Everton Independent Research Data


Athletic News - Monday 01 February 1909
Keen on the championship of the League as they are, Everton did not leave any trace of doubt on the minds of the spectators in their encounter with Manchester City. For the first time this season Everton lost a match away from home.  They were overwhelmed by four clear goals.  Only twice in their history have Everton been the victors at Hyde-road-the first year that the City were in the First Division and the season when they had the honour of winning the English Cup and running up the League championship.  The City, who declined to play Irvine Thornley were irresistible, and, as against Bradford City, Thomas Holford registered three goals.  In order to keep the balance of power equal between these rival cities, Liverpool overcame Manchester United by the brilliance of their onslaught in the second half.  On Saturday evening Manchester United went to Sandiway -a quite village in Cheshire -and Everton returned to Blackpool.  We have no recollection of a great Cup-tie between Everton and a Manchester club.  The issue of this struggle is difficult to forecast, but as both clubs are showing signs of wear we can only say that on recent form the United of Manchester should enter the third round.

Athletic News -Monday 01 February 1909
Manchester City 4, Everton 0
By The Pilgrim
THE supporters of Manchester City are wondering however Everton managed to run so long without meeting with a defeat away from home.  It seemed such a very easy matter for the City to deprive them of their proud record at Hyde-road, for they made no fight at all, even a 4-0 defeat was a very modest indication of their inexplicable inferiority.  Charity becometh all men but there was more than a tinge of humour in the suggestion of one of Everton’s most loyal supporters, that it was very unlikely the team would give away any of their trade secrets in view of Saturday's Cup-tie at Clayton.  As a matter of fact they gave nothing except a rank bad display, relieved only by some brilliant goalkeeping by Scott and some fine kicking by Maconnachie. To this pair, and possibly Balmer, they were indebted that they escaped as well as did, for the half backs and forwards were never in the picture especially from front line, than whose display 1 have seen nothing so feeble this season. They could not even take a corner kick. Barlow’s efforts in this direction being positively ludicrous and as for Freeman, I must confess I seldom saw him except when he was called to order by the referee for a foul on Wilkinson.  White and Coleman showed occasional glimpses of ability, but they were a long way from doing justice to their reputation as internationals, and not once throughout the whole of the match had Smith a really difficult shot to save.
The City’s Superiority.
The fact of the matter was the City never allowed their opponents to settle down to their game.  Everton were willing, but the City were obdurate.  They objected to their guests showing the crowd of some twenty-five thousand spectators how they have built up their record.  They reversed the order, and for the delectation of their supporters illustrated the possibility of reducing such teams to the level of mediocrity.  It was the City’s day all through, I am paying them none too high a compliment when I say they were infinitely the better, the cleverer, and the quicker team, but nowhere was their superiority more pronounced than at half-back and forward.  The backs and goalkeeper had not the same opportunity.  Their work was comparatively light.  Only once in the match so far as I can recollect was the City goal really seriously jeopardized, and that was when Buchan headed a centre from Coleman against the crossbar.  This was a lucky escape, for I do not think Smith would have been able to get to the ball had it been a few inches lower. 
Holford’s Third ‘Hat-Trick.”
Just half an hour had elapsed when the City opened the scoring but long before this Scott had shown his marvelous skill in thumping away three or four shots in rapid succession.  Simply urged forward by the half-backs, the front line was almost irresistible; too crafty and too elusive for Everton’s intermediate men.  Balmer and Macconnachie battled bravely with the opposition, but Conlin and Ross were altogether too much for Roberts the Second of his family, and it was the splendid work of this pair which was in directly responsible for the opening goal.  In making one of his masterly saves, Scott turned the ball out to the right, almost square with the goal line.  Stewart with the permission of one of the defenders, who did not seem to realize the danger, brought it back into the field, and Wilkinson, taking full advantage of the opportunity which was afforded him, drove the ball through the crowd of players and into the net, Scott was helpless, though he made a gallant attempt to get to the ball as it travelled obliquely into goal.   It was just on the interval –barely a minute was left to play – when Holford put on the second goal, and inaugurated what developed into his third hat-trick in four consecutive matches.  Incidentally it may be mentioned that this was some compensation for an injustice he did to Ross a short time previously when he completely spoiled an exceedingly promising effort by his colleagues.  But on this latter occasion he was a worthy helpmate, for Ross had apparently been fouled by Scott, when success seemed assured.  The ball appeared to strike the goalkeeper’s leg, and was traveling on the wrong side of the post, when Holford raced forward and screwed it into the net from an exceedingly awkward angle.  It was a very clever goal. 
Throughout the first half the play was most exhilarating, but there was a slackening in the pace when the game was resumed, and plenty of loose kicking.  But the City never released their grip of the game, and only nine minutes had gone by when, from Conlin’s centre, Holford put on the third goal in the coolest manner imaginable.  And so the score remained until the very last minute, when Clifford palpably fouled Ross as he was making one of the many fine runs he provided during the afternoon and following the resultant free kick, Holford added the fourth goal.
The Brilliance of Ross
There is no mistaking the smartness of Holford in front of goal.  He never seems to be doing much, but he is wonderfully cool and certain when opportunities for scoring come along.  But whilst he must be given full credit for his successes, especially his opening goal I cannot understand what the Everton defenders were doing on the other two occasions.  Holford certainly could not complain of being harassed, though as I have said, he played his part well.  But no forward on the field pleased me better than Ross.  His footwork was so clever, and his passes so judicious and precise.  He requires little room to operate; there is nothing unnecessary in his maneuvering, and although he did not score himself, no man played a more prominent part in the victory. 
In the first half especially Conlin was always a source of trouble.  Clever and plucky, he led Harris and Balmer a merry dance, and with Ross he made the best wing on the field, for through Jones played hard and effectively, Stewart did not responded as he ought to have done.  He lacked grit, and was the one weak spot on the side, though the conduct of the crowd did not tend to improve his play.  The co-operation of the half-backs was undoubtedly a prime factor in the success of the forwards, and I was more than surprised at the display given by the gaunt Darlington youth Wilkinson.  “Wilky” as he was dubbed by the crowd, simply dominated the game.  Everything he attempted was attended with success, and with his goal, and the manner in which he held Freeman, the occasion was one he will not readily forget.  Buchan and Blair were nothing wanting; indeed, I have not seen the line give a better display.  Burgess betrayed no signs of the injury which has kept him out of the team, though his kicking was not always true, and Kelso played with greater coolness, and consequently greater success, than ever I have seen him show before.  Smith had no opportunity of showing his skill. 
Disappointing Evertonians.
I scarcely know what to say of Everton.  They were a very disappointing side, but perhaps it was the old story of the first week’s special training.  If it was that they were not as ease on the hard and sanded ground, the conditions were the same for their opponents, and the City did not seem to experience any difficulty on the going.  No, Everton were well beaten on their merits, and beyond Scott and Macconnachie I cannot say much in praise of the team.  To Scott’s goalkeeping I have already referred.  He is a master, but he should not show temper when the referee awards a corner kick against him.  Macconnachie’s kicking was superb, but, really, he was never harassed, for Stewart left him severely alone.  Balmer had a big task, but I really thought he ought to have been somewhere about when one of the goals was scored in the second half.  The half-backs as a line were poor and the forwards not only failed to get into their stride but never controlled the ball as did the opposing quintette.  High kicking and heading should not enter into the play of a line like Everton’s even if the ball be light and difficult to manipulate.  But then, as I have said, the City defenders would not allow them to play as they would have liked.  If there was a best it was Coleman, but even he was poor.  What, then, can be said of his colleagues?  Echo answers; What? Manchester City; Smith; Kelso, Burgess; Buchan, Wilkinson, Blair; Stewart, Jones, Holford, Ross and Conlin.  Everton; Scott; Balmer (R.), Macconnachie; Harris, Clifford, Makepeace (captain); Jones, Coleman, Freeman, White and G.H. Barlow.  Referee; Mr. J.H. Pearson, Crewe. 

