January 1, 1894
Liverpool have emerged out of a trying week in a very gratifying manner. The four matches played were far from being easy ones, and the effects of the arduous work was distinctly visible upon one or two of the team on Saturday.
On Monday, at the hour of seven a.m. the team started on their journey to Accrington. The partial match with the team of that town turned out such a farce that but little comment is required. In the forenoon the weather was of the most brilliant description, but just as the teams were about to make their way to the ground a complete change took place, and a heavy storm of wind and rain made its unwelcome appearance, and so completely soaked the ground that only a comedy upon the game could be played.
Ultimately the match was abandoned, Liverpool having an adverse score against them, but it was more than probable that the team would have balanced that account, as they were going very strongly just when the referee blew his whistle.
The game at Anfield on Boxing-day was of that fast, ever-varying, and amicably fought-out nature which gives unbounded delight to all who have the pleasure o witnessing it. Recognising the strength and position of the home club, the Corinthians paid the Liverpool the high compliment of turning out the strongest team that has done service for the during the tour, among the being four internationals – William Robert Moon, Harrison, John Gould Veitch, and William Norman Winckworth.
There was nothing to choose between the teams, as while the amateurs had a great advantage in speed and weight, the home team excelled in all-round combination and accurate shooting. So delighted was Mr. N.L. Jackson at the stubborn and interesting fight, that after the game was finished he specially went over to the Liverpool dressing room and complimented the home team upon their clever display, expressing at the same time his opinion that Liverpool undoubtedly possessed one of the strongest, if not the strongest, defence he had seen this season. In the opinion of many who are thorough and capable judges, the Corinthians match is considered to rank as one of the best games played upon the historic enclosure at Anfield.
On Thursday an immense gate gathered together to criticise, favourably or otherwise, the “champions” upon, their first visit to Crewe. It was some considerable time after the game had commenced before Liverpool began to assert themselves, and the least laxity on the part of Duncan McLean and Andrew Hannah would have meant serious disaster to the Anfielders; but the watchfulness of the latter, assisted by an equal amount of wide-awakeness on the part of the half back trio, completely broke up the home attack, and allowed the attacking line of the visitors to have a large share of the play; and adroitly turning every opportunity to advantage, they ran up the respectable score of 5 goals, and that, too, against a really string and unflinching defence as is possessed by Crewe in Hickton (goal) and Cope and Stafford (backs).
Their half-backs are not up to the level of the team, but their forwards, with a little coaching, are just the sort of players likely to be something more than a serious annoyance to backs opposed to them. The visitors played well to a man, Henderson perhaps being the only one to show any slackness, and certainly he fumbled one or two chances in a most aggravating manner.
The game against Grimsby on Saturday did not rouse so much interest as was expected, and which the match itself warranted, its being the first meeting of the clubs, who are later on destined to fight a more important battle in the English cup ties. Singularly to relate, the game even lacked ordinary interest after the first quarter of an hour’s play, the home team having then broken the fishermen’s defence twice.
With this success they seemed to be content, and notwithstanding that Whitehouse had a far greater amount of work to do than William McOwen, the game gradually descended into a very tame affair. Towards the finish the visitors introduced a rough and reprehensible element into the game, and being a rather big heavy lot of men, treated some of the Liverpool team with very scant courtesy. It will require a referee with judgment and great character to control the team when they meet in the Cup tie.
(Liverpool Mercury: January 1, 1894)