Saturday, November 12 – 1910
A rift in the clouds
The outlook was very black last week, but it is distinctly brighter to-day. The one point at Middlesbrough has cheered everybody considerably, and it only needs a victory to-day to give the necessary fillip to the team, and enable it to rise to a stable position in the League table. As it is, Liverpool were the only club amongst the last five to annex even one point, and this enabled them to hand over the wooden spoon to another’s keeping.
Middlesbrough have done so well that it was hardly expected that the Livers would do more than put up a good show. The one team was imbued with that confidence that an unbeaten certificate gives, while the other was affected by its frequent defeats. But as events turned out Middlesbrough were lucky to escape defeat, and Liverpool had the satisfaction of knowing that they had more than earned a point.
A weak beginning on the part of the Livers did not foreshadow disaster. Indeed the early score by the Ironops served as a stimulant to the visitors, and after the first ten minutes they were the superior team. It was left to Goddard to place the teams on a equality, and his screw shot from the goal line completely baffled Williamson, who only touched the ball but could not divert its progress. Thus at half-time the scores were level.
It was Middlesbrough who took the lead in the second portion, for Pentland drove in so hot a shot that Hardy could only divert it to the foot of Elliott, who promptly put through. This was not to the liking of the Reds, and following some fine work by Goddard and Orr, Bowyer completed the movement by scoring a fine goal. From thence onwards it was a struggle between the Liverpool attack and Williamson, and the latter prevailed. Thus a soul-stirring game resulted in a division of the points – the first Liverpool has experienced this season.
There are many things that present themselves to a critic which he imagines might have been done better, and doubtless this can be said of the players too. But I will only criticise one point – the shooting in the last quarter of an hour might have been better judged. All my other remarks are of a cheerful character, and even that one is made in a friendly spirit, for there was great improvement in that department in comparison with previous matches. The whole team seemed imbued with that sparkle which has been woefully wanting this season. Not only did the Livers player their best game, but the Middlesbrough enthusiasts were satisfied that it was the brightest match at Ayresome Park since the 1st of September.
The defence, once it settled down, did excellent work, and Longworth played fine football. This may have been due to the work of the halves for all three in that line were like the trio who finished in April last. Harrop was ever in the thick of the fray, and he was well seconded by Robinson and McConnell, the latter finding his true form. The attackers never gave up. Goddard and Orr made a splendid wing, Parkinson, although well-shadowed by Jackson, was ever dangerous, while Bowyer, if rather crude was full of dash, and Uren completed a line that has only to reproduce its form to shake every defence. In fact the team seemed to be imbued with life and vigour, and the consequence was attractive football.
Middlesbrough have to thank their defence, and more especially Williamson, their goalkeeper, for their escape. Tim played with splendid judgment, and many really difficult shots he made look simple. McLeod and Weir had a rare gruelling – quite their hardest time. Jackson, of the halves, pleased, and forward, Gibson and Pentland were the pick. Altogether Liverpool are to be congratulated, and there is hope that we shall at last see some real first class football at Anfield.
Goal Scorers for Liverpool.
LEAGUE – Parkinson 5, Brough 3, Stewart 1, Orr 1, Gilligan 1, Harrop 1, Peake 1, Bowyer 1, Goddard 1. Total 15.
COMBINATION – Gilligan 6, Bowyer 3, Leavey 3, Brough 2, Speakman 1, Peake 1, Stewart 1. Total 17.
FRIENDLIES – Speakman 5, Brough 4, Bowyer 3, Thompson 3, Leavey 2, Connell 2, Uren 2. Total 20.
(Joint EFC and LFC Match Programme, 12-11-1910)