January 1, 1910
Liverpool’s lively experiences.
Whilst we may not have put in such a right royal Christmas as Bradford City, The Wednesday, or the Aston Villa, the two representatives of our Mersey City have at least behaved with respectability and decorum in halving the possible points. In Bristol City, Everton twice met a side capable of fully putting them to the test, but Liverpool dropped across quite as much trouble from within as was the case externally.
The uneasiness began on the recognised day of peace, the 25th, seeing that Sam Hardy was nowhere to be found; not even the signatures of this literally footballer of ours! Fortunately the Bolton Wandereres’ impotence, coupled with James Bradley’s adaptability, got Liverpool out of what would otherwise have been a very awkward corner.
But it was at Woolwich Arsenal that the real troubles began. Plumstead has been a most unfortunate place for Liverpool forwards, and especially for Jack Parkinson, who broke a wrist there in the very first match of 1905-06; an accident which, however, led to the subsequent discovery of Joe Hewitt as a centre-forward.
A point from Plumstead.
On Monday, Liverpool had no fewer than three of their regular forwards damaged at Plumstead (by the way this name savours of Christmas); Arthur Goddard, Jimmy Stewart, and Ronald Orr; as a result being unable to turn out the following day. When it is also recalled that Sam Hardy was still an absentee, and that Jim Harrop appeared when hardly fit, Liverpool certainly did not disgrace themselves in dividing the spoil, each side scoring once per the respective centre forwards, Matthew McKellar and Jack Parkinson.
Chief interest centred around the first League team appearance of Gus Beeby, the young Derbyshire custodian, who came to Liverpool last season and straightaway began to win friends. Beeby has kept a consistent goal for the Liverpool Reserve team during the present campaign, and until Monday’s call for promotion came he had not once been absent from Combination-match service.
He came out of the Gunners’ fire with distinct credit, fielding the ball well and getting rid of it cleanly. Moreover, he saved a penalty-kick (taken by Andy Ducat) in splendid fashion, so that his start in League life was most encouraging. Beeby is a young keeper for whom a little added experience in first-class football should do a great deal.
This goalkeeper joined Liverpool last season, and soon gained friends by his consistent endeavours. Like Sam Hardy, whom he much resembles in build, appearance and style of play; he is a native of that county which grows first-class keepers, Derbyshire to wit.
He was born some 21 years ago in the village of Osmaston, which is close to Derby, and after playing for the junior club of that name joined Ashbourne Town, where Liverpool found him. He stands 5ft. 10in., and weighs 11st. 8lbs., which is a very nice weight and height for a man who requires to show reach and activity beneath the bar. Experience will ripen his judgment re the taking up of best positions for meeting shots and opposing onslaughts, whilst he is also said to be discarding a former habit of danger with regard to unduly holding the ball.
Liverpool’s one point secured at Woolwich represented a gain on last season’s corresponding visit, and I must give Jack Parkinson an especial pat on the back for his spirited play and fine equalising goal.
Under a cloud at Sheffield.
As a rule fortune has smiled upon Liverpool in their visits to Bramall Lane, but the brows contracted and the clouds lowered ominously on Tuesday, when the accidents previously referred to went to completely upset the Reds’ line of attack. Jack Parkinson was, as a matter of fact, the only forward who retained his usual position.
John Macdonald was transferred to outside right vice Arthur Goddard, and in Jimmy Stewart’s place (the little ex-Motherwellian missed his first match of the season) came Bertram Goode, the diminutive Cestrian, who received several League trials last season, but somehow never settled down to reproduce his Reserve team form.
Sam Bowyer figured at inside left, and on the extreme left was placed the ever-willing Joe Hewitt. Thus Liverpool relied upon an entirely English team with one exception – John Macdonald.
Sheffield United on top.
The game was played under abominable conditions – amid a perfect deluge of wind and rain. To United fell first use of the elements, and thus went a good way towards making their task easier than what they had hoped for. Liverpool were three goals down at the interval, and subsequently a fourth, but before the end John Macdonald and Bertram Goode each registered, so that the final score wore a rather more respectable Liverpool hue than previously appeared probable.
By the way, it was Bertram Goode’s maiden League goal, and apart from this he gave an excellent display. John Macdonald scored his first goal since September 11th, and shaped well in his novel position, but the remaining three forwards were well held by the sturdy, unsparing defenders opposing them.
Liverpool’s loss under the circumstances came as no surprise. It meant a drop of two points compared with last season, but the Reds as a whole are still eight points ahead of 1908-09’s results.
At Sheffield Gus Beeby again behaved admirably and actually saved a penalty shot for the second day in succession. A pleasing feature of the holiday matches has been the continued improvement shown by Tom Rogers. He clearly prefers to operate on the right.
(Cricket and Football Field: January 1, 1910)