Everton Independent Research Data


December 1 st 1928. The Daily Courier.
The surprise of the week in local Soccer circles has been the reshuffle of the Everton attack, bring Forshaw and Martin to the inside positions in place of Dunn, and Weldon. Still, something of the kind was to be expected with the Champions, deterioration of late. Whether Dean will obtain enough support through the changes to enable him to repeat his "hat-trick," at Villa Park last season, remains to be seen, but it is exceedingly doubtful. The Villa, with Pongo Wareing (ex-Tranmere Rovers) leading the attack, are in winning mood at the moment, and in the opinion of one at any rate, Everton will be just lucky to draw. By the way, Waring scored three of the Villa goals, when they battered the Arsenal at Highbury last week by five goals to two. The match begins at 2-20, the teams are: - Everton, Davies; Cresswell, O'Donnell; Griffiths, Hart, Virr; Ritchie, Forshaw, Dean, Martin, Troup. Aston Villa: - Olney; Smart, Bowen; Kingdon, Talbot, Tate; York, Beresford, Waring, Walker, and Dorrell.

Hull Daily Mail - Saturday 01 December 1928
All the well laid plans of Everton have gone wrong (says Arbiter of the London ''Daily Mail.") They have not approached the standard of last season, when they carried off the League championship. The most obvious fact that Dean has declined as a scorer.  For every two goals obtained last season he has only got one this, but it does not follow that this is his fault.  As a matter of fact that club plainly do not take this view.  They have put the blame on the centre-forward's inside partners, and for day s match against Aston Villa at Birmingham both Dunn and Weldon, the little Scottish players, have been superseded by Martin and Forshaw.  Martin was secured towards the end of last season from Hull City, and was one the least expensive players signed on.  Forshaw the old Liverpool man who has been with Everton for three seasons.

December 3 rd 1928. The Daily Courier.
To fight against odds to the best of your ability is no disgrace, and so the men of Everton who strove to gain a point or two at Villa Park against Aston Villa, need not worry that success did not come their way. The Villa deserved their two goals to nil victory –let us admit that from the start –but had not the Champions been victims of misfortune, an entirely different tale might have to be told. Before anything had been chalked up on the score sheet, Dorrell, the Villa left-winger, challenged Griffiths for a ball in the air, and as he dropped he brought the point of his elbow right on Griffith's shoulder. Griffiths was undoubtedly in pain, but he struck to his task with the same will and grit that any other man, who has his side at heart, would have done. Some minutes after, the Villa took the lead, and then Griffiths had to leave the field. He did not return because his right shoulder had been dislocated, and it is through, cracked, so far an hour the Blues laboured under the disadvantage of having to oppose one of the cleverest football sides in the League with only ten men.

A goal behind, and only ten men a stiff proposition everyone one will agree, but did the men flinch at the battle which lay before them? Not a little bit. They put their all into the work, and that they failed was not their faults. It is a fact that, judging the play as it was, one could only come to the conclusion that had the Champions been at full strength from start to finish, they would have brought back the spoils to Liverpool, or at least half of them. There were times when only solid backing kept the highly capable Villians out –many shots were charged down with Davies beaten –but yet the Evertonian always promised good football, and were ever alive to an opening. The half produced one goal, which was contributed to because the Blues stopped, thinking that Dorrell was offside. He was, but he did not attempt to play the ball, and Walker ran forward to pick up the pass and deliver the centre which Waring screwed the ball just inside the post. That waiting for the whistle proved fatal to the Blues, for a moment's hesitation brought about the second point after the interval. True, the referee erred in not suspending play, but it was not the right policy of the Champions to anticipate his thoughts, so that when O'Donnell had his legs kicked from under him they should have kept going until they heard the sound of the whistle. As it was, they stopped, and York put across a low centre, which Walker headed home by throwing himself full-length on the ground.

Luck was not with the Blues, but they put up a great flight against overwhelming odds, and gained honour all round. The new forward line was a success for Forshaw played clever, thoughtful, football, and Martin always strived to do things, which no one expected. True, Dean had little room in which to operate, but this was because of the methods adopted by the Villa defence. They hung to him like ivy to a garden wall, and gave further proof that the path of such a talented centre-forward is anything but a smooth one. Ritchie was the better of the wingers, and the halves all played excellently. Cresswell was by far the brainiest back on the field –some of his work was positively delightful. Teams: - Aston Villa: - Olney, goal, Smart and Bowen, backs, Jakeman, Talbot, and Tate, half-backs, York, Beresford, Waring, Walker, and Dorrell, forwards. Everton: - Davies, goal, Cresswell (captain) and O'Donnell, backs, Griffiths, Hart and Virr, half-backs, Ritchie, Forshaw, Dean, Martin and Troup, forwards.

December 3 rd 1928. The Daily Courier.
Everton gave one of their brightest displays at Goodison Park. Stein was a great raider, he pared the way to two goals by White before the interval. Harris levelled the scores, Easton, White and Jones scored for Everton in the second half Dixon a northern Eastern pivot, made a promising debut. Everton: - Maher, goal, Common and Kennedy (captain), backs, Kelly, Dixon, and White, half-backs, Critchley, Easton, Williams, Jones, and Stein, forwards.

