GOODISON PARK TIT-BIT
March 1, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton offer they supporters as unusual and most attractive tit-bit tomorrow when they fill an otherwise blank day –due to Manchester United being in the Cup-with a visit from one of the leading Czechoslovakian teams, Banik F.C, at Ostrava. As the Banik touring party of seventeen contains no fewer than twelve Czech internationals, several of whom have many caps to their credit, it is obvious that they are a side of considerable merit. I am told they are one of the best teams in their own country, that they finished fourth in the Czech First Division last year, and are third this season, with approximately half of the programme completed. They have at various times defeated leading clubs from Hungary, Brazil, Russia and other countries who have visited Ostrava when on tour. This game give us an idea of the standard of League football in Czechoslovakia. If what I am advised is correct, Banik promise to be well up to the standard of our average First Division teams. They come from the main coal mining area of Czechoslovakia, and are the “Newcastle United” of their country. Like many Continental sides, their players are not full time footballers. Their captain Jirl Krizak, is a factory technician; another is an architect, two are woodworkers, one is the manager of a State Mine, and the rest are drawn from various walks of commercial and industrial life.
Another Bill Dean
Micek their inside left, was leading goal scorer of the Czech First Division last season, and a man who presumably ranks in the Bill Dean class, for he scores most of his goals from headers. Apart from the informative angle which games against foreign sides either of club or international standard, always provide there is an additional point of interest attached to Banik’s visit to Goodison. Wales are to play Czechoslovakia in the qualifying rounds at the World Cup later this year and it is probable that some of the stars of the Banik team may take part in that game. Wales will doubtless have representatives at Goodison tomorrow to weigh up the likely form of their World Cup opposition. Everton’s experiment attack will also have its point of interest to the home supporters for Jimmy Harris has another run at outside right –he had one game there last season –Gauld leads the attack, and reserve players Thomas and Haughey get a chance to show their ability in the inside forward position. Another youngster also gets his opportunity for Meagan comes in at left half, Farrell switching to his old position. It remains to be seen whether this line out will show more punch than we have seen in recent matches. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Gauld, Haughey, Eglington. Banik; Bonedikt; Gndracka, Nemoik, Crilk, Michns, Recek, Mikeska, Wiscek, Krizak, Micek, Zavalsky.
March 2, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton’s friendly match against Banik, Ostrava at Goodison Park may lack the sharp tang of League fare but should have a piquant flavor of its own. It affords a rare opportunity of seeing a top class Continental side in action, several of whose players will probably represent their country against Wales in the World Cup and also of judging how far advanced are some of Everton’s most promising youngsters. Meagan, Haughey, and Thomas all have a chance to press claims to recognition, while two rather more experienced players, Gauld and Harris (J) adopt positions they have not previously occupied but for which they seem eminently sulted. It is truly a match of many Intriguing angles. Teams; Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Gauld, Haughey, Eglington. Banik; Bonedikt; Gndracka, Nemoik, Crilk, Michns, Recek, Mikeska, Wiscek, Krizak, Micek, Zavalsky.
EVERTON’S NEW MEN QUICKLY FIND THE TARGET
March 2, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton 3, Banik Ostrava 2
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones, and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Gauld (Fielding 45), Haughey and Eglington, forwards. Banik; Benedikt, goal; Recek and Jahodo, backs; Ondracko, Michno, and Crlik, half-backs; Mikeska, Weicek, Krizak (captain), Micek, and Sediek, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.P. Hartley (Birmingham). The Czechoslovakian club, Banik, Ostrava today’s Goodison visitors arrived in London on Thursday, did some training at Millwall’s ground yesterday and then travelled up by road to Southport. They made several changes. Everton introduced three young players of promise in Meagan, Thomas and Haughey. Eglington put a long centre over to Harris, whose centre was pushed out by goalkeeper Benedikt and Thomas raced up and hit a ferocious shot into the net at two minutes. The Banik defence appeared a little slow in tackling in this case, but you can imagine their surprise two minutes later when they went two down. A nice ball came up from Donovan on to Harris. He put it through to Gauld, who used his speed to hold off a challenge before slipping the ball to Haughey, who simply side-footed it into the net. So far we had not seen any thing of the renowned Continental style football. In fact any advance they attempted to make was cut short y the quick interceptions of the Everton defenders.
Some of Banik’s inter-passing was exceptionally good but it lacked speed which enabled the Everton defence to cut it up before it really became dangerous. Krizak started a movement which had great possibilities, for he hoodwinked the Everton challengers and slipped the ball over to Micek, I really thought we would see a shot from his inside forward, but the preferred to pass to Sedick, who sliced the ball wide. So far Dunlop had been merely a spectator. This could not be said of Benedikt, Thomas who is very strong on the ball, made one collection, cleverly beat his man and then shot hard and true, but the Banik goalkeeper pulled off a solid save. This was my first view of Thomas and O liked what I saw. He was able to beat his man, make a pass and had a hefty shot in his boot. The Banik goal had a lucky escape when Recek struck his foot out to stop a shot from Thomas who had his goalkeeper beaten. It must be many a long day since Dunlop had such an easy match. He had not to make one solitary save in the whole of the first half. Half-time; Everton 2, Banik Ostravia nil. It was not Banik who brought on a substitute but Everton. Fielding coming in for Gauld at centre forward. There was a cheer every time the ball went forward to Fielding, but it was Harris who made the next shot of note –a fierce drive just wide. Then we saw Sediek chased by Donovan who must have thought he was playing in a Cup-tie because he made no bones about giving away a corner. This was cleared at the expense of a second corner then back came Everton, into the Banik penalty area, where Fielding with a back heel to Haughey opened the way for a third goal but the Scot’s shot was well off the mark. At the 50th minute Thomas scored Everton’s third, Eglington made a centre and Thomas cracked the ball into the net as Benedkt came out to try and smother his shot. Dunlop was still waiting for his first shot but Benedikt was constantly kept on his toes. He saw a Farrell shot pass outside and then tipped over the bar a good drive by Haughey. Thomas should have made it four but lifted the ball high over the crossbar. Weicek did get the ball in the net for Banik, but was obviously offside. It was then that the Continental side were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area for hands. This looked to me to be worth a penalty. The kick caused a little stir and Dunlop made a save with his foot but he need not have bothered for there had been a prior infringement.
Banik were showing a little fore fire, but it only blazed up for a few minutes before Donovan came chasing up to deliver a long distance drive which Benedikt saved. It was still one-way traffic and when Meagan shot he had it blocked by Recek, but Benedikt had gone down in anticipation. There was a tendency on the part of the Banik forwards to try one more pass instead of a shot. In the main it had been all Everton but the Continental side had not played as well as I had antipated. The first real shot that Banik made found its billet and it was a volley which flashed into the net, giving Dunlop no chance, whatever, it was Weicek who made it, at the 72nd minute. There looked to be another Banik goal on the horizon, Tansey saved the day but only for a moment. At the 75th minute, Donovan fouled Krizak and a penalty was the only award, Wiicek took this and shot well out of Dunlop’s range. Official attendance 26,120.
• Everton “C” 3, Lonol 1
• Everton “B” 2, Man C “B” 6
• Liverpool “A” 2, Everton “A” 1
MAN UNITED RES V. EVERTON RES
March 2, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Manchester United Res;- Clayton, goal; Fulton and Bent, backs; Goodwin, Cope and Whitefoot, half-backs; Webster, Doherity, Dawson, Charlton, and Scanlon, forwards. Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Sutherland and Leeder, backs; King, Sanders, and Smith, half-backs; Tomlinson, Mayers, Kirby, Vizard, and Williams (J), forwards. Referee; Mr. H.L.P. Holmes (Derby). Opening play was all in favour of the visitors, and wingers Tomlinson and Williams tested the Manchester defence. When the home men did attack Scanlon was the danger man and he hit the Everton upright. From the visitors might well have scored for they raced to the other end where Clayton made a full length save from Kirby. Clayton saved again at full length from Tomlinson at the foot of the post. After 15 minutes Manchester opened the scoring. Charlton beating O’Neill as the keeper advanced. Straight away the visitors might have been level, but Mayers had the misfortune to hit the Manchester upright with a strong shot. Everton, however, after some pressure drew level when Mayers beat Clayton with a grand effort. Five minutes later Doherty headed a second for Manchester and Scanlon scored a third. Half-time; Manchester United Res 3, Everton Res 1.
