Saturday, September 10 – 1910
We are all disappointed. The Livers made a very bad start by allowing Bradford City to take away two points from Anfield. It is the first time that the Citizens have had any consolation when meeting the Livers, for in Second League, First League and Cup Tie warfare we had invariably triumphant.
I have no intention of showing a grudging spirit towards Bradford City, for they were the better team. And yet they were lucky, for they caught the Livers off colours, and the two goals were, in a sense, presented to them.
The first was obtained through a mistake by Beeby, and the second through the referee giving them a corner kick when a goal kick was due to Liverpool.
But the first goal which Beeby fumbled should not have been left to him, and when the second was scored Bond might have been tackled, and not given a deliberate centre. Liverpool had obtained the first point through Stewart, and this, I thought, would have steadied the Livers, but it did not, and in fact they really got worse after it was gained.
Individually – except in one or two cases – the men did not do so badly, but there appeared an absolute lack of all cohesion, both between the wings, and between the sections.
The half-back line was conspicuous in this respect, and not one of the trio played up to his form and reputation. It was surprising to see Harrop fail to get the ball, even when in the air, and there was a kind of dalliance in his general play that is not generally noticed. Whether he was infected by the weakness of Bradley I cannot say, but we saw the ex-Potter at his worst. He failed to master his wing, and most of his passes went astray. Robinson took a long time to settle down, and never seemed comfortable.
With the middle trio in such poor trim it is not surprising that the forwards were below par. The fact that they missed many chances was due to the fact that they had frequently to go for the ball, and this gave them more work to do than should be allotted to them.
The left wing was very weak, and Macdonald must get away more quickly. It is not good for an extreme winger to fiddle with the ball, uncertain whether to go on or not. Orr, too, failed where he was wont to succeed in front of goal. Goddard and Parkinson worked with desperate energy, and more than once nearly pulled the game out of the fire.
As with the forwards so with the backs, but even under the circumstances both Chorlton and Crawford might have done better. Neither was steady under pressure, and they again showed little understanding in the art of covering one another. Beeby, despite his mistake, is not to be blamed, and although Hardy might have made a difference the general play did not point to a Liverpool victory.
Bradford were steadier all round. Their halves not only bothered the Liverpool forward, but they helped their own men, and Logan and Bond each received support that Goddard must have longed for. The great “Dicky” is still a fine player, but Logan was a little behind him, and the three inside forwards were sure workers.
Of the halves I distinctly favour Robinson, who never left off grafting. From beginning to end he was always doing, and he encouraged the others. Hampton stuck to his orders, and shadowed Parkinson, but methinks he would have had a sultry time if the Livers had been at their best. Blair was quietly effective in all that he did.
Of course Maskrey is a power in goal, but someday he will pay the penalty of his daring – which at times verges on rashness. Campbell and Chaplin proved a sound pair of backs, who kicked judiciously and well.
The form of Liverpool was too bad to be true. They are always bad starters, but I hope they will not wait too long before they get into their stride. It is a bit nerve-racking to their supporters, and this year they cannot afford to take any chances.
Football will be more strenuous than ever, and I should not be surprised if the struggle to escape relegation was kept up to the very end.
Goal Scorers for Liverpool: –
LEAGUE – Stewart 1. Total 1.
COMBINATION – Gilligan (2), Brough 1, Peake 1. Total 4.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme, 10-09-1910)