26 October 1946 Bolton Wanderers 1 Blackpool 1


Poor First Half, Then Big Revival


Bolton Wanderers 1, Blackpool 1

By “Spectator”

MR. JOE SMITH’S team problem solved itself today for the visit to Bolton.

A few hours before the team left Blackpool two doctors examined Munro, and declared him unfit. A mild attack of bronchitis was suspected.

Munro was allowed to travel with the team at his own request. His absence enabled Blair to be reintroduced at inside-left, and Eastham crossed again to the right wing.

After the sunshine of the coast rain was falling in Bolton, where it was degrees milder but so grey that in spite of long queues outside Burnden Park there were fewer than 20,000 people on the ground half an hour before the kick-off.

Invaders from Blackpool, estimated to be between 2,000 and 3,000, were not often audible before the match. Here and there in the packed stands their tangerine rosettes were scattered.


BOLTON WANDERERS: Hanson, Hamlett, Hubbick, Howe, Atkinson, Forrest, Geldard, Roberts, Lofthouse, Westwood and Rothwell.

BLACKPOOL: Wallace, Sibley, Lewis, Farrow, Suart, Johnston, Eastham, Dick, Mortensen, Blair and McIntosh.

Referee: Mr. E. D. Smith (Whitehaven).

The referee, by the way, was the schoolmaster who was given last season’s Cup final.

Blackpool had a great reception from a crowd which at that time was nearly 30,000.


After a lot of Wanderers pressure, which led nowhere, Blackpool’s first raid revealed a definite purpose.

Mortensen swerved Atkinson and put McIntosh in possession. The outside-left waited for his fullback, side-stepped him, and crossed a high centre which Dick missed in a great leap as it flew out by the far post.

In the next raid Mortensen raced away from the tall Atkinson again, and gave McIntosh another pass in an open position, where the offside whistle halted the wing forward.

Another minute, and Blackpool nearly had a gift goal as Hamlett, seeking to escape the challenging Mortensen, hooked the ball away from his own goalkeeper, chased it, and was still galloping after it as it bounced past the post of an untenanted goal.


In the seventh minute the Blackpool goal should have fallen.

A pass left Geldard with a quarter of the field to himself. On the line he waited until a forward was in position, and crossed the ball to Westwood, who hooked it wide in a position where in the old days he would never have missed.

He did net miss a couple of minutes later, as again Geldard, left unmarked, crossed another low centre.

This time WESTWOOD met it as it cannoned back to him off a pack of men, and shot wide of Wallace’s right hand.

The Wanderers were all out after that.

As Westwood raced into another scoring position. Lewis to hold him in his track, with 30,000 people shouting “Goal” again.

Neither defence looked too compact. Blackpool’s was unsettled and at times scattered everywhere.

Westwood tore into another of these open gaps, and hooked the ball wide, with Wallace at his mercy. There might have been a “hat trick” for the Bolton inside-left in the first 15 minutes.

Afterwards passes began to reach Blackpool’s forwards from Farrow and Johnston, but for a time no progress was made with them.

Lewis made another grand clearance almost under the bar. The avenue to Blackpool’s goal seemed strangely open this afternoon.

Farrow was finding the Blackpool forwards continually with his passes. Mortensen went after one of them and shot wide.

Nobody seemed able to hold this non-stop leader. Otherwise the Blackpool front line was seldom in the game as a line.

Afterwards these Blackpool forwards stormed into the game for five minutes. Two corners were conceded by Bolton’s uncertain defence before Eastham cut inside and nearly reached a post before
Hamlett crossed from the other wing to dispossess him.


But it was Bolton’s fast, direct forwards who were getting the scoring positions. Geldard missed another chance after he had outpaced for once the right flank of Blackpool’s defence in which Lewis’s football was impressive.

With half an hour gone this Blackpool defence was not so often losing position in shock attacks. The forwards, too were attacking for two out of every three minutes.

Yet no shooting positions were being created in spite of this pressure which had plenty of design in it but little punch.

In one raid I counted five passes. Each pass reached its man. Yet when it was all over the line had not advanced half a dozen yards.

Half-time: Bolton W. 1, Blackpool 0.


Stanley Matthews was taking another busman’s holiday today. I met him during the interval.

Blackpool began this half as if they meant business. In the first minute Eastham crossed a ball which Mortensen shot fast at Hanson.

