With the Derby County team at Everton

January 18, 1890
Although the League fixtures possess an un-the-doubted interest for lovers of the winter pastime – struggle which in the past excited and still excites the greatest interest in the football world is the fight for the English Cup.

The first round in the ties for the coveted trophy were fought on Saturday, and Derby crack team with that ill luck, which they are becoming accustomed to, had to face the redoubtable Everton team, in the Everton ground.

Everton is, perhaps most people know, a suburb of Liverpool, a pleasant three miles drive from the Liverpool Central Station, and a heavy laden train conveyed the Derby team and partizans from the Peak to the great shipping centre.

It was a pleasant morning and the players joined the special at Matlock where they had for a fortnight been in active and strict preparation.

The saloon contained numerous sporting notabilities including several pressmen whose names are familiar in the athletic world. Spofforth “the demon” was also here, and Billy Chatterton and the veteran George Hay and others whose names are perhaps better known in the cricket field than in connection with football.

We learn with agreeable surprise that Archie Goodall has, despite his great grief, decided to play, and as the train speeds along he confidentially refers to his recent sorrow, big tears filling his eyes as he did so. John Goodall, the famous international, is here, and the rest of the boys Latham, “Fergie”, Roulstone, Williamson, Higgins, “Kiddy” Cooper, George Bakewell, Milarvie, and Bromage, and the players appear to be jubilant and confident in spirits and up to the mark in health.

Through the Peak we rush and are soon in the land of mills, having noticed the Chinley end of the new Derbyshire Railway en route. The gigantic ship canal works are also touched, and through Warrington we dash – the weather by now being dull and threatening.

“There’s not much sunlight here,” someone remarked, and the explanation came “that it was all used in the soap!”

The Central Station is reached safely, and the time being limited, a general move is made for Everton, the words “play up, county,” ringing in a lively chorus through the spacious station.

A few minutes late, Goodall led his men on to the ground – oh, such a ground! It was a perfect morass! In an experience of years we never beheld such a ground in such a condition, and what Goodall was doing not to object we cannot imagine, for we learnt from the referee that he was quite prepared for such an objection.

However, none was made, and the kick-off took place in the presence of eight or ten thousand people. The Everton team is a redoubtable one, and soon (the ex-Scotch International) Latta, who was formally Captain of the Renton team was busy.

The George Bakewell had a futile run, his speed doing him good service. Next the ex-Notts Rangers, Geary, is on the ball, and away he rushes, and his final effort is too near to be pleasant. Then Chadwick on the home left has a try, and Bromage muffing the ball, Geary dashed up, and through it went at lightning speed, the Derby goalkeeper evidently not being quite awake yet after his long ride.

An even game followed, the visitors having quite their proportion of play, and John Goodall sent in a “daisy cutter,” which quite beat Smalley. When the game was half-an-hour late, George Bakewell made a grand run, and a pretty centre, John Goodall again beating the Everton goalkeeper.

Derby two! Everton one!

The Peakites were jubilant and justifiably so, and Archie Goodall and Roulstone, Cooper and Bakewell were working like “banned ‘n’ words”. Bromage, however, feebly handled another shot and through it went, and before he opened his eyes fairly Geary had again beaten him. Everton three, Derby two, when the half time whistle blew.

Then a transformation came upon the scene and the visitors might have been drugged. The Everton forwards worked like demons and they simply made rings round the Derby defence. The way Latta waltzed round Roulstone reminded one very much of a man playing against a boy, and the Evertonians were delighted.

John Goodall struggled, but Holt was on his track most effectually, and for once the old Preston man had his match. Geary seemed to be playing with the younger Godall, and shot after shot rattled just round Bromage’s quarters and ten minutes from half time goal four was registered.

Derby people can cheer but they’re not in it with the people of “toffee-land.”

The Derby forwards, when they got the ball, seemed to play cleverly but the opposing backs and half-backs were on the top of them, and the Everton forwards did just as they liked in the mud – they fairly revelled in it.

Dirty and dejected, the Derby defence played a losing game while their opponents seemed to improve, and Bromage was sort of target for them.

Five! Six! Oh, the shouts. Seven!! Oh, the deafening yells. John Goodall looks furious and Archie ventures a sickly smile, and Higgins makes an effort to squeeze out a smile also, but he hasn’t one left.

At a lively quarter the gods who have evidently backed the right ones are indulging in a ditty with a rollicking chorus, and Latham and Fergie stand in the goal mouth kicking out fast and frantically, their faces being coated with about an inch of mud and two inches of grief.

It is a farce, nothing short. All combination and hope is gone from the Derbyites, and the Everton backs and half-backs are actually joining in the siege, and the visitors cannot move in the mud. The ball flies just over and outside the Derby end most provokingly.

Then another goal and another!! Surely the Evertonians are piling on the agony with a vengeance. Eight! Nine!! Ten!! Then the ball kindly burst and relieved the monotony and gave the players a rest.

With five minutes to play the game was resumed and the eleventh point notched on!

Thus ended the memorable and disastrous chapter!

The cruel spectators, in their jubilation, could not refrain from adding mild insult to injury by having a sarcastic howl and Mr. Milarvice observed “This takes the cake.”

The Derby team left the ground with faces like professional undertakers. This was the heaviest beating they have ever endured and Saturday’s experience will not be readily forgotten.
(Derbyshire Times: January 25, 1890)

Alex Latta, Everton (Lloyd’s Weekly News: October 30, 1892):

John Goodall, Derby County (Lloyd’s Weekly News: April 2, 1893):


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