June 2, 1919
As Mr. John Lewis, the president of the Lancashire FA remarked when presenting the trophy, there could be no two opinions as to which was the better team in the Lancashire Cup Final Tie at Old Trafford on Saturday. Everyone sympathised with Oldham Athletic. A gruelling replayed semi-final in mid-week had undoubtedly told its tale, and there was never the sparkle, the vim, or the dash about their play that has characterised their work throughout the last few weeks. They were not the real Oldham Athletic.
At the same time, to be quite frank and fair to the visitors, I can scarcely conceive that at their very best Oldham could have brought about any other result. They might have reduced the margin, but they are clearly not a team of the calibre of Liverpool. They have not the cleverness, and they have not the balance.
Craftsmanship and cohesion – a thorough understanding throughout the team was written all over the play of Liverpool, and it is eloquent of their talents that they achieved so much with apparently so little effort. Everything seemed so easy to them. They never appeared to be exerting themselves, and yet they were winning all the time, right from the very moment the ball was set in motion, and against a side which, with the least encouragement, is capable of as robust display as any team in the country. Such is the art of football.
The talent of Liverpool.
Some clubs may be viewing with concern their prospects in a normal season, but there need be no qualms at Anfield. The team that has won the Lancashire Cup for the first time in the history of the club is fit for any task. They are skilful players happily blended.
The combination between the half-backs and the forwards was the outstanding feature of the match, and it was in these two departments that the greatest disparity lay. W. Wadsworth and Bamber played very well, but no half-back approached the standard of Mackinlay in the first half. He not only tackled artistically and effectively, but he placed the ball with such judgment and precision, and was always a real support to his wing. He was right on the heels of his forwards all the time, and it could only have been an over anxiety which prevented him from securing the honour of the first goal. He certainly ought to have scored after one very fine movement early on, but after going clean through the defence and running to within a few yards of the goal, he seemed to get his foot too far under the ball and pulled it wide of the post.
The defence was always sound and methodical. What little he had to do Scott did well, revealing a sure eye and a safe pair of hands. Longworth scarcely put a foot wrong; if he did miskick on one occasion he was quick enough and resourceful enough to remedy the mistake, and Jenkinson made him an admirable partner. The whole company of the Liverpool defenders were too quick for their adversaries.
Of the forwards, none took my eyes more than Lewis, a wonderful little workman as skilful and as cunning as he is energetic. H. Wadsworth, too, played uncommonly well, and apart from laying the foundation of the victory by scoring the opening goal, he was one of the outstanding successes of the match. He was far too crafty for Wolstenholme.
Pearson and Chambers contributed to the general excellence, and if Miller was not faultless his goal was the outcome of as neat bit of football as was seen in the match.
How the goals were scored.
It was not the Oldham defence that was to blame for the defeat. Matthews and his backs held out very well in the circumstances, and especially the goalkeeper, though he may have been deceived by the centre which produced the opening goal.
It was at half back and forward where the Athletic were seen to least advantage, and where the effects of the tussle with Manchester City in the replayed semi-final were most telling. The men were willing enough, but they had not the energy, and for the nonce at any rate they had not the skill. They never got a grip of the game.
Thirteen minutes had elapsed when, following a corner kick conceded by Matthews in saving from Mackinlay, Lewis centred a ball which seemed to be passing over the crossbar. It, however, alighted in play, and H. Wadsworth, judging the situation to a nicety, rushed in and headed through.
This was the only point of the first half, but twelve minutes after the resumption a penalty kick was awarded against Walters for a foul on Pearson, and Lewis utilised the opportunity to score a second goal, which Miller supplemented with a third another interval of twelve minutes following a clever bit of play with Pearson, and a feat of jugglery in which the centre forward seemed to balance the ball on the end of his toe before driving it well beyond the reach of Matthews. Oldham were played to a standstill, though before the end Pearson retired, and Goodwin, having developed a limp, exchanged places with Wolstenholme.
Liverpool: William Scott, Ephraim Longworth, Billy Jenkinson, John Bamber, Walter Wadsworth, Donald Mackinlay, Harold Wadsworth, Harry Chambers, John Miller, Harry Lewis, Albert Pearson.
Oldham Athletic: Howard Matthews, Harry Grundy, Bob Stewart, Bill Bradbury, David Wilson, Arthur Wolstenholme, Bill Goodwin, Joe Walters, Elliot Pilkington, Arthur Gee, George Wall.
Referee: Mr. L.N. Fletcher, Bury.
The Cup presented.
After the match both teams were entertained to tea by the Lancashire F.A., and the cup was presented by the president, Mr. John Lewis, who congratulated the players upon the skill and enthusiasm they had shown throughout the competition.
He also mentioned that he referee and both linesmen had been on active service overseas, and went on to say that, as the result of the innovation for which Mr. Charles Sutcliffe was responsible, the Lancashire Association was never in a sounder position financially. They were hoping that the money they had raised as the result of the competition would assist them to make football more popular than ever.
Mr. John McKenna received the cup as chairman of the Liverpool club, and said the competition ad undoubtedly added to the interest in the subsidiary games.
Mr. Charles Sutcliffe, in presenting gold medals to the players, said the match had been a wonderful finish to a wonderful season. The success of the tournament only showed what a strong hold the game had upon the people, and he appealed to the players to see it that the popularity of the pastime is increased next season.
Arthur Wolstenholme, Oldham Athletic.
(Source: Athletic News: Source: June 2, 1919)