EVERTON 1 BLACKBURN ROVERS 1 (Game 247)
Ooctiober 4 1897. THE Liverpool Mercury
Hartley, missed from penalty spot
About 10,000 spectators appeared at Goodison Park on Saturday, to witness the first of the season's League engagements between Everton and the Rovers. Last season the East Lancashire team were one of the few to exact double point from the Evertonians, so it was generally anticipated that a big effort would be extended by the home players to turn the tables on Saturday. Driver and L.Bell were included and for the first time Chadwick, whose connection with the club extends over eight seasons, was dropped from the team. Prompt to time the teams faced as follows: - Everton: - McFarlane, goal, Mechan and Storrier, backs, Boyle (captain), Holt, and Robertson, halfbacks, Taylor, Bell (L), Hartley, Cameron and Drivers, forwards. Blackburn Rovers: - Knowles, goal, Brandon, and Glover, backs, Booth, Houlker, and Killian, halfbacks, Briersliffe, Hulse, Proudfoot, Wilkes, and Campbell, forwards. Everton won the toss, and had the best of the opening exchanges. Taylor eventually getting away from a miskick by Glover and sending in a fine shot which unfortunately glided from the upright out of play. Bell next missed from long range. The Rovers left then took up the running and for some minutes the play hovered about midfield. At times Taylor indulged in several dashing runs, but was too well watched by Killean and Glover to get in an accurate shot. Eventually Glover was penalised for fisting out in order to perfect his goal, and a penalty kick was awarded. Hartley made a very poor attempt to put the ball past Knowles. This escape seemed to put fresh life into the Rovers. Who quickly made Fletcher tracks to the Everton end, and forced a corner. A steady pressure was maintained for some time, and as Meechan came under the ban of the referee for tripping matters looked gloomy for the home side. Holt came to the rescue, and individual efforts on the part of Cameron and Taylor gave Knowles considerable trouble. Meanwhile the Rovers left wing had been contributing most useful work, and on one occasion Campbell out in a splendid shot after completely defeating Meechan, and it was fortunate that Storrier managed to get his head in the way. A capital shot by Hules called for McFarlane's best efforts, and then Bell had an easy chance to score from Cameron. He had practically no opponents, and put the ball wide. The home side had the better of matters to the interval, but could not score. On resuming the Rovers left were at once prominent, but were not allowed to get within shooting range, and from a strong kick by Meechan. Cameron diverted the ball splendidly to Knowles, though to no purpose. There was now no mistaking the determined work of the Everton forwards at this juncture though unfortunately it was short lived, and the Rovers halves, who struck gamely to their opponents repeatedly changed the scene of operations. Cameron was again in evidence with a long dribble, but his final shot lacked sting and immediately following Hartley and Bell both missed comparatively easy chances. Several tussles between Holt and Proudfoot enlivened the proceedings, but eventually the latter slipped through and, as Meechan was also beaten, the Rovers had an open goal. He failed to steady himself, and put the ball wide, but success came shortly afterwards as Wilkes drove the ball into the net after 23 minutes play. Hulse nexted tested McFarlane and the monotony of pressure was relieved by Drivers who put in a fine run along the wing and centred accurately. There was no one up, and Brandon cleared strongly. Cameron immediately fastened on the ball, and threading his way through, drove hard in. killean, who had stepped across, handed the ball out, and a penalty kick was promptly awarded; Drivers this time obtaining the equalising goal. There were 15 minutes left for play, and during this period the Evertonians had the greater share of attack. Divers was in the way of a fine shot by Bell, and Knowles was compelled to concede a corner from a magnificent effort on the part of the outside left. Another attempt by Bell resulted in the ball striking the bar, but nothing further was scored, and a draw of one goal each resulted.
CHESTER 1 EVERTON RESERVES 1
October 4 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
At Chester. Everton opened against a slight wind, and scored in 15 minutes. Coventry making a fruitless attempts to kick away from Hendry. Even determined play followed, but nothing further occurred up to the interval. Twenty minutes after restarting Lewis equalised for Chester after the home goal had withstood tremendous pressure. Determined play followed both goals having narrowl escapes. The final result was a draw of one goal each. Everton: - Muir, goal, Balmer (w), and McConnell, backs, McKinlay, Highes and Stewart halfbacks, Williams, Roberts, Hendry, Littlejohn, and Schofield, forwards.
