Classic Match: Blues 9 - Liverpool 1

Last updated : 23 October 2008 By Brian Cartlidge
However, back in 1954 they were just a run-of-the-mill Second Division side, who had just been relegated after 47 seasons in the top flight.

Blues were just beginning to click into top gear on their way to winning promotion. And on a chilly Saturday afternoon, a fortnight before Christmas, they hammered the Merseysiders 9-1 at St. Andrew's to record their highest League victory of the century.

It was an amazing contest. Admittedly, Liverpool were struggling, but they fielded some fine players, none the less. There was Scottish international Billy Liddell at centre-forward, dashing winger Alan A'Court, classy half-backs Geoff Twentyman and Laurie Hughes, solid full-backs Ray Lambert and Frank Lock, and goalkeeper Doug Rudham, a South African amateur international.

In their previous home game the Blues had beaten Port Vale 7-2 and now it was Liverpool's turn to feel the full force of Birmingham's goalscoring machine.

Playing without injured midfielder Noel Kinsey, the Blues got off to a flying start, Jackie Lane scoring after only 48 seconds as the ball took a wicked deflection off Lambert's boot. After 11 minutes Eddie Brown latched onto Len Boyd's inch-perfect pass to make it 2-0. Five minutes later the nervous Rudham dropped Gordon Astall's corner and Brown was there again to make it 3-0.

Trevor Smith then slipped in midfield and Liddell raced away to reduce the arrears on 19 minutes. But the Blues bounced back and, following two near-misses, Astall was on the spot to make it 4-1, after both Peter Murphy and Brown had seen efforts scrambled away.

The barrage continued up to half-time but Blues did not score again until the 49th minute, when Lane's presence in the area enabled Astall to chest the ball over the line from a couple of yards out for Blues fifth goal. Their sixth came five minutes later, Murphy letting loose a rocket of a shot which Rudham hardly saw.

Astall and Jeff Hall both hit the bar, Brown headed just over and Liverpool could do nothing about the onslaught. The seventh goal arrived in the 77th minute, Alex Govan slamming a sweet left-footer past Rudham from 15 yards. With six minutes remaining, Brown set up Murphy for the eigth goal and Brown finished off the scoring with a toe-poke at goal a minute later.

Blues: Merrick, Hall, Green, Boyd, Smith, Warhurst, Astall, Lane, Brown, Murphy, Govan.

Liverpool: Rudham, Lambert, Lock, Wilkinson, Hughes, Twentyman, Payne, Anderson, Liddell, Evans, A'Court.

Referee: G. McCabe (Sheffield)

Attendance: 17,514

For a detailed head-to-head between the two sides, click here

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