September 16, 1912
Five times had Liverpool, prior to Saturday, visited the home of Bradford City on the quest for points, and five times had they brought the full quota away from the Valley Parade enclosure, but their sequence was broken, and 20,000 spectators rejoiced at the triumph of the City.
In one respect the dethroned leaders need not be greatly ashamed of their first downfall, for I believe that no club could have withstood the charges of the home attack, but, on the other hand, I feel sure that Liverpool did not display that high standard which had gained them their previous successes. The men from the Mersey met with a shock very early in the game, for they had a goal scored against them after four minutes, and they never seemed to recover from it; nay, in another twelve minutes, their citadel fell a second time and their discomfiture seemed complete.
Both the goals were very fine ones, and Bond was in at each of them. In the first instance he commenced the good work by forcing Pursell to give a corner after a keen race between the pair. He took the flag-kick himself, the ball went over on to the left, back it came into the scrimmage, and it seemed that Speirs and Walden were undecided as to which should make the attempt to score. However, Walden got his foot to the ball and crashed it amongst the legs and past Campbell, who was unsighted.
Speirs and Walden also set Bond going with a run that brought about the second goal, and the ball coming back splendidly from the wing man Speirs turned it into the net in a style which commanded the admiration of all. Campbell was simply overawed.
What Bradford City may or may not do the future only can reveal, but if the team maintains Saturday’s form they will finish far higher than the eleventh position, which was their portion last season. Five men stood out above their follows, and these were Campbell, Torrance, Bond, Walden, and Speirs. They were almost a team themselves.
The two first-named were the chief cause of Liverpool not scoring, and the latter trio worried the opposing half-backs so much they must have welcomed the final whistle. Campbell in the first half particularly completely held the visitors left in subjection, and his kicking was nothing less than wonderful. Torrance, the centre half-back, was, perhaps, the most noticeable man on the field by reason of his untiring energy. He covered the three inside-forwards beautifully, and not only fed his forwards, but also made a number of shots at goal.
The three forwards named could not have played better, and certainly I have never seen Bond play better. His running with the ball at his toes was really fine, and the manner in which he trapped the passes from Speirs and Walden and shot off with the ball stamped him as a real artist. And his centring from all angles were right on the mark, while even when he wandered over on to the left wing, as he did in the second half, he fired in shots like a centre-forward.
Speirs is no veteran on Saturday’s play, he was as sprightly as any man on the field and finished fresher than some younger men. He was sandwiched between two speedy men in Bond and Walden, but was always ready to give and take the passes. I had not seen Walden previously, but he at once impressed me that he is a first-class centre-forward. He was altogether too active for Liverpool’s centre half, and was a real leader, and, moreover, he can shoot hard and straight, which is what a centre-forward is expected to do.
But whilst I have specialised five men. I have nothing but praise for all the winners – Logan and Devine, for instance, were a merry left wing, the wing half-backs were safe and sound, and Gane, the left back, is a man after Campbell’s own heart. He sails in, and generally gets the ball. As for Mark Mellors, the crowd showed their delight at his re-reinstatement into the team when he came on to the field, and they cheered him on every possible occasion.
Campbell, the custodian.
He certainly was good enough for all that came his way, and there is no doubt that the public insist on his retention in the team. I must admit that I was disappointed with the Liverpool men. Perhaps I was expecting too much after their previous results. They were outplayed in every department, except goal, and in Campbell they have a custodian who is a worthy successor to Hardy. He takes high and low shots with equal ease, and I should say that he will soon be numbered amongst the best custodians in the country.
Captain Longworth played a sound full-back game, and though Pursell was not exactly a failure, I was rather disappointed with him. The half-back line was the weakest part of the team, for they were neither attackers nor defenders, and Ferguson, the centre half, was altogether too slow, and he will have to be more alert to be a success in his present company.
The forward who pleased me most was Tosswill, who is a natural footballer. Gracie, the centre-forward, has a style and appearance not unlike Parkinson, and he plays for himself rather than his colleagues. Lacey was very dangerous in the second half, getting the ball across well, but as a line the forwards compared unfavourably with the home quintette.
Bradford City: Mark Mellors, Bob Campbell, Bert Gane, George Robinson, Bob Torrance, Jimmy McDonald, Dickie Bond, Jimmy Speirs, Harold Walden, Archie Devine, Peter Logan.
Liverpool: Kenneth Campbell, Ephraim Longwoth, Robert Pursell, James Scott, Bob Ferguson, Harry Lowe, Arthur Goddard, Jack Tosswill, Tom Gracie, Tom Miller, William Lacey.
Referee: Mr. J.W. Marsh, Burnley
(Source: Athletic News: September 16, 1912)