It was not until 2 nd December that Central recorded their first victory of the 1905-06 season, defeating Oldham Athletic 3-0. Most pre-season signings played below their reputations and a series of injuries-most notably to Syd Smith and Jack Sinclair-resulted in constant team alterations. Meanwhile the wage bill had mounted considerably but gates were down £5 per game. The move to Ash Lane, including moving the stand, erecting the hoarding and laying the pitch cost more than £200.
For the first time since the crisis of 1896 a Special Meeting was held at which it was reported that the club were £450 in debt. They had lost the proceeds of the Summer Draw due to the pressure of the removal and cup-tie income was well down. Exempt until the Fourth Qualifying Round of the F.A. Cup, Central were actually £11 out of pocket on their trip to Watford after an overnight stay in London and they lost 3-1. In the Lancashire Senior Cup, Preston North End, with former Southport player Herbie damson scoring twice, won 3-0.
In a bid to economise Central released Jolley and McGregor. A £60 profit was realized from the hiring of the Hippodrome for the week between Christmas and New Year. Fencing and boxing competitions and a demonstration between footballing dogs were among the attractions.
More important, the side’s form improved and after taking a mere twelve points from the first half of the season, twenty points from the second half meant that Central finished in 17 th position and this retained their First Division status. Even though short of cash, the club took a collection for their former outside-left, Lollie Halsall whose leg had been amputated. The collection raised £7/10shillings. YMCA and Park Villa also held benefit matches for Halsall who had been a popular performer. The Promenade Bowloing Club also subscribed twenty-three shillings.
The season’s discovery was sixteen year old, Lol Abram, who later played with Stockport County, Hearts, Chelsea, and Cardiff City before returning to Southport in the twilight of his career in 1921. When Oldham Athletic gave Southport twenty-four hours notice to approach Abram, Central protested that they had not received the necessary legal period. In order to keep Abram, they signed him professional and because of this they unsuccessfully claimed £18 compensation from Oldham. Nevertheless, Athletic were fined £5 by the Lancashire Combination, whilst Abram became Southport’s youngest ever professional. Oldham had earlier signed Joey Shadbolt who had joined Central from Birkdale South End as a 17 year old in 1983. A capable inside-forward with a good shot, he was sorely missed.
|3||Manchester United II||38||17||10||11||86||62||44|
|5||Bolton Wanderers II||38||15||13||10||72||50||43|
|8||Everton Liverpool II||38||14||10||14||64||63||38|
|9||Blackburn Rovers II||38||13||12||13||65||69||38|
|11||Manchester City II||38||14||9||15||72||63||37|
|15||Preston North End II||38||14||7||17||67||65||35|
|18||Atherton Church House||38||11||9||18||55||72||31|
|19||Stockport County II||38||9||9||20||57||72||27|