Everton Independent Research Data


Thursday, December 3, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Team selection presented few problems at Goodison, and like Liverpool, Everton will be unchanged for their visit to Preston North End.  This will be the fourth successive game that changes have been considered unnecessary.  Whether or not the belief is well founded that Everton have really turned the corner and the better results are now in store, may be indicated by the way in which Everton measure up to the Preston challenge.  Nothing could be a sterner test than to take a League leaders with seven successive victories to their credit, on their own ground and if points can at least be shared, it may be true that Everton’s worst is behind them. 
Club officials insist that while Everton were beaten 3-0 at Tottenham nearly a fortnight ago the tea’s display in that game was every bit as good at that against Manchester United last week, apart from the vital question of finishing.  Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Jones; King, Labone, B. Harris; J. Harris, Thomas, Shackleton, Collins, Laverick.
Congratulations to the Everton chairman, Mr. Fred Micklesfield and his wife who yesterday celebrated their forty-six wedding anniversary. 

Friday, December 4, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Only the slightest pause for a grunt of satisfaction can Everton afford for in case the  fact has escaped them they are running neck and neck with the possibility that this could be their worst post war record in First Division for away points.  The warning is timely as they visit Preston tomorrow and it is never too soon to start to improve this dismal record.  From their nine games on opponents so far, they have collected only two points and remain the one team in their division without an away win to their credit.  There is a long way to go but the sooner they cultivate the habit of picking up points on other grounds the more rapid will be their rise in the table.  Their home record is fair enough.  They have in fact collected as many points at home as Preston the League leaders, have taken at Deepdale.  Everton’s lowest haul of away points in the senior division since the war is eight in 1948-49 when they won one game and drew six, to finish the season in eighteenth position.  Next lowest is twelve from four wins and four draws in the first post-war season when they claimed tenth position the highest they have enjoyed for the period under review.  Their best away return was eighteen in 1947-48 and again in 1957-58.  Only once since the war have they averaged a point or more from each away game and that was when they collected twenty-four in their 1953-54 promotion season.  A real Everton splash in the League is long overdue.  Just look at their record for ten post-war seasons.  In 1946-47 they finished tenth; in 1954-55 eleventh.  In the remaining eight seasons they have been fourteenth, fifteenth (twice), sixteenth (twice), eighteenth (twice) and twenty-second.   Go to it, Everton.  It is high time these figures were improved.  Preston North End, will probably field the following unchanged team against Everton; Else; Cunningham, Walton; Milne, Dunn, Smith; Mayers, Thompson, Finney, Sneddon, Taylor. 

December 4, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Everton’s match at Preston is one which might confirm my belief that our side are playing better now than at any stage since John Carey joined them.  If they could reproduce their Tottenham form-except for the missed chances;- I would bank on them surprising their old manager Cliff Britton and all Preston this would be the most tangible evidence that the side have at last started on the long journey back to fame such as they enjoyed pre-war.  Derek Mayers, the former Everton winger, will doubtless show his old club his improved technique but the crux of the match is whether young Brian Labone can put a stop to Finney’s machinations.  For Brian this will be the toughest match of his life Finney is in a class of his own his only peer in football artistry, Stanley Matthews having started to get more than a tinge of autumnal yellow in his play.  If you keep Finney quiet there’s hardly likely to be another whisper from Preston.  Labone must be prepared for a slippery customer whose feinting is always deceptive and who shows the ball and drags it away again as frustratingly as did Matthews.  It should be a fine match and clean one and I’m banking on that new-style Everton justifying the many kind things I’ve said to them recently.  Preston N.E;- Else; Cunningham, Walton; Milne, Dunn, Smith; Mayers, Thompson, Finney, Sneddon, Taylor.  Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Jones; King, Labone, Harris (B); Harris (J), Thomas, Shackleton, Collins, Laverick. 