December 5 th 1928. The Daily Courier
Everton make two changes from the League team who lost at Villa Park for the Semi-final tie of the Lancashire Senior Cup with Blackburn Rovers at Goodison Park today (kick-off 2-20). Kelly has been chosen as substitute for Griffiths, who had his shoulder dislocated in the Villa match and Dunn is brought back as partner to Ritchie in place of Forshaw. The Everton team, therefore will be: - Davies; Cresswell, O'Donnell; Kelly, Hart, Virr; Ritchie, Dunn, Dean, Martin and Troup. This will be the third occasion on which the League champions have meet the Cup-holders this season. The other clashes being in the F.A. Charity-shield final at Manchester on October 24; when Everton won 2-1. And in the League on October 8, when Blackburn Rovers won 2-1 at home. Bourton's success as centre forward for the Rovers 0he scored four goals on Saturday, put a comical touch on Blackburn Rovers search for a leader of the attack, Bourton will turn out today, when the Rovers team will be the same eleven who beat Manchester United on Saturday, Crawford; Roxburgh, Jones; Healess, Rankin, Campbell; Thormewell, Puddlefoot, Bourton, McLean, and Rigby.

December 6 th 1928. The Daily Courier.
Everton gave a poor exhibition at Goodison Park, yesterday, against Blackburn Rovers in the Semi-final of the Lancashire Senior Cup, and, indirectly contributed to the victory of the Rovers –reputed cup-fighters –by four goals to one. Evertoin in the first half, played as if they had the opposition "on toast." They could do just as they pleased, and in the first quarter of an hour the Rovers only made two brief incursions into the champions' territory. Honestly, one, felt inclined to sit back with a piece of paper and a sharpened pencil to keep a tally of the Everton goals. In addition, the Blues were obviously not exerting themselves overmuch, but at times they toyed with the Rovers. Martin scored the best goal of the match with a drive from the edge of the penalty area, and the Evertonians sprang to the attack, eager for more. Some minutes later, however, Boulton, who was playing his fourth game with Blackburn senior eleven, muffed a gilt-edged chance to gain a corner, Thornewell's flag-kick touched him on the forehead, and lo and behold! The sides were level. The game ran on even lines for a space after that, but just before the interval one could see the Blackburn steamroller looming on the horizon. The second half saw Blackburn more dominant than the Blues were earlier on. The Rovers like their opponents, did not work themselves to death, but their efforts were far too good for those of the Blues, who laboured along without method and little ability.

In two hectic minutes –the 71 st and 72 nd –the Rovers put on three goals. Rigby secured the first from a free kick, Bourton ran through to notch the second, and Whyte levelled a drive from the edge of the area for the third, Davies in no instance having the slightest chance. Everton never looked like retrieving the lost ground, and so the end came with the better –infinitely better side passing into the final for the first time since the war. One can forgive a poor team playing badly, but to see a team of the standard of Everton giving such a mediocre display as this was akin to a nightmare. In the opening half they did not care much, but in the second half, when they knew that their reputation were at stake, and endeavoured to make a show, they were incapable. Cresswell was the only man on the side who could find a colleague when disposing of the ball, and the halves failed hopelessly in the matter of feeding. Troup was the one forward to show any promise, and not once this season has Dean been so ineffective. He appeared to have lost all his art of trapping a ball and only delivered one praiseworthy shot. The fact, is granted that the men were not exactly serious, but no team should allow themselves to sink to the level of the Blues yesterday. The Rovers were not all out, but still they contrived to produce entertaining football. Puddefoot was excellent –the best forward on the field, and Campbell was a brilliant half-back. Roxburgh and Jones defended excellently, and Crawford could not been better, though he had no points over Davies.

The form of the Blues was too bad to be true, for all know that they can operate with some idea of collaboration and display skill in passing, but yesterday they did neither. It would have been all right had they recognised the fact that in the Rovers they were opposing a team hard to beat, but their great superiority in the opening passages gave them a false sense of security, and they paid the penalty. Teams: - Everton: - Davies, goal, Cresswell (captain) and O'Donnell, backs, Kelly, Hart, and Virr, half-backs, Ritchie, Dunn, Dean, Martin and Troup, forwards. Blackburn Rovers: - Crawford, goal, Roxburgh, and Jones, backs, Whyte, Rankin and Campbell, half-backs, Thornewell, Puddefoot, Bourton, Mclean, and Rigby, forwards.

December 8 th 1928. The Daily Courier.
The Champions have lost tufts of valuable for in recent squabbles, and it appears that today's argument with it appears that today's argument with the fast and stylish Leciester City fellows at Goodison Park will provide little compensation, unless the decline in form is brought to a sharp and sudden stop. Everton are going to make a mighty effort today to put their heads above the half-way line on the First Division chart, and if they succeed in doing that it will be only after a tremendous struggle –and after they have thrown on the scrap heap stereotyped methods which have produced nothing but sadness for the fans this season. The City's goal average, compared to that of Everton, is a handsome one (43 to 29), the champions' figures being (26-26); they have never lost at home this season, dropping only four points there, but they have lost 10 points in away matches out of 16. Despite this sound general record, Everton with their teenth clenched, are capable of gaining a point at this minor crisis of their career. Everton introduce White, signed as a centre-forward from Southport, at right half-back in place of Kelly, and Forshawe again comes in at inside-right. The kick off is 2-15; and the teams will as follows: - Everton; Davies; Cresswell, O'Donnell; White, Hart, Virr; Ritchie, Forshaw, Dean, Martin, Troup. Leciester City: - Campbell; Black, Brown; Finday, Carr, Ritchie; Adcock, Hine, Chandler, Lockhead, and Bell.

