September 9, 1895
The visit of the Liverpool team to Nottingham on Saturday roused great enthusiasm, and the weather being of the finest nature, a large gate, numbering 7,000 to 8,000 assembled to welcome the visitors. Owing to Trent Bridge ground being engaged for cricket, the Notts County committee have during the month of September to find quarters elsewhere, and consequently they gladly availed themselves to the offer of the Nottingham Forest people to allow the match to take place upon the Town ground.
The previous contests between the clubs resulted in a win and a draw for the Anfield players, and with a greatly improved team since then, the Liverpool executive were more than justified in expecting their men to bring off a victory. Some little while after the advertised time the teams faced each other in the following positions:
Liverpool: Matt McQueen, Tom Wilkie, Billy Dunlop, John Curran, Joe McQue, John McLean, Malcolm McVean, Jimmy Ross, Harry Bradshaw, Frank Becton, Fred Geary.
Notts County: George Toone, James Stothert, Jack Hendry, Charles Bramley, David Calderhead, Alfred Shelton, John Chadburn, Elijah Allsopp, John Allan, Daniel Bruce, Walter Bull.
Ross having correctly guessed the fall of the coin, chose the assistance of the wind and the sun, and Allan started on behalf of Notts, who, taking up the running, had all the best of the opening manoeuvres, as McQueen was compelled to grant a corner off Bruce in the first few moments. By putting an extraordinary amount of dash into their play, Notts held the upper hand, Bull missing a rare opening by Bruce. At length Dunlop sent to Geary, and he and Becton changed the siege of operations, but Calderhead initiated an attack upon McQueen, who brought off two magnificent saves.
The Liverpool forwards now asserted themselves, and although Stothert interposed successfully against Geary, the latter was given an opening later on by Bradshaw, and shot with terrific force, which Toone knocked down to Hendry’s feet, the ball being promptly kicked away. Keeping the ball well under control, Bradshaw, ross, and McVean began to make some beautiful openings for each other, and upon McVean, scientifically fed by McQue, running a short distance and parting to Ross, the latter dodged his men and scored with a low shot, which Toone hardly ever saw after seven minutes’ play.
A slackness on the part of the referee caused a little feeling to show itself, and McLean was awarded a foul, but Bruce nipped in and sent forward to Chadburn, who again shot badly. Keeping the pace as furious as ever, Geary again received from Bradshaw and sent in another warm shot, which Stothert kicked over the goal line to save further disaster.
Becton, Bradshaw, and Ross were then cheered for some grand forward play, and after Bradshaw had lifted over a trifle high, Becton struck the crossbar with a terrible bang. McQue, in receiving the kick-off, sent the ball in the wrong direction for his side, and Allan darted in and skimmed the bar with his final effort.
A free kick to Notts menaced the visitors’ goal strongly, but McQueen, Wilkie, and Curran managed the affair very nicely, and the latter, who was assisting his forwards in every possible way, led up a grand and sustained attack upon Toone, and Ross dribbling through his opponents secured a corner, from which McQue headed the second point.
By good, low, and accurate passing Becton and Geary fairly beat the home defence, and Bradshaw almost did the trick again. Notts came again, and the Liverpool goal underwent a near squeak from a rush by Allan, but bad shooting lost the opportunity. Another truly grand display of inside work was shown by Ross, Becton, and Bradshaw, and the latter wound up a fine effort by putting on their third point, in his own inimitable style, which brought about half-time.
Upon restarting Notts, as before, commenced in very determined fashion, and gave the “Blue and White” a lot of running. Steady play by Dunlop and Wilkie, however, warded off the attack, and a swift dash by Bradshaw on the left opened up a great chance for Liverpool, but the right wing were not up to receive the final pass.
Toone then became busy for some moments, but Stothert and Hendry gave excellent assistance, and the game resolved itself into evenly balanced exchanges. A brilliant tackle by Curran set Ross and McVean going, but Calderhead and Shelton nullified the attempt; and Chadburn taking up the running, Allan gave McQueen as warm a handful as he had throughout the match. Following this Notts had a point disallowed for offside, but the disappointment was not long-lived, as from a foul within the twelve yards line Allsopp got his toe to the ball, and amid the forest of legs scored the first point for his side.
Afterwards the “Lacemen” played in desperate fashion, and another foul being awarded them Shelton so well placed the sphere that another point was recorded. It was strenuously opposed by the Liverpool men, who aver that the ball was sent into the net without a second player touching it, but the referee allowed the point.
From now to the finish the pace was fast and furious, and the Liverpool defence was not seen at its best; but the whistle blew before further damage was done, leaving Liverpool victorious, after a desperate flight, by 3 goals to 2.
(Source: Liverpool Mercury: September 9, 1895)