March 14, 1908
The Livers having no further interest in Cup Ties, they proceeded with their League programme, and paid a visit to Notts County at Trent Bridge. When the Lambs were in Liverpool they were badly beaten, and some hopes were entertained that this would be followed up with a victory at Nottingham. That did not materialise, but the Reds did the next best thing – they drew. The game will not be reckoned among the great ones of the season, but it was interesting enough if only by reason of the fact that neither side could get ahead of the other. The game fluctuated considerably and the first item of interest was a penalty granted against Alex Raisbeck. This is rather surprising, but I understand it was of a venial character, and more by accident than design. George Dodd, the old Cheshire man took it and beat Sam Hardy.
An equaliser followed from the foot of Jack Parkinson, who raced round the backs and scored with a shot that Albert Iremonger never saw. So the teams were on even terms at half-time. In the second half Notts again took the lead, but this was again lost through a penalty which Raisbeck converted. Thus was justice done. Neither side scored again, so a point each was the final verdict. Liverpool never seemed to properly get going. Had the forwards been in their best vein, in all probability they would have won as easily as they did at Anfield. Maurice Parry was away at Dundee playing for Wales, and Jim Harrop took his place. Parkinson was at inside right, otherwise the team was as usual. Hardy was all right in goal, and little fault could be found with the backs and half-backs. Forward Joe Hewitt did some excellent work, but the team as a whole was below par. The centres of Arthur Goddard and John Cox were not utilised as they have been. Notts are only a poor team, and it would not surprise me in the least if they had to fight hard for their place – or indeed if they had to go down to the Second Division. Iremonger is a good goalkeeper, but John Montgomery is past his prime, and Herbert Morley has not come along as anticipated when he left Grimsby. Ben Craythorne was the most classy of the half-backs, but the forwards have much to learn before they can rank amongst the best. The best man Notts have, Jerry Dean was unfortunately disabled, and could not turn out. The Lambs confirmed the impression they left at Anfield, that they have much to make up if they wish to retain their place amongst the leaders of the game.
If there was one team that we expected to beat Liverpool that team was Sheffield Wednesday. The Owls have been reckoned as having a hope of the Championship. It may have been somewhat forlorn, but still any slip by Manchester United would be to their advantage, and it was anticipated that they would have been prepared for any emergency that might rise. However, Liverpool were their masters, and the Reds won on their merits. The team differed in three respects from that which operated at Nottingham. Mike Griffin took the place of John Cox, Robert Robinson came in vice Jack Parkinson, and Maurice Parry re-appeared, Harrop crossing over to relieve James Bradley. In the first half there was little to choose between the teams, and they crossed over on level terms, each side having scored a goal. In the second half, however, Liverpool were the better team, and after they had gone ahead the Cup-holders never looked like equalising. The men all played a sparkling game, and the forwards had distinctly hard lines. It is a long time since Robinson did so well in the forward line, and in addition to scoring a goal he kept Goddard so busily employed that the outside right was te most brilliant forward on the field. Griffin made an excellent substitute for John Cox, and William Macpherson played with less selfishness than he has exhibited this season. Joe Hewitt down the middle again demonstrated that he is the best centre Liverpool possess. At half-back Harrop again proved his versatility by appearing on the left, but Alex Raisbeck was the pick of the middle line, and he is rapidly approaching International form. As Parry was none the worse for his long journeys the half back line was an, important factor in the play. Sam Hardy, Alf West and Percy Saul, were a grand trio, and gave nothing away.
Jack Lyall was pre-eminently the star in the Sheffield team, and, but for his splendid abilities the score against Wednesday must have been greater. He made several magnificent saves. At full back Walter Holbem was not equal to Burton, and Crayshaw’s successor has yet to be discovered. Tom Brittleton was decidedly the best of the middle line. Forward Andrew Wilson commenced well, but he never held his own properly against Raisbeck, and his wings were neither fast enough or clever enough to get the better of the Liverpool halves. Sheffield were well whacked.
By their away victories Liverpool have made their League position safe. I will not predict – as a more biased supporter has done – that they will finish second in the table, but I fancy they will be in the first four. They have come together at last, and I believe that there are few teams capable of beating them at the present time. I anticipate a fine game with Manchester City – it generally is a good game when these two clubs meet. If it is as exciting as last season we are in for a fine day’s sport.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool F.C. Match Programme: March 14, 1908)