Saturday, December 5, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Who can blame Preston North End if they confidently expect to use Everton’s visit to retain their position at the top of the First Division table.  They have known nothing but outright victory, home and away, since October 17 and yet must realize that a team which beat and over-played Manchester United last week can only be treated with the greatest respect.  What a tonic it would be to Everton if they could terminate the dismal distinction of being the one team, in either First or Second Division without a victory away from home.  Tom Finney who must be included on any short list of the classiest players in the game today is leading the line so consistency that it comes as something of a surprise to find that such a talented player as Hatsell a regular scorer last season, is right out of the reckonings without a League goal to his name.  There is no questioning the advance of Labone.  His displays at centre half continue to improve and if he can still say this after his clash with the elusive Finney, he will be the greatest cause for satisfaction.  At long last Jimmy Harris gave abundant signs against Manchester United that his lean spell is over, and a Harris in form can give a welcome bite to the Everton attack.  This time last year he had notched nine goals and was joint leading scorer with Dave Hickson.  This term, Harris has so far found the net only twice.  Former Everton winger Derek Mayers makes a point of showing Everton what they missed by allowing him to move to Deepdale and a warning in time may be the tip that Mayers has scored in each of his last three outings-his only scoring contributions of the season.  Preston North End;- Else; Cunningham, Walton; Milne, Dunn, Smith; Mayer, Thompson, Finney, Sneddon, Taylor.  Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Jones; King, Labone, B. Harris; J. Harris, Thomas, Shackleton, Collins, Laverick. 

Saturday, December 5, 1959.  Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Michael Charters
Preston North End;- Else; Cunningham, Walton; Milner, Richardson, Smith; Mayers, Thompson, Finney, Sneddon, and Taylor.  Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Jones (captain); King, Labone, Harris (B); Harris (J), Thomas, Shackleton, Collins Laverick.  Referee; Mr. K. Dagnall (Bolton). 
Preston made a late change, because of injury to centre half Dunn who did not appear so that Richardson played his third League game.  Everton continued to be well on top being faster on the ball and into the tackle than Preston.  Jimmy Harris was obstructed by Walton in the penalty area, but from the indirect free kick Thomas shot was blocked.  In one of Preston’s rare raids, Labone brought down Finney and from the free kick taken by Milne the ball skidded through awkwardly and Dunlop had to have a double bite at it before he grabbed it from the feet of Thompson.  Everton’s fight and determination to get to the ball was remarkable and Prestons defence with both backs playing exceptionally well, was in difficulties in withstanding many good looking attacks.  Jones was keeping as close a grip on his old Everton colleague Mayers as he had done against Bradley last week.  Preston were lucky when Thomas had a shot blocked and altogether this was an Everton playing with the same fire as they had shown against United. 
Everton despite their ascendancy, were not working any clear cut openings, thanks to the excellent Preston defence.  The Preston inside trio found the first time crisp tackling of King and Brian Harris too much for them in midfield and they weren’t making much headway either.  After one Preston corner, Labone brought the ball coolly out of danger and slid a great pass to Jimmy Harris, who ended a 20 yard run by firing the ball just wide. King’s tackling had been notably strong, but became too fierce on one occasion, when he brought down Sneddon just outside the area.  Taylor pushed the free kick across to Milne who fired the best shot of the match so far just outside their upright.  Preston were now coming more into the game, but were having the same difficulty as Everton’s attacks with both defecnes playing so confidently.  Preston’s forwards were inclined to be too clever and there was one occasion when both Finney and Thompson missed a good chance through trying to do a little too much in front of goal.  Up to now not a lot had been seen of Finney, and Labone had tackled his task of facing the maestro with commendable spirit and ability. 
