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1956/57 Season Summary

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission

After the success of the previous season 1956-57 proved a bitter disappointment. The attack suffered from the absence of Bromilow in November and December at the Melbourne Olympics and Beadnell was kept out of league football through stomach trouble and never played for Southport again. Too often the defence collapsed under pressure; in addition several of the older players failed to recapture the form of the previous season and injuries again contributed to than team’s decline.

Up to Christmas Southport won only once — 2-1 at Carlisle – in 23 games and were anchored at the bottom of the table. in the three matches that followed the Carlisle win they conceded 16 goals, losing 6-1 at home to Hartlepools United after a goalless first half, 5-3 at home to Accrington Stanley after leading .3-1 at half-time and losing 5-2 in the return game at Hartlepools. After completing the double over Carlisle United (to end a run of eighteen games without a win) and trouncing Bradford P.A. 5-1 at the turn of the year, Southport conceded three more heavy away defeats- at Chesterfield (0-6), York City (1-9) — where Peter Lomas was carried off on a stretcher— and Rochdale (1-6).

Then, on February 20th. Stan Mortensen, the former Blackpool and England centre-forward, signed for Southport from Hull City. The following Saturday, in atrocious conditions, Halifax drew 1-1 at Haig Avenue and a run of seven undefeated games took the club clear of the re-election zone. “Morty’s” arrival inspired the team with confidence and over Easter champions-elect Derby County were defeated 3-2 before 8,076, the highest gate of the season: Mortensen himself scored the decisive goal.

Too many of the close season signings failed to fulfil expectations, Bert Mitchell, an expensive capture from Middlesborough, and Cliff Birkett, brother of Wilf, were particularly disappointing. They left to join Wellington and Cromptons Recs: respectively after just one season. The exceptions were George Rankin, a dour full-back from Everton, and Jack Richardson from Canterbury, who was spectacular if not always sound and strongly challenged Ray Minshull for the goalkeeping spot.

Southport lost their replayed first round F.A. cup-tie 2-1 at York after drawing 0-0 at home. Jimmy Prescott – re-signed from York City in October— scored for Southport, but Bobby Mcllvenny was sent off after appearing to strike Arthur Bottom, the City centre-forward,

Wilf Charlton, who scored from seven of his eight penalty kicks during the season, was transferred for a small fee to Tranmere Rovers where. he spent four seasons. Bobby McIlvenny, the club’s most skilful ball-player, became unsettled and signed for Barrow: ‘his departure proved a tremendous set back. Right-half Don Hunter and utility reserve defender big Bill Forsyth were not retained and joined Netherfield and Wigan Athletic respectively. The ‘Latics also signed Jimmy Prescott who, although retained, refused terms.

A loss of 62,739 raised the total deficit to £16,958. Higher wages and reduced gate receipts of 61,432 were contributory factors. A stir was caused when, in May, a special meeting of shareholders was called to increase the qualification for directors to .1,000 shares. This resolution was passed by 6,850 to 2,389, but only attained the necessary three-quarters majority at a further meeting on July 2nd. In consequence, long-serving directors Edgar Raynor. Jimmy Green, Tom :Naylor, Tom Mackereth and Gilbert Smith left the board: Raynor, a director for 32 years, became a Life Member.

During the year Councillor Fred Thornley. Mayor of Southport and Vice-Chairman of the club, launched a £10,000 appeal to improve around facilities and strengthen the team. The appeal raised little more than £1.000 as interest in Southport’s affairs waned.

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 Derby County 46 26 11 9 111 53 2.094 63
2 Hartlepools United 46 25 9 12 90 63 1.429 59
3 Accrington Stanley 46 25 8 13 95 64 1.484 58
4 Workington 46 24 10 12 93 63 1.476 58
5 Stockport County 46 23 8 15 91 75 1.213 54
6 Chesterfield 46 22 9 15 96 79 1.215 53
7 York City 46 21 10 15 75 61 1.230 52
8 Hull City 46 21 10 15 84 69 1.217 52
9 Bradford City 46 22 8 16 78 68 1.147 52
10 Barrow 46 21 9 16 76 62 1.226 51
11 Halifax Town 46 21 7 18 65 70 0.929 49
12 Wrexham 46 19 10 17 97 74 1.311 48
13 Rochdale 46 18 12 16 65 65 1.000 48
14 Scunthorpe & Lindsey United 46 15 15 16 71 69 1.029 45
15 Carlisle United 46 16 13 17 76 85 0.894 45
16 Mansfield Town 46 17 10 19 91 90 1.011 44
17 Gateshead 46 17 10 19 72 90 0.800 44
18 Darlington 46 17 8 21 82 95 0.863 42
19 Oldham Athletic 46 12 15 19 66 74 0.892 39
20 Bradford Park Avenue 46 16 3 27 66 93 0.710 35
21 Chester City 46 10 13 23 55 84 0.655 33
22 Southport 46 10 12 24 52 94 0.553 32
23 Tranmere Rovers 46 7 13 26 51 91 0.560 27
24 Crewe Alexandra 46 6 9 31 43 110 0.391 21

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

 

FINAL TABLE LANCASHIRE COMBINATION (DIVISION 1) '56-'57
=======================================================

 1. Prescot Cables             38-57 (123-52)  26  5  7  Champions    
-------------------------------------------------------
 2. New Brighton               38-54  (94-50)  25  4  9          
 3. Morecambe                  38-47  (81-53)  20  7 11          
 4. Horwich RMI                38-47  (93-70)  22  3 13          
 5. Burscough                  38-45  (86-58)  19  7 12          
 6. Accrington Stanley II      38-44  (82-61)  18  8 12          
 7. Ashton United              38-43  (89-74)  19  5 14          
 8. Chorley                    38-38  (74-74)  15  8 15          
 9. Netherfield                38-38  (73-73)  15  8 15          
10. Wigan Athletic             38-37  (73-61)  17  3 18          
11. Lancaster City             38-36  (71-91)  14  8 16          
12. Bacup Borough              38-35  (80-88)  12 11 15          
13. Nelson                     38-35  (53-59)  15  5 18          
14. Skelmersdale United        38-34  (67-82)  14  6 18          
15. South Liverpool            38-33  (71-82)  14  5 19          
16. Fleetwood                  38-33  (56-70)  13  7 18          
17. Marine Crosby              38-32  (62-84)  12  8 18          
18. Southport II               38-31  (62-88)  12  7 19          
19. Darwen                     38-27  (62-88)  11  5 22          
20. Droylsden                  38-14  (59-153)  4  6 28          

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

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