December 10 th 1928. The Daily Courier.
Everton proved on Saturday, at Goodison Park, that they are something of an enigma. After a period of in-and-out form they defeated the most stylish team in the First Division, Leicester City, by three goals to one, and gave one of their best displays of the campaign in the matter of fast direct football. One would not go so far as to say that the visitors were inferior to the Blues with references to scientific football, but the trouble with them was that they carried these methods too far. It was elaboration to excess. Everton themselves often have been guilty of the mistaken policy of trying to walk the ball into the net, but on Saturday they kept it moving in a refreshing manner and made direct incisive tactics show a profit. They had all the better of the proceedings, and they were periods when Leciester could not get out of their own half, no matter how hard they tried. Davies being a spectator. The Champions swarmed around the Leciester goal like a lot of bees, and several times only desperate defence kept them out.

Troup scored a goal after seven minutes, improving an effort by Forshaw, and his success appeared to give him confidence, for he proceeded to treat the crowd to his finest display of the season, and finished up with the distinction of being the best player on the field. He was brilliant in all phases of the game. Dean came into his own again with a characteristic goal after 16 minarets, crashing the ball home while on the run. This type of goal from Dean is as good as a bottle of champagne. Leciester must have realised during the interval, that they were keeping the ball too close –every one of them seemed disinclined to part company with it –so in the second half they made more direct efforts to net. Then, however, they went right to the other extreme, and shot when the distance between them and the goal made a score highly improbable. Chandler had some luck with one beautiful drive delivered from just inside the penalty area, but in three minutes Martin had taken full advantage of a centre from Troup to restore the two-goals' margin. This was a game productive of some of the best possible football, and though a lot of it ended in smoke it was a treat to watch the delicacy with which the Leciester forward line worked. Hines and Lockhead controlled the ball on the treacherous turf with surprising skill, and Chandler was excellent, but when it came to doping the most simple thing –shooting –they failed ingloriously, not because they could not aim accurately but just because they would not try. The whole Everton side played well and, taking department for department, they were superior to the City. Davies had little work to do; still, he made no mistakes. The Everton intermediates were excellent, White who deputised for Griffiths, coming out of his tussles with the Lochhead-Barry wing with honour, and it was gratifying to see him taking his cues from Warny Cresswell and keeping good position. Hart and Virr never gave up working and always made the best use of the ball.

O'Donnell had no superior on the field for clean cut defensive play, and Cresswell invariably placed brians before brute force. They formed an ideal combination. One could but admire the way in which the forwards kept scheming for openings and also widened out of the game. Troup and Dean were the sharpest "arrows" with Martin filling the role of forager: Forshaw, the mastermind behind the scenes; and Critchley, the speed-merchant. It was a pity that Critchley failed so badly in regard to his finishing. He simply could not keep the ball in play, and so the excellence of his touch-line work was nullified. This new attack is proving a success, for the men are making the ball do the work, and getting on with the business on hand, as quickly as possible. If this form is maintained the Blues will soon be overtaking some of the teams above them. It was rather remarkable that there was not one off-side decision during the whole 90 minutes. Teams:- Everton: - Davies, goal, Cresswell (captain) and O'Donnell, backs, White, Hart and Virr, half-backs, Critchley, Forshaw, Dean, Martin, and Troup, forwards. Leciester City: - McLaren, goal, Black and Brown, backs, Findlay, Carr and Ritchie, half-backs, Adcock, Hine, Chandler, Lochhead, and Barry, forwards.

December 10 th 1928. The Daily Courier.
After being behind, Sheffield United gained a narrow victory over Everton Reserves, at Bramell-lane. Everton took an early lead, French scoring in five minutes, but Spice equalised three minutes later after a goalmouth Scamble, and Kennedy put United ahead while Everton defenders stood appealing for offside. Easton equalised, however, and Kennedy put United ahead.

Sheffield Independent - Monday 10 December 1928
At Bramell lane, Sheffield United Reserves were fully entitled to their victory by the odd goal of five over Everton Reserves.  In fact, but for some faulty shooting by the forwards and clever goalkeeping by Maher during the early stages of the second half, this success would have been more pronounced.  Considering the slippery turf, which made football difficult the game was full of interesting football.  During the first half United managed to obtain the lead after French had opened the scoring for the visitors.  The equaliser by Spicer was a rather fluky one, but Kennedy's goal was a good one.  As stated United superiority early in the second half was in evidence, but Everton managed to again drew level with a goal from Easton.  However, another goal by Kennedy from one of the many fine centres by Gibson, who played a smart game throughout, settled matters in United's favour. 

