February 8, 1915
The usual thing happened at Goodison Park on Saturday when Liverpool gained the victory over Everton. So far as “form” is concerned it was the unexpected that happened, but as every enthusiast knows, when these local rivals meet the respective positions in the League table count for nothing; and as Liverpool usually manage to reverse the decision obtained at Anfield, it was in keeping with the natural order of things, that Everton should be beaten.
So far as the game was concerned it will certainly rank as one of the best ever played between them. It was keenly fought, full of incident, and, what is most important, free from the slightest suggestion of foul play. During the initial half Everton had slightly the better of the argument, and their lead of a goal to nil, at the interval was deserved, for their forwards finished better than the Liverpool lot. Early in the second period the Anfielders were awarded a penalty kick, from which Sheldon scored. This success brought to the surface all the best of Liverpool’s skill, and the play fluctuated much in Liverpool’s favour. Liverpool’s two subsequent goals were well earned, and although Everton were always triers and often dangerous the superior dash of the Anfielders gained them the day and two valuable points.
From the outset both sets of forwards got to work in good style, and Fern and Scott were early in evidence. The shooting was all from long range, and in anticipation both custodians proved themselves clever masters. The half-backs played a very important part in the initial half; in fact, they quite dominated the play, so much so that the forwards were repeatedly out-maneuvered, and many promising movements were not allowed to materalise. At the end of thirteen minutes’ play, however, Clennell scored for Everton. Macconachie successfully challenged Miller, and sending the ball forward Clennell obtained possession in an excellent position, driving home a beautiful ground shot that Scott failed to reach.
The nearest Liverpool came to equalising was an excellent attempt by Banks, who from close range levelled a shot at Fern. The custodian, however, brought off a remarkable fine save; and he also excelled himself later when he took a spinning ball from Miller and a hard drive from Lowe with the ease of a county cricket. Parker was ever on the alert for an opening, and Scott was rather fortunate when he tripped a beauty over the bar.
The opening of the second half saw Everton still the aggressive side, and a centre from Palmer went right across the Liverpool goal until Chedgzoy sent the ball wide. Then as the positions were reversed and Chedgzoy middled well, Palmer ought to have scored, but he allowed Scott to nip in and kick clear. Several times the Liverpool forwards were served with excellent opportunitise, and although they worked well to a certain point there were no “snap” in their game, and they failed to clinch their work when in the goal area.
After eleven minutes’ play Pagnam fought his way through the Everton defence, and was nearing shooting distance when Macconnachie brought him down. From the penalty kick, awarded Sheldon scored, and from this stage Liverpool played with greater determined. Still the Anfield forwards displayed their dallying methods, and on two occasions once Sheldon and then Nicholl stood stock still with the ball while the Everton defence recovered, and thus two favourable openings were neglected. Fortunately for Liverpool these blunders were neutralised by a goal five minutes later from Nicholl. Macconnachie was somewhat to blame for this second disaster, for as the ball was passed forward by lacey he allowed Sheldon to run through the centre. Pagnam missed the ball altogether, but Nicholl was adjacent to him, and he immediately shot hard and true, the ball finding the corner of the net quite out of Fern’s reach.
Ten minutes from the end Liverpool made the issue safe with a goal from Pagnam. The Anfield centre took the ball as it came from Sheldon, and with only Thompson to bar his way to goal he took the shortest course, and with a deadly shot he completed a thrilling piece of work just as Thompson bowled him over. Liverpool deserve much praise for their fine victory, although for the major portion of the game Everton were the better side, and it took the Anfielders a long time to recognise their own weakness. Still, when the Anfielders did do so, they undoubtedly held the advantage.
Scott brought of some remarkably fine saves, and Longsworth and Pursell did much that was brilliant. Lacey, Lowe, and McKinlay made a splendid half back line, and none did better than Lacey, who fairly revealed in his work. Miller and Nicholl made a capital wing, and Pagnam, although he made several mis-passes and was occasionally slow in getting away, was a capable leader. Sheldon had something to do with all three goals, and he was the most prominent of the line, but Banks was below the standard of the others. Fern kept a grand goal, his manner of fielding the long shots being really clever. Thompson played a good game, but Macconnachie rather spoiled his effective work by two costly mistakes. Fleetwood, Galt, and Makepeace compared favourably with Liverpool’s excellent middle line. Chedgzoy, Parker and Clennell stood out well in the Everton attack, Palmer and Kirsopp being the weakest of the line. Att 30,000.
Everton: Tommy Fern, Bob Thompson, Jock Maconnachie, Tom Fleetwood, Jimmy Galt, Harry Makepeace, Sam Chedgzoy, Billy Kirsopp, Bobby Parker, Joe Clennell, Bill Palmer.
Liverpool: Elisha Scott, Ephraim Longworth, Robert Pursell, William Lacey, Harry Lowe, Donald Mackinlay, Jack Sheldon, William Banks, Fred Pagnam, Tom Miller, Jimmy Nicholl. Referee: Mr. H. H. Taylor.
(Source: Liverpool Daily Post: February 8, 1915)