THE “DERBY” GAME
After a week’s rest Everton will return to the arena feeling like a hon refreshed, so that the hard-hit Liverpool club must look out for sparke for Everton are desperately anxious to rid themselves of that troublesome complaint “relegation.” A “Derby” meeting in mid-week is not a common occurrence. Naturally most of us would prefer it on a Saturday –but no matter the day the magnetism of a “Derby” game is there just the game. Liverpool’s Cup run may cost them a few pounds unless, of course, Goodison Park is packed to the doors, which is hardly likely. Many Saturday, workers will relish the opportunity of seeing the clash between Everton and Liverpool; they so rarely get this opportunity that I expect them to grab it with both hands. It is bound to be a fierce battle, I hope you do not read into that phrase something I never intended. Everton and Liverpool meetings have been uncommon for their cleanliness. I hope no player oversteps the mark tomorrow, and that once again the critics will have nothing but praise for a clean fought and entertaining game.
One never tires of these “Derby” games. There is something about them, one does not find in an ordinary match. The air is charged chock full of electricity; everyone is on their toes, and the happy banter among the spectators –yes, I have taken my stand on the Kop and the Goodison paddock before, now – is well worth listening to. One gets the real thrill of the game among the spectators. Up in the Press box; it is taboo to give went to one’s feelings for fear of showing bias, so you people who pay your bobs have something over the critics who you look up to with envy. I have only seen Liverpool twice this season, and on neither occasion have I been impressed. I readily admit to the fact that they played hard, but I had been led to expect something else –combined football; football with some science about it. I did not see it. Of whole-hearted endeavour there was plenty, but it takes more than that to win matches. I am glad to hear that Busby and McDougall are likely to be fit, but am terribly sorry that Hanson will not be available, for I rated him as one of the most consistent outside lefts in the game. Van den Berg, the South African winger, will in Hanson’s absence make his league debut.
What Book Says.
Everton gave Huddersfield Town a severe drubbling, so much so that Clem Stephenson and his directors thought fit to make four changes in the side to met Liverpool. On the book, it will be readily admitted that Everton should win, but the book is not always a true guild. So I will take something more reliable to assist me in taking a selection –form. Everton have played really good football in their recent engagements; but more than that they have at last tumbled to the fact that shots and not passes are the things which beat a goalkeeper.
DERBY DAY THRILLS
L’Pool Score After 5 Secs.
Van Den berg’s Good Debut.
Liverpool scored in 15 seconds in the “Derby” match v Everton, at Goodison Park, today, but Lawton equalized after 8 minutes, and at the interval the position was still 1-1. Teams: - Everton: - Morton, goal; Cook and Jones (JE), backs; Britton (captain), Jones (TG) and Mercer, half-backs; Geldard, Cunliffe, Lawton, Stevenson, and Gillick, forwards. Liverpool: - Riley, goal; Cooper and Ramsden, backs; Taylor, Rodgers, and Bush, half-backs; Niuewenhuys, Balmer, Shafto, Fagan, and Van Den Berg, forwards. Referee Mr. Dedman (Blackpool). Liverpool kicked off facing the sun and the Park goal, and the crowd, which had been somewhat quiet, were soon roused to a pitch of excitement when Liverpool took a goal lead in five seconds. From the kick-off Shafto slipped the ball over to Fagan, who in turn pushed it back to Bush. The Everton defence seemed to be all set for any contingency but Bush’s wide pass to the right flank created an opening which at one time did not seem possible, for T.G. Jones actually dispossessed Shafto, but did not clear the ball any distance. Balmer nipped in, beat Jones, and with a tame shot landed the ball in the Everton net.
Never have I seen a greater surprise in a “Derby” meeting. This put Liverpool on good terms with themselves, and when Van den Berg was given an opening he did not quite know how to get the ball under control. Otherwise it was quite possible that another goal would have been placed to Liverpool’s credit. A goal against in five seconds is not the best of tonics and for some time Everton were not “together.” Ramsden showed a cool head when he slipped the ball back to Riley, and by this time some of the string of the early goal had left both the people and the players, and we were getting normal play. The players, by the way, had come on the field in their usual formation, two by two. When Fagan received a knock there was as much concern from the Everton men as from his colleagues, which shows the friendly nature of these gatherings.
The early excitement had promised so much the crowd was ever on its toss, and they got it at the eight minute when Everton equalized. When Geldard sprinted down the wing and centred right in front of the Liverpool goal. Lawton was as nice as nice a flick of the head as even Dean ever made, turned the ball away from Riley to score a really bonny goal –one good to see from the moment Geldard started his sprint. Van Den Berg showed power when he lashed in a terrific drive which Morton saved, but all to no purpose, for the whistle had previously sounded for offside. The Everton goal had an escaped when Nieuwenhuys swept the ball right across to his countryman, who, after beating Cook, centred from the goal line. The ball had beaten Morton, but sizzled across the face of the crossbar, and went out on to the right wing. Nieuwenhuys and Shafto almost sneaked their way through and then Gillick might have added to Everton’s tally when Stevenson put him through. Instead of shooting Gillick decided to pass inwards and thereby lost the chance.
Another Chance For Balmer.
Shafto centred so well that Balmer was given another chance to beat Morton, but T. Jones barred his way. Then came a big drive by Cunliffe which could not have been more than two feet from the upright as it flashed out of play. Everton were playing extraordinarily well, keeping the ball to the ground and making it do the work, and Riley had to again cut out a header by Lawton.
