January 1, 1940
“Ten to one chances come off sometimes.” In these words Mr. George Kay, Liverpool’s manager, correctly summed up the victory of a depleted Liverpool side over Preston North End at Deepdale on Saturday – a victory which was marked by some superlative football by both sides.
Liverpool produced much fine football, and it was their ability to take their chances that enabled them to win.
That Preston were the better side, taking the game as a whole, is beyond dispute. They had much the better of the exchanges in the second half when Frank O’Donnell had one goal disallowed and also missed the simplest of chances and his brother, Hugh, struck the crossbar with a terrific drive, but they failed to make the most of their opportunities and paid the penalty in consequence.
Liverpool more than held their own before the interval when they played the more forceful football, with both Matt Busby and Stan Eastham in the role of extra forwards. Throughout Busby was the perfect artist. No one on the field displayed better control of the ball and his adroit moves were responsible for the majority of the raids on the Preston goal.
Eastham, too, did well in the Liverpool half-back line, particularly in the first half, when his tenacious tackling and lightning-like passes were big factors in the success of the Reds’ attack.
Willie Fagan was a tireless forager and Billy Liddell, playing in an unaccustomed position at outside left, bore out the promise he had shown in his previous game with the League side.
Preston were handicapped in the second half by an injury to Robert Beattie, who went outside left, but they had good forwards in Frank and Hugh O’Donnell and George Mutch, who, however, had little luck in his finishing. Bill Shankly and Williams also did well for the home side.
(Evening Express: January 1, 1940)