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233 vs. Switzerland
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272 vs. Switzerland
Thursday, 2 December 1948
International Friendly Match

 6 Switzerland 0
postponed for 24 hours because of fog
Arsenal Stadium, Avenell Road, Highbury, Islington, County of London
Kick-off (GMT): 2.15pm.
"Official attendance was 48,000; receipts £11,000."

Players lost since last match
George Elliott (27 November 1948) 59
Billy Wright won the toss and England kicked-off
1 December:
England v Switzerland
8.30 Sepia 9.0 Picture Page
2 December:
England v Switzerland (replaced Slapstick Films)
8.30 At the Villa Rose (play)
[1-0] Jack Haines header 5
 headed in a Jackie Milburn centre

[2-0] Johnny Hancocks 25
 a low drive from a Stan Matthews pass

[3-0] Jack Haines header 36
headed in a Johnny Hancocks corner
[4-0] Jack Rowley 55
 picked up a loose ball then 30-yard left-footed shot

Johnny Hancocks 65
shot after Stan Matthews 'nutmegged' Lanz

[6-0] Jackie Milburn 66
 from the edge of the penalty area
second half live - Commentator: Jimmy Jewell with Pat Landsberg

"In the Highbury area this morning the fog was the worst of the week. At 10.45 a.m. Mr. Tom Whittaker, Arsenal manager, reported visibility on ground as nil. The F.A. and Swiss officials were then conferring at F.A. offices. Just before 11 o'clock, the Football Association announced that the match would be postponed until to-morrow, provided the weather conditions are suitable. Tickets for the match, already issued, will be available for tomorrow."
- Wednesday, 1 December 1948, Gloucestershire Echo.
"Persisting thick fog at Highbury caused the England v Switzerland soccer international to be postponed until tomorrow. The fogbound area was now stated to spread in a great semi-circle over Eastern England bounded by a line running from Lem (Yorks), southwards through Nottingham, Birmingham, Abingdon (Berks), Farnborough (Hants), Croydon, and up to Felixstowe." - Wednesday, 1 December 1948, The Citizen

"Revenge? It was a rout! And the three new men did it" Daily Mirror
Officials England FIFA ruling on substitutes Switzerland
Karel Louis van der Meer
43 (29 July 1905), Den Haag, Netherlands.
The FIFA ruling of allowing a substitute to replace an injured player prior to the 44th minute, and a goalkeeper at any time, is in place.

flame flag          Linesmen         yellow flag
Norris William Hillier
(1906), Northampton
Leslie A.M. Mackay
(1912), Fulham
Teams presented to the Guest of Honour, the Swiss Prime Minister, Eduard von Steiger.
England Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours The 1946 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, black socks with white tops.
P 18th & final match, W 14 - D 3 - L 1 - F 66 - A 14.

