March 2, 1942. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 4, Oldham Athletic 0
Oldham Not Up To Standard
Oldham Athletic were not up to Everton’s standard in the return cup game at Goodison, and the home side, had they exerted themselves might have made their victory of 4-0 even more convincing. Everton’s account was opened by Stevenson after 14 minutes with the easiest of chances from a Mercer pass. Then Mercer added a couple himself, followed by a fourth by Jackson, while Anderson got the ball into the net for what seemed a perfectly legitimate point, though the referee thought otherwise. During this half Oldham fought back with dogged persistence, and on two occasions should have reduced the deficit if Chapman and Buckley had not been too hasty with good chances. Oldham relied too much on kick and rush tactics. With a commanding lead Everton relaxed their laurels in the early portion of the second half when the visitors once more had chances to reduce the leeway, but then finishing was poor and Sagar was not seriously troubled, though Everton had a couple of narrow escapes through slackness in defence. The home side picked up in the closing stages when the Oldham defence underwent a gruelling time, but managed to hold out. The last incident of note was a penalty for hands against Jones. Again Oldham refused this gift of the gods. Chapman firing high over the bar. There were long spells of dullness, and the tendency of several players to play the man instead of the ball did not improve matters. Everton’s best forward was Mercer, who contributed some great individual runs and in addition to his two goals had several near misses Williams did well, though he fell too frequently into Oldham’s offside trap. The half-backs line was excellent, Jones being a grand worker in the second half, and the backs were sound. Worrall, of Oldham delighted the crowd with some artistic touches, while Taylor did splendidly at half-back. Buckley missed some fairly easy opportunities and the marksmanship of Oldham’s inside forwards left much to be desired. There were 6,068 spectators. Everton; Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (Harry) (West Brom) and Keen (Derby), half-backs; A. Williams, Mercer, Jackson, Stevenson and Anderson (Third Lanark), forwards. Oldham Athletic; Hall, goal; Hilton and Shysman, backs; Williamson, Gray and Taylor (J.), half-backs; Worrall (Portsmouth), Hampson, Chapman, Keeting and Buckle, forwards. Referee; Mr. F. Duxbury (Preston).
• Liverpool lost 5-1 at Sheffield United, Pickering, Thompson (3), Kaye (own goal), Done scored for Liverpool.
‘LATICS ESCAPE LIGHTLY
March 2, 1942. The Evening Express
Everton recovered from their temporary lapses at Burnley and Oldham to win easily by four clear goals against Oldham Athletic at Goodison Park on Saturday. Take it from me the Latics escaped lightly. The Blues might have been among the double-figure scorers, but as so often happens with the Goodison “scientists’ they once again eased up after pilling up a winning lead, and so Oldham were able to make something of a show in the second half. That “tight rein,” attitude and the fact that a pulled muscle made Jackson a passenger in attack made it easier for Oldham and much harder for Everton’s defence. I thought it rather a pity that so much unnecessary work was thrown on Harry Jones and company in defence, but still Oldham failed to break through and could not even take advantage of a penalty. Everton in the first half gave us many pleasing tit-bits from soccer’s hoard us many pleasing tit-bits from soccer’s hoard of riches, the forwards throwing on some tasty working material. Mercer and Stevenson cut out the work so well that the wingers young Williams and Anderson were on their toss the whole time. Mercer helped “Stevie” to the first goal took a couple himself, and then made it possible for Jackson to join the scorers. Other times the woodwork saved Oldham who, later on had a rare attacker in the here-there-and everywhere Worrall. Feature of the Everton win was the brilliance of Harry Jones who again proved such a natural centre-half that I am beginning to wonder why he ever fancied an attacking role. Harry reminds me forcibly of Tommy White, Everton’s 1933 cup-winning pivot, without quite so much weight. They tackle in identical fashion. Yes, Jones was grand in that wholehearted manner so typical of him. Jones is the sort who pull their weight and do well in any position. This was the first time I had seen Albert Williams from Runcorn, and he impressed me as a lad well above the average who thrived in good working material until he tried. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly need never hesitate about calling on this well-built lad with the long stride and accurate finish. There was some nice goalkeeping in this game watched by 6,068 spectators and so we said “good luck and goodbye” to Teddy Sagar for the season on a high note.
EASY FOR EVERTON
March 2, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Everton might have won more convincingly than 4-0 against Oldham if they had exerted themselves fully, but with such a commanding lead in the first half they took things a trifle nonchalantly in the second so that Oldham looked better than they were for long periods. Though Sagar was rarely troubled with good shots, the home goal had a few narrow escapes through slackness in defence and it would have been no more than Oldham deserved had they reduced the leeway by a couple of goals. That they didn’t was their own fault. Good chances were begging after all the spadework had been done and even when they had a penalty, Chapman spurned the gift and shot high over the bar. Everton’s star was Mercer, who proved beyond doubt that with Everton’s attack as it is he is of most value among the forwards. He got two good goals with luck might have had four and gave Stevenson one “on a plate.” Jackson got No. 4 and Anderson had one seemingly good one disallowed for offside. There were too many dull periods for this to be a good game, and the tendency of some players on both sides to take the man instead of the ball did nothing to improve matters. Everton came again in the closing stages when they had realised the folly of toying too much with the opposition but could not increase their lead. Tommy Jones who was a spectator through a leg injury, tells me he has been moved near here, and hopes to be available for the Cup rounds proper.
BLUES FOR MOLINEUX
March 4, 1942. The Evening Express.
Everton go to Molineux on Saturday to face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the last of their War Cup qualifying games. They will include no fewer than eight of the players who appeared in the never-to-be-forgotten cup-tie with the Wolves at the same ground in 1939, when Everton lost 2-0. International stars in Tommy Jones, Tommy Lawton, and Wally Boyes will be back to join four other internationals in a game which should ensure Wolverhampton’s biggest crowd of the war. Lawton again takes over the leadership of the attack, and Stevenson and Boyes join up again on the left flank. Tommy Jones will take charge of centre half again, and the only other change will be in goal where George Burnett, the goalkeeper who has not conceded a single goal while playing for the Blues in the current series of cup-ties, takes over from Ted Sagar, who is not now available. Joe Mercer is again persevered with at inside right, from which position he scored two goals last Saturday. When these sides met at Goodison Park recently Everton won 2-1, all three goals coming from penalties. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Keen; Anderson, Mercer, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
March 4, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are hoping to take a very strong side to Wolverhampton on Saturday for the return Cup-qualifying game with Wolves. Tommy Lawton tells me he is practically a “cert” Tommy Jones, who is now stationed very near here, hopes to be available, while Boyes links up with Stevenson on the left wing. Sagar of course has played his last game for Everton for some time, but Burnett has hitherto played with such distinction that the club has no qualms in this respect. Mercer again figures at inside right which I think we shall find will be his regular position for some time –at any rate until somebody else is available who can bring the same directness and fire into the front line. The team chosen includes eight of the pre-war championship side, which should be good enough to give the Wolves plenty to think about. Wolverhampton are not so fortunate in this respect, yet they proved themselves at Goodison to be a grand side strong in attack and defence and even one point for Everton is no certainly. Recent meetings between these two have been characterised by too much feeling I hope this return sets a new and higher standard. Team; Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (TG), Keen; Anderson, Mercer, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes.
March 6, 1942. The Evening Express.
