Everton v Astley Bridge
September 6 th 1886. The Liverpool Courier.
Everton played their fourth match (Sixth) for the season on the home ground at Anfield on Saturday, and there was again a large assemblage of spectators, numbering close upon 2,000. Great interest was manifested in the play, which was all against the strangers, who suffered a crushing defeat, notwithstanding the disadvantage under which Everton laboured in commencing the game with nine men besides being short of Fleming and Wilding. It is only fair to Astley Bridge, however, to say that they had to avail themselves of a substitute, being short of one of their leading players. The visitors kicked off, and having repulsed an attack, Briscoe showed cleverness and was warmly applauded. The Bridgties obtained possession, but the effort calumniated in a shot over the bar. After some fairly even play Everton obtained a kick from the corner, which, however, resulted in failure. Shortly afterwards the visitors claimed and obtained the verdict for a “foul” the resulting shot from which was well headed out of goal by George. Now Robson and Briscoe forced the play on the right, but an erratic shot spoiled an apparently favourable chance of scoring. A moment later Gibson placed the ball in front to Farmer, who had the misfortune to head just outside the uprights; while in close following the ball struck the bar and was next kicked outside by Farmer from a difficult position the player's luck being aggravating in the extreme. For a moment Everton had a hot time of it in front of goal, but Joliffe defended valiantly, and half-time was reached without a point being scored by either side. Immediately after the restart Farmer centred, and Higgins rushing up the ball was very cleverly headed through goal, and no sooner had play recommenced that Gibson, from a scrimmage, added a second gaol, amidst great cheering. Now, for a length of time the strife raged furiously in the vicinity of the Astley goal, and Thompson, its custodian having twice cleverly got the sphere away, Costley for the third time reduced the visitors' fortress. A minute had barely elapsed when the same player added the fourth and last goal amidst renewed cheering. During this half of the game the visitors were so conspicuously over played that Joliffe enjoyed almost a sinecure for only in a couple of instances were they able to break away, and as each attack was easily repulsed, the Bridgeiites were defeated by four goals to nothing. R. Sleigh (back) and Shorrock (forward) were the best of the visitors; while for Everton Farmer, who played well, had cruel luck in not scoring. Teams; - Astley Bidge; - J. Thompson, goal; S. Briscoe and R. Sleigh (captain), backs; W. Thompson, Grier, and Greenwood, half-backs; F. Shorrock, J. Ainsworth, E. Ainslie, L. Scholes, and J. Scholes, forwards. Everton; - Joliffe goal; Dobson (captain) and George, backs; Corey, Jones, and Higgins, half-backs; Farmer, Costley, Gibson, Robson, and Briscoe, forwards.
September 11 th 1886. Football Field.
Astley Bridge at their worst.
Surely this must have been the case last Saturday. After the Accrington match the visit of the Bolton club to Everton fell somewhat flat, and the attendance was scarcely up to the average of those seen at Anfield-road. Neither was the exhibition of football anything like the class hitherto witnessed at this ground. Everton were at their worst, and yet were four goals better than Astley. Surely then Astley Bridge were altogether off form. We shall have an early opportunity of judging, for a fortnight today they will reappear in Liverpool to take on Bootle at Hawthorne-road. The visitors came with an incomplete team, but a volunteer in the person of young Greenwood of the Everton second team was forthcoming; he was, however, of very little use. What efforts he put forth were discouraged by an unkind section of the spectators, who chaffed the youngster unmercifully whenever he went near the ball, which completely unnerved him and made him useless to his side. Everton started the game with only nine men, Fleming and Wilding being absence. The absence of the latter was much commented on, it being known that he intended to assists the Oakfield Rovers against the Blackburn Rovers' second team. The rearrangement of the Everton side proved unworkable, and indeed had they been opposed with a strong team they could scarcely have escaped defeat. It requires a big effort however, to take down the Everton colours. Even with their nine players they quite held their own at the commencement of the game. Astley Bridge had some good chances, but their play at centre was wretchedly weak. Joliffe had quite a nice time of it, for badly as the Everton full backs played, he was never pressed throughout the game. Several shots, undoubtedly, were aimed at his charge, but the nimble one easily repelled these. On the other hand the Astley Bridge custodian had a warm time of it. Especially in the second half. Many shots just missed in the first portion, but it looked at one time during the second half as if Everton would run up a tall score. Four goals were scored in double quick time, but then the home forwards fell away, and although they took numerous corners did not increase their score. The game was by far the least interesting of any Everton have played so far. The Everton backs played very badly; Carey has rarely done worse at half-back whilst the forward play was distinguishable for spasmodic bursts of excellence and long spells of very indifferent play. Farmer and Costley did very fairly at times, as did also Higgins and Briscoe. The latter, however, appears to be developing a very objectionable penchant for “fancy” play. Some of his attempts in this direction were ludicrous. When he played the game pure and simple he was very effective, and it is to be hoped he will model his style on that of Fleming, the most genuine of the Everton forward players. Of the Astley Bridge, Sleigh and Briscoe were the best, none of the others exhibiting form above second class. After their trio of victories over Darwen, Accrington, and Astley Bridge, there is little doubt that visiting teams to Anfield Road must not leave any of their best players at home.