October 4 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The Everton club has apparently lit upon troublous times, and it must be confessed that prospects of an early improvement are not at all of a hopeful character. The directors are not in a position to effect any sweeping changes for the reserves are doing none too well, and on glarcing over the names of a lengthily list of players, it is difficult, indeed, out many capable of adding strength to the League team. The club will of necessity have now to depend upon those players who have taken part in League contests so far. They have sufficient ability, if properly directed to hold their own on any football field and their recent moderate displays seem to be the outcome of disaffection in some quarters and indifference in others. In recent matches it has only been on odd occasions that the whole team has worked with that cohesion to essential to winning matches. When an extra effort is required to effort a coup, it is not forthcoming, and one would imagine that the players had a sufficient number of object lessons on the value of a quality called dash at Derby and Anfield road to have spurred them on to success on Saturday. A thorough understanding, more general distribution of the work, and go headedness, especially among the forwards, will be greatly appreciated, and surely this is not too much to expect from players of such standing. Saturday's game could scarcely be reckoned among the list of great exhibitions, for the quality of play reached but a moderate standard, and easy chances to score were allowed to pass unheeded. Everton's opportunity came first, as they were awarded a penalty kick. A wretched attempt was made to profit therefrom, and for a considerable time afterwards the players seemed to have lost all confidence in themselves. When the Rovers took the lead matters from an Everton point of view were ominous indeed, and when a second penalty kick brought about the desired result, the Everton directors must have heaved a sign of relief. A drawn game was the result, but there were many to be found with a lurking appriation for the Rovers, who certainly were never short of the aforementioned quality-dash. Their side is constituted mainly of English and moreover local players, and, having a reputation to make, they spared no effort in contesting every portion of the way. Their halfbacks were variable gluttons for work, and it they were not so polished in their movements as were their opponents, they were certainly more effective. To a man the Rovers were keen on the ball, and when at times they were dispossessed they spared no effort in recovering themselves. This stood put in marked contrast to the methods of several of their opponents, who were inclined to take matters rather indifferently and never appeared to realise the situration until the custodian was in difficulties. The home forwards were very fitful, and as a rule, most of the incisive attacks on the Rovers goal were the result of purely individual efforts. The rearrangement of the line give rise to much criticism, for many thought it suicidal to break up the partnership of Taylor and Cameron, which was certainly a risky experiment. However there was no deterioration in Cameron's display, for he has quite as effect on the left wing as on the right but in the centre and inside right there was a weakness that might have cost the side more clearly. J.Bell was unable to play owing to an injured foot, but Drivers filled his position very creditably, for his performance on the whole left nothing to be desired. Generally speaking there was no method about the movements of the quintet, and there was far too much attention bestowed on the right wing. Neither Hartley nor L.Bell approximated to League form, and one cannot chronicle the work of this department of the team as a occasientions discharge of duty. The halfbacks played an improved game by comparison with that at Anfield road on the previous Saturday, but still they did not reach the usual standard and the Rovers forwards were often allowed to get within shooting range that at other times would stoutly have been denied them. Storrier was a more reliable back than Meechan, who was often outwitted by the visitors left wing, and on one occasion it was only by the nearest luck that he did not cost his side a goal. McFarlane performed well between the uprights, and could no be blamed for the shot that scored, one of his saves at full length being nothing short of brilliance. The Rovers team all round was more evenly balanced than that of Everton, and before many weeks pass over they will turn out a most reliable set of players. There is plenty of enthusiasm among them, and on Saturday they all worked in a thoroughly unselfish manner. The forwards were smart on the ball, and they lost no opportunity of generating the work, which greatly tended to make the play very attractive. Campbell and Wilkie made a very effective wing, though Hulse the Rock Ferry recruit, along with Bristcliffe, shaped very well, both being kept well under control by Proudfoot, despite the close attentions of Holt. The halvebacks were never brilliant, but what they lacked in finish they more than accounted for by sheer hard work. The backs Brandon and Glover, also gave a good account of themselves, and Knowles the custodian gave a performance quite in keeping with the other players on the side. As stated above, they rose little above the average, and the victory either way might easily have been the result. Penalty kicks are most unsatisfactory, and often convey a wrong impression of the general character of the play; but on the second decision, when Killean handed away from Cameron, a goal was almost certainty, and the Evertonians thoroughly deserved the point, that was forthcoming.
CHESTER V EVERTON
October 9, 1897. The Chester Observer.
Without making any allusion to toffee, I think I may venture to admire the way in which the Chester team struck to their opponents on Saturday. The Evertonians were the better team, and they showed their superiority to a marked degree at times, but the Chester lads kept working cheerfully way, loosely at times it is true, but had all the time, and in this respect they deserved what success they obtained. I repeat, they stuck to their work, it may have been due to the –but I said I would not mention toffee. So I ill get on with the match, it was witnessed by about 2,000 people, who, as they expected, were treated to capital game. The homesters won the toss, and played with a slight wind and the sun in their favour, pressing for the first few minutes, during which the pace was prodigious Everton rallied, and, by good combination, succeeded in getting well down, but the backs were too good for them, and they were sent back again, Gordon passing to W.H. Lipsham, who in turn tipped the ball to Lewis, that player shooting past. After another attack by the Evertonians, Chester once more came flying down, to be in turn forced back. Hendry, the centre, put in a fine shot which Coventry saved well, but other shots were sent in, and Hendry, after one of two attempts, was successful with a screw shot which glanced through off Coventry's toe. The game went on as before. Everton pressed, and their opponents, returned the compliment again and again, the ball being about two minutes t one end before it went on a visit to the other. Lewis and Speakman put in a couple of good shots, but nothing came of them, the visitors' defence being really superb. The Everton half-back line were also seen to great advantage. Douglas especially played a capital game. The best-or-worst-part of it all was that the goalkeeper, whenever by chance the ball got through the backs, had a habit of slipping about. He was fortunate in preserving his charge intact. I hope deferred Mareth the heart sick,' and this proverb seems very applicable to the play of the Chester men at the period of the game now arrived at. The forwards had put in some really excellent work, but it was like trying to bang the ball through a brick wall to get through the Everton defence, and so the play was bit by bit taken don into the territory of the Cestrians. Everton had a nice little game of shooting-in to themselves, but for all that they could not augment their score, and after a quarter of an hour of this kind of thing the Chester men ‘bucked up,' and matters by half-time had assumed a more level aspect. Chester were a goal behind on the restart, and for a few moments had to act strictly on the defensive, Coventry fisting out shot after shot. They were dangerous shots, too, and the way they and those which followed were kept out was marvellous. The home team seemed to be getting more cheerful now, for some reason or other, and after ten minutes play, which individually was capital, and miserable as combination, they improved their cohesion, and the whole rank playing well, they tripped right merrily down to the other end. Here some brisk work ensued, and at last the ball was put through by Lewis, who received it from the right. Now, of course, both teams did their level best to get ahead, and the match became more interesting than ever. Gordon had gone inside, and with Lipsham much improved, the forward line was more dangerous, and they put in shots which Muir saved well. Everton also had their turns, but they showed no superiority until it was too late, and as Lewis and his attendants, were rushing up goalwards the whistle blew for time, and the game ended in a draw of one goal each. It was a hard fought battle, and Chester escaped luckily in emerging from the fray, undefeated in results. The home team all worked hard, but there were one or two weak spots, while the visitors showed up well everywhere. Further than this it would be invidious to criticise.
