CONTINUING a look at l953, Glazebury Church, later to become a force in the Warrington and District League, were battling out in Leigh and District Sunday Schools League for first teams and the Leigh and District Central League for reserve sides.
However, in two matches I watched, Glazebury, despite fielding excellent line-ups, came unstuck.
In the Central League's Brown Cup second round, they lost 2-l at home to a classic Boothstown United, who took the lead through T. Pendlebury and after Glazebury goalkeeper Cyril Morris had been tested a few more times, inside-right T. Whalmsley equalised with a first time shot beyond goalkeeper Roberts before Pendlebury engineered the winning goal for right half T. Pugh a minute later.
Glazebury Church: C.Morris; H. Maggs, P. Nimmy; K. Morris, J. Roughley, T. Taylor; H. Graham, T. Whalmsley, Vickers, Hunter, Travis.
In the Leigh and District Sunday Schools League, Glazebury lost 5-l at home to a crack Alexandra United team, from Westhoughton, but were without Tommy Taylor, who was having a trial in a Bolton Wanderers junior team.
Tommy, who had starred with Newton-le-Willows Schoolboys representative side in the English Schools Trophy, Culcheth Secondary Modern School, where he was captain, and in the Padgate Hall team beaten by Penketh Boys' Club in the Stockton Heath Youth League's Oakdale Cup final, had been spotted by a Bolton scout the week before the Alexandra United game.
By a strange coincidence the first round draw in the Warrington Guardian Cup paired the previous season's finalists, Lowton St Mary's (holders) and Lancashire Steel (Warrington).
Lowton won 6-0 at Sandy lane with a side that contained only four of the cup-winning team. They were right half S. Nelson, who was at right full-back in the final; left full-back F.Arnold, left half-back L. Nelson,who was right half in the final, and A. Broome, who filled the centre half position in both matches. Tommy Lythgoe notched a hat-trick for the second successive week.
Lowton had fielded three reserves for their first round Depot Cup-tie the previous Saturday, again with home advantage, when Lythgoe had made his first team debut in a 7-3 triumph over T and T Vicars (Earlestown).
In the Warrington League, Lowton visited Howley, where they beat Warrington British Legion 5-2, although Legion looked more sprightly than when Lowton won 8-2 in the second match of the l953-4 season at Sandy Lane.
But for many fine saves by debutant goalkeeper Cliff Waterworth, who had played for Golborne United and later joined Stockton Heath in the Mid-Cheshire League, Legion may have reaped more reward for their hard work.
But in the second round of the Guardian Cup, Lowton met more than their match in Oakwood Old Boys, who won 4-l. In the first half, Oakwood were much faster on the ball and had their opponents in a complete haze. Linaker and Millman played good defensive games for Oakwood, but in the second half, Linaker and Prytherch (Lowton) got entangled with each other and a free-kick was awarded in favour of Lowton.
The nearest they got to scoring in the first half was when Jimmy Prescott (who returned to the first team for the first time since September 27 when he received a leg injury) headed inches past the far post off a Greenough corner. Both teams provided goalmouth thrills, but the fine defence of the visitors and off-the-mark shooting by the Lowton forwards put Oakwood in the third round.
Oakwood led l-0 at the interval with a 42nd minute goal from Nevins, who took the ball 20 yards before thrashing it past goalkeeper Whittingham. On resumption, Lowton fought to the bitter end and after a scramble in front of goal Greenough slammed home the equaliser.
With referee Foulks' watch ticking away and 20 minutes left, the visitors commanded play and scored three more goals through Les Arnold (2) and Dave Robertson. Arnold and Robertson later joined Stockton Heath on their Mid-Cheshire League debut.
I was called upon to report on a host of local games that year. In the second round of the Starkey Cup, Harbens, forerunner of present day Golborne Sports, of the Cheshire League which was the Mid-Cheshire League, beat A. Monk & Co. at Padgate 3-l . For Harbens Jack Casey put the ball in the Monk net with his hands, but did not get away with it. John Nuttall, who had been oustanding for Monk, injured his leg in the first half and teammate A. Whittle pulled a leg muscle in the second half.
For the silk workers, everything ran as smoothly as the material they made except for a brief retirement by Ratcliffe (no subs then) owing to cramp.
A. Monk & Co.: Reavey; T.Moss, J.Nuttall; Hawkes, G.Starkey, W. Rand; A. Whittle, L. Murphy, D. Welch, C. Starkey, E. Grainger.
Harbens: Russell; J. Noon, Farrell; Gwatkins, O'Brien, P. Noon; Hill, Jones, Smith, Casey, Ratcliffe.
Meanwhile, Lowton's hopes of a second successive league title were dashed when they journied to Runcorn for the last match of the season against Runcorn Amateurs and were beaten 4-3. All their last four away games of the season ended in defeat.
In that match, Lowton had only themselves to blame as they had just as many scoring chances as the victors, if not more. And they need not blame the fact that they were tired from the previous night's match at Earlestown, as Runcorn had also taken part in a match that night and they did not seem in the least tired.