Articles

Roaring 20s by Wooltonian - part 2

LFChistory is honoured to publish Wooltonian's Roaring 20's the most comprehensive look at Liverpool in the 20's on the Net.

Read also Wooltonian's Roaring 20's Part 1 which documents three amazing matches from the 20's. Here are another three matches where Dick Forshaw hits TEN in 3. Wooltonian has taken the basis of every match from the Football Echo of the time. 

Match 4

Matt McQueen becomes Liverpool's new manager

This was Matt McQueen's first game in charge of Liverpool

Headlines of the Day
"Liverpool Swamp Blackburn Rovers"
"Forshaw Performs Hat-trick, Rodgers Carried Off"

1923
Liverpool vs Blackburn Rovers

Team: Scott, Longworth, MacKinlay, McNabb, W Wadsworth, Pratt, Lacey, Forshaw, Johnson, Beadles and Hopkin

W Wadsworth, W Connell (trainer), McNab, Scott, Walsh?, [member of staff], Bromilow. Front row: Longworth, Gilhespy, Forshaw, MacKinlay, Chambers, Hopkin.

Welcome to sunny Anfield, hope you’ve brought your bucket and spade. Today there was a league battle at Anfield and the game was once again blessed with good weather, so there was another enormous gathering around all quarters of the ground.

Liverpool side today includes Pratt of Bradford City, owing to the absence of Bromilow and Chambers, being engaged at Newcastle in the inter-league match. The selection of Beadles at inside left was a very late decision by the board. Today was the first occasion that MR MATT McQUEEN had been officiating as player's manager and he received a warm welcome from board, players and fans alike. I would like to join in, in wishing him a cordial welcome and good luck.
Blackburn as it was stated on the eve of the game, were in a fix with their selection due to a succession of injuries.

Liverpool won the toss on a ground that resembled Ainsdale beach more than Anfield.
Due to heavy rain all week the pitch had been heavily sanded. 
On the first attack, Forshaw was unlucky as his shot at goal was not true. A pity as his useful bit of dribbling between half way and the edge of the box, deserved better.

Beadles who had been moved to inside left position late and Pratt were both testing the old veteran Rodgers early on and their pace was giving him trouble. Liverpool opened the game in confident fashion. Three times they gained a corner kick and the third time paid for all. Lacey floated a beautiful cross on the third occasion and up rose Forshaw, to glance his header just wide of Sewell’s outstretched right hand. The ball appeared to be going wide and indeed Beadles appeared quite vexed when he could not reach the ball to make sure. However there must have been enough spin applied on the ball to see it sneak just inside the post. Forshaw celebrated his goal, while curiously Beadles sulked. Perhaps he had something previously planned for the goal bonus the players enjoyed. With only five minutes played, Liverpool were one up, happy days.

Blackburn were spurned on to increase their efforts and when Hodkinson raced Longworth down the flank and centred to Rodgers. Scott seemed to be in a hopeless position, but as always he went to ground and smothered the cross. As Scott cleared his lines, after a quick ball to the left, the referee stopped the game as he noticed an injury to MacKinlay. He had sprained his knee in an attempt to keep the ball in play near the touch line. Rodgers was quickly in the game once again with a twisting run and a fast shot, that had so much swerve, it was swinging away from Scott. However, the Irishman, as usual, flung himself at full stretch and comfortably saved and held the ball. I cant help thinking it would have been a magnificent save to have turned the ball around the upright, but as usual, Scott’s standards far exceeded any other keepers.

Blackburn had two further attacks shortly after. The first stopped by Elisha diving at Dawson’s feet. The second ended when Elisha took the ball off the top of McKay’s head. Funny, McKay must have pulled a muscle in his neck heading fresh air, I thought. But then the balance of play swung firmly in Liverpool’s direction.

