Liverpool v Bolton Wanderers 0-2 (League match: March 18, 1922)


March 18, 1922
Match: Football League, First Division, at Anfield, kick-off: 15:15.
Liverpool – Bolton Wanderers 0-2 (0-2).
Attendance: 30,000.
Referee: Mr. A.F. Kirby (Preston).
Liverpool (2-3-5): Elisha Scott, Ephraim Longworth, Donald Mackinlay, John McNab, Walter Wadsworth, William Cunningham, William Lacey, Dick Forshaw, George Harold Beadles, Harry Lewis, Fred Hopkin.
Bolton Wanderers (2-3-5): Dick Pym, Bob Haworth, Frank Chambers, Bruce Longworth, Jimmy Seddon, Harry Nuttall, Billy Butler, David Jack, Frank Roberts, Joe Smith, Ted Vizard.
The goals: 0-1 Jack (15 min.), 0-2 Smith (pen.).

Bolton make history at Anfield.
Worthy conquerors.
This match at Anfield was too grotesque to capture the imagination or stir the pulse. As Bolton Wanderers earned the distinction of being the first club to win a League match on Liverpool’s ground this season the result had its compensations. The speculative instinct of sportsmen are aroused.

The championship is not won yet. Liverpool have to visit Bolton, and, judging them on this display, there is still room for an adventurous climax. I do not aim at discouraging the leaders. They sacrificed the services of three lustrous players for the national weal, which is a big thing for a club fighting for honours, whose downfall is sought by all clubs.

Then they were the victims of all the misfortune that was abroad in this encounter. Mackinlay was injured near the interval, and for the rest ploughed an optimistic, if uneventful furrow; at outside left. Forshaw, the dainty forward, became more than a mere improvisation at right back. Then beadles, the centre forward, was incapacitated and went to outside right, Hopkin becoming an inside right and Lacey a centre-forward.

From the foregoing comments it will be gathered that the game wanted for nothing in keenness. It bordered so near to bad temper and reprehensible tactics that the referee gathered the players round him and gave them a timely homily. This was a commendable proceeding.

Allowing for Liverpool’s ill-fortune, not only in the dislocation of their forces, but also having regard to the number of worthy scoring attempts that missed the mark by the barest fraction with the rival defence well beaten, none can evil at Bolton Wanderers’ success.

Wanderers with a purpose.
Not previously this season have I see them so collected and so incisive. It was the quick, kaleidoscope type of football one associates with their reputation, but which has rarely materialised in this latter half of the season, at least.

From the moment when the ball was given motion, when they invaded Liverpool’s territory, to the finish, when their advances were spasmodic, the Wanderers’ every attack carried the more penetrative purpose. When Liverpool found themselves two goals in arrears at the interval, they made a superb effort at recovery.

Had they applied themselves to their task with the same spirit in the first half I might have a different story to unfold. It was too late. The consciousness of a substantial advantage emboldened the Bolton defence. The co-operation of goalkeeper, backs, and half-backs, not to mention the inside forwards, anon, constituted a phalanx which no enterprising process of attrition on the part of the whole Liverpool team could weaken.

Liverpool received small sustenance from their half-backs, who seldom got on terms with the speedy, open manoeuvres of the Bolton vanguard. A straw shows the way the wind blows. The figurative example was provided when Jack took the ball in his stride, Scott, with one hand outstretched, making a wonderful save.

McNab danced attendance on the visiting left wing without coming to grips. He was out of position when Vizard centred, Roberts flicking the ball onto Jack, who quick-wittedly took a chance close in. Further, McNab, by two misdemeanours, paved the way to Bolton’s second goal. He tackled Vizard unfairly, and after the free kick handled Seddon’s pass in the penalty area. Smith’s drive from the spot found the billet at a terrific rate.

Bolton always there.
In the second half Pym had plenty to do, but the football was far more an aimless hotch-potch than a cultured example of the game. Liverpool had the better of it, such as it was. Nevertheless, Roberts shot over from three or four yards, and also enabled Scott on another occasion to add lustre to his repute in goal.

The Liverpool goalkeeper was scarcely as hard pressed as Pym, and yet he made two saves such as were not demanded of the latter, who had plenty of escapes, and whose fielding and disposal of the ball were at once convincing.

There was little difference between the respective defences, even when Mackinlay gave way to Forshaw. The former kicked well with either foot, and Longworth’s decisive tackling and natural aptitude for taking up position were of immense value when he lost his partner. But the Bolton left wing was never less effective than when Forshaw dropped back. He revealed speed which he might utilise, in his proper position, to advantage.

Wadsworth was an energetic centre half-back, but he did not push the ball through with discretion. The combination I have noticed between the Liverpool intermediates did not now exist. Cunningham, on the left, promises well. I like the originality of his cross-kick to the centre when the defence expected a pass to the wing.

Beadles made more passes with his head than his feet, failing to control the ball readily enough for a centre forward. The best forwards were Hopkin and Forshaw, Lewis invariably getting himself into an inextricable tangle.

Howarth and Chambers were dogged, not altogether unpolished, defenders. At close quarters they were very hard to outwit. Their courage was sublime. I saw Chambers play his first game in the senior ranks two or three weeks ago. Already he is advancing. As usual the half-backs were better in intervention than construction, but although the former was Seddon’s forte, there was no more conspicuous figure on view.

Bolton Wanderers have lost Donaldson but found Butler. Experience will make the recruit more practical with his centring the ball. When that happens he will be a force, for then it is not likely that he will put the ball behind so often – as he did in this instance – after creating ideal positions by his own craft and initiative.

Of course, he was subtly supplied by Jack, the mainspring of the inside forwards. Roberts flashed the ball to the wings, and was ever a danger near goal. Smith is nowadays shy to shoot, but he is making the bullets for others to fire. Vizard was given plenty of scope and responded in one of his best moods by doing – instead of dawdling.

It was an exceedingly creditable victory.
(The Athletic News, 20-03-1922)

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