1 February 1947 Blackpool 2 Derby County 1


Big second half test survived


Blackpool 2, Derby County 1 

By “Spectator”

Blackpool prefer firm grounds. There was one prepared for them by days of frost when the Cup holders Derby County, came to town this afternoon for the first time for exactly eight years.

Not a trace of snow was left on the pitch, but all down the centre there was a sanded track, and every inch was bone hard.

The County had to take the field without Morrison, the centre-forward, who aggravated an injury in Wednesday’s replay.

As his deputy appeared Peart a centre-half from Hartlepools, who after scoring a few goals as a centre-forward in the Central League, made his bow in the First Division in this match.

Blackpool were without Mortensen for the second time this season.


I hear that Manager Joe Smith was again not among those present.

His destination was not disclosed, but it may have been a First Division club’s ground. The hunt for new forwards is still on. 

The intense cold probably reduced the attendance. There were fewer than 12.000 people on the ground when the teams appeared.

Today, too. there was no congestion at the turnstiles. I was told by the ground staff that the entire battery of 42 was in commission.


BLACKPOOL: Wallace, Shimwell, Sibley, Farrow, Hayward, Johnston, Nelson, Munro, Dick, Eastham and Blair.

DERBY COUNTY: Woodley, Mozley, Howe, Ward, Leuly, Musson, Harrison, Carter, Peart, Stamps and Broome.

Referee; Mr J. Lawless (Bury).


The County’s first raid of the south goal came to a premature end when, after Sibley’s clearance had been sliced across from the left to the right wing to give an unexpected pass to Carter, the England inside-right lost the ball under the pressure of numbers.

The early advances by both forward lines were faster than had been expected on such a surface. but with the ball often bouncing nearly twice a man’s height every time it hit the rutted turf not a lot of order was revealed.

The first big incident was in front of the County’s goal where Howe hooked Sibley’s clearance only inches wide of the post for a corner which the experimental outside-left, Blair, put into the side net.

Immediately, Hayward made a grand and decisive clearance almost under his own bar, and then, in Blackpool’s next raid. Dick stabbed a shot wide, with two men closing in on him as he chased Munro’s pass.


- And still a shot in Carter’s boot

The County’s forwards were swift and direct in action. One fast raid ended in Carter shooting wide from the penalty area line at a speed which shows the punch there still is in this England forward’s boot.

A lot of the football was beginning to reveal a definite plan. In one advance on Blackpool’s left Nelson wandered away into the outside-left position before calling for a pass from Blair accepting it and crossing a ball which Eastham shot wide of the near post.

A minute later, too, Eastham escaped on his own. ran nearly half the length of the field, lost the bouncing ball inside shooting distance, but won a corner, which again was worthless.

There had not been a lot in it in the first 15 minutes.


Yet there was nearly a goal in the 16th minute when Dick put Nelson in possession with a perfect pass and the Irish outside-right crossed a ball which Munro shot against the top of the bar.

Nor had that attack been repelled before, with Spion Kop cheering as I have not heard it cheer for a long time, Dick lobbed inside a high ball which Woodley beat out anywhere as he hurled himself backwards.

All the time afterwards the Blackpool front line, advancing on an open front, was battering away at a Derby defence which was not too compact.

Woodley fielded a long high centre from Nelson before this little Irishman beat in the air a man standing about six inches taller and gave Blair the chance to rake the County’s goal with a centre which was too fast.

Centre after centre was crossing this goal, but all were missing the inside-forwards. Definitely at this time the County were being almost completely outplayed.


When at last the Derby forwards re-entered the match Carter, the only one of them who appeared to possess a shot, sent low in to the arms of the waiting Wallace.

Blackpool pressure reached its peak in the 28th minute as Eastham took a glorious pass from Dick before shooting a ball which Woodley reached in a cat’s leap with the crowd shouting “Goal!" a split second too soon.

A minute later this goal fell. It could scarcely escape downfall in such nonstop, relentless pressure.

In the end. it was the little Scot in the Blackpool line - the Scot who goes after everything - who nut Blackpool in front in this 29th minute.


MUNRO went after another long bouncing pass which, from the Press box, it seemed certain he could never reach.

