Monday, February 5 – 1945
Everton beat Liverpool 4-1 at Goodison in a game which fell short of anticipation for it failed to provide the keenness and enthusiasm which had been associated with many previous games between the sides.
Everton were easily the superior side, and had their win been more emphatic no one would have quibbled. Liverpool fielded a scratch forward line, with a full-back as centre forward. By comparison, Everton had Tommy Lawton’s berth to fill, but Liverpool had to make a whole lot of switches to make up a team. This is not an excuse for their defeat, but only in fairness to the Anfielders do I point out their handicap.
They were never in the hunt; they had no forwards to hit back with, and Everton, therefore, had things made easy for them. That Liverpool got a goal at all was the most astonishing thing. This thin line of forwards was never difficult to handle, and it was only because Everton defence became somewhat slack in the final minutes that a way was left open for Phil Taylor to score. Everton played some nice football without unduly stressing themselves.
Jack Blood, who led the Liverpool forwards, was in a grip down the middle, and wanted a man of the calibre of Don Welsh to help him loosen that grip and so bring some sort of penetration into the line. I saw little wrong with the defence with the exception of the goalkeeping. A goalkeeper has only to make a mistake and he brings the “whole house down” upon him, no matter how often he has saved the side in previous games.
Alf Hobson was undeniably at fault on two occasions. He went for Cec Wyles’s header much too late, and what happened when Laurie Hughes passed back to him I cannot say. It was not a dangerous ball, but he failed to grasp it, and finally knocked it over his shoulders into the net. There must have been some spin on the ball. I do not think he had much chance with the Jimmy McIntosh shot, for it was directed right away from him and travelling fast.
Syd Rawling’s goal was the best of the day, for the engineering of it was fine, Alex Stevenson and McIntosh paving the way. Liverpool’s forwards, no matter how they were supported, had not the power to break through he Everton defence.
Result: Everton 4, Liverpool 1. Attendance: 26,780.
(Liverpool Daily Post, 05-02-1945)