January 1887

January 1 1877 The Cricket and Football Fields
Farmer, of Everton was married on Christmas morning –played football in the afternoon.  Good luck, Geordie, my boy. 
The referee of Everton on Christmas Day was a vice-president of the home club and had two brothers playing in the visiting team, so that everything was friendly and Christmassy. 

Northwich Victoria at Everton.
January 1 st 1887. Football Field
The match at Everton on Monday afforded in every way a marked contrast to that of Xmas Day. The match with Ulster was off too one-sided a character to rouse other feelings than interest in the play. The Victorians, however, were far different material, and gave the Liverpool cupholders more than sufficient before they once more achieved victory –this time by 2 goals to nil, Northwich have been unfortunate this season in having their men hurt, and consequently did not being their best team. The vacancies were, however, well filled by recruits from the neighboring village of Davenham, so that a really serviceable eleven faced the Evertonians on Monday. There was quite a bank-holiday crowd –close on 6,000, and the varying phrases of the game were followed with intense interest.

From the start play was of a furious character, the goals being assailed with impartial vehemence. Both sides exhibited equally strong defence, and offensive resource. The goalkeepers were both severely tested, but during the first part neither was beaten. No sooner had the ball been re-started than it became evident that the struggle would be keener than ever. Everton rushed furiously down, and there was some very fine combined play. Dick and Dobson performed prodigies at full back, so that Everton were most persistent in attack. Time sped on and a draw seemed probable when Fleming worked down and afforded Richards the desired opportunity and Everton were at last rewarded with a goal. This acted as usual in arousing the players to fever heat. Their rushes were irresistible, and ere Richards again scored from a pass by Farmer. No other goals was scored, Everton thus winning a splendidly contest by two goals to nil.

Association Game
January 1 st 1887, The Liverpool Courier.
The holiday programme at Anfield commenced on Christmas day with the Ulster fixture, and remembering the good game the Hibernians gave Everton a year ago, 3,000 persons, or upwards, contributed their mites in the hope of witnessing an equally exciting display. As a matter of fact the Ulster club was not so well represented as on the occasion of the former match, added to which the visitors experienced a roughish passage, and it was therefore to be expected that they could hold their own against the locally champions with even a moderate prospect of success. For the space of 15 minutes Barclay stoutly defended his charge, but the pressure at length became so great that a breach was made, and before half-time was reached Richards, who was in exceptionally good shooting form, thrice leveled fatal shots at the Ulster citadel. This of course was rough on the visitors, but there was no help for it, the weakest as in love or war, being destined to “go to the wall.” Even when the change of ends gave then the advantage of playing down hill, the visitors were no better circumstance than before, for although the score was only increased by a goal (two others being disallowed), they were manifestly overplayed, being beaten eventually by four goals to nothing. Owing to the superior back play of Dick. Joliffe in goal was very rarely troubled but what little fell to his lot had the merit of being done with exceptional skill. The Everton half-backs played a really good game, Stevenson in particular being worthy of favourable mention. The most conspicuous of a good lot of forwards were Richards, Farmer, and Briscoe, the latter of whom for neatness and consistency of play outstripped his colleagues, and became the recipient of the prize offered for the best display on his side. Millar was the best of the visiting forwards, but although Reid played well, he evidently studied state too closely to be really effective when tackled by his more experienced opponents. Barclay, considering the amount of work imposed upon him kept goal fairly well, and of the remainder of the team King at half-back, and Fox and Watson back, acquitted themselves quite as well as under the circumstances could have been expected.

The improved and extensive stand accommodation at the Everton ground was more severely tested on Boxing day, as there must have been fully seven thousand attracted to the scene of the struggle between the Evertonians and Northwich Victoria. Great as was the crowd, the arrangements for their reception were ample, and all witnessed a tough, if not over exciting, game in comfort –a result which carries its own commendation of the foresight of the Everton Executive. The home team was identical with that which beat Ulster on Saturday, but they had a harder nut to crack in the strong Cheshire Club –which was for the nonce assisted by two or three members of the neighboring Davenham club –and it was not till the game was three parts over that Richards scored the first point in the contest. When the Evertonians obtained the ascendancy, however, they maintained a harassing attack, but the visitors defence was so good that only one other point was permitted, the home team thus winning by two goals to nil. The Northwich were conspicuous for their quiet, combined passing, Goulding if any exception can be taken, being the most brilliant in a naval lot. Of the winners, whist the forwards and backs were always safe and clever, two of the half-backs were evidently a liitle off colour - but then it was during the height of the festive season.
Today match
Everton v Patrick Thistle, at Anfield