Liverpool without undue exertion, did a lot of attacking over the next 5 minutes and while Crawley was sound in defence, Walmsley looked very uncertain. Pratt, from Bradford City, was both strong in the air and with his passes and he also dared to take a flyer from outside the box. Sadly it was a good half yard above the crossbar. MacKinlay was just to trifle too strong hereabouts, yet his general footwork was exceptionally good, and his forward rushes up the park were very helpful. As a consequence, Poole and Walmsley were having a tough time and when MacKinlay fired just wide, he showed signs of coming to his best, because there was a tremendous sting in the shot. The Rovers attacks continued, but only came in single file and at sporadic intervals. W Wadsworth was so relaxed, he could have afforded to light a woodbine and watch the clouds pass by.

However on one occasion when McKay opened the play to the extent of tossing the ball to the outside right, Hardy should have done better than make ….
“a woeful waste of a wilful want”. (Twenties reporting at it’s best)

On the next attack Liverpool netted. Johnson broke clear and as he approached the goal markings, received a big push in the back from Reilly. However he managed to stay on his feet and release a thunderbolt. Goal? No the referee appeared to point for a foul. Then when Blackburn took the free kick, we were left confused. Somehow, someone had adjudged Johnson offside. It certainly wasn’t the spectator in the Kemlyn Road front row, he appeared to disagree most heartedly and vocally.

The Rovers defence was so poor at this stage of the game that it was surprising Liverpool were not giving Sewell plenty of work. It must be conceded, however, that football was awkward, more awkward than it appeared on the surface, the top turf being very thick. For the next five minutes Longworth and MacKinlay changed places, and while they were out of place, Longworth threw in a cross which Johnson met with one of those overhead cycle kicks, very entertaining and becoming much loved by the Anfield fans. Alas Sewell pushed it for a corner. From the resulting corner, Beadles out-leapt the opposing defence and brought a fine save from Sewell.

McKinnell and McKay were proving to be the best performers for Blackburn and McNabb was having a merry innings against the flying Hodkinson. The ball dropped very dead on today’s pitch, and the hopes of the Rovers did something similar, because the rest of the side was playing poor stuff.

Beadles really was trying for that bonus today, but he was unable to make number two himself. However, he did help Forshaw when a corner was taken by letting the ball pass through his legs, a sort of dummy, come, step over movement. Forshaw crashed the ball home. Although it was only two, the boys started their usual chant, which was becoming very popular. “One, two, three, four, five” just after this goal was scored in the 35th minute.

At their end of the field, the park end, Rodgers had a runaway which was stopped by McNabb and Scott. Scott appeared to injure his arm when diving to ground. Blackburn finished up the half in the same way they had begun, very disappointing in every department. Dawson only had one real chance and there is no measure available to see how far wide it went, whereas three years ago, he would have clamped on a goal. Just on half time Wadsworth hurt his arm crunching into Rielly, but as the ball broke clear, Beadles missed a sitter, from what could only have been two yards. Whatever his plans were for the goal bonus, he might as well forget it after that effort.

Half Time:- Liverpool 2, Blackburn nil

Apart from McKay hoodwinking McNabb by letting the ball run when it looked like he was going to control the ball, there was nothing to report in the early stages of the second half, except attacks by Liverpool. The hapless Beadle was up to his old tricks with more amazing sitter misses.
To be fair one of his fresh air swings was due to the pitch, now resembling Oglet shore more than Ainsdale. As the ball stuck in the mud, Beadle swung his leg like a golfer missing a ball in a sand trap. 

McNabb was now pushing further and further forward, due to the ineptness of Blackburn’s attacking quintet. Pratt was amazing the crowd with some of his throw ins, I swear some reached the middle of the field. If he could develop this “Long Throw” it could be a useful asset if further up the field and would almost be like a corner. A McKinlay free kick resulted in a fine save from Sewell, but he was injured when Johnson went for a 50-50 ball which Sewell had in his hands.

