January 30, 1893
Liverpool thoroughly justified their right to be considered something more than a mere second-class organisation. Favoured by the draw, they had the immense advantage of playing before their own supporters, who numbered not far short of 8,000.
Darwen turned out the identical team that had wrested such a smart win from Aston Villa in the English cup tie, whilst Liverpool dispensed with the valuable services of that capital half-back James McBride.
Andrew Hannah’s usual good fortune did not desert him in the toss of the coin, and when it was seen that he elected to play with the wind, a round of applause greeted this happy augury. The opening stages were in favour of Darwen, but when after about five minutes’ play, Malcolm McVean put through from a well-placed corner, Liverpool wonderfully improved, and settled down into a rousing swing, and quite monopolised the play during the greater part of the first half, and with a tithe of luck would have increased their score.
In the second half the game was vigorously continued, and Liverpool gratified their supporters by their indomitable pluck and resource. The demeanor of each individual member of the team was very pleasing, and their condition reflects great credit upon their training. William McOwen throughout had little to do, the magnificent defence of Duncan McLean and Andrew Hannah seeing him of a lot of work. The hero of the game was Matt McQueen, who not only saved remarkably at critical periods, but often was the means of leading up an attack. Joe McQue exhibited splendid judgment, and completely over-shadowed McKennie. John McCartney as usual, worked untiring, but at times rather too energetically for the comfort of his opponents.
In midfield the home forwards were superior to those of Darwen, showing better combination and individual skill, but did not display the best discretion in their final attempts. For a wonder, Thomas Wyllie was not in his best shooting humour, but otherwise he played a good game. Jock Smith and Malcolm McVean worked like (original article’s use of the “n” word), and deserved to score more than once. John Miller was very closely watched, and was not allowed to get a favourable opportunity for shooting. Hugh McQueen from the left sent in capital centres, but Orr managed to generally to get these away or hamper Thomas Wyllie to such an extent that the chance was lost. In fact, it is due to the sterling defence of Orr and Leach that Liverpool did not score more heavily.
(Source: Liverpool Mercury: January 30, 1893)