A SCORE OF SCANT JUSTICE
December 1, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Luton Town 4, Everton 2
The final result of the match does scant justice to Everton who put up a strong fight and with a little luck might have brought back a point. Up to four minutes from the end it was anybody’s game. Everton had courageously overcome the shock of a “gift” goal to Luton with the game only four minutes old and another of similar calibre just before the half-hour. Though their finishing was never as strong as the home side’s they had twice pulled back a goal within a few minutes of the home side scoring. Then with the score 3-2, and less than ten minutes to go Everton staged a strong rally which had the Luton defence kicking anywhere. Luton packed their goal area. Twice likely looking shots struck defenders and saved Streten trouble when he might otherwise have been in difficulties. Then a long clearance by Morton helped on it’s way by Moore, fell at the feet of Mitchell some forty yards from the visiting goal. The winger, unmarked because Everton’s halves were at the other end helping their forwards took the ball on and rammed in a shot that O’Neill, slipping on the treacherous surface, was powerless to save.
Flattered by Margin
From needing only a goal to save a point, Everton were now with only four minutes remaining, in a hopeless position. Luton though worthy of the points because of their livelier and more dangerous attack, were flattered by the margin. Much has been said recently of Everton’s failure to maintain their first half virility for the full ninety minutes. There could be no such criticism this time. they fought doggedly to the last kick, and it says much for their determination on a snow covered pitch, which in some places was icy beneath that they almost overcame the disheartening experience of those two easy goals which put Luton in a comfortable position. Moore got the first when O’Neill failed to hold a shot from fairly close range. The ball squirmed out of his hands and tricked just over the line. The second “presentation” came when Moore, finding the ball stick in the snow when normally it would have run out of play, centred strongly from an acute angle and Clinton, running in towards goal at top speed could not get out of the way and put the ball into his own net. Parker reduced the deficit three minutes later with a grand effort. Eglington had an almost certain goal saved by Streten, who knew little about it when the ball struck his shines, and McNamara had a strong shot tipped over the bar.
Pye The Wonder
Pye a constant thorn in the side of the Everton defence put Luton two up again ten minutes from the end when he sold the dummy cleverly to Jones, but again a couple of minutes later, Parker scored to out the visitors within sight of a point. Considering the difficult conditions the game produced much good football. Everton were always trying to make progress by well-concerned moves. The home side usually swung the ball about freely from wing to wing. Everton were more academic. Their short passing looked nice enough, but the “drag” of the snow on the ball frequently upset their calculations. O’Neill more than atoned for his early slips by several brilliant saves and the backs were steady against Luton’s lively attackers. But Jones found Jesse Pye rather more than he could manage on occasions. Grant and Farrell played well throughout and Parker was the best of the Everton attack.
December 1, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 1, Burnley Res 1
In a rather scrappy game Everton missed many gilt-edged opportunities and could only manage to share the point. Fielding and Wainwright on occasions shone and it was only through the fine work of Burnley goalkeeper Thompson that they did not score. The visitors were the more dangerous and had always the measure of their opponents, Hapgood was the visitors beat forward and caused most trouble. Buckle gave Everton the lead in the 40th minute. Stevenson equalized in the 75th minute.
SO NEAR –AND YET SO FAR
December 1, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Had Point Within Their Grasp, But Could Not Take It
It isn’t much consolation to Everton supporters, as they study the now lowly position of the Goodison Park side, to know that on several occasions this season the Blues have been voted by clubs they have visited as the best team we have had here this season. Points are better than praise. Compliments from home directors too, may sometimes be suspect. Basking in the warmth of the boardroom berth, genial hospitality and the comfortable knowledge that two more points have come their way, they occasionally seek to soften the blow for their guests by “tongue in cheek” consolatory expressions. The compliments to Everton which I heard at the Kenilworth Road round on Saturday, however, came not from self-satisfied home directors to visiting officials but was expressed to me by hard-bitten journalists who had no axe to grind or desire to soften the disappointment. Without exception, local newspapers men agreed that Everton were well above what they had seen of their Second Division sides that the Blues had made a great fight of it and that they were a trifle unlucky in some respects particularly regarding Luton’s first two “gifts” goals. All that may be consoling in its way. But a glance at their second Division table is not. Nothing but a super-human effort can now put Everton back as possible challengers for promotion.
That in itself is a blow to their loyal supporters. What is worse is the possibility that without a speedy return to winning vein the Blues may find themselves involved in another struggle at the wrong end of the table. It is not a very heartening outlook. Frequently of late I have remarked on Everton’s failure to maintain their first half display throughout the whole 90 minutes. They could not be taken to task in this respect on Saturday. On the contrary, they played better the longer the game went, and up to Mitchell’s goal for the home side four minutes from the finish, looked quite likely to save a point. Considering that they had to fight against two presentation goals in the first half –one due to the slippery ball squirming out of O’Neill grasp and the other when Clinton put through his own goal –Everton showed a praiseworthy fighting spirit. O’Neill rubbed out the memory of his first slip by some wonderful saves subsequently. Clinton could not be blamed. He was running in to guard the goal at such speed that when Moore centred strongly he was unable to get out of the ball’s way. As soon as it hit him almost under the bar, it was in the back of the net. Add to that an earlier offside annulment of an Eglington “goal” –though I thought the referee was right in this respect –and two “saves “by Streten of which he could hardly have been aware and it will be seen that the gods once again were not smiling on Everton. To increase their cup of woe was the fact that Luton’s fourth goal four minutes from the end, came from a sudden breakaway, which saw nearly all the Everton defenders in the Luton half and the home side decidedly jittery. That goal to Mitchell sealed the issue. Yet matters could so easily have gone the other way.
Luton Had Right Idea
Having said that however, one must give credit to the winner’s for adopting the right tactics from the start, whereas Everton did not do so until after the interval. On a pitch covered with two to three inches of snow Luton soon realized that the best plan was to boot the ball hard and try to cash in on defensive slips, both tactical and literal, Everton on the other hand tried to play copybook football. It looked good at times but with the ball gathering snow the more it was kept on the ground, their close-passing often broke down through the “braked” effect of the soft surface. Parker was the best of the visiting forward line. His positional interchanging with Eglington frequently drew centre-half Own out of position. Eglington was also a constant danger. Lindsay and Clinton, worthily supported by the wing halves, had nothing with which to reproach themselves. They were up against one of the liveliest forward lines, I have seen for some time in which Pye was a constant menace and Moore a great forager yet they contrived to hold their own well on most occasions. Grant was very good. Jones had so much to do keeping his weather eye on Pye that he had no time to turn his clearance in the best account. He was satisfied if he could get the ball away. Pye despite this long service is still a brilliant player, always on the go and moving to the open spaces by natural instinct. Not only is he a big danger in his own right, but he brought the best out of Moore and Mitchell. At a fee of £8,000 Luton got a wonderful bargins in the former Wolverhampton and England leader. Everton had nobody in his class.
Not Enough Shooting
Luton must be numbered among the likely promotion candidates if they can maintain this form. Yet their defence at times seemed rather shaky in those second half spasms when Everton were crowding on full pressure. Had the visitors been able to produce the same ratio of shots to approach work that the Hatters did I might be writing a very different story at this moment. There is still, unfortunately a weakness in the Blues’ front line in this respect. O’Neill was the busier of the two goalkeepers even in the second half, when, territorially. Everton were having the better of the argument. It was a day when quick first-time shooting should have been indulged in to the hilt for the foothold, treacherous all over, was doubly so in the goalmouth. “So near and yet so far” sums up the game in a nutshell. Everton could have had a point. But for those two gift goals they might have been in with a chance of victory. Yet all the good things they did count for nothing in the league chart. Goodison followers would prefer more encouraging results. Good football without them is not very satisfying. Those may come yet, but I’m afraid it will soon be too late to ensure the culmination for which all loyal Evertonians have been devotedly hoping, which is a return to the senior division.
Good news for Everton is that Donovan may not require a cartilage operation, after all. The specialist thinks that a fortnight’s rest will put him right, though as he will have a further examination later.
December 4, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Blues Hope To Arrest Their Decline
At Birmingham’s Expense
Everton’s team to oppose Birmingham City at Goodison Park on Saturday will be unchanged from that which fought back so strongly against odds at Luton last week. The Blues will need all their fighting spirit against the Midlanders who have obtained more points from away games than any other team in the second Division except Huddersfield Town, and have actually extracted a better return from their away fixtures than they have from those at St. Andrews. They have won four, drawn four, and lost only twice, and have had only twelve goals scored against them in these ten engagements. Everton will need to produce plenty of forward punch and first time shooting if they are to get the upper hand of the Birmingham defence. This is a testing game for the Blues, whose recent lean spell has seen them slide down the table rather alarmingly. If this continues the fight ahead is more likely to be one to achieving safely not the possible challenge for promotion, for which their supporters have been hoping. Birmingham will not choose their side until a couple of their players have had tests for fitness. Centre half Badham who has missed the last two games owing to a toe injury, is anxious to get back in harmness but it is extremely doubtful whether he will be fit. Atkins has been filling the breach in the absence and is the fourth to occupy the pivotal position this season. Ray Ferris, formerly of Crewe, filled it for a time. Another doubtful starter is right half Boyd, who has been suffering hat bugbear of so many players, a pulled muscle deep in the high, in his case there is a possibility he will be all right for Saturday, however. A third Birmingham man against whose name there is a query is 18-years-old Geoffrey Cox. The doubt regarding him arises not through injury, but because Cox goes into the Army today to start his National Service. Manager Bob Brocklebank hopes it may be possible for him to get leave to come North, but under the circumstances it seems a bit unlikely. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Grant; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington.
Everton Reserves; (v. Preston North End, away);- Leyland; Tansey, Moore; Lello, Woods, Melville; Mayers, Wainwright, Hickson, Fielding, Buckle.
EVERTON –THE SAME AGAIN
December 5, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
For their game against Birmingham City at Goodison Park tomorrow, Everton have left their team unchanged from that which, although defeated, fought so hard at Luton last week. this is a particularly stern test for the Goodison side, as Birmingham have won more points in away games than any Second Division side, with the exception of Huddersfield Town. A surprising feature of the Midland side’s record is, in fact, that they have got more points from away games than those played at St. Andrews –twelve out of a possible twenty. Birmingham have delayed selection of their team until they have more definite news about injured half-backs Badham and Boyd. The Everton side is; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Grant; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington.
