April 6, 1918
Match: Lancashire Section, Subsidiary tournament, at Anfield, kick-off: 15:30.
Liverpool – Southport Central 2-0 (1-0).
Referee: Mr. M. Parr (Hindley).
Liverpool (2-3-5): Billy Connell, John Page, Billy Jenkinson, John Bamber, Alex Robertson, Donald Mackinlay, Robert Waine, Thomas Green, Tommy Bennett, Dick Birchall, George Schofield.
Southport Central (2-3-5): Thomas Capper, Smith, Tom Dorward, William Garner, Welding, Snape, Kenyon, Billy Caulfield, Frank Sheldon, Brew, Burke.
The goals: 1-0 Bennett (30 min.), 2-0 Green (65 min.).
Liverpool beat Southport 2-0. So much for that. The game really merits no more than the final score – comment were waste of space. Let’s straight to the men of the future. Liverpool had no better performers than their new boys. Without doubt Liverpool had made a hold on their supporters by their earnest endeavour, in war time, to give the local his chance.
Excellently have the boys responded to this kindness. Of course the thrice- wounded Q.M.S. Green is not a young ‘un – he is an old head, and though inclined to flashiness in style of play – arms akimbo, a la Tommy McDermott, he advertises himself rather loudly – there can be no doubting his power of shot and his gliding passes.
Green is distinctly a player of parts, of strength, and of use. But I am more at the moment concerned with the other new comers, Birchall and Robertson. The latter is one further sample of the soldier who has been lamed, and who has, with a trainer’s aid, been able to overcome his difficulties and enjoy his game.
Robertson was shot in the calf and looked a hopeless case when he was first seen at the Anfield dressing-room, where Trainer William Connell gave him great aid, and eventually had the pleasure of seeing his broken-down charging become strong and capable of lasting a football game. Robertson is blessed with even more height than Wadsworth, and the old Harrowby player revelled in attack giving forward passes, the like of which centre-forwards pine for. Robertson was quite impressive considering he had the sturdy Sheldon and the nippy Caulfield to keep an eye upon.
Like Robertson, Birchall a St. Helens product, was always pushing the pass forward, and on that account I should vote him a success. He was slow, but he will soon get out of that stiff action. I like his control and persistence in keeping the ball turf high. How like Bobbie Robinson he looked. Cast your mind back, and you will remember Hewitt, unlucky footballer, and Robinson making their bow at Anfield after leaving the nor’ –east. Robinson was a rare good servant. May his duplicate (Birchall) be as serviceable to Anfield is my worst wish.
(Liverpool Echo: April 8, 1918)