GRIMSBY AT GOODISON
November 1, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
While there is nothing in the way of panic at Goodison Park over Everton’s lowly position, the fact remains that they are a bit too near the bottom for comfort. While this has been sue partly to injuries, for the absence of Catterick and Wainwright has meant a big loss of efficiency, there are other angles to the picture. Recent weaknesses on the extreme wings for instance have been either disturbing. I pointed out some ago the danger that the defence, hitherto so solid might begin to feel the effects of its heavy burden. That seems to have been the case in the last two away games. Unfortunately, repeated failures are apt to have a detrimental effect on any team. The players feel they are struggling not only against the opposition but also the bogey of non-success. The ball never seems to run right for them. Greatest antidote to that is a solid victory. If Everton can register that against Grimsby tomorrow it will go a long way to rehabilitating the who side and give them the confidence which at the moment is lacking. Grimsby are not themselves pulling up many trees this season and a real glimpse of the old Everton form would ensure a win for the Blues. Here’s hoping, anyhow. At the moment of writing there is no further news regarding the negotiations for Jock Dodds. Grimsby will have a debutant in their side in Wallbanks, an outside right they signed yesterday from Aberdeen. Everton; Burnett; Jackson and Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (TG), Bentham; forwards; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Johnson, Wainwright, Stevenson, Eglington.
WAINWRIGHT MAY BE BACK TOMORROW
November 1, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Goodison Park should have the pleasure tomorrow of giving a warm re-welcome to Eddie Wainwright, their brilliant young inside-right, when they entertain Grimsby Town in the Football League. Whatever as the constitution of the ‘Blues attack it is practically certain that Wainwright will be playing. This is a matter of vital importance to a side which has been handicapped for weeks by the absence, owing to injury, of two of the leading scorers – Catterick and Wainwright. Wainwright has not played since Sept. 7 – at Blackburn – and his return should made all the difference when it comes to striking power. In dealing with this Everton game we are operating somewhat in the “dark” because of the Dodds transfer negotiations, but whatever happens in that respect I am confident that Wainwright can constitute that spearhead we have missed for so long, and which has meant Everton’s low scoring record of 10 goals, in a dozen games. If Dodds does not come here then I hope Everton will play Wainwright at centre-forward for he has everything which goes to make the perfect leader – two feet; heading ability; cute ideas of combination, and a keen positional sense. Wainwright is the boy I want to see snapping up those goal-laden passes of Fielding and Stevenson. Of course, in recent games it has not been all forward failings on Everton’s part, and if there is to be a change in fortunes there must be considerable tightening up in defence. The return of George Jackson for the injured Saunders should bring that extra experience for George knows just how to play behind Joe Mercer. I was not impressed with Grimsby when I saw them lose to Liverpool, but they are a big, strong side with danger men in Blenkinsop and Clifton. I expect Everton to win. Everton; Burnett; Jackson and Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (TG), Bentham; forwards; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Johnson, Wainwright, Stevenson, Eglington.
Everton Reserves; Sagar; Curwen, Finnis; Grant, Humphreys, Farrell; Owen, Livingstone, Higgins, McPeake, Boyes
Southport, still having a luckiest run, will have their new acquisition, John Linaker, formerly Everton and Manchester City, at outside-right.
DODDS SENDS FOR SHOOTING-BOOTS
November 2, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Mr. Tom Sculley, secretary of Shamrock Rovers (Dublin) Football Club, is a man with a mission. Providing news of Everton’s signing of Ephraim Dodds (reported in the sporting columns) reached him in time yesterday, he intended to take the night boat to Liverpool to be at Goodison Park in time for the match today against Grimsby Town. It is important that he should be there since Dodds’s contract with shamrock Rovers must be formally cancelled and the player is anxious to start with goals for his new club – and he cannot very well shoot them unless he has his favourite boots which Mr. Sculley is bringing. If he cannot come by boat Mr. Sculley will take a plane. Most footballers have three or four pairs of boots but they remain faithfully to favourities. Jack Coulter an Irish international who used to play for Everton had his boots so well patched that scarcely any of the original leather showed. And they were the biggest boots in the game. Everton had to negotiate their £7,750 signing through three channels –Shamrock Rovers who could not be expected to lose a player they had under contract, Blackpool and the Football league. The League entered the deal after the international Football Federation had ruled Dodd’s registration in Ireland as invalid. Blackpool his English club, not having been consulted. Most relieved man in football yesterday was secretary-Manager Theo Kelly of Everton, who had searched diligently but unsuccessfully until then for a man to put the ball into the net. The Everton team today will be Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Grant; Wainwright, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson and Eglington.
EVERTON’S “DIFFICULT” TRANSFER DEAL
November 2, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Dodds at Goodison Today
By Leslie Edwards
Appropriately, Everton yesterday topped the poll in a three way fight for thirty-three year old Scottish international centre-forward Ephraim (Jock) Dodds. They won this somewhat political football contest by first “setting” with Shamrock Rovers (Dublin), with whom the player was under contract and then satisfying the demands of Blackpool, whose fee, it is understood was something short of £8,000. So Blackpool have their cheque, Shamrock Rovers the satisfaction of knowing that their outlay was not lost, and Everton’s centre-forward for the match against Grimsby at Goodison today. The only dissatisfied party, it would seem are Sheffield Wednesday whose representative left home at 8 am, yesterday and travelled to Blackpool only to find that Everton had everything teed up and ready for signature. The Dodds signing will be recorded in football history as one of the most unusual ever negotiated. It bristled with difficulties, had a possible legal aspect if things had not gone smoothly and included, another interested parties, the Blackpool, Everton, Shamrock Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday clubs with the International Federation and Football league in the background watching the legality of anything done.
Refused to Sign
The story began in the refusal of Dodds to resign for Blackpool at the beginning of the season. Shamrock Rovers stepped in with a contract believed to be worth £750 and Dodds was lost to Blackpool and English football. Meantime the International Federation of Football Association had met and had ruled that Dodd’s contract with the Irish club was invalid as Blackpool had not sanctioned the transfer. Thus, when Dodds decided ten days ago to return to English football, any club wanting him had to deal not only with Blackpool, but with Shamrock Rovers and the Football league. And it was evident that Mr. Joe Cunningham who had been instructumented in taking Dodds to Ireland would not be complacent in face of an English club having him out of negotiations. Indeed, last night he told me that if he had been by passed he would have taken legal action. Fortunately, Everton who have always dealt openly, and fairly, made the correct opening. They settled first with the Irish club, then with Blackpool and finally they got the sanction of the Football League as a precaution. Mr. W.C. Cuff President of the League and a director of Everton placed the matter before authority and was able to tell secretary-manager Theo Kelly that all was in order.
Dodds signed late yesterday afternoon, at Blackpool, and the Everton management sighed relieved having at last succeeded in a quest which had been in abiding passing with them for the best part of a month. Dodds, who was born in Grangemouth, Stirlingshire, formerly played for Huddersfield Town and Sheffield United. Mr. Teddy Dawson of Sheffield United did the best stroke of business when he signed him free, as a Huddersfield cast-off. United were to enjoy their biggest fee, £10,000 when he went to Blackpool in 1939.
DODDS SCORERS ON GOODISON DEBUT
November 2, 1946. The Evening Express
Blues’ Goals from Corner Kicks
But Grimsby Keep Level
Pilots Points (Don Kendall)
Everton got three goals from corner-kicks in a hard game with Grimsby Town at Goodison Park and Dodds, the international centre-forward, got the first to celebrate his debut. Twice Everton were behind to a faster Grimsby, and then they got the lead only to lose it within three minutes. Merseyside football enthusiasts rolled up in their thousands to Goodison Park today to welcome Jack Dodds, Everton’s £7,500 Scottish international centre forward from Blackpool. Dodds was at the ground an hour before the game and I had a chat with him, wishing him good luck. He replied, “I hope everybody in Liverpool will be as delighted with me as I am in coming back to League football with such a great club as Everton.” Wainwright returned to the Everton team at outside-right, and Grant was at left-half. Grimsby included Wallbanks, the new outside-right from Scotland. Dodds was given a tremendous cheer when he came out, and there was laughter when he was mobbed by the photographers. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Grant, half-backs; Wainwright, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Grimsby Town; Tweedy, goal; Fisher and Hodgson (J.V.), backs; Hodgson (S.), Betmead, and Reeve (F.), half-backs; Wallbanks, Whitfield, Blenkinsopp, Cairns and Wardle, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Tedds (Bestwood). To say that the opening was a sad disappointment for Everton is to put it medley. Not only were their efforts in combined football inaccurate but they had two narrow escapes in the first minute and were a goal down in three minutes. Eglington was twice pulled up before Wardle went through cleverly to slip in a short pass which Jones intercepted. Cairns next dashed ahead and drew Burnett from goal but again Everton pulled through.
Shock For Blues
It was a case of third attack lucky for the Town, for Cairns, another of Grimsby’s latest signings, dribbled through magnificently with fine body swerves and centre, and he turned the ball low back across goal for Blenkinsopp, who was unmarked to flick it into the net. Eglington dashed in with, a shot which flashed by the post, and then a beautiful side flick by Dodds gave Eglington a chance, but Tweedy came out and pushed the ball behind, making a safe catch off the corner. Everton provided some tricky combination between the inside forwards, but it came to nothing against a strong defence, and when Dodds put Wainwright through the ball went out of control. We had almost a repetition of the freak goal at Charlton, when Cairns dashed through in attendance on Jones, whose back-pass to Burnett did not travel fast enough and Burnett had to dash out and boot the ball. This time it ran to safety however. Away went Everton for Dodds to cross from the line. Tweedy beating the ball down as Eglington dashed in. Then Tweedy had to dash out to kick away from Stevenson, after Dodds had done the donkey work. So far there had been no direct shots levelled at Tweedy; in fact Everton were not striking their usual rhythm in approach, and Grimsby seemed a yard faster on the ball. Burnett made a late leap to turn over a long dropping ball from Wallbanks. Then Grant set Everton in motion and each forward came into the picture before Tweedy dashed out to clear.
Over the Top!
Wardle cut inside for a 20 yarder which swung into the crowd, and then we had Dodds first shot, when he broke away from Jackson’s lob but the ball flashed over the top. The referee had to give Tweedy a little lesson in ball placing before the taking of the goal kick much to the amusement of the crowd. Everton equalised in 37 and much to the delight of the crowd it was Dodds who got the goal. Fielding began it by going through to force a corner and this he took himself. Tommy Jones came up to take some of the attention off Dodds and Jones headed the ball down neatly for Dodds to hook it into the roof of the net. The goal seemed to electrify Everton and Dodds had a long shot charged down before Eglington forced a corner and from this Dodds shot inches over the top. The joy was short-lived for in 40 minutes Grimsby were ahead again through Blenkinsop. Everton’s tackling was slow, and Blenkinsop received just inside the penalty area well to the right of the goal. Blenkinsop shot as he was falling and a harmless-looking effort sailed high into the net. Even Blenkinsop seemed surprised that this chance effort had born fruit.
Half-time; Everton 1, Grimsby Town 2.
Everton almost drew level immediately on resuming, for Dodds headed the ball aide for Elglington to shoot against the foot of the near post, the ball rebounding right into the arms of Tweedy. Tweedy made a flying save off Fielding before Dodds, hemmed in by three opponents, forced a corner on the right.
On Level Terms
Once again Tommy Jones dashed up to take the attention off Dodds, and again it worked. This time Grimsby watched Dodds and as the ball dropped over the unmarked Jones dashed in to head it into the net. This was in 50 minutes. Grimsby forced a corner before Wainwright dashed through, only to be brought down, Everton’s penalty claim being ignored. Everton found it difficult to shake off the tenacious Grimsby half-backs, but in 63 minutes they took the lead for the first time, and strangely enough it was their third goal from a corner. This was forced by Eglington and again Everton brought up their Dodds-Jones battery. Elglington placed the kick far across and although it was deflected it ran to Stevenson, who from just inside the penalty area hooked the ball into the far corner in brilliant style. Within three minutes Grimsby were all square again with a grit goal scored by Whitfield. Whitfield chased what appeared to be a hopeless chance down the middle, and Burnett was slow to come out. When Burnett did so he could only push the ball against Whitfield’s legs and it rolled on into the vacant net. So in successive games Everton have conceded three easy goals. Dodds headed just outside from a corner before Tweedy went full length to a brilliant shot by Eglington. Three times centres flashed across the face of the Grimsby goal without anyone being able to reach them and then after a grand run by Wainwright the ball was too far behind for the forwards to get it. Tweedy saved from Dodds as Everton applied pressure for the decider. The much-starved left wing swung into the picture and Stevenson went on to shoot a foot the wrong side of the post. Final; Everton 3, Grimsby Town 3.
NEWCASTLE RES V EVERTON RES
November 2, 1946. The Evening Express
At St. James’s Park. Ten minutes from the start Sloan had a well placed header diverted over the line by Sagar, and from the resulting corner kick Stobart gained the lead for the home side. Twelve minutes later Sloan put Newcastle further ahead by netting from a pass from Stobert. An infringement inside the Newcastle penalty area gained a free kick for Everton, and this resulted in Livingstone reducing the lead in the 25th minute.
‘I WANT A BIG PAIR OF PANTS
November 2, 1946. The Evening Express
Story of the Internationals Signing for Everton
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
“Don’t forget I want a big pair of pants,” were the final words spoken by Eph (“Jock”) Dodds, Everton’s £7,750 capture from Shamrock Rovers and Blackpool, to Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly of the Blues, which Mr. Kelly got into his car at Blackpool to drive back to Liverpool last evening, having ended a three-months’ search for a ready-made leader. “My hope now is that I do well for Everton,” said Dodds as he learned over Mr. Kelly’s car, “and you can rest assured that my one aim is to help Everton to success.” Mr. Kelly must have breathed a sigh of relief when he let in the clutch and drove off to Liverpool. The quest was over, Dodds signature on the papers rested in his pocket but ... there still remained their deposit at the office of the Football League in Starkie-street Preston. To Preston as soon as possible was Mr. Kelly’s thought, for he had telephoned Tom Charnley that he would be at the offices to do the necessary. Mr. Charnley generously waited, and so contact was made at the spot where everything mattered, and off to Liverpool came Mr. Kelly to await an inquiry for another transfer, Birkett the goalkeeper joined Southport today. The quest for Dodds by Everton began last Thursday week when the club heard a whisper that Jock may be “in the market.” First contact Mr. Kelly made was his own centre half Tommy Jones, who served with Jock in the R.A.F and Tommy urged that Dodds be brought to Goodison.
