February 15, 1915
Liverpool v Chelsea.
Though the conditions were all against scientific play, the game at Anfield on Saturday was a highly interesting one, and the few spectators who attended – there were only about 6,000 – had good value for their money. The ground was very heavy owing to recent rain, and a cold, snow laden wind blew across the ground, but the players entered into the fray with gusto, and the pace was fast from start to finish.
A draw about represented the run of the play, though it must be said that Chelsea were a trifle fortunate when Mackinlay put through his own goal. Still, they played capital football, and their forwards were quick on the ball, and never failed to have a shot at goal when the opportunity presented itself. McNeil, Croal, and Thomson were very prominent, and the centre’s dash frequently nonplussed the home defenders.
At the outset Liverpool went away with a rare burst, and in the first few minutes, from a pass by Banks, Pagnam dashed clean through and scored a capital goal. After this Chelsea gradually settled down, and they played with determination, and for a time the Liverpool defence was hotly assailed, and shots from Abrams and Halse went near, while Scott made a couple of good saves, one from Halse being a clever effort. With twenty-five minutes gone Chelsea equalised in rather lucky fashion. Croal run in to prevent the ball going over the line, and he just caught it in time. He centred, but there were none of his forwards up, and Mackinlay, in trying to clear, kicked the ball though his own goal.
With the teams now level the exchanges were of a ding-dong character. At length Pagnam forced an opening, and controlling the ball with great skill he ran clean through and scored a great goal. Shortly afterwards he nearly repeated the performance, but Chelsea, improving as the game advanced, again equalised. Thomson, with a very fine long shot, scoring Chelsea’s second point. Just before the interval Pagnam completed the “hat-trick” by dashing past the defenders and sending the ball with terrific force into the net. At the interval the Liverpool men thus led by 3 goals to 2.
There was no slackening off in the second half the place being very hot, and the teams tried their utmost to gain an advantage, and the respective defences were hard pressed in turn. Chelsea’s goal escaped narrowly on two occasions, Bettridge once kicking off the line with Molyneux beaten. Scott saved from Halse, and when Croal looked like going through he was forced off the ball by the backs and Scott cleared. Croal was injured, but soon resumed.
Molyneux turned a fine shot from Miller over the bar, and after 17 minutes of the second half Halse got the better of a tussle with Pursell and scored Chelsea’s third goal. This proved to be the last point of the match, but just before the finish Pursell brought Ford down in the penalty area, and Abrams taking the kick he drove in hard, but Scott brought off a clever save. Thus the game ended in a draw. The Liverpool spectators were impressed with the forward play, while the half-back work at times was also admired. The defence, however, was not too strong. Pagnam proved himself a capital marksman on the Liverpool side, and generally the forwards did well, while the defence was very sound. Referee: Mr. J.W.D. Fowler.
Liverpool: Elisha Scott, Ephraim Longworth, Robert Pursell, William Lacey, Harry Lowe, Donald Mackinlay, Jack Sheldon, William Banks, Fred Pagnam, Tom Miller, Jimmy Nicholl.
Chelsea: Jimmy Molyneux, Walter Bettridge, Jack Harrow, Fred Taylor, Tom Logan, Robert Abrams, Harry Ford, Harold Halse, Bobby Thomson, Jimmy Croal, Bobby McNeil.
(The Sportsman: February 15, 1915)