Yet he did reach it, beat Woodley to it by half a yard, and tumbled head over heels over the falling goalkeeper as the ball crawled over the line.

It was a goal which Blackpool’s direct, no-nonsense, football deserved.

They could not hold Munro afterwards. He won a corner on his own after roaming into the inside-left position, with the terraces and the Kop still cheering.

In the next raid, too, this small-edition terrier took a long pass from Farrow, hooked it over the full-back’s head and stabbed across a low bah which Woodley took over the live f'or a corner under Dick’s challenge.


That was Blackpool’s eighth corner of the half.

And the ninth followed it - all in 35 minutes.

The non-stop passes of Farrow and Johnston and the constructive football of Eastham, who seldom put a pass wrong, were making Blackpool’s front line into a progressive force today.

There was nothing whatever in this half for the barrackers to moan about.

Excepting breakaways, the County had seldom been in the game in the last 25 minutes of the half.

In one of those raids, Sibley, a composed full-back, made a great headed clearance after his partner had been passed again by the County’s faster left wing

Half-time: Blackpool 1, Derby County 0.


Two minutes of the second half had gone - and it was 2-0. A grand goal it was - the goal of an opportunist this time.

A pass was released from the right. DICK was waiting for it and hit it as it reached him.

All the way, from 15 yards out, the falling Woodley was beaten by the ball's pace, and was still falling as it hit the the foot of the near post and cannoned inside over the line.

This, I am told, is how Dick used to shoot in his B.A.O.R. days.

The County made a few belated raids afterwards, and once Carter shot low again into Wallace’s arms after he had driven one thunderbolt nearly over the top of the terraces.

But it was still Blackpool’s game almost everywhere except on the left wing, where Blair was absent far too often.


The County afterwards were not so completely out of the game a$ they had been. But for a time none of their raids led anywhere.

In the meantime the Nelson - Munro wing was as tireless, as aggressive as ever, and crossed one centre which Woodley nearly lost as Dick leaped at it near the far post.

Yet it required a desperate last-second tackle by Farrow to halt Broome as the County at last created a shooting position. The Derby pressure continued, too.

This County front line, scarcely in the match before the interval, was seldom out of it as the second half advanced.

In the 20th minute the lead was reduced and not undeservedly.

Inevitably it was CARTER who put his name in the score sheet, chasing a forward pass into the first gap which had appeared in the left flank of Blackpool’s defence and shooting a fine goal.

Afterwards, Blackpool were in retreat for a time on all fronts until Dick, in a lone foray, crossed from the line a centre which Woodley nearly lost in mid-air.

Carter shot barely wide after a one-man spurt.

With 15 minutes left, the game was still open. The County were all out at times for a point which earlier had appeared lost beyond redemption.

Twice in rapid succession Nelson forced Woodley to the concession of corners, as Blackpool’s right wing broke away from the County’s attacking halfbacks.

Ten minutes left and the game was still not definitely Blackpool’s.

Shimwell came fighting into the game during the last 10 minutes as he stormed into the Villa game a week ago.

But Blackpool’s grip on both points was never secure until Mr. Lawless blew the whistle for the last time.


BLACKPOOL 2 (Munro 29min, Dick 47min)

DERBY COUNTY 1 (Carter 65min)


Derby County came near at times to snatching a point in the second half of this game. You have to admire the Cup holders for fighting back from a position which appeared lost with half an hour left.

Yet I still think Blackpool’s almost complete domination of the first half entitled the team to both points. 

For this time it was football which had no delayed or exhibition passes in it. It knew where it was going, and it went.

Eastham, during this half, was a superb footballer, but the big men of the Blackpool front line were the two little men on the right - Munro, who was prepared to go after anything, and Nelson, who was as tireless and tenacious.

For the defence, until the last half-hour, it was nearly a picnic but the passes of the wing halfbacks and another grand game by Hayward and Sibley, both of whom were seldom passed, gave the defence an assurance even under pressure which it has not always had.

There was little in it in the end, but without their leading marksman Blackpool produced a show today which had not a lot wrong with it.

But when a left outside is played, he should stay in his place. Blackpool had no proper left wing today.