Preston produced one lovely flowing movement from their own penalty area which took the ball right down into the Everton half, but Brian Harris was there to cut off Mayers centre.  There was a rare tangle in the Everton area, with Thompson and Sneddon both trying to force a way through and when the inside right finally managed a shot Dunlop plucked the ball out of the air beautifully.  Jimmy Harris was in the same sort of form as last week and was giving Walton such an uncomfortable time that right back Cunningham had to come across and lend a hand on a couple of occasions.  From one wonderful pass by Collins to Laverick, Preston –and Else –were very lucky to escape being a goal down.  Laverick took the ball to the by-line before centring to Collins who headed back across goal for Laverick to flick the ball forward and Else made a double lucky clutch to stop it inches from the line.  It had been a fine first half with Everton the better side, particularly at wing half and with Collins the outstanding forward of the day.  Half-time; Preston nil, Everton nil. 
The lights came on for the second half and within five minutes Taylor missed a good chance for Preston.
Thomas and Shackleton were weak links in Everton’s attack, both attacks were suffering from the same fault of over-elaboration but Everton’s fault could not be found with the defence.  Preston’s full backs were both outstanding and were Everton’s who were in tremendous form.  This second half was nothing like the quality of that before the interval.  Both defences continued to be so much on top that the game was continued to much midfield play, without either attack being able to work a good opening. 
Everton set up one tremendous left wing attack with Laverick twice beating Cunningham to take the ball almost up to the upright but each time the Preston covering was so efficient that the ball was blocked away.  The move ended without Else being troubled for Jimmy Harris finally shot over the bar.  If any man was going to win this match for Everton it looked like being Jimmy Harris.  He was the most dangerous forward and cut inside Walton to hit a fierce shot straight at Else.  The game had gone very much off the boil now, which as understandable in view of the pace at which both teams had gone from the start.  I don’t know whether Thomas was injured or not- certainly there had been no signs of it in the course of the game –but he looked painfully slow at times and many good midfield moves broke down when they neared the Preston penalty area.  The rain was now driving into the Everton goal and behind it came a fierce Preston attack.  They got to free kicks and a corner in quick succession near the right hand flag, but with all Everton back helping out it was the left boot of Collins which finally cleared the ball away up field to safely.  I give full marks to the Everton half back line for this display.  Labone had played Finney beautifully and Brian Harris and King had both tackled and distributed the ball like Trojans.  Towards the end it was all Preston, but they seemed unable to cut that final pass to press through Everton’s well packed defence.  In the last couple of minutes  header from Finney and past the upright.  This was Preston’s parting thrust and Everton had gained great away point of the League leaders to end Preston’s run of seven successive victories.  Official attendance 24,463.  Final; Preston nil, Everton nil.

