EVERTON SIDE FOR SHEFFIELD
March 4, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton field the following unchanged eleven for their match against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsbrough tomorrow. O’Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington.
March 4, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Sheffield were fifth from the bottom two years ago, fourth from bottom last season and now back fated to another period in the “wilderness” Football, however, is a queer game. There was an occasion 30 years or so ago when the Wednesday were in almost the same position as are today, at a even later stage of the season and yet produced such a remarkable rally that they finished in the middle of the table. These sort of things don’t happen or an however and it hardly looks as though the Yorkshire club will repeat that performance this time. It is rather mystifying to find Sheffield Wednesday in such dire straits for they have or their books some outstanding players particularly in the attack. While most clubs are crying out for good inside forwards the Wednesday can boast three of English standard in Quixall, Sewell and Froggatt while Alan Finney is one of the best young wingers in the country.
In defence, however, they are decidedly shaky. The Yorkshire side has won only three of its home matches this season the last being just over five months ago, when they defeated Blackpool by the odd goal of three. Their only often successes at Hillsborough have been against Aston Villa and Huddersfield Town. Seven visiting clubs have won there while another five have come away with a point. To get only 11 points from 15 home matches is relegation form all right and in view of Everton’s excellent away record which average a point a game from 14 fixtures, the Blues seem to have a good chance of bagging another course. Desperation, however, is often a tremendous spur to a struggling side and the result is by no means a foregone conclusion. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington.
THREE GOALS IN EIGHT MINUTES AT SHEFFIELD AFTER EVERTON SHOW THE WAY
March 5, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Playing conditions were not at all good. A –high wind and a foggy ground were against accuracy. Everton’s first half display was so promising that a victory seemed assured but the Wednesday hit back with determination in the second half and managed to save a point. Sheffield Wednesday; McIntosh, goal; Martin, and Curtis, backs; O’Donnell, Mcllroy, and McEvoy, half-backs; Davies, Marriott, Quixall, Shaw, Sewell, and Woodhead, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Donovan, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones, and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Vickers. Yesterday’s sun made this game possible for it took most of the bone out of the ground which however, appears to be soft on top and was well sanded. There was an icy cold wind blowing across the ground and in the first minutes one could see the difficulties which faced the players for when Donovan made a tackle he slid yards on his back. The first few minutes of the game went to the credit of the Wednesday and first O’Donnell went very close with a shot which swung just over the angle of the woodwork. Marriott went even closer in the next movement for there was very little space between the ball and the crossbar as it flashed over.
A Narrow Escape
With all due respect to the Marriott shot I feel that had it been lower O’Neill had it well covered. Everton stayed in the Wednesday’s area for quite a time, but were eventually driven back and the Yorkshire men gained a corner. This was well placed by Marriott but the ball passed out of play on the far side and from the throw in Davies had a snap-shot which was too close to the mark to be comfortable. It was not easy to control the ball with any degree of accuracy so miss-passes had to be forgiven though one by Hickson almost led to be a Wednesday goal. Woodhead’s shot was blocked but the ball came back to Quixall who hit it first time. The ball flashed outside the post. It was so close, however, that “goal” had been shouted all round the ground. Quixall shot his hands on into the air to think that he had missed such a good chance.
A Good Save
A corner by Fielding almost brought about the downfall of the Wednesday goal. It was only a magnificent save by McIntosh which prevented Eglington shot from speeding under the crossbar. The Irishman hit it with all he had but McIntosh got his fist to the ball, thumped it up in the air, and then cleared as the ball dropped near the far post. So far there had not been a lot between the two teams. In fact, I though Everton’s modus operandi was slightly better than that of their rivals. Everton’s better football eventually had its reward for at the 22nd minute Parker scored. Everton had been probing at the Wednesday defence for some minutes when Parker, Fielding and McNamara combined to produce a corner, and it was from that Everton scored. Fielding’s flag kick was bundled about until Parker rushed in and headed the ball into the net. Parker was hurt in his effort, but soon recovered. Fielding and McNamara out stripping the Sheffield defence but the winger was a little too strong with his centre which passed harmlessly out. The Everton covering was very sound, there always seemed to be a man ready to fall back whenever danger threatened. Everton were still on top, playing grand football considering the conditions. At times they became almost cheeky in their use of the ball. One round off combination simply had the Wednesday defence in a daze and the pity was that it was not rounded off with a goal. Marriott had a chance of doing something but he missed his opportunity Davies had one a little later but his rather tame shot caused O’Neill no trouble.
If this is the Wednesday’s normal form I am not surprised they are struggling. Fielding, who had so far engineered so many of Everton’s best movements was just a little bit too strong in his offering of the ball to McNamara so that instead of the Wednesday goal being in trouble they were relieved to get a goal kick. The Wednesday came in spasms and O’Donnell tried a long header which passed wide. Just after this the Wednesday did give their supporters some sort of encouragement but the Everton defence was able to ward it off at the expense of a corner. A long header upfield by McNamara saw Hickson race after the ball but he was beaten not only by McIntosh but also McEvoy who seemed to run across his path and so allow the Wednesday goalkeeper to clear. A quick movement between Fielding, Parker, and McNamara ended with McIntosh making a save near the foot of the post from the last named. Half-time; Sheffield Wednesday 0, Everton 1.
The Sheffield players must have had a pep talk during the interval for they showed more determination and bite than at any other point of the game, and within three minutes of the restart Sewell had equalized following good work by Marriott and Shaw. The Wednesday heartened by this success gave the Everton defence its greatest trouble to date and O’Neill had to gave a shot from Marriott. Everton, however, got together again and McNamara shot just outside. Then the Wednesday defence were caught happing and McIntosh has to throw himself across goal to prevent a rather tame shot from McNamara squeezing inside the upright. The second Everton goal was not long delayed, for at 54 minutes Eglington scored. The Sheffield defence had stopped play in anticipation of an offside decision which did not come so Eglington having played up a nice Parker pass, went on to deliver a hot left-footed that which McIntosh got his hand to but could not stop. Two minutes later a fast Wednesday raid produced the equalizer when Marriott headed home an shot which passed well out of the reach of O’Neill. This was an undoubtedly much more lively Wednesday than we had seen in the first half and they pressed so hard and strongly that a back pass by Donovan almost brought disaster for Everton only just managed to scramble the ball away. Sheffield may not have been pulling out a lot of there stuff but they were certainly go-ahead and O’Neill had to make a wonderful save from Woodhead and another one of similar character half a minute later. This was to say he least a big chance from with we had previously seen, for Everton had been so much on top and played with much greater skill that we did not anticipate a Wednesday revival. A clearance by an Everton defender struck a spectator and he had to be take from the ground.
A free kick against Curtis saw Fielding put the ball over top McNamara who, however was just a fraction too late. O’Neill had brought off many top-class saves, and he pulled out another when he tipped a fast rising ball by Quixall over the ball. Woodhead with a swirling shot which looked as though it might curl into the Everton net saw O’Neill make a good save the ball going not to Marriott who shot back in quick time only to find O’Neill there again. Everton were now sounding the Wednesday and McIntosh had to save low down. Jones was doing two men’s work down the middle. Time and again he nipped in to save the situation. Parker’s although he was falling at the time managed to get a pass out to Eglington, who dragged the ball back across the face of the goal to Hickson but he shot outside. This was undoubtedly a great chance missed. The game ended with Everton attacking strongly but without obtaining that all-important goal. Final; Sheffield Wed 2, Everton 2.
EVERTON RES V LIVERPOOL RES
March 5, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res; Harris (A), goal; Sutherland, and Tansey, backs; Birch, Woods and Grant, half-backs; Harris (B), Lewis, Harris (J), Potts, and Buckle, forwards. Liverpool Res;- Underwood, goal; The ground was very good considering the recent weather there was a splendid attendance. Everton held the balance of play for the opening 10 minutes Underwood saving in quick succession from Potts and Harris (B). Then the Everton goalkeeper saved a fine shot from Jackson which he managed to tip over the bar. The Reds missed a good chance when Perry shot wide. The game was being fought at a cracking pace, with both defences being kept well occupied. Everton tried their utmost to forge ahead and nearly succeeded when Buckle put in a pile-driver from 20 yards, the Liverpool goalkeeper bringing off a capital save. The Blues goal had a narrow escape when Rowley missed a gilt-edged chance from close range. The opening goal came in the 40th minute, Harris (J) giving Everton the lead with a first time effort. Half-time; Everton Res 1, Liverpool Res nil.
EVERTON LED, THEN LOST RHYTHM
March 7, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Sheffield Wednesday 2, Everton 2
Everton have so rarely taken a point from Hillsborough it was highly satisfactory to force a draw there on Saturday, especially as Wednesday are a desperate side, playing for their existence in Division 1, Wednesday were worth a draw for their revival in the second half. In the first half Everton played as though conditions were perfect for billiard table soccer whereas the ground was soggy and a high wind blew. It was easy to visualize another away win for Everton and Wednesday gave me the impression that they knew they had met their masters. Everton seemed to be strolling along whereas Wednesday were hurry and scurry. Had Everton shot with the confident with which they carried the ball they would have had more than a Parker goal to their credit at the interval. Parker and Fielding conjured up all manner of problems for McEvoy and his colleagues and often Wednesday were chasing shadows. I felt sorry for Martin, for Eglington and Parker gave him a drubbing while on the other wing McNamara, after a few minutes of uncertainty settled down to retain the form he has shown during the last few weeks. The ball went from one wing to another smoothly, but Hickson was not at his best, was a quiet Hickson who several times did not chase the half-chance as he usually does.
I don’t know whether Wednesday had a “pep” talk during the interval, but whatever it was it had an immense effect on their play in the second half. They leveled matters with a Sewell goal, lost the lead again to an Eglington ram rod shot which McIntosh could not hold and then gained equality with a Marriott goal- a really good one. Everton had lost much of their rhythm and for a time “slugged” the ball where they had been guiding it and Sheffield heartened by their success battled strongly and but for O’Neill would have gone into the lead. The Irish goalkeeper brought off some top-grade saves when Wednesday became frightening and for some time Everton became purely defensive. Everton took the strain; then got back to something like normal, Hickson was given the chance of his young life when Eglington dropped the ball on a salver for his colleague. The Everton centre forward had only McIntosh to beat, but he slapped the shot outside. He was clear of everyone and could have picked his spot but he lashed the ball and the chance of victory had gone. A draw was a fair result if only because of the Wednesday’s determined fight back but never could they vie with Everton in class. Of honest endeavour in the second half they had plenty but it was not good enough to win the, more than a point.
