December 3, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
Stoke City 2, Everton 3
An Exciting Game
This was one of the most exciting games I have seen for an age, although there were too many fouls awarded for trips and robust tackling. Such elements need not have been introduced, for there were many clever players on the field. Everton were full value for their victory for they were the better team. They set a pace which had the Stoke defence unnerved; but Fielding and Elliott excelled. Even the England centre-half, Franklin was knocked off his game by the speedy movements of the Everton attack. In contrast T.G. Jones the immaculate always had the Stoke centre-forward in his pocket. Jones was the outstanding man on the field. He got grand support from Bentham, and the new player Cookson who put came through his test with credit. The first half definitely belonged to Everton because they were more enterprising, kept the ball moving about and puzzled the Stoke defenders. Matthews was policed by Greenhalgh, no matter where he went, over on the left in his rightful position, or in the centre of the field, and the Everton captain’s quick tackling undoubtedly upset the famous winger. Rawlings scored with a hard shot after thirty-two minutes. Herod brushed the ball up with the intention of edging over his crossbar, but it dropped short and into the goal, and that was how the score stood at the interval. When Everton scored a second goal the game appeared to be won, and lost. Corner kicks have been of so little value that I welcomed Everton’s new plan for the taking of them. Instead of lasting the ball into the goalmouth, Boyes tapped it towards Fielding, who raced towards him. Fielding put it back to Boyes who hit it first time and Herod had to push out his strong shot. The ball went to Catterick on the far side and he promptly put it back into the goal. Time, fifty minutes. A foul on Matthews was the roof cause of a Stoke goal. Sellar closing in for Matthews’s centre to drive it into the Everton net after 68 minutes. Seven minutes later G. Mountfield equalised. It was a magnificent recovery, but five minutes later Catterick picked up a ball just over the ball way line and scored a magnificent goal. It had been difficult to see during the last fifteen minutes owing to the bad light, but there were several goalmouth thrills. Although no further damage to either goal. It was a great victory for Everton. Attendance 20,743. Receipts £2,176. Stoke City; Herod, goal; Brigham and Kinson, backs; Mountford (F.), Franklin and Cowden, half-backs; Matthews, Mountford (G.), Steele, Sale, and Sellars, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Cookson, Jones (TG), and Bentham, half-backs; Rawlings, Elliott, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.G. Hall (Chester).
• Liverpool beat Huddersfield 4-1, Liddell (2), Fagan, Balmer and Hughes for Huddersfield.
December 3, 1945. The Evening Express
Tommy Jones, Everton’s Welsh international centre-half, enjoyed a grand “come-back” when he proved the centrepiece in the Blues’ glorious 3-2 victory over Stoke City at the Victoria grounds. Jones made the several other internationals in the game look right out of the picture by his superb skill, coolness, and complete dominance. I saw Tommy in the morning and he was wondering whether his ankle would stand up to it, but that he played, and played so well, was not gratifying. When Jones is right there is no pivot to compare with him, and the Stoke people agree wholeheartedly. The Potteries folk, too, regard Everton as the best team seen there this season, for the Blues blotted out the City for an hour by their last, intensive work during which Rawlings and Catterick scored. The City fought back to equality, but Everton recovered their balance, and seven minutes from time Catterick ran half the length of the field to score a picture winner. So justice was served, for the Everton inside forwards, and Catterick in particular, were brilliant; young Jimmy Cookson gave his all at right half for a notable debut; Bentham “aided and abetted” the subjugation of the City’s dangerous right flank, with Greenhalgh so effectively mastering Stan Matthews as he always does. Greenhalgh never left Stan, and even followed him to the other wing, knowing that there would be ample cover. Burnett was sound and Rawlings, and Boyes excellent wingers in a really fast, hard-working side. This was Stoke’s second home defeat of the season, and certainly Everton’s best victory of the campaign.
• Everton had no Central league match
TOO MANY FOULS
December 3, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
There were too many fouls in the game at Victoria Ground and most of them were against Everton. It was hard tackling rather than deliberate fouling that brought the referee’s hand down so often. I wonder how much the points was responsible for the excessive keenness of the play? One got a foresight of things to come when four fouls were given against Everton in the first five minutes and most of them were on Matthews. No Cup-tie has produced more grimness than this Stoke-Everton match and the Stoke people did not like the way Matthews was marked by Greenhalgh (Writes Stork). Greenhalgh’s one permission was to shadowed the man Matthews, who could not get out of the Everton’s man, no matter where he went, and this had its effect upon the rest of the Stoke forwards, who without Matthews help watching menace, and Matthews was reasonable for a Stoke revival. But don’t for one minute think that all the hard play was on one side, for Stoke were never slow to get in with grim determination so we saw a really hectic struggle, with no quarters asked and none given. Everton won because they were the better side. Their final display great surprised strike particularly the defences, were often nonplussed and the speed of the Everton forwards, the manner of their pass and the accuracy of same. Furthermore Everton took their scoring chances and Herold had to make some great saves. Everton took a two goal lead, Rawling and Catterick, and a sound victory appeared to be their portion but then Matthews broke loose from the fetters and two goals followed by Sellars and G. Mountfield. The din was tremendous, the light poor but not so bad that we could not see Catterick score a magnificent winning goal. Corners kicks have become as hackneyed that it was a welcome change to see a new device introduced by Everton. Instead of Boyes flashing across a centre in the orthodox manner he slipped the ball forward to Fielding who came rushing from the goalmouth to take it up. He returned the ball to Boyes who struck it hard and true and Herold could only turn the ball over to Catterick who hammered it back into the net. It was a great move. There was more punch in the Everton forward line that has been the case for weeks. It was live with Fielding and Elliott, and Rawling, Boyes and Catterick responding splendidly. But the greatest stumbling block to the Stoke forwards was Jones, the perfect centre half.
ENGLAND 3 SCOTLAND 0
December 4, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
Eddie Wainwright played for England Army international at Tottenham yesterday, winning by 3 goals to 0. Little was seen of Wainwright, the Everton inside right who had played with Lawton. Wainwright jarred a collarbone 18 minutes after the interval, but although he had to be taken off on a stretcher, he returned after a lapse of a quarter of an hour. Attendance was 27000.
CRACK ENGLAND WINGER AT GOODISON
December 7, 1945. The Evening Express
The F.A. cup-tie and Stanley Matthews on Merseyside. These are the pain avenue in a big football day tomorrow. At Goodison park tomorrow when the City come to take on Everton, at 3.15 pm to welcome the man who is feared everywhere, but Everton appreciate the value of Matthews-in fact in 1938 the Blues wanted to secure Stanley, who was then an inside right with Stoke, but they are firm in their belief that they can outwit such a genius. There may be more effective wingers than Matthews, but there is not another who can do such clever things with a football as does Master Stanley. Matthews is a positive “headache” to all but a few full-backs but in Norman Greenhalgh, Everton have one of those exceptions. Never has Matthews had a good game against Greenhalgh for the simple reason that Greenhalgh follows out the Everton plan which summed up a “prevention is better then cute”. Greenhalgh makes sure that Matthews does not get the ball, for he realises that if Stan gains possession he can make the opposition look silly. Norman goes out there his mind set on getting to the ball before Matthews can accrue control, and that wards of danger. The plan will be put into operation again tomorrow, just as it was at Stoke last week, when Everton won 3-2 the opposition goals coming from free kicks. Apart from Matthews they have international stars in Freddie Steele, challenger to Lawton’s supremacy as No.1 centre-forward and Neil Franklin the most successful of all those who have followed in the footsteps of Stan Cullis in the England team. City have scored only one away victory, but have 20 points –the same as Everton - and are one of the cleverest teams in the League. Stoke believe me, will take some beating. Tommy Jones is ill with tensiltus and bronchitis and will be unable to play, but fortunately Joe Mercer has reported quite by again and Eddie Wainwright; and Jack Humphreys are on leave and certain to play. Mercer plays for Cookson, who joins the Army next week and Humphreys plays for Jones. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Bentham; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Stoke City; Herod; Brigham, Challenor; Mountford (f.), Franklin, Cowden; Matthews, Mountfield (G.), Steele, Antonio, Sellars.
MATTHEWS PULLS THEM IN
December 7, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Everton followers have one of the most attractions of the season at Goodison tomorrow when Stoke City with Stanley Matthews Soccer’s No 1 box office attraction. Steele, Franklin and other outstanding players probable the opposition. Though Everton won at Stoke last week that doesn’t mean the double is a foregone conclusion. Far from it. It was only in the closing stages of a hard games that Everton snatch victory, and Stoke will tale almost as much effort to overcome this time. It is on Everton’s favour that the visitors are not so sparkling a combination away as at Victoria ground. They have won only one game out of eight away encounters, when they defeated Manchester City early in the season. Two have been drawn. I haven’t watched Everton for some weeks and am looking forward to seeing Harry Catterick again. He has almost a goal a match this season –eight in nine games –and when he has got a bit more senior experience under his belt and the right understanding with his colleagues I think he will turn out triumph. He is strong, has plenty of pluck, a good shot and is a born opportunist. Apparently Greenhalgh treatment of Matthews last week rather upset the Stoke folk. Not having seen the game I can express no opinion. In previous ties between the pair that I have watched Greenhalgh, though robust in his tackling has invariably been fair, and has played Matthews better that any back I have seen. Norman tells me that his secret is to keep his eye on the ball all the time and ignore Stanley’s deceptive swerve and twinkling fact. We see how it pans out tomorrow. Another man Everton must watch is Freddie Steele. Last week Tommy Jones had him “in his pocket” so that Steele leading scorer in the North League with 19 goals to date was a seldom a danger. But he is a type who is liable to break out any minute and takes quick advantage of any slips in the opposition. Unfortunately Jones is ill with tonsillitis. His place is taken by Humphreys, home on leave. Joe Mercer, now recovered from flu, resumes at right half. Wainwright also is fit. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Bentham; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Stoke City; Herod; Brigham, Challenor; Mountford (f.), Franklin, Cowden; Matthews, Mountfield (G.), Steele, Antonio, Sellars.
STOKE VISIT GOODISON
December 8, 1945. The Evening Express
Watch on Mathews
Mr. W. C. Cuff president of the Football League, was at Goodison Park today to see Everton entertain Stoke City, this being his first visit to the ground this season and naturally giving rise to the hope that the recent controversy on the Board has ended. Boyes was late in arriving and in the meantime Elliott stripped prepared to deputise, but Boyes came in time and so Everton made no change. Franklin could not get off from his Army camp and Cowden moved to centre-half, Sale, the former centre-forward, going to left-half. The wintry conditions and early kick-off kept the attendance down from the expected record because of the appearance of Stan Matthews.
Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Humphreys, and Bentham, half-backs; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Stoke City’ Herod, goal; Brigham and Challenor, backs; Mountford (F.), Cowden, and Sale, half-backs; Matthews, Mountford (G.), Steele, Astonio, and Sellers, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.C. Hall (Chester). Mercer soon put Everton on the attack, making three thrusts to receive grand support from Rawlings. Fielding headed just over the top before Stoke came away with a sudden said, and when G. Mountford to bore through, Burnett came out to smoother the ball. Everton responded immediately Boyes, letting go a brilliant shot, but Herod dived to turn it round the post. Everton came again when Boyes swept through from Catterick’s pass but his centre was headed behind for a corner. From this, Rawling headed in magnificently to beat Herod but Challoner was standing on the line to head away. Greenhalgh moved whenever Matthews went, even as far as left half, but at last Matthews got clear and his centre looked like bringing danger until Humphreys intervened. Everton played some glorious football at top pace, Catterick and Wainwright having shots charged down. Fielding let one go on the half volley and the ball was speeding home until Challoner bobbed up from nowhere and headed out at the expense of injury. From the corner Boyes turned the ball in but this time Sellers, which had dropped right back, turned it aside for another corner. Little was seen of Stoke, as is the attacking force, and they failed to profit from a close-up free kick. Matthews bobbed up at outside left where Jackson quickly did the Greenhalgh act on him and danger was averted. The magic of Matthews was fully appreciated when he received in the centre circle with three men around him, but they dare not make a most to tackle. Eventually Bentham took charge and prevented Matthews getting to work, and away went Wainwright only to go so fast that there was no one up to take advantage of his pass across goal. Rawlings slipped the ball inside for Wainwright, who let go a terrific right foot shot which Herod beat away magnificently.
EVERTON’S CLEVER FORWARD LINE
December 10, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 6, Stoke City 1
It is a long time since I saw an Everton forward line in such devastating form as they were against Stoke at Goodison Park. It had forcefulness, speed, combination and, above all, excellent finishing and power of shot. Only the fact that Stoke’s goal often bore a charmed life prevented Everton reaching double figure. Several times the visiting defenders cleared off the line; scoring shots cannoned away, the woodwork was skimmed; and finally Herod made some excellent saves. Stoke were rarely in the game. Their few raids quickly petered out, mainly because their forwards were yards, slower than, the home defence, and they lost the value of Matthews because he was rarely in one position long enough to let the line settle down. This wandering idea, initiated to avoid “policing” by Greenhalgh, disorganised the attack completely. Only when Greenhalgh was injured and went on the wing in the second half did Matthews stick to one position, but by then the damage had been done. Even so, Bentham, deputy full back, and Boyes as left half-back him pretty well subdued.
Everton were so well served in all positions that it is somewhat invidious to single out individuals. It was essentially a victory for team work, put special mention should be made of Wainwright and Mercer. The former got three goals; helped in two others and gave an outstanding display. Mercer’s brilliant scheming and accurately passes went a long way to making the front line the virile force it was. He provided Wainwright with two of his goals was the starting point of the others, and brought the best out of Rawlings. Catterick a grand leader, got two goals and Rawlings the other. A word also for Greenhalgh, who despite injury, shone at outside left. Stoke’s defence was spilt open so often that the wing halves could gave their forwards little worthwhile support on top of which the visitors were wasteful with a few chances that came their way. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Humphreys, and Bentham, half-backs; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Stoke City’ Herod, goal; Brigham and Challenor, backs; Mountford (F.), Cowden, and Sale, half-backs; Matthews, Mountford (G.), Steele, Astonio, and Sellers, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.C. Hall (Chester).
• Liverpool lost 3-1 to Huddersfield Town, Balmer, for Huddersfield Carr (2), Price.
December 10, 1945. The Evening Express
Everton are positively brilliant as Goodison Park on Saturday when they thrashed Stoke City 6-1. When I assert that Everton were as magnificent all through at Manchester City were in that never-to-be-forgotten first half against Liverpool at Anfield you will appreciate the heights Everton reached. Chairman Mr. Billy Gibbins and his colleagues and Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly literally beamed after the game, not so much by the win as the manner of that win. Their part in the success was a major one for they have engendered a grand team spirit in the dressing-room and on the field following the loss of stars like Lawton, Gillick and Caskie. Curiously since Lawton’s last game with Everton –on November 3 –when they lost at Sheffield United the Blues have taken eight points out of ten, and remained unbeaten. It goes to prove that team work is far greater than individual stars abilities, and we had emphatic confirmation of this in the Stoke we saw at Goodison Park. There the City had the mistaken idea that to achieve success they had to play up to Stan Matthews. Well Greenhalgh, Boyes and Bentham ensured that Matthews rarely had close association with the ball. Consequently Stanley wandered all over the field trying to upset Everton but in fact upsetting his own colleagues, who did not seem to know where to go or what to do. Manager Mr. Bob McGrory, the City manager said to me afterwards; “If Stan had remained at outside-right instead of trying to do too much we would not have lost 6-1.” Well maybe not. Matthews gave us delightful flashes on rare occasions, but he tried to do far too much and the side suffered. Everton demonstrated clearly that to pander to one star is tantamount to leading with your chip. Everton were eleven honest-to-goodness triers, impregnated with genuine ability, and the whole team operated with an individual and collective skill, which so thrilled and satisfied that I, for one forgot the biting cold. The fast, incisive rhythmic work of the Blues made the blood tingle in the veins, for every time Everton got the move they looked like scoring and apart from the six goals three shots came back off the woodwork; three more struck goalkeeper Herod and bounced to safely and two more were headed off the goalline with Herod already beaten.
Wainwright scored a personal triumph in scoring three grand shots and making the vital pass for the other three takes by Catterick (2) and Rawlings. Two seasons ago there were many who would have been pleased had Wainwright been given more time to develop, but Mr. Kelly persisted that he had found a winner, and gave Eddie every chance Everton’s wisdom in preserving with Wainwright was proved up to the hilt in this game. A word for Harry Catterick, who is so fast making the Goodisonites forget the Lawton departure, and who, improves with every game; for Fielding for his diligent foraging 22-7 for his delightful use of the ball; and to Wally Boyes for his grand contribution in many roles. Boyes knows as well as you and me that in recent weeks he has not been at his best, but he was sensational in this game, being a rare penetrative power as he forsook over-drilling, and when Matthews “policeman” Greenhalgh was injured and moved to outside-left Boyes took it upon himself to run and working Matthews out of the game. And how he did it. Boyes was aided and shelted by Bentham, who never put a foot wrong. From the creative standpoint there was no one to compare with Joe Mercer, who moulded so many attacks by his precision passing. Humphreys had a grand day against Steele, who snatched City’s only goal with his one real opening, while Greenhalgh blacked out Matthews and Jackson in another fine display proved that you can take the ball from Matthews. Well done George. Burnett had not sufficient to do to keep himself warm, but was right there when needed in a match we shall not readily forget and which kept 28,000 people right on their toes.
