TIME LIMIT IS SHORT FOR INJURED PLAYERS TO GET FIT FOR CUP-TIE
January 1, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
If any player is injured the time left to get him fit again for the Cup is cut down by three days, which could well represented the difference between recovery and non-recovery. The intervening period is very slender if the injury is other than a comparatively minor knock. So far as Everton are concerned, they don’t have complications of this nature, but Blackburn Rovers, visiting to Goodison Park on Saturday, had a stiff home engagement today with Nottingham Forest. When I spoke to Manager Johnny Carey this morning he was keeping his fingers crossed and hoping all his players would come through without mishap. This Forest game was equally as vital to Rovers as the forthcoming Cup fixtures, for the East Lancashire club, only a point behind Liverpool this morning for the same number of games are well placed to challenge, the runners-up position and promotion. Blackburn have been doing extremely well of late. They have won seven of their last eight matches starting from the day that Matt Woods, the former Everton player took over their pivotal berth. Their only defeat was when they came a nasty cropper against Fulham on Boxing Day, on which occasion goalkeeper Harry Leyland another ex-Evertonian had to pick the ball out of the net several times. According to what Manager Johnny Carey tells me, that was one of those days when nothing went right for Rovers and everything they tried came off for Fulham. Substuating Everton for Fulham, Goodison Park followers hope that the same thing happens again on Saturday day.
Assuming Blackburn are able to field their strongest side Manager Carey said he felt they can at least hold Everton to a draw. Apart from the Fulham game he said “we have been playing as well away from home recently as we do at Ewood Park. Our recent good run has given the players plenty of confidence and our team spirit has rarely if ever been better. “Owing to the class of colours Everton will play in white shirts and black shorts and Blackburn in red shirts and white shorts. Everton tentatively suggested that permission might be sought from the F.A. for them to play in their normal colours at Goodison with Blackburn having the same right if there was a replay. The Rovers decided to stick to the rule, which instructs both teams to chance when their colours clash.
January 2, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Should Everton also be called upon to replay their tie against Blackburn Rovers the game at Ewood Park has been fixed for Thursday January 10 (2 p.m). This also will be an all ticket match. Blackburn are printing tickets for the stands, only and Everton will announce the method of distribution and praises after the board meeting this evening. The medical report concerning the two injured Everton players Peter Farrell and Tommy Jones is encouraging. Farrell is back in training and Jones is making good progress, so it is probable that they will both be in the side to meet Blackburn. Sutherland and Rea did not show any trace of nerves against the Wolves which was a big enough ordeal for any young player to face but the greater experience of Farrell and Jones is invaluable. When colleague Stork was in London over Christmas he met Matt Woods and Harry Leyfield the former Everton players who are now with Blackburn Rovers. They told him that they fancied their chance of beating their old colleagues on Saturday. They said “our side is playing good football at the moment. We have fine team spirit and our old pals will have to be at their best to beat us.”
Blues Watched Rovers
Mr. Ian Buchan, accompanied by the majority of the Everton first team players took the opportunity yesterday of watching Blackburn Rovers their cup opponents in the League game against Notts Forest at Ewood Park which was drawn 2-2. While Mr. Buchan, is naturally not disclosing any plans which he and the players may consider making in the light of what they saw he tells me that in addition to being an enjoyable outing he considers the visit may prove very profitable from Everton’s point of view. “The Rovers are a very workmanlike side, strong in all departments and particularly defence he said. “They refuse to give up when things are running against them, and their doggedness and fight make it clear that they will be a difficult side to beat on Saturday.” The Everton coach and players will discuss the lessons of the game when they talk over all the aspects of the forthcoming Cup-tie tomorrow afternoon. Mr. Buchan is no great believer in cast-iron pre-match plans, which can so often go haywire when the opposition does not react as expected. Whatever decisions Everton make will be fluid, subject to alteration as the course of the game dictates. That is the right way.
January 4, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
What of the chances of Everton. They have stern task, but if they have a fair run of the ball and in even break with the luck they have a good chance of getting through. Everton have the advantage though not a very telling one that they have and had no mid-week game hitherto Blackburn Rovers their visitors had a stiff League encounter with Notts Forest on New Year’s Day. We can forget right away that Blackburn Rovers are a Second Division side. League status means little or nothing in Cup ties and Soccer history is full of examples to prove it. The East Lancashire side as Everton realized when they saw them on Tuesday against Nottingham Forest , is a very workmanlike combination with plenty of punch and ability in the forward line and strength and determination in defence. The latter has improved since the Rovers signed Matt Woods from Everton in the middle of November in Wood’s first three matches the Rovers did not concede a goal, but they have had one heavy reverse since, by Fulham at Craven Cottage on Boxing Day. Harry Leyland, another former Evertonian is expected to be in goal for Rovers and it goes without saying that he and Woods will be keen to do their best to beat their former clubmates. Although the friendlies relations still exist between them, nothing would please these two more than for Blackburn to make progress at Everton’s expense.
The Rovers’ defence has plenty of experience with Billy Eckersley, formerly of England, still doing well at left back and Ronnie Clayton one of England’s brightest youngsters a great source f strength at right half. Clayton’s brother Ken, is an ever-present at left half-the only instance in the rearguard –and has even playing extremely well all season. In attack, Tommy Briggs although well on in the veteran stage, I still getting goals with his old frequency. He heads the list of marksmen with 20 goals. Next is inside left Vernon Royston, who has scored nine times in 17 outtings. Both wingers Douglas and McLeaod have not missed a match –Briggs also has that distinction –and Douglas has been earning high praise for his speed, skill and scoring ability. He has six goals to his credit and McLeod a new comer to the Rovers team this winter from St. Mirren, has scored four.
Another newcomer to the Ewood Park senior eleven this season is Peter Dobing, a 17-years-old lad who made his debut last September at inside right and has scored five goals in eleven outings. Like some of the Manchester United young stars a year or so ago Dobing has played in the F.A Youth Cup this season while still in the first eleven. At the moment of writing Everton’s team has not been chosen. Unfortunately there is a big doubt about Tommy Jones and only a fifty-fifty chance in the case of Peter Farrell. Well as Sutherland and Rea performed last week and Donovan deputized at centre half, Everton would be stronger if the two more experienced players were fit to take their places. If they are not, then much will depend on how their deputises fare. It will be an even bigger test than against Wolves last week, for so much more is at stake, but if they come through as satisfactorily and there is no reason to anticipate otherwise –then there will be no complaints. Everton will have to put all they have got into this game right from the start to make sure of success. Being at home may turn the scales in their favour, but I imagine there will be very little in it when the final whistle goes.
FARRELL BREAKS DOWN IN TRAINING
January 4, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
A great blow to Everton on the even of their tie against Blackburn Rovers tomorrow, Peter Farrell suffered a recurrence yesterday in training of the ankle trouble which caused him to miss the Wolverhampton match. The damage sustained in the game against Tottenham had yielded well to treatment. The damage recurrence yesterday means, I am afraid, that Everton are almost certain to start minus their famous half-back and skipper. That news would not be so bad if Tom Jones were a certain starter, but he is not and not until after he has had a test, probably on the morning of the match, will Everton know whether he can go in or not. In the event of both Farrell and Jones being unavailable the club would have the remedy readymade-the team which beat Wolves so handsomely. That would mean that John Sutherland would play his first F.A. Cup tie for the club at half back and that Dan Donovan would rise at centre half to be a notable occasion just as he did against wolves. Blackburn Rovers too are worried, Johnny Carey has two doubts for the Goodison park match –that fine centre half Tommy Briggs, who suffered a knee injury in the New Year’s Day game against Notts Forest and Roy Vernon, who missed that game owing to strained back muscles.
ON-THE-HOUR PENALTY BY HARRIS
January 5, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Lone Goal Gives Everton Victory
Everton 1, Blackburn 0
It is an old football saying that you need luck to make progress in the Cup. Everton certainly had plenty of it. They more over-played for long stretches by a better-balanced side and the only goal came from a very debatable penalty. Rovers did nearly or the attacking in the second half but Dunlop was in brilliant form. Even as Everton were saved by the woodwork seven minutes from the finish. However far Everton go, they will never have a more narrow squeak than this. Blackburn could count themselves desperately unfortunate. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sutherland and Tansey, backs; Birch ,Donovan (captain), and Rea, half-backs; McNamara, Gauld, Harris (J), Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Blackburn Rovers;- Leyland, goal; Taylor and EcKersley, backs; Clayton (R), Woods and Clayton (K), half-backs; Douglas, Dobing, Briggs, Vernon and McLead, forwards. Referee Ken Howley (Middlesbrough).
Although Farrell and Jones had fitness tests this morning it was a forlorn hope, and neither was able to take his place in the Everton cup-tie team. Everton won the toss, and elected to attack the Gwladys Street goal. The first assault on goal came from an Everton breakaway, but Harris was just beaten to the ball by his former colleagues Woods and Leyland, or there might have been a sensational opening. The ground was slippery on top and in some spots soft beneath judging by the slid marks left by players.
Sign of Relief
After Dunlop had put the hearts of some people in their mouths by dropping the ball, only to bring a sign of relief when he quickly recovered it, Everton made another dash down the middle, only for Woods to get the better of Harris with a neat dummy. Blackburn made progress through good work by Vernon and Dobing without carrying it to the point where Dunlop was called upon. A tricky bit of work by Douglas opened up the way for Dobing to try a shot and Birch, rather nonchalantly dealing with the situation almost put the ball into his own goal when tapping it behind. The corner almost produced a goal, for from Douglas flag kick Dobing fired in a pile-driver from eight yards which Dunlop saved instinctively. The ball was going straight to his face at tremendous pace and Dunlop putting his hands up to shield himself, managed at the same time to steer the ball to safety. Everton, using the long ball whenever possible were trying to create openings down the middle with some lengthy clearances. Birch, however, mishit a shorter pass to the foot of Taylor when well placed to put Harris through.
Briggs A Danger
Briggs may be in the veteran class, but he is quick in the uptake and can still pull out a bit of speed, as when Donovan was allowing the ball to run out of play. Briggs winning possession looked dangerous for a moment until Dunlop came out to take command. When Birch and McNamara temporarily switched positions Birch was put through by the winger, but wasted his chance with three colleagues waiting. Another good run by Douglas came to nothing when Donovan stooped to head his centre down for Tansey to complete the clearance. So far Everton had been no better than the opposition and not as good at times. There was one instance however, in which they quickly turned defence into attack when following a free kick to Blackburn, Birch booted the ball upfield and Harris bore down at an angle and shot strongly across the face of the goal.
Everton’s defence retreated so far when Eckersley brought the ball up that the full back tried a shot which flew across the goal from 20 yards. Vernon should have put Rovers ahead when he was right through after Donovan had been beaten by the bounce of the ball. Fortunately he shot straight at Dunlop who saved well. From Dunlop’s clearance Fielding slipped the ball back to Tansey, whose curling shot from 30 yards was going in until Leyland flung himself across to make a brilliant save. One long ball up the middle by Dobing gave Briggs a great chance, but his shot was weak. A section of the crowd and a couple of Everton players appealed for a penalty when Gauld was brought down but I think referee Howley was right in waving play on, just as he had been earlier when there was an appeal against Eckersley. Half-time; Everton nil, Blackburn Rovers nil.
Everton’s passing still left much to be desired and three times in the first five minutes of the second half the ball went straight to an opponent. The Everton defence was also persisting in keeping the ball close at times when a lusty clearances would have been less risky. Donovan trying to put the ball back to Dunlop with Briggs in close attendance almost open the way for a goal. Briggs got his boot to the ball but Dunlop turned it behind for a corner.
Rovers had been on top for several minutes and deserved a goal when Vernon hit a terrific shot which brought forth a magnificent save by Dunlop. Three Blackburn players clapped their hands in praise of the Everton keeper, a very sporting gesture considering the disappointment it must have been to them. At the 60th minute when Everton at last hit back they were awarded a penalty as Taylor and Clayton (K) converged on Gauld and caused him to stumble. He did not fall but appealed for a spot kick and to the consternation of the Blackburn players, referee Howley awarded one. The kick was taken by Harris, who gave Leyland no chance with a powerful drive. To my mind the decision was a harsh one and Blackburn could consider themselves unfortunate to be a goal down in such circumstances. Blackburn kept pegging away and still had the advantage territorially but they had started to tip-tap and Douglas temporarily at inside left, twice hung on to the ball too long. He did much better service to his side when he middle the ball and Briggs might have scored had he not been caught on the wrong foot.
Briggs had a great chance, from Vernon’s centre, but with almost all the goal yawning in front of him put the ball behind. Everton were having to struggle to hold on to their lead. Blackburn penned them in their own quarters for lengthy periods but were still producing comparatively little shooting power considering their territorial advantage. McLeod had a angled drive which Dunlop could not reach but fortunately for Everton the ball went out of play beyond the far post.
