December 25, 1893
Liverpool had to be content with a “friendly” on Saturday. In response to an invitation from the Ardwick Club with the promise of a substantial guarantee, the Anfield team journeyed to Liverpool’s “rival port.”
Although without Duncan McLean, David Henderson, and Patrick Gordon, the players rendered a capital account of themselves. So admirable was the all-round play of the trio, Joe McQue, Matt McQueen, and James McBride, that the home team but rarely reached the visitors’ quarters.
Singularly, the Manchester club both opened and close the scoring account. A fast shot which struck the cross bar and rebounded into play was successfully converted (William McOwen being severely strained in the melee which followed) within ten minutes of the start, and when Liverpool had broken the exceptionally strong defence of William Douglas for the sixth time, the Ardwickians, owing to a little hesitation between two Liverpool players in midfield, luckily matched a second point by a long dropping shot from their centre half, which the Liverpool custodian failed to hold owing to the previous injury.
The Liverpool forwards displayed an inspiring amount of go-ahead dash, and in this lay the secret of the heavy scoring. Douglas Dick very capably filled Patrick Gordon’s position, and he, Malcolm McVean, and Hugh McQueen gave a first-class exposition of wing play; McVean also being very successful in the scoring department.
James Stott made an efficient centre, doing some nice work with his head; but he was nothing like the brilliant player he is in his own position on the left wing. In the first half Harry Bradshaw and Hugh McQueen did some excellent work, and seemed to have a thorough understanding between them, but later on the former fell of considerably, and the brunt of the work devolved upon Stott and the outside player.
Again, the “keystone” of the whole structure, the half backs, were in immense form, and for downright consistent and sustained brilliancy of play they are without superiors. Andrew Hannah had the more expert wing to face, and was often led a sharp race, but generally the old warrior was too old-fashioned for his younger opponents. John McCartney throughout played very well indeed, but his half back propensities led him into the grievous error of getting out of his position as full back.
The Ardwick team cannot be complimented very much upon their display. Douglas was not so good as when at Anfield, a feat which could hardly be expected. John McVickers and Frank Dyer, with Daniel Whittle, were the best of the defence, although Dyer at times was very shaky and unsound in his tackling.
The left wing, William Egan and Bob Milarvie, were the only portion of the forward rank that did themselves justice, and they deserved ever praise for their “never-give-up” style of play, which was often a real source of danger.
(Liverpool Mercury: December 25, 1893)
Harry Bradshaw, Liverpool (Illustrated Police Budget: November 11, 1899):