February 1, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton have been forced to a makeshift team against Luton Town whom they beat at Luton last September. The unfitness of Temple and Keeley means that there is some forward shuffling with Jimmy Harris reverting to centre forward –his original position –and Brian Harris taking over on the right wing, which is said to be his most suitable spot. Haughey comes in at inside-left for Keeley and little Graham Williams is at outside left. Everton’s League position after a first-class start, is not critical but it could be were they to continue dropping home points and falling in away games. True, the club have had their share of injuries, but it does seem that they may have denuded themselves, too early, of players whose presence at Goodison Park at this stage have been invaluable. Luton, whose manager Mr. Daily Duncan, was such an artist on the left wing recently transferred to Aston Villa full back, Les Jones. He will be set to prevent Matthews from having a happy birthday. Everton last League win at Goodison Park was so long ago one sometimes despairs of the spell being broken. To be candid the side they field today does not look capable of doing it. Luton strong-points are Baynham (in goal)l Dunne (at Back); Owen at centre half and Turner at centre forward. But Everton will have had inside information about Luton from former Luton trainer, Harry Wright, who is now with Everton. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Donovan; Birch, Jones, Meagan; Harris (B.), Thomas, Harris (J.), Haughey, and Williams. Luton Town; Baynham; Dunne, Hawkes; Morton, Owen, Pacey; Adam, Turner, Gregory, Groves, and McLeod.
CAN EVERTON REGAIN SOME OF THEIR LOST PRESTIGE?
February 1, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
After the anti-climax of last Saturday’s postponed cup-tie and the delayed-action thrills when the match was played on Wednesday, Everton return to the task of improving their League position this afternoon, when they meet Luton Town at Goodison Park. Everton will have to do much better than on Wednesday, when their mediocre display eased the task of the fine Blackburn side. Even if Everton had been at their best they would have had their work cut out to win; but that is poor consolation for the thousands of supporters likely to be vastly reduced in numbers today. There will still be the hard core remaining, however, however, and they will be anxious to see whether or not their team can regain some of the laurels lost. With Temple and Keeley both on the injured list, Jimmy Harris returns to his old place as leader of the attack, while Haughey plays his first senior game of the season, as partner to Williams. Haughey had three senior games towards the end of last term, but only recently returned to the Central League side after a pre-season cartilage injury. The visitors will not be an easy side to overcome, for they are fifth in the First Division table, with 32 points from 27 games. The rearguard must take a great share of the credit for this high placing, however, for only Wolves with 32 goals against, have a better defensive record than the Town, who have conceded 37. As far as the goals for are concerned, the picture is far less impressive and only five sides –one of them, Everton – have netted fewer than Luton tally of 45. Only 13 of these have been obtained in away games, and only Leeds and Arsenal have a worse scoring record on foreign soil. Lack of punch on tour has been the main reason for Luton’s mediocre away record, which is made up of four wins, two draws and seven defeats. They have taken all but six of the 28 points at stake on their own compact enclosure at Kenilworth Road, but in seven away games they have failed to score –including a cup-tie at Stockport –and in another they scored once but lost. In the six games in which they have netted, however, they have enjoyed good reward, winning 2-1 at Blackpool and Bolton 2-0 at Leeds and 3-1 at Chelsea, in addition to drawing 2-2 on Manchester City’s ground and 1-1 at Molineux against Wolves, who are well-nigh unbeatable at home.
To find Gordon Turner at the head of Luton’s scoring list is nothing new, for the inside right, son of a former Hull forward has occupied this position in each of the last four seasons and seems bound to do so again, for he has 21 goals and the next highest individual contribution is nine by Allan Brown, the former Blackpool player, who has recently been figuring at centre forward. Turner’s scoring exploits might well bring him some representative recognitition before long, Brown after four years in the “wilderness” was chosen in play in the Scotlish World Cup trial on Monday but the knee injury no sustained in a minor match at Brentford during the week not only keeps him out of to-day’s game, but also means that he will not be able to appear in the Edinburgh fixture –a cruel blow for one of soccer’s most unfortunate players. Town’s regular left half is Reg Pearce, a native of Liverpool, who was recruited from Winsford a few years ago and after falling to cut much ice in attack has settled down extremely well in the intermediate line. He too, is an absentee today because of injury, and young Dave Pacey will play only his third Football League match in his place. Pearce is a fine foil to the stalwart Bob Morton on the other flank, Morton being a strong attacking player –he has often led the attack – with over 300 senior games to his credit. Centre half Sid Owen has represented England, as has goalkeeper Ron Baynham, while rightback Seamus Dunne had played for Eire along with inside forward George Cummins the former Everton lad, who is no longer a regular in the Luton line-up.
With two players claiming 30 of the 45 goals, it is obviously the others have not greatly shone. Left winger McLeod and inside forward Groves each claim three of the remainder Morton, Cullen and Adam have two each, and Pearce, Cummins and an own goal by Kennedy of West Bromwich complete the total. The 5-1 defeat of the Albion ranks as Luton’s but home performsive. Their worst is considered to be trier rock-bottom display against Everton in September, when a goal by Fielding gave the Blues both points. Will Everton complete their first double of the season today.” They may do, but not without a hard struggle and a very substantial improvement on Wednesday’s display.