Everton “C”v. Lobol
Everton had more of the early midfield play but were unable to press their advantage. Lobol improved and J. Gilfoyle hit the Everton post with a 30 yard drive. The Lobol keeper saved well from Dixon and after 35 minutes Keeley but Everton ahead with a shot that ratcheted off the underneath of the Lobol bar. Half-time; Everton “C” 1, Lobol nil.
LUXURY ALONG LINE TO FAME
March 2, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
There are clubs in English football that are steeped in tradition. This has been built up over the years by many factors usually associated with famous clubs; Firstly the many honours the club has won since its foundation, secondly the brand of football served up by the club, and also the famous names or personalities who have wore the clubs colours down the years and brought honour and distinction to their club and country by their prowess on the field. Another factor that tends to add to the fame of a soccer club in its majestic stadium complete with playing surface stands, offices, dressing rooms &c. All the above ingredients are included in the set-up of the mighty Arsenal Stadium at Highbury. Perhaps this is the reason why I always look forward to visiting Arsenal with the Blues more than any other visiting ground in the country, despite the fact that I have never yet been on a winning side at Highbury. Most of the really well-known football grounds, I have visited have been planned carefully to the best of the club’s means, for the comfort of spectators and players alike, but Arsenal’s visitors dressing-room and bathroom are the finest I have seen in England on the stadiums in which I have been on the Continent. On the beautiful mahogany-seating where the players sit to don their boots, one can enjoy the luxury of heating one’s stocking and foot before putting on a football boot through the medium of an heated modern floor, a luxury that was more than welcome last Saturday in view of the shocking weather conditions. The bathrooms and toilets in the visitors dressing rooms and not only more modern, but in a class of their own, as compared to any other ground I have visited. The playing conditions under which our game with Arsenal was played, although not the worst I have experienced, were really atrocious. However, I suppose we were lucky, as judging by reports, the weather seems to have been far worse here in Liverpool.
Whenever these conditions occur, the old argument usually arises as to whether or not League football should be abandoned during the really bad months of the winter and the season extended to the summer months. Some maintain that on grounds such as last-week-end in most places, the game ceases to be one of skill and becomes farcical or fantastic with players trudging through the mud and sliding in all directions and the ball playing all sorts of funny tricks in the wretched conditions. A club’s promotion relegation or Cup hopes are very often wretched under conditions such as last Saturday which are very unsuitable for good football. On the other hand in view of our climate in this country it would be very hard for those responsible for fixing our League programme to determine during which months of the winter to call a halt to football and furthermore, if we were to play in June of July the season would be altogether be too long despite the break.
Adds To Thrills
Personally I would far rather leave the soccer season as it is at present. If we were to play only on fairly dry grounds a lot of the glorious uncertainly of the game might disappear. I have participated in some really thrilling games in wretched conditions and on some occasions-I have had the feeling that the bad conditions have helped to add to the thrills and excitement. Yes, I believe the long arduous season we have in English football at present without any break in mid-winter is best. If finally, results in League champions and Cup winners who have battled their way to triumph through fair weather and foul through mud, snow, sunshine and hail, a feat champions should be able to accomplished and don’t forget it is only occasionally that we experience such conditions as last Saturday. In our game at Highbury the Blues played really good football and we were all disappointed that we didn’t return at least with a point. our old failing of being unable to create openings for shots in and around our opponents penalty area was still prevalent. All within the club are well aware o this failing of the Blues, and everything is being done to improve matters in this respect.
CZECH CAPTAIN SAYS; EVERTON WERE SO VERY FAST
March 4, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ian Hargreaves
Everton 3, Banik Ostrava 2
If Everton’s speed and fitness have not always aroused the admirations of their regular supporters they certainly impressed their Czechoslovakian opponents from Ostrava on Saturday. The Banik Ostrava skipper cheerful J. Krizak, told me after the game (with the help of an interpreter) that he was quite amazed by the tempo of the opening minutes. The Everton players pace at the start took us completely by surprise he said. “We had no time to settle down and were two goals behind before we got into our stride.” “I think we would have done better if the match had gone on for 120 minutes not 90. We were more confident near the end, and were just beginning to feel at home. Asked what he thought of Goodison Park, Mr. Krizak said “It is magnificent. We have nothing quite so large in Ostrava, I thought the crowd were most sporting, and we have all enjoyed playing here very much.” The Banik team certainly left a favourable impression behind them though their comparative slowness and reluctance to shoot gave them little serious hope of victory. Two goals down in the first four minutes they fell further behind soon after the interval and their final scores were more of a consolation than anything else.
Cheered on by the crowd Wiecek scored in the seventy-third minute while most of the Everton defence stood and watched, and the same player added another goal five minutes later from a penalty. Except for this late flourish Banik rarely threatened danger because they kept the ball far too close and persisted with the old Continental habit of trying to walk it into the net. Some spectacular shooting during the pre-match kick around arouse hopes that they might gave Everton a lesson in finishing, but these were never fulfilled. In midfield the visitors were most entertaining. Adopting the now familiar formation of attacking centre half, with the left back watching Everton’s centre forward, they initiated many delightful movements that deserved a better fate than to fizzle out in the penalty area. Krizak won all hearts with his fantastic ball control –on one occasion he beat three opponents with a bewildering array of ricks in which he did everything but put the ball in his pocket. Recek performed prodigies in an overworked defence, and goalkeeper Benedikt though looking older than his twenty-seven years, made many number of dazzling saves to keep the score within bounds.
By contrast, Everton almost unrecognizable in golden shorts with black and gold stockings were less flamboyant but much more efficient. They were faster, stronger in the tackle and so much more dangerous that with Benedikt they might have run into double figures. Thomas had a most impressive first outing using the ball intelligently and scoring twice the first with the sort of hard low shot we seldom see from an Everton forward. Haughey also did well, getting the second goal from Gauld’s pass while Meagan though not overworked confirmed the good work one has heard of him. The experiment of playing Harris J. on the right wing was a distinct success, and his speed seemed more effective there that in the middle. He combined well with Thomas and I for one would like to see this pair in action again against stiffer opposition. Gauld also in unaccustomed role did quite well at centre forward though his heading was hardly up to standard. Unfortunately he had to retire at half time with a pulled muscle, and in the second half he was replaced by Fielding whose unorthodox approach to the position tickled the spectators sense of humour if it intended to slow down the attack.
EVERTON RES IMPRESS
March 4, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Manchester United Res 5, Everton Res 2
The score suggests that it was an easy thing for Manchester. Such was not the case. In fact Everton should have turned round in the lead instead of being 3-1 down, goals having been scored by Charlton, Doherty, and Scanlon for Manchester and Mayers for Everton. Unfortunately several gilt-edged chances were missed. When Kirby made it 3-2 twenty minutes from the finish the game was wide open with the visitors being on top but two quick goals by Dawson and Charlton made the game safe for United. The post-war record crowd of 13,896 for a Central League match at Old Trafford were greatly impressed by the Everton display.
THE EVERTON YOUNGSTERS HAD MUCH TO COMMEND IN DEBUT GAME
March 4, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Friendly matches are not the yardstick to make serious judgment on a newcomer, so that it behoves one to dread warily when assessing a youngster ability but I must admit I liked the play off the three young Everton halves who were drafted into the senior side for the match with the Czechoslovakian side, Banik Ostrava at Goodison Park on Saturday but before making final judgment on Thomas, Haughey and Meagan. I would like to see them against stars opposition. To be perfectly frank, I was disappointed with the visitors for I had expected something better from this Continental side reputed to be one of the best sides in Czechoslovakia. I had expected fast football, beautiful movement, perfect control, but I sane none of these things which is associated with Continental football. Thus, the main interest for me was the display of the Everton youngsters, and the introduction of Gauld, as centre forward and Harris’s appearance on the wing. I have not seen such a lively Everton forward line for some time, particularly so in the first half when they simply crushed Banik out of the game by fast and entertaining football. I wonder did those two early goals take the heart out of the visitors? It could have been just that for apart from some clever ball control, they produced very little in the way of combination.
