7 September 1946 Blackpool 2 Wolves 0




Wolves Hard To Tame – But Blackpool Win

Front-of-Goal Chance Taken - BUT LITTLE IN IT

Blackpool 2, Wolves 0.


By “Spectator”

STANLEY CULLIS, the England centre-half and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ captain, had an X-ray examination a few hours before the match at Blackpool this afternoon.

It revealed that no bone had been chipped in the ankle he hurt at Grimsby in midweek.

“But,” said Mr. Ted Vizard, the Wanderers’ manager, “it is not wise to play him today. He would be fit by Wednesday, but we are taking no chances."

Galley deputised at centre-half, and Crook, a young wing half, who often played for the Wanderers last season, was given his first game in big League football.

Ramscar played at inside-left instead of Dorsett.

Blackpool fielded the selected team.

Teams: 

BLACKPOOL: Wallace, Sibley, Lewis, Buchan (T), Suart, Johnston, Munro, Buchan, Mortensen, Blair (J) and McIntosh.

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS: Williams, Morris, McLean, Crook, Galley, Wright, Hancocks, Pye, Westcott, Ramscar and Mullen,

Referee: Mr. A. Baker (Crewe).

I think the people were packed closer than at the Brentford match. The attendance probably approached 27,000 when the teams appeared, the Wolves in white because of a colour clash.

THE GAME

Blackpool won the toss and defended the north goal. There was no wind—but a lot of excitement, which cut the early football to ribbons.

Lewis made a sound clearance to repel the Wolves’ first advance on the right.

The first goalkeeper in action was Williams, who dived at a ball headed low at him by Buchan (W.) with Mortensen racing in.

Blackpool's raids continued.

In the fifth minute, in a fast counter-raid, Pye, the tall young forward from Nottingham, raced away from Blackpool’s defence and shot into the net, but offered no objection as Mr. Baker refused the goal for offside.

There was little in it with 10 minutes gone, except that the Wanderers forwards shot every time they reached distance, shot fast, too.

Blackpool were playing in the first quarter of an hour to a plan which stood out a mile. It sas “Give it to Mortensen.” It was not coming of, even if the Wanderers "were forced to concede four corners, two of them under desperate pressure.     

INCHES WIDE 

Shot Cannons Off Pack Of Men 

Another corner came when a shot which might have scored hit a pack of men and cannoned off them inches wide of the post.

There was a lot to admire and plenty of menace, too, in the Wanderers’ less frequent open advances.

In one of these tearaway breakaways Lewis dispossessed Westcott with the centre-forward racing to accept Mullen’s pass in a scoring position.

Afterwards, the fast Wolverhampton forwards were often in the game.

For the second time in the half, in a Blackpool attack. McIntosh crossed a low ball which two Blackpool forwards could not reach. with the goal gaping.

The Wanderers might, or might not, have been missing Cullis. There was nothing wrong with Galley, a born footballer in everything that he did. 

For a time it was a goalkeeper’s holiday.  Then Williams, in a big leap, punched over the bar a centre crossed from the left wing by Mortensen, who was still chasing after everything.

HOOKED WIDE 

Once, from Eastham’s pass, he hooked a ball wide of the far post, with no other forward in position to walk it over. the line.

Yet it was the Blackpool goal which had the big escape of the half.

Mullen, all on his own raced 30 yards, forced Wallace to leave his goal, and shot slowly at the untenanted line - so slowly that Suart appeared from nowhere and cleared from almost under the bar.

Another couple of minutes, and Suart cleared again, with the goal wide open behind him.

It was all-out Wolves pressure, With Blackpool’s goal in constant Peril.

THE LEAD

Then in a breakaway in three moves, Blackpool snatched the lead five minutes before half- time.

Mortensen opened the movement with a pass to Buchan (W.). The inside-right put Eastham in possession.

'With a quarter of the field open for him and the Wolverhampton defence, for once, out of position EASTHAM cut inside, swerved a full-back, and with his-left foot calmly glided the ball wide of Williams.

Two minutes later it might have been 2-0, as Blair, in an unmarked position_ blazed a shot which Williams with a cat's leap lifted over the bar.

Half-time: Blackpool 1, Wolves 0 

SECOND HALF

The Wanderers won two corners in the first two minutes of the second half. Neither led anywhere, but the Wolves continued to raid and Suart continued to halt them.

Yet at the end of it all Blackpool raided for the first time in the half and had the ball in the net for a disallowed goal with the Wolves’ defence scattered again.

It was another right wing exchange which built the raid and Mortensen completed it in front of an open goal as Mr. Baker's whistle refused a goal, presumably for offside.  

It was still a game of phases. Wolverhampton were in command for five minutes, and Blackpool in command for the next five. There was still little in it.

PACE TELLS

And Passes Begin To Go Astray

Passes were beginning to stray. The pace was telling its tale in heat and sunshine. Yet it required a daring dive at Mullen’s feet by Wallace to avert a certain goal for the Wolves, who were still raiding often and at times nearly dominating the game.

I lost count of the times Suart headed away forward passes and centres which, with 20 minutes left, were crossing or opening Blackpool’s defence.

Yet, as happened in the first half, Blackpool’s front line escaped out of this pressure and scored.

Again the Wolves’ defence was yards out of position on its right flank as Blair zig-zagged past two men and shot a ball which seemed to be lost in a pack of men as Williams reached it but could not hold it.

In the end MORTENSEN, always on the scene, forced it over the line.

There was a peculiar incident at the kick-of when Westcott and Mortensen appeared to collide in the centre circle.

