Everton Independent Research Data


Lancashire Evening Post - Thursday 03 December 1903
With a determination to improve the Blackpool team, the officials have signed on McEwan, from Everton, the transfer fee being a considerable one. He has been playing a sound game with Everton reserve, and it was with some difficulty that Blackpool secured him. He will partner Anderton in the match at Bristol on Saturday.

Dundee Evening Post - Friday 04 December 1903
Duncan McEwan
The Everton club have transfered Duncan McEwan, outside left, to the Blackpool club and he will play against Bristol City tomorrow. He has been with Everton two seasons, but has not had many opportunities of playing with the League team. He is fast and clever, but rather light. He is a Scottish junior international, and a very promising player.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 07 December 1903
Played at Molyneux Grounds, in a fog, before 3,000 spectators. Within seven minutes of the start Miller put in a fast shot, which gave Kitchen no chance whatever. A few minutes later Wooldridge placed the Wanderers two goals ahead. Wolverhampton led by two to none at the interval. Immediately on resuming Everton scored. There was a combined run by the home forwards, but the final effort failed. Haywood was temporarily injured, and an atatck on the Wolves goal resulted in McDermott equalising the score. Result; a draw of 2 all.

Athletic News - Monday 07 December 1903
By Wulf
Molinenx Grounds on Saturday was a medley, for the arena seemed to contain a circle of transitory phantasmal characters, which, flitting here and there through the banks of white fog, produced one of those weird effects which really should not be associated with the winter game of football. After all is said and done, one wonders why the game should have been concluded at all, for the foggy visitation on Saturday seemed to preclude any idea of a match being played at all, but there it is. The final score of two goals each seems unmistakably clear, yet in the course of long experience, measuring a few years of two decades, I have never seen an important League game and concluded under such conditions. I say important advisedly, for it was greatly to the interests of the Wanderers that a win should have accrued as the result of the meeting. Those who have followed the “Wolves” will know how disastrous it was to them to lose a point at home on Saturday, but now that has happened it cannot be helped. Whether the fog at Wolverhampton was very serious or not on Saturday, it seems strange that the neighboring match at the Hawthorns, a few miles away, between the Albion and Derby County, should have been postponed and yet it was so, though one cannot understand it, for Molineux Grounds lie in a hollow, and are, of course, doubly susceptible to the tog.
Well, to cut a long story short, for it will be impossible to correctly outline the play from start to finish, the teams fumbled out, and at the sound of the referee’s whistle got into position. Then the game began, and we began to reflect upon the apparent stupidity of playing a match under such conditions. To Pressmen who were doing their work in the biting open air, consequent upon the condition of the press box window panes, the players seemed like a mixed gathering of figures undistinguishable, and to quote the words of Byron, “The man was a phantasmagoria in himself.”  Not at only time were the whole or the players visible to the naked eve. Now and then we heard a perfect howl of approval from the other side of the ground, as one of the local forwards got to work. We could not see unless the men crowded upon our side of the patch. Luckily, we were favoured with the first goal.  A neat dribble on the left wing let in Smith, who, with Miller, dashed to the other end. Smith passed across, and Crelley, I think, must have badly miskicked, for the ball came out to Miller, who, running at a good turn of speed, caught the leather with his left foot, and it dashed into the corner of the net amid an indescribable pandemonium. The spectators at the other end of the field, hearing the howl, set up another, and for a minute all was enthusiasm. Then we set to work again, and our eyes ached as we strained to watch the play. There was another cry from the spectators on our side the field, and looking upon the field of play we saw several of the home forwards and half-backs hurrying towards the Everton goal. There were varying shouts from the players, and then another perfect howl from the Molineux-street end, which betokened a score, and it was, for we were afterwards told that Wooldridge had done the trick.  Backwards and forwards the players hurried, and only by the shouts of the spectators from the various quarters could we tell how things were progressing.
Then an extraordinary thing happened. The whistle sounded and the players left the field. We looked at our watches and found that half-time had been reached by fully nine minutes. There were various inquiries, and several were of opinion that the referee had decided to abandon the game. We waited patiently, and then through the gloom the players be seen on the field again. When they re-started in the same positions as before we came to the conclusion that the referee had made a mistake of about nine minutes. Whether it was or not the players dashed through the fog, got a kick in here and there, and turned round at the interval, without going back to their dressing-room quarters. The second half was more of a phantasy than ever. The fog grew thicker, and the actions of the players less distinguishable.  We guessed however, that Haywood had been injured in a collision with one of the Everton half back*, and were full of regret when the little man was taken off. Unfortunately for the “Wolves” a score to Everton came in his absence. As far as we knew the visiting forwards dashed up and McDermott, with a long shot, resented the margin of goals, this success being hailed with much handshaking. This was not all, however. Everton were going very strongly, and now and then we could tell that Baddeley was doing great things, while occasionally there came a long volleying kick from Jones, the ball soaring high the white fog.  Harwood came on again, and we knew that it could not be long before the final whistle came.  We looked into the white funereal pall, and your eyes wandered to the spot from whence various shouts from the spectral spectators resounded.  Everton were off again, and then came a murmur as if someone had obtained a success.  We found afterwards that Baddeley had been beaten by a long shot from McDermott, and so it was that Everton snatched a lucky point.
It would be impossible to give a well-defined criticism of such a game.  Everton must surely be accounted lucky to share the spoils, especially when the “Wolves” were two goals ahead, for, of all teams to fight and retain their ascendancy, the “Wolves” are the lot to mention.  It was exceedingly hard for them; they were striving for an unbeaten home record in every sense, but the fact that they lost point annuls it somewhat.  Owing to the fog we cannot praise; therefore we cannot individualize.  Wolverhampton Wanderers;- Baddley; Jones and Bentley; Whitehouse Walker, and Annis; Baynam, Haywood, Wooldridge, Smith, and Miller.  Everton; Kitchen; Balmer, Crelley; Wolstenholme, Booth, and Abbott; Sharp, Taylor, Settle, McDermott, and Corrin.  Referee; J.H. Smith, Doncastle. 

Athletic News - Monday 07 December 1903
By Junius
Hardman, the clever outside left of the Everton Club, is enjoying a well-earned rest.  In connection with his studies of late he has been slightly overworked, and the Everton directors thought it would be beneficial if he took a fortnight’s holiday.  I am assured, however, that his re-inclusion in the League eleven will be a certainty at the completion of his period of inactivity, and the left winger is such a favourable at Goodison Park that his return will be heartily welcomed by the crowd.  I see that Marshall McEwan has been transferred by Everton to Blackpool-a case or reciprocity presumably.  McEwan is a very promising youth, with any amount of football in him. 

London Daily News - Monday 07 December 1903
At Molyneux ground, in foggy weather, these teams played a drawn game of two goals each. Both clubs were well represented, but it was almost impossible for the 3,000 spectators to distinguish the various players. About seven minutes from the start Smith passed out to Miller, who beat the Everton goalkeeper with a splendid shot. Wooldridge increased the Wanderers' lead, and sometime after this the players left the field. A mistake however, had been made by the referee of nine minutes, and the teams returned to finish the half. Ends were changed with Wolverhampton still leading by a couple of points. The second half took place under great difficulties, the fog becoming worse than ever. McDermott twice scored for Everton, who were somewhat lucky in saving the match.

