SEASON 1929-1930 : INTO THE THIRTIES
In the close season of 1929, Yeovil appointed a new player/manager, David Pratt, who had played for Celtic, Liverpool and Bury. His appointment brought an immediate upturn in the fortunes of the Club, for Yeovil finished in fifth position, seven points behind champions Bath City, at the end of the 1929/30 season. They also won the Western League Title with a record number of points.
The Club made a profit of £1,284 but, due to the fact that it was proving impossible to obtain work for players because of the Depression, the Club had turned full-time professional and the weekly wage bill risen to £50 per week!
In the FA. Cup, the Club reached the Third Qualifying Round.
Preliminary Round: Kingswood 2, Yeovil 3.
1st Qualifying Round: Yeovil 3, Ebbw Vale 1.
2nd Qualifying Yeovil 5, Weston-super-Mare 0.
3rd Qualifying Round: Barry Town 4, Yeovil 3.
By the start of the 1930/31 season, the country’s economy had reached the depths of the Depression and football, like everything else, experienced the difficulties and hardships of the period. The number of clubs in theSouthern League dropped to just 21 – nine in the Eastern Section and twelve in the Western.
Northampton Reserves, Southampton Reserves, Kettering Town, Bournemouth & Boscombe Reserves, Brighton & Hove Albion Reserves, Sittingbourne, Northfleet United (Arsenal’s nursery side) and Grays Thurrock United, all departed from the Eastern Section, whilst Bristol Rovers Reserves, Lovells Athletic and Yeovil & Petters United all dropped out of the Western Section.
Yeovil’s departure, however, was not on financial grounds, as it was decided to move into Division II of the London Combination (now known as the Football Combination). Yeovil finished as runners-up in the League, the season bringing a total of 170 goals with three players being transferred to Football League clubs.
Yeovil entertained First Division Liverpool and Newcastle United in friendlies at Huish. Over 12,000 saw the two games – Yeovil beating Liverpool (Elisha Scott and all) 8-4 and losing 2-3 to Newcastle.
The Club’s absence from the Southern League was short-lived, however, for Yeovil & Petters United made a triumphant return to the Southern League in the 1931/32 season by winning the Western League Section – finishing one point ahead of Plymouth Argyle Reserves. The team also remained in Division II of the London Combination, however, finishing in third position.
With the team also reaching the Second Round Proper of the FA. Cup for the first time, the Club had undoubtedly got together the best ever to don the ‘green and whites’. A new goalscoring record was also set up, Pemberton netting 69 and all the other forwards reaching double figures in a total of 225 goals. The total gate money for the season was £4,787.
At the end of the season, no fewer than five players were transferred to Football League clubs, McAndrew (to Bristol Rovers), Pemberton (Millwall), Millington (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan (Bradford City) and Molloy (Swansea Town).
FA. Cup Results:
Preliminary Round: Yeovil 11, Wadebridge 1.
1st Qualifying Round: Yeovil 4, Dartmouth 2.
2nd Qualifying Round: Street 1, Yeovil 4.
3rd Qualifying Round: Lovells Ath 0, Yeovil 1.
4th Qualifying Round: Llanelli 0, Yeovil 1.
5th Qualifying Round: Yeovil 4, Salisbury 2.
1st Round Proper: Yeovil 3, Hayes 1.
2nd Round Proper: Fulham 0, Yeovil 0.
Replay: Yeovil 2, Fulham 5.
Even though the season was such a success, the Directors of the Club were very worried about the falling off in attendances. At the A.G.M. it was reported that they were to appeal to the townspeople of Yeovil, as it was felt that they were not supporting the Club to the same extent as the people from the outlying districts. It was also intimated at the A.G.M. that the Club had been able to acquire the freehold of the Huish field and to provide increased accommodation.
The Company also secured additional land at the Brewery end of the playing pitch. It was not possible at the time to say how the purchase was to be financed, but the Chairman was able to say that a substantial amount had been loaned to the Club at a nominal interest rate for the period that football was carried on at Huish.