Southport FC Former Players Association (Port Online)

Match Report – Southport Guardian – 05/05/1886




The Southport Football Club, the holders of the Southport Senior Football Charity Challenge Cup, on Saturday met the Christ church, in the semi-final tie, on the Wanderers’ ground.

The commencement of play was postponed until after the May-Day procession, and a good gate resulted. The match was under the patronage of the Mayor (Mr. John Unwin), and Dr. Pilkington, M.P. Partisans of Christ Church were very strongly represented, and wore neat cards in their hats with the legend:-“Play up Churchites, play up”. Southport had no such encouragement. Christ Church took advantage of what wind there was, which blew obliquely across the ground, and Briggs kicked off. The ball went out almost directly. Briggs threw in, and the Christ church backs returned well. After this the ball was capitally run up to the Southport end, and Christ Church had a fruitless corner, Southport gaining a goal kick. One of Baxter’s huge returns was the next feature, and Will Morris kicked right across the Christ Church goal mouth. A moment later Burnett had to fist out, and great excitement was raised as the Southport goal was again menaced, but danger was averted and Will Morris gave a useful kick. Still the excitement grew, as the Southport goal again appeared in jeopardy, and Burnett once more used his hands effectually. Briggs took the ball to the other end, and Bailey had a corner kick, which for once he misplaced. Again the ball travelled towards Burnett, and Baxter sent it skywards. The Christ Church captain had here to cry out “Not so many together”, and the Southport captain might have used the same direction occasionally, neither side being distinguished for distributing the men to the best advantage. Bryers, a very useful player,took a corner for Christ Church and placed it nicely, but the leather was ousted.  When the Christ Church goal was attacked Hesketh kicked out grandly, and a well directed corner from Tom morris just passed the post. Halsall kicked out well, but the ball being returned, Hesketh made a remarkably vigorous sortie, rolling both the Southport captain and Dutton into the dust. As a result of the confusion caused, some player kicked so wildly that the ball went out of sight, and was returned by the Southport Cricket Club, not being available for their match.  It was high time for the hunted leather to pass to the place of repose behind the goal posts, and sure enough at this stage Christ Church scored amid loud hurrahs. Chris Church 1, Southport 0.The ball was neatly put through in a scrimmage. Change of ends followed immediately, and in five minutes the Southport captain took a corner, but the ball glanced off his foot and Christ Church gained a goal kick. The Southport men quickly worked up the leather again, and Dutton adroitly put it through. One all. The excitement grew again, and stout-lunged supporters of the Christ church team called out loudly “Take that stand-up collar out of these fellows”. If anything the evenness of the game increased as the second half proceeded. Christ Church gained a goal kick and foul. Briggs was distinguished for a bit of tenacious play near the Christ Church citadel, and Baxter for some strong returns. In a scrimmage near the Christ Church posts, the ball went through. Southport 2, Christ Church 1. A dispute resulted, some claiming off-side, and others that the ball did not pass through. Christ Church seemed inclined to retire, and the spectators crowded onto the field. Better counsels, however, prevailed, the referee’s decision was accepted, and the ten minutes remaining played out. No further score resulted. Mayall it should be remarked, was kicked early in the game, and could do little running. Both sides lacked good passing play and Southport certainly played below their average form, and did badly at corners. Brilliant play occurred on both sides, and Christ Church certainly proved worthy antagonists for the cup holders, who have now to contend with the Wanderers (whose 2nd hold the Junior Cup) for the possession of the trophy.

(Southport Guardian, 5th May 1886)

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