This most sought-after Derby game, while producing some nice football, did not stir the crowd as anticipated. Anfield lives on its goals, and there were none to applaud. Saunders was one of the outstanding mastered. Liddell, Jones (TG), looked after Stubbins who did not look like £13,000 today. Balmer was the only Liverpool man to shoot with anything likely to beat a goalkeeper. Everton’s re-organised side played well. They might have won in the second half.
Liverpool; Sidlow, goal; Lambert and Ramsden, backs; Taylor, Hughes and Paisley, half-backs; Nieuwenhuys, Jones (WH), Stubbins, Balmer and Liddell, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones (TG) and Bentham, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Higgins, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.C. Denham (Ashton-on-Ribble).
The official attendance was 49,838. Never have I known a “Derby” game, which has tickled the public fancy so much as this one –the first home appearance of Albert Stubbins, Liverpool’s £13,000 forwards, and the hopes that Everton would “pull one out of the bag” added to the interest. The promises was not fulfilled, and Everton received a further blow this morning when Gordon Watson reported himself not fit – groin trouble. The Goodison team had to be reorganised. Higgins who signed as a professional in March this year took over the important post of centre forwards –a tremendous task for a lad who has had only one or two senior games. Bentham dropped back into Watson’s position, and Fielding moved to inside right (his natural position) as partner to Mcllhatton.
Test of Nerves
Derby games are a best of nerves for both players and spectators alike. Five of the Everton side have had previous experience of a full derby games –Stevenson, Mercer, Greenhalgh, Jones and Bentham. Liverpool pre-war derby players are Balmer, Nieuwenhuys and Taylor. Everyone wished the newcomers a happy game. Lord Mayor and Lady Maypress Calderman and Mrs. Luke Hogan were cheered as they took their place in the stands. Everton’s fire in their first move astonished the Kopites who saw the premise of an early goal after Liverpool won the toss.
Everton were repulsed momentarily but came again. Stevenson tried to put Mcllhatton through but the winger screwed his centre behind from the goal-line. Paisley tripped Fielding. Jones took the kick, lobbed the ball well into the goalmouth and Hughes and Higgins went for the ball together. Higgins beat his taller rival and headed into the waiting hands of Sidlow under the crossbar. So far Liverpool had been forced to defend in front of goal, and when Saunders came through to offer his forwards an upward pass there was definite danger for Liverpool, until Sidlow came out and picked up before either Mcllhatton or Fielding could make contact. At last Liverpool broke through and Liddell went on to make a centre-cum-shot which went over the Everton crossbar.
Waiting for Stubbins
All were on the watch to see what Stubbins would do when he got his first chance. He shot, but the ball was cannoned out, but in the next moment he opened the way for Balmer by that old trick of allowing the ball to pass through his legs and to his inside right. Balmer may not have been ready but he did get in his shot, and although it had not its customary fire, Burnett paid it the greatest attention. Liverpool now got into something like their usual style and Nivvy with a sweeping pass to Liddell found Saunders making a sterling tackle to hold down the Scottish international. The first real blow thus far was credit to Liverpool when Balmer, following good work by Nivvy, slash in a powerful drive which Burnett could not hold. The ball seemed to bump against his chest and level outside for a corner.
Liverpool were still hovering round the Everton goal, but from a big clearance, Lambert had to step in to prevent Eglington becoming a danger. Stubbins found the terrier like Bentham a proposition and was finally beaten by the Goodison Park utility man. After beating two men by a body feint and dribble, Balmer made a faulty pass, and Jones sent his attack on the move again. Again Balmer moved forward, and no Everton man appeared to pay any attention to him so that he was able to get in his final shot which pulled wide. It is uncommon to see Hughes beaten in the air but twice Higgins got the better of him. The duels between Liddell and Saunders were tasty, and the Everton man more often than not came out the victor. This Derby game had no terrors for him. Liddell had one great opportunity of striking a blow for Liverpool, but he screwed the ball outside the post with the right foot. He does not often do this with such chances. For a short spell Everton defence was sorely tried, and Burnett made several saves. Sidlow showed no anxiety when the Everton right wing crashed through withy Fielding finally shooting without great power. He had not had half as much to do as Burnett, who was at his brightest when making a flying save from Balmer. Balmer put everything he had behind that drive, and it was no easy save. Again play was transferred and Stevenson, after Higgins had found the ball running awkwardly crashed it wide of the target – a good opportunity missed.
