December 19, 1910
Altogether the results were most encouraging to Mersey enthusiasts, seeing that both our clubs gained the maximum points, and it would seem that the tide is beginning to turn. The victory of the “Reds” was particularly gratifying, and I trust it is the forerunner of other triumphs.
Liverpool’s position is giving cause for uneasiness, and the two points gained on Saturday are extremely welcome, but if the Livers can only keep up the form we saw against Sheffield United I fancy they will soon get away from the undesirable end of the ladder.
The play of the team gave general satisfaction to the onlookers, and it was felt that a continuance of similar methods will eventually bring points. It was distinctly refreshing to see the business-like manner in which the “Reds” threw themselves into the fray, the forward work showing a great improvement, and I am not exaggerating when I say that with a slice of luck the Anfielders would have won by a much larger margin.
There were times when Lievesley made clever saves, but on more than one occasion he was fortunate, inasmuch as the Liverpool forwards, notably Jack Parkinson, often shot straight into the Sheffield keepers’ hands. At other times the “Reds” just failed to drive home their final efforts. Parkinson, Ronald Orr, and Arthur Goddard being very close.
On the heavy ground the Livers appeared to be quite at home, and the team did much better than in several of their recent games. There was a fine understanding between the forwards, Goddard, James Stewart, and Parkinson working finely together, and had Harold Uren been at his best the line would have been still more effective.
At the start the “Reds” went off in thrilling style, and only Lievesley’s cleverness saved the Sheffield goal. He brought off more than one smart clearance before Parkinson defeated him with a good shot after ten minutes. By the way, the incident which led up to this goal was one of the brightest features of the match.
The “Blades” made a raid on Sam Hardy’s charge, and the keeper dashed out to clear. He did not get the ball away at the first attempt, and Hardy was compelled to run almost to the half-way line. He dashed back at top speed, but before he reached his position the ball was again sent in, only for one of the backs to boot it away.
Goddard received, and the winger dashed away like a stag, with a Sheffielder in hot pursuit. Stewart and Parkinson followed up, and Goddard centred. In going for the ball Smith fell, and Stewart toppled over him, but the ball came on to “Parky,” who made no mistake in scoring his eight goal of the season.
After this play was of a fast, open description, with Liverpool being the better side, and for half an hour the “Reds” played exceedingly good football, and although there was a falling off later, it must not be forgotten that Robert Robinson was “knocked out” and Jim Harrop sustained an injury to the leg.
True, the “Blades” were short of the services of Walton, who missed his train, and two other prominent members of the team, but at the same time it was a distinctly creditable performance on the part of the Liverpool men.
The team as a whole showed a vast improvement, and it was evident that the heavy ground suited them, although on more than one occasion the skidding of the leather near goal deprived the home forwards of otherwise good openings.
As I have indicated, Stewart, Goddard, and Parkinson were the outstanding figures in the front rank. The captain worked hard, and his speed served him in good stead, whilst Stewart showed us a glimpse of his last season’s form. He opened out the play in good style, and he and Parkinson often indulged in many fine passing bouts. It was noticed that at times they rather overdid it in front of goal, and their desire to work a better opening was checked by the opposing defence.
However, the form of the men was quite good. The left wing was not as prominent, and I was surprised to note that Uren did not fasten on to the requirements of the occasion. Against Benson he was not successful, and when he found this out it was his policy to swing the ball across more promptly instead of trying to trick the back. True, he got past Benson on occasions, but generally the Sheffield defender had the best of the argument.
The failing of John Macdonald was his fondness for holding the ball too long, and I trust Uren is not going to get into the same grove. Orr did well at times, and once when Parkinson dashed up to beat Benson in a charging bout Orr made a great effort to score from “Parky’s” centre, but in taking the ball first time he sent wide.
Of the halves Jim Harrop was the outstanding figure. He was always in the thick of the fray, and his headwork was especially good. Robert Robinson, too, was seen at his best prior to receiving the ball full in the face. He tackled with vigour and kept the Sheffield left wing in hand. He was obviously stunned, and when he resumed after the interval he was again in the wars. I understand he is all right again now, however, James Bradley was not a success
The defence of Ephraim Longworth and Alf West, however, was really fine, the former playing a great game. West showed promise of better things and along with Hardy the defence was all that could be desired. The keeper saved many fine shots, including a penalty and although he did not field the ball as cleanly as of yore, still he was a source of great strength.
Benson was the better of the Sheffield backs, and he and Longworth were two of the outstanding figures. Lievesley did finely, but the halves and the forwards left a lot to be desired.
(Source: Evening Express: December 19, 1910)