EVERTON 1 SHEFFIELD UNITED 4 (Game 251)
November 1 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The visit of the United team to the Everton enclosure created no small stir among local followers of the game, for the advertised time of commencing operations there would be quite 25,000 spectators present. The untarnished record of the Blades of course added greatly to the attraction, and among the hugh crowd there were many to be found confident of the ability of the Evertonians to check their long career of success. The sides were at their best with the exception of J.Bell, and a few minutes before three o'clock they faced as follows : - Everton: - McFarlane, goal, Meechan, and Storrier, backs, Boyle (captain), Holt, and Robertson, halfbacks, Taylor, Williams, Bell (L), Cameron, and Drivers, forwards. Sheffield United: - Foulkes, goal, Thickett, and Cain, backs, Howell, Morren, and Needham, halfbacks, Bennett, McKay, Almond, Cunningham, and Priest, forwards. The Everton forwards opened well, and after four minutes play a grand movement was taken up by the right wing, the ball being eventually centred to L.Bell, who gave Foulkes no opportunity to save. This early success spured on the Evertonians who repeatedly swarmed round the United defence, but a change of venue was effected by Bennett, who had the better of Storrier, though his centre was not taken up. For some little time Storrier played a capital game by keeping the ball well ahead, but there was no getting through and in a trice Moran missed the Everton goal, by the merest shave. Another attack was well met by Meechan, but he had the misfortune to see his kick charged down with Cunningham in complete possession of the goal, and the game was once again, contested on even terms. There was now no denying, the United forwards who dashed along in irresistible fashion, and the swinging passes of the wing men kept Meechan and Storrier on tenter for a considerable period. Needham drove in hard but his attempt was charged on, and for some minutes the Everton goal had several narrow escapes. Success came at last, and Bennett, after a clever run, centred to Almond, and McFarlane was beaten, though directly afterwards the ball was in the United net the point not being allowed owing to offside. An unfortunate mistake by Holt led to Almond racing off from midfield, and the movement being supplemented by the left wing the ball was returned, and the centre put it through for the third time, the score at the interval being Sheffield United 3 goals, Everton i. On resuming the Everton forwards put in much good work and clever shots, but everything came alike to Foulkes, who handled out of goal, fisted away, or kicked out in most forcible fashion. Bell once a most threaded his way through and a magnificent long shot from Boyle was sailing in at the corner of the net when the gaint custodian coolly tipped it behind. Another capital shot from Taylor met with no better result, and when at length Drivers found the net the whistle announced offside. A splendid chance was afterwards offered to Cameron, as Foulkes had been tempted out of goal, but it was not put to advantage. Bemmett, who raced clean through, and having only McFarlane to beat, shot badly, broke the monotony of pressure. Another visit to the Sheffield end found Foulkes in the right spot to save a header from Cameron, and another individual efforts on the part of Bennett, who got the better of Robertson and Storrier resulted in a fourth goal, McFarlane making no effort to save. Everton pressed severely at the close, and in clearing the custodian came in contact with Bell, the latter retiring, evidently much injured. Nothing further was scored, and the United won a hard game by 4 goals to 1.
NEWTON 1 EVERTON RESERVES 0
Novemeber 1 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
Two Reserves sent off
At Newton. After 20 minutes play Swettenham scored for Newton and the Welshmen had the best of play up to half time. On resuming, two Evertonians were immediately ordered off. Newton had the better of the second half but no further goals was scored. Everton: - Muir, goal, Balmer, and Barker, backs, McKinlay, McConnell, and Gillan, halfbacks, Hughes, Lewis Chadwick, Littlejohn, and Schofield, forwards.
