April 1, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton might narrow the gap between themselves and other championship contenders if they reproduce their best form against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road. The seasiders are still faced with the possibility of relegation, though they have gained a little over Leicester City in recent weeks. After playing five home games without a victory they have been doing better having won their last three engagements in their own ground. All these, however, have been against sides well down the table. Manager Joe Smith has been frequently ringing the changes in an afford to further improve matters and the only members of the Blackpool side who has appeared in every game is Johnston. Taylor and Mortensen both of whom asked for a transfer, a short while ago after being dropped have returned to the side and withdrawn their request, while Mudie, who scored the only goal of the game when Blackpool visited Goodison Park in November, has displaced Brown. His two goals against Leicester a fortnight ago through his total of seven and made him his side’s highest scorers, Mortensen, Perry and Taylor have five each. This scoring weakness has been one of the contributory factor of Blackpool’s defence though the defence has also failed to produce the reliable form which it has displayed in recent years. It has been doing a little better lately however and has not conceded a goal in the last two games. Blackpool; Farm; Gratriz, Garrett; Fenton, Johnston, Kelly (H), McKenna, Taylor, Mortensen, Mudie, Perry.
EVERTON’S TITLE HOPES ROCKED BY A SECOND HALF BREEZE
April 2, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Blackpool 4, Everton 0
Three goals to Blackpool in the space of 15 minutes shocked, Everton who had been as good as their opponents. Blackpool; Farm, goal; Gratis and Garrett, backs; Fenton, Johnston, and Kelly (J), half-backs; McKenna, Taylor, Mortensen, Mudie, and Perry, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Donovan and Tansey (j), backs; Farrell (captain), Woods, and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. S. J.S McLoughlin. Everton made three changes including one positional, compared with the side which lost to Portsmouth at Goodison Park last week. Woods and Tansey made their first league appearance of the season, Donovan crossing over to right back to accommodate the latter at left back. Blackpool’s only change was the incoming of McKenna for Matthews, assisting England against Scotland. Up to this morning there was a doubt about Farrell who had been suffering from lumbago but he was declared fit after a rest. Blackpool got away to a lively start, but a neat interception by Woods held up Mortensen. A though pass by Lello sent Hickson away, only for Johnston to forestall him before he could get in his shot. A corner to Blackpool saw Perry test O’Neill with a ground shot, and at the other end Farm tipped a Hickson header over the bar, Eglington put the corner behind. Everton’s early play was more precise and progressive than that of Blackpool, though when the home side got away again a Mortensen shot deserved a better fate than to hit Woods. Tansy twice fed Eglington with well placed passes while Fielding shot behind from 25 yards.
Farrell’s Good Work
Good work by Farrell sent Everton going on the right until Garrett stepped in with a hefty clearance. Mortensen was put through by McKenna but his shot taken as he was harassed by Woods was wide. Woods could only forestall McKenna at the expense of a corner following which Fenton shot badly. Blackpool continued on the offensive and for some minutes the visiting rearguard looked decidedly anxious though O’Neill was not called upon. A free kick to Blackpool just inside he visitors half saw three home forwards offside when Everton’s defenders advanced on masses. The spectators yelled their decision when Tansey passed back fully 40 yards to O’Neill following which Gratrix paired off with McKenna in a move which looked dangerous until the winger shot behind from 12 yards. He should have done better. On the information of a linesman the referee spoke to Hickson presumably for something the latter said when Johnston hooked the ball into touch. Farm put a Lello shot behind and Eglington with a great chance delayed just a fraction too long and them put the ball beyond the far post.
On The Turf
Blackpool were playing better than one expects from a team in their lowly position. They kept the ball on the turn and moved it well with accurate passes but their finishing was poor, I understand this has been their besetting sin all season. A 20-yarder by Mortensen almost scraped the bar, Blackpool’s defence seemed a little inclined to nerves when their goal was threatened and twice the ball was put into touch unnecessarily. The Blackpool forwards were over anxious and many possible shooting chances were either muffed by bad marksmanship at wasted by making one pass too many. Woods was doing well, at centre half for the Blues and had the mastery over small inside forwards whenever the ball was in the air. Tansey was also shaping soundly. The home goal had a narrow escape when Farm mis-fielded a Hickson shot that managed to retrieve the ball while he was lying on the ground in time to forestall Parker. Blackpool were soon on the suffensive again and it took some rather desperate defensive measures to stop them getting to grips with O’Neill. Although playing against the wind Blackpool had the major portion of play territorially without producing anything striking in the way of shooting. Miskicks by Taylor and Mudie lost Blackpool the initiative just before the interval. As so often happens with struggling sides the run of the ball was not going in the home side’s favour.
Half-time; Blackpool nil, Everton nil.
A Free kick against Woods just outside the penalty area saw Mortensen test O’Neill with a strong shot which somehow got through the barrage of lined up defenders. Taylor called on the Everton keeper from almost the same spot, but without success. A corner to Everton brought pressure on the home goal until Fielding placed behind. Blackpool were soon back on the offensive, O’Neill saving a 40-yarder by Gratrix. In the 55th minute Taylor put Blackpool in front. He picked up a pass by McKenna dribbled through cleverly as the Everton defence reteated and than let fly from 12 yards with a shot which O’Neill dived to but could not reach. This goal put new heart into the home attack and in quick succession Mortensen headed over and Perry shot outside neither being more than a foot off the woodwork. At the hour Blackpool increased their lead through Mortensen. Perry and Taylor paired off well and the better’s square pass left Mortensen with the easiest of chances from six yards range, O’Neill had no possible chance with this one. The visiting defence had now lost its earlier polish and in the space of five minutes the game had undergone a tremendous change with Blackpool now full of confidence and aggression. Ambulance men were called to attend a spectator hit in the face when Donovan put the ball behind to threstall Mortensen. Everton’s cup of woe was not yet full. They had gone all to pieces in an alarming fashion and at the 70th minute a canny pass by Mortensen saw Perry with only O’Neill to beat from rather a ban angle. In trying to put the ball out of the goalkeeper’s reach Perry nearly put it behind but it struck the foot of the post and bounced into the net. Although on the run of the game as a whole Everton did not deserve to be three goals in arrears they had certainly done nothing of note since the change round, Blackpool with the wind behind them, had been well on top, and in contrast to their first half misses had taken their chances smartly. Everton forced three successive corners, from which Eglington and McNamara each went-close. By now, however, the game seemed virtually over except for the formality of playing out time. after 89 minutes McKenna scored for Blackpool. Final; Blackpool 4, Everton 0. Official attendance 19,269.
EVERTON RES V BLACKBURN RES
April 2, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Reserves; Leyland, goal; Sutherland and Rankin, backs; Clayton, Forshaw, and Grant, half-backs; Wainwright, Lewis, Harris (J), Potts, and Canavan, forwards. Blackburn Rovers Reserves; Patterson, goal; Evans and Taylor, backs; McGrath, Herron, and Campbell, half-backs; Vernon, Douglas, Willis, Leaver, and Brown, forwards. Referee; Mr. N.N. Housh (Macclesfield). After the visitors had the better of the opening exchanges Everton gained, the upper hand but spoiled many chances through Jack of steadiness in front of goal. Willis gave the visitors the lead in the 25th minute with an excellent shot. Ten minute later Everton were rewarded, Lewis putting well beyond the keeper’s reach. Half-time; Everton Res 1, Blackburn Res 1.
EVERTON FADED IN SECOND HALF
April 2, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blackpool 4, Everton 0
Everton’s hopes of being in the running for the championship received a severe set-back, but for the home side, victory may mean at least another the First Division. At the interval when neither team had scored, it looked odds on a draw for both sets of forwards had shown an almost completed lack of finishing power. Although Everton had reserves at centre half and left back, and had switched Donovan to right back, they had little difficulty in mastering the Blackpool attack up to the interval, Woods shaped quite well at centre half during this period, and with Tansey also playing confidently it seemed a reasonable assumption that Everton would be able to hang on. The turning point came at the fiftieth minute when Taylor fastened on the ball thirty yards from goal, took it forward as defenders retreated, and then scored with a fierce left-foot drive. This goal was the tonic Blackpool needed. From being a hesitant and over elaborate combination their forward line changed into a fast-moving, potent force determined to shoot. A three-cornered movement between Perry, Taylor, and Mortensen left the latter with the easiest of tasks to get their second goal five minutes later, and only a further ten minutes elapsed when Perry got the third from an angled position after Mortensen had done the donkey-work. Everton’s defence, meantime had gone to pieces, Woods, hither the master of Mortensen could not now cope with Mortensen’s dash and positional switching, Tansey and Donovan lost their grip on the wingers and Taylor –a wonderful schemer –and Mudie started to they almosy exhibition football. Three goals in fifteen minutes had transformed the game and its earlier possibilities. With almost the last kick of the game Blackpool got a fourth goal when McKenna back heeled into the net a free kick taken by Taylor. One felt sorry for Woods and Tansey. They has started so promingly it was disappointing to see them so much at sea later. They were not along in that, however. Neither Lello nor Farrell shone and the forward line, apart from one excellent effort by Eglington, was never dangerous; Hickson had one of his poorest games of the season.
EVERTON ARE SLIPPING
April 4, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Blues’ Fall From Grace
Everton are slipping just when they can least afford it. on the lasts of their display against Blackpool even after making allowance for the absence of Moore and Jones and the three goal in fifteen minutes blitz which the home side turned on the Blues’ championship chances are fading fast. The most disappointing aspect of this latest defeat was that at half-time such a result never appeared in the least likely. For twenty minutes Everton had played fast and precise football, and had the home defence, Farm excepted in a state of feverous anxiety. Then they started to give the ball too much fair, lost their neater touches, and gradually allowed Blackpool to recover their poise. Even so the home side were seldom dangerous for their good approach work was ruined by wold and erratic shooting and a fatal tendency to make too many passes and indulge in lateral instead of forward progression. Neither goalkeeper had much really testing work in the first half. The best save was a tip over the bar by Farm of a Hickson header in the first few minutes. had Everton scored thus early the whole trend of the game mustn’t have been altered for Blackpool were obviously nervy and apprehensive which is not unusual in a side which has lived so long in the shadow of possible relegation.
A Big Transformation
The longer the first half went however the more one could sense that they were beginning to realize that this was a game they might win. Their finishing, however, was not very encouraging and the ball never ran kindly for them. With the wind and rain at their backs however possibly plus the spur of a half time pep talk by Manager Joe Smith, the Seasiders took the bit between their teeth. They started cutting out all their unnecessary moves by making tracks for goal by the shortest route and shooting a every opportunity. Even full back Gratrix tried a 40-yarder which brought O’Neill to his knees. The turning point came at the 55th minute when Taylor instead of being tackled, was allowed to take the ball forward 15 yards or more, and then, from just inside the penalty area, put the home side in front with a great left-drive. That was the start of the rot Everton’s defence which previously had held its own without being unduly extended now caught the bug of nervous apprehensions which had affected Blackpool earlier. Two more goals of Mortensen and Perry settled Everton’s fate and they never looked like making a fight of it apart from a few minutes towards the end when it was far too late.
Worst Of The Season
Even then apart from Eglington who had a great shot tipped over the bar the visiting attack rarely tested Farm with anything worth mentioning and it was Blackpool, who added the finished touch in the last minute when McKenna back heeled into the net a free kick taken by Taylor. Everton’s second half display was the poorest I have seen from them all season. There was hardly enough punch in the front line after the change-over to burst a never bag, and an almost complete absence of anything approaching their normal dovetailed combination. It was one of those days when too many players had an off-day simultaneously the cumulative effect of which told badly on the whole side. Too much blame should not be laid on the shoulders of Woods and Tansey. They were by no means the only ones to fall from grace once Blackpool had realized that direct and forceful football and first time shooting was the way to victory. Woods did quite well in the first half. He had the mastery of Mortensen his inside colleagues when the ball was in the air, and held his own well when it was on the ground, even though his clearances were utilitarian rather than constructive.
They All Fell Away
Tansy also shaped quite promisingly up to the interval. Once Blackpool began to get on top, however, both these young players found themselves unable to fathom the wiles of Taylor or Mudie or the swift darting runs of Mortensen or Mckenna, who was deputizing for Matthews while for once neither Farrell nor Lello could put out sufficient to address the balance. Fielding did his best to bind the attack together for a time until even he fell away, while Hickson was seen less in this game, either as a spear-head or a maker of openings for others than in ate outing he has had for a long time. There was a slight doubt in some quarters about Blackpool’s second goal on the basic of, off side though personally, I thought Mortensen was behind the ball when Taylor made the pass which gave him the easiest of chances. The third went in off the foot of the post when Perry placed it out of O’Neill’s reach. Another few inches and it would have cannoned out instead of in. Allowing for all this, however, and also for a spot of good fortune with the last goal there was no denying that victory went to the right side and to the team which had adopted the best-paying tactics. If Blackpool can keep this up they stand a good chance of staying in the First Division. Naturally Manager Joe Smith was highly delighted at his team’s success. He told me however, that this was by no means “their best” display. Apparently Blackpool have played better but lost on several other occasions. This time however the ball ran well for them –and the run of the ball is often the most vital thing of all far outweighing the effects sometimes obtained by good play but unlucky breaks.
April 7, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
A surprise in the Everton team is the return of Moore who fractured his jaw only a fortnight ago. Fortunately it was not a severe break and as Moore is extremely keen to play Everton have included him after taking medical advice. Jones is also fit and resumes at centre half, so that the Blues will field their strongest side. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington. Newcastle United; Simpson; Cowell, Mcmicheal; Scoular, Stokoe, Crowe, White, Davies, Keebia, Hannah, Mitchell.
