December 1886

A Stick of Everton Toffee. December 4 th 1886. Football Field
By “Asmodeus 2”
The well drained, breezy, in everyway, admirable ground at Bennetts, the headquarters of the Halliwellians, was visited on Saturday by the Evertonians, a club fresh from the Merseyside-washed shores of Liverpool, and almost bringing with them an ale of ham and eggs and shrimps from New Brighton on the other side of the ferry. This was about the first visit of these football votaries, and, it is said, that the Halliwell boys looked down with feelings something akin to contempt on the representatives of the Everton toffee sticks. Not that they had any reason to do so, but Goliath's, of greater or lesser statues, always did look down upon little Davids ever since the sling and the stone incident of which you may have read. Well, they came, and before they emerged from the tent some few of the crowd had recognised George Dobson, a face familiar to friends of the Wanderers a season or two ago, and gave him a welcoming cheer.

A surprise game.
After a few needful preliminaries genial Fitzroy started the teams on their career, and ere a couple of minutes of some pretty fast play had passed Richards lowered the colours of the home team, much to their surprise. Quite an eye-opener. Hodson, a fast little runner, of whom Halliwell are proud, did his best to equalise, but Joliffe, the Liverpool custodian fisted out in fine style. Then came what might be called a remarkable display of football. The Halliwellians did all in their power to score, but do as they would the ball would not pass through the much-coveted space. Dribble beautifully from one end of the field to the other, oftentimes overcoming all obstacles, they did frequently enough, but then came the difficulty.

The ball at their feet.
It was enough to make those swear who never swore before, and those who always swore now swear the more to see the provoking manner in which, with the ball at their feet, chance after chance was muffed dreadfully. They were all alike in the forward division, there wasn't a pin to choose between them for good dribbling and inefficient shooting. As soon as a chance had been obtained the one with a chance converted it into a misfortune, and the ball passed harmlessly –outside.

Weir no-Weir
At the risk of making a naughty pun –which by-the-bye Tom Hood, the father of punsters, said was the foundation of all wit –I must say that Weir, the model and champion half-back, was nowhere. “Oh, the pity of it,” to see the mulls he made. He was always where he was not wanted, and when wanted never there, like the model policeman XX.

Companions in Misfortune.
His comrades were almost as bad as he. In the back division Robb was away, and his place was taken by McCreavy, a second team man, whose kicking was of the weakest, when he kicked at all. Lucas, too, seemed to be out of form, but there, there, if I were to continue to say all I thought about the Halliwellians as they appeared on their own ground on Saturday the mother of Asmodeus “ wouldn't know him, and probably he would depart to his last home and the mourners would go about the streets. There is one brilliant exception, however, as a drop of comfort, in Fairclough, who in goal did a great deal more than his share, and that, too, well.

The Liverpool Cup Holders.
Of the visitors I have not much to complain if any. They played with an invigorating dash, with good judgement, and their performance was throughout good. Joliffe is smart in goal. The backs are Dick and Dobson. We all remember the performances of the latter, who is a vigorous and unerring kickist. Of Dick we may say he is not like his namesake. Mr. Dick, he doesn't let his brains go a woolgathering, and constantly putting the head of Charles the First in his Memorial. He is clear of brain and sure of foot, and what would you wish for more? The others are also good, including Gibson at half-backs, who I think is known in Bolton, and little Costley, a brother of the one of Olympic fame. “A good level lot “ as the agricultural show critic said as he went from pigpen to sheep pen, and so say I of the Evertonians.

Association Game
December 4 th 1886. The Liverpool Courier. The Halliwell of today is a very different organisation to what the Evertonians were in the habit of meeting some three or four years ago, and as the latter have also made remarkable progress, their latest fixture was looked forward to with no inconsiderable amount of interest. Details of the match have not come to hand, but as the result was in favour of Everton by a goal to nothing, this no doubt furnishes a tolerably fair index of the run of the play. The issue is in strict keeping with the form shown this season by Everton in all their first class matches, and on it they were justified in looking to the Corinthians for a fixture, which it is pleasing to learn was readily granted.
Today's match.
Everton v Haydock, at Anfield, (Liverpool Cup tie)

