October 11, 1943
Liverpool have dashed into the leadership of the Football league North, overtaking Blackpool and Aston Villa thanks to a smashing 6-4 victory over their neighbours Everton, at Goodison Park on Saturday. This is the reward of sheer consistency and a fighting spirit with thrills as well as entertainment.
Liverpool’s display in the first half at Goodison proved them to be worthy of their position. Certainly the fall of Blackpool by the only goal at Bury at Bury, and the fact that for the second week in succession Aston Villa dropped a home point, enabled the Reds to forge ahead on goal average, but I am quite confident that if the lads keep up Saturday’s first half form, they will gain their second war trophy.
I am convinced Everton will soon draw nearer the top dogs for despite shattering blows to their confidence on Saturday in the form of four first half goals they fought back magnificently to give the Reds plenty of anxious moments.
At least Liverpool will know when they receive Everton again on Saturday at Anfield they will have no easy task, for neither of our clubs in these games will ever admit defeat. It is early yet for team news for this return Derby, but I can tell you that Berry Nieuwenhuys is a certainty for the Reds. Berry is travelling overnight to ensure being here.
Done Thanks Don
Cyril Done, Liverpool’s local-born, inside forward, scored a personal triumph on Saturday, by getting four of Liverpool’s six goals and for three Cyril had to say “Thanks a million to Don Welsh, the international, who proved such a wonder driving force behind the perfect Liverpool machine.
Cyril got himself two goals in the space of three minutes early on to shatter the confidence of the Everton team and in-spite his own colleagues. It was Done’s shot with George Burnett could only push out for Jim Harley to ram home, and then Done seized on a rebound from Alf Hanson’s shot to make it four while Everton floundered.
So biggest was Liverpool’s first half advantage in a game of pre-war vintage packed with thrills and excellent football. I say without fear of contradiction that Liverpool’s display from goalkeeper to centre forward in the opening 45 minutes was the finest exhibition of collaborative skill and incisiveness I have seen for months.
It was precision football plus. It was a sufficient tribute to the brilliance of the Reds that Everton actually copied their methods in the second half, and by this change of tactics got near enough to their rivals to cause much uneasiness among the Reds followers.
When it was 4-2 Liverpool were tottering, but then the magical Welsh changed the entire run of the game by giving Done another ready-made goal. Before Everton could fight back Welsh put Everton back were they started the half.
Once again the pendulum swung around to Everton just as it did right after the interval when Laurie Hughes had the misfortune to place through his own goal, and Tommy Lawton well took his one real shooting chance.
Alex Stevenson having missed with only Alf Hobson to beat, worked the magician’s trick with Hobson and placed into the net one way as Hobson went the other. Jimmy McIntosh followed with another and just failed to make it five in a hectic finish. Had Everton drawn level however it would have been an injustice to Liverpool, whose first half display alone made them well worthy of full points.
Jack Pilling the lad from the mines was in my opinion the man of the match. Pilling seemed fired by a dynamo, doing the work of three men and doing it well. Pilling and Harry Kaye – another star there were boys who paved the way for victory, blotting out the Everton insides and giving 100 per cent support to their own forwards.
The contrast in the wing halves is told in the result. Young Scott-Lee was out of his depth for Everton and was generally chasing shadows, while Stan Bentham, anxious to attack, sacrificed defence, and Jack Balmer made the most of it. With the wing half-backs found wanting. Tommy Jones had an impossible task facing that deadly Balmer-Welsh-Done trio who switched positions so bewilderingly. Three to one and the three in possession – small wonder that Jones was outwitted so readily. No single player could have held the trio.
Harley well discharged his outside-right duties and Hanson was always useful. In defence Hobson’s positional sense was perfect and Jeff Gulliver was the best back on the field, Jack Westby being unable to cope with McIntosh who could not only beat him once, but come back and do it all over again. McIntosh and Lawton were never a menace to Liverpool but their support from the right was not strong and it was Stevenson who did most of the prompting.
I though Hughes stood up well to Lawton, although out headed and his persistence in the tackle limited Lawton’s operative room. Certainty Hughes is improving with every game, and he will not always have a Lawton to beat in the air.
Norman Greenhalgh had an arduous job, but did it well, and Jack Jones was good until he moved from his ground. Burnett made a number of thrilling saves, as good as goals, but he must remember that fielding a ball is much safer than putting it out.
This was a game we shall remember for a long time not only for its high standard of football, and pulsating moments, but for its utter absence of anything questionable. Never have I seen a “Derby” so free from fouls and in saying. Thank you lads, I know I am voicing the sentiment of the 28,934 spectators who paid £2,226. Of the receipts the Government gets £851, but the clubs will get only £650 each. There is something radically wrong there.
Billy Liddell was at the match with his broken leg in plaster and he says that medical opinion is that his leg has been cracked before. It will be three weeks before the plaster comes off.
Both clubs had a fully representative gathering of directors ably entertained by Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins and company, and to emphasise the pre-war touch I noticed with astonishment coming through the stand after the game that most of the litter was – orange peel!
(Source: Evening Express: October 11, 1943; via http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) © 2018 Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited