STANLEY v SOUTHPORT CENTRAL
Played at the Southport Sports Ground on Saturday. About 500 spectators greeted the first appearance of the new Southport club, the introduction of the professional element being favourably received. The dress of the central, white and navy blue is neat, and befits a “maritime borough” as Southport loves to be called. Over the breast pockets of the white jersey is embroidered in colours the Southport arms and the motto “Salus Populi”. On the grand stand were many ladies, including the Mayoress (Mrs E.J.Rimmer). Members of the Ratepayers Association, who have subscribed £5 5s to the club gave their patronage and the mimic warfare was waged to the martial strains of Herr de Mersy’s Band. Stanley won the toss and played with a light wind. Their goal was the first beseigned, but Richmond, who defended grandly throughout, averted the danger, and Stanley became the aggressors. Tyldesley, a fine custodian, eventually saving with his hands, and Aitken, with the first of a series of long kicks, repulsing a renewed assault. Southport ran the ball the other end, but missed a good chance; indeed, their forwards were too eager and so unused to each other’s play, that once, when the Stanley’s goal was undefended, the ball went over the bar. After about half an hour’s pretty even play, Stanley showed their superior attack and had registered three goals at the call of half time. On resuming the wind freshened a little, and a slight shower fell. Southport had soon again to defend, and Stanley scored for the fourth and last time. Several corners were conceded to Southport, and on the whole the ball was neatly centred, but nothing was ever attained. Once, however, Southport showed both brilliant and effective play from goal to goal. Aitken, by a beautiful return, sent the ball into mid-field. Ackroyd (who acts as captain until Frank Sugg can join) dribbled onwards, and Graham “took” the only Stanleyites who looked dangerous leaving Ackroyd to send the ball flying through the posts. Southport’s first and only score evoked hearty recognition. For the rest of the game Southport pressed, and twice sent the ball just past the post and once an inch over the bar, but in the end the score still stood Stanley 4, Southport 1. Of the players not already mentioned, Horton and Sourbutts for Southport and Jones for Stanley were the most prominent, but every man on the field worked hard, and the return match (Dec 1, at Liverpool), when both clubs are in full practice will be interesting. Teams – Stanley: Roberts, goal; Richmond and W.Wilson, backs; Roberts, Martin and J. Wilson, half-backs; Cowden, Threlfall, Jones, Brown and Millington, forwards; umpire, Mr R.J.Ross. Central: Tyldesley, goal; Walsh and Aitken, backs; Taylor, Ackroyd and Horton, half-backs; Graham, Sourbutts, Farrer, Lea Jones, and Duncan, forwards; umpire, Mr McGowan. Referee, Mr R.J.Gosson.
(Liverpool Mercury, 3rd September 1888)