EVERTON’S BRILLIANT DISPLAY
December 10, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s 6-1 victory over Stoke, their most convincing win this season, was a triumph for the whole eleven because of its balanced teamwork and all-pull together spirit, but a personal one also for Mercer and Wainwright. That was the best Everton forward display I have seen for a long time. They had everything it taken and for once cut out all needless trimmings. Don’t read that as indicating they were lacking in the finer arts for such is not so. They delighted by their skilful combination, speed, ball control, accurate passing and tricky dribbling, but they did not indulge in the latter to excess. Every man player for the side, not for individual glory, and all withstood the temptations so often an Everton failing, of trying to beat one man too many. The result was a new Everton, which made Stoke look a very ordinary side – and the Potters’ position in the chart shows that they are not that. Mercer was the brain behind this success. He made two of Wainwright’s three goals, initiated the attacks which produced two more and gave an object lesson of fine passes should be made – on the ground, in such a position that a forward can run on to them at speed. I didn’t see him balloon one ball all afternoon. This was football, not art-ball. Wainwright took his goals like a veteran, with luck might have doubled his bag, and killed any linger of doubts about his staying power or ability to fit in as a team-unit. Catterick who got two goals, also pleased mightily. Even Lawton himself could not have done better. I have felt all along that Catterick given the needful experience would fill the centre forward breach satisfactorily. I am more optimistic than ever now. Rawlings and Fielding were sound, and Greenhalgh, despite a knee injury showed unexpected skill as a winger. Jackson will have to look to his laurels. And how about the defence? Even without Greenhalgh it was tip-top thanks to Bentham and Boyes turning out trumps, while Humphreys was a capable deputy for Jones. Stoke contributed to their own downfall through their determination not to have Matthews bottled up by Greenhalgh. Stanley’s first half meandering meant that the line never got going as a combined force. On top of that the visiting forwards were slow by comparison with Everton’s defenders, who were constantly intercepting and turning defence into attack. By the time Matthews settled down to one spot in the second half it was too late. Everton by this time hard the bit between their teeth. What few chances Stoke did manoeuvre in the isolated rallies were wasted by poor finishing. They should have had two goals by half-time, but against that Everton should have finished with double figures. The Stoke goal was saved by many times on the line and more potential scoring efforts cannoned away off defenders than I could count on both hands. Steele got the visitors consolation goal but otherwise was rarely seen.
MERCER NOT FIT
December 13, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Mercer pulled a muscle in the trail match at Portsmouth yesterday and will be unable to play for Everton against Grimsby. Bentham crosses over to take his place, Watson comes in at left half.
Everton’s Other Teams
Sweeney a former P.O.W makes his first appearance this season with Everton “A2 on Saturday.
Everton Reserves (v. Stoke, away); Birkett; Goulding, Curwen; Cookson, Falder,Neale; Dalglish, Elliott, Bell, Lyon, Froud.
Everton “A2 (v. Earlestown, away). J.A. Jones; Shaw, Lever; Hill, Rees, Dunroe; Lowe, Sweeney, Wright, Rothwell, Myers.
December 14, 1945. The Evening Express
Grimsby Town are certain of a warm welcome to Goodison Park despite the fact the Everton royalist has never forgotten that Joe Robson’s four bobby dazzlers were the nails in the coffin in 1930. Grimsby the first club ever to feature red stocks in their gard have not been to Merseyside since the 1938-39 season so it will be like old times seeing them again with many of their pre-war players including Hodgson, Birch and Vincent. Town have had a struggling time during the war years – I mean more struggle than most – but are doing quite well. Town are something of “giant-killers” and were the first club to win at Chesterfield this season. Everton however are going great guns at the moment, and will be endeavouring to player their sixth success game without defeat. The Blues have taken eight out of the last 10 points played for and that is sufficient indication for them to win. Tommy Jones the Welsh international says he is fit again, and I expect him to be at centre-half. More of that quick accurate passing which was such a feature of Everton’s display against Stoke City should take the Blues to another win on a day when the urging of dear old Larry Murphy, one of Everton’s greatest-ever supporters will be missing for the first time. Larry died during the week’ Larry the supporter who travel the country in search of Everton for years and never sought a free ticket. The game is due to start at 2.15 pm, and should b a thriller. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Tommy Jones, Watson; Rawlings, Wainwright, Elliott, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Grimsby; Moulson; Vincent, Hodgson (G.); Hodgson (S.), Charlesworth, Buck; Pearson, Rodi, Johnson, Moore, Chadwick.
Jack Jones the Everton back who is on the transfer list, plays for Sunderland as a guest player tomorrow.
GRIMSBY STALWARTS GOING STRONG
December 14, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Everton home to Grimsby Town, used only repeat last week’s fine display to make sure of further strengthening their bid for the leadership. Unfortunately Mercer is a non-starter through injury in the F.A. trial game but Bentham is there to take his place, with Watson on the other flank. Like some other visitors this season Grimsby haven’t been seen here for years. But you will recognised some of their players, notably Vincent and Hodgson, who are still going strong, as in pre-war days, in the full back division. Moulson the goalkeeper, who first got the linelight when making his debut in the last pre-war semi-final against Wolves in which he was carried off with concussion after twenty minutes, is also in the side. Tweedy these days is in Germany. But for injuries you would also have seen the “old-time” of Hall, Betmead, and Buck at half-back. The two first named, are laid up. Hodgson, younger brother of the full back, may take the former’s place, and Charlesworth remembered for his guest appearances with Liverpool a few seasons back is the likely centre-half. There are two guests in Grimsby thirteen probable’s from which the side will be finally selected. These are Harris (West Ham) and Robertson (Hartlepool). Pearson, the left winger has been a guest with Manchester City for a time. Grimsby’s defence has been pretty sound, but two games, and it is their attack which has caused most worry. They haven’t yet struck the right blend, but it is worth noting that apart from Chadwick’s brace a few weeks back against Huddersfield, no forward has scored more than one goal in any one game. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Tommy Jones, Watson; Rawlings, Wainwright, Elliott, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Grimsby; (from) Moulson; Vincent, Hodgson (G.); Hodgson (S.), Harris, Charlesworth, Buck; Pearson, Johnson, Moore, Robertson, Chadwick.
December 17, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Grimsby Town 1
Everton’s Narrow Victory
Chief honours, in the game between Everton and Grimsby Town at Goodison Park went to the respective defence which for four-fifths of the time were well on top and broke up all the efforts of the opposing attacks with comparative ease. The first ten minutes produced good football from both sides but this early promise was not fulfilled and there were long stretches when the game petered out into a scrappy and lustreless exhibition, with little sustained combination and few shots of note. There was some relief just before half-time when two goals were scored in one minute, but more particularly in the last quarter of an hour during which Everton staged a fighting finish, which brought them a narrow, but well earned victory. It was only during this latter period that they served up the type of football expected of them. Prior to that they were far below the previous week’s standard and seemed to lack the motive power of Mercer as a generating force for their attacks. Not only did the frequency with which the ball was in the air present Grimsby’s tall defenders with all the advantages, but passes too often went astray or were put too far ahead of the forwards to be of value.
In the last 15 minutes however the home side sparkled in their real manner and Grimsby were fortunate that they forfeited only one goal. It was a mistake by Charlesworth, who otherwise never put a foot wrong, that enabled Catterick to notch the winner, and he took his chance like the opportunist he is. Wainwright opened the scoring two minutes before the interval, when Molson had made a partial save, and Boyes’s quickness enabled him to provide the backward pass which gave Wainwright an open goal. Pearson equalised straight from the restart with the best shot of the day. Pearson was the outstanding forward on view; Wainwright was good, though the ball frequently ran badly for him, and Catterick rarely got a chance against Charlesworth. Jones (T.G.) played brilliantly after a nonchalant start which almost presented Grimsby with an early goal, and was so adequately supported by the other defences that Burnett had little to do. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones (T.G.), and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Grimsby Town; Moulson, goal; Vincent and Hodgson (J.), backs; Hodgson (G.), Charlesworth, and Buck, half-backs; Chadwick, Moore, Johnson, Jones (T.), Pearson, forwards. Referee; Mr. B.J. Flanagan (Sheffield).
• Liverpool drew with Chesterfield 1-1, Taylor, for Liverpool and Harley own goal for Chesterfield.
