EVERTON’S TASK MAY NOT BE EASY
November 4, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
With only one defeat chalked against them in their last nine outings, Everton have what appears to be a comparatively easy task tomorrow, when they are home to Huddersfield Town, who are next to the bottom in the League table. Whether this encounter will prove as “easy” as it appears on paper, however, is something which only the game itself will prove. Not always do these seemingly simple tasks turn out to be so, particularly when the opposition’s continued membership of the top sphere is in danger. Huddersfield after doing quite well in the past couple of years, following their successful promotion bid, are again beset with anxiety. They have taken only eight points from twelve matches but have games in hand over some of the clubs who are a step or two higher in the chart. After their excellent performance at Sunderland last week and bearing in mind how well they have fought in other matches, Everton look capable of victory if they can turn in the same defensive solidity and also add to it better finishing as far as the forwards are concerned. The latter angle has been Everton’s biggest falling of late. It is nothing new, as their supporters know well enough. The team’s approach work is sometimes pleasing and effective, but much of it goes to waste in front of goal.
A Slender Return
Despite their high position the Blues have scored only 18 goals in 14 outings which however one look at it, does not greatly impress. It is well that the defence has been so solid and reliable. Had that not been so Everton today would not be in sixth position. The left wing has been much below par of late, and unless there is an improvement in the present topsided attack the defence is going to have to continue to bear more than it’s share of the burden. It cannot do that indefinitely without feeling the strain. Huddersfield’s away record shows one victory and one draw –at Cardiff and Chelsea respectively –and four defeats. In these games they have scored only three games, while 14 have been registered against them. This makes it look as though the Everton defenders will not be seriously extended. Certainly they are not likely to have such a tough time as at Roker Park. Huddersfield so far have called upon 23 players to fulfill their fixtures and Manager Andy Beattie has made changes –some enforced through injuries –in every position except left half, where Quested is the only ever-present. For the last three matches Wheeler has displaced Mills in goal three different players have figured at right back, and four at left back.
Glazzard Still Leads
The intermediate line has been the most reliable part of the team, in addition to Quested’s unbroken run, centre half Taylor who will be remembered as making his debut at Anfield two years ago, has only missed one game. Glazzard the oldest serving player on the Huddersfield books is leading marksman with four goals. Inside right Watson has three but the paucity of the shooting of Huddersfield’s attack is evident from the fact that nobody else has got more than one. Manager Andy Beattie, who a couple of months ago said he intended to retire from football because of the strains and tension, later withdrew his resignation at the urgent request of his board. He faces an even bigger anxiety now than when he first decided to pack in. Those who know him wish him better luck in the future, for he is a very popular official. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Woods, Lello; Mayers, Wainwright, Harris, Parker, Eglington. Huddersfield; Wheeler; Conwell, Wilson; McGarry, Taylor, Quested; Burrell, Watson, Glazzard, Cavanagh, Metcalfe.
Jimmy –Not Brian
Many people were surprised this morning to read that Brian Harris was reserve for the F.A. team against the Army next Wednesday as he has been out of the Everton side for some weeks. When Goodison Park confirmed this I telephoned Mr. Walter Winterbottom the F.A team manager, and discovered the F,A. had got the Christian names mixed. The player they went against the Army is Jimmy Harris. The Goodison Park centre forward thus gets quick representative recognition for he has played in only 13 League games.
November 5, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton critics are continually suggesting that players who should be in the team are in the reserves Manager Cliff Britton says nothing but plays his own astute hand, and is justified I think by results obtained. It was a surprise to learn that Woods maintained his position at centre half in spite of the fact that Tom Jones was fit again, but none can deny that Woods has filled the bill admirably of that he is worth his chance against Huddersfield. Everton have been moving up the table quietly but surely and with points from the Huddersfield game will be so forward in the table that the possibility of this being a championship year cannot be ruled out. Teams; Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Woods, Lello; Mayers, Wainwright, Harris, Parker, Eglington. Huddersfield; Wheeler; Conwell, Wilson; McGarry, Taylor, Quested; Burrell, Watson, Glazzard, Cavanagh, Metcalfe.
GLAZZARD’S ROCKET PROVED A DAMP SQUIB
November 5, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
Mayers’ Curio Helps Blues To Victory
Everton 5, Huddersfield 2
Everton reversed their usual procedure for they started most indifferently and had to fight back against a first minute goal but ran out comfortable winners against a side which was unable to maintain its sparkling opening. There were some popular goals and much of haphazard play, though there was no denying Everton’s final superiority. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Tansey,backs; Farrell (captain), Woods and Lello, half-backs; Mayers, Wainwright, Harris (J), Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Huddersfield Town; Wheeler, goal; Cornwell and Wilson, backs; McGarry, Taylor, and Quested, half-backs; Burrell, Watson, Glazzard, Cavanagh, and Metcalfe, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Vickers (Crewe).
There was a sensational start for Huddersfield were a goal up in the first minute. Everton might have been in the lead half a minute earlier for right from the kick-off the Blues dashed away and when Taylor put the ball back to Wheeler the speed of the oncoming Harris was such that the Everton player beat the goalkeeper to the ball shooting just wide from an acute angle. Then Huddersfield replied and when the ball was slipped through to Glazzard in the inside right position, the Huddersfield leader, cutting in quickly, scored with a strong shot down, a narrow angle. This was certainly a fiery opening and Harris tore through at top speed but was robbed by Conwell when he was about to shoot while Watson with a much easier opening fired wide. Huddersfield as so often happens looked nothing like a next to bottom side. They were going to the ball quickly and were speedy and direct in attack and for some minutes Everton were kept at full stretch defensively. When the home side at last got away, there was too much
Farrell was doing his best to pull his side into some semblance of balance but Huddersfield continued to look the more dangerous and Metcalfe was a constant danger on the left. Farrell next came up to attack who had come up with an effort to despite the attack, hooked the ball over three defenders to provide a shooting chance for Eglington. The winger hit it first time without the right direction and Wheeler was able to watch it soar over the bar. Then in the next minute, following a quick throw-in Eglington put his side level with a brilliant shot taken on the run from a few yards outside the penalty areas. This was the forerunner of a hot assault on the visiting goal. Huddersfield enjoying two narrow escapes inside a minute. Mayers despite being tripped and falling, regained his feet and was wisely allowed by the referee to go on, despite a linesman’s flag. When Mayers crossed the ball ideally for Harris, the latter looked a certain scorer, but his side-tap struck Conwell on the sole of the boot. The ball remained in the vicinity of the penalty area spot until Parker let loose a powerful drive. This was also luckily kept out when the ball hit McGarry and eventually went behind for a corner. Apart from a Metcalfe shot against Moore, and a brilliant save by O’Neill from the same player. Everton kept the visitors penned in their own half for several minutes. Woods was finding Glazzard a difficult proposition and was not dominating the penalty area as he had done in the two previous games.
Just Too High
Twice Glazzard beat him to the ball in the air, and on the second occasion the Huddersfield leader’s header from a Metcalfe corner flashed only inches over the bar. Harris was also giving Taylor plenty of anxiety through the Everton forward line was not working smoothly and apart from Eglington’s goal the left wing pair had been little in the picture. McGarry looped a free kick into the Everton penalty area were Liverpool born Canavan made a splendid header past outside.
Half-time; Everton 1, Huddersfield 1
The first mistake came when Wilson and Wheeler both went for a ball a couple of yards outside the penalty area, Wheeler obviously thinking it would enter the box by the time he got to it. While they were making up their minds, Mayers nipped in between them, tapped the ball forward, ran round Wheeler and slotted the ball safely home. This was a bit of luck for Everton though it only made up for some of their ill-fortune in the late stages of the first half. Huddersfield had lost all their earlier fluency and polish and were now looking more like a side in keeping with their position in the table. Although Everton were not serving up football of the calibre they can do at their best they now seemed to have Huddersfield where they wanted them – with the Yorkshire side showing nerves and anxiety. Wainwright might have made it three for he had a great chance from eight yards range only to shoot outside. A third goal was not long delayed however, for after a prolonged scramble in the Huddersfield goal area, at the 57th minute, Harris unselfishly let the ball run on instead of taking a shot himself, and Lello put the Blues further ahead. Parker was now coming into the game much more forcefully than in the first half. Though Everton were riding comfortably, with a two goal lead, Huddersfield still showed occasional signs of fight, though their play was only a pale shadow of what it had been in the first 20 minutes. At the 66th minute Mayers scored a rather fortunate fourth for Everton. He beat two men in clever style, only to mishit his left foot shot from 12 yards, yet had the pleasure of seeing it trickle just inside the post. Mayers carved out a great chance for Parker, which should have turned into goal No. 5 but the inside man was just that fraction to slow to cash in. Harris fired over the angle of the woodwork and even Moore and Farrell came up to have a go. Still the tale of lucky goals continued for at the 73rd minute when Quested put in a strong shot from 25 yards range, Lello struck out a foot to try to deflect the ball away instead it hit him on the heel, reared high in the air, and into the net over the head of O’Neill who was a few yards out of goal. I think O’Neill got his fingers to it when bending backwards but could not stay its progress. Lello thus had the unusual distinction scoring for each side. He did in a Second Division game with Swansea three years back. Three minutes later Eglington was going through when he was brought down in the penalty area by Conwell, and Woods scored from the spot. Metcalfe was not giving up and after one shot only a yard or so off the target his next one forced O’Neill to save. Final; Everton 5, Huddersfield Town 2. Official attendance 36,423.
EVERTON ON THE UPGRADE
November 5, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
One of the most pleasing features for Everton fans of this season’s campaign, so far as it has gone, has been improvement or recent weeks in the League position of Everton. Who have steadily progressed from 15th to 6th place. The Blues’ draw at Sunderland last week was as good a performance as any they have put up this season. If they have avoided defeat at the hands of Huddersfield today they will have fulfilled ten successive engagements with only one defeat. This is a transformation which hardly seemed possible after that most inauspicious opening of the campaign against Preston North End. That day Everton looked a poor and disjointed side, and though that was no reason why so many supporters should immediately start prophesying dire disaster ahead, there was certainly – on the basis of that game alone; - some cause for anxiety. But as I pointed out at the time, one match proved nothing, except that on that particularly day the side was disappointing. It did not mean it was going to remain so. The folly of jumping to conclusion has since been demonstrated not only by Everton’s revival but equally as much by Preston’s decline. In that opening fixture the Prestonians looked just as likely a championship side as Everton appeared possible relegation candidates. Since then, however, Preston have been tumbling down the table, while Everton have been climbing. Which just goes to prove once more through we ought to know it well enough by now, that nothing is certain in this most uncertain and puzzling game. As a matter of interest, let me give the Everton lines, for the benefit of those who do not keep their own statistics, covering the first six games of the season and the subsequent nine.
After their defeat at Manchester United the Blues record read;- P6, Won 2, Draw 0, Lost 4, For 4, Against 9, points 4. The following nine matches have brought this reward;- Play 9, won 5, draw 3, lost 1, for 14, Against 8, points 13. The only disappointing feature of that last line is that the forwards have not improved in the same radio as the points return, or done their bit so well as the defence. There has, of course, been some improvement but not as decisive as could be wished. Apart from the return game at Goodison against Manchester United, when four goals were scored, the attack has never got more than two in any match this season. On five occasions which is a big proportion out of 15 fixtures they have failed to find the net at all. While I don’t want to strike too pessimistic a note, the fact remains that too much of a burden is resting on the shoulders of the defence. Apart from the Preston match when the Deepdale side rammed in four goals the rearguard has kept a clean sheet in four games, has forfeited only one goal in each of seven other engagement and only three times has had a couple put into the net. In short, the position at Goodison today boils down almost to what it was half-way through last season when I wrote on several occasions that Everton were relying too much on their defence to pull them through. At that time, the forward line, as has often happened this season was serving up good approach work and carving out possible openings then throwing them away by hasty and erractic finishing.
I said also, that unless there was an improvement the side would not maintain its high position in the table I feel the same way today. The big problem as in past seasons apart from the promotion year, is to cash in on reasonable chances. The best of forwards miss good openings now and again; Sunderland did so often enough last week. if they hadn’t the story of the game would not have made such good reading as it did, though in saying that I am not forgetting the brilliant work in goal of Jimmy O’Neill –two of his saves were masterpieces –and the excellence of Matt Woods, who was even better than he was against Aston Villa. But Everton, unfortunately, are missing too big a proportion of reasonable chances. Some go west through hastiness and over-anxiety, others through the fatal tendency which is still prevalent to make an extra pass when a shot is there for the taking.
