March 1887

Everton at a Disadvantage.
March 5 th 1887. Football Field
Wild rumours of the disappearance of Dick from the scene of Liverpool football were afloat last week. He had done with Liverpool football. Had gone, and the place should know him no more. But it is likely the acquaintance so acceptably formed by the Kilnarnock back with the Everton club is destined to be of much longer duration. He has not been in the best of health for some time, and an acute attack of neuralgia has induced him to return home, in hopes of recouping on his native heath. Stevenson too, is on the sick list, in a curious coincidence, these two players having stuck together very closely during their exile. With four players in addition to these two engaged in the Junior County game, Everton met Bury at a great disadvantage. The match was a fixture for the Bury ground, but as in the Rawtenstall match Everton by some means not far to perceive, obtained the removal of the venue to Anfield-road. There was quite a revivalist meeting at Anfield-road, for Tom Marriott Parry, George Finlay, and Gourlay, were all unearthed for the occasion. There was much fear and trembling for the result amongst the Everton supporters, for the undertakers were known to be no chicks, and when four goals had been notched to nil before half-time “few and brief were the Cu—(prayers I mean) that were said.” Fleming came from full back, where none but a misguided committee would have placed him, for with Farmer and Costley away from the forwards, who was there to score save Fleming and Briscoe? But I cannot think it was the committee's arrangement. When the fine right winger partnered Briscoe the effect was instantly felt. No longer was the attack all one way; at any rate, it was not all on the Everton goal. The home team gained the only point afterwards scored, and ended losers by 4 to 1.

March 5, 1887. The Belfast News Letter.
This day, at Ballynafaigh, Everton holders of the Liverpool and District Challenge Cup play Ulster (Holders of the Irish Challenge Cup), kick-off at 3-30 sharp. The following are the teams;- Everton:- C.T. Joliffe; G. Dobson, A.S. Dick; M. Higgins, W. Gibson, R. Stevenson; G.S. Fleming, W.H. Briscoe, J.H. Costly, G. Farmer, Centre T. Sowerbutt. Ulster:- J. Roberts; WT Fox, J. Watson; J. Hasting, J. Campell, H.L. More, J. Reid, G. Miller, J. Reid, E. Reid, T. Mearen.

Everton v Ulster
March 7 th 1887.
No details.

March 7 1877. The Belfast News-Letters.
This match which should have taken place on Saturday had to be postponed till today on account of the non arrival of the Everton team who were unfortunately detained by the heavy fog on Friday night the Liverpool steamer not arriving in town till five o'clock. The match will start at four o'clock sharp, and it is to be hoped that a larger number of spectators will turn out to witness the match. The Everton have their full team, and will no doubt sustain the high reputation, which they have so deservedly gained as exponents of the dribbling code.

Postponement of the Match.
A good deal of disappointment prevail in football circles on Saturday afternoon owing to the arrival of the Everton team from Liverpool, who had engaged to play a match with the visitors club on the ground at Ballyafeigh. The Liverpool both, with the team on board, was detained in the vicinity of New Brighton for five or six hours, and the fog was so dense in the channel that it was impossible for the streamer to put back again in Liverpool dock. When the weather cleared up the boat proceeded on her passenger, only arriving at Belfast about five o'clock on Saturday afternoon, which was too late for the engagement being fulfilled on their ground the Everton team will direct to the Queen's Hotel (Where they will stay during their brief visit here). , and from thence, after a stop of only a few minutes to the Ulster ground, which they reached just when the match between Ulster against Young Men's Christian Association and Cliftonville Combination had concluded. The original Everton against Ulster will take place this afternoon when good play on both sides may be expected.

