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1990/91 Season Summary

The close season of 1990 was marked by the death of John Church, the former Chairman and latterly President of the club, who had fought long and hard to keep Southport afloat in the League. He was 80. A popular choice to succeed him as President was Jack Carr, one-time director and wholehearted supporter and benefactor. At the same time the theatrical firm Apollo Leisure took over as the club’s official sponsors and another happy association was forged.
If a lack of continuity had been the problem twelve months earlier, things could hardly have been more different in 199o-91. With barely a change to the side, Southport carried on where they had left off and, but for a disastrous month of September, enjoyed a season of great progress. September had begun with a 2-1 Morecambe victory which ended a run of 16 consecutive League games without defeat; there followed a fourth successive first qualifying round F.A. Trophy exit at Emley (also 2—I) and a week later came what was surely the nadir of Kettle’s long reign; Southport went out of the F.A. Cup to the lowliest of opposition, suffering the humiliation of a 2-0 defeat at Bucks Park, the home of Bootle F.C.
The signs were hardly auspicious, but the arrival soon afterwards of the experienced defender Kevin Mooney from Bangor City had an immediate impact. A month later the ebullient goalkeeper Paul Moore was signed from Alvechurch and — with twin strikers Holden and Whitehall (and later club captain Stuart Bimson) gaining recognition in the H.F.S. League’s representative side — the recovery moved on apace.
In fact Southport suffered from too much success; by late March they had passed the 100 goals mark in all matches and were in with a good chance of finishing
runners-up to leaders Witton Albion; but their involvement in several cup competitions led to fixture congestion and fatigue and fifth place was the final outcome. Overall they reached four semi-finals, losing just one, and the three finals provided some spectacular entertainment.
The first came at Maine Road Manchester when Southport lifted the H.F.S. Loans League Cup by virtue of a 4-1 victory over Buxton, with both the `Steves’ — Holden and Whitehall — scoring twice; eight days later Goodison Park was the venue for the Liverpool Senior Cup Final and the team went one better, destroying a strong Marine side 4—o. It was a pity that the hat-trick of trophies could not be attained as Southport, defensively weakened by key injuries and a suspension, went down 3-2 at Aylesbury to Dover Athletic in the final of the new Premier Inter-League Cup. Nevertheless, with renewed interest in the town, the next season was eagerly awaited. Yet these achievements failed to produce the launch pad for the hoped-for promotion challenge;


Sources:
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

Pos Team P W D L F A Pts
1 Witton
Albion
40 28 9 3 81 31 93
2 Stalybridge
Celtic
40 22 11 7 44 26 77
3 Morecambe 40 19 16 5 72 44 73
4 Fleetwood
Town
40 20 9 11 69 44 69
5 Southport
40 18 14 8 66 48 68
6 Marine 40 18 11 11 56 39 65
7 Bishop
Auckland
40 17 10 13 62 56 61
8 Buxton 40 17 11 12 66 61 62
9 Leek
Town
40 15 11 14 48 44 56
10 Frickley
Ath
40 16 6 18 64 62 54
11 Hyde
Utd
40 14 11 15 73 63 53
12 Goole
Town
40 14 10 16 68 74 52
13 Droylsden 40 12 11 17 67 70 47
14 Chorley 40 12 10 18 55 55 46
15 Mossley 40 13 10 17 55 68 49
16 Horwich
RMI
40 13 6 21 62 81 45
17 Matlock
Town
40 12 7 21 52 70 43
18 Bangor
City
40 9 12 19 52 70 39
19 South
Liverpool
40 10 9 21 58 92 39
20 Gainsborough 40 9 11 20 57 84 38
21 Shepshed
Charter
40 6 7 27 38 83 25

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