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1949/50 Season Summary

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission

A season of changing character saw Southport, instilled with a fine team spirit by trainer-coach George Mutch, fight their way up the table into a challenging position, by Christmas. The turning point came on December 31st with a 5-1 reverse at Doncaster Hovers, after which only one victory was recorded — a scintillating 5-2 win away against Oldham Athletic.

Until the Doncaster match, the ‘Port were lying fourth in the table, but it was clear that the attack was not strong enough. Ultimately the strain told on the defence and a series of injuries undermined the side’s performance. the season can be analysed into three distinct phases:

           
                      P  W  D L  GF GA Pts
Aug. 20-Sept. 12 .... 8  0  5 3  11 16 5
Sept. 17-Dec. 27 .... 15 11 0 4  23 14 22
Dec. 31-April 29 .... 19 1  8 10 17 41 1
  

While the learn was in form the crowds flocked to Haig Avenue. The average league attendance was 7,787, compared with 7,588 the previous season and 7,095 in 1947-48. On December 27th there was a record league crowd of 14,766 for the 3-2 win over Rochdale. The game was marred by an injury in which Stanners, the visiting goalkeeper, broke a leg: Livesey, later to join Southport, deputised in goal. Attendances were soon to slump, however, as the post-war boom neared its end.

November 1949 brought one of the club’s most memorable. ‘,freak’ goals in the match at Crewe. Southport had the first-half advantage of a gale-force wind blowing straight down the pitch and. Elson, the Crewe goalkeeper, essayed a goal-Kick directly into it. The ball soared into the air but, checked by the wind, only reached the edge of the penalty area from where centre-forward Frank Walsh, a Celtic trialist, promptly headed it back into the net !

The week after the Doncaster debacle, Southport entertained a Second Division Hull City sfde which included Raich Carter, Don Revie and Eddie Burbanks. A 15,617 crowd – a figure which has only been exceeded once since the war — watched as Trevor Hitchen hit a storming shot which rebounded back into play off the inside of the post with goalkeeper Biy stranded. Hull scored five in the replay, when Colin Beardshaw, although clearly unfit, was included in place of Jimmy Cookson.

Two loyal clubmen seldom in the limelight, Harry Harrison and Kenny Banks, netted £550 and £275 respectively from successful benefits. Harrison, a utility defender, was signed from Chesterfield in the summer of 1939 and he caused a minor sensation when he immediateiy displaced skipper Dave Hill at the start of the ill-fated 1939-40 season. Banks, a wing-half from Wigan, first appeared on November 27th, 1942, against Liverpool and had the rare distinction of “sharing” a goal wtih Alan Ball against Barrow in 1948. when both players kicked the ball simultaneously into the net. Characteristically, the unassuming Banks waived his claim to the goal and it stands credited to Ball.

Transfer-listed at the end of the season, Cec Wyles went to Bangor City, Harry Boyle, regular left full-back for three seasons, joined Rochdale and Ralph Maddison was transferred to Goole, whilst Jimmy Cummins, secured from Horden Colliery Welfare for £750, disappointed and was allowed to join North Shields. A surprise economy measure in June was the announcement that George Mutch’s contract would not be renewed. Southport had paid Bury a substantial fee for his services, but he had been unable to do himself justice in the rough and tumble of the Third Division. Bobby Jones, the former Southport and Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper, was elevated from reserve team trainer to replace him.

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 Doncaster Rovers 42 19 17 6 66 38 1.737 55
2 Gateshead 42 23 7 12 87 54 1.611 53
3 Rochdale 42 21 9 12 68 41 1.659 51
4 Lincoln City 42 21 9 12 60 39 1.538 51
5 Tranmere Rovers 42 19 11 12 51 48 1.063 49
6 Rotherham United 42 19 10 13 80 59 1.356 48
7 Crewe Alexandra 42 17 14 11 68 55 1.236 48
8 Mansfield Town 42 18 12 12 66 54 1.222 48
9 Carlisle United 42 16 15 11 68 51 1.333 47
10 Stockport County 42 19 7 16 55 52 1.058 45
11 Oldham Athletic 42 16 11 15 58 63 0.921 43
12 Chester City 42 17 6 19 70 79 0.886 40
13 Accrington Stanley 42 16 7 19 57 62 0.919 39
14 New Brighton 42 14 10 18 45 63 0.714 38
15 Barrow 42 14 9 19 47 53 0.887 37
16 Southport 42 12 13 17 51 71 0.718 37
17 Darlington 42 11 13 18 56 69 0.812 35
18 Hartlepools United 42 14 5 23 52 79 0.658 33
19 Bradford City 42 12 8 22 61 76 0.803 32
20 Wrexham 42 10 12 20 39 54 0.722 32
21 Halifax Town 42 12 8 22 58 85 0.682 32
22 York City 42 9 13 20 52 70 0.743 31

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

 

FINAL TABLE LANCASHIRE COMBINATION (DIVISION 1) '49-'50
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 1. Nelson                     42-64 (125-63)  30  4  8  Champions    
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 2. Wigan Athletic             42-56  (79-47)  24  8 10          
 3. Prescot Cables             42-56 (102-64)  22 12  8          
 4. Chorley                    42-49  (71-67)  20  9 13          
 5. Ashton United              42-47  (90-62)  20  7 15          
 6. Rochdale II                42-46  (87-79)  19  8 15          
 7. Bangor City                42-45  (96-70)  18  9 15  ChesLg  
 8. Fleetwood                  42-45  (76-67)  18  9 15          
 9. Morecambe                  42-45  (62-55)  17 11 14          
10. Netherfield                42-45  (88-83)  20  5 17          
11. Accrington Stanley II      42-42  (64-75)  16 10 16          
12. Southport II               42-41  (67-67)  14 13 15          
13. Oldham Athletic II         42-40  (77-72)  15 10 17          
14. Lancaster City             42-38  (67-74)  14 10 18          
15. Barrow II                  42-38  (63-81)  14 10 18          
16. Bootle Athletic            42-37  (61-71)  14  9 19          
17. Darwen                     42-37  (55-66)  13 11 18          
18. Rossendale United          42-34  (73-85)  13  8 21          
19. Clitheroe                  42-34  (66-90)  13  8 21          
20. New Brighton II            42-32  (63-102) 13  6 23          
21. Marine Crosby              42-31  (74-104) 11  9 22          
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22. Horwich RMI                42-22  (52-114)  8  6 28  Relegated    

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

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