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 2 EVERTON 3 (Game 248)
October 11 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The return League match between these clubs took place on the Molineux, Wolvehampton, on Saturday, there being fully 8,000 spectators present when the teams took the field. Everton were still without J.Bell and Chadwick and L.Bell display Hartley in the centre, Williams being given a trial at inside right. The Wolves had perforce to dispense with the services of Millar, who had received an injury when playing against Sheffield United on the previous Saturday, but otherwise the side was at its best and at 3-30 the contestants lined up as follows: - Everton: - McFarlane, goal, Meechan, and Storrier, backs, Boyle (captain) Holt, and Robertson, halfbacks, Taylor, Williams, Bell (L), Cameron, and Drivers, forwards. Wolverhampton Wanderers: - Baddeley, goal, Eccles, and Blackett, backs, Griffiths, Owen and Fleming, halfbacks, Tonks, McMain, Beats, Wood, and Smith forwards. Everton won the toss, but the game had scarcely been commenced when Robertson was winded, and a short delay took place. The Wolves forwards were the first to make an incisive attacks, Smith and Wood, on the left, making a determined bid for goal, only to be eventually pulled up by Meechan, who displayed cool judgement in tackling both men in turn when well within shooting ranges. A rush was made to the other end, Williams was finally in possession with a splendid opening. He however, shot wildly outside and at an easy chance was thus lost. Getting to work again, the Wolves bore down strongly on the Everton goal, and McMain sent in a low shot, which McFarlane got away, though he was immediately afterwards called upon by Owen, who with a rising shot forced a corner kick. Nothing came of the advantage, though a few minutes later Wood was not much wide of the mark from a similar concession. The Everton right then put on pressure, but found in Blackett a most resolute defender, and a movement at the other end of the line culminated in a splendid shot from Drivers, Baddeley getting the ball away with much difficulty. After a further repulse the Everton forwards went down in splendid fashion, and Williams drove the ball in. baddley stepped out, but failed to effect a second clearance, and as Eccles had missed his kick, Cameron and Bell were on the Ball in a trice, the last named player rushing in through, play having been in progess some 17 minutes. For the next few minutes the Everton forwards could do nothing wrong, and the Wolves defenders had a most anxious time. Taylor almost scored with a dropping shot, and on a further return by the Everton right Fleming foolishly knocked the ball on within the twelve yard line, and the referee had no other option but to award a penalty kick , which successfully pedipulsed by Drivers. The Wolves now fully realised their position, and for some time infused great dash into play, though this was all to no purpose, and McFarlane was always on the alert for final efforts. Nothing further was scored up to the interval when Everton had an comfortable lead of 2 goals to nil. On resuming the game was stopped in the first minute owing to an injury to Cameron, who retired for a few minutes, during which time the Wolves were busy in the Everton half. Shooting was however, of a very orade order, though once success seemed certain, when Meechan cleverly prevented Smith from putting a finishing touch to the ball. The play gradually veered to midfield, and for a lengthly period the was not much to chosen between the respective players, the Evertoniansd being evidently too well contended with their lead to adopt forcing tactics. McMain then had a fine opening from Tonks, but shot yards wide of the mark, a performance he repeated almost immediately afterwards, much to the chargin of the Wolves supporters. However, the same player was instrumental in opening the account from a centre from Smith. McFarlane was unable to clear effectively, and Beats rushed the ball into the net. This success was greatly appreciated by the crowd, and the cheering had hardily died away when Tonks put on a second again the outcome of a smart pass by Smith. With the score level there was the greatest enthusiasm among the crowd, but before the game was a minute older Cameron had placed his side ahead again, and Everton further success seemed to have a most demolishing effect upon the home players, who during the next ten minutes were all over a beaten team. At the close the home forwards put on a big spurt, but their effort came too late, and after an intensely exciting finsih, Everton were returned victors by 3 goals to 2.
EVERTON RESERVES 2 TRANMERE ROVERS 1
October 11 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
At Goodison Park before 2,000 spectators. Everton kick off, and for the best part monopolished the play, had owing to the good goalkeeping of Broley, failed to score until a minute from time, when Hendry got through and Everton lead by 1 goal to nil at half time. In the second half Hendry scored again, and won by 2 goals to 1. Everton: - Muir, goal, Balmer (w), and Barkers, backs, McKinley, Douglas, and Hughes, halfbacks, Roberts, Hartley, Hendry, Littlejohn, and Schofield, forwards.