Centa were made, and the Everton directors at their meeting on Tuesday decided to “get him.” The scene changed to Wednesday afternoon at Anfield, where Mr. Kelly had long and earnest talks with Mr. Joe Smith manager of Blackpool, and it was agreed that Mr. Kelly visit Blackpool on Thursday. A side issue on Wednesday’s meeting is that Norman Greenhalgh, Everton’s captain, actually went to Anfield with his car wondering whether or not his manager would wish to dash off to Blackpool that night. It was not necessary, but the thought was there, and it does emphasise what a great captain Greenhalgh is. On Thursday Mr. Kelly was off to Blackpool where he was negotiating on this point and that, not returning to Liverpool until late evening without the signature, but knowing that terms as between club and club had been agreed upon. One vital point was that in the Blackpool-Shamrock Rovers . Everton tie-up the approval of the Football League to a transfer was an essential. League Secretary Mr. Fred Howarth could not give sanction and referred the matter to the Management Committee through the President Mr. W.C. Cuff. That was the position when Mr. Kelly reported “stalemate” on Thursday. Knowing that Sheffield Wednesday and Notts County were on the trail Mr. Kelly was in the unenviable position of waiting at Goodison Park yesterday morning for the League “Okay” and fearing the intervention of Wednesday and Notts County. To calm his nervous (yes, football managers have nerves) he studied the railway guide and found that it was early afternoon at the earliest before his rivals could get to Blackpool. That was reassuring.
At 1223 pm. precisely word came from the League that the transfer would be in order both Blackpool and Shamrock Rovers were satisfied under the terms and away went Mr. Kelly in his car to Bloomfield road. Final details between clubs were settled and Mr. Kelly left the ground for Jock’s South Shore hotel as Mr. Eric Taylor, secretary manager of Sheffield Wednesday walked into Mr. Smith’s office. At the hotel Mr. Kelly found that Dodds had been inundated with telephone calls, so Jack, with an order to one of his staff,” I’m not in,” took Mr. Kelly to his own private office, and there, he in the sanctum sanctorum of Jock’s hotel, on Jock’s own desk and with Jock’s own pen, Dodds signed for Everton. The parties then went off to the Casino there to meet Col, W.Parkinson the Blackpool chairman and over a cup of tea everything was settled... except one thing Dodds had left his boots in Dublin. A telephone call to Ireland, and Mr. Tom Scully secretary of Shamrock Rovers, who as recently as August signed on Dodds in a Liverpool hotel, said he would bring the boots to Goodison Park. And off went Tom to preserve a berth on the overnight boat. That is the story of the Dodds signing, but points of interest are that Dodds born in Grangemouth was educated in Bishop Auckland and was a schoolmate of Gordon Watson, the Everton half-back; that while a hotel proprietor in Blackpool. Dodds will train at Goodison Park and that Blackpool, Shamrock Rovers, and Everton are well satisfied with football’s biggest transfer since Stubbins left Newcastle for Liverpool. Well-done Everton, good luck Dodds.
DODDS, CLOSELY WATCHED GETS FEW CHANCES
November 2, 1946, The Liverpool Football Echo
Pass That Made The Goodison Crowd Gasp
Early Shock’s Desperate End
Everton 3, Grimsby Town 3
For a change goals were plentiful at Goodison Park. Unfortunately for Everton, six were equally divided which was hardly satisfactory for the home side. Dodds got the first one, but actually he did not see a lot of the ball. Grimsby were a more dangerous side and better balanced, although it was fluke goal which sent Everton a point. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Grant, half-backs; Wainwright, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Grimsby Town; Tweedy, goal; Fisher and Hodgson (J.V.), backs; Hodgson (S.), Betmead, and Reeve (F.), half-backs; Wallbanks, Whitfield, Blenkinsopp, Cairns and Wardle, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Tedds (Nottingham). The Jack Dodds, signing had a tremendous effect upon the attendance at Goodison Park today. His personality is such that it meant thousands to the Everton club. The one hope is that Dodds will prove as big in stature. It was height and weight and the necessary finish which has robbed them of many points this season. There was a gallery of photographers on the ground to take Dodd’s photograph. He was joined by Wainwright in the picture. In the Everton side there were three changes as compared to last week, and in the Grimsby side there were also several alterations. Dodds got quite a reception when he took the field along with his new colleagues.
Cut Through Defence
Betmead by his timely intervention cut out a dangerous-looking ball down the middle, obviously destined for Dodds, and then Grimsby showed nice football on the left. With the slightest bit of luck they might have struck a deadly blow at the Everton goal had not Jones cut out Cairns who was no more than a few yards out of goal. But Grimsby did not allow that incident to upset them, and, playing well within themselves, they once again cut through the Everton defence and within four minutes had scored. Cairns worked his way out to the left wing and centred so nicely that he left Bleninsop with the simple task of shooting the ball to the far side of the Everton goalkeeper. This was a blow to the home side for if there was any goal scoring it was hoped that Everton would do it. So far Betmead had closed down the middle to Dodds, so that most of Everton’s thrust were made via the wings. Everton passes went astray, players failed to gather the ball, and once a wide pass by Jones to Burnett sent a gasp round the ground. Naturally Dodds was closely shadowed so was Blenkinsop, but there was more danger from the Grimsby forwards for they linked up when they made an attack.
Eglington’s “found” Dodds with a good length centre but Tweedle used his height and reach to foil the centre forward. He took the ball off Dodd’s head. At this point were having a better innings without however, causing Tweedle any great concern. Wainwright twice spoiled good work by allowing the ball to travel too far in front. Then came another Jones back pass which almost proved fatal, for Blenkinsop nipped round and only Burnett could save the situation. Every movement by Dodds was closed scrutinised by the Everton followers and when he scooped a ball off the goal-line and swept it into the goalmouth he received a greeting all for himself. Tweedle was not to be caught napping, for he made a good catch at clearance. A long ball from Wallbanks, who was only signed from Aberdeen by Grimsby on Thursday, was turned over the cross bar by Burnett but when the Scottish boy took his corner kick he put it well behind. One of Everton’s best movements fell down when Wainwright’s pass failed to reach Dodds and the goalmouth became so packed that it was impossible for Everton to find a way through.
I liked the Grimsby left wing for they had ball control, positional sense and a progressiveness which made things awkward for Mercer and Jackson and when Wardle got through he showed no hesitation in shooting even though he was well off the mark. The first real chance which came to Dodds he spooned over the crossbar. Immediately following there was a curious incident when Tweedy was about to take a goal kick. A linesman considered the ball was not on the correct spot. It was replaced but the referee came along and moved it. Tweedy moved it back only for the referee to move it again. This was not Everton’s form by any means. They did not seen to get together and so far Dodds had not had a really good ball. With half the number of attacks Grimsby were definitely the more dangerous side. Everton went into a spell of aggressive football, which ultimately brought about the downfall of the Grimsby goal. They gained a corner on the right. This was taken by Fielding, but the real hectic movement came when Wainwright lobbed the ball over to Jones, who had come up as he is in the habit of doing when corners are won by Everton, but instead of him heading a goal himself he nodded the ball down for Dodds who had simply to put his foot to it to become the scorer. Time 37 minutes. Two minutes later Blenkinsop fastened on a ball which had been bandled about in front of the Everton goal for some minutes and shot it into the net. Tweedy had to make a smart save from Fielding to end in first half.
Half-time;- Everton 1, Grimsby 2.
We enjoyed a goal thrill in the first minute of the first half. We had a repeat order in the second, for within five minutes of the resumption Everton had equalised. It was Tom Jones who scored. Up for a corner, Jones calmly nodded home Wainwright’s kick. He had a great reception, not only from the crowd but from his colleagues. The Fishermen, however, were still a menace, but the play this half was handed over to the right flank. Wallbanks was given an opportunity, but he shot wide. When Jones again came up for another corner, the Grimsby defenders paid such marked attention to him that they left other avenues open, with the result that Stevenson was able to score a grand goal to put Everton in the lead for the first time at sixty-one minutes. Then once again the Town hit back and got an equaliser – a lucky one too.
In a Tangle
When Whitfield went through, Greenhalgh and Jones got themselves such a tangle that the ball ultimately found its way into the Everton goal, for Burnett had also come out. The crowd were getting plenty of thrills and when Tweedy saved from Eglington it was only one of the many goal incidents that happened in the last few minutes for Everton were storming the Grimsby citadel at this stage. Everton set out to retrieve their lead. There was a little hesitancy in shooting, and fractional delay between success and failure. Dodds with one of the few chances he had, saw Tweedy field his shot in good style. The light was getting poor, but one could see the stout defence Grimsby put against a side which was desperate for a goal and two points, instead of a half which was their portion at this stage. Final; Everton 3, Grimsby Town 3.
NEWCASTLE RES V EVERTON RES
November 2, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton began in competent style being much more accurate in their passing than the home side, but an injury to McPeake, which forced him to go on the wing, seemed to disorganise the side. Newcastle forwards gradually got on top of the Everton defence, and Stobbart opened the scoring for Newcastle after ten minutes. Sloan scored a second goal for Newcastle after 22 minutes, and then came five goals within 12 minutes. Livingstone scoring for Everton following a free kick, after 23 minutes, and then Hair and Sloan (3) scored further goals for Newcastle. Half-time; Newcastle Res 6, Everton Res 1.
SOUTHPORT SIGN BIRKETT
November 2, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Southport today signed Wilf Birkett, one of Everton’s Reserve goalkeepers, and this remedy what has been one episode of anxiety this season. Birkett who is 21 and a miner from Haydock, has been on Everton’s books since 1942. During the war he had a long spell with Southport as a guest, and was the hero of the match at Anfield when Liverpool beat them 12-1, being carried off unconscious in the last few minutes. But for his fine display the score might have been doubled.
TOM JONES “MADE” THREE GOALS
November 4, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Cornerstones in Everton’s Revival
By Bee (Ernest Edwards)
Everton 3 (Dodds, Jones, Stevenson), Grimsby Town 3 (Blenkinsop2, Whitefield).
Statisticians vow, that only one corner kick in thirty-five becomes a goal. Former England goalkeeper, Ted Sagar, kept records which proved that contention; yet here were three goals for Everton, all from corner kicks, to show that figures can prove and disprove anything. One thing is certain. The conversions would never have been made if Tom Jones had not taken into the goalmouth his height, eagle eye and meticulous precision in nodding a ball. As pivot he caused all three Everton goals. Could a centre half do more? Jones seems to an overseer. Meeting Grimsby, he faced a number of really tall players, yet he leapt above them and, assisting in corner kicks, he headed down a ball anyone could take up for scoring purposes. Dodds never had an easier chance. He has played with Sheffield United, Huddersfield, Blackpool, Shamrock Rovers, but this was his simplest task. Jones then proceeded to head a corner kick beyond the alert Tweedy and finally, when Grimsby sent out scouts to see where Jones was standing for a further corner kick, they let in Stevenson, unmarked, to score again –three corner-stones that laid the foundation to a drawn game.
Weight and See
Talking point for 49,000 spectators was Eglington, Dodds, signed to make weight in Everton’s attack. The scales bumped down, for Dodds is about 14 stone, all of which he threw into the battle with vigour and fairness. At least he started Everton scoring and was always ready to challenge defenders with bulk, if not brilliance. This was no fair test of his known prowess to shoot often and hard, we must “weight and see.” Everton’s troubles are not ended by a single signing. There are outstanding weaknesses that continue to lead to opposition goals. Grimsby must either be very, very good, or Everton must be poorer than some imagine. Otherwise how could Grimsby play in such constructive, convincing way. Every time they moved off on the left flank they looked dangerous and always, mark the word, please their’s movement was practical and full of football progressiveness. Wardle and Reeve were outstanding, trustful and flankers and their new boy Wallbaks, who no sloth. Add the variety of half-backs, Betmead’s grand stand almost to cheeky point and you have a reason for Grimsby fighting back from 3-2 to come near winning the game with the damaged Reeve as winger. In last second attacks Reeve nearly fused the Everton wires. A draw was just, only just for Everton. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Grant, half-backs; Wainwright, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Grimsby Town; Tweedy, goal; Fisher and Hodgson (J.V.), backs; Hodgson (S.), Betmead, and Reeve (F.), half-backs; Wallbanks, Whitfield, Blenkinsopp, Cairns and Wardle, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Tedds
• Liverpool draw 0-0
NEWCASTLE RESERVES 8, EVERTON RESERVES 1
November 4, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Handicapped by an early injury to McPeake, Everton Reserves became disorganised and their defence could not hold the fast Newcastle forwards. Sloan (4), Stobbart (2), Hair and Brown scored for Newcastle and Livingstone got a consolation goal for Everton. Livingstone, Higgins and Boyes were clever Everton forwards, but lacked support.
DODDS INQUIRY LIKELY
November 4, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
The case of Jock Dodds, the new Everton centre-forward who left Blackpool to play in Ireland, is likely to come under review, officially, within the next few weeks. English Football League clubs, who realise that Dodds may have set a precedent, are anxious to have some tangible evidence of their rights. That the international Federation made invalid Dodd’s registration with Shamrock Rovers is helpful to them, but when a player signs a contract outside this country it is an extra contingency on which they want a ruling.
EVERTON HAVE NOT FINISHED TEAM BUILDING
November 4, 1946. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Full back May be the Next Signing
Everton will not be going off that transfer market simply because they have signed Dodds to solve the centre-forward problem, and I anticipate that before long we shall see the Blues figuring in another important deal. I know that Everton are anxious to sign a first class back, and their lines are laid already. There were absentees from Goodison Park last Saturday, including Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins, and I would not be surprised to hear that the “spotters” were out after defenders. One player who has taken the Everton fancy is Sherwood, the Cardiff City right half, but I am assured by the City officials that they have no intention of parting with any of the members of the team they believe will take them to the Second Division. Cardiff could get big cheques in return for both Sherwood and outside-left Clarke but at Ninian, Manager Billy McCandless is adopting a “hold-what-we-have” attitude. One cannot blame him either, for Cardiff’s rightful place is in one of the higher divisions. However, what Everton miss in South Wales they are certain to secure from some other quarters.