FREAK GOAL TYPIFIES EVERTON’S BAD LUCK
February 1, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Luton Town’s Defence Has A Charmed Life
Everton Nil, Luton 2
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Donovan (captain), backs; Birch, Jones, and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (B.), Thomas, Harris (J.), Haughey, and Williams, forwards. Luton Town; Baynham, goal; Dunne and Hawes, backs; Morton, Owen, and Pacey, half-backs; Adams, Turner, Gregory, Groves and McLeod, forwards. Referee; Mr. B.M. Griffiths (Newport). Following their exit from the Cup there was only a very small attendance for the visit of Luton Town, and the crowd looked to be below 20,000 when the players came out. Early defensive slips by Birch and Meagan let Luton through but apart from a shot straight to Dunlop by Turner, there was nothing for Everton to worry about. Everton won two quick corners on the right, neither of which brought them any advantage. Twice Jones stepped into the breach with clever interceptions. It was from his clearance of the second occasion that Jimmy Harris produced the first Everton shot of the match – a fierce drive which went across goal and out. Thomas did better a moment later, Baynham saving low down near the post. Jimmy Harris shot across goal for a second time, but when next he got a chance he did much better, bringing Baynham to his knees. Straight from the clearance Luton dashed away and Dunlop got the flat of his hand to a strong drive by Turner at close range. The first 20 minutes football had been of very ordinary standard. Apart from Jimmy Harris there had been no shooting worth mentioning from Everton, and not much from Luton, while the ball had been put into touch on many occasions by defenders who were in no difficulties.
The percentage of Everton passes going to white shirted opponents still remained disappointingly large. Little had been seen so far of Haughey making his first senior appearance of the season. He had one chance to break through on his own, but was not quick enough off the mark. Baynham almost misjudged a forty yards shot by Birch. He first came out for it, and then at the last second had to back pedal and stretch high to prevent it passing over his head. When Brian Harris robbed Owen and slipped the ball out to Williams a goal looked “on” for Everton. Unfortunately for them Williams’s shot which had Baynham beaten all the way, passed inches outside the far post. Everton were certainly doing far more shooting than Luton but much of it was badly directed. At the 31st minute the visitors took the lead with as freakish a goal as I have seen for years. Groves put a long ball to McLeod on the left wing and McLeod and Dunlop started running for it together. The ball did not enter the penalty area, so Dunlop was unable to pick it up. He tried to kick into touch, hit McLeod with it and when it rebounded Gregory had nothing to do but tap it into the untenanted goal. Everton did not deserve to be behind even allowing for their erratic finishing. They had far the a greater advantage territorially. Thomas beat two men on the edge of the penalty area, but put this final shot over the bar and then a corner by Brian Harris flashed inches across the face of goal beating a friend and foe alike. Then came the miss of the match, Jimmy Harris was right through when the bounce of the ball beat Owen. He took it forward a few yards and with only Baynham to beat, shot outside. Everton continued to do the bulk of the attacking and it seemed certain if only somebody could shoot a little better that they must eventually level matters. Donovan checked Adam neatly but the best bit of defensive work came from Jones, who dribbled his way out of trouble past three opponents. Half-time-Everton nil, Luton 1. Everton restarted as they had left off –well in command of the game territorially. They had the hardest of luck when, from a corner by Brian Harris, Thomas headed against the upright, Dunne booting the ball away. For several minutes, Luton were penned almost in their own penalty area, just hanging on by the skin of their teeth. Then once again Everton had the cruelest of luck to go further behind after enjoying territorial superiority. At the 59th minute Adams put the ball into the middle for Turner to fasten on to and beat two men, before Groves took over. Groves shot fiercely from 10 yards and though Dunlop saved his effort, the ball went straight back to Turner, now almost on the six yard line and that was that. Straight from the restart the Blues should have pulled one back but Thomas fired right cross goal from four yards range. This was not Everton’s lucky day Thomas had another chance from seven yards, but shot straight at Baynham who fisted the ball away. Then Baynham saved brilliantly against Williams flinging himself across the face of the goal and later he courageously dived at the feet of Brian Harris to prevent an almost certain goal. Baynham was hurt in the process and had to receive a attention before resuming. Everton kept pegging away with everybody in the Luton half except Dunlop. It seemed they must get a goal sooner or later but it had looked like that for a long time. Baynham who had earned his money already, was having a great day but he should have been beaten long before this. Baynham made another great save off Birch following a corner and Everton were hammering away with Luton’s defence sorely harassed but still keeping a clean sheet. The Luton goal continued to bear a charmed life. There was a hoodoo on all Everton’s shots and even one by Brian Harris from three yards was blocked away by Pacey. Final; Everton nil, Luton Town 2. Official attendance 26,908.
February 1, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton supporters are still very upset about what happened at Goodison on Wednesday night, and with good reason. They have two causes of complained, one very solid and the other a matter of opinion. let us take the more concrete case first, that of spectators whose admission money is accepted but who risk either being crushed, turned out of the ground, or not being able to see the game properly. I dealt fully on, Thursday with the manner in which the clubs could –and I hope well-tackle this responsibility, I will not repeat myself beyond stressing briefly again “that either” penning on the Hampden Park principle more crush barriers, or crowd limitation to an absolutely safe and comfortable margin must come into consideration. There is a definite responsibility on all clubs to unsure that those who enter their ground are guaranteed immunity from risk of injury. There is also the question of refunding money. At present those who pay not only risk postponement through whether, which is fair enough, but also paying for something they do not get through no fault of their own which in very different. All spectators compelled to leave the ground get no refund. A decidedly one-sided bargain. There is a moral responsibility on clubs to provide reasonable facilities for supporters to see what they pay for it, through no fault of spectators they cannot, then they should get their money back. Theatres, cinemas and other provides of entertainment could not get away with that sort of thing, and I see no reason why football clubs should, I trust this point will also be considered by those responsible. The other matter upon which Everton followers are waxing indignant is the poor showing of the team against Blackburn Rovers, to which I also made reference in mid-week. I have had many letters on this, as well as about overcrowding.
