Everton Independent Research Data


January 1, 1906. The Liverpool Courier
Having lost three games in succession, Everton supplied their followers with a crumb of comfort by effecting a draw at Middlesbrough. In one respect this performance is notable, in as much as strange to say, the Evertonians have yet to register their first goal on Middlesbrough's ground. The point they secured on Saturday was the outcome of a decidedly tame game, in which neither side was able to find the net. Indeed if such exhibitions were of frequent occurrences the popularity of the Association code would soon be a diminishing quantity. Perhaps the comparative Luke warmness of the opposing teams was due to the demands, which at holiday times are made upon League players. But when every allowances is made there can be no valid excuse for such an indifferent exhibition as was witnessed. True, the ground was in very sticky conditions and in this way militated against the speedy men producing their best form, but even this cannot account for the lifelessness of the encounter.

Neither side was able to place its full strength in the field. Everton bringing in W.Balmer, Black, and Grundy, while Middlesbrough relied upon McCallum and Thackeray in place of Hogg and Coxon. Winning the toss. Everton elected to play facing the brilliant sun, for what reason it was not quite apparent. The home team were the first to became aggressive, and the curiously enough, one of the new man in Thackeray was early on the most conspicuous figure in the home attack. He tackled effectively, and whenever the slightest chance came his way he banged the ball in towards goal in creditable style. Indeed it was lucky for Everton that Scott was in his happiest vein. Nothing came amies to him, and it was almost entirely owing to his efforts that the somewhat spasmodic onslaughts of the home quintette did not materialise. All this time Everton failed even to call upon Williamson to handle the ball; indeed it was approaching half-time before Black tested him at all. After changing ends there was some improvement on the part of the Everton front line, but apart from Sharp, there was never any likelihood of the Middlesbrough goal being captured. What work he had to do he accounted for cleverly. Middlesbrough pressed hotly towards the close, but with a defence holding out they had to be content with the honours of a goalless draw. Unquestionably Scott's splendid work robbed the Teeside club of maximum points.

Athletic News - Monday 01 January 1906
Despite the weaknesses in other departments of their team, Everton possess many capable half-backs. William Black, who was tried in the League eleven for the first time September 16 against Newcastle United at Goodison, seems likely to maintain the traditions of intermediate line. He was born the Island of Mull in 1883, and when seventeen years of age joined a junior club named Enfield Star, one the teams in the suburbs of Motherwell. For twelve months he played right half-back, and then became attached to Dalziel Rovers, who were members of the Lanarkshire League. He represented his League against the Irish juniors, and in the same fixture a year later, captained the side. After a stay of two seasons, he transferred his services to Queen’s Park, and as left half-back assisted the famous amateur team in their League fixtures. At the commencement of the campaign of 1904-5, joined the Celtic, and as right or left halt-back often did duty as the occasion required. At the close of last season was engaged by Everton, and in the trial games at Goodison gave promise of developing into a more than average player. As already stated, he got his chance against Newcastle, and performed very creditably. He was not, however, afforded another opportunity until Christmas Day, when he was selected for the left half-back position at Bury, and the following day appeared in the return fixture at Goodison. Each of these three games were lost by Everton, so that his early experiences have not been happy. He is well built, standing 5ft 10in., and weighing 11st. Possessing a good idea of combining with the men in the front rank, whom he plies with forward ground passes, and  enjoying a useful turn of speed,  he should, with wider experience, become a prominent factor in the League eleven.

Athletic News - Monday 01 January 1906
By Cyclops
Nothing could have more effectually whetted the appetite for football fare at Ayresome Park on Saturday than the form recently shown by the respective representatives of Tees and Mersey. Everton although much the better placed, have been very variable in their general performances. Middleborough, on the other hand, after a long depressing experience, had manifested quite a revival during the last six weeks. It was therefore not tor surprising that a gate of 15,000 were in attendance. Their three Christmas holiday fixtures had yielded them as many points; whilst Everton had been put under subjection by Nottingham Forest and Bury—by the latter on consecutive days. This led to the hope and even expectation that the home team would again add points to their score. It was therefore not surprising that gate 15,000 were in attendance. Hogg not having recovered from his injuries sustained at Birmingham, stood down in favour of McCallum, while the home left wing was composed of Thackeray and Reid, in place of Coxon and Thompson. Everton's team was also considerably weakened, Abbott and Hardman being noticeable absentees, Black acting substitute to the former, whilst Grundy partnered Settle on the left. The spectators had little enthuse about during the first fifteen minutes as both teams finished up very weakly in front of goal, the one redeeming feature of the play being that swinging centres from the toe of Thackeray which were put in from time to time. Once Aitken drove in a terrific shot from Thackeray middling, Scott throwing himself at the ball and effecting a marvelous clearance at the expense of a corner.  Grundy, who made the initial League appearance for Everton, repeatedly spoilt his comrades efforts by infringements of the off-side rule.  Middlesbrough commenced a well-sustained attack, and profiting by the weakness of W. Balmer, Reid and Thackeray continually menaced the downfall of Everton’s goal, but owing to the ineffectiveness of the home forwards and the brilliant exhibition given by Scott in goal the Mersey men’s defence was kept intact.  Sharp, who was the only Everton forward to make headway, came down the wing in brilliant style easily beating Agnew, and he looked all over a scorer when Davidson who had been playing a most judicious game, frustrated the immediate danger by conceding a corner, which was not improved upon.  Middlesbrough practically pressed incessantly but the Everton defenders picked up wonderfully after the interval, and were equal to all demands made upon them. True, the home quintette were a source of irritable danger to the Everton defenders, but they appeared to work aimlessly, and their efforts lacked purpose.  Thackeray, who, at the commencement of the game, pleased the critics with his swinging centres, should have put the issue beyond doubt, as twice during the second half he was put in possession almost on the goal line, but each time he failed miserably, kicking the ball high over the bar.  Williamson did his allotted work in sound style.  The backs however, left plenty of room for improvement, Agnew being too often guilty of ballooning the ball.  They were fortunate to find the intermediate line on excellent terms with themselves. Aitken again coming in for well-earned praise for the manner in which he filled the centre-half position, whilst he was ably backed up by his confreres, Henderson and Davidson.  The Christmas fixtures appeared to have taken a lot of the dash out of the forwards.  Common not being noticeable for his accustomed energy and vim. The right wing, Green and Hewitt were the pick of the five but before the finish Green held out signals of distress.  For the visitors, Scott kept his goal in gallant style, and he was the medium of saving his side from defeat.  The backs opened out weakly, but they retrieved themselves in the second half, when they gallantly kept the home forwards at bay.  Booth was the pick of the half-backs, and it was very seldom that he was found wanting when called upon.  Sharp stood out as the only dangerous forward of his side, treating the crowd several times to the exceptionally brilliant runs for which he is noted.  Middlesbrough; Williamson; McCallum, Agnew; Henderson, Aitken, Davidson; Green, Hewitt, Common, Reid, and Thackeray.  Everton; Scott; W. Balmer, R. Balmer; Taylor, Booth, Black; Sharp, Makepeace, Young, Settle, and Grundy.  Referee; Mr. D.G. Ashworth, Rossendale. 

Athletic News - Monday 01 January 1906
By Junius
In order to be in readiness for the return League fixture at Middlesbrough, the Everton players journeyed to Harrogate on Friday afternoon, from whence they resorted to Teesside on the morning of the match. By sharing the points, they effected a gain in comparison with the corresponding game last season, when they were narrowly beaten, and for such small mercy the followers of the club will doubtless be extremely grateful. Grundy, a local youth, who hails from Neston, and who has shown promising form with reserve team, was tried at outside left vice Hardman, and did not shape at all badly. Hardman has been slightly off colour recently and in the Nomads match on Thursday performed very moderately. The rest would doubtless be welcome, and he will play against Manchester City to-day at Hyde-road. For the third time this season the defence maintained its integrity, and as Everton have now only eight League matches to play away from home, they may even yet secure a respectable position in the League table. The form shown recently scarcely warrants any such anticipation and the only department in the team which has given unalloyed satisfaction this season is the half-back line. New fortune may come with the New Tear.

As has been indicated the Evertonians failed lamentably to maintain the playing prestige of the club. Evidently they have struck a very bad patch, and the sooner a decided change for the better is made the more pleased will be their loyal band of supporters. With the resources at command, surely it is possible for the club to provide a team, clever enough and whole hearted enough to sustain an interest and maintain a position amongst the most successful clubs in the League. Sharp alone of the forwards did himself anything like justice although for a first appearance Grundy showed that he is capable of filling the outside left position with a certain amount of distinction. As for Young he seems to have lost all his old form. For a player of his ability some of his attempts to utilise chances bordered on the ludicrous, and apparently Everton will still be disappointing until they are fortunate enough to secure a reliable and dashing pivot. The half backs were good with on being over prominent while the brothers Balmer have given more satisfactory exhibitions. As for the Middlesbrough team their strength was at half-back. In the forward line the expensive, Common was a dismal failure. Thackeray, and Reid being by fair the most effective. Altogether it was a game in which neither set of players had much to boast about. Teams: - Middlesbrough: - Williamson goal, McCallum, and Agnew, backs Henderson, Aitken (Captain), and Davidson half-backs, Green, Hewitt, Common, Reid, and Thackeray, forwards. Everton: - Scott, goal, W.Balmer, and R.Balmer, backs, Taylor, Booth (Captain), and Black, half-backs, Sharp, Makepeace, Young, Settle, and Grundy, forwards.

