FULHAM FOUND THEY COULD FOOL’EM HAD EVERTON ON THE RUN
November 1, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Fulham 3, Everton nil
Everton missed their way in the first half when the chances were there and when Fulham were being outsmarted, but the second half belonged to the Londoners and O’Neill saved Everton from a heavier defeat. Fulham; Black, goal; Wilson and R. Lowe, backs; E. Lowe, Taylor and Lawler, half-backs; Stevens, Robson, Jezzard, Brennan, and Mitten, forwards. Everton;- O’Neill, goal; Moore and Lindsay, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Grant, half-backs; Harris, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. N.C. Taylor (Wilts). Craven Cottage is one of Everton’s lucky grounds, for on their last appearance they put up one of their best ever shows to won 5-1. A repeat performances would be necessary today, for the Cottagers are said to be playing well. The early morning rain did not have such a bad effect on the ground, which is one of the best in the London areas in wet whether it certainly looked good. The dour pour had ceased by match time, and the conditions promised a keen game of football. Fulham had one change, Taylor coming in for Dodgin at centre half. Fulham kicked off and immediately went into the attack and the Everton defence had to get to work straight away, for a back header by Lindsay only a yard or so outside. Everton then hit back and Black had to make a good save from Eglington, who collected the ball from the right and Black had to put the ball down before he could complete the save. A minute after Parker was clean through and shot for the far side of the goal which Black had left vacant but the ball travelled outside as the whistle sounded for offside. Everton had not been slow in retaliating and Black was let in for trouble when Hickson almost sneaked through. The result, however, was a corner. A near thing to a goal was when O’Neill sent a kick soaring up the field and Hickson picked up the clearance and hit a hard drive from close in, which Black did well to turn around his upright.
A Cross Goal
So far it had been Everton’s game, but at last the home side broke out from Everton’s grip and came in with an attack which saw Jezzard trip down the left wing and then swung the ball right across goal. Taylor twice put back to his goalkeeper to ease his position but Black should have been left stone cold when Hickson, from the outside left position, pulled the ball back to Eglington, who had wisely moved inside, and it looked all the earth to a pinch of salt that “Eggo” would score!
He tried to put the shot out of the reach of Black and sis so, but Eglington also had his shot half a foot outside the upright. Stevenson and Jezzard worked an opening between them which had the Everton defence on the spot, but Jones nipped in to give away a corner rather than something more valuable. The corner was cleared. E. Lowe gave Stevens a great opportunity to open the day’s scoring. He had only O’Neill to deal with but he shot well outside much to the disappointment of his followers. Mitten had done little up to now, but he came along with a long centre which O’Neill took exceptionally well over his head when quite a few people behind me had already shouted “goal.”
O’Neill made a grand catch when he took a header by Brennan in true cricketing fashion, after Eddie Lowe had provided the chance with a fine length centre. A foul was given against Hickson for something I did not see. Mitten was coming more in to the game and again beating Moore, he sent in a centre which Jezzard headed downwards in the hope of beating O’Neill. The Irish goalkeeper was ready for the task; nicking up and clearing. A throw-in to Fulham saw O’Neill make another good save Jezzard hit a ferocious ball, and caught the corner-kick with every confidence. Fulham were now a much more progressive side than they had been. Parker beat two men with the over to Eglington but the angle was too acute for the Irishman to find the net. Just on the interval, Fulham were awarded a free kick for obstruction, but it came to nothing. Half-time; Fulham nil, Everton nil.
Everton took a corner in the first minute of the second half through Hickson, and a corner for Fulham saw O’Neill pluck a centre out of the sky from Stevens. The 50th minute proved fatal to Everton for Brennan, after getting the better of Jones, shot strongly. O’Neill turned the ball up in the air and it dropped on the bar as it came down, and Jezzard nipped in before O’Neill could regain his feet and tapped the ball into the net. It was rank bad luck for O’Neill whose save of Brennan’s shot was masterly. Two minutes later Mitten had scored a second, interpassing into the Everton goalmouth without the ball touching anyone. Jezzard gave Mitton his chance and then rushed in anticipation of his wing man’s centre. His presence may have caused O’Neill to take his eye off the ball. Fulham were inspired by their success, defence striving hard. Eglington was the danger for Everton with his raiding. He twice put the Fulham defence under fire, but the Cottagers were soon back and Mitten from the inside right position headed over. Brennan made a good run and a gift offering for Stevens, now playing at centre forward but the latter could not get a full-blooded shot and attempted to slip the ball aide O’Neill without success. Brennan was playing lovely football and it was as a result of his work that Fulham were able to chalk up a third goal. He passed to Jezzard who put the ball to Stevens. Stevens hit first time, and although O’Neill appeared to touch the ball, he could not keep it out of the of his net.
Everton Fight Back
Everton were fighting hard to reduce the Fulham’s lead and Black made a sound save from Hickson. Final; Fulham 3, Everton nil.
EVERTON RES V NEWCASTLE RES
November 1, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Res;- Leyland, goal; Clinton and Rankin, backs; Bitch, Woods and Melville, half-backs; McNamara, Wainwright, Lewis, Cummins and Buckle, forwards. Newcastle Res;- Thompson, goal; Cahill and Betty, backs; Robledon (E.), Stokoe, and Crowe, half-backs; Sword, Mulshaw, Robledon (G), Black, and Mitchell, forwards. Referee; Mr. R. Holroyd (Brighouse, York).
The game had quite a sensational opening at Goodison Park today for the United, who had an exceptionally strong side out, found themselves two goals in arrears in the first five minutes, Wainwright and Cummins being the marksmen. Everton were displaying grand tactics and Clinton’s penalty kick increased the lead in the 14th minute. Newcastle managed to reduce their deflicit in 25 minutes through Mitchell. Half-time Everton Reserves 3, Newcastle Reserves 1.
After the interval Everton took up the initiative, Thompson in the early moments saving two well-directed shots from Cummins and Wainwright. In the 55th minute Everton, who were by far the superior side, increased their lead through Lewis from close range. Final; Everton Res 5, Newcastle Reserves 1.
TOO DELIBERARE IN THEIR SHOOTING
November 3, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Fulham 3, Everton 0
When will Everton forwards realize that it is the quick shot which surprises and so often beats the goalkeeper? The sooner they do the better will be their prospects of returning to the First Division. It was only slick shooting that enabled Fulham to win by so handsome a score. One Fulham supporter after the game was terribly impressed by Everton’s football and prophesied their return to the senior circle. It could be if their shooting was as good as their field play. The same set of forwards crashed Brentford and smothered Doncaster, but sicne then their shooting has been moderate. Their framing of an attack is so sound it is vexatious to see chances, frittered away. They should have had this game sealed up the interval. They were much the better team in football planning and progress. Fulham’s defence was pierced time and time again, but Everton’s shooting was too deliberate. Twice Eglington grazed the upright and Parker missed a gift from Hickson; in fact Everton were so much superior the pointer seemed set for an Everton victory even when the interval arrived with no goals. Fulham had been completely outmanoecurved by a vastly better side and no one would have forecast a 3-0 victory for the Cottagers, for Everton were playing well within themselves and Fulham looked nothing more than a moderate side. Then came the great chance brought about by a goal to Jezzard five minutes after the interval. Fulham never looked back. The tide had turned in a no uncertain manner. O’Neill was most unlucky, for he had made a brilliant save of Brennan’s fast-drive. He turned the ball upwards and it could very well have gone over the bar. If didn’t. It hit the bar dropped down and Jezzard rushed up and pushed it over the line with O’Neill trying to get back to his feet. Two minutes later misfortune again reared it’s head for a centre cum shot from the wing by Mitten hit Moore on the shoulder and went right away from the goalkeeper. Two goals in two minutes. True, Everton fought galliantly but Fulham had their teeth deep in the game from that first goal and at 65 minutes a hard shot by Stevens made victory complete. It would have been more than a 3-0 verdict had it not been for O’Neill, who gave a masterly display. Everton’s prospects were not enhanced when Lindsay pulled a muscle in the first half, during most of which he was in grand form. His speed was reduced and he was naturally less effective. Everton never gave up the fight and paved the way for shots which never came.
EVERTON RESERVES 5, NEWCASTLE UNITED RESERVES 1
November 3, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves gave their best display this season by vanquishing by 5-1 the powerful Newcastle side that included George Robledo, Mitchell, and Stokie. Outstanding feature was the perfect understanding that existed between the home forwards. Everton scorers were; Wainwright (2), Cummins, Lewis and Clinton (Penalty), Mitchell scored for Newcastle.
• Everton “B” o, Skelmersdale United Res 1
DENBIGH TO EVERTON
November 3, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
After the Bagillt United v. Denbigh Town Welsh League match on Saturday, two Denbigh players signed amateur forms for English league clubs –Brian Gough Roberts (tight half) for Bolton Wanderers and Ken Davies (outside left) for Everton.
November 3, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
There was high praise for Everton’s football at Craven Cottage on Saturday night. “The best team we have had here so far this season.” But that is small satisfaction when you have lost. It is, no doubt gratifying to know that you are pleasing the people but without goals it does not mean a thing. I did not see Everton at Brentford nor against Doncaster at Goodison Park, but they must have been shooing with venom and accuracy, I cannot understand why they are not doing it now. I would like to wager they had just as many chances at Fulham as they did in those two games, but failed to drive them home. In the matter of football skill they were a better side than Fulham whose first half display never suggested such a solid victory. They were flattered by their three goals win, but you cannot erase that from their record book. They got the goals. Everton didn’t and that was the big difference. Everton’s first half display was top-class in everything but chances taking and oh, dear me, there were some simple ones for the taking while Eglington was twice only beaten by a matter of inches. They were so capable of carving out openings for themselves against a defence which was undoubtedly nervous that it seemed to be only a matter of time before Everton got their just reward but it did not work out that way.
It is said that the first goal is the really important one. Well, that is true of this game, for until Fulham scored five minutes after the interval the dice seemed loaded against them. Jezzard’s goal lifted them out of the rut and put a confidence there which had previously not been there. For the first time they became a menace and were so for the remainder of the game, for Everton had lost their rhythm – they never had the punch or impressiveness. They did not give up the fight and skill made openings for their selves mainly through the brilliant play of Eglington but they could not dig of Eglington but they could not dig up the shot to beat Black. Fulham were rampant after their opening goal and within two minutes they had made it two, O’Neill was unfortunate in each case, his save of Brennan’s pile-driver was so good that it was a pity it had to be the fore-runner of the goal. O’Neill pushed that ball up and it could easily have gone over the bar, but for once in a way it struck the woodwork, bounced back and Jezzard simply had to push the ball over the line as the goalkeeper was striving to get back to his feet. Goal No 2 was a cross from Mitten which struck Moore on the shoulder and diverted the ball away from the waiting hands of O’Neill. There was no luck about Steven’s goal. He hit the ball instantly as it came to him from Jezzard and it was in the net; no finesse; no desire to the deliberate, but the quickly taken chance that so often spells disaster from the goalkeeper. O’Neill was beaten three times. It would have been six had he not been in such wonderful form. He made dozens of saves in that second half when Fulham were riding the crest of the waves after looking like anything but a seaworthy craft.
