Liverpool v Blackpool 2-2 (League match: January 27, 1917)

January 27, 1917
Match: Lancashire Section, at Anfield, kick-off: 15:00.
Liverpool – Blackpool 2-2 (1-1).
Attendance: 14,000.
Referee: Mr. R. Eccles; linesmen: Messrs: H. Malden and R.R. Keay.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Joe Butler; Ephraim Longworth, Sam Speakman; Norman Bradley, John Bamber, Donald Mackinlay; Arthur Goddard, Thomas Bennett, Fred Pagnam, Harry Lewis, Tommy Cunliffe.
Blackpool (2-3-5): Stansfield; Holmes, Dunn; Conner, Carlisle, Booth; Clifton, Bold, Smith, Harland, Williamson.
The goals: 1-0 Lewis (8 min.), 1-1 Harland, 1-2 Smith, 2-2 Pagnam (75 min.).

I fear Liverpool “champions” held the lowly Blackpool team too cheap. It isn’t the first time Liverpool have done this. It used to be a habit of theirs to play up to the strength of the opposition – they always played better against strong teams than against weak sides. They seemed as if they would make a race with any sort of “old club.” The lesson of Manchester United’s visit had not been learnt, it would seem, for, after getting Lewis’s goal lead, Liverpool did not show up well against two powerful backs and a safe goalkeeper. They dallied and played into the hands of the earnest workers who represent Blackpool’s half-back line.

There was some dalliance on the part of shooters, and more on the part of those who were placed well to put the ball to centre. Cunliffe on one occasion delayed his centre so long that the visitors’ defence had time to look around and then carefully mark each oncoming Liverpool forward. That is wrong policy, and if one allows a player time for steadying a centre the fact remains that Cunliffe was adopting a wrong policy. The way he, Mackinlay, and Lewis combine together is quite good football, but there is need for more “zip” on the extreme left.

It was a pity Dunn, who started the season effectively at Everton, spoiled his day’s work with a reprehensible offence on Goddard. Dunn and Holmes had done excellent work behind Carlisle, and they could have inflicted defeat on the Anfield men if they had steadied themselves. In addition, the change of places between Bennett and Pagnam meant extra attack by Liverpool. Pagnam, apart from occasional shots to hand, fared ill on the difficult ground, and Lewis was our best forward. Behind none could compare with Mackinlay, while Longworth and Speakman came out with honours for clean kicking and reliability.

Gunner Smith, centre of Blackpool, impressed me, as did Harland, but Clifton was “cold,” and Williamson was but a spurter. It was an exciting finish, and Pagnam’s goal sent the crowd away contended.
(Liverpool Echo, 29-01-1917)

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