CAN EVERTON KEEP IT UP?
November 2, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton will tackle their away engagement with West Bromwich Albion with considerably greater confidence than they have known at any previous time this season. Several times in recent months I have pleaded for patience from their supporters, and expressed the view that with one or two good victories behind them the Blues would be a much improved side. Honestly compels the admission, however, that I was never so optimistic as to envisage the starting point of Everton’s recovery dating from their visit to Old Trafford. That was a real surprise. But it showed again the unpredictability of football, and the folly of being too sweeping in one’s judgment whether favourable or otherwise. For the same reason that I did not write Everton off as hopeless when they made so bad a start to the season, I am not becoming too optimistic because of recent victories, greatly encouraging though the revival is. It is wiser to wait for further evidence before jumping to the conclusion that there is now nothing much to worry about. Quite likely there are further disappointments in the offing. It may be that tomorrow’s game at the Hawthorns will be one of them for West Bromwich are a sound and well-balanced team who rarely allow visiting clubs much latitude. Albion’s only home defeat was when Manchester United won 3-2 at the Hawthorns in August. Remembering what Everton did to the United a fortnight ago does not necessarily guarantee another victory for the Blues. Form does not always work out so simply and satisfyingly. Everton will have to be at their best to make sure of even one point against an Albion team which has suffered few changes all season and has conceded only eight goals in seven home engagements. One encouraging feature from Everton’s viewpoint is that the Midlanders have not been doing much in the goal-scoring line this winter Robson and Allen share the honours between them with five goals each. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington. West Bromwich Albion; Sanders; Howe, Millard; Setters, Kennedy, Barlow; Griffin, Nicholls, Kevan, Robson, Allen.
November 3, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Leslie Edwards
Before the Everton party set out for West Bromwich this morning benefit cheques of £750 will be presented at Goodison Park, to Peter Farrell and Tom Eglington. Within a fortnight of their happy return to first-team duty a more fitting moment could scarcely have been chosen. But for both it must be a moment of nostalgia. Looking ahead they must wonder when next their accrued share will arise. The football public often thinks that benefits cheques are players by right. The law says their may be paid. It is all rather like services privilege leave – something you get providing the exigencies of the &c, &c. it is good to know that accured benefit shares have gone too, to Everton players no longer with the club – George Rankin (now at Southport), John Parker (battling along with Bury), Eddie Wainwright and Jimmy Grant (both at Rochdale), Harry Potts (coaching with Stanley Cullis, Wolves) and Harry Leyland, still keeping a good goal with Blackburn Rovers. These in addition to sums to two other former players Lewis and Melville. Everton’s aim today will be to bring off a hat-trick of wins of great quality. With an unchanged side they must be quiently fancied to win or draw at West Bromwich whose back and captain Millard will be having his 600th game. What a contribution. One of the battles I shall watch closely will be between Kirby, young Everton centre forward and Kennedy, the Albion centre-half back. Kirby has vivid recollections of the first time he faced Kennedy in a Central League match and wonders how he is going to escape the clutches this time. When last I saw Everton at this ground it was deep in snow and as I remember it Everton won. Everton twelfth man that day, Jack Humphreys, who was not fated to live long, was deputed to put on boots and test the icy going so that Trainer Harry Cooke could re-stud boots accordingly. There’ll be no snow how, but likelihood is that Everton will continue their League uplift to prove that they are better together now than at any time since their crisis days. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington. West Bromwich Albion; Sanders; Howe, Millard; Setters, Kennedy, Barlow; Griffin, Nicholls, Kevan, Robson, Allen.
EVERTON FALL AT WEST BROM
November 3, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
West Brom 3, Everton 0
This match was won in the first 10 minutes. A rampaging Albion scored twice in that period and were on top except for the final 20 minutes when Everton rallied without affect. I have rarely seen Everton so completely ineffective except for those closing 20 minutes. Dunlop, rather unlucky to concede Albion’s second goal, played brilliantly. For the rest, except a hook-winked defence, there can be little commendation. West Brom; Sanders, goal; Howe and Millard (captain), backs; Setter, Kennedy and Barlow, half-backs; Griffins, Robson, Kevan, Nicholls, and Allen, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan and Tansey, backs; Birch, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; McNamara, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.E Smith (Newport). Big Everton news before the match was that Tony McNamara had requested that the club would agree to his withdrawing his application for transfer. It goes without saying that the answer was “with pleasure.” Before the party left Goodison Park, acting chairman Tom Nuttall presented benefit cheques for £750 to Peter Farrell and Tom Eglington. He paid tribute to their fine loyal service and said that he was sure all Everton supporters would wish to add their thanks for the splendid service they had given. In saying his thanks you, Eglington mentioned the many friendships he had formed with members of the Everton staff. B.B.C. TV cameras were in action at the Hawthorns. The crowd was one of only 20,000 at the kick-off. In a bright start Allen played straight down the middle and without challenge delivered a low shot which Dunlop must have been relieved to see beat the post by a foot or two. Eglington in the line of fire of a Fielding pass, got a blow to the head but this was as nothing to the blow. Everton suffered in five minutes when a lovely Albion left-wing move gave them the lead. Nicholls finally took the ball to the goalline before pulling it back squarely for Robson to shoot low into the net. So far Everton had not matched their rapturous form of the United and Arsenal games. Dunlop had to leap high and take the ball securely from a long shot by Barlow. At 10 minutes, Albion went 2-0 from a truly remarkable goal. Barlow hit a tremendous shot from some 40 yards out, Dunlop did well t get his hands to the ball but it ran free, when it seemed certain to complete the save Allen came from “nowhere” and rammed it in over the line for a goal which set all West Bromwich alight. Everton showed signs of life by fits and starts, but broadly speaking Albion were right on top. Albion were vicious shooters from any angle and range, and Dunlop did well to put around the post a cracking low shot by Kevan. So far the new Everton goalkeeper had been exceptionally busy. As yet the Everton attack had not functioned. Albion had produced half a dozen first-class shots. By degrees Everton settled down a little and the defence got some respite but I fear the damage had been done. Oddly, the first shot to trouble Sanders in 25 minutes was from Donovan! That was the measure of Everton’s ineffectiveness in attack. With Tansey caught out of position from upfield Robson nearly made it 3-nil. Dunlop did well to field when a little unsighted the Albion forward’s fast low shot aimed just inside the post.
All this time Birch was doing fine defensive work all over the field. By this time Albion had recovered their complete ascendency. A glancing header by Gauld from a well planted pass by McNamara was Everton’s only answer. Dunlop continued to play brilliantly. Now he took a close-in shot by Griffin and fell on the ball as another Albion forward came at him pitching right over his head.
Lively Left Wing
The Albion left winger lively Allen, backed by Barlow was having a field day. Albion were playing as though they were enjoying every minute of the game –as well they might. Off an in swinging Allen corner Dunlop was hard put to it to keep the ball out at the expenses of a further corner. He went up and covered too, a fantastically fast Barlow drive –one from about 30 yards. It dipped over the bar like a November 5 rocket set off two days early. Half-time; West Bromwich Albion 2, Everton nil.
After two great victories this Everton performance was astonishing and disturbing. Albion were faster, better together, and much more dangerous. Except for two instances the Everton attack had not taken any move to finality. Moreover, Dunlop had been kept at full stretch almost throughout the first half. Everton began the second half in a scrambling disjointed sort of way and misplaced passes were as frequent as they had been earlier. The side just could not get going. Albion’s driving thrusts were still coming with Barlow and Allen the trouble makers Jones, Tansey and Donovan did splendid defensive services to keep the score to two. Every pass Fielding and Gauld made seemed to go astray.
Jeers From The Crowd
Some of Everton’s attempts at finishing drew jeers from Albion spectators and some of Everton’s travelling supporters must have been near to tears of frustration. Sanders in collision with Kirby, took a toss, but Albion who seemed content to jog along in a comfortable lead were untroubled except for the mere promise of Everton’s attacking. They were breaking down much nearer goal, but that was no consolation. Fielding shooting at an open goal-Kirby and Saunders having gone to earth in a tussle for McNamara’s centre –shot wildly and wide. McNamara now started and all but completed Everton’s best down-the-middle move.
For the first time now Everton took charge and Albion looked anything but the competent confident team they had been, but they were still dangerous when they occasionally cut loose, and Jones and company had little respite. Birch, with a dipping shot which passed inches too high brought some power to an Everton line which had been lacking in punch, but the game was ebbing out slowly and surely in Albion’s favour and none could say that they were not by far the better side.
Sanders dived at the feet of Kirby to save a certain goal and Donovan on the goal line took a cannon-ball shot from Griffin to save another certainty. The force of the ball turned him over in a complete somersault. Allen, from the inside left position, then slapped home a great shot for Albion’s third at 80 minutes. Dunlop withstood a heavy charge and received attention; happily he was able to resume nursing a damaged elbow. This was the first time Albion have scored more than two goals this season. They will get plenty of goals and success, if their attack performs in future as it did in this match. Everton battled on to the end but with little hope. The few good chances they made they used badly. Final; West Bromwich Albion 3, Everton nil
• Everton “A” 2 Bury “A” 3
• Newton 2, Everton “C” nil
A DAY I HOPE NEVER TO SEE
November 3, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
Everton’s convincing victory over Arsenal gave all of us great satisfaction. Many Evertonians went along to Goodison Park last Saturday wondering if the Blues’ display the champions, Manchester United had been just one of those happenings in football which occur from time to time to upset the football coupons. We the players were very anxious to prove that our Old Trafford show was a sign of things to come, and to continue where we had left off the previous week. Happily for all who have Everton at heart, the lads were right on their toes from the start, and provided supporters with not only two valuable points, but also with the Blues best home display of the season. It is very pleasing to win 4-0 but when it is against a club as famous as the mighty Arsenal, success is even more pleasant. The Highbury club is always a big attraction whenever the Gunners play, due to the great name they have built for themselves in football through the years. When we look back and think of the famous names and personalities that have been linked with the Arsenal, it is easily understood how they have become such a famous club, apart from their deeds on the field.
No Big names
Despite the fact that the “Gunners” have been enjoying a fairly successful season to date, their present side is very unlike their famous teams of the past, inasmuch as it lacks personalities and an Arsenal side devoid of personalities and famous names is very strange indeed. Last week’s line-up against the Blues was a workmanlike combination, but I am sure you will agree that it contained possibly apart from Kelsey, no real big name in football which captures the imagination of the fans. Arsenal took the field against the Blues without the inspiration of the late chief and boss. Tom Whittaker, who had died during the week. As the two sides lined up before the game for a short silence as a tribute to Tom Whittaker, I noticed a few tears from some of the Arsenal players, which was not surprising, as few managers had such a way of dealing with players problems as the former Arsenal manager. His loss to the club and the game will indeed be great but the service he rendered will, I am sure not easily e forgotten.
Tom Jones Honour
At Goodison Park last Tuesday everyone was delighted at hearing the news that Tom Jones had been selected to represent the F.A. against the Army next Wednesday at Maine Road. You may have gathered from previous writings in this column from time to time that yours truly considers Jones’s selection something which should have happened before now. Still, better late than never, and it is certainly a step in the right direction towards what all Evertonians would dearly love to see namely Tom getting a full England cap. Tom will certainly not lack for support next Wednesday, as practically the entire playing staff at Goodison are going through to Maine Road to watch with a very particular interest in the centre half who has been such a model of consistency for the Blues for so long. Here’s wishing Tom, on behalf of all Evertonians, all the best. Some fans are easily upset I had a letter this week from a gentleman about my behavoiur when I scored the Blues third goal last week. He states that I jumped three feet in the air with my arms extended above my head and goes on to say that at my age and with my experience I should be more composed on an occasion such as this, and not act like an excited schoolboy. Ah, well it’s not very often that I score and I hope as long as I keep playing I shall never see the day that, when I score I shall turn round and walk sedately back to the centre of the field.
BUT EVERTON MAT HVE LEARNED A VITAL LESSON
November 5, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
West Bromwich Albion 3, Everton 0
By Leslie Edwards
A swarm of questions arise from this match-most of them unanswerable with certainly. Top of the list is that concerning the standard of Albion play during the first ten minutes in which they swept Everton off the park, scored twice and broke, almost completely the confidence engendered in Everton by successive victories against Manchester United and Arsenal. Was this truly brilliant West Bromwich football or did it only seem brilliant by comparison with the flat-footed slow indecision of an Everton who seemed shocked into submission with ten minutes of the game starting? My view is that Albion were flattered; that they caught Everton napping; that there may have been after two great triumphs the least bit of over-confidence at the start of a fixture which is always difficult no matter how good your team. I base this opinion (which suggests that Everton should retain their side en bloc for the home match against Portsmouth next Saturday) on what happened later. While confessing that Albion won convincingly and quite deservedly I cannot forget that for twenty minutes at the end Everton came to life and exposed some limitations of opponents said to have never played better since they won the F.A. Cup in that belated –spell Everton should have had goals indifferently as they finished rather labored, side-ways, attacks. Indeed if they had used openings they made Albion would have found themselves hard pressed to take points which had been safely their’s throughout the first half and much of the second.
