September 10, 1900
Liverpool’s victory at Stoke was splendidly earned, and it would be churlish indeed not to congratulate the team from the seaport city on a success which was so thoroughly deserved. Truth to tell, the margin of two goals to one in favour of the winners did not adequately represent their superiority to the Pottery combination, who gave a most disappointing display, and have seldom appeared in a worse light. Willie Maxwell’s goal was a very fine effort, but when this has been said, all that it is possible to say in praise of his play has been exhausted.
The directors of the Stoke club received the most positive assurance from their medical officer that Maxwell was thoroughly sound before they decided to play him, and the player himself was equally positive as to his soundness, after the conclusion of Saturday’s game. Under these circumstances there is absolutely no excuse for Maxwell’s shocking display. I can understand a player being off form after a lengthy absence from the field, but for idleness and shirking there can be no justification. These features in Maxwell’s play were palpable to the veriest tyro, and I do not hesitate in expressing the opinion that he was either too unwilling, or too afraid, to put forth his best efforts. I am anxious to find extenuating circumstances, but when Maxwell himself states that he is perfectly sound, it is difficult to find any excuse for so miserable an exhibition.
Liverpool gave a well-balanced exposition of the game, and, as I said previously, deserved to win. The only fault I am inclined to find is that their forwards are apt to be too clever in the field, to the neglect of the shooting department. The goals scored in Saturday’s game were disproportionate to the pressure exerted.
(Source: Athletic News: September 10, 1900)