September 2, 1908
Considering that it was the opening game, and that a strong, variable wind was blowing, the football at Anfield Road, where Liverpool met the Villa, was always interesting and at times very fast. Liverpool generally got the baller of the Villa at Anfield. The Midlanders, indeed, have not won there for ten years, but it was only after a hard fight that the home team won, a penalty kick enabling them to secure the points by the odd goal in five.
The winners were entitled to credit, seeing that they were without Alex Raisbeck, Alf West, Maurice Parry, and John Cox, but the substitutes did well, and the only man who was really missed was Cox, Jack Parkinson being somewhat weak.
Liverpool owed a good deal to their defence in the first half, during which Sam Hardy’s goalkeeping was a feature. They had the wind at starting, but after the Villa had scored through James Logan two minutes after the start, the wind veered completely round and favoured the Midlanders to the interval. The Villa made the most of their opportunity, and, with the home halves taking a long time to settle down, Hardy was given plenty of opportunity to show his prowess. His saves from Joe Walters, Joe Bache, and Alec Logan were splendid, while once by a great effort he kept out the ball which Ronald Orr turned into the top corner of goal.
Billy George had little to do, and never looked like being beaten until two minutes from the interval, when Joe Hewitt equalised with a low shot. It was Liverpool’s turn when ends were changed. George was not as busy as Hardy had been, but he had some difficult work to do, and seventeen minutes after the resumption Tom Chorlton scored from a penalty, after being fouled close in. The Villa were beaten five minutes later when Robert Robinson got another low shot beyond George, but they made a good rally, and A. Logan scored.
The Villa supporters need not to be despondent at the defeat. They have a capital side all round, though Harry Hampton’s dash would have proved useful. The left wingers were well looked after. James Logan, George Tranter, and the backs did well, but although George made some good saves he does not get down to low shots at all well.
Liverpool were splendidly served by their defence. Hardy being fine. Jim Harrop filled Raisbeck’s place with credit, while the right wingers were the best of the forwards.
(London Daily News: September 2, 1908)