CORNER KICKS GOALS
November 4, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
It is the exception rather than the rule for corner kicks to produce goals in these days of defensive consolidation, and so it was refreshing to find that Everton –with the coming of Dodds –have hit upon a scheme which can make every corner into a potential goal. It is simple but effective. Everton knew at once that in all corners the Grimsby defenders would concentrate on blotting out Dodds. To offset this Tommy Jones moved forward for all corners, and took full advantage of the free spaces which arose because of the watch on Dodds. Jones helped Jock to his goal off a corner; Jones dashed in to head the second; Jones headed the ball across to Stevenson to get the third. And all the time Grimsby were watching Dodds. The ruse almost proved successful on two other occasions. Grimsby were the better side in the first half and were always in front, but once Everton got ahead I though the home win was a certainty. Another defensive misunderstanding gave Town a simple equalising goal per Whitfield, who really did not have much to do with it as the ball bounced in off his legs. I am pretty certain that Burnett would have saved the second goal had he not imagined the ball was sailing over, in fact the first was easily Town’s best effort with Cairns was master-maker. Jones was outstanding among the Everton defence which was none too certain, Jackson having an indifferent day, Wildness in parting spoiled the displays of Mercer and Grant and deprived the side of the needed accurate link-up between half-backs and inside forward where Fielding and Stevenson did well especially in a foraging sense. Wainwright was a little lost at outside-right, and like Eglington failed to drop over the centres the inside men needed. Yes, room for improvement, but Dodds will do, and after the game said how delighted he was to be with such a good club and side. “I’m going to like it here,” said Jock. I think he will.
DODDS NEEDS TIME
November 4, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
The coming of Jock Dodds, the hefty Scottish international was expected to turn the frail Everton attack into a punching machine for lack of physique has been one of Everton’s troubles this season. There was no weight in the forward line. Dodds, with his hefty shoulders, supplied the weight, but he did not infuse the necessary punch demanded. One thing he did, and it was an import one, he drew the attention of the Grimsby defence to himself, but if any one prevented Grimsby winning it was Tom Jones (write Stork). Let me tell you about it. With each and every corner awarded to Everton Jones came up into the attack. Grimsby thus found that they had two men to contend with and decided that Dodds was the danger spot. They decided to watch Dodds and Jones got the ball on all three goals, all made by the Welsh international. Jones nodded the first ball to Dodds, the second he took himself and the third he headed down to Stevenson to score. Dodds got the chance against Betmead, furthermost he got few balls through the middle of the right type by Everton were the worse passes of a ball I have seen for an age.” They could not find their men, so instead of being a smoothly working team they were disjointed and uncertain and were made to look small by a more progressive well-knit team which linked up one with the other to make difficulties for the Everton defence. What is more Grimsby were faster on the ball, and the wing play of Wardle and Cairns stood out as a sinning beacon and had Mercer and Jackson often running the wrong way. No Everton’s worries are not over yet, and they know it, for several directors were missing from their usual seats watching other games in other parts. A defender of note may be the next Goodison signing. It was a defensive blunder which cost Everton a point. Not that Grimsby did not deserve a half-share for they were decidedly the better tacticians but it was tragic to have victory snatched out of Everton’s grasp by a goal which could easily have been prevented. A ball was far flung down the middle, no great danger about it with Jones and Greenhalgh there to take it, and Burnett further behind. What chance had Whitfield of beating such odds. None really, but the unexpected happened, Greenhalgh should have slapped that ball to the far corner of the earth what time Jones was holding off Whitfield. Seeing the situation Burnett rushed out and tried to kick clear, but the ball rattled against Whitfield’s legs and slowly travelled into the vacant goal. In two games this sort of thing has happened, which shows the value of first time safely methods. Nevertheless, one must pay tribute to Whitfield for following up what looked like a false hope. Everton’s first half display was paltry. No cohesion, a slowness which looked most marked against the fast-moving Grimsby side, who were sprightly and clever with big half back’s standing defiant to any calls made upon them. The Town made a curious change when Reeve, the best half on the field was injured. He moved up to outside left and Blenkinsop, the scorer of two goals dropped back. I wonder why? Had there not been limping he would most likely have won the game for Grimsby in the last minute when he slashed at Wallbank’s centre instead of taking it calmly. Everton were more spirited in the second half, but there was still a lack of unison about the team, Wainwright was wasted at outside right; he is essentially an inside forward. A draw at home is not satisfying but still a lot better than no bread. We must give Dodds an opportunity to settle down, I think he will prove valuable once he has required knowledge of his colleagues ‘style of play.
FOOTBALLERS GET PROMISE OF CONCESSIONS
November 5, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Five-Hour Preston Talks End Harmoniously
By Leslie Edwards
Without help from the Ministry of Labour, the Football League and Players, Union yesterday composed most of their differences in a five hour meeting at Preston. League concessions of which there are many (with the prospect of others to follow), did not include a £12 per week maximum, but players at the other end of the scale with benefit, and thoughts of strike action must go by the board – for a long time; The Union representatives are well satisfied. The Football public will doubtless be surprised by the Union’s success, when the League had appeared opposed to weakening. Undoubtedly, in their almost unassailably strong position, the football League has been extraordinarily fair. Their work yesterday may have been merely to promise recommendation to a full meeting of the organisation they represent, but it is safe to say that the proposals will carry all the necessary weight. The League gave us a most sympathetic hearing,” said -the Union secretary, Mr. James Fay, of Southport.” “Agreement was reached on all but about four points one which was the maximum wage. The League does not recommend a £12 maximum, but it will go before a special meeting of clubs, “one big point gained was the recommendation for £7 and £5 over the age of 20, and a definite minimum for youths. The chairman of the League Management Committee Mr. W.C. Cuff, of Liverpool and the secretary Mr. F. Howarth declined to make any statement, but the players representatives were only too ready to express satisfaction. A joint statement stressed that no agreement was reached on the maximum wage question, but that the League committee was sympathetic to instating a minimum wage and to dating agreement from August to August. They could not agree for playing season wages start on August 1, but would bring it up for consideration by the full board.
EVERTON’S MANY CHANGES
November 6, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Sagar Recalled and Mercer Rested
In the hope of arresting their recent downward trend, Everton make rather sweeping changes in their side for the visit to Leeds United. Compared with last week there are no fewer than five alterations in personnel, as well as one positional change. One surprise is the omission of Joe Mercer, former England skipper, who has appeared in every match this season. His place is taken by Bentham. The Everton board feels it would be advantageous to give Mercer a rest for a week or two. The dual responsibility of football and his new business (he has just taken over a large grocery establishment at Wallasey) has taken a lot out if him, and a short spell with only one thing to concentrate on should soon put him back. The inclusion of Sagar is not altogether unexpected. Burnett, usually so reliable has been off form lately, and the coolness and experience of Sagar will steady the rearguard. Thus will be Sagar’s first appearance in a Football League match since his demobilisation. Next March he will have completed eighteen years service with Everton. His Central League display have proved that time has dealt lightly with him, and that he has lost none of his old skill and agility. With Saunders still injured and Jackson below par last week, 24-years-old Finnis comes in at right back for his league debut. Finnis who played a few senior games at half-back during the war, attracted Everton when he played for Liverpool Schoolboys, and has been on their books since he was 15, signing professional forms after demobilisation about a year ago. Watson resumes at left half, and Wainwright comes back to his proper position at inside at inside right in place of Fielding and McIIhatton resumes on the wing. Team;- Everton; Sagar; Finnis, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (TG), Watson; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, Eglington.
EVERTON RECALL SAGAR V. LEEDS UNITED
November 7, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Everton F.C., intend to improve their present position in the League table, and with this thought in mind, no doubt, the directors have made a number of changes in the side which is to visit Leeds United on Saturday. The changes mainly concern the defence, where one of the surprises is the omission of England half-back Mercer, whose position at right half is taken over by Bentham, with Watson resuming at left half. In goal, Sagar returns to the exclusion of Burnett. This will be Sagar’s first appearance in a League match since he was demobilised and his experience will undoubtedly have a steadying effect upon his co-defenders. With Saunders still on the injured list, Finnis, a former Liverpool schoolboys player, who has seen service with Everton’s first eleven at half-back during the war, fills the right half berth in place of Jackson. In the attack Mcllhatton returns to outside right, Wainwright moving to inside position to the exclusion of Fielding. The team is; Sagar; Finnis, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (TG), Watson; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, Eglington.
THAT TRANSFER TALK
November 7, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Transfer talk is running wild, transfer during this season that First division clubs falling over for unknown players. Any inquiry for a junior players is now immediately seized on as sensational transfer move, and once it is made known that a player is under review the way is opened for competition. That competition has the result of sending up prices. Take the case of McMorran, the Belfast Celtic centre forward for whom Everton were in negotiation. While everything was kept quiet McMorran was on a reasonable figure – but when it was made public that Everton were interested the price soared to £7,000. It is because of things like this that neither Manager George Kay of Liverpool, not Secretary-manager Theo Kelly, of Everton, will give any hint whatever of where they have representatives of whom they are watching. To give any indication is running their own “market.” Some months ago Everton saw Joe Copeland, the Dunfermline Athletic back, in action. Last week-end the story was circulated in Scotland that Everton were “interested” in Copeland and would receive competition from a number of English clubs. “We are not seeking Copeland,” said Mr. Kelly when I asked him about the rumours. It is the same with McCormick the Coleraine left winger. We made an inquiry about McCormick and immediately it was made into a sensation. McCormick is a junior. We watch dozens of such players in the course of a season.” There you have it, but, as I mentioned on Monday, Everton are going all out to strengthen their defence.
MAY DO THE TRICK
November 8, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
And how about Everton’s change at Leeds? Will the sweeping alterations in tomorrow’s side do the trick? I hope so. Ted Sagar’s experience should help to reduce the rather disquieting increase of goals against in recent games. Unfortunately, Greenhalgh is doubtful, due to a wretched ankle. Defence apart such will depend on Jock Dodds who has been training assiduously all week and is now getting nearer his real “fighting” weight. He has the skill and first time shooting ability to make the most of any chance that comes his way, and with Wainwright and Stevenson, there to provide them, Jock should not languish for opportunity. Despite their lowly position, Leeds have a fair home record. They have taken seven points from seven games at Elland Road and have had only five goals put past them. Not too bad. It is their wretched away performance –seven defeats on the run – which keep them anchored to the bottle rungs. Here’s wishing the Blues an encouraging victory. Everton; Sagar; Finnis, Greenhalgh (or A.N. Other); Bentham, Jones (TG), Watson; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, Eglington.
November 8, 1946. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Harry Finnis Everton’s 24-year-old back who used to play for Liverpool school-boys, makes his Football League debut at Elland Road against Leeds United. Granted that Finnis played with the first team in some war-time games, but this is his first taste of the real thing. Behind him he will have Ted Sagar, the international who makes a “come back” after Army service, to take over goalkeeping duties from Burnett. Greenhalgh, the captain, and who would have been the only remaining ever-present, is doubtful with a twisted ankle, and I expect Jackson will partner Finnis who may go to left back. In attack, interest will centre on the new right-wing link-up of Eddie Wainwright and Johnny Mcllhatton, while Stevenson and Eglington on the left flank will revel in the ball service they are certain to receive from Gordon Watson. It should all build up into opening-creating for the benefit of Jock Dodds, and I expect the Blues to win their second away game of the season. The only other was that against Aston Villa, I do not think Tommy Jones will need any reminding that his aid is invaluable when there are corner-kicks for the Blues. He and Dodds will be winning games with their new ruse – and the sooner the better, for Everton are too far down the table for comfort. Everton; Sagar; Finnis, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (TG), Watson; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, Eglington.
Harry Catterick, Everton’s centre forward, plays his first game since Sept 7 when he leads the Central League attack against Birmingham City at Goodison Park tomorrow. Catterick broke an arm when playing in the Football League game against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, and although good progress was made there were complications. Now however comes the period of “playing himself in” again, and a few runs with the Reserves will give Harry back complete confidence. Three players who played for the first team last Saturday will be in this match –Burnett, Jackson and Grant. Everton Reserves; Burnett; A.N. Other, Curwen; Grant, Humphreys, Farrell; Owen, Johnson, Catterick, Boyes, Higgins.
Everton “A” (v. Orrell); J.A. Jones; Hedley, Lamb; Melling, Fairfoull, Davies; Wright, Williams, Green, Kenny, Lyon.
Everton Colts; (v. Norris Green Methodists at bellefield); Hestletine; Rankin, Conley; Tansey, Runroe, Street; Burkhill, Hickson, MaCaulay, Burnett, Dickson.
LEEDS UNITED TWICE IN THE LEAD
November 9, 1946. The Evening Express
Dodds Heads Goal From Eglington Centre
Everton showed up well against a sprightly Leeds side after being robbed of what almost everyone agreed was a good goal by Dodds in the first half. Everton had to make a late change against Leeds United at Elland Road, Leeds. Tommy Jones and a cold, and his place was taken by Jack Humphreys. Greenhalgh was still suffering from the ankle injury sustained in his garden the other day and Finnis moved to left back, Jackson retaining his place on the other front. Gordon Watson was making his first appearance with the senior since the Portsmouth game on September 14. The game marked the return of Ted Sagar in goal for the Blues. I heard today that Jack Hodgson, the Leeds goalkeeper, who broke his aim at Anfield a few weeks ago in saving a Stubbins penalty will have the injured limb in plaster for at least another two weeks. Leeds United;- Fearnley, goal; Bannister and Milburn, backs; Henry, Holley and Browne, half-backs; Cochrane, Powell, Ainsley, Short, and Grainger, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Finnis, backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson (captain) and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. C. Fletcher (Northwich). Alex Stevenson, captain for the day, won the toss and took advantage of a sharpish head-on wind before 30,000 spectators. There was a sensational opening and an unlucky one for debutant Finnis. In Leeds’ initial raid, he was ruled by Ref. Fletcher, after consultation with a linesman, to have handled within the area. Everton protested in vain against the decision. To the consternation of the crowd, however James Milburn placed the spot kick high over the top of the bar. This was certainly a left off for Everton. They were encouraged and when Stevenson served Dodds, with a choice down-the-middle-ball, the Scot shot with great power, the ball flashing inches over the right hand angle of the bar.
