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286 vs. Yugoslavia

Wednesday, 22 November 1950
International Friendly Match

England 2 Yugoslavia 2 [2-1]


Match Summary
England Party
Yugoslavia Party

Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, Islington, County of London
Kick-off (GMT): 2.15pm.

Attendance: 61,454.

England kicked-off  
[1-0] Nat Lofthouse 29
 slammed in a shot from three yards following a Medley centre

[2-0] Nat Lofthouse 34

 a diving header into the far corner from a perfect Hancocks cross

Leslie Compton 41
an own goal after he was trying to kick clear an Ognjanon centre

[2-2] Todor �ivanović 78
from 7-yards after Mitic shot rebounded off Ramsey into his path
Final hour live - Commentator: Jimmy Jewell and Kenneth Wolstenholme

Match Summary

Officials from Netherlands




Referee (black) - Karel Louis van der Meer
45 (29 July 1905), Den Haag

Linesmen - W.B. Ausum (red flag) and K. Shipper (yellow flag).

If the light had deteriorated sufficiently, then the Arsenal Stadium floodlights would have been used.

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.

  Goal Attempts  
  Attempts on Target  
  Hit Bar/Post  
  Corner Kicks Won  
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  

England Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours: The 1949 home uniform - White collared jerseys, blue shorts, black socks with white tops.
Capt: Alf Ramsey, second captaincy Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 37 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
35th match, W 25 - D 4 - L 6 - F 112 - A 38.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry, the morning after the Wales match on 16 November 1950.
England Lineup
  Williams, Bert F. 30 31 January 1920 G Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 13 15ᵍᵃ
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 30 22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 11 0
3 Eckersley, William 25 16 July 1925 LB Blackburn Rovers FC 2 0
4 Watson, Willie 30 7 March 1920 RHB Sunderland AFC 4 0
5 Compton, Leslie H. 38
71 days
12 September 1912 CHB Arsenal FC 2 0
6 Dickinson, James W. 25 24 April 1925 LHB

Portsmouth FC

13 0
7 Hancocks, John 31 30 April 1919 OR Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 3 2
8 Mannion, Wilfred J. 32 16 May 1918 IR Middlesbrough FC 24 11
9 Lofthouse, Nathaniel 25 27 August 1925 CF Bolton Wanderers FC 1 2
10 Baily, Edward F. 25 6 August 1925 IL Tottenham Hotspur FC 4 4
11 Medley, Leslie D. 30 3 September 1920 OL Tottenham Hotspur FC 2 0

unused substitutes:

Ted Ditchburn (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Stan Mortensen (Blackpool FC ) and Henry Cockburn (Manchester United FC)

team notes:

This is the least experienced team since England's first post-war season.
2-3-5 Williams -
Ramsey, Eckersley -
Watson, Compton, Dickinson -
Hancocks, Mannion, Lofthouse, Baily, Medley


Age 29.2 Appearances/Goals 7.2 1.7


Yugoslavia Team



No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 10th
Colours: Blue jerseys, white shorts, red socks.
Capt: Rajko Mitić Manager: International Selection Committee, headed by Milorad Arsensjević, 36th match in charge
Yugoslavia Lineup
  Beara, Vladimir 22 2 November 1928 G HNK Hajduk Split SDD 3 3ᵍᵃ
2 Stanković, Branko 29 31 October 1921 RB Fk Crvena zvezda 28 1
3 Čolić, Ratko 32 17 March 1918 LB Fk Partizan 10 0
4 Čajkovski, Zlatko 26 24 November 1923 RHB Fk Partizan 34 3
5 Horvat, Ivan 24 16 July 1926 CHB nk Dinamo Zagreb 22 0
6 Đajić, Predrag 28 1 May 1922 LHB Fk Crvena zvezda 14 0
7 Orgjanov, Tihomir 23 2 March 1927 OR Fk Crvena zvezda 8 2
8 Mitić, Rajko 28 19 November 1922 IR Fk Crvena zvezda 27 22
9 �ivanović, Todor 23 27 September 1927 CF OFK Belgrade 5 3
10 Bobek, Stjepan 26 3 December 1923 IL Fk Partizan 35 19
11 Vukas, Bernard 23 1 May 1927 OL HNK Hajduk Split SDD 13 2

unused substitutes:

not known

team notes:

The seventeen-man party were set up in Hendon prior to this match, using the Hendon FC ground to train on.
Colić replaced original choice left-back Miodrag Jovanović.
This is the most experienced team England have faced post-war, so far.
2-3-5 Beara -
Stanković, Colić -
Cajkovski, Horvat, Djajic -
Ognjanov, Mitić, �ivanović, Bobek, Vukas.


