Liverpool win the rubber


February 28, 1916
Liverpool for the third time this season beat Everton “Twice” the League game have gone their way by handsome margins – 4-1 and 5-2 and on Saturday when they were virtually at full strength and Everton were hard pressed to find a team, Liverpool scraped home by a goal to nil. Thus did Liverpool‘s incentive continue.

On form Liverpool were just about on par with Everton, but as midday it was known that Liverpool chance had brighter considerably, telling of the absence of Joe Clennell, Billy Kirsopp. When the players met at the ground, however, it was found that Tommy Fern could not play, that Tommy Nuttall who had been selected as centre was not playing –it is said that our Mersey friend, Harry Hampton of Aston Villa fame had been asked to link up with Everton for the special occasion, but I know not whether there is truth in the statement –and that it was necessary to put Billy Wareing at centre, Alan Grenyer becoming inside left. No club has the resource in playing strength to equal Everton yet they were it will be seen, placed in an awkward predicament.

Years gone by Liverpool used to suffer a lot of bad luck in team selection for the “Derby” game, so that matter are simply being balance’s trifle. Of the Everton deputies it can be said that all played tenaciously and fairly well. Frank Mitchell kept goal in admirable fashion, and his first half exhibition was one on which he could plume himself, especially when one remembers how few games he has had this season. Next Wareing and Grenyer shot hard and true –as we knew they would – and in the “forward line” there could be no complaint against them. Bobby Simpson was not as safe as usual and once he mistimed the fall of the ball in the goalmouth, and a goal should have been snapped up by reason of the error. Still, Everton did not lose by their team strength; they lost because they played the wrong game.

Sling the Ball around. This is Bob Compton plea to his learn when the ball is apt to be bang up through the sticky nature of the kicker. Had Crompton been playing on Saturday for Everton the home side would have been compelled to sling the ball around. Everton hugged it tight, and with the readiness holding of the turf and the way the ball made its travel, there was only one style to adopt – namely the long game. George Harrison was Everton’s only forward in the first half, if we accept Sam Chedgzot’s one big spirit and shot – the ball hit the upright.

The criticism refers only to the score of the policy of the forwards. I have already mentioned that Wareing and Grenyer shot hard and true. But I repeat so far as policy was concerned only Harrison played the right game.

On the other hand, Tommy Cunliffe, Ernest Pinkney and Wilfred Watson were swift in their forward advance, and live upto their little forwards. Watson played a especially brainy game, and Pinkney against his old club gave many signs of his ability.

Strange isn’t it, how the cast-off comes against his former side and shows em up?

Last week Ernie Gault did it for Everton’s benefit. This week Pinkney was a live factor in forcing Everton to yield two points. It was from his centre that Fred Pagnam troubled the defender and Arthur Metcalf unmarked, had the delight of scoring the only goal of the game.

That there was not a penalty kick against an Everton back for tripping Pagnam was surprising. Pagnam did not have a refocus time because Tom Fleetwood marked his man fairly and effectively and Pagnam was wise when he found the policing he was getting in turning his attention to passes to the wing –  a grand oblique passes they were –the ball being kept low and put well forward so that the winger could take the ball in his stride.

The marking of Pagnam led to a lot of crowding down the middle, and the result was that the inner wing men had room in which to work. Watson‘s big improving being manifested by that means.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: February 28, 1916)

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