October 3, 1910
Liverpool on Saturday suffered their usual fate when opposed at Anfield to their League rivals across the Park. The verdict against them was two goals to nil, and on the general run of the play no partisan could begrudge the honours falling to the better team. Evidently the fate are all against Liverpool when the Reds and Blues figured on the Anfield road enclosure.
It is remarkable, but more the less true that in the history of League encounters between the two great local organisations, Liverpool can only boast of two victories on their own ground. One might have though, and the chances were, that on Saturday a victory of as long ago as 1899 might have been reproduced, but the Goddess of misfortune still clung to the “Reds” and yet another reverse inflicted by their strongest, though friendly, antagonists has to be recorded.
Apart from the outcome of the afternoon’s proceedings, which pleased or other who as the fancy of the onlooker was inclined, the game was favoured with brilliant weather, which was eminently agreeable to the crowd, though perhaps too warm for a full exhibition of the prowess of the respective combatants. Certainly the Anfield ground, bathed in sunshine and practically packed with spectators, never looked better. The turf itself was in excellent condition, and the facilities afforded in the direction of suitable accommodation were greatly appreciated by a crowd which, though not a record for the ground, meant a very gratifying accretion to the funds of the Liverpool club.
Taking the great heat, into consideration, the movements of the players, particularly in the first half of the game, came somewhat as a revelation. The pace was terrific, and it was a tribute to the work of the respective trainers that the men were so thoroughly equipped in the matter of fitness. There was not a slack moment, and when the interval came round the consents of opinion was that never in the history of the encounter between the clubs had there been such a storming first half.
One could not hope for so sustained an effort in the later stages. Still the pace during this period was for above the average, and though the quality of football left something to be desired, there could be no questioning the fact that the forty one thousand spectators had spent a most profitable afternoon. Liverpool’s supporters fondly hoped that their favourites would serve up some of that “away from home” form, and secure the first points on their own enclosure. But to the open mind, there was never any doubt as to the ultimate issue, for it not a doubt, the Evertonians were a cleverer and better team.
The game began in sensational fashion, for play was only in progress seven minutes when the “Blues” claimed the advantage, and surely indeed, did they relax their grip of the situation. There were some occasional accidents of a most thrilling character, and if the general play, so far as the nicer touches were concerned, did not approximate the standard attained in last season’s engagements, the contest will live in the memory of most as an exhibition in which sheer persistency played a prominent part.
A STUDY OF METHODS.
There was little difference in the methods adopted by the respective forward line, and it was somewhat of a coincidence that right-wing play on both sides was a dominant factor practically throughout the game. In the matter of finish, however, there was a decided pull in favour of Everton, and yet there were lapses in the first half, when easy chances came the way of Liverpool, only to pass unheeded. Had these been accepted quite a different complexion would probably have been placed upon the game.
Still there could be no getting beyond the fact that at close quarters, Liverpool’s efforts savoured of unaccountable weakness, and stood out in marked contrast to those of their opponents. It was in the intermediate line, however, that the Anfielders suffered most by comparison. There was little set purpose in the general movements of the trio, who at times wandered in aimless fashion, and thus played into the hands of the opposing forwards each of whom was made to appear a more skilful artist than was actually the case.
On the other hand there was an exhibition of cool calculating work by the outside Everton halves, resulting in a complete understanding with the respective wings. No wonder then that making for goal was one of the leading features of their display, and when in difficulties there were pretty hits of triangular passing that generally led up to a quick recovery. Taking a line through the part played by the rear guard of both clubs, one can safely assert that an exceptionally high standard was maintained from start to finish, and it is questionable if the clubs have even been better served in this respect than was the case on Saturday.
GAME AND GOALS.
The incidents of the game may be briefly summarised. Liverpool were considerably handicapped in having to face the glaring sun, and in the first two minutes of play Beeby had a warm handful from R. Young. Berry had been displaying capital form on the extreme right, and making the most of a pass from Gourlay, he put across for Sandy Young to open Everton’s score, seven minutes from the start.
Following this the Liverpool right made good progress, and Robinson had an opening from a free kick close in, but failed to utilise it. Next was seen some clever defence on the part of Balmer, and Maconnachie in opposition to the inroads of Goddard, and his centres, and finally came a capital effort from Brough, though Scott was not wanting.
Further capital work by Berry and Gourlay was followed by a spirited movement on the Liverpool right, and it was by the merest margin that Parkinson with a timely header just put outside. Still the Everton attacking party were more frequently in the picture and after a couple of corners in quick succession, Makepeace headed in. Peake in endeavouring to clear, failed to get properly to the ball, which travelled up his body and over his shoulder into the net. The second reverse took the sting out of the Anfielders, but there was no further scoring when the interval arrived.
For some time in the second portion the Everton team were content in preserving their lead, though on one occasion Goddard almost slipped through. Maconnachie was a great obstacle to the skipper’s advances, and on a further occasion the clever Scott was just in time to prevent Brough getting in a parting shot when well placed.
Still, the Blues were always the cleverer side, and when they got away Beeby had many anxious moments. The keeper was out of his charge on one occasion, and capture seemed certain when Longworth dropped back, and with a splendid judged header quite saved the situation. The Anfielders made a big effort in the latest stages to reduce the lead, but they were up against a resourceful defence and failed to accomplish their object.
MEN OF THE DAY.
There were four outstanding figure in Saturday’s stern game. Maconachie, Longworth. Goddard and Berry. If one might just overlook a little erratic play by Chorlton it would be a moot point as to whether there has ever been given in the meetings of the clubs a better exposition of defensive work. Maconnachie was an artist in every sense, and with Balmer formed a last line of defence that would compare with any in the country.
Longworth has come on apace, and ran Maconnachie a very close race indeed for honours. He returns were cleanly executed, his interceptions most judiciously anticipated, and his all-round clever display quite caught the eye of all Scott had very little to do, but Beeby was kept well employed, and once again acquitted himself in satisfactory fashion.
As indicated, the Everton halves were a more formidable line than the opposing trio, and it is some time since Liverpool have been a poorly served from this quarter. Neither McConnell nor Robinson were at all happy in their efforts to cap with the Everton forwards, and Peake alone did anything that scored above the average.
On the other hand Makepeace and Harris were most successful wingers, and if R. Young’s display in the centre was at times a bit clumsy, he nevertheless played a big part in breaking up Liverpool’s inside forward play. Goddard and Brough were concerned in most of the attacks on the Everton lines, and though they were not too ably supported, they were not above foraging for themselves, an example that might be emulated on the left wing with distinct advantage to the club.
Like that of Liverpool. Everton right wing play was the characteristic feature. Berry showed a fine turn of speed, and had an attractive style and finish to his work that stamped him as Everton outside right of the future. Gourlay was clever in finding openings and will come on, but there was little of an exceptional nature to record of the remainder.
A striking failure was the work of the respective centre forwards, for they repeatedly failed to make their forwards work with any semblance to cohesion, in fact their presence at times became almost a superfine.
Liverpool: Gus Beeby, Ephraim Longworth, Tom Chorlton, Robert Robinson, Ernest Peake, John McConnell, Arthur Goddard, Joe Brough, Jack Parkinson, Sam Gilligan, John Macdonald.
Everton: William Scott, Bob Balmer, Jock Maconnachie, Val Harris, Robert Young, Harry Makepeace, Arthur Berry, James Gourlay, Bertie Freeman, Alex Young, Bob Turner.
Referee: Mr. W.A. McQue.
(Liverpool Courier: October 3, 1910)