Instead, Allen, he game’s great personality came along with a third goal to prove once and for all, that the left wing is his best position, if I remember rightly, it was at outside left against Everton that Allen made his debut for Albion, at Goodison park after leaving Port Vale. Here is one of the finest controllers of the ball; one of the cutest positional players, and a man of no great size or weight who can pounce devastingly on a scoring chance. This was Allen in international form. Everton were caught unprepared by the speed and directness of Albion’s opening. Backed by the massive Barlow the Albion left wing moved with accuracy and speed to work a five-minute goal for Robson. Dunlop was in the firing line more than once before falling victim very unluckily to a second goal which seemed to take what little stream had been left in the Everton engine. Barlow, a ready shooter sized the Everton defence’s propensity for falling back and came on to hit a long-distance shot which flew fast and swerved. Dunlop saved, but the ball ran free from his hands. There seemed no danger but the one man who must have been on the move throughout the incident – Allen-knew otherwise. He came from “nowhere” to slash the ball home.
Two-nil down with eighty minutes to play Everton –if these early moments were any criterion –had only a hiding on their horizon. It looked more and more as though Albion would win handsomely when Everton with pass after pass misplaced, added weight to an already over-loaded defence in which Dunlop played brilliantly. Where Fielding and Gauld had flung the ball far and wide and accurately against Arsenal they now failed to produce the elementary passes which are the essentials of good forward play. The team played on almost dazedly and without the spirit which had been so notable in their previous matches. In 25 minutes the only shot of any worth Sanders faced was from full back Donovan who escaped the onerous job of trying to quiet, Allen and company momentarily to come upfield. Tansy, too, tried to be hold in support of the left wing, but more than once was caught badly out of position. If Albion’s probing through passes had been used well there could have been no hope for Everton or Dunlop; instead, Jones who played finely all through and others held up this tidal wave of endeavour and survived the early minutes of the second half well enough to given others some chance of pulling round a game which had earlier seemed hopelessly lost.
Gained The Initiative
From that point Everton took the initiative and while Albion led only 2-0 there was always an outside chance that they might snatch one, and may be two goals. But Sanders saved at the feet of Kirby, Fielding missed chances from which he would normally have shot the ball home and other attacks which should have been crowned were not. Realizing danger, Albion put on pressure and Allen at inside right, put on the third and crushing goal. With the ball tied to his boots and often sending out a sharp unexpected pass splitting the Everton defence Allen was the man who did nearly everything to make his side’s victory. Hard as Donovan worked he never seemed to know Allen’s next move. The only Everton players who touched normal form were McNamara –an excellent contribution of studied winging – Jones and Dunlop. True, many of Albion’s big shots were from a distance, but they all know how to hit a ball and Dunlop showed courage and skill in reaching shots rained on him in the first half. The play of Fielding and Gauld was doubly disappointing since it was so inexplicable after their brilliance of seven days earlier. Gauld was inclined to hold the ball too long and was never as penetrating as he had been against Arsenal; Fielding and some others had one of those days when they seemed incapable of finding a way for through passes which Albion exploited so well.
Not surprisingly Kirby was left with meagre support. He was at the mercy of Kenendy, one of the finest centre half-backs I have seen for years. His work in the air and on the ground, against the rangy Kirby, was formiable; added to other qualities he put up a first-rate service of constructional passes. On this display Albion have three men –Allen, Barlow, and Kennedy –who are within easy reach of England caps. Disappointing as defeat was, it had to be taken philosophically – and it was. The lesson is that you cannot win matches on the glory of past performance. I think Everton have learned it and that they will see to it that Portsmouth, their bogey team do not get away to such a shattering start when they step out at Goodison Park next Saturday.
EVERTON RES V NEWCASTLE RES
November 3, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res;- O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Leeder, backs; Meagan, Woods and Lello, half-backs; Tomlinson, Harris (J), Glazzard, Farrell, and Mayers, forwards. Defences were well on top in the early stages and it was fully five minutes before Panton running after a pass from Scoular, made the first shot of the game. After some rather aimless football, Everton produced an excellent move which brought a goal after 20 minutes play. Tomlinson beat Batty before centring the ball to Glazzard whose long range header was fisted out by Thompson on to the head of Harris, who made no mistake with an open goal. Newcastle fought back, but their moves usually ended either with a wild shot or a misplaced pass. Scoular came near to scoring with a 30 yards free kick which O’Neill saved at the second attempt. After 53 minutes play Glazzard scored Everton’s second goal. The same player had another good effort well saved while both Everton wingers fired inches over the bar. Half-time; Everton Res 2, Newcastle Res nil. Although United resumed in dashing style their attack lacked cohesion. Only Punton threatened the Everton defence and Woods came to the rescue when the visiting outside left, having beaten Sanders was about to shoot. White who was receiving poor support was slow in taking his first real chance. Everton eventually broke away and a wing to wing move ended with Mayers shooting behind.
EVERTON RESERVES 2, NEWCASTLE RESERVES 1
November 5, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton won more convincingly than the score indicates for Newcastle gave a lifeless display apart from a late rally which produced their goal and almost earned a point, Everton attacked mainly through their speedy right wing pair Tomlinson and Harris, while Glazzard who was a clever leader Woods, Leeders and Lello were prominent in the home defence, Harris (J) and Glazzard (Everton) and Spears (Newcastle) scored the goals.
EVERTON WERE CAUGHT NAPPING….
November 5, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
But The Side Deserves Its Chance Against Pompey
Everton go into their match against Portsmouth –their hoodoo team – next Saturday wandering about the reliability of their form at West Bromwich. Has the Everton bubble burst? I think not. I maintain that they can repeat such form as got them points from Arsenal and Manchester United if they will learn the lesson of that damaging, disappointing 3-0 defeat at the Hawthorns. What this game demonstrated the hard way was that you cannot win matches if you start to try to live on past glory. I think Everton were caught napping a little in this respect during the first ten minutes of the Albion game –ten whirl-wind Albion minutes in which the game was virtually won and lost. You cannot give sides like Albion two goals start so early and hope to get away with it. Like Bolton, Burnley and a few others, I could mention. West Bromwich Albion on their own ground are always hard to beat no matter where they stand in the table. It was a humiliated but not altogether an unhappy Everton side which linked en route home at Stone, with Bob Paisley’s Liverpool Reserves who had won at Villa. There had been jocular talk, outward bound, that the reward for Everton victory at West Bromwich might be a Friday afternoon free for those who wanted to see some Aintree steepchansing. And now Everton are confronted by their own brand of obstacle –a Portsmouth who have rarely failed to win here or at Portsmouth in all the post-war meetings, and usually be a whacking margin. But if I read the signs aright this will be one Goodison Park fixture which will bring them little or nothing. I think the Everton team as constituted can hardly play as badly as they did against Albion, and that the two men whose success is so necessary to the side. Fielding and Gauld, will revert to the kind of stuff they produced against Arsenal and Manchester United.
Albion won because they knocked Everton cold in the first ten minutes the side never recovered its composure until 20 minutes from the end. Then with the score at 2-0 they had chances –none of them well taken –to have made a fight of it. Admitting that Albion started brilliantly there was no reason why Everton should have in so quickly or so obviously. These goals by Robson and Allen coming so early in a weller of Albion supremacy were killing. And double so because Dunlop who played brilliantly throughout was so unlucky to concede one to Albion. He had saved Barlow’s fast long swerving shot when Allen popped up from nowhere to slap the rebound from the goalkeeper’s hands into the net. With Fielding so out of sorts and Gauld often caught in possession and not nearly do penetrating or good again his home debut Everton uncaptioned on few cylinders. Kirby was left with meagre chances against a splendid half-back in Kennedy and Eglington and McNamara were not nearly so much in the picture as they had been against Arsenal.
But McNamara contributed a great deal to Everton’s final if unavilating attempt at recovery. He held the ball cleverly; used it well especially when finding Eglington on the other wing and in short played as well as one would expect from a man whose application to be taken off transfer had just been granted. Not only did Fielding find it difficult to place the ball he missed chances. It is excusable I suppose that a man who normally does nearly everything right should have a day when so much goes wrong. That’s football that’s life. Donovan had the most onerous job of any back –trying to quiet the darting Allen who was in international form. It was Donovan after 25 minutes who produced the first strike Everton had made in that long period. Jones facing an Albion attack back brilliantly by half backs Barlow and Kennedy (again two men of England stamp) did his job well and Birch moved far and wide to help but Albion were worth their win. That final 20 minutes by Everton proved I think that they could have been the equals of Albion, given a fair start. As it was the winners were home and dried almost as soon as the gate went up. I do not think the Everton selectors will need to confer long, or anxiously, about their next team. The side demands a chance to show that this form was all wrong I think they will get it.
EVERTON PIN THEIR FAITH TO UNCHANGED TEAM
November 7, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have announced a unchanged team for Saturday’s game when the Goodison club will be home to Portsmouth. Portsmouth have the best post-war record of any team against Everton having won thirteen of their fourteen engagements over the past ten years, during which they have scored 47 goals to Everton’s eight. Everton’s lone victory was away back on September 14 1946 when they won 1-0 at Goodison Park through a goal by Stan Bentham. The only survivor of that game on view this week will be Tommy Eglington. Farrell had not then made his Everton debut. Portsmouth have a 7-0 win to their credit, two others of 5-0 one of them at Goodison Park –and another by 5-1. No other team has anything like so over whelming a list of successes against Everton. It goes without saying that quite apart from their need of points nothing would please Everton and their supporters more than to decisively turn the tables on the Southern club this week-end. They have suffered enough from them in the past to last a long time. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington.
Everton reserves (v West Bromwich Albion res away)-O’Neill; Sanders, Leeder; Meagan, Woods, Rea; Tomlinson, Harris (J), Glazzard, Farrell, Mayers.
HENDERSON WILL LEAD PORTSMOUTH’S ATTACK AT EVERTON
November 8, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Compared with the side which lost at home to Tottenham Hotspur last week, Portsmouth will make three changes, one of them positional, for their visit to Goodison Park on Saturday. Jack Henderson, the Scottish international is now fit again after missing the last three matches, and resumes as leader of the attack, which allows Gordon Dale to return to his normal position at outside left. Dale has been at centre forward during Henderson’s obsence. The other change is at inside left where Rafferty comes for Rees who last week deputized for Barnard, Portsmouth had hoped that the latter would be fit to play against Everton but his injured ankle is still painful and it was decided not to take any chances with him. There is still a doubt regarding the visiting goalkeeper, Irish international Uprichard who has missed the last eight games is to have a fitness test later. He has been suffering from an ankle injury. If he passed this he will return to the side; if not Drinkwater a 22-years-old custodian who made his senior debut on September 15 will continue to fill the breach.
Despite their lowly position Portsmouth have made comparatively few changes in their team this season and still fewer experiments. All our alterations have been forced on us by injuries.” Manager Eddie Lever told me today. “We have been playing far better in many games than our League position indicates and once we can field a settled team and get a little better run of the ball I think you will see us climbing the table.” So far this season Portsmouth have called upon only seventeen players to fulfill their fixtures which is less than the majority of clubs. One player has appeared only once to fill a temporary gap caused by injury. There are still five Portsmouth men with an ever present certificate namely right back McGhee, centre half Phil Gunter, left-half Jimmy Dickinson, outside-right Peter Harris, and his inside-right partner John Gordon. Right-half Pickett has missed only one game. Switches in position have been limited to four –which again is less than average –and one of these was forced on the club by the injury to centre-half Charles Rutter early in September which resulted in Gunter moving from left-back to take over the pivotal position which he has occupied since.
November 8, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
I had occasion yesterday to telephone Harry Catterick the former Everton centre-forward who now manages Rochdale regarding a query I wished to answer. In the course of our conversation, Mrs. Catterick paid a warm and quite in solicited tribute to the manner in which he had been treated by Everton whenever he has approached them for assistance and particularly in relation to his close season acquisition of Eddie Wainwright, Jackie Grant and Gwyn Lewis. “Nobody could have been more accommodating than Everton” he said; “and their stock stands very high with my directors. When we explained the money angle they immediately agreed to payment spread over five months which helped us considerably. We hope to complete the last installment by the end of December. “I have found no club more helpful than Everton when approached regarding a possible deal. My board is grateful for what they did and we shall not forget it. The good will which the Goodison club has obviously established at Rochdale may stand them in good stead some day, if ever the position are reversed and Everton fancy a Rochdale player who looks as though he may make First Division grade.
EVERTON WILL ATTEMPT TO END THAT LONG STANDING POMPEY HOODOO
November 9, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Although Everton’s League position is more encouraging today than some folk anticipated not many weeks ago, it is far from being satisfactory, and the points difference separating them from the six lower clubs is too slender for any feeling of complacency. In other words, though Everton are a much improved side on the basis of some of their more recent displays they are still a long way from safely, particularly if some of the clubs below them begin to enjoy a sustained run of success. Whatever they may achieve in their away games in which latterly they have done exceptionally well until coming a cropper last week at West Bromwich, it is vital that Everton should take maximum points from their Goodison Park engagements. So far these have averaged only a point a game with a slightly adverse goal average of 11 for and 13 against. Tomorrow the Blues entertain their greatest bogey team of all time, I doubt whether in all their long history Everton have so poor a record over so long a period as their position performances against Portsmouth. There seems to have been a recent hoodoo on them on each occasion, and frequently the Southern club has been very much flattered by the final result. One example of that was when the Blues lost 0-5 at Fratton Park two years ago, on a day when they had released O’Neill, Donovan, Farrell, and Eglington to Eire. Although four down at the interval Everton fought back splendidly in the second half and had enough chances to get on level terms before Portsmouth scored their last goal.
