Anfield Happenings (February 22, 1908)

February 22, 1908
The Reds in great form.
Liverpool played a great game against Woolwich, who were well beaten at call of time by 4-1. The home team had one curious arrangement, John Cox was placed at inside left. I well remember some years ago Cox playing a great game at centre forward – against Everton I believe it was, but he did not repeat the performance. His appearance at inside left was not attended with disaster, but Cox evidently had a roving commission, and he never stuck to his place. Indeed the opposition must have wondered where he really was supposed to play, as he was all over the field – from goal to centre forward. Perhaps that baffled the Woolwich half-backs, as they never really got into their stride.

The game.
But to the game. Liverpool won the toss, and the Gunners started off against the sun and wind. Liverpool quickly made play, and Jimmy Ashcroft was early called upon to show his great abilities. Arthur Goddard got his head to a centre from Mike Griffin, but it went just outside. Pressure was brought to bear, and it was bound to result in a score, which after all came unexpectedly. The ball came to Joe Hewitt about twenty-five yards from goal, and he sent the ball with a drive that made it spin along terra firma like a shot from a rifle, and it entered the corner of the net furthest from Ashcroft.

James Bradley took the second. He had been unlucky with a header that looked to be beating Ashcroft all the way, but the custodian somehow got to it. However, the shot made amends, for it struck the crossbar, missing Ashcroft’s outstretched hands and cropping upon the goalkeeper’s shoulders, and turned into the net without giving him a chance. And Liverpool led by 2-0 at the interval.

In the second half, although favoured by the elements Woolwich made little headway. The Livers were the better team, and Goddard put on a third goal with a great cross shot which Ashcroft tried in vain to get to. A slackening down by the home defence caused the Gunners to buck up, and from one of their bursts away Tim Coleman scored. This was neutralised by a further goal from the foot of Hewitt, and Liverpool won by 4-1. It is also to be noted that the goal obtained by Woolwich was the first they have scored upon the Anfield ground.

The play and the players.
It was a great game to watch, for the ball was kept on the move the whole time. The Liverpool men, however, had a full grasp of the play from the kick off, and never looked like being beaten. When they found they could not defeat Ashcroft at short range, they tried long volleys, and several came off. But it is no disgrace to the International that he was beaten four times. The marvel is that it was not doubled. He was the outstanding man on the side of the visitors, and he did not belie the great reputation he has in this City.

Jimmy Sharp was the better of the backs, and of the halves I preferred Roddy McEachrane. Forward the right wing, Jackie Mordue and Tim Coleman, were the most troublesome. For Bert Freeman was useless in front of goal, and very little was seen of Charles Satterthwaite and David Neave.

Hewitt played a great game for Liverpool in the centre, and the wing men were fast, while Cox helped principally by upsetting the calculations Griffin made a very creditable appearance, and he centres with great accuracy. He did not get too many chances from Cox, but he will come on if persevered with.

At half Maurice Parry was in great form, with Alex Raisbeck and James Bradley also doing excellently. Indeed, the whole line was more like it was in the championship year than it has been for many long Saturdays.

At full back Percy Saul faltered rather in his tackling, but Alf West was sound, while Sam Hardy was alert and saved several shots. Taken all round the game was pleasant and remarkably free from fouls.

The great fight at Newcastle.
The draw for the third round of the up has provided plenty of discussion, and it is doubtful if any match has provoked more than that between Liverpool and Newcastle United. There will be a great gathering to welcome the Reds, for they are popular at St. James’s Park, and if – as critics generally speaking aver – it is all over bar the shouting, they will at all events bring back a fat cheque.

But is it all over save the shouting?

The Liverpool team are a curious combination, and they are in much better fettle than they were when the Novocastrians beat them by 5-1 at Anfield. There is nothing certain in football, and if the champions imagine they have a soft thing on well, Liverpool will win.

At time of writing I do not know the team – that is the forward line, for I believe the defence will be similar to last week. But I know that the men, who have been at Blackpool, are all fit and well, and intend to do their level best to wipe off the stigma that they feel rests upon them since their last encounter. There will be many eyes watching the board upon which the results will be put up as frequently as possible.

Since writing the above the team has come to hand. The defence is the one of last week, but the forwards are Goddard, Robinson, J. Hewitt, William Macpherson and Cox.

Goal-getters for Liverpool.
League: Joe Hewitt 14, Robert Robinson 6, Jack Parkinson 5, Charles Hewitt 5, Arthur Goddard 5, Harry Fitzpatrick 2, William Macpherson 2, James Bradley 2, Alex Raisbeck 1, John Cox 1, Percy Saul 1. Total 44.
English Cup-Ties: James Bradley 3, John Cox 3, James Gorman, Jack Parkinson 1. Total 8.
Lancashire Cup Ties: Robert Robinson 2, Joe Hewitt 1, James Bradley 1. Total 4.
Friendly: Charles Hewitt 3, Mike Griffin 1, Archie Gray (Woolwich Arsenal) 1. Total 5.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme: February 22, 1908)


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