Match Report – Southport Visiter – 11/05/1886




Saturday last saw the close of the football season of 1885-86, when the Wanderers and Southport met on the Sport’ Ground to struggle for the silver trophy – last season Southport and the Crescent were left to contend for the cup, Southport eventually winning easily by five goals to none, thus becoming first holders. This year the Wanderers have been exceedingly lucky in the draws, in the first round drawn against their second team, who, of course, scratched; the second round they had a bye, and next were drawn against the Churchtown Congos, whom they defeated by four goals to two – thus running into the final tie, whilst Southport, in the first round were drawn against Burscough; and after a hard game, the result was a draw. On re-playing the match, Southport ran out winners by seven goals to none. In the second round a bye, and afterwards had to meet Christ Church, whom they defeated by two goals to one, the latter match putting them into the final. Among footballers the match has been the principal topic of conversation during the past week, and there were not a few who thought (after Southport’s poor display against Christ Church) that the Wanderers would just about win. Southport played their second team, Burnett playing in goal, vice Platt. The Wanderers had whipped up a strong team, having the assistance of Farmer and Griffiths, Parkes keeping goal. Unfortunately for the Infirmary, the gate suffered owing to the miserable weather, rain falling at the time for commencement. Punctually at 4-30 both teams appeared on the field, the following opposing one another : – Wanderers: Goal, Parkes; backs, Rimmer and Griffiths; half-backs, Sellars, Farrar and Liptrot; forwards, Leadbetter, Halsall, Haslehurst, T. Lea and W.Lea. Southport: Goal, Burnett; backs, Baxter and Mayall; half-backs, Bailey, Briggs and Johnson; forwards, Dutton, W.Morris, T.Morris, P.Mellor and Chas. Morris. Umpires, Messrs. Jolley and Allsop. Referee, Mr Whalley. At 4-35 the Mayor kicked off amidst loud cheers. Both teams quickly got to work, and play was even for a time. Willy Morris ran down the right; Griffiths cleared with a big kick.Briggs was cheered for a fine piece of play, robbing three of his opponents in clever style. T.Lea obtained possession and raced down the field, his final shot going behind. Farrar had the first shot at the Southport goal; Burnett kicking out and giving a corner, Baxter got in a fine kick. Hands given to Wanderers off T.Morris, Liptrot shooting over the line. Haslehurst essayed a shot, but Baxter easily cleared. C. Morris went down the field, Sellars kicking out. Mellor sent in a beautiful centre from the left, Parkes saving in a wonderful manner. A fierce scrimmage ensued right in front of the Wanderers’ goal; Farrar getting the ball away. Bailey got off, but shot behind. Mellor and T. and C. Morris were cheered for some pretty passing. Mellor again put in a splendid centre, and Southport all but scored. Wanderers had a chance, Baxter amusing the spectators by the way in which he cleared. T. Morris made a good attempt, Griffiths getting the ball out of danger. T. Morris got another grand shot in, but Parkes was wonderfully smart and cleared finely.  W.Halsall had a nice chance but kicked out. Leadbetter got possession, and neatly dodged Bailey. Baxter, however, got the ball away. Parkes ran out with the ball in his hands; Southport claimed, and got a free kick just in front of goal. Ball was headed about, but Liptrot gave a corner. T. Morris put in a good one, and after a hard scrimmage the “stripes” captain shot the first goal for Southport after 25 minutes play, amidst much cheering.  The Wanderers were now handicapped, Liptrot hurting his foot and retiring for the rest of the game. Briggs robbed T.Lea, and was cheered for some dashing play, Johnson also getting in some clever high shots. Dutton and W. Morris passed nicely. Charley Morris had an opening, but shot over the bar. Briggs dribbled along the centre, the ball going over the line. W. Lea got away and passed the half-backs, Baxter kicking out just in time. Farar put the ball in front of Southport goal, Briggs heading out. Leadbetter and Halsall showed some neat passing, the ball being kicked over. Sellars was cheered for some good heading. Dutton rushed away, but fell when near goal. Half-time was called with the score Southport one, Wanderers none. On re-starting Leadbetter dribbled down, his shot going over the line. T. Morris had a shy, Parkes neatly throwing out. C. Morris then made an attempt, but Parkes was too smart. Some give and take play followed. T. Morris got the ball, and centring well, Mellor dashed the ball through, scoring the second goal ten minutes from the re-start. With two goals against them, and a man short, the Wanderers fell off in their play. Southport pressing hard, Briggs was very busy in the centre, his vigorous heading much admired. T. Morris sent in a hot shot, Parkes saving cleverly. P.Mellor next had a try, but Parkes could not be beat. Bailey, who was playing a good game, dribbled through to Rimmer, who got the ball away.  After a tough scrimmage in front, Mellor put the finishing stroke to goal No. 3, loud cheers greeting this success. Johnson sent in a grand high shot. Rimmer clearing, haslehurst raced down and got past Baxter, finishing up with a wretched shot. T.Morris passed smartly to his brother Willy, and Charley receiving the ball, quickly scored the fourth and last goal. Halsall and Leadbetter got away, and Baxter kicked out. C. Morris put in a fast shot, Griffiths kicking out, Mellor headed neatly to Dutton, whose shot just went over the bar. Mellor next sent in a fast one, Parked fisted out smartly, Southport still pressed, time being called shortly after, leaving Southport (for the second year in succession) winners of the cup by 5 goalto 0. The winners played a good game all round, if we except Mayall, who appeared quite out of form. Burnett in goal had a very easy time, only having one shot to stop all through the game. Baxter played a good, steady game, the three halfs were in capital form, and worked hard all through, whilst P. Mellor, T. and C. Morris were the smartest of the forwards.  Coming to the losers, Parkes was the hero of his side, and saved them from a very heavy defeat by his splendid display. Griffiths and Rimmer defended well, whilst Sellars at half played a clinking game, never seeming to tire with his hard exertions, T.Lea, Leadbetter, and Halsall being the pickof the forwards.