If they can overcome this, and the defence can maintain its splendid solidity and consistency, then the future holds much promise. In relation to the defence, tribute is due to the excellent work which Farrell and Lello have been doing, I sometimes feel we are apt to take the performances of these two wing halves a bit too much for granted. They play so well week after week that they do not always get the credit they deserve. Sunderland officials and onlookers last week were most impressed by all they did and particularly the manner in which they piled their forwards with passes in the first half. Farrell and Lello have had more to do with the improvement in the last two months than many people realize.
A HAPPY EVERTON TROPPED OFF ROKER PARK
November 5, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
Everton opposed at Roker Park what in recent seasons has become known as the “Bank of England team.” Sunderland have gained this title through their spending spree during the past few years which has landed so many star and international players at Roker Park for enormous fees. There is a long standing controversy among football fans as to whether the basis of a successful side is founded on a star-studded eleven, or a team composed of few real notability ties but working more smoothly as a team towards success. Some maintained that it is far more enjoyable to the fans to watch a side that includes quite a number of ball artists than to see a team devoid of stars but playing more as a smooth-moving combination. If I had my choice of figuring in either of such teams as I have mentioned, an all-star side or an average team playing more as a team, I think I should prefer the latter for the following reasons;-
Firstly, I claim that a side that has too many personalities is inclined to be a little lopsided and with too many trying to steal the limelight the team spirit suffers in consequence. On the other hand, the honest-to-goodness, tryers with less ability are all pooling their resources to help one another out, and generally in the long run meet with more success taken over a period. Also whereas the star-studded side is all right when everything is clicking when things are not going so well, they are not very inclined to do much chasing. I am not suggesting that Sunderland are such a side, as to get where they are in the league table at present they must have a fair amount of team spirit, as well as ability. Still playing against them last week, I thought that they were a little over-laden with ball players, each doing what he considered best for the good of the side without moving with the rhythm one would expect from league leaders. I see most of the critics gave top marks to the Everton defence for bringing back a point from Sunderland but the forwards’ part despite the fact that they never struck that fluency of movement with which they are capable of playing must not be forgotten for their work in assisting the defence.
The Men In Front
When a side is hard-pressed for spells during a game, and the defence is gallantly holding out, one is sometimes apt to overlook the part the men in from are playing in the team effort. When the final whistle blew at Sunderland it was a very happy Everton side that trooped off the field as apart from the very valuable point secured we had also been the first side to gain a point at Roker Park for quite a while. Furthermore it was the first occasion Sunderland failed to find the net this season. The Sunderland club have made great improvements in their bathrooms for the players. We were rather surprised to find a bath apiece in the visitors department after the game. It was certainly rather a strange sight and a lot more hygienic I may add, to see each one of the Blues splashing in his own bath after the game. Sunderland is the only club I have seen so far in the First Division with such facilities for visiting players and they are certainly to be congratulated on this.
There is an old saying. Once an Evertonian always an Evertonian which seems to gain more further every time one meets somebody who has worn the blue jersey at one time or another. Jack Hedley still has a soft spot for his former club, and came into the pavilion last week both before and after the game to learn all the Goodison news, and to inquire about his former team mates. Merseyside’s will be glad to know that Jack is playing as well as ever and is one of the key men in the Sunderland defence. When some of our lads jokingly asked Hedley if “Shack” had made him a partner yet in any of his business. Jack smilingly replied, “No but I have made a step in the right direction by recently becoming the owner of a greyhound.”
GARDEN, BOOK, A COSY, NOOK, SEAM TO SEW, A BITE TO COOK, BARRY TO COACH, SO YOU’LL FIND
November 5, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Tommy Jones and Family of Everton
Soccer Stars at Home
By S.T. Bye
To coin a phrase “An Englishman’s home is his castle” and the “castle” of the Tommy Jones family is situated in Wallace Drive, Huyton, in the form of a semi-detached house in pleasant surroundings. Tommy, the Everton centre half, has his wife Dorothy and two-years-old son Barry, to complete the family trio, with club mates Eric Moore, the Blues’ full-back; as their immediate next door neighbor. It is almost three years since the Jones family moved into their club house which became vacant when former Everton centre forward Jimmy McIntosh left Goodison to take over as player manager of Belfast Distillery, the Irish League club. “I suppose in a way you could almost say that Jimmy did us a good turn by his decision to leave the club, for before moving to Huyton and taking over the house which had thus become vacant we had spent our first 12 months of married life in a flat at Bootle,” said Jones.
Pros and Cons
Life in a flat has its advantages, as Tommy pointed out. There is no running up and down stairs for everything is so compact. One big drawback, however, is the enforced absence of a garden a feature which far outweighs the many good points of such accommodation at least so far as this family is concerned. Jones does not profess to be as expert with the hoe and spade as he is with a football but he makes a fair job of his efforts at cultivation and I suspect there is more than a little friendly rivalry with Eric next door. Gardening and reading are two things which Tommy finds help most when relaxation is needed. When it comes to books he likes being up-to-date and he is just finishing H.M.S Ulysses, while another book which has passed through his hands is Len Shackleton’s contentious “Clown Prince of Soccer.” “Practically everybody in the club has read Shack’s book,” he said, “and it certainly brought some lively discussion.” Neat and methodical in all he does on the field of play, there is plenty of evidence at Wallace Drive that he also carries this outlook into his home, for he does all his own decorating, and the finished article is a job that any professional would be proud of.
Mrs. Jones too, is exceedingly house-proud as her gleaming brasswear and sparkling kitchen-bore witness. Like her great friend, Mrs. Moore, she too is a keen seamstress and her sewing machine is in almost constant use for she, makes the majority of her own and Barry’s clothing. “Dorothy also like knitting,” said Tommy,” but I just can’t for the life or me get her to make some long-sleeved pullovers. There is not much she can’t do in this line, but she just hates the thought of knitting slevees.” In addition to her knitting and sewing achievements, Mrs. Jones has quite a flair for cooking and though her husband has a particular preference for fillet streaks he often comes home to be pleasantly surprised with an unusual Continental dish. “Only the other day we had some sort of sea food delicacy, ventured Tommy who added that though he didn’t know why, his wife usually made the first time the last and then looked round for something new. Though she is not very athletically minded Mrs. Jones does make a point of attending all Everton’s home games, her sister, Joan Thatcher usually obliging as a bady-sitter. Young Barry obviously needs some watching. Very lively for his age and a model of his father he shows a commendable, keenness to follow in father’s footsteps, though as Tommy said jokingly “I’ll have to cure him of being too one footed. As yet his left is just a “swinger.” One of junior’s favourities tricks is to pedal furiously in his toy car and then free wheel down a slight decline in the pavement “Invariably he can’t manage the effort required to get back up the slope” said father, but so handy to push him back, he’s quite happy.
Joys Of Tennis
A keen golfer, Tommy re-discovered the joys of tennis this summer after a lapse of a couple of years. He played chiefly with another club mate Jimmy Tansey, and having got back in touch the pair feel they might join a club next season. National Service calls saw Tommy posted to Catterick for most of his two years. While there he struck up a number of friendships with players from other League clubs, including the Newcastle pair Simpson and Stokoe and Hassell of Bolton, all of whom he keeps in touch with. Both Mr. and Mrs Jones, who met at a dance are Liverpool born, and as with so many Merseysiders Thursday night is stadium might for hubby. A keen McAteer fan, Tommy saw the giant South African heavyweight Ewart Potgieter for the first time recently “What a centre half he’d make,” said the Everton pivot. “Never mind about centre half,” I replied. “How about if he were a centre forward,” Tommy shuddered as he attempted to imagine to his 5ft 10ins, facing up to Potgieter’s 7ft 2ins.
SHEFF WED RES V EVERTON RES
November 5, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Sheffield Wednesday Res;- Hinchcliffe, goal; Curtis and Smith, backs; McAncarney, Shaw, and Davies, half-backs; Elliott, Sewell, Hukin, Greensmith, and Howells, forwards. Everton Res;- Leyland, goal; J. Parkes, and Rankin, backs; Grant, Jones, and Melville, half-backs; McNamara, Thomas, Saunders, Lewis and Harris, forwards. Referee; Mr. G.D. Swinton (Stafford). Everton led Wednesday a merry dance at Hillsbrough, and although the home team included international Jackie Sewell they led at half-time from a goal scored by Lewis after Saunders had struck the crossbar. Hinchcliffe, Wednesday’s “A” team goalkeeper in turn saved from Lewis, Saunders, and Thomas, but both the centre and Lewis missed easy chance. Before the interval Everton’s defence stood up well to severe Wednesday pressure. Half-time; Sheffield Wednesday Reserve nil, Everton Res 1.
EGLINGTON GOAL REVIVED EVERTON
November 7, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ian Hargreaves
Everton 5, Huddersfield Town 2
The dejected spectator who left Goodison twenty minutes after the start of Everton’s match with Huddersfield on Saturday, must have had a shock, when he heard the final score in Everton’s favour. At that point the visitors were leading by a Glazzard goal, scored within a minute of the kick-off, and were so much on top it seemed only a question of how many more goals they would get. Shaken right out of their stride Everton were playing so desperately and inaccurately that those attacks they did mount rarely threatened danger. Harris had not yet found a way to beat Taylor, and neither Eglington nor Mayers had the pace or the ball control to cause Conwell and Wilson real concern. In complete contrast the Huddersfield forwards, belying their unimpressive reputation, cut holes in the Everton defence and with a little more luck might have put their side in an unassailable position. Glazzard was twice only inches wide, Metcalfe had a powerful shot headed away by Woods, and both Cavanagh and Watson were foiled only by brilliant saves by O’Neill. Everton were surprisingly slow to the ball, and indeed looked so inferior in almost every department that their supporters were showing signs of alarm.
Then, without any warning came the goal that put Everton on equal terms and transformed the game, Lello took a throw in on the Everton left, and instead of passing direct to a player sent the ball into an open space. Eglington who had previous done little of note, appeared from nowhere dribbled across the edge of the penalty area and then sent in a terrific right foot shot that left Wheeler helpless. Now Everton came to life and with both teams fighting to take the lead, we saw the best football of the afternoon. Play swept from end to end and if Huddersfield were unlucky when Glazzard and Watson were narrowly wide, so were Everton when Conwell saved from Harris right on the line, and when a splendid Harris header hit the bar. The second half, although producing five goals was disappointing since Huddersfield collapsed after a misunderstanding between Wheeler and Wilson allowed Mayers to nip in and put Everton in front. With the wind at their backs, Everton began to swing the ball about more, and the Huddersfield defence gradually lost control. Harris speed often had Taylor in difficulties and if Wilson kept Mayers almost completely subdued he was often forced to put the ball into touch, which meant that Everton retained possession.
Two Goals But…
As the Huddersfield wing halves McGarry and Quested faded away so Lello and Farrell became more dominant and Lello’s first goal was fitting reward for his effort. His second –through his own goal –was less meritorious but by then the issue was beyond doubt and he can have been little worried. The scoring was completed by Mayers who gentle left foot shot trickled inside the post, with Wheeler obviously anticipating a much harder drive in the opposite direction and Woods, who made no mistake with a penalty awarded for a foul on Eglington. It is hard to criticize a young man who scores twice and has as little experience of first class football as Mayers but the fact remains that he was largely ineffective. Unable to find a way past Wilson, he was frequently forced to stop and wait for a colleague to come up in support and this naturally prevented the possibility of a sudden break-through. It is, however, to his credit that he refused to boot the ball hopefully into the middle when in trouble. Of his fellow forwards Harris once again demonstrated his ability to make something of nothing, and Wainwright’s opportunism made him a constant danger, but Eglington was only, occasionally effective and Parker has had better games. The main failing of the line as a whole seemed to be a dislike of direct methods and a preference for the pass out to the wing instead of inside the opposite full back. Despite their second half failure, Huddersfield looked a much better side than the score suggests. In Metcalfe they had the best winger on the field, with Burrell not far behind and Glazzard a rare handful for Woods. Surprisingly it was their half back division, reputedly the strongest part of the team, that let them down. Although Taylor emphasized that he is one of the best prospects in the country his occasional lapses proved expensive, while both Quested and McGarry were weary men long before the end. Behind them, Conwell and Wilson tackled hard, but let themselves in for a lot of extra work by their inability to keep the ball in play and initiate attacks of their own. A final criticism –why do referees whistle for offences when the side slipped against are in a promising position? On one occasion in the first half Burrell had broken right through when he was pulled up and a free kick awarded to his own team.
