April 1888

April 2, 1888. The Liverpool Mercury
These teams met for the first time this season on Saturday, at Anfield. There was another large company present, every spot of vantage ground being occupied. The field of play had been carefully rolled, and was so dry that it seemed difficult to believe it was the same enclosure that the previous day simply looked a sea of mud. Halliwell came fully manned, whilst Everton played the same team that beat Padiham. Duncan kicked off down, hill and with the wind. Everton at once running the ball-up on the right and over the line. R. Jones put an end to an offensive run, and, dodging through sent well to the right wing, the line again being crossed. Jardine ran down and put behind, and on trying a return shot was charged over at the corner. Halliwell right then took up the attack, but had no better success than the left had. Everton could not yet, however, beat back the invaders a Mullin, and Jardine each called upon R. Jones and Dick, and so effectively did the latter perform that Everton were enabled to become dangerous for the first time. Costly heading well out of a scrimmage. Dick stopped Jardine and Mullin when near in, and Nidd missing the ball, Dick found it necessary to rush across to foil Crombie and sent out. Duncan renewed the attack, but shot badly, and then R. Jones put Fleming on the ball, Costley spoiling a possible chance by kicking blindly. Halliwell at once gave trouble, and pressed somewhat severely, during which R. Jones seemed to be always ready to prevent mischief, and finally relieved by sending over to Farmer and Briscoe, who lost the ball near the line. Crombie was the next aggressor, but Dobson was in time to prevent an accurate aim, whilst Hay shot too high. A concerted run by Fleming, E. Jones and Costley was only checked in Lucas fouling the former, and from the free kick Costley found his way past Fairclough, amidst great rejoicing, after some 20 minutes' play. On resuming, the visitors tried to pass Dick, but in vain; and Farmer and Briscoe worked their way well up from the kick up, Farmer going over in an erratic shot. Fleming also failing through the activity of McDougall. Smalley fisted out a centre shot, and Weir in turn cleared an Everton corner from the left, and then Halliwell threaded their way down to goal and attacked strongly. Dobson enabled one shot to pass innocently over, but Dick had some stiff work to keep Jardine at bay, a shot by the latter going behind. The onslaught was renewed, Smalley stopping one from Weir high up a fine bit of passing across the front of goal testing Dick and Dobson's defence, which proved impregnable, and Everton were not far off scoring from a rush. Smalley again found Mullen and Jardine peppering away from the left, and had some clinking sallies to negotiate, which was done in his best style. Everton had another turn, Costley., from Fleming and E. Jones screwing in close to the left post. Dick was too sharp for Duncan and Weir's kicks, and on Nidd sending to Farmer half time was announced whilst the latter was running strongly. Score Everton, 1; Halliwell, 0. On resuming, Robb got on the track of Briscoe, and sending to Hay and Crombie, play was taken close to Everton goal. Dick got in the way of the centres, and lifting up to Fleming, the visitors' corner was reached in a strong run, but E.Jones came up too late to take the pass. Nidd pulled up the Halliwell right wing, and gave to Costley. Lucas, however, was in readiness to prevent a shot. Duncan then gave Smalley a hard one to stop, which was only achieved by running out. Farmer and Briscoe, in a strong run, forced a corner, and Nidd proved quite a match for the raids of Crombie and Hay, beating them in a surprising manner. Fleming and Farmer tried runs and again Nidd held Halliwell in check. Everton now considerably out played Halliwell, and shots and corners rained in profusely. Crombie again found Nidd impassable, Farmer shooting wide from the half-back's post. Higgins spoilt Mullin's and Jardine's intentions, and lobbing up, a corner fell to Farmer. This was easily cleared, but Halliwell essaying a movement. Dick with a long kick bothered Robb, Fleming at once pouncing on the ball, and scoring the second goal. Fleming passing up, Eyton-Jones might have scored from Fleming's centre but was again too slow, to save the match, and gave Smalley a hard one but found no encouragement, and the remaining play was in favour of the home club. None of the good shots of Costley, Fleming and Eyton-Jones found their way through, so Everton won by the unequivocal score of 2 goals to o. Teams; Everton; Smalley, goal; Dobson (captain), and Dick, backs; Nidd, R. Jones, and Higgins, half-backs; Farmer, Briscoe, Costley, Eyton-Jones, and Fleming forwards. Halliwell; Fairclough, goal; Robb and Lucas, backs; McDowell, Weir, and Durham, half-backs; Jardine, Mullin, Duncan, Hay, and Crombie, forwards.