October 11 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The Everton team accomplished a smart performance in defeating the Wolves on Saturday, and it would seem that the Molineux Ground is a happy hunting place for points, so far as the Everton club is concerned. Out of the last six League engagements the Wanderers can only claim one point, and that was the result of a drawn game at Goodison Park last season. To a very large following the prospects of the team repeating previous performance were not of a very hopeful character, for the crushing defeat at Anfield road, followed by the very ordinary display on their own ground against the Rovers, were green in the memories of many, not to mention the fact that the directors were once again compelled to reconstitute the attacking line. In this last respect the charge proved an unqualified success, and practically for the first time since the opening of the season an eleven among whom inequality was reduced to a minimum has represented the club. On previous contests this seasons the bulk of the play has devolved upon certain positions, with a result too well known to need repetition, and that the team on Saturday settled down a general distribution of the work was a very gratifying feature to the enthusiastic hand, that made the journey to the midlands. Brilliant individual flashes are all very well in their way, but none can gainsay the fact that the exaction made upon certain players who unduly resort to these methods are necessarily severe, and nothing could be more disheartening to those other players who are both ready and willing than to be compelled to stand by and make the most of chances that may come in their way. As mentioned, individuality was not a prominent feature. All seemed to with with one common purpose, with the result that there was little disparity visible in any part of the team. They were all thorough workers, and at present the executive of the club could not do better than give further trials to Saturday's players. In addition to there being more combined methods adopted, there was a healthy dash infused into the play, and it was due to the fact that the visitors were smarter on the ball that they were so often, enabled to completely disconcert the opposing defenders. This was one of the principal feature of the game, had the turf not been on the heavy side, the Evertonians must have won by a more pronounced margin. The pace was highly strung from the first to last, and when the final whistle sounded, and the players wended their way off the field, the effects of the heavy strain were visible in the movements of almost every player. There were occasions when apparent roughness crept into the play, but Referee Scragg kept a vigilant eye on every movement, and nothing of a shady nature was allowed to pass unheeled. Three goals to two was not a great margins, and though there could be no question that the visitors were more finished in their movements, quite a different complexion might easily have been placed on the game had the Wolves taken advantage of ridiouslosuly easy chances that at times came their way. Everton were certainly fortunate in having a lead of two goals early on, for up to that period there was little indeed to choose between the respective contestants. The first goal was the outcome of a fine shot by Williams. The Wolves custodians met the ball under difficulties, and were not able to clear effectively. Eccles missed his kick, and Bell rushed it through after the game had been in progess for 17 minutes. There was no staying the Everton forwards for some time after this, and the climax was reached when Fleming foolishly hit the ball down within the penalty limit, and the second point was put on, such being the state of the game at the interval. After resuming, the Everton halfbacks thoroughly had the measure of the Wolves forwards, but eventually the latter scored in similar fashion to that which, brought about Everton's first success. It resulted from a scrimmage in close quarters, and McFarlane had no chance of keeping the ball out. Almost immediately afters Tonks drew level, and the leather lunged crowd cheered vociferously. But what a change came over the crowd. Before the cheers had died away, Cameron had put the ball into the net- a success which like the others, was received with august silence. Three goals were put on slightly under five minutes, and with the Wolves again in arrear, the issue was almost a foregone conclusion. They livened up during the last few minutes, when there was a most exciting finish. The Everton defemders maintained a resolute stand under high pressure, and did exceedingly well in coping with the determined efforts of the home van who stopped at nothing too get on equal terms. McFarlane had no light task on hand during the afternoon, and, with the exception of the second goal scored against him, he played a faultless game. He hesitated, and eventually ran out to save, only to find Tonks first at the ball, and this was really the only point open for adverse criticism. There was considerably more lift in the play of the backs, for there was no effort spared by the pair to recover themselves when beaten. In this respect Meechan improved greatly upon his previous displays, and in conjunction with Storrier, a solid line of defence was established. The halfbacks were somewhat uneven in the first portion of the game, first all defects was remedied in the second portion, when the trio gave a really sound display. In this portion Boyle played a more effective game than he has hitherto, done this season, and with Holt, who was also at his best, the Wolves forwards had few chances of making demands upon the Everton last line of defence. The pair were exceptionally clever in heading out of goal, charging down dangerous shots, while they placed their forwards in possession with capital judgement and tact. Robertson was not one with good work, and though he was greatly handicapped by an injury in the second portion of the game he struck rigidly to his work, and was always about when danger lay on his wing. As stated above, the forwards never brilliant, played a thoroughly unselfish game, and the wings were kept fairly well under control by L.Bell. the high pace and heavy going told considerably upon the men, and once again Taylor showed least effects of the strain, he being comparatively fresh to his work, when hostilities caused. He gave Williams every opportunity to shine, and over eagerness prevented the latter player from registering more than one point. As the game progressed the combination player improved considerably, and he is certainly deserving of further trials. Cameron and Drivers worked strenuously from start to finsih, and when others were comparatively umerved especially during the period that the Wolves put on two goals, they kept exceptionally cool, and did much towards preserving the equilibrium of the teams. The Wanderers were very fitful, and out for occasional splendid work by the defenders they must have been more easily defeated. At times their forwards swooped down in irresistible style, only to finish up badly, and in this respect McMain was the greatest delinquent. He had two distinctly easy chances in the second half in front of goal, and how he missed the mark was simply astonishing. Smith who took the place of Millar, played a fairly good game, and Beats, Wood, and Tonks, also did well, enough when in close quarters, where shooting was of a very erractic character. Owen was the most serviceable halfback, and while Eccles played a good game, Blackett by his display, was little removed from being the best back on the field. Baddley had plenty of work in goal, and like McFarlane he negotiated everything that came his way in capital style. The success of Everton should completely restore confidence among their supporters, and a great game and big gate should result from the return engagement with Liverpool on Saturday next.