Middle course is best for Blackpool

By “Spectator”


No. 1 advocates: “Forget the big-transfer market. Forget the League championship. Build for the future out of the young material on the club's books - and experiment.”

No. 2 advocates: “The club has the money. It should spend it, even in today's inflated market. It can still win a title if it strengthens a few positions. The public won't tolerate experimental teams in these days.”

It resolves itself into one simple question: “Buy - or build?”

My opinion is that Blackpool would be wise to find a compromise between the two. There is a lot to be said for both policies.

Blackpool at last have the money in the bank to go into the transfer market even at today’s black-market prices.

They could have signed half a dozen players in the last month if the directorate had been prepared to spend £5,000, £6,000 - in one case £7,000 - on men who have never yet played outside the Third Division or on others who have been playing so long in all the Divisions that their days in first-class football must inevitably be numbered.

If this were a time of crisis if Blackpool faced relegation to the Second Division, Blackpool would have had to submit to demands so extortionate that they have become almost impudent. Beggars - and clubs in fear of a descent to the outer darkness - can’t be choosers.

No relegation

BUT whatever happens to Blackpool in the last three months of this season, relegation cannot be the club’s lot. So Blackpool can, at least, afford to be particular.

Yet for the club to sit back and protest, “Well, if those are the sort of figures they’re quoting - we’re out,” might be merely to invite the wrath to come.

There are folk who in their blissful ignorance think Blackpool have only to wait until the beginning of May to buy all the bargains they require in the close season. I wonder what makes them think that.

The market for stars is as barren and as expensive in the summer as it is in the winter. Other club’s rejects are on sale everywhere. But if Blackpool pay big fees now they want the best.

Wingers needed

'TWO class wing forwards today would be worth the price if the buying of them created another five-figure overdraft all over again.

Yet Blackpool should not - and I don't think will -forget the young men in the Reserve and the “A” team who are attracting a lot of notice these days.

An experiment now and again too, would be warranted in present circumstances.

From all I hear of his recent games in the Central League. Hugh Kelly deserves at least one chance in the unfamiliar position of outside-left in the First Division. That is only an isolated case.

ottings fro
m all parts 

BY "SPECTATOR" 1 February 1947

Derby's last visit

IT teas eight years ago today that a Derby County team last played at Blackpool.

The County came as First Division leaders. Blackpool to ere in the relegation doldrums, were content with a 2-2 draw. Sam Jones scored one of the few goals he has ever shot for Blackpool, and Tom Lewis had the other.

It was from a pass by Ronnie Dix, who was later to become one of Blackpool's wartime stars, that “Dally” Duncan gave Derby the lead against this team:

Wallace, Blair (D.), Sibley, Farrow, Hayward, Jones (S.), Munro, Buchan, Astley, Eastham and Lewis.


TWO forwards were playing in Birmingham a week ago who might have been wearing a tangerine jersey today.

One was Trevor Ford, who, I hear, cost the Villa nearly £12,000 when he left Swansea a week or two ago.

When Blackpool made an approach for him last year, the Welsh club said, “You’ll be on the list if we decide to part.” That was the Trevor Ford in last heard of these parts.

The other forward was “Thunderbolt” Reid, the Portsmouth inside-right, who might have come to Blackpool from Stockport when he was demobilised if Portsmouth had not made an offer which Blackpool were not prepared to outbid.


BLACKPOOL Reserve are  shooting up the Central League table as fast as if they had taken an electric lift.

Not a game has been lest since December 16. Fifteen out of 16 points have been won. Nineteen goals have been scored in this sequence, and only four lost.

Yes, a Blackpool defence has lost only four goals in eight games.


HOW to take a penalty-kick. Ask Willie Buchan, the Blackpool forward.

He perfected the technique during the summer. He has had three penalties to take this season. He has converted the three of them as if it were all as easy as shelling peas - as, of course, in theory, it should be.

Although you know what so often happens in practice.


IT was not the first time that Leslie Smith the Villa outside left, and Eddie Shimwell, the Blackpool right back, had met this season when they faced each other at Villa Park a week ago.

It was in the Sheffield United - Aston Villa game - the last that the full-back played for the Yorkshire club.

Shimwell is still not content with the football he is playing for Blackpool. A man who has been reserve for England this season should soon be playing again the football which won him this distinction.

