EVERTON 4 BRADFORD CITY 2 (Game 27)-(Lge Game 3079 over-all)-(Div 1 3052)
February 2 nd 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
The Grip Tightens
Everton Prevail in Strong Finish
Bradford City Mastered after Rally
Everton strengthened that grip on the League leadership when they beat Bradford City 4-2 under conditions that could hardly have been worse. The ground had been rendered particularly soft on top, and was quickly churned up into a sea of mud and water. That play was so good was a tribute to the stamina and skill of the players, and Everton came though the feat with credit. Their period in the second division has involved a variety of experiences, and under the exceptionally difficult conditions of Saturday they beat a typical Second Division side. It was a grim vigorous non-stop type of game yet there were times when play reached a fairly good standard.
Bradford are a side that trouble little about fitness. They employ direct methods without frills. Occasionally vigour overreaches disorganation, and more than once the referee cautioned players, on the Yorkshire side. Everton had much the better of the first half, and their two goals lead at the interval was justified. Then followed a Yorkshire revive, and goals by Hallows at fifty minutes and Peel at sixty minutes equalised those scored in the first half, by Dean and McClure. Hereabouts Bradford produced their best work and play was fairly even. Both sides strove gamely for the lead, and for a time the issue hung in the balance with many narrow escapes. At seventy-one minutes, however, Dunn but Everton ahead again, and a fourth goal by Gee two minutes from the end gave Everton a win they well deserved. They never made the mistake of holding the ball too long, and much of their passing was very accurate, considering the state of the ground. Bradford too, made few mistakes, although Everton superior skill turned the scale.
There was no better back on the field than Cresswell. He was cool, and confident under very trying conditions, while Cook who made his first appearance in the senior side did well, especially in the first half. The Everton half-backs were a sound and solid line. McClure was a great worker, always where the fight was hardest, he was effective in both defence and attack, while Gee and Thomson were little inferior. Dean had a good first half when he made some capital openings, although he was not so prominent afterwards. Johnson was the pick of the line. His passes were well timed, and he frequently drew the Bradford defence very skillfully. Dunn left the field injured a few minutes before the end. He played a useful part in Everton's attack with, however, being as elusive as he can be. Bradford were well served by Peachy, Keetley, Peel, and Scriven . Teams;- Everton; - Coggins, goal; Cook and Cresswell, backs; McClure, Gee, and Thomson, half-backs; Critchley, Dunn, Dean (captain), Johnson, and Stein, forwards. Bradford City; - Gill, goal; Patridge and Bicknell, backs; Moore, Preachy and Bauld, half-backs; Cochrane, Keetley, Hallows, Peel and Scriven forwards.
SHEFFIELD UNITED RESERVES 4 EVERTON RESERVES 3
February 2 nd 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Central League (Game 24)
Everton were a little unfortunate in losing by the odd goal of seven to Sheffield United at Bramell-lane. The winners, played clever football, and but for some indifferent finishing in the first half might easily have won. The defence was good, Sagar making some clever saves, and the forwards combined smartly, both wingers being dangerous with Martin and Webster clever inside forwards. Spicer (2), one penalty, Raynor, and Harrison scored Sheffield's goals, Roberts, Martin, and Webster repying.
EVERTON CALL THE BLUFF' OF BRADFORD
February 2 nd 1931, Evening Express
Craft Triumphs over Force.
4 Men Cautioned.
Cook impresses on his Debut
By the Pilot.
Craft overcame force in Everton's 20 th League victory of the season on Saturday, when they defeated Bradford City by four goals to two at Goodison park and, incidentally, gave themselves a clear lead of eight points. There was a period, however, when it seemed that the Blues would succumb to the spoiling tactics of the City. Buffered and rattled, the Everton players seemed to forget what they knew about real football, and almost descended to the “play the man and not the ball,” style adopted by the City. The result was that Bradford levelled the scores. The final issue might have been disastrous to the Blues, had they not “called the bluff” of Bradford and quickly returned to their usual incisive, scientific methods. During the game the referee had to make no fewer than four cautions –all to Bradford men. Bauld was cautioned twice and Moore and Blacknell once each. In the opening half Everton were completely the masters. The City were out-generalled in all departments, and the Blues had a two goal lead at the interval. Then came Everton's lapse and the City equalised the scores. It needed the throughful manceuvre of Johnson and Thomson to pull the Blues out of the depts of low-grade football, but once they began to play correct football again they regained the two goals advantage, leaving the City to flounder. Everton were not seen at their best, but this I attribute mainly to the mud and the unceremonious tactics of the City. The Blues treated us to some splendid football in the first half. They displayed foresight and skill. Had it not been for Gill, who by the way, was the City goalkeeper, and not Sherlaw, as stated in some other papers, but not the Football Express, I think they would have scored more goals in the first half.
Johnson was the best forward on the field –a man who passed at the right moment to the right spot, and who could discriminate between a shot or quick pass. Dean was a hard worker. He always made a fight of it if there was the slightest chance of getting the ball and he was unselfish and discerning in his leadership. Critchley, Stein, Thomson and Gee were also prominent. Cook has no reason to be disappointed at his debut at full back, though he will be the first to admit that Cresswell's guidance and invaluable support helped him considerably. Cresswell sponsored Cook and yet was able to discharge his own work with fault. Cook used the ball excellently with both feet and wisely adopted the gentle slip through to the half-backs, instead of taking chances with heavy kicking. Coggins, in goal, was safe with his fielding and anticipation perfect. The City had a brilliant centre-half in Peachey. Partridge and Bicknell were defenders of the intrude type who did not use the ball well, but Gill was a fine goalkeeper.
Everton still lead the way in the Football League as highest scorers. They have scored 87 goals, and Aston Villa (84) and Tranmere Rovers (82) are the only clubs who have also touched the eighty mark.
Tottenham Hotspur have made inquires for Harold Houghton the ex- Exeter City and former Everton inside left.
It is anticipated that more than £3,000 will be spent by Everton in the close season on returfing Goodison Park.
CAN EVERTON DO IT
February 3 rd 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
By John Peel
As a consequence of the continued point –gathering; both at home and away, the question has raised whether Everton can break the record number of points, gained in one season by any club in the Football league. This record is held by Tottenham Hotspur, who won the second division championship in 1919-20, with 70 points from a possible 84, their record reading Play 42; Won 32; Lost 4; Draw 6; For 102; against 32; Points 70. To date Everton have obtained 44 points from twenty-seven games, and they have fifteen games to play. Seven home, and eight away. It will be seen therefore, that Everton, would have to win thirteen of these games to equal the “Spurs” record. So that the task is a tremendous one, in any case the Goodison Park side should certainly break their own record number of points, which is 53, this total being established in their championship season of 1927-28. Appended is a list of the clubs holding the points record for the Division.
Division One 1919-20 West Brom 60 points
Division One 1921-22 Liverpool 60 points
Division One 1929-30 Sheffield Wed 60 points
Division Two 1919-20 Tottenham Hotspur 70 points
Division Three (North) 1929-30 Port Vale 67 points
Division Three (South) Plymouth Argyle 68 points
WILLIAMS RETURNS TO EVERTON SIDE
February 4 th 1931. Evening Express
By the Pilot
Everton, for their visit to Charlton Athletic at the Valley, will have Ben Williams, their captain, once again in the right back position. Williams was laid a side with a slight touch of Bronchitis last week, but has now fully recovery and well displace Cook. Everton defeated Charlton by seven goals to one when they visited Goodison Park on October 4, but since that date the Athletic have shown improvement. This has been primarily due to the acquisition of McKay, the inside forward from Sunderland. Everton tea is; Coggins; Williams, Cresswell; McCLure, Gee, Thomson; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein
All the 3d 6d tickets for the Everton and Grimsby Cup-tie have been sold. There are tickets left at the higher price.
BURY RESERVES 2 EVERTON RESERVES 1
February 5 TH 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Central League (Game 25)
Bury Give A Lesson
Tight Rein of Fanciful Everton Side
Everton Reserves had notions about winning the championship of the Central League. They team shee suggested better things than a defeat from Bury Reserves by 2-1, but Bury are not in the fancy goods department. They eschew frills, and by swinging the ball across the field they did more with one move than some Everton forwards or half-backs did with three dainty dribbles. The truth was that the turf did not allow such fanciful capers until a margin had been created. It was Bury who created that margin and maybe were better than their sponsors thought, because when they had won 2-1, Bury said. “Our teams are now so level that we could really jumble up in a hat and pick them like a sweepstake draw.” Certainly the visiting side had size and sense and the goals gained by the energetic Vernon and the likely new centre forward. Leightley turned the game to the right channel. The winners were worth their points, albeit Everton had a busy last fifteen minutes, after White had got a goal trying to get just one more to make a draw of it, and thus save the Goodison championship “face,” and hope. Everton were not deadly; they were dallying, delaying and disdaining the practical measures necessary on such “turf.” That was the secret of the day's home failure.