December 17, 1945. The Evening Express
Mr. Theo Kelly, secretary of Everton has nothing further to add regarding the negotiations for the transfer to Everton of Oakes the Queen’s of the South outside left, and will have no announcement until after a full report on the situation has been made to the directors meeting tomorrow night.
Everton are enjoying an amazing run and not only was their 2-1 victory over Grimsby their third in succession, but brought their tally to 10 points of the last 12 played for during which they have not been defeated. It took them a long time to get the better of a fighting Grimsby at Goodison Park, and had it not been for s sudden and bright change of tactics 15 minutes from the close might have battered at a stout Town defence in vain. It was Wally Boyes who really shook Everton out of their close-passing complex for he darted here and there and his colleagues soon followed his example of swinging the ball about. The Town seemed bewildered at the spontaneous change of method and they were in a state bordering and swarmed around their goal. The imperturbable Charlesworth became so ruffled that he made no contact as he lunged at what seemed to be an easy clearance, and quick as lighting Catterick was quite on it in a flash to drive it low into the net for the winner. One could sympathise with Grimsby that they lost after such grand defence, but goodness knows that Everton did practically all the attacking although aiding Town by keeping it just a little too close. Fortunately they saw the lights in time and so are now only a point behind the joint leaders – and with a match in hand of Blackpool. The Blues are riding the crest of the wave, and by the New Year may be right there on top. They are playing with refreshment versatility and confidence. Grimsby might not have scored at all but for a tendency on Everton’s part to back away in defence, and so the sharpshooting Pearson – Anfield will remember him – darted in with a top-ender to wipe out Wainwright’s leading goal only 30 second ‘s after it had been recorded. The general play was far too negative for my liking although I revelled in the classic touches of Tommy Jones; the brilliant work of Bentham and Watson, and Wally Fielding’s perfection in creative powers. Fielding was the best forward on the field and this is no disparagement to Boyes and Wainwright. Catterick was a rare trier against an over powering Charlesworth, but Rawlings has finished better. Both wingers must take blame for so regularly wasting corner-kicks. Jones raced up for every corner only to find them wasted. Rawlings placed three in succession behind. Oh, I almost forgot the ever-faithful defensive trio. They were as usual, right on their game. Not a match to remember by any means, but again emphasising what a fine referee is Mr. B. J. Flanagan of Sheffield. This was my second view of him and I have not seen a better for a long time. Mr. Flanagan missed nothing.
December 17, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
What price Everton for the championship? There’s a long way to go and Saturday’s form wasn’t exactly inspiring, but they are nicely placed, and the outlook is encouraging. It was
Only in the last quarter against Grimsby that they showed in their best. Prior to that, bar the hectic five minutes before the interval, it was a dull and featureless game. It had started well, but some deteriorated, mainly because the defence had the whip hand and found little difficulty checkmating the efforts of either attack. There was a tinge of fortune about Wainwright’s goal quickly balanced by Pearson’s brilliant equaliser and before and after this the spectators longed for the Mercer touch to keep the ball on the ground and make the pass to the open spaces. Passes were constantly going adrift on both sides with Everton making their task more difficult by too much “ballooning” which invariably made a present of the ball to Grimsby tall defenders. Charlesworth and his colleagues so effectively blocked the middle avenue that the home front line was unable to function with smoothness or understanding and the winners were a long time settling down to their best. Then came the grand fighting finish, reminiscent of Anfield rather than Goodison. The Grimsby defence hitherto impregnable was hammered hard and at last Charlesworth made his one mistake which Catterick seized on in a flash to produce the winning goal. Though a narrow margin, it served its purpose, and helped the fans to forget some of the more disappointing parts. Again the home defence took main honours as also did Grimsby’s. Tommy Jones started a little too nonchalamity and nearly paid the penalty, but afterwards he and his colleagues did their stuff nobly and well. The star of the match was Pearson who on this showing will be holding for an England cap before long. And don’t forget the fine support he got from Tom Jones, the former Blackpool inside forward who was figuring in his first game for Grimsby for over six years and from the veteran Buck. Everton’s board will consider at tomorrow’s meeting the report of officials who had a further view of Oakes; Queens of the South’s extreme winger, followed by conversations with the Queen’s directors. Subject to certain conditions business may be done.
Liverpool Evening Express - Tuesday 18 December 1945
The link between the Sharp family and the Everton Football Club was renewed Saturday when the sons our always-revered colleague, the late Mr. Jack Sharp, came to see Everton defeat Grimsby Town. Mr. Jack Sharp was Everton’s 1906 cup-winning team and later served on the directorate for years to the credit himself and the club His boys. Captain Jack and Major Geogrey., have just been demobilised and, as they put it. happy to be home." Both look exceptionally well and their keenness for football has not been dulled by war service. As matter of fact. Jack it was who first recommended Wally Fielding to the Blues. Geoffrey was a sensational schoolboy cricketer and I asked him if he contemplated for Lancashire next summer an amateur. Geoff, would not commit himself, as expects to be tied uj) buainess, which would commerce's gain but sad loss to cricket. I wonder whether the close association with the Everton club and the family will still further strengthened ere long?
December 20, 1945, The Evening Express
Ted Sagar, Everton’s international goalkeeper, is due home on the leave boat any day now and may be for demobilisation.
Everton Reserves (v. Stoke City, at Goodison Park); Birkett; E. Goulding, Curwen; Cookson, E. Falder, A. Neale; C. Birmingham, Bell, R. Barker, Lyon, F. Proud.
Everton “A” (v. Marine); Jones (J.A.); Prescott, Lever; Hill, N. Farrar, R.L. Doyle; Lowe, T. Corkhill, S. Wright, W.J. Rothwell, J. Wright
Everton Colts (v. Ellesmere United, at Overpool); A.C. Malnes; T. Jones, Rigsby; R. McAloon, Sheppherd, Street; Fitzapatrick, Macsulay, Fulton, Dunn, Myers.
McAloon is 17 and has had a game or two will Millwall. He is 6ft and weights 12st 4lbs.
Everton have given permission for a collection to be made at the Everton v. Liverpool Derby on December 29 by the Liverpool Sun Carlet Central Committee in aid of their Columbia Hall scheme. There will be a novel touch about it, for buckets will be carried around the ground and each sixpence which lands in the bucket will bring 2s 6d from an anonyonous supporter.
JACK JONES TRANSFERED TO SUNDERLAND
December 21, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Everton F.C yesterday transferred Jones (J.E.), full back to Sunderland. Jones, who is a native of Brombrough is in the fourteenth season with Everton, having joined the Goodison Park club from Ellesmere Port in may 1932. He made many appearances with the League side. A fast and sound defender; he should prove a valuable acquisition to the Roker Park club.
December 21, 1945. The Evening Express
Everton, who were in touch with Preston North End regarding F.A. Cup third round arrangement prior to getting down to “cases” with Liverpool midweek dates, hit the long trail to Grimsby Town tomorrow, where they will be seeking another “double” in their effort to secure the leadership of the League (North). Everton’s grand run has produced ten points out of the last dozen, and they are only a single point behind the joint leaders, with a game in hand, I hope Everton have learned the lesson of last week’s belated victory. It was not until the Blues began to make the tall Town defenders chase that they got right on top, and if Everton will restart where they let off they should succeed. Joe Mercer returns to right half in place of Bentham, who in consequence is released for his championship position of inside right for Wainwright who is not available. Oh, when I asked secretary Mr. Theo Kelly if he had say further news regarding the Transfer of Oakes of Queen’s of the South, he replied “Nothing at all,” Grimsby are a useful side so powerful in defence, but Everton have that skill and confidence which should enable them to show a point profit on a journey starting today and ending on Sunday. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Tommy Jones, Watson; Rawlings, Bentham, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
December 21, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Everton will have to bear in mind the size of the Grimsby side when they meet them in the return tomorrow and endeavour to keep the ball on the ground. In the first part of the Goodison match the ball was all too often in the air, and this of course played into the hands of the Town defenders who seemed to tower over the heads of the Everton forwards. When their style of play was altered and the ball kept to where it belongs (the ground), Everton produced the same class of football which caused Stoke City to crash. They then had the measure of the Grimsby defence. They must see to it that they start that way, and I have no fear of the Town, although I realise there is always danger when a player of Pearson’s class is about. Everton have not been beaten for seven weeks; in fact they have not suffered in reverse since Catterick took over the leadership, and from the way they are playing it will take a good side to beat them. Grimsby Town’s home record is not formidable, for they have won only three of their home games, and have scored only thirteen goals and have concede a like number. But playing away is always a problematic sort of affair, and for that reason we must step warry, but I have a feeling that Everton can win this encounter. It won’t be easy but if they can get into their swing style early on and snap up the chances I fancy they should be good for a win, at least I don’t anticipate they will be beaten. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Tommy Jones, Watson; Rawlings, Bentham, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
A LUCKY GOAL
December 24, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
Grimsby Town 1, Everton 2
Everton Win at Grimsby
Without being unkind it is true to say that Everton owe their jump to the top of the table through a lucky goal, which fell to them at the end of fifteen minutes in their game with Grimsby, which they won 2-1. The goal was the result of a free kick taken by Mercer, fifteen yards from the goal, and at his shot soared goalwards Moulson, the Grimsby goalkeeper ran out and jumped up to meet the ball with uplifted hands. The ball however, passed over him and as it fell to the ground, Bentham, who was in close attendance, scored the opportunity and placed the ball into the empty net. The goal upset Grimsby’s calculations for even when the interval came they did not deserve to be in arrears. For the most part Everton’s defence had all its resourcefulness taxed to the full, hoping, with an energetic set of forwards, who though eager, lacked finishing power. Indeed the game from start to finish savoured of the cup-tie variety are when Grimsby drew level four minutes after the change of ends, through Moore, their chances looked rosy. Even Bentham’s scored goal twenty-one minutes later, left the issue in doubt, for Grimsby were triers to the end. Both Everton wings were enterprising throughout and Mercer ingeniously fed them. Bentham’s move into the forward line crowd successful. Burnett in goal was on top of his form and gave a masterly exhibition. Grimsby Town; Moulson, goal; Vincent and Hodgson (J.), backs; Hodgson (S.), Charlesworth, and Buck, half-backs; Chadwick, Moore, Johnson, Jones and Rudkin, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones (TG), and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings, Bentham, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forewards. Referee; Mr. J. Flanagan (Sheffield).
