November 28, 1898
This match, being the first of the season, was played on the City Grounds at Nottingham on Saturday afternoon. The weather was wretchedly bad, and scarcely had the game opened than rain commenced to descend. Previously it had fallen in torrents, and the arena presented the appearance of a quagmire. Naturally, under the circumstances, the attendance was a limited one, barely 4,000 people passing through the turnstiles. A fair proportion of these hailed from the great shipping town. The Forest was represented by a comparatively weak team, whereas the visitors were at their full strength. The local captain won the toss, and elected to defend the goal nearest the River Trent. There was a slight, gusty wind to assist his men. Liverpool soon got under way, and drove their opponents on to the defence of their own stronghold. Ritchie, however, cleared well on several occasions. Directly following Allsopp left his goal and kicked away from the foot of Morgan. The visitors continued to keep up the pressure, but not unfrequently they were pulled up for infringing the offside rule. Forest was also penalised when showing danger. The referee awarded a free-kick to Liverpool and from this Raisbeck shot the ball into the Forest net, though as no player touched it in its flight, no point resulted. Just before the interval the locals were again driven back after a brief incursion on the part of their forwards, and a good hard shot on the part of McCowie (inside right) took effect amid the cheering of the Liverpool contingent. The Forest captain altered the position of his field, Frank Forman going centre forward in place of Thornley. When the whistle sounded the adjournment the Reds had not succeeded in drawing level.
In the second half of the game Forest showed up at starting in better form and Benbow was perhaps unlucky in not being able to equalise. Gradually the superior pace of the Liverpool forwards asserted itself, besides which the combination was of a more perfect character. Walker in the centre put on a second score, as the outcome of a fine pass from the left, and later on the same player added a third goal. The locals were compelled to act on the defensive, their front rank being thoroughly disorganised, and after a corner to each – the two proving futile – the Reds were easily beaten by three goals to none.
Nottingham Forest: Dan Allsopp, Archie Ritchie, Jim Iremonger, Frank Forman, John McPherson, Bob Norris, James Suddick, Len Benbow, John Thornley, Arthur Capes, Fred Forman.
Liverpool: Harry Storer, General Stevenson, Billy Dunlop, Rab Howell, Alex Raisbeck, William Goldie, Tom Robertson, Andrew McCowie, John Walker, Hugh Morgan, John Cox.
(Source: Sporting Life: November 28, 1898)