Yet, they have quite a good record against other Continental sides, but they were no match for Everton, despite the narrowness of the score. They got their two goals at a time when Everton had eased up-one from the penalty spot. One of their greatest weaknesses was their refusal to have a go when they sighted the goal. Many times I saw a man make a pass when a shot was called for. To emphasize their lack of shot I have only to tell you that the game was well into the second half before Dunlop had to make a save. Weicek’s first goal was beautifully taken and his penalty goal was also too well placed for Dunlop to save. This was my first view of Meagan, Thomas, and Haughey, although I have heard quite a lot about them, I liked what I saw for even against a team which did not tackle with the determination one sees in First Division football they showed much ability. Haughey –propounded Hockey has been criticized for his slowness but I did not see any sign of it. Furthermore, slowness of foot can be offset by quickness of thought. Haughey scored a goal, a very nice side-tap into the net but I was also impressed with his midfield play. Thomas got two goals. This young man is very strong on the ball, has an eye for an opening and shoots with power when the opportunity arises. His goals apart Thomas made Benedikt act smartly to check this rampageous youngster. Meagan was sometimes in coming into the game but when he did je had the look of a good prospect with more experience. Gauld brought a brightness into the attack which has been lacking for some time. His speed often upset the Banik defence and his wandering to the wing was often a source of worry to the visitors. He made some fine openings for his inside men but a knock reduced his effectiyness and he did not resume for the second half. Fielding coming in at centre forward. Fielding’s mastery of the ball was the equal of anything the Contintials had to offer. Everton’s defence was quite capable of dealing with this Banik forward line, which was never a threat until Everton allowed them to be so. Donovan might have been playing in the cup final. There is no such thing as a friendly for him. It is foreign to his nature to play all fancy football. It was an interesting game despite its one-sidedness and I was glad of the opportunity of seeing some of the Everton youngsters who may one day be first team members, I don’t think they would let the side down.
UNITED’S CHANGES MAY NOT SIMPLITY EVERTON’S TASK
March 5, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Manchester United is the name on the lips of every football follower these days, and even though the all-conquering team from Old Trafford will bear an unfamiliar look in tomorrow’s re-arranged game with Everton at Goodison Park, their attraction is still sufficient to ensure a bumper mid-week gate. Although United have such a commanding lead in the First Division table – they are five points ahead of Spurs for the same number of games played –they cannot afford to forfeit points if they are to maintain their lead. United also have their eyes on the Cup final and European Cup victory in which, allied to the championship, would give them the finest treble in the game’s history. It is a great opportunity, and they are not likely to take tomorrow’s game too lightly. The men Matt Busby crafts in will be keen to show their claims for further and more regular consideration, and though there is no doubt that the help of the regular stars will be missed there is such fine reserve talent available from the Old Trafford assembly line that United’s line-up tomorrow is likely to give Everton plenty to think about. In 1948 United came to Goodison with one eye on Wembley and a side deprived of several regular members. Everton although led by the sharp-shooting Dodds and full of craft at inside forward where Stevenson and Fielding operated, had a tremendous job before putting through two-nil. The Manchester side has altered completely since those days, but the all-out spirit remains, regardless of what greater prizes lie ahead. Everton will have to go all the way again tomorrow. Football is so much in the blood of manager Matt Busby and his players that no game, no matter how relatively, important, is ever lightly regarded. The only time they take things easily is after victory is assured, when there may be some understandable slackening. That does not mean that tomorrow’s game is relatively important. The pulling power is added to by the fact that this is the deciding game between the clubs this term. Everton having won at Old Trafford in the League and lost there in the fifth round of the Cup. Watching the Bournemouth-United game on Sunday afternoon, I was full of admiration for the football played by the Third Division side, but even more taken by the excellent play of the Manchestrer team who so splendidly triumphed over the handicap of the injury to Jones. When in possession there was no haphazard booting except on occasions of defensive urgency when the need for first-time methods was apparent. Everyone held the ball until a colleague was in position to take it and having parted to good effect, the man to have made the pass was off at once into position for further development. This is an elementary form of football, but it is one which is often neglected. Everton will have to keep the ball and themselves on the move tomorrow if they are to bring off a victory and recapture the laurels lost against Preston. Excluding the match against Charlton, Everton have scored only nine times in their last eight league matches. While this is a better record than in their most shot-shy days it is still one which could do with a good deal of improvement.
The late George Green often mentioned to me how much he would like to re-create his “Everton scoring machine” which depicted a tank, manned by Dean, bombarding a hapless goalkeeper with shot after shot. Everyone would like to see a duplicate in action these days. While one would have preferred to see United at full strength tomorrow, it may be almost as interesting to see how the men who fill the vacancies shape. They have had few opportunities to show their wares this season. Tommy Taylor, and Mark Jones ate non-starters through injury, while Edwards, Colman, Foulkes, and Charlton will be on duty the same day for the Army against the Navy. United’s reserve strength is such, however, that they can stand wholesale deprivation of their regular stars far better than any other team I know, and Everton will have no easy task whatever eleven Matt Busby puts in the field.
EVERTON WILL BE CHASING SHADOWS
March 6, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Manchester United Manager Matt Busby, wrestled last night with the problem of finding his best team to play Everton –for the third time this season –this afternoon. From the players who have gone so far towards the cup’s three-pronged ambition, to win the F.A Cup, the European Cup and the League championship in the same season, he has been forced to strike out, for one reason or another; Taylor, Jones, Edwards, Charlton, Colman, Foulkes, and Viollet. The club’s Reserve team being typically competent it is certain that Everton’s task today will remain formidable but whatever team represents them the match still has a great deal of appeal. Were Everton to win this rubber match and so score a League double they could never live down the fact that they had “chased” a shadow United eleven. Yet Everton need the points –and so do Manchester United. Preston North End are running so well in the League championship (with no Cup commitments) the possibility of their closing the gap is one which will not e lost on Matt Busby. With an away game at Birmingham on Saturday and some fairly formidable matches to come Everton are not completely out of the range of relegation.
In non-conscription days United would have been able to play their strongest team. But the Army of today is soccer minded and they rate their annual game against the Navy as of greater importance than the League match at Goodison Park. That is why Everton will not be called to face such men as Edwards, Charlton, Colman and Foukles. Everton have been wise, I think, to bring in at inside right young Eddie Thomas, who made his debut against the Prague club, Banik Ostrava, last Saturday. In the past the club has tended to blood too many young players at the same time. their one-at-a-time introduction of them is more sensible- and experts suggest that none can say in fewer than about half a dozen matches, whether a young developing player will make the grade or not. Rea returns to the half-back line and Gauld continues at centre-forward. Despite United’s many changes it should be a very fine match, and a close one. But Everton should win. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Rea; Harris J, Thomas, Gauld, Fielding and Eglington.
WOOD THE BARRIER TO EVERTON
March 6, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
United at Goodison
Although Manchester United were well below full strength only five of their regularly first team being on duty. There was quite a good crowd for today’s re-arranged game with Everton at Goodison Park. Thomas was making his debut in a League match for Everton. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Rea, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Gauld, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Manchester United; Wood, goal; Byrne and Bent, backs; Goodwin, Blanchflower and McGuiness, half-backs; Berry, Whelan, Webster, Docherty, and Pegg, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Haworth. United were away quickly on the right only for smart interception by Jones to pull them up. An Everton move started by Thomas looked good until Eglington pulled his final centre yards behind his on running colleagues but an electrifying run by Gauld saw his cross pass to Eglington produce a shot which Wood saved low down. Another sortie by Gauld produced a shooting chance for Harris, whose afford struck Bent’s leg. Everton displayed some neat combination and in the early stages none did better than Thomas, who showed good command of the ball and appreciation of the needs of his colleagues. A faulty clearance by Donovan which went straight to Berry threatened danger until Jones stepped in. United were now settling down and were by no means outplayed.
Out of Reach
Webster might have done better had he acted to go on his own after dispossessing Jones, rather than pass to Berry. In any case he put the ball out of the winger’s reach. Webster did better when feeding Berry’s moment later, and from the winger’s low cross Whelan’s shot stuck a defender before soaring over the bar. Whelan had to receive attraction and Thomas also had to be attended to after accidentally receiving a boot in his chest. Gauld was leading the home forwards with dash and enthusiasm and Blanchflower was having all his work cut out to keep him in check. Harris dribbled into trouble when a first time shot might have paid dividends and in spite of the territorial superiority Everton had not seriously troubled Wood. At last, however, Everton carved out an opening when Fielding back-heeled a pass to Thomas who slipped it to Harris then at inside right. Harris neatly tricked Bent and Blanchflower and from six yards looked a certain scorer until Wood leapt across to foil him with a fine one-handed save.