January 1, 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 20)
Everton added two more points to their already fine record on Saturday, when Southport Central provided the opposition at Goodison-park. The Sand-grounders, despite their lowly position in the table (bottom) put in a good fight, and but for their weak forward play when close to goal, would have made the result closer' than it was. Still Everton were the better side, and deserved their victory. Early on Rankin beat Rimmer, and after Smith had missed a good opening at the other end, Dilly hit the post with a shot that was beating Rimmer all the way. Had the Central forwards subsequently shown steadiness in front of goal they would have equalised, but their failed, and Cooke put on a second point for the Blues. After further misses by the Southport forwards, Smith managed to get a goal in the second half, but Rankin put on another goal for Everton from a penalty kick, and the Central retired defeated by three goals to one. Both sets of defenders gave a good account of themselves, and neither goalkeeper had any chance with the shots that scored. Where Everton had the advantage was in the better work of the forwards, for the Central spoilt many good openings. Chiefly through over-eagerness to get goals. Abram, Smith, and McGuigan did well, and the Sand-grounders, if their present teams as Yesterday, will make progress in the competition. Everton: - Collins, goal, Hill, and Hannaon, backs, Chadwick, Wright, and Donaldson half-backs, Birnie, Rankin, Quinn, Cooke, and Butler, forwards.

January 2, 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
For their NewYear's match with Manchester City, at Hyde-road, Everton unfortunately, were unable to place anything like a representative team in the field. Injuries had been so numerous that an hour before the game ought to have commenced the team had not been selected. R.Balmer, Crelly, and Abbott were declared unable to turn out, and there was a doubt as to the fitness of certain of the Reserves players. Under these circumstances any chance of success which the Evertonians might under normal conditions, have possessed was considerable discoupled. Troubles rarely come singly, and it must be confessed that the Everton Club have undergone during the holidays and are under going a somewhat better experience. The players spent the weekend at Harrogate and arrived in Manchester yesterday in good time for the match, which was timed, to commenced at 2-30. There was a big holiday crowd to witness the match, and twenty minutes before the kick off all the available spaces seemed to have been occupied. It was estimated that at least 30,000 spectators were present. After all Everton only made a couple of alterations from the side which drew at Middlesbrough. Hill appearing for young Balmer, while Harold Hardman, as ranged, came in for Grundy. On the Manchester side Hynds was an absentee, Frost reappearing at right half-back. Teams: - Everton: - Scott goals, Hill, and W.Balmer, backs, Taylor, Booth (Captain), and Black half-backs Sharp, Makepeace, Young Settle and Hardman forwards. Manchester City: - Edmondson, goals, Norgrove, and Burgess, backs Frost, Buchan and Banks, half-backs, Dorsett, Bannister, Thomley, Turnbull, and Booth, forwards. Booth lost the toss, and Young kicked off punctually to time against a fairly stiff breeze, but with the sun, which occasionally broke through the clouds at their backs. The home side made play on the right, but Booth cleared through in a trice, and the City right was again in evidence.' This time Dorsett in trying for goal, placed the ball just behind. Then the Blues had a look in danger, as in the case of the City, coming from Sharp and his colleagues on the right. However, Edmondson was equal to the demands upon him, but still Everton pressed, and Norgrove intercepted a shot from Young. On the hard ground the sides kept up a fast pace and a dangerous attack was made on the Everton goal. Balmer, however, effectively kicked away a shot from Turnbull. Play was full of interest, though the City at the period were having the best of it. Burgess rendered his side good service when Everton looked like becoming dangerous, and after Scott had dealt with a shot from Turnbull. Dorsett distinguished himself, finishing a brilliant run with a lighting shot, which skimmed the ball Everton after this carried the ball down in nice style, but the City defence prevailed and a vigorous attack followed on Scott's charge, which had an exceedingly narrow escape. There was no mistaking the earnestness of the City onslaught, and on one occasion Booth knocked the ball down with his hands when within the penalty area. The referee did not notice the incident, and appeals for a penalty were ignored. Still the City kept up persistent pressure, and luck, in addition top strenuous defence, saved the situation for Everton. The visiting side could make little impression, and when they did get away Settle was pulled up for a foul. The City took corners on both wings, and one terrific low shot from Booth, which went on the wrong side of the post, deserved to score. Everton were being outplayed, and it was fortunate for them that the City sharpshooters were not the very good form. The City defence was altogether too good for the Everton front line, who were sadly lacking in combination. Thornley was penalised for charging Scott as he was fisting out, but the free kick was of no advantage, and during further pressure. Bannister had the misfortune to bang the ball against upright when Scott was beaten all to pieces. Hardman vainly endeavored to get away on his own, but being hampered by Hargrave his centre was of no use, and again the City in fine style were making matters warm for the Everton defence. Indeed it was a question of City first and Everton a very long way behind. The home attack could do everything right except in respect of shooting. Dorsett when nicely placed being badly at fault, Hardman gave a nice pass to Settle, who, however, was too well watched to turn it to advantage, and after a succession of throws in the City once more swarmed round the Everton goal. All this time it must be remembered that Everton had to contend with a stiff breeze. A fine breakaway by Makepeace was spoiled by Burgess kicking out, and after good play by the Everton left wing. Booth shot just wide of the post. The City were soon back again, but they had not quite so much of the game as before Hardman tried hard to make progress, but Norgrove gave no quarter, and Balmer, in kicking away, skied the ball over the line. The corner was cleared, with difficulty, and running down on the right, Young put across a glorious centre which was missed by both Settle and Hardman. Burgess, from a free kick, placed the ball in the Everton goalmouth, where Booth missed a splendid opportunity of opening the score. Then Everton were seen to better advantage than at any previous stage of the game. There was some life in their attack, but after Young had passed back unstead of shooting, Makepeace had a go, the ball bouncing off a City player on to the goalkeeper, who easily cleared. This lively pressure was not maintained, and the City indulged in another of the strong attacks, which failed when the finishing touches were necessary; indeed it was marvellous, considering the way in which they assailed the Everton goal, how they were prevented from scoring, it was a tribute to the Everton defenders, amongst whom not the least conspicuous was Black. Just before the interval Everton had a free kick, which Balmer placed well in the goalmouth, when the whistle blew. Half-time-Manchester City nil, Everton nil. In the second half, Everton made a much better show than before though their opponents were still the stronger side. Early on Sharp was prominent, and Hardman put in a grand shot, which Edmondson negotiated, in the cleverest possible fashion. Indeed, for some time it was marvelous how the City goal escaped downfall. The Situation soon changed, and only Scott's alertness prevented City scoring. Play varied in interesting fashion, and the pace was terrific, with the home side having always the pull. Sharp was temporarily injured, but quickly resumed, and as the result of a fierce onslaught Thorpe scored for City from a pass by Booth with a shot which gave Scott no changes. Everton tried hard, principally through the efforts of Sharp to equalised, but Edmondson kept a grand goal, and so the game went on to the end with any further additions to the score. Unquestionably City deserved their win. Everton improved considerably upon, the form displayed at Middlesbrough, but they were no match for the City. Indeed, had it not been for a magnificent exhibition by Tom Booth at centre half-back the defeat would have been much more decisive. Final; Manchester City 1, Everton nil.

January 2 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 21)
This match at Goodison-park attracted about 2,000 people. The weather was bitterly cold, and the ground very hard. The teams were as follows : - Everton: - Collins, goal, Wildman, and Wright, backs, Chadwick, McLaughlin, and Donaldson, half-backs, Birnie, Rankin, Quinn Cooke and Grundy, forwards. Manchester City: - Youde, goal, Church, and Meunier, backs, Cooke, Moffatt, and Evans half-backs Whittaker, Adams, Baldwin Farrell, and Vaughan, forwards. Everton had the better of the opening stages. Cooke made a good attempt to get throng; but Youde ran out and kicked away before Grundy could get to the ball. A fine clearance by Meunier set his forwards going only for Wildman to pull them up and midfield play was the order for some time. Good work by the Everton left wing to play to the City half, but the Blues failed to make much headway. Wright did capital services during a rush, and following good combination by the home forwards. Yould had to save from Grundy and Quinn, Everton were having a decided advantage, but both Grundy, and Donaldson sent wide. The City forwards quite failed to pass the Everton backs, and Birnie sent in a grand shot from the touchline, Youde saving well. A little later Quinn threw away a capital opening by a reckless shot, the ball travelling yards well of the goal. The City followed with their best attack so far, and from Adams shot Wildman almost scored against his side. He turned the ball wide of Collins into the goal, but just as the leather was entering the net he cleverly hooked it out and all the City got was a fruitless corner. Everton attacked in turn only to finish badly, and then City forced two corners in quick succession. The defence prevailed, however, and on Everton tasking up the running Youde cleared from Rankin and Birnie. Everton had the best of matters to the interval, but failed to beat Youde. Half-time Everton nil, Manchester City nil. The City had a decided advantage when play was resumed, but the Everton defence was sound. Everton pressed in turn, Youde clearing a shot from Cooke. A moment later the visitors were attacking strongly, and Collins saved finely from Whittaker. The City were showing the better form at this stage and Adams had two fine openings only to fail badly on each occasion. Clever play by Rankin gave Birnie a chance, his shot travelling just wide of the post; while a moment later the inside man headed very close. Birnie put in a grand run and centre, but with Youde out of goal Cooke could only hit the post and the danger was cleared. The Everton forwards indulged in too much individualism with the result that the City defenders invariably robbed then at the finish. McLaughlin changed place with Quinn, and this brought about some improvement. After Collins and Wildman had repelled several strong attacks on the Everton goal McLaughlin was fouled close to the City goal. Rankin took the penalty kick, but shot straight at Youde, who had no difficulty in clearing. Both sides missed further chances afterwards, and the game ended in pointless draw. Final: - Everton nil, Manchester City Nil.

