Thursday, August 10 – 1939
Liverpool can always find goalkeepers, but for seasons have been trying to find central forwards. The opening trial match at Anfield last night shows that in George Poland, from Wrexham, the Reds keep up their star goalkeeper record, and I dare to hope the centre forward problem has been partially solved.
Cyril Done, the Hodgson-like Bootle lad, was tried at centre-forward for the Whites, and although failing with a penalty – Dirk Kemp saved well – he went on to record a hat-trick. His hustling, bustling style, good positional sense and snappy shooting stamped Done as more than a useful proposition.
The Reds, the first team, won 5-3 in an intriguing trial, which, while one scorns being critical, left the impression that centre-half may still cause the officials most worry. Do not be surprised if 20-year-old Jack Easdale, an outstanding figure last night, is given his first team “blooding” despite the usefulness of Fred Rogers, who is becoming a real utility man, and the towering Tom Bush.
Easdale will probably be called to Militia service in the New Year, and that is the snag.
Poland reminded me forcibly of Elisha Scott by his positioning, quick interventions and judgment in moving out to cut out centres and passes. The Kopites liked him, too.
Bob Paisley, the Bishop Auckland boy, proved a tenacious tackler, and the feeding ability of Ray Lambert was marked, until he received a slight knock on a knee and went off to make way for “Soldier” Eastham.
I liked the weaving runs and cute passes of George Paterson in the first half, and the keen positional sense of Bill Kinghorn, while the first team forwards combined precisely and effectively.
Berry Nieuwenhuys treated himself to a fine hat-trick, and Jack Balmer’s rip-roaring shot and Phil Taylor’s cute lob gave Poland no earthly chance.
The Reds defence played a little wide apart, but Kemp was there with many a good save, in a match which had a touch of keenness about it and which provided a colourful recall to the winter game. The attendance was 4,000 and the receipts £95 4s. 6d.
Liverpool’s next trial will be held at Anfield on Wednesday, and Mr. George Kay has arranged several trials at Cadby Hall for amateurs.
(Evening Express, 10-08-1939)
Evening Express’ match picture from Liverpool F.C.’s first trial match at Anfield. Note the numbers on the players back. The first ever numbering of Liverpool players.