Nothing Went Right
But nothing would go right for them. Forwards with only the goalkeeper to beat shot outside from almost point blank range, and one unfortunate player, with an empty goal to put the ball into trod on it, and fell over. That is the way things have gone on many occasions when Everton have come up against Portsmouth. No wonder they have been beaten, home and away thirteen times on the run. But even the worst of bad sequence must come to an end sooner or later and what better time that the present for Everton to call a halt to the humiliating run of successive defeats. A side capable of ending Manchester United’s long unbeaten run, and at Old Trafford of all places, should be good enough on paper at least to take both points from a Portsmouth team which has only once hoisted a winning flag in its last 18 away engagements in League and Cup. The last time Portsmouth won on their opponents ground was on February 4 of this year. Yes, you’ve presumably guessed it, it was when they paid their last visit to Goodison Park. They won 2-0. The best thing the Everton players can do tomorrow is forget all about what has happened in the past. Tomorrow’s game is a low unto itself, upon which all the ill-luck of previous seasons can have no effect unless the state of mind of the home players so permits. And there is not the slightest reason why this should happen if Everton will tackle the job in the right spirit and with the utmost determination. Portsmouth may not decide the exact formation of their attack until just before the game, and may switch Henderson and Dale though I understand it is more likely that these two will occupy their normal positions. Rafferty will be playing his first senior game this season. I am no lover of the canned music that has became the custom at football matches. Tomorrow there will be a change, and the pipe band of the 1st Battalion of the Liverpool Scottish will provide the music at Goodison. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington. Portsmouth; Uprichard; McGhee, Wilson; Pickett, Gunter, Dickinson, Harris, Gordon, Henderson, Rafferty, Dale.
GOOD FOR LELLO
November 10, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Cyril Lello’s departure from Everton –he linked up yesterday with manager Harry Catterick and other former Evertonians, Jacky Grant, Eddie Wainwright, and Gwyn Lewis at Rochdale –is a good move for the player. Lello has given fine services since he joined Everton from Shrewsbury eight years ago and with such young players as Everton have for half back positions it was not expected that they would stand in his way. He will make his debut today at inside forward in the match against Stockport. He would probably have joined Southport if that club’s reported bid for him had been in line with what Everton considered Lello was worth. Throughout his career with Everton Lello has been an exemplary player, on and off the field. I am sorry to see him go but glad that he has found a fresh niche in the game. Rochdale’s star can only risk with such fine experienced players at their command.
GAULD ON THE GOAL STANDARD
November 10, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Pompey Hit Back To Draw Level
Everton 2, Portsmouth 2
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan and Tansey, backs; Birch, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; McNamara, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Portsmouth; Uprichard, goal; McGhee, and Wilson, backs; Pickett, Gunter, and Dickinson, half-backs; Harris, Gordon, Dale, Rafferty and Henderson, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.J. Leale (Nottingham). Portsmouth decided to retain Dale at centre-forward, with Henderson returning after injury, taking over at outside left. Eire selectors were present in view off the forthcoming World Cup qualifying match at the end of the month, while Scottish representatives were watching Henderson, Wilson and Gauld. Everton won two corners in the first four minutes. From the first of these Kirby produced a splendid header which Uprichard timed over the bar at the last second. Portsmouth might have snatched a goal when Harris tore through held off a challenge by Tansey, and then squared a low pass out of the reach of Dunlop into the path of Rafferty. The latter however was too slow on the uptake and when his shot was blocked Dunlop switched round and fell on the ball. For some minutes Everton kept Portsmouth penned in their own quarters and in quick succession Kirby, Fielding and Eglington had shots on headers not far off the mark. At the eight minute Everton took the lead and although Fielding was the scorer the bulk of the credit goes to Eglington. he picked up a pass from Jones in his own half, outstripped McGhee and tried a shot-cum-centre which Uprichard punched away, Fielding on the edge of the penalty area, “Stabbed” it back well out of the goalkeeper’s reach. Everton almost had a second goal when Eglington in the inside right position sent McNamara away and the winger cutting in quickly, hit a tremendous oblique shot which had Uprichard beaten all the way but came back into play off the upright.
No player this season has been more unlucky than McNamara in being deprived of goals by the intervention of the woodwork. Henderson and Donovan were having a series of private duels with the Everton man on top in most instances, Henderson despite his speed, rarely got the better of his opponent. Rafferty had a great chance to put Portsmouth on level terms when Dale veered out to the left, beat his man, and came in parallel with the dead ball line before pulling a pass back into the middle. The also muffed the opportunity and Farrell stepped in to clear. An Everton movement saw Uprichard save from Eglington and position himself well to foil McNamara when the latter picked up a partial clearance by Gunter. At last Henderson escaped Donovan’s clutches cut in and let fly a strong 30-yard ground shot which Dunlop collected cleanly. There was a stoppage at the half-hour for attention to McNamara who was involved along with Donovan in a struggle for possession against Rafferty and Henderson. While McNamara was on the ground with the ball between his knees he was accidentally kicked as the Portsmouth men tried to dispossess him.
The game pursued rather tame and uninspiring progress through the crowd was roused by a terrific Birch shot from 35 yards which flashed on the wrong side of the post at such a speed that had it been on the mark, Uprichard would have been helpless.
Dunlop courageously dived at the feet of Henderson to save an awkward situation before Kirby shot outside after being put through by a short pass from Gauld it seemed to me that Kirby was offside and judging from the gestures of Portsmouth they thought so too. Everton were awarded a penalty at the 36th minute when Gauld was brought down by Dickinson as he was bursting through. There was no doubt about the foul, but Jones in his effort to steer the ball out of Uprichard’s reach pulled it a little too far and hit the foot of the post the ball rebounding into play and being cleared by McGhee. This is only the second time that Jones has missed from the spot in a senior game. Play continued to lack bite and at times the moves of both sides seemed almost lethargic. It was more like an end-of season game with nothing vital at stake. McNamara was again unfortunate when another of his fierce drives brought a great save from Uprichard. Half-time Everton 1, Portsmouth nil.
Everton defending the Gwladys Street goal, got away in good style, thanks to a grand upward pass by Birch, but when Gauld pulled the ball back for Kirby, the latter’s shot was smothered by the advancing Uprichard. At the 47th minute a move started deep in the Everton half by Farrell led to Fielding putting the ball forward for Gauld to run in and lob it over the head of Uprichard. This Gauld’s first goal for the Blues was taken in the only manner possible. A couple of minutes later Gauld again ran through and squared the ball for first Kirby and ten McNamara to have shots blocked away. Everton who had kept the ball too close in the first half were now swinging it about much more freely.
Then came a great individual dribble by Gauld, who looked almost certain to score until the ball ran just too far forward and Uprichard was able to scramble it away. When Fielding returned it, McNamara was off the target from eight yards. The game had livened up considerably and Everton in particularly were playing with greater determination and more balance than at any previous period Portsmouth who had never looked really dangerous were now struggling. Uprichard made some excellent saves none better than the one at the juncture from Birch, who put tremendous power behind a 25 yards effort. At the 67th minute, when there seemed no particular danger to the home goal, Portsmouth reduced the lead a shot by Dale striking Farrell and being deflected into the far side of the goal, with Dunlop powerless to save. When this goal was scored, McNamara was on the touchline waiting to rejoin his team after having been off for three minutes with a leg injury. Everton were again robbed by the woodwork when a splendid Kirby header rebounded back of the base of the upright. Portsmouth dash away and only Dunlop’s courageous dive at the feet of Henderson presented the equalizer. Nine minutes from the end, the Pompey bogy reared its head again when Henderson lashed over a strong centre and Rafferty flung himself through the air to make a grand header which was in the net in a flash. Portsmouth were now on top and following a free kick just outside the penalty area Tansey cleared off the line. Final; Everton 2, Portsmouth 2. Official attendance 37,406.
AT THE TOSS, STRONG WIND’S A MORALE BOOSTER OR BUSTER
November 10, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
Following the Blues recent fine performances against Manchester United and Arsenal, we all confidently expected to keep up the form against West Bromwich that provided us with two such fine successive victories and gave our supporters a more optimistic outlook. Such was not the case, however, and we had to play second fiddle to a brilliant battling West Brom side who really took us by storm in the opening ten minutes following which time we found ourselves two goals arrears. It was early obvious from the Blues passing man marking and positional play, that we were not clicking as a side as we had against Arsenal and Manchester United. However, full marks to West Bromwich who never allowed us to settle down until the second half when the Blues came more into the game without every reaching that standard of penetrative football or recent weeks.
I wonder how important the winning of the toss can be to a side in football. If there is a strong wind blowing from goal to goal some of my Everton colleagues would rather that I selected to play against the wind in the first half while others take opposing view. Whenever I win the toss except occasionally when playing at Goodison I like to take advantage of the elements as I consider it a kind of morale booster in those important stages of a game. Namely the early part when both sides are battling for the initiative. This point of view has often been proved wrong by sides playing not so well in the first half with the aid of the elements but coming out in the second half against the wind and playing far better and more successfully. There was a strong wind blowing at the Hawthorns last Saturday and on my losing the toss the Blues were forced to play against it in the first half.
Make no mistake about it we were well beaten by a better side on the day, but we might have done better with the psychological advantage of the breeze in the early stages when West Brom were really at their brilliant best. The news that Tony McNamara had withdrawn his request for trainer was. I should imagine very welcome to all Evertonians it was also very welcome news to all the playing staff at Goodison, as there are few if any in the dressing room more popular than Tony with his follow team mates Tony is one who has been a great Evertonian since his school days and is one of those players who help to promote good team spirit by being what we call a good “mixer” with his fellow teammates. So here’s hoping that Tony will continue to be a good Evertonian in every meaning of the word. I’ll the end of his playing days. While on the subject of right wingers one name comes readily to mind, that of Jimmy Payne, who signed for the Blues at the end of last season and appeared for the first time against Blackpool in the concluding home game. At the start of the present season, Jimmy developed ankle trouble an injury for which he was operated on some time ago. Recovery progress, like most injuries of that nature is slow but Jimmy is battling hard in his flight back to fitness and nothing will please him more than when he is 100 per cent fir and ready to trot out in a blue jersey again for his new club. I am sure all Evertonians (and Liverpoolians who well remember Jimmy’s sterling performances in the past for the Reds) will join me in wishing him a speedy return to complete fitness.
WEST BROM RES V EVERTON RES
November 10, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
West Brom Res; Brown, goal; Bradshaw and Carter, backs; Drury, Hughes and Summers, half-backs; Watson, M. Devitt, Williams (G), Whitehouse, and Lee (M), forwards. Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Sanders, and Leeder, backs; Meagan, Woods, and Rea, half-backs; Tomlinson, Harris (J), Glazzard, Farrell, and Mayers, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Smith (Stoke-on-Trent). Everton had the livelier set of forwards with Harris particularly outstanding. In the opening minutes he had two shots blocked and it was 11 minutes before Albion had a shot at goal, Lee hitting the ball wide. Harris headed inches over from a Mayers cross, and next he went clear of the Albion defence but shot straight at the keeper. On another occasion he drew the keeper out of goal, went round him and shot narrowly wide. Half-time; West Brom Res Nil, Everton nil. Albion were lucky to go ahead after 48 minutes, a 20-yard curling shot from Lee deceiving the Everton keeper. Everton resumed their pressure after the setback and a shot from Glazzard was just pushed over the bar by Brown.
GAULD’S GOAL-AND THAT PNALTY TRIP
November 12, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Portsmouth’s Dream Finish Was Everton’s Nightmare
Everton 2, Portsmouth 2 (Attendance 37,406)
By Leslie Edwards
I don’t think I ever see a team do so little to deserve a draw and get it. The team? Portsmouth. They must have gone home pinching themselves to make sure they were not dreaming. It was no dream for Everton- only another nightmare experience against opponents who seem incapable these days of losing to an Everton eleven, here or at Portsmouth. This was the Portsmouth bogey maintained. Looking back at the match one recalls only four occasions when Portsmouth were within reach of goal. But they scored twice in another case Dunlop bravely came out to the feet of Henderson to prevent a goal; the fourth and final threat came when Portsmouth had gone to 2-2 through two freakish goals. It was then Tansey kicked away from the line to save Everton from defeat which would have been as staggering as it would have been underserved. Weighting those four isolated Portsmouth raids and against the score of attacks Everton made, one is left mystified by a score-line which does nothing to show Everton’s command at all points at all times. And that makes no allowance for the fact that Tom Jones was guilty of a penalty miss; that McNamara’s tremendously hard hit cross-shot beat the defence and almost saved in half the far upright that George Kirby with one of a series of fine second half headers beat Uprichard but found the ball bumping the upright. There are few times in this column when a team is excused as being unlucky but Everton, here could not have been more unfortunate. There will not be a word of criticism of them from me.
Gordon, Not Dale
The scored twice, they missed a penalty they struck the woodwork; they kept Uprichard busy and at times brilliant and never more so than when touching over the bar a Birch shot which bored in like a bullet. The Everton defence too was generally too good for one of the most straggling un-patterned Portsmouth attacks the club can ever have fielded. But none could prevent those Portsmouth goal which leveled the score after Everton had seemed certain not only to win, but to win comfortably.