A minute later Wood again saved brilliantly, tipping a drive from Fielding over the bar. He followed this with a one-handed punch away from a curling centre by Harris. United now looked a little anxious. A clearance by Jones from near the centre circle provided yet another opening for Harris. Instead of shooting, however, he elected to put the ball into the middle, where Blanchflower had an easy interception. A bad pass by Gauld was the starting point of a United movement which took the ball three parts of the length of the field, without an Everton man touching it before Webster lost control and Dunlop cleared. Doherty missed a great chance by firing hurriedly over the bar. He made ample amends at the 28th minute, however when he adroitly slipped the ball through for Webster to give United the lead with an angled shot which went in off the foot of the post. A minute later Pegg had the ball in the net again from the same spot off the same upright but the referee had spotted some infringement which escaped most people and the goal was disallowed.
United on Top
United were now the more aggressive side, always ready to shoot. They forced three corners in quick succession, although none of them came to anything. Right on half-time Farrell hit the bar. Half-time; Everton nil, Manchester United 1.
DIGGING INTO THEIR CAPITAL RESERVES
March 7, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Manchester United 2
When is a reserve not a reserve? When he’s a Manchester United player. Thus, the Busby shadow eleven, minus such great artistes as Edwards, Viollet, Colman, Foulkes, Taylor and Jones, were able to take the rubber match against Everton this season with football little less attractive or effective than is seen when they are at full strength. All told there were five deputizing reserves. From what we saw of them yesterday everyone of them would get a first team place elsewhere –and keep it. This was no shadow eleven, no skeleton side. They played as though they had been together all season. They played with understanding with fire, with fight and (unlike Everton) with an eye to the anything-but obvious pass. Not by zone miracle of good fortune have United gathered together, so many young men blending, as these reserves did, into patterns weaved by their so-called seniors. No, praise Mr. Manager for finding such players for developing them soundly and for teaching them all the football tenets, not least that which says that team comes first. They won deservedly if rather belatedly. Few would suggest that Everton, hard as they tried, could compare with the standards of this make-shift team which strolled (as Dan Donovan has explained elsewhere) into the right places at the right time and for the right purpose. Contrast Everton’s laboured, rather stretchy movements and the number of times Everton passed accurately (without having done anything to disturb the other defence) and you cannot help feeling that a one-goal margin was less than the winners deserved. United must assuredly have won more heavily had not Dunlop in the Everton goal played superbly. The virtue of many of his saves was that he had to make spilt-second changes of direction to have any hope of reaching the ball. For this reason, I think his saves were even better than they looked. That the football customer is nearly always right was proved when 32,000 turned up to see a match which looked as though it might at best, provide Everton with the hollowest of triumphant. The fans must have sensed there would be no easy pickings for Everton. The first ten minutes play confirmed this. Then Everton for the first (and as it proved) only time gained the initiative and looked as though they might revenge that Cup defeat. Young Thomas in a very good opening to his League debut put Harris in possession a few feet outside the six yards line, Harris took careful aim; shot wide of Wood and to everyone’s surprise was denied a goal by a save as the goalkeeper could only hope to bring off once in a hundred times. The crowd roared; Everton caught a moment of inspiration and Fielding from a pass at the second attempt by Eglington, strode on to the ball and drove it just under the bar. Again Wood saved brilliantly –this time with the tips of his fingers. Except for a Farrell shot which struck the bar these were Everton’s most menacing moments; from that point onwards it was Everton trailing and United in command with many a chance offered and only two taken. Oddly Doherty –the only United forward who did not reach the high standard of the rest of the line – had a part in both goals. It was his pass to Webster which enabled that Welshman to hit a shot just inside the far post at the 29th minute a minute later Pegg, from a pass by Goodwin had found the net in almost the same way. Referee Howarth of Blackburn disallowed this goal because Pegg was adjusted offside-a hard decision and one mystifying others besides United’s following. It was an uncommon match for several reasons. The referee for example made Gauld kick off three times before he was satisfied that the job had been done according to law at the start of the second half. At 55 minutes Everton drew level by as laughably freakish a goal as I’ve seen for seasons. Harris made and took the corner which produced the score. Wood, for once missed the ball as it crossed his goal and Fielding, stumbling backwards was half way to earth when the ball dropped plumb on his forehead and rebounded quietly into the net.
Then at 75 minutes Docherty cutting rudely into Everton’s close passing defensive movement won possession, slipped the ball to Webster and took his share in United’s congratulation for a goal which Dunlop had no chance whatever of preventing. Before and after the decisive goal Dunlop denied United by using lightning reflexes when he seemed destined to be beaten. He can recall his three games this season against Manchester United with special pride. Everton’s attack was made to appear inconsequential. Gauld was always in the grip of Blanchflower (J) who marshaled his defence magnificently and was so dominant on the ground and in the air one questioned whether or not he has better claims to a first team place than mark Jones. On his right Blanchflower had the tall, young Goodwin, a Lancashire fast bowler during the summer. This man played with veteran aplomb; using the ball wisely and doing his job so effortlessly and artistically he resembled another Charles Buchan at work. Even more outstanding was Whelan, whose control of the ball is as well nigh as perfect as Finney’s. He dummied and danced his way through an Everton defence which was made to look ordinary. In close combat with Donovan he did the most disconcerting thing –and cheekily. Berry on the right saved his riotous best for one run near the end. A run in which he beat two men in the space of less than ten yards before clipping the ball across like a master.
All Too Good
Pegg, too was all too good for Everton whether on the wing of in the centre momentarily. And Roger Byrne has never played more ostensibly. Bent, his partner, fitted the defences admirably. Thus prospectively all goes right for United and little goes right for Everton. Gauld came nearest to a goal when he charged Wood with the goalkeeper in possession. Fielding certainly produced innumerable chances for Harris but that player has not yet learned when to pull the ball back squarely to a partner ready to help. Even Tansey, usually so good in every respect was not yesterday finding his man. Thomas, speeded up, could be a very good player. He is sizeable he has ability and for twenty minutes he could not have done better. But Everton want a victory and quickly and it is hard to see, playing as they are where one is to be found. Meantime their headache is no less painful than that of the behind-goal spectator who took the full force of a Whelan drive on the side of his face. He needed attention from St. John Ambulance men. Everton may need some first-aid treatment, too after losing four times in a row – disregarding for the moment, their friendly match.
EVERTON’S FORWARDS GIVE ANOTHER POOR DISPLAY
March 7, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
For some time I have been trying to stress the danger into which Everton have been gradually drifting and the need for something to be done very quickly about the woeful ineptitude of their forward line. If they go on much longer as they have been doing they are not going to finish any higher than the bottom half-dozen. It could even be that they might yet have a struggle to avoid being companions in-distress with Charlton Athletic. This column has referred to the old story so long and so frequently that I do not propose to labour the point unduly today. Suffice it to say that to all intents and purposes Everton yesterday did not have a forward line after the first 20 minutes. True five players were named as such on the programme –five struggling and straggling units who never produced a single scoring effort worth mentioning after Manchester United had taken the lead at the 28th minute. Before that there had been three only, two of which from Harris and Fielding, produced excellent saves by Wood. The other was no more than a fair effort by Eglington which could not have been expected to beat a goalkeeper of ordinary ability. Then right on half-time, half-back Farrell hit the bar with Wood hopelessly beaten. Harris did have a useful header in the second half saved by Wood. That makes five efforts in all that were on the target. There were one or two just off it, but no team ever scored with those.
Run Off Their Feet
While United were much more frequent and powerful shooters the difference between the sides was not limited to that alone. There was not a great deal to choose between them in the first half. If Harris had scored from five yard range before United had taken the lead, maybe Everton might have put up a better show. As it was after the interval there was practically only one side in it. The Mancuncians turned in a display which saw them almost run the home team off their feet. The longer it went the more pronounced did their superiority become and in the end it was surprising that the margin of their victory was not considerably greater. It would have been but for some good saves by Dunlop, excellent defensive work by both backs and centre half Jones, good support from Farrell, and to lesser extent by Rea. Once more the Everton defence carriers of the main burden on so many occasions prevented the opposition running riot. It was a pity Rea blotted his copybook by being so lackadaisical about making a clearance 15 minutes from the end that he allowed Whelan to gain possession and lay on the winning goal for Webster. That apart, he made no serious error and did quite a lot of good work. So did Tansey, despite being against a winger of Berry’s capacity while the rest of the rearguard could rarely be faulted. Apart from one brief spell in the first half –when United got their first goal from Webster, had another disallowed for offside and for a time were well on top –the Everton defence was reasonably cool and resilient under pressure. Some of the close passing between them was more accurate than that of the forwards who put more balls to the opposition than to each other. While I have seen Everton’s defence play better, considering all they had to face they stuck it well. But –forgive me for harping on an old topic –how long can they keep on? They cracked badly against Preston. They may do so again.
