Liverpool v Derby County 0-0 (League match: December 25, 1900)

December 25, 1900
Match: Football League, First Division, at Anfield, kick-off: 14:00.
Liverpool – Derby County 0-0 (0-0).
Attendance: 20,000.
Referee: Mr. R. Roberts.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Bill Perkins; Tom J. Robertson, Billy Dunlop; Charlie Wilson, Alex Raisbeck (C), William Goldie; Tom Robertson, Andy McGuigan, Sam Raybould, John “Sailor” Hunter, John Cox.
Derby County (2-3-5): Jack Fryer; Jimmy Methven, Charlie Morris; Ben Warren, Archie Goodall, Charles Leckie; James Crawford, Steve Bloomer, John Boag, Dicky Wombwell, Hugh McQueen.

1st Half:
** Punctually to time Raybould started operations, and the opening stages were fast and interesting.
** Liverpool were the first to exert pressure, but dallying in front of goal, enabled the Derby backs to clear.
** The visitors retaliated with a neat passing movement, and forced a corner from which Goodall made a very wild attempt to score.
** Both sides indulged in smart footwork, and McQueen with a long shot just skimmed the bar, whilst a few moments later Bloomer, when close to Perkins, had his shot charged down by Raisbeck.
** Liverpool took up the running, and McGuigan tricking Luckie gave to Robertson, who forced an abortive corner.
** The latter again sprinted along gaily, and transferred to McGuigan, who was charged down when open goal was before him.
** The Derby forwards displayed capital form, and were with difficulty held in check.
** The home backs, amongst whom Raisbeck was very prominent warded off every attack, and it was just as well that the defenders were so determined, for Bloomer and his confreres were decidedly dangerous when on the move.
** At length Cox raced round Morris, and centred, but McGuigan failed by inches to reach the ball, or a goal must have resulted.
** The Liverpool front rank did not show their customary combination, and Fryer was rarely called upon.
** Another dash by the home right led to McGuigan giving to Raybould, who was splendidly placed, but offside was successfully claimed.
** Play became more even, but the Liverpool front rank was by no means deadly near goal, and by dallying spoiled many fine openings.
** Goodall was penalized just outside the twelve yards’ line, and from the free kick a corner resulted, but the whistle blew just as the ball was sailing towards the centre. The interval  thus arrived with the score sheet blank.

2nd Half:
** Restarting, Derby attacked straight away, and Boag racing past the backs gave Perkins a teaser, which the custodian saved at full length.
** Liverpool retaliated and gained a corner, which was badly taken, but from a second, resulting from a capital shot by Cox, Robertson headed over the bar.
** The home forwards did not show much improvement but eventually smart passing on their left wing have Hunter an opening, and the inside man failed by the merest shade to score.
** Derby broke away, and Crawford, sending across, Boag received when only a couple of yards from Perkins, who effected a miraculous clearance.
** The ball hovered in dangerous proximity to the home goal, but relief came at last, and the Liverpool supporters once more breathed freely.
** A beautiful chance was afforded McGuigan shortly afterwards, the ball coming to him from the left but, with only Fryer to beat, he sent yards outside.
** Derby paid a temporary visit to the home goal, but Liverpool rushed back, and Raybould when close in shot hard against the upright.
** Liverpool completely nullified all their efforts by their struggling work in front of Fryer, and Derby breaking away, Bloomer obtained possession, and skimmed the posts with a terrific shot.
** The Peakites defended with stubborn perceistency, though Liverpool did not attack with the vigour that was likely to gain any tangible point.
** Crawford missed a grand chance of scoring five minutes from time by shooting wide, but the final whistle blew with the score as at half time.
(Liverpool Mercury, 26-12-1900)
The display given by the Liverpool forwards was distantly disappointing. There was a total lack of understanding amongst them, but the chief weakness was the inability to send in a decent shot. They finessed and juggled with the ball when a shot was necessary, the consequence being that the Derby backs invariably cleared their lines without having recourse to the assistance of Fyer. Not one of the forward line showed his real form, but Robertson on the extreme right was the most conspicuous failure. Possibly Walker’s absence upset the machinery of the quintette, but this could not be urged as an excuse for the miserable dallying in front of goal. The half-backs were more successful, and the backs, though kicking strongly, often exercised considerable lack of judgment. Perkins was the savior of his side, and following as it does his fine display against the Forest, proves the Liverpool custodian to be one of the most reliable players in the team. The Derby forwards were extremely smart, and it was a distinct slice of good fortune which enabled Perkins to clear from Boag when the latter seemed to have a certain goal ahead.
(Liverpool Mercury, 26-12-1900)

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