Saturday, February 12 – 1910
Match: Football League, First Division, at Anfield, kick-off: 15:15.
Liverpool – Everton 0-1 (0-0).
Attendance: 45,000; gate receipts: £1,300.
Referee: Mr. T. Kirkham.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Gus Beeby, Tom Chorlton, Tom Rogers, Robert Robinson, Jim Harrop, James Bradley, Arthur Goddard (C), Jimmy Stewart, Jack Parkinson, Ronald Orr, John Macdonald.
Everton (2-3-5): Walter Scott, Bob Clifford, Jock Maconnachie, Jack Allan, Jack Taylor, Harry Makepeace, Jack Sharp (C), Wattie White, Bertie Freeman, Sandy Young, George Barlow.
The goal: 0-1 Freeman (85 min.).
Everton in luck.
In their return League engagement at Anfield on Saturday the Liverpool team had to concede maximum points to their near neighbour after having enjoyed the greater share of the game. The earlier stages especially belied the result, for they practically commanded the situation by the manner in which they distributed work and made for goal.
Indeed, they did everything that was necessary except score. It was in front of goal where they were mainly at fault, and had the dashing methods that led up to their repeated onslaught been continued when within the shooting area they must have had a foundation for ultimate success.
Business like football in the open gave place to much finesse in front of the Everton backs. This desire to make things ease was pretty general among the forwards who found the last line of the visitors’ defence in no humour to allow the slightest quarter.
Right to the interval there was an all-round superiority prevalent that even the most biased Everton follower could not fail to observe, and when ends were changed the popular verdict was that Liverpool should have held a leading position. It was a spiritedly contested first half, in which many of the nicer points of the game stood out prominently, but few were prepared for what followed.
The quality of play during the second period did not approximate the standard of the first half; still there were always possibilities that kept the spectators thoroughly interested. Play took a keener turn with the Evertonians more prominently in the picture, but like their opponents in the earlier stages they paid the penalty of hesitancy when favourably placed. Everton’s strength during this period was concentrated in the half-back line. The close attentions of the trio to the movements of the home forwards could not fail to be observed by even the ordinary followers; and moreover rarely was an opportunity lost of plying those in front with openings that should have been utilised to better advantage.
Yet, like the Liverpool quintet, there was a tendency to individual effort in the direction of making things absolutely safe, and as has been frequently experienced before such overdoing of the artistic cannot be depended upon to win matches.
There were many occasions when a drive at the keeper’s charge would have had a better chance of materialising than the fiddling methods that were adopted, and this was exemplified in greatest degree by Young, who was the most persistent of the line in his endeavours to defeat the Liverpool custodian.
There were visions of a distribution of honours, when Freeman, five minutes from time, got the ball from Sharp immediately after a corner kick to Liverpool. The skipper was quick to notice that the centre was unmarked, and parting with the ball in midfield, Freeman racing between the backs, kept full control of the ball and scored the deciding goal of the game.
Even then all was not over, for Stewart like Young in the first minute of the game, was afforded a capital opportunity of scoring, which went a begging. Thus Everton triumphed, and none that followed the contest observantly could come to any other conclusion that the Blues were fortunate in claiming the full spoils of victory.
The occasion, owing to International calls, served to introduce to followers of local football some interesting recruits. It was feared that the chance of such stalwarts as Scott and Harris on the Everton side, together with England’s International keeper away from his customary position, would have materially affected the general issues of the game. But none of these bright particular stars were at all missed, as their deputies rose well to the occasion, and demonstrated to the full that they possessed the necessary attributes that go towards making class players.
Much interest was evinced in the first appearance of Walter Scott in the Everton goal, and there could be no questioning the fact that a more severe test could scarcely have been provided for any recruit to first-class football than one in which Local rivals enthusiasm plays so important a part. Let it be at once stated that the ex-Grimsby keeper justified all the good things that have been said and written concerting him, and that when occasion serves he is not likely to hide light under a bushel. He had full command of nerves was fearless in his efforts to save his charge, and had a ready conception as to the exact moment to challenge an opponent after his backs had been beaten.
The latter he demonstrated on three occasions during the first half when Parkinson had with a last tap, put the ball a shade too far forward. He anticipated the movement to a nicety, and saved the situation in the only possible way. Then again Allen at right half caught the eye of the crowd as a plucky and clever exponent of the game.
Naturally he was in difficulties at the outset, but as play progressed he improvement considerably, and but for a severe knock sustained in the first half he would not have been far removed from being the most serviceable of the half-backs. His debut was eminently satisfactory, and the mangers of the Everton club are to be complimented upon their judgement in obtaining the services of such capable recruits. Beeby has, of course, previously officiated between the upright for Liverpool’s League team, and though he was not hard pressed on Saturday he accomplished all that was possible, and had no chances of saving the point recorded against his side.
The old brigade.
Dealing with the visiting forwards, they were not nearly so convincing either in movement or finish, as on previous Saturday, Sharp was the most consistent, but in the later stages Young, who had previously been well held up, was the only player in the line that appeared likely to score.
Freeman was under Harrop’s wing, so to speak, and did practically little, but of course, his individual efforts at the finish compensated for a good deal. Barlow was a glutton for work, and was often prominent but his centres were not of a telling character, and rarely troubled Liverpool’s defenders.
On the Liverpool Side, Stewart was the most serviceable of the attacking line, and was somewhat unfortunate with several well-directed drives. The van as a whole were not sufficiently busting in their efforts to wear down Everton’s defence, and would probably have carried off the honours had they resorted more frequently to popping at goal when within range.
Parkinson did well generally, but failed to control the ball when preparing for a final effort. Goddard was often out of his reckoning with intended cross shot, and the left wing pair exhibited nothing above the average.
The halves on both sides formed powerful lines, both in attack and defence, and while they compared very favourably, none who followed the game closely would begrudge the palm to Harrop. The part played by the respecting keepers has been alluded to. In the full-back department the Everton pair were the most resourceful and reliable, and the value of this work, in the early stages especially, could not be over-estimated.
Honours on the season’s League engagements are thus divided, for Liverpool won at Goodison Park and to compensate for their somewhat bad fortune on Saturday they had the solarium of a £1,300 gate.
(Liverpool Courier, 14-02-1910)
Walter Scott, Everton F.C.