April 2, 1888. The Liverpool Mercury
The Anfield enclosure on Good Friday was almost if not equally as crowded as when Aston Villa were disporting themselves the previous Saturday. Everton's opponents were their old familiar friends Padiham, who thus made a second visit within six weeks. When in Liverpool last, on February 11, Everton were found to be 2 goals to 0 the better team. The Anfieldites of that period were just recovering from rather rough usage, and, as they have shown improving form in the meantime against more formidable foes, the renewed battle with the Pads had no pretensions to be classed as a rousing event. However, it was evident the match was a popular one, or 7000 spectators the face of in elements weather influences, would not have patronised it; and if the play was not of the highest polish, it bristled with interesting periods despite the saddened state of the ground. Everton opened by scoring a goal in an instant from a melee, and in such a ludicrous manner that Costley, from whose head, when charging a man, the ball rolled through, must have been quite as much surprised as the custodian to see the shot and gone home. For the greater part of the first half Everton had the “biggest say,” but, mainly due to the slippery state of the ground at the lower end, could do nothing effectively against the highly respectable defence. A quarter of an hour of the restart Padiham equalised, as the result of a nice all-round forward movement, but Fleming soon gave Everton the lead again, and this being the last point made Padiham had to bite the dust in a 2 to 1 reverse. Everton did more attacking than the result indicated, but, in addition to active defence, had luck to contend with, Farmer, Fleming, and R. Jones sending in very accurately. Everton's back division were strong with the exception of Nidd, who was not at home on the heavy ground. The forwards also showed better combination, Farmer exhibiting something more like his own particular form, whilst Eyton-Jones paid a welcomed attention to Fleming. Padiham were on a level scale, and at times showed fair combination. Everton eclipsed all previous performances achieved since Christmas not excepting the display against Witton in their victory of 2 goals to 0 over Halliwell on Saturday. The company was again very large, and the play being as interesting as the weather was genial, enthusiasm ran high. When assisted with the wind and hill during the first half Halliwell were certainly most frequently at goal, but could find no flaw in the home defence, whereas Everton every now and then broke away in dangerous rushes, out of one of which Costley scored from a penalty kick given against Lucas for fouling Fleming. On turning round, Everton showed to much greater advantage, and scored the only goal of the second half, Fleming talking full advantage of a mis-kick by Robb at a critical moment. Every man in the winning team did well, but it was in the latter stages of the game that the most perfect combination was exhibited. R. Jones was very clever, especially in the first half, at centre half-back, and fairly puzzled the Halliwell forwards, disappointing them time after time. Nidd, though shaping very indifferently early on, played with confidence towards the close; the manner in which he robbed Crombie and Hay repeatedly showed that he has plenty of resource on a dry ground, and with practices may develop into a useful and safe wing player. Higgins was not called upon often, but was ever ready. All the forwards tried their best, and on the whole the formation was well sustained. Fleming showed most skill, Eyton-Jones supporting him with much better judgement than usual; Briscoe also was keeper in his running and kicking; whilst Costley and Farmer were more effective than of late. Smalley and Dobson were safe, and Dick was the best man of the field, his grand kicking being always a source of discomfiture to the visitors. Of the losers, Halliwell forwards could rarely show combination, thanks to Everton half-backs; Weir was too well watched to become dangerous; and Robb, Lucas, and Fairclough were strong.

