Tough test with Stoke awaits

December 17, 1915
Stoke have been one of the surprising teams of the Lancashire League tourney. They beat Preston, ran Burnley to goal, drew with Rochdale, and beat Manchester City by a goal to nil. At the outset of the season we were apt to look upon the Stoke as one of the “has beens,” which, according to lights of the limelight, it is more creditable to be than a “never-wasser.” Stoke in their time were among the grand old clubs. They fell on bad times, and finally lingered in the Southern League. That the Potteries can support a first-class club is undoubted, and therefore it was a pity that Stoke fell away financially and otherwise. However, they have pulled up manfully, and Blackpool will make Everton and Liverpool face the music  to-morrow. Stoke have become the power they are through more than one cause. One cannot deny the presence of North Shields, Chelsea, and Blackpool shooter, Bob Whittingham, has had a lot to do with the forward excellence of the Potters, but there’s also the fact that Herbert is a star item. He’s a juggler with the ball, and the large crowd that Anfield expects tomorrow for the attractive match can rely upon finding out “which is Herbert” by noting the ideas of dribbling. Herbert has his own conceptions, and cannot help bubbling over with tricky moves. He’s a Londoner, and his experience is practically confined to the last two seasons, hence his rise to fame is swift. That Liverpool will need to put their best foot forward to draw is my belief. Much depends upon our friend Fred Pagnam. He has latterly been out of condition and off form – that intensely hard shaking up in the Southport match has left its mark on him, I fear – but no doubt he will come up smiling to-morrow, and will “go for the scoring gloves.”

Liverpool’s attack has been out of balance for a short time, the changes at outside left doing the line no good. Dawson, Henderson, and Metcalf have been tried in turn, and now Alex McGhie gets a show. He has speed and initiative, and if he can only get off from husy business each week I think he will glue on to the position. Wadsworth’s entry into the half back line is welcome; he’s a taking way with him, and is one of the few locals who have been persevered with and paid for the patience shown. Tall and long-legged, he heads the ball well, and sprawls many a dangerous looking forward combination. The last portion of the defence is constituted as in the game with Bolton Wanderers, and all round there is promise of a big hard fight at Anfield to-morrow.
Match start at 2,30. Time, two 40’s: – E. Scott; Longworth, Speakman; Bandsman Bradley, Goddard, and Wadsworth; Pinkney, Watson, Pagnam, Banks, McGhie.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: December 17, 1915)

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