West Ham’s misfortune

May 4, 1931
It was natural that Liverpool should take revenge on a club that defeated them in the early days of the season by such a pronounced margin as seven clear goals. They got on terms at Anfield by two goals without runs, but had matters run the usual course it is doubtful if they would have accomplished their object.

At the half hour Barrett, the West Ham centre half-back strained the sinews of his leg and was led off the field to take no further part in the game. The London side were a goal behind at the time of this unfortunate happening; still, there could be no questioning the fact that up to that incident West Ham had played class football.

Especially in forward play were they the most convincing, and as Earle had to drop back to fill Barrett’s position the severe nature of the handicap can readily be imagined. The United battled gamely against great odds, and the London men cannot be said to have been overplayed at any period.

Hodgson scored an opening goal after ten minutes with a header from a corner kick taken by McRorie, and, following Barrett’s misfortune at the half hour, Watson hit the post. It was left for Hodgson to clinch the issue fifteen minutes from time, his success being made possible by Barton.

Tripe benefit match.
The game was marked for recognition of the five years’ service of Jackson, Riley and Hodgson, and while Riley was unable to take his part, his colleagues did much solid work that greatly impressed the crowd. Barton was brought to centre, but was handicapped by being on the light side, and the occasion also served to reintroduce McRorie.

But Liverpool’s forward play was not satisfactory. The wing men were moderate, and Hodgson, who did not spare himself, was the spearhead of practically all the Liverpool attacks.

The Liverpool half-backs played their part well, especially Bradshaw and McDougall, but there were times when the Liverpool forwards did not anticipate quickly enough the intentions of those immediately behind them. Jackson and Lucas had a sound understanding, and Scott was himself in goal.

The West Ham forwards, before the mishap referred to, were very nippy and kept the ball moving with an accuracy that caught the eye. They were progressive in movement, even when a player short, and while the team was intact none was more effective than Earle, though he at times nonplussed his colleagues by unexpected and unorthodox passes.

Ruffell was the threatened danger by reason of his speedy and direct methods, and Watson was always a difficult player to in “check.” On the right flank Wood had speed, but found it a difficult matter to get the better of McDougall when at close quarters. Still, the wing players were certainly more incisive than those of Liverpool, and did much towards keeping the game interesting.

At full-back Earl was outstanding, with Hufton safe in goal, but the numerical handicap was too much for West Ham, who, in the circumstances, did all that could reasonably by expected.

Liverpool: Elisha Scott, James Jackson, Tommy Lucas, Tom Morrison, Tom Bradshaw, Jimmy McDougall, Daniel McRorie, Gordon Hodgson, Harold Barton, Archie Macpherson, Gordon Gunson.
West Ham United: Ted Hufton, Alf Earl, Reg Wade, Jimmy Collins, Jim Barrett, Fred Norris, Jimmy Wood, Stan Earle, Vic Watson, Wilfred James, Jimmy Ruffell.

Referee: Mr. E.R. Westwood (Walsall).
(Source: Athletic News: May 4, 1931)


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