Athletic News - Monday 10 December 1928
Revised Forward Line Succeeds
Everton 3, Leicester City 1
By Junius
The strains of the National Anthem, with the teams at attention and 38,000 spectators bareheaded, presented an impressive setting as a prelude to the game at Goodison Park.  There were two good teams on view, and while Everton deprived full value for their work, Leicester certainly did not.  But the visitors had themselves to blame.  The forwards, while masters in foot craft, persisted in their efforts to make openings too certain, and failed to realize that Cresswell and O’Donnell were too sound a pair of defenders to allow liberties.  Everton replaced the Scottish right wing pair – Ritchie and Dunn –by the old formation Critchley and Forshaw, while Martin again formed the connecting link on the left.  The changes were a decided success, for at all periods of the game the players were both in touch and cognizant of the requirements of each other.  The M and W formations had no appeal to them, and there was an even distribution of the work, followed by smart finishing, that was bound to make for success.  The forwards acquitted themselves in able fashion and approached the form that marked many of their best games of last season.
Stylists Without Punch
The Leicester forwards were speedy, and while displaying good ball control their combined play was always accurate.  They were stylists, but lacked the necessary punch.  They treated matters leisurely and the second half had been going ten minutes before Davies had a real test of any merit.  Little was seen of Adcock as Virr and O’Donnell had a sound understanding that subdued Leicester’s right wing play, but on the other flank Barry was a powerful raider, though he, too, came under the close attention of Cresswell, who was in one of his best moods.  Chandler was inclined to do too much, and a departure in the earlier stages from the close inside forward play, at which all three were capable exponents, would have enhanced prospects of success.  Dean in this game was not slavishly attended to by his colleagues –a change that was all to the advantage of the side.  The scoring of the goals was a pointer to the altered conditions.  Troup had a good day, but Critchley’s work was patchy, as advantage was lost by dallying when first-time centres would have been of more avail.  At half-back Everton I thought, held their most substantial advantage.  The three were left to play their own game without the aid of onside forwards, and right well was it accomplished.  White preferred to Kelly, did well against Barry and Lochhead, and while Hart kept Chandler well in check, Virr did much towards preventing Hine and Adcock from taking toll at close quarters. 
Carr Conspicuous
Carr got through much good work at centre half-back and met with a good measure of success in his challenges to Dean, but the line as a whole did not support their forwards as effectively as the Everton trio.  The scoring was opened by Troup after six minutes, the little man hooking a ball that seemed to be going out of play after dean had headed across.  The second came from Dean, who got control by heading the ball down before making his drive at the end of 16 minutes.  Chandler reduced the lead in the second half after play had been in progress 32 minutes, but two minutes later Martin, from Troup’s pass, lobbed a ball over the advancing Mclaren into goal.  Everton; Davies; Cresswell, O’Donnell; White, Hart, Virr; Critchley, Forshaw, Dean, Martin and Troup.  Leicester City; McLaren; Black, Brown; Findlay, Carr, Ritchie; Adcock, Hine, Chandler, Lochhead, and Barry.  Referee; E. Pinckston, Birmingham. 

December 17 th 1928. The Daily Courier.
It was THE Everton defenders who earned the point at Old Trafford on Saturday, when the Blues ran Manchester United to a draw on a frosh bound ground. The game was something of a paradox for while the Manchester men pressed for fully 80 per cent of the game they did not deserve to win, and everyone will agree that a division was just to all parties. Things ran badly for the Champions right at the start of the day, for on Saturday morning it was found that Billy Dean had injured an arm, and so it was necessary to move White to centre-forward and bring in Kelly at right-half. In addition, the United turned out in rubber soften boots, whereas the Blues adhered to the ordinary leather. Consequently, one saw the United operating with confidence on the treacherous ground, but the Evertonians were slipping and tipping all over the place. This was a handicap, but in the opening half the Blues gave more than they took and crossed over with a goal lead-scored in brilliant style by Alec Troup with a swift grounder after Forshaw had indulged in a sinuous run across the goalmouth to give him the opportunity. That was the one great chance the Champions had in this period, although they often went near.

United's forwards on the other hand, made ground quickly, but when it only needed an accurate shot to clinch the deal they failed ingloriously. Joe Spence had three open goals himself, but missed, and Nicol and Hanson both miskicked when about to deliver shots. At other times the defence of Cresswell, O'Donnell, and Hart, backed up by two dour wing halves, easily held the forceful Manchester attack. The second half was practically a duel between the United attack and the visitors defence, and it must be recorded that the defenders won hands down, although they did capitulate once. This was 24 minutes from the end, when Hanson headed home a finely placed centre by Partridge. There were times when the entire Everton team, with the exception of White and Ritchie, were back-kicking here and there to save their citadel. Even Troup had left his usual position to try and lend the rearguard a hand. It was thrilling stuff, to be sure, but while United contributed to their nonsuccess to the extend that their shooting was deplorable, it was first and foremost the whole-hearted endeavour of Cresswell and company which kept them at bay. The United even went so far as to throw away a penalty. Cresswell was adjudged to have pushed Hanson in the back, but it appeared as if Hanson had bent forward himself. Anyway, a penalty it was, but Hanson put the ball a couple of feet over the bar. There was not a great deal of good football, but the bad ground was mainly the cause of this.

Cresswell and O'Donnell were the heroes of the day, but this does not detract from the credit of the performances of Hart, Davies, Kelly, and Virr. Davies made may brilliant saves, and Hart was cue of the hardest workers. Kelly had a grand second half and twice saved certain goals, while Virr was as relentless as usual. Ritchie was the pick of the forwards from an attacking point a view, and the two inside men was excellent fourth and fifth halves. Teams:- Manchester United:- Richardson, goal, Moore and Dale, backs, Hilditch, Spencer, and Wilson, half-backs, Spence, Hanson, Nicol, Sweeney, and Partridge, forwards. Everton: - Davies, goal, Cresswell (captain) and O'Donnell, backs, Kelly, Hart and Virr, half-backs, Ritchie, Forshaw, White, Martin, and Troup, forwards.

December 17 th 1928. The Daily Courier.
The frost-bound ground at Goodison Park made the ball control difficult, and the same suffered in consequence. Everton had a goal scored by French in the first minute as a stimulant, and were the better side during the first half. The second half went in favour of Preston North End, and Smith, Burgh, and Nelson scored good goals. The Blues never gave up, and Easton often put forward some good passes. The Preston North End defence, in which Hamilton (ex-Evertonian) appeared, was very sound, however, and kept their lines intact. Everton: - Mather, goal, Common and Kennedy (captain), backs, Kelly, Dixon, Curr, half-backs, Critchley, Jones, French, Weldon and Stein, forwards.