Athletic News - Monday 01 February 1909
I understand that the Everton club have been approached by the Irish Association with a view to acquiring Scott, Harris, and Lacey, for the forthcoming International match at Bradford.  Should the English F.A. also require assistance from the Everton the club would be badly hit, for on that date – February 13 –they have to play the return League match with Bury at Gigg-Lane.  Lacey is a most promising forward, and though signed by Everton as an outside left has usually figured with their reserve team at inside right and from what I have seen of him I should say he is an inside forward.  He is only twenty years of age, but clever, and deadly near goal.  It is scarcely necessary to add that Everton are always anxious to act in generous fashion towards their men when International honours are about, but so far as the club is concerned these rewards are not always an unmixed blessing.  Although now three points behind Newcastle in the race for the League Championship Everton are still hopeful. 

February 1, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Everton left a proud record at Manchester on Saturday. They had fulfilled several League games on foreign soil this season, which opened in September and escaped defeat. But their meet their match at Hyde-road on Saturday. It was a matter of hard luck either. They were not only beaten but absolutely outplayed. How to account for such a rout as four goals to nil. It was not even that Manchester City played extraordinary brilliant football. Nothing more worse has been stirred up by Everton since there miserable exhibition against Woolwich Arsenal and Preston North End early in September at Goodison Park. It was all the more deplorable too seeing the players had enjoyed the tonic afforded by Blackpool's balmy breeze. There was no excuse for their display. The ground was hard, with plenty of ridges that had not been attended to before the frost came, but for all that it was a playing pitch with which great fault could be found. Were the men reserving themselves for the still more important engagement at Clayton in the second round of the English cup-tie. That of course is likely to be suggested as the cause of their feeble exhibition. Certainly their form was altogether too bad to be true, and one must reasonable hope for something very different this week-end.

The game calls for little in the way of detailed description. For the first quarter of an hour or so there was nothing to suggest the server reverse which followed. Indeed, with a slice of good fortune Everton might have taken the lead. However, would have been one of their opponents who would have scored for them. From Coleman's centre the ball was intercepted by Buchan, who banged it against the crossbar. It was a lucky escape for the City, who afterwards held the upper hand throughout. Half an hour elapsed before Scott was beaten. He had kept out some stinging shots, being wonderfully well supported by McCannachie, but eventually Stewart centred from near the line, Wilkinson crashing the ball into the net, with a hard oblique drive. Nearly all the play was at the Everton end, and just before the interval, Holford with a capital screw shot, placed the City two goals to the good. Whatever hope there might have been that Everton would put a different complexion on the proceedings in the second half was soon dispelled. The front line could make no headway, and in ten minutes Holford had converted a clever centre from Conlin. Everton never looked like rubbing off any of the adverse margin, and Jones was the only forward, who really troubled Smith. The spectators were beginning to leave the ground when Manchester City's rejoicing were complete, for Holford credited himself with his third goal of the afternoon.