March 8, 1887. The Belfast News Letters.
This match, which it will be remembered was postponed from Saturday last owing to the detention of the Englishmen by a fog in the Mersey came of yesterday on the grounds of the Liverpool under very encouraging auspices. The attendance was pretty fair, and the ground owing to the fine weather of the pass few days was in perfect conditions. The kick-off took place at four o'clock, when Everton having won the toss, Reid kick-off for Ulster. The ball was at once returned into the Ulster half, and a corner ensured, which did not come to any practice issue. The Ulster team did their utmost to return the pressure, but owing to the ply of Everton back division, did not succeed. A shot at goal for a throw-in at the corner by Fleming was saved by Elleman, Meares, getting possession of the leather, had a sound run into the Everton ground, but Dick interfering succeeded in turning the ball into the Ulster half. The play from the forward became much brisker, the visitors butting forth-prodigious efforts to score. Another corner followed for Everton from Hastings, but the Englishmen did not make anything of it. After some very determined play in the part of the visitors Gibb put in a long shot and scored the first goal for his team amid applause. The latter had a second chance but failed, Mears and Forsythe getting possession had a combined run into the English quarters, but the backs relieved, and the ball travelled again into the Ulster half. A corner was obtained against the latter. The second goal for Everton was scored by Dobson. After the kick-off play was continued to the centre of the field for some time, but the Everton forwards by some clever passing compelled the Ulster team to act on the defensive once more. At this stage Crones did some good work for Ulster and Elleman saved another shot. From the kick-out the Ulster left wing got possession, and Everton had to defend their position, but only for a shortime, as the Everton backs repelled the assault. Some very exciting play ensued in front of the Ulster goal, and the ball was again sent through the posts, but the goal was disallowed on the ground that it was offside. Some fine play now took place, and confined until the call of half-time the visitors' ground being attacked in fine style, and a goal obtained for Ulster. The score stood when the whistle blow –Everton 2, Ulster 1. On change of ends the home team pressed their opponents and the play for some time was confirmed to the quarters. Dick relieved the pressure, and the ball was soon in the Ulster half, but Reid (No2) getting the ball, had a run down the centre, and passing to Meare, the latter had a shot, but failed. The play after this became very fast, the backs on both sides being very energetic. The Everton forwards, getting down to their work rushed the ball up to the Ulster goal, and had a couple of shits, which Elleman saved. A corner followed, but the visitors failed to improve the score. Shortly afterwards Jack Reid got hurt, and Ulster had to work minus his services for the remainder of the match. At call of time the score was Everton two, Ulster one. The following were the teams: - Everton: - Joliffe goal; Dick and Marriott backs; Stevenson, Dobson and Higgins, half-backs; Farmer, Briscoe (Right wing), Gibb (centre), Costley, Farmer (Left wing). Ulster: - Ellerman, goal; Fox and Watson (backs); Hasting, Campbell and Crone, half-backs; Right wing, Reid, Miller, Left Winger, Meare and Forsaythe, centre J. Reid (No 2),

Everton's visit to Ulster.
March 12 th 1887. Football Field.
By “Micky Free.”
In a fog
The Clarence Dock was the scene of rather unusual commotion on Friday evening, as the Everton team with their friends assembled to take their departure to Belfast on abroad the good ship “Optic.” A speedy passage was predicated by all those who knew, or pretended to, the fast steaming qualities of the streamer in question, but, alas, it proved an Optical illusion. Scarcely had we got fairly into the river when the fog began to settle down low and thick. “Dead slow” was the order for a short time, with the foghorn making sufficient noise to burst the drum of one's ears. After wadding about for some time, the boss of the show yelled out some order, and way went our port bow anchor with a plunge. Our spirits sink with the anchor as the last hope of the rapid passage fitted away. We are not likely soon to fot et it.

Anchor for meals1
Costley was at loss to understand the arrangement but being solemnly assured that they always came to an anchor at meal times he was quietened till the said meal was over, when he called out to the worthy secretary “I'm done now, can't you tell the Captain he can go on!”

We make a fresh start.
Three a.m. saw us again under weigh, moving dead slow through the Queen's Channel. The monotony of this creeping operation was broken by a little excitement consequent upon being within an ace of a collision with another large steamer. At last when close to the Isle of Man full speed was got up and half-past five saw us on outside cars trotting off at a pace utterly unattainable by hacks on the side of the channel, to Ballynafeigh, the ground of the Ulster club, just in time to see an immense crowd returning disappointed.

A pretty spot.
Bills were got out announcing the postponement of the match until Monday, and the Ulster Club entertained the visitors in a truly warmhearted manner. Sunday was spent pleasantly. A visit was made to Crawford's Burn, a beautiful spot close to Bangor, County Down, the property of Major Crawford, which he generously and unselfishly leaves open to the public. Although visited at a time of the year when the foliage of the trees is wanting to contribute to the beauty of the scene yet it was unanimously voted to be as lovely a spot as any one could wish to spend an afternoon in.

The game on Monday.
A fairly prompt start was effected, Everton being short of a centre forward were assisted by Gibbs of Cliftonville. I was not much impressed with his play. He has much to learn if the form displayed was correct. The first half of the game contested almost entirely in the Ulster end, but bad shooting on the part of Everton, and good goalkeeping on the part of Elleman prevented the score rising beyond two goals. It was painfully evident during the second half that travelling and sight seeing does not conduce to good football, as the forwards with one exception appeared pumped out. Gibson got a severe kick, which reduced his pace to a shamble. Higgins was decidedly the best of the halfs, and Dick's fine kicking was the subject of general admiration. Two to one was the finale, but it certainly does not represent the state of the play.