The following is a brief selection of the major points raised. The people who paid were not given a square deal. Hundreds never even saw the ball. If taxing cash off customers and then allowing then to sit on the steps for one and a half hours isn’t getting money under false pretences, I don’t know what is. It would do the directors good to spend their time the same way. Maybe they would then realize that but for the people who paid their 2s there would be no Goodison Park. The comfort of the spectators is never even thought of D.S Aintree.
Have the Home Office restrictions on attendances been repeated. The conditions at Goodison Park on Wednesday were appalling and very close to being dangerous. I got there over an hour beforehand, and selected what I thought was an advantageous position, but ten minutes before the start the chances of seeing anything were impossible. Later I left the ground. Goodison Park has the reputation of being the best in the country, and this is no doubt true, but no ground can stand the overloading that took place on Wednesday –John Talbot, Rumford Street Liverpool 2.
When are Everton going to play fair with their magnificent supporters and get them a team worthy of the name? For years now there have been obvious weaknesses and nothing has been done. When it was asserted that Everton would be the Arsenal of the North,” it was unconsciously right considering Arsenal’s present difficulties. People become suspicious of the policy of the Everton Board. Are they concerned with building a team of just making money? Our personal opinion is definitely the latter –R. Coyle, J. Chauveau and T. Campbell 52 Acheson Rd, Liverpool 15.
“Do not the great traditions of Everton mean anything anymore or are the directors concerned only with making money.” Not once since the war have Everton had a team worthy of the name. Their only hope of keeping in Division 1 is to buy players and remedy outstanding weaknesses –J. Beaman, 63 Goswell Street, Liverpool 15.
“Everton must be fair to their supporters. Thousands on Wednesday were disgusted and yet in their hearts before the game they doubted if the side was good enough. Play the game with the most loyal crowd in the country and give them a chance to be proud of you once again.- Cyril Smith, Liverpool 12.
All the other letters are couched in similar terms saying the same thing in slightly different words. There we can leave it for the moment. The crowd business requires attention without delay even though there may not be another game at Goodison this season, apart from the possibility of a semi-final or replayed Cup final, which will attract anything like Wednesday’s crowd. The question of the strength of the playing staff generally is one upon which I have had plenty to say in the past, and regarding which much though I deplore it, I am still afraid that my preseason forecast that the club would have a job keeping out of the last six may yet prove correct.
Tribute To Donovan
Although Donovan led Everton in their early success, the club captain was Farrell. Since Donovan took over as official captain Everton have not done so well, but no one can blame Donovan. Leading a team is difficult but leading a falling team is a real uphill task. He has played in four different positions and lost his place because he played at centre half. A captain of a winning team gets a lot of praise but I think Donovan deserves praise for leading a team that at times has seemed to have lost confidence.- B. Dooley, Drill Hall House, Grange Road West Birkenhead.
GOOD LUCK BLACKBURN YOU DESERVED TO WIN
February 1, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
Last Wednesday’s match against Blackburn Rovers was a big disappointment to the Everton players and followers. In the first 20 minutes Blackburn played some good football and deserved to take the lead with a goal by Dobing, but it was unfortunate for our left half Mick Meagan, to head into his own net to give the Rovers their second goal. A goal from Jimmy Harris put us on top to half-time but with Jack Keeley and Derek Temple passengers for the rest of the game due to injury we lost most of our punch. Taking the game on the whole, Blackburn deserved their victory, I wish them luck in the competition.
I Go To Anfield
Last Saturday as Goodison Park was unfit, for play along with members of the Everton team I went across the park to see Liverpool playing Northampton. Many supporters have asked me why, when we have an afternoon off, we don’t give the game a rest. This is out of the question because we so seldom get the opportunity of watching a match. When the chance goes arrive we go to improve our own game. I find that there is always something to learn. Many old timers have told me that today’s football bears the stamp of ex-players who have become managers. As I didn’t see the majority of them playing I have to take their word for this but I believe the style of football they played is evident in the play of the teams under them. For instance I understand that as a centre half with Wolverhampton Wanderers Stan Cullis played a strong game, but he could use the ball in a manner that was useful rather than delicate. Now Wolves are combining those asserts, skill and strength to produce a style much different from that of days gone by. Wolves base their success on being able to move into attack as a unit and so being more constructive in their use of the ball. Their defensive set up is one of the best in the country –first to the ball and strong to the tackle. I believe they are trying to play better football now. Certainly they are creating interest and doing more for the game as a spectacle.
At Stamford Bridge
At Chelsea Ted Drake relies on young players. In the days at Arsenal was a forceful leader and took a lot of punishment but in doing so created many openings for his team mates. He was the strong man to the forward line. Yes, Ted Drake played the tear away type of centre forward game but he was always fait in his keenness to get up the ball. How well he succeeded can be seen by the results of the Arsenal team at that time. As a manager he has concentrated on young because he finds that the youngsters are able to take a lot of knocking about and still come back for more. Perhaps the manager who has done more for the game in the last few years is Matt Busby. In his playing days with Liverpool and Manchester City he was a bundle of energy. In his playing days at Liverpool and Manchester City at half back he kept his forwards well supplied with the right type of ball. His motto was attack and now that policy is evidence at Old Trafford.
