February 16, 1945
On paper, Everton may seem to have a fairly easy task against Southport at Goodison. Yet it may not work out that way. The Sandgrounders, with still a fair chance of qualifying if they can get three points in their next three games, and almost a cast-iron one if they can make it four, are sure to put up a stiff fight, and will have increased confidence as a result of their double over Stockport.
All the same I still think Everton capable of winning providing they show anything like their normal form. Their show last week was too poor to expect it not to be improved on. In most of their previous Cup games they have given displays of effective and combined football. Southport have three Evertonians in their side so it is not so much an “away” match as it seems. Birkett, Curwen and Jack Jones have given yeoman service to the “Sandgrounders,”
Attack hitherto has been Southport’s weakness. Recently they have found a goal-scoring centre forward in Denis Massam, while the others have also shown improvement. Massam is only 19 years old, and some good Southport judges say they think he will hit top-class when he has had more experience and coaching. He has a big task tomorrow, for Lindley is playing a strong game at centre half. Few centre forwards have a happy day against this Yorkshireman.
Everton’s team sheet has “Lawton or Wyles” for the middle place. Lawton is in London a short holiday with his wife, who has not been well lately, but Mr. Theo Kelly tells me that he has promised to return for the day if he can manage it. Even without Lawton, Everton should win if the book of words is any guide, yet I have a sneaking feeling Southport may bag a point. Tommy Jones’s ankle is still not right, hence his absence.
Everton (from): George Burnett, George Jackson, Norman Greenhalgh, Jack Grant, Maurice Lindley, Gordon Watson, Syd Rawlings, Stan Bentham, Tommy Lawton, Cec Wyles, Alex Stevenson, Jimmy McIntosh.
Southport: Wilf Birkett; George Curwen, Jack Jones; Thorpe, Chiverton, Laurie Hodgson; Simms, Albert Malam, Denis Massam, Coats, Butler.
(Liverpool Echo: February 16, 1945, ‘Rangers Notes’)