The meeting of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Everton at Molineux conjures up memories of their never-to-be-forgotten meeting in the Cup and League just before the war. In season 1938-39, Everton had the satisfaction of beating the Wolves in the race for the League championship, but it was the Wolves who knocked the Blues out f the Cup –by two clear goals at Molinuex. Curiously enough Everton will have no fewer than eight of the players of that beaten cup team in action tomorrow. While appreciating that Molyneux is one of the hardest grounds in the country on which to pick up any points, I do think that this Everton star-studded side is good enough to win, and so complete the “double” at the expense of the Wolves. When the sides met at Goodison Park it produced a fierce struggle which Everton won 2-1, all the goals coming from penalties. The Wolves have many young players in their side, but they have the zest and zeal of the more familiar players, and their intensity in the tackle might well unset the more artistic Everton. There is sufficient active skill in the Everton ranks, however, to offer the dash and “fire” of the Wolves and with Lawton, Tom Jones and Boyes back on duty the Everton side is one of grace and power, Burnett, who has not conceded a Cup goal returns in place of Sagar. I expect Everton to win. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Keen; Anderson, Mercer, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
EVERTON’S BIG TASK
MARCH 6, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have a touch job at hand at Molyneux, even with a team not far short of pre-war strength. Wolves are a nippy and virile side, strong physically as well as in football skill, and on their own ground will take a lot or beating. Everton’s attack will be stronger than it was when Wolves were at Goodison, for Boyes will partner Stevenson this time while Lawton will have the help of Mercer at inside right. Mercer is proving himself every bit as good in the forward line as at half-back, which is saying a lot. He was brought more incisiveness in front of goal. Not only can he get goals himself, but he provides some great chances for his colleagues, and with Lawton to snap em up, Everton will give the Wolves defence some hectic moments, I hope both sides will let bygones be bygones, and that the ruffled tempers which have spoiled recent encounters between the pair will be missing this time. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Keen; Anderson, Mercer, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
EVERTON AT MOLINEUX
March 7, 1942. The Evening Express
Cup game With Wolves
Everton played their return League War game with Wolves, at Molineux Ground, Wolverhampton today. Wolves brought into the attack Broome of Aston Villa, Morgan of Bournemouth; and Rowley of Manchester United. Everton were without Boyes. They switched Anderson to the left wing and brought in Owen on the right. Wolverhampton W; Sidlow, goal; Dowen and Taylor, backs; Wright, Ashton, and Hornhill, backs; Brooms (Aston Villa), Morgan (Bournmouth), Westcott, Stevenson and Rowley (Manchester United), forwards. Everton:- Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (Tom), and Keen (Derby), half-backs; Owen, Mercer, Lawton, Stevenson and Anderson (Third Lanark), forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Sewell (Coventry). The game started five minutes late. Westcott got the ball into the net in the first minute, but was given offside. Wolves kept up the pressure, and it was some time before Everton got on the move. Burnett then held a cross shot from Westcott, from Broome’s pass. After Dowen had stopped Anderson, Broome went down the wing but Westcott was checked by Greenhalgh. Owen put the ball across for Sidlow to pick up, and later Dowen ran across to keep out the Everton right. Owen came in collision with Dowen, and the Everton, winger was carried off.
WOLVES SOON BITE
March 7, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Lose A Man
Wolverhampton W; Sidlow, goal; Dowen and Taylor, backs; Wright, Ashton, and Hornhill, backs; Brooms (Aston Villa), Morgan (Bournmouth), Westcott, Stevenson and Rowley (Manchester United), forwards. Everton:- Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (Tom), and Keen (Derby), half-backs; Owen, Mercer, Lawton, Stevenson and Anderson (Third Lanark), forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Sewell (Coventry). Wolves, who had the assistance of Rowley, Manchester United’s leading goal scorer, against Everton, at Molyneux, today had the ball in the net within a few seconds. Westcott, however, who put it there, was rightly given offside. Twice within the next few minutes the Wolves forwards were pulled up for similar infringements. The next incident was the losing of the ball. Taylor kicked it against Owen, from whom it ricocheted on to the roof of the stand, and there it stayed. Thrills continued, Broome sent away by Dowen, took the ball to within four yards of the Everton goal, where he was checked. Everton lost Owen though an infringement after five minutes. Broome put Wolves ahead in the tenth minute following a melee in the Everton goal. Wolves were showing their usual foot work, but failed to get in a shot at Burnett. Wolverhampton’s Stevenson was playing grandly, and Rowley, from a splendid pass shot, narrowly over. Westcott after 19 minutes, put Wolves two up. There was another scramble in the Everton goalmouth before Broome made a short pass to Westcott, who placed the ball past the unsighted Burnett. At this moment there was a call for a doctor among the crowd, presumably to attend the injured Owen. In the next minute Everton lost Jones, also injured. Everton with nine men, played for a time much better football, but still could not get in much shooting. Anderson was a tricky left winger, and made several good runs. Rowley scored a third goal for Wolves after 34 minutes. He put in a fierce shot, which Burnett could only parry into the net.
March 9, 1942. The Liverpool Daily Post
Wolverhampton Wanderers 11, Everton 1
Wolves Win By 11-1
Molyneux is an unlucky ground for Everton. In the last season of the Football league, when the Goodison Park side won the championship with Wolves runners-up, they paid two visits and were defeated 7-0 in the League and 2-0 in the cup. Their visit on Saturday was the first in war-time football and they had one of their biggest defeats on record. There were, however, excuses for their 11-1 defeat. Owen playing outside right, met with an injury in the first five minutes. He re-appeared in the second half with a big plaster over his left eye, and an apparently unsound left, and could do little. Everton’s second most serious misfortune came in the twentieth minute after Wolves had established a 2-0 lead. Jones challenge with Westcott for the ball injured his face, and that he had to be taken to the hospital for treatment, and took no further part in the match. Mercer moved from inside right to centre half, and kept a fairly tight hold on Westcott. The danger of the Wolves attack was Rowley. With the Manchester United match postponed Rowley volunteered his services to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Kirkham was unable to make the journey. Wolves were only too glad to let Rowley take his place at outside left. From first to last Rowley outpaced both Bentham and Cook and crowned some glorious runs with either terrific shits or accurate centres. The result was that he scored five of the goals and made passes which led to three more. Thrice he beat Burnett from seemingly impossible positions. Brooms, another centre-forward playing out of position on the right wing, helped to make the Wolves attack much more forceful than in recent matches. Lawton held the unenviable task of playing all of the Wolves defence. Crowded out as he was he nevertheless managed to get in some good runs and shots and was more impressive than his opposite number. The scoring was as follows; Broome, 10 minutes, Westcott 19, Rowley 37, Anderson 40, Stevenson 44, Westcott 48, Rowley 52, Rowley 60, Broome 70, Broome 71, Rowley 83, Rowley 88. Wolverhampton W; Sidlow, goal; Dowen and Taylor, backs; Wright, Ashton, and Hornhill, backs; Brooms (Aston Villa), Morgan (Bournmouth), Westcott, Stevenson and Rowley (Manchester United), forwards. Everton:- Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (Tom), and Keen (Derby), half-backs; Owen, Mercer, Lawton, Stevenson and Anderson (Third Lanark), forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Sewell (Coventry).
• Liverpool v Rochdale postponed.
CAUSE AND EFFECT
March 9, 1942. The Evening Express
No doubt the majority of my readers, like myself received something of a shock when they learned that Everton had been defeated 11-1 by Wolverhampton Wanderers, at Molyneux, on Saturday. This, of course is Everton’s heaviest under Football League auspices ever. Yes, I checked that up by going through all Everton’s Football League results since 1888. In comparative recent years the Blues have twice sacrificed seven goals at Molyneux, and now comes the first double-figure in the whole of Everton’s league career. Yes, there was due cause and plenty of effect. Young Wally Boyes, Owen was carried off injured in the first five minutes, and ere 15 minutes had passed centre-half Jones was carried off with a broken nose, for which he was treated yesterday at the David Lewis Northern Hospital. So the Wolves only beat nine men. With Everton reduced to three forwards –Joe Mercer dropped back to centre half –they had no chance and small wonder that the Wonders scored at will. Poor Burnett, who had not let a cup goal go past him had a truly unhappy afternoon. The remarkable thing is that up to the time of the injury to Jones, Everton were playing excellent football and moving splendidly. Came the early knock-out blows, and Everton’s hopes vanished. These goals have played havoc with Everton’s average, but a dozen qualifying points in nice going and enables the Blues to sit back and look forward to some nice ties on the knock-out basis. “Guest” players figured largely as the Wolves scorers, by the way, for Jack Rowley (Manchester United) bagged five and Broome (Aston Villa) had three, while Dennis Westcott (2) and Stevenson completed the tally.
