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Liverpool's new leader a find - Roger Hunt's debut

Match report in News Chronicle and Daily Dispatch on 9th September 1959 on Roger Hunt's debut for Liverpool vs Scunthorpe.

They do find 'em at Golborne: Peter Kane, world fly-weight champion, Bert Llewellyn, goal-scoring Crewe player... and now Roger Hunt, 21, who had a dream debut for Liverpool.

Hunt, stand-in for Billy Liddell, may not be an orthodox centre-forward, but by lying deep he emphasised his footballing ability, creative artistry and control. This cultured youngster had his golden moment in the 64th minute. Jimmy Melia, who, from the narrowest of angles had shot Liverpool into the lead in the 25th minute was fouled on the edge of the penalty area. Melia took the free-kick, glided the ball through and young Roger thumped in into the corner of the net.

Big Future

A few moments later he hit one from 18 yards which went only inches wide, and was right out of the Liddell text book. There is a big future for this boy and for United if they show the spirit, endeavour and skill they revealed at the start of the second half. For 19 minutes they penned Liverpool in their own penalty area, but Martin Bakes missed two easy chances. Scunthorpe had made some excellent thrusts early on, only to find Rudham the most complete footballer on view.

Liverpool had excellent wing service from Johnny Morrissey.

Ratings - Skill Liverpool 7. Scunthorpe 6. Sportmanship 8. Crowd 9. Control 9.

Liverpool - Rudham 10: Molyneux 8, Moran 9: Campbell 7, White 7, Wilkinson 7: Morrissey 7, Melia 8, Hunt 8, Harrower 6, A' Court 7.

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Alf Ballard at the "The Daily Herald" reported like this on Hunt's debut:

New boy Hunt cracks in a beauty

Scunthorpe can never beat Liverpool but, by golly, they always manage to scare the daylights out of them.

For Liverpool should have had half a dozen goals in the first 20 minutes yet for a long spell in the second half they found themselves up against it hanging on to a 1-0 lead.

Indeed, if Martyn Bakes hadn't muffed two chances in two minutes, Scunthorpe might have pulled off a shock victory. Ronnie Waldock, chasing every through ball and well backed up by Jackie Marriott, was leading the Liverpool defence a rare old dance. A good job for Liverpool that in goal at this time Rudham was in superb form, and when Liverpool brought A'Court more into the game the match was theirs.

We had despaired of Liverpool ever scoring when Melia hit through a sizzler off Alan A'Court's toe in the 25th minute.

Up to then the total of misses was A'Court (2), Hunt (2), Melia, Harrower and Morrissey one each, and bad misses they were, too.  

Young Hunt must still be wondering this morning how he came to stand and watch a cross from Melia run through Harrower's legs along the Scunthorpe goal for safety.

The 20-year-old Golborne boy, playing in his first League game, got a good goal in the 64th minute when he cracked the ball through with tremendous force from 15 yards out.

Scunthorpe were not disgraced. Their defence, after those early let-offs, tightened up, and veteran Brownsword gradually played the effervescent Morrissey out of the game.

Against his old club John Haigh was a rare grafter in that second half spell when Scunthorpe were well on top.

Liverpool can be satisfied with the showing of Roger Hunt. The tall, ex-RAF boy took some time to settle down, but when he gained confidence he held the line together well, and had one shot and a header brilliantly saved by Hardwick in the second half.

 


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