Lucky Liverpool escaped with a draw
Within the last nine years Barnsley have won eight replayed Cup-ties out of nine – the one in which they were defeated being the replayed final tie at Goodison Park, and in the same time they have played in ten Cup ties on their own ground, and have only been beaten twice – Blackburn Rovers, second round, 3-2 1912-13; and Woolwich Arsenal, 2-1, fourth round, 1906-07; so it will be seen at once that Liverpool are up against a very stiff proposition when they go to Oakwell.
Never have I seen two such strikingly dissimilar exhibitions of football as those given by Barnsley on the last two Saturdays. Against Blackpool they could do little that was right and proper; against Liverpool they did little that was wrong, and the Anfielders must account themselves a fortunate side to be able to fight the battle over again, and as the final blow has not been struck these comments need only be brief.
Barnsley are a team of Cup fighters – of that local enthusiasts are now fully aware; and in their ranks on Saturday they had seven holders of Cup winners’ medals, Tufnell being included in the team at the eleventh hour after an absence of about two months.
Throughout the game the Yorkshiremen showed a much better understanding than did their opponents, and though they bustled and strove with might and main the finer points of the game were not lacking. They passed with considerable accuracy, and thwarted threatening moves by Liverpool with capital judgment. The defenders on both sides played splendidly, but none was better than Campbell, who time and again brought off wonderful saves when all seemed lost. For these chances to distinguish himself the home goalkeeper had to thank the sprightly Barnsley forwards – Halliwell and Travers in particular. It was chiefly the superiority of the visitors’ forwards over the home quintet that accounts for the fact that Barnsley deserved all the honours.
In the first half the Liverpool men did put in some useful work, and the right wing especially did well, but in the second period they collapsed like a house of cards, and Lacey alone did anything worthy of note. It was due to his opportunism earlier on that Liverpool held the lead at the interval, for he snapped up a chance when the Barnsley defenders were in a bit of a quandary and piloted the ball safely beyond Cooper. Against this goal Barnsley were able to chalk up quite a number of well mentioned efforts, which deserved a better fate. One excellent drive from Halliwell was well held by Campbell, and then Pursell headed down an extremely hot drive from the ex-Prestonian; while Travers, Bartrop, and Tufnell had all in turn caused the defenders a great deal of anxiety. But Longworth and Pursell were not to be beaten. The former put in some of his best work, and often punted clear when matters were looking black. Pursell had extra work to do, because McKinlay was not at all happy in his endeavour to cope with the onrushes of the Barnsley right wing pair.
At the time when their antagonists drew level, about halfway through the second period, Liverpool were “not in the hunt,” as the saying has it. In fact, it is quite right to say that they were run off their feet, and their goal was in continual jeopardy until the final whistle. Travers notched his side’s goal, the ball striking the underside of the crossbar in its journey into the net. Campbell made a good but ineffectual effort to get at the ball. Afterwards the custodian had, perhaps, the busiest part of his day’s work. Twice he scooped the ball of the goalline, and twice he had to rush out to clear when it seemed almost a certainty that the ball must be placed into the net; but he came off on top in each case, and thus the whole battle has to be re-fought. Can Liverpool get through? It is very doubtful, and it would be a really smart performance if they did.
Liverpool were, as I have stated, fortunate to draw, yet had they made the most of the opportunities they would have won. This may seem peculiar. Nevertheless, it is true. Parkinson and Miller were not once but several times at fault when they might have scored. Immediately before his side scored Parkinson might have earned a goal had he not hung on to the ball too long, while both he and Miller shot wildly when a little care would have been to their advantage. Dawson on occasion supplied his inside colleagues with nice centres, but these were not improved upon, and the combination of Sheldon and Lacey did not bear the fruit it deserved in the first half. At half back Liverpool were weak. Lowe was the best of the three, but even he was not so good as usual, and he found Halliwell and Travers a ticklish pair to deal with.
Liverpool Echo, 12-01-1914 - Transcribed by Kjell Hanssen