League matches

Sunderland v Liverpool 4-0 (League match)


Monday, January 2 – 1911
Match: Football League, First Division, at Roker Park, kick-off: 14:00.
Sunderland – Liverpool 4-0 (4-0).
Attendance: 12,000.
Sunderland (2-3-5): Thomas Allan, Billy Troughear, Albert Milton, Thomas Tait, Charlie Thomson, Harry Low, Jackie Mordue, Tim Coleman, Jack Cowell, George Holley, George Bridgett.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Sam Hardy; Ephraim Longworth, Robert Crawford; Robert Robinson, Jim Harrop, John McConnell; Arthur Goddard, Joe Brough, Jack Parkinson, Sam Bowyer, John Macdonald.
The goals: 1-0 Holley (9 min.), 2-0 Mordue (11 min.), 3-0 Coleman (21 min.), 4-0 Cowell (30 min.).

The display of the Wearside team against Liverpool at Roker Park yesterday was a striking contrast to that they have in the game with Sheffield United on Saturday. They had but a crowd of 10,000 to watch the encounter, and the conditions were not inviting. Heavy rain had fallen in the early morning, and although at the start the sun was shining there were several showers of hail, snow, and sleet before the game ended. As a consequence the ground was heavy – a factor which seemed to suit the Wearsiders, who, during the afternoon, showed some  very fine form.

The changes which had been made – Holley for Jimmy Gemmell and Milton for Harry Forster – were all for the best, and the home front rank has never during the season shown to greater advantage. They had the wind in their favour to begin with, and at once adopted the short passing game. This proved decidedly troublesome to the visiting defence, and in the first minute Longworth was forced by Bridgett to concede a corner. This was soon followed by another, though neither gave any tangible result. All the fighting, even at this early stage, was confined to the Liverpool end, and weakness in the latter’s line of defence was obvious. It was evident, too, that unless they exerted themselves their goal would be penetrated.

The expected soon happened, for the first goal came to the Wearsiders at the end of nine minutes’ play. The pressure at the moment was severe, and Coleman, getting the ball, beat the two backs and gave to Bridgett. Hardy, the custodian, made a rush for it, and Bridgett slipped down. While he and Hardy were struggling to get the ball Holley dashed in and took careful aim, planting it in the net. Two minutes later Sunderland had the Liverpool backs in a muddle again, and Cowell passed to Mordue, who scored a second goal.

The play went on all in favour of Sunderland, who were superior to their opponents without apparent effort. They were constantly buzzing around the visitors’ goal, and were always dangerous. It was only at rare intervals that Liverpool got a look in. Parkinson and Goddard were enterprising, and occasionally broke away. In one case Parkinson made a splendid run, and it was only by the exercise of great smartness that Allan saved the position.

At the end of twenty-one minutes Sunderland put on a third goal, the scorer being Coleman, who had received from Mordue. These two were playing a grand game, and Coleman in particular was very nippy, while Mordue was a regular thorn in the side of Crawford. The visiting defence was outclassed completely, and it was only by the greatest of good luck that it escaped further disasters as long as it did. In the case of two corners which were forced the Liverpool defenders extricated themselves, after a desperate struggle, but at the end of half and hour’s play the fourth goal came along.

Hardy cleared from Coleman by jumping up to the cross-bar, but Cowell returned the ball into the net. All the goals had been cleanly got, and there was no doubt about any of them. Towards the close of the half Parkinson again made a flying run, but found Allan on the alert.

The second half opened with a sharp attack by the visitors, who kept it up for every five minutes. Then there was a period when Sunderland did all the aggressive work. They found, however, they had more to contend with than in the first half. Crawford somehow marred his display by roughing Mordue, but apparently he found this the only way of stopping the Wearside winger.

For a considerable time Sunderland had the bulk of the play, and had Liverpool’s form not been vastly improved compared with the first half, Sunderland must have put on at least two goals. Just prior to the end Liverpool made a final rally, and forced two corners in succession. Allan had a stirring time, but he came out on top, and his goal was never penetrated.

Sunderland were far and away the better of the two teams, and so admirably did the first line work in the opening half that it was irresistible. Cowell, who has lately been so disappointing, has never given a better display, and he and his colleagues worked together all through like a piece of machinery. Their shooting, too, was accurate and well-judged. The half-backs were good and the defence steady and clever. Allan distinguished himself by the excellence of his judgment and the decisiveness with which he dealt with the ball under awkward circumstances.

The best department in the Liverpool team was the front line, of which Goodard and Parkinson were the pick. The halves were only moderate, and the defence, despite improvement when too late, was defective. Hardy was smart when he had a chance, but in the first half his backs let him down.

For Sunderland it was an auspicious opening for 1911. It gave them the biggest lead at the cross-over they have had this season, it was their third win at home by four to nothing this season, and their fourth consecutive victory over Liverpool.
(Newcastle Journal, 03-01-1911)

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