THE TACTICAL DEFEAT OF EVERTON
April 9, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Newcastle United 2
The off-side game is anathema to Everton, their spectators and to the Press, photographers. Employed by the Cup finalists, Newcastle United, at Goodison Park yesterday, this stratagem held up the Everton attack, aggravated spectators until they were prepared to give Referee A. Holland (Barnsley) the slow hand-clap and exasperated the dutiful men with cameras who were prevented from getting close at hand, the incident they need in order to provide the best of photographic, material Easter Saturday. I confess the offside game demonstrated by Newcastle shades of its innovator. Billy McCracken interfered seriously with the game’s continuity and with Everton’s chances of scoring but while it remains a legal means of tactical defence it is in order and the blame for so many off side decisions is not so much with the layers of the trap as with those who fill into it because they are using their feet only and not a combination of feet and brain. The classic method to beat the trap is for the man with the ball to pierce, single handled the thinly drawn line of defence. No Everton forward elected to attempt this. Too often they looked for the man in the open space –the man who became offside in the interval of thinking of passing to him and the passing.
Newcastle set the trap with diabolical effect, yet there was more than one occasion when it seemed the position of the Everton attackers in relation to the defence was reckoned not when the ball was last played but when it had almost arrived. Thus Newcastle –a far better side than we had been lied to believe from reports of their ragged Cup progress –not only had the better team but the better team tactically. The most ironic moment was the one in which Everton’s supporters, tiring of ordinary barracking of Newcastle and the referee started the slow hand-clap. But the game went on and the slow hand-clap died away completely in a concur heat move in which Liverpool born Hannah dug up the ball from the goal-line near the post to allow the towering Keeble to nod it downwards, over the line, for the deciding goal. This came after seventy five minutes. it was a perfect day and setting for football though the turf was inclined to be heavy and rather treacherous Illusions of Newcastle ill-fame as Cup fighters were dispelled in the opening minute in which Mitchell a tall, gangling outside left, who hugs the ball closely and surely threaded his way through the Everton defence magnificently and still deprived to find his man. From more of Mitchell close dribbling came the low centre must have converted if his shooting had been steady. Close to the line he whipped on the ball and almost kicked completely round it – a tremendous blunder O’Neill knocked up on to the bar a header from Davies (the great strike of the Newcastle line) before Hannan from the second of two quick corners fastened on the ball in the ruck, and shot his side into the lead (fourteen minutes)
Then when by all the rules Hickson should have burst through characteristically, shaking off all challenges, he became victim of second thoughts and veering further and further to his right reached the point at which all chances of scoring was gone. The shade of doubt between off-and on-side when Everton’s way when Eglington’s pass was picked up on the wing by McNamara. He drifted in delivered a low centre and Fielding applied the final side-footed touch like the master he is. So after 20 minutes it was 1-1 and Everton were apparently determined to improve their position further. McNamara hit a solid drive that Simpson caught well, White hit a shot inches wide of the post, as he was to more than once. Then O’Neill misjudged a high long punt by the formidable Scoular. The ball dropped behind him but in turf so heavy that it became dead and easy to regain. Keeble always earnest always to be reckoned with hit a low left foot shot not far from target and Simpson defected one handed a Parker shot at the foot of the post. Parker Everton’s best forward I thought tried hard to deflect into goal with his head the Lello shot made as the interval approached. Team manager Dugald Livingstone renewing Everton friendships after many years absence from Goodison Park must have been well pleased with his side’s first half. The promise of Newcastle victory was forehold early in the second half when O’Neill saved splendidly from Keebles header and from White’s hard cross shot Moore playing with a scarcely-mended broken jaw took a risk when he turned with his head a full volley from Keeble –O’Neill was in no position to have saved. There followed the decisive goal I have described. Then O’Neill went in to the feet of the oncoming Keeble to prevent a third Newcastle score and McNamara turned the ball “inside” (and tentatively at that) when a big confident shot would almost certainly have made the scores level. Hickson took a tremendous jolt to the rips in collision with goalkeeper’s Simpson but recovered before White ever-ready to come inside and make a shot swerved a sizzling shot inches from the far post. By this time Everton had all but written themselves off Newcastle mainly through Hannan whose second half contribution was one of the finest I have seen on the ground seemed happy to play out time and convince everyone that Manchester City have a toucher Wembley assisgnment than, the rest of the football world imagines. This was Everton’s third successive League defeat and with a fixture today against Tottenham and a return match against Newcastle on Monday current form does not suggest they will figure among the talent money. The reason they lost yesterday I am sure, was due mainly to the supremacy of Mitchell and White on the wines to little Hannah’s –he has match stick legs –ability to command the middle of the field and send a stream of passes far wide and accurately Newcastle defence was not perfect but it was big, and uncompromising and it knew how to operate the offside gambit. McMichael played extremely well and Stokoe was big and strong enough to take care of a Hickson who seemed lacking in life and who had one of his poorest game. Bit for some desperate Farrell defences and fine goalkeeping by O’Neill, Newcastle would surely have won more handsomely . Keeble was always a handiful for Jones Though he may not have Milburnly speed and reputation none can deny that the big fellow is a grand club man and worthy to lead and line.
The death of Mr. Harold Uren the former Everton and Liverpool players is elsewhere on the page. The death has also occurred of Mr. Billy Wareing the former Everton pivot –one of this big three comprising – Fleetwood, Wareing and Grenyer.
EVERTON SLIP AGAIN
April 9, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Fifth Home Defeat of the Season by the Odd Goal
It wasn’t a Good Friday for Everton in more senses than one. Their defeat by Newcastle United just about finishes their slender championship hopes which have taken a hasty knock with three successive defeats. At this rate their prospects of even qualifying for a talent money place in the first four will soon fade as well. Yesterday’s reverse was the fifth defeat which the Blues have suffered at Goodison Park this season all of them by the odd goal. The margin in Newcastle’s favour might have been greater but for a couple of splendid saves by O’Neill and a goal-line rescue act by Moore. Once again, as at Blackpool, Everton failed to reproduce form comparable with that which characterized them a few months ago. This was particularly the case with the attack, which rarely moved with its former ease and fluency and produced little of note in the way of dangerous shooting. It was a game of good entertainment value, taken on the whole though most of it came from the visitors. Yet paradoxically, Newcastle also helped to spoil the match of some extent by their irritating offside tactics. Twelve times Everton were pulled up in this way and so much did the crowd dislike it that at one period they indulged in a bout of slow hand-clapping. It was rather ironic that Hannah, who as a youngster was on Everton’s amateur books, should be the man to do the most damage. He it was who put the visitors in front at the 17th minute after Keeble hail neatly side-flicked. White’s corner kick to him. He led the Everton defence a merry dance on many occasion and cleverly worked the winning goal 15 minutes from the end.
Best Move of The Day
Everton were not long in arrears in the first half for Fielding put them on level terms at the 22nd minute after one of the best combined moves of the day. It started with a Farrell pass to Eglington, a cross-field all from the latter to McNamara and a square centre from the winger which left Fielding the easier of chances from four yards range. Newcastle’s negative offside tactics were not the only thing to upset the crowd. They also indulged in a tremendous amount of back-passing to their goalkeeper, sometimes from distances of nearly 30 yards irrating though these tactics may be they are still legitimate and part of the game, and Newcastle certainly used them to advantage. Hickson was the most frequent victim of the offside traps. He fell into it no less than six times and seemed quite unable to counter it. though he made some telling passes in the first half-hour, he did not shies afterwards and with the zest at the attack gradually fading out Everton rarely looked like pulling the game out of the fire. Yet in Hickson’s favour it must be added that he produced as many show or header as anybody else. Parker also went near once or twice but the sum total of Everton’s scoring efforts was disappointing and Simpson had a comparatively easy afternoon. O’Neill was much the busier goalkeeper. He made one splendid save from Davies before Newcastle had opened their score and two others in the second half one from Keeble’s header off a corner and the other against White in each case throwing himself acrobatically across the goal to tip the ball over. Moore also saved the situation when he kicked away of the goal line after Keeble had hooked in a waist-high ball from a flag kick.
The winning goal was the result of a quick Newcastle breakaway following an offside decision against Eglington. When the ball was booted up the middle and Hannah chased it to within a foot of the dead ball line their seemed no great danger. But by some miraculous means Hannah managed to hook it over the heads of O’Neill and Jones who were trying to “smother” him and Keeble had only to nod it into the empty net. The return of Moore and Jones did not put the Everton defence back on its one time pedestal. Jones never completely mastered Keeble and both backs found the Newcastle wingers so different in their contrasting styles, quite a problem at times Mitchell might have been an even greater menace had he got rid of the ball sooner and not indulged in some unnecessary fidding and ballet-dancing. Hannah was the key man in the visiting attack and though Farrell did many good things and came to the rescue with several timely tackles and interceptions. Hannah contrived to keep his forwards moving more sweetly and effectively than the home front line responded to the prompting of Fielding. Just as at Blackpool last week, the Everton forwards seemed reluctant to shoot on many occasions and frequently indulged in natural passing which made little or no progress and preferred one more pass when they should have produced a shot. Though there were was occasions when the line moved with speed and precision never at any period when their aggression was sustained to the point where it seemed likely to get the visiting defence into real trouble.
For their home game with Tottenham this afternoon Everton have substituted Saunders as leader of the attack in place of Hickson, while Tansey takes over from Donovan at left back. Elsewhere the team is the same as yesterday, namely;- O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Fielding, Saunders, Parker, Eglington. This will be Saunders second senior appearance. He made his debut against Cardiff at Ninian Park on February 12 when Hickson was under suspension.,
FIELDING SPIKED THE SPURS AT GOODISON
April 9, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Miss Chances To Make Victory Easy
Everton 1, Spurs Nil
Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Fielding, Saunders, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Tottenham;- Reynolds, goal; Baker, and Hopkins, backs; Blanchflower, Clarke, and Marchi, half-backs; Gavin, Baily, Dugueim, Brooks, and Robb, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.T. Langdale (Darlington). Everton had two changes compared with the side which was defeated yesterday by Newcastle, Saunders led the attack in place of Hickson and Tansey came in at left back for Donovan. Right at the start, Saunders was in the picture when he neatly robbed Hopkins and eventually forced a corner, from which Parker shot behind. It was Saunders determination which won a second corner this time or Eglington to shoot behind. The Spurs wore an unusual type of stocking with vertical bars cupping downwards almost to the ankle. Gavin showed a fine turn of speed but Tansey stuck to him grimly and finally held him up at the expense of a corner. The flag kick went over the heads of everybody and was finally cleared by Moore. Eglington pulled the ball back just too far so that it passed behind all his forward colleagues and a good chance went begging. A third corner to Everton produced no shot on the mark –this time due to a handling offence by Parker. The best scoring attempt in the first ten minutes came from Brooks whose strong shot from 20 yards was only a couple of feet off the mark.
A Narrow Escape
When Baily made an opening for the same player a moment later. Brooks was unable to repeat his former accuracy and put the ball half-way between the goal and corner flag. The Tottenham goal had a narrow escape when a combined move between Farrell, McNamara and Parker resulted in Saunders looking a scorer all over when he headed in Parker’s pass until Reynolds threw himself across goal and just got his fingers tips to the ball. Duquemin made a hash of a good chance after combination with Brooks. As Brooks had done earlier, he put the ball almost as near to the corner flag as to the goal. Everton were shipping much, better in attack than yesterday and were finding one another far more accurately with their passes. One crossfield pass by Parker to Eglington was a real peach but the winger failed to get hold of his shot properly. Brooks and Baily were doing good work in the Spurs front line and when Brook squared one ball right across the goal for Gavin the latter was just too slow to cash in.
“My Name is McNamara”
The Everton player, who has a sharp wit brought a roar of laughter when he played the opening bars of “My Name is McNamara” as the player of that name was on the ground receiving attention after a knock on the head in a collision with Hopkins. It was not so funny for McNamara, however, for the blow had been a neatly one. A few minutes before Saunders had also gone down heavily following a tackle by Clarke though he recovered without the trainer’s attention. A brilliant effort by Parker roused the crowd to enthusiasm as also did the smart save by Reynolds. A moment later, Farrell’s appeared to be intergegating the referee about a possible penalty when Parker was brought down by Blanchflower. The referee waved him aside.
Saved a “Cert”
Twice Jones stepped in with well-judged interceptions to hold up Brooks and Duquemin and then Moore saved a certain goal with O’Neill out of position when he stopped a shot from Baily on the line. A had pass by Marchi led Everton in and the ball bobbed about in front of the Tottenham goal for several seconds before Reynolds cleared the danger following a header by Saunders. After a sustained spell of pressure Everton took the land at the 34th minute through Fielding who had Parker to thank for a peach of a pass Fielding’s shot from a distance of 14 yards gave Reynolds practically no chance.
Following this success McNamara and Saunders also tested the Tottenham goalkeeper and Farrell on one occasion forced his way through a bunch of opponent’s only to find his final shot baulked by Marchi. Spur had another escape when Fielding squared the ball and Parker in the act of shooting from six yards found the ball taken off his toe by Baker. Everton were now on top for some minutes. They were moving the ball much more confidently by means of long sweeping passes and were showing speed and precision in approach which has been absent in recent games. Tottenham broke away a couple of times but their finishing remained erractic though one long shot by Baker passed only inches wide of the upright with O’Neill looking none too happy about it. Gavin seemed to have fully recovered from an early knock which had left him limping for some minutes and twice he got the better of Tansey.
Half-time; Everton 1, Tottenham Hotspur nil
Everton should have been two up a couple of minutes after the resumption for when Fielding had a great shot saved by Reynolds the Spurs goalkeeper was lying on the ground as the ball rebounded to Saunders only yards out, Saunders shot straight at the Spurs custodian instead of lifting the ball into the upper part of the net, and Reynolds was thus able to save when theoretically he should have had no chance. Reynolds was twice in action again, saving from Parker and Eglington both from close range.