HEADING THE WRONG WAY
September 5, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s result of late have been most disappointing. Though they have been unfortunate once or twice but to get some reward for good endeavour, the stark and unwelcomed fact remains that they have taken only three points from their last seven matches and their chances of making any sort of a challenge for promotion now seem so slender as to be practically non-existent. There have been weaknesses in both attack and defence. In front of goal there has been too much tip-tapping. The big need is for strong and accurate marksmen. The shooting has been frequent enough on most occasions, but the accuracy of it has not been outstanding. Recent changes have not solved the problems with the result that the side is pretty well back where it started the season, struggling to find the right combination and get more encouraging results. The avowed intention of the club to still concentrate on their own products and keep out of the transfer market is causing much argument among supporters in the meantime despite the instance where the side has produced occasional encouraging displays. It seems that we must reconcile ourselves to further patience. Birmingham City tomorrow’s visitors to Goodison, have a splendid away record, and they will take some beating. After this game Everton have three successive away matches. The outlook is anything but height one slightly encouraging aspect is that at Luton last week the Blues showed better ninety-minutes fighting spirit than on any other occasion on which I have seen them this season. They may need it tomorrow. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Grant; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington. Birmingham; Merrick; Green, Martin; Boyd, Farris, Warhust; Stewart, Purdon, Trigg, Murphy, Wardle.
FIELDING ASKS FOR TRANSFER
December 6, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Overshadowing the talk of Everton prospects in the game against Birmingham City at Goodison today, is the news that Wally Fielding has asked the club for a transfer. Fielding dropped from the first team for the last three games, wishes to join a club where he will be assured of regular first team games. Born in London Fielding was on Charlton’s books as an amateur just before the war. He signed for Everton in 1945 after making a name for himself in Services football. Apart from a spell a couple of seasons ago when he lost his form, he has never otherwise been out of the side this season except when injured in six post-war seasons he has made 199 first-team appearances. Though he has a strong shot he has never been outstanding as a scorer, but his ball control and scheming are of a high order, and he has been the most consistent and useful inside forward the club has had since the war.
That Sinking Feeling
Meanwhile Everton are seeking to get out of the dression which has struck them recently after spells of encouraging form. Everton have been sliding down the tale, and have taken only three points from the last seven games. Everton’s immediate plight is the more desperate since after today’s game –against a side with a great record away from home –they have three successive games on foreign territory. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Grant; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington.
EVERTON TOOK POTTS LUCK TO EARN A POINT AT GOODISON
December 6, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton 1, Birmingham 1
Even making all allowances for the frozen ground, and lively ball, there was little in this game to warm the spectators hearts. Everton had spells of superiority in both halves, but produced little in the way of shooting and too much tip-tapping in the penalty area. The standard of play from both sides was below even Second Division average, Grant and Farrell were Everton’s best, Farrell almost got the winner in the last few minutes. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Clinton and Lindsay, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Grant, half-backs; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, and Eglington, forwards. Birmingham; Merrick, goal; Green and Martin, backs; Boyd, Ferris, and Warhurst, half-backs; Stewart, Purdon, Trigg, Murphy, and Wardie, forwards, Referee; Mr. J.W. Bowers (Huddersfield). Conditions at Goodison Park were quite at the start, and although there was threat of mist later the centre part of the pitch from goal to goal was lightly sanded and though from the stands the turf elsewhere looked in good conditions, it was probably hard underfoot. Neither side made any changes from the teams originally announced but in Birmingham’s case there were four alterations compared with last week, two of them unavoidable. Something rather unusual here was the sight of a dozen youngsters dashing on to the pitch before the start to gather autographs. The main target was Gilbert Merrick, the Birmingham and England goalkeeper. The rather gingerly fashion in which the players moved about in the first couple of minutes proved that the underfoot condition was treacherous. The first shot at goal came from Grant, following a throw-in, but he sliced his effort in a are with the ball turning away all the time. Along upward punt by Boyd saw Purdon and Grant chasing an awkwardly bouncing ball with nobody but Grant in reach but Grant beat him to the ball and headed back to O’Neill. A free kick to Birmingham produced nothing of note. A centre by Potts on the left wing was headed away by Boyd before Eglington who had gone into the centre, could get to it. Lindsay earned applause for the calm manner in which he out witted Trigg and cleared his lines. Grant jumped high to head away a centre from Wardle, for which Trigg stood waiting and a moment later Grant’s long clearance started the most dangerous looking Everton attack so far. Unfortunately it fizzled out without Merrick to do more than collect a loose ball. Merrick had to be a little more careful with an Eglington, free kick from 30 yards out, but it was comparatively simple. An effort from Potts would have been anything but simple a moment later had the ball not risen just over the bar for Merrick was at the wrong side of the goal. An Eglington corner also caused the Birmingham keeper to fist away to safety and for some minutes Everton were looking much the more dangerous side. The players were still moving rather gingerly and obviously having a little difficulty keeping their feet.
Roused Their Ire
A tackle by Stewart on Grant as the latter nipped in to hold up Birmingham roused the ire of Eglington and Lindsay, who protested strongly. Referee Bowers had a word with the Birmingham winger as he did also a minute later with Cummins, following a passenger at arms with Wardle. Farrell got the better of Murphy with neat footwork. O’Neill ran out to collect an overhead kick by Trigg and Grant tired a long range shot for terrific power which came to nothing through striking Purdon on the back. In one hectic spell well inside the Birmingham penalty area the ball went from one blue-shirted player to another without anybody delivering a testing shot until Farrell had a go and found Merrick save confidently. While all this had been happening Ferris the Birmingham centre half and former Crewe Alexandra player was lying injured near the six yards line. It was obviously difficult for the players to bolt up or turn when going at top speed, and the ball was hard to control. Potts again saw a first timer soar over the bar. Everton were still much the more aggressive side though next time they looked dangerous McNamara was pulled up for offside. When Birmingham won a corner Farrell’s headed clearance dropped at the foot to Boyd, who delivered an immediately drive from 30 yards, which O’Neill caught with out-stretched arms. Farrell and Grant were doing excellent work in backing up their forwards efforts.
Not A Decent Shot
From a Farrell pass Parker might have done better than shoot rather tamely. So far, in fact, we had not seen a really strong shot on the mark from either forward line. The play altogether was not very exhilarating even after making allowances for the slippery conditions and the lively ball. A free kick against Cummins saw Green “have a go” from 30 yards. This time there was plenty of power behind the effort, but the ball again was over the bar. Everton were still having most of the play, but without producing anything which looked likely to beat a goalkeeper of Merrick’s ability. Following yet another Everton attack, a hefty clearance by Ferris saw Murphy with a good chance until, at the last second, Clinton came in with a tackle and a clearance at the expense of a corner. Everton took the lead at the 38th minute in very unusual fashion. A free kick for hands against wardle 10 yards inside the Everton half, near the centre circle, never looked likely to produce a goal. Jones taking the free kick dropped the ball almost on the penalty spot where Potts without waiting any time hooked the ball into the net as the Birmingham defenders looked on aghast. It was a well taken goal, and an encouraging reward for a smart piece of opportunities.
A Harrow Escape
This success encouraged Everton to hammer away at the Birmingham defence which was anything but sound under pressure and again we saw Grant and Farrell taking a hand in things on the edge of the visiting penalty area. Everton’s goal had a very narrow escape following a corner by Wardle. When the ball was returned to the winger he put across a low square centre which Trigg back-heeled goalwards and which Murphy should have tapped into the net without fail. Instead he trod on the ball and lost control as well as the opportunity of the equalizer. Half-time; Everton 1, Birmingham nil.
The second half started off in the same manner in which the first one had finished with the Everton goal having a very narrow escape. A shot by Stewart completely eluded the grasp of O’Neill, but fortunately for Everton, Grant was standing on the goalline and kicked away to save the situation. Unfortunately for Everton it was not saved for long for at the 52nd minute Birmingham got on level terms. To some extent their goal was almost a carbon of that scored by Potts earlier. A long clearance looked to spell no special threat when Murphy seized it on the edge of the penalty area. He took it forward some yards without being challenged and then let fly with a strong drive which had O’Neill beaten all the way.
Trying For A Lead
Cummins strove hard to lay the foundation of another Everton goal when he beat two men and laid on a pass for Parker, who slipped the ball through for Eglington, only for the latter’s shot to cannon away off a defender. Both sides so far this half had been keeping the ball more on the grounds which was the correct things to do under the circumstances and the play, though still nothing to get very excited about was certainly better than it had been. Murphy was proving a menace in the home defence at this stage and when he picked up a pass by Wardle and rounded Clinton his final shot was only just over the bar. Parker who try to take advantage of an Eglington offering and when he later connected with McNamara header who had saved the ball going out of play his overheaded kick was not very far off the mark.
Some Near Misses
The same could not be said of Pott’s effort which followed, but against that one put the credit of some very near misses to the account of the Everton inside right. That there was still some forcing in the game was evident when O’Neill took exception to the action of Purdon and Wardle the incident ending with a free kick against Purdon. McNamara for which not a great deal had gone right now sliced a first time shot very badly, and Everton were not playing anything like so well as they had during portions of the first half.
Best Move Of The Day
It was at this stage however, that Everton produced the best combined move of the day in which all five forwards took part and which ended with Merrick saving from Eglington after a goal had seemed almost a certainty. The bounce of the ball beat both Parker and Eglington when they went for it, following a long pass by Cummins at the same time as Green. Much of his surprise Green found himself in command of the situation and cleared with a hefty kick. Next time Green found himself harassed by Eglington he was glad to give away a corner to get out of trouble and from Eglington flag kick McNamara fired in a grand shot which Merrick did well to tip over the bar. This time the corner brought no advantage though the ball bobbed about in the Birmingham penalty area for quite a while before it was finally cleared.
Merrick’s Smart Save
McNamara also tried a high over head lob which was on the target but was not the type of effort likely to beat Merrick. Grant also had a shot which was headed away by Boyd. Farrell and Grant still continued to do good work for Everton and Farrell almost gave his side the lead with a shot from outside the penalty area, which Merrick turned round the post after a full length dive. It was a grand shot and a smart save. Everton were certainly putting in plenty of effort at this stage in the hope of snatching the winning goal, but there was little forth-coming in the way of marksmanship.
Birmingham also had not distinguished themselves in this respect and altogether this had been a disappointing game even allowing for the difficult conditions. Final; Everton 1, Birmingham 1. Official attendance 23,858.
