February 1887

Association Game
February 5 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
The Evertonians have tasted so freely the sweets of victory that the Burnley bitter must indeed have been a assiduous draught. Up to Saturday last Everton had a record that any club might be proud of, and it was perhaps, from the spirit of easy that the “Royalists,” of Burnley determined to lower the prestige of the seaport champions. That their fame had proceeded them was shown by the large amount of interest the match aroused in the Burnley district. Matters went fairly well with the visitors up to the change of ends, which point of the game they were only a goal to the bad, but afterwards the forwards, were beaten and that being the case the backs became powerless to arrest the onslaught of their opponents, who scored freely, and won eventually by five goals to nothing, this being the worst defeat Everton has sustained this season.
Todays match
Everton v Halliwell, at Anfield.

DISASTER!
Cricket and Football Field - Saturday 05 February 1887
Surprise, disappointment, charging prevailed in the Everton camp on Saturday night last.  Five to nil!  “Oh! What a falling off was there, my countrymen.”  I did not believe, candidly, that in their present form any Lancashire team, with the exception perhaps of North end, could this take down the Everton team. Few expected a victory, for Burnley is a team which observers of the game might select as most likely to take down the Liverpool cup holders.  Their powerful style and great speed are just calculated to cope with the flashing brilliance and impetuous dashes of the light Everton forwards, than whom it would be hard to find a less weighty string in the county.  They suffered, too, from the absence of Fleming, which caused Higgins to be sent forward and let in Corey.  And it was just in this change that the weakness of the Liverpool club lay.  Higgins is no longer a forward, but a capital half-back. Corey is but a plain player, as I have before pointed out, and not up to first-class form.  Thus forward and in the half-bac division Everton were weakened.  They appear to have been completely outplayed, and I am assured that nothing but a splendid defence by Dobson, Dick, and Joliffe prevented a more signal defeat.  Halliwell will be at Everton today, and I shall be greatly surprised if the Evertonians do not make the most of the excellent opportunity thus afforded or recovering from the slip at Burnley. 

Everton v Halliwell
February 5 th 1887. Football Field.
The return encounter between these teams was played on the Everton ground this afternoon, when both elevens were well represented. The first encounter took place on the Bennett's ground on November 27 th , when a well-fought game resulted in the visitors carrying off the honours by one goal to nil. Since then, both teams have displayed better form, and a good match was expected from the meeting today, when Halliwell were determined if possible, to turn the tables on their plucky opponents. The weather, which had been very wet in the morning, fortunately cleared up previous to the match, and when the leather was started at three o'clock, there would be close on 5,000 spectators. The following were the teams; - Everton; - Joliffe, goal; Dick and Dobson, backs; Higgins, Gibson, and Stevenson half-backs; Fleming, Briscoe, Richards, Farmer, and Costley forwards. Halliwell; - Fairclough, goal; Robb and Lucas backs; Derham, Walkinshaw, and Weir, half-backs; Dewhurst, Crombie, Hay, Kelly, and Hodson, forwards. Referee, Mr. Fitzroy Norris. The visitors lost the toss, and Hay kicked off. The home team at once attacked, Fleming and Briscoe showing some good passing, but Weir and Walkinshaw pulled them up, and the next minute Hodgson and Kelly excited admiration for a capital run down the wing, the ball finally going out. Again the Everton forwards braced themselves together and sorely pressed the visitors defence, Robb and Durham having all their work cut out to keep their opponents at bay. They were equal to the requirements however, and for a few minutes the game raged in neutral territory. The forwards on either side worked hard to make an impression, but for a time neither succeeded. From a free kick give against farmer for fouling Durham, Robb nicely give the ball to his forwards, and Crombie and Dewhurst raced down the field towards the Everton fortress, which they placed in jeopardy, Dobson, however, nipped the opportunity of scoring in the bud, and at the same time landed the ball well up the field. The spectators were extremely impartial in their plaudits, and spurred on by their shouts both elevens put forth their best efforts. At length the home forwards after repeated attempts, forced back the Halliwellians, and getting close in the goal, Fleming sent in a stinging shot right across the goalmouth, which either Farmer or Costley, when were there, ought to have converted into a point. As it was, the chance was allowed to slip, and directly after an exciting scrimmage ensued right in the Everton goalmouth, which the backs did well to clear. The game was exceedingly fast and exciting, either side alternately holding the upperhand, and both citadels being placed in danger on several occasions. The Evertonians well oftener at the Halliwell end than the visitors were at the home end, but their forwards were slow to take advantage of sometimes very rosy chances. Of course it must not be though that the Halliwellians were overplayed. No such thing. Time after time was Joliffe and his backs (Dick and Dobson) obliged to look to their laurels, but like their confreres at the other end, they succeeded in keeping their charge intact. On one of their visits to the Halliwell end Fleming shot right into Fairclough's hands. “Oliver” cleared in fine style, and next minute the visitors experienced a narrow escape from scoring, Dick conceding a corner to avert this disaster. Nothing came of this, and soon after Gibson was cheered for a capital piece of tackling in midfield. Farmer and Costley were a sore thorn Crombie and Dewhurst having no difficulty to get past them. Crombie also had a sad tendency to wandering about, but unfortunately the backs halves and full, were in good trim, and made up for the negligence of the van. Before the interval the play was even faster, either team striving hard to obtain the lead. On one occasion the Halliwell forwards, getting the ball, ran down to the Everton goal, where Dewhurst shot through just as the whistle blew for a claim off offside which was made against him, the point therefore being disallowed. Half-time arrived soon after, the score sheet none having sustained a scratch. On resuming the visitors, who had now the assistance of the wind, made straight to the Everton end when Dewhurst shot past. From the goal-kick Costley collared, and by a splendid spurt carried the leather to the Halliwell end, where a corner was gained after an exciting scrimmage. This prove abortive, but still the home team kept up the pressure, Gibson playing splendidly at half back and it was not without a great deal of exertise that the danger was cleared. The home team was not to be denied, however, and again attacked Fleming gallantly leading the van, and well awarded a couple of abortive corners. Ultimate Davie Weir got the leather past his opponents and centring neatly Joliffe was obliged and fist out. Weir was again to the front and sent in some in some demon shots, one of which struck the crossbar. After this the play was for the most part in Halliwell territory, and several times it appeared as if Everton were certain score. The home team all through played a rattling game and could not be kept out of Halliwell territory. No points were secured owing to the excellent defence of Fairclough, Robb, and Lucas, and finally the game ended in a draw of no goals each.

