Liverpool v Leeds United 1-0 (League match)

Saturday, November 22 – 1924
Match: Football League, 1st Division, at Anfield, kick-off: 14:45.
Liverpool – Leeds United 1-0 (0-0).
Attendance: 30,000.
Referee: Mr. H.V. Stott (Tamworth); linesmen: Messrs. H. Hull and R. Ledwick.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Elisha Scott; Tommy Lucas, Donald Mackinlay; John McNab, William Cockburn, David Pratt; Archie Rawlings, Danny Shone, Dick Forshaw, Harry Chambers, Fred Hopkin.
Leeds United (2-3-5): Billy Moore; Bert Duffield, Bill Menzies; Jim Baker, Ernie Hart, Len Smith; Cud Robson, Percy Whipp, Joe Richmond, Jack Swann, Jack Harris.
The goal: 1-0 Forshaw (55 min.).

Liverpool gave a warm welcome on this dull day to Leeds United, who have never before been in this city with their senior side. We know their history, their struggle on and off the field, and we admired their plucky display in both sections.

Liverpool also welcomed back Scott, who had been out through injuries. Bromilow was down with a touch of the ‘flu, hence the appearance of Pratt.

Liverpool opened in a manner which suggested they had no fear about the Yorkshire side. When Leeds cut in nippily the Liver side was given a signal warning.  Some idea of the force of Mackinlay’s kicking can be gauged through a clearance he made nearly thirty yards out. The ball hit Cockburn and cannoned over their own line for a corner. Whipp used his height and his ability to open the game, and Swann, in close dribbles, was very sharp.

Tying Scott in a knot
Mezies was sure in his volleying, and Liverpool were plainly surprised at the state of the opposition. Once Scott did not clear at the first chance, and he got into a knot that was pulled to pieces when he threw away and the ball went to Pratt, whose header travelled towards his own goal.

Chambers responded with two flashes of brilliance, and Forshaw, after finding the ball blocked by a full back, followed up with a tug-of-war, and getting the ball away from his rival, Forshaw shot hard and true. The goalkeeper made a very solid catch. Hart, the big strong centre-half of Leeds, was not verse from making a shot, but he got under the ball and sent it over the bar. Liverpool improved now, and found they were up against a defence that had written broad across its side, “Offside tactics.”

The whipp hand
The wind was certainly helping Leeds, yet one could not deny that the Yorkshire forwards were bothering the red jerseys, and when Whipp made a strong shot Scott had to get down to the mark without any hesitation.

Being unable to pick up at the first chance he was glad to be able to do so at the second point. Mackinlay now began to operate the offside pendulum. He even went up beyond the half-way line, and when the right wing broke through there was race for good, and as three Leeds men went a-moving, every one of the 25,000 spectators could see a goal coming. Fortunately, when Whipp was near goal, his effort was smothered, and though the ball came out to Richmond, McNab was able to ick away for safety.

Scott tips over.
However, Scott had no peace, and after he had punched out a dropping shot sent from the touch line by Robson, this outside right made a splendid single-handed effort, winding up with a shot that Scott was delighted to tip up and over the bar.

As against Forshaw’s kind offer of a goal to Shone, who put the ball over the bar, there was low left foot drive by Swann, who was reckoned not good enough by Aston Villa, but who was today as big a barrier as when he played for Huddersfield and helped to knock Liverpool out of the Cup.

Instruction for corner kick
There was no stopping Leeds in the matter of movement and method, and twice McNab in front of goal stopped Whipp, accepting a sitter. Referee Stott gave Rawlings an instruction not to dribble when the player took his first corner kick, after which Menzies played great football, even if he was caught once on the spills of offside.

The Leeds centre rushed forward to a ball that was picked up by Scott, who had only a matter of six inches to spare. It was good football, and the spectators showed their appreciation of the visitors in a sporting manner, and, incidentally, they sighed heavily when Swann on two occasions hit first time shots that made the defence quake.

Forshaw and Chambers looked like bursting through and the reason they failed was that they would not take the ball instantly, whereas the Leeds men always took the ball as it came to them where a shot was concerned.

Change of decision
Before half-time there were two other points worth mentioning. First the referee changed his decision on two occasions. Second, Forshaw was near gosling against Duffield, and Shone early headed a goal. But the best point of all was Scott’s wondrous save from Whipp, who hit a fast drive only to find the Irishman’s best.

Rawlings was a foot out in his brief markings for a goal. Shone shot so hard that when Moore saved the ball slipped out of his hands. Thus ended the half without a goal.

Half-time. – Liverpool 0, Leeds United,0.
During the interval I was informed by a player that the wind was much stronger than the spectators imagined, and that the ball had just enough wetness to make it awkward. Cock was early astir, and Rawlings was unlucky with a centre that went too fast for his co-forwards.

Mackinlay uses his head
Moore was safe with an overhead kick from near the halfway line, McNab being the “shooter.” Mackinlay was brilliant when he made a swift header to a ball that had been taken very cleverly by Robson. This was intervention de luxe.

Moore was not so sure how with a centre by Rawlings, the ball glancing off his hands for a corner. Only a minute elapsed before Forshaw scored. There was no hesitation about his shot, which swerved sufficiently to make Moore’s chance impossible.

It’s a matter of fact that Moore went to the wrong part of the goal and had no chance to save. Forshaw was on the doorstep of another goal when a player miskicked, but this time the shooter did not get hold of the ball.

Mackinlay hurt his chest in collision, and Baker, the Leeds captain, brother of the Arsenal back, was also hurt.

It now became a question whether Leeds, who had slowed down, could break through the solid Liverpool defence.

Staunch defender
In this defence McNab had a happier experience than against Huddersfield. He lent much assistance when things were going badly for the home side.

Cockburn also joined in the defending measure, and those were very necessary, because Leeds were still worrying in their tactics. The time came when some people shouted “Hands” against Lucas, who chested the ball.

Both Mackinlay and Baker failed to shake off their injuries as readily as they hoped. The home captain had to have his right leg strapped.

Leeds a second time appealed for a free kick against Lucas, and their players were rather riotous in their treatment of the referee. The Liverpool forwards in this half had been most disappointing.

Final. – Liverpool, 1, Leeds United, 0.

Liverpool took a long time to beat Leeds United, who had shown themselves a well-thought-out and speedy side, capable of something more than pace, their footwork being a joy, and their shooting an object-lesson.

In ordinary circumstances they would have been three up at half-time, but the reason of their failure in this respect could be put down to the home defence, which battled against a strong wind in very certain manner.

Scott’s return to goal gave them confidence, and his master save against Whipp will long be remembered. Leeds are a fast, plucky side who have come to stay in the tournament, in spite of their financial incubus.

I thought Whipp the best forward on the field, and no one could gainsay that the Yorkshire side surprised everyone by their zip and their ability. Forshaw was best when he elected to shoot without hesitation.
(Liverpool Echo, 22-11-1924)

Match report from Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, Monday, November 24 – 1924.
Liverpool v Leeds United, Anfield, 1924. Liverpool v Leeds United, Anfield, 1924. Liverpool v Leeds United, Anfield, 1924.

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