A NOTABLE FEATURE
March 9, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
One of the most noticeable features of war-time football has been its comparative freedom from serious injury to players. The really bad mishaps in nearly three seasons can be counted almost on the fingers of one hand. There have been a couple of cases of broke legs, always a tragedy to a professional footballer, but cartilage trouble, seems to have disappeared. Apparently the times are too hard for the once “fashionable” complaints. Unfortunately Everton ran into a bad patch of injuries against Wolves at Molyneux which explained their heavy defeat. Owen was hor’s de combat after five minutes, and though he played in the second half he was no more than a passenger. Jones had the misfortune to break his nose after twenty minutes and was taken to hospital, so that Everton in effect had only nine men for three parts of the game. Under such circumstances the score does not occasion the surprise it otherwise would have done, and as a test of skill the game losers it value.
IN THE AIR
March 10, 1942. The Evening Express
Everton’s arrangements are also “in the air” although the League game with Blackpool definitely takes place at Goodison Park on Saturday. Neither club has any outstanding cup fixtures, and so the league game is in order. What will happen for the following two Saturday, however, is purely a matter of guesswork at the moment. Everton had arranged to play Southport on March 21 and March 28, but Southport still have two cup-ties to fulfil –against Rochdale at Spotlands and against Manchester United at Maine-road.
EVERTON TEAM V BLACKPOOL
March 11, 1942. The Evening Express
Harry Catterick, the young Stockport centre-forward returns to Everton’s team on Saturday, when the Blues leave Cup business to play a Football League game with Blackpool at Goodison Park. Catterick, who came to Everton from Stockport juniors circles on the recommendation of Charlie Gee, has been leading the Stockport County attack on loan this season, and has proved a prolific scorer. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly has forward worries for this game, owing to injuries and representative calls. Lawton and Mercer will be playing in the Army v. F.A. match at Aldershot and Tommy Jones is not available. Mr. Kelly holds out hope that Wally Owen will have made a recovery from his injury received at Wolverhampton, and he is making efforts to again secure the services of George Mutch, the Preston North End international forward. Wally Boyes is practically a certainty and Alex Stevenson and Alf Anderson are certain starters, while the Runcorn lad, Albert Williams, is also included in the provisional attack. Harry Jones of West Bromwich Albion will once again be at centre-half and the defence is unchanged. Everton (from); Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Harry), Keen; Anderson, A. Williams, Owen, Mutch, Catterick, Stevenson, Boyes.
March 11, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Forward Problem For Blackpool’s Visit
Everton stage one of their must attractive matches of the season on Saturday, when Blackpool, Regional champions and runners up, in the League Cup qualifying table, provide the opposition at Goodison. Unfortunately Everton will not be at full strength for Jones (T.G.) Mercer, and Lawton will be missing, but the side is still a strong one, and can be counted on to give Blackpool’s star-studded team a stiff job. Defensively, the Blues will be at right the only change being Harry Jones at centre half, and if the ex-West Bromwich man plays a well as in previous games in this position Mr. Dodds when he comes to town won’t find it a picnic. Everton’s problem as in so many previous games, are in the forward line. Seven probables have been chosen, including George Mutch of Preston North End, who will assist if Preston do not want his services for their up game with Manchester City. Catterick is recalled from Stockport and thus makes his first appearance since last August. Albert Williams, the former Randles winger, is another probable. Williams played in the two matches with Oldham and made a very promising debut. Owen has recovered from his injury at Wolverhampton and will probably play, while Stevenson and Boyes form the left wing. Though Blackpool’s team is not definite yet, they hope to include practically all the stars who have made them such a formidable side this season. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (H.), Keen; Forwards from Anderson, Williams, Mutch, Owen, Catterick, Stevenson, and Boyes.
March 12, 1942. The Evening Express
Everton now have a doubt about Harry Jones, and Secretary Mr, Theo Kelly is making a keen search to find a deputy to play against Blackpool at Goodison Park.
Stars For Goodison Park
Blackpool are bringing quite a galaxy of stars. On the right we shall have inimitable Stanley Matthews, pride of Stoke and England, paired with Ronnie Dix, the Bristolian, whom Everton sought so hard before he moved to Blackburn Rovers. Dix has since been with Derby County and Aston Villa. On the left wing there will be the clever Sunderland winger Burbanks, and C. Wilson Jones, of Wrexham, Birmingham and Wales fame. Savage of Leeds United will be in goal, Pope of Hearts at right back, and Bill Whittaker, of Kingstonians, the amateur international at centre-half. It is, indeed, a powerful side which will need some holding. Do not forget that Blackpool have scored 28 goals in their last two games. Blackpool; Savage; Pope, Barker; Johnston, Whittaker, Powell; Matthews, Dix, Dodds, Jones, Burbanks.
March 13, 1942. The Evening Express
Blackpool come to Merseyside as the champions of the Football League (North) No 1- the competition which occupied the first half of the season and with a side of international standard. Their attack is one of the outstanding attractions in present-day football, and in their last two games these five masters of football have bagged no fewer than 28 goals. True, Blackpool are not leaders of the qualifying competition but they finished only two points behind beaten Blackburn Rovers having suffered two defeats. The qualifying competition table forms the basis for the second league championship, which will be carried on to the end of the season for the benefit of clubs no longer concerned with cup affairs, and so there are two points at stake tomorrow. Everton will need to be in top trim if they are to hold the scintillating Blackpool attack led by Eph Dodds, and featuring Stanley Matthews and Ronnie Dix. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly has succeeded in enlisting the aid of “Pongo” Waring the English international to lead the attack as Catterick is ill with influenza. This will be Waring’s first appearance with the Blues. Waring of course, was Bill’s Dean’s successor at Tranmere Rovers, and has been playing with New Brighton this season. Keen, the Derby County international, will be at centre-half and Gordon Watson returns to left half. The attack will be selected from six players. Everton (from); Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Keen, Watson; Anderson, A. Williams, Owen, Waring, Stevenson, Boyes.
Match 13, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Blackpool’s team of all the war time talent pays a visit to Goodison Park tomorrow, and as the visitors bring strongest side the game should be outstanding. It is a League championship match, of course, not a Cup-tie, and as both are well placed for a championship bid there is something vital at stake. We saw something of Blackpool’s skill when they took four points from Liverpool recently yet for long periods in the game at Anfield the home side were well on top, and it was only when Liverpool had run themselves out and thrown away their scoring chances that Blackpool showed us the artistry one expects from a side with such names in it. If Everton will learn from Liverpool’s experience and take their chances as they come, they may get a jump ahead of the opposition who usually takes a bit of time to settle down. At the moment of writing Everton are still without a centre half. It will take a good man to hold the burly and elusive Dodds, but on the flanks the Matthews-Dix and Jones-Burbanks pairing will not have it all their own way. Bentham, Keen, and the “old firm” of Cook and Greenhalgh can be counted on to put up their sterling show. Greenhalgh plays Matthews much better than most backs, and the Stoke man in the past has rarely had much of an outing against him. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, A.N. Other, Keen; forwards from Anderson, A. Williams, Owen, Mutch, Catterick, Stevenson, and Boyes. Blackpool; Savage; Pope, Barker; Johnston, Whittaker, Powell; Matthews, Dix, Dodds, Jones, and Burbanks.
