Liverpool v Burnley 7-0 (League match: December 28, 1918)

December 28, 1918
Match: Lancashire Principal Competition, at Anfield, kick-off: 14:30.
Liverpool – Burnley 7-0 (4-0).
Attendance: 25,000.
Referee: Mr. F.J. Proctor (Trentham).
Liverpool (2-3-5): William Scott, Sam Speakman, Billy Jenkinson, John Bamber, Walter Wadsworth, Donald Mackinlay, Harold Wadsworth, Arthur Metcalf, John Miller, Harry Lewis, Reg Phillips.
Burnley (2-3-5): William Mellor, G. Johnstone, Billy Newton, Dick Lindley, William Taylor, Albert Newton, Billy Nesbitt, John Barber, Bert Freeman, George Benson, Billy Clarkson.
The goals: 1-0 Miller (4 min.), 2-0 Lewis (15 min.), 3-0 Phillips (20 min.), 4-0 Lewis (35 min.), 5-0 Miller (45 min.), 6-0 Miller, 7-0 H. Wadsworth.

** Note: In Burnley Express, which gives the correct initials on all the other players for this match, Phillips is presented as “A. Phillips.”

Liverpool’s win was welcome, because it brought to our view one Johnnie Miller. Miller is a fast young footballer who greatly features his brothers, and would pass for the reserve team player, Ben Cross. He is a brother of Tommy, whose name will ever be associated with a famous Old Trafford match. Tommy I met last week in Liverpool, and I am glad to think that he, who suffered where others should have suffered, may soon be back among the footballing fold. Miller suffered not so much for what he did, but for “holding out” – Fairfoull was a similar case.

Johnnie Miller scored three goals but his decisive methods, and even if the referee favoured him when he crept beyond the full backs there could be no mistaking Miller’s keenness, his directness of shot and good all round play. His goal from Phillips centre was a gem of purest ray – he took the ball as it came, a method that used to obtain in the old days, but has fallen out of favour latterly. Why a forward should resist the temptation to “hit” a ball as it comes to him is quite out of range of my thinking-cap. Miller’s style and his early success had the effect of rousing the whole Liverpool side, whose combination has not reached such a good pitch for many a week.

Burnley suffered, but on the run of play I thought the visitors a very unfortunate side. Barber played well, Lindley was capable in construction and destruction. Freeman darted here and there. Taylor, the centre half, is so much like the old Burnley player that half the Burnley spectators recently went away believing they had seen their old player, whereas this boy comes from Yorkshire. It would be folly to individualise further than I have already done in regard to the winners because the team played a capital all-round game. Still, I must mention the return to his best of little Lewis and the continued good display of the boy Phillips.
(Liverpool Echo: December 30, 1918)

Match report from the Liverpool Daily Post, Monday, December 30 – 1918.
1918 LFC v Burnley

Burnley beaten by superior forwards at Anfield
Had Burnley lost by one or even two goals on Saturday at Liverpool, no one would have grumbled, but a defeat of seven clear goals does not at all represent the state of the game.

The fact is that Mellor was completely off form and though he made some capital saves, he made quite a number of very fatal blunders, and on three occasions allowed the ball to slip through his hands into the net.

The Burnley forwards were not as strong as they have been on recent occasions, but they worked hard; and if they had finished better might have had some goals to their credit.

Freeman was the best of the attack, but he had a lot to do on his own, and in the second half Clarkson did some very effective work and got in some good centres. But Freeman was always well attended to, and the inside man did not make particularly good use of their opportunities.

The Burnley half-way line worked persistently, but there was not a deal of understanding between them and the back, the defence being the weakest part of the team.

The ground was very heavy, but a good race was set up, and Liverpool took the lead early on through Miller. Lewis added a second and Phillips beat Mellor unexpectedly, all three goals being registered in twenty minutes.

Notwithstanding the heavy reverse, Burnley played up with a dogged persistence which deserved a better fate. Just before the interval Lewis got the fourth.

After the change of ends Miller added the fifth and sixth, and before the finish W. Wadsworth made the total into seven.
(Burnley Express, 01-01-1919)

Print screen from the Burnley Express showing “A. Phillips.”
A Phillips

Burnley yield seven
Seven shots went past Mellor on Saturday at Anfield, when a crowd of 12,000 enjoyed a fast, free, sort of game, in which Burnley played without a shadow of fortune.

Liverpool, reinforced by newcomers in Phillips, a schoolboy player of strength, and John Miller, the Hamilton Academical player and brother of the suspended Liverpool forward, were in fiery mood, and have not shown better form this season.

This was unfortunate for Burnley, but there were other causes for the big score – the referee erred often when Miller stole a march on the backs, and protests from the visitors seems unavailing.

Then the Burnley forwards found two dour, stop-at-nothing kind of backs against them. The score was all-foreign to the run of play, even though it would be idle to suggest that Burnley had a chance of even drawing.

Barber was clever individually, Clarkson was strong and sure throughout, Freeman too well watched by Wadsworth to do any good, and Taylor at centre-half a sturdy player who did not make attacks but broke up many.

Lindley’s half-back play work excelled because it was strong fore and aft. Liverpool played well all round, and Miller’s presence made all the difference.
(Lancashire Evening Post, 30-12-1918)

Lancashire League Jan 1919

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