Blues’ Four Corners
Everton kept it up with Dodds showing up prominently. They forced four corners in quick succession without bringing grist to the mill. Twice Eglington placed his flag kick tamely behind, the second time after he had forced Fearnley to go full length to a shot-range ground shot. Leeds were moving speedily when they did get away and Everton survived luckily again. Then Ainsley sent Grainger away, received the return he asked for and failed completely to make his shot. In 16 minutes Leeds went ahead through a glorious goal by Powell. Grainger made ground, tricked Jackson and centred. An Everton defender headed clear and Powell punched on the ball from 25 yard’s range, and sent a cracking cross shot high into the left hand corner of the net to which Sagar dived unavailingly. Ainsley almost made it two in the next minute, Sagar just parrying his grounder on the line. Then Mcllhatton forced Fearney to save in a fine manner, while an Eglington first-timer rather luckily for Leeds, cannoned off a defender for a corner with Fearnley unsighted. Twice Wainwright was rather slow to take advantage of possible chances. Everton were playing quite impressively, both Jackson and Finnis were inclined to be caught on the hop by moving too far upfield. Leeds were exceptionally speedy and Finnis’s miskick let in Cochrane whose snap shot was beaten away in brilliant style by Sagar.
Dodds Does Well
Leeds kept up the pressure and only a tendency to left their shots overmuch prevented them increasing their lead. Dodds was putting in some sterling work. He almost took Fearnley by surprise when he wheeled and shot simultaneously. Fearnley, however, was right in position. Again the Everton goal bore a charmed life when Grainger drove the ball cross the face of the goal, and Sagar was just able to pounce on it before the in-running Cochrane. Cochrane had the ball in the net again for Leeds after he had been allowed to go on while the linesman was flagging for offside. Everton protested and after again consulting the linesman the referee reversed his decision in favour of Everton. Yet more sensations, when Dodds tried a long range which hit the bar and dropped down for Fearnley fell on it. Dodds claimed strongly that the ball was over the line and it certainly appeared from the Press box as if it was. The referee was adamant in his refusal, however.
Half-time; Leeds United 1, Everton 0.
The players were now finding the greasy ball difficult to control. Stevenson was trying all the time to put Dodds through, and when he did, Dodds with the utmost nonchalance, brought the ball down to his liking and aimed for the far corner. Yet again Fearley was there to thwart it. Everton were undoubtedly having more of the play now and the Leeds goal had a miraculous escape when Mcllhatton centre found Eglington whose, accurate shot looked all over a goal. Wainwright’s full-blooded right footer was scrambled away by Fearnley after he had fumbled the ball. In the 62nd minute Everton gained their reward. The persistent Dodds using his height to head Eglington’s perfect centre into the net. Dodds continued to worry the Leeds defence like a tiger, without being able to produce the effective shot. In a Leeds’ breakaway Short went through on his own and hooked the ball into the far corner to give Leeds the lead, again, all against the run of the play. Dodds gave further evidence that he will undoubtedly, solve the Everton leadership problem. He was a consistent thorn in the side of the Leeds defence. Final; Leeds U, 2, Everton 1.
EVERTON OUT OF LUCK
November 9, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Speedy Leeds Attack
Leeds United 2, Everton 1
Leeds United; - Fearnley, goal; Bannister and Milburn, backs; Henry, Holley and Browne, half-backs; Cochrane, Powell, Ainsley, Short, and Grainger, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Finnis, backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson (captain) and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. C. Fletcher (Northwich). It never rains but it pours that has been Everton’s experiment in the matter if injuries this season. On top of the unfortunate-mishaps to the captain, Greenhalgh, on Thursday, came the news last night that T.J. Jones could not play owing to a heavy could. Humphries took his place. Sagar, was of course, making his first appearance of the season, while Watson came back for the first time since his injury in the match with Portsmouth on September 19. There was a cold wind blowing downfield and the team winning the toss, would have an advantage. Stevenson was acting captain in the absence of Greenhalgh. Leeds-brought their 20,000 followers great-joy when their right wing-cut loose after Dodds had sent Eglington away. Grainger made a centre which struck Finnis on the arm. The referee allowed play to go on but the Leeds players strongly claimed a penalty and eventually the referee went to a linesman and, after consultation, the spot kick was awarded. The United spot kick expert, Milburn (J.). Came along to take it but for the anguish of the crowd he fired the ball high over the bar – a terrible miss. Everton showed their thankfulness by launching an attack which culminated in Dodds shooting over. So far, Dodds had shown up very well and he almost hooked a Mcllhatton pass into the net missing by a matter of inches. These was a sprite illness about Everton which has been missing for a time and they penned the United in their own penalty area, and Fearnley had to drop down on a shot by Eglington which was near the base of the upright. Later Eglington slashed a ball into the United net but was offside.
Leeds are United
It had now become the turn of Leeds and when Ainsley offered Grainger a chance he responded with a return pass which Ainsley failed to collect and so missing a goal-scoring opportunity. It was a fluctuating sort of game, and after Everton had a dig at the United defence, Grainger ripped away and crossed the ball well over Ainsley’s head. Another head popped up and cleared but only momentarily, for Powell had come up and with a glorious shot beat Sagar all the way. This was at the 16th minute, and with any luck at all Ainsley would have scored had he hit the ball fairly instead of stubbing it, enabling Sagar to save. Everton were having their full measure of success, although there was a little unsteadiness in defence under pressure, Stevenson, Eglington and Dodds tried to force an opening in the United defence, but found their way barred, and so the battle switched to the other end. Cochrane forced Sagar to save. It was a grand save, but Everton were a shape fortunate at this point, for the clearance opened a way for Ainsley, who scooped the ball wide. Dodds tried a header, but was wide, and when Dodds put through a bonky pass there appeared possibilities until Stevenson was beaten by weight and numbers.
Leeds were distinctly more dangerous when they sighted the goal target and Ainsley should have done better than swish the ball over. Everton were fighting with spirit, but one could not get away from the speed off the United when they moved forward. Grainger almost produced a second goal when he tried a centre-cum shot which landed at the feet of Cochrane. There was a bit of a mix-up when Cochrane netted the ball and a goal was awarded. A linesman flagged, and after the teams had gone up to the middle for a start again the referee went up to the linesman and afterwards disallowed the goal. A moment later Dodds with a fine shot struck the crossbar and Fearnley just managed to clear.
Half-time; Leeds United 1, Everton 0
The pace of the first half had been a “corker” and the second was opened in like manner. Feraney had to save a strong shot by Dodds in the first few minutes. Leeds had a slice of lucky when a powerful drive by Eglington was kept out of the net by Bannister’s legs –a let off, to be sure. Everton were playing well at this stage, Mcllhatton put one or to the top of the netting and Fearnley had to kept out a fast shot by Wainwright. The next 30 seconds found Humphries checking Ainsley, and Grainger made a centre which called for conversion, but there were no takers. There was some hard tackling and a number of players were spoken to. Everton were trying hard for the equaliser and again Wainwright went close.
Dodds Nods Equaliser.
After 62 minutes a sweeping ball from the right enabled Eglington to catch Bannister on the wrong foot. The Irishman moved in before centring close into goal, and Dodds jumping in the air, headed the ball into the net. Everton were now on top, and had it not been for a Fearnley save, Stevenson would have scored, Dodds effort caused him some concern. Leeds were so busy defending that they had a few chances to frame an attack, and when they did the Everton defence mastered it. Dodds was trying hard for the winner, and another of his shots was only a shade out. As so often happens after a side had been attacking, a sudden breakaway cost then a goal. A ball was switched over to the Leeds left wing, Bentham could not quite get to it, and Short cut in and, with a magnificent shot, scored a second for Leeds – all against the run of the play. Time 72 minutes. Twice Stevenson had shots cannoned out, and Sagar saved from point blank range needlessly –Ainsley was offside. Final; Leeds United 2, Everton 1.
EVERTON RES V BIRMINGHAM RESERVES
November 9, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Catterick, who led the Everton attack, made his first appearance for two months following injury. Everton monopolised the early play and Sephton had an arduous time dealing with shots from Catterick, Johnson and Boyes. Catterick displaying his old brilliance, put Everton ahead after 16 minutes, and 20 minutes later Johnson increased the lead. Half-time; Everton Reserves 2, Birmingham Reserves 0. Everton opened the second half with a succession of raids, and Johnson scored in the 55th minute. From a penalty Boyes put Everton further ahead. Higgins adding a fifth.
NO EVERTON PINIC
November 9, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
While there is no panic at Goodison, there is certainly some anxiety about the club’s lowly position and future, well-being and you can take it that no worthwhile chance of improving the playing strength will be missed. I have not seen a great deal of the Blues lately, owing to holidays, the international at Wrexham and other causes, so am looking forward to next week’s home game against Manchester United. By then I hope the improvement we have been waiting for is more clearly indicated. Tommy Jones by the way, will be broadcasting on Thursday , after the international match. He has written the script himself, and from all accounts it will be well worth tunning-in to.
• Jack Arthur, doing so well at outside right, went from Everton on a free transfer.
EVERTON OUT OF LUCK
November 11, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Hard Tackling at Leeds
Leeds United 2, Everton 1
Strange that when a side is having a lean time Dame Fortune smiles in other directions. All good fortune favoured Leeds United in the match against Everton, who suffered another aggravating defeat. This meeting of desperate teams fighting to lift themselves from the lower regions was one of the grimmest tussles, I have seen. The football suffered and gave way to hard, relentless, tackling and a frequentness which prevented either side from showing normal skill. To some extent the refereeing was responsible for the ruling officials allowed things to pass which I thought called for strong censure. Furthermore he twice changed his mind on the word of a linesman to award a penalty and negative a Leeds “goals” after the ball had been taken to the centre spot.” Then there was a Dodds shot which hit the underside of the cross-bar, struck goalkeeper Fearnley on the back and appeared to cross the goal-line. Leeds were undoubtedly the better side in the first half. Everton football not being so definite near goal. If anything however Fearnley was the busier goalkeeper.
I understand that Jas Milburn has been practising penalty kicks for weeks so that he would emulate brother George, the “spot-kick king” but he made a hopeless hash of his penalty in the fourth minute, smashing the ball high over the bar. Powell’s goal was a bonny one, it flashed into the far side of the net at lightning speed. Just after the hour Dodds equalised with a header, and for the next 20 minutes the Everton forwards were never out of the Leeds penalty area and I had visions of a victory. Dodds could have clinched the issue had he shot hard instead of pushing the ball towards the goalkeeper, and Fearnley had his spot of good fortune when an Eglington shot had him out of position. But was saved by Bannister. Those 20 minutes should have put Everton safe, but as so often happens, the opposition dashed to the other end and snapped a goal. Short picked up a clearance, moved forward, and hit the ball hard and true for the winner. Afterwards Leeds got their teeth into the game and it became royal between their forwards and the Everton defence. Yes Everton were a shade unlucky not to win the game. One thing I did admire their fighting quality. How they battled. Teams; Leeds United;- Fearnley, goal; Bannister and Milburn, backs; Henry, Holley and Browne, half-backs; Cochrane, Powell, Ainsley, Short, and Grainger, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Finnis, backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson (captain) and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. C. Fletcher (Northwich).
• Orrell 4, Everton “A” 0
• Everton beat Portsmouth 3-0; Balmer (3) (1 Penatly)
EVERTON RESERVES 5 BIRMINGHAM CITY RESERVES 0
November 11, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
The main feature in Everton’s convincing win over Birmingham was the reappearance of Catterick. Although a lot of ill-feeling crept into the game during the second half. It was a fine contest. Everton scorers, were Johnson (s), Catterick, Boyes (penalty), and Higgins.
November 11, 1946. Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The luck obviously ran against Everton at Elland-Road where they went down 2-1 against Leeds United after having what appeared to be a really good Dodds goal disallowed. Here is what Radar writes about the game. “Everton’s forwards gave a display which from the shooting viewpoint gave distinct encouragement so far as the future is concerned. There was a pleasing willingness to have a go on the part of all –a quality which has been conspicuously absent this season. Time after time during a long period of Everton pressure in the second-half goal-worthy shots were either charged down or luckily deflected, and I rated the Blues unlucky not to return with at least one point from a game which degenerated. When Dodds hit the underside of the crossbar, with a terrific surprise shot close on the interval, the ball appeared to be over the line before Fearnley scrambled it away, but despite Everton’s vehement protests the referee allowed play to continued. It could have been the “last straw,” but Everton fought back spiritedly, Dodds equalising Powell’s goal, but then Short won the game with a dazzling individual effort. This was my first view of Dodds since before the war, and I was more than impressed by the equality of his leadership and strong shooting from the most difficult angles. Holley was never able to cope with a Dodds excellently supported by Stevenson and Wainwright. Eglington’s shooting bore greater accuracy than in any match to date, and Mcllhatton was industrious if not brilliant although he missed one simple chance. Watson showed he has lost none of his half-back artistry, but Jackson and Finnis found the speed of Grainger and Cochrane something with which they were not always able to deal, and both these wingers exploited to the full the up-field role adopted by the backs. Humphreys debuty for Tommy Jones, as always gave his last ounce with the result that Ainsley rarely was in the game, while Sagar made a splendid reappearance, several of his saves being worthy of the pre-war Sagar. Ted’s clever positioning was an especially important feature, and Bentham’s earnestness completed a team of enterprise and point value.
TOM JONES CAP FRO WALES
Notes from Post
November 14, 1946.
Tom Jones played for Wales against England at Manchester, England winning 3-0.
ONE OF THE BEST COUNTRY’S BEST TEAM
November 15, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Manchester United, regarded in South-east Lancashire as the potential champions of the First Division, and certainly one of the greatest teams in the country, pay their first visit of the season to Merseyside when they oppose Everton at Goodison Park, tomorrow. The United were league leaders for a long time, but fell away and Blackpool took up the running. Manager Matt Busby, with whom I had a chat in Manchester on Wednesday, assures me that his boys have now come right back to form. “We are a good side, Said Matt, “and now that we have got over our bad spell –they come to all clubs in turn – I think we shall carry on a winning sequence,” Maybe Matt remembers that Goodison Park is one of the United’s lucky grounds, and so feels pretty sanguine about a test with a side which has won only one out or the last nine league matches. That was against Bolton Wanderers on October 19. The win before that was on September 14 against Portsmouth. Manchester United; Collinson; Walton, McGlen; Warner, Chilton, Cockburn; Delaney, Moore, Rowley, Pearson, Mitten.