Haydock v Everton
December 6 th 1886. The Liverpool Mercury.
This match in the second round of the Liverpool Cup tie was played at Anfield-road. The visitors had been under suspension for a fortnight, which led to the deferring of the fixture. There was a large crowd, 3000 spectators being present. The game calls for no special detailed description, being of a one-sided character throughout. It was expected Everton would win easily, but at first the visitors playing a strong, hard game, prevented their opponents from running up anything like a long score. At half-time Everton were but a goal to the good, but afterwards, as is their wont, they exhibited more dash, and scored other four points, thus going into the third round by 5 goals to nil. Teams; - Haydock; - Taylor, goal; Hatton and Whittle backs; Kilner, Wedgwood, and King, half-backs; Blackley, Moran, Harrison, Twist, and Kenyon, forwards. Everton; - Joliffe goal; Dobson (captain) and Dick, backs; Corey, Gibson and Higgins half-backs; Fleming, Briscoe, Richards, Costley and Farmer, forwards.

Football notes
At Everton there was a large gathering to witness the Cup-tie with Haydock, the only team of the Earlestown district entered this season for the Liverpool Cup. The visitors were a heavy lot, but although they were strong in “country” tactics they lacked science, and were gradually overturns. The issue was never in doubt although Everton only scored once in the first half. They did not over exert themselves, throughout, and won by 5 goals to nil. The winners all played up to form, but Dick was quite himself at full back, where he gave a fine display. Of the visitors the centre half played a wonderfully fine game, being undoubtedly the pick of the team.

A Foregone Conclusion
December 11 th 1886. Football Field.
Haydock, in their most sanguine moments, could scarcely have looked for anything but defeat in their Cup-tie with Everton. The county club had just emerged from its suspension, and their players after the enforced rest were full of vigour, but they need something more than strength when tackling the Anfield-road club at Everton. There was a very large attendance at the match, no inconsiderable number hailing from “Haddock,” as they are pleased to term their native heath. There is an astonishing amount of lungpower in these worthies, when at home, but they were sadly silent during the greater portion of last Saturday's game. Everton played their full team, and though never loosing the bow, did not keep its string particularly tight. They won comfortably, the Haydock players being rarely afforded a chance of testing the capabilities of Joliffe, the Everton custodian. The losers, on the contrary, strained might and main. Mindful of the success of their Earlestown neighbours a couple of seasons ago, they went to work with characteristic rushes. Everton were not allowed to developed any dangerous tactics, and so half-time found them leading by a single goal. The visitors had then shot their bolt, and combining easily and effectively, Everton got other four goals and won by five goals to nil. Dick played a perfect game at full back for the winners, who all displayed good form. There were several players of more than average ability on the losing side, the most noteworthy example being the centre half back.

The Bootle Wanderers.
The Wanderers played the Everton Reserves upon their new enclosure in Marsh-lane. Consequent upon a late start, play was limited to twenty minutes each way, yet in spite of this, and though many chances were lost by faulty shooting and a lack of judicious passing, the home team gained an easy win by five goals to one, a result similar to their last meeting. This victory makes the ninth success gained this season, and with one defeat only (and that an “A” team), and a record of 40 goals to 13, they have throughout exhibited very even and consistent form.

Lancashire Evening Post - Saturday 11 December 1886
Plated at Bolton, today, the teams being as follows;- Astley Bridge; J. Thompson, goal; Hamer, and Briscoe, backs; Greenwood, Ainsworth, and Greenwood, half-backs; Sharrocks, L and J Scholes, Ainslie, and Shepherd, forwards.  Everton; Joliffee, goal; Dick and Dobson, backs; Jones, Gibson, and Stevenson, half-backs; Savage, Briscoe, A. Goodall, Farmer, and a substitute, forward.  Astley Bridge kicked off a quarter of an hour late, and the game was very even for the first half-hour, when J. Scholes, after an exciting scrimmage in the goal mouth scored amidst enthusiasm.  Everton then got dangerous but the “Bridgers” returning, almost scored again.  The game then became very fast, and Dick Winder and Ainsley getting to the goal mouth, but Everton did not score.  Immediately after restart, Dobson and L. Scholes came in collision, the latter having to be carried off the field winded.  He returned, however, shortly, amid cheering.  Dobson then, by a long kick, gave to Briscoe, in front of goal, and he equalized.  A minute later, Briscoe scored again, from a pass by Goodall.  Everton pressed hard, but Thompson, the Bridgers’ goalkeeper, played well.  Shorrocks made some pretty runs, but was brought up by Dobson.  The Bridgers claimed a goal, but it was disallowed.  Result; Astley Bridge 1, Everton 2. 