December 7, 1903. The Liverpool Courier
The weather in the Black Country on Saturday was by no means favourable, as on arrival a heavy fog prevailed, and at one time it almost seemed if it would be impossible to start the game. Everton made one change in the team, which did duty at Goodison-park last Saturday. In the absence of Young, Settle was tried in the unusual position for him at centre forward, while McDermott partnered Corrin on the left wing. This time fixed for the kick off was half-past two o'clock, but a quarter of an hour earlier the teams appeared on the field, and started upon a burlesque of the game. Indeed so difficult was it to follow the play that the crowd went through the barriers and took up positions as near as possible to the touch-line. The Teams were: - Everton: - Kitchen, goal, W.Balmer, and Crelly, backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain) and Abbott half-backs, Sharp, Taylor, Settle, McDermott, and Corrin, forwards. Wolverhampton Wanderers: - Baddeley goal, Jones and Betteley, backs, Whitehouse, G.Walker, and Annis, half-backs, Baynham, Heywood, Woolridge, J.Smith, and Miller, forwards. Referee Smith. Everton opened the game, but it was quite impossible to follow the course of the ball, as from the touch-line one could not see beyond midfield. The movements of the players indicated an attack on the Wolves goal, and in this movement Settle was greatly in evidence. From the appearance at the far goal, Kitchen had brought off a save, and when the players had come within a view from the press box, it was seen that Heywood was in possession and gave trouble to the Everton defenders. A further attack was levelled at the visitors goal after Settle had failed to get a shot at Baddeley, and as the result of some smart passing Miller succeeded in defeating Kitchen some eight minutes from the opening of the game. Following this the Wolves backs were kept busy. For some few minutes, Everton held their ground, but another hugh roar revealed the fact that the Wolves had scored a second goal, which was generally attributed to Woolridge. The crowd, had been dubious about giving the game their support, now came into the ground in fair numbers, but it was manifest that the game was reduced to nothing short of a farce. What play that could be seen was fortunately confined to the select side of the ground. More than once Sharp and Taylor were noted in several movements towards the home goal, and still there was no indication of earnest effort shown, probably owing to the hope that the game would come to an untimely end. Again were Sharp and Taylor prominent, but little quarter could be exacted from the Wolves defenders, who covered Baddley repeatedly. Probably never was a First League match contested under such unfavourable conditions, and as the game progressed it seemed absurd to continue a contest in which valuable points were at stake. Some smart work between Wolstenholme, Taylor, and Sharp looked promising for Everton, when at this juncture the whistle was blown, apparently for half-time, three quarters of an hour had not expired since the game had started. Whether it was owing to the fog or to a mistake on the part of the referee in regard to time was not apparent but after a brief. Interval the players returned to the field, evidently with the object of completing the first half. The fog became worse than ever, and from the stand it was absolutely impossible to follow the progress of the ball. Half-time Wanderers 2, Everton nil.
Without leaving the field, the second half proceeded with, and immediately the Everton forwards moved along and opened the scoring in the first minute. This was only apparently by the fact that the players took up their positions at the half-way line again, (McDermott Scored) and the players getting way a movement was made to the other end, when Kitchen came out and saved from Heywood. Crelly checked another attack by the Wolves right, and the game went on amidst impenetrable fog. About six minutes had gone when the Everton forwards rushed down, and Baddeley was beaten by McDermott. Baddeley caught a long shot, and the Wolves going away Kitchen was beaten, but the referee disallowed the point for offside. Everton were now playing well, Baddeley saving. Heywood was injured, and McDermott again beat Baddeley, who fell. Another exciting scrimmage in the Everton goal followed Kitchen saving well, and a draw off two goals each resulted.

December 7, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
Everton on Saturday accomplished what no other club has done this season, on the Molineux Ground. They shared the points with Wolverhampton Wanderers. The game was played in a dense fog, and at no time was it possible for the spectators to follow the progress of the play. Really under many conditions First Division League football was reduced to the level of an absolute farce. The referee of course, is the sole judge as to weather the match should be played, and there can be little doubt that Mr.Smith, of Doncastle, the official who controlled the proceedings, must have strained a point in coming to the conclusion that a serious game of football was possible. From no position was it practicable for a spectator to obtain a view of both goal posts. Indeed from the touch line it was barely possible to see half-way across the playing pitch. Under such circumstances it will at once be apparent that no really accurate idea could be formed of the general tenour of the game. As a matter of fact, the only indication that a goal had been scored was either by the applause, which one heard from those in the vicinity of the goal posts, or the ball being brought to the centre of the field. Serious criticism therefore of a League fixture under such abnormal conditions is absolutely out of the question. The main feature was the Everton extracted a point from the Wolves, and possibly this was about the best thing that could have happened, for it was scarcely fair that either team should have been called upon to participate in such a perfect farce. A part from the fog, the alleged game was notable for the fact that the referee blew his whistle for the interval at least five minutes before the proper time. He discovered his mistake when the players retired, and the result was that they came on the field again, and completed the full three-quarters of an hour. With out returning to the dressing room rooms, the teams entered upon the second half of what must be described as a pure burlesque.

Burnley Express - Wednesday 09 December 1903
Colne and Everton Reserve had an idle day through the postponment of their Combination fixture owing to fog enveloping the Everton ground and making play impossible.

London Daily News - Monday 14 December 1903
A good game at Stoke, played before 7,000 perople, ended in the victory of Everton by three goals to two. Davis and Sturgess played for Stoke instead of Higginson and Bradley. The home side atatcked strongly in the first half, and Watkins, aided by a miskick on the part of Balmer, scored for them. Everton then pressed hard, but could not get through, Stoke thus crossing over with the lead of a goal. Corrin equalised for Everton in the first minute of the second half, this being followed immediately by Coxon scoreing for Stoke. Taylor afterwards scored twice for Everton.

Athletic News - Monday 14 December 1903
By Onward
Everton were a much better side than Stoke in Saturday’s match at the Victoria Ground. Stoke. The men from Goodison Park played football of quite a superior class to their opponents and after being twice led during the game they pluckily faced up each time, and won cleverly and most deservedly by three goals to two.  A typical raw December atmosphere, with a keen east wind blowing, probably accounted mainly for the poor attendance of 5,000, but an early kick-off always effects the “gates” owing to the scattered district from which Stoke draw their support.  Everton were able to place the side in the field, which thrashed Small heath and drew at Wolverhampton.  Lloyd Davies deposed Higginson at inside-right and Bardley was an enforced absentee from the half-back line owing to an attack of neuralgia, his place being taken by Sturgess.
The first half was of a fairly even character, but Stoke were a trifle lucky in securing the only goal obtained before the change of ends.  Everton started away at a great pace, and their forwards, by quick, nippy movements very early had the Stoke halves and backs in trouble.  Roose’s charge had one or two narrow escapes, and once after he had smartly stopped a fast trimmer from Sharp, Settle pounced upon the ball from the return and whizzed it high over the bar.  It seemed impossible for the latter player to miss the mark, as he was no more than four yards away, but he did.  Stoke’s goal came after twenty minutes, and was obtained in this way.  Coxon ran down the left-wing and centred.  Balmer kicked at the ball and missed it, and Watkins, who was close at hand, beat Kitchen with a high shot.  Everton faced up with great pluck after this reverse and showed some very fine play at both half-back and forward.  The Stoke defence was kept very busy, and Roose made some really wonderful saves.  Watkins and Holdcroft were both presented with glorious chances of increasing the Stoke lead, but each failed lamentably, and Stoke crossed over leading by a goal to nothing. It was quite as much as they deferred. EVERTON FINE PLAY.
The opening of the second half was sensational. Sharp, who had been playing a grand game at outside right, banged the ball right across the Stoke goal mouth, and Corrin, who was lying well up, scored easily. There was more than a suspicion of off-side about the point, but it was allowed to count. Stoke quickly and effectively replied, and within a minute had regained their lost lead. Davies put in a shot which Kitchen failed to hold, and as the Everton keeper, could only get the ball a few yards away, Coxon embraced the opportunity to dash in and plant it in the rigging. It was from this point that Everton began to clearly and unmistakably overplay the Stoke team. Their half-backs were magnificent, and backed up by such a trio the forwards were again and again dangerous. After a goal had been struck off for obstructing Roose-four or five Everton men were lying on the Stoke keeper in the net—Taylor scored an equalizing goal through a crowd of players, and the same player added the winning goal, whilst the Stoke defenders stood helpless.  They had been overplayed and literally run to a standstill.  So Everton triumphed by three goals to two, and, I repeat, they fully deserved their victory.
The Everton half-backs deserve a head- line all to themselves.  They bear a reputation as being one of the best club trios playing football, and on Saturday they excelled themselves.  They gave one of the finest exhibitions of half-back play, individually and collectively, it has ever been the lot of the writer to see during a long experience of first class football.  They completely shattered the attacks of the Stoke forwards in the second “45” and so supported their own line of attack that it seemed that the Stoke half-backs were trying to cope with eight forwards.  In the half-back line was the real strength of Everton, and through their half-backs mainly they triumphed.  The forwards, too, were quick and incisive and in the second half Jack Sharp played a wonderful game, beating the defenders time and again and placing the ball with unfailing accuracy across goal.  Taylor and McDermott also played clever football; and in the closing stages, when Stoke were pressing desperately in a fast failing light, Balmer and Crelley showed their best form.  In the first half they were somewhat weak.
 Stoke were weakest where Everton were strongest—in the half-back division, and when the half-backs are below form there is usually trouble. Holford was a long way below his usual form. In the latter part of the game he seemed distressed, and went all to pieces.  Baddeley, too, was below form, and was given to rambling and leaving his wing uncovered: and Sturgess, who strained the muscles of his thigh early in the second half, found more than he could manage in Sharp and Taylor. The backs, in consequence, were overworked, and if at times they showed weakness, they did not, on the whole, play badly. Behind them, Roose was quite at his best. The outside men, Coxon and Whitehouse, were the most persistent and the most dangerous forwards. The display of the three inside men was very moderate. Davies was not a success. Holdcroft played a very poor game, and Watkins did little except score a goal. Mr. J. Morton, of Sheffield, made many bad mistakes in refereeing the game, and seemed quite unable to go the pace necessary to follow the play properly. Stoke; L.R. Roose; Burgress, and Benson; Baddeley, Holford, and Sturgess; Whitehouse, Davies, Watkins, Holdcroft and Coxon.  Everton; Kitchen; Balmer, and Crelley; Wolstenholme, Booth, and Abbott; Sharp, Taylor, Settle, McDermott, and Corrin.  Referee; Mr. J. Morton, Sheffield. 