DOUR STRUGGLE ENDS IN DRAW
March 7, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 1, Liverpool Res 1
Following a dour struggle in the return Central League game, which attracted a splendid attendance of 8,500 spectators to Goodison Park on Saturday, Everton and Liverpool Reserves finished level. The turf was in splendid condition which reflects great credit upon the Everton ground staff. Everton who were the predominant side, had the misfortune to lose the services of Birch for practically the whole of the second half through a thigh injury which occurred just before the interval. Harris (J) gave Everton an interval lead in the 40th minute after good chances were missed by Buckle, and Potts. The second half saw the home side still the more constructive inspite of playing with ten men and this was when Underwood shone in the Liverpool goal. Liverpool had their strong moments with Melia and Jackson being prominent wingers. Tomley who was a good pivot gained the equalizing goal in the 65th minute. Brian Harris Everton’s right winger, was the outstanding forward on the field.
March 7, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
That Sheffield held on to a point was due to rallying spell in the second half after they had been badgered and pestered by an Everton which had the class which should have taken them to a more handsome lead than one goal at the interval. The ground conditions were anything but conductive to the aris and craft of Soccer for it was sticky and in places treacherous if that was not enough to cope with there was a big cross-wind blowing but Everton mastered both and pulled out some high-grade football. They certainly made the ball do the work so that they appeared to be sauntering through the game, and their subtle moves provided problems which the Wednesday defence never really sloved. At times the Wednesday defenders were running willy nilly and getting nothing from their endeavour and if Everton had shot with the same freedom of movement the Wednesday’s fate would have been settled long before the half stage. All they got was a Parker goal, who headed in Eglington’s chip pass beyond McIntosh at the 22nd minute. That was their full reward for 45 minutes of bonny football. By comparison the Wednesday were like a lot of scalded date flushing here and there and getting no reward whatever because their moves were obvious. They went close once or twice but they were like a cathouse alongside a Derby winner.
I am always a bit apprehensive about a one goal lead, but I had the feelings that this one would be good enough to carry Everton to victory for they were always the “boss” setting problem after problem for the Wednesday defence but I was proved wrong. The Wednesday players must have had a talking to during the interval for they came out and for the first time showed fight and within three minutes of the restart were on level terms through a Sewell goal. That goal put new heart into them. It undoubtedly gave them a belief in themselves where there had been none and they made such a determined effort that had it not been for O’Neill they must have taken the lead and goodness knows what would have happened then, for they had Everton struggling as it was. Everton had lost some of their balance and a lot of their pre-interval cleverness and if took some little time to get back to normal. Eglington scored with a fast drive while McIntosh got his hand to but could not keep out of his net. Everton’s joy was short-lived for within two minutes Marriott with a splendid oblique drive had beaten. This set Wednesday off again, but Everton eventually subdued them and with only a matter of minutes to go, Eglington teed up the ball for Hickson, who slashed the ball outside for the miss of the match.
I give full credit to Wednesday for twice fighting back against a goal deficit and on that score they were perhaps value for a point but when it came to football artistry they were not in it. Parker and Fielding probed every available point to outwit the Wednesday defence which was often bewildered by the way the game flowed against them. They chased and chased without any hope of getting the ball. That first half display by Everton should be a pattern for the Wednesday in future but whether they are good enough to play it I very much doubt. From what I saw of the Yorkshiremen I am afraid they are in for a desperate struggle to stay up with the “big boys.” It is to their credit that they battled so hard as they did in the second half for they must have suffered from an interiority complex’s as they left the field at the interval. They had been made to look what they are –the bottle dogs of the Division. They were grateful for their one point. Hickson, however should have denied them that pleasure.
EVERTON’S NOVEL ‘FILL-UP’
March 10, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
German Side From Mining Centre Has International Star
Rather than fill in the blank in the week’s fixture list with a friendly against a team we can see on other occasions, Everton decided that something more novel would appeal better to their supporters which is why you have the opportunity to see a German side at Goodison Park on Saturday. The blank arose because Huddersfield who were due here are playing a sixth round cup-tie against Newcastle united, if this is settled at the first time of asking the rearranged League fixture will be place next Wednesday. The visiting German side is V. Sodingen a club which as been in existence close on years. Sodingen is a busy little town in Westhalia and from all accounts they are a keen on Soccer in that area is we are on Merseyside. The visiting side occupied second place in the senior German league which is the equivalent of our First Division, and when Sheffield Wednesday were on tour 18 months ago, Sodingen gave the Yorkshire club a tought flight in a drawn game. They are said to play the typical British type of game, with stopper centre half and the normal field formation, and to have a speedy and hard hitting forward line.
Their outstanding star is the left half and captain Gerd Harpers, who has twice played for German and figured five times in his country’s “B” team. Hapers was in the German side which lost to England 1-3 at Wemley last December. On that occasion he played a very good game, particularly in the constructive sense, though the visitors were so pentane in for long stretches that he did not get as much chance to shine as might have been the case under different circumstances. His other international appearance was against Portugal. The veteran of the visiting eleven is 30-years-old Adamik at inside left who has several times played for Westphalia but has missed international honors owing to a succession of injuries. Another player with County honours is left back Konopenski who, like one or two others in the team sounds as though he is of Polish extraction.
The youngest man on view will be goalkeeper Sawitski a 22-years-old who has been with Sodigen since leaving school, inside right Denski is another who has been on the fringe of international honours for some time. Aged 26, Denski has played for Germany’s “B” team. English football followers have shown more interest than usual in German football since the country upset calculations by defeating Hungary in the World Cup in Switzerland last summer. This match will give us an opportunity to weight up the restrictive form of leading clubs of the two-countries and should provide a more acceptable offering than the normal run of friendly matches fills-up. It is also likely to be of a more competitive nature than some such games for the Germans will be anxious to enhance their prestige by making a good show. Their team reads;- Sawiki; Nowak, Konopcinski, Garer, Ester, Harpers, Links, Denski, Blatt, Adamik, Wacher, Reserves; Wenkar, and Schmidt.
March 11, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s friendly game with Sodingen, the German side from Westphlia should provide some entertaining football. The visitors come with a good record in their own country with a German international half back as skipper, and with the desire to show off their capabilities on the finest club ground in this country. Mr. Reg Freeman, manager of Sheffield United who played a drawn game with Sodingen on their close season tour 18 months ago, tells me that the visitors then were a very strong side, though not as high in the league table as they are today. They were remarkably fit, he said. “and played hard for the full 90 minutes. They went about their job as though it was a cup-tie and their tackling was keen and determined. If they play as well against Everton as they did against us it should be a good hard-game.” Apart from its other angles this match will give three of Everton’s younger professionals a chance to show a large public than usual what they can do, which is an opportunity that does not often come their way. Tansy and the two Harris boys who are not related are Central League players of promise. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey (J); Farrell, Jones, Lello; Harris (B), Fielding, Harris (J), Parker, Eglington. Sodingen; Sawtski; Nowak, Konopcinsk, Garner, Ediar, Harpers; Kinka, Demski, Blatt, Adamik, Wachter.
SKILL BUT FEW SHOTS
March 12, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Germans Fade Near Goal
Blues on Top
Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore, and Tansey (J), backs; Farrell (captain), Jones, and Lello; Harris (B), Fielding, Harris (J), Parker, and Eglington, forwards . Sodingen; Sawtski, goal; Nowak, and Konopcinsk, backs; Garner (captain) , Ediar, and Harpers, half-backs; ; Kinka, Demski, Blatt, Adamik, and Wachter, forwards. Referee; Mr. Clough (Bolton). There was an excellence crowd for Everton’s friendly game with the German Sodingen team, though the weather was bitterly cold. The Germans played in dark green shirts with white stocks, light green shorts and green stockings and on taking the field ran to the centre circle to bow ceremoniously to the onlookers. Everton took advantage of the non-competitive occasion to gave an outing to three of their reserve team players –Tansey, Brian Harris, and Jimmy Harris. Sodingen put up an very good fight in a game which produced some splendid football in the first hour, but fell away in the closing stages. Everton did most of the shooting but Sawitzi proved himself a brilliant goalkeeper. Everton’s two reserves forwards did quite well. Considering that they are only part-time players the Germans showed surprising good form and stuck the pace well. Wacher the tall, well-built outside left seemed to suffer no handicap by the fact that he has only one arm the right one ending just under the elbow. Considering that they are only part-time players, the Germans were putting up an excellent show, with none doing better than skipper Harpers whose use of the ball was excellent, Centre half Eider was no mere “stopper” for three times in quick succession he came well up the field to help his forwards. The Germans were quick to the ball and the way they found the open spaces with their passes had so far been on a bar with that of the opposition.
Then the German goal had three quick escapes. First after Parker had shot, Fielding effort struck the goalkeeper on the leg and rebound to Harris (J) who put the ball behind as he was challenged by Harpers, both players bumping their heads in the process. Sawitsk then saved brilliantly from Fielding and Parker, and the crowd were certainly getting some entertaining football. Everton were now enjoying a spell of superiority, but the German defence, marshaled by Harpers and the bald-headed Garner was defending stubbornly and with no sign of “nerves.” Harris (B) was having a good innings on the Everton right wing and got across many good centres. It was he who squared the ball at the 25th minute for his namesake to ran it into the net at lightning speed, but the Everton centre forward was given offside. There was not a great deal in it, and Jimmy Harris had certainly finished off the move very smartly. The German defence began to wilt a little under pressure and frequently resorted to passing back to the goalkeeper. Linka came into the picture with two strong shots one a left-footer from the centre forward position and then Sawitsk saved well from Fielding following which Konopcinski kicked the ball off Parker’s toe just as the Everton man was about to tap it home. Sawitski who was a most competent goalkeeper earned another cheer when he turned a Parker shot behind for a corner. Good work by Lello carved but an opening for Fielding, whose strong low shot brought Sawitski to his knees. The football continued on a fast ad entertaining note and though Everton had done most of the shooting in other respects there had been very little between the sides. The star of the Sodingen team was goalkeeper Sawitski who after fumbling the first shot of the match never made the semblance of an error after and did his work with confidence and surely. Both the Harris boys had performed creditably in the home side and altogether the first half although goalless must have pleased the crowd.
Half-time; Everton nil, Sodingen nil.
Everton started off with two swift raids which Sawitski save smartly from Eglington and Lello. Then came a lucky escape for Everton when Demski was brought down just outside the penalty area, and from the free kick Linka hit a tremendous shot which O’Neill could not possibly have saved had it been on the right side of the woodwork. As it was it passed bout a foot outside. The German took this free kick in the manner often adopted by English sides with Harpers shaping up as though to hit the ball but lifting his foot over it and Linka doing the needful. Fielding was doing much more shooting than usual. The twice tested Sawitski. The Germans were not now quite so good as they had been and Everton had the upper hand for a time. Sawitski however, was never in trouble and his sense of anticipation was such that he rarely had to move very far to get the ball.
