Bolton’s costly mistakes

December 16, 1912
While giving Liverpool every credit for gaining a point at Burnden Park, they were favoured not a little. The Wanderers for long periods at a time could do everything except force the ball into the net. The home forwards swarmed around Campbell and his charge, but the young Scotsman saved his side from decisive defeat.

Too much credit cannot be given to Campbell for his performance, but, all the same, when such normally deadly marksmen as Smith and Bentley more than once passed the backs and within a few yards of goal with only the ball past him, there is an explanation why Liverpool were able to share the honours. The undoing of the Wanderers was undoubtedly the over-eagerness of the forwards.

The Liverpool men fought keenly and improved as the end approached. Longworth and Crawford certainly showed greater defensive powers in the later stages, and the former rendered splendid service when the Boltonians made their final efforts to capture both points. The visiting half-backs were only moderate, Ferguson being the pick of the trio. He was a source of trouble to the youthful Donaldson and Jones, and fed his forwards with some care.

The front line, however, did not show brilliance. They were seen to the greatest advantage in the second period, when they made headway by combined footwork, and gave some anxiety to Edmondson by their shooting from a distance. The Wanderers’ backs, Feebury and Slater, were, however, generally masters of the situation at close quarters. Feebury was excellent all though, and Slater did well, though he was scarcely as reliable or exact as his colleague. At the same time Slater was faced by the most dangerous of the Liverpool forwards – the outside right.

Neglected opportunities.
The Boltonians disappointed their 14,000 supporters. They were certainly often enough within range of the goal without piercing it. Smith, for instance, made the woodwork of the Liverpool goal shiver with one of those characteristic left foot drives from ten yards range. The ball rebounded, with Campbell hopelessly beaten, and then again, with apparently only five yards between him and the net, the same player ballooned the ball over the bar! And Bentley was little better with almost similar chances. Such is not the real form of either man.

Apart from the slight lapses mentioned, Smit and Bentley played a sterling game. The former showed all his dash, and plied Vizard well, enabled the Welshman to display his speed and brilliant footwork on the touch-line; but for once in a way Vizard was scarcely so uniformly successful in pacing the ball in most dangerous proximity to the goal.

The same may be said of young Donaldson on the other wing. When once he had settled down he had matters his own way against Ferguson and Crawford up to the interval, during which period it was mainly his centres that his colleagues foozled. Jones worked hard, but seemed to have scarcely recovered from his experience of a week ago.

The home middle line was clever, Greenhalgh being a thorn in the sides of the Liverpool forward inside trio. He repeatedly broke up their combination. Both Gimblett and Whiteside well-merited their continued inclusion, and the former is clearly improving. The defence has already been mentioned, and it only remains for me to add that Edmondson played up to his reputation as a steady custodian.

Mackinlay’s useful habit.
The Wanderers took the lead when the game was two minutes old. Following a well-placed corner kick by Vizard there was a short, sharp, scrimmage, and then Smith from the penalty line, dashed in and with a swift, left foot shot, drove the ball into the corner of the net. The visitors equalised, somewhat unexpectedly, twenty minutes later. The Wanderers were pressing when the visiting left wing pair broke away, and Mackinlay swerving towards the centre, shot from 15 yards range and the ball curled into the near corner of the goal, under the bar and inches beyond the custodian’s reach.

Bolton Wanderers: John Edmondson, Jack Feebery, Jack Slater, Gwilym Gimblett, Sam Greenhalgh, Ernie Whiteside, Alex Donaldson, Evan Jones, Alf Bentley, Joe Smith, Ted Vizard.
Liverpool: Kenneth Campbell, Ephraim Longworth, Robert Crawford, Harry Lowe, Ernest Peake, Bob Ferguson, Arthur Goddard, Sam Gilligan, Arthur Metcalf, Tom Miller, Donald Mackinlay.

Referee: Mr. J.E. Hall, Birmingham.
(Source: Athletic News: December 16, 1912)

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