At the conclusion of the game, the players and spectators crowded round the space which had been reserved in front of the stand, and here the cup was presented by the Mayor to the winning team.

The MAYOR said – Ladies and gentlemen, and I am glad a few ladies have had the hardihood to venture out this afternoon and grace this meeting with their presence – I have now a very pleasing way to perform, and that is in presenting this very handsome charity cup to the winning team. It is very much to be regretted that the weather has been so unfavourable for this final competition. It is to be regretted on account of the players themselves, who have had so much greater difficulty to contend with owing to the slipperiness of the ground, and it is to be regretted on account of the Infirmary, as I believe that the receipts to-day are only about one-half what they would have been had the weather been finer. But it does not seem to have damped the energies of the players. They have fought a good contest, which has been honourably won and honourably lost. (Cheers.) I think our sympathies are with the losing team, as they have been placed at a disadvantage almost from the beginning, one of their best players unfortunately meeting with an accident. (Cheers.) It must have been great satisfaction to all who have been engaged in this football competition to feel that hilst they are laying up for themselves a store of strength and energy both bodily and mentally, that they are at the same time contributing to supply the same benefit to those who, by misfortune or accident, have been compelled to go to the Infirmary. (Cheers.) That is a most noble institution, and I trust that none of those who are enagaged in football may never need the benefit of it. (Applause.) But if they ever do the I will promise, as one of the committee of the Infirmary, that they will meet with the greatest kindness and the best medical and surgical aid (Cheers.)  I have now very much pleasure in handing this handsome cup to the captain of the Southport team, who have won it to-day. (Cheers) I see that the same team won it last year, and I have no doubt that, if through the circumstances that they may not be in such form another year, they will hand it down untarnished to those who may win it next season. (Cheers.)

The Mayor, then, amidst cheers, handed the cup to Mr T. Morris, who said – Mr Mayor, on behalf of our team, and personally, I thank you heartily for coming down to present this cup this afternoon (Cheers).  I am sure everyone will agree that we have worked hard for it, and therefore deserve the honour. (Cheers.) I am sure we all agree that it is a great pity the weather has been unfavourable, but perhaps the Infirmary Committee will be satisfied with the funds they will receive. (Hear, hear.)

The MAYOR – I believe they will be very grateful for what they will get (Hear, hear.)

Alderman HACKING said – I am sure you all feel with me that it would be wrong for us to go away without our best thanks to the Mayor for coming here to kick off the ball and present the prizes, having stayed the whole of this afternoon, which has not been very pleasant. We have found him this afternoon, as we always do, ever ready and willing to do any good work the people may require of him, and I hope we shall show our appreciation of his kindness this afternoon by tendering him our best thanks. (Cheers.) I propose a resolution to that effect.

Councillor KILBY said – Ladies and gentlemen, I have very great pleasure, as one of the vice-presidents of the Wanderers’ club, in seconding the thanks to the Mayor, I am sorry as he expressed himself to be, there are so few people here to-day, as I think they would have seen a good game. Although our club have had to work for their success. I hope the Wanderers will have more success next time.

The proposition was carried with loud cheers. Three cheers were given for the Wanderers at the request of Mr T. Morris, and the proceedings then concluded.

The teams afterwards dined together at the Railway Hotel, and Mr J.H. Ellis, Town Clerk, afterwards presented the medals to both teams – gold medals to the winners of the cup, and silver ones to the “runners up”. The remainder of the evening was spent in a convival fashion.

(Southport Visiter – Tuesday 11th May 1886)