From a corner, too, Dick headed fast over the bar.

It was the opening of the first half in duplicate. But this time the Blackpool pressure lasted longer, though for a time it still produced nothing definite.

It was again the Wanderers who might have gone further in front, with five minutes of the half gone.

Forrest shot from 20 yards through a pack of men, and Lewis appeared in the thick of it and cleared off the line, with the ball spinning away from Wallace.

Three minutes later, too, Westwood shot into the net as the linesman’s flag was lifted for offside and the goal was properly disallowed.


Yet in the 10th minute of the half, it should have been 1-1. A rebounding ball put Mortensen on-side, with the entire Wanderers defence waiting for the whistle.

The centre forward pounced on to a bouncing ball, ran forward on his own, half lost it, and as the deserted Hanson fell in front of him lost it entirely - and with it, Blackpool’s first big chance of the match.

Afterwards, Blackpool were at times hammering continuously at the Wanderers’ goal. In rapid succession Hanson fielded centres crossing his goal from the right, but a goal was always coming at this time. It came deservedly with 20 minutes of the half gone.

Mortensen went after one of Blair’s short passes, reached it, and escaped Atkinson.

McINTOSH called for a pass. The centre-forward gave him one, a gem of a pass. The outside-left raced after it, and shot into the net.


The Wanderers were completely outplayed afterwards, and. I think, should have forfeited a penalty when Atkinson appeared to divert with his outstretched hand a pass to Mortensen.

It was only in breakaways that the Wanderers threatened to snatch back the lost point.


BOLTON WANDERERS 1 (Westwood 9min)

BLACKPOOL 1 (McIntosh 65min)


A remarkable team, this Blackpool.

Outplayed during the first half, the defence unsettled and at times almost riddled, the forwards lost in a maze of short passes - it seemed to be all over at half-time.

The Wanderers were leading 1-0 and might have been leading 2-0 or 3-0.

Yet during the last half-hour everything tumbled upside down. The Wanderers were nearly raced out of the game by a forward line abruptly and unexpectedly smashing into the game and nearly winning it.

You cannot make Blackpool out. All you can write is that they never seem to know when they are beaten.

The best forwards in an uneven line which took too long to develop a punch were McIntosh and Mortensen.

They at least knew where the goal was.

In a defence which atoned for itself in the second half without ever closing a gap in its centre, Lewis and the two wing halfbacks, Johnston and Farrow, were entitled to special mention.

It was Blackpool's first draw of the season.

Mortensen, Dodds Matthews -
And Their Future

By “Spectator”


The first will one day come to Blackpool. The second is at Blackpool and content never to leave. The third has left Blackpool, but would, I think, be glad to play in a tangerine jersey again.

I am glad Stanley Matthews has composed his differences with Stoke City.

He could have asked for a transfer, when the City ordered him to play in the second team, and, if he had been given one, would have offered Blackpool the first option on his signature.

He preferred - as I said a week ago he would prefer - to honour his obligations to the Stoke public, to settle the dispute at a round-table conference with the Stoke board, who, it will be noticed, not only decided that it was no longer necessary for him to be given a trial in the reserve team but presented him with a week’s holiday.

Tactful, Discreet

I COMPLIMENT this England forward on the tact, discretion and forbearance he exercised during all the hullabaloo.

It is to be regretted that a few of those writing about it revealed none of those qualities. 

What happens now?

He continues a Stoke player.

But I am still persuaded that this great outside-right will finish his playing career at Blackpool, where I know he would prefer to be.

Everywhere I go I am told that Stanley Mortensen, 90-minutes-a-match forward, will have to take such punishment in the centre-forward position that before the end of the season he will be battered to death.

I have held that view - until I met him this week and heard his opinion.

“People seem to think that I’ve been ordered to play as a centre- forward whether I want to or not. That’s not true,” he said.

Likes Leading

“I VOLUNTEERED to play there when the season opened - and now, after a dozen games, I’m as fit as I was two months ago. I have not been seriously hurt once. You take knocks wherever you play in football.

“I’m taking no more at centre-forward than anywhere else. I like playing there.”

Well, that’s O.K. by the Blackpool fans, who consider Stanley a heaven-sent answer to the centre-forward problem.

He has class, speed, polish and pluck. He is two-footed as even the great little Jimmy Hampson never was. His heading is uncanny.

What more can you want?

