November 18, 1912
Prior to their fixture with Notts County Liverpool enjoyed the unique distinction of not having participated in a drawn game this season; no club in either division of the League could claim such a record. Their inability to score against the Midlanders came somewhat as a surprise, for in their four previous fixtures the forwards had displayed especial excellence at close quarters, and had scored fourteen goals. But in the match at Anfield this same set of attackers adopted the policy of finessing when within shooting range, while their attempts to locate the net were comparatively few.
Against a defence of the calibre which Notts usually exhibit, this course of procedure could only meet with one fate, but Liverpool had at least one chance which in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred would have brought a goal. It was simply astounding how the Notts goal escaped. The interval was rapidly approaching, and the eighteen thousand spectators had hoped in vain for an outlet for their intense enthusiasm when Mackinlay centred in his customary accurate style. Miller headed the ball inwards at such a pace that it rebounded off Iremonger’s chest to the foot of Parkinson, who was not three yards away. The latter shot in as if he would destroy the netting, but in some wonderful fashion the ball took an upward course, shook the woodwork, and then with sheer abandon sought refuge in the quiet of the touch line.
No chance like this, came again to either side, and the fates having had their generous offer flouted, withdrew all further favours. Notts enjoyed a fair share of the attack, Waterall and Flint being the chief source of danger to Liverpool’s defence, but like their opponents they did not finish well. It possess my comprehension how the Midlanders ever gained the soubriquet “Lambs,” for there was nothing of this nature about the play, which was grim and determined rather than spectacular in character. Free kicks were plentiful, and in the second half Peake was knocked out of action by a severe blow on the ankle. He was escorted to the side of the field, and on returning changed places with Ferguson, while later on he and Mackinlay did likewise.
From this stage Notts assumed the ascendency, and towards the finish exerted such pressure that only Campbell’s skill prevented the visitors from securing a victory. Yet the Midlanders were never as dangerous as their rivals, and Mackinlay had wretched luck with a lusty left-footed drive which sent the ball squirming along the front surface of the bar. During the concluding period Waterall and Henshall redoubled their efforts and their speedy runs greatly bothered the defenders, coming as they did, at a time when exhaustion was beginning to tell on most if the combatants.
Some of the movements evolved by the Liverpool forwards were excellent, and at times the ball left the foot of Parkinson, Miller, and Metcalf as if drawn by a magnetic force to its objective. As a means to an end this was quite satisfactory, but the mistake was made of carrying these methods too far, and we looked in vain for those hurtling bolts from Metcalf, which, in half a dozen games, have placed him chief of the club’s goal scorers. Parkinson was fixed on the Notts Clamp, and rarely tested the keeper, while Miller, to whom came the most opportunities, was inaccurate in his final attempts. Mackinlay gave another capital performance, but Goddard was not so prominent.
In the half-back line Ferguson showed to greatest advantage, for he placed skilfully to his forwards, and provided Miller with alluring openings, which were ably taken by the inside left, who, however, neutralised his work when near goal. Peake, until he was injured, gave a creditable display in the centre, and Lowe showed glimpses of improved form in the second half. No fault could be found with the defence, and Crawford, who had a wary wing to tackle, acquitted himself with distinction. Longworth never seemed to tire, and his whole heartedness was ever apparent; while in goal Campbell showed his great ability in the last ten minutes of the contest.
Beyond question the cleverest and most efficient part of the County front line was the right wing. Flint foraged for Waterall with a persistency that deserved every praise, and the latter showed a keen appreciation of these endeavours by the manner in which he flashed along the touchline and swept some swinging centres across the goalmouth. His speed was often in evidence, and there was cunning in his footwork also.
Williams gave a promising display, and maintained an intelligent touch with his wingers; rarely was he out of position to carry on the movements of his partners, and he should do well for his new club. Jones was inclined to loft the ball, though Henshall, as a general rule, made the most of his passes.
The effectiveness of Clamp could not be doubted; he had a mission and he fulfilled it. Emberton and Craythorne did not exhibit the form that is usually associated with their name, and both were much subdued. At full-back West kicked in clean and forcible fashion, and his defence all round was most reliable. Morley had a tendency to balloon the ball, but he was difficult to pass, and this part of the team proved a solid line of resistance. Iremonger made some smart clearances, and the crowd roared when the lengthy custodian in endeavouring to stop a high ball raised his hand a considerable distance above the crossbar.
Liverpool: Kenneth Campbell, Ephraim Longworth, Robert Crawford, Harry Lowe, Ernest Peake, Bob Ferguson, Arthur Goddard, Arthur Metcalf, Jack Parkinson, Tom Miller, Donald Mackinlay.
Notts County: Albert Iremonger, Herbert Morley, Alf West, Teddy Emberton, Arthur Clamp, Ben Craythorne, Ike Waterall, Billy Flint, David “Dai” Williams, Freddie Jones, Horace Henshall.
Referee: Mr. J.H. Pearson, Crewe.
(Source: Athletic News: November 18, 1912)