Astley Bridge v Everton
December 11 th 1886. Football Field
This afternoon Astley Bridge had a stiff job on hand, when they encountered the “champions” of Liverpool on the Astley Meadow. Everyone knows what a smart all round lot Everton are, and how they defeated Halliwell by one to none only a fortnight ago, and in consequence the hopes that the Bridgeites might possibly secure a victory were somewhat at a discount. The following were the teams, both clubs being will represented; - Asyley Bridge; - J. Thompson goal; Hamer and Briscoe, backs; Greenwood, Ainsworth, and W. Thompson, half-backs; Shorrock, L. Scholes, J. Scholes Ainslie, and Shepherd, forwards. Everton; - Joliffe, goal; Dick and Dobson, backs; Jones, Gibson, Stevenson, half-backs; Savage, Briscoe, A. Goodall, Costley, and Farmer forwards. Referee Mr. W. Entwistle, Astley Bridge. The visitors arrived with only ten men, and Savage, of Astley Bridge, was included in the eleven. Corey, Richard and Higgins were also absent, but substitutes were brought in, Jones, Stevenson, and Archie Goodall. There were about 300 spectators. The home team kicked off, and almost immediately Thompson had to fist out a splendid shot by savage. Then the leather journeyed to the Everton end, where the goal was seriously jeopardised, good attempts at scoring being made by the brothers Scholes and Sharrock. Dick and Dobson proved equal to the occasion, however, and ultimately the danger was cleared. Even play ensued for a time, the Bridgeites having quite as much of the play, if not more, than their opponents. Time after time was Sharrock cheered for splendid runs down the wing, in which he made rings round Dobson to the no small surprise of that player. He put in some electrifying shots, all of which Joliffe got away although once or twice with great difficulty. Farmer and Briscoe were very conspicuous, also for good play amounts the Evertonians, but the home backs never allowed them to get too far. At length the Bridgeities assumed the attack, and after some exciting scrimmaging the ball was forced past Joliffe, J. Scholes giving it the final touch. This success was heartily applauded, and urged on by their supporters, the home forwards exerted themselves, to the utmost to repeat the dose. Dobson and Dick defended in grand style, the latter a little roughly, and by their efforts prevented any further disaster to their citadel. The Everton forwards also played up more spiritually and when the whistle blew for half-time with the Bridgeites leading by one to nil, the game was in dangerous proximity to the home goal. Game starting both teams showed up well, and some capital and determined football was witnessed. A slight stoppage in the game was necessaited by L. Scholes being winded owing to coming into contact with Gibson, but he was only off the field a few minutes. The Everton van worked their way into Bridge territory many times, but Hamers and Greenwood, by sterling defence, prevented them scoring. However, at length Briscoe managed to do the trick for the Liverpoolians, thus equalising the score. The same player recorded a second point a minute later and then the Bridgeites commenced a fierce attack on the Everton fortress. Nothing resulted, and for the remainder of the game the play was evenly though roughly contested. “Time” arrived with the final result. Everton 2; Astley Bridge 1.

Lancashire Evening Post - Thursday 16 December 1886
The Everton Football Club is arranging to play a match in aid of the fund for the benefit of the widows and orphans. 

Lancashire Evening Post - Saturday 18 December 1886
This match was played on the Everton ground this afternoon, the following being the teams;- Everton; Joliffe, goal; Dobson and Dick, backs; Gibson, Stevenson, and Corey, half-backs; Townley, Farmer, Richards, Briscoe, and Fleming, forwards.  Corinthians; Vidal, goal; Ingram, and Davies, backs; Turner, Ingram, and Holden-White, half-backs; Dunn, Dr. Smith, Horley, Challen, and C. Smith, forwards.  There were 2,000 spectators.  Horley started for the Corinthians and after some smart interchanges, the "doctor" got away, passed Dobson and let in Challen, who kicked a pretty goal..  Everton spurted after this but Ingram again passed to Dunn and that player to Challen; and Horley scored the second point for the Corinthians.  Farmer made an excellent attempt for Everton who played with spirit.  For the third time, Challen and Smith came clear away and the former scored with a beauty.  Vidal shortly after restarting, saved grandly from Townley, and half-time found the Corthinans leading by three goals to nil.  Afterwards the Corinthians took matters easily and Everton scored twice.  Result; Everton 2, Corinthians 4.

