A poor showing by Liverpool at Sheffield

Monday, October 10 – 1910
It is no great defeat to go under at Owlerton by a goal to nil, but the Liverpool’s team display did not create satisfaction, the changes failing to bring about the desired improvement. Our representative at the match says: –

The Liverpool Club has obviously hit upon troublous times, and the directors have experienced to the full that setting their house in order is far removed from being the work of a day. It was hoped that the somewhat drastic changes that were adopted for Saturday’s match at Owlerton would have produced the desired result, but as events transpired, the side, as constituted, failed to bring one a bit nearer to a satisfactory solution of the difficulty.

For the greater portion of the game there was no apparent blending of methods, nor until the second portion was well on the way was there any suggestion of the side being out for goals. The direct cause of the failure was not far to seek, for it stood out palpably to even the most casual follower of the game.

Primarily, the deficiency was in half-back play, and not since the season has dawned has there been a more feeble exhibition by a line that should practically provide the key of the situation. Poor tackling, combined with failure to attend to the opposing outside forwards, emphasised throughout Liverpool’s weakness, and it is in this department that the efforts of the management must be mainly directed in order to arrive at satisfactory results.

With this line at but moderate strength, the failure of others is only what one may expect, for they are thrown off their game, with the result that combined efforts are perforce sacrificed to individualism, which can never be depended upon to win matches in these days of keen competition.

The game itself was not of a very exhilarating character, and by far the best football was seen during the opening and closing stages. In the first period the Wednesday were not long in discovering the weakness of the Liverpool trio, and with their wing men quite unmarked, swooped down on the rear line in such earnest fashion that it would not have occasioned surprise had they laid a pronounced foundation to victory. Their only reward was a goal from the foot of Robertson, who had been well served by Brittleton, and this was probably the cleanest work executed during the match.

Although the “Reds” had been so overrun during the period they yet had an opportunity of drawing level, while their play in the second half fully merited a goal. The forwards took the game in hand, but they were invariably beaten by the lively ball at the finish, and lost more than one opportunity of defeating the home keeper.

Swinging centres from the wings were worthy of better results, and it was most unfortunate that Parkinson should have overrun the leather in the last minute of the game when he was but a couple of yards from Davison.

The spirited work of the Liverpool forwards during the closing period caused much anxiety to the home defenders, who probably hailed the final whistle with must satisfaction. At the same time the Wednesday team deserved to record their first home victory at Liverpool’s expense, for they were a better balanced side.

It was evidently hoped that the interchange of positions at full back would have resulted in strengthening the Liverpool defence, but unfortunately this did not materialise, for Chorlton was not a success on the right. Provided a reliable partner can be found for Longworth, it would be worth while to experiment further, and place Chorlton at half-back, where dashing methods are required to cope with aggressive forwards.

Longworth got through a vast amount of work, for he frequently covered both wings and with great success. His timing and effective clearances were prominent among the few features of the game, and his whole-hearted efforts caught the eye of all.

Beeby kept an excellent goal, and was not responsible for the defeat. As indicated the halves were all awry. Bradley and Robinson were frequently beaten for speed, and their weakness was accounted when it came to a matter of recovery. Peake did not approach his usual form, for his tackling was somewhat half hearted, while he failed to keep his inside men together with any degree of success.

Coming to the forwards, some allowance must naturally be made owing to poor support; though at the same time one cannot honestly say that they gave of their best throughout the whole course of the game. It was only during the second half that they gave a real glimpse of their ability, and a sustained effort on the part of the left wing would probably have placed a better complexion upon the issue.

It was in the closing period that their work showed promise, and more than one of Macdonald’s cross shots were deserving of better results. Goddard, for once in a way, was much below his standard, and there was little of an incisive nature from any of the three inside men.
(Evening Express, 10-10-1910)

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