Notts County Transfer Fee Cut By £5OO
Liverpool Evening Express - Wednesday 01 February 1939
The Evening' Express understands that Everton F.C. directors have agreed to allow Notts County a £5OO rebate on the transfer fee the County agreed to pay Everton when they signed W. 11. (Dixie) Dean from Goodison last March. Watcher writes: 1 was told today that Notts County sent a deputation to Everton, and the Blues’ directors, after hearing the County’s case, decided to allow them a £5OO rebate on the £l,OOO still owing. The County agreed to pay the reduced balance this week, and 1 understand a cheque for the amount has now been sent from Nottingham. Notts County and Dean mutually agreed to cancel their agreement three weeks ago. Dean, who signed for Sligo Rovers, the League of Ireland club, last Friday, made only nine League appearances for the County, three last season and six this season. Dean’s first appearance f6r the Irish club, last Sunday, drew a record crowd of 5,000. Dean scored a goal.
EVERTON GO AHEAD AFTER POOR START
February 1, 1939. The Evening Express
Lawton’s 53-Mins. Goal
Everton continued their bid for the leadership of the First Division when they met Portsmouth, at Portsmouth today. The news of the day is that Stevenson and Watson have been granted benefits. Teams: - Sagar, goal; Cook and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Thomson (captain), half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Portsmouth: - Walker, goal; Morgan and Rochford, backs; Guthrie, Rowe, and Wharton, half-backs; Worrall, McAlinden, Anderson, Bagley, and Parker, forwards. Referee Mr. G. T. Gould (London). Everton were on the defensive in the opening moments, and Cook had an uncertain five minutes, McAlinden had a fine chance of putting Portsmouth ahead, but he blazed over after some clever interpassing which put the ball being in front of the Everton goal. The Everton forwards were good when they got moving, and after splendid work by Lawton, Boyes twice allowed the pace of the ball to beat him. Bentham put Gillick through splendidly and Morgan took the line of least resistance and conceded a corner kick. Portsmouth, however, had no fewer than six corners in the first ten minutes. Greenhalgh was injured in the face but was able to carry on. There was a strange hesitancy about the Everton rear-guard, which enabled nippy forwards to upset them repeatedly. Portsmouth continued to hold the upper hand; in fact, Everton’s play was lacking in conviction. Twice Gillick almost got through, but apart from that, Portsmouth continued quicker on the ball. Only a fine tackle prevented Worrall from testing Sagar after Anderson had put him through. It was desperate rather than methodical defence which kept Portsmouth at bay, but Pompey were not revealing steadiness or confidence when the chances presented themselves.
Pompey On Top.
Portsmouth continued to be superior, primarily because they had command over the ball, whereas Everton all too often allowed the ball to be their master. Had Portsmouth possessed marksmen they would have established a good lead. Parker failed, however, with only Sagar to beat. Then McAlinden drove inches over the top from the edge of the penalty area. Parker’s enterprise carried him through against Jones and Mercer and he got within two yards of goal with Sagar advancing. He tried to push the ball through, but placed beyond the far post. This was Everton’s narrowest escape so far, and as if to celebrate it they raced to the other end, where Lawton was just crowded out at the crucial moment. So far this had been Portsmouth all the way. Jones gave Bentham a clear field, but the inside right was slow in getting the ball under control, and by the time he had centred Portsmouth had it covered. Next Bentham pushed the ball across square for Stevenson to place into the crowd –Everton’s first real scoring effort of the match. This had been one of the poorest exhibition Everton had given this season. Portsmouth should have had the game won at half-time but failed because of poor finishing.
Half-Time; Portsmouth 0, Everton 0.
As so often happens with a team that fails to accept chances, Portsmouth found themselves fighting against the odds in 53 minutes, when Lawton gave Everton the lead. Everton showed vastly improved form on resuming, and after Lawton had almost run the ball into the net, Portsmouth broke away and claimed a penalty when the ball struck Cook on the hand. This was rightly turned down, when Cook made no effort to play the ball, and away went Everton to take the lead in 53 minutes. The ball was lobbed into the goalmouth, where Boyes surprised the opposition by out-heading Rowe, and pushing the ball across for Lawton to place low into the corner of the net with his left foot. Everton continued to be right on top, for Portsmouth had lost nearly all their confidence. Walker saved splendidly from Gillick.
EVERTON RES V. BURY RES
February 1, 1939. Evening Express.
In this Central League game at Goodison Park, today, the hard ground interfered with accurate play, but Everton were the more impressive. Bargh and Davies (G.) were lively raiders for Bury, but the most difficult shot that came Morton’s way was from the wing man Hulbert. Everton took the lead at the end of 30 minutes, when Cunliffe raced through and, drawing Fairhurst from his goal netted. Everton increased their lead with a goal by Keenan near the interval. It was engerineered by Merritt.
Half-Time Everton Reserves 2, Bury Reserves 0.
Five minutes after the resumption Davies (G.) reduced the arrears.
WINNER FOR LAWTON
Portsmouth 0 Everton 1 (Game 1672 over-all)-(Div 1 1630)
February 2 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton luck at Portsmouth
A goal by Lawton at 53 minutes gave Everton two valuable points at Portsmouth yesterday in the rearranged game postponed from last week. It was a fortunate victory in the sense that had Portsmouth taken their opportunities in the first half they would have held a lead sufficient to have won the game. But a side which will not take its chances must accept all responsibility. Portsmouth were definitely the better side in the first half for Everton failed to touch their normal game. In fact it was one of the poorest exhibitions I have seen Everton give for some considerable time. They are said to be a better side on a dry turf. The ground at Fratton Park, was good enough for anything, yet they failed to play with the rhythm which has brought them so many successes both name and away this season. In the first five minutes their defence was so much at sea that Portsmouth, with reasonable finishing should have had a least one goal and before the interval, had they marked up four they would not have had anything more than they were entitled to. Their general display at midfield was much superior to that of Everton but good midfield play without the finality of a shot gets one now here, so that at the interval the game was all square Worrall and Parker in particular, should have beaten Sagar rather easily with the chances they had at their disposal, but as I have already said, the shooting was deplorable. The forwards wanted to take time over their shots and this helped the Everton defence considerably. In the second half Everton showed a great improvement, and, let me say it was necessary and a goal in 53 minutes turned the game completely over to Everton. It was strange that the goal should come immediately following a strong plea for a penalty against Cook for hands but my view of the incident was that the ball hit Cook’s hand, so that the penalty was hardly a just reward. Mercer made, the pass which started Everton on their goal; hunt and Boyes neatly glided the ball forward so that Lawton could step up and take deliberate aim. He left Walker helpless with a left-footed shot which went into the corner of the net. Where Portsmouth had been so strong they were now weak. In fact it was a game of two halves. It had been Portsmouth’s first half, but was definitely Everton’s after the interval, and Everton should have added to their goal score when Gillick was twice through the opposition and should have made no mistake. On the first occasion he slipped when about top shoot, and the second he shot badly. Lawton, too, should have taken another goal, but he, like his colleague, was off the mark. Portsmouth made a determined effort to snatch the game out of the fire and Greenhalgh headed off the line with Sagar well beaten. Near the end of the Everton goalkeeper made a great save when he kept out a header by Parker. The football was never of the class associated with Everton, but a victory away from home is one which is always commendable even though there may be a slice of luck about it. Result Portsmouth 0 Everton 1. Teams Portsmouth:- Walker goal, Morgan and Rochford, backs, Guthrie, Rowe and Wharton half-backs,, Worrall, McAllen, Anderson, Baxley and Parker forwards, Everton:- Sagar goal, Cook and Greenhalgh backs, Mercer, Jones, and Thomson (captain), half-backs, Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. G.T.Gould (London). The Everton Club have granted benefits to Stevenson and Watson and have applied to the League Management Committee for sanction.
Everton Reserves 3 Bury Reserves 2
February 2 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post.
Central League (Game 28)
Everton Reserves were worthy winners of their rearranged Central League game at Goodison Park yesterday through they had to stave off a late period of pressure by the Bury side, which strove hard for the equaliser, in the last ten minutes. Everton however, had done the bulk of the attacking and had taken a two goals interval load on a ground which hardened by frost caused the ball to be rather lively. Bury would have been fortunate if they had snatched an equaliser. Cunliffe give Everton the lead, in half an hour after Davies (G.) and Roberts had missed chances for Bury and Gee had forced Fairhurst to make a finger tip save from a free kick. Cunliffe headed in from a corner, which he had himself forced from Henderson, Two minutes from the interval Keenan who had taken Trentham place at outside left scored a second goal when Bell allowed Merritt centre to pass by. Davies (G.), who had gone to the inside right position volleyed a goal for Bury from a corner but Hulbert 10 minutes after the interval. Bell headed a third for Everton and then Bury made their efforts. Hulbert hit the post with a good shot and Davies (G.) netted from the rebound. There was too much long kicking in the game and too many needles aggravations by the players. Cunliffe was Everton’s most persistent forward, while Gee let little past him, and Fairhurst performed well in the Bury goal. Everton team:- Martin goal, Saunders, and Jones backs, Britton, Gee, and Willimas half-backs, Merritt, Cunliffe, Bell, Sharp, and Keeners, forwards.
EVERTON ALL SET FOR BIG “DERBY”
February 2, 1939. The Evening Express.
No-Change Team Will Face Reds
They Have Won Five Games Off Rel.
Everton are all set for the great Merseyside “Derby” match against Liverpool, at Anfield, on Saturday. All their players came through yesterday’s test against Portsmouth at Fratton Park without injury. Therefore, the team that has won five matches right off the reel and conceded only two goals in the process will face the might of Liverpool. Greenhalgh received a knock in the face early on in the Portsmouth game, which the Blues won by the only goal recorded by Lawton in 53 minutes, but he is quite all right. These lads are going to give Liverpool a great game too, if they reproduced the form display in the second half. Everton were fortunate to turn around on terms. Portsmouth had only themselves to blame for not having the points in safe keeping by them. Portsmouth simply could not finish, however. They passed and re-passed right in front of the posts and paid the full penalty. Everton, who had been uncertain and lacking in accomplishment early on, suddenly struck their real game, and part from Lawton’s winner they had chances to take three more goals. Twice Gillick missed with only Walker to beat.
Poor First Half.
This was not a particularly attractive game for Everton’s first half form was too bad to be true, and Portsmouth got so far and then faded right out. Everton were much the superior side in the second half and had only three testing moments. Otherwise, it was Everton in the later stages of a game which one again forced home the lesson –you cannot afford to miss chances. Greenhalgh was easily the best player on the field. He had Worrall tried up from the start, and received excellent backing from Thomson, who seems to thrive on work. Thomson was the engineer of many a fine attack by his cool deliberate work. Tom Jones settled down to fine work after a shaky start, as did Willie Cook, who took a long, long time to get the measure of Parker. Mercer had a good game all through, and Bentham was the keenest worker on the field. There were interesting duels between Lawton and Rowe, with honours, and Gillick’s positional play was an cut standing feature. Stevenson and Boyes showed skill in the interchange of position, while there was no fault with Sagar.
EVERTON’S REBATE TO NOTTS COUNTY
February 2, 1939. The Evening Express
Blues For Germany By air?
Pilot Sports Log
Everton’s generosity in the case of Notts County and the transfer of Dixie Dean last March is typical of the club. They have decided to rebate £500 of the fee of £2,000. Dean played in only nine Football League games for the County, and the County treated him exceptionally well even in the final agreement which meant the mutual cancellation of the contract. Mr. Barnes, Notts County chairman, and Mr. Harry Parkes, the secretary manager, came over to interview the Everton directors on the point and went away happy.
Unless the Football Association place a ban on the arrangement –and this is highly improbable –Everton will be going to Germany in the close season, as I foreshadowed some time ago. For the first time in the history of the club, the players will go by air. Everything, as a matter of fact, is tentative –or “in the air,” if you like it that way –but at the moment the club is toying with the idea of flying to Germany. The final match of the season is at Grimsby, and afterwards the players will travel in one big air liner direct to Berlin. They will have their aftermatch bath in Grimsby and their dinner in Berlin” Time marches on.
Play Up Pompey
The win of the Blues at Portsmouth was sweet, for it enabled them to gain a point on strong-challenging Wolves and get rid of another away fixture while Derby County were winning at home. Every member of the Everton party, however, was rather sorry that it just had to be Portsmouth. Everyone sympathized with our good Portsmouth friends, whom no one in the First Division would like to lose. Everyone at Fratton Park does his best to make all welcome –and they succeed. Mr. Jack Tinn, the secretary-manager, was around straight away to greet us and make us welcome, and Mr. Vernon Stokes, one of the directors, joined us at the hotel. At the ground we met them all- Messrs W.C. Kiln, S.B. Leverett, Harry Pannell, S. Cribbs, R.J. Winnicott and J. Chinneck –and their dearest wish is that they meet one of the Liverpool clubs in the final at Wembley. The wish is mutual. Portsmouth have a good team which would soon rise if only the forwards would only shoot. My advice to them is to shoot at every opportunity and the spectre of the Second Division will fade away. Come on Portsmouth, let us have that old battle-cry of “Play up, Pompey.”
The Three Musketeers.
In the Everton “camp” they have three lads known as “The Musketeers.” Names –Stevenson, Boyes, and Gillick. They are always practical joking. Where they get their energy from is a mystery. The fact that Stevenson and Gordon Watson have been granted benefits by the club has prompted those on “the waiting list” to do their best. They make sure to say “Goodnight, Mr. So-and-so” on retiring to all the directors. It has become a great gar in the club. I discovered on the trip that Mr. Theo Kelly, the secretary, was something of a lyrical poet. He has written a good poem dedicated to Jock Thomson, the captain. Maybe it will be published in the official programme one day! Messrs George Evans and Dickie Williams were the directors present, with Gordon Watson again 12th man.
TWO MORE EVERTON BENEFICIARIES
February 2, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
With Others To Follow
Everton followers will join with me in congratulation to Alec Stevenson and Gordon Watson to whom the club has decided to grant a well-earned benefit this season. These two follow in the foot-steps of Cook, J. Jones, Jackson, Cunliffe and Mercer, who were handed their benefit cheques last August, and will probably be succeeded shortly by Stan Bentham due to complete five years service in a few weeks time, and Ted Sagar, who, next month, will have been with the club ten years and will thus have qualified for his second benefit. By the end of the season Everton will have distributed between £5,000 and £8,000 in benefit cheques to their players which must be something like a record for any club in one year. Of the two latest beneficiaries Stevenson of course, has been most in the limelight. Watson has been one of those solid club players who serve though they only stand and wait. He was signed by Everton in January 1933, from Blyth Spartans, but it was not until 1936-37 season that he made his league debut, and even then his first team appearances were limited to two. Last year he had nine senior outings, and this season three. It has been Watson’s misfortunate to be understudy to such capable players as first, Jock Thomson, and latterly Joe Mercer, but he is young enough even through he is getting a benefit to look forward to the time when he will get an opportunity to make a permanent niche for himself in the senior side. There was a time, about two years ago, when Everton almost yielded to the persuasion of Manager Bill Harvey, of Chesterfield and pared with Watson for £1,000. They have never regretted having changed their minds t the last minute. Stevenson, the might marvel who packs so terrible a shot for so small a player, needs no introduction, but I can refresh your memory by recalling that he started his career with Dublin Dolphins, went to Glasgow Rangers in 1932, and joined Everton in January 1934. During his five years at Goodison he has played in 173 league games, and scored 67 goals, his most prolific season being 1936-37 when he notched 19 in 41 matches. He has got eleven caps for Ireland. All he wants now is to add Cup and League medals to his collection –and maybe I shall do it this year” he told me some few weeks ago.
ANFIELD “DERBY” SHOULD BE GREATEST FOR YEARS.
February 3, 1939. Evening Express.
Half-Backs May Decide Liverpool-Everton Duel
Can Bush Master Lawton?
Seventy-Sixth Football league duel between Liverpool and Everton, at Anfield, tomorrow, promises to produce the greatest “Derby” struggle for years. Both clubs are among the leading four in the First Division, and both are hot on the F.A. Cup trail. Ground record is 61,036, but it looks like being broken tomorrow. What a test it will be, with Everton out to complete their fourth “double” of the season! Everton have had the better of arguments with the Reds, for of the 75 games played they have won 33 to Liverpool’s 24. In encounters at Anfield the account is even, both teams having won 14 games with nine drawn. Everton have preserved a 100 per cent record in 1939. They have won all five games, scoring 15 goals against two by the opposition. The same Everton eleven has figured in all those games. There is one factor which favours the Reds. Everton had a long journey to Portsmouth and back and a hard game on Wednesday, and this may take toll tomorrow. Naturally, the Everton boys will not hear of defeat. Neither will the Reds! I expect a brilliant struggle, with Everton making a great bid to regain the leadership of the League for the first time since October 29. The game is also of vital importance to the Reds who, if they win, can steal a march on championship rivals, for Derby County, Everton and Wolves are all playing away from home. This will be a great test of half-back strength, and one of the features should be the duel between Bush and Lawton. At Goodison Park in October, when Everton beat the Reds 2-1, Bush opposed the England leader and dealt with him as effectively as any centre-half I have seen this season. The Reds revert to their pre-Christmas defence with Cooper and Harley in double harness. This means three changes as compared with the first match between the clubs this season –Kemp, Harley and Eastham playing for Riley, Rogers and Van Den Berg. Everton’s team is identical. In my opinion the side with forwards capable of outwitting the brilliant half-backs on both sides will gain the day, but in any event I look forward to the game of the century in the “Derby” series –and a draw will satisfy my desires. Liverpool: - Kemp; Cooper, Harley; Busby, Bush, McInnes; Niewenhuys, Taylor, Fagan, Balmer, Eastham (H.). Everton; - Sagar, Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
COLOURS FOR EVERTON’S CUP-TIE
February 3, 1939. Evening Express.
Pilot Sports Log
Everything has now been arranged for Everton’s F.A. Cup-tie against Birmingham at St. Andrews on Saturday, Feb 11. Owing to the fact that both clubs wear blue, they will have to change colours. The clubs have agreed that Everton shall wear their first change colours –white jerseys with black knickers. Birmingham will forsake their blue jerseys and wear red and white stripes.
Those Merseyside football enthusiasts who cannot manage to get to Anfield for the big game tomorrow will find good fare at Goodison Park. There Everton entertain Liverpool in what is known as the “junior” with Central League points and bonus as the prizes. On form, the Blues should win, for they are going along splendidly in their bid to in the Central League championship for the second season in succession. Liverpool are struggling again, and while the Reds got the better of the Blues in the Lancashire Cup this season, I expect Everton to won this game.
There is to be rivalry between the “B” teams of Everton and Manchester U this season. Both clubs are proud of their young lads, and as the outcome of talks between the clubs two “test” games will be held. The “B” teams met at Old Trafford on April 19, and on Wednesday, April 26, they will play a return game at Goodison Park. The Blues juniors are not engaged tomorrow, but the “A” team engages in an important Liverpool County Combination game at Bellefield, West Derby, when championship rivals in Runcorn provide the opposition. Everton: - “A” Burnett; Precott, Lambert; Wyles, Edwards, Lindley; Barber, D. Johnson, Hume, K. Dean, Keenan.
TOMORROW’S ANFIELD DERBY MAY SET UP NEW ATTENDANCE RECORDS.
February 3, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
How The Rivals Have Fared In Past Season
Given favourable weather conditions tomorrow, the meeting of Liverpool and Everton may set up a new ground record. It is a long time since both clubs were running so well together in Cup and League and the appeal of the match is sufficient to pull even the most lukewarm followers of the game. The present ground record at Anfield stands at 61,036 (receipts £4,007) for the Cup-tie with Tranmere Rovers just over five years ago. This will be the 76th “battle” in the series. So far the honours rest with Everton, who have won 33 games (18 at Goodison and 15 at Anfield) to Liverpool’s 24 (11 at Goodison and 13 at Anfield), with 18 drawn. Everton have scored 120 goals, Liverpool 109. Everton won the first meeting this season t Goodison 2-1, in a game which was notable for some rather heated passages at times and a debatable penalty when Sagar pushed Van Den Berg after making a clearance. There was also an “incident when an Everton player, normally one of the most imperturbable, so far let his feeling get the better of him that he earned a caution –it was lucky to be no more – for an offence on Nieuwenhuys.
Keep it Clean.
On the whole, however, the game was a clean and sporting one. I hope tomorrow will be the same. Time was when these meetings tended to develop into anything but a sporting exhibition. Happily those days are past, and while the result means much to both sides in their present position in the League, the standard of football and the reputation of the clubs is more to be esteemed than the score at the final whistle. After a spell of four League games and a Cup-tie without a goal, Lawton has rediscovered his prowess as a marksman to the extent of bagging seven in the last four matches, including a quartet against Doncaster. Can Bush keep him in check tomorrow? When Lawton is held there is not quite the marksmanship from Everton’s inside forwards that one would like, through Boyes and Gillick are always a danger, particularly the latter, whose penchant for cutting in and taking the middle path when Lawton veers to the wing is bringing him a respectable goal crop. Of Everton’s 52 League goals to date. Lawton has got 21, Stevenson 8, Gillick 7, Boyes 3, and Bentham 2, the remained being distributed amongst Cook (four penalty goals) and reserve forwards, who have come in for injured members. The distribution in Liverpool’s case is more even. Fagan is top scorer with 11, “Nivvy” and Taylor are on the 9 mark, Balmer comes next with 8, while 7 have been divided on the left wing between Kinghorn, Van Den Berg, and Harry Eastham. Other things being equal I like a forward line where the scoring is fairly well spread out. There is less dislocation when one member is bottled up.
Reds Are Confident.
If Everton can force a division of the points they will do well. Only three clubs have managed that at Anfield this season, and only one has taken full measure. Liverpool are playing in confident fashion, and with a greater touch of class than for a long time. In that I think we can trace the hands of Manager George Kay, who is a firm believe that the best type of football pays bigger dividends in the long run. Everton were not at their best against Portsmouth on Wednesday. On top of that they come to what is probably their hardest league match so far not quite as fresh as they might be. I think it will be a case of defence on top most of the time. The gates will be opened at 1.30, and spectators are requested to move towards the front and centre of their respective sections in order to leave the gangways as clear as possible. The Edge Hill L.M.S. hand will be in attendance as usual to brighten up the waiting time. The teams will line up as follows; Liverpool: - Kemp; Cooper, Harley; Busby, Bush, McInnes; Niewenhuys, Taylor, Fagan, Balmer, Eastham (H.). Everton; - Sagar, Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
EVERTON TOP-OF-THE-TABLE VICTORY
February 4, 1939. The Liverpool Football Echo
Liverpool Well Beaten At Anfield
Reds Lack Shooting Fire
Everton won a “Derby” double when they beat Liverpool at Anfield today, and as Derby County gained only a point, Everton, with the better goal average go to the top of the table. It was a solid victory, which no one could argue about, if they were fair. Liverpool were shot shy, and this was contradictory to what I had been led to expect. It is Everton’s first double over their local rivals since 1931-32. Teams: - Liverpool: - Kemp, goal; Cooper (captain) and Harley, backs; Busby, Bush and McInnes, half-backs; Niewenhuys, Taylor, Fagan, Balmer and Eastham, forwards. Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Thomson (captain), half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. H.C. Williams (London). There was an immense crowd at Anfield. I have never seen so many people outside the ground half-an-hour before the kick-off and directors told me they had to fight their way through to the doors, so that there was every indication of new figures being put for the Liverpool ground. A casualty list was soon built up, for long before the game started people were being taken from the kop and other parts of the ground in a state of collapse or having suffered through the extensive crushing. One man had a leg broken very early on, and it was a continual procession of spectators hanging on to the arms of policemen being taken down the players entrance. The injured man, John Andrews aged 54, of Albert Villa, Derby Road, Huyton, broken leg, was taken to Stanley Hospital and transferred to Mill Road.
Two By Two
The teams were at full strength, so there would be no execuses on that score. The ground was hard, and as in all Derby games in recent years the players came out two by two, Cooper and Thomson of course being in the lead. It was a grand day, just that nice little nip in the air, the keenness of the wind having blown itself out so that everybody, with the exception of those who had to endure the crushing, was comfortable. Everton won the toss and Liverpool kicked off towards the kop. Major Buckley, the Wolves manager, was an onlooked, what time Mr. George Kay, the Liverpool manager, was At Huddersfield taking a look at the Wolves. The ground was very slippery and almost immediately Everton ran into the Liverpool goalmouth Stevenson being a trifle slow to accept a pass, which a Liverpool player took instead. The player found it difficult to keep their feet. Yet Everton, through Lawton, who ran out to the left, centred right across the goalmouth, but there was no one to give the ball the ball the necessary touch to make a goal. Greenhalgh twice nipped in to take a pass booked for Nieuwenhuys, and it was not until Jones slipped that Liverpool had thrown any weight at all on the Everton defence.
Gillick made a Meredithian back-heel to Lawton which the Everton leader just failed to gather. Then Bentham shot but without any luck. Everton were playing artistic football, and the Liverpool defence was so perturbed about matters that they called all hands into defence. Lawton and Bush were like long-lost brothers they were never-parted. The Liverpool attack had little or no chance thus far, so well were the Everton half-backs defending. Twice Kemp slipped on the treacherous turf when he was taking back passes, and Harley, having to work rather hurriedly, gave away a corner. At last Liverpool got into something like working order. They had taken the strain remarkably well, and their reply being held up by a timely intervention by Jones.
The Bentham Glide.
At 14 minutes Everton drew first blood. Mercer was the engineer-in-chief in the making of it, for he put a ball out to the right wing to Stevenson and the result was a corner. For once in a way a corner proved fatal, for Bentham neatly glided Gillick’s flag kick into the far side of the goal, Kemp rushing over in desperation without having any chance of making contact. Everton were worthy of their lead for had undoubtedly been the superior side. Liverpool could not get going hardly, and Sagar had not had a shot to deal with. Considering the handicap under which the game was played, the fare was quite good, Liverpool’s defence was not quite as good as it might have been for there given to sliing his clear. Plenty of thrills and one when Boyes, well inside the penalty area made one of his powerful shots which hit Cooper’s hands. The claim for a penalty was ignored and rightly so, for Cooper had no chance whatever of pulling his hand away, prevent his handling. The referee greatly impressed me for his quick decisions, and I liked the way Niewenhuys and Busby changed places in their efforts to break down Everton’s defensive barrier. McInnes was dead on the mark with a long shot, but Sagar caught the ball cleanly and well. At this point Liverpool had come more into the game in an attacking sense, and very often it took the combined efforts of the Everton defence to keep Fagan, Balmer and Taylor in subjection.