Mitten and Brennan –always good this man-became the probing iron of the Fulham attack, making splendid openings which usually culminated in O’Neill having to make a save. But even when the Londoners were at their brightest and best, Eglington raided with such power and delivered enough balls to his inside colleague that goals should have come automatically. It was difficult to put the finger on the real sore spot of the Everton team, for they appeared good enough to break down the Fulham barrier. Maybe it was the injury to John Lindsay, who pulled a thigh muscle and naturally his effectiveness was reduced. Not that he ever gave up, but his speed was reduced. Everton battled on right to the bitter end, but it was chiefly defensive battle; Eglington and O’Neill were the outstanding stars in the Everton set up. Brennan was a great man for Fulham, for Mitten did not come into the game until the second half. I liked Jezzard, Lawler, and the two Lowes but I did not like some of the referee’s decisions, one or two of which puzzled me.
EVERTON SIX CHANGES
November 6, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Clinton, Buckle, and Potts in Side To Oppose Rotherham
Everton make no fewer than six changes in their side to meet Rotherham at Goodison Park on Saturday, though two of these are positional switches and the other an enforced alteration due to the unfitness of Lindsay. At left full back Rankin takes over from the Scot with Clinton coming in at right back in place of Moore. Clinton who was dropped after the opening match of the season has been playing in top form in the Central League side for the last month and gave an outstanding display in the recent friendly match against the strong Western Command side. In the forward line Buckle supplants Harris at outside right. He also has been shinning in reserves team games in which he is joint leading scorer with six goals, though two of these were when he figured in the inside left position against West Bromwich Albion reserves and the others from outside left. Parker comes in at centre forward in place of Hickson, who recently has not reproduced his former efficiency in this position, Potts takes over at inside right and Fielding crosses over to partner Eglington on the left side. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Rankins; Farrell, Jones, Grant; Buckle, Potts, Parker, Fielding, Eglington.
Hickson will lead the reserves attack against Sheffield Wednesday Reserves at Hillsborough in which 17-years-old Mayers who made his Central League debut a fortnight ago, also appears. Everton Reserves; Leyland; Tansey, Anderton; Donovan, Woods, Lello; Mayers, Wainwright, Hickson, Cummins, Easthope.
EVERTON OUT FOR GOALS
November 7, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
New Forward Line May Bring Added Punch
The display of Everton’s much-changed side will be watched with keen interest by Goodison Park followers tomorrow, particularly in relation to the revised forward line, upon which Manager Britton is basing hopes of improved penetrative powers. The Blues are likely to have all their work cut out to make sure of victory against a side which is again proving itself quite a power in Second Division football, and doing far better than most Third Division clubs do when they get into the higher sphere. Up to last week when they lost at home to Notts Forest, the Yorkshire club had won eight times and drawn in 10 engagements and climbed from next to the bottom of the table to fourth from the top. That record speaks for itself. Rotherham’s attack is among the best in the Second Division. It has changed considerably since the Yorkshire club took a point here a year ago. Grainger has this season supplanted Shaw at centre forward, and White their promising young outside right, is getting goals regularly. He has been in subject of transfer feelers by several clubs, but Rotherham so far have refused all offers. On their last visit here, Rotherham showed their fighting qualities by twice getting back to level terms against an Everton team which surrendered the initiative after being well on top. Too often have we seen Everton extend similar kindness to their opponents. They did it a fortnight without having any penalty. They must not fall into this error against Rotherham, who are bound to be full of confidence and ready to tackle anything after their recent run of success. So far the Yorkshire club have not drawn an away game. This might be the occasion. Everton, however, can prevent the loss of a point if there is the extra power and direction in their shooting which has robbed them of full reward on recent occasions when they have been the better footballing side. Without goals good football never leads to a rise in the League table. The moral is clear. Buckle is a stronger marksman than Harris and Parker shows greater craft than Hickson, if not as much graft, when leader of the attack, while the scheming of Potts, even at lesser pace than he used to show, is expected to weld the line more closely. Everton’ O’Neill; Clinton, Rankin; Farrell, Jones, Grant; Buckle, Potts, Parker, Fielding, Eglington. Rotherham; Quairney; Selkirk, Williams (H); Edwards, or Hussey, Noble, Williams (D); White, Guest, or Shaw, Grainger, Rawson, Rickett.
ROTHERHAM STRONG ON AWAY GROUNDS
November 8, 1852, The Liverpool Echo
Rotherham United, visitor Goodison Park today, have done much better since gaining promotion to the Second Division two seasons ago than the majority of people expected, and are quite an attractive side. Last year they finished ninth after starting off like championship prospects, and this season they are enjoying a similar early spell of success. This morning they were fourth in the table, three points better off than Everton, but having played one more game than the Blues. Their defeat at home by Notts Forest, last week, ended a run of six successful victories. Obviously they are a team which will take some beating though Everton hope that the changes they have made, particularly in attack, will do the trick. The Yorkshire club, now under the management of their former trainer Andy Smailes who was appointed at the start of the season in succession to Reg Freeman, the Wallasey born official who is now in charge of Sheffield United. Andy Smailes appointment was a very popular one and he has certainly good reason to be proud of the manner in which his lads have performed so far. When Rotherham were here last year for the first time in a Football League match they showed their fighting capabilities in no uncertain manner. After being two goals down they got on level terms, early in the second half. Then when a goal to McNamara put Everton in front again within a minute Rotherham, for the second time put themselves on an equal footing. This game was one of those frequent instances, where Everton’s complacency as has so often been the case, cost them a point. The Blues seemed to think the game was well won when they were two up and let the visitors take the initiative, when further concentration on attack would almost certainly have paid Everton due reward.
Since that match a year ago there have been a number of changes in both sides. Sagar, Donovan, Lindley and McNamara were in the Everton team that day, with Farrell at left half and Jones at right back. Rotherham had Noble at left back and Rawson a left half. Recently Noble has switched to centre half and Rawson has been proving a grand inside left. Other changes in the visiting side ate the transformation of Grainger from an extreme right winger into a useful centre forward. He has scored ten goals from this position in eleven appearances this campaign. Jack Shaw, who was the visitors regular centre forward a year ago and top scorer in all divisions the season before that has made only four appearances this term, occupying three difference positions. In place of Grainger at outside right, Rotherham have one of the best wingers in the second Division in White. He has scored seven goals in ten appearances. The Yorkshire club’s away performances this season embrace victories at Southampton. West Ham, Lincoln and Blackburn. They have been beaten by Notts County, Luton and Plymouth. Each of those reverses has been by a single goal margin. So far Rotherham have not drawn an away match. Everton will have to fight hard for all they get against the visitors sound defence and will also find that the Rotherham forward line will not be easy to hold in check. The Yorkshire club has scored at least one goal in every match this season, and has certainly put the ball in the net more times in away games than when at home. Rotherham are not a very well to-do club but shrewd management has enabled them to build the effective team. Their success is the more remarkable because most of their players since the war have been part-timers. In each of the first three seasons of post-war football, Rotherham finished runners up in the Northern Section of the Third Division. In 1946-47 they were eight points behind Doncaster Rovers who amassed the record total of 72 points. That season Rotherham came close to winning every home match. They faltered at the last hurdle by drawing with Rochdale if they had won, they would have equaled Brentford’s record of 21 home League victories established in the Southern Section of Division 3 in 1929-30. In 1947-48 when Rotherham were the highest scorers throughout the football League with 95 goals, Lincoln City pipped them for the championship by a single point. The following campaign they were thwarted by Hull City, this time by a margin of three points. In 1949-50, the Millmoor team dropped down to sixth place in the final chart, but the following season saw their triumphant march into the Second Division, a margin of seven points separating them from the runners up, Mansfield Town. Rotherham’s goal average that year was the best in the Northern Section. Last season was Rotherham’s first in the Second Division since 1922-23 when they were relegated in company with Wolves. They were the talk of the football world in the early stages of last winter when they headed the League table for a time, though they were unable to hold on to their eminent position and finished the campaign in the ninth position.
EVERTON FOUND NO RELISH IN THE YORKS. BRAND OF DEFENCE
November 8, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton 0, Rotherham 1
Everton’s changes in attack did not have the desired result. This was one of the poorest exhibitions the sides has put up since the early part of the season. Rotherham deserved their victory for their second-half determination. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Clinton and Rankin, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Grant, half-backs; Buckle, Potts, Parker, Fielding, and Eglington, forwards. Rotherham; Quairney, goal; Selkirk and Williams (H), backs; Hussey, Noble, and Williams (D), half-backs; White, Shaw, Grainger, Rawson, and Rickett, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Black (Kendall).
After Rotherham had won an unproductive corner in the first minute despite a good effort by Jones to prevent the ball crossing the line Grant set Parker going with a well-judged pass. Hussey however, was there to bar the way. Another Grant along the turf pass was the starting point of a nice Everton move which finished up with Buckle shooting strongly from a very angled position and getting a corner for his pains. His corner-kick was an in-swerve, which Quairney caught confidently enough but which he almost carried over the goal-line when he turned inwards instead of outwards. O’Neill’s first task was to catch a long centre-cum-shit by White the 22-year-old Rotherham outside right and part-timer player O’Neill had no trouble with this one. Parker had tough luck when a centre from Eglington following a pass by Fielding which spread-eagled the Rotherham defence caught the Everton leaders on the wrong foot. He tried to change feet and side-step Noble but the ball struck him on the thigh. A long cross-field pass by Farrell saw Buckle outwit Williams (H) and then with a clear view of goal deliver a strong left-foot shot which was close to the mark, but not quite close enough. Potts also was on the target with a volleyed effort off a Buckle pass and Parker hooked one a yard wide as he fell to the ground. Neat combination by Parker-Fielding and Buckle led to the latter lobbing the ball into the goalmouth and Noble taking the line of least resistance by heading behind for a corner.
Grant to the Rescue
Quairney misfielded this and Pott’s shot from a very acute angle passed across the face of goal with nobody sufficiently close to add the finishing touch. Grant came to the rescue when Rankin, after one partial clearance was having trouble holding up Shaw. This incident apart, we had not seen much of Rotherham in attack for some minutes. Everton’s re-constituted forward line had so far shown no great improvement. It was moving alright but somehow had not the snap or speed which has been shown in previous matches. Even Eglington seemed in subdued mood and had not yet electrified the crowd with his usual lightning runs.
So far the crowd apart from Fielding’s shot had little over which to enthuse. It was a game fought out with surprising lack of pace on both sides and an equal lack of thrills and good shooting. Now came two of the most shocking misses inside a few seconds. Buckle was the first offender. A Fielding pass left him with only the Rotherham keeper to beat from close range. A strong drive must surely have done the trick. Instead Buckle squared the ball to Eglington who completely missed it again with only Quairney to beat from six yards. This was not a “punchful Everton forward line by any means. And it was not as though they were up against a brilliant defence Rotherham were decidedly shaky at times but Everton could not cash in on this. Half-time; Everton nil, Rotherham United nil.
After White had badly sliced a shot, Fielding tried one at the other end which was from an narrow an angle that it had little scope of finding the net yet he contrived to cause Quairney to make a catch. From an Eglington corner Buckle stabbed the ball goalkwards towards Parker. It was not Parker’s lucky day however and his effort from a few yards soared well over the bar.
It was Grant who robbed Shaw and set Everton’s forwards off again with Parker veering to the outside left position to pick up a pass from Eglington who had gone into the middle. Nothing came of it however, for Parker delayed his centre too long.
A brilliant save by O’Neill, even if tinged with a little good fortune prevented Rotherham taking the lad. White centred right to the forehead of Grainger, whose downward header bounced once and looked to be entering the net when O’Neill threw himself for length and turned it round the post. Almost immediately there was a carbon copy of the escape at Everton’s end when Buckle and Pott’s went together for the ball and the former’s header was kicked off the line by Noble. Eglington temporarily at outside right put the ball nicely to Buckle but not for the first time the winger was out of touch and easily robbed. Rotherham were now hammering away at Everton defence and for some minutes play had been in the home team’s half. Twice Grant kicked away when the position looked dangerous and then a mark header by Jones saved another awkward situation.
