September 25, 1899
Although the weather was of the most threatening character on Saturday, it had little influence on the enthusiasm of followers of the game, for the enclosure at Anfield Road, the venue of the first of the meetings of the local rivals was comfortably packed for there would be quite 25,000 spectators present during the progress of the game.
The Liverpool executive were not able to command their full strength owing to injuries to players, and the wholesale changes in the Everton front line occasioned something of a mild surprise among their followers.
With but one exception – Toman the vanguard underwent complete changes, and to the surprise of those who had followed the fortune of the club since the opening of the season, the non inclusions of Gee in the team was subject of general conversation.
In the first three games he certainly was the most effective forward, and, as subsequent event turned out, the decision of the selection committee was not warrantable.
Half an hour before the advertised time of commencing operations the ground was comfortably filled with an eager band of spectators, and on the teams putting in an appearance and facing as follows, they were greeted with a tremendous outburst of applause.
Liverpool: Bill Perkins; Archie Goldie, Billy Dunlop; Rab Howell, Alex Raisbeck, William Goldie; John Cox, John Parkinson, Charlie Wilson, Hugh Morgen, Tom Robertson.
Everton: Willie Muir; William Balmer, George Molyneux; Sam Wolstenholme, Richard Boyle, Joe Blythe; Jack Taylor, Jack Sharp, Wilf Toman, Jimmy Settle, Alf Schofield.
A strong breeze blew from goal to goal, and as the Everton skipper had been fortunate enough to secure the choice of ends, it could not be denied that his side had secured a material advantage.
This was simply demonstrated in the first few minutes of the game, during which Settle only just missed heading into goal by the merest shave from a free kick this being followed by a stern pressure, which was eventually relieved by A. Goldie.
A capital movement on the Liverpool right was eventually checked by Balmer, who, with a huge kick transferred play close to the Liverpool line, where a tussle between the rival captains resulted in the Liverpool skipper being “hors de combat” for a few minutes.
Getting to work again Schofield just missed the mark, and Toman followed with a shot, which Perkins attended to in most skilful fashion.
The Liverpool forwards, failing to keep the ball low against the strong breeze, were rarely seen to advantage, and play for the greater part was monopolised by the Everton forwards, who at this juncture were receiving splendid support from the halfbacks.
Sharp eventually tried a long shot, which was about to pass under the bar when Perkins cleverly tipped it over, and a similar effort from the centre a few minutes later only just the mark.
Everton continued to have all the play, but many attempts to score were nonplussed by the home defenders of whom the custodian and Dunlop were the principal mainstays.
A free kick against Wilson close in looked ominous for Liverpool, but this was cleared, though matters were again threatening, as the Evertonians secured a trio of corner kicks, Boyle making a bad attempt at the third, which was capitally placed by Taylor.
A long kick by Blythe found A. Goldie at fault. The latter player had plenty of time to return the ball, but dallying he paid the penalty, as Taylor pounced upon him and securing the ball shot it into the net without giving Perkins any chance of saving play having been in progress close upon half an hour.
This success was greeted with tremendous cheering by the Everton contingent, and there were prospects of this lead being increased directly afterwards, as Settle and Toman were in complete possession, only to find their final efforts at fault.
For the second time since the commencement of the game the Liverpool forwards got within measurable distance of the Everton goal, but the movement was rendered useless on Morgan lying offside.
Hands against Sharp brought them further advantage and from the free kick Robertson raced through the backs and scored, thus being the result of the third movement towards the Everton goal.
Excitement now ran high with the teams once again on level terms and for some little time the Liverpoolians were seen to much better advantage.
Everton came again and Settle should have scored.
At this juncture Taylor went inside right, and a steady pressure was levelled at the home goal Raisebeck on one occasion faultily heading it, which required Perkins best efforts to prevent downfall. However nothing further was scored up to half-time, when the record stood Liverpool 1 goal, Everton 1.
With the wind now in favour of Liverpool, and practically commencing afresh, their supporters expected much from them and during the initial stage the movements of their favorites certainly pointed to ultimate success.
Parkinson forced a corner at the outside, but little latitude was allowed by their opponents, and in a trice the play was at the other end, where Taylor missed a capital opening to tale the lead.
A free kick against Toman close in was threatening, but again the final effort was at fault, and following a misdirected shot by Taylor Cox followed suit when a more favorable opening was presented him.
Liverpool were now having the better of matters, and Muir nearly mulled a low shot from Wilson, and as the Everton vanguard were not working satisfactorily together Taylor changed place with Settle, the result of which greatly improved the line as the ex-Burtite had received little or no assistance from Schofield.
There were 20 minutes left for play, and success appeared to crown the efforts of the Evertonians when Settle was unfortunately ruled offside. Not to be denied, however, this player immediately afterwards secured the ball from Taylor, and clashing between the backs sent in a last low shot which Perkins failed to reach the score being now two goals to one in favour of Everton with about twelve minutes to play.
A free kick against Taylor, resulted in Robertson receiving a smart pass from Parkinson and his shot only just missed the mark, and with a view to further forcing the game, Taylor, who all through had worked in indomitable fashion, went centre forward.
Twice the Everton skipper took the ball to close quarters and shot hard only to find Perkins showing excellent defensive powers, and when the end came none could deny the superiority of the Evertonians who thoroughly deserved victory.
(Liverpool Mercury: September 25, 1899)