April 2, 1902
Yesterday Sheffield Wednesday played their third League match of the holidays, and though they were unable to repeat the successes they achieved at Manchester and Stoke, they shared the spoil with Liverpool, and thus completed one of the most profitable Easters the club has ever known. Another satisfactory feature associated with the occasions was the fact that between 16,000 and 17,000 people were present, with the promise of the game so excellent and the weather fine.
The only drawback was the strength of the wind that blew down the ground, correct football being considerably discounted thereby. The Anfielders, who had been staying close at hand, at Hathersage, since Saturday, played the same eleven that defeated the Aston Villa at Birmingham, except that it was strengthened by the inclusion of Raisbeck, who had recovered from his leg injury, sustained a week or two back against Grimsby. On the Wednesday side Vivian Simpson, the young Sheffield Club amateur, was unable to play, and accordingly Wilson once more pivoted the attack, but this was the only change from the team that had done duty in the two previous matches.
Langley gained for his side the benefit of the strong breeze and sun, and though Liverpool, who wore black armlets in memory of the late Alderman John Houlding, were the first to break ground, Cox was nicely foiled by Layton, and a free-kick against Goldie further drove Liverpool back. Wilson, however, hooked the ball over from right in front, and after Raisbeck’s head had been usefully employed Crawshaw was penalised for a foul, and Liverpool attacked, without either Walker or Raybould succeeding in their attempts to break through.
Yet another free-kick, this time against Dunlop, helped Wednesday to position, but Ruddlesdin’s long lift into goal mouth eluded Davis, and Liverpool swept back for Cox to work into the centre and flash in a fast, high shot that Lyall very smartly diverted over the bar. The corner was made no use of, but after a similar experience at the other end, the visiting right returned, and Ruddlesdin failing to hold a cross from Raybould presented Fleming with an open goal. The shot was full of pace, but Lyall brought off a magnificent save, and followed it up to an effective clearance. Wednesday afterwards took a strong hold on things, and in the course of one persistent attack Ferrier gave Perkins a hot 25 yards’ shot, that he took exceedingly well.
A little later Spiksley, rounding Parry prettily, got across a smart centre that won a corner out of Robertson, and a terrific struggle ensued in the jaws of the Liverpool goal from a free-kick against Fleming. Once Perkins rushed out and missed the ball, but Raisbeck, who towered through it all, stepped into the breach, and a very warm couple of minutes brought to result. From this the Liverpool forwards broke away, and Fleming, who was doing a tremendous amount of work, sidled over to the other wing to try an oblique shot that passed by as Cox vainly tried to reach it.
The Wednesday goal had one marvellous escape though Lyall being unable to get rid of a fine shot from Raisbeck, the ball being planted back while the goalkeeper, was on the ground. Raybould, however, with no one in front, was no better situated, and amid cheers Layton carried the ball before him though the pack. Only two minutes later, however, Cox using his speed raced well past Layton, and holding the back all the way swung in an accurate centre which Raybould with a deft application of the side of his foot, turned into the net, and Liverpool thus took the lead after 35 minutes’ play.
In no way dismayed, Wednesday returned to the attack, and Spiksley, taking a pass from Wilson, slipped into the centre and drove in a lovely right-foot shoot, which had Perkins beaten all the way, but struck the bar and came back on to Raisbeck’s head. The next minute another advance was ended ny a fine ground shot from Crawshaw just inside the foot of the post, where Perkins brought off a superb save at full length, by turning the ball round the upright. This corner was followed by a second, and from this Crawshaw hooked in a beautiful overhead shot, which Wilson took on his head, and seven minutes from the interval Wednesday had drawn level.
Inspired by this success, Wednesday attacked in brilliant style, and twice Perkins only saved under great difficulties, while from yet another corner, which came from what looked perilously like a piece of deliberate handling on the part of one of the backs, the ball was again put into the net, but Perkins was fouled, and it was not allowed to count. From now to the interval the game was one long-continued siege of the Liverpool goal, but nothing more remunerative than corners fell to the home side, and half-time arrived with the sides still level.
When the second half was entered upon Wednesday fully held their own for some time, and the only dangerous movement from Liverpool came from Cox, who sprinted through to finally shoot into the side net. If anything, Wednesday were the better balanced side this half, their long, sweeping forward movements beating the Liverpool defence repeatedly, and play for quite ten minutes was of a remarkably open character. Wilson had one chance of shooting, but his attempt was very wild, and a much narrower escape befell the Wednesday goal a minute later, when from a free-kick, Raybould headed in, and Lyall only saved when fully extended. Ferrier helping him to his final clearance.
Liverpool then attacked for a time, but ther work was of a loose character, and Wednesday were infinitely more dangerous when they carried the game into their opponents’ quarters, Crawshaw having a very fine shot cannoned back, while Ruddlesdin twice tried long drives which were only a shade out on each occasion.
Liverpool made no use of a corner conceded by Langley, while when they returned a second time Ferrier came to the help of his backs in timely fashion, and finally Raisbeck planted a smashing shot just over the bar. What danger threatened Wednesday’s defence emanated chiefly from the Liverpool left, but on the whole they were well held, and the Wednesday forwards kept the game exceedingly open, although Dunlop and Robertson kept all work out of the way of Perkins.
Goddard was for the most part of the game playing the role of spectator, but at length he was given an opening, and from his centre Lyall had to save, during which he was badly jumped into by Cox, who was cautioned. A short time afterwards the old Glossop man failed sadly when a misunderstand between the Wednesday backs gave him an opening, and though Liverpool came back Layton took Walker’s centre on his head, and the attack was beaten off.
Play was of a very scrappy and uninteresting character, with neither side looking likely to improve their position, but with the game running well to its close Liverpool made a big effort to obtain the lead. The defence was sound, however, and a couple of sprints by Spiksley carried play to the Liverpool end, where Chapman was just beaten off before the game ran out with the score: Sheffield Wednesday, 1 goal; Liverpool, 1 goal.
Sheffield Wednesday: Jack Lyall, Willie Layton, Ambrose Langley, Robert Ferrier, Tommy Crawshaw, Herrod Ruddlesdin, Harry Davis, Harry Chapman, Andrew Wilson, Jack Beech, Fred Spiksley.
Liverpool: Bill Perkins, Tom J. Robertson, Billy Dunlop, Maurice Parry, Alex Raisbeck, William Goldie, Arthur Goddard, Johnny Walker, Sam Raybould, George Fleming, John Cox.
Referee: Mr. John Henry Strawson.
(Source: Sheffield Daily Telegraph: April 2, 1902)