On This Day In History - 6th May A Few End Of Season Flashbacks
Wednesday, 6th May 2020 14:31
A look back at a few last days of seasons past with a few heartbreakers as well as some fonder memories from both the distant and near past.
1949/50 was one of the most gut wrenching seasons in the club's history, if Saints fans thought the previous season were we blew and 8 point lead and missed promotion by 1 point was close then this one was even closer.
On the final day we hosted West Ham and to have any chance of overhauling Sheffield United in the 2nd and last promotion position we needed to score 3 and keep a clean sheet to jump above them on goal average.
Sheffield Wednesday are in between us and if they beat Champions Tottenham at home then they ill be promoted, a draw though could see any of the three of us promoted.
We hit three goals against the Hammers in front of a crowd that included spectators now able to stand in the recently fully completed Chocolate Boxes, but they scored two in reply initially to lead 2-0 at half time and this was not good enough.
We were locked with both Sheffield clubs on 52 points, we had a goal average of 1.395, but we were behind United who had 1.387 and they were agonisingly behind their big rivals Wednesday who went up on 1.395.
It was very close, but we were destined for another year in Division 2 and it would be 16 years before we challenged for the top flight again.
1967 was a relegation biter in the penultimate game of the season, if we lost at home to Nottingham Forest then the final relegation place would come down to the final day at home to fellow strugglers Aston Villa the following week with the winner staying up and the loser going down.
For their part Forest could mathematically still win the League being 3 points behind leader Manchester United with 2 games . it was a tough game but a goal from Martin Chivers gave us a half time lead before the visitors pulled a goal back but a Terry paine penalty on 76 minutes gave us the 2-1 win,
With Aston Villa losing we were now safe and could relax on the final day.
Fast forward to 1985 and chasing a UEFA Cup spot we travelled to Highbury to take on fellow European hopefuls Arsenal, we went down to a 26th minute Graham Rix goal and we would have to sweat a little longer.
1988/89 had started well with us topping the League in the early games in a rare good start to the season for us, but we had dropped like a stone and had gone almost 5 months without a league win at one stage.
But on the penultimate weekend we hosted Manchester United who themselves had floated around mid table most of the season with the natives becoming very restive about Alex Ferguson's reign, with nothing to play for United did not even take their full allocation and Saints supporters were a little apathetic about the game therefore the 17,021 who turned up on a day much like today was a crowd 4,000 short of the season's high against Liverpool and not much more than the average.
They saw Jimmy Case named player of the year before kick off and Glenn Cockerill give us give us a half time lead and then Russell Beardsmore equalise for the Red Devils before Rod Wallace scored a last minute winner prompting chorus's of you signed the wrong Wallace.
In the ensuing pitch invasion I ended up with Barry Horne's shirt.
1994/95 was a season where we had recovered our usual mid season slump to push up into mid table the trip to Goodison Park saw a rare clean sheet and a 0-0 draw, it saw the debut off the bench of Matt Oakley.
Photo: Action Images
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