Portsmouth’s first came from Gordon, who was in the inside left position when he hit a shot carrying severe swerve. It looked as though the ball had been deflected en route by an Everton defender but I am told that this was not the case. Certainly Dunlop was a little unsighted. He seemed to me to start late for a ball which found the far side of the goal. This goal has been almost universally credited to the tall balding Dale (who is not the least like the rather short, well thatched Gordon) but there is no doubt whatever that Gordon was the man and that, in Portsmouth at least the goal will go to his credit. Portsmouth’s second was a picture but one dares to suggest that Rafferty would be fortunate to score once in fifty times off such a swerving centre-or shot –as that hit across by Henderson. This was a goal similar to Stubbins, off Liddell’s free kick in an Anfield cup-tie on a snow covered pitch. Rafferty flung himself full length to nod a most spectacular goal and judged by the applause which greeted it one might have been excused for thinking it had been a goal at the other end. Tansy was yet to kick away from the line to save his side from the classic indignity of being beaten 3-2 in a match which they might well have won by four or five goals. Mr. Eddie Lever, the Portsmouth manager was not present, I am told he was scouting an Everton Reserve player at West Bromwich. But in attendance at Goodison Park was a Scottish selector who would make note of Gauld’s excellent performance after a start in which he did little right. Would that cine-films were taken of Gauld in full flight for goal. They might then be circulated among all clubs as an example to the hundreds of League forwards in whose vocabularies the word goal hardly exists. Gauld like Liddell at his best ploughed through with the speed and weight of a fire-engine in a hurry. He has not a lot of craft, but he is refreshingly penetrative in a game in which the ball is too often moved side-ways or backwards. Portsmouth were always moving the ball frustratingly in trangles without once making a hole in a defence which led excellently by Jones scarcely put a foot wrong. That Portsmouth should waste the Allstair Sim of soccer, Gordon Dale, by playing him at centre forward is wrong. The only time that lazy juggler of the football went on the left wing he contrived to beat Donovan –the only time this unrelenting purposeful back was beaten all day. This was Donovan’s best game for seasons. Henderson for all his ability and speed was continually stoppered.
Everton had begun well, except for some reverse passes which nearly undid Dunlop. The best early strike was engineered by Donovan and McNamara and from it Eglington glanced a header inches outside the far angle. Eglington in full cry on the left going outside his man led to Fielding’s goal. Eglington’s centre was only half cleared, Fielding slapped the ball back sweet and low and raised his hands to signal success in that undemonstrative almost shame faced way of his. McNamara (once damaged by the determination of Donovan to get possession when the ball and McNamara were on the ground) never hit a fiercer shot than the one which fizzed against the far post immediately afterwards. Portsmouth had more than one narrow escape before Dunlop fielded at the second attempt a shot by Henderson. It was a game full of incident –mostly in Everton’s favour. It was also a clean well-fought mat
Ch though Portsmouth were always promising to come off second best Kirby one of the easiest chances he will ever have when clean through. He seemed to find the sun trying when trying to collect the high ball which came through to him as he stood with his back to goal. Gunter too, used his height and weight well against the boy. I confess to be unprepared for Tom Jones penalty miss after Gauld boring in at speed had gone clean through an unsuspecting defence. Dickinson had no other course than to tackle from behind and when Gauld crashed Referee Leafe was in no more doubt than us about the justice of a penalty award. Jones has once before missed from the spot. His failure this time –though he hit a post- was a great shock to those who had been saying a moment earlier “But he never misses!” I reckon Jones more than counterbalanced failure as a shooter with his fine consistent defensive play in which his heading was always so good and his judgment of the flight of the ball excellent.
Well, Hardly Ever…
Gauld’s lob early in the second half completed a fine move cleverly and none could deny that Everton were full value for their 2-0 lead. More than once Gauld, moving fast and straight for goal, had Portsmouth in trouble, and Kirby too, improved in this half and deserved at least one goal for his endeavour. I do not blame Everton in any respect. They played better by far, than at West Bromwich and with two home games in succession coming shortly they should soon be clear of trouble. There are signs that Birch is finding his feet in senior football. His second half, was magnificent. Like Lello he is likely to be good for a goal, occasionally. After his “black” at West Bromwich Fielding came back to customary form to be the starting point of many of his side’s well found attacks. Everton were incomparably the better side forward. Yet Dale was brilliant and Rafferty often showed good ideas where the rest of the line were over-crowding and making finesses which produce little progress. While Portsmouth’s lucky star remains the possibility of Everton wiping out those post-war defeats at their hands is non-existent. But I maintain that no side could have done more than Everton on Saturday for such miserable reward.
EVENTFUL WEEK IN EVERTON HISTORY?
November 12, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
This may be an eventful week in Everton history. It is no secret the clubs have been swarming to Goodison Park for three very fine players who are for transfer. They are Jimmy O’Neill, Irish international goalkeeper, Jimmy Harris and Matt Woods. On Saturday the Portsmouth manager Mr. Eddie Lever, was not with his side at Goodison Park, but at West Bromwich where, it is said, he was taking a look at Jimmy Harris. Everton do not wish to stand in the way of players who have expressed a desire to go and there seems little doubt from the number of clubs interested in these players that there will be moves in the near future.
WEST BROMWICH RES 1, EVERTON RES 1
November 12, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Although Everton had three-quarters of the play at the Hawthorns they just could not get goals. Inside right J. Harris was the star of a slick attack but was dogged by bad luck. Once dribbled round the Albion goalkeeper and put the ball wide. Three minutes after the interval Lee gave the Albion the lead with a fluke goal. It seemed that Everton would never score when Glazzard their energetic leader hit the post from a yard out but ten minutes from time Farrell equalized.
EVERTON’S LACK OF VITAL VICTORY URGE COST THEM A USEFUL POINT
November 12, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have nobody but themselves to blame that they only partially demolished that old-standing Portsmouth bogey. They let the visitors get away with a point which they should never have had. Disappointing though the result was it might have been even worse, for only a goal-line save by Tansey in the last minute prevented Pompey snatching a win that would have been a travesty of justice. Everton seemed to lack the vital urge for victory that would have made all the difference. There were periods when their play gave either the impression that they considered the result immaterial or that they fought it so certain to be in their favour that they could afford to be as nonchalant as they wished. They had chances enough to be four up at half-time –and that does not include the instances where McNamara was robbed by the woodwork and Tommy Jones blotted his copy-book for only the second time in his career, by missing a penalty. I don’t know whether the fact that for some days I have been suffering from a heavy cold, with it’s consequent depressing affect made me less responsive and harder to please but somehow this game failed to thrill me in the slightest degree for four-fifths of its course. Before the start I was full of high hopes that we should see the new revitalized Everton, not on the goal trail, prove beyond all doubt that the worst of the season was behind them and the future need cause little anxiety.
Maybe my cold germs produced a jaundiced view, and I may be in a minority but all I felt was keen disappointment at what struck me as a drab and colourless between two were ordinary teams. It was more like an end-of-the-season match. True, Everton were the better side for all except a brief late-on spell in the second half but they were well below what I had anticipated. There seemed little plan or purpose about quite a lot of their play and at times they appeared to lack the desire to get into the game with their sleeves rolled up and show their fighting spirit. In the first half in particular they often allowed Portsmouth to be first to the ball when Everton’s lacking was anything but strong and determined. They general superiority however, was sufficient to provide them with so many scoring chances than one wondered how they would have fared had they shown greater challenge and put a bit more vin and vigour into their work. Portsmouth during this half looked as body a side as I have seen for a long time, which made it all the more disappointing that Everton should be content to adopt their attitude of nonchalance and lethargy.
False Sense of Security
Possibly they were lulled into a false sense of security by taking the lead so early on, thanks to a great run by run by Eglington and a well-placed shot by Fielding that left Uprichard helpless at the eight minute. Then came McNamara’s rocket-shot which hit the upright three misses from positions which would have brought a goal with greater steadiness and accuracy, and finally ten minutes before the interval the usually reliable Jones failed with a spot-kick after Dickinson had tripped Gauld when the latter was bursting though. Everton went further ahead when Gauld cannily lobbed the ball over Uprichard’s head into the net two minutes after the resumption and for a time the Blues mended their ways to such an extent that the issue never seemed likely to be in doubt. They started to tackle more quickly and effectively, they swung the ball about instead of cuddling it too closely and even when McNamara who earlier had received a leg injury, had to go off for treatment one felt that Everton had the game in safe keeping at last.
A Lucky Goal
It was while McNamara was off that Portsmouth got their first goal, which I confess I did not see just as the ball entered the net, as I was watching McNamara but those who “”enlightened” me were wrong. The scorer was Gordon not Dale, and the Everton players say the shot was not deflected but swerved sharply. Let the credit go to the right man, and absolve Farrell from any semblance of blame. Nine minutes from the finish Rafferty put Pompey on level terms with the best goal of the day, a wonderful diving header off a strong centre by Henderson. This time Dunlop hadn’t an earthly chance. Thus a game which Everton should have had in safe keeping had swung out of their control, and in the closing stages it needed some desperate defensive measures, plus a goal-line clearance by Tansey, to prevented Portsmouth getting away with both points. Feckless and erractic finishing was Everton’s biggest fault. Yet they produced good efforts at times, sometimes from chanceless easy than those they fumbled. In addition to McNamara and Jones, Kirby was also unlucky in hitting the woodwork once and had two other fine scoring attempts brilliantly saved by Uprichard. Gauld was a lively raider in the second half, after a rather quiet spell previously, but the ball persistently ran just out of control as he was shaping up for his final effort. Dunlop was never at fault though he had a much easier afternoon than Uprichard, who was the star Portsmouth defender. In the closing stages Dunlop made some courageous saved by diving at the feet of oncoming forward. He has oceans of pluck. Everton were much better in defence than in attack, with Donovan keeping a right grip on Henderson and both Birch and Farrell doing solid work. Birch put in the best Everton shots of the day, though most were from such a distance that even had they been on the target instead of narrowly off in most cases, it was problematical whether any but one would have found the net. Nevertheless it was encouraging to see somebody who would hit the ball first time and could put plenty of power behind it. Everton can ill afford to sacrifice even one home point at any rate until such time as they are in a more comfortable position in the table, and that will not come if they do not seize their chances. If over-confidence was the root cause of their partial failure then the sooner they rid themselves of that trait the better. Even the poorest of sides –and Portsmouth on this showing are a very weak team, particularly in attack –should never be held too lightly.
Club’s interested in making a bid for Jimmy Harris, Matt Woods or Jimmy O’Neill can see them in action for Everton at Maine Road tonight against Manchester City, in the first round of the Lancashire Senior Cup (7-30). Although Woods and Harris have been open to offer for nearly two months apart from Blackburn bid, which Harris turned down, Everton have received no acceptable proposal for either player. O’Neill is not on Everton’s open-to-transfer list, but since Charlton made their request for his services –which O’Neill declined –other clubs have shown interest in him. Everton’s team for tonight’s game ; O’Neill; Sanders, Leeder; Meagan, Woods, Rea; Tomlinson, Farrell, Harris (J), Haughey, Williams (JD).
FOG POSTPONES EVERTON’S GAME UNDER LIGHTS
November 13, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Fog caused the postponement of last night’s floodlit Lancashire Senior Cup first round tie between Manchester City and Everton at Maine Road, Manchester. City and Everton officials are hoping this week to arrange an early date for the match to be played.
November 14, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Contrary to a report published today Everton say that they have had no official inquiry and no offer from Sheffield Wednesday, regarding the possible transfer of Jimmy O’Neill although they understand that Sheffield’s chief scout watched him at West Bromwich last Saturday. Mr. Eric Taylor, Sheffield Wednesday’s secretary-manager was out of town for the day when I tried to contact him to ascertain whether he was likely to make a bid later. I was informed by the club’s assistant secretary that he knew nothing about any inquiry for O’Neill.
Everton are delaying selection of their team to visit Newcastle on Saturday until they see how McNamara, victim of a leg injury last week, shapes during the next 24 hours. He is making good progress, resumed full training today, and it is hoped he will be fit. Loader comes out of hospital today after his recent cartilage operation, but it will be at least a week before he is able to resume even light training.
Not For Goodison
The completion of the signing of 16-years-old inside left David Jones by Birmingham from Crewe has finally ended Everton’s hopes in that direction. Everton by agreement with Crewe had seen the boy and his father on several occasions and had done their best to secure his signature.
EVERTON YOUTH SIDE HAD PLAN
November 15, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Bolton Youth 0, Everton Youth 1
Though the only goal at Bolton yesterday decided Everton Youth team’s entry into the F.A Youth Cup third round they merited their win over Bolton Youth team. There was a plan of play in Everton’s ranks quite absent from the efforts put forward by Bolton and all the smarter attacking moves came from the visitors especially from wingers Fielding and Ashworth and inside right Llewellyn. The latter’s fast dashes were always a menace to Bolton who stood in need of the sound defensive play of Oxtoby, the best man on their side. Everton had escapes in the first quarter of an hour when Bolton centre forward Hart headed straight at the goalkeeper, missed at two yards when Griffiths kicked a weak shot off the line and then drove wide with only the goalkeeper to beat. In the last quarter of an hour the Bolton forwards put in strenuous efforts and once Bannister lobbed the ball over Johnston’s head as he ran out but centre half O’Shanghesay ran back and kicked the ball over the crossbar as it was bouncing in. Everton won the match in the 29th minute when Temple’s cross drive brought Dean down. It looked an easy ball to smother, but Dean lost his grasp and Llewellyn was on the spot to force the ball over the line.
November 16, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton’s first change in five weeks was brought about by injury to McNamara in last Saturday’s game against Portsmouth in his place at outside right at Newcastle tomorrow will be John Tomlinson, a twenty-two years-old Birkenhead born man who has earned this, his first senior appearance by sound play in the Central League side. Tomlinson who joined Everton at sixteen years of age from Stork, the West Cheshire League club is in his first full season as a full professional. Mr. Harold Pickering whose work at Everton for many years has been to find the best young local players and develop them, will not see this further protégé of his make his debut. He is at home nursing eye trouble. The Everton team at Newcastle will be; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; Tomlinson, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington.