PRESTON AND WOODS
November 7, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have so far received no official approach from Preston North End regarding Matt Woods, who was watched by Mr. Frank Hill, the Deepdale club’s manager, on Saturday, I understand that Mr. Hill will report his views to the Preston board at this week’s meeting. The outcome of this will decide whether any bid will be made in some Preston quarters it is felt that the need of a centre forward is more urgent then a centre half.
IT WASN’T A CLASSIC BUT EVERTON MDE UP FOR BAD START
November 7, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Football’s a funny game! Not a very profound observation, I know but it sums up how many Everton supporters felt after their side had walloped Huddersfield Town and when they later looked t their “Football Echo” and saw the Blues only two points behind the League leaders. Why funny? Because for the first twenty minutes those self-same supporters had been sorely tried by the impotency of an Everton attack in which too many forwards were sluggish and lacking in shots. If it had gone on much longer somebody might have got the bird, for the crowd was getting decidedly restive and irritated. Then came the transformation and though I have seen Everton play far more precise and artistic football on many occasions –sometimes when they have been beaten –they were no longer in danger of being mocked at by their followers. On the basis of the modern dictum that victory is the main thing, doubtless the result could he regarded as satisfactory. Nevertheless I feel that Everton are still not as well balanced or as strong in every link as they should be or could be and that they are flattered by their high position in the League table. I hope it doesn’t seem churish to quarrel with the evidence of a 3-2 victory, for I have no desire to be that. But I thought Wheeler might have saved Eglington’s goal, while both those by Mayers were a trifle fortunate and another came from a penalty when there was no guarantee that the man brought down would have netted. Mayers deserves credit for his first goal for he acted quickly but that does not cancel out the fact that it was a bad defensive mistake that let him in. His second was a miss-hit shot which crept almost shame facedly inside the post at a small’s pace. Here again however, I give full marks to Mayers for the way in which he carved out of opening.
Some Lucky Escapes
Having pointed out these fortunate angles of the goals that were scored, one must in fairness mention those which might have been but were not due to the intervention of either the woodwork or a defender’s body. The visitors goal had three narrow escapes in as many minute. First when Harris was kept off the scoring list by a lucky deflection by Conwell secondly when Parker’s shot struck McGarry and thirdly when Harris’s brilliant header came back off the bar. But to get back to the beginning started off as though they not Everton, were in the running for a top place. For 20 minutes they played fast attractive and fluent football got a first minute goal through Glazzard and looked by far more dangerous side. This was the period when the home team’s supporters were shaking their heads despondently, and Huddersfield’s must have been rubbing their eyes to make sure they were not imagining things.
During this period Everton had never had a shot, and apart from a few characteristic bursts by Harris and an odd sortle or two by Wainwright they had never looked like getting to grips with Wheeler. After Eglington’s equalizer the Blues began to get their teeth into the game and from the point onwards Huddersfield faded out. Not in a very pronounced fashion at first but in such a manner after the interval that it was difficult to realize how a side which has looked so promising could become so ragged and disjointed and so incapable of making a real fight of it. The turning point of the game came when Farrell and Lello who earlier had been confined almost exclusively to defence, started to turn in their auxiliary forward act and ply their forwards with constructive passes. The more they took the initiative the more did McGarry and Quested lose their earlier grip, and the visiting attack bereft of its former support, fell away in the same ratio. On this display Huddersfield look to have very little hope for the future. Yet one cannot forget how promising they seemed at the start and particularly the menace of Metcalfe and the liveness of Glazzard. Woods found the latter a difficult proposition for quite a time. The Everton pivot was beaten in the air on several occasions and though he improved as time went on he was never as dominating a figure as he had been on the two previous games. Moore settled down well after a rather shaky start, and though I have seen Tansey play better, he also came to his best once Everton had begun to assume the ascendancy.
It was the forward line which was least pleasing. Even though the goals kept coming in the second half, and Parker and Eglington by then had forced their way more into the game, there was not the smooth flowing build up of attacks by varied moves and accurate passing that one would like to have seen. The attack seemed to feel the need of someone who could hold the ball and mould the line into a cohesive whole. It was more a collection of hard-working units than an integrated and dove-tailing combination. But the result is there for all to see, and maybe I’m at fault in expecting too much and not making allowances for human frailty and occasional fallings.
• Cyril Lello has scored for and against Everton in the same match on two occasions, in addition to the “double” he got on Saturday; he did the same thing against Swansea Town at Goodison Park on March 29, 1952 when Everton won 2-1.
HARRIS WILL BE THERE
November 8, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Jimmy Harris is the only travelling reserve for the F.A. team to meet the Army at Newcastle. The Everton man has soon received F.A, recognition and before long, if he maintains the promise he has shown since taking Hickson’s place, he may be playing in his first representative game instead of looking on and helping with the skips.
ONLY 1,545 AT EVERTON GAME
November 10, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Manchester United 1, Everton 0
Only 1,545 thought the match worth seeing. It would therefore appear that interest is not in the Lancashire Cup and this despite the fact that both Manchester United and Everton fielded practically their first teams. Manchester United won by the only goal seven minutes after the start. The narrowness of victory was due in the main to the brilliant goalkeeping of Jimmy O’Neill. He must have bewildered United forwards by the brilliance of his saves. His was a masterly display. I cannot say that about the rest of the Everton team, for United were the more progressive and better linked. The first half was enjoyable. We saw a young United playing top-class stuff and probing the Everton defence severely.
There were two decisions in my view and this perhaps prevented Everton from making a draw of it. The second an off side verdict against Fielding seemed an error of judgment but the referee was convinced Fielding was offside. Everton had a young debutant at outside left in Molyneux really a full back, and he shaped exceedingly well. He had the look of a winger, the build of a winger and the seed of a winger, and he also had the ability to beat a man. The defence had some anxious moments and did not cover up as well as it can. It was this that caused O’Neill to be so busy. Manchester United played hard and skillfully in the first half. After that the game became rather scrappy with Everton improved but unable to produce a goal. Everton’s fault was their marksmanship. Farrell and Lello were the principal shooters, McNamara had bad luck with header which was helped on to the bar but in most cases the Everton attack was well held. The goal came from the foot of Blanchflower who picked up a shot-cum centre by Webster and shaped it into the net.
CHANCE OF A POINT
November 11, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Though Everton’s two previous post-war visits to Cardiff City have resulted in victory for the Welsh side, if the Blues fight as stubbornly as they have in most of their away games this season should have a good chance of farcing a draw. The fact that Cardiff are third from bottom and haven’t won at home in their last three games may not be to Everton’s advantage. It is more likely to make the Welshmen fight harder, for the spectre of relegation is peeping round the corner at Ninian Park.
Defence is Better
Cardiff City have provided some queer results this season. They started off by beating Sunderland and Bolton at home then were swamped 9-1 by Wolves next time they played at Ninian Park. Since then they have won only one further game on their own ground. Changes in the rearguard have been few with goalkeeper Howells an ever present and four other players having been marked absent only once. The return of Welsh international Ron Sherwood who not long ago asked to go on the transfer list, seems to have been the steadying factor here. The forward line as in the past few seasons, has been very lacking in penetration, in their 15 games Cardiff have totted up only 18 goals which is a disappointing state of affairs.
Ford Not at His Best
Trevor Ford, has never entirely fulfilled expectations since joining Cardiff from Sunderland, though he had a reasonably good season last winter and scored 19 goals. He is still leading marksman, with six in nine outings –he missed four games in September through injury –but last week he was dropped. He is recalled again tomorrow, however. Despite the lack of forward punch here are two ever-present in the line in inside right Harry Kirtley and outside left John McSeveney, both of whom were signed during the recent summer from Sunderland. Everton’s away record this season is very good. In many games they have played better than at Goodison Park, though it has usually been the solidity of the defence which has been the main factor. In eight away games only seven goals have been put past O’Neill which is less than any other senior side, and in many cases less than half the number others clubs have conceded. The forward line, however, has scored only seven as well again less than half of what some much more lowly teams have achieved. Last weeks game against Huddersfield Town showed Everton in a new light this time as indifferent starters but strong finishers instead of the other way about. What is needed now is a good start a good middle piece and a storming finish in other words 90 minutes of consistency and balance and a restoration of accurate finishing in the front line. The five goals against Huddersfield rather flattered the Blues attack for some of them were of the gift variety. With Jones fit again after his thigh muscle injury, the Everton rearguard and hammered again former constitution Woods returning to the reserve side after having shown on well as centre half deputy. Fielding’s inclusion is welcome even though it has to be at outside right. Cardiff City; Howells; Stittfall, Sherwood; Rutter, Sullivan, Harrington; Walsh, Kirtley, Ford, Stockin, McSeveney. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Fielding, Wainwright, Harris, Parker, Mayers.
PROGRESSIVE CARDIFF GIVE EVERTON LESSON IN SHOOTING
November 12, 1955. The Liverpool Football Echo
This was nothing like the Everton who took points from Newcastle and Sunderland. They never seemed together in midfield they were not bad but to give you an idea as to their lack of shooting I have only to tell you that Howells hardly had a single shot to save. Cardiff were much more progressive and had the ability to make openings and three goals was not the least bit flattering to them. Cardiff City; Howell, goal; Stittfall (captain) and Sherwood, backs; Ruster, Frowen and Sullivan, half-backs; Walsh, Kirtley, Hitchens, Stockin, and McSeverity, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Fielding, Wainwright, Harris, Parker, and Mayers, forwards. Referee; Mr. G.W. Pullen (Bristol). Everton played in their secondary colours, white shirts and black knickers and in the first minute Howell had to punch away a centre from Mayers. The City replied quickly and Walsh was a little too strong with his centre for there was no one up to receive it. Rutter used his speed to prevent Parker going through and then Cardiff made an attack and the ball dropped into the Everton goalmouth and it seemed to strike O’Neill on the chest and rebound to Walsh who headed into the net at the fourth minute. Whether O’Neill was affected by the sun which must have been shinning right into his eyes I cannot say, but it was an unfortunate affair.
Everton were not unduly perturbed and Harris tried a surprise shot when most people though he would centre, but his direction was inaccurate and he ball passed outside. The Stitfall conceded a corner when he need not have done so, and after a bit of a scramble just outside the penalty line Mayers shot wide. So far play had been rather of a fitful nature. There had not been a great deal of lead up to any goal incident although Stockin was put in an excellent position to centre, and O’Neill to make a very sure catch as the ball was passing under the crossbar. Everton, nearly got that equalizing goal when a Fielding shot had every appearance of beating Howells, for the Cardiff keeper was somewhat hampered by the near presence of Frowen. Both went up for the ball but it was the Cardiff goalkeeper’s long had that thumped it away to safety. Everton had not yet settled down to their usual combined play, and Cardiff came near to marking up goal number two when McSeventy made a long sinuous run which took him well into the penalty box. He then neatly pulled the ball across for Hitchens who was responsible for an excellent drive, a rising shot which O’Neill turned over his crossbar. This was without doubt a grand save. Walsh cut in and put the Everton goal in danger, but this was cleared and play was transferred to the other end where Harris whipped the ball fast to the unmarked Mayers who, however, could not get it down to his liking before he was successfully challenged.
Mayers was held up for an offside decision when heading for goal and Parker hoodwinked the crowded defence by slipping behind Stitfall and touching the ball over to Mayers whose centre, however, came so far across the Cardiff goal that Fielding was unable to get the height to get his forehead to the ball which passed behind. Everton equalized at the 22nd minute and I feel sure that the City defence was under the impression that Harris was offside, for they hesitated and the Everton centre forward dribbled close in, passed the goalkeeper, and then hooked the ball into the net. The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the centre spot for a goal and in my view Harris had moved so quickly when the ball was passed to him from the left wing that he was onside. The City were very quickly off the mark and Hitchens often beat Jones in the air, in fact, the Everton defences more than once was caught rather open and O’Neill once more was the saving grace. So far he had much more to do than Howells.