EVERTON’S STIFF TEST
November 15, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Manchester United after their recent lean spell, showed form something more akin to their earlier displays against Derby County last week. You will remember that Matt Busby’s side started off with five wins in a row, and were hailed as the team of the season. Then injuries started to upset things though they were not quite so hard as Everton have been. They are still not back to full strength for Carey and Crompton are out of the side this week, though they have resumed training. Mitten has return at outside left and the introduction of Rowley at centre forward, with Pearson crossing over to inside left seems to have solved attacking problems. At any rate United field the same side for three matches in succession Collinson who has taken Crompton’s place in goal looks to be something of a discovery. Everton’s display at Leeds, last week showed sufficient improvement to warrant the hope that their spell of non success may be approaching its end. They finished off their moves more convincingly, and had more fighting spirit than in earlier matches. Now that Jock Dodds, had had a chance of getting used to his colleagues the improvement may continue. What I hope to see tomorrow is a five-point attack with the forwards not in possession moving to the open spaces. While there are places already needing strengthening on the whole Everton already have the men who can pull them up from their lowly position once the team function in the old smooth fashion. That’s the rule. The team understanding has suffered. Let’s hope it is hope it is only temporary. At the moment of writing the side has not been announced. Greenhalgh and Saunders are having fitness tests later today, and news is awaited regarding Tommy Jones who is still a bit under the weather. Manchester United; Collinson; Walton, McGlen; Warner, Chilton, Cockburn; Delaney, Moore, Rowley, Pearson, Mitten.
GOODISON PARK ATTRACTION
November 16, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
The principal attraction on Merseyside is Manchester United’s visit to Goodison Park to tackle Everton (2-30 p.m). The United opened the season in championship fashion winning five games in succession, but they fell away later. Their success over Derby County, however, suggest they are coming back to form, and Everton are likely to find their task to keep both points a hard one. Everton, however, are playing good football, and if the forwards bring that little extra punch when finishing off movements, goals are bound to come. The team to do duty for this game will be definitely selected until just before the game. The doubts are Greenhalgh and Saunders. Both of whom had try-outs yesterday and I think it highly probable that the former will take the field.
• Death of Alex Jackson, the former, Huddersfield and Chelsea and Scottish international, at Cairo, from injuries he received two days ago in a car crush. A Major Jackson a welfare officer in the Suez Canal zone, was driving a three ton lorry when it skidded and overturned on the canal road. He leaves a widow and two children. Born in Glasgow.
A GOAL RUSH AT GOODISON
November 16, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Three Scored in hectic First Minutes
Superb Saves at Both Ends
A Double for Dodds
Everton 2, Manchester United 2
A half loaf is better than no bread. This was Everton’s portion against Manchester United in a game which had much to command it. The big thrills of course were confined to the first fifteen minutes when four goals were scored. It was a brighter Everton. Everton; Sagar, goal; Humphreys, and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, and Eglington, forwards. Manchester United; Collinson, goal; Walton and McGlen, backs; Warner, Chilton, and Cockburn, half-backs; Delaney, Morris, Rowley, Pearson and Mitten, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.D. Smith (Whitehaven). The attendance was 45,832. Doubts about the Everton defensive scheme were not selved up till half an hour before the kick-off when it was decided to play Humphreys at right back in place of the injured Saunders. Greenhalgh was also found fit and took his usual role at left back. The Manchester side was as per programme. There was an excellent crowd, and they saw a hectic three minutes for two goals were scored in that time. United, at their very first venture cut through the Everton defence, and from a melee in front of Sagar, Pearson was able to slip the ball into the net. Within a minute Everton had equalised through a header by Dodds. He positioned himself well on the far side of the goal in readiness for the Mcllhatton centre which he sensed was coming, and he left Collinson complete beaten with a nod of his head. The heat was not turned off even after that for within two minutes more the United had regained their lead. The ball came over from the right and it was landed on perfectly to Rowley by Morris. Rowley shot hard and true into the net. After United had again tested the Everton defence. Everton came along to do likewise, and Tommy Jones again up for a corner, scooped a ball back, and Collinson who was not too sure in handling, was only just saved by the cover of his co defenders.
Delaney play was often a degree of danger to the Everton defence, but the prettiest goal of all came to Everton at the fourteen minute when Mcllhatton, Stevenson and Dodds linked up together to provide the opening a centre yearns for. The United defence was riddled to such an extent that Everton’s three inside forwards broke through the line, but it was Dodd’s task to produce the equaliser, and he did it with a shot no goalkeeper could have saved. There was plenty to keep the mind occupied and one save by Sagar from Rowley was of intentional class. By comparison Collinson at this stage appeared nervous when the Everton centre forward was anywhere in the vicinity. The pace was terrific. Everton were playing some excellent football. Particularly was I pleased with the driving power of their forward line.
Dodds was keeping the forward line moving sweetly with wise passes and Mcllhatton was in one of his brightest moods which meant that McGlen had a harassing time. Altogether there was great satisfaction in Everton’s display, for United are no mean foemen. Mitten beat Humphreys, and then put a ball bang in the centre, but a colleague negatived the idea by getting offside. Rowley tried a surprise effort, but was well off the mark, and when Bentham broke through it meant trouble for the United. It was over come when Collinson made a clean catch to save. Dodds, who had worked like a Trojan throughout, dribbled his way beyond three men and ultimately got in his centre, which was collared by goalkeeper Collinson. Warner had a shot deflected without catching Sagar unprepared and later slashed one narrowly over the crossbar.
Half-time; Everton 2, Manchester United 2.
The second half opened not unlike the first the difference being that the goalkeeper saved. The first goal incident was a punch-away by Sagar from Pearson, and then Morris should have scored but he lifted a ball high over the bar from a good position.
Rowley who had gone over to the right, offered Pearson a chance which was not accepted. Then it became Everton’s turn to call the tune, and we saw two magnificent saves by Collinson –one a Wainwright shot, which was going away from him and then an Eglington drive, which seemed bound for the back of the net. Greenhalgh had to leave the field with an injury in collision with Delaney, and Everton had to reorganies their ranks, Watson going left back. Just prior to this Dodds tried to brush his way through the United defence but failed through weight of numbers.
The Everton captain however, did not stay away long, for he returned to operate at outside left. Visibility at this stage became poor, and it was difficult to follow play on the far side of the field. But on this side we saw Greenhalgh in a duel, and although he was successful in his mission he was hurt in the process. In the gloaming I saw Stevenson make a tame shot which did not trouble Collinson and a foul on Mcllhatton brought up Jones who had a magnificent game. Everton almost had the winner when Dodds put Stevenson through. The little Irishman, however, found Collinson on him like a ton of bricks, just as he let go his shot. One dangerous move by Manchester brought a clearance from Sagar, who later made a rare gave when dived at Morris who had only the goalkeeper in front of him it was a daring save. Final; Everton 2, Manchester United 2.
EVERTON SHARE FOUR GOALS WITH UNITED
November 16, 1946. The Evening Express
Inspired Leader Dodds gets Two of Them
In a rousing tussle Everton fought back in great style after twice being in arrears within the first five minutes. Dodds, who lead the forwards in masterly fashion, in the first half was rewarded by two brilliant goals. Everton were disorganised in the later stages through an injury to Greenhalgh who returned to become a “passenger.” Full back doubts prevented Everton from announcing their team to oppose Manchester United at Goodison Park today until shortly before the kick-off. After a late test Skipper Norman Greenhalgh was declared fit and resumed at left full back in place of Finnis, while Jack Humphries replaced Jackson on the opposite flank. It was a pity that the weather spoilt what would have been a bumper attendance for the visit of United who sprang right back into their best form last week when they trounced Derby County. However, the roar which greeted United, when they came out indicated that they had brought with them a large following. Everton; Sagar, goal; Humphreys, and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, and Eglington, forwards. Manchester United; Collinson, goal; Walton and McGlen, backs; Warner, Chilton, and Cockburn, half-backs; Delaney, Morris, Rowley, Pearson and Mitten, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.D. Smith (Whitehaven). About 30,000 spectators saw Humphreys break up United’s first attack. Then McGlen had to place behind for a corner to prevent Mcllhatton making his shot from Tom Jones free kick. Then came a sensational three goals in three minutes. United took the leads in the third minute when Delaney made ground on the right, cut in and squared the ball across the goalmouth where Sagar fell on it but was unable to maintain his hold and Pearson was on the spot to hook the ball into the roof of the net two yards out. Away went Everton and a perfect Mcllhatton centre found Dodds ideally positioned to head beyond Collinson. United immediately made ground again and a McGlen free kick was headed obliquely by Pearson to the feet of the running Rowley who cracked the ball past Sagar with his left foot at lightning speed. Undeterred by the sudden reverse Everton fought back and Dodds constantly menaced the United defence. The United forward were in brilliant form and the accuracy and speed with which they found their men were the equal of anything seen at Goodison this season. They took full advantage of the slightest hesitancy on the part of the Everton defence. Everton kept pegging away, however, and in the 15th minute again drew level with another brilliant goal by the enthusiastic Dodds. Mcllhatton pushed the ball across to Eglington, who slipped it inside first time to Stevenson. Stevenson in his turn just managed to get his foot to the ball to edge it past Chilton to Dodds, who moved forward and beat Collinson with a perfect right foot drive into the top corner of the net what time United were claiming for offside.
In the next minute when Walton lost his footing on the slippery turf he presented Eglington with a glorious chance of putting Everton ahead. The Irishman, however, shot weakly across the face of the goal. It was United’s turn next, Pearson rounding Jones and forcing Sagar to catch in confident style. Dodds continued to delight the crowd with his touches and inspired leadership while Mcllhatton was having his best outing of the season against McGen. The crowd, now near the 40,000 mark, gasped when Collinson came out to deal with a long range upfield ball by Bentham, slipped and had to reach out at full length to collect the ball, although as it happened there was no Everton forward in attendance. A neat Stevenson-Eglington move gave prospect of another Everton goal but Eglington’s shot as he was tackled flashed against the side netting. Then Rowley bore out to the left and his deceptive dropping centre fell just over the top of the far upright. United’s forwards collaborated in a series of dazzling bouts of inter-passing without being able to break down the Everton defensive barrier again. It was hardly surprising that the breakneck speed of the opening phase was not being maintained for the players were finding the greasy ball difficult to control.
Superb Sagar save
Sagar was cheered for a superb leap and catch from Delaney’s cross, while at the other end Stevenson was just off the mark with his ass to Dodds after he had taken advantage of a mistake by McGlen. Dodds’ persistency enabled him to outwit three United defenders, and force Collinson to save a fierce low shot.
Half-time; Everton 2, Manchester United 2.
United soon threatened danger on resuming and Sagar to be on the alert to push out Pearson’s header. The United came again, and Mitten squared a perfect ground pass to Morris who shot high and wide over the top. Keeping the ball in the carpet, United were finding their men with greater accuracy and the Everton defence was undergoing a testing time. Then came a masterly save at full length by Collinson when Wainwright broke through. By a supreme effort Collinson managed to turn the ball around the post for a corner.
Yet another thrill as Eglington completely bamboozled Walton, went through on his own, and shot low for the near corner where Collinson again saved at length. Twice Everton were penalised for fouls and from the second of these Rowley’s snapshot was just wide of the post. Dodds sent Mcllhatton away with a forward pass, Mcllhatton cut in and squared the ball to Stevenson, whose attempted shot appeared to be deflected over the line for a corner by McGlen, but Referee Smith’s ruling was a goal kick. Everton suffered a blow when Greenhalgh fell heavily, hurt his back, and was assisted to the side line. Greenhalgh returned to take up the left wing berth. Watson dropping to back and Wainwright to left half with Eglington moving to inside left. Everton were fighting with tremendous spirit, and Greenhalgh although obviously in great pain, courageously moved forward to force a corner, for which Tom Jones came up to lend his extra height without being able to make anything of Eglington’s kick. Final; Everton 2, Manchester United 2.
• Stoke City Reserves 2, Everton Reserves 5, Boyes, Livingstone, Catterick (2), Higgins
FINE GOODISON FOOTBALL
November 18, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Dodds Scores the Savers
By Ernest Edwards (“Bee).
Everton 2 (Dodds 2), Manchester United 2 (Pearson, Rowley)
Everton’s troubles come not singly but in battalions. Fortunately they remedied the attacking line’s fragility of figure and Dodds now joins Geary, Southworth, Young, Freeman, Parker, Dean and Lawton in an exclusive line. For a man of 14 stones he has a beautiful delicate touch by trapping the ball or edging it away to the wings, his runs is not a thing of Wooderson beauty, but like the flea, he “gets there just the same” and his use of a massive frame and weight is done with great fairness. What Everton would have done without this willing horse one shudders to think, because the rest of the line was far from Everton standard. Some of them have been tired and found wanting over a long course of games and one wonders why they find continued selection and why their “wings” are not clipped until they have proved themselves more competent. Certainly Everton’s heap of trouble with injuries and defeats has come at one moment Greenhalgh was added to the list by a severe blow to the side. At half-back they showed inability to keep pace with a splendid forward line. Humphreys was brought in at full back to fill a vacancy and settled down to a difficult task, but on the Manchester right wing were a pair of forwards any defence will find difficult to circumvent Delaney flourished in flashes and by moving forward apace.
At his side was a lad named Morris who has shaken the dust of India from his soldiering boots and revels in Manchester mud, an artist and one of many Manchester attributers of the Busby fashioning that go to make a spectator’s heart glad. For this was a real football match, a joy to behold good fun, and rare football intricacies, a drop of goals (three in five minutes) and a deserved draw to a side so harassed that only superlative Sagar could save from in the times of closing moments. Referee E.D. Smith of Whitehaven stalked through the game with a police like patrol. Spectators seeing Dodd’s second goal gasped the offside verdict should have been sounded. Dodd’s first goal was the perfect header. Sagar and T.G. Jones, playing heroically held Manchester’s goal to two and a draw was a suitable verdict if the Everton officials will now realise that visitors continue to look exceptionally good side. This must mean Everton are not nearly good enough and the stars of yesterday are the failures of today. Manchester under master of Arts Manager Busby have been welded into a beautiful football machine. The defence started in uncertain manner but in the second half Dodds was unable to find help from any one and TG Jones played in a manner quite foreign to him – he hooked or drove the ball ahead without thought of looking for someone to whom he might attach a goal link. Everton were in duress throughout the second half save for a Stevenson spell which the new boy Collinson faced like a master. Anyway spectators who got four goals divided and a solo effort such as Dodds gave them much have enjoyable afternoon’s sport. Everton; Sagar, goal; Humphreys, and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, and Eglington, forwards. Manchester United; Collinson, goal; Walton and McGlen, backs; Warner, Chilton, and Cockburn, half-backs; Delaney, Morris, Rowley, Pearson and Mitten, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.D. Smith (Whitehaven).
