September 26, 1908
Liverpool’s win over Bradford City was splendidly performed. The visitors to Anfield set a pace which they couldn’t maintain, and the Reds, who had a dazzling sun to contend with in the second stage themselves, so dazzled the opposition that ‘twas the latter who were rendered the more uncomfortable.
In the first half Sam Hardy’s services were not too frequently in demand, but I never saw him show greater quality. We hope he might be found in similar fettle to-day against Clayton’s Chemical cracks. Martin Spendiff’s work was heavier, yet rather less exacting to the interval, for straight shots are ever easier to cope with than cross-swervers.
There was only one side in it after the cross over, and that not Bradford. I don’t think Ronald Orr’s opening goal, however, can be over-estimated. It was one of the most perfect efforts I have witnessed for many a day. He found himself placed at nice range in a central position just outside the penalty area, but with two defenders hiding the goal’s view and bearing on him. Ronald outwitted them beautifully by wheeling right round, and tickling the ball along a foot or two towards the right wing, thereupon taking deliberate aim, and steering the ball at great pace between other four defenders. Then commenced the rubbing-in process, and poor Bradford were well polished off ere the end.
Hard work ahead.
Liverpool showed themselves a powerful team in every way. There was a resolution, a dash, a pace, and an understanding in their work which augurs well for future successes. They moved well within themselves the full 90 minutes, and finished like lions. To-day, however, a severe task awaited them when facing the Champions in their den. Clayton of late years has not been too kind to the Anfielders, who, however, succeeded in effecting a goalless draw there two seasons ago.
Again on Saturday next Liverpool have to face their great Everton rivals, and if the Reds can get two points from these two matches I do not think their supporters will have much to grumble at. Then, sandwiched between these games, is a Goose Fair Thursday visit to Nottingham to oppose the Forest. Eight days hence should show us what sort of chance Liverpool have of getting or keeping in the running for honours. Four points from the three games would satisfy Anfield devotees, but admittedly the Reds have three hard inspections to pass – or at least two.
A bright performance.
As to the players in the Bradford event, Tom Rogers was satisfactory in defence, as also was Percy Saul, save for his penchant to dribble unduly. A full-back should never succumb to such a weakness, worker though we know Saul to be. Tom Chorlton at half was again a success.
James Bradley showed improvement on previous performances, whilst Alex Raisbeck was periodically a hard and effective worker, both in attack and defence, if not quite such a force in the encounter as we had anticipated. Of course, a wonder like Raisbeck is judged at a very high standard – that is one of the penalties of greatness.
The forwards, taking them as a body, gave great satisfaction, but particularly the left wing and centre. The right wing paled somewhat by comparison, but Arthur Goddard nevertheless did many fine things, and Jack Parkinson showed himself in deadly earnest throughout and most unsparing. We can always forgive much in a player who goes all the way. Joe Hewitt gave a delightful exposition of the real centre forward game, whilst Ronald Orr further served to demonstrate the management’s good judgment in securing him. He has certainly got more football out of John Cox than any partner the latter has had since Edgard Chadwick’s last great season with Liverpool.
We were all anxious to hear the new from Clayton to-night, for those United sharp-shooters were admittedly a line to be much shared.
(Cricket and Football Field: November 26, 1908)