December 15, 1941
Arthur Owen, Tranmere Rovers stocky, fair-haired full-back, went to Anfield on Saturday and certainly showed the Liverpool folk that they made a mistake a couple of years ago when they allowed him to cross the Mersey to Prenton Park. Owen was the outstanding player in this game, which Liverpool won readily 7-2 after suffering the shock of sheer enthusiasm and fighting spirit.
Owen was like a “pocket battleship,” standing up gallantly against a persistent hammering. For the second week in succession he stopped Billy Liddell from scoring – and that takes some doing. Liddell, I must add, was handicapped by ligament trouble on Saturday, but Owen was his “master.” Yes, we had to hand it to Owen and also to other fine lads in Bunny Bell, Joe Cooper, Alan Wishart, Percy Lovett and the recent professional acquisition, Matt McPeake.
This was a brave Tranmere fight, with the youngsters being urged on and encouraged finely by Ted Anderson. Bell gave them as early lead at a time when the tenacious Tranmere tackling completely upset Liverpool’s aspirations to the artistic, and in which players held the ball too long. Once the Reds wiped out that goal, however, they never looked back, for they began to move the ball about with greater freedom, and goals came pretty regularly per Len Carney (2), the forceful Jimmy McIntosh (3), and Dick Dorsett (2).
The Rovers had a bright ten minutes in the second half when Cooper scored. Cooper only came into the game at the last minute, but on this showing he is going places. Yes, he is another Birkenhead local discovery. McPeake is a player with nice ideas who only needs speeding up in action.
This was a fast, rather hectic game, featuring strength in the tackle and sheer doggedness. Liverpool had to thank Harry Kaye and Phil Taylor, the wing halves, for opening up the victory road, while Len Carney was positively electric at inside-right. Jimmy McIntosh was the essence of directness, and Jack Balmer suffered only because he held the ball a fraction too long.
Propelled by the Phil Taylor-Harry Kaye driving force, however, this Liverpool attack was bound to wear down a defence as gallant as they come. I still think Dick Dorsett is out of position at centre-forward, but he is the lad to make half-chances into goals. No one in Liverpool’s defence did better than Ray Lambert, and he was well supported by Roy Guttridge and Dennis Cooke in breaking up all Tranmere attempts at collaborative work.
(Evening Express: December 15, 1941)