Match Report – Wigan Observer – 25/11/1885


On Saturday last, the second team of the Wigan Association journeyed to Southport to meet the first team of the powerful Wanderers club. This was rather a big undertaking for the Wigan 2nd, and especially so when they hadn’t their full team up, and they fully expected getting a good drubbing, but the home team found they hadn’t all their own way, and only managed to score four goals to Wigan one. The Wigan captain won the toss and defended the Birkdale goal. Southport kicked off at about 3 15, before a moderate number of spectators, and soon found the Wigan backs plenty of work, which they did in a very satisfactory manner. Both teams worked hard for about 15 minutes, when Southport gained a corner, which was well put in, and ended in Southport drawing first blood. The game was very fast after this, and through Preston missing his kick Southport managed to score again. This put Wigan on their mettle, and they quickly took the ball down to the home goal, but the shot went about a yard wide. The ball was again brought to the home goal, and Preston following well up, managed to score, a nice goal for Wigan. No further score was made, and at half-time the score stood – Wigan one goal, Southport two goals. The ball was again set in play, Rigby playing goal second half. Wigan ran the ball well up to the home goal but shot wide. The home forwards then got the ball, and taking it well down the field sent in a regular hot one, and Rigby fisted out, but the ball rebounded through the goal posts. After this the ball travelled to both ends of the ground, when Leigh getting the ball sent in a daisy cutter, but the Wigan goalkeeper managed to get rid of it in time. The Wigan right wing getting the ball took it well up the field, and W. Gee shot at goal, but the keeper managed to get the ball away. Halsall got the ball, and sent in a regular scorcher, the ball going just under the bar, thus securing goal No 4 for the home team. Nothing further was scored, and at the call of time the game stood – Wigan one goal, Southport four. Bradley and Fairhurst played a splendid game for Wigan, and Leadbetter, Lea, Halsall, and Sellars played a splendid game for the home team. The Wigan team went without their umpire, and had to pick one on the ground, who turned out to be of no use to Wigan, and took no notice whatsoever of their appeals for offside. Teams – Wigan: Goa, J.T. Rigby (capt); backs, J. Bradley and T. Fairhurst; half backs, J. Walls, R. Stephens, and Ellison; right wing, J. Preston and W.C.Gee; centre, C.Gee; left wing, W.H. Craston and W.Appleton. Southport Wanderers; Goal, Dunkerley; backs, Rimmer and Kay; half backs, Sellars (captain), Shorrocks, and Liptrott; right wing, W.Halsall and R.Halsall; centre, T.Lea; left wing, T.H.Leigh and Leadbetter. Referee, Mr Hatch.

(Wigan Observer and District Advertiser – Wednesday 25th November 1885)