EVERTON SHARE POINTS
March 14, 1942. The Evening Express
Burnett’s Great Goalkeeping
Waring the former Tranmere centre forward, made his debut for Everton, when leading the attack against Blackpool at Goodison Park, today, in a Football League game. Everton had another debutant in Curwen, a Fleetwood boy, from the “A” team, who appeared at left half. Everton;- Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Keen (Derby), Curwen, half-backs; Anderson (Third Lanark), Owen, Waring (Tranmere), Stevenson and Lyon, forwards. Blackpool; Savage (Leeds), goal; Pope (Hearts), and Barker, backs; Farrow, Whittaker (Kingstonian), Johnston, half-backs; Matthews (Stoke), Dix (Aston Villa), Dodds (E), Jones (C.) (Birmingham), Burbanks (Sunderland). Referee; Mr. F. W. Wort (Kent). It was Everton, who provided the opening thrills. After some brilliant work by Stevenson, Anderson and Bentham kept the Blackpool defence on tenterhooks with their quick interpassing. Blackpool were exceptionally quick in developing their attacks, but Keen held up Dodds and Dix brilliantly on two occasions, before Greenhalgh came through to outwit Matthews to the delight of the 10,000 spectators. Lyon broke through by dint of clever ball control, and was there to pick up Waring’s quick back-heel pass. He took his shot quickly, but the ball flew behind off Whittaker’s foot. Dodds just failed to turn through a fast-moving centre from Burbanks before Everton threatened danger with a fine Stevenson-Waring-Lyon triangular move.
This was football at its best, played at top pace. There was a thrill when Burnett chased the ball to the edge of the penalty area to deprive Dodds of a shooting chance, just after Bentham had been knocked out following a collision with Dodds. Owen broke through to win a corner which Anderson placed to the far post, but Pope got the ball away. Next Wareing headed in from Curwen’s centre, Savage saving low down, and Savage came to the rescue just after when he ran out to take the ball from the toes of the advancing Waring. Savage made a brilliant save when he flung himself sideways to turn aside a certain scoring shot from Stevenson. Stevenson got Blackpool moving all the wrong way, and when Whittaker missed his clearance kick, Savage had to dive on the ball to clear. Greenhalgh and Curwen were taking good care of Blackpool’s right wing. In 30 minutes Blackpool took the lead through Dix. The goal came after a long spell of Everton pressure. Dix picking up a, loose ball after Keen had held up Dodds and shooting from close range, Burnett reached the ball as he dived to his left but it spun over his arm just inside the net.
Everton Fight Back
Everton fought back resolutely, Waring breaking through on the left to provided Lyon with a chance, but the ball went over. Next, savage fisted away from the head of Waring as Everton battle on, intent on proving that the goal against them was hardly a true reflex of the day. Dix relieved the pressure by breaking through on his own, but Burnett came to the edge of the penalty area to take the shot on his knees and save a desperate situation. Burnett followed this up by making a grand save off an equal grand shot by Johnston. He had not finished there, for now Dodds came along with a characteristic drive from 18 yards, which Burnett turned over the top magnificently, and from the corner Burnett was right there to save from Jones. Blackpool were applying the pressure near the interval, but the Everton defence was magnificent.
Half-time; Everton 0, Blackpool 1.
With 30 seconds of resuming Everton were on terms through the persistence of Owen and the bustling tactics of Waring. Owen forced his way through and, although his first effort came back off Barker, he carried on, with Waring worrying the defence, and forced the ball past Savage just over the line. Blackpool fought back quickly, Jones getting the ball into the net, but he was offside, and within four minutes of resuming Everton had taken the lead.
This was a brilliant goal from Stevenson, Curwen surprised Dix and brought the ball forward to push it between the backs for Stevenson to run on and place beyond the reach of Savage. Three corners to Everton, followed in quick succession before Waring beat savage, but the whistle had gone for offside. Stevenson was proving an inspiration to an Everton revealing the better understanding and neatness in combined skill. Neither Dodds nor Matthews could assert their power so magnificently did Keen and Greenhalgh “police” them. Lyon twice broke clean through, but his finishing was not as accurate as his approach. Keen was in amazing form, cutting out attack after attack, and behind him Burnett was unbeatable. A quarter of an hour from the end Dix had the chance of a lifetime when he went through unattended. He got just inside the penalty area and tried to hook the ball over the head of the advancing Burnett. Burnett punched the ball up and caught it as if fell to complete yet another fine save. Everton were still on top, thanks to the inside forwards, and might have increased their lead had Lyon not hesitated on two occasions when he broke through enterprisingly. Eight minutes from time Blackpool equalised in an isolated attack, a centre from Jones taking the Everton defence unawares and Dodds headed through. Immediately after Everton should have had a penalty for “hands” against Barker, but their appeal was turned down. Blackpool improved after this and Dodds found himself four yards out with only Burnett to beat, but Burnett saved his shot-in accurate style. Burnett saved again in superlative style from Dodds.
Final; -Everton 2, Blackpool 2.
EVERTON ABOUT TURN
March 14, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Second Half Onslaught on Blackpool
Everton;- Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Keen (Derby), Curwen, half-backs; Anderson (Third Lanark), Owen, Waring (Tranmere), Stevenson and Lyon, forwards. Blackpool; Savage (Leeds), goal; Pope (Hearts), and Barker, backs; Farrow, Whittaker (Kingstonian), Johnston, half-backs; Matthews (Stoke), Dix (Aston Villa), Dodds (E), Jones (C.) (Birmingham), Burbanks (Sunderland). Referee; Mr. F. W. Wort (Kent). Everton introduced Curwen at left half against Blackpool at Goodison Park today before 15,000 spectators. Blackpool staged an early attack and only hesitancy on the part of Dix prevented a goal. Dodds, had a good chance a minute later and this time Cook kicked away in the nick of time. Johnston put across an oblique shot following a corner and it was fortunate for Everton that Dodds and Dix were just unable to reach the ball otherwise Burnett would have had no chance. Lyon put in a neat run on Everton’s left, and had a good opening when Waring back-heeled the ball, but his shot was blocked by a defender. Waring set Stevenson going, and the inside-man’s pass to Lyon gave the winger another opportunity. Once again, however, it came to nothing. Everton come more into the picture at this stage and Pongo Waring with a header and Stevenson with a grand shot came within an ace of opening the score. At the other end Curwen won the crowd’s applause for the game way in which he struck to Matthews when the winger was attempting one of his weaving runs.
A Dix Goal.
Blackpool took the lead in rather fortunate fashion, at the 26th minute through Dix. The inside man got his chance when Keen headed away a long pass meant for Dodds. Unfortunately the ball fell at the feet of Dix and with the Everton defence spread-eagled; he was through like a flash of lightning. Burnett made a galliant effort, but the terrific pace of the shot made the ball skid off his hands into the net. Waring provided Lyon with another shooting opportunity. This time the winger put the ball high over, and Stevenson did otherwise with a long range effort. Everton, though not so polished in attack as their opponents were putting in some good work, and Blackpool were by no means having it all their own way. Some of Waring’s touches were outstanding artistic. Burnett saved in magnificent fashion from Dodds, Dix and Jones, and deserved the ovation he got from the crowd at the interval.
Half-time; Everton 0, Blackpool 1
There was a sensational opening to the second half, Everton scoring two goals in two minutes. The first came to Owen almost from the kick-off. Waring set him going. It seemed the little inside man had lost his chance when Savage advanced from goal and fell on the ball, but it came out of a ruck of players to Owen’s feet and he made no mistake. Two minutes later Stevenson put Everton in front thanks to the coolness of Curwen, who gave the inside man a beautifully placed pass. Everton continued to pepper the Blackpool goal, and Waring put the ball into the net again, but was given offside, Dodds just previously had a point similarly disallowed. Dix had a great chance to level the scores, but Burnett once more made a brilliant save. Curwin, the “A” team boy had played excellently, and Keen had been a tower of strength in Everton’s defence. Dodds equalised for Blackpool ten minutes from the finish, when he headed in a pass by Jones. Everton should have had a penalty in the closing stages for an offence on Anderson. Burnett made two brilliant saves from Dodds in the last minute, and Stevenson got the ball into the net, but handled in getting it under control, an infringement which did not escape the referee.