Saturday, December 5, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Alex Parker Hears From America
Some weeks ago I dealt with the popularity of baseball and soccer in America.  I gained my information from Bert Wright in New York, and when he received a copy of the paper he forwarded it to his brother in Hollywood.  He showed it to his friends at the Columbia Broadcasting System and apparently they were very interested in what I had to say. Their comment; “U.S. soccer could be brought more to the front with a little more guided effort.  No from Mr. Chris Heyes, of Jackson Heights, Long Island U.S.A comes evidence that the “guided effort.  There has been much talk of the new Continental matches to be played at New York next year between the European sides, but it has all been very much in the air and there has been little mention of anything definite.  Well from a cutting from Mr. Heyes, I think I can fill in some of the details.  The formation of the International Soccer League as it is known has been announced by New York’s Mayor Robert F. Wagner and William B. Cox president of the New York. Mayor Wagner said “ the visits of English and Scottish League clubs have been very welcome, their victories have been too easy to arouse interest.  What I am getting at is that when British team wins 12-0, it only illustrates how poor the opposition is.  It does not mean that the winning side is playing a great soccer.  The idea of the new league is to show the Americans how the game can be played between great sides. 
It is expected that the matches will begin on May 25 at Downing Stadium, Randall’s Island and will probably take place on Wednesday and Saturday evening.  Teams from England, Scotland, Ireland, West Germany, Sweden, Austria, Hungary, France, Italy, and possibly Spain might complete while in many expend to include South American clubs.  European teams will go to New York after completing their on competitions.  All initial investment of 500,000 dollars (about £170,000) should ensure a good beginning.  If you are thinking of going over for the games, one of the Randall’s Island 25,000 seats will add about 14s to your boat fare, or 21s reserved.  Engineers are working on the floodlights now.  Incidentally in the same magazine, there is an advertisement for a game between Austria SC of Vienna and an American League Select on December 13.  At the bottom of the advert are those words “Save 50 cents on each ticket-by buying in advance.  Game will be played –rain, snow, sunshine.”  So now you know. 
Talking of the forthcoming tour of America by Manchester United the same magazine refers to the as “one of the world’s most colorful aggregations” and also as “a squad”
You probably didn’t know that United are often called the Yankees of soccer” That is probably a reference to the all powerful baseball team, the New York Yankees.  You will undoubtedly remember Billy Steele, the ex-Derby County and Scotland inside forward who partnered Billy Liddell in the 194 Great Britain team.  I have heard that he is now playing in Hollywood F.C whose manager is from Liverpool.  Unfortunately I have been unable to discover any further details.  Maybe one of my readers can give me some information about the Liverpool man.  Last week I played my second game against Manchester United.  Last season we were beaten 2- at Old Trafford so the reversal of the score was very welcome.  The crowd seemed to enjoy it, and although it was not a classic, it was a very hard game.  In fact it was one of the hardest I have played in.  Albert Dunlop received his second benefit cheque the day before, but he must have thought his luck had come to an end when Dennis Voilett scored after only three minutes.  However, a good goal by Eddie Thomas and a Bobby Collins penalty saw us through.  It was quite a coincidence that Albert should be playing against Manchester United when he received his second benefit, for it was against them that he made his debut three years ago.  It is significant that our half back line should save one of its best displays when opposed by what many critics consider the best inside trio in the country.  And it is worth remembering that Johnny King (21), Brian Labone (19) and Brian Harris (23) must constitute one of the youngest middle lines in the country.  It was also good to see Jimmy Harris playing so well against one of Matt Busby’s most promising youngsters, Joe Carolan I thought Jimmy had a “blinder” and was unlucky not to score.  However, I don’t think any of our boys had a bad game.  What we are after now is the first away victory.  Maybe it has come this afternoon.  Nowadays more and more footballers are looking to the day when they hang up their boots.  Instead of waiting until they finish playing before looking around for mother means of making a living, they are getting down to it while still at the top.  We have two examples in our local clubs.  The other week Dave Hickson set up in business and this coming week Albert Dunlop is opening a sport outfitter’s shop.  He has invited a number of the players down to the opening in Stafford Street next Thursday.  Here’s wishing success to both Albert and Dave.  On behalf of the players at Goodison Park I would like to take this opportunity of wishing Mr. Bill Shankly, Liverpool’s new manager every success in his efforts to get the them back into the First Division.  His brother, Bob was in charge of Falkirk when Bert Slater and I joined them and he signed me without even seeing me play.  Come to think of it, maybe that was just as well.  When the new manager arrives at Anfield it will mean Bert will have had the unusual experience of playing under two brothers with two clubs, one England and one Scottish. 