Common's Return to Form.
The work of Sagar in goal was excellent, Common too, has come back with a ram vigour and a fairly sure delivery kick, but Cook did not play so well, as he had done with the senior team he lacked sparkle and seemed to bank on the use of his weight. Add the test of a back at centre half-back, and the fact remains that Towers was the surest, Everton half-back, and in the forward line none was so determined as Leyfield, a box of tricks, a local player, but not a weight lifter. Rigby returned to the forward line and had an understanding with little Leyfield, who once had a trail with Liverpool F.C. Leyfield caught the fault of the whole of the home forward line –excess of dribbling. Yet Bury must take praise for a fine show from Clipson, the back, a Wesleyan church goalkeeper not out of his teens, a mere habe at outside right, and the rallying forces in the inner forward position. Change the forward line and Everton would have won by a crop of goals . Teams; - Everton; Sagar, goal; Common and Cook, backs; Britton, Lowe, and Towers, half-backs; Wilkinson, Martin, White, Rigby, and Leyfield, forwards. Bury; - J. Smith, goal; Chester and Clipson, backs; Robertson, Curry and T. Robinson, half-backs; Fox, Vernon, Leightley, Chambers and Armstrong, forwards.
CHARLTON ATHELETIC EXPECT 50,000 CROWD
February 6 th 1931. Evening Express.
Charlton Athletic are making arrangements for a crowd of between 40,000 and 50,000 spectators, for the return match with Everton at the Valley on Saturday. The Blues dazzing record of success this season, including their smashing win of 7-1, over Charlton at Goodison Park last October, gaves Charlton supporters but a slender hope that the home team will pull off a surprise win. On the other hand, Charlton's away victory over Cardiff last Saturday, when their football was described as a revelation has put a new heart into the team and their supporters, and there is a feeling that any they many happen in this battle of “David and Goliath.” “We expect to play the same team which beat Cardiff City last week by 3-0 at Ninian Park, "“aid Mr. Linden, the assistant manager.” “Astley our star inside forward is playing well and will meet Everton for the first time on Saturday. He was unable to take part in the Goodison Park match, owing to a damaged ankle. Teams; Coggins; Williams, Cresswell; McClure, Gee, Thomson; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein. Charlton; Erobertson; Smith, Searle; Pitcairn, Pritchard, Morgan; Wyper, McKay, Whitlow, Astley, Houghton.
Collins, Llanelly's Welsh international outside right have interested Everton, who have watch him recently. It is possible that he my become an Everton player shortly after todays match at Aberystwyth.
CHARLTON ATHELTIC 0 EVERTON 7 (Game 28)-(Lge Game 3080 over-all)-(Div 1 3052)
February 9 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury.
Goals from every Forward.
How Everton swamped Charlton.
Charlton expected 40,000 spectators to their ground on Saturday for the visit of Everton. Perhaps it was well that there was only 17,000, because the game turned into an avalanche of attacks and many goals against the home side, and the effect upon the enthusiasm of the locals would not be very helpful. Yet in this, the greatest victory Everton have obtained for many seasons, the Charlton men deserve credit for refusing to exploit the off-side game. There was no debate about any point scored in the furious portion of the play when Everton, having tasted a gaol in twenty minutes, made it six before half-time. Such rapid scoring was due to two causes –the amazing strength of shot and the fine fashion of weaving they way through the Charlton side. The result was 7-0. It could have been twice the number. Everton eased up and remembered they had a cup-tie next Saturday at Goodison Park –the first for five years. They were kind in their mind. The game really needs little discussion. It was thoroughly one-sided; it was won after twenty minutes of “fencing,” and then Everton had their inspired period when they scored almost at will. They have lately developed a scoring habit, but this was a glut the like of which they had not shown us this season. At Swansea their form had been delightful and the margin good; against Charlton they were better still, and when one compares the Crystal Palace cup-tie score with their latest score, one has to remember that Crystal Palace are Third Division and they had ten man for a time, and the side also had a try-on half-back.
This was a win about which there could be nothing but glittering praises for the winners. It was an astonishing outburst of goal-getting, the most colourful feature of the margin being the fact that all but one of the goals came from extraordinarily fast shooting. Twice the ball was hit was a ferocity that lad it to bound out of goal into play again. It was the sort of forward play Everton people have yearned for, for many a season; the sort that was lacking in recent First Division appearances. Having beaten Charlton 7-1 at Goodison, Everton's margin is 14-1. The Charlton side had their chances in the second half when Everton plainly rested on their oars, but Coggins was them in brilliant form, and three of his saves were of rare merit. The basis of Everton's win, however, was the brilliance of the forward line. They saved their half-backs and backs a lot of work by definite combined football that brooked no denial. The craft of Dunn and Johnson was allied to the stern, sure heading and shooting and passing of Dean. Johnson was varied in his feeling qualities –he would gave Critchley a number of wide swinging passes; he and the able Thomson linked up with Stein in a manner they recalled the famous Sunderland left triangle.
Stein, varied his style with shots crossing the goal mouth; indeed it was most fortunate for the home side that he had not taken three when the final whistle went. The first half was naturally the big portion of play after that the game was bound to drag a bit. On the right forward flank Critchley scored, but he had a bad habit of over-indulgence in the dallying business, and by this means he not only courted injury, but also allowed the defence to get settled for any centre he could deliver. However, it would be churlish to be hyper-critical with such a margin put up away from home, and it must be said that here was a team that won by scientific measures, and by expert football, the ball being kept where it was supposed to be kept –on the turf. It was holding turf, but compared with Goodison Park; it was good turf, and it had its greasy portions. The display of the whole Everton side drew from the London spectators high encomiums –they were lavish in their praise, but never exaggerated the value of the visiting side. They could not say too much in favour of the winners.
The goal-getting was a small portion of the excellence of the side. Gee came near scoring with the ball that it hit the crossbar, and there were other woodwork cases that kept the score down in rational proportions. McClure was hard and sure and near the finish a trifle too near the dividing line between a fair and a foul charge, and Thomson on the left had no equal –a delicious game. There is nothing to be said of Cresswell and Williams-they were just their normal selves. The goal register reads. Stein scored 20 minutes, Dean 22, Dunn 28, Critchley 30, Johnson 37, Dean 44, Dean 87.
Teams; - Charlton; - Robertson, goal; Langford and Searle, backs; Pitcairn, Pritchard, and Morgan half-backs; Wyper, Astley, Whitlow, McKay, and Hutton, forwards. Everton; - Coggins, goal; Williams (captain) and Cresswell, backs; McClure, Gee and Thomson, half-backs; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, and Stein, forwards.
EVERTON RESERVES 1 DERBY COUNTY RESERVES 2
February 9 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Central League (Game 26)
Derby were rather fortunate in annexing both points at Goodison Park. Everton did well in attack, but were never able to master the rugged County defenders, who were just a shade superior to the losers' rearguard, White, Leyfield, and Wilkinson had shots that were saved smartly by Kirby, while Sagar found Alderman, Ruddy, and Robson shooters who were frequently on the mark. Derby led at the interval by a goal scored by White, and during the second half Cook, put through his own goal, gave the County their second goal. A penalty successfully taken by Martin in the closing minutes reduced Derby's lead. A hard but even game. Everton; - Sagar, goal; Common and Cook, backs; Britton, Lowe, and Tower, half-backs; Wilkinson, Martin, White, Rigby and Leyfield, forwards .
Everton “A” 3 Shell Mex 5
Liverpool County Combination
At Stopgate Lane. Even play characterised the first half and at the interval the sides were on equal terms. Penlington and Mercer scoring. In the second half the visitors were constantly attacking, and the home defenders were kept busy. Jackson being a hard worker. Further goals for the home side were added by Frayne and Dane, while Roberts, Mercer, Barley, and Williams netted for Shell Mex.
Everton and a Llanelly Forward
Collins, outside-right of Llanelly, who was watched by representatives of the Everton club, when playing in a Welsh Senior Cup tie against Aberystwyth in a fair game, his passing was cool and correct. He was always dangerous when on the ball, and will probably be heard of in first class football.
11 FOOTBALL BRADMANS.
February 9 th 1931. Evening Express.
Everton Hit the High Spot at Charlton.
Dean England's best Leader.
By the Pilot.
Nine successive wins –seven in the League and two in the Cup competition. Ninety-four goals in 28 League matches –41 against nine in their last nine games. Dean the second best goal-getting forward in the kingdom, and now a moral certainty for the new national honours.