November 1 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The visit of the Sheffield United team to the Everton ground resulted in a capital attendance's, and if the result of the game was not quite in accordance with the anticipations of the hugh crowd, they had the satisfaction of setting the matter in their own minds as to the claims of the Sheffield club to leadership. With the exception of a couple of players, there are no bright particular stars of the football world included in their team, but they are a perfect band of workers trained to a nicety and, moreover generally accurate in all their movements, and avoiding accident to players, they should be somewhere about the top when the final settlement of honours comes round. The opening stages of the game certainly pointed towards victory for Everton for the home players immediately from the kick off bounded into their best stride, and before the game was five minutes old a beautifully worked out plan of campaign gave them the lead. For the first 15 minutes the Evertonians had more than a share of the play, but the Blades quickly took advantage of looseness on the part of the Everton backs, and got upon equal terms. During the next few minutes it was quite apparent where the strength of the United attack lay, for the wing men were now simply irresistible and more than once the Everton defenders were completely outwitted and easily left behind. The Sheffield pounced upon the ball with an alacrity that contrasted markedly with the comparatively cloth of the Evertonians, and for a lengthily period they thoroughly had the upper hand of their opponents. During this time the full backs were none to clean in their kicking, and the swinging passes of wingmen added still further to their discomfiture. Still there were occasions when the Everton forwards, with more generalised work, were often troubling Foulkes and the value of the burly custodian's services could not be over estimated. Before the interval had arrived the visitors had made their position secure with a lead of two goals, one of which was the outcome of a badly directed pass by Holt, and the prospects of Everton were, of course, not of the brightest. However, the home side played up spiritedly in the second moiety, only to be time after time repulsed by the Sheffield custodian, and if ever a goalkeeper had a lion's share in the game, Foulkes certainly had on Saturday. One magnificent header by Cameron when close in was kept out with capital judgement and a brilliant dropping shot by Boyle was not allowed to find a resting place in the net, these being a couple out of many really first class efforts to score. McFarlane was not afforded much opportunity of displaying his cleverness, for the backs were generally beaten, close in, and the ball was in the net before he could get off the mark. Still he might have made an attempt to prevent the fourth goal, for there is no earthly chance for a custodian remaining between the uprights after the full backs are completely beaten. By sticking rigidly to his post he is thus practically at the mercy of the man in possession, while there is a change of baulking an opponent by running out to meet him. Foulkes was not show in this respect, for on two occasions did he save after both Thickett and Cain had been overrun. Taking a general review of the game there was intermingled with it a vast amount of luck, and unfortunately for Everton, none of it came their way. On the day's play none could begrudged victory to the United, but a verdict of 4 goals to 1 was not at all in keeping with the general run of the play. The onus of defeat in a great measure left upon the full backs, and their weakness came somewhat as a surprise to those who have followed their play in recent contests. They certainly had to contend against two of the smarter wing men to be sound in the League, but there can be no excuse for dallying with the ball and causing play during an appeal for offside, as was the case on Saturday. The halfbacks were not up to their usual standard, for they frequently placed the ball to an opponents, and on one occasion this defect led up to a goal. Boyle was the most consistent worker, and Robertson at times did very well against the speed Sheffield right wing. There was no great fault to be found with the forwards. The left wing was the more successful, much of the incisive attacks on the Sheffield goal enamating from the quarter, while Bell put a fair amount of dash into his play, and kept both wings well employed. Williams was not up to his former standard, and Taylor, though often prominent, was kept fairly well in check by Needham and the Ex Evertonians Cain. The Sheffield forwards were exceptionally keen on the ball, and the outside men were responsible for most of the work that savored of danger. Bennett, on the right was certainly the finest wingers seen at Everton this season, and it is questionable if there is another to be found in the country as resourceful in speed and general play. Storrier no doubt could bear testimony to this, and his confrere. Meechan might also have a similar regard to the abilities of Pricat. The inside men played a good average game, and Almond kept the whole line in good working order all through. The work of the halfbacks was generally well directed, and at full back the Blades had a powerful lead over the Evertonians, both Trickett and Cain proving in immense stumping block to the efforts of the home forwards. Sufficient has been written concerning the effective part played by Foulkes, both in saving and clearing, but it was rather unfortunate that he should have marred his brilliant performance by an overuse of his weight, for there was no occasion for its requisition which led to Bell's removal from the field. Sunning up, it was a hard tough game in which, the visitors were lucky to win by so pronounced a margin as four goals to one.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION 2 EVERTON 2 (Game 252)
November 8 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The first of the season's engagement between these clubs took place at West Bromwich on Saturday, before an attendance of some 6,000 spectators. Owing to the injury to L.Bell, the Everton forwards line was not definitely suited until arrival at West Bromwich, when J.Bell was drafted into the centre position, and much conjecture was abroad as to the ability of the combination backs and goalkeeper to get creditably through their work. The Albion were without Bassett and McManus and at 2-45 the sides lined out as follows: - Everton: - Muir, goal, Balmer (w), and Barker, backs, Boyle (captain), Holt, and Robertson, halfbacks, Taylor, Williams, Bell (j), Cameron, and Drivers, forwards. West Bromwich Albion: - Reader, goal, Cave and Williams, backs, Perry, Jones, and Banks, halfbacks, Dear, Flewitt, Higgins, McKenzie, and Garfield, forwards. Everton were the first to get into a dangerous stride, and for some time the Albion defenders were kept busily employed. Eventually Cameron shot in only to fine cave in the way, and a few minutes later Taylor was busy testing the defensive powers of Williams, whose hugh kicks were very serviceable to his side. The Albion, who had the slope in their favour, eventually got well down, and after the ball had been put outside, a further return ended in the defence giving way, with the result that Flewitt passed put to Garfield, who opened the scoring barely five minutes from the start. The Everton forwards now put on pressure, but could not get through, and following some even play about midfield, Higgins was afforded an easy opening, but put outside. The same player was again at fault, and shortly afterwards an injury to his knee prevented him from taking any further part in the proceedings. The Albion ten played up pluckily, and during the remainder of the first half they had quite as much of the game as their opponents. Nothing further was scored up to the interval, when Everton were a goal in arrear. On resuming the Albion forwards were the first to be come prominent, though their movements were not of a dangerous character, and after some minutes the visitors infused great dash into their play, and were frequently in the neighborhood of the home defenders. Boyle on one occasion put the ball outside from a long-range shot, and later on Williams fisted out a shot from Drivers. A penalty kick was awarded, and the outside left put the ball into the net, thus equalising the score. The Evertonians now pressed severely, but were eventually beaten back, and Muir's charge was subjected to most severe pressure. After saving several times, the home team claimed that the ball had passed over the line, and the referee after consulting the linesman, awarded a goal. The Everton forwards now played up in spirited fashion, and Reader was responsible for a couple of clever saves in quick success, and for a lengthy period the visitors had by far the greater share of the game. Taylor was particularly prominent at this juncture, and eventually he put the ball into the net and equalised. Up to a few minutes from the close it appeared as though the Albion goal would again be lowered, and then a big effort was made to defeat Muir, but proving unsuccessful, the game ended in a draw of 2 goals each.
