The season which followed proved even more successful; despite going out in the first round proper of both F.A. Cup and Trophy, an undefeated run from Christmas to March and four wins in the final five games brought 68 points and a place in the top eight. Bryan Griffiths won the ‘Manager of the Month’ award for February and striker John Coleman walked off with three awards at the end of season ceremony; voted ‘Player of the Year’ by both supporters and players he also took the leading scorer trophy, his 25 League goals leaving him just two short of Alan Spence’s post-war record.
In addition, the Cup provided Southport’s first League opposition since 1978 with a visit to the Old Showground, Scunthorpe; but a spate of early season injuries and illnesses deprived the visitors of Ronnie Naden and Kevin McCormack on this occasion and United prevailed 2-0. The 2,601 gate afforded some con¬solation. In fact Southport — with 18 — scored more goals than any other club in the 1986-87 F.A.Cup competition whilst playing in no fewer than ten matches, itself a club record.
Less satisfactory was the departure of Shaun Teale, transferred for a minimal fee to Northwich Victoria in the January. Problems off the field had led to his being left out in the cold’ for a period and both management and player felt a move was best. His subsequent advancement to the highest level of league football with Aston Villa was watched with envy by supporters of his home town club who felt, with some justification, that they had again been short-changed.
The Sandgrounders: The Complete League History of Southport F. C., by Michael Braham and Geoff Wilde (Palatine Books, 1995). ISBN 978-1-874181-14-9
Lancashire Floodlit Trophy
(NB 2 points for a home win, 3 points for an away win)