These were some of the thoughts that flashed through my brain after watching Everton's flawless seven goal victory at Charlton on Saturday. What a team! During the summer we used to watch Don Bradshaw's machine-like action bringing century after century and were amazed. Everton had eleven football Bradmans at the Valley. There was a never a hitch in the development or execution. It was football such as we dream of but rarely see.
Everton on Saturday reached the zenith of their brilliance. They never will play better; no team possibly could. “The best team I have seen this season,” said Mr. Jimmy Jones, the chairman of Aston Villa, to me after the match” “ I cannot see anyone putting them out of the cup.”
Anybody who saw Saturday's game will agree. All five Everton forwards scored within 20 minutes in the first half. The Blues slowed down in the second half. They were thinking of their cup tie with Grimsby next Saturday. They were wise. Injuries had to be prevented, and the easing off brought everyone through sound in wind and limb. Charlton had more of the play than the score would suggest, but, as I have indicated, they were only able to go as far as Everton allowed them. At times they escaped the vigilance of the Blues, and then it was Coggins' turn to show his mettle. Three of his saves were superb.
Everton have taken four points from Plymouth Argyle, Swansea Town, West Bromwich Albion, Bradford City, and Charlton Athletic this season.
EVERTON RELY ON WELL TRIED ELEVEN
February 11 th 1931. Evening Express.
By the Pilot
Everton's team for their fifth round cup-tie against Grimsby Town will be; Coggins; Williams, Cresswell; McClure, Gee, Thomson; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein.
This side carried the club through the two previous rounds and has yet to concede a goal in the national knock-out tournament. Continuance of dry weather as improve the surface of Goodison Park and it will find it better than for months past. It will still be on the soft side, but this is calculated to be an aid to Everton and a handicap to Grimsby. The Everton players know their Goodison only too well, and have the happy knack of being able to overcome the difficulties presented by it. Harry Cooke is well satisfied with the progress of the players in their training, and he is optimistic about the chances of the Blues.
Grimsby Yield Nothing to Thieves.
But Everton Hope to Rob Them on Saturday.
Somebody tried to break into the offices of the Grimsby Club at Blundell Park last night. One of the gates was forced, but in their attempt to open the offices underneath the stand, the visitors were evidently interrupted. “I do not know what they hoped to get,” said Mr. W. Hooton, the assistant secretary. “The visit was premature, because we haven't got the F.A. Cup here yet.” Everton hope to get more from Grimsby than last night's visitors. Grimsby's chosen team is that fore-shadowed in the Evening Express last night. No chances is being made in the side that has earned full points in three successive League matches. The side will be; Read; Wilson, Jacobson; Hall, Priestley, Buck; Prior, Bestall, Coleman, Cooper, Marshall.
The players were indulging in ball practice when I visited Blundell Park today, and Mr. Herbert Woods, the trainer, told me that he proposed to take them for a long walk this afternoon.
All the cheaper stand tickets for the Everton and Grimsby Town Cup-tie have been sold and the remaining tickets are being snapped up rapidly.
THE ROAD TO WEMBLEY-FIFTH MILESTONE
February 13 th 1931. Evening Express.
Why Everton should be in the Race at the Sixth.
Rivals captains last words before the Battle
Everton are playing so well at the moment that I expect us to win. We are not counting our chickens before they are hatched, but although it is likely to be a hard fight we are confident of winning. Ben Williams
We shall will. We feel that our luck has now changed for the better, and we shall take the field at Goodison Park full of confidence. After all, why should not Grimsby Town go to Wembley? Priestley.
By the Pilot.
Let me say at once without equivocation that I expect Everton to win their fifth round F.A. Cup-tie with Grimsby Town at Goodison Park. Southport's chances, in my opinion are less rosy, but if they can strike the form they showed in their wonderful fight against Blackpool they will accompany Everton into the next round. Don't run away with the idea that Grimsby are “small fish.” They are not. Everton know it but the knowledge is serving not to diminish confidence but to inspire even greater effort. If Everton should not win tomorrow it won't be for want of determined.
My reasons for so definitely fancying Everton are that they are clearly the form team, they are playing better football at the moment than they have for seasons; they have secured such a lead in the Second Division that they can enter the Cup-tie without any League anxieties; they have the team spirit and confidence so necessary to success, and, finally, they will be playing on their own ground. On the other hand, the Mariners have not been at all convincing this season prior to their last three matches, which they have won. Here are the club's League records to date;'
Position Played Won Lost Drawn Won Lost Drawn For Against Points
Everton 1 28 12 1 1 9 2 4 94 42 46
Grimsby 18 29 7 4 2 3 11 2 50 63 24
Everton completed their training early today, and all the players are fit and well. Town are travelling to Liverpool today, having finished their preparation yesterday. I place great reliance on the ability of the Blues' three young, strong half-backs –McClure, Gee and Thomson –to hold up the Town attack and give the required support to their own forwards. In this line I think we have the key to the position. Tim Coleman, the Grimsby leader, is a tricky player, and did the hat trick last week, but I think Gee will more than master the former Halifax man. Everton's attack with Dean in such excellent shooting form, appears the more likely to get goals. There is balance and finish about the line. The ground is much better than it was, and with a continuance of the drying wind should suit both teams, though it is bound to be heavy. Teams; - Everton; Coggins; Williams, Cresswell; McClure, Gee, Thomson; Critchley Dunn, Dean Johnson, Stein. Grimsby Town; Read; Wilson, Jacobson; Hall, Priestley, Buck; Prior, Bestall, Coleman, Copper, Marshall.
EVERTON NEARER WEMBLEY
February 14 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
By John Peel
Main interest on Merseyside is centred in Everton's bid for the cup. At this stage the premier Second Division club is called on to face a First Division side in Grimsby Town, at Goodison park, and as this is the first home tie in five years, I am confident local enthusiasts will make the most of the opportunity to see and to revel in a game which promises all the thrills associated with the knockout tournament. The match undoubtedly has a special appeal for it is recognised that Everton at the moment are one of the finest sides in the country while Fate has decreed that they are to have a chance of revenge against a team which was instrumental in administering the blow which sent Everton head long into the Second Division. I do not consider that relegation was a terrible disaster, though it may have hurt the pride of one of the League's aristocrats, but all the same the club will relish the opportunity of turning the tables. Whether they will succeed, or be made to eat humble pie, depends, very largely on the magic element trucked away in the Cup lucky bag.
Class should tell.
On form, however, there should be no two opinions, for Everton have the advantage of playing at home, have the confidence born of a great run of success, and as a team they appear superior to their opponents. At the same time Grimsby Town since the Arsenal defeated them them 9-1 at Highbury have won three League games, and I am prepared for a great fight on their part. Still, Everton should win with something to spare. It will be the shocker of the round if they fail. Both sides are full strength.
EVERTON 5 GRIMSBY TOWN 3 (F.A Cup Game 129)
February 16 th 1929. Liverpool Post and Mercury.
Everton Rally to Win
Tough Tussle with Grimsby Town
Home Forwards the Deciding Force
Everton have been away from Goodison Park for five years of Cup struggle, and, returning on Saturday, they were heralded by a crowd of 65,534. Representing £4,801, and producing 73 cases of attention by the St. John Ambulance Brigade two of the number being sent to hospital through the squeezing process at the bottle-neck between the two stands at Goodison-road. Everton did not play as a team as well as they had done at Crystal Palace. Charlton, or Swansea. There was a distinct drop in the work of Gee and McClure, while Cresswell made an error that left him sad at heart as the team left the field at half-time. Gee produced his best, and the form that made him famous, in the last ten minutes. McClure had a collision, and was not the dependable sure tackler that he has been in the last four weeks, yet Everton beat Grimsby 5-3, thereby adding to their list of revengeful acts this season with teams that have made them smart under the previous meetings.
The Everton forward line won this game. Grimsby were always apparently extremely dangerous when they broke away, yet this was contradicted by the remembrance that three Everton players were below standard, and Coggins had little to do. It was possibly fear of Grimsby forwards, not belief in them, and the outstanding line of this memorable Cup-tie was centred in the Everton forward line working in beautiful concerted action. The fluctuation certainly added zest to the game, and the big crowd that overlooked beyond the barriers had full value for its money. Grimsby scored first –that was the first surprise, and all against the trend of the play when Coleman placed the ball into the corner of the net at 15 minutes. Everton were not perturbed, and Stein quickly nullified this point with a goal at 17 minutes, the result of a terrific drive, while 3 minutes later the same player put them ahead following a half save by Read when he stopped, but failed to clear a shot by Johnson.