THAT LITTLE EXTRA WHEN IT’S WANTED
December 6, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Discussion of Everton and Liverpool’s recent performances has become rather a depressing business. I thrust that today’s results have livened the gloom a little. Following Everton’s encounter with Birmingham City, they have to visit Bury, Hull City and Lincoln before they again appear before their own followers. These will be very vital games. At the moment of writing these three clubs are immediately below the Blues. None has a particularly good home record. Hull are the best, with four victories on their own ground. League placing, however are apt to mislead and Everton will have to fight hard for even a point in each of these trips. After dealing exhaustively money with the position and prospects of both our senior sides last hope week, I don’t propose to cover will the same ground. A season which started so brightly for both, once Everton had got over their early setbacks, has now taken of a more somber hue. The decline has come at an awkward time with the F.A. Cup-ties not far distant. Everton’s plight is more disturbing. All one can hope is that the next few weeks will show the improvement for which their supporters so earnestly hope. A good win against Birmingham City today would be of inestimable value to the Blues. It would give them heart to tackle the three away games next on the agenda. As has so often been remarked here a run of success is a great psychological. Unfortunately a lean period has the reverse effect, and though the Blues at Luton, last week put up one of the best fighting displays I have seen from them this season, the cumulative effect of their unsuccessful struggle may soon begin to tell a tale. The trouble is that some of their players, while genuinely giving every ounce of effort they can, are not up to the required standard of class. The team which does best is the one which can get reward from most of its matches while still having something in reserve for emergencies. Luton gave one that impression last week. They always seemed able to pull out that little extra which means so much at the psychological moment. Both in attack and defence they had something in reserve. Everton gave everything had but it was still not enough. Yet they earned praise for a really galliant effort, particularly remembering Luton’s two early gift goals.
One point about recent Everton team changes which seems to have upset many readers has been the absence of Fielding and to lesser degree the dropping of Hickson. Team selection is a ticklish job. I wouldn’t have the responsibility for all the tea in China. At the back of all alterations is the desire to strengthen the side, or sometimes to make an experiment which may or may not prove successful. Those are points which must not be overlooked. Even if the changes do not have the desired effect, a least it must be granted that in most instances they have been worth trying. From time to time readers suggest various line-outs which they consider would solve existing problems. Rarely do any two agree. No final selection is ever likely to please everybody. The letter below, from “worried Blue” of stoneycroft is typical of most of those I have had this week. He writes;- “I have always been a staunch Evertonian and I am dismayed at the recent policy regarding team selection. “We often read that Everton are trying to find a forward line with punch. How can this be the case when we have goal-hungry Dave Hickson and ace-provider Wally Fielding languishing in the reserve team. These two actions have mystified all Evertonians. If they were out of form, I could appreciate them being dropped. Such is not the case. Whenever Fielding has played inside left he his brought out the best in Eglington. Why isn’t this wing allowed to blend and develop?”
Fielding’s request for a transfer which he put to Manager Britton yesterday, and which the board will consider on Tuesday, is not altogether surprising. The player thinks that on his recent displays he did not deserve to be dropped. He feels now that it would be better if he got away. Whether the board will accede to his request is doubtful, however. Though Everton have never bring on very long to any dissatisfied player, I should imagine that an effort will be made to induce Fielding to change his mind. While admitting that anybody who feels his form has not warranted his being dropped can become very unsettled, it should be borne in mind that rightly or wrongly, changes are imperative when results do not come up to expectation. Nobody is dropped without the fullest consideration being given to his case. I thrust that in the next few days matters between the player and club may be amicably smoothed over. To my mind, Fielding is far too valuable for Everton to consider parting. He usually welds the front line together better, and provides more opportunities for others than anybody else on the staff.
PRESTON N.E. RES V EVERTON RES
December 6, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Preston N.E. Res; Gooch, goal; Walton and Wilson, backs; Dunn, Mattinson, and Robertson, half-backs; Anders, Beattie, Higham, Jones and Kalic, forwards. Everton Res; Leyland, goal; Tansey and Moore, backs; Lello, Woods, and Melville, half-backs; Mayers, Wainwright, Hickson, Fielding, and Buckle, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Lowe (Sale). Both sides had difficulty in keeping their feet on the frozen surface and the play was consequently scrappy. Wainwright skimmed the Preston bar with a good shot and at the other end Leyland turned a shot from Higham round the post. Everton were kept defending for a time and had a narrow escape when Moore made a goal-line clearance. Fielding and Wainwright worked hard in the Everton attack.
THE OLD EVERTON FAILING MAKES A NEW APPEARANCE
December 8, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Rangers sees a Lustreless Draw at Goodison Park
Everton 1, Birmingham 1
There were two main reasons why Everton sacrificed yet another home point in this disappointing and lusterless game. The first was because of their own shortcomings in front of goal, and the second the brilliance of Merrick in the Birmingham goal, who made three splendid saves from Farrell, Eglington and McNamara, which might have produced goals against a less capable goalkeeper. It may be contended that Everton were a trifle unlucky to encounter Merrick in such form. Yet where the Goodison side went wrong was that they did not test him oftener or with shots with which even Merrick could not have successfully coped. They had plenty of chances to do so. Unfortunately for Everton, their old failings which it has become almost monotonous to stress, was in evidence again – that the ingrained habit of the forwards to make unnecessary passes when within shooting distance. When they did shoot their efforts, with rare exceptions had neither the necessary power nor accuracy to beat Merricks.
Up In The Air
Potts was the most persistent trier in a line which only once produced a really a really attractive bout of combination. That was in the second half when all five forwards took the ball up the field in a movement which carved a way through the Birmingham defence with the greatest ease. That it failed to produce a goal was not the fault of the final shooter, for Eglington’s effort would have beaten most goalkeepers. But it failed against Merrick, who flung himself across the goal and turned the ball around the post. Considering the difficult conditions, with an ice-bound ground and a light bounding ball, one hesitates to be too critical. Yet, after making all allowances for these handicaps, it must be put on record that the standard of play of both teams was disappointing. Rarely did it rise beyond the level expected from a good Third Division side. Few of the players ever mastered the ball to any extent. Instead of keeping it on the ground, to kill some of its liveliness, it was far too often booted or headed high in the air, frequently with no apparent idea of where it was finally landing. Misplaced passes and sliced clearances were frequent and though to some extent the difficulty of keeping a firm foothold was responsible, there was also much sloppy football.
Good Wing Halves
Everton’s two outstanding players were Farrell and Grant. Both not only did galliant work in the defence, but were constantly on the heels of their forwards plying them with passes and showing them how to make first time shots. An especially good one by Farrell in the closing minutes almost brought victory to the home team. Again a brilliant Merrick save averted danger.
O’Neill and Lindsay were also in good form but none of the other Everton players did anything to enhance his reputation. Potts was the best in a forward line which was little more than a collection of earnest units. He had bad fortune with some of his shooting. Eglington was seen at his best only in spasms. Yet Everton had enough of the play to have made sure of both points before the finish had they taken advantage of their chances. After a dreary start they warmed to their work in little better in the last twenty minutes of the first half and were well on top for most of the second. Yet all through they seldom looked likely to score, even when the Birmingham defence, towards the finish, got rather jittery and was longing for the final whistle.
Everton’s goal was scored by Potts at the thirty-eight minute when he connected with a free kick taken by Jones in the Everton half on the volley as it dropped near the penalty spot and had it in the net before any of the Birmingham defenders had time to move. This was a splendid piece of quick thinking, Birmingham’s goal at the fifty-second minute, was scored by Murphy following a long clearance from the visitors half and was just as good an example of opportunism as Potts’ effort. Murphy was the best of the Birmingham forward line with the rest lagging far behind, Merrick’s good work has already been mentioned and Ferris, returning to centre half in an emergency kept Parker subdued. The visiting wing halves did not compare with Everton’s and there was a weakness on the wings.
PRESTON N.E. RES 0, EVERTON RES 0
December 8, 1952, The Liverpool Echo
Everton Reserves took a point from Preston N.E. Reserves in a goalless Central League game at Preston on Saturday. Players had difficulty their feet on the frozen surface, and the game never reached more than mediocre standard. Defences were on top throughout, goalkeepers Gooch (Preston) and Leyland giving confident displays on the tricky surface.
• Everton “A” 3, Earle 1
• Burscough Res 1, Everton “B” 1
THE OLD, OLD STORY
December 8, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s Forward Failings Again Cost Them A Point
If I had a fiver for each time I’ve had to say over recent years that Everton’s loss of a point or points has been due to their own faults in front of goal I should be quite a well-to-do man.” This sort of remark becomes monotonous. Yet one must continue saying it so long as the weakness persists. The Blues monopolized fully three-parts of the game against Birmingham City, yet could do no more then get one goal and even that with all credit to Potts for a fine example of opportunism, was a rather fortune one. There was one other factor besides Everton’s own shortcomings which led them to sacrifice yet another home point. That was the brilliant goalkeeping of Merrick who made three splendid saves – from McNamara. Farrell, and Eglington –which took much of the heart out of the home side. As an exhibition of football from two teams with such traditions, it was very disappointing stuff. It is true that the conditions were anything but helpful, for the ground was frozen hard and the ball was as lively as a flea in a bottle. Yet these handicaps could have been mastered had there been less air-ball and more effort to play the game where it is intended to be played –on the ground. Too often we saw aimless and hearty kicking which led to nothing but scrappy and haphazard play. The best concerned move of the day –indeed, the only one of real note –came half-way through the second half, when the whole Everton line advanced like clockwork by precision passes and Eglington’s final shot would have beaten most goalkeepers.
The Brightest Moments
That was the brightest moment of a game which had many dull periods some occasional but widely separated, thrills and a couple of near escapes at each goal. For the rest much of it is better forgotten, including the incidents in which tempers became rather frayed. Two men stood out in the Everton team, however, and deserve praise for their gallant efforts to show the forwards how the game could be won. Grant and Farrell have rarely played better than this. Grant, won was here there, and everywhere once saved a certain goal when O’Neill misjudged a low cross by Stewart. He and Farrell not only backed up their forwards to the hilt but shot more often than anyone in the front line. Farrell’s shot in the closing minutes of the game looked a goal all over until Merrick brought off another of his fine diving saves. Yet Everton cannot fairly say that they were robbed of victory because of Merrick. He is one of the side there to prevent goals. The big fault was that he was not given enough work to do considering the amount of territorial superiority which Everton enjoyed. Even when the home forwards did shoot on most occasions there was neither sufficient force nor the right direction on the shots to bother a goalkeeper of Merrick’s calibre. You cannot beat England’s custodian with half-hit shot or long distance effort’s that go straight to his hands.
