Nelson again in possession of the “wooden spoon”


March 8, 1893
Nelson have not long been out of possession of the Lancashire League “wooden spoon.” Flushed with the victory, with a double-figure score, over Higher Walton the previous Saturday, the Nelsonians went to Liverpool hoping they would avenge the one goal defeat at Seed Hill a few weeks ago and at the same time bid good bye to the “wooden spoon” for this season.

In addition to this the visitors had a further incentive, as we stated in our last issue, to the match, as their success meant a gift of 10s. to each player. But the committee of the club are saved the 2s. 6d. per man; Mr. Robert Hartley can keep his eleven half-crowns in his pocket; and Mr. Woolscroft will be £3 5s. better off, as Nelson were defeated and again relegated to the bottom of the League list.

Liverpool scored the same number of goals as they did at Seed Hill, but Nelson failed to break their duck. The spectators speak of the visitors’ defence as good, but described the attack as weak. Here, then, is the secret of the 3-0 defeat. In the first half, even with the wind and sun against them, Nelson kept the Liverpudlians from scoring more than once. This certainly was not much of an advantage to cross over with, but in the second half the weakness of the visitors’ attack was more prominent, and this is probably responsible for the fact that, although assisted by the wind, Nelson failed to score whilst the homesters put another couple of goals on.

Considering the excellent resistance offered by Matthews (in goal) and the full backs (Craven and Leach) it is a little amusing to read that one Liverpool scribe thought the home team should have done what Nelson did the previous Saturday – reach double figures!

Although Nelson did occupy a low position in the League, the encounter attracted a fair number of spectators to Anfield, the hard struggle which Liverpool had for the victory at Seed Hill doubtless increasing the interest in the game.

Brown kicked off for the visitors against both wind and sun, John Miller carrying the ball well up until Craven relieved with a huge punt. Liverpool made matters warm for the Nelson defence, and Matt McQueen was not long in heading past Matthews.

Liverpool often looked like getting through, a shot by John McCartney giving Matthews the greatest difficulty in clearing. Following a foul against Duncan McLean for rather unceremoniously pulling up Brown, the visitors made some headway, a huge kick by the offender averting any danger.

Liverpool tried hard to improve their position, but although the Nelson attack was of a weak description their defence offered a good resistance, and the whistle blew for half-time with the following result: – Liverpool one, Nelson nil.

John Miller resumed operations after the interval, the first prominent feature being a fine shot by Hugh McQueen, which Matthews barely put out. Nelson got well up, but James McBride saved, and Matt McQueen, wending his way through all opposition, put on Liverpool’s second goal within five minutes of the restart. Liverpool again pressed, and from a foul taken by Duncan McLean, Hugh McQueen put on the third goal.
(Burnley Express: March 8, 1893)

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