September 7, 1897
Quite 3,000 spectators put in an appearance on the Anfield Road ground last evening to witness the game between these clubs, the proceed of the “gate” being set apart for the benefit of McCartney, the popular skipper of the Liverpool Club.
Liverpool won the toss, and on Anderson putting the ball into play the game became very fast. Millward and Hammond were very prominent in the early stages, but the home defence allowed no liberties. Becton and Lumsden formed a strong wing and were responsible for most of Liverpool’s attack, but thanks to Gow and Arridge the visitors’ goal was kept intact.
Eventually a fine movement towards the New Brighton goal ended in Finnerhan opening the score for Liverpool, after 20 minutes’ play. Robinson was again severely tested, and saved in masterly fashion. At length the visitors got strongly away, and Hammond with a swift shot gave Donnelly no chance to clear. Before the interval had arrived Becton put his side ahead, and when the teams changed ends, the score stood – Liverpool, 2 goals, New Brighton, 1 goal.
The second half opened in brisk fashion, and for some little time the visiting side had the best of the exchanges, but Donnelly was not troubled. Eventually Finnerhan tricked Anderson, and racing nicely down sent in a capital shot at Robinson, who cleared cleverly.
Another attempt from Marshall met with a like result, and then followed a severe pressure on the Liverpool goal A free kick was awarded close in, and for some seconds the ball was bobbing about Donnelly’s charge. McQue at last got his toe to it, and cleared strongly.
Returning again Anderson had the hardest of luck in a splendid attempt to score. The ball struck the upright and went behind, and his fine effort was thoroughly appreciated by the crowd, who cheered vociferously. New Brighton were now having all the play, but they could not penetrate the Liverpool defence, and when at last the Anfield Road van got off, a most exciting scrimmage followed in front of the visitors’ goal. Robinson got the ball away from Lumsden, who was close upon him, and following several returns Gow made no mistake in clearing the danger.
Marshall and Walker continued to play a spirited game on the Liverpool right, and another fine break away by this pair resulted in Becton sending in a splendid shot, which required Robinson’s best efforts to keep out. The Liverpool forwards had by this time quite got the measure of their opponents, and frequent movements were made towards Robinson’s charge.
A fine centre from Marshall found Becton in readiness, and the ball was banged into the net, the custodian not having the slightest chance to save. Millward relived the monotony with a sprint down the left, and centred to Henderson, who unfortunately was ruled offside.
Towards the finish the Liverpudlians again asserted themselves, and following a clinking shot by Lumsden, Robinson was beaten from the return, and the game ended in a victory for Liverpool by 4 goals to 1. It was splendidly contested , but four goals to one did not at all represent the difference in the merits of the teams.
The new organisation played up well, and with closer experience of one another’s play they will require a lot of beating. The home right wing played a strong game and were prominent in most of the attacks that led up to scoring.
Liverpool: Willie Donnelly, Tom Wilkie, Billy Dunlop, John McCartney, Joe McQue, Thomas Cleghorn, Robert Marshall, William Walker, Patrick Finnerhan, Frank Becton, Joe Lumsden.
New Brighton: Jack Robinson, Gow, Smart Arridge, Tom Allison, George Anderson, Charles McEleney, Hamilton, Josh Hargreaves, Henderson, Harry Hammond, Alf Milward.
(Source: Liverpool Mercury: September 7, 1897)