January 3, 1887. Glasgow Herald.
A late start was made in this match, which took place at Everton, and the ground was in a very dangerous condition. The visitors were the first to act on the offensive, the Everton goal being for sometime the scene of some very lively proceedings. After eight minutes' play Thistle came away in a strong run, Dick missed his kick, and ere he could recover the ball was dashed put the Everton custodian, amidst cheering. The visitors for a time pressed severely, and Caldwell missed a fine opportunity from a free kick. Still pressing, Patrick should again have scored, but Suter shot wildly. Joliffe had a very anxious time of it in the Everton goal, a splendid screw by Marshall testing his powers to the utmost. The same player again duffed an easy chance, and then Everton appeared to rally, for they gave the visitors' backs plenty to do. Briscoe was cheered for a nice run down the right, but a bad kick by Dick again gave Patrick a corner. Dobson next stayed a threatening advance of the visitors. Following which Higgins was applauded for nice tackling of the Thistle forwards. Dick conceded another corner, and a fierce scrimmage was followed by a free kick, near the Everton goal. Everton made a strenuous effort to offer a serious resistance, and Stevenson gave Duff a scorcher. T. Marshall also made a great effort to increase the visitor's score, and Briscoe again came in for much cheering for a fine run down the Everton right. Play grew fast and furious and alternated at either end. Farmer and Costley sped away on the Everton left and forced a corner. Finely placed, the ball remained in the Patrick goal, after a severe scrimmage was forced through. As usual after a success, Everton played with grand vigour, and Richards had a fine chance, but shot badly, and half-time arrived. During the second half both sides strove hard to get a winning point. Everton first became aggressive, but the visitors won a corner, and the ball was headed a shade wide of the Everton posts. After the kick out Everton came well away, and Farmer shot over the goal –a near thing. Dobson tackled the Patrick left amid cheers, and Briscoe came right through the Patrick defence, only failing at the crisis. Nothing could be more even than the play at this juncture, and considering the state of the ground the pace was a very conspicuous in a very severe attack on the Everton goal, which he saved finely more than once. Partick again forced the play, and Farmer created a diversion on the Everton left and forced a corner. This proving abortive, Richards shot badly with the goal at his mercy. As Patrick pressed a free kick was given again Dick, which danger being averted. Richards took good aim at the Patrick goal, the ball just glancing outside the post. This was followed by a fierce scrimmage in the visitors' goal, but the keeper was equal to the emergency, and threw it away in safety. A fast and exciting game terminated in a draw of 0ne goal each. Although play may be described as even, yet it must be said that the Patrick attack was more persistent than that of Everton, their play all round being greatly admired.

Everton v Partick Thistle
January 3 rd 1887. The Liverpool Courier
Partrick Thistle paid their annual visit to the Anfield enclosure on New Year's day, and there was again a large attendance fully 5,000 persons being present. Richards started on behalf of Everton, and passing over to the left, a run was made up to the Thistle goal. Hendry kicked away, and a visit was made to the Everton end, the ball being headed over the bar. From the kick off, the Scottish goal was again threatened Richards and Briscoe being prominent in the attack. The visitors, however, broke away, and after a short scrimmage in close proximity to the Everton uprights Johnstone scored the first point for the game. Everton lost several chances from bad shooting, and Partrick had a couple of corners, but no result accrued from either of them. Briscoe them ran up on the Everton right, and crossed over to Richards, who shot went over. Suter and Johnstone then got away and by means of good dribbling, the home goal was reached, but Suter shot high over the bar. Soon afterwards the Evertonians gained their first corner, Costley placed the ball well, and after two or three attempts Gibson headed their first goal, which was hailed with cheering. A further corner fell to Everton, which was placed outside. Young and Marshall were showed up on the Thistle left, while Higgins and Richards played well for Everton. Shortly afterwards half time was called, the score standing at one goal each. The Scottish men having restarted, Everton at once broke away, and the Partrick goal was visited. Duff cleared, however, and again the Everton lines were dangerous, Dobson and the misfortune to fool” the danger was removed, and in close sequence Richards shot over the visitors' stronghold. Now for a while Patrick had somewhat the best of play during which a shot by Marshall just shaved the posts and passed safely outside. Everton next claimed for a “foul” in midfield, but although Dobson landed the ball in front of the uprights Duff got hold, when Farmer rushed up and forced the Patrick custodian to throw outside. Costley place well from the corner, but Hendry relived, and the scene of hostilities was removed to the Everton quarters. R. Marshall had a shot from the right which Joliffe fisted out, and Dick kicked away; where upon Richards took up the attack and sent in a splendid high shot which taxed Duff to the utmost to prevent taking effect, for Farmer and Briscoe rushed up, and an exciting scrimmage ensued right in the mouth of the Scottish goal, when Duff fell on the ball, but throwing away in the nick of time, Caldwell removed the danger. Suter and Johnsone then raced down the field, and Dick gave them a corner, Suter placed well, but Robertson shot over. From now till the end of the game play was very even, and as no further points were scored a finely contested game ended in a draw of one goal each. For the Thistle, Hendry played a capital back game McDonald and Robertson performed well at half while Suter J. Marshall, and Johnstone were the pick of the forwards. For Everton Dobson at back played a magnificent game Stevenson and Higgins were good at half while of the forward division, Briscoe, Farmer, and W. Richards were the most prominent. Teams; - Everton; - Joliffe goal; Dobson (captain) and Dick, backs; Higgins, Gibson and Stevenson, half-backs; Farmer, Finlay, Briscoe, Costley, and Richards, forwards. Partick Thistle; - Duff goal; Hendry and Caldwell, backs; Milliken, Robertson, and McDonald, half-backs; Suter, Johnstone, Marshall, Young, and R. Marshall, forwards.

Everton football club.
January 4 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
To the Editor of the Liverpool Courier.
Sir- on the 8 th and 15 th inst., two very important matches will be played on the ground of the above club, and I would respectfully beg to make a few suggestions to the committee. The seats they recently provided at some expense alongside of the enclosure on the South side of the ground, should be removed. They were put there to be sat on, so as to gave these behind then a chance. The public however, have now got into the habits of standing on them, rendering the sloping ground from the platform they have erected of little or no use. I would also suggest that a good strong stags similar to the one on the south side, but with not last than six rows, be erected against the walls at the extreme ends and west of the ground. These would provide good standing room for a large number of people and be a great improvement to the ground at a comparatively small outlay. A few cartloads of cinders put at each of these ends next to the enclosure would make it more comfortable standing when the ground is damp and cold as we have had it, and the stage should be cleared of all snow before matches, and not left in the state they were on Saturday last. Yours, et., A Regular Attainder.

