The League Test Games

April 28, 1894
Newton Heath v Liverpool.
Brilliant weather favoured the meeting of these teams at Ewood Park, Blackburn, this afternoon, when about 4,000 spectators assembled. The greatest interest was centred in the result by the supporters of the respective clubs. Excursions were run from Manchester and Liverpool, and there was a large following present of both teams. Liverpool made their appearance first, but Newton Heath met with the heartiest reception. Teams:

Newton Heath: John Fall, Andrew Mitchell, Fred Erentz, George Perrins, James McNaught, William Davidson, John Clarkin, Alf Farman, Robert Donaldson, Billy Hood, John Peden.
Liverpool: Matt McQueen, Andrew Hannah, Duncan McLean, John McCartney, Joe McQue, James McBride, Patrick Gordon, Malcolm McVean, Harry Bradshaw, David Henderson, Hugh McQueen.
Referee: Mr. John Lewis, Blackburn.

Newton Heath being successful with the spin of the coin, elected to defend the Darwen goal, from which direction there was a slight breeze.

Liverpool started the leather, but the open was rather tame, and the players, apparently, being rather excited. Newton Heath put their opponents on the defence, but both Peden and Davidson made bad use of good opportunities by shooting wide.

As Gordon was getting off at a good pace, he was pushed over the ball by Peden, who was promptly penalised. A lively attack ensued on the Heathens’ fortress, but the ball eventually passed out. From a free kick in the centre, Errentz got the ball right in front of the Liverpool goalkeeper who fisted away.

The ball got on the right wing, and a corner was forced, and from the kick McNaught shot over the goal. As the players warmed to their work the game became exciting, and Hannah and McLean were kept hard at work.

Peden put in some very pretty play, and from one of his centres McCartney saved the goal splendidly with his head. Liverpool got away, and Bradshaw made an unlucky slip when he had an excellent opening. Donaldson was penalised for fouling McLean and following open play Liverpool got down on the left and McQueen rushing up, Fall gave a corner, which was got away.

After 20 minutes play McLean took a free kick on the line near the half way flag, and landing the leather in front of the goal, Gordon headed through amid cheers. This success infused plenty of spirit into the play of the Liverpool men, who from the kick off made a dash for their opponents’ chare, which was nearly captured by McCartney, who shot against the upright, the ball bouncing over.

Patrick Gordon.
patrick gordon

At length Peden got away and centred, McQueen being brought out. Donaldson rushed out and kicked the custodian, causing him to ???. The referee awarded an free kick. A hot assault ensued on the Heathen’s goal, and Fall had to handle three in succession, he having to be pretty alert to save his charge.

The Heathens kept in their hall, and Gordon making a splendid centre, Bradshaw scored with a long shot after 28 minutes’ play. Liverpool were now having the best of matters, and Hall made a time a timely save. During a hot scrimmage Newton Heath got on the Liverpool 12 yards’ line, Hannah relieving with a strong kick.

Harry Bradshaw, Liverpool (Illustrated Police Budget: November 11, 1899):

A throw in near the corner flag threatened danger to the Liverpool goal, but McLean cleared with a high kick. Play was transferred to the other end, and Bradshaw almost scored. Peden was deliberately tripped by McQue, and directly after Donaldson was grassed when about to shoot. A mistake by McLean gave a corner and Newton Heath made a desperate effort to lower their opponents’ colours, but without award.

Half-time – Liverpool 2, Newton Heath, 0.

Newton Heath broke away at the re-start, but Liverpool took up the running, and Henderson breasted just outside the post. In the first minute a free kick was awarded Liverpool on the 12 yard line in front of goal. McQueen took the kick and shot through the crowd of men and between the posts. It was thought a goal had been scored, but no one had touched the ball in transit.

Henderson was again prominent, and after a pretty run shot outside. A little later McVean was tripped by Donaldson in the centre of the field, the Liverpool man being slighting stunned by striking the ground with his head. The Heathens were put on the defensive, and Davidson gave a corner, which came to naught. Peden executed a quick spin, and shot for goal, McQueen throwing well down the field. Liverpool forced matters and came near scoring, a corner falling to then.

A foul by Bradshaw enabled the defenders to clear easily. The Heathens made desperate efforts to get through, and Donaldson had some lively tussles with the Liverpool backs, who always got the best of the struggle. McLean especially playing a grand game.

Duncan McLean.
Duncan McLean I

Liverpool were not be kept in check, and Henderson sent in a low fast shot, which Fall kicked away. H. McQueen was easily fouled by Perrins as he was making a run down his wing and the whistle was promptly blown. The free kick for Newton Heath within the 12 yards mark was anxiously watched, Liverpool packing their goal. From the kick Henderson handled, and from this a corner fell to the attackers. Henderson eventually send away into touch.

The Liverpool forwards were again to the front, and Fall had two good attempt to save. The Heathen forwards played a very uneven game, and all through they lacked combination.

A few minutes before the close Donaldson had an opening, but he made a wretched attempt, the ball going wide of the mark. Liverpool, who have been saving themselves, put on a spurt, and about three minutes from time Henderson almost registered another point, Fall making a smart but lucky save.

Newton Heath played like a beaten team. At a final spurt Peden and Donaldson rushed on the Liverpool goal, the former shooting over. In the last half minute a corner fell to the Heathens, who gained nothing by it, and the game ended in an easy victory for Liverpool by two goal to none. Right from the start the Liverpool men played a winning game, and thoroughly deserved their honours.

Result – Liverpool 2, Newton Heath, 0.
(Source: Lancashire Evening Post: April 28, 1894)

Liverpool F.C. 1893-94
Liverpool 1893

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