The Sandgrounders had built a reputation in the 1930s of being FA Cup specialists and on this day in 1931 travelled the short distance to Goodison Park for a sixth round tie with Everton.
Everton were the cup favourites but in advance of the fixture both sides appeared apprehensive. Official word from Everton was that they were expecting a fight “This snow and mud and slush will bring us down to their level”, however Southport viewed the conditions as a distinct disadvantage rather than an opportunity. “We are not used to mud like this. Our ground is sandy and light. Goodison Park mud is going to be a heavy handicap” as spokesman told the Athletic News.
Both teams had escaped the ravages of influenza which had reduced the strength of one or two others in the sixth round and Southport’s only doubt before the match had been Ralph Hills at Outside right, who had injured a leg muscle in a previous round against Blackpool. He however underwent rigourous tests and was declared fit.
Having successfully navigated five previous rounds its not hard to understand by optimism was high. Cup Fever had gripped the town and Major Peploe, celebrating his birthday, also joined the batallions of supporters in their invasion of Goodison Park.
Pre-game comparisons were drawn between the noted marksman of Dixie Dean and Archie Waterston. Whilst Everton’s Dean was clearly the better of the two, 28 goals in 4 months for Southport’s Waterston was not to be sniffed at.
Dubbed the “Babes In The Mud” by the national press Everton recorded a resounding 9-1 victory.
EVERTON 9 – 1 SOUTHPORT
Competition: FA Cup / 6
Southport Line-Up: Billy Baker, Jack Little, Paddy McConnell, Jimmy Cowen, Joe Roberts, Ralph Hills, Ted Robinson, Tommy Holmes, Jack Seagrave, Ernie Vincent, Archie Waterston,
Goals: Archie Waterston,