The return League engagement between these local rivals was played on Saturday last, at Anfield road, and despite the unfavorable conditions that prevailed, every coign of vantage was occupied long before the advertised time of commencing operations. When the teams put on an appearance there would be fully 28,000 spectators present, and from an inspection of the ground it was quite apparent that the teams would experience the greatest difficulty in securing a foothold. The state of the turf pointed to Everton being at a disadvantage, but still the ‘'Blues'' had not previously been slow to make the most of chances that came their way, and there were many to be found that were confident of the Goodison Road party being quite capable of holding their own. The executives of the clubs placed in the field what they considered the best exponents they had at command and at three o'clock the sides under the control of Referee Barker faced as follows: - Liverpool: - Storer Captain), goal, Goldie, and Dunlop, backs, Howell, Raisbeck, and Goldie (w) halfbacks, Cox Walker, Allan, Morgan, and Robertson, forwards. Everton: - Muir, goal, Balmer, and Molyneux, backs Boyle, Taylor (captain), and Hughes halfbacks, Bell Proudfoot, Crompton, Chadwick, and Kirwan, forwards.
Play commenced, and Taylor winning the toss, secured for his side assistance of a slight breeze. On Allan setting the ball in motion, Taylor pounced upon it and drove it over the home goalline, but immediately following play was at the Everton end, which danger threatened until a free kick been awarded for a foul throw. The game was beautifully contested and despite the heavy nature of the ground, the pace was maintained at a loud pitch. The home forwards, well backed up by their halves were seen to great advantage, and it required the best efforts of the Everton defenders to prevent them getting a shot at Muir. Everton then had a turn, but a free kick given against Proudfoot spoiled a promising movement, and then, following a pretty sequence in which Allan played a prominent part, Robertson missed one of the simplest chances of opening the scoring account. For some time the Liverpool right wing pair menaced the Everton defenders, and it was not until Chadwick and Kirwan had succeeded in taking the ball to the other end, that the visiting backs had a respite. Meanwhile Raiseback and Howell had been contributing some solid work, and getting down again Cox whipped the ball across and on it gliding from Allan's foot to Walker the last named player put it into the net after play had been in progess ten minutes. Muir had no chance of saving, and on the ball being again set in motion the Everton custodian was beset with a shot from Walker though this time it was safely negotiated.
Matters then looked promising for Everton especially so when a free kick was granted in close proximity to the Liverpool goal. Chadwick however was unfortunate in having his shot charged down and following a smart attempt from Bell, Kirwan finished up by placing the ball wide. In close following, Muir had to run out to prevent Morgan from getting possession, and Kirwan again got away, only to be fairly at the finish. Directly afterwards, Proudfoot shot against a Liverpool back and a fruitless corner kicks ensued. Then followed a spirited attack on the home goal, but strive as they would the visiting forwards could not get a shot in the right direction. Bell failed badly, and Boyle only just missed from a free kick. The pressure merited an equalising point, but subsequently the Liverpoolians got under weigh again, and Muir brought off a magnificent save from Robertson. Liverpool maintained the advantage up to the interval, which they were leading by 1 goal to nil.
The sun shone out brilliantly when the teams reappeared, and the Everton players were considerably handicapped in having to face its glaring rays. The Liverpool forwards immediately settled down to good work, and during the early stages Cox was at fault in not converting a fine cross shot from Robertson. Raisebeck tried along one without success, and on the Everton right taking up the running a little feeling was shown by Bell and Goldie, which called for a lecture from the referee. Getting to work again Crompton was a afforded a good opening, but shot badly and then followed some smart play by Chadwick and Kirwan, but against Howell and Goldie the pair could not make much progess. Still the Everton forwards were often in possession, and on one occasion Crompton might have equalised had he not dallied. Long pressure on the home goal was at length relieved by a powerful kiok from Dunlop, which led up to Morgan testing Muir, who brought off a marvellous save low down at the corner of the net. The Everton backs at this juncture were rather shaky, but fortunately disaster was averted, and then came the most brilliant shot seen so far in the contest. Kirwan was the exeutant, and as Storer had one partially saved it, an opening was made for Proudfoot, but once again the chance was allowed to go begging. A couple of corners kicks brought Everton no advantage, but further pressure followed though no avail. In the closing stages the Liverpoolians exerted themselves, and a minute from time Cox dribbled past Hughes and Moyneux, to a short distance from goal, when he sent the ball across, and Robertson put it past Muir. This was the last point scored, and Liverpool, who had played better football won by 2 goals to nil.