Billy Wright Manager Walter Winterbottom, 35 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
3rd of 90, W 3 - D 0 - L 0 - F 13 - A 2. P 18th of 139, W 14 - D 3 - L 1 - F 66 - A 14.
  Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry on Friday, 19 November, in Sheffield. 
England Lineup
  six changes to the previous match (Swift, Scott, Ward, Mortensen, Shackleton, Finney out) league position (19 November)  
70   Ditchburn, Edwin G. 27
39 days
24 October 1921 G Tottenham Hotspur FC (FL2 2nd) 1 0ᵍᵃ
676 the 16th Hotspur player to represent England
677 2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 28
314 days
22 January 1920 RB Southampton FC (FL2 3rd) 1 0
11th Southampton player to represent England
3 Aston, John 27
90 days
3 September 1921 LB Manchester United FC (FL 6th) 3 0
4 Wright, William A. 24
300 days
6 February 1924 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL 12th) 18 0
5 Franklin, Cornelius 26
313 days
24 January 1922 CHB Stoke City FC (FL 5th) 18 0
6 Cockburn, Henry 27
79 days
14 September 1921 LHB Manchester United FC (FL 6th) 8 0
Matthews, Stanley 33
305 days
1 February 1915 OR Blackpool FC (FL 13th) 29 9
678 8
Rowley, John F. 30
56 days
7 October 1918 IR Manchester United FC (FL 6th) 1 1
the tenth United player to represent England
Milburn, John E.T., injured his ankle, 85th min. 24
205 days
11 May 1924 CF Newcastle United FC (FL 3rd) 3 2
679 10
Haines, John T.W. 28
222 days
24 April 1920 IL West Bromwich Albion FC (FL2 TOP) 1 2
the 145th (12th post-war) brace scored the 26th Albion player to represent England only app 1948
680 11
Hancocks, John 29
216 days
30 April 1919 OL Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL 12th) 1 2
the 146th (13th post-war) brace scored the 20th Wanderer to represent England
unused substitutes: George Swindin and Don Roper (both Arsenal FC (FL 4th)), who had replaced Rowley;
team changes: Tom Finney (Preston North End FC (FL 19th)) withdrew from the team on Tuesday, 23 November, after failing to recover from a pulled thigh muscle. Hancocks, an outside-right, was drafted in as his surprise replacement a day later. Then original reserve Rowley then replaced the injured Stan Mortensen (Blackpool FC (FL 13th)) at inside-right on Tuesday, 30 November, Mortensen was suffering with an ankle injury.
team notes: There was still a doubt this match would still take place because of the persistent fog. A third date of Wednesday, 8 December was prepared, in case this match did not take place.
For the first time, post-war, England field three second division players, albeit, all in top three in that division.
records: This is the first time that England have kept five clean sheets in one calendar year.
This victory extends the post-war unbeaten record. England have gone eleven games without loss, beating the previous record of six set between 1946-47.
They have also won their last fifteen home friendly matches, extending the record that began back in 1923.
goalscoring records: Stan Mortensen, for the second consecutive year, ends the year as top goalscorer. His five goals came across four matches, including one hat-trick.
The England team were set-up in Brighton prior to this match, training at the Goldstone Ground in Hove.
2-3-5 Ditchburn -
Ramsey, Aston -
Wright, Franklin, Cockburn -
Matthews, Rowley, Milburn, Haines, Hancocks.
Averages: Age 28 years 31 days Appearances/Goals 7.6 0.9
Switzerland Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 23rd
Colours Red jerseys with lace-up collars, white shorts, black socks with red/white horizontal striped tops.
Captain Lauro Amadò Selection Technical Commission
on Thursday, 25 November 1948.
led by Karl Rappan 43 (26 September 1905 in Austria) 26th match, W 6 - D 7 - L 13 - F 48 - A - 69.
Switzerland Lineup
1 Corrodi, Eugenio 26
153 days
2 July 1922 G FC Lugano 7 27ᵍᵃ
2 Gyger, Rudolf 28
230 days
16 April 1920 RB FC Cantonal 16 0
3 Bocquet, Roger 27
227 days
19 April 1921 LB Lausanne-Sports 15 1
4 Lanz, Bernard 29
16 days
16 November 1919 RHB Lausanne-Sports 2 1
5 Eggimann, Olivier 29
309 days
28 January 1919 CHB Lausanne-Sports 14 0
6 Lusenti, Gerhard 27
222 days
24 April 1921 LHB AC Bellinzona 7 2
7 Bickel, Alfred 30
204 days
12 May 1918 OR Grasshopper Club 56 10
8 Amadò, Lauro 36
274 days
3 March 1912 IR Grasshopper Club 53 21
9 Tamini, Jean 28
359 days
9 December 1919 CF Servette FC 10 2
10 Bader, René 26
117 days
7 August 1922 IL FC Basel 2 0
11 Fatton, Jacques 22
349 days
19 December 1925 OL Servette FC 15 8
unused substitutes: Jucker Friedrich, Willy Steffen, Andre Neury, Rene Maillard, August Ibach.
team changes: Steffen was the original-named left-back. Whether it was down to the 24-hour delay, the original Swiss line-up was shuffled about and replacements brought in. Bocquet, the original left-half, became the left-back, Lusenti, the right-half, went to the left, with Lanz coming in to take up the right-half position. Bader was a straight-forward replacement for Friedlaender at inside-left, who was injured the previous weekend.
"Switzerland's complicated defensive system, with the left-back marking the centre-forward, and the wing-halves looking after the outside men."
2-3-5 Corrodi -
Gyger, Bocquet -
Lanz, Eggimann, Lusenti -
Bickel, Amadò, Tamini, Bader, Fatton
Averages: Age 28 years 229 days Appearances/Goals 17.9 4.1
most experienced post-war opposition so far
               Match Report by Mike Payne

This match, postponed from the previous day because of dense fog, saw the defeat of yet another European challenge to England's unbeaten home record against Continental sides. In fact, Switzerland were annihilated!
Before the kick-off, several question marks had been put against an unfamiliar England line-up. Six changes had been made from the previous match but all of the newcomers came out of the game well. Ted Ditchburn had little to do, but Alf Ramsey looked perfectly at home in his first appearance. Johnny Hancocks was a success and Jack Rowley moved smoothly and dangerous.