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 14 December 1903
Played at Stoke, before 7.000 spectators, Everton were unaltered, while Stoke were without Bradley, and played LLoyd Davies in place of Higginson. Interval -Stoke 1 goal, Everton none. Everton at once ran the ball up to close quarters, where Corrin acored, while a minute later Coxon again put Stoke ahead. The visitors exerted great pressure for a long time subsequently and when the half was twenty minutes old Taylor equalised. The same player added a third point. Result; Everton 3 goals; Stoke 2.

December 14, 1903. The Liverpool Courier
For the second Saturday in succession Everton were away from home. Their destination was the Pottery district, where they met Stoke for the first time this season in the League encounters. The Weather was very raw and cold, but there was a fair attendance of spectators. Everton relied upon the team, which effected the draw against the Wolves, while on the home side Sturgess and Davies displaced Bradley and Higginson. Teams: - Stoke: - Roose, goal, Burgess, and Benson, backs, Badeley, Holford, and Sturgess, half-backs, Whitehouse, Davies, Watkins, Holdcroft, and Coxon, forwards. W.Balmer, and Crelly, backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain), and Abbott, half-backs, Sharp, Taylor, Settle, McDermott, and Corrin, forwards. Referee J.Morton. There, would be about five thousands spectators when, Everton having lost the toss, Watlins kicked off, against the wind. The game started at a lively pace, the Everton men being the first to become prominent. They were quickly beaten back, and Whitley, and Davies by pretty passing worked the ball down towards the Everton goal, Booth dispossessed Watkins, and the visiting forwards raced away, only to find the Stoke backs on the alert. In a moment the home left were in evidence, and the Everton goal was endangered until Crelly kicked clear. Everton took up the attack on the left, Corrin putting in some smart work. The Stoke halves, however, were difficult to shake off, and when Everton looked like getting through Corrin unfortunately found himself in an offside position. From a well sustained attack Sharp shot in hard at Roose, and the experienced custodian was only able to partially clear, Settle was presented with a nice chance, but to the delight of the crowd his shot was hopelessly feeble. Everton continued to press vigorously and Settle this time brought out all Roose's resource with a line shot. Suddenly Stoke dashed away, and Kitchen cleverly negotiated a dangerous shot from Watkins. Then Everton again had a good look in, though without troubling Roose. The Stoke left wing next took up the running, but Coxon was obviously offside when he sent in an oblique shot, which Kitchen kicked away just after the whistle had gone. Stoke were now having more of the play, and the Everton defence was severely taxed. Watkins again shot in hard, only to find Kitchen safe. Immediately afterwards Kitchen cleared again from Coxon, and this led to a neat movement by the Everton right. It was unproductive. Stoke were quickly making matters warm for the Everton defence, and owing to a miskick by Balmer, Watkins easily opened the score for Stoke. Taylor was conspicuous and Roose brought off a magnificent save. Stoke forced a fruitless corner, and at the other end Roose negotiated a difficulty shot from Corrin. On the heavy ground the footwork was by no means from fault, but considering the conditions it was astonishing that such a fast pace should have maintained. Watkins sent over when well placed. Everton had another good try to equalise, but Corrin's final effort went just the wrong end of the upright. As the interval approached the pace seemed to tell somewhat upon the players. Once more Corrin gained distinction by a very clever cross, which gave Roose no little trouble, and for some the Stoke defenders were hard pressed. Just before the whistle blew for the interval Crelly was injured but limped off the field with his colleagues. Half-time Stoke 1, Everton nil. On resumption Crelly reappeared, and after the Stoke forwards had rushed down Everton returned on the right, Sharp finishing with fine centre from which Corrin defeated Roose. Hardly had the game been restarted when the Stoke forwards faced off in irresistible style and Davies shot in hard, Kitchen was enable to clear effectively with the result that Coxon scored a second goal for the homesters. Everton returned to the attack, and the Stoke goal had a narrow escape. Subsequently Everton had the best of matters and Taylor scored two goals. Result Stoke 2, Everton 3.

December 14, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
Lancashire Combination “A” Division (Game 11)
At Goodison Park. Dent mulled over s hot from Marshall, Simpson after scored the equalise, and Sheridan added a third and O'Hagan scored a fourth. Everton: - Dent, goal, Gordon, and Murray, backs, Wildman Russell, and Henderson half-backs, Rankin, Sheridan Dilly, O'Hagan, and Simpson forwards.

December 14, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
At Stoke on Saturday Everton even improved upon their meritorious draw in the fog in the previous week. They defeat the “Potters” by three goals to two, and in every respect the victory was earned last season Everton were unable to extract a single point from home, and their latest encounter therefore, was all the more gratifying. The game was contested on very heavy ground, and this seemed to favour the Evertonians. Somehow or another the Stoke forwards in particular found is a matter of great difficulty to keep their feet, but when this could not be regarded as a responsible excuse for their defeat. Unquestionably a better side beat they a fact which was acknowledged even by the local supporters. It was unfortunate that the kick off should have been fixed for such a late hour as 2-30. The day was raw and bitterly cold, and with the mist, which prevailed, it was obvious when the game started that it would have to be concluded in semi-darkness. This turned out to be the case, and in consequence the spectators were robbed of the pleasure of witnessing, with anything like accuracy, the proceedings of the play during the last half-hour of the match. One can understand to some extent the desire of club managers to delay the kick off to as late a time as possible, but after all in First Division football it is somewhat farcical that a contest should be concluded when it is difficult, indeed to fellow the varying fortune of an important game. In the first half Stoke credited themselves with the only goal, which was obtained in this period. At the same time they did not show any superiority bye the general tactics displayed by the Everton side. It might even be stated that the visitors were slightly superior to their opponents, whose success was the result, not so much of finished movements, as of vigorous and determined dashed for goal. When the teams resumed there was some rather sensational scoring. Sharp raced away, and finished with a superb centre, which Corrin, who had previously been distinguishing himself easily converted into a goal. No sooner had the ball been kicked off from midfield than the Stoke forwards swooped down upon Kitchen who, after a partial clearance, was beaten for the second time by Coxon. At this stage Stoke seemed to have a fair chance of winning, but the Evertonians quickly placed a different complexion upon the game and, despite the smart goalkeeping of Roose, that custodian was twice beaten by Taylor. There is no doubt whatever that during the second half Everton were immeasurably superior to the “Potters” They simply ran than off their feet, and once more gave evidence of what a splendidly trained team they are. Everton are to be congratulated upon their really creditable victory. Throughout they displayed an amount of determination, which nearly always suggested danger to the Stoke defenders. The half-backs were again a great stumbling block in the way of the home attack, and it was well they were in such capital form because both backs were at times not so reliable as customary. Both Sharp and Corrin did extremely well, and the right wings especially during the second half and despite the heavy ground, not only tricked opponents, but also got in many brilliant centre. Settle, though not by any means an ideal centre forward, distributed the work with good judgement, and he was ably, supported by his inside men. No one worked harder than Taylor, and none congratulated the veteran on his success in scoring a couple of goals more heartily than did his colleagues in the front line. Kitchen at times was severely tested, but he once more proved his capabilities at a resourceful custodian. Stoke's greatest weakness was in their half-back line, where the absence of Bradley was somewhat severely felt. The backs came though a trying ordeal with some success, but their forwards rarely exhibited any powers of combination likely to lead to a successful issue.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 21 December 1903
This match was played at Goodison Park, before eleven thousand spectators. Owing to the illness of Abbott and Hodgkinson, Sheridan appeared for Everton and Lecky for Derby. In the early stages of the game Everton gained several corners, and after thirty minuets' play Richards scored for the County. Everton failed to equalise, and Mercer missed two splendid openings. Interval; Derby 1 Everton none. Nothing more was scored in the second half.

