The Tyneside disaster

Monday, October 24 – 1910
The disaster on Tyneside must have come as a tremendous shock to followers of the Anfield-road club, for none could have been prepared for so severe a trouncing as was meted out to the Reds. However, there need be no excuse in the breasts of Liverpool’s supporters concerning the heavy defeat, for on Saturday’s form the Novocastrians would have triumphed over any club in the kingdom.

By their pronounced victory the Cup-holders made simple amends for their unexpected defeat at Anfield-road last season, when, after leading by five goals to two at the interval, they were eventually beaten by six goals to five, and no doubt they experienced a tinge of satisfaction in thus serving up to the Anfielders the same unpalatable dish to which they themselves had been subjected.

While admitting that the Tynesiders on Saturday gave a display brilliant in every sense of the word so far as aggressive methods were concerned, the tactics adapted by the rear-guard could scarcely command themselves to all true lovers of sport. Playing opponents offside under certain condition is at times expedient, but when a side in possession of a comfortable lead persists in this procedure the sporting instinct naturally depart and the play resolves itself into a hopeless uphill struggle for their opponents.

Such it was at St James’s Park. From the first few minutes of the game right up to the close did McCracken, with an eye on Parkinson, move forward, and reduce Liverpool’s efforts at concerted actions to almost an impossibility. The spectators were naturally hugely delighted with the actual result; at the same time they would probably have preferred a game less frequent interrupted by offside rulings.

The Cup-holders were powerful enough on Saturday to overwhelm all corners, and the pity was that they should have embarked upon a policy that will never appeal to genuine sportsmen.

Almost from the commencement of the game the Tynesiders bounded into brilliant form and infused some of their well-known dash into their play. They took the lead after the game had been in progress 20 minutes from a centre by Anderson, Higgins completing the movement by heading over Hardy into the net.

Then came a second from Shepherd, who got the better of Crawford; but the lead was almost reduced by Peake from a free kick outside the home penalty line. A capital effort by Uren was the next item, and following the clearance the ball was punted well down, for Shepherd to again display his ability to beat Hardy. Thus at the interval the home side had a clear lead of three goals. Following the resumption Hardy was kept busily employed, and showed all his old resource.

Liverpool’s weakness was emphasised most in the half-back line. Peake lacked that robustness necessary to cope with such an expert as Shepherd, while Robinson was quite out-classed by Stewart and Anderson. Harrop was the most successful of the three, and frequently accomplished some smart work in opposition to Rutherford and Higgins.

Longworth and Crawford could not altogether be held responsible for the heavy nature of the defeat, for both were overworked, owing to the inability of the line in front to hold up the United forwards.

While Hardy might possibly have saved a couple of the shots that scored against him, he warded off many others of exceptional merit, and on the whole maintained his reputation. As has been indicated Parkinson was able and willing, but the odds were against him, while the inside forwards compared unfavourably with the United pair. Goddard put in some good work at times, but the most consistent and successful was Uren.

Lawrence was not severely tested, for he was ably covered by the lines in front, while the work of the forwards, with Shepherd as the central figure, provided a real object lesson in accurate and practical footwork.
(Evening Express, 24-10-1910)

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