September 4, 1907
Beaten at Nottingham.
The season has commenced, and the first ball has been kicked, and we are now fairly in the throes of the game. King football has us in his grip once more, and much as we were pleased when he relaxed it last April, we are again delighted to feel it. And so the great game goes on. Before the curfew is again tolled we will have had a surfeit and I hope that the followers of the Reds will be satisfied.
Somehow or other Liverpool always keeps us on tenterhooks. It may be very exciting but it gets bad for the nerves, and I wish sometimes that they would for a change jog along in a humdrum was always safe, and not running for the Championship. In fact to hold for once a respectable middle class position. But I suppose that is impossible. They must – Tom Watson – has said it – always be near the top or near the bottom. And we all admire them the more for their inconsistencies.
Liverpool opened the season at Nottingham, where they met the newly promoted Foresters. The latter had done well in the Second Division after a rather shaky opening, and it is always a matter of speculation as to how men will perform in First League football after being in the Second Division. However, they have commenced well, beginning with a victory of the Livers.
The latter were handicapped. Alex Raisbeck was unable to turn out owing to a sudden attack of illness. This was unfortunate, for Alex is not only a brilliant player, but he is captain of the team, and that must count for something. Then during the game William Macpherson was hurt, and in the second half he was not of much assistance. Naturally this had an effect on the forward play which was to some extent disjointed in character.
The home team led at half time, and afterwards increased their lead. Then the visitors played up, and Charles Hewitt scored for them. They attacked vigorously in order to equalise, and while they were doing so Enoch West (Nottingham) broke away on his own, and scored again. This decided matters, and Liverpool were beaten by 3-1.
Sam Hardy was not in his best vein, and to some extent was responsible for the first goal. Percy Saul played a brilliant game at full back – one of his very best. He made to mistakes, and the onus of defeat does not rest with him. Alf West is gradually coming to hand, and every match ought to see an improvement.
The halves were best represented by James Bradley, who played a clever game. Maurice Parry was slow, and George Latham erratic. Arthur Goddard and Charles Hewitt was the pick of the forwards, but the line was disorganised by Macpherson’s injury.
Harry Linacre is still a power in goal, and he kept as well as he did the season he was international keeper. Walter Dudley and George Maltby are a fine young couple. Their back play promises to be as good as that of other famous pairs that have represented the Foresters such as Ritchie and Scott.
Jack Armstrong and Ted Hughes were strongest at half-back, and forward Grenville Morris, Tom Marrison and West played good football.
The defeat is not an auspicious opening, but we were away from home. It is reminiscent of two years ago when Liverpool opened at Woolwich, and were beaten 3-1, Parkinson being injured. They afterwards won the Championship. Will they do ditto this year? There is an omen for those who believe in omens. Foresters wear red as did Woolwich, and an excellent forward was injured on both occasions.
Liverpool have a big job on today. After Manchester United’s sensational defeat of the Villa at Birmingham they will be brim-full of confidence. Well, Liverpool can only go and do their best, remembering that it is the dead-sure things that don’t come off.
The reserves were beaten at Everton after a hard game under adverse conditions, the weather being unpleasant. Everton were the better team, and seemed better together than our men. Jock Maconnachie, the new Everton centre half, struck me as being a real class man, and he held Jack Parkinson very well. Sam Bowyer and Allan Ramsay did all right, but the half backs seemed slow, and did not check the Everton forwards too well. Edward Husbands in goal while crude in some respects is a gem in the rough, and I think should make a fine goalkeeper, with experience. Billy Dunlop was serviceable at back, and booted the ball gallantly on many occasions. There is ample material I think for a first rate eleven.
Goal-getters for Liverpool:
League: Charles Hewitt 1.
Combination: Sam Bowyer 1.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme: September 4, 1907)