Everton's victory at Astley Bridge
December 18 th 1886. Football Field
Perhaps the best fixture on the Astley Bridge card was that with the Liverpool champions, Everton, which was played off on the Astley Meadow last Saturday. It was well known that the Liverpoolians had defeated Halliwell only the fortnight previously, and as there is a certain amount of rivalry between the Bennetts club and the Bridgeites, local football enthusiasts were anxious to see how the “Lambs” would fare. Few people expected that the Visitors would return home defeated, except the Bridgeites themselves, who had been preparing for the encounter and fancied their chances of winning.

The first half
The Evertonians themselves were not over confident as to the result, for without the services of Higgins, Corey, Fleming, and Richards, their team was not so strong as that which took down Halliwell. Substitutes were found in Stevenson, Jones Savage (an Eagley youth), and Archie Goodall, and so the game commenced. The Bridgeites were soon busy in their opponents quarters, and L. Scholes appeared to be on the point of scoring, when Dobson rushed up and cleared the danger. Then followed a series of attacks on either citadel, the teams putting forth their best efforts, and it was only owing to capital defence that the score sheet remained for a long time without a blot. Ultimately, the home forwards with a combined rush assumed the superiority, and getting right into the visitor's goal-mouth carried both Joliffe and the ball through the uprights, this success being highly applauded. The Evertonians strove hard to equalise, Dick and Dobson at back, Gibson and Jones at half, and Farmer Costley, and Briscoe putting forth Herculean efforts, but they were of no avail, and at the interval the Bridgeites had the pleasure of leading by a goal.

Shorrocks at his best.
Up to now Shorrocks had played one of those speedy games for which he is so well known. Despite the fact that this was the first time he had played for three weeks, his running and dribbling were of the best, and the way in which he troubled Dobson surprised that player. Not only did Shorrocks run well, but he generally finished up with a rattling shot right into Joliffe's hands, which he saved with difficulty cleared.

Everton win
And that, too, somewhat luckily. On recommencing the second half the play was at once fast and fierce, the visitors striving hard to lower the Bridge colours, and the home team doing their best to prevent them. Half-an-hour had thus progressed, the Evertonians in their turn also being attacked, and it looked as if victory would rest with the Bridgeites, when by one of those rushes for which they are famed, the visitors' forwards got to the Bridge goal and Briscoe popped the leather through. The home team were thoroughly surprised, and ere they had time to recover themselves, Briscoe accounted for a second point. Then did the “Lambs” aware but it was to late, and though they several times jeopardised their opponent's stronghold, they could not score and ultimately left the field defeated by two goals to one.

