Dixie Dean Turns The Scale


October 3, 1932
Second Half Transformation.
Three Goals in Lively Rally.
Another “Derby” game goes down to history, and while it cannot be claimed a classic encounter it will not be easily forgotten, for there were several reasons why it will be remembered. The chief one is that there was such a sensational transformation. Liverpool appeared likely to retain their slender lead, which they held for over an hour, but in twelve minutes Everton took three goals and the victory.

Did they deserve their success?
I think everyone of the 45,000 spectators – a poor gate for an Everton-Liverpool meeting – unless, of course, they were blinded by partisanship, they agree that the result was a true one, even admitting that, in the minds of many, Liverpool were deprived of a goal by a curious decision of the referee. I cannot find any reason why Wright’s shot, which Sagar could not keep out of his net, although he handled the ball, was not allowed to count. I could not see any infringement, for the shooter was not offside. It was a mystery decision to me, and an annoying one to Wright, who plainly showed his disguised. I asked a former referee what his thought about it, but he, like us all, was mystified. The referee made many other curious decisions, especially in the offside decisions.

Tip-Tap Methods.
I liked the way Liverpool went about their work in the first half. The forward line, which has been sadly lacking in punch for some time, and which aimed at progress by the aid of the big hit and run, now went forward in a more stereotyped, yet none the less effective manner, in fact, Sagar was the much busier man, for Scott was left idle for a long time, so well was he covered by his defenders. Everton did too much tip-tapping which, while it looked nice and did not carry them far enough, and the side gave me the feeling that they would never penetrate the Liverpool defence, while it persisted in finery and omitted the big factor in the game – shot.

Liverpool were undoubtedly on top in the first “45” simply because they took the shortest route to goal, and then followed with a shot. Not always was their shooting or good account for there were times when a pass simply screamed out to be netted, but when a player failed to take it one had to remember that this was a “Derby” game in which nerves were at breaking point. The football during this half was of good standard. Everton were perhaps the more skilful craftsmen, but Liverpool could, and did cajole the ball to do their bidding, in fact I saw more dribbles and combination in this game than many other “Derby” games. There was just a little difference, Liverpool relied upon the wide pass whereas Everton kept the ball close, and to a degree this was their undoing, for their usually ran into a defence that simply revealed in cutting down their rivals intricacies.

While Everton were enjoying themselves in midfield, Liverpool were searching for the lance to administer a blow. They obtained this at 23 minutes and for a time they had Everton in a state of frenzy, for that the “Blues” became unsettled everyone could see for themselves. Passes went wrong, their combination became uncertain, and Liverpool once having settled their appetites were determined not to let them become settled again, and right up to the interval they crushed Everton out of the picture.

Tactics Altered.
Everton were a goal in arrears. In all their home games they have been in a similar position at the half stage, but by hook or by crook have pulled the game out of the fire by altering their tactics. Much of their artistry was omitted from their game, and more punch brought it in and this is what happened on Saturday. They had seen for themselves that their first half methods had not paid for themselves. Their over-elaboration had got them nowhere and something had to be done about it. They still played sound football, but the close pass was cut out in favour of the long and wide one, which is always a bother to an opposing defences, for it keeps it on the run.

How much at fault they had been in the first session was soon made apparent, for they had Liverpool penned in their own half most of the time, and when Critchley opened their score at 62 minutes the team started to play in their best style, and it became Liverpool’s turn to offer a bold front to a team that was so entirely different proposition this half. Jackson, Steel, and the half-backs fought gallantly but gradually they were worn down by the weight, which was thrown at them, and Dean was able to turn Stein’s centre into a goal by a simple nod of his head. The Everton folk went crazy, but when Dean scored his second, and his side’s third goal in the next minute – well, it brought the house down. The roar was tremendous. Liverpool had their chances but did not take them, although Sagar must consider himself fortunate to find Barton shooting straight at him.

Liverpool appeared to have tried. They had taken too much out of themselves by the efforts earlier on, yet they never gave up the fight, and although beaten went down with the flag flying. Like all our “Derby” games, it was a clean one, although there were one or two injuries. Cresswell and Macpherson were off the field – the latter when his side’s goal was scored – and Bradshaw suffered a painful leg injury. To be asked to play before the Highbury crowd and then appear in a local “Derby” is a big order for a newcomer, but McGourty was one of the successes of the day. He found the pace a handicap, but was thoughtful in everything he did. His passes were the acme of perfection and wisdom, and why he did not shoot more often – he can hit a might shot – is hard to understand.

Stein missed some “sitters” and hit the post, yet was ever a danger to the Liverpool defence. Critchley was in and out. He, too, had his opportunities, and while he took one there were similar ones there for the mere taking. Johnson was for ever working for his team, and Thomson has never played better in fact, all the half-backs afield were right up to concert pitch, and Cresswell’s cool calculated methods were a strange contrast to those of Jackson, who was a bundle of energy and a big obstacle to Critchley and McGourty. There are some who think that Scott should have saved Dean’s header. That is easier said than done, for Dean’s timing of the ball was perfect.

Wright’s Return.
Wright’s return to the Liverpool attack brought a combined plan into the line, which, while not being without its weakness was infinitely better than it has been since the season opened. Wright was an unlucky man for apart from his disallowed goal, he had one or two fine shots saved, but it was the way he kept his line moving that made him so successful. Bradshaw undertook two roles. In the first half he was backing up his forwards, in the second he was helping in defence at a time it was sorely needed. McDougall and Morrison with fast men against them, did some smart work, and Steel and Jackson made up a pair that wanted a lot of beating. Britton once again gave a clever display.

Teams:
Everton: Ted Sagar, Ben Williams, Warney Cresswell, Cliff Britton, Tommy White, Jock Thomson, Ted Critchley, Jimmy McGourty, Dixie Dean, Tosh Johnson, Jimmy Stein.
Liverpool: Elisha Scott, Willie Steel, James Jackson, Tom Morrison, Tom Bradshaw, Jimmy McDougall, Harold Barton, Gordon Hodgson, Dave Wright, Archie Macpherson, Gordon Gunson.
Referee: Mr. H.E. Hull (Burnley).
(Source: Liverpool Mercury and Post: October 3, 1932)

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