February 3, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Luton Town 2
By Leslie Edwards
Statistics compiled for me by colleagues Ian Hargreaves show a remarkable state of Everton and Liverpool affairs in recent times and an even more remarkable record of the success of the clubs, in the matter of customers. Thus, of their last eighteen League matches Everton have won one –at Bolton. Of their last ten League matches Liverpool have won only three. Yet Everton’s total attendance at Goodison Park (including friendlies and Cup-ties) number some 845,900 and Liverpool’s over the same period touch the 749,000 mark. These attendances must be near-record, certainly the fact has Everton were watched on Saturday by about 50,000 fewer spectators than saw their previous game three days before is unique. And while in the topic of Everton crowds out it on record that the steps Everton have decided to take to obviate crushing concern penning of terraces after the style of Hampden Park, I understand that it has of been decided whether the divisions of the pens will be of concrete or not. One of the penning difficulties is that spectators must be channeled from certain turnstiles to the appropriate spot. Possibly a Goodison Park which is a minor edition of Hampden Park would be able to house 75,000 in comfort. Following Everton’s defeat by Luton a section of the crowd in front of the directors box made a mild demonstration. Among less musing advices one heard “So now we know why the Entertainment Tax was taken off.” There was little enough entertainment about this latest Everton; yet one might plead that there were for them, extenuating circumstances.
I wonder what that Everton warrior of other days, Ernie Gault thought about it? It was he who told me prior to the match of the death, at Chester of the former Everton and Liverpool goalkeeper, Frank Mitchell. No wonder we think kindly one their careers end, of men whose valour between the sticks impresses us in their playing days. Here was the former England goalkeeper, Baynham; in such form that when he looked like being beaten his goal became liberally draped with horse-shoes –all of them right side up and not allowing any luck to drip out. The Everton side whose attack was so changed were given early indication of Baynham’s ability. He went down to their feet with courage, he saved at the foot of the post, and a Thomas shot from point-blank range. And so it went on with little Graham Williams unluckiest when steering a low shot inches wide of the far post and Jimmy Harris, clean through, shooting too hurriedly and too excitedly to hope to fired target. Thus, with the game half gone Everton had failed from half-a-dozen changes and Luton had scored freakishly. Dunlop’s excursion towards the touch line and beyond the confines of his penalty box seemed to have succeeded when he lashed the ball towards the stands but Groves somehow contrived to get his body in the way and the ball rebounded squarely for young Gregory to stroll on to and scores as he pleased. When Luton, scored again through Turner Everton’s case looked pretty hopeless, but Baynham, it was, who really got them through. His flying save of a shot by Graham Williams was brilliant. Luck came to his aid when Jimmy Harris nodded Brian Harris’s corner kick downward on to the post, from which the ball rebounded to be kicked to safely.
Not So Unlucky
I heard it argued that Everton were unlucky to lose, I agree they had unlucky moments, but if they are guilty of bad shooting and when they are not find the goalkeeping in top form they have only themselves to blame. Luton seemed to ease up once they led 2-0 and their general play, especially that of the attack, was of higher standard than any of Everton’s, hard as Everton tried. Haughey has football, but in the hot pace of Division 1, he is rarely allowed to show it. Graham Williams whose smallness is one of his handicaps has ideas and possesses a good shot, but who could say that this left-wing pair succeeded? Jimmy Harris brought zip into the centre forward position; Thomas who impressed me more and more every time I see him –I think he is destined for the game’s highest honours –did many things well and some of them brilliantly. Everton looked tried as well they might be after two hard games on surfaces heavy enough to test anyone’s stamina. Meagan and Birch strove well to get the side going and Jones had a good match, too; but this was not Everton’s day. The crowd’s disgust a defeat should be tempted by the fact that the side made more good chances than in most of their recent games. It was the chance-missing which was so costly. Luton have in Groves (son of the old Derby County player) one of the youngest and cleverest of inside forwards. Owen usually the impeccable half-backs, made two first half blunders of such magnitude the miracle was a goal did not come from each. It was as well for Everton the Luton centre was Gregory and not Alan brown. The story might have been different if Gregory had been more experienced.
AS YOU SEE IT
February 3, 1958. The Liverpool Daily
The Team Should Come First
Sir- no doubt Ian Buchan will be pleased to hear of his further term of contract as Everton’s manager but he has little reason to be pleased with his team on its showing against Blackburn. It is clear to all sensible football-minded people that the cheque book will have to be used and used quickly to have a team worthy of the club’s name and of its followers. I have followed Everton for the past thirty years (granted only seeing the odd match or two each year) but never have I seen such a weak trio of inside forwards as Thomas, Temple, and Keeley. It doesn’t say much for the reserves for these positions. The wing halves gave a very poor show as well so it’s good to know that Tommy Jones never plays at bad game. Floodlights and cocktail bars, &c, may be all right but the team should be the first consideration of the Directors. A.P. Kermode, P.S –And by the way, I did not think highly of the decision in cancelling Saturday’s match on that morning. It cost me two plane return trips to see them defeated. Seaways, King William’s Road Castletown.
SHEFF UNITED RES 1 EVERTON RES 1
February 3, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res were well below their best form at Bramell Lane, but, however, fortunate their goal, it provided a useful away point. an early gap down the middle was effectively closed by Labone, and though United were territorially stronger, the scheming of Hagan and Hamilton was brought to nought by the first time clearance of Tansey and Leeder. Todd was the best of the Everton forwards, it was a centre by Todd that Loyland turned into his own net when rushing back. Sheffield’s equalizer was scored by Hagan who at forty is playing his last season.
