Tag: Southport

FA Cup Match Of The Week Part Three: Southport 2-5 Sheffield Wednesday

It’s Sunday morning, and some of those that have travelled from South Yorkshire to the Lancashire coast could be forgiven for nursing sore heads. In Sheffield Wednesday’s recent history there hasn’t been a great deal to smile about, and things may yet get more difficult for the club before they get any easier. They could well be in administration in the next ten days or so and, set against such problems, a trip to Southport to play the Blue Square Premier side in the First Round of the FA Cup surely falls into the category of being just about the last that the club needs at the moment. Wednesday have failed to win their last three league matches and, with League One being such a tight division this season, this has meant a drop to tenth place in the table. The niggling suspicion, however, is that they will have bigger fish to fry than this match over the next couple of weeks. Southport FC have a story of their own to tell, of course. They were the last club to be voted out of the Football League, replaced by Wigan Athletic in 1978, and a year later missed out on a place in the newly-formed Alliance Premier League. They finally made it into non-league football’s top division (which, by this time, had been rebranded as the Football Conference) in...

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Gone But Not Forgotten (Part 6)

Southport, possibly more famous in sporting terms as the home of the Royal Birkdale golf course, suffered the ignominy of becoming the last town to lose its Football League status in 1978. Southport fell victims to the Seaside Curse, which saw the likes Barrow, New Brighton and Workington lose their place amongst the lower reaches of English professional football before the introduction of automatic promotion and relegation with the Conference, but their continuing presence in senior non-league football is a testament to the hardiness of the club and the durability of non-league football. Formed in 1881, they played for forty years as a non-league club. They created an unwelcome first when they were bought out by a tyre company in 1918 who changed their name to Southport Vulcan after their company (the experiment only lasted a year before being quietly dropped – it did, however, leave them as possibly the first senior English club to adopt a sponsor’s name into their club name) before, in the great Football League expansion of 1921, being co-opted into the new Third Division North. Initially, whilst their League form was unimpressive, they did briefly gain a reputation in the FA Cup, becoming the first team from Division Three North to make the quarter-finals in 1931 (though they did contrive to lose 9-1 to Everton once they got there), but they remained a bottom...

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The Ex Files

Well done Accrington Stanley, for dumping Nottingham Forest out of the League Cup last night. A little bit of digging and delving has established that the first round of this year’s competition is one-legged, so a place in the second round and a possible tie against Tottenham’s reserves (an eminently winnable tie, given Spurs’ recent cup form) could well await. The recent kerfuffle about Stanley’s return to the league has, over the last few weeks, set me thinking about those teams that we have loved and lost. The introduction of promotion and relegation between the Conference and the League was, of course, utterly justified. Too many lower division clubs had been treading water for too long, and non-league football had, of it’s own accord, got it’s house in order and created a national league. There are now twenty fully professional non-league teams, which makes a mockery of the big clubs’ belief that the world is only interested in them, and this has come about because mobility is not merely limited, as it was as recently as 1986, to the top of the “fifth division”. Prior to this, though, it was somewhat more difficult to get into the League. For years, the Football League had effectively run itself as a cartel, and the cartel was called “Re-Election”. It was something of a sop to the upward ambitions of non-league clubs....

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