Liddell blasts Everton out of the cup

January 29, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
18-Minute Goal Starts Reds On Warpath
Hughes, Hurt, But Evans Makes It A 4-0 Rout
By Ranger

Liverpool were worthy winners, for after the first 25 minutes they were the better side, and always looked far the more dangerous in front of goal. They cut out all the fancy work and made their motto “quick” progress with no frills.” They were two up at half-time though Liddell and A’Court and though Everton staged a rally for ten minutes or so in the second half when the visiting goal had some narrow escapes, Liverpool stuck the pace better and were still going to the ball quicker than their opponents. This was Liverpool’s first “away” win since last Good Friday and nothing could have been sweeter than to register it against their old rivals. Two goals to Evans in the second half put the issue beyond all doubt and Liverpool’s victory was more meritorious in view of the fact that Hughes was injured six minutes after the resumption and had to go in the forward line with Liddell at left half and Twentyman a galliant deputy pivot. Liddell though not captain, inspired his men in both attack and defence. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Wainwright, Fielding, Hickson, Potts, and Eglington, forwards. Liverpool;- K. Rudham, goal; Lambert and Moran, backs; Saunders, Hughes (captain), and Twentyman, half-backs; Jackson, Anderson, Liddell, Evans, and A’Court, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.E. Ellis (Halifax). Goodison Park looked more gay and colourful than it has done for a long time. Half an hour before the kick-off the terraces were well filled and was only the stands which showed empty gaps. These rapidly disappeared as the time of the start draw near until when the teams turned out the ground looked filled to capacity, although there were still some ticket-holders outside. Whether these would get in before the kick-off was another matter but as the teams out together in conformity with the traditional “derby” like there was still five minutes more to go. The spectators were in great good honour and everybody seemed to be indulging in lively and bantering remarks with those in the rival “camp”. The display of rosettes, coloured favours and gaity-hecleched headgear was greater than any we have seen since the semi-final of 1950.

Hughes Wins Toss
Hughes won the toss for Liverpool and elected to defend the Gwlady’s Street end. A corner in the first minute to Everton brought no danger in the visiting goal. This could not he said about Liverpool’s first move, when Saunders put the ball through to Evans who found his attempted pass strike Jones and run on to Liddell. The latter however unable to see a way through for a shot slipped the ball back to Jackson whose too-strong centre was eventually run behind by A’Court. A free kick by Everton taken by Fielding hit the lined up defenders, rebounding to Farrell and eventually finished outside and the Everton captain tried to beat Rudham. A long clearance by O’Neill dropped more than half-way into the Liverpool half, where Lambert just failing to head away and quickly rounded by Eglington. The Irishman’s shot however, landed in the side netting. The first five-minutes had been mainly in Everton’s favour but cup-ties are of 90 minutes duration and there was a long time to go yet. Liddell and Jones had two tussles for the ball with honours even and then Liddell, Jackson, and A’Court made off in a speedy move which might have produced a testing shot for O’Neill but for Moore blocking it away and then running on to turn all possible danger aside.

Over The Bar
The first shot of real note was one by Fielding from just outside the penalty area, which Rudham caught confidently. Then Potts hit a first timer well over the bar. When Peter Farrell misjudged an attempted pass back to Jones, O’Neill had to be nippy to foresail Evans. The Liverpool man fouled O’Neill in his eagerness. The Evertonians behind the Gwladys street goal howled their derision when Hughes near the right touchline saw Hickson tearing up a top speed and decided that discretion was far better than trying to beat his opponent so lofted the ball high among the crowd. This had been strong meaty play with both sides going to the ball with intense determination, though with scrupulous fairness. It seemed on this evidence that goals were not likely to be frequent and any that were obtained will have to be fought for with lots of skill and courage. Everton were certainly doing more shooting than Liverpool, though little of it had been on the mark. Wainwright had a great chance at the 15th minute when in the centre forward position, Hickson from the right wing out the ball to him beautifully. Wainwright hit it quickly but swerved away outside the par post.

Referee On Spot
The most fervent Evertonians seemed to consider they should have had a penalty when Lambert and Eglington tangled up in a challenge and Eglington finished up on the ground. Referee Ellis however, was right on the spot, and there could be so arguing with the referee or his ability. At the 18th minute Liverpool took the lead through that hardy foot, Billy Liddell who thus early pressed that Everton were right in feeling that he was the man most to be feared. When the ball was put to Jackson on the right only 20 yards inside the Everton half, these did not appear to be any great danger but when Jackson swung the ball over to Liddell the latter gained quick control beat Jones in a dribble and challenge for possession and then fired in with his left foot from a rightly angled position to send all Liverpool followers into the seventh heaven of delight.