EVERTON RESERVES 6 BUXTON 0
Novemeber 8 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
At Goodison Park. Everton were strongly represented. McFarlane, Meechan, Storrier, Stewart and E.Chadwick turning out. Hulligan started and Everton quickly asserted their superiority, Hulligan, Stewart, and Schofield, scoring. Half time Everton 3 Buxton nil. On resuming the game was all in Everton favour. Kitchen gave a fine display in goal for the visitors. Final result Everton 6 goals, Buxton nil. Everton: - McFarlane goal, Meechan and Storrier, backs McKinley, Douglas, and Stewart, halfbacks, Hughes, Hartley, Hulligan, Chadwick (e), and Schofield, forwards.
November 8 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
Considering the drastic changes made in the Everton team, the capture of a point at West Bromwich was an exceptionally good performance; indeed had the team not been the victims of a very doubtful decision which favoured the Albion, the full complement of points would certainly have been booked. The matters in question occurred in the second portions of the game, and, after Muir had successfully kept out a fusilade of shots, he finally scooped a low one out as it was making its way over the line. The players were on for some seconds, when an appeal was then made for the ball being over the line, and the referee, on consulting the linesmen, who from their position in the field could not possibly rule on the point with any accuracy, allowed the goal. The ruling was distinctly rough on the Evertonians, for they had gallantly defended their lines, and had there been any doubt upon the point, they certainly should have had the benefit. The peculiar slope had a most deterrent effect upon the play of the visiting team for some time, and indeed it was not until the second stage had been entered upon that there were prospects of securing at least one point. The inclusion of J.Bell as was only to be expected after a long enforced rest, did not strengthen the attack, and the wings were mainly engaged in making their own play. They did fairly well against the slope, and in the second half, when the surroundings favored them, they monopolished the greater bulk of play, and fully deserved to win. Of course most people were concerned about the performance of the full backs and goalkeepers, and their work may at once but down as a qualified success. There was but one period and that proved fatal, in the first half when the defence broke before the wild rushes and swinging passes of the Albion forwards, but putting aside the temporary weakness the work of Muir, Barker and Balmer was thoroughly sound. The last named player improved considerably as the game went on, while Barker played a finished and powerful game throughout. Muir made a very successful debut in league football, and is certainly worthy of further trials. The combination players appeared to thoroughly enter into the spirit of their work, for they spared and efforts to recover themselves when beaten, more by the peculiar conditions of the ground than the cleverness of their opponents. The halfbacks worked untiringly and while Holt was mainly occupied in breaking up the combination of the Albion forwards. Boyle and Robertson were always prominent in keeping their forwards well employed. Still, the work of the van only reached a moderate level, and this, as stated above, was mainly owing to J.Bell not being properly fit to take the field. The right wing was the more dangerous, and against the strong Albion defence the line did fairly well. The Throstles were severely handicapped by losing the services of their centre forward early on in the game, and under the circumstances they came of very well. Reader allowed no liberties to be taken with regard to his charge, and the powerful kicking of Williams was one of the notable features of the game. Cave also played a successful game at back, and Banks, Jones, and Perry made up a formidable halfway line. Flewitt the ex-Evertonian was always dangerous when in possession, and many were the amusing incidents that cropped up, in which Holt played so important part, by his close attentions to his custodians clubmates. The outside men were smart and their swinging cross passes often bothered the Everton backs especially in the early portion of the game, while McKenzie the inside left, often-participated in good work. Taking the game all through, it soared be little above the average, and it was unfortunate for the Evertonians that they should have been the victims of very doubtful decision that gave their opponents a second goal.
