Liverpool v Manchester United 0-2 (League match: October 30, 1915)

October 30, 1915
Match: Lancashire Section, principal tournament, at Anfield, kick off: 15:15.
Liverpool – Manchester United 0-2 (0-0).
Attendance: 18,000.
Referee: Mr. W.J. Heath; linesmen: Messrs. A.E. Fogg and F. Laister.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Elisha Scott; Ephraim Longworth, James Middlehurst; William Lacey, William Molyneux, Donald Mackinlay; Ernest Pinkney, Wilfred Watson, Fred Pagnam, James Henderson, James Dawson.
Manchester United (2-3-5): Mew, Barlow, Hudson, O’Connell, Davies, Gipps, Travis, Woodcock, West, Halligan, Wilson.
The goals: 0-1 West, 0-2 Wilson.

so far have been as mercurial as ever. They seemed to strike the right note when they beat Burnley, but later there have been changes – necessary changes – and the team has yet to settle down with a unanimity and knowledge of each other’s peculiarities. Take Saturday’s case at Anfield, when a big crowd turned out to welcome Lacey, Scott, Pinkney, and Watson.

Everything favoured a fast, good game, and Liverpool, to cap all, won the toss, and therefore had Manchester United battling against the sun’s rays. Liverpool never settled to their proper game, and those melees were simply the outcome of Liverpool’s lack of understanding. Finnicking phase of football were numerous, and the home forward line worked scratchily throughout.

Pagnam was, I  fear, a trifle too obsessed about getting a goal, and Pinkney did not display his true form. The left wing was strangely inept, Dawson, as on his last appearance, being unable to lift the ball to goal. Further, the pair on the left entwined to such an extent that any opposition must have been blind to have failed to grasp the wing’s intentions.

Mind you, the forward rank must not be solely “in the dock.” At half-back Molyneux played his weakest game. He had an old hand against him in “Knocker” West, but West has gone slow, and even if it be allowed that he passes the ball sweetly there is still belief that Molyneux should to all intents and purposes hold him. Instead Molyneux was “in and out.” He came to light with two nice long shots at goal but otherwise he was flundering.

Lacey naturally took little time to settle to his work, but when he did he made some bonny openings for his forwards, found time for a shot or two – all were blocked – and was dour in defence. His return means strength. Of that there can be no doubt. Mackinlay, probably though a troublesome complaint on the neck, did not play up to his general high standard, but he took on the left side raids in the second half and worked hard and willingly.

Behind him was the ever trustworthy Longworth, who rarely fails to shine. It becomes difficult to do him justice. Aside him was Middlehurst, who with his Dunlopian punts – they were absent in the first twenty minutes when there was far too much tender kicking – again got into the good books of the crowd. A kick on the eye doubtlessly bothered him, therefore we must excuse his lapse when West scored with a really grand cross shot.

West was worth a goal, and was near getting it when he hit the woodwork, a fate that befell an oblique shot of Mackinlay’s. That Wilson made the United lead by two clear goals is not surprising. Manchester were worth that lead on the day’s play.
(Liverpool Echo, 01-11-1915)

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