November 11, 1893
Match: Football League, Second Division, at West Bromwich Road, kick-off: 14:45.
The Walsall – Liverpool 1-1 (1-1).
Referee: Mr. Jeffries.
The Walsall (2-3-5): Tom Hawkins; Tom Bayley, Robert Smellie; J.W. Davies, R Cook, Norman Forsyth; Sammy Holmes, Walter McWhinnie, S. Cox, David Copeland, Joe O’Brien.
Liverpool (2-3-5): William McOwen; Andrew Hannah (C), Duncan McLean; John McCartney, Joe McQue, James McBride; Patrick Gordon, Douglas Dick, Harry Bradshaw, Malcolm McVean, Hugh McQueen.
The goals: 0-1 Bradshaw (30 min.), 1-1 Cox (35 min.).
** An interesting fact. Most sources claim our opponents name was “Walsall Town Swift”. In a newspaper report in Birmingham Daily Post, dated August 28 – 1893, it says: “At Walsall football takes a new departure, in respect of name of club, of ground, and of composition of the club. Taking these in the order named, the old cumbrous double-barrelled title of “Town Swifts” is dropped for the nimbler and more expressive one of “The Walsall.”
The first meeting between these clubs took place on Saturday before a “record” gate for the home ground, fully 5,000 spectators witnessing the game. Owing to injuries Matt McQueen and James Stott stood down, whilst David Henderson again had to give way to Harry Bradshaw.
Having won the toss, Hannah elected to play with the wind and incline in his favour, Copeland opened the game, and at once McQue and McVean came through the ruck, and shot for goal, Hawkins kicked clear, but the ball was sent back again, and a bully formed in the Walsall goal-mouth, from which a shot was sent into the net, but the referee would not allow the point.
This hard luck rather upset the Liverpool men, as the home forwards, led by McWhinnie and Copeland, carried the ball into the visitors’ quarters, Holmes finishing with a capital shot, which McOwen easily cleared.
Again Liverpool were the aggressors, and Gordon and Dick, by fast and tricky play, gave a chance to Bradshaw, but Smellie proved a stumbling block, and immediate danger was removed.
Copeland next ???ayed to pass to McQue, but that ubiquitous individual was much too good for him, and parting to McVean the latter shot hard in, but Bailey’s head was in the way, and Cook, obtaining possession, sent to Cox and O’Brien on the left, who removed the scene of action temporarily.
Hannah interposed and sent to McQueen, who in turn transferred to Gordon, and the latter player disposing at the right moment enabled Bradshaw to shoot past Hawkins. Hardly had the game been restarted when it appeared as though the two latter players were about to repeat the trick, a rasping shot from Bradshaw being luckily cleared by Hawkins.
McVean and McQue endeavoured to lower the Walsall colours, but without success. Not at all disheartened, the home team stuck gamely to their work. Their forwards slipped away in rapid fashion, and just before half-time Cox equalised, amidst a perfect salve of applause.
This success put the homesters on good terms with themselves, as now they had the elements in their favour, and immediately upon resuming they gave a taste of what they were capable of by subjecting McOwen’s goal to a heavy amount of pressure, Cook, McWhinnie, and Copeland being the leaders in the assault.
Eventually the siege was raised by McBride, who, with McQueen and McVean, created a change in the play, and allowed Dick to get in with a nice shot, Gordon also trying his luck, but without result.
A foul of McQue caused the home team to be again on the aggressive, and on one occasion Hannah brought about a marvellous save, when McWhinnie had raced clear of the field, and was within the twelve yards line.
Liverpool after this improved slightly, and many attacks were levelled at Hawkins, who, with a less experienced pair of backs in front of him would most certainly have had to succumb to the many stinging shots propelled at his charge.
The game remained unaltered, although everyone was waiting impatiently for the finish, being afraid the visitors would snatch a winning point before the whistle blew, and loud and prolonged were the cheers when it was found that the home team had not suffered defeat at the hands of the League champions, the game resulting in a draw of a goal each.
(Liverpool Mercury, 13-11-1893)
Match report from the Walsall Advertiser, Saturday, November 18 – 1893.
Harry Bradshaw, Liverpool (Illustrated Police Budget: November 11, 1899):