Rotherham were now playing better football than at any previous stage, and only some desperate work by the Everton defender’s kept them at bay. Yet for as this Everton might have taken the lead when Parker in one of their few rather notable raids, found himself up the inside right position with the Rotherham keeper to beat. Quairney quickly came out to narrow the angle and beat down Parker’s shot and clear at the second attempt. Quairney was also fortunate when he failed to hold a Buckle centre which fell behind him when the ball squirmed out of his grasp. He dived quickly backwards however, to retrieve the position. A header by Hussey to White was further headed forwards by the Rotherham winger and was squeering in between the angle of the post and cross but when O’Neill tipped it over the top –a good save.
Another Buckle Effort
It was still anybody’s game with Rotherham on their second half show the more likely to pull it out of the fire. Yet curiously enough it was the Yorkshire club’s goal which again had a narrow squeak when Buckle lobbing the ball over the head of Quairney, who had advanced almost to the edge of the penalty area put it over the bar instead of the net. White wormed his way through the Everton defence in wriggling fashion without finally giving O’Neill any anxiety and then it came William (H) to try to show his forwards how to do it. Instead he putting the final pass to a home defended.
Everton Fight Hard
Everton had now come back in the game with more fight than they had shown for some time, but without a shot of note. Potts was injured as he tried to bore a way through against two defenders but play continued until the ball went dead at the other end when White almost scraped the Everton cross bar with a strong shot. At the 84th minute Rotherham deservedly took the lead. A free kick given against Rankin for obstruction was put into the middle by White and headed goalwards by Grainger. O’Neill could do no more than parry the shot, and when the ball bounced out to Shaw the inside right gave the Everton goalkeeper no chance with a powerful shot from six yards. Final; Everton nil, Rotherham 1.
SHEFF WED RES V EVERTON RES
November 8, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Res;- Leyland, goal; Tansey and Anderton, backs; Donovan, Woods and Lello, half-backs; Mayers, Wainwright, Hickson, Cummins and Easthope, forwards. Everton Reserves showed their ability at Hillsbrough this afternoon with a clean and speedy exhibition of football which brought them a goal lead at half-time, Hickson the score, made a grand effort but previously Cummins and Wainwright had kept both their wingers and the Wednesday defence busy with a stream of well-directed passes. Just before the interval a disputed penalty award to Wednesday was show wide by Marriott. Half-time; Sheffield Wed Res nil, Everton Reserves 1. Five minutes after the interval a shot from Whitaker rebounded off Slater to give Wednesday the equalizer, but five minutes later Cummins was brought down by Underwood and Wainwright from the spot restored Everton’s lead. Hickson scored a third for Everton. Final; Sheff Wed Res 1, Everton Res 3.
PROBLEM STILL FACES EVERTON
November 10, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Rotherham 1
Everton’s attempt to improve their forward line by the introduction of Buckle and Potts on the right wing was unsuccessful. This was as poor a show from the home forwards as we have seen in any game this season and with one or two exceptions the defence were not much better. The importance of the Everton attack against a Rotherham rearguard which occasionally showed signs of shakiness in the first half was most disappointing. There was neither snap not speed about the line and apart from a couple of good shots by Fielding the Rotherham goalkeeper had nothing to worry about. There were other scoring efforts of course but seldom were they on the target and still less often was there sufficient power behind them to bother Qiaurney despite the fact that he was not always confident in his handling. Everton had their best chance five minutes before half-time. Had they scored then there is no telling what effect it might have had on the course of the game.
Instead Buckle, faced with only the goalkeeper to beat from six yards and nobody to harass him, elected to pass to Eglington in such a manner that the ball came to the Irishman’s right foot. As everyone knows that is one thing Eglington does not like. He look a mighly sweep at the ball, and completely failed to connect. Everton might justily claim that had fortune been, on their side they could have been two up at the interval. Yet, they were never impressive in any department and only the half-backs line rose above a very mediocre standard. In any case, the side which depends on luck rather than on their own efforts and skill will never get anywhere worthwhile. Everton certainly had more scoring chances in the first half than Rotherham yet the visitors I thought were slightly better in their approach work. That they did not test O’Neill more often was due partly to some well-timed interventions by Farrell, Jones and Grant and also to their own shyness in shooting. In the second half Rotherham were well on top. Although they always looked the more likely to score, it was not until six minutes from the end that Shaw got the decisive goal from the rebound of a save by O’Neill.
Everton’s defence sadly, missed the steadying influence of Lindsay for whom Rankin was a poor substitute. Though it never actually panicked there were times when it did not seem far off. Some of the clearances were very weak. Buckle started fairly brightly but the longer the game went the more did things go wrong for him. Potts was slow and a poor marksman, Fielding went progressively worse in misplacing his passes. Parker was well held by Noble and Eglington was rarely seen. The half-back line did as well as anybody could have expected under the circumstances. But for their steadiness the deficit would have been greater. White and Shaw were Rotherham’s best forwards and the defence once it had settled down performed creditably though Quairney was fortunate on one or two occasions.
November 10, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
The view was expressed here recently that it would be wise to wait, before forming too optimistic an opinion of Everton’s championship hopes until they had met stiffer opposition than that encountered in some of the games which contributed to their run of eight games without defeat. The check which I feared has come in recent weeks. With only two points from the last four matches the Blues have been slipping down the table again. While there is no more justification for taking too pessimistic a view of things now than there was for being too optimistic a little while ago, one is forced to admit that their recent form has hardly measured up to what is required for a club which entertains championship aspiration. There are still some stern matches ahead, including that this week-end at Plymouth. For this game, including the chances which one assumes must surely follow Saturday’s disappointing display there will also be three vacancies to fill caused by the release of O’Neill, Farrell, and Eglington for Eire’s international fixture next Sunday.
Not Staying The Pace
Everton recently have begun to show signs that they cannot stay the 90 minutes as they used to. Against West Ham they were well on top for 45 minutes and struggling desperately in the second half. The same thing happened at Fulham. Against Rotherham on Saturday it was a similar story. Once again the Blues had enough chances in the first half had their shooting been up to scratch to at least have made Rotherham’s second half task almost impossible of accomplishment. Instead they rarely gave Quairney anything to worry about. The best effort was a Fielding shot which the Rotherham goalkeeper turned round the post. Most of the other Everton attempts were either wrongly directed –some admittedly very close misses –or else lacked sufficient power. The changes in the forward line, instead of bringing the desired improvement seemed to take all the sting and speed out of the line.
It was very dreary stuff after the first 15 minutes or so, by which time Buckle had completely shed his opening sparkle. Fielding had lost touch with his passes, and Parker and the rest showed little signs of making up for these short-comings. Everton seemed strangely lethargic –O’Neill and the half-backs excluded –in all they did. The forward line, cumbersome in its moves was a yard slower to the ball than the opposition and when in front of goal with reasonable opportunities could rarely produce a shot worth mentioning. Rotherham were no better as marksmen, and up to the interval the thrills were few and far between. The standard of play seldom rose higher than good Third average. The crowd’s gathering sense of disappointment came to a head five minutes before half-time, when Buckle, instead of shooting from six yards with only the goalkeeper to beat passed squarely to Eglington.
Then came the second half fade away which is now becoming too frequently an Everton hall-mark. The crowd’s last flickering hopes were soon dashed when Rotherham began to pile on the pressure and pen Everton for fairly long stretches in their own half.
Some Narrow Escapes
Rotherham always looked the more likely scorers, yet their own goal had several narrow escapes, more due to slips in the visiting defence than any outstanding ability in the home attack. Quairney was twice faulted without his goal falling and Noble once kicked off the line. Potts on another occasion was boring a way through when he collapsed through being hit in the face with the ball and suffered a temporarily knock-out. Compared with these isolated instances, Rotherham’s good approach work produced far more openings, Yet their finishing was not a great deal better than Everton’s. The goal which won them the points was only obtained as O’Neill lay on the ground after making a smart save, so that Shaw had only to hit it into an empty net. Altogether it was a rather drab and colourness game though the second half did relieve the gloom – so long as you didn’t mind the result –to some extent. Only O’Neill, Jones, Grant and Farrell played up to anything like their best form. Jones was outstanding. Clinton was the best of the backs, but Rankin had a bad day. As for the forwards the least said the better. Buckle and Potts were the most disappointing, and the rest did nothing to write home about. Rotherham on this showing are a much better –balanced and sounder side than Everton. Had their finishing been up to the rest of their work Everton would not have got away with only a goal deficit.
F.A. YOUTH CUP
November 11, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
The F.A Youth Challenge Cup competition is proving quite an attraction. It gives us a glimpse of the stars of tomorrow, for most of those engaged are on the staff of the senior clubs. The Football Association decided to introduce the competition this season to encourage youth football throughout the country and give them a greater incentive. So far the games have provided a feat of good football and although we have only one representative on Merseyside left in the tournament the local “derby” between Everton and Liverpool turned out to be a great game, although the score -3-0 in Everton’s favour –suggested an easy passage. Everton simply ran away from South Liverpool in the first round which they won 7-0 with little difficulty, but their next venture in the third round of the competition is going to be a big test. The have to visit Blackpool in the third round on Saturday, November 29, but there is such a galaxy of talent at Goodison Park that they will go to Bloomfield Road full of confidence. Blackpool had to flight hard for their right to appear in the third round, for they only succeeded in beating Blackburn Rovers by the odd goal of five at “Bloomfield.” Everton have a strong attack which is capable of scoring goals and a defence which can hold up the opposition.
INJURIES AND ABSENTEES HAVE PRESENTED SELECTION PROBLEMS
November 13, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Both Liverpool and Everton face stern encounters this week-end though with ground advantage in their favour. With the changes forced upon them for the visit to Plymouth by the release of O’Neill, Farrell and Eglington for Eire’s international match Everton go to Plymouth below normal strength which is not a very bright prospect against last season’s Southern Section champions. Unlike Lincoln City, their co-promotionists Plymouth Argyle are making a brave show in the higher sphere. So far they are unbeaten on their own ground where they have dropped only three points out of a possible 16. The Southern club has been fortunate in its freedom from injuries, which means they have been able to play an unchanged side in most of their games. Six of their team are ever presents and three have been marked absent but once. Short their goalkeeper, has missed one game due to the international needs of Wales, centre-half Chisholm has also missed only one out of 15 engagements and so has inside left Smith. Plymouth’s only real problem this season had been at inside-right. Here they have tried three players to turn with Dews the Worcestershire cricketer so far proving the most successful. Chrishom has recovered from strained ligaments of the right arm following a heavy talk in the match against Notts Forest last week and Argyle team will be unchanged. Plymouth; Shortt; Ratcliffe, Jones; Dougall, Chrisholm, Purteous; Astall, Dews, Tadman, Smith, Goven.
HARRIS ASKS FOR TRANSFER
November 14, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Make Six Team Changes
As Everton picked a much changed side yesterday for their testing fixture against Plymouth Argyle in Devonshire tomorrow, it became known that right winger Joe Harris had asked to be put on the transfer list for personal reasons. Harris –formerly with Marine, the Crosby amateur club – came to Everton just over two years ago. He played only one senior game until this season when he has made several appearances. Big news in the Everton team selection is that Ted Sagar will be playing in goal once more for the League side, tomorrow –and that Fielding is omitted. Everton knew that they would be in difficulties this week with replacements having to be found for O’Neill, Farrell and Eglington on duty for Eire on Sunday. To add to their troubles, reserve goalkeeper Leyland has been struck down with tonsillitis and Grant is also not fit. So Sagar, the evergreen comes back –his first game with the senior side since September 22 last year when he played a Goodison Park against Birmingham.
