HOLLAND - GERMANY 1967
ARGYLE v GVAV GRONINGEN
Davey's Two Great Goals as Argyle Shock Dutch
Plymouth Argyle were applauded off the field at Groningen (Holland) last night. This was a spontaneous Dutch gesture of appreciation for Argyle who pulled off a sensational 3-2 win by snatching two surprise goals in the last eight minutes to the delight of students from an American University who played in a game as a prelude to the big match. It was no mean performance by Argyle against stiff opposition as the Dutch First Division side, GVAV Groningen, had five internationals in their line-up - and in a temperature of over 75 degrees. Outside-right Stephen Davey scored two great goals, the first coming in the first minute of the game. Davey was in menacing action, winning praise from Groningen officials. Alan Banks got the other goal.
Goalkeeper Pat Dunne quickly established himself as a favourite and showed up spectacularly as a result of his tough campaign in America. He was brisk and confident in his handling. Two saves inparticular were fantastic and changed the face of everything. A Groningen spokesman said "We were very disappointed not to win but the teams provided us with a good clean game and we thought Plymouth deserved their victory for their earnest efforts". Clearly, Davey, who shaped very well, Dunne, Mike Everitt and Norman Piper greatly impressed the Dutch officials, who estimated the crowd at 6,000. "A very good attendance considering it was holiday time", I was told. Argyle saw the chance to win, it was not a case of drawing at all costs.
Argyles manager, Derek Ufton said "We recognised the Dutch teams strength on their own ground but that merely meant we had to fight and work harder. We played well at times but victory is no reason for jumping over the moon. We learned a few things from the game and I'm sure the win did the lads a power of good. If the two remaining games in Germany are as tough, they will be really fit for the start of the season". Argyle sweated freely in the heat but they were not jaded in a storming finale. Neither was their style ultra-defensive. Ufton seems to have adopted a more aggressive and more popular tactic although he denies Argyle played defensively. Davey did his job well, took his goals with immense calm and showed dangerously as a finisher.
John Mitten also played his part and Piper and Banks opened up the Dutch defence with their lively thrusts. Dunne and Everitt were the stars in Argyles defence. Gerritt Van Tilburg scored twice for Groningen, who played with three Dutch and two Danish internationals, including their latest £5000 buy, Kjald Pederson, outside-left. It took Groningen 25 minutes to pull level through Van Tilburg after Davey had volleyed a splendid goal past Tonnie Van Leeuwen, Hollands No.1 goalkeeper. It needed a great shot by Van Tilburg to put Groningen in front (47 minutes) and they continued to look the more dominant side.
In breakaways Argyle moved the ball well. Keith Etheridge thumped
a shot against a post and Van Leeuwen foiled the hard-thrusting Davey with
a brave save. Banks equalised after bright work by himself and Piper and
Davey rocked the Dutchmen with the winner four minutes from the end. Argyle
left this morning for Wuppertal where they were scheduled to arrive at
lunchtime in readiness for tonights match against the West German team.
Doug Baird, replaced by John Sillett in the second half last evening, has
pulled a groin muscle. Duncan Neale, Richard Reynolds, Mike Bickle and
Peter Shearing are almost certain to be drafted into the side.
ARGYLE v WUPPERTAL S.V.
Send Off in Germany of Argyles Nelson to be Reported
The sending off of Plymouth Argyles centre-half and captain for the night, Andy Nelson, ten minutes from the end of the match in West Germany last evening, which Wuppertal S.V. won 3-2 with the help of two late penalties, will be reported to the Football Association. Argyle officials with the party are not going to get too excited. Argyles vice-chairman, Mr Robert Daniel, told me today "The least said, soonest mended. I feel this is a time for discreet silence. We shall be submitting the report on the handling of the match by the chairman-referee and that is the only comment I wish to make". Just before the Nelson incident with the score at 1-1 and only 15 minutes to go, the referee, Heinz Schultz, awarded Wuppertal a penalty which even Argyle manager, Derek Ufton, normally so reticent, called "a diabolical decision". Hans Spengler, who had just come on as a substitute - Wuppertal used five during the game - went past Mike Everitt, who recovered and slid the ball behind for a corner kick. Spengler took a plunge and the referee, who by most peoples watches played anything from three to five minutes short, gave a penalty. Manfred Reichert scoring from the spot.
Five minutes later the players were trooping around the Argyle penalty area when centre-forward Horst Heese fell. The referee immediately called on the Wuppertal trainer and sent off Nelson for kicking an opponent. Werner Tonges, another substitute, made it 3-1. Meanwhile, Nelson walked sadly to the dressing room to be consoled by Argyle players watching the game from the sidelines. Nelson told me "It was ridiculous. The German centre-forward came at me, I stepped aside, there was some kicking but the referee didn't see everything that happened". Ufton is more concerned how his spot of bother will affect Nelson, who has not been as sure of himself as he might have been in the two games on the continent. Doubtless, Nelsons excellent record - it is the first time in a long career that he had been ordered off - will stand him in good stead with the Football Association.