• Liverpool draw 2-2 with Chesterfield, Fagan, Liddle, and Goodfellower, Roberts for Chesterfield.
December 24, 1945. The Evening Express
Apologies to Everton for not celebrating their taking over the leadership of the League North with headlines, but sport of the future must always take preference over sport of the past. But I having dealt with the holidays games let us join in a hearty “Bravo, Everton,” for getting right there on top. It could be shattered tomorrow, of course, so for goodness sake rejoice, while the going is good. The achievement of the Blues is the greatest lesson of team work football has given us for seasons. Stripped of stars like Lawton, Gillick, and Caskie, Everton have a once become even a mighty force, gaining 12 out of the last 14 points played for, and remaining unbeaten. Results speak for themselves and these team rather than individual performances shot for ever still the malicious tongues which yearn to wag about “A” or “B” or “C”. This run of success can be traced to the loyalty of the players, and the earnest support given by the directors under Mr. Will Gibbins, allied to the strong link up provided by Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly. Saturday’s 2-1 win at Grimsby –Everton’s fifth away victory was a brilliant performance with main credit going to a defence which this season has conceived only 21 goals. Rawlings and Bentham got the vital goals, while Burnett was “kingpin” of a brilliant rearguard. This was Everton’s third double of the season in which each man pulled his full weight. The strength of Everton’s availed position has in the fact that they have two games in hand of Blackpool who are on the same points mark.
• Everton Reserves completed the “double” over Stoke City by winning 5-1. Everton “A” held Marine to a 4-4 draw.
Everton's Man Of Many Clubs
Dundee Evening Telegraph - Monday 24 December 1945
Sydney Rawlings, Everton winger, recentl secured from Millwall scored his first goal for Everton before ever turned out for the Goodison Park club. It occurred when assisted South port against Everton in a war cup qualifying Round in 1943. With a full-back injured dropped back into the defence and had the misfortune to slice the ball through his own goal. Everton won 10-4. Incidentally few players have figured in transfer deals as often as Rawlings. Before the war he played for Preston, Huddersfield, West Bromwich Albion, Northampton Town, and Milhvall and during the war he was a prominent guest for many northern clubs.
December 24, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
For the two games with Blackpool, Everton will chose from Saturday’s victorious side plus Wainwright. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (TG), Watson; Rawlings, Wainwright, Bentham, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
Butler Blackpool’s Irish international right back, and Stuart, centre-half, were injured last Saturday and will be unable to play tomorrow against Everton. Dodds, the Scottish international returns to the centre forward position, and Withington replaces Hobson at outside right. Blackpool (from); Roxburgh; Sibley, Lewis, Farrow, Jones, Tapping, Todd, Withington, Mortensen, Dodds, McLaren, Blair, O’Donnell.
Goodison park (Tuesday) –Everton v Wolves (Central league) at 2.15 p.m.
Wednesday Everton v Blackpool (League) at 2.15 pm.
The goals by Bentham and a masterly exhibition by Burnett in goal at Grimsby put Everton at the top of the League North for Christmas –much to the surprise of Blackpool the Wednesday and Chesterfield. Such an achievement looked remote, but that it happened shows how finally balanced the leadership is at present. Bentham’s first goal, at 15 minutes appeared to unsettle Grimsby who did not equalise until early in the second half. For twenty minutes the Town had hopes of a pint, but Bentham crowned enterprising Everton wing work with the decisive goal. Grimsby were thrusting enough, but found Burnett in his best form. Everton’s high position given piquancy to the meeting with Blackpoll – and what a cocktail for the Derby this week-end. Is this where Liverpool tep up?
BLACKPOOL 5 EVERTON 2
No Details of Match in local papers, only references.
• Liverpool beat Barnsley 5-2, Paisley,
EVERTON’S GREAT DISPLAY
December 27, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 7, Blackpool 1
Score Not Flattering
Everton gave one of their greatest displays of football artistry when they defeated Blackpool at Goodison Park yesterday. The score of 7-1 was in no way flattering. In fact, had they doubled their total they would have only had their just reward. Blackpool, apart from one or two flashes, were rarely in the picture, being completely snuffed out by the brilliance of the Everton side. One got an early forecast of what was to happen, for Everton took hold of the reins immediately and within ten minutes, might have had three goals. It was just bad luck that they missed. However, such football was bound to bring its reward and once Everton got their teeth properly into the game, they made Blackpool look fourth-rate. It was copybook football – the sort that one wants to see but rarely does in these days of airborne Soccer. One looked for a Blackpool reply to this clever Everton side and on occasions the Seasiders did produce sallies of nice football, but it never matched up with that of Everton.
I have no intention of picking out any one man for special praise. It was as a team that Everton won this smashing victory, but I must pay some regard to the youthful members of the side. Wainwright and Fielding, for they were magnificent at centre-forward, is wearing the mantle of Tommy Lawton with great success. Boyes was also at the top of his form. His jugglery with the ball completely baffled Tappin and Sibley. T.G. Jones was another who stood out in the side of shinning stars. Here is the time-table of the goals; Catterick 32 minutes, Wainwright, 37 minutes, Wainwright, 50 minutes, Catterick, 52 minutes, Wainwright, 59 minutes, Boyes 61 minutes, Catterick 70 minutes and O’Donnell, 71 minutes. –Attendance 54,000. Teams; Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones, and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Blackpool; Roxburgh, goal; Sibley and Lewis, backs; Tappin, Jones and Kelly, half-backs; Buchan, Mortensen, Dodds, Blair, and O’Donnell, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Lawless.
• Liverpool lost 1-0 to Barnsley, Smith.
Liverpool Evening Express - Thursday 27 December 1945
Wally Fielding, Everton’s inside left, has been selected to play for the Western Command against the Scottish Command Ayr on Tuesday, and so will be unable to play against Bury. However, Stevenson, the Irish international, was training at Goodison today and after a run with the Reserves on Saturday may be included.