Prospective and retrospective
January 8 th 1887. Football field
The New year opens with the brightest hopes for those who cherish the welfare of the Association game in this district. A retrospect of twelve months would display a sort of crisis in the favour of the game and its Liverpool devotees. Everton were gradually settling to their quarters at Anfield-road; they possessed serviceable team, and had begun to attract something more than a spectator's interest, the influential and business like spirits who have ended the team in a short twelvemonth from the position of a second rate eleven into the very front rank. The run of brilliant victories at the commencement of the present season, has thus far been undimmed by defeats in foreign parts, and the prestige of the club has gained by the determination to play the full strength of the club at home and abroad. Bootle too, have kept pace with their time-honoured rivals. Although –the commencement of the season the club was under a cloud, and though they were unfortunate enough in having to meet Everton in the local cup competition without three such men as Holt, Heys, and Wilding yet they made so brilliant a fight on that occasion as to have inspired them with renewed vigour, and since the well remembered 23 rd October they have never looked back, and have gained a brilliant series of victorious as to place them once more abreast of the Anfield-road Club. Stanley have passed though various vicissitudes, but there is a silver lining to the cloud which has for some time obscured their light.

The one disagreeable feature in all this bright outlook is the strained feeling existing between the two leading clubs. This appears to be desperable from the existence of local rivals, The question of kidnapping, the fear of such, this, consequently the continual floating of rumours in this system have set both teams by the ears. The deflection of Gibson to Everton was followed by the acquisition by Bootle of Wilding. This after was as district a loss to Everton as it was a win for Bootle, for the inclusion of Heys in the Bootle team more than compensated for the loss of Gibson. Both clubs feel aggrieve, and look on each other as the aggressor. Is this absurd position to be perpetuated? The strain grows more intense by existence. Is it not an appropriate time to ease up to shake hands all round and come to some mutual arrangement with reward to the matters affecting the clubs? This can only be done by the utter abandonment of all punctilio, as to who shall first hold out the Oliver branch.

Twelve months ago Partrick Thistle appeared at Anfield-road and demonstrated a commanding superiority to Everton in a very good match. Last Saturday the same team was at Anfield-road, but the scene was greatly changed. Partrick showed a diminution of skill, but they found the Everton of today a tougher lot than those they encountered their previous essay. Then all the cleverness was on one side. Now there was nothing whatever, to choose between the teams. A drawn game in which each club scored a goal has the result of one of the best games seen at Everton. At the start it looked as if Everton could at last fall on their own ground, for the Scotchmen were very much bent on business. As they were on Everton as is always the case, improved, and at the finish were making the Thistle goalkeeper's position very uncomfortable. Corey appears to have been dropped out of the Everton team to makeroom for Stevenson. The display of the old Stanley man against the Corinthians was no good to be lost sight of, and his place in the team is likely to become permanent. Fleming was unable to don the jersey, and it appears likely that ere long the clever right winger will drop out. He has not been in his old form on weeks past, and has been quite outshone on most occasions by young Briscoe –the coming men. Fleming is too good a man to slightly dropped, however and it is really a pity that his opportunities do not quite keep pace both his enthusiasm for the club of his adoption, his place was filled on Saturday by Finlay, a much deteriorated player.

Dobson was the hero of the Everton team and it may be safely asserted that George never played a finer game. His tackling was great and is kicking perfect. Indeed he quite outshone his companion Dick, who for once was a way was quite on it. One of a blunders proved very expensive, and his tackling was not so sure as usual. The three halves were evenly balanced but forward there was a little disjunctive. Fleming was missed, and Richards uncertain. Walter is capable of anything, the most brilliant and mediocre, and whilst some of his rushes and shots were splendid on Saturday at other times they were most wild and erratic. Farmer and Costley did as well as on the former's shot and the latter's centres being equally dangerous to the Thistle. Of the Sotchmen the forwards played a very pretty game, and the halves ably seconded their efforts. The back play was scarcely up to the standard although Hendry did good work. Duff was a lucky custodian a remark which will also apply to Joliffe.

Association Game
January 8 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
The visit of a Scottish team to Liverpool in variably ensures a monster attendance and a most cordial welcome, and this was freely accorded the representatives of the Partick Thistle, who were the new year guests at the Anfield Ground. Although the crowd was not so large on a previous day, close up on 5,000 persons braved the wintry blast in the hope that the Evertonians would wipe out the defeat incurred against a weaker team just a year ago. Since that time Everton has come to the front by leaps and bounds, and with victories over Darwen, Accrington, Derby County, Halliwell, Northwich Victoria, and other noted clubs, the opinion generally prevailed that the senior team of the Thistle would have all its work cut out to hold its own. The result fully bore out this surmise, for although the visitors owing to an unfortunate slip on the part of Dick, who is usually so safe, the first to score, the record was equal before ends were changed. The came the great struggle for supremacy, in which Joliffe was unappeasable, and with Dobson in magnificent form, no breach could be made. Neither could the vigorous Evertonians break through their Scottish opportents, whose defence was equally line and thus the game –played under difficulties as regards the state of the ground –fittingly remained drawn, and another year must therefore elapse before the problem of supremacy can be solved.

