September 9, 1905
What happened at Woolwich.
The Liverpool Club set out with high hopes for Woolwich, the Kentish town, celebrated for its big guns, its wide guns, and its guns of all sorts and sizes. And also for its football club. The Woolwich Arsenal Association Football was originally called the Royal Arsenal, and has, of course, run on amateur lines.
It was connected with the works from which it takes its name, and where many thousands of men are employed. Later on professionalism crept in, and it was decided to join a League, and the astonishment of all southerners, it joined The League.
It continued its membership all through the years, plodding inwards and ever upwards. It resisted all entrances to come into the Southern fold, and now rejoices the fact that it did so. At the end of 1903-4 season Woolwich Arsenal became members of the First Division, reaching thus the goal long aimed at, by sheer hard work, and by no fear or favour.
What happened to Liverpool.
But it came about that Liverpool were by arrangements to meet this club on the first Saturday of the season. They did so, and it is a tale of woe there is to tell. In the first half Jack Parkinson, partly by his own impetuosity, came to relief. He received a perfect pass from Alex Raisbeck, and was dribbling between the backs to make assurance doubly sure, when he was brought down and broke his wrist.
This was the first untoward happening. Robert Robinson was the next to pick up, damaging his shoulder, and finally Billy Dunlop hurt his leg, so that the Reds of Liverpool finished the game with eight fairly sound men and one cripple, one of the others having gone to the hospital and the other to his home.
What happens when accidents occur.
It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that Liverpool met with defeat. And yet they should not have done, nor did they deserve to do so. They had all the bad side of the refereeing, and although they take things philosophically, were not by any means satisfied with that official’s rulings. They had the misfortune to see a certain goal fisted out by a man who was not the goalkeeper, and to witness from the ensuing penalty kick the ball travelling wide.
And they could hit every angle of the space beyond the goal line save that between the two posts. Such an aggregation of bad luck was not to be resisted, and they lost their first game, and two points, when, under ordinary circumstances, they would have come away rejoicing.
Alex Raisbeck gave of his best, and worked like ten men. He was the outstanding figure on the field, and did everything for victory. John Cox also deserved better luck, his runs and centres being far more conspicuous than those of the Flying Scotsman, Bobby Templeton. Of course, the work of the inside forwards suffered after Parkinson’s absence, and more than one chance went a-begging. There was, however, an aspect of earnestness about the whole team which augurs well for the future, and perhaps Dame Fortune will be doubly gracious to make up for her ugliness at the beginning.
Throughout the tourney the Arsenal will never have more luck than they had in their initial match, everything went awry for their opponents, and they themselves, after being a beaten team for 83 minutes, pulled the match out of the fire in the last seven.
Charles Ashcroft, an old Evertonian, did well in goal, but Jimmy Sharpe is not a second Jimmy Jackson at full-back, Archie Gray being distinctly the better. Nor did the half-back line compare to that of Liverpool.
Forward Charles Satterthwaite makes up by abundance of weight and doggedness of purpose what he lacks in cleverness. His best place is undoubtedly at outside left. There Templeton flashed along the line occasionally in meteoric fashion, and Tim Coleman proved that he is still worthy of his place.
They get plenty of spectators at Woolwich, and I think all would go away congratulating themselves on the gift of two unexpected and undeserved points.
The gathering of directors, players, and shareholders was an undoubted success, from both a gastronomic and a musical point of view. Speeches, short and crisp, singing fine and varied, and medals very pretty. Chairman Edwin Berry, Secretary Tom Watson, and all the others who helped are to be congratulated.
League goal scorer, Robert Robinson 1;
Combination goal scorer, James Hughes 1, Robert Gilbertson 1, Joe Hewitt 1.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme: September 9, 1905)