October 5, 1908
Games between Liverpool and Everton are always interesting, and Saturday’s great contest at Anfield will remain green in the memory of those who were fortunate enough to be present. Up to date Everton had won all their away matches, while Liverpool had won all their home engagements. Naturally this led to a great deal of speculation. Of course, the phenomenal beat was altogether against good football, but despite this fact we were treated to a remarkable fine exhibition of the game. Ever since the two clubs have been in opposition one has never witnessed a more exciting encounter in which the nicer points of the game were always prominent than was the case on Saturday. The fortunes of war favoured Everton, inasmuch as the executive were able to place their full strength in the field, while Liverpool, as is usual when they meet their near neighbours, had to make changes in their ranks. Jack Cox, owing to the illness of his mother, was not able to fill his accustomed position, and Rogers’ injury at Nottingham on Thursday last kept him out of the team. The ground presented a very fine appearance, being well filled on all sides, and the attendance will probably stand at a record for the season. With regard to the game, it was splendidly contested, cleanly fought, and worthy to rank as one of the best expositions that have ever been witnessed between these keen rivals. By their victory Everton are undoubtedly creating in record in the matter of League victories away from Goodison Park.
Liverpool’s early excellence.
Liverpool were decidedly the better team during the first half of the game, and instead of being in arrear at the interval they quite deserved to lead. Practically speaking, the only real danger to Hardy’s charge in the first half hour was when Freeman got away and with an open goal put the ball outside. The Anfielders during this period were exerting severe pressure, and considering the chances that came their way they ought certainly to have laid a solid foundation to success. On one occasion Hewitt, unmarked, with none other to beat than Scott, drove in from a range of 20 yards, instead of taking the ball on. There were other occasions when reasonable chances presented themselves, but as a rule shooting did not soar above the average. The only goal of the match was recorded three minutes from the interval. A dashing individual effort on the part of Freeman led up to Liverpool’s disaster. The centre swung the ball across for Barlow to bang it into the net from a position which left Hardy no possible chance of saving.
The tables turned.
The stimulating effect of Barlow’s goal was noticeable in the improvement, which Everton undoubtedly showed in the second half of the game. Briefly, it may be stated that much as Liverpool had dominated the early proceedings, Everton more than turned the tables in regard to superiority in movement during the second portion. It was really all due to the feeling that with a goal in hand they were inspired to greater efforts, not only to keep their goal intact, but to assume a more aggressive attitude. Still there were times when the “Reds” looked like obtaining an equalising goal. On one occasion in particular the Liverpool side experienced hard luck. This was when after a really fine combined effort on the part of the home forwards, and Bowyer in particular, Hewitt found himself nicely placed, and delivered a remarkably fast shot, which, unfortunately for his side, rebounded from the crossbar, when Scott was practically helpless. For the most part, however, Everton were decidedly the cleverer, both in attack and defence. A feature of the play, which frequently brought out the plaudits of the spectators, was a series of bouts between the alert and brilliant Sharp and the steady and resourceful Saul. Both of these players came out of these memorable rushes with honours easy.
The Liverpool players.
Coming to the players, and dealing first with Liverpool, one must congratulate Hardy upon his excellent exposition of goalkeeping. Saul was the better of the backs, for his display was even throughout, whereas the work of West was discounted by occasional feeble kicking. Half-back play was distinctly good. Bradley was undoubtedly the classiest half on the field. Chorlton played well, and Harrop played an improved game, and the probability is that the latter will continue to show that form which he displayed at the close of last season. The weak spot in the forward line was at inside right. Parkinson has now an extended trial, and there are no signs of improvement. This is practically destroying half the efficiently of the Liverpool attack. Goddard was frequently left to his own resource, but apart from this the continued weakness in this position is exerting a detrimental influence upon the play of the centre-forward. To the ordinary observer it is surprising that a change has not been forthcoming in this direction before now, especially when there are capable reservices to fill the place. Despite this weakness. Liverpool had numerous chances of making their position safe in the first half-hour, but their finishing efforts were erratic, and at other times they experienced hard luck. Bowyer was the best of the line, Dash, pluck, and ability to seize the opportunities that were furnished characterised his work throughout, and if this player is a sample of what the executive have at command there is no reason why experiments should not be made on the other wing.
With regard to the Everton players, they are also to be congratulated upon the general effectiveness of their work. Scott, in goal had many anxious moments, especially in the first period of the game, and there can be no denying the fact that he did everything that could have been done, and moreover, did it well. This display of defensive methods given by McConnachie was solid, both in aim and character, throughout the whole of the proceedings, and with Balmer also in good form, it can readily be imagined that little latitude could be exacted from Everton’s last line of defence. While complimenting Taylor and Harris upon their general success and untiring efforts, the palm must be awarded Makepeace, whose resourceful methods were frequently of inestimable value to his side. Barlow was the most successful of the Everton forwards, although Sharp was never wanting when an opportunity came his way. Unfortunately for him, his partner –Coleman –was not in one of his happiest moods, while Freeman, the centre, beyond contributing a few dashing runs during the course of the game was decidedly poor. Young seemed to forget that there were others on either side of him ready and willing, but he continued to be wrapped up in himself, and thereby robbed the forward play of much of its effectiveness. Freeman was not a great success to the centre. He rarely got the better of the opposing half, and when occasion required he failed to keep in touch with his wingmen. Still, the movements of the Everton quintet were always more suggestive of danger than were those of their opponents. A last word. The game was contested in remarkably good spirit. May this generous feeling of hope emulation prevail for years to come whenever the local rivals meet.
Liverpool: Sam Hardy, Alf West, Percy Saul, Tom Chorlton, Jim Harrop, James Bradley, Arthur Goddard, Jack Parkinson, Joe Hewitt, Ronald Orr, Sam Bowyer.
Everton: William Scott, Bob Balmer, Jock Maconnachie, Val Harris, Jack Taylor, Harry Makepeace, Jack Sharp, Tim Coleman, Bertie Freeman, Sandy Young, George Barlow.
Referee: Mr. J. Mason.
(Liverpool Courier, 05-10-1908)