November 28, 1910
Liverpool treated their supporters to their best display of the season on Saturday at Anfield, when the Reds made up for previous shortcomings. Certainly the Livers have disappointed their friends time after time in their home games, but in defeating Manchester United they atoned to a large extent for those tantalizing expositions earlier in the campaign.
They displayed something like the form which carried them into second place last season, and if they continue in the same vein they ought to make headway. It was unfortunate that the weather was so unfavorable, as the Liverpool club are in need of funds, and they were anticipating a good gate.
Unfortunately rain and fog kept a lot of people away, and there could not have been more than 12,000 people present. Outside the ground the fog was hardly noticeable, and therefore general surprise was expressed when on gaining admission to the ground it was impossible to see from goal to goal.
At one time it certainly looked as though the game would be postponed, and for a quarter of an hour or so it was impossible, from the press box, to see the players at the far side of the ground.
The men were like so many phantoms on the field, and an occasional roar from sections of the crowd told the rest that play was in that direction. However, the mist lifted considerably later, and it was possible to follow the play.
It was a real hard game, in which the respective defences stood out above the forwards, and there was plenty to interest the spectators. From what one saw of the first half, play was pretty even, and the onlookers on the Kemlyn-road side were particularly interested in the duels between Meredith and Crawford on the one side and Uren and Livingston on the other. Meredith was beaten time after time by Crawford, and the crowd hugely enjoyed the spectacle of the famous winger being “bottled up.”
Uren, on the other hand, nearly always got the better of Livingston, but I trust Harold is not going to get into the fatal habit of holding the ball too long. Once or twice he clung to the ball rather longer than was necessary.
The visitors’ first goal was a well worked for point, and, as usual, Sandy Turnbull was on the spot. Meredith passed neatly to Livingston, who struck the bar, and from the rebound Turnbull made no mistake. It was immediately after this that Liverpool looked as if they had equalised, for although those in the press box could not see through the gloom, the roar from Spion Kop seemed to indicate an equaliser. One of the Liverpool forwards shot in, but the ball hit the post.
It was a glaring foul which eventually brought about the equaliser, for Parkinson was badly tripped as he was going through. Captain Goddard made no mistake with the kick. What we saw of the initial half was good, but the second half was infinitely more enjoyable as the fog had lifted, and the play was always fast.
Liverpool showed their best form, the halves playing a great game, whilst the backs and Beeby defended nobly. The forwards attacked with spirit, but somehow the goal would not come. Once Goddard appeared certain to find the mark with a terrific shot, but Moger brought off a great save when he tipped the leather over the bar.
When the second did come it was a beauty. The United had been pressing, and the ball went out to Uren, who passed to Stewart, and the inside right and Parkinson ran along at top speed. The little man transferred to Parkinson, and the latter, with a beautiful left-footed drive, beat Moger all to pieces. The United goalkeeper made a fatal mistake when he tried to touch Uren’s centre to Stacey, for Stewart was at hand and he drove the ball home. This settled the issue, for although Robinson accidently diverted a shot into the net, the United were well beaten.
It was pleasing to see the Reds in such sparkling trim. The Manchester men are a fine side, and it is no easy matter to defeat them, so that the Livers are to be congratulated. The halves have never played better this season, and to their effectiveness the victory must be put down. Robinson, Harrop, and McConnell played a rare good game, never allowing the opposing front line any scope, whilst they fed their forwards with accurate passes.
The heavy going suited Robinson to a nicety. The fair-haired half-back has never been seen to greater advantage, and the way he held Wall and Turnbull up was good to see. Wall has rarely seen to less advantage, and his failure was entirely due to the cleverness of “Robby.” The Liverpool man anticipated every move of the winger, with the result that Wall was helpless. Robinson did not use any vigour either; he beat his opponents by sheer cleverness, and I thought he was the best half-back on the field. He certainly played his best game of the season, and the crowd did not forget to applaud his brilliant efforts.
Harrop was also in his best trim, and Hooper never had a chance of showing his worth. McConnell completed an excellent line, and the way he and Crawford checkmated the wily Meredith aroused enthusiasm. McConnell has recovered his true form. Beeby in goal made some rattling good saves, whilst Longworth and Crawford defended in a style which left no doubt as to the abilities of the players. Longworth tricked and tackled with vim, and his anticipation served his side in good stead. He saved an almost certain goal in the second half when he kicked the ball of the line.
Crawford, too, was at his best, and altogether no fault could be found with the rear portion of the team. The forwards did well, but they might have done better. Still, they were opposed to a strong defence. Goddard and Uren were the pick of the line, the latter putting in some sparkling footwork, and once he ran up alongside Meredith to dispossess him at the critical moment.
Parkinson was well watched by Roberts, but the centre nevertheless got in some telling work. Stewart showed something of his true form, and I fancy that he, fit and well, is Goddard’s best partner.
The United were short of three of their best players, and no doubt the absence of West affected the front line. Meredith and Wall, as I have indicated, have rarely been so completely overshadowed, whilst neither Turnbull nor Hulse showed their true worth. Roberts was a fine half-back, the captain playing a resourceful game. Stacey was the better back, his kicking being of accurate length, whilst he spoiled the home forwards time after time.
(Evening Express: November 28, 1910)