Not Their Day
It was tragic for him to get marching orders in a friendly and I think Ufton will leave him out of the side for the final match against Holstein Kiel on Saturday evening. It was not Argyles lucky day yesterday. Their tour agent, Gunter Bachman, lost his way twice on the trip from Groningen to Wuppertal and the coach journey - the final stretch was along the autobahn - took six hours. Argyle eventually arrived in Wuppertal a few hours before the kick-off, and the wear and tear of their travels showed in their performance. The plain fact is the trip took its toll after the strenuous match against Groningen the previous evening. Also Argyle were a goal down in five minutes but it came from the German teams only worthwhile attack in the first half. Heese was the scorer. Argyle looked the more dominant side throughout the first half and should have built up a lead. Wuppertal were fortunate not to concede two penalties first when Norman Piper was blatantly brought down and later following a tackle on Stephen Davey. Piper hit a post.
John Hore, who was booked by the referee, who could not stand physical contact, pounded forward to flash shots just outside the goal. One of his efforts hit the crossbar and the ball bounced down and along the line. Mike Bickle and Richard Reynolds disappointed although Bickle made it 1-1 (65 minutes) and Reynolds thumped a fine shot only narrowly wide with almost the last kick of the game. Davey pulled another goal back in a desperate finish and opened up the German defence again, only to see Dietar Auris, another substitute, pull off the save of the game. Even Wuppertals president Hermann Herberts admitted that Argyle were very unlucky to lose and played better football than Southampton, who went down 1-0 to Wuppertal a year ago. The German clubs coach rated Argyle as the best English club side he has seen. Argyle spent today in the industrial and cultural town with its 405,000 population. Tomorrow morning they set off for Kiel by train - another six hour journey.
ARGYLE v K.S.V. HOLSTEIN KIEL
Argyle Hit By Injuries in Last Tour Game
Watched by a flag-waving contingent from the British unit attached to NATO HQ, Baltic, Plymouth Argyle won the last game of their European tour against K.S.V.Holstein Kiel 3-1 in Kiel on Saturday night, but forwards Alan Banks and Mike Bickle are both on the injured list. Banks limped off early in the match, with a badly injured foot and Bickle, who replaced him, was stretchered off to hospital with cartilage trouble just after half-time. He received manipulative treatment at the hospital and flew home yesterday, with the rest of the party. "Mike will almost certainly have to undergo a cartilage operation," manager Derek Ufton said. So the strenuous tour took it's toll in the final match and it looks as though Bickle will be out for some time. Argyle won with goals from Keith Etheridge, Norman Piper, and Duncan Neale, who came on as substitute for Bickle. Their stars were Pat Dunne, Piper and, in particular, John Mitten, who, on the evidence of his performances so far is going to be a stolid workman next season. The goals by Piper and Neale followed dazzling moves which had the German fans applauding and brought a deafening storm of vocal appreciation from the British service lads.
Argyle's display led Holstein Kiel's vice-president, Willy Gruss, to say at the reception: "We have watched an excellent game and seen how good English teams can play." The crowd at the picturesque Kiel stadium raised plenty of enthusiasm as Argyle sauntered into command, coaxing the ball about in midfield. They went in front after nine minutes through Etheridge and this was a prelude to intense Argyle attacking on the greasy pitch. Bickle, who substituted for Banks after 15 minutes, saw a powerful shot skid wide. When Kiel attacked, Dunne played bravely behind the Argyle defence.
There was always a threat of another Argyle goal and Piper, moving through for the inevitable pass, cheekily added a second just before the interval. Then Stephen Davey slammed the ball into the net, only to be ruled offside. Argyle found they had a fight on their hands when Emil Kirchner, easily Kiels best player, pulled a goal back after 62 minutes. Three minutes later, Neale made it 3-1, and that was it. Don't get the idea it was all one-way traffic. Dunne was always full of confidence when Kiel tried to pierce Argyle's defence near the end.