Athletic News - Monday 21 December 1903
An exciting game on the ground of the Oswaldtwisle Rovers ended in a win for Everton Reserve by 2-1, the victors having to fight every inch of the ground to keep the lead.  The home forwards played an unusually smart game in the first half, Banks being frequently conspicuous.  Hindle the home custodian, was frequently called upon, Rankin doing most of the work for the visitors.  The latter, however, had hard lines, and it was only Hindle’s clever saves that kept the toffeemen clever.  In the second half, with Everton leading, the game became rough, two of the home eleven having to retire.  Everton replied on their defence, and in Balmer and Whitley they had nothing to fear. 

Athletic News - Monday 21 December 1903
By Junius
Everton hare earned an unenviable name for inconsistency, and they seem determined to maintain their reputation in this respect. For their League fixture with Derby County they had to alter the constitution of their half-back line—which has been their bedrock of support in many a tussle—owing to the absence of Abbott, who was suffering from quinsy, and as Makepeace, who would otherwise have filled the vacancy, was also incapacitated, Taylor drawn from the forward line to left half, and Sheridan introduced as inside left to Corrin. This change exercised a potent influence on the game, for the Irish International was in one of his roving moods and proved himself a poor substitute for Taylor, in fact, after the interval he was transferred to the inside right position, and McDermott crossed over to the left wing. Derby had to make one alteration in their front line, owing to Hodgkinson's absence—due to a sudden attack of biliousness—and Warren took his place.  Despite these chances it was generally anticipated that Everton would prevail, and that they failed to do so was due more to their own weaknesses than to any superiority on the part their opponents
Although Everton made a most invigorating start, and should have scored through McDermott in the first minute, they soon afterwards displayed that weakness which eventually cost them the game. This was an utter inability on the part of the forwards to turn to account the chancre which their clever work in midfield had gained for them, and Everton, I consider, lost the match in the first half. Derby were by no means idle, but their prospects were dimmed somewhat when Hall in a Collison with Sheridan was so badly hurt that he had to retire for ten minutes. Even with four forwards the visitors were by no means inert, and from a corner, forced by Richards, Kitchen had to clear an awkward drive from Bloomer. Still, Everton were showing a ragged sort of attack at close quarters, and for thirty minutes the play, after waging mostly in their favour, brought them no reward. The only goal of the game then came. Mercer broke away, and from long range drooped in a shot that Kitchen fisted over the line. From the flag kick Hall headed into goal, and Richards doing ditto from close range found his effort successful, the ball hitting the under part the bar before finding the net. Everton now roused themselves, and had they shown more keenness in shooting they must quickly have equalised, for Maskrey was twice floored with the ball in his possession. Then Mercer got an open goal after clever work by Davis, but shot wide, and when Crelly had to leave the field five minutes before the interval the outside right again got possession, and had a clear course, and the visitors seemed certain to be two goals ahead. The Irishman, however, after drawing Kitchen out, shot feebly outside. Judging the first half altogether, the visitors just deserved their lead.
Everton had been playing the one back game after Crelly’s retirement, and they resumed under the same conditions. Warren broke clean past Balmer, and with only Kitchen to beat found that worthy equal to his final shot, but the custodian could only partially clear. Bloomer pounced on the leather and a goal appeared certain, but again did Kitchen save his charge by a brilliant effort. This looked ominous, but still the crowd did not despair of victory even yet. Crelley entered the arena again and it was noticed that Sheridan and McDermott bad changed places. A slight improvement was witnessed in the Everton attack, and Maskrey just scooped behind a trimmer from Sharp, while Corrin headed a centre from Sheridan over the bar, when such an accomplishment seemed almost impossible. In the last quarter of an hour we saw the real Everton, not the flimsy substitute that had been paraded before our gaze for the previous portion of the game, but the Derby defenders played grandly, and fought desperately for the points which now seemed well within their grasp. Still, the home players infused such vigour and determination into their work that one felt they ought to draw level. Derby, however, were not to be vanquished; Maskrey and his backs had not an idle moment, and so splendidly did they resist the tremendous, onslaught of the home players, now worked up to their proper form, that they maintained an intact defence throughout, and , fairly deserved to capture the points, which at present are simply invaluable to them.
After being unbeaten in two successive, away matches. I naturally, in common with others, anticipated something different from the Everton team. At the same time it is impossible to get away from the fact that Abbott’s enforced absence made a wonderful difference to the efficacy of the home side. Settle was a very moderate sort of centre, and I should imagine Everton would not mind signing a big cheque for a decent player in this position. Sheridan is much of a nomad, and though fairly clever in midfield, easily bustled when close quarters are reached. Of the forwards, Corrin pleased me most; there is a robustness about his play which is very enticing, and this is the quality in which the Everton attacking line as a body showed themselves deficient. The half-backs gave them numberless openings. In the closing stages of the contest they did much to efface this impression, but it was then too late to redeem themselves. They had allowed the glorious chances of the earlier portions of the game to slip away unheeded, and now their best efforts went for nought. Booth played a grand game at centre half, and Wolstenholme also shaped excellently, whilst the veteran emergency man, Taylor, was ever plugging away with solid determination writ in every move. Balmer was in fine trim further behind, but Crelley received a nasty knock in the first half which so completely upset his subsequent play that it would be unfair to adjudicate upon his work. Kitchen made some excellent clearances, but that was a bad one that gave a corner and led to the only goal of the match.
This was the quality that pulled Derby safely through the game, and secured for them the eagerly coveted points. Their forwards were fairly smart, particularly the left wing, but Bloomer was seldom in evidence, and Mercer was erratic in his final efforts, whilst Warren filled the unaccustomed position—for him—of centre forward as well as could be expected. Having once secured the lead the visitors played as if they meant retaining the advantage, and whilst their half-backs stuck to their work determinedly it was the solid display of Morris and Methven that pulled them out of their difficulties. This pair kicked splendidly, and though Maskrey had a few awkward long dropping shots to deal with he never seemed likely to be beaten.  The Derby backs and halves worried the Everton attackers at close quarters and caused them to shoot anywhere and everywhere but in the goal mouth, and owing to their sterling resistance in the last quarter of an hour the Midlands’s brought off a most unexpected success. The visitors exhibited a marked anxiety during this period, and when one considers the attendant circumstances their subsequently jubilation need not be wondered at.  Everton; Kitchen; Balmer and Crelley; Wolstenholme, Booth, and Taylor; Sharp, McDermott, Settle, Sheridan, and Corrin.  Derby County; Maskery; Methven, and Morris; Leckie, Hall and May; Mercer, Bloomer, Warren, Richards, and Davis.  Referee; J. Adams, Birmingham. 

Athletic News - Monday 21 December 1903
By Junius
The defeat of Everton at Goodison Park was but another example of the manner in which the team disappoints the supporters at the most unexpected times.  Owing to the insecure position of the Midlanders, their visit to Goodison Park was of the utmost importance and the two points they have secured may be of inestimable value to them.  I was somewhat curious to see how the reorganized Everton forward line, which had proved so successful at Wolverhampton and Stoke, would work, and Now I am bound to wonder how the points were obtained in those two away fixtures.  As a centre-forward Settle can only be looked upon as a temporary stop-gap, and on the form shown in the home games there is only one centre that the directors possess who seems to understand the requirement of the position, despite his failings, and that is Young.  He injured himself in the recently equipped gymnasium which the directors have rigged up under the large stand, and it was here, I understand, that Makepeace their half-back, also came to grief.  It would not surprise me to find Everton giving a precisely opposite exhibition next Saturday at Manchester, for with the splendid set of backs they possess everything depends upon their forwards, and if these latter happen to be in a deadly humour- well, there will be trouble for someone.
Everton have again been fortunate in the draw for the first round of ties in connection with the Association Cup competition, and as was the case last year, when they met Portsmouth at home, they will be visited by another Southern League team on the first Saturday in February.  The ‘Sours will undoubtedly prove a great attraction; in fact, any of the prominent Southern clubs would in this city, and the past reputation of the North Londoners in the national tourney will simply be an additional incentive to view the game.  The Portsmouth chimes remain with us even yet, though they are generally voiced forth somewhat sarcastically against losing clubs that come to Liverpool and one of the subtle charms of the competition is that it introduces to us other clubs and other manners.  In the Lancashire Senior Cup competition Everton are indulged wild a mild sort of canter at home against the “Recs” of St. Helens. 