Over Elaborate Moves
Everton had enough openings against a defence which looked anything but happy at times, to have provided Merrick with his warnest afternoon’s work for a long time. Instead the old ingrained desire to keep on tip-tapping in the penalty area was again in evidence. On such a day, when it was difficult for players to turn or keep a firm foothold the man running on to the ball had everything in his favour. Yet with all their chances, Everton too frequently shirked the first time shot and preferred the pass. This played into the hands of the City’s defenders who soon tumbled to it that by closing their ranks and packing the penalty area they would not have a great deal to fear. Everton’s goal came from a free kick taken by Jones for a handling offence against Wardle. Jones landed the ball from ten yards inside his own half almost on the Birmingham penalty spot where Potts seized on it like a flash and volleyed it into the net before the visiting defence was alive to the danger. Murphy, the best forward on the field, got an almost similar at goal for Birmingham soon after the restart except that it was from a long defensive clearance not a free kick and that he took the ball on a few yards before hitting it home. Otherwise the goals were very alike in their making and taking. Merrick was Birmingham’s brightest performer, with Murphy next and Ferris doing a fair job at centre half against a strangely inactive Parker. For the rest, they were no better than the home side. Even taking into account the handicaps of the day, I cannot believe that it is the best of which Everton are capable. But there must be a quick improvement if they are to avoid yet another struggle against relegation. It is not a pleasant thought, but the danger is there. Some of the club’s below them are on the mend, while Everton are sliding.
EVERTON “YES” TO FIELDING
December 10, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton F.C directors at their meeting last night granted the request of Wally Fielding, their inside forward to be placed on the transfer list. Fielding who is a London born player signed professional forms for the Goodison Park Club in September 1945, and has made 199 first team appearances for the club. In 1946 Fielding played at inside left for an England eleven against Scotland in a match in aid of the Bolton Disaster Fund.
FIELDING FOR TRANSFER
December 10, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Agree to His Request To Go Elsewhere
Everton directors, at last night’s meeting, agreed to the request of Wally Fielding to be placed on the transfer list. The fee placed upon, him is not being disclosed but I understand it is a substantial one. This decision will not meet with the approval of many Everton supporters. Personally I had hoped that there would have been an attempt to get the player to withdraw his request, for on his day Fielding is as good as any forward on the club’s books. Against that is the fact that for some seasons now the policy of the club has been to put no obstacle in the way of any player who feels he wants to get away. In addition to Fielding, Harris is another on the open-to-offer list. Buckle was also granted a similar request many months ago, due to his desire to return to the South but as no suitable offer has been forthcoming his request appears more or less to have lapsed.
EVERTON TEAM SURPRISE
December 11, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Transfer-Listed Fielding Recalled In The Blues Attack
Included in three changes which Everton make for their visit to Bury on Saturday, one surprising alteration is the recall of Fielding who two days ago was granted his request for a transfer. I understand this indicates neither a change of attitude regarding Fielding’s possible departure nor the desire to let him show his prowess to prospective buyers. It is just that he is preferred to Cummins who now returns to the centre League side. Readers who have written in dismay at Fielding’s request being granted and thousands of others as well, doubtless feel a bit bewildered but the club’s attitude is still no undue obstacle shall be placed in the way of a player who desires a move. One thing is certain, Fielding will give of his best against Bury, and if he does well and wins back his place, I hope he himself will make the first move towards reconciliation by withdrawing his request. Another change in the forward line is the return of Hickson as leader of the attack in place of Parker. The third change is an unavoidable one. Grant is still not fit following his knee injury received last week, and has been unable even to do light training. In his place Lello comes in at left half. Elsewhere the team remains unchanged and reads; Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Potts, Hickson, Fielding, Eglington.
Everton Reserves, home to Manchester City Reserves have a debutant in C. Fitzsimons an 18-year-old amateur right half whom they secured last year from Maghull. He is a native of Prescot. Everton Reserves; Leyland; Moore, Rankin; C. Fitzsimons, Woods, Melville; Wainwright, A. Farrell, Lewis, Cummins, Buckle.
December 12, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Everton next three league engagements are all away from home and for the first of these against Bury tomorrow, the eleven shows three changes from the side which drew with Birmingham City last week. Hickson makes his reappearance as leader of the attack in place of Parker, and Fielding who was this week granted a transfer request, returns to inside left to the exclusion of Cummins in the defence. Lello takes the place of the injured Grant at left half-back. The team is; Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Potts, Hickson, Fielding, Eglington.
BLUES VITAL PERIOD
December 12, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Everton, tomorrow, start on the first of their three consecutive away matches at Bury, Hull and Lincoln, which may prove a very vital period for the club. With only four points from their last eight encounters in which the opposition has scored 16 goals to Everton’s nine, anxiety has again been raised in the minds of Goodison followes. It is poor consolation for lost points to stress the occasion on which Everton have been more or less unlucky. Luck has a habit of leveling itself up in the course of the season. Everton earlier had a spell when fortune smiled on them and hopes began to rise. Now the pendulums has swung the other way. There is need for a quick and descive improvement if we are to be spared the dismal task of once totting up how many points Everton need to keep out of danger. At the moment they are only three better off than Blackburn Rovers, who are next to the bottom. Not a very healthy outlook. There is no point in shirking the fact that Everton of late, except in one or two isolated instances, have never looked up to average Second Division standard. They need strengthening in both attack and defence. The willingness of the club to part with a player of Fielding’s capabilities had dismayed many of their most loyal followers. While appreciating the official view that it is always advisable to let a dissatisfied player go, the club can ill spare such an accomplished player. Nothing would please me better than to see Everton bring back maximum points from their next three encounters but it seems too much to hope for. Even against Bury, who latterly have shown a little improvement, it is by no means certain that they will get any rewards. Bury themselves are in the position that they, too, desperately need every point they can get. Victory to either side would have the additional significance that the loser would be pushed still further towards the bottom at the expense of the victory. Everton could force a draw however, if they show the same spirit that they did against Luton. That was the best exhibition of team work and fighting abibility I have seen from them this season. They kept it up right to the last minute, I hope they do the same tomorrow at Gigg Lane. And if they return two points I will be the first to throw my hat up. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Potts, Hickson, Fielding, Eglington.
EVERTON MADE IT A REAL CHRISTMAS BOX WITH BURY AS THE TRIMMING
December 13, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Second Half Spate of Goals
Bury; Kirk, goal; Griffiths and Massey, backs; Greenhalgh, Hart, and Bardsley, half-backs; Fletcher, Dale, Kelly, Daniel, and Cameron, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Clinton and Lindsay, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Wainwright, Potts, Hickson, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. F.L. Overton (Derby). The Bury ground as usual looked at its best in the bright sunshine although the goal areas were heavily sprinkled with sand. Everton in much need of points were hopeful they would break the spell. An interesting change was Wainwright at outside right in place of the injured McNamara. This was Wainwright’s first game in the first team for two years. It will be remembered that he broke his leg against Derby County some two years ago. He has had many games with the Central League side mostly at inside forward. It will b a new experience for him on the wing, and is a good position for breaking one in. There were about 15,000 people present when the teams took the field but there were more coming along. Everton were set to kick into the sun, which was very strong and Bury were soon into their stride with an attack on the right wing. Everton were awarded a free kick, but this was speedily disposed of and back came the “shakers” again on the right and won a corner which Fletcher wasted. It was immediately following this that he Everton goal underwent a terrific onslaught and Kelly had the misfortune to hit the crossbar. There was certainly plenty happening and after Fielding and Potts had tried unsuccessfully to break down the Bury defence, the home side came again with a powerful attack and O’Neill saved brilliantly. Bury were extremely fast Everton were now more together and they hit back but the Bury defences stepped in time to avert disaster. Dale headed over from a corner and then Fielding, Potts and Wainwright got together to outwit the Bury defenders and Wainwright’s centre was a good one. There was no one up to take advantage of the opening. Bury’s advances were made at such a hot pace that they would be defending one second, and in the Everton goal area almost immediately afterwards and their forwards were not slow in shooting. But there was no great power behind the efforts of Dale and Daniel. Eglington, Potts and Hickson tried to breach the Bury defence, but Potts’s final centre was too far forward to be of any use. So far Kirk had been without a shot to save, whereas O’Neill had been often called to duty. He tipped one centre away just as Dale was about to head the ball. Bury had a free kick which was easily cleared. Everton were now having as much of the attack as their opponents, but there always seemed to be more danger in the Bury attack.
Kirk had his first shot to save when Eglington snapped up a chance after Potts and Hickson had made the opening possible. Hart was only just in time to prevent Hickson bursting throught it was a sound tackle. Wainwright, after cleverly beating his man, made an astute pass which left Potts in the clear. The latter lifted the ball over to Hickson, who headed towards goal but there was no great power behind the effort and Kirk cleared without difficulty. Another shot by Daniel was collared by O’Neill and the crowd resented the way Hickson rushed into the goalkeeper after Kirk had collected a centre-cum-shot. One of the nicest movements of the half went to Bury, although it was a faulty pass by Farrell which started it. Farrell’s idea was to put the ball back to a colleague, but it went to Daniel, who helped it along to Dale, who gave the ball back to Daniel to take a crack at goal. O’Neill had to move swiftly to prevent Daniel is shot passing over his line. From a clearance Hickson got possession and quickly put the ball to Eglington, who ran forward a few paces and as Kirk came out to close down his shooting angle, the Irish winger shot the ball safely to the back if the net in the 32nd minute. The Bury promise of the first 15 minutes had gone, and Everton were now completely on top Cameron moved into the centre to try to nonplus the Everton defence. Apart from one or two misses raids, the Bury team were now mainly concerned in the defence of their goal. Half-time; Bury nil, Everton nil.
