First Team Star
Oct 18, 2010, 2:40 PM
Location: East Anglia (South Division)
Team(s): most of my local sides
Researching Southend United extensively pre-1920, the Bees were always referred to as the Wasps in match previews, reports and when doing a short history of the opposition.
Here is one example, a match report from 1908.
Wednesday, February 19th, 1908
Southend United 0 Brentford 0
The game with Brentford, on Wednesday, was voted by those who saw it to have been one of the best contests seen at Roots Hall this season. The “wasps” brought down their first Southern League team; the clubs being represented as follows:
Southend: Cotton; Thomson and Molyneux; Emery, Owen and Axcell; Harrod, Barrett, Little, Watkins, and Routs.
Brentford: Williams; Watson and Clark; Jay, Hamilton and McAllister; Brown, Parsonage, Bowman, Corbett, and Underwood.
Despite the heavy going, the pace opened at a cracker; both ends being visited in quick succession. For Southend Harrod and Routs swung in centres with splendid accuracy, but the yellow and blacks’ defence was in tip-top form. Little, Watkins, and Barrett all fired in hot shots, but Williams gave a fine display between the sticks. Both elevens showed good combination, and Underwood was exceedingly prominent for the visitors. He careered down the wing time after time, and Cotton again demonstrated what a capable goalkeeper he is by saving from Bowman and Corbett. The interval brought a welcome cessation of hostilities to the players.
The second half was equally well fought out, and despite valiant sorties on the two citadels, the defences came out of the ordeal with flying colours. For some time the United pressed, but Williams was ever on the alert. Harrod was a thorn in the side of the Brentford defenders, and he dropped in lovely centres time after time, while Routs was little behind him. About half way through the second moiety, Underwood nipped in a lovely centre, but Corbett, with only Cotton to beat, and standing about eight yards from goal, shot woefully wide. Thankful for this escape, the Blues retaliated, and a centre from Routs seemed likely to provide the much needed goal. Little received the ball within a few feet of him, but he somehow got the ball entangled between his feet, and only managed to get in a tame shot, which Williams easily saved. Towards the close, Brentford did more of the attacking, but the final solo arrived with the copy-book unblotted.
The Blues defence, as usual, was stronger than the attack, although at times the old war horse, Molyneux, was outpaced. What he lacked in this, however, he made up in judgment. Axcell signalled his re-appearance by a fine display, while Owen was in one of his most versatile moods, and Emery, although having a hot wing to hold, did his work very well. Harrod has quite justified the promise he already gave, and on Wednesday’s form he seems to have filled the long-felt need of an outside right. Barrett was not in good form, being slow, while Little, in the centre, was extremely clever, but at times overdid it. He is not a really good shot, and at the close of Wednesday’s game he was evidently fagged. Watkins was not seen to advantage, but the strain of so much play makes any delinquencies excusable. Routs again lent colour to the theory that that he is an outside left and not an outside right, and his centres and those of Harrod were quite a feature of the game.
Williams, in goal, is one of the best players in the South, while Watson and Clark are a reliable pair of backs; they are also very sturdy, being far too heavy for the Southend forwards. The halves were not a brilliant line; McAllister being the pick. Underwood was the most prominent forward, and his centres were always dangerous. He was, however, starved in the second half. Bowman I saw play for Aston Villa some six seasons ago, and after leaving the Claret and Blues, he went to Blackburn Rovers, leaving them for Brentford. He is a smart pivot; being quick with his head and feet, smart to perceive an opening, and a fairly good shot. Brown and Parsonage combined well together.