The Great 1934-35 Cup run.
|Yeovil v Liverpool 1935|
Roll forward ten years, to the 1934-35 season, this was the season that can lay claim as establishing Yeovil Town as true Giant Killers and a season that saw the Glovers' players become household names throughout the country.
Thirty-five years old, Liverpudlian and ex-England International Louis Antonio Page had taken over the reigns from the succesful David Pratt a year earlier. Page's first season hadn't continued the success that Pratt had brought to the club. Many fans and also club officials wondering if Page was the right man for the job. Page needed to stamp his mark on the club, to save his career. The 34-35 Cup run certainly would do that and propel Page's management career and Yeovil's reputation with it.
|Louis Antonio Page|
It all started, as do all good acts of giant Killing, with the Glovers having to work their way through the qualifying rounds. For Yeovil that meant a trip to Devon.
Tiverton AFC, (Away) First qualifying round
Amateurs, Tiverton AFC, were champions of the Exeter and District League. Formed twenty-one years before and known as Tiverton Athletic. Their small Elms Ground held a tiny wooden 150 seater stand on one side of the ground, the only other spectator areas being two grass banks behind the goals.
|Tiverton AFC in 1933|
The Great Western Railway ran a special from Yeovil Pen Mill for the match, which a few hundred Glovers's fans took up. Others making their way across Somerset and a Devon by charabanc and motorcar. By kick-off over 2000 had packed the tiny ground with a good 500 making their way from Somerset. With a full strength side, Yeovil gave full respect to the Devon amateurs, however by half time it was four-nil to the green and whites. Scoring nearly fifty goals in their first nine games, the scoreline wasn't a surprise. A tame second half, saw Yeovil just go through the motions, however did see young local lad Harry Swain score his first for the club, a bullet header from a corner. A Tiverton penalty, scored by Hellier a few minutes from the end being their one and only consolation for the Devon side. Although the Tiverton committee probably more than happy with the gate receipts.
Wells City, (Home), Second qualifying round
Twenty odd years previously an FA Cup draw against Wells City, home or away, would have sent Yeovil fan's into sleepless nights. Both teams being on the same footing. Go back a few years earlier and Wells City definitely being seen as the primary club in Somerset. They also had a, well deserved reputation, for seeking any chance to go to the Somerset FA to get a defeat overturned. Once famously measuring the pitch out at Pen Mill after losing and discovering the length of the pitch as 50cm too short! Those days were long gone. Yeovil had climbed the professional ladder and Wells had stood still. Now plying their trade in the Western League Division Two, a league that Yeovil's reserve side had competed in.
Glastonbury, (Away), Third qualifying round
Another Western League Division Two side awaited next for the Glovers, and it wouldn't be far to go. Glastonbury had pulled off some fine results against Dartmouth and Weston-super-Mare to get to the third qualifying. Thinking of the finances, Glastonbury held a committee meeting to decide where the match should take place Huish or Glastonbury's small Abbey Moore stadium, home they decided with increased admission fees. If the weather was bad, extra covered accommodation, marques more than likely, would be provided. Glastonbury players voiced before the match that they were confident of providing a shock result, especially on their home turf.
Weymouth, (Home) Fourth qualifying round
Weymouth, at this time were not seen as the Glovers sworn enemy in these days. That accolade went to Taunton Town. Weymouth, had been through a rough stage financially, even going so far as to approach Portland United to amalgamate with them - Portland refused. They now found themselves playing in the same league as Glastonbury and Wells in the Western League Division two.
|Weymouth FC - 1934-35|
Despite a cold, wet typical November afternoon, 4300 crammed into Huish to see the Glovers take on the minnows from Dorset. Jimmy Parle, the Scottish inside right signed from Worcester City at the start of the season had a field day and scored at will. His four goals giving Hillier in the Terra's goal no chance, Yeovil didn't have it all their own way, as Weymouth surprisingly scored twice. Further goals from a Jack Taylor and Louis Page, ended the match 6-2, with the Yeovil fan's excitedly waiting for the 1st round draw a few days later. Weymouth returned to play the likes of Paulton Rovers and Radstock Town. Within a couple of years they'd gone bust - again!
Crystal Palace, (Home) FIRST ROUND
Match day saw queues form early, even before the turnstiles opened. As all wanted to be in place for the 2.15pm kick off. A record crowd of over 10,000 had crammed into Huish, many of them with South London accents as Louis Page led out his green shirted team, to a deafening cheer. Jack Taylor had not recovered and the Langport lad, Savage would be making his FA Cup debut. From the off, Yeovil were attacking, swarming the Palace goal at the Queen Street end and surprising Dunn in the Palace goal with shots from every angle at every opportunity. Palace looked shell shocked as the bombardment continued. It was only a matter of time before Yeovil scored. The time being twenty minutes, as McNeil shouldered Dunn of the ball and curled it into the top corner from ten yards. Palace, although having the odd chance, relieved to be only one down at half time. If Palace thought that Yeovil would let up in the second half, they were mistaken again endless attacks. The second goal coming midway through the second half Jimmy Parle firing across goal which Owens deflected into his own goal. With twenty minutes to go, Page wrapped up the victory and Palace were dead and buried.
|Yeovil v Crystal Palace|
The final whistle arrived with the swarm of green shirted players being replaced by Yeovil fans, shouldering thier heroes back to the changing room. They witnessed the biggest result in Yeovil's history so far.
Exeter City, (Home) SECOND ROUND
The whole Yeovil team sat in the St James Park stand to witness City comfortably defeat Charlton 5-2, with excursion companies, confidently already with printed leaflets, handing out cheap excursions to Yeovil for the second round match.
For Yeovil, they went straight into action raising the capacity of Huish to increase revenue. In the space of 48 hours over the weekend, with workmen working by floodlight they'd erected a Directors stand on the corner of Huish at the Queens Street End. The stand became a familiar feature at Huish right up to the 1980s.
|The Directors Stand built in 48 hours.|
As with the case as with every giant killing run, the National media arrived in Yeovil all looking for an angle on the run. The Daily Mirror picked up on a secret drink Yeovil players drank before every match, a secret cocktail only known only to Chairman Mr George Fox. It wasn't a secret cocktail for long - Sherry and egg yolks. The licensing committee in Yeovil decided to keep the pubs open all afternoon to show hospitality to their visitors from Exeter.
Exeter travelled to Yeovil on the day of the match, stopping for lunch at Chard before continuing their journey. All roads led to Yeovil, with 3500 Exetertonians also attending the match, from early morning supporters of both clubs were milling outside Huish waiting for the gates to open.
Jack Taylor had still not recovered, young Toni Savage was out of luck this time though. The Glovers had signed Billy Crewe from Colwyn Bay and it would be him replacing Taylor. Huish was packed to the rafters, as both teams ran out of the wooden changing room, now overlooked by the new Directors stand. Yeovil out first followed by City.
Exeter has obviously not consulted Palace on Yeovil's attacking tactics. From the off it was a repeat of the Palace game as Yeovil pushed forward with Crewe in the thick of the action. After five minutes, Louis Page in a mazy run into the Exeter box was brought down, penalty! George Smith, the hard tackling, Geordie right-half blasted the ball into the Queen Street net to put Yeovil one-up. However unlike the Palace match Exeter had plenty of chances to score, Lynch saving Yeovil on a number of occasions
|Billy Crewe goes close at the Bruttons End|
|Louis Page receiving his lucky heather|