Southampton v Liverpool 0-0 (FA Cup: February 23, 1924)


February 23, 1924
Match: FA Cup, Third Round, at The Dell, kick-off: 15:00.
Southampton – Liverpool 0-0 (0-0).
Attendance: 18,671.
Referee: Mr H.J. Webster (London).
Southampton (2-3-5): Tommy Allen, Tom Parker, Fred Titmuss, Albert Shelley, Alec Campbell, Bill Turner, Bill Henderson, Arthur Dominy, Bill Rawlings, Cliff Price, Jimmy Carr.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Elisha Scott, Tommy Lucas, Donald Mackinlay, John McNab, Walter Wadsworth, Tom Bromilow, Fred Hopkin, Dick Forshaw, Jimmy Walsh, Harry Chambers, Hector Lawson.

Replay at Liverpool Wednesday next.
A typical cup-tie game finds both sides even at the close of an exciting encounter.
“Bee’s” special commentary.

We journeyed from Winchester to Southampton by motor this morning, and, arriving just before noon, came into the midst of noises of supporters who had come by the midnight train from Liverpool, in addition to the noise of the exiled Liverpool men who are nowadays working in Southampton. The town was aglow with red, because it so happens that both clubs sport red, but, of course, the Saints have a dash of white stripes in their colour scheme.

So far as the teams were concerned all was well; no excuses are offered, and the only hope was the better side would win. The Liverpool players were especially anxious to give their manager, Mr Mattie McQueen, a tonic in his dire trouble.

Mr William Robert Williams (chairman), Mr John Asbury (vice-chairman), Mr John McKenna (English League president), Mr Edwin Berry (former chairman of Liverpool) and his grandson, together with a number of other directors and officials from Liverpool, left Winchester at mid-day.

Winchester, it is worth remembering, was formerly the capital of England, and it much resembles Chester, but I hope that Chester is not as cold as Winchester, for there was a tremendous bite in the southern air last night and this morning.

Outside Winchester Cathedral I ran into two hardy Liverpool supporters who had travelled up by car, and were engaged in winning a wager that they would do the journey in a certain time. They won half their bet, and to-morrow they will try to land in Liverpool before six o’clock at night to win the second part of the wager.

Liverpool, by the way, have been angling in Scottish waters for some really good stuff, recognising that they must have further reserve talent.

The day was beautifully fine, and, as is often the case with Cup-tie opponents, the story of the illnesses and injuries to the Saints’ side seem to have been much exaggerated, because all the players turned out to be pretty well, everything pointing to a fast game and a very hard one.

In a number of congratulatory telegrams sent to Donald Mackinlay was one from Mr Jack Hayes, M.P., who said, “May good luck attend your boys. We have set our minds on having the Cup this year.”

Another telegram was from Davy Ashworth, the former Liverpool manager (now with Oldham Athletic), one from Ted Parry (Liverpool’s reserve full back), and one from Billy Matchett.

Mr McIntyre (manager of Southampton) told me that Southampton have not lost a match at home since October 15; whilst another feature of their side was that they had not in the first or second teams a single Scotsman, Irishman or Welshman.

I said: “Where do you grow them?”
He said: “Ah, you know the quarter well. We got them from Brierley Hill.”

Mr Harry Webb and Mr Patterson went to the Southampton ground at ten o’clock this morning, and there was a ring around the ground of about 1,000 people. Whether they were locals or Liverpoltians no one could say, because the colours clashed.

The Liverpool supporters started in amazement at the little red house up the hill, which butts right on to the touchline, and is padded so that the players shall bump off it without harm.

Another point worth recording was the attendance here of a press man from Cologne. He was chartered by the thousands of troops in occupation to come over to report the game for them. There must have been thousands of khaki men looking on, as I saw an incessant flow of charabancs coming from Aldershot and Salisbury. Portsmouth is also less than twenty miles away, and a lot of Liverpool men came from there. Further colour was lent to the proceedings by a crush of RAF men from Flowerdown Camp.