Moore came upfield to add his weight to the Everton attack and his centre was headed by Parker over the crossbar, Wainwright wearing a bandage on his left arm was moving to all quarters and from one of his centres the City, defence was sorely troubled but eventually played itself out of it. The Cardiff forwards changed positions very quickly and O’Neill had to be on his toes for on-one could be sure who would make the next shot. It came from Stockins and the Irish goalkeeper did well to turn that one away. He went on to save a second one from the same player who had collected the clearance. McSeveney was often seen over on the opposite wing and Hitchens immediately made tracks for the open space but on this occasion McSeveney fell over the ball. Sherwood is still a great tactician. He gave Fielding little rope and when he was “cornered” he calmly slipped the ball along the goalline to Howells to get himself out of difficulties. There may not be a lot of skill attached to Hitchen’s play but he never stops going and Jones was continually kept on the move stopping Ford’s deputy.
With three minutes to go Cardiff took the lead for the second time. McSeveney was the scorer but the man who made it possible was Kirtley. He made a strong run forward and then pushed the ball over to McSeveney, who was nowhere near his original position, outside left, but he was in the right position nevertheless and his shot from close in gave O’Neill no chance. Right on time Hitchens broke through and O’Neill tried to take the ball away from with his foot but found this was not possible. He tried it again and once more failed and a third goal looked possible for Cardiff. Tension was relieved when a free kick was awarded to Cardiff for obstruction by Lello. This was cleared and then a long shot from the right wing passed too close to the Everton goal to be comfortable.
Half-time; Cardiff City 2, Everton 1
Cardiff were soon into their stride in the second half and Farrell only just got his foot to a ball that was travelling from Walsh to Hitchens which would have put the Everton goal in extreme danger. Everton were still not playing at all well. They did not seem to be working together where as Cardiff were linking up nicely and playing go-ahead football. O’Neill had to save from Hitchens who did very well to get in his shot considering that he was being harassed by two opponents. With the game 50 minutes old Walsh, rather lucky to get a second chance, centred into the Everton goalmouth where Stockin headed the ball across to McSeveney who crashed the ball beyond O’Neill. So far in this half Everton had not made a single attack worthy of the name and it was Cardiff who were involved in most of the goal incidents, and Kirtley had hard lines with a header which past outside. The Everton forwards were finding the Cardiff defenders quick in the tackle and so Howells was rarely called upon.
Cardiff remained on top and but for a magnificent save by O’Neill would have gone even further ahead, Kirtley, who used to be with Sunderland had fired in a humdinger of a fast-rising shot, but the Irish goalkeeper flung up his arms and turned it over the bar. Hitchens was a thorn in the side of the Everton defence and he once beat Jones rather easily, but his shot although on the mark was not strong enough to beat O’Neill. Mayers shot well wide but in point of fact Howells had a very comfortable afternoon for the Everton forwards were not calling upon him at all. Wainwright resented an offside decision against him and I thought he was quite justified with his protest. This, however, did no good. Cardiff continued to hold the upper hand and if their forwards had been more powerful in their shooting they could have had further goals. The game was stopped through an injury to Wainwright, who was knocked out heading away Walsh’s corner kick. The game was now too one-sided to be interesting and Stockin had a glorious chance to make it 4-1, but his shot had no “beef” behind it, and O’Neill had no difficulty in saving. Final; Cardiff City 3, Everton 1.
BLACKBURN “A” v EVERTON “A”
November 12, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Blackburn Rovers “A” went into the lead after six minutes through Watson but Everton fought back strongly and Farrell equalized in the 24th minute. Kirby scored Everton’s second goal after 35 minutes. Half-time Blackburn “A” 1, Everton “A” 2. Full Time; Blackburn “A” 2, Everton “A” 3
• Everton “B” 5, Edinburgh P. 5
FOOTBALL UNCERTAINTY WAS SHOWN AGAINST THE TOWN
November 12, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
As I made my way home following last week’s 5-2 victory over Huddersfield I couldn’t help thinking what a strange game football is and what uncertainty and surprises it holds in store for its followers. The Blues had just scored five goals in a league game for the first time in over 14 months and the wood work on two occasions and some narrow escapes in the visitors goalmouth prevented an even larger tally –yet Everton have played far better on occasions this season and lost. At Portsmouth for example our general standard of play was a great deal better than last Saturday and yet we were defeated 1-0. I realize that the opposition was encountered at Fratton Park was a lot superior to the Huddersfield side, which seems to indicate that we should play far better against a team like the Town. Such is not the case in football, however, as you well know. Competition is so keen that in no game can you foretell what is going to happen.
A Grand Shot
Who would have thought as the Blues trooped off at the interval, after a far-room convincing first half, that they would eventually run out such winners. It was a grand sight, five goals in the visitors net at Goodison, and I hope that our forward line will gain in confidence from this feat, and by giving the fans many encores. The scoring list last week was rather unusual for the goals came from the right winger (twice) the left winger, left half and centre half, while Cyril Lello again had the experience of scoring for and against the Blues. Last week’s game, which opened dismally from an Everton view and finished so joyfully, certainly produced some fine works to commemorate the Fifth of November.
What of the Future
The fairly successful run that the Blues have experienced over the past, two months has been very pleasing to all connected with the club. While the optimists are hoping it will continue the pessimists are saying “Wait till the heavy grounds come and the see how they fare.” I never male forecasts but I fail to see what great differences a change in playing conditions makes to a side providing the players are well trained and fit. Some maintain that a lighter team is at a disadvantage against a bigger side on a heavy ground, I maintained that skill usually gets the better of brawn in football, irrespective of the conditions. I cannot see how the above mentioned pessimists come to the conclusion that the present Everton style of play will no suit the heavy grounds, but time will tell. Critics also say that Everton are flattered by their high position in the league table. Looking back over all our games so far I cannot remember us gaining any points that we did not deserve. At Burnley and Sunderland great defensive displays did the trick, but as the defence is part of the team, surely nobody could say we were lucky. In all other games in which Everton have won or drawn, I think we were full value for the points through on several occasions the side did not play up to its best standard. I can vividly remember what I considered some rather lucky goals in the against column, particularly at Old Trafford and Fratton Park, which deprived us of reward. The season has a long way to travel yet, but if we continue to collect points in the coming months in the same ratio as we have done in the past two players and supporters will prove those people who not so very long ago said we were a certainly for Division Two very wrong indeed.
EVERTON RES V. HUDDERSFIELD RES
November 12, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res;- Leyland, goal; J. Parkes and Rankin, backs; Grant, Woods and Melville, half-backs; McNamara, Thomas, Saunders, Lewis and Harris (B), forwards. Huddersfield Town Res;- Wheeler, goal; Coddington and Ledger, backs; Battyre, Boot, and Cockerill, half-backs; Marriott, Frear, Taylor (B), Simpson, and Massie, forwards. Referee; Mr. G.E. Jackson (Bolton). Huddersfield were dangerous early on and Simpson went close with two good efforts; Everton improved after a poor start, but it was the visitors who took the lead when Battyre accepted a pass from Marriott. Lewis flung himself at McNamara’s free kick to head the equalizer, and from a centre by Harris in the next attack Thomas gave Everton the lead. Just before the interval Thomas scored his second. Half-time; Everton Res 3, Huddersfield Res 1. After Lewis had shot straight at Wheeler with the visiting defence waiting for the offside whistle, the Huddersfield goal had a charmed life when three quick shots cannoned off their defenders. Gradually Huddersfield came to life again and after a couple of threatening raids Massie scored a fine goal after 70 minutes play.
NOTHING LIKE THE REAL EVERTON
November 14, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Cardiff City 3, Everton 1.
This was not the true, Everton. It is a long time since I saw them so ineffective. It was not that Cardiff were such a great side, but they were progressive. At times they produced football which tore the Everton defence open. In view of the fact that Everton had won at Newcastle and taken a point from Sunderland and it was reasonable to expect that they would get a point at Ninian Park, but they never looked like doing so. In midfield Everton combined quite nicely but when they got to the target area they could not see the bull’s eye. Howells, the Cardiff goalkeeper will never have a more pleasant Saturday afternoon. His one real shot was on the last few minutes when the match was won and lost.
I am beginning to wonder after seeing Gerry Hitchens the Cardiff centre forward, whether Ford, their Welsh international will ever get his place back. If he does he will have to produce something better than he has been doing recently. Hitchens may be no scientist but what a worker he is! It is a long time since Jones had such a heavy afternoon. In the first half Hitchens was beating him in the air and later on the ground, but he was not alone in causing the Everton defence heartburn. The Cardiff forwards interchanged positions so rapidly one never knew where they would be next, and it was this penchant for roaming that brought McSeveney two goals. The former Sunderland player was not tied down to any one position. In fact he took over everywhere at times and this was no doubt disconcerting to the Everton defence too easily beaten on Saturday. There was not the usual cover although Tansey in my opinion played extremely well. The reason for Cardiff’s victory was their half-back line. They backed up strongly, tackled quickly, and sternly, and this broke up any semblance of combination which Everton endeavoured to bring into their play.
The game was too one-sided to be interesting. The first goal was due to a mistake by goalkeeper O’Neill. He seemed to have the ball in his hands but allowed it to pass through on to his chest and from the rebound Walsh headed the ball home at four minutes. When Harris reduced the arrears at twenty-two minutes with a goal the Cardiff defence thought was offside (I did not agree) there looked to be possibilities for Everton but they failed to fulfill their promise to making a close thing of it. The Welsh side remained on top practically throughout and O’Neill had to bring off superlative saves to keep the score down to a respectable margin. Had the Cardiff forwards taken full toll of their chances they must have built up a much greater win. They made openings which screamed out to be converted into goals.
Kirtley and McSeveney came from Sunderland together during the summer and they have undoubtedly made up a link which is going to prove dangerous to opposing defences but the man who created most of the trouble was Hitchins who almost worked himself to a standstill.
EVERTON FALL FROM GRACE
November 14, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Weak In Attack and Defence at Cardiff
Everton had gone so long without defeat that we had almost forgotten what it was like to finish on the wrong side, so that the crash at Ninian Park came as something out of the blue. To be beaten away from home is no disgrace, but the pill which Cardiff City administered was anything but pleasant. It was not the margins of defeat, but the manner of it which tasted so unpleasant, for the City were not a brilliant side by any manner of means. Everton display was too bad to be true. A game of this sort creeps in now and again and you don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. It was not far short of their poorest display of the season for it was practically the whole side which faltered. Only twice did they produce movements which suggested that they could win this game, but two such movements in the space of 90 minutes can never hope to succeed against a team which was right on its toes, fighting for each and every ball. It was soon seen what Cardiff intended to do –he first to the ball and so stop the even flow of Everton’s acknowledged skilful football.
The lightning interception on the fast tackle was their scheme to prevent any dominance which Everton hoped would settle the Welsh side and it paid good dividends for the Blues never really got going. When we received the news that Ford was not to play the prospects of another “Newcastle” looked on the carpet for Everton, but his absence was more costly than his presence for his deputy Hitchins, filled his boots most successfully. This 21-year-old Gerry Hitchins, who cost the City almost next to nothing could very easily keep the Welsh international in the Cardiff reserve side, for he gave the Everton defence as much if not more trouble, than Ford could have done. He may not have the finesse of Ford, but what a worker, and for the whole 90 minutes. I hear that Bolton Wanderers are interested in Hitchins as a deputy to Nat Lofthouse but I cannot see Cardiff parting with him after Saturday’s display Tom Jones would hear me out that he was a most troublesome man to watch and although he did not figure on the score sheet his part in the City’s victory was just as big as Walsh (one goal) and McSeveney (two goals). It was Hitchins who worried the Everton defence by his bustling display. That he failed to score was due to a miraculous save late on when O’Neill caught his header which looked certain to find a landing place in the back of the net. O’Neill had previously saved from practically every Cardiff forward, yet it was an error of judgment when he gave Walsh his goal in four minutes. He allowed a long ball into the goalmouth by Sherwood to slip through his hands and strike him on the chest. The rebound went straight to Walsh’s head and so on into the net.