Stubbins had tried several tricks against TG Jones but thus far none had come off for Jones was inspired but this is not uncommon for him. Those behind each goal had their full share of thrill. When Fielding found himself right in front of the Liverpool goal there was every reason to anticipate a score, but the inside right failed to get in a full blooded drive. Even so Sidlow had to be smart to turn the ball out side. For a few moments Everton called the tune and Jones went up to see what he could do with a corner kick, but he could do little. Stubbins finding his way down the middle blocked, wisely pushed the ball over to Balmer, who attempted to carve his way through, but was out-numbered. Mercer dribbled among the forwards, but he was not allowed to shoot. Stubbins and Balmer collaborated once more, but Jones stood defiant Liddell also fell against this solid barrier. One minute from half-time, with the crowd still yearning for a goal. Bentham tore through and the ball reached Mcllhatton, who moved forward a step or two then shot with his right foot. Sidlow swept the ball over his bar with his left hand. Had the ball not bounced badly for Stubbins I felt confident he would have scored a few seconds before half time. He had to take a chance, half-time. He had to take a chance, but there was very little daylight between the ball and the upright as it crashed outside. He had previously missed a chance from five yards out.
Half-time; -Liverpool 0, Everton 0.
The wisdom of Stubbins was seen in the first half-minute of the second half. Burnett left his goal to kick away. The ball week to Stubbins a long way out, but without hesitation he let fly for goal knowing that Burnett was not at home. That he did not succeed was due to Everton’s covering tactics.
Balmer, who had been Liverpool’s only shooter, put one over the bar. Liverpool got a corner kick to which they were not entitled. A neat movement between the Everton inside forwards almost brought a goal. Stevenson from the centre forward position dashed through the Liverpool defence and shot. Sidlow parried the ball, which went out to Higgins who, in his anxiety, put wide. That was an escape, just as Everton escaped when Taylor cracked in a fast drive from long range, which Burnett could only turn aside. The danger was still there, for the ball hit the referee and this helped the Everton defence for Stevenson was able to nip in and clear.
It was a bonny tussle, but it is a long time since I saw Liddell so securely held –a great tribute to Saunders. True, the Scot had not seen a lot of the ball, but when he did Saunders beat him. There was another near-goal when Jones went into the Liverpool goalmouth for a corner kick and Sidlow only partially cleared the Welshman’s header. It was sufficient to prevent a goal, but it was a very near thing. Eglington had few chances, but when one came he did his best to make full use of it, but Lambert stepped in the way of his shot which hit his thigh and went to safety. The Everton defence was supreme against anything the Liverpool forwards could produce, and Jones was not alone in his great work. He had Spartan in Greenhalgh and Saunders. At any moment Liverpool might break loose. They were playing towards their favourite goal, the Kop.
Stubbins well watched, tried one of his snap shots, but stubbed the ground and the ball trickled towards Burnett. The last quarter of an hour had seen little shooting, and the only time the Kop had any need to enthuse was when Balmer calmly headed into Burnett’s hands. The Liverpool goal was fortunate when Stevenson shot from eight yards, but struck a bunch of players, Sidlow was well covered. Higgins showed a nice touch when he lobbed the ball over Ramsden’s head, went round him and shot over the bar. Liverpool were uncommonly quiet, and Everton had taken command. Liddell was hurt in a tackle with Saunders and limped for a while. I was astonished at the lack of Liverpool spirit at this point, for it is at moment like this that they usually blaze up.
Liverpool had gone completely into their shell, consequently Everton rather dominated matters, although Jones (W.H.) did get in a header which caused the Everton defence some concern. Liddell was hurt again. When he resumed and tried a shot he was jarred off the mark. When full time arrived Everton were attacking strongly, but this, the first post-war Derby, must go down as a goalless draw. Final; Liverpool 0, Everton 0.
Copyright - The Liverpool Football Echo - Transcribed by http://www.bluecorrespondent.co.nr