November 12, 1894
Liverpool v Stoke.
The return engagement between these clubs took place at Stoke on Saturday. The personnel of the teams had undergone a change since the two clubs met three weeks ago. In the Liverpool team J. McLean, of Greenock, and D. Hannah, of Renton and Sunderland, made their first appearance, while Farrell, late of the Dresden United, gave his initial display for the home team, Clare also reappearing at back after a long absence. The teams formed up as follows:
Stoke: George Clawley, Tommy Clare, Jack Eccles, Jimmy Turner, Sammy Meston, David Brodie, Joe Schofield, Billy Dickson, Jack Farrell, Teddy Sandland, Billy Heames.
Liverpool: William McCann, Andrew Hannah, Duncan McLean, John McCartney, Joe McQue, John McLean, Neil Kerr, Davie Hannah, Jimmy Ross, Harry Bradshaw, John Drummond.
Referee: Mr. Jeffreys, Rotherham.
Hannah, having lost the toss, was compelled to place his men in the bright sun, and a rather keen wind in their face. A series of unfortunate fouls against Liverpool located the play in their quarters, but the determined defensive work of Hannah and McLean, assisted by their half-backs, at length raised the siege, and the game was quickly transferred to the other end of the field, Ross, Bradshaw, and Drummond being mainly responsible for the change of affairs. A throw-in by the corner flag proved of no avail to the visitors, and in a trice the Pottery team were again the aggressors, Brodie giving relief by lifting high over the bar.
A moment later Eccles tested McCann to the utmost with a high dropping shot, and although hemmed in by his opponents, McCann cleared in fine style. After this Liverpool proved to be a much cleverer team, and were continuously on the aggressive, Kerr leading up a fine attack and Bradshaw just failing at the critical moment to reach his pass, when a certain goal would have resulted. Again Liverpool made play on their left, J. McLean assisting in good style; but although the ball was well worked up the play lacked sting and was easily repulsed, Clare and Eccles shining especially.
Still holding command of the game, the Liverpool halves seldom allowed the Stoke forwards to get away, while at the same time they shone conspicuously by their judicious feeding of their attack, and Ross, getting a clear field from a touch by McQue, was nearly doing the trick when he was bowled over without ceremony by Clare. A pretty and effective combination by the Liverpool forwards, in which Hannah, Ross and Kerr were noticeable, resulted again in the usual failure, Bradshaw misdirecting and sending outside. Farrell, Dickson, and Schofield then attempted to break though the Liverpool backs, but they met with no success. After a long spell of attack Clawley’s charge, in which he showed good defensive form, Schofield broke away past McLean, having obtained the ball through the Liverpool men kicking back, and sent in a centre which McCann only partially cleared, with the result that Sandland rushed up and sent into the net, 30 minutes after the start.
In no way put our the visiting contingent again were frequently the storming party, but so futile were their final efforts that never seriously was the Stoke rear-guard in difficulties. No further score took place up to half time, and when had the assistance of the wind, the sun having disappeared, it was expected that the home would be hard set; but contrary to expectation, the play was of a ragged nature for some little time, neither side claiming any distinct advantage.
Liverpool again were the first to put in some really good football, and by the assistance of Hannah and Kerr a brisk attack was sustained upon Clawley. Kerr on one occasion got the best of Eccles, and when in the act of slobbing was badly fouled by the latter, with no further punishment than a free-kick being awarded against the Stoke men. A characteristic dash away by Heames and Sandland obtained a well-earned corner, which, being well-placed, was rushed through by Farrell.
After this success the Stoke team played much better, but their opponents only allowed them to hold their sway for a short time, as Kerr and Hannah, who were doing fine work on their wing, at length broke down all opposition, Kerr winding up with a really magnificent shot, which made the score read 2-1 in favor of Stoke. Ere long, however, a slice of luck fell to the home team, Schofield repeating his former performance by getting away and propelling a long shot, which McCann, whose general play throughout had been of shaky nature, made a sad mess of, allowing the ball to go through within a yard of his hands. After this nothing of moment occurred, and a most remarkable game, in which dash completely overcame methodical skill, resulted in favor of Stoke by 3 goals, to 1.
(Source: Liverpool Mercury: November 12, 1894)