Everton v Derby County
September 13 th 1886. The Liverpool Courier.
This the first visit of the Derby county team, attracted a large attendance of spectators at the Anfield enclosure on Saturday, about 2,500 persons being present. Everton won the toss, and the County kicked off against the wind. After a fruitless corner, had fallen to Everton, the Shiral men got well within Everton quarters, but Dick relived by a hugh kick, in front of goal, but although Farmer headed through, the point was disallowed owing to an appeal for offside being sustained. Everton then pressed, but the ball went over the line. The pressure was still continued, and Farmer at length scored a legitimate point. The visitors then made a run into the Everton quarters, but Dobson (although suffering from a bad knee) cleared the danger. Farmer subsequently had a shot at the visitors' fortress which failed, and renowing the attack Everton scored a second goal Gibson headed a goal from a corner which was disallowed, and half-time was reached with Everton leading by two goals to nil. On restarting, Everton notwithstanding a strong wind, which impeded their progress, invaded the visitors quarters, the ball passing outside. The County then had a run upheld, which being checked the home forwards worked the sphere back, and an exciting scrimmage in front of the visitors' goal ended in Spilsbury sending the ball into touch. From the throw in the leather was landed over the Derby bar. A corner kick which fell to the visitors proved futile, and after some good play by both teams the Everton forwards rushed on the Derby goal, and notwithstanding a good defence by Bestwick, Farmer beat him, and scored a third goal for the Liverpool cup holders. A second corner, to the County was the next item of interest, but like the proceeding one nothing came of it. A foul for “hands” then fell to Everton. The ball was well kicked into goal by Dobson, but Bestwick fisted out, and the sphere finally bounded over the line. Not long afterwards the visitors made a grand rush on the Everton citadel, and were rewarded by scoring a well-earned goal. Following this some good passing by the home forwards resulted in Briscoe shooting an easy goal, while Costley made a good attempt later on. Time was then called leaving Everton victorious by four goals to one. For Everton Dick and Dobson at back played finely, especially the former, while Gibson and Corey at half; and Fleming Farmer, Briscoe, and Costley forwards showed good form. At times Bestwick in goal for the County played well, while Bakewell, Spilsburty, Cooper, Plackett, and Williamson were the best of the others. Teams; - Everton; - Joliffe, goal; Dick and Dobson (captain), backs; Corey, Higgins, and Gibson, half-backs; Fleming, Farmer Wilding, Costley, and Briscoe, forwards. Derby County; - Bestwick, goal; Bakewell and Spilsbury, backs; Lantham, Warmby, and Cooper, half-backs; Plackett, Evans, Coghilll, Williamson, and Morley, forwards.
Everton's finest achievement
September 18 th 1886. Football Field
At last we are beginning to assert ourselves. For some years Association football in Liverpool has been rapidly gaining on popular support, and its votaries have each year attained a higher degree of excellence. The series of brilliant victories, with which Everton have opened the season, has given them a status amongst the foremost clubs of the country. Their defeat of Derby County by four goals to one was the best performance, perhaps, in the annuals of the club. The magnitude of the victory is by no means represented by the actual difference in the number of goals scored. From start to finish the Liverpool players asserted an unmistakable superiority, and the ball was kicked through the County goal no less than seven times, the number of corner kicks taken by Everton remarkable against a club whose defence is well known to be very powerful. It should be stated that this was the county's opening match, and that several of their best players did not turn up. It is scarcely likely, however, that a change in the personnel of the visitors' team could have made a great difference in the result, as the winners played in very brilliant fashion. When the Everton team appeared on the ground it was noticed that only one full back had turned out, and something like a sensation was caused a moment later by the appearance in Everton colours of Dick, of Kilnarnock, who was the mainstay of the Stanley team during last season. This fine young player has, like many other Liverpool footballers, coquetted with all three of our leading clubs. It was known at the close of last season that Dick had offered his services to Bootle. The latter club do not appear to have been quite as astute in their dealings with players of this sort as their rivals at Anfield Road, who have succeeded in gathering into their fold two players who, during last season, were the most unpopular of all Liverpool players with the crowd at Everton. Needless to say that none are now more popular in the same district. Dick was accorded an enthusiastic reception from the throng, but methought I detected just one still small voice, amid the cheering, salute the debutant with his sometime pet Everton cognomen. The Everton team may now be considered as complete, for although there are two manifestly shaky members, it is not likely that for a time at least, the Everton Committee will make any further changes. The most noteworthy absence from the visitors' rank was Spilsbury, and his non-appearance was a great disappointment. The gate was a fine one, for there could not have been less than 4,000 spectators on the ground.
