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On This Day: January 20th

Southport Central 1904 05

In a match that had originally been scheduled for September, it was a battle at the foot of the Lancashire Combination first division when Barrow made their first ever visit to Ash Lane on this day in 1906.

Whilst they raced ahead into a three goal lead, Barrow fought back and scored twice. Had it not been for a first half penalty save by goalkeeper Viner, the Sandgrounders would have been rather embarrassed.
Such were Southport’s fortunes that there were notable dissensions from the Grandstand, as the report from the Lancashire Evening Post amusingly reveals.

Coming off the back of possibly the most successful season the club had ever had, winning the Liverpool Senior Cup and finishing third in the Lancashire Combination, it was disappointing that they had started so poorly this time around. They had to wait until 2nd December to record their first victory.
Most pre-season signings had under performed and they had been unable to field a settled side due to injuries. Indeed, in this game a reserve player named Dobbins was given a try, and then was never to be seen again. The move to Ash Lane, including moving the stand, erecting the hoarding and laying the pitch had cost more than £200 and gate receipts were down by £5 a game. All that with an increased Wage Bill meant that once again the club found themselves in debt, this time to the tune of almost £450.

Southport could ultimately count themselves fortunate to come out of this game with both points this win was the start of a little run which saw them win 5 of their next 7. Thankfully, with twenty points from the second half of the season it meant that Central finished in 17th position and thus retained their First Division status.

Athletic News – Monday 22 January 1906


Southport Line-Up: H Viner, Fred Spink, J A McBride, J McWhanFrank ChorltonSid W SmithAndy McGuiganJohn WaddingtonJack Sinclair, Dobbins, J H Birch,  
Goals:John WaddingtonSid W SmithJ H Birch

Soulby’s Ulverston Advertiser and General Intelligencer – Thursday 25 January 1906
Lancashire Evening Post – 27th January 1906

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