March 16, 1942. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Blackpool 2
Burnett’s Part In Everton Draw
Hero of the day in Everton’s game against Blackpool at Goodison Park was Burnett, for it was chiefly due to his good work that the home side gained a draw -2-2. Blackpool contributed to their failure to win by lapses in front of goal. Time and again Dix and Dodds had only Burnett to beat from close range, yet persisted in shooting straight at him when a side tap –as Stevenson showed with Everton’s second goal –would have done the trick. Apart from shots which came straight to him, Burnett made many brilliant saves under more difficult circumstances, notably in the closing minutes of the first half, when in quick succession he prevented three almost certain goals in superlative fashion. During this half Blackpool had been the better side and only the poor finishing prevented them taking a substantial lead. They had only to scored a goal, scored by Dix just before the half hour and even this was tinged with luck for the inside man was fortunate to find a clearance by Keen, drop the ball to his feet and give him the chance to slip through the spread-eagled defence. Everton had their share of attacking during this period, but there was not the same danger in their forward line, through the visiting goal had a few narrow escapes notably from a fine header by Waring and a close-range shot of Stevenson. Within three minutes of the resumption Everton were in front and from then onwards there was not much between the sides. Owen got the equaliser thanks to nice work by Waring and a slice of fortune which gave him a second chance after savage had saved his first attempt.
Two minutes later Stevenson got Everton’s second goal after Curwin had given him a beautiful pass at the right moment. Encouraged by the unexpected turn around, Everton for long stretches kept the visiting defence busily engaged, yet could make no further headway, despite valiant efforts by Stevenson and Owen, Blackpool improved towards the finish, and deserved Dodd’s equalising header eight minutes from time. It was an interesting game, fast and exciting all through and although Blackpool were the cleverer and smoother working side, Everton balanced this by grim determination and keen tackling. In addition to Burnett, others worthy of notes were keen, who played a grand game at centre-half, Bentham, Stevenson, and Owen. Curwin an “A” team player making his debut, did extremely well, and struck to Matthews gamely throughout, though he found Dix rather too much of a handiful at times. He and Greenhalgh saw to it that Matthews had few chances, and the Stoke winger was rarely prominent. Lyon was disappointing, and Waring though showing delightful touches at times, was hardly forceful enough at centre forward. Blackpool’s best were Jones and Dix in attack, and Whittaker and Farrow in defence. Attendance 13,800, receipts £755. Everton;- Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Keen (Derby), Curwen, half-backs; Anderson (Third Lanark), Owen, Waring (Tranmere), Stevenson and Lyon, forwards. Blackpool; Savage (Leeds), goal; Pope (Hearts), and Barker, backs; Farrow, Whittaker (Kingstonian), Johnston, half-backs; Matthews (Stoke), Dix (Aston Villa), Dodds (E), Jones (C.) (Birmingham), Burbanks (Sunderland). Referee; Mr. F. W. Wort (Kent).
• Liverpool won 8-2 at Rochdale, Balmer (3), Done (3 -1 penalty), Nieuwenhuys (2) , for Rochdale Treanor and Ancell. Liverpool goalkeeper Hobson saved a penalty.
• The death on active service is announced of Flying-Officer H.D. Freakes the Oxford University and England Rugby footballer. Another Rugby international Major E.W.F De Vere Hunt of Ireland is reported missing.
THE BEST PULLS THEM
March 16, 1942. The Evening Express
The best in football will still pull the people through the turnstiles. Blackpool today are what Everton, Arsenal, Aston Villa and others were in peacetime. They are soccer’s super-attraction at the moment, the all-star link with the glories of those pre-1939 days. Mr. Kelly realised that a Blackpool visit to Goodison would prove a winner, and his enterprise was rewarded with an attendance of 13,705, and receipts of £755 –the biggest of the day and second highest at Goodison this season. And every spectator had full value for money. Oh yes, the Evertonians were, maybe justified in considering Blackpool a little lucky to get away a point, but perhaps it would have been an injustice had either side lost. Everton’s one defensive lapse –a reluctance to launch a tackle –cost them that point, for give Eph Dodds half a chance and he takes it. No praise is too much for this gallaint Everton side. It was a thrill-packed struggle in which the scales of fortune swayed this way and that but throughout I thought Everton were the superior ball players infusing skill and craft where Blackpool relied on directness. It was a refreshing clash of style in which Blackpool began on top note, gained the lead through Dix, thanked Savage for pulling them through trying times, then found themselves unable to stem the Blues revival so that goals from Owen and Stevenson forced them in arrears. Still, Blackpool were not finished with, and they came with a wet sail in the closing stages, during which George Burnett in the Everton goal, gave one of the finest displays of goalkeeping we have seen here for a long time. Some said after the match that a lot of shots went straight at Burnett. True, my friends, but that proves the brilliance of this exhibition. Positional sense is the secret of successful goalkeeping. Burnett had that sense to perfection. His display was an outstanding feature, and there were plenty of others. The masterly centre-half display of Eric Keen against the dreadnought Dodds, perhaps the highest of the game; the inherent skill and cleverness of Alex Stevenson, playing with the same power and excellence as when he first came here from the Rangers; the Mutch-like persistence of Wally Boyes; and the “I’ll have that if you don’t mind” attitude “I’ll have that if you don’t mind” attitude of Norman Greenhalgh towards Stan Matthews whenever the ball came their way, will not readily be forgotten. Add to the mixture the solidity of Cook, the diligence of Bentham, the neat approach work by Anderson and Lyon, the neat feeding of Curwen, and the enterprising roving of Tom Waring battling on in borrowed boots –the footballers bugbear. Yes, it was grand Quibble as the result if you will, but this was football par-excellence. Blackpool brought along a big party, including Mr. Tom Barcroft, long-serving soccer legislator, Mr. Harry Evans, and Manager Mr. Joe Smith. They told me that Mr. David Ashworth, manager of Liverpool in the early twenties is ill. We wish Davie a speedy recovery. I saw welterweight champion Corporal Ernie Roderick at the game, looking n great form. I hope you will be seeing him soon –in the ring.
March 16, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Everton, returning to League championship matters, did well to draw with the strong Blackpool side. For this they have to thank firstly the grand goalkeeping if Burnett, who excelled himself, and, in leaser degree. Blackpool failure in front of goal. Blackpool refused the easiest of chances. When a side-tap would have brought a certain goal they preferred to blaze straight at Burnett, who seemed to mesmerise them by his daring advances from goal. Apart from these point-blank saves, Burnett made numerous others from more difficult angles, and altogether played a wonderful game. Blackpool should have been well ahead at half-time. Instead they had to be content with one goal –and that had a tinge of fortune about it –scored by Dix, who missed many grit-edged chances. At the interval a Blackpool victory looked certain, yet within three minutes of the restart Everton were in front, thanks to good work by Owen and Stevenson, and from that point onwards there was not much between the teams. Blackpool were the more artistic and skilful side, moving with a smooth combination which always threatened danger, but against that Everton showed a determination and fighting spirit that almost brought full points. Dodds got the equaliser just before the end, and a draw was a far result. Curwen an Evertonian “A” team debutant, faced with the unenviable task of watching two masters like Dix and Matthews did his stuff nobly, and came out of the ordeal with much credit. Greenhalgh as usual bottled up the Stoke’s winger completely, and Matthews was rarely seen. Stevenson and Owen were grand hard-working forwards, Waring through showing some delightful touches was hardly forceful enough.
March 17, 1942. The Evening Express
Everton set the ball rolling here by entertaining Southport at Goodison Park, this being the first “leg” of their first round ties. The winners of the match tie will oppose Manchester City or Stockport County in the second leg. Everton hope to field a strengthened side for their match with Southport on Saturday. One thing Joe Mercer and Wally Boyes, the English International will be back in the attack, and Harry Jones will be at centre-half. Keen is not available, so Curwen continues at left half. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Harry), Curwen; Anderson, Mercer, Jackson, Stevenson, Boyes.