After Lello had shot outside, Konopcriski came across with a winning tackle when Parker, out through by a Jimmy Harris header, looked a certain scorer. The German forwards, when they did get shooting chances, wasted them by wild marksmanship. Twenty-five minutes from the finish Garner limped off the field and a German reserve bearing the number 12 took his place. The referee stopped play while he consulted with trainer Leyfield as to whether this was in order as presumably he had no briefing on the point, Leyfield apparently replied that he knew nothing about it, and the referee was about to recall after looking up to the directors box, signaled that it was O.K. No notification was given over the loudspeaker as to the newcomer’s identify. The standard of play had now deteriorated somewhat and there were several fouls for obstruction and pushing though these sprang only from over-eagerness. Sodingen almost took the lead with 15 minutes to go when Demski was through on his own and only a last desperate interception by Jones saved the situation. Everton staged a late rally in which strong Parker and Eglington shots struck defenders. Final; Everton mil, Sodingen nil. Attendance 31,421.
MANCHESTER UNITED RES V EVERTON RES
March 12, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Manchester United Res; Crompton, goal; Fulton and Beat, backs; Goodwin, Cope and Blanchflower, half-backs; McFarlane, Violett, Lewis, Doherty, and Pegg, forwards. Everton;- Leyland, goal; Sutherland and Rankin, backs; A. Damen, Woods and Grant, half-backs; Wainwright, Meagan, Lewis, Potts and Rabone, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Freeman (Preston). Some smart football was seen from the Everton men and the Manchester defenders were brought into action with some dangerous moves from Potts, Lewis, and Meagan. One drive from Potts just scraped the Manchester crossbar Manchester’s best effort so far was a drive from McFarlane but Leyland had no worry, as the ball sailed over the bar. Two minutes before the interval Manchester, took the lead Blanchflower scoring. Half-time; Manchester United Res 1, Everton Res nil.
SAWITZKI STOLE THE SHOW
March 14, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Sodingen (German) 0
By Leslie Edwards
All the word loves a lover; all the world loves a good goalkeeper and if he has a Polish name and plays for a German club, as Sawitzki of Sodingen; that is no reason too giving him an ovation he deserves. Thus after being good as Sawitzki walked from his goal towards the subway went and ready to the dressing room, many of the 31,000 who had been tempted to Goodison Park for this fill-in friendly, forgot old animosities and Sawitzi home to Westphlia satisfied that whatever be said about the British they do know and recognized football talent when they see it. No wonder Everton did not score, no wonder the German defence brought this twenty-two-year old into their defensive scheme as frequently as possible. He was admirable.
Temptation To relax
Everton should have won, of course, and the crowd seemed to deplore more than a little, their inability to show their superior class, but one must not forget that Everton could scarcely treat the occasion seriously –the temptation to relax was always there –and that there part-time opponents were almost amateurish in their enthusiasm for their cause and, more important were quick and constructive though sometimes lacking in finesse. Add the fact that Everton played three young men, the two Harrises and Tansey who do not seem to be of full League stature at the moment and you will understand that Everton were not as “flat out” as they would have been if, say, Wolves had been their opponents. When the German’s entered the area in bright light green stripes –yes, shorts and all they resembled and their were from Ireland. The massive Wacher on the left was seen to be playing under handicap-he was a forearm and his winging, so brave and full of beautifully –tamed side noted passes, backed only the hard bit pass to make it first class. To play soccer at a disadvantage is rare. Everton began well, as though they would win with no trouble but Sawitzki denied first one then the other with glorious saves and gradually the more experienced of the Germans, notably Adamik at inside left and Harpers in the half-back behind him, began to gain confidence and indulge themselves in feints and finesses Harris (J) smashed the ball pass the German goalkeeper for a reply offside goal (Harris most impressive moment) and Fielding and Parker gave Sawitzki opportunity to make grand saves, but Sodingen were progressing too, and more than once themselves in positions from which they must have scored had they produced ordinarily good shots. It was good, gentlemanly, exhibition football from both sides with many a helping hand for a fallen foe and therefore when right half back Garner’s limped off and Sodingen’s number 12 substitute, Wenker came hounding on it was a pity no one seemed sure that arrangements for substitutes had been made. Referee Clough who did his job extremely well held up the game while he confirmed with trainer Leyfield that Wenker’s on-coming was in order. The crowd might have saved their slight annoyance –manager Cliff Britton assured me afterwards that each side had agreed that substitutes should play, be necessary.
By this time the issue was harder fought and the Germans with a characteristic “They shall not pass “complex were as uncompromising in defence as half-a-dozen of their machine guitars used to be when some British Division wanted to move on. But the game never became and Sodingen with their roaring No 7 Linka ranging in all attacking positions came through in a series of short-pass movements and almost invariably it was Linka who applied what might well have been the finishing touch. A great shot, this youngster. The busy drive of the day came from Linka when Harpers using Peter Farrell’s Cup semi-final gait hit against Bolton at Manchester to take a free kick and let another “hoo” make the connection. The flight of this Linka drive was fast and was hard to follow. Only spectators near O’Neill’s goal could appreciate how hard the ball was traveling.
March 14, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s friendly game with Sodingen provided over 30,000 spectators with a most entertaining match and showed that the standard of German football. The visitors compared quite favorably with the average side we see at Goodison. They started extremely well, keeping the ball on the ground, moving in the open spaces swiftly, and combining well. The first hour saw some excellent football from both sides, but the last thirty minutes or so were not so good, largely because both sets of players in the anxiety for a winning goal, forsook their earlier studious play and did not find their men so well. The bulk of the shooting came from Everton for the Germans like so many Continual sides, were not able to match their approach work with finishing of the right calbre. Fielding shot oftener than he does in most matches but both he and the rest of the Everton forwards found the youngest member of the Sodingen side, goalkeeper Sawitzki an insuperable barrier. Apart from fumbling the first shot of the match; Sawitzki never subsequently made the semblance of an error and his anticipation was such that he was always in the right spot to make his saves look simple.
They Stuck It Well
Others in the visiting side who took the eye were Harpers, Konopcinski and Demski. Taken all round the Germans were a well balanced team and considering that they are all part-time players only, they stuck the pace remarkably well. In a late rally they almost snatched victory only a late second tackle by one’s fouling Demski where be polked a certain scorer. Prior to that the visiting goal had a series of escapes when a succession of Everton shot stuck defenders so that all things considered a goalless draw did justice all round. The two Harrises, Brian and Jimmy shaped very well, though they after was up against a tall and commanding pivot in Blatt . Brian Harris has distinct possibilities as a winger, though I would have liked to see him try a shot on his own a little officer. Tansey also came out with a fair share of credit, though he was not outstandingly dominating against the visitors best win pair. At a flit-up for an otherwise blank-day this was as good an attraction as anybody could have wished for, and the crowd was not slow to show its appreciation.
More To Follow?
After the match the players and officials of both teams fraternized at dinner and a threate through unfortunately the language difficulty was a bit of a problem as only one member of the visiting party a Dutch journalist who had acted as termediary in fixing the game could speak English. Mr. Ernest Green the Everton chairman got over that to some extent by making part of his after dinner speech in German, which the interpreter told me was exceptionally good. After recalling that it was nearly 20 years since Everton had played against a German team when they visited that country in 1936. Mr. Green said he hoped that Saturday’s match was not only the preliminary to many other games against German sides but that Everton might also tour that County again.
As soon as that was interpreter to the visitors the Sodingen vice-president Herr Stegaard issued an immediate invitation for them to visit his club. So pleased was he with the idea indeed that he asked Mr. Green to name a date there and when. Though this could no be done it is just possible that Everton who will be undertaking another Continental tour this summer may manage to fit in a flying visit to Sodingen. The German official and their organizer were exceptionally pleased at the size of the attendance which meant that there will be something substantial for them to come on top of their original guarantee. As for the German players they were thrilled at having pulled off a draw and having seen Goodison’s excellent opponents, I didn’t need the help of the interpreter to gather the gist of their answer after he had put my question. Wunderbar they all chorused together.
EVERTON’S DOUBLE HOPE
March 17, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Manchester Utd’s Amazing Team
Everton have an opportunity on Saturday to add another “double” to their notable Christmas successes against wolves when they play their return visit to Manchester United, whom they defeated 4-2 at Goodison Park last October. Manager Matt Busby usually selects his team on “Thursday morning” but this week he is holding it over until tomorrow due to Foulkes and Edwards having been engaged in the their –Inter-League game at Hampden Park yesterday. Although both came through without any injuries other than minor knocks as wishes to check up thoroughly when they report for training again. Assuming they are all right the Manchester United team which faces Everton is expected to be the same as that which defeated Burnley last week, thus bring to an end a short sequence of three successive defeats. The Mancunians have not been quite so prominent this season as another post-war years, but they are still among one of the most attractive of teams, as well as a difficult combination to beat on their own ground and may yet finish up among the first four talent-money placing.
One noteworthy aspect of United’s post-war history is that they have completely changed their playing staff over the last few years without any failing away in performances. As a general rule, clubs which find themselves faced with an ageing staff and the need for bargains in new blood usually suffer a fairly sticky time during the transformation. In the case of Everton and Liverpool, relegation followed in the wake of the gradual change-over but Manchester United have been more fortunate. They have kept their high position in the League almost throughout and have never finished lower than eight on the table, which was the placing they occupied two years ago after winning the championship the previous season.
Last Link Broken
With the departure of Allenby Chilton, who has this week been appointed player-manager of Grimsby Town, the last playing link between Old Trafford and United’s Cup winning side of seven years ago was broken. Crompton who was goalkeeper at Wembley is still on the club’s staff but is not know first-team choice. Aston also remains on the clubs list, but has been in a sanatorium for some time, and it is unlikely that this unfortunate player who was so sadly stricken down right at the peak of his career, will play again. Two other members of that Wembley eleven have gone into the managerial side of the game. Carey at Blackburn and Rowley at Plymouth. Manchester United have acted very generously to these old players, and in each case did all they could to help get them fixed up with new jobs.
