Never-say-die-Liverpool


November 4, 1929
Dramatic rally in last 15 minutes.
Smith’s great goal.
The directors of the Liverpool club are to be commended for their wisdom in refusing to adopt panic measures after their side’s heavy home defeat by Manchester City a week ago. They gave the same eleven the opportunity to show whether they could recover from this shock, and their confidence was justified, for the players, apparently hopelessly beaten, made a dramatic recovery midway through the second half and equalised.

This was due to sheer grit and determination rather than to skill, because throughout the game Portsmouth were far more methodical in their constructional work, and had the forwards accepted even a reasonable number of the many chances presented to them Liverpool would have had another bad day.

The story of the scoring is soon told. After 12 minutes’ attacking by Portsmouth Liverpool countered and Bell had the misfortune to slip up as he stretched out to intercept a pass. This left Hodgson with an easy task.

Jack Smith, of Portsmouth, engineered a forward movement immediately afterwards, and when Forward centred Weddle equalised with a neat header. Just before the interval Cook scored from six yards’ range, and the game had only just recommenced after the interval when Easson headed Portsmouth’s third goal.

Single-handed effort.
A quarter of an hour from the end Barton took a corner kick and Davidson scored a goal which brought Liverpool within striking distance, and seven minutes later Smith equalised. It was a thrilling individual effort, in the course of which he beat several opponents, winding up with a perfectly-placed shot.

Liverpool deserve every credit for their remarkable recovery, and it is noteworthy that this was the third time during the present campaign they have secured a point when apparently hopelessly placed.

For quite three-quarters of the game Portsmouth dominated the play, and in all departments except perhaps goal were superior. Scott, however, vied with Gilfillan in a masterly display and times out of number got his side out of difficulties.

Particularly gratifying, from the home point of view, was the manifest improvement of the attack, which played in sprightly fashion and combined perfectly.

Cook and Easson were a well-balanced left wing and, well as Morrison shaped, they were continually masters of the situation and led up to many onslaughts on the Liverpool goal.

Weddle was characteristically dashing and forceful, but was at fault on at least three occasions when gilt-edged opportunities were afforded him as the result of rousing attacks.

Forward’s improved display.
Jack Smith opened in splendid fashion, but felt the effects of the hard game towards the finish, and Forward gave an improved display on the extreme right, his work leading up to two goals.

In the half-back line, Kearney again proved a capable understudy to McIlwaine, but Thackeray and Nichol stood out as the two most polished players on view. Their placing to their forwards was typically Scottish in accuracy, and in addition Thackeray was a strong tackler.

Liverpool were spasmodic in their attacking, this being mainly due to the persistence of Portsmouth’s vanguard, particularly in the first half when the whole of the resources of the visitors were required to keep their lines clear.

Smith, late of Ayr United, is proving a valuable leader, and he opened out play in excellent style, with the result that Hopkin was able to get in some of his best work. Hodgson was perhaps the most prominent and skilful inside-forward, and Barton, his partner, showed speed and excellent judgment in crossing the ball, even though he doubled backwards too much.

The half-backs were for a long period overworked, but Morrison was clever and Davidson was a strong stopper, while his shot which gave Liverpool their second goal was one of the surprises of the match. Jackson was outstanding at back and Done defended stubbornly, Scott was irreproachable in goal.

Portsmouth: John Gilfillan, George Clifford, Tommy Bell, Jimmy Nichol, Bob Kearney, David Thackeray, Fred Forward, Jack Smith, Jack Weddle, Jimmy Easson, Fred Cook.
Liverpool: Elisha Scott, James Jackson, Robert Done, Tom Morrison, David Davidson, Jimmy McDougall, Harold Barton, Gordon Hodgson, Jimmy Smith, Harry Race, Fred Hopkin.
(Source: Athletic news: November 4, 1929)

Jack Smith, Portsmouth F.C. (Liverpool Echo: February 1, 1930).

XX

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