COUNTRY CUP GAME; EVERTON’S SELECTED
March 17, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
For the home game with Southport, Everton hope to turn out an even stronger side than that which drew with Blackpool. Mercer comes back to the forward line, which means more effectiveness in front of goal. Boyes hopes to be available to partner Stevenson, and Jackson takes over in the middle. There is one change in the half back line, Jones (H.) coming in for Keen, who has been moved South, at centre half. Curwen the “A” team player, who did so well last week, remains on the left flank. Team;- Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Harry), Curwen; Anderson, Mercer, Jackson, Stevenson, Boyes.
EVERTON FOR OLDHAM
March 18, 1942. The Evening Express
Mr. Theo Kelly of Everton F.C, has made arrangements for the Blues to visit Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park, on Saturday week, March 28, in a Football League game.
March 19, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Mercer and Lawton have been chosen to play for England against Scotland in the Army match at Sheffield on April 4. As this is the first day of the League Cup first round, it is rather a blow to Everton. Cliff Britton is also in the side. Everton by the way, hope to have Keen in the side against Chester after all.
SOUTHPORT AT GOODISON
March 20, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
On paper Everton should be reasonably sure this time of going through to the next round at Southport’s expense, but Southport having done so well in the League Cup have other ideas, and are determined to make a big bid in the county competition. Although keen was not included in Everton’s team when chosen there is a possibility that he may be available in which case he would come in at left half in place of Curwen, the “A” team lad, who made such a promising debut last week. Defence has been Everton’s strong point all this season, and there is little anxiety there, especially if Burnett maintains his recent brilliant form, while the return of Boyes and Mercer will being added strength to the attack.
Ten of Southport’s fourteen probables are in the R.A.F, and only two, Grainger and Harrison, were on the Sandgrounders’ books when war broke out. All the others, bar R. Wright, a local amateur, are borrowed. Harker, ex-Derby County, is Southport’s leading scorer, having got 22 goals in as many matches, Deverill, former Reading, coming next with 12. Scottish international, Danny Blair, remembered for his peace-time connection with Villa and Blackpool, has been a tower of strength to the Haig Avenue side this season, and is the club’s only ever-present. Frank King, ex-Everton returns to goal for the first time since January 17 when he was injured against Tranmere, and Colquhoun, who used to be with Southport until just before the war, makes his first appearance for them in war-time football. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (H.), Keen; (or Curwen); Anderson, Mercer, Waring, Stevenson, Boyes. Southport (from); King; Blair, Kirby; R. Wright, Harrison, Flack, Grainger, Johnson, Colqunhoun, Harker, Finan, Deverall, Butler, Mawsdsley.
• With the calling up of Lovett, Tranmere found themselves in difficulties for a goalkeeper. Everton again came to their assistance by loaning gale,
EVERTON WIN 3-1
March 21, 1942. The Evening Express.
Southport’s fine Defence
Everton followers were given a welcome surprise at Goodison Park today, when the Blues entertained Southport, in the Lancashire Cup-Cum-Football League game, for Jock Thomson, the pre-war captain and Scottish international, appeared in his usual position at left half. Consequently, Everton had six internationals in their team. Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (Harry) (West Brom), and Thomson, half-backs; Williams, Mercer, Waring (Tranmere Rovers), Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Southport; King, goal; Blair, and Kirby, backs; Wright, Harrison and Flack, half-backs; Mawsley, Johnson, Cropper (R.), Deverall, and Butler, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Twist (Westhoughton). Everton showed the way, King fisting away a Boyes’ corner, before Bentham came through with an “eighteen-yarder” which hit the bar and went over. We saw some neat ball manipulation from the Blues, but Harrison three times came through strongly to break up attacks. Johnson and Deverall eventually got Southport moving by opening up the game with far-flung passes, and Deverall headed just outside after Butler had done the donkey work. Then Jones intervened at the precise moment to hold up Johnson and Maudsley. Everton soon took up the running again and King pushed aside a brilliant header by Waring, while it was Harrison who intervened again when Mercer was weaving a path to goal. Southport had an excellent chance of taking the lead when, following more good scheming by Deverall, Cropper was clean through, but Burnett fell on his knee and parried his shot. The ball bounded to Maudsley who, however, went the wrong way and the chance was lost. King was injured in saving at point blank range from Mercer, but was able to resume. Everton were inclined to keep the ball too close, but now Stevenson opened the game up by calling on Williams, and from the low centre Mercer was inches wide of the far post. Flack came through with a distance shot well off the mark, and Jones checked Cropper, who, by the way, came along to see the game as a spectator, but was called upon at the last minute to play, as Southport were a player short. Cropper is a wing half-back, and this was his first game at centre forward. Following Butler’s corner, Maudsley had a winner rebound from a colleague, but he promptly shot again only to see Burnett go full length to save. Everton took things a little too much for granted. Southport came more into the picture, Burnett saving from Deverall before Butler went through but his angle shot was off the mark. Quick tackling by the Southport defenders deprived Everton of chances, but in 42 minutes they took the lead through Mercer, who took over, after good work by Bentham and Williams, to place into the roof of the net from an extremely acute angle.
Half-time; Everton 1, Southport 0
Everton were two goals up within three minutes of resuming, Mercer paving the way for Waring to score from close range. Subsequently, the Blues treated the spectators to some fine football craft, their forwards combination being excellent. It is true that they weaved patterns, but it kept the Southport defence extremely busy. Southport were dangerous with their sudden raids, and Johnson and Deverall made commendable efforts. At the hour there was a two-goals-inn-two minutes spell, Mercer scored in 60 minutes when Waring’s shot rebounded off King, and a minute later Thomson brought down the fast-moving Butler, Deverall reducing the lead from the penalty. Everton, however, had taken a complete grip on the proceedings, but time and again were thwarted by the former colleagues, King, who twice saved certainties from Stevenson, and then sprang into action to deal with efforts from all five forwards. Southport defended so well that even when King found himself beaten, Kirby had dropped back to kick off the goal-line. With Stevenson nursing an injured ankle much of the sparkle went out of the Everton attack, but they still dominated the proceedings against a really fine defence, in which Harrison was outstanding. Final; Everton 3, Southport 1.
March 21, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Southport Visitors At Goodison
Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (Harry) (West Brom), and Thomson, half-backs; Williams, Mercer, Waring (Tranmere Rovers), Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Southport; King, goal; Blair, and Kirby, backs; Wright, Harrison and Flack, half-backs; Mawsley, Johnson, Cropper (R.), Deverall, and Butler, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Twist (Westhoughton). Everton had Jock Thomson, their captain, at left half for the game against Southport at Goodison today. Colquhoun was unable to turn up for the visitors, who had Cropper, a young Southport amateur, in his place at centre forward. There were 5,000 spectators. Southport should have taken the lead after 20 minutes, when Cropper found himself with only Burnett to beat from 5 yards range, but he shot straight at the keeper. Johnson was a live wire in Southport’s attack, and Everton at this stage were no means having things al their own way. King made a sure catch of a high and difficult shot from Butler and Mercer endeavoured to infuse greater force into Everton’s front line, and twice came within an ace of netting.
A grand bit of combination by Stevenson and Williams saw Mercer, with only King to beat, angle a shot just outside. The best shooting effort so far came from Maudsley, whose fierce drive was saved at full length in brilliant fashion by Burnett. A feature of the game had been the sure handling of both goalkeepers, who caught awkward shots in polished and confident manner. Southport were giving a good account of themselves, and the home defence at times had its work cut out to keep them in check. Mercer scored for Everton after 40 minutes, following a neat movement which started with a Bentham pass to Williams, and Mercer, s though badly angled, managed to squeeze the latter’s centre into goal.
Half-time; Everton 1, Southport 0.