January 8, 1906. The Liverpool Mercury
At length the “rot” to borrow a phrase familiar in another national pastime, has been checked by the Goodison-park brigade. This was furnished by Everton's narrow defeat of Preston North End by one goal to nil, and to say the least, the victory is exceedingly welcome to the club, and supporters alike. The result of recent performances by the Blues had been such as almost to give Everton supporters a fit of the “Blues” one beaten to wonder when they were going to win a game. Their success on Saturday, however, will go far to rehabilitate the club into the confidence, and good graces of their large followers and it is hoped the somewhat long series of defeat has now given place to a spell of victories. Neither team was at its strongest, and there was one of two unusual changes. Crelly had not sufficiently recovered from his injury and Hill partnered the elder Balmer at full back taking the right position Dilly filled Young place at centre forward, whilst Abbott was back again at half-back instead of Black. Preston had to do without Jack bell and Wilson, both on the injured list whilst Todd was requisitioned to fill the place of Hunter, who has not before been off the list this season.

The game was characterised for its great strenuous and untiring determination and in winning by the odd goal Everton had their work cut out. At the same time they deserved the two points-there was no fluking about the manner in which they were obtained. It was a game in which on both sides, the defence was superior to the attack, although the front lines entered with remarkable earnestness into the fray, and each shone alternately. There was however, a lack of ability to shoot goals. There were many fine efforts that is true, but either they were within inches or the goalkeepers rendered them absortive. This was discouraging after some centres, which were altogether praiseworthy and seemed almost certain to bring about success. In considering the score regard must of course he had to the heavy going of the ground, the players not infrequently having some difficulty in sticking in their feet, and it is not a little surprising that the players kept steam up so well.

The first attempt to mark the slate was by Taylor, who it will be remembered scored Everton's equalising goal at Preston at the beginning of the season. It was the result of clever combination and Taylor receiving from Booth sent in a grand shot, which just topped the crossbar. The North End forwards often came away with dash, the flyer, Bond, being at times irresistible and ubiquitous. Matters proceeded in ding done fashion, the Evertonians playing up with a spirit and vigour equal to that of their opponents. Occasionally there was some uncalled for energy on the part of one or two of the Prestonians notably Lyon, one of the halves who seemed to have a special liking for fouling Sharp so much so that the referee had to speak to him on the subject. It however, burst out later on in this half. The contest was waged first in one half and then the other with extra ordinary intensity up to the interval, when nothing had been scored. Hardman immediately on the game being resumed, looked like a certain scorer, the ball just grazing the post. There was no diminution in the degree of “go” which had characterised the first half, both sides contending for the mastery with an actively which could never be mistaken. There was some very hot onslaught on either goal, and the abilities of both custodians were well tried. It was about ten minutes off time when Everton success came. It was not without the sensation. The event was just proceeded by Settle striking the underpart of the crossbar. Dilly got possession as the ball came out, where upon McBride fell on it, and a bully ensued in which it looked as if there, was quite a cluster on the floor.' The custodian was slightly hurt, and just after he presumed that Hardman taking advantage of a centre from the sight put the ball past McBride and did the trick.

There were several individual displays, which caught the eye. The combination of the home forwards was generally good but if anything that of the Ribblesiders was better, whilst they also had it in point of dash. Hardman and Settle were oftentimes troublesome, and Dilly performed very creditably in the centre never in the least shirking work. Sharp was too well looked after to shine with his usual brilliance. The halves showed resource, and behind, Hill was a complete success, doing the right thing at the proper moment. He not only showed himself a fearless tackler; but the eagerness with which he rushed into the fray and cleared was the theme of admiration. Scott had a stiff task on hand, but he got through it finely. As already indicated, Preston played a rollicking game. Bond made good rushes of speed, but strange to say he was occasionally neglected in the matter of passes. What is the reason? Maher and Turnbull were nearly prominent. The defence was always resolute and McBride got through a lot of work with distinction. Teams : - Everyone: - Scott goal, Hill, and W.Balmer, backs Taylor Booth (Captain), and Abbott half-backs, Sharp, Makepeace, Dilly, Settle, and Hardman, forwards. Preston North End: - McBride, goal, Derbyshire, and Rodway, backs, McLean, Dodd, and Lyons, half-backs, Bond, Maher, Smith, Turnbull, and Lockett, forwards.

Athletic News - Monday 08 January 1906
Week after week brings defeat for Preston North End Reserve, and now at length they figure at the foot of the table.  Had Saturday’s game not been preceded by so many poor performances, there would not have been much cause to complain, for against Everton Reserve they had a very moderate side, the forwards especially being mixed.  The only goal of the game was the outcome of a shot by Chadwick, which glanced off a Preston player, and deceived Taylor, this point coming early in the first half.  Collins, who was carried off injured at one point, but was able to resume, kept goal splendidly for the visitors. 

Athletic News - Monday 08 January 1906
By Junius
Owing to the weather the attendance at Goodison Park was very sparse in the return fixture with Preston North End, not more than 10,000 persons being present. The general opinion was that Everton would do well to share the points, and these anticipations were engendered by the feeble form shown recently by the "Blues," coupled with the knowledge that Everton possess a weak attack, while Preston enjoy the benefits of a sturdy defence. Although the North Enders were beaten, I scarcely think they deserved to lose both points, though the football exhibited by the respective sides seldom roused any enthusiasm. Consequent upon the indisposition of Crelley and Young, Everton had to craft into their service the reserves Hill and Dilly, and the pair justified their selection. On the Preston side, Turnbull and Maher were substituted for Bell and Wilson respectively in the forward line, while Tod filled Hunter’s place at centre half. The North End, who wore black bands on their arms in memory of the sudden death of one of their directors, were prominent at the start, but as the game progressed the quality of the play deteriorated, and the defence was generally more than a match for the opposition. There was no scoring in the first half, and a fine shot from Lockett was the most creditable attempt find the net after the resumption, Everton teemed inclined to be aggressive, but they dwindled away, and eventually Makepeace and Taylor changed places, but this produced no direct improvement in the Everton forward play. Smith appeared certain to score after beating Hill, but Scott cleverly came to the rescue, and then occurred the only exciting incident. Hardman ran down and centred to Settle, whose shot struck the cross-bar, and M'Bride, in saving the return drive from Dilly, fell with a crowd of players on him. After a rather lengthy stoppage for repairs, the custodian resumed, and from a cross from the extreme right Hardman flashed the ball into the net. This point decided the game ten minutes from the finish, but Preston should have equalized, for Bond and Turnbull obtained nice openings. However, Everton won, and I consider they were fortunate. They were not one whit superior to their opponents, whose defence was excellent, and a drawn game would have been a fitter representation of the battle. The finer points of football were lacking, and the game was stubbornly contested rather than brilliantly fought. Even Bond failed to show his paces, and the match, as a whole, was exceedingly disappointing. No doubt the state of the ground affected the movements of the men, but despite this the forwards showed little cleverness and ability, and combined efforts were rarely witnessed. On the Everton side, Dilly filled the centre forward position fairly well, and I question whether he was not an improvement on Young. He certainly did endeavour to make the best of the chances which came his way, but in the majority of cases one of the Preston backs would intervene before he could get near the ball. Settle and Makepeace, and later on Taylor were of little use, and the only forward who played at all well was Hardman, who made some capital centres, and deservedly gained the only goal of the match. Tom Booth was responsible for some useful footwork, but the wing half-backs were not too effective. Despite the fact that both worked hard, they were never really equal to the demands upon them. Similarly throughout the team, the same monotony of mediocrity was noticeable, dogged plugging being frequently in evidence, while spirited and exhilarating football was wanting. Hill gave a promising display, and though lacking at times, he afforded glimpses of ability. Balmer, who played on the left, did well, and he is yet one of the most potent factors in the Everton defence.  Scott effected several fine clearances, and was the most prominent man in the team. High and low shots came alike to him, and the fact that he was never beaten is ample testimony to his efficiency. The Preston forwards were on a par with those of Everton, and their movements were characterized with the same measure of haphazard endeavour. Even the dapper outside right—Bond—was rarely brought into prominence, and both he and Sharp were disappointing. Much may have been expected from these clever wingers, but they completely failed to justify anticipations.  Sharp has been the mainstay of the Everton attack during the present season, and Bond’s abilities are common knowledge, but neither displayed a tithe of the skill which they possess.  At half-back Mclean and Tod were ceaseless workers, discarding finesse and delicacy of touch for vigour endeavor, and they meant getting the ball, no matter how or where.  Lyon spoiled his work in the first half by being frequently penalized, and the referee had to administer a word of advice to the impetuous left half-back.  At full back Preston shone, Rodway especially giving a fine exhibition of kicking and tackling.  Derbyshire, too, proved a sturdy defender, but he had not the cool resource of his comrade.  In goal McBride was equal to most of the demands upon him, but the grueling he received during that bully evidently affected his after-work.  Everton, won, but they created little satisfaction, and there is lacking a harmonious sympathy between the various branches of the team, which will invariably militate against a first-class exposition.  Everton; Scott; Hill, Balmer (W.); Taylor, Booth (captain), Abbott; Sharp, Makepeace, Dilly, Settle, and H.P.Hardman.   Preston North End; McBride; Derbyshire, Rodway; Mclean, Tod, Lyon; Bond, Maher, Smith, Turnbull, and Lockett.  Referee; J.H. Smith, Doncaster. 

