1977–78 Brentford F.C. season

During the 1977–78 English football season, Brentford competed in the Football League Fourth Division. 58 goals from Steve Phillips and Andrew McCulloch helped the club to a 4th-place finish and promotion to the Third Division. Phillips' 36 goals was the most in English league football by any player during the season.

Brentford
1977–78 season
ChairmanDan Tana
ManagerBill Dodgin Jr.
StadiumGriffin Park
Fourth Division4th (promoted)
FA CupSecond round
League CupFirst round
Top goalscorerLeague: Phillips (32)
All: Phillips (36)
Highest home attendance14,496
Lowest home attendance5,492
Average home league attendance8,578

Season summaryEdit

Having spent much of the previous season rebuilding the unbalanced squad left by his predecessor John Docherty, Brentford manager Bill Dodgin Jr. shrugged off the disappointment of failing to agree a fee with Bristol City for John Bain and Terry Johnson's refusal to sign a new contract by bringing in goalkeeper Len Bond for £8,000 and midfielders Barry Lloyd and Willie Graham.[1] Expectations were high going into the 1977–78 Fourth Division season, with Dodgin's attractive brand of attacking football having led to 14 wins from the final 18 matches of the previous season.[1]

After a what was then becoming traditional first round exit of the League Cup,[1] Brentford had a strong start to the league season, going top on 22 August 1977 after a 4–1 victory over Fourth Division newcomers Wimbledon.[2] The three-pronged attack of forwards Gordon Sweetzer, Andrew McCulloch and midfielder Steve Phillips proved fruitful after 10 league matches and Phillips and Sweetzer topped the Fourth Division goalscoring chart with eight apiece.[1] Injuries to Gordon Sweetzer, Dave Carlton, John Fraser,[3] captain Jackie Graham and a suspension suffered by Andrew McCulloch nullified Brentford's threat through the Christmas period and the club dropped back into the upper reaches of mid-table.[1][2]

By mid-January 1978, Brentford began to recover and the £10,000 signing of full back Barry Tucker would prove to be the final piece of the jigsaw in manager Bill Dodgin Jr.'s starting XI.[1] A 4–0 win over Rochdale at Griffin Park on 6 March put the Bees back on the cusp of the promotion places for the first time since mid-December,[2] but the shock transfer of forward Gordon Sweetzer to Cambridge United two days later for a £30,000 fee was seen as a massive risk.[1] Sweetzer had scored 40 goals from his 72 appearances for the club over 18 months, but manager Dodgin felt that with Steve Phillips having scored 16 goals from midfield so far in the season, Phillips could move up to the forward line to partner Andrew McCulloch.[1] In addition, Phillips was allowed to play a free role in matches, roaming between midfield, the wings and the forward line.[4] Dodgin's decision proved to be a masterstroke, with Phillips scoring 16 goals in the final 15 matches of the season and promotion to the Third Division was secured with two matches still to play.[1]

Phillips' 36 goals meant that he finished the season as the top scorer in English league football,[1] while Andrew McCulloch and the departed Gordon Sweetzer supported ably with 22 and 14 goals respectively.[2] One club record was equalled during the season:

  • Highest away Football League aggregate score: 10 (6–4 versus Crewe Alexandra, 3 September 1977)[5]

League tableEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion or relegation
2 Southend United 46 25 10 11 66 39 +27 60 Promoted
3 Swansea City 46 23 10 13 87 47 +40 56
4 Brentford 46 21 14 11 86 54 +32 56
5 Aldershot 46 19 16 11 67 47 +20 54
6 Grimsby Town 46 21 11 14 57 51 +6 53

ResultsEdit

Brentford's goal tally listed first.

LegendEdit

Win Draw Loss

Pre-season and friendliesEdit

Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorer(s)
2 August 1977 Brighton & Hove Albion H 2–3 2,501 Sweetzer, Phillips
8 August 1977 Charlton Athletic H 2–2 2,260 Sweetzer (2)
10 August 1977 Barnet A 4–1 n/a Glynn (2), McCulloch, Phillips
30 August 1977 Kuwait H 0–2 n/a
2 May 1978 Staines Town A 2–1 n/a Rolph, Walker
3 May 1978 Folkestone A 0–0 n/a
9 May 1978 Chelsea H 2–8 7,400 Allder, Kruse

