1957/58

 1957/58 SEASON REVIEW

team group 1957 to 58 mar 58
During the Summer City’s captain Roy Paul left the club to take up a position of player manager at Worcester City, and so Dave Ewing was named as the new captain, Half back Roy Warhurst joined from Birmingham for a fee of £10,000 to try and replace Paul on the pitch.
Prior to the season City travelled to Holland for a friendly with Twente Enschede , the Blues winning 4-1.
The season started late for City as their opening match against Sheffield Wednesday was controversially postponed due to a flu epidemic at The Owls, The City board were unhappy about the decision as it caused them a ‘heavy financial loss’ but the FA’s secretary Alan Hardaker confirmed the match would not go ahead “in the best interests of all concerned”.
The postponement caused another loss to City as they quickly arranged a practice match against Barrow and unfortunately Jack Dyson suffered a double leg break and would subsequently end his playing career
The Blues belated start to the season was certainly worth waiting for, they were 2-0 down at Stamford Bridge but came back to beat Chelsea 3-2.
Against League Champions Manchester United , City couldn’t provide such a great performance and lost 4-1 at Old Trafford. However The Pensioners were certainly glad to see the back of the Citizens as The Blues completed an early season double over Chelsea , beating them 5-2 in a bad tempered game at Maine Road  which saw both sides down to ten men just after the half hour.
City the showed their usual inconsistency by losing 2-1 at Nottingham Forest and then beating Preston 2-0 at Maine Road, after five games City were tenth in Division 1, five points behind leaders Man United with a game in hand.
The Preston game saw the introduction of a controversial new formation ‘the M plan’. It’s not clear whether the M represented manager McDowall or Keith Marsden, who was key to the plan, which involved the attackers being reduced to four and an extra centre half added. Basically; Marsden, previously an inside forward, dropped back into the defence playing alongside or behind the centre half, in this case Dave Ewing, in the 50s clubs only played with one centre half so this was revolutionary, looked on as a negative move by the media, but the forerunner to the modern accepted formation encompassing centre backs, the plan had actually originated in Italy where it was known as ‘catenaccio’ which means door-bolt, City used the plan again at home to Portsmouth and although the players appeared a little confused as to their positions a times, the Blues went on to win 2-1.
An early return fixture against Preston saw North End rip the ‘new plan’ apart as they tore City apart 6-1 at Deepdale. Even worse at the Hawthorns, ‘catenaccio’, was to see it’s last outing as City were crushed 9-2 by West Brom .
Indeed the Marsden plan was dropped, together with seven players (including Marsden who would never play for the senior side again) for the visit of Tottenham , and with the deep lying centre forward ‘Revie Plan’ back in situ City swept to a 5-1 victory.
Although City lost at Birmingham 4-0, they then beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 at home in the rearranged opening day fixture and then made it 6 home wins out of six beating Leicester 4-3.
The Blues good form continued with a 5-2 win at Blackpool, and a 2-2 draw at Maine Road against Luton to stay unbeaten at home.
November brought a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal , but City won again at home, beating Bolton 2-1 and then travelled to Elland Road and beat Leeds 4-2.  The first of two friendlies against Hibernian followed , City winning 1-0 at Maine Road in the first . however back in the league against league leaders Wolves the Blues lost their unbeaten home record, losing 4-3. And then in a return friendly across the border, Hibernian beat City 5-2.  November finished with another defeat 2-1 at Sunderland .
City got back on track with a fantastic 6-2 victory over Everton at Maine Road and followed that with two away victories 2-1 at Aston Villa and 5-4 at Sheffield Wednesday , Sandwiched in between City beat an Army XI 3-1, and so moving into the festive period the Blues were well placed in the league after 22 games they lay in 5th place on 27 points, just two points behind 2nd placed West Brom, however Wolves were runaway leaders on 37 points.
A double header on Christmas day, and Boxing day saw Burnley win 2-1 at Turf Moor and the City beat Burnley 4-1 the following day.
City then drew 2-2 at Maine Road against United and then brought in reinforcements in an attempt to challenge Wolves to the title. Outside left Ray Sambrook was brought in from Coventry for a fee of £15,000.
The Blues were then dumped out of the FA Cup in the 3rd Round losing 5-1 at West Brom , due to a bad weather snap City only played two further games in January, drawing 1-1 at Nottingham Forest and losing 2-1 at Portsmouth .
City gained their revenge for their FA Cup exit as they beat West Brom 4-1 at Maine Road. Five days later the football world was in shock as the Manchester United squad was decimated in an horrific airplane crash in Munich, among the 20 fatalities were eight United players and City legend Frank Swift who had flown out as a reporter for the News of the World.
tottenham away 1957 to 58 munich silence

A minutes silence at Spurs for the Munich Air Disaster

At a wet White Hart Lane two days later City were put to the sword by Tottenham as they lost 5-1. Torrential rain throughout England continued and with the score 1-1 City’s game at Maine Road against Birmingham was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch.
City’s defence had started leaking goals for fun and any challenge for the championship disappeared with a humiliating 8-4 defeat at Leicester .
Although the Blues conceded another three goals they beat Blackpool 4-3 Maine Road and in the rearranged game against Birmingham City drew 1-1, and then beat Luton 2-1 at Kenilworth Road.
A setback occurred with a 4-2 home defeat to Arsenal but then beat Derby 5-0 in a friendly at The Baseball Ground  and then drew 3-3 at Wolves .
The Blues then registered their first clean sheet in 32 games as they beat Leeds 1-0 in a dour affair at Maine Road.
The Blues kept their best form for Easter as they beat Bolton 2-0 at Burnden Park, and then relegation strugglers Newcastle 2-1 at Maine Road.
A fourth victory on the trot saw Sunderland beaten 3-1 at Maine Road, but Newcastle got a quick revenge beating the Blues 4-1 at St James’ Park.
City won the penultimate game of the season 5-2 against Everton at Goodison Park before losing 2-1 at home to Aston Villa. The Blues ended in a respectable fifth position in division one on 49 points.
City then gave Jimmy Meadows a testimonial as a  City past and Present team lost 4-2 to an All Stars XI .
The Blues then embarked on a massive three and a half week tour of America and Canada and didn’t return to England until 12th June 1958. Bobby Johnstone was unable to accompany the team on the Mauritania voyage to The States due to a bad knee injury and so Don Revie was given permission by Sunderland to travel with the City squad as a guest player on the tour.
mauritania
THE CITY SQUAD ON THE MAURITANIA AS THE SAIL TO AMERICA

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