The biggest success of the new boys, though, was John Haines. England still searching for a replacement for Wilf Mannion, seemed to have found an answer at inside-left made a very impressive debut, showing plenty of imagination and flair.

Despite the fact that all these new players did well, it was the magic of the irrepressible Stanley Matthews that once again stood out. The mercurial winger enjoyed the freedom of Highbury as he ran the poor Swiss defenders ragged. Everytime he received the ball he left a trail of wreckage behind him with his superb artistry.

Ramsey cleared early on from his goal-line, but after that it was virtual one-way traffic. After five minutes, England opened the scoring when Jackie Milburn robbed Bader in the area and crossed for Haines to head home.

After 25 minutes of continuous pressure, Matthews waltzed towards the middle and sent in a low cross from which Hancocks scored with a good shot. A minute later, Haines headed in a Hancocks corner as the whole Swiss defence stood and watched.

The second half opened with Switzerland trying vainly to fight back. Tamini, Bickel and Fatton all made gallant efforts but England soon regained control and scored further goals to increase their lead. Rowley produced a thunderbolt from outside the box before Hancocks, from a cross by Matthews, and finally Milburn ended the contest in style. Switzerland had no answer to England's power and especially could do nothing to stop Matthews and Hancocks.

               Match Report by Norman Giller

Jack Haines and Johnny Hancocks both scored two goals in their international debuts, but the goal that had the Highbury crowd roaring came from  another debutant, Manchester United's Jack Rowley. He showed why he was rated to have one of the hardest shots in the game with a left foot drive that bulleted into the net from thirty-five yards. Haines, who scored both his goals in the first half, never got another chance of a  after collecting an injury with West Bromwich Albion. There were also debuts for Tottenham team-mates Ted Ditchburn and Alf Ramsey. Both gave sound performances in an England defence that was rarely troubled by a Swiss team that lacked its usual clockwork precision and never looked like repeating their victory of 1947. The game was postponed twenty-four hours because of persistent fog, and this explains why there were only 35,000 at Highbury to watch a confident performance by England. Jack Rowley's goal was hailed as a masterpiece. Billy Wright played the ball through to him and everybody thought he had lost control when he slipped over. But while down on one knee he took his measure and as he got up crashed in a shot from thirty-five yards that had 'goal' written all over it from the moment it left his boot.

               Match Report as appears in the F.A. Yearbook 1949-50, page 24

For the match against Switzerland at Highbury on December 2nd, England fielded a reorganised team, with Ditchburn (Tottenham H.) in goal, Ramsey (Southampton) at right-back), Cockburn left-half, and three new forwards, Rowley (Manchester United), Haines (West Bromwich Albion) and Hancocks (Wolverhampton Wanderers). The experiment was a triumphant success. The new team played with dash and brilliance and a high degree of co-ordination, and the result, a 6-0 victory for England, indicates the extent to which the Swiss were outclassed.
The result was never in doubt after Haines headed in a beautiful centre from Milburn in the fifth minute of the game. Matthews prepared the way for Hancocks to score again with a low drive after another twenty minutes. Shortly afterwards Haines headed through again from a perfectly placed centre by Hancocks.
Ten minutes after the interval, Rowley scored with the most amazing shot of the match, a terrific drive from thirty yards which was in the net before the crowd realised what had happened. After sixty-five minutes, Matthews, executing a typical piece of trickery, popped the ball between the Swiss right-half's legs to Hancocks who crashed home the fifth goal. A minute later Milburn scored again from the edge of the penalty area. England had given a wonderful exhibition in a one-sided game, in which their defence was never seriously tested.


      In Other News....
It was on 1 December 1948 that Albert Alexander, the Minister of Defence, announced that the National Service Act 1948 was to be amended to increase the term of service from twelve to eighteen months.
               Source Notes
Original newspaper reports
Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record
  Rothman's Yearbooks
Norman Giller, Football Author
British Pathé