December 27, 1945. The Evening Express
The display of Everton and Liverpool in their home Christmastide matches, really merits columns of space, but that is at a premium, and so things must be summarised. Everton’s 7-1 won over Blackpool at Goodison Park yesterday must take pride of place because of its sheer brilliance on a day of records. Having lost 5-2 at Blackpool on Tuesday, one expected the Blues to have a hard task, but we saw the super-Everton of the 1939 championship days, and an even better side than that which overcame Stoke City so deadly on December 8. This was break taking football and, and quite in keeping with Everton’s exalted League position. Mr. McArthur one of the Scottish F.A. selectors was here to watch Blackpool’s Scottish forwards and he said to me afterwards; “Everton’s was the finest club display I have ever seen in England. I wish the two inside forwards were Scotsmen. It was a nice and deserving tribute to Everton. There was a crowd of 53,985 to welcome the lads –all gates in Goodison-road were closed long before the game, and the crowd “requisitioned” the new stand which has not been opened. This was Merseyside’s biggest gate since pre-war days and the display of the Blues was worthy of it. Everton played better than did Manchester City at Anfield, and yet for twenty minutes I wondered whether it was going to be one of those games in which the Blues did all the attacking and got no goals. However, once Harry Catterick had scored a beauty in 32 minutes of the foot of the post Everton got the “bit” between their teeth,” and literally cut Blackpool to ribbons by the precisions of the electric raids, built up on a solid defence had three prefect half-backs, the Everton revelled in the exploitation of every move on the board. Curious as it may seem the score flattered Blackpool! Nine times the ball was in the net, and it might have been nineteen so perfect was Everton’s team work, and individual artistry, I never wish to see anything better. Every man in the side was right on his game, and as Messrs Harry Evans and Joe Smith of Blackpool said to me afterwards. “We are a good side, but Everton today would have beaten any team in the land.” Wainwright and Catterick got three goals apiece before the man Blackpool could not hold, Wally Boyes went through with a goal which sent the hats soaring into the air. The cheer for that goal was a glowing tribute to the players who brought effectiveness to that roving rule so often attempted by Stanley Matthews. I single out Boyes, for special praise, but without detracting from the others, all of whom were great. This applies in large to Tommy Jones, who so easily blotted out Emp Dodds, Jones went off two minutes before the end, but Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly assures me that Tommy will be fit for Saturday’s “Derby” with Liverpool at Goodison Park when Everton will select from Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Tommy Jones, Watson, Mercer; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Both Blackpool and Everton folk assure me that Everton played some glorious football at Bloomfield-road where Wally Fielding had such a great day. Well, we had another yesterday.
Alex Stevenson Everton’s Irish international inside-left is home from India and demolished.
NOW FOR “LIVERTON” DERBY
December 27, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Well, we got ‘em. The usual holiday shocks, bags of goals, clubs losing at home and winning away, and all the “daft” things which go to make the never-ending attractions of this great Soccer game. Everton have been deposed as leaders, Chesterfield going to the top again with a point to spare, but Everton, in the second place, have a game in hand over the Derbyshire side and a couple over Blackpool who are third. Next item on the agenda is Saturday’s Derby game between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison. And here is the “hospital” news from Anfield –Taylor and Nieuwenhuys each with a pulled thigh muscle, and Balmer (injured knee) are expected to be fit. They did not play over the holidays. Hughes, Paisley and Lambert were rested yesterday. Liddle is O.K. The Liverpool team will not be chosen until this evening. Everton’s side will be selected from yesterday’s eleven, plus Mercer, thus;- Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Bentham, Jones (TG), Watson; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
Everton’s Great Display
Easy way for me to sum up Everton’s smashing 7-1 victory over Blackpool yesterday –ample revenge for Tuesday’s 5-2 defeat –is to ask you to recall what I wrote when they defeated Stoke and say “same again.” Once more it was a victory for their all-pull-together spirit and “controlled individualism by which I mean each player though reasonship indulging his own personal skill, does not do so to excess, but subjugates everything to the good of the side. This was pure football art allied to forcefulness and finish and the blend paid a big dividend. Everton cut through the Blackpool side which was better than the score indicates, like a hot knife through butler. Their five abreast forward line had Blackpool’s defenders so dizzy that they hardly knew whether they were on their heads or their heels. It took the Blues 32 minutes to get their first goal an in-off-the-post effort by Catterick but once they’d tasted blood there was no holding them. Catterick and Wainwright got three each and Boyes the odd one, with O’Donnell reducing the deficit twenty minutes from the end. I’ve no space to describe the lot, but mention must be made of Catterick’s last. When Rawling’s crossed a perfect centre Catterick coming up at terrific speed, flew though the air like a trapeze artists to head it in like a rocket. Even the great Dixie could not have done better. And don’t let me forget Wally Boye’s brilliant effort, when he rounded Sibley like a destroyer overtaking a tug and rammed home another beauty. All the goals were good one, the only lucky stroke being when Wainwright’s shot cannoned off Lewis and left Roxburgh helpless. On top of their seven, Everton had two disallowed for offside, rightly in each case, while Wainwright once with an open goal after running half the length of the field, hadn’t the strength to guide the ball to the right side of the post. There was much argument about that second by Catterick when Rawlings got through with only the goalkeeper to beat. I agreed with the referee for I through Catterick was a shade nearer the goal when the pass was made with only Roxburgh in front of him.
DERBY GAME TEAMS
December 28, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
The big match on Merseyside tomorrow is the meeting of Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park, and in view of the fine form both sides have been showing this season. I anticipate seeing one of the best “Derby” games of the many these friendly rivals have served up in the past. Tomorrow meeting will be the fourth between the clubs during the present season and of the previous ones Liverpool won the first – a League meeting – 2-1 at Anfield, while the other clashes, both in the Lancashire Cup resulted in a 3-3 draw at Goodison Park and a draw 1-1 draw at Anfield. The Liverpool team selected last evening, is minus such prominent names as Taylor and Balmer, while Nieuwenhuys is chosen for the inside-left position – an unfamiliar one for him – as partner to Priday. At half-back Finney fills the right half position while Baron makes another appearance at inside-right. The team is; Nickson; Harley, Lambert; Finney, Hughes, Paisley; Liddell, Baron, Fagan, Nieuwenhuys, Priday. The Everton club have named a dozen players from which they will finally choose their side these being; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Bentham, Jones, Watson; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Except for the fact that Mercer is included among the half-backs the side is the same that gave such a grand display against Blackpool on Boxing Day.
Fielding, Everton’s clever inside-left has been chosen for the Western Command match against the Scottish Command at Ary on New Year’s Day and will play alongside Lawton.
DERBY’ GAME CLOSES THE 1945 SOCCER YEAR
December 28, 1945. The Evening Express
The 1945 Football year on Merseyside ends tomorrow on a grand note –The Everton and Liverpool clashing at Goodison Park in the return Football League game as a preliminary to the opening of the F.A. Cup campaign.
A Point Behind
At the moment Everton are one point behind Chesterfield, but with a match in hand. That odd game will be played off on Tuesday, when the Blues will be without Fielding, who plays for the Western Command. However Alex Stevenson may be returning for the encounter. The Reds will be out to record a “double” for they won the first match 2-1 at Anfield. The two Lancashire Cup games produced drawn games, and once again the Reds lead in the local “argument.” During the war years Liverpool have fared much better than Everton in the local game and Anfield way they are quite certain that Liverpool can always win at Goodison no matter what they do elsewhere. Everton should not place too much reliance on the Boxing Day form of the Reds for several stars were out through injury, and there was precise little in it. It is team spirit as well as ability, which enables Liverpool to do so well at Goodison, but I say definitely that if Everton play as well as they did against Blackpool then Liverpool will be beaten. Can Everton produce that form twice in the space of four days? I am assure Liverpool that the Everton attackers now rank just about the quickest shooting in the north and Liverpool must follow that opportunist role if they are to win. Naturally Liddell will always have a go,” and so constitutes the main menace to Everton while Fagan is never slow to shoot. Those with them must let go at everything just as Everton will do. Everton will be without Tommy Jones (injured) and Wainwright, who cannot get away, but Alex Stevenson is in the attack. Liverpool will have eight chances compared with the team which lost at Barnsley, but only one change from the side which defeated Barnsley on Christmas Day. This is the return of Nieuwenhuys, following injury, and he will play at inside left as partner to his fellow countryman. Priday, Finney, who made his League debut on Tuesday, will be at right half, so that he, Nickson, Paisley, Baron and Priday will be playing in their first Derby matches. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Mercer, Watson; Rawlings, Stevenson, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Liverpool; Nickson; Harley, Lambert, Finney, Hughes, Paisley; Liddle, Barron, Fagan, Nieuwenhuys, Priday.
EVERTON V LIVERPOOL
December 29, 1945. Evening Express
It was like pre-war at Goodison Park today, when Everton met Liverpool in the second of the League “Derby” games. There were queues at all turnstiles long before the kick-off, and although there seemed to be more people than on Wednesday everything was more orderly and there seemed to be plenty of room. There was quite a gathering of former stars, for Harry Makepeace sat near me in the stand and Ted Sagar, just arrived home from Germany demobilised, Charlie Gee and Billy Cook rolled along to renew old acquaintances. Billy Fagan, who left his camp in Hampshire this morning before the sun rose, says he is being demobilised next week. There were no team change, so that eight internationals were on parade. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgn (captain), backs; Bentham, Mercer, and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings, Stevenson, Catterick, Fielding, and Boyes, forwards. Liverpool; Nickson, goal; Harley and Lambert, backs; Finney, Hughes and Paisley, half-backs; Liddle, Baron, Fagan, Nieuwenhuys, and Priday, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Twist (Westhoughton). About 55,000 spectators saw Stevenson, who was given a warm welcome, make the opening thrust and after he had brought Rawlings into the game Paisley intervened and Liverpool immediately called on Liddell, who centred under difficulties, the ball running behind. The first shot of the day came from Fagan, who was too far out to be effective. There were a series of throws-in as both sides played with a trace of nerves, and when Everton made the mistake of keeping it too close, Fagan tried a cross shot which Burnett saved at full length. Priday cut inside and when Greenhalgh made only a partial clearance to the feet of Fagan, the centre forward let go first time but the ball flashed a foot wide. Liverpool came again through Liddell, who avoided three tackles before putting Baron through, but Jackson raced across to charge down the centre at the expense of injury, but he was able to carry on.
