Liverpudliana: By Richard Samuel (January 12 – 1907)

Saturday, January 12 – 1907
Another Anfield accident.
Despite King Frost’s disappearance, Liverpool are still pursuing the sliding process under League auspices. Their old Blackburn rivals administrated a bitter pill on Saturday, having followed to the letter the 2-0 dose prescribed by Bolton Wanderers at Anfield on Boxing Day.

Right from the start one couldn’t shake off a feeling of distrust in the Reds’ power to win, and that spite of the fact that Bob Evans had much the more arduous and frequent work to do.

Liverpool’s poor finishing powers were again made plain after the interval, when yet another match as lost in the second “45,” their eight such experience of the season.

Then the home half-backs failed to hold the visiting sprightly vanguard, and to make matters worse, the Liverpool backs were also found lacking when the pinch came. Fortunately, for Liverpool’s character as League champions, Sam Hardy proved in his most brilliant mood, and stood between his side and a big gap of goals.

Liverpool certainly are a long removed from the League champions of 1905-6. Of course, they have been heavily hit in the way of injuries. As one official put it to the writer, Liverpool do not rush into print as do some Lancashire clubs with a long list of cripples; but he pointed out that Alf West has been rendered useless nearly all the season, like Billy Dunlop.

Maurice Parry has missed almost half the games to date, whilst a valuable emergency man like Tom Chorlton has only had one month’s continuous service, and is even now laid aside again.

Then John Cox’s old injury reasserted itself in October, whilst Jack Parkinson was thrown out of his stride in the very first match of the season, and has only subsequently figured in two League matches. In Parkinson’s case, however, recent events in Combination football have spoken of a possible return to former power and favouritism.

Reverting to the Rovers’ match, Sam Hardy was a giant. William Dunlop was very satisfactory until the last few minutes; but Percy Saul takes too many risks for a man who is not in the first flight in the matter of pace.

The home halves compared ill with the Rovers’ middle line, even Alex Raisbeck being very ordinary.

Forward, Arthur Goddard was watched by Arthur Cowell and Billy Bradshaw as he had never been watched before, and the Rovers’ defenders used fine judgment in so doing.

The Anfield vanguard is ever a poor thing when Arthur Goddard is effectively held in check. The great majority of Robert Robinson’s passes went astray through this very reason.

John Cox was satisfactory, and William Macpherson fairly so, although there is here a growing tendency towards undue individualism. It won’t pay, friend, unless the enemy’s coast is very clear.

The greatest attacking sinner, however, was Sam Raybould, for he missed some splendid scoring openings. It is wonderful how Liverpool’s various centre-forwards ebb and flow in the matter of form.

On the Rovers’ side, Evans was really brilliant in the opening stages, and this brilliance exerted a tremendous influence for good in the destiny of his side.

Bob Crompton played with voluminous judgment and verbosity. East Lancastrians were always good talkers!

Cowell, I liked immensely, and likewise Bradshaw, Ernest Bracegirdle, Jimmy Robertson, and Miles Chadwick. The Rovers seemed delighted at the close in this first “away” victory of the season.
(Cricket and Football Field, 12-01-1907)


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