Fottings from the Burnley District .
February 5 th 1887. Football Field.
By “QuillDriver.”
Everton at Turf Moor.
On Saturday the Everton team made their appearance on Turf Moor to try conclusions with the Burnley combination. The ground was in capital going order, and the weather had the effect of drawing a large crowd round the ropes. The visitors arrived late, but they brought a good team, and that in a measure compensated for the “long wait” inflicted on the spectators. The Everton centre was the first to toe the leather against the incline, and both ends having received a visit Gallacher gave Joliffe something to do, and after Friel had shown his tackling capacity, Abrathams sent in a shot which just went outside the post. The visitors' forwards who showed a grand turn of speed, after several fruitless attempts, eluded the Burnley backs, and McConnell was called upon to defend. The assault was soon brought to a close, and Waugh getting the ball centred so accurately that the sphere was at once rushed through amid cheering. Immediately afterwards Friel had a grand chance, put his shot a “Rugby” goal. The visitors at this stage showed up capitally, and gave the Burnley backs plenty of work, which they preformed in a creditable way MCFettridge's tackling being immensely relished. End to end play was for a time the order, in the course of which Friel missed one or two chances of scoring. Everton now obtained a corner which proved unproductive, and Waugh again made tracks, and passing to Friel and Gallacher, these players manipulated the ball in front of the goal mouth in such a fashion that it seemed like a pound to a hayseed that the sphere would go through. This was however, not to be, as it was got away very severely by the Everton backs, who were in grand form, and half-time arrived with the game one to nil in favour of Burnley.

Burnley at their best.
On the game being resumed Waugh almost immediately called upon Joliffe to put out a stranger, and a corner for Burnley was soon after utilised by Friel with his head. Goal No.2. Keeping up the pressure the home team were not long before a third point was registered. Sugg doing the needful cleverly. After more pressure in the part of Burnley, Sugg again put the ball through, the goalkeeper failing to hold it as it went through over his shoulder. The Everton goal was now fairly besieged and the backs and custodian had a warm time of it. Macrae put a grand shot in which was negotiated with difficulty, and in a scrimmage Sugg again put the ball through, but was ruled off-side. The same player, however, still kept on the alert and only just missed scoring. Everton made a speedy run to the Burnley goal, but were promptly hecked after which Gallacher had a try at goal-getting, but the ball went over the bar. The Everton forwards for a few moments had decidedly the best of it, and McConnell had a warm time, and then from a free kick in the goal mouth Gallacher notched the fifth goal for Burnley after this the visitors secured an abortive corner they continued the pressure, but were time after time repulsed by Lang and McFettridge, and McConnell had two or three shots to attend to. It was however, all of no use; the visitors, though laying a really plucky game, were not in the hunt as regards combination, and they had to submit to a five to none defeat. I must, however, not that the visitors backs –Dick and Dobson-played a champion game, and Joliffe, in goal was here, there and everywhere. The Burnley forwards on the other hand played one of their best games. Of the half-backs Sugg took premier honours although both Abrahams and Keenan fed the forwards with infinite credit. The backs and McConnell did their work well, and had the defence been weaker Everton would have scored more than once.

