Saturday, August 19 – 1939
Match: Benefit for the Football League – Jubilee Fund, at Anfield, kick-off: 15:15.
Liverpool – Everton 2-1 (1-0).
Attendance: 15,222; gate receipts: £722.
Liverpool (2-3-5): George Poland, Jim Harley, Bernard Ramsden, Matt Busby, Tom Bush, James McInnes, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Phil Taylor, Willie Fagan, Jack Balmer, Herman Van den Berg.
Everton (2-3-5): Ted Sagar, Billy Cook, Norman Greenhalgh, Joe Mercer, Tommy Jones, Gordon Watson, Torry Gillick, Stan Bentham, Tommy Lawton, Alex Stevenson, Wally Boyes.
The goals: 1-0 Taylor (9 min.), 2-0 Balmer (54 min.), 2-1 Lawton.
Everton Beaten by Odd Goal of Three.
Hard and Well-Fought Game.
Liverpool beat Everton by 2 goals to 1 in the Football League Jubilee Fund match at Anfield, but a better verdict would have been a draw. No matter, the results means little or nothing. The football was the main consideration, and It is to the credit of both winners and losers that nit was an anything but boring exhibition –as so many of these charity matches are. At times it was difficult to realise that there was nothing at stake except the usual bonus. There have been many less acceptable League fixtures the clubs. Everyone went practically full out and there was an element of danger on occasion because the earnestness and the heat of the day engendered fraction. Probably Everton, as champions, felt they should loss. Liverpool too, had the spur to make it a “straight” game because they were meeting the best side in the country, judged on last season’s records, I doubt whether any other Jubilee fixture was so hard and well-fought and so interesting to those who were only too willing to help the professional footballer of the future financially, whilst indulging their passion for the winter sport. Rarely does one get, in the season proper, the heat of the day as experienced now. It said a lot for training that the pace, well set, should he almost maintained from end to end. The only flagging was done by the linesman –and that officially!
Everton Forwards Impress.
The assertion that Everton deserved to draw may produce an opposite view, but my estimation of the game was that they were the better side for a long spell in the first half and again in the second period. Liverpool had moments when they played unbeatably well, but Everton, I though, were more together as a side, and had Liverpool pulling hard in defence towards the end when the side in the lead had some hairbreadth escapes from losing their advantage. The Everton forwards impressed the writer as being the more effective combined force. Liverpool’s front line strength, when it came, was largely divided between one wing or the other, and able as was their football on these occasions they did not sweep through as effortlessly as the opposition. Of such a game it is obviously right and proper to say that although everyone played hard the tendency to ease up to avoid possible injury was apparent. No one would wish a player to risk a serious knock in such a match. Nine minutes from the start Taylor scored for Liverpool, when he and Nieuwenhuys both men in unison to convert Van Den Berg’s pulled back centre. Nieuwenhuys was concerned in the second goal. His penchant for shooting is such that nine out of ten people who know his play expected him to shoot when he cut in and had no opposition save Sagar. But unselfishly he planted the ball so that Balmer could hardly fail. A free kick taken by Greenhalgh was the lead up to Lawton’s headed goal, and the Everton leader was close up to adding to this several times afterwards. Previously he had made a great shot, a full drive of characteristic power, and Kemp had rehabilitated himself in the minds of Liverpool followers with a superlative save. Kemp did not field the ball as neatly as he can at best but he did well. He gave the impression of playing to orders in cutting out as many unnecessary risk as possible in view of Liverpool’s goalkeeper ill-luck. They have two on the injured list thus early.
I liked Busby’s quiet and effective use of the ball, but on this occasion he had to take second place to Tom Jones, another stylist, whose command of the centre of the field, and with such assurance and confidence, makes him the best centre half in the game. By comparison Bush looked almost clumsy, but Bush got through any amount of stein work with his head, and only when Everton kept the ball on the ground did he fail to become master of Lawton. Once Lawton had made his cannon-ball shot, Liverpool concentrated on crowding him out to a point where he became the victim of a policy of encirclement. Gillick’s knock prevented him from being numbered among the winners who were outstanding. Van Den Berg struck something like his real form, and was too quick off the mark for the comfort of Cook. Both half-back lines were strong and sure in most of their work, yet Mercer failed to reach his own high standard. Liverpool’s inside three were breath taking in their inspired moments, but again the finishing touch did not come easily to them. Result Liverpool 2, Everton 1.
(Liverpool Daily Post, 21-08-1939)