It can well be imagined that very little in the nature of favourable comment can be written about the Everton representatives. Scott was all right in goal, and the defeat could in no degree be ascribed to any fault on his part. MaConnachie although suffering from neuralgia, was the outstanding figure on the side. He played a sterling game, and Balmer, too did good work, especially in the later stages. As for the halves and forwards they had an off day completely. The middle line signally failed to hold the City attack on check and on the other hand the home halves nearly always had the measure of the Everton forwards. Sharp, suffering from a cold, had Jones as his deputy, and the Prescot youth was by no means the worst of the quintette. Indeed he might have been given the ball oftener with better results to his side. Although Holford, the old Stoke centre half-back, credited himself with the "hat-trick" for the third time in four matches, the one player on the winning side who stood out above his confreres was the tall centre-half. Wilkinson, who simply allowed Freeman no chance to shine. All round the City men were livelier than their opponents, and without being anything great were full value for their four clear goals victory. Teams: - Manchester City: - Smith, goal, Kelso, and Burgess, backs, Buchan, Wilkinson, and Blair, half-backs, Stewart, Jones, Holford, Ross, and Conlin, forwards. Everton: - Scott, goal, R. Balmer, and McConnachie, backs, Harris, Clifford, and Makepeace, half-backs, Jones, Coleman, Freeman, White, and Barlow, forwards. Referee J.H. Pearson.

 Athletic News - Monday 08 February 1909
Deprived of the leading position in The League in January, and knocked out of the English Cup in February, the year of 1909 has not opened too auspiciously for the Everton club.  That Manchester United should win without the help of such a master as Meredith is greatly to their credit.  At the same time Everton have been steadily declining since the middle of December.  There is a curious story of their tie in the first round with Barnlsey.  When the West Riding team reached Goodison Park, the Barnsley goalkeeper, Thorpe, quietly walked into the dressing room of the home team.  There he saw spread out in a circle the boots of the Everton eleven, and inquiring which boots belonged to Bert Freeman, the crack scorer of the season, he made use of his information to pick up the pair and write in chalk across the toe-cap of each boot; “No goals,” Whether this was Thorpe’s little joke or not the fact remains that Bert Freeman did not score in the match, and he was not allowed the privilege of appearing in the Cup-tie against Manchester United.   However, now that Everton are relieved from Cup worries they can centre their attention on the League championship, which should be unusually interesting with Newcastle making such a bold bid for these honours.  Manchester United, Preston, and Chelsea were all deprived of their outside right in these ties, and the United were the only team who rose superior to the difficulty. 
Ireland team to play Bradford are;- Scott (Everton); Balfe (Dublin Shelbourne), McCartney (Belfast Glentoran); Harris (Everton), McConnell (Sheffield Wednesday), McClure (Belfast Distillery); Hunter (Belfast Celtic), Lacey (Everton), Grier (Queen’s Park rangers), O’Hagan (Aberdeen), and Young (Airdrieonians).  Match to be played at Bradford on February 13.

