Burnley 1 v 0 Liverpool (FA Cup Final)
One hundred and six year ago this weekend, Clarets fans were making their way down to Crystal Palace, London to watch the 1914 FA Cup Final between Burnley and Liverpool which the Clarets went onto win. However little did they know that just two months later they would be facing the same issue as we are today, with all English football suspended until 1919 due to the outbreak of the First World War.
It was the 43rd Football Association Challenge Cup (FA Cup) and also the final match of the 1913-14 football season. Both teams entered the competition in the first round and it was the first time that both clubs had appeared in the final of the competition. The Clartes reached the final after beating South Shields (3-1), Derby County (3-2), Bolton Wanderers (3-0), Sunderland (2-1) after a replay and Sheffield United (1-0) in the semi-finals.
In 1914 the Qualifying Competition had been enlarged from ten to twenty-four divisions and that season, from a record entry of 476 clubs. Burnley and Liverpool emerged as the two protagonists in a second all-Lancashire FA Cup Final. For the first time the Final was honoured by the presence of a ruling monarch. King George V regal recognition of the place football had assumed in the life of the nation.
All the talk in the run up to the game was about goalkeeper Jerry Dawson and if he would be fit to take his place in the cup final squad. Dawson had been injured in the semi-final against Sheffield United at Old Trafford, unfit to play in the replay he was replaced by Ronnie Sewell. However Dawson regained his place in the side the week before the cup final but picked up a rib injury. To his credit, he said he did not think he would be able to do himself justice and therefore Sewell got his opportunity to play in the FA Cup Final.
Clarets captain Tommy Boyle won the toss and played with the wind in the first-half which gave the men from Turf Moor the better of the opening half of the match with some good football and neat approach play, however they lacked the fire power in front of goal due to nerves. Liverpool had the first real chance of the game inside ten minutes, when Clarets defender Taylor slipped on the pitch but the final shot went wide of Sewell’s post.
Liverpool then had another effort on fifteen minutes when an excellent shot from Nicholl struck Taylor in the face, the Clarets full-back looked stunned but he saved a certain goal. As the Reds continued to attack the Clarets back four, Sewell then forced Nicholl into an error as the Burnley goalkeeper ran out of area as the Liverpool striker sent a shot around him but also wide of the Clarets post.
While Sewell was tested a few times in the Clarets goal, Campbell at the other end had the greater share of the goalkeeping, his best efforts was in saving an shot from Lindley which he turned away for a corner. Mosscrop was playing well for the Clarets crossing a number of balls into the Liverpool area, but the strikers could not take control of the ball and it went out of play a number of times with the Clarets in good positions and the two sides went in at half-time with the score 0-0.
Burnley came out much the stronger of the two teams in the second-half, they looked more confident on the ball and created a number of efforts at the Liverpool goal by passing the ball through midfield. However it was Liverpool that had the first effort at goal in the second-half, when Miller’s long shot was turned over the bar by Sewell.
The Clarets took the lead on fifty-seven minutes, when a throw-in on the right Nesbitt sent across to Hodgson who cleverly headed the ball to Bert Freeman who hit a first time shot, which went into the far corner of the net leaving Campbell no chance and making it 1-0.
For the first time in the game Burnley were all over their opponents and with a little more steadiness would have scored on at least another two occasions. The first effort from a fine Mosscrop cross, Lindley was given the best chance of the match but his final shot struck the corner of the post and crossbar. Whilst the second effort was created and taken by Mosscrop as he got into the Liverpool box but from close range he shot over.
The Burnley defence remained resolute to the end and their captain and centre-half Tommy Boyle became the first man ever to receive the FA Cup from royal hands. It was the last Final to be played at the old Crystal Palace.
Burnley – Sewell, Bamford, Taylor, Halley, Boyle, Watson, Nesbitt, Lindley, Freeman, Hodgson, Mosscrop
Liverpool – Campbell, Longworth, Pursell, Fairfoul, Ferguson, McKinlay, Sheldon, Metcalf, Miller, Lacey, Nicholl
Goals – (Burnley) Freeman (57)
Attendance – 72, 778