EVERTON 3 LIVERPOOL 0 (Game 249)
October 18 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The return League match between these local rivals was brought to an issue at Goodison Park, before an immense concourse numbering fully 40,000 persons. The following teams represented the respective sides: - Everton: - McFarlane, goal, Meechan, and Storrier, backs, Boyle (captain), Holt, and Robertson halfbacks, Taylor, Williams, Bell (L), Cameron, and Drivers, forwards. Liverpool: - Storer, goal, Goldie, and Wilkes, backs, McCartney, Cleghorn, and Holmes halfbacks, Marshall, Walker, Cunliffe, Becton, and Bradshaw, forwards. Mr. A.Scragg referee. Everton won the toss, and started with wind and sun in their favour. They quickly gained a corner, which proved fruitless, but this was followed by a couple of grand sprints by Bradshaw, Meechan making a wretched attempts to stop him. The attack was again taken up by the home left, and after Drivers had raced to the other end, he centred across the goalmouth and, though both Bell and Cameron failed to divert the course of the ball, Williams pounced upon it, and drove it against the crossbar into the net, and this first success, after five minutes play, being greeted with vociferous cheering. After this play allowed down somewhat and a clever bit of work by Cunliffe gave Becton a chance, but he shot wide. In turning round to shoot the last winger hurt himself, and retired, following which the Everton right worked down, but Taylor's centre was eventually cleared after a bully near Storer. Beckton reappeared, but quickly went off again, and was apparently useless. Rough play predominated at this juncture, and fouls were frequent, but despite their weakened ranks. Liverpool held their own. A fine run and centre from Bradshaw gave Cunliffe a chance, and Storrier just nipped in to save in time, whilst Marshall and Walker, after having got clear away, and the ball behind the goal line. Everton quickly became aggressive again though a foul against Holt led to the ball being sent over the bar, but the home team were more dangerous, their forwards displaying nice combination, and making for goal in good style. From a pass by McCartney, Marshall ran down, and centring, Cunliffe got in front and shot in, but McFarlane saved, and though failing in the attempt, managed to throw outside despite the extra attention of Bradshaw. This clever bit of work was followed by Taylor and Williams going along cleverly, and a warm shot from the latter brought out Storer, but at the other end Robertson was penalised, and McCartney placing the ball nicely, Bradshaw drove in at a great pace, though just missing the net, the loud cheers, which followed denoting the most of the Spectators imagined a goal had been really scored. The Everton left wing was now prominent, and a fine centre from Drivers was beautifully kicked away by Storer, and upto half time the game continued to be evenly contested, the whistle sounding with the ball in the Everton half. With the lead of one goal Everton started the second half in most determined fashion. McCartney robbed Driver when dangerous, but another run by the outside man gave Bell and easy chance from a good centre, which was not utilised, and another clever bit of work by Taylor caused Stoerer to fast away, and shortly after the Liverpool custodian had to clear two fast shots from Cameron. Everton pressed in vigorous fashion, but a foul to Liverpool brought relief, and from the kick, Bradshaw and Cunliffe tried hard to score, but Storrier finely cleared. Bell pounced on the ball in the reply, and raced down but the final shot just went outside-a very near thing. Still keeping up a hot attack, Bell hit the post with a terrific shot whilst a centre from Taylor caused Goldie to give a corner from which, Cameron just shot over the bar. There was no mistaking the superiority of Everton at this period; but the Liverpool defence acted splendidly, and despite their energetic efforts Everton could not find an opening. Eventually Taylor beat Goldie, and his centre was met by Bell right in front, who shot hard against the crossbar, the ball dropping inside and though Storer throw away there was no doubt about the legitimacy of the goal. The Liverpool goal was bombarded, and Storer had to repel a hot shot from Robertson, whilst a moment later Bell nearly scored again from a pass by Williams. Liverpool broke away, but Cunliffe was too slow to utilise Bradshaw's pass, and then Everton forged ahead again, the whole front rank going down splendidly, and twice Everton were nearly through. They had several chances, and eventually Bell, Williams, and Taylor took the ball down finely and after passing and repassing Williams scored with a beauty. Everton attacked, but in the last minute Bradshaw and Cunliffe had chances, but failed the final score being Everton 3 gioals, Liverpool nil.
October 18 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The second of the annual struggle for supremacy between the two premier teams of the city, ended in as decisive a fashion as its predecessor, with this important differences that the vanquished in the first game being now conquers. This changes was manifested to an equal degree in the play of the respective teams for whereas at Anfield, Liverpool were seen to make advantage at Goodison Park Everton enjoyed the same distinction, and achieved a victory which their play fully deserved. There was the usual amount of hustle and activity prevalent from an early hour outside the gate, but the interest was even greater than in previous games, victory of Liverpool having rested the contest with a great amount of uncertainty, the question as to whether the Anfielders would repeat their earlier success or Everton would reverse that verdict being debatable points that could furnish no satisfactory solution prior to the game. They were, however, definitely settled by the afternoon's proceedings, and Everton have reasserted themselves once more. The crowd which must have numbered fully 40,000, found all the arrangements for their convenience as well nice perfect as possible, and the proceedings were not marred by the slightest check, everything working smoothly and effectively. The directors also deserve commendation in another direction, for the engagement of Gossage's prize band gave the early arrivals the pleasure of hearing some capital music- something more than a mere stopgap, as usually the case. The ground presented a truly remarkable sight immediately prior to the commencement of hostilities the vast concourse of faces which lined the popular sides, and the well filled stands, surrounding the enclosure which was arrayed in its brightest raiment of green, and the lithe, bounding figures donned in scarlet and blue-a truly vivid contrast-completed an ensemble sufficiently stirring to rouse the pulse of the most inert. The game fell far short of the standard reached in the previous contest at Anfield, ands at occasional intervals there was far more kicking of the man than of the ball. Everton were the chief offenders in this respect, and although the majority of fouls awarded were against them, and deservedly so, the referee might easily have added many more and some representsible bits of work passed unnoticed. In the first minute almost Meechan lashed out at Bradshaw, the left winger fortunately dodging the base attack whilst later McCartney managed to avoid the referee's eye with a similar bit of work, and Robertson, though very effective, adopted questionable tactics at time which, might have been avoided. In the early stages dirty work was most apparent, but afterwards the players controlled themselves more, and later proceedings worked with comparative smoothness. It was a decided stroke of bad luck for Liverpool to lose the services of Becton after ten minutes play, this leaving then with but ten men for the rest of the game, for though the inside wingers returned he was absolutely useless. He injured himself whilst turning to shoot at goal, and his absence had an undoubted effect upon the subsequent play of the Liverpool front rank. Even with four forwards a good stand was made, and in the latter part of the first half the Anfielders missed an