June 8, 1942
Maybe it is rushing ahead in thinking of next season when the 1941-42 season only finally passed out on Saturday, but one must look to the future in all things. And after seeing the Liverpool Services lads beat the present Liverpool 3-2 at Anfield on Saturday I am convinced that so far as the Reds are concerned theirs is a particularly bright future.
We know the undoubted promise of the youngsters of the “A” team and the younger players of the senior side like Billy Liddell, Ray Lambert, Harry Kaye, Cyril Done, Fred Finney and Stan Palk, but I can tell you that other youngsters who went into the Army at the outbreak of war are still making the progress we could have expected them to make were they still in “Civvy-street.”
I refer to Bill Jones and John Easdale, who played with such important roles in this well-merited win for the Army boys. Easdale was excellent, and is so young that he will undoubtedly become a big noise in the game after the war. Jones, too, is certain to make the grade. He and Easdale are fine ball players with the right ideas. Yes, the Anfield people have good reason to feel quite happy about their position in these “plan-for-the-future” days.
It was a treat to see our pre-war friends back displaying their soccer arts, and when I say that the Services should have won by three or four goals it is no exaggeration.
They were a yard quicker on the ball than the Reds – tribute to the Army training – and played with much better understanding. The two premier reasons for their success were the three six-foot inside forwards who over-powered the home defence and the brilliance of the Jack Easdale / Tom Bush / Jimmy McInnes half-back line. That trio was grand, and even the wiles of Andy McLaren and Fred Haycock failed to make an impression on it.
It was enjoyable fare for the 3,087 spectators, with Liverpool taking it rather too easily early on, and then being unable to pull it out when it was necessary. The soldiers knew just a little too much for them, and did their work just a wee bit quicker.
Reid, of Bradford City, and a fine centre forward, gave the Services the lead in eight minutes, then Bill Jones came with a second. Jack Wharton, Liverpool’s best forward, reduced the lead on the interval, and the Phil Taylor, who made up a fine right wing with Harry Eastham, scored from a penalty before Haycock scored a fine goal from a free kick.
Liverpool finished without Harry Kaye and with Arthur Owen limping, but they were definitely second best for the Army missed some rare chances late on. The receipts were £175, so the Red Rose Services Sports Fund and the Lord Mayor’s War Fund receive quite a nice donation.
This was a match well worth-while for it was in a grand cause, and it was fine to renew acquaintance with our friends of pre-war days, with whom we travelled so many miles in quest of soccer joy and points. And the soldier-footballers were as happy as sand-boys at the opportunity of once again treading Bert Riley’s lovely Anfield turf for ninety minutes instead of the parade ground.
(Evening Express: June 8, 1942)