September 12, 1904
In meeting Liverpool, the ex-First Leaguers, in their initial home game, the Chesterfield team had a very stiff ordeal before them, and one calculated to give rise to many misgivings, but the team emerged from what must have been a trying time with infinite credit. A draw of one goal apiece was an eminently satisfactory ending to a keen and vigorously contested game.
The visitors were at full strength, but there was one alteration in the home ranks, Ray coming in for the first time vice Emmerson Marples (injured at Burton) at full back.
All through the play was fairly even, each goal being hotly assailed in turn, but towards the end the slightly superior stamina of the Merseysiders asserted itself, and they did most of the attacking. It was during this period that the equalising goal was scored by Goddard, and but for some splendid defensive work the visitors would have bagged both points.
The defence on both sides was really brilliant, the Chesterfield pair, Ray and W. Gadsby, comparing very favourably with Murray and Dunlop. Gadsby, who is a local from New Whittington, a Chesterfield League team, has the makings of a fine back about him, and Ray’s kicking was always strong and true, and his tackling smart.
At half-back Liverpool were undoubtedly ahead of the home eleven, and whilst they did yeoman service, Raisbeck and Parry were occasionally guilty of improper tactics. Haig was the best of the other trio, and he had a very busy time with Morris and Cox. The superior built and height of the latter gave him a great advantage, but Haig stuck to him manfully, and was never done with, although beaten sometimes.
Banner, in the centre, has quietened down considerably since his last season with the club, and he is not near so headstrong as he was before joining West Ham last season. He gave Raybould too much license at time, and Thacker did not quite produce his old form.
In Kelly, Munday had a clever partner, who is tricky and fast, and the left wing promises to be very troublesome in the near future. Newton did well in the centre, and the goal he scored was a beauty and a fitting climax to the fine combination which preceded it. The right wing pair, Tomlinson and F. Smith accomplished some good things in the second half, when the former put in some fine swinging centres.
The visitors’ forwards are a grand bustling lot, who know how to combine together, and with the middle line, Cox and Goddard, the two extreme men, made some capital dashing runs and middles, the former’s centring being particularly good. Raybould played strongly and was always well up when his side were attacking.
The outstanding feature of the game was the brilliant goalkeeping of Hardy, who gave one of the finest exhibitions seen on the ground. Some of his saves were remarkable, and his vis-à-vis, the famous Doig, could hardly have equalled them.
Chesterfield: Sam Hardy, Walter Gadsby, Richard Ray, James Haig, Willie Banner, Frank Thacker, Isaac Tomlinson, Paul Smith, Frank Newton, Herbert Munday, Frank Kelly.
Liverpool: Ned Doig, David Murray, Billy Dunlop, Maurice Parry, Alex Raisbeck, James Hughes, Arthur Goddard, Robert Robinson, Sam Raybould, Richard Morris, John Cox.
Referee: W.H. Horsfield (Lincoln).
(Athletic News: September 12, 1904)
Isaac Tomlinson, Chesterfield F.C.