Might Have Declared
It is a sad commentary on the paucity of the present, Everton team that they should lose at home to a United team which contained no fewer than six reserves. I shudder to think of what might have happened had United been at full strength and in their most devasting mood. As a Press-box colleague from Manchester put it, they would probably have declared at half-time. Thomas making his League debut started brightly, and then suffered from the general fadeout among his colleagues. But he is worth giving a run of sufficient length to show beyond argument whether he is ripe for regular senior duty. One game is no basis for judgment. Gauld was rarely seen after the first 20 minutes being blotted out by Blanchflower, Eglington did little, Harris not much more- he was far too reluctant to shoot when he had good opening in the first half-and Fielding just could not stick the pace. Though Fielding got the consolation goal when Wood completely misjudged a corner kick je knew little about it. He was falling when the ball hit him on the lead and went over the line. No wonder he looked a little bit sheepian as his colleagues congratulated him. Including the fifth round Cup-tie at Old Trafford this is the fourth successive defeat suffered by the Blues during which they have scored two goals and had nine against. They are heading for trouble as I have previously said. They may scrape clear without an anti-relegation struggle this season, possibly depending largely on what others do, as well as themselves. But unless there is a high improvement they are going to be in Queer Street next season. Whether they can solve their problems by means of some of the younger forwards from the reserve side or whether they will have t spend in the transfer market remains to be seen. By comparison, Manchester United look to be in clover. No wonder Matt Busby’s brow is clear and unruffled. To win away from home with a side which was little more than a strengthened Central league team was a fine performance. All three half-backs could take their place in any First Division team and hold their own, Blanchflower in particular was outstanding. Whelan was the schemer of the attack and a brilliant one and though Webster missed some chances he is a very useful centre forward. With reserves of this caliber United can face the future with confidence. I wish I could say the same about Everton.
EVERTON DROP GAULD, EGLINGTON, REA, AND HARRIS
March 8 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have made sweeping changes in their attack for tomorrow’s visit to Birmingham City, Gauld, Eglington, and Harris (J) are dropped, with Kirby, Williams (G.) and McNamara taking their places. There are also two alterations in the intermediate line, one of them positional, Farrell switches over to displace Rea at left-half, with Birch coming in at right-half. After recent matchetic displays by the forward line it was obvious that something had to be done. Now it remains to be seen whether the newly-constituted line will be any more successful. Two of the players recalled- McNamara and Kirby –were not the original choice for their positions at the start of the season and both have been dropped twice since they came into the team six months ago. They are, however, still the club’s joint leading marksmen both of them with seven goals. McNamara’s last appearance was on January 19, against Luton and Kirby was against West Ham in the Cup-a-week later. Graham Williams who displaces Eglington, has not previously been in the senior side this season, but made two appearances last March after joining the club from Bradford City. He is 19. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Thomas, Kirby, Fielding, Williams (G).
Birmingham who rather luckily won a stiff cup-tie against Notts Forest yesterday have not been doing very well lately but on their own ground will be difficult side to beat. Birmingham last six League engagements have yielded only one victory at Cardiff on February 2. Their only other point in this slump came from a home draw with Wolves the following week. In that time they have suffered their only home defeat of the season, Chelsea winning 1-0 at S. Andrew’s in January. Prior to that Birmingham had dropped only three points, all in drawn games in 13 home fixtures. There is plenty of shooting power in their forward line, with centre forward Eddie Brown and left winger Alex Govan providing most of it. The former after scoring only three times in his first 15 outings had subsequently brought his total to ten in a further 14 League matches. Govan who scored 13 times including three hat-tricks, in the first 14 matches of the season has since had to contend with short spells of injury and has added only four more goals since the beginning of December. Though the attack has not been functioning with its usual facility recently, the Birmingham rearguard has maintained its reputation as one of the First Division best. Only once when losing 4-0 to Arsenal at Highbury shortly before Christmas has it conceded more than three goals in any game which gives some idea of the task confronting the Everton attack.
OVERLOAD OF INEXPERIENCE?
March 9, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Leslie Edwards
Taking a leaf out of Manchester United’s book, Everton have gone nap on reserves for their match today at Birmingham. Out go Gauld, Eglington, Harris (J) and Rea, in come Kirby, Graham Williams, McNamara and Birch, with Farrell moved from right to left half back. These changes have surprised many, I am not surprised. We had knowledge, earlier this season of Everton’s introduction of too many inexperienced players. Having blooded, as recently as last Saturday, young Eddie Thomas they have now brought into their team, Kirby and Williams, two more young forwards, neither of whom is very experienced. Kirby played some brilliant games in the club’s most successful spell this season; Williams had two first team matches on his arrival from Bradford City last back-end and was then relegated to the Reserves. Although the test against Birmingham is not likely to be as severe as it would have been if Birmingham had not played a tough Cup replay on Thursday, I think Birmingham without Murphy (who scored the winning Cup goal against Notts Forest) will expose Everton’s weaknesses. The exact composition of the Birmingham attack will not be known until short before the kick-off. Gauld’s disappearance from the Everton side for the first time since he joined them last September from Charlton at a fee of £10,500 and the dropping of Harris (J) and Eglington and Rea will create a live topic for Evertonians, before and after today’s match. Harris had but two games as a right winger. Gauld two games at centre forward, a position which plainly does not suit him. No one has defeated McNamara more than I have. I am glad to see him back. But I still maintain that Everton might well have left their team basically as it was. This is no time for near-panic changes. Any failure by the chosen side must almost also naturally mean that there must be more re-shuffling prior to the League game next Saturday against West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Thomas, Kirby, Fielding and Williams (G). Birmingham from; Merrick; Hall, Green; Watson, Newman, Smith; Warhurst, Astall, Oritt, Brown, Kinsey, Finney, and Govan.
THOMAS IS “TOPS” WITH DOUBLE AT BIRMINGHAM
March 9, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Birmingham 1, Everton 3
Birmingham City; Merrick, goal; Hall and Green, backs; Newman, Smith and Warhurst, half-backs; Astall, Finney, Brown, Orrit, and Govan, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan and Tansey, backs; Birch, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; McNamara, Thomas, Kirby, Fielding, and Williams (G), forwards. Referee; Mr. R.T.E. Langdale (Darlington). Donovan had to make a determined tackle to check Govan but at the expense of a corner. But this was speedily cleared and the Birmingham danger was still apparent when Astall took a free kick. He seemed to have lost his chance when he pushed the ball low into the centre where it was blocked and the ball came right to the foot of Brown, who was quick on the turn and shot to the far side of the Everton goal, and the ball was in the net at the fourth minute, Dunlop had no chance with this one, for the ball was going away from him all the time.
The game was held up while Birch received attention and immediately the game was restarted. Everton hit back and a splendid movement between Fielding and Williams saw the latter offer Farrell who had come into a striking position hook a shot just outside the upright. Kirby was being well looked after by Smith and so far all that Merrick had to do was watch shots pass outside his woodwork. He watched carefully a long lob by Thomas swirl away into the crowd. At the other end a fast move by Birmingham saw Astall given a great chance, but he completely mis-kicked.
The Everton goalkeeper made another good save when he threw himself at a cross shot by Govan. So far Birmingham had made the better opening and had not been afraid to shoot, as witness Dunlop’s two saves in almost as many minutes. Dunlop saved a free kick taken by Govan and then Finney gave away a foul for his tackle on Williams. It had been quite interesting for there had been some good defensive play by Everton who found the Birmingham attack right on its toes ever ready to have a go when the goal came in sight. Peter Farrell had a race with half-back Warhust, who came through at a great pace and although the Everton captain conceded a corner it was the best thing he could have done for to have taken any chances at that moment might have been disastrous.
Appeal By Crowd
There was an appeal by Birmingham the crowd, not so much the players, for a penalty when Govan came to earth in the area, but the referee saw no occasion to award it and play went on and saw Everton attack. The Birmingham defence, however was very smart in covering up and once again the ball was neatly tipped back to Merrick.
Good Defensive Play
Play was stopped again, but only for a moment while Tansey received a rub on the side of the knee. At last Merrick received his first direct shot and it came from the foot of Fielding who dashes between two Birmingham defenders to take Kirby’s free kick and with his left foot forced the Birmingham goalkeeper to make a flying punch-away. The ball went out to McNamara but he was challenged immediately and was not able to get the ball back into the goalmouth. A throw-in against Everton looked to be full of danger, but fortunately Brown miskicked when taking his shot and eventually Jones was able to clear.
