THE 1910's

SEASON 1915-1916

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With no league competition, the Town continue playing friendly matches - but there is soon an appetite to return to competitive action, and a tournament is arranged for clubs in the Southern and Western clubs, that Swindon agree to join. Starting on New Year's Day, the Town fail to recover from losing their opening three games in the South Western Combination, and eventually finish second bottom, with their final match against bottom side Newport remaining unplayed.

Wartime South Western Combination:  6th of 7
 



SEASON 1914-1915

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Despite the start of World War One, the Southern League programme goes ahead - and compared to the previous season, Swindon struggle. The highlight is a 6-0 win over Watford in April, when Archie Bown scores all six - a feat not managed by a Town player in a competitive first team game before or since. The Town eventually finish ninth, well short of retaining their crown - and football is suspended at the end of the season.

Southern League Division One:  9th of 20
 
RESERVES South Eastern League reserves table |



SEASON 1913-1914

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Another rule change - this time decreeing that players should stand 10 yards from a free-kick. Swindon go straight to the top of the Southern League, winning their opening ten games, and a virtuoso goal from Harold Fleming knocks Manchester United out of the FA Cup. The Town's form falters though, and consecutive defeats by championship challengers Reading and Crystal Palace bring them right back into it - Reading eventually fall off the pace, and Swindon go into the last game of the season level on points with Palace. The Town scrape a lucky 0-0 draw at Cardiff, keeper Len Skiller keeping them in the game - and return home to find that Palace have also drawn at Gillingham - meaning that Swindon win the Shield by the narrowest of margins - a 1.98 goal average compared to Palace's 1.88.

Southern League Division One:  1st of 20
 
RESERVES South Eastern League reserves table |



SEASON 1912-1913

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A rule change comes into effect - goalkeepers are no longer allowed to handle the ball outside the goal area. Before the start of the season, the Town embark on a tour of Argentina - setting sail just six weeks after the sinking of the Titanic. They play eight games in total, winning six and drawing two - beating teams such as Estudiantes de la Plata, and select sides from Argentina and Uruguay. When they get back, despite an injury-hit campaign, the Town manage to finish second, just two points behind champions Plymouth - but they go out of the cup in the third round at Sunderland.

Southern League Division One:  2nd of 20
 
RESERVES South Eastern League reserves table |



SEASON 1911-1912

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As Southern League champions, Swindon play the Football League winners Manchester United in the Charity Shield - and they are involved in the highest scoring Shield match ever, United striker Halse scoring a double hat-trick as they win 8-4. Swindon fail to retain their title, finishing fourth, but they reach the cup semi-finals for the second time in three years. After disposing of Sutton Junction and Notts County in rounds one and two, West Ham are thrashed 4-0 in a replay in round three, and Everton are dispatched in the quarter final, with the Town holding on to a 2-1 lead. They meet a rough Barnsley side in the semi-final - Fleming in particular is literally kicked off the pitch, but the weak referee does nothing. The Town manage to draw 0-0 to take the game to a replay, but Fleming is sidelined for ten months, and misses the game. The replay is played at Meadow Lane, and the Town are handed a golden opportunity to take the lead, when they are awarded a penalty in the first half. With regular penalty-taker Billy Tout unavailable, Archie Bown takes the kick, which is well saved - Barnsley go on to score in the second half, and they eventually beat the Town 1-0.

Southern League Division One:  4th of 20
 
RESERVES South Eastern League reserves table |



SEASON 1910-1911

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The Town finally go one better - winning the Southern League championship for the first time. They seem set for the title after a game at fellow contenders Crystal Palace in early January - when, though they go 2-0 down in the first five minutes, they bounce back to lead 3-2 at half time, eventually running out 5-2 winners. Meanwhile, in the cup, the Town reach the quarter-final stage, when 78,000 cram into Stamford Bridge to see Chelsea win by two goals to nil.The championship is confirmed on 22nd April, when last year's winners Brighton come to the County Ground, and goals from Tout, Wheatcroft and Fleming secure a 3-0 win. Two days later, they meet Brighton again in the Southern Charity Cup final - and when they draw 0-0, the game is rearranged, meaning that the two sides meet three times in five days. The Town complete their double, a goal from Archie Bown shortly before half-time taking the cup to Wiltshire.

Southern League Division One:  1st of 20
 



SEASON 1909-1910

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Billy Silto, Len Skiller and Freddy Wheatcroft all sign before the season start, and again they finish as runners-up despite scoring 96 goals - the highest total in the league, and 23 more than champions Brighton. The best action comes in the cup though, as the Town knock out Crystal Palace, Burnley, Tottenham and Manchester City on their way to the semi-final, where they meet Newcastle. The match is played at White Hart Lane, and after the first half ends goalless, Wheatcroft is presented with a golden opportunity - but he hits the post with a gaping goal in front of him. Just five minutes later, Newcastle score twice in quick succession, and the Town are knocked out. At the season's end, both losing semi-finalists are invited to compete for the Dubonnet Cup in Paris, and the Town meet Barnsley, who they beat 2-1 to bring the cup back to Swindon.

Southern League Division One:  2nd of 22
 
RESERVES South Eastern League reserves table |