February 25, 1895
Since the institution of the League of football world, so far as English clubs are concerned, has been carried on and progresses under the extreme high-pressure lines so well known in commercial life. But, recognising the truth of the old adage, “All work and no play,” &c, the Liverpool committee considerately gave their team a fine holiday, and thus allowed a great relaxation to all their players.
The London tour has been looked forward to by all for some time past, and as three or four days are to be spent in the “city of the world” the pleasure is much enhanced. With a view of giving a rest to as many players as possible some startling changes took place in the composition of the team who turned out to do battle against the famous Corinthians, and, as events afterwards proved, the absence of Joe McQue, Duncan McLean, and Andrew Hannah, were greatly felt.
As is well known, friendly games do not catch on with the northern public, but the Corinthians, fully determined to wipe out their two previous defeats at Anfield, whipped up a very strong combination, and accomplished their purpose with the greatest ease. By their splendid dash, great speed, and weight, the amateurs carried all before them in early portion of the first half, and so firmly established themselves masters that the result was never in doubt, and the whole proceedings can be summed up by the remark that Liverpool were over matched in speed, weight and determination, and with the ground on the heavy side the above advantages told greatly against Liverpool.
Great interest was centred by the small band of Liverpudlians the “trial trip” as it were of Billy Dunlop, and although he requires a lot of polish and finish ere he becomes a first League player, yet without doubt he is a good man. He is just the same lumbersome kind of footballer that Dan Doyle was, both in running and tackling, when he first made his appearance in Liverpool (for Everton); but, like Doyle, Dunlop is bound to come on a lot.
Matt McQueen was all right in goal, despite the heavy score. Duncan McLean did not shine with the success he has shown of late, but having to face the most brilliant forward on the field, and on Saturday’s form one of the best in England, he is to be excused.
The half-back line was the primary cause of disaster. John Drummond was little or no use as half-back, and with John Curran playing but indifferently, and John McCartney completely outclassed by his opposing wing, rather more than their proper share of work fell upon the backs and goalkeeper.
Unfortunately, McCartney and Harry Bradshaw lost their tempers and caused a lot of hooting from the spectators. This seems to be an unavoidable failing on the part of the former, but why Bradshaw should descend to rought play is difficult to solve.
Jimmy Ross, Malcolm McVean, and David Hannah were the best of the forwards, Neil Kerr being too slow in getting on the ball, and being robbed repeatedly by the agile Corinthians half-backs.
As previously mentioned, Mr. Jackson had gathered a very warm team together, and, although their combination was faulty at times without number, the mistakes were often nullified by a supreme individual effort of one or another of the team.
Baker in goal did a lot of smart work, and certainly understands his art. Lodge and Oakley were exceedingly safe at full back. Both know the game, and having extra speed are not afraid to follow up behind the halves. Alexander, Barker, and Henfrey, the latter especially, shone as a grand half-back trio. All are wonderfully good tacklers, and very smart in taking or parting with the ball.
The forwards were the most brilliant in their display. They were well-nigh irresistible when once set going. Leslie Hewitt Gay and Gerald Dewhurst, who on one occasion played for Liverpool, were the two who played the forward game something like what it should be played, and are really good footballers; but the individual who outshone everyone on the field was outside left of the home team, Stanbrough who is really a magnificent man. His close dribbling is almost perfect, which with his great speed caused him to leave McCartney and McLean at a standstill, and throughout the game his shooting was always of a dangerous character.
Lowe in the centre did exceedingly well, and Fernie which name by-the-way has a marked local reputation in the cricket and football fields, on the extreme right assiduously worked to bring about the downfall of the Anfield Club.
Today Woolwich Arsenal will be met upon the ground of the Crouch End Club, North London.
(Liverpool Mercury: February 25, 1895)