Dean Heads Through.
Everton justified their lead, and although Grimsby struggled hard it was due mainly to the good work of their defence that they kept their goal form further disaster till Dean headed through from a centre by Stein at 38 minutes. A lead of 3-1 seemed good enough to wit, and it was not more than Everton deserved. Then came a goal to Grimsby that few were prepared for. Bestall scoring at 44 minutes later by a goal by Marshall that made the game all square 3-3 –at the interval. Thus the contest fluctuated remarkably in a very short period, and what had looked like an easy win for Everton meant more hard labour with the result again in the balance. Everton, however, tackled the problem with grim earnestness, and although it was not until the 77 th minute that Johnson gave them the lead again it seemed only a question of how long the Grimsby defence could withstand the persistent hammering of the Everton forwards.
Johnson Settles the Issue.
Ten minutes from the end, Dean was brought down near goal, and from the penalty kick , which followed Johnson, scored with ease. That was the end of Grimsby's hopes. Throughout they played with great spirit and a fair amount of skill. They had the tonic effect of the first goals and two goals near the interval that were hardly justified on the play. Yet Everton triumphed by superior craft and a confidence that refused to be subdued even when goals did not materialise as expected. It was good thrilling football and at times Everton touched their best form. Of the forwards Johnson was outstanding. Many of Everton's best movements were engineered by Johnson, and he frequently shot well. Dunn did not quite reach the form that has made him as prominent in recent games, but he did much neat and effective work. Obviously Dean was marked for special attention, although that did not prevent him being a trustful and clever leader, while Stein and Critchley were smart and dangerous raiders. Thomson was the most satisfactory performer in the middle line and Williams was better than Cresswell although both did a fair amount of good work. Cresswell, however, seemed to be at fault when Marshall equalised a minute from the interval. The work of Coggins was simple when compared with that of Read, who was one of Grimsby's success. Many daring and clever saves were credited to Read, while Johnson was a sound back. Others who did well were Hall, Bestall, and Prior. Teams; - Everton; - Coggins, goal; Williams (captain) and Cresswell, backs; McClure Gee, and Thomson, half-backs; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, and Stein forwards. Grimsby Town; - Read, goal; Wilson and Jacobson, backs; Hall, Priestly (captain), Buck, half-backs; Prior, Bestall, Coleman, Copper, and Marshall, forwards.
MANCHESTER CITY RESERVES 5 EVERTON RESERVES 0
February 16 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Central League (Game 27)
Everton Reserves were completely outclassed, at Maine road by Manchester City Reserves, who won by five goals to nothing. In the first half Everton had a fair share of the game, but their forwards lacked finish with the consequence that they were in arrears at half-time by two goals to nil. After the resumption the City Reserves took command of the game and eddied three further goals without response. The City goals were obtained by Wrighton (2), Tyne, Payne, and Bray. Everton; - Sagar, goal; Cook and Lowe, backs; Britton Griffiths, and Tower, half-backs; Wilkinson, Martin, White, Webster, and Leyfield, forwards.
EVERTON SUPPORTERS DREAM OF WEMBLEY
February 16 th 1931. Evening Express.
By the Pilot.
I am told that some Everton supporters already are making arrangements to go to Wembley for the Cup Final, to see Everton win the cup. Their optimism is justified, although Everton will need to finish up unevenness they deserved on one or two occasions in the fifth round tie with Grimsby. These little troubles are mainly defensive. Cresswell was not Cresswell at his best. His first half lapses on Saturday must have upset the calculation of the half-backs and until he find his feet in the second half, conditions was always inclined to sacrifice his usual thoughtful constructive work on the alter of “Safety First.” It was occupied too much with covering and the Everton attack suffered. Gee, too, was uncertain, especially early on. He seemed to require time to get into his stride, and in the process he to was prone to retreat. My one and other criticism concerns Everton's match forward line, who undoubtedly took all the honours. It a small point, but worth consideration. Is that Critchley, on two occasions in the second half, hesitated to cut in and run when he had really gilt-edged chances of scoring. I realise that an inside man is always at the disadvantage of having to shoot from more less acute angles, but sometimes it better to take the shot than risk the comparatively short inside pass which might be intercepted. Critchley figured in two of these instances in the Grimsby match.
Johnson the Key Man.
And now for a word of praise. Everton were worthy winners, but commendation goes to the Town for their gallantry and work. Everton were a cohesive band. Each man worked in harmony and sympathy with his colleagues. Grimsby were quite as honest in their endeavour but they did not collaborate like the winners of display such shrewdness.
Easy for Coggins.
Everton had fully three parts of the game and were always banging away at a brilliant defence in which three half backs played a sterling part. Read, the Grimsby goalkeeper, was always in the pluckiest of the fight, and yet Coggins did not have four really difficult shots to stop the game through. That shows the difference. Read was heroic at times and lucky at others. He took risks which came off, the revealed uncanny judgement and rightly more than once. He and the defensive brainy Bestall were the key men of Grimsby. Bestall was as good as any man on the field and if some of his schemes had been correctly anticipated by his confreres greater success might have attended the efforts of the Fishermen. Everton also had a key man. This was Johnson, to my mind the best player on the field. No man could have worked harder; no man could have made things easier for his partner; no man could have done spade work and then slightly crept out of the limelight. It was fitting that Johnson should get the finishing goals. Some of his passes went astray, but he made more than anyone else, and helped both flanks alike.
Williams's fine Example.
Stein and Thomson completed a left side, which had few faults. Stein was as irresistible mood and hardly wasted a pass, while his shooting was both opportunism and accurate. Behind was the throughful, strong and untiring Thomson. Dunn had every move and artifice at a command, and exploited them fully. In the centre was the electric Dean, always a sharpshooter, always the fine leader, and always well watched. Dean did not mind being “policed” as it meant that others were getting the openings. Williams was the best back on the field. He was an intrepid intervener, hard tackler, and careful kicker. It was ideal cup football with the pendulum swinging first one way, then the other. The issue was never satisfactorily settled until the final whistle blew. Everton are now in the last eight for the first time since 1921, when Wolverhampton Wanderers defeated them by a single goal at Goodison Park.
To Meet Barnsley on Wednesday.
All Everton players Report Fit.
All the Everton players have reported fir for Wednesday's re-arranged Second Division match with Barnsley at Goodison Park. McClure, who was carried off the field shortly before the finish of the cup match was suffering from cramp and is ruled all right again. The team will be selected at the weekly Directors meeting tomorrow evening.
EVERTON TO TRAIN AT HOME
February 17 th 1931. Evening Express.
Cup Rivals take Stock of Each Other.
Southport “not Afraid.”
Match of 36 Years Ago Recalled
By the Pilot.
Some of the Everton players were spectators at the Southport v York City League match at Haig Avenue this afternoon, making notes. Tomorrow Southport players will visit the Everton v Barnsley game at Goodison Park for the same purpose. As one of the Everton eleven remarked to me today; “One can't know too much about opponents, especially when a cup-tie is at shake.” You see Everton are determined to leave nothing to chance –neither are Southport.
Mr. T.H. McIntosh tells me that the Goodison men are likely to continue their cup-tie policy of training at home for their sixth round match. This train-at-home policy is a new departure this season for Everton, and I know that players perfer it. The matter will be definitely decided at tonight's meeting of the directors. The draw has pleased Everton. Had they been allowed to choose which team they should meet in the sixth round of the F.A.Cup, there would have been an unanimous vote for Southport –at Goodison Park.
Not Certainty But-
As a matter of fact, no one connected with the club would have feared any of the surviving clubs at Walton. As Tommy Johnson said to me before the draw was made known; “if we are drawn at home we shall figure in the semi-final.” When we heard of the Blues' good fortune he said “Splendid, it could not have been better. Of course, it is no certainty for us. Any team which reaches the last eight of the F.A.Cup is to be feared, but I do not expect Southport to upset us on our own ground.”
Ben Williams, the captain speaking of the draw to me today expressed satisfaction.
“We must not count our chickens before they are hatched,” he said, “but I think we have a fine chance of reaching the Semi-Final. Seeing that this is my first season as captain I should like to get so far. “Southport cannot be treated lightly as their victories over Millwall, Blackpool, and Bradford signify; but Everton are playing so well just now that I am hopeful of our success.”
When They Met Before.
Up to the present it has been the lot of Everton to avenge former defeats, but now Southport will be anxious to square accounts for the cup defeat inflicted on them by Everton in 1895, when the Blues visited Southport and won by three clear goals. That match was played on February 2, and the ground had to be swept of snow before it began. The teams were; Everton; - Williams; Kelso, Parry; Boyle, Holt, Stewart; Reay, McInnes, Hartley Chadwick, Bell. Southport central; - Gee; D. McLaren, Smith; Tattersall, Fryers, C. McLaren; Hasting, Brice, Halsall, Hollows, Whittaker.
