Saturday, September 24 – 1910
Once again Liverpool have disappointed their spectators, and also those connected with them. Everybody recognised that they were up against a team which had done well and was doing particularly well away from home.
But the recovery at Blackburn had restored the confidence in the eleven, and I doubt if one of those who were present expected anything but a pronounced Liverpool victory. Last season Liverpool were successful on both occasions, and at the home match ten goals were scored, seven by Liverpool.
The opening moments seemed to promise that a similar treat was in store for the spectators again, as right from the kick-off the Livers ran down and Brough scored. We did not, however, retain the lead very long, as weak defence let in Ford, who readily netted. Then the home Reds had a turn, and they had many chances to score, but these were not taken advantage of – indeed the efforts were such that a blind man could have done better.
Another mistake saw Notts in front, for both halves and backs failed to check the left wing, and Lockett coming into possession he beat Hardy. This was nullified before half-time, Orr converting a centre from Goddard.
The second half was entered upon with no misgivings and Liverpool attacked very strongly. But the inside men – Orr especially – refused the gifts the gods offered, and Nemesis overtook them, for just as we had made up our minds that a draw was inevitable yet another slip saw Morris make it a winner for Nottingham.
Whether the failure of the forwards to score affected the half-backs and backs, or the weakness of the latter infected the forwards I cannot say. But two things are certain, the forwards couldn’t shoot and the backs couldn’t kick.
Little in favour can be said of the team collectively, although individually many of the players did some smart things. It is impossible to sum up the backs. Against the Rovers they were brilliant. On Saturday they were absolute puerile, and in comparison to Dudley and Maltby, their opponents, they were like schoolboys.
For the match at Sheffield there were many alterations in the team, as will be seen from the following names: – Beeby; Longworth and West; Robinson, Peake, and Bradley; Goddard, Gilligan, Parkinson, Bowyer, and Macdonald. Several of these alterations had been decided upon before the match with Nottingham Forest, and not in consequence of the result, while those that had been made since were because the players were suffering from slight injuries.
It was unfortunate that Parkinson was hurt, as the loss of so important a player disorganised the forward line, and renders any attempt at criticism almost useless. Naturally Bernard Wilkinson, at centre half, had a much easier time than he would otherwise have done. The four men did not play badly, but Parkinson was undoubtedly a very strong link to take out of the chain.
The centre in heading the ball sustained a nasty concussion, and although he pluckily attempted to resume later on his efforts were useless, and he had to be led off the field.
Except that Beeby was good in goal, and Robinson did well at half-back, there is little comment to make. Longworth and West were fair, but the ex-Leyton man promises to come on, for he can both kick and tackle. Peake was disappointing, for in addition in giving away a penalty he did not show anything like his form of the practice games.
The forwards I leave owing to the absence of their leader. Lievesley had little do to in the Sheffield goal, for he was well covered by his backs. Benson in particular being strong. At half back Bernard Wilkinson was able to do great things, and in a measure he stopped the progress of the inside men, while his colleagues – Brelsford and Sturgess attended to the wingers.
Forward Kitchen proved a leader capable of picking up unconsidered trifles, and Cook and Simmons fed him well, but the wingers did not shine to any extent.
Taking the match in its entirety it was somewhat of a disappointment, and both sides must do better if they wish to take a prominent part in the final summing up.
Goal Scorers for Liverpool.
LEAGUE – Parkinson 2, Stewart 1, Brough 1, Orr 1. Total 5.
COMBINATION – Gilligan 2, Brough 1, Peake 1, Speakman 1. Total 5.
FRIENDLIES – Speakman 4, Thompson 3, Bowyer 2, Leavey 2, Connell 2, Uren 1. Total 14.
(Joint Everton and Liverpool Match Programme, 24-09-1910)