October 3, 1896
At Deepdale, before 4,000 spectators. Teams:
Preston North End Reserves: John Wright, Bob Howarth, Hugh Dunn, Billy Greer, Wilding, Thomas Eccleston, William Eccleston, Tom Bradshaw, George Drummond, John Cunningham, Jackie Pierce.
Liverpool Reserves: Willie Donnelly, Matt McQueen, Billy Dunlop, Thomas Cleghorn, Robert Neill, John McLean, Fred Geary, John Clarke, Willie Michael, Benjamin Bull, David Hannah.
North End won the toss and decided to play up the field. Immediately after the kick-off Hannah got the ball and raced down the field, but his shot was erratic, and then Geary was loudly cheered for a long shot. Liverpool pressed hard, and Wright had several times to save. The homesters got up, but nothing resulted, and on play being transferred to the other end, Wright was loudly cheered for stopping what seemed a sure goal.
Hannah again got the ball down, and Bull had to be spoken to by the referee for offering to strike one of the home forwards. W. Eccleston ran cleverly up the right, and was applauded. Liverpool got down, and when in close quarters Michael, with a fast shot, scored Liverpool’s first goal. Immediately on the restart the visitors rushed down again, and the same player scored again.
North End, however, took courage, and the forwards getting down Cunningham scored North End’s first goal. Wright’s charge was hotly assailed for some time, and when W. Eccleston did get the ball he delayed too long in shooting, and the ball was again driven back.
Half-time – Liverpool Reserves 2, North End Reserves 1.
During the first half both teams wore white jerseys. North End now came out in colours, and were loudly cheered. Shortly after the restart Bull was injured, but the delay was only short, and North End played with great determination. From hands against McLean Donnelly was hotly taxed, but Geary obtaining possession rushed up. Dunn, however, was all there. The homesters, well fed by the back, tried all in their power to score, but Donnelly, with great alertess, defended his citadel well, and all attempts proved futile.
After several fouls Bradshaw and W. Eccleston took possession, but failed to equalized, and from a foul against the homesters, Dunn sent in a beautiful shot. Wright’s charge was now frequently tried, and after several attempts Michael found a way in. Again and again North End tried, until Dunn, getting the ball, passed down to Drummond, who passed to Pierce. That player with a fast shot, scored again amidst great applause.
On resuming North End again pressed, and Dunn was fouled by Michael. With about 20 minutes to play, North End got round their opponents citadel, but were unsuccessful in their attempts. Play was now stopped for Donnelly passing some unwelcome remarks to the referee. Fouls were pretty frequent, and after some end to end play nothing else resulted.
Result: Liverpool Reserves 3, North End Reserves 2.
(Source: Lancashire Evening Post: October 3, 1896)