Liverpool’s swift thrill


August 29, 1927
I suppose one must not expect super-excellence in an opening match, and the 28,000 people who went to Bramall Lane on Saturday found little to arouse their enthusiasm.

Doubtless both Sheffield United and Liverpool are capable of better displays, and will give them as the season advances.

On the present occasion the teams were well matches in a game of which a division of points was a fair result.

There was a thrill when Liverpool scored two minutes from the start, and when Sheffield made the score level a quarter of an hour later, but very few afterwards.

The visitors had a fair breeze helping them during the first half. Quickly their centre-forward, Devlin, caught the home defence napping. He chased the ball as it passed between Chandler and Cawthorne from a long straight kick ahead, seized on it after Chandler, with a feeble kick, had made a vain attempt to clear, and shot hard for goal.

The ball hit the far post and cannoned through.

Perhaps the people saw visions of a repetition of Liverpool’s victory by 4-1 in the corresponding game last season, but it faded. Turnstall saw to that.

Twice the Sheffield left wing-man, with his speedy sprints, forced a corner. The second he took with exquisite accuracy, and Johnson headed the equalising goal.

This was all the scoring, although following a glorious centre by Turnstall Johnson came within a few inches of giving his side the lead with another header a few minutes later.

These two men were the pick of the Sheffield forwards. Turnstall was not so accurate in shooting as usual, but his runs and centres gave his inside men openings which might have been better used.

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Johnson found many of his dashes checked by Liverpool’s steady defence, which never got flurried, but it was only a brilliant save by Scott, right on the line, during one United rush which prevented victory.

Liverpool’s forwards had more method in attack, but their inside forwards lacked finishing power, and many a good opening provided by the excellent wing play of Edmed and Hopkin was frittered away.

However, Chambers, in the second half, did send in one terrific ground shot which would have given the visitors a winning goal but for an exceptionally fine save by Alderson.

Edmed was Liverpool’s best forward, and put in several dangerous long shots from his wing.

It was not, however, a match remarkable for clever forward work or much good shooting.

Gillespie, the United schemer, was too well watched by opponents to open out his side’s attack after his usual manner.

Liverpool had three admirable half-backs, who did great defensive work in the second half, when the home attack, helped by the wind, adopted rush tactics, only to be checked.

Lucas and Mackinlay were equally reliable at back. Birks was Sheffield United’s soundest defender, and Green the most efficient initiator of attacks, with King as a hard-working pivot.

Sheffield United: Jack Alderson, Bert Chandler, Len Birks, Harry Cawthorne, Seth King, George Green, David Mercer, Arthur Mercer, Harry Johnson, Billy Gillespie, Fred Tunstall.
Liverpool: Elisha Scott, Tommy Lucas, Donald Mackinlay, John McNab, James Jackson, Tom Bromilow, Dick Edmed, Gordon Hodgson, William Devlin, Harry Chambers, Fred Hopkin.

Referee: Mr. N. Shuker, Whitwell.
(Source: Athletic News: August 29, 1927)

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