May 6, 1959
Liverpool ended their season in grand style at Anfield last night when they beat Everton 1-0 in the final of the Lancashire Senior Cup and so recorded a “hat-trick” of wins over their Goodison Park neighbours since last October. This may seem ironical to their supporters as they reconcile themselves to at least another season in the Second Division but this latest success over the First Division club must have provided a little consolation especially as it was so thoroughly deserved.
Yet for the opening half-hour it was Everton who looked as though they might go through to a Cup winning victory for they struck a better understanding and there were two occasions when the Liverpool goal was within an ace of falling. In this period Liverpool could do so little that was right and up to the 34th minute when Billy Liddell go the goal they had offered no threat worth the name to Albert Dunlop.
Everton found themselves behind because Dave Hickson was too often astray with his passes at the one time when his side had a capable look-and another reason was the dour and strong defensive play of Dick White and Ronnie Moran.
Then came Billy Liddell’s goal, a header from close in when an Everton defender blocked but could not keep down a quickly taken shot by Jimmy Melia following a right wing corner. After that it was Liverpool all the way and the remaining minutes of the first half they gradually took command so that after the interval they were able to move forward strongly and smoothly and as Everton were faced with a succession of fine raiding movements the marvel was that no more goals came.
Johnny Wheeler and Barry Wilkinson moved down at will and the service of passes they provided meant that the Everton defence was often cut wide open and the crowd – 23,198 – saw the spectacle of Liddell and Alan Arnell missing glorious chances from no more than six yards range. John Bramwell headed off the line from Liddell and shots from Melia whistled inches outside.
Add to this another header from Liddell which also scarped the post and you have the measure of Liverpool’s second half superiority, for the most menacing Everton response was a hard ground shot from Hickson when Tommy Younger saved with his foot by the post and two long-range efforts from Mick Meagan and Frank Wignall which were hardly likely to cause Younger much misgiving.
Liverpool played so much good stuff in the second half that Everton were made to look slow and cumbersome in comparison and if Alan A’Court had been anything like as brilliant in other parts of the season how different the Anfield story might have been. But A’Court was not alone in these fine moments for every Liverpool player looked the part and if Liddell and Arnell could have made the most of those opportunities the score lined would have made more fitting reading.
Everton fell away surprisingly after their opening flourish and if the game showed anything for their fans it was that the attack is ineffective without Bobby Collins. Wignall who deputizing for him, has the physical attributes and at the start promised other things as well but he went out of it and hard though Eddie Thomas and Bobby Laverick struggled in the second half they could make little impression on a Liverpool defence which by then was so completely in control. Tommy Jones and Meagan I thought were the best Everton defenders for Alex Parker did not maintain a good looking start and Brian Harris seemed affected by an injury he sustained when Liddell scored his goal.
One of the most pleasing features of the game which was really entertaining from a Liverpool footballing point of view in the second half was the spirit.
There were fouls but none of them deliberate or nasty and the friendly atmosphere between the sides was illustrated by several gestures such as Hickson retrieving Younger’s cap Parker kicking the ball out of play when A’Court was hurt and players fetching and carrying the ball for free kicks.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: May 6, 1959)