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1969/70 Season Summary

Copyright Historical Football Kits and reproduced by kind permission

After three seasons in the Third Division Southport were relegated in circumstances which to the fervent supporter must have been near heartbreaking.

Early doors the side struggled through the forwards’ failure to capitalize on scoring chances created. Burdened financially with the cost or the new stand, coupled with their inability to make P.A. Cup progress, Southport were forced to transfer an off-form George Andrews to Shrewsbury Town for £9,000, having previously declined Plymouth Argyle’s £15,000 offer owing to the player’s objection.

After completing a record 25 home league matches without defeat Southport were well beaten by eventual runners-up Luton Town in September, although Manchester City had already won 3-0 at Haig Avenue in the League Cup second round; the first round saw Southport overwhelm Oldham Athletic with a tremendous second-half display. The Manchester tie attracted a record League Cup attendance of 11,215, each side receiving around £1,000.

Arthur Peat’s 300th league appearances was celebrated with a devastating 6-2 thrashing of Reading which followed a lack-lustre cup display at Fourth Division Lincoln City and ended a period of 438 minutes without scoring. Tony Field achieved a hat-trick against Reading and later scored three against Bury and all four second-half goals against Torquay United. The side’s best away performance was their 4-2 win at Gillingham — George Andrews, breaking a [lean spellt scored three times. Although highly praised for their great fight at Orient, the eventual champions, Southport lost 3-2 after leading 2-0 with 17 Minutes left.

Following Southport’s F.A. Cup dismissal rumours concerning Don McEvoy’s imminent dismissal abounded, but not until January 17th after a 2-2 draw with Doncaster Rovers did the directors request his resignation. Southport, with only three points from the previous six games, were anchored in the relegation zone. Almost immediately senior professional and captain Arthur Peat, who had created a favourable impression when given charge of the reserves in September, was appointed player-coach and a fortnight later became player-manager with Alex Parker returning from Ireland as a trainer-coach; the club simultaneously severed their connections with trainer Tommy Mycock, Peat inspired the team. Morale improved and Southport appeared to have pulled clear with five consecutive home league wins including a 1-0 success over Orient; furthermore they became the first ads to beat Brighton in 15 games. Then, quite inexplicably, they cracked, taking a mere seven points from their last eleven games. Art Mansfield and Reading the defence capitulated totally under pressure; against Fulham Tony Field missed a vital penalty and after monopolising the crucial encounter with fellow-strugglers Gillingham they allowed Gillingham the equaliser which kept them up and sent Southport down.

Among the eighteen players used — equalising the record fewest of 1960-61 — Southport found another useful youngster from Everton in Chris Dunleavey. Although a thigh injury sustained at home necessitated an operation, his powerful heading and aggressive style won him a first-team place; he overcame a nightmare home debut when he scored two “own-goals” against Rochdale. The experienced Eric Harrison from Barrow was a hard-tackling and dour defender, but forwards Keith Pring (Notts County) and Roy McCarthy (Barrow) shone only occasionally.

David Pearson won a Welsh Under-23 cap against Scotland in January but loss of form led to his release; he joined ‘Rochdale and later gave Morecambe good service. After six seasons at Southport the versatile Cohn Alty also joined Morecambe where he suffered repeated injury, Roy McCarthy eventually rejoined Barrow and the promising Alan Groves, who actually lived in Haig Avenue. was allowed to join Chester; a strong, determined raider, he subsequently signed for Shrewsbury Town, Bournemouth (for £40.000) and Oldham Athletic.

On Ppril 28th Arthur Peat resigned as ‘manager although retained as a player; Alex Parker became team manager on May 8th. A loss of £10,415 was sustained and the board reported with deep regret the passing; of ex-director Fred Thornley, a Life Member since his retirement.

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 Orient 46 25 12 9 67 36 1.861 62
2 Luton Town 46 23 14 9 77 43 1.791 60
3 Bristol Rovers 46 20 16 10 80 59 1.356 56
4 Fulham 46 20 15 11 81 55 1.473 55
5 Brighton & Hove Albion 46 23 9 14 57 43 1.326 55
6 Mansfield Town 46 21 11 14 70 49 1.429 53
7 Barnsley 46 19 15 12 68 59 1.153 53
8 Reading 46 21 11 14 87 77 1.130 53
9 Rochdale 46 18 10 18 69 60 1.150 46
10 Bradford City 46 17 12 17 57 50 1.140 46
11 Doncaster Rovers 46 17 12 17 52 54 0.963 46
12 Walsall 46 17 12 17 54 67 0.806 46
13 Torquay United 46 14 17 15 62 59 1.051 45
14 Rotherham United 46 15 14 17 62 54 1.148 44
15 Shrewsbury Town 46 13 18 15 62 63 0.984 44
16 Tranmere Rovers 46 14 16 16 56 72 0.778 44
17 Plymouth Argyle 46 16 11 19 56 64 0.875 43
18 Halifax Town 46 14 15 17 47 63 0.746 43
19 Bury 46 15 11 20 75 80 0.938 41
20 Gillingham 46 13 13 20 52 64 0.813 39
21 Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic 46 12 15 19 48 71 0.676 39
22 Southport 46 14 10 22 48 66 0.727 38
23 Barrow 46 8 14 24 46 81 0.568 30
24 Stockport County 46 6 11 29 27 71 0.380 23

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

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