Arsenal FC – Our home record against the Seasiders

Division Two

Our first game against Blackpool was a Division Two fixture played December 19, 1896 – one hundred and twenty two years ago – we won the game 4-2 with a brace apiece for Gavin Crawford and Adam Haywood.

Highbury in 1914

League Cup

Ticket from first replay in 1976 League Cup tie

The following is a report of the 2nd replay in the League Cup competition from the 5th October 1976………

Memory Match: Arsenal 2-0 Blackpool, 1976 (From the Blackpool Gazette)

Blackpool’s love affair with the League Cup ended in the third round second replay at Arsenal. But the Seasiders pushed Arsenal all the way and had chances to equalise Frank Stapleton’s 48th-minute headed goal before David O’Leary hit the killer seven minutes from time, with Blackpool committed to attack.

Blackpool won warm praise from Arsenal observers for their tremendous organisation and it is true to say that, if they had attacked Arsenal in the first half as they did when they went a goal down, the fourth round home tie with Chelsea could have been theirs. They almost covered themselves in glory with a stirring second-half rally which highlighted their outstanding potential. And throughout the match they played their way out of defence and into attack with constructive, thoughtful soccer.

With Blackpool less committed to defence, Arsenal created more clear chances in the first half than they did a week ago in the original tie, with nothing like the sort of pressure. But after a couple of incredible misses by Malcolm Macdonald, Blackpool hit back with two chances for teenage debutant Brian Wilson. Although Wilson found it hard getting into a match of these proportions, he was not afraid to put his weight around and when Bob Hatton crossed after 14 minutes, Wilson – sliding in – sliced his shot wide. After 35 minutes Wilson almost scored with a crisp left footer after Walsh’s great run round the back and fine low centre into the box, but Jimmy Rimmer blocked the shot. Hatton was another shirt’s width away from nudging home Paul Hart’s head down under pressure from Pat Rice, but George Wood had to make a couple of fine saves, and the half was marked by the near misses of Macdonald and Stapleton.

Blackpool did not seem at all flustered and the goal was unfortunate. Wood decided not to come for a cross he might have got, but Stapleton soared above two defenders to head home.

Blackpool roared forward with Billy Ronson, and also had Hart who was brilliant in defence and started a stream of attacks by surging through to midfield with some deft touches. Ronson, Stapleton and George Armstrong vied for Man of the Match. Blackpool sliced the Arsenal defence apart several times without any sort of luck with the run of the ball.

Walsh, who had taken Arsenal wide but been starved of the ball many times, powered through the middle but smacked a shot wide. Ronson’s surge down a similar path was halted by Alan Ball. After early lapses, Alan Ainscow’s authority as an attacking midfielder grew and his influence on the game became increasingly prevalent.

Ainscow then sent a brilliant chip over the advancing Rimmer but the ball went just wide. A superb Blackpool move started by Walsh’s defence-splitting pass and Ainscow’s great touch on, almost gave Hatton a goal but he could not adjust his stride running onto it so the ball hit his right foot and went agonisingly an inch or two past the post with Rimmer going the other way.

The infusion of the dropped Alan Suddick for Wilson after 75 minutes saw some brilliant play by the midfield star and sparked the Blackpool team as a whole. He brought the save of the match from Rimmer with a magnificent volley which few players could even have controlled. His class in knocking the ball about and moving it around rejuvenated Blackpool from a useful outfit into a highly dangerous one. Steve Harrison, who had a good game at left-back, shot just over the bar and Suddick and Bill Bentley worked a fine move for Ainscow to shoot at Rimmer.

Arsenal, notably Macdonald, missed a few chances before O’Leary rifled home from Armstrong’s corner, allowing the home fans to finally relax. But Blackpool had the last word with efforts from Walsh and Hatton blocked by Rimmer and Rice. Blackpool will not complain about the result because of the clear chances Arsenal missed, but their second half rally could so easily have won them the game.

Attendance: 26,791

Division One

Peter Storey (on the floor) heads home in March 1971

Blurry Pathe footage of the game on 20th March 1971 at Highbury. The playing surface doesn’t quite seem up to today’s standards!

