September 7, 1929
Match: Football League, First Division, at Anfield, kick off: 15:15.
Liverpool – Everton 0-3 (0-2).
Referee: Mr. A.J. Caseley (Wolverhampton).
Liverpool (2-3-5): Arthur Riley; James Jackson (C), Robert Done; Tom Morrison, David Davidson, Jimmy McDougall; Dick Edmed, Bob Clark, Gordon Hodgson, Harry Race, Fred Hopkins.
Everton (2-3-5): Arthur Davies; Warney Cresswell, Jack O’Donnell; Jerry Kelly, Tommy White, Hunter Hart; Harry Ritchie, Jimmy Dunn, Dixie Dean, George Martin, Jimmy Stein.
The goals: 0-1 Dean (16 min.), 0-2 Dean (41 min.), 0-3 Martin (83 min.).
The first of the Merseyside duels between Liverpool and Everton is over. Everton have delivered the K.O.- they won by three clear goals at Anfield, and deservedly so. It was a good, hardly sporting enough to be classed among the never-to-be-forgotten, but nevertheless, an encounter, which thrilled the 50,000 spectators, and kept them on tip-toes till the sound of the final whistle.
Everton were the better team. Even the most partisan Liverpool supporters would admit this. From a purely football standpoint, the Blues held the whip-hand. Now, it must be remembered that for an hour Liverpool plodded along without the aid of Clark –the brains of the attack. This, in itself, was a tremendous handicap, but even while he was on the field – it was his own fault that he left – the Blues were much better able to play the game as it should be played. It boils down to this – Everton never became flustered by the occasion, and Liverpool, on the other hand, adopted storming tactics which beat on the Everton rocks like waves on Land’s End.
The first half was an even affair, yet the Blues gained two goals and walked off at the interval like turkey cocks. There was an element of luck about both those goals, but I must disagree with a section of the watchers when they assert that Dean never tried to score when he netted the initial point. Dean had his back to Riley‘s charge when Martin placed the ball cross to him, but the Everton leader did not trouble to kill it and turn round. He merely hooked it over his head, and lo and behold! Riley was caught at the other end of the goal, and the ball sneaked just a foot inside the far post.
Strangers might well have imagined that Dean was attempting to feed Ritchie, but those who know England’s sharpshooter realised that he was taking one of those lone chances which have earned him correct recognition by the selectors. His second point taken after 41 minutes – the opening goal came after 16 minutes –savoured a little of fortune. Still, he was able to act while other as contemplated. Ritchie’s centre was gathered by Riley cleanly enough, but when Dean ran to challenge the goalkeeper, the South African allowed the ball to slip through his hands and legs. It dropped only a matter of inches from the line and Jackson was left to look at it. He appeared to be fascinated. At any rate, he never moved until Dean had stepped across and placed the ball into the back of the net. In ordinary circumstances one would have gambled that Riley would have held to the ball, or that Jackson would have sent it sailing to the touchline, but this was just the occasion when the enterprise and quick action of Dean upset them. The third goal, coming after 83 minutes, exemplified the coolness of Martin, who lifted the ball over the heads of players into the net after Riley had become unbalanced in clearing Stein’s corner kick.
It was a clean-cut victory, proving that good preconceived football will inevitably predominate. Everton never once forsook their policy of making the ball do the work, and throughout they were as cool as a cucumbers. Liverpool had a victory over Huddersfield to encourage them, and they endeavoured to apply the whole-hearted spirited tactics, which earned them points last Wednesday, but in so doing, they forgot all about constructive football, and, as a result suffered. The one man who could have leavened this enthusiastic play with that contribution of thoughtfulness was Clark, and he went off the field some minutes before the interval with a leg injury which kept him in the dressing-room for the remainder of the game. Had it not been for the far-seeing brain and sprightliness of Hart, it would have been he and not Clark who would have been off, for just after Hart and Hodgson had been engaged in a “difference” in the Everton goalmouth. Davidson and Clark obviously tried to sandwich Hart, but Hart stepped out of the way and Davidson‘s studs appeared to meet Clark ‘s knee.
Liverpool were faced with what proved to be an insurmountable obstacle in the second half –ten men and a two-goal deficit. Everyone knows that they tried hard enough, but their spasmodic efforts were unless against a defence which had a complete understanding. Everton had fully 80 per cent of the play in the second half, and it was only the demon-like tackling of Jackson and Done which kept them at bay. What a pity it is that these backs cannot use the ball in a scientific a manner as they get it. Done was not such a great sinner as Jackson in this respect.
Liverpool had plenty of chances to score, but Hodgson, Race and Edmed were at fault in delivering shots. Twice inside a minute shots delivered from easy shooting distances were nearer to the corner flags than in goal. The Reds were in a state of frenzy, and everyone knew long before the final whistle sounded that they were a beaten side.
Everton can take credit for a fine victory, and it was pleasing to see how the men got in first when the ball was loose. “First come first served” was their motto, and when they gained possession they had the ability to dispose of it in a manner which helped the side and not an individual. The whole-hearted endeavour of the Reds fell against the thoughtfulness of the Blues.
Liverpool are to be sympathised with in that they had to run the second half with only four forwards who could not improve on excellent material served up by three hard-working and solid halves. The middle trio and Riley stood out in the ranks of the Reds and I think that McDougall, with his subtle constructive ideals, was the pick. Morrison was another who knew how to give a pass, and Davidson was an incisive player who contrived never to give Dean much room. Jackson and Done never gave up hope, though their place-kicking rarely assisted the men in front, of whom Hopkin and Clark were the only men to really threaten danger. Hopkins was the best forward. Riley made one bad slip, but the Anfielders must remember that he served at least half-a-dozen shots, which would have defeated most goalkeepers.
It was certainly Everton day, and there was only the Clark-Hodgson-Davidson business to mar what would otherwise have been a clean give and take encounter. It was an object lesson in the fact that football will invariably come out on top, and it was certainly football which won the day for the Blues, though Liverpool might have got nearer had the wily Clark been available all though.
(Liverpool Daily Courier, 09-09-1929)