TOMLINSON MAKES HIS DEBUT FOR EVERTON AT NEWCASTLE
November 16, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton away to Newcastle, will have a debutant in their side in John Tomlinson, who takes the place of the injured McNamara. He is the fifth young Goodison player to be introduced into the first team this season. Altogether there have been seven newcomers in Everton’s ranks since August, but the two others Gauld and Glazzard, were not home-produced products. Tomlinson who gets his big chance through McNamara’s leg injury not having responded to treatment during the week is 22 and a Birkenhead boy who earned his early football with Stork F.C in the West Cheshire League. He joined Everton as an amateur in May 1951, signed as a part-time professional in the summer of 1952 and after doing his National Service, became a full-time professional at the start of the current campaign. Last season he figured in seven Central league matches and has played in twelve reserve games this winter. Though he has scored only once, he has been earning praise for his general promise. This is the first change made by Everton since they recalled Farrell and Eglington and introduced Dunlop and Gauld for the game against Manchester United a month ago.
The Blues may be faced with a sterner fight at St. James Park then might appear likely from the lowly position of their opponents Newcastle are sadly in needed of points particularly from their home matches and their precarious plight must be causing them some anxiety. Not for many years have they been so close to the bottom of the table. The Georges have won but once in their last 12 outings from which they have taken only six points and scored 11 goals to 28 against. This decline has been all the more surprising because United not only finished in a comfortable position last season, but started by taking six points from their first four matches in the current campaign. Newcastle have the star names and always have had, but it has not this season brought results comparable with the individual ability of their staff. Although I was rather disappointed with Everton’s showing against Portsmouth last week possibly because I had expected too much from them, Ian Buchan told me during the week that he was quite pleased apart of course from the result which should have been a solid Everton victory. If the Blues can compensate for this with a win at St. James’s Park, it will have double value as it will push Newcastle further below them. But I should be satisfied with a draw. The Geordies make four changes –one of them positional –compared with the eleven which lost to Tottenham last week. Keith, the player whom they signed recently from Linfield returns at right back, with Batty switching to left back in place of McMichael, who is not fit. Eastham resumes at inside right to the exclusion of Davies, and Keery is at inside left as Curry who is in the Forces is not available. Newcastle; Simpson; Keith, Batty; Scoular, Stokoe, Casey; Milburn, Eastham, Keeble, Keary, Whits. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; Tomlinson, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington.
EVERTON MAKE THEIR BOW UNDER LIGHTS
November 17, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton have a November Handicap of their own at St. James’ Park Newcastle today. It is a handicap imposed by the fact that the second half of their late kick-off match against Newcastle United will be played under floodlights. Never before have Everton been involved in floodlights in a League or Cup match. Let us hope they make history in other respects by making their bow under artificial light a triumphant one. If they were to do this they would only be making up leeway lost to Portsmouth at Goodison Park last week, in one of the most unlucky games in which an Everton team has ever taken part. Newcomer to the Everton side is twenty-two-years-old John Tomlinson who takes the place of injured Tony McNamara at outside right. Tominson will be making his debut. He had played for the whole alphabet of Everton junior team before making himself a fixture in the Central League team on the wing. Many people had thought that Everton might take this opportunity to play Jimmy Harris in McNamara’s place but the club ruled that Tomlinson should have his chance. This will be a specially severe testing for him but if Everton play anything like as well as they did against Portsmouth they should get a point and perhaps two. Teams; Newcastle; Simpson; Keith, Batty; Scoular, Stokoe, Casey; Milburn, Eastham, Keeble, Keary, Whits. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; Tomlinson, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington.
BLUES FIND GAPS –BUT NO GOAL PUNCH
November 17, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Newcastle United; Simpson, goal; Keith and Batty, backs; Scoular, Stokes, and Casey, half-backs; Milburn, Eastham, Keeble, Keary and White, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan, and Tansey, backs; Birch, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Tomlinson, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Holland (Barnsley).
John Tomlinson 22-years-old former Stork United player, made his bow as an Everton senior in the game at S. James’s Park at outside right in place of McNamara. This was a notable fixture in that Everton were to appear in the second half under lights for the first time in their League history. The much-changed Newcastle last won at home as far back as August. Everton coach Ian Buchan and trainer Harry Wright had been at the ground early to weigh up the pitch and as a result of its softness Everton boots were restudied. The white ball was in use from the kick-off. Donovan gave then saved, a corner kick on the left and both Gauld and Tomlinson started well and so did Dunlop who took a slight knock when showing courage to go out to the feet of the incoming Keeble. One of Kirby’s very good passes put Tomlinson clean through but his centre was nodded away and though Kirby subsequently picked up the ball and had a shooting opportunity, he was high and wide with it.
The game was stopped while Casey had the damaged head attended to the injury having came as he went up with Kirby in a heading due from a ball from the right. There had been a spate of misplaced passes but Kirby was guilty of few of them and at this stage was unlucky to find Tomlinson only a fraction offside. It was odd to find the crowd cheering ironically whenever Milburn on the right gained possession. His long distance shot after a long run down the centre slewed very wide of an upright. Everton came on en bloc to catch all the Newcastle forwards offside off a Scoular free kick and Referee Holland chased from the penalty box to the halfway line with the ball dead especially to have a word with the former Portsmouth half-back who had plainly said something that displeased him. From a fine through ball by Donovan, Gauld indulged in one of those characteristic direct dashes of his. He surprised the Newcastle defence by this straightforward move. Trying to find Kirby he did not get enough off on his pass. Everton were showing up quite well and Birch hit a glorious shot which Simpson caught most competently. So did Dunlop from Eastham son of the old Bolton forward and nephew of Harry Eastham who used to play at Liverpool and Tranmere.
Foul by Scoular
Jones took a tremendous risk in turning the ball away from Dunlop that was justified by results. Then Eglington got on the receiving end of a severe foul by Scoular. The Everton winger was about to make a header when Scoular, coming from behind barged into him. Even a section of the Newcastle crowd was prepared to show its displeasure of Scoular’s action and Referee Holland sent Scoular away while Eglington received attention. Eglington was carried off but happily came back looking rather shaken, a minute or two later. It was the scrappiest of games with Newcastle doing little to please a crowd of some 25,000 people. Gauld started and completed a first-rate attack but his shot was wide. Fielding too indulged in a lovely movement in which Eglington joined him but this time Kirby’s shooting was faulty. Eglington drove the ball viciously when faced by Scoular but that Storky, solid half-back seemed unperturbed by being in the crowd’s bad books and by being specially marked by Everton. The only mistake so far made by Jones was when he blundered to let in Milburn, but Milburn’s finish these days is nothing like as punishing as it used to be, and he frittered away the game’s clearest invitation to a goal.
Tomlinson showed his inexperience. Otherwise he must have made better use of the ball. Meanwhile Donovan was having a good innings against White, but even he and others were not proof against a very good run by the Newcastle winger, whose angled shot was deflected for a corner. Eastham shot wide from a good position from the corner kick. Tomlinson got over one good length ball from which Kirby made a solid header but with insufficient pace to beat Simpson. Everton had been the better and more dangerous side but the football in general had been poor. When Batty had Kirby the free kick led to a good duel between Birch and Gauld. Again Tomlinson could make nothing of the chance to centre with which he was provided. The Everton defence cut easily into Newcastle’s loosely linked attack in which Eastham was inclined, like his father of old to run the ball in circles. Scoular was not slow to come up and make a sixth-forward and he certain deserved a goal when he started and completed a move in which a pass by Eastham left Scoular his shooting chance. His low shot was only a foot or two wide, and Dunlop and company must have been vastly relieved. Half-time; Newcastle United nil, Everton nil.
Except for their lack of finish after making a fair number of good openings Everton had a good first half against a Newcastle who were as indecisive and fumbling in midfield as Portsmouth had been a week ago. When Newcastle switched on their lights for the second half one was tempted to ask “which lights.” They seemed to make precious little difference though as the game wore on their effect became more apparent. Eglington offered Gauld a glorious pass down the left wing, but Gauld was not able to control the ball. Then full back Keith came up to add his weight to the Newcastle attack with a well-hit shot which swung wide. Dunlop looked none too confident when defending a header from a free kick by Casey and eventually he covered the ball as it drifted over the bar. Next Kirby caught Batty napping and square the ball beautifully for Eglington whose shot was well off the mark. Jones took a knock when clearing the ball at the feet of Keeble but played on.
Great Save By Dunlop
Then the game spluttered into life when Eastham wriggled through in the inside left position and shot for the far post. Dunlop brought off a tremendous one-handed save when all seemed lost. Everton’s best move this half was a direct Fielding-Gauld link, but again Gauld bursting through shot wide. He made an even better surging run down the inside right position and after putting Kirby in possession the whole move was ruined by the determination of Kirby and Eglington to pass and re-pass when a snap-shot was obviously the thing required. Everton were not quite so good in this half, but they had already missed sufficient chances to have won most games. They certainly came near to conceding a goal when Keeble beat Dunlop to the ball but steered I beyond the angle with a header.
• Everton “A” 4, Barow R nil.
STOCKPORT “B” V EVERTON “B”
November 17, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Price had two chances of scoring for Everton “B” but shot straight at goalkeeper, Turner in they match against Stockport “B” at Stockport. Stockport took the lead in the 14th minute through Harwood. Half-Time; Stockport “B” 1 Everton “B” 1
CARVE THE GOALS, SHOOT THEM, AND EVERTON’S ALL RIGHT
November 17, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
Some of those who witnessed Everton’s 2-2 draw with Portsmouth were of the opinion that it was a poor drab game with little excitement or thrills to enthuse the fans while others fully enjoyed it and said it was productive of plenty of good football, mostly from the Blues with a fair share of excitement. Other critics lamed the Blues for literally throwing a point away in the closing stages of the match. Most of the accounts I read and the comments I heard from my friends proved how many different slews can be formed. One may get an entirely different opinion when playing in a game from those watching. Everton’s contest last season against Arsenal did not get a very complimentary Press and frankly it didn’t think it was a good game. Yet the film shown to Everton players about a week later convinced me that from a Blues point of view play had been very satisfactory. The film showed that our man-marking, passing and penetrating football had been a lot better than in most other games last season. It was very disappointing the Blues did not get the two points I thought we thoroughly deserved but it was very pleased with the general standard of football served up against Portsmouth. True we didn’t round off our movements with goals due to many factors not least being the fact that the woodwork was struck on a number of occasions. But I always considered it a good sign when a side as on last Saturday has the ability to carve out goal-scoring opportunities irrespective of the opposition. We in the Everton camp can look to the future with optimistic as long as we can keep producing displays like last Saturday plus a little more accurate shooting and the ability to keep right on our toss for the full ninety minutes. I never place much reliance on good luck offers or superstitions the more often I play against Portsmouth the more convinced I am that they are really our hoodoo team. Midway through the second half I was firmly convinced that as last we were going to beat the team that has inflicted so many defeats on the Blues since the war. Now that we have managed to get a point from Pompey we may go one better in our return game at Fratton Park. I can assure you nothing would please me better.
Cyril Lello is now a Rochdale player and I think I am echoing the sentiments of all Everton supporters, officials and players in paying tribute to one of the finest club men ever to wear a blue jersey. Everton supporters will remember Cyril for the sterling service he gave the club and also for his exceptional Park sportsmanlike behavior on the field of play. Cyril never spared himself of a tackle with an opponent, but I have never in my nine years association with him seen him guilty of a study action. The players at Goodison who have been more closely associated with Cyril will also remember him as the fine type of man he is off the field. I don’t believe he ever had a heated argument or “niggle” with any officials training staff or players at Goodison Park during his nine years with us. So Cyril on behalf of all of us at Goodison, as well as your thousands of admirers among our supporters I say thanks to a great player and clubman and here’s wishing you the best of luck which you richly deserve at Rochdale.
EVERTON RES V CHESTERFIELD RES
November 17, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res;- O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Leeders, backs; Meagan, Woods and Rea, half-backs; Mayers, Farrell, Harris (J), Haughey, and Williams (JD), forwards. Chesterfield Res; Banks, goal; Clarke and Sears, backs; Brent, Allison, and McKnight, half-backs; Ledger, Smith, Evans, Moore and Taylor, forwards. Referee; Mr. D.W. Goddard (Leyland). Chesterfield enjoyed the better of the early exchanges without seriously troubling O’Neill. The visitors gained three corners in quick succession which were efficiently cleared by the Everton defence. Everton’s only worthwhile shot in the first 20 minutes came from Mayers. The Chesterfield goal, however, had a lucky escape when Banks cleared from almost beneath the bar, a back pass from Allison. Everton’s passing was far from accurate and both Haughey and Farrell missed easy changes. A few minutes later however Farrell made amends by scoring in the 40th minute. Half-time; Everton Res 1, Chesterfield Res nil.
Following a smart save by O’Neill from Ledger Everton increased their lead on the 53rd minute when Farrell netted again. A minute later Banks saved brilliantly to prevent Farrell from getting a hat-trick. As Everton were now showing a better understanding the visitors were pinned back on defence for lengthy periods.
