EVERTON TO HAVE CHIEF SCOUT
April 1, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton F.C are to start their present scouting system and reorganize it in a comprehensive fashion in readiness for next season. The club are to appoint not only a full-time chief scout but also five full-time area scouts who will cover the whole of the British Isles. Previously the Goodison Park club have relied for their player-scouting activities on part-time officials, plus certain stipendiary officials who have had to dovetail scouting with their other duties, and the efforts of directors. The new scheme is devised to put the scouting system on a firmer and more businesses like basis. It will be a fairly expensive scheme, for the chief scout’s salary will be substantial and that of the area scouts will be very good. But the club believes that if the idea produces one or two really staff players per season it will pay for itself in the long run. The Chief Scout will be in charge of all the arrangements, and directly responsible to the board, under whose control he will do his work. He will have his own office at Goodison Park, but will obviously spend most of the time elsewhere. This will be the first occasion that Everton have had full-time scouting officials.
April 2, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Mr. Ian Buchan is holding over section of the Everton team to meet Leeds United at Goodison Park on Good Friday until later, owing to doubts about Jones and Sanders. Jones who had to miss last week’s game at Birmingham because of a pulled groin muscle is still feeling twinger of pain though it is hoped he may be fit before Friday. Sanders is another in the doubtful class at the moment though in his case also there is hope that he may recovery in time. He got a knock on the thigh on Saturday. Leeds United are making a strong rearguard action against the threat of relegation, and are sure to put up a stern struggle to get at least one point from this game. For a team in such a lowly position their defence has conceded comparatively few goals, and if Wood, Dunn, Hair, and the rest are in the form which has characterized some of their recent displays, Everton are not going to find goals come very easily. Leeds has maintained clean sheets defensively in five games since the turn of the year, and in five others have kept the opposition to a single goal each time. Their biggest problem has not been stopping the other side but getting enough goals themselves to turn their defensive solidity into a tangible asset. The best of defences cannot win games. All they can do is prevent defeat. It is up to the attack to add the finishing touches and that is where Leeds like Everton have been falling down.
EASTER GAMES MAY EASE SOME PROBLEMS
April 3, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
The Easter holiday fixtures may considerably clarity the various points which are at the moment clouded with uncertainly and speculation in the various divisions of the Football league, though it may not be until later still that some of the outstanding problems are finally resolved. Everton will be home to Leeds United, who are still far from clear of the relegation worries, despite having climb recently to fifth from bottom. There are only two points better off than Sheffield Wednesday, the bottom club, only one to the good over Newcastle United, who have played two games less, and one better off then Sunderland for the same number of matches played. Obviously Leeds are still in danger, and will make a big effort to take as many points as possible from Everton in the two holiday games the return being at Leeds on Easter Monday. So far as the Goodison Park fixture is concerned the Yorkshire club’s away record this season hardly appears to give them much chance, even taking into a count Everton’s in and out form. They have won only two away matches at Portsmouth and Bolton, and drawn another two, which mean that the other 14 have not produced a solitary point. The only consolation for Manager Raich Carter who must be a very anxious man these days, is that Leeds have not been conceding goals to the same extent as some other struggling clubs. The debit total is only 59, which is less than have been registered against West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City, who are third and fourth in the table. It is when he looks at the credit side of the account that Raich Carter must long for the days of last season, when John Charles was hitting ‘em home week after week. So far Leeds have scored fewer goals than all First Division team except Sunderland, who stand on the same mark – 44 in 36 matches.
Native of Wallasey
Of these, Hugh Baird, the man signed from Aidrie at a cost of £12,000 as replacement for Charles has got 17 including four penalties. That is not too bad a return all things considered but is still a long way below the Charles standard. Boyden Wood, the Wallasey born goalkeeper has missed only one game for Leeds this season while Dun and Blair are still their regular backs and a very good pair too. A newcomer to the half-back line recently has been Wither Cush signaled last November from Genavon while another Irishman in Noel Peyton formerly of Shamrock Rovers has been introduced at inside right in the hope of putting a little more fire and punch into the front line. One need in the Leeds attack appears to be more goals from the extreme wingers, Meek and Overfield who have missed only one and three matches respectively, total but seven goals between them. Up to the fortnight ago Meek had only one to his name, but he has scored two more since. Everton; (from); Donovan; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Labone, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Temple, Fielding, Williams.
On Saturday Everton will be home to Tottenham Hotspurs which seems at least on paper to be a more formidable task than that of Good Friday. Though seventh in the table at the moment Spurs have a good chance of finishing in the top five and this earning extra talent money. Although their away record at first glance seems to be nothing outstanding actually it is very good over recent months. Sours started by losing six and drawing three of their first nine away games. Since then there has not been a big improvement for the subsequent nine away fixtures have seen then register five victories, two draws, and suffer only two defeats. Twelve, points from nine away engagements is good going for any side and indicates that the Londoners must have considerable confidence in themselves just now. Their leading marksman is centre forward Bobby Smith who has been in great form recently. He got five goals against Aston Villa last week, has scored 26 in his last 19 games and has a total for the season in League and Cup of 35. Recent acquisition by Tottenham, at a fee around £30,000 has been Cliff Jones, the former Swansea Town and Welsh international left-winger, who has joined forces again with his former Veichfield colleagues, outside right Terry Medwin.
KICK IT UP HERE, HE SHOUTED
April 5, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Leeds United 1
Everton missed three things at Goodison Park yesterday –two points, a penalty and Dave Hickson. There is therefore is that they are still not completely free of relegation or of criticism. They play Tottenham at home this afternoon and Leeds United again on Monday. Their reaction to yesterday’s performance (if one can describe it was immediate. They have re-instated Hickson and moved Temple to inside left to replace Fielding and brought in young Brian Labone, at centre half, for his home League debut. Tom Jones suffered a pulled thigh muscle and a blow to the team yesterday and the blow to Everton’s pride that Leeds United, of all teams, should beat and look reasonably good is one which no amount of reshuffling can erase. Nor is the memory of some shirt-tugging by an Everton back who shall be nameless. This player never needs to resort to such tactics and Everton are the last club from which one would expect Continental last-resort tactics. You cannot hope to win or even draw matches if you miss penalties. Here Leeds leading by an excellent goal from Baird at 17 minutes were involved in a penalty three minutes later. Referee Clements of West Bromwich was severe. I thought to consider Gibson had handled intentionally. But there it was. Normally Tom Jones is a sure-footed penalty-taker. This time the job went to Jimmy Harris. Before he could take it the referee had to order to the outside of the semi-circle the man who had been involved in the handling.
Three Strides Away
Harris stood not more than three strides from the ball and hit it low and none to truly, so Wood had time to get down and save at the second attempt. Everton had one other non-profitable moment when a Thomas header from Williams’ corner struck the underside of the bar and rebounded conveniently for the goalkeeper to pick it up unchallenged, but nothing Everton did yesterday suggested that they were worth victory. On a firm ground against a team sizeable in every line they were as disappointing as they have been this season and even Fielding, whose control of the ball in difficult conditions marks him as the artist he is, was guilty of a little slowness some inaccuracy. Everton followers are tiring I think of the number of lateral or reverse passes used by their half-backs and forwards. There were all too many again yesterday and one waited in vain for the penetrating, daring run which disturbs a defence. The responsibility for doing something constructive is being passed on more expertly than the ball. Nothing gives a defence more time to redeploy than the reverse pass when the need is for directness. On the right we had a Harris (J) who was having a day when nothing goes right. On the left we had the wee Williams doing his work adequately but not in the damaging way in which Overfield an excellent counterpart in the Leeds side did his indeed. Sanders was very puzzled by the man who had so many different ways of beating him. Temple was no a success in the centre. The brother of Manchester United’s famous Charlton a little lighted haired fellow was always a head higher in the jump for the ball. Thomas did things well, but the Everton attack as a line was noticeably less good than Leeds.
Thomas did best when making and helping to compete the move from which Williams almost scored. There was a moment of indecisions in the Leeds defence and Williams was lucky to get his chance. He hit a vicious shot which Wood fell on at the expense of being temporarily knocked out. If Everton had taken the lead then things might have gone differently but Leeds survived and then started to play neat snappy stuff which seemed likely to bring reward. When after 17 minutes the tall powerful Scot, Baird drifted to the left wing the goal came though it was a mistake by Tom Jones which really allowed the scorer his chance. From a throw-in Jones seemed to have the ball under control, it ran away from him and Baird was sharp indeed to round Jones and hit a fine shot, despite the narrowness of the angle. Baird came near to scoring twice not long afterwards and impressed me as being one of the best and best behaved centre-forwards I have seen for some time. He caught Jones napping in one case and Dunlop made a save as brave as Wood’s from Williams; yet oddly these were the only occasions on which Jones was out maneuvered. In every other respect he played very well. In the wings Leeds had two very useful ones in Overfield and Crowe. O’Brien was a great worker, too. The defence as a whole was impressive –clam in crises and neat, and sometimes cheeky, in their short-passing when getting out of trouble.
Rea lent Jones great aid and linked well with the Everton attack. To do this he covered enormous tracts of ground but not often did he get the return pass his enthusiasm deserved. From Everton’s standpoint it could hardly have been a worse match from Leed’s it was a heartening one. It had one moment of humour when Dunlop held the ball and was in doubt as whether to kick from hand or throw the ball up field someone sitting behind the directors box shouted “Kick it up here and see if they know what it is. A little unkind maybe, since players not directors win or lose matches but a waspish command one must record. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Temple, Fielding, Williams. Leeds United; Wood; Dunn, Hair; Gibson, Charlton, Kerfoot; Crowe, O’Brien, Baird, Forrest, Overfield. Referee Mr. W. Clements.
FAMOUS LONDON CLUB VISIT GOODISON
April 5, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Star-Studded Tottenham Will Be A Stern Test For Everton
Tottenham Hotspur, one of the most attractive teams in modern football, are today’s visitors to Goodison Park in an Easter holiday fixture which could have a vital bearing on the London club’s hopes of finishing the season in the first four, with the consequent shore-out of talent money for such a placing. Had other footballers the men from White Hart Lane are not averse to picking up any extra cash which their efforts entitle them to and although the scale of payments permitted to members of teams occupying the first rungs of the ladder is nothing like as vast as that favoured on the Continent where huge bonuses are quite common place, the extra is well worth the additional effect required to make it certain. Tottenham have more star players in their ranks than the majority of clubs, their current side being something of a case for argument against the people who any that success cannot be brought. Of the 34 players utlisted in their first team so far this term, was were obtained from other League clubs by way of the transfer market, several of them at large fees. Porteus the outstanding example of money being well spent is provided by the John Rydan as Aberington who has been converted to his current position after being signed as a centre half and the Welsh international winger Terry Medwin and Cliff Jones. Medwin who has played for his country at outside right and centre forward is now in this second season at White Hart Lane but Jones is a comparative newcomer, harding been signed early last month after protracted negotiations. Both formerly played for Swansea Town. Medwin has solved a long standing problem Jones in turn; he sealed a gap left by the decline in form of George Robb, the former amateur internationals whose one full cap was to that well-remembered game with Huddersfield at Wembley in 1953. Bobby Smith the former Chelsea centre forward, has made the headlines this season with his goal-scoring and the highlights being the five against Aston Villa last Saturday. Smith respectably built has supplemented another capture Dunmore from York, and has done so well that he is being tripped as a possible for the English World Cup party. The usual inside-forwards are little Tommy Harmer, a ball player at subtle touches and delicacy, not unlike Everton’ s own Wally Fielding and the one-time Brooks, who reached England status last season but has faded from prominence somewhat this term, losing his place at one period in Alf Stokes. The latter hit five goals in the 7-1 rout of Birmingham earlier in the season, but has since lost his place again to his rival.
Another coming international in the view of many Southerners is Maurice Norman signed as a full back from Norwich City but now converted into a fine centre half. His inclusion has enabled Ryden to switch to the left in place of the costly capture Jim Iley from Sheffield United who has not settled in London although a player of considerable talent. Long serving Ted Ditchburn in goal and Baker and Hopkins the latter the first choice for Wales now that Alf Sherwood is so well advanced into the veteran stage, complete the solid Tottenham defence.
NARROW DEFEAT AFTER BEING FOUR DOWN
April 5, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Hickson Drive Leads To Fighting Rally
Everton 3, Tottenham 4
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea, Labone and Meagan half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Temple, and Williams, forwards. Tottenham Hotspur; Ditchburn, goal; Hill and Henry, backs; BranchFlower (captain), Norman, and Ryden, half-backs; Medwin, Harmer, Smith, Clayton and Jones, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. McCabe (Sheffield). The weather was dull, cold and the attendance not more than 25,000 at the start. Everton brought in the sizeable Labone at centre half and played Temple in place of Fielding at inside left. Hickson returned at centre forward. Clayton made his debut for the visitors. Harris, from inside right hit a long low shot a few yards wide with Ditchburn covering the ball all the way. Jones in a thrilling run went almost to outside right before offering a pass to Medwin. The corner Rea gave without due cause led to Medwin and his partner using the kick judiciously so that Medwin, from just outside the penalty box, and a very fine angle, sent a fierce shot across the goal fade and past the far post by a foot or two. Blanchflower with a confident nod to goalkeeper got his side out of trouble and Labone faced by Smith made a similarly brave and accurate pass back with his foot. It was fierce going and when Referee McCabe adjudged that Hickson had fouled the massive Norman near the goal line, the crowd did not like the decision nor did Hickson, but I think it was the right one. A mistake by Meagan let in the right wing and Dunlop made a splendid catch off a fast shot from Clayton. Spurs were mostly on top, and went into the lead at nine minutes through Clayton. The scorer lost possession at least twice, yet reached it, carried his way through and picked a well placed shot beyond Dunlop. The game was half as fast again as yesterday’s and only some neat and determined defence by Blanchflower kept Everton out. Smith showed skill and tenacity and despite being outnumbered, kept possession of the ball and always looked dangerous. Sanders came upfield, finding no opposition, and went on and on before hitting a first-class right foot shot, which Ditchfoot knocked up and held at the second attempt.
The crowd laughed when Jones was adjudged the offender when held back by Sanders in a tugging match. Norman gave away a corner to prevent Harris running onto the ball, and Meagan and Rea had done the spadework. At 16 minutes Smith made the score 2-0 after a remarkably lethal pass from little Harmer, who put the ball up into the centre, Labone could only half nod it away, with the result that Smith was able to round his man and volley the ball into the net with breath-taking efficiency, Dunlop had no hope. Spurs almost made it 3-0 a moment later after a Cliff Jones run but Medwin fired wide from Clayton’s pass. Everton were hurried in nearly everything they did and Tottenham rubbed it in a bit more in 22 minutes. Blanchflower strolled upfield and delivered a through pass which Smith took with his right foot, Dunlop did well to save but in going full length he lost possession and Clayton was there to tap the ball in. Some of Tottenham’s play was classic stuff and the way Jones beat Sanders and cut in to shoot was genius but having established his position he got his toe under the ball and put it high over the bar. It was almost shooting practice for Tottenham at this stage but Jones made poor use of a free kick after Sanders had obstructed him. A Hickson header passed narrowly wide –Everton’s only strike in the first half hour. When Hickson was the victim of a foot by Norman on the edge of the penalty box, Harmer marshaled his forces but all the wall of defenders could not prevent Harris, shot from getting through it passed wide and spent its force on a spectator, who wisely turned his back on it.
A Bad Miss
The character of the game had changed, and although Sours were still toying with their opponents their finish was not as good as it had been. Hickson just inside the penalty area received a fine pass from Thomas, only to shoot high over the bar when all the circumstances pointed to his scoring. Everton were often on the offensive without even looking impressive.
Half-time; Everton nil, Tottenham Hotspur 3.
It was still rough and ready stuff at the start of the second half even Blanchflower making three mistakes in succession. How Jones failed to beat Dunlop after being clean through only he knows, Dunlop made a half save and as the ball was trickling to goal he recovered to take possession, while Jones was literally tearing his hair at missing such a glorious chance. However, when Harmer pushed a pass up to Medwin and the winger centred almost on the far angle, Smith came tearing in to hand number four, careering on into the net after the ball. The ball was in the net a fifth time this time from the head of Clayton but the scorer was adjudged to have done some pushing. Ryden made a clever run and centre for Clayton to make another brilliant header which hit the woodwork and rebounded to all things considered. Sours were having a field day and Everton were a bit lucky not to be even further behind.