Saturday, December 5, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Because of heavy overnight rain, Everton Central League fixture with Burnley Rs at Goodison Park today was postponed the referee deciding that the pitch was not playable.  It’s clear that the refurbishing of the ground during the close season has not been affective and Everton have been struggling to get their pitch during the past three weeks.  Mr. W. Dickinson the Everton secretary said today; “We are well aware of what is required and the work is in hand.  This is no reason to suppose that next week’s game against West Bromwich Albion will not be played.” 

December 7, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ian Hargreaves
Preston North End 0, Everton 0
Everton’s feat in holding the League leaders to a draw at Deepdale probably gave more pleasure to the team than to the spectators.  As the score suggests it was a dour, defensive struggle with plenty of good, honest football in midfield, but disappointingly few flashes of creative genius to entertain the impartial observer.  Preston’s meteoric rise to the top has surprised those who believe their last successful side of two seasons back was a better one.  Possibly, as a pessimist near me growled; “The opposition ain’t what it were,” but I incline to the view that at a time when genuine artists are steadily growing scarcer, the inspiration supplied by Tom Finney has never been more valuable.  Undoubtedly the Preston attack is highly dependent on his direction, and once Everton had succeeded in stifling his prompting from the wings, as it were, his fellow forwards began to stutter and fumble like actors who had forgotten their lines.  Emphatically, they earned no curtain call at the end.  Finney’s subjection was undertaken by a solid, uncompromising centre half by name of Brian Labone, an ex-Liverpool Collegiate boy almost young enough to have been the veteran leader’s son.  Certainly he stuck to Finney’s side with the true filial affection and allowed him not one shot at goal throughout.  Whenever Finney received the ball he received Labone with it, and lacking that extra yard out of speed that might once have sent him streaking away, he could do little more than act as a link in supply, the passer-on of bullets for others to fire. 
Unfortunately for Preston the other had scant opportunity to fire them for the Everton defence gave not an inch.  King vastly grown in stature and (seemingly) in size since I saw him make an uncertain League debut on this same ground two years ago, reduced the scheming Sneddon to unhappy importance and Brian Harris was almost as effective against Preston’s other famous Tommy-gunner, Thompson.  Wingers Mayers and Taylor were virtually blotted out by Jones and Parker and it was left to wing half Gordon Milne, son of the Preston trainer, to do what little shooting there was.  Significantly, the only time North End really looked like scoring was in the closing minutes when one of his headers was cleared off the line by Jones.  With the Preston attack so comprehensively contained one is left to wonder why Everton did not win.  King almost scored with a thirty yarder in the very first minute.  Harris (J) (as televiewers will have seen) headed against goal-keeper Else in the 42nd and the same player had a fierce effort well saved in the 68th.  But otherwise Else was in as little trouble as Dunlop.  Bobby Collins the Everton answer to Finney, did his best to inject some of his own jole de acure into the visitors forward line, and particularly in the first half he delighted friend and foe alike with his sudden feints and long, penetrating passes.  But in general he got precious little response.  Harris J. on the right wing made excellent use of his speed to puzzle the ageing Walton, and Laverick too, did quite well against the shrewed Scotsman, Cunningham, showing considerable kill with the ball, if a certain lack of nous without it.
It was, however, in the middle that so many Everton raids broke down.  There had been high hopes that Shackleton would be able to force his way past a comparative novice in Garbutt Richardson, a late deputy for Dunn, but these did not materialize and in fact Dunn was scarcely missed.  With Milne and Smith to help him Richardson proved a most uncompromising barrier that none was able to breach, and in the later stages at least Everton’s attacks looked a nice blend of optimism and desperation.  Certainly they badly need at least one really strong forward who can hold the ball and shoot, for like Shackleton, Thomas never impressed.  A somewhat forlorn figure, he loped listlessly round the field as though numbed by the bitter, rain-laced blasts sweeping persistently down it.  If the result was a satisfactory one from Everton’s point of view, it must have been most disappointing for Deepdale devotees looking ahead to the Championship.  Though unquestionably competent Preston were on this occasion but a shadow of the famous Invincible whose photographs frown so forbiddingly from the boardroom walls.  Preston North End;- Else; Cunningham, Walton; Milner, Richardson, Smith; Mayers, Thompson, Finney, Sneddon, and Taylor.  Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Jones (captain); King, Labone, Harris (B); Harris (J), Thomas, Shackleton, Collins Laverick.  Referee; Mr. K. Dagnall (Bolton).  Attendance 24,463.

Monday, December 7, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
The match between Everton Reserves and Burnley Reserves which should have been played at Goodison Park, was postponed, because the ground was unfit.  The pitch will receive treatment all week to ensure it is fit for Saturday’s game between Everton and West Bromwich Albion. 

