Liverpool v Everton 0-0 (League match)

Good Friday, April 17 – 1908
Match: Football League, First Division, at Anfield, kick-off: 14:00.
Liverpool – Everton 0-0 (0-0).
Attendance: 42,000.
Referee: Mr. T. Kirkham; linesmen: Messrs. A. Pellowe and T. Lomax.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Sam Hardy; Alf West, Tom Rogers; Maurice Parry, Alex Raisbeck, James Bradley; Arthur Goddard, William Macpherson, Joe Hewitt (C), Ronald Orr, Jack Cox.
Everton (2-3-5): William Scott, Bob Balmer, Jock Maconnachie; Harry Makepeace, Jack Taylor, Hugh Adamson; George Couper, Tim Coleman, Bertie Freeman, Sandy Young, Joe Donnachie.

Liverpool holiday makers found a strong attraction on Good Friday in the League meeting at Anfield between Liverpool and Everton, and they availed themselves of it to an extent which once testified to the abiding interest which, is always taken in this the local football “Derby.” It was an almost ideal day for the game, the sun shining with great effulgence, and making up a scene on the spacious Anfield enclosure, with its 42,000 spectators, one of unwanted animation.

Everybody recognised that a keen and hard-fought contest was in prospect, for seeing that both clubs are figuring very low down in the League table, a win to either one of the other was of importance. Neither side however, finished up in that fortunate position, not a goal being scored during the whole ninety minutes, and taken altogether Jack was as good as his master. Liverpool made no changes from the side which had been announced to do duty, but Everton entered upon an experiment, which was watched with interest, especially as during the last few matches there have been some misgivings with reward to certain departments of the team. In the absence of Sharp and Harold Hardman the front line underwent a drastic change. Freeman, the Woolwich recruit, was tried at centre, Young going to inside left to Donnachie, whilst Couper and Coleman made up the other wing. An early kick off was made to enable Everton to catch a train for the South, where to-day they meet Woolwich Arsenal.

Liverpool won the toss, and Freeman started against the blazing sun. Parry handled, but the free kick was cleared. Shortly afterwards Young handled, and this had the effect of keeping play in midfield for some time. Bob Balmer and West cleared rushes in fine style, and Freeman looked like going though, on his own when he was tripped a couple of yards outside the penalty area. The free kick was cleared, after which Makepeace cleverly checkmated movements on the part of Liverpool’s left wing. Hewitt got possession, and it appeared as if he had a fine opportunity in front of him. He dashed off a top speed, but in crossing the ball to Goddard he sent it over the line.

Donnachie beating West, ran well into the goalmouth, and centred finely to Freeman, who could not control the lively ball in time to get in his shot before being tackled, and the chance was lost. Liverpool were quickly attacking, and Hewitt running through sent in an awkward shot, which Scott had some difficulty in disposing of. Fine play by Young and Freeman greatly nonplussed the Liverpool defence, at this point, whereupon Hardy ran out and cleared. Right from the start the game so far had been contested with immense vigour, and it was apparent that both sides were bent on allowing nothing to slip. Clever tackling by Adamson had the effect of repelling several movements by the Liverpool right wing, but once Macpherson, when close in goal, lifted the ball high over the bar.

For a time Liverpool maintained a favourable position in the Everton half, but the visiting half-backs were in a very steady and sure mood, and brought their side out of positions of danger on several occasions, Taylor doing very effective work. Goddard next spoiled a fine run by a very indifferent centre, and a dash by Coleman compelled Rogers to kick into touch. Couper was somewhat unfortunate in sending the ball over the line when he had a favourable opening. Orr very cleverly tricked Makepeace, but Cox, allowed the ball to pass outside. The winger made amends later on by putting in an accurate centre, from which Macpherson shot a foot or two wide, after which Everton attacked vigorously, and Raisbeck came to the rescue by heading out a dangerous centre from Donnachie, and the next minute Young shot across the goal, and the ball went outside. The Blues were now attacking strongly, and it culminated in Couper sending in a splendid shot, which Hardy negotiated in very masterly style.

Some exciting play now occurred in front of the Liverpool goal. Makepeace put across a grand centre, and Hardy left his goal to clear. Before the custodian could get back again, Taylor shot in, but amidst the cheers of the Liverpool supporters the international rushed back and pulled down the ball from under the bar, and cleared with a huge kick. A bad kick by Macconnachie nearly let in Liverpool, but Makepeace centred the ball back to Scott, who cleared. Then Everton made another determined attack, Freeman shot in, and Hardy was luck in the ball rebounding from him as he rushed out of goal. Then Rovers headed into his own goal, but Hardy saved the situation once more.

Liverpool pressed in turn, but could not force their attack home. A corner to the Anfielders was cleared, but the Reds were soon back again putting in some warm work, which was relieved, however, by a strong kick by Macconnachie. Once more Hardy gallantly came to the rescue of his side, and saved from Freeman, when a goal seemed a certainty. Young was proving quite a marvel in his new position, and during an onslaught on the Liverpool goal, the referee spoke to the same player for a foul on Raisbeck. The shout of appreciation which went up from the Liverpool portion was tremendous, it could not have been greater if a goal had been scored, Scott made a great save from Cox, following a free kick against Taylor, and the Irish International also disposed of the succeeding corner in fine style. The first half ended with nothing scored.

