September 27, 1915
Liverpool won in no half-hearted manner, and it is plain that their team is one of the lustiest the Lancashire circle knows – in fact, one would liken them to Blackpool. That Liverpool’s frontal line could score heavily was a debatable point prior to Saturday, but since seeing is believing there’s a solid answer against the croakers.
Dawson, the elongated, nonchalant outside left, who is deputising for Jimmy Nicholl, has thickened out since last season, and is able to carry through to the bitter end his dribbling propensities. Dribbling is oft wasted through the dribbler’s lack of strength, also ofttimes successful through the dribbler’s ability to get out of the way of charges and accidents. Walden is the best example of the latter case. Dawson used to try to go through his opponents, but now he developed a healthy resistance to a charge, and he is becoming a most attractive player. Last season he electrified the crowd more than once with a long-drawn-out solo run, and this season he should be one of great success.
Henderson keeps him going nicely, and Pagnam found time to swing the ball judiciously to the left when play had veered to the right wing – a sensible way of opening out a game and getting a defence spread-eagled. On the right Goddard and Banks paired well, and will do even better when they are better known. Place the livewire Pagnam in the middle, and the line becomes at once a force to be reckoned with.
They showed they were not afraid to shoot. Longworth was lucky in winning the toss, thus gaining the benefit of wind and sun – both were strong. Hence the Reds’ forwards’ policy was wise. Burnley’s goalkeeper was always liable to be unsighted by the sun’s ray, and this proved the case after four minutes, when our Dawson swung in a low shot that Burnley’s Dawson misjudged. It was a fine shot, and worthy a goal, but I fancy it would have been saved if the goalkeeper had not been troubled by the sun’s rays.
Further additions came to the Liverpool score before half-time, Dawson, Goodard, Pagnam, and Henderson scoring. It was excellent, dashing work, combined with accurate passing and centring, that caused these goals, and yet one could not help noting that Burnley played quite well, and, in truth, had as much of the attack as Liverpool had in the first half.
The difference was in goalkeepers and in the ready shooting of Liverpool as against the blockade of Burnley’s forwards by a magnificent defence. Campbell picked up none too clean at the outset, but later he made some admirable saves in his old style. It was a pity that he was injured late on, but fortunately his injury will not prevent his “gunnery.” which just now is in the direction of recruiting.
In front of him were Longworth and Middlehurst. The former knocked the corners off Hodgson’s energy by that special style he has of driving the right time to cut in to an attack, and Middlehurst delighted by his robust exhibition. He’s one of the small pattern of backs, but is a dasher, and can head the ball. A trifle rash, I imagine, and when he makes a blunder all the world knows about it. However, on Saturday he inspired by his strong kick and his safe defence – he was a veritable Billy Dunlop in his punts, and on that score alone will please Liverpool.
The home half back line was especially helpful in attack, and their defence left nothing wanting. Fairfoull wears as hard as nails, and he knows every want of Banks. Molyneux gave some free kicks, but he was sturdy and determined to let the damaged Freeman have no latitude. On the other side of the line was the most earnest player on the field – and the best of the day.
Donald Mackinlay I have always believed in, and Saturday’s exhibition was one further class game to his credit. He meanders a trifle when there is an opening on the left wing, but why should he not? He can drive a ball more forcefully than 99 out of every hundred forwards, and, as in the case of McIlvenny, of Bradford, the other members of the team know his forward move, and therefore apportion their defence correspondingly when they see him move up.
Liverpool: Kenneth Campbell, Ephraim Longworth, James Middlehurst, Thomas Fairfoull, William Molyneux, Donald Mackinlay, Arthur Goddard, William Banks, Fred Pagnam, James Henderson, James Dawson.
Burnley: Jerry Dawson, Tom Bamford, Arthur Cowell, Albert Walmsley, Tommy Boyle, Billy Watson, Billy Nesbitt, Bob Kelly, Bert Freeman, Teddy Hodgson, Dick Lindley.
(Liverpool Echo: September 27, 1915)