BID FOR DOUBLE
March 18, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton make the trip to Old Trafford to tackle Manchester United, whom they defeated 4-2 at Goodison at the end of October, when Jones converted two penalty kicks. United have not been quite up to their usual high standard in recent weeks, but after three successive defeats returned to winning ways with a single goal victory over Burnley last week. The game at Everton showed that their defence can be overcome by a side which accepts an opportunities and finishes strongly. United this season have been beaten four times at home and have been held to a drawn on three other occasions. Notable departures from their side since they were at Goodison are those of Jack Rowley and Allenby Chilton now player-managers at Plymouth and Grimsby. Since Rowley’s departure, Matt Busby has tried two of his younger players on the left wing in Pegg and Scanion. He has also made other changes in both attack and defence. These include the omission of inside forwards Blanchflower and Violett in favour of Tommy Taylor –whose place at centre forward has been fileld by Webster –and Duncan Edwards, who has moved up from left half to inside left. Edwards has netted three times in five outings in the front line. His place at left half is now occupied by another of United’s many good youngsters Whitefoot. If the Blues turn in a display similar to that which they gave in the home encounter with the Mancunians they will at least have a good chance of avoiding defeat. Victory would help them to maintain their challenge for one of the talent money places. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Fielding Hickson, Parker, Eglington.
EGLINGTON’S SLIP-IN SHOT PROVED DECIDER AND SECOND “DOUBLE” FOR BLUES
March 19, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Manchester United 1, Everton 2
Another away win for Everton. Their seventh to date this season and their second double I think they deserved their success for they were slightly the better side particularly in the first half. The United are only a shadow of what they were a few years ago. Manchester United;- Wood, goal; Foulkes and Byrne, backs; Gibson, Jones and Whitefoot, half-backs; Berry, Taylor, Webster, Edwards and Scanlow, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Donovan, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones, and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. S.H. Gerrard.
Everton were at Old Trafford today seeking their second “double” of the season and along with them came about 3,000 Everton followers who had made the short journey by train and coach to see what they expected to be a football fight. The ground had been cleared of snow and when I walked on it prior to the start it seemed quite good. After a quick breakaway by the United attack which was safety repelled by the Everton defence Everton once again moved forward and Hickson gave yet another nice pass to Eglington. The winger raced pass all opposition and gave me the impression that he was just about to shoot. Instead of which however he decided that his side would be better served if he passed the ball to his inside colleagues. This he did but he had made such a rapid advance. That there was no one up to take the gift, which ultimately became the possession of Mark Jones.
Near To Success
So far Everton had showed us extremely well, especially on the wings and once more the Eglington-McNamara link up came near to success until Wood stepped out of his goal to make a good catch as the ball was heading straight for McNamara’s head. Edwards had another opening which he shot outside and then the United goalkeeper caught a shot from Eglington. While the United had their fair measure of attack Everton gave the impression that they were a much more dangerous side. So it was all against the run of play when the United took the lead at the fourteenth minute, Scanion was the scorer, and it was a stiff made spat in that he dribbled the man from the outside left position right across the field until he was at inside right. His shot perhaps came as a bit of a surprise. At all events there was no Everton man available to stay its progress to the back of the net via the upright. The United had a spell of attack when Webster should have done better than shoot wide considering the position he was in. The United wingers were inclined to cut in and move across to the other flank, and when Berry decided to cut across to the left he looked really dangerous for he seemed to be dribbling his way past all opposition until Donovan came over and stopped his little gallop. Eglington was much too fast for Foulkes who was having rather a varied time against him.
Too Few Shots
But there were occasions when the Everton forwards having made an opening failed to use it. They elected to pass where it would have been more advisable to have tried a shot as Parker did a little later on even though the ball went speeding over the crossbar. Mark Jones was having quite a good game in Chilton’s did position and so far Hickson had not been able to break through although once he made a nice little side footed pass to a position he thought Eglington was in. As a matter of fact Eglington was well over on the far side of the field. The United were quite a capable lot at framing an attack, but one could not say that they were very confident in front of goal for Scanlon offered Taylor a glorious opening which the former Barnsley man headed wide. Scanlon tried to go one better with his shot but it had too much loft to it.
Manchester had a long spell of attack ended when Berry took a corner off Donovan. This was safely punched away by O’Neill. Straight from the clearance Everton attacked and Hickson after beating his challenger, chipped up a nice short centre for Parker whose header was brilliantly saved by Wood, a one handled save which had the stamp of class all over it. But Wood nearly lost his second in the next minute when Lello slipped a ball out to the left wing where Fielding had positioned himself. Wood did not know whether the little man was going to make a pass or take a shot. Fielding decided on the latter and the ball passed right across the goal face and just outside the far post. An inch or two the other way and Wood could not have possibly got to the ball. Quite the best save of the game thus far was made by O’Neill who timed his effort beautifully and it need perfect timing too for Edwards’s shot was cruising under the bar when O’Neill leapt up and turned it over. It was not long after this that Everton gained equality and the goal was magnificently made right from its inception. It started with a glorious pass by Fielding who despite a shot was able to get the ball safely McNamara. The right winger’s long cross went direct to Eglington; whose shot whistle pass was quickly turned into the net by Parker. Time 40 minutes. Wood and Gibson came into collision and both had to receive attention the wing half having to go off for a matter of a few minutes. When the interval arrived a few minutes later the score was still one each. Half-time; Manchester United 1, Everton 1
After Edwards had made a powerful long shot from 30 yards range which O’Neill cleared with every confidence, Everton started to play in such a manner that they looked like playing the United out of the game. It was top class staff with but one fault a most important one, and that was that there was no finality about it. The United would persist in keeping the ball in the air whereas Everton kept It on the turf and this was one of the occasions why the Blues were able to go ahead at the 51st minute through a goal by Eglington.
It was a goal that should never have been scored for Eglington was so badly angled that he was practically left with no spare at all to shoot into Wood, however, made the unforeviable mistake of going down to the ball with his legs wide open and Eglington’s shot passed through his hands and legs and in the back of the net. Giving full credit to Eglington for his goal one must him tribute to the work of Hickson who made it possible for the it was who beat Foulkes and so allowed Eglington to nip in and put Everton ahead. Shortly after this the United hit back and O’Neill had to edge over the crossbar an oblique shot by Berry. At this point the United were testing the Everton pretty severely and when Jones made a header to his goalkeeper O’Neill had to come rushing out to make a desperate saves. He had to have two bites at the apple however for he lost possession first time but was able to recover. Fielding who had played a great inside forward’s game throughout was still making openings but at this period It was the United who were mainly on the attack.
Holding To The Lead
United were putting up a strong fight to get on equal terms again and O’Neill had to make one or two spankling saves. In fact the whole Everton defence had to tackle strongly to hold on to their lead. Edwards had a grand opportunity of putting his side on level terms he was off target with his header. It was very close nevertheless. McNamara, after cleverly side-stepping Byrne made a shot on the turn which had Wood beaten but the ball passed a matter of inches over the crossbar. Foulkes had to resort to the pass back to goalkeeper methods to bring his defence some relief but to be perfectly frank Everton’s calls on the United goalkeepers this half had been few and far between.
As I watched this Manchester United team my mind flew back to the Carey’s days. I needed someone like the Irishman to inspire them. There was not a great deal of good football about the United for there seemed be no key in the side. They showed plenty of enthusiasm and kept the Everton defence on its toes, but it was hot by the football skill we connect with Manchester United. True, Everton were not moving so smoothly as they did in the first half but what movements they did produce were of better quality. I am speaking now without a record book, but I don’t think Everton had won single corner during the game up to this point. Parker, Fielding and McNamara got together to bring double to the United but Mark Jones was there to put an end to it when McNamara flung his centre right in front of the Manchester goal. There was a free kick given each side but they did not produce anything and when Eglington went through there were possibilities but he shot against a United man. Just on time United thought they had won a corner but the referee after a word or two with a linesman reversed his decision and gave a goal kick. This was practically the last incident of the game. Everton won their first corner a split second before the final whistle. Attendance 32,295. Final Manchester United 1, Everton 2
SOMETHING IN THE AIR AT GOODISON FOR GOALKEEPERS
March 19, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
By Peter Farrell
Goodison’s visit, apart from being quite entertaining, was a pleasant change from the hurly burly of League soccer. The German side proved themselves well up to the standard we expected as representatives of the current world champion country. The large crowd will not readily forget the great display of goalkeeping by Sawitski and it was very nice to hear the ovation the fans gave the German goalkeeper as he left the field after the game. There must be something in the air at Goodison that seems to bring the best out of visiting goalkeepers as we well know to our cost judging by the displays we have seen here in the last couple of years. At the dinner after the game, while chatting with the only member of the side who could speak English, he told me that all the Sodingen players had been impressed with Goodison Park particularly the seating accommodation for spectators. I visited a youth club this were and one of the questions asked me at the conclusion of my talk was. “How does it affix you or any other player for the matter, when you go into the tackle with an opponent who has physical defect such as the Sodingen left winger’s.” well those of you who were present at last Saturday’s game will have noticed that Wachier had only one good arm, having been the victim of a serious machine accident at the age of 14, is a result of which he lost his hand and a part of his right arm. When opposed to such a player one is quite naturally apt to be a little more cautious when going into the tackle than in ordinary circumstances, bearing in mind his handicap. There is always a warm spot in the heart of sportsmen for a player who overcomes a handicap such as this, and those present at Goodison last week showed their appreciation of the galliant Wachter. This main topic of conversation in the Everton dressing room on Wednesday morning was the views that Maurice Lindsay’s contact terminates at the end of this season. Lindley was very popular at Goodison during his Everton days, and since his appointment as manager to Swindon, the fortunes of his new club have been followed closely by all of use. Lindley’s dismissal plus the ever-growing number of managers whose contracts have recently terminated shows what a precarious and uncertain job is a football manager’s.
Tribute To Bell
This is particularly so in the Third Division, where a manager may be one of the best in the game, but if he hasn’t got the right material at his dismissal plus that little bit of luck essential in all jobs, despite his ability he may still be told he has to go. This is due to the fact that with these clubs the only thing that counts is results and if these are not forthcoming, and the gave are dwindling the man who is always blamed is the manager. Despite all this, it is surprising when a position as a manager becomes vacant, the number of players on explayers who apply for such a job. There is an old saying that there is no sentiment in football, and that once a player’s career is finished he is soon forgotten. This may be true but the Sheffield fans, by their attendance and tribute to Dooley last week certainly didn’t forget their former idol and turned up in full strength for his benefit. Which reminds me of the forthcoming game between Tranmere Selected and Bolton Wanderers for the combined benefit of Harold Bell and Harlock. Bell’s record of consecutive appearance for his club in every type of game will hardly even be broken and I hope all Merseyside fans will turn up at this game it at all possible to pay their tribute to such a wonderful clubman. A rather funny thing happened in the dressing room before Dooley’s benefit game. Our forward line, as you probably know, was Matthew, Quigley, Lawton, Hagan and Eglington, which meant that the Everton winger was the youngest of the line. Before we left the dressing room for the start of the game Lawton turned to Tommy and said “You know those speedy bursts of yours down the wing” Well, when you get to the corner flag hang on a minute or two before you centre the ball and give us older ones a chance to get into the goalmouth.”
