Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool 1-3 (League match)

Saturday, March 25 – 1922
Match: Football League, First Division, Burnden Park, kick-off: 15:00.
Bolton Wanderers – Liverpool 1-3 (0-0).
Attendance: 30,000.
Referee: Mr. A.F. Kirby (Preston).
Bolton Wanderers (2-3-5): Dick Pym, Bob Haworth, Frank Chambers, Bruce Longworth, Charles Smith, Harry Nuttall, Billy Butler, David Jack, Frank Roberts, Joe Smith, Ted Vizard.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Elisha Scott, Ted Parry, Ephraim Longworth, John McNab, Walter Wadsworth, Tom Bromilow, William Lacey, Dick Forshaw, Harry Chambers, Harry Lewis, Fred Hopkin.
The goals: 1-0 Forshaw (52 min.), 2-0 Forshaw, 2-1 Smith (83 min.), 3-1 Chambers (89 min.).

Nearly champions.
Liverpool make a great recovery.
Thrilling, stern duel.
Not a member of the present Liverpool team, enjoys the distinction of a League championship medal, but they are all expectant, and with good reason, for the damage done a Anfield last week was repaired at Burnden Park. It was a thrilling encounter; in fact for a large part a hardy, relentless struggle. The referee, as in the previous match, called the players around him and delivered, so I imagine, a homily which, to say the least, was spectacular. It seems to me we are bringing the exactitudes of the drawing room on to the football field.

There was a fly in the o’utodient of Liverpool’s triumph – as in every respect it was since being well earned a practically assures them of League championship honours. A quarter of an hour from the finish McNab, of Liverpool was ordered off the field. McNab was made the horrible example. No doubt the referee’s patience had been tried. McNab was punished for the intention, not the accomplishment.

An injury and a dismissal.
Early in the game Vizard was so badly injured in a tackle with McNab that he was of very little value to his side thereafter, save that he prompted their only goal. Thenceforward the angular McNab whose innate methods rather than actual design gives rise to suspicion, was the butt of the crowds’ displeasure. The semblance of an offence sufficed for his dismissal.

But it was a glorious, a thrilling struggle. In the first twenty minutes the Wanderers might have won the game. There can be no doubting the severe handicap under which they laboured when Vizard became a casualty, yet this was only balancing the misfortune which Liverpool suffered last week.

This apart, Bolton Wanderers might have had the leading goal. They are entirely to blame. The game was all in their favour in the first half-hour. Liverpool’s defence played well, especially Scott and the backs, and they came through a momentary ordeal with infinite credit, but not a little good fortune.

The Bolton forwards were within a veritable fraction of registering goals. On the contrary, they neglected he palpable opportunities, and the number of instances the ball passed harmlessly and feebly over the Liverpool goal-line was appallingly out of proportion to the strength of the attack.

Jack trickled the ball against the post when he ought to have scored. This mistake seemed to blight the Bolton forward for the rest of the game. His passes went agley, his individual dribbles were fruitless, and his shooting met with the most vile fortune.

Up to the closing stages of the first half the Wanderers had reason to bemoan their ill-fortune and their incapacity in front of goal. For, all their pressure they had primarily to thank Pym for being on terms after a goalless first half.

Lewis insidiously flicked the ball forward. Chambers, ever alert, and ever in position – in any one of the inside positions, not to mention the wing, as I shall tell – took the ball in his stride, deceived Chambers, his namesake, and tried to place the ball wide of Pym. I surmise that was intention because Chambers did not shoot as he can. Pym made a wonderful save with his outstretched left hand.

Liverpool’s assertion.
But the Bolton goalkeeper handed a shot from Lewis out of the top corner of the goal, and intuitively turned a low drive from Wadsworth round the post. In fact, ten minutes of Liverpool towards the close of the first half were quite as menacing as all the preceding pressure of the Wanderers.

Liverpool scored first after seven minutes in this wise: Harry Chamber, the intuitive occupant of many position, never to the neglect of his own in particular, followed in the footsteps of Hopkin on the left, beat Howarth, and passed across for Forshaw at the second attempts to stab the ball into the net.

Afterwards Liverpool were the dictators of the game. There were excursions and alarums from the Wanderers in the course of which Jack hit the angle of the post and the bar, and all the inside forwards contrived to vie with each other in the margin of width or elevation they could attain from the goal. But this was not before Forshaw bored the ball into the net from a corner placed by Lacey. Pym in the first instance, failing to clear, and Longworth (B) making a valiant effort to kick off the line.

Seven minutes from the finish Vizard just managed to push the ball into position for Smith (J) to score. Straightaway, to exemplify their power with a goal lead Liverpool pranced through the Bolton defence, Hopkin distinctly so, Chambers hitting the ball into a tenantless goal. Hopkin had beaten both back and goalkeeper.

A relapse.
The Wanderers were a powerful combination until they lost a goal. Then they were obviously distressed. What might have happened if Vizard had been able to play his game there is no knowing. In goal Pym was great. His danger was not so frequent as Scott’s, yet he was in greater difficulty. Howarth and Chambers were most excellent backs until the rest of the team became unbalanced. When Liverpool exerted their best collaboration the backs wavered and fell. Still they will mature.

As a defensive adjunct the Wanderers missed Seddon. Pressed into service at the eleventh hour. Charles Smith did as well as could be expected. In this young man the Wanderers have a fine player in the making. All he required is to cultivate recovery; the art of falling back into position in front of goal when the attack has passed beyond him Longworth was a sturdy defender, and provided some neat passes for the wing and the centre. Near his goal he was a great asset.

Nuttall never got the measure of the Liverpool right, and his offensive tactics suffered through the left wing being crippled. Vizard and Smith struck a splendid partnership to begin with. Subsequently Joseph Smith ploughed a lonely furrow to excellent purpose. His crosskicks might have been turned to better sovereign. Butler confirmed my first impression. He will develop into a good outside right. He got the ball into the middle better than last week.

His merits might have been enhanced if Jack had been himself. But as I have indicated, nothing went right for the inside forward. Roberts promised much, and fulfilled nothing.

On the other side Chambers was a live centre-forward, an individualist, and a distributing point. He invited the success of his colleague. Lacey and Hopkin were excellent on the extremes, notably Hopkin, despite lack of support until the closing period. I have seen Lewis make up for his lack of pace and stature by his foot-craft, but the discovery of the latter was belated. There was no better forward on view than the wily, intricate, speedy, Forshaw.

Liverpool were well served at half-back. Wadsworth was best in intervention and covering his goal. His head was ubiquitous. Bromilow although not at his best, claims one’s admiration by his subtly, and McNab was a spoiler. Liverpool had reserve backs in action. Reserve, forsooth! Parry and Longworth would have made some clubs sigh for such a combination. Parry kicked beautifully, on the full volley and the half-volley; in fact, no ball came amiss, and his tackling was always timely. Ephraim Longworth, however, was the master mind. Class and experience will tell. They did in Longworth’s case. His display counted a great deal towards Liverpool’s success. But it is team work that has almost won the championship for Merseyside.
(The Athletic News, 27-03-1922)


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