Liddell grabs the winner at Craven Cottage
Goalkeeping was the reason for Fulham’s latest defeat (three in a row) on Saturday against Liverpool at Craven Cottage.
The two keepers, Ken Hewkins, of Fulham, and Tom Younger, of Liverpool, were mainly responsible for the result, Hewkins with his unfortunate fumbling and Younger with his uncanny positioning and inspired saves.
The young South African Hewkins, had a disastrous match: he often misjudged the light, bouncy ball on a surprisingly dry pitch. The Fulham forwards also contributed to the defeat by trying to walk the ball into the net instead of shooting first time. By dallying in the goalmouth Younger was able to anticipate the shot and position himself accordingly. On the one occasion Dwight did shoot first time he scored.
Fulham had an opportunity to open the scoring in the first minute. A long goal clearance eluded the Liverpool defenders and Dwight, who seemed as surprised as anybody, shot high and wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Against the run of play Liverpool took the lead in the 12th minute: a right wing from Bimpson was headed home by inside left Evans.
Stevens was rather out of touch in the unaccustomed left wing position, and not surprisingly he switched wings with Watson midway through the first half. The switch almost paid off. Stevens broke through in his normal position and only a full-length dive by Younger stopped him from equalising. Dwight, following up, hit the side netting.
The well deserved Fulham equaliser came eight minutes after the interval, when a first time drive by Dwight beat a diving keeper.
Fulham were on level terms for only a minute, for Hewkins’ most costly mistake led to Liverpool’s winning goal. He advanced to meet a long upfield clearance by a visiting defender, advanced too far, could only get his finger tips to the ball, which fell at the feet of Billy Liddell, the centre forward, who made no mistake with an empty net in front of him. Fulham’s centre half, Lampe, made desperate efforts to prevent the ball entering the net, but was unsuccessful.
Despite an injury to Watson, who was off the field for ten minutes, Fulham made valiant efforts to pull the game out of the fire, but a red-shirted defence, helped by their forwards, kept them at bay. At times I counted ten Liverpool men in their penalty area defending desperately.
Hayes, who was being watched by members of the selection committee, was out of touch again, and has consequently lost his place in the League side against the Scottish League.
Jim Langley gave another masterly display at left back: he won continued applause for his superb tackling and distribution. Even when he is in trouble he always manages to extricate himself and pass to a colleague – always a pass, none of the long, trust-to luck clearances for him. A truly polished player.
West London Observer, 08-03-1957 - Transcribed by Kjell Hanssen