A very convincing second half performance by Liverpool

Monday, October 17 – 1910
After so many disappointing displays, it was indeed refreshing to see Liverpool show some of their true form. But we had two entirely different samples of the “Reds” play on Saturday, and it would be difficult to associate the second half team with that which disappointed is in the initial half.

In the opening forty-five the Reds rarely settled down to a definite plan of attack, whilst there were mistakes made in defence which, had the visiting forwards been thoroughly alive, might have proved disastrous. The visitors had quite as much of the play as the home team in the initial half, but the City were unable to take their chances, and their efforts to find a goal to keep the orphan which stands to their credit, company were not of a convincing character.

Hardy was the only forward on the visiting side to distinguish himself, and he certainly played in really clever style, his footwork being marked by accurate and dashing football. If Bristol had five Hardys they would not be hunting long for goals. The inside right was undoubtedly the most dangerous of the visiting line.

It was a surprise goal which eventually gave Liverpool the lead, and it was curious that the usually reliable Bristol defence should, during the afternoon, give away two goals. In the first instance the defence paid the penalty of dallying, for when Peake placed the ball forward, Young did not clear as he ought to have done, and Parkinson dashing up, Clay came out to cover up the mistake, but “Parky” touched the ball to Brough, who was waiting, and he had nothing to do but place the leather in the empty goal.

1910 LFC v Bristol City sketch

If Liverpool had failed to please their friends they had the satisfaction of leading at the interval, and on resuming the Livers quickly took command of the situation. There was only one team in it for the greater portion of the second half, and that was not Bristol.

Crawford, who had made several blunders in the initial stages, began to kick with more certainty, and the half-backs set about their work with great resolution, the result being that the “Reds” front line began to feel their feet, and many onslaughts were made on Clay’s charge. But one never expected the second goal to be obtained in such easy fashion. It was a perfect gift, and I am sure that the “Reds” would not object if they came across more such obliging backs.

It happened in this way. The “Reds” were attacking in persistent style, and Clay had just punched the ball down the field. Harrop gained the leather, and with the idea of serving the ball up to his forwards in the goal mouth he lobbed the leather towards goal. To the surprise of everyone Young “ducked,” believing the ball to be travelling outside, and Clay did not attempt to save until too late. The leather struck the inside of the post and glanced into the net. No one was more surprised than Harrop himself, and what the Bristol defenders thought can best be imagined.

Wedlock and his co-defenders looked glum indeed. It was certainly one of the “easiest” goals I have seen.

The second point had a demoralising effect on the City, for they seemed to go all to pieces after this, and when Goddard charged down a return by Young and Parkinson dashed through to score a brilliant third goal, the visitors’ discomfiture was complete. This point put “Parky” on the warpath, and before the finish he scored another fine goal after a characteristic run, whilst he also netted another, but was given offside.

Then in the closing minutes he drove in a terrific force, only to see the ball shave the post. Parkinson thus increased his goals to 5, and it is to be hoped that he will continue to delight his numerous friends with repetitions of Saturday’s play.

The improvement shown by the Livers in the second half was remarkable. The halves played with more accuracy, whilst the front line combined in most effective style, and we must not lose sight of the fact that Bristol are not one of the strongest clubs, still the “Reds” showed that they can be depended on to make up for early failures.

The team which did duty on Saturday, with one exception, is, I fancy, the strongest combination at the command of the club at the present time.

Hardy appears to have gained his old confidence, and the way he punched the ball on Saturday afforded ample proof of this. He was in his best form, and one shot he saved from Foster, who had a clear course, demonstrated to the full the ability of England’s custodian.

Longworth’s improvement is continuing. He was by far the best back on the field on Saturday, his kicking and tackling giving complete satisfaction. The ex-Leyton man has settled down nicely, and it is becoming more apparent every time he plays that in securing this player the Liverpool directors accomplished a fine stroke of business. Cool and calculating, he times his interventions to a nicety, and his returns are generally of a good length.

Crawford was not at his best by a long way. He made several mistakes in the first half, and it is not like Crawford to be penalised for handling, as he was, twice within ten minutes on Saturday. He improved in the second half, but it was not one of his happiest displays. It is to be hoped, however, that it was only a temporary lapse.

The half-back line has been one of the departments which has caused anxiety, and for a time on Saturday the new line did not look like working well. Peake was not at home in the first half at all, and Harrop did not shape too well.

It was a different line afterwards, however. Peake settled down and gave a vastly improved display, whilst Robinson was a tower of strength, and Harrop’s exposition on the left was really smart. Some of the neat combination between Harrop and Uren was greatly admired, and I think the line will settle down to more harmonious working.

Harold Uren opened the eyes of those who had not seen him play previously. The winger is a most deceptive player to tackle, and the way he eluded Wedlock and Young on Saturday created a good impression. He is neat and clean in his foot work, can centre with accuracy, and he knows a few tricks to outwit defenders. On Saturday’s form he cannot be left out of the League team. Orr made him a splendid partner in a quiet way, and on further acquaintance the pair will make it warm for opposing defenders.

Parkinson, although well watched by Wedlock, gave a satisfactory display, and his two goals were well deserved. Brough was as clever as ever, but he and Goddard have not quite educated one another into each other’s tactics.

Wedlock was he outstanding figure on the losers’ side, the little man working with ceaseless energy, whilst Clay in goal also did well. Bristol are still looking for their second goal.
(Evening Express, 17-10-1910)

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