The local championship was settled at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. Liverpool securing the honours after a splendidly fought engagement. These fixtures between out two premier teams from the tit bits of the season, and as such are early anticipated by the enthusiastic partisans of each club. One naturally expects from organisation holding the creditable position in the League which are at present assigned to Everton and their rivals football of the highest quality, and the two struggles for supremacy which have been waged this season at Goodison Park and Anfield respectively have furnished this most desirable result. Although excitement is bound to rule strongly in the breast of the most impassioned player in contests of this nature, it must in justice be admitted that in each of the above mentioned games there has been practically nothing of a rough nature perpetrated, the men having evidently determined to play the game in the fairest manner possible. For this they deserve the thanks of the football public, and their most recent exhibition excelled anything previously accomplished, despite the wretched conditions which prevailed. The heavy rains in the earlier part of the week had transformed the arena into a mud heap of the finest quality, and the slimy, treacherous surface suggested all matter of eventualities, but despite the drawback the men kept their balance remarkably well.
A crowd over 20,000 people grazed across the expense of deciate surface for fully an hour prior to the commencement of the game, and though rain descended unceasingly, the elements, as if desiring to condone for past offences, relences relented, and before the players sallied forth, a welcome break in the clouds unheard in a fine afternoon. The ground was well packed in every part, and the majority of the crowd had a comfortable view of the game, which is more than can be said of those whose duty it is to make known to the general public the deeds of renown preformed on this enclosure. Even Torquemade chief of inquisitors would have hailed the structure courteously designated a Perspex with extreme delight as some new species of nurture, and it is probably a kowledge of this that causes the officials in charge to demand a scrutiny, in comparison with which Government red tapeish falls into complete insignificance, from all who would enter therein. With the excise of a little tact and discretion there would be a more satisfactory result all round. Verbum sap. But to the game, briefly summarised, proceeded thus. Losing the toss, which gave his rival but little advantage, Storer defended the Anfield road goal, and it was early seen that Liverpool adapting themselves the better to the amphibious turf. A slight diversion, caused by the eager crowd forcing the barriers near the Oakfield road end of the field, was quickly settled, and the invades had the pleasure of witnessing Cox make rings round. Hughes and centre right into the goalmouth. Where Allan, either judiciously or otherwise, tapped to Walker, who was practically compelled to score, this occurring ten minutes after the start. When the uproar had somewhat subsided the game resumed, and gradually Everton adopted more methodical attempts to equalise. After Muir had twice saved in characteristic style, Everton chance came from a roaring centre, beautifully placed from the left wing, but to the chargin of the Blues supporters. Proudfoot mulled, and ere he could recover, Dunlop had dashed in, and with a might kick removed the danger. At this juncture the referee found it necessary to administer a word of caution to Hughes, who had found Cox much too clever, and afterwards the Everton half paid more attention to the ball, with the result that his play vastly improved. Despite the desperate endeavors of the Blues their opponents appeared to have the game well in hand their defence acting superbly, whilst the forwards combined in really excellent fashion. The interval was almost due when Robertson after many vain efforts to elude the vigilance of Boyle, at length baffied the attentions of the halfback, and when within ten yards of Muir drove with tremendous force. Clever though this effort was it did not achieve the desired result, for Muir managed to reach the ball but could only place it a yard or so in front of his charge, where a certain goal went begging for want of a final touch, and Everton breathed freely as the ball was driven into midfield.