December 21, 1903. The Liverpool Courier
Derby County visited Goodison-park, on Saturday to oppose Everton in the first of the season's engagements. Everton were without the services for the first time since the season opened of Abbott who was suffering from quinsey, and his place was taken by Taylor, Sheridan partnering Corrin on the left, while McDermott took up his old position at inside right. Derby were without Hodkinson, the teams being as follows: - Everton: - Kitchen, goal, W.Balmer, and Crelly, backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain), and Taylor, half-backs, Sharp McDermott, Settle, Sheridan, and Corrin, forwards. Derby County: - Maskery goal, Methven, and Morris backs, Leckie, Hall, and May, half-backs, Mercer, Bloomer, Warren, Richards, and Davis, forwards. Referee J.Adams. The weather, though dull, was fine, but owing to the early kick off the attendance at the start was not very large. The Hon Arthur Stanley, M.P., with his brother and Lord Elcho, drove from Knowsley in a motor car, and were provided with seats in the director's box. Derby having won the toss, Settle kicked off in the presence of about 10,000 spectators. A rattling good movement was a once made towards the Derby goal. Sharp and McDermott indulged in pretty passing, with the result that the latter put in a beautiful centre, which McDermott just lifted over the bar. The play remained in Derby's half, and Booth set Everton on the attack again, and smart work by the left wing ended in Corrin shooting at lighting speed the wrong side of the upright. More clever bits of play followed, and Sheridan dallied too long when he had a good chance of taking a shot at goal. Sharp, with the aid of McDermott secured a corner. The ball was beautifully placed in the goalmouth, but the Derby defenders were alert. Everton were outplaying their opponents at this time, though in front of goal their efforts were not very dangerous. Davis was responsible for some pretty touches, but as a rule the combination of the visiting forwards was at fault. On the other hand, the Everton halves were very hard to beat. Again Corrin initiated a dashing onslaught, and it was only with difficulty that his centre was disposed of, Everton claimed much the better of the play, their finishing touches however, not being of a high order. Derby had now the assistance of Hall, on whose appearance the County forwards swooped down on Kitchen's charge. Though hampered Bloomer got his toe to the ball, but there was no force behind it, and Kitchen cleared very easily. In the course of another attack, Crelly failed to effectually intercept a centre from Hall. Still Booth stepped in to the rescue, and led to another attack by the Everton right. Yet another abortive corner fell to Everton, and play for the most part was of a scrambling nature. The County exerted pressure, and were rewarded with a corner. This was nicely taken, and the ball after going from Hall to Richards was headed into the net by the latter player. This resevse seemed to rouse the Evertonians who swarmed round Maskery, who had to grant a corner, which was badly utilised. Richards again netted the ball, only to be ruled offside. Then Sharp went down and centred to Wolstenholme, who had a nice chance but shot wide. After scrambling play in the Everton goalmouth, during which Kitchen came out, the ball went to Mercer, who, with an open goal, shot into the stand. Next Booth sent in a terrific shot, which missed by inches. Crelly, who had been limping, left the field, and during his absence Mercer finished a brilliant run by a ridiculous attempt to score a second goal. Half time Everton nil, Derby County 1. When the players returned Crelly was still an absentee, and Everton adopted the one back game from which Mercer early on suffered. Settle dashed through, but in the race for possession, Maskery just got to the ball in time. Then Sharp forced yet another fruitless corner, and in a twinkling the County forwards were at the other end, where Kitchen saved from Warren and Bloomer. For a time Everton were kept on the defensive, and there was a hearty round of applause when Crelly came out to the assistance of his colleagues. McDermott and Sheridan had changed places with the view of bringing about an improvement in the home attack. At length McDermott and Booth tested Maskery, and maintaining the pressure Taylor also had a really good try, Everton at this period attacking a most determined fashion. During a rush down to the Everton end, Mercer was at fault, and then Maskery's charge had a remarkable escape following a brilliant effort by Sharp. In the latter part of the game Everton attacked with great persistency, but failed to penetrate the County defence. The Derby goal escaped in marvellous fashion on several occasions. Everton pressed to the finish, but could not get the ball into the net. Final result Everton nil Derby County 1.

December 21,1903. The Liverpool Mercury
Lancashire Combination “A” Division (Game 12)
On the Rhoden around. Everton broke away, and Dilly scored as beautiful goal. Immediately afterwards Everton missed another chance. Half-time Everton 1, Rovers nil Jones scored from a penalty and equalised for the Rovers, but Rankin put his side ahead, and Everton won by two goals to nil. Everton: - Whitley, goal, Wildman and R.Balmer backs, Chadwick, Russell, and Murray, half-backs, Rankin, Sheridan, Dilly, O'Hagan, and Simpson, forwards.

December 21, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
For the third time this season Everton were defeated at Goodison Park, and the reverse came from a quarter which was generally unexpected. Derby County have had a chequered experience during the present campaign, and previous to their visit to Everton had only gained one point away from home this coming as a result of their fixture at West Bromwich on Monday last. As Everton had drawn at Wolverhampton and won at Stoke in successive away games, there was thus some substantial foundation for anticipating a victory at home over such opponents as the Peakites, and that this did not occur was due more to weakness in the Everton ranks than to any marked superiority on the part of the visitors. With Abbott absent through illness. Taylor had to be drafted to the half back line, and Sheridan introduced to the forward rank, a charge which did not produce satisfactory results. Derby were deprived of the services of their centre forwards, Hodgkinson and Warren filled the position, so that the teams faced each other on an even basis, as far as representation is concerned. Everton did not display their real form until the last quarter of an hour, and then they failed to redeem themselves for they were unable to equalise. Derby were the first to score from a corner kick forced by Mercer after half-an-hour's play, and Kitchen in fisting out, skied the ball behind the line. The flag kick landed the leather wide-of goal, and Hall headed in, but as it was dropping Richards applied his head, and after hitting the under part of the crossbar, the ball entered the net. This was the only point registered during the game, for though Richards again netted shortly afterwards he was palpably offside. But Mercer should easily have scored two further goals, for he received a centre from Davis and had only Kitchen to beat, whilst just before the second half was reached he ran clean through the backs and again failed to net the ball. So erratic were the home forwards when it came to a question of shooting that they never once managed to find the net, and it was this weakness which eventually brought about their downfall. After the interval Sheridan and McDermott changed places, and Crelly, who had retired five minutes before breathing time, again came on after ten minutes play, during which, period Everton adopted the one back game with almost disastrous consequences, but little improvement effected. They rallied in the last quarter and fairly penned in their opponents by they were exceedingly lenient with Maskery the Derby keeper, and the shots, which did reach him, occasioned but little anxiety. The visitors defence offered a cool and determined resistance and the goal was effectually and successfully packed. As will be gathered from what has already been stated, the Everton forwards were completely off colour, and to their inefficiency is the defeat attributable. They did not shape badly is midfield, but they finished their movements most erratically, and McDermott's failure to convert Sharp's centre in the first minutes was first a prelude of what was forthcoming. Particularly was the lack of scoring power noticeable in the first half, and many of the efforts were crude in the extreme. Corrin was the most effective forward on the home side, for he infused plenty of dash into his work that was missing in that of the inside players, but even he failed to head a centre from Sheridan into the net when he was but a couple of yards from goal. The latter was very weak, and his roaming tendencies did not conduce towards the harmonious working of the front line. Settle was also a failure in the centre. McDermott did many clever things, but was utterly useless when shooting; whilst Sharp appeared to be tainted with the same infection, and twice in succession placed corner kicks behind the netting. Booth and Wolstenholme were in good trim and Taylor fared very well against the Derby right wing pair, whilst further behind Balmer defended splendidly. Crelly received a nasty kick in the first half, which seriously affected his play, but he struck pluckily to his task, and under the circumstances was fairly reliable. Kitchen saved some excellent shots, notably two in the first minute of the second half, from Warren and Bloomer respectively. But it was a mis-hit, which gave the corner that led to Richards scoring, and this was the only fault in an otherwise capital performance. Derby were not a particularly brilliant side, but after scoring they managed to maintained the integrity of their defence, and thus they prevailed capturing two points thereby which are of incalculable value to them at the present juncture. Their forwards displayed some neat footwork, especially on the left wing, and Richards was the most conspicuous member of the line. Bloomer put in many neat touches, but was not as noticeable as usual in shooting whilst Mercer was about equal to the Everton forwards in this respect, and blundered badly in two cases. The halves were a fairly level trio, Hall rendering the most effective service in this department but further behind Morris and Methven kicked and tackled unflinchingly, and they had a warm time of it in the closing stages of the game. Maskery seems a very capable keeper, and in his methods, reminds one forcibly of Baddeley especially in his manner of anticipating a shot. The result was disappointing to the bulk of the crowd, though the fine work displayed in the closing stages somewhat compensated for the earlier failings. Interested spectators of the game were the Hon. Arthur Stanley and Lord Elcho, and the former has announced by willingness to present the Liverpool cup to the winning team on New Year's Day.

