February 5, 1894
Since the draw for the English Cup took place last week the all-absorbing topic of conversation along local footballers has been the Liverpool v Preston North End match. It is certain to be one of the most contested games of the second round. Liverpool have that blot on their escutcheon – the defeat at Preston – to wipe out, and have also to prove that they have a right to be considered something more than second-class, an acknowledgment many critics even now are chary admit. But the propose of the team doing something worthy is considerably enhanced, and if there is any grit in the men at all now is their opportunity of showing it.
At the same time it must not be forgotten that the undoubted auxiliary which Liverpool have secured in the choice of ground, is somewhat neutralised by the fact that most of the North End players had disported themselves there frequently, and know the ground almost as well as some of the home team.
Another point which adds zest to the meeting is the probability of North End again turning out with a full team.
Before leaving the subject of the cup tie, the attention of the team is drawn to the fact that they must not remain idle, especially the forwards, for the first half-hour, as happened at Blackburn, and if, instead of imitating their opponents, who are pretty certain to play a short passing game, they will resolutely keep to their own style and maintain the long swinging passes, with sharp follow up, they need fear little from the old League champions.
Perhaps keeping in view the arduous nature of the work before them next week the Liverpool team did not exert themselves to any great extent in taking the two customary points out of their visitors to Anfield on Saturday. The Northwich Victoria are in an ignominious position at the bottom of the second League table, and if Saturday’s display is any guarantee, they full deserve their place. Beyond the goalkeeper and the backs they shaped like a lot of tyros. Although repeatedly urged on by the spectators, the visiting forwards and half-backs could make no impression upon Joe McQue and his supports, Still there is one point in which their play demands acknowledgment, and that for their very gentlemanly game.
Looking at the home team, they cannot be congratulated upon their display. They will never again this season have such a glorious chance of “piling on the agony.” The defence was all right; but the forwards played well and badly in turns, the latter description predominantly. Neither wings combined well; while David Henderson, oftener than not was left without any support whatever.
Andrew Hannah, Patrick Gordon, and James McBride were absentees, the former being in Scotland, whilst the latter have failed to carry out the instructions of the committee, an error severely to be condemned as such a critical time of the football year. John McCartney and Billy Hughes ably filled the vacancies in the defence, the finished and untiring play of the old Bootle man quite delighting as well as surprising the crowd. If that is his form, the Liverpool committee are happy indeed in having the command of such half-backs.
Douglas Dick did not do himself justice, being rather weak in his centring, but he was always thereabouts when work was required off the right wing. David Henderson played a nice, easy game, and shot exceedingly well, whilst James Stott’s stature assisted him materially in scoring the two goals he obtained.
(Source: Liverpool Mercury: February 5, 1894)