Bury Off Again
Bury started off the second half they did in the first with a fast attack, but the Everton defence was equal to all the demands made upon it. Everton set up a short bombardment and Eglington who had sneakened over to the right hooked in a ball that Kirk had to gab quickly. Bury shooting which had been so dangerous in the first 15 minutes had not lost its sling and another long range shot went well wide. Lindsay and Jones were a stumbling block to the Bury forwards but Bury at this point were attacking strongly, and had their chance when a ball came over to Daniel who was admirably placed, but he pulled his shot outside. After defending for a long time Everton rose up in their might and scored two in two minutes. A goal kick by O’Neill was being cleared by Griffiths, but the ball cannoned on to Fielding, who quickly gained possession and running on, calmly swept the ball over to the right wing, Wainwright came up, and confidently shot the ball beyond Kirk. A minute later a free kick taken by Lello was safely headed home by Potts -61 and 62 minutes. Bury seemed to reply on enthusiasm, whereas Everton made their advances in a much more studious fashion, and Potts scored a fourth goal, following nine play between himself, Lello and Wainwright.
Nearly a Fifth
Griffiths over-reached himself and had to be taken off the field. A fifth goal almost came to Everton when Hickson centred Eglington made a great effort to get his head to the flying ball, and only missed by inches. After 88 minutes Potts scored for Everton. Final; Bury nil, Everton 5.
EVERTON RES V MAN CITY RES
December 13, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Res; Leyland, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Fitzsimmons, (C.), Woods, and Melville, half-backs; Mayers, Farrell (A.), Lewis, Cummins, and Buckle, forwards. Manchester City Res; Williams, goal; Hannaway, and Little, backs; Phonis, Iwing, and McCourt, half-backs; Gunnings, Woosnam (P.), Sowden, Tavis, and Cunliffe, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. A. Turner (Willenhall). For Manchester City’s visit today Everton played at right half the 18-year-old player C. Fitzsimmons, who was making his debut. The City goal had several escapes with Williams saving splendid shots from Lewis and Farrell. Fitzsimmons was making a good debut and relieved several dangerous attacks. The Everton goal had a miraculous escape when Sowden missed an open goal from three yards out. In the 25th minute Lewis with a fine header gave Everton the lead. Half-time; Everton Res 1, Manchester City Res 0.
Everton commenced the second half full of confidence, Williams doing exceedingly well in dealing with strong shots from Cummins and Farrell. The Blues were again thankful when Davies was presented with a unique chance, but he shot well wide of the posts. In the 65th minute Sowden equalized from a centre by Gunning.
POTTS SCORES A GREAT HAT-TRICK
December 15, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Bury 0, Everton 5
This was the most sprightly and convincing Everton display for some time and the score in no way flattered them. Even so Everton looked far from impressive during the first fifteen minutes when Bury were really menacing. They advanced at terrific speed and shot frequently near goal. It was then that O’Neill showed his real brilliance, for he made several wonderful saves and once he was saved by his crossbar. But after that Everton opening Bury slipped out of the picture and Everton became the masters. The longer the game went on the more dominant Everton became. They had to defend stubbornly at times, but there was little subtedly in Bury’s approach. The winners relied upon football strategy 0the losers in honest endeavour which was just not good enough. The experiment of playing Wainwright at outside right was a complete success. Not only did he score a goal but he did many other good things, and showed not the slightest fear in tackling or being tackled. It was Everton’s team work that won the day. Hart the Bury centre half could not keep hold of the middle of the ground and this threw a heavy burden on those behind him.
Success of Fielding
The return of Fielding was another improvement. He had one of his best games. He did not hang on too long but gave the ball to a colleague in the right manner and at the right time while Potts who scored a hat-trick was just as cunning in his work as Fielding. It was certainly a gala day for Everton at Gigg Lane and if they can reproduce this form they should soon rise up in the table. Eglington started the goal riot at the thirty-second minute when he took a pass from Hickson drew the goalkeeper and then smashed the ball beyond him. It was not until the second half, however, that the Goodison side really played Bury out of the game. Bury did make some raids but it was more through spirit than anything else. Even so their pace counted for something and it was then that the Everton defence had to show its power. Jones, Farrell, Lello, Lindsay and O’Neill were there to thwart the rampant Bury forwards, who should have had a goal or two but their shooting was feeble. Wainwright’s goal came at the sixty-first minute and it was due to a rather faulty clearance by Griffiths. Fielding snapped up the opportunity to go on and provide Wainwright with the centre. The winger coolly hit the ball home. Within a minute Everton had scored a third –this time through Potts, who went on to score two more. Bury fought on but for them it was always a losing battle.
SIGNS FOR EVERTON
December 15, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Glyn Pritchard, Bugill Hotspurs seventeen-year-old inside right has signed amateur forms for Everton. Other clubs have been interested in Pritchard, including Manchester United, Manchester City and Wrexham.
EVERTON IN LUCK
December 15, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 2, Manchester City Res 2
Everton were fortunate to divide the points for City missed a penalty kick and two easy chances. The eighteen-year-old amateur C. Fitzsimmons, making his debut created a good impression at right half and Buckle was a constant danger. Everton’s marksmen were Lewis and Farrell (A) whilst Sowden scored both goals for the visitors.
EVERTON’S GOOD WIN AT BURY
December 15, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
The Stuff To Give Us
Have Everton found the right combination? It would seem like it on what I saw at Gigg Lane on Saturday, for they gave their most encouraging display of good and progressive football. Their position demanded something out of the ordinary, for they had gone too many weeks without a victory. Playing on an away ground is always problematic, no matter what the opposition’s record, but this Everton team did everything expected of it – they still have a big name for good football –but few who watched the first 15 minutes of the match anticipated anything else but a home win. Bury were simply rampant and Everton were lucky to come through without serious damage for the high-spirited Bury swept through like a tornado, which hit a hardly ready Everton defence with everything they had. Such tactics are not uncommon on away grounds, so it behoves the visitors to be prepared from the moment the whistle sounds. I have seen it all so often aye, I have seen it lay the foundation stone of success, for a goal or two during that period can have tremendous effects. Had Bury got a couple of goals –they should have done –I cannot say what would have happened. They hit the woodwork. O’Neill made three grand saves, and that seemed to pluck the heart out of the Bury team. They had given their best and it was not good enough.
Everton had withstood their whirlwind attacks undamaged and gradually got their football working smoothly but it took a goal to snuff out the Bury flame entirely. That came at the half-hour and that was the last we saw of Bury as a menace. They had their moments but having had their fling they slipped further and further out of the picture. Bury were going back, Everton coming forward and ultimately Everton’s good football carried the day. But let me tell you there were many anxious hearts among the big contingent of Everton supporters in that first quarter of an hour. It took some little time for Everton to throw off the shackles but when they did they showed the class will ultimately tell. After Eglington’s goal the spirit went right out of the Bury team. They never at any time vied with Everton in point of skill, for even when they were battering their hosts it was mainly through spirit and enthusiasm and not football artistry. Everton supplied the latter in big chunks later in the game, when they cut through a bewildered defence at will. The Bury defence had no answer to the intricate, yet effective moves of their rivals, who made goalscoring look easy, and the five goals they scored could have been considerably augmented had all chances been accepted. But who is going to quibble about a few extra goals with five already on your score card? Suffice it to say that Everton won and won well and from what I saw at Gigg Lane the “Shakers” are in for a worrying time.
The return of Fielding had a great deal to do with Everton’s success, while the introduction of Wainwright at outside right proved to be a good move. Not only did Wainwright score a goal, but he played extremely well showed no signs of fear – not even in the most hearty tackle, and he had to face up to any number of these. Eddie could easily make the outside right position his own, for he adopted himself to the position as though he had been playing there all his life. Potts scored three goals –a “hat-trick” –and while that in itself was of great account it was his general play which had such a bearing on the rest of the line. Both he and Fielding drew the Bury defence out of position before disposing of the ball and this allowed others to cut through at will. Hickson could have figured among the goal scorers had he not been a little slow, but the heavy cold which enshrouded him may have had something to do with that. Eglington’s speed was too much for Greenhalgh and Griffths and his goal was admirably taken. Hickson supplied the pass and as Kirk advanced from his goal Eglington simply whipped the ball past him. That goal was the winner to all intent and purpose for Bury’s flight had been extinguished. I cannot close without paying a tribute to the Everton defence which stood up manfully to the furious onslaught which it them during those hectic fifteen minutes. A slip then and I may have had a different story to tell.
December 17, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
With a clean bill of heath and the encouraging victory at Bury behind them, Everton as anticipated, make no change in the side to visit Hull City. The return of Wainwright last week, along with the recall of Fielding and Hickson, transformed Everton’s attack. A similar display at Boothferry Park on Saturday could bring another encouraging result. Hull have slumped badly of late. They have lost eight of their last 10 fixtures, have suffered some heavy debits in the goals against column and must now be feeling pretty desperate. Their home record very good in the early months of the season is beginning to look a bit tarnished Everton have a great chance here to do themselves another bit of good. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Potts, Hickson, Fielding, Eglington.
Everton Reserves (home to Blackpool 2.15); Leyland; Tansey, Rankin; Grant, Woods, Melville; Harris Farrell (A.), Parker, Cummins, Buckle.
EVERTON TAKE THE SAME FORMULA TO SHAKE HULL
December 18, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
With no injuries and the memory of that great 5-0 victory against Bury last week Everton have chosen an unchanged side for their visit to Hull City on Saturday. The recall of Hickson and Fielding and the return of Wainwright gave the Goodison side’s attack a “new look” in sparkle and punch” at Gigg Lane and they will look forward with optimism to Saturday’s game. This optimism may be higher in face of Hull’s dismal slump in recent weeks. The home record good early in the season is now somewhat impaired in their last ten games home and away, they have been beaten eight times. Hull make two changes both in the half-back line. It is hoped that Berry will be fit enough to return at centre half, while Welsh international reserves. Harris after two games in the reserve at his own request comes in at right half. The teams are;- Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Potts, Hickson, Fielding, Eglington. Hull; Robinson; Phillips, Jensen; Harris, Berry, Durham; K. Harrison, Horton, Gerrie, Murray, Fagan.
December 18, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
As centre-half Berry today came successfully through a further stiff test as to fitness, Hull City’s team against Everton at Boothferry Park will be as anticipated. It shows two changes at right half and centre half from last week. Hull City have been sliding down the table alarmingly of late. Now they are desperately in need of victory to prevent themselves sinking to the danger line. Their last nine matches have yielded them only four points, gathered from home victories against Fulham and Notts County. The win over Notts County saw the “Tigers” get six goals. They have also a four and three lots of three to their credit, so that it is obvious that on its day the forwards can do their stuff pretty well. The defence, too has invariably put up a good show at Boothberry Park. Only nine goals have been second against it in ten home games, which is pretty good going. But away from home Hull have averaged three goals against in each game. That tells a very different story. Hull City; Robinson; Phillips, Jensen; Harris, Berry, Durham; K. Harrison, Horton, Gerrie, Murray, Fagan.
