Match Report – Southport Visiter – 02/10/1886

“The match was played on the Southport Club’s new ground, Scarisbrick New-road, and when the Rovers drew up in a wagonette about four o’clock a large number of supporters had assembled in the field to witness the play, amongst whom could easily be recognised not a few of the old club’s supporters. No time was lost in making a commencement, and Briggs having lost the spin of the coin, the home team had to play the first half with the sun in their eyes. The visitors at once went off with great dash and determination, and it was seen that they would make a blood bid for victory. The right wing couple were very active, and after some pretty passing on their part, Platt was soon called upon to throw out a stinger from the Rovers’ centre. The home forwards went down the field, and Mellor, receiving the vall from the right wing, had a good chance of scoring, but missed his opportunity. Not to be denied, the men from Bolton still played up hard, and were soon rewarded, the left wing outside scoring the first goal for the visitors. The home backs were kept busy repelling the smart attacks of the visitors’ forwards, who shortly added goal No. 2 to their score. Platt being right away from his goal when the shot went through. Surely such an experienced goalkeeper as he should know it is not the game to be roving away from his post. If he had been in place no doubt the goal would have been saved. Shortly afterwards Sellars, who had been playing a good hard game, was unfortunate enough to get his knee twisted, and had to leave the field. He came on afterwards, but was of little use for the rest of the game. At half-time the rovers were two goals to the home team nil. On re-starting, the “Stripes” cheered on by their supporters, did their utmost to score, and after a time were rewarded, getting a free kick near goal. Briggs neatly put the ball to W. Morris, who defeated the Bolton custodian, scoring the first goal for the home tea. This success roused them to further efforts, and Melross all but scored with a good long shot, the ball just skimming the bar. The Rovers after this pressed the home team, Platt being cheered his goal. Not to be denied, the Bolton men kept up the pressure, and added another goal to the score, the game ending in a victory for the Rovers by three goals to one. The winners kept up their reputation, and were a smart team. The backs kicked well, and very seldom made a mistake, whilst the forwards were a clever lot, passing and kicking in a way that fairly nonplussed the home team, whose forwards should certainly take a lesson from their display. The home backs played well, Cookson again showing what a good back he will make, Griffiths being a decided improvement on his previous displays. The half-backs worked well, Briggs especially putting in a wonderful amount of hard work, whilst the forwards were again weak, not showing the slightest combination, Lea and Hindlay in particular being very selfish.”

(Southport Visiter, 2nd October 1886)