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Bradford’s Bond nets winner at Liverpool

As compared with Saturday, both teams showed alterations. Gracie led the Liverpool forward line instead of Parkinson, while Logan, Hargreaves, and Potts came into the visitors’ side. The weather was considerably milder than the earlier part of the week, and the ground consequently was not as hard as might have been expected. The pitch had been liberally covered with sand. Bond won the toss. The first advance was made on the Liverpool right, but a wrong decision in favour of Bradford relieved the pressure. Pursell and Longworth successfully withstood the first onslaught on the home goal; and then Lacey and Sheldon started a threatening move, which went wrong when Torrance diverted a pass to Gracie. McIlvenny had got into an excellent position when he hesitated, and was robbed and then he found Campbell too quick for him when he was close to the Liverpool goal-lline. Ferguson supplied Miller with a pass, but when Gracie received the ball Boocock checked him, and Ewart cleared. The Liverpool centre forward had then to receive the attentions of the trainer, as he sustained a nasty kick on the side of the face from Hargreaves. The delay was for a few moments. Thus early Liverpool were not in luck’s way, for when Miller was getting in nicely Boocock cleared in a fashion dangerous to the Liverpool man, and immediately afterwards Sheldon was winded by getting the full force of the ball in his stomach, and he was off the field for a little while. The Citizens then made a very ominous rush on the Liverpool goal, but Campbell cleared in splendid style, with Storer and McIlvenny close on top of him. The home spectators were thrilled when Torrance missed his kick and Miller and Gracie dashed for goal. Their effort was not successful, and then when Gracie waited for the next chance he was ruled offside. The pressure was still kept up, but Dawson and Miller both disappointed when an opportunity of forcing the ball into the net from close range.

The crowd looked for trouble when Bond cleverly outwitted Pursell, but the ball travelled too far forward, and Longworth cleared. Dawson and Miller worked trickily on the left, and the extreme winger wound up the move with a long shot at Ewart. The goalkeeper found the drive no easy one to deal with. However, e cleared safely. Bradford immediately replied, and McIlvenny wormed his way towards the left and drove in sharply. The ball struck Campbell as he dived for it. The custodian quickly got to his feet and removed the danger. Gracie was deservedly applauded when he raced after Boocock, Torrance, and Potts, and forced his way between the latter two, got the ball, and shot at Ewart, the goalkeeper saving. It was a capital effort, for there seemed very little chance of the Liverpool man getting to the ball.

The players were finding the ground in a very nasty condition. The foothold was by no means secure, and the mixture of sand and mud often found its way into their faces. The Liverpool goal had two lucky escapes in rapid succession, for Bond could not get over the slippery turf when an open goal presented itself, and then Logan, catching the Liverpool defence napping, turned a ball which was travelling into touch across the goal, but no colleague was near, and the ball went outside. An unusual happening occurred when Torrance, from well up the field, drove the ball towards his own goal, and Ewart, who was many yards out of his goal, dived at the ball, but could only help it on its way for a corner. This brought nothing tangible to Liverpool. Miller’s next move seemed to promise a goal. He raced down the field with the ball, at his toe, upset Torrance, but when his chance came to pilot the ball towards goal he shot tamely outside. Thus at half-time no goal had been recorded.

The crowd would not be far short of 30,000 when the game was resumed. The first threatening movement was on Liverpool’s behalf, for the visiting backs dallied awhile with Miller and Gracie in close proximity, and then Hargreaves evidently thought Dawson too dangerous when the latter was sailing down the wing, for the half back brought him down in an unceremonious manner. Brennan engineered the ball in a way which spelt disaster for Liverpool, and Campbell’s clearance was a very poor one. Bradford were having a big spell of attack just now, for after McIlvenny had driven the ball just outside Storer brought Campbell to his knees with a stinging drive. A goal seemed imminent when Miller sent the ball straight across the goal, and Ewart fell back from his goal to clear. He dropped the leather, which was worked away, and then his forwards levelled matters up by causing Liverpool much anxiety. Storer dived to the left and kicked the ball across goal, Pursell almost kicking it into his own net. For this misjudgement the back made amends by hampering McIlveny when the Citizen was driving straight for goal. The ball went a foot wide. Campbell effected a marvellous save from a close drive as McIlvenny, who had previously to bundle the goalkeeper into the net, was sitting by the post inside the goal and endeavouring to upset the goalkeeper with his feet. It is a wonder that the referee did not award the defender a free-kick, for the occasion certainly warranted one. When Liverpool next got down the field Gracie had a golden opportunity of opening their account, but he shot ridicously high, and a storm of dismay broke from the crowd. Ferguson left the field, having been shaken up.
Ferguson returned just as Liverpool emerged from a period of pressure, but obviously he was not up to the mark.

