Two steps back for Liverpool

December 5, 1910
Following upon the clever victory of the Anfielders at the expense of Manchester United the result of Saturday’s game at Boundary-lane must have come as a big disappointment to the supporters of the Liverpool Club. Oldham prevailed by three goals to one – a result in itself that appears incisive enough, but the quality of play scarcely warranted the scoring of goals at all, and a division of points would have better befitted a game that could not be classed in any other category than that of the scrambling and scraggy order.

There was not a quarter of an hour’s class football during the whole course of the proceedings. One may make allowance for the unfavourable condition that prevailed, for there was a cold drizzle and strong end-to-end breeze; still it is not too much to expect from reputed players that some effort would have been made to cope with such disadvantage. Pitted against the elements the Liverpool players may be said to have done fairly well in running their opponents to a goal in the first period, but having equalised almost immediately the conditions were on their side, and it is inexplicable how they should have thrown up the sponge in such heartless fashion and allowed their opponents to so completely clinch the issue in their favour. There was absolutely no set plan of campaign of adopted by either side, and with one exception the points recorded were of a very elementary character.

Scoring was opened as the result of a long kick by Cope, the Athletic half back, who lunged the ball down for the wind to twirl it into the net after Beeby had partially arrested its progress. This was the only point up to the interval, and within five minutes after the resumption Goddard had equalised with a fast rising shot. It was hereabouts that Liverpool were displaying some of their well-known cleverness, but they gradually relaxed their grip of the game, and faulty defence, first by Harrop and then by Longworth, enabled Toward to put on a couple of goals.

Coming to the players, little has to be recorded of a favourable nature. Beeby ought to have saved the first goal, and an extra effort might have prevented the second. McDonald kept out some occasional shots with capital judgment, but as a rule he was not seriously tested. Against the wind Harrop was a tower of strength, and Longworth and Crawford also did well, but in the second portion the defensive department was at a very low ebb. The Liverpool halves were decidedly on the weak side, and neither Robinson nor McConnell reached even an ordinary standard. Of the forwards, Stewart and Bowyer were most disappointing, for they failed to blend with those on either side of them, and thus reduced the efficiency of the line to a minimum. Parkinson was well shadowed by Fay, for whose benefit, in conjunction with Hodson, the match had been set apart, and was only dangerous on rare occasions. Uren was not a success, but he was a victim of scant attention, while Goddard was the most effective, though he too was lacking in opportunity.

The home halves earned the reward of persistent stout opposition to the Liverpool wingers, Donnachie, the ex-Evertonian, who was the most successful forward on the field, and Montgomery, were mostly concerned in the aggressive movements that led up to the complete discomfiture of the Liverpool defenders.
(Evening Express, 05-12-1910)

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