September 20, 1915
It is a great pity that the game between Liverpool and Stoke at the well-remembered Victoria Ground should have been marred by an incident which completely spoiled the afternoon’s proceedings. A crowd of some 8,000 people, including a goodly sprinkling of wounded warriors, had thoroughly enjoyed eighty minutes’ exhilarating and strenuous football when an element of roughness crept in, and led to the ordering off the field of two of the players.
The incident, though slight enough in itself, was regrettable, and the last few moments of the match were clouded with one or two ebullition of bad temper. Jones, the Stoke right half back, and Dawson, Liverpool’s outside left, came into collision, and angry words ensued. This led to “a squaring up” attitude, but no blows were struck. Mr. L.N. Fletcher, the referee, after speaking to the two men, was inclined to overlook the matter, but further recriminations followed, and he thereupon gave the culprits their conge. There was some booing and countercheering at his decision, and the game, was have suggested, finished rather tamely.
Stoke led off in quite brilliant storm, and, in spite of the almost tropical weather, forced the pace in astonishing fashion. After rather more than ten minutes going Whittingham, who was probably the best forward on the field, scored, with a capital shot. Liverpool shook themselves together, and Longworth from a free kick equalised.
Ding dong work by both sides led to two more goals. Pagnam made compensation for several failure by scoring with a fine solo effort, and shortly before the interval Whittingham made the match all square. There were no further scoring in the succeeding period, though Whittingham struck the crossbar and Pagnam missed the mark with a lobbing shot which dropped on the top of the net.
The Liverpool forwards were somewhat unbalanced, the right wing being, at times, distinctly weak. Pagnam was unlucky, and Dawson and Henderson both did much valuable work. The halves, though triers were scarcely satisfying, and the backs were occasionally left standing. Campbell’s goalkeeping was as perfect as ever.
Stoke: Richard Herron, George Smart, George Turner, Joe Jones, Albert Groves, Jack Shelton, Harry Hargreaves, Bob Whittingham, Arthur Watkin, William E. Herbert, William Tempest.
Liverpool: Kenneth Campbell, Ephraim Longworth, Sam Speaman, Thomas Fairfoull, William Molyneux, Donald Mackinlay, Alex McGhie, Arthur Goddard, Fred Pagnam, James Henderson, James Dawson.
(Liverpool Echo: September 20, 1915)