1950 – 1951: A POOR START TO THE ‘FIFTIES
After several years of success, season 1950/51 proved to be one of the least glamourous in the Club’s history. It was the first of three
seasons when the only honour to come Yeovil Town’s way was a win that season in the final of the Somerset Professional Cup 3-1 on aggregate against Wells City. The only other highlights of the season were two friendly games, against Kilmarnock (1-1) and Aberdeen (0-4), the club having gone out 4-2 at home to Cheltenham Town in the 4th Qualifying Round of the F.A. Cup and 2-0 at home to Kidderminster Harriers in the Southern League Cup.
At the end of the season George Patterson left the club to take over as Manager of Stirling Albion. The Club then appointed Harry Lowe as its first ever Manager, all previous occupants of the ‘hot seat’ being Player Managers.
The 1951/52 season proved to be even more disappointing, Yeovil drifting to seventeenth place in the Southern League after gaining only 35 points from the 42 matches. Merthyr won the championship for the third successive time. The season was really summed up by the result of the last game of the season – Yeovil Town 4, Gravesend & Northfleet 8 – and Gravesend finished one from bottom of the League!
In the F.A. Cup, Yeovil drew 1-1 at home to Weymouth (attendance 13,600), losing the replay at Weymouth 2-1 in front of 9,050 spectators. Yeovil got through the early stages of the Southern League Cup (which were played on a league basis), and then defeated Lovell’s Athletic 5-1 at Huish in the 2nd Round finally going out 2-0 at Hereford in the Semi-Finals.
Season 1952/53 was another poor one, the only real feature being the visit of Brighton & Hove Albion in the First Round of the F.A. Cup on 22nd November. Yeovil had overcome Merthyr Tydfil 1-0 at home in the 4th Qualifying Round only to find the Sussex side too good for them, going down 4-1. In the League, Yeovil dropped a further place to eighteenth, Headington (now Oxford United) taking the Championship for the first time. The Southern League Cup was another disappointment, though it was remarkable in the fact that Yeovil faced only one team, Weymouth, and played them four times! The Terras’ won in the qualifying stages 4-2 on aggregate, but Yeovil scrapped into the 1st Round (where they again lost on aggregate to Weymouth, this time 3-2) by finishing in sixteenth place in the qualifying group.
At the end of the season, Manager Harry Lowe left the Club. His main claim to fame during his spell at Huish was the number of different players he signed. Every week at least one new player turned out for the first team. In the main, the players were attached to Football League clubs and were doing their National Service at various camps around the Yeovil area. No fewer than 90 different players turned out for the first team alone during the two seasons Harry Lowe was in charge.
Surprisingly, during this time, a large number of players left the Club to join Football or Scottish League clubs. These included Corbett (to Dunfermline), Faulds (Rochdale), D. Haines (Newport Co.), Rae (Hamilton Ace.), Case (Rochdale), Mansley (Leyton Orient), Phillips (Portsmouth – for a fee of £1.00), Hindle (Motherwell), Finchley (Walsall) and Clarke (Derby Co.).
However, the 1952/53 season did see the arrival of a number of players who were to stay and make their mark at Yeovil in later seasons. These included Warren (from Exeter City), Nagy (Swindon Town), Paton (Motherwell) and McKay (Q.P.R.).
READ PART EIGHTEEN