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Liverpool clever but weak marksmen


April 14, 1919
Although up to within a minute of the finish Liverpool only held the lead by a single goal, the general trend of the play at Ash-lane was so much in their favour looked like winners nearly all the journey.

In spite, however, of the superiority in method and tactics there were three or four occasions when their case was almost desperate, and it required all the energies of the defence to maintain a clean sheet.

Three-fourths of the play was bright and exhilarating, but for a considerable portion of the second half both sides showed lethargy possible through a hot sun. But for a tempering breeze the effort might have been more prominent. There were about 8,500 spectators, and the “gate” was £106.

The game afforded contrast in styles. Liverpool showed the more finished football and adherence to combination. In the field the ball was usually placed where it was of most advantage, but when it came to shooting there was plenty of room for improvement. It almost appeared that the Anfield players were in a mood for trifling with their opponents.

Vulcan’s methods, on the other hand were more individual, and the movements which brought them nearest to a definite success were for the most part of this kind. There was about their work little of the ease which marked their opponents, but though many of the thrusts were powerful they all failed to get home.

Liverpool’s goals.
The first goal, which fell to Mackinlay, was somewhat in the nature of a surprise. He had apparently got tired of watching futile attempts by the forwards and chimed in with a run and a long drive. Fat essayed a retort with his ever-ready head, and the ball skimming his hair, sailed past Capper into the far corner of the net. The second goal, for which Matthews was responsible, was well worked for and well deserved.

Liverpool are entitled to full credit for their victory, for although the Southport backs were not all they might have been, the half-back line was composed of such sound artists as Holdsworth, Fay, and Abrams. Of the trio, the North End man was perhaps the most conspicuous, but Fay was as resourceful as ever, and Abrams put in a lot of hard work against a lively wing.

A measure of sympathy may be extended to Capper in respect of the first goal, and to have prevented the second would have bordered on the marvellous.

Robson was not up to form. He was closely watched by Wadsworth (W.), but apart from this he was not as quick on the ball as is customary and kept the play too close. The inside men were persevering, but the wing men were disappointing.

Scott was less troubled than Capper, for the Vulcan forwards suffered from the same complaint as their opponents. Longworth and Jenkinson were a stalwart pair to whom little came amiss, and the half-backs proved both persistent and powerful.

Matthews emphasised his ability as a forward pivot, but Lewis in spite of a glaring miss, was at least the equal of any forward on the field. Pearson and Wadsworth (H.) showed pace and aptitude, the former having a useful partner in Miller.

Southport Vulcan: Thomas Capper, goal; Hodson and Smith, backs; Eddie Holdsworth, Jimmy Fay, Lol Abram, half-backs; Bill Hooper, Turner, W.T. Roberts, William Bowser and George Schofield, forwards.

Liverpool: William Scott, goal; Ephraim Longworth and Billy Jenkinson, backs; John Bamber, Walter Wadsworth, Donald Mackinlay, half-backs; Harold Wadsworth, John Miller, Billy Matthews, Harry Lewis, and Albert Pearson, forwards.

Referee: Mr. J.T. Howcroft (Bolton).
(Athletic News: April 14, 1919)

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