October 28, 1912
On Saturday morning the people of Derby shook their heads ominously and predicted that fog would put a stop to football. But the fog lifted and the rain began to fall – a change of conditions which made football possible but naturally had a disastrous effect on the attendance, which did not exceed a beggarly six thousand.
The effect of the rain was, of course, to make the ground heavier than in their recent engagements, but the greatest difficulty, from the point of view of the players, arose from the greasy ball, which gave both sets of forwards a lot of trouble, but especially those of Liverpool. Bloomer, however, adapted himself to the changed conditions marvellously, and to this fact the Derby men largely owed their victory, for the veteran enjoyed such a day of triumph as he has not known for years.
At the commencement of the season few people would have had the hardihood to wager that Bloomer would signalise Derby County’s return to the First Division by performing the hat trick against a team of such pretensions as Liverpool. But on Saturday he applied himself to the task in quite his old sprightly fashion, and the Liverpool defenders must have found it hard to realise that their most dangerous foeman in the first half was a man who had more than twenty years of first-class football behind him.
An old-time goal.
Nothing in his methods suggested the veteran in the least. When the ball came Bloomer’s way from the left wing after the game had been in progress five minutes, he hesitated not a moment, but drove straight into the net. Half-way through Bloomer electrified the crowd with a veritable old-time goal – a low shot that flashed past Campbell before he could realise that Bloomer had shot at all. Three minutes from the interval Bloomer got his head to a pretty centre from Ivan Sharpe, and once more the ball was in the net – another fine goal, for which even the Liverpool players could not withhold a silent tribute of admiration.
As a matter of fact, however, the visitors must have felt a trifle sore at being three down at the interval, for Parkinson and Metcalf had shot straight at Scattergood when only that player stood between them and the net. The ball was too greasy for them, a little drawback which also upset Leonard, when he, too, appeared to have the goal at his mercy.
The really plucky nature of the fight put up by Liverpool in the second half will be better understood when it is mentioned that the team were thrown out of gear by an accident to Pursell, who had been off the field fifteen minutes before ends were changed, and only returned to take up the position of outside left, where he was practically of no account.
The crowning sensation.
But, in spite of this handicap, Liverpool did better in the second half than in the first. Metcalf obtained a goal for them after 28 minutes, and added a second three from the close. It then looked as though there was the possibility of a dramatic finish, but instead of Liverpool, it was Derby who supplied the sensation with a fluky a goal as ever was seen.
Campbell was kicking away at his leisure, but the ball failed to rise and struck Leonard, off whose body it rebounded into the net. One could only feel glad that a goal of such dubious value, morally, was without influence on the game.
Derby deserved their victory, beyond a doubt, and after making every allowance for the accident to Pursell one could hardly dispute Derby’s superiority at almost all points. Liverpool had no forward to compare with the irrepressible Bloomer, and their half-backs were inferior to the Derby trio, all of whom, as usual, were tremendously in earnest, and did a lot of splendid work. The Derby backs, too, kicked grandly, and Scattergood, like Campbell, kept goal in fine form.
Goddard and Metcalf, amongst the forwards, Peake, of the half-backs, and, of course, Longworth – who played quite an heroic part under difficult conditions – were the outstanding figures in the Liverpool team.
Derby County: Ernie Scattergood, Jack Atkin, Charlie Betts, Tommy Barbour, Frank Buckley, Jimmy Bagshaw, Billy Grimes, Steve Bloomer, Harry Leonard, Jimmy Bauchop, Ivan Sharpe.
Liverpool: Kenneth Campbell, Ephraim Longworth, Robert Pursell, Harry Lowe, Ernest Peake, Bob Ferguson, Arthur Goddard, Arthur Metcalf, Jack Parkinson, Tom Miller, Donald Mackinlay.
Referee: Mr. A. Hargreaves, Blackpool.
(Source: Athletic News: October 28, 1912)