December 19, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
After their sweeping victory over Bury at Gigg Lane last week, Everton are bound to regard the visit to Hull City with considerably more optimism than might otherwise have been the case. Like the Bury game this is one which enables Everton to do themselves a really good turn, for anything take from Hull, who are only three points below the Blues in the table, will have a double-edged value. Hull have been having a shockingly bad time of late. This does not signify that Everton’s task is going to be simple but after the much improved display of last week and with an unchanged side to represent them, they should at least manage to get a point. Victory is almost as much a possibility, and if it so turns out, a lot of the recent anxiety regarding Everton’s future will have been allayed. Hull’s attack, when the ball runs, kindly for them, is capable of turning in a display which hardly seems to tally with their lowly position, but the Blues’ defence should be capable of taking care of this aspect.
Man To Watch
The City’s most successful marksman recently has been Ken Horton, the former Preston inside forward. After a not-s0-promising start, Horton has scored four goals in his last three outings, Gerrie is having a lean time. His bag to date is only three goals Jensen is the leading scorer, with seven goals to his credit, but latterly he has been switched to left-back to bolster up the defence. Hull City, opening up the season’s programme at Goodison in August took both points by a 2-0 victory. On that occasion Franklin was at centre half. He has now been out of the team for over two months due to a recurrence of his cartilage trouble, Linaker, a former Everton amateur and Burbanks were the wingers on that occasion. They also have been missing lately. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Potts, Hickson, Fielding, Eglington. Hull City; Robinson; Phillips, Jensen; Harris, Berry, Durham; K. Harrison, Horton, Gerrie, Murray, Fagan.
HARRY MAKEPEACE TRIBUTES
December 20, 1952. The Yorkshire and Leeds Intelligencer
Many tributes were paid yesterday to Harry Makepeace, Lancashire cricketer and Everton footballer and one of the select few to represent England at both sports, who had died at the age of 71. Colonel Leonard Green, a former Lancashire C.C.C president and county captain in Makepeace's heyday as a stolid, reliable opening batsman, said; “He was more than a great cricketer. He was a sportsman in the truest sense of the word. Lancashire in particular and cricket in general has lost a wonderful servant.”
Nigel Boward, the present Lancashire captain, and Cyril Washbrook, the senior professional, also felt that the country had lost a friend. Makepeace a wing-half, played soccer for England against Scotland in 1906, 1910 and 1912, when he also appeared against Wales. His four cricket Tests were during the 1920-21 M.C.C. tour of Australia when he made a century in the fourth test. From 1906 to his retirement in 1930 Makepeace scored 25,745 runs and hit 43 centuries.
‘FLU STRIKES AT EVERTON HOPES
December 20, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Team managers have their own worries and they will be anxiously checking in dressing rooms all over the country after today’s games. Already Everton, who were hoping to play the side which won so convincingly at Bury last week have suffered a blow, for that inspiring footballer Fielding has succumbed to influenze. His place at inside left will be taken by Cummins. Nevertheless they should travel to Hull with renewed confidence after that 5-0 victory to meet a side whose record of late has been rather dismal. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Potts, Hickson, Cummins, Eglington.
PERSISTENT HULL MAKE IT A MURRAY CHRISTMAS IN 88TH MINUTE
December 20, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Hull City 1, Everton Nil
Having held out for 88 minutes, Everton were unfortunate to lose by the only goal. They were worthy of a draw for their football had been better, even though Hull City had perhaps been on top territorially, especially in the first half. Chances were missed by both sides, but it was an interesting game. Hull City;- Robinson, goal; Phillips and Jensen, backs; Harris, Berry and Durham, half-backs; Harrison, Horton, Gerrie, Murray and Fagan, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Clinton and Lindsay, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Wainwright, Potts, Hickson, Cummins and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Holland (Barnsley). The rain came at a bad time about an hour before the start and had its effect on the attendance which was very small. Mr. Jimmy Seed the Charlton manager, was among the spectators running the rule over the Hull team for the City are to meet the Londoners in the third round of the cup. Everton had Cummins at inside left in place of the sick Fielding but Hull City made no change. The rain had turned the turf very soft, so the going was likely to be heavy. Horton, the former Preston player, who travelled up with Everton yesterday did well to beat Cummins and Lindsay, but that was as far as he got, for his centre was covered and Everton replied with an attack on the right and Wainwright forced Robinson to pull down a nasty centre, which had it been allowed to go on, would have given Eglington a scoring opportunity. Everton were now coming to their game, and Eglington tried a long shot which passed outside. Hickson forced a corner but this was speedily cleared Jones defended stubbornly in the middle where the City passed the ball more often than out to the wings. Cummins completely put the City out of position with a ball to cleared, but almost straight away Robinson had to cut down a lob by Potts, had much to do, but O’Neill showed his ability when he edged away a centre from Harrison. He later distinguished with a save under his bar from Durham. Clinton stepped in at the right moment to prevent Gerrie from having a tilt at O’Neill, but Murray was a shade too slow in accepting his chance when he had only O’Neill to face. The ball came out to Harrison who gave O’Neill a warm handful to cope with.
Cummins and Hickson got together in an effort to outwit the City defence and they succeeded up to a point, but the defenders triumphed in the end. Wainwright and Fagan had a little duel all to themselves, which ended in Fagan dropping the ball into the Everton goalmouth, where O’Neill stepped out and collected the ball. Hull were pulling persistent pressure on the Everton defence, who yielded a corner from which Harris drove the ball goalwards, Wainwright whose centre was and it passed between Lindsay’s legs, the City appealed for a corner which they got. This was the forerunner to a onslaught to the Everton goal and O’Neill was ever in extreme danger. Considering the heavy state of the ground the game had been very fast. O’Neill had another save to make but greater danger came from a Fagan shot which was slightly deflected but the Everton goalkeeper touched the ball round the post. It had been all Hull City for about ten minutes, when the Everton defence had to stand its ground against some severe pressure, O’Neill once dropped the ball close in to the goal and it needed desperate measures to clear the danger. Lello, Wainwright and Hickson were full of promise until Potts fell to the offside trap. Hull got plenty of encouragement from the crowd which, however showed its disappointment when Fagan failed to collect a Murray pass. Gerrie, finding himself covered made a square pass to Horton, who hit the ball first time but without the necessary direction, so the shot passed outside. Hull were putting up a grand fighting battle, and another shot passed outside.
Rarely Out of Own Half
On the few occasions that Everton left their own half, they did some cute football, but the Hull defence stood solid. The white ball was now looking much the worse for wear and took some propelling through the mud, but a grand move on the Everton left wing ended in Potts actually netting the ball, but he was obviously offside, Goalkeeper Robinson ran right out of his touch line to prevent Hickson from getting possession. Jenkins gave away a free kick for a foul on Cummins but it came to nought.
Half-time-Hull City nil, Everton nil.
The first thing of note in the second half was a cross ball by Eglington which Robinson dropped but he was able to recover and save. Everton turned on the tap, and Potts and Cummins opened a way for a possible, had there been another Everton forward in the vicinity. Hull also took a corner and O’Neill had to make a simple catch when he tried to bounce the ball it showed the state of the turf when the ball dropped dead. From his clearance Cummins sent out some nice passes, and from one that Hull defence was hard tried and Robinson had to save a header by Eglington. One of the best shots was made by Horton even though it finished up in the crowd. Robinson had to save a shot from Eglington, who to my mind should have won his side a free kick for Phillips had undoubtedly played the man and not the ball. After Potts had made a glorious opening for him, and Eglington had beaten his man, he wasted the opportunity by swinging the ball behind.
Crowd Needed A Goal
The play was still interesting but a goal was badly needed, particularly by the home crowd. Jensen came up to try and show his forwards how it was done but his shot slewed well wide and finished up over the far touch line, Harrison and Horton conspired to break open the Everton defence, but Jones cut into the working to clear at a most crucial moment. After Robinson had rolled the ball to him, Jensen took it right up field, and with everyone waiting for him to make the pass he elected to make another shot which was no better than his previous one. Jones had practically put Gerrie out of the game, but Hickson had fared little better against Berry. Eglington again put one behind Hickson almost caught the Hull defence on one foot when Jensen made a fancy back heel kick. Hickson tried to get the ball over to Potts but was unsuccessful. Fagan opened a way for City and Horton made a grand effort to head a goal but was off the mark. Fagan had a chance, but like others before him, he could not find a true line to the target. Lello and Harrison had the stage to themselves with the winger finally taking a corner. This proved a grim affair, and Everton were lucky to come out unscathed. The corner was half-cleared, but Phillips collected and as O’Neill tried to breast the ball away, Horton ran on to it and shot behind –the miss of the match. Eglington and Wainwright had bad luck with a move which was worth a goal, but all they got from their work was a corner. Farrell their work was a corner. Farrell shot over. Wainwright was going through until he fell to weight of numbers. At this stage Everton were calling the tune, and another corner came their way, but corners mean very little these days. Wainwright should have scored when he was offered a pass, but he tried to get the ball more to his liking instead of taking a chance with a quick shot. That extra second made all the difference. Four minutes from time a through ball to Hickson was full of promise but the centre forward shot high over. With two minutes remaining for play, Murray scored for Hull City. The ball had been handled about in front of the Everton goal until Murray found the ball at his feet and rammed it into the Everton goal. Final; Hull City 1, Everton Nil.
EVERTON “A” V. MARINE RES
December 20, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton, though territorially superior, could make little impression in the close-packed Marine defence in which their keeper shone, Thomas was unfortunate to see his fierce drives rebound from the bar. Marine in particular centre forward Leatherbarrow, were dangerous in break away. Half-time- Everton “A” nil, Marine Reserves nil.