ASTON VILLA 3 EVERTON 0 (Game 253)
November 15 189. The Liverpool Mercury
The first of the season's League game between these clubs was played at Birmingham on Saturday, and though the weather was most unfavorable there were quite 10,000 spectators present at the commencement of the game. The Everton team underwent further changes, and prospects of their success were rather of a gloomy character L.Bell was still out of the team, and his position was occupied by Cameron, while J.Bell took up the outside left position as partner to Drivers. Storrier reappeared, and Muir was again in goal, while the only noticeable absentee on the home side was Spencer. At 2-45 the sides faced as follows: - Everton: - Muir, goal, Barker, and Storrier, backs, Boyle (captain), Holt, and Robertson, halfbacks, Taylor, Williams, Cameron, Drivers, and J.Bell, forwards. Aston Villa: - George, goal, Sharp (b), and Evans, backs Chatt, Cowan (James), Crabtree, halfbacks, Athersmith, Devey, Sharp (j), Wheldon, and Cowan (John), forwards. The Villa opened play, and for some time they held a strong position in the Everton half of the field. Storrier and Barker were kept constantly employed, the latter players twice keeping out John Cowan when scoring seemed a certainly, and it was not until Bell had run strongly down the left and transferred the play to the other end that the Everton defenders had relief. Taylor also made tracks towards the Villa goal, but there was no passing the two backs, who were exceptionally smart in effecting clearances. J. Sharp then left the field as the result of a collision with Storrier. Still, Taylor managed to put in one splendid effort, and the ball only just skimmed the bar; but from the goal kick Athersmith made play on the right, and Storrier was unlucky enough to handle the ball within the twelve yards limits. Wheldon took the penalty kick and opened the scoring account. A further return by the Villa right wing resulted in Wheldon again scoring from a capital pass by Athersmith both goals having been obtained within 15 minutes from the start. The visitors now infused considerably more dash into their play, but attempts at combinations were on a rule of a very elementary character, and the Villa halves had little difficulty in keeping them back. Comeron eventually tested George with a splendid high shot, which was cleverly saved, and following this the Villa forwards for a lengthy period were busy testing the capabilities of Muir. The custodian was at his best, and when the interval arrived nothing further had been scored, the Villa crossing over with a lead of two goals to none. On resuming, the Villa had the better of the opening exchanges, and following one of many visits to the Everton end, Wheldon only missed the mark by the merest shave. Eventually broke the monotony with a fine run and centre, and for some time after this Villa backs were constantly on the defensive, and they might easily have been beaten more than once had the final touches of the Everton forwards been of all accurate. The whole of the Villa forwards then broke away in a fine combined movement and J.Sharp finished up with a strong low shot which, Muir handled to the ground, but was not able to prevent it passing into the net, after this the game was evenly contested, and no other points being scored, the Villa won by 3 goals to nil.
EVERTON RESERVES 0 LIVERPOOL RESERVES 2
Novemeber 15 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
At Goodison Park, before fully 10,000 spectators. Both teams were strongly represented. Liverpool won the toss and Hulligan started for Everton. Liverpool were the superior team their passing being excellent. Cunliffe and Lumemaden scored before the interval, Liverpool leading by 2 goals to nil. The second half was more evenly contested, but nothing further was scored. Everton: - McFarlane, goal, Struther, and McConnell, backs, Balmer (w), McKinley, and Gillan, halfbacks, Douglas, Stewart, Hughes, Hartley, and Hulligan, forwards.
November 15 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
It was with no little trepidation that the Everton directors and players journeyed to the midland capital on Saturday, the recent changes in the team causing considerable anxious conjecture as to how their present combination would fare against last year's League champions. The left wing was practically reorganised, but no beneficial result accrued from the changes, while the introduction of Cameron to the centre position was equally unsuccessful. In view of the approaches of the cup tie, it would be advisable if the directors would decide upon a permanent disposition of the men capable of representing the forwards division of the team, the repeated shuffling about of the present players having brought affairs to such a climax that uncertainly reigns supreme, with the natural results of nonsuccess following in its train. That the club possesses five forwards of sufficient ability and willingness to carry them successfully through the majority of their contests is indisutable, and with a definite forward rank, encouraged, and left undisturbed for several successive matches, beneficial effects would doubtless ensue. With L.Bell in the centre, and last season's famous right wing, Taylor and J.Bell, again in partnership, with Chadwick and Drivers on the opposite wing, the forwards rank of the club ought to turn out as strong as any it has ever possessed. Against the Villa, the combination of the front rank was simply a minus quantity, not from lack of ability on the part of the men concerned, but from the uncertainly resulting from the players operating in strange positions. Not throughout the afternoon did Everton exhibit any combined movements which would have done credit to any second rate organistion, and to this in a great measure, their defeat may be attributed. As a consequence of the incapacity of their opponents front rank, the Villa halves were easily able to break up the advances of the Everton attacking force, and were enabled to lead their own forward string with comparative equanimity, a further result being that considerable pressure was brought to bear on the visitors defence. The halves and backs were thus continually employed and under the circumstances came out of the ordeal with fair success. They had a tremendous amount of work to get through, and this strain during the first half told its tale in the second, when it was evident that the men had enough of it. Although not as successful as could have been desired in considering the inclement conditions, and the aforementioned circumstances, the defence can be said to have acted in fairly creditable fashion. On the winning side superiority was exhibited in every department. The forwards worked well together and John Cowan on the outside left, gave a splendid display. The whole line moved with commendable precision, and being well backed up by their halves were ever on the alert, and their attacks boded danger in the majority of cases. The halves were not severely tested, but the backs were often busy in checking repeated individual attempts of their opponent's front rank. Sharp kicked and tackled in grand style, his work being clean and effective, and Evans also did well, whilst in goal George was troubled with some capital shots, which he dealt with in clever fashion. That the Villa were the superior team was incontestable, and their victory was well deserved. There was scarcely as weak spot noticeable, and their solid defence was somewhat of a surprise after the rocky displays of the two previous weeks.
