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1965/66 Season Summary

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For the first time in almost 34 years Southport resumed their Cup giant-killers role, reaching the fifth round. Interest revived and league attendances up 30,000 contributed to a record profit of £5,825.

Billy Bingham, former Everton and Irish International winger, was Southport’s inspiration and brought the best out of his players. A fitness fanatic, he created a team spirit and professional approach long absent. Not all his signings succeeded; Charlie McDonnell failed to recapture his Tranmere scoring form and Terry Morrall, ex-Wrexham and Shrewsbury centre-half, was released in October -but not before registering seven goals for the Reserves in an 8-1 win over Leyland Motors.

Brian Reeves proved the club’s best goalkeeper since Ray Minshull, displaying lightning reflexes and keen anticipation. Experienced outside-left Ron Smith from Port Vale was a dangerous raider with a devastating turn of speed. Late in August Bingham signed Liverpool reserve centre-half Fred Molyneux, bringing immediate solidity to the defence. The most sensational acquisition was full back Alex Parker, signed in September from Everton. As club captain, his experience was invaluable.
The development of wing-halves Peat and Beanland greatly strengthened the side; in midfield Alex Russell, now a full-time professional, grew in stature and constantly attracted the scouts. Although nominally No. 10 Colin Alty could become an extra defender, if occasion demanded.

Southport changed to a new all gold strip in the third league game of the season and celebrated by defeating Doncaster Rovers 2-1 — their first .victory in 20 matches. They remained undefeated at home until March when Aldershot won 2-0 Bingham, later appointed Team Manager on a three-year contract, introduced “method” football to the Fourth Division; although not popular with spectators it certainly acheived results.

The ‘Port never admitted defeat. Down 3-0 at Barrow with 18 minutes left, they drew 3-3; four days later, two goals in the last eight minutes beat Bradford P.A. who had led almost throughout; against promotion-bound Torquay United Southport trailed 3-0 after 37 minutes yet, despite losing full¬back Terry McDonald, recovered to draw 3-3. Other highlights were the 2-0 win at Tranmere, a scintillating 4-1 win over an outplayed Hartlepools United and, the 5-1 Easter Monday rout of Lincoln City, Yet it was the F.A. Cup which brought Southport national prominence. The early rounds saw them beat Halifax Town somewhat unconvincingly and avenge cup defeats by Stockport County in 1928, 1946 and 1961; at Haig Avenue Southport rallied splendidly after trailing 2-0 to lead 3-2, before County’s late equaliser. In the replay some 15,000 saw Southport withstand attack after attack; then debutant left-half Les Barratt scored and, after 86 minutes, Alan ISpence’s shot clinched victory.

In the third round only Ipswich Town goalkeeper Hancock defied a luckless Southport. In the Portman Road replay Southport, trailing 2-1 with eight minutes remaining, looked a beaten side; then Spence equalised and – with 15 seconds left – Alty headed the winner !

Cardiff City, another Second Division club, attracted 14,230 (rectipts £3,517) to Haig Avenue and lost 2-0 — Spence netting Alty’s parried shot and (Ron Smith heading home Russell’s free-kick. The Cup trail ended at Hull City, the Third Division giant killers. 38,811 (receipts £10,850) watched incredulously as Southport’s defence, with Reeves outstanding, absorbed continuous pressure. The “Tigers”, despite missing a penalty, triumphed through two second-half goals.

Just before the transfer deadline Southport paid a record £4,000 for Bradford P.A. centre-forward Jim Fryatt and transferred 22-year-old Tony Beanland, formerly the youngest ever club captain, to Southend United for £5,000. Four seasons at Haig Avenue had converted Beanland from full-back to a constructive, hard-tackling left-half.

The record profit resulted from the cup-tie revenue and donations of over £8,000 — the Development Association raised £6,820. The club could now look forward to promotion after almost folding up 12 months earlier.

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 46 24 11 11 85 54 1.574 59
2 Darlington 46 25 9 12 72 53 1.358 59
3 Torquay United 46 24 10 12 72 49 1.469 58
4 Colchester United 46 23 10 13 70 47 1.489 56
5 Tranmere Rovers 46 24 8 14 93 66 1.409 56
6 Luton Town 46 24 8 14 90 70 1.286 56
7 Chester City 46 20 12 14 79 70 1.129 52
8 Notts County 46 19 12 15 61 53 1.151 50
9 Newport County 46 18 12 16 75 75 1.000 48
10 Southport 46 18 12 16 68 69 0.986 48
11 Bradford Park Avenue 46 21 5 20 102 92 1.109 47
12 Barrow 46 16 15 15 72 76 0.947 47
13 Stockport County 46 18 6 22 71 70 1.014 42
14 Crewe Alexandra 46 16 9 21 61 63 0.968 41
15 Halifax Town 46 15 11 20 67 75 0.893 41
16 Barnsley 46 15 10 21 74 78 0.949 40
17 Aldershot 46 15 10 21 75 84 0.893 40
18 Hartlepools United 46 16 8 22 63 75 0.840 40
19 Port Vale 46 15 9 22 48 59 0.814 39
20 Chesterfield 46 13 13 20 62 78 0.795 39
21 Rochdale 46 16 5 25 71 87 0.816 37
22 Lincoln City 46 13 11 22 57 82 0.695 37
23 Bradford City 46 12 13 21 63 94 0.670 37
24 Wrexham 46 13 9 24 72 104 0.692 35

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

 

FINAL TABLE LANCASHIRE COMBINATION (DIVISION 1) '65-'66
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 1. South Liverpool            42-64 (128-56)  29  6  7  Champions    
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 2. Chorley                    42-60 (121-56)  24 12  6          
 3. Skelmersdale United        42-60 (120-62)  28  4 10          
 4. Marine Crosby              42-58 (129-66)  27  4 11          
 5. Horwich RMI                42-55 (100-58)  26  3 13          
 6. Netherfield                42-53 (104-70)  20 13  9          
 7. Morecambe                  42-50 (105-65)  19 12 11          
 8. Lancaster City             42-48  (77-59)  19 10 13          
 9. Clitheroe                  42-48  (77-73)  20  8 14          
10. Great Harwood              42-46  (81-73)  18 10 14          
11. Barrow II                  42-46  (88-85)  19  8 15          
12. Droylsden                  42-42  (80-78)  15 12 15          
13. Fleetwood                  42-41  (95-101) 18  5 19          
14. Guinness Exports           42-33  (74-103) 14  5 23          
15. Leyland Motors             42-33  (52-99)  14  5 23          
16. Burscough                  42-32  (76-89)  13  6 23          
17. St.Helens Town             42-27  (65-125) 11  5 26          
18. Rossendale United          42-27  (48-97)   9  9 24          
19. Bacup Borough              42-27  (57-126) 11  5 26          
20. Southport II               42-25  (65-98)   9  7 26          
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21. Nelson                     42-25  (56-121) 10  5 27  Relegated    
22. Prescot Town               42-24  (66-104)  8  8 26  Relegated    

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

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