It’s been a long time coming


November 29, 1915
Bravo, Liverpool!
It’s been a long time coming, and Saturday last seemed the most unlikely day on which to expect you to bring your rivals “to earth.”  However, the less likelihood there is of your victory, the more certain you pop up with victorious ways. Way back to January, 1899, we have to go before we find your previous victory at Anfield, and there’s only one regret connected with your successful break of the chain of failure at Anfield against your rivals – it is that poor old Tom Watson was not present to see the turn in the tide. How he would have enjoyed the game, the victory, the long-looked-for prodigal success. Aye, and how I should have chaffed him about the main prop in that success. You know the man, what?

Fred Pagnam to be course. Tom didn’t have a great belief in Pagnam as a centre. Once the  editor of the “Athletic News,” and others, were travelling to the “silent match” at Lincoln – the F.A. said no one but officials were to witness Norwich and Bradford playing their cup-tie. The “A.N.” man asked Tom: “That’s a bonny, clever centre you’ve lighted on, Tom?” – “Aye, maybe; but I don’t cotton on to him,” said Tom, who asked: “If you want to know anything about him ask ‘Bee.’ He’s the Pagnam man.” Without in any way trying to belittle any players, because one man has gotten the goals, let it be fairly stated that nothing but a Pagnam rush and dribble and shot could have transformed Saturday’s game or Liverpool’s team as the centre did.

Joe Clennell had got his usual goal, and Everton were simply toying with Liverpool for half an hour. All in a trice Liverpool were leading 2-1. Pagnam scored the goals. And what goals they were! The first was the triumph of an unexpected long shot – low and skimming, these drives. William Scott, Elisha’s elder brother often used to declare that, given a sight of  the ball and the shooter, the goalkeeper should never be beaten by a shot of twenty five yards’ range. But Pagnam’s drive was not “gathered” by Tommy Fern until too late. Fern valiantly went down to the ball, but it had entered the net.

The next goal resulted from Pagnam’s solo dribble and his clever method of eluding the visitors’ backs. He drifted to the right wing – Bert Freeman used to favour the left turn, Pagnam inclines to the right well nigh all times – and when Fern advanced he shot right out of his reach. William Watson placed the third goal for the Anfielders, and finally Pagnam came to with a fourth point of a scrambling nature, Jock Maconnachie being the acting goalkeeper, as Fern had suffered a wrenched back, and injury sustained when Pagnam got his second goal. As a matter of fact, Fern left the field just before half-time, and never returned to the game.

First, it will be conceded that in having to play Arthur Metcalf, a right winger, at outside left the home side was unfortunate. Metcalf, too was unfortunate in that for the second week in succession he had to operate on an ice-bound piece of turf. This is not calculated to help a right footed player in a left foot berth.

William Banks was best with his head, and Pagnam we have already considered. Remembering what was told you on Saturday by the “Football Echo” that Pagnam played through the Oldham game with a fractured rib, and that he was always a very doubtful starter for Saturday’s game, it will be found that his game was under circumstances all the more meritorious.

The home right wing throughout was steady. Ernest Pinkney has not played so even a game, and his centres were well judged. He was well helped by the ex-centre Watson.

At half back Liverpool showed tenacity and strength. Donald Mackinlay’s introduction at the last day instead of Ted Winn, a junior member, was a good stroke of business, for Mackinlay, to my mind, is in the highest flight of half backs. But what shall we say of Arthur Goddard and Norman Bradley, the bandsman?

Goddard kept up his new made reputation as a pivot, and when he claimed a penalty kick he was very hearty in his appeal – therefore there must have been some grounds for appeal, Goddard being one of the number of footballers whose appeals are always founded on something more than “hope.” Bradley’s game was an eye opener. He was faced by Clennell and George Harrison, and, though he started moderately, he got a grip on that wing and never released it. His speed has improved a bit, and his placing in capital. For his experience he is showing splendid football.

At fullback, Ephraim Longworth was not so certain as usual, the ground preventing his rushing, winding runs and his strong punts. Still, he was good. James Middlehurst also did good work, but when he was penalised for fouls on Sam Chedgzoy, Billy Kirsopp, and Tom Fleetwood he was simply bringing attacks upon himself and his side. In goal, Elisha Scott showed splendid judgment after failing to gather one shot at the first attempt. His one-handed punches were clean and valuable, and he never made faulty move. It was a capital day for the young Irishman.

Of the game itself it must be said that, as is usual, the players kept their heads, and, though there were many free kicks, there was no semblance of filthy play, and to all the players we offer in all sincerity our heartiest thanks for a good, clean game on treacherous turf.
(Liverpool Echo: November 29, 1915)

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