Fielding was having a great game, which was doubtless a source of satisfaction to him for as a teenage amateur, while living in London he had asked Tottenham to gave him a trail but got no response to his application. Lello and Farrell were backing up their forwards strongly as well as doing good work when Tottenham were on the attack. An offside ruling ruined one Tottenham promising move in which Baily was the main instigator, and Gavin the man to fall victim to overeagerness.
Off The Boil
Everton went off the boil for some minute but Tottenham still couldn’t set to grips with O’Neill thanks to the good work of Moore, Jones and the wins halves. Fielding was shooting oftener and more strongly than normally and another shot of his from the edge of the penalty area was only inches off the upright. One more offside held up Tottenham with Gavin the man at fault. The game had now becomes rather quiet and destultory with Everton although in command defensive, not producing the same determination in attacks as they had done earlier. All the same the Tottenham goal had another parson escape when Eglington reached s long crossfield ball by Moore and after rounding Baker had only Reynolds to beat from short range. He shot straight at the goalkeeper who partied the ball down and completed his clearance. Although Tottenham throughout had been most disappointing Everton could not afford to take chances with only a goal lead and some of their supporters now began to urge them on to put a little more vink into their work.
There was a strong appeal from behind the goal for a penalty when Eglington headed the ball back from a corner kick by the upright and Clark but out his arm however the referee rightly waved play on for this was obviously a case of “ball to hand” with no inferior motive. Fielding beat Blanchflower who had changed placed with Marchi this half, with a grand body swerve and then slipped the ball out to Eglington, who fired wide of the near upright. Blanchflower seemed to have made it his mission to try and keep Fielding quiet and was following the Everton man whenever he went. When Eglington had put the second of two corner kicks behind the corner player wadded in with “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” which was anything but true at far as Eglington was concerned.
Tansey To The Rescue
The game was still being fought out in a rather haphazard sort of fashion and was not producing anything like the thrills of the first half. Tansey and Saunders were each straying hard to justify their inclusion but the ball was not running well for Saunders who was under the additional disadvantage of being up against a towering centre half in Clarke. Tansey came to the rescue in the pick of time when Tottenham staged one of their rare attacks and were almost through when the deputy left back came across with a winning tackle. Tansey had shaped more promisingly to the second half than at the start. The game, however, still pushed a rather quiet and uneventful course with few thrills and practically no shooting worth mentioning from the visitors. Everton had certainly been better in the respect. The home goal was under siege following a corner but after O’Neill had only partially punched and was out of position he managed to scramble back, to time to save Marchi’s shot. Final; Everton 1, Tottenham nil. Official attendance 42,219.
BLACKPOOL RES V EVERTON RES
April 9, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Blackpool Res;- Harding, goal; Armfield and Frith, backs; Robinson, Maybury and McGlennie, half-backs; Harris, Hepton, Smith, Lythgoe, and Wright, forwards. Everton Res; Leyland, goal; Sutherland and Rankin, backs; Clayton, Woods and Grant, half-backs; Mayers, Thomas, Harris, Lewis, and Canavan, forwards. Referee; Mr. L. Seddon (Preston). Both sides played brisk football, Everton being dangerous frequently but missing several easy chances. In one attack Lewis and Canavan failed to score with open goals. Blackpool made a quick raid Lythgoe scoring in 26 minutes and although Everton tried hard they could not beat a strong defence. Half-time; Blackpool Res 1, Everton res nil.
Everton “A” v. Ellesmere Res
Everton took the lead in the 22nd minute when Rabone scored from Harris’s pass. Brennan had an equalizer in the next minute, but Harris headed Rabone’s centre to put Everton in the lead in the 37th minute. Half-time; Everton “A” 2, Ellesmere Port Town Res 1.
MR. HAROLD UREN DIES AT 69
April 9, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Sportsmen throughout Merseyside will mourn the death at his home at Sea Crest. The Bromenade, West Kirby on Thursday, of Mr. Harold John Uren, the famous head of a famous sporting family. Mr. Uren who was sixty nine had been ill for the past two months. He was one of the few former Merseyside footballers who holds the distinction of having played both for Liverpool and Everton. He was a popular left winger with both joining Everton from Liverpool in 1911. In 1908 he only just missed an amateur “cap” for England having been selected to appear for his country against Holland in the Olympic Games. He turned professional before the Games and this made him ineligible to appear in the England team at the Olympics.
Both his sons shared their fathers flair, for football, but favoured the Rugby code. Both of them, Mr. Harold Uren juniors and Mr. Richard Uren, earned England caps at full-back, Mr. Richard Uren plays for Waterloo and is one of the longest and most reliable punters of a ball. The family traditions for sport is also continued one of Mr. Uren daughters a keen yachts woman and a well known competitor in north west regattas. Mr. Uren was well known in Liverpool business circles as head of the firm of H.J. Uren and sons Ltd, provision importers of Victoria Street. In 1916 Mr. Uren was president of the Liverpool Provision Trade Association having been a member of the association for nearly forty years. Mr. Uren leaves a widow two sons and four daughters. The funeral is at West Kirkby Methodist Church on Tuesday.
THE SPURS TO FIELDING
April 11, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0
By Leslie Edwards
Everton 1, Tottenham Hotspur 0
The reflexes which worked quickest and best here were those of the now celebrated trumpeter. No sooner had the excellent Mr. Langdale of Darlington corrected goalkeeper Reynolds placing of the ball, for a goal kick than the brass blared the opening bars of “My momma done tol me” Oh, that Everton’s attack could think and act as quickly! Had they done Reynolds would have left Goodison Park a badly beaten goalkeeper rather than one who brought off, at least three times, desperate saves which left Everton’s winning margin fine (and liable to be cancelled out) from the 34th to the 90th minute. The critics of winter football had their arguments demolished “in one” as they say. Twenty four hours earlier, on treacherous holding mud Everton and Newcastle United had provided splendid football now, with the ground hardened and the wind making the ball more difficult to “kill” it was football so ordinary thousands left before the end. Everton were in front and seemed likely to say there and Tottenham were showing themselves to be nothing like as smart and shinning is their new “strips” which includes satin shorts and stocking top, of an almost pantomimed design. No Spurs were as well beaten here as they had been as Tottenham an important difference between the two occasions being that presence Tansey and Saunders now found place in the Everton X1. From time to time we hear fine advance reports of such players as Saunders. His opening half-minute was excellent. Unhappily his promise all but ended there. Clarke out headed and out generalized him and except for the odd occasion when his pass was made strong and true of his head connected accurately, Saunders did nothing to suggest he is ready to rival the man he displaces Hickson’s body blow of the previous day undoubtedly left him sore and sorry and in no state to face the big men of Tottenham. Yet Saunders nearly scored twice against a defence Everton broke down frequently. Only Reynolds’ daring and the luck which usually goes with the brave good goalkeeping prevented the match from being won long before, the end. Fielding’s goal at thirty four minutes was a fine one in that he shot instantly from a pass by Parker and rammed the ball low, to the further inches of Reynolds “beat” Fielding usually saves up a special display against his fellow downiness –he is from Edmonton –and this was one of his extra specially good ones. He shot well worked hard and generally controlled the Everton line and much of the Spurs defence. The serious fault in Spurs was that much of their work was done hurriedly and tentatively. Many spectacular passes were drifted many rounds of close passing was attempted but one could never escape the impression that their play was nervy thery and unlikely to make impression or the strictly practical. Everton for whom Tom Jones was well nigh impassable.
Baily always calling for the ball rarely used it properly when it was presented to him Brooks was full of fire but could not get his boot solidly on the ball when shooting and Duquenmin. Far from being. “The Duke” was merely in strolling stayer and not one playing his part conspicuously. The Everton new boy Tansey played well.
April 11, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Wally Fielding needs no introduction to Merseyside football folk, but he was not so well known to Tottenham manager and officials on Saturday morning s he was a few hours later, after they had seen him to get a grand goal and witnessed his excellent scheming and ball distribution. The point about this preamble is that at one time before he signed for Charlton as an amateur, Fielding had a boyhood preference for Tottenham, having been born within a short distance of their head-quarters. He applied to them for a trail but failed to get any response. On Saturday Manager Arthur Rowe- he was not in charge at Tottenham at the time of Fielding’s request –must have regretted that somebody did not give Fielding the once-over, for he it was who set Everton off on the victory trail and gave them the tonic they needed to almost run the Spurs off their feet for at times.
Strong and Fast
Everton were the stronger and more purposeful side throughout. They set a good pace from the start and moved with something more nearly approaching their former verve and swing than we have seen in the last few games. Tottenham’s defence was put to a pretty stiff test throughout the first half and more particularly after the Fielding goal. It was well for them that Reynolds was in brilliant form. After the change round Everton kept the upper hand for some time though the second half was not so productive of good approach work as the earlier portion. There was one spell which the Blues seemed to talk so much that it appeared possible one of Tottenham’s infrequent and spasmodic raids might bring the equalizer. Fortunately the visitors finishing was never fraught with danger. Though there were periods when they served up some excellent midfield work, chiefly inspired by Baily and Brooks, once they got within shooting distance they were as erratic and wild as any side I have seen this season. It must have been one of their off days for in several games they have totted up quite substantial scorers, including one seven, two fives and a good share of fours and three.
Both Need Experience
Next to Fielding I thought McNamara as effective as anybody, though I would like to see him have more confidence in his own marksmanship and not so slavishly pass the onus to others. Saunders did not have much chance to shine against the tall and commanding Clarke, yet he was always a hard-trier, and had one almost “certain” goal averted by a miraculous leap and finger-tip save by Reyonds. It would be unfair to judge Saunders on this one showing. He needs time to “play himself in” and gain experience just as Tansey does at full back. Tansey started with some rather wild and sliced clearances, but improved as the game went on and in the second half shaped quite well. Moore had a good game and made one goal line save when O’Neill was well beaten which was as good as a point to his side, O’Neill normally immaculate in catching high balls misjudged one or two on this occasion, but made no vital error. Farrell gave another splendid display and both he and Lello backed up the forward line splendidly. While the Blues attack did not have the sparkle and cleverness that we have sometimes seen this season, it was good enough to give the Spurs defence many anxious moments.
Reynolds was the most consistent Tottenham defender yet even he must have thought it was all up as he lay on the ground after saving a tremendous Fielding drive just after the interval and the ball rebounded to Saunders about four yards out. Saunders had a great chance to put himself on the scoring list but instead of lofting the ball over the prone goalkeeper, he lift him with it and missed what could have been a gift. Though Brooks and Baily looked at one time as though they might help Tottenham to save a point they were well gripped and mastered by the home wing halves before the finish. In an endeavour to put the shackles on Fielding the visitors switched their intermediate line after the interval. With Blanchflower taking on the job of trying to tame Everton’s chief schemer. He had no more success than Marchi. The most encouraging thing about this game was the willingness, of most of Everton’s forwards to shoot and also their high percentage of shots on the target. Apart from the period half-way through the second portion when they tended to take things a little too nonchalantly they were always well on top of the opposition. Though this was hot their brightest show, it was certainly an improvement on that of Good Friday or the previous Saturday.
TWO IN TWO MINUTES RUINED EVERTON HOPES OF A DRAW
April 11, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Newcastle 4, Everton 0
Newcastle;- Simpson, goal; Cowen and Batty, backs; Scoular, Stokoe, and Crowe, half-backs; Tait, Davies, Milburn, Hannah, and Mitchell, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Fielding, Saunders, Parker and Eglington, forwards. Referee; A. Holland (Barnsley). Everton played the side which defeated Spurs on Saturday, but Newcastle had three changes compared with their team at Goodison on Friday. Batty coming in for McMicheal, Tait for White and Milburn for Keeble. The weather was spring like with a strong sun and also a diagonal wind in Everton’s favour in the first half. The ground was exceptionally hard and it was obvious that the tricky wind and high bouncing ball was going to make control difficult. There was almost a sensation in the first when Tansey attempted to pass back to O’Neill and put the ball straight in the path of Milburn. Only a lightning dash almost to the edge of the penalty area by O’Neill saved an awkward situation. Everton were lively enough in attack but in their second raid Newcastle adopted the off-side tactics which had been so much in evidence in the previous meeting and McNamara was pulled up. Saunders got a nasty bump when he collided with Simpson and McNamara also required attention. Fielding tried a 20-yard shot which was well held by Simpson while both McNamara and Eglington, finding the ball running very swiftly with the wind behind it were unable to get across their centres after good approach work. At the 18th minute, Newcastle took the lead, through Mitchell. The goal began with a corner on the right which Fielding attempted to intercept, but the awkwardly bouncing ball beat him, and Mitchell temporarily on-marked stepped in like a flash to ram home a strong shot from near the edge of the penalty area. The players continued to find the high bounce and the swift wind difficult to master. The strength of the wind could judged by the manner in which Newcastle’s goalkicks were braked in the air as well as by the length which Everton were able to get on their clearances. More offside decisions pulled Everton up when they were looking dangerous and then Saunders after beating Stokoe was robbed by Scoular as he was about to shoot.
Everton were fighting hard for the equalizer without making any real work for Simpson. Another off-side decision against McNamara halted them once more. Everton continued to raid but their finishing left much to be desired and Simpson was still being allowed to escape almost scot free. Farrell tried hard to get a little more method out of the front line and was on the heels of the forwards most of the time. Newcastle’s best scoring effort for some minutes was by Milburn who stopped a strong pass from Davies with one foot and then having his back to the goal twirled round and shot like a rocket with the other. It was only a couple of yards or so of the mark. A header by Moore was caught in the wind and tell almost at the feet of Tait but the latter harassed by Tansey could do no more than toe-end the ball rather weakly and thus provided O’Neill with a fairly simple pick-up. A speedy run by Milburn on the right saw the former England player pull the ball back from the dead ball line to provide a possible shooting chance for Tait who had quickly gone into the middle but once more Tait did not hit the ball correctly.