Over the Top
Mercer extricated Everton neatly and away went Fielding, who crossed far to Rawlings. The ball was slung across to Boyes, whose volley sailed over. When Fagan tied up Mercer and Greenhalgh, Liddell cut in but failed to hit the ball properly, and Everton breathed a sign of relief as it flashed outside. A long job into the Liverpool goalmouth saw Nickson come out and lose possession, but Harley managed to scramble the ball away for a corner. Everton had a free kick five yards outside the penalty area for hands, and had the cruellest luck in not taking the lead. Boyes took the kick quickly and his lob struck the post and rebounded to safely before Nickson had a chance to move a muscle. Nickson leapt out to pull down Fielding’s beautifully placed corner and Stevenson’s cross field pass was much to the delight of Boyes.
LIVERPOOL’S GREAT RALLY
December 31, 1945. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Liverpool 2
A Deserved Draw
Once again Liverpool demonstrated their magnificent fighting quality when they snatched victory from Everton by a ten minute drive at the end of the game, which produced two goals to offset the pair Everton had taken earlier on. It certainly appeared that the victory was in Everton’s safe keeping at eighty minutes, but one can never take things for granted where the Anfielders are concerned. Many would have given up the ghost, but not Liverpool. There was still time if then was the ability and they proved they were endowed with the latter when Baron volleyed a ball from Fagan well beyond Burnett at eighty-one minutes. They were in the game with a chance and four minute later Liddell came along with one of his “unstoppable,” which Burnett endeavoured to turn over his bar. He almost did it but not quite. Liverpool had once again accomplished what most of the spectators must have considered impossible –averted defeat which was starring them in the face only a few minutes previously. It was typical of the Anfielders. They have been doing the same thing all along the years. Were they value for their half share? Emphatically yes, if only because of their determination never to say die. There was more art and craft about the Everton side, yet it must be stated that Burnett had the more difficult shots to deal with. One or two of his saves bordered on the brilliant. Nickson had no such power drives to turn aide for the Everton forwards were more inclined to dribble close in before shooting and that played into the hands of the Liverpool defenders. The football, however, was never as good as it was on Boxing Day. The thyme and rhythm was absent due to a great extent to the sharp tackling of the Liverpool half-backs and also Everton’s misplaced belief that their short passing was what was required.
Lack of Thought
With the greasy and heavy ball more open tactics should have been employed. The number of passes which went wrong were too numerous to mention, and why did Everton keep sending out the ball to Rawlings, who was limping from the first five minutes. Yet it was he who sent across the centre, which enabled Boyes to score in 26 minutes. After that he did nothing although he was spoon fed. He was unable to respond. There was lack of thought somewhere. Boyes was completely starved for long spells. He had previously hit the angle of the post with Nickson beaten and he and Fielding particularly the latter were in fine form. The inside left made openings by astute passes but the Liverpool defence stood solid until 56 minutes when Fielding pushed the ball through to Catterick, who ran on and for the far side of the goal, the ball squeezing inside the upright. Fagan played cleverly throughout and was always the chief Liverpool shooter. In the first half he had Everton goal in danger more than once particularly when Burnett lost his grip of the ball. The Scot twice while on the turn, hooked the ball into goal, whereas the sure blood Liddell sliced it outside in a surprising manner. This is uncommon to Liddell who, by the way, had a heavy cold.
It was hard going for there was a lot of pull in the sticky turf, and one or two were showing signs of tried leg muscles as a result, but the game never lost its interest. There was always something going on. The newcomers to “Derby” games all had a good innings. Priday displayed his best form since joining Liverpool. His touchline runs were a feature and one could not overlook the quiet, yet effective work of Niuewenhuys who paid special attention to both wings. Hughes was a Trojan for work down the middle and on the flanks. Lambert was the better back, for he was sure and sized up an attack before it came dangerous. Nickson had little to do. He was at fault in pushing out Rawlings centre to the foot of Boyes and his handling was not always confident, Baron’s goal was a full volley from Fagan’s pass and showed the true value of a “hit or miss” effort. Burnett obviously thinking the ball was going, but started too late for it. Liddell’s goal was a Liddell goal. Need I say more? Stevenson who only reached these shores on Christmas Day showed some of his old cleverness, but it was not a five-part attack as that which had brushed aside the Blackpool defence. Nevertheless it was a typical “Derby” encounter Keen enthusiastic football and the honours to Liverpool because of their great rally. There were 60,926 people present by far the biggest gate since before the war and only a few thousand outside a ground record. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgn (captain), backs; Bentham, Mercer, and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings, Stevenson, Catterick, Fielding, and Boyes, forwards. Liverpool; Nickson, goal; Harley and Lambert, backs; Finney, Hughes and Paisley, half-backs; Liddle, Baron, Fagan, Nieuwenhuys, and Priday, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Twist (Westhoughton).
• Liverpool Reserves beat Everton Reserves 3-0
• Everton “A” 3 Wigan Reserves 1
• Southampton beat Chelsea 7-0 at the Dell, where McGibbon scored six of the home’s side goals.
BURY GIVE 1946 SEND-OFF AT GOODISON
December 31, 1945. The Evening Express
Everton made two slips last week which somewhat dim their hopes of gaining the Football League (North) championship, but they have the opportunity tomorrow of retrieving the lost ground, for at Goodison Park they face Bury in a re-arranged match, and place them on the same mark as leaders Chesterfield. Success would give a glorious send-off to 1946. This match which you will not find on your fixture lists is the preliminary to Saturday’s eucry to the F.A. Cup and for the vastly improved Bury something of a financial investment. In the fixtures Bury are due at Goodison Park on May 4 but when the match between the clubs at Gigg Lane early in the season was blacked out with Everton winning 3-2, Bury knowing that a January 1 gave at Goodison would be well worth while, agreed to come here for the holidays and swapped May 4 to be replay of the abandoned game. It should work out pretty well all round, and especially so for Merseyside sports fans who would have been without a first class fixture. Give thanks to Bury for being so accommodating. The unfortunate part from Everton’s point of view is that an Army match at Ayr cuts across the game so that Wally Fielding will be away while Eddie Wainwright will be another absentee. However Jack Humphreys the Welsh lad is ready for centre-half in place of the injured. Tommy Jones will needs sticks with which to walk following knee injury and so releasing Joe Mercer for other duty as required. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly cannot yet name a definite team, from a dozen players. Bury have won four of their dozen away games and drawn one, but Everton have already proved themselves the better side and if they will concentrate for 90 minutes should gain the day in a match starting at 2.30 pm. Everton (from); Burnett, Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Bentham, Elliott, Grant, Catterick, Stevenson, Boyes.