A Fast Game.
Everton won the toss, and played with the wind during the first half. From the kick-off it was evident the game would be fast. The home forwards passed and dribbled and rushed in a fashion not witnessed before at Everton. Farmer on one wing, and Fleming on the other, led the van, and delighted their admires by an exhibition of their very best form. The Derby defence was sorely tried. From the first, shots began to pour in with the greatest persistence, and the goalkeepers' post was anything but a sinecure. ‘Would have been a pity were this the case, for then we should have lost the opportunity of seeing a really grand display of goalkeeping by Bestwick. After several fine shots Farmer got one through, a feat quickly imitated by Costley. Everton were thus two goals ahead and then commenced one of the most furious attacks on a goal, which I have ever witnessed. Shots came in from every direction, but were repelled in splendid style by the Derby custodian. One really great feat did this gentleman accomplish. He met swift shot, and though charged through his goal, managed to fist the ball away. The ball was returned immediately and again he repelled it, again being surrounded by the Everton forwards, and when he once more got in his blow at the ball, flying through his goal, the spectators were fairly electrified and burst into enthusiastic cheering. And so throughout the whole game did he exhibit the highest qualities of a custodian. Although only two goals ahead with the wind, Everton increased their lead in the second half and won by four goals to one. It was a well-earned victory, in which the victors had much ill luck, for the number of shots which barely missed, together with the number of goals disallowed, were exceptionally large. All the winners played well and were never seen to greater advantage, whilst of the Derby players Bakewell was a complete failure, Morley disappointing, Cooper and Keys a fine left wing, Wharmby a glutton for work, and Bestwick a veritable Trojan.
To the competitions in which the final will be played off in the first round may now be added that for the Liverpool Cup. The last pair to be drawn from the hat when the draw was made on Monday night was Bootle and Everton in the order named. Here is excitement for the immediate future. Everton play Glasgow Rangers for the English Cup, Bootle play Great Lever in the same competition, and then the local champions strive for the mastery in the Liverpool competition. The draw is appended. The round must be completed by October 23 rd .
Bromborough v Gymnasium; Southport Wanderers v Haydock; Police Athletic v Southport Recreation; St John's v ramblers; High Park v Stanley; Post Office v St. benedict's; Linacre v Skelmersdale United; Tranmere Rovers v St. Peter's; Birkenhead Argyle v Oakfield Rovers; Bootle v Everton.
Everton v Rossendale
September 20 th 1886. The Liverpool Courier.
These clubs met at Anfield on Saturday before close upon 3,000 spectators. During the first half of the game Everton, playing down hill scored a goal (by the aid of Briscoe). Afterwards the home team had a lot the best of the game, repeatedly penning their opponents, and Briscoe notched a second point. Fifteen minutes before him Farmer passed over to Fleming, and that player scored a third goal. This was the last point, and Everton won by three goals to nothing. Teams; - Everton; - Joliffe, goal; George and Dick, backs; Corey, Gibson and Higgins, half-backs; Briscoe, Farmer, Wilding, Fleming and Costley, forwards. Rossendale; - Cropper, goal; Haworth and F. Ashworth, backs; J. Ashworth, Saunders, and Moorhouse, half-backs; F. Heseltine, Turner, F. Barnes, Whittaker, and Walls, forwards.
Another Everton victory
September 25 th 1886. Football Field.