EVERTON’S OUTLOOK IS GETTING EVEN WORSE
February 3, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
If I had a fiver for every time I have written here about Everton’s lack of finish and woeful waste of scoring openings I would be rich enough to buy them some forwards who know what to do with the ball in front of goal. This has been their besetting weakness years. It is no bogey which has suddenly and unexpectedly cropped up. there has for too long been too much emphasis on fancy approach work without the power to round it off with the only things, that count in the final reckoning. They had enough gilt-edged and half-chances to have beaten a very ordinary looking Luton side, whose high position in the table, at least on this showing, flatters them considerably. Everton could have won this match by almost as big a margin as their former manager’s team. Preston North End, defeated Birmingham City. But they had no luck at all a partly because of the good work of Baynham and some of his co-defenders but just as much because they themselves were unable to seize opportunities which were there for the taking. Instead of taking two points they lost by two unlucky goals, one of them the most freaklish I have seen for years. They might even have been beaten by a still larger margin, despite the few assaults which Luton made upon the home goal. Chief Coach Ian Buchan discusses the previous Saturday’s match with the players every Tuesday and goes into the whys and wherefores of defeat. He should have plenty to talk about tomorrow’s post mortem. With their tremendous territorial superiority, their countless scoring chances, and their ratio of about ten shots to everyone by Luton. Everton should have had this game well won long before the finish. There were sustained periods when Dunlop was the only man in the Everton half. There were minutes on end when Luton were reduced to desperate and dogged defence and to kicking anywhere to gain a little respite. Yet not a single goal could Everton produce. For the major portion it was scrappy and unenterprising football by both sides with the long-suffering spectators – reduced in numbers to a mere 26,000 odd, or 50,000 less than on the previous Wednesday night-looking on in pained bewilderment at the impotency of the Everton forwards and the disappointing display of the wing halves. It would not be true to say that Everton did not have a few good shots. No team could possibly have failed to produce some with the countless openings that came Everton’s way. But those that were on the target were only a small proportion of the total that were attempted and most of them were almost straight at Baynham. The few that were not brought forth excellent saves from the Luton goalkeeper who was the outstanding player on the field. I reckon that Everton had not far short of nine-tenths of the game territorially. Not for ages, have I seen one side so consistently penned in its own quarters as Luton were for long stretches in the first half and almost all the second half except the last five minutes. It was fantastic that Everton could not score. In many ways this was a game to make loyal supporters weep. They slammed in erratic shots, they kicked the ball against opponents, they missed sitters, but never had a clue to breaking down Luton’s defence.
Best of A Bad Bunch
The switching of Jimmy Harris to centre-forward although unavoidable was not successful. He is far more useful on the right wing. Brian Harris was no better at outside right than outside left Williams had one good shot which almost scraped the upright and another brilliantly saved by Baynham, but did nothing else to get enthusiastic over, while Haughey was rarely in the game at all. That left Thomas as the best of a bad bunch, and even he was not without blame in missing a couple of reasonable chances. The wing-halves were well below form. Many times Birch and Meagan were so slow that Luton players who started from yards behind overhauled them and took the ball off their toes. Birch’s distribution was terribly poor, and Meagan’s nothing like what it used to be. Only the backs and Jones came out of the ordeal with anything like credit. Jones was the best defender, giving stability and confidence to his colleagues on the rare occasions Luton got away. Dunlop had next to nothing to do, and I do not altogether blame him for the first goal. Finding himself outside the penalty area he tried to kick the ball into touch. Instead it struck McLeod, bounded back some twenty yards to the penalty box, and Gregory had all the goal to shoot at and nobody to hamper him. Though not so freakish, the second goal was also tinged with good fortune, for when Dunlop saved a point-blank shot, from Groves, the ball bounced back right to his feet of Turner who, unlike some of the Everton forwards, does not miss grits of this nature. It is no good dismissing this latest and most disappointing display as just another off day. There have been too many of them of late. They are robbing the side of what little confidence it has had lately –the two Sunderland cup-ties excepted –and opens up gloomy fears for the future.
The defeat would have been more palatable had Luton played football comparable with their high position in the table. They did not. They looked one of the poorest sides we have seen at Goodison this season. Where do we go from here? Search me! It is a welcome thought that Dave Hickson even though he too has not been up to expectations recently, will be available from now on, but one man can hardly be expected to turn Everton, on their recent showings, into a hard-hitting and successful side. I was accused in more than one quarter of being too pessimistic and spreading despondency when I said in a preseason renew that Everton would have a job keeping out of the last six and that they had parted with some of their more experienced players too hurriedly. For a time it looked as though I had been well off the beam. Now the chickens are coming home to roost, but that fact gives me no pleasure. I would rather have been proved wrong all through. What of the future? The club badly needs first class experienced forwards and at least one equally experienced wing-half. There are other needs too, if the future is not going to resolve itself into yet another of the many post-war fights against relegation. It’s a poor outlook.
Everton Tackle Crowd Problem
Everton’s ground committee is now engaged on a full-scale investigation of every possible scheme to obvert crushing similar to that which happened last Wednesday. They have already had discussions on the matter, and will meet technical experts in another day or two. Several schemes are under considerations, but no definite decision has been taken. A member of the committee assured me today that they are determined to do everything possible to ensure the future comfort and safely of spectators and will if necessary even go beyond the technical experts recommendations to make doubly sure that all will be satisfactory.
THIS MUST NOT GO ON EVERTON!