EVERTON V BLACKBURN ROVERS
Cricket and Football Field - Saturday 12 February 1887
This Afternoon, on the Everton ground, the pet team of the Liverpudlian lovers of football received a visit from the Blackburn Rovers, the holders of the English Cup.  This was a return match, the Evertonians visiting the Leamington ground on the 15th ult., when the game ended in a clean slate, neither side scoring, after a somewhat slow game, owing to the terrible state of the ground through the frost and snow.  Both clubs are warm favourites with their respective partisans, and the form of each is now first class the Rovers being in the pink of condition, and the Everton club playing excellent football.  On Saturday last, it will be remembered their performance against Halliwell was greatly admired though neither side scored.  The following were the teams;- Rovers; Arthur; Beverley, and Ward, backs; Heyes, Suter and Forrest, half-backs; Lotfhouse, Walton, Fecitt, Townley, and Sourbutt, forwards.  Everton; Joliffe, goal; Dick and Dobson, backs; Higgins, Gibson and Stevenson, half-backs; Fleming, Briscoe, Richards, Farmer, and Costley, forwards.  Mr.Hull, Liverpool Ramblers, was the referee.  There was a splendid attendance, no less than 7,000 spectators being present, and the weather was glorious, the game commencing in a brilliant sunshine.  Dr. Morley and other football celebrities were on the stand.  The appearance of the Rovers on the field was greeted with loud applause, Richard for Everton kicked off down the hill at twenty minutes past three, and play was kept in the Rovers’ end for some minutes.  The ball then went to the Everton end, but Dick and Dobson were strongly on the defence and Stevenson sent the leather down the field. Fleming showed some fine play on the Everton right, but Richards missed the goal mouth rather clumsily.  Again the ball looked dangerous in the Rovers’ quarters, but Beverley saving, Douglas and Heyes were next on the defence, and Fecitt showed some splendid passing.  Good play was witnessed from the Rovers’ forwards near the Everton goal, but Dobson saved.  Briscoe and Fleming for Everton passed the ball nicely up the field, but Beverley was on the defensive, and prevented danger.  Applause greeted the efforts of Fleming, and corner was conceded but the Rovers backs were again on the defensive.  Am determined and splendid attack was made by the Everton forwards on the Rovers’ goal, but Ward faded out in fine style.  Again the fine play of the Everton forwards came in for loud applause, and after a combined effort Costley leashed it through the Rovers’ goal amid loud and continued cheers from the assembled thousands.  First blood for the home team increased the efforts of both teams, and a grand game was witnessed.  After a brief visit to the home goal, the ball again came to its favourite quarters, Fleming with a brilliant run dribbling the ball close to the Rovers’ quarters, but tripping at the last moment the ball passed harmlessly outside.  Again the ball was kept in the Rovers half, and a corner was conceded by Beverley, but it came to nothing.  Arthur was kept busy with his hands amidst applause from the spectators, and what ought to have been a goal took place, Arthur tipping the ball on the other side.  From a foul close in front of the Everton goal, Dobson saved well/ for some minutes the Rovers kept in the Everton half, but all the efforts of the Rovers were futile against the fine work of Dobson and Dick.  The leather was now run down to the other end, and Richard kicked amongst the crowd.  Arthur again use his hands.  Lofthouse passed the ball to Sourbutts, and that player shot into Joliffee’s hands.  Sourbutts now showed off well with some good dribbling, but he was stopped by Gibson.  Another corner fell to Everton, but it came to nothing.  For some seconds the game was freely contested in front of the Everton goalmouth, but George Dobson was grandly on the defensive.  Half-time was called with the game one to nil in favour of Everton.  In the second half play commenced in the Everton quarters, but quickly returning, some good play was witnessed near the Rovers goalmouth, but the defence was good.  Fleming made a good run up and shot, Arthur just saving.  A grand and determined attempt was made on the Rovers goal, which deserved to score, but was unsuccessful.  Fleming repeatedly distinguished himself, and Costley shot over the bar.  Final Result.  Everton 1, Rovers 1. 

EVERTON THRASHED     
Cricket and Football Field - Saturday 12 February 1887
Preston St Josephs 10 Everton Reserves 0
St. Joseph’s (Preston) were deeply disappointed last Saturday, when, after they had publicly announced the match at Miller-road to be against the Everton team, they found themselves confronted by a scratch team termed Everton 2nd.  The ground was in a very soft condition, but suitable to the play of the Saints, and they determined to give the Evertonians gyp.  This they did with a vengeance and the Liverpudlians had to retire severely defeated by ten goals to nil.  The Prestonians say they had arranged for the first team of Everton to visit Miller-road, and threated to draw the attention of the Association to the matter. 

