March 23, 1946
There was little to choose between the teams and it was a little against the run of play that Nieuwenhuys put Liverpool ahead when Middlesbrough visited Anfield to-day. For Middlesbrough, Malan, the South African, made his debut in goal.
Liverpool: Charles Ashcroft, Jim Harley, Bernard Ramsden, Harry Kaye, Laurie Hughes, Bob Paisley, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Phil Taylor, Willie Fagan, Jack Balmer, Billy Liddell.
Middlesbrough: Norman Malan, Dick Robinson, George Hardwick, Harry Bell, John Douglas, Jimmy Gordon, Johnny Spuhler, Eddie Murphy, Micky Fenton, George Dews, Jimmy Maddison.
Liverpool got quicker into their stride and after persistent pressure, they took the lead in eight minutes through Nieuwenhuys. Following a free-kick Liddell headed to the far corner, but Gordon deflected the ball for Nieuwenhuys to head over Malan into the net. Liddell dashed through to strike the bar as the whistle sounded for offside and then only a brilliant save by Ashcroft prevented Fenton from taking the equaliser. Fenton got the ball into the net just as the whistle sounded for offside and Ashcroft later made a fine save in the top corner from Spuhler’s cross-shot. There was little to choose between two good teams. For the rest of the first half both sides played sound football and a strong ‘Boro defence kept the home side at bay.
Half-time: Liverpool, one goal; Middlesbrough, nil.
Liverpool took charge on resuming, Paisley beating four men before hitting the bar with Malan beaten. The ‘Boro forwards attacked on the five-point plan but as an equaliser looked probable the visitors’ again ran into the offside trap and Liverpool escaped. After 70 minutes Fenton equalized for Middlesbrough. The ‘Boro were now right on their toes and within five minutes Fenton had given them the lead when he beat Ashcroft in a tussle for Gordon’s pass and turned the ball into the net.
(Source: Newcastle Evening Chronicle: March 23, 1946)