The referee took the Wolverhampton forwards name, and after a delay of two minutes, while both players were being attended, Westcott hobbled over the line for treatment and Mortensen remained in the game with a pronounced limp.

The Wanderers for a time afterwards were almost out of the game with 10 men.

Williams knew nothing at all about one clearance he made from McIntosh a minute before Westcott came into the game again. That second goal had settled it.

Result: 

BLACKPOOL 2 (Eastham  40mins, Mortensen 70mins) 

WOLVES 0.




COMMENTS ON THE GAME

Blackpool won this match by two goals, but there was even less than 2-0 in it.

The Blackpool forwards seldom entered the game as a five-man line. but when they mobilised all their forces they had punch in front of goal which the Wanderers never revealed.

These young Wolves had no bite today. Yet it required a desperate defence to hold them at bay.

It required-a great and daring goalkeeper, Wallace, and a magnificent centre-half, Suart, who in this match had the aid of two full-backs who seldom made an error.

Blackpool were not as strong at inside-forward as they have been, but goal-a-game Mortensen was still there.

Blackpool are a team these days. It makes all the difference. These Wolves would have eaten them up a few months ago. 







Team Spirit Gives Results

By “ Spectator”

THE French have a word for it. They call it “esprit de corps.” Which sounds pretty high-class for something which in football is nothing more than team spirit.   

Not all the transfer fees on earth can create it. Yet it can be cultivated, and, once it has been, it can make 11 men into a team - and often a winning team.

It has, I think, happened at Bloomfield-road.

Blackpool have won two games in three days - and won both against the odds.

Nobody is pretending - certainly I am not - that these two unexpected and convincing successes indicate that Blackpool have a championship team or anything approaching it.

This team can come a Humpty Dumpty fall yet, and one of these days, unless the defence learns to close the gaps, such a fall will come.

The team may suspect that the manager, Mr. Joe Smith, knows it.

They are living in no fool's paradise.

Manager Talks

 WHEN, on the morning of the Brentford match I telephoned the ground, I was told that Mr. Smith was in conference with the players and would not be free for half an hour.

What he said during those 30 minutes I may never learn, but I shall be surprised if he was merely exchanging compliments about the win at Huddersfield.

I would take a bet that once he had said, “Well done," he devoted the next 25 minutes to giving the defence a lesson or two on reducing an opposing forward line's living space.

Too often a Huddersfield forward - and two days later a Brentford forward found himself in an open space with sufficient time either to race on goal unchallenged or to find another forward in a shooting position.

Yes, they know all that.

Getting Results

AND these manager - and - team sessions today are producing results. You could see that in the first two games. 

They are producing results because they have a team at Blackpool all out for the club, all prepared to play for the team.

That’s what team spirit is. That is what they have created at Blackpool. Such a team can go a long way. It deserves to. 



"SPECTATOR'S"

Sports Merry-go-Round 7 September 1946




I don’t know where Huddersfield Town’s David Steele signed Tom Briggs, the Town’s ‘young centre-half, but I do know ‘that he is probably the fastest centre-half in the First Division today.

Stan Mortensen estimates that he is two or three yards faster than when he finished last season, but he was never able to race away from the man who put a watch on him at Leeds-road. One was as fast as the other - there was not an inch between them.  

 ***

WHEN the war came and Blackpool F.C.’s administrative   Offices were almost completely denuded of staff, Mr. C. R. Gaulter, a principal of the club’s auditors, offered his services to the club.

He was admirably equipped for this silent service. For not only had he all the qualifications which were required - a knowledge of football government and regulations not least among them - but he was another of those who never seek publicity, content to serve efficiently and to expect no headlines.

That was seven years ago, They still think at Blackpool that he was one of the best unofficial signings of the war years.

  ***

BLACKPOOL teams went nearly everywhere by road instead of rail during the war years. They are still going by coach this season to all games within 80 or 90 miles of the coast.

Only for games up in the North-East, down in the Midlands and in London will the team be sent by rail. They think road transport is still preferable for a time. 

  ***

When They Last Met

WHEN last Wolverhampton Wanderers came to Blackpool, it was the day after the first black-out, the second day of the mass evacuation to the coast, the day before Britain declared war.

Nobody should have had a shred of interest left in football. Yet 20,000 people were on the ground and were in a tumult of excitement - Hitler and everything else forgotten - for an hour and a half while Blackpool were winning 2-1.

Bob Finan and Jock Dodds scored the Blackpool goals for this team: Wallace, Sibley, Butler, Farrow, Hayward, Johnston. Finan, Astley, Dodds ,Buchan, and 0’Donnell (H.)

It was football's swan song for seven years – but for 90 minutes it lifted the massing shadows.

  ***

Eric HAYWARD, the Blackpool centre-half, may have been watching the Wolverhampton game at Blackpool this afternoon.

If he has it will have been the the first match he has seen in England for nearly two years. His troop- ship from India berthed a couple of days ago.

He is to be sent to the Fylde for demobilisation.    How long will it be before he is in football again? Not many weeks.

 ***

BOB HESFORD, Huddersfield Town’s goalkeeper from Blackpool, was not out of the team which played his home town club last weekend because the selectors preferred another man for the position; but because he was hurt in a practice match a few days before the opening of the season. 

“He'll be in again as soon as he’s fit,” said a Town director.    


***

SIGNED by Gainsborough Trinity - Frank Bokas, the wing half-back who played for a season or two for Blackpool between the wars and will be chiefly remembered because he could - and still can -throw a ball nearly as far as George Farrow throws one.     










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