30 November 1946 Blackpool 3 Liverpool 2


Liverpool panic in second half


Blackpool 3, Liverpool 2

By “Spectator”

IT was the earliest kick-off this season at Blackpool today.

But Liverpool came to town with such a reputation - top of the League and 12 games without defeat - that as early as two o’clock there were nearly 17,000 people on the ground, and queues at the turnstiles were as long as in the early season days.

Liverpool had to introduce one new man - Bill Jones, one of those players who can play anywhere. This time they selected him as left-half instead of the unfit Paisley.

Hundreds of people came from Liverpool and greeted the Anfield men with a rattle chorus which continued for a couple of minutes


BLACKPOOL: Wallace, Sibley, Kennedy, Farrow, Hayward, Johnston, Munro, Dick, Mortensen, Blair, McIntosh.

LIVERPOOL: Sidlow, Lambert, Ramsden, Taylor, Hughes, Jones, Eastham, Balmer, Stubbins, Done, Liddell.

Referee: W Prestcott (Southport).


The grass was so soft at the toss up that the coin embedded itself in the turf. Blackpool lost the toss and defended the north goal.

Blackpool’s first advance on the left was spoiled by the referee who, without knowing anything about it, intercepted a pass which would have reached Blair out all on his own near the line.

There was a complete composure in Kennedy’s first pass back to his goalkeeper as Harry Eastham chased after a forward pass,

Liverpool won a corner on the left the first time their forwards crossed the half-way line in force.

Three times afterwards Hayward cleared under the constant raids which followed.

Then, in a full-line Blackpool advance, Munro shot a ball which fell unexpectedly and forced Sidlow to a big last-second leap at the cost of a corner.


There was little between the teams in the first 10 minutes. Liverpool have the guns to fire but none had been fired at that time.

When Mortensen went darting between the backs in one lone raid and crashed to earth every man in Liverpool’s defence stood in outraged protest when Mr. Prestcott gave a free kick.

The kick led nowhere as Farrow lobbed it too far in advance of his waiting forwards.

This Liverpool defence betrayed a few signs of panic under pressure and there was plenty of Blackpool pressure as the 15th minute approached. Yet in the 16th minute Liverpool nearly snatched the lead.

A forward pass found a gap on Blackpool’s right. Into it Liddell raced, lost the ball as Wallace dived at his feet, swerved out of the goalkeeper’s path as he fell. That was a nice gesture by Liverpool’s Scottish outside-left.

A minute later Blackpool took the lead. It was a goal that proved the long pass pays. Blair built the raid, sold the dummy to two men before crossing a ball out to the right.

Munro pounded on it crossed it wide to the other wing, where McINTOSH, waiting for it, hit it into the far wall of the net as it fell to a cheer which must have been heard a couple of miles away.

That is the way to play football on such a surface as this.

Hayward was superb as Liverpool battered afterwards at the Blackpool defence and battered in vain as the centre-half repeatedly cleared everything in the air.

Dick shot high over the bar as a chance offered itself for No. 2 with the Liverpool full-backs wide apart again.

In another raid, too, Mortensen shot a ball which cannoned off one of these full-backs with Sidlow yards out of position and standing rooted in the mud as the ball missed a post by inches.


These Blackpool forwards were packing a punch again today.

Another minute and one of Farrow’s long throws won a corner off a defence which must have heard of them, but were unprepared for this one as Munro chased it.

This was the prelude to 10 minutes’ pressure by Liverpool which had everything in it - long passes, shots, everything - except goals.

Balmer was the unluckiest forward on the field not to score his 11th goal in four games with a shot which hit the inside of one post and cannoned back again into the arms of Wallace as he sprawled near the other.

Again, a minute later, Wallace made another of his nosedive clearances and a second later followed it with another so far away from goal that he had a free kick given against him a yard outside the penalty area.

Done shot into this all-action goalkeeper’s hands as the pressure continued and three corners were conceded with Blackpool in full retreat before these raids ended.

There were a few glimpses of fast, open football by Blackpool afterwards. They were using the long pass today. One raid which ended in Sidlow snatching away McIntosh’s centre high in the air, was a model.


Yet the Blackpool goal had another escape with six minutes of the half left as the ball was lost by Wallace in a pack of men, and in the end cleared anywhere with three Liverpool forwards seeking in vain for a gap to shoot into.

Yet the goal was only delayed for another two minutes.

Almost inevitably it was BALMER, ace marksman of the Division these days, who shot it, the inside right taking a pass from Done, shooting a ball slowly but so wide of Wallace that the goalkeeper as he fell to his left could only deflect it against the foot of the far post.

Slowly off the post the ball rolled over the line to a fanfare from Liverpool’s massed rattles.

A minute later they should have been saluting another goal as Wallace, falling forward to a fast shot, could only beat out a ball which Stubbins lashed high over the bar with the goalkeeper prostrate and his goal wide open.

Liverpool deserved to be level and should have been in front at the interval.

