Liverpool v Everton 2-2 (FA Cup match: January 25, 1902)

January 25, 1902
Match: FA Cup, First Round, at Anfield, kick-off: 14:30.
Liverpool – Everton 2-2 (1-0).
Attendance: 30,000; gate receipt: ca £800.
Referee: Mr. J.Lewis.
Liverpool (2-3-5):  Bill Perkins, Tom J Robertson, William Dunlop; Charlie Wilson, Alex Raisbeck (C), William Goldie, Tom Robertson, John “Sailor” Hunter, Andy McGuigan, George Fleming, John Cox.
Everton (2-3-5): George Kitchen, William Balmer, George Eccles, Sam Wolstenholme, Tom Booth, Walter Abbott, Jack Sharp, Jack Taylor, Sandy Young, Adam Bowman, Jack Bell.
The goals: 1-0 T. Robertson (45), 1-1 Young (49 min.), 2-1 “Sailor” Hunter, 2-2 Sharp (75 min.).

Saturday was a notable day in the history of Liverpool football, for the Everton and Liverpool clubs met, for the first time in their existence, in the initial round of that most exciting of competitions – the English Cup tournament. Following as it did the return League match between the pair, and the Combination game twist their reserves eleven’s, it formed the third of a remarkable series of contests which will remain green in the memory of the ardent enthusiasm for many a day.

But the rival clubs have not yet terminated their trials for a draw at Anfield was the result of 90 minutes’ stirring warfare, abounding in exciting and interesting incidents, and the two elevens will oppose each other on Thursday next at 2:45, when another attempt will be made to decide the issue.

The 25,000 people who gathered round the treacherously surfaced enclosure at Anfield were rewarded by witnessing a ding-dong struggle-a hard fought rather than a brilliant encounter- for the heavy going made a high class display of football almost impossible.

There were no dull moments, however, but unbound surprise was expressed at the galliant show made by the Anfield men. They who had been toyed and trifled with at Goodison Park, and made to appear a third rate sort of team were now the aggressors, and in the first half particularly gave Everton more than they had anticipated.

With a little more decision, and a grim determined resolve when near goal, the Liverpool forwards might have won the game in this moiety. The advent of Fleming to inside left shook up this wing, revived it, and infused some spirit into what should be a most dangerous part of the Liverpool attack.

A beautiful tap taken at full speed from one of Cox’s centres, nearly beat Kitchen, when ten minutes elapsed, but the Everton customary cleverly scooped the ball out when a goal seemed certain. Then McGuigan failed at two nice openings, one when Kitchen failed to gather the ball, with the Liverpool centre bearing down with all sails set, and again-when another fine cross from the left placed him in position with only the custodian again to overcome. A dashing, weighty centre would in both cases have startled Kitchen, if not actually scored, and thus it came about that it was close on half-time before Liverpool opened their account.

A minute prior to the interval, one of the Everton forwards presumably Young, was penalised for pushing Raisbeck when inside the twelve yards line, and the referee deemed it necessary to inflict the full penalty of the law. Robertson the right back, took the kick, but Kitchen nobly saved his shot, only to drop it like a hot cinder, whereupon, the Liverpool man pounced on it again, and netted.

The excitement was intensified when the game was renewed, but Everton appeared to have benefited by the rest, and, as their opponents were inclined to take matters rather easily. Taylor succeeded in equalising from a free kick, with a very clever shot.

Then the battle began once more, and again did the “Reds” secure the lead. It was the result of splendid football from inception to termination. Sharp was going clean away with the ball, when Dunlop took the leather from his toes in masterly style, and swinging it over to Cox, the latter raced down the touch line, with the rest of his forwards tailing along in expectation of the pass. It came accurately enough, and “Sailor” Hunter pouncing on it, drove it into the top corner of the net, with a shot that was simply invincible.

After Hunter had recovered from the exuberant embracing of his comrades, Everton seemed beaten, but their rivals slowed down again, in the rear, and from another free kick, Eccles placed nicely, and Sharp obtaining when close in, had no difficulty in equalising a second time.

This, in brief, is the story of the struggle. Liverpool were slightly the superior side, for their defence was really excellent, whilst the attack had more life in it than has been seen for many a week. Everton fell the absence of Settle in the forward line, and their movements were nothing like so incisive as was the case a fortnight ago.

The value of Perkins in goal was simply demonstrated by the character of the Liverpool defence. There was no hesitation on the part of the backs, no indecision’s as to weather to fall back into goal or go forth and tackle the invader; everything worked smoothly – with excellent efficiently and completes understanding. Perkins was always on the alert, and made some clever saves, whilst Robertson played a beautiful game, and Dunlop never made a mistake; in fact, the defence was above reproach.

At half-back Raisbeck approached somewhat to old-time form, and what a difference being in sound health, and fit makes in the play of a man who clearly shown in his cases. A fortnight ago he was suffering from the effects of an influenza cold, and was really unfit to take the field, with a result that every one now knowns full well.

At Anfield there was no weakness displayed, and he had no either side of him, comrades who dealt with the Everton wings with equal efficiency. Goldie tackled and placed most judiciously and, it Wilson he rather tempestuous in his methods, there is no getting beyond the fact that he is an indefatigable trier.

Forward, Liverpool held an unmistaking advantage, and if they had only shot a bit ofter they might very easily have landed the tie. McGuigan cannot be considered a centre forward, and it is unfortunate that his services were not utlised on the wing, for he is a practically lost in the middle of the line.

Fleming was particularly prominent, and Cox could not complain of inattention in this match for the old Wolverhampton player, attended to him most assiduously. A regrettable injury sustained in the early part of the game caused the extreme left winger to lose some of his speed, and this would doubtless account for Wolstenholmes being able to keep pace with him.

On the right wing “Sailor” Hunter shaped in good style, and the goal he obtained was a superb effort. Robertson was not very conspicuous and lack the go-ahead qualities which at one time were so prominent a feature of all his work.

More interest than ever will be centred in the meeting on Thursday, and seeing that Liverpool have shown themselves capable of extending their rivals to the utmost, there should be a great struggle when the two meet again.

Liverpool returned to Lytham on Saturday evening, but Everton will journey to Southport this afternoon. Whichever team loses now, will certainly have a handsome pecuniary consolation to soothe their wounded feelings.
(Liverpool Mercury, 27-01-1902)

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