A great struggle


September 21, 1942
The return “Liverton” Derby was better than many pre-war games between these two old rivals. And what a finish – a finish which sent people away bubbling over with excitement.

Liverpool equalised almost in the last minute of the game. Some folk are sceptical as to whether football will come back into its own. With such games as that on Saturday, who dare say is has ever let us?

It was a “spectator”.
There was not a dull moment.
There was something in it every minute – excellent rounds of combination, hefty drives and goals, stubborn defences, scintillating attacks – aye, everything that football can produce.

I admit through Everton were bound for a convincing victory, for their first half display was good enough for League days. They undoubtedly seemed to be riding to victory by their clever footwork, accurate rounds of passing, and the shot, but Liverpool are famed for their fighting quality.

A game is not won until it is lost with the Anfielders, and they proved the axiom to be right. Everton had built up a lead which appeared impregnable by solid team work in which every man linked up with his partner, and Liverpool had to struggle desperately hard against their opponents’ waves of attack and canny moves which took them within shooting distance.

Two goals in twelve minutes was a nasty blow to Liverpool but they hit back and reduced the lead only to find Everton regain their two goal lead by half-time. It is not comforting to resume with such a heavy list, but the Anfielders fought on trying to get themselves into something like their true shape, but Everton were playing with the confidence which a nicely-sized lead can give.

Few imagined that Liverpool could catch up, not even when the score read Everton 3, Liverpool 2. You see, Everton were going great guns, whereas Liverpool were stressing and staining and were not a united whole, and when Everton got two goals ahead again, there appeared little possibility of them losing their grip on things.

It was then that Billy Liddell struck his international form. Watson and J. Jones had taken good care of him up to then, and in doing so had run themselves out. Liddell saw his chance and utilised it to the full. He bounced past them with intricate bad control, offered chances to colleagues took one himself in fact.

I would say this was Liddell’s match so far as Liverpool was concerned. He lit the flame which set Liverpool alight and so the match which promised to be in Everton’s safe keeping ended all square.

It was a grand fare, boys and each and every player deserved a pat on the back for an afternoon’s splendid entertainment. Everton were the more polished team, their artistry was without compare but Liverpool got the same return from their more direct methods.

The last goal from the penalty spot, when Done was nudged off the ball. Two minutes remained when Dorsett strode forward to take the spot kick. Would he fail? No! The ball went into the net like a rocket to the accompaniment of a roar such as I have not heard for an age.

Mutch played his best game for many a long day. He and Stevenson were artists, and until Tom Jones was injured he had held down the middle securely. I wonder why Burnett did not move to Dorsett’s first goal. Was he unsighted? Hobson might have collared Anderson’s corner kick before it reached H. Jones’s head.
(Liverpool Echo, 21-09-1942)

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