Halliwell at Everton.
February 12 th 1887. Football Field
The Everton supporters turned up in crowds to witness what turned out to be one of the best games of the season last Saturday. Excitement prevailed before the game commenced, produced by various causes. The visiting team had the reputation of being able to hold their own with the best clubs of the country. They had been beaten by Mr. Nisbet's lads on their own ground, but claimed “hard-lines” and made no secret of their intention to reverse the situation in the return fixture. Anxiety prevailed amongst the devoted adherents of the Everton Club as to the effect of the Burnley defeat, with prospect of a second; for confident as every one appeared, there was an inner consciousness that Weir's team would put forth a very big effort and that they would just about win. Thus everything conspired to rouse the feelings of the spectators, and, once aroused, the excitement was pent up to the finish. I do not intent to enter into a detailed account of the game as I perceive you had a “special” at Anfield-road, but I must say that after the first ten minutes play, I mentally concluded “Everton will win.” That settled down more readily than the visitors, and forced the pace until it appeared too hot for their opponents. After some preliminary sparring, however, Halliwell got into gear, and the game grew exciting. From end to end with the utmost impartiality the ball traveled. And so on to the end of the chapter. A more even game it would be impossible to imagine, and the result was fittingly a draw. The Halliwell team is a much better combination than the one, which played Stanley towards the close of last season. There are several glaring flaws in its constitution notwithstanding. Lucas in my opinion was immensely safer than Robb at full back. The latter missed his kick frequently, and ran about far too much. Durham is not in the same class as Weir and Walkinshaw, and Dewhurst compared very favourably with Hodson, the other outside forward. The Everton defenders were all in tip top form, but their forwards have been seen to far better advantage. There was little combination, and too much trickiness. Briscoe and Costley both tried passages, which invariably and inevitably made them ridiculous; for Halliwell are not novices. Today's match with Blackburn Rovers will be another big event, and is sure to draw immensely for the Rovers are big favourites in Liverpool.

Everton v Blackburn Rovers.
February 14 th 1887. The Liverpool Mercury
In splendid weather this return fixture was played at Anfield-road on Saturday. The ground was in capital order, a trifle greasy, but on the whole better than might have been expected. Seven thousand spectators lined the enclosure, and there has never been so great an assemblage at any previous match in this district except last October at the Cup-tie between Bootle and Everton. Townley was the only regular player absent from the Rovers' team, his place being occupied by Whitehead. The Rovers winning the toss, elected to play up the incline, with the sun at their backs. Richards started the ball for Everton. Preliminary skirmishing on the Everton left was followed by a quick run by Whitehead, Sourbutts and Fecitt and the latter shot wide. Again the visitors returned, and Stevenson kicked right from the goalmouth at a critical juncture. Costley attempted to make headway, but ward interposed; and Dobson stayed a rush of Lofthouse in similar fashion. Briscoe and Fleming now drew attention, and quickly forced a goal kick, which was immediately succeeded by a corner. At this time Briscoe was playing splendidly, and repeatedly beat Forrest and ward. His efforts had to another corner, after a hot scrimmage. After a few moments of anxious suspense Briscoe shot, and as Beverely impeded the view of Arthur and missed his kick, the ball went home amidst the wildest demonstrations of delight. Encouraged by this success, the home forwards bore down persistency on Arthur's charge. After Fecitt had missed an easy chance Fleming and Briscoe again beat Forrest, and forced a corner. As a result, Arthur had to kick away at a very critical moment. Farmer next troubled the visitors' defence and another corner kick followed. A most exciting passage here occurred. Dick returned the ball right to the Rovers' goal, and Arthur saved brilliantly. Gibson at once struck the bar with great force, and enormous pressure was brought to bear on Arthur and his comrades. At length Fecitt came away, and as Dick went down before him, a free kick to the Rovers materially improved their situation. Dobson headed a stinging shot from Whithead, and the Rovers became somewhat pressing, Fleming again changed the venue, and Arthur brilliantly saved a shot from Gibson, Sourbutts was cleverly stopped by Dick, who again came to the rescue when Whitehead threatened. A hot attack on the Everton goal, and as Fleming kicked the ball out of the ground, half-time was announced. The game reopened at a furious pace. Both ends were speedily visited, and a grand shot by Richards was only stopped by Beverely at the expense of a corner. As a result, Arthur saved miraculously, and Everton took another corner, Joliffe was now visited, and twice fisted the ball away, the attack being for a time persistent, and followed by a corner –the first to the visitors. As Fleming sped swiftly away Forrest kicked out, and Sourbutts kicked for goal with great force and judgement. Dick was in the way however, and the attack instantly at the other end. Stevenson sopped Fecitt and from a free kick the same Evertonians shot through the Rovers' goal and Arthur kicked off from goal the Rovers forwards bestirred themselves and attacked with some vigour. Whitehead missed an easy chance, and Fecitt had a near shie. After Stevenson had stopped Lofthouse, the visitors took a corner, and Fecitt scored by a well judged shot. Fast rushes ensued. Fecitt was now playing brilliantly and Fleming, getting clean away shot hard at Arthur who cleverly saved. Forrest next put in a beauty, which Joliffe threw away, and a dangerous attack was ended by Gibson kicking away. After a magnificent return by Ward. Lofthouse got clean through and missed very badly. The Rovers were staying better than Everton, and after a corner kick, Watson shot past Joliffe. The ball had previously been in touch and was kicked from goal. Fleming worked through and shot finally –a couple of corners falling to Everton. Lofthouse raced away on the Rovers right, and as Dobson bothered him, Farmer took up the races, but the referee's whistle announcing “time” brought to an end one of the best games ever seen in the district. Teams; - Blackburn Rovers; - Arthur goal; Beverely and Ward; backs; Forrest, Douglas, and Hays half-backs; Lofthouse, Walton, Fecitt, Whitehead, and Sourbutts forwards. Everton; - Joliffe, goal; Dick and Dobson (captain), backs; Higgins Gibson and Stevenson half-backs; Farmer, Costley, Richards, Briscoe, and Fleming, forwards.

