Liverpool Football Echo report

The Liverpool Football Echo
And Balmer Helps To Beat His First Senior Side In The City
Nothing So Quaint As Football
By Bee.

A great and glorious game, with uncertainly of football form made still more emphatic through Liverpool’s win when they looked to be a 10-1 against chance. Balmer was outstanding against the first senior side that give him his chance, Everton and this was surely the quietest game Dean and Britton have ever played in this series. 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). Liverpool with four changes looked more like their own selves and Everton kicking towards the Kop, opened with a bitterness and resolution not exactly customary to their sweet life. Irishman Stevenson seemed to have a deep grudge against the Anfield defence and in sixty seconds he had delivered a rocket shot round the post and another one that made Riley fly high, and turn the ball out for a corner. Riley’s up-and-over effort produced a corner kick of bustling impression. Bradshaw had to head the ball away from under the bar of the kop. After which Howe got a beautiful pass from Phil Taylor turning away as a left winger, and Sagar picked up the ball that was crossed dropped it, but was never in danger of a goal arising. There had been rumours about Dean not playing probably because he dressed so late for the task. However, Dean survived and was out headed for a time By Bradshaw. Liverpool had weathered the early storm and the first portions of play had been symptomatic of the good conduct that arises so often, especially when the teams came out to the field side by side.

The High Jump Act.

It was Liverpool, encouraged by the relief of their three minutes of Mafeking siege, who went up to score the opening goal of the day in eight minutes. Balmer toyed over to the right wing and set Nivvy” a –centring. At first the low centre was slogged and Liverpool appealed for a corner kick without result, but the ball was kicked out by an Everton player with the result that there was no argument about the corner kick. “Nivvy” took this, and Howe doing his famous high jump act, beat Sagar and turned the game out of the avenue in which if had started. Joy among the lowly Liverpool club supporters until Coulter offered the sort of centre Dean used to make his position secure as the top scorer of the League.

Sagar’s Slip.

But Dean did not snap into it, and Riley was able to take the ball, Coulter continued with finesse and some fluency, particularly in front, but one could picture the flaming ned, the robbin red breasts, who had spent the week reviling their team, forgiving everything when! Liverpool increased their lead to two goals in the 12 minute through Taylor, realising the sticky muddy nature of the ground, especially down the middle, letting out a low, longish shot. Sagar seemed to have the ball covered but it slipped beyond him, underneath his body, and the consternation in the Everton camp could be felt. Everton came back chiefly through the agency of Stevenson’s magnificent deadly marksmanship. Stevenson’s shooting came without thought of delay, and had accuracy as it first link and strength as the second. Riley had to finger at that the foot of the post another Stevenson shot, after which Gillick burst through, and the ball struck Busby and passé out safely and rather luckily. Cooper and Dabbs had to do much work against the revived Everton side, and it was no surprise when Stevenson got the value of his work by scoring Everton’s first goal in 15 minutes. It was a shot of extraordinary power. Flashed to the right hand side of the goal, and its pace must have made the Kop spectators purver. Dean had slipped the ball back for the little Irishman to crown his success. So that the game was now anything but a certainty for the Liverpool side, who had spells of play lacking in confidence. There was a free kick against Cook, and there was a definite show off youthful folly when Jones dropped Howe, and followed up with the spirit of Christmas out of date.

Run or The Match.

“Nivvy” shot against the side net and Balmer, after two pokey shots, came right into his real best form with this best solo run of the match, the shot ending the issue, passing just over. Next on the agenda was the misheader by McDougall, who was laid out; and Everton had really bad fortune when Cunliffe struck his best shot and the ball cannoned against the right side of the crossbar and goalpost. Coulter ran forward to try and complete the issue and the header sent the ball slightly over the crossbar. A “Nivvy” header and a Hanson header went almost as close as Coulter’s had done, after which Gillick had to retire through a damaged knee caused in collision with Dabbs. The first half-hour had been quite the best of its kind seen for many a year in “Derby” games, and Gillick’s return was welcomed so that these should be no suggestion of lack of numbers. Balmer’s display had been one of the best features of the day, but Dean had been unable to be suggestive or pointed his pants were dry and his shooting powder was wet –until now, when his shot was handled with a good deal of ease by Riley.

Long Trail Ends In The Air.

One could hardly recognise the Liverpool side, remembering the Norwich display. Phil Taylor found the ball into a knot. He got his chance through the offside tactics of the Everton backs Howe stood still, Taylor went on. He commanded the ball all the way to goal in a long, winding run. Taylor turned the ball to right and left and finally shot against the oncoming Sagar. The ball struck Sagar’s body passed out to “Nivvy” who with a empty goal to shoot at, sent his shot high over the bar. And that was how Liverpool forsook a 3-1 margin. Still more sensation in the beautiful game came at the moment Dean, hanging back at the 25-yard line, drove the ball through the mud and sand, and although Riley was at the foot of the post and seemed to picture the ball passing out the Kop crowd saw the ball strike the foot of the upright –an escape.