Everton were two up within a minute of the start. Waring was the scorer, from the outside left position, but he owed his chance to Mercer’s persistence in following up an attack which otherwise would have petered out. Bentham initiated a movement which brought Everton’s third goal when Waring made a square pass which left Mercer with the easiest of chances. Within a couple of minutes, Southport had reduced the deficit through a penalty for a foul by Thomson on Butler, Deverall giving Burnett no chance from the spot. Boyes and Stevenson were dovetailing in brilliant fashion, and the inside man delighted the crowd with some of his typical touches. King made two brilliant save from Stevenson and Williams. Final; Everton 3, Southport 1.
BURNETT’S FINE SAVES
March 23, 1942. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Southport 1
Everton beat Southport
Though in the long run Everton were full value for their 3-1 win over Southport at Goodison Park it took them a long time to get the upper hand. Southport in fact were the more aggressive side in the first half, and might well have been in front at the interval. That they were not was due partly to another brilliant goalkeeping exhibition by Burnett, whose confident catching of high and difficult shots was a feature, and to Southport’s own failings in front of goal. Cropper and Butler each had good scoring chances, the former on one occasion having only Burnett to beat from five yards out but they were all thrown away through hasty and erratic shooting. Mercer got the only goal of this half five minutes before the interval, when he screwed in a pass from Williams from an almost impossible angle. Waring added a second in the first minute after the resumption, the result of good work by Mercer, who offered him a gilt-edged opportunity. Ten minutes later Waring returned the compliment with a pass which enabled Mercer to get a third goal from the easiest of chances. From this point onwards Everton were well on top and though Southport fought back doggedly and were sometimes dangerous. There was really only one team in it. Everton might have taken a bigger lead had they adopted the right tactics instead of trying to make rings round their opponents and walk the ball into the net, which played into the hands of Southport’s defence. Though their footwork and combination was entertaining from the point of view of results, it left much to be desired, and King was not troubled as he should have been. When he had anything difficult to deal with he handled it in confident and convincing fashion. Southport reduced the lead from a penalty by Deverall for a foul by Thomson on Butler but apart from that they rarely looked like getting the better of the home side’s stalwart defence. Everton’s best were Mercer, who cut out the frills and took the short cuts to goal, but found the ball run very unkindly for him and Stevenson and Boyes who sparkled in their brightest fashion. Jones (H.) was excellent at centre half. Burnett brilliant, and the backs sound. Southport’s young amateur centre forward was out of luck and never had a look in. Butler was good until he came within shooting distance, and it was left to Deverall and Johnson to do the bulk of the work. After a good first half the intermediate line was overwhelmed in the second portion, when Blair and Kirby had a gruelling time, but kept their end up well. Attendance 5,369 receipts £258. Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (Harry) (West Brom), and Thomson, half-backs; Williams, Mercer, Waring (Tranmere Rovers), Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Southport; King, goal; Blair, and Kirby, backs; Wright, Harrison and Flack, half-backs; Mawsley, Johnson, Cropper (R.), Deverall, and Butler, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Twist (Westhoughton).
• Liverpool beat Chester 3-1, Carney, Haydock, and Liddell (Penalty) and Redfern for Chester.
March 23, 1942. The Evening Express
We saw real dual purpose football at Goodison Park on Saturday, when Everton conquered Southport to make Lancashire Cup progress and at the same time gain two more league points which places them bang among the table leaders. The Blues not only secured victory, but did so in the most attractive style, making the manner of winning as important as winning itself. When it comes to pattern-weaving on a soccer pitch you will have to go a long way before you can beat Everton. The Blues were a little included to take things for granted in the first half when Mercer gave them the lead, but afterwards they gave a masterly exhibition of ball control and collaborative skill. Waring and Mercer added goals to which Deverall replied with a penalty, but somehow the goals took secondly place to the delicious silk-like progress of Everton against a sharp, alert defensive combination. There would have been more goals for the 5,369 spectators had it not been for the tenacious defence of Harrison. Blair and Kirby and some grand goalkeeping by ex-Evertonian Frank King, now a Southport policeman-fireman. They kept the score down, while Wright and Flack were determined wing half-backs in a Southport hardly able to cope with a star-spangled Everton. In attack the Deverall-Butler wing was the tops. The Everton side had a rare tang of the 1939 championship side with seven on parade and Tommy Jones and Gordon Watson there as watchers. It was good to see Jock Thomson again. Jock has volunteered for a parachute course, Happy landings Jock. Tommy Jones is fast recovering from the broken nose received at Wolverhampton and a subsequent collision with a lamp-post in the black-out, and he mentioned that in R.A.F games he has been playing outside-right. That’s my position until I can head a ball properly again, “said Tommy. Wally Boyes corporal in the Durhams, looked smart and snappy and played in like manner, while he found. Alex Stevenson keen with his prompting until damaging an ankle. Sinuous Joe Mercer was the star, Everton attacker, however, and it is obvious Joe revels in these games at inside-right. He and Bentham exploited amateur Williams to good purpose, and Waring was a leader who scorned the stereotyped. Harry Jones had another great day at centre-half in a defence which never wavered. Mr. Bert Pelham former manager of New Brighton, brought along the Southport visitors. He looks exceptionally well and so did King and the other ex-Everton goalkeeper Bobby Jones, who expressed the universal wish when he said; “I wish we were here for a real peacetime cup-tie.” That’ll be the day.
March 23, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
If Southport play as well at Maine road as against Everton at Goodison Park then United won’t have it all they own way. Everton didn’t on the contrary Southport were the more assertive side in the first half, and with luck might have led at the interval, instead of being one down. That they were behind was due mainly to another brilliant performance by Burnett and nearly to their own failings in front of goal. Mercer got Everton’s first, made the scored by providing Waring with an easy chance in the first minute of the second half, and them received a similar offering from Waring to make Everton’s third. After that Southport were seldom in the game though they managed to reduce the deficit with a Deverall penalty. Everton’s total might have been much larger had they adopted the right tactics instead of reproducing in “pretty” stuff and trying to walk the ball into the net. Nice to watch but it get nowhere. The forwards were too often in each other’s way, and too frequently a “clever” bit of dribbling ended where it started –which isn’t the way to get goals. Southport’s methods were in direct contrast. They knew what they needed and went the most direct way, but lacked the skill to break down Everton’s grand defence in which Harry Jones was outstanding and Burnett would have broken any team’s heart.
March 25, 1942. The Evening Express
Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly has fourteen names on his team sheet for the Football League game against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park on Saturday. The list includes Tommy Lawton and Tommy Jones. Tommy Jones had not played for the Blues since he broke his nose at Wolverhampton but he has been having some games in the R.A.F matches and may be fit for resume his place. Consequently Harry Jones, the West Bromwich Albion utility player, who has been playing so consistently once again finds a place among the forwards. Curiously enough, the last time Lawton played for Everton was at Oldham in the War Cup game. Then the Latics sprang a surprise by beating the Blues by the only goal. Alf Anderson has now recovered from his ankle injury and reappears on the team sheet while either Eric Keen –still on his R.A.F course –or George Curwen, the Fleetwood lad, will be at left half. Wally Owen and Tom Waring are also included in the forward line in case of emergency. By the way, Curwen is a professional and not an amateur. He was signed professional with Fleetwood before the war, but the Fleetwood club closed down and so Curwen signed for Everton. And he seems to be quite a “find.” Everton (from); Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Keen (or Curwen); Owen, Mercer, Lawton, Waring, Jones (Harry), Stevenson, Anderson.
March 25, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are in doubt regarding the constitution of their forward line for the League championship game with Oldham at Boundary Park on Saturday. Seven forwards have been provisionally chosen, including Lawton, but as there is a doubt about the availability Waring is there to deputise. As Tommy Jones is fit again he comes back at centre half, which leaves Harry Jones to fill any other forward vacancies. Keen is not a certain starter. If he cannot play, Curwen, the “A” half back who made such a promising debut a fortnight ago, will take his place. Owen is chosen on the right wing, leaving Anderson free for the left, which is his best position. Everton (from); Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Keen (or Curwen); Owen, Mercer, Lawton, Waring, Jones (Harry), Stevenson, Anderson.