Premier League

The only Premier League game against the Seasiders finished 6-0 featuring a Walcott hattrick and Arshavin penalty

So, during our history of playing Blackpool at home in the League or League Cup, we have lost just the two home games, both coming in 1958. These were the days of Stanley Matthews and Jimmy Armfield.

Hopefully our second string can beat the League One outfit this time around in the Caribou Cup.



22 Responses to Arsenal FC – Our home record against the Seasiders

  1. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. Thank you. I was looking at the first table and thinking “I cannot remember playing Blackpool in 2014” before I realised it was 1914 and that made me think “did we actually play during WW1?”, which will set me up for a mornings Googling of WW1 football.

    Loved this … “But after a couple of incredible misses by Malcolm Macdonald,” There were days when Supermac couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo.

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. Fine work this morning. The dog vid was funny and the “painting” mind-boggling. As always, I love those pics from the ’60’s – a time before plastic.

    LBG. Good thinking but best reserved for the w/e. Can’t disagree about full back. We must hope Catwalk is fit as well..

  3. RC78 says:

    great post – u guys really r amazing in digging arsenaln history
    as for winning, no other option – I am hoping that the following players will see some action:

    Cech, Lichten, Jenkinson, Sok, AMN, El Neny, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Miky, Wellbeck, Smith-Rowe

    and if things need to be tightened, bring in Torreira and if things need to be unlocked bring in Auba

    Cup Games are important for Emery – he will put a competitive team out there

  4. chas says:

  5. Big Raddy says:

    When we talk of Arsenal Legends Bob is surely one. I remember him being the bravest man i had ever seen – he was fearless at a time when strikers could go in studs up on a GK without caution.

    The Scottish Bert Trautmann

  6. Red Arnie says:

    Brilliant, GN5. wow, just wow! 🙂

  7. Red Arnie says:

    That 1976 League Cup ticket, and the “blurry” 1971 footage. Just priceless. 🙂

  8. GunnerN5 says:

    Hi Red Arnie, this post was a collaboration between Chas and myself so we both thank you for your 11:36.

    I really enjoy digging into the past and creating the stats and Chas is the magician who finds great videos and images.

    The thing that always strikes me about the old videos is that in all likelihood someone in my family was at the game, my maternal Grandad watched the very first game at Highbury. He walked up Aubert Park and down Avenell Road to the ground every Saturday and commanded his position under the clock (he was a 6.5″ coal man and always got his spot).

  9. fred1266 says:

    RC we should be able to beat them with the first lineup without using the big guns

  10. Big Raddy says:

    GN5. I am sure fellow fans did all they could not to stand behind him!

  11. Big Raddy says:

    Spurs debt for the new stadium has risen from €400m to €630m.

    Snigger, snigger.

  12. GunnerN5 says:

    I foresee trying times ahead at the new Cockerel coop.

  13. GunnerN5 says:

    He was a gentle man Raddy but with his coal grained face and size he was formidable. But even given his looks he was very popular with the kids around Highbury because the kids loved his horse and cart and he gave them rides along their streets.

  14. fred1266 says:

    Bellerin has a groin injury

  15. Rasp says:

    Thank you GN5 (and chas) for another stroll down Arsenal’s Memory Lane. Nice to read Pat Rice’s name in the ’76 match report.

    Does anyone know if there is a stream covering the game tomorrow?

    I’m loving the spud implosion ….. MoPo is making it known he’s not a happy cock(erel) … could that be translated as ‘Come and get me Real’

  16. fred1266 says:

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Morning All,

    Game day yet somehow there does not appear to be too much excitement in the air. Could we have Carabao-itis?

  18. mickydidit89 says:


    Thanks to Chas, LB and GN5 for posts

    Can’t see that game will be on any reliable stream/onlinefooty

    Most exciting question for me: where will Unai station M-N if he’s up for selection?

  19. LB says:

    Bein Sports 1 is showing the game tonight. Could be a good place to start.

  20. mickydidit89 says:

    Thanks LB

    Hopefully foreign commentary as they are by far the best for goal celebrations, especially the middle eastern sounding ones

  21. Big Raddy says:

    There is a New Post

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