April 25, 1908
A busy weekend.
Three matches in four days is sufficient for even the most avaricious of football spectators, and that was Liverpool’s little lot. Three points were gained from the three events, but they were certainly not obtained in the same was as anticipated. No one imagined that Liverpool would be beaten by Middlesbrough, and certainly no one credited the ability of the Reds to go to Chelsea and rake in the full measure of points after their home defeats. However that is how it turned out, and the two points made Liverpool absolutely safe as far as the League was concerned.
Everton at Anfield.
The Reds cannot boast a great record against their nearest friends and neighbours, but if ever there was a season when they seemed to have an opportunity of securing all four points 1907-08 was that season. They won the first match handsomely after a good game. And Everton have done so badly – even worse that Liverpool – that it seemed impossible for them to do anything but go down at Anfield. But the uncertainties of football life are being constantly illustrated, and on Good Friday I must confess they had quite as much of the game as the Livers.
Of course, I can hear a biased Blue ejaculate, “As much of the game, why they ought to have won.” So ought the Reds, but they didn’t. And the great pressure brought to bear on Sam Hardy, when he shone so refulgently, was neutralised by the breakaway of Liverpool, and the shots saved by William Scott, especially those from Arthur Goddard and John Cox.
It was a fine game, and there was some excellent football shown. I never saw a goalless draw which was so keenly interesting. From the time of the kick-off until the final whistle went, there was hardly a dull moment.
I shall leave the Everton men to my colleague, “Observer,” and simply take the Reds. Hardy in goal, excelled himself, especially under pressure. He fielded the ball beautifully, and his judgment was never at fault. At back, Tom Rogers and Alf West presented a sound front to the attack, and although Rogers miskicked once or twice the ball went out of danger. The halves were, however, the backbone of the team. Alex Raisbeck worked hard – as indeed he always does – but it was worth great effect, and time and again he broke up the Everton attack. Maurice Parry engaged in many duels with Sandy Young, and after the play settled down, and the referee had spoken to Young, they were fair, and honours were about even between them. At all events few men could have been of greater service. James Bradley had not a great deal to cope with in George Couper, but he helped his colleagues to make a capital line. Forward, there was too much individualism to please me, but I should say that William Macpherson was the best of the five, despite the fact that the two best shots came from Cox and Goddard.
Taken throughout the game was a pleasant one, and an excellent one to watch. This speaks well for the men engaged, especially when the whole circumstances are taken into consideration. Looking at it from the football point of view in Liverpool it did both clubs good, although naturally Liverpool were disappointed, as they had fully made up their minds to win. The ill-considered remarks that the game was arranged can be dismissed at once. There never would be any such thing between our local clubs – they are too keen rivals for that. And that is how it should be.
Just as the Everton match was satisfactory that of Saturday was the reverse. The re-action was probably too much for the men, and the forwards were right out of gear. I have no wish to individualise, for none of them played well. They should have won undoubtedly, but luck – and Tim Williamson, one must pay a just tribute to him – were against them. Twice the ball beat him, but once the post, and the second time Alex Campbell came to his rescue. A penalty should have been given too for handling, but the referee refused the strenuous appeals of the Livers.
Raisbeck and Parry played with the energy of despair, but West and Rogers did not always cover themselves, and it was through a misunderstanding that Middlesbrough scored. Rogers might have given a corner, but he hesitated, and Samuel Cail slipped the ball across to Jim Thackeray to score. The famous Alf Common – Steve Bloomer wing was not in evidence, and Thackeray was the most taking forward. The halves are all worked, but Jimmy Watson and Campbell were not greatly tested.
The third time.
At the third time of asking the Livers won, and the two points obtained at Chelsea has put everyone in good humour. It may be that Liverpool were lucky in that George Hilsdon was hurt, and took no part in the second half, but luck and Liverpool have not been on too friendly terms this season, so their turn has come most opportunely. Tom Chorlton and Macpherson, and Jack Parkinson displayed Parry, Charles Hewitt and Joe Hewitt in the Liverpool team, and the two first scored the goals – both being got in the last ten minutes.
The last match is with Bury on Monday night, and I hope the Reds will win. Defeats have all been too frequent at home, and it will cheer us all for the summer vacation if the last thoughts are of victory. And besides it will enable the Liverpool to finish up respectively, and not just have the appearance of having scraped through. And now I must bid au revoir to readers, and hope for a better time next season.
Goal-getters for Liverpool.
League: Joe Hewitt 19, Robert Robinson 9, Jack Parkinson 6, Charles Hewitt 6, William Macpherson 6, Arthur Goddard 5, James Bradley 3, John Cox 3, Ronald Orr 3, Harry Fitzpatrick 2, Alex Raisbeck 2, Percy Saul 1, Tom Chorlton 1. Total 66.
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.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme: April 25, 1908)