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Liverpool Mercury report

Goodison Park, with its exceptionally well cared for playing encourse was seen at its best on Saturday, when a local giant took the field in the first of the season's League contests. Such meetings do not require any extraneous efforts to stir the pulse of local followers of the pastime and that on Saturday last certainly holds the record in point off attendance and receipts. The gates had been thrown open to an eager and critical crowd at two o'clock, and an hour later there was an assemblage of such proportions that must have gladdened the hearts of the finance committee, for then there were prospects of turnstile records as there was no apparent diminution in the influx of spectators. 

At four o'clock when the teams took up their position, there must have been quite 45,000 person's person, and although the official figures are not yet to hand it is stated that the gate receipts realised over £1250. At the outset popular opinion favoured the Anfield road organisation, more by reason of there being a greater infusion of shining lights in their team, but the Evertonians though, not of the class system, had done exceptionally well in the tournament thus far, and they were not without many supporters that were confident of their success. Unfortunately the teams were not at full strength, Chadwick on the one side, Allen on the other being compelled to stand down owing to injuries, and the players, under the supervision of Mr.J.Lewis faced as follows: - Everton: - Muir goal, Balmer (w) and Molyneux, backs, Boyle, Owen (captain), and Taylor halfbacks, Clark, Bell, Proudfoot, Kirwan, and Gee forwards. Liverpool: - Storer, (captain), goal, Goldie, and Dunlop, backs, Howell, Raisbeck, and Goldie (w), halfbacks, Marshall, McCowie, Walker, Morgan, and Robertson, forwards . 

Storer won the toss, and arrayed his men with the sum at their backs, and immediately after the opening exchanges Robertson was only slightly wide of the mark. The same player was again in possession almost directly afterwards, but none of his confreres were up to meet his centre, and Molyneux eventually cleared. Gee then led on a smart movement to the Liverpool end, and finished up with a shot that sailed over the bar, which was followed by another from Taylor resuiting in an abortive corner kick. Then following some capital play by the Everton forwards of whom Bell was always conspicuous, and for some time Dunlop was in trouble. However the defence eventually prevailed, and a concerted movement to the other end resulted in McCowie heading in, only to find Muir on the alert. Gee took up the running on the home left, and finished up with a capital shot, which Storer saved at the expense of a corner. The kick was well taken and Proudfoot headed into the net this success coming after play had been in progress ten minutes. Following this the Liverpool defence was subjected to great pressure, and with more precision, both Gee and Kirwan might easily have added to the score. Eventually Walker initiated a movement towards the home goal, and as Balmer was at fault the free kick found the Liverpoolians swarming round Muir's charge. After Taylor had charged down a terrific shot, a corner was given against Balmer, and McCowie was not far from the mark, on heading in. A shot from Walker was saved at the expense of a corner, which was splendidly placed by Robertson, and McCowie rushing up, breasted the ball into the net, though at the time of contact the ball appeared to be out of play. However, the referee did not entertain a confident appeal and the teams set to work again on level terms. Some clever play by Raisbeck was noticeable in the next few minutes, following which, Walker left the ground owing to injury but was not long absent. Close upon the interval Proudfoot had a capital opening, as there was practically no opposition, but shot wildly, and when the whistle sounded for the interval the score stood Everton 1, Liverpool 1. During the first half Everton were the more dangerous side, and had they taken advantage of easy chances that came their way, they must have had a substantial lead on resuming, 