EVERTON (AND THEIR SETTER) GET A POINT
November 19, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Newcastle United 0, Everton 0 (Attendance 32,000)
By Leslie Edwards
Ken Birch, vividly ginger-haired Everton half-back came out of this half-under-lights match a doubtful starter for the home game next Saturday against Sheffield Wednesday. He went up for a ball during the second half and came down on his wrist so heavily trainer Harry Wright feared he might have a broken arm. Birch had his left wrist strapped and played on to help his side to a well deserved point, but before he left St. James’ Park a specialist examined his injury and had the fore-arm encased in plaster. It is feared that he may have broken a small bone at the base of the thumb. He will be examined again by a specialist today. Everton players have a nick-name for Birch –the red setter. “Too bad you had to have one of your paws put in plaster” was their comment. Birch naturally takes such cracks in his stride. He was a happier man, homeward, than Tom Eglington who was hit for six by Scottish half-back Scoular before the game was many minutes old. Eglington essentially a clean, sporting player, had done nothing to deserve such treatment. Scoular, coming from behind, bundled into him with such force that even the Newcastle crowd booed. Referee Hollands (who had already had words with Scoular over something said following an offside decision against the Newcastle line) waved the culprit away from the scene while Eglington was treated. No wonder Eglington played for rest of the game like a shaken man and one with a severely jarred neck.
Like A Barson
Scoular has the thighs of a Frank Barson. A pity he is (to put it at its kindest) so robust. He does not need extraneous aids. His football alone is good enough. I rate him fortunate not to have been sent off. It was clear referee Hollands would stand no further nonsense; yet in the gloaming of the lighted finale Scoular and an Everton player could be discerned having something of a battle –and not one of words. It was not a foul match; it was not a very good match but what credits there were went to Everton who must have joined other clubs in winning at Newcastle if they had shown more accurately with shots and headers after some good approach work. I can recall three or four of their moves worth goal, but Simpson was rarely in danger. Perhaps the best chance of all fell to Gauld –who had another brilliant game. In the deceptive shadow’s caused by floodlighting far less effective than some I know a defender misjudged the heading of an Eglington centre and merely poked the ball upwards and virtually on to the head of that lurking Gauld. I think Gauld was surprised by this heaven-sent chance. He got too far under the bar and popped it high over the bar. But I excuse him this fault in view of the number of fine surging runs he made with a quick feint, here and there, to take him beyond defenders at top speed. Gauld, moving like this is the most refreshing sight in the game. He did not always control the ball well enough to get goals but he deserved them.
To see Newcastle United, Cup winners in successive seasons, incapable of putting up a concerted effort was painful. So was the ironic jeering which often greeted Milburn when he tried so hard, to recapture his devastating old form. Newcastle have an ornate coffee bar entrance to their ground, but the pitch they say, is one of the worst in the League and the team if this match is any criterion; one which may yet accompany Sunderland to the football depths. For half the game, Everton were clearly on top; by the time the lights were on the story was different and Newcastle, helped by Eglington’s physical shakiness had things rather more their way. But the Everton defence was excellent in moments of stress. Their covering was good and Newcastle rarely succeeded in doing more than fire in long distance shots, with a couple of headers by Keeble causing Dunlop concerning their course near the goal angles. Everton were in greatest danger when Eastham wriggled his way to a shooting chance from inside left. It looked any odds on a goal as he hit the ball towards the far post but Dunlop stopped it, one-handed in a brilliant save. This young goalkeeper has the liveness of a Bernard Streten. His movements are quick and decisive ago his understanding with the backs admirable. This telling save of his way worth the point it helped to bring.
White, on the left was one of the Newcastle forwards who played well but Donovan for the second week in succession had a specially good match and was on to his every move. On the other flank Milburn never once tried to go outside Tansey, with the result that he too often helped to clutter up a Newcastle line of which the Everton defence were already masters. Everton’s fault was that they did not get goals from attacks which should have been taken to a logical conclusion. Nearly every member of the line had at least one chance to shoot at goal; few of them even gave Simpson need to handle. The best shot of all, came from Birch and Simpson saved splendidly though the ball seemed to knock him backwards. No goalkeeper could have held a shot of such force and when the ball ran free Gauld followed up and hit it in hard, only to find the goalkeeper on the spot for a second great save. In McNamara’s berth Tomlinson had a good debut, though a rather unlucky one. More than once he was offside by a few inches, on one occasion his speed in taking off brought an offside verdict which was not deserved. His positional play was good; he made some good passes, but his general lack of experience against a defence which did not stand on ceremony meant that he was not as successful, from some good passes, as he should have been. Like Eglington and Birch, Tom Jones came out of the game with an injury, but he is likely to be fit to take his place against Sheffield Wednesday. This Everton, well captained by Peter Farrell should move up quickly before Christmas. And if I am not mistaken we shall see some of the most remarkable goals ever scored at Goodison Park if Gauld –of the Liberace facial features –can continue to be so single minded and speedy in those thrusts which have defences bewitched, bewildered.
EVERTON RESERVES TOOK COMMAND
November 19, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 2, Chesterfield Res 0
Although emerging comfortable winners, Everton Reserves were unbalanced in attack in this Central League game at Goodison Park. In the first half Chesterfield were slightly the better of two poor teams yet turned round a goal down through shot-shy forwards. Subsequently Everton improved to take command but their wingers wasted the good servicing of wing halves Meagan and Rea. Apart from Farrell, who scored both goals, Everton’s shooting lacked direction. O’Neill who had only two shots to save throughout was well protected by his co-defenders.
EVERTON WORTH THEIR POINT
November 19, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton were well pleased with their first match at Newcastle, under lights but they were not so happy about the treatment of one of their players –Tom Eglington –at the hands of the Newcastle half back Scoular. The game had been going only a few minutes when Eglington rose to a ball and Scoular, coming from behind, flattered the Everton player in such a way that even the Newcastle crowd showed displeasure. A minute of two previously Scoular had been spoken to following an offside decision which had been given against Newcastle. Eglington recovered from the crushing blow but it was never the Eglington we know he can he. It was many hours later –in the early hours of Sunday morning when Everton arrived home –that the effects of this injury wore off. What makes sure fouls worse is that Scoular is good enough a player to success without recourse to crash-bang charges. He was easily his side’s outstanding player in a match which showed Newcastle as a team likely to drop further down the table and Everton as one which must rise once they can finish their attacks as well as they start them. Other injured in the Everton ranks, were Ken Birch and Tom Jones. Birch’s trouble arose when he leaped to the ball in the second half and fell awkwardly coming down heavily on his left arm. He left the field, but resumed with the injury strapped. After the game his fore-arm was encased in plaster as a precaution. It is feared that he may have broken a small bone t the base of his thumb. He is to have it –X-rayed later today. Tom Jones’s knock was less troublesome. He should be fit to meet the conquerors of Tottenham –Sheffield Wednesday –in the match at Goodison Park next Saturday. If Everton deal with Wednesday as they dealt with Arsenal who were clear winners against Wednesday at Hillsborough, there will be justification for thinking that most of Everton’s new regime teething troubles are nearly at an end.
Dunlop and other complained that under Newcastle’s lights – there are batteries of eight on each side of the ground – shadows were cast in the centre of the field and it was sometimes difficult to judge the flight of the ball through the air. The late kick-off and the playing of the second half in artificial lights did not seem to justify much –the attendance was but 32,000 and the game gained nothing as a spectacle. Tomlinson’s debut was quite a good one, although he is obviously a little lacking in experience. He was unlucky to be given offside by narrow margins on several occasions and once when the decision was doubtful. In the general play he shows much promise. Everton had chances enough to have won the game in the first half, but in the event they rarely troubled Simpson. Later Newcastle did better, but never well enough to give me the impression that they could find holes in a very good Everton defence in which Donovan and Tansey were particularly successful. Newcastle most dangerous moment came when young Eastham from close range, shot the ball clear of Dunlops left hand and towards the far post. It was then this cricketer goalkeeper made his best save, one handed. Combined with his liveliness and sense of anticipation at other times this gave him yet another very fine game behind a defence which Farrell generalled with characteristic enthusiasm.
The fact that Eglington was in minor key after his knock meant that the Everton line lacked something in the second half, but Gauld with those direct fast thrusts of his was always dangerous and deserved a goal. Oddly, Birch’s cannon ball drive was the game’s finest shot. Simpson stopped it but could not hold it. He was at hand to save off the rebound from Gauld. Gauld, should get some memorable goals if he continues to leave defences standing with the power and speed of his driving. He had a wonderful chance to head the goal which would probably have given Everton victory, but got too far under the ball and lofted it over the bar. Travelling with the Everton party for the first time –he took the place of Harold Pickering who has eye trouble-was Harry Cooke grandson of the famous Everton trainer. Truly, too many Cookes can never spoil the Everton broth.
Everton visit Manchester City this evening in the first round of the Lancashire Senior Cup. They should have played under floodlights last Monday but the game was postponed on account of fog. Everton’s team will be;- O’Neill; Sanders, Moore; Meagan, Woods, Rea; Harris (B), Farrell, Harris (J), Haughey, and Williams (JD).
EVERTON SHOOTING LETS THEM DOWN
November 20, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
By a Special Correspondent
Manchester City 2 Everton 2
A goal ten minutes from time by inside-right Farrell enabled Everton to draw their floodlit-first round Lancashire Senior Cup-tie with Manchester City at Maine Road last night. Twice in arrears Everton should have made better use of their first half chances when they were the more constructive side in midfield and although in this period there were some narrow escapes for the Manchester goal this did not excuse several bad misses. Half-back Rea set an early example when he had a shot saved at the foot of the post, but Farrell was remiss with a chance only three yards out just before half-time. The first goal came in the fiftieth minute to Manchester, when Everton made their first real defensive mistake in allowing right winger Barlow to dribble into the goalmouth. Barlow ran on and enabled McAdams to drive the ball home. Everton winger John Williams equalized after an hour with an excellent place of opportunist play, cutting through the centre of the field to beat three opponents before scoring with a fast left-footed shot.
Right winger Brian Harris was unfortunate to see a cross shot hit the Manchester crossbar before Rea was adjudged to have fouled Barlow in the sixty-four minute and Branagan restored Manchester’s lead with the resultant penalty kick. And before Farrell netted the equalizer, Brian Harris missed a good chance of scoring by placing the ball outside with the Manchester defence in a tangle. The Everton defence throughout was sound, Woods at centre half effectively checked the Manchester inside trio, while Rea and Meagan were forceful in attack, giving good support to their forwards. Moore and Sanders like O’Neill in goal, were always reliable. Manchester could not match Everton’s progressive play before the interval but the second half brought an improvement which was matched by Everton’s play until they got near goal. Better finishing in the replay at Goodison, the date of which has yet to be fixed, should give Everton entry into the second round.
EVERTON AT FULL STRENGTH FOR THE VISIT OF SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY
November 21, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton will be at full strength for their home game with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. McNamara, now fit again, resumes at outside right, to the exclusion of Tomlinson, who filled the breach during his absence last week. This is the only change compared with the team which drew at Newcastle and it will be the fifth time the same eleven players have done duty since they defeated Manchester United. Sheffield Wednesday come to Goodison Park with the unenviable distinction of being one of the three First Division clubs who have still to register their first away victory of the season. Sunderland and Portsmouth are in the same boat, but Sunderland at least have managed to divide the points on four occasions, whereas Sheffield Wednesday have done so only twice. It is fortunate for them that they have been doing fairly well at home, otherwise they would be in danger of yet another fight against relegation. Even as it is they are not too happily placed. Apart from draws at Charlton and Chelsea the Wednesday have lost all their matches on opposing grounds. Their defeats so far have been at Portsmouth, Cardiff, Manchester City, Manchester United, Burnley, Luton and Leeds United, and all except one –that at Cardiff – have been by a margin of at least two goals. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington.
Everton Reserves (v. Stoke City, away); O’Neill; Moore, Leeder; Meagan, Woods, Rea; Mayers, Farrell, Harris (J), Haughey, and Harris (B).
This Central League game at Stoke will provide Everton’s reserve players with some further experience of floodlit football, as the kick-off is not until 3.15 and the second half will be played under artificial lighting. Following their drawn game at Maine Road in the first round of the Lancashire Senior Cup, Everton has arranged the replay against Manchester City at Goodison Park for next Monday afternoon starting at 2.15.
WOODS SIGNS FOR BLACKBURN
November 22, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Matt Woods, Everton’s reserve centre half was today signed by Blackburn Rovers at a substantial fee. Woods, who asked to go on the transfer list two months ago, has been watched by Blackburn on several occasions recently. He will play in their first team against Middlesbrough on Saturday. Everton were not anxious to part with him, but they realized his desire to secure a regular first team place elsewhere and did not stand in his way. He and the club part on the friendliest of teams. Aged 24, Woods joined Everton as an amateur when 15 and signed professional forms in November 1949. The consistency of Jones, however has meant his chances of regular senior duty have been slender. He has played only seven first-team games including three this season when Jones was tried out at right back.
EVERTON WANT ‘RELIEF’ MATCH V. HUNGARIANS
November 24, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Leslie Edwards
News of the arrival in Britain of the Hungarian football team MTK (formerly Red Banner) was scarcely known last night before a move was made, in Liverpool, to try to get them to play a match at Goodison Park in aid of the Hungarian Relief Fund. Mr. Tom Nuttall, Everton vice-chairman, immediately envisaged the possibility of Everton and Liverpool producing a combined team to take on the Hungarians here on some mid-week date within the next few weeks. A message was sent to the MTK Manager in London, asking him to get in touch with Everton with a view to a match being arranged. MTK have four fixtures during their stay in Britain and it is more than likely that they could fit another in, providing Everton and Liverpool were agreeable to help their cause. The Hungarians can field almost an international side. Any match they played in this city, even in mid-week, would virtually guarantee an attendance of about 50,000. Thousands who have seen Hungarians on television would be especially keen to see them in action against Liverpool and Everton.