Liverpool and District v Renfrewshire
January 10 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
The first meeting of teams representing these football centres met at the Everton ground on Saturday. 4,000 spectators were present the Scottish team winning the game by two goals to one, Farmer scoring the Liverpool goal. Joliffe, Dobson who captained the team, Briscoe, Farmer and Costley playing for the local district.

Blackburn Rovers v Everton
January 15 th 1887. Football field
The premier Liverpool club appeared with their best team on the Leamington enclosure this afternoon, when they met an equally strong eleven of the Blackburn Rovers. Jack Frost had been extremely busy during the week, and consequently the ground was very hard and really dangerous to play on. The spectators were only few, the keenness of the weather militating against anything like a big “gate.” The following were the teams; - Rovers; - Arthur, goal; Beverley and Suter, backs; Heyes Douglas, and Forest, half-backs; Rushton, Walton, Fecitt, Townley, and Sourbutts, forwards. Everton; - Joliffe goal; Dick and Dobson backs; Stevenson, A. Gibson, and Higgins; half-backs; Fleming, Briscoe, W. Gibson, Farmer and Costley, forwards. Referee, Mr. S. Helme, Farnworth. Half-an-hour each way was played. The visitors kicked off at seven minutes past three, and at once made tracks to the Rovers' end, where “fergy” saved. A minute later Dobson saved the Liverpool citadel in fine style, and then the Evertonians, by pretty combination, again attacked, and Fleming sent in a rattling shot, which struck the left upright –a nearsqueak. In many places the ground represented veritable skating ponds, and the players had the greatest difficulty in sticking on their pins. Sourbutts and Townley were applauded for neat passing, which transferred the leather to the visitors' end where the former just shot over. Soon after, Dobson inadvertently gave a corner, but this was finely cleared, and for a time the play was of an even nature. The players slipped about like eels out of water, and this, although discomforting to those principally concerned, afforded the spectators some amusement, thus slightly counteracting the dull efforts of an uninteresting game. The Rovers gradually asserted the upper hand, and for a time matters were warm for the Liverpool defence. Several dangerous shots were sent in and one or two corners gained, but these came to nought, the corners being exceedingly badly utilised. The home team were just now exhibiting splendid form, and were often within an ace of scoring. Shot after shot was passed in, but Joliffe and his backs defended pluckily, and succeeded in saving their charge from disaster. Towards the close of the half the Liverpool, forwards played up better, and gained “hands” close in the Rovers' goal. Nothing came of it, however, and the interval arrived with the score sheet blank. On the second half the Rovers had slightly the best of it, and soon got an abortive corner. The glassily surface however, was all against play, though at time both goals were assailed at the close of the game neither side had scored.

January 15 th 1887. Football Field
Verily the enthusiasm of leather chasers has reached a height. Some years ago no clubs could be found hardy or foolhardily enough to engage in their pastime on such grounds as were obtainable last week. Layer upon layer of frozen snow had been piled up, and on Friday night the great fail of snow, covering the ground as it did in this district to the depth of six inches, might well have precluded any but the most enthusiastic from an indulgence in football. There was a general idea that no games would be possible, and yet the Everton ground was visited by some 2,000 spectators to witness the Inter-association match between Liverpool and Renfrewshire. The players selected for the game with a true conception of the sport proper to the occasion went in for a spell of snowballing preparatory to the commencement of hostilities. And indeed snowball would have been a fitting title for the game which ensued. The leather was frequently covered with a thick coating of snow, and its very peculiar gyrations and otherwise eccentric tendencies caused no small fund of amusement for the spectators, as they sorely puzzled the hardy contestants. However, when the players and spectators had become accustomed to the novel situation, they settled down to a keen appreciation of the sport, which spoke volumes of what might have been under other circumstances. Indeed the game as an exposition of football was most creditable to all concerned, and was heartily appreciated by the attendant crowds.

The Liverpool team
I pointed out in this column last week that considerable discrimination had been shown in the selection of the Liverpool team, which should have consisted of five players from Bootle, a similar number from Everton, whilst the eleventh place was occupied by Horley, of the Ramblers. With respect to the latter, I was extremely sorry to see a display of nervousness, and awkwardness which elicited expressions of disappointment from the spectators, a disappointment expressed more forcibly than good-naturedly by “certain lewd fellows of the baser sort.” Horley was considered good enough, and by no means disgraced himself when playing for the Corinthians, so that it must have been other than lack of ability which led him to show such poor play in the match under notice. Unfortunately, neither of the selected Liverpool full backs could turn up; and this was a serious matter, for although Dobson did very well still he played rather the half than the full back game, whilst Angus McCallum was quite unable to adapt himself to the situation. Galbraith preferred standing out, and Joliffe willingly undertook his post at goal. Frank Woods was introduced at half-back and thus the whole of the advance guard was occupied by Bootle players. The visiting team was composed mainly of Port Glasgow Athletic Athurlie, and Abercorn players, and a strong eleven they proved. Had the game been fought under ordinary conditions it must have proved in every respect the best of this class of game yet played in the district.