Off The Line
A Tansey blunder let in Medwin, who drew Dunlop out of goal and then directed the ball towards the line, where an Everton foot removed it safely. Ditchburn came to the edge of the penalty area to dive at Hickson’s feet. The ball ran free and Temple lashed it a foot over the top when steadiness would have paid dividend. In the next phrase of play Hickson scored with a left foot shot at 58 minutes, a shot of such force the ball hang momentarily in the back of the net against the net support. Hickson got his chance from a Williams centre and took a difficult opening with the best shot he has made this season. Spurs were playing exhibition stuff without looking as though they were tremendously anxious to add to their score. Smith gallantly held off when Dunlop went down to him for a brave and valuables save. Spurs were caught napping after a free kick given for a foul on Harris, Thomas slipping the ball past Ditchburn from a very fine angle at inside right. It was not long before Everton were defending desperately again, with Sanders kicking a swerving Blanchflower shot off the line and Jones hitting the stand following a Blanchflower corner.
Hickson, with another volley which struck a defender and passed for what everyone imagined would be a corner, was close to scoring again. The corner did not arise for Mr. McCabe ruled that an Everton man had made the deflection. The game took another turn Everton’s way when Hickson scored after 77 minutes. There is no doubt in my mind that Ryden handled intentionally in the penalty area, but while Everton were busy appealing Hickson, getting on with the business in hand lashed the ball in, his shot having sufficient pace to stand a deflection and still continue on its way. Everton were rampaging for the equalizer and Ditchburn appeared to have a serious blow. He continued limping from an injury to his right knee. Harmer, put Smith through and though Dunlop came out and saved he could have known little about it. The crowd had come out of their shell, hardly daring to believe that Everton were only a goal behind after being so completely out of it. Dunlop’s best save was from Harmer, at almost point-blank range. Although the ball eluded his grasp he picked it up at the second attempt. A blunder by Labone let in Smith who tried to job the ball over Dunlop, but he was equal to it and made the catch. Final; Everton 3, Tottenham 4.
MY FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR
April 5, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
This month sports writers cast their votes for the Footballer of the Year, although I must admit I have never really been certain what the title means. It is a player’s ability they assess, or do they also take into account his conduct on the field? Then again they could find out what kind of character he has – his influence on the young players at his club and his sportsmanship. Since the first award in the 1947-8 season it has always gone to an international, with the exception of Bert Trautmann, Manchester City’s German-born goalkeeper, who won it in 1956-7, I think he is still one of the best in the country, and if he had been playing in Germany he would most certainly have played for them. I think an award such as this should take everything into account –the player’s background, temperament, and his outlook on the game. It is only then that one can feel the individual really deserves to be called Footballer of the year. I sometimes wonder if it would not be a good thing for the game if the silver statuette was given to the dependable little club man all of us know but who seldom gets into the headlines. What a boost it would be for his club and players like him. It seems a pity that Soccer’s limelight only shine on a few while men of equal character remain in the shadows.
Many names will go forward this year, among them Danny Blanchflower, of Ireland. I have played against him many times and he is one of the nicest persons one could wish to meet in any walk of life; I regard him as the complete footballer. His powers on the field as captain and player are well known but what may not be such common knowledge is that he just lives for the game. Football, football, football –and if ever you see Danny in a conversation you will know the topic is Soccer. I have yet to meet anyone like him when it comes to talking football. However, the man I would pick as footballer of the year is little Ernie Taylor, of Manchester United and England. The reasons for giving him my vote are his ability to bring out the best in the young United players, his sportsmanship and his wizardly which is one of the reasons why Manchester United are at Wembley. Many people fail to realize the job he took on when he signed for United. He instilled confidence into their young team. Ernie Taylor’s immaculate display in the semi-final replay against Fulham at Highbury was one of the most remarkable feats I’ve seen in any Soccer career. You could sense him almost telling the youngsters just where to run for the ball. His scheming and encouragement was a joy to watch. Without a doubt Ernie Taylor is my Footballer of the Year.
SHEFF WED RES V EVERTON RES
April 5, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Sheffield Wed Res;- Ryalls, goal; Baker and Smith, backs; Kay, McEvoy, and Hill, half-backs; Wilkinson, McAnearney (J), Johnson, Gallagher, and Cargill, forwards. Everton Res;- O’Neill, goal; Donovan, and Hillsdon, backs; King, Billington and Gannon, half-backs; Harris, Mackay, Llewellyn, Ashworth, and Godfrey, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Rouse (Leeds). Both Ryalls and O’Neill delt safely with early corners and when Wednesday got in with the first real chance of the game Wilkinson shot over the top. There was little to choose between the teams early on, although Everton’s approach work was the more methodical. Godfrey shot wide when he had a first class chance as did McAnearney at the other end. Neither side could make much headway against two strong defences. For Everton, Donovan scarcely put a foot wrong. Eight minutes before the interval, Ryalls could only push away a centre from Harris and Ashworth had little difficulty in putting Everton in front. Godfrey might have made it 2-0 but he shot wildly past the post. Half-time; Sheffield Wednesday Res nil, Everton res 1.
TOTTENHAM HOT STUFF; THEN AN EVERTON REVIVAL
April 7, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Tottenham Hotspur 4
By Leslie Edwards
This is a deceptive score-line. It tells of Everton’s second half recovery, but not of the number of times Tottenham were miraculously denied goals in that period. There is no doubt that Spurs deserved victory or that Everton’s revival, hard as they fought was more the result of blood-and-guts determination than of football artistry. But they came near to bringing off what must have ranked at a thousand-to-one chance and for that reason the loyal 30,000 who had murmured appreciation of Spurs’ quick neat, accurate team-work, went home satisfied Everton had put up a show. Just as well the team did, since if Sours had gone on scoring after talking a 4-0 lead early in the second half – and the dismal prospect was that they would –we should have had nothing Everton wise to cheer. Even now, with only one home match and all four others on enemy ground, Everton’s case is not a good one. True, there are others lower in the table, but one usually finds that these so-called fated Second Diversionists start to win fairly consistently once the season nears its end. At Leeds today, if the match last Friday can be considered any criterion, Everton have a battle on their hands and will do well to emerge with a point.
Tottenahm are a big, close knit team with talent in every department. They have the massive Ditchburn (who limped off after a late collision) they have a main generator of football power in Blanchflower, whose half-back play is so reminiscent for its generalship and mastery of the ball of Joe Mercer, whose Sheffield United have the means of being the promotion surprise packet of Division 2. Spurs also have that small, lightly built bundle of tricks that is Harmer and two former Swansea boys –Medwin on the right and Jones on the left – who come a good grade higher than any wingers we have seen around these parts in recent times. Add the rather podgy but eminently mobile Smith at centre-forward and Iley (not as the programme persisted in reminding us, Ryden) and Norman at half-back, and you have a side capable of playing as well, and looking as good, as anything in Manchester United colours. How often Everton players lost possession because opponents were bigger and stronger in the clinches? How often Spurs came through like clockwork, to score or all but score? One lost count. But for Dunlop (whose best save was a superb catch from Harmer) and the aid his backs and half-backs were able to give him on the goal-line we could have drawn a curtain over the last half-hour. Instead Everton made an all-out effort and came within a goal of what would have ranked as a match as eventful as the 6-4 Sunderland Cup-tie.
Had Things Easy
Spurs had things easy for more than one reason. They faced an Everton stronger by the inclusion of Hickson, but weakened by the absence of Jones and Fielding. Labone may yet be a great player, but more than once here he made blunders which led to goals or should have led to them. One does not criticize the boy for these mistakes; they are natural in a player so young but it one gambles on inexperience one must accept the consequences. Spurs fairly jumped into command with a goal from the almost unknown Clayton –no relation of the Blackburn brothers. But he appeared to lose possession twice and regain it twice against Labone before he poked out a speculative foot and turned the ball beyond Dunlop. Harmer’s prompting helped to produce the second. Labone made an indecisive head-away of Harmer’s lob and before the ball could drop Smith rounded Labone and shot it, on the volley into the net. Smith then took, Blanchflower’s through pass and holding off the tackle made the shot which produced a half-save from Dunlop (he was unlucky to be beaten after such a save) Clayton being on the spot to tap the ball in unchallenged. The second half had been going only a few minutes when Medwin’s centre to the far goal-angle deceived Dunlop and dropped almost on the line where it was carried over by the incoming Smith. So thus early, the game was good as over and Everton fans were beginning to get a little vexed and perplexed by the impudently easy way in which Spurs were playing it.
No Doubt About It
There was no doubt that Iley handled intentionally when Everton appealed for a penalty soon afterwards. Referee McCabe of Sheffield (who looked blandly at some incidents which were anything but bland) disregarded their appeal and in the momentary hiatus Hickson did the right thing. He fairly blasted in a right foot shot which no deflection could turn to any extent. Then Thomas disregarding Spurs’ appeals that the referee should have given an Everton forward offside turned the ball in from a fine angle to make it 4-2. And finally Hickson with yet another of his well-hit shots, made the score 4-3. Everton were then dominant and the crowd spared their enthusiasm and pleasure at such an unexpected turn in the game. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea, Labone and Meagan half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Temple, and Williams, forwards. Tottenham Hotspur; Ditchburn, goal; Hill and Henry, backs; BranchFlower (captain), Norman, and Ryden, half-backs; Medwin, Harmer, Smith, Clayton and Jones, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. McCabe (Sheffield).
April 7, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Sheff Wed Res 0, Everton Res 1
Everton Reserves deserve few bouquets for winning this game. Wednesday, hit by an early injury to full back Baker which resulted in reshuffling the forward line, made little progress against the Everton defence in which Donovan was faultless. The only goal –just before the interval was a true reflection of the game. An error by Wednesday’s Ryalls, who only parried a Harris cross, gave Ashworth a gift. Everton team was; O’Neill; Donovan, Hillsdon; King, Billington, Gannon; Harris, Mackay, Llewellyn, Ashworth, Godfrey.
EVERTON TAKE A LOOK AT A BURY HALF-BACK
April 7, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton fans who think their club is not active enough in the transfer market need have no fears. The club are busy even now searching for the men who will help to obviate such things as the four goals lead which Tottenham ran up in the first hour of a momentous Goodison Park game which finally ended 4-3 and with Spurs glad to survive. A week ago Everton had a director at Bury; on Saturday there was another representative of the club there. I understand that the player under review was the Bury half-back Atherton. He is a non-stop type of the sort which is useful in any sphere. Yet the lessons from too many Everton defeats these past few weeks is that Everton want players of size. Rea is a splendid worker and so is Meagan, but on the occasions when they meet forwards of better physique they –start and finish at a disadvantage. It is a disadvantage they share with players in other Everton departments and everyone knows that all things equal – the good big one beats the good little un. It was clear in the first fifty minutes of the Spurs game that Tottenham had skill and size. It was also clear that young Brian Labone promising though he is, is not quite ready for first team work. Clayton caught him out twice just before scoring Spurs’ first goal and when Harmer made a lobbed pass which a header from Labone directed more upwards than towards safely the bulky Smith rounded him and hit the ball into the net, with a left-foot volley in the style of the potential England centre-forward. Again in the second half when Hickson’s two fine goals and the one cleverly obtained by Thomas brought Everton back into the reckoning, Labone was guilty of a blunder of such magnitude it was almost a miracle Spurs did not score.
All through the second half when Everton progress was the result of sheer determination rather than of superb football, Spurs enjoyed chances to make the match theirs beyond doubt, but Dunlop aided by his defence did brilliantly and bravely and so a possible draw was “on” until the last minute. The force behind Spurs who seem to have no weakness unless it be their failure to appreciate that a match is not over even when you lead 4-0, is Blanchflower. His play reminded me a lot of Mercer’s and there is no half-back in the game I’d rather have than the Spurs captain who has the knack of making time for all manner of niceties when most others would be in trouble. The play of Cliff Jones, too, was a grade or two higher than most we see at Anfield and Goodison Park and I was well that he among others was guilty of missing others, otherwise the score might well have been nine-three rather than four-three. Norman and Hickson, whose again obviously pleased the crowd and put punch into the centre forward positions, had some more-than-rousing gallop and I was surprised the Sheffield Referee McCabe did not take stronger action. It became a tough match once Everton got to grips with their recovery match and Spurs after being such clear-cut winners, failed out and must have been glad when the end came. Their veteran England goalkeeper Ditchburn, hobbed for the final few minutes after knocking a knee in a jump to make a catch. With only one home game to play –against Manchester City –and the others away, Everton are not quite clear of trouble. They certainly cannot afford to give four goals start to anyone much less Spurs, even though Clayton (two goals on his debut) and Smith two goals and worth an England trial, played so well against limited defensive opposition. Hickson’s two goals were the result of full-blooded shots – one of them taken while the rest of the side were appealing that a penalty be given against Iley for handling. Hickson was wise to hit the ball hard first and enquire about decisions later, so was Thomas when he managed to turn the ball in past Ditchburn what time Spurs defence appealed for the offside decision which never came.
Good Start –Kevin Lewis, son of former Evertonian Tommy Lewis, has now scored nine goals for Sheffield United since making his debut three months ago. An encouraging start for a 17-years-old.
LATE GOAL BY FORREST SENDS EVERTON HOME POINTLESS
April 7, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Leeds United 1, Everton0
Leeds United;- Wood, goal; Dunn and Hair, backs; Cush, Charlton, and Kerfoot, half-backs; Meek, Forrest, Baird, O’Brien, and Overfield, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea, Donovan (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Temple, and Williams, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.J. Leafe (Nottingham). Everton made one change compared with Saturday; Donovan coming in at centre half in place of Labone. Both clubs needed points badly for Everton’s recent decline has put them in the position of some anxiety. Leeds of course, have been under the threat of relegation for some time and are still not sure they can avoid it. There was an attendance of around 18,000 when the teams came out. In the first minute Harris and Meagan paired off in a neat movement “which saw the winger fire inches over the bar. A similar move by the same two players resulted in another Harris shot, this time saved by Wallasey born Wood, the Leeds goalkeeper. Good work by Hickson and Williams carved out a great opening for Temple but he was a little slow to shoot and his effort was blocked by Charlton. Leeds United’s first shot was a low one by Overfield which Dunlop gathered easily enough. Another from O’Brien was not so easy and Dunlop had to have two attempts at it before he could get it away. Everton were playing nice football and finding one another better than the home players. Temple had another shooting chance but made a very weak effort. Tansey and Donovan in turn held up Leeds advances following which Dunlop ran out to take the ball off the head of Baird. Leeds had a spell in which they looked promising in their midfield work, but that was as far as it got. Both sets of forwards however, tended to keep the ball too close. Leeds best move came when Forrest swung the ball over to the left wing only for Overfield to fire yards high and wide. A little later Meek was just as remiss. Meagan and Rea were giving the forwards good service, but there was still no worthwhile shooting from the visiting attack. The same applied in the Leeds forwards and both goalkeepers were having a comfortable passenge. Territorially, however, Everton were still having much the better of matters. A splendid centre by Hickson produced the best scoring chance for Everton to date but Harris headed just over. At last Meek broke away and after much dilly-dally and crossfield passing Cush shot tamely into Dunlop’s hands, Baird looked dangerous until Donovan, who had been playing soundly, took the ball right off his toes and passed back to his goalkeeper.
Hickson was drifting out to the wings a lot and putting over some nice centres. From one of these Temple looked at likely scorer until kicking right round the ball. Then Meek shot outside from six yards, a shocking miss. The standard of football had fallen away, and the game became ragged and haphazard with Leeds having slighty the better of matters. Baird got the ball into the net ten minutes before the interval but only after a linesmans flag had gone up for offside as the Leed’s man waited for Overfield’s centre. Leeds made only a half-hearted protest. O’Brien missed a great chance of putting Leeds ahead when a back header by Donovan opened up the way for him. In trying to put the ball out of Dunlop’s reach he failed to lift it hard enough and the Everton keeper threw himself backwards and saved it a foot from the line. The best shot came from Tansey a 30 yarder, which Wood only just managed to pull down in time. Harris also had a strong one just off the mark. Sanders was having an unhappy time against Overfield but Rea covered up well. Half-time; Leeds United nil, Everton nil. Everton had a narrow escape when Dunlop dropped the ball from a lob by Baird after being challenged by Forrest, but Donovan hooked it away before the inside right could cash in. There was an even nearer squeak when Sanders headed off the line. Dunlop was well beaten by a header from O’Brien. Leeds were well on top, fighting desperately for a goal and it was taking Everton all their time to keep them in check. For some minutes Hickson was the only player in the Leeds half bar the home goalkeeper. The home forward, however, could not break down the massed defence in which Tansey, Donovan and Meagan did gallant work. At last Everton dashed away and forced an corner, from which Williams scraped the bar.