Yesterday I mentioned that Newcastle had inquiry without about the possibility of Jimmy Harris joining them at St. James’s Park. Now, it seems inquiries have been made within and when Harris steps out as an Everton Central League player at Stoke today, it is a fair bet that managing director Stanley Seymour, of Newcastle will not be far away. Or if he is his most able scoring lieutenant will be deputizing for him.
Keen To Go
Harris, apparently, is still keen to go, despite the fact that sooner or later he would almost certainly regain a first-team place. He would suit Newcastle but I fear that club’s disintegrated Cup-winning eleven needs more than a centre forward in order to make it click again. The home game today is at Goodison Park. Sheffield Wednesday come (as did Arsenal not long ago) fresh from defeating Tottenham, Everton have an old Cup defeat to wipe out and it is well McNamara, now fit, resumes on the right. Wednesday have several players of special significance-goalkeeper McIntosh who seems to save his brilliant best for matches against them. Staniforth the former England back, McEvoy, formerly of Huddersfield and an attack which includes Quixall, of the brief shorts, Shiner (a work manlike centre) and the other Finney. Alan, whose centres in the days of Derek Dooley produced as many goals for that ill-fated player as Alec Troup’s did for Dixie Dean. Finney, three or four season’s ago seemed likely to be as famous as the Preston man of that name. A dapper young man, he is a brilliant centrer of the ball. With Ken Birch happily not involved in any wrist break- as was learned –Everton are at full strength. They will have their most testing match since West Bromwich Albion (there’s a side for the Cup) shocked them into defeat at the Hawthorns. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding and Eglington. Sheffield Wednesday; McIntosh; Staniforth, Curtis; McAneasrney, McEvoy, Gibson; Finney, Quixall, Shiner, Froggatt, and Cargill.
McINTOSH FOILED THE TOFFEES
November 24, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Until Kirby Gained A Winner
Everton 1, Sheff Wed 0
Everton were much the better side in the first half when they peppered the Sheffield Wednesday goal with some excellent first-time shooting but could not take the lead they rightly deserved. Twice they struck the woodwork and twice McIntosh made saves of which h know time. In the second half Everton deteriorated considerably and for a time it seemed that Sheffield would get at least one point if not two. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan and Tansey, backs; Birch, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; McNamara, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Sheffield Wednesday; McIntosh, goal; Staniforth and Curtis, backs; McAnearney, McEvoy, and Gibson, half-backs; Finney, Shiner, Quixall, Froggatt, and Cargill, forwards. Referee; Mr. K. Howley (Middlesbrough). Sheffield Wednesday won the toss and elected to defend the Gwlady’s Street goal. The first incident of note was an electrifying run by Eglington who left Staniforth trailing in the rear and slipped a pass out to Kirby who had gone to the extreme left. The latter’s centre was too close to goal and was safely collected by McIntosh. Quixall was next to make a dart for goal, but his final shot from 14 yards was well off the mark. Gauld’s speed got the Wednesday defence in a tangle and when the inside man put Kirby in possession the latter hit a grand first time shot, McIntosh saving in equally good style. Quixall was again well off the mark when Froggatt offered him a chance and McNamara was likewise at fault off a centre by Eglington. Birch had two shots, one with each foot following a corner the first was blocked and when the ball came back to him his second effort was badly directed. When Quixall won a corner off Farrell and quickly took it himself, Shiner had a great chance to put the visitors in the lead but shot over the bar from five yards range as he was falling. Then came two escapes for Sheffield inside a minute Gauld got away on the right, and squared a ball which McIntosh missed but Stanforth was there to clear before it could run on to an opponent. Then Eglington got clean through but shot straight at McIntosh when narrowly angled. It was a fierce drive and the Wednesday goalkeeper did well to palm it behind.
McIntosh Kept Busy
A minute later he tipped a long one from McNamara over the bar and before Sheffield finally cleared the danger their goalkeeper had to make another save this time from Fielding. When Kirby and Eglington went back to help the defence during a corner each in turn put the ball to an opponent instead of getting it away, but without any damage being done. The Sheffield goal had another escape when Kirby and Gauld combined well, Kirby looked a scorer all over until McIntosh stuck out his leg to block his shot away. The ball went to McNamara who retrieved it in a flash only to see himself robbed of a goal once more by the woodwork. His ill-luck this season in this direction has been phenomenal. From the upright the ball rebounded to Kirby, who should have done better than shoot behind. Along and strong shot by Birch was headed over the bar by Staforth, who was taking no chances, and then once again the woodwork saved Wednesday when Fielding hit the angle of bar and upright. Everton were certainly having no luck with their finishing but at least it was encouraging to see them shooting at every opportunity and not “passing the buck” or wasting opportunities by over-elaboration.
Twenty-five minutes had gone before Dunlop had anything really difficult to deal with. He dashed out of goal to fist away a high dropping shot by Cargill. It was rather an unusual sight to see first Staniforth and then Donovan; the respective right backs so close on the heels of their forwards this each tried a shot from within the opposing penalty area. In each case if was blocked away. Then a neat bit of combination between Jones and Donovan saw Gauld dart through at top speed only for his shot to hit the advancing McIntosh who knew little about his involuntary save. The game was held up for the first time when Staniforth was injured as Kirby barged into him heavily but when it was resumed Everton were again quickly on the attack, McIntosh catching a header by Birch. Just before the stoppage Dunlop made a great save from Finney this being the only difficult one the home goalkeeper had so far.
No Luck With Shots
Although Everton had been well on top and had been shooting on sight the tonic of a leading goal continued to elude them. Had they had any luck, they would have been at least two up. Nobody could complain however, about their midfield and approach work, or their finishing either. It was just that the run of the ball in front of goal was going Sheffield’s way. Everton kept pegging away doggedly without being able to get the better of McIntosh who saved twice in quick succession from Fielding and Kirby, Everton had done enough to have the game in safe keeping by half-time yet the Sheffield goal had not fallen once. Half-time; Everton nil, Sheffield Wednesday nil.
Everton resumed where they had left off, with more all out attacks on the Sheffield goal, which was lucky to escape again when Birch hit a rasping drive from 30 yards, following an Eglington corner. McIntosh who dived across his goal made a wonderful save near the foot of the post.
The Finney-Quixall wing which has been the source of most of Wednesday’s goals this reason but had a thin time in the first half now came into the picture for a spell to show what it could do, and for some minutes Everton were kept on the defensive. A grand bit of work by Staniforth put a full stop to Everton’s hopes and then McEvoy stepped in to hold off Gauld. The game was held up a moment when Tansey received attention after being hit by a hot shot from McAnearney. Quixall fired behind when he had plenty of time to get the ball to his liking and then McNamara came to the rescue by harassing Shiner on the edge of the penalty area as he was shaping up to shoot. Everton were not now dominating the game to the game extent as earlier and Jones and his colleagues had more work to do against opponents who were now beginning to have a bigger share of the play. The Sheffield defence was going to the ball more smartly than hitherto, which again cut down Everton’s superiority.
Dunlop Saves Well
Dunlop who had been the busier of the two goalkeepers since the resumption, saved well in the fading light from Finney, after Quixall and Shiner had provided the chance, and then in a quick Everton raid Fielding put through by McNamara shot across the face of goal and outside when he had only McIntosh to beat. Dunlop made two quick saves from Quixall and Cargill the second being a particularly fine one, and then up came Staniforth to fire just over the bar. Everton now were only a shadow of the side they had been and there seemed a danger that Sheffield’s persistence might eventually wear down the home defence though so far it had withstood the pressure well.
Too Much Finesse
The home attack had fallen into its old habit of too much finesse and lateral passing and McNamara in particular had gone right off being now well mastered by Curtis. The light was now very poor and it was difficult to follow the ball at the far end of the field though those in the stands were able to see Jones’ head behind during a goal mouth scramble. McNamara spoiled a great chance to win the game for Everton six minutes from the end when he fired almost into the top tier of the goal stand. Kirby did better his header passing narrowly outside the post. At the 86th minute Everton took the lead when Kirby scrambled the ball over the line after McIntosh had fumbled a centre by Eglington as he was challenged by Fielding. In the next minute McNamara missed a sitter after Eglington had put him through and he had only the goalkeeper to best from short range. Final; Everton 1, Sheffield Wednesday nil. Official attendance 34,247.
STOKE RES V EVERTON RES
November 24, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Both sides had their chances but the finishing was poor, Haughey was just wide with a good header but at the other end Graver should have done better after a 30 yards run. A combined effort between Meagan and Mayers brought danger to the Stoke goal, but Allen recovered to clear. The best shot so far came from Jim Harris when he veered to the right to send in a pile driver which Hall saved with difficulty. Graver responded with a good effort when he headed just over from a pass by Hutton and a similar effort when O’Neill tipped over the bar. Ward gave Stoke the lead after 42 minutes play. Half-time; Stoke Res 1, Everton Res nil.
FLOODLIGHT UNIFORMITY BEFORE LEAGUE REALITY
November 24, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
I had my first experience of playing league football under floodlights last Saturday when the St. James’s Park lights were turned on for the second half of Everton’s game against Newcastle United. Previously I had played under lights at Exeter and Sheffield Wednesday’s ground, as well as in America and Canada but these games were only friendly fixtures and lacked the cut, and thrust as well as the atmosphere connected with League games. To the honest I was a little disappointed in the lighting system at Newcastle. At times near the end of the game when some high crosses were coming across from the wings the ball was temporarily lost in the air. On one occasion this could easily have had disastrous results for the Blues. Casey the Newcastle half-back, sent over a high cross I moved forward to clear the ball as it was coming down, but lost sight of it. Luckily it hit my leg and was deflected clear, but had I missed it Milburn would have had a clear path to goal and the Blues could easily have dropped a very valuable point. I mention the instance to Illustrate what can happen if the lighting system is not as it should be. More and more clubs who have floodlights installed in their grounds are kicking off late these days and playing the second half of the game under lights. The later kick-off ensures a bigger attendance than normally during these bleak months as the fans have not to be rushing out after a hurried dinner as they do with an early kick-off. Nevertheless I think there should be more uniformity in the lighting system on each ground before floodlight football eventually become a reality for all League football. I have played at Hillsboro under the lights and have seen games at Wolverhampton under their powerful bulbs and was very impressed I thought Newcastle’s would have been similar to these grounds, but their arrangements are not nearly on a par with the two grounds I have mentioned. So, from a playing point of view I would far rather play important games in daylight than under sub-standard lights. Another angle of the floodlighting of football grounds is the year of fear of the grounds, St. James’s Park has always been recognised as one of the best playing surfaces in the country. Yet last Saturday it looked very bare for this time of the season, due, partly I should imagine to the number of friendly games Newcastle United have played under lights on top of their ordinary programme. With more and more clubs installing floodlights. I naturally means many extra games in a season which will eventually have a bad effect on the playing surfaces of club grounds and present ground staffs with additional problems in their efforts to keep their pitches in tip-top shape. John Tomlinson the Blues young right winger, made a very satisfactory debut at Newcastle. True, John, didn’t have what we in football terms a “blinder” but he can feel well satisfied with the part he played in helping the Blues to a valuable point. Young John has a very fast turn of speed and a penchant for cutting into the middle looking for a chance for a shot at goal. With Tony McNamara returning to first team duty today Tomlinson goes back to the reserve but his display last Saturday should give him confidence that he has the ability to make the grade eventually. It as a very happy Everton party that made the long coach journey back to Liverpool. Perhaps from a football point of view, it wasn’t one of the Blues brightest efforts, but our fighting spirit has never been better than at Newcastle. So long as we can maintain that spirit of comradeship and club-mindedness I am convinced that we have the ability at Goodison to climb to that respectable position in the table to which supporters and all of us connected with Everton will look forward.
THE THOUSANDS WHO MISSED EVERTON’S BETTER HALF
November 26, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Sheffield Wednesday 0
By Leslie Edwards
In the final reckoning there were 34,000 spectators at this match, but many thousands of them missed most of the first half. Held up by the fire in the Mersey Railway tunnel the great contingent ho travel from North West and Birkenhead and Wallasey to Goodison Park for home matches found themselves catching the boat but still missing a good deal of Everton’s, and the game’s better half. Truly, one does not realize what a boon the rail tunnel is until it goes out of action. Ironically when many spectators finally arrived at the ground the game and the weather had taken a turn for the worse. For the final twenty minutes during which Everton scored, through Kirby, the goal which gave them the points. It was difficult to follow play from the stands and a dirty ball became almost unseeable. Good for Everton that both Kirby and Fielding should have view of the centre Eglington put over with a few minutes to go. Then McIntosh until then so capable in the Wednesday goal, lost the ball in the gloom, missed his catch when challenged by Fielding and allowed young Kirby the chance he had waited for all day. A tap of the foot and Everton had won. This victory clears the air. Providing they can evade defeat at Cardiff next Saturday, Everton have good opportunity of rising quickly from possible victories in successive home matches against Birmingham and Leeds United. But they will want a good deal more luck then they had on Saturday. McIntosh was almost as unbeatable as ever, denying Everton with many good saves, and when he was not in a position to save orthodoxy, getting his big body between the shooter and the back of the net. I rate Gauld as particularly unlucky in not scoring when taking the ball in close and in his own words “belting it” towards the line, only to find the ball striking McIntosh on the legs.
