Liverpool received kindly by crowd


April 28, 1914
The Liverpool F.C., as well as Burnley, had an intensely warm welcome, and the scene at Anfield last night was a remarkable one, and one that did the crowd credit. It is hard to shout “Bravo!” when the team has lost. To-morrow, at 6 p.m., the Cup Final teams will replay at Anfield for the Theatrical Gala funds, and Burnley will bring the Cup as well as the Cup team with them. Liverpool have chosen their Cup team, and a big crowd is sure to make its way to Anfield for this special and charity-helping occasion.

The Liverpool players were granted a specially-enthusiastic reception last night at Anfield, when they turned out to play their League match with Sheffield United. So bitter a blow as a Cup Final defeat was expected to make spectators downcast, but, instead, the home players were received with a demonstration the like of which was only equalled at Crystal Palace on Saturday when the King entered the ground. The crowd numbered some seven or eight thousand people, and there was a prolonged and vociferous cheering for Bob Ferguson and his men that lasted nearly five minutes. One wonders what would have happened had Liverpool won? The players showed their appreciation of the crowd’s sporting action by giving one of the best exhibition of the season, the game being fast and producing much good football and a victory to the home side, who were a goal down in ten minutes.

The result of the game puts Liverpool and Everton on the same mark for points, but Everton, as last year, have the superior goal average, and therefore their followers claim a number of bets by a fraction of a goal.

Sheffield played combined and swift football last night at Anfield. Kenneth Campbell, Ephraim Longworth, and Robert Pursell were in great form, but could not prevent Stan Fazakerly, the Buchan-like forward, scoring from a rebound, Fred Hawley having shot at long range.

A couple of corners led to the goal, and as showing the simple beginning of the point it is necessary to state that the first corner was given by Arthur Metcalf, who, in trying to kick hard to safety, turned the ball over the line. Thus in ten minutes the enthusiasm of the spectators was somewhat damped. However, Liverpool were playing good football, and Jack Sheldon was positively making rings round George Utley, whose height prevented him reaching the little forward.

Sheldon was sparkling in the first half, though he could not help in the goal-making. Another simple touch and the equaliser was made. Ferguson could not find an opening for a pass forward, and therefore passed back to Pursell. The crowd showed discontent. They hastily made up their mind that his policy should have been a forward pass. At all costs, apparently, and without any sign of a safe pass forward, he should have parted with the ball. Pursell punted forward, and Albert Sturgess only partly covered the ball. Tom Miller was well forward, and he scored with a fast shot. In twenty-five minutes’ good and even football Liverpool had equalised. Miller was responsible for the third goal of the night when he converted what Jimmy Nicholl had intended to be a shot. He received the ball at close range and gave Harold Gough no chance. The crowd sighed, “Ah, had it been on Saturday!”

Yet he a third time did Miller score, and it was as beautiful a piece of football artistry as has been seen on the Anfield ground. The United defence became muddled, and Gough did not clear properly when he rushed out. The ball eventually went towards William Lacey, who tried to head the ball beyond the backs, who had dropped back to goal. He narrowly failed, and the ball went out to Miller, who had his back to the goal, yet by a swift twist sent the ball spinning over the goal-line by hooking the ball over his side. The referee (Mr. I. Baker) adjudged him offside, and so one of the finest goals ever scored was not allowed. It was a pity. Everyone thought it was a sound goal, because Gaugh was in front of Miller and the backs were in goal. How could the Liverpool centre be offside? Miller’s misfortune did not end here. He was kicked on the head by Sturgess, who by making full use of his long reach was “dangerous.” There was plenty of spirit in the game, and Utley was a number of times brought to book for fouls on Sheldon.

Sheffield United were outclassed in the second half until the last stages of the game were reached, and then, after spirited solos by Walter Davies, who was bored off. Fazakerley and Billy Gillespie attempted to score with shots that would have beaten the average goalkeeper. Campbell, however made them look small matters. Donald Mackinlay brought out Gough’s best by a swift shot, the goalkeeper falling full length to save – a splendid sample of safe goalkeeping, and the game came to an end with Liverpool good winners of a fast and entrancing game, quite unlike the general run of April matches.

All the Liverpool players shaped well, albeit Metcalf was not as successful as is his went. Miller’s return to shooting form was welcome, and all the forwards played a much improved game when comparison was sought with Saturday’s final tie. At half back there was some splendid tackling and forward passing, and the three men of the rear guard were faultless, although pitted against a side that has a splash of youth, plenty of dash, and an old head or two to advise the younger members.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: April 28, 1914)

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