Everton gained a lead of two goals in the first half through bell, and in the second half Hartley bundled Gee and the ball into the goal for the third point.
Everton's game with Barnsley
A win Tomorrow will Mean Much.
Everton, by capturing all their remaining home points, can reach a total of 60 points for the season, a figure which should give them promotion. At the moment they are 10 points ahead of the third team, West Bromwich Albion, who, with also 14 matches still to play can secure 64 points by winning every game. Consequently, if Everton can defeat Barnsley at Goodison Park tomorrow afternoon, while West Bromwich are opposing Wolverhampton Wanderers at Wolverhampton the Blues will go a long way towards setting the seal on their return to the First Division. This will be Barnsley's first visit to Walton in opposition to the Blues, and the fifth meeting in Cup and League with Everton. I anticipate that Everton will win comfortably tomorrow.
The team to do duty will not be chosen until this evening, but as all the players reported fir following the Grimsby Cup-tie I do not think there will be any change. The Blues' Cup side should prove too strong for the Yorkshire side. The league records of the clubs to date are.
Position Played Won Lost Drawn Won Lost Draw For Against Points
Everton 1 28 12 1 1 9 2 3 94 42 46
Barnsley 19 28 8 5 2 0 8 5 34 47 23
It will be seen that Barnsley have yet to win away from home, and it will be something of a sensation if they do so tomorrow. Probable teams;
Everton; Coggin; Williams, Cresswell; McCLure, Gee, Thomson; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein.
Barnsley; Crompton; Dixon, Richards; Smith, Henderson, Caddick; Curran, Proudfoot, Wallbanks, Harvey, Gibbs.
Everton Football Club –League match at Goodison Park tomorrow (Wednesday), Everton V Barnsley. Kick off 3-15. Admission 1/- Boys 4d. stands extra including tax. Book seats at Sharp's Whitechapel.
BARNSLEY AT GOODISON PARK
February 18 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
By John Peel
A Member of Football League games are down for decision today. Chief interest on Merseyside being centred in Everton's return game with Barnsley. Compared with the wonderful run in the Cup from 1910, the Yorkshire club has fallen on evil days, but they still have a side capable at times, of testing the best. They held Everton to a draw this season at Oakwell, but I expect the Goodison Park team to gain full points today.
A Cup Team
Barnsley's main history centres round the Cup. They have twice appeared in the final winning the trophy in 1911-12 when they beat West Bromwich after a draw and an extra half-hour in the replay. Today will mark the third occasion they have met Everton at Goodison Park, but each of the previous meetings have been in the Cup competition. The first met in 1909-10 in the first round, when Everton won 3-1, and then met again the following year in the semi-final round, when a goalless draw resulted at Leeds, and Barnsley won the replay at Old Trafford 3-0. They next came together in 1915-16 in the first round again, and the Goodison Park side were victorious by 3-0.
Their great struggle with Newcastle at Goodison Park in 1910 will always be remembered. The crowd was a record one and the ground in a terrible state on a wild day. Newcastle won in the end and took the Cup for the first time, after being beaten in three previous finals in five years.
Everton at Full Strength.
Everton will have their cup team on view. The club is not taking any chances in the promotion race, and the men are always keen to turn out to augment their record. A fast exposition of the code is likely, for I believe Barnsley, who defeated the champions in the cup, but lost to the Wolves on Saturday are capable of testing Everton to the full. The kick off is at 3-15, and the Everton team will be; Coggins; Williams, Cresswell; McClure, Gee Thomson; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein.
The Everton Reserve team to meet Manchester united at Manchester, on Saturday is; Sagar; Cook, Lowe; Britton, Griffiths, McPherson; Wilkinson, Martin, White, Webster, Rigby.
EVERTON'S CUP TIE TRAING
February 18 TH 1931. Evening Express.
To begin in Earnest Next Week
By the Pilot.
Everton will not begin their real Cup-tie preparation until next week, owing to the mid-week Second Division match, and they will train at home. The directors decided this last night. The players will do a little training tomorrow and on Friday morning in readiness for the Notts Forest game on Saturday, and then will follow a full week's training for the Southport Cup-tie. The Everton players' confidence in their ability to reach the semi-final was exemplified during the visit of some to the Southport v York City match (1-0). Everton are not disturbed by the form revealed at Southport yesterday and the opinion is that they will win, if they continue to play ordinary League game. Tickets for the match will be on sale on Friday. Prices will be advertised in Evening express.
Mr. W.C. Cuff, the secretary of the Central League, states that the League has nothing to do with the circular which, undated and unsigned, has been sent to the clubs in the competition suggesting an extension of the League
Three Everton players have been selected to play for international trial teams.
Dean and Johnson for England and Coggins for the Rest at Highbury on March 4, in preparation for the final international game of the season with Scotland.
EVERTON 5 BARNSLEY 2 (Game 29)-(Lge Game 3081 over-all)-(Div 1 3052)
February 19 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Everton's Non Stop run
Leaders Reach 99 League Goals.
Dean's Supreme Moments in Barnsley Match
Tommy Johnson Penalty Sent Wide, and Bar and Post also hit.
There is no stopping those Everton forwards. They appear to be able to score at will. Nothing daunts them; nothing worries then; they march on towards the net of the opposition and score readily; so readily that they are really in danger of taking things too easily. Against Barnsley, the team that beat Sheffield Wednesday out of the English Cup, they went an even way for a long time. They thought nought of a seemingly good goal by Dean being put down as offside. This was a more detail. They would go on to collect some more. They got five, they missed a penalty kick thanks to Johnson slicing his drive, (Dean won penalty after Caddick grassed him) and they hit the upright and crossbar . But they could not get the one goal to make this game into a notable one by reason of the hundredth League goal of the season being recorded.
Elusive Century Mark
The crowd of 20,000 yearend for the goal called for the goal, and the Everton players caught the spirit of desire. They fought hard in the last few moments of play to try to gain their three-figure mark, but it did not come chiefly through a personal desire of two extremes wing men to get a goal when a pass inward would have been fatal to the Barnsley goalkeeper, Crompton who had his strokes of fortune and had played really well against an avalanche of attacks. So the result stood 5-2 and Everton have to wait a few days longer before they attain their desire and then go on to break the record of 120 goals. It was surprising there should be any difficult about getting six in this mid-week game. They were there for the asking, the defence of Barnsley being overrun. Let us see how the game progressed; dean got two, gave two –to Dunn, came near taking a bunch of goals for his own clever self, and Critchley added another goal. The response was provided by Proundfoot, a clever young forward, who scored both goals credited to the plucky Barnsley side.
Some good fortune to the Everton defenc, which packed its goal early on, stopped Barnsley getting more goals. But the result was sufficiently unbalanced as it was. The score and the margin give no indication of the Everton forwards and half-backs. In defence, Everton were not so good –the goalkeeper had little to do and might have saved the first surprise goal, and Cresswell was not so good as usual, yet the half-backs McClure and Gee were incontestably their true selves yesterday, whereas in the cup-tie versus Grimsby they had been below par. McClure is suffering a calf muscle injury; but his speed is not impaired, and one of his solo runs right into the goalmouth might have brought a penalty kick for a sweeping tackle –of which he knows a good deal, because he is relentless in his tacklers. However, the margin was sufficient to carry Everton nine points in front of their nearest rival and they are sailing to promotion. Barnsley played Caddick usually a wing half-back, at centre half-back –thus he met a former club mate in Dean. Caddick strove hard to bring the defence into a proper positioning and playing the ball, but they were all powerless to stop the conquering Dean, who gave one of his brightest, fastest displays, and also one of his most unselfish games. His heading was as is usual with him, deadly and accurate, causing the ball to pass to a point at which his fellow forwards were about to advance.
Skill of Dunn
Dunn did much skilled work too, and the left wing was a trifle below its big style, chiefly through Stein having a day when his centre pulled outside. By the same token Critchley wasted many good chances by weak centring. However, with the improved form of Gee and McClure, added to the steadiness and sure touch of Thomson, the team gave little throught to trifle until the crowd urged them to take the hundred. Barnsley's best were Keen trying defenders, a lively goalkeeper Caddick at centre-half back, and a bright right wing in Proudfoot and Ashton, but the whole side was over powered by the brilliance of Dean and the general facility with which the forward line swept through the visitors by means of first class football skill. The Everton forward line can win these matches by its own unequalled brilliance; it is up to the defence to consolidate its position a little better than during the last two games. Teams; - Everton; - Coggins, goal; Williams (captain) and Cresswell, backs; McClure, Gee, and Thomson, half-backs; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, and Stein, forwards. Barnsley; - Crompton, goal; Dixon and Richards, backs; Smith, Caddick, and James, half-backs; Wallbanks, Ashton, Proudfoot, J. Wallbanks, Harvey and Gibbs, forwards. Referee Mr. W. Bunnell, of Preston.