His 465th Appearance
Sagar has of course already broken the late Bob Crompton’s record of more than twenty three years service. This will be his 465th peacetime Football league game, in addition to the many war-time regional games and cup-ties. There are altogether, six changes –one positional- with Buckle moving over to the left wing to fill Eglington’s place. Donovan will be making his first senior appearance this season, but he was often in last. He takes over from Grant, while Lello, whose only outing was in the opening match this season, deputises for Farrell. McNamara resumes at outside right in place of Harris, and Cummins who has been playing exceedingly well in the Central League side will make his first appearance for the seniors this season at inside left. The team selected is Sagar; Clinton, Rankin; Donovan, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Buckle.
November 14, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s much-changed side, in which Sagar makes his first senior appearance for over twelve months and brings his total of League games to 465, will have a tremendous task against Plymouth Argyle, who are unbeaten at home. With six alterations compared with last week three of which were enforced because of the release of O’Neill, Farrell and Eglington to Eire it is hardly to be expected that Everton will have the same understanding as during their recent successful run. Buckle however, should be better at outside left than he was last week at outside right for this time he is on his natural flank McNamara, presented with another chance to justify himself will obviously try hard to regain his position permanently. The same applies to Lello who was similarly dropped on the basis of one display in the opening match of the season, and now gets another opportunity owing to Grant having a groin injury. Everton have been sliding down the table recently. Not rapidly, but nevertheless sufficiently to make their promotion prospects less rosy. If they can gain a point at Plymouth it will be a very satisfactory performance but to ensure even this both the attack and defence will need to give a more convincing display than they did last week against Rotherham. Plymouth Argyle;- Shortt; Ratcliffe, P. Jones; Dougall, Chisholm, Porteous; Astall, Dews, Tadman, Smith, Govan. Everton; Sagar; Clinton, Rankin; T. Jones, Lello; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Buckle.
The Everton Reserves team to meet Chesterfield Reserves at Goodison Pasrk off 2.30 is- Dunlop; Tansey, Anderton; Cross, Woods, Melville; Mayers, Farrell, Hickson, Fielding, Easthope.
As reported in last night’s later editions, Joe Harris has asked to go on the Everton transfer list, and his request will be considered by the board in due course.
FEWER THE CHANGES HIGHER THE FINISH
November 15, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
The absence of O’Neill, Farrell and Eglington from Everton’s side against Plymouth Argyle today due to Everton’s sporting gesture releasing them to play for Eire tomorrow, means that Jones and Parker stand out alone in their glory as the only two ever-presents in the Goodison ranks.
Changes in the Everton team for todays Plymouth match provide opportunities for two of the men who were dropped after the first game of the season to regain their places. McNamara victim of unfair and heatless barracking in the opening home match against Hull City, will probably be glad that his return to the side coincide with an away fixture. Providing he does well it should give him confidence to face the Goodison crowd again if he is retained for the next home game. Barracking is a cruel and foolish business, I sympathized at the time with McNamara and trust that today he has been able by his performance to rub out the memory of that August afternoon when the crowd put his right of his stroke. Lello another “prodigal” who returns for the first time after the opening match of the season, gets his chance because Grant has a groin injury, legacy of last week’s game against Rotherham. At the same time Lello was dropped and Grant recalled, I felt the change was anything but beneficial. In fairness to Grant, let me now pay tribute to the manner in which he has risen to the occasion since coming into the side.
He Has Done Well
Grant is a player who does not always strike his eye. His work is solid, never stylish with nothing flamboyant about it. You have to look for the good points more closely than with some players, but he has played his part well since he took over. I thought his display against West Ham and Rotherham without being brilliant were as good as anything I have seen from him for a long time. He was one of the few players last week who could go off at the end feeling that he at least could not be faulted in any serious degree. Earlier in this article I referred of Liverpool and Everton’s decreasing list of ever-presents, due either to injuries or the desire of those who choose the teams to make changes which they hoped would be the better.
LATE GOAL FOR PLYMOUTH CAME AS A SORRY BLOW TO EVERTON
November 15, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Plymouth 1, Everton nil
Everton played Argyle out of their customary stride. At no time did Argyle’s machine really click. The game became a triumph for Everton’s wing half backs, coupled with some starting were from Tom Jones and Clinton, who covered their rear men, and Rankin facing Argyle most dangerous and best-served winger Astall. It was tragic that they should have conceded a late goal. Parker was always keeping his attack on the move and making intelligent use of the open space, with Buckle in the first half and McNamara in the second his able lieutenants. Plymouth;- Shortt, goal; Ratcliffe and F. Jones, backs; Dougall, Chisholm, and Porteous, half-backs; Astall, Dews, Tadman, A. Smith, and Govan, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Clinton and Rankin, backs; Donovan, T. Jones and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins and Buckle, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.R. Jackson (Watford).
Everton’s first visit to Plymouth for 22 years – they were the first club to visit Home Park when Argyle entered the Second Division in 1930 – saw the gate affected through the wettest football Saturday morning for three years. Both teams appeared as announced with Everton minus the Eire internationals O’Neill, Eglington, and Farrell, which had necessitated six changes including the season’s first appearance of Ted Sagar. He appeared with Everton in 1930 when Everton won by the odd goal in five. Tom Jones twice stopped the Plymouth inside forward as they tried to break through a water bound penalty area but Everton were not long in retaliating. McNamara seemed to have lost a good chance when he pulled the ball back, but Lello was quick to seize on it and ran on to hit a ground shot which skidded past the Argyle post. First goalkeeper in action was Sagar, taking a fast cross from Astall, which Tadman narrowly failed to flick beyond him, but through Argyle were the more forceful Parker led an Everton raid and seemed likely to succeed when Jones brought him down. The referee waved play on. Everton, however were still feeling their way Buckle helping them on confidently with an oblique shot which hit the rigging. After 12 minutes play with Buckle brought down by Chisholm Everton were awarded a penalty. Clinton shot, however, was saved by Shortt. The much changed Everton side was getting down well now with Donovan and Lello keeping a flight hold on Argyle inside forwards. It was Parker again with a 20 yards shot which brought Shortt into action and the best was brought out of Sagar when Astall ran half the length of the field. After slipping Rankin and passed across a pleasing centre which Sagar tipped over the bar. The thrills were few, and a 22,000 crowd watched anxiously as Everton swept through for Buckle to crack in a shot which Shortt grandly saved by punching over the bar. Everton were giving nothing away and challenging with long sweeping passes which matched the quick Argyle wing to wing moves. Again it was Argyle who escaped when Potts swept out the ball to Buckle and flicking in the return, hit the post and then while falling, hooked the ball over the bar. Everton’s defence were achieving first class cover whenever the ball reached the penalty area with Jones as solid as a rock and unconcerned by Tadman’s roaming as a second wingman. Only once did that cover system fall, but Goven with a clear chance completely missed his kick. An almost identical came to Buckle who, however, fired wide. Half-time; Plymouth Argyle nil, Everton nil.
Defences on Top
The first move on the restart might have taken Arygle by surprise as Lello tore through the inside positions but his final pass away astray. There was still every appearance of defences being on top. Once Astall beat Rankin but Sagar was alert his cross and then Jones nipped in with Astall fast bearing down on a through pass. Parker and Potts had the Plymouth defence hanging on desperately for a moment but neither side looked capable of a finishing shot. Then came Everton’s best move so far with defence changed to attack as Tom Jones held up a Tadman and Dews move. Right away the ball went out to McNamara than inside to Parker two passes in half the length of the field and Parker moving into the penalty area although policed by Chisholm fired for goal, and only a Shortt dive took the ball out for a corner. Shortt was now in action thrices for every Sagar handling. Argyle were still unable to escape the grip of the Everton half backs and the crowd cheered when Pat Jones came up to show his forwards how and fired wide from 25 yards. Everton had their narrowest escape from an Astall centre which crossed to the fan side of the goal and Sagar saved three times in the scramble –two readers and a point blank shot from Smith. The game began to peter out scrappy with forward movements becoming weaker in their challenge. Four minutes from the end, Argyle scored, Dougall picking up the ball, fires in from 35 yards to beat Sagar, diving helplessly at a terrific shot. Everton protested strongly, presumably on the ground that the referee had been about to award Argyle a free kick. From Everton’s standpoint it was an unfortunate end to a display which had merited a point. Final; Plymouth Argyle 1, Everton nil.
EVERTON RES V CHSTERFIELD RES
November 15, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Res; Dunlop, goal; Tansey and Anderton, backs; Cross, Woods and Melville, half-backs; Mayers, A. Farrell, Hickson, Fielding and Easthope, forwards. Chesterfield Res;- Ward, goal; Capel, and Fearn, backs; Levers, and Harrison, half-backs; Poole, Bagter, Margess, Lochhead, and Maxwell, forwards. Referee; There was little to enthuse over in the early stages until Hickson put the Blues in the lead with a header in the 17th minute. Chesterfield were on the defensive for quite a period, Ward doing extremely well in saving many fine shots. Everton Reserves increased their lead in the 32nd minute through Easthope. Half-time; Everton Reserves 2, Chesterfield Reserves nil. Everton immediately after the interval bombardment the Chesterfield goal. It was not surprising when Hickson put them further ahead in the 52nd minute.
Ellesmere Port v. Everton “A”
Chalmer’s scored for the home side, and Thomas equalized. Everton were a smart side, finding their men with precision passes and Gibson stood out on their right wing. Town had many chances, but failed badly, and when Megan placed Everton ahead the success was deserved, for it followed a brilliant forward move. Half-time; Ellesmere Port Town 1, Everton “A” 2.
GOAL RULING TRAGIC BLOW FOR EVERTON
November 17, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Plymouth A 1, Everton o
Disgusted and dejected, Everton players left the field at Home Park, Plymouth, the hapless victims of a remarkable decision by referee J.B. Jackson of Watford. Here is the factual story of that Neil Dougall goal five minutes from time which gave Argyle their first-ever victory –quite undeservedly –over Everton. Dougall took the ball just inside the Everton half where he was tackled by Cummins. Referee Jackson blew his whistle for a foul and indicated by his arms that he had stopped play for this purpose. Quite naturally the entire Everton defence stood still. Dougall probably more in pique than anything else carried on and drove the ball into the corner of the net from fully forty yards – after the whistle had blown. Sagar made only a late half-hearted attempt to stop a shot which in the normal course of events he would have saved with comparative easy. To Everton’s and everyone else’s after astonishment the referee awarded a goal. Quite now he justified such a decision will probably remain a mystery forever. The entire Everton side cluttered round him in vigorous protest but he refused to after his goal ruling. Everyone Plymouth players, directors, and supporters included agreed afterwards that Everton had been harsh’s treated. And the blow was made even harder to bear when one realized that this Everton side had fought of magnificently and from more than one angle deserved to win rather than lose in such a disheartening manner.
The entire side from goal to outside left had given everything they had under heavy going and with the slightest tinge of fortune would have held a two goals advantage bring to that tragic late blow. Remember that it was only a superb full length save by Welsh international goalkeeper Bill Shortt which prevented Clinton converting a penalty awarded when the bearded Chisholm uprooted Bucle after twelve minutes. Remember too that Shortt was completely beaten by that canny Potts flick from Cummins low centre but that the ball chose to strike the upright. And add to that he fact that in the last minute right back Pat Jones headed a Parker shot from beneath the bar with Shortt beaten. The main Plymouth threat emanated from the fast precise crosses of wingers Astall and Govan and the closet Arygle came to scoring a testimate goal was following a limit header from one of Astall’s centres. Sagar who proved that at forty two he is still the front rank of goalkeepers, beat down Smith’s header after which shots from Tadman, Dews and Astall were charged down.
