Burnley Reserves v Liverpool Reserves 0-1 (Central League)

Saturday, March 12 – 1949
Reserves, Central League, at Turf Moor, kick-off: 15:15.
Burnley Reserves – Liverpool Reserves 0-1 (0-0).
Attendance: 10,936.
Referee: Mr. W.C. Yates (Chorley).
Burnley Reserves (2-3-5): Ron Meadows; Bill Holden, Reg Kirkham; Joe Loughran, Bob Johnson, Harry Rudman; Tommy Henderson, Len Martindale, Alf Clarke, Ian Wilson, Ron Hornby.
Liverpool Reserves (2-3-5): Russell Crossley; Joe Cadden, Steve Parr; Willie Fagan, Laurie Hughes, Eddie Spicer; Les Shannon, Kevin Baron, Robert Williams, Doug McAvoy, Ken Brierley.
The goal: 0-1 Spicer (67 min.).

Burnley Reserves have seldom played worse than they did at Turf Moor on Saturday, when they allowed their nearest rivals, Liverpool, to take over the leadership of the Central League.

It was not that Liverpool were too good for  the Clarets, far from it, the visitors were a disjointed team, too. It was just that Burnley lacked cohesion and teamwork. They appeared to have no aim or direction in their play, and the few storming assaults they launched on the Liverpool goal, especially in the closing minutes, were characterised mainly by enthusiasm rather than skill.

With men playing in unaccustomed positions, they never got going as a team.

Meadows, who blundered in allowing Liverpool to score, brought off some amazing saves in much more difficult circumstances. Martindale and Wilson were not a success as inside forwards. Too many passes went astray, although Wilson was always keen to have a go at goal.

Clarke worked hard to little purpose, Henderson was not up to his usual standard, and Hornby was too slow for Cadden – a good back. Loughran played well in defence, and Holden is proving himself fit for the reserve team. Kirkham and Rudman had a busy day against a virile Liverpool wing, Johnson had a poor game.

Burnley may claim that they were unlucky, they hit the crossbar on two occasion but they had their chances and muffed them.

In Burnley’s first attack, Hornby had a great chance but fired over. Honours were even in the opening stages and both goalkeepers were kept busy. Crossley saved from Martindale, Clarke, and Wilson. Williams caused Meadows some anxiety, and Johnson kicked clear from Brierley. But forward play was very aggressive, and both teams were weak in finishing. Liverpool were dangerous on the right, where Shannon and Kirkham had many duels.

Wilson shot strongly, and Hornby dallied when he had a chance, but towards half-time, the Burnley forward line really got moving and under pressure, the visitors were apt to panic.

The nearest to a score came when Martindale hit the crossbar with Crossley beaten.

Soon after the restart, Clarke had a great chance to put Burnley ahead, but from Henderson’s centre he fired over. The centre-forward almost made amends when he swept a Holden free kick goal-wards, but Crossley saved. Shannon caused Burnley more worry, and the defence were lucky to scramble clear one of his centres.

Liverpool went ahead after 67 minutes when Meadows misjudged a 40-yard shot from Spicer and allowed the ball to pass over his head into the back of the net.

This reverse stung Burnley into greater effort, and for a time they attacked strongly with the crowd giving them every encouragement, but they could not find an opening.

Meadows saved well from Fagan, Shannon and Baron.

Liverpool withstood very heavy pressure in the closing minutes, when the ball flashed backwards and forwards across their goalmouth. Wilson made a great effort after beating two men, and Hornby struck the crossbar.
(Burnley Express, 16-03-1949)

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