A typical Gault run temporarily relieved the pressure but Rovers were soon back and the game now seemed to preserved itself into a question of whether Everton could preserve their lead for the remaining minutes. When Blackburn won a free kick three yards outside the penalty area, Dunlop unsighted by the wall of players lined up in front of him, was well beaten by Ronnie Clayton’s effort, but the ball came back into play off the angle of the post and upright. In the last few minutes Everton had many escapes. Final; Everton 1, Blackburn Rovers nil. Official attendance 56,193.
AND IF EVERTON CAN KEEP UP RATIO OF POINTS THEY’LL FINISH RESPECTABLY
January 5, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
As this week coincides with the first break in the weekly League fixtures since the season got under way, a few words of reflection on the event of the past few months might not be inopportune. When Everton got off to such a disastrous start with one point from the first seven games the Second Division seemed to be staring us in the face. When time went on and the position was not readily improving many people, naturally perturbed; began by letters to the papers and other means to openly express their opinions as to whom and what were to blame for the ominous position of the club at that time in the League table. The players, Mr. Buchan, and the directors were the main figures whom the Irate fans flung their abuse and rightly so. I suppose for these are the people who must take most of the responsibility for the success or failure of a football club. In recent months the position of the Blues in the League table has improved considerably, and we have made a slow but very steady rise in the table. I realize our present League position is nothing to shout about but it is certainly a lot healthier than it was some months back. If we can maintain something like the same ratio of points in the next 17 games as we have done in the last 17 then we should finish in a fairly respectable league position. I know our real supporters are only happy when the Blues are in the running for honors as well as serving up good displays, but in view of our disastrous start I am sure that most will settle for a respectable position in the league table at the end of April. When things were going so badly at the start of the season for the Blues our coach Mr. Buchan came in for quite a lot of criticism and now that things are looking a little brighter from an Everton view point, I think a small tribute to Mr. Buchan for the manner in which he has tackled his task will not be out of place. Mr. Buchan introduced quite a new routine of training for the playing staff when he arrived, a routine that took a bit of time to which to get accustomed. That this method has been successful is proved by the general fitness of the Everton side. whatever faults we have as a team, and I suppose we have many one thing a certain that from the point of view of physical fitness the Blues have more than held their own with any side they have met in recent months and for this, Mr. Buchan and his assistant, Harry Wright must take most of the credit. I know physical fitness is not everything in football, but it plays a big part, as all the ability in the world is useless if a side is not right on its toes with the fitness to put the ability into operation. Watching the Everton v. Wolves game from the Press box last Saturday with Tommy Jones, I had on the other side of me an old Everton favourite in the person of Albert Geldard, who was reporting the game for a Sunday paper. I suggested to him that it would be difficult for him to write an unbiased report of the game in view of his having been a former Evertonian himself. He just smiled and promised he would do his best not to look at the game through blue-tinted glasses. What a grand show the lads gave against the Wolves and what a pleasant treat to be able to sit down and watch the lads start the second half three goals to the good! It was a treat also to see the well-satisfied looks on the faces of the Blues supporters at the interval as it must be a long time since we led 3-0 at half-time at Goodison Park. I hope there will be many more encores for the fans in 1957.
EVENS FOXES EVERTON RES
January 5, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Cup-Tie Goals for Southport
Southport; Richardson, goal; Parkinson and Taylor, backs; Gryba, Lomas, and Charlton, half-backs; Miles, Evans, G. Bromlow, Prescott, and McDermott, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Leeder, backs; Meagan, Sanders, and Gannon, half-backs; Tomlinson, Farrell, Mayers, Haughley and Williams, forwards. Referee; Mr. Issac Seddon (Preston). Southport made a flying start in this Lancashire Senior Cup-tie taking the lead within three minutes. Smart combination by McDermott, Bromilow and Prescott enabled Evans to score the first goal for the club with a well-placed shot. The visitors had to defend grimly against a strong wind, but in a breakaway Tomlinson was only inches too high with a fast cross shot. Mayers was overhauled by Taylor after the centre forward had broken through the middle at top-speed. Southport were shooting from all angles and twice O’Neill saved brilliantly at full length when McDermott and Bromilow sent in a longe-range power drives. Southport lost Parkinson for ten minutes after a blow on the face. It was after his return that Everton came more into the game and only a desperate tackle by Tayor and then Charlton prevented Haughey getting through in one determined attempt.
A minute later Farrell had a wonderful opportunity, but drove across the face of an open goal. Southport remained the more dangerous, however, and Evans increased their lead in 37 minutes with a fierce low shot after receiving from McDermott. Just before half-time O’Neill managed to block another power drive from Evans with his body. Half-time; Southport 2, Everton nil.
It was revealed at the interval that Parkinson had broken his nose but he continued in his usual position. The right back was quickly concerned in a goal-mix up with Richardson which presented Everton with a great chance. But the visiting attackers hesitated and finally Richardson was able to get back and hold a short lob from Williams. Miles hit the post from a free kick in a Soutport raid but Everton were now piling on the pressure and Farrell fastened on to a weak goal kick by Richardson to reduce the arrears in 66 minutes. Five minutes later Bromilow raced through from a pass by Prescott to restore Southport two-goal advantage.
GAULD; I WOULD HAVE SCORED –HARRIS I DID!
January 7, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
But The Better Side Came Off Worst…
By Leslie Edwards
Everton 1, Blackburn Rovers 0
Everton and their followers sweated out the longest thirty minutes in the history of football at Goodison Park to win this third round F.A Cup tie by a penalty goal. And what a penalty! No wonder they say you must have luck to win the Cup. Trouble is Everton may have used up in one match all the luck they could expect in a half-season of Cup campaigning. I cannot recollect a side so undeserving of a place in the next round. But there it is. In soccer you take what the gods and the referee offers…or else. My sympathy goes to Manager John Carey, to his team and to Blackburn people who came over and saw for themselves how the better side came off worst. The silent Everton crowd, the fact that Everton defenders (facing the wind, and the might of a Blackburn resurgent) kicked out unashamedly so often during the fateful thirty minutes which followed Jimmy Harris’ goal from the penalty spot testify to Blackburn’s power and ability to pierce the other defence. Everton owe their appearance in the next round to a debatable penalty award to goalkeeping of international class by Dunlop and to the fact that Clayton R’s entely fighted second half free kick struck one of the uprights near the bar joint and sprang back to the feet of a winger. McLeod, too surprised to hit it back over the line. If and when Everton walk off the Wembley pitch next May as Cup winners they should cut out this section of post and frame it for exhibition. The tell-tale muddy mark of the ball’s contact remained to the end of the longest ninety minutes played at Everton this season –a mate reproach to Blackburn (for not taking all their chances) and to Everton for going so close to a replay and defeat.
Laughter in Court
Everton followers laughed when Referee Howley of Middleborough (the man who had taken Everton in two of their not very distinguished Christmas games) pointed to the penalty spot after Gauld had lost his foothold following gentle collision with two Blackburn defenders. At most, one imagined the Blackburn crime rated only a free kick for obstruction. Blackburn protested –when they had time to recover from surprise –but without effect. What made the penalty the more amazing was that the ball had gone out of Gauld’s control when the offence occurred? Ironically the man who converted the penalty was the one Manager Carey of Blackburn had so often invited a few weeks ago to join former clubmates, goalkeeper Leyland and centre half back Woods at Ewood. In other circumstances it might well have been Harris scoring the winning goal for the outer side…and what consternation that would have caused! Harris hit the shot hard and well clear of Leyland’s left hand. The inside story of the penalty and of the match, is that Harris was only pressed into service last Thursday as the Everton penalty taker, Tom Jones was virtually written off through injury, and Everton had to get busy discovering a deputy. Gauld and Harris were tried as the most likely pair Dunlop whose brilliant courageous goalkeeping did so much to keep Everton Cup-tied was consulted for his opinion and suggested that Harris’ natural right foot shot (with no attempt to pull the ball to the goalkeeper’s right) might be a better prospect in the conditions than Gauld’s place them with the side of the foot gambit. What a mercy Everton had the foresight to anticipate a penalty. Harris showed no nerves and did the job admirably.
Allowing for Everton’s inability to hold opponents from a lower grade of football and for the freakish movements of a heavy ball in a half-gale on a tremendously cut-up pitch, the match offered great (if sometimes anguished) excitement and goalkeeping of the highest class. Leyland’s contribution was a first half save near the post, from a rocket shot by Tansey –the sort a back occasionally times perfectly. Dunlop’s was a series of saves and catches and off-the-line excursions which suggest he is among the leading three or four English goalkeepers in the game. His first half catching of young Vernon’s almost point-blank shot was extraordinary his save at the feet of Briggs after Donovan and Tansey had allowed Briggs to slip through in the second half was equally valuable. Briggs himself applaused the other magnificent Dunlop save which denied Vernon in the second half. With the wind at their backs Everton were not impressive; facing it they were unrecognizable as the team which did so well against Wolves. I gave Blackburn all credit for forcing Everton on the defensive for nearly all the second half, one in which Leyland, except for the penalty, was scarcely ever in danger of having to handle the ball. No doubt of it, Blackburn were the better side. Even allowing for the damage of the penalty award, they should never have come out of the game beaten. The inability of McLeod, on the left, to dig the heavy ball over in high centres, after doing pretty well as he pleased against Sutherland and company was a contributory factor. Blackburn had the better wing half-backs, Woods except for an occasional slip –and this was always a danger to a man so big –had Harris well covered. Harris only notable moment were those in which he shot, unexpectedly, from outside right (nearly a replica of his goal against Manchester City last season) and when he scored from the spot, Douglas and McLeod, Blackburn’s wingers, got through an enormous amount of work. One lost count of the number of times a fine half-back line got the ball over to McLeod’s feet. His weavings and wandering thenceforward were nearly always too much for an Everton defence which was “out” on the ropes long before the end. Douglas, for a little man played superbly in the telling conditions so did Eckersley, a small man with the heart of a lion and a determination to come through with the ball which is heart-warming. The Rhyl boy, Vernon played far better than I anticipated. Indeed Blackburn looked as first-class as they did at Anfield earlier this season. Fielding tried hard to get Everton going against the wind but without success. The wing half-back play never had the class to offset the most difficult conditions. Neither Eglington nor McNamara had success, though McNamara came near to volleying a goal in Everton’s one sustained second half offensive. Gauld made some thrilling long runs, but in the conditions he come hardly hope to succeed, albeit he was a little unlucky to find the ball slide away from control at the critical moments. I heard it argued that Everton would have won more easily if conditions had been normal. Far from that being likely I think exactly the reverse would have happened. Blackburn were the better side in the toughest of gong; no reason to suppose they would have been any inferior if the pitch had been helpful. Thank your lucky stars, Everton and Mr. Howley!
SOUTHPORT WIN AGAIN
January 7, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Southport 3, Everton Res 1
Southport continued their revival by gaining their third successive home win a comfortable victory over Everton’s Central League side in the second round of the Lancashire Senior Cup. Once again Southport’s forwards were on the target and they brought their tally for the three games up to twelve goal with only three against. Finishing was the main difference between the two sides in a game spoiled as a spectacle by a strong wind. If anything, Everton moved the better in midfield, particularly in the second half when they had the advantage of the elements but time and again the Goodison Park men spoiled their first class approach work by tip-tapping in the penalty area. For most of the first half Everton had to defend grimly. They were a goal down inside three minutes, Alfred Evans finishing off a good move to register his first goal since joining Southport from Wrexham. Evens followed up with a second in the 34th minute. Everton came more into the picture in the second half and Farrell, who had missed an open goal before the interval reduced the arrears when he fastened on to a poor goalkick by Richardson. But five minutes later Bromilow restored Southport’s two-goals advantage, and although they had as much if not more of the play, Everton never looked like scoring again. In fact Richardson in the Southport goal had very few direct shots to save. On the other hand, O’Neill made some brilliant save to foil Southport while centre half Sanders proved himself a good opponent for Bromilow and Moore was a capable full back. Evans and Miles were a dangerous right wing for Southport while Parkinson despite playing for three-quarters of the game with a broken nose and Taylor, were stout defenders for the home team, who thoroughly deserved to pass into the semi-final. Attendance 2,200 (£207).
ROVERS TOOK THE HONOURS BUT FORTUNE SMILED ON EVERTON
January 7, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Fate and fortune play strange tricks in the F.A. Cup every year but rarely have they produced such a queer set-up as we have today. The set-up might have been queerer still had strict justice been done at Goodison Park, for Everton then would have been companions-in-sorrow of their Anfield neighbours. They were the luckiest team on earth to get through by a deplorable penalty goal. The Cup is football’s biggest lottery. First there is the luck of the draw then the run of the ball attaching to each game, and finally such a gift goal as Everton got. The gods certainly smiled be nicely on Everton and very adequately balanced the handicap of their being without two such stalwarts as Jones and Farrell. If, instead of being decided on goals, Cup progress hinged on territorial superiority, better balanced football and the number of scoring chances carved out by each side Blackburn Rovers would have won handsomely. As it was they were “robbed” of their just rights by a penalty converted by Harris, which all Blackburn supporters and a big proportion of Evertonians thought was a very harsh decision. Quite apart from that, however, Everton had an undue share of fortune. The visitors almost ran them off their feet in the second half, and all through the game were the better footballing side, showing superiority in combination, tackling, determination and general teamwork. It was one of Everton’s poorest displays for some months and they not Blackburn looked like the Second Division side. Yet Rovers are out and Everton go on to the next stage. Such is the luck of the Cup. It is nothing new, and future rounds and other years are sure to provide similar instances of the better side on the day’s play not getting its due reward. If they don’t score they cannot expect to win.
