September 23, 1912
For the third time in successive League matches, the Manchester City inside right, who boats the appropriate name of Wynn, secured victory for his side at Anfield. Close upon thirty thousand persons saw Liverpool lose their first match on their own ground this season, and it must be admitted that the result was a just verdict.
Neither team showed much skill, but the visitors were the better of the two, though I should not care to pin my faith on either, judging from their exhibition in this game. The forward play on both sides was moderate, but the City extreme wingers were more capably supported by their inside partners than were the Anfield attackers and in the second half this superiority on the part of the visitors led to their securing the spoils of the contest.
Liverpool gave a most disappointing display throughout, and in those positions where weakness has been noticeable since the season opened were the frailties intensified. Their attack was devoid of united purpose; the centre berths in the front rank and the intermediate line were not satisfactorily filled, and the onward movements were disjointed and indecisive. Goddard was a reveller in work before the interval, and it was from his foot chief danger to the City defence was forthcoming.
Gracie was never prominent all through the game, and the five forwards merely ambled along in a manner which could only have been expected had each individual represented the whole line himself. Lacey seldom got the ball, and the player who has proved the most dangerous of the attacking division this season was quite neglected. Miller and Tosswill worked to little purpose, and their efforts rarely seemed likely to produce beneficial results.
In addition to the feebleness shown by the forwards was the poor fare set forth for our delectation by the half-backs. Ferguson accomplished some useful work in defence, but neither he nor the men on either side of him maintained a sympathetic touch with the front rank. There was no method, no plan of campaign between the two lines. Scott could not hold the City left wing, and Lowe has played far better football than he did in this match.
I was not particularly impressed by the City forwards, and, considering that they were opposed by a moderate set of half-backs, they did not play too prominent a part in the proceedings. Taylor was a great disappointment in the centre, and precious little was seen of him throughout the ninety minutes. The inside wingers, Jones and Wynn, foraged for their partners most assiduously, and they were most successful in their exploits.
As a consequence Dorsett was continually darting past Scott and driving inwards clever centres which gave the Liverpool defence no end of trouble. In the first half Hoad was frequently noticeable for similar achievements, but he tamed down considerably in the second half, after one centre from him had been turned to account. Jones was exceedingly tricky, and Wynn the most dangerous of the line near goal.
Of the half-backs, Eadie bore off the honours, and proved a most difficult opponents to circumvent. As a destructive agent he was most effective, and his best work was accomplished in this direction. Bottomley played a very serviceable game, but Holford, after starting well, deteriorated greatly in the closing stages. Yet it was from a chance drive of his that the winning goal materialised.
In defence the City certainly showed to the greater advantage, for their goalkeeper and two full-backs never faltered. This was not the case on the Liverpool side, and both goals gained by the visitors were due to hesitancy by the defence. Campbell had very few shots to negotiate; in fact, the City keeper had far more work to perform than his rival.
The two which beat Campbell were curiously developed; in the first case a centre form the right wing was disregarded by two of the inside men, and Dorsett was afforded an opportunity that ought to have been averted. In the second instance, Holford lashed out at the ball when in neutral quarters, and a bouncing ball found Pursell slow in checking it, the result being again fatal. The left full-back was not so reliable in his returns as usual, and Longworth was kept very busy as a consequence. Fortunately the captain never faltered.
In the City goal Goodchild created a very favourable impression by his clearances, and what he had to do was executed in a fashion that could but inspire confidence in his ability to tackle a more severe task. Fletcher and Henry were a pair of sound defenders, and helped to constitute a rear division, which, if not brilliant, was decidedly useful.
Neither goals was captured until ten minutes before the interval, when Goddard forced a corner, and placed to Lacey whose shot cannoned off an opponent into the net. This was the state of affairs at half-time, but two minutes after the resumption Hood raced away and centred to Dorsett, who equalised. Fairly even play followed, but fifteen minutes later Holford lifted the ball goalwards, and Wynn gaining possession, placed his side ahead.
Liverpool: Kenneth Campbell, Ephraim Longworth, Robert Pursell, Harry Lowe, Bob Ferguson, James Scott, Arthur Goddard, Jack Tosswill, Tom Miller, Tom Gracie, William Lacey.
Manchester City: Jim Goodchild, Billy Henry, Eli Fletcher, Bill Bottomley, Bill Eadie, Tom Holford, Sid Hoad, George Wynn, Harry Taylor, Billy Jones, Joe Dorsett.
Referee: Mr. J.T. Howcroft, Bolton.
(Source: Athletic News: September 23, 1912)