Liverpudliana: By Richard Samuel (February 23 – 1907)

Saturday, February 23 – 1907
Liverpool’s pleasing success at Sheffield.
Liverpool’s victory at Owlerton was as meritorious as it was appreciated. With Sam Hardy, Robert Robinson, and Alex Raisbeck away, and the Blades desperately anxious to retrieve a recent run of disaster, the prospect scarcely pleased when visiting a club whom the Reds had never previously succeeded in conquering on their own cock-pit.

Truly, the crow had been on the Owls’ side, so to speak, but on Saturday, in anticipating another such successful war-whoop, they reckoned without Liverpool’s John Cox and sundry other Liver male birds.

The Wednesday, be it noted, scored the first and last goals, Liverpool coming along to record the middle three. Truly, evil days have set in store for the Wednesday since they paid a flying visit to Liverpool in William Dunlop’s benefit match, and snatched a 2-1 victory which placed the Owlerton brigade at the top of the League tanle.

On Saturday the first goal to Wednesday accrued from a penalty taken by that ole foeman Harry Davis. Sheffield had had a corner and from the ensuing scrimmage, a Blade fell (Percy Saul with his usual luck) was saddled with the infringement, and his club called on to pay the penalty!

With Liverpool in arrears at the interval, a defeat seemed imminent, for not since visiting Burslem two years ago as a Second Division club had the Anfielders succeeded in pulling round to victory from an adverse interval score.

All round the Livers gave a rattling exhibition. The veteran Ned Doig (who first kept goal in English Senior League football 17 years ago) was as lively as a young colt, and as safe as a county wicket keeper should be.

Billy Dunlop got through his Davasian bouts with distinct success, and Saul once again stick to his guns throughout.

Then the apparently depleted half-back line proved real stalwarts in actual fact. James Bradley was simply James Bradley, and the feature of James Hughes’ play was he splendid manner in which he fed his forwards. A half-back who neglects this duty does not half do his work.

But a still greater “hit” was that made by James Gorman at centre half. Gorman was really unfit to turn out against Oldham, and many a man would have also cried off for far less trouble when facing Woolwich a week later. His thigh and knee were of the abnormal and damaged order respectively. But the stoutly-built Southbank man pluckily turned out.

At Sheffield Gorman stood better equipped physically, and I am also giving no secrets away when I state the feature of the play in this match was Gorman’s continued advance, in point of general merit and effectiveness. It would seem that Liverpool have at last dropped on a worthy understudy to Alex Raisbeck, who, one is sorry to add, had not recovered as expected, the captain being despatched to his native Scottish heath on Tuesday for a fortnight’s recuperative stay.

Forward, the Reds again thrilled. Cox was super-fine. I always prefer him when the ground is heavy. His runs and centres were features in attack. Arthur Goddard was less prominent, but both men swung across telling centres, which their inside forwards crowded into goal to meet – a far better plan, Messrs. Sam Raybould and William Macpherson, than hugging the touch-line and bothering your partners!

Jack Parkinson was again all life in the centre. There is no doubt about it Parkie stires things up. His motto is: “Keep moving,” and that at a very brisk pace, which not only keeps his comrades on the qui vive, but it also tends to harass and disorganise opposing defenders. This victory gave Liverpool a welcome lift on the table, and with no anxiety existing respecting the club’s table position, surely here has arisen a chance for the men to march onward towards the Palace.
(Cricket and Football Field, 23-02-1907)


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