Farrell Steps In
Newcastle were now coming into the game more strongly and Milburn was proving a difficult handful for Jones. The Newcastle leader was as often figuring at outside right as at centre, and it was after one of his lightning dashes down the wing that he pulled the ball into the middle. Farrell intercepted in the pick of tome as Davies came running up. Newcastle were keeping the ball on the ground better than Everton and were thus able to cheat wind to some extent. The home crowd appealed strongly for a penalty when Mitchell screwed the ball across from the left and it struck Moore on the arm. The referee, however, waved play on and in my opinion slightly so for the handling was not intentional. The crowd expressed its disapproval with loud booing. A grand dribble by Mitchell and a lob into the middle provided a chance for Tait but the winger got too far under the ball and headed it high over. Newcastle were still doing the major portion of the pressing and O’Neill was again in action as he ran out to scoop a centre off Milburn’s head. Milburn made another chance for Tait, who screwed the ball sharply across the goal and inches off the far post, Tait was in the picture again with a header, once more over the woodwork and for some time we had seen little of Everton in an attacking vein. When at last they got away Fielding and Parker were outwitted by Stokoe and the ball was soon back in the Everton half. The visitors had not mastered the lively ball to the same extent that Newcastle had in the last twenty minutes and United just about deserved their narrow lead.
Half-time; Newcastle United 1, Everton nil.
In the opening minutes of the second half the home goal had a miraculous escape when McNamara swerved the ball in from a corner kick against the bar and in trying to scoop it away, Simpson fumbled it and almost put it into his own net. Fortunately for Newcastle however, Cowell was there to kick clear before Parker could take advantage. Parker finished up at the back of the net but the ball by then was safely away.
Mitchell had a great chance following a partial clearance by Jones which got caught in the wind and the winger –at this moment in the centre forward position –although taking the ball forward several times fired weakly and well off the target. Parker was dazed for a few moments after coming to earth heavily when trying to force a way through Lello and Farrell took part in an Everton advance which ended when McMamara tried a dropping shot which Simpson caught just under the bar. Mitchell tried a first time half volley off a cross by Tait and although O’Neill had the ball covered at the foot of the post, he was not able to hold it and it was a near thing before he regained possession as Milburn sought to force it over the line. Tait had a great chance off a corner by Mitchell but leapt high in the air to kick the ball when he would have done better to get his head to it. Newcastle got a shock when a long pass back by Cowell was misfielded by Simpson who allowed the ball to slip out of his finger and between his legs for a corner. Then came a couple of goals for Newcastle, both scored by Milburn. The first came following a quick throw-in taken by Milburn himself and returned to him by Mitchell. The home leaders switched round quickly and hooked the ball in with a cross shot which gave O’Neill no chance worth speaking. Straight from the kick-off Newcastle dashed away, and Milburn again did the trick to put the home side in what was now an unassailable position. To be three down did scant justice to Everton but Milburn had showed the value of quick chance taking and first time shooting. He almost got another goal a few moments later, but this time just failed to hit the ball aright and his fierce shot swerved beyond the far post. Everton were now rather dispirited and it was almost all Newcastle, Milburn had another shot narrowly off the mark and Scoular tried one from 40 yards. Mitchell scored a fourth for Newcastle at 89 minutes. Final; Newcastle United 4, Everton 0. Attendance, 45,300.
EVERTON RES V WEST BROM RES
April 11, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res;- Leyland, goal; Sutherland and Molyneux, backs; Clayton, Woods and Grant, half-backs; Mayers, Thomas, Kirby, Meagan, and Rabone, forwards. West Bromwich Res;- Barnsley, goal; Howe, and Guy, backs; Setters, Dugdale, and Summers, half-backs; Gutler, Hodgkinson, Whitehouse (B), Nichols, Crowshaw, forwards. Referee; Mr. N.N. Hough (Macclesfield). Everton had easily the better of the exchanges, Barnsley saving two hot shots from Meagan and Kirby. Against the run of the play the visitors took the lead in 38 minutes, Nicholls shooting into an untenanted goal from a centre by Hodgisson. Half-time; Everton Res nil, West Brom Res 1.
NEWCASTLE WERE BETTER SHOTS
April 17, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Newcastle United 4, Everton 0
Everton suffered their third double defeat of the season at James’ Park yesterday, in a game which was ruined to a large extent by the bone-hard ground which had dried out during the past few days and by a strong swirling wind. Newcastle mastered it better than Everton and it was this allied to their willingness to take shooting chances which gave them victory. There was not a great deal to choose between the sides in the first half when Everton had the wind at their backs and if they had been able to judge it better might have been able to trouble the Newcastle defence more. Too often the ball was hit too strongly and ran out before it could be turned to advantage. Newcastle’s opening goal scored by Mitchell in the eighteenth minute from a corner had a tinge of good fortune about it for Fielding trying to “tame” the bouncing ball, just failed in his objective and it ran on to Mitchell, who was temporarily unmarked and he hit a grand shot which gave O’Neill no chance. This was all the scoring in the first half and although Newcastle had slightly the better of matters, Everton had shown a certain amount of virility and determination and had occasionally given the home defence some anxious moments. The second half saw Newcastles goal escape in lucky fashion when McNamara screwed the ball against the crossbar from a corner and Simpson fumbled it and almost dropped it over the line. Cowell, however, came to the rescue just before Parker dashing up at top speed could get there to put it into the net.
With the wind at their backs and by keeping the ball on the ground as much as possible Newcastle were able to make progress in a more organized and combined fashion than Everton, but it was not until half way through the second half that two goals by Milburn inside a minute sealed the issue. Milburn’s first goal came from a quick throw in and a beautifully hooked shot which passed across the goal and in at the far corner out of O’Neill’s reach. Only sixty second s had gone before Milburn scored Newcastle’s third –almost a carbon copy of the one earlier except that this time it was Davies who slipped the ball through to him. The game was now to all intents and purposes over though Everton never gave up trying and in the last few minutes Fielding getting away clear of all opposition looked a certain scorer until Simpson leapt high in the air and pulled down the ball near the angle of the woodwork. In the last minute Newcastle got a fourth goal when Mitchell after weaving in and out on the left flank delivered a shot from thirty five yards which normally would not have beaten O’Neill, but the ball was caught by the wind and swerved when the goalkeeper had it covered. The result while no giving perfect reflection of the play was proof of the value of first time shooting particularly in these conditions. Though Newcastle were sometimes wild, they were on the target sufficiently often to give O’Neill many anxious moments. Occasionally the Everton goalkeeper was not as certain in his handling as usual and once or twice escaped rather fortunately after fumbling. Everton’s lack of finishing and sometimes the rather aimless work of the forward line was their biggest weakness. The defence stood its ground well until the closing stages and none did better than Moore, Farrell and Lello. In addition to the escape early in the second half Simpson almost put the ball into his own the later when a pass back by Cowell was allowed by Simpson to pass through his legs. Fortunately for Newcastle he was out of goal, and all Everton got was an unproductive corner.
April 12, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Newcastle United’s victory yesterday gave the Geordies’ maximum return from their three Easter engagements and released them, from their last lingering fears about their league position. Now they can await the approach of the Cup final with an easy mind. On the basis of their latest display against Everton, which was a decided improvement on that of last Friday United may give Manchester City a much tougher time at Wembley than some people have been anticipating after the lucky way they scrambled through several of their cup-ties. The margin of victory against Everton yesterday is scant justice to the visitors. Everton were by no means four goal interior. Their greatest weakness was lack of punishing finishing. Considering the hard ground high bouncing ball, and strong wind, all of which rendered accurate play exceedingly difficult much of Everton’s midfield work was reasonably satisfying.
Once they had realized the folly of booting the ball in the air, Newcastle mastered the conditions a little better than Everton. They were, however, not much better in the matter of finishing during the first hour and the only goal of the first half came from a partial error by Fieldings following a corner to Newcastle. In trying to turn away from goal with an awkward bouncing ball. Fielding lost command of it and Mitchell was left with an unimpeded view of goal. He hit the ball so hard and true that it was in the net before O’Neill could do anything about it. Although against the wind Everton started the second half with more method and precision than at any previous period. Twice the Newcastle goal had a narrow escape. First when McNamara put the ball against the bar from a corner and Simpson fumbling it almost carried it over the line. Then a pass back by Cowell was allowed by Simpson to pass through his legs. Fortunately for Newcastle he was standing to one side of the goal so that all Everton got was a corner. Then Jackie Milburn turned the game inside out with two goals in a minute half-way through the second half and it was all over bar shouting. His first was a brilliant shot taken on the half volley after he had made a turn of 90 degrees. It was one of those bow-at-a-venture efforts which can just as easily finish up near the corner flag instead of the goal. Luck, however, was on Milburn’s side and the ball sped like a rocket into the far side of the goal well out of O’Neill’s reach.
Another Milburn shot from the edge of the penalty area 60 seconds later entered the net at almost the identical spot of its predecessor so that from being in the game with a fighting chance, Everton’s hopes were extinguishing in less time than it takes to describe. The last goal in the final minutes was an almost ludicrous anti-climax. Mitchell way out on the left wing had been weaving in and out and almost trying himself in knots when he booted the ball hard towards goal. He seemed almost to do it in a fit of pique more as if to get rid of it than anything else. Once again however, luck was with the shooter and although O’Neill had the ball covered it was caught in the wind at the last moment and swerved out of his reach. What honours were going must be awaited paradoxical though it may seem, mainly to Everton’s defenders. Moore played the tricky and elusive Mitchell extremely well and Jones and the wing halves put up stout resistance. It is easy to say that the defence should have tackled more quickly in the case of Milburn’s goal, but both were lightning shots taken without a second’s hesitation before anybody had time to cut them out. Tansy took some time to settle down probably due to being upset by a first minute back pass which almost presented Milburn with a gift goal but afterwards he shaped creditably and eventually got the master of Tait a 20-years old player who was making his debut for the home side and on this showing has considerable promise. Though once again it was no Everton’s day and in some extent they contributed to their own undoing they definitely deserved to do better than go down by such a margin.
April 15, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton make the short journey to Bolton to tackle the Burnden Park club, who have been harder his than most in the way of injuries this winter. At different times during the campaign they have been without key players like Lofthouse and Wheeler for lengthy spells and have lacked the services altogether since New Year’s Day of Hassall who dislocated his knee-cap. To make matters worse their left half, Bell, who had been chosen for the F.A. tour of the West of the West Indies, broke a leg last Saturday. This combination of injuries and consequent disorganization has meant a quick drop down the table for Bolton who have not raised a winning flag in their last seven outings. Another notable absentee in recent games has been veteran goalkeeper Hanson, brother of the former Liverpool player, whose place has been taken by Grieves the Lancashire cricketer. Two pleasing features for Bolton, however, have been the form displayed by Edwards and the return to scoring success of Lofthouse who now has 15 goals to his credit. Parry and Moir neither of whom plays tomorrow have also reached double figures but the attack all along has lacked scoring power on the wings. Outside right Holden has not yet opened his account although he has appeared in all games except four. Everton’s prospects of a place in the first four could be kept alive by a win at Burnden Park, but to gain it or even one point, there will need to be stronger finishing in attack. It is not new for Everton to display varying degrees of promise in approach work and then left it run to seed through too much inter-passing or erractic shooting. The same thing has been in evidence again latterly, but so long as it is only temporary it is not a matter for very grave concern though it is always disappointing. Bolton; Grives; Ball, Banks; Hennin, Barrass, Edwards; Holden, or Birch, Wheeler, Lofthouse, Stevens, Gubbins.
BOLTON GET THE GOALS –EVERTON OUT FOR A DUCK’ TO CRICKETER GRIVES
April 16, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Bolton 2, Everton nil
Bolton just about deserved their win, mainly because they were sharper near goal, Grieves had little to fear from an Everton forward line which was shot-shy, Lofthouse was rarely seen because of the close watch kept on him by Jones. Everton’s approach work was good but their finishing was poor. Bolton Wanderers;- Grieves, goal; Bell and Banks, backs; Hennin, Barrass and Edwards, half-backs; Holden, Wheeler, Lofthouse, Stevens, and Gubbins, forwards. Everton;- O’Neill, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Murdoch (Sheffield). It was a glorious day at Bolton, but the crowd was not quite up to its usual standard. The ground which was almost barren of grass except at the corners was as dry as a bone so that control of the ball was likely to be difficult. Holden was fit to take his place in the Wanderers side, while Everton’s only change was Hickson for Saunders at centre forward. Fielding’s delivery of the ball to his colleagues was of a high standard and when he put one through for Parker there was obviously danger to the Wanderers goal, Parker, after beating banks, slipped the ball inside and beyond the advancing goalkeeper.
Chance Does Begging
Once again there was no one handy enough to take full advantage of the move which culminated in the ball going out for a goal kick. Holden put the ball in front of the Everton goalface and if only needed a colleague to have made it a goal. Unfortunately this colleagues were marked absent so a reasonably good chance went begging. Grieves the Lancashire player, made a catch from a free kick by Everton-as good as the ones he makes at Old Trafford. A long shot from Wheeler which at first appeared to be safely passing over the Everton bar suddenly dipped and O’Neill had to act quickly to turn the ball over the bar.
Great Save by O’Neill
A link-up between Wheeler, Stevens and Gubbins had a dangerous look about it, until Tansey, sizing up the run of the play exceedingly well, stepped in to head clear. Then we saw the best shot and save of the game when O’Neill got his fingertips in a high-powered Stevens drive to turn it for a corner. Both shooter and keeper received a fine ovation for their great efforts. A little later O’Neill had to make a catch from a long centre by Holden. So far, Hickson had not been able to get out of the clutches of Barrass. When McNamara tried to get the ball over to Eglington, Banks nipped in and set his right wing going. Wanderers were awarded a free kick. This led to an attack on the Everton goal but Holden put the ball outside. A long ball out to Holden saw the Everton defence rather upon. The winger pulled the ball back nicely for Wheeler, but his wildly taken shot flew high over the Everton bar much to Wheeler’s disgust and the disappointment of the Bolton followers.
