January 11, 1908
The Livers are not receiving any of fortune’s smiles this season. Unfortunate in players, they are also unfortunate in the weather. It was hoped that the New Year would mean a change in that respect, but the first Saturday match – and an important one too, seeing that Manchester United were the visitors – was not played, the fog’s fiend frightening the referee. I must candidly confess that I did not agree with the decision. When he gave it it was fairly thick, and seemed likely to be thicker. But it was full early when the decision was given, and instead of getting worse the outlook improved all the time.
Had he hold the men to strip they would have stepped on to the field at 2.30 in a good light, for every part of the playing pitch was in perfect view from whatever stand was taken up. The top of Spion Kop was clearly defined from the opposite stand, and every terrace could be counted. That is a criterion of the conditions when the time of starting arrived.
I don’t think Manchester United had many regrets for their team was not at its best. Charlie Roberts was off suffering from a strain received in the Bury match. The nimble Herbert Burgess was still on the list, although he looks rare and well. And Harry Moger was looking miserable, as he was suffering from a boil, while others were complaining. However, they have had a rest before the Cup Ties, and should be fit to beat Blackpool today – although they must beware of over confidence.
Liverpool made two changes forward, Charles Hewitt and Jack Parkinson displacing Robert Robinson and Joe Hewitt. It would have been the second-named players first absence of the season. One never knows how the game would have gone, but I think Liverpool would just about have won, and this been the first Lancashire club to beat Manchester United this season.
The club are unfortunate too in regard to the gate. They are under heavy expenditure and naturally looked to this day for considerable help. Under normal conditions they would have taken seven or eight hundred pounds. As it is they have to wait, and it is problematical as to whether they will in the re-arranged match take five hundred. It depends upon whether a Saturday can be arranged or whether the replay will have to take place on a week night.
Down at Blackpool.
The team have journeyed down to Blackpool for this week, and it is to be hoped that the air of that breezy watering place will have a recuperating effect upon the players jaded with Christmas and holiday work. They certainly need something to brisk them up, for they have not added to their reputation during the current season.
There are fifteen players gone, and several directors have visited them during their stay. Messrs. William Robert Williams and Tom Watson are staying there the week through. The players who made the journey are Sam Hardy, Percy Saul, Tom Rogers, Maurice Parry, James Gorman, James Bradley, James Hughes, Arthur Goddard, Robert Robinson, Joe Hewitt, William Macpherson, Charles Hewitt and Jack Parkinson. Alf West has been staying a week-end with John Cox, and this completes the number. Hughes would have played in all the holiday matches, but unfortunately after the Sheffield United match he contracted influenza, and this prevented him from turning out against Nottingham Forest. He is not over fortunate, as previously when he showed brilliant form against Bolton Wanderers he broke a bone in his arm, and was out of the team for some weeks.
What of to-day’s game?
The Rams have never been a great team at Anfield, but a season in the Second Division sharpens a club up wonderfully. And Derby seem to have received that necessary sharpening. Instead of lying down to it as many thought they would, the Committee bucked up, and proved that Second Division football with a winning team is better than the First Division with a losing one. So Liverpool will have to look out. The defence of the Rams is sound, the halves good, with Ben Warren a first-class man, and the forwards are go-ahead beggars who infuse any amount of dash into their football.
Still, I fancy the Reds. On some of their form they would swallow any team – while others is too bad to be true. We can do with some luck in the Cup Ties – not only in going far but in making money. We have not made much in previous years. It is about time we had a share of the spoils, and it would be useful.
Goal-getters for Liverpool.
League: Joe Hewitt 11, Robert Robinson 6, Charles Hewitt 5, Arthur Goddard 4, Jack Parkinson 4, Harry Fitzpatrick 2, William Macpherson 2, Alex Raisbeck 1, John Cox 1, James Bradley 1, Percy Saul 1. Total 38.
Combination: Sam Bowyer 11, Jack Parkinson 10, Harry Fitzpatrick 4, William Macpherson 2, Robert Blanthorne 2, Harold Uren 2, Mike Griffin 2, James Gorman 1, Charles Hewitt 1, Allan Ramsay 1, Maurice Parry 1, James Hughes 1, Sam Hignett 1, Ted Dalton (Manchester United) 1. Total 40.
Cup Ties: Robert Robinson 2, Charles Hewitt 1, James Bradley 1. Total 4.
Friendly: Charles Hewitt 3, Mike Griffin 1, Archie Gray (Woolwich Arsenal) 1.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme, 11-01-1908)