1 March 1947 Blackpool 0 Bolton Wanderers 1


Blackpool’s game too close

Late goal shock

Blackpool 0, Bolton Wanderers 1 

By “Spectator”

BLACKPOOL make a habit of seldom losing at Bolton. Bolton make a habit of never losing at Blackpool.

The Wanderers team, which entered on this match in a desperate quest for anti-relegation points, appeared with the knowledge that no team from Burnden Park had ever lost first or second division fixture on this ground since the long ago days before World War One.

There was an almost complete thaw out of the pitch, but in front of the south goal the snow was still crisp and firm.

Planking the north goal, in the full glare of the sun, were pools, almost miniature lakes, between the corner flags and posts.

The Wanderers in the end had to play Walter Hubbick, one of Blackpool’s wartime guests, when John Atkinson reported a septic scar. Howe appeared instead of Westwood at inside left.

There was not a completer sell out of the reserve seats in the centre and wing stands and the attendance when the teams appeared was less than 20,000.


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

BOLTON WANDERERS: Hanson, Roberts, Hubbick, Gilies, Hamlett, Forrest, Woodward, Moir, Lofthouse, Howe and Wrigglesworth.

Referee: Mr. W. M. E. Evans (Huyton)

Until a few hours before the match it was uncertain whether either Sibley or Blair would be able to play.

Both had been kept indoors with chills during the week. If the full-back had been absent it would have been the first match he had missed this season 


After a couple of minutes there was every sign that before the afternoon’s end three-quarters of the field would be a quagmire.

There was a long water polo tussle in the far corner the first time Blackpool made a zig-zag progress on the right.

Then, when at last the ball was lifted from this waterlogged area, Blair was slow to a back pass from Mortensen which halted in the slime in front of him.

Within a minute, the Wanderers had another escape as Dick pursued a pass which left him unexpectedly in front of the Bolton goal, where a ball which hit one of the Wanderer’s backs on the line cannoned out to Munro, whose fast, rising shot was parried by Hanson near a post.


Then Nat Lofthouse, the centre-forward Blackpool were seeking a few weeks ago, raced after a skidding ball before Sibley and Johnston crossed his path and forced him to a standstill.

A minute afterwards, Shimwell made a grand interception of a pass which would have left Wrigglesworth in a shooting position.

The offside whistle was seldom silent. Three times in succession it put the brake raids before it went again as Wallace dived into the snow at the feet of Lofthouse with the Bolton centre-for forward chasing a forward pass.

Repeatedly, Dick and Mortensen raced after short, stabbed passes which Munro released to them.

Then Forrest, in another Bolton raid shot a ball which Wallace fielded from 30 yards out.

Twice Blackpool raised a howl for a penalty, as Mortensen and then Munro went catapulting into the slush in front of the Wanderers’ goal.

Twenty of the first 25 minutes had been almost monopolised by Blackpool.

Chances were few. It was difficult to make them on such a surface.

When one came at last the hall flew across the face of the Wanderers goal, where Dick hurled himself at it, missed it and tobogganed half a dozen yards.

The Wanderers were not as completely outplayed as they had been.

Blair came under the lash of the critics shortly before the half-time whistle, after a succession of passes had reached a left wing from which he was absent.

Yet this wandering forward can play grand football in spurts. Once, eluding three men, he swerved into a shooting position like a master before force of numbers halted him.

It had been 45 minutes’ hard labour for Dick. The inside-left had never been still, was constantly chasing the ball, and five minutes before half-time gave Mortensen a pass which came to a standstill in the marsh.


Grand clearances by Shimwell, who was playing with a new confidence, won a deserved cheer or two before the interval.

A succession of raids ended in an incident which might have cost Blackpool a penalty as Lofthouse was halted with a tackle which would have been permissible at Rugby but is not recognised in this code.

The Wanderers were no longer out of it. Yet in the last minute of the half Blackpool won two comers on the right, where Farrow was taking them this afternoon.

With less than half a minute to go, Wrigglesworth shot wide, with Blackpool’s right flank of defence wide open.

Half-time: Blackpool 0, Bolton Wanderers 0.


The Blackpool forwards were out of the thickest slime in this half but the defence were in it.

It was still anybody’s game. Shimwell surrendered a corner to the raiding Howe in the first minute of the half, which had nothing exciting in it afterwards until Mortensen went racing after Munro’s pass, and with it won a corner which was followed by another -Blackpool’s ninth of the match. 

When this one was sliced the wrong side of the bar Hanson had actually to tee the ball up on the snow before he could take the goal kick.

Two minutes later, in the 10th minute of the half, the Wanderers came as near to a goal as either front line had ever been.


There was a raid on the right. The ball was crossed from this quarter.

