January 3, 1925
Match: Football League, First Division, at Anfield, kick-off: 14;30.
Liverpool – Arsenal 2-1 (0-0).
Referee: Mr. T.G. Bryan (Willenhall); linesmen: Messrs. F. Burns and J.W. Roache.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Elisha Scott, Tommy Lucas, Ephraim Longworth, John McNab, Walter Wadsworth, David Pratt, Archie Rawlings, Dick Forshaw, Harry Chambers, Danny Shone, Fred Hopkin.
Arsenal (2-3-5): Dan Lewis, Alex Mackie, Andy Kennedy, Billy Milne, Jack Butler, Bob John, Sid Hoar, Harry Woods, Jimmy Brain, Jimmy Ramsay, Joe Toner.
The goals: 1-0 Forshaw (53 min.), 1-1 Hoar (65 min.), 2-1 Chambers (75 min.).
Missed chances means lost points.
Liverpool have had a very successful time over the holidays, but I am not so sure that their play merited full points against the Arsenal on Saturday.
The Highbury players were unlucky, for they were a better balanced side; still, they were wasteful of chances. This was exemplified in marked fashion in the first portion of the game after the Anfield team had opened in a manner that presaged quite a crop of goals.
After surviving an early onslaught the Highbury players settled down to methodical work, but after making headway by cleverly conceived and executed movements failed lamentably at close quarters. Hoar and Woods were great sinners in this respect, for only the keeper stood between them and success.
Scoring was opened by Forshaw, who netted after the second half had been in progress eight minutes, and the point came in a somewhat curious manner. It was perhaps unfortunate for the Arsenal, but when the policy of exploiting the offside theory is pursued – it was done all too frequently – they must be prepared for contingencies.
Hopkin, when challenged, passed back to Pratt, who returned the ball which was slightly deflected, by Milne, I think, as the backs were moving forward. Thus placed onside, and with a clear course, Hopkin raced on and centred for Forshaw to defeat Lewis.
Twelve minutes later Hoar levelled up matters from a strong cross drive by Toner, and a quarter of an hour from the finish Liverpool clinched the issue.
Mackie was penalised for his attentions to Hopkin, and from the free kick taken by Pratt, the ball cannoned from Forshaw to Chambers unmarked six yards out.
Generally, the game developed on fast lines, with a minimum of finesse. It was the right type of play under the prevailing conditions, as the wind was strong, and variable.
The Liverpool forwards early on were well on top, though in Kennedy and, in a lesser degree, Mackie they met a resolute pair of defenders whose sturdy kicking and clever tackling kept them at a distance.
Rawlings, though well served for speed could not master Kennedy; still, he missed one great chance of scoring in the first ten minutes.
Forshaw impressed one, and was the danger-bearing forward at all times. His ball control was wonderful, but he was often foiled with his shot. The other forwards did not shine, and just now they appear to be relying far too much on the ability and cleverness of their leader.
The Liverpool half-backs were generally able to hold the opposition, and the most trustful of the line was Pratt, especially in attack, for his was among the finest efforts in the game when from a long drive the ball bounded over from the cross-bar with Lewis out of position.
Neither Lucas nor Longworth quite touched top form; still, they were always sound and capable in recovery, while Scott completed a solid defence.
The Arsenal forwards, ably led by Brain, were weak at finishing, though Woods provided an exception in the closing stages when he fully extended Scott. Butler was a capable pivot, both in constructive work and as a spoiler, and John, who kept a tight rein on Rawlings, ran his colleagues a close race for honours in half-back play.
I have alluded to the able work of Kennedy and Mackie, who gave Lewis every support, but the pity was that the pair should have considered it necessary to mar the smooth course of the game by so frequently throwing opponents offside.
(The Athletic News, 05-01-1925, by ‘Junius’)
The Arsenal’s missed opportunities.
Beaten by two goals to one at Liverpool, the Arsenal have largely themselves to blame for their defeat several excellent opportunities being missed. Although Liverpool had the better of the opening play, the visitors improved greatly towards the interval, only to finish feebly.
In the second half the Arsenal again played up strongly, but in a breakaway Forshaw scored for Liverpool. Shortly afterwards a fine run and centre by Toner enabled Hoar to place the Arsenal on terms. Then followed a keen struggle for the winning goal, which fell to Liverpool. Chambers giving the visiting custodian no chance with a well-judged shot.
(Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 05-01-1925)
League table, January 3 – 1925.