Football League Fourth DivisionEdit

No. Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorer(s)
1 20 August 1977 Northampton Town H 3–0 5,492 Lloyd, McCulloch, Phillips
2 22 August 1977 Wimbledon H 4–1 11,001 McCulloch, Phillips, Sweetzer, Lloyd
3 27 August 1977 Reading H 1–1 8,176 Sweetzer (pen)
4 3 September 1977 Crewe Alexandra A 6–4 1,837 Collier (og), Carlton (2), Sweetzer (3)
5 10 September 1977 Bournemouth H 1–1 7,702 Phillips
6 13 September 1977 Rochdale A 2–1 1,164 McCulloch, Kruse
7 17 September 1977 Doncaster Rovers A 1–3 3,044 Phillips
8 24 September 1977 Scunthorpe United H 2–0 6,115 McCulloch, Phillips
9 26 September 1977 Stockport County A 1–1 4,121 Sweetzer
10 1 October 1977 Halifax Town H 4–1 6,239 Phillips (2, 1 pen), J. Graham, Lloyd
11 3 October 1977 Watford H 0–3 14,496
12 8 October 1977 Torquay United A 1–2 2,538 McCulloch
13 15 October 1977 Southport H 0–0 6,141
14 22 October 1977 Hartlepool United A 1–3 2,470 Phillips
15 29 October 1977 Southend United H 1–0 7,435 McCulloch
16 5 November 1977 York City H 1–0 5,985 Phillips
17 12 November 1977 Barnsley A 0–0 4,209
18 19 November 1977 Swansea City H 0–2 6,337
19 2 December 1977 Darlington A 3–1 2,058 McCulloch, Phillips, Rolph
20 10 December 1977 Grimsby Town H 3–1 5,762 McCulloch (2), Phillips
21 26 December 1977 Aldershot A 0–1 8,175
22 27 December 1977 Newport County H 3–3 8,972 Phillips (pen), Allder, Baldwin
23 31 December 1977 York City A 2–3 2,329 McCulloch, Phillips
24 2 January 1978 Huddersfield Town H 1–1 9,475 Shrubb
25 7 January 1978 Wimbledon A 1–1 5,411 Sweetzer
26 14 January 1978 Northampton Town A 2–2 4,050 McCulloch (2)
27 28 January 1978 Crewe Alexandra H 5–1 6,871 McCulloch, Phillips (2, 1 pen), W. Graham, Sweetzer
28 4 February 1978 Bournemouth A 2–3 3,417 McCulloch, Sweetzer
29 25 February 1978 Halifax Town A 1–1 1,764 Carlton
30 4 March 1978 Torquay United H 3–0 6,551 Sweetzer (2, 1 pen), Darke (og)
31 6 March 1978 Rochdale H 4–0 7,215 McCulloch, Phillips (2, 1 pen), Sweetzer, Lloyd
32 11 March 1978 Southport A 3–1 1,691 Phillips (2), McCulloch
33 14 March 1978 Scunthorpe United A 1–1 3,053 Murray
34 18 March 1978 Hartlepool United H 2–0 7,499 McCulloch, Phillips
35 24 March 1978 Southend United A 1–2 11,810 Phillips
36 25 March 1978 Newport County A 2–1 4,953 J. Graham, McCulloch
37 27 March 1978 Aldershot H 2–0 12,579 Phillips (2, 1 pen)
38 1 April 1978 Huddersfield Town A 3–1 6,345 Phillips (3)
39 3 April 1978 Stockport County H 4–0 11,674 Phillips (2), McCulloch (2)
40 8 April 1978 Barnsley H 2–0 12,139 Allder, Phillips (pen)
41 12 April 1978 Reading A 0–0 7,384
42 15 April 1978 Swansea City A 1–2 16,152 W. Graham
43 18 April 1978 Doncaster Rovers H 2–2 11,512 Phillips (2)
44 22 April 1978 Darlington H 2–0 11,934 McCulloch, Phillips (pen)
45 25 April 1978 Watford A 1–1 16,544 McCulloch
46 29 April 1978 Grimsby Town A 1–2 4,712 Phillips

FA CupEdit

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorer(s)
1R 26 November 1977 Folkestone & Shepway H 2–0 5,981 Phillips (2)
2R 17 December 1977 Swindon Town A 1–2 8,447 Phillips (pen)

Football League CupEdit

Round Date Opponent Venue Result Attendance Scorer(s)
1R (1st leg) 13 August 1977 Crystal Palace H 2–1 8,929 Sweetzer (2)
1R (2nd leg) 16 August 1977 Crystal Palace A 1–5 (lost 6–3 on aggregate) 11,586 Phillips
  • Sources: 100 Years of Brentford,[6] The Big Brentford Book of the Seventies,[7][8] Statto