Very often when commiserating with their vanquished rivals, directors of the winning team are generously apt to concede that they were a trifle fortunate but without really meaning it. In this instance Everton’s officials frankly admitted their good luck without any tongue –in check reservations. At the same time as one of them put to me; “We are not looking any gift horse in the mouth. We have had our share of misfortune in the past. We shall thankfully and unashamedly accept any good luck which is going.” All I hope is that Everton have no exhausted all their good fortune at one fell swoop. They will need plenty-more in future rounds if they cannot put up a better display than this latest offering for the biggest crowd of the season. Even after making due allowance for the absence of Farrell and Jones, it was disappointing performance. Dunlop was the only home player who enhanced his reputation though Tansey did well most of the time and Donovan, considering the handicap of his positional switch and the heavy load he had to shoulder put up a very good show.
Well below Form
Individually there was weakness on the extreme wings and at right half, while collectively the whole team was well below the form it has shown in some of its more recent League games. Apart from isolated instances we saw little methodical combination, no finishing worth mentioning –Tansey’s 30 yard shot was the best Everton effort of the day –too many examples of players waiting for the ball to reach them instead of darting to meet it, and too much inaccurate passing. For all their overwhelming territorial superiority which was most pronounced throughout the second half, Blackburn not scheme as many chances as they should have done. Even when they had them their finishing was no better than Everton’s. Briggs had two opportunities to equalize but muffed them both, and while Dobing and Vernon had good shots saved, each should have done better. Although it was a hard and tough game with some very keen tackling from the visitors, it was good to see some of the Rovers’ players applaud Dunlop for his magnificent save of Vernon’s shot just before Everton got their goal.
Everton had a narrow escape seen minutes from the end, when a free kick by Ronnie Clayton crashed against the woodwork angle and back into play. Just before the shot was taken Dunlop was frantically waving for his lined-up colleagues to give him a sight of the free kick and its taker. However good a view he had would have made no difference, it was a ball nobody could have got to. A few inches to the side and there would have been a replay at Ewood Park on Thursday. Harry Leyland who, like Woods got a warm greeting from the crowd, made one brilliant save first-half when he dived across goal like a swallow to turn out a 30-yard drive by Tansey. It was almost the only difficult shot he had to deal with.
That Doubtful Penalty
The penalty goal which settled the issue will long be debated and so far as Blackburn and their supporters are concerned nobody will even convinced them that it was justified. Many keen Evertonians to whom I have spoken also considered the decision extremely harsh I agree with them. Gauld was trying to bore a way through by one of his characteristic individual bursts when Taylor and Ken Clayton tangled with him. The Everton man stumbled but did not come to earth and at the most an indirect free kick for obstruction –and even that was doubtful –was all the incident deserved. To any who contend that the award was just all I would ask is what they would have said had the position been reversed and a penalty given against Everton under exactly similar circumstances. No prise for the correct answer. Two earlier incidents also produced penalty appeals from Gauld, who is nothing if not persevering in his efforts in that respect I thought Referee Howley right in waving play on, though one of them looked more like a penalty than the incident which was so punished.
Blackburn like Liverpool can now endeavour to gave the disappointment by dragging up the old but poor consolatory refection that they are free to concentrate on having a real go for promotion without Cup distractions. They could claim on the basis f Saturday’s game, that they should have a good chance of a respectable position in the higher sphere. But one match is nothing to go by especially when the opposition is so below par as Everton were. Main honours for the home team went as previously stated to Dunlop, Tansey, Donovan, and in lesser degree Gauld, who at least knows where the goal lies and makes for it as speedily and heretically as possible. Unfortunately the ball still persists in running beyond his control when he is about to finish off his electric bursts.
How They Fared
Sutherland was not as good as against wolves…Birch had a very off day and was woefully erratic with the majority of his passes. Eglington was very ordinary in the first half and hardly got a pass in the second and Harris through trying hard found his old colleague Woods more than he could master. This was partly because Harris was rarely given the ball as he likes it, and in a way in which he can turn his speed to advantage. On the Rovers side Eckersley, always cool and confident had an excellent game as also did Ron Clayton. These two were the main stars of the day. The wingers are clever but too prone to over-elaboration and Briggs once his early shine had worn off never remotely looked like the player he was a year or two ago.
Blackburn Rovers, who have two former Everton players in their ranks, and recently made an offer for Jimmy Harris may take yet another Goodison Park player to their staff. They had a scout watching Eric Moore against Southport on Saturday and his report will be considered at the next Rovers board meeting.
EVERTON’S LEAGUE GAMES ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS CUP PROGRESS
January 10, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Although the F.A Cup will be the main topic of conversation among Everton’s supporters between now and the fourth round game at Goodison Park against West Ham United, the outcome of the club’s League engagement are still of importance if Everton are to maintain their comfortable mid-table position. Now occupying thirteenth place, which is a big improvement over what once looked likely, Everton could be overhauled by two clubs below them who have games in hand compared with the Blues. One of these is Aston Villa whom Everton are due to visit on Saturday, so that any reward which the Goodison team can bring back from this engagement will have special value in preventing Villa narrowing the margin between them. Villa have been an in-and-out team this season. They started off well with only one defeat in their first seven games, which yielded nine points. Then came three defeats and a draw followed by another brief successful sped productively of eight points from six games, which in turn has been followed by another partial set-back their last five games having produced one win one draw and three defeats.
CHANCE TO GET THEIR OWN BACK
January 11, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s visit to Aston Villa’s ground provides the Blues with the opportunity of proving that they are now a better side than when Villa conquered them 4-0 at Goodison Park last September, which is their heaviest home reverse of the season. The Blues will be back to full strength in defence, with the return of Farrell and Jones but Tomlinson takes over at outside right from McNamara who has a slight leg injury. Though not too well placed in the table Villa have a useful home record, having been defeated only twice at Villa Park. At present they stand fifteenth with 21 points but have played only 22 games compared with Everton’s 25 from which the latter have collected two more points. Unless there is a vast improvement on last week’s forward display against Blackburn, however Everton are unlikely to get any reward for the Midlanders have the best defensive record in the First Division. Of the 30 goals they have conceded nine came in two matches, when they lost 4-2 at home to Tottenham and 5-1 at Portsmouth. Otherwise their rearguard, in which centre half Dugdale the former West Bromwich player is outstanding has been well on top of its task all season. One of Manager Eric Houghton’s most successful switches was that which took Sawood from inside forward to left half at the start of the campaign. He has not missed a single game, so far, and has been playing splendidly. The rearguard differs in only two positions from that which prevented Everton scoring at Goodison in September. The alterations have been at right back and right half. In the former berth Hogg has given away to the burly Lynn and in the middle line Crowther a promising 21-year-old has taken over from the injured Baxter. So far as the attack is concerned Villa have been far from impressive and have scored only as many goals as they have conceded.
Their major problem has been at centre forward, where Pace, Dixon and Lynn the latter made one appearance there before moving to his normal place n the defence –have scored only a solitary goal between them in a total of 24 League and Cup outings. This was obtained by Pace against Tottenham on September 15, a week after the Villa had won at Everton. Pace is now back on duty after a spell on the side, and his return has meant that Dixon has been able to revert to inside-left from where he got the two goals by which his side defeated Luton Town in Monday’s Cup replay. Prior to that however, he had netted only three times in League matches. The right wing pair, Smith and Sewell, have been the most effective members of the front line as marksmen, having scored 13 times between them. Of these Sewell the ex-Sheffield Wednesday forward, has got seven, the same number as outside left McParland has obtained. Apart from Tottenham, Manchester United are the only other side to take full points from the Villa on their own ground, though the Midlanders have been held to a draw there three times. With Luton, Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday –three of the four sides immediately below them in the table –all engaged at home, Everton’s position, which recently had borne a far heatlthier look than seemed possible three months ago, may not look quite so good if they gain nothing from their trip and the other win. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; Tomlinson, Gauld, Harris (J), Fielding, Eglington.
ANCHOR MEN BACK
January 12, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
An Everton who are playing better now them at any other time in the season –certainly better in the season –certainly better than when Villa came here last September and won by four goals to nil –tackle Aston Villa in Birmingham. The absence, in the Cup-tie of both Jones and Farrell meant that Everton were minus sheet-anchors. The experience of these two returned warriors –both near fit-means that Everton have fair opportunity to reverse the placing today. McNamara’s injury means that young Tomlinson gets his second first team chance at outside right, if he plays as well as he did on his Newcastle debut, he will satisfy his club. May be his shooting a little tentative then will be more confident now. Harris (J) will be opposed here by the former West Bromwich centre-half, Dugdale, a former Harrowby player. Dunlop, in such form as he showed against Blackburn Rovers, could gave a point, if not two if things go badly. The most onerous job for Everton, I think will be Donovans. He will tackle the tall Irish winger McParland who did so much to damage Everton’s cause in the match at Goodison Park. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; Tomlinson, Gauld, Harris (J), Fielding, Eglington. Aston Villa; Sims; Lynn, Aldis; Crowther, Dugdale, Sawood; Smith, Sewell, Pace, Dixon, McParland.
VILLA GIVE THE BLUES LESSON IN ATTACK
January 12, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Aston Villa 5, Everton 1
Aston Villa always seemed to have this game well in hand. They had the joy of a three-minute goal and the help of the wind, and this gave them the incentive to go out for further goals, and they did with a vengeance. The Everton defence no doubt puzzled by the antics of the ball, never seemed to get it away, in the first half and with Villa leading 3-1 at the interval it was hard to see how the Blues could pull back such a deficit. They tried hard and actually got on top at one period but the Villa came back again and shooting like Bisley marksmen run out easy winners. Aston Villa; Sims, goal; Lynn and Aldis, backs; Crowther, Dugdale, and Seward, half-backs; Smith, Sewell, Pace, Dixon, and McParland, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan and Tansey, backs; Birch, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Tomlinson, Gauld, Harris (J), Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.V. Sherlock (Sheffield). The villa got off to a good start in that they were the first to attack, but there was nothing dangerous in their advance and it was Everton who made the first raid when a nice movement between Harrs, Eglington and Fielding came to a full stop close to the penalty area. The Villa’s answer to this was a fast raid by their right-wing and they won a corner. This was nicely placed and there did not seem any immediate danger but the ball came over to Sewell rather quickly and he shot over the bar. Another corner quickly followed on and this time the Villa were better served, for Dixon was able to head home McParland’s flag kick at the third minute. It seemed to me that Dixon was unsighted. There were quite a host of players in front of him and the ball passed outside his reach. The Villa were soon back testing the Everton defence, and there was possibilities when McParland was offered the ball away out on the left entirely unattended, but instead of him taking a chance with a shot; he elected to put the ball into the middle. This was a dangerous position for Everton, but they managed to scramble the ball away without suffering any further damage.
Everton’s football so far was of a superior quality to that of the Villa at the same time it was not good enough to being about a downfall of the Villa defence. There was a strong appeal for a penalty award by the Villa supporters but the referee was quite right in ignoring the call for it was obviously a case of ball to hand and not hand to ball. Pace tried a shot at goal but it only went to prove that the Villa forwards did not need much incentive to have a go when the wood-work came into their sights. A long ball by Birch finished up in the waiting hands of Sims and the Birmingham side were soon back in the Everton goalmouth and if there had been anyone up to accept Smith’s centre the dangers would have been extreme for Dunlop. As it was the ball passed harmlessly outside.
The Everton defence at this point did not seen quite as tight as it should have been and when Pace offered the ball to Smith the latter responded with a low centre which Pace, who had gone up, tried to hook into the Everton net without success. So far the Villa had taken five corners from the Everton defence which was not at all certain of itself today. The last corner taken by McParland almost floated underneath the Everton crossbar but actually dropped on top of the bar. Then the Villa who had always looked the more dangerous side, made an attack through the right wing and when Jones came up to challenge Pace on the right wing the Villa leader pushed the ball through Jones’s legs raced around him and then shot for the far side of the Everton goal. The ball actually want into the net off the upright with Dunlop quite unable to do anything about it.