A sharp drive brought us back to the Queen's Hotel, where the worthy and hospital host met us. We bade him good-bye with reluctance., for “He's a jolly good fellow” and I can recommend his house with confidence to visiting teams. The farewell at the docks was quite effecting. The Ulster men turned up in great force, and there could be no mistake about the warm-hearted way they treated their Everton friends. Songs were sung and choruses rendered with such gusto that the natives did stare. “Rolling Home” was given in splendid style by the genial spirit Johnston, and with the sound of his fine baritone voice in our ears we quietly slid from our moorings and in good time reached Liverpool once again, well pleased with everything –barring the fog –and the way we were invigated through it.

Church v Everton
March 14 th 1887. The Liverpool Mercury.
This match was played at Church. In consequence –of the late arrival of the visitors the game did not commence until a quarter to four o'clock. Church scored in the first minute Smith putting the ball through during a scrimmage. Immediately afterwards, as the result of a splendid run by Beresford, Holden added a second point; and through the home team were playing uphill and against the sun they maintained the advantage and Heresford was instrumental in adding another goal to the home team, the ball being put through by Gregson. Some even play followed and eventually Everton scored their first point. Gregson next made a grand effort, and Smith tackling the goalkeeper, another goal resulted, Heresford soon afterwards headed a fifth, and at the interval Church led by 5 goals to 1. In the second half the game continued for some time without ant change. An attack by the Everton forwards ended in a well-directed shot, which Thorp repelled. The visitors claimed that the ball had gone through, but the referee decided against them. Next Costley got a goal for Everton and a third being scored, Church finally won by 5 goals to 3.

Cricket and Football Field - Saturday 19 March 1887
At The smoking concert of the Everton F.C., Mr. Coates, manager of the Sandon, upset a jug of warm water and four crushers into Tom Scott’s pocket –accidentally.  Mr. Coates’ apology was that he did not care about the water, but Tom need to keep the crushers. 

Association Game.
March 19 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
Everton, with a team greatly below its normal strength, paid an unsuccessful visit to Church, being defeated by five goals to three. The Church men played a hard game from the start, and thus it happened that the whole of their points were scored during the first half of the game. Still the Evertonians had a “look in” and were able to notch a goal. With the change of ends, however, they played a much better game, and although occasionally pressed, they managed to repay the visits with interest. Whilst Everton in the latter half scored twice, the visiting backs and goalkeeper defended with such conspicuous, still that the Churchites were unable to add to their score, which certainly was some satisfaction to the losing side after their uphill game.
Today's match
Everton V Tranmere Rovers (Liverpool cup-tie), at Anfield.

Liverpool Cup-Semi-final
Everton v Tranmere Rovers
March 21 st 1887. The Liverpool Mercury.
This match was played at Anfield-road in presence of 2,000 spectators. The ground was heavy, and play was rarely exciting, a prolonged scrimmage in the Rovers goal evoking the only enthusiasm of the afternoon. Everton had to fall back on the services of Marriott and George, vice Dick and Fleming, and Corey took up his old position at half-back. The Tranmere lot won the toss, and elected to attack the Anfield-road goal. Everton at once got away, and play was delayed. Costley being hurt. Richards shortly put in a warm shot, which Sheridan smartly saved, and after Costley and Farmer had worked into a favourable position, the latter shot very wide. Here abouts the Rovers missed a lot of kicks and were confined to their own quarters. A corner fell to Everton, but proved futile upon which t he Tranmere men created a diversion at the other end, where Joliffe nearly mulled a shot in goal. Everton again travelled down, and after Costley had made a wild kick for goal, a scrimmage took place in the Tranmere goal, and the ball was forced through. On re-starting play was not exciting. Tranmere occasionally broke away, and Farmer indulged in some gallery play on the Everton left, which was highly diverting, but did not conduce to steady the Everton attack, which was just not very erratic. A break away by the visitors broke the monotony, but again were they driven back, and Farmer added a second goal, which Sheridan made a feeble effort to avert. George got possession of the ball on the re-starting, and giving to Richards, that player put in a very wild shot, followed immediately by a beauty, and them a fierce scrimmage took place in the Tranmere goal. Amidst much applause the visitors defenders staved off shot after shot; but a length Richards got one home, and this was followed before half-time by a fourth from Costley. The visitors showed up on recommencing, and scored their only goal; luckily Joliffe kicking out and the ball rebounding through off Marriott. Everton were soon on the offensive and Costley scored a soft one Sheridan missing his kick. After Richards had shot badly, Farmer added a sixth goal, Briscoe headed a seventh and Farmer an eight, although the custodian should have stopped this latter. Towards the finish Everton were occupied in shooting in and taking corner kicks, but only one other goal was scored, Briscoe getting the ball past the goalkeeper who again feebly attempted to deal with the shot. Everton were thus winners by 9 goals to 1. Teams; - Everton; - Jolliffe goal; Marriott and Dobson (captain), backs; Corey, Gibson and Higgins, half-backs; Farmer, Costley, Richards, Briscoe, and George, forwards. Tranmere Rovers; - Sheridan goal; Rothwell and A. Little, backs; Munroe, O'Toole, and Muir half-backs; McAtee, Sheridan Little, Morgan and Taylor, forwards.

