August 30, 1919
Liverpool: Kenneth Campbell, Sam Speakman, Billy Jenkinson, William Lacey, Walter Wadsworth, Donald Mackinlay, Jack Sheldon, Harry Chambers, Fred Pagnam, Harry Lewis, Albert Pearson.
Bradford City: Jock Ewart, Fred Potts, Irvine Boocock, Joe Hargreaves, Charlie Storer, Jimmy McIlvenny, Dickie Bond, Oscar Fox, Jimmy Marshall, Gilbert Kemp, George Handley.
Liverpool were without their usual skipper to-day. It was a most unfortunate beginning that Ephraim Longworth should be absent – as exclusively foreshadowed in the “Echo,” by the way, during the week. Sam Speakman took his place. Bradford City had not many new faces, but they fancied their chance of starting with full points.
The Newcastle express carried us well on the way to Bradford, but the final stages were very slow, it being nearly two o’clock before we reached the prosperous wool centre. The weather was beautifully fine, and there was a crowd of large dimensions when the teams appeared. The playing patch looked distinctly on the rough side, and there was every prospect of “a certain liveliness” when the teams got going.
A Wallasey recruit.
Bradford City appeared as selected, and they had practically a pre-war side except for Kemp, the Wallasey recruit. Mackinlay won the toss, and the City started against a slight cross breeze. The visitors at once moved away on the left, and after a temporary check they came along again, but Potts cleared his lines with a tremendous punt.
The opening stages were rather wild, and the Bradford forwards were the first to settle down. Storer initiated the movement with a judicious forward pass, and after Bond had worked his way to the corner flag Fox looked like scoring when Mackinlay threw himself into the breach and cleared. Again the home right-wing were distinctly dangerous, and Campbell had to run out in order to clear from Marshall.
For a period Liverpool were kept strictly on the defensive, but they could not prevent the forcing of a corner on the left. This was well placed, and Fox once more looked like scoring when Campbell picked up the leather. Bradford’s attack was sustained to an uncomfortable degree, and another shot from Fox was fisted from under the bar by the Anfield custodian. Half a minute later there was yet another onslaught, but it culminated in McIlveney shooting high over the bar.
Liverpool’s opening goal.
Liverpool now rallied strongly, and breaking away at top speed on the left, Lewis struck the bar with a rising shot, which glanced into the net without giving Ewart a chance to save the shot. This sudden and somewhat unexpected success naturally gave the visitors greater confidence, and for a time play ruled even, both sides indulging in some loose kicking.
Liverpool were the first to return to an ordered method, and Sheldon had a clear field when he skied the ball high into the bank of spectators. Bradford replied with a promising movement on the right when Jenkinson intervened. There was a further spell of rather happy-go-lucky football before Liverpool took up the running in good earnest, and after Pagnam had been dispossessed when well placed, Chambers got in an oblique shot which was cleverly cleared.
The visitors were now getting well into their stride, and Mackinlay opened the way in a movement that should have provided Lewis with a second goal. The little inside winger trapped the ball and drove with tremendous force, but Potts was in the way and received the full force of the volley at the cost of a corner. This was safely negotiated and for a time the pace fell away once more.
The Bradford forwards speeded matters up by a smart movement on the left, and Lacey being caught napping, Handley had a fine opening when he sent the lively ball high in the air.
The next incident of note was a breakaway by the Liverpool forwards, and Sheldon was in possession when Ewart ran out thirty yards and threw clear. Following upon this, the Anfielders put up a brief attack in which the whole front line took part, and Potts, after a desperate struggle, saved the situation at the expense of a corner. This was cleared, but the visitors immediately returned on the left, and the ball being swung swiftly across, Chambers nipped in and scored at short range – a fitting termination to an admirable movement.
The home team’s reply to this second reverse was a fierce onslaught led by Marshall and Kemp, and Jenkinson, in his haste nearly let his side down. Fortunately the subsequent corner came to nothing, but from this point up to the interval the contest was of a most exciting character.
Half-time, Liverpool, 2, Bradford City, 0.
The first half clearly demonstrated that we are in for a vigorous season. The lumpy surface was nothing like so accurate as it might have been, but there was no mistaking the seriousness of the contestants. Liverpool were the first to find their feet and they enjoyed the bulk of the attack throughout. Steadied by a fine half-back line Pagnam and his wings were well fed and Lewis took the fullest advantage of this. His goal was a capital one, and Chambers’ effort showed that the inside right knows how to seize on opportunity.
Sheldon was rather out of the picture, but he was particularly well watched. The full backs were occasionally uncertain, but Campbell was equal to all the calls made upon him. The Bradford City attack was spasmodic, but it was occasionally very dangerous. The defence was sound, and Ewart cannot be blamed for either of the shots that beat him.
The second half.
There were fully 18,000 people present when play was resumed in the brilliant sunshine after a quarter of an hour’s interval. Pearson got off the mark like a greyhound and centred square to Pagnam, but the latter was anticipated. Boocock and the home forwards took up the running in the most determined fashion. They made strong play on the right, and after Bond had been robbed once he returned to the attack, and put the ball to Marshall, who scored with a terrific drive from close quarters. This gave an impetus to both sides and the pace became hotter than ever. The City forwards taking the bit between their teeth, proceeded to bombard the Liverpool goal, but they were eventually beaten back by Wareing and his two colleagues.
Liverpool then assumed the aggressive, and Sheldon gave us a taste of his old quality with a sprint along the wing. He overran the ball, and for some time there was a period of long kicking. The City was obviously due to reduce the adverse lead, and this they nearly accomplished when Marshall shouldered his way through and put in a swift ground shot which Campbell picked from the foot of the post.
The Anfielders in turn got busy, and Lacy tried his luck with a long drive, which failed. The concluding stages of the game was full of incident and kept the big crowd on the tip toe of excitement. Pagnam was fouled in the penalty area, but Lewis failed to score with the penalty shot.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: August 30, 1919)