Everton v Corinthians
December 20 th 1886. The Liverpool Mercury
This match was played at Anfield-road, before 2,500 spectators. The ground was covered with snow, but the players seemed to get about without any difficulty, and there were very few spills, all things considered. The visitors brought a strong team, albeit nothing like their best. Spilsbury disappointed at the last moment, and Dr. Smith filled the gap. Two thirty fives were agreed upon, and having lost the toss Horley started the ball for the Corinthians. After a few smart interchanges in midfield, the ball crossed the Everton line. After the kick out Everton got well down, but Ingram with rare judgement placed the ball to the left wing. A few smart passes between Dunn and the Doctor, and the latter made off alone. Dobson tackled the big Scotchman, but was unceremoniously moved aside, and Challen receiving the ball sent it past Joliffe in a very quiet style. Restarting, Everton bestirred themselves, and ran into foreign parts, when Farmer shot out. Immediately afterwards Vidal saved a dangerous looking shot from Townley, and Fleming made a very bad attempt a moment later. Again the Everton left wing menaced Vidal's charge, and Farmer barely missed his mark with a nice shot. The Corinthians meanwhile did not appear to exert themselves greatly until Challen made off in a beautiful dribble and overcoming all obstacles enabled Horley to notch the second goal. After the ball had been set in motion, there was some pretty play. C.C. Smith got the better of Corey, and Dr. Smith was again noticed in progress down the left wing. Dick tackled him fearlessly, but cane to grief, for he was tumbled in a confused heap in the snow. Fleming next attracted notice on the Everton right his centre being well timed, and Richards tried hard to get at the ball. Davies got it away, and Townley came back, and, getting the better of the Welshmen won a corner. Nothing came of this, a similar fate befalling another shortly afterwards, although Richards again made every effort to get it through. Again Challen was seen in a dribble down the right. Assisted by Horley, he reached the Everton goal, and gave Joliffe little view of the ball as it flew through. Everton had another chances after the restart, Davies missing his kick; but he recovered wonderfully, and the ball was driven away. Farmer again tried hard, and Vidal saved what looked like a certainty from Townley, which brought half-time. On the restart, the visitors were first aggressive, Challen and Smith working close in, but Dick was all there. Some beautiful passing by the Corinthians was noted, and a foul against Dr. Smith alone prevented the movement from succeeding. Everton now worked with desperate energy, but could not shake off their opponents, who took their first corner. Well placed, the ball dropped near Dobson, and screwed back, after a slight melee, out of the reach of Joliffe. Dobson got the better of the Doctor, after recommencing, but that irresistible individual returned again, accompanied by Dunn. Danger was averted, however, and Townley, going away in rare style, sent to Briscoe whose gallant attempts to head through was frustrated by the watchful custodian. A corner was, however, accorded, and this time Briscoe succeeded in at length scoring, amidst much cheering. Everton now played with great spirit, Townley giving Vidal a warm armful, which he threw away with celerity as Richards made heavily at him. Not to be denied, the home forwards again tested Vidal, who was still equal to the emergency; but a moment later Corey gave him a catch which he missed, and ere he could recover Richards was on his track, and registered the Erverton second goal. The Corinthians now came right away, and Joliffe was called upon, but this proved only a spasm, for Townley took up the running on the Everton left, and for a period completely beat the Corinthians defence. Vidal was again tested after the Blackburn Rover had got the best of some dodging with Holden, White and Ingram. The University man had much ado in preventing a downfall, when Davies came to the relief with a fine return. The Londoners now made some spirited attempts, and Dr. Smith was looking dangerous, when he was badly tripped by Dick, a free kick being awarded the Corinthians. This was immediately followed by a second, for the Kilnarnock man gave the Doctor a tremendous throw, by a method peculiarly his own, and which was cruel on the hard ground. Amid shouts of “Play on” the “Doctor” had his arm examined by Dr. Smart, but although he remained on the ground it was evident that he was badly shaken. A free kick was taken, but nothing came of it. Davies next met the ball in a marvelous fashion, and the hugh return made matters again unpleasant for the home defence. However, Farmer got out and shot it hard at Vidal, who was equal to the occasion, and after Fleming finished a brilliant run by a wretched shot, the game terminated in a victory for the Corinthians of 4 goals to 2. Teams; - Corinthians; - Vidal, goal; Davies and F. Ingram, backs; Holden, White, and G. W. Turner, half-backs; Dunn, Dr. Smith, Horley, Challen, and C.A. Smith, forwards. Everton; - Joliffe, goal; Dobson and Dick, backs; Corey, Gibson and Stevenson, half-backs; Farmer, Townley (Blackburn Rovers), Richards, Brtiscoe, and Fleming forwards. Umpires, Fitzroy Norris, and Dr. Smart; referee Mr. Jope Wednesbury.

Football notes
One of the most important of Saturday's fixtures was that at Everton between the Liverpool cupholders and the Corinthians. The latter combination supplied the great majority of the gentlemen in the Gentleman and players game, but the team which opposed the local players was a very powerful one. The brothers Walters must be veritable wonders if they can give much start to the full backs seen at Everton on Saturday. Davies, the Welsh international, gave an exhibition, which can only be characterised as a revelation. This player greatly pleased a large body of Rugby “unemployed” who were present at the game while Ingram was brilliant, to say the least. The half-backs were all clever, G. W. Turner, of the Ramblers, showing very far form at centre. The forwards were a splendid rank. Their individual cleverness and remarkable combination was only equalled by the apparent ease and sang froid with which they performed throughout. After such a sever week's work, a victory of 4 to 2 over Everton was an excellent finish to a brilliant tour. The local club was strengthened by the acquisition of Townley of the Blackburn Rovers, who play well throughout. During the first half Everton appeared likely to be in for a sound dribbling, facing the slope with an adverse record of 4 goals to nil. They pulled themselves together, however, and before the game was finished the Londoners were made to feel that they could by no means trifle with their opponents. The match was very interesting from a spectators point of view, but the tripping of D. Smith by Dick followed as it was immediately by a repetition of the Scotchman's characteristic methods of dealing with an opponent was received by a section of the spectators in a very different spirit to that which it merited. Cowardly at any time, this trick was peculiarly so on the icebound ground on Saturday. Taken individually, and comparing the teams man for man, Everton were infinitely inferior to their opponents, but taking the teams collectively, we should say that the score of 4 to 2 fairly represented their respective merits. Dick was far safer than Dobson at full back, and Stevenson played a wonderfully clever game at half-back whilst Townley and Farmer were better than the right wing pair and Richards played a dashing game in the centre.