January 8, 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 22)
It was a decidedly good performance on the part of Everton to beat North End Reserves at Deepdale, for although the Prestonians occupy a lowly position (Last) in the table, they are a difficult side to beat on their own ground. What makes Everton performance all the more creditable is that for a part of the game they were without the service of Collins, who was hurt while effecting a fine save. This took place towards the interval, and after Everton had scored, though Chadwick. After the change of ends, Collins reappeared and but for poor shooting by Cooke the visitors would have scored on more than one occasion. Birnie had hard line in hitting the upright and towards the close Preston had a turn, but could not beat Collins and Everton won by the odd goal. Everton's defence was very sound all though. Collins effecting some grand saves. The visitors were too clever for the home forwards whole attack, were chiefly the result of individual rushes. With such support from their halves the Everton forwards should have done much better, but Quinn and Cooke were sadly at fault with their shooting. The ground however, was very slippery, and good shooting was almost out of the question. The defence best served the home side. Taylor making some fine clearances, while Orrell, after an absence, though injury gave a good account of himself at full back. Everton: - Collins, goal, Wildman and Wright, backs Black Chadwick, and Donaldson half-backs, Birnie, Rankin, Quinn, Cooke, and Butler forwards.

January 12 1906. The Liverpool Courier
The Everton directors are on the look out for players with a view to strengthening the forward line, and yesterday they secured the signature of Hugh Bolton an inside left from Newcastle United. Bolton played for the Wolverhampton in the League match against Sheffield United this season. He comes to Everton with a good reputation as a forward.

January 13, 1906. Lancashire Evening Post
Ben Rickerby, of Southport, has been a familiar figure in local football circles for some years. His first club was Norwood, which is now defunct, and with Lionel Watson, late of Blackburn Rovers, was once connected. His next experience of football was during a college course at Edinburgh. From thence he went to Dublin, where he was associated with the Bohemians. This was in the season 1902-3. Up to this time, Ben, who is now 25 years of age, had operated in the full back position, but in the later stages of his career with the Bohemians he went inside left, and ever since he has been in forward line. In the season following, Rickerby joined Southport Central, and after playing a few matches with the reserves was tried with the seniors. There are many who hold that he was never given a thorough trial. At any rate few were surprised when Rickerby played with Everton Reserves towards the end of the season. Subsequently, that is to say in the season 1904-5, he played for the Southport Y.M.C.A, at right inside, and for part of the season he was centre forward. At present he leads the attack. He helped the club to win the Wakefield Shield, and has seen it promoted to the Lancashire Amateur League. Frankly, Rickerby is a player of moods. At times he seems to revel in his work and puts in some brilliant touches; but there are off-days. He is possessed of more than average turn of speed, and is a capital shot. This season, while Smith was hurt, Rickerby acted on one occasion as the pivot of the Central front line.

January 15, 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
Everton have managed to survive the first round of the English Cup competition. This was very satisfactory to their supporters, of whom there were 18,000 assembled on Saturday at Goodison-park, to witness the tie with West Bromwich club which in the course of its career has taken no small share in English Cup tie honours. They have worked their way into the final on no fewer than five occasions, and on two of those have proved themselves the proud victors. Once before only had these two clubs met in the competition viz, in 1893 at Goodison-park when Everton vanquished them by four goals to one though coming to grief in the final round at the hands of the Wolves. With their past history in mind, therefore, the event of Saturday was invested with considerable interest especially so as the Throstles are making a bold bid to get out of the second division of the league, an effort for which every hope of success is held out. They have some young and sterling players in their ranks, and it will not be their fault if the club is not promoted to the higher ranks. The players of both sides had been benefiting from the bracing seaside air- Everton being at Blackpool, and the Albion at the St.Annes-on-the-sea. This change of atmosphere seemed to have had a good effect on the men, for they were as frisky as lambs. In the disposition of the Everton team, which was not decided upon until an hour or so before the start on account of the conditions of the ground. Makepeace resumed at right half-backs. Taylor figuring at inside right. Crelly was still absent, and Hill again operated, whilst Young was once again seen at centre forward, vice Dilly.
Those who had anticipated a hard struggle between the teams were not disappointment. It was a keen contest all the way for honours, indeed, measured by the balance of the play the 3-1 victory which accrued to the Goodison combination is scarcely representative. It was evident that the Throstles meant business from the first. In the early stages there was some brilliant work on the Everton wings, which boded no good for the visitors. It was marvelous how the Albion goal escaped during a series of rapidly recurring corners in which Abbott was more conspicuous-than anybody else Stringer, the visiting custodian only saving a grand “header” from the half-back with difficulty. Then followed some dashing attacks by the Midlanders in which Simmons bore a great part, and, as a counterpart the capital defence of Hill and W.Balmer stood out prominently. When the game was 25 minutes old Everton took the lead with a pretty shot from the foot of Hardman, it was a question at one time whether the clever winger should turn out, but the decision to play him certainly proved a very wise one as matters eventuated. The lead was increased shortly before half-time by Sharp with a very well judged shot. The efforts of the visitors, who were putting in all they knew were rewarded a minute or two later, when Haywood completely beat Scott. The second half was, if anything more strenuous than the first, the Throstles in their desire to at any rate draw level. In finding any amount of dash into their play. It could never be said that they were overplayed, indeed, the play in the latter part of this half was in favour of the visitors. about eighteen from the finish Makepeace increased Everton's lead and they finished with a good advantage.
There were several flashes of good individual play on both sides. On the Everton side Sharp played at great game on the right running in brilliant fashion and proving a thorn in the side of Law and Haywood. Some of his centres were not always taken advantage of, and chances were missed on this account. Besides being responsible for one of the goals, he had a good share in the first that was scored. On the other wing Hardman played a rattling game in which there were judgement and resource combined. young, on the day's play could hardly be considered an improvement in Dilly, indeed, he played a very uneven games, and somehow or other did not seem at home. The performance of Hill, and Balmer especially the first named it would be impossible to over praised. Hill's heading in tight corners was a source of strength, and on one occasion he saved what would have been a certain goal. The Throstles are a well-balanced lot, and made a good impression on the spectator. No one worked harder than Simmons, who was often dangerous, whilst once Bradley gave Scott a handful. The defence was of a sound order although Pennington was occasionally quite out generated by Sharp. Stringer proved himself a fine custodian, bringing off some very clever saves.
Teams: - Everton: - Scott goal, Hill, and W.Balmer backs, Makepeace, Booth (Captain), and Abbott half-backs Sharp Taylor, Young, Settle, and Hardman, forwards. West Bromwich Albion: - Striner goals, Williams, and Pennington, backs, Randles, Phessant, and Manners half-backs, Bradley, Simmons, Shinton, Heywood, and Law forwards. Referee Mr. Armittleck.