The crowd had a lot of fun through a Liverpool supporter hanging some red balloons on to one of the stands. The spectators did their level best to burst them by throwing oranges. However, the balloons beat the locals, and did not get the “wind up.” At this moment, I ran into Alf Milward, chatting about old times with Fred Geary and Edgar Chadwick’s brother.

Dominy won the toss, and the start was prompt on time, Liverpool kicking off and facing the sun. At once, Henderson ran through almost unchecked, and centred, McNab kicking clear to save any further trouble. Campbell came into view with a huge punt, but Lucas headed finely, and Titmuss, as I suggested a few days ago, started with a frightful miskick, Hopkin centring, and Walsh shooting against a full back’s legs. Chambers was responsible for the leading up work that made Titmuss blunder, and it was very resolute football that brought this raid.

Titmuss again got quite nervy, and called to his goalkeeper to come out when he had no chance to do so, and when the ball was by Titmuss’s foot.

Bromilow did some capital work in defence and attack, and it was needed, because the home right wing seemed to be nippy in spite of Henderson’s once treading over an easy chance. Bromilow’s trickiness and his pass to Hopkin found a corner, which led Allen to make a sure catch from Forshaw’s header.

Liverpool were now working smoothly and well, in spite of one pass back by Mackinlay, and not only did Titmuss blunder but Turner as well made a mistake, and McNab forced Allen to make a further catch, whilst Wadsworth readily took toll of Dominy.

Lucas made one splendid intervention to stop Rawlings, who had received a bonny pass from Campbell. Mackinlay only half-stopped Henderson, who shot outside, and then there began a fierce rally on the part of Liverpool, Lawson getting a corner and being unable to take it owing to damage. Bromilow took it, and Walsh headed only inches too high. There was a mix-up in the Southampton right defence flank, where Parker and Shelley attempted to clear, but kicked against each other, and the ball cannoned against the open goal.

Parker appeared to lose his temper with his own men. Dominy made the best effort for Southampton, his shot going just outside, and Hopkin, lacking resolution, lost two chances of making ground, and when he did go ahead he got Parker’s foot on his chest, without comment from Referee Webster, of London.

Forshaw hung off to try and spread-eagle the defence, and then centred outside. Chambers took the first real practical message when he made a chance drive, and sent the ball bumping towards Allen, but the goalkeeper made the catch, following which Bromilow jarred himself.

As the crowd are lined on the touchline it is natural that the ball goes out of play frequently, because players cannot go through with their runs. Liverpool had so far played quite well enough to have had more than two shots at goal, and Southampton woke them up to this when Henderson, having got the ball in spite of being offside made a lovely centre that four players went to, but only Scott handled. Southampton were chiefly clever in the way they went ahead with their dash-aways, and once Price broke through, but Lucas saved at the second attempt.

Chambers went right over to the right, and was then brought down by Parker, who had followed him round. A foul followed against Walsh, who kicked big Campbell, but never with any idea of doing wrong. Campbell returned the compliment, Allen got busy as soon as Forshaw kicked in with two straight ones, and the goalkeeper had also to catch a Walsh header. Rawlings reply with plenty of punch in a solo run; and then came an amazing affair. The corner that Rawlings had made led to Dominy shooting when the ball was knee-high amongst a crush of players.

A Liverpool defender tried to kick out from a foot out, and failed, and when the ball was returned to the corner of the goal, Scott picked it up as if he had a perfect view of the whole thing, although he was unsighted. Rawlings was again the key holder to Southampton’s attacks, and when back, and was only stopped by a fine punch-away on the part of Scott, whilst Price made one drive that could never have been saved but for the fact that the ball went a shade too far upwards.

Near the half-time Scott had to make another solid punch-away, and the lesson of the first half was that there was nothing between the sides, and although Liverpool had played the classier games, Southampton had looked the more dangerous in front of goal. Bromilow has never played better this season.