Lacey made a couple of praiseworthy efforts, one low drive, as the outcome of a corner kick, being blocked by a defender, and the second, a low drive from twenty yards, being held by Ewart on the goal-line. Often a score seemed likely, but the final movement always went wrong. Consequent on Ferguson’s injury, the Liverpool team was rearranged. The injured player went to outside left and was partnered by Dawson. Miller dropping to half back. Disaster befell the home team when a linesman gave a foul against them near the touch line. Bond placed the ball well, and after Campbell had made one excellent save, Bond, who had home right in front of goal, netted the ball from a ruck of players. This was eight minutes before the close. The Citizens gave the Liverpool defenders a very worrying time after this, and the Anfielders had all their work cut out to prevent their opponents from adding to their score.
(Liverpool Echo, 01-01-1914)

Liverpool supporters hoped that their side would produce the rallying form and finish they showed against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, but they were disappointed, the game ending with Bradford victorious – and deservedly so, for the Yorkshiremen played prettier football than their rivals, were more dangerous in front of goal than the Liverpool forwards, and played the right type of game with the ground conditions treacherous. They slipped the ball out to the wings sharply, and allowed Logan, Fox, and Bond to use their speed. Considering the way Pursell played, and the way he was backed up by Campbell’s brilliant goalkeeping and Longworth’s rushing defending tricks, Bradford did well to score at all. At half time there had been no register, and it seemed ten minutes from time that no goal would be scored by either side. However, a linesman made an appeal for a foul on Bond, and the referee, not having seen the incident, granted the appeal. This appeal cost Liverpool their goal, as, after Campbell had made a grand one-hand save, the ball was not got away and Bond, rushing up, scored through a ruck of players. It was no more than Bradford deserved. They had been pegging away and running up against a seeming stone-wall, but they were not deterred, and their forwards eventually gained their reward. Liverpool’s forward line was not to be compared with the opposition. The home quintette hugged the ball and made short sharp passes, and fell right into the hands of Torrance, who revels in such tactics. The right wing was particularly sinful by reason of its being bound up in itself instead of remembering the left wing and the centre forward, and the left wing in the first half made misses from close range that should, if taken properly, have meant goals. Dawson over-dribbled, and Miller was the most level forward of the lot. Gracie had another run at centre forward, and made no deeper impression than earlier. He was hasty in getting rid of the ball to the wings before drawings a single adversary on to him. Sheldon was damaged twice, and once in the penalty area, an offence which should have caused a penalty-kick to be given. It must be said, in fairness to him, that he had nasty kick on the side of the face early in the game, which may have upset him.

Further, Liverpool lost Ferguson for a time, and when he returned he was so lame that he had to play at outside left, Dawson being his partner, and Miller dropping to half back. The one great success of the losing side was Pursell, who with heading and footing was simply marvellous. He held Bond for a long time, tricky customer though the captain was, and on the Bradford side McIlvenny, a North Shields boy who has been playing with Bradford’s second team for two years, showed a delightful conception of football and footwork that was artistic and very effective. There were sinners on either side so far as shooting was concerned, but Campbell was far more frequently worked than Ewart, who had but two hard shots to stop throughout the match. Liverpool by losing again at home have made their position serious. They have slipped down the League chart, and their away fixtures are so stiff that if they do not win all their remaining home engagements the Second Division bogey will stare at them hard. The defence is not to blame – they played capitally yesterday – and the half-backs are big, useful players, Fairfoull improving each match, and Lowe and Ferguson keeping a nice level each week. Forward there is need for more shooting, and the left wing and right are not reliable in front of goal. Sheldon and Lacey must remember they are but links in a forward line, and at centre another man must be brought into the side.

(Liverpool Echo, 02-01-1914) - Transcribed by Kjell Hanssen

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