Football Notes
The canceling of the more important Rugby fixture in the district gave many of the followers of the older code an opportunity of witnessing a very high-class display of Association football at Anfield. Blackburn Rovers is still a name to conjure with, and especially in the district, where they are immediately popular; thus it was a good stroke of business on their part to arrange a couple of fixtures with Everton, in the financial aspect of which they might always be certain of a distinct advantage.

Blackburn Rovers Catch a Tartar.
February 19 th 1887. Football field
Magnificent weather and a grand “gate” attended the return fixture between Blackburn Rovers and Everton. I cannot recall an occasion when there was a greater number of spectators at an ordinary fixture in Liverpool. At the final for the Liverpool Cup in 1885 and 1886, the crowd was perhaps thicker, and the enormous attendance at Bootle in the early part of the season, when Everton and Bootle met in the first round of the Liverpool ties, far exceeded that at Anfield-road on Saturday. But these were occasions of extraordinary importance; so that the great crowd of spectators which mustered at Everton was a striking tribute to the popularity of the famous Rovers, thrice winners of the national trophy. Quite 7,000 people had assembled when the Rovers appeared, and they were received very heartily. The prestige accuring to the visitors from their victories over Burnley Accrington, and North End had made the Everton supporters less confident of the result of this game than they had been after their first match at Blackburn. But when, after the first five minutes play, it became apparent that the Everton team were, to a man, straining every nerve; combining speed, dodging, and dash with the most unselfish passing, hope again sprang up, and amidst feverish excitement the visitors' goal was surrounded by the tenacious Everton forwards. A spontaneous burst of genuine enthusiasm burst from the spectators when Briscoe broke through the Rovers' defence.

The Rovers Outplayed.
Nettled by this reverse it was expected that Forrest's crew would put forth every effort. But the assault on Arthur's charge was renewed with increased vigour, and for ten minutes some most exciting play was carried on round the Rovers' citadel. The Rovers were completely outplayed. Forrest floundered in his attempts to cope with Briscoe and Fleming in a matter, which must have been new to Blackburn partisans. Heys was utterly incapable of stopping Farmer and Costley the only half-back who at this time offered any effective resistance to the rushes of the Everton forwards being the veteran Jimmy Douglas. The backs and goalkeeper manfully stopped the gap. At length and on a sudden the pressure on the Rovers' goal eased, a circumstance due to two causes –the first natural reaction from the severe strain to which the home forwards had put their energies, and the second to a gradual realisation of the imminence of defeat by the visitors. Play was never one-sided after this, except just towards the finish, when the Rovers pressed the home team somewhat severely. Meantime Fecitt, after several unsuccessful attempts, had scored for his side, and Forrest had improved wonderfully effectually checking the dangerous dashes of Fleming and Briscoe. Everton had numerous shots, and once Arthur saved his charge in a truly wondrous fashion. For some reason or other it has been alleged that the referee was puzzled whether on this occasion to award a goal to Everton. The fact is, Mr. Hull, who kept his head admirably in an excitement game, without the slightest hesitation, and having witnessed the scrimmage from the goal line at once awarded Everton a corner kick. Indeed there was no appeal from the Everton umpire, so that the statement of the referee's being puzzled is very wide of the mark.

Critcism of the play.
It would be impossible to single individuals in the Everton team for special mention. It is universally agreed that they never played such a splendid game, and there was not one who displayed the slightest weakness. Of the Rovers I have not much to say in way of praise. They are a grand team but success has spoiled them. The forwards were in a chronic state of “sulks” one with the other. The two Jones were constantly “jawing” at Herbet, whilst Herbert fully reciprocated the kindly feelings. Sourbutts was especially a very disappointing player; he rarely put forth a real effort, and the assiduous efforts of Whitehead to nurse him were not apparently appreciated. Whitehead made some wretched shots at goal, and Lofthouse did not particularly shine in this branch of the science. Fecitt gave many flashes of real brilliance, and was undoubtedly the pick of the front division. The general opinion was that it has been a great mistake to move him from the wing. Douglas played a brilliantly at half-back, but I never saw Forrest to less advantage. Ward was safer than Beverley, and Arthur –why he was a champion.

The Rovers at Everton
February 19 th 1887. Liverpool Field
A glorious day.
By “Asmodeus 2.”
Saturday was a day after a football enthusiast's own heart, bright, glorious sunny crisp and clear. And so thought some seven thousand spectators as they thronged the Anfield road enclosure at Everton, claimoured for entrance at the somewhat limited doorways, and planked their money joyously to witness the encounter between the Evertonians and the Blackburn Rovers. From all points of the Liverpoolian compass' flocked the eager crowd to the Everton valley. When I found the Valley after repeated wandering around the Sandhills district I discovered it on a hill, ascending which was no easy task. Hills are apparently known as valleys in Liverpool, and having accepted this fact I introduced on apparently for hundreds of yards, until I began to think I was like some of the Liverpool streets, unadopted.

