October 21, 1907
R. McEachrane and Tim Coleman should each receive a substantial sum from their joint benefit match at Plumstead on Saturday, for there was an attendance of about 18,000, and ticket holders, directors, and officials went through the turnstiles, and thus showed in a practical manner their appreciation of the faithful and valuable services of two popular members of the team. The game was worthy of the occasion, for Liverpool, who provided the opposition, were untiring in their efforts to earn at least one point, but they had to go away disappointed, the Gunners winning a thoroughly interesting match by 2 goals to 1.
Neither club was able ti command its full strength, Alex Raisbeck being a notable absentee from the ranks of the visitors, while the Arsenal had to bring in Lee for Billy Garbutt, who had not recovered from an injury he received on the previous Monday when playing against the Rest of Kent. James Bigden was still an absentee, Dick once more deputising in his stead.
It was a decided advantage to Liverpool to win the toss, for they had both wind and the sun at their backs in the first half. They looked like making the most of fortune’s favours soon after the start, but an ugly situation was converted into the genesis of an attacking movement by Sharp, who exhibited great coolness and resource under close pressure. The home supporters were just breathing freely again when Kyle made considerable ground, but, being unable to maneuver into a favourable position for shooting, he passed out, and after a slight tussle in the goal-mouth, in which Coleman was a conspicuous figure, Lee gave his side the lead.
The game became even more lively afterwards, and at times there was not lack of vigour. The Arsenal goal had some narrow escapes, but the visitors were equally fortunate, and the onlookers were kept on the tenterhooks of expectancy, for the rapid changes in the appearance of the game suggested an early score at both ends.
When two-thirds of the opening half had expired, the visitors, who had been most persistent, had their reward. J. Hewitt getting in a fine shot, which was altogether too good for Ashcroft.
The minutes which followed were of the nerve-thrilling order, Liverpool making tremendous efforts to snatch the lead, but the home defence never wavered, and at the interval the scores were still equal, although the Arsenal nearly had a gift goal from a clearance by Hardy.
Interval: – Arsenal, 1; Liverpool, 1.
To a great extent the second half was a repetition of what had gone before. Neither team showed marked superiority, and each in turn had a spell of pressing. Ashcroft, perhaps, especially in the first quarter of an hour, had more work than his vis-à-vis, but so well was he covered by his backs that he was able to get through it without being unduly harried.
Chances, however, were missed at both ends, Lee failing to accept a capital opportunity, but he was forgiven for his blunder just before the finish when he fastened on a cross from the opposite wing, and scored the winning goal with an unstoppable shot from close quarters.
Result: – Woolwich Arsenal, 2; Liverpool, 1.
Woolwich Arsenal: Jimmy Ashcroft, Archie Gray, Jimmy Sharp, John Dick, Percy Sands, Roddy McEachrane, Harold Lee, Tim Coleman, Peter Kyle, Charles Satterthwaite, David Neave.
Liverpool: Sam Hardy, Alf West, Percy Saul, Robert Robinson, James Gorman, James Bradley, Arthur Goddard, Charles Hewitt, Joe Hewitt, Harry Fitzpatrick, John Cox.
Referee: Mr. Albert Farrant (Bristol).
(Source: Sporting Life: October 21, 1907)