Liverpool’s artistry


August 30, 1926
Forshaw’s hat-trick set the seal on fine forward play.
The Liverpool and Manchester United players maintained a remarkable pace considering the trying weather. There could be mistaking the superiority of the home side in their exposition of the finer points of play. Particularly was this the case in the forward line, where Edmed made his first appearance in League football, and so nice balanced was the whole line, and so clever the footwork, that the United half-backs were unable effectively to hold them.

After twenty four minutes Hopkin swung the ball across for Hodgson to open the scoring, but before this Spence had provided Smith with the easiest of chances, and after rounding the defence failed himself at an open goal. Had these opportunities been accepted probably a different complexion would have been placed upon the game.

As it was, Liverpool went further ahead again after 26 minutes as the result of clever work by Hopkin, who crossed to Hodgson for Forshaw to breast the ball through. Six minutes later Hodgson and Edmed were concerned in one of the finest movements seen during the game. Having got the defence in a tangle, Edmed whipped the ball to the centre. Steward came out, but Forshaw was there first, the goalkeeper sustaining a leg-injury which left him limping to the close.

After the interval the United determined on shooting, and the fates were good to them, for McPherson, after three minutes, beat Scott, who was facing strong sunlight, with a high lobbing ball. With the conditions now in their favour, the United forwards shaped better, but they were still a line of units rather than a combined whole.

However, the margin was reduced from a penalty against Lucas, McPherson netting after a second attempt, but within a couple of minutes McNabb put the ball out to Edmed, who placed it to the unmarked Forshaw to complete the afternoon’s scoring. Cockburn, as the pivot, was a rock on which the advances of the United inside forwards foundered. Bromilow was neat, imperturbable, accurate in footcraft, and took up strategic position with the greatest ease. McNabb saw to it that Hodgson and Edmed were kept well employed.

As I have indicated the United forwards as a line were not comparable to the opposing attack. McPherson was always hard at it, ready to pounce upon any stray gifts from the gods, but was not allowed to settle down, and much of the forward play was of a haphazard nature.

The half-back division was often overrun, and Barson was at times quite out of touch with Forshaw, whose artistic footwork was one of the features of play. Hilditch worked at top pitch all though the game and often held Hopkin, but Mann had more than he could manage in his tussles with Hodgson and Edmed.

Liverpool: Elisha Scott, Tommy Lucas, Donald Mackinlay, John McNab, William Cockburn, Tom Bromilow, Dick Edmed, Gordon Hodgson, Dick Forshaw, Harry Chambers, Fred Hopkin.
Manchester United: Alf Steward, Bill Inglis, John Silcock, Clarrie Hilditch, Frank Barson, Frank Mann, Joseph Spence, Tom Smith, Frank McPherson, Ronald Haworth, Harry Thomas.
(Athletic News, 30-08-1926, by ‘Junius’)

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