November 9, 1912
Match: Football League, First Division, at Ayrsome Park, kick-off: 14:45.
Middlesbrough – Liverpool 3-4 (3-2).
Referee: Mr. A. Pellowe (Oldham); linesmen: Messrs. E.P. Squire and G. Davison.
Middlesbrough (2-3-5): Tim Williamson, William Duguid, James Weir, George Malcolm, Andrew Jackson, Edward Verrill, Jock Stirling, Jackie Carr, George Elliott, Jimmy Windridge, Jimmy Nicholl.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Kenneth Campbell, Ephraim Longworth, Robert Crawford, Harry Lowe, Ernest Peake, Bob Ferguson, Arthur Goddard, Arthur Metcalf, Jack Parkinson, Tom Miller, Donald Mackinlay.
The goals: 0-1 Miller (7 min.), 0-2 Metcalf (17 min.), 1-2 Elliott (30 min.), 2-2 Carr (31 min.), 3-2 Nicholl (35 min.), 3-3 Metcalf (82 min.), 3-4 Miller (85 min.).
** Official sources claim Parkinson scored Liverpool’s fourth goal.
Tim Williamson, Middlesbrough (Athletic News: March 24, 1913).
A game of many goals.
Whenever Liverpool visit Ayresome Park goals are generally abundant, and their latest contest on Teeside was productive of seven. As they secured the odd one, they have every reason to be satisfied, but, frankly, they were rather flattered by the result.
It was a curious game, when one reflects upon it. The Lancastrians, although slightly overplayed, adopted rushing tactics at the outset, and quickly were two goals up through the agency of Miller and Metcalf. Then came a spirited revival, and in a sparkling five minutes just prior to the interval, Middlesbrough not only rubbed off the arrears but actually secured the lead. Elliott obtained the first of the series, after splendid work by Carr. There weemed a suspicion of offside about the point. Within a minute Carr equalised from a centre by Nicholl, and the leading goal came from Nicholl, who crashed home the ball from twenty yards out.
It was a brilliant goal, only rivalled during the afternoon by Miller’s winner for Liverpool five minutes from the close. Prior to this Metcalf obtained his side’s third, after having had one disallowed for offside.
Apart from the fact that it was their first home defeat of the season, there were several disappointing features, viewed from a Middlesbrough standpoint. First there were Williamson’s costly blunders. So few are the international’s mistakes that I hardly like to be severe on him, but at least two of Liverpool’s goals he would usually have prevented. The exceptions were the last two of the match, and no goalkeeper would have saved the last. Then Malcolm, who was making his first home appearance, fell below anticipations. He could not hold Mackinlay, and was, moreover, slow to recover. Still Middlesbrough have almost exhausted their list in trying to fill the position. He is the seventh man tried at right half-back, and he will be given a further opportunity. The speed of the game seemed to bother him most.
His weakness threw a lot of anxiety on Duguid, who was called up at the last minute to fill Hisbent’s place, and the Scot was not as reliable as he generally is. Weir was easily the better back, and made some powerful returns. At half-back, Jackson, making his initial appearance, and Verrill shared the honours. The former was responsible for one bad mistake, which gave away a goal, but otherwise he played very well, indeed, considering his long absence.
It was forward where Middlesbrough shone. Stirling and Carr were smart on the right, and Nicholl and Windridge clever on the other extreme, while Elliott linked them up excellently. Not for a long time have the club had such a speedy and thrustful line of attack, and in this game it would be unfair to single anyone out for special praise.
Their mode of procedure differed much from that of Liverpool. The latter relied upon long, swinging passes and strong individual rushes, and undoubtedly these tactics were eminently suitable. They gave Miller and Metcalf – two dangerous shots – abundant opportunities. Parkinson was not frequently prominent, but both Goddard and Mackinlay were. The former’s trickiness stood him in good stead, but the outside left adopted a “get there” policy, and never wasted time in disposing of the ball. The half-backs were a more level lot than Middlesbrough’s, and paid every attention to their forwards. Ferguson, in particular, was brainy, and though up against exceedingly clever forwards did not often admit defeat. Peake was, first and foremost, a spoiler, and he rendered great service by keeping a strict watch on Elliott, while Lowe, though never showy, was always working hard.
There could be no doubt who was the best back, as Longworth stood head and shoulders above Crawford, and was certainly rather better than Weir. Once he was at fault, but fortunately Campbell was at hand to retrieve the situation. Where he excelled was in his rushing tackles. Crawford found Stirling too fast, but he was more than useful when it came to close quarters play. Of Campbell it is almost sufficient to say that he is a worthy successor to Sam Hardy. He has the gift of anticipating, and effected some glorious saves. There were 12,000 spectators.
(The Athletic News, 11-11-1912)