No man was near Lofthouse, and Wallace was out of his goal as the ball came unexpectedly to rest in front of the Bolton centre-forward.


Afterwards the Wanderers were flat out for minutes in' quest of a goal precious to the Burnden Park team.

Wallace made a great clearance from the shooting half-back Forrest in this sudden, relentless pressure.

Bolton’s raids afterwards contained greater promise because there were fewer short passes in them. Otherwise, there was little between two teams still trying to play some sort of football on a pitch which made it almost impossible. 

With 22 minutes of the half gone only a desperate last-second tackle by Roberts halted the aggressive Mortensen in a sudden raid which produced Blackpool’s tenth corner.


The defences were finding time to mass before the forwards could reach shooting distance.

In the next couple of minutes the Wanderers’ goal had a big escape as Hanson beat Munro’s centre out on to Roberts, off whose back the ball cannoned inches wide of the post of an empty goal.

That made corner No. 11 for Blackpool, who continued to attack afterwards, Farrow once forcing Hanson to a clearance from long range, with the forwards shooting less often than they should have done.

It was Farrow again who shot low into the Bolton goalkeeper’s arms from a free-kick.


Eight minutes were left when the Wanderers scored a goal which nearly everybody despaired of ever seeing this afternoon.

Blackpool forfeited a free-kick a few yards to the left of the penalty area. Wrigglesworth crossed it to a pack of men.

One of these men, WOODWARD, who had wandered into the inside-left position, was standing unmarked. That cost Blackpool the goal.

All on his own, the outside-right headed direct from the kick a goal which may be worth a fortune at Burnden Park.



BOLTON WANDERERS  1  (Woodward 82 min)


Bolton cannot lose at Blackpool. The Wanderers did not deserve to lose today, and in the end snatched a couple of points out of a game which had never threatened to be anything but a goalless draw.

You could forgive anything on this travesty of a pitch.

The big man again in Blackpool’s defence was Hayward. The big man in the forward line was also again the little man - Munro, The other inside forward, Dick was No. 2 until he tired in the last half-hour.

Chief criticism of this line was that it again played at times too close on a surface which made the long pass imperative.

Again, too, it had no outside-left, for Blair wandered every where.

Shimwell played his best home game, revealing a new confidence in everything.

How was a game lost which produced no fewer than 13 corners for the defeated team? There were two reasons.

(1) Too many short passes among the forwards.

(2) A fatal failure to mark a loose forward.


By “Spectator”

IF all the words written this season about the future of Stanley Matthews were collected in one volume they would make a book as long as “ Gone with the Wind”

That would not be a bad title for the mammoth fable, either. For all the rumours and speculations, all the facts and fables have gone with the wind again this week.

It has ended in another stale mate. Stoke City’s announcement after an almost casual two-hours’ meeting two days ago that neither the England forward nor his deputy, George Mountford, was leaving the Potteries was almost inevitable from the beginning.

I know that the Blackpool board never seriously contemplated anything else happening.

Watching brief

REPORTS that the club had sent Manager Joe Smith to Stoke with an open cheque after offering £14,000 by telephone had not a word of truth in them.

Blackpool have been merely holding a watching brief this week. The only communication between the two clubs was a message to the City that if either of the two right-wing forwards were offered a transfer Blackpool would be prepared to bid. That, I know, has been the only move.

Stanley Matthews will leave Stoke one day and when he leaves he will come for the best of reason - because he wants to - to Blackpool.

Future of Mountford

WHAT win be the fate of George Mountford, the understudy who is tired of being an understudy, is uncertain.

As long ago as the days when he was playing with Neil Franklin in Stoke’s “A” team he was seen by Mr. Joe Smith, who was mightily impressed by him. If Mountford should demand a transfer at the season’s end there are more improbable destinations for him than Blackpool.

We will leave it at that. Everybody’s a bit tired of the whole business, anyway.


Mr. W. H. E. (“Bill”) Evans of Liverpool, who is on the list of probables for this year’s Cup Final, reached Blackpool earlier than the majority of referees report for a match in the town.

REASON for his presence at Bloomfield-road before noon was to inspect the pitch for the Blackpool-Bolton Wanderers match.

He soon completed the inspection, said after treading the firm crisp snow for a few minutes, “The match is on.” Nobody expected him to say anything else.

No snow-plough was required. Except in two of the corners, the snow, which was six inches deep after the midweek blizzard, had thawed to less than an inch and in the goal areas there was only a thin film on the surface. A few ice-patches were melted rapidly by the pre-noon sun.

“It was deeper than this by an inch when we played Arsenal at Highbury last month,” reported Trainer Johnny Lynas.

The lines were painted in maroon. Even the penalty spot was encircled in this colour.