Immediately on restarting, Liverpool went down, with a rush, and Joe Hewitt nearly scored, the ball just passing outside. Directly after this Hewitt sent in with great force, but the shot was charged down by Balmer, Liverpool were naturally adjudged very unlucky in the first three or four minutes of this half. The Blues now came down in promising style, the ball came from Donnachie to Young, who shot in, but unfortunately he was offside. Young cleverly outmanoeuvred. Parry, and Donnachie centred well, but Rogers kicked away, However, Hardy was called upon, and being charged by Freeman conceded a corner. This led to another, and after the goalkeeper had once cleared, there was exciting work in the home goalmouth before danger was averted, Macpherson by clever footwork, enabled the Livers to make considerable headway, but Macconnachie cleared coolly and cleverly.

For a time Liverpool held the advantage, and Balmer had to concede a corner. This led to a second flag kick, Scott saving, and Young clearing, but Couper sent behind in an endeavour to centre from the line. The winger again sent behind this time from a favourable position, and Balmer twice cleared raids by the Liverpool left. Rogers cleared a free kick against Parry for tipping Young, but there was a further free kick against Hewitt. Everton however, made little progress. Hewitt had an opening, but missing his kick. Liverpool, however, followed with a corner, but this was cleared. Everton returned to the attack, chiefly through the cleverness of the left wing, but Adamson sent very wide. The Everton half, however, very cleverly averted danger when Cox sent across a fine centre. Still, Everton could not make much headway until Coleman and Freeman by a fine movement outmanoeuvred both Raisbeck and Parry. Couper tried to improve upon the situation, but Rogers robbed him.

Liverpool were quickly attacking again Goddard sent in at a terrific rate, and Scott did exceedingly well in diving down, and reaching the ball, which turned off his hand against the top of the post, whence it rebounded into play. Liverpool secured a corner, but could not improve upon it. At this point, both Makepeace and Goddard retired and Taylor had to take a throw in. the Evertonians, however, quickly returned, and Rogers had to concede a corner in order to prevent the Everton right wing getting in. A second corner was forced, but try as they would, Everton could not trouble Hardy. Just prior to this Goddard had returned, and Rogers signalised the latter’s reappearance by kicking the ball onto the top of the new grandstand. Young dropped the ball on the top of the Liverpool nets and during a sustained Liverpool attack, Makepeace distinguished himself with some very clever tackling. Couper made a good effort, decidedly his best so far, and was unlucky in having his shot charged down. The ball went to Young, who, however, sent wide, and from the goal kick,

Liverpool were quickly troubling the Everton defenders. Macconnachie cleared well from Orr, who had beaten Balmer, but Cox got hold and shot across the goal, and just outside. McPherson made a brilliant effort to open the score. He beat first Macconnachie and then Taylor, and putting across a splendid centre presented Cox with a fine opening, but the winger shot as the ball dropped and sent wide. Following a lot of even play, Coleman cleverly worked his way past Raisbeck and West, but when in a favourable position, lifted the ball over the bar. Cox made a fine centre, and with Hewitt and the right wing at fault, Macconnachie nipped in and cleared. Freeman made a praiseworthy effort, but, failed when near goal. Young followed with a good attempt on his own, but his shot, was charged down Everton were pressing strongly when hostilities ceased, and the game ended with no goals scored.

In the first half Everton, with the advantage of the wind, did most of the pressing and on several occasions were very near scoring. It was only Hardy’s clever goalkeeping that prevented Everton securing the lead in this half. The International displayed some of his best custodianship, particularly the way in which, he saved the shot from Couper and then shortly after, when he was troubled in quick succession by Makepeace and Taylor. The Livers had most of the play in the second half, and they experienced very hard lines on the occasion when Scott scooped up the fast shot from Goddard, and the ball turned against the top of the post. It was an exciting moment, and the Evertonians did not breathe freely until the corner to Liverpool had been cleared.

The game was full of interest, every inch of the ground was well contested, and there was always evidence of earnest purpose. There were numerous corners forced on either side, but so ably did the defenders at each end do their work that there seemed little prospect of any point being recorded. The sun and wind and the lively ball tended at times to upset calculations. So far as the Everton experience is concerned, and which was closely scrutinised, it may at once he said that it was a success. Young soon settled down to his new position, and filled it with as much confidence as if he was operating in his usual place, and with Donnachie made a most effective pair, the outside man playing a very clever game. Freeman began very well, but he found Raisbeck difficult to beat. Couper, although he did some useful things was rather weak, and the combination with Coleman was affected in consequence. Of the halves Makepeace in particular shone against Orr and Cox, whilst Adamson was noticed for some good tackling. Macconnachie uncertain at first, improved immensely and he and R. Balmer got on well together, and put in some splendid work; it was pleasing to record that the Everton team have not been so well served in this department for some time. Scott was as safe as usual in goal.

On the Liverpool side too much praise cannot be paid to Hardy, who made some splendid saves. West was the cleverer of the two backs, although it should not be forgotten that Rodgers was of great service with his big kicking against the wind. Of the half-back line, Raisbeck was an easy first, Bradley played a second, whilst Maurice Parry had as much as he could do to attend to the troublesome opposing wing. Macpherson, Goddard, and Cox were the most successful of the front line, and Hewitt paid special attention to opening out the game. If Orr was never brilliant, yet he did some smart things. He found Makepeace a hard nut to crack.
(Liverpool Courier, 18-04-1908)

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