Not Enough Punch
But allowing for Everton’s misfortunes and for McIntosh’s streaky saves at old times there was still not enough punch about Everton finishing. And in the second half Wednesday were almost as much in command as Everton had been in that good, thrilling first half. All credit to Everton for winning, though belatedly, but their first half play justified victory earlier – and more convincingly. In the end it became a moot point as to whether they deserved both points. No often a game starting so well fizzles out so unaccountably. For a time both defences were in trouble without paying toil. One recalls for example Shiner’s shocking miss from a Quixall corner and Gauld’s clever low centre which beat every foot on its course across the goal-face, McIntosh got his body in front of an Eglington shot which must otherwise have scored. Wednesday’s most desperate escape came when a Kirby shot hit McIntosh and the ball rebounded for McNamara to slam back. His shot struck a post and rebounded for Kirby to do better, if he could at the second attempt. This time Kirby slewed the ball wide. Next a hook shot by Fielding struck the bar, Everton must have been despairing of ever hitting the back of the net when Gauld worked in so close one imagined he could not fail…this produced McIntosh’s most astonishing barrier. Highlights of a second half which ended triumphantly in the gloom for Everton were the shot Birch fired in from Eglington’s too squarely delivered corner kick (McIntosh was, not taken by surprise but he had to give away a corner), McNamara’s ballooning of the ball from the closet range, Kirby’s header which just beat the goal-angle, and after the goal, another tremendous miss by McNamara. Coming back after injury McNamara got off on the wrong foot as a potential shooter but a lot of his other play was up to standard.
Wednesday have two fine wingers in Finney and Cargill and a greater schemer in Quixall, but none of them quite came off. Quixall who seems a reformed character in that he played much less theatrically than of old, did many clever things, but was prone, like others of his side to move in eternal triangles which often get nowhere. Donovan had the awkward customer Cargill, to face and did his job well. Tansey, too was tested to the full by Finney without ever allowing that winger much scope. Shiner has often played better. Only in the second half did the Wednesday look impressive and when one recalls the first direct strikes Dunlop dealt with Wednesday’s finishing was less potent than Everton’s. Gauld seems to play best when his side are on the collar and room is left for him to snatch a clearance and move fast through a defence which is not stacked against him. But Fielding, ever-ready to shoot and shoot well and timing most of his passes beautifully –a few to McNamara were a little short and square –had one of his best games. Kirby found the massive McEvoy a great barrier, but I am sure this young Everton centre forward is learning fast by experience and with such as Fielding alongside he must get the soundest grounding in forward play. For the first half the Everton half-backs had a complete grip on the game. They did not do so well later when Wednesday, playing in their all-white operation socks, took the initiative without giving promise of breaking down an Everton defence which is as good I should say, as any the club have had for many seasons.
STOKE CITY RES 4, EVERTON RES 0
November 26, 1956. The Liverpool Daily Post
Mr. Stan Seymour, of Newcastle United missed his teams match at Blackpool on Saturday to watch Jimmy Harris the Everton centre forward in this Central League game at Stoke. The Newcastle director, however, could not have been very impressed for Harris was by no means at his best and got little change out of Ford. Stoke’s tall young centre half. In fact it was Graver dropped from Stoke’s first team, who stole the limelight with a dashing display and a couple of second half goals. This was not an impressive show by Everton who seldom looked like saving the game despite some effective wing half back play by Meagan and Rea. Ward and Asprey (penalty) were Stoke’s other scorers.
A SOCCER PROBLEM WHICH PRODUCES MANY MANAGERIAL NIGHTMARES
November 26, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Football is full of minor puzzles which are a source of nightmares to managers and headaches to directors. One of the most mystifying is why a team should so often provide such diametrically opposed exhibition in the two halves of the same game. Everton have puzzled their followers by such displays on many occasions in the past. They did so once more against Sheffield Wednesday, when almost the only resemblance between the team in the first and second halves was the colour of their shirts. They put up a really good show in the first half and with any luck they would have had the game in safe keeping at the half-way stage. But the second half, so far as the forward line was concerned, was only a pale and washed out exhibition by comparison with what had gone before. Why the decline? It could be that Sheffield Wednesday were given some good advice during the interval break. Certainly they started going to the ball instead of waiting for it to come to them. Maybe Everton were over-confident, or had put so much into their first half efforts that they could not keep it up. Whatever the reasons –if there are any at all on which one can put a finger –the fact was plain enough. An Everton team which had played so well for 45 minutes that it was unlucky not to be two or three goals up was struggling for long periods in the second half to make sure of one point, and in the end only got both by virtue of a scrammed goal which was a partial gift when goalkeeper McIntosh made his only slip of the game. In the first half the Blues not only looked a compact well-balanced and workmanlike side, but pleased everybody with the manner in which they shot without hesitation whenever there was the slightest opening. They produced eight excellent scoring efforts bang on the mark and several narrowly off it. If some others were well wide or much too high at least they lived up to the old motto that it is better to have shot and missed then never to have shot at all. The latter failing has sometimes been their besetting sin. Twice they hit the upright, McNamara and Fielding being the sufferers and twice McIntosh made saves, from Kirby and Gauld, of which he knew little or nothing. Five times in the last two home matches Everton have been “robbed” of goals by the woodwork.
As Everton kept pegging away with grim determination, producing speedy combination and first-time finishing, it seemed certain their persistence must be crowned with success. Not a bit of it. The rather shaky Sheffield defence kept a clean sheet to the break, and if it was fortunate on several occasions that is all in the luck of the game. In the second half Everton started missing easy chances in their old tantalizing way, lost their earlier decisiveness in front of goal, and gradually fell away they became just a collection of individuals instead of the smooth-running team they had been at the start. There seemed for a time to be no certainly that they would get even a point. One sensed the danger that Sheffield might snatch a goal and produce another of those results which are a travesty of justice but the life-blood of the game. That they did not do so was partly due to two fine saves by Dunlop, solid work and good close covering by the home defenders and Wednesday’s own erratic finishing. Everton came back strongly for a brief spell in the closing stages, and though there was a tinge of fortune about Kirby’s goal four minutes from the end, when McIntosh failed to dispose of Eglington’s centre as Fielding barrassed him and Kirby had only to slot the ball home from three yards at least it ensured that justice was done on the balance of the day’s play.
Defenders Were Best
Everton’s most consistent players were almost exclusively defenders Dunlop further confirmed the impression that he has come to stay. He had practically nothing to do in the first half, but earned his bonus later. Tommy Jones had been playing so consistently well for so long that some folk tend to take his displays too much for granted. He was up against a lively and unorthodox leader in Shiner who has been having a good measure of success this season Jones, however was his master almost throughout. Donovan did much solid work. His tackling in crisper than it used to be and he is quicker n recovery. Several times he won possession after seemingly being beaten. Birch had another good game, put in one great second half shot that deserved a goal and is undoubtedly proving that his promotions to senior status is fully merited. The forward line shone in the first half but blotted its copybook later. Gauld is a great trier and one of these days, if the ball runs kindly for him, may hit the headlines as a marksman. So far, however, his speed is greater than his ability to control the ball when bursting through and too often it runs away from him at the vital moment. To some extent the state of the ground has been responsible for this. When pitches get heavy later on and the surfaces is more holding Gauld may cash in more.
A small but vociferous section of the crowd is still giving McNamara no peace when things go wrong for him. True, he fell away in the second half and dropped into the fatal habit of hesitating and doubling back instead of going direct for goal, but he was not the only offender. Sheffield Wednesday will have to do better than this if they are to keep out of danger. Quixall has gone off a lot if this is his normal form, and the forward line as a whole rarely looked good even during those second half spells when Everton were mainly on the defensive. Cargill the former Burnley lad, looks a likely prospect. McIntosh was the star of the visiting rearguard and if he can maintain that standard despite his one partial lapse Wednesday need not pursue their search for a goalkeeper too assiduously. Staniforth had a good game, and showed class on many occasions, while Gibson, Matt Busby’s son-in-law was also sound, particularly when in an attacking vein.
November 28, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Everton chief coach Ian Buchan has been solely responsible for naming the team for the past couple of months. Apart from the one game which McNamara missed at Newcastle, ten days ago, the Everton side has been unaltered now for seven consecutive matches a fact which may have had quite a bearing on their recent improvement. A settled side must obviously mean a happier dressing room atmosphere which in turn especially when allied to improved results, brings greater confidence. That does not necessarily simply that the early-season experiments and changes were ill-judged. Some may have been rather desperate measures due to the parlous position of the club in the table, but at least something was learned from them. To that extent they served a useful purpose, even if the knowledge in some cases was of a negative nature. The team for Cardiff reads;- Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Farrell; McNamara, Gauld, Kirby, Fielding, Eglington.
Everton Reserves (home to Bury); O’Neill; Sutherland, Leeder; Meagan, Sanders, Rea; Tomlinson, Thomas, Harris (J), Farrell, Williams (G).
Having taken six points from their last five away games, Everton must look upon their chances at Cardiff more favourably than would have been the case earlier in the season. At the same time, although Cardiff like the Blues are low down in the table, they are still unbeaten on their own ground, where they usually put up a good show. They have however, had a yield a point on four occasions and that might be the outcome this time. Another similarity between the teams is that Cardiff have not particularly distinguished themselves as marksmen. They have scored only 24 goals, and again like Everton got nine of these in two matches, leaving only a total of 15 from the remaining 16 games.
Neither Everton nor Liverpool have been approached by M.T.K the touring Hungarian team, regarding a match for the Hungarian Relief Fund against a combined “liverton” side and the matter was not discussed at their board’s meetings.
Everton have had no communication from Newcastle regarding Jimmy Harris, when Mr. Stan Seymour watched last Saturday.
RISING COSTS COMPEL EVERTON TO INCREASE THEIR CHANGES
November 29, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
If you are on Everton supporter, your Saturday afternoon watching is going to cost your either sixpence or a shinning more in future depending on whether you stand in the paddock or sit in the stand. There will be no change in the terrace price. These increases, which have been under consideration for some time, have been forced upon the club by the rising costs of maintained, travel, hotels, and other items. They apply only to first team games, starting with the visit of Birmingham City on December 8. The announcement was made in the following statement issued by the club secretary Mr. W. Dickinson today.
“The directors announce with regret that it has been found necessary, owing to increased overhead expenses to raise the prices of admission to the stands and paddock as from Saturday December 1. “After this date the charge for the paddock will be 3s the goal stands 4s 6d and Bullens Road and Goodison Road stands 5s. “The price at Everton have hitherto been the lowest in the country and will still compare faourably with those charged by the majority of clubs. “There will be no change in admission to Central League matches. “ Hitherto the paddock has been 2s 6d, goal stands 3s 6d and other stands 4s. There is no change in the charge for the limited number of seats which are bookable in advance. These remain at 6s. Everton’s prices will now be the same as those at Anfield. The last time an increase was made was in August 1952 when the paddock went up by threepence and the stands by sixpence. When the League increased the minimum admission from 1s 9d 2s last season Everton did not after their paddock or stand charges.
Effect On Attendance
Although the increase may be rather a shock to the club’s followers and may at first have a slight effect on the numbers in the paddock and stand particularly the latter, I doubt whether it will greatly effect the total attendance, Petrol rationing and public transport difficulties will be much more harmful in that respect. Probably some followers who have hitherto sat in the stand will compromise by going on to the terraces where on almost all occasions there is ample room for everybody to see in comfort providing they are able to stand. It is only those who cannot do so, who may be inclined to withdraw their supporter. The club has accommodation under cover for approxately 50,000 spectators which is considerably more than the average gate.
EVERTON WILL DO WELL TO GET ONE POINT
November 30, 1956. The Liverpool Echo
Though Cardiff City are not in formidable a combination as the average First Division side, they are always worthy opponents when performing before their own supporters and Everton will do well if they can salvage a point from their visit to Ninian Park. Cardiff have one distinction that even Manchester United cannot claim. They have not so far been defeated on their own ground, a record which only three other First Division clubs possess. They have however been forced to share the points on four occasions but apart from Leeds United those over whom they have been victorious at Ninian Park have been very lowly clubs –Newcastle, Sheffield Wednesday, and Sunderland. Everton also come into that category at the moment though they are gradually extricating themselves from the lower rungs of the ladder. The return of thirteen points from the last ten matches has gone a long way to relieving the early season anxiety which permeated Everton’s followers. Yet the team is not yet out of the wood, though the margin of advantage they now have over the two bottom clubs is much more pronounced. Two sides how below Everton could overtake the Blues as they have a match in hand and only a pointless. One of the wo is Cardiff, so that if the Blues could pull off a win at Ninian Park it would be particularly helpful to the Goodison cause. To do so they will need to have more luck with their shooting that last week. Nobody could wish for much better or more frequent marksmanship than the Everton forwards displayed in the first half of the game against Sheffield Wednesday. But it was one of those days when the ball just would not go in the net. I hope they do not have the same ill-fortune two weeks running and also that this time they keep up the pressure for the full course of the game. Cardiff themselves have no better scoring record then Everton, and as both teams have conceded exactly the same number of goals they seen very evenly matched. While in such cases a draw is always a likely result.
Everton Look Again
An Everton representative will have another look at Dermot Curtis, Shelbourne’s 23-years old international centre forward when the plays against Sligo Rovers on Sunday, Bristol City, Wolves, and others are also interested and the Bristol club made a form offer which was acceptable to Shelborne but Curtis asked for more times to think the matter over.