Saturday, February 8 – 1941
Match: North Regional League, at Anfield.
Liverpool – Everton 1-3 (1-3).
Referee: Mr. W.H.E. Evans (Liverpool).
Liverpool (2-3-5): George Jackson (Everton); Robert Stuart, Patrick Owen (Tranmere Rovers); Ray Lambert, Bert Turner, Eddie Spicer; Berry Nieuwenhuys, Bob Paisley, Cyril Done, Stan Palk, Billy Liddell.
Everton (2-3-5): Ted Sagar (C); Billy Cook, Norman Greenhalgh; Stan Bentham, Tommy Jones, Jack Jones; Arthur, S. Simmons, Harry Catterick, Alex Stevenson, Wally Boyes
The goals: 0-1 Catterick (30 min.), 0-2 Catterick, 1-2 Done, 1-3 Catterick.
Still one more war-time meeting of Everton and Liverpool went in Everton’s favour. Their 3-1 success at Anfield was deserved, and Liverpool’s only consolation was that they were forced to play a full back in goal, and therefore, at best could only have had scant chance of escaping defeat.
George Jackson, an Everton player, took over this vital job. Could any Everton player in a Liverpool team have a more unenviable ask than to pick the ball out of the net overlooked by Spion Kop? I doubt it. Thus was Jackson’s task after half an hour’s play.
The irony of an Everton goal at that time was twofold, since Liverpool had things pretty well their own way and had seemed the more likely to take the lead. Jackson’s fumbling of a Catterick header was excusable, “but not when playing against Everton,” was the general impression of the Kop!
Actually this full back turned goalkeeper had many grand saves to his credit. He made them as if to the manner born, too. There was more at fault with the Liverpool attack than with him.
Catterick having scored a second time, the Everton defence for once remained stone cold while Done went in to make it 2-1. Catterick “hat-trick” in what proved to be much the inferior half. What chances Liverpool had of battling on for the equaliser went when Paisley had to be taken off injured. He came back, but not in a condition to be effective.
The reshuffling made to place him at outside left was not successful. On paper and on the field the Everton defence was too strong. The link-up between Jones and other members was superb as it often is, and unless Liverpool got goals they were always likely to be defeated.
There have been many more powerful Everton front lines and not every until deserved to be on the winning side. Liverpool’s best were Turner, who came through with the ball splendidly after some grand tackles and the youngsters on either side of him, and Owen and Liddell. For forty five minutes the football was first-rate. Later when a lack of training was in evidence, it slowed up and was not nearly so attractive.
(Liverpool Daily Post, 10-02-1941)
One more curiously has been added to war-time football’s ever increasing store of queers happenings, and in years to come I can see the youngsters of a future generation testing one another’s. Soccer knowledge by propounding the teaser – “when did an Everton full back play in goal for Liverpool?”
Those whose hobby it is to note such curiosities no doubt have the date down already in their little blue books – February 8, 1941, and George Jackson the player. And a right good job he made of his task.
True the Kopites had a few sarcastic remarks to make when he fell backwards into his goal in saving a header from Catterick, and gave Everton a point which was all against the run of the play, but afterwards he played almost faultlessly, and in the second half particularly made some really excellent saves.
Several efforts from his Everton colleagues were fisted over the bar in the best approved style, and if his performances hadn’t the hall-mark of an Elisha Scott or a Sam Bartram, it was at shy rate a very creditable exhibition, and maternally contributed to keeping Everton’s score down during a period when the Blues were well on top.
As usual Everton were slow starters, and for close on half an hour it was almost one-way traffic – towards the Everton goal, when Sagar should have been beaten by Done and Nieuwenhuys in the first ten minutes.
This was the first phase of a three-phrase match.
The second one came after the visitors had warmed to their work, and a hat-trick by Catterick –with a goal by Done sandwiched between the second and third –put Everton in a position which was certainty not warranted on the balance of play, but was rather the reward of Catterick’s opportunism.
The final phrase saw Liverpool fighting back hard to get on level terms, a rather forlorn hope because of the lack of a spearhead in attack and the solidity of Everton’s dove-tailed. Done could make no impression on Jones, yet instead of realising that fact and distributing play to his wings, he kept on trying to bore a way through.
The goal he did get was parity a gift due to Jones and Cook leaving it to each other, though credit must go to Done for the quickness with which he took the opening and whipped the ball in. Though not so brilliant as usual Jones was still the outstanding player on the field, with Turner the Liverpool centre-half, not far behind.
Everton missed the genius of Mercer, for Bentham well as he played has not quite the same gift for openings up avenues of attack.
Lambert and Spicer did good work, but Liverpool were not well served at inside forward, and with Paisley a passenger all the second half, the forward line was naturally at a disadvantage. Liddell was their best attacker, and his shot which struck the bar early on was a real gem, which even Lawton at his best could not have bettered.
Everton were well served by their rear defence, when Cook was in mood, but Stevenson and Boyes did not work with their accustomed smoothness and Simmons was not as good as I have seen him previously. Owen, borrowed once again from Tranmere played another sound game. The Anfield air seems to suit him, for he has done well here on every appearance.
(Liverpool Echo, 10-02-1941)