September 25, 1897
Match: Football League First Division, at Anfield, kick off: 16:00.
Liverpool – Everton 3-1 (2-1).
Liverpool (2-3-5): Harry Storer, Archie Goldie, Tom Wilkie, Jon McCartney, Joe McQue, Thomas Cleghorn, Robert Marshall, William Walker, Daniel Cunliffe, Frank Becton, Harry Bradshaw.
Everton (2-3-5): Rab Macfarlane, Peter Meehan, George Barker, Richard Boyle, Johnny Holt, Jack Robertson, Jack Taylor, John Cameron, Abe Hartley, Edgar Chadwick, John Bell.
The goals: 0-1 Taylor (23 min.), 1-1 Walker (30 min.), 2-1 McQue (35 min.), 3-1 Becton (69 min.).
The approaches to the headquarters of the Liverpool Club were on Saturday, of an unusually lively character. Long before the advertised time of starting the crowd were being marshalled into the area after the excellent fashion now adopted at the theates, and it was a matter of no small satisfactory that ingress was obtained with the slightest possible discomfort.
Entering the enclosure half an hour before the game commenced, it was noticeable that the early corners had monopolised every coign of vantage and with the crowd still pouring in, it became a question as to wether the enclosure would fully supply the demands.
At the commencement of the game there would be quite 27,000 spectators present, and this number was being perceptibly swelled, and when the game had got properly under way there would be quite 30,000 people on the ground.
Much conjecture was aboard as to the probable constitution of the Everton team, but as matter turned out there was but one change from the side that so handsomely defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers on the previous Saturday. J.Bell appeared on the outsude left.
Everton were fortunate in the spin of the coin, for their opponents had to face a brilliant sun, and had the further disadvantage of playing against the wind. The first item of interest occurred on the Everton right, as Taylor and Cameron took the ball splendidly down only to be eventually foiled by Wilkie, though on the play opening out Robertson pounced upon the ball tested Storer with a capital shot.
Cunliffe then looked like making progess, when Walker unfortunately hampered him, and on the Liverpudlians again returning the game was stopped owing to a section of the spectators on the Oakfield road side getting over the barriers and encroaching upon the field of play. After a delay of five minutes, order was restored, and the game resumed.
A short spell of midfield play ended in a free kick to Liverpool, and at once Bradshaw raced finely down the win. He out manceurved Meechan and centred accurately to Walker, who headed in, only to find Macfarlane ready to fist the ball out of goal. A diversion on the Everton left resulted in Hartley testing Storer the custodian cleverly getting rid of the ball under difficulty. At this juncture the barriers behind the Anfield road goal gave way before the great pressure brought to bear upon them, and a further delay was necessitated.
On resuming again, the Everton forwards had considerably the better of matters, though as a rule their shooting was of poor quality. Chadwick sent in a hot shot, which, however, did not trouble Storer, but success came at last, the outcome of a free kick against McCartney. Barker placed the ball well up, Cameron heading it in transit to Taylor who shot between the backs, and scored 23 minutes from the start of play.
Everton again put on pressure, but it was short-lived, and a corner quickly fell to Liverpool, McQue headed the ball to Cunliffe, who had the misfortunate of secing his attempt charged down. but the mattered little as Walker met the rebound, and banged the ball into the net with a terrific force the teams being once again on level terms, after half an hour’s play.
Immediately afterwards Becton had an open goal but shot badly, and then McQue fastened on the ball, and from a long range rather easily defeated Macfarlane. Following this period the Everton defence was somewhat rocky and another fine opening was made for Becton, but as before, when there was practically no apposition, his effort was very faulty.
Nothing further occurred up to halftime, when Liverpool were leading by two goals to one.
On resuming play settled down in the Everton half, and for a lengthy period the Liverpool forwards were busy testing Meechan Barker, and Macfarlane. Becton put in two magnificent shots in quick succession, only to find the custodian exceptionally accurate in dealing with them, and then followed a smart sprint by Taylor, who aided by Cameron and Hartley, kept Goldie and Wilkie on tender hooks until the outside man unluckily put the ball wide.
Directly following Storer effected a capital save form Cameron, but returning again, Hartley failed to utilise an easy chance from the wing when only the slightest touch was required to divert the ball into the net.
There was now no mistaking the earnestness of the Everton forwards, and, but for Storer magnificent display, they must have got on level terms again. Bell headed in with a usual result-fine clearance-and a swift shot from Hartley just skimmed the bar. Everton’s efforts now came to an end and the Liverpool van took up the running in to uncertain fashion.
Bradshaw raced finely down the wing, and shot across the goalmouth, Marshall returning the ball to Becton, who headed into the net, thus scoring Liverpool’s third goal.
The Evertonians were now a thoroughly beaten team, and in one quarter there was an apparent indifference manifested that rather marred the hitherto capital efforts to stem the tide of defeat.
With the exception of a few rushes along the Everton right, the play was firmly held by the Liverpoolians who eventually were popular victors by 3 goals to 1.
(Liverpool Mercury, 27-09-1897)