December 29, 1917
Match: Lancashire Section, Principal Tournament, at Boundary Park.
Oldham Athletic – Liverpool 3-3 (2-0).
Referee: Mr. E.B. Bragg.
Oldham Athletic (2-3-5): Howard Matthews, Harry Grundy, Johnston, Cavanagh, Arthur Dixon, Wilson, Taylor, Liversedge, Aldred, Arthur Gee, Walter Davies.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Tommy Haughton, Ephraim Longworth, Sam Speakman, John Bamber, Billy Jenkinson, Donald Mackinlay, Robert Waine, Arthur Metcalf, Tommy Bennett, Harry Lewis, George Schofield.
The goals: 1-0 Gee, 2-0 Liversedge, 2-1 Waine, 2-2 Bennett, 3-2 Own goal (Haughton), 3-3 Bamber.
In the course of the present season, half o which has just concluded, Liverpool have achieved many brilliant performances, but it is questionable whether they have ever put up a pluckier fight or made a more masterly recovery than was the case against Oldham Athletic, at Boundary Park, on Saturday.
They pulled the game out of the fire, so to speak, in the last few minutes, and showed once again what doggedness and sterling grit may accomplish if preserved in until the final.
Holding the weather gauge, the Athletic forwards set a tremendously fast pace, even though the going was heavy, and they certainly enjoyed all the better of the argument in the first period. Bennett and his wings seemed quite unable to show their proper paces, and when the Anfielders found themselves “two down at the turn” it looked as though the Oldhamites were going to taste the sweets of revenge.
On crossing over, however, a complete change pervaded the spirit of the game. It was now Liverpool’s turn to attack, and they did so with a persistency and dash that must have speedily told its tale had it not been for the wonderful goalkeeping of Matthews. He fielded shot after shot in marvellous fashion, but faltered at one from Waine, whose marksmanship put the ball in the far corner of the net.
Then the fun began.
Bennett, eluding for once in a way the barnacle-like attentions of Dixon, gained his customary goal, and, though there were now only twelve minutes to go, it seemed odds on that the Anfielders would win through a third time. Their hopes were dashed when Haughton, who had not been too confident, fisted the leather into his own net.
Still the Anfielders hung on, and in the course of a desperate rally in the goal-mouth Bamber put the ball through, and so staved off defeat.
The game had been largely a trial of strength and skill between Bennett and Dixon, and the Liverpool club should count themselves fortunate in possessing a player of such unbreakable spirit as their centre forward. Jenkinson did well in his position at centre half, but Speakman was scarcely a success, while Haughton, as we have indicated, was hesitating.
(Liverpool Echo: December 31, 1917)