• Liverpool won 4-1, against Derby County, Balmer (4), and Carter for Derby.
HELP FOR CHILTON
November 18, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Colleague Radar pass high tribute to Jock Dodds, for the part he played in Everton’s drew with United at Goodison Park, watched by 45,832 spectators with the days best gate. Radar writes “To such an extent did Dodds harass Chilton, the United centre half after the interval that Chilton enlisted the aid of one, and often two of his colleagues in a partially successful attempt to blot out the Everton mainspring. This automatically gave the other Everton forwards units greater space in which to work, and it they did not always make 100 percent, use of this freedom it must be pointed out that only millions-to-one saves by Collinson prevented first Wainwright and then Eglington from putting Everton ahead. Against a United whose work was characterised by polished always on the ground football it was Dodd’s bubbling enthusiasm, allied to all round efficiently as a leader that inspired Everton to fight back after twice being in arrears in the opening five minutes of one of the best games seen on Merseyside this season. Dodds got both goals – and good ones – and, another encouraging features from the Blues viewpoint was the much-improved display of Jack Mcllhatton –easily his best this season. Eglington also showed up to good effect, and seems to be settling down with increased experience of English football. Wainwright – he plays for the Army at Stoke on Thursday – rapidly is returning to his form of last year but Stevenson appeared to find the going rather heavy. The Everton defensive had a testing experience in coping with the fastening United forwards who inter-changed positions with such bewildered rapidity. Where United had the edge was in their greater passing accuracy. Sagar and Tommy Jones were magnificent, Jones being grand in stemming schemers, Morris and Pearson and the mercurial Delaney. Sagar’s backwards leap to save Morris’s last-minute drive was an incredible effort which brought handicaps from his colleagues. Humphreys took time to settle down late on, and Greenhalgh was a resolute back until injured. Typical of the keen spirit of the captain was that he insisted on returning to the field even though obviously in pain. Bentham and Watson stuck grimly to a difficult defensive task, but their constructive efforts were not as accurate a usual. Yes, Everton did well so draw and played better than their League position indicates.
JOCK DODDS BRING NEW HOPE TO LOWLY EVERTON
November 18, 1946. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Jock Dock’s Scottish international centre-forward, has brought a new hope to Everton whose position in the First Division is precarious with only two points separating them from the bottom clubs. Three matches and a goal at least in each copied with samples of centre-forward artistry on which Goodison Park enthusiasts have been educated for years. Dodds looked like proving one of the finest-ever investments of the Everton club. Dodds remains the tremendous power he was with Sheffield United, Blackpool and – Scotland. Already Everton have got back a large proportion of their transfer fee and there is more to come for that draw with Manchester United, one of the best-equipped clubs in the country, definitely proves that the tide has turned. Trouble still faces Everton, for their defence remains unsettled and disrupted by injury. Sagar’s “come-back” has been complete; Tommy Jones obviously encouraged by the acquisition of his pal Dodds, is better than ever, but full back is the chief concern. Greenhalgh just recovered from one injury damaged his back on Saturday, and while Humphreys, apparently, had a splendid second half against United as a make-shift right back, Everton realise that only the best is good enough to take away from the danger zone. The £scouts were out again in their numbers over the week-end and it is with confidence that I expect the directors to make up their minds on a signing within the next few days and certainly well before the Cup-ties come along. Seriousness of Everton’s position may be gathered from the fact that only Derby County, Arsenal, Portsmouth, Leeds United, and Huddersfield Town are below them. Everton having 11 points, Derby and Arsenal 10 apiece and the others three nine each. However, Everton have a match in hand of the bottom four; and – Dodds is inspiring the eagerly awaited revival.
ROUND THE CORNER
November 18, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
I have a feeling that Everton are going to turner the corner. Speaking with an old international at Goodison at Goodison Park on Saturday he said; “Everton will not recover until they get some new blood.” I did not see him after the match, but I don’t think he would be quite so pessimistic. Furthermore I explained that Everton were exploiting every avenue to obtain the man or men they think will bring back the team to its former greatness. Directors were away again over the week-end – nothing uncommon about that these days. There was a time when a goal against them hit Everton for six. It seemed to pluck the very heart out of them so it was gratifying to see them twice pull back a Manchester United lead and battle along courageously to qualify for a half share of the points. Everton have a big fight ahead, of them but they are prepared to fight, and they showed so much spirit against the United that the outlook is definitely brighter. They have no intention of just sitting down to lick their sores and commutated with themselves. No they realise the enormous task ahead, and are prepared to meet it with everything they have at their disposal.
Sagar’s Super Save
After the first fifteen minutes it become a defensive battle, but right throughout it was a magnificent game. Plenty of everything with the high light confirmed to the first quarter of an hour when four goals were scored. Could one wish for a better opening? The closely note was also a big thrill for Sagar saved a certainty by his daring and so saved a point and a pound for his colleagues. But let me tell you off the most hectic quarter of an hour. A Pearson goal in two minutes a Dodd’s equaliser in three; a Rowley smasher in five, and another Dodds equaliser in 14 minutes. Could the first goal have been saved. Sagar half parried Delaney’s shot only to push the ball on to Pearson. Yes, perhaps that goal could have been averted. It was a blow but not the knock-out blow, for Everton gloried in the battle that was to follow. It was Greek meeting Greek with thrust and Perry. With each side seeking the winner. It would have come at any odd moment but for great goalkeeping by Sagar and Collinson which tells that the forwards were up and doing Dodds, somewhat fined-down, was grand, but two goals apart for he showed deft punches and his very presence had an upsetting effect upon the United defence, particularly Chilton. May I offer a word of advice to Dodd’s partners? Keep up with him in readiness for his side flicks, which should really produce shots and not clearance for the opposition defenders. Dodds may well become to Everton what Stubbins has become to Liverpool. On their form in this game Everton can forget the relegation thought if ever there was one, Jones was one of their mighty men. An injury to Greenhalgh was a big blow.
Everton Watch Winger
Despite Huddersfield’s lowly position in the League, several of their players are sought after by other clubs. Everton are among those showing interest in Victor Metcalfe, the Town’s young outside left and Director Ernest Green was there to watch him on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Gordon Hodgson now manager of Port Vale, was at Stoke watching Archie Livingstone in the Everton reserve match.
November 19, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The Everton supporters will be pleased to know that Norman Greenhalgh, the Everton captain, is almost certain to be fit to play against Stoke City – and Stanley Matthews in particular – next Saturday at the Victoria Ground. Greenhalgh has had an unlucky period, for last Thursday week he injured an ankle while gardening and was unable to play at Leeds. On Saturday, playing against Manchester United, Greenhalgh slipped in making a tackle late on and quite accidentally was kicked in the ribs. Greenhalgh resumed at outside –left after attention and seemed to be in pain. Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly assures me that apart from slight bruising Norman is all right, and he will be there to do his well—known “shadowing-act” of Matthews.
November 20, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have made two changes in the side for there match with Stoke City on Saturday. The forward line remains intact after its promising display against Manchester United but there is an alteration in the half and full back division. Jackson returns to partner Greenhalgh, who is fully recovered from his injury sustained against the United. During the close season Everton signed two Irish players from Shamrock Rovers. They were Eglington and Farrell. The former has been blooded “in English football but Farrell has been kept out of the side owing to a mishap while playing tennis in Ireland. Farrell however gets his chance on Saturday, and one of his first will be looking after Stanley Matthews. What a debut to senior status. Eglington and Farrell have been selected to play for Ireland against Scotland at Hampton Park, on Wednesday next. Team; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, Eglington.
November 20, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Peter Farrell, Everton’s Irish wing half back, and Eire international will make his Football League debut on Saturday, when the takes the place of Watson in the team to oppose Stoke City at the Victoria ground Stoke. Curiously enough, four days later Farrell will make his first appearance for Ireland in an international match. Farrell, whom the Irish regard as the finest player ever to come to this country, arrived here in August from Shamrock Rovers with Tommy Eglington but had a chipped bone in his ankle and had to receive special treatment. Farrell made his first appearance in the Centre League side a few weeks ago, and has been given ample time to settle down to English football. Last Saturday, he helped the Reserves to a splendid victory over Stoke City, also at the Victoria Ground. Greenhalgh will be alright for left back and his war-time partnership with Jackson will be resumed, for Jackson re-place Humphreys. The forward line is unchanged. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, Eglington.
QUEST FOR POINTS
November 22, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Having seen a decided improvement in the play of Everton in their last two games, I feel there is an upward trend for the Goodison Park club. They have had a sticky time – all their troubles came at once – but there is every indication that the long lane is about to be turned. Everything may not have been quite satisfactory against Manchester United but there was certainly more spirit in their play and more power forward. It will be interesting to see Farrell in his duels with Stanley Matthews. Farrell is rated as one of the best half backs in Ireland and he has only been kept out of the Everton side through injury. It is a big test which he faces, but he will have the help of Greenhalgh, who seems to have the track of holding the Stoke wizard. But they must not get the Matthews complex, for there are others in the Stoke side who can threaten the opposition goal when openings arise. Furthermore the Everton forwards will have to be up and doing for the middle of the field, particularly, will be held firm by the English centre half. Franklin who has proved himself a capable successor to Stan Cullis. I have seen many great battles at the Victoria ground, and this promises to compare with any which has preceded it. Everton have just got to win to make their position a little more secure. I have no fears for the defence, but the forwards must be on the mark. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, Eglington.
The Central league side to meet Manchester United Res, at Goodison park (2-30) will be;- Burnett; Hodgkiss, Moore; Livingstone, Humphreys, Davies, Grant, Johnson, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
October 22, 1946. The Everton Express
Bog Hodgkiss, the full-back Everton secured from Southport in August to help solve their defensive problem, will make his first appearance in the Blues’ colours when he appears for the Central League game against Manchester United at Goodison Park tomorrow. Hodgkiss figured in the Everton trial, but was injured and having recovered Hodgkiss is being given a test. More than ordinary interest attaches itself to this game, for partnering Hodgkiss will be Eric Moore, the former Haydock C and B. Social player, who came to Goodison Park with players like Wilf Birkett, Matt McDonnell, and Billy Lowe. Moore is on leave from the Army, and his O.C sent word that Moore was playing brilliantly in the East. Everton Reserves; Burnett; Hodgkiss, Moore; Livingstone, Humphreys, Davies, Grant, Johnson, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
LAT MINUTE GOAL BEATS EVERTON
November 23, 1946. The Evening Express
Classic Game at Stoke
Everton gave the best display of the season that I have seen against Stoke City, at the Victoria Ground, today. On a muddy ground they played delightful football to secure a half-time lead through Dodds, and throughout they were stronger on the ball and more progressive than the clever City. Everton had to play Watson at left back as Greenhalgh was unfit, and Watson did magnificently against the magical Stanley Matthews who equalised Everton’s goal early in the second half. Farrell, making his football League debut, was a pronounced success, but Everton would have had the game safe before half-time had Mcllhatton accepted the innumerable chances and had they not neglected Eglington so persistently. Everton were defeated by a last minute goal. There was a splendid crowd to greet the Blues, whose directors were entertained before the match by Sir Francis Joseph. Stoke City; Jepson, goal; Mould and McCue, backs; F. Mountford, Franklin and Kirton, half-backs; Matthews (s), Antonia, Steele, Peppitt, and Ormston, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson (captain) and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. H.W. Moore, Halifax. Dodds provided the opening thrill with a quick dash past Franklin on a ground cut up by Thursday’s representative match. Dodds bore his way through, but was headed off before he could get in his shot. When next Everton attacked, Franklin just managed to prevent Wainwright driving through from Dodds. From the clearance kick, Matthews sped through to a free kick, which saw Sagar dive to save from Mountford. From the corner Sagar saved low down from Steele.
Franklin just managed to cut out a perfect through pass by Stevenson with Dodds rampant. Then Watson came out well in his first clash with Matthews. Dodds was chasing every ball and making the best possible use of it, in a game contested at an amazing pace. Farrell weaved his way past three opponents to call on Dodds; and then bring Wainwright into the shooting line, but Wainwright’s shot was deflected for a corner. Ormston was a menace on the City left and twice Sagar dashed out to hold him up. There was little to choose between two brilliant sides. Sagar came out to pull down a centre from Matthews. It was amazing how the teams were playing such high grade football at such astonishing speed on a pitch aft against it. Stoke should have taken the lead when Ormston slipped the ball inside to give Steele an open goal; but Steele placed the ball straight to Sagar who saved well. Mcllhatton shot from close range but Jepson just managed to stop the ball on the goalline with his out stretched foot.
Sagar fisted over a centre from Matthews. Then Jepson ran out to make a splendid save off a rising shot from Dodds. Everton took the lead in 33 minutes through Dodds. A pass from Dodds to Mcllhatton was touched behind for a corner and Mcllhatton placed this fast along the ground for Dodds to ram the ball into the net from close range. Jepson dashed out to save from Dodds and then leapt out to hold a fine centre from Wainwright. Watson was cheered for the clever manner in which he held up Matthews. Farrell twice slipped through to open up the way for brilliant Everton attacks which kept the Stoke defenders in a state of utter bewilderment. This definitely was the finest football I have seen from Everton this season. They should have been two up when Mcllhatton went through unattended and with Dodds unmarked he placed straight into the hands of Jepson. Stoke went down, and Antonia drew Sagar from goal but placed beyond the post.
Half-time; Stoke City 0, Everton 1
Everton should have made the game safe within three minutes of resuming for Stevenson was through on his own with only Jepson to beat from four yards, but he placed straight at the goalkeeper who beat the ball away to the feet of Eglington, who, however, turned the ball outside with all the goal yawning at him. Stoke took courage on this amazing let off, and they launched a series of fierce attacks without being able to bring a direct shot to bear on Sagar. Yet in 51 minutes the City equalised with a lucky goal by Matthews. Ormston gained a corner which he placed into the penalty area, and Mathews, taking the ball on the full volley, hit it along the ground and the ball struck Jepson’s (this is a mistake) leg and bounced off into the net with Sagar absolutely helpless.
Everton should have regained the lead when Dodds went through shaking off Franklin, but he placed high over from 10 yards. The game had levelled up and Everton were forced back on defence, but Matthews was getting small change out of Watson. Mcllhatton should have had the game won long ago, for Dodds was making it easy for him by his brilliant leadership. Everton continued the more dangerous side, yet were not getting good service from the wings. Jones was having a grand game, while Farrell will make the grade. Eglington at last came into the game when he cut inside cleverly, but he was headed off at the last minute. One minute from time Stoke gained a corner and the ball was put into the net by Antonia. The referee awarded a goal, but on frantic appeals by Everton he consulted the linesman, but struck to his decision. As the final whistle sounded the referee was surrounded by Everton players demonstrating how the ball had been fisted through. Final; Stoke 2, Everton 1.