Athletic News - Monday 15 January 1906
By Sprinter
Very few words are necessary to tell the tale of Everton’s narrow victory over West Bromwich Albion.  To bring to one’s aid a well-worn expression that “the score by no means represents the run of play” is perhaps the best thing I can do on the spur of the moment.  Never were so few words so full of meaning.  Everton triumphed at home by 3-1, but there was never that difference between the elevens.  True, there was a distinction, and it is best described by a little thought that it was all the difference between the setting of fine English jewellery and that we see in Belgium or from the Far East.  It was all the difference between elegant finish and the rough-turned material.
Therefore, it was not a great victory, and the victors were by no means streets ahead of their less favoured rivals.  The run of the play was as distinct as possible-a flash of Evertonian brilliance; Sharp on one wing and Hardman on the other.  Thrice did he drop the ball nicely in the centre of Stringer’s citadel; thrice did the Everton half-back line pop the ball just a shade over the bar.  Then a lively tune piped by the “Throstles” next an effort by all the Everton front five, culminating in Hardman scoring the first goal at the end of 26 minutes.  He had deserved it, for his individualities were undeniably brilliant.  Sharp at the other side of the field seemed spurred on to something great, for the end of one of his personal periods was the beating of Pennington 25 yards out, the quick revolving of that burly fellow on his heel, and a delightful chase, Sharp, ball at toe, curling, cavorting, trickling and potting the leather as surely past Stringer as Melbourne Inman crashes a billiard ball down into the pocket.  That was at the end of 40 minutes, but it was a thrilling thing.  After three Evertonians had missed an open goal, the ball was switched across the field to Heywood, and in a twinkling he had it past Scott, to reduce the lead to 2-1, and that was how the sides changed over.
The “Throstles” for 26 minutes of the second half reigned well-nigh supreme.  They looked like equalisers many times, for Scott thrice was in Queer Street, but luck helped Everton, or else that lack of finish spoken of already spoiled the “Throstles” swinging forward work.  At the 27th minute, however, in a flash, Everton were assured of victory.  In the gathering gloom the ball went to Everton’s right, a thrust was made with it towards Sharp, little Makepeace intervened, and drove it out of the sprightly Stringer’s grasp.  That ended the scoring.
Everton may want some new players; indeed one captious critic put the number at seven.  That would leave but four gems in the setting of eleven.  To carry on that critic’s simile, I ask, who are the four? Sharp, Hardman, Makepeace, and Hill were certainly the quartette to shine as pure white diamonds on Saturday’s form.  The others were just ordinary brilliants.  Scott was hesitant; beaten by the fight of the ball on three occasions to my count from the serial seats from which the game is watched; but once did luck and twice did Hill save his keeper.  Indeed, Hill was the defender of the day; the best back on the field, the very embodiment of coolness.  Balmer (W.) was at fault half a dozen times; once Hill covered up one of his sins with a clever clearance.  It seemed all Hill and very little of anyone else.  Everton’s middle line was not a great one.  Makepeace was the only one to stay the full ninety minutes against the persistent, plodding, pushful tactics of the “Throstles” front five.  It was Makepeace’s third goal which turned the match (I won’t say completely) into the favour of the home men.  Until it came, anything might have happened, for I can’t get the fact out of mind that for 26 minutes in the second half Everton were fretting and fuming under the scourge of a heavy attack.  The 27th minute, however, sealed the fate of the Albion.  Abbott was as good as inoperative, and Booth never once rose out of the rut of just ordinary usefulness.  Settle struggled strenuously, but he was the only inside man to back up the thrilling work of the two wingers.  Stringer and his backs merit all the praise that can be lavished upon them.  Not sparkling, perhaps, but there was an unceasing utility in the work of Pennington and Williams that was noteworthy.  Pheasant was the star of a middle line of obstructionists; he was the chief executioner or head chopper of many movements.  He kind of suggested the guillotine of the French Revolution.  Bradley, Simmons, and Heywood shone effulgently forward for the “Throstles,” but Shinton the burly, Shinton the slasher, the Appleyard of the Hawthorns, never had his chance.  How he failed to come off I can’t imagine.  It was one of the mysteries of the game – and it held a few.  Everton; Scott; Hill, W. Balmer; Makepeace, Booth, Abbott; Sharp, Taylor, Settle, Hardman, and Young.  West Bromwich Albion; Stringer; Pennington, Williams; Manners, Pheasant, Randle; Law, Heywood, Simmons, Bradley, and Shinton.  Referee; T. Armitt, Leek. 

January 16, 1906. The Liverpool Echo
Yesterday the Everton footballers resumed their training at Blackpool in view of the match with the League champions Newcastle have already extracted two points from the Blues, and Saturday's match must be accounted most difficult for the Liverpool team. The men who made the journey from Exchange Station in charge of Messrs Wade and Cope and Trainer Elliottt were;- Scott; Crelly, Hill, Abbott, Wright, Young, and Dilly. Settle received an awkward ankle injury on Saturday and be along with Taylor, Booth, Makepeace, and W. Balmer will join their comrades later on. It is not known to the Everton supporters that Hardman asked the directors half an hour before the kick off on Saturday to excuse him as he feared he could not do his club or himself justice. However he was persuaded to play, and therefore his excellent forward work is all the more creditable to him.

January 18, 1906. The Liverpool Echo
I disagree with the Everton policy in purchasing Chesterfield and similarly Liverpool's endeavour to buy up Barnsley. Yesterday when the rough match –two players were sent off the field –was concluded at Chesterfield, the Everton officials tempted the Second Division representatives, who must have kept their visitors at bay for some time, at the club had to run up to £5000 before Chesterfield cried “agreed.” Chesterfield whatever the elements may be on February 3 will gain £500. What is their drawing power as compared with West Bromwich Albion who drew a gate which did not reach £500? The Chesterfield ground is a ridge one and no wonder their directors are proud to point out that they have not been beaten there by any First Division team.

January 19, 1906. The Liverpool Echo
Ordinary Everton made the journey to Newcastle with trepidation. This day they have left their training quarters with less hope of victory than ever before. Harold Hardman is run down in health; perhaps he has been giving his services too frequently to amateur organization. For so diminutive a player his stamina is astounding. Acting on medical advice he is resting this week-end. More misfortune for the club comes the announcement that Settle will most probably be unable to assist the colours. One of the Albion defenders kicked his ankle and he has suffered much pain this week, being unable to put a boot on. Everton are having as rough a journey as they ever experienced. Grundy and McLaughlin went to Blackpool during the week. Booth too has an damage ankle and the team to do duty includes Dilly at centre and McLaughlin and Grundy on the left, while Taylor is moved to centre half. Zest will be lent to the match at St. James's Park by the fact that Andrew Aitken, who will captain the team, and McIntyre, the second team reserve half-back will take a joint benefit. On most occasions the Liverpool and Newcastle eleven produce one of the finest games to be seen for the combination are so similar. In addition to this, Newcastle United are still hopeful of running the best club in the League a determined race for the retention of the championship. The Newcastle directors met last night to select their team and only found it necessary to make one alteration. Gardiner the right half, who has been acting captain for some time was knocked about not a little in the Grimsby Cup tie; thus the opportunity presented itself of playing one of the beneficiaries in the person of Aikten. The other partropator in the “benefit” McIntyre would shot have got his place in the team had been well, but this he is not unfortunately. Kick-off at 2.30. It is almost unique that a player should transfer his services, and at the first appearance in the new jersey be pitted against his most recent club mates. This is the one of Hugh Bolton, whom Everton signed on a fortnight ago.. It is hoped that he will fell into line with the Everton attack and improve it. It would be unfair to expect much from him in his opening games, especially as there is more than one circumstance to unnerve him. Everton stay overnight at Newcastle and it should like to witness the effort of both sides, for United are giving to spectators artistic football. Their finished methods are entertaining and it is questionable if they do not outshine every other club in the matter of polished play. Their smooth passes are accurately placed and with trifle vigour in front of the sticks they would make more victims.

January 20, 1906. The Liverpool Football Echo
League Division 1
Appleyard Scores in Two Minutes
Rutherford Notches a Second
In view of the stiffness of their engagement with Newcastle the Everton team spent the work in strict training at Blackpool, but though the balmy air of that watering-place did many of them good, there was a woeful list of injured players on the list and the team had to be completely rearranged. The journey North was made yesterday, Newcastle being reached in the afternoon and head quarters being fixed at the County Hotel. This morning the men quietly strolled about the city, but there was not much inducement to stay out-of-door for the weather was very raw, and at noon a heavy drizzle set in. Nevertheless a large crowd turned out to see what was anticipated as a keen struggle and at the start the finely appointed enclosure at St. James's Park was comfortably filled. As published in our edition yesterday Everton were unfortunately without the service of Hardman, Settle, Young and Booth, and they turned out as follows;- Everton; Scott, goal; Hill and W. Balmer, backs; Makepeace, Taylor, and Abbott, half-backs; Sharp, Bolton, Dilly, McLaughlin, and Grundy, forwards. Newcastle United; Lawrence, goal; McCombie and Carr, backs; Aitkens, Vietch, and McWilliams, half-backs; Rutherford, Howie, and Appleyard, Orr, and Gosbell, forwards. The visitors won the toss, and Newcastle started with the breeze against them. They at once ran down on the right and Billy Balmer was in the trouble only clearing as the expense of a corner. The United however returned immediately and this time Hill granted a corner. This was finely placed, and from the bally in front of Scott Appleyard netted the ball amid great cheering. This success came after the game had only been in progress two minutes and it naturally gave the home side great confidence. Nevertheless the Evertonians made play on the right but Carr had little difficulty in clearing and for a time play settled down in midfield. The home left wing pair got down on the left but Makepeace checked well and then at promising movements ended in Veitch shooting wide of the mark. The pace was now noteworthy so fast as the commenment but the heavy turf was all against fastness and for quite a long period nothing of moment happened. Smart forward work by Gosnell and Orr was only partially stopped by Makepeace, but Taylor nipped in saving by kicking into touch. United got going away again in workmanlike fashion. Gosnell passed right across to the opposite wing and Rutherford leaving Balmer standing still scored with a terrific fast shot after seventeen minutes play. This second reverse put the visitors on their mettle and they tried to force matter on the right wing bit there was an almost entire absence of combination and first Carr and then McGombe had comparatively little difficulty in clearing their lines. It was not long before United were again on the move but Hill sent them back smartly and Grundy got away on his own account but only to be pulled up by Veitch. Keeping up the pressure with some persistence the visitors seriously harassed the home defence and after Abbott had tried a hard drive that was intercepted Taylor shot outside. The visitors were now fully holding their own, and after one or two attempts to piece the United defence Sharp put in a glorious shot which unfortunately struck the upright and bounded into play again.

