May 24, 1919
Match: Lancashire Section (Lancashire Cup), Semi Final, at Bloomfield Road, kick: 15:30.
Blackpool – Liverpool 0-1 (0-0).
Attendance: 8,000; gate receipts: £400.
Referee: Mr. J.H. Alderson (Earlestown); linesmen: Messrs. A.F. Kirby and J.W. Whitehead.
Blackpool (2-3-5): Harry Mingay, Jimmy Jones, Horace Fairhurst, Billy Rookes, George Wilson, Harry Keenan, Peter Quinn, Eugene O’Doherty, Thomas Hunter, Jimmy Heathcote, Len Appleton.
Liverpool (2-3-5): William Scott; Ephraim Longworth, Billy Jenkinson; John Bamber, Walter Wadsworth, Donald Mackinlay; Harold Wadsworth, Harry Chambers, John Miller, Harry Lewis, Albert Pearson.
The goal: 0-1 Miller (78 min.).
At the conclusion of the Lancashire Cup semi-final tie between Liverpool and Blackpool an ugly scene was in danger of developing in regard to the referee, Mr. J.H. Alderson, who had a very hostile reception as he left the Blackpool field. More than one spectator jostled and pushed him, and quite a few used sand as a missile with which to pelt him. With the protection of the police – one is glad to say for the good name of Blackpool football – the referee escaped any more than a decidedly antagonistic reception.
Liverpool win the match by one goal to none, and the whole cause of a portion of the crowd becoming incensed was not so much the defeat of the home team, as one particular decision – or rather one should say lack of decision – when on the appeal of a player, Mackinlay of Liverpool, be reversed the verdict he had given against the visiting side, and threw the ball down.
Unhappily this was not the only instance in which the referee was at fault. In the case of Liverpool scoring the only goal of the match, he might have awarded a penalty before the ball was in the net. This may be regarded as poetic justice, though at the moment there was nothing in the attack to suggest that the occasion justified an advantage to the injured side by allowing the player to go on.
No penalty, but a goal.
Lewis was badly fouled in the penalty area, but he managed to get the ball across, and Miller comfortably scored the goal by which Liverpool earned the right to appear in the final. There is not the slightest excuse for the referee refraining from granting a penalty kick when Wadsworth (W.) clearly committed a foul on Heathcote. But worst of all, just previously, was an altered decision on the simple word of a player without any recourse to the linesmen, neither of whom made an appeal for a free kick.
It was a distinctly poor game throughout. A draw at the end of the ninety minutes would perhaps have been a more justifiable result. The facts remains, nevertheless, that Liverpool got the ball into the net, and the second half at least demonstrated their superiority as the happier combination.
During this period they were far better marksmen; there was more understanding among the forwards, especially in regard to finish; while there was a distinct margin in their favour in the skill and aplomb of their defence. Still, at no period of the game can it be admitted that the football achieved anything but a mediocre standard.
The wonted enthusiasm of the Blackpool side was evidenced, but a cohesive plan of attack and decisiveness near goal were never factors in their raids. Latterly an attempt was made to obtain an organised attacking line, when Quinn, who apparently could only use his right foot, and O’Doherty changed their respective positions from outside and inside left. But it was so much wasted energy.
O’Doherty was quite the best footballer of the Blackpool vanguard. He trapped, manæuvred, and transferred the ball with a far better conception of the art of concerted action than any of his forward colleagues. Quinn, who was making his first appearance on the Bloomfield-road ground since he went into the army, responded fairly ably to O’Doherty’s progressive methods, but he did not finish well.
Of course, he had a proposition to contend with in the cool, calm, and collected Longworth, whose virile tackling and sure kicking marked him as the best defender on view. Hunter was ever trustful centre-forward. He missed one golden opportunity, but on the whole his scope was limited by the watchfulness of Wadsworth (W.,) who has seldom done his side more valuable service.
Still the best of the Liverpool middle line was Mackinlay, who began moderately, but in the second half supplied his forwards excellently and was ever foraging for an individual opening. With perhaps one possible exception, when they were clean through and either had the chance to score, Mackinlay and Jenkinson in co-operation gave the Blackpool left wing-pair, Appleton and Heath, very little encouragement.
One can make little distinction between the respective forwards. Miller was enterprising, but ineffective. Both wing extremes frequently promised well, only to decisive, and Chambers and Lewis always savoured most of direct purpose. Though the Blackpool wing half-backs performed fairly well, no player on the side succeeded more than Wilson, who did wonders in defence, and had a most disheartening experience in trying to get his forwards going.
Fairhurst started very badly, and nearly mulcted his side in a goal, but taking the general standard as a criterion both he and Jones did well. Mingay saved two shots brilliantly, and had far more chance to shine than William Scott.
(The Athletic News, 26-05-1919)