Open Goal Missed
Charlton jumped in to foil Hickson as he was shaping up to shot, from close range following at cute pass by Thomas but Leeds were soon hovering against the Everton goal again and once more the visitors had a narrow escape when Baird missed an open goal after Donovan’s attempted header to Dunlop had let him in with a gilt-edged chance. Then Cush beat Dunlop all ends up only to see the ball come back into play off the upright. The game had lost its earlier polish and precision. It had now developed into a tense and desperate struggle with the crowd urging on Leeds with a roar that would have done credit to the Spion Kop. It was now a question of whether the hard pressed Everton defence could hold out. Yet in their spasmodic raids Everton still kept trying to play good football and contrived to move the ball accurately, unfortunately they were rarely able to get in a testing shoot. Meek skied the ball yards over the bar with all the time in the world to steady himself, and Baird put another outside. At last Everton’s defence capitulated when O’Brien slipped the ball through during a melee and Forrest toe-ended it under the diving Dunlop at the 83rd minute. Two minutes later Everton almost equalized when Donovan went up and delivered a shot which Wood saved brilliantly. Then Hickson hit the foot of the post. Final; Leeds United 1, Everton nil.
A GAME OF MISSES
April 8, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Leeds United 1, Everton 0
With not a point to show from three games this week-end , Leeds completed a double over Everton at Elland Road yesterday in a game which started as though it might produce some good football, which just turned out to be just another hard struggle. The deciding goal was scored by Forrest rather luckily, seven minutes from the end, he toe-end the ball under the driving Dunlop following a short pass from O’Brien. While Leeds narrowly deserved to win, on the basis of their second half territorially only, there was very little in it, and to some extent it was hard lines on Everton’s defence that all their previous hard and determined resistance went for nothing. Everton did not give in without a fight. In the last few minutes both Donovan and Hickson were unfortunate not to get the equalizer. A great shot by Donovan was brilliantly saved by Wood, while Hickson, chasing a forlorn chance screwed the ball against the foot of the post. Long prior to this, however the visiting goal had several narrow escapes. In the first half O’Brien had missed a sitter when Donovan misjudged a back-header and the ball dropped almost at the feet of the Leeds inside man. Then immediately after the interval Sanders saved a certain goal by heading out on the line and Donovan hooked the ball off the toe of Forrest as he was about to put it into the net. Baird missed another gilt-edged chance again from a misheader by Donovan when he put the ball over the bar with Dunlop helpless to do anything about it had he kept it on the target.
Hit The Post
Cush also had the mortification of seeing a terrific shot hit the post and come back into play, and it seemed at this stage as though neither side would ever score for though Everton had not been quite so wasteful they had some reasonable chances had there been anybody in the front line capable of turning them to real advantage. Unfortunately. They had not. In the first half hour they had looked the more methodical and better balanced side. They moved the ball accurately, and in to the edge of the penalty area showed themselves a cat above the opposition. But not a worth-while shot landed on the target. There were some near misses, notably from Harris, and some muffed efforts when a little steadiness might have made a world of difference. Leeds must have thanked their lucky stars that Everton were so remiss in those opening phases of the game. One could sense the anxiety which permeated the home side up to this point. Their defence looked none too sure, and the attack never gave promise of anything of real note. But once they had weathered the early territorial shackles which Everton put on them they began to come into the reckoning more strongly. They too, however, were tainted with the same lack of finish and attack after attack broke down against Everton’s solid rearguard without Dunlop being called upon. Meek missed one simple chance from six yards, O’Brien fluffed another when a goal seemed a certainly and generally the home forwards never looked as though they would pull off a win.
At the same time it was taking the visiting defence all as time to bold out against the heavy pressure exerted by Leeds for long periods in the second half, and it was no great surprise in spite of poor finishing when Forrest struck out his foot and the ball went into the net. The best contributions to the game came from Everton’s defenders with Donovan being outstanding at centre half. He had a very lively and enterprising man to watch in Baird and apart from the two back passes which went adrift he never made the slightest mistake. What is more he gave confidence to his co-defenders, among whom Rea and Meagan were very reliable and Tansey the best of the backs. Sanders was given the run around by Overfield for a long time but eventually solved the problem confronting him to some extent. Harris and Hickson were the best of the indifferent Everton front line. Temple had a most disappointing game. He seems temporarily to have lost both confidence and shooting power, and though it will doubtless come back in time this is not a game he will remember with pride.
EVERTON RES V BOLTON WANDERERS RES
April 8, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton were flattered by the margin in a game containing much aimless kicking. Had the Bolton forwards finished better, Everton would have paid dearly for several defensive errors. As it was Birch and B. Harris celebrated these escapes by scoring in rapid succession. Ashworth the best forward afield bagged two more Centre-half Labone stood out in a jittery home defence.
EVERTON MUST BUILD NOW FOR THE FUTURE
April 8, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Mr. Ian Buchan, Everton’s chief coach , was not at Leeds yesterday. He and several directors were out on scouting missions and on the evidence of this and other recent games nobody can say that their assignments are premature. There is clearly a very urgent need for some strengthening additions to the Goodison staff in readiness for next season and the sooner the search which has been going on so long produces really competent and experienced players the better. Everton must to my regret for I would rather, have been proved wrong, look like making me a good prophet when I said in mid August that I could see no higher place for them than among the bottom six or so at the end of the season. They have plenty of latent young talent and even if some of those who have been tried this season –and rightly given their opportunity –have been proved to need more experience before being up to regular First Division duty, most of them will come to hand in the future. But the big requirement today is the same as I outlined eight months ago, namely two or three players of sound experience and proved senior standard to hold the fort until the younger ones are fully mature. It is good job for the Blues that they had that little run of three wins in four games last month, otherwise they would be in Queer Street today. It is fortunate also that those below them in the table also seem unable to stage anything approaching a sustained revival for with only one home game to play, and three away, Everton’s prospects of increasing their point tally to any extent appear rather remote on the basis of their recent exhibitions. It is the failure of others rather than any outstanding virtues of their own, which will keep them out of real trouble this season but the writing is on the wall. There may be difficulties of greater consequence in the forthcoming season if steps are not taken to counter them before next August comes around.
The Same Old Story
Yesterday it was the old, old story again of weak and ineffective finishing increasing repetition of it becomes a little wearisome, but one cannot ignore it. It lingers on like a festering sore and was the sole cause of Everton having to submit to a “double” at Leeds and falling to get a single point from their very addled Easter egg of three League engagements. No team can hope for sustained success when its forward line can produce nothing more potent then Everton did in this game. There was not enough punch among the lot to burst a paper bag, yet the chances were there for the taking, particularity in the first half hour, when the Leeds defence looked very anxious and Everton were playing the more balanced and academic football –up to the edge of the penalty area. They progressed by well conceived moves and accurate passing with the wing halves coming strongly into the game, but the vital asset was missing. It was like potato crisp without the little blue bag, of salt. The essential ingredient to make the meal a success was lacking. Everton seem not only to have partly fallen into a rut of hasty, and inaccurate shooting but also to have gone back to their old irritating habit of passing and re-passing and hugging the ball too close. Maybe it is understandable when a player has been having bad luck with his shooting, to shirk the issue but it means a lot of effort so often gets them nowhere at all.
Defenders Did Rest
It was significant that the two best shots on the target –and no team gets goals with near misses, so we can discount those –came from defenders one a pile-drive by Tansey and the other a splendid effort by Donovan in the last few minutes which brought forth a wonderful save from Wood the Wallasey born, Leeds United goalkeeper. Hickson also had hard lines when he doggedly fought for a loose ball and turned it against the foot of the post. Harris was the most persistent shooter, so far as anybody showed anything approaching persistence in this respect but most of his efforts were just that trifle off the target, which means the outcome and better than if they hit the corner flag. But at least he usually shot with power and without hesitation which was more than could be said for some. Temple who looked so promising in the early part of the season has gone back a lot on this showing. His time will come for he is young enough and has good football in him waiting for steady development but yesterday was the most disappointing display I have yet seen from him. He missed one particularly simple chance early on, when a goal to Everton might have turned the game inside out and upset the confidence which Leeds were gradually getting the longer the game went without Everton being able to turn their earlier advantage into something that really counts. Hickson could make the headway down the middle against the lanky and unorthodox Charlton, but did much better when veering out to the wings.
Schemer Still Needed
One obvious need in the front line was the scheming of an old head like Fielding, somebody who could hold the line together and provide the type of passes to spilt the opposing defence, Thomas did his best to supply the right touch but he is rather too much of an individualist to fill the bill completely. The result was that while there was plenty of earnest individual effort and some quite promising work at times it was never fully co-ordinated to the point where combined team work proved too much for the opposition. What good marks there were in the game went almost exclusively to defenders on both sides. Though Donovan made two slips when harassed these were the only blemishes on a very sound and confident display by the Blues skipper. He was a tower of strength in the middle, always cool and unruffled in the hottest moment. Meagan and Rea started extremely well, using the ball excellently and giving splendid support to their forward line. Later they had to defend so much that they were not quite so outstanding in their constructive work, but they did their jobs completely, as also did Dunlop and Tansey. Sanders took a long time, before beginning to break even in his many tussles with Overfield but he fathomed him before the finish. While the Leeds goal which settled the issue seven minutes from the end was a trifle fortunate for it, was a toe-ender from Forrest as he was off balance, I though the home side, just deserved to win by virtue of their territorial superiority in the second half and the greater number of scoring chances which they managed to work out. But there was very little in it either way, and to their credit must go the fact that Everton never gave up trying. They might well have saved a point in the last few minutes, when they had Leeds fighting with their backs to the wall to hang on to their slender lead.
EVERTON TO EMBARK ON SOIL-WARMING SCHEME
April 9, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Having established a flood-lighting system which is reckoned by electrical experts to be the finest in the British Isles, Everton are giving a further lead to other clubs by installing a soil-warming system beneath their playing pitch in readiness for next winter. This is only part of a £13,000 improvement scheme designed to make the Goodison Park ground among the best equipped in the country. The work will start in a fortnight’s time. The scheme involves a new drainage system, the complete relaying of the playing surface and other minor improvements. For some time the Everton board have been dissatisfied with the present playing surface which they felt was not up to the standard of a club of their position. Accordingly they asked experts from Bingley Turf Research Station for a full report on the state of the pitch with recommendations for its improvements. The report indicated that the ground was in a bad condition, most of the soil was caked, the levels were not good, and the experts indicated that only major reconstruction would make a proper job of it. After considering the report the Board decided to go ahead with all the recommendations. These entail excavating 12 inches of soil from the whole pitch, the installation of new drains and then a covering of six inches of ash. On top of this will be the soil warming wires which will be six inches apart and cover the whole playing area. These will be thermostatically controlled, automatically switching themselves on and off whenever the ground temperature drops or rises to a certain figure. Above the wires will be six inches of soil, which will be seeded to give a new playing surface for next season.
The soil warming system means there will be complete protection against frost in future and also against snow except possibly an exceptionally heavy fall just before a match when there may not be time to disperse it completely. The advantage of this in avoiding weather postponements is obvious. Everton were pioneers of a soil-warming experiment just before the last war when they had wire laid under half of the practice pitch behind the old goal stand. I remember going along one winter morning to see the effect. It was most striking. The ball of the pitch which had been untreated was as hard as concrete and covered with boar frost. The half which carried the wires was a beautiful green with just enough “give” to make it ideal for the best class of football. Unfortunately electrical contractors at that time were unable to guarantee the wires for more than five years. Corrosion was likely after that, which meant the danger of having to take up the pitch again to re-lay the wires. Quite apart from that, however, the war intervened and everybody had more serious matters on hand.
Since the war the Bingley Research Authorities have continued their experiments, with considerable success in horticultural and agricultural circles. Another factor which makes the scheme a practical proposition now is a new plastic invention which enables the life of the wires to be guaranteed for 20 years. The cost of the complete scheme will be in the region of £13,000. Work will start on Tuesday, April 22 three days after Everton ‘’s last senior home game. The Central League match against Newcastle United Reserves on April 26 will be brought forward to Monday evening, April 21. The next morning the bull dozers and other machinery needed will invade the pitch and the job will begin. The grass seed must be in not, later than May 31 which leaves only five weeks for the main reconstruction. According to the turf authorities the pitch will be “very good” next season, but the year after will be one of the finest playing surfaces in the country. I remember knotting the remarkable density and toughness of the grass above the soil warming wires when the pre-war experiment was made, I was told that under such conditions, pitches would remain covered with good grass throughout the winter. That will mean that all teams will be able to play the best football of which they are capable when operating at Goodison Park. Hitherto on many occasions after heavy rain, play has been more mud-larking than football. This latest development means that Goodison Park cannot be considered this year for a cup final replay. The F.A. asked Everton if they were willing to stage any possible replay, but the club asked to be relieved of the honour under the new circumstances.
Search Goes On
Everton say that the fact that this heavy expenditure is being laid out on the ground, on top of the floodlighting scheme and the huge sums expected on maintenance during the past two years will not in any way weaken their determination to make whatever strengthening signings they can in readiness for next season’s campaign. Contrary to what some people say –though I can hardly imagine they really believe it at bottom –Everton are not blind to their needs in this direction. On the contrary they realize them only too clearly. But at the same time the board has definite responsibilities in relation to their ground and estate generally and must keep these in the best possible order. It is to ensure that ideal that the present scheme is being undertaken.
EVERTON’S TASK AT HILLSBORO
April 11, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
While Liverpool are entertaining one Sheffield club, Everton will be visiting the other. They oppose Sheffield Wednesday, who are sure to fight tooth and nail for victory in a last-ditch attempt to avoid another of their many drops to the Second Division. Though the Wednesday’s hopes of scraping clear are so thin as to be almost nonexistent, they could manage it if they won their three remaining games and Leicester simultaneously came a cropper. Such a combination appears unlikely, for while the Yorkshire club has given no indication that a strong revival is imminent, Leicester have been doing much better recently. This, however, will not prevent the Wednesday making an all out effort against the Blues, whose own position is not so comfortable that they can afford to look upon further defeats with equanimity. With only one home game among their four remaining fixtures, Everton’s prospects of even remaining in their present position do not look too bright. It is quite on the cards that two or three of the clubs now below them will overhaul the Blues unless the Goodison Park side remedies its forward weaknesses. They have failed to get a goal in eight matches this season, and have been limited to one in another 15 engagements. They have not been missing scoring chances through lack of practice. There has been plenty of concentration on this aspect of their training. Neither have they been starved of openings through inadequate approach work. The chances have been there often enough to have considerably boosted their goals total, which at the moment is the lowest bar two clubs, in the First Division. Taking things by and large the defence has been reasonably sound and consistent all season. But the forward problems are a real headache. Sheffield Wednesday; Springett; Johnson, Curtis; Gibson, Swan, O’Donnell; Wilkinson, Quixall, Shiner, Fantham, Finney.
April 12, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton’s game with Wednesday at Hillsborough is more vital to the home side than their visitors, but a point here for Everton could make Goodison Park followers much more comfortable as regrets the future status of their favorites. Wednesday at present bottom of the table, need to secure every possible point from their remaining games (three including today) to have any hope of avoiding relegation and they can only do this providing some of their companies in distress fail in their remaining fixture. Alan Ashworth, an eighteen-years-old inside left, makes his League debut for Everton, replacing Temple at inside left. Teams; Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Donovan, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Ashworth, Williams. Sheffield Wednesday; Springett; Johnson, Curtis; Gibson, Swan, O’Donnell; Wilkinson, Quixall, Shiner, Fantham, Finney.