The Lawton-Bush dull went on, and once again their heads came together and each suffered a hurt, not serious thank goodness. Fagan with a nice flick of the head sent Balmer on his way, and the Everton defence in the opposite direction, so that Balmer was able to get in his shot, which was saved at the foot of the post by Sagar, with Taylor standing right on top of him. The referee gave a foul against the Liverpool man, apparently because there was a suggestion of danger in the way he held his boot. Gillick had a chance when he was through, only to shoot weakly, and then Stevenson worked his way into the Liverpool goalmouth, with no Liverpool man able to say him nay, and it looked a certainty for a second goal to Everton. Stevenson shot strongly, but had just a shade too much loft on his drive, so that the ball hit the underneath side of the bar and cannoned back into play. Kemp, otherwise, was well and truly beaten. Lawton fouled Bush almost underneath the Liverpool bar, and Cook to check an Eastham run, brought his hands into use, the free kick being of no consequence. Gillick, by neat footwork, got free of Harley and made a hot which went like an arrow outside the far upright. One could feel sorry for goalkeepers today, for their foothold was anything but secure, and Sagar slipped as he was rushing across to cover a Niewenhuys shot, but was able to recover as the ball passed out. A free kick was given against Everton when Greenhalgh was alleged to have brought down Balmer, and the game was suspended for a minute or two while Balmer received attention.
Half-Time Liverpool 0, Everton 1.
I hear that one of the gates leading into the kop was burst open and hundreds of people got into the ground free. Liverpool opened the second half with a flourish, their combination being of good class even though there was no finish to it. Busby came along with a terrific shot, which was cannoned away, and then Kemp put his back into Gillick in an unlawful way, but was not called to book for the offence. Everton came back to their first half form. Then, following a corner kick, Nieuwenhuys got a nice ball from Taylor and was off like a shot for goal, but he drove the ball high over the bar. Liverpool promised so much and gave so little. In their approach work they could take the ball forward by fast and good passing movements, but near goal there was never any fire because they seemed shy to shoot unless they through a goal was a certainty. Balmer tried one from well outside the area which went spinning over the bar, and then Eastham, taking a ball from the outside right, dragged it back in front of goal and things looked rather desperate from an Everton point of view. When Mercer went out to make a tackle he slipped, which made things look even worse, but Mercer made a grand recovery, gathered the ball, and, beating two men, turned defence into attack. Busby and McInnes tried desperately hard to get their forwards going without success, and when Everton went forward on their left flank, Lawton almost surprised Kemp, who dropped the ball as he was effecting a save. The game was full of minor fouls, none of which were serious, and the encounter still continued to be a determined. Lawton could not get away from Bush, who was holding the middle very solidly. Bush once just managed to get his shoulder to Lawton as the Everton player was dashing into goal. Liverpool had certainly improved, but there was still lack of fire in their front line. There was little shooting in the game at this stage so one had to be content with midfield fare, some of which was good and some not quite so good. It wanted another goal to brighten up the game, and it came at 73rd minute.
Gillick got hold of the ball and pushed it forward for Lawton who although challenged by two Liverpool players, shouldered them off and flashed the ball into the net like lightening. Less than half a minute before play had been in the other goalmouth, so you can imagine how fluctuating a game it was. A two goal lead at this point put Everton in a rather commanding position. They became even more fanciful than ever, and Gillick in particular showed his mastery of the ball when beating Harley by a mere flick of the boot. Liverpool still fought it out, but they could not get anywhere near Sagar. If it was not Jones who held them at bay, it was Mercer and Thomson. Liverpool’s shooting? Well, there just had not been any, whereas Everton were always the more deadly near goal. They showed this when Stevenson shot, and Kemp was unable to hold the ball, which left Lawton with the simply task of striding up and tapping the ball into goal at 82 minutes. Lawton tried to improve his goal record but entirely missed the ball, and at the conclusion of a sternly-fought game Everton were attacking. There was much shaking of hands between the players as they left the field. Final: - Liverpool 0, Everton 3. Attendance 55,994; receipts £3,489.
AN OLD SCORE AT ST. ANDREW’S.
February 4, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Everton-Birmingham Tie Is No Doddle For Mersey Blues
League Tailpiece May Come Up With A Bang
Yet Everton’s Artistry Has Ability And Power To Win
Birmingham F.C! What memories does that name bring back? None for me this season, for I have not seen the side play, for when Everton visited St. Andrews I was unable to make the trip, but from their League record they cannot be a great side by any means. It is however, such sides that spring surprises in the Cup competition. Look a Walsall. Right at the end of their table, they have played through two rounds and are not unduly perturbed over their visit to Huddersfield. How often at the end of the day’s play do we glance through the results column and are staggered to see that so-and-so have won, beaten a team much better placed “legally”? Everton have had that experience more than once this season; in fact they have a wretched record against the wooden spoonists. The first defeat was at the hands of Huddersfield, bottom of the League then followed losses at Leicester, Birmingham, and Brentford, and at the time each of the clubs was holding up the rest of the league. Football is funny that way. It is no respecter of persons, and the cup is even a bigger gamble than any other tournament. So we must not look upon Everton’s game with Birmingham as a foregone conclusion because the latter are wooden spoonists, whereas Everton are at the other end of the table. League form is not always a true guide to Cup warfare; it can be anything but that, and let us hope that it is all wrong on this occasion for Birmingham’s League success over Everton is of such recent date that it is still in the memory. Now I am not in a position to give an opinion on that game, but from what the boys tell me they had their chances to win, and should have won but I will wager that the Birmingham players were equally as certain that they were entitled to their win. That is the usual comment after a match where the margin has been small. It will be of no use for Everton to say that they should have won this tie if Birmingham are in the next round. Birmingham at one time used to be a tousy side, but from what I hear they play a better type of game nowadays. Well, that being so, patrons of St. Andrews should see a good game, for Everton rely solely on their football ability to pull them through. It has served them well and brought them high praise up and down the country, and there will be no alteration because this is a cup match. They have a belief in their football artistry. It defeated Derby County when the critics one and all voted against them; if squashed the life out of little Doncaster, and Everton are more than hopeful that it will do the same at Birmingham I think it will. When Everton were at Birmingham in the League game they were without Tommy Jones, and that makes a big difference to the side. Suppose Wolverhampton took Cullis out of the half-back line –it would unbalance the team, or, at least upset things. Jones’s value to Everton is immense. He can stop em equally as well as Erbie Roberts used to do, and has that added charm and artistry. I hear a lot of talk as to the best centre half-back playing in football. Well, my verdict goes to Jones, even though I have a very high opinion of Cullis. Birmingham will fight to the bitter end, and they are born Cup-fighters, for it is not so many years since they figured in the final with their neigbours West Bromwich Albion. They took Charlie Craven from Manchester United as the key forward, and the former Grimsby inside right is a great craftsman. Walter Halsall will be all out to show Liverpool what they have missed, for he is Merseyside-born, having played in the Bootle area before he went to Bolton Wanderers as an amateur. He was later with Blackburn Rovers. He will find Lawton a problem –they all do. I am looking forward to a grim struggle with Everton putting through at the first attempt. They don’t want a draw if they can help it, for that only brings them additional games, and in their position in the table they want a more normal programme, for heavy times lie ahead. Two more points and Everton are free from relegation. Figure that one.
February 4, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
By Louis T. Kelly.
Only three of Everton’s Cup winning team of 1933 are now in the side –Sagar, Cook and Thomson. Five of the other eight have ceased playing in League football.
Everton gave Ellesmere Port Town F.C. £100 for Joe Mercer, and the Wolves gave Ellesmere Port Wednesday F.C. £10 for Stan Cullis.
Everton have won eight matches by the odd goal, Derby County nine.
Everton have only been beaten twice outside the city’s walls since November 12.
Bill Cook’s pen is getting almost as mighty as his boot.
Joe Mercer has not had a League match goal since 1935-36. But he has made a few.
Greenhalgh is developing into a second Hapgood at saving off the goal line.
L’POOL RES OPEN SCORING AT GOODISON
February 4, 1939. The Evening Express
Good Defence Against Everton Res
There was a large attendance at Goodison Park for the Derby game between Everton and Liverpool Reserves. Everton quickly opened up with a clever right wing movement, which led to Cunliffe gliding the ball over to the opposite wing, where Barber slipped up in attempting to get across his centre. It was soon obvious that the players were finding it difficult to keep their feet on the treacherous surface, Kinghorn falling when attempting to swerve round Saunders. Everton showed the more effective football, and Riley, after bringing down a centre by Barber, did well to clear a particularly good shot from Trentham. Barber was quickly away again, but Riley cleared without difficulty. Liverpool replied with a shot by G. Patterson, which passed across the goal and, in the following minute, Kinghourn drove a free kick directly to Lovett, who cleared without difficulty. Liverpool had another chance when Jones centred, but E. Patterson flashed the ball the wrong side of the upright. The Reds were playing much better at this stage and Browning, going into the front line, passed out to R. Jones, whose centre was cleverly driven into the net by E. Patterson. The well-worked goal came after 16 minutes. Everton had a chance when a Liverpool player was pulled up for offside, but there was more danger when barber was fouled on the edge of the penalty area, Riley brilliantly turning over the bar Britton’s free kick. The Liverpool defence was playing resolutely against Everton’s clever front line, but Britton spoiled a good chance when he screwed behind a ball which he intended to place into the goalmouth. Further danger to the Liverpool goal came when Sharp was fouled, Riley cleverly turning over the bar Britton’s free kick. Everton had been attacking persistently for some time and a couple of minutes from the interval they deservedly equalized. Barber, throughout the game, had been sending across some beautiful centres, and on this occasion he centred for Bell to shoot in. Riley partially saved but the ball went to Sharp, who headed through without difficulty.
Half-Time Everton Res 1, Liverpool Res 1.
LEADERS’ SUPERIOR TACTICS COMPLETES ‘’DERBY’’ DOUBLE
Liverpool 0 Everton 3 (Game 1673 over-all)-(Div 1 1631)
February 6, 1939. Liverpool Daily Post
The season’s Merseyside ‘’double’’ went to Everton for on Saturday they defeated their city rivals by the convincing margin of 3 goals to nothing. Who can argue against, such a score? There will be some who will try, but I think they will find it difficult to find a basic on which to argue. Everton were unquestionably the better side. The score was commensurate with the play, as the more level-headed Anfielder will readily agree. Whereas the Everton forwards ever promised goals, Liverpool’s attack rarely troubled Sagar the Everton goalkeeper. I went to Anfield expecting a close struggle. I had heard such a lot about the new Liverpool: a Liverpool with an attack full of shooting stars, and a switch that was likely to trouble the Everton defence but I saw neither, for it was in attack where Liverpool failed. There was no comparing between Everton’s front line and that of Liverpool. Not one member of the Anfielders line showed any ability to outwit the opposing defenders. Sagar was without a shot for neatly, half an hour. I think Liverpool’s best shot was made by McInnes, who hit a smashing drive, which Sagar dealt with ably. Let us take shock of Liverpool’s shooting. Two by Balmer, one sent the ball over the crossbar at express speed, one by Taylor, which Sagar saved, and another by Nieuwenhuys, which was well off the mark. There you have Liverpool’s full scoring chances. There was no art, nor craft in the attack. At times they gave glimpses of fast combination but near the penalty area they had no ideas for getting the better of Jones, and company. I must have caught Liverpool on a bad day, for they could not be where they are without having previously done much better. They will have to be a different team if they are to do anything at Wolverhampton next Saturday, but they most probably will. I hope so. The ground was not so easy to play as it looked for there were times early on when the players could not keep their feet, so that in the circumstances it was a grand game, and would have been better if Liverpool had given any hope of breaking through the Everton defence. The winners were on the top almost throughout even Liverpool were playing at their best; their best on the day. For close on an hour Liverpool challenged Everton’s superiority, for Bentham goal, scored at 15 minutes did not unduly upset Liverpool, but I failed to see the usual ‘’fire’’ about the Anfielders so that Everton’s greater skill and craftsmanship told it own tale in the end. One of the chief reasons for Liverpool’s subjection was the work of the Everton half back line. Thomson Jones, and Mercer were terrier-like in their tackling. No Liverpool man was allowed to settle on the ball for a second. This meant that things had to be done hurriedly, which is not conducive to accuracy.
The Everton attack was full of schemes.
Stevenson went into the open places to pick up the stray ball and deliver it to be a colleagues. There was more unison about Everton’s play was, and although Bush did well against Lawton in a stopping sense he rarely gave a helping hand to his forwards. Everton should have scored before they did, as Lawton had offered Stevenson what looked a simple chance, and Gillick pushed one over which Lawton failed to gather.
Then came the first goal.
Bentham had been anything but a prolific scorer this season-this was his third goal, but what a good one it was. It was a header of the Dean variety which glided the ball into the far side of the goal from Gillick’s corner kick. Everton never looked back although Liverpool (spurred on) put more ‘’bites’’ into the game, and often sounded the Everton defence only to find it unbreakable. Everton’s more methodical combination brought its due reward. The Liverpool defence put up a stout resistance yet it could not stop Stevenson from going though and shooting on to the crossbar when he should have scored without difficulty. The ball shook the woodwork and bounded back into play. What time the onlookers were shouting goal. It was a narrow escape for Liverpool, and enabled them to turn round with but a single goal deficit. Everton were more superior in the second half than they had been in the first. Liverpool never gave up trying, but at last had to capitulate to the better side, and when Lawton took a pass from Gillick shouldered off his two challenges and smacked home a grand goal it proved the beginning of the end from a Liverpool point of view. That goal came at 73 minutes, and from then on it became all Everton who began to become a little frivolous, yet at the same time a menace to the Liverpool defence, Kemp had kept a good goal. He had no chance with either of the two shots which beat him, but he was not faultless, when the third one was chalked up against him. I admit Stevenson’s shot had plenty of power behind it, but Kemp got his hands to it, he failed to hold it however, and Lawton simply ran forward and tapped the ball into the net. Nieuwenhuys has never been up subdued when I have been, watching him, he got a little help from his colleagues and Eastham did little of note. Balmer and Fagan worked hard but Jones was their master at every move. Busby and McInnes tried all they knew to get the attack into something like working order, but it was not their (the forward) day. Cooper and Harley stood up well to Everton’s pressure, but Liverpool could never hope to win with such frailty in attack . Everton claimed a penalty when Boyes shot and Cooper’s hand came into contact with the ball, but the referee was quite right in ignoring the appeal, for the ball had struck Cooper’s hand. I don’t see how the Liverpool captain could have got his hands out of the way in time. At the other end a similar sort of thing happened to Jones, but on this occasion the referee gave a foul. Greenhalgh came under the spectators ban when he bought down Balmer. Now I asked two former referees their opinion on the matter, and what do you think their answers were? One was for, and the other against a foul. Everton were a fine side from stem to stern. No weakness anywhere. Attendance 55,994 receipts £3.489 result Liverpool 0; Everton 3. Teams Liverpool:- Kemp, goal, Cooper (captain) and Hartley, backs, Busby, Bush, and McInnes half-backs, Nieuwenbusy, Taylor Fagan, Balmer, and Eastham (h) forwards. Everton:- Sager, goal, Cook and Greenhalgh backs Mercer, Jones (t) and Thomson (captain), half-backs, Gillick Bentham Lawton Stevenson and Boyes forwards. Referee Mr. H.C Williams (London).
Everton Reserves 1 Liverpool Reserves 1
February 6 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Central League (Game 29)
A 1-1 draw was a fair result to a typical ‘’Derby’’ game between Everton Reserves and Liverpool Reserves at Goodison Park although two splendid efforts by Bell. Late on in the game, had registered instead of striking the woodwork a different story would have been told. Lovett played well in the Everton goal while Saunders and Jones were safe full backs. The home side were unfortunate in losing Saunders, who was taken off in the second half with a badly cut head following a collision. Britton, Gee and Milligan all played steadily and backed up the attack in expert style. Among his forwards, Barber, Bell, and Sharp were outstanding. Riley kept a good goal for Liverpool and made some splendid saves. He was covered well by the backs Lambert and Peters. Browning who played a real captain’s part was the best of the halves. The forwards were well led by Paterson (E), who along with Patterson (G.), was a constant source of trouble to the Everton defence having many interesting duels with gee. Both goals were scored in the first half Patterson (e), netted for Liverpool, and Barber equilising a minute before the interval. Everton:- Lovett goal, Saunders, and Jones (je) backs, Britton, Gee (captain), and Milligan, half-backs, Barber, Cunliffe Bell Sharp, and Trenthm, forwards. Liverpool :- Riley, goal, Lambert, and Peters, backs, Browning, Rogerrs, and Lloyd half-backs Jones (r), Jones (wh) Patterson (e), Patterson (g) and Kinghorn, forwards. Placed 3, played 29 won 16, lost 8, draw 5, for 52, against 50 points 37.
LIVERPOOL COUNTY LEAGUE
Everton ‘’A’’ 3 Runcorn Reserves 1
February 6, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
At west Derby. There was little between the sides during the open half, although Everton had the lead at the interval though a goal by Sweeney after a good heading movement by Hulmes. Both teams displayed excellent misfield combination, but Everton gained the superiority in the latter stages and further goals were obtained by Edwards (penalty), and Johnson, Evans scored for the visitors. Lambert, Edward Lindsay, and Johnson were prominent for the home side Johnson James Foxley and Jones doing good work for Runcorn.
EVERTON AND L’POOL GET READY FOR CUP
February 6, 1939. The Everton Express.
Merseyside’s two “big guns” are settling down to serious training for Saturday’s fifth-round ties. Everton, perched again at the head of the First Division, thanks to their brilliant 3-0 win over Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, are already back at Harrogate. They travelled there yesterday, the following players being a charge of Mr. Theo Kelly, the secretary, and Mr. Harry Cooke, the trainer; Sagar; Cook; Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Tom), Thomson, Watson, Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. The Players were given an “Easy” today, but the most encouragement news is that none of the players is suffering from injury, and although the team has not yet been chosen you can rest assured that there will be no change for the visit to Birmingham. This is how the Blues are expected to line up: - Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Tom), Thomson, Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. The players will do their training at the Harrogate town ground with golf at Oakdale. Everton will be spent at cinemas and theates and they will visit a boxing show on Wednesday. The players will remain at Harrogate until Saturday morning and travel direct to Birmingham via Leeds.
Balmer All right.
After the Everton game on Saturday, doubts were expressed at Anfield regarding the ability of Balmer to play for the Reds against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Cup-tie at Molinuex. Today there is good news. Balmer will be fit. It was the tremendous half-back power of Everton which enabled them to beat the Reds at Anfield and so gain their fourth “double” in comfortable style. In my preliminary on the match I wrote; “This will be a great test of half-back strength…. And the side with forward capable of outwitting the brilliant half-back on both sides will gain the day.” That is precisely what happened. The Everton half-backs took command right from the start and never lost their grip. The Reds’ attackers could never master the grand Mercer-Jones-Thomson combination. The Liverpool intermediates failed to strike the real form. There you have the difference between the side. Add to this the fact that Everton were yards quicker on the ball –despite their hard mid-week game at Portsmouth –and were strong in front of goal, and you will see why the Reds are pointless in the season’s “Derby” games. Bush played well against the alert Lawton for an hour before Bush was mastered and yet he never compared with the nonchalant Jones, the “key” man in the fine Everton force. Cooper was worried by the Blues forward inspiration, Stevenson, and it was because Gillick and Bentham relied on ball control and manceuvre rather than pace that Harley was so often beaten. Kemp was the man who stood out in the Reds side. He kept the score down by numerous brilliant saves. The best Liverpool forward was Balmer, but even he could not shake off the grip of these intrepid Everton half-backs. Sagar had two testing moments and came through, but it shows how Liverpool were shut out when I state that they forced not one corner throughout a game which was rather too one-sided. Greenhalgh was the best back on the field, and each of the Everton forwards was alert and progressive, with Bentham again that 100 per cent grather; Stevenson the cute and cunning; Lawton the deadly rapier and Gillick and Boyes shining on the wings. Cook completed a real fine team of purposeful workers and skilled craftsmen. The fact that Liverpool played well below form –and they did –cannot detract from the merit of this Everton triumph, which completed a run of six successive wins in 1939 with a goal average of 18 goals against two by the opposition. Lawton (2) and Bentham scored Everton’s goals.
February 6, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
What happened to the Liverpool forwards on Saturday? Had they the Cup-tie at the back of their minds, and were not prepared to take any risks, or was it that they had not the subtlety to beat the strong Everton half back line? There was something amiss for they were never in the game. This Liverpool team was said to be the best they have had for some years, and in view of what they had done, and their league position. I was quite prepared to believe all that had been said about them. I readily admit that I expected them to give Everton the fight of their lives, but as matters turned out, Everton sailed through the game in a manner which surprised me. I had expected something better from the Anfielders, but they must have saved up their feeblest forward display for my special benefit. Only six teams in the League have scored more goals than Liverpool, so the forwards must have been doing their stuff at some time or other, but it was not on Saturday, for the whole of the five forwards were shot shy. Busby and McInnes gave them all manner of passes, but all to no purpose, for they were unable to ultise then. Of course, one of the reasons why they failed was because the Everton half-backs were too good for them. Thomson, Mercer and Jones locked them up as securely as though they had been in a prison cell. They had no method about them no artifice to outwit the Everton defenders, and only for one brief spell did they promise to get on equal terms, and that was immediately after Bentham’s goal. Individually and collectively, the Liverpool attack failed lamentably, whereas the Everton front line, by flashing combination, harried the Liverpool defence severely, and the value of Bush at all times was immense. He held Lawton for over an hour, and many rare battles these two boys had between themselves. But Lawton only wants half a chance and he got it in the second half, to score a smashing goal. It was the only real chance he got until Kemp failed to hold a Stevenson shot and Lawton had the simple task of tapping the ball over the line. Everton’s victory was as complete as the score denotes, for their attack looked good for goals’ and would have had others had it not been for Kemp. He had three times as much work to do as Sagar, and did it well until Stevenson’s shot came along. I think Liverpool’s best shot came from McInnes, although Busby was unlucky with his shooting. It does not say much for a forward line when it has got to trust its half backs to get goals, but that is what Fagan and Company did on Saturday.
Stevenson My Man.
Everton were always the cleverer side. They had more moves up their sleeves than their rivals; mores that could, and did, outwit the opposition well though. Bush, Harley and Cooper defended, Bentham’s goal –his third this season –was a gliding Dean header, and shortly afterwards Stevenson should have scored when he almost carried away the crossbar with a fierce shot. One never felt afraid when Liverpool were advancing, for at no time could they produce anything to cause Sagar any serious trouble. Taylor had a shot saved; Balmer put one over the bar as did Nieuwenhuys, but that was about all they did. As against that Kemp was busily employed throughout, making many good saves. On the other hand it was half an hour before Sagar had a single shot to deal with. There were plenty of thrills in the game even though Everton seemed to have a tight hold at all times. They were most convincing everywhere particularly so in attack, where there was not a week link. Gillick gave Harley a severe test but Stevenson was the man of the forwards in my opinion. His canny dribbling, his drawing of the man and his final distribution being top class. He was like an eel wending his way through, and with Lawton always on top of the defence; it was small wonder that the Liverpool defence surrendered in the last fifteen minutes.
EVERTON AT FULL STRENGTH FOR FIFTH ROUND CUP BATTLE.
February 7, 1939. The Evening Express.
Team To Visit Birmingham On Saturday
Everybody Fit And Happy.
Everton are all set for their F.A. Cup 5th round tie against Birmingham, at St. Andrews, on Saturday. The team that defeated Liverpool 3-0 will be on duty, and so the line-up will be: - Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Tom), Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. This eleven has not been beaten this season. Injuries during the Christmas league games enforced changes, but the side was brought back for the F.A. Cup third round tie at Derby, which the Blues won 1-0. Since then the team has remained unchanged, has recorded six successive victories in 1939, and scored 18 goals against two. Only one club has succeeded in beating Everton’s defence –Huddersfield Town, at Goodison Park, last Saturday week. All the Everton players reported fit at Harrogate this morning when the message was “Everybody fit and Happy.”
EVERTON AGAIN DISPENCE WITH BOARDROOM CONFAB
February 7, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
One more Everton have dispensed with the formality of a boardroom meeting on the ever of a Cup-Tie. Happy the club whose team automatically picks itself at this vital period. Everton are in that fortunate position, and unless something unexpected happens between now and Saturday the side will be that which has figured in the last six games –and won them all.
LIVERPOOL F.C. NOMINATE MR. CUFF FOR LEAGUE PRESIDENCY
February 8, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Liverpool F.C have decided to nominate Mr. W. C. Cuff of Everton for the vacancy of president of the Football league, which will be filled at the annual meeting of clubs in may. Mr. Cuff filled the position of acting-president. So many months during Mr. Sutcliffe illness and after the latter’s dealt was officially appointed to continue thus until May.
Everton Reserves have a part curly attractive game with Chesterfield. The latter are leading the Central league at the moment, and as Everton are third with equal points, but inferior goal average, the match may have a vital bearing on the championship. The Blues side will be: - Lovett; Saunders, Jones; Britton, Gee, Davies (J.); Barber, Cunliffe, Bell, Sharp, Keenan.
February 9, 1939. The Evening express.
Birmingham have deferred the selection of their side to meet Everton in the fifth round cup-tie at St. Andrews until tomorrow. There is a clean bill of health. There is bound to be at least one change from the side which lost to Charlton at St. Andrews last week, for Turner, signed from Stoke City last week at a fee of £5,000 is not eligible for this round. He has not played in a cup game for Stoke, but has not yet completed 14 days qualification period with Birmingham. There is a possibility that the half back difficulty will be overcome by moving Halsall to centre half and bring in Meacock, at right half. The team will be announced tomorrow.
Everton today completed the serious part of their training at Harrogate. Trainer Harry Cooke, told me that all the players were fit and that they had enjoyed yesterday’s trip to Bradford, where they had watched the Rugby League Cup-tie with Seaton. The players spent this morning at the Harrogate football ground, where after a few sprints, they played six a side football, in which no tackling is allowed but which makes for speed in passing and accuracy ball control. They went back to their hotel for baths, and then had a walk after lunch before going to the Oakdale Golf Club. “This practically completes serious part of the preparation,” said Mr. Cooke. “Tomorrow the boys will do a little work to keep them tuned up.”
February 9, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
“Custard” writes: - Congrats to the Blues for a great victory. No fluke; no argument. Everton should have no fears about the Cup-tie. At the present time they are the finest team in the country, strong in every department, splendid team spirit –no-one-team hand. In fact, eleven of the best with eyes on Wembley.
A friend in Ireland writes me to say that the people of Limerick were intensely disappointed last Sunday that owing to injury Dixie Dean was unable to turn out for Sligo. “Nearly all the town turned up to see the famous ex-Evertonian,” he says. There was a record crowd of over 4,000 representing a gate of £144, and the lads with autograph albums made a queue yards long.” Dean’s absence was due to an injured knee, received in the previous mid-week match at Dublin. He is expected to be fit this week-end.
