Liverpool rose to the occasion


November 15, 1915
The question was whether Liverpool could rise to the occasion and beat so good a side as Southport. They managed it after giving the 14,000 spectators a number of shocks.

That the teams were not short-handed early on is surprising. Rarely have I seen such a gross fall as that Fred Pagnam indulged in when he and Lol Abram came a purler. Abram was badly hurt, and both men will to-day be adopting the “backache” attitude. That no nones were broken was a miracle – and all are grateful that there was no mishap.

For a friendly game without semblance of roughness the number of injuries was unusually large. Why it should have been so I cannot say, but during the game Sam Speakman, Pagnam, Abram, Arthur Metcalf, Teddy Lightfoot and other were put out of action, one of the number being Arthur Goddard, who caught in the face a full-tilt from Speakman.

It was an unfortunate day for Speakman. He was injured, he gave Harry Stringfellow two chances of scoring that the Central man accepted, and finally he caught Goddard in the face with a strong volley! There’s a lay’s word for you! It would seem that Speakman had not time to settle down. As a fact Liverpool did not arrive on the ground until five minutes after the advertised time of kick off. However, when they did start to play they turned the game inside-out.

They kept the best till late on, if not the last moment. Metcalf cunningly turned a corner to account, but it was not until an hour’s play had been witnessed that Liverpool got a grip on their clever and big opponents. The reviving powder was applied by Goddard and Ephraim Longworth, both of whom infused rare dash into their game, and spurred the forwards to better efforts.

Only the right wing had done itself justice up to that point and Wilfred Watson had spoilt much of his excellence by over-dribbling. Ernest Pinkney’s game was refreshing throughout. Pagnam, of course, was dazed by his great fall, and when the revival came about he was like one Billy Meredith – “well in.”

Watson equalised, and after Goddard had tried a long shot that was headed back, Pagnam careered to the left, and Walter Holbem got his leg right across him. A penalty was ordered, and whereas usually Goddard has taken these kicks, Pagnam was now called on. He drive was a model of power and directness. The goalkeeper, by handling the ball, made a great attempt to save, but the shot had such a fierce fuse that the ball “carried on” to the back of the net.

Late on came his second goal, Watson diddling Jimmy Fay, who had changed place with Holbem owing to the latter’s injury reasserting itself.

It was Liverpool’s first victory for six week, and while they hardly deserved the big margin they must be credited with pulling the game out of the fire, The reason one does not give them credit for a two goal lead at the finish is that Southport all round were the steadier and more accomplished.

We were pushing on by fits and starts, and the left wing never got going in the manner looked for. The half back line was admirable, and young Norman Bradley created a fine impression. A trifle slow, he has the bump of determination, and that is where he shines over his former Liverpool “double,” John McConnell.

Goddard thoroughly enjoyed himself at centre half, and his play in the new post was a revelation. His heading, always trustworthy, has a better show when he is a pivot than when he is on the wing, and the heartiness in his game can be gauged by the number of emphatic appeals he made – Goddard has always before been a reserved player on this point. His passes were well timed, on the ground, and true, and therefore Liverpool must keep him in his new post.

Liverpool have ever been famed for their cheap goalkeeper and centre half backs – Sam Hardy, Ned Doig, Kenneth Campbell, Elisha Scott are the goalkeeper of recent time, and Alex Raisbeck, Jim Harrop, Harry Lowe, William Molyneux have been their half backs. It’s a rare record.
(Liverpool Echo: November 15, 1915)

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