April 13, 1945
Vivid memories of the gallant resistance Liverpool offered to a goal-thirsty Everton attack in the two cup-ties recently encourages me to think that Liverpool can hold their three lead at Maine Road.
A defence which could withstand the pressure exerted by Everton can, I think, hold an attack clever in its approach, but lacking that essential “bite.” Definitely Matt Busby and Jim Harley will be missed in the defensive “make-up.” But if the team hopes of Manager Mr. George Kay materialise the Reds will be well-served in a defence centred around the country’s grandest young centre-half, Laurie Hughes.
The progressive style of Kaye and the industry of Pilling will complete a half-back line which, I think, can send Liverpool into the third round.
The fact that Nieuwenhuys has recovered from injury should bring plenty of life into the attack and Berry has, of late, developed a penchant for dropping back to help the defence out of a hole. Of course, it is an old adage that attack is the best defence, but with a three goal advantage maybe it will be better to concentrate on those devastating sudden breakaway which are such a feature of Liverpool’s modus operandi – as witness the two snap goals against Everton.
In the early stages I think the Reds will do well to start hitting the City as if they had no lead for that can easily rattle a side facing a formidable handicap, and a quick goal to Liverpool would leave them high and dry. However, I have utmost faith that the pre-match talk by Chairman Mr. William McConnell – he has cancelled his proposed Hampden trip just to stay with his own lads – and Mr. Kay will devise methods to help Liverpool continue their forward march.
Even at this late hour Mr. Kay cannot give us any definite team news and we shall not know the exact side until we reach the ground. However, Hobson, the three half-backs, Campbell, Taylor, Nieuwenhuys and Cumner are certain so that is okay. The City will have Alex Herd again, but doubts remain about Peter Doherty despite City optimism.
Liverpool: Alf Hobson, Jack Westby, Jeff Gulliver, Harry Kaye, Laurie Hughes, Jack Pilling, Jack Campbell, Harry Eastham, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Don Welsh, Phil Taylor, Horace Cumner.
(Evening Express: April 13, 1945)