Mr. Johnny Lynas, the Blackpool trainer, confirms that he has never had this player under treatment for anything except superficial injuries since he became a centre-forward.

Jock Dodds, the big Scot, is back again in Blackpool this week, pledged to secrecy by Shamrock Rovers about his future plans.

The fact that this promise was exacted from him indicates that the Rovers think that soon now they may be saying “Good-bye” to the man who cost them a signing-on fee of £750 which in four games has already been almost repaid into the exchequer by increased receipts.

No Approaches

'THIS is the player’s view, too, I think, even if he is forbidden to say so.

He has made no approaches to Blackpool yet, and he may never make them, but, reading between the lines. I think that if Blackpool offered to cancel the sliding-scale clause in his contract (which. I understand, is completely out of the question), he would sign for the club again tomorrow.

Sequel to it all may be that Blackpool will reduce the present fee of £8,000 by £2,000 or £3,000 and that one of those English clubs searching today for a scoring centre-forward will pay the new price.

I hope that happens - for everybody’s sake. No grievances would be left then.

Jottings from all parts 

BY "SPECTATOR" 26 October 1946

Burnden Park - 1938

BLACKPOOL last played at Burnden Park, Bolton, in a First Division match after a week in November, 1938, which had contained one sensation after another.

Three days before the game Blackpool signed George Eastham from Brentford. Twenty-four hours later Frank O’Donnell left for the Villa at a £10,500 fee.

Another 24 hours, and Ken Dawson was allowed to return to Scotland.

And Blackpool, after all that, won 1-0 with a goal shot in the first five minutes by Bob Finan for this team:

Wallace, Blair (D.), Sibley, Farrow, Hayward, Johnston, Munro, Buchan, Finan, Eastham and Mauchline.

Bob Mauchline was a young Scot from the Hearts who played only two more games in Blackpool’s first team.


IS George McKnight coming into his own?

This young Irishman non-smoker, non-drinker, one who takes his football seriously - would have led the Blackpool forwards this season if he had been able in the practice matches to reproduce the game he played in Ireland last season.

He played in six Central League games before he scored. Since then he has shot seven goals in four games.

Six League clubs went hunting for him during the summer. They were not all wrong.


NEWCASTLE won the sweep the other day with 13 goals.

Remember the weekend during the war when Blackpool won it with 15?

It was on February 28th, 1942. Tranmere Rovers lost 15-3 at Blackpool. Jock Dodds shot seven of the 15, including a double “hat-trick” and three goals in tw
o and a half minutes.

Playing for the Rovers in that landslide was Tom Lewis, the former Blackpool and Bradford forward.


I HEAR good reports of the football Sam Nelson, the ex-Linfield amateur, is playing in the Central League for Blackpool.

Blackpool beat Preston on the post when George McKnight was signed. They took this other Irishman almost off North End’s doorstep a few months later.

At Deepdale they were unaware that he had left Ireland and was working in Preston when Blackpool invited him over for a trial and signed him on an amateur form.


A NAME that made news last week: Eric Hayward.

When the Blackpool centre-half scored a goal which won a point for Blackpool Reserve at Bolton it was his first for Blackpool since September 18th, 1943. He has, admittedly, been out of Blackpool football and spent two years playing nearly on the other side of the world since then.

But his goals are so few that they deserve a paragraph when he shoots one.


MR. MATT BUSBY is reported to be searching for a new goalkeeper for Manchester United. Why? Because Johnny Crompton, who played such a great game at Blackpool last weekend may soon be called up.

This goalkeeper must rank as the No. 1 penalty-stopper in the present-day game. He has already saved three out of four this season, and in 1943-44, when playing for Goslings, a Manchester amateur club, he had the remarkable record of 10 out of 11.  


FEW off-the-front-page transfers here and there have made about £3,000 for Blackpool this season. It all adds up.

That overdraft, which soared to over £30,000 before the war, must be in four figures now for the first time for years.



WHEREVER I go with Blackpool one of the old brigade - and some not so old - appear to say “How d’ye do ?” (writes Spectator”).

The latest was Arthur Smalley, the forward from Scunthorpe, who came to Blackpool at a time in the early ’30’s when Jimmy Hampson was in his pomp and other centre-forwards on the staff had an unenviable lot.

He played as an outside-left, at left-half, nearly everywhere except at centre-forward, but wherever he played he was a 100 per cent. 90 minutes man.


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