Edwards the Wanderers wing half made a push though sort of shot to Lofthouse, but in getting the ball under control the England centre forward could only get in a tame shot. Bolton kept persisting and had many good spells in the Everton goal area, but they were not very dangerous even when so close to their objective. A long lob by Gubbins seemed to be heading straight for O’Neill’s hands but at the last traction of a second the ball must have done something peculiar for the Everton goalkeeper had to change his mind quickly to side foot the ball away. This was the forerunner of a free kick to the Wanderers and in attack which came to an end with Wheeler ramming the ball over the bar. The Wanderers had the more progressive side and had more openings for themselves although when Everton did make a forward move it was accomplished with tactical; football. Had not Hennin cut in quick Hickson was bang on the spot to take a shot. It was obvious that Barrass’s task was to be first to the ball and it undoubtedly paid dividends. Several times Barrass cut short Everton attacks.
Once again O’Neill stood between Bolton and a goal and it was the same combination as before. Stevens being the shooter and O’Neill the saver it was again a hard driven shot which the Everton goalkeeper dealt with competently. Fielding set the Everton machinery in motion for one of the best movements this half it was helped along by Eglington’s speed which enabled him to simply fly beyond Banks and then make a cross which was just a bit too high for McNamara and not quite strong enough for Hickson so that the Wanderers survived a sticky position. Two of the most exciting incidents were left to the last few minutes of this half. Everton almost took the lead when Hickson headed a ball downwards. It looked as though it was going to beat Grieves who, however, made a late pounce on the ball to prevent it crossing the line. Almost immediately from this Barrass sent a long ball up to Holden who turned it in to Stevens. Farrell went into a tackle but missed the ball which left Wanderers inside left with a perfect opening. His low, fierce drive went past O’Neill like a flash to put Wanderers one up at the 43rd minute. Just before the interval, Barrass and Hickson got at loggerheads and the referee called the two men to him and spoke to them. Half-time; Bolton Wanderers 1, Everton nil.
Everton started the second half full of confidence and with two quick attacks Parker shot outside and then made a rather tame header which Grieves had no difficulty in handling. Then the Wanderers retaliated and the Everton goal had an escape when Wheeler put Lofthouse through and Jones had to concede a corner.
Hickson was injured in a tackle with Barrass and Banks preferred to concede a corner father than left Eglington’s centre go any further, Eglington “found” Hickson, but the centre-forward was successfully challenged by Banks. O’Neill had to cut out a long effort by Edwards and Gubbins shot shortly outside. Grieves made a confident catch from Eglington and Everton were testing Wanderers goal, Grieves did well to turn aside another Eglington effort. The Bolton goalkeeper kept his eye on the ball when retrieving an overhead attempt by Fielding. There has been little between the teams so far. A free kick taken by Barrass after looking promising for the Wanderers simply petered out Holden was getting little change from Tansey and when Wheeler turned round to take a hook shot has kicked round the ball which however, eventually went for a corner. A ball lobbed into the Everton goalmouth by Lofthouse gave Holden a chance but his side footed the ball outside. Straight from this Everton went to the other end but they were also quickly checked and the game was stopped for a moment while Lofthouse received attention. When play was resumed the Everton left wing cut through and Farrell shot outside. Almost straight from the goalkick the Wanderers advanced and Stevens was left with a clear opening but his shot cannoned off O’Neill and went to Lofthouse who hit it without hesitation. This time Tansey was the stumbling block. He was knocked out and had to receive attention. A tussle between O’Neill and Lofthouse ended with the Everton goalkeeper having his trousers ripped almost from top to bottom. Lofthouse had a piece of O’Neill’s shorts in his hand and handed it to Farrell. McNamara was undoubtedly pushed off the ball by Betts but Moores free kick went straight to Ball. Before the danger was over, Grieves had to save from Eglington. Grieves showed that he know his job when he patted in Eglington centre away so that the incoming McNamara could not make contact. Shortly after this Lofthouse appeared for a penalty for hands against Tansey. This was granted and Barrass scored from the spot at the 87th minute. Final; Bolton 2, Everton nil.
EVERTON’S COMING MEN
April 16, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
So far as Everton are concerned hopes of their promotion success being followed by a senior championship have gone by the board due to inability to take more than two points from the last ten at stake. This recent decline is Everton’s poorest sequence since November, 1952, when five consecutive games brought in only one point. Though the Blues still have a slight chance of finishing in a talent-money position providing they recapture their lost form, I would rather see the remaining games utilized to give further outings to some of their younger professionals, Irrespective of the results. Even if Everton could scramble through to fourth place, which is very problematical it would not do the club any worth-while good. As for the players they would divide £320, which by the time tax is deducted would be almost a fleabite. Against that the value of giving added experience to their best central League prospects would be far more helpful. The time to blood young players as I have so often remarked is when a side is in a comfortable position and can afford to experiment with an easy mind. The worst time for any youngster to come in is when things are desperate points are vital and everybody is jittery and afraid of the possible dire consequences of a mistake. This state of affairs is hardly likely to strike Everton in the foreseeable future, but there is nothing like taking time by the forelock and insuring against occasional emergencies, even if they may not be particularly desperately ones.
The Right Spirit
The Goodison club is fortunate to having players with a strongly developed sense of loyalty. Though football is their livelihood in most cases there is more to it than that, and I feel sure that any experiments made for the ultimate good of the club would be accepted by them in the right spirit. Men like Farrell, Eglington and Lello have given the club wonderful service, and have been playing so consistently for so long that the chances of advancement for younger men have been almost non-existent. I hope these three and others who have been the stalwarts of recent seasons, will still go on for a long time. But every season sees them a year older, and in the natural order of things quite apart from the possibility of injury the time will come when they may not be such regular and consistent performers. Happy though the spirit is at Everton, it is natural for young professionals to be ambitious. They would not be much use retaining if they were not. Too long a soljoun in the Central League or “A” team, without the occasional stimulant of a chance to show one’s ability in a higher sphere may not be too good in some cases. Players’ temperaments vary, some can wait patiently for advancement. Others tend to become discouraged if the avenues ahead all seem likely to be blocked, bar injuries for too long. If a younger man can be given first-team experience at a time when there is nothing vital at stake –and I don’t regard winning bonus in that category –so much the better. To the majority of players it is quite an ordeal making a first team debut particularly at home, where 50,000 pairs of critical eyes are focused on every move. It is much better to get that over, if possible when the result of the game is of comparatively little consequence.
A Gradual Process
Few players have the confidence and ability to come into the first team for an important game and give of their best. They would not be human if they were not a little nervy and anxious. The rare ones, who are immune, come so infrequently they can be ignored. In practically all cases young professionals don’t plunge right into senior football and make their mark from the start. It is a process of acclimatization, development, the birth and growth of confidence the fitting in one’s style and understanding with others and so on. It is a complex and difficult time for most lads, and for that reason any opportunity which can be safely taken to give added experience and confidence appears to me to be well worth taking. During recent Everton matches Saunders, Tansey and Woods have had this very helpful “blooding.” The last two did far better at Blackpool than many folk gave them credit for, I would like to see Wood’s opportunities extended if possible in case anything happens to Jones. The same with Tansey who has shaped promisingly and will be all the better fitted for future emergency as the result. Saunders did not greatly shine against Tottenham or Newcastle but, all things considered, did as well as most newcomers and further outings would be of considerable benefit. I would like to see similar measures taken with the Central League side. Here also the chances of the championship have gone west and though personally I have never at any time been able to raise much enthusiasm for Central league honours, I know the club do not regard them lightly. By resting certain of the reserves players additional opportunities and encouragement could be given to “A” team lads of promise. Naturally all these points have been considered by Manager Britton. Though the Everton manager is in a happier position than many men occupying a similar berth, and has a completely free hand, he has at the same time the not unnatural desire to see the two main teams finish as high as possible. It may be difficult to reconcile this with the suggestions made above, but I think he would find the vast majority of Everton followers on his side if he adopted them.
UNITED CONTRAST IN UNDERFOOT CONDITIONS
April 16, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
By Peter Farrell
The Easter fixtures did not provide a very happy week-end for either ourselves or Liverpool. From our point of view it was very disappointing to lose four points to Cup-finalists Newcastle. Prior to Easter we still had an excellent chance of figuring in the top four, but our recent performance have dimmed these hopes somewhat. Nevertheless we shall still try very hard during our remaining games to sneak into the talent money Everton have struck a bad patch at the wrong time. These phases come to most teams, but when they happen so late in the year there is not sufficient time to rectify the position. It now looks likely that Chelsea will win the First Division title for the first time ever a feat which their all-round work this year certainly deserves. In our games with the Pensioners they struck me as a side with tremendous enthusiasm and team spirit two very vital factors yet in a football sense they never impressed me as did Manchester United a couple of years ago or West Bromwich last season. Chelsea, however, prove my long standing contention that the basis for success if any sport is enthusiasm and team spirit and should the championship flag over Stamford Bridge next season there will be very few who will begrudge Ted Drake’s boys their honour. The position at the top of the Second Division and the struggle between the leading six or seven clubs must be the closest for years and despite the fact that the end of the season is so near, no one can say what teams will be in Division One next year. When we over hauled Blackburn “on the post” last season we expressed the hope that the Ewood Park side would do one better this term “Some time ago this looked very likely but unless they have beaten Luton today history looks like being repeated. I was looking forward to playing on Newcastle’s ground last Monday as I had always considered their playing surface very good but I was amazed to find the pitch as hard as concrete. To add to the discomfort there was a strong swirling gale blowing in all directions which made ball control a little more difficult than usual. People maintain that professional footballers should be able to master any conditions. We should but it always helps towards a better standard of play when conditions are ideal. Bone hard grounds are greatly disliked. I would far rather play on a quagmire in a downpour than under such conditions as those that existed at Newcastle on Monday. I hope you will not misunderstand that statement and think that I am trying to make excuses for our 4-0 defeat. Not in the least but I do claim the standard of play by both sides would have been better under more ideal conditions.
EVERTON RES V DERBY RES
April 16, 1955. The Liverpool Daily
Everton reserves; Leyland, goal; Donovan and Rankin, backs; Grant, Woods and Melville, half-backs; Mayers, Potts, Harris (B), Kidd (J), and Rabone, forwards. Derby County Res; Paul, goal; Smith and Dagley, backs; Osman, Oliver, and Fallon, half-backs; Cresswell, Dunn, Newbury, Straw, and Imlach, forwards. Referee B.A. Voice (Warrington). Paul the Derby goalkeeper saved good efforts from Rabone and Mayers, Potts should have given the Blues the lead but failed to take up a perfect pass from Rabone. Kidd was making a fine debut, proving an excellent partner to Rabone. Harris provided the best shot of the match. Paul saying magnificently from point blank range. Half-time; Everton Res nil, Derby County Res nil.
BOLTON W. WORTH VICTORY
April 18, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Bolton Wanderers 2, Everton 0
I have almost forgotten what it is like to record an Everton victory. We can now forget what we had in mind a few weeks ago –a possible championship. It might be that Everton are feeling the strain of last season’s effort and their endeavour to figure in one of the high places this season. At Burnden Park they looked like a side that would welcome the end of the season. At times they gave glimpses of good football but they were never the progressive side Bolton were. Everton have not been the same force since the dry grounds came. The ground here was grassless and hard and there was a blustering wind so accuracy was needed and the exploitation of the ground pass was an essential. It was poetic justice that Stevens should score his side’s first goal for he had two great efforts saved by O’Neill. One was so good that Farrell acknowledged it by a handclap. O’Neill had no chance with Stevens shot. It sped like an arrow into the net at the 43rd minute. Everton were capable of framing attacks which took them into menacing positions not to equalizer near the interval not to equalize neat the interval when his cleverly taken header almost eluded Grieves. A goal then could have turned the game.
Hit by Injury
Bolton have been heavily hit by injuries and one or two players who have returned to the side are still playing as though they have not yet recovered their form. Holden for instance seemed as though he loathed the sight of the ball and Lofthouse was content to flick the ball to the right or left wing, I saw few of those bursts through the middle for which he used to be famous. One season was that Jones never gave him scope and the former England forward’s only shot was when he knocked out Tansey with a terrific drive. True, he was responsible for the penalty award against Tansey who was alleged to have not his hand to a shot by Lofthouse so that Barrass could come up and put a placed shot wide of O’Neill three minutes from the end. Tansey had a grand game. It was a penalty. He positioned himself well and used the ball and along with Jones and Moore built up in good barrier in front of O’Neill. Bolton were quicker to the ball and Barrass made certain that he would be first to the ball and to cut down Hickson’s effectiveness. Lello and Farrell backed up forwards who responded but little.
April 18, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton seem to have gone stale, for they are not playing with the same verve as a few week’s ago. I wonder are they feeling the strain of keeping in the fight following their-great promotion effort last season? It could be? At all events their form of the last few weeks has been far from impressive and it is difficult to put the finger on the sore spot. I should say it was forward falling for they are not getting the goals. They are making the openings and not accepting them. In approach work they are generally as good as their opponents, but it is when it comes to the final fling that they are found wanting. We have seen it all before. They gave the Lancashire cricketer –how goalkeeper, Grieves one or two saves to make but when it came to top-ranking goalkeeping we had to go to the other end where O’Neill brought off two saves out of this world. The one from Stevens brought down the house. Young Stevens had shot with such power and direction that it was only right and proper that if goals were to go to Bolton that he should be the scorer. He was and it was a grand shot which flashed the ball into the net just before half-time. Now, one goal lead is very slender particularly to a side battling for its place in the First Division, but honestly I could not see Everton clearing that one off the slate. Only once was Grieve in dire trouble and that was when he finger tipped away a shot from Eglington. A much nearer thing was when Hickson coolly and calmly nodded a ball down and it looked a million to one chance against Grieves getting to the ball before it crossed the line. Then Grieves pounced and grabbed the ball on the goalline, McNamara shot against Ball’s chest Farrell swept one wide, and Grieves retrieved several cross balls with a security or a slip fielder.