So far Everton had not made a single attack which as likely to cause the Villa defence the slightest uneasiness. The Blues made eat my words in the very next minute for an attack which involved Eglington, Gauld, and Harris culminated in Everton reducing the Villa lead 2-1. It seemed to me that the Villa defence got the ball mixed up a bit in the incident. Eglington’s attempted shot actually became a centre, and Gauld quickly headed the ball down to Harris who, standing only a few yards out and before Sims could do anything about it, the ball was in the net. It was in the net again soon afterwards but this time Harris, who had come up to make a flying header into the Villa net found the goal disallowed for an infringement. I certainly heard the whistle sound before Harris made his header. There certainly had been plenty to write about in the last few minutes and when Pace nodded a ball across to Sewell the inside right showed his amazing shooting power when from 20 yards out he shot with terrific force into the Everton net at the 34th minute, a really great goal. For a few moments play was confined to midfield when suddenly Everton strove forward and Fielding dragging the ball back to Eglington saw the latter put a curling shot over the bar. It was a fluctuating sort of game, but there was no denying that the Villa were the more dangerous side. When it came to shooting, Dunlop had to make a save from Dixon from a shot almost as fierce as the one from Sewell. Half-time; Aston Villa 3, Everton 1.
A nice movement between Eglington and Harris came unstuck and then Tomlinson once again lifted the ball over the bar and Sims a little later had to smother an effort from the outside right. The Villa had the ball in the net a fourth time when Smith shot up against the upright but the whistle had blown some little time before a foul which had taken place in midfield. Everton were certainly doing much better this half and Sims had to pull down a fast rising shot by Fielding. Tomlinson had a centre blocked and although the ball came out to Fielding he too suffered a similar fate when trying to get the ball into the Villa net. After Everton had been slightly on top, the Villa came again and a corner taken by Smith went to Saward who sent along to Pace, who just beat Dunlop by getting his head to the ball a fraction of a second in front. There were also one or two near misses near the Everton goal and a stoppage for an injury to Smith. No sooner had the game been restarted than Villa were on the goal track once again and Dunlop had to come rushing out to save a desperate position as two men closed upon him. The Villa were certainly on the goal trail and Sewell tried to make it five but was foiled. It is interesting to note that the last time Villa scored four goals in a League game this season was at Goodison Park. Fielding hit the Villa crossbar when in an offside position and the game was stopped once more when Pace had to receive attention from a knee injury.
Everton only raided occasionally and then the Villa defence seemed well capable of handling them. A free kick taken by Aldis was lifted well into the Everton penalty area and the game had to be stopped because the referee had got in the line of flight and seemed to receive the ball in the stomach. Lynn took a free kick just outside the penalty area and Dunlop had to catch the ball just above his head. That Everton were fighting back was made manifest when Eglington had a shot charged down by Dugdale. Some of the Villa fire had died down and Everton came more into the game in attacking sense but an offside decision pulled them up just when they looked as though they might cause trouble to goalkeeper Sims. Pace had gone to outside left and Smith at centre forward. And it was this pair between them who made the fifth goal possible for the Midlanders. Pace dribbled the ball across before he dispatched it to Smith who slapped it into the net without the slightest hesitation. The Villa had got this match well sewn up by now although Everton still kept pegging away and Fielding tried a hard shot which was blocked. Final; Aston Villa 5, Everton 1. Attendance 25,000.
EVERTON HAD THAT LITTLE BIT OF LUCK
January 12, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
And Won’t Mind Another Slice
By Peter Farrell
There is nothing in football like the glamour of the Cup. This is an oft-repeated phrase among soccer fans. Having played in many Cup games I fully realize how true this statement is. But last Saturday was a different experience for me for instead of playing in our Cup-tie, I had the rather unusual experience of watching the Blues in one instead. Only on one occasion previously had I a similar experience when I saw Everton beat Wolves at Goodison in extra time after Jackie Grant had dramatically snatched the equalizer in the dying seconds of the 90 minutes. On that occasion I watched suffering from a broken jaw. This time I felt more comfortable as I took my seat in the stand. Outside the ground, as the thousands made their way to the entrances it was plain to see from the gait of the supporters of the rival sides, that there was far more tension and pre-match excitement than with an ordinary league game. When play began it was evident from a spectator’s point of view that the players also were obviously more on edge than usual, realizing I suppose that a mistake by them could very easily mean good-bye to this year’s hopes of a Wembley appearance. As the game went on, I could clearly see that this was not going to be one of the Blues better days in point of teamwork or individual ability. Quite a number of our lads seemed to be right off their usual game and when this happens is always a struggle. I have no intention of reminding the Everton fans that their fair share of luck against Blackburn Rovers but for a while near the finish I thought that the clock on Bullen’s road stand had stopped. Those last ten minutes seemed like an hour during which time I putted continuously on my pipe in anxious anticipation of the sweet music of the final whistle. As I made my way out of the stand, several Blackburn supporters told me how lucky the Blues had been and I couldn’t help thinking how often, especially in Cup-ties, the boot had been on the other foot when Everton had outplayed their opponents only to make their exit from the competition. Perhaps the lads didn’t derive much glory from this victory, but the important thing to me is that Everton are in Round Four which is the main consideration in Cup football. It is an achievement despite our luck, for which the lads must take credit and as long as we have learned something from last Saturday’s game it may have been well worthwhile. I am frequently asked by Everton supporters what promising youngster we have on the book’s at Goodison. Unfortunately circumstances do not permit to see the young Derek Temple I am always a little wary in forecasting that any youngster will eventually be a great player, but in the case of Derek I am very confident that he has all the natural attributes that go into the making of a star plus that very important factor a level head. After watching Temple in practice games at Bellefield I should go so far as to say that I cannot remember seeing a boy of his age with such promise. He has a long way to go yet before proving my forecast right, but don’t forget –watch closely for the name of Derek Temple of whom I am sure you will be hearing quite a lot in the future.
EVERTON RES V ASTON RES
January 12, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Reserves; O’Neill, goal; Sutherland and Leeders, backs; Meagan, Sanders, and Gannon, half-backs; Payne, Farrell, Kirby, Mayers, and Williams (G), forwards. Aston Villa Reserves; Jones, goal; Jackson and Pritchard, backs; Carter, Sharples and Crowe, half-backs; Southern, Maverscough, Chapman, Lee and Barrett, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Lord (Bacup). Everton won the toss and had the advantage of the strong sun and gusty wind. Villa were the more dangerous side early on, and the Everton defence was involved in mistakes through the trickery of Barrett, who was proving too speedy for Sutherland. When Kirby and Williams tried to break through for Everton they found the Villa defence in unyielding mood. After two promising moves by the visitors had broken down through offside Chapman relased a shot which O’Neill tipped over the bar. Everton improved towards the interval and Mayers finished a fine solo run with a fine drive inches high. Half-time; Everton Res nil, Aston Villa Res nil.
SPIRIT-LACKING EVERTON IN VILLA PARK DEBACLE
January 14, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
I had not seen much of Everton in recent weeks, but what I did see at Villa Park on Saturday was not very pleasing for I doubt if they have ever played worse. It was nothing like the Everton team which has beaten some of the best n the League; in fact they never rose above Third Division standard. How do I account for it? That is a difficult question, but I will endeavour to answer it for you. First and foremost they never had the spirit to beat the Villa not one of the great teams of the competition. Those who want to blame the wind are entitled to do so, but it was no excuse whatever for when the Villa had to face up to it, they showed how it could be mastered. Truth to tell, Everton were a thing of shreds and patches and for once in a way the defence which usually can be relied upon failed in its mission. Then let me take you to the forward line. That also fell much below what is expected of a Division 1 attack so there you have the full reason. Aston Villa ran riot for five goals is a riot whichever way you look at. Furthermore Everton were lucky not to be involved in a heavier defeat, for twice the woodwork was struck and McParland usually a deadly shot missed at least two possible scoring chances. I really cannot dig up any sort of excuse for Everton’s defeat other than they met a better team on the day’s showing. Without trying to be cruel, I cannot name one defender who was on form. That, I admit is a broad statement but I can only state the case as I saw it.
Wind Played Its Part
No doubt the wind did play as part to some extent, for the ball swirled but the chief reason why Villa looked such a good side was because they were up and coming and played so much on top of the Everton defence that it never got a chance to clear its lines properly. Never at any time were the Villa forwards held in check and realizing that here was a game they could win if they went about it in the right way, they proceeded to tear holes –big holes at that –and sailed through them to wreck Everton. As soon as I reached the ground a Villa pressman asked me if the Everton defence had tightened up since the Villa were at Goodison Park winning 4-0. My answer was prompt and confident. “Yes” You can imagine my feelings when I saw the defence scattered to the four winds by the fast moving Villa forwards. The game started on a slow note, even though a goal was scored in three minutes, but once Villa got into their swing it was obvious Everton were going to be on the losing end. That was all too apparent from the outset and if the Midlanders had added a few more goals they would have only got their deserts. Yet Villa followers have been bemoaning the ineptitude of the forwards whose scoring account has not been anything to shout about. They could hardly believe their eyes when they saw the shooting of the forwards who did not seed to see the white of Dunlop’s eyes before they let fly with shots of tremendous power, and accuracy. Nothing like them came from the Everton attack, although a Harris header was just as spectacular as any Villa shot. Unfortunately it was not allowed to count because the ball had gone out of play before Tomlinson centred it.
I have never seen a better header in my life and I saw a lot of Dean’s headed goals. A pity it did not count, for it would have been the most outstanding thing of the match in which the shooting –mostly by Villa –was the feature. Villa may not have been artistic in their methods. It was sufficient for them to get the ball near the Everton penalty area and then “wham” and the score shows what a high dividend such tactics paid. Everton were more genteel in their approach and played right into the hands of the Villa defence. The return of Jones and Farrell was expected to tighten up the Everton defence, but Jones was not the dominating figure we know he can be. He was easily beaten by Pace – the player, not the speed –and I began to wonder, if he had really recovered from his Christmas injury. His tackling was not sure, but the same could be said by them all. The fact that Villa took five corners to Everton’s one in the first half conveys the Midlanders supremacy in attack. To be hit by an early goal is not the best of tonics for a visiting team, and remember that Dixon had the ball in the Everton net in hat short time, it should have given Everton some indication of what lay ahead of them, but for once in a way the defence failed them because they were practically on the collar from start to finish. The half-backs line could not be spared to devote a single moment to attack. They had to concentrate on keeping these stabbing Villa forwards at bay something they never accomplished and by half-time Pace and Sewell had run the score up to 3-1.
Goal to Harris
Harris sandwiched one in between times. A shot by Fielding later on was about the full extent of Everton’s scoring efforts. For about 15 minutes after the interval it looked as though Everton were going to make the same use of the wind as Villa had done but it was only a flash in the pan and Villa realizing the danger, whipped up their spirited play once again. And that was the end of Everton for Pace and Smith popped in two further goals to rattle up their highest total of the season. What about Tomlinson? He made Sims tip a fast dipping lob over his bar but his centring was too close to the Villa goalkeeper to be of use to his colleagues. Gauld tried two of his famous dashes, but they did not fool the steady as a rock Villa defence. It is not a nice story, but a true one nevertheless. Would that I could have given you a brighter picture but it was not there to paint.
WEST HAM’S MANAGER WILL HAVE A CUP REVIEW OF EVERTON
January 17, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Mr. Ted Fenton, the West Ham manager is coming up to Goodison Park to see Everton in action on Saturday against Luton Town. If the Blues do not shape a good deal better than they did against Aston Villa he will not be greatly impressed though he is too experienced in the game and its unpredictability to be misled into relying too much upon anything that happens in a League game a week before a Cup match. At the same time such previews are often well worth while Mr. Cliff Lloyd tells me that his trip to watch Manchester United last week was time well spent even though to some extent it only confirmed what he already knew –that the Mancunians are a great side with not a single weakness on that showing. Just how far pre-match planning can effect the result of any match is often the cause of argument. There are some including managers and players who reckon that its value has been grossly overestimated. There are others who claim that it has meant to them the difference between possible defeat and assured victory. Much was written about Ted Fenton’s pre-match planning when he was with Colchester United and they got to the fifth round of the Cup in 1948, and also when West Ham reached the sixth round last season. Everton come into a different category. About the only player I know in their team is Jimmy Gauld. The rest are “strangers” so far as actual knowledge of their play and characteristic is concerned. That is why I think it essential I should watch them this week end.” When they had such a good cup run last winter West Ham spent some time at Brighton before each of their games. They did the same prior to the third round tie this month with Grimsby and will repeat the arrangements next week. They will go to Brighton on Monday morning return to London on Thursday afternoon and travel up to Liverpool the following day.
Mr. Pickering Returns
Mr. Harold Pickering, one of Everton’s back room men on the administrative side of the playing staff is back on duty today after two months absence through illness. He has had a severe bout of malaria an unwanted legacy of his four years service in the Middle East with the Royal Signals during the war. He has had occasional recurrences of it over the years but this was the worst of the lot. I hope it will also be the last.