easy chance of scoring. In the second moiety they had no chance whatever, and were literally overbelmed by the dashing work of the Evertonians. The display of the home team was satisfactory in every department. The forwards in particularly deserve chief praise, for their movements were marked by dash and precision and though they in many instances dallied when near goal, at other times they put in more telling shots, and Storer was kept busy almost without intermission particularly in the second half, the while MacFarlane looked on with an overburdened air of loneness. The whole front rank moved in harmonious fashion, and the same set of forwards should carry the Everton colours to more victories than the one at present under notice. Every individual appeared to put all his energy into his work and, although there was nothing of exceptional brilliance excuted, there was an average of merit, which reached a most satisfactory standard. This unity of method is bound to asset itself during a long season, although as on Saturday there was weakness apparent in one position, but when wholehearted efforts are made, even this defect is excusable. It would be manifestly unfair to compare the work of the Liverpool front rank with that of their opponents. Up to a certain point, even with Becton's depletion, there was little to chosen, and probably the extra exertion of keeping up this equality in the first half told its tale in the second, when their position was absolutely hopeless. Bradshaw got through a tremendous amount of work, some of which was totally unnecessary, and what advantage attempts to dodge through the whole defence of an opposing team possess appear more ostentatious then effective. They certainly effect one result-namely that of deluding the uninitiated into rounds of applause. It would perhaps be appropriate to call attention to the fact that games are won by goals, and the effectiveness of gallery play has long since been consigned to oblivion. With the exception of this occasional deterioration the left winger stove hard to avert disaster, and was far away the best of the forwards off his side. The right wing got along well in the first half, but their later play suffered in comparison. The Everton halves were as a body superiior to their opponents and displayed great judgement in attending to the wants of their front ranks. They broke up the combination of their rivals in decisive fashion, whilst further behind Storrier rendered able assistance and was rarely at fault, tackling most successfully. Cleghorn had no superior on the field, but as a whole, the trio did not attain their usual standard of excellence. The Liverpool backs played capitally, their kicking being very clean and judicious, and, considering the tremendous amount of work they were called upon to perform, deserve great commendation for their display. Storer kept goal in grand style, and his position was a most emerous one. Throughout the greater portion of the second half the Everton forwards fairly bombarded his charge, and the two shots which beat him in this portion of the game were almost impossible to have been cleared. He had a tremendous amount of work to perform, and he accomplished it credible, but his vis-a-vis was rarely called upon, through two saves in the first half were very fine, one when on the ground, with Bradshaw and Cunliffe around him, showing his sterling ability. Everton fully deserved their victory, and a continuance of Saturday's form should pull them successfully through future enegagemts. They were scarcely recognisbale as the team, which played at Anfield, and the changes since made have undoubtedly proved to be a step in the right direction. Their now occupy a prominent position in the League table, with a fine prospect of doing even better.
October 23, 1897. Chester Observer.
Failure of a Well-Know Footballer.
At Birkenhead Bankruptcy Court on Tuesday, Mr. Register Cave granted a receiving order against the estate of Alexander Latta, residing at 13, Banks-road, Hoylake, and carrying on business at the Dale Estate, Hoylake, as a Yacht and Boat builder. The order was made on the petition of creditors, for whom Mr. F. S. Moore appeared, Mr. E. Lloyd, represented the debtor. An order of adjudication in bankruptcy was made at the same time. The receiving order was made in consequence of judgement, creditors having advertised debtor's effects at the Yacht works for sale, it is understood that the failure has been caused through losses on Yacht building contracts. The debters will be recognised as the well know footballer, who was formerly a prominent member of the Everton League team.
BURY 0 EVERTON 1 (Game 250)
October 25 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The first of the season's engagements between these clubs was play at Bury, around 8,000 spectators present. At three o'clock the sides faced as follows : - Everton: - McFarlane, goal, Meechan, and Stottier, backs, Boyle (captain), Holt, and Robvertson, halfbacks, Taylor, Willimas, Bell (L), Cameron, and Drivers, forwards, Bury: -Thompson, goal, Darroch, and Barbaur, backs, Pary, Davidson, Ross halfbacks, Pooley, Settle (j), Millar, Henderson, and Plant, forwards. The home skipper was fortunate in winning the toss for a strong breeze blew from end to end the effect of which assistance was early visible. The Bury right wing put in many fine bits of play despite the clever attention of Robertson, and as the outset the home supporters were confident of ultimate victory. A well-placed corner by Pobley resulted in Millar heading wide of the mark, and the same player was at fault directly afterwards from a splendid centre by Plant. Still keeping up a pressure a second corner kick was forced to no tangible purpose, and the monotony was at length by a clever efforts on the part of Taylor and Williams the ball eventually finding its way to the left, and Drivers put it into the net after Thompson had previously saved. Everton success come after the game had been twelve minutes in progess. Bury were completely taken by surprise, and for some time the Evertonians completely held the position. Cameron and Drivers were often conspicuous, but Ross clung most tenaciously to them, and frequently prevented a parting shot at Thompson. Then the Bury left put in some very effective work, and taxed the Everton defenders to their utmost resources, Menham, Storrier and McFarlane getting through their work in a most creditable fashion. In a trice the play was at the other end, and Thompson saved brilliantly from Drivers, while Barbour fortunately headed out a well-directed shot from Boyle. There was now no mistaking the superiority of the visitors, who repeatedly swooped down on the home goal, but they marred their otherwise capital work by faulty finishing touches. The pace did not flag in the least, and both sets of forwards well attended to by their respective halves, furnished many fine bits of play, though the movements of the visitors were the more finished. The game was heatedly contested up to the changed of ends, and as there was no further scoring, Everton led by a goal to nil. The opening stages of the second half were none the less interesting, as no efforts was sparted to contest every inch of the way. Bury were strong to their greatest pitch, and for a considerable time McFarlane was kept busily employed. Holt eventually had the best of Davidson, and Taylor made a movement to the other end, where several warm tussles took place between the Everton wingers and Barbour. Another determined raid followed on the Everton goal, and there could be no question that the home side was prepared to stop at nothing in order to get upon equal terms again. However, the cool display of the Everton halves and the accurate kicking of the backs had to be reckoned with, and it became evident that the home contingent had quite overrun themselves. Towards the close the Everton forwards were complete masters of the situration, and the Bury goal had several lucky escapes, one shot in particular from Cameron glancing behind after striking the upright. Everton maintained pressure, to the end, and as no other point were scored, they were a most stubborn contest by a goal to nil.