EVERTON SCORING FORWARDS
February 19 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
By John Peel.
Since December 27 th , when they defeated Plymouth Argyle by 9-1, Everton have enjoyed a riot of goal scoring, eight matches yielding maximum points in the League tournament while three F.A.Cup Cup-tie have been won, a run of eleven victories, with a goals record of 51 for and 14 against. Thirty of these goals I note, I have been scored in the last six matches, the list including two cup-ties; while eight goals have been recorded against the Goodison Park team. This is a most impressive record, and shows the power of the forwards backed up by an aggressive set of half-backs. The team was much superior to Barnsley yesterday, and Everton were rather unfortunate not to make their total League goals for the season 100, for the post and bar were hit and Johnson sliced his penalty kick, which sent the ball just wide.
Record to be Eclipsed.
The teams total, of 90 goals in the Second Division should be made into a record before long. Bradford City, in the Northern Section, with 128, holds the record for a season, but Everton should eclipse these figures. Notts Forest visits Goodison Park on Saturday, so that local supporters will again have the opportunity of seeing the forceful forward line in action, and probably the century of goals passed. Aston Villa and the Arsenal are Everton's closest rivals in the goals race. Including Saturday's match, Everton have six home and seven away engagements to fulfil.
THEY CAME; THEY SAW; THEY –ARE THINKING
February 19 th 1931. Evening Express.
What the Southport Think of Everton.
The Ground's The Thing.
By the Pilot.
After the match I spoke to some of the Southport players who witnessed Everton's 5-2 victory over Barnsley at Goodison Park, and they assured me that their only fear for Saturday week is the playing pitch. Vincent, the centre-half, said he considered Southport 100 per cent better than Barnsley. “We most certainly will put up a much better show against Everton than Barnsley did,” he said.”
“Butt what a ground! It is more like a farmyard. The players seemed to have great difficulty in pulling their feet out of the mud. Of course it is equally bad for both teams.” McConnell, the Southport Captain, said he did not think that Everton played as well as he had been led to expect. “We shall gave them more than they had today” he commented. My view is that Southport will have to contend with a very different Everton from that which they saw defeat Barnsley. The Yorkshiremen were purely a brave, sturdy set of defensive footballers who occasionally showed individual aggressiveness. On these occasions, it is true, the Everton defence did not inspire confidence. Thomson and Cresswell seemed to have lost their customary understanding and were often found out of position. Thomson often found out of position. Thomson moved up the field more than usual, and in these circumstances it would have paid better if Cresswell had tackled his outside forward opponent instead of simply feinting to tackle him and then holding off. This, no doubt, will be remedied for the Cup-tie.
Three Match Winners.
Southport spectators at the Barnsley match must have been impressed by Everton's three inside forwards, Dunn, Dean and Johnson –the men who were chiefly responsible for victory. Both Stein and Critchley seemed to think they alone should place the century on the telegraph. They shot at every opportunity while there were men waiting in the goalmouth to receive the passes. Moreover, their shooting was poor. They sacrificed direction for speed. Apart from the inside forwards and McClure, Gee and Williams, the team was not up to standard.
McClure's Great Match.
Barnsley struck me as being honest fighters who lack guile. Their defence was grand and sounder than that of the Blues. Though not blessed with height and weight their backs and halves tackled grimly and were never beaten. In addition Crompton was a fine goalkeeper who displayed keen judgement and showed a safe pair of hands. The forwards, however, want cohesive ability. McClure had a great match. He was the best tackler on the side, and his attacking was excellent. He knew just when to pass; while he was always ready for a quick dribble through. Coggins did well except when Proudfoot got the first of his two goals. Then the completely misjudged the flight of the ball.
Everton's team to meet Notts Forest.
Everton for their match with Notts Forest at Goodison Park on Saturday, make no change. Team; Coggins; Williams, Cresswell; McClure, Gee, Thomson; Critchley, Dunn Dean, Johnson, Stein.
EVERTON CAN SET UP RECORDS.
February 20 th 1931. Evening Express.
100 Mark in Goals and 50 Points.
Notts Forest Visit.
They have Taken a Point from the Blues.
By the Pilot.
Everton can set up two club records tomorrow by defeating Notts Forest at Goodison Park. Never at any period in their history have they recorded their 100 goals and captured 50 points so early in the season. They require one goal for the century and two points for the half century. I think they will reach these figures tomorrow. If they do so they will be the first club to accomplish the feat this season. Everton will find Notts Forest a hard side to beat, for the Forest are fighting to get away from the lower places in the league chart. They are fought from the bottom at the moment. It must also be borne in mind that the Forest are one of the seven teams to take a point out of the Blues this season. That was at Nottingham in October. Still, the Everton of October and the Everton of February are different propositions. The team had not settled down to the dazzling constructive side, which are giving so much delight at the moment. The records of the clubs to date are;
Position Play Won Lost Drawn Won Lost Drawn For Against Points
Everton 1 29 13 1 1 9 2 3 99 44 48
Notts Forest 18 29 6 2 6 1 11 3 56 65 23
It will be seen that the Forest have gained but five points in fifteen away games so that the visit to Goodison Park does not appear to hold out much hope for them, seeing that Everton have not dropped a point since Christmas Day. Everton will play the side which defeated Barnsley in mid-week, but the Forest have changes. Forrest, a young player will make his debut at inside right. Thompson, their captain, is injured, and Smith takes his place at right back, while Pugh returns to left half.
Everton; Coggins; Williams, Cresswell; McClure, Gee, Thomson; Critchley, Dunn Dean, Johnson, Stein. Notts Forest; Dexter; Smith, Barrington; McKinlay, Graham, Pugh; Burton, Forrest, Dent, Dickinson, Simpson.
EVERTON AND TRANSFER OF DIX
February 21 st 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Football League Take Action
The Everton club have submitted to the Management Committee of the Football League an agreement made between them and Bristol Rovers clubs giving Everton an option to call for the transfer of Ronald Dix, the much discussed young inside forward of the Bristol club. As a result of the action the Bristol Rovers club have received a notification from the Football league informing them that the secretary of the League has been instructed not to accept any form transferring Dix other than in accordance with the agreement between the Everton and Bristol Rovers clubs, until the circumstances in connecting with the agreement have been fully investigated. The directors of the Bristol Rovers club met yesterday, and decided to ask the Football League to hold an immediate inquiry to decide for what period Everton have the right to exercise the option given in the agreement between the clubs as on time limit was mentioned when the agreement was drawn up. Everton had an agreement with the Bristol Club last year regarding Dix. Since that time, however, the player has been much sought and Aston Villa it is reported were among the clubs willing to pay a big price for the transfer of Dix.
The Forest at Everton
By John Peel.
Everton are reaping the fruits of judgement and foresight, and the wonderful run the club has enjoyed appeals strongly to followers of football on Merseyside and I expect another large crowd at Goodison Park today to see Everton endeavour to increase still further advantage at the head of second Division. Everton should come out on top with a deal to spare. It would be fitting for Dean to be the scorer of Everton's 100 th goal today, though I expected all the forwards are keen to get the century point. Dean so far has scored 35 League goals this season. Two points will bring Everton's total too 50. The kick off is at 3-15 and the teams are; - Everton; Coggins; Williams, Cresswell; McClure, Gee, Thomson; Critchley, Dunn Dean, Johnson, Stein. Notts Forest; Dexter; Smith, Barrington; McKinlay, Graham, Pugh; Burton, Forrest, Dent, Dickinson, Simpson
EVERTON 2 NOTTS FOREST 0 (Game 30)-(Lge Game 3082 over-all)-(Div 12 3052)
February 23 rd 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Notts Forest make a Fight
Everton Top Century Mark
Tommy Johnson scored Everton's 100 League Goal
Everton's spectators have become greedy. They look upon the margin of two as trifling, but if they would cast their minds back to the filthy conditions of the ground on Wednesday and Saturday, they would realise that the Goodison mud is taking its toll of the stamina of the players. On Saturday about 30,000 people gave no thought to the remembrance of Wednesday's hard work, and they went there believing that Nottingham Forest would be mowed down. This was all against what anyone could expect if they had been witness at the game at Nottingham, where Everton drew, for Notts Forest had thrown away four bright chances of scoring in the first half. The difficulty of play at Goodison Park is abnormal even for the players who appear there every fortnight. The ball and the ground are so heavy that it is very unfair to be hypercritical. The referee on Saturday received the ball on the back of the neck when Dexter, the goalkeeper kicked the ball towards the centre of the field after Dunn had scored. The weight of the ball led to the referee collapsing semi-conscious.
