March 15, 1926
Sunderland just managed to snatch a victory before 20,000 spectators. The game opened in sensational fashion, mistakes in defence giving each side a goal within six minutes of the start.
Chambers placed the ball forward towards the far post, and in trying to clear, England screwed the ball into the net just as Baron ran for it. The equalising goal was from a header by Halliday, McNab making the point doubly sure in trying to head away from under the post.
Fifteen minutes later Cresswell was adjudged to have fouled Hopkin close in. Mackinlay ook the kick and McInroy brought off a brilliant save. Each side scored in the last six minutes of the half, Halliday finding the net with a low drive and Baron heading the equaliser after a fine centre by Hopkin.
Sunderland did the bulk of the pressing in the second half, and their persistency was rewarded when Prior obtained the winning goal.
Game of contrasts.
The contest took place under conditions that have not prevailed at Roker Park for months, for the ground was dry, and this, with the high wind, made ball control very difficult.
Liverpool took full advantage of the breeze, and skilful feeding of their left wing pair produced a number or raids. Sunderland, however, were by no means idle, and were always dangerous when within range, Halliday’s second goal winding-up a delightful bit of ground work by Andrews, Marshall, and the scorer.
In the second half there was a complete change, and only Liverpool’s brilliant defence kept the margin low. The most reliable men on each side were the goalkeepers. They exhibited judgment and skill worthy of great praise. Scott had an especially trying time, while McInroy, besides giving of his best, had the pleasure of saving his first penalty kick since joining Sunderland.
This was easily the best save of the match, for the ball went like a rocket from Mackinlay’s foot, the goalkeeper just managing to tip it out of danger. Cresswell were not safe as England, despite the latter’s mistake. The former waited too long when meeting an opponent, though placing admirably.
Andrews was the best of the half-back line, keeping the ball well down and not giving the opposing wing much scope. Clunas was slow, and Parker was not up to his usual standard. Kelly was more prominent in the second half, but neither he nor Halliday revealed brilliant form. Full credit, however, must be given for the leader’s two delightful goals. He is indeed dangerous when anywhere near goal. Death was the most consistently good player, and Prior and Marshall also did well.
Liverpool have a very capable defence. Lucas was the more reliable back in exciting situations, but Mackinlay is also a fine defender. The half-backs were good in the subduing work, Cockburn and Bromilow particularly so, while the robust tackling of McNab accomplished its object. The trio were skilful in placing, although inclined to concentrate too much upon feeding the left wing.
Hopkin and Chambers responded nobly to the calls made upon them. The former was much too speedy for Cresswell, and was clever in his placing. Chambers was Liverpool’s most polished forward, although he missed probably the best scoring chance of the match. Baron, who deputised for Forshaw, was an elusive and clever forward, and the right wing pair worked hard.
Sunderland: Albert McInroy, Warney Cresswell, Ernie England, Billy Clunas, Charlie Parker, Arthur Andrews, Jack Prior, Bob Kelly, Dave Halliday, Bobby Marshall, Billy Death.
Liverpool: Elisha Scott, Tommy Lucas, Donald Mackinlay, John McNab, William Cockburn, Tom Bromilow, Cyril Oxley, Gordon Hodgson, Fred Baron, Harry Chambers, Fred Hopkin.
Referee: A. Scholey, Sheffield.
(Athletic News: March 15, 1926)