EVERTON RESERVES 4 CHESTER 1
October 25 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
At Goodison Park. Leiws scored for Chester after a quarter of an hour's play, but after this Everton gained the upper hand, and put on four goals before the interval, Hulligan, Hughes, and Hartley scoring. In the second half Everton had the best of the game for some time. Chester had a penalty allowed them, but Spencer failed to improve the situation. Result Everton 4 goals Chester 1. Everton: - Muir (w), goal, Watkinson, and Barker (g), backs, McKinlay, Douglas, and Stewart (w) halfbacks, Hughes, Hartley, Hulligan, Whelan, and Schofield, forwards.
October 25 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The Bury football enclosure is not one of the most delightful of playing pitches, and those teams that visit the ground and extract full points from their opponents are deserving of every praise. An overgrowth of green on a bumpy surface has of necessity a most deterrent effort upon the play of those teams who prefer to indulge in sharp, crisp passing movements, to the kick and rush methods of operations. This it was that several handicapped the Evertonians during the initial stages of the contest, on Saturday for to gauge the rebound of the ball was a task of no little difficulty. The long swinging passes of the Bury forwards, during the first few minutes always savoured of danger, and it was a distinctly creditable feature of the visitors defence that under heavy pressure, they met every attack in cool and collected fashion. When one was beaten there was always another of his side in readiness to cover any defect. The pace was terrific at the very outset, and after Bury had made their efforts, and had found the visitors defence thoroughly sound, the Everton forwards cut out the play to their general liking, and ashowed by far greater skill than their opponents. The goal that was scored was by no means of a brilliant character, but others might, easily have been forthcoming from the numerous centres by the wingmen. One goal to nil at the interval scarcely represented the margin of Everton's superiority during the initial period. After the resumption the home side were seen to great advantage, for they literally swarmed round the Everton goal, and gave the backs and custodian about as anxious a time as can well be imagined. Shots were rained in thick and fast, and if ever a defence was taxed to its utmost that of Everton certainly was on this occasion. The halfbacks, though they were over prominent in the first half, were seen to great advantage under the heavy pressure, and when at last the monotony was broken it was quite patent that the Bury team had simply exhausted themselves. That ugly adjunct-high- feeling-began to creep into the play, and if anything, the referee was rather inclined to be too indulgent in many instances. Stringent ruling earlier on might have prevented several tussles between Davidson and Holt, and the rough element gradually became more general. Barbour, who had frequently been outwitted by Taylor, was not over scrupulous in his methods, nor were Plant and Henderson in their attentions towards Boyle. In fact, the Bury team put aside whatever chance they had of rubbing off the arrears by devoting more attention to the man than the ball, with the result that they got into an entangled style of play that had neither aim nor character. A team was never more soundly beaten in the last five minutes of the game, and doubtless they welcomed the final whistle as eagerly as their victors did the points. Though the Evertonians were the more proficient in general movements the quality of their play was not of an altogether unimpeachable character, for in the early portions of the second half they quite departed from their usual methods, and an adverse result from the adoption of such a course might easily have despoiled them of victory. Resorting to purely defensive tactics does not always benefit a team, for at least one department must of necessity suffer, and the indiscriminate kicking of the halves more than once resulted in the Bury forwards gaining mastery which otherwise would have been denied them. Had the Evertonians preceded on the even tenour of their way all through the game there could have been no question about a more pronounced result being arrived at, and it would be justed as well if the team would beat this point in mind in future engagement. The most gratifying feature of the Everton display was the entire absence of that lethargy which permeated the games of the first month of the season, and with a continuance of the exprit de corps that is apparently general throughout the ranks the record of the local club should benefit considerably. The forwards were in a thoroughly effective vein, and under the terrific pace, which, with the game was contested, it was quite pardonable that one or another should at times have failed at a critical moment. Over eagerness to score spoiled many a well work out plan of campaign, and more precision in the centre would undoubtedly have benefited the side greatly. Taylor as usual stayed the ball splendidly, and Williams again fully merited his inclusion in the team. Barbour rather forcibly marked the pair, but though the inside man came in for some severe knocks, they suffered little in comparison. Cameron again played a most consistence game, and, in conjunction with Drivers, many fine attacks and capital shots were levelled from this quarter; indeed beyond an occasional hentancy on the part of Bell, the line could not have been improved upon. The halves were not seen at their best until the second portion of the game when their work was most finished and effective. During the heavy onslaught on the Everton, goal, Holt was very serviceable and eventually proved quite the master of Davidson, who had hitherto opened no effort inpouncing forcibly upon the little man, who opponents came his way. Boyle played with capital judgement, especially in the later stages, while Robertson was always busy, and the could be an denying the fact that the trio played a very important part in the afternoon's proceedings. Dogged determination was almost perfectly possonfied in Menham, and Storrier, who formed a splendid line of defence, for during the affordmentioned period when Bury were simply forceful in their efforts to score, the pair covered each other, and timed their clearance with an accuracy than could be scarcely equalled. McFarlane was in readiness for everything that came his way, and the fact that a goal had not been scored against him in two successive matches. Contested under keen conditions, is a fitting testimony to his ability. The Bury forwards were brilliant and moderate by turns, and they gave one the impression that they rely more upon as occasional spurt, in which they simply exhibit themselves, than steady expositive of the game. When properly going they were a dangerous lot to deal with, and some were effective than Millar and Plant though the right wing especially in the first position were always dangerous. The halves played a good game, though the work of Davidson was somewhat discounted by his too close attention to the man; and both Barbour and Darroch under heavy pressure acquitted themselves creditably for they reduced to a maximum the work of Thompson between the uprights. Taking the players all through, Everton were the more finished team, and now bid fair to completely reverse last year's result, which were favourable to Bury in both League engagements. Sheffield United were the only other League club to extract full points in the season's campaign at Gigg Lane prior to Everton's visit. As the Blades appear at Everton on Saturday next, with a still untarnished record, there is every prospect of the Everton enclosure being once again greatly in demand by local supporters of the code.