Half-time. – Southampton 0, Liverpool 0.

It had been very nice, stiff Cup-tie football, and Southampton, with four or five tall men, had been unremitting in their forward line sprints and centres. Liverpool had disappointed in the forward line, chiefly because there was lack of combination, and the ball had gone up into the air to Walsh, who was faced by a mountain in Campbell. The home backs had been at first uncertain, which was what I suggested in yesterday’s column would be the case.

The sun had gone down when the teams re-appeared, so Liverpool were just a bit out of luck. In the first moment, Mackinlay half stopped a rush, and it needed McNab to save a corner. Shelley got in the wars with Lawson and hurt his jaw and shoulder, but not his limbs. Referee Webster missed a foul on Wadsworth, and spoke to Wadsworth about his retaliation, whilst Rawlings from the free kick shot hard and high over. Forshaw was practically the only man who had shown shooting sense, and at this point he made a cross shot that swung out of Allen’s reach, and also beyond the post.

The Liverpool forwards were not showing up well in fact, it was left to Bromilow to show them the way. Not only his shots, but also his manner of feinting and dribbling, compelled admiration, and Allen must have been glad to see a really good ball swing half a yard over the bar. It was a lovely sole idea, and was equalled in danger by the way Scott punched away from Rawlings.

It was hard, clean, earnest football. Mackinlay, in making one over-strong kick, found Allen making a fumble catch instead of letting the ball go out, and then Hopkin broke through for a change, and shot outside, whilst, when the same man beat his opponent and made a good centre, Chambers handled the ball very deliberately “in the hope,” and Mackinlay, punting clear, again caused Allen to handle.

So far this half Liverpool had been the better side, and Henderson, on Southampton’s right, had wasted more than one chance of opening up the game.

The cry here when a player puts the ball into touch is “windy,” and the cry was being levelled at the home defence. In fact, just now, Southampton had gone very “wonky,” as if they had run themselves out. Yet there was always a fear of them breaking away. It was a match where the defence triumphed, partly because the forwards were not shooting well. Chambers was speedy and strong in his dribbles, but was too well watched to get within shooting range.

Liverpool were not asleep, and at this moment they moved up in easy and comfortable manner, and Lawson’s shot hit Parker rather luckily. It was anybody’s game, even if Liverpool were attacking much more frequently. Walsh once caught Campbell bending, and if he had stood still Walsh would have had a gift, but he did not dream that Campbell would make such a mistake. The Southampton forwards had gone right out for a long spell, and with Parker hurt Liverpool’s chance brightened.

Forshaw was the best driving force in the Liverpool line, and Scott had a good view of this half without any trouble until the referee wrongly gave a corner kick, which, fortunately, came to nothing. Walsh at last found himself with a scoring chance, and tried to place the ball as Allen came out. Allen, however, caught the ball in the pit of his stomach, and had the satisfaction of knowing that he had saved a goal. This scoring chance to the Liverpool centre came  through Forshaw sending Hopkin on his way, and a goal seemed certain when Allen saved.

Liverpool were all one way now, and Allen had to save twice from Forshaw, and only the height of Campbell and Parker prevented the opening goal. Liverpool had three-fifths of this half, and had yet to bring out the very best in Allen’s armour.

With thirteen minutes to go, Liverpool put on all steam ahead and Chambers got too much screw on a ball that swung outside, and the Saints in being let in from a miskick from Mackinlay found Lucas good as an accompanying half-back.

Liverpool’s half-backs had been splendid, and in fact it was simply a case of the forward line’s failing to back up the work of the rest of the side. The ball was far too often in the air to be suitable for Walsh.

Final. – Southampton 0, Liverpool 0.

The replay is on Wednesday, and everybody will be glad to have a further opportunity of seeing Southampton, who have a team of size and personality.
(Liverpool Echo, 23-02-1924)

1924 Soton v LFC FA Cup 1