The effect upon Cardiff was electric. They became a confident side but Harris equalized at 22 minutes. The City defence stopped playing under the impression that he was off-side but he was on-side when Parker squared the ball to him and Harris dribbled beyond Howells and then hooked the ball into the empty net. Even that did not subdue the City. They set out to rebuild their lead, and playing progressive football, they had Everton defending almost to the final whistle and landed two further goals into the bargain. That was sufficient to almost guarantee City the points, for Everton were not playing like a side capable of getting goals at least not until the last few minutes, when Howells had his first real test as a goalkeeper. I have praised Hitchins, but cannot pass over Walsh, the former Arsenal winger, who had an excellent game, while McSeeveney was to be found in such unexpected places that he got two goals. The Everton forwards did not function as a line, so the defence was placed on the rack and was not always able to cope with the demands made upon it. To be quite frank Everton never looked like winning this game.
Mr. Cliff Britton, Everton’s manager, denies that the Goodison club has made any approach to West Ham United about the transfer of outside right Harry Hooper. They have also had no inquiry from Scunthorpe United about Ron Saunders. Eire, who meet Spain in Dublin, on Sunday week, November 27, have not yet contracted Everton about the “loan” of nay players Everton meet Wolves at Molinuex the previous day.
MORE HONOURS FOR EVERTON PLAYERS
November 17, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Irish reports say that three Everton players –O’Neill, Farrell and Eglington –are likely to be in the Irish side which meets the Spanish X1 on Sunday, November 27. Their appearance in the match depends of course, on Everton releasing them but as Everton have invariably gone out of their way to allow players to take recognition there seems little likelihood of their services being refused. Everton play Wolverhampon on the Saturday. Everton’s team for the match against Manchester City had not yet been chosen. Following defeat at Cardiff, where many had expected victory, it may have a change or two. It is good to know that young Alec Farrell, thrice afflicted with cartilage trouble is playing again with Everton teams. He has had such desperate misfortune with injuries he has hardly had time since he turned professional to develop as his club expected. Given freedom from further trouble he should soon be knocking for a first team place.
November 18, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
City at Goodison
Manchester City, visitors to Goodison Park tomorrow, are an outstanding example of the queer reversal of fortune which can befell a club in successive seasons. Last spring the Mancunians were strongly in the running for the Cup and League “double” and though both eluded them, as they have so many other clubs, they finished seventh in the League table only two points behind the runners-up and were rather unfortunate losers at Wembley after battling with ten men for seventy minutes. Last season much of City’s success was attributed to the over-publicized and rather misnamed “Revie plan.” True Revie was the cog upon which it revolved but it was clever and well-balanced all-round teamwork which made it work with every man doing his full share and occasionally a little extra which is what makes a “team” in the fullest sense of the word. Today Manchester City find themselves at the wrong end of the table, sixth from bottom with only 13 points from 15 games. Not unnaturally there have been critics of the deep centre forward scheme. Even some of the City’s most loyal supporters have questioned whether it would not be wiser to scrap it and revert to a more normal formation particularly as Johnstone is now fitting into the plan quite as effectively as was hoped. Manager McDowall stated recently that he had no such qualms. He was the man who conceived the idea tried it out on the Central League “guinea pigs” first and then launched it in First Division Football. Latterly, however it is said that he is a bit doubtful –not about the plan itself –but about who is best man, on present form, to be the Central cog in it.
Not A Lucky Ground
Goodison Park has not been a lucky ground for the Maine Road club since the war, and unless they improve considerably on their away performances of the present campaign, they may find no change in their recent run of non-success. Seven matches on opponents’ grounds have brought them four defeats and three days. The latter were at Arsenal, Huddersfield and Sheffield United, all of whom were below City in the able at the time they met. Two of their away defeats were by substantial margins. They lost 2-1 at Wolverhampton and 2-5 Charlton. As all who know Trautmann will admit his outstanding goalkeeping qualities –we will long remember his wonderful show in the spicer benefit match –it would appear that there is inherent weakness in the City’s defence elsewhere as well as problems in the attack. Roy Paul who started off at right back has latterly been occupying the left half berth but otherwise despite the disappointing results, there have been very few changes in the rearguard which has three ever-presents in Trauntmann. Little and Barnes, while Ewing has missed only one game, Branagan two, and Paul four. Inside right Joe Hayes is the only forward to appear in every game. He is also leading marksman with nine goals. Nobody else has scored more than three and Revie on that figure has got all his form the penalty spot. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Mayers, Wainwright, Harris, Parker, Eglington.
November 19, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Manchester City’s last appearance at Goodison Park was in the ice and snow age of last season. They looked rather unimpressive but Trauntmann despite a nasty knock, kept a brilliant goal on one sound leg. With Internationals as Trauntmann, Paul, Johnstone, and Clarke in the Manchester City eleven the match assumes special attractiveness. Waverers tempted into attendance –I hope the fog desists –will go to see Trauntmann, whose display in the Spicer charity match ensurers that he will get an ovation before a ball is kicked. Everton have Mayers back on the right and Eglington returned to the left wing. The side had a bad game at Cardiff but for many weeks now they have played well. Most insurmountable barrier to victory, Bert Trauntmann. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Mayers, Wainwright, Harris, Parker, Eglington. Manchester City; Trauntmann; Branagan, Little; Paul, Leivers; McTavish, Fagan, Hayes, Johnstone, Faulkner, Clarke.
MAINE ROAD MEN SOON BY-PASS O’NEILL
November 19, 1955. The Liverpool
But Harris Snatches Late Equaliser
Everton 1, Manchester City 1
Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Mayers, Wainwright, Harris, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Manchester City;- Trauntmann, goal; Branagan and Little, backs; Paul, Leivers, and McTavish, half-backs; Fagan, Hayes, Johnstone, Faulkner, and Clarke, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.R. Hill (Chester). About 15 minutes before the mist enveloped the Goodison ground. It was possible to see but how things would be in an hour’s time remained to be seen. There was quite a good crowd considering the day, and the game started with a while ball. This was going to be helpful. Moore with a beautifully, judged pass which just travelled out of reach of Clarke, set Everton in motion but they did not progress very far and then we saw City move into their threatening position and had not Moore foreseen the intentions of Johnstone, I feel sure O’Neill would have been called to duty –Everton’s replay was a fast raid down the left flank and Harris took the ball close to the goal line before he pulled it back for Mayers whom, however, found himself crowded out and ultimately the City’s predicament was ease with a pass back to Trauntmann. It was not long before Manchester took the lead. The City pressed very hard, and were exceptionally quick in their disposal of the ball. When Jones made a miss clearance, TcTavish pounced on the opportunity and slipped the ball over to Faulkner. The latter was in such a good position that he could hardly fail to score –at the fifth minute. Some of Everton’s approach work was exceedingly good but the City defence was very compact and once again a short back pass to Trauntmann solved their difficulty. A fast run by Eglington was full of promise but young Mayers in his eagerness to shoot, lashed the ball over the City crossbar.
Crowd were Wrong
When Parker was forced to take the ball backwards instead of forwards there was a shout from the crowd, but as matters turned out it was the most successful thing to do, for the inside left was able to hook the ball over to Eglington and Everton were on the attack once again.
Johnstone was playing the deep centre forward game, so much so that he was once more of a defender than an attacker. Harris gave him a beautiful dummy and then went on to put across a centre which the ball Leivers punted clear. For some time Everton, had been on the attack without, however, giving Trauntmann any worry, and when Harris dribbled through and shot it was not the sort of effort likely to beat Trauntmann. Faulkner who was showing good form, was one of the main menaces to Everton and O’Neill had to make a sure catch from a good centre by the City inside left. The City at this point were playing much better football than Everton and it was certainly more progressive. They did not always do the obvious thing, as for instance when Faulkner hooked the ball through into a position where a colleague could work almost unchallenged and so tense was the moment that Everton were glad to concede a corner rather than anything more important. There was a lovely bit of footwork on the part of Harris who put his foot on the ball and indicated that he would take it with him but suddenly back-heeled it only to find his good work had gone to naught through Mayers getting offside. There was a yell against the City defence when they once more used the offside trap against Mayers.
At the point Everton were all out to retrieve that five-minutes goal, but the City defence took a lot of mastering. A corner to Everton saw Parker jump high in the air to out head his challenger, but there stood Trauntmann ready to meet the situation. The game was held up for a moment while Tansey received attention for a blow on the thigh, but the match was resumed with a free kick to Everton, Mayers misjudging the flight of the ball when Lello centre to him. Johnstone raced up from his position in the “deep south” and offered a centre to Clarke who, however had cut in close to goal, and thus found the ball passing overhead. A fault oblique shot by Mayers brought off a good save by Trauntmann at the expense of a corner which produced a second one when Paul headed out, rather than allow Parker get his head to the ball. Jimmy Harris once quietly slipped over to the Everton right wing and collected a nice through ball before closing in on the city goal. He was badly singled, but his attempt at a goal was to be commended for the ball almost ran along the face of the City crossbar and there was no one there who could have done anything about it had that shot dipped a little. Eglington speed nearly caught the City defence napping and although he only caught up with the ball on the goal line he managed to scoop it in and another corner was Everton’s portion. There was no doubt that at this stage, Everton were testing the City defence to the full. Nevertheless was Trauntmann never in any real trouble.
Although there were many goalmouth incidents, neither goalkeeper could lay claim to being a busy man, although O’Neill had to save from Clarke who later lifted one high over the crossbar and into the crowd. The crowd did not agree with one or two of the referee’s decisions. Here was one in particular which made me raise my eyebrows for Mayers seemed to have successfully won a flag kick from Little, but he did not get it. Wainwright tried a long range shot but Trauntmann merely watched the ball as if flew into the crowd. Half-time; Everton nil, Manchester City 1.
Moore came right up field in the very first movement of the second half, but his pass into the goalmouth was missed by everyone. City came into the Everton penalty are immediately following this and Faulkner was only just beaten to a Paul pass. It was then Eglington’s turn to show a pair of clean heels to the City defence and his centre was spooned over by Mayers. The outside right along with Wainwright and Harris cut into the City defence to such an extent that the Mayers was able to get across a centre and there seemed possibilities of an equalizer but it was a promise which was not fulfilled. Parker and Harris got together in an effort to outwit the City, and although Parker ran into position to receive Harris’s return pass, a City man had sized up the position and took the ball instead. Hayes tried a snap shot which was off target and O’Neill later had to run out of goal tip the ball outside his penalty area, and finish off the clearance by kicking away.
Then followed the most exciting moment of the game thus far and the City goal was fortunate to escape. A shot by Parker had Trauntmann beaten to the world. Leivers, however, had failed back and stood sentinel under the City bar and it was he who kept the ball out of the net. There was a short, tense tussle after this, ending with Lello shooting from 20 yards out and Trauntmann coolly tipping the ball over the bar. Eglington saw Mayers standing out on his own away across the field so promptly switched play over to him but the winger was beaten by Little. After Johnstone had a shot turned away for a corner by a deflection Everton came back full of thrust and Mayers brought Trauntmann to his knees with a really hard drive. Everton had certainly pepped up their ideas and Trauntmann had to save a header by Parker following Mayers centre. This was a more spiritedly Everton than we had seen in the first half and Mayers threw himself at full length in an effort to head an Eglington cross into the City goal. He was only prevented from scoring by Little standing close to the goal line and kicking clear. This half had seen Everton completely in command, the only fly in the ointment being that so far they had not been able to land the ball into the net. The City were holding on to this goal lead and Trauntmann who had been the buster of the two goalkeepers, made another save from Mayers who had a really good second half. In fact, on balance of play Everton should not have been in arrears.
Faulkner who was obviously the man commissioned to take goals had a reasonable chance of making it 2-nil but shot wide. A free kick to Everton saw Trauntmann away with one hand Eglington’s centre. Mayers was Everton’s shooter-in-chief and he once again tested Trauntmann with a nice drive. For a moment City forshook their defensive role and we saw then maneuvering in front of the Everton goal, but rethe were no shots to accompany their efforts. There was one exception, however, when Clarke switched over to the right wing, and fired right across the Everton goalmouth the ball eluding every Everton man including O’Neill and passed to Hayes who delivered a ferocious drive which was cannoned away when a goal looked almost a certainty. It was straight from this that Everton got the equalizer. Harris was the scorer, and it was the persistency alone which made it possible. He beat Little and also Trauntmann who had left his goal to cover his colleague, but Harris was a little too speedy for them, and racing round the popped the ball into the empty net at the 87 minute. Final; Everton 1, Manchester City 1. Official attendance-34,612
• Everton “A” nil, Man City “A” 1
• Fazakerley 1, Everton “B” 3
SILENT APPROVAL OR ANTICS OF JOY WHEN A GOAL IS SCORED.