Rudham Saves
Almost direct from the restart, Fielding had a chance of testing Rudham after Potts had put him in possession but be shot well outside. A couple of minutes later again from a pass by Potts, Fielding did infinitely better and from 20 yards his high shot was a good one which Rudham caught near the angle. After Jackson had brought Eglington down with a charge in the back and incidentally obliterated, Eglington’s shirt number when he and in the mud the Irish winger showed his paces in a 50 yards run which left Lambert tolling in the rear but brought no work for Rudham. Eglington’s centre was headed behind by Hughes for an unproductive corner. If only there had been somebody up in the Liverpool attack to pair off with Liddell, the Reds might have gone two up in the 22nd minute for Liddell rounding Lello like a flash, found there was nobody to pass to and tried an angled shot which would have had little hope even on the mark. As it was it passed across the face of goal to the far touchline. Everton got the ball into the net at the 27th minute Hickson putting it there with a very acute shot of a pass by Potts but the Everton leader was well offside and there was no protest from the home crowd or spectators when the referee gave a free kick.

Liverpool Verve
Liverpool for some time had been gradually getting the measure of the opposition and had been playing with a verve speed, and team spirit very much akin to that out of the bar display they had given last week against Blackburn Rovers. The forwards were running into position well, and the inside men were not falling so far back that when it came to an attack they were unable to given proper support. At the 29th minute the Anfielders went two up as the result of momentary slackness in the home defences and a little bit of luck for the scorers. When Liddell put the ball forward Evans and Anderson went for it, Evans completely missed his shot which was just as well, for Anderson tapped it to A’Court who, coming in at an angle on the left scored from about eight yards. This was a real turn up for the book. I can see myself having to sit in sackcloth and ashes next week if Liverpool go on like this for having the temerity to suggest that they would be defeated.

Wonderful Feeling
They were now playing every bit as well as the opposition but with the psychological knowledge that they were sitting on a comfortable lead. That is a wonderful feeling to have in a cup-tie. Liverpool should have had even a third goal a couple of minutes later when once more a miskick this time by Jackson, allowed Anderson to square the ball with a short pass, Liddell slipped at the critical moment.

Second Disallowed
For the second time Everton got the ball into the net without the point counting, Potts was the “scorer” this time from Eglington’s offering. Up went the linesman’s flag before the ball had reached him but there could have been very little in it. Potts tried a header and Wainwright’s a shot both of which Rudham dealt with capably. These incidents apart, Everton had for some time looked dispirited and forlorn and nothing like the team that they can be at their best. Liverpool were living up to their new found reputation and the manner in which Anderson and Evans, in particular were fighting the ball and disputing every inch of ground was a revelation. Another Everton attack looked dangerous but Moran got the better of Fielding before the Evertonians could deliver a shot. At half-time Liverpool went off to a storm of cheers from all parts of the ground. Well had they earned them. After the first 15 minutes or so Liverpool had proved themselves the better takers of chances and had surprised everyone by their spirit ball control and refusal to concede ground without a desperate struggle.

Half-time; Everton nil, Liverpool 2.
Some of the questions which supporters of both sides have been repeatedly asking during the past week have been answered in no uncertain fashion. Some of the answers were unpalatable to Evertonians but decidedly acceptable to Liverpudilians. One in the latter category was in relation to Hughes and Hickson. Hickson had tried desperately hard to put some punch into the Everton front line, but Hughes had a counter to practically every Hickson device whereas Jones had been unable to achieve the same success against Liddell.

Hughes Hurt
Hughes was hurt soon after the restart in his effort to hold up Hickson. He stopped Hickson at the cost of an injury, but was soon right again. He limped slightly. Moran came across with a winning tackle during Everton’s next attack. Rankin tried a 30 yarder but was miles off the mark and the referee held up play for half a minute while he took a bottle which had been thrown on the field to a police sergeant. This was the only incident of even a slightly impleasent nature –apart from the state of the score as far as Evertonians were concerned for the game had been fought out most sportingly and cleanly. Hughes injury must have been worse than it seemed at first for he now went into the forward line with Twentyman going centre half and Liddell left half.