They have lost no faith in him at Blackpool


FOOTBALL clubs are deserting the railways for the road. Blackpool go by coach these days almost everywhere except for the London games, went to Birmingham last weekend by the King’s highway and preferred it.

Portsmouth, too, chose a coach instead of a railway saloon for the long trek to St. Andrew’s.


I WAS able to shatter one little illusion at Birmingham last weekend. 

Two Portsmouth directors required a lot of convincing that the Blackpool F.C. was not subsidised by the Blackpool Corporation. They said all the clubs of the South coast towns were under this impression, had long ago concluded that it was a Corporation subsidy alone which enabled Blackpool to retain a First Division club.

Portsmouth have an assurance, implicit if not in black-and-white, that, if the necessity arose, the Pier and Beach Committee, which finances several public events in the town, would offer financial aid to the club at Fratton Park.


I MET Mr. Jimmy Stewart, the former Blackpool trainer, in Birmingham.

I have always been glad that soon after leaving Blackpool he was appointed to a post with another First Division club - for if ever a man was qualified both of training and temperament for such a position it is this quiet unassuming Scot.

Portsmouth won the Cup in his first season with them. Now Portsmouth are out of the Cup - were out a few hours after I had been talking to him - but he will still, I know, be as serene and placid as ever.

He plans to retire to Blackpool when he finishes with the game. He had a month’s holiday here with his wife last summer.

STANLEY MORTENSEN seems fated not to score more than one goal in a game this season. All 16 goals he has scored in the First Division have come in singles.

Yet he will always thin - and nobody is more honest in his assessment of a game - that the score sheet at Villa Park should have contained the line: “Mortensen (2).”

He is certain that he was a couple of yards onside before he moved to the ball before shooting past the Villa goalkeeper for the second time in the match.

The referee, on a linesman’s decision, refused a goal.


A FOOTBALL relic on the  walls of the office at Villa Park - a poster advertising a match in 1883.

“Be it known to each and everie,” it proclaims, “ that a ryghte merrie gathering for ye grand game will be holden atte Aston in ye town of Byrmingham .............when ye gallant players will each excel in skilful parts."

It was nice to read in these austerity days that “wines and cakes and other dainties may bee obtayned atte a faire rate.”


RONNIE SUART, the Blackpool centre-half, was married at Leicester on Monday. All happiness to him - and to his bride. I am writing that, I know, for Blackpool’s football public.

This tall young man from Netherfield has given great service to Blackpool.

The club acknowledged it only a month or two ago by sending a three - figure cheque to Netherfield.

When Mr. Joe Smith signed him without a fee it was one of Blackpool’s best bargains for years - and the club know it.


ALL arrangements are now well in hand for the first public function of the Blackpool F.C. Supporters’ Club when, on Monday, February 17, a dinner and dance will be held at the Casino.

It is hoped that the Mayor (Coun. J, R F. Hill. M.M., J.P.) and the directors of the club will be present.

Tickets at 15s. for the dinner and dance, and 4s. for dancing only, are now on sale.

The R.A.F. Station Band from Weeton will play for dancing. Get your tickets early.

THE general, meeting was held on Thursday. Details of the business will be given in my notes next week.

The first aim of the Supporters’ Club, however, is to raise money for the covering for the cripples in front of the south stand, and for the purchase of a broadcasting service for music and announcements before the match.

Stewards wanted

STEWARDS are required to pack the huge crowd expected for the Preston match on February 22. Any members willing to assist should give their names anytime to Mr, J. Cobb or Mr. T. Newton at the ground.

Support needed 

IT is hoped members will turn up each Saturday and give the loyal support which at the present time is needed more than ever.

Don’t miss the Reserve matches. There have been some grand games recently, and the team have maintained their winning sequence.

1,000 members 

SUBSCRIPTIONS are still coming in  very slowly and many membership forms have not been returned.

The committee’s aim is 1,000 members before the season closes. Send your form with the 2s. 6d. fee to the treasurer at the ground as soon possible.

Club premises

IT is the intention of the committee  to obtain as soon as funds and conditions permit, premises which can be used by the club members for social activities and meetings and other functions.

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