EVERTON’S VITAL “PULL” AT HALF BACK
February 10, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton will start as favourites for the match at St. Andrew’s. Everything points to them as winners of the tie, despite the fact that Everton were beaten in the League game at Birmingham by the only goal scored. The chief reason for Everton’s failure in the League game, was that it was the first occasion this season the side encountered a wet, slippery ground. The Blues simply could not operate on it, and a chancy goal put paid to their efforts. Everton, however, lost at Derby in the League and yet won there in the Cup. Personally, I think Everton will win well, for Birmingham are not a good team. The Blues are playing brilliantly at the moment. In six weeks they have cut down Derby County’s five points league lead and actually passed the County, on goal average. Since 1939 dawned they have played six matches –two cup-ties included –and they have won the lot while scoring 18 goals to two! Only one club, Huddersfield Town, succeeded in scoring against them, Derby, Arsenal, Doncaster Rovers, Portsmouth and Liverpool all failed to find the net. No fewer than five clubs have won at St. Andrews already and the Birmingham defence has conceded ten goals in their last two games. No matter which way I look at this tie, I cannot picture the Birmingham forwards, escaping the tenacious grip of Everton’s brilliant half-back line. The strength of any side lies in the power of its intermediary section, and Everton have that strength in Mercer, Tom Jones and Thomson. Everton will have derived benefit from the Harrogate tonic, and I think if they reproduce the form shown in recent weeks that they will return triumphant –and a step nearer that Wembley goal. Everton: - Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
February 10, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
By virtue of their respective League positions the tie between Everton and Birmingham at St. Andrews should go all one way, and that the Everton way, but the Cup does not always work out that way. I could cite you numerous cases where the botton dog has come out on top to surprise the football world, but you no doubt know them just as well as I do, so we will leave it at that. Let me say straightaway that Everton have not yet won at Birmingham, as some people would have you believe, for the St. Andrews team have Cup tradition behind them and are known for their fighting quality in the greatest of all tournaments! Their record in the Cup is not nearly so impressive as that of Everton, but it is a great advantage to be playing before one’s own people. If this game were at Goodison Park it would be long odds against Birmingham, but as St. Andrews it is a different matter. This may sound rather dismal from an Everton point of view, but one has got to face up to facts. The home side have all the advantages which in some way brings the two sides closer together than their relatively League positions. Don’t for one moment think that I have any doubt as to the ultimate result of this meeting, for let say right away that I am confident that Everton will go forward, even though it may take two games to settle the argument.
It is going to be a great struggle, let there be no mistake about that, for I am told by a Birmingham friend that the locals have great faith in their team’s ability to put paid to Everton’s account. St. Andrew’s is not a good ground for Everton, but when last they were there were without Jones, and although his deputy did not let the side down, the value of Jones to Everton is tremendous. He is a strong link both with his wing halves and full backs. Everton’s defence is something to be proud of this season. They have had only 26 goals scored against them in twenty-seven games, slightly more than a goal a match, and have yet to have a Cup goal put into their net. Birmingham have been fortunate in the draw, for this will be their third time at home, and on each occasion they had little to fear from the opposition. Halifax Town, who were beaten 2-0, and Chelmsford, who crashed 6-0. Everton have scored 55 goals as against Birmingham’s 44, but look at the latter’s against figure, 58, the worst in the League, Everton are playing with every confidence. They have one style only, whether it be a Cup or League game. They do not under-estimate their task by any means, for they are well aware that a Cup-tie is a grim affair, where no side can be taken lightly, least of all when they have to be met on their own ground. Team: - Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. The Everton Reserve team to meet Chesterfield at Goodison Park is: - Lovett; Saunders, Jones (JE); Britton, Gee, Davies (Jack); Barber, Cunliffe, Bell, Sharp, Keenan. This game has an important bearing on the championship, Chesterfield at present hold the lead on goal average with a match in hand.
DOCTOR ADMITS LIBELS
February 11, 1939. The Daily Mirror
Dr. John Tryweryn Lloyd, fifty-eight, of Bedford-street, Liverpool, accused at Liverpool Assizes of publishing defamatory libels, changed his plea when the hearing was resumed yesterday and was bound over for twelve months. Dr. Lloyd had entered a plea of justification to accusations of publishing defamatory libels concerning Mr. George Evans, a Liverpool magistrate, Director of Everton Football Club and former Chief public assistance officer to Liverpool. Dr. Lloyd withdrew his plea of justification pleaded guilty abed gave an undertaking not to pursue Mr. Evans further in this way.”
Thanks to Kjell Hanssen for senting this
EVERTON EARN REPLAY AFTER GREAT FIGHT
February 11, 1939. The Liverpool Football Echo.
Madden Completes Double With Equaliser For Birmingham
Thrilling Finish To Lively St. Andrew’s Test
Everton had to fight extremely hard for a replay, which of course, will take place on Wednesday. I understand that Turner, the new man from Stoke, will be qualified for that date, so is likely to be in the Birmingham team. In the closing minutes Birmingham made a strong bid for victory and it took Everton all their time to hold them to two goals. Teams: - Everton: - Sagar; goal; Cook, Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones, and Thomson (captain), half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Birmingham: - Clack, goal; Trigg and Hughes, backs; Dearson, Halsall, and Richards, half-backs; Jennings, Craven, Harris, Madden, and Brown, forwards. Referee Mr. W. Daly (Orpington). One would have thought it was the way to Goodison Park judging by the Liverpool people on route for the ground. I understand that some 5,000 Merseysiders made the trip to Birmingham this morning. The Everton team journeyed from Harrogate this morning, and all the players were fight-fit and confident of success. It was a glorious day, the sun shining brilliantly, so that the winning of the toss would mean much to the side having its assistance. I met Mr. Jonny Best, who told me that Harringay had offered £10,000 for Armstrong to come to England to fight Ernie Roderick for the world welterweight title. There was a tremendous crowd, and the ground record appeared to be in danger of failing.
Some daring young men took their place on the top of the stands. They would get only a long distance view of the game, but many would not get that, for I understand there were thousands outside with little chance of gaining admittance. Birmingham played in red and white stripes and Everton in White, and I should say the leaders received the bigger ovation.
Early Thrusts By Everton.
Birmingham won the toss and took the wind and the sun. After Everton had repelled a Birmingham attack Thomson set off with a pass towards the left wing. Halsall challenged and the ball went to Boyes, who went forward and just when we expecting a shot he tried to get the ball over to Gillick, but Hughes took it and although he got it away, Stevenson pounced on the ball and shot with all his weight for goal, but it cannoned off a Birmingham defender. Everton came again and Boyes was through. He slipped the ball over to Gillick first time and accurately. So far had been the Everton attack versus the Birmingham defence, and Clack had to save from Bentham. Then we saw Richards with his long throw into the goalmouth, Jones having to be strong to clear. The first foul was against Everton, when Cook brought down Brown; the free kick bring them nothing useful.
Lawton and Halsall (the latter is a Liverpool born player) were having some battle royal for supremacy, and although Lawton had not yet delivered a shot he had led his line well. Bentham nice wheeled about when it appeared that he should have been more direct, but his idea was right or it enabled Gillick to get in position for the pass. It came, and Gillick shot for the far side of the goal, and Clack could not have saved had the ball been a foot closer. The Press box was not the best position from which to see the game, for the sun was almost blinding. Madden made a praiseworthy shot and then Gillick took the ball forward and offered Lawton a perfect pass, but Halsall was at the latter’s shoulder and the work came to nothing. At last Lawton got a chance to show his shooting power. He made his own opening and shot with the speed of lightning, the ball flashing over the crossbar –a great effort. One had to make allowances for Everton in that they had the sun and wind to contend with. Birmingham were inclined to be too close near goal. Hughes brought down Gillick, but again a free kick proved of no account. Mercer was brilliant in attack and defence, and he snicked a change to the outside right, the latter slipping the ball over for Stevenson, who was tackled just as he shot. Harris lobbed over when fairly well placed. Gillick and Hughes were using their elbows in an effort to beat each other, and when the Everton man was grounded on the edge of the penalty area the referee ignored the appeal. Jones was in great form. He once dribbled three men in the defence of his goal. Lawton was through when he was fouled by Halsall. It looked all over a penalty, but after the referee had consulted his linesman he decided to drop the ball –a most curious decision. Jennings made a fine drive which flashed in front if the Everton goal, to pass wide.
Two In Two Minutes.
With two minutes to go Birmingham scored through Madden, Sagar seeming to go the wrong way through a deflection of the ball. Almost before the cheering had dead away Stevenson had equalized from Lawton’s pass. A hectic finish.
Half-Time- Birmingham 1, Everton 1.
Great Chance Missed.
The first real incident in the second half was when Gillick was inside the penalty area, and finding the ball at his toes after Hughes had faultered, it looked a certainty for a goal but the ball went wide –a great chance missed. The difference in the two teams lay in the strength of the half back line where Everton undoubtedly held the whip hand, for Jones, Mercer, and Thomson were very stubborn. Jones was appealing for offside when Birmingham won a corner. From a free kick by Jones, Lawton headed and Clack did well to keep the ball out of the net. Greenhalgh resumed with his eye heavily bandaged, but this did not prevent him keeping a tight hold on Jennings and Craven. Clack had to save from Gillick, and a corner proved to be fatal to Birmingham.
Gillick’s cross went over to Byes, who drove hard for goal, and the ball hit Lawton and went into the net after 61 minutes. There was a difference of opinion as to who should be credited with the goal, I claim it was Boyes. Birmingham should have had an equaliser, but Craven and Jennings were feeble in their attempts at shooting, I thought the ball was over the line before it was centred. Birmingham had further chances, but in front of goal they could do nothing at all. Birmingham endeavoured to bring more punch into their attack, which now read Madden, Dearson, Harris, Craven, Brown. It had some effect but very little. Brown had a shot but not the type likely to beat Sagar. Everton should have gone further ahead, when Boyes from the outside right position, worked his way close in and shot. Clack saved the shot but the ball went skimming towards Lawton who, however, could not reach it. Boyes got possession a second time, but once again Clack came to the rescue.
Straight from the clearance Birmingham went on to equalize, and it was a beautifully made goal. It concluded a round of passing quite the best we had seen, and sent the crowd into an uproar. This is how it was made. Dearson to Craven, Craven into goal, and Madden’s head did the rest. Time 80 mins. Lawton come along with a great drive which Clack saved magnificently. The excitement of course, was intense, and Birmingham went all out for the winner, taking a corner or two. Boyes was not getting his centres across, and Birmingham took another corner. Everton were defending sternly –they had to. Final; Birmingham 2, Everton 2.
LEAVES FROM MY NOTEBOOK
February 11, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
The following tribute to the Everton board is from a Nottingham paper, relative to the rebate of £500 in Dixie Dean’s transfer which Everton have just made to Notts County. “One must pay tribute to Everton. Few clubs would have considered such a matter after a deal had been completed. Everton’s action, shows that their board is composed of men who are willing to assist those not so favourably placed as themselves. “The transfer was carried through in good faith by both sides, and no one could have foreseen that Dean would be out of the game so soon afterwards. Notts had practically no service from him, and Everton, when approached, realized this point of view, I take off my hat to the Everton directors.” This sort of thing does much to cement friendship between clubs. And it may have its repercussions in the future. The time may come when Everton take a fancy to a Notts County player. Then, if other things are equal and it is a question of who shall be favoured, Notts are not likely to forget the generous way in which Everton met them in this instances.
I am glad to see that not only has Albert Geldard, Everton’s former right winger, got back into the Bolton first team, but that he has been playing at the top of his form. Albert is one of the most gentlemanly of players off as well as on the field. It was tough luck on him to be injured in the second match of the season, the more so as Woodward, who took his place, proceeded to play in such brilliant fashion that the chances of Geldard getting back seemed remote. As a matter of fact, Geldard himself admitted as ranch to me when I met him. “Woodward is playing such wonderful football,” he said, “that it would be foolish to make an change,” which, when you think of it, is a handsome and sporting tribute from the man who was suffering thereby. Then Bolton struck the rocks and started to slide, ran into a crop of injuries as well, and Geldard got his chance again. He can back the same time that Sinclair, the young Scottish inside right, who began this season in Bolton’s third string, made his league debut, and two between them have been mainly responsible for the fact that the Wanderers have got seven points from the four matches in which they have figured. Sinclair has averaged a goal a match, good for a debutant not out of his teens.
EVERTON RESUME LEAGUE LEADERSHIP
February 11, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
A Stiff Programme Ahead
Happy Team Selections
Hunter Hart’s Career.
Everton are on top again. It has been a magnificent tussle between them and Derby County, who knocked Everton off their pedestal some time in October, but now the County have had to swallow a dose of their own medicine. Everton are leaders only by a fractional part of a goal, but such fraction could win them the championship. The Everton directors must be among the happiest of football selectors in the country this season. They have nary a worry about the composition of the team, which picks itself week by week. No loss of form has been shown by any of the first team players, and only injuries and international calls have caused a change. What a happy position to be in. Several times the directors have dispensed with their weekly board meeting at which the team is selected. To keep the same side game after game can have only one result, a good result, for it enables the team to preserve the blend towards which they have been striving. Ask any footballer the effect of incessant chopping and changing. No plan can be made, for it takes some time to weld a side into a complete while, and that playing together. I don’t recall a season where the Everton team has been so immune from injuries. At one time of day it was a case of this player in one week and another the next. Today the team sheet could remain and put on the notice board with little fear that it would show any alteration. The players are more satisfied, for nothing upsets them so much as being shuffled about and not knowing whether they would be in or not. I feel sure that is one of the secrets for Everton’s success. While other clubs have a hospital list, and must be wracking their brains as to what to do the Everton selection committee sits as ease and says “Same team.” Every player receives a knock or two during a game, but such is the magic of the trainers’ hands nowadays that they are soon made to vanish by their message, &c. While Everton are on top I would warm you that it is going to take a mighty big fight to stay there, for they have an extremely heavy fixture list ahead. They have more away games than at home, but it is not that so much as the strength of the opposition they will be called upon to meet between now and the last day of the season. Let me name a few of their visits –Wolverhampton, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Chelsea and Charlton. A very formidable list, isn’t it? But you can take it from me they are not going to lose their proud position without a struggle.
I resume our personality studies today with one of the best servants in the Everton club ever had –Hunter Hart, who came to Everton some 17 years ago as a half back, and is now on the staff as assistant secretary. Hunter is getting somewhat round in figure, but his eye is still as keen to spot the good player as against the mediocre as ever it was. As a player Hart was never a big ‘un in frame, for I doubt whether he ever weighted more than 11st, so he had to rely solely on his art and craft to hold his place. Of course Hart is a Scot, and proud of it, and he played like a Scot, the ball on the ground with passes that were a joy to his forwards. And don’t let us forget that Hunter had the use of one eye only. Who will ever forget the half back line which read, Brown, McBain and Hart, or Brown, Hart and Virr. Hunter thinks, he played centre half just as often as a left half, the position he came to occupy from Airdrieonians, in 1922, but Hart was the type of player who would play anywhere so long as he had a game, such was his love for football. I will never forget the look on Hart’s face the day he was offered off by Mr. Referee Ike Baker, at Bradford Park Avenue, in a replayed cup tie. It was a study, for he knew not what it was for; nor, for this matter, did a lot of others. He got a week for that, which was rather peculiar in view of the fact that he got a fortnight when he was previously sent off, also at Bradford, but this time at the City ground. Hart started his football career as an outside left in his school trials, but upon joining Parkhead White Rose, a Juvenile club in Glasgow, he was moved to inside left. He served a season with the “Rose,” and then signed for Parkhead Juniors, but was not long with them –a matter of eight games –when Airdrie spotted his talent and signed him professional at the age of 19. He spent four and a half seasons with Ardrie before joining the Goodison staff, a move he has never regretted, for he considers Everton the best club in the world from a player’s point of view. He has numerous medals, but his greatest prize is the English League medal won with Everton in 1927-8. When his playing days were over he was appointed to look after the “A” team, and later the Central League side, but upon the appointment of Mr. Theo Kelly as secretary was made assistant so that he followed his boss through all the stages.
The big surprise in midweek was the announcement of the transferred of “Dusty” Miller to his home town team, Falkirk. It is only a matter of a couple of months since Miller was obtained at a record fee ever paid out by the Rovers, from Burnley, and it was anticipated that the known ability and cleverness of the Scot, coupled with his wide experience in senior football, would prove the panaceas for the Rovers ills. Miller, however, did not strike his form, and a fortnight ago he was relegated to the Reserves in view of the big sum he had cost the club, no one will blame the management, I am sure, in availing themselves of the opportunity of “cutting their loss” and accepting the four-figure fee which Falkirk were prepared to pay for Miller’s transfer. The Scot has gone back to his home town, and maybe the slower Scottish style will give him the chance once again of revealing his known craft.
OLD FOSSE STAR'S TRAGIC END
Leicester Daily Mercury - Monday 13 February 1939
George Harrison, a former Leicester Fosse player and English international, was found with severe throat wounds at his home in Church Gresley yesterday afternoon. He died within a few minutes. He was 47. The discovery was made by his only son, George. Harrison started his football career with Gresley Rovers, and then proceeded to Leicester Fosse. He left Filbert-street shortly before the war for Everton, and later played for Preston and Blackpool. He played for England against Ireland in 1922. He returned to his native place, Church Gresley, on his retirement, and for the past three years he had kept the Rising Sun Inn. He had been in failing health for some time. Harrison's son, George, who had been on the books of Preston with his father, was with Leicester City for short time a few seasons ago.
EVERTON F.C. SUPPORTER KILLED
Liverpool Evening Express - Monday 13 February 1939
An Everton F.C. supporter—frequently spoken of as a “mascot”—was killed on his way to the Everton and Birmingham Cup match on Saturday. He was Harry Williams, aged about 44, of Westminster-road, Kirkdale. For many years he attended Everton Cup-ties dressed in a mock policeman’s uniform. He was walking with a crowd of enthusiasts on Saturday when he was knocked down by a Birmingham Corporation 'bus and died almost immediately. Williams had been a lifelong supporter of the Everton club, and his antics in his policeman’s uniform, decorated with the club colours, were familiar to thousands of spectators at the club’s matches. Williams was on his way to the Cuptie with his inseparable companion, William Jones, of Foley-street, Kirkdale, who was dressed in a blue and white chess-board suit. The accident to Williams occurred immediately after a Birmingham supporter had snatched off his helmet and Williams had turned to give chase to the man. Jones arrived at the ground without knowing that his friend had been taken to hospital. Shortly afterwards he was told that Williams was dead, but in spite of his distress was urged by the crowd to perform his usual antics. I shall give up at the end of the season,” said Jones. The inquest has been fixed for Wednesday.
CUP REPLAY AT GOODISON
Birmingham City 2 Everton 2 (F.A. Cup Game 154)
February 13 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Birmingham proved beyond all doubt that the cup is a great leveraler. Were they were at the foot of the table called upon to meet the leaders of the division, yet they forced a reply with their superior at Goodison Park on Wednesday. They played anything like the wooded spoonists. Not that they were the equal in skill to Everton, but their fighting quality alone was worthy of a second chance. Many though that Everton should have won outright-they undoubtedly had the more chances-but any side which can drew on a away ground has done something worth while. Birmingham had scored first. In a cup-tie a first goal is often a winning goal yet Everton were not able to wipe that off, but actually took the lead and seemed capable of holding it for the St Andrews men appeared to be feeling their position.
By some wholesale reshuffling Birmingham staged a rally of such determined that they equalized and fought grimly for a winning goal, and I would wager that the whole Everton team were thankful to hear the final whistle. It was a fighting finish and on that score alone Birmingham were entitled to a replay. Everton did not play with the same smoothness of a week ago, simply and sorely because the Birmingham defenders by their quick tackling prevented them from doing so. There was no showmanship about the home players. They went the straight route whether it was in an advance or when they were attempting to out up the Everton combination, so that their opponents were never gave a second to settle on the ball. That was cup-tie football as we know it; first time tackling and the quick thrust at goal.
That was Birmingham’s plan of campaign.
They knew they could not match Everton’s artistry, but they had an answer to it of another kind, and it paid for itself. They had earned the right even though I thought that Everton missed some chances which had they been taken would have put them in an impregnable position well though Birmingham fought. The League leaders were undoubtedly the more skilful side. They had the greater number of moves to beat a defence where better served at half-back and the reason they did not win lay in the fact that one or two rather easy scoring chances were missed. I though Everton should have had a penalty when Lawton was brought down by full back Hughes for he was passed the back when he was brought to earth. He lay hurt for some minutes, what time Cook had come up in anticipation of a spot kick. When Lawton had recovered the referee consulted his linesman and bounced the ball down in the penalty area. It was most amazing decision. Lawton was more serious hurt then we though but it was not until after the game that we knew he had played on under difficulties. He had a badly bruised loin, but he told me he would be fit for Wednesday, Greenhalgh, had his eyebrow plastered in the second half due to a bump he had received in the first session. Had Lawton been himself he would have won the game in the last few minutes, but he could not get his full power behind his shot, which Clack saved in sensational style. Nine times out of the ten such shots would have been at the back of the net. However, one must not take from Birmingham their right to a second chance. If the Everton forwards missed chances Birmingham were not to blame and I have nothing but admiration for their fighting finish. They were a very dangerous lot, in the last ten minutes with their quick rushes, and their last goal was the best of the whole four scored. The ball was passed right across the field before Madden, cleverly headed it into the net for the equaliser. Madden had also scored the first goal, so had done a good’s day’s work. His first was a lucky one for had not the ball struck Greenhalgh on the shoulder Sager would have saved it but as it was the deflection turned the ball right away from him. Within a minute Everton had equalized though Stevenson, who slipped a pass by Lawton well out of the reach of Clack. That also was a bonny goal. There was some discussion as to who scored, Everton second goal. The position was this: Boyes worked his way close in and shot a fiery ball for the net. It appeared to be travelling right across the goalmouth and would have done so had the ball struck Lawton on the leg and cannoned into the other side of the net. I claim it was Boyes goal even though Lawton was the last man to touch it. We did not credit Greenhalgh with scoring Birmingham’s first goal, and the two cases were identical. Everton can have little fear of Birmingham at Goodison Park in the reply for they were the better side at St Andrews and we know how much better they can be on their own ground. I have seen them play more convicting football than they did against Birmingham, but one can only play as well as the opposition will allow and Birmingham allowed Everton very little scope to display their combination. They were terrier like in their tackling and Hughes the left full back in particular was rather too robust. He gave Gillick a hectic time, yet the Scot by the grand positional play should have had at least one goal, when he bounded though the defence and shot for the far corner of the net only to miss by a foot. Boyes also should have had another goal when he ran over to the right to deliver two shots at Clack. The success of the Everton team, however, lay in the half-back line. Jones, Mercer, and Thomson were ever in the thick of it, and Greenhalgh despite his injury was the better defender for Cook opened shakily. It was a good result for while Everton were well ahead of their opponents on points of skill. Birmingham put up a determined front and were giving the Everton defence had time in the fleeting minutes of the game. The attention was a record for the ground, but not the receipts, att 67,341 (receipts £4,548 18) teams. Birmingham City: - Clark goal, Trigg, and Hughes, backs Dearson Halsall, and Richards half-backs, Jenning Craven Harris, Madden, and Brown, forwards. Everton: - Sagar goal, Cool, and Greenhalgh, backs, Mercer, Jones, and Thomson (captain) half-backs Gillick Bentham Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes forwards. Referee Mr. W.T Daly (Orrington)
Everton Reserves 1 Chesterfield Reserves 3
February 13 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post.
Central League (Game 30)
At Goodison Park. Everton had hopes of avenging a 4-0 defeat but Chesterfield earlier in the season and they might at least have shared the point if more shooting steadiest had been shown. Lovett played well in goal for Everton, whilst Saunders and Jones were sound full backs. The halves of whom Britton was outstanding put an end to many clever combined moves by the visitors. For Chesterfield Kelly was a capable keeper and Watson and Hepworth were sound backs. The attacks was well led by Richardson Luke Mackie and Lowe scored for Chesterfield, and Cunliffe for Everton team:- Lovett goal, Saunders and Jones (je) backs Britton Gee and Davies (jack), half-backs, Barber, Cunliffe, Bell Sharp, and Kennan, forwards Places 4th played 30, won 16 lost 9, draw 5, for 53, against 53 points 37.
LAWTON WILL PLAY IN GOODISON REPLAY ON WEDNESDAY
February 13, 1939. The Evening Express.
Thigh Trouble Gone –Blue Team Unchanged
Birmingham May Field Same Eleven.
Tommy Lawton, Everton’s English international centre-forward, will be fit to play against Birmingham in the F.A. Cup fifth round replay at Goodison Park on Wednesday. Lawton damaged his left thigh when tackled in the first half and this handicapped him, but the soreness has worn off and he is ready to play. All the other players are fit and consequently the team will be unchanged. Greenhalgh wore a plaster on his forehead through the game against Birmingham at St. Andrew’s on Saturday, but this was merely as a protection. In recent games he has suffered two hard bangs on the head, and he wore the plaster to grand against any further damage. Everton’s team for Wednesday: - Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Tom), Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Stevenson, Boyes. It will be the eighth game in succession that Everton have fielded an unchanged team. In the seven matches played –it is their full 1939 programme to date –they have won six and drawn one. The draw was at St. Andrew’s team the score 2-2. Birmingham reported “all’s well” today. Mr. George Liddell, the manager, said that the team was expected to be the same that played on Saturday; Clack; Trigg, Hughes; Dearson, Halsall, Richards; Jennings, Craven, Harris, Madden, and Brown (J). There is a possibility, however, that the constitution of the forward line may be slightly re-arranged. I was told at Birmingham that Turner their new centre-half from Stoke City, would be eligible. On reference to the rule, however, I find that Turner is not able to play. Clubs have to notify the F.A. 12 days before the original match the names of the players from whom their choices will be made. Any player not registered for the first match cannot play in any game in the same round. So I anticipated that Halsall, the former Marine player, and a Merseysider, will once again, face Lawton. I doubt whether Birmingham will make any team changes, for all their players came through without injury. The Everton players attended Goodison Park today for training. Tomorrow morning they will also do light work and have message. If one takes a line through the St. Andrew’s game, Everton should qualify for round six. They were the better side and gained more scoring chances in a thrill-packed struggle. Birmingham, however, deserved to fight again, because of their great rally near the end.
Clack Saved Brums.
Birmingham fired by the occasion, played above themselves, and their nippy forwards possessed good ideas. It must be admitted that only the brilliance of Clack, in goal, saved them from defeat. Everton had the artistic touches and collaborative skill not revealed by Birmingham and they had a big pull at half-back, where Tom Jones, who was outstanding, was brilliantly supported by Thomson and Mercer. The defence, generally, was good with Greenhalgh outstanding. Gillick was the best player afield with Bentham the most effective inside-forward. Stevenson’s equaliser immediately after Madden’s opening goal was a gem, and then a Boye-Lawton effort placed the Blues ahead in the second half. I give Lawton the goal, but all credit to Boyes. The winger’s crashing shot would not have got there had it not been deflected away from Clack by Lawton. Ten minutes from time came Madden’s equaliser to make for this grand mid-week struggle.