EVERTON RES V HUDDERSFIELD RES
March 19, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Reserves;- Leyland, goal; Tansey (J) and Capper, backs; Clayton, Wood, and Grant, half-backs; Harris (B), Harris (J), Saunders, Potts and Buckle, forwards. Referee; Mr. F.G. Grandwood (Kidderminister). The many attraction at Goodison Park was the appearance in the Huddersfield team of their captain and England’s right back Staniforth at his own request in place of Gibson who was playing in their first team. Everton who faced a strong sun, had much the better of the opening exchanges and Mills. Buckle and Harris (J), Staniforth was not having a good match up to now and it was obvious that he was out of form. Huddersfield however, took the lead in the 21st minute through Fyrer from a borrowed pass. Half-time; Everton Res nil, Huddersfield Res 1.
EVERTON MAY STILL FIGURE IN THE TALENT MONEY
March 21, 1955, The Liverpool Daily Post
Manchester United 1, Everton 2
If Everton had not dropped home points their chances of finishing top would be brighter. They have eleven games still to play and have thirty-six points “in the bag” seventeen of them gathered away. To qualify for talent money is not beyond them, but they must show better form than at Old Trafford on Saturday. Their victory over a young Manchester United side was good –Everton’s older heads provided nearly all the good football –but Everton only occasionally moved with their normal rhythm. Often a misplaced pass ruined a movement. Much the same applied at the other end where some United players did not air their cause by playing too individually. In particular Edwards seemed obsessed with the idea that he alone could save the match. His burly frame almost freakish in relation to his age, took him over a tremendous amount of territory and no player passed more accurately.
Edwards did his best work with a back pass to his goalkeeper and a forty-yard dash into the open space to pick up Wood’s throw. This movement covered almost the length of the field and was finished by a shot of such velocity that the eye could barely follow its flight. O’Neill hurled himself through the air and turned the ball round the post to make a brilliant save. The goals were other memorable features of a game which had little colour and finished on a contentious note with players getting at cross purposes and the referee having a word with Foulkes after a foul on Hickson. Scanlon United’s outside left put his side ahead after fourteen minutes with his first goal for the seniors scored after a long run on the edge of the penalty area. The Everton defence held off in expectation of a pass and the winger deserved the luck which came his way when his shot rebounded off the base of the upright into the net. The best combination move of the day brought the equalizer in the fortieth minute. Fielding beat two men in a confined space and put a perfect pass through to McNamara who centred across to Eglington for the Irishman to pull the ball back into the path of Parker. As usual the inside left reaped his reward for being in the right spot at the right time and beat Wood with a low cross shot.
Foxed The Goalkeeper
When Hickson made an interception six minutes after the interval and enabled Eglington to set off for goal Wood was obviously undecided about the winger’s intentions,. He moved across slightly to go for an interception whereupon Eglington hit his shot hard and true down a narrow angle. Before Wood could adjust his position the ball caught the inside of this left leg and travelled on into the net. Other goals rarely appeared likely although Everton might have had one in the opening minutes when McNamara used his height to good advantage and made a downward header from a sharp angle which Wood stopped, one handed on the line. Fielding from outside left missed by inches when Everton were in arrears and NcNamara grazed the bar from long range coming within inches of making the margin 3-1. United lacked a general in attack. There is too much youth in the their team with no “wisecere” to hold the ball and dictate movements. Moore had a brilliant match and looked better than English international Foulkes, Jones was solid and the wing halves destroyed many, onslaughts by strong tackling. McNamara provided some clever touches while Eglington’s speed was always a source of trouble Greater use might have been made of the Irishman in the second half when the defence was unable to turn properly on a frozen strip down the touchline which the sun had not reached Hickson had few chances. Parker was not often in the picture.
Fortunately Fielding was in fine form after a listless openings and his clever use of the ball was superior to anything provided by the home eleven. United have the making of a good side for future years although the crowd brought up an success does not seen to take kindly to their failures during what is clearly a transitional period. Taylor seemed lost at right and Berry at times appeared unaware that were other United players on the field, but Jones had a game at centre half and Wood brought off some well judged catches Edwards is potentially a great player. At this stage of his career, however, he may be his own, worst enemy. All his individual efforts went for nought and it would have taken a far better team than United were on this showing to have deprived Everton of the points.
EVERTON’S FOREIGN TOUR
March 21, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are to undertake another summer tour, this time embarking on no fewer than four countries. They performed so entertainingly in Denmark last season that they have been invited there again, sure proof of their popularity. On top of that, however they are to extend the trip to embrace games in Luxemburg, Germany and Austria, which sounds a most attractive itinerary and conjures up thought a sunshine and gaiety in the Tyro and elsewhere a nice though to take the players minds off today frozen and snow covered pitches. The full details of the tour have yet to be finally arranged but that is in the framework. Nice work if you can get it and a tribute also to the high regard in which the Everton club has abroad.
Mr. Ernest Green Everton’s chairman is this evening being entertained at a private function by his fellow directors when he will be presented with a pair of binoculars to mark the completion of 42 years as a member of the board including two periods as chairman. Mr. Green has worthily earned this tribute from his colleagues for his splendid services to Everton are almost incalculable.
More Away Points
When Manchester United scored first at Old Trafford on Saturday their supporters may have thought that their “babes” were in for a frolic at the expense of their elders but long before the end the experience of Everton and particularly that of Farrell, Jones and Lello plus the guile of Fielding caused them to amend their ideas. This was no easy victory for Everton, for United fought hard to the end yet there was little plan about the home attack, and apart from a few headers which passed dangerous close to the woodwork, a sound rearguard ensured little work for O’Neill. The Blues goalkeeper earned his share of the winning bonus with a great save from a pile driver by Duncan Edwards, the youthful United forward. Edwards with his muscular frame, and a football sense unrivalled in one so young adds a touch of character to a Manchester side which is only a shadow of the brilliant Carey led team of a few years ago. Unfortunately for United Edwards seemed to have the idea that he was the only man who could save his team. The result was that he was apt to retain possession when a pass was called for. Berry was another of the same mind and resolute tackling and covering by Jones and company invariably put a stop to there individual sorties. Everton’s passing was not up to its usual standard and although they deserved their victory, which has taken them within striking distance of the leaders they have played better and lost on several occasions this term. Fielding stood out for his splendid use of the ball while Eglington made Foulkes look like anything but an England back. Irishman scored what proved to be the winning goal early in the second half when his angled shot passed between Wood’s legs as the goalkeeper moved to his left in expectation of a pass.
Parker –As Usual
The best goal of the day was Parker’s at 40 minutes a four man move being finished off by the inside left in his customary way.
EVERTON’S BIG CHANCE
March 22, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Blues Can Improve Their Place At Huddersfield’s Expense
Following their victory over Manchester United, Everton have another opportunity to strengthen their challenge to the First Division leaders tomorrow, when Huddersfield Town are the visitors to Goodison Park in a re-arranged League match. A win for Everton would bring then within three points of Wolves, who top the table and still leave the Blues with a game in hand. The prospect is certainly an alluring one and though there is some way to go yet Everton’s chances of being in the top four at the season’s end look good. With all the first team players fit and well no change is made in the side compared with last week. This will be the fourth consecutive League match in which the composition has been unaltered. Huddersfield will also field the same team as that which drew with Manchester City last Saturday, with Liverpool-born Cavanagh travelling as twelfth man. The Yorkshire club left this morning for Southport and will return there after the match to have a spot of relaxation prior to their visit to Sheffield United at the week-end. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington. Huddersfield Town; Wheeler; Gibson, Kelly; McGarry, Taylor, Quested; Hobson, Watson, Glazzard, Davie, Metcalfe.
Town Are Slipping
Huddersfield these days are no the team they were last season, when they finished third to Wolves and West Bromwich. Since the middle of November they have taken only nine points from 14 matches their only win being at Preston in December. Prior to last Saturday when they draw at home with Manchester City they had suffered five successive defeats with a goal average age of seventh for and 19 against. Curiously enough their main failings have been on their own ground at Leeds Road, where they have not raised a winning flag in any game since October 23 when Everton who were the visitors went down by the odd goal in three. This long lean spell has landed the Yorkshire side well into the bottom half of the table. They now occupy 17th position with 30 points from 31 matches. The fact that this is only six less than Everton emphasizes how close is the First Division competition this season.
Good Away Record
Despite their two most recent away defeats in which they conceded ten goals –six at Wolverhampton and four at Chelsea –the Town have a reasonably good away record comprising four victories and six drawns in 15 outings, practically a point a match. Their four away wins have been at Leicester, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Preston – three of them by a two goal margin. In an effort to restore the team to winning ways Manager Andrew Beattie has recently made some changes including the substitution of Gibson for England international, Staniforth who was a member of the Huddersfield reserve team which beat Everton’s second string at Goodison Park last Saturday. Elsewhere in defence the side has been the same in recent matches as that which did duty in the fifth round Cup-tie at Anfield, and put an end to Liverpool’s Wembley hopes. One alteration has also been made in the front line since that game, Davie who rightly lost his place to Cavanagh has since been restored after an absence of six months in place of Frear, who played at Anfield. Saturday’s draw at Maine Road was the second successive game in which the Town attack has failed to score. So far they have obtained 50 goals the same total as Everton. Defensively however they are ten worse off and have kept a clean sheet only once in the away game, at Aston Villa in early October.
This record shows their defence to be fairly vulnerable against good forward lines. It behoves Everton to accept quickly whatever openings their approach work provide. They are unlikely to be given a second chance by strong tackling half backs like McGarry and Quested, both of whom are ever-present this winter. Centre half Ken Taylor as he proved in the Liverpool game is one of the best youngsters in the country. It is not faith that the Town def
Nice has been conceding goals so freely in recent weeks. Glazzard has been Town’s main goalscore so far. He now has 25 League and Cup games to his credit. He has scored all but three of the last eleven goals obtained one each from Frear, Burrell and Hobson accounting for the others. Hobson has continued to hold the place, which he gained at the expense of Burrell on New Year’s Day but has not yet scored a League goal for his new club which he joined from Blackpool during the summer. His solitary scoring effort was against Liverpool in the Cup tie. On the other wing Metcalfe has also been off the goal standard recently and has scored only once a penalty against Sunderland on Boxing Day, since early November.