Athletic News - Monday 17 December 1928
Manchester United 1 Everton 1
WHEN a team is in the tolls fortune frequently deserts them. Manchester United, with but two points earned in the last seven engagements, have some reason to lament their ill luck, especially in their latest fixture with the champions, who were thoroughly overplayed by the Old Trafford men. Everton were clearly fortunate to return to Merseyside with a point. Still, when team loses the power to prevail at home there is clearly a more potent reason than mere misfortune for the side’s shortcomings. In the case of Manchester United this is not difficult to discover. With three exceptions the forward line has proved the least effective as a scoring force of any attack in the premier division, and on Saturday’s showing only one member of the line has any pretensions to senior standard. Defensive power remains the side’s sheet anchor, but the most accomplished rearguard cannot save a club from descent if no support is forthcoming from the attack. The United’s forward forces clearly require reorganizing. And what of Everton? On this exhibition the champions have shed much of the lustre of last season’s triumphant campaign. They were then side of classical poise and finish. Now there is little to distinguish them from the Leagues many mediocrities. On Saturday, however, there was some excuse for the comparatively feeble nature of their forward work. The great master, Dean, was absent from his post as leader of the attack owing to an arm injury, and his successor, White, drafted in from right half back, had apparently little conception of a centre-forward s duties. His lack of success, however, was hardly surprising in view of the scant support he received from his inside colleagues. Another factor in Everton's decline is the deterioration of their middle men as an effective support in attack.  Here again, however, the champions bemoaned the absence of a stalwart in Griffiths, for whom Kelly, on his return to the side, did not make an efficient substitute where attacking play was concerned. It is clearly the duty of the United half-backs to improve their purveying faculties if the side is to steer clear relegation pitfalls. Of the play of the home forwards the less said the better. When a team is on the offensive practically without cessation and can only pierce the opposing defence once there is clearly room for improvement. All three inside men were at fault in front of goal, for though Sweeney accomplished the best shot in the game, his display had defects, while Nicol has still much to learn about a centre-forwards art. Only HANSON, who scored the equaliser, revealed the qualities of first-class forward, and even he failed from penalty mark, while Spence appears have lost his form completely. No less innocuous, however, was the exhibition of the Goodlson attack. Without Dean it was a line mere struggling units. Troup did not trust the frozen turf, and accomplished little beyond scoring excellent goal. Manchester United.—Richardson ; Moore, Dale; Hilditch. Spencer, Wilson : Spence. Hanson, Nicol. Sweeney, and Partridge. Everton.—Davies ; Cresswell, O Donnell; Kelly. Hart. Virr: Ritchie. Forshaw, White, Martin, and Tronp. Referee ; P. Robinson, Blackburn.

December 21 st 1928. The Daily Courier.
Sea breezes at Brighton, as well as Bournemouth, with refreshing walks over the Sussex Downs, and spells of Golf on the Links around the "Quuen of watering places," comprise the special training programme drawn up for the Everton players in preparation for their great Cup-tie with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on January 13, when the Champions travel South to meet Portsmouth, January 5 th for one of their stiff holiday League games, the journey will be broken at Bournemouth for a short stay, and after the Portsmouth match the Evertonians will go into Brighton. The Southern seaside outing will be relished, no doubt, for Everton are faced with a strenuous Christmas and New Year campaign. They will have to play five League matches in 15 day's, their opponents being Newcastle United, Dec 22; Sunderland Dec 25; Bolton Wanderers Dec 29; Derby County Jan 1; and Portsmouth Jan 5; The Portsmouth game, however, is the only away fixture.

December 22 nd 1928. The Daily Courier.
Everton should beat Newcastle United, it is hardly likely that there will be a three clear goals margin for them, as in the corresponding game last season; but, at any rate, and with Dean feeling more like the Dean we used to know, the Champions are a better team by a goal at Goodison Park than their visitors, on present form, Dunn, as well as Dean, returns to the fold, while we still have friend White as a wing half of honest purpose, if not of Healless like implacability. The Novocastrians, satisfied that their victory over Derby County was a true reflex of class, make no changes. So the teams will be as follows with the time of kick off fixed, at 2-15: - Everton; Davies Cresswell, O'Donnell; White, Hart, Virr; Ritchie, Dunn Dean, Martin, Troup. Newcastle United: - Burns; Harris, Thomson; McKenzie, Hill, Gibson; Boyd, Chalmers, Gallacher, McCurley, Lang.

December 24 th 1928. The Daily Courier.
Everton, like their friendly rivals from "across the Park" opened the Christmas holiday programme with a victory on Saturday, defeating Newcastle United, a highly polished combination, by five goals to two at Goodison Park, and thus they were able to rise to a creditable position on the League chart with Liverpool a place lower. Newcastle's one weakness was a penchant for endeavouring to make the extra pass before letting go the scoring effort. Football between two accomplished teams is always a source of complete enjoyment, and when that game producers no fewer than seven goals, it is "extra." This match was all that, and the spoils undoubtedly went to the better, and more incisive team.

At the start one would have though that the United –an entirely different team since Jack Hill, the ex-Burnley International made his debut with them –were going to walk away with it. Anyway they took the lead inside four minutes, but the Blues displayed such an indomitable spirit that they were level again, on merit, before the encounter was 15 minutes old and, when the leading goal came they hardly looken back. The Novcastians had one brief period when everything seemed to run well for them –this was at the opening of the second half –but that desire to make doubly sure saved the Champions, who relentless defenders did not stand on the slightest ceremony. One was convinced early on that the rests given to Dean and Dunn had made a world of difference, for the forward line worked with an understanding only excelled once this season. Needless to add, this was at West Ham in the never-to-be-forgotten match. Newcastle like Everton, had five capable attackers, but the Blues knew that it was a wise policy to open out the game, and so the ball was given plenty of air with the natural consequence that the extreme wingers were receiving when there was no in immediate attendance. Everton did so well because in the first place, Dean touched his best form, and Dunn revealed those equalities which have made his first choice for his position in the Scottish eleven. With Troup and Ritchie ever ready to build on the material sent their way, and Martin teaching Newcastle a lesson by repeatedly doing the thing least expected –swinging the ball to the opposite wing –this attack, on the day's showing was qual to any in the land. Result five goals. The Everton halves were splendid, for they could operate with complete confidence owing to the overpowering play of O'Donnell and Cresswell at back, and the confidence of Davies.

