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1908-09 Western League (Division One)

For the last time, Division One was split into two sections of six clubs, reorganised from the previous season, with the winner of each section playing each other in a Championship decider. Brighton & Hove Albion won Section A and reigning champions Millwall won Section B, with Millwall winning the decider 2–1 in a replay after the first match was drawn. At the end of this season, all 14 clubs in Division One resigned from the League, leaving Division Two as the only division in the league.

MILLWALL ATHLETIC
Upton Park
1 - 3 (Shea)
7 September 1908
Att: 5,000

Clark

Shreeve

Taylor

Yenson

Young

Jarvis

Ashton

Shea

Foster

Brown

Blackburn

Young for West Ham was hurt in an early collision before Dean put the Dockers in front. Tellum for the visitors struck the West Ham bar twice, once with a shot then heading the rebound onto it again.
Lots of ragged play up to half-time.
Standard improved considerably in the second half and a wonderful combination by the whole of the Hammers' forwards ended with Shea equalising.
Cunliffe restored Millwall's advantage after a terrific struggle in front of the home goal. Frost for West Ham hit the bar with a terrific shot and the ball rebounded into play. Dean scored the visitors third goal with a long shot from the wing which passed through the fallen Clark's outstreatched hands. Tellum had another good chance but after getting passed the backs shot wildly over.

MILLWALL ATHLETIC
North Greenwich
0 - 2
14 September 1908
Att: 2,000

Clark

Gault

Taylor

Yenson

Piercy

Randall

Ashton

Shea

Foster

Dyer

Blackburn

REPORT:

BRENTFORD
Upton Park
1 - 0 (Dyer)
21 September 1908
Att: 2,000

Clark

Shreeve

Harwood

Tirrell

Piercy

Jarvis

Ashton

Burton

Miller

Dyer

Lee

REPORT:

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE
Upton Park
0 - 1
5 October 1908
Att: 1,8000

Clark

Taylor

Harwood

Yenson

Piercy

Jarvis

Frost

Shea

Miller

Waggott

Blackburn

REPORT:

BRENTFORD
Griffin Park
1 - 0 (Shea)
12 October 1908
Att: 1,000

Clark

Taylor

Harwood

Tirrell

Young

Jarvis

Frost

Shea

Miller

Brown

Lee

The return Western League fixture between Brentford and West Ham, at Griffin Park was mildly exciting, and the visitors, who won by 1-0 deserve to. However, the 47 minute goal by Shea was headed against the bar, McIves, Brentford's goalkeeper, caught the rebound but the referee ruled it had crossed the line. Either side, might have won by a comfortable margin, both sides of forwards were weak near goal. Play throughout was very moderate and uneventful, notably in the first half, when the players were frequently beaten by the pace of the ground. Wild passing and kicking were frequent, and there was but little really good combination. West Ham were better in combination, but lacked the pace in their attack shown by their opponents. 

PLYMOUTH ARGYLE
Home Park
1 - 2 (Lee)
28 October 1908
Att: 2,000

Clark

Shreeve

Taylor

Tirrell

Piercy

Jarvis

Lee

Grassam

Miller

Shea

Blackburn

REPORT:

SOUTHAMPTON
The Dell
1 - 2 (Randall)
9 November 1908
Att:

Kitchen

Gault

Taylor

Young

Allison

Jarvis

Ashton

Grassam

Foster

Randall

Blackburn

REPORT:

BRISTOL ROVERS
Upton Park
4 - 2 (Shea 3, Foster)
16 November 1908
Att:

Clark

Gault

Harwood

Young

Chalkley

Jarvis

Ashton

Shea

Foster

Waggott

Lee

REPORT:

PORTSMOUTH
Fratton Park
3 - 2 (Foster, Grassam, Shea)
25 November 1908
Att: 2,000

Clark

Gault

Taylor

Young

Chalkley

Jarvis

Ashton

Shea

Foster

Grassam

Blackburn

George Kitchen was dropped in favour of Clark. All the remainder regular first XI players except Chalkley for Piercy.
Portsmouth had only four players who turned out in the last match. The home side went ahead through Reid in the 20th minute. A minute later Grassam levelled and in the 30th minute Foster put them in front.
Portsmouth got on terms just on half-time when Clark was charged over the line by Reid. Pompey frittered away chances in the second period and Hammers gradually gained control. In the final minute Shea made a clever run and beat McDonald for the decider. 

SOUTHAMPTON
Upton Park
3 - 4 (Burton 2, Shreeve [pen])
7 December 1908
Att: 2,500

Clark

Gault

Shreeve

Young

Piercy

Tirrell

Ashton

Grassam

Miller

Burton

Blackburn

After 4 minutes Hodgkinson put Saints ahead, Burton equalised but Jefferis restored the visitors lead. A penalty converted by Shreeve put Hammers back on terms. Before half time Jefferis again gave the away side a lead.
In the failing light Burton made it 3-3 but in the semi-darkness Costello got Southampton's winner.

PORTSMOUTH : Tommy Allison Benefit
Upton Park
2 - 4 (Burton, Shea)
14 December 1908
Att: 2,000

Clark

Gault

Harwood

Allison

Chalkley

Jarvis

Frost

Grassam

Shea

Burton

Blackburn

Tommy Allison was now in his 6lh season with the club, and he became the first West Ham player to be granted a benefit match. The occasion chosen was a Western League fixture against Portsmouth at the Boleyn ground, but sadly this was a most unfortunate choice. The team's performances in this league were even worse than those in the Southern, which did not give supporters much of an incentive to attend, although had the weather been better it might have improved the size of the crowd. Unfortunately it was a wet and miserable Monday afternoon in mid December, and less than 2,000 hardy souls turned up. It was rumoured that the club were to approach the FA to allow them to make a grant to Allison for the player's loyalty. As a postscript, the result was as gloomy as the day - 4-2 to Pompey.

BRISTOL ROVERS
Eastville
4 - 1 (Shea 3, Frost)
6 January 1909
Att: 800

Clark

Gault

Harwood

Yenson

Chalkley

Tirrell

Frost

Shea

Miller

Burton

Lee

REPORT:

At the end of this season, West Ham United and the other member clubs resigned from the League to concentrate on the Southern League.

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