By Tony Attwood
In the season 1904/5 Arsenal won promotion from the second division, and did so in some style. There were eight straight wins at the start of the season including, quite amazingly, two 8-0 wins. In fact Arsenal scored 35 in those eight games,and let in three.
It was a great moment in the club’s development but sadly it was not to be repeated for a very long time. The first division proved to be a much tougher place to play, and indeed Arsenal slipped back to the second in 1913, before being elected back in 1919 where once again the first division proved to be a difficult hunting ground.
In fact the next time Arsenal scored more than six in a league game was not until 30 March 1929 when Arsenal beat Bury 7-1.
Bury had in fact already suffered once at the hand of Arsenal on 14 November 1925. with Arsenal 6 Bury 1, a game that meant Arsenal had scored 15 in the last 3 games.
However back to the seven. Whereas those 8-0s came in a championship winning season (albeit in the second division) the 7-1 came in Chaman’s fourth season came when we finished ninth in the first division. We could have come higher, but this was the last game in an 11 match unbeaten run, and after the beating of Bury we slipped away.
However for the moment the result left Arsenal in sixth with hope of more to come if the momentum could be maintained…
League table after results on 30 March 1929
|West Ham United||36||13||7||16||75||83||33|
Clearly Arsenal were not going to win the league but a continuation of their recent form might have seen a top four finish.
But the match was a turning point for both clubs. Bury sank from here on and were relegated and Arsenal only won two of their last seven.
However this was the last season of Arsenal not winning anything. For the following season, 36 years after Arsenal joined the league, the club finally won one of the two major trophies: the FA Cup.
Newspaper reports of the game (all of which consistently refer to the club as The Arsenal, despite that not having been their name since April 1914) are factual reports of the play, telling us nothing of tactics or anything around the game except that the ground was very hard.
But the papers were united in predicting that Bury were on the slippery slope (true, they did go down) while “there is no reason why they should not go on winning” as one paper said.
Having broken their 6+ goal drought Arsenal took matters even further the next season with a 8-1 hammering of Sheffield United on 12 April 1930.
As for the defeat of Bury, it was four for Jack two for Parkin and one for Thompson. David Jack finally reached 25 goals in just 31 games. The side was certainly coming together.
The Arsenal team for the first ever first division match in which Arsenal scored seven was…
Baker Rogers John
Hume Jack Jones
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