QUIXALL’S TRICKS ONE TOO MANY FOR EVERTON
April 12, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Sheffield Wednesday 2, Everton 1
Sheffield Wednesday; Springett, goal; Johnson and Curtis, backs; Gibson, Swan, and O’Donnell, half-backs; Wilkinson, Quixall, Slater, Fantham, and Finney, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea, Donovan (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Ashworth and Williams, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.W. Topliss (Grimsby).
Everton introduced a new name to senior football in Ashworth, who has played in the senior side, but not in a League game. There was plenty of incident during the first ten minutes of this game and both goals received visitations, but the best scoring attempt was made by Hickson who found his first centre returned to him and without hesitation he hit a low shot which Springett did well t turn round the post for a corner. Hickson was hurt in a tackle and play was held up for a minute and when Sanders took the free kick, Springett caught the ball high above the heads of several Everton men awaiting its arrival. Shiner like Hickson, moved out to the wings quite frequently and he made one centre which carried a lot of danger but their was no Sheffield colleague to take advantage.
Ashworth was always seeking the ball and was not afraid to go through if an opening arise. He once tried to put Thomas through but the latter did not collect the pass and the Wednesday defence was not greatly troubled. The sun which was shinning into the faces of the Everton team, bothered them a little, but in the main their defence was able to hold out against anything the Wednesday forwards denied to level at them.
But their goal had an escape at the 17th minute when Quixall from short range, slammed the ball straight at Dunlop, from which it rebounded so that Tansey could clear. It was indeed a tense moment and an anxious one for the Everton defence. So far Williams had not been brought into the game but he eventually got his chance and his centre towards the penalty spot might have proved dangerous to Sheffield had the ball. Hickson was fouled by O’Donnell after making a useful header to create an opening and then Everton suffered a blow when Rea was taken off the field for attention. After attention on the sideline he eventually left the field for treatment in the dressing room. He was limping rather badly. During Rea’s absence the Wednesday took advantage and Finney made a grand header which brought out an equally grand save by Dunlop who caught the ball sharply just under his bar. A free kick to Wednesday made Dunlop make yet another good save from Curtis.
Hickson Brought Down
Hickson was brought down well inside the penalty area, but the free kick was taken six inches outside. Jimmy Harris took this and Springett saved low down. Curtis was not inclined to take any chances and once almost put through his own goal in making an unconsidered clearance. The corner taken by Williams was edged over the bar by Springett who dealt ably with the second flag kick from the other side.
Rea Limps On Wing
Rea returned with his right ankle strapped up and went on to the wing. The Everton forward line now read Rea, Thomas, Hickson, Harris, Williams. Ashworth having dropped back to wing half. Hickson put the ball through to Harris, who raced down the middle and was only beaten in the last second by Swan, who was only too pleased to concede a corner. This was put behind by Williams. The last five minutes of the half went in the Wednesday favour and Shiner missed the chance of a lifetime when he was given the ball by Fantham. He had only to act calmly and steadily and Dunlop would have had no chance but to the dismay of everyone the Wednesday centre forward shot wide to the accompaniment of groans from the crowd. A foul by Ashworth, on Fantham brought another free kick to the Wednesday, Quixall lobbed the ball over to Wilkinson who had a rare opportunity but lifted the ball on to the bar and it went over. Half-time; Sheffield Wednesday nil, Everton nil.
Rea was soon in the wars again when he jarred his ankle in a tackle. But the game was not held up and Williams and Ashworth worked an opening which, however, Ashworth muffed, simply because he did not get a full-blooded drive at the ball so that Springett had no difficulty in saving a weak effort.
There were possibilities with Harris at inside forward, for his quick dashes had an upsetting effect but it was the Wednesday who drew first blood. There was no leading up movement to this goal for the ball had bounded about in front of Dunlop when Quixall came rushing over from the right to the left-collected the ball and quickly hooked it into the net at the 53rd minute. There was a chance of an equalizer when Williams cut in and from close in slashed the ball wildly over the bar. The Wednesday were now playing with more confidence and certainly a slightly better quality of football and when Quixall decided to take a free kick he pulled the ball back to Curtis instead of putting it into the goalmouth and the Wednesday full back hit it hard and true and it went into the net at the 63rd minute. I thought Shiner had slightly deflected the ball and so put it out of the reach of Dunlop, but there were others who thought that Shiner had simply dummied to touch I and that the ball went in direct from Curtis’ foot. Little had been seen of Everton in an attacking force this half and after Dunlop had punched one out, Fantham returned the ball goalwards and Donovan standing under the bar, headed over. Shinner netted a third for the Wednesday but he was obviously offside and at the 86th minute, Williams, after tricking Johnson put across a centre which Jimmy Harris turned into the net for a simple goal. Final; Sheffield Wednesday 2, Everton 1. Official attendance 18,715.
EVERTON’S CAPTAIN RECENTLY SPOKE TO A HEADMASTER ABOUT THE SOCCER RUGBY CONTROVERSY ABD WAS TOLD THAT
April 12, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Soccer is a Game in Schools!
By Don Donovan
I am always interested to hear of boys being given every facility and encouragement to play football during their school days. However, travelling up and down the country with Everton, I have found to my surprise that a growing number of schools are turning from soccer to “Rugby” and from what I hear it is the headmasters who have set their faces against football even though the majority of schoolboys prefer the game. I think this is unfair from the boy’s angle. This restriction is enforced particularly in grammar schools. Recently I was taking to a headmaster about this and to my surprise he quite seriously suggested that the days of soccer in schools are slowly but surely on their way out, emphasizing that from now on most schools will take up Rugby. He added that Rugby was the better game inasmuch as it develops the boys characters better for when they leave school and having once played Rugby , soccer is forgotten.
Smacks of Snobbery
I think this is utter nonsense. It smacks of snobbery and is against all the laws of give and take, which is one of the essential factors in teaching the boys to be sportsmen. Where the lads should be able to have a freedom of choice in their sporting life at school now they must play Rugby whether they like it or not. I do not suggest for a moment that there are not many boys who would prefer rugby to soccer, but I think they should be given the choice as to what sport they would like. Those who refer to play with the round ball should be entitled to some facilities and encouragement as should the lads who like rugby. I am delighted to say that I don’t think rugby has too much of a grasp on Grammar schools in this country, but soccer is being pushed into the back ground more or late than at any time over the past few years. I have nothing against playing rugby. Anything to do with sport has my backing. To me it’s the playing of games that is the most important issue, having full regard to the interest shown by the pupils, bit I am all against being told what game to play. In southern Ireland Gaelic football and hurling are the games and it is against the rules to play either soccer or rugby. If you happen to be caught you are barred from playing the national game. This has happened to the majority of footballers who have come from Eire to play in English soccer, including Tommy Eglington, Peter Farrell and Johnny Carey. But of course, it has turned out to be a blessing in disguise as clubs like Everton and Manchester United have profited from the services of these players. My advice to headmasters is never try to make anyone do what they don’t want to. If soccer be the boy’s first love, let him play it, likewise with rugby. Give them the choice.
First team Duty Again
Returning to the first team over the Easter holidays, I was surprised at the difference in the speed of the game as compared o Central League soccer. In the reserve eleven experienced men find they have plenty of time and it tends to give them a nonchalant attitude. In the First Division the pace is quicker and necessitates speed of thought as well as movement. It’s a great pity the Competition between the two leagues isn’t keener. If perhaps the Central league was more like the standard of the Third Division then perhaps that jump from second to first team wouldn’t be so noticeable. Bearing this in mind you mustn’t hasten to criticize youngsters coming into the senior side and making their debuts. It’s a harrowing experience even for the likes of myself.
EVERTON RES V BURNLEY RES
April 12, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Reserves; O’Neill, goal; Bentham and Hillsdon, backs; Ling, Labone, and Gannon, half-backs; Harris (B), Mackay, Temple, Birch, and Steele, forwards. Burnley Reserves; Blacklaw, goal; Angus and Marshall, backs; Appleton, Bracewell, and Scott, half-backs; Meredith, Robson, Shackleton, White and Connelly, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Ollerton (Preston). After Temple had headed on to the top netting from a centre by Harris the defences were well on top. Connelly with only O’Neill to beat, lost the ball. Birch headed wide while, Temple promptly hooked in a short centre just over the angle but Everton’s pressure culminated with King giving them the lead in the 15th minute. In the 22nd minute Robson eluded the Everton defence to equalize. Burnley were now in command and Shackleton and Meredith went close while from an Everton breakaway Mackay scraped the bar with a fierce drive. Half-time; Everton Res 1, Burnley Res 1.
A GRIM OUTLOOK FOR EVERTON
April 14, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Sheff Wed 2, Everton 1
It is obvious where Everton’s trouble lies – they have in need of more powerful forwards/. Time and again I have had to tell you of the lack of punch in the in that line. It was quite obvious the shooting that they had in natural of breaking down and desperate Wednesday defence. Apart from one by Hickson in the first half and Harries goal late on, they was never any threat that Everton would win. They had the chance to draw, but on that should not have been possible if the Wednesday had took two chances in the first half. But Wednesday must have had a pep talk during the interval. Shortly after the break they had taken a two goals lead and never looked like losing it. In fact they gained in strength so much during the second half that Everton were mostly concerned in defence. Week in and week out the Everton defence have had to stand up to a hammering because of the feebleness of the forward line. It is all very well to say that the side played good football up to a point, but if it does not produce all important things –goals- it is of no use.
What Everton lacked was a key man –a Fielding, a man who could hold and deliver the ball. Wednesday had one in Quixall. He may not have been a force in the first half but in the second he certainly came to life. He took a goal himself, made many openings and was mainspring of the Wednesday forwards. There was no such man in the Everton side, which was put at a disadvantage when Rea was injured in the first half and had to go on the wing. I have not seen Thomas so quiet in any other match this season. Even when he got a chance of a crack at goal he put no power behind his shot so that the line right across the field was not progressive nor good enough to break down the defence. The Everton defence stood their ground as well as they could, but they had to yield in the end to goals by Quixall and Curtis the full back. Even this goal had originated from the mind of Quixall who instead of putting his free kick into the goalmouth pushed it back to Curtis who cracked in a shot which may or may not have been deflected by Shiner. Twice more the Wednesday had the ball in the net but offside spoiled them. It was not until the final minutes that a quick run by Williams and a low centre enabled Harris to get the ball back into the Wednesday goal. But the game was as good as won by then.
A little crept into the game and several players were spoken to including Hickson, Sanders, Finney and Gibson. Everton must do something and quickly, otherwise the outlook for next season is going to be overcast. There are several youngsters in the side, capable of good football but their physical make-up is not right. With a sharpshooter of any account Everton might have forced a draw, but I am tired of saying this. It has been apparent all season.
EVERTON RES LATE WINNER
April 14, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 3, Burnley Res 2
Everton snatched full points with only two minutes after Meredith had equalized for Burnley. Nevertheless, Everton deserved to win through showing greater thrust down the middle and more accurate finishing. There were occasions when the home defenders allowed the Burnley forwards too much latitude, notably when failing to challenge Robson who went on to equalize seven minutes after right half 15th minute goal had put Everton ahead. In addition to scoring two second half goal’s Temple was Everton’s best forward, though he received good support from inside men Mackay and Birch. Everton tea was; O’Neill; Bentham, Hillsdon; King, Labone, Gannon; Harris (B), Mackay, Temple, Birch, Steele.
NO LUCK WITH BRIAN CLOUGH
April 14, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Although Everton have intensified their search for experienced players so far they have found few clubs willing to listen even to tentative approaches. The latest to turn them down are Middleborough, who have indicated in no uncertain terms that they are not interested in turning centre-forward Brian Clough into cash. Everton are reported to have offered £30,000 for him. Actually, no fee has been mentioned but if ever Middleborough do decide to part the figure would certainly be around that neighborhood, and possible even higher, as Everton are well aware. The chances of a deal, however, seem remote at least at the moment. But Everton have not entirely given up hope, and may try again later. Inquiries in another direction appear more promising. These relate to a player at international standard and Everton hope that something concrete may take place with the next few days.
EVERTON STILL NOT ONLY OF DANGER ZONE
April 14, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are dropping near the danger zone, and one or two teams at present below them can finish above them in the final race. Don’t think I am unduly pessimistic, but one has got to face up to facts and realize that the danger line is not far away. What troubles me most is that I cannot see Everton picking up another point –and that is what they need –before the close of the season the way they are playing at the moment. They have three fixtures remaining, Manchester City-their next home opponents – are up top, fighting for talent money and the outlook for away games at Nottingham Forest and Blackpool –is not bright. Everton’s Easter campaign did not bring them a single point although two of them were at home and their slump has resulted in a loss of confidence in the part of one or two players. Needed at Goodison Park are at least two big powerful forwards, who will shoot on sight. There is no such man in the Everton front rank nowadays.
Two Poor Sides
With Fielding in the side at Hillsborough, I think Everton could have won for the Wednesday are far from a good side, as their table position denotes. They were, however, the better of two poor sides. The defence had to carry the burden again at Sheffield. Had they not done so Wednesday’s victory would have been much more complete. There are several young players in the side who have ability but not the physical make-up for the hurly-burly of modern football. They are too easily brushed aside by bigger and more driving opponents. I have seen it time and again. The attack does not carry any height or weight at all, while the wing half backs have some nice touches but not sufficient domination. Small players have to be exceptionally good as were Alex Stevenson, Alec Troup and one or two others. No, the present need – and urgent need is for height and strength in the side. I am not thinking of this season which is swiftly drawing to a close, but next season, for unless some new blood is drafted in there is trouble ahead for Everton. This may seem a sad and dismal story, but who will deny that I am right. Four games have been lost in succession and while I do not think that Everton will go down their position is not at all healthy.
Everton’s display at Hillsborough was just as bad as it could possible be. An ordinary Everton side could have beaten Wednesday playing down to their lowly position, yet Wednesday won 2-1. It should have been more for several gilt-edged chances were missed. It was not until Albert Quixall struck his game that victory was assured. He had a featureless first half when nothing would go right for him and it was only in the second session that the Wednesday ever looked like scoring. He was the engineer of the Wednesday’s success, scoring one goal and making the other Sheffield’s position is still desperate but I am not so much concerned about them as about Everton. If I could only see some light somewhere I would not be writing in this strain but it has been thrust upon me by circumstances. But for their good spell earlier in the season, Everton’s position would be almost hopeless. The Hillsborough game was undoubtedly a bottom of the table affair, yet I saw possibilities of a draw at the half stage, and the point was all Everton required for complete security. Their prospects were not enhanced by an ankle injury to Rea, who went on the wing. This robbed the Everton attack of the thrustful drive of the 18-years-old Alan Ashworth making his League debut. He had to drop back to right half where he had a great game so much so that one Sheffield official said he would like to sign him.
Ashworth worked like a Trojan in attack and defence anywhere where the battle was thickest. I would, however, have preferred to see him in his sight position of inside forward where he showed up well during the short time he was there. Ashworth’s display was most heartening. The reorganized Everton forward line was rather easily handled by the stubborn and dour Sheffield defence, but even so there were chances made that should have at least ensured Everton a point. I have never seen Thomas so inactive. He lacked his usual fire and his shooting was well below par. When Harris was moved inside I had hopes for I though his speed would have an upsetting effect upon the Wednesday defence which however, was not put under the heavy strain the Everton defence had to shoulder. The first half was a go as you please sort of affair with a draw as the most likely result, but Quixall’s revival changed all that and the Wednesday really got on top. Dunlop had to make several grand saves, whereas Springett in the opposing goal had a fairly comfortable afternoon his best save being from Hickson in the early moments Hickson and Williams I rate as the best Everton forwards but that is not saying a great deal. Finney gave Sanders a heavy afternoon but was rather inclined to overdo things at times.
Twice more Wednesday had the ball in the net but the goals were disallowed on the score of offside. Then there was the wonder save by Donovan, who headed over the bar a shot by Fantham. The debatable point of the game was Curtis’s goal. It was credited to the full back but his shot was covered until it was deflected by Fantham. There was also another debatable point when Hickson was brought down in the penalty area, but the referee awarded a free kick just on the edge of the penalty line. To my mind if it was a free kick it must have been a penalty but the referee has the final word in such matters.