At half time Liverpool was the proud possession of a lead of one goal and they resumed in such a lively manner that an increased score appeared probable. The Everton defence acted very well, and Muir performed valiant feats, and just when the Blues were beginning to lose hope. Kirwan pounced on a long return and for the first time beating Goldie, he whizzed across beautiful shot, at which Storer could only gaze helplessly, and with Proudfoot but a few yards from the goalmouth a score seemed imminent when amidst a roar of the disappointment, the opening was again missed, and it was evident that Everton's star was not in the ascendant. Time was rapidly approaching, and a beautiful centre from Cox-one of the many fine efforts put forth by the right winger during the afternoon-had been headed into goal by Allan, where it struck on the line, the mud thus doing duty at custodian where Muir could not possibly have got to the ball, and crowds were leaving the ground, when the outside man was again placed in possession. He deftly kept Hughes and Molyneux dangling near him when a sudden dart to the left gave him a clear course with only Muir to defeat. Approaching sufficiently near, he whipped the ball into goal, but a yard wide of the line. This was too good a chance to be lost, and Robertson speeding across put his foot to the leather ere Muir could reach it and banged it into the rigging. Everton had no time to retrieve this double disaster, and had to acknowledge themselves well beaten by two clear goals. Liverpool deserved their victory, and the margin of two goals done no more than represent their superiority. There was not a weak spot in the eleven.
The greatest disparately between the two teams was in the forward diversion, the Liverpool five displaying perfect command of the ball, and combining with each other and their halves in excellent style whilst the Everton van rarely got going in concerted fashion, and found plunging through the mud a more difficult task than did their rivals whose superior weight served them in good stead. Every forward on the winning side was seen at advantage. Allan was inclined to adhere tortensciously to the leather, but otherwise accomplished some hard work, and kept the two wings well employed. These adjuncts were excellent Cox viewing with Robertson in his accurate centres, whilst Walker worked like a Trojan and Morgan never gave a better display. There was harmously and method in their movements, and the Everton defence was often out manoceuvred by the skilful juggling of the Liverpool right wing. The Everton front rank could make but little headway against the trio of Liverpool halves and they were decidedly disappointing. They were overpowered both in weight and ability, and did not take at all kindly to the mud. Not one excelled, but some were worse than others. The inside men were weak, and those on the outside had no chance, whilst on two occasions-one in each half- a score should with a little steadiness have been gained. They rarely boded danger, and with few exceptions were beaten ere they could get a shot at Storer. The Liverpool halves furnished the foundation of their sides's success, and it was here that the chief strength of the team lay. Howell in particular was ever in the midst of the fray and must be awarded premier position though the splendid work of Raisbeck and W.Goldie left nothing to be denied. The whole line gave as due a display of halfbacks tactics as need be wished for, and Everton could do but little against such as array of excellence. On the side of the Blues. Taylor was the shining light, and for downright hard work effective tackling and unflagging energy, had no superior on the field. Boyle also rendered capable assistance particularly in the first half, and only deteriorated in the closing stages of the second but Hughes was fairly puzzled with Walker and Cox, and accomplished more useful work in covering the backs than in aiding the front rank. At full back Liverpool's superiority was again manifest speedy and strong in their returns were Goldie and Dunlop and with each man at his best, no wonder Everton found it hard matter to score. Balmer was the better of the Everton pair and considering the amount of work he had to wade through, did very well indeed. Molyneux was not as reliable, and though glimpse of his usually judicious methods was witnessed at times, on the whole his play suffered in comparison with that of his partner. To Muir the thanks of Everton are due for his galliant efforts in keeping the score down to which respectable dimensions. He defended his charge in admirable style, and repelled all manner of shots in a cool effective fashion. He had far more work to accomplish than Storer, and did it with conspicuous success. Storre's position was a very easy one, and what might have happened under other circustances does not concern this relation.
Thus Liverpool have created two records this season; they have defeated Everyone at Goodison park for the first time, and have also been the first to gain the four points out of one season's League game between them and their rivals across the park. Liverpool now rank second in the League table, with Everton in close addition, and the remaining fixtures of the respective clubs will simply be productive of more interest than ever in the light of the close race for superior position in the League. May the meetings of the pair always provide as fine a game as was witnessed at Anfield on Saturday last.
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