BATTLE OF THE COLOURS.
The 35 th meeting of the forces of Everton and Liverpool under the auspices of the League provided splendid entertainment for close upon 50,000 persons. The club met under somewhat unusual conditions. During the week the Liverpool directors had made drastic changes, and in the face of prospects of success were none too promising, as in all departments save goal there were afternoons, while on the Everton side. Harrison, the ex-Leicester player, was afforded an opportunity of displaying his skill with the hope that the left wing difficulty would meet with satisfactory solutions. Following these changes it was notified at the last moment that Peake who had been taken ill during the night would not be available, and thus there was a further reshuffling of the Liverpool halves, which, as events turned out, proved a blessing in disguise. The Anfielders won, as has become their fashion in recent games at Goodison Park, and though there was little indeed between the sides, the Reds could just lay claim top a slight margin of superiority in the forward line, while in every other department were quite equal to their rivals. But the happenings that led up to the scoring of the goals were somewhat curious, and it might safely be stated that none of the three points recorded during the game were stamped with the hallmark of excellence. They were what has come to be regarded as “grits,” but these were interlarded with brilliant efforts that would not have occasioned surprise had the respective keepers been more frequently defeated. Everton were badly hit when the deciding point was registered against them from a free kick, which should never have been conceded, and with no time for recovered their discomfiture was completed.
WHERE LIVERPOOL EXCELLED.
The contest provided the Liverpool team with their first victory, and at the same time Everton's initial defeat of the season. For the greater part of the game the Liverpool forwards were more incisive in their advances; their passing was good, and the attacks were well conceived and executed. On the other hand, Everton's methods were more confined, though the centre tried but vainly to make his forwards work with a semblance to cohesion. Their play bordered upon the individual effort, which can never be depended upon to bring success in its train, though there was a suspicious that they were none too well served by the half-backs, who have yet to approximate the standard set up in past seasons. There was not so effective a linking up between the two lines as was observable on the Liverpool side, and it was in this respect that the Anfielders could claim the advantage, which merited their final success. Defensive play reached a high standard on both sides and while there were many fine touches by the respective keepers, there were frailties that are rare in these keen tussles between local rivals.
INCIDENTS OF PLAY.
With regard to the game generally, it was splendidly contested, cleanly fought, ably controlled with the one exception referred to, and worthy to rank among the many fine expositions that have been witnessed between the clubs. A hot pace was set from the start, and it was a tribute to training operations that throughout the whole period of play both sides stayed the course splendidly. During the early stages the Liverpool forwards were particularly sprightly, but those of Everton responded ably, and for quite a lengthy period there was little between the teams. An injury, to Grenyer reduced his effectiveness, and Goddard had quite a good time. Both keepers had several ticklish shots to deal with, and thirty-five minutes had gone by when Liverpool opened the scoring. This came as the result of a smart ground pass from Low to Miller, and as the home backs were taken by surprise. Mitchell came out to prevent the Liverpool centre from applying the final touch. He accomplished his object thus far, but had in judgement by putting the ball to the feet of Lacey, who drove into the untenanted goal. Following this Browell was out of luck with a couple of fine efforts, and the Anfielders retained their lead up to the interval. On resuming, the Everton forwards were the more aggressive, and after nine minutes' play succeeded in getting on level terms. Wareing was the executant, and to the surprise of many Campbell let the ball leave his grip, and though a second attempt was made to save the situation, it glanced off the upright into the net. This success served to stimulate the “Blues” to greater effort, and for some time they wore down the Liverpool defence. Still, though they held the bulk off the play, they were not so dangerous in the shooting zone as their opponents had been earlier on. They were however, the victims of ill-luck when Jefferis beat Campbell all to pieces as the referee had whistled for infringement just outside the penalty line. This was one of the oronics of the game, and was rough on Jefferis, who had been clever enough to recover his equilibrium to apply the necessary touch. As if to emphasise Everton's misfortunes, a free kick was awarded without any apparent reason, and probably none was more surprised than Lacey, who on centreing the ball, saw it curl into the net, the Irishman, having thus recorded both points against his old club.
Coming to the players, and dealing first with Liverpool, one must congratulate the new inclusions upon their excellent performance. In Speakman the Liverpool club possess a type of exponent that can play his part well. Sturdy and fearless, yet withal axupulously fair in his methods, he created a very favourable impression in this his first League experience and he gave every promise of proving a valuable assist to the club. Crawford too, played a wholehearted game and was a splendid cover for Campbell, who, though not unduly harassed, kept his change with his customary skill. It was as half-back where Liverpool showed a big advance upon previous exhibitions, and Low as the pivot simply excelled himself. While breaking up the opposition in effective fashion he, true to name, kept the ball low, and displayed a capital idea of the requirements of his forwards. Fairfoul showed an advance upon previous performance, and with Ferguson well up to standard the effectiveness of the half-play can be readily imagined. Miller was a capable leader, flanked by resourceful inside men. Stewart's control of the ball and daft touches to Goddard were sterling items, and many moons have passed since the work of the right wing was so strongly in evidence. At the other end Lacey and Gracie also showed good resource, and the team as constituted on Saturday can scarcely be improved upon. On the Everton side, Mitchell apart from the lapse refereed to, kept a good goal. One of his saves from Miller, who had eluded all opposition, was remarkably clever, but the ball that settled the issue apparently deceived him. Macconnachie and Stevenson were stalwart and untiring defenders, but the standard attained by the half backs was below the usual for Everton. They had the ball too much in the air, and their passing was often ill-directed, though allowances must be made in the case of Grenyer, who had a rude shaking up early in the game. Forwards play did not come up to popular expectation, for advances were fitful, and concerted movements was not by any means a strong part of their programme. Change of positions did not improve matters, but probably their effectiveness was due to comparative lack of support from those behind them. Harrison opened well in the first League trial, but he tapered off as the game progressed, and the left wing problem is yet unsolved. Browell was mainly prominent in efforts to score, and the right wing was not so trustful as in the game the previous week at Newcastle. Teams: - Everton: - Mitchell, goal, Stevenson, and Macconnachie (Captain), backs, Harris, Wareing, and Grenyer, half-backs, Beare, Jefferis, Browell, Bradshaw, and Harrison, forwards. Liverpool: - Campbell, goal, Speakman, and Crawford, backs, Fairfoul, Lowe, and Ferguson, half-backs, Goddard (Captain), Stewart, Mller, Gracie, and Lacey, forwards. Referee A. Pellowe.
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