By Ernest Edwards (“Bee”)
A friend walked his garden lawn, slipped upon icy turf “nearly broke his leg” (as he described it, to an unsympathetic wife) and eventually made his way to Anfield to see a goalless through never barren game. Players slipped fell and balanced perilously like trapeze artists and lo’ the man who nearly “broke his leg” was shouting his head off condemning footballers for inability to do this or that! There is a moral in that true story. I place on record the twenty-two players here gave a really excellent display in circumstances that might have caused the game’s abandonment. Until the half hour had passed no one could guarantee a footing and the allegedly footing passes and shots were due, entirely, to insecure foothold. The more the player tried to put pace into a shot, the more certain his remaining football from him, thus making football a lottery. Yet with a competent referee who was a trifle martinetish (as is very necessary on some occasions) and alive linesmen, the game went on its free-flowing way, with some studied arts and sciences joyful to the eye of those who like to see their football construction in neat, orderly fashion.
It must be proclaimed that Everton’s forwards were most attractive and their pass-back to their half-backs revealed Farrell, and Lello in a very bright light. Everton’s attack is, however, an enigma –it looks and acts well until the shot is due and then peters out. I am probably being too dogmatic when I declare that anyone playing centre-forward for Everton these days can have the job. It is a thankless task. Catterick makes a pass, goes to the place whence the next pass is due, finds himself still calling for the pass, that never comes. Wainwright was the brilliant forward of the day and once he gets a goal or two he will startle the world. At the moment he continues to make near misses of find a headed goal frustrated by a linesman who signalled for off-side. Those who argue why the goal was disallowed forget the linesman’s perfect position to make a decision, as compared with thousands who had an end-on view. Fielding does so much to set the machine moving that goals should result. They do not because the team is still not functioning on either wing. Lello gave me great joy and caused me to recall his counterpart, Walter Abbott, who came as a forward and finished as a half-back. Lello has his size, bulk and his daintiness of touch.
The forwards could not “keep up with the Joneses” –Tom Jones produced cheeky, nonchalant deliveries that brighten our sports –he was the day blast on Red tires. Once Sagar and Tom had two minus with but a single thought and Liverpool might have made them pay for this slight confusion. William Jones rather more than usually inclined towards taking the ball up field, also had this terrorising moment, when his feet tangled and Catterick went forward alone. My mind’s eye “photograph” on Sidlow at this moment is eyes forward four steps advance. Catterick shot (some would say drove straight at the goal keeper) I count it a save of character because by the time Sidlow had advanced he had closed his goal and Catterick had to drive ahead without chance to place his shot. Sidlow is touching his highest grades of goalkeeping and I am sure he passed a vote of thanks (and maybe condolences) to Fielding when that man wondered to the right wing, was tackled and tipped as is his natural style, beyond an outstretched leg. Fielding’s sudden swerve to the inside berth led him to short-centre and the ball trekked across every yard of goal without defender or co-forward able to make contact.
There was so much shooting first half that the score could have been 6-6 and we who look on have no right to blame the shooters. Even after Balmer has struck the crossbar and Done had done the seemingly impossible, one had to realise Done’s injury a split second before he made his shot which phrase brings us to Albert Stubbins, who is far removed from former brilliance because the spilt-second makes his shots delayed action. It would not be right to conclude without a word to Sagar and Lambert a saver and a shooter, and to Shepherd (limping for a capital issue out of his “Derby” day troubles. Taylor and Paisley have awards with the Everton wing half-backs and Taylor has special award of silent subduing football which star is the ball rolling to his men and also nips in to stop the other side – the nearest man I know. Everybody happy? We should be. This result was just –and just right.
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