April 3, 1888. The Liverpool Mercury
These teams met on the Anfield enclosure yesterday. The weather was fine, but the wind too strong for an accurate passing game. The home team, who played a brother of their goalkeeper in Costley's place at centre were the first to appear, and were heartily greeted by over 9000 spectators, a similar compliment being paid to the visitors two minutes later. Dobson won the toss, and Sugg kicked off with the wind, the ball travelling down, Brogan finishing by kicking wide. Returning to the attack. Smalley had to race a warm one from the visitors right and Roberts and Sugg had each a shy at Smalley's charge. Brogan again got down, but Dobson staved off danger. Only temporarily, however, as Dakin managed to beat Smalley by popping one between the posts, but the whistle had previously sounded for hands. From the free kick to Everton the home right got up, but Roberts enabled Howarth to score the first goal in 15 minutes from the start. Re-starting the home left wing worked the leather well up, but Briscoe finished with a bad shot, which went wide of the post. Dakin, in attempting to kick the ball, hurt his knee, which caused him to cease playing for five minutes. Farmer collared the ball, ran up, but Usworth negotiated, and then Brogan tested Dick, who cleared. Fleming came away, and Roberts was loudly hooted for attempting to give him a back. A corner to the Wanderers having been got rid of by Dobson, Dick had some difficulty in clearing shots from Sugg and Brogan very close in. After Farmer had caused Robinson to kick out to save, the Everton centre and left wing again got up, ad had a corner, which was cleared. The game now became exciting. Farmer gave Eyton-Jones a chance, but that player passed it to Flitcroft and Higgins, in robbing him, accidentally kicked Howarth in the face. Continuing pressure, Fleming was spoiled by Roberts, but Briscoe shot in nicely, and Unsworth conceded a corner nothing resulting. Aided by the wind, the visitors travelled downwards, and Dick smartly transferred play to the other end, where the defence of the Wanderers in rapid successession, but luck seemed all against the homesters. At this stage Brogan was cautioned by the referee for venting a long standing grievance with Farmer. Playing hard and fast, Dakin saved a shot from Farmer, and Fleming passed nicely to E. Jones, who dallied, and Brogan was busy when half-time was sounded, the score being –Wanderers 1; Everton nil. On changing ends, Everton soon began to be busy, Fleming, Farmer, and Briscoe working down by passing neatly, but the latter unfortunately ran the ball over the line. From the goal kick Roberts essayed a long lob, but after being pushed over the line by Roberts, skilfully planted the ball in the goal mouth, and W. Smalley gave it the finishing touch, thus equalising amidst the greatest enthusiasm. Striving hard to augment the score, Nidd and R. Jones kept a lively time of it. The Wanderers then had a look in, and kept the home backs busy; eventually, Everton became very aggressive, and had hands given them near their goal, but Farmer mulled an opportunity by lifting the ball right over the bar. Sugg having paid a flying visit to Smalley, Farmer called on Unsworth, who saved, and Flitcroft spoiled a near thing from Fleming. Encouraged by a round of applause for a long kick, Nidd worked hard along with R. Jones, and play continued some time in the visitors quarters, but their defence was excellent, the goal being kept intact. From a free kick E. Steel and Howarth went up smartly on the left, but Dick robbed them, and passed to W. Smalley, who was floored as he was in the act of shooting for goal. After Farmer had missed an easy chance through hanging with the ball too long, the visitors' centre got up grandly and beat Smalley the second time. An appeal was made for off-side, but the point was allowed. Being asked to play up, Everton worked hard, and besieged the Wanderers' goal, but could not find an opening., the ball struck the upright, just as the whistle blew for time, many of the spectators thinking a second goal had been scored, and a medium game ended in favour of the Wanderers by 2 goals to 1. Teams; Everton; Smalley, goal; Dick and Dobson (captain), backs; Higgins, R. Jones and Nidd, half-backs; Fleming, Eyton-Jones, W. Smalley, Briscoe and Farmer, forwards. Wanderers; Unsworth, goal; Robinson and Flitcroft, backs; Bullough, Dakin ad Roberts, half-backs; Brogan, Owen, Sugg, Steel and Howarth, forwards.

April 3, 1888. The Liverpool Mercury.
