Liverpool Daily Post report

Liverpool Tactics Prevail
Everton Keep Ball Too Close In The Mud.
Balmer’s Brilliant Display At Anfield.
By “Stork.”

Was there ever such a team as Liverpool? When they stepped on the field at Anfield the “form” book said they must surely be beaten, but once again the Anfielders proved that form could be all wrong, for they scored a magnificent victory over their near rivals by 3-2 in a game which was voted one of the best “Derby” meetings of the long series of clashes between the pair. Don’t think Everton were saving themselves for the Cup-tie next Saturday, as I heard some suggest, for that would be a libel on the winners who took their victory against a team which tried might and main to collect the points. It was a worthy victory, too, only made possible by grit, determination, and correct procedure on a ground which was all against good football. The conditions down the centre of the field were atrocious, but Liverpool overcame them much more readily than did Everton, simply because they deemed it necessary to play the open game, as against Everton’s close pattern-weaving, which was all-wrong on such a day. Everton need to take note of ground conditions, and fit their game accordingly. As craftsmen Everton were slightly superior to Liverpool, who, however, made no bones about the fact that they intended to sweep the ball forward by long, lengthily passes, which would, undoubtedly, be more unsettling to a defence than to be tapping the ball about. Balmer showed the advantage of such methods by flinging the ball out to Hanson to such effect that Britton and Cook had a worrying time. Had Hanson finished as he should have done, the Everton defence would have been more sorely tested than it was. It was a great game. There were some things I would have liked to have missed, but apart from the foul on Gillick by Dabbs, which brought him a warning, and a series of infringement by Jones, who was not taken to task, I saw some really classical movements. Two different styles were being exploited. Everton started as though they would sweep their adversaries out of the game, and Riley had to save smartly from Stevenson, but having got over Everton’s stormy opening they proceeded to give Everton a taste of their own gruel, and had obtained two goals in the space of eleven minutes. Balmer was the starting point to the opening goal of the day. He plied Nieuwenhuy, whose first centre was turned adrift by an Everton player, and once again Howe, who is becoming quite famous for the way in which he rises to the ball, leapt a tremendous height and nodded the ball beyond Sagar at the eight minute. It was a crushing blow to Everton, who had not thought such a thing possible in view of Liverpool’s lean time during the past few weeks, but Liverpool are a law unto themselves, particularly so when it comes to “Derby” games.

Sagar Deceived.

Liverpool believed that now was the time to strike, and within three minutes goal number two had been marked up, and Everton’s cause was not a happy one, I though Sagar was at fault when this goal came, for P. Taylor’s shot travelled under his body. Here was a nice state of affairs; the outsiders well in the lead and shaping as though they would hold it, Everton, however, faced up to their heavy task, and mainly through the excellent work of Stevenson, who carried the ball through the mud at the tip of his toe, suggesting that the turf was firm. The little Irishman had been Everton’s main prop in the matter of shooting, and he got some reward for his endeavour when at sixteen minutes. Dean neatly turned the ball back to Stevenson, who slashed home a vigour drive. That lightened Everton’s burden to some extent, but Britton and Cook were bothered so much by Balmer’s dazzing form that it always appeared that Hanson was given too much rein by the Everton defence. It was not that, but simply that Balmer had drawn the defenders to him before he swept the ball with amazing accuracy to the outside left. Hanson should have had a joy day, Alex James never gave Bastin better support than Balmer gave to Hanson, who, however, did not finish as well as he might. The course of battle raged first this way than that, and had Phil Taylor who “walked” around three Everton challengers shot a second sooner than he did Liverpool’s goal tally would have been increased. His delay enabled Sagar to make a frantic dash from his goal and get in the way of Taylor’s shot. Then Nieuwenhuys missed badly with an empty goal ahead of him. His header sent the ball spinning over the crossbar and into the crowd.

Gillick Hurt.

