Everton beat Liverpool at Villa Park

April 2, 1906
The great semi-final tie between our local teams was decided on the Villa ground at Birmingham on Saturday with the result that Everton beat Liverpool by 2 goals to nil. The older organisation has therefore earned the right to oppose Newcastle United in the final at the Crystal Palace on the 21st inst.; and for the third time in their history Everton have the chance of bringing the Cup to the Mersey city.

In 1893, the Blues were unexpectedly beaten by Wolverhampton Wanderers at Fallowfield in the final for the famous trophy, again in 1897 on the classic ground at Sydenham they were overcome by Aston Villa after what is generally admitted to have been the finest exhibition of football ever seen in a final tie. Now the clubs has a third chance, and the myriad followers of the game in Liverpool and district will hop that this time rewards will come.


Saturday’s match with Liverpool was right regarded as a very open affair, and this enhanced the interest inevitable in an encounter between two local teams. About 20 excursions trains were run from the seaport to the midlands capital, and other special trains brought football followers from different parts of the country.

Probably 10,000 people made the journey from Liverpool, and when the game started there would be close upon 50,000 present at Aston Park. The climatic conditions were ideal for football, except that the light was not perfect. There was neither sunshine nor wind, and the turf was in grand order, but a rather dull sky gave a light not quite so clear as was desirable. This however, made very little difference, and on the whole better conditions for a great game could hardly be hoped for.

Everton were represented by the team decided upon on Friday evening, the younger Balmer partnering Crelly, at back, while Abbott displaced Booth in the half-way line. This meant that Everton were at full strength.

Liverpool made a series of changes of a higher experimental kind. They were badly handicapped by the absence of John Cox, their crack left winger, who had not recovered from a kick received at Preston the previous Saturday. A decision was come to that Sam Raybould and Carlin, the latter outside, should form the left wing, but at the last moment the fear that an injury Raybould had sustained some weeks ago would show itself decided the directors not to risk playing him.

Under these conditions Hewitt, the centre was transferred to his old Sunderland position at outside left with Carlin as his partner, while Parkinson was played in centre with Robinson and Goddard on the right.

Mr. H. Dennis of Middlesbrough was the referee.

Taylor the Everton captain beat Raisbeck in the spin of the coin, but there was practically no advantage in this. The game at once became fast and both sets of halves were hard at work. The Liverpool trio were rather better than their opponents, and serving the front line nicely, the Reds were the first to get dangerous, Scott having fist away a header from Parkinson. It was rather a weak attempt, and when Everton got away in turn they were much more incisive near goal.

In quick succession Hardy saved good shots from Bolton, Sharp, and Abbott, and this was the keynote of play in the first half. If anything Liverpool were the cleverer team and they had slightly the best of the play, but their work near goal was lacking in sting. Chances were missed on both sides.

Abbott failing on one occasion with an open goal, but the chief sinners in this respect were Liverpool. Robinson should certainly have put his side ahead, but over-excitement was the probable cause of his failure. Each custodian had to save, but Hardy had more work to do than Scott.

The game had so far been a good one; fast and clean, excellent work done on both sides and little to choose between the teams.

Sam Hardy, Liverpool.

At half-time neither side had scored.

The second half was not so good. For some time play was very slack, with a slight advantage for the Reds, who, however, were always kept out with tolerable ease by the Everton backs. With nineteen minutes of the second half when a sensation came for Abbott hanged in a shot at close range, which Dunlop standing in the goalmouth, failed to clear, the ball bouncing off his leg into the net. The leather seemed to hit another player before reaching Dunlop, and this deflection of its course was probably the reason of the back missing. It was rather a lucky goal, but it gave Everton for the need stimulus.

The front lines came down with a rush, and a few minutes after the first goal Hardman scored a second. He received from the right wing and headed in, the ball striking the foot of the far upright and glancing into the net.

Soon after this the Liverpool side made a desperate effort, much their best of the day. Several corners were forced, but Scott and the backs repelled the attack, and after this the game was in Everton’s hands. Some fouls tended to spoil what had been a clean game, but under the circumstances Mr. Dennis had not very much to complain of. The Blues kept the upper hand rather easily to the finish, and just at the close Young netted for the third time, but was obviously offside. Everton thus won, the tie by 2-0.

The winners deserved their victory by reason of their determination to push the attack home. They were animated by a resolve to get goals, while their opponents seemed content to play skillful football without the thrusting effort at the last to crown their efforts. In the connection the absence of Raybould, the chief cup-tie scorer, and the transfer of Hewitt to the wing, was sorely felt. Hewitt did well in his position, but he was needed in the centre. Parkinson quite failing in that position.

The Everton forwards were strong all along the line, while Liverpool fell off in the inside positions. At half-back and backs there was little between the teams. Raisbeck was probably the best half on the field, with Taylor, who had an easier task, a capital second, while Makepeace was extremely clever at times.

Both sets of backs defended well, and no complaint can be made against either custodian. Everton are to be congratulated on their win, and Liverpool are entitled to sympathetic consideration on account of the forwards line they had to turn out.

William Scott, Everton.

There was a great scene in Lime Street when the victorious Everton team arrived on Saturday’s night. During the whole evening crowds had gathered in and about the station and the Lime Street and large numbers of police were kept busily engaged in keeping a clear roadway for the passage of the trams and wheeled traffic.

Many thousands of people were present and much cheering was indulged in About eleven o’clock the station was thronged, and when the train arrived from Birmingham, bringing the Everton team and directors ringing cheers and shouts went up from the crowd. The greatest enthusiasm prevailed, the players and officials having great difficulty in working through the excited throng.

The Liverpool team detrained at Edgehill.

Everton: William Scott, Bob Balmer, Jack Crelley, Harry Makepeace, Jack Taylor (C), Walter Abbott, Jack Sharp, Hugh Bolton, Sandy Young, Jimmy Settle, Harold Hardman.
Liverpool: Sam Hardy, Alf West, Billy Dunlop, Maurice Parry, Alex Raisbeck (C), James Bradley, Arthur Goddard, Robert Robinson, Jack Parkinson, John Carlin, Joe Hewitt.
(Liverpool Courier: April 2, 1906)

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