Yesterday morning, two elevens under the above titles met at Hawthorn-road; but there were several in both teams whose designation of “veteran” was not very apt, notably a prominent member of the Gymnasium eleven. There was a respectable attendance of the public, and no doubt the number would have been augmented if the object of the promoters had been better known. A small sum was handed to the treasurers of the Bootle Borough and the Stanley Hospitals respectively; the balance, after some slight expenses had been defrayed. Everton turned out a very business-like side, and made a better show than the ancients of Bootle. The latter nevertheless defended very firmly, and were beaten by the narrow majority of a goal to nil. Scott scored the goal from an excellently-judged kick of Brown in the first half. The Bootle forwards shaped better against the wind, but Marriott and Parry played with starting vigour, and repulsed every assault. Sloan at the other end, kicked hugely, and L. Woods tackled very safely, and this pair were mainly responsible for the clever feat of preventing a score in the face of a strong wind. Allsopp and McMurray also did good work for Bootle, and Brettle and Scott for Everton.

April 5, 1888. The Liverpool Mercury
The Corinthians, continuing their northern tour, visited Anfield last evening, an interesting game being watched by a very large company. Tinkey-Lindley kicked off on behalf of the Corinthians . Everton starting play minus R. Jones. Higgins kicked back, but Arnott returned the ball with a hugh kick. Falls put in some capital play for the home team, who brought pressure to bear n their opponents' goal. Fleming, however, shot outside the post. Dick then took a free kick in the centre on behalf of Everton. Te ball was sent right in goal, and, with a fine shot, Falls reduced the Corinthians colours. From centre kick the visitors rushed down to the Everton goal, but Dick relieved. Arnott brought up the Everton van, and with a hugh kick again transferred play in front of the home upright. Spilsbury shooting over the bar. R. Jones then stopped a rush of the Corinthians forwards, and giving the ball to his forwards, the visitors' goal was attacked. Higgins shot well in, but Costley missed a favourable opportunity. Everton still kept up the pressure, and gained a corner, but Wreford-Brown cleared. On the Corinthians rushing down the field Dewhurst shot badly. The visitors' forwards now put in some good passing, but Dobson cleared, and Everton ran down the field. From a pass by Fleming, Costley had hard lines, the ball just tipping the crossbar. A corner kick to Everton was cleared by Dewhurst, but Gibson shot in again, Cooper fisting out. Arnott took a free kick for the visitors, following which Lindley scored for them, but the goal was given offside. From the goal-kick the Everton left rushed down the field, Farmer passing over to the centre, Higgins, however, just landed the ball over the bar. Dewhurst ran the ball to the centre, but Dick kicked back, and, running down the field, Farmer landed the ball in Cooper's hands, the visitors' custodian clearing with Costley and Falls on top of him. Everton still had the best of the play, and Cooper had to stop a hot shot of Briscoe's. The whistle was now blown for half-time, with Everton leading by 1 goal to nil. Costly re-started the ball on behalf of the home team, and Falls, running down, shot well in goal, Briscoe heading it over. Dewhurst then got off, but Higgins robbed him nicely. Dobson next relieved an attack of the Corinthian forwards, but on Anderson returning the ball Spilsbury equalised from a fine centre by Dewhurst. The latter had another good chance, but failed to utilise it. Smalley cleared a shot by Pike, and Arnott cleared an attack of the Everton forwards. Farrant then shot over the Everton crossbar. A foul for the Corinthians was given right in front of the Everton sticks, but the ball was sent high over the bar. From the kick out of goal Everton rushed to the other end, Anderson clearing. The Corinthians next rushed off, and Farrant scored, the ball striking the upright and bouncing through. Falls put in a good run on behalf of Everton, but Fleming from the pass, put the ball over the visitors' bar. On Everton again attacking, Arnott kicked finely, and Wilson put in good play at half-back. Smalley saved a hot shot by Farrent, the Corinthians now doing most of the pressing. From a run down the field the visitors again scored. From the centre kick Everton got to the other end, but the shooting was at fault. The Corinthians were nearly scoring again, but this was prevented, and when time was called Everton were beaten by 3 goals to 1. Teams;- Everton; Smalley, goal; Dick and Dobson (captain), backs; Gibson, Higgins, and R. Jones, backs; Falls, Farmer, Costley, Briscoe, and Fleming, forwards. Corinthians; Cooper, goal; Arnott, and Anderson, backs; Wilson, Wreford,-Brown, and Taylor, half-backs; Spilsbury, Dewhurst, Pile, Lindley, and Farrant, forwards.