November 19, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
As a result of recent visit of Moscow Dynamo to England, and due to their well-drilled behavior when the Russians scored against Wolves at Molinuex last week, which most soccer fans saw on television, there has been quite a lot of controversy among the fans as to whether the Russian attitude or the generally acknowledged British way of congratulating the soccer is best. Those of you who saw the second half of the Wolves-Dynamo game may remember that when Ilyin reduced the Russian’s arrears by scoring his side’s only goal, none of his colleagues showed their approval of delight in any outward sign, but immediately took up their respective positions for the resumption of the game. On the other hand when Jimmy Mullen scored Wolves second goal practically the entire Wolves side with the exception of Bert Williams rushed forward to the scorer to congratulate him and show their delight. This is the typical scene that takes place in Britain on grounds up and down the country every Saturday when a player scores a goal. Some maintain that this should not be so, as that is what players are paid for, and that we professionals in British football often behave like a crowd of excited schoolboys when a goal is scored. Perhaps we do behave in such a manner, but when one of our colleagues finds the net, which after all is the ultimate aim of every move that is started during a game we naturally cannot help expressing outwardly our delight at the fact that our team has scored. Furthermore it shows and promotes good team spirit, and helps to keep everyone on their toes by the encouraging words of congratulation offered to those concerned as we make our way back to our own half of the field. Sometimes perhaps the congratulations are a little over-done, but this is due to the temperament of the individuals concerned. In my opinion it will be a bad day for the game in general if, like our Russian friends, we merely accept success in the manner of goal-scoring as a mere formality and show no outward signs of our natural feeling. A couple of years ago, when Blackpool, or should I say Stanley Matthews, won the Cup Final is the dying moments of the game, I well remember the Wembley as in the excitement when the winning goal hit the back of the net the entire Blackpool side with the exception of Farm mobbed Perry, the scorer, and Matthews. What a strange sight it would have been had the Blackpool players just leisurely walked back ready for the game to be resumed without showing their delight in some way. Furthermore could you possibly imagine this silent approval finding its way to the fans on the terraces and in the stands? Goodison and Anfield would become more like graveyards if the supporters received the scoring of goals by their favourites in stoney silence. No, whether we like it, or not, I am afraid we professionals just as we did in our junior days will go on outwardly showing our delight on the field of play when one of our colleagues scorers a goal it is just something which we cannot help thank goodness, as I consider irrespective of how it looks to the onlookers that it is more natural than the attitude adopted by the Dynamos. Our defeat at Cardiff last week was a big disappointment to our followers, particularly as two points from this game would have made us level with the leaders on points at the top of the table. However, on last week’s showing we didn’t deserve to bring back even one point, as the display of the side was out poorest for a longtime. It was one of those days when the entire side seemed to strike an off day, and the harder the lads tred the worse we seemed to get. Let’s hope we have got all our bad play out of our systems and left it behind at Ninian Park and that we will have got back on the winning path against Manchester City today. Finally, a word of tribute to the little band of Evertonians who made the long trip to Cardiff and were waiting outside Ninian Park with their good luck wishes when we arrived last week.
IN DEFENCE OF EVERTON
November 19, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Mr. Bob Bennett, of Beechwood Road, Bromborough, does not agree with the writers of the letters given here last week who criticsed the standard of Everton’s home displays this season. He takes this view; “The players are chosen on their merits by Mr. Britton, who is obviously a fair-minded character. This can be assured by his attitude to the few players who ask for a transfer for they are never refused. He has a policy of no spending and despite his critics has stuck to his guns. He has put Everton back in Division 1, and has also had a fair amount of success in the Cup. “Most people are silent when Everton are doing well. They all have a lot to say, if the team strikes a lean spell. Imagine the fantastic scorers they’d put up if the whole eleven were on form together. Footballers are human, and being so, have domestic worries and other little problems that don’t help them in their game. “It is not easy playing football in heavy weather, for instance with mud up to three inches deep and the ball feeling like lead and the customers still expecting on the carpet and score every time you attack stuff. “I wonder how a joiner would go on with his tools caked in mud and his wood soaking wet. “All these boys live and breathe football throughout the week. They know too well before each game how many higher two points will take them. Some even keep an eye on the half-time scoreboard to see how rival team is getting along. I’ve seen most of Everton’s games home and away for many seasons. They are doing O.K and only need a few less critics and a little more support. “In these days of defensive football, any team which can fight back from being a goal down and then win the game has the right idea. “This has been done a few times this season and with a little luck the Blues would have been on top now. “I’ll now stick out my neck, and say I believe that Everton will as an underestimate be in the first six of the League at the end of the season, and in the last eight of the F.A. Cup.”
BIRKENHEAD PROVIDES ONE MORE CENTRE-FORWARD WITH A FUTURE –
November 19, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Jimmy Harris …Of Everton
Soccer Stars at Home
Meet Mrs. Harris’s boy –not the one you see upsetting defences at Goodison Park and elsewhere, but Jimmy, an only child and the apple of his parent’s eyes. Jimmy Harris is a bachelor and likely to remain so for some time, for as yet he has no girl friend, though no doubt some young lady will put that right one of these days. Harris lives in Birkenhead which turned out two of the greatest centre forwards in the country- Billy (Dixie) Dean and Tom (Pongo) Waring. Naturally he has expectations of following in the footsteps of those two great players. That is not to say that he has got “big-headed,” for all young players have their idols and hope to emulate them and one day play for England or some other country. Young Harris is no exception.
Jimmy has made the first step in this direction for he was selected as twelfth man for the F.A. match with the Army last week. For one who has not yet had a year of full time professionalism that is a big step forward, for they say that forthcoming events cast their shadows before them. Harris thus must have his name on the F.A. note book for future occasions. Jimmy know there are many rocks ahead but intends to keep on learning and does not show any signs that he knows all there is to know about football which has been the downfall of many a young footballer.
Harris’s parent’s have always been football fans. Naturally they are both keen followers of Everton. How could they be anything else, but Jim tells me that his mother has a sight leaning towards Tranmere Rovers. That again, is only natural for they are both Birkenhead born. If, however, there is a game at Goodison Park, well you will find them both there watching Jim doing his stuff. “They can be very critical when they like for they both have a good knowledge of the game. Dad remembers Dean very well in his Tranmere days,” said Jimmy. What Birkenhead man didn’t. Who was sport-minded in those days? “What hobbies have you got? I asked Harris jun., “I don’t play any other games, if that is what you mean, although I have recently taken up golf replied Jimmy,! Suppose he thought his football was a full time job and he preferred to be good at one game rather then a jack-of-all-trades. Well his rise has been rapid so perhaps there is something in what he says. “I am keen motorist and the car keeps me pretty well occupied” said Jim, who was a driver in the Royal Tank Corps. He served in Germany and when I asked him what it was like in a Tank he replied “The latest Centurions have an electric kettle installed.” Well you know what that means to a solider –a nice mug of “char.”
But all his bobbies I think dancing takes pride of place. Like most young men I should say he was a good dancer. He is very nippy on his feel so should be able to keep off his partner’s-no special one as yet –toes. I made a crack that it would not be long before he was “couring,” but he only smiled and said “So far I am fancy free.” During his term in the Army he took up sprinting and got in the semi-finals of the 100 and 220 yards. Well, I think you will all agree that Harris is extremely fast on a football field – and he invariably takes the ball with him. “I was also greatly interest in body building and joined a weight-lifting club in Birkenhead, but have given that up since I got into professional football, which keeps me fit and well,” went on Harris. Yes, Harris looks in good shape, and must be to go through 90 minutes of modern soccer, which is a much faster game today than ever it was.
As you see we are in the throes of decorating. Of course, dad is he boss, but both mother and I lend a hand when we can. Dad is a fitter at a Birkenhead work’s but he is very fond of decorating and as you know it saves pounds. True, enough Jim who by the way, is in one of the kinderd traders to which I belong –the printing trade. I was glad to learn that he had completed his trade and is now a fully clown craftsman. So many young men upon taking up football as a career are rather inclined to forget that a footballer’s life is only a short one and unless he has a trade in his finger – or an alternative business, the outlook when he has to hang up his boots is not at all rosy. Everton have always encouraged their young players to take up a trade of some sort and so be ready for the days when age debars them from the football field. At one time it was either a newspaper and sweet shop or the management of a pub, but the youngsters of today looks further ahead than that. When Harris is forced to write “finis” to his football adventures he can always go back to printing.
“Mum and dad had some influence in making up my mind to take up a trade and go through with it, for as you can quite imagine I was still am, while at the same time realizing that football is not a lifetime job. “How did you come into football?” was my next query, “I started at school in Prenton not as a centre forward, but an inside man, and eventually won a place in the Birkenhead Schoolboy’s X1.” Now I know where Jimmy gets his ball control. “After leaving school, I joined the Bebington Hawks and it was from there that I joined Everton, with whom I hope to stay until the end of my career, for they are a grand set of lads, helping all they can” concluded Jimmy.
BLACKBURN ROVERS RES V EVERTON RES
November 19, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Blackburn Rovers Res;- Patterson, goal; Clinton and Taylor, backs; McGrath, Herron and Ratcliffe, half-backs; Vernon, Cairns, Mooney, Campbell and Corbride, forwards. Everton; Leyland, goal; Parkes and Rankin, backs; Grant, Woods and Melville, half-backs; McNamara, Thomas, Saunders, Lewis and Harris, forwards. Referee; Mr. P. Mills (Stratford), Manchester. Everton went into the lead in the 11th minute through Saunders after a beautiful defence-splitting pass from Lewis, Saunders, prominent in the visitors’ frequent attacks, brought Patterson to his knees with a fine header from McNamara’s centre. Half-time; Blackburn Rovers Res nil, Everton 1. After Mooney had grazed the Everton crossbar, the visitors replied through Thomas and Harris, who brilliantly worked their way into the penalty area for the latter to shoot into Patterson’s arms. A minute later McNamara drove just over following a good run.
Everton “C” v. Moreton
Moreton did well with ten men. Margison there keeper cleared smartly, Gregory scored for Everton from close range at 20 minutes. Moreton went near when Platt and Goodwin centred dangerously but without success. Half-time; Everton “C” 1, Moreton nil.
EVERTON MAY TAKE OVER SOUTH LIVERPOOL
November 21, 1955. Liverpool Echo
By Leslie Edwards
I understand from a reliable source that Everton and South Liverpool football clubs have been discussing the possibility of Everton taking over the Lancashire Combination club, lock, stock and barrel, were Everton to take-over South Liverpool they would have to use of good accessible ground and one additional to their Bellefield training ground. If South Liverpool are taken over it would seem doubtful if existing liabilities plus amounts due to debenture holders would leave anything for ordinary shareholders.
Everton snatched the leveling goal they deserved a few minutes of the end of their sometimes somnolent and always gloomy match against Manchester City at Goodison Park, but theirs was a close call. Indeed Manchester City in general and goalkeeper Trauntmann and full back Little in particular, presented Harris with his chance. In the gloaming of the final moments there arose one of those simple reverse passes which are made by backs to goalkeepers with such security ninety-nine times in a hundred. But in this case there was misunderstanding, Trauntmann’s outstretched arms grasped nothing. Harris was next seen following up and tapping the ball over a goalline as empty as any I have ever seen. So Everton escaped and City went home not knowing, for certain, whether Johnstone can or cannot fill Revie boots as a deep-lying centre forward capable of flinging the ball far and wide, yet accurately. On their first ten minutes City seemed the livelier and better equipped X!. When the excellence roaming forward of theirs Faulkners after a magnificent daisy-chain of passes the Everton crowd were solemn and the outlook looked dark as the smog through which we saw with difficulty, some of the game’s finer points.