Hill and Gallacher were the master-minds behind the machinations of the United, and these international rivals proved an invaluable combination for the visitors. All five Everton forwards did grandly, Dean besides scoring three goals playing the ideal game, while his four supporters thrived on good passes from the rear, and fine openings won by their own ingenuity. Each of the seven goals could be styled "classic," for all were the outcome of perfect football, and subtle deception on the part of the executants. They were obtained as follows: Chalmers, 3 and half minutes; Dean, 15 minutes; Martin (what a great drive) 37 minuyes; Dean, 57 minutes; Lang, 74 minutes; Ritchie, 76 minutes; and Dean 83 minutes. Teams: - Everton: - Davies, goal, Cresswell (captain), and O'Donnell, backs, White, Hart, and Virr, half-backs, Ritchie, Dunn, Dean, Martin, and Troup, forwards. Newcastle United: - Burns, goal, Harris and Thomson, backs, McKenzie, Hill, and Gibson, half-backs, Boyd, Chalmers, Gallacher, McCurley, and Lang, forwards.

December 24 th 1928. The Daily Courier.
Burnley although having two-thirds, of the play and most of the second half in the home match with Everton Reserves, were beaten by the odd goal in three; Stein obtained a breakaway goal in each half and Helsop scored for Burnley, which finishing was bad. Everton, however, deserve credit for the splendid defence, the backs covering Maher well . Everton: -Maher, goal, Common and Kennedy (captain), backs, Kelly, Dixon and Curr, half-backs, Critchley, Lewis, French, Weldon and Stein, forwards.

Athletic News - Monday 24 December 1928
Often I have heard about how Val Harris was secured by Everton. Well, he was signed in the train travelling from Aberdare, in South Wales. The Everton people were then Dr. Whitford, Dr. Baker, and Mr. William Cuff, the last-named then the secretary. Val Harris came over to me and said Everton were desirous in having his services, and his club, Shelbourne, and himself were willing. In fact, when I was brought into the discussion Mr. Kenyon, who was then secretary of Shelbourne, had signed the necessary papers, and if Everton had desired they need not have given a solitary farthing. But they are not built that way. They gave all the club asked, and I know the player was also satisfied. When tell you that the whole transaction cost less than £2OO, it will admitted the Everted people made a good deal.

Athletic News - Monday 24 December 1928
Back To Their Best
Everton, A Five-Man Forward Line Again, Open Way To Goals
Dean Effects
Everton 5, Newcastle United 2
When Everton were a goal down to Newcastle United in three minutes they struck me as a team suffering from want of confidence on this season’s work, and accepting the reverse rather lamely.  It was a sort of passive resistance, hoping for something turning up.  It did, in the potency of a goal from Dean after fifteen minutes.  That event galvanized the whole, and for the remainder they were champions indeed.  No other standard of play could have discounted Newcastle United into a score of five goals to two.  For the Tynesiders played their part in a game leaving fragrant impressions, worthy of clubs with rich traditions.  One saw much of the old Newcastle artistry, but not the effect, and that, in short, is how Everton’s balance of goals is to be explained. 
Exploited Defence
The champions were a spectacular company of neat, strategic combination, and always that foot or two the faster.  Newcastle wove some pleasing designs, torn to shreds, however, round about the goal, towards which Everton were always driving to big purpose.  In this manner they exploited an inferior defence – excepting Burns.  Thomson made two errors of judgement which might easily have cost goals, and never really settled down afterwards.  Harris is being asked much in the way of utility.  The last time I saw this half-back he played left back, now being on the other flank.  It betrays Newcastle’s limitations in reserve defenders that they use Harris so, for his primary instincts are all for following up to the forwards.  Thus we had the resistance strung out slantwise, with Hill striding about ubiquitous from middle to flanks.  Hill and Burns were the factors stemming the tide of Everton’s assertion flowing by devious channels.  For this revival it is pertinent to point out to the champions that a departure from the hackneyed up the middle pursuit, with Dean as the objective, was largely the means to this triumph.  Dunn is still inclined to fall behind, but he made a line of it, and gave Ritchie ample room by releasing the ball subtly at the moment of tackle.  The wings materialized in strength, opening wide the door to Dean, and the significant sequel of three goals to the centre-forward and two by others.  This was the real live, penetrating Dean, master of the ball as he moved on with it, and shrewd in the placing of his shots.  His duels with Hill were quite a feature, with honours even, for if Dean got the scope it was because Hill had so many other responsibilities.  A comparison between the centre-forwards of England and Scotland certainly left Gallacher in the shade for once.  He had no chance whatever when inviting the through pass, and stood too sentinel-like to distribute the play.  As the game ran it was relatively easy for one of Hunter Hart’s anticipation, ball flick, and body faint to overcome Gallacher, who eventually sought sanctuary at inside right, Chalmers going in the middle.  The one great thing Gallacher did in the match was to make the goal which virtually opened the game.  Everton were nonplussed when converging on him in expectation of a characteristic, dashing dribble through, he adroitly tapped the ball aside for Chalmers to send it through.  Gallacher is soon ruffled.  Hence the incident when Everton obtained the leading goal.  First dean sailed through and sent the ball fairly fizzing along the ground to the net.  Martin’s goal could only be realized in the gloom by the ball rebounding from the net, so fast was the flight.
A Captain’s Example
To restart the game the ball must be played forward.  Twice was Gallacher brought back by the referee for putting the ball into his own half of the field from the centre spot.  The third time, after being spoken to by Hill, he told McCurley to kick-off, but Hill would have not have this, insisting that Gallacher should do so, and that properly.  It was a piece of captaincy and a display of the spirit of the game to be admired.  Dunn’s dazzling foot craft enabled Dean to score the third, and Everton were romping to victory until Lang went right through and reduced the margin.  This made the champions pause, but they were on their pinnacle this day, and Ritchie and Dean clinched the matter.  Distinctions among the forwards would be invidious.  One can go further and say there was the hall mark of class team work.  The successes in Newcastle’s ranks could be singled out as few, and it was in departmental fluctuations from excellence to mediocrity that they fell short.  Everton; Davies; Cresswell,  O’Donnell; White, Hart, Virr; Ritchie, Dunn, Dean, Martin, and Troup.  Newcastle United; Burns; Harris, Thomson; McKenzie, Hill, Gibson; Boyd, Chalmers, Gallacher, McCurley, and Lang.  Referee; Mr. W.P. Harper, Stourbridge. 