After the big events at Anfield-road, the visit of Rossendale fell somewhat flat. The lads from the East Lancashire valley, however, are by no means to be despised. The names of the players have a true Lancashire ring, and their statues is characteristic of our cotton mill hands. They can play the game, too, but on Saturday they played as if they knew they had no chance of success. Yet they have started their season with an easy defeat of Bury and a clever victory over Colne. Still one could have desired a more hopeful effort than they put forth when pitted against Everton. They did well enough in the open; but when close to their opponents' goal seemed to lose their heads. The penalty was a three to nil defeat. The “gate” was a capital one, all things considered, something like 2,500 spectators turning up. Dobson was missing from the Everton team, the second time since the old Wanderers had been connected with Everton. He has suffered from bad knees during the present season, and his reputation has not gained in consequence. The crowd is proverbially fickle and always worships the rising sun, so that Dobson was well advised in seeking a rest, which is bound to serve the double purpose of allowing his knees a chance to get strong and to demonstrate his usefulness tom his side. He could be spared on Saturday last, for Dick was in great form, his display at full back being of the highest class, whilst George was more than usually safe. The first portion of the game was fought out with great spirit, and though Everton brought great pressure to bear on their opponents' goal they were a long time before they notched a point, and then in a not altogether satisfactory manner. The visitors made several incursions into the territory of Everton, but Dick was ever on the alert, and this player came in for much applause for his fine play, for he not only defended his own quarters, but his splendid returns repeatedly jeopardised his opponents' goal. In the second half Everton scored twice, and notwithstanding Rossendale showed up better than in the first portion, they failed to score, Everton winning by three goals to nil. This closes the opening series of matches at Anfield-road, which have proved a very great success. Six matches have been won and two lost, the latter being those with Rawtenstall and Bolton Wanderers, whilst the victories have been recorded against Darwen, Astley Bridge, Accrington, Derby County, Rossendale and Stanley. This is a big task to have accomplished thus early in the season, but it will inevitably tell its tale.
September 25 th 1886. The Liverpool Courier.
Everton it is true suffered a couple of early defeats by Rawtenstall and the Bolton Wanderers, being beaten by the latter by three goals to one only; but this would seen to have had a salutary effect, for in rapid succession brilliant victories have been gained over Darwen, Accrington, Astley Bridge Derby Country, and lastly Rossendale. These are the greatest successes that have ever fallen to a Liverpool club, nor is there the slightest reason why, with the experience thus gained, they should not be repeated later in the season. What earthly change then can even the best of our local clubs have against such powerful opponents, who on their present form must take rank with the leading organisations of the county. There may, however, be a surprise in store, but the last of the first round ties will undoubtedly decide the issue of the contest.
Everton v South Shore at Anfield.
Bromborough Pool v Everton Swifts at Bromborough.
Everton v South Shore (Blackpool)
September 27 th 1886. The Liverpool Courier.
The Blackpool Team paid their first visit to Liverpool on Saturday, and opposed Everton on the Anfield ground, and notwithstanding the wretched state of the weather there was an attendance of three thousand spectators. Everton kicked off up the incline, and immediately a visit was paid to the South Shore end, where Langley stopped a shot by Briscoe, although Everton were pushed back upon their own lines, nothing resulted. A corner, then fell to the home team, which proved fruitless, when a run by the left again placed the Blackpool goal in jeopardy, and after a sharp scrimmage its reduction was accomplished by Farmer. Encouraged by this success, Everton again rushed down on their opponents' goal, but although Sharples kicked away, Fleming, from the right, scored a second point. Two others were disallowed, and half-time was reached with Everton leading by two goals to nil. On Watson restarting for the visitors, the ball was taken to the Everton quarters by Richard Elston, who being dispossessed by Farmer, the latter rushed to the other end, where Langley saved a brilliant style, while Dakin kicked to midfield. A corner kick then fell to South Shore, from which the ball went harmlessly over the line. Costley and Farmer then took the sphere down the Everton left, right up to the visitors' goal, where Farmer shot, but Langley again saved marvelously. The Blackpool men now made a raid on the home citadel, where Dobson conceded a corner, Jefferson placed the ball well in front of goal, but on Dick clearing hostilities were transferred to midfield, where Fleming got possession, and passing over to Briscoe, that player notched a third point for the home team. From the kick off the visitors got well within the Everton line. Gibson, however, stopped the rush, and a combined run by the Everton forwards resulted in Wilding notching a fourth point. The visitors, who were greatly overplayed now tried hard to score, but their efforts were of no avail, the home defence being superb. Shortly afterwards a fifth goal was scored from the centre by Wilding the game terminating in favour of Everton by five goals to nil. Everton; - Joliffe, goal; G. Dobson (captain) and R. Dick, backs; E. Corey, A. Gibson, and M. Higgins, half-backs; G. Farmer, J. Wilding, Briscoe, Costley, and Fleming, forwards. South Shore; - Langley goal; Sharples, and Dakin, backs; R. Walsh (captain), T. Parr, and Heaton, half-backs; Robert Elston, Richard Elston, Watson, Jefferson, and Ainsworth, forwards.
Bromborough Pool v Everton “A”
September 28 th 1886. The Liverpool Courier.
This match was played at New Ferry on Saturday, before a small number of spectators, and resulted in an easy victory for the Pool by six goals to one. Marriott, Richards, and Parry for Everton and Williams (in goal) for the winners, played well.