EVERTON V CHESTER
October 30, 1897. Chester Observer.
The same old story –defeat. This time it was at Goodison Park, the winners of course being the Everton combination team, it was not generally expected that the Cestrians would win and those expectations were fully borne out, although the disparity in the teams cannot be said to have been so great as is represented by the score Everton 4, Chester 1. For the first ten minutes Chester played ten only, Porter keeping goal in the absence of Coventry, who had not yet arrived, and Lewis temporarily going centre half. For all this the Chester men, training every nerve, managed to have matters as much their own way as did the Everton contingent. The four forwards got well up, but possession and flying down to be pulled up smartly by Wilson. They made a return attack and Porter had to fist out, immediately afterwards having to deal with another capital shot, which nearly went through. Coventry now made his appearance, while the Chester men were bombarding the citadel at the other end, and in a minute had to save from a low fast shot, which required smart handling. Following this the visitors got away, the right wing taking the ball along in grand style. At the top end Gordon, who nicely tricked his opponents, centred into the goalmouth, and although Muir nearly managed to save Lewis was well up, and he headed the ball through. Thus encouraged the Cestrains worked away with a will, and immediately on the kick-off obtained a couple of corners, which, however, proved fruitless. Then the Evertonians rushed down, and Coventry had to run out to save. He did so coolly, and in another second had to keep one more stinging shot out. At this point the visitors made a brief rally, but nothing came of it, and the homesters came down with a sweet and smart bit of work, both for attack and defence followed, and at last Hulligan equalised with an oblique shot, which went in like an express, it was now the turn of the Everton men to put the screw on for a minute or so, and they obtained a fruitless corner, Hulligan hooting afterwards. The ball went over, and the Cestrians worked their way up to the opponents' territory, Watkinson cleared with a big kick, and Hughes raced away. The attack was brought to nothing by a good defence, but not to be denied, the player scored with a beautiful shot. The Everton men now held the lead, and this purred the Cestrians onto harder efforts. Gordon shot just outside, and Speakman and Blakeman were subsequently conspicuous for a capital bit of tricky, and dashing work. They failed to augment their score, however, and their opponents putting through a couple of more goals, they were in a minority of three at half-time, when the score stood Everton combination 4, Chester 1. Chester opened the attack in fine style on the restart, the forwards plying a pretty, combined game, Barker and Watkinson, however, offered an impassable defence, and after about ten minutes' pressure the Chester men fell away a little, their combination for the time being broke up. Coventry saved a hot shot in his usual neat style, and after the Everton attack had been dealt with, the visiting forwards took up the running again, and Gordon sent in a shot which just went past. The Chester men now kept up continued pressure, and shot followed shot, Muir, the home custodian, acquitting himself in a style far superior to that he displayed at Chester. Gordon was once brought over by a brutal foul, and a penalty kick followed. Spencer took it, and banged the ball against the crossbar, the ball rebounding far back and being got away. Right up to the end, however, the Cestrian front rank showed excellent form, and peppered the home goal. Fiercely. No goals were, however, put on and the game ended in a four to one victory for Everton. The most impartial spectator could not have said that Everton were a four to one better team. Their eleven made up team which I should think was the strongest they have sent out this season. The whole lot worked well together, the defence being really grand, while the centre half and the centre forward, Douglas and Hulligan respectively played a capital game. For the visitors each of the five forwards were brilliant, their play being full of dash and resource. They deserved better luck, and had they been properly supported by the halves they perhaps would have succeeded much better. Barker was the only one of the trio who gave an exhibition worth seeing, and why he did not take the penalty kick puzzled me. He took half a dozen last season, and was successful with them all. Neither Cook nor Porter was in form. The latter is stiff yet, and wants more training. Last year he was just the same at first, but after he had been playing a few weeks he became altogether different, and was tremendously useful. Evan Roberts and Wilson maintained their reputation as safe backs. They gave a creditable exhibition, and it was more by bad luck than had bad management that they were ever beaten.
• Latta and Jones, formerly of Everton played for Rock Ferry against Garston Copper Works. (Latta got one goal in a 2-0 win)