February 1, 1897
Liverpool v Burton Swifts.
This match in the cup competition was played at Anfield, before 4,000 spectators. Both teams were strongly represented, and under the direction of Mr. Strawson faced each other as follows:
Liverpool: Willie Donnelly, Archie Goldie, Tom Wilkie, John McCartney, Joe McQue, Thomas Cleghorn, Willie Michael, Jimmy Ross, George Allan, Frank Becton, David Hannah.
Burton Swifts: Dick Gray, Harry Ashby, Ned Lawrence, Arthur Chadwick, James Wyllie, Peter Rae, Jack Evans, Bert Yardley, Tommy Leigh, Joe Dewey, Jim McKenzie.
The visitors started with a determined rush, and took the ball near Donnelly before Goldie effected a timely clearance. They sustained the attack for some time, and nearly scored from a bully near goal, whilst Mackenzie and Dewey made another dangerous movement which tested the strenuous defence of the home team to the utmost.
Eventually the ball was worked down the field, and Allan being fouled Goldie landed the ball in the goalmouth, and Hannah headed the first goal. This was rather hard lines for the visitors, for up to this point they had done most of the attacking, but Liverpool improved, and Becton skimmed the crossbar with a terrific shot. The Swifts’ left wing was again prominent, Mackenzie bringing Donnelly to his knees, but Michael replied with a dashing run, his final shot hitting the side of the net.
Then Burton again forced the play, and Evans beating Wilkie centred finely, and Dewey heading through, and equalising. This was quickly followed by another to Liverpool, Hannah tipping the ball over Lawrence, and Allan pouncing upon it defeated Gray with a beautiful shot. The visitors, by no means disheartened, returned to the attack, and a foul was given against Goldie near the home goal. The kick was taken by Chadwick, and the ball was driven with great force, finding its way through a mass of players into the net, and the score were again equal.
There was no mistaking the earnestness of the Swifts, but the home team were inclined to take matters easily. Becton and Michael each tested the visitors’ custodian with hot shots, which he cleverly repelled, and close on the interval Hannah was left with an open goal, but failed to utilise the pass from Ross, the teams thus being two all at the interval.
On the resumption of hostilities the visitors showed promising form, but Liverpool were the first to become dangerous, Hannah with a clear course, sending to Michael, who unfortunately overran the ball. The Burton left wing replied with a nice combined movement, and Mackenzie sent in a magnificent shot, which Donnelly fisted out, but Evans dashing up at full speed crashed it into the net. This reverse roused the home players, but Leigh was again nearly through, McQue just grassing him when about to shoot, and the game now became interesting.
Cleghorn was very energetic, and chiefly through his efforts a strong attack was made on the Burton goal. Allan tested Gray with a fast grounder, and a corner finely placed by Ross was badly utilised. The attack was bound to result in something substantial, and after severe pressure, Cleghorn beat Gray with a truly magnificent shot. The visitors were by no means done with, but Liverpool were now showing better form, and after Michael had headed into the custodian’s hands another foul against Ashby almost led to the home team regaining the lad.
A bad miss by Wilkie let in Evans, and an exciting tussle occurred near the home goal, but after a severe spell of pressure the ball was driven down the field. Just before time Allan got the ball, and passed to Ross, who threaded his way past the backs and defeated Gray with a fine shot.
(Source: Liverpool Mercury: February 1, 1897)