Age 25.8 Appearances/Goals 18.1 4.6


    Match Report by Mike Payne

England's unbeaten home record against continental opposition remained intact, but they all but threw away this game after, at one time, being in a commanding position.

After a slow start, the big crowd was lulled into a false sense of security as England worked themselves into a convincing 2-0 lead after 35 minutes.

The home forwards forced the Yugoslav defenders into errors with their positive play and both Johnny Hancocks and Les Medley had the beating of their markers. The Yugoslavian goalkeeper, Beara, once a ballet dancer, was soon showing his agility.

In the 28th minute he made an unbelievable point-blank save from the debutant Nat Lofthouse after Medley had just previously hit the far post, but a minute later England deservedly took the lead. A long pass by Eddie Baily bounced beyond Stanković for Medley to sweep the ball into the middle where Lofthouse left Beara helpless.

Five minutes later it was 2-0. Jimmy Dickinson fed Hancocks on the right and there was Lofthouse again to play his part with a glorious header into the far corner from a perfect cross. It seemed all over at this stage but how wrong that assumption was.

With only five minutes of the second half gone, the first hint of what lay ahead arrived. Willie Watson, dallying with the ball on his own goal-line, was robbed by Orgjanon. His cross seemed harmless enough but alas Leslie Compton, in trying to shield Bert Williams, only succeeded in diverting the ball into his own net for an unnecessary goal which unfortunately was to completely change the course of the game.

In the next minute �ivanović forced Williams into a fine diving save. England then tried desperately to reaffirm their first-half superiority and but for Beara's performance in goal they would have done. Three times in as many minutes he made flying saves from Wilf Mannion and how he kept out Lofthouse's header from a Hancock's centre defied belief.

With half an hour to play, the England team faded. Inspired by Beara's saves the Yugoslavia side suddenly took control. With the outstanding Bobek pulling all the strings and good support coming from Cajkovski and Djajić they were making full use of their fine footwork.

In the 78th minute they finally scored their deserved equalizer. Again England's defence was badly at fault with Bobek's first shot needlessly blocked by Alf Ramsey when Williams was in position behind him. The rebound went straight to �ivanović and in a flash it was 2-2.

Only Dickinson, Bill Eckersley, Hancocks and the impressive Lofthouse looked their true selves and the second half had been a real struggle for England. To their credit, though, they almost snatched  victory near the end only to find man-of-the-match Beara once again barring the way.


    Match Report by Norman Giller

Bolton centre-forward Nat Lofthouse announced his arrival on the international stage with two goals. It was the first time in post-war football that England had gone into action without either Matthews or Finney. Leslie Compton deflected the ball into his own net, and Yugoslavia forced a late equaliser to become the first Continental side to avoid defeat in England in a full international. Lofty scored his two goals in a five minute spell midway through the first-half. The Yugoslavs fought back bravely and their equalizer in the 72nd minute was reward for a battling performance against an England team that wasted at least five good scoring chances. Their goalkeeper, Beara, a former ball dancer, pulled off three blinding saves as England stormed forward in vain search of a late winner.

Source Notes

"Jugoslavia, now putting up a bold show in the World Cup will play England at Highbury on November 22. This was announced at the F.A. Council meeting at St. Anne's-on-Sea yesterday. It was also decided that England's World Cup team will meet a Canadian touring side for charity on September 20 or 21. This will take the place of the annual match between the Cup-winners and League champions. The game will be in London, probably at Stamford Bridge." - Thursday, 29 June 1950, Daily Herald.

Original newspaper reports
Rothman's Yearbooks

Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record (Breedon Books Publishing Company, Derby, U.K., 1993)
Norman Giller
, Football Author