January 24, 1916
Liverpool F.C. lived up to their reputation on Saturday. They “made a race of it” with Bury. They had them well beaten if they had cared to throw finesse and fumbling combination to the winds; yet they preferred to linger on and keep the interest – and the danger of a Bury spurt succeeding – in the match going right to the finish.
Why Fred Pagnam should have dribbled so arduously in the second half is rather hard to guess. He can shoot from long range with a degree of accuracy and any amount of pace. Therefore his policy, with the wind at his back as an assistant, should have been plain. Moreover, gentlemen, Pagnam was being watched by Bury defenders and there were times when he was crowded on by no fewer than four players. Why, then, was not a shot at long range tried? It would have served Pagnam’s bellows and his side better purpose than the fruitless dribbling into a maze – pretty work, but ineffective when a man is so closely watched.
Certain it is that the second half should have produced more than one goal, for Donald Mackinlay played a fine game throughout, and Pagnam was most unselfish and Ernest Pinkney put across some useful centres. The truth was that William Banks and Wilfred Watson found the big Bury defenders a shade too much for them. They were facing very netty folk and did not open the game sufficiently.
At half back it was good to see Walter Wadsworth bearing out the good things said of him in this column, and furthermore, he essayed a goal when a chance looked upon him. Arthur Goddard’s heading was masterly, and Norman Bradley against a swift wing performed well. As a game there was plenty of enjoyment in it, but there was unreality in many phases because we felt that Liverpool were not adopting the right tactics and should have one for the gloves. We still await the big score that they can put up against teams such as Bury.
Sam Speakman’s absence led to James Middlehurst playing again, and the little Dunlopian fellow made good his chance and put up a strenuous show, Ephraim Longworth, save for two occasions, playing his usual safe game, and, against the wind in the first half, kicking a good length and with judgment. He times his rushing better than ninety out of every hundred full-backs in the land. Behind him was Elisha Scott, who had a rather busier time than when he last appeared before the Anfield crowd. His style is likeable and his soundness a feature. Once he roamed into regions afar off, and, being unable to handle the ball, he proceeded to show us that he could dribble.
Liverpool, however, were ever thus; they will always “make a race of it,” a la Eclipse and the donkey.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: January 24, 1916)