Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool 1-4 (FA Cup: February 2, 1924)

February 2, 1924
Match: FA Cup, Second Round, at Burnden Park, kick-off: 14:45.
Bolton Wanderers – Liverpool 1-4 (1-1).
Attendance: 51,596.
Referee: Mr. T. Tomlinson.
Bolton Wanderers (2-3-5): Dick Pym; Bob Haworth, Alex Finney; Bruce Longworth, Jimmy Seddon, Billy Jennings; Billy Butler, David Jack, John Smith, Joe Smith, Ted Vizard.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Elisha Scott; Tommy Lucas, Donald Mackinlay (C); John McNab, Walter Wadsworth, Tom Bromilow; Fred Hopkin, Dick Forshaw, Jimmy Walsh, Harry Chambers, Hector Lawson.
The goals: 1-0 John Smith (2 min.), 1-1 Walsh (3 min.), 1-2 Chambers (50 min.), 1-3 Walsh (88 min.), 1-4 Walsh (89 min.).

Bolton was inundated to-day with Liverpool partisans to see perhaps the best tie of the second round. Burnden Park has a big-holding capacity, and, unlike many grounds much larger, you cannot get tucked away in some nook or canny where your view is spoiled – all could see.

There were unparalleled scenes at Exchange Station this morning, when the huge crowd rushed the barriers.

Contrary to expectations, J.R. Smith turned out for Bolton, although he was in anything but a fit condition. However, he justified his inclusion in the side, for within two minutes he sent the Bolton crowd into ecstasy by scoring the opening goal of the day.

He got his chance from Butler, who beat Mackinlay in a run for the ball, and his centre left Smith bang in front of Scott, who had no chance to effect a save, for Smith’s shot was too severe.

The roars had hardly subsided when Liverpool git on equal terms. They made a flank attack, and Chambers cleverly pushed the ball through for Walsh to go on with it and shoot along the ground wide of Pym’s right hand.

It was a sensational opening, and the immense crowd (over 50,000) were thrilled to the bone with excitement.

The Bolton attack was a lively one, and Scott was again called on to fist away an ugly-looking centre from Butler. The clearance made danger for Liverpool, and McNab deliberately turned round and conceded a corner rather than run any further risk.

Hopkin found Finney a difficult man to circumvent, for once the Liverpool winger was all but through, only to fail at the hands – or rather feet – of Finney. Finney’s colleague, Howarth, courted disaster with a pass back of weak strength, and Pym only advanced in the thick of time to prevent Walsh from scoring.

Finney committed a similar offence a moment or two later, but this time the danger was not so imminent.

So far the game had produced many fine points, and Liverpool were the equal of their opponents in both shot and football craft.

Joe Smith got upset when he was brought down by McNab, and words were exchanged, but that was all, and the game went on its way.

Seddon and Chambers got in the wars and had to be attended to before they could carry on. Lawson, the ex-Glasgow Ranger, showed much better form than he gave us a week ago. Several of his centres were the acme of accuracy and length.

After Liverpool had kept play in Bolton territory, the Wanderers, by aid of open game and swinging passes, come within an ace of recording their second goal, Joe Smith and Vizard between them got the better of McNab, the Welsh international finally sending the ball not above knee-height right across the Liverpool goal mouth, but there were no takers.

Lucas and Mackinlay were covering each other capitally, and both were kicking with power and precision, which was quite unlike their confreres, Howarth and Finney, who seemed in an unsettled state of mind.

Walter Wadsworth was not averse to having a shot, and the ball was not a mile out of direction either, although it did not trouble Pym.

It was good to see Lucas cut right into the workings of Vizard and Smith, just at the moment they looked like bringing about a neck of trouble for Scott and his comrade Mackinlay.

I was sorry to see McNab and Joe Smith using nasty little methods to beat each other, bit it was six of one and half a dozen of the other. That Vizard is an artist with the ball was proved by the way he skipped over an outstretched leg and still kept the ball under control, but he had to admit defeat when tackled by Lucas.

Free kicks were pretty prevalent. It was due more to keenness than intent; at any rate, I thought so.

McNab was doubled up through a blow in the wind, and Vizard wasted a valuable corner kick by dropping the ball on the top netting.

It had been some minutes since either goalkeeper handled, and when Mackinlay came up to take a free-kick from long distance the Liverpool contingent expected Pym would be called upon; but such was not the case, for ‘Mac’s’ delivery travelled wide of the post.

Walsh careered right over Seddon’s back when Howarth and Finney had made a chance opening by their own spectacular yet dangerous mode of defence.

I have seen the Wanderers on a number of occasions this season, but never have I seen either Finney or Howarth in such funny mood.