Athletic News - Monday 08 February 1909
Manchester United 1, Everton 0
By Harricus
When two Cup-tie contestants occupy second and fourth position respectively in the League table, as Everton and Manchester United do, their meeting may be regarded as the most likely of all the ties to produce the best class of football, but I have witnessed better League matches this season than the encounter at Clayton on Saturday, and I should imagine that some of the other ties produced more exciting struggles.  Considering the vast crowd on the Manchester United ground the lack of real excitement was remarkable, the only enthusiastic scenes being witnessed when the one and only goal of the match was scored.  Still the crowd must be complimented on their capital behavourior and I must extend my compliments to the players, for they gave the referee very little trouble so far as keeping them in order in concerned.  Nor can I say that the game was a bad one, even if it might have bene better in view of the positions the two clubs occupy, for it was always more or less interesting.  The United were, of course, without Meredith, and there is no doubt that his absence had a serious effect on the play of Livingstone; while if Everton left out such men as Barlow and Freeman, the latter of whom had scored 24 goals this season; they must have done so for the best in their opinion.  I do not regard Freeman as a man of polish, but he is dasher, and as it happened Young class of man wanted for Cup-ties.  Halse, for example.
Everton’s Excellent Combination.
The feature of the first twenty minutes was the really brilliant forward work of the Everton quintette.  The combination between Young and the left wing was certainly admirable and they gave the United defenders something to think about.  But the best exhibition of individualism of the first half was displayed by Wall.  Sharp had taken a corner kick, and from the relief J. Turnbull passed the ball on to Wall, who made an electric run half the length of the field.  He shot hard at goal, but Scott dashed out at the ball which first struck his hands, then the goalmouth, but fortunately for the Evertonians there was no United man in the immediate vicinity.  There was another exciting incident when after the ball had struck J. Turnbull in the chest he dashed ahead, and the ball, after his shot, seemed to be rolling into the far corner of the goal, when Macconnachie popped up and cleared.  It was a near thing, but it appears that Turnbull had handled the ball, so that it was perhaps as well that it did not reach the net.  There is no doubt that though Everton had the bulk of the play, United were more dangerous because they did not believe in working the ball into the goal area before shooting, and it must be recorded that when Halse scored the only goal of the match with a first time drive three minutes from the interval, he was over twenty-five yards from the goalkeeper.  It was one of the smartest feats I have witnessed this season.  I don’t suppose he really thought he would score I am sure that Scott never thought so, and I am quite positive that I never expected there would be a goal.  But goal it was.  The closing stages of the first half were not so fast as in the earlier part of the game, but for a long time after the resumption the pace was keen and fast, Moger made one particularly good save, following some neat footwork by the visitors’ forward line.  Sharp made the running in the first instance; he passed the ball across smartly to White, who neatly tapped to Young, whose shot was well saved. 
A Contrast In Tactics
In the last ten minutes or so Roberts signaled his men to fall back, but they did not require any persuasion to put forth valiant efforts to retain the lead.  This it came to pass that the United are in the Third round by that one valuable goal of Halse’s.  The play of the two teams was a contrast.  Everton displayed football which may win the League championship, and Manchester United showed tactics which go towards winning Cup-ties.  The two teams were playing a Cup-tie, and the result we know.  There was no doubt that Everton displayed the superior football, their tactics were those of a fine team, but they did not play a winning game.  What could be more admirable than their excellent combination in the first half.  It was something like that of the old Everton of Latta, Brady, Geary, Chadwick, and Milward renown, and the only thing lacking was effect.  Young’s command of the ball was wonderful, and he passed out to the left wing as though White and Dawson had arranged to do all the headwork.  They certainly gave a very fair idea that they were on business bent.  Young might have been the most distinguished forward on the field – he was the cleverest –but, alas, he attempted too much. 
Instead of shooting he would persist in attempting to beat another opponent, for gutful of the fact that in Cup-ties goals are very essential.  I really felt sorry that his smartness in the field should have been turned to so little account.  He certainly was instrumental in making the left wing so prominent, and I noticed that Taylor also sent the ball on the left in the first half.  Dawson, who was excellently supported by White was a sort of surprise packet, for he ran and centred like a seasoned player.  What I could not understand was his falling away so in the second half.  Possibly his exertions prior to the interval and the excitement may have upset him, but he certainly was a different player altogether. 
Everton’s Half-Backs.
Similar criticism may be applied to Sharp, who seemed completely over shadowed in the first half, but in the second portion he improved greatly, and the right wing then overshadowed the left.  Still Everton’s captain was never at his best.  The Everton forwards could not complain of the support they received from their half-backs, who formed a very powerful line.  I liked them better than the United trio.  Taylor justified his inclusion, and though he is at least 37 years of age he did not fear James Turnbull, who has a habit of bowling over opposing centre half-backs.  Harris shone as a breaker up, while Makepeace was speedy and very attentive to the men in front of him, indeed, I preferred the Everton trio to United’s line.  Balmer was the best back on the field; he was always safe, his returns were clean, and there was a confident look about his work that pleased me greatly.  Macconnachie was also sound, but I do not greatly admire his Spencer-like bearing.  A young man should possess more fire.  Scott could not be blamed for the goal which passed him, it was too previous for him, but I must say that neither he nor Moger were asked to perform many daring deeds.  They were so well protected by the backs.  Of the home pair, I preferred Stacey, who was safer than Hayes, and his kicking as usual was true.  Of the half-backs, Roberts took my eye.  He had something to do to attempt to subdue Young. He did not exactly succeed, but it was a rare battle between the two, and Roberts certainly maintained his reputation. 
Halse In A New Role
The wing half-backs were very fair, and the only really disappointing man in the forward line was Livingstone.  A fortnight ago I saw him give such an exhibition that could not possibly be surpassed, but he was ill at ease on Saturday without Meredith.  This is no reflection on the play of Halse, for he did very well indeed in an   unaccustomed position; and did he not score the goal!  I was pleased with the display of Wall as it was the best game I have seen him play, for unfortunately I have never caught him at his best.  A. Turnbull has done better, but J. Turnbull was dashing, and if he did not shoot as often as he usually does it was because he was particularly well watched. 
Still, I put the United’s victory down to the difference in the forward play.  Everton relied on skill, but the United quintette played the proper game by making the best possible use of every opportunity, without indulging in any undue finessing.  At any rate, their game paid the best, and for that reason fully deserved their win.  Manchester United; Moger; Stacey, Hayes; Duckworth, Roberts (captain), Bell; Halse, Livingstone, Turnbull (J.), Turnbull (A.), and Wall.  Everton; Scott; Balmer, Macconnachie; Harris, Taylor, Makepeace; Sharp (captain), Coleman, Young, White and Dawson.  Referee; Mr. J. Mason, Burslem. 

February 8, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
In their cup tie at Clayton, on Saturday the Everton team had the disappointing experience of having to disconnection with the English competition after enjoying the greater share of the game. The early stages of play, the Evertonians cut out the pace, distributed the work and, indeed, did everything that was necessary, except score. It was in front of goal where they were mainly at fault, and had the dashing methods that led upto their repeated onslaught been continued when within ranges, there could have been only one conclusion arrived at and that was a fairly pronounced victory. There was too much finesse within the shooting area, and this desire to make things easy was pretty general among the forwards, who laid themselves upon to the nick or nothing tactics of the United defenders. For all that upto the closing stages of the first half of the game there was an all round superiority prevalent that even the most biassed United followers could not fail to observe. It was just before the change of ends that a chance shot decided the issue to the great discomfiture of the Evertonians. The ball had apparently been cleared after heavy pressure on Scott's charge, when Halse met it in the air and flashed it into the net, to the surprise alike of himself and spectators. Having thus got a grip of the scoring, the home players never relaxed their hold, and entered the third round of the competition by the narrowest possible margin. Taking the game all through, it was far removed from the ordinary. There was absolutely no suggestion of the typical cup-tie wrangle, and the big crowd not a few of whom hailed from Liverpool, had a most profitable afternoon's sport.

