December 26, 1891
The Christmas Day attraction-no other could have been greater at Anfield was the return League match between Everton and Sunderland, the previous game, in which Fred Geary received the injury that has incapacitated him since, having been played at Wearside on October 3, and won by Sunderland by 2 goals to 1.
It is singular that in all the contests hitherto entered upon by these teams no more than a goal had been the extent of victory, and that the narrow success had rested in every instance with the club. Of five matches played between Everton and Sunderland, only one was at Liverpool, and so the visitors yesterday had a record in their favour of four games to one.
The teams are evidently well match and it was a good idea to select a general holiday as the occasion of the home feature with the Wearsiders, the only matter of regret being that the ground and weather were not more suitable for a fair and complete test of the skill of such apparently equal combatants. There was an excellent attendance every foot of space seeming to be occupied and it must have numbered fully 13,000.
The teams were as follows: –
Everton: Dick Williams, Duncan McLean, Bob Howarth, Bob Kelso, Johnny Holt, Hope Robertson, Alex Latta, Thomas Wyllie, Alan Maxwell, Edgar Chadwick, Alf Milward.
Sunderland: Ned Doig, Tom Porteous, Donald Gow, Hugh Wilson, John Auld, John Murray, James Hannah, David Hannah, John Middleton Campbell, Jimmy Millar, Jock Scott.
Everton kicked off and some nice passing on the home right at once called upon Sunderland to defend. The vistors’ left made ground and forced a corner. During the scrimmage a penalty kick was conceded, but Williams made a fine save by standing forward, the ball flying over the bar from the return shot from a penalty shot by Wilson. Latta, after Williams had received an ovation for his smart work in a trying crisis, went away but found a barrier in the left back. Milward passed to Chadwick who shot a little wide.
This amidst much excitement, went to the other end, where Kelso came to the rescue, and working up again Sunderland were dangerous on the right. The ball went out, but the visitors returned in good formation on the left to be beaten off. Everton now had a turn and got a free kick on the left. Gow administered a check, and after a throw in the home team the two Hannahs sprinted goalwards and centred. Howarth in cleaning goal, gave a corner. No relief came and from the throw in the ball was placed to Millar who hanged through and scored.
With this early reverse Everton moved quickly towards their opponents’ goal and Milward was unlucky in not penetrating, a hard shot sending the ball against a player. Sunderland were very threatening immediately following this let off. But Holt intercepted and, sending forward Latta made a great effort to get within shooting range, but the ball was overran.
Keeping well in Sunderland quarters, Everton were very near equalising as Maxwell shot closely. A fast movement by the visitors on the left was too much for McLean to cope with, and D. Hannah piloted through. Everton were again in trouble but Williams made a double check first running out and then falling back to fist out a return.
The game continued to be keenly contested. Everton made strenuous efforts to improve their position and Wyllie finished off good forward work by shooting well. The pressure was sustained on the visitors’ goal, and a corner was forced, from which Robertson headed well in. goods shots were essayed but Doig was safe.
A raid was then made on the Sunderland left, and in the course of a running charge at Scott McLean broke his right arm. Which caused his retirement. Kelso now went full back and Latta dropped into the half-back line. Thus handicapped.
Everton were hard pressed, and Williams and his co-defenders had a lively time of it. Some good defence was shown for a while but on Auld lobbing in a lengthen shot Williams seemed confused and making no attempt to meet the ball a third goal was easily registered.
At this stage Chadwick also left the field and during his absence the visitors were seldom out of the home quarters. On Chadwick’s return he headed a run, but the Sunderland left back pulled him up. There was little combination in the game now, Kelso being most conspicuous for his defensive tactics and when half-time arrived with the score 3 goals to nil against Everton. Play was still in close proximity to Williams.
On Campbell restarting. Everton were quickly in the visitors’ half, but there being only four forwards the combination was, of course, not finished. Still energy was dominant, and Milward, running across, shot hard and well, but without the desired effect. Another attempt was made to get at goal but the Sunderland half-backs were too wily and play was transferred to the home end. Here Kelso was especially successful in beating off the powerful attacking party.
Sunderland continued to have the upper hand, and by some clever concerted play again surrounding the home citadel J. Hannah from a pass by Miller smartly notching the fourth point.
Everton put in all they knew to mend matters but their attack was weak, and was easily accounted for by the powerful defence of Gow and Porteous. Play was now delayed some minutes by the intrusion of one or two senseless spectators, who deliberately walked on to the field of play to dispute decisions. These were of course, promptly expelled and the game resumed.
For a time Everton had the best of matters. Chadwick and Maxwell in turn having a shy at goal. But all to no purpose. A smart bit of work was witnessed on the visitors left, but was as cleverly broken up by Kelso, who lobbed well forward. Coming again the Wearsiders had matters much to their own liking, and had not Howard put in a timely rescue another entrance might have been composed.
From an Everton point of view the game had long lost its interest as the home side were seldom in the running. Sunderland also taking matters easy, play ruled tame Milward tried long shot out of range and then Williams had thrown away an accurate aim by D. Hannah.
Latta was next conspicuous in midfield but Porteous relieved by a fine lob. Milward was also prominent on the left and rushing through all defence parted to Chadwick who missed badly. When in a close position, and the game ended in a decisive win for Sunderland by 4 goals to nil.
(Liverpool Mercury: December 26, 1891)
Bob Kelso, Everton (Lloyd’s Weekly News: September 24, 1893):