Monday, December 7, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By Michael Charters
Everton’s performance at Deepdale on Saturday in ending League leaders Preston’s run of seven successive victories –and also keeping North End goalless for the first time this season- proved that the improvement shown against Manchester United the previous week was no temporary burst of form.  I believe the side has settled down after the furore surround Hickson’s departure and prospects of climbing to a better League position re now infinitely brighter than they were a month ago.  There is a method and rhythm about the team plus a commendable urgency about their tackling and eagerness for the ball, which shows that coaching and tactical direction off-field is beginning to pay off.  There may be some who thought that Saturday’s match was disappointing because of the absence of goals.  But I felt otherwise it as a tough, strong, uncompromising tussle with a great deal of clever midfield play which commanded praise.  For the greater part of the game Everton were the superior team-faster tackling better, moving the ball with more though.  Only weakness in attack denied them victory.  Defensively they could not be faulted.  Dunlop was not extended but was there when the occasion demanded notably when Thompson hit one shot through a crowd of players and with only a split second to react he reached high to hold the ball safely.  Parker and Jones kept their wingers completely subdued and the latter’s tip top form in dominating his former colleague.  Mayers makes one wonder why his switch the full back was not thought of years ago.  Young Labone was well back on this match as an outstanding moment in his career.  Facing the matches if somewhat slower, Finney he played as though determined that his man is not going to dazzle me.”  He succeeded beyond the hopes of anyone.  He out headed Finney and tackled him firmly and quickly before the Preston maestro could find time to get his forwards moving.  Naturally he was beaten a few times-no centre half alive could completely stuff out Finney-but he revealed powers of recovery which I did not think he possessed. 
King and Brian Harris were equally effective and I don’t suppose the Deepdale fans have seen tackling like King’s since Docherty left them for Arsenal.  King goes in with such bite and drive that he must at times earn the referee’s stricture but he did not allow this to sampan his enthusiasm –and he mustn’t do so.  In future.  The last time I saw Everton away was at Newcastle where I criticsed the wing halves.  It is pleasant now to reversal the procedure and to award them and rest of the defence full marks for top class display.  The disappointment to the hundreds of Everton supporters at Deepdale was that the forwards rarely took advantage of the constant and accurate service they received from their halves and full backs.  No clear-cut opening was made despite having more of the play than Preston and the number of shots at that capable goalkeeper Else could be counted on the fingers of his hand.  There in a sentence was Everton’s major weakness.  It was left to Jimmy Harris and King to test Else one from Laverick and not one from either Shackleton or Thomas.  Collins played beautifully in setting up attack after attack with passes to either which could not have been bettered and usually Laverick and Harris supplying with them.  But when Collins varied his method with a through ball Thomas and Shackleton were too easily dispossessed and this lack of bite in the middle meant that the Preston defence, as assured and confident as Everton’s was able to clear easily. 
Laverick had a particularly good second half, taking the ball to the by-line before crossing but the Preston covering was faultless too, and invariably the ball was blocked or cleared.  A couple of Jimmy Harris shots veered narrowly away from the far post with Else beaten but those apart Everton never looked like scoring.  With both defences so completely on top, it looked as though neither team would scored if they had played for another hour.  Everton’s closet shave came when the last move of the match when Labone left Finney’s side for the first time and the Preston leader was able to head a centre across the face of goal with Labone taking a wild swing at it, missing completely and the ball slid just outside the far upright.  Had Labone connected he might well have turned the ball past Dunlop and this would have been a travesty for the goalless draw I thought was the best possible result.  Preston’s attack collectively was as ineffective as Everton’s, and their defence about on a par with the Everton rearguard for compass efficiency.  Veteran full back Cunningham and Walton were delightfully cool under pressure and invariably used the ball well.  Young Richardson at centre half playing only his third League game was too good for Shackleton. 
Right half Milne son of the Preston trainer is built on Ling like lines, and looks a fine prospect.  On the other wing Smith was able to beat Thomas and come through with the ball almost as he liked.  The Preston halves like Everton’s must have wondered what more they had to do to produce a spark from their forwards.  Most games where defences are dominant usually become dull pointless affairs.  But this one I felt was different.  The clever studious play of defenders made it noteworthy.  Everton are playing better than at any time this season a good sign for the forthcoming Cup days.  There is nothing wrong with them on this display that a first-class strong forward striker for who can shoot on sight will not put right. 