The Anfield Ground.
Eureka! At last I found it. A spacious wooden enclosure; high boards precluding from outside view the ground on which the footballers show their prowess. When entered, however, this was a pleasant view all round of the football field though in the matter of covered stands the committee might make some improvements, as in yet weather the prospects would be anything but pleasant. But perhaps it don't rain in Liverpool except when Royalty goes to open exhibitions.

The Rovers Welcome .
If there is one club who are favourites with Liverpool folks more than another it is the Blackburn Rovers. The form style, and prowess of the triple-winners of the English Cup have been admired in the city by the sea, and everyone knew that a visit from the Blackburn heroes would be acceptable to the supporters of Everton, who had come, and not without cause, to look upon their own men as no mean exponents of the dribbling code. And so when the wearers of the well-known light blue and white jerseys tripped on to the field a perfect Kentish fire of handclaps loud and prolonged welcome them. Arthur and his merry men looked as fresh as paint, and so the game began.

Everton's form.
Down the hill the ball went merrily after the kick off, Everton coming at once to the fore, and the game lay in the Rovers' half Ward and Beverley were kept at it hammer and tongs, and that most athletic of goalkeepers, “Prince” Arthur, had his hands full many a time. All through the first half the attack was kept up and corners fell repeatedly to the home team. At last after many a hard-earned advantage which the backs nullified the Evertonians scored Costley breasting the ball past Arthur.

A smart forward.
The fine display of Fleming was in everyone's mouth. Where the fight lay thickest, and it was mostly on his wing the head of Fleming was, like the helmet of the Black Prince always conspicuous, and he put in some splendid work, which terribly bothered the Rovers. Notwithstanding a lameness which he suffered early on in the game from too violent a concussion he struck manfully to his guns, and was a thorn in the side of the visitors. He deserves every credit for the fine display he made.

The second half.
After change of ends the Rovers had it more their own way, the tactics of the home forwards being more accurately weighted up by the Blackburn half backs, Heyes, Douglas, and Forrest. The battle waged stubbornly, however, and at last from a scrimmage the Rovers equalised. And then after a further severe struggling a brilliant game ended in a draw of one each.

The Contestants.
Of the Evertonians it may perhaps be said that they never played better. Good as they always are they were now in spendid form, perhaps on account of the standing in the football world achieved by their opponents, but whatever the cause their supporters had every reason to be proud of them, one and all. The visitors, on the other hand, were rather disappointing. There seemed to be a lack of united effort on the part of the forwards, though the half-backs were good and the defence was excellent. The Rovers seemed to have lost somewhat of the “springform” which the previous encounter or two seemed to promise.

Liverpool District Cup-third round
Everton v Linacre
February 21 st 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
These teams met at Anfield on Saturday, and the weather being fine about 2500 spectators were present. Linacre having started the ball, Farmer and Costley got away on the left, and on Costley centering beautifully, Richards shot the first goal for Everton within the first minute from the start. No sooner had the ball been again in motion than Farmer scored a second point for the home team. Linacre then put in some good play, and the Everton goal was reached, but Dick kicked away and Fleming fastening on the ball, ran down the right, and crossing over to Briscoe that player recorded a third goal for the cupholders. The home team then took a corner, which Corey put over the bar. Costley from a good run in conjunction with Farmer, had hard lines in a shot at the Linacre citadel, the ball just grazing the top of the bar; while a few moments later Farmer headed over from a centre by Fleming. Some good play was then shown by the visitors forwards, who gained a corner on the left which was put outside. Briscoe next had a shy at goal, which Graham put outside and from the subsequent kick, Gibson grazed the Linacre upright. Everton had a free kick for “hands” which Dick placed well, and Richard scored a fourth goal. Ferguson showed up in a good run for Linacre, and on Dobson clearing a scrimmage ensued in front of the Linacre posts, Farmer just missing scoring. Costley after experiencing further hard lines, shot a fifth while Gibson rushed a sixth through and half-time was shortly afterwards called with Everton leading by six goals to nothing. W. Richards restarted, and taking the visitors by surprise a seventh goal was scored from a scrimmage. A bit of good passing by the Linacre van brought them to the Everton quarters, where bad shooting spoiled a probable chance of scoring. Richards was the next to score for Everton, a ninth being put through from a subsequent scrimmage. Fleming then took a corner, which was placed over the bar. The visitors again put on a spurt and Joliffe was penalised for running with the sphere beyond the limited space. The ball from the free kick went through the Everton posts, but as no one had previously touched it, it was of course disallowed. The visitors were again to the fore, and this time their efforts were rewarded with success Jones scoring their first and only goal. Briscoe then had hard luck, his shot just grazing the bar. Everton next had a corner kick, which Gibson headed over the bar. Costley got a tenth point for Everton, which was followed by another from Farmer with a splendid shot. Briscoe put in a twelfth while shortly before time the last was put through from a scrimmage. A one sided game thus ended in a win for Everton by 13 goals to one. Teams; - Everton; - Joliffe goal; Dick and Dobson backs; Corey, Gibson, and Higgins, half-backs; Farmer Fleming, Costley, Briscoe, and Richards, forwards. Linacre; - McGregor, goal; Graham, and Moffatt backs; R. Stuart, Smith and T. Hobley half-backs; A. Short, T. Finn, A. Barbour, J. Jones, and W. Ferguson forwards.