GOODISON LIGHTS ARE A REAL MONEY SPINNER
April 15, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Dutch Visitors in Floodlit Friendly
Everton play another floodlit friendly match at Goodison Park tomorrow when they are hosts to Fortune F.C., one of the leading Dutch teams. This will be the eleventh game played under lights since the system was inaugurated last October. Of these, two have been F.A. Cup-ties, two re-arranged League matches, two of them games with Liverpool in County F.A competitions and the others representative or friendly engagements. These have been watched by an aggregate of just under 400,000 people. At this is not far short of half of the aggregate attendance at league matches for the season, it is very obvious that the lights have been a real money-spinner for the club, even though in F.A. Cup-ties the receipts are spilt three ways –one third going to each club and the other to the F.A pool –and in friendlies the visitors are on a different footing to League matches, where only one-fifth of the takings go to the opposing team. The best attendance for a purely friendly game with nothing art stake was 32,445 for the visit of Red Star, the Yugoslavian team which saves such an entrancing exhibition of class football last October. Where Fortune can rise to the same heights remains to be seen. Generally speaking, the standard of football in Holland hardly reaches that of Yugoslavia but from all accounts Fortune must be a cut above the average in their own country. During the past three years they have played twenty games against leading Continental sides, only four of which have been lost. They have beaten Lille, Strad Relms, and the Racing Club of Paris, three of the best French sides and many other leading teams, including one victory against a full Belgian international side which was staged as a special practice for the Belgians.
Internationals on View
Everton have met Fortune once before, when the Goodison club had a Continental summer tour three years ago. There was little to choose between them on that occasion, and though Everton finally scraped through by 2-1, they were a little fortunate. The Dutch side will include at least four internationals, the most notably being Ven Der Hart the centre half who had been capped on 19 occasions. Centre forward Apple with seven international appearances to his credit, is still reckoned among the best leaders in Dutch football although well on towards the veteran stage now. Carlier a 25-years-old outside left has been capped nine times while right half. Nottermans is another noted player in his own country. Last season Fortune finished third in the premier Dutch League, and were also winners of one of the major Cup competitions. They have been well in the forefront again this season, and though it is difficult to compare the two sides it would seem, so far as can be judged in advance that Everton are going to have quite a fair problem to face. If Fortune can approach anywhere near the excellent showing that Red Star put up, tomorrow’s game should be well worth watching and a home victory is by no means a foregone conclusion. Now that the weather is so much milder floodlit football becomes more attractive quite apart from the fact that it is always interesting to see how foreign teams play, and whether they have anything to teach us in the way of tactical ideas or individual craftsmanship. Among other foreign teams to visit Goodison of recent years apart from Red Star, one recalls the pleasurable, exhibition by Banik Ostrava, the Czechoslovakia team, who were only beaten 3-2; the hard-fighting Sodingen side from Germany, who drew no score, and the individualism of Vasco da Gama of Brazil who were defeated 6-3.
Disappointing –if Everton fail to beat Manchester City their home record will be the worst since the war. With only five home wins they are still one behind their previous lowliest six, seven years ago. Even when they were relegated they won seven games at Goodison.
FIVE GOALS FOR JIMMY HARRIS
April 17, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 6, Fortune F.C (Holland) 1
By Ian Hargreaves
After a depressing stream of defeats Everton must have been delighted to score six goals against even such a relatively undistinguished side as Fortune at Goodison Park last night. For once they met opponents whose finishing was as inadequate as their own and since right winger Jimmy Harris seized the opportunity presented by slack defensive marking to score five times they finished victors by a rather flattering margin. Harris has usually been regarded as Everton’s most colourful attacker and his second half spurt of three goals in as many minutes stirred up the first signs of enthusiasm in the sparsely sprinkled stands. The closing ten minutes were mainly devoted to his colleagues attempts to increase his haul, but they proved unsuccessful and the game ended as it began –with a Fortune forward blazing the ball high over the bar. The Dutch visitors smartly garbed in white with red and blue horizontal stripes, promised much in the early stages but it was soon clear that their reluctance to shoot would place them at a big advantage against the quick tackling Everton defenders.
Appel, a centre forward who played at outside left had the right idea but the wrong direction on several occasions, and it was he who threatened most danger in the first half with a fierce low shot repelled by the right hand goal post. Ravenstern and, in particular Jongen create some promising openings with their clever footwork, but again and again these were frittered away. In the end Fortunate’s only goal came from a substitute Haues, who operated mainly on the right wing and scored early in the second half with a beautiful shot that even Dunlop –who can seldom have played better – could not reach. Dunlop’s confident handling should have been an object lesson to his opposite number, Belski, many of whose best interceptions were spoiled by his inability to hold on to the ball once he had reached it. Belski was at fault with Everton’s first goal in eight minutes when he missed B. Harris corner kick completely and allowed Hickson to head in. He had, however, no chance with the second headed by Harris (J) from Thomas centre, and little with the third and last of the first half, which was fairly hammered in by the irrepressible Harris. The second half saw Fortune at their most infuriating for some twenty minutes, during which time they scored through Haues and missed at least three simple chances, but then came Harris sudden onslaught and complete eclipse.
Everton will have to work harder for League victories, but even so they were quite impressive. The defence was thoroughly reliable with centre half Donovan and left back Tansey giving Dunlop excellent cover and the forward line moved better together than for some time. Hickson seems unable to avoid physical clashes, even in a friendly game, but otherwise did fairly well and Brian Harris on the left looks to have regained some of the speed that has recently deserted him.
LEEDS UNITED RES 1, EVERTON RES 0
April 17, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
After a scrappy game Everton met narrow defeat. In scoring the only goal, obtained by Ripley after forty minutes Leeds just about deserved their win. Showing the better foot-work with Temple leading promising movements. Everton held the advantage in the early stages. Once Leeds had taken the lead the Everton forwards faded out and during the remaining play their defence was full stretch. Fortunately O’Neill was in fine trim, saving a number of shots, confidently. The only danger to the Leeds goal came from spasmodic shots from temple and Keeley. Hillsdon strove hard in an ever-worked defence.
J. HARRIS GOES NAP
April 17, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By D. Horridge
Everton had little difficulty in beating Fortune, the Dutch side, at Goodison last night, once they had taken a rather lucky lead through Hickson in the eight minute. The feature of the match was the scoring of five goals by Jimmy Harris, three of them in the space of five minutes in the second half. Although a score of 6-1 sounds decisive, it could not be claimed that the visitors learned a great deal from this game. Indeed, in the acts of trapping, heading and ball control there was much that they could teach Everton, right-half Notermans being outstanding in this respect, but they lacked the home side’s strength on the ball and in the tackle. While their defence extricated itself from many difficult situations with clever play, Hickson and company must often have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of room they were given in which to work, the defensive marking and covering being no-where near as tight as that of English sides. They also showed that they are no novices in the art of shooting but much of nit was off the mark and Albert Dunlop demonstrated that spectacular catching of the ball is not confined to Continental goalkeepers. The Everton man was in grand from even allowing for the fact that he resorted to stopping the ball with his legs or feet on three occasions.
If there was one phrase of the game in which Fortune disappointed it was goalkeeping English crowds have come to expect a high standard from Continental goalkeepers, and while Belski could not seriously be faulted with any of the goals he never inspired confidence, particularly in the gathering of high balls. From the Everton viewpoint it was pleasing to see Jimmy Harris scoring so often and well. With a little luck he could quite easily have increased his tally, and Brian Harris, on the other wing, played with much more confidence that of late. After a bright start right half King found many of his passes going astray later in the game, although he wasn’t alone in this a fault which could to a large extent be attributed to the hard dusty surface. Ashworth was forever looking for the half chance but was often just that little bit slow in getting there to accept it. His time will come undoubtedly for he is a nicely built lad, strong on the ball and moves well when he has it. From 20 yards he hit a wonderful shot on the turn which came back into playing off the underside of the crossbar. Donovan again illustrated that he is no mean performer at centre-half and it was noticeable that he was not drawn out of position as easily as he was at one time. It was quite entertaining on the whole and the 7,798 spectators must have enjoyed the novelty of seeing Everton score six goals in one match. If it gives the players confidence for their remaining League games it will not have been in vain.
EVERTON NEED A POINT FOR DEFINITE SAFTELY
April 17, 158. The Liverpool Echo
While Liverpool’s supporters, indulging in pleasant speculation regarding the promotion prospects of their team, have had their hopes heightened by the Reds’ recent run of six consecutive victories, Everton’s followers have become increasingly perturbed at the sad decline of the Goodison Park side. Some have become so alarmed that they are now wondering whether, after all, it might yet be possible for Everton to suffer relegation, and have asked for details of the remaining games to be played by the six bottom clubs. While it is feasible for Everton to be considerable danger, this depends on three vital factors. Not only would they have to lose their three remaining matches to make this a possibility but some of the others, in the relegation sphere would also need to win the games they have still to play. Those are the two main factors. A third is goal average and that might be decisive it one assumes the worst so far as Everton remaining points-gathering efforts are concerned. I hope it does not turn out that way, however. Sunderland cannot now over-take the Blues on points, no matter what happens and it would seen certain that the Roker Park club is going to lose its proud boast of never having suffered relegation. Sheffield Wednesday could equal Everton on points –again assuming maximum return for the Yorkshire club and nothing for Everton –but here the Goodison club has a slight advantage in goal average. At the moment Wednesday’s average stands at 752, while Everton’s works out as 842. This means that for every goal scored against them, Everton have registered the equivalent of 842 themselves. To obtain these figures you divide the goals against into the goals for.
Working It Out
The advantage is slight enough, but to turn it round the other way Sheffield Wednesday would have to win their last two games by a substantial margin, and Everton would also need similarly to lose their games. The following table shows the remaining matches still to be played by the six bottom clubs, and the points they have gathered so far.
Away –Blackpool, Notts Forest
Leicester City (31)
Home-Leeds United, Burnley
Away, -Bolton, Manchester United
Sheffield Wednesday (29)
All Everton need to do to set the lingering fears of their supporters at rest is get at least a point from Manchester City on Saturday. At one time that would have seemed reasonably certain. Unfortunately it appears more difficult how when we look back at the record since the Blues heartening opening to the season to the season came to the end. Up to the middle of October this was Everton’s record.
Play 10, won 7, draw 2, lost 1, for 28, against 16
Since then it reads
Played 29, won 4, draw 9, lost 16, for 39, against 67, points 17
These figures are eloquent of the tremendous decline which has taken place over the last six months. Everton’s points return over that period is the worst in the First Division. But for their splendid start they would be in Queer Street today with a vengeance. What a pity they could not have kept it up a little longer.
April 17, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
It is now exactly ten years since Tommy Lawton played his last game for England in the home internationals series on April 10, 1948 against Scotland at Hampden Park. At that time Lawton was with Notts County who were then in the Southern Section of the Third Division. The former Evertonian played two subsequent matches for England, though not in the championship series. He had an outing against Italy in May and one the following September against Denmark at Copenhagen, then lost his place to Jackie Milburn of Newcastle United. In 15 games for England in full internationals, including foreign opponents Lawton scored 16 goals.
April 18, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have signed John Bramwell, Wigan Athletics’ 21 years-old left half, on full time professional forms. Bramwell who is 5ft 10 ½ ins and 11 ½ stone, has been on the Lancashire Combination club’s staff for three years. As a youth he had a short spell with Bolton Wanderers. As part of the deal Everton have undertaken to play a friendly game with Wigan at Springfeild Park early next season.
A POINT WOULD BE WELCOME
April 18, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton, home to Manchester City, will hall even one point with thankfulness, for it would put them beyond all fears of being overtaken by at least two of the clubs below them. That fear is not quite as threatening as it might appear for there hardly seems likelihood of a sudden all conquering spell coming from the clubs who are trailing behind the Blues, and in any case Everton as I outlined yesterday have a goal average advantage over Sheffield Wednesday which could prove their salvation even if they lost all their games and the Yorkshire club won both those they have yet to play. Though the fear of relegation is largely illusory, however, the fact that Everton are likely to finish in a very lowly position is not. Most folk have become reconciled to this possibility as they have watched the Blues gradually slip down the table from the third position which they held at the end of October when they had two games in hand if the two clubs above them. It has been a catastrophic decline, one of the worst in the club’s post-war history. There is little that can done about things, so far as this season is concerned. What is exercising the minds of the club’s supporters is what steps will be taken to see that next season, which may not produce such a flattering start, does not resolve itself into a long –drawn out struggle against relegation from the commencement. The club has stated more than once that the big expenditure on floodlighting and ground improvements will not affect their determination to make strengthening signings as and when they can. But signing players these days is not as easy as it once was. The majority of clubs thanks to the abolition of entertainment tax are better off financially than ever before, and prefer to keep their star players rather than turn them into money. This, however, is something into which we can derive at greater length at a later date. The more immediate matter is whether Everton can extract anything from their three remaining fixtures and particularly that against Manchester City tomorrow which in the last home game of the season. City are practically certain of fifth-place talent money bonus for Blackpool’s hopes of overtaking them are slender and nobody else can push them out. But the Mancunians could still finish in third place, which would boost their latent money from £220 to £600. That is not to be sneezed at. Everton will have to fight had for whatever they are able to rescue from the wreckage of their hopes. It seems incredible now that six months ago some folk were taking of their championship prospects. It had to stand a lot of ribbing around that time, because of my pre-season estimate that Everton would rarely be out of the bottom six. I was wrong about the interim period, but will not be far out in the final reckoning more’s a pity. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; King, Donovan, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Ashworth, Williams.
April 19, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
One point for Wolves against their nearest challengers Preston at Molinuex would ensure that they won the First Division championship. I wish we in Liverpool could look forward today to a match with so much at stake. Instead we go to Goodison Park hoping that Everton can snatch the point which will make them safe from relegation, no matter what their rivals at the foot of the table may do. Manchester City, a side which has gradually regained some of their old power will be difficult to beat, yet if Everton forwards would shoot as Jimmy Harris did against Fortune the problem would be solved. Win, lose or draw today the possibility of Everton accompanying Sunderland to the Second Division is pretty thin-but the freakishness of results at this stage, when all the teams in danger want to win, and usually do, and other teams with nothing at stake have a no incentive makes it necessary that they tackle their job urgently. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; King, Donovan, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Ashworth, Williams. Manchester City; Trauntmann; Branagan, Sear; Barnes, Leivers, Warhurst; Fagan, Barlow, Hart, Hayes, Sambrook.
MANCHESTER CITY ARE SEEKING SEASON’S HUNDREDTH GOAL
April 19, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s Last Home Game
Everton ring down the curtain on the Goodison Park season today with a match against Manchester City, who came in search of their 100th goal of the season. City with a chance to finish in the talent money placing, have quite an incentive before them, and it will take an improved all-round performance by Everton if the Blues are to round off their home programme with a victory. Five successive defeats have meant a decline in position just when supporters were hoping for an end-of-season flourish to take their favourities to a more respectable placing. If now seems that Everton may miss relegation by far too narrow a margin. But for their good start to the term, when 18 points were taken from the first 12 engagements –including matches with Manchester United and Arsenal (twice each), Wolves and Burnley the position today would be even more gloomy. Followers of Manchester City cannot complain at lack of goals. Not only have City been among the most consistent marksmen in the First Division –only Wolves and West Bromwich Albion have obtained more in League and Cup-but their defence has been conceding them just as freely. In all 97 goals have been out into the City net, a total exceeded only by relegation candidates Leicester City and Sunderland. In 40 League games and one Cup tie there has been an aggregate of 196 goals, an average of nearly five per match. City have scored 43 away from home, the highest total in their Division and have won seven of these games, but have drawn only one – at Wolverhampton last month. Four City players have reached double figures as marksman, the leading scorer being inside forward Joe Hayes, with 24. Irish international Billy McAdams has 19 to his name –he scored in 10 consecutive games earlier and one behind Jones local product Colin Barlow now figuring at inside right after a length spell on the wing. Right half Ken Barnes who has netted 10 times, has 8 successful penalty kicks to his credit, 3 of them against Everton at Maine Road in December when the visitors finished without Hickson, who was sent off, and lost 6-2, Barnes has also missed twice from the spot. Other scorers include Irish winger Fagan (seven) Scottish international Bobby Johnstone (six from his position as a deep lying centre forward) and Sambrook a left winger signed from Coventry City early this year. Once a regular choice at outside left for Wales. Roy Clarke is now coming to the end of his long career, and has made only rare appearances this term, but Johnny Hart, who has been so dreadfully unfortunate in the last three years is back in action again, and hit the first goal in last week’s 3-1 defeat of Sunderland. City have made many changes in their team this season, having been unlucky with injuries. Both Marsden and Dyson (twice) have suffered broken legs, while reserve centre half Taylor damaged a leg in his first senior game and had to have a cartilage operation. Early this season Manager Leslie McDowall introduced the Italian “bolt” method of defence, with an inside forward laying deep behind his centre half but so unwieldy did the system prove that it was quickly abandoned after Preston had scored six at Deepdale and West Bromwich had hammered in nine at the Hawthorns. As Albion also won there 5-1 in the Cup. City have miserable memories of their trips to the Midlands. Had any goalkeeper other than Bert Trauntmann been on call, the goals against City would probably have been considerably greater. The former St. Helens Town player has made a complete recovery from the broken neck sustained in the defeat of Birmingham City at Wembley in 1956. The defence in front of him usually comprised Leivers (ex-Chesterfield) and Sear once with Oswestry at full back burly Scot Dave Ewing at centre half, and Barnes and Warhurst at wing half. Warhurst being the former Sheffield United and Birmingham player injury means that Ewing is absent today so Leivers will be at centre half and Branagan right back. To find City winding –up Everton’s home fixtures brings back memories of 1950 when a similar state of affairs existed. Everton then won 5-1 in spite of a wonderful display by Trauntmann but the highlight was Tommy Eglington’s goal with his right foot. This finally “broke they duck” for he had gone thought-out the season without scoring and there were not many minutes remaining when he finally did the trick.
