August 29, 1945
A crowd of 7,481 saw Burnley outplayed by a strong and clever Liverpool team in the opening League game of the season at Turf Moor on Saturday. Liverpool won because they their attacks with skill and method, and their swift-moving forwards had the co-operation of a determined half-back line.
That Liverpool found their men better than the home team was scarcely surprising, for half the Burnley eleven was composed of guest player, and it was not until the second half that they had the semblance of a workmanlike eleven.
In the early stages Burnley made too many mistakes in both defence and attack. The forwards made some tragic misses in front of goal, and the rear-guard had their hands full with the visitors’ forwards and could give the attack little support. Liverpool dictated the play and were given far too much room, as was demonstrated on one occasion by Kaye, who had time enough to give a private exhibition of head-and-toe ball control before being eventually tackled.
Liverpool were three goals to the good at the interval, and one wondered how many more they could add when play was resumed. In the second half, however, there was a different story to be told. Burnley suddenly settled down and began to give the visiting defence something to think about. Their passing was better, their play more methodical, while the halves, led by Woodruff, who had recovered from a rather shaky start, tackled with zest and repeatedly blocked the way to goal. For long spells Liverpool were held in their own half, and their defence was fully extended. That front of goal weakness persisted, however, and the inside men made some remarkable misses. Gardner was the outstanding forward, but Kippax, who did some bright things, was often left inactive on his wing when a pass might have developed a successful move.
Liverpool’s first goal was a rather fortunate affair, for Woodruff, in an attempt to clear a header from Nieuwenhuys, helped it into the net. Their second and third came from Liddell, the brilliant outside left, and on each occasion the move was similar, and the result if a picture pass from his partner, Balmer, which was followed by the winger outpacing the defence and shooting past the advancing Strong.
Burnley’s goal came from Brooks, who managed to get a bouncing ball from the left into the corner of the net just as it seemed as if he was going to miss. If the home team had managed to produce their post-interval form in the first half, they might have managed a point.
Burnley: Jimmy Strong, John Roach, Donald Innard, G. Wilson, Arthur Woodruff, Campbell, Tommy Gardner, Doug Sneddon, Brooks, George Drury, Peter Kippax.
Liverpool: Dirk Kemp, Jack Westby, Jeff Gulliver, Harry Kaye, Laurie Hughes, Jimmy McInnes, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Phil Taylor, Willie Fagan, Jack Balmer, Billy Liddell.
Referee: Mr. H. Hartley.
(Burnley Express: August 29, 1945)