December 1, 1930
Hodgson on the mark.
The Sheffield United players were seen in two entirely different moods at Anfield I should imagine everyone thought they were extremely unlucky to be two goals in arrear at the interval.
They had played the open game at a great pace, and were keen in the tackle and follow through. Liverpool were not allowed any time for elaboration. The United forwards went to the ball with zest and kept the Liverpool defence moving to cover much ground.
Yet, against the run of the play, I thought, Hodgson gave his side the lead at the half-hour, and six minutes later again scored, both goals the result of quick thinking and action. Hodgson’s shots represented, in my opinion, the only difference between the sides, for Riley was a busier man than Kendall.
United fade out.
The second half brought about a revelation and a revolution, which became intensified as the play progressed. The United had set a pace they were unable to maintain, and for the greater portion of the second half Liverpool were definitely on top.
The forwards became irresistible, the United half-backs, who earlier had been a potent force, were out-manoeuvred and out-paced, and as a consequence the last lines were completely overwhelmed.
Twenty-seven minutes after the interval Hodgson obtained his third goal, and in the last quarter of an hour Smith and Macpherson (twice) scored. These late happenings came as a great surprise, for Dunn had reduced the two goals’ margin two minutes after the interval, and twice came near to scoring further goals.
It was a surprise result considering the play in the early stages, but the stoutest of defences could not have held the Anfield forwards in the last half hour of this game.
Much interest was centred in the inclusion of McRorie as a partner to Hodgson. Naturally, too much could not be expected from the newcomer, who was some time in feeling his wat. He was speedy, though prone to get off-side, but further acquaintance with each other should result in forming a clever and effective wing. McRorie’s habit of cutting in was pussling to his partner, but probably this will soon be justified.
Smith was as enthusiastic as ever, making good openings, while Hopkin and Macpherson, combining effectively, were the more incisive wing, especially near the close, when the inside man’s drawing and dribbling powers had much to do with the collapse of the United defence.
Bradshaw’s covering play and positional tactics were clever. His was not the tear-away style, but the work of an experienced player who knew his powers. But no half-back did better than McDougall, who was opposed to Sheffield’s better wing pair, and further behind Lucas was in rare form with Jackson showing signs of gradually approaching his former standard of ability.
Riley was at his best, and exercised great judgment on more than one occasion when he came out to make Dunn’s position difficult. The latter was a capable leader, always looking for opportune moments to nip in, while he distributed the play in capable fashion.
While the half-backs were able to hold their own, Pickering and Gibson especially were virile and assertive forwards, who harassed the Liverpool backs repeatedly, and Matthews did well generally, but, like his colleague, was outpaced in the later stages of play, with the result that the rear lines were overworked.
Liverpool: Arthur Riley, James Jackson, Tommy Lucas, Tom Morrison, Tom Bradshaw, Jimmy McDougall, Daniel McRorie, Gordon Hodgson, Jimmy Smith, Archie Macpherson, Fred Hopkin.
Sheffield United: Jack Kendall, Percy Thorpe, Sid Gibson, Tommy Sampy, Vince Matthews, George Green, John Gibson, Jack Pickering, Jimmy Dunne, Bernard Radford, Fred Tunstall.
Referee: Mr. E. Pinckston (Birmingham).
(Athletic News: December 1, 1930)