A Semi-Final at Everton
March 26 th 1887. Football Field.
It was rather funny to find the semi final for the Liverpool Cup between Everton and Tranmere Rovers being played on the ground of the cupholders seeing that the Wirral club might have claimed for its decision on neutral territory. It certainly displays an amount of docility and hopelessness on the part of the Tranmere Club, with which their actual demeanor in the game scarcely coincided. The arrangement gave satisfaction all round, I doubt not, and that is sufficient. This game failed to rekindle a spark of the burnt-out enthusiasm in the local cup-ties, and there was not an average Everton gate. The match today with Church will be gratefully received by the habitues of Anfield-road, who have had quite enough of these cup ties, what with Everton v Linacre, Earlestown V Bell's Temperance, and last Saturday's match. There were again three notable absentees from the Everton eleven, Dick, Fleming and Stevenson, but they were not greatly missed for the match turned out a very one-sided affair. The ground was in a bad order, or the score against Tranmere lot would undoubtedly have been heavier. As it was they lost the game by 9 goals to 1, the latter being a very fluke affair. Still, several of the taller number would come under the same description, for the Tranmere goalkeeper played very unevenly. It is necessary to detail the incidents of the game, which was never of an exciting description. Stay –there was one very stiff struggle in front of the Rovers' goal which gave rise to just one bit of excitement. The ball was kicked out, and returned time after time the goalkeeper cutting a very decent figure in this episode which ended in the downfall of the visitors goal. Of the losers McAfee played a very fair forward game, but I cannot single any other of the side for commendation their display being uniformly mediocre. Farmer and Costley had a very merry time, and the little Oswestry man had a fair share of the spoils in the way of scoring. Richards is still an uneven player, a dashing and brilliant effort being usually succeeded by a wild and erratic outburst. Dobson was the best of the defenders, who had not a particularly anxious time.

According to the Liverpool Courier, Everton are playing Bolton Wanderers at Bolton, in the fixture list.
Bolton playing Preston North End in the Lancashire Cup final
St Domingo v Ormskirk, at Stanley Park

Everton v Church
March 28 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
These teams met at the Anfield enclosure on Saturday, and as Church had beaten Everton the previous week, a large amount of interest in the event, nearly 4,000 persons witnessing the game, which was well contested throughout. Everton started the ball with a slight wind in their favour, but Church were the first to score Walker doing the needful after a good run. Then after some very even play Richards opened the Everton account with a good shot. The home goal was then assailed, but the backs defended valiantly and on the raiders being repulsed Everton pressed until eventually Richards again put the ball past Sharpe, the visitors custodian. Everton still maintained the aggressive, but for a time were held at bay. Then Gregson and Holding attacked the home goal. Marriott kicking to the centre Farmer here got possession, and dribbling past the Church scored a third goal for the homesters. Give-and-take play ensued till shortly before half-time when Farmer notched a further point against the visitors. This brought about the interval, with Everton leading by four goals to one. Upon resuming, play became very fast, both goals being rapidly assailed. The defence, however, was superb and as neither side were able to add to their score, Everton full revenged themselves for the previous reverse by four goals to one. Teams; - Everton; - Jollife goal; Dobson and Marriott, backs; Corey, Higgins, and Gibson, half-backs; Farmer, Costley, Richards, George and Higgins forwards. Church; - Thorpe, goal; J. Wood and B. Robinson, backs; Gaskell, Taylor, and W. Woods, half-backs; Gregson, Holding, Smith, J. Beresford, and Walter, forwards.