NUFC 1902/03- Season Summary


Squad
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and reproduced by kind permission.
Newcastle v Sunderland

Newcastle’s strong finish to the last campaign meant that there was great optimism at the start of the season. After an excellent start United topped the table for the first ever time. But their form collapsed and they dropped into the relegation places before recovering to finish 14th.

The sale of Peddie during the summer had left United without a regular scorer and once again they struggled to score away from the Tyne.

The senior players had been unhappy with the team selection policy and with eight games remaining the directors took the unprecedented step of allowing the players to pick the side and decide on tactics. Peter McWilliam (who had only played once so far) was recalled to the side and United won six of the last eight games (all of them home matches).

United played a significant part in deciding the destiny of the Championship. The last game of the season brought Championship-hopefulsSunderland to Tyneside and the game was monitored for possible collision. United's win that day in front of 26,500 robbed the Wearsiders of top spot.

The FA Cup was a let-down as United lost 2-1 at Grimsby at the first hurdle.

Despite the side's problems there was a 20% increase in the average League attendance with seven 20,000 plus gates.

There were a number of big name signings. Scottish international outside-left Bobby Templeton cost a record £400 and another international - Arthur Turner arrived from Derby to play on the opposite flank. And, just before the season's end, centre-forward Bill Appleyard was signed for £350 from Bolton.

There were problems behind the scenes as a power struggle emerged on the Board as the Bell family challenged James Telford.

Chairman J Telford
Secretary F Watt
Trainer J McPherson
Captain A Aitken
Top Scorer B McColl (10)
Newcastle v Sheffield United

Competitions


League Division 1

6/9/02 H Stoke W 5 - 0
13/9/02 A Everton W 1 - 0
20/9/02 H Sheff Wed W 3 - 0
27/9/02 A WBA L 1 - 6
4/10/02 H Notts. County W 6 - 1
11/10/02 A Bolton W 2 - 0
18/10/02 H Middlesbrough L 0 - 1
25/10/02 A Derby D 0 - 0
1/11/02 A Wolves L 0 - 3
8/11/02 H Liverpool L 1 - 2
15/11/02 A Sheffield Utd L 1 - 2
22/11/02 H Grimsby W 1 - 0
29/11/02 A Aston Villa L 0 - 7
6/12/02 H Nottm. Forest L 0 - 2
13/12/02 A Bury L 0 - 1
20/12/02 H Blackburn W 1 - 0
27/12/02 A Sunderland D 0 - 0
3/1/03 A Stoke L 0 - 5
17/1/03 A Sheff Wed L 0 - 3
24/1/03 H WBA W 1 - 0
31/1/03 A Notts. County D 2 - 2
14/2/03 A Middlesbrough L 0 - 1
28/2/03 H Wolves L 2 - 4
7/3/03 A Liverpool L 0 - 3
14/3/03 H Sheffield Utd D 0 - 0
21/3/03 A Grimsby L 0 - 1
28/3/03 H Aston Villa W 2 - 0
1/4/03 H Everton W 3 - 0
4/4/03 A Nottm. Forest L 2 - 3
10/4/03 H Derby W 2 - 1
11/4/03 H Bury W 1 - 0
13/4/03 H Bolton W 2 - 0
18/4/03 A Blackburn L 1 - 3
25/4/03 H Sunderland W 1 - 0
H A T
PT PG 1.5 0.4 0.9
GF PG 1.8 0.6 1.2
GA PG 0.6 2.4 1.5

The Novocastrians started and ended the season like Champions but in the middle five months of the campaign they were in relegation form. The eventual 14th place finish (in the 18-team League) was a bitter disappointment. In mitigation they finished well clear of the relegation positions (7 points) and - in points terms - were as close to 4th placed Sheffield United.

After winning 5 of the first 6 games United reached the top of the table for the very first time on October 11th. But in the period up to 21st March their record was a disastrous 3-4-13 which saw them drop into a relegation position.

In desperation the United officials asked a quorum of players to take over team-selection and tactics for the final 8 games and six wins lifted them to safety.

The late rally also had much to do with the fact that all of the victories were at St James' Park where United's performances had largely held up. It was their disastrous away form (12 defeats in 17 games) that had really let them down.

United actually won the same number of games (14) as in the previous two seasons but lost 5 more games than in 1901/02. The number of goals conceded also rose sharply as they suffered heavy defeats at West Brom, Aston Villa and Stoke.

Inconsistency was the key as they could win well at home (5-0 - Stoke, 6-1 - Notts County) and lose just as badly on their travels (0-5 - Stoke, 1-6 - WBA and 0-7 Aston Villa) . The Villa result is our equal heaviest away defeat in the top flight.


FA Cup

R1 7/2/03 A Grimsby L 1 - 2

Struggling Grimsby (D1-17th) - adaped better to the strong cross-wind and won the tie with two goals in the first ten minutes.


Players


Squad

Player A G
Agnew W 35
Aitken A 33
Appleyard B 2
Bennie R 5
Benson R 1
Birnie E 6
Caie A 10 1
Carr J 32 2
Davidson T 13
Gardner Al 27 5
Gardner An 10 3
Graham S 2
Kingsley M 32
McColl B 30 10
McIntyre E 3 1
McWilliam P 7
Orr R 24 5
Richardson O 1
Roberts R 22 5
Rutherford J 22 6
Stenhouse H 6
Stewart W 12 2
Templeton B 10 1
Turner A 12 1
Veitch C 18
Watson J 3
Watts C 3
Wilson G 4

Team

Total number of games: 35

Total number of players used: 28

Figure in brackets denotes number of players used in position.

01: (2) Kingsley

02: (7) Davidson > Aitken

03: (2) Agnew

04: (5) Gardner Al

05: (3) Aitken > Veitch

06: (4) Carr

07: (6) Stewart > Turner

08: (7) Orr

09: (7) McColl

10: (7) Rutherford

11: (4) Roberts > Templeton

Goals

United’s tactics had previously centred on providing chances for Peddie; now he had departed the goals were shared around more with five players scoring 5 or more goals and McColl top-scorer despite only scoring 10.

Toon In

Player Date Club Fee
Mcwilliam Peter 08/1902 Inverness Thistle £10
Gardner Andrew 09/1902 Grimsby
Benson Robert 11/1902 Swalwell £150
Watson John 11/1902 Clyde
Turner Arthur 01/1903 Derby County £200
Templeton Robert 02/1903 Aston Villa £400
Tildesly James 02/1903 Halesowen St. John
Appleyard William 04/1903 Grimsby £350
Crumley Robert 05/1903 Lochee Utd
Howie James 05/1903 Bristol R £300
Thompson George 05/1903 Halesowen Town

Toon Oot

Player Date Club Fee
Peddie John 06/1902 Man Utd
Heywood Fred 07/1902 Blackpool
Pattison Daniel cs/1902
Ghee Thomas cs/1902 Retired
Davidson Thomas 05/1903 Brentford
Gardner Andrew 05/1903 Bolton

More 1900s Seasons


1900/01 1901/02 1903/04 1904/05 1905/06 1906/07 1907/08 1908/09 1909/10