Note –great was the disappointment when the first of the local fixtures with the famous Corinthians had to be abandoned owing to the breakdown of the weather, and as there was little if any improvement during the succeeding days; it was feared that the Everton fixture would share the fate that had befallen that with the Ramblers. The sudden renewal of the storm on Saturday almost destroyed the hope that Anfield would be graced with their presence for the snow had fallen anew and the air was piercing cold. Courier, December 25 th 1886.

Corinthian Crackers and Everton Snowballs.
December 25 th 1886. Football Field
By “The Grumbler.”
What Ho ! my merry bounders, the Grumbler greets ye. Christmas is upon us, and the heary-headed hardy annual seems determined to come early and often. For some days he has been toeing the line waiting for the crack of the pistol. Impatient of the starter's delay he has had some preliminary bursts, and dropped several flakes from his beard. No good putting him back. He has determined to win in a canter. Those well-known sprinters, Boreas and J. Pluvius, has been left on the mark whilst Jack Frost and his ancient pal Snowball have run a dead heat. All hail, then, to Father Christmas king of the yule log, herald of good cheer. Begone ya attendant sprites of Dissipation and Dyspepsia. Ha, ha! The Beaker bubbles with bibulous blarney. St. Anthony avaunt! Let the brandy blaze in bluish beauty o'er the plethoric plum pudding! Lift high the sacrificial knife, and plunge deep into the carcase of goose and turkey. Bacchus and Beauty turn the spit, the banquet is served; sit down, my masters, and do yourselves well.

Out in the cold world.
But not for us yet are the walnuts and the wine, the choice Havava and the reposeful siesta. ‘Tis a dream of a week hence, engendered by the somnolent effects of a plethora of beautiful snow. This is a veritable snow kingdom. Out of the slush and mush of Liverpool, away o'er the icebound roads to the suburban wilds, banished even from the inviting quarters at the Sandon Hotel, I await the conflict between the Corinthians and Everton. Oh for a peep at the vanished fire, a draught of that steaming hot grill. (N.B. Quotation.) No shelter from the icy blast as we sit huddled up on the grand stand, snow for a cushion ditto for a footstool ditto everywhere. We are fast developing the fixity of expression of a gallery of wax martyrs in Madame Tussand's when the first contingent of the Corinthians dash on the ground, and indulge in a blood circulating snowball and leap-frog, tableau. We long to join them but Mr. Jackson's, Ulster-enveloped form checks familiarity with his pets, and we drum ourheels impartiently. Then come the umpires and referee, Mr. Jope, and Dr. Smart, snugly tucked up, but the volatile Fitz as airy as ever.

Some Eye-openers.
The “Official Card” issued by the Evertonians is found to be sadly misleading. Only six of the Corinthians are in the position assigned them, whilst several are changed altogether. This is not the fault of the home authorities but rather due to the erratic dispositions of the Southrons, who doubtless like the gentleman in the New Testament story who absented themselves from the feast had a variety of excuses. I should put their absence down to one cause –weather funk. Where, oh where, is Spilsbury, the promised centre? Echo answers with customary monotony. Everton are all there, or mostly so, and the game commences, 3,000 devoted spectators warming to enthusiasm with the kick off. There's no doubt about it, they do like football Everton way. Even the frozen-out Rugby contingent came to cheer their Association brethren. The Corinthians went for the rivets early. Dr. Smith going along like a mowing machine knocked Dobson off his perch, and Challen taking the cue from the burly one popped the ball through Joliffe looking anything but happy at the sudden Jollification of his opponents. Farmer, as his name implies, proved a regular “yeoman” for Everton, and whilst the long Dr. was quite “up to Dick” who became intimately acquainted with the texture of the snow Richards was not “himself again” –and again. Horley sorely on scored the second point for the Corinthians, and then Everton went in for obstinate attack. They banged away at Vidal, and got several corners, but Davies proved a scorcher at full back and declined to be taken in and done for. Corinthians again challenged the defenders at the other end who threw up the sponge and thus it was than half-time though the game had been for the most part fought in the neighbourhood of Vida, the Corinthians were leading by a trio to nil the brilliant individuality proving too much for the all-round usefulness of Everton.