For the greater portion of the game there was little difference in the style of play adopted by both sets of forwards. As an attacking line the Evertonians, particularly in the first half of the game, embarked upon a promising plan of campaign. There were delighted touches in their movements towards goal, in which the half backs also played a prominent part, but as has been suggested, the forwards failed lamentably when everybody was prepared to see their efforts crowned with success. Left wing play during the initial period was very satisfactory, and except for the one defect mentioned. the work of the line as a whole left little to be desired. In the second half combined play gave place to individual effort, and in the closing stages there was a distinct favour of selfishness on the part of several of the players. Each seemed to be inclined with the idea of scoring without taking the bearings of others who were better places, and for this the club paid the penalty. The United forwards quite altered their style of procedure after obtain the lead. Under the generalship of Roberts, they swung the ball about and harassed the Everton backs to much purpose. They were ably backed up and if not as skilful in footwork as their opponents they were more robust and dangerous when close in.

With regard to the defensive portion of the proceedings, a fairly high standard was reached and maintained by both teams. There has probably never been witnessed a finer exhibition of half-back play than was served up by Everton on Saturday. Pretty triangular passing with the forwards was both frequent and effective, while at the same time there was a district understanding between the trio themselves. They anticipated the movements of the opposing forwards to a nicety, and when in difficulties relieved each other in most capable fashion. Half-back play on the United side was also satisfactory, but on analyzing their display it was more of an individual than collective character. The fact that but one goal was scored during the whole of the ninety minutes testifies to the solidify of the work accomplished by the rear guard on both sides. There were times when both goals were hotly besieged, and it was simply marvellous how the respective backs managed to keep down the scoring. In the respect the United showed a district advancement upon that witnessed at Anfield a week ago.

Coming to the players and dealing first with Everton, the whole side must be complimented upon the wholeheartedness with which they went about their work. There were many prominent figures in this respective sphere, but the outstanding player of the afternoon was undoubtedly Makepeace. His work was clean, incisive, and masterly, and the big crowd did not fail to recognise the successful part played by the popular Evertonians. Taylor filled his old position with consummate shill, and should retain his place, while Harris brought up the efficiency of the half-way line to an exceptionally creditable standard. The forwards were adepts at footwork, especially in the earlier stages when Young was quite a host in himself. He put the ball out of his wings, and trapped its return in most dexterous fashion, but he was unfortunately, the greatest delinquent when the finishing effort was required Dawson was a great success in the first half of the game, but in the second portion he betrayed inexperience, as he failed to get up in order to meet cross shots from the right wing. Sharp and Coleman were more prominent in the later stages, and with a little luck each might have scored. MaConnachie, though he accomplished much clever work, was obviously unwell, and while Balmer disported himself with rare judgement, Scott did all that was possible in goal. The United forwards were more rebust in their methods. They were, however, afforded little scope by the Everton halves, and none stood prominently above his fellows. At half-back Roberts was the centre of attraction, and in the disposition of his side when danger threatened he displayed characteristic judgement, while the dash of Stacey and the Coolness of Hayes saved Moger from many an ugly situation. It was a great game worthy of two great sides, and had the honours been divided, few would have been disappointed. Teams: - Manchester United: - Moger, goal, Stacey, and Hayes, backs, Duckworth, Roberts, and Bell, half-backs, Halse, Livingstone, J. Turnbull, A. Turnbull and Wall, forwards. Everton: - Scott goals, R. Balmer, and McConnachie, backs, Harris, Taylor, and Makepeace, half-backs, Sharp (captain), Coleman, Young, White, and Dawson, forwards. Referee J. Mason.

February 8, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 24)
Everton credited themselves with an easy win at Colne. The margin in favour of Everton was five goals to nothing, and as the game at Goodison ended in the East Lancashire man being beaten by 6 goals to 2. Colne will no doubt fully appreciate the forward work of the Blues. Lacey was in particularly good form in Saturday's match, but everyone did well, and Colne were soundly thrashed.

Athletic News - Monday 15 February 1909
Against The second eleven of Bury the Everton reserves gave a splendid display, and fairly overpowered their visitors Jones scored twice and goals were gained also by Buck, White, and Mountford, while just before the finish Tuffnell added a point for Bury, White and Mountford constituted a clever left-wing the latter running and centring with rare precision.  Jones was dangerous near goal and the Bury backs could not keep the Everton attack under control. 