Thursday, December 10, 1959. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Horace Yates
Everton manager Mr. John Carey was at Bradford last night with some of his directors to see City quality to meet Everton in round three of the F.A. Cup by defeating Rochdale in the replayed second round and although it is always dangerous to form hard and fast conclusions from these preliminary observations, it is hard to see how the Everton observers could fail to come away fairly confident that whatever shocks round three may have in store, the name of Everton will not figure among them.  Bradford City really had to struggle to eliminate their Fourth Division opponents and if they did not look good against ordinary opposition, it is not easy to imagine how they hope to overthrow Everton.  From conversation with one of the regular followers last night, I learned that City would be the most surprised club in the land to find their names in the draw for found four.  Everton are unlikely to be lulled into any false sense of security on that account.  Teams without a chance have provided upsets before to-day.  After all it is not the form of previous games, but the showing on the actual day of the match that is decisive in these saddest death Cup struggles. 
Scoring Leader
I should not be at all surprised if Mr. Carey reports to his players that the opponent they will have to watch with the greatest caution is centre forward Derek Stokes, scorer of both goals last night.  Indeed, with a lesser player than Stokes leading the line City’s interest in the Cup might now have ended.  He is an example of the way in which a lad can rise to opportunity.  When McCole was playing regularly for City prior to his transfer to Leeds United in the early stages of the season, this twenty-year-old ex-railway worker was at outside left and doing quite well there.  On McCole’s departure it was Stokes on whom manager Peter Jackson’s choice fell as new leader of the attack.  Stokes astonished everybody by the rapidity with which he settled down to his new role.  By now he is acknowledged as the team’s most menacing forward and a already his name has been noted by several bigger clubs.  Including his two goals last night, Stokes has scored seven of the eight goals to City’s credit in the four Cup games they have so far played.  Stockily built he has a deceptive turn of speed, controls the ball brilliantly and both makes and takes opportunities in a highly promising manner.  Labone, it appears is likely to be one of Everton’s busiest defenders when these teams get to grips. 
What of John Reid, the inside left in whom Everton have been interested for two or three seasons, and for whom they at one time had an offer of £15,000 turned down?  My information is that he has not yet retained the form he showed last season and against Rochdale was nothing like so dangerous as outside right Bobby Webb.  Looking for flaws, I would not be at all surprised if Mr. Carey detected in the City backs, Tom Flockett and George Mullholland a certain slowness in recovery and lack of positional sense that could cost the side dearly against speedy and experienced raiders.  The half-back line of Peter Jackson, Jim Lawlor and Colin Roberts all showed limitations when the pressure was on and in goal George Stewart did not handle convincingly from time to time.  All in all then the story from Bradford appears to be that City have nothing like the class or soundness of a First Division side.  It would be surprising if they had, but class is not always decisive in Cup-fighting.  Of course, City’s tactics will be quite different against Everton from those of last night and with defenders intent on giving their opponent no room in which to work may look better with first time spotting.  It may be that on another occasion players like David Jackson and outside left David Boyle will develop more power than against Rochdale.  When My Bradford City correspondent was minimizing the Yorkshire club’s chances, I could not help remembering that this was the sort of thing I heard so frequently last season from Worcester before they defeated Liverpool.  Few gave Worcester City any sort o chance and yet on the day they never looked like losing to Liverpool. 
Mr. Carey is wise enough and experienced enough to realize that superior players can be taken right out of their stride by inferior opposition, giving their all in a desperate bid for honour and glory on a special occasion.  It is remarkable sometimes how a team can be made to play down to the standard of their opponents.  Obviously City’s greatest hopes must be in proving able to do just that.  Making every allowance however, Everton appear to have the sounded reasons for confidence in their ability to meet the challenge-and beat it with something to spare. 