Everton have the confidence. Immediately after the match at St. Andrew’s Mr. Theo Kelly, the secretary, handed Mr. George Liddell, the Birmingham manager a big parcel. “What’s this?” asked George. “Oh, tickets for Wednesday’s replay,” relied Mr. Kelly. “Well,” said George, “f all the cheek!” It was nothing new, of course, Everton are always prepared.
EVERTON UNCHANGED FOR WEDNESDAY’S CUP REPLAY.
February 13, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Everton will field the same side as on Saturday for their Cup-tie replay with Birmingham at Goodison park, on Wednesday. Lawton will have fully recovered from his groin injury in time, which, unfortunately, is not as serious as at first thought, and Greenhalgh also will be fit. Apart from minor bumps and bruises the rest of the side are all right. Birmingham also will probably turn out unchanged. The team will not be definitely chosen until tomorrow evening, but when I had a word with manager George Liddle, this morning, he told me he had no anxieties regarding injuries, and as the side did so well it is not likely to be altered. Mr. Liddle’s first inquiry was about Lawton, and he was happy to know that the Everton centre forward had suffered no serious effects from his injury. The pulling power of Everton these days is tremendous. Everyone wants to see what by general consent is the finest ball playing side in the country, and the crowd will probably come within measurable distance of the mid-week record of 59,213 (£4,382) when Sunderland were here four years ago. Particulars of the booking arrangements for reserved seats in the Bullens Road and Goodison Road stands are given in the advertisement at the foot of these notes. The remaining seats will be obtainable at ordinary prices pay as you go in. The kick-off is at three o’clock, the gates will be opened at 1.30 p.m. and the Cheshire Lines Band will be in attendance.
Everton followers will be sorry to hear of the death of Mr. Harry Williams, of Kirkdale, who for many years had been a staunch supporter of the side and was well known to Goodison crowds by his masquerades in a mock policeman’s uniform. He was killed by a bus at Birmingham on Saturday.
February 13, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Birmingham carried on when all seemed lost. On the score alone they are entitled to a second chance, for what it may be worth, for I am sure Everton can beat them at Goodison Park on Wednesday. That may appear to be super-optimism it is not, but simply based on what I saw at St. Andrews on Saturday. Everton should have won with the chances at their disposal, but it was quite satisfied with the result, for any team which can hold the opposition on its own ground has done extremely well, particularly so in a Cup-tie. That Birmingham were bottom in the League table means nothing, for the Cup is a great leveler, and how often do we find the wooden-spoonists lauding it over their leaders? Birmingham appeared a well beaten team when Everton were leading 2-1, but they found a new spirit in the last ten minutes due to a reshuffle of their attack, and pulled the game out of the fire, aye, almost sneaked a victory. The Everton defence had to put in some strong work during those minutes to keep the score at 2-all. Wasn’t such a fight worth another chance? I think so.
Signal To Birmingham.
Everton were unquestionably the better side; there was more skill right through, but Birmingham by their quick tackling prevented Everton from getting into their usual stride. There was no hesitation when the Birmingham men sought the ball, and any attempt at combined play by Everton was a signal to the Birmingham defenders to get in quickly in an endeavour to cut it short at the source. Cup-tie methods of the best type, and they undoubtedly had their effect upon Everton plans. Everton had more opportunities to have won the game than their rivals for they were convincing near goal, and had the better methods of getting there than Birmingham, who relied upon the quick dash down the field. But they ran up against a sterling defence, and only a slice of good fortune enabled them to open the day’s scoring. When Madden shot, the ball was going out until it struck Greenhalgh on the shoulder and was deflected into the net. Sagar had the shot covered, but, of course, was out of position for the deflection. Everton scored a similar sort of goal, so the luck was balanced when a shot by Boyes hit Lawton on the legs and went into the net. Boyes’s goal for certain no matter who argues against it. Lawton himself says it must go to Walter. I saw one of the most curious decisions I have ever seen. Lawton was brought down in the penalty area –a perfect case for a spot kick in my opinion but when Lawton had recovered the referee had a word with the linesman concerning the matter, and baffled me when he decided to bounce the ball down in the penalty area.
On what grounds be arrived at this decision I cannot think, for it was not a penalty then I don’t know what it was. When the whistle went the ball was not in the penalty area. Lawton was severely shaken. He was not himself afterwards; otherwise I fancy he would have beaten Clack with that late on shot of his. He could not shoot with his customary power, so the Birmingham keeper was able to save. Lawton was in pain from a bruise just below the ribs, but say he will be fit for the Wednesday. S sure was Everton that a penalty award would be made that Cook came up the field in readiness to take it. Birmingham’s second goal, by Madden was a peach. So for that matter was Everton’s final goal by Stevenson, each the result of the passing movements, Gillick was a grand forward, for he had the trickery to beat Birmingham best defender Hughes. Hughes was a vigorous defender, yet Gillick was able to beat him time and again, and having done so, should have scored a goal or two; while Boyes also had other opportunities to beat Clack. Birmingham’s defence kept them in the round, for the forwards were not impressive. They had plenty of the play, but as marksmen could not be put in the same category as Everton. Turner is not qualified to play in the replay. The former Stoke centre half back was not signed sufficiently long enough for him to take his place on Saturday, but he will have put in the necessary fourteen day’s qualification by Wednesday. As this is the same match be cannot play. Lawton paid a great tribute to the Liverpool man, Halsall when he said, “Halsall was one of the fairest centre half backs I have played against this season.”
EVERTON TO PLAY WOLVES
February 13, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
I think it will be Wolves, though this tie is so open that anything can happen. Wolves showed a tendency to get panicky when Liverpool were on top in the early stage of the second half, and their goals were veritable gifts of a kind that I cannot see Everton dropping into their laps. Before we go too deeply into the pros and cons, however, it might be advisable to wait until Wednesday, and see the outcome of Birmingham’s visit to Goodison Park. While on form a win for Everton seems a virtual certainty. It is not beyond the scope of probability for Birmingham to spring the shock of the season. At any rate, they will have the added Incentive of a meeting with their big Midland rivals to spur them on the replay.
A Good Omen?
Those who pin their faith to omens, and their name is legion among football followers, can recall as a sign of hope that the last time Everton played in a Cup-tie at Wolverhampton they went on to win the cup. Actually it was not against Wolves themselves, but against West Ham United in the semi-final, which took place at the Molineux ground in 1933 and Everton won by the odd goal of three. Surprisingly enough considering their long history, Wolves and Everton have only met twice previously in the Cup competition. The first occasion was as far back as the final of 1893 in the celebrated match which Everton lost by the only goal. This was the game when Wolves upset all calculations and spiked all the elaborate arrangements made in Liverpool to welcome Everton home with the Cup. As Everton had overwhelmed the Midlanders in the League game only the week before, they were looked upon as having a “walkover.” A brass band was engaged to welcome home the conquering heros, and had to go away without blowing a note. The next occasion was in 1921 in the old fourth round and again Wolves triumphed 1-0, going on afterwards to meet and be beaten by Tottenham Hotspur in the final.
The draw has certainly conspired to give Wolves every advantage this season. This is the fourth time they have been drawn at home, whereas Everton have to travel for the third time and again against one of the leading side in the country. So far as league form is any guide to Cup prospects, I may point out that Everton of late years have done badly in their visits to Wolverhampton. They have been decisively beaten in each of their last six games there. Wolves have scored 23 goals to the Blues six. Happily this is nothing to go by. Cup results are notoriously contrariwise. In the League game at Goodison Park last October Wolves extended Everton more than any club has done this season on their own ground bar Charlton, and but for forward weaknesses might have won. Since them Major Buckley’s club has come on by leaps and bounds, has been scoring freely in nearly every game, and has only once been defeated since the end of October. “It might have been a lot better,” was Mr. Theo Kelly’s comment when I rang him up with the draw. We would naturally rather have them at Goodison, but, in any case, we shall go in the hope of doing a little better than our Liverpool friends, and at least bringing them to Goodison for a replay. We thrust to do as well as at Derby.”
When I spoke to Major Frank Buckley, manager of the Wolves, he expressed his regret that the two most fancied sides should meet before the final. “It should be a very fine game,” he added, “and I hope the best side wins. “Major Buckley tells me that Bruton, who was injured in the game against Liverpool may not be fit to play for some weeks.
The Mascot Fund.
Everton F.C. are to sponsor a fund for the dependents of Mr. H. Williams their unofficial mascot, who was killed at Birmingham on Saturday. There will be a collection at the turnstiles on Wednesday, and collecting sheets will go round the ground at the interval. Those who cannot attend the match may send donations direct to the club, who will acknowledge them. Williams left a widow and five children, and had been out of work for some time.
13 February 1939 Derby Daily Telegraph
Church Gresley Tragedy
An inquest will be held at Church Gresley this evening on Mr. George Harrison (47), the licensee of the “Rising Sun,” Church Gresley, who was found with throat wounds in his bath room yesterday by his only son Mr. George Harrison. He died shortly afterwards. Mr. Harrison was formerly a well-known footballer, and played successively for Gresley Rovers, Leicester Fosse, Everton, Preston North End, and Blackpool. While with Everton he played for England against Ireland. He had been the licensee of the Rising Sun for three years.
TRAGIC DEATH OF EX-FOOTBALLER
February 13, 1939 Nottingham Evening Post
George Harrison, ex-international idol of followers of first class football, was found dead with his throat cut at a hotel kept by him at Gresley, Burton-on-Trent, yesterday. His son made the tragic discovery in the bathroom. Harrison, a brilliant outside left, was with the Leicester club in their Fosse days, and Everton before that. He was gassed twice, while on active service, and after demobilisation played for Blackpool and Preston North End.
GEORQE HARRISON A VICTIM OF INSOMNIA
Leicester Daily Mercury - Tuesday 14 February 1939
IT WAS REVEALED AT THE INQUEST LAST NIGHT ON GEORGE HARRISON (47), THE FORMER LEICESTER FOSSE, EVERTON AND PRESTON T.EFT-WINGER, THAT HE HAD BEEN SUFFERING FROM INFLUENZA AND INSOMNIA.
Harrison, licensee of the Rising Sun Inn, Gresley, was found dying from a throat wound in his bathroom on Sun- day afternoon. The son, George Harrison, told the, Deputy-Coroner (Mr. T. H. Bishop) that his father had been ilI for several weeks, and had been confined to his bed for two days. He heard him walking about at 2 p.m, on Sunday. An hour later, hearing groans, witness went upstairs to the bathroom, and there he found his father with a throat wound. He had never heard his father threaten to take his life. Dr. J. Carnae said he had been treating Mr. Harrison for insomina and influenza. When he saw him on Wednesday, he appeared quite cheerful. He agreed that such cases frequently led to depression. Police Constable Ayre said he .found blood stained razor in the wash basin. The coroner returned a verdict of Suicide whilst the balance the man's mind was disturbed,” and expressed sympathy with the family.
TRAGEDY AFTER INFLUENZA
Liverpool Daily Post - Tuesday 14 February 1939
FORMER EVERTON PLAYER’S SUICIDE That he killed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed was the verdict at Gresley, Burton-on-Trent, inquest last night on George Harrison, forty-seven, innkeeper, who cut his throat at his home on Sunday. Harrison had played outside left for Leicester Fosse, Everton, Preston North End, and Blackpool, and gained an international cap for England against Ireland. The evidence showed that the deceased suffered from insomnia, influenza causing intense depression. His son George, who made the tragic discovery, said half an hour before death his father appeared normal.
February 14, 1939. Derby daily Telegraph
Church Gresley Inquest
A verdict of “Suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed” was recorded by the Coroner (Mr. T.H. Bishop) at the Church Gresley inquest last night on George Harrison (46), license of the Rising Sun Inn, Church Street, Church Gresley. Mr. Harrison, jur...said that his father had been ill for several weeks, and for two days was confined to his bed. On Sunday afternoon he saw him walking about in the passenger down-stairs, and about an hour later, hearing groans, he went upstairs to the bathroom, where he found his father on the floor bleeding badly from an extensive throat wound. Hi had not heard his father threaten to take his life.
Wound Six Inches Long
Dr. J. Camac. Of Church Greasley, said that Mr. Harrison, was lying in a pool of blood. The throat wound was six inches long and extended to the spine. Death occurred within seven minutes and efforts at artificial respiration were of no avail. Dr. Camac added that he had been treating Harrison for insomnia and latterly for influenza. He agreed with the Cornorer that such cases frequently led to depression. On the previous Wednesday Mr. Harrison had appeared quite cheerful, the doctor said. Police-constable Ayre stated that he found a razor in the wash basin.
FAMOUS EVERTON WINGER’S DEATH
February 14, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Many followers of Everton will regret to hear the death, which has taken place at church grisly Derbyshire, of George Harrison who will be remember as one of the most dashing outside left Everton ever had. His strong shooting from the wing was a marked feature of play and Harrison rarely missed from the Penalty mark along with D. McKinley of Liverpool, he was of the strongest one of the strongest hitters of a dead ball, I have ever seen. He played for England ageist Ireland in 1922, and November 1923. He was transferred to Preston North End for whom he played until 1930-31-he later joined Blackpool and with the club he scored in his third match to bring his total of goals to 100. Harrison joined Everton from Leicester, along with Thompson a full back. He was 40 when he played for Blackpool. Harrison had been in a failing heath for some time he was a member of the Scots Guards Association.
EVERTON AND BIRMINGHAM RENEW THEIR CUP FIGHT
February 14, 1939. The Evening Express
Blues Class Should Tell This Time.
Tomorrow’s Replay At Goodison
Liverpool stages its fourth F.A. Cup-tie of the season when, at Goodison Park, tomorrow, Everton oppose Birmingham in the fifth round replay. Let me say right away that I expect Everton to win convincing. Birmingham gave their lowly league rank at St. Andrew’s by holding the Blues to a 2-2 draw, and they will prove themselves 90 minutes fighters tomorrow. Judging on what I saw on Saturday, however, I must conclude that Everton stand high above the class of the opposition. They were the better and more methodical side in the first match, and but for the fine goalkeeping of Clack –and a tendency to miss chances –would be in the sixth round already. The Birmingham defence does not strike me as being quite good enough to hold Everton; s artistic and alert forwards.
The best part of the Midland side is forward. They employ a disconcerting switch –it was the switch which enabled them to save the first game –and they are exceptionally fast in development. I have sufficient faith in Everton’s half-back power, however, to anticipate their placing strong harness on those Birmingham raiders and occupying the role of dictators. If Everton get off the mark well with the full realization that they are opposed to an eleven who will be highly dangerous given the slightest latitude, I think the Blues can qualify to face Wolverhampton in round six. Mr. Theo Kelly, the Everton secretary, stated today that every player was fit, and that the ground was in splendid conditions. Birmingham will probably field the eleven that did duty on Saturday. One move you can expect is the transfer of Dearson into the Birmingham attack should things run badly with the side. This is a change the club operated with success on Saturday. Halsall, the former Marine and Blackburn Rovers player who is a Liverpool lad, will have the especial duty of watching Lawton. There will be 13 full internationals on view –four English, four Welsh, three Irish and two Scottish. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Tom), Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Birmingham (Probably); Clack; Trigg, Hughes; Dearson, Halsall, Richards; Jennings, Craven, Harris, Madden, Brown.
“W.R.K,” (Bebington) writes regarding a nickname for Tommy Lawton’s international leader, following a note in Saturday’s “Log.” “ How about naming Lawton “Flash.” He suggests. “Anyone seeing one of his “rockets’ entering the new knows why. “By the way, how about Tommy Jones being the finest centre-half playing –including Cullis and company? I mean for all-round ability, clean, sporting play. “W.R.K” and myself appear to think alike. I had thought of “Flash” as a suitable nickname for Lawton, and mentioned it to Mr. Theo Kelly, the Everton secretary, Mr. Kelly’s objection to this is that it is mindful of a swell mobsman! I agree with my reader re Tom Jones. I think he is the greatest of all the centre-half backs. Yes, I include Cullis.
My sympathies to the relatives of Harry Williams, the Everton mascot who was killed in such tragic circumstances in Birmingham. He was an “ever-present” so far as the Blues are concerned and a great clubman. He leaves a widow and five children, and the Everton club is anxious to help them all they can. At the cup replay, at Goodison Park tomorrow, there will be collections inside the ground who will be pleased to accept any little gift for the benefits of Williams’ relative. Will you do your part to help a lad who, really, died in his colours? Thank you.
EVERTON’S REPLAY WITH BIRMINGHAM TOMORROW.
February 14, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Cup-tie fever in Liverpool will reach its highest peak so far this season at tomorrow’s game at Goodison Park, when Everton replay their fifth round tie with Birmingham. With ground advantage Everton should move on a stage further. Only once have they been beaten at Goodison Park since February 19 last year, when Wolves won 1-0. From that point they went on without another defeat until they fell against Charlton just before Christmas. This is their record at Goodison Park, including the cup-tie against Doncaster, after they lost to Wolves –Play 22 Won 1y Lost 1, Draw 4, For 70, Against 25.
In fourteen league games played there this season, eight visiting teams have failed to score, three have got a goal each, two have registered the double, and only Charlton have gone higher with their 4-1 victory. This hardly looks healthy for Birmingham, who have yet to register their first away win this season, and have averaged barely a goal in each, away match. I did not see Everton’s game at St. Andrews, on Saturday, being at Wolverhampton with Liverpool, but Stork was there on your behalf, and tells you below what he thinks of Everton’s chances of going on to the next round. If they get through I shall be very hopeful of their chances at Wolverhampton on march 4. Wolves are a brilliant side when they are on top and things are going according to plan. When it is a Cup-tie and the death or glory business, I discerned signs on Saturday that the youthfulness of the side my tend to shakiness when the tide turns against them. Liverpool banked on a bigger proportion of youth, and it failed. Everton have just the right blend of age and experience and it may swing the scales in their favour.
Everton Have The Pull.
The Wolverhampton forwards, are amazingly quick. In Westcott they have a lively centre forward, who has come on tremendously since last I saw him. A couple of his shots on Saturday were Lawton-like in their power and the fact that they were made almost from a standing position. Bruton –known to the locals as “Dizzy” –proved himself as an opportunist as well as a clever dribbler by the way he took Wolves’ first goal, the inside forwards are sound, but best of all I like MaGuire, who ought to walk into the England team against Scotland if his form on Saturday is the sort of thing he is serving up regularly. Man for man, apart from Maguire, I reckon the Everton attack was the balance of skill and artistry. I have seen Wolverhampton’s defence described as the best in the country. On the showing against Liverpool I place it second to Everton. Brilliant as he is, I don’t think Cullis quite comes up to the standard of Jones, who was labeled for me by one of the best judges in the country, with nearly half a century’s experience behind his words as the best centre half of all time, bar none. Major Buckley has two clever wing halves in Galley and Gardiner, but I put Mercer before the former and Thomson on a par with the latter. At full back and in goal there is little to choose. It will be a great game –always assuming it is Everton who go there –and the only pity is that one of the two best sides in the country today will not be at the final in April. Woilverhampton’s ground is smaller than Everton’s in playing area, and their hefty goalkeeper, Scott, has a habit of turning almost every other attack on his charge into an opening for his own forwards. Morris, Taylor, and Cullis do a lot of passing back to Scott, who runs to the edge of his domain and boots the ball into the opponents’ penalty area. On one occasion on Saturday he kicked the ball right over the Liverpool goalline and it was still travelling strongly enough to have covered another twenty yards or more. He had the wind behind him, certainly, but that gives you an idea of how Wolves utilize him as an imitator of attacks.
DEATH OF GEORGE HARRISON
February 14, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
I am sorry to have to report the death of George Harrison, one of the best wingers Everton has ever had, and an old stalwart of the immediate post-war years. Actually he joined Everton just before the war, after having had a couple of seasons as a youth with the old Leicester Fosse side. He served Everton faithfully and well until 1923 during which time he got an international cap, and then passed on to Preston North End. At the time of his transfer many folk thought he was nearing the end of his tether as a player but they reckoned without George’s amazing physique and skill. He was still playing nearly ten years later, after giving Preston seven years of excellent service. With the exception of Billy Meredith I know of no player who so defied the onslaught of Anno Domini as Harrison. In his 35th year he actually scored four out of five goals for Preston against Grimsby, and was still in active service for Blackpool some years later. He could hit a still ball with tremendous force, and, what is more important, with amazing accuracy, and his play was invariably a model of steady consistency. Faibfulness, rather than flashiness, was his motto. He played in something like 500 League games all told. There was a time, at Preston, when he was the only Sassenach in a side which contained such Scottish stalwarts as Willie Russell from Hamilton –no relation to the Henry of that ilk, who also went to Deepdale from Everton. Alex James, Wal Jackson, Tom Gillispie and the two Davids –Gibson and Morris. There were the days when North End set the headlines alight by spending over £20,000 in a few months, on six Scottish importance. The same half-dozen today would run into more like £50,000. George was a native of Church Gresley, a little Derbyshire village. He went back there when his playing days were over, and latterly had been in poor health.
February 14, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
The stage is all set for the Everton Birmingham replay at Goodison Park tomorrow. No team changes, no arguments. Both teams have a big incentive to go forward to a meeting with Wolverhampton on March 4, particularly so Birmingham, who would look upon a meeting with the Wolves in the light of a local “Derby” I don’t think, however, that the Midlanders will do at Goodison Park what they were unable to do at St. Andrews, even allowing for the surprise of a Cup-tie. Birmingham had their chance last Saturday and were unable to take it. They made a valiant effort to beat the League leaders, but having failed how can they hope to win on a ground which has yielded but three points to visiting teams this season? They will fight to the bitter end, I will promise you that, for it was their fighting quality which earned them their replay, and in point of skill they were a good second to Everton.
It is good news to hear that Lawton has fully recovered from his hurt of Saturday. I felt very doubtful about him en route for home, despite the fact that he assured me he would be fit. You can look to some stern duels between the Everton leader and the Liverpool native, Halsall, who played so well against Lawton last week-end. Halsall never once attempted anything of a nasty nature, which is something these days when centre half backs are out to stop the opposition “star” at all costs. The Birmingham defence is very strong, yet Everton had their chances to win this game quite early on had they accepted them. I don’t think they will miss many tomorrow. There may be some shuffing in the Birmingham forward line, for it was not until Dearson came into the attack that they looked like doing anything against the Everton half-back line, which can be likened to the Maginot line these days. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Birmingham; - Clack; Trigg, Hughes; Dearson, Halsall, Richards; Jennings, Craven, Harris, Madden, Brown.
EVERTON’S MATCHES IN GERMANY
February 15, 1939, The Evening Express
Everton F.C. will play four matches in Germany between May 10 and May 25. They will play against leading German teams in Berlin, Vienna, Stuggart and Dortmund.
“M” (Liverpool, 13) writes regarding nicknames –and one for Tommy Lawton, of Everton, in particular. He wants none. This is what he states; “Why this penchant for inflicting pet or nicknames on prominent footballers, regardless of their desires? I have always understood Billy Dean had no liking for the sourrbriquet, ‘Dixie.” Why should Waring be compelled to share the pet-name with dogs and monkeys? “Did any boxer ever prove cleverer or more successful in the ring because he was called “Smasher’ of Tiger’? Men like Jimmy Wilde, George Carpenier, Jack Dempsey, Eugene Tunney, and J.L. Sullivan were good enough for anyone, while the best in football have been Sam Hardy, ‘Lisha Scott, Bob Crompton, Dan Doyle… Let Everton’s brilliant and unassuming young centre-forward achieve fame and distinction under the name of his parents’ choice –Tommy Lawton –and more power to his boot.”
THE DEATH OF EVERTON F.C. MASCOT
February 15, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Story Of Tragedy At Birmingham Inquest.
The death of John Henry Williams (popularly known as the Everton F.C club mascot) who was knocked down by a bus at Birmingham on Saturday on his way to the Birmingham-Everton cup-tie at St. Andrews ground, was inquired into by the Birmingham City Coroner. Dr. W. H. Davision this afternoon. Williams, whose age was given as 39, was described as a cater, of 143a, Westminster Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool. Mr. G. Heron, instructed by the Everton F.C through Mr. Smith, of Liverpool, appeared for the relatives. Mrs. May Williams, the widow, said her husband regularly followed the Everton team, and that brought him to Birmingham on Saturday last. There were five children, the eldest being 20 and the youngest four. Richard Green, of 33 Priam Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool, who accompanied Williams from Liverpool for the match, told the coroner that Williams was the team’s mascot. “He always dressed up” said witness, and on that day he was wearing a policeman’s helmet and tunic in blue and white, and had a big rosette on his uniform.” “You would not take him for a policeman?” asked the coroner. Witness –No his helmet was in quarters of blue and white. Witness said that with a friend they arrived at New Street Station, Birmingham, at 11-30, and went to Aston, where they had two drinks of beer each. They then took a bus to the ground, but, before going in, went into a public-house where Williams had another two drinks.
In Best Of Spirits.
Williams, said witness, was “merry,” but not from drink. He was always in best of spirits on those occasions. He had a rattle, but witness did not know if he had retained it. On the way to the ground they walked in the road itself, which was crowded. The bus had to pick its way, the people giving way to it. Witness did not see the actual impact, but the bus passed within a foot of himself on the crown of the road. He estimated its speed at about 15 m.p.h. Williams had been taking to him up a minute before the impact. An eye witness Albert John Meadows, of 33 Wrentham Street, Birmingham, said Williams was following his companions walking on the near left-hand side of the crown of the road. Williams walked sideways looking to the right at a policeman. The bus approached on its proper side, swerved to avoid some persons, and swerved back. Williams did not seem to know the bus was coming as he was looking away. He was struck by the offside of the driver’s cabin, then fell under the back of the bus. The front wheels did not pass over him, and witness thought the rear wheel came to rest without passing over William’s body. He did not hear a horn sounded. Green, recalled, said the only thing he missed seeing was the actual impact; he heard the noise and turned in time to see Williams falling under the front wheel of the bus, which passed between his legs and over his thigh. Frederick Bannister, of Irving street, Birmingham, said he heard the bus horn sounded. Mrs. Elizberth Lane, of 28 Kingston Road, Birmingham, said that looking from her bedroom window she saw a crowd of Everton supporters hand-in-hand coming along the road and singing. The one dressed as a policeman went towards a real policeman standing on the pavement and began fooling round him. People called out, and he stepped backwards right into the track of the bus. (Proceeding).