EVERTON IN SCORING MOOD
March 23, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Parker and Hickson
Taylor’s Own Goal
Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Donovan, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Huddersfield; Wheeler, goal; Gibson and Kelly, backs; McGarry, Taylor, and Quested, half-backs; Hobson, Watson, Glazzard, Davie, and Metcalfe, forwards. Referee. Mr. T. Jepson (Mansfield). There was only a small attendance for this rearranged game at Goodison Park this afternoon in which Donovan was making his 100th Football League appearance for Everton. The pitch was very muddy and right up to the appearance of the teams three groundsmen were engaged forging the ground to assist the drainage. O’Neill almost got in trouble when he ran outside the penalty area and had to kick the ball back before he could pick it up with Glazzard in close attendance all the time. the players were having some difficulty on the treatcherous turf not only in keeping a good foothold but also in judging the ball, which sometimes skiddled or was braked by the mud. The first thrill was splendid header by Fielding which Wheeler caught just under the bar as he was harassed by Hickson, McGarry passed back to Wheeler to forestall McNamara and then Gibson, completely missing his kick, was glad to see Eglington’s subsequent centre pass behind all the Everton forwards.
Gibson, keeping Hickson dashing up at top speed put the ball back full thirty yards to his own goalkeeper and almost over Wheeler’s head. Wheeler had been standing on the six yard line and just managed to scuttle back and get his finger-tips to the ball to turn it behind for a corner. Watson should have done better than shoot yards outside when a header by Donovan went right to his feet on the edge of the penalty area. A much better effort was that of Metcalfe who dribbled across field and from the inside right position almost scraped the bar. When Referee Jepson gave a foul against Hickson the crowd expressed its disapproval and I think they were right for it seemed to me that the first offender was Taylor. Before the kick was taken the referee spoke to Hickson, kelly’s effort was safely caught by O’Neill. A fierce tackle by Taylor on Hickson resulted in both players being called together for an admonishing word from the referee. At the 27th minute Everton took the lead when Taylor put through his own goal, though he was decidedly unfortunate in doing so Eglington took a quick thrown-in accepted the return from Parker and delivered a curling shot which Wheeler dived to at the six yards line, but the ball struck Taylor and rebounded into the net. Huddersfield defence which had looked anything but confident right from the start now began to show signs of panic but McGarry and Quested gradually restored the calm. Everton’s rearguard which had played so far in most consistent fashion was now spread-eagled by a high centre over everybody’s heads Hobson had closed in and his effort was bound for the net when Farrell in some miraculous manner managed to head it over the bar from almost beneath the woodwork.
Off The Line
Everton dashed away and McGarry kicked the ball off the line as Eglington endeavoured to scramble it through. In addition to the slippery surface the swirling wind was also adding to the difficulties on the players. Its strength could be judged when one corner kick by Eglington was blown in a tremendous are several yards out of the penalty area. Half-time; Everton 1, Huddersfield Town nil
Parker scored for Everton in 53 minutes
Hickson scored for Everton in 55 minutes
ODD CONDITIONS BUT THE RIGHT RESULT
March 24, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 4, Huddersfield Town 0
By Leslie Edwards
The score was the most regular thing in this match at Goodison Park. It told the truth (though it might have emphasized it a little more) and it told of Everton’s determination to show in the League table that they are better side than many imagine. In other respects it was an unusual game with sunshine which caused players and spectators to shield their eyes with their hands when corner kicks were taken, a greasy heavy surface and a cold stiff wind which swirled the ball severely and was almost as handicapping on the back as it was head-on. In view of this the football provided for 15,461 spectators was from the Everton viewpoint good enough. For a few minutes Huddersfield looked like the side they used to be than as Everton took command more and more they degenerated and became recognizable as a team which has avalanched from neat top to near bottom of the table and which, if their performance here is any criterion will slide still further. The reason for their decline is not easy to spot. Maybe it is because they have too many forwards who seem disinclined to do the practical and therefore the most useful things, or because in their backs. Kelly and Gibson they have a combination of age and inexperience and more than the usual slowness found in defenders. One felt sorry for goalkeeper Wheeler in the opening half. First he had to make a difficult catch off a Fielding header as Hickson bore down on him; then when Gibson poked the ball back to him high in the gusty wind, only an extra ordinarily well-judged leap and a one-handed save prevented an own goal.
Hickson and young Taylor his constant attendant at all points of the field had been called together by the referee before Taylor put through his own goal after twenty-five minuets play. Eglington and Parker worked a simple throw in gambit; Eglington went down his wing virtually unchallenged and Wheeler all but reached at full stretch, his high-flung centre. Unable to get out of the way of the ball as it dropped, Taylor found it glancing against his body and so, slowly over the line. Matthews deputy for years at Blackpool –and easily Huddersfield’s best forward – Hobson did well, indeed, to contrive a close range shot down a fine angle for what seemed likely to be an equalizing goal. He beat O’Neill, but Farrell, standing, almost on the line, kicked away and Huddersfield from that moment were never likely to snatch a half. Huddersfield escaped equally luckily a moment afterwards. This time Eglington and Wheeler collided near a post and the ball was surely on its way to the back of the net when McGarry intervened on the line. So at the interval Everton led 1-0. Watson had O’Neill rushing rather late, to the far post to cover Huddersfield’s best shot, which flew inches wide, at the start of the second half; then Jones with a nod (when a wink would have been useless) turned away from goal, when all seemed lost, a Metcalfe centre delivered after he had gone, for the first time, outside the excellent Moore. Seven minutes of the second half had gone when Everton scored a goal, remarkable in the making and taking. Shortly, the ball travelled almost the length and a half of the field and into the net without a Huddersfield player touching it. Donovan from a few yards inside his own half, elected the reverse pass to his goalkeeper, O’Neill’s clearance from hand swept down the field, a flick of Hickson’s head and it was taken up by Parker who held off a weak challenge, then surprised Wheeler by shooting at the side of goal best covered.
And Two More
A minute later Hickson hit a fine left shot to make it 3-0 and at seventy-seven minutes McNamara drifting inside made it 4-0 with a well delivered low shot. Huddersfield seemed inclined to fight but they lacked the know how to prise open a defence which held them cheaply in the end. The last fifteen minutes were anti-climax. Both Eglington and McNamara might have had a field day against such opposition. Gibson was unhappy against Eglington and McNamara for a time had a highly successful time against Kelly. Later he held the ball too close and became victim like the tantalizing Metcalfe of weight of numbers. Metcalfe was as mercurial and ineffective as Hobson was practical, Hobson’s play impressed me very much and so for a few moments did Glazzard’s. Afterwards it was Jones, Jones all the way aided by the fine covering of Moore and others. There were moments in the first half when the tackles of Taylor and the responsive battling of Hickson seemed likely to burst into flame. Referee Jepson kept a tight hold on this issue and whereas Hickson scored when he slipped the ball as Taylor came in, the younger man with his splendid heading won the “air” battle. Many deplored the ferocity of Taylor’s tackle, but it flew apparently were not prepared to give him credit after his occasional brilliance. Quested, keen to make a sixth forward, did his side dis-service, I thought, in that he took the ball up, rather than sent it and paid toll when the move broke down (as it often did) and he was caught out of position. The game’s best and most consistent contribution was from Fielding. It was he who drifted back into no man’s land and picked up cheaply and cheekily, the ball when it came free from Huddersfield’s close attacking movements. Parker still the greatest lurker of them all (in the nices sense) continued to use his head to save his feet and to drift, unannounced, into positions in which he was able to go through dangerous, single-handled. Given two points from the game at Goodison Park on Saturday against Portsmouth, the smouldering belief that Everton may yet challenge for the championship will be appreciably hotter. But how can one depend on form? Liverpool beat Everton, Huddersfield beat Liverpool and now Everton beat Huddersfield….there’s no such thing!
EVERTON STILL CLIMBLING
March 24, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Blues Get One Step Nearer To The Senior Championship
Thanks to their victory over Huddersfield yesterday, Everton are now third in the table only four points behind Chelsea, the new leaders and three behind Wolves with a game in hand, over the latter and three over Chelsea. Another championship honour begins to look on the cards. Before the season began I wrote here that Everton contrary to what some people though might make a really good show on their return to the top sphere but I’ll confess that the championship never entered my head. I was ready to settle for a safe and comfortable position in the middle of the table as a satisfactory start to the First Division. In addition to their games in hand over the clubs above them, Everton have one, and in some cases two yet to play compared with three of the four clubs below them. Portsmouth, due here on Saturday are the exception. The Southerners are two points behind Everton for an equalivalent number of matches. The Goodison club’s goal average is also better than some of those who are running them close. This advantage, it maintained might decide the issue.
As last year, if could happen again that Everton’s final game played after all their rivals have completed their fixtures will be deciding factor. Twelve months ago the Blues fixed a rearranged game with Oldham right at the tail end of the campaign when they knew exactly what they had to do to gain promotion. This time they have similar rear guarded a postponed match for the Wednesday before the Cup final by which time all the challengers except Charlton who may still have a chance will have finished their programme. Everton are home to Aston Villa on Wednesday May 4, Charlton are home to Tottenham the following evening. We shall know – in another few weeks whether two games will be fraught with championship issues, if they are there will be over 70,000 to cheer the Blues on again the Villa. Twenty-three years ago, Everton won the senior championship twelve months after topping the Second Division. History may repeat itself – except that last year the Blues were runners-up not champion in the lower division. It’s a nice thought, and excellent compensation for Manager Cliff Britton, who has kept resolute to his ideas and ideal in spite of the criticism of some seasons back.
While Everton’s victory over Huddersfield was their biggest of the season it was not their most immaculate display though in the last seventy-minutes there was practically only one side in it with Everton indulging in shooting-in practice without being able to add to their lead. The conditions were all against good football, for the turf was slippery and made good foothold difficult while a gusty wind and had the ball doing queer tricks. Considering this handicap Everton played well, but Huddersfield apart from their half-back line, were disappointing. On that showing, one wonders how they got to the sixth round of the Cup even if their passage there was facilitate by being paired with lowly teams. Their forward line was woefully weak in shooting power, despite the fact that three times Everton were saved by goalline intervention. Two of these Farrell’s and Jones’s had amazing effort’s in each case the half-back was standing almost under the bar when he headed the ball over it. On the occasion Donovan saved the day by a hefty punt after O’Neill had been beaten. Though Huddersfield may consider themselves a trifle unfortunate in these instances they were almost balanced by two goals in saves by visiting defenders when McGarry and Gibson scrambled the ball away at the last spilt second. In addition to these narrow escapes there were several other occasions when both goals but usually the Huddersfield one came within an ace of falling. Indeed this was a game which might well have produced at frozen goals instead of four Fielding who was a great schemer, missed one simple chance early on due to his feet slipping from under him he tried to take off in a away Parker missed a couple of reasonable chances through being a little slow in the uptake and McNamara might have done better than get his name on the goal sheet once.