Argyle: Dunne, Everitt, Baird, Hore, Nelson, Newman, Davey,
Banks, Etheridge, Piper, Mitten. Subs - Bickle, Neale
Injuries in Last Tour Game
Plymouth Argyle centre-forward Mike Bickle will not easily forget his first European soccer tour. He was stretchered off to hospital with cartilage trouble early in the second half of the final game against K.S.V. Holstein Kiel on Saturday night and is almost certain to have to undergo an operation which could keep him out of football for two or three months. He had come on as a substitute for Alan Banks, who limped off with a painful foot injury after 15 minutes. At the Kiel clinic Bickle received manipulative treatment and was able to fly home with the rest of the party yesterday. The hospital surgeon wanted to operate immediately but it would have meant leaving Bickle behind in Germany for about ten days. Manager Derek Ufton felt it was far more important to get him back to Plymouth and Bickle was treated as a V.I.P. in the jet aircraft which flew Argyle from Hamburg to London. Had it been necessary for him to stay behind the small British unit of soldiers and sailors attached to NATO H.Q. Baltic had promised to visit him daily and offered accomodation if anyone else remained behind with him. To the delight of the flag-waving Service lads, about 20 were at the match, Argyle won convincingly 3-1 with goals from Keith Etheridge, Norman Piper and Duncan Neale, who came on as substitute when Bickle left the field. I made John Mitten Plymouths star man and he has emerged with much credit from the tour. Not far behind in the game at Kiel were Pat Dunne and Norman Piper.
Of Argyles performance, the German clubs vice-president Herr Willy Gruss said "We have watched an excellent game of football and have seen how good English teams can play. We wish Plymouth a very good season and hope they get to the First Division. We regret the injury to your player and trust you will have him back in the team soon". At the reception after the game Argyles vice-chairman, Mr Robert Daniel, praised the referee, Herr Gerhard Schulenberg of Hamburg. "We thought he did an excellent job" said Mr Daniel, diplomatically avoiding any reference to the affair at Wuppertal. Herr Schulenberg, who refereed last seasons international between England and Scotland at Wembley told me: "Plymouth played very clean football. It was a great pleasure to referee the match".
Later, Argyle went to a party laid on by the British Forces Club in their honour and to quote the players "we had a ball!". The much travelled Dunne said "It was the best ending to a tour I have known. The boys had a wonderful night out". There were special thanks to Leading Writer Bob Gelder, who worked so hard to make the evening a success and whose wife, Ann, comes from Saltash. "It was great to have the Argyle lads here" he said. And the club have one lasting momento of the teams visit - an Argyle plaque. Chatting about the tour on the journey home, Mr Daniel, the director in charge, said he thought it was highly successful and had, in fact, acted as a great stimulant. He had been impressed by the team spirit and the behaviour of the players. "The lads, particularly the youngsters in our party, adapted themselves very well to the conditions - the heat, square goalposts, the new goalkeeper law that allows only four paces with the ball and the playing of matches on strange grounds abroad". Soccer officials in Holland and Germany had commented on the smart appearance of the Plymouth players, said Mr Daniel. "The trip has given the boys a break from routine and I'm quite sure it has done team spirit a power of good. As far as we are concerned I believe the playing of two or three pre-season matches on the Continent will become an annual affair. It is the modern trend in football". Club captain John Newman told me: "The fact that we have been living together and talking about the game for a week should stand us in good stead for the new season. This has been the most important part of the trip". Argyle led 2-0 at half-time against Kiel, but it wasn't all one-way traffic and saves by the Plymouth goalkeeper were real Dunne specials.
Argyle found they had a fight on their hands when Emil Kirchner, Kiels best player, scored early in the second half, but Neale hammered in No.3 to wind up the tour on a happy note. Stephen Davey had a goal disallowed and failed to score for the first time on the trip. The goals by Piper and Neale followed dazzling moves which had the German supporters applauding and brought a deafening storm of vocal aggression from the British Servicemen. Argyle arrived back in Plymouth late last night and were back in training this afternoon. They have three more practice games to get in before the big kick-off.
*match reports re-produced from the Evening Herald.
Bob Gelder (as mentioned above) remembers the tour well...
I was then in the Abdrew and based at H.Q.COMNAVBALTAP
(Commander Naval Forces Baltic Approaches) as a "Scribes" in the Registry.
It was probably the first occasion when I was connected in a 'social' way
with Argyle - having converted from a pseudo Spurs fan on 27th January,
1962 at 4.45pm when they'd just beaten Argyle 5-1 in the FA Cup. Got a
bit impressed with Argyle that day - and so the love affair began. The
party was a good one! Pat Dunne was a mean darts player - and
the Carlsberg, Tuborg and especially Lowenbrau went down very well. Must
have been a success: Argyle got relegated at the end of the season! Blame
Gelder's pre-season build-up...
|August 1st||GVAV Groningen||3-2||Davey 2, Banks|
|August 2nd||Wuppertal S.V.||2-3||Bickle, Davey|
|August 5th||K.S.V.Holstein Kiel||3-1||Etheridge, Piper, Neale|
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