CITY RUN RIOT AFTER ASHWORTH HAD SHOWN WAY
April 19, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton 2, Manchester City 5
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; King, Donovan (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Ashworth and Williams, forwards. Manchester City; Trauntmann, goal; Branagan and Sear, backs; Barnes, Leivers and Warhust, half-backs; Fagan, Barlow, Hart, Hayes, and Sambrook, forwards. Referee; Mr. G.H. Sant (Crewe). Everton made a great start for within one minute they were a goal up and it was Ashworth making his home debut, who scored it. The goal was made simple for him by the work of King, and Thomas, but I liked the way he took it, for without wasting any time he hooked the ball out of the reach of Trauntmann. This was a sensational start but there was more excitement to follow, and again it was Ashworth who made the best of a Manchester City defensive lapse, moving in quickly to strike a second blow at the third minute. Barnes seemed to be at fault for he failed to intercept a through pass which Ashworth chased and as Trauntmann came out the Everton inside left shot beyond him to put Everton two up. Just prior to this goal Jimmy Harris showed his speed when he cut in, but he his centre too close to Trauntmann. Everton’s form so far had been most enterprising, even allowing that the City defence was not all it might have been, and a third goal was almost on Everton’s score card when Sear kicked the ball off the goal-line from Ashworth. It would have been a great performance by Ashworth if he had got a hat-trick in 10 minutes, and by love nearly did it. So far we had seen little or nothing of the City attack for it had been all Everton.
Barlow’s Back heel
At long last the City broke away on their right wing and this brought the first anxious moment to the Everton defence. It was a poor Everton pass which started it and during a hot tussle in front of Dunlop, Barlow tried to back-heel at goal, but without success. Hickson was worrying the City defence and when Barnes picked up a ball while he was at centre forward there were possibilities but his shot while being on the mark, was not of the type to beat Trauntmann. The City were now coming into the game more as an attacking force, and during another melee in front of the Everton goal Barlow, from a few yards out shot against Dunlop, the ball going round the post for a corner. The City had been threatening a goal for some time and one came at the 24th minute. It had its origination in a goal kick from Trauntmann. He swept the ball up field and Hayes hotly chased by Donovan sent the ball spinning away from Dunlop, who had come over to close the avenue on the nearside of the goal. Hayes put the ball to the other side. This goal was City’s 100th in Cup and League this season. The early speed and progressiveness of Everton had rather faded out-whereas City had come more to life, and Hayes nearly sneaked his way through a little later on. Williams tried a lob shot which dropped behind the crossbar. A link-up between Hickson and Harris ended rather dismally when Harris pulled his centre behind.
Players Spoken To
The referee had a word with both Fagan and Tansey and Dunlop caught the free kick by Branagan. Everton had gone right into their shell and one had to admit that the City were now the more dangerous side. Dunlop having to concede a corner when punching away a lob from just under his bar. Meagan almost kicked the ball out of Dunlop’s hands to give away an unnecessary corner which, however, was not productive. Hickson and Sear had a little duel between themselves which ended with Hickson getting the ball back to Ashworth who shot right away but the pass passed high over the bar. Donovan was playing a strong game and it was needed for Hayes and Hart were quick to find any loop-hole. Hart was spoken to by the referee for a foul on Hickson and then the ball was booted away from Harris just as he was about to level a shot at the City goal. After Everton had taken a free kick for a foul by Levers on Hickson for which the City centre half was spoken to by the referee, the City made one of their quick raids and Hart found himself in the Everton penalty box with all the goal to aim at. He shot strongly and accurately and the City were on level terms. Half-time; Everton 2, Man City 2.
The talking point of the interval was whether the ball which Leivers kicked out was over the line or not. There was no Everton appeal, however, but the photographers say it was two feet behind the line. Within four minutes of the restart City went ahead, Sambrook lofted a free kick towards Barlow, who headed against the crossbar. I dropped to the feet of Hart, who simply side footed it into the net. Everton hit back and Trauntmann brought off a good-class save from a Hickson header. There was a short stoppage while Ashworth received attention but immediately on the resumption the City scored their fourth goal at the 54th minute. Fagan beat tansy then lobbed his centre goal wards, Hart going up for it. It was too high for him, but dropped to Sambrook who promptly whipped it into the net to give the City a two-goal lead. Everton had gone as dull as dishwater. It was not that the City were so brilliant but just that Everton had fallen from grace. Nothing would go right for Everton and when Sanders brought down Hayes in the penalty area Barnes scored from the spot kick. This was at the 60th minute. Barnes scored a hat-trick of penalties in the first match at Maine Road in December.
Dunlop prevented a sixth goal for City when he dived at the feet of Barlow to make a daring save. Trauntmann had to edge over his bar an effort by Harris and a free kick to City was headed behind by tansy for a corner. Trauntmann brought of the save of a lifetime when he snatched a header by Thomas which seemed booked for the back of the net. This was Trauntmann at his best. A misunderstanding between Dunlop and Sanders a few yards from the goal-line almost brought further disaster to Everton for it was only by luck that they managed to get the ball away before a City man came up to collect it. Everton were still fighting and a back header by Hickson beat Trauntmann but hit the bar and when for a goalkick. Final; Everton 2, Manchester City 5. Attendance 31,433.
• Liverpool Minor Cup Semi-Final; Everton “C” 9, Ranworth 1.
PRESTON RES V EVERTON RES
April 19, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Preston Res; Heyes, (M), goal; Brown and Heyes (K), backs; Wylle, Mattinson, and Smith, half-backs; Harris (G), Byrne, Alston, Waterhouse, and Lambert, forwards. Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Bentham, and Hillsdon, backs; A. peat, Labone, and Gannon, half-backs; Harris (B), Mackay, Temple, Fielding, and B. Godfrey, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Smith (Newcastle under-Lyme). Harris was prominent for Everton in early raids but the high wind made ball control difficult. After 21 minutes North End took the lead when Lambert cut in and beat O’Neill with a well place ground shot. Only excellent saves from Alston and Harris (G) prevented further goals. Everton did more of the attacking just before the interval, Harris (B) and Fielding making good attempts. Half-time; Preston N.E Res 1, Everton Res nil. Everton with the wind in their favour attacked spiritedly after the interval with good efforts coming from Mackay and Harris (B). Temple was twice robbed in front of goal by Mattinson. O’Neill saved well from Harris (G) and in another Preston attack Lambert headed over.
THOSE MISSING MILLIONS?
April 19, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Will Fourth Division Provide The Answer?
By Don Donovan
With the end of the football season just around the corner there are still many important factors to be ironed out and in the Third Division the flight is still at its highest with clubs endeavoring to keep in the top twelve. It won’t be long before they know their fate, and the dividing line which is drawn through the middle of the League tables is beginning to look more like a noose to the teams below it. Many football fans are taking it for granted that the standard in the Fourth Division is going to be much lower than in the new Third. But I believe that for the first year or two at least the levels will be fairly close and I don’t think it will be as dull as some people think. The battle for promotion at the head of the Fourth Division is going to be very keen. I will be sorry for the bottom clubs because they will find it, difficult to make ends meet financially. It stands to reason that when a club is struggling at the bottom of any league, and especially the Fourth Division, the support will not be there. When you consider the extra travelling involved to say nothing of the hotel accommodation for away games the less successful clubs will not be able to last long.” If some are forced to drop out there are others only too willing to take their places. Clubs like Wigan Athletic, Yeovil Town, Petersbrough United and others.
Off The Field, Too
The struggle over the last few months to keep in the top twelve of the Third Division has been carried on both off the field and on. Peter Farrell, player-manager of Tranmere Rovers, has been well to the fore trying to get the right men to take his team to a safe place in the League. He signed Tony Rowley from Liverpool and Ken Finney from Stockport to provide extra punch. Another club not letting the grass grow under their feet is Southampton. They look safe enough but they are talking no chance, and signed Ken Birch from Everton not so long ago. Not until next season will we know whether or not this novelty of Third and Fourth Division football will bring back the missing millions. I think it depends entirely on the soccer on view, and it’s up to players to entertain.
Playing against Fortuna from Holland last Wednesday, I was amazed at the difference between the strategy of both teams. The Continentals did not relish any type of tackle. They made their efforts entirely by interceptions and reading the play, but their defence was woefully weak in marking. Witness the result Jimmy Harris emulating Tommy Eglington’s feat of scoring five goals from the wing. Tommy of course, got his in a League match.
EVERTON WILL HAVE TO THINK HARD…
April 21, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton 2, Manchester City 5
So its safety for Everton (rather more of it due at this stage to the failings of others) and another season in the Second Division for Liverpool. It could have been worse, but equally it could have been better. Everton will have to do some hard, shrewd thinking to improve a side which has gone all one way (and that not the right one) in recent weeks. That Manchester City could come to Goodison Park, as they did on Saturday and concede two goals start in two minutes and still win by five goals to two was more disturbing that the loss of the points. Thirty-odd thousand followers of Everton saw for themselves that Manchester City, one they had recovered from a shocking start, were the better team by a greater margin than the one shown in the score line. What made things worse was that in the frustration of losing the lead one Everton player, at least, seemed to lose his head. That shouldn’t be at Everton, Referee C.H. Sant controlled a difficult game well. What an amazing start it was. Here was young Ashworth, an Everton player of size and ability, beating Trauntmann, twice in as many minutes and all but getting a hat-trick immediately afterwards. No doubt that his third shot beat Trauntmann, some doubt about where the ball was when full back Sears kicked it away from the line. Unhappily for Ashworth and for his side the referee ruled no goal. Everton’s early liveliness gave way to the sort of play which suggested that they ached for full time but two goals up in two minutes is never as good a position as two goals up after seventy-five minutes and City with practically unlimited time at their disposal, set about the job of wearing down Everton and their lead. First Hayes rubbed out a goal, than Hart made it 2-2 and with all the second half to go Everton looked doomed.
And so they were. It was not long before Hart was tapping the ball over the line after Barlow’s header had struck the bar and rebounded out then City’s two excellent wingers produced a fourth, Sambrook being the scorer, and finally half-back Barnes, who looks and plays so much like Mercer used to, scored from the penalty spot for the fourth time this season in matches against Everton, Sanders having brought down Hayes when only such a tackle could have saved a goal. We were yet to see the brilliance of Trauntmann. He edged a header from Hickson, one handled, on to the bar and safely, he flung himself full length through the air for an even better save from a Thomas header. He judged his outgoings perfectly, collected the ball as though it were of table-tennis size and was on hand miraculously, when a back-heeled shot from point-blank range seemed certain to score. His use of the ball from hand was remarkable, too, which that piston rod action which deposited it acceptably at the feet of defenders or forwards. But Trauntmann’s was not the only great contribution by City. They showed us two far-above average wingers in Sambrook and Fagan; some heady half back play; so strong defence and a centre forward Hart who roamed like a Revie and was more than once found at the other end of the field denying Hickson with a tackle.
Trick of Timing
Fagan is a man of no size and weight but his work against Tansey had that usually phlegmatic back puzzled Sambrook who had learned the trick of timing –he picks up a ball casually and moves lethargically until he suddenly decides to go –also had a good innings against Sanders but it was their compactness of City all round which was really impressive. They moved neatly; headed the ball superbly and on a dry, hard ground made even more tricky by a high wind, were invariably making progress. Hickson did reasonably well, but Leivers, who is big and strong and who was in particularly unyielding mood, was master at the end, unlucky as Hickson was to face a Trauntmann who produced his heart-breaking best just when Everton felt they could make defeat less disgracing. I liked young Ashworth because he is big and because he did all his work quickly and thoughly. Not everyone can score a hat-trick against Trauntmann, but Ashworth went desperately close. His passing, too was excellent in that it had a forward, rather than a lateral look about it.
Little Graham Williams, on the left, who is to accompany the Welsh party at the World Cup, did little to show he has the ability of such as Mervyn Jones of Scunthorpe, Williams tries hard and his ideas, but it is surprising how often the defender who can stretch out a long leg wins the ball when he seems to have it safe under control. Thomas was not comparable with either of City’s inside pair, of whom Hayes who so rarely seems to play even indifferently was best. Meagan has gone back a good deal since those brilliant games of his at the star of the season. King, on the other flank, had moments of inspiration –notably when helping to provide Ashworth with one of his goals –but Everton still seemed to lack size and weight and ability and you cannot afford to be without any of these qualities.
EVERTON RES WASTE CHANCES
April 21, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Preston North End Res 1, Everton Res 0
Everton Reserve were beaten at Preston by a first half goal scored by Lambert but they could easily have saved a point if their finishing had been better. Fielding worked hard in the attack and many chances were wasted, particularly by Harris (B) at outside-right. The defence was sound with Labone a reliable centre-half. Everton team was;- O’Neill; Bentham, Hillsdon; A.Peat, Labone, Gannon, Harris (B), Mackay, Fielding, B. Godfrey.
OTHER’S FAILING MAKE EVERTON SECURE FOR THIS SEASON
April 21, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are safe for another season in the First Division, but it is no real credit to them, for they had to depend chiefly upon the failure of others. I am afraid it is a poor look-out for them next term unless something is done during the close season. It has been obvious for the best part of the season that the present set-up at Goodison Park is not quite good enough. I understand every avenue has been explored to get the type of player needed. The first essential is more height weight and power for there are too many smell men in the Everton ranks. They can play good football, but not the progressive style that is demanded today. I am heartsick of saying that Everton played the better football yet the other team took the points because they had more Vernon in attack. Some beef and height is sorely needed in the Everton side and that is what Everton are seeking right now. Manchester City have made it a habit of doing great things at Goodison Park. I won’t name them for your most probably are aware of them yourselves, but I thought the “bogey” had been lain when Everton took a two goals lead in the first three minutes and were playing with more enterprise and progression than has been the case for several games. Having given their supporters so much encouragement, however, they lost their grip and were heavily beaten.
Nearly A Hat-Trick
Everton’s opening play had the City defence undermined and I am not surprised at their poor goals against record, for they were routed and Ashworth –he scored both goals – almost got his hat-trick when Sear kicked off the goalline, I thought the ball had crossed the line, but there was no appeal from Everton. If that goal had counted it might have meant a different story, but from that moment on, Everton started to deteriorate. The City had got over their early shock and while their football was never of vintage character it was good enough to find loophole in the Everton defence and before half-time they were on level terms and playing with much more confidence and skill than their opponents. What had really happened? Why had Everton slumped? First because they changed their tactics. Where their play had been “forward” it after became cross field. This played into the hands of the City defenders who in the first 15 minutes were a bundle of nerves. Everton just went out of the game and the City had no intention of letting them get back into it. It was no small feat to hit back against a two-goals deficit but when they made it 2-2 at the interval I feared for Everton unless they could recover their early brightness. They never could and it became almost a defensive battle for them in the second half and City scored three further goals without reply but final whistle time. True, one was from the penalty spot when Sanders brought down. Hayes and Barnes, City’s expert gave Dunlop no chance. Everton did put up a fight in the last 10 minutes or so but only a miracle could have brought them victory. Hickson headed against the angle of the post with Trauntmann beaten and the City goalkeeper brought off a glorious save from Thomas’s header, but it was apparent that Everton were facing their sixth successive defeat.