The Liverpool Cup
February 26 th 1887. Football Field.
The competition for this trophy was again dug out last Saturday, but failed to rouse a sparkle of enthusiasm in any direction. The whole business is state flat, and unprofitable, and our leading clubs will undoubtedly have to consider the arrangement of a good reserve to carry out the various ties, except on such occasions as the drawing against one another. There is not a single team of any consequence outside Everton and Stanley in the district, which has not gone down before the Bootle Reserves, and had this team been entered they would almost assuredly have gone in the semi-final, always supposing them to steer clear of Everton and Stanley. The drawing of Bootle and Everton in the first round has almost killed the competition so far as public interest is concerned. Could not something be done to bring in a larger number of clubs of something like average calibre? Such a consideration is worthy the attention of the Liverpool Association. There are but five affiliated clubs worthy of a place in the Senior competitions –Everton, Bootle, Stanley, Earlestown and Oakfield Rovers –although the status of the last named would be best expressed by the appellation of our leading Junior club. It is certainly anything but satisfactory for the leading clubs to be compelled to devote a number of Saturdays to such fixtures as were witnessed at Everton and Walton last Saturday.

Excellent match.
Everton were drawn against Linacre in the third round for the Liverpool Cup. The Linacre team consists of a number of Bootle juveniles, who can play a very decent game with clubs of their own calibre, and who have had a very fair record up to the present. But when matched against Everton they simply shrink into insignificance. They were beaten last Saturday by 13 to 1 after as one-sided a game as can be conceived. Their forwards have a correct notion, little more; their half-backs are primitive in their methods; their full backs are painfully weak. They had not passed the stage when it is necessary to stay the ball before hitting it, and they were no impediment to the advance of the Everton forwards. McGregor in goal passed through a trying ordeal with credit. Half the gate must have been a great windfall for the youngsters, and a salve for inglorious defeat.

Prospective
The final for the Liverpool Cup is beginning to assume a more interesting aspect owing to the improved form lately exhibited by Stanley. It was observed that Corey assisted in their Cup tie, and it is the opinion of many that the popular half-back should, if he does not go out of form altogether, be given the honour of participating in the final stages of the competition. There is not a great difference between him and Stevenson, and he played no mean part in the tie with Bootle. The forcoming charity match at Bootle promises to big a big success. Hearty co-operation is deserved in so worthy a project. Easter is not close, but fixtures at the holiday season are gradually being filled in. Everton play Hurst Padiham, and Burnley, and Bootle, who usually go on tour at this season have a very attractive series of home matches in contemplation. This will be gratifying news to their supporters.

Association Game
February 26 th 1887. The Liverpool Courier.
An easy task fell to the lot of Everton in the third round of the Liverpool and District Challenge Cup contest. Their opponents being Linacre. Everton played their full strength with the exception of Stevenson, whose place at half was taken by Corey. It is needless to say that the cupholders did pretty much as they liked with their weak opponents. In the first couple of minutes of play as many goals were scored while before the interval the Evertonians had added four more. In the second portion of the game seven goals fell to the lot of the homesters the Linacre backs making many mistakes. Once however, the visitors went away with a rush and scored their only point, leaving Everton the easiest of winners by 13 goals to one. It is useless to criticism the home players, as the Linacre backs were completely “at sea.”

The Liverpool Licensed Victuallers with the aid of Dobson, Farmer and Higgins of the Everton F.C commenced their career on Thursday against police Athletic, Stevenson the Everton half back playing for the police, Victoallers winning by a goal to nil. Dobson, Gibson, Farmer and Costley have been selected to play today against at Newcastle on Tyne, for Lancashire and Northemberland.
Todays matches.
Everton v Bury at Anfield
Everton Swifts v Fazackerley Rovers

