Anfield happenings (April 4, 1908)

April 4, 1908
Liverpool and the Shakers
The match between Liverpool and Bury should have been played at Anfield, but owing to the selection of the ground for the great semi-final, it was transferred to Bury, where the Liverpool had a fixture owing to the abandonment of a match in December last through fog. It was a capital arrangement, and both teams would profit by it, for Liverpool would share the proceeds of Saturday’s gate. After the wonderful display given by Liverpool against Manchester United, all kinds of anticipations were indulged in as to what would happen at Bury. These were, however, not realised, and the Reds retired gracefully well beaten by three goals to one, after a game in which they had decidedly the worst of it.

A scratch team.
That is in the sense that the men had not played together and some were in unfamiliar positions. It was intended to play exactly the same team that performed at Anfield on the previous Wednesday, with the exception of Sam Hardy for Ned Doig in goal. But that from one reason and another was found to be impossible, and only the defence looked like Liverpool. The team was: Sam Hardy, Percy Saul, Alf West, Tom Chorlton, George Latham, Jim Harrop, Arthur Goddard, Charles Hewitt, Sam Bowyer, William Macpherson and John Cox.

The day was an ideal one, after the weather we have experienced, and the men must surely have found it so, as they cantered on the ground. Liverpool were favourites with none of the luck, for they lost the toss, and so had to face both wind and sun, two prominent factors in the game.

Hardy was beaten by a fine shot from Kay, twenty minutes after the start, and the same player repeated his success before half time. In the second moiety each side scored once, so that Bury were winners at the finish as stated above.

Liverpool were handicapped after the first quarter of an hour by an injury to George Latham, the centre half, who twisted his knee, and had to leave the field. He returned, like the plucky player he is, but was little use, and he did not come out in the second half. Naturally the loss of the energetic Welsh International made a considerable difference to the team, and probably had he stood up the game might have evened up.

Hardy in goal had no chance to save the shots which scored, and he saved many others in clever fashion. The fence generally was not as sound, however, as is usually the case, but thing is to be traced to the loss of Latham as much as anything, for that somewhat disorganised matters.

The forwards did not combine well. C. Hewitt was distinctly the best of the inside men, and he scored the goal, while Cox showed flashes of brilliancy.

The Shakers.
The Shakers were sound and solid. They got a winning hold of the game in the first half and kept it. They were fortunate in catching Liverpool with poor representation, but they have a fairly good exhibition. James Raeside served them well in goal, and Johnny McMahon is coming back to his best Manchester form. The halves were Billy Humphreys, Tommy Rae and Teddy Bullen, three men of the younger school, who look like displacing the older players. Forward Frank Booth showed all his old ability, but Billy Hibbert never seems to have recovered his form since his suspension, and Tom Kay was the best inside man. I was glad Billy Richards is again sprinting along the right wing in something like his old style.

The scene at New Anfield.
New Anfield was a sight on Saturday, Spion Kop looking like a mass of humanity. The new big stand is splendid, and one can see the whole ground from any position. Underneath the various rooms are not completed, but sufficient is apparent to see that the offices and other appointments will equal the upper portion. The Liverpool officials are certainly to be congratulated upon their arrangements for the big match. The ground had never before been tested, and although Messrs. Briggs, John Fare, and Tom Watson and the other Directors have watched its growth, that is very different to handling the crowd upon it. But there was little to grumble at. The only flaws were of such a minor character that they hardly deserve to be noticed, and ninety nine per cent of the crowd were satisfied.

The game.
The game was not an exciting one. After the preliminaries there was only one team in it, and that was Newcastle. Fulham were outclassed. Whether the injury to Leslie Skene made a difference to the score must be left to individual judgment, but one thing is certain; Fulham were beaten before that occurred. Appleyard’s rush was dangerous, but I hardly think he intended to hurt Skene, and the crowd treated the burly “Cockles” badly afterwards, for whenever he touched the ball he was hooted. Many left the ground long before the end, and the match will go down to posterity as one of the most easily won semi-finals of the past few years.

Goal-getters for Liverpool.
League: Joe Hewitt 18, Robert Robinson 9, Jack Parkinson 6, Charles Hewitt 6, William Macpherson 5, Arthur Goddard 5, James Bradley 3, John Cox 2, Harry Fitzpatrick 2, Alex Raisbeck 2, Percy Saul 1. Total 59.
English Cup-Ties: James Bradley 3, John Cox 3, James Gorman 1, Jack Parkinson 1, Percy Saul 1. Total 9.
Lancashire 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. Total 5.
(Source: Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme: April 4, 1908)


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