Monday, December 14, 2009

14 December 1935 - Drake Takes The Cake

On 14 December 1935, Arsenal topped Aston Villa 7-1 in a First Division match before a crowd of 60,000 at Villa Park. All seven of the Gunners' goals were scored by center forward Ted Drake, setting a record for most goals scored in a single match by one player in the English top flight.

Drake had joined Arsenal in March 1934, moving from Southamption for a transfer fee of £6,500. The following season, he scored a club-record 44 goals.

Having firmly established his prowess as a shooter, his 7-goal tally against Villa was nonetheless a surprise. In fact, Villa seemed to have the better of the chances in the first 15 minutes before the floodgates opened for Drake. By the break, he had hat-trick and after 60 minutes, he had two hat-tricks. In all, Drake took nine shots on the day, with one hitting the bar and one saved by the Villa keeper.

At the time, Drake's tally was a record in all of English football. Twelve days later, however, Tranmere's Bunny Bell scored nine against Oldham in a Third Division match. Still, Drake's effort remains a record for the top division.

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