EVERTON CAN CONSOLIDATE THEIR POSITION AT EXPENSE OF LOWIER CLUBS
January 18, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have an excellent opportunity of consolidating their position in the League table during the next few weeks, for the fixture list has to worked out that the three engagements next on their programme are all against clubs situated lower down the chart. These are home matches with Luton Town and Charlton and an away game at Sunderland. If they could get a satisfactory return from them it would strengthen their present advantage, reduce the threat of these rivals narrowing the gap and leave Everton to concentrate on the F.A Cup-always assuming they can beat West Ham next week. I should be more confident about tomorrow’s encounter with Luton Town if Everton had shaped better in their last two outings. Even so, they ought to be capable of winning this game for Luton, after making quite a good start to the season –at one period they were second in the table – have fallen away badly of late. The decline has been a steady one. From second place in early September the Hatters dropped to seventh in mid October but were still undefeated at home. since then they have been slowly sinking further, and compared with 15 points from their first 12 matches, have taken only six from the same number, subsequently, so that they now rest rather uneasily fifth from the bottom, though they are only two points worse off than Everton from two games less. It is a good job for them, as it could also prove for Everton if the latter do not show some improvement that Charlton and Sunderland are so far behind that the leeway may prove beyond their ability to wipe out.
Luton’s lack of success began with the loss of inside right Turner through injury. He was out of action during October and November and although he has scored five times since his return he has never quite recaptured the form shown earlier when he got 14 goals in his first 13 matches. Turner claims exactly half the 38 goals credited to his side. An idea of how much the Hatters depend on him is shown by the fact that the next highest marksman is right winger Michael Cullen who has scored only five. Cullen is not playing at Goodison. Another member of the attack who has been handicapped by injury is ex-Evertonian George Cummins. The Irishman underwent a cartilage operation last season, and is still struggling to regain complete fitness. He got two goals for Luton’s second string last week, but previously had failed to find the net in 12 first team outing. He returns to the team again tomorrow. The only experienced newcomer to the Hatters staff this season has been full back Brendan McNally, from Shelborne. After two outings at right back McNally has latterly been operating on the left.
The forward line has been Manager Daily Duncan’s biggest problem. Four players have led the attack so far, with Bob Morton, now back at right half, the most successful as a marksman. He scored four times from centre forward in 15 outings. McLeod has since taken over, but in five games has not yet scored. Luton’s last four away engagements have all ended in defeat though two have been only by a single goal margin. All told, they have beaten eight times on opponents grounds, and have still to record their second away win off the campaign. Their only success so far was at Charlton last August. Their other points on tour have come from draws at Newcastle and Burnley. After their good beginning the Hatters have found goal-scoring difficult lately. Their last 12 League engagements have produced only 14 goals while 23 have been put past either Streten or Baynham, the English international custodians, who have alternately occupied the goalkeeping berth throughout the campaign. Luton; Streten; Dunne, McNally; Morton, Owen, Smith; Pearce, Turner, McLeod, Cummings, Shanks.
EVERTON FORWARDS PASS THE BUCK
January 19, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
But Mayers Hits A Late Winner
Everton 2, Luton 1
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sutherland and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Donovan and Rea, half-backs; McNamara, Gauld, Mayers, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Luton Town; Streten, goal; Dunne and McNally, backs; Morton, Owen and Smith, half-backs; Pearce, Turner, McLeod, Cummins, and Shanks, forwards. Referee; Mr. G.B. Oliver (Middlesbrough). George Cummins, the former Everton player and Eire International was made captain of Luton for the day against his old colleagues and started off by winning the toss. He also quickly showed his canny use of the ball with two defence-splitting passes in the first few minutes from one of which Morton shot outside after the ball had been only partially cleared. Everton followers were anxious to see how Mayers hitherto regarded as an extreme winger would shape at centre forward. They saw him make a good effort in the opening moments to head in a dropping centre from McNamara after Mayers himself had kept the winger away with a long crossfield pass. After Cummins had dispossessed Fielding he got two Everton defenders running the wrong way with a beautifully bit of body swerving but by keeping the ball too close the chance which he engineered went begging. The innocent side was penalized when the referee whistled for a free kick after Gauld who was dashing through on one of his characteristic runs had been fouled and had recovered himself and was still chasing a ball running loose.
After Eglington had hit a sizzling first timer only a few inches wide the game was stopped while Owen who had received a cut on the side of the head had his wound attended to. Although Everton had slightly the better of the first quarter of an hour’s play, Luton were shaping better than some people expected from their lowly position. Some of their combination was particularly good, but so far it had not carried then to a point where they were able to test Dunlop. Streten also had no work though another lightning dash by Gauld looked promising until the ball ran on just too far and he lost control. Another Gauld dribble in which he beat two men in confined space, came to an end with a splendid tackle from behind by Owen. Although the game had started brightly enough, it soon deteriorated, temporarily at least into rather aimless kicking. Both sides were guilty of booting the ball lustily, putting it up into the air far too often, and over kicking their forwards. At the 23rd minute Owen went to the dressing room limping after getting a crack on the knee from Mayers as the latter attempted to block the Luton centre half’s clearance. Morton took over at centre half and Pearce dropped back to right half. Gauld was still the only Everton forward who would make a bee-line for goal but two further dashes ended up as the earlier ones-with the ball running out of his control.
Off The Mark
Although Everton continued to have the upper hand territorially against Luton’s ten men, there was lack of finality about their work which meant that Streten was still employed. The nearest approach to an opening came after Fielding and Mayers had paired off and Mayers squared the ball for the on-running Farrell. His shot was yards off the mark. Everton got a corner in most unusual fashion when McNally taking a thrown-in put the ball back to Streten. The goalkeeper took the ball over the dead-ball line. The ball was not cleared from the resulting corner and Farrell from 20 yards hit a rasping shot which looked to be a goal all over until Streten hurled himself across and turned it out. This was after 35 minutes and was the only real shot of the game so far. Everton came again with a close passing movement but Luton packed around the penalty spot and nobody could see the way to a shooting chance. A comedy of errors on the Luton six-yard line almost presented Everton with a goal when McNally slipped McNamara nipped in quickly and for a second time McNally was unlucky. This time trying to put the ball back to his goalkeeper he almost put it in his own net, but Morton scrambled it away. Once more Gauld, broke through but with only Streten to beat was nearer the corner flag than the goal with his effort. Play still continued on very scrappy lines with Everton striving hard but not looking very likely scorers and Luton defending stubbornly.
In one Everton raid Sutherland came up to have a go. He was not nearer the mark than his forward colleagues, Liverpool-born Pearce might have had a goal to round off Luton’s most promising move had the ball not struck Tansey. His shot was on the mark and strong. That was the last incident of a first half which had fallen away very much and produced substandard football.
Half-time; Everton nil, Luton Town nil.
Although Owen did not come out with his colleagues he ran on to the field after a minute. He had three stitches, put into his knee and a couple into the cut over his eye. He took up position at outside left with Shanks at outside right. Mayers who had not been seen much in the previous half-hour made a nice run and outwitted two opponents before pulling the ball into the centre when a shot would have been the better thing. There was nobody up to accept his offering. A long shot y Gauld a shorter one by Fielding and another long-range effort by McNamara were all safely taken charge of by Streten as also was another effort from the wing by Mayers. Streten is too good a goalkeeper to be beaten by shots from this distance. Everton were only making it easy for him.
Outside The Post
Mayers also had quite a good header off Farrell’s centre, but again Streten’s task was not difficult. A moment later it might have been a hopeless one if Eglington’s toe-ender after four others had declined to have a go had been on the mark instead of curling outside the far post. Following a free kick to Luton just outside the penalty area, Cummins caused Dunlop to go full length to bring off his save. Morton who had been playing very soundly as deputy to Owen made a timely clearance from a McNamara header. At the 63rd minute, Everton took the lead after smith had headed the ball high in the air when intercepting a shot by Rea. The ball went straight up, and when it came down Mayers headed it across to Gauld, standing near the far post, who promptly headed it into the net out of Streten’s reach. Donovan was not taking any chances. When McLeod looked as though he might break through the Everton centre half belted the ball forcefully into the ranks of spectators.
Still On Top
Everton continued very much on top, but still persisted in passing and re-passing when they were within simple shooting distance. On one occasion the buck was passed from one to another until whatever chance there had been originally had evaporated. Another tendency which irritated the crowd was for Everton to play too much away from the Luton goal. They indulged in excessive back-passing. Had there been any finish about the Everton attack the Blues would have had the game won before this. Instead at the 78th minute, Luton got on level terms. Gauld was still the live wire of the attack even though he was not carrying his lightning raids through to completion. Sutherland and Farrell came up to have a go. They might just as well have stayed where they were for in each case the shot was yards over the bar. The move-started when McNamara dallied and was robbed by McNally well inside the Everton half. The full back took the ball up a few yards then sent across a high centre which Dunlop could only palm out as he was harassed. The ball ran on to Shanks, who rammed home the equalizer from 10 yards. The game had barely started when Owen and Sutherland collied and the Everton full back, after receiving attention on the field, was assisted off by both trainers. Farrell went right back and Fielding right half. Five minutes from the end Mayers put Everton in front after Fielding taking a free kick for hands had slipped the ball adroitly sideways, Mayers shot through a ruck of players. Streten who moved only slowly was most likely unsighted, as the players were lining up in the centre Sutherland returned and went outside right. Final; Everton 2, Luton Town 1. Official attendance 29,017.
HOME STARS CAN SHINE WITH END OF BIG MONEY TRANSFER
January 19, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
There has certainly been a lull this season in big transfer news, especially that involving star players. In fact judging by the general trend of events in football today, it look as if the days of transfers in the £30,000 region are practically finished. For several seasons following the war, hardly a month went by without some player or other being transferred for a very large fee. Around this period, money was pretty plentiful and the turnstiles were clicking merrily throughout the country and quite a number off the more fashionable clubs as soon as they experienced a lean spell immediately plunged into the transfer market in an endeavour to improve matters. Sometimes the gamble of paying such a high price for a player came off and in other cases it failed due to the player being unable to live up to the ridiculous high price on his head. Nowadays the picture is very different. Don Revies move to Sunderland from Manchester City, and Reg Matthews from Coventry to Chelsea have been the only two really high priced transfer to take place in recent months. It seems as if more and more clubs are going in for the policy of producing their own stars due partly I suppose to the finical position in soccer today. Due to dwindling gates, higher maintence costs &tc clubs no longer have the ready money in the twenty to thirty thousands pound region to offer fee star players on the transfer list. Another angle of the market for players is that even the smaller and less wealthy clubs are being helped by their supporters clubs who raise money by various methods to help the parent body with the result they even these clubs are reluctant to part with their stars as long as they can make ends meat. Because of this, most clubs are now trying to build their ranks by recruiting youngsters from junior sides at an early age. Even mighty Arsenal most of whose fame down the years was founded on the purchase of star players and the publicity brought with them are currently concentrating on developing their own talent. So, too Newcastle United one of the greatest plungers in the transfer market since the war, who now look to be relying more on the “find-your-own” idea. Due to the circumstances which I have mentioned, the present tendency of developing your own talent rather than paying exorbitant prices for players look likely to continue for some time. Now and again in the future I suppose transfer in the Revie and Reg Matthews class will occur, but it looks as if these will be the exception rather than the rule. This in my opinion is a good thing for the game in general as too much has been expected in the past of footballers with enormous price tags on their heads so much so that, due to being self-conscious of these fees quite a number of the transferred players have been unable to do themselves justice with their new clubs. Furthermore with fewer big transfer deals in football there should be a general tendency towards better team spirit in many clubs something that has been missing in many star stubbed sides, and without which it is impossible to have a successful or happy club. Look at the top of the First Division table today and ask yourself how many big fees were paid for Mat Busby’s lads. Apart from Taylor and Berry, no one else cost much yet look what they are doing. They are the finest example I know to prove the successful policy of finding your own players and bringing them to the top through the medium of your junior sides. While on the topic of transfers, I wonder what price Billy Liddell would have fetched in the transfer market had he ever decided to leave Liverpool. I know if it were left to the Kop-ites, Billy’s price tag would have been far in excess of what even the wealthiest English club could afford to pay.
DERBY COUNTY RES V EVERTON RES
January 19, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Heyes, and Leeder, backs; Birch, Sanders, and Meagan, half-backs; Payne, Thomas, Kirby, Haughey, and William (G), forward.
Everton Res were unlucky to be a goal behind against Derby Co Res at the interval at the Baseball ground. The home goal by Parry after 13 minutes came from a free kick outside the area. Everton’s Kirby missed 37th minute penalty. Adlington saving at full length. Half-time; Derby Res 1, Everton Res nil.
LOYALISTS DEMANDS MORE THAN THIS
January 21, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Luton Town 1
There were fewer than 30,000 at this match –a sign that although Everton are still in the Cup and still doing reasonably well in the League their loyalists demand more than victories. The Everton performance here was little less encouraging than their Cup-win against Blackburn and, rightly or wrongly, there was more than a hint of jeering amid some of the rather ironic applause by which the teams were occasionally favoured. The game was short of shots, excitement and most important of ground passes made with accuracy. It was a result to remember, but a game to forget, Luton got less than justice, I thought, in view of the fact that for the greater part of the match, Owens, their centre-half, could only act as a makeshift outside-left. He came off worst in two clashes with Everton centre-forward Mayers. In the first he suffered a badly cu forehead (some stitches required) in the second he sustained a badly cut keen (again more stitches). Oddly, it was Owens who bumped into Sutherland later in the game with the result that Sutherland had to go off for attention to a head wound. The crowd, displeased because Owens was involved in the collision, jeered Owens every move for the remainder of the game. Quite uncalled for…whatever else it may have been it was a match fought fairly.