Fielding Fouled
When the second half was 12 minutes old the Liverpodlians hearts were in their mouths when Twentyman brought Fielding down to earth as he was boring a way through near the edge of the penalty area. There was no question about it being a foul, the only point at issue was whether it was a free kick or a penalty. Fielding fell well inside the penalty area but the referee gave a free kick two feet outside. Personality I thought it was even closer to the line than that. Liverpool were still going to the ball with their earlier speed and incisiveness and making the maximum amount of progress with the minimum of embroidery of elaboration. They never made two moves where one would so. This had been Everton’s mistake. At the 57th minute, Liverpool scored a third goal and bar a remarkable recovery this may have sealed the issue. Evans was the scorer but much of the credit goes to Jackson who beat Rankin and then fired a tremendously powerful oblique shot from 20 yards or so which O’Neill caught but could not hold so that the inrushing Evans had the simplest of chances to put it into the net and thus maintain his record of having scored in all three Liverpool cup-ties this season.

Potts Off Mark
Lambert gave away a corner when harassed by Eglington. The ball bobbed about in the Liverpool area for some seconds before Potts tried an overhead kick which was only a yard or to off the mark. Hughes was still far from right, but Liddell, Twentyman, Saunders, and all the red-shirted players were pulling out a little bit extra to make up for their handicap. Everton’s only hope now was to throw everything they had into attack. This looked as though it was going to be their policy. They had hard lines when a ball from the left wing beat everybody and looked as almost certain goal for Hickson until Rudham dashed out and took it off his head. Liddell was playing a great game, inspiring his men by his example correcting their disposition whenever necessary and all the time being in the centre of the battle.

No Everton Shots
Everton’s shooting had been almost non-existent for some time. They tip-tapped three times in the penalty area when the crowd yearned for them to have a go. Wainwright worked his way through with a splendid dribble beating three men before finding himself so angled that he could only shoot straight at Rudham. The goalkeeper caught a powerful close-range drive to his body as though it was the sort of thing he had been doing since childhood. When Hickson beat Twentyman, and came hell-for-leather for the Liverpool goal with only Rudham to beat. Liddell appeared from nowhere to dart across his path and take the ball off his toe. The Reds had another narrow escape when Potts crossed the ball from the outside right position and Rudham failed to catch it. The ball also eluded Twentyman and Hickson. All it needed was a touch to be in the net. From a corner Hickson’s header looked an easy thing for Rudham but the ball squirmed out of the goalkeepers hand and into the air and even when he had a second go Rudham could not make his save at this attempt.

Hughes On Wing
Obviously Liverpool were handicapped through the injury to Hughes who was now at outside left with Evans in the middle, and it was not surprising that Everton were now doing most of the attacking. With half an hour gone in the second half they forced six corners and the Liverpool goal had some rather narrow squeaks. At the 74th minute Liverpool put the issue beyond doubt when, following a free kick for a foul by Hickson on Saunders –for which Hickson made a quick gesture of regret –the Reds got away on the right and a beautiful centre by Jackson was headed in by Evans at the 75th minute to put Liverpool four up. O’Neill was hurt in trying to save but soon resumed Everton now had no chance of winning bar the miracle of the age, but they were still pegging away in the hope of making the score a little more respectable and Rudham was exceptionally lucky when a Hickson header which he had misjudged bounced into his hands as he turned round. With five minutes to go it was now all over bar the final cheer for the winners, but Everton were still begging away without showing any virility in front of goal. Even when they had a chance Rudham’s charge seemed to beat a charmed life.

Off The Mark
A couple of minutes before the end, Lello sent Fielding away but the inside man who had no luck with his shooting all day was again off the target; skipper Hughes was now obviously just remaining on the field in order to lead his lads off. He had not touched the ball for some time. when the ball did come to him all be could do was tap it into touch. Liddell was still here, there and every where playing his heart out in the cause of the club he has served so well for so long.

Liverpool Mobbed
It was beyond the power of the police to do anything about the 100 or so eager Liverpool fans who swarmed on to the field as soon as the final whistle went to mob their favourites while the Everton players went off looking the picture of dejection. Final; Everton nil, Liverpool 4. Official attendance 72,000 Receipts £10,715.

Copyright - Liverpool Post and Mercury - Transcribed by

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