Half-time: Blackpool 1, Liverpool 1


The first five minutes of the half were the game’s first grey patch. Nothing in particular happened.

Then Ramsden missed the ball completely and let in Munro on an open path. The ball seemed to skirt away from Mortensen in the jaws of Liverpool’s goal as the wing forward crossed it fast and low.

A corner direct from a grand clearance by Kennedy followed this raid.

Other Blackpool advances followed the corner, one of them ending in a vain demand for a penalty as Mortensen fell in a heap in the area.

When Liverpool retaliated and won a corner on the left, Liddell’s centre from the flag hit the outside of the near post.

Stubbins shot wide in another Liverpool raid after Dick had been halted as he chased alone after Mortensen’s perfect pass.


Blackpool continued to press afterwards, but for a time seldom threatened to score. Dick headed into Sidlow’s arms from Farrow’s free kick. The drama had gone out of the game for a time.

Then abruptly the match awakened again with Blackpool flat out for a goal.

Ramsden crossed, passed to halt Mortensen as the centre raced after Dick’s pass into a shooting position. Two corners followed, with the Liverpool defence still revealing not a few gaps and from the second Liverpool had an escape as Ramsden headed out Johnston’s fast rising shot.

Liverpool were penned in their own half in a desperate defence.

A goal was always coming. When it came in the 20th minute of the half it was deserved.

Farrow took a long free kick. Mortensen leaped at it, headed it down to the feet of BLAIR who shot low wide of Sidlow’s left, hand before the Liverpool man could move.

Blackpool were the sort of team afterwards that soar to the top of a division.


I think Mr. Prestcott should have given a penalty three minutes after Blackpool had gone in front as Mortensen was swept to earth with a tackle which definitely came from behind.

Two corners followed with Liverpool retreating everywhere and almost in a panic.

A third goal should have come within five minutes of the second as Farrow hit the bar with a free kick from 40 yards out to which Sidlow leaped seconds too late.

It was all Blackpool.

Yet as often happens Liverpool nearly snatched a goal to equalise in a breakaway, Balmer for once heading high over the bar from a position where he can seldom have missed in the last month.

With 15 minutes left Liverpool were losing for the first time since September 11th, and would have been out of it almost for all practical purposes 10 minutes from the end if Munro’s shot had not glanced off the face of a post instead of going in.


Liverpool were retreating on their entire front afterwards, unexpectedly played out of the match.

Two goals came in less than a minute with only four minutes left.

Both were great goals, too. Blackpool went further in front in the 86th minute as Blair headed a free kick backwards to the feet of MORTENSEN who shot fast into the net almost off the line.

Direct from that kick off a never-say-die Liverpool raided and JONES, taking a forward pass, raced 10 yards on his own before shooting a ball which no goalkeeper on earth could have seen.


BLACKPOOL 3  (McIntosh 17min, Blair 65min, Mortensen 86min)

LIVERPOOL 2  (Balmer 41min, Jones 87min)


It is because Blackpool are a great 90 minutes team that they won this match. The longer it lasted the less Liverpool were in it.

The division leaders should have been and deserved to be in front at the interval. Afterwards they were nearly stampeded cut of the game by a forward which forsook the “give-it-to- Mortensen” pass and raided as a line, using at last the long pass and riddling Liverpool’s unstabled defence in the process.

It was a great second half show by a forward line whose raider in chief was again Mortensen.

There were actually times in the second half when, watching Munro, you began to ask, ‘"Why are they looking for an outside-right?”

Hayward had another game such as he used to play every week before the war during the half-hour in the first half when the Liverpool forwards were as direct and aggressive as you expected them to be.

Johnston, too, had the match of an England player.

This half-back line was again the team's strongest division.

This was the sort of game you never expected Blackpool to play again after last week at Leeds.

It had punch, pace and nearly all those qualities which win matches after the interval.

Hundreds of cheering boys invaded the field at the end.


Mass meeting to be called

By “Spectator”


It is significant that the decision should have been made by the No. 1 man on the Blackpool F.C. directorate. There was a time in the past when the Supporters' Club was considered less as an ally than an embarrassment, or even a necessary evil, by the board.

When Col. Parkinson realises that such a conception is as false as it is mischievous and launches on his own authority a movement for the club’s rebirth, it is yet another indication of the closer contact which the present directorate is seeking to achieve with the football public of the Fylde - the people who pay the money at the turnstiles.

A programme on an ambitious scale is planned for the Supporters’ Club’s resurrection.

It will be opened by a mass meeting at the Public Library on Tuesday, December 10th. The promoters appreciate, apparently, that football is commanding the increasing patronage of women, and are, I understand, issuing a special invitation to them.

His influence

COL. PARKINSON will attend the meeting. He will probably tell it, as I was told by him this week, that he will exercise all his influence - and he possesses a lot - to ensure an unqualified success for the new club not only in appreciation of services to come but of services in the past.