Everton die hard.
I had just time to recharge my gun –otherwise fill up, and light the pipe of peace –when the irrepressible Corinthians were at it again this time receiving unpremeditated assistance from an Everton back. Then Briscoe was brisk oh with his head, but Vidal the idol of the Corinthains, did the needful. Directly afterwards however, he was not sufficiently brisk to resist a similar head-strong attack by the same smart player, and Everton broke their duck. Richards then made some amends for previous mistakes by scoring a second and all the steam seemed knocked out of the Corinthains, who wandered about aimlessly for a time. Unfortunately a jolly game was not allowed to conclude without a regrettable incident. Friend Dick seemed to have it in for the Doctor for sundry amenities in the first half. There was a repetition of the Harrow (er) ing incident at Glasgow, and after his involuntary acrobatics over Dick's back, the Doctor had trouble with his elbow, it afterwards transpiring that a small bone had been fractured. The spectators seemed inclined to regard the temporary delay which followed this incident as an attempt to “get on time” by the Corinthians, who were now having slightly the worst of it; but this was a bit uncharitable, as there was enough bone in the ground to make a fall dangerous to anyone but a boneless man. The ultimate result was a four to two defeat for the toffee representatives, but they had not that much the worst of the game. Every praise, however, must be accorded the Corinthains for their smart display at the end of a week's hard work. I have never seen Joliffe before. He has the reputation of being a good custodian, but I have an idea –despite the ojiousness of comparisons –that if Trainor had been between the sticks (the match being played outside of Darwen) that Everton would not have stood down. In the classic phraseology of the praise ring a “win tie or wrangle” might have been bargained for. Once more, everybody, “A merry Xmas.”

December 27, 1886 Freeman's Journal & Daily Communicial Advertiser
This important annual fixture was played at Anfield, Liverpool, on Saturday, before 6,000 spectators. The weather was very fine. During the first half the Ulster men did not display their usual combination, and the Liverpool champions, by the aid of Richards (two) and Farmer(one), succeeded in placing three goals to their credit. In the second half Ulster played better, and the Everton goal was often in jeopardy, Reid and Millar being most conspicuous. Watson and Fox played a grand game behind, and Barclay kept goal well. This half of the game was very fast and exciting, and it was not until fifteen minutes before call of time that Everton was able to score again. A very pleasant match ended in favour of the home team by four goals to nil.

Everton v Ulster
December 27 th 1886. The Liverpool Mercury
This match was played on the ground of the former, and in spite of the heavy rains the ground was in good condition. There was an attendance of about 6,000 spectators. Everton started the game at 2-15, and the ball was immediately taken to the Ulster goal. After a short scrimmage at the goalmouth Everton obtained a corner. From the corner kick Ulster broke away, and took the ball to the opponent's goal, Jolliffe knocked out a difficult shot. After some play round the Everton goal, Costley obtained the ball, and ran down the left wing finishing up with a well-directed shot from which a corner to Everton resulted. From the corner kick, the Everton right obtained the ball, and Fleming passed to the centre, Richards got possession, and with a swift low shot scored. After this Costley was prominent in some splendid runs on the left wing, repeatedly shooting across the goalmouth. As a result of one of these shots a goal was obtained by Everton after some fine heading. Richard headed the ball through, Everton now showed some fine play, Farmer, Costley, and Gibson being particularly prominent. A prolonged struggle took place round the Ulster goal, but the goalkeeper defended well, and no goal resulted. Costley sent in a particularly warm shot, but Barclay saved finely. Shortly after this Ulster had an opening, but showed very bad management in front of goal, the forwards not working well together. Everton now made it hot for their opponents, and obtained a corner, Costley placed the corner beautifully. A scrimmage occurred, and Barclay again distinguishing himself by saving. Everton, not to be denied came again. The goalkeeper struck the ball, but he and the ball were rushed through. Shortly after the whistle blew for half-time. During the second half the play was more even, Campbell the Ulster centre, obtained the ball, and made a fine shot, which struck the cross bar. After this the Ulster goal was assailed; Briscoe made a low shot, the ball just going outside. Everton then obtained a corner. Some scrimmaging round the Ulster goal resulted in the ball being put through, but the goal was disallowed. The attack on the Ulster goal continued. Higgins centred the ball from the right wing, and Costley headed it through, thus bringing the Everton score to 4 goals. The home team showed some fine passing, and Gibson shot over. A free kick was given in front of the Ulster goal, and a hot scrimmage occurred, but nothing resulted. Ulster now had a look in at the Everton goal, and sent in a very hot shot from the left wing, but Joliffe was equal to the occasion. Farmer goal the ball and ran down the left wing. Everton in quick succession obtained three corners, from which, although beautifully placed by Costley, nothing resulted. The game shortly after terminated in favour of Everton by 4 goals to nil. Teams; - Ulster; - Barclay goal; Watson and Fox, backs; Moore, Barclay and Hasting, half-backs; Reid, Mears, Campbell, Millar, and Williams, forwards. Everton; - Joliffe, goal; Dick and Dobson, backs; Higgins, Gibson and Stevenson, half-backs; Costley, Farmer, Richards, Briscoe, and Fleming, forwards.

