May 7, 1923
An unfortunate happening to Scott just before the interval marred the proceedings at Anfield, and for the remainder of the game the Champions’ forces were depleted. Seven minutes after the resumption Liverpool secured the only goal recorded in the contest, and thus equalled in points of West Bromwich Albion.
There was no suggestion of staleness about either team, and Stoke fought keenly throughout the full ninety minutes, but they certainly were not clever enough for their more accomplished opponents, who, however, did not touch top form. The accident to Scott occurred in a somewhat unusual manner, as, after he had cleared the ball from a mistimed pass-back by McNab, Watkin could not check the anticipatory rush he had made for the ball, and in the collision his knee jabbed the lower part of Scott’s thigh. The Liverpool goalkeeper had to be carried off. Lacey was called upon to fill the breach and, though his catching was not accomplished in the orthodox style, he nevertheless gave a display that surprised and pleased the big crowd. He was kept very busily employed for a spell midway in the second half, but nothing came amiss to him, and, under the circumstances, he played his unaccustomed part very satisfactorily.
Kenneth Campbell had a great reception on the scene of his former triumphs, and there could be no questioning the fact that he did much towards keeping scoring down to the minimum, for there were times when the Liverpool forwards were well on the target. The point that decided the issue was of a somewhat lucky character, and chief credit was due to Hopkin, who, while unbalanced and a couple of yards from goal, partly tapped the ball to Chambers, following up. The inside left fell, but the ball struck his leg and passed into the net. Campbell was cool and confident in all his work, and dealt with early shots from Forshaw, Johnson and Chambers in masterly fashion, whilst all that Scott had to do in the first half-hour was to knock down a dangerous drive from Ralphs.
Strong defensive play.
Stoke were best served by their wing men, but the line as a whole lofted the ball to frequently, thereby playing into the hands of the Liverpool half-backs, who were not slow to take advantage. Richardson, who filled James Broad’s position, on account of the latter player’s indisposition, contributed some pleasing movements but consistency was not his strong point. Defensive work reached a good standard on both sides, though the rear lines of Stoke, realising that their playing ability was insufficient to cope with the Anfield forwards, adopted the one back method with telling effect. McGrory scarcely knew what to make of Lacey, and repeatedly placed the Irishman out of court, while Brittleton was a sound defender, and in his duels with Hopkin quite held his own. Longworth and Mackinlay finished the campaign with one of their best displays. At half-back Liverpool had more than a little in hand, for Wadsworth was a capable intervener and distributor, with Bromilow as artistic and effective as ever, and McNab was a source of trouble to Nicholas and Watkin. Kasher’s height served him well, but he did not always have the better of Johnson, who showed good judgment and sent delightful passes to the wings. At the conclusion of the game, the League Cup was presented by Mr. John McKenna, who gave a brief review of the history of the club.
Liverpool: Elisha Scott, Ephraim Longworth, Donald Mackinlay, John McNab, Walter Wadsworth, Tom Bromilow, William Lacey, Dick Forshaw, Dick Johnson, Harry Chambers, Fred Hopkin.
Stoke: Kenneth Campbell, Bob McGrory, Tom Brittleton, Harry Brough, Joe Kasher, Valentine Rouse, Bert Ralphs, Harry Davies, Frank Richardson, Arthur Watkins, Dai Nicholas.
Referee: Mr. I. Josephs.
(Source: Athletic News: May 7, 1923)