Some people may have forgotten, but the Blackpool Supporters’ Club, which was created in one of those interminable crises in Blackpool football between the wars:

Built the east side shelter at Bloomfield-road at a cost of £2,375. Re-roofed the west stand at a cost of between £400 and £500.

Supplied the ball for every match between 1925 and 1939 at a cost of nearly £700.

Mobilised the football public repeatedly when the club was in low water. Organised dozens of excursions to away games and several social events every season

Its contributions to Blackpool F.C.’s exchequer were not less than £5,000. The aid it repeatedly gave the club in days when Blackpool was one of football’s poor relations cannot be assessed in terms of £ s. d.

Public's stake

Now it is all to begin again. The public, as I see it are to be given a stake in the destiny of the club whose teams they pay to watch and, criticising them or praising them, have always a certain sense of personal loyalty to them.

It is that personal loyalty which a supporters’ club encourages.

First of a series of events on its behalf will be a three days’ snooker match at the Tower Circus on December 17th, 18th and 19th, between Joe and Fred Davis, the two brothers who have made topline names at the billiards table.

Joyce Gardner, the women’s billiards champion, has been engaged to commentate the match, and during it, as one of the highlights, there will be the presentation to the Backpool “A” team of the medals which they won as champions of the Blackpool and District Amateur League in 1944-45 - medals which in those days were not on the market.

The promoter

MR. HARRY MARKLAND, the promoter who has given Blackpool all its top-class billiards and snooker during the last year or two, has been enlisted to present this show and another on an even bigger scale which will follow it next February.

Present indications are that this enterprising sportsman will be among the new club’s administrators.

It has the blessing of the football club’s directorate in advance. It will, I think, have the football public with it from the word “Go.”

Jottings from all parts 

BY "SPECTATOR" 30 November 1946

Relegation was near

THEY were doldrum days for Blackpool when last Liverpool played a First Division game on the ground of this afternoon's match.

The date was April 1st, 1939 - and Blackpool had won only one League game in the first three months of the year.

This one was not won, either. Dai Astley gave Blackpool the lead early in the match, hut before the interval “Rufus” Fagan equalised.

It remained 1-1 and relegation approached nearer.

The Blackpool team: Roxburgh, Blair (D.), Butler, Farrow, Hayward, Johnston, Munro, Astley, Dodds, Eastham, and O’Donnell.

I HAVE seen jitterbugs in Blackpool ballrooms, and I have seen Zulu dances on the screen.

But never had I seen such a buck - jumping exhibition as George Ainsley’s when he scored against his wartime team for Leeds United last weekend. They had nearly to snatch him out of the air before they mobbed him with compliments.

In was a grand goal. But if it had won a couple of Cup Finals it could not have caused greater joy and gladness.

EVERYBODY was talking about Alec Munro’s nonstop game for Blackpool in the Central League last weekend.

I am coming to the conclusion that this wing forward, who was Scotland’s outside-right against Wales and Ireland in 1937, will end his career in one of the inside positions.

It was as an inside-left that he played his first game for Blackpool nearly 10 years ago.


THE news that Jack Hacking, (jnr) has gone to Stockport County, transferred by his father, the Accrington Stanley manager, recalls the days when Jack Hacking, (snr), was Blackpool’s goalkeeper. 

He went to Fleetwood, unhonoured and unsung, at about the time that Herbert (“Taffy”) Jones came to Blackpool from Fleetwood with as little publicity.

A year or two later both were in England’s team.


THERE were 26,000 at the Leeds-Blackpool match - in spite of a day when the wind was cold the rain almost continuous, and it was as grey and grim as it can be in a few of these Yorkshire 'cities.

Blackpool are good box-office these days.


HOW do you work this out? Blackpool Reserves went to Leeds on November 2nd and won 4-0.

Blackpool’s first 
team went to Leeds three weeks later and against a defence which included the goalkeeper and two fullbacks who had played in the Central League game the forwards could score only twice in a losing team.

They were still talking at Elland-road last weekend about Blackpool second team’s football in the first match.


Man who deserves a “Thank you” from the England selectors is Mr. Johnny Lynas, the Blackpool trainer.

He devoted every afternoon last week to ensuring that Harry Johnston should be fit to make his bow in international football at Huddersfield. Few people knew anything about it.

Johnny is always that way - as modest as he is efficient, and yet one of the best trainers in the four countries.

Blackpool are always a 90-minutes-a-match team.


HUGH O'DONNELL and Eric Hayward were the 19th and 20th players to be introduced into Blackpool’s First Division team.

Twenty-eight players have been fielded in the second team.


ONE of those in football with a few worried creases in his brow, asking: “What’s gone wrong?" is Tom Wilson, the former Huddersfield Town captain, who played a season or two with Blackpool between the wars.

He is training Barnsley today and Barnsley are falling down the Second Division table unexpectedly. One of the gentlemen of football is Tom Wilson.

He steadied Blackpool in one or two little crises. Barnsley will come again - if he has any influence on the team.

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