September 1, 1930
Bruton’s blow soon wiped out.
Predictions that Liverpool will have a successful season will prove correct if the players maintain the form shown against their rivals from Blackburn.
They maintain their reputation for grit and persistency, and with team spirit in addition, they hung on like leeches and finally won through.
It was a game fought at a great pace, and the strenuous work of the players was apparent throughout.
They displayed the will to win in all their movements, and after settling down kept a tight hold on the game to merit a narrow margin of victory.
All doubts as to whether Jackson would be able to withstand a stern contest were dispersed early on, when the captain, from his own half, lunged the ball into the Rovers’ goalmouth, and though kept busily employed there was no suggestion of any trouble arising.
At the outset play did not run any too smoothly for the Liverpool forwards, who did not work the ball but relied upon the long drive from wing to wing.
On the other hand the Rovers were more methodical; generally finding their colleagues by smart passing, and within the first 15 minutes it would not have been surprising had they established a sound lead.
Imrie, from a free kick, struck the woodwork, the ball passing over with Riley beaten. After 20 minutes a neat round of concerted movements ended in Cunliffe putting across for Bruton to open the scoring.
It was following this that Liverpool roused themselves into action, and the equaliser at the half hour was well merited when Smith, pouncing on a through pass from Hodgson, coolly took the ball along and neatly placed it wide of Binns.
Liverpool’s second goal came five minutes from the interval, when Smith, right in front of goal, received from Hopkin, who had outwitted Hutton by feinting and running ahead.
The best footcraft seem in this half was when Puddefoot and Bruton, backed by Imrie, passed and repassed along the turf only to find the finishing touch at fault.
In the second half Liverpool kept a tight hand on the game, and only an occasional Rovers raid threatened disaster. There were a few exciting moments during which Puddefoot had a chance of equalising, but victory went to the better side.
Bradshaw was the most efficient player on view. His constructive work was an outstanding feature, and rarely was he wanting in taking up an advantageous position, while he generally nipped opposing advances at their inception.
Sound half backs.
Next successful in half-back play was Imrie, a keen tackler, who gave Riley several anxious moments. But all through, half back play reached a sound level, and both clubs will have few qualms as to this department.
As I have indicated, the Liverpool forwards improved as the game went on, and there was no more whole-hearted player among the quintette than Hodgson, who, faster than last season, fetched and carried in untiring fashion, though marksmanship was not a strong point.
Macpherson, too, was remiss in this latter respect, and failed in the opening minutes at an open goal. Smith was a successful leader, and for an opening game there was little of an adverse nature in forward play to cavil about.
Very little was seen of Bourton, Bradshaw and the inimitable Jackson attended to that; nor of Cunliffe, whose chief asset was speed, and most of the Rovers’ effective forward play came from the right flank, were Puddefoot and Bruton had a good understanding, but were not allowed to settle for a final drive.
Jones was a great tactician in the Rovers’ defence, while Hutton found Hopkin a difficult opponent to challenge, but the duels were interesting with honours even.
I was much impressed with the display of Binns, and while Riley was never seriously at fault, the Rovers’ goalkeeper, harder worked, caught the eye and pleased the crowd, who gave him quite an ovation at the finish.
Liverpool: Arthur Riley, James Jackson, Tommy Lucas, Tom Morrison, Tom Bradshaw, Jimmy McDougall, Dick Edmed, Gordon Hodgson, Jimmy Smith, Archie Macpherson, Fred Hopkin.
Blackburn Rovers: Cliff Binns, Jack Hutton, Herbert Jones, Bill Imrie, Willie Rankin, Jack Roscamp, Jack Bruton, Syd Puddefoot, Clarrie Bourton, Tommy McLean, Arthur Cunliffe.
Referee: Mr. R. Bowrie (Newcastle-on-Tyne).
(Athletic News: September 1, 1930)