LIVERPOOL AGAIN FAIL AT GOODISON PARK .
The first of the season's League encounters between our two great Association teams has come and gone. Everton were the favourites of fortune, and whatever may be argued about luck of hard lines the fact, remains that the honours fell to the Blues by four goals to two. For such an absorbingly interesting game more favourable weather could not have been desired, for while there was little advantage to be gained by winning the toss, the spectators were enabled to view the proceedings in comfort considering the tremendous crowd of enthusiasts. Taking about crowds, how busy it is to indulge in excessive estimates. If the Everton enclosure will accommodate 55,000 spectators, and may well be forgiven for having assessed the crowd at 50,000. Yet this turned out to be far beyond the mark. The official figure after allowing for shareholders, and complimentary tickets give the attendance at just 40,000-not a bad crowd by any means, but still not 50,000. The gate receipts worked out at a little over £1,189, which is a record for a League match at Goodison-park. Two points and a nice contribution to the exchequer-what more could the Everton club desire. Moreover had not the directors the distinction of entertaining in their handsome new offices, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.
As for the game, it was by no means as one-sided as the final score would appear to indicate. The enforced absence of Dunlop proved a terrific misfortune for Liverpool for Murray who filled the vacancy shaped in a most disappointing fashion. Except in the matter of defence Liverpool were quite equal if not superior to their rivals, and it was unfortunate for them that the splendid work of the forwards and half-backs should be neutralised by unaccountable weakness in the rear division. Liverpool started in very incisive style, and but for some fin goalkeeping on the part of Scott, they must have taken the lead in the first quarter of an hour. As it was a goal scored by Goddard, which was disallowed on account of offside, was in the opinion of many a perfectly legitimate point. The first real breakaway on the part of Everton was successful, Settle taking advantage of some hesitancy by the Liverpool full backs and opening the score by a really fine shot. The lead was increased owing to a most injudicious place of work on the part of Murray, who in kicking back, forced Doig to concede a corner. This led to Abbott registering the second point. Just before the interval Hewitt cleverly placed the ball pass Scott, and although Everton were leading by two goals to one at half-time, this was more than their play merited, and did not accurately represent the general run of the game. The second half produced an almost similar state of affairs, for Everton scored twice, through Hardman and Sharp, and though the latter deserved credit for his fine effort in running half the length of the field, the opportunity again arose through the culpability of the Liverpool left full back. There was considerable doubt about the legitimacy of the second goal awarded to the Anfielders, for Hewitt, off whom the ball glanced into the net from Goddard centre, was palpably offside. Whether the ball touched an Everton player in its transit or not is best known only to the referee, who turned a deaf ear to the appeals of the Everton players.
CRITICISMS OF THE PLAYERS.
Comparing the two lines of forwards, Liverpool were the more aggressive and dashing in their methods. The remarkable improvement demonstrated by Hewitt in the centre no doubt exercised a beneficial influence in the attack, and several well meant efforts near goal missed by the merest margin. On the left wing Raybould played a splendid game, furnishing Cox with numerous opportunities. Which were ably utilised by the extreme winger. Goddard was responsible for many fine runs, and the forward play all round left, no room for dissatisfaction. The Everton front rank also showed signs of improvement, and they made the most of the chance, which came their way. The left wing was the most prominent, Hardman especially causing the Liverpool defence much anxiety. There was not the same tendency to confine the play to the inside man though sharp, with the opportunities which Murray afforded him was not so much in evidence as he has been in these encounters, even when opposing Dunlop. Young was good and bad by turns, especially conspicuous. In the intermediate line Taylor gave a splendid exhibition, and like his vis-à-vis, Raisbeck, got through a tremendous amount of work. Abbott and Makepeace shaped creditably though the former, as usual found Goddard a particularly warm handful. Bradley showed some of his best stoke form and Parry was seldom at fault despite the fact, than he had to face the most dangerous part of the Everton front line. Everton were immeasurably superior at full back, for Crelly gave one of his finest display, his tackling being wonderfully clever young Balmer did well although at times he was rather erratic. Mention has already been made of Murray, and even West seemed influenced by the weakness of his partner for his play was not so crip, as usual. Neither was Doig, seen at his best, though one save from Sharp, who had beaten the rest of the defence, was a sample of his old form. Scott once more demonstrated his worth, and when the attack of Liverpool was at its height, he came to the rescue repeatedly with some really brilliant clearances. Summing up the game Everton were fortunate to win by such a decisive margin, though they were clever enough to take full advantage of every opening. With Dunlop in the team, the probability is that Liverpool would have gained a share of the honours. As it is they have failed to record a League victory at Goodison-Park since September 1898.
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