September 23, 1892
A fair crowd assembled on the Anfield ground to witness this friendly match. Owing to the absence of Duncan McLean and Andrew Hannah the homsters tried two local players to fill the back division.
Liverpool: Sydney Ross, Pearson, John McNally, Stevenson, Joe McQue, James McBride, Thomas Wyllie, Jock Smith, John Miller, Malcolm McVean, Andrew Kelvin.
Middlesbrough Ironopolis: Charles Watts, James Elliott, Sid Oliver, Duncan McNair, Bob Chatt, Tom Seymour, Jack Hill, Archie Hughes, Willie McArthur, Wally McReddie, McCudden.
Losing the spin, McArthur started for Ironopolis. From hands against Hughes Liverpool were able to make progress, Watts ultimately having to clear a slow shot from Wyllie. Some very pretty combination by the home right again put Liverpool in the visitors’ quarters, and Smith, two minutes from the start, sent in a beauty which beat Watts rather easily.
Liverpool were playing a splendid passing game, the forwards being kept well supplied by the half back division. Elliott and Oliver were therefore kept busy dealing with the efforts of Wyllie, Miller, and McVean. Hill was the most prominent man in the Middlesbrough front division, he being very tricky and speedy in his touches. Getting away on the right, Hill was mainly responsible for Hughes making the score on goal all, with a low shot from a short range.
From the restart McVean put in a dashing sprint, which met with cheers from the 2,000 onlookers, but he was smartly pulled up by McNair. Play now became even, but interesting. Just before the interval Ross was called upon to save a long attempt from McReddie, but the Liverpool custodian failed to get the ball away, and, although McCudden had the goal at his mercy, he missed badly.
On resuming the Middlesbrough men at once attacked, and the Liverpool goal had indeed a lucky let-off. The leather was put past Ross, but owing to that custodian being charged down before the ball crossed the line the point was disallowed, a decision which caused the Everton contigent to give vent their feelings.
The visitors at this stage were seen to great advantage, and for fully 15 minutes they held the upper hand. The home backs were very weak in their clearances, thus giving their forwards little or nothing to do. Play continued chiefly in the home quarters, and after Pearson and McCudden had had a tussle for possession McArthur rushed up and sent the leather against the crossbar, it gliding through.
Owing to an injury Smith had to retire, leaving Liverpool with ten men. Ironopolis kept up the pressure until the end, but although Ross’s charge was often in danger, no further scoring was done, a very moderate game thus ending in favour of Middlesbrough by 2 goals to 1.
(Liverpool Mercury, 23-09-1892)