Saturday, March 11 – 1922
Match: Football League, First Division, at Anfield, kick-off: 15:15.
Liverpool – Blackburn Rovers 2-0 (1-0).
Referee: Mr. F.J. Proctor (Trentham).
Liverpool (2-3-5): Elisha Scott, Tommy Lucas, Donald Mackinlay, John McNab, Walter Wadsworth, Tom Bromilow, William Lacey, Dick Forshaw, Harry Chambers, Harry Lewis, Fred Hopkin.
Blackburn Rovers (2-3-5): Ronnie Sewell, Tom Wylie, Frank Crawley, Harry Healless, Frank Reilly, Tommy Heaton, Archie Longmuir, Norman Rodgers, Ernest Hawksworth, Johnny McIntyre, Joe Hodkinson.
The goals: 1-0 Mackinlay (5 min.), 2-0 Forshaw (89 min.).
Liverpool’s clever football but no finish.
Had the finishing touches of the Liverpool forwards been in accord with their midfield and approach work, the Rovers of Blackburn must have been simply overwhelmed at Anfield. As it was, they suffered defeat by two clear goals the first being scored after play had been in progress five minutes, while the second was recorded during the last minutes of the game.
For the greater part the Liverpool players dominated he proceedings, and it was passing strange that the forwards, well supported as they were, should have been so ineffective on reaching the goal area. The string cross wind probably helped to neutralise much of their clever footwork during the first portion. They adopted the corner plan of campaign by swinging the ball about at a great pace, and with McNab assiduously keeping Hodkinson company, and the backs playing well forward, the Blackburn eleven were kept generally on the defensive.
Only on two occasions during the first portion had Scott to exert himself – once from Hodkinson after a quarter of an hour’s play, and again when McIntyre was provided with a great opening which he failed to utilise.
Hopkin, well plied with neat and acceptable passes by Lewis, put in much effective work which caused the Rovers’ defenders so much concern in clearing their lines that they had little opportunity of assisting their attacking forces. The ball was frequently lunged away with little sense of either direction or length, and more often than not were free-kicks provided by this means to the Liverpool backs.
When the Rovers had the cross breeze with the during the second portion it was expected that they would place a better complexion upon affairs, but beyond two great effort by Hawksworth just after the resumption, and Rodgers towards the close, there was little forthcoming to cause the Liverpool keeper anxiety. Meanwhile, Sewell had been severely tested, particularly by Chambers and Lacey, while shots from by Chambers and Lacey, while shots from Forshaw, Hopkin, and Wadsworth, only missed by inches.
Mackinlay’ successfully free-kick.
Liverpool’s first goal came about as the result of a free kick against Heaton just outside the penalty area. Forshaw was going through after Lucas had cleverly placed to Lacey and Mackinlay drove a high spindling ball over the heads of the defence and it completely deceived Sewell.
The scoring of the second goal, recorded in the last minute, was made possible by Hopkin, who after cutting in, passed square to Lacey. He in turn transferred to Forshaw, who easily defeated Sewell.
Chambers was a successful and forceful leader, though there were occasions when his finishing work left something to be desired. Hopkin was as ubiquitous as ever, and with Lewis, Ted Healless and Wylie a merry dance. The wingman on one occasion in the second portion drive in a terrific ball that skimmed the bar – but his first goal for his club is not yet. Forshaw was clever, but hesitant, and was not happy in his passing to Lacey, several of which resulted in free kicks for Crawley.
Rovers’ forwards well held.
As indicated, the Rovers’ forwards were not often at close quarters, and the periods in which they exerted pressure were neither long nor frequent. McIntyre was a worker of the earnest type, but he found a Tartar in Wadsworth, who with head and foot generally gained, the advantage. Taking the line as a whole the standard of their play was only moderate as a result of the capable work of the Liverpool middlemen. Hodkinson was rarely in the forefront, and through his inability to legitimately throw the ball in from touch, his side was twice penalised by free kicks which robbed them of an attacking advantage.
Bromilow was artistic in all he did, and McNab and Lucas had a perfect understanding in their attentions to the Rovers’ left wing. Heaton and Healless, in the visitors’ intermediate division, were often in difficulties, and Reilly was the most successful of a moderate line. Wylie was the better of the Rovers’ defenders, and while Scott’s main work was practically fielding slow rolling balls, sent from long range, Sewell had plenty of work and accomplished it in business-like fashion.
(The Athletic News, 13-03-1922)