PRESTON NORTH END 1 EVERTON 1 (Game 254)
November 22 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The first of the season's league games between Everton and North End was played at Deepdale on Saturday, in the presence of some 6,000 spectators. Owing to indisposition, Meechan gave place to Balmer at full back, and the front line was again rearranged Chadwick taking up his old position while J.Bell partnered Taylor on the right. North End played the same team that cut up so disastrously at Nottingham on the pervious week, and at 2-30 the teams faced as follows: - Everton: - Muir, goal, Balmer (w), and Storrier, backs, Boyle (captain), Holt, and Robertson, halfbacks, Taylor, Bell (j), Bell (l), Chadwick, and Drivers, forwards. North End: - Trainor, goals, Holmes, and Dunn, backs, Blyth, Saunders, and Matthews, halfbacks, Eccleston, Stevenson, Brown, Pierce, and Halsall, forwards. The game opened briskly and greatly in favour of Everton whose forwards working splendidly together were often within shooting range. Trainor was repeatedly called upon, and happened fortunately to be at the right spot to prevent downfall, but it was not for some little time that pressure was averted. A couple of sprints to the other end were cleverly checked first by Balmer and then by Storrier, the result being a repetition of the earlier proceedings. A free kick against Brown for fouling Holt let in the visitors, and after Chadwick and Drivers had made play on the left, the inside men shot across the goalmouth, and Taylor, after being partly checked by Dunn put the ball into the net, play having been in progess twelve minutes. During the next few minutes the home forwards set off with the great dash, and a fine centre by Halsall almost brought about the desired result. There was, however, no getting the better of Balmer and Storrier, though on one occasion Saunders was not far wide of the post. with a capital effort. After another fruitless attempt to lower the Preston goal, the home van aided by a free kick, made considerable headway. The ball was put well up, and after Matthews and Pierce had got their hands to it, Stevenson followed suit and put himself and the ball into the net, thus equalising methods. Following this Everton put on considerable pressure, and on one occasion L.Bell after getting through the backs, finished up in erratic fashion, should had put the ball into the net thus losing a splendid chance of scoring. Up to the interval nothing further was scored, and the teams crossed over on level terms. As in the first half the Evertonians opened in strong fashion put again chances were allowed to go begging and though Trainor had plenty to do, the give him but little trouble. Eccleston and Stevenson were now prominent in attack and Muir more than once had ticklish shots to deal with. Mean while J.Bell had been struggling hard to penetrate the defence single handed, and was repeatedly foiled, but returning again, the ball was put over to Chadwick, who with a terrific shot struck the crossbar, Holmes just getting up in time to prevent a return into goal. Hallsall led the way to the other end but the movement was not sustained and then J.Bell with a brilliant effort got pass the backs and with only Trainor to beat when Dunn tripped him up from behind, just outside the penalty line. Nothing came from the free kick, and up to the close of game was just as heartedly contested, and both sides butting up sterling work. No further scoring took place, and the game ended in a draw of 1 goal each.
EVERTON RESERVES 5 WREXHAM 4
Novemeber 22 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
At Goodison Park, before a fair attendance, Everton pressed and were leading by 3 goals to 1 before the interval. In the second half Jardine gave a good exhibition of goalkeeping, and Barlow was the best forward on the field. Everton: - Macfarlane, goal, Meechan, and Barker, backs, McKinley, Douglas, and Stewart, halfbacks, Hughes, Hartley, Hulligan, Gornett, and Schofield, forwards. (Game 8, won 5 lost 1, draw 2, for 22 against 10, points 12)
November 22 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
After the wretched display of the Evertonians on Saturday work against Aston Villa, it was only to be expected that there would be an improvement at Deepdale in the first of the season's trails with North End. Few, however, were prepared for that improvement in so marked a degree as was noticeable on Saturday, and with a continuance of this quality the team should experience a triumphant career for some time to come. The reconstitution of the attacking line had most beneficial results, and all that is required to reader this department of the team well-nigh invincible is a more complete understanding between Driver and Chadwick. The whole line worked with commendable precision and dash, and their short crisp passing was greatly admired. They lost no opportunity of shooting but in their exuberance at so often getting within range, they failed to utilise their judgement when applying the finishing touch. Almost invariable the ball was driven straight at Trainor, and rarely indeed in a match of such high pressure has a custodian fielded and cleared the ball as frequently as the Preston vertran did on Saturday. This lack of judgement by the Everton forwards must not however, be too severely commented upon. They were evidently over eager, and paid the penalty, which is not likely to be so marked in future, engagements. On one occasion L.Bell might easily have rushed the ball into the net without giving Trainor the slightest chance of saving, but he preferred to shoot, and failed in most tantalising fashion. Again Chadwick shot wide when only about three yards from goal, and hesitancy on the part of Drivers lost an otherwise certain goal. Under ordinary circumstances these openings would have been converted, and mention of them served to show that the Prestonians had a comparatively large share of fortunes favored bestowed on them. On the day's play a margin of two clear goals would more correctly represent the actual run of the game which throughout was an interesting as it was at times exciting. There was never a dull moment, and the ttally opposite methods that were adopted by the teams required no extraneous effort to rouse the lethargy observer of the game. While the visitors excelled in the development of the nicer points of play, the Prestonians held well in check by the Everton half backs, had perforce to resort to the long kick and rush methods of attack, and needless to state, they participated in no small measure in keeping