February 4, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
One of the biggest disappointments for Merseyside soccer enthusiasts, particularly those who favour attending Goodison Park, has been the steady decline, in the fortunes of Everton, whose supporters must now be growing a little worried as to what the future has in store for their favorities. In the easily part of the season it appeared as though the side were going to have some say of the destination of the championship honours for they fulfilled their opening twelve fixtures and suffered only one defeat. Eighteen points were collected for those engagements by means of seven victories and four drawn games the defeat suffered being inflicted on them by the League champions, Manchester United at Old Trafford. The thirteenth League game however, which resulted in a 3-1 defeat at Preston, seems to have started a change of fortune for Everton, because since then the club have gradually dropped lower and lower in the League table. The latest defeat by Luton Town has now left Everton occupying fourteenth position with 26 points from 28 games. Unless there is a larger return to winning always in the very near future the club may find themselves involved in a stern struggle to keep away from the relegation zone.
Failure to win home matches has been the main cause for the Goodison side’s decline for not since they beat Sunderland 3-1 on September 4, have they defeated any opponents in a League match at home. Since that September success Everton have played a further ten home League games from which only seven points have been retained. Everton, have however, won a home Cup-tie strangely enough against Sunderland –a replayed fourth round –but to offset this they lost the fifth round tie against Blackburn Rovers at Goodison Park. Everton’s record for home League games since that success over Sunderland in September reads;- V. Arsenal drew 2-2; v. Burnley drew 1-1, v. West Bromwich drew 1-1, v. Birmingham lost 0-2, v. Blackpool drew 0-0, v. Sheffield Wed drew 1-1, v. Nottingham Forest drew 1-1, v. Bolton drew 1-1, v. Aston Villa, lost 1-2, v. Luton Town lost 0-2. It is heartening to know that Dave Hickson will again be available to lead the attack and I expect to see him in the team to play Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, next Saturday and the team celebrate his return by capturing both points.
BOTH CLUBS PLAN TO ENSURE CROWD SAFELY
February 4, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s followers, and not only those who suffered crushing at last week’s Cup-tie with Blackburn Rovers, will welcome the news given yesterday that the Ground Committee is thoroughly examining every possible way of abviating similar complaints in future. It is equally pleasing to know that the Liverpool are also tackling the same problem in relation to crowd control for games at Anfield likely to attract large attendances, and that in their case as well everything will be done to ensure the safety of the club’s supporters. As one who has written on this tonic so often in the past and pleaded so frequently for safely measures to be instituted before and not after something regrettable has happened as was the case with the Bolton disaster, I am graftied that both our senior clubs are tackling this problem promptly and energetically. They have led, the way to years gone by in providing cover for their loyal supporters and if in the future as now seems likely, those same stanch followers can watch all matches in reasonable and crushless comfort, it will be a step in the right direction. I hope other clubs whose grounds from time to time held similar big crowds will take a leaf from the “Liverton” book. This matter is of such vital importance that it demands further elaboration and comment and I had conversations yesterday with members of the Ground Committee of both clubs to find out exactly what was in mind in each case. I was impressed by facts given in a long talk with one of the members of the Everton Committee which clearly showed that he and his colleagues have no intention of letting the grass grow under their feet. They have fully made up their minds that nothing shall ever happen again similar to what took place last Wednesday. If they deem it advisable they will even go beyond the recommendations of the technical and other experts to make doubly sure, in their own minds, that no matter how big future attendances may be, not a single paying customer will be subject to discomfort or possible injury. We cannot ask for any more than that. Members of the committee had a meeting at Goodison immediately after last week’s incident and spoke with several spectators who were in the vicinity of the worst crushing before they left, the ground. They have since gone into the position further and have consulted members of the ground staff, police and others in a position to give them helpful information. Several schemes are under consideration. Some can be put into operation quickly, others may take longer. But I am assured neither expense nor any other consideration will be allowed to impede their adoption.
One idea which can soon be implemented in the position of crush barriers, at right angles to the existing ones at certain points where the pressure a usually worst. This is mainly in the vicinity of the church end and the Goodison Road-Stanley Park corner. There new barriers would stop the lateral swaying in these areas and would be a step in the right direction. But this is only one of several schemes and a comparatively minor one. Other’s under consideration involve a system of penning by similar barriers at right angles to the pitch. Another is an idea similar to that installed in the paddock some time ago, whereby people coming up to the terraces from the turnstiles are distributed more evenly over the whole of the available space by a barrier near the top of the stairs. This forces them to go either right or left on the terraces instead of all congregating around the as so many do in the desire to make a quick get away at the final whistle.
Once having more or less segregated the onlookers the question arises of having some indication of the number of spectators in each section. This may be solved by the ingenious idea of having lighted indicators showing how much accommodation remains in each section, which would be visible to the public as well as the turnstile men. Instead of showing how many people are in each section, the indicators would show only how many more people can be admitted. The benefit of this is obvious. Anybody going to a turnstile indicating room for only a few more people would take a quick glance at the other indicators and naturally make for the one where the available space was greater. There are other ideas under consideration but I have said sufficient already to make it clear that this matter is being tracked by the Ground Committee in a vigorous and business fashion, and I am satisfied from the information I have already that Everton mean to leave nothing to chance. When the improvements have been carried out there should be no fear in the mind of anybody paying for admission that he or she may be in either bodily danger or may not get a proper view of the game.
