Monday, February 12 – 1945
Liverpool completely turned the tables on Everton in the return Derby game at Anfield, winning 3-1. They almost won by the same total by which Everton prevailed the previous week, and would have done had they not failed with a penalty. Liverpool were by far the better team, being on the attack practically throughout.
The return of such players as Don Welsh, Berry Nieuwenhuys, and Horace Cumner, which brought the necessary skill and power into the Liverpool attack all of which were missing a week ago, contributed largely to the reversal of form. It was more like an Anfield attack. A week previously they had as catch forward line which was incapable of breaking down the Everton defence.
The boot was definitely on the other foot at Anfield, for it was Everton who never looked like winning their half-backs and backs being overrun by a fast skilful and elusive Liverpool; a Liverpool which got its teeth into the game from the start and never released its hold.
The Everton forwards were mastered by superlative half-backs who not only smashed up attacks but gave their own forwards the necessary assistance. The Liverpool forwards felt they could leave defence to Harry Kaye, Laurie Hughes and Jack Pilling with safely. Thus they could indulge themselves in an orgy of swift, forward movements. They propelled the ball along at a terrific pace, passed it with such accuracy that the Everton defence was often nonplussed so much so that good luck more than good magnificent prevented further Liverpool goals.
Welsh and his colleagues were in no mood to be held off by the Everton defence, and they but on such pressure that Maurice Lindley and his colleagues were more often than not battened down near their own penalty area. The Everton captain soon saw how things were going and came down field to have a word with his men, but it made little difference for Liverpool ere in one of their trenchant moods, and they made Everton look a very ordinary side.
The secret of Liverpool’s success, in my opinion was the half-backs time; Kaye was at his brightest. This was his best game since he returned after his injury, and Hughes kept a tight hold on Tommy Lawton, while Pilling was his usually determined self. When they were beaten, which was rarely, there stood behind them two sound backs, Jim Harley and Jeff Gulliver.
Too many of Everton’s passed went to an opponent, but this can be explained in a measure by the fact that they were so quickly lacked that they had to make the pass hurriedly. It was a far better Derby game than the one at Goodison for the strength of the opposition was more equal, but never at any point did Liverpool appear likely to lose it. They were in control from start to finish, and with the slightest bit of fortune would have won more handsomely than they did.
Everton never at any point hit their form (blame Liverpool for that) for whereas Liverpool attacked with a five-point prong; Everton more often than not had Lawton up on his own trying to battle his way beyond five opponents. This could not be done. If he got the ball he had no one to put it to his partner having to stay back to help to check the irremissible Liverpool forwards. He got a goal had a few shots, and that was as much as one could expect with the support he received.
Liverpool opened the score in fifteen minutes when Cumner scored after good work by Phil Taylor and Welsh by centring the ball wide of George Burnett into the net. That was the only goal of the first half, but another should have been scored when Lindley pulled down Welsh with his hands and gave away a penalty. Welsh, however, shot against the upright from the spot.
Lawton equalised with a header at fifty-seven minutes but three minutes later Nieuwenhuys rushed in to regain the lead with a header from a corner. Nine minutes from the end Cumner scored a third beating George Burnett with a hard shot to the far side of the goal. But Liverpool were convincing victory which in no way flattered them.
(Liverpool Daily Post, 12-02-1945)