CENTRAL v CHURCHTOWN
These clubs met for the first time on Saturday last on the Sports Ground in the final tie for the Charity Cup. Notwithstanding the fact that the day was a bitterly cold one about 1000 spectators, including a good sprinkling of the fair sex, braved the elements to witness the encounter. In the previous round Churchtown, after a stubbornly contested match, defeated the Old Boys by one goal to nil, and the Central were awarded a walk-over owing to the High Park refusing to come up to the scratch after a drawn game of one goal each had been played between those clubs on the Devonshire Road ground. The match did not create much enthusiasm in football circles, as it was the general opinion that Central would win easily, the only question being by how many goals. Provision to the commencement the band of the 3rd. V.B. King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, under the commandship of Mr Rimmer, played several selections. Ackroyd won the toss, and decided to defend the Railway goal. Mr J.H.Ellis (the Town Clerk) kicked off for Churchtown, when Hodgkinson returned, and the home forwards getting possession, dribbled smartly down the field, and in less than a minute Mullin had placed a goal to the credit of his side. Hewiit again started, passing to Wright, who made a good run up the wing at the conclusion of which he centred, giving Thornton a chance, but he failed to utilise it. The momentary invasion was followed by Lea-Jones, who neatly evaded Sumner, after which, by a good kick he sent the ball to midfield, where hostilities were carried on for a brief period. The home forwards eventually broke away, and gained a foothold in the visiting quarters, where an opportunity was presented to Duncan, but his shot went wide of the mark. From the goal kick Hobson secured, and made a speedy run up the left wing, untilhe was robbed by Hodgkinson who kicked to the centre. Johnson however returned, and Hodgkinson missing his kick, nearly let Hewitt in, that player being robbed at a critical moment by Shaw, who relieved the tension. Horton at this point was noticeable by a tricky run, but he was pulled up by Johnson, who again sent the ball well in the Central quarters, and Hobson getting posession, finished a dodgy run by easily beating Ingram, a feat that was duly recognised. Taylor started from the centre, and immediately Graham forced Williamson to concede a corner, which was wellplaced by Lea-Jones, but Gee was successful in repelling the shot. A determined run was then made by the Churchtown forards, Wright being soon to advantage. Hewitt then secured the sphere, and sent in a shot which called upon Ingram. From this point until the conclusion of the first half the play was of a pretty even nature, both ends being alternatively visited, but no additional goals were scored, and the teams ended on level terms. After a brief rest Taylor recommenced, and it was at once apparent that the home team meant business, for in less time that it takes to describe, the forwards dribbled down the field, and Taylor sent in a shot which Gee failed to negotiate. After Hewitt had kicked off, the home forwards were soon making tracks for the visitors citadel, and Duncan, Hotherwell and Mullin, in a short space of time, all had shots at Gee, but he succeeded in repelling them in great style. The fusillade was, however, still kept up, the backs having their abilities well tested, but the Central were unable to break the defense. The churchtown forwards then made a determined attempt to get down the field but the play of Hodgkinson and Shaw was too reliable to allow much encroachment, and the attack on the visitors citadel was renewed with vigour. A perfect fusillade was kept up, during which Graham and Duncan succeeded in upsetting Gee. Afterwards the home team continued to press, but Gee was always to the task, and, as no other points were added, the Central claimed the vistory by four goals to one. The following were the teams: – Central: Ingram, goal; Shaw and Hodgkinson, backs; Lea-Jones, Ackroyd (captain) and Horton, half-backs; Duncan, Graham, Mullin, Hothersall and Taylor, forwards. Churchtown: J.Gee, goal; Williamson and Johnson, backs; Wright, Sumner and Cadwell, half-backs; Carter, Gee, Thornton, Hobson and Hewitt, forwards. Umpires , Messrs. R McGown and R. Bushell. Referee, Mr. Sam Ormerod.
PRESENTATION OF THE CUP AND MEDALS
At the conclusion of the match the cup and medals were presented by the Town Clerk to the successful tea. Mr. A. Rammsbottom called upon Mr J.H.Ellis, who said he had very great pleasure in performing such a duty which is usually fulfilled by the Mayor or the borough, and he was sure they would join with him in the expression of regret that the Mayor was unable to present that afternoon. He was sure his Worship would have liked very much to have been with them, not only to support the good old English game of football by his presence, but to show his sympathy with the Infirmary and other local charities (Applause). The spectators had witnessed a very pleasant and, on the whole, and evenly contested game, and he thought mostof them would be of the opinion that the best team had won. (Applause). If he might be allowed to criticise the play of both teams, it would be in the direction that there should be more play upon the ball and less upon the man. (Hear. Hear.) It would be more pleasant for the spectators, and better for the tempers of the men. (Hear. Hear.) But, of course, it took a little time to seguine that in new clubs. They should take a model from the great club, the Preston North End. The game of that club they would find was upon the ball. He did not mean to say that they could not play roughly if they were put to it, but they did not like to play roughly. The Central team had only been started this season, and he hoped that the desire of those who helped in its formation – and he might say he had a hand in it – would be fulfilled before long, and that was that it should be a team not only capable of meeting and beating the best local club, but of meeting and beating the best clubs in the country. (Loud applause). He then handed the cup to Mr Ackroyd, the captain of the Central team.
Mr Ackroyd, in acknowledging the trophy, said he was very much obliged to the Town Clerk for the kind remarks he had made in respect to the Central team. They would be always glad to compete for the Cup, and in any way help the local charities. He was sorry that they had not had the pleasure of beating all the clubs that had entered, but he hoped next season they would beat High Park (Laughter and Applause).
The Town Clerk then handed the medals to the members of the Central team.
Councillor Griffiths , in moving a vote of thanks to the Town Clark, said Mr. Ellis was a keen sportsman, and took and interest to all kinds of games. In fact he was a good man at all kinds of work, and there were few men more esteemed and respected in the borough than he was. (Applause). He endorsed the Town Clarks remarks regarding Football, and supplement them with the advice to the Central tam – shoot hard, and low, and often (Applause).
The Rev. C. Hesketh Knowts, president of the Churchtown club, in appending to the motion, said it was a great thing to know how to take a good kicking., and he would assure them that the Churchtown men would show that they know how, and that next year they would do their best to beat the Central team. (Applause).
The vote was carried with enthusiasm, after which the Town Clark kindly returned thanks.
Hearty cheers were then given for the Churchtown team, and for the band for their services.
(Southport Visiter – 5th March 1889)