The game –a novel spectacle
The visitors kicked off, and soon loud laughter from all sides of the field was provoked by the novel sight. The ball refused to move along the thickly covered ground, and frequently resembled a large snowball. It was not pleasant to be the player who missed kicking when opponents strove for possession, for the loser not infrequently got a snowball on a new principle, as the snow flew off the propelled sphere in all directions. The visitors, with that cannyness so characteristic of their race, soon dropped to the situation, and short and rather slow passes rendered futile the rushes of the Liverpool players. Thus for a time the Scots ruled the roast. Allison on the left wing carry on shot the ball through the Liverpool goal, but was promptly and properly nonsuited for off-side. Indeed, this player was evidently a relic of the pre-offside times, as he proved a veritable demon as “goal sneak.” Little Holt, however, early took his measure, and before the game was over had led him many a merry dance. There were many rushes to the Renfrew goal, but little combination was displayed amongst the forwards. Farmer and Costley frequently made considerable headway, but both these players played to the gods far too much at the start. Farmer made some capital runs, but not infrequently was hoist with his own petard when intent on making a show of one of his opponents. The Scotchmen were at length rewarded by a legitimate goal, the result of a mistake by Dobson. However Liverpool were enabled to equalise. Just before half-time as the result of some capital play by Farmer and Morris, the little Evertonian putting the finish to the effort.

Renfrewshire win.
The second half of the game was really exciting. Both sides had warmed to their work, and Mr. Secretary Gregson set them off without unnecessary delay. The Scotch goalkeeper was greatly troubled more than once, but Downie did not belie his name, for he astutely mastered all the awkward difficulties which beset his charge, and exhibited such brilliant defence as to call forth the heartiest encomiums form the onlookers. Farmer during this period made some brilliant runs, and his final effort in the match, had it been crowned with success t the finish, must have ranked with the most brilliant of individual achievements, for receiving the ball in Liverpool territory he made off, eluding the opposing half-back. Strongly tackled by one of the backs, he baffled him, and then fairly left the others, who went in pursuit, as if standing still. Unfortunately the little man, had shot the bolt, and aimed feebly at the visitors' goal. On the other wing Holt had been arousing the enthusiasm of the spectators to the highest pitch by some wonderful tackling. Indeed the little Bootle man fairly took first honours in the match, and got himself much disliked by Allison and his companion on the Scotch left wing. Towards the finish of the game the Scotchmen made a determined attack on the Liverpool goal. The backs and half-backs stayed off many a shot, but somehow they could not quite get the ball into a place of safety, and after an exciting skirmish the visitors got the winning goal, and right well did they deserve their success.

The players
Were I asked to write down the Liverpool team in order or merit on this performance, I should thus place them –Holt, Farmer, Heys, Dobson, Woods, Joliffe, Costley, Morris, Briscoe, McCallum, Horley. But that Heys was hurt in the second, he might have occupied an even higher position in my estimation. The visitors' goalkeeper was a gem, both backs were secure, the halves very clever, and the forwards evenly balanced. Hamilton was perhaps the best, the right wing being undoubtedly the cleverest part of the Renfrew attack. This must be taken into account in estimating the abilities of the Liverpool defenders.

Liverpool and District Junior Cup-first round
Everton Swifts v St. Peter's Swifts.
January 17 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
These teams met in the first round of the Liverpool and District Junior Cup on Saturday. There was a pretty fair attendance considering the state of the weather, the ground being very hard. St. Peter's lost the toss, and kicked off. Play ruled very even during the first half Everton having slightly the advantage. Gurlay and Parkinson scored for Everton Juniors whilst Sabiston scored for St. Peter's. play was still very even in the second portion of the game, but the result, but the result was reversed, Duncan and Mitchell scoring for the “Saints.” Everton failed to score and at the call of time had to retire defeated by three goals to two. Teams; - Everton; - Williams, goal; Simpson and Johnstone backs; Humphreys, Amdon, and another, half-back; Costley, Gurley, Jones Scott and Parkinson, forwards. St. Peter's; - Morrow, goal; P. Robinson and Craig, backs; Pickup, Sabiston, and Robinson, half-backs; Milroy, McIhagga Duncan, Mitchell, and A. Robertson, forwards.

Association game
January 22 nd 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
With such an advantageous fixture in view as that with the first team of the famous Rovers, the Evertonians were extremely unfortunate to find, on their arrival at Blackburn, the ground in an almost unplayable state. Although not quite fully, both clubs were fairly, represented, and thus as far as the difficulties of the situation permitted, a fair trial of strength ensued. Starting with the wind behind them, the Rovers, after they had repelled as assault were more or less aggressive during the first half of the game, but Joliffe was so well aided by the backs that the Rovers were unable to find a vulnerable point. With the change of ends it appeared odds on the Evertonians puling through successfully. The ground, however, was dead against them, for although they repeatedly took up the ball, the shooting was either erratic, or else they floundered and let in the opposing backs, so that, in the end not a single point was scored, and the match consequently remained drawn. Joliffe made a good impression by the quick and decisive action in goal; while Dobson the Everton captain, won even higher honours in being accounted the best back on the field. Mike Higgins the veteran of the visiting team, played an exceedingly good half back game, and forward Palmer bore off the palm. Arthur appeared in goal for the Rovers after a protracted absence, and played exceedingly well. Suter was “out of sorts,” but Forrest at half-back made a good display, the best of the front rank being Townley and Sourbutt, who were seen to advantage despite the treacherous state of the ground.