The Nicest Move.
Van Den Berg was again on the mark with a long-range drive, and I thought Morton handed it away, but the referee did not award a corner. Prior to that Cunliffe had jumped at Riley when the latter was saving from Gillick. One of the nicest movements of the game started with Britton who piled Cunliffe with a takeable ball, which was swept out to Geldard. The winger instead of centring into the goalmouth cleverly tapped the ball to Stevenson who tried to take it as a drop shot, but did not get the ball right. Taylor was dogged in his tackling, and at the same time gave Nieuwenhuys many chances, but there was always more danger in the Everton attack because Cunliffe, Stevenson and Lawton were up for any centres which Gillick or Geldard put across. Everton had the escape of their lives when Shafto ran through the Everton defence as though it was not there, and when Morton dashed out it seemed a thousand to one he would be beaten, but Shafto shot straight at him. The ball came back to a Liverpool man who tried again, but, being off balance, he could not get true direction. Fagan distributed well, particularly to Van Den Berg, who was having quite a good match considering that this was his first First Team game. Liverpool’s leading up work may not have been quite of Everton’s type, but in front of goal they had to be carefully watched. They were very direct, and quick to shoot and to some extent were unfortunate not to have had at least one further goal. It had been interesting football and the crowd had thoroughly enjoyed it.
Half-Time Everton 1, Liverpool 1.
The Second Half. Everton resumed with a strong attack, having the wind to assist them, but the Liverpool defence stood solid. With their early goal in mind, Liverpool tried to repeat the performance and Balmer made a hasty shot which was not far off the mark, but far enough to rob him of any honour. Ramsden found difficulty in holding Geldard, whose corner kick was lashed over the bar by Gillick at a time when no one was near. Liverpool netted the ball but the referee had spotted the fact that Shafto punched it instead of heading it. There was plenty of excitement. Everton were pressing hard and Liverpool defending well. The Everton right wing was much too close in some of their work. Van den Berg was the most dangerous forward Liverpool had. He refused to consider fancy work preferring straight forward methods. One of his centres almost produced a goal, and would have done so had not Morton saved a hot shot from Balmer. Cunliffe was through but shot straight at Riley.
Yesterday we saw a Liverpool a different from Saturday as chalk from choose. Shafto’s return worked wonders in the attack, which must be the youngest Liverpool have ever fielded. The average age is 20, made up of Van Den Berg (18), Fagan (19), Shafto (18), Balmer (21), and Nivvy (25). Of the fourteen League and Cup games in which Shafto has played Liverpool have lost only three, and he has been centre forward in six of the seven games since Hanson was injured, in which the Reds have scored three goals. The facts speak for themselves. In Van Den Berg Liverpool have a worthy addition to their successful South African importations. Nicely built, speedy, good ball control, accurate with his centres, and a good shot, he made a most encouraging debut.
Why Liverpool Won
Was there ever such a team as Liverpool? They came to Goodison Park with little hope of success, yet remained long enough to whip Everton by three goals to one. They are the most aggravating team in the league. When you expect them to win they loss, when you think they will lose they do the oppose and must be the bane of the couponeers’life. Their victory over Everton was won on merit. Perhaps the score was a bit flattering, but they nevertheless earned the two valuable points by solid and progressive foothold. They had to pay Everton nearly £1,000 compensation money through the game being in mid-week, but I don’t think they will begrudge it, for those two points may be worth considerable more to them should they keep Liverpool in the First division, as they may do. I was surprised at Liverpool’s form; agreeably so, I may say, for in the only two games I had seen them in this season they had struck me as just as hard plugging side. But here they were playing Everton at their own game and beating them.
The Corner Stone
I thought some of Everton’s football of top class, more elaborate, perhaps, than Liverpool’s but not of more value, for the Anfielders wide flung passes got them into the goal area –where they wanted to be –in about half the time. Once there they were dangerous. They had been instructed to shoot and they followed out the instructions to the letter. Morton having to make some smart saves, Van Den Berg had the way when he hit a scorcher with his first chance. No matter he was off-side, but it was Balmer who laid the corner stone of the victory with a goal in less than 15 seconds. A goal before many of the spectators were settled in their seats. What a tonic that was. Everton felt its effect, for they were some, time getting “together” yet with eight minutes gone they were on level terms, Lawton gliding Britton’s lob in Dean-like fashion beyond Riley – a gem of a goal. Everton’s defence had not been all it should have been, and when Liverpool resumed they were determined to shy for the target on every conceivable occasion. Many shots flew wide, but two of them went into the Everton net, both from the foot of Shafton, the last one as good as goal as I have ever seen.
The Whip Hand.
The eye-opener was Van Den Berg, One would have thought a “Derby” game was n everyday occurrence with him. He beat Cook as he had not been beaten for some time. Names meant nothing to him, so that he made an excellent debut to First League football. It was on the wings where Liverpool held the whip hand. “Vandy” and “Nivvy” were always better than Gillick and Geldard, particularly the latter, who has lost his snap. Balmer was a great worker from a constructional angle, and Shafto ever a worry to Everton’s defence. Further behind stood the rocks on which Everton perished, for Cooper, Taylor, and Ramsden and Bush and Rogers to a lesser degree stood firm when Everton were threatening to take charge. But the real reason for Liverpool’s success was their shooting.
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