Lofthouse was said to be back at his best. That was surely an exaggeration for he was rarely seen as a striking force for he had only one shot which knocked Tansey out as convincing as Johnny Sullivan k.o Kersgieter Jones had this in his grasp so tightly that all Lofthouse could so was flip the ball to right or left, for there was no road down the middle. It was Stevens who claimed the shooting honours of a game which never reached a high standard. Lofthouse was responsible for gaining a penalty when tansy handled his shot with three minutes to go and Barrass placed his spot kick well out of the reach of O’Neill. It was soon seen that Barrass was going to be first to the ball in his duels with Hickson and his tactics paid dividends, for apart from his header the Everton centre forward was no trouble to Grieves. Take all through I would day that it was a game between two moderate teams on the day’s showing, put the Wanderers were mighty glad for those two points, which by the way, they deserved because they were more venturesome.
April 19, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Leicester Badly Need The Points
Since they won promotion together a year ago the fortunes of Everton and Leicester City could hardly have been more strongly contrasted. While up to a month ago Everton looked to have a possible chance of the senior championship, Leicester City, whom the Blues meet at filbert Street tomorrow have been waging a fight against relegation. It seems as though they have lost it too, for they are four points behind Cardiff City and Tottenham for the same number of games and there are only four remaining including tomorrow’s for the Midlanders to rub out the deficit. It hardly seems within their capabilities, especially as goal average is also strongly against them which makes the difference equalvent to five points. Leicester’s Second Division championship success was due mainly to the strength of their attack, whose 97 goals offset certain fallings in the rearguard, which was hardly up to the standard usually associated with promotion winning teams. The defensive weaknesses has been the main factor in Leicester’s poor showing this season. They have had 81 goals scored against them which is higher than all but two other senior sides. Though they have suffered several heavy defeats –West Bromwich got six against them and Tottenham and Wolves five each –generally speaking their adverse total has been a steady week-by-week accumulation. Only twice have they managed to keep a clean sheet on both occasions at home.
Useful Forward Line
On the other hand, the Leicester attack has several times set up useful scores, including six in the return against West Bromwich. They scored five at Villa Park and on five occasions have netted four. Two notable additions to the Leicester payroll in recent months have been Willie Cunningham the St. Mirren full back, and Andy Graver, the Lincoln City centre forward , Graver signed in take the place of Hines when the latter was injured lost his place for a spell when Hines recovered; but has latterly been playing at inside left as deputy for Rowley also on the injured list, but expected to be fit by tomorrow. Rowley as in the past few seasons, is the main Leicester marksman. He has netted times this season. Froggatt is another who has been scoring regularly particularly since returning to his normal position at outside left a few weeks ago. Froggatt has also appeared at right half and centre half though the current occupants of these two berths are Baldwin and Fincham. The latter has taken the place of Gillies who appeared there when Leicester last visited Goodison Park. The return to the left wing of Froggatt has allowed Hogg one of Leicester’s most promising youngsters to move to the right flank in place of Welsh international Griffths. In view o the precarious position, Leicester are sure to fight desperately hard for both points, Everton with nothing to worry about apart from the bonus for victory will need to shape much better in front of goal than in recent matches to get the better even of Leicester’s rather shaky defence. Everton will field an unchanged side, namely;- O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Fielding, Hickson, Parker, Eglington.
EVERTON 2-2 AFTER LEADING TWICE
April 21, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Leicester 2, Everton 2
I am afraid Leicester City have little hope of remaining in the First Division despite their draw with Everton at Filbert Street last night. They are playing in a manner which suggests that they are all nervy. This is natural in view of their desperate position, but it goes to their credit that they twice fought back against a goal lead and eventually finished level. Their football could not be compared with that of Everton who moved better and exploited the open spaces. The first half was without much feature, Everton seemed content to jog along and occasionally pull out something like what we saw of them earlier in the season. Leicester battled fiercely and consequently were not accurate. Twenty thousand people who saw the game were far from satisfied with their side’s performance in the first half. Some of their remarks were anything but complimentary but I would say that Leicester were quite as bad as that. They could have easily fallen to pieces after Hickson had scored at the forty-eight minute, but instead gradually got over the blow and a few minutes later were on level terms through a goal by Hogg.
Never Gave Up
It now appeared that a 1-1 draw would most likely be the ultimate result but at the seventy-third minute a goal by Eglington shook Leicester. Yet they never gave up trying and equalized at the eighty-fourth minute (Froggatt). Everton were the superior side. A team with no worries can play easily. There were times when Leicester had openings they would normally have taken, but they moved like scalded cats when it came to making the vital movement. Leicester have in Fincham a fine player. He is a tall boy, only twenty years of age, but he has touches of a great player and his reading of the game was really good but he was not better than Jones, who kept a tight hand on Grayer. Hickson’s goal was of a type that would leave any goalkeeper standing for the ball flew with the swiftness of an arrow and Anderson had no chance. The same thing applies to Hogg’s equalizing goal. O’Neill did not move, I think he must have been unsighted. There was some controversy as to whether Eglington’s header which hit the underneath side of the crossbar had passed over the line.
April 21, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
There has been a change in Everton’s itinerary for their close-season Continental tour. The proposed games in Luxembourg and Austria will not now take place but in their stead the Blues will play in Holland and Belgium. The party will leave on Friday, May 6 the day before the Cup Final and open their programme at Aarhuus (Denmark) the following Sunday. Two days later they play the Danish international side at Copenhagen. Denmark are shortly to meet Hungary and this game with Everton will be in the nature of a trial match for their leading players and incidentally, something of an honour for Everton to be so chosen. From Copenhagen the party goes into Germany where on May 15, they will participated in a game which is being staged as part of the jubilee celebrations of Schweinfur F.C near Munich. On the 19th Everton will play Munich. From Germany the Blues move back to Ghent where a tentative game is fixed for May 21, and another one definitely arranged in Rotherdam four days later, after which the party returns home.
DRAW AT LEICESTER
April 21, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Almost 12 months ago Leicester City were riding the crest of the wave and were promotion bound. Today, the order is reversed for I feel certain that they are doomed for a spell in the Second Division. They are fighting to retain senior states but I’m afraid they have left it to late. Rowley, their chief goal-scorer has been out of the game for four matches –as many as he has missed in five seasons – and without him there is no great punch in the City attack. They scored two against Everton last night but one point was not what they were after –they wanted two. The first half of this game was anything but lively, although some of Everton’s combination was really top class. They pulled some movements right out of the textbook and never at any point could the City line up in this respect. They were a hurried and busting side a grim to fighting for their existence whereas Everton played more smoothly without seemingly appearing to be out of a trot. Leicester were determined to stick it out to the bitter end. They could easily have collapsed after Everton’s first goal but they didn’t. When Everton took the lead the second time I really thought it was all up with them, but once again they mustered enough spirit to draw level.
Fincham and Froggatt
City have undoubtedly made a discovery in young Fincham, 20-years-old 5ft 2in centre half, but the man of the City side was Frogatt, who almost ran himself into the ground before the end. Everton seemed to be on the fringe of a victory with only a few minutes to go, when in a melee in front of O’Neill, Frogatt was able to slip the ball into the net. Everton had their joyous moments when they looked something like the old Everton which took them to the challenger’s position in the League table up to a few weeks ago, and had Eglington’s header gone the other way after it struck underneath the crossbar I might have had a different story to unfold. Hickson’s goal as a fine shot after McNamara had laid the foundations; but almost before you could say “knife” Hogg had leveled matters with a similar effort. At the 73td minute Eglington put Everton in front once more, only for Froggatt to come along with his point-saving goal. From goal to outside-left there was complete co-ordination in the Everton side with Lello and Farrell being the providers to an attack which at times was brilliant. Fielding was the man behind the line until he suffered an injury five minutes after half-time and was never quite the same again. He has twisted his right ankle, which is extremely sore and somewhat swollen. Whether he will be fit to play against Charlton on Saturday remains to be seen.
Neither inside left Eddie Firman, the leading goal scorer in the First Division, nor England “B” centre forward Bobby Ayre will be able to play for Charlton against Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday. Firmani today failed a fitness test on his injured ankle, and Ayre has a chipped elbow bone. Leary will continue at centre forward, and White, fit again after an absence of three matches, resumes at inside left, with Kiernan moving to the wing, in place of Pembery so that team reads;- Bartram; Campbell, Townsend; Howie, Ufton, Hammond, Hurst, O’Linn, Leary, White, Kiernan. This team together with Rylander, Charlton’s Swedish inside right, Pembury and Ellis will fly from Speke airport after the match to play Real Madrid in Spain on Sunday.
On the grounds of health and for personal reasons Mr. G.G. Thompson has resigned from his position as honorary general secretary of Everton F.C. Supporters’ Federation which means the E.S.F have lost a great worker who will be difficult to replace. Mr. Thompson has not been in good health for some months and feels he cannot continue with this voluntary work any longer. He was a founder member of the Federation and has held various positions since its inauguration three years ago, being general secretary for the past twelve months.
NOTHING TO WORRY THEM
April 22, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are home tomorrow to Charlton Athletic who like the Blues at one time looked as though they might make a strong bid for honours. On February 12 the London side occupied third place in the chart only two points behind the leaders and with a game in hand. Then came a collapse after they had been knocked out in the fifth round of the Cup by Wolves, and on the past seven weeks Charlton have not once raised a winning flag. As did Everton, Charlton struck a lean patch just when they could least afford it. in their last ten outings they have been defeated six times –five in away matches –and have drawn at home on four occasions giving them only four points out of a possibly 20. Their earlier favourable goal average has also been similarly wreched for during this recent lean period they have scored only nine goals and had 23 registered against them.
The consquenence of this is that from being third in the table, and strongly fancied by some people for the title they have now dropped to thirteenth with an average of a point a game from 38 engagements. When Everton were at Charlton in November last, they suffered a 5-0 defeat –the second by the same score in a fortnight –so that despite the absence of any vital incentive, Everton will doubtless be keen to prove that their form at the Valley was not a true reflection of the respective merits of the sides. Charlton have made comparatively few changes in their side this season having called upon only 21 players so far. Some half-dozen of these have made very few appearances coming in only when required to fill vacancies due to injury. Cyril Hammond who played in the first match between the pair last November, broke his leg half-way through January but has made a remarkably quick recovery and was back in the Charlton side which drew with Manchester City last week. He plays again tomorrow.
Sam Bartram whose service to Charlton is on a par with what Ted Sagar gave to Everton is always a popular performer on Merseyside although it is not always too pleasing from a result point of view, when Bartram turns in one of his displays of brilliance which tend to make goal scoring almost impossible. Charlton’s leading scorer is Firmani, who, almost starting the season at left-back has done amazingly well since being switched to inside-left and top the First Division list with 26 goals. Second leading scorer is Bobby Ayre who has 19 in League and Cup goals, to his credit. Unfortunately, from an entertainment angle, neither of these players will be on view tomorrow, due to recent injuries but their absence will ease the task of the home defenders. Leary who is one of Charlton’s many South African players is third highest scorer with nine goals a total shared by Kiernan and he leads the forward line. Charlton; Bartram; Campbell, Townsend; Howie, Ufton, Hammond; Hurst, O’Linn, Leary, White, Kiernan.
FORTUNES FLUCTUATE AT GOODISON PARL
April 23, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Police Patrol Touchline In Game Married by Incidents
Everton 2, Charlton 2
Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Donovan, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Wainwright, Hickson, Parker and Eglington, forwards. Charlton Athletic; Bartram, goal; Campbell and Townsend, backs; Hewie, Ufton and Hammond, half-backs; Hurst, O’Linn, Leary, White and Kiernan, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.H. Mann (Worcester). Charlton won the toss and set Everton to defend the Gwladys Street goal. The ground had been watered down the middle. After the Charlton defence had twice looked a trifle shaky Everton took the lead. Wainwright who had come in owing to Fielding being injured, slipped the ball through to the outside left position, where Eglington seemed to have little hope of preventing it running out of play. The winger just managed to do so, however and pulled the ball back almost from the byline to provide Parker with a great chance which the inside man took by directing the ball well out of Bartram’s reach. This was after only five minutes. When Everton came again McNamara ran through at top speed, but his centre was safely gathered by Bartram. While retrieved a loose ball just inside the Everton half and taking it 20 yards, put across a disgonal pass which Kiernan hit first time. He was off the line, however. A fist away by Bartram almost provided a second goal, for with Bartram well out of position, the ball ran on to Wainwright, who cannily lobbed it into the goalmouth, where Ufton, who had fallen back, headed away from under the bar. Following a corner McNamara had two shots blocked by defenders and when he put the ball into the middle Hewie was there to head away just as Eglington was about to do the needful. Everton were not without a streak of fortune when Hirst unexpectedly found himself in possession after the ball had struck a defender but before he could do anything Farrell nipped in and tapped the ball to O’Neill.