David Pratt played due to Bromilow's other commitments

At long last Blackburn awoke to something like wisdom in their attacks and did eventually beat Scott. Rodgers was the man, he fired in a cracker that flew past Scott, but sadly for Rovers it hit the bar. I would like to think Elisha had it covered though, as he didn’t see fit to dive, he just watched it rebound off the bar and back into play. Two minutes later I think my opinion was confirmed, when Scott flew to his left and saved a corker from Hodkinson from inside the area.
Dawson missed one from only four yards out just after, which confirmed in my mind, that Rovers had had their chances in this game and were not going to score even if we played on until supper. McKinlay was putting himself about today, clashes with Reilly and Rodgers were only ever going to have one winner. But to his credit Reilly was not backing away from tackles.

Referee today, Mr Fogg, of Bolton, had been vigilant, but he ruined a perfectly good move by Lacey, which led to Forshaw being given offside. “As a matter of fact there was a lot of offside throws just now” and when Hopkin moved away and passed back to Pratt, the latter made a drive that looked like netting. The ball had hit Forshaw, who controlled it well on his chest and as he pulled the trigger, the whistle went for offside yet again. Twice Forshaw had been denied his hat-trick this half, and yet another fan in the Kemlyn was on his feet, he vehemently disagreed with the official and appeared to offer referee Fogg his seat for a better view.

One the next attack Hopkin broke clear and was cynically tripped from behind. This brought together McKinlay facing Rodgers, Hardy and Poole. He appeared to be explaining to the trio, that such play was not in the spirit of the game. Within two minutes, McKinlay got his point across far more clearly with Hardy and seconds later with Poole. Pratt had been dove-tailing with McKinlay when the latter had gone roaming in the glooming. The home captain had so little to do against Hardy that he could well afford to take liberties. Rovers had once again returned to their poor style and their case became still more troublesome, when McKinlay explained the spirit of the game to Rodgers. Rodgers was carried from the park on a stretcher after 66 minutes.

Forshaw finally completed his hat-trick in the 70th minute, thanks to a kind pass by Johnson.
Forshaw received heartiest congratulations from all his comrades, this being the first hat-trick performance of the Championship side. He looked like getting number four, and was not helped by yet another cynical trip down near the penalty box, by the retreating Dawson. There did not seem any prospect of Rovers breaking the record of the Liverpool club, who since December 26th, have not had one league goal scored against them.

MacKinlay continued to give us the joy of tricky football, now venturing further and further up-field. And Lacey, by sheer generalship and experience, outwitted Crawley who twice tried to trip him. From one of the great Bill Lacey’s crosses, McKinlay, now playing centre forward at times, hit the bar with a ferocious header. Toward the end of the game some bitterness entered the game as Reilly made horrendous tackles on both McKinlay and Lacey and referee Fogg decided it was time for a caution. So it will be seen that, badly as the Rovers played, nothing was going right for them. Lacey returned the favour on Reilly shortly after and McKinlay had another quiet word with Dawson.

Just before the final whistle, Dawson retired from the game injured. So the Rovers were reduced to nine men. It was later discovered that Rodgers has severe cartilage damage, so that he will be out of the game for some time. At the end of this game Rovers now added their 14thth and 15th casualty to their injury list. Rovers at no time in this game were able to compete with Liverpool on a skill basis and they would be wise to avoid turning games into pitch battles as they seem just as inept in the strength department.

Final Score:- Liverpool 3 Blackburn nil

Comments.
It was very sad to see Blackburn resort to assault on players throughout this game.
Hard tackles are expected as part of the game, but the cynical nature of the heal clipping, became very apparent. They were unable to match the pace and skill of this Liverpool side, but to their cost they also found, they could not match Liverpool in a competitive tackle. McKinlay may have raised a few eyebrows today, but this should not distract attention away from a masterly performance all over the park. As for kicking Lacey as a hobby, I can assure you it’s a waste of time, the boy is made from Solid Rock. Dynamite could not shift him off the ball.

Specials for last week's fixture at West Bromwich, proved unpopular. (pictured Below leaving Skellhorn Street)


Back

Season archive

We've got all the results from official games, appearance stats, goal stats and basically every conceivable statistic from 1892 to the present, every single line-up and substitutions!