No one could deny however that Everton were clear points winners when it came in sheer soccer skill. Their easy flowing made at progress particularly in the second half repeatedly had the Arygle defence dumbfounded and it was only a combination of sound goalkeeping by Shortt and desperate tackling which kept the Plymouth goal intact. Most encouraging feature from an Everton viewpoint however was the marked improvement in the intermediate line. Tom Jones invariably was the master of the roving Tadman and Lello and Donovan were grand constructive wing halves who tackled forcefully and always used the ball to the best advantage.
November 17, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves 4, Chesterfield Reserves 0
The outstanding feature in Everton’s win over Chesterfield lay in the display of their colt team players –Chiefly Mayers and Farrell, who made a live right wing pair. Hickson again proved a capable leader with two goals to his credit. The Chesterfield goal survived a number of escapes with Ward making numerous grand saves. Easthope showed plenty of initiative and obtained the Blues’ other two goals.
November 17, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Some measure of consolation was afforded Everton manager Mr. Cliff Britton after seeing his team beaten as the result of a “mystery” decision by the referee by the fact that his side had staged their most convincing 90 minutes effort than in any away game this season. At Plymouth we saw infinitely greater fighting spirit and more tenacity in the close tackle than we have been accustomed to recently, and if ever a side could claim that it was unlucky to be beaten it was Everton on this day. In fact one cannot hide the fact that the six changes, five of them enforced seemed to improve rather than weaken the team’s all round efficiency. In no previous game this season has the entire defence looked so confident in its own ability and the half backs were a real tower of strength.
Jones The Master
Lello struck his old-time efficiently right from the start. He was effective in the tackle and judicious in his use of the ball while Donovan’s intervened and disposal were little inferior. Jones continues to improve by leaps and bounds and here he was the complete master of a more than useful Argyle centre-forward in Tadman. Forward there was quite a deal to give rise to encouragement, especially in the second half, and one felt it only needed the spur of leading goal to imbue Parker and company with a “Doncaster mood.” That it was not forthcoming was due to rugged, often desperate tackling and general defensive measures a degree of thoughtful goalkeeper by Welsh international. Bill Shortt the fact that Shortt brilliantly parried Clinton’s deliberately taken penalty and that a shot from Potts struck the upright with Shortt beaten.
Even in the last second full-back Jones headed from beneath in bar when a Parker lobbed shot had eluded Shortt. All the forwards player their parts well despite luckless finishing for McNamara contributed a grand second-half’s work; Cummins was an industrious worker, Parker led his line intelligently; Potts was a splendid schemer and captain, and Buckle ran himself out trying to find the vital chance. Ted Sagar looked as if he was good enough for another 23 seasons despite the fact that he had not previously played in a serious game this season and that he was still feeling the effects of that recent ankle sprain. Clinton and Rankin had a formidable job on hand against the speedy Plymouth wingers but they stood up to the test manfully. And to think that this grand side should be beaten by that remarkable goal five minutes from time. Referee Jackson had blown his whistle for a foul several seconds before Neil Dougall netted with that how-at-a-venture shot from fully 40 yards. Having heard the whistle the Everton defenders made no move to tackle Dougall but the referee refused to listen to their protests. All the Plymouth directors and players agreed after the match that they were equally as surprised by the goal award as were the Everton players and this will surely go on record as one of the most extraordinary decisions of all time. What a pity Everton had to find themselves on the wrong end of such a ruling after their splendid effort.
BLOW TO EVERTON
November 18, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Sudden Death of Mr. W.R. Williams
Blues Former Chairman
I regret to report the death of Mr. W.R. Williams, former chairman of Everton, which took place suddenly at his home at Lydiate shortly after midnight last night in his 76th year. Mr. Williams had not been in good health for the past few years but had improved somewhat recently since being relieved of the duties of the Everton chairmanship. It was on medical grounds that he resigned the Goodison Park position last April although he retained his directorship and continued to take his usual keen interest in everything appertaining to the welfare of Everton. Whilst chairman of the club Mr. Williams attended Goodison Park almost every day until towards the end of his term of office when chest troubles confined him to his home for some months. Dickie Williams as he was affectionately known to his countless friends had been a staunch Evertonian all his life, and in the youth was quite a useful amateur player. He was a prominent pre-war worker on the shareholders Association and joined the board as a nominee of the body in 1939. He has been a shareholder for over 50 years. Mr. Williams soon proved not only a very popular member of the board, but one whose shrewdness and sound judgment were of inestimable benefit to the club. His kindness endeared him to all with whom he came in contact and particularly with the players and stipendiary staff of the club, who knew that they had in him a friend who would to all sides of any question, and not form a hasty decisions. Yet for all his courtesy and pastime he was a bonny fighter on matters for vital principal and would stick to his guns no matter what happened. Mr. Williams was unanimously elected chairman of the club at the annual meeting in June 1950. In succession to Dr. Cecil Baxter. It was a courageous a thing to accent the position, for even at that time the chest trouble which made life so difficult for him during the murky winter months was troubling him increasingly. The opportunity to do something for the prestige of Everton however weighted again even the fact of which he was well aware that his state of health was such that the less anxiety of any kind he shouldered the better. In business he was a colliery agent, head of the Aintree firm which bears his name. He leaves a widow but no family. Dickie William’s death is a sad blow to Everton. Of recent years he life has been wrapped up in the club and despite the anxieties of past season he never lost faith in the ultimate revival of Everton and the restoration of its former glory.
EVERTON TO RUNCORN
November 20, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Runcorn who are without a Cheshire League match this week have secured on loan from Everton George Darlington, 18-years-old outside left. Darlington is a native of Runcorn.
EVERTON TEAM SURPRISE
November 20, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Farrell Fails To Regain His Place After International Absence
Everton team to oppose Leeds United, at Goodison Park on Saturday, provides a big surprise, for Peter Farrell, the Blues skipper, is not reinstated after being released last week in order to play for Eire against France. Farrell has not been dropped in the ordinary meaning of the word. He is out of Saturday’s side because the half-back line as constituted against Plymouth, played so well that it is felt it should continue unchanged. Everton’s skipper thus finds himself in the same position that Sewell did after playing for England –condemned to remain, at least for this match, looking on from the stand. What will happen later depends on how the new half back lines shapes against Leeds, but Everton without the hard-working inspiring Farrell will hardly seem the same. The other two Eire internationals who missed last week’s match are restored to the team. O’Neill in goal and Eglington at outside left where Buckle drops out. O’Neill at the moment is just getting over the effects of a heavy cold, and Leyland is still indisposed following tonsillitis, so Sagar will be standing by in case of need. It is anticipated though that O’Neill will be thoroughly recovered by Saturday. Lindsay is still unfit. Apart from the return of Eglington the forward line is unchanged which means that McNamara so harshly treated by a small section of supporters at the start of the season, will be making his first home appearance since the game against Hull City. Cummins retains the inside left position to the exclusion of Fielding. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Rankin; Donovan, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington.
Everton Reserves v. Stoke City, away- Dunlop; Tansey, Anderton; Cross, Forshaw, Melville; Mayers, Farrell (A), Hickson, Fielding, Easthope.
SEWELL’S FATE FOR FARRELL
November 21, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Captain Fails to Get Back
Following the fine display of the half-back line in the team so unluckily defeated at Plymouth last week, Everton have provided a big surprise in their selected side to play Leeds United at Goodison Park tomorrow. Peter Farrell, the Everton captain, has not been reinstated at wing half-back after being released last week to play for Eire against France. So the Everton players has the same experience as did Sewell of Sheffield Wednesday. Sewell released to play for England against Ireland was kept out of the Wednesday side for several weeks by the brilliant of Redfern Froggatt –who has since played for England –and Quixall. Similarly, it is felt that Everton’s middle line played so well at Home Park hat it should continue unchanged for a further trial. O’Neill the goalkeeper and outside left Eglington the other Eire international who did not play last week-end, return to the side, Sagar and Buckle dropping out. There is a slight doubt about O’Nell who is recovering from a heavy cold and with Leyland still suffering from his effects of tonsillitis; Sagar stands by in case of need. Lindsay too, is still unfit. Fielding continues with the reserves and Cummins holds on to the inside left position which he took over last week. The team is; O’Neill; Clinton, Rankin; Donovan, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington.
EVERTON’S HALF-BACK LINE
November 21, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
In League affairs we have the visit of the improving Leeds United side to Goodison Park when Everton will be keen to make amends for their home defeat by Rotherham. Everton had a difficult problem to solve when choosing their side to meet Leeds. The alternatives were either resting Peter Farrell, whose great-hearted work for the club ever same he came from Shamrock Rovers soon after the war has been so valuable or disturbing the half back line which so impressed at Home Park last week. Everton decided on the former course. Thus another players pays for the honour of assisting his country by losing his place in his club side. One can imagine what a disappointment it must have been to Farrell, but knowing the great sportsman and fair-minded fellow that hails I am sure he has taken it all in the right spirit. Apart from the games against Leicester and Fulham, Everton’s defence has held its own well of late. The attack is a different business. After an encouraging spurt of goals the forwards have not scored in the last three matches. This is the department upon which will mainly depend the outcome of tomorrow’s game. Without goals no side can expect to climb the table, and the Leeds defence is made of sterner stuff than some of those Everton have faced in earlier matches. The return of McNamara to the attack will I trust see him treated more generously than on his last Goodison outing. Admittedly he was badly off form that day, but there was no sense nor point about the barracking to which he was subjected. The longer it continued the more it threw him out of gear. Let those who eared on the occasion should they be spectators tomorrow endeavour to make emends by remaining silent if there is nothing over which to enthuse, or by the volume of their encouragement if the winter is doing his stuff well. I dislike seeing any player made the butt of disheartening criticism while the game is in progress. Leeds will be unchanged for the third game in succession. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Rankin; Donovan, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington. Leeds United; Scott; Dunn, Hair; Kerfoot, McCabe, Burden; Meek, Nightingale, Charles, Iggleden, Williams.
November 22, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
To Goodison Park come Leeds United, an improving side whose stern defence will test the Everton forwards, unable to score in their last three matches. Everton take the field without that great-hearted player Peter Farrell – another footballer who has paid for the honour of assisting his country by losing his club place. Critics will be anxious to see the form of the half-back line which did so well against Plymouth last week and which it has been deemed unwise to disturb. But the defence has not been as questionable as the forward line in recent games, back to the attack comes twenty-three-year-old McNamara, victim of quite unfair barracking on his last home appearance. It will be a testing day for him as for the whole reshuffled Everton side, which faces opposition unchanged for the third successive game –an opposition which includes John Charles thought by many to be the strongest claimant for the Welsh centre half position at centre forward. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Rankin; Donovan, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington.