Playing squadEdit

Players' ages are as of the opening day of the 1977–78 season.
Pos. Name Nat. Date of birth (age) Signed from Signed in Notes
Goalkeepers
GK Len Bond   (1954-01-12)12 January 1954 (aged 23) Bristol City 1977
GK Graham Cox   (1959-04-30)30 April 1959 (aged 18) Youth 1975
Defenders
DF Michael Allen   (1949-03-30)30 March 1949 (aged 28) Middlesbrough 1971
DF John Fraser   (1953-07-12)12 July 1953 (aged 24) Fulham 1976
DF Pat Kruse   (1953-11-30)30 November 1953 (aged 23) Torquay United 1977
DF Danis Salman   (1960-03-12)12 March 1960 (aged 17) Youth 1975
DF Nigel Smith   (1958-07-03)3 July 1958 (aged 19) Queens Park Rangers 1975
DF Barry Tucker   (1952-08-28)28 August 1952 (aged 24) Northampton Town 1978
Midfielders
MF Doug Allder   (1951-12-30)30 December 1951 (aged 25) Unattached 1977
MF Steve Aylott   (1951-09-03)3 September 1951 (aged 25) Oxford United 1976
MF Dave Carlton   (1952-11-24)24 November 1952 (aged 24) Northampton Town 1976
MF Jackie Graham (c)   (1946-07-16)16 July 1946 (aged 31) Guildford City 1970
MF Willie Graham   (1959-02-14)14 February 1959 (aged 18) Northampton Town 1977
MF Barry Lloyd   (1949-02-19)19 February 1949 (aged 28) Hereford United 1977
MF Gary Rolph   (1960-02-24)24 February 1960 (aged 17) Youth 1976
MF Paul Shrubb   (1955-08-01)1 August 1955 (aged 22) Hellenic 1977
MF Paul Walker   (1960-12-17)17 December 1960 (aged 16) Youth 1976
Forwards
FW Tommy Baldwin   (1945-06-10)10 June 1945 (aged 32) Unattached 1977
FW Andrew McCulloch   (1950-01-03)3 January 1950 (aged 27) Oxford United 1976
FW John Murray   (1948-03-02)2 March 1948 (aged 29) Reading 1978
FW Steve Phillips   (1954-08-04)4 August 1954 (aged 23) Northampton Town 1977
Players who left the club mid-season
MF Terry Glynn   (1958-12-17)17 December 1958 (aged 18) Orient 1977 Released
FW Gordon Sweetzer   (1957-01-27)27 January 1957 (aged 20) Queens Park Rangers 1975 Transferred to Cambridge United
  • Sources: The Big Brentford Book of the Seventies,[9] Timeless Bees[10]

Coaching staffEdit

Name Role
  Bill Dodgin Jr. Manager
  Eddie Lyons Physiotherapist
  Gordon Quinn Chief Scout

StatisticsEdit

Appearances and goalsEdit

Substitute appearances in brackets.
Pos Nat Name League FA Cup League Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK   Len Bond 45 0 2 0 2 0 49 0
GK   Graham Cox 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
DF   Michael Allen 21 0 2 0 2 0 25 0
DF   John Fraser 19 0 1 0 2 0 22 0
DF   Pat Kruse 40 1 2 0 2 0 44 1
DF   Danis Salman 36 (1) 0 2 0 2 0 40 (1) 0
DF   Nigel Smith 8 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 8 (1) 0
DF   Barry Tucker 18 0 18 0
MF   Doug Allder 31 2 2 0 33 2
MF   Steve Aylott 1 (1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 (1) 0
MF   Dave Carlton 33 3 0 0 0 0 33 3
MF   Terry Glynn 0 0 0 (1) 0 0 (1) 0
MF   Jackie Graham 35 (1) 2 2 0 2 0 39 (1) 2
MF   Willie Graham 28 (3) 2 1 0 29 (3) 2
MF   Barry Lloyd 26 (5) 4 2 0 2 0 30 (5) 4
MF   Gary Rolph 1 (3) 1 0 (1) 0 0 0 1 (4) 1
MF   Paul Shrubb 45 1 2 0 2 0 49 1
MF   Paul Walker 3 (2) 0 0 0 0 0 3 (2) 0
FW   Tommy Baldwin 4 1 0 0 4 1
FW   Andrew McCulloch 45 22 2 0 2 0 49 22
FW   John Murray 2 (3) 1 2 (3) 1
FW   Steve Phillips 46 32 2 3 2 1 50 36
FW   Gordon Sweetzer 18 12 0 0 2 2 20 14
  • Players listed in italics left the club mid-season.
  • Source: 100 Years of Brentford[6]