Thursday, December 10, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Mr. L. Nolan from 196 Walton Breck Road, Anfield is pretty pessimistic about Everton’s chance of becoming the best team in European. “If Everton had succeeded in getting Law and Baker,” he says “we would have been more than half way there.  At least we should not have felt naked at Goodison Park standing in a half-empty stadium.  The thought of £3,000 going down the drain every home game annoys me more than anything.  Over a full season this money would be enough to buy John Charles.”
Mr. Nolan goes on “But the damage has been done.  The football-loving crowds of this city cannot stay away for long and soon Everton will be back to the comfortable 38,000 which satisfies them.  Once upon a time I was football-mad.  I would give up overtime to go on away trips, queue all night for cup-tie tickets, stand in the foulest weather all in the hope that my team would one day with something to shout about.  But slowly and off, so surely I have come to realize that I is not to be.  I have grown older by fifteen years and now at last there is the awakening.  Though I am still football-mad it is obvious that fame is no longer essential at Goodison Park.  We only talk about it other clubs achieve it.  I simply cannot get excited at the prospect of watching the present Everton.  Multiply this by fifteen or twenty thousands and you have the story of the empty terraces.  Call it the death of a fan. 

Thursday, December 10, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
By A Special Correspondent
Everton manager John Carey is far to shrewd to under estimate any opponent when Cup-tie are about, but after visiting Bradford last night he probably feels that the City side will have to be considerably better than in their 2-1 defeat of Rochdale.  If they are to create any shock in the third round against Everton.  Without being unduly critical one had the feeling during this floodlit replay last night that Bradford City’s progress to the next round was due to Rochdale’s limitations rather than the merits of City.  There was no doubt that their zest and determination plus staying power were qualities calculated to make them difficult to combat.  Yet it seemed also highly probable that First Division quality will tell when Everton visit Bradford.  One man beyond all others when Everton must watch closely is 20-years-old City centre forward David Stokes who is the team’s outstanding figure of the moment.  He was the regular outside left until McCole was transferred to Leeds United in September when Stokes moved to the middle to make a spectacular hit. 
His two goals last night was his seventh of the eight scored by City in their four Cup games to date, and he has collected 13 in eleven matches since the move to the middle.  Yet City success as might otherwise was marked more by their tenacity and purpose than any conceded craft though they had an impressive outside right in little Wood while inside-left John Reid was a menacing figure though only in patches.  It was a match of little profits for the Jackson twin brothers re City half-back line general was not successive during these periods when Rochdale were making their strongest bid to save if not to win the game.  It was noticeable is that City’s aging backs, Flockett and Mullholland though a sturdy pat when the ball was in front of them, were not too happy in recovery while goalkeeper Stewart was prone to fumble the ball under pressure. 

Thursday, December 10, 1959. The Liverpool Echo and Evening Express
Everton Unchanged
Everton whose opponents on January 9 will be Bradford City, are working might and days to ensure that their pitch will be fit to take the First Division game against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.  Their team will be unchanged from the one which stopped Preston’s winning run of seven matches in succession at Deepdale last Saturday.  Everton; Dunlop; Parker, Jones; King, Labone, Harris (B); Harris (J), Thomas, Shackleton, Collins, Laverick. 
Everton Res (at Preston);- O’Neill; Tansey, Bramwell; Rea, Billington, Meagan; Boner, Shepherd, Hood, Ashworth, O’Hara. 
With skipper Maurice Setters suspended for 4 days wing half Charles Drury gets his first chance of the season in West Bromwich Albion’s side.  West Bromwich Albion;- Wallace; Howe, Williams (S); Drury, Kennedy, Robson; Aitken, Burnside, Allen, Kevan, Hogg. 




December 1959