LEEDS’ SWITCHES HAVE PROVED A BIG SUCCESS
November 22, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Charles May Be A Thorn In Everton Defence
Leeds United come to Goodison Park today encouraged by the fact that they have not suffered defeat in their last four outings, whereas the home club has taken only two points from the last five matches, and has not found the net in three successive games. The Yorkshire club, managed by Major Frank Buckley, has been experimenting recently with John Charles their big Welsh international centre half, in the centre forward position. He has scored six goals in his last four outings as leader of the attack, during which time McCabe, the former Middlesbrough player, has been holding the fort in the defence. Experiment are nothing new where Major Buckley is concerned. He started the Soccer world many times when at Molineux by his unorthodox approach to various problems and achieved a big measure of success with most of them. He has done the same when in the managerial chair elsewhere and is now carrying on the Buckley tradition at Elland Road. Defence has been the least changed part of the Yorkshire team. Five of the six players in the rear half of the team are ever-presents this season, including our old friend Tommy Burden, formerly of Chester who has been turning in some ground displays at left half. During the recent seasons Major Buckley had shown a partiality for Cheshire County League players. Among those from this class of football who have been taken on to the staff of the Yorkshire club are Kerfoot, Hughes and Tyrer, while Fiddler was at one time with Witton Albion as well as Wrexham. Kerfoot who joined Leeds from Stalybridge Celtic is now firmly installed as first team choice at right half, but Fidler and Tyrer have not been regulars this season. Newcomers to the United side since they were last at Goodison Park includes Albert Nightingale, former of Huddersfield and Blackburn Rovers, who was signed by Major Buckley for a fee of around £12,000 early last month and has played in the last five games for his new club scoring three goals. John Hastie a South American who came over during the close season has had a few outings at centre forward and had the distinction which falls to few debutants of getting a couple of goals in his first senior game. Barrie Smith an 18-year-old local boy has also had two outings as leader of the attack. Centre forward has been Leeds United’s biggest problem this season. Altogether the Elland Road side has tried 12 players in their attack, compared with only six in the rear half of the team. Charles is the fifth to figure at centre forward, five have been tried at inside right, including positional switches from the opposite flank and three have occupied the inside left berth and the outside left position. Everton took four points from Leeds last season and though the Blues recent results have been disappointing they would appear to have a good chance of returning to a winning vein today for their standard of play to some recent games has been better than once would gather from results alone. They were decidedly unlucky to lose at Plymouth last week. But they must overcome a tendency to fade away in the second half of the game, no matter how comfortably they may be placed at the half-way stage.
The post war period has witnessed a decline in the fortunes of Leeds United so far as status is concerned. In the last full season of pre-war football Leeds occupied a respectable position in First Division football, but when hostiliaities ceased, the Elland Road club was unable to regain it former power. In the transitional period of 1945-46, Leeds finished bottom of the League (North). The danger was clear to everyone at Elland Road, but efforts to stop the rot were abortive. In the following season, the first in which promotion and relegation were again brought into operation, the Yorkshireshire club finished “wooden spoonists” of Division 1. It was a miserable season for Leeds for 90 goals were given away to opponents the worst figures in Division 1 and one point only was secured from the club’s away matches. Hopes of an early returns to the upper circle were soon dashed. In fact, the club found itself involved in a struggle against further relegation to the Third Division and at the close of 1947-48 United’s first in the second Division, they stood eighteen of the chart. In the following season they showed some improvement, but failure in away matches kept them down to a final position of fifteenth. Then came a change for the better. In the next campaign, John Charles established himself as regular centre half and with his advent the United revealed greater defensive strength. The club finished fifth, and showed signs of recovering past glories.
In season 1950-51 Leeds United finished fifth, but last season they finished one rung lower. Had the attacking work of the side been on a per with its defensive strength Leeds may have secured promotion last season. In F.A. Cup football Leeds have not progressed beyond the sixth round the post-war period.
In 1950 Arsenal were their victors at that stage. In the four previous seasons Leeds were ousted each time in the opening round once on their own ground by Third Division Newport County.
In 1951 they fell at the fourth round to Manchester United after beating Middlesbrough and last season they reached the fifth round losing to Chelsea after two drawn games.
Signings Since The War
The following are the chief signings by Leeds from other clubs during the post-war period.
Season 1946-47 –Con Martin from Glentoran
Season 1947-48 –Jim Bullions from Derby County and Ken Chisholm from Patrick Thistle
Summer 1948 – Tom Burden from Chester
Season 1948-49 – Ray Iggleden from Leicester City and Harold Searson from Mansfield Town
Summer 194 9 – Frank Dudley from Southend United and Harold Williams from Newport County
Season 1950-51 – Ernie Stevenson from Southampton in exchange for Frank Dudley
Season 1951-52 –Dom Mills from Cardiff City and Frank Fidler from Wrexham
October, 1952 –Albert Nightingale from Blackburn Rovers
The chuif outgoing transfers over the same period are;-
Season 1946-47 –Leslie Goldberg to Reading and Ken Willingham to Sunderland
Season 1947-48 – Gerald Henry to Bradford and George Ainsley to Bradford
Season 1948-49 –Ken Chisholm to Leicester City, John Short to Millwall, Con Martin to Aston Villa and Wilf Heaton to Southampton.
Summer 1949 – Albert Wakefield to Southend United and Roland Depear to Newport County
Summer 1950 –Tom Casey to Bournemouth and Jim Bullions to Shrewsbury Town.
Season 1950-51 –Tony Ingham to Queen’s Park Rangers and Frank Dudley to Southampton, in exchange for Eric Stevenson.
Season 1951-52 –Roy Kirk to Coventry City and Len Browning to Sheffield United
Summer 1952 – Peter Harrison to Bournmouth
Leeds have never won any of football’s big honours but the club’s survival in a hot-bed of Rugby testifies to the spirit and determination shown by Elland Road officials over the years. The club was known originally at Leeds City, but the organiastion of this name was disbanded following an official inquiry into certain irregularities by the football authorities in 1919. It looked like the end of big soccer in Leeds, but permission to launch a new club under the name of Leeds United was obtained. Admission to the Second Division of the League was secured in 1920, and four years later the club gained promotion to the premier division. Leeds have had their ups and downs, but are now firmly established as a power in Yorkshire football. The crowd capacity of Elland Road ground is 58,000 and the ground has proved a suitable venue for semi-finals of the F.A Cup competition. United’s only international players are John Charles and Harold Williams both Welshman. The latter has made three appearances for his country while Charles has had the honour on one occasion. Everton’ O’Neill; Clinton, Rankin; Donovan, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington. Leeds United; Scott; Dunn, Hair; Kerfoot, McCabe, Burden; Meek, Nightingale, Charles, Iggleden, Williams.
EVERTON FOUND TEN LEEDS MEN UNITED IN DEFENCE
November 22, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton 2, Leeds United 2
Everton missed their chance in the second half when Leeds had only ten men. The first half had been very good, but Everton fell away in the second when they had all the advantages. One must pay tribute however, to the United’s great fight against odds. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Clinton and Rankin, backs; Donovan, Jones and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, and Eglington, forwards. Leeds United; Scott, goal; Dunn, and Hair, backs; Kerfoot, McCabe and Burden, half-backs; Meek, Nightingale, Charles, Iggledon, and Williams, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Houston (St. Annes).
There were no team changes other than those announced earlier in the week, so that we had our first view of the Welsh international centre half, Charles as a centre forward for Leeds. Leeds were soon making a tilt at the Everton defence and twice Williams the United outside left cut through and looked extremely dangerous. The first time he just made one little dribbler too much and then finally put the pass to the opposition.
But the next time he came down he collected a ball which was just out of Clinton’s reach and then sent it into the Everton goalmouth where Rankin was fortunately stationed close to the goal line and he cleared. Thus the United had opened with confidence. The next move was made by Everton and it was an excellent one had not Eglington got himself offside, when Parker passed to him. Lello and Potts were constructional sound but their promptings were not always taken up McNamara for instance, allowed himself to be beaten became of hesitancy in making his pass. It was Everton however, who drew first blood and it was a nicely made goal which came at the seventh minute, Cummins collected the ball on the outside of the field and Eglington wheeled over to the centre of the field and Cummin’s centre came straight to him. The Irishman with a neat gilding header scored the first goal Everton have registered in their last four matches.
Within A Minute
Scott had to field a powerful oblique shot low down from Eglington. Straight from the clearance the United drew level. This was due to slackness on the part of the Everton defence, it was a case of one leaving for another and Charles slipped in to shoot beyond the reach of O’Neill’s left hand at 10 minutes. Within a minute Everton had regained their lead and again it was a beautiful mancouvered goal. It starting point was McNamara with Parker backing up strongly. The latter’s centre was a beautiful length. Potts had so clearly defined Parker’s intention that he was in the right place to head the ball coolly past the Leeds goalkeeper, to score a bonny goal. Three goals in 11 minutes was pretty good going. It was nearly a fourth in 12 when Igglesden made a surprise hook shot which O’Neill saved at the expense of a corner. Some neat Everton combination only fell down because McNamara lost his foothold and so could not take Parker’s return pass. Cummins was supplying both wings, and it was a long ball to McNamara which once more put the Leeds defence in difficulties, but they got out of it. Scott had no great difficulty in saving Potts’ rather tame shot. O’Neill could not claim that he had any easy task when Nightingale unleashed a fast rising shot which the Irish goalkeeper had to turn over his bar. The corner was disposed of in quick style so quickly that the ball was at the other end in the next half minute and goalkeeper Scott must have been tickled to death to see Eglington shot hit the upright and bounce back into play. There was certainly plenty in this game, particularly as regards goalmouth, incident for O’Neill had to make yet another top-class save from Nightingale. Tom Jones had to keep a very watchful eye on Charles, who was always ready to take up any slip which may be made.
It was through his quick thinking that he was able to make a header which O’Neill saved. The United forwards were not slow to shoot whenever the opportunity arose and we saw O’Neill pulling down a long cross-shot by Meek. Williams took a corner from Clinton and his free kick was so close to goal that O’Neill could only push the ball away and eventually it finished over the line for another corner on the other side. This was wasted by Meek who put it behind. After Nightingale had another test with O’Neill, the Leeds goalkeeper Scott was a bit lucky in being in the right place when Potts made a fiery drive which hit him. It must go to his credit, however, that he was in the right spot for nothing else would have saved him. Straight from this the Leeds right wing broke through and Meek sent the ball close in to the Everton goal and Charles using his height and anticipation to head the ball away from the Everton goalkeeper and into the net. Time 30 minutes. A big kick into the Leeds goalmouth by Clinton nearly brought about their downfall for Eglington came rushing in and as the ball passed over McCabe’s head Eglington got his head to it and flicked it just outside the post. It was a really smart bit of thinking on the part of the Everton outside left and would have been worthy of a goal. Nightingale once showed amazing dribbling power and complete in beating at least three Everton opponents and then only fell to a foul by Clinton and O’Neill had to catch a free kick which was passing very close to his cross-bar.
A Chance Lost
The United considering they were a man short were offering stout opposition to Everton. A Lello up-the-middle pass to Cummins saw the letter a little slow in going for the ball. This undoubtedly meant the loss of at least a shot at Scott. Just on the interval there was a chance for Everton to take the lead, but Potts although taking deliberate aim, failed to find a true line, and the ball passed outside.
Half-time; Everton 2, Leeds United 2.
It was learned during the interval that the Leeds winger, Williams had broken his left leg. This was a great misfortune both to player and club. Williams was taken to hospital. There first half had been quite good, with plenty of shooting, plenty of saves and at times some top class movements. There was a shot by Nightingale in the first minute of the second half O’Neill saving low down. Everton’s reply to this was a strong attack and Cummins appealed for a penalty when he seemed to get sandwiched when only a couple of yards from the United goal.
No Value in Corners
After a spell during which they were centred around the Leeds goal area, Charles picked up a loose ball and although harassed all the way down the field, he managed to win a corner. This was punched clear by O’Neill for another corner but once again the flag kick proved of no value. Twice the Everton attack had the United defence on toast as it were but they could not produce that final shot which would have made all the difference. Naturally with the Leeds team incomplete, Everton were the chief attackers and a combined movement between Potts and Eglington resulted in Cummins making a grand shot and Scott an equally good save even though it was at the expense of a corner.
