November 15, 1892
The members of the Aston Villa football club and the Birmingham football public generally are a long suffering people, but they must have been utterly disgusted with the display given by the team which the Villa committee thought good enough to put in the field at Perry Barr yesterday in a friendly match against Liverpool.
True it was ‘only a friendly match’ so it ‘did not matter much’ but as the authorities thought fit to make the same charge for admission as to ordinary league games the public had a right to expect that the committee would pay some regard to the honour of the club and show some consideration for their feelings. But instead of that the Villa team included only five or six first team players and although there were one or two good individual efforts, the eleven, for three parts of the game at least, were hopelessly outplayed.
This is not fair dealing with the public, and it is no excuse for the Villa managers to say they only did as other clubs have done. The Liverpool men were a well-balanced team in every respect, and some very fine individual and combined efforts were seen. The Villa have to thank Cowan and Dunning for the fact that they were not more decisively beaten.
The visitors won the toss, and the Villa kicked off up hill. After the opening exchanges Liverpool got down the right and Russell fouling the ball, the visitors scored with a good shot on the left, McVean, who gave the ball the final touch, being put on side by Dunning trying to clear.
Almost immediately afterwards Liverpool scored again after a smart piece of play. These reverses stimulated the Villa somewhat, and getting well up the field Hare put in a good shot, which the goalkeeper cleared.
Charles Hare, Aston Villa (Denbigshire Free Press: October 19, 1895):
The visitors were hard pressed for a time, their backs having plenty to do. Hare got in another good one, but it went over the bar, and Liverpool from the goal-kick got away. Very fine work by Hodgetts and Campbell, however, enabled the Villa to attack again, and when the visitors retaliated, Cowan came to the rescue in brilliant fashion.
The Liverpool forwards, admirably supported by their half-backs made a desperate attack on the Villa goal, Cowan, Wollaston, Russell and Dunning all being called on. But the ball was got away, and Brown made a fine run up the right, his effort being spoiled by a mad shot by Hare.
Then came another fine run by the visitors and McBride sent in a grand shot which Dunning cleared at the expense of a corner. Next the Villa attacked but Ross saved cleverly, after which Dunning gave the crowd a taste of his quality by twice in succession saving at close quarters in magnificent style. Wollaston, in trying to head out, gave a corner, but it was got away. A similar result attended another corner, and then Hare made a grand run, but had no support.
Again Liverpool took up the running, and the result of a good combined attack was that McQueen headed a third goal. The Villa made an attack but it was in a half-hearted fashion, and Brown spoiled the chance. Away went Liverpool to the other end, and Dunning saved in brilliant fashion, with a man on top of him. Trying hard, the Villa, through Brown, forced a corner, but the ball was safely cleared and half-time came with the score – Liverpool 3 goals; Villa 0.
One commencing Villa attacked for a time, but were driven back, and in turn compelled to act on the defensive. Brown made a grand run down the right, and though finally dispossessed by McLean. Cowan sent the ball back and, after a desperate scrimmage, Campbell rushed the ball through the Liverpool goal.
After this Villa got two fouls in good positions, but nothing was done with them. Hodgetts made a grand shot which just went outside. The Villa next forced two unproductive corners and, playing up better maintained a perfect fusillade on the Liverpool goal, Cowan and F. Burton especially putting in the shots.
The Liverpool defence however was thoroughly reliable; Ross in goal making some very fine saves. Still keeping up the pressure, the Villa forced a corner. It was cleared and then Liverpool broke away. It was only for a time, however, and the Villa returned to the attack and after some vigorous work Davis scored. Nothing more was done, and Liverpool won by 3 goals to 2.
Aston Villa: Willie Dunning, Arthur Wollaston, George Russell, Frank Burton, James Cowan, Arthur Stokes, Albert Brown, George Davis, Charles Hare, Dennis Hodgetts, Lewis Campbell.
Liverpool: Sydney Ross, Andrew Hannah, Duncan McLean, John McCartney, Matt McQueen, Malcolm McBride, Thomas Wyllie, Jock Smith, John Miller, Malcolm McVean, Hugh McQueen.
(Birmingham Gazette: November 15, 1892)