TWO GOALS IN NINE MINUTES
February 15, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Harris Equalises Gillick Goal
Goodison Replay Great Crowd Watches Everton and B’ham
Two goals in the first nine minutes, one by Gillick and one by Harris, left the Everton-Birmingham fifth round Cup replay at Goodison Park level at the interval. Clack saved repeatedly in Birmingham’s goal. Teams: - Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Thomson (captain), half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Birmingham: - Clack, goal; Trigg and Hughes, backs; Dearson, Halsall and Richards, half-backs; Jennings, Craven, Harris, Madden, and Brown, forwards. Referee Mr. W. F. Daly, Kent. The crowd was a hugh one, yet I would not say it touched record figures. At the time of the start I think it was a few thousand short of the 68,000 which saw the famous Everton-Sunderland replay here. Everton won the toss, and took advantage of what the sun offered. It was a useful advantage for it was a glaring type of sun which would blind one shinning straight in the eye. A collection was taken for the late Everton mascot, who was killed at Birmingham on Saturday, and his old companion the clown, who has made it known that it will be his last season as an Everton mascot, was “doing his stuff” before the game started. Birmingham made a quick raid in the first minute, but Everton got in the more advantageous work, and actually took a goal in two minutes. A blow indeed to Birmingham, whose defence had been so solid in the first game.
A Gillick Goal.
The goal came about in rather an uncommon way. We had began to think Lawton had missed a great chance when he failed to connect with the ball from his left winger, but as things turned out it was a blessing in disguise, for the ball went out to Gillick who, while on the turn, put in a great drive which beat Clack to pieces. The goal had an immediate effect upon Birmingham, for Everton took command for some minutes and Lawton went close with a left foot drive which sped over the crossbar. A slip by Thomson let in the Birmingham right winger, Jennings, and Greenhalgh also failed to connect up with the ball, but Jennings was ultimately beaten by Stevenson, who had run back to help in the defence of his goal. The Birmingham defence had already felt the weight of Everton’s attack, and decided not to give away an inch without a fight for it, and when Gillick was through again Hughes made no bones about tapping the ball over the touch line as relief. Stevenson was just a little bit too inclined to the close dribble. Had he been more open he might have worked his way through the Birmingham defence, whereas he was crowded out.
A rather harmless looking lob centre by Jennings was turned into a goal by Harris in nine minutes, which just goes to show how a simple thing in a cup-tie can turn a whole game. Here was Everton, leading and playing as though they held a lead, being made to fight it all over again when Jennings lobbed the ball harmlessly into the centre of the field. Sagar could not have seen the Harris was tralleving hot-foot to get the ball, otherwise I feel sure he would have come out himself, but before he could do anything Harris collected the pass and pushed it right away from Sagar, who was left helpless. Thus after ten minutes the match was all square, with Birmingham feeling very relieved that they had wiped out Everton’s quick lead. Sagar had to catch a nice header by Harris, also from a centre by Jennings. It was a nasty looking ball which the Everton goalkeeper had to save, but he acted very securely in the saving of it. Birmingham developed more belief in themselves, and the Everton defence was often hard put to keep out their swift moving forwards, Jennings in particular being very speedy and sure with his centres, except on one occasion when he dropped the ball behind with every chance to put it in the middle, where it would have been more useful to his colleagues and a distinct danger to Everton.
Boyes put a hanging sort of ball almost underneath the Birmingham crossbar. Clack missed it entirely, so did Lawton, and the ball was eventually got away by Hughes conceding a corner. Stevenson was offered a great chance by Lawton, but failed to divine what his centre forward would do, so that when the pass came to him he was not quite able to take it up, the Birmingham defence beating him to it. Jones, in the coolest calmest manner beat two men in the space of a sixpence what time some were shouting to him to “Get shut” but Jones has his own way of playing football. Gillick was at outside left once, and put the ball into the Birmingham goalmouth, but it was just too high for Lawton to take, so that it went out to his own position where, of course, there was no one in waiting. Trigg, Hughes, and Halsall challenged every Everton move with great determination. The Birmingham forwards had been put out of the game for some minutes, and it was a question of Everton’s attack versus Birmingham’s defence, and when Bentham, with a clever flick to Gillick, saw the latter centre close into goal, there was a possibility of a goal when Lawton headed to the far side, but there was not enough impetus behind the ball, so that Clack was able to save with ease.
A Narrow Shave.
A free kick against Greenhalgh –a doubtful one in my opinion –livened things up, for Birmingham got within striking distance of Sagar without, however, striking. A long clearance, and Gillick in the middle snapped up the pass like lightning, and, drawing Clack out of goal, shot towards the goalkeeper’s left hand, but the ball was just a foot out of reckoning. This was a narrow shave for Birmingham, and when Boyes and Lawton between them got the better of Trigg, Bentham went clattering into the back of the net, as Clack punched out. Boyes shot fiercely for goal, but was out in his direction, there being no Lawton in the way this time to help the ball into the net. After all this Everton pressure Birmingham attacked in a manner suggestive of a goal, but they would persist in trying to walk the ball through, and Mercer stopped Jennings in the nick of time. Cook brought down Brown rather vigorously, and Richards went up with a display of fists to Cook, and just before the free kick was taken the referee had a word to say to both Cook and Richards. Lawton and Boyes, in an inter-passing phase, broke through the Birmingham defence, but Boyes’s final effort at scoring was just terrible, the ball finishing in among the crowd, well wide of the goal. He had sliced his drive. One of Clack’s best saves was when he caught a header by his colleague, Halsall just as the ball was speeding under the bar. The big thrills of the game has come in the first ten minutes. Birmingham may not have the skill of Everton, but they had something just as useful –enthusiasm and pace.
Half-Time; Everton 1, Birmingham 1.
Birmingham almost took the lead in the second half when Harris, out on the left wing, nipped round Jones and shot across the face. Sagar stopped the ball, but it actually went behind him. Fortunately there was no other Birmingham man within the vicinity to do the “needful.” It was a tense moment for Everton. This was not Everton’s form by any means, and Birmingham took advantage of the situation to play some really good football and make Everton look anything but a top of the League side. Boyes went through, but just as he shot the ball cannoned against Trigg, who eventually kicked into touch.
Gillick just failed to gather a ball a few yards out of goal, and then a Bentham shot was turned aside by Clack for a corner. Thomson also had a shot which struck a defender and Everton were now putting some heavy pressure on to the Birmingham defence. Birmingham looked capable of scoring every time they went up, and Harris was given a great chance by Brown, but finished poorly. Lawton tried a header which never had a chance against good goalkeeping by Clack, but Gillick brought the Birmingham goalkeeper to the floor for a nice save with a fierce drive. Boyes slipped up as he was going through and Jennings took yet another corner for his side. Halsall rather than give Bentham an inch of space banged the ball into the crowd, and Gillick again tested Clack with a ball which slightly deflected by Hughes. In the last few minutes Everton had leveled plenty of shots ay Clack, but he had taken them all with the greatest confidence.
EVERTON’S LUCKY WIN
Everton 2 Birmingham City 1 (F.A. Cup Game 155)
February 16 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Late Penalty Decides Cup Replay
Everton are in round six of the F.A.Cup, but they got there by one of the most unimpressive displays I have seen them give this season. They had the advantage of a goal in two minutes, yet in the end were fortunate to win, for it was only by a penalty goal scored three minutes from time that they qualified to meet Wolverhampton Wanderers on March 4. They have to thank Dearson for the penalty goal, and the irony of it,, was that the ball would most likely have been saved, for ever through Clark was out of position Hasall was there, along with another to steer Boyes’s header out of the goal but Dearson could not refrain from putting his hands to the ball and that could produce but one thing, a spot kick from which Cook Everton’s penalty king-he has not missed one since he started to take them-crashed it into the net at 87 minutes. I have never seen such relief of the faces of the Everton followers in all my long connection with the club, and even the Everton people themselves could not but admit that they were distinctly fortunate for Everton were playing with so little luster that it was no certainty that they would have scored if extra time had been called. It was a most unconvincing victory whereas it could have been a comfortable one. I wonder if that early goal had anything to do with Everton’s listless display.
Did it lead them into a false channel?
I am rather inclined to think it did, but whatever the cause of their feeble exhibition they never got into the swing, which has been so successful after Birmingham had equalized at the ninth minute. Even admitting that Birmingham were worthy foemen, Everton had they chances but having failed with them and never really promising to score again Birmingham took up the cudgels in the a second half and were undoubtedly the better side. Their football was good; they were faster on the ball, and their speed in attack often had the Everton defence at its wits end as to how best to deal with it. They never really mastered it, but don’t let us forget that Sagar had not a lot to do at any time. His best save was made, just before the penalty came along when he pushed over his bar an angular drive by Dearson. That shot would have landed in the net and so for that matter would one by Harris just previously when all seemed lost. Harris was right through when agar in a last despairing effort, bounded out of goal, and any blocked the effort. Birmingham at that point were testing the Everton defence to the full. Football along the ground and good combination had Everton running around in their effort to stop these live Birmingham forwards, but I have to admit that they were rarely successful, and Birmingham went out of the competition will nothing but praise. I cannot find much praise for Everton; I have not seen them so higgledy-piggledy for some considerable time. They were at sixes and sevens most part of the game; never together, so that there was not the unity of action one has associated with the League leaders. Not a single forward lived up his reputation for Lawton could do nothing Stevenson was as quiet as a mouse, and Boyes the man who made the victory possible had a wretched match. The slump even hit the half-backs line, for neither Mercer nor Thomson could cope with they respective wings, and the only good words can utter concern Jones. He stood like a giant in the middle and was as well that he did for Cook and Greenhalgh were below form. I though Sagar might have come out and taken Jennings’s lob centre before it landed at Harris’s feet. He had no chance once it was on the ground, for Harris’s half volleyed it into the net as the ball touched the ground. But I absolve Sagar because of his two masterly saves later on when a slip would have spelled disaster. Gillick’s goal in two minutes was a hook shot after the ball had been crossed in front of the Birmingham goal, and Lawton was unable to get possession. Perhaps it was well the centre forward could not connect. Birmingham played very much better than they had done in the first game and the Bestall influence seems to be bearing fruit, for there was any amount of good football in the team, and on this showing Birmingham should not be long at the foot of the table. They did not play, anything like wooden spoonists and by the same token Everton were nothing like League leaders. One thing I did admire and that was Clark’s wonderful gesture when Dearson had given away the penalty. He went over to his colleagues and patted him on the shoulder as if to say ‘’don’t worry, old man.’’ Birmingham are not unduly worried by their defeat; disappointed yes for they had played well enough to have been named the winners, but there is a stern fight ahead of then to get away from the bottom. One director said to me after the match ‘’well you have got to have a slice of luck in the cup’’ Everton certainly had it. Another pleasing sight was to see the referee after the final whistle had sounded call Tommy Lawton and Halsall, the Birmingham centre half-back together and congratulate them both on their sporting play, Halsall it will be remembered at one time played for Marine before he went to Blackburn Rovers. Result Everton 2 Birmingham City 1.
Everton :- Sager goal Cook, and Greenhalgh backs, Mercer Jones, and Thomson (captain), half-backs Gillick Bentham, Lawton,, Stevenson and Boyes, Birmingham City:- Clark, goal, Trigg and Hughes backs, Dearson Halsall and Richards half-backs Jennings Craven Harris, Madden and Brown forwards. Referee Mr. W.F.Daly (Orington). Attendance 64,796 (receipts £4,945).
EVERTON GET THROUGH BY SKIN OF THEIR TEENTH.
February 16, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Luck Of The Cup Exemplified
Record Midweek Attendance And Receipts
The truth of the old saying that to keep going in the Cup a team must have luck as well as skill has been moved again. Everton had a solid slice of the former and very little of the latter. My sympathics are with Birmingham and particularly Dearson, who blotted the copybook of his otherwise excellent display by a tragic error of judgment which need never have been committed, for there were two men behind him on his goalline when he handed the ball out to give away the vital penalty. It was the worst display I have seen from Everton this season. They played like a side suffering end-of-the-season staleness, not like League leaders and Wembley probables; I said after the draw on Monday that I fancied Everton to win against Wolves. Well, Major Buckley was there yesterday, among the big congregation of managers and officials from at least twenty other clubs, and he must have gone back home with the feeling that if that was all his side has to beat they are as good as in the semi-final already. I prefer to regard it as just one of those off days that come to the best of sides occasionally, when nothing does right and almost everybody strikes a bad patch together, and to disregard it altogether as a pointer to what may happened on march 4. It was too bad to be true. In any case, for what it is worth, we shall have an opportunity of forming a better judgment of the sixth round prospects after next Wednesday when Everton go to Molineux to fulfill the League fixture postponed from last Saturday. A word of praise is due to Birmingham, who were very gallant and sporting losers. They played the “game” right to the end, and Lawton has never had a fairer handling from any centre half this season than he got from Halsall. Once or twice Cook’s idea of a vigorous tackle threatened to carry him over the border line, and Mercer was lucky to escape a penalty award, but otherwise it was a very clean game, and that is something to be thankful for. Yesterday’s attendance of 64,736 (receipts £4,945); was a record for a midweek game at Goodison, beating the previous figures of 59,213 (£4,382) for the Sunderland replay four years ago. The record for a Saturday game is 68,158, against Sunderland in the fourth round last season.
Everton All Wrong.
What was wrong with Everton yesterday? I ask you, for I am unable to give a satisfactory answer myself. I have tried to find some reason, for their poor display against Birmingham, but cannot find one. I know players can have an off day, but apart from Jones, Gillick, and Sagar the whole of the Everton side played as though they had no life, no craft about them. They have not had many bad days this season, particularly at home, but in this replay they touched the bottom; the same level as at Brentford and I can see no reason for it. Had Birmingham won through they would have got no more than they deserved, for they played bright, progressive football as against unconvincing football by Everton. It was rank bad luck that they should be beaten by a penalty in the last three minutes of the game, but that is the penalty for keeping the ball out of the net with the hands. I am glad to know that Birmingham are not unhappy about their defeat. As one of the directors put it to me after the match; “We gave you a good game, and that is enough for us. We have a stiff enough fight ahead to stay in the League without the added weight of the Cup game on our shoulders.” Birmingham certainly did give us a good game; it was almost too good for Everton; who have not had to fight harder for their win in any game this season. That is the luck of the Cup. When Everton took a Gillick goal in two minutes the game seemed as good as won, but Birmingham replied to the challenge in nine minutes, and then surprised us all by their alert, skilful football –football which had the Bestall ring about it. At one time in their career Birmingham were pretty tousy. Those days have gone, for they tested Everton by high-class, football, particularly so in the second half, when they switched the ball from man to man in confident fashion. I thought Sagar should have come out and taken Jenning’s centre before it, got to Harris, but whether he was right or wrong in staying “at home,” I don’t forget the two occasions late in the game when he saved two certain goals to keep his side in the Cup, for had Birmingham scored with either one of them it would have been goodbye, Everton.
Everton had no forward of any account. Gillick was best by a long way, and the “rot” extended to those in the rear, for Mercer was out of touch with his passes and was often caught running the wrong way and, in my opinion, gave away a penalty, not granted. Fortunately, Jones stood gracefully in the centre to curb those fiery Birmingham forwards, and it was well for Everton that he did, otherwise the goal roll would have been heavy. Nor was the defence its usual self, for neither Cook nor Greenhalgh struck a confident note. Everton on this display can have no chance against Wolverhampton, but it hardly seems possible for them to touch such depths again. Cook is becoming one of Everton’s chief scorers. He has scored four goal’s from the penalty spot, nary a one of which has given the goalkeeper, the slightest chance. He had an unenviable task placed on his shoulders with three minutes to go, yet he bumped the ball into the back the netting with all the confidence in the world.
WOLVES “CHIEFS” SEE DRAMATIC EVERTON WIN.
February 16, 1939. The Evening Express.
Blues’ Cup-Replay Form Too Bad To Be True.
Mr. A.H. Oakley, chairman, and Major Buckley, manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers, attended the F.A. Cup fifth round replay at Goodison Park yesterday, and saw Everton beat Birmingham in dramatic manner by two goals to one. They came to analyze the play of the winners in order to prepare for the next round on March 4. They could hardly have been impressed by the play of Everton. Messrs Oakley and Buckley did not see the real Everton yesterday, but a mere shadow of the team which is leading the First Division championship table. Luck ran right against Birmingham, who played inspired football. They were much quicker on the ball than the Blues, who were labored and uncertain in their work even, after securing the inspiration of a goal in two minutes. Once Birmingham had got on terms again the Midlanders were the dictators, only to go under because of a dramatic penalty three minutes from time. Everton have not played so unconvincingly this season, and the reason for it, in my opinion, was that neither of their inside forwards, Bentham and Stevenson, struck his true form. They did not show the initiative one usually sees from them; neither were they cute in creating openings. This had the effect of cramping the smooth working of the attack and throwing too much work on the wing half-backs. The inside forwards are the key men to any side. Unfortunately, the two Everton men were off form and the entire fabric of the side was shattered. Mercer and Thomson could not cope with the work thrown on them, and it was good that Tom Jones played so brilliantly at centre-half. He was the one man who stood out in Everton’s defence, which was wobbly, particularly on the right. Gillick was the finest forward afield, and he always looked like a potential match-winner, but Lawton did not appear to be really fit to me and was easily held by the Liverpool lad, Halsall. Boyes did many purposeful things, and Sagar made one thrilling save off Dearson late on to compensate for his error, in not coming out to catch Jennings’ chancy centre which enabled Harris to equaliser Gillick’s goal after ten minutes. Throughout the Birmingham defence appeared more certain than that of the Blues, while their half backs were yards quicker on the ball. It was speed to possession and in possession where Birmingham had the “pull” although they did not enjoy half so much of the game, territorially, as the winners. Neither were the Midlanders so dangerous in front of goal as Everton, who three times almost snatched goals before Dearson fisted out Boyes’s header three minutes from time, and Cook gave Everton the passport into the sixth round with a brilliantly taken penalty. The attendance of 64,796 and receipts of £4,945 constitute a record for a midweek match at Goodison Park.
The Everton club state that all tickets for the Everton-Wolverhampton Wanderers cup-tie on March 4 have been over-applied for. When the office staff reached Goodison Park today they found that the post had been extremely heavy, and applications for tickets are far greater than Everton’s allocation. No further applications can be entertained.
EVERTON ON TRAIL OF GREAT SOCCER “DOUBLE.”
February 17, 1939. The Evening Express.
Lancs. Rivals At Goodison Tomorrow.
Lawton A Doubtful Starter.
Everton have a fine chance of being the first club since 1897 to record football’s most elusive “double” –the winning of the F.A. Cup and the championship of the First Division. Not since Aston Villa did the trick long, long ago, has any club secured that “double” but today Everton are well-positioned, being in the sixth round of the Cup and leaders of the First Division. Everton have won all their eight matches in 1939, with the exception of last Saturday’s game at Birmingham, which ended in a draw. Now they face Lancashire rivals in Bolton Wanderers, at Goodison Park tomorrow, when the Blues will be out to average a 4-2 defeat received at the hands of Bolton early on the season. Tommy Lawton, Everton’s international centre-forward, is a doubtful starter. He is still suffering from the effects of the bump he received on his side in last Saturday’s game against Birmingham. Should Lawton not be able to play and no celebrate his 100th Football League appearance, then “Bunny” Bell will take over the leadership for the first time since Boxing Day when he was in the team which drew with Derby County. A decision will not be made until tomorrow. There will be a warm welcome for Albert Geldard who will be re-appearing at Goodison for the first time since he left Everton for Bolton. In goal will be the Bootle lad, Duggie Hanson, brother of Alf Hanson of Liverpool and Chelsea fame. I do not think Everton will play as poorly as they did when scraping through against Birmingham and I look to them to gain the reward in a hard game. The Blues are again unchanged. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
Everton “A” team visit Stoneycroft in the fourth round of the Liverpool Challenge Cup. Everton “A”; Burnett; Prescott, Lambert; Hill, Edwards, Davies (Jack); Sweeney, Johnson, Hume, Griffiths, Davies (Joe).
Everton “B”; team oppose Mellanear in the semi-final of the Divisional Knock-out Tournament. Everton “B”; Canavan; Ireland, Dugdale; Sherratt, Beardwood, Atkins; Sumner, McDonald, Price, Lyon, Bailey.
A FINE PERFORMANCE
Friday 17 February 1939 Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald
Chesterfield Reserves Win at Goodison Park
Chesterfield Reserves brought off one of their best, if not their best, performance of the season so far when they visited Goodison Park on Saturday and defeated Everton Reserves 3—l. Chesterfield Reserves are at the top of the table and Everton Reserves are fourth. All the goals were scored in the first half. There was a large crowd. Early on Everton looked like taking command, but Sharp kicked over the ball when in a position. Chesterfield retaliated strongly Mackie had chance to score but shot over the bar. Lovett made a fine save from Lowe from close range. Luke scored for Chesterfield and shortly afterwards Mackie added second and Lowe obtained a third. Cunliffe scored for the home team just before half-time. Following the resumption, Everton were the first to become dangerous, and Kelly saved from Bell and Keenan. Chesterfield subsequently kept on top. Their forwards being very troublesome to the home halves. Luke missed a glorious chance by shooting wide. Watson and Hepworth were sound backs. Result: Everton Reserves 1. Chesterfield Reserves 3. Everton Res. —lovett: Saunders, Jones JE: Britton. Davies; Barber, Cunlffe Bell, Sharp, Keenan. Chesterfield Res.— Kelly; Watson, Hepworth; Spedding, Sutherland: Luke, Lowe Richardson. Mackie, Sullivan. Referee; Mr. H.V. Whitehouse (Wolverhampton).
FORGET AND FORGIVE
February 17, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Let us forget the Everton-Birmingham game; it was too bad to be true. For my part I honest believe that Birmingham looked so good because Everton were so bad. I have seen them only in one game where they have touched such a low standard and that was against Brentford. It is not uncommon to find one man of his game, but it is unusual to find practically a whole side off on the one day. It came near to that on Wednesday, but as I say let us forget all about it; it does not bear thinking about. Tomorrow Everton tackle Bolton Wanderers at Goodison Park and now that they have a strong grip on the topmost position it is imperative that they win this game and so maintain their lead over Derby County. It is not going to be easy, for the Wanderers are playing good football at the moment, and one of the reasons is the revival of Albert Geldard.
Pity The Centre.
I got in at the back of my mind that Lawton was not quite fit in the Cup replay, and although he has been chosen for this game, I would not be at all surprised if he were marked absent at kick-off time. He will have another tall, lanky, centre half to contend with, for Atkinson is ideally built for the pivotal position. I feel sorry for centre forwards these days of the “stopper” centre half backs. Halsall was one of the cleanest I have seen for some time. Bolton were represented at the midweek match, but I hope they have not made up their minds that this is going to be a cakewalk, for they may be led up the garden path if they take this game as a guide to Everton’s ability. It was Everton at their worst; they can be ever so much better, and I think that Bolton will be the first to agree after they have tested the strength of the League leaders tomorrow.
Wanderers Goodison Record.
Bolton Wanderers have not won a League game at Goodison Park for some seasons, but I readily call to mind their Cup victory there not quite so long ago. They have scored a goodly number of goals in their League games, but have not such a strong defence as that of Everton, which is the leaders’ strong point these days. I am looking forward to a close tussle, with Everton just turning the scale, but they will have to be a different Everton to that of two days ago. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Bolton Wanderers: - Hanson; Winter, Hubbick; Goslin, Atkinson; Taylor, Geldard, Sinclair, Hunt, Howe, Marsh. Everton Reserves; - (at Leeds) - Lovett; Jackson, Jones; Britton, Gee, Milligan; Merritt, Cunliffe, Catterick, Sharp, Trentham.
EVERTON SHOOT TO CONQUER
February 18, 1939. The Liverpool Football Echo
Strengthening The Grip
Everton won because they were the better team. True, it was a lucky goal which gave them the win, but don’t forget Hanson had done great work in the Wanderers’ goal. Geldard scored his first League goal since joining Bolton. With Derby County beaten Everton are two points ahead. Teams: - Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Thomson (captain), half-backs; Gillick, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Bolton Wanderers: - Hanson, goal; Winter, and Hubbick, backs; Goslin, Atkinson and Taylor, half-backs; Geldard, Sinclair, Hunt, Howe, and Marsh, forwards. Referee Mr. C.S. Blackhall (Wednesbury). Just before the “off” light rain started and along with it came a mist, so that seeing conditions were not quite so good as they might have been. Lawton was tried out this morning and failed to pass the test, so that Bell took over the centre forward position. Everton took an early lead, Gillick scored a grand goal at the seventh minute. I doubt whether Hanson saw the ball as it flashed by him. Gillick took his chance from a rebound. Boyes later made some grand dribbles, and Gillick, too, often went around Taylor and Hubbick by high class football. Mercer joined the firing squad, a long ball from him being pushed over the crossbar by Hanson. Hanson pulled down his crossbar when making this save. I wonder how many know that this is against the laws of the game and should be penalized?
Geldard’s First For Bolton.
The Wanderers at long last got into something like working order, and we saw Geldard in action for the first time, and the result was a goal from the foot of the former Everton player, his first league goal for Bolton. Sinclair, when he made his pass to Geldard, put the whole Everton defence out of position with the exception of Sagar, who had to come out. He did this, but Geldard directed his shot right away from him and into the far side of the net. This, like Everton’s goal, was a nice one. Gillick almost took a second when he rammed in another fierce drive, which Hanson cleared smartly. Hanson also saved from a group of players, Hunt led the Bolton line cleverly. Bell was unlucky with two shots which crashed up against defenders, but he nevertheless put out some choice passes to his respective wingmen. Jones sent the ball up the middle and Bell, gliding forward, made a left-footed shot, which beat Hanson and hit the upright. This was a different Everton today, for they were full of shot, and skill. Hanson next saved from Bentham. Howe shaved the crossbar, and Hunt opened a way through the Everton defence for Sinclair who, however, was beaten, as Geldard was when going through from what I thought was an off-side position. Later Geldard drove straight into Sagar’s hands.
Everton took the lead in an uncommon sort of way. Mercer put a long punt into the Bolton goal area. It was an innocent-looking ball, and Hubbick probably had no doubt as to what he intended to do, but his header beat his goalkeeper and the ball landed in a corner of the net at 35 minutes. Hanson saved from Stevenson. The Bolton man had done much to keep Everton’s score down to 2 goals.
Half-Time –Everton 2, Bolton W. 1.
While the Wanderers showed some improvement in the second half, it was Everton who held the balance of play, Bell hit the side netting, and Hanson saved from Boyes, Gillick and Bentham. From a throw-in the ball sped across the Everton goalmouth, but there was not a Bolton man handy. Cook one banged the ball into the goalmouth, and Hanson had to keep a careful watch on a ball which he subsequently tipped over the bar. Jones was spoken to by the referee for an infringement against Hunt. Bell twice had hard lines following good combination by his colleagues. There were some gift offering; which was not accepted. Hanson had played extremely well but Stevenson once should have left him stone cold.
Trying To Make Sure
Twice Bell put passes out to Boyes. He did get one back and should have scored, but he wanted to make sure by taking the ball closer, which proved fatal. The Wanderers did some reorganization, Winter went outside right through a pulled muscle, Goslin right back, Howe right half, Sinclair inside left, and Geldard inside right. Everton were always the more convincing side, and Bell had deputized for Lawton quite well. Final; Everton 2, Bolton Wanderers 1.