Everton had got back to something approaching normal, and Gillick was having a good innings while Coulter astonished by cool and cheeky way he tried to beat Cooper. His ball control was deliberate but he was inclined to over-dribble instead of getting on with his job, and this negatived a lot of what he did. Then came the first blot of the game. Dabs thundered into Gillick as the latter was heading goalward and the Scot was so badly hurt that he had to leave the field. The “Kopites” were not slow to let Dabbs see that they resented such action, and the referee deemed it necessary to speak to the offender. Gillick had damaged his jaw, and he was never the same afterwards. It had been a grand first half, and just as it started so it concluded for Everton, eager to level matters before the half-stage gave Riley some intricate work to do, and he was somewhat fortunate to see Coulter hit the crossbar, and later erred in his judgement when he allowed a Dean shot, which he thought was travelling outside, slap up against the foot of the upright. It was a near thing and rank bad luck for the Everton captain, who, truth to tell, not had much chance against Bradshaw, who had out headed him. Bradshaw, in fact, had done invaluable work in holding up the middle of the field. Stevenson had been one of his greatest difficulties, for he had swerved, feinted, and dragged the heavily laden ball along with him as though he had it tied to a piece of string. Resuming, it was plain that Gillick had lost some of his fire by his injury. Cunliffe resumed by just missing a goal and it was noticed that Dean, not for the first time this season, had dropped back to become a centre three-equarter. That was nothing new to those who have seen the majority of Everton’s home games. He stayed back and pushed the ball through to either Cunliffe or Stevenson, who had moved up. Riley had to scrape the ball away when Cunliffe shot a low ball to the right of the goal, but it was Liverpool who set the spectators alight when with the game in hour old, Taylor, although surrounded by a forest of legs, got the ball through to Balmer. The inside left did not hesitate, but he did not bit the ball with any great power, but power was not needed; it was direction which produced the goal, for the ball was put wide of Sagar’s right, so far away that it slithered off the inside of the upright before it finally settled into the back of the net. Balmer had earned his goal, for he was the best forward on the field. It was in my opinion, his best display since he joined Liverpool, and it was the irony of fate that he should save his best until he met Everton, to whom he was indebted for his entry into first-class football. Rarely did he attempt anything which ended in failure; few mistakes were his lot, and a goal was a fitting climax to a perfect exhibition of progressive football under trying conditions.

Stevenson’s Second.

But the match was not yet over, and Mercer, aye, and Jones, thought it worthy of them to go among the forwards and lend a hand. Mercer tested Riley, as did Coulter, but the one man in the Everton front line likely to do any further damage to Liverpool’s defence was Stevenson. Whatever does he get the power to drive in such terrific shots? But before he obtained his second goal Sagar had to keep out a fine header by Balmer. Again Dean was Stevenson’s provider. A neat downward header fell right at the Irishman’s feet, and without a moment’s hesitation he smote it hard and true and the ball went hurtling into the net like greased lighting. This was at 81 minutes. There was the time for an equaliser, if nothing more, but Liverpool fought on to the end, to score another magnificent victory. Riley had to make a noteworthy late on save from Cunliffe. Liverpool had redeemed themselves to some extent in the eyes of the spectators, who, prior to the match, had little hope that they would see such a splendid exhibition by their team. Tactics had won this battle-royal just as they had defeated the Arsenal, Sunderland and Grimsby, but this latest victory over Everton is the sweetest of them all. Congratulations are due to all for giving us a magnificent game, but to Balmer in particular, Stevenson, Gillick, until he was injured, Cooper, Bradshaw, Phil Taylor, McDougall, and Cook must get the honours of the game. The heavy rain had its effect upon the attendance for there were only 37,632 people present. Teams: - Liverpool: - Riley, goal; Cooper (captain), and Dabbs, backs; Busby, Bradshaw and McDougall, half-backs; Nieuwenhuys, Taylor (P), Howe, Balmer, and Hanson, forwards. Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook and Jones, backs; Britton, Gee, and Mercer, half-backs; Gillick, Cunliffe, Dean (captain), Stevenson, Coulter, forwards. Referee Mr. G. Gould (London).

Copyright - Liverpool Daily Post - Transcribed by

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