Sidlow Still Unbeaten in 1949


Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)

Cyril Sidlow, the Liverpool goalkeeper, who has played in four matches since his illness at the start of the year, has not been beaten. Wainwright’s header did land in the net on Saturday, but it was not allowed to count. The disallowed goal brought the result we all wanted, but it seemed to me that Catterick was in front of Wainwright when he centred, and Wainwright actually had to move back to get his head to the ball. Referee Thurman made it a goal, but a linesman who flagged, for some time, considered otherwise and the junior official’s ruling was accepted Liverpool chairman, Mr. S. Ronald Williams, epitomised it all afterwards when he remarked to Everton chairman Dr. Cecil S. Baxter that had Liverpool “scored” that goal they would have wanted it. That is the sporting attitude in keeping with a sporting afternoon, and a good game of football in which Everton scintillated in their delicate progressive style, and Liverpool came with mighty bursts of menacing football on occasion just to let everyone know that their minds were not all the time on the Wolverhampton cup-tie to come, I do honestly believe that Liverpool operated with a little something in hand, and that this accounted in a minor degree to the fact that Everton enjoyed 80 per cent of the attack. Still, it was the outstanding skill of the Toffees which made Liverpool play second fiddle for so long. That match was just as I anticipated –a battle of the defences, and in this honours were even.

Half-Backs Excel

It was Tommy Jones who stood out in Everton’s defence as the complete master of Stubbins and tactics and for Liverpool it was Sidlow who stood down defiant against Everton with Bill Jones and far behind. Make up your minds that Sidlow will soon be back in the Welsh side and his late save off Wainwright was a “dream.” All four backs were grand with Shepherd playing under a slight handicap and Saunders maybe the pick of the four for he again proved a bogy to Billy Liddell who showed enterprise in slipping away to the right to avoid George Farrell had a grand game, and Cyril Lello did so well that he looks like making the left-half berth his own. Lello is a half-back discovery to me. Taylor was a joy and Paisley dour in trying to hold the electric Wainwright. Everton were much the better attacking force with some of the old traditional close-passing, intricacies springing mainly from the best forward of all –“Nobby” Fielding. This was the best I have seen from Fielding this season, while Catterick was good in all but finishing. Powell came into the game in the second half after Eglington had seen more of the ball early on Jack Balmer was the master-mind behind the Liverpool attack which lacked the cohesive skill of the Blues line, and he was the most willing marksman eager to prevent Sagar continuing as a spectator. Payne was I thought neglected too much, but Done was the worrier trying to create an open space for a still-slow Stubbins who must have wished Tommy Jones anywhere but Anfield. Definitely Sidlow saved the point for Liverpool, but as Dr. Baxter emphasised, Sidlow is part of the team. A placid but, thoroughly enjoyable “Derby” which Everton should have won with Liverpool not quite “in tune.”

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