• All the goals were scored from corner kick’s centres.
EVERTON’S HARD BATTLE
November 23, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Bad Misses at stoke
But Dodds Hits A Good One
Stoke City 2, Everton 1
It was desperately hard luck for Everton to lose in the last half-minute of their game at stoke. They could have won it had chances been taken. Stoke City; Jepson, goal; Mould and McCue, backs; F. Mountford, Franklin and Kirton, half-backs; Matthews (s), Antonia, Steele, Peppitt, and Ormston, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson (captain) and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. H.W. Moore, Halifax. As if Everton had not had their troubles already, a further blow was struck at them when it was found that the captain Norman Greenhalgh would not be able to play at the Victoria ground at Stoke today. The injury he received to the ribs against Manchester United had not yielded to treatment quite so well as expected, so he had to relinquish the position of left full back, and Gordon Watson. The half-back was brought in to deputise. The ball was banged about, and in the very first minute Dodds tested the calibre of the Stoke defence and Franklin had to make a desperate clearance to prevent the big Scott from having a shot at goal.
Sagar in Action
So far Dodds had shown some excellent ldeas, but some of his flicks were hardly the type to succeed on such turf. However, Everton were giving as much as they received, although it was Sagar who was the busier goalkeeper of the two. Stevenson had a shot deflected, and Sagar had to save from Peppitt. When Steele got through there was extreme danger, but the Everton goalkeeper took his shot with the greatest confidence. Everton had their high movements and one of them was when Mcllhatton wormed his way through and show low down. Jepson trapped the ball with his out-stretched foot and just prevented the ball from crossing the line.
Matthews Hits One
Almost straight from the Stoke went down through their right wing and they finished up the movement when Matthews made a shot which brought Sagar into action with a save that was top class. He turned the ball over his cross-bar. Stoke should have had a goal when Steele ran out to the left wing so that Ormston could move into the centre, but Ormston sliced the ball well wide.
Dodd’s Grand Slam!
All things considered the football was quite attractive. There had been many goal thrills, but it was not until three minutes after the half hour that the first goal arrived. It came to Everton. Dodds, who had been putting out some great passes, sent one along to Mcllhatton. It was a shade too far forward, and it must have touched Kirton’s foot for the referee awarded a corner. This was taken by Mcllhatton, who centred strong and low across the Stoke goal, and Dodds without slowing the ball to touch earth slammed it into the net with Jepson unable to do a thing about it.
Matthews was still being held by Watson, but there was still plenty of danger in the Stoke left wing. The Everton defence, however, was playing with supreme confidence and Jackson ,made a sound intervention to hold up Peppitt and Ormston.
No, No! Antonio!
Near the interval Stoke should have go an equaliser when Antonia was through, with Sagar out of his lair. The situation looked desperate when Antonia hooked the ball wide of the far post.
Half-time; Stoke City 0, Everton 1
With the chance that came their way early in the second half Everton ought to have made their victory secure, for Eglington had the opening of a lifetime, following good work by Stevenson and Dodds. I felt sorry for Jepson when the ball was flung over to the Everton left wing, but Eglington had to take his right foot to the shot, and he allowed the ball hopelessly wide of the mark. It was a great disappointment to the Everton people, but there was a greater one to follow, for a corner awarded against Everton produced the equaliser. This was after 52 minutes, when Ormston’s wide-flung corner kick landed at the feet of Matthews. The English international let drive immediately and the ball was in the net. Actually, I though the ball had struck an Everton player on route and so deflected the ball beyond Sagar. At all events, it was the result of good opportunism. In heading a ball away, Sagar had to save from Jones. At the other end the goalkeeping cricketer, Jepson handed a ball down and this produced a hot melee in front of the Stoke goal.
Crowd Rally Players
Sagar made another smart save from a cross shot by Ormston. The crowd were calling their players on, but it was Everton who were the next to bring a cheer, when Dodds, out on the left wing, swung the ball over to Mcllhatton. The treacherous turf, however, cost the Scot his chance. It was not a battle of the giants. When Matthews made a solo run, Watson was only too pleased to get out of his trouble at the expense of a corner. Corners were now quite frequent. Everton had two, but neither caused any great trouble, and towards the end the game had developed into a test between the Stoke forwards and the Everton defence, and the latter came out of their many duels with colours flying.
Another Chance Missed
Only occasionally were Everton on the attack, but there was one occasion when they looked like splitting open the Stoke defence. Eglington, however, failed to get his pass through to Dodds. Just on the finish a particularly hot attack by Stoke culminated in the City scoring the winning goal. Everton hotly disputed it, and the referee had to go across to the linesman before he decided to allow it. It was Antonia who scored, but it was some minutes before we could ascertain, for no one in the stand could see what had happened. Final; Stoke City 2, Everton 1.
WINNING GOAL DISPUTED
November 25, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton’s Defeat at Stoke.
Stoke City 2, Everton 1
Everton’s bad luck was there for everyone to see again at Stoke. Even the home crowd had to admit that their side were fortunate to get away with the two points, especially as the winning goal was of a doubtful character. One minute from the end a point seemed secure. From the Press box with the light going, it was impossible to see what happened in that last half-minute. How the goal happened not one spectator in the stands could say with certainty. The Everton players were unanimous in them protesting that the all had been handled into the net by Antonia and I heard afterwards that the player admitted it. To be beaten by such a goal was tragic, for Everton were worth a point. The conditions the ground was a gluepot, and were all against accurate football. The ball had to be thumped to be propelled any distance and that was the style of play Stoke exploited to counteract Everton’s more methodical schemes, particularly in the second half. When combination was at a low ebb. They were perhaps the more progressive methods for the occasion yet for all that Everton were a shade the better side. After Dodds had given Everton the lead at 33 minutes there were two chances early in the second half which had they been taken and they should have been would I feel sure have sniffed Stoke out of the game. Dodds after bursting through the defence flicked the ball over to Stevenson, who with such an opening should have left Jepson stone cold. But the greatest miss of all was Eglington’s. When no more than half a dozen yards out he screwed the ball outside. It was a dour match and they were a leg-weary lot which left the field. The last ten minutes saw Stoke hammering at the Everton defence which had played brilliantly throughout. The eye-opener was Watson at left-back. Matthews finding that he could not indulge in those mesmerising runs, decided to forsake his individually and link up as a team member. Even then Watson and Farrell kept him uncommonly quiet apart from his goal. Farrell made a satisfying debut. Strong in tackle, he also has an eye for a pass, Jones played another of his “they shall not pass” games which may be foreign to his nature, for he likes to use the ball. But I cannot fault the defence, in which Sagar was confident, sure and a heartbreak to the Stoke forwards. It was international goalkeeping. I am still not satisfied, however, with the forward line. The duels between Franklin and Dodds finished all square. Stoke City; Jepson, goal; Mould and McCue, backs; F. Mountford, Franklin and Kirton, half-backs; Matthews (s), Antonia, Steele, Peppitt, and Ormston, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson (captain) and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. H.W. Moore, Halifax.
• Everton Reserves 0, Manchester United Reserves 2
• Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-2, Balmer (3), Stubbins, and Lewis and Logie for Arsenal
LUCK MUST CHANGE
November 25, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton certainly are not one of the best First Division teams, but I rate them the unluckiest. In successive away games – at Leeds and Stoke – they have been the victims of cruel fortune, but as with Balmer I am confident heir luck will change, if they do not lose heart or their willingness to play good football. Make no mistake if Everton were the most unfortunate club in the world to lose 2-1 to Stoke City to a last minute goal. Everton only one point from the bottom position instead of getting the draw or win they deserved so richly. Stoke’s first goal was a lucky affair for Matthew’s volley hit a Stoke player, bounded on the back of Tommy Jones’s leg and them into the net. All the City officials admitted that they were yearning for the final whistle to save a point, and that Everton were much the better team. Certainly this was the display I have seen from the Blues this season, and am still wondering how they came to be beaten. My comments from Stoke on Saturday became a little confused in transmission, making it appear as if I regarded Everton’s display as the best I have seen this season. That was not intended, as even this bright Blue offering did not compare with some of the glorious Liverpool display’s I have seen. Yet from an Everton point of view it was outstanding.
Advice to Wingers
Everton’s mobility in a sea of mud, their precision in use of the ball; their completeness in defence; their fighting qualities, and oftimes supreme confidence made them a much more potent force than the City. Believe me, Everton will play ten times worse and win. Not faultless by any means for chances were missed –by Dodds, Stevenson, and Eglington – and the wing service was not the type to bring goals or prove the best value to the magnificent, tireless Dodds, who got his usual goal a match. My urgent appeal to Mcllhatton and Eglington is to learn the art of crossing a ball. Dodds and Wainwright are entitled to flashing centres from the wing. They got only three in this game. Both “Mac” and Eglington did the old doubling back act every time they were in possession, and while Mcllhatton shot away neatly several times in the first half conviction in finishing was missing. If these wingers could learn to centre, a ball like a Liddell or Nieuwenhuys then things would be much brighter for Everton, and I do ask both to forsake the touchline and move inwards when Dodds is out there on his own with no one there to take the short pass. When Wainwright and Stevenson are forced back on defence, as they were many times in the second half, the wingers must move inside or else Dodds is left – as he was many times – playing a lone hand. In other words, Mcllhatton and Eglington must seek the play and not wait for it to come to them. That is one of the successes of Liddell and Mathews –the masters.
They Were Right
The Irish folk were quite right when they stated that Peter Farrell is one of the best players ever to leave Erin’s Isle. Peter proved that in this game which followed a pleasing session with Sir Francis Joseph in company with Mr. W.C. Gibbins, Everton’s chairman whose speech was in the Joseph category. Director Mr. Jack Sharp, the Lord Mayor of Stoke and the City directors. Farrell is at once a footballer with excellent control; cute ideas; full appreciation of the short pass and move to position for the return; intrepid in tackling and fast in recovery. Farrell soon struck up an understanding with Gordon Watson who became an emergency left-back and kept Matthews astoundingly quiet. The manner in which Farrell and Watson covered each other was grand. Dodds was brilliant so was Wainwright. Stevenson tired late on but Jackson touched his form of last season, and found Bentham giving him excellent cover whenever Stan was not giving his forwards pass service. Sagar’s great goalkeeping – honestly Ted seems to have improved with age just like good wins – and to the finest contribution of all –from Tommy Jones. Jones dominated matters playing with an enthusiasm as satisfying as his artistry. Tommy completely overshadowed Steele, and by comparison England pivot Franklin looked merely ordinary. On this showing Jones is going into the All-Britain team on May 10. “This luck cannot last, commented Mr. Ernest green, who travelled with directorial colleague Mr. Dick Searle and Alderman Alex Critchley as guest and with Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly, the complete organiser, taking underserved defeat “on the chin” with a smile. I agree Mr. Green. It cannot last. Take heart Everton in the lesson of Jack Balmer.
November 25, 1946, The Liverpool Football Echo
If I do not see a thing, I am never dogmatic about the matter, but I am prepared to accept the word of those bang on the spot as honest and truthful. Stoke’s winning goal came at the time when the light prevented those on the stand from having a perfect view of what actually happened. The Everton players, most of them a few yards away from the incident, are emphatic that Antonia put the ball into the net with his hand, some spectators backed up their story, but the referee decided it was a genuine header. Now, here is the rub. Everton protested the legimacy of the goal, whereupon the official strode over to a linesman –twenty yards away for his version, and a goal it was. Surely the linesman could not have had so good a view as the referee who was right on the spot. I have gone into some lengths about that goal, for it was a vital one, for it cost Everton an important point which they richly deserved. They had played well enough to warrant a half-share, to you can imagine the heart-breaking effect this goal had upon the Everton players. They must feel there is a “hoodoo” over them. Everton are getting all the kicks and none of the bouquets. How often this happens when a team is fighting with its back to the wall. Matthews’ goal had “luck” written all over it. His shot would have knocked over the corner flag had it not struck a player in the back, and been deflected onto Jones, leg to turn it beyond Sagar. Those are hard-luck stories. There are other kinds. Everton had two chances early in the second half which should have made the game safe for them. They were there for the taking so the blame is entirely theirs. Stevenson shot straight at Jepson, but the saddest miss of all was Eglington’s. Clear of everyone except the goalkeeper, he hooked the ball wide with his right foot from six yards out. Tommy will never forgive himself for that miss. Stan Matthews recent form has been such that he was expected to do much against the experimental full back Watson. The boot was on the other foot. It was Watson who had the good game, with Matthews just a moderate performer. No bewildering runs from the maestro, just an ordinary link in an ordinary side. Watson was an outstanding success. Farrell, making his debut, can be well satisfied with what he did. He tackled strongly, passed well (early on) and was a helpful member in rendering Matthews.
MERCER’S RENEWS REQUEST
November 27, 1946. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Joe Mercer, Everton’s international half-back, has renewed his request to be placed on the open-to-transfer list. Once again the request has been turned down by the directors. Mercer made his first request for a change of club last August – just before the season opened –but the answer was “No” and he played regularly with the first team. Eventually mercer was granted an interview with the directors, and following this he withdrew his request, and continued in the Football League side right up to the match against Leeds United at eland-road. When Mercer was omitted it was announced by Everton that he was being rested because of his business ties in Wallasey –Mercer had just acquired an important grocery business – and he has since been training with New Brighton.
MERCER ASKS AGAIN
November 28, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Transfer request to Everton
By Leslie Edwards
Joe Mercer, England and Everton half-back, who surprised the natives when he asked for his transfer earlier in the season, has made further application to be placed on the “list.” For the Middlesbrough match at Goodison, Everton are “resting” Alex Stevenson, whose brilliance at Hampden yesterday was an inspiration to Ireland. Fielding will take his place. It is felt that two hard games with little opportunity for recovery would be overdoing things for a player who is in sight of veteranship.
• Scotland 0, Ireland 0, Peter Farrell, Alex Stevenson and Tommy Eglington played for Ireland at Hampden Park in front of 98,776 spectators yesterday.
