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© Chris Byrne 2010


Even though Secretary McGowan reported a loss of £931 on the previous season the mood was confident as the 57-8 season approached and all players were reported as signing on for the new campaign, which had a special significance as it was the Club’s 75th Anniversary and 50 years since they were first accepted into the Isthmian League.
The season got off to a flying start with three consecutive wins and Arthur Howlett netting six times in those matches, although the Reserves’ season had a rather less satisfactory beginning when they went down 9-2 at Wycombe. Various cup competitions then interrupted the flow of league fixtures until the end of September and the season rather lost its way during October and into November, including another ill-fated visit to Hayes Lane in Bromley when first the team coach broke down, and then a wheel fell off one of the taxis hired in haste: the match was lost 4-2. In fact only one league point was gained by the 1st XI during November, and by the start of December the first XI lay 8th and the Reserves 14th in their respective Sections.
The Reserves turned the corner before the 1st XI and had a fantastic unbeaten run from the start of November until losing on the first day of February at Walthamstow. The senior team put together a fine set of results after Christmas until a 2-0 loss at Leytonstone in late February brought the run to an end; but another good run, including a first-ever win at Walthamstow, saw them finish fifth just ahead, on goal average, of Leytonstone, Wimbledon and Corinthian-Casuals. The Reserves continued to play well and finished the season in fine style with a crushing 6-1 defeat of Woking and a final position of 4th.
The national cup runs were, again, not long, but did involve an exciting 0-2 defeat by Headington United in front of a large, all-ticket crowd in the Second Qualifying Round. Aylesbury United had put the club out of the Amateur Cup, 1-0, in the Extra Preliminary Round way back in early September, and it’s interesting to note just how many other local sides were involved in this Round:
Witney Town 4 Oxford YMCA 0; Henley Town 3 Morris Motors 3; Wallingford 0 St Frideswide’s 1; Chipping Norton Town 0 Maidenhead 3; Bicester Town 2 Newbury 2; Slough 6 Wolvercote 0; Abingdon Town 1 Wokingham Town 3; N.A.C. 1 Huntley & Palmer’s 2; Woodstock Town 1 Pressed Steel 1; Kidlington 3 Thame United 2; Windsor & Eton 1 Kirtlington 0; Didcot Town 1 Stokenchurch 0; Bletchley & Wipac 3 Osberton Radiators 2.


Nearer to home Witney Town were defeated in the Benevolent Cup Final. The Smith Memorial Cup was lost to Headington, 4-1 after a 0-0 draw, but a crowd of nearly 4500 raised £370 for a variety of local charities. Pegasus beat the City twice in cup competitions during the season: 2-0 in the AFA Invitation Cup Semi-Final, and 3-0 in the Semi-Final of the Oxfordshire Senior Cup, played, for the first time under floodlights, at The Manor.
The Reserves beat Oxford University Press in the Charity Cup Final on Boxing Day and Henley Town in the Henley Charity Cup, but could not clinch a hat-trick of Reading Senior Cup successes when Hungerford Town beat them in the semi-final of the competition.
The club had a short tour to France at Easter. They lost 1-6 to L’Etoile Sportive Briviste on Easter Sunday, but beat La Combelle, a colliery team, the following day. They travelled by rail in France and the players were “... pleasantly surprised by the comfort of the trains.” On the morning of the match the pitch was not quite fit, and so the City players trained in the main square of the town ... and drew a crowd of two or three hundred onlookers!
In February planning permission was finally granted by the City Council for permanent floodlights and they would be erected over the coming year.
Doug Buswell, the only ever-present in the 1st XI, played for the Isthmian League XI against the Royal Navy in February; Brian Sandland and Brian Munday represented the League (Reserve) XI against a Spartan League XI; Carl Saunders captained the county XI; and goalkeeper Les Haydon had a month’s trial at Sunderland. Arthur Howlett scored 39 goals in his first season for the club, including six hat-tricks; and a young John Woodley scored 24 goals for the Colts.
The 75th Anniversary Dinner went ahead on May 23rd with the FA and the Isthmian League sending representatives to help celebrate the milestone. Guests of honour were two of the survivors of City’s 1906 Amateur Cup winning side, Frank Draper and Billy Keates, and all the guests were presented with an illustrated booklet charting the Club’s progress over the years.

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