Great Show By Leeds
The white ball which had been brought out at the start of the second half did not remain white for long, and, in fact, it was no better than the original after a quarter of an hour. Leeds, considering their handicap, were putting up a great show and but for an offside decision, a correct one, there might have been trouble for Everton. Even as it was Jones and his colleagues could not afford to take any risks when the United forwards moved forward. Everton were not moving so nicely this half. That was difficult to understand for they had the advantage over their rivals McNamara was the next player concerned with a shot and his left-footed drive brought Scott to his knees.
Saved On Goal-Line
Everton were still searching for a winning goal, Parker almost got it when he turned a ball from McNamara out of the reach of goalkeeper Scott, who was fortunate, however in having a colleague on his goal-line to prevent the ball from going over the line. Final; Everton 2, Leeds United 2. Official Attendance, 28,664.
EVERTON “A” V. BOOTLE RES
November 22, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Playing precision football Everton were soon two goals in the lead, both scored by Thomas. Bootle fought back and Wright scored from the left wing. Then Burnett equalized and Everton again took the lead when Whalley put through his own goal. Half-time; Bootle Res 2, Everton “A” 3.
STOKE RES V EVERTON RES
November 22, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Res Dunlop, goal ; Tansey, and Anderton, backs ; Cross, Forshaw, and Melville, half-backs ; Mayers, Farrell (A), Hickson, Fielding, and Easthope, forwards. The lively visitors forwards were always dangerous but it was Stoke who took the lead after 14 minutes Brown beat Dunlop with a header from a corner. Woodall put Stoke further ahead after 27 minutes. A combined forward move should have brought a goal for Everton but Mayers lobbed over with an open goal before him. Half-time; Stoke Res 2, Everton Res 0. Stoke resumed on the attack and Anderton intercepted a centre from Woodall to prevent Whiston connecting. At the other end Robertson saved well from the persistent Hickson. Farrell drew the defence to send Mayers away, but he shot feebly with his final effort.
A GREAT FIRST HALF -THEN CAME GLOOM
November 24, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Leeds United 2
There is an old saying in football, “Lose a man lose the game.” That maxim was exploded at Goodison Park on Saturday when Everton failed to benefit after Leeds United winger Williams, had been carried off with a broken leg at the 35th minute. When he left the field not another goal was scored and the game deteriorated until it became a thing of bits and pieces with little to commend it except United’s galliant fight against great odds. If Everton ever had a chance of taking a couple of easy points here it was, but instead of taking full advantage of Leed’s handicap they allowed victory to slip through their hands. I have rarely sat out such a dreary second half as that which Everton produced on Saturday. It was poor football, nothing like what had gone before, for the first half had been most entertaining with goals, beautifully knit football and clever individual ball play. With William’s departure the fall from grace began. Where there had been nice approach work and four goals to enthrall, there came errors, loss of rhythm and an ineptitude that is difficult to explain. But let us forget that second half and remember the first when the crowd were regaled with football that was first class.
Three in 11 Minutes
We saw three goals scored in eleven minutes and a fourth at the half-hour, besides many other good things sandwiched in between. There were too, fine goalkeeping, near misses and progressive approach work –with the prospect of other thrills which alas, did not follow. Everton began the goal riot at the seventh minute, when Eglington as though he had read what was in Cummins mind, raced into the middle, and from the centre forward position glided the ball well away from the surprised United goalkeeper. Within three minutes the Yorkshiremen were on terms, and although it was in the nature of a “gift” one must give credit for the smart way Charles took his chance after Jones had hesitated. The cheering had hardly subsided when one of the best movements of the game restored Everton’s lead. It was a three men effort –McNamara, Parker and Potts –and a glorious goal.
Played Too Close
Parker’s centre was a peach and Potts was up in position to head well wide of Scott, the Leeds goalkeeper, Eglington had hit the post. O’Neill had made several worthwhile saves before Charles nodded home Meek’s centre. No doubt Charles great height enabled him to outhead all others. It was shortly after this that Williams received his injury in a tackle with Clinton. This cast a gloom over the game and hard as Everton tried they never at any time looked like getting anything more than a point. Their swing had gone and they kept the ball too close, playing into the hands of the opposition. The long swinging ball would have had the Leeds defenders chasing, instead of awaiting the coming of the Everton forwards with their too-intricate batteris. For long spells in the second half Everton stayed in the Leeds perimeter, but they never got beyond that although McCabe once kicked off the line a header by Parker. Even with ten men Leeds made a galliant fight of it, although most of it was defensive battles.
STOKE CITY RES 3, EVERTON RES 0
November 24, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Had the Everton forward line’s shooting been as good as their approach work the result would have been much closer. Hickson was a constant worry to the Stoke defence, and ex-schoolboy international Farrell a grand inside forward although his partner on the wing, Mayers played below form. Brown gave Stoke the lead following a corner and Woodall added a second. Whiston scored the third in the second half.
November 24, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Football is as variable as the weather. It can even change from one half to the other and to attempt to pin-point the reason is something extremely difficult. We saw such a game at Goodison Park on Saturday when one half was as different as chalk from cheese as the other. I suppose it is my task to find the reason thereof. Well my view is that the change was brought about by the unfortunate accident to the Leeds winger Williams who was carried off the field with unfortunately, a broken leg. I suppose an accident of this sort could affect the play. At all events it was from the moment of Williams departure that the game altered and became scratchy and scraggy. Both Everton and Leeds had treated us to a most interesting game in the first half, with goals –four of em –and a lot of good football into the bargain, many good saves by the respective goalkeeper and a number of near misses. They say that goals are the salt of the game. Well we had our fill in the first half hour but after the change of ends we had to sit through a lot of ineffective football, full of errors and misjudgment. It is said that to lose a player is to lose the match. Leeds disproved that old saying for they gave us good as they receive even when they had only ten men afield. Theirs was a courageous effort to battle against adversity. It may have finally been a defensive issue but they stood their ground and qualified for a point. With a complete team they had assisted Everton in providing an entertaining 45 minutes of progressive soccer.
Threw Their Chance Away
It was only natural that with Williams going they could not keep up such a strong attack to vie with Everton in this respect but defensively they fought a bonny rearguard action. Everton threw their chances away. Home points cannot be allowed to slip through their grasp yet they allowed one to the other fellows by not taking advantage of Leeds disadvantage. Instead of showing up more strongly against the weakened United that became unconvincing. If Everton ever had a chance of picking up two easy points here it was, but they did not make use of it so let us forget that last “45” and remember the first which was full of good things including three goals in five minutes; enough to satisfy the heart of the most goal seeking onlooker. Then there was some good goalkeeping, nice rounds of passing, several near misses, aye, almost everything one expects from League football. Take the goals –there was a fourth at the half-hour –all nicely manceured and admirably taken. The United’s first goal may have been in the form of a presentation –a slackness by the Everton defence –but Charles was now slow to take advantage, Eglington’s goal was of Irish manufacture for it was Cummins who put up a centre which Tommy flicked in the net with a Dean-like header.
A Perfect Goal
Eglington had read Cummin’s mind, for the raced into the middle for that centre. He later hit a post at a time when both sides were playing progressive football “Eggie’s” goal did not stand for long for along came Charles, but his effort was rubbed out by the best goal of the match, not so much for the way it was scored but the manner of its making. Three had a hand in it –McNamara, Parker and finally it was left to Potts to apply the finishing touch – a perfect header. Once again Charles scrubbed it out also with a header, so we had three headed goals out of four. I am afraid I have not much to fell you about the rest of the game, for here was very little of it worth jotting down in my notebook, but I must mention that McCabe kicked off the line a Parker header, but by this time the game had lost its interest because so much had gone out of it. Everton tried hard enough, but they had lost their subtlety and verve. For one thing they kept the ball too close, for with Leeds’ strength curtained I should have thought the swinging play would have paid better dividends. It would have kept the United defence on the stretch instead of allowing it to stand sentinel to deny Everton the right of way.
LUTON DOING WELL
November 28, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
Everton will find their visit to Luton providing them with as big a problem as anything they have faced so far. The Hatters just now are definitely on the crest of the wave. They have won seven of their last nine matches and have scored 30 goals 12 in doing so. They were unlucky to lose at Nottingham last week by a single goal margin. After the reverse, they will be doubly keen to press home their claims to be considered as a promotion prospect. The man who has brought about Luton’s great improvement in the last two months is Jesse Pye, the former Wolves and England centre-forward. He has scored in eight of his last nine matches in which he has got no fewer than 14 goals. The Luton forward line is by no means a one-man affair. Bernard Moore, a former Hastings centre forward, now converted into an inside right has 10 to his credit. Also coming into the limelight as a marksman is outside left Mitchell who has latterly found his best form after a shaky start. He has got six goals in his last nine outings. Before last Saturday, the Luton defence, which includes three internationals in Streten (England) and Dunne and Aberne (Eire), had gone through three consecutive matches without conceding a goal. Luton are unchanged for Everton’s visit, and play the team that has served them in eight of the last nine matches. The only changes during that period were when Dunne and Aherne were released for Eire international duty. The return of Lindsay to the Everton team will be welcomed. His cool bearing always has a steadying effect on the defence. The injury to Donovan who may be another needing an operation, though this is not yet certain, opens the way for skipper Farrell to resume and Grant comes in at left half. Luton Town; Streton, goal; Dunne and Aberne, backs; Morton, Owen and Shanks, half-backs; Davies, Moore, Pye, Watkin, and Mitchell, forwards. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Grant; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington.
November 29, 1952. The Liverpool Daily Post
For their visit to Luton Everton have brought back Lindsay to the defence in place of Rankin and have also made two changes in the half-back line. Farrell takes over the right half position vice Donovan who was injured last week and Grant comes in at left half in place of Lello. The Goodison Park club may well find the cool, steadying influence of Lindsay’s a big factor, for Luton are at the moment riding on the crest of a wave having won seven of their last nine matches. Their defence too, is sound and the Everton attack will need to be on their toes to force a way through. The teams are;- Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Lindsay; Farrell, Jones, Grant; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, Eglington. Luton; Streten; Dunne, Aherne; Morton, Owen, Shanks; Davies, Moore, Pye, Watkins, Mitchell.
TIME FOR ANOTHER SPURT
November 29, 1952. The Liverpool Echo
After the rosy tint which suffered the Anfield and Goodison Park horizon during the sustained spell of success enjoyed by both our senior clubs up to the end of September, the outlook recently has become decidedly less promising. Everton are gradually losing the hopes of that possible promotion challenge which, at one time, due partly to the fact that they were meeting rather inferior sides, began to look on encouraging possibility.
An Involved Problem
The case of Everton is more involved than that of Liverpool. The club, as we all know, has set its mind on a certain course of action –partly by choice and partly by force of circumstances –that inevitably demands time and patience before it can be proved or disproved. A period of non-success at this stage no more indicates that the idea is a failure than a limited run of good fortune means that it is correct. Everton supporters have waited patiently for a long time. It may hardly seem reasonable to ask them to wait still longer, yet that appears the only course unless the whole existing system, painstakingly built up with the idea of producing their own stars, is to be scrapped. And that, I feel would be a decided mistake. I have said here on several occasions that I believe Everton taking the long view, are on the right lines. That opinion has been strengthened by the sluggishness of the transfer market in the last eight months and the fact that clubs cannot now raise ready money on overdraft as they used to. Everton have plenty of assets that they could mortgage to buy players. But would that solve the problem? There is no guarantee. They might dissipate their birthright of strong financial stability for what would prove a mess of potage and the ultimate outcome might be infinitely worse than the present situation. Though I dislike repeating myself, I must interpolate here the view, often expressed, that one weakness in Everton’s rebuilding scheme was their failure to buy a couple or so ready-made players of proved ability on which the rebuilding could have been firmly begun.
