March 26, 1895
Liverpool v Sunderland.
The wretched state of the weather put a damper upon the return League fixture between these clubs; yet, in spite of the rain and its attendant inconvenience, fully 20,000 spectators assembled at Anfield. Both teams were well represented, their respective names being: –
Liverpool: Matt McQueen, John Curran, Billy Dunlop, John McCartney, Joe McQue, John McLean, Neil Kerr, Jimmy Ross, Frank Becton, Davie Hannah, Harry Bradshaw.
Sunderland: Ned Doig, Robert McNeill, Donald Gow, Hugh Wilson, Billy Dunlop, Harry Johnston, John Harvey, Jimmy Millar, John Middleton Campbell, John Scott, Jimmy Hannah.
Ross, who acted as captain, lost the toss, and consequently had to face his team against the sun and wind, elements which counted something in so all important a fixture as that of last evening. Becton kicked off, but a long pass by Dunlop gave possession to Campbell, and McQue was compelled to grant a corner.
Liverpool dashed up by means of Ross, Becton, and Kerr, and the new recruit caused Doig to handle a hot shot. Campbell was again prominent, but drove wide. Liverpool then improved, and a series of shots were directed by Ross, Hannah, and Becton, but excellent judgment by Gow and McNeill charged the whole lot down, and after McQueen had fisted out Bradshaw and Hannah carried the play to midfield, where McQue was drawn out, and Campbell with an almost clear field threaded his way through and scored most unexpectedly.
The heavy and slippery state of the ground was seen by the careful manner of the players, and after some half-back tackling Liverpool worked up, principally by Bradshaw; but a huge kick by Gow placed the venue at the other end, finding Curran in difficulties, which was only evaded by Dunlop’s good work. Ross then nearly brought about the downfall of the Sunderland goal by a trimmer.
A foul to Sunderland was the next item, but Gow sent yards wide, in response to which the Liverpool centre worked down prettily, but Kerr lost the opening by dallying. Fed by McQue, Ross and Hannah put in an effective run, but Gow again got the best of Kerr at the finish. Harvey next raced off and passed to Miller, who drove at a terrific rate, which McQueen safely negotiated. Succeeding a foul to the home team Ross wound up with a fast high shot.
Although having assistance of the wind and sun the Liverpool team were by no means getting the worst of the argument, McQue suffering hard lines with a spanking shot which struck the crossbar. After Sunderland, by the aid of Miller and Campbell, had passed, Ross brought up his men finely, and Doig had many anxious moments, eventually clearing, but only to find the assault renewed and renewed again, Becton driving in a magnificent shot, which was equally as well attended to by the Sunderland custodian.
Shortcoming on the part of Curran placed Liverpool on the defence, and McQueen handled out several dangerous shots with great success. Excellent defensive work by McLean opened up the game for Liverpool, and Bradshaw hauled under the Sunderland cross-bar, not being able to reach it with his cranium. Offside was called against Bradshaw, and after a spell of pressure by the homesters Hannah took up a pass, and parting to Becton at the right moment, he and Ross worked prettily through, and scored just on half-time, amidst the wildest enthusiasm.
On resuming J. McLean sent the Wearsiders to the right about, and Kerr compelled Gow to kick out, from which point Liverpool pressed heavily, Becton almost getting in with a grounder. A foul against McLean resulted in another close in, but nothing, fortunately, came of it, whilst in the next second the scene of operations was transferred, and Becton just missed by inches.
Another foul against McLean was cleared, Gow misdirecting. Some pretty exchanges by Ross and Becton were neutralised by Dunlop and Campbell was pulled up for offside, as was Bradshaw a moment later. Dunlop then made a wild charge, but McQue interposed opportunely, and then a huge throw by Wilson was well attended to by the centre half.
A spirited dash by the home team led up to a heavy assault upon Doig, and he was called upon three times in succession. Becton failed to take a pass from Ross, and another penalty was given against Liverpool, who again grandly guarded their citadel, till Scott beat Curran, and Campbell settled on the ball and again scored.
Bradshaw now went centre to try and retrieve the day. Immediately Liverpool were again the aggressors, and from a corner succeeded by a bully, Becton sent into the net for the second time. As a consequence of lying too close, Curran was beaten by Scott, who neatly headed past McQueen. Liverpool pressed to the finish, but without success, and the final result was – Sunderland, 3 goals; Liverpool, 2.
(Source: Liverpool Mercury: March 26, 1895)