Direct action was formerly their strong point, and if they go in for the tip-tapping style in the second half they are going to be in some trouble.

The display of Lucas and Mackinlay was in direct contrast, for they cleared instant.

Close on the interval Forshaw had a shot that was full of pace, but unfortunately, no fall of direction, and when Mackinlay conceded a corner things commenced to look black for Liverpool, for although the actual corner kick was cleared, it was only temporary, for the ball came goalwards again, and Vizard, with a neat pass back, enabled Joe Smith, to get in one of those left footed drives he is famous form, and it was only because McNab’s body was in the way that Scott was not troubled.

However, the first half ended with honours even.

Half-time. – Bolton 1, Liverpool 1.

The Liverpool side received by far the loudest cheers when the teams resumed, and their supporters took up the cry of “One, two, three, four, five.” In lew of what had happened it was not out of the question.

Liverpool opened with a smart attack, but they were soon sent back through Hopkin passing the ball too far forward and allowing Finney a free kick.

Bolton returned the compliment, and Butler, with a speedy run and centre, which left J.R. Smith in a glorious position, but the Liverpool defence prevailed.

At the end of fifty minutes Liverpool took the lead through Chambers. It was the result of poor defensive work of Howarth and Finney, and as I foretold earlier on the game, it was bound to come if they still carried on as they left off.

The ball was sent goalwards, and instead of Howarth hitting it first time he passed back to Pym, who was obviously not expecting it, and when he commenced to run I could see he was going to be too late, for Chambers got off his mark in a flash and rounded the Bolton goalkeeper and finally placed the ball in the empty goal.

It was very hard luck for Pym, who had no chance from the outset. Bolton evidently felt their position keenly and they went at it for the next few minutes hammer and tangs, but Lucas and Mackinlay with the aid of Scott never faltered.

Seddon had to leave the field, he certainly had received many hard knocks, but even his absence did not hold up the Wanderers’ attack, and when David Jack anticipated a move, and Mackinlay had not, Jack wrested his way through all opposition, and seemed certain to score, if he were allowed to get in his shot. This he did, but he was unbalanced at the moment of contact, and the ball soared over the bar.

There was no doubt it was a tense moment for Liverpool, and also a very narrow escape.

For some considerable time the game became a duel between the Wanderers attack, and the Liverpool defence with the going to the latter. There was no outstanding man in this work, for all had a hand in it, covering each other in clever fashion.

The Liverpool forwards were unable to get moving for some reason or other, and when Hopkin did get a wide pass sent to him he made little or no use of it, and the Wanderers were back again, clamouring round the Liverpool goal, where they gained a corner, and Jennings had a shot that was deflected away from the goal.

Despite all the Bolton attacks Scott was rarely called upon which speaks in glowing account of his colleagues in front of him.

Twenty minutes had elapsed and I don’t think Pym had handled once, not even for a goal kick.

Walter Wadsworth was in his element stemming the tide which was running against him, and the way he hooked a shot from J.R. Smith was admirable.

The first real attack by Liverpool for some time was made through Chambers, who drew his man and then slipped the ball to Lawson, who had a chance to show his paces and centreing ability; and if there had been anybody near enough to touch the ball when he centred a goal was almost certain to have come, but the ball simply went on its way to Hopkin, who returned it to Pym’s hand.

In a Bolton attack Scott was injured, and then Wadsworth was laid out through heading a ball over for corner. He soon recovered and was soon helping his side to form an attack.

Liverpool’s lucky star continued to shine, for there was no question as to the ball striking Mackinlay’s hand when Butler made a goaling centre. Even Mackinlay will admit this, if I know him right, but was it intentional? The referee decided, after consultation with the linesmen, that it was not, and so Liverpool escaped a penalty kick.

It is only true to say that Bolton had enjoyed the major portion of attack in the second half, but as it was not clinched with the most important factor in football – goals – it was all to no purpose.

It was not for the want of trying, or that the forwards failed at the crucial moment, but simply that they were not allowed to settle on the ball.

Captain Mackinlay had a few words with his vice-captain, Wadsworth, when the latter kicked into touch squarely. The captain pointed forward as if to say, “Make progress, Walter, if you have to do that.”

Bolton made desperate efforts in the last minutes to at least force a replay, but there was no finishing shot following on their midfield play.

Hopkin had a rare opportunity of providing Walsh with a centre, but dallied too long, and then Scott had to come out and kick away when hard pressed.

Two minutes form the end Walsh put the issue beyond all doubt, for when Hopkin returned a pass he simply hit it first time, and Pym failed in his task.

A minute later Walsh added a fourth in a game that had opened and closed in a sensational manner.

Final. – Bolton 1, Liverpool 4.
(Liverpool Echo, 02.02.1924)

Bolton 1923

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