With reference to the tabulated statement of the position of the leading clubs at the end of December which in common with other journals appeared in last Saturday's issue a Preston correspondent under the signature of “P.P.” writes at considerable length as follows; - “In scanning ever list I feel satisfied that it is misleading. Stress is laid on the fact that Everton ‘held the proud position of heading the list in point of goals scored as against goals lost' and from this basic is the whole return is arranged. It is because Preston North End appears as occupying only second rank in this respect that I have given an hour or two's attention to the matter, and with your permission I hope to be able to satisfy those who are interested in football that the mode at present adopted for showing the relative merits of the principal clubs is calculated from wrong premises. For instance, of the 18 matches played by Everton 14 were won, one was drawn, and three were lost, the percentage of the games won being 77 77, the total number of goals scored being 59, with 13 against. Because the proportion of these goals happens to be 4'54 to 1, and the 136 scored by Preston North End with 36 against average 4-33 (not 4-45 as stated) Everton has the place of honour. Preston coming second, and the same calculations arrange the position of the remainder of the clubs. This can not be fair. The North End played 27 matches and won 24 of them, the average being 88 88 or 11'11 above Everton, and surely this is strong enough to prevent the priority being filched away by any other calculation, either fair or unfair. Then again Burnley who rank absolutely as one of the most unsuccessful clubs of the season, having only won 14 of 28 matches, because their total goals for and against stands 2-28 to 1, are actually placed eighth on the list.

Cricket and Football Field - Saturday 22 January 1887
The second visit of the Everton club to the Leamington ground was made last Saturday.  The last occasion on which they visited Blackburn was several seasons ago, when they defeated an “A” team of the Rovers by two goals to one.  The match of last Saturday should scarcely be termed a match at all.  The ground was in a fearful condition, and no attempt had been made to render it less slippery.  How the players managed to get about is a puzzle to me, and it was surprising that a match should have been played at all under the circumstances.  However, it appeared as if the Rovers could not afford to lose the odd coppers of a very meagre attendance of as apathetic a set of spectators as I have seen on a football field.  Certainly it was could enough to free anybody, but a band of Evertonians on the stand afforded a specimen of enthusiasm, which seems to have burnt itself out in Blackburn.  It was scarcely a favourable time for forming an estimate of the support accorded to the game in Blackburn, but moving about in what I may term “football circles” one could not shake off the sort of sensation such as takes possession of those who view the Coliseum and the dugout ruins of Pompeii.  Several juveniles in the neighborhood of the goal being remonstrated with by one of the players by sliding too close to the ground, and for kicking instead of throwing the ball in when it came near him, replied “We’re having a game to ourselves; yours isn’t worth looking at.” 
The Game
The start was almost a sensational one, for W. Gibson had immediately the Rovers goal at his mercy, but missed a great chance.  After this Everton pressed, although playing against the wind.  The Rovers apparently awakened to their danger for they aroused themselves and turned the tables completely.  For a time they were encamped before the Everton goal, but the difficulty of getting a foothold, and beating two vigilant backs and a wide-awake goalkeeper, was too much for them.  Sourbutts and Townley made many a pretty run, the former also making more than one supreme effort to beat Joliffe.  In several flying visits to the other goal Arthur was troubled, a splendid shot by Costley just glancing into play off the inside of an upright.  Thus the first half-hour passed, unproductive of any score.  The next thirty minutes, play was mostly in favour of Everton, and once it appeared certain that they would score.  Costley dodged past Heyes in fine style, and centred right off the touch-line.  Higgins made a good effort to reach the ball, but was only in time to see Arthur throw it away.  The game ended in a draw, no goals being scored. 
The Players
It would be unfair to mete out blame to anyone in such a game, but were I asked to name the player who did least work in the match I should say, unhesitatingly, Herbert Fecitt.  I could not believe it was the same player that appeared at Everton last season, and who was generally considered the best of the Rovers forwards, and for whom I have since expected the highest honours.  Sourbutt and Townley were the best of the Rovers’ forwards, and all the defenders did good work.  I cannot single any of the Evertonians for special mention, merely pointing out that Higgins kept his feet wonderfully well at half-back, and Joliffe quite maintained his reputation as a clever custodian.  If the game was disappointing to the Liverpool contingent, they made very merry of it.  The after proceedings were of a most hearty character, and I have rarely spent a more enjoyable Saturday afternoon than while in the company of the Everton club in their visit to Blackburn.  If anybody wants to know why young Farmer is the idol of his club, let him accompany the team in one of their out matches. 
A true though terse reflection on the Rovers v. Everton game was made by a youngster on the ground, who, when fetching the ball over the touch-line dallied with it and was accordingly remonstrated by Douglas remarked “We are having a game ourselves; yours isn’t worth watching.”  