AS YOU SEE IT
February 5, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
He Wants Information Illuminated
Sir – I was present at the Cup-tie (Everton v. Blackburn Rovers) and had great difficulty in following the game due to the swaying and crushing which occupied. I was also present at another cup-tie shortly after the war (Manchester United v. Liverpool), also at Goodison Park which attracted 75,000 spectators, but I do not recall any difficulty in seeing the game in reasonable comfort. In view of the chaotic conditions experienced last Wednesday I am sure the time has come when clubs should take precautions against a recurrence of those conditions. My suggestion would be to divide the terrace into pens, each pen being served by two of three turnstiles. A system of illuminated numbers showing the capacity of each pen should be situated centrally over each group of turnstiles and visible to the would be spectators, to the police and to the gatesmen. An electrical device should be attached to each turnstile, which would say after each ten clicks reduce the number on the indicator correspondingly. It would then be possible for the intending spectators to – Ascertain the prospects of gaining admission to a particular pen. –Ascertain the prospects of seeing the game in reasonable comfort after admission. –A.N. Nelson, 18 Church Road, Maghull.
February 5, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton make no fewer than seven changes for their away game with Blackpool, though three of them are positional and the others are due to the return of Hickson after his suspension and the recovery from injury of Tansey, Temple, and Rea. With the return of Tansey, Donovan switches to right back to the exclusion of Sanders. Rea supplants Birch, and with Hickson now available to resume at centre forward the two Harris boys resume their usual positions on the wings. Temple returns at inside left, in place of Haughey. The team reads;- Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Temple, Harris (B).
There is still a slight doubt attaching to Temple following his ankle injury in the Blackburn Cup-tie but it is hoped he will be thoroughly fit before Saturday.
Kirby’s Trail Run
Kirby is having a trial run in the Central League side against Blackpool following his recent ankle injury when he had to have a piece of chipped bone removed. Sanders and Birch are also in the reserve team, which reads;- O’Neill; Sanders, Hillsdon; Birch (k.), Labone, King, Todd, Mackay, Kirby, Ashworth, Williams.
February 6, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton’s patch-work side made so many chances (and took so few) against Luton it would have been interesting if they had a further run together. Instead we revert to something like the old order with Dave Hickson’s period of suspension finished and such as Temple and Tansey fit again. Here again, there is a surprise in the omission of young Sanders at right back. Dan Donovan who skippers the side takes his place. One would have thought that Sanders had done sufficient at a difficult time to maintain his place. Tansey returns to left back, Rea takes over at right half back from Ken Birch and Temple and Hickson return so that the two Harrises Brian and Jimmy, go back to their places on the wings. Though Temple is in the side there is a slight doubt about his fitness. Were he and young Thomas to find their best form it is just possible that Blackpool and Joe Smith and company might find themselves handsomely beaten as Bolton did at Christmas. But if this Everton formation does not click there can only be stormy weather ahead. The long glide from near top of the table to near the other end of it has been (except for that astonishing win at Bolton) a dreary procession with Cup defeat by Blackburn only emphassing the difficulties.
AS YOU SEE IT
February 6, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Fugitive From Soccer Desert…
Sir –Thanks you for your article of last Friday concerning the overcrowding at last Wednesday’s Cup tie at Goodison Park. It is good to know that someone has the interest of the cash customers at heart. Do the authorities at both Anfield and Goodison Park realize how high a proportion of their support is derived from the soccer desert of North Wales to which the nearest oasis is the city of Liverpool and what is involved for such supporters in terms of time trouble and expense? Surely they and no less the more realized hard core of supporters are entitled to better than disgusting and dangerous overcrowding experience at both grounds again this season. Having been over three hours under the main stand at the match you refer to, it is my opinion that had the same conditions been applied to animals the R.S.P.C.A would quickly and rightly have been in action. Financial consideration should not be allowed to impede the provision on deeper terracing allied to greater segregation of the crowd, by means of more entrances to smaller pens on the Wembley patten. Failing this the only safe alternative is for a crowd limit well below the so-called capacity. Please continue your efforts in this direction in the ultimate interest of everyone concerned. –F.A. Woolley, Knance. Pine Grove, Rhos-on-Sea
Sir –So a large proportion of the football-minded public of Merseyside decided last Saturday to call the bluff of the Everton directors by making themselves absentees and about time too. As if we haven’t suffered enough this season, they now announce that two further matches have been arranged. They certainly believe we are gluttons for punishment. It’s about time the directors realized that there is only ONE thing we are interested in and that is a good Everton team, something we haven’t had for the last ten years. It is much effort was put into providing a team as goes into telling us what a wonderful ground Goodison is on how happy we could be. J. Curry, Arbour Lane, Kirkby.
EVERTON SHOULD NOW SHOW IMPROVEMENT
February 7, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton, away to Blackpool may have a better chance of bringing back a point than some folk appear to thin, for not only are the Seasiders none too good at home, but Everton held a stronger forward formation. The admirers who comprise the bulk of Everton supporters but what is more to the point is likely to bring greater stability and extra finishing power to the attack. Hickson should refreshed and invigorated by his enforced three weeks “holiday” –unfortunately without pay –determined to show that the Hickson of a couple of years back has not lost his zip and scoring ability. Everton’s display against Luton last week despite its disappointment had at least the saving grace that plenty of scoring chances were carved out. If they can repeat that tomorrow they surely cannot miss them to the same extent again. Though they may find it harder to create quick so many openings against the Blackpool defence, which would necessarily mean lesser shooting opportunities I feel that on balance, bearing in mind some of Blackpool’s indifferent home displays this season they should not be written off too hurriedly. They are in with a chance of a point at least and possibly something better if they click as they were doing a few months ago.
