January 1, 1945
Great team work at Anfield.
Coupled with joy at Liverpool’s record 12-1 victory over Southport at Anfield, most of the 13,673 spectators could not forbear feelings of sympathy with the losers, who put up a gallant struggle against overwhelming odds and never relaxed their efforts to check the game’s one-way trend.
Their task was hopeless, and in the closing stages the overworked Southport defence could hardly summon strength to kick the ball more than a dozen yards, while Birkett, hero of the day, whose display – despite the deficit – had been brilliant, collapsed through the combined effects of exhaustion and a terrific shot which caught him amidships, and had to be carried off a couple of minutes from the end. He soon recovered.
It was one of those days when everything went right for the winners. Every raid promised a goal, and only Birkett’s magnificent saves, coupled with some missed “sitters” and off-the-line clearances by backs, kept the score to its final proportions. Liverpool’s speed and combination in attack was amazing. They swept through the opposing defence like a hot knife through butter. Every pass went dead to its mark, and the ball ran just as they wanted it throughout. Against such a dazzling country would have been forced to cry “enough.”
First hint of the impending avalanche came during an inspired period midway through the first half when Liverpool scored four goals in four minutes. Thereafter they had the bit between their teeth. Two more followed before the interval and six afterwards. Dellow getting one from a corner for Southport sandwiched between Liverpool’s tenth and eleventh.
Six goals for Welsh.
It was Liverpool’s great team work, terrific speed and uncanny accuracy in passing which enabled them to split the Southport defence wide open in such bewildering fashion, on top of which they shot with power and precision. Welsh, who got six goals (including a “hat trick” in nine minutes) gave the finest of his many excellent displays in Liverpool’s colours.
Liddell was again outstanding at centre forward, and Campbell, Hulligan, and Nieuwenhuys were all tip-top. Blood, Liverpool’s latest guest player and centre-half, could not be judged on such a day, though he did what little he had to do in confident fashion. The whole Liverpool defence had a very easy time.
Despite the margin against them, Southport had some spells of attack and showed occasional flashes of good football, but they were always short-lived and their defence got little respite from its gruelling task.
The order of the goals was: Campbell (15 minutes), Liddell (16), Liddell (17), Welsh (18, 26 and 27 minutes), Campbell (49), Welsh (56 and 62), Hulligan (64), Dellow (66), Welsh (68), and Hulligan (79). Welsh’s sixth goal was from a penalty. Between Liverpool’s eight and ninth goals, following a Harley free-kick the ball burst.
Liverpool: Alf Hobson, Jim Harley, Jeff Gulliver (Reading), Harry Kaye, Jack Blood (Exeter City), Jack Piling, Jack Campbell, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Billy Liddell, Don Welsh, Michael Hulligan.
Southport: Wilfred Birkett, George Curwen, Jones, Joe Simpkins, McConnell, Kenny Banks, Ron Dellow, Simms, James Urmston, Albert Malam, Stan Butler.
Referee: Mr. Hall (Chester).
(Liverpool Daily Post: January 1, 1945)
Don Welsh, six goals for Liverpool F.C.