A Condemned Man
Awful things are being said about Everton’s play; unmentionable things are being thought of Everton’s outside right McNamara –the butt of everything merely because he prefers to hold the ball until he can use it effectively rather than slash it away, inaccurately immediately it arrives. I don’t understand McNamara baiters. If they had been less occupied narking they would have seen especially in the second half a stream of perfectly-delivered, perfectly-placed passes from McNamara’s feet. The essence of football is to use the ball to advantage. Does it matter whether there is a little delay in using it, providing that when a move is made it is one which helps to spilt a defence? Pardon my Monday morning cyfiscism but there are other matters on which some sense should be written and talked, in both dressing rooms at Goodison Park are notices warning players against giving autographs on the field. These were put up to help to preserve the playing pitch; it was never anticipated that boys would ask players for autographs during the game. But they do, and they did. The constable who ushered off the boy who got an autograph was doing his duty. Why take exception to him? If everyone were allowed to encroach on the pitch and demand autographs –and if it is right for one to do so it is right for all –there can be nothing but trouble for the boys for players, for grounds men. There’s a time and place for everything and during a match and on the pitch isn’t either. A drearier more unrewarding game could hardly be imagined. The final whistle came as a relief, especially to an Everton who had Gauld’s headed goal wiped out by one from shanks, playing for the moment on the right wing. The goals were as freakish as the match was indifferent, Mayers with a looping header to the vacantly of the far post, opened the way for the first. Gauld, with another nod, turned the ball just inside the post. Dunlop by mis-handling a tricky high centre from the right, had some part in Luton’s goal, but a lot was done after the goalkeeper’s mistake. Shanks was delighted enough to have scored a Cup-winning goal after slapping back a half clearance. Close home when most of us, I imagine had resigned ourselves to a draw, the ball was brought from the Everton half for a long-delayed free kick outside the Luton penalty box. Fielding slipped the ball into the ruck, where Mayers deflecting it gently and hitting it with no sort of power, turned it out of the lively Streten’s reach. McLeod, the young Luton centre forward, often got the better of Donovan in the air and looked a good prospect, though he had few chances; Tansey –Old Reliable of the Everton defence, played better than anyone –not difficult on such a day. Morton pressed into service at centre half once Owens had been injured, was all too good for Mayers though that young man made one specially good left-wing move which all but brought a goal.
Streten the quickest moving goalkeeper of them all, did best when saving Farrell’s shot –one which caused him to concede a corner –but the best save of the day was by Dunlop from Cummins. More than a little unsighted, Dunlop saw this fast low shot in time and made a glorious on-the-line save. Just as well he did. Gauld scored immediately afterwards. Fielding and Eglington have rarely been less distinguished and Farrell too never seemed happy against a clever Luton attack which moved impressively if laterally, in midfield and then forgot all about their mission in life. Gauld, with several of his long penetrative runs was less effective than usual because the Luton defence was pretty close-knit. For a man freshly back after a long period away after a cartilage operation Cummins the former Evertonian, had a splendid return to first team duty. But Luton and their refusal to shoot, were like Everton, all too frustrating.
Good News Of Jones, Harris
Everton injured, Tom Jones and Jimmy Harris, will be in training again today or tomorrow, Coach Ian Buchan has good hopes that both will be ready for the tie-against West Ham on Saturday. Everton will have a day’s golf on Wednesday and will complete their perilous training on Thursday afternoon.
DERBY RES V EVERTON RES
January 21, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
The experienced and well balanced Everton reserves side were unlucky to be beaten 3-0 by an enthusiastic Derby team at the Baseball ground. Everton, had the bulk of the play and missed a penalty in the first half, Kirby’s kick being brilliantly saved by Adlington. In fact fine work by the tall Derby keeper undoubtedly prevented the Everton forward line, in which Payne was outstanding from running up a tall score. Derby’s interval lead came direct from a Parry free kick in the 13th minute, Wyer and Parry scored Derby’s second half goals.
EVERTON GIVE ANOTHER DISAPPOINTING DISPLAY
January 21, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Practically the only consolation Everton supporters were able to extract from the Blues display against Luton Town was that two more points were added to this season’s total, which makes their position in the table still more secure. That apart, there was nothing over which to enthuse. It was a poor and mediocre game between two sides which never at any time provided football of the calibre expected from First Division teams. Following their good run during the closing months of last year when they captured more points than all our three other senior teams, Everton have slipped badly since Christmas. True they have beaten Wolves and Luton at Goodison and drawn with Spurs, giving them five points from three home games and also dismissed Blackburn in the Cup. But their two last Goodison Park displays as well as those at Villa Park and White Hart Lane have been most disappointing. Without wishing to dwell on the matter for lose a sense of perspective –for two or three games is a very slender foundation on which to be too critical –it is obvious that the future outlook at Goodison Park is still far from perfect. The long-suffering public is not going to keep rolling up and providing one of the best average attendances in the country if all they get is a succession of mediocre and indifferent displays which would not do credit to a Third Division team. Not to mince matters it is clear that the present staff is not good enough to maintain the club’s one time greatness and former reputation of providing the best type of football.
That statement is made after bearing in mind the recent changes due to injuries. While to some extent that is an extenuation, one expects a club of Everton’s standard to have reserves capable of taking the place of injured players without any grave falling off in the standard of play. To fill the centre half berth it has been necessasary to play Donovan out of his normal position and bring in a full back who is still not ripe to senior duty. On top of that other reserves such as Brian Harris, Birch, Llewellyn, Kirby, and Tomlinson though players with promise for the future have not yet given complete satisfaction. Even Rea though still in the team has a long way to go before he reaches First Division standard and the unfortunate McNamara, who has had so many chances and been in and out of the side for years like a jack-in-the-box is still incapable of providing the answer at outside right.
A Vital Need
I have reframed during recent weeks from stressing too much the various weaknesses in the hope that they might be eradicated and the improvement prior to Christmas maintained. But if Everton go on much longer as they have during the last few games their hard-won confidence will soon will start evaporating. I am not laying any blame on the door of chief coach Ian Buchan. He took over when the club was at rock bottom with confidence and team spirit at low ebb. He has retrieved matters to such an extent that fears of relegation have been banished bar something really catastrophic. But neither Mr. Buchan nor anybody else can perform miracles and transform the outlook entirely in a few short months. Neither can he turn inexperienced reserves into star men in the twinkling of an eye. If all takes times, which is why I stress that we should keep a proper sense of proportion and not become too critical over the recent fall from grace. At the same time these displays cannot be airily waved aside. They provide a pointer to both present and future needs. So long as need is paid to what they indicate there is no occasion to get unduly bothered at the moment.
As for Saturday’s game, it is something over which one would wish to draw the veil quickly and merefully. After a reasonably promising ten minutes it fell away steadily and progressively. The first half was as lusterless and poverty stricken as any I have seen for a long time. Everton were bad against Blackburn but at least we got some good football that day from the visitors. This time we did not though in Luton’s favour it must be said that they lacked Owen’s services for 22 minutes of the first half, which disorganized them and that he was little more than a passenger in the second portion, after having stitches in knee and eye injuries. In the second half Everton were well on top, but never at any time did they live up to expectations. Most of their shooting as poor, either well off the mark or when on it, from such long range that a far worse goalkeeper than Streten would not have been troubled by it. on top of that, the forwards fiddled, passed the buck to each other, dribbled backwards or sideways –Gauld always excepted –and generally tried the patience of even their most loyal adherents to the limit.
A Tip For Dunlop
Gauld, still finding the ball run out of control most aggravatingly at the psychological moment headed the first goal at the 63rd minute, Shanks equalized 15 minutes later after two Everton errors, and then a canny sideways flick by Fielding with a free kick effort popped the way for Mayers to get the winning goal five minutes from the end. I am going to be charitable and not dwell too much on individual performances, several of which were well below what we know the men concerned can do when on form. Tansy was the best back. He does his work calmly and capably without trimmings. Donovan though sometimes a little apprehensive was equal to his task, and Dunlop made only one partial error, which unfortunately led to the opposition’s goal. It started when McNamara was robbed by full back McNally inside his own half-McNally high shot was palmed out by Dunlop right to the feet of Shanks, who thankfully accepted his scoring chance. Dunlop might with advantage take a leaf out of the book of Younger who seldom palms the ball away. Instead he doubles up his massive fists and punches it hard a far safer method.
Mayers Not A Success
In the forward line Gauld was the only man who would take the shortest way to goal. He gave the Luton defenders more trouble than all the rest, Mayers on this showing does not look much like a centre forward. He started enterprisingly but afterwards was not seen for long stretches. It is unfair however to judge him on one game. Luton as so often happens with struggling clubs, had no luck. Owen’s absence was a big handicap. Their attack was no better than Everton’s but the defence stuck to its guns quite well, and was a little unfortunate to see a late goal rob them of a point.
JONES AND HARRIS
January 23, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Jones and Harris did not accompany the Everton players to Hillside for golf today. They remained at Goodison Park for treatment and light training. Tomorrow they will have a full scale work-out at Bellefield and upon now they react to it may decide whether they play in the Cup-tie of not.
AS YOU SEE IT
January 24, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton’s Fatal Ruse
Sir- Two statements accredited to the Everton directors deserve comment in view of the very low standard of football at present being provided for regular Goodison habitués (1) “Everton will be the Arsenal of the North,! (2) As Mr. Buchan is “doing very nicely” we are leaving the team entirely in his hands.
The first statement can only have referred to ground amemties because the standard of play is of such mediocrity. As to the second prouncement, we must challenge the truth of this and blame the system of coaching at present being employed. Mr. Buchan, for all his undoubted ability as an athletic mentor, does not seem to have grasped the elementary fact that football is played with a ball and that eleven running around the field ridding themselves of the ball as though it were a fire-cracker, cannot and never will make a team. Further, the silly schoolboy trick of trying to obtain an offside decision by running towards the opposing goal is futile and farcical. It has so far resulted in one offside decision and has on five occasions almost cost valuable goals. Mr. Buchan must change his methods or else give way to someone who can give us real First Division stuff. Saturday’s gate of under 30,000 cannot be to the liking of directors. Perhaps with a still smaller gate on Saturday (in spite it being a Cup-tie) they will realize they have a responsibility to their long suffering supporters. It must be unique in football history that a team can play so badly and won so often.
“Fed Up Blue”
Sir –why don’t you wrap-up trying to defend McNamara, one of the luckiest persons in football to have been tolerated so long by a suffering public. What makes you think the spectators are always wrong about him. Ask any hundred Everton spectators what they think of McNamara and ninety nine will tell you they are tired of watching him. If you had been less occupied wondering what you could write about him especially in the second half, you would have noticed and been able to report on the stupid part played by McNamara in the goal scored by Luton. What hope is there of us long suffering Everton spectators ever getting the class type of football we deserve when the club is encouraged by you to retain a player who would not grace the Third Division. Now publish that one. J.R. Summers The Cottage Treebore Lane, Rainford.
January 25, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
The game is going to be no walk-over for the Blues. On the contrary, if they do not shape better than in recent matches particularly in attack their supporters could be in for a big disappointment. While I think Everton will win they will only do so if they are on top of their form. From what I learn from those who follow the Hammers regularly the visitors are a solid consistent and talented side though it is admitted that there is scope for improvement in the finishing of their attack. They are not alone in that Everton could do with a bit of sharpening up in that respect also. Defensively the Hammers are said to be particularly good, a statement which seems borne out of the small total of goals against them –only 32 in 26 League engagements –which is one of the best records in the Football league. They have, however, done little of note in the scoring line themselves, and though a sound rearguard can prevent defeat, it is the forward line which usually decides where victory shall rest.
The Main Weakness
The Hammers totaled only four more goals than have been debuted against them and have only twice scored more than two in any League game. That was at Fulham whom they beat 4-1 at Craven Cottage last August and Bury, where they shared six goals in December. On five occasions they have failed to score at all, and nine times have got only a single goal. It was with a view to increasing the striking power of the front line that Manager Ted Fenton recruited burly Eddie Lewis from Preston North End in November. At the same time Eire-international wing half Frank O’Farrell made the journey in the opposite directon signing for Preston and being surceeded in the Hammers line-up by Bill Lansdowne. Other newcomers in the Hammers team this season are goalkeeper Bob Wylie a summer acquisition from Blackpool, who has taken over from veteran Ernie Gregory, and 17-years-old inside right John Smith. The latter’s hat-trick against Grimsby Town in the third round played a major part in helping the Hammers to qualify for tomorrow’s visit to Goodison.