Everton v Bury
February 26 th 1887. Football Field
The Liverpool folk are great on football and no mistake, and this afternoon furnished another instance of the keen interest they take in the winter sport. Bury were the visitors, and they can scarcely lay claim to being a powerful attraction, but despite this and the fact that six of the regular home team players were absent, four (Dobson, Gibson, Farmer, and Costley) assisting Lancashire Juniors at Newcastle, and Dick and Stevenson being on the sick list, the “gate” numbered over 3,000. The following were the players; - Everton; - Joliffe goal; Marriott and Fleming, backs; Corey, Parry, and Higgins, half-backs; George Briscoe, Richards, Gurley, and Finlay, forwards. Bury; - F. Wright, goal; Ross, and Ghent, backs; J. Wright, Black, and Malpas, half-backs; Ross, Lee Douglas, Pollock, and Hitchin forwards. Referee, Mr. Barclay, Liverpool. As will be seen from the Everton names, Fleming, who is undoubtedly the best forward, went full back, and his place was taken by W. George a change which the spectators couldn't comprehend, and evidently didn't appreciate. Bury kicked off, but were at once pulled up by Marriott, and by pretty passing the home forwards carried play into their opponents' territory, where Finlay mulled an easy chance. Pollock was cheered for splendid piece of tackling in midfield at the end of which he passed to Douglas who raced off to Joliffe's end, only to shoot wide. Pollock worked like a demon for Bury and proved a regular thorn in the sides of the Evertonians, whose best-laid schemes for nearing the visitors' custodian were often, bottled up by him. At last, however, Briscoe beat him by a neat piece of trickery, and immediately passed to Gurley who however, could not get up in time to put on the finishing touch. The Buryites played up well, and often imperiled Joliffe's charge the leather being often sent in by the forwards, who appeared to be in fine form. Ultimately their plucky efforts were rewarded with success. Clark kicking the first goal amid cheers. Still continuing the pressure, many minutes hadn't expired ere the visitors were accorded a second goal Ross doing the needful. The homesters claimed that he was offside but their appeal was over-ruled. Bury had now thoroughly the best of Everton, who were completely disorganised owing to the numerous absentees from their ranks, and very soon Hitchin notched a third goal against them, this being the result of some splendid forward play. These reverses put the home eleven on their study, and in order to mend matters Fleming was transferred to his right position, where he was not long in making himself prominent. The vigorous attempts of the home team to make an impression in the Bury defence, were all in vain, however, and directly after they were further discouraged by their opponents registered a fourth point from the foot of Hitchin. Half-time Bury four, Everton none. In the second half Everton pressed severely, but only scored once, the game getting rather rough, and Bury kicking out. Result Everton 1 Bury 4.

Everton v Bury
February 28 th 1887. The Liverpool Mercury
With sadly diminished forces as will be perceived from a perusal of the “teams” appended to this report Everton were opposed on Saturday last to Bury –not one of the foremost Lancashire clubs in any sense but one of the “coming” once assuredly. Marriott, George, Parry, Corey, Gurley and Finlay fill the void in the home ranks; but as was only to be expected the side was completely disorganised. Fleming is known to posses capabilities as a back, but they are only latent; and the loss of his great services as a forward was out of all proportion to the acquision of his qualities as a back, a fact early realised and remedied. Everton won the toss, and at once made a raid, into Bury quarters, a loud expression of disappointment greeting the failure of Finlay to make use of a very ease opening. Play was next waged at midfield where the Bury half-backs were exceedingly active and obtaining an advantage Pollock raced strongly away and Douglas repeated the proceeding feat of Finlay, his shot being far from correct. Play now was very fast , and after a clever escape of Briscoe from attentions which were throughout pressingly paid to him the home forwards again went in good style for the Bury goal. But the left wing dallied and the chance was lost. Hereabout the visitors appeared to settle down and aided by unstained attentions from their rare rank, were ever on the attack. The Everton defence at last broke down and after Clark had beaten Joliffe the Bury forwards showed real ability and for a time Everton were very hard pressed. The first goal was quickly followed by a second from the foot of Ross, and when Hichen got a third the necessity for some expedient to stop inglorious defeat at once led the Everton captain to call George back. Fleming resumed his usual position and at once got to work. A corner fell to Everton as a result of a fast run, and though Gurley shortly made a good attempt to score, further disaster, immediately followed, as Hitchen again scored. A scrimmage near the Bury goal followed by a characteristic screw by Fleming nearly led to its downfall but half time found Everton in a minority of four goals. Matters considerably improved for the home team after half-time. They made straight for their opponents' goal, but were held at bay by fine back play and excellent goakeeping. After open play, Finlay scored with a long shot the goalkeeper being rushed. This was encouraging and the spectators urged the home forwards to further efforts a magnificent screw by Fleming again barely missing effect. To the finish the contest was waged with spirit and as the Bury goalkeeper was wary and the full backs were very cool several well-meant efforts of the home clubs were foiled and Bury proved winners by 4 goals to 1. Teams; - Bury; - Wright goal; Ross and Ghent backs; Wright, Black and Malpass, half-backs; Ross Lee, Douglas, Pollock, and Hitchen, forwards. Everton; - Joliffe goal; Marriott and George backs; Corey Parry and Higgins, half-backs; Fleming, Briscoe, Richards, Gurley, and Finlay forwards.

Notes.
The illness of Dick, the Everton full back if it proves troublesome will create a vacancy at Anfield road not easily filled up, and has caused much regret amongst the club's supporters.
The Lancashire Juniors were a trifle out of their death in the encounter with Northumerland as they were defeated by four goals to 1. The Lancashire Juniors had four Evertonians –Dobson, Gibson, Farmer and Costley.