April 20, 1945
Main interest centres in Liverpool’s bid to make Chesterfield’s blend of youth and experience, so carefully nursed by Mr. Norman Bullock, go the way of Everton and Manchester City.
A week ago I was full of confidence that the Reds were rightly in the position of cup favourites, and I still contend that following the brilliance of their win over Manchester City that they can bring the trophy home. I know that in certain quarters there is not the same optimism, this being borne of the fact that Don Welsh has had an operation and is not available. I grant that the loss of this match-winner is severe in every respect, but if you had seen the Reds at Maine Road as I did you would have known that Liverpool are anything but a one-man team. It was teamwork as well as individual ability which carried Liverpool over that hurdle.
Naturally, the loss of Welsh and the fact that Matt Busby is required for an Army game has caused Manager Mr. George Kay a lot of worry throughout the week, and not until the directors have foregathered in their private sanctum at Anfield tomorrow just before the game will a definite team decision be made.
Taylor, Campbell, Eastham and Cumner are all right for attack. Liddell is fit, while Nieuwenhuys can get leave but has doubts about fitness. I have hopes.
Chesterfield are an exceptionally good side – as Mr. Kay argues, any team capable of reaching the last eight must be good – and have accounted for Halifax Town and Barnsley.
Tommy Jones, the former South Liverpool lad, will be playing for them, and I am assured that tall winger Linacre is the biggest danger to Liverpool security.
Liverpool’s main doubt is at right back, and chairman Mr. William McConnell left early today for Blackburn to negotiate for the services of Jack Westby.
Liverpool: Alf Hobson, A.N. Other, Jeff Gulliver, Harry Kaye, Laurie Hughes, Jack Pilling, Jack Campbell, Phil Taylor, Billy Liddell, Horace Cumner, Harry Eastham.
Chesterfield: Ray Middleton; George Milburn, Billy Kidd; Allen Pringle, Billy Whitaker, Leo Hobson; Billy Linacre, Tommy Peters, Jack Davie, Tommy Jones, Des Collins.
(Evening Express: April 20, 1945)