Sixth Centre Forward
The advent of Lewis, the sixth player to lead the attack this season cost Billy Dare his place in the side. Dare has however, subsequently made a come-back at outside right. Only the inside left position where Scottish “B” international John Dick is an ever-present has presented no problems. Elsewhere Mr. Fenton rung the changes fairly frequently and every other berth in the side has had at least two occupants. As with Everton no member of the Hammers front line has yet reached double figures has a marksman. Dick and Dare are leading the way with six goals each in the League the former also having netted once in the cup. Everton; Dunlop; Sutherland, Tansey; Farrell, Donovan, Rea; Mayers, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington. West Ham; Wylie; Bond, Cantwell; Malcolm, Allison, Landsdowne; Dare, Smith (J), Lewis, Dick, Musgrove.
BASIS FOR CONFIDENCE
January 26, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Doubtless West Ham United will take steps to try to cut off, at source the astute passes which flow from Fielding. The result of the match I think depends on whether Everton touch their good form or whether they are unable to share themselves, out of the Lethargy which has affricated them. Of one thing I am sure as anyone can be in football –that Donovan who deputizes for Jones at centre half will be characteristically hard to pass. Add to that the invincibility on his day of goalkeeper Dunlop and you have basis for Everton confidence. Coach Ian Buchan is undisturbed by critics who play him as the man who invented Everton Harries. He says simply, and modestly, “So long as the players understand my aims and I am sure they do – I can stand all the bubs of funs who feel that speed and fitness are not essentials in first class football. Everton; Dunlop; Sutherland, Tansey; Farrell, Donovan, Rea; Mayers, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington. West Ham; Wylie; Bond, Cantwell; Malcolm, Allison, Landsdowne; Dare, Smith (J), Lewis, Dick, Musgrove.
DEFENCES ON TOP AT GOODISON
January 26, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
A Late Winner From Skipper Farrell
Everton 2, West Ham 1
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sutherland and Tansey, backs; Farrell (captain), Donovan and Rea, half-backs; Mayers, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. West Ham United; Wylies, goal; Bond and Cantwell, backs; Malcolm, Allison, and Landsdown, half-backs; Dare, Smith (J), Lewis, Dick, and Musgrove, forwards. Referee; Mr. B.A.E. Buckle (Peterborough).
The weather was excellent at the start, with the crowd approaching 50,000, Farrell won the toss and attacked the Gwladys Street goal. Two Scottish selectors were present to watch Gauld and Dick. Everton opened promisingly and one move in which six men combined saw them work the ball more than half the length of the field without a West Ham man touching it. After Bond had unceremoniously uprooted Eglington, Kirby brought Cantwell to earth in similar fashion. This time the referee stopped play while he spoke to the Everton centre forward. Both sides swung the ball freely from wing to wing and seemed determined to make maximum progress with minimum effort. Several times defenders passed back to Dunlop rather than take chances. West ham were similarly minded, and Dick once put the ball back to Wylie from 35 yards. The referee got a hostile reception when he gave a free kick to West Ham which the crowd though should have been the other way. Their displeasure was heightened when Mr. Buckle spoke to Fielding after he had rather petulantly thrown the ball away
Wylie had a hectic moment when he collided with Bond and Gauld and Mayers attempted to sandwich him. He then had to dive full length to collect a pass back by Allison. West ham’s best individual effort was by Lewis who beat three defenders before slipping the ball to Dare but the centre was headed behind by Musgrove. Everton dropped back into a short passing game and two moves fizzled out through the ball being worked too closely. In 25 minutes neither goalkeeper had a real shot to combat. Most of their work came from collecting back passes, loose balls and occasional high crosses. When Dick and Musgrove carved out a shooting chance for Lewis the centre put his effort yards over the bar. Fielding opened up the play with a couple of cross-field passes to Mayers and from one Mayers rather luckily won a corner. Mayers again came into the picture after being fed by Gauld with a fierce angled drive when Wylie punched behind. From the corner Kirby returned the ball to the middle were Gauld was caught on the wrong foot with the goal yawning in front of him two yards away. Before he could swivel round, Cantwell scrambled the ball away. Everton were having the better of matters territorially but a stern-tackling defence was giving the forwards little scope. Mayers dispossessed Cantwell as the latter was falling and veered towards the middle before delivering a fierce drive which sped across goal, narrowly missing the far post. If it had not been for collecting back passes Dunlop would rarely have had the feel of the ball. Half-time; Everton nil, West Ham nil. West Ham started the second half as though they had both a pep talk and some pep pills, and a sweeping pass from Dare so Musgrove saw the latter dart through at top speed and fire a powerful drive only inches over the bar. Gauld had one of his characteristic runs, but his final pass was out of the reach of Kirby and Mayers. The Hammers might have been one up following a corner had not Malcolm’s fierce drive hit Lewis.
Storm of Booing
There was another storm of booing when the referee spoke to Gauld after he had tangled with Lansdowne in an incident which seemed six of one and half a dozen of the other though the foul was given against Everton. Gauld had his name taken a moment later after he had protested to the referee when Eglington was fouled by Smith. The referee twice recalled Gauld to his side after the Everton man had broken away from the conference. The game was now being fought rather bitterly, and petuanily, Kirby did nothing to smooth it down when he barged heavily into Wylie nor did Lewis when he fouled Donovan. West Ham were having slightly more of the play at this stage and the home defence looked rather wide open. Although Donovan had played well, he was away from the middle owing to his close marking of Lewis leaving Rea to cover any possibly gap. He also showed a tendency to be well up field, even when not shadowing the West Ham leader.
West Ham had a great chance when Farrell erred and Dare well place 12 yards out with only Dunlop to beat, fired over the bar. The Blues had another escape a moment later when Dunlop failed to gather an angled shot by Musgrove and Lewis almost scrambled the ball over the line. West Ham got the ball into the net at the 64th minute after Dick had slipped it through to Lewis, but the centre forward was offside. At the 67th minute Everton took the lead when a clearance by Dunlop was helped on its way by Fielding to Kirby, temporarily on the right wing. The latter’s cross was headed high in the air by Allison and when the ball dropped behind the West Ham man Gauld ran in to head it over Wylie’s outstretched hands. Everton joy was short lived, for five minutes later Dare equalized from a free kick following a foul by Eglington, it looked almost impossible for him to get the ball into the goal, for Everton had the men around the goal area, but Dare managed it. Seven minutes from the finish, Everton regained the lead following a free kick against Malcolm for a foul on Farrell. Fielding took the free kick, and Wylie punched away, but the ball went straight to Farrell, who rammed it in the net from the edge of the penalty area. Final; Everton 2, West Ham United 1. Official attendance 55,245 Receipts £8,325.
READERS TAKE OVER THE SPORTS DESK
January 26, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
During the course of the annual dinner of Everton Shareholders Association this week, my mind wandered back to the Association earlier and stormy infancy when It was quite a difficult organization and a sizeable thorn in the Board of some directors. Those were the days when the Everton board was split in two rivals when there was much lobbying and for power and some rather salted football plan with publicity paraded on not infrequent was some. Things have changed very much latterly. So far as one can judge there is a happier and more united spirit on the board than it has known for some time. This is all to the good. May it long continue. So far as the shareholders are concerned I pinned back my ears when Mr. J.H. Hinton who has succeeded Mr. Jack Taylor as chairman of the Association, in proposing the toast of Everton and its directors at Thursday’s gathering said he was sure that whatever the directors did they would have the backing of the Shareholders Association. This seemed going a bit far in the jolly old pals” business for while not wishing anybody to be hypercritical to interfere in the club’s affairs I have always regarded the Shareholders Association as Everton’s watchdog, ready to say their piece when it was hostestly felt that such was needed. To suggest that no matter what the board might do the shareholders would be behind them seemed to take away nine-tenths of the value of the Association, reducing it to merely a social orgnaiastion.
Drain of Taxation
Mr. T.C. Nuttall, vice-chairman of the club, spoke of the tremendous cost of maintaining the club’s estate in a proper condition, which was a big drain on their liquid resources. “Most football clubs are being bled while by national and local taxation he continued. “The impact of entertainment tax is a very sore point, and an immediate alleviation of the burden is vitally necessary if football is to continue as a major sporting attraction. “National and local taxation absorbs approaxiably one-third of our gross income and the position will become extremely serious if this drain is continued indefinitely. “Under the proposed new valuation for Goodison Park against which we are appealing, we shall next year b faced with a demand by the local authorizes for over £6,000 which is double the present figure. “That is approximately £150 per match for first and second team games and means that we shall be losing on all our Central League fixtures. “Carrying forward that lose of the first team games will mean that before we open the gates at all we must meet a charge of between £200 and £250 on every senior fixture.
MY GREATEST CUP-TIE THRILL
January 26, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
All the thoughts of Everton supporters who make their way to Goodison Park this afternoon for the Cup-tie with West Ham, I am with the thoughts of many of them went back over the years to Everton’s victories and disappointing defeats in the world’s greatest soccer knock out competition. The older fore would no doubt recall their greatest thrills when Dixie Dean led Everton to their 1933 Cup Final victory over Manchester City. Since the last war Evertonians have had to be content with two semi-finals at Maine Road in which Everton were beaten on both occasion along with a six round appearance also at Maine Road last season, it’s the nearest the Blues have been to returning to Wembley. I wonder which Cup game in the last ten or eleven years afforded Evertonians greatest pleasure or thrills. Opinion naturally vary on such a subject but in my opinion that never to be forgotten Dave Hickson winner in the sixth round at Villa Park against Aston Villa which sent such a cheering echoing around Birmingham ground must surely come number one on the list of cup thrills for Evertonians since the war. Not far behind must come the Blues sixth round victory over Derby County at the Baseball ground despite being a goal behind early in the second half and I must forget that 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Goodison Park when Hickson scored the winner in the second half nor that exciting tie against Wolverhampton at Goodison when “Nooby” Fielding shot the winner after Jackie Grant had equalized in the dying seconds of the game. There have also been some very disappointing Cup results for the Blues over the same period, three of which stand out vividly in my mind. Number one on the list must certainly be the humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of “Old Enemy” at Goodison a few years ago. Following this game Everton supporters and players alike took the shortest possible route to work and tack home each day for the following week or two. Then there was the home Cup defeat by leyton Orient to the tune of 3-1 and a 1-0 defeat by Fulham both after the Blues had drawn the first games away from home. Every fan has his favourite Cup-tie the one he likes to remember best of all. Well, I am no exception and the one that will linger longest in my recollection long after must others have been forgotten in the semi-final game against Bolton at Maine Road in which we lost 4-3 I shall not remember it so much for the quality of our play that day or the lads amazing second half fight back as for the reactions of the loyal Evertonians who gave us a hero’s welcome as we trooped on to the field after the interval trailing 4-0 down. Again at the end of the game our supporters rose to us to leave me with a Cup thrill even in defeat which I shall not readily forget. I could go on and on recalling Cup games during my time at Goodison Park but I hope these which I have mentioned above will bring back more happy memories to Evertonians than disappointing ones. Recent displays by the Blues have caused some concern among our fans. True, in the last three games, we fully realize that we have not been a serving up the type of football which you expect to see from us. Don’t forget however, that injuries plus the loss of form by a few individuals are factors which are apt to throw any team out of gear. Here’s hoping we will soon remedy this with a quick return to the form we produced against Manchester United, Arsenal, and several others.
EVERTON SURVICE A RUGGED, RAGGED, BATTLE
January 28, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, West Ham 1
About the only consolation Everton followers were able to extract from the rugged and ragged Cup battle was that their team got through to round five. While nobody expects a vital cup-tie to provide an outstanding exhibition of the finer arts of soccer, the least expectant are entitled to something better than this. Constructive and intelligent football was rarely seen, and there was times when it seemed that the game was in danger of getting out of hand and developing into little more than a mauling and pushing brawl. Two players on each side were admonished by the referee, and in the later stages Gauld, had his name taken though in fairness to the Everton player it should be said that this was not for a foul. He had dashed over to the referee to protest when Eglington was brought down in a vigorous tackle by smith. Even after entering Gauld’s name in the notebook the referee twice called him back for further admonition after the player had attempted to rejoin his colleagues. The vigorous element was in evidence right at the start when Bond swept Eglington’s legs from under him in the first few minutes and Kirby crashed into Cantwell equally robustly.
A Typical Cup-Tie
From then onwards there was a succession of petulant or lusty incidents which did nothing to raise the tone of the game or improve the standard of football. Allied to that was a tendency on the part of both defences to pass back to their goalkeeper from outrageous distances a shot shyness in the forward lines, and a general lack of combination and rhythm which turned the match into what is usually described as typical cup-tie football. Although Everton had long spells of territorially supremacy in the first half, they never impressed as a team and rarely seemed likely to get the better of the opposition. Apart from a save each against Mayers and Fielding and a tender mis-hit shot by Kirby, Wylie had nothing to do in the West ham goal prior to the interval. Dunlop was even less employed so far as shots from the visitors were concerned, West Ham did not produce a single direct effort on the target. All Dunlop had to do was collect back passes –which kept him quite busy at times – and cut out occasional loose balls.