April 9, 1888. The Liverpool Mercury
Quite 10,000 people turned up at the Anfield road enclosure on Saturday to witness the above match. The English cup holders were without the services of Roberts, Aldridge, Bassett and Green, but had able substitutes in Reader (who kept goal in good style), Horton, Haines, and Walker. The weather, and the ground in good condition. Punctual to time, the home team appeared on the field, followed by Bayliss and his men, who came in for a hearty of applause. Dobson, winning the toss, played with a slight wind at his back, and Bayliss kicked off down the hill, the ball travelling towards the home captain, who sent to Farmer, and that player ran up with Falls, Horton saving; but Everton had a corner, which was fruitless. Whittle had a very nice shot at goal, and Fleming and Farmer soon tested the visitors' defence, Reader having had to negotiate twice, and Horton to concede a corner. The kick was nicely judged, and Fleming hit the bar, the ball rebounding into play again, and Whittle headed just a big high. From the goal kick the visitors' left pair came away, and got well down, Dick and Smalley clearing; but Bayliss came again, who was foiled of his chance through Pearson getting offside. A corner kick having been got rid of, the home right wing ran up, but Walker transferred play to the other end, where Dick was in readiness to send the leather back, and from a pass by Whittle, Farmer caused Reader to throw out. Working well together, the Albion forwards dashed away and had a corner, which Dick cleared splendidly, aided by R. Jones, the ball going towards Fleming, who sent in a nice shot. Woodhall, in saving, gave a corner. After Smalley had been visited, Fleming and Falls, with Whittle, again worked up. Hands eased the pressure, and Woodhall screwed nicely across the goalmouth to Wilson, but that player failed to avail himself of the opening, and the ball glided harmlessly outside of the upright. Play continued very even for some time, and both sides had corners and free kicks awarded them. After Dick had put in nice work, Falls and Farmer got spoiled by E. Horton, and Whittle ought to have scored from a pass near in. Continuing to work hard, Fleming and Briscoe got past Walker, but Reader ran out and conceded a corner. Again the kick was nicely taken, the ball hitting the bar from the foot of Whittle, and bouncing into play, but Farmer finished up by shooting over. Another corer soon fell to the home team, which was well cleared by Reader, as were also shots by Farmer and Fleming, the latter having hard lines in not scoring. Trying their best to score, the Evertonians worked with great determination, and kept pegging away, but half-time arrived with a clean sheet. On changing ends, the home team, with the hill in their favour, were soon busy storming Reader's charge, shot after shot being rained in upon him; but he was all alive, and kept his goal intact. At length pressure was eased, and from a long kick by Walker, Wilson, Bayliss and Pearson went prettily up, but were impeded in their progress by Dick, who sent the ball spinning back to Falls, and that player dallied until, he was robbed by E. Horton. Higgins and R. Jones were labouring hard, and kept feeding their forwards, who failed to break through the Bromwich defence. After Higgins had missed his kick about midfield, Woodhall seized the ball, and darting away at a good speed, passed to Bayliss, who beat Smalley with a very fluky shot. Re-starting, Bayliss again got in by pretty play, but Dobson cleared nicely, Dick doing the same from Pearson a moment later. Encouraged to play up by their supporters, the home club became very aggressive, and Reader and the two backs had a lively time of it in clearing shots from Farmer, Briscoe and Fleming, and also a nice lob by Gibson from the centre line, which just grazed the upright. The visitors having journeyed to the other end, Bayliss sent in a swift shot, which hit the bar. R. Jones transferred play to the cup holders' end, where Fleming attacked, and screwed across, but hands against the visitors eased the pressure. Dick placed well in the goal mouth, Reader cleared splendidly, and Fleming was shooting in again, when the whistle sounded for an infringement of the offside rule. Rather hard lines again fell to Everton, and then Woodhall had a shy at Smalley, who saved a hot one, and also from Perry. Striving hard to equalise, the home players worked well together, and had hands twice close in the goal mouth, but the visitors managed to keep their goal intact, a hard and very even game ending in a win for the visitors, the score being –West Bromwich Albion, 1; Everton, nil. Teams; Albion; Reader, goal; Horton and Walker, backs; E. Horton, Perry and Timmins, half-backs; Woodhall, Haines, Bayliss (captain), Pearson, and Wilson, forwards. Everton; Smalley, goal; Dick and Dobson (captain), backs; Higgins, R. Jones and Gibson, half-backs; Falls, Farmer, Whittle, Briscoe, and Fleming, forwards.