The second half opened in tame, fashion. A free kick close in the Liverpool goal was badly utlised by Clarke and in a trice, play was at the other end, where Marshall screwed into goalmouth after Muir had left his charge, but fortunately Molyneux who had all through been playing a most judicious game was on the spot. And cleared in forcible fashion, Balmer at this juncture was often beaten and many dangerous movements were made by the Liverpool left wing, but the home halves never lost their heads, and falling back, saved many an ugly rush on Muir's charge. Owen continued to put in useful work, though for a lengthly period the Liverpoolians were not to be denied, and pressed severely. Gee change the venue, but finished badly, and following a further return by the visiting left wing pair, Balmer tripped up Robertson, and the referee warranted a penalty kick, which was successfully negotiated by McCowie. Following this Everton attacked, and Proudfoot being injured left the field for some minutes it being apparent on his return that he would not be able to render much assistance to his side. He had no sooner resumed than Gee had to retire for the remainder of the game, owing to a strain, and Everton had practically to complete the game with nine men. Still, efforts were not relaxed, and Storer, was lucky in keeping out a magnificent shot from Kirwan. Following an escape from Walker the Liverpool goal was gain subjected to pressure, but nothing further was scored, and the issue favoured Liverpool by 2 goals to 1.

FOOTBALL NOTES

Meeting between Everton and Liverpool, whatever the occasion may be always productive of more than ordinary interest, put when the respective forces are opposed to each other in the League tournament the local feeling is focused to fever height for then it is a stern case of Greek meeting Greek. For weeks prior to the all eventful day arguments pre and cos are indulged forth by the respective partisans of the two clubs, and thus the interest increasing until the actual meeting which brings trump to the one side and comparative despondency to the other. In the majority of previous contests the Everton stay has been predominant and never up to Saturday last, had the Anfield forces been able to exact even one point from they arrivals at Goodison Park, and only once have the Anfield brigade accrued the maximum number of points even when playing on their own ground. This year however, has witnessed a complete change of policy on the part of the Everton directors which it is not necessary here to dilate upon further but if success is to be measured by actual results, then the change has been fully justified by the fact that the eleven doing duty for the club-most of whom are Englishmen, in four matches-two of which were away from home, gained six points and held an untarnished record. On the other hand Liverpool had got together what was considered a rather ‘'Tony'' team of across Border talent, and as far as the chance of the respective eleven are concerned, the issue was considered of a more open character than had otherwise been the case. This naturally had an influence on the attendance, which succeed all the previous bests, and formed a new record for these matches. But everything was in favour of the figure friend, for the day was glorious fine, with scare breath of wind, and as the crowds rolled up from every quarter, wending their way all in the same direction, even the most disinterested must have experienced some wonderment as the cause of the universal excitement. Inside the spacious enclosure was indeed a characteristic and astounding spectacle the banked surroundings, and elegant stands being filled with an eagerly expectant multitude, the centre of green reserved for the anxiously awaited contestant like an emerald surrounding by a deep setting of somber hue and appealing to the eye by its striking contrast. It was a tribute to the groundsman's skill.

At length the time arrived for the approach of the players, the period of waiting being pleasantly beguiled by strains of music, and the culminating point was reached. Eleven little figures led in deepest blue bounded onto the greensward amidst terrific cheers, which were renewed when a few minutes later, eleven others robed in red, appeared. The contrast was magnificently picturesque, and no finer sight on a football field could be imagined than the few seconds prior to the signal for starting. The story of the game is soon told. In less than two minutes Robertson whipped across a lovely centre, which; only required a touch to turn into the net, but it was missed unaccountably by two forwards at least. Then Taylor at the other end drew forth all Storer's skill to tip a fast shot over the bar, but after ten minutes Gee shot strongly, Storer gave a corner and from the kick, Proudfoot headed the ball into the net. For a few seconds there was an indescribable scene, and then stern reality began again. The home forwards acted capially whilst Liverpool were slow, but the ‘'Blues'' could not even score with an open goal, and eventually McCowie equalised by breasting a corner kick past Muir. This particular point will doubtless provoke immense argument, as to whether the ball was in the net ere the diminutive Liverpudlians touched it, and there appears to be more than ordinary justification for thinking that such was the case, but the referee Lewis promptly pointed to the centre. This was the state of affairs at the interval, which the musicians utilised by pouring forth the suggestive strains of ‘‘will ye nee come back again.'' In the second half the play deteriorated, and a questionable bit of work by Balmer within the twelve yards limit brought about the inevitable penalty, and McCowie placed a goal, and won the game. Everton's chances afterwards entirely disappeared with Proudfoot injured and Gee away altogether. Thus for the first time in their career Liverpool won at Goodison. But it can not be said that they deserved it, on the play shown and a draw would have been a truer result. In the first half Everton were seen to advantage and had much the better of the argument. They made up in energy and adroitness what they might have lacked in finesse, and the forwards had chances enough in this moiety to have easily made the game secure. Liverpool were very ragged in their work, though they occasionally give glimpse of real ability, but their was a one sided sort, of attack for the right wing fumbled, and dallied and shaped as if they were out of joint.