Rawlings is out with a groin injury, which made him little more than a passenger for all except the opening minutes of the “Derby” thriller and at the moment of writing the Bury team is not to hand. That Old Rally
Everton have been meeting Liverpool in “Derby” games since 1892-53 years to be exact – and yet they have never realised that Liverpool are never so dangerous as when they are fighting the odds. Time after time we have seen Everton with a match all “sewn up,” and yet falter at a vital stage. It happened in September when they had a 3-0 lead but finished 3-3 and at Goodison Park on Saturday they were two up with only nine minutes remaining, and yet allowed Liverpool to make a 2-2 draw. The same old easing-up in the same old way. Will they never learn? Maybe the word –allow does scant justice to Liverpool but that fatal dalliance certainty contributed to the loss of the oh so vital a point. Everton should realise by now that to give. Liverpool an inch means that conceding miles. I could see the rally of the Reds coming minute before it happened. Everton obviously though the Boyes and Catterick goals were sufficient for Liverpool had been tiring perceptibly. The Blues because lovely in passing and clearing and with only nine minutes let it was obvious that the “tiring” really had been foxing. When Fagan unobtrusively glided back to the Everton half and picked up a ball with which Everton knew not what to do, it marked the start of the rally. Fagan made his ground with his pass and in a flash Liverpool became a fighting electric force ready to have a go at anything. Young Kevin Baron knew he had all to gain, and nothing to lose when he took a first-timer off a choice centre, and his volley made “home” off the post. More considered but quality as effective was baron’s strong holding and covering of a ball for which Greenhalgh and Watson battled on the touchline, I though Watson erred by not tapping it, but he did not, and Baron with the acetones and coolness of a Stevenson back-heel the ball inside to the wakeful Liddell who cut in and “wham” the ball was in the net. So no matter the circumstances you cannot keep Liddell out of the news, although Billy was well out of the picture in this clash of styles. Rarely has he been so subdued, but Liddell need not worry for that is exactly what happened to Stan Matthews at the hands of Greenhalgh. It was away on the left wing where Liverpool supplied their wing craft and bob Priday had a great game and so impressed with his strength in the close tackle. And one thrilling 30 yard burst, was a highlight. Liverpool’s other “juniors” were also tremendous successes for Baron was a progressive, incisive forward with ideas; Finney had a fine day against the master-schemer Wally Fielding, and Paisley was in my opinion one of the finest of the 22 players afield. I think Nickson needs just a little more time to gain experience but Liverpool defence was pretty sound with Hughes holding the ever-ready Catterick better than any other pivot, I have seen, and Harley and Lambert showing flashes of the real form. Fagan was a great centre-forward and Nieuwenhuys judicious use of the cross-field pass and worrying tackles helpless materially.
Evertonians will be asking me “What about Everton.” All right. Let us turn to the Blues, who put up a much more galliant flight than the late collapse indicates. Rawlings injured a groin in the first minutes, and that injury was aggravated in about 15 minutes. Syd was out of it to all intents and purposes and yet Everton, with their four forwards managed to secure the mastery. What an achievement against such a side as Liverpool. The Blues did it by superior tactics and ball mastery. Liverpool always looked a highly dangerous side, but they never showed the skill of Everton, who had cuter ideas and neatness in execution. True, Liverpool were unlucky to be behind at the interval on point of pressure, and yet fortunate not to be two down, for in 99 cases out of 100 the free kick by Boyes which came off the post would have been in. The second half was all one-way traffic-towards the Liverpool goal. This was so emphatic that the exchanges became rather lifeless from the thrills standard. With Fielding playing brilliantly Everton thrived on good creative football until that fatal loosening of the reins. Still 2-2 was a fair result and as assured Chairmen Messr Will Gibbins and Billy McConnell, satisfied everyone, and no one more so than the Lord mayor Alderman Luke Hogan who was attending his third game this season. Fielding of course, was Everton’s dazzling star with Greenhalgh a good second. Mercer was splendid at centre-half. Boyes maintained his brilliant form of recent weeks, and if Everton had responded to his urgings to boot the ball to the Reds goalmouth in the closing stages the Blues would have won. Wally, however, appealed in vain. Catterick had scant room, but the manner in which he took his one real chance was magnificent. It was a treat to see Stevenson again and he delighted us until the “going” began to tell, while the industry and clever bursts through of Watson and Bentham made us forget that hesitancy late on. Jackson was the usual good old reliable. George Burnett made a number of saves off rocket shots – that Paisley first-timer was a “smasher” – that must have delighted Ted Sagar whom we welcome home again. This was a grand occasion and a fitting ending to a fine year for Mr. Harry Mansley, vice chairman of Chester, came along and expressed to me personal regret that his club and Liverpool could not sort out their cup-tie problems which means the needless clash.
REDS DO IT AGAIN
December 31, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Saturday’s big crowd at Goodison Park had thrills in plenty and again saw a fighting Liverpool battle back against the odds and pull the game out of the fire. This is getting a habit with the Reds in Liverpool matches. The crowd of 60,926 was within a few thousand of Everton’s all-time record –when stands at 68,158 for the cup-tie with Sunderland in 1938. It was a nearly a record for the Liverton match, the best figure for this being 64,977 at Goodison in 1938-39. When we consider the absence of promotion and relegation. Saturday’s gate was an amazing one. And the expeditious way the crowd was managed was a triumph of organisation for all concerned. Spectators also helped by their good response to the appeal to tender the exact admission money. Keep it up. Reckoned on the plane of stylish football I’ve seen better games, but what was lacking in that direction was adequately compensated by the thrills and rousing finish. Curious thing about this match was that although Everton had a two goal lead up to ten minutes from the end, Burnett had about four times the work to do tan Nickson had been called on to perform in the visitors goal. Nickson had not been over-worked in the first half and had little more than a watching brief in the second portion. Reason for that was Everton’s fondness for an extra move or two in their approach work rather than the first time shot, which was their hall-mark and saving grace against Stoke and Blackpool. They paid the penalty, as they have so often done in the past. All the stylish and classy work in midfield though a treat to watch, and always worth the money, doesn’t count in the final balance-sheet on which points are awarded. Everton should have made Nickson work more than they did, was their own fault that they didn’t.
A Gift Goal
Everton it was they were fortunate with their first point for the Liverpool goalkeeper was too gentle “hand-out” of Rawlings centre presented Wally Boyes with his goal on a plate, and Wally doesn’t miss many of that kind. While the second goal was a good one, Liverpool could reckon themselves a trifle unlucky with that also, for it came straight from a period of Red pressure on the home goal. That does not detract from the merit of Fielding bonny pass to Catterick’s opportunism and these two get a pat on the back to a good bit of work. Billy Liddell had an off day. He missed an easy chance early on, a rub of the green which might have turned things inside out had he taken it, for it would have set Liverpool alive and though he got a bonny equaliser, after Baron had reduced the deficit, he was not the Liddell we know. That was partly due to a heavy cold and partly to the good work of Greenhalgh and Watson who saw to it that he did not have the space to operate in that he likes or the chance to get away unchallenged with these lightning flashes of his. The home goal had more escapes than Liverpool’s though the latter had the narrowest when Boyes cracked his express free kick up against the woodwork with Nickson helpless. The low rays of the sun were probably responsible for Burnett dropping two balls which resulted in heart attacks for Everton’s supporters before they were scrammed away to safely. These are the sort of occasions where a struck out foot have mean disaster. Nickson did the stumble with a long lob from Watson, but here also nobody in the Blues shirts could just get his foot to it. All the lads who were taking part in their first Liverton game can look back in their display with satisfaction. Fielding had a great day. He uses the ball to advantage with the skill and coolness of a veteran, arises up the attention in a Bash when in possession – his pass which led to Everton’s second goal was a real gem –and had all the trademark of an international to-be. The Everton line was thrown out of gear through Rawlings injury, which made him a passenger for three parts of the game, yet he got more passes than Boyes which recent form is such that he can be a match winner off his own boot, if he gets the right services of the ball. He didn’t get it on Saturday. Stevenson was good without being the imitable wee Alec of old and Catterick did as much as could be expected with the few channel he got. Mercer settled down to a solid display after a slow start and few regular centre halves could have put up a better show against Fagan, who was in his brightest form. The rest of the defence was as good as we have come to expect from Everton these days though it was not entirely blameless when Liverpool got their goals. Baron and Priday were the stars of Liverpool’s debutants with Finney giving a promising display as well. Liverpool have had a lucky find in Kevin Baron, a Benvin boy who was once on Preston’s books and might have been in the Army today had he not been the youngest of five sons. After four had gone into uniform it was felt that Kevin should be left, and accordingly he became a Bevinite Baron not only got one goal but was the “maker” of the Liddell’s and when he has had a little more experience it will be a good man who will keep him out a regular first team place.
Priday had speed and constructive ideas and is another who looks like making his place acute. His half-the-length of the field dribble was a grand bit of work. Had he only tapped the ball out of Burnett’s reach at the finish it would have gone down as one of the finest goals in any modern local Derby. Paisley have his usual hard working display. He is a real 100 p.c. grafter. Hughes was again the all-out “stopper” at which phrase of the defensive art he has few superiors, but Harley, hasn’t yet got back to the pitch we know he can reach at his best. Lambert did well. This was may first view of Nickson and there was not much to see. He need not lose any deep over his error with the first goal. I’ve seen international did the same thing. He has the build but on little I saw seems to lack experience and positional sense, and once or twice stumbled a bit probably through nervousness, for this was a big test, and of all people the goalkeeper has the least, inevitable job, for his mistakes stand out and often cannot be retrieved. Time and practice may work wonders with him. Just a final word about the cleaniness of the game. There wasn’t a foul worth calling one all through and Referee George Twist had an easy day. That’s the sporting spirit i’d like to see in all games. This one was a credit to all.