April 9, 1888. The Liverpool Mercury
The bank holiday fixture at Anfield was a happy hit, for no contest in which Everton engage –the fight with Bootle always excepted –a rouses so much excitement as a bout with their old foemen, the Bolton Wanderers. Weather favoured the event, and fully 10,000 people squeezed themselves inside the enclosure, curious to see whether Everton were able to repeat the achievement of their last meeting. On that occasion it will be remembered Bolton were beaten in the first round of the National Cup, after three undecided ties by 2 to 1, a victory Everton will always recollect with mingled feelings of pride and chagrin. Since then both teams have had ups and downs, and undergone a degree of transformation. But the old rivalry survives, and the game on Monday proved a most energetic affair, as it was expected to do. The Wanderers were physically stronger than Everton, and, as science was sacrificed somewhat to weight, the home eleven went to the wall in a defeat of 2 goals to 1, the inverted result of their previous encounter. At half-time the game was as even as the score of a goal each indicated, and in the second half, though the Wanderers scored the only goal, the home team did most of the pressing, but experienced extremely hard luck. Altogether, the match was not so interesting as that with Halliwell. Everton's combination being far inferior to that displayed on Saturday, and several players showed signs of fatigue. On the other hand, the visitors were all in a business humour, their back division perhaps being more complete than the vanguard. The Corinthians paid Everton a compliment in whipping up such a formidable team as that which preformed at Anfield on Wednesday. To be beaten by 3 goals to 1 by an eleven which included Lindley, Dewhurst, Arnott, Spilsbury, and Wreford-Brown is not an overwhelming mishap. Everton did very creditably in the first half and in fact scored the only point up to the interval, but as the game grew old the Corinthians “giants” fairly ran the Everton “dwarfs” off their feet, and had little trouble in achieving a decisive victory. With the exception of the half-backs, all the visitors were powerful. Anderson acquainting himself quite as brilliantly as Arnott, the famous Scotch international back, whilst the forwards, in addition to passing grandly at times were strong in their runs and shooting. Dick and Dobson worked hard, but showed signs of staleness after the holiday exactions. R. Jones was too clever now and again, for Lindley; and Fleming and Falls were the best of the home forwards, the latter making a fairly good impression, though occasionally slow. Something like 10,000 people assembled at the Anfield ground on Saturday to welcome the English cupholders, West Bromwich Albion had four absentees –Roberts, Aldridge, Green, and Bassett –from their team that was too much for Preston North End. Of course disappointment was felt at the enforced absentee of four of the best men, but there was compensation in the fact that play was more even and exciting than it might otherwise have been. Everton had just a shade the most of the game except in luck. The solitary goal scored was very fluky. Higgins missed his kick; Woodhall availed himself of the blunder, passed to Bayliss, who, in turn, beat Dick, the latter having run across to cover a defect of Dobson in venturing too far up the field. The visitors substitutes were all good and altogether the team were well balanced. Reader I goal being quite as safe as Roberts could have proved. For Everton, Smalley did what little he was required to do well; Dick, Dobson, Higgins and Gibson were the most effective of the backs department. R. Jones though never shirking his work, was a bit too light to baffle the opposing heavies players, he being knocked about pretty freely. Whittle was hardly so fearless as Costley would have been at centre, and Fleming again nitrified priority among the Everton forwards. Farmer came in a good second, Briscoe being slightly better than Falls, the latter wanting practices with his men, before he can turn his knowledge and undoubted skill to effective account.