Athletic News - Monday 15 February 1909
Bury 2, Everton 2
By Harricus
Considering that Everton have only been beaten once away from home in a League match this season, Bury accomplished a very smart performance in extracting a point from them on Saturday, even if the match was played at Gigg-lane.  The score represents a loss of a point on last season’s match, when Everton left three goals behind them, but still there has been a strong contrast between the performances of the clubs during the presents campaign.  The 14,000 spectators must certainly have enjoyed the encounter-indeed, the play during the first half was of a very high standard, but after having established a two goals lead Bury ought not to have allowed their opponents to draw.  Seventeen minutes from the commencement the spectators were given something to cheer for.  Hughes sent the ball across from outside right.  It struck the far post sharply, and turned into the net, Berry being astound.  Then about a quarter of an hour from the interval Duffy inaugurated a movement which culminated in a second goal.  Macconnachie seemed very slow to tackle Hibbert for possession of the ball, and as a consequence Hibbert scored with a splendid effort, Berry again looking on in surprise.  Everton were not disheartened by these reverses, and John Sharp’s dashes were always dangerous.  Ultimately he went right on the goalline –perilously near crossing it –here he centred, and Freeman cleverly headed into the net. 
Sharp’s Penalty Goal
Directly from the restart Everton dashed away, and by beautiful footwork scored the finest goal of the match – alas, only to be disallowed, because pushing is a contravention of the laws of the game.  At the other end McIntosh also found the net after a rare run by Kay, but the referee said “Navy,” and then came the equalizing goal.  There were people who asserted that even this should have been disallowed, but there is no doubt that Young was tripped by either Rae or Humphreys.  Sharp took the resultant penalty kick, and scored, and thus sent a point back to Everton.  I am not going to say that the Evertonians did not deserve the point, for to make up a couple of goals away from home is a very smart performance.  At the same time Bury are to be congratulated on the improved display from the previous Wednesday.  Although they only drew, they played far better than in their last League match, which they won, and the pity is that they did not exhibit the same form in the Cup-tie with Bristol City.  Their work in the first half was really most praiseworthy and if they did not maintain the standard in the second portion it was because they were opposed by a side that stood second in the League table, a side which, with all due derence to Bury, represent a much higher grade than those in the position that their opponents occupied.  I can hardly congratulate Berry, the ex-Warrington man, on his first experience in League football.  Certainly he received no assistance from his backs when the two goals were scored –he was really hampered –but his general work was far from assuring.  Balmer started very well at right back, but once Duffy obtained the mastery of him he was, and particularly so in the second half, ill at ease.  Macconnachie sailed in nonchalantly, with the ball at his toes, though had he not been of the cool and collected type of player he might have prevented the second goal.
Parkin With A Future
Taylor and Makepeace played splendidly at half-back, Taylor being a despoiler, while Makepeace, as on the previous Saturday was of great assistance to the forwards, I liked the right wing the best, Sharp showing himself in his real colours against Bury’s best half-back.  He was not a shirker, and Coleman was very minute plying him with opportunities of rushing ahead. Coleman certainly turned his undoubted cleverness to excellent account and moreover shot well.  A Liverpool correspondent chides me on my reference to Freeman as being a dasher rather than a man of polish. I examined him carefully on Saturday, and I cannot alter my opinion, but he is none the less effective, opinion, but he is none the less effective.  Young seemed to be sore in the legs, and Barlow did not get the ball too often.  On the Bury side Raeside kept goal very well, and Lindsay was sound, while it Parkin was not so safe as on Wednesday, he is a good tackler and only requires to strengthened his kicking foot to make him into a very capable full-back.  I have been impressed with him.  The half-backs were a far different trio than on the previous Wednesday, Bullen and Humphreys, the former in particular, being sound, but Rae, who was fourth centre half-back in four successive matches, did not impress me.  Hibbert was back in the centre, and he was his real self.  We all know what that means.  He kept the line going splendidly and his most successful colleagues was Duffy, who was an outside left of ability.  His partner, Kay, however, has played better, but he has been out of the team for some time.  The right wing pair were a strange mixture.  On Wednesday Hughes started as centre half and finished as centre forward, but on Saturday he was outside right, and after McIntosh was injured he went inside right.  If Bury can play as they did against Everton until the end of the season, there need be no fear of the future.  Bury; Raeside; Lindsay, Parkin; Humphreys, Rae, Bullen; Hughes, McIntosh, Hibbert, Kay and Duffy.  Everton; Berry; Balmer (R.), Macconnachie; Adamson, Taylor, Makepeace; Sharp, Coleman, Freeman, Young, and G.H. Barlow.  Referee; A. Adams, Nottingham. 

February 15, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Relieved from the excitement of English Cup tie, Everton can have only one object now, and that is to annex the League championship or, failing that, to finish the season as near as possible to the top of the table. They had a chance of improving their position on Saturday at Bury, where the home team earlier in the week had been vanquished in a replayed cup tie. Unfortunately they started the game in poor style, but after being a couple of goals in arrears they actually rubbed off the deficit and brought home a point which Bury could ill afford to loss. Perhaps there was some ground for the suggestion of leading Bury supporters that Everton were lucky to get a point. At the same time it was not the fault of the Evertonians that the Bury elevens failed to maintain the pronounced lead, which they established early in the game. Probably the fact that Everton equalising goal came from a penalty kick, and that a Bury goal was disallowed on account of offside had a great deal to do with the disappointment which prevailed at Gigg lane.

The game can only be described as reaching a modern standard. In the first half Bury were distinctly the better side, but it's the later stages Everton were just about value for a point. Of course it must be remembered that Everton on account of calls by Ireland for the international were not fully represented. Still they was slackness about their display for a full half-hours. The opening half which was not at all pleasing to the followers of the club who had made the journey to Bury. It was during this period that the home team scored their couple of goals. Both were unexpected, and probably on this account Berry, who deputies for Scott, might have appeared to be at faulty. The first came from a chance shot on the of Hughes. Bury outside right, the ball striking the inside of the post and glancing into the net. The second was the outcome of a fine bit of work by Duffy, one of the cleverest outside left in the League. After a good run he dashed the ball across and Hibbert running between the backs headed it into the net, Berry making an unsuccessful effort to reach the ball. Happily with the encroaching interval, the Everton attack imparted a little more energy to their play, and after one grand centre from Sharp had missed the mark, Freeman easily converted another from the same player. After the change of ends there was a well come improvement in the play, both sides, Everton in particular putting more life into their work. Coleman had the ball in the net right away, only to be ruled offside, and later McIntosh shared a similar fate, the only goal being obtained by Sharp as the result of a foul on Young in the penalty area, thus Sharp scored from a penalty kick , and the game ended in a draw of two goals each.

