SFC FPA

Southport FC Former Players Association (Port Online)

Match Report – Southport Visiter – 23/10/1883

Southport Visiter

Southport Visiter

Southport V Blackburn Rovers. The Southport Association club journeyed on Saturday to Blackburn to meet the celebrated “Rovers” in the first ties of the English Challenge Cup. The “Rovers” this season have beaten, amongst others, the following crack clubs; Blackburn Olympic (holders of the English cup), three goals to one; Notts County, by four goals to nil; Astley bridge, Church and Padiham; and we expect they will make a strong bid for both the county (of which they are the present holders) and National Challenge Cups. The only match which they have lost was with the “Dumbarton”, holders of the Scottish Challenge Cup; the “Rovers”, after travelling all night, being beaten by two goals to one. Our local club, although not expecting to have a winning chance, were determined they would make a good fight and took their strongest team. The Rovers also had their best team. About 1500 spectators were on the field. The “Rovers” kicked off, and Strachan passing to their left wing, Lofthouse made a shot which was well kept out. The attack of the “Rovers” was very strong, but the defence of the “Sandgrounders” was much stronger than expected. After a fair amount of pressing, especially by Douglas and Duckworth, whose dribbling and passing during the whole of the match was simply grand, a long shot from Avery on the left went through, just out of Platts reach. Keeping up the pressure, with occasional breaks away by Morris and Melross on the right, which, however, were always nullified by the powerful back play of Forest, Suter, and Beverley. The Rovers again put in some clever shots, one of which bounded off Baxter through the goal, Platt being unable to reach the ball. The Reds now made several neat runs, Mellor and Briggs being most conspicuous; but whenever they seemed to have a chance of scoring they got too excited, the final kicks being very weak. The combined play of the Rovers’ forwards was like a piece of clockwork, and a treat to witness, each man passing and re passing in the most unselfish manner, and we hope the Southport men will try and copy such masters of the game. The third goal scored by the “Rovers” was very hard lines for the visitors, as a claim of hands being made by the locals, some of the Southport players ceased their exertions, as the foul was palpable, the ball was, however, put through and the goal allowed by the referee, as the umpire did not allow the foul. Nothing daunted, the “Reds” kept up their defence, and only another goal was scored during the last 15 minutes, the total at half time being four goals to nil in favour of the “Rovers”. On changing ends, and with a strong breeze in their favour, it was expected that a large number of goals would be scored by the “Rovers”, but the “seasidery Southport residery” young men stuck to their work like leeches, and for over 30 minutes kept the “Rovers” from scoring. Platt, in goal, being repeatedly cheered by the large crowd assembled, some of the shots he saved being regular scorchers. “Blundell” and Baxter played a rattling back game, time after time repulsing the determined rushes of the Rovers forwards. Rylance, Dalby, and Ramsbotham, at half back, worked like horses all through the match, tackling their clever opponents in the most plucky manner. The determined defence of the visitors surprised the “Rovers” and, slackening their efforts a little, enabled the Southport forwards to make several raids into the Blackburn territory. Morris Melross and Whitaker being very prominent, several shots being sent in but without luck, Arthur rushing out one time and saving his charge when a score seemed inevitable. Mellor and Briggs executed several smart runs on the left; in fact, the Southport forwards played with much more combination and passed much better, evidently having learned something from their formidable opponents. It seemed as if the Rovers would not increase their score, although they were although they were straining evert nerve to break through the Southport defences; however, a fast low shot by Avery was successful, the goalkeeper being unable to see the ball , one of the backs being in his way. Morris secured possession and raced away to the Rovers goal, the final shot going behind. On being kicked off, McIntyre passing to the right, Douglas and Duckworth made a brilliant run and centred to Lofthouse who made a splendid shot which Platt only half stopped. From the kick off Mellor and Briggs were prominent, making a nice dribble on the left and centred, when a slight scrimmage took place; the ball was well returned, and Lofthouse made a grand run and pass to Douglas, who made a shot just under the bar, which Platt could not reach. Time was soon after called, and a pleasant game resulted in an easy win for the Rovers by seven goals to nil. Although beaten our local club have no reason to be ashamed of their play against such a powerful club, who have defeated clubs of much greater standing than Southport by a larger number of goals. We we expect that after this match the lesson taught to the “Reds” will result in their playing a game with less selfishness, each playing more for his club’s honour than for himself. Teams: Southport – Goal, S.Platt; backs, T.B.”Blundell” and H.Baxter; half-backs, R.L.Rylance, A.B.Dalby and E.Ramsbotham; right wing, T.Morris and J.Melross; left wing, P.Mellor and J.Briggs; centre, W.Whittaker. Blackburn Rovers – Goal, H.Arthur; backs, J.Beverley and F Suter; falf-backs, J.Forrest and H.McIntyre; right wing, J.Duckworth and J. Douglas; left wing, T.Lofthouse and G.Avery; centres, T.Strachan and J.Sowerbutts. The match next Saturday is against Birkenhead, and we hope there will be a large number of spectators to see if the visit of the “Reds” to Blackburn has done the team any good.

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