excitement at a high pitch. As an attacking line, the home quintet compared very unfavorably with their opponents in point of skill, and indeed had the work of the full backs and goalkeeper been at a similar level, North End would have been a very ordinary team. The value of the work contributed by Holmes, Dunn, and Trainor could not be over estimated, for almost without exception they tackled and cleared in confident fashion, and at times under most unlooked for conditions. None the less brilliant was Muir, Storrier, and Balmer, who coped with the occasional heavy rushes of the home forwards, with great coolness and dexterity, and in addition their kicking was always clean and effective. Muir never hesitated, and consequently there was a dispatch about his work his work that was truly refreshing while in Balmer the club's understudy of exceptional merit. For a second acquaintance with League Football, the young player came out of the ordeal with flying clours, and there should be no misgiving in future should a vacancy arise in the back division as on Saturday, when Meechan was unable to play owing to a sever cold. Storrier played with all his old dash, and while making mention of this player, it is but fair to state that he was not responsible for the penalty goal at Birmingham, as was reported, Barker was the delinquent, the player for the time being having crossed over-hence the mistake that occurred. The halfbacks were none the less resourceful. Perhaps excepting Holt, who was scarcely up to his best standard, but the great utility of Robertson served to bring up the whole line to a high degree of efficacy. As stated above, the forwards displayed cleverness from the start, and it was a leading feature all through the game, the inclusion of Chadwick, with J.Bell in his old position, undoubtedly being the means of bring the van to a high state of excellence. The North End forwards were fitful, and the only really clever exposition came from Stevenson, who was always dangerous when in possession. At halfback Sanders as usual got through a tremendous amount of work, and was ably second by Blyth, who sufficient mention has been made of the admirable display by Trainor, Holmes, and Dunn, though the latter spoiled his performance in the latter stages of the game by the unsportmanlike manner in which he tripped up Bell. Taking the play all through it was thoroughly interesting, though at the same time there was a superfluity of luck intermingled with the proceedings, and unfortunately for Everton none of it came their way.
PRESENTATION TO TAYLOR
November 23 1897 . The Daily Post
At Goodison Park an interesting presentation took place in the form of a wedding present from the Everton football club to Mr. JD Taylor, the popular Everton forward. The present consists of a pair of real bronze and marble vases of elegant design, which beautifully chased figure on the body of each, and mounted on marble step pedestals, on the base of each is the following inscription: presented to Mr. JD Taylor by the players of the Everton football club, on the occasion of his marriage on 28 TH October 1897'' the presentation was sapped by Mr. RC Oldfield, the Liverpool jeweller and clockmaker
EVERTON 6 WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 (Game 255)
November 29 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The weather on Saturday was not at all favourable for the pursuit of outdoor pastimes, and an attendance of close upon 10,000 on the Goodison Park enclosure must under the adverse conditions be accounted very satisfactory. Sine the first meeting of the clubs at West Bromwich the Everton team has been subjected to many chances, and as Last Saturday's eleven gave a capital account of themselves at Preston it was decided to depend upon the same players, with the exception of Meechan for Balmer. The ground conditions peared to suffer little from the effects of the copious downpours of the night and forenoon, and there was every prospect of a fairly fast game. At 2-35 teams lined up in the following order- Everton: - Muir, goal, Meechan, and Storrier, backs, Boyle (captain), Holt, and Robertson, halfbacks, Taylor, Bell (J), Bell (L), Chadwick, and Drivers, forwards. West Bromwich Albion: - Reader, goal, Cave, and Williams, backs, Perry, Jones, and Brown, halfbacks, Dean, Flewitt (a), Reid, McKenzie, and Garfield, forwards. It will be noticed that Bassett and Higgins were still absentees on the visiting side. The Albion opened play, but the Everton forwards were quickly in possession and a splendid run by J.Bell ended in Reader fisting away after several of his confreres had been defeated. Cave accounted for a further onslaught, following which the Throstles rushed to the other end, where Reid finished badly by putting the ball outside. The Everton forwards returned again, and Reader saved luckily by running out just as J.Bell was about to put his toe to the ball. For some time the Everton forwards maintained the play, but they repeatedly failed to put the ball into the net. A breakaway by Albion left was well attended to, but returning again, Flewitt dashed ahead, and keeping the ball at his toe,, had no difficulty in scoring, this success coming after about ten minutes play. The Albion again ran strongly down, when Storrier sent them to the rightabout, and for a lengthy period play was confined to the visitors half. Faulty finishing touches and several narrow escapes of Readers's citadel were frequent. But eventually Divers headed through from a smart centre by J.Bell. Williams retired hurt, and was absent for a few minutes, during which time the Evertonians again, put on pressure, Chadwick placing his side ahead with a long shot. No further scoring accured up to half time when Everton had a lead of 2 goals to 1. On resuming Everton attacked, but Reader was not often tested, and the monotony of pressure was at length broken by Garfield getting away on the left, the movements however, being spoiled by Reid, who later on also failed to take a fairly easy opening. Meanwhile Drivers had been busy on the home left and, after several fine centres; J.Bell was in command, and with a swift, low shot, brought about Reader a third downfall. The Evertonians were now playing in most confident style, and it was only on odd occasions that the Albion forwards were seen in the Everton half of the field. A magnificent rising shot by J.Bell resulted in Reader tipping the ball over the bar, but nothing came of the corner kick, though a few minutes later J.Bell again made off, and parting to his brother when close in, the latter put on a fourth point. The visitors were now in a thoroughly hopeless pight, and for the remainder of the game were occupied in defences. A fine movement resulted in Driver scoring the fifth goal, from a free kick, well placed by Storrier, L.Bell put the ball into the net, but the referee disallowed the point for offside, which appeared a very doubtful decision. Another bombardment followed, and the ball was scrimmaged through Everton finally winning by 6 goals to 1.
