November 20, 1893
Triumphant Liverpool! The victory over Notts County, with their five internationals – rivals worthy of opposing any club – has placed the club on the pinnacle of fame, and, however generous the praise may be bestowed, it cannot be greater than the team and all concerned deserve.
That the public recognise their merit was proved by the excellent “gate” which turned up to witness the anticipated exciting game.
The leading position of the club guaranteed that something out of the common should be shown, and, indeed, in spite of the unpropitious climatic conditions, the game never approached mediocrity.
The high standard of play maintained throughout, was in fact a special feature of the game, and it reflects the greatest credit upon the condition of both teas that they were enabled to have such control over the ball under adverse circumstances.
The points which stand out most distinctly were the clever forward play of the Notts men, and the grand and skilful defence of Liverpool, particularly on the part of William McOwen.
For the second tie only this season Andrew Hannah failed to conjecture the fall of the coin, and this unmistakable disadvantage did the home team no good, as when ends were changed the shifty nature of the wind lost to Liverpool the assistance naturally expected.
With the exception of Douglas Dick, for Malcolm McVean, who is laid up with an injured knee, the Liverpool team was identical to that which succeeded in obtaining a draw at Nottingham; but on the visitors’ side James Logan was the only fresh face.
Thus both teams were on level terms in that respect. Notts played a more finished game forward than Liverpool, but met with such determined opposition from Hannah and Duncan McLean, and, last of all, from McOwen, that all their beautiful touches and combined efforts were ruthlessly broken up.
Owing to the old strain reappearing just after the game commenced James Stott was practically placed hors-de-combat, and the brunt of the work fell upon David Henderson and the right wing, who gamely took in the situation, and made use of every possible chance, Patrick Gordon grandly leading the way by splendidly outwitting Jack Hendry, and racing away from him and scoring within a couple of minutes of the start – a brilliant performance which deserves special mention, as this early success gave the remainder of the team a taste of victory, and urged them to greater action.
On the Liverpool side the whole of the rear-guard excelled themselves, and if any stood out prominently it was McOwen in goal, and James McBride at half-back, both of whom played in a most fearless yet scientific manner, and to them a large share of the victory is due.
Hannah and McLean, supported by Joe McQue and Matt McQueen, came out of the contest with flying colours. The reintroducing of David Henderson was a wise move upon the part of the executive, as he was an undoubted success. He had greatly improved in speed, and was more difficult to knock off the ball than hitherto.
Gordon and Dick made a nice wing, and got through a great amount of work, the play of the former proving conclusively what his real position is. Dick worked tremendously hard throughout, and was most unselfish with his passes.
Hugh McQueen during the first half was altogether deserted, Stott being incapable of giving him any play whatever. However, Henderson have the outside left winger several good chances later on, and then his play improved.
Notts County are a fine body of players. The forwards are thoroughly in touch with one another, and besides being fast, know how to shoot, and with McOwen in anything but his best humour must have scored several times.
The visiting halves are on a par with those of Liverpool, which is high praise, but Hendry and Thomas Harper are not so safe as players of their reputation should. George Toone in goal did excellent work, and is not to blame for his side’s defeat.
(Liverpool Mercury: November 20, 1893)
George Toone, Notts County (Lloyd’s Weekly News: April 9, 1893):