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1938/39 Season Summary

Copyright Historical Football Kits
and reproduced by kind permission

It is hard to believe that, after being practically down and out three years earlier, Southport should make a serious bid for Third Division honours so soon. After two highly encouraging seasons, during which time they assembled a useful team, the ‘Port got away to an excellent start, including a 7-1 thrashing of Carlisle United in September, to which Patrick contributed four goals.
They sustained their promotion challenge well into the New Year-by mid-December they had only suffered one defeat-and for a time ran neck and neck with Barnsley, the eventual champions. However they finally ran out of steam and had to be content with fourth position-their joint highest in the Third Division North.

Joe Patrick once again scored his “20 goals-in fact 27 in the League—making a total of 76 goals in 118 consecutive League appearances. He was ably supported by new signing Harry Hawkins from Watford. who registered 13 goals. Other newcomers to make their mark were the left-wing pair of Alex Scott and Duncan Colquhoun; expensive signing Jack Ash was unable to command a regular pace in the side and was ultimately transferred back to Accrington Stanley.
Over the period October 8th to December 27th a club record was established as the side went unchanged through twelve League games-15 games if the three Cup-ties are included. The run lasted until influenza struck Lem Newcomb and Colquhoun simultaneously. The players involved were Rutherford. Royston, Grainger, Newcomb. Hill, Reuben Scott, Stapleton, Hawkins, Patrick. Alex Scott and Colquhoun.

Youth too was given its chance. Denis Grainger, brother of Jack starred on the wing in the Reserves and appeared briefly in the ill-fated 1939-40 season, whilst Jack Rothwell, Reserve inside-forward, looked to be destined for great things. Stylish wing-half Reuben Scott would undoubtedly have been a hit but for a war-time accident in Malta, when he lost his right eye.

In the F.A. Cup, after accounting for Scarborough and Swindon Town, only a rare slip by that accomplished goalkeeper Joe Rutherford prevented Southport making further progress at the expense or Doncaster Rovers. In the event. Rovers drew 1-1 at Haig Avenue and prevailed by the odd goal in three in the replay.
During a season when Southport made a profit of £2.716, the club heel, as usual. to rely on transfers. Departures included Joe Rutherford to Aston Villa for £1,500, full-back Roy Royston to Plymouth Argyle for £1,300 and young reserve goalkeeper Harry Smith to Middlesbrough for £450. Naturally there was a fair amount of criticism with the ‘Port running so strongly for promotion. In addition, trainer Jimmy Seddon, who moulded the team together, moved on to Liverpool as trainer of the ‘A’ team.

At the end of the season loyal servant Jack Grainger was awarded a well-earned and unique benefit. the League game against Doncaster Rovers being allocated; although Rovers won 4-0, Grainger netted £242.

On a sad note, Edwin, Clayton, Honorary Life Member, former Secretary and Director, and a pillar of the club since the old Lancashire Combination days, died aged seventy. Vice-Chairman Alf Wilson also passed away and was succeeded in that capacity by Sam Banner.

In the summer of 1939 the club’s stock was higher than for several years. It is probable that but for the outbreak of war they would have made a determined challenge for the Second Division but, in the end, they had to wait seven years for the resumption of League football, and by then the situation had changed completely.

Season Summary reproduced with Permission from: The Sandgrounder (Southport FC Matchday Programme) Article Series. Southport through the seasons. The League History of Southport FC, Compiled by Michael p. Braham and Geoffrey S. Wilde

Pos Team P W D L F A GA Pts
1 Barnsley 42 30 7 5 94 34 2.765 67
2 Doncaster Rovers 42 21 14 7 87 47 1.851 56
3 Bradford City 42 22 8 12 89 56 1.589 52
4 Southport 42 20 10 12 75 54 1.389 50
5 Oldham Athletic 42 22 5 15 76 59 1.288 49
6 Chester City 42 20 9 13 88 70 1.257 49
7 Hull City 42 18 10 14 83 74 1.122 46
8 Crewe Alexandra 42 19 6 17 82 70 1.171 44
9 Stockport County 42 17 9 16 91 77 1.182 43
10 Gateshead 42 14 14 14 74 67 1.104 42
11 Rotherham United 42 17 8 17 64 64 1.000 42
12 Halifax Town 42 13 16 13 52 54 0.963 42
13 Barrow 42 16 9 17 66 65 1.015 41
14 Wrexham 42 17 7 18 66 79 0.835 41
15 Rochdale 42 15 9 18 92 82 1.122 39
16 New Brighton 42 15 9 18 68 73 0.932 39
17 Lincoln City 42 12 9 21 66 92 0.717 33
18 Darlington 42 13 7 22 62 92 0.674 33
19 Carlisle United 42 13 7 22 66 111 0.595 33
20 York City 42 12 8 22 64 92 0.696 32
21 Hartlepools United 42 12 7 23 55 94 0.585 31
22 Accrington Stanley 42 7 6 29 49 103 0.476 20

Source: Wikipedia the free encyclopedia and reproduced under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

 

FINAL TABLE LANCASHIRE COMBINATION '38-'39
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 1. South Liverpool            42-62 (137-61)  29  4  9  Champions    
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 2. Bangor City                42-61 (126-75)  27  7  8          
 3. Clitheroe                  42-57 (121-74)  25  7 10          
 4. Accrington Stanley II      42-54 (109-64)  23  8 11          
 5. Chorley                    42-53 (118-62)  23  7 12          
 6. Rossendale United          42-50 (110-95)  19 12 11          
 7. New Brighton II            42-47 (107-83)  20  7 15          
 8. Marine Crosby              42-47 (107-92)  22  3 17          
 9. Oldham Athletic II         42-46 (108-94)  18 10 14          
10. Fleetwood                  42-44  (85-92)  18  8 16          
11. Lancaster City             42-44  (95-103) 19  6 17          
12. Rochdale II                42-43  (91-90)  17  9 16          
13. Darwen                     42-42 (116-87)  18  6 18          
14. Leyland Motors             42-39  (94-101) 16  7 19          
15. Morecambe                  42-38  (67-76)  14 10 18          
16. Barrow II                  42-37  (87-116) 16  5 21          
17. Southport II               42-36  (81-99)  14  8 20          
18. Bacup Borough              42-32  (81-99)  13  6 23          
19. Prescot Cables             42-31  (79-131) 12  7 23          
20. Great Harwood              42-22  (72-156)  7  8 27          
21. Horwich RMI                42-21  (80-143)  7  7 28          
22. Droylsden                  42-18  (79-157)  7  4 31          

Source: The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.Author Dinant Abbink

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