January 29, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Seventy two thousand and twenty four people –you will notice that I have included twenty-two players and both managers –slept uneasily last night. They had something in their minds, something from which the haze will not fade until round 4.25 p.m today when the vast stands and terrace banks of Goodison Park are drained of masses of enthusiasts and left to an army of gathers of litter. Then, maybe it will be “Well whole have though that …and “Who could have guessed that…with many an if and but for good measure and the prospect of an longest grave or gay according to one’s colours, lasting not one day, but a week of them. On the wisdom that will emerge after the event. Oh, if only Everton had done this and Liverpool had only done that.. I can hear the anguished voices now and the first kick of the match is more than twelve hour’s off. My job being an impartial viewer of sport, is to attempt to weigh chances and point to likely winners. It is not easy, but I can and shall attempt it. it may be worth more than meet other reviews of our great Cup-tie because Liverpool is a city of football fans, eternally divided y a fence which on one side those of Everton and on the other those of Liverpool. Every Evertonian knows Liverpool will be beaten; every Liverpoolian knows Liverpool are going to win. They have all convinced themselves of this, and no reason advanced by any interested third party can sway them or cause their view to waver in winds of doubt.
Where is Dead Centre
Somewhere dead centre between the views of rival factions is true reasoning and we most endeavor to find it. Rising done so, it does not follow that the better side must win often they do not. Cup tie football is not dependent on logic though ballistic play their part. The side which gets the goals is the one that matters and those who do not get them can and do commiserate on the intangibility of what they are pleased to term territorial advantage. Now, the territorial claims of the late and unlamented Mr. Hitler were a different story. In this match form means nothing. It matters not that Liverpool have not won an away game since last Good Friday equally it matters not that Everton made heavy weather of beating a ten-man Southend United in the last round. It is as ever, eleven men against eleven other men with the crowd likely to be slightly more Evertonians – remember those 3,500 Central League tickets –than otherwise. It is a match which will need the finest of refereeing because that is the finest insurance that it will be purely a test of football. Mr. Ellis of Halifax is aware of what is expected upon him. Given the good sense of twenty-two players it should be a fine historic match. And one hopes that however, keenly both sides are in winning the old established excellent customs of allowing players to make their bows side by side –started years ago by a suggestion in the Liverpool Echo –will be used again as further encouragement to players to make their performances as good and as sporting as they can.
For many afield it will be a first big Cup occasion I am thinking of Rudham, Saunders, Moran, and A’Court of Liverpool and of Rankin of Everton. For others more experienced in the drama of a great Cup tie. It will be an immense test in which they will be hard put to it to play their usual game. Often important issues turn on the merest touch of good fortune or bad; few goals cannot be traced back to an initial moment of decision or indecision far upfield or to some trifling incident of no special consequence far from the danger zone. Assuredly we shall have these. But where, when, why.” The minds of managers Cliff Britton and Don Welsh –happy landing to both –must have weighted carefully all possibilities. None they can only wish their sides bon courage and like the rest of us, and sweat it out. Will Rudham who has never even seen Goodison Park much less played on it get away to a good start? Will O’Neill retain the flourishing competent confidence he displays in so much of his work in League football? Can Harry Potts now nearing veteran days stay the second half? And can he produce, as he often does one of those solid searing shots which made him a player in the £20,000 category. How will Ray Lambert face the menace of the speeding jinxing Eglington. Will he force Potts and others to pass outside not dangerously inside to the wing to allow Eglington’s flying feet fall rein?
Tom Jones …how will he rackle the volatile bustling Liddell? And how will Laurie Hughes the undemoristative almost mouse-quite, Liverpool centre half and centre back, meet the tornado which masquerades under the pseudonym Dave Hickson” Have Liverpool found the answer to the scurrying little Fielding and his unexpected weavings and wanderings. The tasks surely is one for a strong silent Twentyman who may not have a man too many to take care of them who is a football generating plant. Lello and Farrell too. How will they fare in their stemming of the dainty clever Anderson and Long John Evans who will work a ball and who has a John Willie Parker bump of anticipation when a half-chance is there for the taking. From Saunders, Manager Welsh expects yet another match of perpetual motion. Saunders wanders and worries his way through 90 minutes but when the pace is hottest he is usually pace-maker. Rankin’s special commitment will be to meet Jackson in close combat. One imagines that honours here might finish even. A’Court faces unrelenting Eric Moore –stolid galliant and good for his contributions to defence. How will this one go” if A’Court touches inspiration he might well be one of the day’s stars. If not it could well be Moore‘s stranglehold day. Everton should win because their record and their status make them out to be of slightly better class, but will they. Liverpool disregarding as they must, League record and past away failure could win because they have at last found some confidence and because when all seems black they usually contrive to play their “out of this world” stuff.
What all except the rabin fans lack is a good sporting game with victory truly deserved. Things which strike me as critical matters are these Rudham’s and Rankin’s comparative inexperience. Potts ability to stay a fast pace from first to last; Liverpool’s ability to bottle the flow of passes which so often emanate from Fielding, Jones ability to hold tight, the everlasting threat which a great player like Liddell always posseses. Hughes' performance against Dave Hickson the most unselfish and livliest centre forward any contemporary centre half can be asked to meet. 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).