FOOTNOTE - Referee Evans was quartered in Blackpool with the R.A.F. for a year or two during the war. He had a few of his first Football League games at Blackpool between the wars after his promotion to the Central League list. I called him one of the fastest referees in the game. He still is, trains three evenings a week to maintain this reputation.

ottings fro
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BY "SPECTATOR" 1 March 1947

No goals the last time

BOLTON WANDERERS, in town today, make a habit of either winning at Blackpool, or at least going home with a point. It was a 0-0 draw the last time the Burnden Park men came here for a First Division match on March 18, 1939.

This, too, in spite of the fact that it was Jock Dodds’ first home game and Hugh O’Donnell’s first match in the tangerine jersey.

The 22 men who could not score a goal were:

BLACKPOOL: Roxburgh, Bair (D.). Butler, Farrow, Hayward, Johnston, Munro, Buchan (W.), Dodds, Astley and O’Donnell (H).

BOLTON WANDERERS: Hanson, Winter, Hubbick, Goslin, Atkinson, Taylor, Geldard, Westwood, Hunt, Howe, and Rothwell.

MET a League referee this week who was complaining about the average professional's ignorance of the games rules.

“Every time I give a direct or indirect free-kick within shooting range of goal, I’m asked, ‘Can we score direct from this, ref?"

They ought to know whether they can score or not. But I always tell them. Still, it makes you think.

It makes him think that too many of the players don’t - or won’t - think for themselves. Yet this only applies, I’m sure, to the minority.


LESLIE FORSTER, the ex-Blackpool forward, has not been long at York.

It was only during the last close season that Blackpool transferred him to the City with William Park, the centre-half. Now back at Gateshead, where he played during the war, he was in the team that lost at Carlisle last weekend.

There was a promise at one time that he would become Blackpool No. 1 outside-right. The war cut him off from the club for six years. Then it was too late.


JUST one of those things.

Manager Joe Hulme, of the ’Spurs, went to the Blackpool Reserve match last weekend to watch three forwards.

One was ill and could not play. And for the first time since September 16 the front line could not score one goal. Not that it made any difference.

Blackpool are not selling these second team men - or any others. An exchange of players - yes. Cheques - they are not interested.


WATCHING Blackpool at Maine-road last week was one of the club’s wartime goalkeepers, Reg Savage, of Nottingham Forest.

He lives in Eccles these days, trains at Old Trafford. and, out of training hours, is behind the counter of his father’s butcher’s shop  - when there’s any meat to sell.

On the Forest staff with him these days are Frank O’Donnell and George Mee the Second, son of Blackpool’s former outside-left, who is one of the men behind Blackpool Reserves’ recent undefeated sequence.


THEY may leave Frank Swift, the ex-Blackpool fisherman, out of the Football League team - they may even leave him out of the England team in these days when selections for representative games seem to conform to no settled policy.

But he is still a No. 1 goalkeeper, playing in a defence which alone, I think, has put Manchester City at the top of the Second Division.

An analysis of the City’s record at Maine-road last weekend revealed that in 16 games the City had won by one goal. In 15 of those games the defence was unbeaten.


BILL EDRICH, D.F.C. squadron-leader in the war, star of the England tourists in Australia today, promised at one time to make a name for himself in League football.

I recall a visit to White Hart-lane in November, 1935, with the Blackpool team. The ’Spurs had a last-minute team problem when Willie Evans, the Welsh international outside-left, reported unfit.

An unknown forward was drafted into the position, given his first game in the Second Division. This was Bill Edrich’s baptism in the League.

He had a triumph that day against the two Blackpool Watsons - Albert and Phil. Neither could hold him. From his passes the ’Spurs scored their three goals in a 3-1 win.

It is hoped that all the most enthusiastic supporters of the team will join. Membership forms may be had from any of the members of the committee or from the treasurer (Mr. T. Newton) at the ground. The fee is 2s. 6d.

Membership badges or cards will be forwarded to members when restrictions ease.

There are about 500 members in the club. By the end of the season we hope to increase the membership to 1,000.


TICKETS for the stands for any matches where reserved seats are on sale to the public will in future be available for members from the Information Hut at the south end of the ground.

This will be a decided advantage to members.


THE committee is doing all it can to get a band for home matches.

Whist drive

DON’T forget the ladies’ effort on Monday. They are holding a military whist drive at the Conservative Club, commencing at 7-30.

Tower Dance

TICKETS price 3s 6d. are on sale for the dance at the Tower on Monday, March 17 

Dinner dance

IN place of the dinner and dance which had to be cancelled because of the fuel position, a similar event has been arranged for April 14 at the Spanish Hall.

Tickets are 10s 6d.; for dancing only. 3s. 6d.


THE Supporters’ Club hut is now open each Saturday before and after the home matches. Members or prospective members are invited to call there for information or to pass on suggestions they may have for the benefit of the club.

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