March 29, 1919
Match: Lancashire Section, Principal Tournament, at Anfield.
Liverpool – Stockport County 3-0 (1-0).
Referee: Mr. F.J. Proctor (Trenham).
Liverpool (2-3-5): William Scott, Ephraim Longworth, Billy Jenkinson, John Bamber, Walter Wadsworth, Donald Mackinlay, Harold Wadsworth, Ben Cross, John Miller, Harry Lewis, Albert Pearson.
Stockport County (2-3-5): Billy Mercer, Ralph Goodwin, Fred Garratt, Jimmy Mitton, Fred Fayers, Francis, Harry Crossthwaite, Norman Rodgers, Dick Crawshaw, Cunningham, Jack Curtis.
The goals: 1-0 Lewis (30 min.), 2-0 Longworth (62 min.), 3-0 Lewis (89 min.).
Liverpool’s back popular success.
Seldom has such tumultuous cheering been heard at Anfield as was evoked when Longworth, the Liverpool captain and full-back, scored a remarkable goal against Stockport County.
It was in the second half, which had been entered upon with the home team leading by one goal that this exceptional incident occurred. A fast shot from Bamber had compelled Mercer to concede a corner, and the flag-kick led to a series of exchanges in dangerous proximity to the County goal.
It seemed as if an effective clearance had been completed when the ball was driven near the half-way line, but here arose Longworth’s opportunity, who, taking a run of half a dozen yards, deliberately drove goal-wards. The ball skimmed in its flight like a swallow, a foot perhaps above the surface of the ground; miraculously missed all the intervening players, and whirled away from Mercer’s outstretched arms into the net.
Apart from this unique effort, there was little in the game to arouse enthusiasm, and it was perhaps a kindly act on the part of Longworth to provide the necessary outlet for the effervescing emotion of the spectators, who numbered fully 25,000.
Stockport gave a trial in goal to a youth from Prescot named Mercer, who effected quite a number of skilful saves, notably from Miller at point blank range before the interval, and subsequently from H. Wadsworth. He should have prevented Lewis from scoring the first goal. Lewis scored his second just on time. It seemed as if Mercer might have averted Longworth’s success. These lapsed, however, had a goodly number of creditable achievements to counterbalance them.
A boisterous wind was blowing, which made accurate play impossible; it troubled the attackers, who found it difficult to control the ball, and also amplified the anxieties of the defenders. It became an easy matter to make a stakes; and there were so few blunders stands to the credit of the players concerned.
Like the weather, the football witnessed was of a mixed variety; on both sides the forwards were erratic. At times they went away in good style, and in this respect Liverpool were the more persistent, but there was lack of finish, and many well-meant advances pestered out in an ignominious fashion. Crawshaw, after going clean through the opposing defence, had only Scott to beat when he placed very wide of the post; and there were other chances which the County forwards failed to utilise by feeble shooting.
Liverpool’s rearranged front line combined well on occasions, but their aggressiveness was not sustained, and on the right-wing, where the Birkenhead youth Cross, partnered H. Wadsworth, the footwork was good only in parts. Pearson, who has helped Port Vale at outside left, created a favourable impression, and will probably fare better when his acquaintances with Lewis and Mackinlay has been extended. There was room for great improvement in his corner-kicks. Crossthwaite and Curtis were prominent in the visitors’ front line, and the inside trio should have fared better with the opportunities this pair provided.
The respective rear-divisions bore off the honours in this contest; Scott, like Mercer, was frequently called upon to clear, but the shots he had to negotiate were of a comparatively simple character, and caused him but little trouble. At full-back Longworth and Jenkinson were as reliable as ever, the latter placing his returns very judiciously. But no one excelled Garratt, on the County left. He kicked cleanly and a useful length, whilst he fairly dominated the wing facing him, breaking up their most skilful moves.
At half-back Bamber and Mackinlay were seen to advantage; W. Wadsworth got through a vast amount of work, but did not display the same judgment as his comrades.
Similarly did Fayers and Francis prevail in the County ranks; the untiring zeal of each never caused them to place wildly to the men in front. Method stamped their endeavours throughout.
(The Athletic News, 31-03-1919)