Berry was not a Scott, in goal. He was obviously nervous, and should have saved one of the goals, but still it would not have been the fault if his side had lost. The forwards certainly retrieved their reputation somewhat in the second half. Earlier they had exhibited something of the lackadaisical mood, which was in evidence in the Manchester City match –playing the ball, when it came to them, but waiting for it to come. Freeman again disappointed, and as a wing Sharp and Coleman were superior to Young and Barlow. The Everton captain was responsible for most of the dangerous attacks on the Bury goal, but the most consistent and successful figure in the line was Coleman. Taylor and Makepeace were the pick of the halves. Adamson did many clever things, but he did seem to stay the full ninety minutes. Balmer and MaConnachie were for the most part thoroughly reliable defenders, and it was through their efforts that Berry had a comparatively easy time. Bury did not strike one as being by any means a great side. Their defence was very shaky at times, but in Duffy and Hibbert they posses a couple of forwards who would be an acquisition to any club. Teams: - Bury: - Raeside goal, Lindsay, and Parke, backs, Humphreys, Rae, and Bullen, half-backs Hughes, McIntosh, Hibbert, Kay, and Duffy, forwards. Everton: - Berry, goal, R. Balmer and McConnachie, backs Adamson, Taylor, and Makepeace, half-backs, Sharp (Captain), Coleman, Freeman, Young, and Barlow, forwards. Referee A. Adams.

February 15, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 25)
Everton trounced Bury at Goodison Park by five goals to one. If the Blues second string can only maintain the form, they will have again to be reckoned with for championship honours. Right from the start the home forwards displayed fine combination though for some considerable time the Bury rearguard defended stubbornly. At length Buck secured possession in his own half, and sprinting past all opponents, centred beautifully to Jones, who had no difficulty in opening the score. Buck scored the second goal with a surprise shot from the touchline, the visiting custodian being deceived by the fight of the ball. Jones was responsible for the third goal, and at the interval, Everton led by three goals to none. The second half opened after the fashion of the first, with the Blues dominating the attack, and White and Mountford added further goals. From a breakaway Tufnell notched a point for the visitors with lighting drive. The features of the match was the masterly exhibition of the Everton forwards who simply walked through Bury defence, and could they have subdued a tendency to indulge in unnecessary finessing, the score might have reached double figures. Mercer, the goalkeeper secured from Prescot Wireworks, had not opportunity of proving his abilities. Everton: - Mercer, goal, Strettell, and Meunier, backs Rafferty, Borthwick, and Clifford, half-backs Buck, Chetwood, Jones, White, and Mountford, forwards.

February 15, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Scott, Harris, and Lacey played for Ireland against England at Park Avenue, Bradford on Saturday, losing by four goals to nil, Scott Harris, and Lacey –did well, the first named performing wonders in goal.

Athletic News - Monday 22 February 1909
Everton 5, Sheffield United 1
By Junius
Everton have played sad havoc with the Bramell-lane brigade this season, for they defeated them on their own enclosure by five goals to one, and repeated the performance by precisely the same score in the return fixture at Goodison Park.  Everton were soon leading, and a clever point from Coleman, who converted a centre by White, paved the way to other successes.  The inside right was very prominent all through the game.  A clever shot from Sturgess nearly equalized matters, but a delightful movement on the Everton right wing, in which Sharp and Coleman predominated ended in Freeman adding the second point.  A third ensued from Coleman, after which the United roused themselves, and Scott saved splendidly from Hobson, while Hardinge experienced wretched luck in attempting to divert a centre from the same player into the net.  At the interval Everton were three goals ahead, and they quickly increased the lead after resuming.  Again were Sharp and Coleman the chief factors in the affair, and Freeman converted the latter’s centre.  He followed this up by scoring the fifth goal from a judicious pass by White.  Then Hardinge, after driving against the goalpost, regained the ball and beat Scott easily. 
Everton’s Excellence.
Not a weak spot could be found on the winning side, for White, who played on the extreme left, was only the least effective by comparison.  He furnished Young with many delightful passes, but it was quite evident that he was operating in a position totally unsuited to enable him to show his real abilities.  In the second half he was not prominent, and Everton will need to look further afield for an extreme winger.  Coleman gave a grand exhibition, and bore off the honours in attack.  Some of the passing and general footwork on the right wing was really clever, and the inside player excelled himself by his neat touches and alacrity in pouncing on every opportunity afforded by his comrades.  Freeman was responsible for three goals, capital efforts in every respect, and it is significant that he has recovered his scoring propensities now that Taylor is figuring again at centree half-back. Young was still inclined to over finessing, but there is no mistaking his wonderful control of the ball, though less of elaboration and more effectiveness near goal would be of greater benefit to the side. 
Harassing Harris
The Irish international was the best half back on the field; be not only proved equal to everything that came in his direction, but he journeyed abroad to find employment, and was as efficient as he was zealous.  His tackling and deft placing to his forwards were alike excellent.  Taylor was exceedingly effective, and was always in the right place when it came to a question of defence.  Further behind the work of Balmer and Macconnachie could scarcely have been improved upon, each kickly cleanly and forcibly, while the pair rarely failed in dispossessing an opponent when sorely pressed, Scott was not overburdened with trying shots, and his most exacting moments came after his opponents were clearly but if the running for victory.  I cannot say much in favour of the United, who provided a very feeble opposition, and they appeared only to flourish at the will of their rivals.  Their forwards were not incisive, and though occasionally displaying cleverness in forging ahead, they finished badly, Hardlinge was the best of the front rank, but Evans was sadly neglected in the second half, and seldom got the ball.  The veteran Needham was not surpassed by any of the backs on his side.  The full backs were none too reliable, when hardly pressed.  Leivesley was helpless with the shoots which beat him, for whenever the Everton forwards got within shooting distance they afforded him little chance of clearing.  Everton; Scott; Balmer (R.), Maconnachie; Harris, Taylor, Makepeace; Sharp, Coleman, Freeman, Young, and White.  Sheffield United; Leivesley; Benson, Brooks; Parker, Sturgess, Needham; Hobson, Batty, Peart, Hardinge, and Evans.  Referee; Mr. W. Chadwick, Blackburn. 