FENTON AT GOODISON
November 29, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Everton facing a stern struggle against Middlesbrough and the Goodison park game has added interest, in that Everton supporters have a chance to see Mick Fenton, whom the Blues sought to sign before they got Jock Dodds, and to compare the two in physical stature and skill. This will be Fenton’s first outing at centre forward since Everton were after him. Recently he has been figuring at outside right, with Alec Linwood, the former St. Mirren and Scottish international in the middle. Another point of interest is that George Hardwick, England’s left back, figures at centre half. Everton supporters have been on lean rations lately, with only one victory in the last four home games. A win is overdue. Whether it will be within the compass of the Blues remains to be seen, but a strong united effort may do the trick. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Watson; Bentham, Jones (TG), Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, Eglington. Middlesbrough; Cumming; Robinson, Stuart; McCabe, Hardwick, Gordon; Spuhler, Dews, Fenton, Mannion, Walker.
EVERTON’S LUCK MAY TURN TOMORROW
November 29, 1946. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton’s attempt to break their run of ill-luck, Everton have recorded only one win since mid-September –their 2-1 success over Bolton Wanderers on Oct 10. Since then the Blues have been beaten at Charlton, Leeds and Stoke and held Grimsby and Manchester United to draws at home. The true standard of the Everton play, however, is not reflected in those results. The Blues were unlucky to lose at Stoke, and in all recent games the “run of the green” has been against them. So it is with some degree of confidence that I expect them to defeat the classic Middlesbrough at Goodison Park tomorrow. The Borough always play football in its truest sense, and in this respect they will find themselves well matched by the Blues, whose brilliance in midfield is deserving of far better results near goal. The luck must turn. This should be a great exhibition, starting at 2.15 pm. Everton will have Watson at left back and Fielding at inside-left, while the Borough bring back Fenton, and play George Hardwick, the England captain at centre-half. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Watson; Bentham, Jones (TG), Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, Eglington. Middlesbrough; Cumming; Robinson, Stuart; McCabe, Hardwick, Gordon; Spuhler, Dews, Fenton, Mannion, Walker. Referee; Mr. W. Martin (Leeds).
EVERTON WIN IN A GREAT FINISH
November 30, 1946. The Evening Express
Fenton Came, Got a Goal!
In a dramatic switch round Everton fought back in great style to neutralise Fenton’s opening goal for Middlesbro. Several times during the game the Middlesbro goal escaped miraculously, defenders kicking off the line with the goalkeeper beaten. Then Everton staged their great rally and were well worthy of their two goals in three minutes, scored by Wainwright and Eglington, respectively. It was a thrilling game in which Everton did not always finish off effectively their brilliant approach work. Tom Jones captained Everton for the day. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones (captain) and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Middlesbrough; Nash, goal; Robinson and Stuart, backs; McCabe, Hardwick, and Gordon, half-backs; Spubler, Dews, Fenton, Mannion and Walker, forwards. Referee; Mr. W. Martin (Leeds). Everton moved to an early attack but Dodds attempted a long range shot which slewed well wide of the mark. Then a mistimed clearance by Tom Jones gave Spuhler an opening but his centre was confidently dealt with by Sagar. Fielding, Dodds, and Eglington combined in an attractive triangular movement which brought a free kick but no trouble to Nash.
Everton Goal Escape
When Middlesbrough went away Mannion carved out an opening for Walker whose centre was headed just wide of the left hand post by Dews. Everton came back again and a perfect Fielding through pass to Dodds, which the Everton leader, was just unable to get to was driven across the face of the goal by Mcllhatton. Hardwick kicked rather wildly behind for a corner as he was challenged by Dodds, and the crowd gasped when Nash mis-handled Fielding’s swerving kick, he being only just able to regain control. Everton were undoubtedly having the best of matters and much of their approach work was a delight to watch, but as yet they had not been able to apply the telling shot. Fielding was revealing glimpses of his form of last season. Although Everton were having the best of matters Middlesbrough were dangerous when they moved and a classic back heel by walker gave Fenton an opening. He was unable to beat Sagar. A quick Dodd’s flick gave Mcllhatton a great chance but he lofted his shot, as Stuart came across to tackle him. Everton continued to make the running but up to now neither goalkeeper had been seriously tested. The Borough goal, however, had a remarkable escape when, with Nash out of his goal Eglington came running in and a goal appeared a certainly. Eglington tried to place the ball calmly into the net, only to find Nash “appear from nowhere” and the ball striking his stretched foot. This was certainty a near thing for Borough, whose defence was uncertain under pressure.
Everton continued to swarm around the Middlesbro goal pleasing the 40,000 crowd, but they just could not produce the effective final effort. The Everton goal also had its escape Jones making the full force of a close range volley by Dews from Spudler’s corner. Another great opportunity came Everton’s way when Dodds edged a pass through Wainwright, who lifted the ball well over the bar as he was tackled. Then Sagar came out of his goal to fall on the ball, and keep Walker at bay. The Boro goal seemed to bear a charmed life, as twice within the space of seconds Middlesbrough defenders kicked Dodds’ headers of the goal line. In a tear-away Boro raid Mannion netted, but the whistle had blown for off-side.
Half-time; Everton 0, Middlesbrough 0
‘Boro made headway immediately on resuming, and after Referee Martin had called for the advance of Jones and Dodds on the condition of the ball, Jackson was temporarily knocked-out in baulking Mannion. When Fielding fed Dodds the Everton leader tried to break his way through a miss of defenders but without success.
In the 54th minute Middlesbrough went ahead rather against the run of play, Fenton rounding Jones to beat Sagar from close range. Less than two minutes later Mannion again beat Sagar, but Referee Martin ruled the international off-side. Everton attacked spiritedly for the equaliser without being able to hit the mark. Hardwick was keeping a tight rein on Dodds. Only a masterly one-handled save by Sagar, prevented a low drive from Spuhler finding the net. After a period of Boro pressure Everton renewed their assault on the goal and Jones came up to head a Fielding corner into the arms of the well-positioned Nash. Eglington should have equalised when Nash beat out a Dodds shot right to his feet, but Robinson fell back to kick Eglington’s shot clear as the crowd were shouting “goal.” Just on three quarter time Everton gained their just reward when Wainwright equalised, taking Dodds pass in his stride and flashing the ball into the roof of the net. Wainwright who had just previously been injured, was mobbed by his colleagues. Within three minutes the thus encouraged Everton took the lead, Eglington heading beyond Nash the ball striking the left hand post before crossing the line. Final; Everton 2, Middlesbrough 1.
FORTY YEARS SERVICE TO EVERTON’S NEEDS
November 30, 1946. The Evening Express
Harry Cooke’s Grand Work
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
One of the greatest friends of any Everton F.C., player in the last 40 years. Yes, Harry Cooke, chief trainer at Goodison Park; the man who is never without a smile, never lacking a kindly word of praise or sympathy, and who in his arts has no peer. It has been my happy lot to know and travel with Harry Cooke for 18 seasons, and I have always admired his quiet efficiency and ability to maintain perfect harmony. Harry is one of the senior trainers in the land, and so far as Goodison is concerned is almost “built in with the bricks.” Beloved of every official, player and supporter, Everton would not be the same without Harry Cooke, who has always been something, of a liaison office between the dressing-room, and “upstairs,” as they say at Goodison. There is no denying that Harry’s masterly work behind the scenes has had much to do with Everton’s many triumphs since I have been reporting their fortunes. The fact is fully appreciated by every director and by Secretary-manager Mr. Theo Kelly. Following the 1938-39 championship success, Harry was actually summoned to attend a directors meeting at which high and practical tribute was paid him by the Board through the them chairman Mr. Ernest Green. It is more than 40 years ago since Harry Cooke joined Everton as an inside-forward, and in 1906 he played in two of the matches by which Everton fought they way to the Crystal palace to win the first time the F.A. Cup. Harry did not play in the final, but was presented with a memento medal in commemoration of its help. A knee injury put an end to Harry’s career as a player, but then he was taken on as a member of the training staff and had his apprenticeship with the “A” team, all the time studying as a masseur. Then Harry was appointed assistant trainer to the late Jack Elliott, and continued in that capacity right up to 1925, when Jack joined the ground staff and Harry became No 1 trainer –one of the best posts of its kind in football. In 1927-28, Harry Cooke trained the Blues for the first major success under his hands –the winning of the 1927-28 League championship –the year Dixie Dean set up his goal scoring record. Since then he has seen Everton relegated for the first time –but win the Second Division, First Division and the F.A. Cup in successive seasons, and follow with that 1938-39 title success. He treasures his mementoes of those successes.
He has a unique “museum” in his “sanction” at Goodison, where preserved in neatly labelled bottles, cartilages pieces of chipped bone and such like –all taken from limbs of Everton players. To see the pieces of bone which were removed from Dean’s ankles shows just what happened to Dixie. Not a free sketch artist by any means, Harry Cooke has an astonishing facility for copying in pencil, crayon or chalk any photograph and the walls of his room are decorated with his arts. Harry’s son of the same name is an adept cartoonist, while his grandson, yet another Harry was an assistant of Mr. Kelly in the Everton office right up to the time he joined the R.A.F and occasionally had a game with the Blues junior teams. Harry Cooke, has handled many representative teams in all manner of internationals, but his first and main love is Everton, and the players of Everton, who regard Harry as “the greatest-ever” trainer. I hope Harry is long spared to see that Everton lack nothing on the score of fitness. One cannot speak too highly of his kindness and skill.
EVERTON 2 IN 2 MINUTES
November 30, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
On Top All The Time
Shots That did Not tell
Everton 2, Middlesbrough 1
For 70 minutes Everton battled against Middlesbrough and ill-fortune. The Boro’s goalkeeper will never be beaten so easily, yet escape disaster. The Boro strange to relate, were first to score. Everton had to battle hard for their victory, their first since October 19. It was a victory well deserved. . Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones (captain) and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Middlesbrough; Nash, goal; Robinson and Stuart, backs; McCabe, Hardwick, and Gordon, half-backs; Spubler, Dews, Fenton, Mannion and Walker, forwards. Referee; Mr. W. Martin (Leeds). Despite the early kick-off, there was an excellent attendance for the game between Everton and Middlesbrough. One of the attractions was the appearance of Mickey Fenton in the Middlesbrough team. Fenton, as you know,” was greatly sought after by Everton, but decided to stay at Middlesbrough his home town. The Boro’ by the way, fielded six local players. Middlesbrough had one change, Nash coming in for Cumming, who had a sore throat. Jones captained the Everton team in the absence of Greenhalgh and Stevenson. I had a word with Saunders, who told me that he is now well on the way to recovery, and will be fit next week. There was a lot of encouraging play for the Everton supporters in the first ten minutes. It was obvious that Dodds was out to cast a spell over Middlesbrough’s youthful goalkeeper Nash, for the Scot tried a shot in the first minute, and although it finished wide it showed the trend of things to come.
Then the Borough showed their paces, and things looked a bit dangerous for the Everton defence when Mannion slipped through. There was relief when he headed wide. Nevertheless it showed the calibre of the visiting forwards. At this point, however, Everton had been the much more progressive and thrustful side and had Mcllhatton shot with greater discretion instead of trying to break the back netting I think he would have scored. But who is going to cavil when a man shoots. We have so often taken players to task for not shooting. Wainwright saved a dangerous situation when he stepped in to put a stop to a Fenton run. Everton were so much superior during the first half hour’s play that they should have built up for themselves a lead sufficient to have won this game. They could do everything but put the ball into the net. Mcllhatton in his enthusiasm put the ball over the bar, and later he had bad luck when he shot well only to fine Nash punching the ball out. The clearance went out to Eglington whose shot hit the goalkeeper. A narrow escape for Middlesbrough followed, for the ball was going over the goal-line and into the net when Stuart got in to kick clear. There was one occasion, however, when the Everton goal had a fortunate escape. Fenton tried to put a ball from Spuhler beyond Sagar, but his shot misfired. Nevertheless it was a worthy effort. Everton were calling the tune and they simply plastered the Middsbrough defence without getting any recompense. They shot often enough but the shots were cannoned out or Nash saved, while other efforts from the Everton forwards found their place among the crowd. It always happens like this when a side is desperate for a goal.
One of the few occasions that Middlesbrough broke through the Everton defence saw Mannion get to grips with Sagar, but the Everton goalkeeper was equal to the demand. So far it had been a battle royal between the Everton attack and the Middlesbrough defence in which Hardwick did fine work, just as Jones did when the Borough attack threatened danger. With only a few minutes left to the interval, goalkeeper Nash made another push out save, Dodds instantly headed the ball back into what seemed an empty goal. By some miraculous Hardwick and others had fallen into the breach, and the ball was kicked off the line. Everton had their spot of good fortune when Mannion was right through the Everton defence and it became a duel between him and Sagar. Sagar fling himself at the feet of the Middlesbrough man to prevent a shot. He succeeded in doing this, although he did not gather the ball, when Mannion stepped over him to tap the ball towards the goal it was fairly obvious that a foul would result.
Half-time; Everton 0, Middlesbrough 0.
To Keeper’s Rescue
Middlesbrough did not look a top of the League side on this showing. In the very first minute of the second half Hardwick again came to the rescue of the goalkeeper in heading away when everything else was lost. Wainwright missed a sure goal when he elected to dribble instead of taking his chance first time. As often happens in a game of this sort, the defending side makes one breakaway and it’s a goal. At 55 minutes Fenton picked up a ball from the left and cracked it into the net like lightening. It was about the only opportunity he had for in almost an hour. The Boro had the ball in the net again a minute later. It was Mannion who flicked it there, but he and Spuhler were definitely offside. With a goal in hand Middlesbrough played with more confidence and after Dodds had twice broken through without success, Sagar had to make a safe catch from Spuhler but ill-luck still dogged Everton’s footsteps. When Dodds beat Nash with a header first Robinson and then Hardwick had to cover up this mistake by getting the ball out of the goalmouth. I have never seen a goalkeeper, so often beaten and yet no goals scored against him. At 77 minutes Everton got their just reward with goals, and a perfect goal it was. Wainwright’s shot taken on the run, left Nash stone cold. Two minutes later Everton had taken the lead. The play had been over on the right when the ball was swung into the goal area Dodds headed it along to Eglington, who got his forehead to it and turned it beyond Nash. A little later there was a rush on the Everton goal and Sagar and Jones went for the ball together. Jones with his head and Sagar with his hands. The ball slithered away, but Jones had received a nasty blow on his head and had to receive attention. Final; Everton 2, Middlesbrough 1.
Sheffield United Res v Everton Res
Elliott scored for Everton. Final; Sheffield United 0, Everton Res 4