Had the underfoot conditions been better doubtless some of these openings would have been turned to good account. As it was a 4-0 victory was satisfying and it would be unfair to be too critical of players under such circumstances. Huddersfield started fairly well, and were a little unfortunate to find themselves a goal down at the 27th minutes when Taylor could not get out of the way of the ball as Wheeler divided to punch out an Eglington shot and rebound from him into the net. During his period Taylor and Hickson had been indulging in some vigorous exchanges and after one passenger at arms Referee Jepson laid down the law to both of them. Afterwards though there was some occasions when a hefty shoulder-charging there were less free kicks and more football which was all to the good. Once Everton had increased their lead to three goals through Parker and Hickson at the 53rd and 55th minute Huddersfield were well outclassed. Though the Yorkshire side continued to fight hard though they rarely looked like brothering O’Neill unduly, goal from the goal-line save by Donovan. Those by Farrell and Jones had come earlier.
Parker goal was the culmination of the grand bit of play which showed how defence could be quickly turned into attack. Donovan had passed back about 25 yards to O’Neill to be accompaniment of groans from a section of the crowd. O’Neill quickly booted the ball into the centre circle, where Hickson transferred it to the on-running Parker who had it in the net like a flash without a Huddersfield man touching it from the time of Donovan’s back-pass. No wonder Huddersfield looked stunned at the way the tables had been turned. Hickson’s goal was a splendid left foot shot along the ground taken as he was falling, and McNamara’s finishing touch 13 minutes from the end put the seal on Everton’s now convincing superiority. The home side’s defence was much sounder than Huddersfield s, in which Gibson and Kelly were inclined to panic under pressure. The first-named almost put the ball through his own goal with a 10-yard back pass before Everton had opened their account.
Taylor held his own well against Hickson, and McGarry and Quested could not be blamed though occasionally the latter took the ball up too far himself instead of making pass after he had got into position. Huddersfield’s biggest falling was in attack, where they tried to make progress too often by lateral instead of forward play. They were also wild and inaccurate in their finishing. Though Everton also missed chances on the whole the home forwards shot much oftener, more strongly, and usually much more accurately. Jones had the measures of Glazzard almost throughout though in the closing stages the visiting leader nearly snatched a late goal, Moore and Donovan were sound, as also were the wing halves. Fielding was the most consistent t forward.
Spare a sympathetic thought for Huddersfield “insult” Is added to the “injury” of defeat by the fact that they will have to pay Everton around £2,750 gross as compensation for the drop in yesterday’s attendance of 15,461 compared with Everton’s average of around 50,000. That will make a big hole in what they received from the two cup-ties with Newcastle United, out of which Huddersfield will now have a net profit of only a few hundred pounds.
THE INDIAN SIGN
March 25, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Portsmouth visitors to Goodison Park in a game which will have a vital bearing on both club chances of finishing in the top four, have put something of an Indian sign on Everton in recent years. In eleven home and away meetings since the war Portsmouth have won no fewer than ten times, with a total goal average of 41 to 7. No other club has hit Everton so consistently hard over so long a period. Tomorrow the Blues hope to redress the balance somewhat but to do so they will need to be at their best and most punishing particularly in finishing for Portsmouth are a workmanlike and well-balanced team. Pompey have quite a respectable away record this winter, showing four wins and five draws in 16 matches on opponents grounds. The victories have been against Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Sheffield Wednesday. The Southern club’s attack has several times knocked up big scores notable among them being six each against Sheffield United and West Brown, and five when the Blues were at Fratton Park in November. On that occasion, however, Everton were without O’Neill, Donovan, Farrell and Eglington, who were generously released to appear for Eire the following day. Fielding was also absent through injury.
A Solid Defence
Defensively Portsmouth have also been sound, and only two sides have scored more than three goals against them, in addition to which they have kept a clean sheet on seven occasions. Their less successful spell, apart from one soon after the start of the season, when they lost three successive games, all away, has been in recent weeks when they have lost to Leicester and Burnley. Pompey have England internationals in Peter Harris, Phillips and Dickinson, a Footbball League player in Mansell, and Irish and Scottish internationals in Uprichard and Kenderson. Another who has been doing well this winter is veteran Duggie Reid who after a lengthy spell in the attack, has doing the last two years been turning in some excellent displays at centre half. There is also plenty of scoring power in the front line particularly on the right flank where Harris and Gordon have obtained 27 League goals between them. Henderson and Dale have also reached double figures though the latter has not been in the side for the past three games. As Eglington has recovered from the slight shoulder injury received on Wednesday, the Everton side will be unchanged for the fifth successive League match. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington. Portsmouth; Uprichard; McGree, Mansell; Phillips, Reid, Dickinson, Harris, Gordon, Henderson, Barnard, Rees.
Everton Reserves (away to Bolton); Leyland; Sutherland, Rankin; Tansey (J), Woods, Grant; Harris (B), Wainwright, Saunders, Potts, Buckle.
EVERTON’S RECOVERY IN THE GOODISON MUD
Match 26, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
A Blow To Everton’s Prospects
Everton’s bogey team brought off their fifth victory in six post-war visits to Goodison Park. The visits could count themselves fortunate however, for the Blues fought back well after being three down at the interval and had it not been for some good saves by Uprichard, Everton might have a saved a point. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Donovan, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Portsmouth; Uprichard, goal; McGhee, and Mansell, backs; Phillips, Reid and Dickinson, half-backs; Harris, Gordon, Henderson, Bernard, and Rees, forwards. Referee; Mr. F.L. Overton (Derby). The steady rain and the counter attraction at Aintree had kept down the attendance at Goodison Park. The pitch was extremely muddy and members of the ground staff were forking it as the team came out. The Blues won a corner in the first minute when McNamara and Parker combined to force Mansell to put the ball behind. Fielding took the kick and after Uprichard had punched away, Parker had a great chance with only the goalkeeper to beat but partly lost his footing on the treacherous turf and the ball skidded outside. Everton appealed unsuccessfully for a penalty when Reid dived to head a McNamara centre the ball hitting him on the shoulder.
Fielding Shoots Wide
So far little has been seen of Portsmouth in attack and Donovan neatly intercepted a pass intended for Harris. From a throw-in by Farrell, Hickson back-headed to Fielding, whose shot just passed the angle of post and upright. Hickson was sandwiched by Mansell and Reid on the edge of the Portsmouth area, Fielding however failed to use the free kick to the best advantage. Eglington slung across a high centre which Uprichard failed to punch away Hickson headed the ball over the goalkeeper and Mansell scooped it round the post. The referee however, had given a free kick against Hickson. The visitors got going through Reid who made a long run up field before transferring to Harris who centred promptly and O’Neill had to be smart in coming out to foil Rees. A bad pass by Barnard let in Lello who set Eglington on a typical dash down the wing only to send the ball straight at Uprichard. Portsmouth begin to come more into the game by swinging the ball about and took the lead after a quarter of an hour. Henderson temporarily at outside right got the better of Donovan and centred close to goal where Harris who had moved into the middle headed home via the crossbar. Conditions were difficult and both sides were guilty of misplace passes which would normally have found their man McGhee earned applause for a good tackle on Eglington and hails long clearance into the Everton goalmouth was responsible for his side’s second goal in the 18th minute. Moore and Jones both left the clearance to each other and Henderson nipped in between them to prod the ball out of the mud and into the net as O’Neill came out. The Blues hit back and Hickson headed in from Eglington’s centre but as the ball beat Uprichard, Reid standing in front of the line-headed away. Harris popped up in all sorts of unaccustomed positions and his persistence won a corner on the left. He spoiled his good work however by putting the kick behind. Fielding put the ball up the middle, and Hickson beat Reid. He went forward and shot as Uprichard came out. With nobody else within yards the ball tricked slowly on the wrong side of the post. Moore had to have attention after falling heavily when checking Rees. The Blues had now fallen right away in attack and Hickson was the only member of the line to make any impression on a solid defence. In the 35th minute the home goal fell again, and once more Harris was the man who did the damage. He made progress on the right and put across a low centre which Gordon flicked into the net with the side of the spot from close range. A pass by Farrell which stuck in the mud saw Pompey make another dangerous raid which ended with Henderson firing narrowly outside. Uprichard was in action again punching away a McNamara centre from the head of Hickson and if it was any consolation to the crowd the Blues certainly did not deserve to be behind. They had more of the play but Portsmouth had taken their chances in brilliant fashion
The Portsmouth trainer was called on to give attention to Uprichard who conceded a corner as he was challenged by McNamara. He fell heavily behind the goal and it was some time before he could continue. Half-time; Everton nil, Portsmouth 3.
With the second half less than a minute old, Farrell pushed he ball through for McNamara who beat two men and centred for Parker to head past Uprichard from almost under the bar. Everton could have had another goal when Hickson put the ball through to Eglington who had moved into the middle. The winger seemed to be tripped from behind by Phillips as he shot and Uprichard was able to save his effort. Everton’s appeal for a penalty a half-hearted one, and was refused. Uprichard made a brilliant save from a short-range McNamara header following a centre by Eglington and was also well positioned to stop the winger’s return shot. The Blues were playing better, and for the first time, the crowd was roused to some signs of enthusiasm. Everton gained their second goal which their almost incessant pressure of the half be served in the 58th minute. Reid struck out a fist to deflect a Hickson header and Jones gave Uprichard no chance with the resilient penalty, which was only awarded after the referee had consulted a linesman. Portsmouth had appealed that the ball was out of play before Eglington centred. The Portsmouth defence as now showing signs of panic as Everton crowded on all still, and Reid was glad to kick into touch t foil Parker. Portsmouth after being overplayed for so long in this portion could have taken a fourth goal when a centre by Henderson who had moved to right eluded the whole Everton defence. Harris had only to shoot straight to be an almost certain scorer. Fortunately for Everton he missed his kick altogether and the ball was scrambled away. Everton were still fighting back strongly and another period of heavy pressure saw O’Nell the only man in the home half of the field.
Moore came up for a long shot which Phillips headed away Farrell seized on the clearance and fired in a shot which looked bound for the net until Uprichard leaped to turn it aside. When it looked as though Henderson would get through Jones stepped in with a timely tackle. The referee had a word to sat to McGhee following a foul on Eglington. The free kick however, brought no reward. Final; Everton 2, Portsmouth 3. Official Attendance; 30,087.