Dilly Scores Twice
Another Everton Defeat There was no mistaking the fact that Everton were now asserting themselves to some purpose, and if there had only been a little more cohesion among the forwards they must undoubtedly have scored. Dilly however, was far too slow, and he allowed several fine opportunities to pass. Nevertheless the Evertonians kept pegging valiantly away. A brilliant run down by Sharp ended in his centring with splendid precision. Grundy rushed up and looked very like scoring but he headed the ball just over the bar. Following upon this the home side took up the running and Scott was twice called upon. The game was then stopped for a few moments owing to an injury to Rutherford but the player was soon all right again. Sharp was next conspicuous with another clever individual effort, but Carr beat him just in the nick of time. still the Visitors and from a long range Abbott tried another pot shot which went over. Shortly after this a foul against the Everton left half-back gave the home forwards a chance and Scott received a warm handful from Appleyard which he threw clear. Good work by Bolton and Sharp ended in the latter shooting for McCrombie kicked clear. Everton returned almost immediately and the leather was given to Dilly who had a magnificent opening when he shot high over the bar. Towards the interval Newcastle put on extra pressure and a magnificent shot was put in by Orr, which Scott cleared marvelously. The homesters however, still persisted and Orr shot again. Scott only just succeeded in knocking it down and Applyard rushing up could have scored easily, but in the excitement he put the leather into the net with his hand, and of course the point was disallowed. Rutherford and swung the ball across to Gosnall but Balmer ran to Hill's aid and cleared before the Newcastle man could shoot. The Evertonians during this period were practically penned in their own half, and shots were put in by the three inside men, but without success and the movement terminated in Howie shooting over the bar. Still the United kept as it and Applyard was offside when he put in a shot that brought Scott down.
Half-time; Newcastle United 2 goals Everton nil.
During the interval there was a further influx of spectators and there were considerably more than 20,000 present when play was resumed. From the centre the home left dashed down the wing at top speed and Gosnell put in a fast dropping shot, which Scott fisted clear. A minute later they swooped down on the right and Applyard gave to Rutherford who shot badly yards wide if the mark. It was at once evident that the home side meant increasing third lead if possible for they literally bombardment the Everton citadel, Orr putting in a swift low shot, which the Irish international dealt with in a masterly fashion. After a time, however, Everton halves gave their forwards possession but the latter could not get going, and the ball was soon back again in Everton territory. Howie terminating the siege by shooting just over the bar. Another advance on the home left ended in Gosnell being robbed by Hill, and the visitors made play on the left, where a free kick gave them further advantage. Taylor passed out to Grudy but the latter lost possession and for some minutes the battle raged in midfield. A breakaway by Rutherford looked extremely dangerous but Scott as usual just on the alert and saved splendidly. Abbott at length gave to his forwards but neither Grundy nor McLaughlin did anything with the opening. They soon resumed to the attack however and might have got through but for fouling McCombie. The visitors were bucking up to some purpose and Dilly put in a low shot, which brought Lawrence to his knees. A moment later Sharp was badly tripped when within close range. He took the free kick and placed the ball in the goalmouth but the home custodian threw clear. Still the visitors persisted in their attention and another fine run by Sharp met with success for Lawrence was only partially able to clear, and Dilly catching the return hanged the ball into the net. After this Everton played up with determination and Taylor only just missed scoring with a swift low shot. They were now showing fine football, and the home defence was given an anxious time when Lawrence just succeeded in saving a hot shot from Grimsby. The United however, got going and Howie getting through gave to Orr who beat Scott at close range the custodian being unable to stop the shot. Howie added a fourth and Dilly scored the second for Everton ten minutes from time. Final; Newcastle United 4, Everton 2

January 20, 1906. The Liverpool Football Echo
Lancashire Combination –Div 1
At Goodison Park this afternoon. Everton gave a trial to Bowser at Central forward. Rossendale commenced operations and Everton were the first to show to advancing without however becoming really dangerous. A smart centre was nicely turned to account by Bowser, but the visiting customer recovered what appeared to be a fumbling save. United failed to make any real impression on the defence of Wildman and McQullen and then the home quintet moved off with accuate decision and both Birne and Rankin seen within an ace of opening the scoring. An abortive corner came. Chadwick put in a beautiful long drive which missed the mark by inches only. Midfield was the order for the next few minutes and then Birnie struck the upright with a fine centre. A free kick against the visitors provided an anxious moment for the visitors.

Athletic News - Monday 22 January 1906
The Combination fixture between Everton Reserves and Rossendale did not provide a very entertaining display of football, for the forwards on both sides were very erratic, with the home team perhaps a shade the better in their finishing touches.  Only one goal was scored in the match.  Bowser, the new centre tried by Everton, registering this prior to the interval.  At full back Wildman bore off the honours, his returns being clean and reliable.  His partner was McQuillon, a new man.  For Rossendale, Arrowsmith kept a capital goal, and the defence was greatly in advance of the efforts of the members of the front rank. 

Athletic News - Monday 22 January 1906
By Northumbrian.
Andy Aitken, the famous Scottish International and captain of the League champions, and M'lntyre took a joint benefit on Saturday, when Newcastle United gained a decisive victory over Everton at St. James’s Park by four goals two. Since Aitken came to Tyneside from Ayr eleven years ago he has, I venture to assert, been one of the chief master minds in improving the standard of play in the ranks Nococastrians.  This was the second occasion that Aitken had enjoyed a benefit, a privilege that he was entitled to in accordance with the rule of the Newcastle directors that all players with five years’ service under United colours shall be awarded some tangible token of their loyalty. E.  McIntyre is a worthy young Tynesider, who has specially distinguished  himself in Newcastle United's  "A” team, and proved a capital understudy either for the forward or half back line whenever a vacancy has occurred in the League eleven. Notwithstanding the depressing weather about 22,000 people passed through the turnstiles, so that the two beneficiaries will receive substantial recognition of their services. Since Newcastle United struck their flag to Everton in September, 1898, by three clear goals, the  teams have played fifteen games, and the thirty points at issue the Novocastrians could proudly claim no fewer than nineteen. As the league champions defeated the Goodison Park eleven in September last by 2—l, they have now appropriated the maximum points, a feat they have twice previously equaled against the Mersey eleven, namely, 1900-1, and 1902-3.
In the absence of wind, Newcastle United suffered no handicap when Appleyard kick-off, but it was hardly anticipated that they would so easily outplay their opponents.  During the past week the Tynesiders had been recuperating at Redcar, and they were all remarkably smart on their toes.  In two minutes they reduced the opposing defence to mediocrity by their tremendous speed and polished footwork, and Colin Veitch initiated a pretty movement, which ended in the bury Appleyard rushing the ball past Scott.  There was really no comparison in the combination of the two teams.  Gosnell and Rutherford were striking figures in the brilliant aggressive movements of the Tynesiders, and this speedy pair were directly responsible for the second goal that was registered by the United.  Gosnell dashed up the wing and then swung the ball right across Rutherford, who tricked Abbott and Balmer in delightful fashion before volleying the ball into the net.  Veitch and Orr were each noteworthy for strong dribbling and shooting, but neither could elude the vigilance of Scott, whose clean decisive fielding and handling frequently elicited the plaudits of the crowd.  Everton unquestionably exhibited improved form during the second half, but they still were much inferior to the Tynesiders, both in their attack and defence.  Sixteen minutes after the interval Sharp sprang past Carr, and tricking McComble with equal facility, he swung in a pretty centre.  Lawrence handled the ball on to the wing, from whence Grundy crossed to Dilly, who scored the first point for Everton.  Subsequently the Tynesiders quite overwhelmed the Goodisonians by their masterly tactics, and when Scott dropped a weak shot from Applyeyard, Orr walked the ball into the net.  Howie next neatly accepted a centre from Rutherford, and added another point for United, whilst Dilly, with one of the best shots of the afternoon, netted the ball two minutes later. 
The United were eventually proclaimed winners by four goals to two, a result that does bare justice to the dazzling brilliancy of the football played by the League champions.  Their superior speed, artful dribbling, and unerring marksmanship enabled them to easily command their opponents and Scott alone saved his side from a humiliating defeat.  His goalkeeping was truly a revelation.  Rutherford, orr, and Gosnell mostly filled the eye for their lightning rushes and deadly footwork at close quarters.  Aitken played with all his old-time skill and generalship, and if Colin Veitch gives as successful a performance for the North today against the South as he did on Saturday his selection for England is assured.  His versatility was really astounding.  The soundness of United’s defence was admirably sustained by the sterling qualities of McWilliam, Carr, McCombie, and Lawrence.  The disorganization of the forward line was the cause of the collapse of Everton, though neither Balmer nor Hill could hold the fleet-footed opposing wing forwards.  Sharp was the most accomplished and progressive forward, and received useful support from Hugh Bolton, the ex-Tynesider, who made his debut for Everton.  Abbott, Taylor, and Makepeace deserve warm commendation for the gallant attempts they made in the severe uphill fight.  Newcastle United; Lawrence; McCrombie, Carr; Aitken, Veitch, McWilliams; Rutherford, Howie, Appleyard, Orr and Gosnell.  Everton; Scott; Hill, Balmer; Makepeace, Taylor, Abbott; Sharp, Bolton, Dilly, McLoughlin, and Grundy.  Referee;  A.G. Hines, Notts.