December 27 th 1928. The Daily Courier.
There was the essence of true drama in the Christmas day encounter at Goodison Park when Sunderland ran Everton to a goalless draw. In the last 15 minutes there was sufficient excitement to compensate for the lack of thrills during this periods when the ball was in touch as much as in the field of play earlier on. First of all Halliday missed a "sitter" –it was not the first that the Sunderland attackers had thrown away be any means; then fired in a ball from 30 yards, which shook the whitewash from the Sunderland crossbar. To crown it all, in the final two minutes the visitors won a corner, and Allan their burly pivot, ran in about 15 yards to head the ball into the net. The people roared audibly, but the referee had spotted a little bit of fouling as the ball was coming in, so instead of Sunderland obtaining a goal, the Blues were awarded a free kick. Sunderland had the better of the game territorially, but their forwards, so clever in creating openings, were absolutely inept when it came to accepting one. They were all alike in this respect, so that the Champions could consider themselves fortunate in coming through such ordeals without loss. They had ill-fortune in another respect, however, and this was that they played for the greater portion of the game without Troup, who damaged a leg early on. Then Ritchie hurt his foot in shooting so that there were only three sound forwards left to worry the solid Sunderland defence.

Again ill-luck ran their way when Dunn was twice obviously fouled in the penalty area, but the referee refused to allow the claims. He had seen nothing but was cute enough to notice that Mclean centred from behind the line when his cross was deflected into the net by Davies. The Everton halves were not up to standard, with the exception of Virr, who played gloriously all through. While was deficient in his feeling, and Hart took a little time to settled down. However, he was all right later. O'Donnell was the best back on the field. Davies kept goal brilliantly while Dean, though always shadowed by four men, did grandly on none too good material. It is true that he a shot over from the one real chance the Blues had, but he worked harder than any one else against overwhelming adds. Dunn could not "kill" the ball as well as usual, and Martin suffered because he had no partner for the most part Ritchie was good until he received the knock-out. Sunderland surely must possess two of the cleverest inside forwards in the land in McInally and McKay, but their shooting was very poor. Halliday tried desperately hard to obtained a goal, but he was well watched, and the backs gave nothing away, Clunas was the pick of the intermediates, but Allan did well in a rugged way. Clunas, by the way hit the post from a free kick in the first half. Teams: - Everton: - Davies, goal, Cresswell (captain), and O'Donnell, backs, White, Hart and Virr, half-backs, Ritchie, Dunn, Dean, Martin, and Troup, forwards. Sunderland: - McInroy, goal, Oakley and England, backs, Clunas, Allan, and Andrews, half-backs, Robinson, McKay, Halliday, McInally, and McLean, forwards.

December 27 th 1928. The Liverpool Post and Mercury.
Played on Christmas Day. Eight thousand spectators witnessed a hard-fought encounter at Blackpool. Everton were the better-balanced and more polished side, but Blackpool were first to score. Crook netting after forty minutes, Kennedy equalised from a free kick four minutes later . Everton: - Maher, goal, Common and Kennedy (captain), backs, Kelly Dixon, and Curr half-backs, Critchley Lewis, French, Weldon and Stein forwards.

December 27 th 1928. The Liverpool Post and Mercury
AT Goodison Park. The game was one of the best of the season. The ultimate losers were always fighting hard against a side that revelled in good fast, and open football. Everton in the first half were the better finishers and if the frequent raids only brought three first half goals it was the brilliance of Cope in the Rovers goal during the second half that prevented the score being increased by no more than two goals. The scores were Meston (2), French, Lewis and Easton (Penalty) for Everton, and Watson, Crompton, and Cunlie for Blackburn. D Raitt captained the Tovers team.

December 27 th 1928. The Liverpool Post and Mercury
The death has taken place of Mr. Danny Kirkwood, of Everton F.C., after a short illness. Mr. Kirkwood was in his day a capable player for Everton Club. He afterwards served as a director, and later as an official who travelled in search of players.

