October 3, 1896
Match: Football League, First Division, at Goodison Park, kick-off: 16:00.
Everton – Liverpool 2-1 (2-0).
Attendance: 37,500 (45,000 start of second half); gate receipt: £1,150.
Referee: Lieutenant W. Simpson.
Everton (2-3-5): Henry Briggs; David Storrier, Smart Arridge; Richard Boyle, Johnny Holt, Billy Stewart (C); Jack Bell, Jack Taylor, Abe Hartley, Edgar Chadwick, Alf Milward.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Harry Storer; Archie Goldie, Tom Wilkie; John McCartney, Joe McQue, John Holmes; Malcolm McVean, Jimmy Ross (C), George Allan, Frank Becton, Harry Bradshaw.
The goals: 1-0 Milward (11 min.), 2-0 Hartley (13 min.), 2-1 Ross (52 min).
The meeting of these rival clubs on Saturday, at least drew together upwards of 40,000 spectators, and the gate receipts of £1150 add will probably stand as a record for inter club matches, for years to come.
Never before were the teams so evenly matched, for both had done uncommonly well in their engagements up to date, and the prospect of an encounter, the settlement of which would probably be trembling in the balance up to the final whistle, induced these half-hearted supporters of the code to throw off for once their lethargy and betake themselves early in the well-appointed enclosures.
It was a game in which the spectators might be said to play an important part owing to partisanship, and the cheering as their respective favourites made an appearance was simply deafening. Both sides relied upon the same teams that had performed on the previous Saturday.
A rousing cheer went up as Stewart won the toss, and the first item on merit after the initial exchanges was a grand run and centre by Bell, and immediately following Stewart shot into Storer’s hands, thus giving early indication of a stern encounter.
A couple of free kicks greatly assisted the Liverpudlians for the ball hovered dangerous round Brigg’s charge, and it was not until Stewart nipped in with a timely kick that the Everton rear-guard breathed freely.
Almost immediately afterwards strong pressure was brought to on Goldie and Wilkie, who met the attack coolly but eventually Arridge pounced upon the ball and sent in a grand shot the clearance of which, at once showed that Storer was in magnificent form.
Goldie charged down a fine effort from Bell, and after Bradshaw had failed to get the better of Boyle the ball was placed well across to Milward, who with his partner, looked like bringing about downfall when the inside man unfortunately passed too strongly forwards, and unable Goldie to clip in with a kick that resulted in Allan, Ross, and McVean getting away in a fine combined movement, but when reaching dangerous quarters the tactics of the Everton halfbacks, were too well directed to cope with, and under the circumstances it would undoubtedly have benefited the ‘’Reds” had they opened out the play to a greater extent than they did.
A corner off Wilkie was safely got away and good work on the part of Holmes resulted in a further visit to Briggs, McVean eventually heading in, the custodian was on alert, and the ball was cleared from a foul against Ross in the goalmouth and in close following Bell got round Holmes and gave Hartley a chance to open the account, but it was not put to advantage, though the same winger a minute later centred beautifully, and Milward headed into the net eleven minutes from the start.
Play had scarcely been resumed when Storer was again in straits for a dangerous scrimmage took place immediately in front of him, and as Hartley was lying in wait, an easy goal was recorded.
This second reverse caused the visitors to alter their style of attack and not many minutes had elapsed are the change bore good fruit.
Play opened out, and Ross, sent in a fine long shot, and it looked odds on the margin being narrowed, as Hartley was penalised close in. Boyle came to the rescue, but yet another opening presented itself to the Liverpudlians, and a certain goal would have been registered had not Ross and Allan got in each other’s way.
About this period fouls were frequently, and as a result play was quickly at each end in turn.
Becton put in a wild shot, and then Chadwick sent in one of his characteristic screws, in the negotiation of which Storer displayed capital judgement.
From this point on to half time there could be no mistaking the earnestness of the Liverpool players, and had they had a little luck they would probably not have to mourn the deficit of a couple of goals at the interval.
One shot from Allan grazed the bar, and in the closing stages Bradshaw centred grandly, but no one was up to notch an almost certain goal.
On resuming, the Liverpool forwards went off with a rush and forced their first corner, and within a few minutes McVean and Becton missed scoring by the merest shave, but success followed a fine bit of judgement on the part of McCartney who placed the ball across to Bradshaw who in turn parted to Ross, with the result that the last named ran clean through, and sent in a shot which, screwed off Briggs arm into the net, six minutes from the restart.
There was no holding the Liverpool supporters, who spurted on their favourites vociferously, and as Holmes, McQue and McCartney were an almost impassable barrier to the Everton van there ware early prospects of levelling up.
The first named was especially clever in dealing with the Everton right wing pair, and in addition he attended to his forwards admirably, one of his touches to his skipper almost causing a further downfall of Everton.
A long spell of pressure ended in Hartley getting away, and for some minutes excitement ran right, as no fewer than four free kicks in a many minutes were awarded Everton, all in close quarters, but all were cleared well, though shortly afterwards Bell missed an easy chance from Milward.
McVean doing likewise at the other end and, towards the close Holt put in a fine long shot, which called for Storer’s best efforts, and an attempt by Goldie just missed the mark, as the ball struck the bar.
With Liverpool still pressing, the end of a hard fought game was reached with the score Everton 2 goals Liverpool 1.
(Liverpool Mercury: October 5, 1896)
Alf Milward, Everton (Lloyd’s Weekly News: January 17, 1892):
Harry Storer, Liverpool (Lloyd’s Weekly News: December 1, 1895):
Harry Bradshaw, Liverpool (Illustrated Police Budget: November 11, 1899):