April 21, 1888. The Blackburn Standard
An important meeting of representatives from a number of the most prominent football clubs of the county was held on Tuesday in the Royal Hotel, Manchester. The meeting, which was held by adjournment from Anderton's Hotel London, was for the purpose of formally inaugurating a football league, the object of which is to promote a series of home matches between the clubs selected to form the organisation, which shall be played irrespective of local or English Cup ties. Some dissatisfaction has been expressed at the manner in which ordinary matches are interfered with by cup ties and the teams being weakened by the withdrawal of some of their strongest players for the purposes of the ties. It is with a view of preventing this state of things that the decision was arrived at to form the league, the cardinal principle of which is that all matches arranged between the clubs enrolled in it shall be played upon the dates fixed upon, irrespective of any cup tie. It is hoped by the arrangement, that increased interest will be attracted to ordinary matches as distinguished from cup tie matches, and that they will be rendered more financially successful than has been the case hitherto. The result will be taken from the wins, draws, and losses, and not from the number of goals secured; in other words, the average will be calculated on the county cricket system. At the meeting last night Mr. W. Macgregor (Aston Villa) presided, and there was a large attendance of football representatives, Preston North End being represented by Mr. Sudell. The proceedings, which were private, were of a protracted nature, the discussion extending over nearly four hours. The original proposition before the meeting was that the following clubs should form the league:- Preston North End, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Accrington, Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Derby County, Burnley, Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Notts County, and Stoke. Representatives attended the meeting from Notts Forest, Sheffield Wednesday, and Halliwell, and urged the claims o their clubs to be included in the league, and expressing the opinion that they were of equal standing with many of those which it was proposed to bring within its operation. After the representatives had retired a long discussion ensued upon the suggest. Many of those present urged that the limits of the league should extended so as to include the three clubs desirous of being admitted into it ranks, while others contended that the original proposition should be adhered to, owing to the difficulty of arranging fixtures for a large number. Ultimately the following 12 clubs were decided upon to form the league:- Preston North End, Blackburn Rovers, Accrington, Burnley, Bolton Wanderers, Everton, Derby County, Notts County, Stoke, Wolverhampton Wanderers, West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa, and the representatives of the other clubs were informed that there application could not be entertained in consequence of the difficulty of finding dates so as to avoid clashing with cup-ties. It was decided to hold the next meeting at Birmingham on May 2 nd , when the fixtures and other matters will be arranged. Mr. H. Lockett (stoke) was appointed secretary.

April 23, 1888. The Liverpool Mercury
Burnley visited the Anfield-road ground for the second time this season on Saturday, and brought their full cup team, with the exception of McConnell (goalkeeper), who is ill. The home club were without the services of R. Jones –who has not yet got over the injury to his knee whilst playing against Stanley –but had an able substitute in Sourbutte, and Nidd's place was filled by Houldsworth 20 minutes after the game had started. The afternoon was wet, and consequently only 3500 spectators were present. Dobson won the toss, and Poland kicked against the wind and hill, the ball going towards Smalley, but Dick launched out by sending across to Sourbutts and Farmer, who were successfully eased by Lang when looking dangerous, and shortly afterwards had two corners, which were fruitless. From a throw-in, the Burnley right ran nicely up, a corner also being conceded them; and from the kick Poland shot against the crossbar. Coming again, Waugh and Gallagher got up, but hands against Burnley cleared, and then Sourbutts darted down, Bury giving a corner, which McFetteridge nicely got away by crossing to Waugh, who passed well up and centred, McFetteridge finishing with a shot which went a bit wide. Farmer gave Poland a chance by kicking to that player, but Dobson spoiled him, and play was suspended for a few minutes owing to the bursting of the ball. The home captain lobbed into Smith's hands, after which a pretty bit of passing by the whole of the Everton forwards was recognised by a cheer from their supporters, the ball having been worked the length of the field. Costly had the misfortune to lose a chance by overrunning to the side of the upright. Playing hard and pluckily, Sourbutts visited the Burnley end, where Smith