Hickson was foiled by inches only from getting what would have been a remarkable good for the ball went from one end of the field to the other with only Eglington touching it after O’Neill had cleared out of hand following a Charlton corner, Hickson made a tremendous leap in an effort to connect with Eglington’s centre, but Ufton beat him to it at the expense of a corner. It was from this that Bartram tickled the crowd when will no opponents in the vicinity, he ran the ball up half way to the centre circle before booting it up-field. Everton continued to hold this upper hand. The watered pitch was making the ball easier to control and the football was better in consequence. Kiernan was Charlton’s most persistent marksman, and twice in quick succession he forced O’Neill to save McNamara was also shaping well, though he was unfortunate to be impeded by Townsend when he attempted to can’t in from short range on a centre by Farrell. Everton unsuccessfully claimed for a foul against Townsend.
When Hickson got the better of Ufton 35 yards from goal and made a bee-line at top speed for Bartram it looked almost a certainly that Everton would go further ahead. Bartram however, dashed out of goal and so narrowed the angle that Hickson, in trying to beat him, put the ball a yard or so on the wrong side of the post. Hickson was very much at fault a couple of minutes later when a brilliant run by Lello sent Eglington away, and the latter’s shot-cum-centre was deflected to Hickson, who with an open goal in front of him and from three yards’ range “blinded” the ball wide of the post, when the gentlest tap, would have done the trick. Immediately after this Hickson put another Eglington centre into the side netting though this time from an angled position. Everton had already chances to be three or four goals in instead of one. Parker had to receive attention for an injury to his right leg and after limping for a couple of minutes finally went off for further treatment in trainer Leyfield’s “boys.” Hickson was legged up by Ufton in unceremonious fashion and the crowd expressed it disapproval with a storm of booing as Hickson lay on the ground. No free kick was forthcoming and after a short spell Hickson picked himself up and was back in the game. Charlton were now shaping more threateningly, but they tended to keep the ball much too close. Hewie was working hard backing up these attacks, but no shot of note had been forthcoming. At the 38th minutes Charlton equalized in a fashion which left both Everton and their supporters dumbfounded. There seemed no danger at all to the home goal when Hurst fiddled excessively on the edge of the penalty area, but the ball ran loose to O’Linn who cracked in a first-time shot from 30 yards which went like a rocket just beneath the angle of post and bar. Thus instead off being well ahead, Everton were back where they had started and with Charlton now looking a much better side than they had earlier on. A few minutes before half-time there was another “rumpus” when Hickson kicked Ufton on the bal of the leg as the Charlton man ran across him, Ufton went full length and when he got up –with Bartram signifying to the referee his claim for a free kick –Ufton dashed over to Hickson seized him by the jersey and shook him backwards and forwards until the referee dashed up to restore order and to award a free kick to the visitors. Right on half-time there was another foul against Hickson when the majority of folk thought it should have been the other way.
Half-time Everton 1, Charlton Athletic 1.
Charlton started the second half with a couple of swift raids held up by Jones and Moore and then a long clearance nearly three parts the length of the field by O’Neill set Everton going in a combined move which came to nought when McNamara fired behind. Charlton’s next scoring effort was a 20 yarder by Hurst which O’Neill safely grasped. Parker who had been limping since his mishap and was a outside left, was still managing to make good use of the ball. Everton forced two corners in quick succession without either of them being of much value. Hurst was prominent so a couple of Charlton raids one of which produced a corner, from which Hewie came up to shoot strongly but a couple of yards wide. The football this half however, had not been as good as in the first half hour and Everton were not able to test Bartram as much as they had done previously. Leary was another Charlton man putting in every effort, though without much success against the commanding Jones. A foul against Hickson brought a howl of protest from the crowd –and quite rightly in my view –despite the referee’s pantonimitic gesture to indicate his reasons. At the 69th minute Charlton took the lead through Leary, though much of the credit goes to O’Linn who struck to his guns when harassed by Moore and Donovan. He managed to toe-end the ball to Kiernan who gave Leary a comparatively easy chance from 12 yards. Hickson was fighting like a man possessed to get the better of the Charlton defence and probably now realized the cost of his earlier wastefulness. With 15 minutes remaining Everton got on level terms, thanks to Hickson putting Wainwright through with a beautiful pass and to Wainwright’s persistence after he had been elbowed off the ball by Townsend. Wainwright regained command of the situation after seemingly having lost it, and beat Bartram from six yards. Eglington who had now changed places again with Parker, and Campbell got to loggerheads, which is an unusual state of affairs for Eglington. He had been brought down by Townsend and presumably as a result of something which passed between them, when he hot up again, Townsend threw him down to the turf again. There was quite a hubbub amongst the crowd in the vicinity of this incident and after the referee has restored order and gibes a free kick to Everton, half a dozen policemen came over to patrol in the vicinity. With eight minutes to go Ufton and Hickson were involved in another passenge at arms which ended with the pair of them flat on their backs with a crowd of players around them and the referee in the middle of the lot. Whether he took anybody’s names or not I cannot say. Both sides strove desperately hard for the winning goal with Charlton slightly on top for the time. The Everton defence did its job magnificently when under pressure. Final; Everton 2, Charlton 1. Official attendance 27,869.
OH, JOY! TO PLAY AT EVERTON OR ANFIELD
April 23, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
By Peter Farrell
Around this time each season, when some English League clubs are fighting for honours while others strive to ward off the threat of relegation, the amateur clubs everywhere are also battling for honours after a hard season. During the next couple of weeks at both Goodison and Anfield, here will be a glut of fixtures in the concluding stages of cup and League programmes for the amateurs. An end-of-season chance to play at either of this city’s senior club grounds is for some of these lucky youngsters just reward for their endeavours during the year. Even during incisment weather and we had more than our share of it this season, the amateurs brave all kinds of weather for their weekly football game, very often having to wait until they reach home before having a proper wash after the game. You can imagine the thrill these lads get therefore, out of appearing at either Goodison or Anfield and it is to the credit of both Liverpool and Everton that each year they place their grounds and facilities at the disposal of these amateurs who not only enjoy playing on the big pitch but also take full advancing of the facilities offered in the dressing rooms and bathrooms.
A few years ago I presented a schoolboys trophy to the winners at Goodison Park. After the game I visited the home dressing room to congratulate the losers on their galliant failure only to find the place in a bediam as the youngsters splashed and dived into the hugh cold bath just as if they were at the “baths.” I am sure these boys left Goodison Park that night very happy at the thought that they had enjoyed all the amenities that some of their favourite professional tars enjoy on match days. While on the subject of schoolboy football I think there are very few cites that display such enthusiasm and interest in the welfare of schools football as in Liverpool. I have seen many finals of different competitions and have been amazed at the excitement these youngsters arouse among their supporters. Amidst all this, I wonder do we fully realize the great work done by those who organize school competitions and also those who assist in the running coaching and training of all amateur sides. They ask for no reward except the success of the competition or the teams in whom they are interested. Nearly all star footballers today owe a deep debt of gratitude to men such as these for the help and guidance received in their early days without which these players would probably not have reached the top.
Congratulations to Billy Liddell on being selected to go on tour with the Scottish team. Many Liverpoolians will be anxiously watching the final Scottish selections for the first game, eager to see whether their idol will figure on the wing or at centre forward. I am sure all soccer fans on Merseyside were glad to see Billy’s name among the touring party, as wel all appreciate not only what a great player he is but also what a great sportsman he is too. I don’t believe any, Liverpool player down the years has given longer or more valuable service to his club then Liddell, and I know that you all join with me in wishing him a very successful tour, and express the hope that he will go on playing for Scotland for some years.
SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY RES V EVERTON RES
April 23, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Sheffield Wednesday Res; Ryalis, goal; Conwell and O’Donnell, backs; Davies, Butler and Hill, half-backs; Wilkinson, Watson, Ellis, Shaw, and Woodhead, forwards. Everton Res; Leyland, goal; Sutherland and Rankin, backs; Birch, Woods, and Melville, half-backs; Keeley, Potts, Saunders, Lewis, and Buckle, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Shaw (Bradford). The form displayed by both teams suggested that the 22 players are assured of contacts for next season. Inspiration was completely lacking except by Buckle and Lewis who both made efforts to score and right half Birch who was obviously enjoying his tussles with Woodhead. Up to half-time neither goalkeeper had been seriously troubled. Half-time; Sheffield Weds Res nil, Everton Nil.
Everton “A” v. Hoylake
Early play was mostly confined in midfield and both goalkeepers had an easy task in dealing with weak shots. Everton “A” went ahead in the 36th minute when Meagan scored from Canavan a pass. Half-time; Everton “A” 1, Hoylake Athletic nil.
EVERTON FAILED TO ACCEPT CHANCES
April 25, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Charlton Athletic 2
The same long-standing tantalizing failure to turn gilt-edged chances into goals was the cause of Everton forfeiting a point at Goodison Park on Saturday in a game which started as though it would produce much good football but sadly deteriorated in the second half which was married by ill-temper and many fouls. Everton enjoyed the psychological advantage of being a goal up in the first five minutes thanks to Eglington saving a ball which seemed almost certain to run out of play and pulling back a centre which left Parker with a comparatively easy chance to beat Bartram. He took it well which was more than could e said for several which came later. After Wainwright had a cannily lobbed shot headed off the goal line by Ufton and McNamara had been impeded by Townsend when the winger looked a certain scorer Hickson had two great chances to put Everton further ahead. From the first he shot just outside as Bartram advanced to narrow the angle, and he slashed wildly and erratically at the ball from the second when a gentle tap would have put it into the untenanted goal from three yards range. He also shot outside from another reasonable chance though in this case he was rather badly angled. It was after these misses that ill-feeling gradually but progressively crept into the game and took away much of its enjoyment. Hickson obviously determined to try to retrieve his errors adopted the “rampageous role that used to characterize him, but which except on very rare occasions he has eschewed this season. In his favour it can be said he was not the original offender, for he was twice brought down heavily before retaliating but once he had let himself to be allowed his resentment to completely out run discretion. On one occasion before half-time Ufton turned round and shook the Everton centre forward violently before Bartram and the referee caused him to desist. He had some cause for his unorthodox action. Unexpected Shot
In the second half the pair were at loggerheads on several occasions due to the referee allowing them far more latitude than they should have had and the feeling spread to such an extent that one feared the game might get completely out of hand. Fortunately it did not though it later involved another scene between Campbell and Eglington the former of whom pushed his opponent to the ground in all in wrestling fashion. After Charlton had equalized with an unexpected thirty yard shot by O’Linn at the thirty eight minute the visitors came much more into the game and when Leary put them ahead with barely twenty minutes to go, it looked as though Everton might suffer another home defeat. Everton, however fought back strongly and a beautiful pass by Hickson enabled Wainwright to equalize at the seventy-fifth minute. From then on to the finish Everton were on top, but could not master the keen tackling Charlton defence sufficiently to carve out the winning goal. Considering that for more than half an hour Parker was limping at outside left, Everton shaped fairly well in attack with Wainwright proving a capable deputy for Fielding. McNamara also had a good game particularly in the first half. Donovan returning to the defence after missing the last four games was in reliable form the wing halves were excellent and Jones stood out for the manner in which he kept Leary in subjection almost throughout. Hurst and Kiernan were good on Charlton’s wings though neither produced much in the way of shooting and Bartram was sound in goal; particularly during Everton’s early superiority.
RIUNED BY TEMPER
April 25, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
What might have been a most entertaining game between Everton and Charlton was spoiled by too many exhibitions of ill-temper. Unfortunately, once the first spark had been applied to the “train” which was so clearly being laid the epidemic spread, aided by a referee who let some things pass which should have called for very stern measures. Though luckily the good sense of the majority prevented the match getting completely out of hand as at one time it looked like doing the match as a test of good football was ruined, and ruined most unnecessarily, for neither side had anything vital to fight for. Everton started in good style and were a goal up in five minutes through Parker, who had to thank Wainwright and Eglington for the chance. For the first half hour Everton were well on top and with Charlton producing nothing troublesome in the way of shooting the Blues could have had the game well won during this period if good chances had not been woefully wasted. Wainwright was unlucky to have a lobbed shot over everybody else headed out on the goal-line by Ufton and then Hickson missed two excellent chances to put Everton further ahead one of them a real shocker with an open goal in front of him only three yards away. As A1 Read would say he could have wafted it in with his cap. Instead he tired to make a hole in the net and was “miles” off the target. He also missed a third though this last was from a rather badly angled position.
Neck or Nothing
With extremely rare exceptions, Hickson this season has done nothing to which the slightest objection could be taken. This time, however, he let himself go with a vengeance though in his favour it should be stated that he was not the first offender. He was twice brought to earth in questionable fashion before adopting the neck-or-nothing tactics which used to characterize him. Then the fat was in the fire. The real trouble started with a foul on Ufton which led to the latter seizing Hickson by the jersey and shaking him like a rabbit until Bartram and referee Mann restored order. The feud continued from that point onwards and unfortunately spread to one or two others, so that even Eglington normally the least offensive of players had a passenger-at-arms with Campbell who threw the Everton man to the ground in wrestling fashion. It is difficult to correctly apportion blame in such circumstances for the most lynx-eyed spectator cannot see everything that goes on when players are bunched together and in some cases it seemed six of one and half a dozen of the other. The general effect, however was to leave a nasty taste to a game which in the early stages had seemed most promising. Charlton equalized at the 38th minute with a rocket-like 30-yard shot by O’Linn which took O’Neill by surprise and then, when Leary put they visitors ahead with only 20 minutes remaining visions of another home defeat loomed on the horizon.
Charlton by the time had improved tremendously on their earlier shaky and unimpressive play, partly because an injury to Parker handicapped him for half an hour as he lumped on the wing and partly because the Londoners forsook their earlier finicky short-passing game and started to swing the ball about more. A splendid through pass by Hickson gave Wainwright the chance to equalize 15 minutes from the end and though he was elbowed off the ball, Wainwright kept control and did the needful. Jones was outstanding in the home defence having the masterly of Leary almost throughout. Donovan also did well on his return to the side the wing halves were as competent usual, and Wainwright and McNamara were the best of the forward line. Hickson would have done much better and he played less aggressively.