Lancashire Evening Post - Monday 27 December 1886
The Ulstermen played the first match of their Christmastide tour at Liverpool on Christmas Day, their being a large attendance of close upon 4,000 spectators.  Everton started with the hill in their favour, and within fifteen minutes from the start Richards effected the fall of the visitors fortress.  The play continued in favour of the home team, who before half-time had placed two more goals to their credit, all of which were placed by Richards.  Following the change of ends play was for a length of time of an equal character.  At last Costley very cleverly headed through the Irish posts.  Soon afterwards Farmer developed a further danger; but the opposing backs played well, and no further breach was made.  Briscoe played a grand winning game, Millar, Reid, and King striving hard to avert defeat.  Final score;- Everton four goals; Ulster, none. 

Lancashire Evening Post - Tuesday 28 December 1886
At Anfield, before 7,000 people. Play was very even in the first half, and no goals were scored.  At twenty minutes before time, Everton, who were improving as the game proceeded, scored, and gave the visitors trouble to the close, eventually winning by two goals (both by Richards) to nil.

Everton v Northwich Victoria
December 28 th 1886. The Liverpool Courier.
Another large crowd, numbering several thousands (6,000-Mercury) assembled at Anfield, on Boxing Day when Everton took on Northwich Victoria. The visitors kicked off, but Play was at once taken into Northwich ground. Good general forward play gave trouble, a couple of corners supplemented with a foul near the post. Clever defence, however, cleared the impending disaster, and Everton, in turn were temporally driven down the hill. Northwich, after Everton had tried ineffectually to shoot a goal returned to the attack. Dobson missing his kick, got round the ball near the line, but Goulding wound up a fine dribble in a good attempt at goal, Everton then went off with a rush a pass by Briscoe causing as kick over. Northwich next went down the field smartly, and a puzzling shot was sent in from the left after the visitors first corner, the ball striking the post from off Joliffe. Another corner to Northwich followed, and then Everton left received from Stevenson, Costley passed to Farmer, who sent in a fine shot, which was equally well cleared by Leather. By combined play Northwich located operations for some time in Everton half, during which a foul was given against Costley. Nothing series, however, occurred, and again Everton were troublesome, Briscoe and Fleming giving away to goal line, and causing a corner. Trips were made to either goal, but neither defence gave way, and ends were changed with the score nil. Immediately on restarting as a result of a little skirmishing, Higgins made a slow shot just off the posts, but Northwich were soon clear, and Joliffe called upon to save smartly. Everton then sustained a foul at centre, which was followed by long kicking, and on Everton obtaining a throw in at the corner Farmer sent in a stringing but futile shot. Play now became more animated, some warm scrimmaging between Richards, Fleming and Higgins and the Victoria backs being followed by shots from Farmer, and Costley, all to be cleared. Some even play ensued and at length Northwich bore on to goal, Joliffe circumventing a hot shot from Goulding. This preluded a disaster to the visitors, for, as a sequel to a corner, Richards from Stevenson and Gibson, got the best of the custodian, and scored the first point in the game, and received an ovation. Everton gathered round the ball when they now had the upper hand, Briscoe being especially clever in dribbling and kicking in front of the Northwich goal. The visitors made a forward movement, but to little purpose, and on Farmer being beaten in his shot, he passed to Richards, who found his way through a second time. Everton got several corners in the subsequently pressure, from one of which Richards was near scoring. The closing feature was a mighty kick by Dobson from midfield to the goalmouth and Everton thus won a well-fought game by two goals to nil. Teams; - Everton; - Joliffe, goal; Dick and Dobson backs; Higgins, Gibson, and Stevenson, half-backs; Fleming, Briscoe, Richards, Farmer, and Costley, forwards. Northwich Victoria; - Leather, goal; Cross and Maddock, backs; Vernon (Davenham), Rose, and Carter, halfbacks; Scrowcroft, Goulding, Bestwick, Holland (Davenham), and Brookes, forwards.