Everton astonished the crowd by the amount of earnestness they put into their play, and the halves worried the Liverpool forwards continually dispossessing them and giving their own front rank abundant opportunities. None worked harder amongst the forwards than Bell, but at a matter of fact the whole line did all that was necessary, except one most important item- namely shoot. Repeatedly they failed at the easier chances, and this weakness cost them dearly. Their halves played a capital game, and adopted the proper tactics in breaking up the Liverpool combination by dogging at their heels, and often getting the ball away from their opponents passes. There was little to choose between the trio, and each in his own characteristic way rendered excellent services. Further behind, there was a striking and not altogether pleasing contrast. Molyneux was in brilliant form alike in kicking and tackling, and in addition his play was perfectly fair. On the other hand, Balmer early in the game showed indiscreet tactics, and he never recovered; for all through he failed to do himself justice and a kindly admonition from the skipper Owen proved abortive. The climax was reached when he whipped Robertson's leg from under him when only a few yards from the posts, and the game was then decided. Otherwise the contest was remarkably free from foul play especially considering the high tension, which the combatants were working, and probably the lesson will prove salutary to the capable right back, as it was decisive. Muir acted splendidly in goal, and with the above notable exception no fault could be found with the Everton defence.

The Liverpool front rank was disappointing, and this was probably due to the reararrangment necessary, owing to indisposition of Allan. Walker in the centre acted well so did also the left wing, Marshall was a failure and after the fine display he gave on Monday evening at Anfield, the non-success appears all the more astonishing. Slow movements and aimless passing are altogether useless, and more go at head work with a rasping shot at the finish is what Marshall is capable of doing. McCowie was the fortunate scorer on his side, and this presumably is like charity for it coverth it multitude of faults and McCowie personified both Morgan and Walker executed some clever work, but Robertson nulled several dashing runs by erratic centres, and there was not that straight coursing for goal that has marked his play in earlier games. The halves were not up to their usual standard by any means, especially the two wingmen, and they seemed slow by comparison with their opponents. Raisbeck was prominent to the centre, but it was until well on in the game that the whole the tumbled to their usual precise methods. Evidently the prevailing excitement had been too overpowering. Goldie played splendidly at full back, but Dunlop tackled weakly and was often in difficulties, and on the whole the Liverpool defence exhibited more flaws than has been witnessed for some time. Storer executed some clever saves, particularly those from Taylor and Gee in the first half, and one- a stringer- from Kirwan about a minute from the finish. It was a somewhat disappointing game, for one does not care to see a match of this description won by a penalty goal, particularly when the play has been of an even nature, but Everton have little cause for despondency in the result. They were the worst handicapped by injuries to players, and the only result of Liverpool's victory, which no one can begrudge them after the long spell of unsuccessful attempts, will be to infuse the return fixture with an even greater interest. The players deserve great credit for the fair manner in which the game was contested and the simply proves that even in a local ‘'Derby'' where feelings is apt to overstep prudence, the men can control themselves, and thus gave unbounded pleasure to the crowd, who are in more than one sense their supporters.

Copyright - Liverpool Mercury - Transcribed by http://www.bluecorrespondent.co.nr

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