EVERTON’S MOOD CHANGED WITH THEIR COLOURS.
February 16, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
But Next Tie At Molineux Is Blue And Gold
Gordon Watson’s “Sheltered” Occupation
Everton have not been seen to such poor advantage at Goodison Park this season as in the mid-week game against Birmingham. But I hardly think it is the strain of leading the League, or attempting to reach Wembley. Everton have a reasonably good chance of the “double” but I am one of those who believe that the “double” nowadays is out of the reach of one club. I may be wrong. There was no question that Everton played like a team feeling the stress of business, for there was no snap about them; no swing. But has it occurred to you, reader, who said Birmingham played better football, that it was due to Everton’s bad play that the Midlanders looked so good. It may be only a fad of mine, but I don’t fancy Everton in any game when they have to change their colours. It may only be coincidence, yet I have seen, time and time again, when they have gone into their alterative dressing, that they have not played so well as in regulation blue jersey and white knickers, I know you will quote me the case of the Cup final, when they gave a grand exhibition when beating Manchester City, but that was only one game among so many. Does it have any effect? I have never spoken to any of the players about it, but I firmly believe it has. Here is a club playing almost weekly in the same colours suddenly called upon to change their spots. Players “find” each other by the aid of the colour scheme and having become used to one set of colours it is only natural that the change must be unsettling for a time. If not right throughout the game. A player has to think twice to be sure his intended pass is going to the right man. This colour business is of such importance that when two clubs have similar jerseys in a Cup-tie both teams have to change, so that there should be no advantage to either side. Yet there is the “strangeness” –a small point, but how important. If it were not such a vital matter why upon both teams to change. Why not allow the older club the privilege of retaining its colours if there is no advantage? I know that in the recent Cup-tie with Birmingham both teams changed over, and the peculiar thing was that Birmingham played 50 per cent, better in their red and white stripes than they have been doing in their regulation blue in the League tourney. That apparently knocks my argument on the head, doesn’t it? Yet not if you take the broader view that Birmingham were made to look better than they were, because of Everton’s poor opposition. No to another matter, one with more colour, the coming sixth round tie with Wolverhampton. We all know that a heavy dish has been set before Everton, but is it a bigger one than was put before them for the third round tie with Derby County? Every one said they would not get through that one, yet they did, and I don’t think that Wolverhampton are a better team today than Derby County were on January 7. Take a look at the Cup-winning teams of recent years. They have all had a leavening of age in the side, and while this may be the age of youth these young lads of Wolverhampton –the oldest is 27 –may find their nerves –despite the gland pellets –letting them down for this important sixth round. They showed when Liverpool scored a goal against them that they could be easily upset and become jumpy. So don’t be so dismal over Everton’s visit to the Molineux ground. They are not beaten as yet. The next tie is a case of blue and old gold.
Who is twelfth man today? When that is asked in the training room at Goodison Park the unardumous answer is “Blue Eye.” Well, you will want to know who, “Blue Eye” is, I suppose. Thomas Gordon Watson lays claim to the pseudonym by reason of the fact that he has been on reserve with the Everton team practically throughout the season. His place on the team sheet seems as assured as any of the senior eleven, and he is happy in the position, for he has lifted plenty of bonus money. Gordon is as much part and parcel of the team as any of the eleven, for he has his work to do just the same as the others, but I know that he would rather be playing than keeping Harry Cooke company in the “dug-out.” He says he would not sit in the shelter with anyone else but Harry. Watson has a dry wit, typical of the Northerner, and only the other day he said to his captain, Jock Thomson, “Whenever I see you play I feel ashamed of myself.” Do you see the joke and the friendly spirit among the Everton players? “Wattie” has been with the Everton club since 1933, and has qualified for a benefit, and will get it before long. He signed one day in January, and actually put pen to paper as he was lying in bed with an attack of the flu. Watson’s native place is Seghill in Durham and he started his football life with Durham schoolboys. Upon leaving for the sterner things of life he played for Crowercroft Juniors when he was 15, later transferring to Seghill. He stayed with them until he was 16, when Blyth Spartans cast an eye on him. He was a centre half back in those days, and was signed by Everton for that position, but found his right niche as a left half back. A miner in his native parts, Watson is built on strong lines, and had not Everton been well-placed as regards wing half-backs would have been playing regularly in the highest circle. As it happens he has spent most of his time in the Central League side, and helped them to win the championship. On occasions he has filled a forward berth, and not so long ago was outside left for Everton, scoring a grand goal at Goodison Park. He is a grand man to put in anywhere, but his rightful place is on the left flank. Many players would not be satisfied with consistently playing second fiddle, but Watson never grumbles. He feels his time will come, and I know that Everton realize his worth. One of his best quips was concerning the morning salts. Harry Cooke goes around each morning when the team is on special training, or when they are playing away, with a tin of salts in his hand. “Any salts this morning, Gordon,” he asked of Watson, who replied in a flash “No, I m not like the other beggers, I eat my own cabbage.” Watson is a keen allotmenteer in his spare time, and is proud of his own vegetables. Here is another one. When our artist, George Green, went up to the ground to sketch Watson for this article, Greenhalgh, who was lying on the massage table, said; “Don’t put him in football togs; he never wears em.”
LEADERS WORTHY WINNERS
Everton 2 Bolton Wanderers 1 (Game 1674 over-all)-(Div 1 1632)
February 20 1939. Liverpool Daily Posy
Although Everton only won by a gift goal, headed into the net by Hubbick, the Bolton Wanderers left back, they were well worth their 2-1 victory for taken thorough and though they were the better side and had it not been for the Merseyside born Hanson in goal they would have had a much greater goal crop. The bare score of 2-1 does not do Everton full justices, for there was times when they were domiciled around the Wanderers goal in such a manner that goals should have been the natural outcome even though Bolton defence played well throughout, particularly was this the case in the second half when a little more deadness in shooting would have left even the good goalkeeper Hanson with but one mission, to retrieve the ball from the back of the net. Hanson had proved his worth in the opening half when he turned at least 3 tremendous drives over his bar, so that the Everton forwards must have known that only good shooting was likely to beat him. Perhaps it was that which made them to carry the ball closely in to him before shooting and so lose their chance. Whatever it was, all the Everton forwards in the last half-hour had excellent scoring opportunities of finding the net. Bell’s was perhaps the worse case of misjudgment for he was presented with a ‘’sitter’’ only to lose possession, because he wanted to get a closer view of the net he was robbed just as some of the others had been who desired a better shooting. Spot. Both Stevenson and Boyes were placed for goals played is such a manner that one naturally expected goals to come for them, but they would not try a bow at a venture, they had to make sure, instead of which they ruined their own prospects for the Wanderers defence are only two thankful of the chance to make a tackle. Everton’s victory was well won for all that and don’t let us forget the occasion when Bell shot hard for goal beat Hanson only to find the ball the bump up against the upright. Gillicks has taken to scoring in the first few minutes, he had the ball in the net seven minutes from the start yet a shade lucky but never the less a well taken shot which left Hanson helpless. Geldard’s goal against his old club mates must have been appetizing. Especially so as it was his first, for the Wanderers since he left. He smacked home a nice ball which sped away from Sagar, who had come out to close down the angle. Bolton had their fair share of attack in the first half and their defence was grand but when Lubbick got his head to a long ball Mercer, there seemed little likelihood of any danger coming from it. He was well out of goal at the time but the ball glanced from his head at a tangent and flew into the far side of the goal. Hanson scrambling over in an effort to cover his partner’s mistake that goal came at 35 minutes. There was no further scoring, there should have been for Everton were so much on top that goals should have come automatically but I have already told you the reason why. Hanson’s net was not blocked up by goals. Hanson was undoubtedly Bolton outstanding figure,, he fingered over his bar, a long lob by Cook with the greatest confidence despite the trickiness of the situation, but his best work was in the first half when the Everton forwards were full of shots. I liked the way Bell sent the ball out to the wings, and Gillick’s penchant for nipping into the centre and making fiery drives. Boyes fittey and fluttering to effect, Bentham’s whole heartedness and Stevenson’s weeding though but I did not like to see so many gift offerings wasted. It was wicked waste to say the least. Everton’s form was greatly in front of the replay game.
Bolton were clever in part, the best part of the team being in defence but once Everton had taken the lead the forwards, seemed to ‘’give it up’’ Hunt tried hard to break though and Sinclair and Geldard show up well in occasions, but they were never quite the equal of the Everton five, and it was only poor, marksmanship by, the latter and some grand goalkeeping by Hanson which prevented Everton striding forwards to a more handsome win. An injury to winter necessitated some wholesale shuffling by Bolton, but that could not be made an excuse for their defeat.
Everton:- Sagar goal, Cook and Greenhalgh, backs,, Mercer, Jones, and Thomson (captain), half-backs, Gillick Bentham, Bell Stevenson and Boyes forwards. Bolton Wanderers:- Hanson goal, Winter and Hubbick backs, Goslin Athinson and Taylor half-backs,, Geldard, Sinclair, Hunt, Howe, and Marsh forwards. Referee Mr. G.A. Blackhall (Wednesbury)attendance 38 961
Leeds United Reserves 4 Everton Reserves 1
February 20 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Central League (Game 31)
Everton began splendidly at Eland road and Merritt’s work on the right wing was deserving of better results. On the other wing Trentham revealed plenty of dash and so over worked were the Leeds defence that on no fewer than three occasions in the first half the ball was hurriedly kicked back to Savage the United goalkeeper. For 10 minutes before the interval the Leeds forwards improved greatly and after Parry and McGraw only just failed by inches to score the last named put United in front with a hard drive from short range after 43 minutes. The Leeds forwards gave a vastly improved display in the second half, and shortly Heaton and Ainsley scored further goals, Leeds who were not so inferiors as the score suggests. Britton, Cunliffe, and Merritt were each unfortunate in having their efforts stooped almost miraculously by Savage the Leeds custodian. Everton: - Lovett, goal; Jackson and Jones, backs; Britton, Gee and Milligan, half-backs; Merritt, Cunliffe, Catterick, Sharp, and Trentham, forwards. Placed 4 played 31, won 16, lost 10, draw 5, for 54, against 57, points 37.
LIVERPOOL CHALLENGE CUP
Everton ‘’A’’ 5 Stonecroft 1
February 20 1939 The Liverpool Daily Post
At Queens Drive after being on equal terms at the interval Everton ‘’A’’ played much better in the late stages and four more goals were scored. Wright gave Stonecroft the lead, but Hume equalised, the Everton forwards lost chances though being to close during their movements. The home side were more open, but were beaten many times by the visiting defence. In which Edwards played strongly Hume, Griffiths Johnson and, Hill netted Everton’s second half goals.
WEBESDAY’S GAME AT WOLVERHAMPTON MAY DECIDE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP
February 20, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Likely To Be At full Strength
But Wolves Have Several Doubtfuls
It may seem premature to say that a league match played in mid-February ill decide the destination of the League championship, yet it is quite on the cards that such will be the case on Wednesday, when Everton journey to Molineux to play their rearranged League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers. A victory for Everton would make their leadership almost impregnable against anything bar an unexpected and unlikely collapse in the next couple of months. Derby County seem to have shot their bolt. Three points out of the last twelve played for is their dismal record since New Year’s Day, and while they cannot be left out of the reckoning their performances of late are not inductive of any immediate revival. Charlton may still be a danger to Everton’s hopes though their decisive defeat at Huddersfield minimizes the threat and makes the leeway rather too heavy a burden. It rather looks as though Charlton’s challenge was a flash in the pan. Everton will pick their side tomorrow evening. The only question mark, and a faint one at that, is attached to Lawton, but after the rest on Saturday, when he added a little “tone” to the “Press-box” by his presence amongst us, he is almost certain to play. The rest of the side report fir and well.
All tickets Have Gone.
By the way, it is no good writing to Wolverhampton for tickets for the Cup tie on Saturday week. Major Buckley says they have all be applied for several time’s over. Everton have sold out their quota, and, in view of the big demand, Wolves are restricting their own distribution to Wolverhampton people. Wolves undoubtedly are Everton’s greatest rivals. Two points to the visitors would be invaluable; a win for Wolves would narrow the gulf between them to a couple of points. It is not often a league game is so fraught with fateful issues so early in the season. This one has, of course, an even greater significance than its league importance. It will provide us with a guide to Everton’s prospects a fortnight hence in the Cup. If the Goodison brigade win an Wednesday –as I think they can –the outlook for the “double” will be rosier than ever. Don’t let us forget, however, that Everton turned the tables on Derby County in the Cup to make up for their league defeat –and history has a habit of repeating itself. Maybe for the time being it would be better to go one step at a time. The greater the anticipation the harder, the fall, if it comes, and I don’t want to encourage Goodison followers in the premature contemplation of a dual League and Cup triumph. So many clubs have looked well set for it in postwar years, only to fall eventually at one or both fences, that I am beginning to doubt whether we are likely to see it at all. I don’t agree with the man who a few days ago told me quite emphatically that it was impossible for any club to win both honours. Nothing is impossible in football –ask the pools punters! –but any clubs needs a streak of luck and freedom from injuries to even be in the running; and luck and injuries are things over which nobody has any control. To a big extent, both Everton and Wolves owe their present position to their ability to play practically the same team week after week. The advantage of that are too obvious to need stressing. A crop of injuries at a vital time like this might upset the whole machinery. Everton, by the way, want one more League victory on Wednesday to equal the six successive wins with which they started off the season. Since they lost to Brentford on the last day of the old year they have won eight and drawn one of their nine games, with 24 goals, for and six against; but only five of them were League matches.
The Mascot Collection.
The collection at Goodison Park in aid of the dependant of Harry Williams, the mascot, who was killed at Birmingham came within close reach of £100. The club hopes to top the three figures, and donations sent to them will be grateful acknowledged.
EVERTON’S GIFT GOAL.
February 20, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
When the Everton team heard of Derby’s home lapse, they must have thanked the Bolton full back, Hubbick, for presenting them with that winning goal, for they themselves were incapable of adding to Gillick’s point. That goal may win them the championship, yet it need not have been so vital, for the League leaders’ forwards were often so well placed to core that they should have had no need to reply upon the mistakes of their opponents. Even allowing for the fine goalkeeping of Hanson, brother of Adoph, o Chelsea, they had enough opportunities in the last half-hour that, instead of a narrow win, and an eagerness for the call of time, they should have been so well placed that they could have given the Wanderers a further couple of goals, and still won. It was a tragic mistakes by Hubbick in that there was no reason why he should interfere with Mercer’s long put into goal for Hanson was well positioned to take the ball, but apparently he decided to take no chances, so calmly put his head to the ball and it glanced into the far side of the net. Rank bad luck to say the least, but only went to prove that –Hubbick feared that the ball might go to Everton who had just previously been storming the Wanderers’ goal. Gillick had scored at six minutes, taking a rebound smartly to beat Hanson, and Geldard had the satisfaction of scoring against his old comrade, Sagar shortly after. Before Hubbick’s misfortune, Hanson had made glorious saves, from Gillick, Bentham, and Stevenson; and was happy in the thought that although Bell had beaten him, the woodwork was on his side. That was bad luck for Lawton’s deputy; but he had so many chances to wipe that out of his mind that one can have little sympathy for him for that miss. He made some lovely passes to the wing, offering Boyes, Stevenson, and Gillick, great scoring chances; but he himself could not accept a gilt-edged offering which should have been simple for a man who had one time scored nine goals in one match. He seemed slow to take his chances, allowing the defence to get on top of him before he shot. This was a bad fault of his. Otherwise, I thought he led his line quite well. Had Lawton been there, I think he would have scored two of three goals. Everton’s form was greatly ahead of their Birmingham game, yet their defence had much to do to curb a fast moving Bolton attack, cannily led by Hunt, who was, perhaps their greatest menace. Jones and he had some rare, battles, the Everton man being spoken to on one occasion. Both Bolton’s strength lay in their defence. Had it not been at the peak of its form Everton would have won by a wider margin for in the second half they swarmed round the Wanderers goal, but could not pilot the ball into the net. Hanson, Atkinson, Goslin –he went left full owing to Winter injured –and Hubbick stood firm against every bid the Everton forwards made, but even they should not, and would not have prevented goals had the Everton forwards taken up their many chances. I name Hanson, as Bolton’s hero for had it not been for him, his side would have been debited with many goals in the first half. Cook gave him a nasty one to deal with when he lobbed the ball under the bar, but there were others which required even greater attention. Mercer, was the best Everton half-back the forwards quite good in all except shooting, and the defence of Cook and Greenhalgh very solid.
LAWTON MAY LEAD BLUES AT MOLINEUX
February 20, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton Leader Expected To Be Fit
He Was Missed Against Bolton.
Tom Lawton, Everton’s sharpshooting centre forward, is expecting to be fit to lead the Blues in the League encounter against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Molineux ground on Wednesday. The Goodison-directors meet tomorrow night, and from what I hear today I do not anticipate any changes except the return of Lawton in place of “Bunny” Bell. Although Everton beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 at Goodison on Saturday they undoubtedly missed Lawton. Bell was a trier all the way, but his finishing could have been better. With Derby defeated at home, Everton now have a clear points lead in the First Division. Gillick, who gave the Blues an early lead against Bolton was always dangerous and received grand support from his hard-working Bentham. Stevenson and Boyes made an equally effective wing and Bolton’s defenders were often baffled by the smart dribbling of this pair. Behind, Everton’s halves were sound, with Mercer outstanding. Thomson had a handful with Geldard, the former Everton player, whose equaliser goal was the culmination of as pretty a movement as the Goodison crowd has seen all this season. Cook and Grenhalgh defended stoutly and once they had found how to counter the tricks of Hunt, the Bolton leader, they held the upper hand. Sagar was brilliant in goal. Hubbick, the Wanderers’ left back, accidentally headed into his own goal –to give Everton what proved to be the winning point. Bolton were speedy in attack until an injury to Winter necessitated a rearrangement of the team.
There seems to be no stopping Everton these days, Even without Tommy Lawton they consolidated their position at the head of the First Division by a win over Bolton Wanderers. They seem well set for the “double,” for Derby County are falling away badly. In successive weeks the County have lost at home to Brentford and Birmingham. Strange, that the decline of the Rams should date from Everton’s victory in the Cup. Now, if Everton can repeat the dose at the expense of the Wolves on Saturday week, it might also take Major Buckley’s young men out of their stride, and so make their path to the championship easier. Curious that Everton and Wolves have been thrown together so much. They are the leading rivals for both honours. By the way, in answer to several queries, the official attendance at Goodison Park for the Bolton match was 38,961.
EVERTON AND WOLVES IN F.A. CUP-TIE REHEARSAL LEAGUE TEST AT MOLINEUX TOMORROW
February 21, 1939. The Evening Express.
Vital Bearing On Championship Struggle.
The full-dress rehearsal for the great F.A. Cup sixth round tie between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton will be staged at the Molineux grounds tomorrow. The teams meet in a keen battle for Football league points –points which will have a direct bearing on the destination of the First Division championship. Not for years have there been two such outstanding rivals in football as Everton and the Wolves this season. Everton are leaders of the First Division, but Wolves are coming with a tremendous challenge. Opinion is that the title rests between them. They stand as first and second favourities for the F.A. Cup, and the winners of the March 4 tie at Molineux are expected to go on to a cup triumph. Everton have defeated the Wolves once this season. They conquered them by a Lawton goal, at Goodison Park, when they lacked the services of Cook, Gillick, and Stevenson, who were on international duty. True, the Wolves were not playing then as well as they are now. They have suffered only one defeat since October and, curiously enough at the hands of lowly Blackpool. Can Everton stop the triumphant march of the Wolves, and consolidate their position at the head of affairs? It is a big question, for the Blues have faced no more difficult proposition this season.
Unbeaten This Year.
Everton are unbeaten in 1939, with eight victories and a draw. Tomorrow they will be back at full strength for Tommy Lawton has recovered from his side injury and, although the team will not be chosen until tonight’s meeting of the directors, you can rest assured it will be the same faithful eleven. Wolves have team doubts and one of vital importance. Stan Cullis, the Ellsmere Port lad and England centre-half, is suffering from influenza and it is doubtful whether he will play tomorrow. I expect the lank Galley to move to centre-half with a newcomer being introduced at right-half. “Dizzy” Burton, the former Doncaster outside right, is still suffering from the injury he received in the Cup-tie against Liverpool. Consequently I expect that 16-year-old Jimmy Mullen, the amateur from the Newcastle area, will have his second run with the senior side. The Wolves are a splendid side and they provide artistic football at top speed. If they are to be faulted it is in finishing. This, in reality, is a test between youth and experience. Everton are a young side, not so young as the Wolves, of course, but they have that essential experience, and men with the big-match temperament. Ten of the Blues’ eleven have played in either international of inter-league matches. There is danger to Everton in the brilliant left wing of the Midlanders, where Maguire and Dorsett form such menacing duo. Maguire is always a potential match-winner, and he will take some watching. Everything considered, I expect Everton to avoid defeat at least. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
THE SEASON’S TIT-BIT
February 21, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Everton go to Wolverhampton tomorrow with the knowledge that win will give them a decided advantage over their challengers in the League table, for look at it as you like, Major Buckley boys are Everton’s greatest danger now that Derby County have fritted away their chances. It strikes me most forcibly that most teams go to the Molyneux ground with an inferiority complex; they are beaten before they go on the field. We all know that it is somewhat of a task to go to Wolverhampton and win, but I see no reason why any team should look upon the match as lost before it is started, and I feel that so often happens. The Wolves are worthy foramen, whether home of away, but they are not invincible although their recent record names them as one of the best sides in the country. But are not Everton the League leaders, leaders by virtue of consistently good football, so I don’t think they will take the field with anything but victory in their thoughts. They have quite as much confidence in their ability as the Wolves, and on that factor I am basing my reason for a great game. We may get a line as to what will happen in the Cup-tie a few days hence, but that is hardly likely, for League games are not always a true guide to a coming Cup meeting. Need I cite you the case of Derby County; Major Buckley saw Everton’s replay with Birmingham, and would go back to Wolverhampton feeling that either Everton were going to be easy, or that he had seen them at their very worst. I think he would decide that the latter team could be where they are –at the top of the pill –on such form. The major is too wise an owl to be raised over the game. He must know as well as anyone that a team can suffer such a game during a long campaign, so it is more than likely that he has told his lads that they have a big thing on hand tomorrow, and that they must not take any notice of the Cup report. With both teams bidding for the “double” –one is bound to fall down on that as one must go out on March 4 –it should be a grim tussle for supremacy. I am looking forward to the duels between Lawton and Cullis, and Tommy Jones and Westcott, who has struck a goal-scoring patch, which did not seen possible at one time. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Thomson; Gillick, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
CHANCES TO EVERTON SIDE
February 22, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton have made alterations in the side owing to Bentham and Sagar being indispose. It is good to know however, that Lawton is fit, but the directors have decided to leave Bell in the centre, Lawton being due to play at inside-right, a position he was previously occupied when Dean led the Everton attack. This move will be followed with special interest. Morton returns to keep goal, for the first time this season changes have been so few in the Everton team that if is quite unseal to see two alterations Sager misses his first match of the season.
WOLVES’ BLOWS FOR EVERTON
February 22, 1939. The Evening Express.
Goal In Two Minutes, Then Dorsett Hat-Trick.
Brilliant Forwards Baffle Blues.
There was a sensational start to Everton’s rearranged League match with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux today, Westcott scoring for Wolves in two minutes. Dorsett added two further goals for Wolves before the interval –in 24 mins and 37 mins. Wolverhampton’s forward work was brilliant and their swift moves often had the Everton defence bewildered. Sagar and Bentham, who are both suffering from injury, were absent from the Everton team for the first time this season. Morton made his first appearance of the season in goal and Lawton recovered from an injury, played at inside-right for Bentham, Bell retaining his centre forward berth. Sagar and Bentham have been granted benefits by the club, and they came in for congratulation on the journey. This is Sagar’s second benefit, and application for the payment is being made to the football League immediately. There has been 18 hours rain in Wolverhampton and the ground looked slippery on top, Cullis was found fit enough to play and the Wolves had the youngster, Mullen, at outside right. Wolves; Scott, goal; Morris and Taylor, backs; Galley, Cullis, and Gardiner, half-backs; J. Mullen, McIntosh, Westcott, Dorsett and Maguire, forwards. Everton; Morton, goal; Cook and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Thomson (captain), half-backs; Gillick, Lawton, Bell, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. Dr. A. W. Burton, Renton. There was a cup-tie atmosphere befitting a cup rehersaral and with both teams challengers for the championship. There must have been 45,000 spectators present. There was a sensational opening, for within two minutes the Blues were a goal down Westcott scoring for Wolves. Wolves gained a corner on the right, and Mullen’s kick was cleared by Stevenson, who dallied, and was successfully tackled by McIntosh. McIntosh put the ball to Mullen, the winger, who centred with his left foot. Jones missed the ball, and Westcott headed directly into the net. Jones’s directly into the net. Jones’s back-pass helped Wolves to another corner, but from this Morton must have carried the ball fully nine yards without being penalized. Gillick contributed a brilliant run to force a corner, but his claims for a penalty was turned down. Just after Boyes swung the ball across quickly, and Gillick was left with only Scott to beat, but he placed beyond the far post. Bell and Boyes combined brilliantly for Bell to go through and flash a shot across the face of the goal. Lawton’s effort to connect missed by inches. Maguire missed an early chance with only Morton to beat. Everton’s combination and understanding were perfect. Everton served up some nice football in approach, but the Wolves defence was too quick, and Scott was given little to do. Gillick always appeared menacing, but the Wolves forwards were positively brilliant and completely mesmerize, the Everton defence. Jones could do little right, and Westcott and Dorsett went through easily.
In 27 minutes the Wolves had chalked up goal No. 2, when Galley fed Westcott who drew Jones and pushed the ball through. Everyone thought Dorsett, who ran forward, was offside; in fact, Dorsett himself seemed to be under this impression as he placed into the net, but the referee, after waiting on play. Morton then made a brilliant one-handed save from Dorsett, who was clean through, before the Wolves made it three, Dorsett again being the scorer. The Everton defence almost stood still in bewildered state as Westcott and Dorsett went through with their close inter-changing. Westcott outwitted Jones and ran through to place into the net, for the fourth time, but for some reason that I could not see, the referee disallowed the point. Lawton and Gillick combined well, and Gillick was always troubling Taylor but the Wolves played with an ease and grace never seen in the Everton ranks and with better finishing their lead would have been more substantial. The speed of the Wolves and their directness of motion left the slow-moving Everton defence nonplussed.