EVERTON RES V BLACKPOOL RES
December 20, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Res;- Leyland, goal; Tansey and Rankin, backs; Brent, Woods and Melville, half-backs; Harris, Farrell (A.), Lewis, Parker, and Buckle, forwards. Blackpool Res;- Hall, goal; Proctor and Frith, backs; McKnight, Ainscough, and Robinson, half-backs; Harris, Mudle, Hepton, Durie, and Withers, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.E. Lambett (Blackburn). Blackpool, who headed the Central League took an early lead in the tenth minute, McKnight defeating Leyland with a powerful shot. Everton were unlucky on several occasions, Parker in particular being unfortunate with well tried efforts. In the 25th minute Hepton increased the lead from 10 yards range, and in the 35th minute Lewis reduced the arrears with a header. Three minutes later Mudle added the third for Blackpool. Half-time; Everton res 1, Blackpool Res 3.
Everton were the better side after the interval, the Blackpool defenders Frith and Proctor, being heavily taxed for quite a considerable time. Blackpool were still a very dangerous side, with Nepton and Durie being outstanding. Hall gave a fine display in the visitors goal and only for his judgement the Blues would certainly have increased their score. Final; Everton Res 1, Blackpool Res 4.
EVERTON LACK THE SHOTS THAT SCORE
December 22, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Hull City 1, Everton 0
Everton have never won a game at Boothferry Park. But this was one where they should have taken a point at least, for Hull never looked like scoring a goal until two minutes from time. Everton failed on one occasion, only, and ironically enough the two players who slipped at the crucial moment had been two of the most outstanding on the field. With only those two minutes to go. Everton were all set for a point –highly satisfactory on an away ground. Then a harmless looking ball came into their goalmouth. It would have been eagerly cleared on most occasions –but not this time. Lindsay usually so sure and capable, was a little too nonchalant and the ball remained in the danger zone. Lello also had the opportunity to get it away, but the ball still hovered. It was tapped about until it finally came to Murray, who smashed it into the net, and Everton were beaten – beaten by a team not in the same class as far as the artistic side of the game was concerned.
A Tale of Many Chances
That, however, only takes us back to the old point that it is goals which count. Everton were much the better team, but Hull took the points they so badly needed. Hull never looked like scoring. By contrast, Everton did and should have done for they made enough chances for themselves to have put the total out of the City’s reach. Early on, another Bury triumph seemed in sight, with the City being played out of the game after their fiery start –but the goals simply did not come, as they had at Gigg Lane. They could have done, for the chances were there. But the most important things of all –shooting –was not Everton’s strong point on the day. Wainwright should have scored. Hickson had one great chance, but flung the ball over the bar, and Eglington after taking up a fine position, turned one round the upright. This was all the more profligate when one recalls the easy manner in which Everton cut down the City defence to make the openings. Eglington’s speed had the Hull defenders tagging behind, but – most untypically –he put his centres across too high or worse still behind.
Cummins In Form
That sad last minute lapse and their inability to take their chances were the only two faults of which Everton could be accused. There was nothing wrong with their football, which made Hull’s dash and fire look common-place alongside it. Mr. Jimmy Seed the manager of Charlton Athletic whom Hull City meet in the third round of the Cup will not take any frightening story back to the Valley after his sigh of Hull on Saturday. One must however pay tribute to the City for their galliant fight against a superior side. They never gave up as Bury seemed to do once Everton produced the arts and crafts of the game. Cummins deputing for Fielding, played his best game since he joined the club. He kept Eglington going and did not forget Wainwright for he out some glorious balls to his right wing. The half-backs were excellent, and Jone’s in particularly while the studious play of Clinton was not to be faulted.
December 22, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 1, Blackpool Res 4
Blackpool fortified their position as leaders of the Central League by a margin which was against the run of the play. Parker and Grant were outstanding, for Everton, while Hepton led a good Blackpool line. McKnight, Hepton, Mudie and Durie scored the visitors goals, Lewis netting for Everton.
December 22, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
A week ago I was eulogizing the scoring power of the Everton forwards. Would that I was able to continue the story from Boothferry Park, Hull on Saturday. It could have been and should have been for almost as many chances were made, but not taken. Football is like that, however. One day everything goes right, the next everything goes wrong and such was the case at Hull. There were at least three chances which should not have been missed and had they not been three goals would have been well out of the reach of the City a hard battling and desperate side struggling to keep their heads above water. The words “missed chances” all too often figures in Everton reports, and their followers are getting tired of it. It is nice to receive praise for your good football, but it avails you nothing if the other chaps get the goals. One can cry “wolf” so often it ultimately loses its point but it is only a truth to say that Hull City were extremely lucky to win. But you cannot blame Hull City for Everton’s failures. They got one chance, a lucky one, and took it at a time when there were only two minutes left for Everton to redeem themselves. The time was too short to allow Everton to hit back. A certain point had been snatched from them by the only defensive mistake throughout the game. Murray’s goal at the 88th minute was in the form of a presentation. It should never have arisen for a harmless ball into the Everton goal area would have been cleared 99 times out of `100. Strange to say it involved two players who had given a spotless display. That ball should have been “belted” anywhere considering how close to time it was. Lindsay tried to be too clever when direct action was necessary and then Lello failed to get the ball away.
Instead of the ball being away up-field it was handing about the Everton goalmouth until finally it came to Murray who just had a smack at it, and it was in the Everton net. A gift? Of course it was and a costly one at that. That was the only time apart from an effort by Horton, when Hull looked like scoring. It was all so aggravating but that defensive error must not be allowed to carry the full burden for the defeat for some of it must be shouldered by the forwards, capable in making openings but very lax in turning them to account. Wainwright, Hickson and Eglington should have scored –Wainwright in the first minute when a goal then would, I am sure have taken all the fight out of the City. Those chances were missed and Hull battled on to win on the post. The City were anxious over anxious and their football was made up of hard hitting raids with little subtlety about it. By comparison they were carthorses as compared to racehorses but the carthorse won in the end simply because it never gave up. Lucky? Of course they were but luck plays a big part in football and Hull must be commended for their couragment effort against a better footballing side.
I don’t think that Jimmy Seed, the Charlton manager who was running the rule over his Cup opponents will take any “fear” story back to the Valley but he will have to tell his players that Hull will fight it out to the bitter end. He was one who said there was only one football team in it on Saturday and I don’t think any can disagree not even the Hull spectators. Everton football was far and away ahead of that of the City but there is still need of a forward who can hit them as they come along, for the chances are coming as a result of nice combination. Hickson was not the dashing leader he has been. Not even his nuisance value was there on Saturday, for he seemed to have lost that dash which had an upsetting influence on the opposition defence. Cummins was excellent. It was his best game for Everton and Fielding was not greatly missed, for the Irishman kept slinging the ball to all parts and was more direct; quicker in his movements and delivering some choice passes. Apart from that one slip the defence was sound and defiant when Hull were using battering ram method in their effort to break down the barrier Jones and company built up against them. I saw a new Clinton –a full back who used the ball and tackled with the coolness of a Lindsay.
EVERTON’S LONG TRIP
December 24, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have one change against Lincoln on Friday, Parker coming in at centre forward in place of Hickson. Saturday’s team depends on what transpires on Friday, of course. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington.
OFF DAY FOR EVERTON MARKSMEN
December 26, 1952 Liverpool Daily Post
Lincoln City 1, Everton 1
Everton have to blame the poor marksmanship of their forwards for their failure to do better than add a twelfth to the list of Lincoln City’s drawn games this season. The visitors were quicker on the ball than the Lincoln side and found their players with passes but time after time good moves broke down in the Lincoln penalty area or ended with the Everton forwards shooting hopelessly wide. Every visiting forward was guilty in this respect. Good marking by the Everton defence, on the other hand gave Lincoln few chances, Everton took the lead after five minutes. A free kick for a foul by Graver was taken by Clinton and a high ball skidded off the head of a Lincoln defence to Potts who fired it first time into the roof of the net, giving the Linclon goalkeeper no chance. The Everton inside right was on the mark again a minute later, but this time Lowery cleared on his knees. After ten minutes Jones had to gave a away a corner kick to keep out Graver and there was a thrill in the Everton goalmouth when from Ryan’s corner, a header by Kerr had O’Neill beaten. But the ball struck Lindsay on the shoulder and the danger was cleared.
Everton lost their lead in thirteen minutes, Jones had more than he could manage to keep out Graver and Ryan and the Lincoln right winger placed his corner kick well for inside left Birch handing away from the crowd of players to get the loose ball and gave O’Neill no chance. Left winger Eglington roamed all over the field and put in a lot of work, but lost an excellent chance of putting Everton in the lead again when he tried to pass to Potts at close quarters when faced with an open goal. There were a couple of thrills in the Lincoln goalmouth first when Lowery dropped a hot shot and recovered only just in time to keep out Parker, and again when the goalkeeper had to go full length and needed two attempts to save from right winger Wainwright. The Everton defence had most trouble with the Linclon left wing, where the outside men Kerr gave Clinton a worrying time. Danger to the Lincoln goal came time after time through Lello, who was no stranger to the home ground, having played many games for Lincoln as a guest player at inside forward during the war. He prompted many of the attacks which was wasted by erratic forward play. The Second half was played throughout with a white ball and its initial stages saw Lincoln more in the picture but Everton were not long before they once more had a grip of the game.
O’Neill who dealt with most of Lincoln’s scoring attempts confidently made a bed error of judgment on one occasion, but a shot from the Lincoln right winger went right across goal and out of play. Everton won a succession of corner kicks midway through this half and after sixty five minutes had the ball in the net again through Eglington but the left winger had been whistled offside just before he shot. The Everton players protested at the decision but the referee declined to consult a linesmen. It was the Everton wing halves Farrell and Lello, who gave the visitors the grip of the game. Centre half Jones had as much as he could manage to keep out the Lincoln centre forward Graver in the first half, but got the Lincoln man weighted up after the interval. The Everton side for today’s match against Linclon at Goodison is expected to show no changes although there is a slight doubt about Clinton’s fitness.
DEMON FOG TRIUMPHS OVER FAIRLY FOOTBALL ON MERSEYSIDE
December 27, 1952, The Liverpool Football Echo
For the second time in three weeks fog again seriously upset the days football programme, several matches having to be postponed. The impenetrable fog which shrouded Merseyside all morning caused the first cancellation of the day, that of the Everton v. Lincoln City fixture at Goodison Park. This was decided shortly before one o’clock. A temporary lifting of the fog at Goodison around midday gave glimpses of hope but the relief was only temporary and the fog soon came down more thickly than ever. Mr. A. Murdock of Sheffield, the referee appointed to the game arrived at Goodison Park shortly after 12.30. He waited a little while before making a decision, which only the referee can pronounce in cases of fog, but 75 minutes before the game was due to start he decided it would be impossible to play. It was a coincidence that Mr. Murdoch was also the official appointed to take the Chelsea v. Liverpool match at Stamford Bridge on December 6 which was similarly postponed on account of fog about an hour before the start. After yesterday’s game at Linclon the Everton players travelled as far as Manchester, where they spent the night. They completed the journey to Liverpool this morning and arrived here in good time. Linclon City’s party, however did not leave their home town until eight o’clock this morning making the trip by coach.