The Attendance Problem
But it is easier to say that than to carry it out. I am well aware of that. Even had it been done, the cheque book route brings no certainty of improvement. Look at Manchester City, Since the war they have spent about £250,000 on 24 players and still they are struggling. Stoke City have speculated fairly heavily in the last two years and see where they are. There are many other examples of this, just as there are, of course of clubs which have been lucky in their investments, such as Newcastle. One advantage of spending is that it keeps gates at a good level. New faces always attract but unless the results are right they don’t keep the receipts at a high level indefinitely. Conversely, the side which has no new blood and suffers disappointments results –even though the standard of play may be good – is liable to find its support falling off. That is a problem Everton may have to face. Last week’s attendance dropped rather ominously. The point about the present Goodison position is that if the club is to stick to its policy they cannot now start buying players. Any they signed would have to be played. The men they displaced would go into the Central League side, there so supplant youngsters on whom much time, money and patient coaching has been expended. These replacements for the future would undoubtedly lose heart if pushed backwards instead of forwards. Everton undoubtedly have some most promising young players on the staff. Their reserve team against Chesterfield recently was composed entirely of their own products. But you cannot run the average youngster into a regular first-team player in one or two seasons, especially when National Service so often interrupts his career and training.
“Naturals” Are Few
Now and again a club is lucky enough to find a “natural” like Quixall, for instance, who quickly makes the top grade and stays there. These are few and far between. In the main the job of maturing a young lad is one demanding time, patience and understanding. I have been critical of Everton on many occasions in the past. I would still like to see more personality bout the side and more top-class men, of which there are too few in the present line-up. But having set their hands to a certain course the board and the manager should at least be given full opportunity to prove whether it is right or wrong. As I mentioned earlier, it may seem to some unreasonable to ask supporters to be forbearing any longer. But I gather that those at the head of affairs feel so strongly that time will prove them right that I hesitate even with some misgiving to suggest that they are asking too much. When all is said and done they are the folk best qualified to judge. Experienced ex-players and coaches are constantly with the players. They see all the youngsters in action and in training. They have every opportunity, not granted to ordinary folk to know what is going on behind the scenes. And contrary to what some irate readers appear to think, their one devouring ambition is to see Everton back in the First Division –and back to stay, with playing resources which will keep them at the top of the tree for a long time. Here’s hoping for the best.
LUTON WERE THE BETTER SNOWMEN, BUT EVERTON NEVER GAVE UP
November 29, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Luton 4, Everton 2
Although Everton put up a good fight, and two of Luton’s goals were gifts, the home side just about deserved the points. They were more dangerous than Everton in front of goal, largely because they adopted the right tactics on a snow-covered ground, swinging the ball about freely and shooting whenever a shot promised to have an outside chance of success. Luton Town;- Streton, goal; Dunne, and Aherne, backs; Morton, Owen, and Shanks, Half-backs; Davies, Moore, Pye, Wakins, and Mitchell, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Clinton and Lindsay, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Grant, half-backs; McNamara, Potts, Parker, Cummins, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. B.J. Flanagan (Sheffield). There was a decided Irish atmosphere at the Kenilworth Road ground today, with seven Irishmen on view, five playing for Everton and two –the full backs –for Luton. There was also a “North Pole” atmosphere, for the ground was covered to a depth of two or three inches in snow following a heavy fall on Thursday night and in places the pitch had been heavily sanded followed a keen frost last night. Luton started off in lively fashion with Pye putting in good work on both flanks in turn. Lindsay misjudged a clearance which let Davies in but Grant who had come into the middle safely dealt with his centre. The snow appeared to be quite soft underfoot, and although the ball was dragging at times the conditions were not unduly difficult. Luton were ahead, in four minutes in very fortunate fashion, Moore rounded Grant who was wearing number four shirt although playing at left half, and cutting in quickly from near the touch line delivered a shot which 99 times out of 100 O’Neill would have saved with the greatest of ease. Instead the ball came out of his grasp as he went down on his knee and just trickled over the line. Eglington got away and crossed the ball nicely on the ground only for Owen to beat Parker for possession when the equalizer looked a possibility.
The next Everton assault saw Eglington operating at centre forward and Parker at outside left. Again however the centre from the wing was cut out by a home defender before any damage could be done. Pye again showed of what he is capable when he dribbled through on his own in spite of being challenged by three Everton men in succession. The conditions were not quite as good as had seemed at the start particularly as the sudden ball was now gathering snow, and often pulled up short, to upset pre-conceived ideas regarding passes. Everton hit back strongly and following a neat bit of work by Parker and Eglington the last named out the ball into the net. Referee Flanagan however, had no hesitation in nunillifying the score on the basis of offside. From my view he seemed correct. Everton came again and when Parker tried a shot which might have caused Streton a bit of trouble Shanks took no risks, but dived full length to head away for a fruitless corner. Next view of Parker was away up the right wing dovetailing with McNamara in an effort which finally produced a corner, after Eglington and Grant had seen their shots strike home defenders. Grant had another pop at goal from the corner, but this time sliced his effort badly.
Appeal By Crowd
The Luton crowd appealed strongly for a penalty when a shot by Watkins struck Farrell, wearing a No 6 jersey on the hand. It was, however, plainly a case of “non intent” and the referee rightly waved play on. O’Neill was none too happy with a shot by Watkins a moment later which he failed to grasp. It spun away off his chest towards Pye, but by a great effort O’Neill sprung forward from his knees and dropped on the ball in the nick of time. Pye and Moore were the main danger in the Luton attack which was swinging the ball about freely and to some extent cutting out the handicap of the snowbound conditions. Everton, on the other hand continued to try to play good football of the close passing variety, which was definitely not sulted to the dragging conditions. At the 28th minute Luton went further ahead when Moore rounded Grant and was fortunate to find the ball stopping in the snow instead of crossing the dead ball line. He pulled it back into the middle of the goal, where Clinton in trying to arrest his centre and also to hold off a challenge by Pye put the ball into his own net. Everton, however soon pulled back this goal, for within three minutes a sound bit of work by Cummins enabled him to provide Parker with an opening with which the Everton leader made no mistakes firing in a strong shot which gave Steton no hope of saving.
Although Luton always looked dangerous when on the attack and the Everton defence had one or two narrow escapes the Blues also put in some heartening work. Shanks and Owens twice came to Luton’s rescue when the position took ominous, while Grant and Farrell in the Everton rearguard were similarly doing good work. McNamara had a strong shot tipped over the bar, and them a pass back by Clinton was braked by the snow in such a way that Davies looked to have a grit chance. O’Neill, however, seeing the possible danger, had already left his goal and took the ball off the Luton forward’s toe in the nick of time. When Jones misjudged a ball which did not bounce as he had anticipated. Moore again appeared to be, through on his own when Grant saved the situation. After a period of Everton ascendancy, Luton were now again on top. I had hardly dictated the last tendency before Potts, back in his own half sent Cummins away and the latter, feeding Eglington produced an opening. Only a lucky save by Streton foiled the Everton winger. Trying to squeeze the ball just inside the upright, Eglington had the mortification of seeing it hit Streton on the leg and bounce away. Luton just about deserved to be in front. The Everton defence was not as well knit as it might have been though under conditions such as these there was a lot of luck about the run of the ball. Luton, however, were better balanced in attack, though Everton were trying desperately hard.
Half-time; Luton 2, Everton 1.
Moore Hits Post
Apart from a good run by Pye in which he failed after beating three men and a shot by Moore which hit the post with O’Neill beaten, Everton were the more aggressive side for the first quarter of an hour of the second half. Parker shot over when well placed and a couple of moments after was foiled by Streton who with a magnificent sidesways leap turned out a shot which looked almost certain to find the net. On a day when conditions demanded that the ball be given plenty of boot Everton continued to interpoints their game with too many close movements which to some extent simplified the task of the home defence. Everton were, however, making a fight of it and it was still anybody’s game. Luton showed them that the quick transference of the ball by long passes was the best paying proposition and it took a magnificent save by O’Neill from a shot by Pye to prevent Luton doing further ahead. The Everton goalkeeper performed similar “rescue acts when Shanks tried a 30 yarder which was going in at the foot of the post until the Everton keeper dived full length in the snow to turn it round for a corner. After Luton had enjoyed the upper hand for some time Everton came back with renewed vigour though without testing Streton. Everton continued to fight desperately hard for the equalizer but it must be admitted that Luton were putting in the more impressive work in front of goal and shooting oftener. It look another wonderful save by O’Neill to foil Pye, who neatly deflected with his head a centre from Davies.
Potts was a trifle slow when he had a reasonable chance of trying a long distance first timer, the sort of thing to do under the circumstances now rendered more trying by a driving all of sleety snow. Grant twice nipped in with timely interceptions and then it was Mitchell away on the right flank who beat three men in succession and provided Watkins with a chance which O’Neill tipped round for a corner. Luton were now penning the visitors down somewhat but it was still anybody’s game. A free kick against Moore saw Everton advance on the left by means of Lindsay’s kick and then Streton saved luckily again with his knees from Potts angled efforts at the expanse of a corner. The ball was cleared from Eglington’s flag kick went straight to Grant whose bow at a venture effort was yards off the mark. A mix up in front of the Everton goal looked a little dangerous until Jones came to the rescue. Everton dashed away to the other end but when the ball was returned to the middle of the Everton half by Moore, Pye, cleverly getting it under control eluded a challenge by Jones and then scored his side’s third goal with a strong shot from 14 yards range at 82 minutes. O’Neill made a gallant effort to save flinging himself sideways but just could not get to the ball. As in the first half, Everton quickly rubbed out this goal. A centre by McNamara saw Parker hit the post and then shot in the rebound and scramble it into the net with Streton on the ground time 82 minutes. Mitchell scored a fourth for the home side at the 86th minute straight after Everton had been hammering the Luton goal. Mitchell hung on to the ball in spite of a strong challenge by Jones and scored from close range. Final; Luton Town 4, Everton 2.
EVERTON RES V BURNLEY RES
November 29, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Res; Leyland, goal; Tansey and Rankin, backs; Lello, Woods, and Melville, half-backs; Harris, Wainwright, Lewis, Fielding and Buckle, forwards. Burnley Res;- Thompson, goal; Binns and Sheridan, backs; Rigman, Waring and Brown, half-backs; Hapgood, Stepheson, Samucis, Morris, Morris, and Pilkington, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.S. McLoughlin (Middleton Junction). Burnley were much the cleverer side with Hapgood and Stephenson forming a fine wing. Everton had their good moments, Wainwright being unlucky with a header that just grazed the cross bar. The visitors almost went within an ace of scoring when Stephenson from close range put in a delightful shot which Leyland admirably handled. In the 40th minute Buckle gave the Blues the lead following a lovely centre from Wainwright. Half-time; Everton Reserves 1, Burnley Reserves nil.
After the interval Everton took the initiative, Wainwright being unlucky in not turning to advantage a pass from Harris. The visitors were still dangerous side, Woods being responsible for breaking up many promising moves. For a time the Burnley goal bore a charmed life and it was amazing how it escaped disaster. Stepheson equalized for Burnley. Final; Everton Reserves 1, Burnley Reserves 1.