January 9, 1893
The running for the Lancashire League championship was never so open as it is at present, and any one of the three present leading clubs may ultimately finish at the top. It was generally anticipated at the commencement of the season that the Liverpudlians would show all other competitors a clean pair of heels, as it were, but Bury and Blackpool are running them very close; in fact, Blackpool have a shade the best of the performance, which, however, may be lost next Saturday at Bury.
Heywood Central have been going strongly of late, rather a contrast to their form at the beginning of the season, and are now first after the three aforementioned clubs. Only last week they played their first League match with their opponents of Saturday, when a score of six goals to two was chalked up against them, but the Heywood men were not without hopes of turning the tables on their big opponents, especially as the teams had played a drawn game at Bamford Road only a few weeks ago in an ordinary match.
The teams were: –
Heywood Central: W.H. Sharples, J. Pearson, T. Evans, T. Woolfall, L. Scholes, W. Reagan, E. Jones, McWhinnie, J. Horsfield, W. Allan, W. Webster.
Liverpool: Sydney Ross, Andrew Hannah, Duncan McLean, John McCartney, Joe McQue, James McBride, Thomas Wyllie, Matt McQueen, John Miller, John Cameron, Hugh McQueen.
The home team started with a strong wind at their backs, and as events proved it ruled the venue of the play, for each side held the advantage while they had it in their favour. The Centralians went off with a rush and soon gained a corner, and the game had not been long in progress when the ball was put through from a free kick., but fortunately for the defenders a second player had not touched the leather, and soon afterwards Horsfield should have scored when the ball was right underneath the cross-bar, but Ross was too sharp for him, and cleared.
The Central continued to have the best of it, but were very unlucky in front of goal, and seemed certain to score on more than one occasion, and once Ross was certainly through the goal when he saved, but although the home team appealed for a point, the referee, Mr. Smalley, of Blackburn, ruled against them. It was, indeed, a case of hard lines.
The ball was again put through from a free kick, but the efforts of the Heywood men were at last rewarded, Woolfall doing the needful, while Horsfield looked after Ross. This reverse seemed to smarten up the visitors, who went at it with more spirit; but they could not get on equal terms with their opponents, the Central leading at the interval by one goal to nil.
On resuming, Liverpool went away in the same fashion as did the Central at the commencement, and Wyllie was not long in equalising. Play for the most part was continued in the home team’s half, but though Sharples was not so clean in his saves as Ross when he was being pressed, Evans was in splendid form and cleared time after time. The ball sometimes bobbed about in the vicinity of Sharples, but at last he was beaten by McBride for the second time, and the play after this tamed down considerably.
Hugh McQueen made a splendid run on the outside left, and his centre ought to have been taken advantage of by Wyllie, but the ex-Evertonian was not quick enough, and no further scoring ensuing Liverpool were hailed winners by two goals to one. The game was not a very good one, as could only have been expected, and as I said before, the wind was the master of the play, though Liverpool had more of the game in the second half than the Central had in the first.
The defence on both sides was the best part, Ross, of the winners, keeping goal very smartly, while the weight of Hannah and McLean was much in their favour, though they did not use it unfairly, and McLean’s only error was that he wandered out of his place too much.
McBride played a splendid game at left half-back, and though he is on the light side, is worth a place in any team; and both McQue and McCartney worked hard. The forwards might have done better. Of coure McVean and Smith were off, and a half-back was included in the quintette, and both Wyllie and Cameron got nasty kicks in the second half, so that there are plenty of excuses available.
Matt McQueen was in my opinion the pick of the bunch, and though he was out of his place as inside right, he played a very good game and was all over the field looking for work. His brother Hugh was pretty fair, as also was Miller.
Sharples did not do badly in the Central goal, although he might have cleared a little better, and both backs were in their best humour. Evans put in some grand work, and had no superior on the day’s play, while Pearson, who hs up to lately always figured at right half-back, was quite at home in his new position.
Reagan worked hard at half-back, but as in the case of their opponents. The forwards might have done better. McWhinnie took chief honours, and along with Jones formed the best wing, although the latter was at fault with his screwing in the first half, and the corners he took generally went the wrong way. Horsfield was off it in the centre, and could not cover the ground at all. Webster did very well in the first half, but, taken together, the left wing were overweighted
(Source: Athletic News: January 9, 1893)