Lancashire Evening Post - Saturday 23 January 1904
At Darwen. before 3,000 spectators. Everton won the toss and early in the game Sheridan missed scoring with an open goal. Darwen. however, were very aggressive, and Whitley made splendid save out of a scrimmage. Crook next shaved the upright with a capital shot, and five minutes later from a free kick the same player had very hard lines with a shot at six yards' range. The game was very fast, both teams showing excellent form. Whitley saved a shot from Crook throwing himself full length. The balance of play was with Darwen. but the forwards missed several chances. Some good work by the Everton left wing ended in O'Hagan beating Lill with a good shot. Darwen were awarded a free kick close the penalty area. but the visitors packed their goal, and the shot was cleared. Darwen tried hard to draw: level, but Henderson and Balmer played good defensive game. Hincks made a poor attempt from a good pass from the right wine. Even play followed to the interval. Half-time—Everton Reserve 1. Darwen 0. Everton were the first to attack, but Rankin ran the ball out. Darwen were soon on the move, and a free kick against Chadwick led considerable pressure on the visitors' goal. Whitley had to concede a corner, and though it was well placed the Everton defence could not beaten. The Everton forwards showed pretty passing movements, and the Darwen backs were hard pressed. Corrin put a good centre in, and Duckworth, in meeting the ball, put it through his own goal. Darwen were awarded a penalty, but Whitley made great save. The fast pace began to tell on Darwen. and Everton weri continually pressing. Dilly scored a third goal with a fast shot, and in the last minute the same player again beat Lill. The home team had much the worse of the play, and were well beaten. Result-EVERTON RES. 4. DARWEN 0.

December 26, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
Lancashire Combination “A” Division (Game 13)
The above Lancashire Combination match was decided yesterday at Goodison Park before a crowd numbering fully 15,000 spectators. The teams were: - Everton: - Whitley goal, Gordon and R.Balmer, backs, Wildman, Russell, and Murray, half-backs, Rankin, Sheridan, Dilly, O'Hagan, and Simpson, forwards. Liverpool: - Cotton, goal, McLean, and Hoare, backs, Morgan, Latham, and Craik, half-backs, Chadburn, Buck, Hendren, Carlin, and Raisebeck, forwards. Everton were the more aggressive at the start, but met with a stubborn defence. Hoaro accomplishing some capital work in this respect. For 30 minutes play was carried on without score, but from a sudden rush on Liverpool's left the ball was sent across, and Buck tipped the leather to Chadburn, who beat Whitley with a fast ground shot. Carlin ran clean through, but Whitley saved and at the interval Liverpool led by a goal to nil. On resuming Everton shaped more effectively, and from a free kick Dilly equalised, the ball hitting the upright and glancing into the net. Several dangerous centres were put in by Simpson from one of which Sheridan neatly placed his side ahead, but Liverpool returned to attack in determined fashion, and Carlin once more placed his side on level terms. Both goals had narrow escape, but eventually Rankin received from Russell, when apparently offside, and running on centred to Dilly, who gained the third goal close on time. Result Everton 3 goals Liverpool 2.

Athletic News - Monday 28 December 1903
By Tityrus
We’re going beat the City today.” said Mr. Cuff, the secretary of Everton, in the most confident manner. I rather demurred, and suggested that such a victory would be a glorious Christmas-box but the present of a brace of points was the fortune of Everton when time had expired. The word fortune was chosen with design, to convey the impression that the fickle dame was a mysterious presence hovering around the Evertonians, but I should be sorry to suggest that there was no merit in the victory of the visitors. On the contrary, Everton excelled, and I have not seen them so quick on the ball, so dashing in all their movements, so keen and eager to drive home any advantage, and so strong both fore and aft—from centre-forward to goalkeeper—during the present campaign. Moreover, they always seemed confident of success, and the I-fear-no-foe feeling is a powerful stimulus. And yet it is only just to point out that Manchester City were deprived of both their brilliant backs, McMahon and Burgess, who are laid by for repairs owing to accidents at Small Heath. Moreover, the weakness at back was patent from the first kick to the last, for the visitors rushed past the last line as easily as a fair equestrienne crisply cracks through the hoops of tissue paper which the circus attendants glide towards the lady in scarlet skirt and spangles. Then an accident to Frost came in the last quarter of an hour. This was the crowning disaster, for during the popular half-back's temporary absence Everton took the lead, and, emphasizing their superiority again eventually won 3—l.
On fast turf the game was always played at an exhilarating pace, and was a spectacle well worth watching. The Citizens were first dangerous, a long bouncing centre from , Turnbull giving Kitchen some little anxiety as the ball was evidently livelier when rising from the turf than he had anticipated, but Everton soon gave the impression that they were as the short-haired fraternity of boxers say “on business bent.” They were very quick on the ball and showed us thrusting football, with the result that only seven minutes had elapsed when the Goodison Paik team took the lead. From a free-kick for an infringement by Ashworth against Sharp, Wolstenholme swung nicely in front of goal and McDermott, who seemed quite unmarked, bobbed up and serenely and cleverly applying his head, placed the ball just inside the wing of the goal and in the opposite corner to where Hillman was standing. The point was well got, and encouraged by this early success the visitors proved themselves far the better attacking party. The forwards were dexterously plied by the half backs, and once Taylor looked like increasing the advantage but there was no resource in his parting shot, and Sharp with splendid effort was just above the angle of the bar and the post.  It was evident that Manchester City were to be severely tested. Settle feeding his wings and darting through by himself time after time. The bantam centre was in happy mood and most difficult to keep hand. It was well that Hillman once took the ball off his toes at the expense of a fruitless corner. Sharp, too, was speedy and elusive, and once when he skipped past Slater he dribbled ahead and looked like scorings, but unluckily for him he lost precise control of the ball when he needed most to have it under command —and his flying trek was all in vain. There was no understanding among the City forwards, who were by comparison playing a poor and disjointed game, enlivened now and again by a fine pass or a surprise long shot from Livingstone. One of these struck the bar with force. Still the honours clearly rested with Everton, and a superb centre by Sharp was met by McDermott, who drove in a grand shot, which was as grandly bailed out by the burly Hillman. So the game wagged, and we were within five minutes of the interval when the City equalised the score. Livingstone with a long pass to the left enabled Threlfall to give Kitchen an awkward ball. He did not clear, and after Turnbull had but grazed the leather Gillespie with a low shot found the net, this being the first time that Kitchen had been troubled from short range.
So on crossing over the teams were as they began, but in the second portion Manchester showed better football in attack, but neither Threlfall nor Livingstone seemed to make the best of their opportunities. Settle was determined to give Sharp every chance, and the Everton dasher made Slater toil and toil without reward, for the City back seldom took up the right position for Sharp. Hillman was,  however, generally a final stumbling block, and the custodian old particularly well to hand out a short sharp shock of a shot from Taylor. The home team were again aggressive, but they encountered a rolling back defence. Manchester were attacking when Settle tiled to raise the siege. He and frost kicked simultaneously at the ball, but Settle’s boot came in contact with the inside of Frost’s right knee. Frost dropped like a log and was carried the -dressing-room, where a doctor found that his leg was locked from the knee to the thigh. This was put right, and Frost returned with his undetectable smile just the same as usual. But the mishap had taken some of steel out of him.  He was away about seven minutes,  and in the interim Settle took the opportunity to nip in and score, while two minutes from the close Taylor headed a third goal from a corner—Hillman with upraised arm being beaten most entirely. So Everton gained all the kudos and the points.
There is no escaping from the conclusion that Everton played the cooler, the more resourceful, and the more intelligent game.  There was a stamp of talent about the winners, who were far more concerted it their maneuvers than the City. They were quicker on the ball, cleverer with it, and beyond compare superior in attack to the Mancunians. The Everton vanguard were fast, thrusting, and full of vitality and marksmanship.   Booth kept the ball in the middle, and by giving it to Settle allowed the centre to dispose of it to the wings—a policy which was continually gaining ground and bothering the home backs, who were quite unable to cope with the swift swoops of the opposition.  England are in want of a centre forward; at least, I have heard it said so. Now Settle was merely keeping the place snug and warm for Young who has had a bad ankle, and was tried with the reserves on Saturday. But Settle's conception of the part always spelt danger.  He lay well forward, and one never knew whether he was bent on bustling through “on his own,” as the music-hall comedian phrases it, or whether he would feed the wing. His enemies were mixed up. Settle who could be tricky on a three-penny piece, kept the game going splendidly, and was something more than a pivot; he was a capital shot, although he did not utilize four fine chances from McDermott. Now touching this same McDermott.  This inside left stood in a class by himself- a vigorous darting, dribbling, putting forward, always doing something and somebody. I have never seen McDermott such a force for woe to his adversaries.   And he is not easy to move off the ball.   With Taylor, as ever, a  worker, it will be seen that the three inside forwards were a fine set, and Sharp was not a whit less effective, his thrilling turn of speed on the top of the ground enabled him to outstrip everybody and once possession he dribbled in dashing style, and centred with rare precision. At half-back Booth was a strategic as  if he were playing billiards, but without that delicacy of touch which is required on the green cloth. Abbott dogged the footstep of Meredith with considerable success. A most unobtrusive player, this Abbott; nearly as quiet as Wolstenholme.  But they are always ready for any emergency, and Everton are indeed lucky to have preserved their half-back line so completely this season. Only once has any one of the three been absent this winter. The defence of Everton was excellent, and it looked safer than ever by comparison with that of the other side.
Primarily Hillman was beyond reproach —and if everyone had done his duty as well as he, despite the three goals, a different tale might be told. But the home backs were a weak pair. Against McDermott and Settle, Davidson was quite feeble; the former could run rings round him. Davidson's kicking was lacking in accuracy and length, and form his boot the ball went in all directions save that which was desired on more occasions than I could count. Slater did not play half as well as I  have seen him, and the pair never inspired the least confidence. It should, however, not be forgotten that both of them have had practically no acquaintance with first-class football this winter. From the Lancashire Combination to the first Division of the; League is a great leap. Far and away the most crafty and clever of the half-backs was Hynds, although his companions were rare triers, if not so successful as usual. The Everton forwards were too smart for them. Nor can I say much in praise of the Manchester frontal division. In ordinary phraseology the forwards were never together. Livingstone filled the eye occasionally by his determined onslaughts, and Meredita sparkled now and then like a spluttering electric lamp—but there was no sustained and brilliant light.  I have only seen Manchester City thrice this season, but on Saturday, when they were supposed to be at their zenith, they were really weakest. The band played” See the Conquering Hero” when the Citizens first trooped on in Sunderland shirts and it is said that pride goeth before a fall. Manchester City; Hillman; Davidson, and Slater; Frost, Hynds, and S.B. Ashworth; Meredith, Livingstone, Gillespie, Turnbull, and Threlfall.  Everton; Kitchen; Balmer, and Crelley; Wolstenholme, Booth, and Abbott; Sharp, Taylor, Settle, McDermott, and Corrin.  Referee; F. Kirkham, Preston. 