Gauld had one first-half chance to put Everton in front when Kirby headed back a corner-kick and Gauld found the ball drop right at his feet a couple of yards from the lien. Unfortunately he was facing the wrong way and before he could switch round and hit it Allison scrambled the ball away. Though only a half-chance, it was the best Everton had been able to carve out against tough resilient defenders who covered one another well and had clearly made up their minds before the start that by getting to the ball first they could cut out Everton’s scoring opportunities. Not only did they do that, but some of the Everton forwards helped them in their task by slowness in going for the ball and reluctance to fight for it. It was evident as soon as the second half started that West Ham had been primed with fresh instructions and had been made to realize that victory was within their grasp if they went the right way about it. They swung the ball about more freely, brought their wing halves into the game more effectively and cut out the reverse and lateral methods which had characterized them –and Everton –in the earlier stages. The result might have been what they expected, had they been able to produce some decent shooting or had the Everton defence been less able to cope with the situation.
Though there were occasions when Everton’s defence extricated itself from possible trouble more by good luck than calm and cool judgment it was usually equal to all the demands made upon it. Despite West Ham establishing territorial supremacy for all but isolated periods, Dunlop was never seriously tested and never in trouble. During Everton’s toughest moments Tansey and Donovan stood out in rock-like fashion. The former looked the more confident, for Donovan occasionally wore a harassed expression and seemed a little apprehensive. Possibly that was deceptive, however, for he did his work soundly and effectively. Against the run of the play at that particularly time, Everton took the lead at the sixty-seventh minute with a breakaway goal to Gauld after a sustained spell of pressure by West ham. It was Gauld’s quick-thinking which enabled him to cash in on his opportunity after a centre by Kirby had been headed high in the air by Lansdowne. If Wylie had also reacted as speedily Gauld might have been foiled for the goalkeeper seemed caught in two minds leaving Gauld the opportunity to head the ball over his out-stretched hands.
Within five minutes Everton were back where they had started for an indirect free kick taken by Dare cannoned into the net after striking Eglington and Donovan. Farrell got the winning goal seven minutes from the finish when Wylie electing to fist the ball away instead of catching Fielding’s free kick, only succeeded in placing it where Farrell could lash it back before Wylie could recover. This is the second year running that Farrell has scored the goal which has put Everton into round five. He did it last season against Chelsea. Never has he registered two more valuable goals. Fielding and Gauld were Everton’s best forwards with Tansey, Donovan and Farrell the pick of the defence. Mayers was no more successful at outside right than he was at centre forward a week earlier, or than his predecessor has been. Dick was his side’s cleverest attacker and showed up better than Gauld on the full ninety minutes. Both these players were watched by Scottish “B” team selectors. The West Ham defence, tall, rugged and uncompromising did all that was possible to ensure a replay. But its work went for nothing in the end, partly because Everton had the run of the ball at the most vital moment, and partly through the ineffectiveness of its own attack.
MANCHESTER CITY RES 2, EVERTON RES 2
January 28, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
With eight minutes to go the points looked safe in the custody of Everton reserves at Maine Road when they leading 2-0 with goals scored by Thomas and Williams (G). Up to then they were definitely the more polished side despite the fact that City included two internationals in Clarke and McAdams even when Clarke reduced the arrears for Manchester the visitors were still on top. Unfortunately, with a minute to go Manchester’s leader, Hart, was adjudged to have been brought down unfairly in the penalty area and the referee awarded a penalty from which McAdams leveled the scored.
EVERTON GET THROUGH IN SPITE OF MEDIOCRE AND RAGGED DISPLAY
January 28, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
If Everton’s Cup luck continues in the same strong vein that has marked their two games so far there is no telling how long they will remain in the competition, remote though the possibility of lengthy progress may appear on the basis of their mediocre and ragged display against West Ham. While they were not quite so outstandingly lucky in the game as they were against Blackburn Rovers, they again failed to impress and to my mind a draw would have been a fairer reflection of the afternoon’s play. The trite but faint old saying that you need luck to win the cup is as true today as when it was first uttered in the dim and distant past. But you also need a reasonable proportion of skill, artistry and soccer craft to go with it and those are attributes of which Everton showed few glimpses in this latest game. They muddled through to victory rather than won it on their merits. Neither they nor anybody else can hope to keep on doing that indefinitely especially when the contestants are whitted down and include those who have got through because of superiority in the basic fundamentals, and not on sheer good fortune. Though the Blues were the better of two very mediocre and almost shot-less teams in the first half, when neither ever looked like scoring West Ham had the upper hand for nearly all the second half, and on the full ninety minutes analysis could count themselves more than a trifle unfortunate not to get the chance or a replay. Manager Ted Fenton had brought along Everton’s share of the replay tickets printed in advance and up to a few minutes from the end was congratulating himself that the printers bill had not been incurred in vain.
Too Much Passing Back
When the excitement of the first few minutes had died down and the crowd had gone strangely quiet –mainly because nothing happened to maintain a pitch of expectancy –one would never have thought this was a vital cup-tie with so much at stake for both teams. The standard was poor, backs and half-backs passed to their goalkeepers from outrageous distances neither forward line produced a shot worth mentioning and an air of perfunctorness seemed to overhang the whole proceedings –apart from those instances when the Hammers rugged tackling, and Kirby’s bursting charges, livened up the proceedings a little. Early on there had seemed a possibility that the game might get out of hand, for in the opening minutes Bond had uprooted Eglington and Kirby had bundled Cantwell over just as unceremoniously. Though some of his later decisions were open to question even from the most unbiased Referee Buckle took the right steps to stop any prospective trouble in the bud when he read the Riot Act to Kirby, admonished Fielding for an exhibition of penance, took Gauld’s name, and lectured a couple of the visitors. It did not altogether stop the more robust protagonists but at least it kept their vigour within reasonable bounds. Apart from taking charge of loose balls or collecting the constant stream of back-passes neither goalkeeper had anything difficult to deal with in the first half. The nearest Everton came to looking like possible scores was when Mayers and Fielding had a go. I cannot remember a solitary West Ham shot worth mentioning. All the thrills came in the second half, and as so often happens, the side which was doing the most pressing found itself in arrears. It was an Everton breakaway after a hot spell of attack by the visitors in which the home goal twice had narrow escapes, that put the Blues in front. The ball was transferred from one end to the other in four sharp moves and Gauld, taking advantage of a defensive slip, headed over the hands of the hesitant Wylie, who had started to come out and then changed his mind. He would have done better either to have continued his outward dash or stayed right on his line. West Ham’s equalizer five minutes later from a free kick against Eglington, which –though I did not see the referee’s signal –turned out from inquiries later to have been an indirect one. When Dare took the kick Donovan up to head it away, but it glanced off Eglington, caught Donovan on the side of the head and was in the net with Dunlop, helpless to do anything about it. The winner came from Farrell seven minutes from the end after Wyle had punched away Fielding’s free kick right to Farrell’s feet –and Everton were through to round five. As an example of how the run of the ball can be decisive this vital goal was in direct contrast to an incident at the other end. Here Dunlop had punched away a corner right to the feet of West Ham’s right half whose shot like Farrell’s was bound for the back of the net but struck Lewis and rebounded to safely. Pleased though I was to see Everton though this latest Blues’ display had little to commend it so far as the attack was concerned. Even the defence was inclined to be jittery and apprehensive at times, particularly when the Hammers were piling on the pressure midway through the second half.
Defences Were Best
Dunlop, one fumble excepted was very sound, as also was Tansey whose consistency has been outstanding recently. Donovan fulfilled his main task of shadowing Lewis whom Everton regarded as the Hammer’s main danger man but it meant that rather ominous gaps kept appearing in the home rearguard when Lewis wandered and took Donovan with him. Though tansy and Rea drifted tin to the middle on such occasions, there were times when the defence looked more open than would have been safe against a more virile and direct attack than the Hammers. Gauld, watched by Scottish selectors was not as prominent as usual, and though Kirby used his weight to the full he had neither the craft nor the speed to bat the more experienced Allison except on rare occasions. Though Mayers did not display the same painful air of indecision and hesitancy that has characterized McNamara’s recent displays on this showing he is no improvement and the outside right problem remains unsolved. Fielding was the most effective forward. He used intelligence in endeavouring to open up the play when his colleagues fell back into their close passing vein, and had one of the day’s best shots. The Hammers were rugged and tenacious in defence. It was obvious that they intended to get to the ball first if possible, if not possible they went in for a spoiling game, and put their heights and weights to full advantage. Dick was the most likely looking forward of a line which was no better than Everton’s and Smith, though no brilliant showed some clever touches. Wylie was unfortunate, for his two partial errors, the only ones he made led to a goal in each instance.
How The Cash Melts
Everton’s two cup-ties have drawn an aggregate attendance of 111,438 with gross receipts totaling £18,912. From thus sum taxation takes roughly one-third and the remainder after deducting expenses is split three ways –one third to each of the competing clubs and a third to the F.A pools. Everton’s net profit from the two ties will be under £4,000.
EVERTON SHAREHOLDERS’ CHAIRMAN MAKES HIS VIEWS CLEAR
January 29, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Mr. J.H. Hinton, chairman of Everton Shareholders Association has asked me to make one point clear regarding his speech at the annual dinner of the Association to which I referred recently. From what he tells me it is obvious that his remarks should not be interpreted as indicating that no matter what the club’s directors may do the Shareholders Association will accept it without question. As I said to commenting on the speech, I have always regarded any association of shareholders whether in football or commercial life, as watchdogs of the affairs of the organization in which they hold a financial interest. In the case of a football club the interest goes beyond that of finance alone. Indeed Soccer clubs are no use to those whose only concern is what return they get on their money. With dividends limited by F.A rule to a maximum of 7 ½ per cent –which very often is not paid –less tax, nobody would wax fat or wealthy on football investments. The vast majority of people put their money into football because they love the game want to keep their favourite club prosper and desire to make sure of tickets for cup-ties and special occasions. A small proportion may regard their shareholders as a possible step to a future directorship. There is nothing wrong about that. It is a laudable ambition. There is always room in the game for men of substance integrity and knowledge with time to devote to the unpaid job of directing the affairs of league clubs. Most directors do a lot of hard work without any reward beyond the privileges to which their position rightly entitles them.
But to return to Mr. Hinton’s remarks. He emphasizes he did not intend to convey that right or wrong, the shareholders Association would tamely acquiesce in all the Everton board might do. “If we feel that at any time it is necessary for us to express our views or administer a little shake-up to the board, we shall not shirk our duty.” He said. “At the same time, as I said in my speech, we sympathies with the directors who are passing through a serious phrase and have many responsibilities. We do not wish to be unduly critical or in any way dampen the enthusiasm of men who are working so hard and wholeheartedly for the good of the club.” That should put things in the right perspective. Even the directors stand to gain more from the Association if it comprises men of strong minds, not lacking courage to express disagreement if they feel it necessary than from an Association that would tamely accept all the board might do, good or bad. Mr. Hinton hit the nail on the head when he referred to apathy among a section of supporters who so long as the team won, were not unduly perturbed as to how the points were gained. “We want to see them give us good football and get two points from somewhere near the top of the league not near the bottom” he said.
Still Has Confidence
Though the Shareholders Association kept aloof from controversy when Mr. Britton resigned in which they may have been wise, and has made no pronouncement of Everton affairs for quite a while, it is good to be assured that they intend to maintain their “watch dog” role, providing they do not interfere in matters which are better left to those most qualified to judge. “At the same time” Mr. Hinton told me, “I feel sure that by the end of the season my remarks and the confidence which I have in the present directors will be fully justified.” Mr. Hinton’s whose early life was devoted to accountancy used to keep the Liverpool clubs books nearly 50 years ago, in the days of the late Tom Watson and at one time was assistant manager of the Empire Theatre. He has been in business on his own account for many years as a produce importer in Liverpool, Manchester and elsewhere.
On The Mend
Tommy Jones and Jimmy Harris who were much missed by Everton on Saturday are now making steady progress and may be fit by the weekend, when the Blues are at Sunderland. If it is felt that another week’s rest would be beneficial however, especially in view of the forthcoming Cup-tie against Manchester United, no risks will be taken. Payne is also improving nicely and after his recent Central League outings may perhaps be regarded as sufficiently match-fit to come into consideration for the senior side, Kirby has a badly bruised calf and at the moment is in the doubtless class.
January 30, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Mr. Ian Buchan will not be able to announce the Everton team to visit Sunderland until Thursday at the earliest owing to the unresolved doubt regarding Jones and Harris. The latter may possibly be fit. Jones is still rather unlikely, Kirby is also under treatment.
Everton who should have met Preston North End at Goodison Park on February 16, but now meet Manchester United in the Cup that day have provisionally arranged to play North End on the following Wednesday. Should a replay be necessary in the cup-tie the match with Preston will be put back a further week.