September 16, 1895
Liverpool followed up their exceptionally clever performance at Nottingham by another brilliant win at home. As showing the appreciation of the efforts of the Liverpool executive to have command of a first-rate team, and thus produce first-class football, the attendance of last Saturday, for a second division match, was complete approval of their aggressive policy. Certain it is that those who were present were well rewarded for their loyalty to the younger club, for the game was full of exciting incident, neat exchanges and rapid dashes, which, all combined gave that spice and flavour to the play necessary to make it appetising.
Although the law of combination and the making of individuality is paramount, and not, under ordinary circumstances, to be deviated from, yet single-handed brilliance always meets with unbounded applause and enthusiasm, and it was the result of Jimmy Ross being in a particularly fine humour that gave such exciting passages in the game at Anfield last Saturday.
As an encounter wherein the accepted precepts of the game are carefully adhered to and carried out, the match of Saturday does not compare with that against Notts County. There the almost perfect understanding between the inside men compared much more favourably than against Newcastle, and Liverpool’s phenomenal victory can be put down to Ross’s magnificent efforts.
Seldom in that great player’s career, and certainly not of late years, has the captain of Liverpool shown such tremendous and sustained speed, gluttonous appetite for work, precision in shooting, and consummate tact in dealing with the opposition of his antagonists. Most worthily also has he honoured his position as captain. He led off by scoring the first goal in League warfare at Notts, and added to that by scoring the first goal in the same competition at Anfield.
Great as the score was against the men of the north, they by no means played a bad game, and when they get fairly shaken together will make it very sultry for most teams. Great credit is due to the astute Liverpool secretary for arranging the fixture with the probably strongest clubs over so early in the season, especially when it is remembered that most of the clubs went in for radical changes, and could not under any circumstances be as compact and united as Liverpool.
John Whitehead in goal was a rare god deputy for Matt McQueen, and saved with more than ordinary skill on several occasions. Tom Wilkie and Billy Dunlop were in good trim, the latter especially so; bit Wilkie had to face by far the stronger wing. John McLean was in his old form again on Saturday, and easily outstrove his confreres in his line of supports. His return to first-class form is exceedingly pleasing, as he is such a thorough and invaluable worker. John McCartney played earnestly as of old, and, with the exception of one blemish, can be congratulated upon his display against a very powerful wing. John Holmes opened in a very faltering manner. Judgment and speed were both wanting, but as the game proceeded he gradually improved, and at the close of the contest was supporting the forwards in true North Ender style.
Of the forwards, Jimmy Ross, as before mentioned, stood out in great prominence above all others; while Malcolm McVean came in for notice by his old-time dashes and clever dodging tactics.
He and Ross have an almost perfect understanding, and work in splendid harmony. The removal of Harry Bradshaw to outside left, although the local lad did some splendid work, cannot be accounted a success. His style of play is so much in accordance with Frank Becton and Ross, and these three work with such telling effect, that it seems a thousand pities to disturb the brightest part of the eleven. George Allan did many clever things in the first half, but was slow to a degree later on, when Ross opened up some lovely opportunities. Becton was not up to his usual standard, and certainly did not work with Allan with anything like the success Ross did.
The Newcastle team, upon reputation and reviewing the game thoughtfully, can hardly have done themselves justice. One thing is certain, and that is the Liverpool team must be prepared to meet the Tynesiders at home under by far different circumstances than on Saturday. James Henderson was fairly upset by the rapid scoring, and it was not till towards the end that he shaped anything like his reputation. Robert McDermid, the old Accrington back, and Robert Foyers were a pair of excellent defenders, but had the misfortune to find Ross at his very best.
The half-backs were fairly good, but James Stott shone above the other owing to his great speed. The forwards were good and had by turns, but in Willie Wardrope and Andrew Aitkin the visitors possess a really serviceable wing. Both men were fast and tricky, and most of the assault upon the Liverpool goal came from these two. Jimmy Logan has certainly played better, while Charles Quinn and William McKay may be put in the category of poor shootists. Liverpool were superior in speed, yet the return engagement will be a hard fought match, as the United invariably play a strong game at home.
Derby County are due at Anfield tonight with the full strength that so unexpectedly, yet signally, defeated Sunderland on Saturday. The reappearance of John Miller and Hugh McQueen will be viewed with more than general interest.
That past-master of versatility in football matters, Matt McQueen, will this day week take a fully-deserved benefit. It is a fitting acknowledgment of his great services – always cheerfully given, by the committee, and it but remains for the general public to show by their presence their appreciation of as honest and gentlemanly a footballer as ever came into Liverpool.
(Source: Liverpool Mercury: September 16, 1895)