Mar 26, 1942. The Evening Express
Goodison Park stages Saturday’s titbit of the George Mahon Cup matches for Everton entertain the competition leaders, Randle. Both clubs boats 100 per cent records. Randle have won their seven games and Everton have taken major points from their five matches. This looks like being a battle of the “giants.”
BLUES AT OLDHAM
March 27, 1942. The Evening Express
Everton go to Boundary Park to oppose Oldham Athletic for Football league points and to demonstrate that their cup form there was all wrong. When the teams met at the same ground in the qualifying competition the Latics succeeded by the only goal. The return game at Goodison Park clearly showed that the Blues were the superior team and I expect them to emphasise that tomorrow. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly, still has some doubts regarding the competition of his team but he hopes that Tommy Jones the Welsh international will resume, while there is a chance that England’s leader, Lawton will be playing. Lawton’s last game for his club was curiously enough at Oldham. Eric Keen is making every effort to play but if not, George Curwen, the Fleetwood lad will have his second senior game. Alf Anderson has now recovered from his ankle injury and will play while Tom Waring and Harry Jones are included among the seven forwards from which the final choice will be made. Amateur Wally Owen is the provisional outside right, with Mercer as his partner. Oldham are a sound home proposition, but I think Everton will carry too many guns for them this time. Everton (from); Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Keen (or Curwen); Owen, Mercer, Lawton, Waring, Jones (Harry), Stevenson, Anderson.
EVERTON AT OLDHAM
March 27, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are not likely to know their side for the League championship game with Oldham, at Boundary Park, until shortly before the match. It will be chosen from fourteen “probables” among whom Lawton is included. As Waring and Harry Jones are also on the number Everton will not lack a leader if Lawton is unable to play. Although Keen is named he is very doubtful, being still down south on a special course, and the prospects are that he will play this week-end for Fulham, who have invited him to assist them in their London Cup-tie against Chelsea. Assuming Keen doesn’t play at Oldham, the way will be clear for Curwen, the “A” team player, to have another run. Curwen put up such a grand show against Blackpool’s star wing a fortnight ago that Mr. Theo Kelly had no hesitation about his inclusion. Tommy Jones has made a quick recovery from the injury he received at Wolverhampton and expects to be thoroughly fit by tomorrow. Should any last-minute alterations be necessary, then Harry Jones will probably take over. The West Bromwich man is a much bigger asset in the half back line than anywhere else, and has played some grand games in the pivotal position. Alf Anderson is another who has recovered from recent injuries, and appears as partner to Stevenson on the left; while Mercer of course, continues at inside right where he is infusing more punch and directness into the attack. There is a little doubt whether Mercer will be available. Everton found Oldham too big a handful when they were there a month ago in the Cup, and lost by the only goal of the day. On their own ground the Latics take some beating, and though I fancy Everton to reverse the placings this time there shouldn’t be much in it. Everton (from); Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tom), Keen (or Curwen); Owen, Mercer, Lawton, Waring, Jones (Harry), Stevenson, Anderson.
OLDHAM V EVERTON
March 28, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Oldham Athletic:- Hall, goal; Hilton and Shipman, backs; Williamson, Gray and Gosnell, half-backs; Worrall, Butler, Chapman, Bailey and Taylor, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (H) (West Brom), and Curwen, half-backs; Jones (Tom), Owen, Wyles, Waring and Anderson, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Womersley, Stockport. Everton started before a crowd of over 3,000 and there were repeated thrills in the early stages. After a swift raid by Everton on the right had fizzled, Anderson broke away and swung the ball across the goalmouth and Jones (T.) was ruled offside when about to shoot. Following a clever movement by Bailey and Taylor, Taylor shot just over the bar with a perfect scoring opening. Play went quickly to end to end, and at a good pace. After Hall had played a ground shot from Owen, Bailey broke through for Oldham and finished with a hard shot well on the target, but Burnett saved splendidly. After twenty minutes, Everton went ahead with a well-deserved goal. The ball came over to Wyles, who was lying in an unmarked position, and he gave Hall absolutely no chance with a nicely placed ground shot. Only the fine goalkeeping of Burnett prevented Oldham scoring. He saved well from Bailey and Chapman, and in another brilliant effort, when bailey broke clear through the defence and finished with a hard shot, he deflected it for a corner. Waring and Anderson were proving a dangerous wing and they frequently had the Oldham defence in a tangle. During one fierce raid T. Jones snapped up a chance and scored a second for Everton. Everton had an anxious moment when Bailey went away down the middle and passed out to Worrall, who got in a good shot, Burnett saved, but almost let the ball slip through his hands.
Half-time; Oldham Athletic nil, Everton 2.
In the 50th minute Oldham reduced the lead with a clever goal. The right wing drew the defence and then the ball was sent out to Joe Taylor, who stood in an unmarked position. He scored with a ground shot which was placed well out of the reach of Burnett. Final; Oldham Athletic 1, Everton 2.
March 30, 1942. The Liverpool Daily Post
Oldham Athletic 1, Everton 2
Oldham beaten By odd Goal Of Three
Everton won their League championship match at Oldham by the odd goal of three, when 3,000 people enjoyed a fast, interesting encounter. Everton’s forwards raided in spirited fashion and T. Jones gave Wyles an opening to score in twenty minutes. Later T. Jones snapped up the ball and scored a second goal. The game was keenly contested to the interval without any further score, and the second half provided a very keen struggle. Oldham trying hard and they were rewarded in the fiftieth minute with a goal from Taylor the ball being placed well out of the reach of Burnett. Burnett played his usual sound game in the Everton goal and brought off some good saves. The backs with their customary skill were always reliable, while Jones (H.) and Curwen did much good work in the intermediate line. The attack was well led by Wyles, who was playing with the League team for the first occasion this season, and he gave Gray many anxious moments, Jones (TG), who appeared at outside right because of the relent broken nose, proved himself a capital wingman and provided his colleagues with some good openings and his tussles with shipman were always interesting. Of the Oldham side, Hall, the Tottenham Hotspurs goalkeeper, was confident in his saves and he had a pair, of reliable backs in Hilton and Shipman. Bailey and Taylor on the left wing were Oldham’s most dangerous forwards and the latter fed many raids on the Everton goal, but generally speaking the Everton defence proved equal to the calls mad upon it. Oldham Athletic:- Hall, goal; Hilton and Shipman, backs; Williamson, Gray and Gosnell, half-backs; Worrall, Butler, Chapman, Bailey and Taylor, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (H) (West Brom), and Curwen, half-backs; Jones (Tom), Owen, Wyles, Waring and Anderson, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Womersley, Stockport.
• Liverpool beat Rochdale 5-2, Liddle (3), Dorsett, Polk and Barttholomew (2) for Rochdale.
EVERTON BEAT OLDHAM
March 30, 1942. The Evening Express
Everton had a curious side at Oldham, but it was good enough to win 2-1 on merit. Cecil Wyles called on for the first team this season to lead the attack, bagged the first goal and Tommy Jones, Welsh international centre-half, playing at outside right because of the recent face injury, scored number two. These goals came in the first half, and later Taylor reduced the lead, but Everton reminded the superior side despite the absence of stars like Stevenson and Mercer.
March 30, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Tommy Jones has proved that a good footballer can play anywhere. He was the right winger for Everton against Oldham and provided many opportunities for the inside forwards with good length centres. Wyles took full advantage of one of them. The Everton defence were all too powerful for the Oldham forwards who scored through Taylor. Burnett gave another impressive display in the Everton goal when the Latics attack was putting in their best work. Curwen maintained his good form at left half, while H. Jones again demonstrated that centre half back is his best position.