Lofting the Ball to Dean.
So long was the first goal in arriving that when it did come to signal Everton's 100 th goal of the season the crowd had become lethargy. They had lost their enthusiasm. They did not know any more than did Dean that he wanted but one goal to celebrate his 200 th League goal in five and a half seasons off senior football. Far, too often was the ball put upwards lofted towards Dean for a leaping Forest defenders to head away. McClure, Gee, and Thomson played extremely well, and the defence showed improvement upon the last two occasions they have appeared at home. It simply amounted to this –that the Everton forwards could not quite connect with the goal register. Yet they scored twice and hit the woodwork twice so that the margin is hardly just. This does not for a moment deny the Nottingham players praise for their unavailing plucky display; one which led the crowd to show their appreciation of their work when they left the field –a fine tribute to a gallant team and –testimony to the Everton spectators sportsmanship. They reached the They reached the century, however, when Johnson scored the first goal at 53 minutes, and Dunn's goal at 66 minutes carried the League goal total for the season to 101. While the game was never a bad one, it was not one of the best probably because Everton did not touch what has come to be regarded as their usual standard, and that Forest played with great plucky right through, even when they lost Pugh early in the second half.
Accurate Play Impossible.
Then again the ground was not a great deal short of being unfit so that accurate play was almost impossible. The players had to chance a lot even when taking ordinary passes because the ball often unexpectedly stopped dead. Although Notts fought earnestly and Everton's goal was a long time coming one never got the impression that Everton would lose the game. At times Notts threatened a lot, and they had a particularly good period midway in the first half without having a great deal to show for they energy. Everton could not claim much advantage in this respect although they found a fair amount of work for Dexter in the Nottts goal. They should, however, considering their chances have taken the lead much earlier. Time and again they worked out good openings only to fail at goal. Sometimes it was poor shooting, and as others good work on the part of the Notts defence. If there were many exasperating mistakes due chiefly to the sticky mud, there were a fair number of clever touches. Without doubt Everton were the better side.
A fine Half-Back.
They attacked for the major portion of the game, and more deadness near goal would have brought the usual crop of goals. Six minute after the start Dean sent a great shot against the upright, and in the second half Johnson centre, Dunn struck the crossbar. Everton where sound and a solid defence while the best man on the Notts side if not in the game was Graham in the pivot position. He got more of the ball than any other player and knew well how to use it. A great worker he covered a wide area in the middle and played so well right through. Everton, too, had a sound defence and if both Williams and Cresswell took more risks than usual they were no doubt conscious of their ability to recovery as actually they did. A fair amount of good work came from the middle line where Thomson was the notable performer. It was not one of Dean's best days. Few opportunities came for a clean break through, but he gave fine chances to both Dunn and Johnson and they responded effectively. Critchley and Stein have often been better, and for a time in the second half, the latter was rather neglected. Teams; Everton; - Coggins, goal. William (captain) and Cresswell, backs; McCLure, Gee and Thomson, half-backs; Critchley Dunn, Dean, Johnson, and Stein, forwards. Notts Forest; - Dexter goal; Smith and Berington, backs; McKinlay, Graham and Pugh, half-backs; Burton, Forrest, Dent, Dickinson and Simpson, forwards .
MANCHESTER UNITED RESERVES 1 EVERTON RESERVES 2
February 23 rd 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Central League (Game 28)
At Old Trafford. All the scoring was accomplished in the second half. Rowley opened the score for the United, but Martin quickly equalised, and just on time Rigby won the game for Everton with a clever goal. Sagar was very sound, and Cook strong in defence, but the outstanding player was Griffiths at centre-half . Everton; - Sagar goal; Cook and Lowe, backs; Britton Griffith and McPherson, half-backs; Wilkinson, Martin, White Webster and Rigby, forwards.
EVERTON'S LESSON FOR THE CUP-TIE
February 23 rd 1931. Evening Express.
It is Team Work that Counts
The Ground Problem
Will the Mid-Week Match be Postponed?
By the Pilot.
Everton's players should be all fit for next Saturday's Cup-tie with Southport. None of them has report any serious injury, and it seems likely that the side that has carried them into the sixth round of the competition again will be available. Training begins in earnest tomorrow. Some of the players turned in at Goodison Park today for a “muscle loosener,” but no serious work was attempted. Everton's worry is the playing area. Even with the best weather conditions possible it would not be by any means a first-class condition by Saturday. The club's programme at present provides for the playing of a Central League match at Goodison Park on Wednesday, but in view of the importance of the Cup-tie, it would be a wise move if the Everton directorate postponed this Reserve game until some future date. This would give the ground the best possible chance of recovery. This particularly Reserve game with West Bromwich Albion has already been postponed once on account of ground conditions.
Taking a line from Saturday's 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest –the game which saw Everton score their 100 th League goal of the season, but in which Dixie Dean did not get the 200 th League goal of his career with Everton –the Blues must concentrate on team work and forego playing up to any one man. Lack of team work lost Everton first division status, this season the error has been rectified. Let Everton stick to the ideal of Team Work. I am sorry that Dean will have to wait a least 10 days for his 200 th goal. Still it is not long to wait.
Room for Improvement
Cresswell, has disappointed his many admires since the Charlton game. His is capable of much better things than we have seen him provide this last week or two. Everton cannot afford any weakness in defence, and I hope to see Cresswell strike his happiest vein against Southport. The criticism apples equally to Gee, a great worker who, however, has failed to settle down quickly enough in recent games. The Forest had equally as much of the play in the first half as Everton, and everyone admired their gallantry, their quickness on the ball, their determination and grit. They were as brave as the Robin Hood who used to roam their county. Graham was the big man of the match. It is not long ago since Graham was a forward, but when tried as a pivot he was an instant success. Today he compares favourably with any in the land. Had the Forest attack been one smart as good as their rear division, Everton might not have won. Dean and Johnson were the best forwards because they were the men who varied their tactics and introduced most of the guile seen in the game. Critchley and Stein were good in approach work, but they always tried to find Dean when centring, and so their play suffered. Dean was well watched to be a really potent force, and I am convinced he would have been pleased had he not been exploited so often. Everton now require 13 points to be absolutely certain of promotion.
An Everton director, accompanied by Secretary Tom McIntosh, watched the Ary United –Partick Thistle game. The player under observation was David Ness, the Thistle outside-right.
HAVE SOUTHPORT A SECRET PLAN TO OVERTHROW EVERTON ?
February 25 th 1931. Evening Express.
Suporters say “Yes” But Players say Nothing.
Everton's team Unchanged.
The Most Placid Cup-Training Camp in the Country.
Have Southport a secret plan of campaign for their cup match with Everton on Saturday! In the seaside town this has become the outstanding topic of the day. Every other person one meets seems to know of Southport's “secret,” but exactly what is the supposed special plan I have not been able to discover. Certainly the players will shed no light on the matter. In some quarters it is believed that Southport are going to make a stupendous effort to rush through an early goal in the hope that it will upset Everton's morale. In others the idea is that a certain method of stopping Dixie Dean has been evolved. A third theory is that Southport have discovered a weakness in the Goodison team and intend to play on that without cessation. If there is a mystery, then only the Southport players can supply the solution, and they are as close as oysters. Suffice it to say, that Saturday's match holds no horrors for Southport. Were they preparing for an ordinary Third Division fixture the players would have indulged in exactly the same training methods. But they cannot disguise that extra touch of keenness that animates the Haig-avenue camp. Every player in the side is just living for 3 o'clock on Saturday. Not even the poor state of Goodison Park is likely to upset Southport. They have played on many heavy grounds this season in away games, and have done well. Goodison Park, even at its slippiest, is unlikely to upset their style of play. Should they win no team will have more thoroughly deserved their success. Should they lose. I know they will go down fighting to the last kick.
It Makes No Difference to Everton
No Worry; No Discussions; Just Usual Work.
By the Pilot
The one thing that is not discussed by the Everton players in training at Goodison Park is Saturday's Cup-tie. It is not indifference, but the realization that the game will call not for any superhuman effort, but reproduction of ordinary form. Not a word is said about tactics; not an extra ounce of effort beyond the usual is being expended in training; not a worry clouds the calm atmosphere that ordinary pervades Goodison Park. No matter how one might allow imagination to run riot, it would be difficult to form the impression that Everton are fitting themselves for a match that will place them in striking distance of capturing the greatest sports trophy in the world. Strange, yes; but it is a fact! “All happy; looking forward to a good game and a good victory.” This is today's Everton buttetlin. The Blues are delighted that they will be able to field the same team th8at has won three Cup matches this season. They have been fortune's favourities in avoiding injury, but it certainly gives them grounds for further confidence. The side to do duty is; - Coggins; Williams, Cresswell; McClure, Gee, Thomson; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein.