Mr. Arthur Straw, the driver said that they had good weather all the way to Manchester where they arrived at the scheduled time for lunch. “We left Manchester in clear weather at midday he continued and then suddenly struck a dense fog. It is the worst experience I have had in many years driving. I have heard a lot about Manchester’s weather, but today it seemed like a sunshine resort compared with what we experienced on that last 15 miles of the journey., “It was like trying to see though a thick blanket. Several times I found myself on the wrong side of the road after negotiating an island. We could not see anything. It was a nightmare journey. Mr. Bill Anderson, Lincoln’s team manager and Mr. C.W Applewhite the chairman of the club were the only officials travelling with the team. They said that they learned at 1.50 when about a mile from Goodison Park on the East Lancashire Road, that the game was off. “I went to a public telephone box in order to contract Everton,” said Mr. Anderson, “but I could not get through owing to the Everton telephone being continuously engaged. I tried another telephone kiosk. That was occupied by a young woman who refused to come out. The only thing we could do then was to continue on to the ground.
Stripped On Way
Not knowing what the conditions might be like at Goodison Park, the Linclon manager ordered his players to start stripping in the coach during the last ten minutes of the journey so that, if necessary they would be ready to take the field immediately on arrival. The coach arrived at Goodison Park at 2.10, five minutes before the scheduled time of starting the game. There were then several hundred people congregated outside the closed gates. The Lincoln players dressed again on getting official confirmation of the postponement and had a cup of tea before restarting their journey. If it is clear when they reach Manchester they will carry on during the evening for Lincoln. If not they will stay a night in Manchester.
DERBY RES V EVERTON RES
December 27, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Derby Res;- Townsend, goal; Parr, and Weston, backs; Davies (G), Nieison, and McLaren, half-backs; Hazledene, G. McQuillan, Wilkins, Straw, and Williams, forwards. Everton Res;- Leyland, goal; Moore and Anderton, backs; Cross, Woods, and Melville, half-backs; Harris, Lewis, Hickson, Buckle, and Easthope, forwards. Referee; Mr. F. Collinge, (Rochdale). In a fairly event first half Everton scored first after 11 minutes when Hickson beat Townsend with a low drive after Easthope’s centre had been headed down to the centre forward’s feet by Weston. Derby equalized eight minutes later, when Wilkins beat Leyland with a dropping shot from outside the penalty area. Everton had more of the play after the interval and twice went near. Buckle, after combining well with Easthope shot narrowly wide form 12 yards, and then, after Buckle had beaten, the Derby defence with a long cross-field pass, Harris failed to connect properly from close range and the goalkeeper managed to scramble the ball away. Derby missed a great chance when Williams shot high and wide with only the goalkeeper to beat. Half-time; Derby 1, Everton Reserves 1.
December 27, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
If their forward finishing had been on a par with the rest of their work, Everton would have been able to ring back both points from Lincoln, instead they had to be content with a division of the spoils. Everton had the advantage of being in the lead in five minutes, thanks to Potts accepting a first-time chance following a free kick by Clinton. Lincoln were on level terms less than ten minutes later, and thereafter it was a hard and stern struggle with Everton carving out openings against a defence which was not too happy at times, but failing when it came to the question of adding the right finishing touch to their work. Farrell and Lello were the stars of the Everton team. It was largely their good work which enabled Everton to get a real grip of the game. The Blues did get the ball into the net a second time, but Eglington had been given offside a split second before making his shot. Potts missed one great chance with only Lowery to beat. Jones found Graver a warm handful at first, but once he had settled down he kept a light bold on the home leader, who had little chance against him in the second half. The Everton team for the return match with Lincoln at Goodison Park today will be unchanged providing Clinton about whom there is a slight doubt is pronounced fit. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington.
EVERTON SECOND STRING TOOK THEIR CHANCES
December 29, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Derby C. Res 1, Everton Res 2
Although they did far less shooting than Derby and had less of the play, terriortorially Everton took their chances in better style at the Baseball Ground on Saturday and deservedly won. Everton were often neat and methodical in midfield but Derby looked more dangerous in front of goal. The home team finishing however, let them down badly. Centre forward Hickson opened the scoring for Everton with a low drive in the eleventh minute. Wilkins equalizing eight minutes later and Lewis scored the winner with a spectacular header thirteen minutes form the end.
EVERTON BETTER OFF
December 29, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Regarding the venue of their matches for the second half of the season Everton are more happily placed than Liverpool. Of the 20 games the Blues have to play twelve are at Goodison Park and only eight away. Of the fixtures Everton have already in away games beaten three of the teams to visit them- Barnsley, Brentford, and Bury – and drawn with three others in Swansea, Lincoln, and Southampton. In five cases they have lost away to clubs which have yet to visit Goodison. There are Blackburn, Leicester, Fulham, Plymouth, and Luton. So far they have not played Huddersfield Town whom they meet twice at Easter. Of the seven away games in which the corresponding home fixtures has already taken place, Everton have won four at Goodison –against Notts Forest, Doncaster, Notts County and West Ham –and drawn with Leeds United and Birmingham City, Rotherham, are the only winners at Goodison whom Everton have yet to visit. On the basis of the return of nine points from their last 12 games Everton can expect a minimum of 13 points from the rest of their fixtures. That would give them a final total of 35 points. As with Liverpool, however I think we can expect to improve on that possibly to quite a fair extent. Both our senior clubs have recently been having a very lean time. Better fortune should come their way, if only by the law of averages. If it doesn’t then the outlook is pretty grim.
BARNSLEY OPEN NEW YEAR
December 30, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Yorkshire Club Field Debutant Goalkeeper Against Everton
Barnsley, visitors to Goodison Park on Thursday, will introduce yet another young player to Second Division football in John Walls, a 21-year-old goalkeeper who will be making his senior debut. The Yorkshire club has a good sprinkling of promising youngsters in their team, and though some are rather lacking in experience manager Angus Seed has good hopes that they will shortly help the Oakwell side to climb from its bottom of the table position. Barnsley have been badly hit by injuries lately, and with falling gates and little cash available for transfer fees at present day prices the club, like so many more, is pinning its faith largely to its own products., In addition to the incoming of debutant Woods, who is a native of Seaham Harbours and just out of the Forces, Barnsley will have Blenkinsopp back in the team. Blenkinsop formerly of Middlesbrough strengthened the Yorkshire defence considerably after his acquisition of months ago. Unfortunately after only four games he pulled a muscle and has missed the last five fixtures. Now he is fit again to resume at left-back Barnsley will be stronger for his reurn. Unfortunately outside right Kaye, a 19-year-old of considerable ability is not able to get leave from the Forest for the game. His place will be taken by Gavin Smith. Taylor, another victim of pulled muscle trouble, which has caused him to missed the last two matches is fit again. As he is Barnley’s most effective marksman with 13 goals to his credit from centre forward and inside left his return is welcomed. This will be Everton’s first home game on a New Year’s Day since 1947, apart from the occasion when January 1 fell on a Saturday a few years ago. Even though Barnsley may not be the most attractive opposition we could have for a holiday fixture, those who have a free afternoon on Thursday will welcome the opportunity to see the game, and there should be a good game. The Yorkshire club’s visit provides another of those occasions when victory would be doubly welcome to Everton whose margin of advantage over the clubs below them is not so big that the sacrifice of further home points can be lightly regarded. Barnsley; Walls; Blenkinsop, Hudson; Smith (N), McNeill, Normanton, Smith (G), Dougall, McMorran, Taylor, Kelly.
The appearance of Eddie Mcmorran as leader of the visitoring attack holds a little more than usual interest for Everton followers in his Belfast Celtic days Everton made a big bid to sign this strong and thrustful leader. He went instead to Manchester City and Everton later signed Jock Dodds. Since then McMorran had a spell with Leeds United before throwing in his lot with Barnsley.
Everton team will be the same as that which played at Lincoln on Boxing Day, Viz;- O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Potts, Parker, Cummings, Eglington.
EVERTON KEEP THE SAME ELEVEN
December 31, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton will field an unchanged side for their game against Barnsley at Goodsion Park, tomorrow It is-O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington.
EVERTON’S FIRST DOUBLE?
December 31, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Barnsley Have Struck Another Lean Patch and Many Problems
It is rather a curious state of affairs when New Year’s Day provides a bigger football programme than Christmas Day, but that is how things have worked out for tomorrow. Everton home to Barnsley, have the opportunity to record their first double of the season. They won the corresponding game at Oakwell Park 3-2, in September. The Blues had to fight hard for their previous Barnsley victory with home advantage they should repeat their Oakwell success more convincingly. Barnsley have been an unlucky side in the matter of injuries for the past couple of years. Last winter with the exception of Coventry City and Wrexham they utilized more players in their first team than any other club in all the four divisions. Their total then was 32. This year they have already had to call on no fewer than 28 players. The most difficult position to fill partly through injuries and also through the loss of form of some players have been in the defence.
Their Weak Link
As many as seven different men have figured at right half, including George Spruce, formerly of Wrexham four at left back, and three each at right back and left half. The forward line had also presented problems though not to the same except, for Barnsley’s 31 goals on the credit side is better than some others can boast and compares reasonably well with most of the teams in the bottom half of the table. The 55 scored against them shows where the timbers of the Oakwell team have sprung their biggest leak. Victory for Everton over any of the side below them in the League table is doubly sweet. It keeps the strugglers at a safe distance. Barnsley though bottom of the chart are only six points behind the Blues. More ominious still is the fact that Everton have no advantage –except a game in hand –over the two clubs immediately below them, only one point lead over the next four in descending order and two to the good over Bury, third from the bottom. Finally a word of welcome to Wainwright who makes his first senior home appearance for over two years. It will be good to see him in action again. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Wainwright, Potts, Parker, Cummings, Eglington. Barnsley; Walls; Blenkinsop, Hudson; Smith (N), McNeil, Normanton; Smith (G), Dougall, McMorran, Taylor, Kelly.