What beat Everton for most of the match, was the psychological advantage City possessed in a goalkeeper such as Trauntmann, it seemed that all the Everton forwards and some of the half-backs realized too well, that only a hard-hit shot from close range would escape the eagle eye and giant hands of this goalkeeping genius. Thus Everton, though in command, were rarely shooting and too often trying to meanceurve close to ranges at which they thought they could beat Trauntmann. The result I am afraid was that Everton moved too laterally and with crabwise approaches which gave a good defence every chance of deploring themselves safely. Twice Trauntmann was “not at home” when Everton shots came in towards the line; twice defenders cleared. On the other side of the account Moore contrived to keep out a cannon ball shot by Hayes, late in the game when O’Neill, too, was in no position to save. At half-time a wag suggested that Everton were having an up-hill battle. And so they were, Referee Hill, from Chester, started well, but there were times when his offside decisions were open to doubt and there was one occasion when what seemed to be an Everton corner became a Manchester City goal kick. For half the game both teams could have dispensed with goalkeepers, so few were direct shots. Then when Everton gave their followers something to shout about, early in the second half the game came to life and Trauntmann shoed consummate skill and neatness in dealing with fierce shots, most of them from little-Mayers who not only shot better than any other of the Everton attack but played excellently in other respects. One could not help nothing, too, that Everton came completely into the picture only when Parker, after a shocking start, found a better mood and moved in that polished, effortless way into the right places and made the right sort of passes. Then for the first time Everton looked like saving the game. That they did so was more due to that blunder in defence than to their ability to make and take shooting chances. Outstanding figures in the mist were Roy Paul, who placed the ball well and managed to beat Parker in the air, Trauntmann for his effortless saves and catches. Faulkner for his fine foraging and the massive Lievers for being a commanding centre-half strong enough to keep young Jimmy Harris quiet and cute enough not to allow Harris opportunity to beat him by speed off the mark. Harris is still employing some delightfully effective, if unorthodox moves to get a defence on the wrong foot, but not with such facility as he showed in earlier games. Maybe he has discovered (as do many) that the game is not quite so easy as he thought. This new propensity of Harris’ to daily where he made his move instantaneously a month or two ago is only natural, I suppose but he did look a trifle less impressive than in some of his earlier matches.
Made More Blatant
The Everton half-back line – still the mainstay of the team – did well once they had weathered the games early stresses. Lello was guilty of overdoing his passes but in some cases the fact that the man for whom they were intended did not move to them made them seen more blatantly misjudged than was the case. Jones I thought had a specially good match against a good forward line prompted fairly well by Johnstone. Both Everton backs Tansey and Moore performed with special credit and against wingers obviously of higher than ordinary class. Everton will have to be more penetrative in their forward passing and readier with their shots if they are to efface doub’s set up first at Cardiff and then in the match. When a half-back, standing clear elects to pass the ball backwards to a back to put the onus of doing something constructive on him the time is ripe for pointed tactical talk.
EVEN TRAUTMANN IS ONLY HUMAN
November 21, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Manchester City almost laid the Goodison Park bogey. They have been trying for years to win of the home of the Everton club, but not since the war have they had that pleasure. It was nearly buried on Saturday, for it was not until three minutes from the end that Everton obtained the equalizer. It would hardly have been a fair result had City taken the two points for Everton had been hammering increasingly throughout the second half and twice the ball was luckily kicked off the City goal line by Little and Leivers. Such pressure should have brought a better result although one must pay tribute to the goalkeeping of Bert Trauntmann. Yet it was an error by the German goalkeeper which enabled Harris to score his goal at the 87th minute. He came too far out when he saw Little in trouble and when that defender passed back to his keeper, Harris smartly nipped between them and cheekily walked the ball round Trauntmann and popped it into the empty net. The City were soon playing from a winning hand for they took the lead in five minutes, through a goal by Faulkner and it certainly looked as though they could hold on to it to the end for despite their incessant pressing, Everton were not slick enough to take the openings which they made for themselves. Mayers was their star marksman and had it not been for Trauntmann the young winger must assuredly have figured on the score card.
One of Everton’s was that they wanted to make one pass more as though the man in possession was not prevented to take the onus of shooting. Several times this occurred which was annoying in view of the great effort the team had made to win a shooting position, I grant you the City defence was hard to beat for it covered up exceptionally well. I had occasion to mention that Everton waited for the ball at Cardiff and though they had learned their lesson, but it was not until the second half of this game that they changed their tactics. It was then that they got on top of the City who were fully entitled to their first half lead, for they sought the ball and then delivered it to the approved spot. They moved much easier than Everton, undoubtedly belying their lowly position and so few shots came from the Everton forwards. I lost faith in them ever beating Trauntmann, undeniably the best goalkeeper in Great Britain at the moment. He few shots leveled at him in the opening “45” he treated casualty for truth to tell there was nothing about those shots to cause him any great bother. It was a different tale in the second half for he had to pull out something again while to stop Everton from scoring, but he seemed to have accomplished his mission until that fateful last few minutes.
Everton’s changed tactics paid a dividend, City were not so often in possession for the “Blues” went out seeking the ball with the result that for more than 75 per cent of the second half were encamped in the City penalty area. The deep-lying “Johnstone plan” served Manchester well when they were undoubtedly ahead of Everton in football ware, for it was his run through which was indirectly the cause of Falkner’s goal, although it was a slip by Jones which was the final act. He tried to clear, but miss hitting the ball, which went on to McTavish. He in turn offered it to Faulkner, who took it which thanks. The goal meant that Everton had a battle on their hands for we had seen that the City defence was tight and compact with the tall Leivers a stumbling block. Those exists inches enabled him to out head Harris, who had to move away to be of any assistance to his attack. The City looked a really good side in the first half for apart from their strong defensive measures they could force an attack which had possibilities. Not that they were frequent shooters nor particularly accurate. It was to be admitted however, that their modus operation was commendable Everton must have been worried.
To some extent they contributed to their downfall by not being first to the ball. Not to be in possession was handing over the dictorship to the opposition but once this fault had been corrected we saw the great difference. It was the City who were worried for they realize that their lead was slender and that Everton had got their teeth in to the game. O’Neill had one or two saves to make but Trauntmann took the goalkeeping honours because it was quired of him. He must have broken young Mayers heart in that second half for the youngster shot with power and precision but Trauntmann was great at those times. I thought Tansey had a grand game, his tackling was faultless and his kicking clean and Moore was little behind in this respect.
Following a recent football league instruction frowning on the release of Eire players from League matches prior to international games. O’Neill, Farrell, and Eglington will be at Everton’s disposal for Saturday’s game against Wolves at Wolverhampton and will fly to Dublin afterwards to play against Spain next Sunday.
WOLVES HARD TO BEAT
November 25, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Wolverhampton Wanderers have been something of a problem side this winter. After their strong bid for the championship last winter and their brilliant victories over Sparkak and Hoved, many people fancied them strongly as the best championship bet this winter. They were in full training before most clubs, due to their pre-season games in Moscow and seemed ideally set for another successful winter. They have certainly done extremely well at Molynuex having won all their seven home games by an aggregate of 22 goals to six. But their away form has been most disappointing for they have taken only three points from nine fixtures and lost last week at White Hart Lane to lowly Tottenham. Though that is the reason for their moderate place in the table, it does not change the prospects of tomorrow’s game which has the look of a home victory.
Changes in the Wolves side since the season started have been fairly frequent and equally divided between defence and attack. Williams now firmly back in favour after a period in the reserve side a couple of seasons ago, is playing well in goal, while Wright is worth two men at any time. Swinborne had been in great form at centre forward until injury caused him to miss three games. He has scored 17 goals in 13 games with little Hancocks next on the list with nine. Wilshaw, however, has not been having much success as a marksman. Neither has Broadbent, and so far rather too much of the scoring appears to rest on Swinborne and Hancocks. Everton will have to pull out something very good to have any hope of bringing back even one point. Although the Blues have quite a useful away record and have often played better on opponents’ grounds than at home they have not shone as a scoring force. Against such a well-knit defence as that of the Wolves they may find it even harder than in some of their other engagement. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Tansey; Farrell, Jones, Lello; Mayers, Wainwright, Harris, Parker, Eglington.
EVERTON HELD UP WOLVES, BUT NEVER LOOKED LIKE WINNERS
November 26, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Wolves 1, Everton nil.
Wolves won narrowly only as to score – in all other respects they were far in front of an Everton who were made to have a really bad day. Wolverhampton W;- Williams, goal; Stuart, and Shorthhouse, backs; Slater, Wright and Clamp, half-backs; Deeley, Broadbent, Murray, Boots and Mullen, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Jones and Lello, half-backs; Mayers, Wainwright, Harris, Parker, and Eglington forwards. Referee; Mr. L. Callaghan. Wolves had not lost at home since Everton beat them here last Christmas day. The home side played Deeley at outside right for the first time in the first team. Wilshaw had a cold and Booth came on at the last moment. Everton were on the receiving end of a bad refereeing decision and a knock to Mayers amidrith in the opening minute. A lovely Eglington pass down the wing to Parker ended in that player being unceremoniously brought down by Stuart’s tackle. The game had a bright fast opening in which Tansey and Moore both positioned themselves well and in which Everton’s forwards did good work in defence.
But Everton were lucky to escape when Clamp’s fine pass found Booth and that forward’s shot down a fine angle beat the far Everton post by inches. A mistake by Harris and Farrell in defence first let in Broadbent and he too made a hash of a fine opening with a shot which was yards wide. Deeley with a volley on the half turn did better. O’Neill did well to go down and field this one safely. Eglington from a quick throw in by Lello, hit a right foot shot which skimmed the bar. Next Harris hit an upright after the whistle had gone for an offside decision against him which was merely a matter of inches. Again O’Neill had of bring off a grand save, this time from Booth, who won a clinch for possession against Jones and hit his drive hard and just inside the posts.
The Everton defence were standing up well to the rampaging Wolves who were well supported by attacking wing halves, Clamp was injured when tackled from behind by Wainwright and needed attention. So a moment later, did Wainwright who seemed dazed and needed the enlivened of an ice-cold sponge. He continued but at outside right. Wolves scored following a corner won by Deeley off Tansey at 23 minutes Murray the scorer, put the ball in twice for good measure after O’Neill saved Booth’s initial shot and Broadbent had hit the woodwork and as the ball rebounded from O’Neill half save, Murray scored. This was Murray’s first team goal for Wolves. O’Neill did well to take a fierce Broadbent drive to his body in yet another fine bit of goalkeeping. A Wainwright centre found Eglington and nearly helped to level the scores. From this Parker went on though palpably offside, and Williams had to go down to his feet another his well placed shot. so far the honours of the Harris-Wright duel had gone all one way –Wright’s –in the air and on the ground Wolves were in irresistible mood, yet the odd thing was for all their swarming attacks they led by only one goal. Most solid defender of all in the Everton side was Moore he had to contend, too with the up and coming half back, Clamp who was often making a sixth forward. Half-time; Wolverhampton 1, Everton nil.
Wolves all but walked the ball into the Everton net in the first minute of the second half. A cross-shot but not a very menacing one from Eglington was one of William’s rare jobs of work. A hard worked move between Eglington and Wainwright meant a chance for Parker, but he drove the ball high over the top.
Heartbreak For Harris
Everton plodded away hopefully, but rarely with any success, and Harris in particularly had a heartbreak afternoon against Wright who did nothing wrong. Wolves continued to near miss with head and foot although Tom Jones tried hard to stern the tide, and Moore played as well as-ever. Everton’s luck was out when Parker headed in from a ball lobbed to him by Wainwright. It struck the bar and rebounded in to play where Harris trying a volley, was hopelessly wide. Moore took a hook shot from Mullen full on the face and was temporarily knocked out –the stoppage being a useful respite for an Everton who must have been dog-tired chasing the loose balls. For the first time now the Everton attack started to play with confidence.
Wrong Way Decision
Mayers went close with a shot which flashed across the face of goal. The game came somewhat heated, and Eglington was the victim of one of the worst wrong-way decisions in the history of soccer. If there was any offence it was Clamp’s not Eglington’s. Harris evading Wright, crossed the ball sweet and low, but there were no takers. Everton did better in the last two minutes than at any other stage, but even then they were not penetrative. Moore, Jones, Tansey and O’Neill had been mainly responsible for keeping the score to a solitary goal. Right on time Wainwright went within inches of converting a low Harris centre from the left. Final; Wolverhampton W 1, Everton nil.
