Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool 1-2 (League match)


Saturday, May 31 – 1947
Match: Football League, First Division, at Molineux, kick-off: 15:00.
Wolverhampton Wanderers – Liverpool 1-2 (0-2).
Attendance: 50,765.
Referee: Mr. J. Briggs.
Wolverhampton Wanderers (2-3-5): Bart Williams, Gus McLean, Billy Crook, Jim Alderton, Stan Cullis, Billy Wright, Jim Hancocks, Jimmy Dunn, Jesse Pye, Billy Forbes, Jimmy Mullen.
Liverpool (2-3-5): Cyril Sidlow; Jim Harley, Ray Lambert; Bill Jones, Laurie Hughes, Eddie Spicer; Billy Watkinson, Jack Balmer, Albert Stubbins, Billy Liddell, Bob Priday.
The goals: 0-1 Balmer (20 min.), 0-2 Stubbins (38 min.), 1-2 Dunn (65 min.).

A fitting ending to a great player’s career was denied Stanley Cullis at Wolverhampton on Saturday when Liverpool dashed the League championship from the grasp of the Wanderers, who have been on top since before Christmas.

And so this fantastic football season drawn out into mid-summer because of snow, ice, and floods, will not reach its climax until the very last day of the extension, June 14 when Stoke visit Sheffield United. A victory for Stoke will rob Liverpool of the championship on goal average, for these are the positions:

P. W. D. L. F. A. Pts.
Liverpool 42 25 10 7 84 52 57
Manchester U. 42 22 12 8 95 54 56
Wolves 42 25 6 11 88 56 56
Stoke 41 24 7 10 89 51 55

The announcement by loud-speak to a limited crowd of 56,000 that it was to be Cullin’s last game added to the tension of an already dramatic occasion with scored of heat casualties being walked round the track by police and first-aid walkers.

Cullins, as usual, stamped his crouching personality on the game, but it was not to him that the crowd rushed at the finish, and while Balmer, the visiting inside right was being chaired off the field by delighted Liverpool fans, Cullins looked a broken man.

So passes from the arena the great club captain who spent only six full seasons in First Division football and won every honour except a Cup and championship medal. Cullins said his injury in the Middlesbrough match finally persuaded him to retire, and, at 31 he hopes to become a club manager.

Balmer, who played beautiful football throughout, paved the way for Liverpool’s success with a lovely goal at the 20th minute. He was outstanding because he consistently took the ball along with him, scattered the defence with a last-second pass, and ran into correct position to receive the return.

Liverpool’s defenders seemed to impose their will on the eager but disjointed Wolverhampton forwards, who had four-fifths of play and nothing to show for it except a tame-looking lob by Dunn which entered the net over Harley’s head.

Wolves beat themselves by playing straight into Liverpool’s defenders. All their usual fine patterns were missing, passes went astray, and all the time Liverpool were “tickling” the ball along with a minimum number of kicks.

Before Liverpool scored their second goal Dunn made a great shot which deserved to equalise, but Sidlow (an old Wolverhampton goalkeeper) turned it aside brilliantly, in a matter of seconds the ball was in the net at the other end. Stubbins picked up the clearance kick and outpaced Cullins to put Liverpool two up before half-time.

Billy Wright went up with the Wolverhampton attack for the second half to play himself to a standstill, but the best scoring chances went to Mullen, who, sadly off form, missed them.
(Daily Mail, 02-06-1947)

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