Half-time Wolverhampton Wanderers 3, Everton 0
Everton altered their attack on resuming, Lawton going centre-forward, with Stevenson inside-right, and Bell inside left. Right from the kick-off, Jones made a mistake, and Westcott was away but Jones and Mercer averted danger. Then players and spectators started roaring with laughter when Greenhalgh headed the ball and it bust on his forehead. Neither he nor Mullen, who tried to break through realized what had happened until the referee came on the spot, and a new ball had to be requisitioned. Dorsett scored a fourth goal for Wolves in 48 minutes. I thought the goal was offside, Dorsett went through from Westcott’s pass, but to my mind, he was at least three yards offside. Everton stopped playing. Dorsett banged the ball home and the referee awarded a goal, after consulting a linesman. Everton’s appeal for the referee to consult the other linesman was refused.
WOLVES T’S EVERTON
February 22, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Westcott, Dorsett, Dorsett, Dorsett
Wolverhampton Wanderers played irresisbly in the first half of their League game with Everton, at Molyneux today, Westcott scored in the second minute, and Dorsett than added two further goals, to make the leaders, chance of recovery almost impossible. Early in the second half Dorsett scored a fourth. Wolves; Scott, goal; Morris and Taylor, backs; Galley, Cullis, and Gardiner, half-backs; J. Mullen, McIntosh, Westcott, Dorsett and Maguire, forwards. Everton; Morton, goal; Cook and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Thomson (captain), half-backs; Gillick, Lawton, Bell, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. Dr. A. W. Burton, Renton. The start was dramatic. After a quick thrust by the Everton right wing, Wolverhampton went down through their own right wing and a centre by Mullen, the 16-year-old outside right, who was making his second appearance in the Wolves team, was nodded home by Westcott, who got the better of a heading bout with Jones. This was a setback for the leaders, but as there was plenty of time they had opportunities to not only wipe it out but add to their own tally of goals. Gillick was found offside, and Scott fielded a long lobby Cook and appeared to me to be guilty of carrying. Morton had to save following a fast raid by the Wolves and McIntosh was dead on the mark but the ball was kept out when it cannoned against an Everton man. Cullis made one beautiful pass which set the Wolves machinery in motion, and Maguire gave Westcott a nice chance, but the former New Brighton player hooked the ball outside from an angle. There was no doubt that the Wolves speed was a menace, yet Everton produced some football which was even superior to that of the Wanderers. Gillick ran through and centred and claimed that Taylor had handled the ball; but the only answer was a corner award.
The Everton goal had an escape when a shot cannoned away and seemed to be travelling out of reach of Morton, who made a quick recovery and stopped the ball from going over the line. The ground was in a terrible state, and players floundered all over the place. When Cullis headed away a shot by Stevenson he went down like a log, such was the weight of the heavy ball. Westcott has greatly improved since I last saw him, and was ever a menace to Jones. Jones was having a poor game. This is a very rare thing for him, for he has been the essence of consistency throughout the season. Wolverhampton got a free kick when Cook banged straight into Maguire and knocked him flat. But the kicks like corner kicks, bring very little result these days. Dorset almost increased the Wolves lead when Jones lost possession through dribbling well inside his own goal area. Jones seemed to be right out of touch with his game. There was not the usual security about him so that Westcott had a better innings than he would have done in more normal circumstances.
Wolverhampton increased their lead when at the twenty-seventh minute Dorsett scored. There was a suggestion of offside about this goal –a very definite suggestion too –so much to that the scorer himself throught that the referee had given him offside. I admit he had moved very fast when the pass was made, but even so I thought he was offside. The referee said no, so that Dorsett simply went on and banged the ball into the net. The Everton defence were absolutely overrun, they could do nothing against the speed of the Wolves, and Westcott surprised me by the quick way he took up position and shot for goal. At 34 minutes the Wanderers swept through the Everton defence just as a hot knife through butter, and when Westcott touched the ball sideways to Dorsett the little inside-left crashed the ball home with the greatest of confidence. Prior to that Morton had made a magnificent save from the same player when he was clean through the Everton defence. Wolverhampton were by far the better team and Westcott netted again, but this time the point was disallowed because the referee thought there had been a foul earlier on.
Only Greenhalgh played up to anything like his known form, and with the Everton defence being severely tested the attack had to work its own positions. With the Wolves defence right on its toss there was little trouble for Scott. I have never seen the Everton team so bewildered. Wolves’ defence was as sound as a ball, and Cullis made sweeping passes, which were the work of the craftsmen. He had alongside Galley and Gardiner, who were as sure in defence as they were in constructive play. It was the Wolves’ greater pace and more open football which had gained them a commanding lead.
Half-Time Wolvers 3, Everton 0.
The Ball Bursts.
Everton resumed in the second half with an altered forward line. Lawton went centre forward. Stevenson inside right, and Bell inside left. Whether it would bring any result would remain to be seen. Jones made another slip, but was not made to pay for it, and then the ball had to changed because it had been burst! This caused some amusement. Dorsett got another scoring chance when Westcott made a through pass, and although there was offside flavor about the goal it counted after the referee consulted with the linesman. The Everton defence, by the way, had stopped playing in anticipation of an offside decision, which only goes to prove the advisability of playing to the whistle. I have not the slightest doubt that this goal was offside. This was Dorsett’s “hat-trick” by the way. McIntosh scored a fifth for Wolves 54 minutes.
LEAGUE LEADERS CRASH
Wolverhampton Wanderers 7 Everton 0 (Game 1675 over-all)-(Div 1 1633)
February 23 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
B y Stork
Everton Run off Their Feet
Wolverhampton Wanders dealt Everton a body blow when they defeated the League Leaders by seven goals to nothing at the Molineux ground yesterday, and no one can deny then their success for they gave an exhibition of football good enough to win the Championship and the Cup along with it. It was not that Everton played so badly, but that the Wanderers on the day’s play were world beaters, and it is small wonder that the supporters of the Midland club think that they are’ a certainly’’ for the season’s double. I have always maintained that there is no team capable of winning the double in present day football, but I feel that the Wolves have the greater chance of doing so than any side in the land. There was not a weak link anywhere. From goal to outside left there was ability, pace and stamina, and they were so confident of themselves that I feared for Everton every time they launched an attack. It is no excuse to say that everything went their way, for they made it go that way themselves by superlative football. What effect the first goal scored in 2 minutes had upon the game one cannot say, but I feel now that it did not make the difference for Everton were beaten in all parts. I have not seen them so overrun for years, yet, as I have already said, they did not play so badly. There was a period-the first twenty minutes of the game-when they were actually playing better football than the Wolves, but it had not sufficient bite about it and when Gillick missed, before the Wolves had scored their second goal, it was the last straw, Gillick would not miss such a chance once in half a dozen times, but this was the important occasion when he did. Then came the Wolves second goal, and the game was won there and then, for the Midlanders had got a complete grip on things, and by their go ahead methods swept through the Everton defence at will. The Everton defence was bewildered by Wolverhampton’s speed. It was tremendous and allied to that speed was skill of the highest order. The second goal was talented with an offside flavor and Jones should have headed away Mullen’s centre which gave Westcott the first goal, Jones in fact, had a poor game. He was right out of touch with things and was never really the matter of the former New Brighton forward. The Everton defenders must have thought there were two sets of Wolverhampton players on the ground and that is how it looked. They seemed to be everywhere when there was something to be done and the Everton defence was run off its feet-unable to cope with the fastest moving attack in football. They made Everton look dead slow by their staggering speed and at covering up they were masterful, while the backing of the forwards by Cullis, Gardiner and Galley meant that the attack had to play well or be writes down as poor. Admitting that everything went right for them. I cannot forget those first time passes which found their objective with surly and the men who received them ‘’killed’’ the ball dead and either sped off or made another first time pass which had the Everton defenders running between two points without any success. It was a slaughter and as time wore on and the Wolves had built up an insurmountable goal score they became fanciful. It was galling in the Evertonian present, but to those with an even mind about things it was football excellence. I cannot find sufficient superlative to gave the Wolves game, but will say they will take an immense amount of beating in the Cup. An matter who they are called upon to meet Major Buckley’s boy have everything which makes a successful team-they have won 18 of their last 20 points and on this form were capable of going to the end of the season without defeat. Even the goalkeeper can be considered part of the attack for his goalkicks. Which land well inside the opportants half, are so good as any pass made by a half-back or forward. Many times Scott put his side on the attack straight from the goal kick because he ‘’found’’ his forwards who knowing the value of his tremendous goal kick. Stayed well up the field to receive them. Dorsett had a great day and so, for that matter did Westcott the most improved player I have seen this season. He took up admirable positions and showed rare shooting ability as his goal crop tells. But one could not put a finger on a Wolves man who did not play a part in this astonishing victory. If I had to pick out any for special praise they would be Cullis Galley and Maguire.
Now what can I say about Everton.
The score speaks for itself and were I to say that they played well I would only be taken in task. They played better than they did against Birmingham but, it was not nearly good enough for these hungry Wolves, who ate up everything which got in their way. The Wanderers defence was so well knit that Scott had only one shot worthy of the name to save and that was very late on when Stevenson cracked in a first-time effort which the bulky Scott with the greatest of ease. The Everton forwards were beaten for speed. Never allowed to settle on the ball, which was taken from them by these audacious youngsters of the Midlands, and although Lawton went centre forward in the second half, it made out the slightest difference. The Wolves had them in safe keeping throughout and it is difficult to see how Everton can have any chance in the forthcoming cup-tie. Everton, however are determined to forget the game and not let it worry them, but whichever way I look at it, the Wolves have a great chance of going though to the semi-finals. Four goals were scored in the second half, and had it not been for Morton the Wanderers score might have run into double figures, for they were almost invincible. The fourth goal, in my opinion was definitely offside. It is not often I am dogmatic about anything, but I am over this goal. The referee consulted a linesman before he decided against Everton. As against that Westcott netted what I considered a perfectly good goal, but the referee disallowed the point because Westcott had fouled Jones. Gillick, until his injury was the best forward, and Greenhalgh came next in the honours list, but to be perfectly frank Everton were never in it. The Wolves had risen up in their might, and whipped their greatest rivals hip and thigh. Gillick has a badly, bruised shoulder and Mercer got a nasty knock but the game was won and lost before these injuries came along. I can only say: Everton must accept this defeat is the right spirit for they have no excuse only that they were beaten by a much better team on the day’s play. Here is the tabulated list of goals scoring:- Westcott 2 mins, Dorset 27 mins; Dortsett 34 mins, Dorset 49 mins; McIntosh 55 mins; Dorsett 78 mins; Westcott 85 mins. Result Wolverhampton Wanderers 7 Everton 0. Teams:- Wolverhampton Wanderers:- Scott, goal, Morris, and Taylor backs, Galley, Cullis and Gardiner half-backs, Mullen, McIntosh Westcott Dorset, and Maguire forwards, Everton:- Morton goal, Cook, and Greenhalgh backs, Mercer, Jones, and Thomson (captain), Gillick Lawton, Bell. Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Dr Barton (Renton). Attendance 39,774
HARROGATE TONIC AFTER EVERTON’S “HASH” WEDNESDAY
February 23, 1939. The Evening Express.
Reason For Drubbling, At Wolves.
Cup-Tie May Tell A Different Tale –
But Blues Must Revise Tactics.
Everton footballers will train at Harrogate for their F.A. Cup sixth round tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers, to be played at Molineux grounds on Saturday week. The players leave Liverpool on Sunday and the tonic is needed. Yesterday, the Blues were beaten hip and thigh at Molineux by seven goals to none in the league game which constituted a Cup-tie rehearsal –yes, and by a team which on this showing is one of the greatest football combinations I have ever seen. Let me say at one that on yesterday’s form Everton’s chances against the Wolves in the Cup are by no means good. The question is, however, whether the Wolves can reach those heights again. I doubt it. They gave an exhibition of football which was the acme year in perfection. It possessed at the skill and craft of the “good old days” and yet exploited with the high-powered speed of 1939. I can reassure those Everton followers who may think, after this crushing reverse, that the Blues will be beaten in the Cup-tie, the players themselves do not hold this opinion. Every man took his defeat in the spirit. They were quick to pay tribute to the Wolves, but they have a feeling that a different tale will have to be written ten days hence. I firmly believe that while the Blues were powerless to stop these quick thinking-actioned Wolves, they will have learned something about the Wanderers’ tactics. I did, and on Saturday I shall have the opportunity of again studying the Wolves when they visit Anfield.
This is what Everton can learn from the Wolves. First speed to possession. The main difference was that the Wanderers got to the ball before an Everton player could settle on it. Everton held off, allowed the opposing player to command the ball and then pursued the hopeless task of trying to dispossess him. This was marked in the case of the centre-half backs. Cullis never once gave either Bell or Lawton the slightest chance of taking control. Tom Jones, on the other hand held off in tantalizing manner so much so that he was always facing three Wolves’ players –who had The Ball. Jones has never played worse since he came into Everton’s first team and that is the main reason why the entire fabric of the side was shattered. The winning move of the Wolves was that about which I warned Liverpool before they played Wolves in the Cup. It is the quick thrust through to Westcott, the Wallasey boy, who swerves as if to go through on his own; instead, he merely turns the ball back to the inside left position –unhesitatingly, yet with unerring accuracy –and there is Dorsett to got the goals. Dorsett bagged four of the seven, yesterday, including the “hat-trick.” Another lesson to be learned is that tip-tap football on the watered Molineux turf is fatal and merely playing into the hands of intrepid, tenacious interveners. The Wolves exploited the long pass and so did in one more what Everton attempted to do and failed in six. There you have the difference. I make no excuses for Everton. They ask for no excuses, but I do assert that the watered pitch, bringing four inches of mud, was all in favour of the Wolves. No wonder the Wanderers can win at home. Yet, there is nothing in the rules to say it shall not be done. In my opinion, Everton must reintroduce the tactics which enabled them to win the cup in 1933. This is the winning cross-field pass from flank to flank. From what I saw yesterday, it is the obvious way to beat the brilliant Wolves defence. That pass can circumvent Cullis, and outwit the purposeful Galley and Gardiner –two of the best wing half backs I have seen in an age. I could fill columns on this game which was historic, and saw Everton leg-weary and broken in spirit before the finish. When they had Mercer in the dressing room and Gillick a passenger. By the time, however, the Wolves had eased up. The first ten minutes settled the issue. The Wolves had the inspiration of a two minute goal which could have been prevented, but subsequently Everton played exceptionally well, their combination being as precise, if daintier, than that of the Wolves. Then Gillick easily Everton’s best forward, missed an open goal. It was the end. The Wolves raced away to their greatest ever triumph. Everton will not select their team to visit Leeds until tomorrow, but I expect Sagar, Bentham, and Mercer, will be fit. There is a doubt about Gillick, whose left shoulder is damaged.
RAMPAGE WOLVES ON THE WARPATH
February 23, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
A Black Day In Everton’s History
Seven Was Bad.
But It Might Have Been More
Major Buckley Denies Ground Watering Suggestions.
Felling kind of blue? If you are an Evertonian I’m afraid you must be. The lead in the League match which Everton have so pain staking built up and so carefully safeguarded has been undermined by Wolves in a manner which bears of no argument. On points Everton still have a lead of two. To all intense and purpose it is only one, for the Buckley brigade’s goal average is practically unassailable. Much can happened between now and the first Saturday in May. but on yesterday’s showing Everton’s championship hopes have received a shattering start at the beginning of the season Wolves would by high and dry now. In their early matches the forwards could do nothing right. The defence carried the side on its back through that critical period. Then they brought in Dorsett and Westcott for Thompson and Kirkham and the trick was done. Today the attack is the speediest and deadliest in the country, while the defence is still as rock-like as ever. The two sets of figures below show how the side has come on, in the past four months. They give Wolves’ before and after” record, with October 29 the dividing line.
Up to Oct 29. P12, w2, l5, d5, for 10, against 11, points 9
Oct 29 onwards. P 17, w 13, l1, d3, for 40, against 11, points 29
That last line indicates championship form. One forlorn consolation is that the Buckley babes showed similar form last season, but cracked up at the critic stage. There were no signs of cracking yesterday, bar cracking goals past Morton. For comparative purposes, here is Everton’s record from October 29 onwards;- Played 17, won 10, Lost 5, Draw 2, For 31, Against 22, Points 22. That line makes reasonably good reading and under ordinary circumstances allied to their fine start at the beginning might have been good enough, if maintained, to keep them at the top, but Wolverhampton’s progress is extraordinary, not ordinary, and I fear Everton’s ability to hold on to their lead. I went to Molineux yesterday primarily to get a pointer to the possibilities of next week’s Cup-tie, and incidentally to get a few tickets as well if possible –but it wasn’t. The result was more than a pointer. It was a signpost –and a mammoth one at that. It clearly said, “ Wolves for Wembley.” Had the result been by an odd goal affair there might have been justification for trotting out the old shinbolethe that League results are no guild to the Cup, and so on. As it was, Everton were completely overrun, mesmerized disorganized, and finally pulverized. For the first twenty minutes they were the better side, but once these rampaging Wolves got into their stride there was no holding them. Unfortunately this defeat will have a psychological effect on Everton which can hardly be calculated. Hitherto they have been full of confidence. A close decision could have been ignored, but nobody can blink their eyes to such a massacre. In the Birmingham Cup-tie there were signs of staleness, and the fact that the strain of their long-drawn out tussle for supremacy with Derby. Country had told its tale on the Blues side. What I am chiefly concerned about is the possible moral effect yesterday’s game may have. It is easy enough to say “Forget it.” But can they? A win in the Cup-tie would restore their confidence, but only those who allow their judgment to be overridden by optimism can hold any hope of yesterday’s verdict being reversed on Saturday week. Once again, of course anything can happen. At any rate Everton are not likely to suffer such an overwhelming indignity a second time. When the draw was made I expressed the view that Everton had a good chance. Since then we have had the lessons of the Birmingham replay and yesterday’s game –and my optimism has dwindled to the stage where it is just a plain case of hoping against hope. The fact must be faced, unpalatable or not, that Everton latterly have gone off the boil. If they can get up a sufficient head of steam again to win through to the semi-final I shall be happy, but I have grave doubts. At any rate they can be relied upon to give of their best and fight to the last gasp, and no team can do more.
MUD AND GLAND
February 23, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
High-speed football as played by the Wolves proved too much for Everton on Molineux’s mud patch yesterday, and those who saw the rout can have little hope for Everton in the Cup-tie. As the Wolves played yesterday the League and Cup are well within their reach, for they had everything which goes to make a successful football team. It may seem like trying to gloss over Everton’s sensational defeat, when I say that they played quite well, better at one point, in fact, than the Wanderers, but after that bright flutter Everton were always a good second to the most brilliant team I have seen for years. Seven goals in an Everton net seemed impossible this season, but the Wolves put that number there, and would have added to it had it not been for Morton, who kept goal quite well. I have not seen football played at such a pace during the whole of my career, and I can go back a bit. It was break-neck speed, and there hungry Wolves kept it up for the full 90 minutes. There must be something in the gland treatment. They were like greyhounds bounding along, and the Everton defence was simply bewildered and bewitched. They had no answer to it, for they looked slow and cumbersome by comparison. Major Buckley’s boys had something more than pace, for there was some excellent football to link up with their pace, and it was all done so rapidly that Everton were chasing around with little prospect of collecting the ball. To one who looks through pain glasses Wolverhampton treated us to a grand exhibition of football, but to those who had a leaning towards Everton it must have been galling to see the way the Wolves shot through the open spaces –and there were many –and ripped home shot after shot. I was saying what grand players were Cullis and Galley, when one of the Everton players chipped in with “I didn’t see a bad ‘Un,” and I had to agree. Not a weak link anywhere. From goal to outside left there was ability and if Maguire does not play for England against Scotland I will be surprised. I was mostly surprised with Westcott whom I remember at New Brighton when he was just a moderate player. Today he is part and parcel of a perfect working machine. He ran into the correct position, and although he scored, only two goals, he “made” two for Dorsett a good enough day’s work, don’t you think? But it was the Wolves as a whole which made such a victory possible. Even goalkeeper Scott could be named as an attacker, for his goal-kicks, of prodigious length, often put his forwards on the attack and the Everton defence on the spot. If one required any greater proof of the value of the open game as against the more intriguing short passing, it was in this game. The Wolves “killed” the ball, and dispatched it instantly right across the field, and such passes rarely went wrong. It was uncanny, it was clever, and Everton must lay their plans for next Saturday week to combat this style of play or take it up themselves. A regular goer to the Wolves games told me that he had not seen the Wolves play the ball so well with the inside of the foot before. They must have been saving it up for Everton. They seemed to have two dozen men on the field as against Everton’s eleven, and when they accepted a pass they flashed by an Everton man as though he was standing still.
Confidence is writ largely all over them; in fact, they began to be frivolous once they had taken a commanding lead, soon after the interval and the half-backs put the Everton attack right of the game. One shot only had Scott to save, and it is of no use at this stage to ask what would have happened had Gillick scored with a perfect opening before the Wanderers took their second goal. An offside goal in my opinion. The fourth goal was undoubtedly offside, and why the referee should go to a linesman “miles” away to seek his advice upon something he must have seen better himself I cannot say. But as against that I considered Westcott scored a legitimate goal when he ran round Jones and netted. He was penalized for a foul. But what did one matter among so many. Jones had a poor match, and Mercer could not hope to undertake two’s men’s work all the time. Greenhalgh was Everton’s best, but all the way through the Everton could not cope with the Wolves speed merchants. Gillick did well he was injured, but the rest of the forwards, well they were “pocketed” by the Wanderers defence. This is not the first time that the Wolves have scored seven against Everton for they won 7-2 in 1937. To go further back, Everton once scored a big victory against the Wolves, and were than beaten in the final at Fallowfield. Everton will not select their team until tomorrow. The extent of Gillick’s shoulder injury is not as yet known. Bentham is almost certain to be fit.
Wolves have come in for criticism in the past for watering their ground. The pitch at Molineux yesterday, was so saturated that I asked Mr. Buckley whether the hose had been on it. He replay was a definite negative. He told me they had very heavy rain at Wolverhampton during the preceding 48 hours. Actually, a number of man were engaged all yesterday morning forking the ground to try to improve it.
EVERTON ARE AFTER FIFTH “DOUBLE.”
February 24, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton leaders of the First Division, visit Leeds United tomorrow in an endeavour to record their fifth “double” of the season. Already this season the Blues have taken full points from Blackpool, Arsenal, Portsmouth, Liverpool, and they visit Elland-road at a time when the United are concerned about their position. Leeds are making team changes in an effort to change their fortunes, but I doubt whether they will be able to strike a winning path again against the clever Everton. Everton crashed at Wolverhampton but they are not the type to be upset by such a result. Further I think the players will pull out that extra ounce to balance matters with a win and so enable them to keep their lead of two points. After the game the Everton players go straight to Harrogate to begin their Cup-tie training.
EVERTON MAKE SIX TEAM CHANGES.
February 24, 1939. The Evening Express.
Four Are Due To Injuries.
Injuries force Everton to make six changes for tomorrow’s football league game against Leeds United, at Elland-road. Thomson, Stevenson, Gillick and Cook are injured, but Sagar and Bentham who missed Wednesday’s game against Wolves, have recovered and are included. Jackson takes Cook’s place at right back, and Watson appears at left-half in place of Thomson. Barber the young play from Weston-super-Mare, who made his debut for the Blues against Wolves on October 8 makes his second appearance with the senior team in place of Gillick. Bentham takes his place of Lawton at inside-right, Lawton reverting to his usual position at centre-forward, in place of Bell. Cunliffe, who played with the first team during the Christmastide matches, deputizes for Stevenson at inside left. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Tom), Watson; Barber, Bentham, Lawton, Cunliffe, Boyes. Hume the Irish centre-forward leads the Everton reserves attack against Bolton Wanderers at Goodison Park. Everton Reserves; Lovett; Saunders, Jones (Jack); Britton, Gee, Lindley; Merritt, K. Dean, Hume, Sharp, Keenan. Everton “A”; (v. U.G.B) at St. Helens); Burnett; Prescott, Lambert; Hill, Edwards, Davies (j); Sweeney, McMurray, Catterick, Grififths, H. Roberts.
LOOK TO THE FUTURE
February 24, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
I suppose that 7-0 defeat is still settled in your gullet. Well, forget it and look to the future. A result like that often creeps into the results column and sends a shiver down your spine, but it must not be allowed to get on your nerves or suggest that slump has settled upon your team. Wolverhampton would have beaten any team on Wednesday, and I am glad to see that the Everton team have accepted the defeat in the right spirit. They laughed about it en route for home and paid great tribute to the Wanderers play. The ground was dead against Everton’s style of football. Before it became a morass they had played excellently, but then came the avalanche. But let us forget it, and look ahead. The championship is not lot, neither for that matter is the Cup-tie, but before that game there is the Leeds meeting at Elland road. A win there would wipe cut the stigma of the Midland defeat and I think Everton with their accustomed team in the field has a bright chance of picking up the two points in Yorkshire, for Leeds United are falling away.
The experiment of playing Lawton at inside right was not a success, and the value of Bentham’s grafting was shown up to a remarkable extent. Bentham may not be a “star” but he is a grand man to have in a side. He is such a help in defence. That was made very plain on Wednesday. Lawton was anything but at home as an inside forward. He is essentially a centre forward. Tommy Jones has not been quite himself in the last two games. He has had ear trouble. This is not offered as an excuse, but it naturally must have affected his game. Leeds opened the season in striking fashion, but in the last few weeks things have gone all the one way –the wrong way for United. It is within Everton’s power to pull it off at Elland Road, even though it is not a happy hunting ground for them.
At the time of writing it is not known whether Gillick will be fit to play. He had a nasty fall, and badly bruised his shoulder. Bentham is almost sure to be fit, so that there is a possibility of the side being the same which had not lost a match this year until they came across the big bad Wolves. It may seen audacious on my part to suggest a win at Leeds, but that is what I do.
EVERTON RALLY AND WIN
February 25, 1939. The Evening Express.
Late Goal Beat Leeds.
Bentham and Cunliffe The Marksman.
Everton gained a valuable 2-1 victory over Leeds United at Elland Road. Everton found their feet after an indifferent opening, Cunliffe scoring the winning goal in the 80 minute after Bentham had equalized. Ainsley had scored for Leeds after 28 minutes. Both teams were below full strength Everton had Cunliffe at inside left, Watson at left half, and Jackson at right back. Sutherland, the young Manchester player, led the Leeds line. Ainsley displaced Powell at inside-right, and Mills moved from the right on the left-half berth Makinson returned to the side. Savage was in goal in place of Twomey. Leeds; - Savage, goal; Goldberg, and Gadsby, backs; Makinson, Kane, and Mills, half-backs; Cochrane, Ainsley, Sutherland, Stephenson, and Hargreaves, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (TG), and Watson, half-backs; Barber, Bentham, Lawton, Cunliffe and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. G. W. Davies. Early on, Boyes secured on the left but his inside pass to Cunliffe went astray. Boyes was held to be offside when he next broke away. Leeds were the first to be dangerous, Ainsley putting in a pile-driver, which Sagar did well to turn outside the near upright. Barber looked certain to score when he raced goalwards with Kane in close attendance. The Everton right winger had only Savage to beat, but shot right at the Leeds goalkeeper as he dived on the ball. At the other end Ainsley went close with another hard shot. Leeds pressed hard and Everton’s defence was lucky to be able to scramble the ball away. Lawton put in a header which Savage punched clear. Cunliffe and Lawton delighted with some clever interpassing which ended when the Everton leader hot weakly at Savage. Generally, the football was of poor quality. Everton just could not find their real form and Leeds, while their tackling was keen, finished badly. Cochrane was bundled off the ball when he hesitated too long inside the Everton penalty area. Shortly afterwards Cochrane missed the ball completely as it sped across the Everton goalmouth. Tom Jones headed the ball just outside his own goal when Cochrane received a grand centre after beating Greenhalgh.