Athletic News - Monday 28 December 1903
By Junius
I was not surprised at Everton’s victory at Manchester, for a more inconsistent team exists not in the kingdom.  As I stated a week ago, Everton possess a superb rear division, and when their forwards are in a fairly aggressive humour there are few teams that win take points from them.  To defeat Manchester on their own ground by a margin of two goals was a rare achievement, and no doubt the presence of Abbott in the half-back line, with Taylor once more in the van, gave the side that impetus which was so lacking in the movements against Derby.  This result shows the absurdity of attempting to forecast with any degree of certainty the chances of Everton in the League.  They fail on the most unexpected occasions and succeed when one might naturally expect them to be overthrown, and I suppose this will continue to the end of the chapter.  Variety is the spice of existence, and the Everton players give their supporters a full benefit of this spice.  With an effective centre forward in their ranks I should feel inclined to back Everton for any of the honours offered in the football world; but judging from recent games they seem to reserve their best displays for their matches away from Goodison Park. 

The attraction on Christmas Day was the Lancashire Combination match at Anfield between the reserve teams of Everton and Liverpool.  Strong sides were placed on the held, but a poor game ended in favour of the home contingent by three goals to two.  Chadwick opened the scoring for Liverpool, and after the interval Dilly and Sheridan obtained goals for Everton.  Then Carlin equalized, but close on time Dilly scored the winning points.  The game was most disappointing, and a draw would have been a more fitting result.  Liverpool spoiled many nice chances by dallying near goal, and instead of a rattling shot being sent in the ball was passed and repassed until an Everton defenders put a stop to the proceedings.  The best player on the Liverpool side was Hoare at left back, and in the forward line Carlin bore off the honours.  For Everton O’Hagan played a capital game, his passing being excellently timed, and he combined very well with Simpson, considering the few chances he obtained.  Murray was an utter failure at left half-back.  Wildman played very finely at right half-back, and further behind, Gordon proved a most capable full-back.  But with the quality of the play I was utterly disappointed.  Had either side possessed a forward that could shoot with any degree of accuracy the game would have been redeemed from the commonplace.  As it was there was any amount of aimless kicking, skying the ball and trusting to luck, and plenty of tripping and hacking, which simply destroyed all interest in the contest.  If this is the best we can get from the reserve teams the less we see of it and the better, and on the face of it I cannot understand the Anfielders’ position in the results table. 
Against the second eleven of Manchester City, which prior to the preceding Friday had boasted an unbeaten certificate, the Everton reserve eleven gave a capital exhibition, and can now alone boast of an untarnished record in their division.  O’Hagan, Sheridan (twice) and Young scored for Everton before the interval; but afterwards the lead was reduced by a free kick.  Makepeace then added the fifth from a penalty and Young put on the sixth; whilst Dennison was responsible for the City’s second point.  The score scarcely represents the general character of the play, for Everton were not four goals better than their opponents.  The forwards however, made no mistake when it came to a question of shooting, and despite the fact that Edmondson kept a good goal he was beaten on six occasions with shots which gave him no chance whatever.  O’Hagan again played a very fine game for Everton, and I should fancy this youth, who was secured from the Old Xaverion has a future if given proper scope for his abilities by the other professionals in the team.  Henderson at full back, and Whitley were responsible for much sound defensive work and Sheridan improved upon his display of the previous day by exhibiting some really clever bits of work.  The result places Everton in a very favourably position for the Championship, and their defence is so reliable that they can view with equanimity occasional lapses by their forwards.  In this respect they are exactly like their seniors, but as they have gone through the first half of the season without a reverse their prospects are very encouraging, for they have a big proportion of home matches during the next half. 

London Daily News - Monday 28 December 1903
Manchester City on their own ground were beaten by Everton after an interesting game by three goals to one. The weather was fine, and about 25.000 people were present. McDermott headed through fur Everton about ten minutes from the start as the result of a free kick by Wolstenholme. Gillespie equalised, and for the rest of the first half Manchester pressed strongly. At the interval however, the scores were still level. In the second half Everlon had most of the play, and obtained goals through Settle and Taylor. Frost, the home centre half, was injured, and had retire. Manchester subsequently playing one-back game.