Everton Reserves have a Central league match at Goodison this evening (6.45) when Manchester City are the visitors. Everton field the side which defeated Sheffield Wednesday Reserves at Hillsborough on Saturday namely; Leyland; Sutherland, Rankin; Birch, Woods, Melville; Keeley, Potts, Saunders, Lewis, Buckle.
April 26, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton res 2, Manchester City Res 1
Following a very fast encounter in which here were plenty of thrills Everton Reserves just managed to gain the verdict over Manchester City Reserves in the Central League game at Goodison Park last night. Buckle had a good match as also had Birch, who was the best of the home half backs. The best shot of the match was provided by McLarty who hit the woodwork with Leyland well beaten. Everton’s marksmen were Keeley and Buckle, McTavish scored the visitors goal.
April 28, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton will be without Parker and Fielding for their visit to Sunderland on Saturday, Fielding not having recovered from an ankle injury and Parker suffering from a swollen right ankle. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Wainwright, Hickson, Lewis, Eglingon.
HUNDRED MINUTES AND NOT A GOAL
April 29, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Tranmere Rovers 0
Despite playing ten minutes extra time when the referee abandoned the game because of bad light neither Everton nor Tranmere Rovers could score in their Liverpool senior Cup semi-final at Goodison Park last night and so quality to meet Southport in the final. Everton fielded a Central League side while Tranmere had their first eleven on view but both teams were remiss in front of goal. Although Everton did a shade more of the attacking it was Leyland who was the busier goalkeeper. He made many excellent saves, none better than when he twisted in mid-air to hold a shot from Bell. Slowness in the Everton forward line cost them a number of chances and only Keeley their eighteen year old outside right appeared to be putting any effort into all play. Thomas missed three good changes for Everton, one in the second half when he shot outside from three yards with Payne on the ground. Saunders was unlucky in the first half when he ran through to beat Payne only to see his shot rebound off the foot of the post to Potts standing outside, the penalty area, and Payne saved the inside left’s return.
Again, in the second half Saunders shot hit one post rolled along the goal line and hit the other post before being scrambled clear, while a shot from Keeley hit the top of the cross bar after striking a defender. Apart from there instances, Payne did not have a great deal to do, while Leyland made grand saves off Athkinson, Bell and Fleming. Bell reverted to centre half with Jones leading the attack midway through the second half but this made no notable difference. Apart from Leyland, Sutherland and Woods did well for Everton and nobody performed better for Tranmere than Williams (R) who was well supported by Millington, Jones and in the later stages Bell.
BLUES AT ROKER
April 29, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton journey to Roker Park to meet Sunderland, the champion “drawists” of the season. With 18 shared games the Rokerities have only to draw again tomorrow to equal Liverpool’s record for the First Division of 19 drawn matches in 1951-52 season. This is the highest total in the history of the top sphere, but Plymouth once drew 21 times in one season in the Southern Section over 30 years ago. It is Sunderland’s forfeiture of points at home –they have shared the reward on 11 occasions but lost only twice –that has lost them their championship prospects. They headed the table for a short while in February and for many weeks before that were steadfastly changing to second position behind the Wolves. Now both of them will have to be content with a lesser placing. Despite their natural disappointment Sunderland’s followers have good season to be satisfied with the season’s record, even allowing for the partial failures at home which have cost them so dearly for only a year ago the Wearsiders were struggling almost all season against the fear of relegation.
Few Home Victories
Though Sunderland could still finish in one of the talent money places, if Portsmouth were to crack up their fondness of drawing at Roker means that they have won less games at home than any other side except Sheffield Wednesday. They have seven home victories and the same number from away matches. Their defensive record of 54 goals is better than any other senior team, except Burnley and Portsmouth. When they visited Goodison in October and lost by the only goal, Sunderland were forced to play three reserves but in recent games have been at full strength apart from the absence of Shackleton for whom Fleming their costly signing from East Fife has proved a capable deputy Fleming has appeared in both inside forward positions and has also led the attack in the three months he has been at Roker Park. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Donovan; Farrell, Jones, Lello; McNamara, Wainwright, Hickson, Lewis, Eglington.
After the game Everton’s four Eire internationals will fly by special charted plane to Dublin for Eire’s game the following day.
CHISHOLM SCORED AGAINST THE RUN OF PLAY AND EVERTON FADED
April 30, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Sunderland 3, Everton 0
Everton started in such a manner that they looked like a winning side. Their approach work could not be faulted but their shooting efforts could. Sunderland were lucky to take a half time lead, but in the second portion they were well on top. Sunderland;- Fraser, goal; Hedley and McDonald, backs; Anderson, Daniel. And Aitkens, half-backs; Bingham, Fleming, Purdon, Chistholm, and Elliott, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Donovan, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Wainwright, Hickson, Lewis and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. L. Howarth.
Sunderland were making their last appearance of the season, and they were once again without Shackleton who is nursing his arm following vaccination, Everton, of course had Lewis for Parker. There was only a moderate crowd and good football was likely to be difficult with the hard ground and rather a bright breeze I think at this stage of the season it would be a wise thing if clubs watered their grounds for it would make the football ever so much more attractive. Everton started off on a bright note and Wainwright while being on the mark did not get the necessary power behind his shot to beat Fraser. The first five minutes belonged to Everton. They played the better football and made several openings which, however were not turned into account. Sunderland thus far had made only one advance into Everton’s area, where they found the Blue’s defence well up to the task of checking their efforts. Lewis was responsible for one shot which passed a few inches over the cross-bar and when the Roker men moved quickly down the left wing they got the Everton defence in a bit of a tangle, but the old fashioned safety value the pass back to the goalkeeper, relieved the situation.
Off The Mark
Fleming who is famous for his cannon-ball shits, was well off the mark from long range and following a quick incursion by Chrisholm McNamara set the Evertom machinery in motion for an attack had a danger look about it when Hickson centred low across the goalmouth. Unfortunately there was no one ready to take this opportunity and Hedley was able to slip the ball behind for a fruitless corner. Everton’s combination was much better than that of Sunderland although Purdon and Chrisholm got together to make difficulties for the Everton defence, but it was not difficult enough for Jones and company covered up so well that there were few if any loopholes. O’Neill was accidentally kicked on the leg as he was challenged by Purdon and then Fraser made a confident catch from a McNamara centre as Wainwright went in to challenge. It was right after this that Sunderland had the best opening of the game so far. It should have been a goal when Elliott put a through pass up the middle which left Purdon in an almost unassailable scoring position. The centre forward however shot outside the far post. If Sunderland get a better opportunity again they will be distinctly fortunate. Once or twice the North Eastern club by quick passing took play within the vincity of O’Neill but so far the Everton goalkeeper had nothing to worry about.
There were occasions when I thought the Everton forwards were inclined to bunch when a more open policy might have paid better dividends. Nevertheless, up to the half hour they had definitely been superior. Lewis had a shot cannoned away and then a three-piece movement between Fleming, Elliott and Purdon went adrift with the intervention of Jones. Then as so often happens the team which has been the most unlikely to score took the lead. The half hour had just been noted when a forward move by Sunderland culminating in Chisholm getting the ball to his favouritie left foot and driving a fast shot into the Everton net, leaving O’Neill helpless. This undoubtedly had the effect of heartening the Sunderland attack, and Fleming put a shot straight into the hands of O’Neill. Everton, however, were not despondent, in fact they responded quickly and Wainwright had a cheeky back heel effort which passed narrowly outside the upright. This idea quite tickled the fancy of the home crowd, who gave Wainwright a cheer all for himself. Shortly after this Hickson had a possible chance, but shot outside and then Bingham forced a corner from which Chisholm headed straight to O’Neill. Wainwright found the ball running awkwardly for him otherwise I think he would have tried a shot instead of making a pass out to the wing. Bingham did try one which was well off the mark and Elliott took a corner from Moore but this was punched away by O’Neill and just on the interval Hickson again shot wide.
Half-time; Sunderland 1, Everton nil
Sunderland opened the second half with shots by Hedley and Fleming both being off the target but the next time the Roker men came down Moore with a short back-pass to O’Neill, could not have realized that Purdon was so close at hand. The Sunderland centre forward actually knocked the ball out of O’Neill’s hands for a goalkick. One of Everton’s faults thus far was that they did not do enough shooting. Their approach work was immaculate, but having made the opening, they did not take it.
They neatly took one when Hickson, out on the left wing, neatly slipped the ball sideways so that Eglington could run on to it, and the Irish winger hit a glorious shot which looked all over a goal until Fraser made a brilliant save, turning the ball away with his outstretched hands. This was Everton’s best scoring effort so far. Sunderland were more aggressive this half and twice Elliott swept the ball across the Everton goalmouth only to find that there was no colleague up to apply the finishing touch, Bingham was a tricky and dainty winger who made several good centres without getting any reward and at this stage the Roker boys, were having more of the play. Everton had lost their first half rhythm, and while Sunderland were nothing to write home about Fleming went close with a header which passed over the crossbar, and O’Neill had to save from Bingham. A lob onto the goalmouth by McNamara almost took Fraser by surprise but he managed to get a hand to the ball and to concede a corner while a little later McDonald in attempting to put the ball back to Fraser also conceded a flag kick, which was soon disposed of. At the other end, Bingham shot high over. The next few minutes provided most of the thrills of the game, Eglington was one of the unluckiest men not to score when he took a pass from Hickson and drove fiercely for the Sunderland net. Fraser however was thankful to see the shot hit his legs and rebound to safely.
When we saw the greatest save of the match when O’Neill simply flew through the air to keep out a cannon ball free kick by Fleming. It certainly was a magnificent save. The Irish goalkeeper made another save from the same player, but it was left to Jones to finish of the clearance. At the 79th minute Fleming scored a second for Sunderland with another shot which O’Neill touched but could not keep out of the net. With one minute remaining to play a corner was awarded against Everton, and from Elliott’s centre Bingham headed Sunderland’s third goal. Final; Sunderland 3, Everton nil. Attendance 20,989.
• Everton “C” 10, West Kirby nil
• Everton “D” 6 Trojan 1#
EVERTON RES V CHESTERFIELD RES
April 30, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Res;- Harris (A), goal; Parkes (J) and Rankin, backs; Birch, Woods, and Grant, half-backs; Keeley, Thomas, Saunders, Vizard, and Canavan, forwards. Chesterfield Res;- Burn, goal; Robinson and Machent, backs; Winfield, Quinn and Brown, half-backs; Thompson, Havenhand, Watson, Boyle, and McGoldrick, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Freeman (Preston). Everton who introduced their new amateur J. Parkes, as right back, quickly took command of the play and in 11 minutes they were two goals up through brilliant work by Saunders. Chesterfield in the 20th minute found themselves further in arrear through a timely shot by Canavan. Parkes gave a good display in his initial game. Half-time; Everton Res 3, Chesterfield Res nil.
EVERTON SHOULD DO BETTER NEXT SEASON
April 30, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
By Peter Farrell
The Blues will soon end their first season back in the First Division so perhaps this would be an opportune time to look back over what happened or what might have been. I think all things considered, the supporters and all those directly concerned with the club, can look upon season 1954-55 with satisfaction. We got off to a better start than most people expected and right through the season commanded a fairly respectable position in the League table without ever going below what is generally regarded as the danger mark. As a matter of fact, approaching the final month or so of the season Everton were challenging for the Championship. As everyone knows, we failed to stay the pace in the race for honours and have disappointed our supporters by striking a lean spell just when we needed the reverse. Such is football and although the form of the tam has been rather disappointing lately, I think you will agree that Everton have done better this season than most of the critics imagined. It is a big change when you come back to the First Division after a couple of seasons in the Second. Generally speaking the opposition is better and therefore calls for extra efforts from the lads and I am satisfied as I am sure the majority of our supporters are, that despite the disappointment of the latter end of the season, the club has proved that Everton were well able to hold their own with the majority of First Division clubs. Don’t forget some of our younger players prior to this season, had only played Second Division football and with the experience gained plus the fact that we shall now have a better idea of the opposition I think we can look forward to doing even better next season.
This week will certainly be a big week for Don Donovan, Jimmy O’Neill, Tommy Eglington and myself. Out ltiheracy should read something like this Travel to Sunderland on Friday play at Roker Park Saturday, Leave immediately after the game for Newcastle to catch a plane to Dublin, play in Dublin against Holland on Sunday, travel back by boat on Monday night probably play Wednesday against Aston Villa and leave for Denmark on Friday for the first game of the tour on the following Sunday. Following our Continental tour the Everton players will return home for a well earned rest until mid-July. A question sometimes asked me is “What do the majority of professional footballers do in the off season?” Well some play cricket, others golf, while a great number particularly the married ones, spend a leisurely few weeks with their families in the peace and quite of homely surroundings. With next week’s final between Manchester City and Newcastle in the minds of most football fans, the old question of where the 100,000 Cup Final tickets go each year crops up again. The allocation whereby the two clubs engaged in soccer’s showpiece of the year and permitted to give their players taking part only 12 tickets each is in my opinion not fair. Surely the lads who have been responsible for their club’s appearance at Wembley are entitled to a bigger allocation than 12 to distribute among their relatives and friends. I know it is almost impossible to find a fool-proof system whereby those most entitled to tickets get theirs, but the fact remains that year after year nearly 50 per cent of the attendance is composed of people with no interest in either of the competing teams and very often like the lady in front of me last year with no idea of which team is which. The only reason for these people’s presence at Wembley is that it is one of the social events of the year and they consider it fashionable to be present. Good luck to them if they can get a ticket but it is rather a depressing thought to think of people such as these being present next Saturday, while the real honest-to-goodness die-hard supporters of both Manchester City and Newcasle have to content themselves by either listening to the game or watching it on television.