Monday, October 24 – 1910
The scarcity of goals this season has been a matter upon which much has been written, the failure of forwards generally being one of the remarkable features of the campaign, and it would seem as though defenders of ability are more plentiful than successful front line men.
For a change, however, goals were as plentiful as blackberries in September on Saturday, and the most exacting follower of the game could not grumble at the “bag” forthcoming from the ten First Division games decided.
The marksmanship was of a higher standard than in any other series of games so far this season, there being no fewer than 38 points registered in the First League games, while in the Second Division the net was pierced on 32 occasions. It is noteworthy that never before this season has the total in the premier league reached the 30 mark, the previous highest being the 29 goals obtained on September 17th.
Thirty-eight goals gives an average of over 3 per match, a fact which appears to indicate that some forwards (if not Mersey men) have at last found their shooting boots.
Of course some clubs have to suffer when there is an avalanche of goals, and as it happened Liverpool came in for the bulk of the pounding on Saturday, Newcastle United fairly riddling the Mersey men’s armour.
The Northerners had not accomplished anything startling up to Saturday, but they came out of their shell in time for Liverpool, whom they trounced in a fashion which the Livers have seldom experienced. The Cupholders fairly turned the tables on the “Reds” for last season’s defeat.
When there are goals about one can generally rely on seeing one or other of the prominent centre-forwards of the day high up in the list of marksmen, and it is only fitting that a player with the reputation possessed by Albert Shepherd should be at the top of the tree.
The ex-Wanderer has accomplished some wonderful feats in his day, and it is questionable whether any other player claims the distinction of scoring four goals in a match on seven separate occasions, as can Shepherd.
He was in great trim against Hardy on Saturday, and but for the fact that the latter was seen at his best in dealing with some of the Newcastle centre’s drives, it is quite possible that Shepherd would have claimed more than the quartette he notched. Four goals is enough to be going on with, however, and as it is the second time in two season that he has accomplished the feat against Hardy he has reason to be proud of himself.
It is not an easy matter for a player to defeat England’s custodian eight times in two matches. But this is what Shepherd has accomplished.
It will be remembered that he scored 4 goals against Hardy at Anfield last season on that memorable day when Liverpool gained the sensational 6-5 victory. But Shepherd has scored a quartette of goals in a match on no fewer than seven occasions (by the way, the fact was noted in the “Football Express” on Saturday), as follows: –
For Bolton against Nottingham Forest in 1905 and Sunderland in 1906; for the English League against the Scottish League in 1906; For Newcastle against Notts County in 1908-9; last year against Liverpool and Preston North End, and against Liverpool again on Saturday.
This is indeed an achievement of outstanding interest, and one which is likely to stand as a record for a long time to come. When we remember that Freeman in his record year never once scored four goals in a match Shepherd’s performance appears all the more meritorious. There is no more dangerous shot in the country than Shepherd when in the mood.
(Evening Express, 24-10-1910)