January 22, 1906. The Liverpool Echo
It was only the fitness of things that Everton should lose to Newcastle United, because they have won up north. Still the fact that Dilly got a couple of goals –his last seems to have from an extra good one –in a bright ray of sunshine. Not since Christmas Day have the Everton forwards netted twice, so there no noticeably improvement especially when one remembers the attacking line the directness had to rely on. The Newcastle and Everton teams play a very similar style of football and the meeting between the clubs always arouse an enormous amount of excitement. There has rarely been any great difference in the respective teams as far as the scores indicate as the victories achieved by either side have generally been close. Newcastle United and Everton have opposed each other in fifteen League games and Everton have not yet succeeded in defeating the Novocastrians at St James's Park. They have drawn there, however, on two occasions and some of the other games have been closely contested. Newcastle United visited Goodison road on September 16 last year and gained a clever victory by 2 goals to 1. Owing to an unusual arrangement of the League fixture this season. Saturday saw the last of Novocastrian at St James's Park. This in a long time ahead for eager football enthusiasts to wait to see their favourities play. Appleyard opened the scoring account, Rutherford carried it on with a second, Orr a third and Howrie a final and all the forwards would have increased the debit had not Scott been in brilliant form. He repelled many which looked impossible. There is no such word as “can't” when Scott is in grim. Even to a player of the years of service as Taylor some of his clearance are extraordinary. An colleague says of Everton's new inside right, Bolton, that though weak in the first half, he showed considerable improvement later on and there is no reason why he should not ultimately make a serviceable partner for Sharp. The other wing pair worked loyally and well but their affords were made to look rather feeble by the Newcastle defence and it was very rarely that they were allowed to combine. Dilly was scarcely a success although he credited his side with both the goals and it should be remembered that he was facing a very powerful organization under the most adverse conditions. The half backs all played excellently, Taylor doing a tremendous amount of donkey work while Abbott showed his predilection for long pot shots whenever occasion offered. Of the United team it is only necessary to say that they played classy football throughout, and there were times, when they preferred giving expositions of passing rather than going straight at goal and scoring.
Here's a letter from “Season Ticketholder.”
“If Bowser were but two stone heavier he would I feel sure be just the player to fill a much-felt want at Everton. I watched him closely on Saturday. During the first half he had much opportunity because the other four forwards played the “wing game so closely, that one would have thought they were not aware there was a centre on the field; but after the crowd had given them a few gentle reminders, Bowser got a little more attention. He scored the only goal very cleverly and showed once or twice that he could shoot, but I was most pleased with his neat accurate passing and for so young a player has great command over the ball. It is too much to hope that the Everton directors will persevere with him, but I venture to say that if they will play him regularly for a month or two he will prove a more than useful centre. I might say that Bowser just lacks which Kemp the Saltley player I was anxious Everton should try but he would not leave his club, was blessed with –height and weight. Bowser has a lot of good football in him, and it is only a question of time for him to come to the front.

January 22, 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
It was scarcely in the nature of a surprise that Everton left behind a couple of points at Newcastle. Indeed, they would have astonished the football world, if the result had been otherwise, for, singularly enough, Everton have never yet gained a victory over the League champions at St.Jame's Park. But in view of the disappointing exhibitions since the holiday season, their chance of success to say the least, word highly problematical, even if they had been in a position to muster full strength. As it was such noted players as Booth, Settle, and Hardman were enable to turn out, with the result that Sharp alone of the ordinary forward line was in evidence. This was enough to disturb any club's combination. The consequence was a reshuffling of the attacking force, and it is interesting to note that Bolton, Everton's recruit from Newcastle United, should have appeared in the first League match against his old club for whom, by the way, he was only called upon once in a first team game. Unfortunately he was unable to being success to his new club, for even after a fortnight away at breeze Blackpool Everton had to bend their knee to the League champions by the margin of 4 goals to 2.

The match was set apart for the benefit of two respected Newcastle players, Aitkens and McIntyre, and, despite drizzling rain, it was very satisfactory for the sake of the crowd of 20,000 strong who witnessed the game. The champions started off against the breeze in a manner suggestive of their determination to make no mistake. In a couple of minutes they had forced a corner and from a bully in the goalmouth Appleyard found the net. This was just the touch of confidence which the champions required and thoughout the rest of the proceedings they never appeared to be in any danger of losing. They settled down into their best form, and those who have followed the fortune of Newcastle United know what that means. Another quarter of an hour had elapsed when from a grand cross by Gosnell, Rutherford left Balmer standing, and scored a second goal with a brilliant shot. After this Everton showed to better advantage largely owing to their opponents easing off, but there was an absence of methods in the movements. On one occasion Sharp had distinctly hard lines with a shot, which banged against the upright and rebounding into play. Still at the interval Newcastle enjoyed the comfortable lead of 2 goals to nil. The opening stages of the second half were more favourable to the visiting side, and after some plucky efforts Sharp was instrumental in causing Lawrence to only partially clear, with the result that Dilly placed the ball in the net. This forced the United to exert themselves once again, Orr beating Scott at short range. A fourth came from the toe of Howie, but although Dilly added a scored for Everton they could never get on anything approaching level terms.

There was no question about the superiority of the winners. Their football for the most part was of the dazzling order, and if they could have resisted the temptation to indulge in the process of showing up their opponents, their victory might have been more pronounced. There was not a weak spot in the side. This could not be said of Everton. With the exception of Sharp, the forwards play was of a mediocre description. Even a brilliant winger like Sharp must have support if his efforts are to be successful. Bolton's best work was done in the second half, but Dilly, although securing a couple of goals, was disappointing in the centre, while the left wing was outclassed. The halves were the best part of the team. At the same time, Hill caught the eye. He has come on wonderfully since his incursion in the League team, and gives every promise of being a really class back. W.Balmer was somewhat rash in his tackling, but Scott, although beaten four times distinguished himself by some grand saves.
Teams. Newcastle United: - Lawrence goal, McCombie and Carr, backs Aitkens (Captain), Veitch, and McWilliams, half-backs, Rutherford, Howie, Appleyard, Orr, and Gosnell, forwards. Everton: - Scott, goals, Hill, and W.Balmer, backs, Makepeace, Taylor (Captain), and Abbott half-backs, Sharp, Bolton, Dilly, McLaughlin, and Grundy, forwards.

January 22, 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One. (Game 23)
Everton on Saturday completed the season's fixtures with the Rossendale United team. The first game had resulted in favour of the East Lancashire side by a goal to nil, but this score was exactly reversed at the second meeting. Everton were value for a much bigger victory, for nearly all through they had the measure of the visiting team. They could do anything but score, however. The forwards spoil good work in midfield by poor finishing efforts, and had they done better near goal they would have won by a comfortable margin. Most interest centred in the debut of Bowser, a centre forward Jarrow. He showed much promise, feeding his wings well at times and never failing to shoot when opportunity presented. Everton also had a new full back on view, McQuilliam, who hails from the South of England. He started somewhat sneakily, but improved as the game went on, and proved a good tackler at close quarters. The Everton defence was not however seriously tested, and Collins had an easy time. The home half-backs did well, while Bowser, Birnie and Cook were the best of the forwards. The visitors defenders got through their work with credit, while Stott at centre half created a very favourable impression . Everton: - Collins, goal, Wildman, and McQuillian, backs, Black, Chadwick, and Donaldson half-backs Birnie, Rankin, Bowser, Cook, and Butler, forwards .

January 23, 1906. The Liverpool Echo
An early reminder is here given to all who are in any way concerned about football that two devoted servants of the Everton club in Tom Booth and John D. Taylor, captain and sub-captain respectably, receive the receipts of Saturday's home match as the benefit of good years of service. Tickets may be obtained from F. Sugg's Lord-Street, J. Sharp's Whitechapel or J. Elliott trainer of the Everton club. “All pay” in the dictum for Saturday. It should be pointed out that shareholders can gain admission to the stand by production of their tickets and payment of a sailing. If you cannot get to the match send along six-pence to Bee for the Booth-Taylor Testimonial Fund.