EVERTON RIGHT BACK IN THE RUNNING
March 26, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
By Peter Farrell
Our win against Manchester United was a grand tonic to the lads, as it put us right back in the running for the league, particularly so, with most of the top teams losing ground last Saturday. Our mid-week game against Huddersfield was a very joyous occasion for the small crowd which braved the unpleasant conditions, to which the Blues record their finest home win for a very long time. Those of you who were unable to be present missed what I considered the best all-round display Everton have given for a long time. The first goal was a bit lucky but the three in the second half were as good as any we have scored this season. It wasn’t so much the convincing victory as the manner in which the boys went about the job that was so pleasing and the score of 4-0 certainly gave our goal average a big boost. Most Evertonians know that when I will the toss I nearly always defend the Gwladys Street goal in the first half. Last Wednesday as I went to the centre of the field for the spin of the coin, I couldn’t make up my mind if winning whether to take advantage of the strong wind blowing towards the Gwlady’s street, or set the Blues to play our usual way in the first half. Even when I won the toss, I thou quite a while before deciding to play our usual way, and needless to say the way things turned out, I was very glad of the decision I had made. I am sure many of you like myself must be wondering when Tommy Jones will get official recognition of some kind as a reward for the brilliant and consistent displays he is serving up at present and has done all season. On many occasions this season I have read of such and such a centre forward with a big name having what the crition described as an off-day against the Blues but rarely do they go on to add that this could have been due to the brilliance of the opposing centre half. Tommy’s chance must come and judging by the form of some of the capped players against whom we have played this season a few more Englishmen in the Everton team must be on the fringe of bring honoured, if only in a “B” international. Most of you I am sure, were very sorry to read in Ranger’s notes about Johnny Aston, who has given such yeoman service to Manchester United, being in a sanatorium near Manchester and is shortly to undergo an operation which we all hope will be successful. Played with Aston in a benefit game in Ireland at the end of last season and he was one of the stars of the match. I should like also to voice my sympathy to the unfortunate Johnny Hart, of Manchester City, who was so unlucky last Saturday to break a leg.
BOLTON RES V EVERTON RES
March 26, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Bolton Wanderers Res;- Grieve, goal; Harris and Banks, backs; Hennin, Higgins and Neil, half-backs; Birch, Stevens, Politt, Gubbins, and Bradley, forwards. Everton Res; Leyland, goal; Sutherland and Rankin, backs; Tansey, Woods and Grant, backs; Harris, Wainwright, Saunders, Potts and Buckle, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.E. Rule (Sheffield). The mud on the Bolton pitch caused goalkeeper Leyland some uneasy moments and Politt scored in 17 minutes. Everton were lucky when Sutherland headed off the line and Gubbins missed a sitter. Half-time; Bolton Wanderers Res 1, Everton Res nil.
THE PORTSMOUTH HOODOO REMAINS
March 28, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Portsmouth 3
Portsmouth continue to remain Everton’s “bogy” team. This was their fifth successive post-war victory at Goodison Park, and enabled them to become the first team to obtain the double over Everton this season. Considering the wretched weather and the counter-attraction at Aintree the attendance of 30,087 was exceptionally good and the standard of football served up was a credit to all the players. When O’Neill touched the ball for the first time in fielding a Moore back-pass in the seventh minute, those present metaphorically rubbed their hands in anticipation of a fairly comfortable home win, for the visitors hardly had a look in during that time. Their attack was bogged down by attempting the short-passing game down the centre of a field which was little more than a sea of mud. Then Portsmouth realized that this method of progression would get them nowhere and opened out their play, with the result that the home defence began to look far from its usual solid self.
Portsmouth though so little in the game at this stage, proved adept at turning desperate defence into penetrative attack. Their first goal (15 minutes) was a perfect example Harris drifted into the middle as Henderson took over on the right and was ideally positioned to head the centre past O’Neill by way of the crossbar. Failure to allow for the braking effect of the mud cost Everton a second goal three minutes after Harris effort. McGhee’s long clearance after one of the game’s best tackles at the expense of Eglington saw Moore come across to give support of Jones. They each left the clearance to the other, with the result that Henderson who like Hickson chased every possible chance throughout the whole ninety minutes was able to accept a gift goal. Hickson frequently exposed Reid’s lack of speed and made a number of creditable efforts to retrieve his side’s fortunes. Unfortunately the rest of the attack made little headway against Portsmouth’s strong rearguard. The home covering which has been a feature of Everton’s defensive work in most games this season was again at fault with Portsmouth’s third goal in the thirty-fifth minute
Another right wing read caught them napping and Gordon was totally unchallenged as he chipped ball past O’Neill from Harris low centre. Parker’s goal with the second portion barely under way and the only one several openings which he accepted came from McNamara’s accurate centre. The winger looked to have run into trouble as he was faced by two defenders. He dragged the ball back to outwit then and Parker scored with a close range header. Hickson was denied the reward which he display deserved when Reid turned aside his header with a fist in the finest goalkeeping style. Referee Overton awarded a penalty, and was then persuaded to consult the linesman by the Portsmouth players, who contended that Eglington’s centre had been made from behind the line.
Justice was done when he agreed with the referee’s decision and Jones gave Uprichard no chance with the kick his fourth success of the season from the penalty spot. This goal came with thirty-two minutes of an always entertaining game remaining and afterwards Uprichard was given ample opportunity to show why he is Ireland’s International goalkeeper. Not all his saves were difficult, due to an excellent sense of anticipation, but two in particularly, from a short-range McNamara header and a long shot by Farrell were out of the top drawer. Apart from lapse which contributed to the second goal, Moore continued his recent excellent displays. Indeed all fout full backs were worthy of the highest praise though Donovan did not really get to grips with the elusive Harris until the second half. Jones was not his usual self and had a few harder problems to solve than that posed by the quick-moving Henderson who vied with Harris as his side’s best player. Hickson had a hard but fair tussle with Reid, and with better support from the rest of the line might have saved his side the point, which their galliant second half display warranted. Eglington could make little headway against McGhee, who for one who has only been in First division football for four months showed infinite promise.
March 28, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Despite their defeat by Portsmouth the southern side’s fifth victory in a six-post-war visit to Goodison Park, Everton chances of occupying one of the top four positions at the end of the season remain reasonably good. Had the rearguard’s covering been of its usual high standard, at least one or more of Portsmouth’s goal could have been prevented. As it was the scorers of the first and third, Harris and Gordon were completely unmarked when the ball came to them and no forward worthy of the name misses such chances. The second from Henderson was a perfect example of a player gaining reward for his chance and refusal to give up the chase even when his quiet appears hopeless. A moment’s lapse by Moore and Jones, both of whom failed to clear McGhee’s long punt, gave the Portsmouth leader an unexpected opportunity.
Forwards Off Colour
Though the Blues’ defence must shoulder some of the blame for this defeat, the attack rarely showed the form produced in the mid-week game with Huddersfield. They found it extremely difficult to carve out openings against a strong and resolute rearguard. Even when they did get through they found Unrichard in his best form. The Irishman made many excellent saves, none better than those from McNamara and Farrell during Everton’s almost incessant second half pressure. But, as so often remarked, territorial superiority counts for nothing unless the ball is pit into the net more frequently than the opposition. With much less of the play and fewer scoring chances. Portsmouth netted three times while Everton had only two goals to show for all their effort. Parker’s scoring header from McNamara’s accurate centre immediately after the restart put new life into the Blues and for a time the Pompey-defence was reduced to a state completely foreign to its first-half coolness and composure. Dickinson and Phillips helped a great deal in stemming the Everton tide and the only other time Uprichard was beaten was by Jones’s penalty in the 58th minute.
Taped –Too Late
The Blues defence had a comparatively easy passenger in the second half, as Pompey were confined to their own penalty area for long stretches. Harris who had previously been his side’s danger man found that Donovan had him” taped” after the interval, but unfortunately for Everton the little winger had by then done sufficient damage to give his side victory. Hickson was too often left to battle away single-handed, in the attack none of the other members of which had a really good day. He had many clashes with Reid and frequently exposed the older man’s lack of speed without the resting the line being able to take advantage of his many offerings. McGhee and Mansell kept tight hold on Eglington and McNamara though the latter made the first goal and did better after the interval following a first half in which he rarely shone. The comparative lack of success of Fielding and Parker was due in no small measure to the excellence of Phillips and Dickinson the Portsmouth wing-halves. Though beaten Everton were far from disgraced and with a little fortune might have taken the point which they deserved.
SPOTLIGHT NOW TURNS ON EVERTON
March 29, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
With the excitement of the Grand National now left behind most of the sporting fraternity on Merseyside have already turned their attention to Everton’s prospects of winning the championship of the First Division of the Football League. Everton’s home defeat by Portsmouth last Saturday was a decided blow to their chances but it by no means put them out of the running. With 38 points from thirty-three matches Everton occupy fourth position in the League table, four points behind Chelsea, the present leaders, who have played thirty-five matches and three points behind Wolverhampton Wanderers, second in the table who have played thirty-four games. Portsmouth are third with the same number of points as Everton but with a better goal average.
Four at Home
The Goodison Park side’s remaining nine fixtures include four at home and maximum points from these and a good share of their five away engagements may well see the team finish at the head of their division. Everton’s programme for the remainder of the season is v. Blackpool (a), Newcastle United (h), Tottenham H. (h), Newcastle United (a), Bolton (a), Charlton (h), Sunderland (a), Aston Villa (h) and Leciester (a).
ASTON VILLA RES 0, EVERTON RES 3
March 31, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton were superior in all departments. Potts was main-spring of an attack that had lively wingers in Wainwright and Canavan, who were well supported by the half-backs. Wainwright and Potts scored for Everton from delightful forward movements within the first ten minutes. Everton had to wait until the eighty-fifth minute to increase their lead. Then Potts headed through after Lewis’s header had rebounded from the crossbar, following a Wainwright free kick.
March 31, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Blackpool make one change for their home engagement against Everton. McKenna coming in at outside right for Matthews, who will be on duty for England against Scotland at Wembley. Otherwise the side is the same as that which defeated Leicester City a fortnight ago and reads. Blackpool; Farm; Gratrix, Garrett; Fenton, Johnston, Kelly (H); McKenna, Taylor, Mortensen, Mudle, Kerry. Blackpool have been doing much better during the past month or so and though they are by no means safe from relegation yet, there is now a more optimistic outlook at Bloomfield Road. Manager Joe Smith has had a worrying time. On top of the disappointment results, several of his players have at one time or another this season expressed a wish to move. Happily these requests have been withdrawn in the case of Stanley Mortensen and Ernie Taylor and with seven points from their last five engagements the position is not quite as worrying as it was. While Blackpool hope for maximum reward from Everton’s visit to still further strengthen their chances of avoiding relegation the Blues need a victory just as much if they are to maintain their challenge to the League leaders. With so much at stake for both clubs in a Bloomfield Road game will be no insipid end-of-the-season affair.