Press report

Norwich set out to conquer a foe they last beat 26 years ago at Anfield. The second division side achieved their ambition with ease. Vinall scored against Liverpool in less than one minute. Five minutes later Vinall scored again and the game was all but over. On the occasion Vinall beat three men without assistance and on the right flank he drove in a high ball which appeared to be floating high over the left-hand corner of the goal. It curled into the far corner of the net, giving Hobson no chance of saving. Some criticised Hobson for the goal, but his out-stretched right-hand was never going top stop such a shot.

The contrast between the two sides was remarkable, Norwich, without undue flurry, and with great endeavour, went into their work with the knowledge that Liverpool could be stampeded if they applied constant pressure by means of the instant pass, and the raid made up of practical means. Not for them the holding of the ball, not for them the personal outrageous long run; not for them a delay of any sort. They got into the business side of the game instantly, they were determined to win the game and they therefore adopted a professional approach which enabled them to do just that. Liverpool continued to play in their colourful manner; their flicks and taps were of the daintiest character; when the ball could be passed onward to make ground the ball was held a split second too long: the shooting weak; there was a lack of spirit, but the losers could learn a great deal from this defeat if they were prepared to learn. Earlier in the season, the same players had been heralded as internationals, and the youngest and best forward line the club had ever had. It was proven to be an unfounded exaggeration.

On dry ground the forward line would still look good. In this game, on a slightly heavy turf, Eastham and the improved Nieuwenhuys did some really good work for long spells, but the other forwards were inept. Matt Busby was the one man who did something to suggest first division standards. His urging of the right wing pair was of fine character, a model of priceless half-back arts – the use of the ball, the control and collection of the ball; the upward tendency to force a poor line of attackers to have some belief in themselves. It was of little use; the team was poor, and even captain Cooper had a bad game.

Hobson blundered with a third goal, a simple headed goal from Scott, the most rugged man on the field, landing at the goalkeeper’s feet and even a fingered attempt to pick up the ball failed, and Hobson saw the ball pass on with snail-like pace over the line.

Although the goalkeeper was definitely at fault, the error did not cost Liverpool the game. A general inability to score had done that. Nieuwenhuy’s, Eastham and Busby kept finding holes in the Norwich defence, but Bowen, the former Villa back, was not a young man but he has his manager’s aptitude for standing firm. As long as he stood firm Norwich held up. In three minutes there was sufficient work on the right flank to show the ease with which Bowen could be beaten, and also his half-back, Burke, a boy who used to play for Liverpool “A” team. Norwich were worthy of their victory.

Norwich City


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