More Open Play
It was not that the City were so good, for I did not rate their football above the ordinary which only makes it worse for Everton. They were just much more open in their style. I thought Everton were poor at Sheffield Wednesday a week previously but I think they were worse on Saturday. A side playing at home which was good enough to take a two goal lead should have been good enough to hold on to at least a point. Ashworth took both goals smartly and fitted into the line exceedingly well while it was doing some great work, but he fell from grace just as surely as his colleagues did. He will I think make the grade, for he has some height and ideas but wants a little speeding up. Hickson’s against a dour centre half in Leivers had many rough passages, but never gave up striving while Harris on the right wing started off like a world beater though like the others died away to nothing. Everton’s fall away was astonishing. I have never seen it so bad in any other Everton game this season. It just won’t do. Something has got to be done that to those mostly concerned. The outlook is undoubtedly bad, and that is what a troubling their loyal band of supporters. They are all of the same mind that unless there is a shot in the arm by the introduction of new blood into the side they fear they will have to go through the anxiety all over again next season. It is not a happy thought. Here is the goal scoring table- Everton, Ashworth 1 and 3 minutes. Manchester City Hayes 24 minutes, Hart 44 and 49 minutes, Sambrook 56 minutes and Barnes (penalty) 60 minutes.
EVERTON RES SCRAPE THROUGH
April 22, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 1, Newcastle United Res 0
Everton wound up their home programme with a rather fortunate win. Twice early in the Everton goal survived a miraculously with Billington clearing off the goal line and Dunlop gratefully gathering a shot which had hit each upright in turn. Generally speaking however, defences were well on top with left half Bramwell, Everton’s recent signing from Wigan making a pleasing debut and centre-half Billington and Donovan also playing strongly. Hickson the home leader lacked support though outside right Todd did good service in the first half. Godfrey netted the only goal in the eighteen minute.
EVERTON’S CHANCES AT BLACKPOOL LOOK THIN
April 22, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Although theoretically Everton have an opportunity to improve their final League placing from their two remaining games, on the basis of their performances over recent months the chances of any addition to the points total from impending visits to Blackpool and Nottingham Forest must be decidedly thin. The first of these games is at Bloomfield Road tomorrow evening (kick-off 6.30), and though Blackpool’s home record this season is not up to the standard of some previous years, they will seem good enough to wind up their programme with a victory. Though Everton’s decline has caused their supporters considerable anxiety, nobody will worry unduly over what happens at the late stage of the season how that the slight danger of relegation has passed. It is the future which is of major concern and which must be giving headaches to nose whose responsibility it is prepare for it. It looks anything but promising just now. Unfortunately some of the Everton players who at one time promised hope of becoming steady and consistent performers in the first team have not lived up to expectations. The acid test of a player is not an occasional bright exhibition. There must be a steady level of consistent ability over the major portion of the season, and that is what Everton have not had from some of them. Tomorrow night’s game is a re-arranged fixture. It was originally due on February 8, but was postponed on account of the Blackpool pitch being unfit through snow. Whether it would have been better for Everton to have played it then is a moot point, Blackpool at that time were having quite a successful run and might have been more confident then than now. What may be more unsetting at this stage from the psychological angle is the effect upon Everton of their succession of six successive defeats. This sort of things is apt to undermine the confidence of any team. When it follows on previous periods which have been marked more by failure than success the effect is even greater.
Not Much At Stake
Early this season, when they were carrying all before them Everton’s confidence and team spirit was very high. They went on the field with their tails up, and kept them so to the last whistle. Latterly there has been a dispiritedness about them which Manchester City’s hammering will have done nothing to dispel. At the same time, it would be foolish to be unduly downcast. Disaster lies on that road. Difficult though it may be, if Everton can regain even a modicum of their one-time confidence in themselves they might possibly surprise the Seasiders. Apart from the normal £4 bonus, Blackpool have not the same incentive as Everton. Their hopes of squeezing into fifth-place and grabbling a spot of extra talent money are almost non-existent for their other game is an away visit to Tottenham, and in any case would probably still be pipped by goal average if they manage to equal the total of West Bromwich Albion who are immediately above them. To do that Blackpool need to win both their games and West Bromwich would have to lose the one they have outstanding, which is a home fixture with Luton next Saturday. While endeavouring to put a hopeful face on Everton’s prospects one has to admit that there has been little solid foundation for this latterly and a win for Blackpool would seem the probable outcome. The only consolation is that good things tend to come unstuck at times and this might be such an occasion. Seven visiting clubs have won at Bloomfield Road this season, but that is rather discounted so far as Everton are concerned by the fact that their have all been occupants of the top half of the table. Against the lesser lights, Blackpool have been victorious though sometimes only by the narrowest of margins.
SURPRISED CHANGES BY EVERTON
April 23, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Everton have dropped four players who were in the side defeated by Manchester City at Goodison Park last Saturday, for today’s visit to Blackpool. Dunlop, the goalkeeper, Donovan, the centre half and club captain, Hickson the centre forward and outside left Williams are left out- they are replaced by O’Neill, Labone, Thomas, and Brian Harris respectively. Thomas the club’s leading scorer, has never played at centre-forward before, but moves into that position to permit the return of Fielding at inside-right. The team will be; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; King, Labone, Meagan; Harris (J), Fielding, Thomas, Ashworth, and Harris (B). At the end of the game Blackpool chairman Mr. A.H. Hindley will present a cheque to Mr. Joe Smith, the retiring manager, on behalf of the club. The presentation will be made in public.
THOMAS LEADS THE EVERTON ATTACK
April 23, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton attempt to limit their spell of consecutive defeats to six when they meet Blackpool at Bloomfield Road this evening, and will make the journey with a team showing five changes, one positional, from that defeated by Manchester City. Dunlop, Donovan, Hickson, Williams are all omitted and Thomas switches from inside right to centre forward to allow for the return of Fielding. O’Neill, Labone and Brian Harris also come back. The dropping of Dunlop, Donovan and Hickson was to some extent anticipated, for all three played in Monday evening reserve match and is not often that established first team men do that and then appear in their more usual sphere 48 hours later. Dunlop lost his place in February after 65 consecutive games, but after only four senior matches O’Neill in turn had to give away. Now the Irishman gets another chance. Labone, who takes over from Donovan at centre half, will be playing only his third senior game. He made his debut at Birmingham recently and did quite well, but had too much to cope with against Tottenham at Goodison during the Easter games. He is a player of considerable promise, however, and at this stage of the season Everton have little to lose by allowing him another opportunity. As King, on Labone’s immediate right, has played only three first team games and Meagan is in his first full season, the intermediate line is not over-burdened with experience. With Hickson again left out, the task of leading the front line is allotted to Thomas, the side’s leading scorer with 15 goals in 27 games.
Thomas has done well as a “proacher” and is often around to take advantage of unlikely-looking chances but whether or not he possesses the necessary thrust and drive to make a success of his new role is open to question. If Fielding can strike form after a four game rest from First Division football, Thomas should not go short of opportunities. Thomas is the sixth centre forward tried so far, but of the others Temple has had only three games there and Llewellyn, Kirby and J. Harris one each. Outside left has been a problem spot all season, Brian Harris has netted only four times in 30 games there, and Williams only twice in 13, both his goals coming in one match against Portsmouth at Goodison. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; King, Labone, Meagan; Harris (J), Fielding, Thomas, Ashworth, Harris (B)
Everton have signed a former Scottish schoolboy player on amateur forms. He is David Boner, a 16-years-old inside right. Everton hope to get him fixed up with a job as apprentice draughtsman.
EVERTON END THAT DISMAL SEQUENCE
April 24, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blackpool 0, Everton 1
Everton put an end to the sequence of six successive defeats by winning a hard, close game against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, last evening before the second smallest attendance of the season. Everton had to fight hard in the closing stages when Blackpool piled on heavy pressure, but the defence, in which O’Neill distinguished himself after overcoming a shaky beginning stuck to their task, none doing better than Labone, and King, two young players drafted into the side. Labone, sticking close to his beat in the middle, cut down the effectiveness of Charnley almost to vanishing point, while King fought like a terrier throughout and, although dwarfed by tall Durie, the Everton man came out of a testing ordeal with considerable credit. So also did Sanders and Tansey at full back. Sanders more impulsive than his colleague did his best work in the closing stages when Perry, one of three South Africans in the Blackpool forward line tried desperately to pull back the home side’s single goal deficit. Although fighting with their backs to the wall, apart from occasional spasmodic raids, for the last twenty minutes Everton had played some attractive football and if there had been more punch in the forward line they might have won by a bigger margin.
Ashworth and Fielding were the outstanding forwards, Fielding in particularly brought his experience and craft to bear in wise distribution of the ball and it was from his canny passes that danger to Blackpool’s goal originated. Farm, however, was never seriously tested though in the early stages Jimmy Harris missed one possible chance from four yards range and Thomas another from a similar distance. In the case of Harris the ball was bouncing very awkwardly and he was just unable to poke out his foot for the touch which would have put it into the net. Everton took the lead at the thirty-eight minute tanks to a quickly taken free kick by Fielding for hands against Kelly. Some of the home crowd protested against this award. Fielding put the ball down quickly, chipped it over to Jimmy Harris and the latter’s header back into the middle after being deflected by a defender left Ashworth with a simple chance to head home from no more than two yards. This made Ashworth’s third goal for Everton in three senior appearances, and as things turned out, it brought two very valuable points. Prior to this Blackpool had opportunities to take the lead. Charnley missed a “sitter” from very close range and Perry shot straight at O’Neill when a pass to two colleagues would almost certainly have produced a goal.
Although O’Neill did nothing to unsure confidence in the opening stages he settled down after saving a penalty taken by Hugh Kelly at the fifteen minute. This arose when Ashworth who had fallen back to help the defence. Tackled Charnley from behind and brought the home centre forward down inside the penalty area. Kelly tried to place his shot just inside the left hand post but O’Neill dived and turned the ball behind. From that point onwards O’Neill came to his best and made some splendid saves at a time when they were most valuable. Just on half time Perry got the ball into the net following a scramble on the six yard line but the goal was disallowed following an offence by one of the home forwards. Blackpool had Hauser, a twenty-three-years-old South African making his debut at inside right in place of the injured Mudie. Another South African in Paterson deputized for Matthews at outside right. Paterson startled brightly and had patches of brilliance later but he is no Matthews and Tansey subdued him for most of the game. Blackpool also had changes at full back owing to three of their regular defenders being injured. Gratrix moved from centre half to right back, Martin came in at left back with Snowden taking over the centre half position. Snowdon shaped well against Thomas who, like several other of the players on both sides found difficulty in controlling the light ball on the hard turf.
Although the ground, had been watered it was still very firm and the bounce of the ball was such that it was more often in the air than where it should be. For one period in the early part of the second half Everton managed to tame it reasonably well and during this session they looked a better balanced and more cohesive side than Blackpool. It was sheer determination and fighting spirit more than artistry in their play which enabled Blackpool to take the initiative and hit back hard in the closing stages. Their finishing, however, was shocking and most of O’Neill’s work was confined to punching away high crosses and fielding loose balls. At the conclusion Mr. Joe Smith, who has been Blackpool’s manager for the past 23 years was presented with a cheque, for £1,000 in the directors’ box in front of cheering spectators.
EVERTON’S NEWCOMERS ROSE TO THE OCCASION
April 24, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
While it was wily thinking of Wally Fielding which set Everton on the way to victory against Blackpool of Bloomfield Road last night, it was the solid work of the defence which enabled them to hang on to their slender lead to the finish. This was their seventh away win of the season, a total which strange though it may seem in view of their present lowly position they have never bettered since the war and have equally on only three occasions. If they can repeat last night’s performance against Nottingham Forest on Saturday this season will go down into history providing their best post-war total of away victories which would be something at least to off-set the disappointments they have given their supporters in some home games. There was comparatively little end of the season atmosphere about last night’s match although the size of the small crowd-only 12,981 turned up in spite of a beautiful sunny evening –made it evident that the Blackpool public at least has had its fill of football and had not much appetite for their team’s last home engagement.
While I have seen many more exciting and thrilling games there was quite a lot of attractive football, and just as much of it came from Everton as from Blackpool. There was very little to choose between the teams in the first half. Blackpool looked just a trifle more dangerous in attack but Everton often progressed well balanced movements and showed very good combination up to a point. Unfortunately much of it broke down when it came to producing shooting of sufficient strength to upset the confidence of a goalkeeper of Farm’s capabilities. He did not have more than three testing shots to deal with throughout. When Charnley and Perry missed easy chances of beating a rather uncertain and shaky O’Neill in the opening ten minutes one felt that Everton if given time for their much changed side to settle down, might make a real fight of it, for Blackpool were not a full strength. When Ashworth, seeking to help his defenders, only succeeded in tripping Charnley and conceding a penalty, the outlook seemed a bit grim, for Hugh Kelly does not often miss from the 12 yards spot. He did not know, however, that O’Neill was aware of his propensity to put penalty kicks to the right of the goalkeeper, Kelly followed this practice and O’Neill flinging himself full length got his finger tips to the ball and turned it round the post. From that point onwards O’Neill came to his best and Everton not only began to hold their own but to take the initiative for quite lengthy spells though still without producing the finish which would have added a more acceptable touch to the rest of their work. Then came a free kick for a rather doubtful handling offence against Kelly and the canny Fielding quickly taking the kick, before Blackpool could re-group their defence, laid the foundation of the goal which decided the destination of the points. He lofted the ball over to Jimmy Harris, Harris returned it to the centre and when it was deflected towards Ashworth with Farm well out of position. Ashworth had only to nod the ball over the line from a few yards’ range.
From then on it was a question of whether Everton could hang on to their lead. At times it seemed doubtful for Blackpool fought hard and were on top territorially for most of the last half hour. But Labone and King, the two least experienced men in the visiting defence, were the main bulwarks in Everton’s rearguard resistance, ably assisted by Tansey and Sanders, and to a slightly lesser degree by Meagan. King played extremely well fighting like a terrior against much taller and stronger opponents while Labone, who was not drawn out of position as he had been in his two previous senior games, kept Charnley in almost complete subjection. He was not always master of the opposition in the air, but on the ground he was rarely beaten and never got ruffled. O’Neill also did well and could not be faulted after the first 15 minutes. Fielding was the outstanding Everton forward. He held the line together splendidly, sprayed his passes around with almost unerring accuracy and did good work in defence as well at a time when it was most helpful. Thomas got little change out of Snowden, deputizing at centre half for Gratix who was switched to right back, but he worked hard throughout and never ceased to dispute possession of the ball. Blackpool were without Matthews who might have made a difference to their attack for Peterson was a rather indifferent deputy while Perry though always looking as if he might be dangerous, was woefully off form with his shooting and heading.
EVERTON MAY EARN A POINT
April 25, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
After their rather surprising but well-earned victory at Blackpool, Everton might again rise to the occasion and get a point from their visit to Nottingham Forest. This might seem a case of wishful thinking after the disappointments of late, but there were signs at Blackpool even allowing for the weakened side fielded by the home team, that the Everton changes has had some effect. Their chances may be increased a little by the fact that Forest after being up amongst the leaders in the early stages of the season, have latterly declined to a position in which they have no incentive apart from the usual winning bonus and the natural desire of any team to achieve victory. their home record, while reasonable good is by no means intimidating whereas Everton have shown on several occasions this season that they can turn in somewhat better displays away than they do at Goodison Park. Sometimes they seem nervous in front of their own spectators, and scared of making mistakes. There was no sign of that at Blackpool, once they had settled down and while the general display was not one to send Evertonian followers into transports of delight, if certainly indicated that the position may not be quite as desperate as some people may fear. At the same time, much remains to be done to strengthen the side prior to the start of another campaign. So many young players have had trials in the senior side in recent years, and given displays for a time which have led to wishful thinking regarding their future, that I am beginning to be extremely cautious. Yet undoubtedly there are some players of considerable promise. If they all live up to expectations consistently, then there must be hope. But some of those of whom high hopes were said to be entrance when they were signed are now on the transfer list, which makes one think just how much credence should be attached to over0-optimistic view. We have had rather a number of these instance in the past. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; King, Labone, Meagan; Harris (J), Fielding, Thomas, Ashworth, Harris (B). Notts Forest; Thompson; Whare, Thomas; Farmer, McKinlay, Burkitt; Gray, Quigley, Wilson, Baily, Imlach.