William offered a long pass to Thomas who headed the ball up to McNamara whose shot was saved by Merrick, who had to go down, on his knees to make it. At the 42nd minute Everton got the equalizer, and it was Thomas who cut out the work for this goal. His shot was parried by Merrick who pushed the ball on to the upright, it came out to Thomas and again Merrick pushed it out. It went straight back to Thomas, who slipped it into the net to score his first League goal for Everton. This spurred Everton on and for the remaining few minutes of the first half they were right on the attack.
Half-time- Birmingham City 1, Everton 1
Williams considering his size and the state of the ground had a very good first half, and this goal had a great tonic effect for in the first five minutes of the second half Everton playing their best football so far seriously troubled the Birmingham defence so much so that they were awarded a free kicks during this period. This was followed by four corner kicks to Birmingham in quick succession. But although it was an anxious time for the Goodison Parkers they managed to prevent further damage. Back came Everton and a Fielding-Kirby link-up produced a second goal, and again it was Thomas who scored. But he had to thank Kirby for that final pass which made it possible. He started the ball right out of the reach of the international goalkeeper Merrick at the 55th minute.
A New Everton
Everton had changed their tactics a little, they were playing more open football and they were undoubtedly on top this half so far. In fact they were giving Birmingham the run-round and a long shot from Fielding passed just outside. I think Merrick would have stopped it in any case. Everton were still in command and Birmingham rarely got out of their own half. once Tommy Jones misjudged the flight of the ball, but the City were not able to take advantage of it.
Birch gave away a foul when he tripped Orrit and the latter was so mad about it that he must have had something to say for the referee warned him. Dunlop punched away the free kick and Everton were once more challenging for further goals. They won a corner, but before it could be taken Birch had to receive attention for another knock on the leg. Fielding who was taking the corners from both sides of the field shot this one into the goalmouth but it was speedily cleared. That is not to say that Everton were driven out they were not. But when Kirby put a ball back to Tansey the Everton full back shot outside. Everton had been so much on top this half that they always looked the more likely scorers and at the 70th minute Williams put them 3-1 ahead with a great shot which had Merrick beaten to a frazzle. But again thanks must go to another. Fielding had shot with such power that Merrick could not hold the ball and had to be content with pushing it away. It went out to Williams who without hesitation slapped it back into the net. This was to say the least, a remarkable turn about and Everton should have had a fourth goal in the next minute. Smith made a bad back-pass to his goalkeeper and McNamara running in had an empty goal to put the ball, but his angle was bad. Nevertheless he should have scored, actually the ball passed outside the far post. Final; Birmingham City 1, Everton 3. Official attendance 23,781.
EVERTON RES V. SHEFF WED RES
March 9, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res;- O’Neill, goal; Sutherland and Leeder, backs; Rea, Sanders, and Meagan, half-backs; Tomlinson, Temple, Hood, Haughey, and Mayers, forwards. Sheffield Wednesday Res; Pllu, goal; Martin and Smith, backs; Whitham, Butler and Hill, half-backs; Wilkinson, Froggatt, Ellis, Young, and Broadbent, forwards. Referee; Mr. I. Seddon (Preston). Wednesday were the first to look dangerous but Leeder cleared from a move by Ellis and Wilkinson. After Smith had headed clear following a nice four man Everton move. Sutherland almost deflected a strong centre from Froggatt into his own net. From this luck escape Everton immediately broke away and Martin tackled Haughey almost on the goal line as the home inside left was about to shoot. O’Neill saved well from Whitham and soon afterwards made a brilliant one-handed save from Broadbent. The Wednesday outside left however scored in the 32nd minute when he wandered into the centre to convert a pass from Froggatt. Three minutes later, Temple equalized after having apparently missed the opportunity. Just on the interval, Pllu saved at point blank range from Mayers. Half-time; Everton Res 1, Sheffield Wed Res 1.
O’Neill saved at full length from Froggatt, but play soon swung to the other end, where Pllu made a series of saves and catches. Everton should have gone ahead when Temple shot straight at Pllu while Tomlinson hurriedly drove over from a good position. Everton were now in command, but they took the lead in lucky fashion when a high ball was deflected by Butler on to Smith off whom it entered the top corner of the net.
NO REST IF YOUR’RE IN THE HUNT
March 9, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
At this stage of the season there’s a Cup-tie tension and atmosphere about all games for clubs engaged in battle for championship honours, promotion or talent money, as well as those at the wrong end of the table. There can be no relaxation for any of these clubs, while they are still in the hunt. Their supporters also keyed up and the attendances, particularly at home games, are generally above average. On the other hand, clubs snugly placed in the middle of the league tables can approach their remaining programme with a different outlook with no relegation worries or anticipation of figuring in the top four.
Clubs in the latter category should be able to play more attractive football, provided they have the ability as each game can be approached in a slightly relaxed frame of mind, without thinking in terribly urgent terms of the two points at stake. I often think it is rather a pity that clubs who have no chance of championship honours or of being relegated haven’t some other incentive on top of the three points bonus to make the last lap of the season more interesting for the teams and their supporters. On the other hand, I suppose it is good thing in a way, as such clubs with no worries or urgency for the rest of the season can try new moves and methods of play which they dare not attempt f the points at stake were very vital. Again such clubs are in a position if they so wish to blood new talent in the form of youngsters who have been revealing great promise in the reserves.
Trio to Watch
The mention of young players bring me to the three lads to whom Everton gave a run in the first team last week against Banik Ostrava. I have spoken to quite a few Evertonians during the week and all were of the opinion that Mick Meagan, Eddie Thomas and Willie Haughey did very well, an opinion with which I heartily agree. The pessimists will probably say that in a friendly game it is not easy to judge whether or not these three lads will eventually make the grade. Fair enough but the three of them showed, irrespective of the opposition, that they have the ability plus the temperament to eventually make the grade. No player can be judged on one performance. For from too many youngsters have crashed their way into the limelight and been halted as world beaters after one game, only to fall to make the grade and move back to a lower class of football. Others have looked very ordinary on their debut, but have gone on to become great stars in the game.
Time Will Test
So I think it would be wise to reserve judgment on Meagan, Haughey and Thomas until you have seen a little more or them against top class opposition Frankly I think all three will make the grade as I have been watching them for quite a while now and have been greatly impressed with their performances in practice games. However, time will tell and here’s wishing Mick, Willie, Eddie every success in the future in the hope that their names will eventually become household words among Evertonians. Incidentally you may remember earlier in this season during my short spell in the reserves that I wrote some very complimentary remarks about young Thomas being one of the most promising youngsters on the Goodison books. Our visitors last week came with a very big reputation and a large sprinkling of internationals in their ranks but I’m afraid they did not live up to that reputation by their play. In fact, I thought they were a very ordinary team devoid of stars or personalities. They also looked to need a lot of time to get the ball under control before parting with it. One thing that did impress me was the reception and encouragement given the visitors by the fans. This is as it should be of course, and is typical of the sporting Merseyside soccer public.
AND THIS WAS NO FLUKE!
March 11, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Birmingham City 1, Everton 2
No doubt you were surprised when you heard the result. But you were no more surprised than the people of Birmingham who could hardy believe that their team, which had qualified for the Cup semi-finals, could be beaten by an Everton side which included quite a few youngsters. This was no fluke either. It took Everton all their time to keep City down to a goal in the first half and Dunlop played no small part in this for he made several cracking saves. As we came down to Birmingham, Peter Farrell discussing the game in a preview manner jocularly said “class will always tell.” In the second half Everton gave a display of the soccer arts on a wretched playing pitch. They cut out quite a lot of their finery without losing their combined effect and in the end they were cutting through the Birmingham defence like a knife through butter. Let me tell you first of Birmingham’s first goal. There was a streak of good fortune about it in that a centre had been successfully blocked by an Everton defender but the ball ran on to Brown who seeing an opening cracked the ball into it. Birmingham were playing with plenty of fire and were not afraid to shoot, but we then saw an Everton defence on its toes challenging and challenging again to prevent further damage. During this time the youngsters of the Everton side, Thomas and Williams were particularly good. Just before the interval Williams and Thomas engineered an equalizer. Merrick pushed William’s shot against the post. The ball went out to Thomas who hit back for Merrick to push out again, Thomas collected the ball again and this time landed it in the net.
