April 10, 1897
Match: Football League, First Division, at Anfield, kick-off: 16:00.
Liverpool – Preston North End 0-0 (0-0).
Referee: Mr. Hallam.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Harry Storer, Archie Goldie, Billy Dunlop, John McCartney, Robert Neill, Thomas Cleghorn, Andy McCowie, Willie Michael, George Allan, Frank Becton, Harry Bradshaw.
Preston North End (2-3-5): Jimmy Trainer, Bob Holmes, Hugh Dunn, Bob Blyth, William Greer, Moses Sanders, Tom Smith, Tom Pratt, Sandy Brown, David Boyd, Adam Henderson.
Liverpool concluded their League engagements on Saturday with Preston North End as opponents, and a capital attendance, numbering over 12,000 witnessed the proceedings.
McCartney won the toss, and at once Storer was called upon to save from Blythe, but Liverpool retaliated, and a capital run by Allan followed, enabling Michael to obtain and pass to Becton, who put in a fine screw shot, which narrowly missed.
The attack was maintained, and Bradshaw tested Trainer with a low shot, which was cleverly turned aside, whilst another rush to the home end led to a splendid clearance on the part of Dunlop. The visitors again returned, and Storer and to fist away, but McCartney eventually placed Allan in possession, and, though a corner resulted, McCowie just failed to head past Trainer.
The North End defence was in exceptional form, and Liverpool could not get beyond it. The visitors’ front rank again broke away, and Boyd grazed the upright, whilst Brown tested Storer with a fine shot, which the custodian cleverly saved.
A miskick by Dunlop let in Smith, but this proved of no avail to the visitors, and Bradshaw, fastening on the ball, raced to within a few yards of Trainer, who, however, experienced little difficulty in dealing with the left-winger’s final shot.
Liverpool then attacked strongly, and Allan just missed scoring from a fine centre by Michael, and two unsuccessful corners followed in quick succession, Holmes eventually driving the home team back. The North End front rank then got down, and, getting past the backs, looked like scoring, but McCartney kicked behind, almost putting through his own goal in the effort, and the ensuing corner was easily cleared. Michael racing away to the other end, but putting in a weak shot.
At half-time no score had been made, and on resuming the visitors infused considerable energy into their play, and Storer had several difficult shots to deal with. For a time Liverpool were compelled to set on the defensive, but eventually the siege was raised, and McCowie put in a couple of warm shots, after nice passing between him and Michael.
Henderson was the next to become prominent, by racing away to the other end, but he was hampered by Goldie, and his final shot was easily dealt with. Neill then cleverly obtained possession, and gave Becton a fine chance, but Holmes beat him, and again Henderson got clear, and, passing to Blythe, the latter shot wide.
Liverpool were soon busy at the other end, Becton putting in a fast shot, followed by others from McCowie and Allan, but Trainer coolly repelled all endeavours to score. Still the home team kept up a strong attack, and splendid chances of scoring were spoiled by weak shooting.
The North End defence was kept busy, and shots were sent in from both wings, but hey lacked direction. Allan on one occasion got clear away, and racing up to Trainer sent in a terrific shot, which was splendidly saved, this being one of the finest bits of play seen in the game.
Dunlop then sent in a high, dropping shot which required all Trainer’s skill to clear, and another warm one from Michael followed. Smith broke away from the latter clearance, but was pulled up by Dunlop, and then a change was seen. North End going down in strong fashion, and Sanders, with a low shot, sent across the goalmouth.
North End attacked, Storer kicking away on one occasion a shot from Pratt and in the last minute saving from Brown. Allan was given a fine opening by Neill, but Holmes rushed in and cleared, and the final whistle sounded with the result a draw – no score.
(Source: Liverpool Mercury: April 12, 1897)
Match report from the Lancashire Evening Post, Saturday, April 10 – 1897.
Harry Storer, Liverpool (Lloyd’s Weekly News: December 1, 1895):
Harry Bradshaw, Liverpool (Illustrated Police Budget: November 11, 1899):