Leeds were doing most of the attacking, but were indecisive near goal. After 28 minutes Ainsley gave Leeds the lead with a great shot which flashed by Sagar in the far side of the net. United kept up the pressure, and after Stephenson had beaten three Everton defenders by clever ball control, Ainsley secured and shot, Sagar saving well. At the other end, Bentham just failed to connect with a Lawton pass. Hargreaves shot a yard over the Everton bar. There was now a little more fire in the game, but Everton were still unable to get their scoring machine in motion. Kane was keeping a tight hold on Lawton, who had not always the best of luck with the passes he received. They were either too fast or too slow.
Half-time Leeds United 1, Everton 0.
There was a thrill in the first minute of the second half, when Tom Jones nipped in to clear after Sutherland had missed a great chance of converting an Ainsley pass. Bentham was a yard too high with a shot when Everton counter attacked. Kane was able to hold off Lawton, who had raced almost to the goal line following a Barber centre. Sagar saved well from Cochrane, who later hit the side netting when he was harassed by Jones. Leeds were having the better of matters in midfield, but they failed to make the best use of the ball when they had it. Following a foul on Stepheson, Leeds secured a free kick and then forced a fruitless corner.
There was a thrill when Sagar stopped a Stephenson drive, and a minute later Sutherland headed wide after Stephenson had beaten Sagar with a lob. Sutherland next hit the post with a flashing drive. It was the most exciting period of a game which had been disappointing. Leeds crowded on pressure and Everton’s defence was lucky to keep them out. After 71 minutes Everton equalized, Bentham scoring with a short-range shot from a Lawton pass. The goal came during an isolated breakaway and rather flattered Everton. Boyes them raced away down the left, but his final pass to Lawton went astray. Cunliffe gave Everton the lead after 80 minutes, beating Savage with a grand right-foot drive. He received the ball from Boyes on the left. Final Leeds United 1, Everton 2.
LEAGUE LEAD HELD.
February 25, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Everton’s Victory At Leeds
A rather fortunate victory, for Leeds held the lead for 71 minutes. An Everton goal was the reviver. Leeds; - Savage, goal; Goldberg, and Gadsby, backs; Makinson, Kane, and Mills, half-backs; Cochrane, Ainsley, Sutherland, Stephenson, and Hargreaves, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (TG), and Watson, half-backs; Barber, Bentham, Lawton, Cunliffe and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. G. W. Davies. Everton’s team showed many chances. It was strange to see players like Thomson, Gillick, Stevenson, and Cook holding a watching brief. Sagar was the captain for the day. There was plenty of room around the ground, which told of the loss of interest since the slump. A local estimate of the attendance was 14,000. Everton being indulged in some smart passing on their left wing, whereas the United’s progress was made by more direct methods. The first shot of the game was made by Ainsley, Sagar saving just outside the post. Boyes, Cunliffe, and Watson linked up well to beat the Leeds defence and only an office decision against Boyes held them up. Barber must have been watching Gillick, for he perpetrated the same kind of move, slipping through the defence, and actually beating Kane, only to lose the ball, which gave Savage time to rush out to save. Ainsley made another big drive which Sagar saved in confident manner, and straight from the clearance Everton rushed the ball to the other end, and Cunliffe netted, but was ruled offside. For quite a lengthy spell they was confined to midfield, but eventually Barber broke through with a centre which Savage punched away off Lawton’s head. Jones, after two clever tackles which checked the Leeds attack, put through a nice ground pass which Cunliffe flicked over to Lawton, who returned it, and the pair kept passing the ball between them until Cunliffe made a shot which had no string behind it. Everton were the better crasftsmen, and Lawton forced Savage to turn the ball behind for a corner with a left foot shot. Boyes well placed shot straight at the goalkeeper and Cochrane was not up to take a pass from his left wing. It was not a thrilling game by any means, but it was always interesting. Greenhalgh was beaten by Cochrane, Jones heading away.
Ainsley Hits The Mark.
Boys took a corner off the goalkeeper and this was sooner cleared than Balmer also produced a flagkick. Neither of the kicks provided anything. Ainsley had been United’s best shooter, so that it was only poetic justice that he should score the first goal. From just outside the penalty line he shot hard. Sagar moved across, but failed to connect, and so Leeds were a goal in front after 28 minutes. It was a nice goal, and Ainsley tried to add to it later, but this time Sagar foiled him. Bentham has just failed to connect with a Lawton pass, Savage slipping up and clearing. Hargreaves shot over from a good opening. Kane made a superb tackle to stop. Lawton from going through, and Sutherland tried a long shot which had no chance of scoring. A Lawton header set Boyes off, but the Everton winger was brought down from behind. Play was now fairly even and Bentham shot wide. Watson’s constructional play was sound and wise, and Ainsley thought he could score from thirty yards –no chances!
Half-Time, Leeds United 1, Everton 0.
Leeds set up an attack, in the second half, and in the first half minute Jones cleared a dangerous position. Everton’s answer was a weak effort by Cunliffe. Boyes put across a centre which Lawton headed over to Bentham, who shot over. Cochrane and Stevenson went close and Lawton was beaten by numbers. Leeds were now more fiery and more convincing the Everton defence having to put in some strong work to keep them at bay. Stephenson gave Hargreaves a chance to nod a goal, but the winger got the wrong bias on his header, the ball going outside the post. Leeds had complete command and should have gone ahead when Sagar edged out a shot by Stephenson which should have been safetly returned into the net by Sutherland. Sutherland hit the post, and Boyes after a good dribble, shot from a difficult angle.
A sudden breakaway by Everton brought them an equaliser. Lawton snapped up a long ball and when challenged pushed the ball out to Bentham, whose shot flashed over Savage’s head as he came out and into the net. Time 71 minutes. Cunliffe tried to improve the shining hour, Savage saving. Everton improved and Cunliffe scored at eighty minutes. Boyes paved the way for the goal with his centre. This was a blow to Leeds, who had played well enough this ball to make victory safe. Lawton got a blow on his face which started his nose bleeding. Final; Leeds United 1, Everton 2.
LEAVES FROM MY NOTEBOOK
February 25, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
A reader, who signs himself “student” say he is sure Everton’s forwards tactics are wrong. He writes; “It may seem silly to criticize the methods which have got. Everton where they are, but I have felt all through that they have been unsound. Lawton stays up by the penalty area, and the idea is to give him the ball as often as possible. Unfortunately he rarely gets it in such a way that he can do anything with it. He nearly always has his back to the goal, and the centre had often gets the ball first. Nine times out of ten this happens, for a good centre half –and they are neatly all good these “stopper’ days –can keep him quiet most of the game. Now and again Lawton forces a chance or a half-chance, and being one of the strongest, and quickest shots the game has known, he gets goals. “But it means that he gets at most only two or three real chances during the game, and if he misses them –and every one misses chances at times –the tactics have failed. “I am sure Lawton would between as effective if he played more with his inside forwards. “I am convinced that if the attack played more together, as the Wolves’ line did on Wednesday, so that Lawton could take passes facing his opponents’ goal, they would be irresistible, and incidentally, more entertaining to watch. “Lawton I feel, is playing all the time under a series of frustration, but while he waits on the edge of the penalty area with a centre half and full back in attendance, what also can be expected? “It is the Give it to Dixie’ game all over again, but it was more effective than because Dean was so marvelous with his head.
AN FOOTBALL EPIC IN THE MAKING
February 25,1939. The Liverpool Echo
Everton May Give Wolves Shock For Shock
Seven-Clear-Goals League Defeat Was Only A Curtain-Raiser.
I have heard it side that Everton were not trying at Wolverhampton, and that there will be a different tale to tell next Saturday. I hope there is, but don’t for one moment think that Everton were “sitting” down to the Wolves to give then a false impression as their real worth. Everton were out to win if they could but were not good enough. That was all there was to it. On their day the Wanderers would have beaten any team, so bewildering was their football, and if they can reproduced that form in the sixth round, Everton will go out. Everton were over-run, and with the exception of the first twenty minutes were harassed and outwitted by the interest moving team, I have ever seen. Now what can those first twenty minutes tell us? That given reasonable turf to work upon Everton can play football equal to if not better than the Wolves, but one the ground was churned up these lads of Wolverhampton played it as though they were operating on a billiard table surface. It is a known fact that the Wolves “doctor” their ground. Gallons of water are poured on it a day or so before the match, and should a drop more rain come to give a further drenching, there are no heartbreaks Molineux way. There is no rule to say a ground shall not be soaked, but it is not considered the thing in football circles. I have heard complaints from all quarters about it during my travels. It is giving the Wolves and unfair advantage. Everton floundred on the “glue pot” once it started to churn up whereas Wolverhampton revelled in it. One might say that it was the same for both teams. Of course, but the Wanderers have the advantage in knowing the run of the green. I can recall the days when Goodison Park’s mud patch was as good as a goal start to the Everton team, but there was no “doctoring” to get it in such a state. I am not telling you all this to excuse Everton’s sensational defeat, for it was Wolverhampton’s brilliant football which brought them their result. It was football of the highest order, the best I have ever seen, and played at such a staggering pace that one began to wonder when the Wanderers would slow up. They never did. They were going as fast at the end of the game as at the start. It was pace which “killed.” Everton were never looked upon as a fast team. Their success has been brought about by consistently good football. It has never varied whether the game was under League or Cup rules. They were made to look dead slow by these Wolves, who moved around like greased lightning. Everton will have to think out some sort of plan to cut this terrifying pace down by a yard or two. Jock Thomson and his men should have learned something from the game, and will have done so unless I am greatly mistaken, for they are all students of the game; always thinking out methods to outwit the opposition. They had a successful plan to beat Derby County, I wonder what plan will be for next Saturday? It will have to be a good side, for Wolverhampton will take an immense amount of beating. The moral effect of their slashing victory is bound to stand them in good stead, whereas it may recoll on Everton. Were the Everton players bitter about the defeat? Not at all. They were the first to admit that the Wolves were a grand side, but they immediately made up their minds to forget it and look ahead. This sort of thing comes along now and again, but they must not be allowed to undermine the confidence. Once that happens well it is the end,” they claimed. They have still a strong belief in their ability to turn the tables in the Cup match. That is the correct spirit, but I fear that few who saw the crash at Wolverhampton honesty believe that they can do it. If they can we will all be happy. Is there a suggestion of staleness about the Everton team? I readily admit that the side has not been playing with its usual verve to recent games (since they came back to Liverpool for the Birmingham relay, actually), and the extra games have not been a help but don’t overlook the fact that they have lost one game this year. Harrogate should tonic them up for their next big thriller. Everton are likely to be back in their full formation, for it must be admitted that the forward line at Wolverhampton was unbalanced. Lawton was only too glad to be put back at centre forward, he was not an inside man. Bentham’s value was manifest. He may not be a James of a Jack, but neither of the two players named ever worked harder than the enthusiastic Wigan inside right. He lends a hand wherever it is needed, and so eases the pressure. Even though he does not score goals very often, his “grafting” is a valuable asset. He was missed at Wolverhampton. I dearly wanted Everton to get a goal so that I could see for myself what affect it had upon the Wolves. I am told they can be easily rattled, although on what I see I can hardly believe that for confidence was written all over the team. True, it is easy to play from a winning hand –they had a goal in two minutes –so I was keen to see how they would play when they were up against it. I did not get the opportunity. It is quite true that they fancy themselves for the season’s double. There is many a slip twist cup and lip, so Wolverhampton must not take anything for granted? Not that they are likely to do, but I can tell them, if they already do not know it, that Everton are a much better team than they are likely to be given credit for around Wolverhampton. Major Buckley saw them at Anfield, on their “on day” and viewed the Birmingham replay one of Everton’s “off” days. He should know something about them by now. Just a hint; I was impressed with Scott’s goal kicks. They put Wolverhampton right on the attack, for the ball invariably landed not far short of the opposition penalty line. They were as good as any pass made by Cullis or Galley. What about detailing a man to look after these goal-kicks. It may be worth considering.
Everton are said to be interested in McKeown, the Cliftonville inside left.
HOW EVERTON TURNED THE TIDE
Leeds United 1 Everton 2 (Game 1676 over-all)-(Div 1 1634 )
February 27 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Tense Moments For Sagar
Leeds United are dropping rapidly, yet they gave Everton a lot to think about for over an hour in their game at Elland Road. I did not think that Everton had any reply to that Ainsley goal scored at 28 minutes, for, while the forwards were capable of producing good football, they were never really a menace to the United goal. Leeds by their quick thrusts had scored one goal and looked good enough for others especially Ainsley who was their chief marksman and Sagar, who was Everton’s captain for the day will testify as to his shooting quality. He kept out at least three worthy efforts what time Everton were striving to get at grips with Savage the United goalkeeper, but their shooting was paltry until well on in the game and when a home victory certainly seemed to be the only result. Leeds had made a determined effort t put the game out of Everton’s reach by further goals, but Stephenson and Sutherland were badly at fault with the gates open wide for them. Sagar had just patted out a shot sending the ball straight to Sutherland’s head, but the centre forward made a hash of the opening heading wide. Had he taken the side of the head instead of getting it plumb on his forehead, a goal must have come as it was the ball went wide. It was not far off the mark; in fact one Pressman sitting alongside me wrote it down as a goal until I enlightened him on the matter. Stephenson’s effort bumped up against the upright, so you see that the Everton defence was on the collar. But as so often happens, a clearance turned the tide. Lawton snapped up that long pass from the rear, and seeing his way barred slipped the ball over to Bentham. Goalkeeper Savage ran out and as he did so Bentham cracked the ball over his head and into the net. Now I candidly admit that Everton had not suggested a goal at this stage but having obtained the equalizer they considered themselves in the game with a chance, and for the next few minutes they promised more in a goal scoring sense than they had previously done throughout this game. They showed more fight and with the United feeling that they had been harshly done to after holding their lead, so long, became a shade unsettled and at the 18th minute Cunliffe sent in a crackerjack shot which had Savage beaten to pieces. Lucky the Leeds people acclaimed. Why Lucky? The United had their chances and failed to utilize them, whereas Everton had scored twice from the few chances, they had. Urged on by their supporters Leeds came along with a fighting finish, and when Jones slipped as he went out to challenge Stephenson. He left the Leeds man with a chance in a million. Well inside the penalty area with no one to say nay, except Sagar, he feebly hit the ball straight to the Everton goalkeeper who was glad of the opportunity to save. He should have been left with none. It was a tense moment for the Everton people. There was many such during a game which could not be called a thriller although it was always interesting. Everton had four reserves men on duty but for that matter, so had Leeds so that in that respect things were truly balanced. The reserves did well. I liked Watson’s constructive play, and although Barber was pitted against a man who played ‘’hard’’ he did not do badly. With the slightest bit of luck he would have taken a goal, for he slipped through the defence in Gillick fashion and he not trotted on the ball, he had the beating of Savage for it was only that slight delay in having to get it under control again that enabled the goalkeeper to rush out and smother Barber just as he shot. Cunliffe Boyes and Watson made a good link in the matter of clever football, which however often fell short at its most, vital point, the penalty area. Lawton could not get a full blooded shot at goal, for Kane kept close at his heels. Jackson did not open too, well, but gradually swarmed to his game, and his speed at recovery was a valuable asset Jones was more like the Jones we know and he did great work in the centre, aye and very often on the flanks and Mercer stood out among all the half-backs. Leeds missed Hodgson and his big shots, Willis Edwards’s promptings but in Goldberg and Gatsby they had two stronger backs, and Kane was an able deputy for Holley. Savage was in no way to blame for the two goals which beat him. This victory should have restored confidence among the Everton players, who immediately after the game left for Harrogate to prepare for the Cup test with the Wolves. Result Leeds United 1 Everton 2. Teams Leeds United :- Savage, goal, Goldberg, and Gadsby backs Makinson, Kane and Mills half-backs, Cochrane, Ainsley, Sutherland Stephenson and Hargreaves, forwards. Everton:- Sagar (captain) goal, Jackson, and Greenhalgh, backs, Mercer, Jones, and Watson half-backs, Barber, Bentham, Lawton, Cunliffe, Boyes, forwards. Referee G.T.Davies (Bury) attendance 21,728
Everton Reserves 0 Bolton Wanderers Reserves 1
February 27 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Central League (Game 32)
At Goodison Park. Bolton proved themselves the superior side and with a little steadiness in front of goal would have won by a much wider margin Goodall, Thompson and Connor formed a strong rearguard and the small Everton forwards rarely caused them any anxiety. Forrest played grandly at left-half and was the best man on the field. All the forwards played clever football and Westwood who reappeared, after the injury, opened up the play in expert manner. The Everton defenders were heavily overworked at times, but Lovett, Saunders, and Jones got through their work with great deal of credit. The middle line was kept on the defensive to such an extent that they could not lend their usual aid to the attack. Marsh scored the only goal. Everton: - Lovett, goal; Saunders and Jones, backs; Britton, Gee, and Lindley, half-backs; Merritt, Dean, Hume, Sharp and Keenan, forwards. Placed 4th, played 32, won 16 lost 11, draw 5 for 54 against 58 points 37.
LIVERPOOL COUNTY LEAGUE
Everton ‘’A’’ 4 U.G.B (St Helens) 1
February 27 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
An early goal by Platt gave U.G.B. plenty of confidence. U.G.B shot often but found Burnett safe. Sweeney equalized just before the interval. In the second half Everton were far too clever for the St.Helen team and won easily with goals by Cunliffe (own goal) Davies, McMurray. Placed 1st, game 20. Won 16, lost 3, draw 1, for 72, against 36, points 33
EVERTON’S CUP PREPARATIONS
February 27, 1939. The Evening Express
Blues May Be At Full Strength
Goodison Club’s Triumph At Leeds
Everton’s cup fighters are undergoing intensive training at Harrogate in readiness for Saturday’s F.A. Cup sixth round tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Wolverhampton. The players went direct to Harrogate from Leeds on Saturday, and in addition to the regular eleven others present are Watson and Jackson. Lawton, the international centre forward, damaged an ankle at Leeds, but he was out with the other players at golf yesterday, and there seems little doubt that he will be able to play. The directors meet tomorrow night when it is expected the team will be announced. Gillick’s, Stevenson, Cook and Thomson, who all missed the Leeds game owing to injury, are expected to be fit for Saturday. Although the Blues failed to produce their best form at Leeds on Saturday their 2-1 win against the Elland-road side was a fine performance and kept them at the top of the league. For 70 minutes Leeds were ahead, the Yorkshire side’s keen tackling keeping the Everton scoring machine at bay. Then Everton rallied and pulled the game out of the fire. I thought Leeds might have made the issue safe, but they lacked finish. Sutherland tried hard, but he found Tom Jones at his best with Mercer lending grand support. Lawton was rarely got the ball to his liking found Kane a formidable obstacle. Bentham worked hard, and he and Cunliffe fully merited their goals. Boyes was the star forward. Everton’s back division was sound, and Sagar was at his best in the Blues goal.
EVERTON TAKE CHANCES
February 27, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Considering that Everton were without four of their star players –Cook, Thomson, Stevenson, and Gillick –they did uncommonly well to bring back two points from Elland road, but let us look further into the game and remember that the United were depleted in strength in four places, so on that score the teams were all-square; but let us also recall that the game was at Leeds, a factor which makes this latest Everton “double” full of credit. Leeds are tumbling down the table at an alarming pace and, unless there is some check put upon their sequence of defeats, their position will very soon be desperate. They had it in their power to have eased the position by a win against Everton, for they were a faster team and had far more shots, yet were only able to chalk up one goal for all their attack, whereas Everton twice had the ball in the net to score legitimate goals and on two further occasions when an offside decision nullified Cunliffe’s work.
Two Goals In Nine Minutes.
It was interesting game, if not little promise of taking a victory, for while some of their football was good if thrilling, and for an hour Everton gave did not bear the necessary finish to produce a win. A goal earlier on might have been of some use, for it was not until they scored at 71 minutes that they gave Savage anything to do. I was firmly of the opinion that Ainsley’s goal would carry the day, but that goal had a heartening effect upon Everton, who in quick time had marked up a second, and the United could not wipe out the arrears in the time left for them to do so. An equalizer was there for the asking in the last minute, when Jones slipped and Stephenson was left unhampered in front of Sagar. The odds were on the shooter, but the importance and success of his shot proved too much for him, and he shot tamely towards Sagar, who was thankful of the chance to save. That was a tragic miss for, placed as they are, Leeds would have welcomed a half, seeing they could not get a whole. When a team is having a bad time nothing will go right, and it seemed so when Sutherland headed for an open goal and directed the ball behind, and when Stephenson hit the upright with a nice drive. Leeds say Everton were lucky. Perhaps they were, but who is to blame if one side takes its chances, while the other with considerably more opportunities miss their way either through they own misgiving or the ability of the opposition goalkeeper.
Young Barber, in Gillick’s like fashion, stole through the United defence in the first few minutes, and had he not trod on the ball and temperately lost it I think he would have scored, but as it was, Savage had time to rush out and smother “Barber” attempted shot. Barber did well against a strong back, and the Watson-Cunliffe-Boyes trio played nice football until they reached the penalty area, where they were brought to a top by the United’s strong defence. Lawton got few chances from Kane, but from one of them he gave Bentham his goal. Lawton received an ankle and facial injury which caused his nose to bleed. Cunliffe’s goal was the result of Boye’s grand dribble and centre. He shot from outside the penalty area, and Savage was left standing. It was bad luck to Leeds, who had fought gallantly against the League leaders. They missed Hodgson’s powerful drive. Willis Edward’s constructional play, but Kane and Savage did not let down Holley and Tweemoy respectably. Twoomey, by the way, injured his hands bringing some coal for the fire. There’s one. It was a uncommon sight to see a third of the Everton team holding a watching brief? Cook has a bruised ankle, Thomson, a bad back, Gillick an injured shoulder and Stevenson a minor injury. Jackson improved as the game went. His power of recovery stood him in good stead.
GILLICK EVERTON’S ONE CUP TEAM DOUBT.
February 28, 1939. Evening Express.
Thomson, Stevenson, Cook, Lawton All Fit
Rain At Harrogate, And Blues Are Happy!
Torry Gillick, Everton’s Scottish international outside right, is the only doubtful starter for Saturday’s great F.A. Cup sixth round tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux Grounds. Thomson, Stevenson, Cook and Lawton who had been nursing sight injuries, definitely will be fit. Gillick is suffering from a strained left shoulder received when he fell in last Wednesday’s match against the Wolves. He has a plaster on the shoulder and is making excellent progress. Mr. Theo Kelly, the club secretary, speaking from Harrogate today, said; “It may not be possible to make a decision until Thursday or Friday. “Personally, I have little doubt that Gillick will be fit to play, but naturally the club wants to make sure before making any decision. “ Consequently, the team will not be announced until later in the week. Everyone at Harrogate is happy because from 6 o’clock last night until this morning it rained heavily. I will tell you why. It will give the players the chance of training in exactly the same conditions likely to prevail at Wolverhampton –a wet, muddy, slippery ground. Instead of motoring to the Harrogate town ground today, the players ran there through the rain, and then had plenty of ball practice. Should the match be drawn the replay will take place at Goodison Park tomorrow week.
The Wolves have only one team doubt. This is the outside position, where 16-year-oldJimmy Mullen has shown such good form in the last three games. “Dizzy” Burton, the regular winger, has not yet had a trial run since his injury received in the cup-tie against Liverpool, and I doubt whether he will be risked. It is possible that Major Frank Buckley, in view of the excellence of Mullen against Leeds, Everton and Liverpool, will decide to give Mullen his chance to make good in his first-ever F.A. Cup-tie. The remainder of the players are fit. Following custom, the Wolves are remaining at home for their training.
WOLVES DEFER SELECTION OF CUP SIDE UNTIL FRIDAY
February 28, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
But No Chances Expected
The Players Turn Down Special Training Offer.
Cup and League programmes are blended this week-end, with the former taking pride of place now that the competition has got to its most intriguing stage. Whereas the Everton board with reports to consider on the fitness of the four players who were marked absent at Leeds, meet tonight to pick their side, the Wolverhampton folk, with no injuries of any consequence to worry them, are delaying their selection until Friday morning. This does not denote impending changes. On the contrary, when I had a word with Major Buckley this morning he said that unless anything unexpected happened meantime the team will be the same as that which defeated Everton and Liverpool last week. Burton, who was injured in the Cup-tie with Liverpool, is making good progress, but is unlikely to be fit for Saturday, so that young Mullen alias “The Kid,” to the Molineux crowd, will make his first bow in the Cup-tie arena. While Everton are spending the week in special training at Harrogate, Wolves have decided to pursue their ordinary routine. Actually the matter was left to the players to decide. “If you went to go away you can,” said their manager. They voted for home training. Even if Wolves get through to Wembley they will not indulge in special training unless the players themselves express the desire. Major Buckley told me that his view of a Cup Final appearance would be to treat it as any ordinary way match, taking the players to Wembley by special train on the Saturday morning and bringing them back the same evening. “To take them to London the night before would probably do more harm than good,” was his opinion. Don’t take it from this that the Wolves’ manager is counting his chickens before they are hatched. “We know we are in for a tremendous hard fight,” he said. “I am building nothing on that 7-0 victory. We cannot hope to catch Everton on the hop like that again. I hope we shall get through, but if we don’t we shall be the first to wish Everton good luck and a through passage to the final.”
The L.M.S. are running a series of special express excursions from Lime Street to Wolverhampton on Saturday for the Everton Cup-tie. The first will leave at 10 a.m. and the last at 11; 25, but if the demanded makes it necessary extras will be put on from as early as 9 a.m. A special restaurant car will leave at 10.40.
“Fair play to Everton” (West Kirby) writes drawing my attention to the fact that in certain quarters Everton, followers have been saddled with the blame for the rumpus at Anfield. “I think this is about the limit,” he says, “and grossly unfair. I hold no brief for Everton or Liverpool F.C’s but if the truth were known the unruly behavior came from the regular supporters at Spion Kop end. They have been known to do the same sort of thing often before I believe Everton and Wolves are old friends and the former heartily congratulated the latter recently at Molineux ground.”