Athletic News - Monday 29 January 1906
By Junius
John D. Taylor and Tom Booth may reckon themselves amongst the fortune-favoured few, for they reaped, as they deserved, a bumper benefit by selecting the League fixture with the Villa for such an occasion. Even the weather fates were propitious, the day being preadolescent of the balmy spring time, and the public showed their appreciation of the worth of these two players by providing the largest attendance of the season since the Anfielders were at Goodison. Fully 30,000 were present, and the only drawback from a local point of view was the inability of Booth to take part in the game. That the Villa possess a magnetic attraction was proved by the large  assembly, and though the Midlanders, judged by their form in this match, are a long way removed from the team of yore, there was nevertheless some compensation forthcoming in the sudden return to their last season's form on the part of the Everton players. They shaped more efficiently in this match than in any other game played on their own enclosure since the opening of the present campaign, and with a dashing centre-forward in their ranks they must have registered a most decisive victory. On the general play the final scene of four goals to two does not over-represent Everton’s superiority.
Play had not been in progress ten minutes ere Settle received a centre from Young and promptly scored. For some time Everton maintained a strong attack, and the Villa goal escaped more by good luck than intention from a cross-shot by Sharp. Cooch appeared to fall back over the line in saving a shot from Bolton, whose first appearance it was at Goodison, but the referee ignored the strenuous claim for a goal. Gradually the Villa asserted themselves, and when Matthews beautifully converted a centre from Garratt, the contest assumed more even conditions. Just before the interval a curious incident happened. The Everton front rank bore down in fine style, and Young had the ball passed to him when near goal. That he was off-side seemed certain, for both and everyone else stopped playing, expecting to hear the whistle blow. The referee, however, thought otherwise, and being requested to "Go on” by the crowd, Young obliged, but all he could do was to miss a practically open goal. Had he scored, the Villa would, in my opinion, have suffered unjustly.
In the second half Everton quickly took the lead, and after Settle and Hardman had Sent across several seductive centres, all of which were mulled, Taylor pounced on one, which ensued from corner kick, and gave his side the lead. Then Bolton was discovered careering away on the left wing instead of being in his rightful place, and he marked the incident by whipping the leather across to Sharp, who put on a third goal with a tremendous ground drive. After this reverse the Villa rearranged their half-back line, and they immediately secured a somewhat lucky point, for Balmer and Taylor between them failed to effect an easy clearance, and Hampton coming along scored a lovely goal from fairly long range.  Before the finish some excellent passing on the Everton left wing in which Makepeace and Hardman were concerned, enabled Sharp to gain a fourth goal, and from this point to the close of the game, the home team fairly had the measure of their rivals.
I was agreeably surprised at the form shown by the Everton team, for it approached somewhat to that which was often displayed last winter, but which during the present season has been strangely wanting.  The wing forwards were excellent, and the only fault was weakness near goal.  This may appear strange, concerning a team which scores four goals against the Villa, but I venture to assert that had a boisterous bustling centre-forward received a tithe of the chances which Young secured the final figures would have been materially increased.  Bolton shaped most creditably, and he is certainly the most suitable partner Sharp has had since McDermott wandered South.  His passing was excellent, and he easily drew the Villa defenders, thereby giving the speedy extremist every opportunity of making progress.  Sharp and Hardman simply scintillated, and Settle played on his best game.  At half-back Makepeace, who figured on the left wing, appeared very strange in the first half, but after the interval he improved beyond all recognition, and must be given credit for a downright good display during the latter period.  Taylor played a characteristic game and scored his third goal this season. Black indulged in many neat touches.  Hall, Balmer and Scott were all capable. 
The great weakness on the Villa side was at half-back, and even when the position were reversed, at a later stage, no improvement was noticeable.  As a natural result the forwards were not plied sufficiently, and extra pressure was brought to bear upon the full-backs and custodians.  Not one of the trio in the intermediate line shaped efficiently, and their attempts to stem the onward movements of the Everton front rank were woefully feeble.  There was one period, prior to half-time and immediately following Everton's first goal when they seemed to be finding their feet, but they subsequently fell away again.  Harris did not impress me as a resourceful back, and neither he nor Spencer maintained the coolness and reliability which has usually been associated with the past Villa teams when they have visited Liverpool.  Cooch had little chance of stopping any of the four goals registered against him, but he kept out several awkward shots, though in one or two instances he was a trifle fortunate in clearing.  Of the forwards Bache was the most judicious, while the wing men, Garrett and Hall, were the most prominent.  Hampton was under a cloud, although he scored with the finest shot of the match.  Everton; Scott; Hill, W. Balmer; Black, Taylor, Makepeace; Sharp, Bolton, Young, Settle and H.P. Hardman.  Aston Villa; Cooch; Spender, Harris; Hadley, Pearson, Wilkes; Garrett, Matthews, Hampton, Bache, and Hall.  Referee; N. Whittaker, London. 

January 29, 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
After a series of very disappointing exhibitions, Everton on Saturday returned to their old form, and greatly pleased their enthusiastic supporters by the brilliant game which they played against Aston Villa. Everton since the League was formed, Everton and the Villa have been stalwarts in the matter of the finer points of the Association game. However, badly either team might have been going, they have invariably risen to the occasion when in quest of the League points or cup-tie honours. Who will forget that ever memorable final at the Crystal Palace when the Villa triumphed over the “Blues” after admittedly one of the most delightful and scientific display of the Association football? Saturday's game by no means reached this high standard, but for all that it was a perfect treat to the spectators, who to the number of 30,000 assembled to do honours to Booth and Taylor, who were enjoying a well-deserved benefit.

With the conditions altogether favourable, everything pointed to a keenly contested trial of strength. There were those who imagined that with neither team at full strength the quality of the play for an Everton v Villa match would suffer. Notwithstanding the fact that the Villa had nothing like their full cup team, the reserve did exceptionally well, and it was only after a galliant struggle that the Birmingham players succumbed by 4 goals to 2. From the outset it was evident that a rattling pace would be sustained, and the Everton front line went off with rare dash, and in less than six minutes Settle delighted the crowd with a long shot that had Gooch in difficulties, and found the net. This was just the encouragement, which the Everton vanguard required, and the manner in which they bombarded the goal was worthy of all praise. Equally meritorious were the efforts at this trying period of the Villa defence. Gradually the visiting forwards pulled themselves together, and from a pass by Garrett Matthews scored a splendid equalising point.

Crossing over on level terms, the issue was still pretty open. Everton however, were not long in asserting themselves and from a second corner Taylor put the finishing touch for a characteristic centre from Settle. It was on the fitness of things that one of the boncciared should give his side the lead, but for all that the credit of the goal largely rested with Settle. Not many minutes elapsed before Sharp was responsible for a third goal. At this stage Everton's victory appeared assured but, taking advantage of a slight misunderstanding between Balmer and Makepeace, Hampton reduced the lead. This again placed the Evertonians on their mettle, and right gallantly did they respond, the honour falling to Sharp of securing a fourth point. Interest was maintained until the whistle blew, but no other goal were forthcoming, and Everton were left victors in an extremely interesting and satisfactory encounter.

As will be gathered the Everton side were in much better trim than has been the case for some time past. They were not like the same team that have given much recent lifeless display. In all departments there was proficiency shown that the well wishes of the club would dearly like to see distained. The forwards imparted any amount of dash into their work, and gave one the impression that they had fully make up their minds to leave nothing undone whereby to secure success. Young was the weakest of the quintet, but even he was much effective than he has been of late. Both wings were conspicuous, but the most satisfactory feature was the successful manner in which Bolton' the recruit from Newcastle, partnered Sharp. Although on the small side he showed all the coolness and resource of a skilled player and if Saturday's form may be taken as a sample of his ability, then Everton assuredly have at last found a suitable partner for Sharp. The half-backs division, though without Booth and Abbott, were effective throughout. Makepeace was not in his usual position still the exhibition, especially. In the second half was a treat to witness. Black was always in evidence, and as for Taylor, the veteran left no loophole for adverse criticism. Hill and Balmer were sound defenders but Scott had few demands made upon him, and for the Villa they were best served in defence. Spencer in particular playing a grand game. Cooch in goal was an excellent understudy to George. Teams: - Everton: - Scott, goal, Hill, and W.Balmer, backs, Black, Taylor (Captain), and Makepeace half-backs, Sharp, Bolton, Young, Settle, and Hardman, forwards. Aston Villa: - Cooch, goal, Spencer, and Harris, backs Pearson, Wilkes and Garraty, half-backs, Matthews, Hampton Bache, and Hall, forwards. Referee Mr. Whittaker.

January 29 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 24)
The match between Southport Central and Everton provided a keenly contested game, and in winning by the odd goal of three the Central created something of a surprise. Their win was well deserved, and although the result has somewhat affected Everton's chances of championship honours the points are none the less welcome to the Sandgrounders. Both teams were well represented, except that the Central were still without Abrams. The home side were early favoured by having the assistance of the wind, and such good use did they make of their opportunities that they put on two goals in the opening half, the executants being McGuigan and Waddington (two players who have appeared with Liverpool by the way). The Central thus held a good lead at the interval, but in the second half Everton had more of the play and from a rush Cooke netted. Viner, the Central goalkeepers was rather badly hurt, and had to retire, his place being taken by Rimmer. Everton tried hard to get on terms, but the central defence held out, and to the delight of the spectators the game ended in a win for Southport by two goals to one. The winners are to be congratulated upon their capital display against their more fancied opponents, and their many friends may hope for further success in the near future. Everton: - Collins, goal, Wildman, and McQuillian backs, Chadwick, Wright, and Donaldson, half-backs, Rankin, McLoughlin, Dilly, Cooke, and Grundy forwards.








January 1906