December 21, 1918
Match: Lancashire Section Principal, at Anfield.
Liverpool – Blackburn Rovers 1-0 (0-0).
Liverpool (2-3-5): William Scott; Sam Speakman, Billy Jenkinson; John Bamber, Walter Wadsworth, Donald Mackinlay; Harold Wadsworth, Arthur Metcalf, Thomas Green, Harry Lewis, George Schofield.
Blackburn Rovers (2-3-5): Gaskell; Birmingham, F. Duckworth; R. Walmsley, W. Duckworth, G. Chapman; Levus, R. Chapman, T. Brandon, Cornthwaite, Ralph.
The goal: 1-0 own goal (Duckworth, 65 min.).
On Saturday there was a preponderance of surprise results, and drawn games came where least expected. Locally we were chiefly concerned with whether Everton could keep their record free from defeat, but as it turned out there was bigger danger elsewhere, Liverpool adopting one of their curious moods, keeping the spectators on tenterhooks till late on.
It was ever thus with Liverpool F.C. They have a habit of making a race with the common or garden teams. Rovers had no form to recommend them save their win at Bury and the close race they gave Liverpool a week earlier. Yet Liverpool played very lax stuff, and at times seemed to court defeat. However, Mackinlay, who had enjoyed many a pop at goal, and had shown the way that goals come, got a ball across that was too much for Gaskell, and one of the Duckworth kith helped the ball over the line. It was not a clean-made goal, but it sufficed.
Gaskell gave an exhibition in goal that recalled Howard Matthews, of Oldham, at his best. He had a fair pair of backs before him, but Liverpool, who attacked for 99 per cent. of the game, gave Gaskell no rest, and his fielding of the ball was excellent and confident. The crowd quite “took to him,” and gave him well deserved applause. He merited every bit of it. But for him Rovers would have been swamped; as it was the merest margin had to suffice.
Gaskell is not a newcomer: he has been playing a long time, and has helped Accrington and such clubs during the last four or five years. One other feature of the game was the absence of work for Billy Scott, and the individual runs of Jenkinson, who certainly put some life into the forwards, who could do anything but score.
Green, at centre, had a sorry day, and could not do the rigit thing. Metcalf and H. Wadsworth were good, and Lewis came forward with good footwork, although his shooting was variable. Schofield has not yet recovered his lost form, but when he regains his confidence there can be no doubt that the Anfield left wing will again be a delight.
(Liverpool Echo, 21-12-1918)