November 28, 1892
Rossendale made themselves suddenly famous by easily ousting Bury from the English Cup Competition, after accepting £80 to forego their choice of ground, and they were not without hopes of taking the strong Liverpool team down. The Rossendale team was the same that defeated Bury, whilst the visitors still lacked the services of the McQueen’s, the full teams being: –
Rossendale: William Holden, Harry Blears, Sam Davis, J. Whiteside, W. Brown, Johnny Weir, R. Brown, J. Garner, Jimmy Sharples, Jack Ratcliffe, Robert Duckworth.
Liverpool: Sydney Ross, Andrew Hannah, Duncan McLean, John McCartney, Joe McQue, James McBride, Thomas Wyllie, Jock Smith, John Miller, Malcolm McVean, Phil Kelly.
Referee: Mr. T. Lomax (Bolton).
There was not the gate I had anticipated to welcome the Rossendalians, although the attendance was nothing to grumble at; but what a ground to get to! It is almost an Alpine climb to get up the rough muddy lane leading to the ground from Waterfoot. The home team seemed to be more at home in the mud at the commencement, and gave the opposing defenders some trouble for a short time; but both Hannah and McLean were very safe at back, they having a great advantage in the matter of weight, though on one occasion Ross was almost beaten, but he managed to clear with one or two of his opponents in close quarters. As the play progressed the Liverpudlians appeared to get along better, and gradually obtained the upper hand. Wyllie and Smith doing some excellent passing on the right wing, and the found Brown and Davies plenty of work, whilst Garner and Sharples, on the home left, strove hard to get the ball past Ross. Although each end was visited pretty impartially, the backs on both sides were in their best humour, with the result that the team crossed over without either having scored.
The second half opened in rather a sensational manner, as right from the kick-off Miller and McVean worked the ball through their opponents without one of them touching it. Miller registering the first goal of the match by as fine a piece of play as one may wish to see, though it was not recognised in the manner it deserved. Of course, had the boot been on the other leg there would have been plenty of that shouting for which Rossendalians are noted. At this point of the game the Scotchmen were having the best of it, but after the home goal had had some narrow shaves the forwards rushed away, and Hannah missing his kick. Rossendale appeared to be certain to draw level, but Ross managed to clear.
McVean and Kelly transferred the ball to the other and, but the latter shot wide, McBride, however, making amends for this by directly afterwards putting on the second point for his side, Holden being unprepared for the shot. This second reversed seemed to liven up the Rossendale people, who went at it with determination, but they could not bring about the downfall of Ross’s charge, though on one occasion he only partially saved, and was lucky to get the ball away. The home team had the best of matters to the finish, but nothing was scored. Liverpool winning by two goals to none.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the better team won, but for the last twenty minutes of the game the winners were never in it, and it was only the good defensive tactics that they kept their goal intact. Individually they were superior; and the combination of the forwards was a treat to witness, although the ground was against short passing.
Blears played a splendid game at right full-back, and was by far the best man on his side, and although Brown had more than his match in Wyllie, he was a regular thorn in his side after the interval. The forwards might have done much better, and it is falling off to score seven goals against Bury one week, and then fail to score at all on the Saturday following. They did not pass with judgment, and somehow the Liverpool half-backs seemed to be always knocking about. The left wing was the more effective.
The Liverpool defence was very safe, McLean being a decided improvement on the last occasion I saw him. The half-backs were very clever, McCartney being the hardest worker on the field, and as a trio they played a good part in the victory. The forwards got along splendidly, but Kelly was a weak spot, and this somewhat affected McVean’s play, the bulk of the work being done in consequence by Miller and the right wing.
(Source: Athletic News: November 28, 1892)
Matt McQueen, Hugh McQueen.