January 29, 1894
By the expenditure of a little tact and energy, combined with the disbursement of a fairly large monetary solatium, the enterprising committee of the Liverpool Football Club provided their increasing patrons with an English Cup tie at Anfield on Saturday.
The proof that their efforts in this direction were appreciated was fully established by the capital attendance, which would undoubtedly have been augmented had the elements been more propitious. Owing to the prevalence of a strong wind the game was robbed of its interesting character, the caprices of the ball in its flights completely bewildering both sets of players.
The possession of the choice of ends fell once more to the Liverpool captain. Still the home team were all at sea during the first half, although they sustained an assault upon the visitors’ goal. Owing to the want of a little thought among the forwards in overdoing the passing business and exhibiting too much individualism, their attacks were of a very mick-and-mild disposition, and contrasted adversely with the few invasions of the “Fishermen.”
Certainly in the latter stages of the game the home team acquitted themselves in a manner worthy of their reputation, as they had then not only to combat with the wind but of a storm of rain included. Without question the best team won, and the defeat would have been of a more decisive nature had no the Grimsby captain adopted a purely defensive style of play during the first half by utilising three full backs, and a certain amount of laxity on the part of the referee allowed the visitors to display a special adaptability to foul, and at times cowardly play, and which had its unfailing effect of deteriorating the standard of the sport. If the Grimsby team carry out this questionable style at home, then the Liverpool committee acted wisely in transferring the rendezvous of the fight.
William McOwen was on his best behavior, and deserve special praise for his brilliant work. Duncan McLean and Andrew Hannah were very safe, the ponderous kicking of the former being of great service to the home team.
As usual Matt McQueen, Joe McQue and James McBride were indefatigable in attack and defence, McQue especially being happy to the extreme in his position, and adding to his reputation by obtaining the best goal of the match.
The whole of the forwards are to be congratulated upon their fine show in the second half. David Henderson is improving weekly, and the plucky manner in which he so well follows up is of material advantage to his side. Patrick Gordon and Malcolm McVean combined successfully and judiciously throughout, danger to their opponents generally arising in the neighbourhood of the right wing.
James Stott displaced Hugh McQueen, and when the climatic conditions of the day are considered, his inclusion was a distinct gain. He and Harry Bradshaw put in some sterling work, and the wing was throughout the day noticeable for hard and straight shooting.
The Grimsby team are a level-balanced lot, most of the players being over the average size. Whitehouse in goal did some exceptionally clever work, while he was greatly assisted by Lundie and Frith, the latter in particular. The three half backs were not very difficult to beat, but Higgins was guilty of some reprehensible actions. The forwards are a speedy lot, who do not fail to take an opening. Jones and Riddock were greatly to the front on all occasions, being well fed by McCairns, and they suffered hard lines in response to a grand effort early on in the game.
(Liverpool Mercury: January 29, 1894)