GoalscorersEdit

Pos. Nat Player FL4 FAC FLC Total
FW   Steve Phillips 32 3 1 36
FW   Andrew McCulloch 22 0 0 22
FW   Gordon Sweetzer 12 0 2 14
MF   Barry Lloyd 4 0 0 4
MF   Dave Carlton 3 0 0 3
MF   Doug Allder 2 0 2
MF   Willie Graham 2 0 2
MF   Jackie Graham 2 0 0 2
FW   John Murray 1 1
FW   Tommy Baldwin 1 0 1
DF   Pat Kruse 1 0 0 1
MF   Gary Rolph 1 0 0 1
MF   Paul Shrubb 1 0 0 1
Opponents 2 0 0 2
Total 86 3 3 92
  • Players listed in italics left the club mid-season.
  • Source: 100 Years of Brentford[6]

ManagementEdit

Name Nat From To Record All Comps Record League
P W D L W % P W D L W %
Bill Dodgin, Jr.   13 August 1977 29 April 1978 50 23 14 13 046.00 46 21 14 11 045.65

SummaryEdit

Games played 50 (46 Fourth Division, 2 FA Cup, 2 League Cup)
Games won 23 (21 Fourth Division, 1 FA Cup, 1 League Cup)
Games drawn 14 (14 Fourth Division, 0 FA Cup, 0 League Cup)
Games lost 13 (11 Fourth Division, 1 FA Cup, 1 League Cup)
Goals scored 92 (86 Fourth Division, 3 FA Cup, 3 League Cup)
Goals conceded 62 (54 Fourth Division, 2 FA Cup, 6 League Cup)
Clean sheets 15 (14 Fourth Division, 1 FA Cup, 0 League Cup)
Biggest league win 4–0 on two occasions; 5–1 versus Crewe Alexandra, 28 January 1978
Worst league defeat 3–0 versus Watford, 3 October 1977
Most appearances 50, Steve Phillips (42 Fourth Division, 2 FA Cup, 2 League Cup)
Top scorer (league) 32, Steve Phillips
Top scorer (all competitions) 36, Steve Phillips

Transfers & loansEdit

Players transferred in
Date Pos. Name Previous Club Fee Ref.
June 1977 MF   Barry Lloyd   Hereford United Free [3]
August 1977 GK   Len Bond   Bristol City £8,000 [3]
August 1977 MF   Willie Graham   Northampton Town Free [3]
October 1977 MF   Doug Allder Unattached Trial [3]
October 1977 FW   Tommy Baldwin Unattached Non-contract [3]
1977 MF   Terry Glynn   Orient Trial [3]
January 1978 MF   Dave Metchick n/a Non-contract [11]
February 1978 FW   John Murray   Reading Nominal [3]
February 1978 DF   David Silman Unattached Trial [3]
February 1978 DF   Barry Tucker   Northampton Town £10,000 [3]
Players transferred out
Date Pos. Name Subsequent club Fee Ref.
8 March 1978 FW   Gordon Sweetzer   Cambridge United £30,000 [1]
Players loaned out
Date from Pos. Name To Date to Ref.
May 1978 FW   Andrew McCulloch   Oakland Stompers August 1978 [12]
Players released
Date Pos. Name Subsequent club Join date Ref.
September 1977 MF   Terry Glynn   Ilford 1977 [3]
1977 MF   Terry Johnson   Blyth Spartans 1977 [3]
January 1978 MF   Dave Metchick n/a n/a [11]
May 1978 MF   Steve Aylott Retired [3]
May 1978 MF   Barry Lloyd   Houston Hurricane 1978 [13]

AwardsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l White, p. 305-308.
  2. ^ a b c d "Brentford results for the 1977–1978 season". Statto.com. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Croxford, Lane & Waterman, p. 170-175.
  4. ^ "Kings of the Castle: Steve Phillips". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Brentford scoring and sequence records". Statto.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b c White, Eric, ed. (1989). 100 Years Of Brentford. Brentford FC. p. 394. ISBN 0951526200.
  7. ^ Croxford, Lane & Waterman, p. 158-169.
  8. ^ Croxford, Lane & Waterman, p. 312.
  9. ^ Croxford, Mark; Lane, David; Waterman, Greville (2011). The Big Brentford Book of the Seventies. Sunbury, Middlesex: Legends Publishing. ISBN 978-1906796709.
  10. ^ Haynes, Graham; Coumbe, Frank (2006). Timeless Bees: Brentford F.C. Who's Who 1920–2006. Yore Publications. ISBN 978-0955294914.
  11. ^ a b Haynes & Coumbe, p. 108.
  12. ^ Croxford, Lane & Waterman, p. 190.
  13. ^ Haynes & Coumbe, p. 97-98.
  14. ^ a b Croxford, Lane & Waterman, p. 295.
  15. ^ Haynes, Graham (1998). A-Z Of Bees: Brentford Encyclopedia. Yore Publications. p. 16. ISBN 1 874427 57 7.