negotiated, and Waugh and Gallagher ran off, the latter sending one over Smalley's head. From the goal kick the home right got down, and play continued bust around the Burnley goal for sometime, Lang, after staving off danger, at last conceding a corner to Fleming, which was well cleared by McFetteridge, who along with Poland, got in close quarters. Gibson managed nicely by passing to Sourbutts, and he in turn gave to Fleming, who repassed to the left player, and the ball was headed through by Sourbutts, 20 minutes from the start. The homesters, from mid-field, again got down, and found Lang and Bury plenty of work, and then Dobson had to stop a dangerous rush of the Burnley right wing. From one of the throws-in Farmer and his partner sprang down and sent to Fleming, who shot across, and Lang, in attempting to clear granted a corner, which was got away, only to be succeeded by a foul close in goal. Smith threw out, and Lang transferred play to the other end, where Dick had to negotiate from McFetteridge and Gallagher, half-time arriving with the score –Everton, 1 goal; Burnley, nil. On changing over, it was thought the visitors, aided by the wind, would soon equalise, but Everton seemed determined, and kept their lines clear. Poland nearly beat Smalley, the ball hitting the crossbar and going over. Pressure being thus eased, Sourbutts, Farmer, and Fleming worked up, but Georgie missed a chance given by Fleming, Lang easily robbing him and planting the ball out of danger. Abrams was here cautioned for fouling Sourtbetts, which looked as if it was accidentally done. A free kick and Waugh tested Smalley, but that custodian cleared by kicking well up, when the Burnley right again attacked, hands, felling near in, which Houldsworth got rid of by tossing to Costley, who, along with the left wing and Fleming ran neatly up, and Sourbutts was enabled to add a second goal to the credit of Everton. Restarting, Burnley worked hard, and managed to get near Smalley, when Waugh was fouled by Dick a few yards from the goalmouth. A free kick was given, and many of the spectators were rather dishearted as the ball was seen spinning over Smalley's head, as, had a goal been scored, Dick would have been credited with it. Aroused by the incident, the visitors tried hard to register a point, and after Fleming and Sourbutts had visited Smith, McFetteridge ran down the left and sent in an oblique shot, which Dick and Smalley missed, but Gibson got behind and kicked clear. A claim was made that the ball had gone through, but the referee thought otherwise. Play continued of a give-and-take nature to the finish. Result-Everton, 2 goals; Burnley, nil. Teams; Burnley; Smith, goal; Bury and Lang, backs; Abrams, Friell, and Keenna, half-backs; Gallagher, Waugh, Poland, Haworth, and McFetteridge, forwards. Everton; Smalley, goal; Dick and Dobson (captain), backs; Gibson, Houldsworth and Higgins, half-backs; Fleming, Briscoe, Costley, Farmer, and Sourbutts, forwards.

April 26, 1888. The Liverpool Mercury
These teams met at Anfield, last evening. The Police kicked off, and at once made a raid on the home goal, which was relieved by Houldsworth, Higgins, Costley, and Briscoe went down the field in nice passing, the former finally shooting over. Farmer took a corner for the homesters, but Usher kicked down. The Police then had the best of the play, and a splendid shot from the left was near scoring, Joliffe just fisting out in time. Everton then ran to the other end, but Fayre made a miserable attempt. A corner kick to the Police proved futile, and Higgins made an attempt at goal, Fraser clearing. George put in a good run down the Athletic right, and from the centre Joliffe had to fist out. The Police, however, returned, and C. Usher scored. A free kick cleared the Everton quarters, but on returning George shot outside. No further points were scored, and at the interval the Police were leading by 1 goal to nil. Everton restarted, and attacked, Frazer relieving. Then Rawsthorne rushed off, and passing to Armitt, the latter sent in a long shot, which George put over the bar. Everton next attacked strongly, and Lindsay had to fist out. Everton, however, returned for a shot, which went home; but the point was disallowed. Everton then had hard lines, following which Fayre shot outside twice in succession. Everton now had the best of the play, and Jones took an abortive corner. Briscoe next shot in goal, and on Fraser missing his kick Everton nearly scored, but Lindsay cleared. Everton now played up much better, and quickly put on a couple of goals. Armitt then made the run of the day, for, eluding the vigilance of the Everton backs, after a run from his own half, he shot a grand goal. Gibson had a couple of more for Everton, who won by 4 goals to 2. Teams; Everton; Joliffe, goal; Dobson (captain) and Houldsworth, backs; Gibson, Pollock, and W. Jones, half-backs; Fayre, Farmer, Costley, Briscoe, and Higgins, forwards. Athletic;- Lindsay, goal; Frazer, and C. Usher, backs; Kelly, McLaren, and Stevenson, half-backs; H. Usher, Armitt, George, Stevens, and Rawsthorne, forwards.