Fleetwood Rangers lose their first League match


November 19, 1892
Liverpool had rather an unwelcome experience on their first visit to the Fylde when Blackpool beat them, so were determined not to have the dose repeated last Saturday by the Rangers. Consequently, they put James McBride (the Scotch International League half-back) in the team.

The Rangers were early troublesome, and the way the Liverpudlians fell into their own goal when the Rangers attacked showed clearly they had learnt a lesson at Blackpool, and did not intend the Rangers catching them on the hop in the first 20 minutes. It was well for them that Andrew Hannah and Duncan McLean (particularly) were in much better trim than they were against Blackpool, or otherwise they would have met with another surprise, as the Rangers attacked strongly for the first quarter of an hour. Then Liverpool broke away, and a misunderstanding on the part of the home backs gave the visitors the desired opening, and they scored, a sensational item, followed by Billy Hogan and James Brogan working well together, and the latter, with a terrific shot, equalised within a minute.

Play ruled even until Billy Hogan centred beautifully, and Wilson lifted the ball over Hannah’s head, and Sydney Ross misjudged the ball, which dropped behind him. Hannah, however, slipped in and kicked the ball away, as the Rangers claimed for a goal as the ball had been through. The referee disregarded the claim, though everyone in the vicinity of the goal – and I was informed the goalkeeper himself – afterwards admitted the ball was through, so that the Rangers were deprived of a legitimate goal. This did not encourage them, while Liverpool worked well together, and Malcolm McVean getting clear away, as the Rangers claimed off-side, scored a second point for the visitors. From another mistake on the part of the home defence Liverpool added a third.

In the second half the homesters had quite as much of the game on their opponents, and they were somewhat unlucky in not scoring, while Jock Smith obtained a fourth for Liverpool with a shot that everyone thought was going out, but which rebounded through from the post. The Liverpool team is a remarkably good one, and equal to any that has ever visited Fleetwood. They play the correct game, an were almost perfection on Saturday, their defence being as good as their passing, and their combination was pretty and effective.

McLean played just as good a game as he did a poor one at Blackpool, and instead of the back position being the weak point of the team it was particularly strong against Fleetwood. Matt McQueen, at centre half, and McBride are half-backs of the highest order, and would do credit to any League club. In short there was not a weak spot amongst them. If there was any worst it was Jock Smith, but he was by no means poor. Had they played the same game at Blackpool I venture to say they would still have been unbeaten in the League

The Rangers have no cause to feel ashamed of their defeat by such a team, and on the day’s play the score did not represent the game, and as a matter of fact the actual score was 4-2, not 4-1. The Rangers’ great weakness was at half-back, and this defeat the Committee have endeavoured to remedy to-day by placing Dick Craven at half-back and putting the same string of forwards on the field that did so well on the southern tour, and who beat Royal Arsenal.
(Source: Cricket and Football Field: November 19, 1892)

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