January 2, 1918
‘T was nearly always thus, Liverpool F.C. have a specialty of doing sensational things, and yesterday they followed up their surprise result at Oldham by swamping Everton once more after appearing to be out of form, out of condition, and out of chance-of-victory. Why the turn at half-time? I mean the turn round of form. Save for the game v. Preston, Liverpool had never shown worse form than that put up against Everton yesterday at Anfield in the first half.
They hugged the ball, they starved Robert Waine, who was stone cold by the time his one pass came his way, and the half-back against Joe Clennell and Joe Donnachie could do little right, being short of a gallop, and being sound only in heading.
But the interval, with its unexpected equaliser right on the 40th minute, must have inspired and revived Liverpool. What was the dope used, Trainer Billy Connell?
Goals came speedily.
From being a team without lustre save in defence Liverpool suddenly became, in the second half, a fine foraging lot with trickiness used only as a snare, whereas prior to that period every Liverpool half and forward had seemed to find dribbling a necessity, instead of an adjunct.
Within ten minutes of play Liverpool had made Ernie Gault’s grand goal two light. Everton, who had manoeuvred well and had been backed by a splendid line of half-backs, went away to nothing when Bamber got the measure of Clennell and Donnachie, and where there had been balance there was ineptness.
The contrast was most marked. Liverpool’s always reliable wing pair (George Schofield and Harry Lewis) was without superior through the game, and Tommy Bennett kept Billy Wareing on the stretch all the time, and contrived to get his customary goal – in fact, it is doubtful if he did not score from Lewis’s pass when Waine “made sure.” Of course, the best goal of the match was Gault’s, and the great save of Tommy Fern’s (from Arthur Metcalf) is a memory the big crowd will cherish.
It was always a clean, hard game, and on that score I desire to congratulate all the players. The standard was not up to the usual, but it must be remembered that it was New Year’s Day and there had been a glut of football matches during the preceding days.
It was good to Kenneth Campbell back in goal – how much Liverpool have lost through his absence can never be estimated by those who not seen the game – certainly some draw games would have been made into victories.
At full-back Liverpool’s strength, like Everton’s was patent, and this in spite of Billy Jenkinson’s “sitting” attitude when he is going forward to tackle? For a full back he dribbles frequently – but he has command over the ball and is justified.
Ted Hughes was a plodder as well as a dark horse, and the wing half-backs kept their best till later on, Donald Mackinlay deserving a goal. The winners’ forwards must be bunched together with the proviso mentioned above regarding the sprightly and young left wing pair.
Everton in goal, back and half-back fared well, but the forwards are erratic and show their best when things are going their way. Stephen Murray does not come on in manner expected, and Gault was the dangerous forward, because his shooting was powerful and unexpected. He has been unwell, and the wonder was that he played at all.
The left wing pair opened with gradely football, and finished well marked and well held.
(Liverpool Echo: January 2, 1918)