This afternoon the players were given a rest to watch the Reserves in action. There is only one more full day's work. On Friday morning Trainer Cooke will give his charges the finishing touches.
Everton's Men of the Moment
Billy Coggins (Goalkeeper)-
Called “Sailor” by his friends. A native of Bristol. It's a case of “all hands on deck” when Coggins is guarding the net. Thoroughly “able bodie.”
Ben Williams (Right back and captain)
Discovered playing on the coal heaps at Penrhiwceiber. Has done almost as well in the boxing ring as on the football field. A Welsh International who came to Goodsion Park from Swansea. The ideal captain; the ideal player.
Warney Cresswell (Left back)
Long headed and level headed, Warny. Makes football look easy. Once told me he loved Second Division football because “they give you the ball.” A brilliant positional player who makes his brain save his feet. Another international and still one of England's best defenders.
Joe McClure (Right half)
A few weeks back was regarded as a Central League player. Opportunity knocked at his door once and that was sufficient for Joe. Hails from Workington; the son of a famous footballer. A real find.
Charlie Gee (Centre-half)
Like Critchley, comes from Stockport. He still loves Stockport as much as he does Everton and Swimming. A champion water polo player.
Jock Thomson (Left Half)
The dour Scot. Everton got him from Dundee after all the directors, scouts and staff had watched him. Wish they had secured him after the first view now.
Ted Critchley (Outside-Right)
Another from Stockport County. One of the fastest wingers in the game. Has a director who “fathers” him and applies the slipper when he makes a mistakes.
Jimmy Dunn (Inside Right)
Diminutive, dainty, drapper, deceptive, deft, delightful. Dunn is the Maskelyne and Devantt of Everton. Can produce all sorts of schemes from “his pocket” while opponents look on. One of the magic five who dumbfounded England at Wembley three seasons ago. Formerly with Edinburgh Hibernians.
Dixie Dean (Centre-forward)
Is England's best –was always England's best. The selectors have recognised it again. The greatest header of a ball the game has ever seen. Some called him game has ever seen. One of the greatest personali8ties football has ever known
Tommy Johnson (Inside Left)
The man who put the spirit into team spirit. Liked by everyone. They say he is best with his left boot. Watch him use his right on the practice ground.
Jimmy Stein (Outside left)
An outside left whose best football is his right. Take notice of this. He was born at Glasgow. Was celebrated even before they named a song after him.
EVERTON RESERVES 4 WEST BROMWICH ALBION RESERVES 0
February 26 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Everton Reserves New Centre
Hodgson Gives Promising Display
Ted Sager saved Penalty Kick from Finch
The feature of the Everton Reserve's victory of 4-0 against West Bromwich Albion Reserves at Goodison Park, yesterday, was the appearance of Hodgson, a player 20 years of age. He was credited with being signed on by Liverpool along with a half-back from the sane club, but actually this young Marine man started in the Everton jersey, and played such an adept and alert game that he quite pleased the onlookers. He has one uncommon feature in keeping with Dean, namely, that his back-heading of the ball is deadly. I was pleased with his general display. Actually he played for Manchester City as well as Marine, and has scored 37 goals for 28 League and cup games. He scored 2 out of 4 in games for Manchester City. They say he is 5ft 10ins., but he does not look it. The Everton Central League side has been having a poor innings recently, but has now recovered, and Ashmore, the Albion goalkeeper, had to put up a fine show to prevent double figures.
Strong Half-back Line.
West Bromwich Albion were opposed by a half-back line composed of Britton, Griffiths, and McPherson –Everton's first team line for many weeks at the beginning of the season –and it was no surprise that the little Albion forwards were unsuccessful. Still, this raiding line gave Sagar quite a lot to do, and he saved a penalty kick taken by Finch. He with Griffiths were perhaps the most outstanding figures on their sides. The scorers were Martin (2), Wilkinson and Rigby, and Martin not only made Wilkinson play a good game, but shot strongly. Webster did likewise, although he was often covered when inclined to shoot. Webster first time driving is a special feature of his play, and Rigby also added power. Fitton was the best Albion forward, and the rear division had more than they could manager.
Teams ; - Everton; - Sagar, goal; Cook and Lowe, backs; Britton, Griffiths, and McPherson, half-backs; Wilkinson, Martin, Hodgson, Webster, Rigby, forwards. West Bromwich Albion; - Ashmore, goal; Finch and Foulkes, backs; Rix, Smith, and Clarke, half-backs; Boston, Sankay, Line, Murphy, and Fitton, forwards.
CAPTAINS' FINAL WORDS BEFORE THE GAME.
February 27 th 1931. Evening Express.
By the Pilot.
I should like to reach the semi-final in the first year of my captaincy, and we have a fine chance of doing so. In the Cup nothing is certain, but I am hopeful of success. -Williams.
I think we shall give Everton a good game. We are all fit and shall go on the field with a determination to win. It must be borner in mind that both sides start level. –McConnell.
How the Rivals reached Round 6
Round 3 beat Plymouth Argyle (a) 2-0
Round 4 Beat Crystal Palace (a) 6-0
Round 5 beat Grimsby Town (h) 5-3
Round 1 beat Darlington (h) 4-2
Round 2 beat Gainsborough Trinity (a) 4-0
Round 3 Beat Millwall (h) 3-1
Round 4 Beat Blackpool (h) 2-1
Round 5 beat Bradford (h) 1-0.
Training is over; everyone is fit; there are hopes of the ground being in comparatively good condition if we do not get heavy rain. All that remains now is the game. Victory will mean the shouldering of the Lancashire banner in the semi-final –an honour for either team and especially Southport, who have never been in the last four in their history. Let me say at once that I expect Everton to win. On form they look something in the nature of a certainty, but the cup competition is a great leveller and anything can happen. Southport have preformed gallantly so far –they even beat Bradford, who defeated Everton this season in a League match –but this is the first time they have been called on to travel, if we except the journey to Gainborough in Round 2. They are a clever side, not one of the kick-and-rush order. They have a stern defence and penetrative ability. Goodison Park will be heavy and trying, but Southport will not be upset by this. The mud will not upset them nearly so much as some people seem to think. It must be remembered that they are used to playing on League club grounds, which are as bad, if not worse, than Goodison Park is at present. Still, Everton are the team of the year, and everything indicates a victory for them. Undefeated since December 13, they have dropped only one point since. This represents ten league victories and three-cup victories. The club has escaped the injury bogy, and can field the eleven, which has carried then through the previous rounds. They play the highest class of football, and have secured more points and scored more goals than any club in the country. It will be a great fight with no quarter asked or given. Southport are assured of wonderful support, and a win for them would be the sensation of the competition. Preparation have been made for a record attendance.
A Commission of the Football league, which had been called to sit in London on Monday, to investigate the case of Ronald Dix between Everton and Bristol Rovers has been cancelled. Bristol Rovers, who had asked for the Commission, have notified the League that a witness cannot attend through illness.
SOUTHPORT TO TEST EVERTON
February 28 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
By John Peel
Everton are undoubtedly a great force, and on paper, at any rate, their task today would appear to be a comparatively easy one. Appearances, however, from a football point of view, are often deceiving and Southport are out to show that they are capable of testing the all-powerful Goodison park team to the full. In view of the apparent gulf between the sides the extent of the interest in the match is really astonishing, and the reserved seats have long since been taken up. There are, however, great spaces around the ground, and it is possible to house 65,000, so that these should be ample room particularly as the First Division match between Liverpool and Blackpool at Anfield will ease the pressure. If Southport maintain their reputation as Cu-fighters, it ought to be an interesting match, but Everton should win. Everything points that way for their record is a very impressive one. Still, funny things crop up in Cup-Ties, and so no doubt Southport will put in all they know in the endeavour to bring off the unexpected. Whatever happens, the visitors will contest the issue strongly, and their dashing forwards are likely to cause Williams and Cresswell endless trouble. The contrast in style will be interesting, too. Altogether the match should be one worth seeing. The kick-off in this and all other ties is at 3, and the teams at full strength, will be; Everton; - Coggins; Williams, Cresswell; McClure, Gee, Thomson; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein. Southport; Baker; Little, Robinson; Seagrave, Vincent, Holmes; Hills, McConnell, Waterston, Cowan, Roberts.