Today we continue with our look-back at one of South Shields’ most memorable moments – when, in 1958, they thumped Crewe Alexandra 5-0 in the FA Cup – courtesy of the archives of club commercial assistant Bob Wray.
“South Shields played magnificent football and on this form should do well in the cup,” was the tribute paid by Crewe manager, Mr Harry Ware.
Meanwhile, sports writer Jim Slater went on to report that: “Shield’s first goal came after 15 minutes, when Ivey made the opening for Don Robson, who evaded two tackles to flick the ball past Evans from the narrowest of angles.
“A goal by Norman Crickett after 40 minutes was followed by a brilliant 20 yards shot from Monkhouse, which curved underneath Evans.
“This was the crowning blow to Alexandra and when play was resumed it became a question of just how great the margin of victory was to be.
“Robson and Crickett added further goals but they were only incidental achievements, for by this time the Railwaymen had long since called it a day.”
Slater’s colleague, Doug Weatherall, writing in the Daily Herald, admitted: “Harry Ware, Crewe Alexandra’s manager, almost devoured me when I asked him a minute after the massacre of this Fourth Division side by South Shields’ team of part-timers: ‘Was that your worst display of the season?’
“‘Crickey” exploded Ware. You wouldn’t wish anything worse than that on me, would you?’
‘Our display was rock-bottom. We were terrible. Those Shields’ lads went in as if they meant to get the ball. We didn’t. South Shields deserved to win by five goals.’
“I disagree with Ware. I agree with Shields’ manager Charlie Thomas, who said: ‘It could have been seven or eight, and it wouldn’t have been an injustice.’
“As a football match this was a wash-out. It was far too one-sided. Shields were much too good for the men from an alleged better class of football.
“Shields are the club who want to be in league soccer; Crewe are the re-election specialists of the old Northern Section. And skipper Bobby Owen and his men underlined just what a mockery is the business of getting into league soccer.
“As a minnow-giants cup-tie, it was a smasher. Shields couldn’t have destroyed Crewe more effectively if they had torpedoed the team bus.
“No wonder manager Ware went into their dressing room and said: ‘If you play like that you need have no worries at Oldham in the second round. You can win, all right’.”
Sadly, South Shields lost that match 2-0.
The teams that day were: South Shields: Burn; Hill, Shields; Owen, Passmore, Cain; Powell, Monkhouse, Cricket, Robson, Ivey.
Crewe Alex: Evans; Cheadle, Millar; Campbell, Barnes, Jones; Pounder, Moran, Llewellyn, Keery, Colbridge.
Estimates of the match attendance varied from 9,923 to 12,000.