A Great Goal
People were inclined to think that Birmingham tired through their Cup-tie efforts two days before but I am not prepared to accept that. They were beaten because Everton were the better side. It was only justice that Thomas and Williams should get some reward for their excellent endeavour. Thomas scored at 55 minutes from a Kirby pass and Williams cracked in a great goal after Fielding had forced Merrick to punch away. The whole of the last forty-five minutes belonged to Everton. This was a complete reversal of what we had seen before and goes to show that the infusion of new blood can work wonders. Graham Williams is only a tiny for but his football ability and heart are beyond question. One dribble of his shook the alternation of three Birmingham men. The pity was that his effort was not rounded off with a goal that would have put the seal on his work. There was one period when Birmingham took four corners in a row but they could not prize open a defence which yielded to none. Jones was a power down the middle but each and every man had something to do with this great victory. The first goal by Thomas was his first in league football, William’s shot was a scorcher, it left Merrick standing. Victory was brought about by teamwork. It was one for all and all for one and even admitting that Birmingham have had a hard Cup game does not excuse them from being so heavily whipped in the second half. Dunlop was injured with ten minutes to go but he forgot all about his hurts by making one or two nice saves. Birch also had to receive attention. I congratulate the Everton lads on their great fight back.
EVERTON RES 2 SHEFFIELD WED RES 2
March 11, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Sheffield Wednesday deserved a point with a last minute penalty, the visitors having a better balanced attack with more direct wingmen. A fluke goal gave Everton the lead in the 66th minute when a harmless lob bit two Sheffield defenders before entering the net. Everton failed to build up a winning lead however, through slowness in front of goal and Wednesday started a late rally in which a several defensive lapses culminated in the penalty aware. Temple and Smith (og) scored for Everton and Broadbent (2) for the visitors.
EVERTON TO HAVE SEASON TICKETS FOR TERRACES
March 15, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
The directors of Everton F.C decided yesterday that next season they would issue season tickets for the ground terraces in addition to those for the stands. The tickets will include vouchers which will entitle holders to have priority for Cup and floodlit matches for which special tickets are always issued. This experiment which is new to First Division football will give the club larger assets at the beginning of the season if it is a success.
Not For Cardiff
Everton’s inside forward Jimmy Gauld will not be going to Cardiff City after all. Placed on the open-to-transfer last Tuesday at his own request Mr. Trevor Morris (Cardiff City manager) had talks with Gauld the same night. These were continued when Mr. Morris and the player travelled to Birmingham together on Wednesday and again at the conclusion of Cardiff’s game against Aston Villa. Cardiff were very keen to complete the deal there and then but Gauld asked for another 24 hours to consider the matter. Yesterday Gauld advised Everton that he had decided not to sign for the Welsh club.
For their game with West Bromwich Albion Everton field the same team which won last week at Birmingham namely;- Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Thomas, Kirby, Fielding, Williams (G).
March 16, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Cup semi-finalists West Browmich Albion provide the opposition to Everton at Goodison Park and Peter Farrell and his men are hoping to treat the Albion as they treated Birmingham City (also cup semi-finalists) last week. I think Everton will find their task a little stiffer today however, for the Albion’s 4-1 thrashing of Sunderland at Roker Park in mid-week suggests they are in top form. But Everton are a grand fighting side these days and with the same men on duty as were successful at Birmingham both points should stay at Goodison. Howe, who played for the Football league last Wednesday and so missed the game at Sunderland returns to Albion’s side at right back to the exclusion of Williams. The kick off is at 3-15 p.m. and the teams will be;- Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Thomas, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington. West Bromwich Albion;- Sanders; Howe, Millard; Robson, Barlow, Setters; Griffin, Whitehouse, Allen, Kevan, Horobin.
The Rochdale manager Mr. Harry Catterick made an unsuccessful bid to sign the Everton utility forward, Derek Mayers yesterday, Mayers said he was quite happy at Everton and did not wish to leave the club.
EVERTON LACK ATTACKING INSPIRATION
March 18, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ian Hargreaves
Everton 0, West Bromwich Albion 1
Everton’s failure to contain a rather casual looking West Bromwich Albion side at Goodison came as a big disappointment after their impressive victory over Birmingham the previous Saturday. It was not so much that they were beaten –points are not of vital consideration at the moment –but that they rarely threatened to breach the visitors well organized defence with the penetrating thrusts we had hoped for. It was perhaps too much to expect comparatively inexperienced youngsters like Kirby, Thomas, and Williams to out-wit opponents of the calibre of Barlow (what a formidable player he is!) Howe and Millard. But in view of West Bromwich’s cup commitments it did not seen unreasonable to hope for some measure of success. That it was not forthcoming was due almost entirely to the lack of thrust in the centre Kirby, who played well enough early in the season to invite comparison with the giants of the past, had one of those days when nothing would go right, and threatened danger only with a couple of typically fierce headers. No doubt he was fully aware of his own shortcomings, and so hardly needed the constant remainder he received from a certain section of the spectators. Everton’s well wishes would be wide to remember that the best way to prevent the club developing the kind of side everyone wants them to possess is by discouraging players as they pass through the trials of their apprenticeship.
Time Still Needed
Thomas, like Kirby, found the going anything but easy. Marked by Setters, a reserve most clubs would be glad to field regularly, he was given little time to manoeuvre and could manage but the occasional shot. The talent is there, but great players do not develop overnight, and it will be a little time yet before he is fully acclimatized to First Division football. The absence of midfield penetration was particularly unfortunate since McNamara and Williams on the wings both did with limited opportunities. McNamara’s style is not to everyone’s liking but he does use the ball intelligently and might easily have scored twice, once from a well placed header and later from a left footed snap shot taken on the turn. Williams, Everton’s first major signing after the end of the Britton era, had not previously played at Goodison for the first team this season but has attracted favourable comments from regular followers of the reserves. And no wonder. As dynamic as he is diminutive, Williams is the football entertainer par excellence. On Saturday no ball was too difficult to chase, no back too big to beat, no shot too hard to try. His sudden sorties tickled the crowd’s fancy as nothing else, and his willingness to shoot at sight was greatly appreciated by customers starved of accurate marksmanship. One tremendous half volley from McNamara’s header deserved a goal if ever a shot did but Sanders now happily restored to health, parried it away miraculously. If Everton forward failings still present a major problem there must be considerable satisfaction at the poise and polish of the rearguard. In Dunlop they have discovered just about the best uncapped goalkeeper playing –his contribution against West Bromwich included two glorious saves from Allen-and Donovan and Tansey are as capable a pair of backs as one could wish to meet.
It was tragic that Tansey should be partially to blame for the solitary goal, in that his failure to clear an awkwardly bouncing ball gave Kevan his chance to score, but he has no cause for reproach. His play otherwise was of the highest standard. Birch, the only one of three up and coming half backs on view, had one of his less successful outings. His power is still greater than his control of it, and he was occasionally lured out of position, though Jones, reliable as ever, was usually there to cover. It is hard to say whether Birch, Rea-at present out of action, with a groin injury- or Meagan will develop the most, but whatever happens Everton are well placed. West Bromwich who meet Aston Villa in the Cup next week played well within themselves and gave few hints of their true ability. Sanders, still a fine goalkeeper, must enjoy the protection of one of the League’s best organized defences, in which Setters and Robson are only second choice. Barlow –who nearly put through his own goal on one occasion –looks as commanding as ever and if Kennedy is fit in time Aston Villa will have their work cut out. Allen is cleanly the inspiration of the Albion forwards, and his widespread wanderings do not disguise the fact that he is frequently up in the goal mouth to finish off what he has began. A great player who brings the best out of his colleagues and whose understanding with the trustful Kevan is the prime reason for Albion’s recent success.
AS YOU SEE IT…
March 20, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Need Craftsmen, Not Apprentices
Sir- Ian Hargreaves remarks about Everton players passing though the trials of apprenticeship are sheer nonsense. Surely the place for leanerers is the second team where the spectator pays second-class prices to watch them, not the first team where the club charge first-class prices. Everton have recently increased the price of admission to some parts of the ground. Spectators have a right to expect craftsmen, not apprentices. The way Ian Hargreaves talks one would think Kirby and Thomas were seventeen-years-olds, whereas both players are over twenty-three, and if they have anything to offer should be showing it by now. Just how silly his remarks are is shown when he says of Setters “ a reserve most clubs would be glad to field regularly.” No mention o apprentice here, evidently a craftsman; yet Setters is four years younger than either Kirby or Thomas. Furthermore, does anyone refer to Manchester United as Busby’s Apprentices. Certainly not. They may be babes but they are craftsmen. Everton have been flogging a youth policy since the war and are still waiting for their first player to be capped for England in a full international. The Everton spectators have been long suffering. It is about time the club faced up to its obligations and started to provide a type of player and a standard of football more in keeping with the tradition of Everton. W.Macaulay 7 St. Bride’s Road Wallasey.