Cricket and Football Field - Saturday 22 January 1887
A Iron-Bound Turf
“Not fit to be played on” was the verdict of all those who examined the Leamington ground last Saturday, and it was wasn’t there being dangerous patches of ice in various parts of the field and the turf being held in an iron grip.  However, Everton had made the journey from Liverpool, and so the Rovers, who naturally grumbled at having to play on such a day, had to make the best of matters.  The visitors arrived at the scene of action at half-past two, but the process of stripping was a slow job for both teams, who did not turn out until quarter past three.  “How are we to play?” was eagerly asked by the players, and something akin to a cheer was raised when it was decided that half-an-hour each way could be sufficient. 
The Drawbacks of a Frost
Were soon apparent on the teams getting to work.  Both sides were well represented, but it was the Liverpudlians who were the first to show up, Arthur, Beverley, and Suter having their work cut out for them.  The little Evertonians showed up well, and often pressed their opponents, but anything approaching accurate shooting was out of the question, the players being fully occupied with sticking out their feet.  The spectators were afforded little amount of amusement at the ludicrous gestures every now and then cut by the men, who had a most uncomfortable time of it.  Tackling was too dangerous to be resorted to, and as a rule all the players did or could do was to stand still and kick when the ball came near them.  Of course, one or two0 of the bolder spirits attempted running and a little tackling, but they variably paid dearly for their pains, a fall on hard-hearted Mother-Earth being extremely unbearable; or, when bent on lifting the ball, sliding with express speed six yards in an opposite direction being equally unpleasant.  Towards the close of the first half the Rovers asserted to indisputable superiority, and the way they went for the visitors fortress showed they meant business.  For upwards of a quarter of an hour as the siege sustained vigorously, but Joliffe and his backs, Dick and Dobson, defended right gallantly, and, although the home team had narrowly squeaks the visitors succeeded in keeping their charge intact, the interval, which came as blessing, finding the score-sheet without a scratch.
The Finale
The Rovers had the advantage of the breeze in the first portion of the game, and yet had failed to score.  Naturally it was thought that Everton with a certain amount of luck, might succeed in pulling the match off.  However, on the teams commencing hostilities it was plainly visible to the spectators, half of whom had already departed, that the players had thoroughly lost heart and were wishing for the signal to cease.  More than one of them were already stiff and sore from the effects of the previous experiences, and the lifeless manner in which they shaped would have proved a stone to pity.  Both ends were alternately visited, but when any of the forwards had a chance to score they lacked the necessary impetus to make the final attempt.  And so the game progressed up to the finish, and when the glad mind conveyed to the players that their troubles were over for the nonce, neither side had a goal to its credit, the result being a tie. 

January 22, 1887. The Blackburn Standard
This match was played at Blackburn on Saturday. The ground was covered with ice, and utterly unfit for anything but skating. It was, however, decided to play for 30 minutes each way. Everton had to leave W. Richards behind, W, Gibson luckily turning up completed the team. The Rovers were well represented, Lofthouse and Ward being displaced by Ruston and Suter, whilst Arthur again stood in goal after an absentee of two or three weeks. The Rovers won the toss, and Everton started against the wind, and it appeared likely that they would score immediately, for W. Gibson at once had the Rovers' goal at his mercy. The chance slipped by, and amusement was caused by the offers of the players to keep their feet. Surbutts went speedily along the left wing, but, being deprived, Higgns sent across to Costly, and the latter struck the inside of one of the Rovers' uprights very hard; but unfortunately for Everton the ball rolled into play, and Beverely got it away. Farmer, Gibson, and Higgins, in turn, rained in shots, but it was impossible to take careful at him; and the Rovers began to appreciate the danger menacing their goal. Townley and Sourbutts went away in pretty style, the latter's shot being a beauty, and only a trifle too high. A corner was forced, but nothing came of it; and then Farmer dodged away towards the other goal, but stopped at Douglas, Townsley next had a great chance, but falling, Dick rushed the ball way. Fleming and Gibson fastened on it, but W.Gibson shot far above the bar. A corner off Dick was followed by two grand saves by Joliffe. Everton eased pressure momentarily, but Suter's big return afforded Sourbutts another chance, of which he well nigh availed himself –a grand shot with the left foot. The pressure on the Everton goal was for a time severe. Douglas headed beautifully, and Joliffe was hard set to get the ball away, following which Townley and Sourbutts again brought danger, the former's selfishness letting in W. Gibson, when hands against the Rovers brought relief. Farmer now led on a concerted movement, but Beverley got in way. Higgins put the ball well in again, but Suter headed away, just on half time. Everton were early at the Rovers' goal where they stayed awhile, but Sourbutts again got the left, when Rushton shot over. Fleming had the worst of a passage with Forrest, who played a beautiful game, and Rishton struck the crossbar as the whistle proclaimed him “off-side.” Farmer next put in one of his characteristic shots, which cost the Rovers a corner, after a period of anxiety. Costly got away in a nice dribble, and dodging Heyes shot in beautifully. Higgins could not get up in time, and the opportunity was lost. The Rovers came away with an irresistible rush once, and Townley fell heavily, luckily without serious consequences. Time shortly expired, no goals having been scored. Teams; Blackburn Rovers; Arthur, goal; Beverley and Suter, backs; Forrest, Douglas, and Heyes, half-backs; Sourbott, Townley, Fecitt, Rushton, and Walton, forwards. Everton; Joliffe, goal; Dick and Dobson, backs; Higgins, Gibson (A.), and Stevenson, half-backs; Fleming, Briscoe, Gibson (W.), Farmer, ad Costley, forwards.

Everton v Rawtenstall
January 24 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
The return match between these teams was played at the Anfield enclosure on Saturday. A large crowd was present, close upon 4,000 persons witnessing the game. Everton started the ball against the wind, and a rush was at once made on the visitors goal. Lord clearing. The home team, however, kept up the pressure, having a lot the best of the game, although the wind spoiled their shooting. Later on the visitors forwards made one or two spirits, but the defence was too good to allow of any advantage being taken. After about twenty minutes' play Farmer scored for Everton with a splendid shot, while before half-time Briscoe scored a second point, and on the arrival of the interval Everton were leading by two goals to nil. The visitors restarted against a stiff breeze. Everton immediately took up the attack, and swarmed round their opponents' goal. Soon after the restart, Fleming scored a third point. The visitors were now completely penned within their own quarters, and a fourth was rushed through from a scrimmage. Rawtenstall from a kick out by Barnes made a temporary run to the Everton end, and Joliffe was troubled by Enthwistle. The danger however, was promptly cleared, and returning to the charge three further goals were scored by the Evertonians, who finally won by seven goals to nothing. The following are the teams; - Everton; - Joliffe goal; A. Dick and G. Dobson, backs; E. Corey, A. Gibson and M. Higgins, half-backs; G. Fleming, J. Briscoe, W. Richards, G. Farmer, and J. L. Costley, forwards. Rawtenstall; - E. Kay, goal; Barnes and Lord backs; Spencer, Pickup, and Harper, half-backs; Cornall, Riley, Andrews, Webster, and Enthwistic, forwards.