TRANMERE ROVERS 0 EVERTON RESERVES 3
November 29 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
At Tranmere. The ground was soon quagmire. Even play was the order for quite half an hour, when Hulligan shot through. This was followed by another from Carnett. From the restart the Rovers pressed constantly, but Everton, with an extra man in the defence prevented them scoring. Final result was Everton 3 Tranmere nil. Everton: - MaCfarlane, goal, Balmer (w), and Barker, backs, Struthers, Wolstenholmes, and Hughes, halfbacks, Stewart, Williams, Gornett, Hulligan, and Schofield, forwards.
November 29 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
That the Everton team have bounded into brilliant form was evidenced on Saturday last, when they so completely or rather routed. West Bromwich Albion by six goals to one. That they would net full points was in accordance with anticipation following upon the fine display of the team at Preston on the previous Saturday, but few indeed were prepared for so thorough a revolution that brought in its train a much needed left in the gaol average. The earlier proceedings in the game belied such a result as subsequently followed for the Throstles, who infused some of their well known dash into their play, had quite as much of the exchanges as their opponents, and moreover they were first to take the lead, so that Evertonians viewed the situration with feeling of anything but a comfortable nature. However, the close observer could not fail to gather satisfaction that there was an undercurrent of superiority prevalent that time would ultimately develop, and in the end the Blues so far had the measure of the Midlanders that they simply cut out the pace in the second portion of the game to their own liking, and rubbed in defeat thick and fast. As an attacking line, the home quintet could scarcely gave been excelled for they were exceptionally keen on the ball, were generally accurate in passings, and their shooting was invariably accompanied with a sting that in previous matches had been almost an entirely absent factor. The halfway line, top left, but a minimum of room for adverse criticism, and it can safely be urged that there division of the team had not previously to Saturday been ably represented. The only well spot, and perhaps this stood out more prominently by reason of the success in other departments, was at right full back, and evidently Meechan it thoroughly out of form. He was responsible for the goal that opened the day's scoring and on other occasions he was lucky indeed in being ably covered by his confreres, when the outlook was anything but promising. He was evidently not up to concert pitch, and it would be advisable for the present any rate to include Balmer again, especially as he created so favourable an impression against North End at Deepdale. Putting this weak spot aside, the team are to be congratulated on their very fine work, and no doubt they would have liked being in such happy vein to have had some of their earlier forceen to tackle, who so heavily stained their record. The visitors ably held their own until their opponents took the lead, following which their defence was completely overrun, and they literally fell to pieces. Owing to the smartness of the Everton halfbacks, the Albion forwards were rarely allowed an quarter, and as, in addition, their passing to the forwards was equally well timed and accurate, it can readily be imagined how the Everton forwards were so frequently within range of Reader. Holt fairly excelled himself, for the centre forward and two inside man were repeatedly baulked, and interlarded with his display were some diverting incidents that afforded immense amusement to the spectators. The work of Boyle and Robertson was also of a finished character, and it was a great source of satisfaction to them to find those in front ably supplementing their efforts. As stated above, the Bromwich halves and backs were often overrun, and it must have been a very gratifying feature to Everton's supporters to find the whole line of attack working on thoroughly harmonious lines. The work was generalised to a nicety, and with their ability fully drawn out, it was small wonder that their, efforts met with such prounced success. Shooting was greatly improved and in this branch J.Bell was seen at his very best, and it was lucky indeed for the visitors custodian that a few shots were slightly wide of the mark. In conjunction with Taylor, the right wing made most of the running, and while Chadwick was also clever, there was a distinct improvement noticeable in the play of Drivers that served to bring the whole line up to a high pitch of excellence. The Everton last line of defence was not severely tested, but whatever came Storrier's way was dealth with in an efficient manner, and Muir in goal showed great resource, his running out, when his charge appeared thoroughly hopeless being splendidly timed, and in every case productive of the best results. Meechan's weakness would not have been so marked had he bestowed more attention to the wing rather than to the inside man, for time after time he was repeatedly outwitted by Garfield, who by the way was the most efficient forward on the visiting side, though the ex-Everton Flewitt especially in the first portion of the game, put in much effective work. Perry was the best halfback, and though Williams and Cave kicked strongly, their work was rather aimless than otherwise. Reader kept out some clever shots, but he has been seen to much greater advantage, and there were a couple of shots that he might have kept out had he made the effort. Taking the game all round, the score was scarcely in accordance with the general play, though at the same time none that closely followed the game could have adjudged the Evertonians unworthy of a handsome victory. At West Bromwich, the first contests produced a draw result of two goals each, So that the Evertonians on the season's League contest have accured three points, with a goal record of 8 to 3. The clubs meet again to day in the competition for the West Bromwich Charity Cup at West Bromwich.
WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 EVERTON 1
Novemeber 30 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The Everton than for fifth successive season made the journey to the Midlands to take part in the contest for the West Bromwich Friendly Society's Charity Cup. After the heavy defeated of the Trostles at Everton on Saturday last, there was much conjecture as to the issue of Yesterday's game, which unfortunately was played under rather adverse conditions. The weather though fine, was very boisterous, and prospects of an interesting encounter were not very promising. There were several changes from the teams that opposed each other on Saturday, but the managers of the Everton club decided not to disturb the front rank, while Dean was the only Albion forward who stood down from Saturdays team. Everton winning the toss took advantage of a strong wind, and during the early stages the progress of play was mainly in their favour. The Albion backs were however, capable defenders under heavy pressure, and though playing against the wind their forwards were occasionally seen to great advantage. A movement down the Albion left almost resulted in McKenzie getting though after having the best of a tussle with Balmer, but Storrier came to the rescue, and cleared in capital style. Another movement by the Albion van came to nought as Rachards sent over the bar, and shortly following Taylor led the way, to the other end, where J.and L.Bell put in some telling work, and eventually Chadwick shot into the corner of the net. Reader having no chance of saving. Wolstenholmes, Everton right halfbacks, had been fairly successful against Garfield and Mckenzie, and with Balmer the clever Albion left had little opportunity of shinning. Some capital placing by Storrier also strengthened Everton's position, and L.Bell tested Reader with a capital shot that was ably attended to. Still the home lot were not to be deneid, and were on several occasions within dangerous shooting range. Watson, who partnered Flewitt, injured his knee and retired, and shortly afterwards halftime was announced with Everton leading by a goal to nil. Immediately on resuming the Albion pressed, and Garfield tested McFarlane with a beauty, which the Everton custodian smartly cleared. Soon Everton were at the other end, where Taylor, from a good position, shot outside. At this point Watson resumed, and at once took part in an aggressive movement, which ended in Richards sending wide of the post. Further pressure by the Albion followed, but McKenzie missed when nicely placed, and after this. Bell tested Reader ineffectually. The Albion had much more of the play than in the first half, and Flewitt missed a good opening. For a time play was fairly even, and there was some excitement when Garfield from the extreme left, shot in to McFarlane, who effected a really smart, save. The pressure, which the Albion maintained, was at last rewarded, for while McFarlane ran out to deal with a centre from the right wing, Garfield got his toe to the ball, and equalised. After this the game became much more exciting, and each end was visited in turn. McFarlane saved his charge cleverly, and than Chadwick shot the ball past Reader, put the point was disallowed on the ground of offside. In the course of a fierce attack by Everton Drivers skimmed the crossbar, and although Storrier had the better of an encounter with Flewitt the Everton custodian had to concede a corner to Reid. This came to nothing, and the Everton men returning to the attack to solendid style, J.Bell had hard lines with a fast low shot, which just missed the mark. Both sides pressed in turn, but nothing more was scored, and the game ended in a draw of 1 goal each. It is likely that the teams will meet at Goodison Park later in the season to fight for possession of the handsome Weest Bromwich Charity Cup. Teams: - Everton: - McFarlane, goal, Balmer, and Storrier, backs, Wolstenholmes, Holt, Stewart (captain), halfbacks, Taylor, Bell (j), Bell (l), Chadwick, and Drivers. West Bromwich Albion: - Reader, goal, Cave, and Jones, backs, Hadley, Richards, and Banks, halfbacks, Watson,. Fleitt, Reid, McKenzie, and Garfield, forwards.