December 29 th 1928. The Daily Courier.
Things with Everton are not going with same boyish abandon and oiled regularity we used to know, and, not quite satisfied with the display of the team against Sunderland two changes have been made in the front line, it is Ritchie's injured leg though, that influenced the directors to bring in Critchley in the Scot's place at outside-right while the little man Troup disappears for Stein, who is capable of making a success in the outside left position. Cresswell too, has not been feeling in the best of form latterly, but he continues to carry on in that coldly determined way so characteristic of him. The Wanderers will have a strong side for this Lancashire clash at Goodison Park, but they will be without Kean their stout and crafty half-back. Kean is standing down with an injury, if football tradition means anything the champions should win. They have lost only one of the last seven games with Bolton. Still, Boltton have great "drawing" power. The match starts at 2-20 and the teams are: - Everton; Davies; Cresswell, O'Donnell; White, Hart, Virr; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Martin, and Stein. Bolton Wanderers: - Pym; Haworth, Finney; Cope, Seddon, Nuttall; Butler, McClelland, Blackmore, Gibson, and Cook.

December 31 st 1918. The Daily Courier.
Rarely has such a reversal of form been witnessed as that in the match between Everton and Bolton Wanderers at Goodison Park on Saturday, when the Champions collected their fourth and fifth holiday points by virtue of a clever three clear goals victory. In the first half it was all Bolton, for they pressed practically the whole 45 minutes, yet retired for the "breather" a goal down. On resuming the Wanderers were entirely obliterated, and it was only on isolated occasions that they were within the Everton penalty area. It speaks well for the Champions that even when their tide was at its lowest, they could teach the visitors a lesson, and this was when Dean headed home a lovely centre from Stein. Dean proceeded to collect his second "hat-trick" of the season at the expense of Bolton, later on, and so was responsible for the Blues bringing off their first "double" of the campaign. His goals were excellent, not exactly from their spectators nature, but by the manner in which the scorer delivered his thrusts. The second was the prettiest, for Dean, and Dunn worked their way right through the defence by judicious inter-passing before Dean almost ripped the meshes of the net. His third goal came from a cross by Stein, which was deflected to his feet by Haworth.

There was plenty of excellent preconceived football to be seen, and this, coupled with the fact that thrills followed each other in quick succession, made for an encounter drawing very near the 100 per cent, mark. It is best in the circumstances, to draw a veil over the display of the Blues in the early period, for it was then that the Wanderers called the tune, and it was a good one. Cook, their new Scottish outside left, combined with Gibson to make the best wing on view, and there is no doubt that he will prove a potent force in English football. Small, but as agile as a cat, he varies his methods of beating a man with remarkable ingenuity, and his twinkling feet and clever crossing won for him the plaudits of all onlookers. His success, however, contributed to the fact that the Wanderers obtained no goals, for they persisted in feeding him so much that the Everton defeders knew just what was going to happen. Everton did this when they were at their best, Critchley and Stein seeing the ball with equal frequency, so that raids were continually emanating from both sides of the field –and the Wanderers were kept guessing the whole time. Dean, played magnificently, for let alone his goals, he kept his line going smoothly in open order, and the precise manner in which his distributed his passes was wonderful. Stein and Critchley, the two reserve wingers introduced, exemplified the strength of the Goodison second string, and they not err once after the interval. Stein is to be congratulated on his initial first team appearance, for he showed that he has speed, skill, and above all heart. Critchley has never finished his work so cleanly as he did in the second moiety.

Dunn outshone Martin at inside forward, and Virr was once more the pick of the intermediaries, Hart fed with discretion from start to finish and White, though nonplussed by the "kitten-like" Cook for a long time, fought back well. The three chief defenders, Cresswell, O'Donnell and Davies, covered up grandly under heavy pressure, and left few loopholes. O'Donnell's unceremonious and rentlentless interventions were a feature. Blackmore promisingly for the Wanderers and levelled a number of fine shots, but he still lacks penetrative powers and the ability to snap up a through pass quickly. Teams: - Everton: - Davies, goal, Cresswell (captain) and O'Donnell, backs, White, Hart, and Virr, half-backs, Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Martin, and Stein, forwards. Bolton Wanderers: - Pym, goal, Haworth and Finney, backs, Cope, Seddon, and Nuttall, half-backs, Butler, McClelland, Blackmore, Gibson, and Cook, forwards .

December 31 st 1928. The Daily Courier.
Everton found themselves's no match for the Wednesday, who won decisively. The feature was a capital, but trickery by Harper the old Blackburn Rovers and England centre forward, who scored all his goals in the second half, before the interval Wilkinson and Dean had scored for the Wednesday, while Goddard later added the sixth. Everton were demoralised, and Maher was anything but reliable in their goal. The ground was in a bad state.

December 31 st 1928. The Liverpool Post and Mercury.
Ggriffiths the Everton half-back, who broke his collar bone in the match against Aston Villa, at Birmingham about five weeks ago turned out with the Reserves side on Saturday, and he has been chosen to fill the right0back position in place of White on New Years day at Goodison Park, thus this beening the only change for the match against Derby County.

Athletic News - Monday 31 December 1928
Death continues to take toll of notable football personalities.  Especially has Merseyside suffered lately.  By the passing of Mr. D. Kirkwood in his 62nd year another link with Everton past is broken.  The news of his death came as a great shock, although he was ill.  Mr. Kirkwood, as a player some 30 years ago, was one of the Everton stalwarts.  Eventually he became a director of the club and rose to the position of chairman in the season 1909-10.  Following upon changes in personnel of the Everton board, Mr. Kirkwood eventually returned to the club in an official capacity, and for several seasons directed his attention towards securing new players.  In recent years “Danny” as he was familiarly known, had charge of the “A” team which has produced some promising League players, among them being Virr and Rooney. 



December 1928