Then and now
January 29 th 1887. Football Field.
The opening episode on the Everton ground was a defeat. The administrators were Rawtenstall a club which has shown some very in and out form this season. Their latest freak was a sound thrashing at Everton in return for their kindness in submitting to the boasting taking once at Anfield-road. The fixture was down to be brought off at Rawtenstall, but the Everton Committee were anxious for many reasons to ego the pleasure of a trip to the East, and entered a very tempting bait to the countrymen to nibbled, and were fairly offered as a prolatory sacrifice in the presence of an predicative audience at Anfield road. Rawtendtall 3, Everton 2. Now – Everton 7 Rawtenstall nil! And here he is tempted to sermonise on the downward tendency of the club esprit de corps . Formerly here was but one element in these weekly trials of skill between English football clubs –the healthy spirit of emulation. Now, alas! In these generate days, Mammon reigns supreme. But – oh yes, the game. Seriously though Rawtenstall would have been well advised to have reclined the advantage of their own peculiar ground, and to have suffered less in reputation though possibly losing in pocket.

One sided game.
Rawtenstall are not in the same street with Everton, judged by their display last week. I am not well acquainted with the personnel of the team, but I can vouch for the fact that it was but the shadow of that clever combination which set the ball rolling at Anfield-road on the 14 th August last. They were overmatched from start to finish though it took Everton twenty minutes to make a breach, they fairly rushed them through afterwards. The backs and goalkeeper strove hard and failed to stem the tide, but the home players had mentally vowed to take summary vengeance and were simply irresistible. The feature of the match was the really grand play of Fleming on the Everton left, and one is pleased to note the return of something like his true form of the fast forward in the district. His dribbling was perfect, his centres most accurate and his shots for goal wonderfully true. In fact one of the goals he scored was simply wonderful, being screed under the bar right off the goalline. When the Bolton wanderers were at Everton Kenny Davenport did a similar thing twice in the match and I then though I had never seen anything finer. All the Evertonians shone conspicuously, and were very much satisfied with their performance.

Association Game
January 29 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
The knowledge of the fact that early in the season Rawtenstall beat Everton by four goals three, sufficed to attract an enthusiastic crowd of close upon four thousand spectators to the Anfield enclosure for the return match the fullest confidence being felt in the ability of the Evertonians to reverse the verdict with interest. Since that untoward occurrence on the 7 th of August last, gigantic strides have been made by the then vanquished team, and only twice since the 14 th of the month, when Everton succumbed to the Bolton Wanderers, has the first team been beaten, namely, by the Glasgow Rangers, who won on the 30 th of Oct, after a hard and splendidly fought game, by a goal to nothing, and the Corinthians, on the 18 th December. On Saturday Rawtenstell turned up with their usual team, and as Everton was equally well represented, the conditions favoured the belief in an exciting contest. The visitors had the advantage of the wind during the first half of the game, notwithstanding which two goals were scored against them. Everton had all the best of the subsequently play, scoring five more goals to their opponents' nothing. Fleming (who seems to be coming back to his old form) scored three of the goals Farmer one, Briscoe one while two others were rushed through out of a scrimmage. Dobson, Higgins, Fleming, Farmer, Briscoe, and Richards were the pick of the winners while the visitors, who were outclassed to the end, were best represented by Barnes, Lord, Harper, Enthwistle, Riley and Andrews.

The Gymnasium team managed to beat the Everton Swifts after a very even game, and the result –two goals to one –just about indicates the correctness of the play. For Everton, the backs played a fine game, whilst Bowring, half-back. and Turner and Cheshire forwards played an excellent game for the Gymnasium.
Todays match
Burnley v Everton, at Burnley
Everton Swifts v Bootle 2d teams, at Anfield.

Burnley v Everton
January 31 st 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
These teams met at Burnley on Saturday, before 3,000 spectators. The opening play was fairly even, but on settling, down Burnley began to press causing the visitors' backs plenty of work. The ball, after being nicely worked up by Waugh, was shot through by McNeil, who scored the first point. The visitors once got away, and tried hard to score, but failed, and Burnley again attacked the Everton goal, and had hard lines, on several occasions. Up to half time Burnley were constantly in Everton's goal, but Joliffe their guardian, saved many shots. In the second half, of the game, Burnley were again in the ascendant, and another goal was soon registered for the home team. After being twice repulsed by Joliffe, Sugg with a magnificent shot, notched the third goal and immediately afterwards a further point. Burnley continued the pressure with one or two moments relief, and from a scrimmage Pat Gallocher shot the fifth goal, the remainder of the game being all in favour of Burnley, with the final result; - Burnley five goals, Everton none. Everton; - Joliffe goal; Dobson and Dick backs; Corey, Gibson and Stevenson, half-backs; Higgins, Briscoe, Richards, Farmer and Costley forwards.