Bolton Wanderers Reserves v Liverpool Reserves

April 28, 1903
For the last Lancashire Combination engagement the Wanderers Reserve turned out with a strong team at Burnden Park on Monday evening, in the presence of a small attendance. Liverpool, who tried several promising players, turned out a team of well-built fellows, and a capital game was the outcome.

Bolton Wanderers Reserves: Dai Davies, William Brown, Charlie Ostick, John Worthington, Sam Greenhalgh, Bob Taylor, Stacey, David Stokes, Sam Marsh, D. McKay, Slade.
Liverpool Reserves: Dorward, Don McCallum, Doswell, Charles Morgan, Andrew Raisbeck, Lawrence Bretland, George Latham, Tommy Green, Henry Nixon, John Carlin, John Davies.

Brown lost the toss and when Marsh started for the Wanderers an anxious haze hang over the ground. The match was a re-play, the first game being stopped owing to darkness ten minutes before time with nothing scored. At the commencement Liverpool showed very smart form, and brought considerable pressure to bear on the home goal. Pretty work by the right wing took the Wanderers along, and from Stacey’s centre both Marsha and McKay were left in possession of a chance, the former eventually driving the ball wide.

Brown and Ostick showed clean kicking, and for several minutes the Liverpool goal was in great danger, a capital effort by Slade ought to have been turned to better account by Stacey and Stokes. Davies had to handle for the first time, following a good run by Davies, and then Slade was applauded for smartly outwitting McCallum and driving in a beautiful centre, from which Marsh diverted the ball wide of the posts. The Wanderers forwards did not work with the unity which might have been desired.

Davies almost mulled a good shot from Carlin, and Ostlick again intervened when he Liverpudlians threatened to rush the ball through. Slade placed a couple of corners judiciously, but the ball was worked away with difficulty, and long kicking by the Liverpool backs kept the Wanderers mainly on the defensive. Tricky work relieved the pressure, but the Boltonians were not allowed to get to close quarters. Offside spoiled promising openings to both sides, and a spell of uninteresting midfield play was followed by a period of exciting moments in the Liverpool quarters. Two superb centres by Slade furnished Marsh with openings, and from the second he drove in a lightning shot, which struck the bar and cannoned back into play, whilst Taylor was only fouled at the last moment after a good run.

Three corners in rapid succession fell to the Wanderers, but the ball could not be forced through. Greenhalgh, who was the life and soul of the team, made several efforts to get through on his own. The first notable incident on crossing over was a grand shot from Marsh, which Dorward just tipped over the bar with his outstretched hand. McKay was dreadfully weak, and lost more than one good opening. Five minutes from the resumption Slade dropped the ball over a crowd of defender from a corner kick, and McKay scored easily.

Liverpool could not get away, and Marsh was only a trifle wide with a long, low shot. In the gathering gloom the movement of the players were only followed with difficulty. Nixon was only a trifle wide, and then from a corner, conceded by Worthington, Raisbeck, after once missing the ball, equalised with a high shot, which Davies tried in vain to reach. Slade almost gave the Wanderers the lead a moment later, and twice he placed corners so accurately that the Liverpool goal was fortunate to escape, but on the other hand, Liverpool were very dangerous on more than one occasion.

Stacey ought to have converted a centre from the left, and with an open goal McKay rolled the ball slowly wide. Even play marked the closing stages of a keenly contested game. The Wanderers tried hard to regain the lead, but without success, and the game ended in a draw of one goal each. The Wanderers did not cover themselves with glory. The shining light of the home forwards was the Horwich amateur, Slade, who thoroughly delighted the crowd. McKay and Stacey were very weak, whilst Marsh was too well watched to do any damage. Greenhalgh and Taylor did well at half-back, and, whilst Ostick was the better back, Davies did all that was required of him in goal. Liverpool played well, and deserved their point.
(Bolton Evening News, 28-04-1903)


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