December 26, 1898
Reserves, Combination, at Anfield, kick-off: 14:00.
Liverpool Reserves – Rhyl United 3-2 (1-0).
Referee: Mr. Lythgoe.
Liverpool Reserves (2-3-5): Hague; Matt McQueen, C. Ledger; John Birchall, James Slavin, R. Ellison; Arthur Kelly, Banner, Lloyd, Morry, Paris.
Rhyl United (2-3-5): Glass; Ike Williams, Vernon Jones; Alf Jones, Alf Vaughan, T. Middleton; Thomas, Morgan Morgan-Owen, F. Milne, Will Jones, Wilfred Hall.
The goals: 1-0 Lloyd, 2-0 Morry, 2-1 Hall, 2-2 Milne, 3-2 Kelly.
Directly after the kick-off Liverpool made tracks for the Rhyl goal and Kelly sent a terrific shot behind. A minute later a free kick was awarded them and this was further supplemented by a corner, from which Glass saved magnificently. Vernon Jones brought up the home right in his characteristic cool manner, transferring to Hall, who was robbed by Ellison, Lloyd got possession and forced another corner of Middleton. This was, however cleared and Thomas made a capital run, but he was prevented from getting in his centre owing to the close attention paid him by Ledger.
Then the Liverpool forwards became aggressive, and after Ike Williams and Vernon Jones had both accounted for a series of determined attacks, Glass brought off a magnificent save from a low shot by Banner. At this time the Rhylites were being severely press, and it was lucky that the Rhyl defence was in such fettle. Glass dealt with shots from right and left in the best style, while Alf Vaughan was a host in himself. He inspired spirit in his men by the sterling work he got through. Time after time he frustrated the attempts of Liverpool to get through, until Morgan Owen gave relief by initiating a run which nearly proved disastrous for Liverpool, a shot from Hall going with lightning rapidity across the goalmouth.
Returning to the attack Liverpool made strenuous efforts to score, but the Rhyl defence were equal to all emergencies. A foul against Liverpool gave prominence to Milne, who made a run which was deserving of better fate. He lost his footing, and thus enabled Slavin to clear, and the Liverpool forwards were again down on Glass’ charge, when Alf Vaughan and Middleton was conspicuous. Glass also gave further evidence of his goal-keeping abilities.
Morgan-Owen made play on the right, which was followed by the prettiest bit of combination that one would ever wish to see. This was, however, nullified by Thomas sending behind. After some midfield play, Kelly broke away on the right, and his centre was converted into a goal by Lloyd. This reverse put the Rhylites on their mettle. From the centre they took up the running, the passing of the forwards left nothing to be desired, but their shooting at this stage was not so deadly as it might have been had they been a little less anxious in front of goal. In midfield they could do nothing wrong, but in front of goal they were hardly so effective.
After Ike Williams had cleared his lines, Hall raced away like a greyhound and finished up with a splendid shot. Hague threw away, but Middleton met the leather and only missed by a few inches. Lloyd at the other end tested Glass with a daisy-cutter. As the result of brilliant play by Morgan-Owen, Will Jones got going, but he was pulled up for offside. Following grand play by Jones Rhyl assumed the aggressive, and kept the homesters busy repelling hot attacks on the fortress.
A foul against Rhyl gave Liverpool the desired relief. This led to a corner against Rhyl, which was cleared by Milne. They were not to be denied for they came again and troubled the Rhyl defence not a little, Ike Williams proved a stumbling block, and tackled in rare style. Glass saved from Lloyd at the expense of a corner that proved abortive. The Rhyl forwards were to the fore again with beautiful combination, Morgan-Owen trying his luck with a shot that failed to take effect.
There was more to come, however, Milne, Hall and Jones had shies while Morgan-Owen sent in the finest shot of the afternoon which Hague managed to save at the expense of a cheer. This was, indeed, a masterpiece, for the finished way he worked himself into position, together with his shot was nothing less than marvellous, and gained for him vociferous cheering not only from his admirers on the grand stand but from spectators generally. Will Jones and Hall on the left were getting through some sterling work. Thomas on the extreme right, sent several beautiful centres, while Milne and Morgan-Owen were always doing the right thing. Up to the interval Rhyl had decidedly the best of the argument, but failed to score.
On resuming Liverpool added another goal to their credit through a mistake on the part of Alf Jones. Instead of clearing he hesitated and allowed Morry to rush up and tip the ball past Glass. This did not dishearten the visitors, but seemed to inspire them to further energies. The back left nothing to chance, while the play of the forwards was a feature of the game.
The goals that Rhyl secured were beauties, and the outcome of the forward play in which Morgan-Owen was the much prominent figure. The first came from a pass from the latter, Hall doing the needful, while the other was the result of an individual run by the individual, at the end of which h shot in hard towards Hague, who partly saved, but before get could get to the ball the second time Milne had banged it into the net. The game was evenly contested up to the finish, and those who failed to accompany their favourites on Monday have missed a treat. Well done Rhyl.
(Rhyl Report and Advertiser, 31-12-1898)