In addition to the three full timers, whose impending departure from Goodison Park was reported in our later editions yesterday-Haughley, Leeder, and Todd – the five part-timers whose contracts are being terminated are Llewellyn, Moore, Birch, Davison, and Steele. Llewellyn is the only one with first team experience. The full retained list is as follows;-
Goalkeepers; Dunlop, O’Neill
Full back; Sanders, Donovan, Bentham, *Parkes, Tansey, +Hillsdon, +Griffiths
Half-Backs; Rea, +Gannon, Clayton, Jones, Labone, Billington, Meagan, +King, Bramwell
Forwards; Harris (J), *Harris (B), Thomas, *Temple, Keeley, Hickson, Kirby, *Hood, *Gregory, Ashworth, Fielding, *Mackay, *Williams. * Denotes player in Forces. + Denotes part-time player.
April 26, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton’s newly constructive team –one which includes so many youngsters –will be anxious to end the season properly and confirm their win at Blackpool when they step out against Notts Forest. Nottingham Two victories after six successive defeats would allow the club to spend the close season more pleasantly than would otherwise be so; many Evertonians were wondering prior to the Blackpool surprise last how Everton would prepare for the start of next season. If such boys as Labone, King and Ashworth come off at Nottingham. Coach Ian Buchan will have cause to bless the opportunity –it might well have not occurred! –to give these players their first team chances without having to pay any penalties. Forest started the season in whirlwind style. They have gone back, but they still play pretty and effective football and the test for Everton is a good deal stiffer than the one they had against a much weakened Blackpool. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; King, Labone, Meagan; Harris (J), Fielding, Thomas, Ashworth, Harris (B). Notts Forest; Thompson; Whare, Thomas; Farmer, McKinlay, Burkitt; Gray, Quigley, Wilson, Baily, Imlach.
EVERTON WIND UP WITH A GOOD AWAY VICTORY
April 26, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Nottingham Forest 0, Everton 3
Nottingham Forest; Thomson, goal; Whare and Thomas (G), backs; Farmer, McKinlay, and Burkitt, half-backs; Gray, Quigley, Wilson, Baily, and Imlach, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; King, Labone and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Fielding, Thomas (E), Ashworth, and Harris (B), forwards. Referee; Mr. S.W. Barker (Kent). Notts Forest were soon on the attack –in fact in the first few minutes they attacked most of the time. There was one exception when Sanders and Ashworth made an opening for Jimmy Harris and this I rated as a possible chance. But the Everton outside right tamely put the ball behind.
By comparison the Notts side had three shots at the Everton goal, O’Neill saving on each occasion and then, following a tussle in front of his goal made a save from half back Burkitt. The Forest were playing some nice football and the Everton defence had one or two more anxious moments. Everton, however, were coming more into their own and they soon introduced a switch bringing Jimmy Harris into the middle. Fielding pushed a ball nicely up the middle and Ashworth pounced down upon the pass like a terrier and such was the pressure at this moment by the Blues that the Forest conceded a corner.
The Forest might well have taken the lead at the 17th minute when Labone, clearing the ball after O’Neill had come out, only managed to find Quigley. Quigley saw possibilities and he smartly lobbed the ball into the goalmouth and it struck the underside of the bar and rebounded for Sanders to clear. Burkitt had been the Forest’s most dangerous marksman so far and he put another headed effort just over the crossbar. There was a hot tussle in front of the Everton goal and it had to be admitted that the Blues defence was not at all settled. Imlach, although surrounded by a number of Everton players, tried his luck with a shot which struck King on the hand. Some thought it justified a penalty, I was not one of them for I am certain it was a case of ball to hand and not hand to ball.
Everton were playing much too close, although Fielding put a beautiful ball out to Brian Harris, but the outside left did not make full use of it. King was playing extremely well in that he was prepared to fight, for every ball and even when beaten was extremely quick in his recovery. Baily once got the better of King, but there was Tansey, captain for the day –ready to step into the breach. So far there had been really only one team in it and it was not Everton. The Blues goal had several escapes. Harris (J) made an opening for King and the little half-back tried a long shot. He got the right direction, but not the power and Thomson had no difficulty in saving. Imlach from the outside right position a centre which called to be converted but there was no Forest man up to apply it. Wilson although I thought he was offside, was allowed to go on and shout outside.
Passes Go Wrong
The football had never reached a high standard. Passes went wrong, and when Gray swept over another centre Quigley, made a hopeless attempt to find the goal target. Jimmy Harris kept slogging along, but Thomson had no difficulty in saving his centre, Thomas tried a back-heeler which passed outside. The best effort of the game so far must be credited to Gray who unleashed a fast rising shot which O’Neill caught above his head. The game was stopped while Brian Harris had attention for a leg injury and Fielding almost brushed his way through the Forest defence, only to be finally beaten in the last stages. Jimmy Harris and Meagan got together to make an opening for Ashworth but the ball was just a little too far forward for the last named and Thomson came out of goal and collected the ball. Just on half-time Quigley made a very determined effort to head home a centre from the left wing but O’Neill was there to foil him. Half-time; Notts Forest nil, Everton nil.
There was more threat from the Everton team in the first five minutes of the second half than there had been during the whole of the first session. King was all over the place. He was a little terror seeking work, but when he ran to outside left and looked like doing something, he also fell into the offside trap. The next few minutes saw the Forest make a determined effort to take the lead and O’Neill made a great save from Imlach from outside right. The Everton goalkeeper also made a turning save from Quigley and then as so often happens the side which had been defending broke away and took a goal. Ashworth and Thomas were involved in this, but most of the credit must go to Fielding who planted his pass right on the head of the waiting Jimmy Harris, who nodded the ball home at the 56th minute. Nottingham refused to give up the fight and Quigley made a high powered drive which went hurtling into the crowd.
Everton In Command
The more Everton came into the game the more the Forest deteriorated. They had been in charge all too long, but the effects of this goal which be the way was all against the run of the play was now having its affect. Geoff Thomas made a back pass to his goalkeeper and was lucky to see the ball trickle outside. Goalkeeper Thomson must also have been pleased for although he chased back, he could not catch up with the ball. Had it been on target it most certainly would have been a goal. Fielding who was mainly figuring at outside right was the engineer in chief and Everton were now responding to his prompting. He was however well off the line with a left foot shot. The County were now purely defensive, they had vanished from the game so far as attacks was concerned and when Harris swept a ball right across there was no Everton man present to take up the challenge. O’Neill had done sound work, in the Everton goal and he once again helped his side with great save from Quigley, and it was right from this that Everton greatly improved on their first half display, won a corner. This was taken by Jimmy Harris, who landed the ball into the Notts goalmouth, where Harris (B) headed the ball downwards and into the net at the 75th minute. One must not forget Brian Harris’s part in this for it was he who allowed the ball to pass on to Ashworth. Quigley had a great chance of reducing the lead, but O’Neill barred his way and straight from the clearance Jimmy Harris, using his speed to effect, centred across the Notts goalface and Brian Harris, quickly getting the ball under control, whipped it passed Thomson at the 80th minute. Final; Notts Forest nil, Everton 3.
INTERNATIONALS SHOULD BE PLAYED IN MID-WEEK
April 26, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
The fact that England played Scotland at Hampden Park last Saturday was a big set-back to clubs who provided players for the game and were involved in promotion or relegation battles. It is time all international matches were played in midweek. Hardest hit of all were Fulham who had two players in the England side. They were going strong for promotion to Division I but with two men out of the side last week they lost 4-3 at home. On the other hand, Blackpool Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers, each of whom had two players on international duty, managed to win. Some clubs when weakened by international calls, are lucky enough to win and keep up the good work. Another reason for playing international matches in mid-week is the effect the absence of star players has on the gate attendances are low enough without international calls putting them down even further. At one time clubs could provide players for international duty and replace them with reserves who were also internationals, as Everton have done in the past, but the shortage of talent at the moment is such that this is impossible. When the International tournament began many years ago Saturday who the only day on which organized football was played. One of the reasons for this, I believe, was that only on Saturday’s would the crowd watch football and that mid-week matches would not draw them.
I don’t think that would happen today. With nearly all of the big grounds fitted with floodlights that argument no longer stands up, I hope that at a future date internationals will be played during mid-week with scarcely any loss of support. Regarding players being let off to do duty for their country there are mixed points of view. Few clubs put obstacles in a player’s way when he has been picked for an international match one reason being that the more international players there are in a team the more successful the club is going to be, not only in the league, but from a financial point of view. There is nothing better had to have internationals in one’s side to bring in the public. There are some clubs that will not release players when they are selected for their country and after last Saturday this may become more prevalent unless internationals are played in mid-week. That would stop the grumbling and everyone would be happy, clubs players and supporters.
EVERTON TURN THE TABLES
April 28, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Nottingham Forest 0, Everton 3
One had to be at Nottingham to see how a football game could change as a result of one goal. The first half between Everton and Nottingham Forest showed Everton in a distinctly poor light. I had despaired of them long before the interval and had the Forest taken only a few of their chances. Everton would have been well and truly beaten in spite of O’Neill’s great work in the Everton goal. The Forest are not a great side, but Everton were even worse during the first half and I think if Thomson had one dangerous shot to save that was about it, for this Everton side had neither thrust nor spirit. A goal in the early minutes in the second half had, however, completely changed the picture. Where Forest had been the more dominating they now had to yield to a more powerful Everton. Why one goal would have such a drastic effect upon a side is beyond me. That in my view, is just the time for a team to buckle up its belt they do something about it. The Forest did just the reserve they simply threw a sponge. They had no fight left in them at all and Everton taking full advantage went on to give them a sound beating. Considering that there was nothing at stake and the ground was in perfect condition, here was an occasion for a top class display of football, if the teams were skilful enough to provide it. But neither the Forest nor Everton could provide this skill.
When the halfway stage was reached I thought that Forest would pile on even greater pressure. They had kept Everton on the defensive practically throughout the first half, yet they had got nothing to show for it. For the first few minutes of the second half it looked as though the Forest were going to repeat their performance. But then came Jimmy Harris’ goal at the 56th minute, and the Forest simply yielded to Everton’s superiority and went from bad to worse. Shortly after this goal Whare the Forest full back had to leave the field for the rest of the game. This unfortunately helped Everton. It did not however, take from them their ability to rise to the occasion. Everton had shown during the first ten minutes of the second half more drive and thrust, and danger than at any often period of the game and I was not surprised when they scored, for they had looked much more like doing so ever since the interval. Jimmy Harris had much for which to thank Fielding for that first and important goal which snuffled the Forest right out of the game. Fielding in fact played well throughout, but he got response in the second half from his colleagues and that made all the difference. And as surely as Everton improved so did the Forces deteriorate. A second goal came at the seventy-five minute when Brian Harris scored, and at eighty minute the same player got the third. Fielding had a hand in each of them. His control and his passes were appointed at times and his generalship had to be admired. He was operating mostly at outside right.
King In Command it was a complete turnabout such things do happen in football but even the most rabid Everton supporter could hardly believe that they could turn the tables so completely on their opponents. You have often heard the saying perpetual motion. Young John King, the Everton half-backs, got as close to it as was humanly possible. Where the fight was thickest there could be found King. O’Neill made several saves which were right out of the top drawer. If he had been beaten once or twice no one could have complained for the Forest during their period of supremacy made openings which simply called for goals. Perhaps the best saves were in the early part of the second half when he twice prevented Quigley from scoring and then clustered a fast rising Gray shot to prevent it passing under his bar. But he alone could not have saved Everton. Labone may have lacked a little experience but how he fought. In fact the Everton defence had to do quite a lot of fighting at one period, but when Jimmy Harris goal was on the Everton score card that was the finish of Forest to all intents and purposes. You would not have believed they were the same side that we had been watching in the first half. It did not matter a great deal for the result was of no great importance but one does not expect a side to wilt so seriously under one blow. That is what Forest did and Everton were only too pleased to take advantage of it. The Everton second half was as good as anything I have seen for some weeks.
BRIGHTEST EVERTON DISPLAY FOR WEEKS
April 28, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Another season is over and Everton have finish a shade higher than expected. Now they must set about putting their house in order for the coming season, at the present strength is not likely to finish any higher next year. Everton’s success at Nottingham was fantastic. Their first half display was as low as could be. Almost throughout they were on the defensive with not a “strike” of note from their forwards. If goalkeeper Thomson had two shots to save during that period it just about sums up Everton’s attempted scoring efforts, and with Nottingham Forest, playing as they were I could see nothing but defeat for the Blues. For long spells the Forest surged round the Everton goal yet at the half stage they had nothing to show for it. Mainly it was due to the watchfulness of O’Neill who had one of those games a goalkeeper dreams about. Maybe the high wind had something to do with Everton’s ineffectiveness for I understand it was quite strong on the pitch. If that was so them Everton did well to hold the opposition until the change round. O’Neill saved two great shots in the early minutes of the second half before Everton suddenly flared up saved a surprise goal at the 56th minute, and from that moment Forest were a beaten side.
I appreciate it must have been heartbreaking for them to know that they had the bulk of the play and then find themselves behind, but it is up to a team to make a fight back. Nottingham became spiritless and when Whare the full back, had to leave the field their cup of sorrow was full to over-flowing. But don’t blame the absence of Whare for the Forest defeat for they were beaten before he left. There could not have been a worse deterioration had Everton had a six goal lead. Throughout the game Fielding had wielded his spell. He slipped passes here he scooped them there all the time drawing the defence so that the recipient was in the clear. Take the first goal, Fielding’s centre was dropped on to the head of Jimmy Harris who rose higher than anyone else to beat Thomson. Everton then started to move smoothly and confidently. The depleted Notts defence could not cope and Brian Harris scored two further goals. The switching of the springly Jimmy Harris to centre forward was the master stroke for he brought some liveliness into a forward line which had previously produced little thrust. Brian Harris’s second half display was his best for some time, but let us thank the Everton defence for keeping the game “warm” when Nottingham was really calling the tune. Labone may lack experience but once he has acquitted that I think he is going to be a first-class player.
In their such a thing as perpetual motion? I think so now that I have seen Johnny King. Such energy and enthusiasm allied to a lot of football ability, was King’s share in this victory. Like several others in the side he lacked height and weight, but certainly not bulkiness. Don’t think this success has given the Everton people as exalted idea about the team for they are well aware that much added strength is perfect before the start of next season and the search will go on. Mr. Ian Buchan had not had one evening at home for the past month and the directors have travelled miles in their search for the men they want. They know they need first class players, not the up and coming boys. You would be surprised if you knew some of the names they have inquired about only to be told “nothing doing.”
TODD HURT AND EVERTON COLLAPSE
April 29, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Bolton Res 2, Everton Res 2
Leading 2-0 at the interval at Bolton last night against a team whose last win at home was gained on December 7. Everton Reserves looked like winning the last game of their Central league programme. But Todd their outside right was unable to play in the second half owing to a knee injury and Bolton took the opportunity given them to draw level. Temple (7 mins) and Hickson (31 mins) had scored good goals for Everton and Webster (65 mins) and Deakin (75 mins) put Bolton level. Everton gave a polished display when at full strength and Hickson was prominent in an exhibition of skilful leadership. He almost won the match with a last minute shot which hit the bar.
EVERTON’S NEW CHIEF SCOUT
April 30, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Harry Cooke, Junr, Chosen
Mr. Harry Cooke junior has been appointed to the position of full-time chief scout to Everton, which I announced some time ago was being instituted in preparation for a more determined effort by the club to put their scouting operations in a firm and secure for the future. Mr. Cooke is 32 has been with Everton since leaving school and was for a time on their books as an amateur player. He has been a sound performing on all the various aspects of the back-room work of a big club and latterly has been assistants with Ian Buchan the club’s chief coach and team selector on the administrative side of the players staff work. He is a grandson of Mr. Harry Cooke, the club’s veteran trainer and former first team attendant.