DOWN, NEARLY OUT
March 23, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton’s record in matches against Portsmouth since the War is a dismal one, indeed little or nothing has gone right for them on Portsmouth occasions since they signed Juliussen from that club. One of the snags this time is that young Graham Williams whose two games since his return to the first team have apparently been so promising is not available because the Army have ruled that inoculations come before League soccer. Tom Eglington returned to the side, in which Thomas a great young man for popping in the odd goal –gets further recognition. Portsmouth are down and almost out but one hesitates to suggest that Everton can lay their worst and most prolonged hoodoo. That Albion victory at Goodison Park a week ago might be a portent. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Thomas, Kirby, Fielding and Eglington. Portsmouth; Barnett; McGhee; Mansell, or Wilson; Albury, Dickinson, Pickett, Harris, Gordon, Henderson, Weddle, and Dale.
DRAME OF FINAL CORNER
March 25, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Portsmouth 3, Everton 2
Fratton Park, once again cast its spell over Everton, who have not won there for many a long year. The score is hardly a true reflection of the pray. Had it been 6-2 it would have been a better guide to the winners supremacy. When you are down, you are down. Portsmouth were given proof of that in the first half when they missed many chances to put themselves beyond the reach of an Everton recovery. Yet in the end Portsmouth were glad to hear the final whistle. The Portsmouth defence was scared in the last five minutes when it became a question of whether they could hold their slender lead. They did but one could almost hear a sign of relief from the crowd as the referee blew the final blast. Points were needed by both clubs, but it was Portsmouth who had the greater incentive. Let me say right away that Portsmouth fully deserved success. They were much the better team. Everton could have had two goals in the first half –for Birch had two-wonderful opportunities –but as against that Portsmouth should have had three, if not four. Such misses were hard to understand.
Portsmouth attacked with everything they had got –speed, combination and a defence which was capable of handling the weak Everton attack –but one thing was missing – opportunism. Fate does not often offer such chances again. I thought that there was a chance of Everton laying a long standing hoodoo. Everton had taken a hammering without taking the knockout punch, but it was hard work, for the forwards did not help to take the strain. To emphasize Pompey’s supremacy. I have only to tell that if was nearly an hour before Everton had a corner. That explains the feebleness of their attack. A raid or two was about the extent of their first half endeavour. This state of affairs was forced upon them by a hard-hitting display of a side fighting for First Division existence. Desperate situations need desperate methods and these Portsmouth boys put their heart and soul into the play. With no goals up to the interval, it was only natural that few Merseyside people present should think that a point would be their reward, but there must have been a pep talk during the interval for where Portsmouth had been weak in finishing they started to hit in all manner of shots and were a goal up forty seconds after the break.
It was the first slip the Everton defence had made, but what an expensive one. Jones misjudged the bounce of the ball. Henderson crossed the ball in front of goal and Harris was there to side-foot it into the net. That goal had a tonic effect. Portsmouth simply stormed the Everton goal and Weddle and Henderson increased the lead. Well, it looked all over so far as Everton were concerned, but a goal by Kirby, who just beat Barnell to the ball at 68 minutes made Portsmouth a little shaky. Five minutes from the end McNamara, taking a throw-in, positioned himself for the return, picked up the ball swiveled round and after taking a few steps hit a lovely shot that had Barnett completely beaten. With one minute to go the Portsmouth defence, now truly rattled, conceded a corner. There was a deathly silence round the terraces as the ball flew into the goalmouth. But it came out and Portsmouth were saved. All five goals were the result of good shots, all beautifully taken, but McNamara’s was the best of the lot. It was its unexpectancy which brought about the downfall of Barnett. Dunlop was one of Everton’s heroes. He made many great saves.
EVERTON RES 3, WEST BROMWICH RES 1
March 25, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Despite scoring two goals from penalties Everton were worthy winners of a game marred by too much stoppage for petty infringements. Whereas the Albion lacked cohesion and balance Everton were a well-knit combination. There were only six minutes to ho when Haughey added to Sutherland’s two first half penalties. Jackson scrambled an 88th minute goal for the visitors., inside right Gauld was Everton’s archachmer while Temple was a cultered centre forward. Full backs Sutherland and Leeder took the honours in a home defence which faltered occasionally.
AS YOU SEE IT…
March 27, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
A Word For Those Everton Reserves
Sir- As a regular attended at both senior and Central League games, I can’t help wondering why Everton are delaying the introduction of some of their younger players into the senior team. In Sanders they have a centre half who has gained vastly in composure and ability since being moved from full back, and who will certainly present a serious challenge to Jones next season, Rea of course needs no recommendation, and it is a great mystery to many of us that he was ever dropped. In Rea’s absence, however, I would certainly prefer Meagan to Birch, with Farrell, of course, changing over to right-half. supporters who were thrilled by the performances of Graham Williams will be interested to know that Everton have another outside left, J. D. Williams who is equally as good as Graham. The old problem of the outside-right position could well be solved by moving G. Williams from left to right and introducing J.D. Williams in his place. Willie Haughey, inside left is the best inside-forward we have had since Alex Stevenson. He is a brilliant footballer and tactician. Derek Temple, too, will soon be knocking at the door of the League side. And now the great mystery Gauld! Whatever reason he was stopped for, it could not have had anything to do with his ability as a footballer. What a devastating performance he turned in for the Reserves last Saturday. When Gauld joined Everton, their fortunes were at a very low ebb indeed, and now, since his omission from the senior team they have certainly flagged again. Let us hope we shall soon see this great player back again in his rightful place. As Everton are no longer interested in the honours, I had hoped we might have seen some of these younger men in action before now. Now surely, is the time to stand down some of the older players. One thing I certain –we shall never see Thomas at his best in the present line-up. my team choice would be Dunlop; Donovan, and Tansey; Farrell, Jones, and Rea; Williams G, Thomas, Gauld, Haughey, and Williams J.D. in conclusion I would suggest that you too should go and have a look at some of these Reserve team players, and I am quite sure you would be very pleasantly surprised by them. –Mr. W. McGinn, 18 Blackstone Street, Liverpool 5.
EVERTON SHOWED THE OLD FAILING
March 28, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Newcastle United Res 4, Everton res 2
Newcastle infused more punch into their efforts than Everton in the Central League game at St. James’s Park, and certainly finished much better. Everton could well have established a winning position in the early stages when they dictated the play, but all the forwards missed easy chances. It was against the run of the play when White netted from a penalty after 15 minutes and Temple equalized 15 minutes later. In the second half, however, Everton faded away badly and after O’Neill had given Newcastle a gift goal by stepping half-way into the net in collecting a centre from Punton, it was nearly all Newcastle. Further goals were added by White and Hughes before Williams got one for Everton.
EVERTON GIVE TEMPLE HIS BIG CHANCE
March 30, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Ian Hargreaves
One of the main criticisms leveled at Everton has been that they are afraid to give the younger members of their staff the chance to prove themselves in the first team. Many people have asked why players like Thomas, Kirby and Dunlop have had to wait so long to make their debut. The criticism has some foundation –other teams have fielded teenagers with marked success –but it overlooks the severe handicap under which Everton have laboured. Whereas Manchester United, Wolves and Bolton, to mention but a few, have been able to build on a winning team, Everton have not. They have been and still are short of experienced class players whose presence makes it so much easier for promising youngsters to be successfully introduced. There are signs, however, that the club have at last decided to take the plunge –whatever the cost. Mayers, Llewellyn, Rea, Meagan, and Williams have already received their first team baptism, and now another talented young hopeful is to take the stage for the first time against Newcastle today. Derek Temple, who replaces Kirby, at centre forward is an eighteen-years-old exceptional promise who represented England as a schoolboy and he is generally thought to be one of the club’s brightest prospects. On the occasions I have seen him play –admittedly not in this class of football he impressed me with his skilful use of the ball, and accurate marksmanship. Provided too much so not expected too soon, I feel sure Temple will make his mark in no uncertain fashion. Goodison spectators, today will also be able to have another look at Graham Williams who did so well against West Bromwich and altogether it promises to be a most interesting game, with Gauld doing his best to stake his claim to the inside right position. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Gauld, Temple, Fielding, Williams G. Newcastle; Mitchell; S. Keith, McMicheal; Scoular, Stokoe, Casey; Milburn, Davies, White, Eastham, Mitchell, R.