October 14, 1912
If any exuberantly hopeful followers of the Wednesday team enjoyed the idea that their heroes were going to make Liverpool suffer for the severe drubbing received by the “Blades” at Villa Park a shock of disappointment awaited them. Thanks to a brilliant goal-keeper in the shape of young Campbell, the Wednesday warriors were able to score only once at Owlerton on Saturday. It was not, however, only to the cleverness of Campbell that the blue and white brigade owed the smallness of their score. The delinquencies of their own forwards in front of the visitors’ goal had much to do with it.
That Wednesday had not lost the favour of the Sheffield public because of the debacle at Birmingham was proved by the presence of a crowd of 20,000 people. McLean was back again in his place to lead the front rank, but Glennon’s lameness still kept him out of the home side. However, Wright had proved himself so useful a forward in last Monday’s charity match, wherein he had scored two of the three goals whereby Sheffield United had been beaten, that he was given another trial.
Liverpool made several changes from the side beaten by Everton, Gilligan partnering Goddard on the right of the attack, and Scott and Lowe coming into the half-back line.
It was soon seen that the visitors’ defence was in fine form. Longworth and Pursell were resolute in tackling and accurate in their kicking, and Ferguson was a great power in the middle line as a spoiler of Wednesday’s attempts at combination. But ere long the “Blades’” dash got past them, and it was bit of bad luck for Wright that he failed to score with a shot that hit post, after which Campbell gave the crowd the first glimpse of his greatness by a superb save from Andrew Wilson among a crowd of players.
There was not much good shooting on either side during a fairly even first half, but Campbell did well to stop a stinger from Wright, and Davison to repel dangerous shots from Gilligan and Parkinson. The Liverpool centre certainly ought to have scored when Spoors let him through and Davison came out, but he drove the ball wide of the open goal. Wednesday’s runs in front were many, yet eight minutes before half-time they managed to crown one of their numerous rushes with a finely-got goal.
Taking a pass, Robertson swept along the left and swung the ball across to the other wing, where Kirkman skilfully screwed it into the jaws of the goal, whereupon followed a furious assault. Campbell saved once, but was helpless when Wright got his head to the ball and swiftly turned it into the net. Lacey, Liverpool’s left winger, got damaged midway through the first half, and left the field just before the interval. He came on afterwards, but soon retired again.
Goddard and Parkinson strove by extra exertion to make up for their comrade’s absence, and were Liverpool’s two smartest forwards. Goddard, indeed, playing admirably on the extreme, but Davison, in the Sheffield goal, had little to do in the second half.
Campbell was brilliant in the way he kept out difficult shots from Robertson, Kirkman, and McLean. But, soothe to say, most of Wednesday’s efforts at goal were wide of the mark. McLean, usually so deadly, was a great sinner.
The Sheffield forwards was a strong, skilful, dashing lot in the open. They pressed enough and had opportunities enough to have won by half a dozen goals. Kirkman scintillated on the right wing with Wright as an excellent partner, and Robertson was smart on the other flanks. Wilson worked like a hero, but it was not one of his happiest days, and he had bad luck with a good header that hit the post. The Wednesday half-backs gave excellent support to the men in front of them, Campbell showing the greatest artistry of any middlemen on the field.
At back Spoors made some fine returns, and did some resolute tackling, but Worrall was the safer of the Wednesday backs. Liverpool’s defence was powerful and skilful to a man. Longworth showed splendid judgment. Pursell had many a tussle with the sprightly Kirkman, and the Wednesday right winger did not always get the best of it, well as he played. Ferguson watched McLean very well, and found time to do other good work besides. Indeed, the Liverpool half-backs seemed to dominate the game in its early stages. Later, Wednesday’s dashing forwards got the better of them. In the visitors’ front rank Goddard played speedy, clever football, and Parkinson was a daring opportunist.
The Wednesday: Teddy Davison; Ted Worrall, Jimmy Spoors; Tom Brittleton, Robert McSkimming, Jimmy Campbell; Sam Kirkman, Percy Wright, David McLean, Andrew Wilson, George Robertson.
Liverpool: Kenneth Campbell; Ephraim Longworth, Robert Pursell; James Scott, Bob Ferguson, Harry Lowe; Arthur Goddard, Sam Gilligan, Jack Parkinson, Tom Miller, William Lacey.
Referee: Mr. I. Baker, Nantwich.
(Source: Athletic News: October 14, 1912)