A Bad Note.

Unfortunately they now came into the game a further blow to Gillick, who was tripped up and taken off the field with a damaged jaw. Dabbs being rightly spoken to by the referee, who consulted his linesman regarding the trip. This was a sad note and Jones, of Everton, did not add to the prospects of improvement when he committed a wild foul which escaped the referee’s notice. What a pity either man should attempt to damage this well nigh perfect exhibition of play. Stevenson was prevented taking the equaliser by a tricky bit of work by Bradshaw neat and sure work Britton and Cook were finding Balmer’s passes go all one way –straight to Hanson, but arriving there the Liverpool forwards had an attack of surplus passes for no apparent reason, because ground was not gained. The damaged Gillick was still Everton’s livest wire now that Stevenson had gone quiet, and through this quietness one could hear the solid roar of disapproval from the Kop against Ben Dabbs. A Kopite never forgets. Jones, the Everton back, did better work when he made a forward run and centre, not being closed out, as was Mercer in one of his infrequent runs Coulter forced Riley to a corner kick right on the interval and the skidding free kick might easily have been turned into a goal. And so to a rest for five minutes, with Liverpool winning 2-1.

Half-Time Liverpool 2, Everton 1.

The second half opened with renewed spirit and Cunliffe came near equalising in the initial bout. It has to be recorded that the crowd at the Anfield road end now started to show their displeasure of Dabbs. A little bit of by-player between Coulter and “Nivvy” was a featureful point in the grandstand view, and Everton could have made still more impression if Britton had not gone beyond wise lengths before making at attempted centre, he having joined the forwards in a very full-fledged raid. Dean was lying in wait like Brer Rabbitt, as a sort of three-quarter forward. Naturally the pace and the gluepot of the first half was taking toll of all the players, and for a time the unsettlement of all ranks prevented the easy flow of play.
Bradshaw’s Good Work.

Balmer now found Britton showing up strong so the local lad reverted to his long pass to Hanson, whose reply with a shot from far distance, about which Sagar was not trembling. Bradshaw had a splendid day, lying in wait for Dean and Company, and Busby and McDougall were doing valiant work on the wings. Everton’s defence was no less confident. “Nivvy” best was a sweep along swing along run in which he passed Jones at will and centred a shade too low although one must not discredit Sagar’s part in this catch, and also in a subsequent catch from Hanson. Howe made a bustling, rustling run, but was unbalanced by the attentions of the Everton defence, so that he had to fire anywhere the ball speeding over. Balmer had stored up his best form for the benefit of his first senior club, Everton. Cunliffe flashed a low ball which bothered Riley to the extent that he was glad to see a corner the result the difficulty of grasping the sticky ball having been too much for him. The first time Bradshaw moved up and out after “Nivvy” had fouled Mercer without notice from the referee Coulter threatened to score until Cooper closed the bidding. Liverpool went to 3-1 at the stroke of the hour. Bradshaw started to help in attacks and he and Busby between them dwelt upon the ball near the half-way line, Busby eventually being left in charge and making a pass that sent the ball forward to the right.

Making It Three.

Taylor tried to back-heel the ball, and merely smuggled it through a mast of legs, and when it arrived at Balmer’s foot the shot was not noteworthy by means of its strength. Indeed the reverse was the case; it was a weak effort, but found its resting place in the left hand corner of the net, touching the foot of the post before entering the haven. A moment before he had gained the rich reward of his services, Balmer had made a flurried single-handed run, winging his way in and out the opposition, but meeting one too many when he came to Cook. This Half Gillick was not often seen, and it was realised that Stevenson must resume his hitting methods if Everton were to have a chance. Mercer joined him in the shooting range business without laurels of notches in the goals department. There was tenacity about the Liverpool defence that kept the Everton forwards in order. Riley picked up a Coulter and a Stevenson effort after Phil Taylor had gone through without the strength to complete his shot from the easiest of positions. “Nivvy” wasted another shooting chance, but Liverpool were now riding easy, and proving their Norwich form utterly all wrong. Sagar’s best save was from a header by Balmer, “Nivvy” having centred excellently. No doubt Everton followers would console themselves with the fact that Liverpool have beaten the good sides of this season when least expected, namely Sunderland, Arsenal and Everton.

Stevenson Scores.

Stevenson scored eleven minutes from the end gain through the agency of Dean, not only to keep the game alive, but bristling with possibilities. Jones brought down Howe to join at last in the disfavour that had been the lot of Dabbs. Final Liverpool 3, Everton 2. Official attendance 37,632 spectators.

Copyright - Liverpool Football Echo - Transcribed by

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