January 8, 1943
Merseyside’s third big “Derby” game of the season between Everton and Liverpool will be staged at Goodison Park tomorrow. It will be the first “leg” of their pairing in the Cup Qualifying Competition, the return being schedule for Anfield the following week.
In the league games in September Liverpool bagged three of the four points. George Mills’ goal giving them both points at Anfield, while a brilliant rally at Goodison Park after being 3-1 down enabled them to snatch a point with a 4-4 draw. That draw was made possible by a last minute penalty scored by Dick Dorsett.
Those two games were matches of the highest grade and right up to pre-war “Derby” standards. Since then Liverpool have kept up their progressive ways and finished runners-up in the league championship. Everton, however, have shown improvement on those early days of the season, and while form indicates that Liverpool will demonstrate superiority, I am not at all certain that it will work out that way.
The issue in tomorrow’s game turns, in my opinion, not so much on attack as on defence. Generally speaking, Liverpool are the more potent forward force, for if they lack some of the Everton artistry this is balanced by their remarkable striking power. Of course, if Tommy Lawton plays for the Blues – as we confidently hope he will – then the attacks work out pretty evenly.
Even if Lawton is away Harry Jones will be there to load and Harry bagged a couple of goals in that 4-4 game, remember. Still, Everton have that Liverpool “punch” to fear.
Consequently I think defence is the major factor, and in my opinion Everton have the pull here. In Burnett, Cook and Greenhalgh the Blues have a grand defensive trio, playing with a perfect understand between themselves and with the half-backs in front of them. Mercer is back to his dazzling best, and either Jones or Humphreys can cover a lot of ground in the “down-the-middle” region.
The Reds’ defence will be strengthened by Ray Lambert’s return, but I rate Everton’s as one of superior power. So weighing it all up this does read a draw to me. But before we know the result we shall have 90 minutes of thrills. There is certain to be a capacity crowd for such a “date.”
Capacity crowd by regulations is a third of the peacetime capacity, and so we shall be able to see up to 25,000 people and be within the law. I expect the limit. Intending spectators are asked to come as early as possible – kick-off is at three o’clock – as there is a limit on gatemen, and for the first time this season the paddock on the Bullens Road side will be opened. This will please regular “Paddockites.”
Everton: George Burnett, Billy Cook, Norman Greenhalgh, Joe Mercer, Harry Jones (or John Humphreys), Gordon Watson, Stan Bentham, George Mutch, Tommy Lawton (or Harry Jones), Stevenson, Tommy Fowler.
Liverpool. Alf Hobson, Roy Guttridge, Ray Lambert, Harry Kaye, Jack Westby, Jack Pilling, (forwards from) Fred Haycock, Willie Fagan, Jack Balmer, Dick Dorsett, Cyril Done, Michael Hulligan.
(Source: Evening Express: January 8, 1943; via http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited
Tommy Lawton, Everton F.C.