EVERTON RES V BLACKPOOL RES
November 26, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res;- Leyland, goal; J. Parkes, and Rankin, backs; Grant, Woods, and Melville, half-backs; McNamara, Fielding, Saunders, Lewis, and Harris (B), forwards. Blackpool Res;- Wylies, goal; Shimwell and Garrett, backs; Kelly (J), Snowden, and Durie, half-backs; McKeons, Booth, Hepton, Smith, and Densby, forwards. Referee; Mr. E. G. Stubbs (toke-on-Trent). After McKenna had shot wide for the visitors, Everton went ahead within five minutes, McNamara sent in a low centre which Shimwell turned into his own goal. Everton continued to press and Saunders went close. Blackpool’s best effort came from Hepton who forced Leyland to make a flying save, while at the other end Fielding missed a good chance of putting Everton further ahead when he lofted the ball too far over the advancing Wylie. Half-time; Everton Reserves 1, Blackpool Reserves nil. Five minutes after the interval Lewis increased Everton’s lead. Everton were now staking an all-out assault and Grant fired just over the bar, while Lewis and Thomas went close with good efforts.
Oldham Athletic “A” v. Everton “A”
There was little worthwhile shooting in the first half Darcy held a shot from Vizard and Meagan was wide with another effort. Half-time; Oldham Athletic “A” 1nil, Everton “A” nil.
Port Sunlight v. Everton “C”
In this West Cheshire League game, Everton gave an easy indication of their ability and had the home defence worried in the opening stages. The Port took command, and Jones opened the score from a pass by Harris. Port Sunlight 1, Everton “C” nil.
AFTER THE REVIE PLAN THE JOHNSTON PLAN, AND THE WAY ROUND IT
November 26, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
The famous Revie Plan introduced by Manchester City and put into operation last year with great success from the point of view of results by last season’s Footballer of the Year Don Revie, certainly caused great controversy amongst the soccer fans everywhere. The idea of playing a centre forward with number nine on his back in a deep-lying role, with both inside-forwards, staying upfield seemed to pay dividends to Manchester City as evidenced by their splendid Cup run, which resulted in a Wembley appearance and their good League position at the end of the season. This set-up seemed to upset many teams, and caused quite a considerable problem as to the best means to counteract “Revie Plan.” Some of the opposing sides let Revie roam without any particular player being detailed to mark him. I do not consider this a very suitable way as any unmarked player can cause a considerable amount of to the opposition. Other sides detailed one of the wing halves to “police” the deep-lying centre forward everywhere he went half looking after the opposing two inside forwards I consider this latter means the best and I think you will agree that when City played at Goodison last season Cyril Lello, by those tactics with the help of his colleagues completely bottled up the “Revie Plan.” Remembering last year’s game, we were all looking forward to last Saturday’s game against Manchester City, who came this time with the “Johnstone Plan.” Once again I think the Blues plan, under the shrewd guidance of Manager Brtitton paid dividends, as despite the fact that we only drew in the closing minutes, I am sure Jimmy O’Neill will agree he has seldom had an earlier afternoon. Right from the start of the game, it was Lello’s duty to mark Johnstone wherever he went with Tommy Jones and myself looking after the other two inside forwards. Some of the critics maintained that the roaming tactics of Johnston in the same style as Revie was successful in the first half. Be that as it may and taking the game as a whole I think the Everton con-defence had one of their easier afternoons. In actual fact I consider any plan whereby four forwards continually remain upfield without coming back to help the defence is a bad one. It may be all right when City’s defence plays as well as it did last week, but otherwise it can cause a great deal of trouble. Full marks to the Manchester side for trying something new in tactics, although many claim that this plan is years old. Just after last Saturday’s game started, I heard Bobby Johnston remarks to Cyril Lello when he saw him alongside him. “You should be marking the inside right,” whereupon Cyril resorted in his own inimitable way,” I know, but I’m not.” On visiting a hospital last week, with some of my colleagues and those good people who give up their time to broadcast the game from Anfield and Goodison and the boxing from the Stadium each week to patients in hospitals in Merseyside I fully realized how much the patients look forward to the broadcasts. Most of them in the hospital was visited were from Merseyside with a fair sprinkling of Evertonians and Liverpooolians. One of the staff told me there is a terrific air of excitement in the hospital on a Saturday afternoon as they listen to the game, and then the leg pulling starts, particularly if either the Everton or Liverpool team has won and the other lost. Quite a few of them wear their Red and White and Blue, and White rosettes during the broadcast, and have pictures of their favourite team handing over their bed. What a great spirit these patients have who make so light of their illness despite being confined to bed for a long period. Certainly the broadcasting of football and boxing brings great joy to them. What a pity more of us sportsmen don’t find the time to visit these places more often, and bring a little joy into the lives of people a little less fortunate than ourselves. This is a busy week-end for Tommy Eglington, Jimmy O’Neill and myself, as after today’s game at Wolverhampton we dash to Liverpool to catch the Dublin beat to join the Irish team for tomorrow’s game against Spain.
WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS 1, EVERTON 0
November 28, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
At Wolverhampton, Everton were met by a public-address welcome which reminded followers of Wolves that Everton had the cheek and impudence to take four points out of Stanley Cullis and company last season. Wolves have won all their home League matches this season but this 1-0 defeat of Everton had despite the fact that Wolves were without Wilshaw, Hancocks and Swinborne, some reservations in that it was almost criminal that Wolves should score only once from so many chances.
But Everton who got off on the wrong foot and stayed on it so long one despaired of them ever arriving at normal form, finished the stronger and better. In the last twenty minutes, their best spell, they came close to ruining Wolves ‘magnificent record. One Everton follower, of whom there were some hundreds at Molineux, shook the ground, mid-way through the second half, when he exhorted Everton in adenoidal tone to “Cut out the formalities and get the ball in the net. It almost seemed as though Everton started to realize their chance of saving the match from that moment. Had they done so Wolves could have claimed, with right that they had thrown away a match they should long since have won. The goal –at 23 minutes – was a good one, but, in a sense, an unlucky one for Everton, Booth’s hard-hit cross shot carried too much fire for O’Neill to grasp it the ball bounded away and was hit on to the woodwork by Broadbent before Murray put it over the line. Tansy, standing in the net nodded it, but Murray, in the joy of knowing he had already scored, promptly flicked it back again. Previously Wolves had come within inches of scoring twice with angled shots which beat the inside of the post narrowly. O’Neill had made fine saves before Murray finally beat him. How much an injury to Wainwright affected Everton in the first half, or indeed throughout the game, is problematical. No one saw him get a blow to the head, but later he confirmed that the trouble was from one of those reactions long delayed. In the first minute in trying to keep his head down and out of the way of a fierce upfield hook by Wright he had caught the full force of the ball on the crown of his head. For a long time afterwards he and Mayers changed places, with Wainwright looking dazed and rather sorry for himself. Eventually Wainwright moved into his right position and that coinciding with some Wolves’ tiredness and the ability of Everton to stay a fast game the better turned the tide Everton’s way for the first time. Parker from a lovely pass by Wainwright. Headed the ball on to Williams’ crossbar and more than once afterwards Everton cried for conversion without getting it. One of Everton’s troubles, I think, was that they were rather run off their feet by a young Wolves attack well supported in all positions and never better than by the tall young left half, Clamp, who time and again made a sixth. In the circumstances Moore, Tansey and Jones did well to keep the margin so fine for so long. The wing half-backs were often trailing against young men who were full of life and of Cullis determination.
Moore had a particularly good play against, the elusive Mullen. Tansey more and more the throughout back who aims at construction, did much fine work, too, though sometimes little Deeley, in the Hancocks position proved too clever. As against Manchester City Everton only woke up in attack when Parker really got to grips with the game. They would have done even better except for the strange-hold of Wright on young Jimmy Harris. At Goodison Park in a so-called England trial Harris scored twice against England’s centre half. Here the chips were down, as they say and Harris originally a printing machine minder was minded so successfully by Wright he might as well have been in Wright’s pocket. Harris told me afterwards that well as Wright held him Ray Daniels he thought, was an even better centre half, Wright was good in the air, good on the ground and far from being discomfited by Harris’ verve (as he was by Dave Hickson’s) was always a move ahead of the boy for whom everyone expects a great future. This, I think would be a salutary lesson to Harris that you have to move on to the ball always and never allow a great reader of the game like Wright to beat you to it! Wolves have in Stuart right back a facsimile in colour and build of Liverpool back, Johnny Molyneux Stuart comes from South Africa and Molyneux when at Chester had a visit to the Union. But Wolves’ king pin is undoubtedly Wright. Even a fine half-back like Slater looks ordinary by comparison.
Final oddity of a visit that produced its quota of them is that two Everton defenders – Tom Jones and Eric Moore- can both claim to have scored against the best of all goalkeepers Bert Trauntmann. Jones was in a team, of boys invited by German P.O.W’s at Huyton to play a match on their pitch when a penalty was awarded against the Germans. He was invited to take it. Moore playing for Haydock against St. Helens took a penalty against Trauntmann and scored but the referee ordered the kick to be re-taken because Trauntmann moved. Eric then scored again. I believe that in his P.O.W days at Huyton, Trauntmann P.O.W, patches and all, was often a spectator at Goodison Park where he has since earned glory with Manchester City. An odd topsy-turvy world!.
EGLINGTON BEST FOR EIRE
November 28, 1955. The Liverpool Daily Post
Eire 2, Spain 2
Spain’s chances of beating England at Wembley on Wednesday cannot be considered very bright, judged by their performance against Eire at Dalymount Park, Dublin, yesterday, before 40,000 spectators. They could do no better than draw with a team that included eight players who took part in League games on Saturday. The game opened in splendid fashion then faded disappointingly before coming back to life when Eire equalized nine minutes from time. Spain did not make anything like the impression of the Yugoslavs last month and were easily thrown out of their stride. Their best players were Garay who dominated the centre of the field, and Colar, a speedy winger. His opposite number Eglington stole the honours in the Irish attack which might easily have won the day but for a weakness in the middle of the line. Eire made a shock start, taking the lead ten minutes. A four man passing movement ended with Fitzssimons slamming in a great shot. Spain equalized in the twenty-fourth minute. A Shot by Gonzales was pushed out by O’Neill straight to the feet of Pahino who tapped the ball into the net. Domenech went off injured in the thirty-seventh minute and was replaced by a substitute Arteche. Just on the interval Spain took the lead when Collar raced around Dunne and centred to Pahino who headed a goal. The game sparkled to life again nine minutes from the end when Gibbons breasted the ball down and Ringstead, tearing in at full speed drove the ball hard into the back of the net for the equalizer.
BLUES HAVE LOST CONFIDENCE
November 28, 1955. The Liverpool Echo
Murray’s First league Goal Was The Winner
A disappointing day for the few hundred followers of Everton at Wolverhampton. They had nothing to get enthusiastic about until the final 20 minutes when Everton, who had seemed out of the game, suddenly got to grips with their own game, and Wolverhampton’s and made the final moments anxious for Stanley Cullis and company who visualized Everton being the first club to take a point from Molineux this season. Parker’s bar-hitting header and two centres both of which asked for conversion were danger moments to a Wolves side whose only return from long spells or rampaging forward play was the goal scored by Murray –his first in the League for Wolves –after 23 minutes. That Wolves were denied so often was due to their own weak and unlucky finishing and to some fine defence by O’Neill (a number of first class saves) and his backs and Tom Jones, Moore had a particularly good day; Tansey was hardly less valuable. It was a day of defences in command. Wright held Harris (J) as though pocketing this live young forward was the easiest job in football. Only once late in the game did Harris make his speed tell. At all other times, was his master in the air on the ground. Hypercritical followers of the game suggested that Wolves were not a great side. This is true, but they had youth in attack and ideas and for two thirds of the game did immeasurably better than Everton whose wing half backs seemed to be swamped by their opponents speed and virility. No even allowing for the fact that Wainwright had been dazed by a wrongheaded contact with a Wright clearance and for a long time afterwards went on the wing, Everton were not satisfying. When Clamp, a fine left half-back joined the young Wolves’ attack was a sixth there were times when Everton were near to panic. Only when Parker introduced into his play the sparkle that makes him so dangerous did Everton come to life, Wainwright too played well in those closing minutes, having apparently recovered from the haze which had handicapped him from the early minutes. it was hard, fast football – much faster it seemed than the international at Wrexham last Wednesday –but there were too many mistakes by both sides to suggest that here are two sides who may so far in the Cup. Everton for the moment have lost some of their inspiration and some of their confidence. Here with Harris so played out the game by Wright their, chance were always too limited.