a spell with Chelmsford City, whom he joined at the beginning of the 1951-52 season after being transfer-listed by us.

This side certainly had an accent on youth and showed to advantage in the first half by sharing two goals at the Interval, Arnott's good shot in the 25th minute countering Clacton's tally after a quarter-of-an-hour's play. Unfortunately, however, our XI was unable to maintain this form, and the league leaders finally had no difficulty in winning by 5-1 although the margin somewhat flattered them.

A 2-2 draw earned our third-string the "medal of the week" in E.C.L. matches, for they robbed the runners-up of a point on their own ground after being defeated in four successive E.C.L. fixtures.

A shot by Johnston from the edge of the penalty-area after 20 minutes gave us an interval lead but Colchester netted twice within 20 minutes of the resumption to go ahead. After a couple of shots had been blocked on the line by home defenders, Dixon headed in to make it a draw, but although we held the upper hand for the rest of this hard game we could not force the victory.

For the first ten minutes it was practically "shooting in" as far as our forwards were concerned, and there were visions of a heavy win for our third-string. However, desperate defence enabled the homesters to survive the onslaught and in one of their rare breakaways Stowmarket gained a 1-0 half-time lead. After the interval this was increased with another tally -only for our opponents to be once more forced to defensive tactics. Shots by Halev and Chapman both hit the woodwork to deny us even one counter, and when the final whistle blew it was a battered but happy home side that had gained the points by 2-0.

The  home club's  programme  said that in view of the fixture-list  they had a good  chance of going to the head of the table, but they were very disillsioned when the final whistle blew, having these hopes completely dashed by our 2-1 victory. The disappointment was accentuated by the fact that they had held a 1-0 half-time lead, but our second-half display well deserved the spoils. Tucker netted our equaliser after about an hour's play with a drive from just outsoide the penalty box, the ball striking the inside of the upright before going into the net; then about ten minutes from the end a Matthews-Chapman-Wragg move ended with the latter running onto a pass from close range to notch the winner. From thence onwards we staved off the homesters' attacks to gain the day in waht was one of our best games of the season.

 

Continuing their good form which brought them victory at Colchester on the previous Saturday our third-string earned another point by forcing a 1-1 draw on their opponents' midden. It was a hard game due to the heavy surface, but there was plenty of good soccer. We were rather fortunate to survive the onslaught of the Midlanders in the opening halt hour but having held them to a goalless first halt" our chaps proceeded to get on top. We took the lead about a quarter-of-an-hour from the end when a right-foot cross b\ Arnott from the left touchline was diverted into the net by the opposing centre-half, but the 'Boro gained a deserved equaliser three minutes from time for a fair result on the whole of the play.

 

By winning 1-0 against Cambridge United our "A" Team brought their points tally to five from their last three Eastern Counties League games; consequently they have considerably improved their position in the table, inasmuch as the; have got within reach of the clubs immediately above them.

Actually this is the first time our third-string has won on the Cambridge ground and they had to fight very hard for their victory, stalwart work by the defence repelling the itrong home attack during the second half, Clish in particular making a number of good saves.

Chapman was our scorer from a diving header after his first effort had rebounded from the upright; clever work by Matthews and Haley had led up to this opportunity.

Working on the next season