December 28, 1903. The Liverpool Courier
Everton's holiday fixture was with Manchester City at Hyde road. Some 30,000 people turned up in fine weather to witness the encounter, the greatest enthusiasm being shown by the holiday crowd. Everton had a strong eleven in the field, but the City were without Burgess and McMahon. The players lined up as follows: - Manchester City: - Hillman, goal, Davidson, and Slater, backs, Frost, Hinds, and Ashworth, half-backs, Mereidith, Livingston, Grilespie, Turnbull, and Trelfall forwards. Everton: - Kitchen, goal W.Balmer, and Crelly, backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain), and Abbott half-backs, Sharp, Taylor, Settle, McDermott, and Corrin forwards. Referee Fred Kirkman
The game opened at a hot pace, both sides at once putting their full energies into the struggle. Each end was visited in the first few moments, but the defence prevailed on either side. A free kick was given against Everton, but this was put behind. Everton then made tracks for the other end, but Davidson cleared. Again the Blues got down, and Settle missed a possible chance by passing out to Sharp instead of shooting. Everton were now working hard, especially on the right-wing, where Sharp and Taylor gave the City defence plenty to do. At Length the home centre having got the ball away a grand run was made by Meredith, which aroused the enthusiasm of the crowd. He centred magnificently but Crelly cleared. Everton then attacked on the right and a foul was given against Manchester City close in. Wolstenholme took the kick, and placed the ball grandly in front of goal. McDermott got at it, and headed the ball easily past Hillman into the net. The Citizens were not the least dismayed by this reverse, and they played up with determination.

The left wing made progess, but Wolstenholme was in the way, and passing the ball across the boys in blue again attacked, and Settle banged in a shot which Hillman cleared. Still attacking, the visiting right made play. Sharp, taking his time, sent in a fine shot, which unluckily for Everton travelled inches over the crossbar. The City defence could not cope with the Everton right wing, who were giving a dashing exhibition. A foul against Settle close up relieved the pressure, and another carried play to Kitchen's end, but the ball travelled harmlessly outside. A nice passing movement by the visitors threatened danger, but the rush was checked by a foul against the City centre-half, which proved useless. The City right then made an attack, and the ball was centred, Balmer cleared very cleverly. The game was maintained at a hot pace, both teams putting plenty of vigour into their work. The game was stopped for a moment when Turnbull was hurt, but he soon resumed. Everton renewed the attack, and Settle beating Davidson, who was a trifle slow in clearing. Looked like having an open goal, when Hillman rushed out and cleared at the expense of a fruitless corner. An attack by the homester ended in Livingstone putting in a grand shot, which Kitchen cleared just under the bar while at the other end Settle called on Hillman with a hot one at close quarters which the custodian saved cleverly. Even play followed, excellent tactics being shown by Ashworth, who checked the visiting right wing in clever fashion. Free kicks were given against either side, but no harm was done, Sharp got down and centred well, McDermott, who was unmarked, receiving the ball in an excellent position. He lost no time in shooting, but Hillman brought off a clever clearance. For a few minutes the ball bobbed about the goalmouth, but the defence prevailed. At length the City worked away on the right, and a long shot was sent in by Livingstone, which Kitchen had no difficulty in clearing. Everton worked down by a series of throw-ins, and the ball coming across, Settle shot at close quarters, but the leather travelled over the bar, Meredith was penalised for a foul, and from this Settle with some smart dribbling nearly worked through. Ashworth just stopping him in the nick of time. The City player was hurt in effecting the rescue. Threlfall was prominent with some good dribbling, ending in a soft shot, which Kitchen cleared. The City forward, struck to their work, and Livingstone sent in another shot, which went wide. Still the home team were not to be denied, and a combined attack was made. Crelly failed to check the rush, and the ball travelled to Gillespie. Amid a ruck of players in the goalmouth, he coolly tipped the leather out of Kitchen reach into the net. The City supporters were enraptured at this equalising point, which came at a few minutes only from the interval. Everton tried desperately for the lead, but although the corner was forced they could get no further. Hillman caught a long shot, and Settle and Taylor vainly tried to charge the big man into the net. Then the whistle sounded the interval. Half-time Manchester City 1 Everton 1.
In the second half Everton did most of the attacking, and but for the fine defence of Hillman would have added to their score. The home team lost Frost, owing to an injury, and while Manchester were playing with ten men, Settle put Everton ahead. Frost returned, but Everton continued to press, and five minutes from the finish Taylor added another. Everton continued to hold the upper hand, and finally gained a decisive victory. Result Manchester City 1, Everton 3.

December 28, 1903. The Liverpool Courier
Lancashire Combination “A” Division (Game 14)
At Goodison-park, before 10,000 spectators. The Everton forwards line, which included Hardman and Young gave a brilliant display, and O'hagan, Sheridan (2), and Young scored in the first half. On resuming the City scored from a free kick but Makepeace (from a penalty) O'Hagan being tripped, and Young scored for Everton. The City obtained a second goal through Dennison, and Everton won in fine style by six goals to two. Everton: - Whitley, goal, Henderson, and R.Balmer backs, Wildman Russell, and Murray, half-backs, Rankin, Sheridan, Makepeace, Young, and Hardman, forwards.

December 28, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
Inconsistent in their inconsistency, Everton after sustaining an unexpected defeat at home, accomplished on Saturday what has only been done by one other team this season. This was to overcome Manchester City, who, when the match started, occupied the honourable position of League leaders. When the City, who, after a season in the Second Division, had exhibited surprising form, which previously beaten on their own ground by Sheffield United, a considerable elements of luck attended the game. On Saturday, however, there was absolutely nothing of a fluky nature about Everton's brilliant victory. In every respect they fully deserved their three goals to one success, for, while recognizing that the League leaders were unfortunate in being deprived of the services of their usual backs, there is no doubt that the winning side gave an exhibition which reached a standard quite sufficient to bring them on such form the highest honours of the Association world. Where Everton particularly shone was in the half-back line. Abbott return, after a week a rest owing to illness, seemed to have an electrifying effect upon the generally excellent work rendered by the exceptionally strong trio of halves whom. Everton are fortunate in possessing. Wolstenholme, Booth, and Abbott were unquestionably thorns in the side of Manchester City, and contributed in no small degree to the undoing of that hitherto surprisingly successful team. Moreover, the presence in the forward line of that enthusiastic veteran, Taylor imparted an element of dash, which was lacking the previous week, when the forwards were incapable of anything like effective work in front of goal. Right from the start, the Evertonians gave one the impression that nothing would be left undone whereby they might stem the successful career of their opponents, and after six minutes play they succeeded in securing a tangible point from a free kick, converted by McDermott. They continued to keep well in front so far as general footwork was concerned, though there were occasions when the City forwards got off in dangerous stride, and would easily have defeated a less resourceful set of defenders than those representing Everton. Kitchen was rarely called upon, and it was not until five minutes from the interval that the home side managed to break through and score the point being notched by Gillespie. The opening stages of the second half were heatedly and earnestly contested, and though the visitors were concerned in most attacks there was not much luck attached to their efforts, and again Hillman was in great form. The ubiquitous Frost was responsible in some measure for preventing final shots at goal. He risked a great deal, and on one occasion came into collision with Settle, and had to retire for some minutes. It was during this period that a really clever movement along the Everton right wing ended in Settle giving his side the lead, and from this point on the back of the City was sealed. Still they played up in forcible fashion, but they never really got a grip of the Everton defence, and just before time Taylor, ever on the lookout for possible openings, rushed in and prevented Hillman from negotiating a corner kick, and promptly put on a third goal. In view of the fact that the whole of the Everton team may be said to have appeared to greater advantage than on any previous occasions this season, it is almost unnecessary to single out any particular player for special commendation. Each in his particular position did his utmost to command success, and each had the satisfaction that he contributed to a general exposition of a game better than which cannot have been seen at Hyde road this season. It is questionable whether Settle ever considered himself a centre-forward, but while he may not be an altogether orthodox pivot, he certainly in Saturdays match had a great deal to do in the securing of a splendid victory for his side. He entered into his work with conspicuous energy, and it was only fitting that he should have been credited with the goal, which gave Everton the lead after the City had drawn level. The City forwards were held well in check by the Everton halves, and probably, Meredith and Livingstone have not before this season been as helpless as they were against Abbott. The half-backs of the City were fairly good; the rear division suffered from enforced chances, but Hillman gave a good exhibition of goalkeeping. Of course Boxing Day, apart from an attraction such as is afforded by the visit of Everton, would have packed the City ground. Certainly in view of the support the club receives, it is hightime either that they acquired a new home of greatly extended accommodation. In any case, one might reasonably expect the management of the City club would make even decent arrangement for press representatives visiting Manchester on the occasion of their matches. It is to be hoped that the difficulties experienced on Saturday in reporting the match will be coviated when another visit is paid to the ground.

Dundee Evening Telegraph - Wednesday 30 December 1903
Mr. Richard Molyneux, the ex-Everton F.C Secretary, now connected with Brentford Club, has signed on Watson, the Glasgow Bellshill Athletic goalkeeper.







December 1903