February 22, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Sheffield United will have reason to remember –not with any, satisfaction –their League encounters with Everton during the season 1908-09. On the 17 th October, at Bramell-lane, at a time when Everton were carrying everything before them in away matches, the "Blades" suffered the indignity of being pulverised to the tune of five goals to one, and in the return engagement a precisely similar verdict was recorded against them at Goodison Park. Thus Everton have not only extracted maximum points from Sheffield United, but have enhanced their goal average by 10 to 2. There was no question about Everton's superiority on either occasion. The latest victory too, was doubly welcome, inasmuch as it is only the second League triumph, which the "Blues" have earned since the New Year. One has to go as far back as the 2 nd January for their previous win in the League tournament, and then, curiously enough, they registered five goals against Bristol City.

The form of the home side on Saturday delighted the crowd, which must have numbered a good 20,000. Sheffield United were made to appear very small fry, but this was due not so much to the weakness of the visiting eleven as to the strength of their opponents who had matters all their own way until the closing stages, when they were inclined to take matters easily. Right away the Evertonians seemed to get into their stride, for only a couple of minutes had elsaped when White centred for Coleman to convert. Sturgess was not far off equalising, but the Blues attack was irresistible, and after Coleman had enabled Freeman to smash the ball past Leivesley, "Tim" added a third on his own account. All this happened in a little over 20 minutes, and no wonder the spectators were on good terms with themselves. A fourth might have followed, for Freeman placed Coleman nicely in possession. The inside man shot hard enough, but it was too straight at Leivesley, who for all that effected a splendid clearance. Hobson and Hardringe both tested Scott, but Everton crossed over with a comfortable three goals lead. They were quickly at work again, and before many minutes had elapsed Freeman had a trio of goals to his credit. The first was the outcome of clever play by Sharp and Coleman, while largely a judicious pass contributed the other to from White. In neither instance did the centre forward forget to put plenty of power behind his efforts. Although hopelessly outclassed, the Blades, to their credit be it said, never relaxed their energy, and they deserved the one goal which fell to their lot, and which was obtained by Hardinge, after Batty had banged the ball against the upright.

For some time have the Everton front line, and halves been seen in such a brilliant form. As a matter of fact they had really eight forwards on the field, so admirably did the trio not only break up the opposing quintette, but plied their own men with judicious and well-timed passes. Off the three Harris, without the slightest disparagement to his colleagues, was distinctly the conspicuous figure. He was a rare glutton for work, which was always accomplished, in masterly style. With the halves in such effective humour it was only natural that the best efforts of the front line should have been forthcoming. Freeman returned to his scoring form with a vengeance, for he added another hat-trick to his record. Moreover he shots were the result of perfect trapping of the ball, followed by a finish and a string that put the crowd on excellent terms with themselves. For hard graft and all round efficiency Coleman was without a rival, and it befitted the occasion that two of the goals should have fallen to his credit. Sharp helped his partner with good judgement, but the veteran Needham did not allow too much latitude. Many clever things were done by Young and White though showing he was unaccustomed to the outside position, was concerned in at least a couple of the movements that directly lead upto scoring. Scott had a comparatively easy afternoon, and from this may be gathered the effectiveness of Balmer and MaConnachie. The Sheffield United attack was for the most part at the mercy of the Everton halves, and only Needham had success in stemming the tide of disaster. Leivesley was hard pressed throughout the proceeding, and nothing but a big slice of luck would had enabled him to keep the scoring down to narrowed dismensions. Teams: - Everton: - Scott goal, R. Balmer, and McConnachie, backs, Harris, Taylor, and Makepeace, half-backs, Sharp (Captain), Coleman, Freeman, Young, and White, forwards. Sheffield United: - Leivesley, goal Benson, and Brooks, backs, Parker, Stargess, and Needham, half-backs, Hobson, Batty Pears, Hardinge, and Evans, forwards. Referee W. Chadwick.

February 22, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 26)
Everton have the honour of being one of the two visiting clubs to win. They were set a stiff task at Accrington, but once again the forwards were in fine form, and the Goodison Men credited themselves with a 4-1 victory. All the scoring was done in the second half, Chetwood (2), Buck, and Mountford doing the needful for Everton, who have now gone into second place . Everton: - Berry, goal, Stevenson, and Meunier, backs, Rafferty, Borthwick, and Clifford, half-backs, Buck, Lacey, Jones, Chetwood, and Mountford forwards.



February 1909