March 29, 1945
At Goodison Park on Saturday, Everton and Liverpool renew their struggle to go a stage further in the money spinning League Cup tourney. This game may well set up a new war-time record for Goodison attendance. The best so far is 45,820 for the “Liverton” qualifying game last season. This time there is the added inceptive of a straightforward “knock-out” tussle, which must be played to a finish if scores are level.
Liverpool start with a goal in hand, a slender but welcome legacy from last week. Can they keep their noses in front to the final whistle?
It will be a stiffer task than the first “leg” when it took them all their time in the end to hang on to their lead, for this time Everton will be strengthened by the return of Lawton and Wainwright the inclusion of Mercer at centre half and the help of Torry Gillick, whose war-time appearances have been all too rare.
Some rabid Liverpudlians have taken me to task for saying last week that “learned slightly to Everton,” which they construed as an admission I’m an Evertonian. They misread it.
Like the flyweight who was asked to settle an argument between two heavyweights. I’m strictly neutral. I used words solely in relation to that one game as indication I fancied Everton would win.
I was wrong and may be so again in saying now that I still fancy Everton to get through to round two.
In defence there is nothing in it worth mentioning between the pair, but I have a feeling Lawton and Gillick may just tip the scale. Liverpool might counterbalance that, however, if they play more to Liddell and put their upward passes to the open spaces, where his amazing speed off the mark gives him a spilt-second advantage over the defence.
No good putting them to him in the air while the centre half is at his shoulder. The Reds will also do better if Don Welsh is more like his usual enterprising self. Don faded out last week after a grand start. Everton appeal to the crowd not to throw orange peel on the pitch. It gives the ground staff a tremendous amount of extra work.
Everton: George Burnett, George Jackson, Norman Greenhalgh, Jack Grant, Joe Mercer, Gordon Watson, Eddie Wainwright, Torry Gillick, Tommy Lawton, Alex Stevenson, Jimmy McIntosh.
Liverpool (from): Alf Hobson, Jim Harley, Jack Westby, Jeff Gulliver, Harry Kaye, Laurie Hughes, Jack Pilling, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Jack Campbell, Phil Taylor, Billy Liddell, Don Welsh, Horace Cumner.
(Liverpool Echo: March 29, 1945)