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After the fire

​Southport gave an effective answer to those who thought that their performances would be affected by the fire at Haig Avenue when all their playing equipment was destroyed along with the club‘s grandstand, dressing rooms and offices. In the first game after the fire Southport extended their unbeaten run to eight games by drawing 1-1 with Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road Alex Russell, Southport‘s skipper, scoring a great goal. The Reserves routed South Liverpool 5-2 and Southport ‘A’ beat Liverpool ‘B’ 3-1.

At Haig Avenue work on getting the ground ready for the Lancashire Combination game with South Liverpool was not completed until a few hours before the kick off..A larger than usual crowd saw Southport’s young Reserve side record their third victory over South Liverpool in the four meetings between the two teams in 1966-b7. Southport won the league game at South Liverpool 2-1 and then shared eight goals in the Lancashire Combination Cup, winning the replay 5-1. 

A wonderful job had been done in clearing the debris, and ashes were laid on the site where the stand had been. Canvas sheeting completed the boundary fence and admission to the ground was at the Scarisbrick New Road end three of the club’s turnstiles were damaged in the fire. Both teams used dressing rooms at Meols Cop School and walked about 250 yards across the school’s playing fields ‘ to reach the ground. South Liverpool, whose stand had been destroyed by fire four years earlier, were champions of the Lancashire Combination. The visitors led 2-1 at half time after Dick Marshall had given Southport an 18th. minute lead, and South replying with goals from Saunders and watson. The teams stayed on the pitch during the curtailed interval, and after Eric Curwen, making his home debut, headed over the line, Southport hit back and Marshall completed his hat trick with goals in the 50th. and 62nd. minutes. First Marshall was on hand to fire through when the visiting defence failed to clear when Ian.MoKinlay put over a high floating centre, and.Marshall rushed in to head a brilliant goal to give Southport the 

lead. McKinlay again provided the cross which enabled Tommy Roberts to put Southport further ahead in the 69th. minute and the scoring was completed in the 77th. minute when young Tommy Baldwin’s shot skidded in.the mud and went between the legs of goalkeeper Jones. 

TEAMS: Southport: Lord; Rooney, Curwen; Taylor, Farrar, McBride; McKinlay, Gallagher, Baldwin, Marshall, Roberts. 

South Liverpool: Jones;.Allen, Owens; Scott, Keegan, Speakman; watson, Goldstein, Dickie, Farrell, Saunders. Referee: Mr. R. Ditchfield (Morecambe). 

Michael Braham. 

Published in the Match day programme in 1983

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