Last week there was a bombshell from the Bloomfield Road camp in the announcement that Manager Joe Smith had been sacked, adding yet another to the growing total of managerial heads that are rolling in the dust. Joe Smith, one of the few remaining “characters” left in modern football, has done splendid work for Blackpool on a shoe string budget during his long association with the club. While I am not in a position to express an opinion on all that has been going on behind the senses one would have thought that Mr. Smith’s experience could still have been put to good advantage by the club, if only in a consultative role. Blackpool have suffered six defeats at Bloomfield Road this season, some of them by quite substantial margins. Everton badly need a victory or two to give their supporters more hope for the future,. It is becoming increasingly clear now that the early season form was too good to last. On the light grounds they looked a good side. Since they have gone back. But I still feel they are not so bad as some people have made out. I hope I am right. Blackpool; Farm; Garrett, Wright; Kelly (J.), Gratrix, Kelly (H.); Matthews, Taylor, Charnley, Durie, Perry. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J.), Thomas, Hickson, Temple, Harris (B.).
FITNESS NOT CAUSE OF OUR DEFEATS
February 8, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
Everton’s home defeats by Blackburn Rovers and Luton Town set our supporters tongues wagging. They say that our bad spell of late is due to the fact that we are not as fit as when the season opened, and that we were lagged out at the closing stages of our two most recent games. Whenever things are going badly for a team and the critics are running short of reasons for its downfall they often fall back on the old adage and say the team is not fit enough. But at Goodison this is not true. Our day to day training stint is pretty stiff, but I guarantee there is not one professional footballer in a hundred who does not realize the importance of training and keeping himself in the peak of fitness as a duty to himself and to his club. In this respect I can say that at Everton we players need no encouraging to train. Some of the lads are so keen that Mr. Buchan, Harry Wright, Gordon Watson and Stan Bentham who supervise all training sessions, have to keep a watchful eye to see that they don’t overdo it.
I think it is unfair to suggest that the team failures are due to lack of effort in training. I am not saying that certain teams haven’t finished stronger than Everton in some matches but the main reason for that is greater ability on the day’s play. The team that is playing well does not do half as much running about as the team that is struggling. I have heard it said that at the start of the season Everton ran the opposition into the ground. What actually happened was that we struck such brilliant form that the opposition ran themselves into the ground chasing a ball that was constantly being switched from wing to wing, man to man. Consequently our opponents finished a more tired team than we did, but I wouldn’t say that we were fitter. There is hardly any difference in the 22 teams in the First Division as regards fitness.
How much do football league teams train? At Goodison our normal programme does not change by more than an hour with any other club. At this part of the season our times are 9.45 to noon ever weekday, perhaps one or two afternoon sessions of approximately an hour with a full scale practice match now and then on Tuesday mornings. It is very important to be able to strike the right balance of peak fitness without getting stale. It is quite wrong to think that the more hours a player puts into training the fitter he will be. I feel that five mornings a week is sufficient to keep me in the best of trim, with the game on Saturday to round off the perfect balance of fitness. Once or twice this season I have said that with a bit more luck we might have had more points than we have and that has never been better illustrate than in the match against Luton last Saturday. It would be true to say, that we were in the Luton half of the field for about 80 minutes of the game, but still the goals did not come our way. Jimmy Harris hit the inside of the post with a header and the remainder of the forwards slammed in shot after shot, but to no avail. It was unbelievable that we did not score. On many occasions Baynham the Luton keeper was brilliant but in a number of instances shots were blocked by defenders. Luton’s first goal was freakish to say the least. I can even remember seeing a goal scored like it before. Albert Dunlop reading the play well advanced to take a ball from McLeod, the Luton winger. Finding that he was outside the penalty area he decided to kicking into touch. Unfortunately his clearance struck McLeod on the back, rebounding to our goal line where Gregory had the easiest of chances. Their second goal was well taken after Albert had made a very good save from Groves who had the whole goal to shoot it. His save rebounded to Turner who found the net. That finished what flight we had if we had scored at any period of the game I believe we would not have forfeited both points.
I know that my good friend Bill Liddell has expressed the sympathy of his Liverpool colleagues with Manchester United in the tragic which has befallen that great club, and I would like on behalf of Everton, to add the sympathy of all at Goodison Park. We feel that especially for all the relatives who have been in tragically bereaved in the hour of United’s triumph at Belgrade. Many of us at Goodison were personally acquainted with some of the Manchester players quite beyond the normal meetings we have with them on the field, we shall remember them always with esteem and affection, and join in the sorrow which is today felt in the homes of so many Manchester people.
EVERTON RES V BLACKPOOL RES
February 8, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Reserves; O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Hillsdon, back; Birch, Labone, and King, half-backs; Todd, McKay, Hood, Haughley, and Williams, forwards. Blackpool Reserves;- Hardling, goal; Armfield and Frith, backs; Houser, Snoeden, and Salt, half-backs; Harris, Peterson, Mudie, Lythgoe and Buchanan, forwards. Referee; Mr. G.D. Swinton (Stafford). Both sets of players found it difficult to keep a foothold on the treacherous surface. Blackpool were the first to be dangerous when a shot from Mudie almost eluded O’Neill. A pass back from Armfield fell short of Harding and Hood intercepted but his shot rebounded to safely off the Blackpool goalkeeper. This started the move from which Mudie put Blackpool ahead. After 12 minutes play Everton lost Labone with a head injury. Despite the centre half’s absence, however, Everton equalized when Hood shot first time from Todd’s centre. Labone returned to the field after six minutes absence. Blackpool were the more impressive team, probably because they kept the ball on the wings as much as possible. O’Neill conceded the game’s first corner in turning round the post a strong drive from Lythgoe. Splendid work by Buchanan gave Mudie a chance but the Scottish international shot wide from a good position. Right on the interval Everton were ahead when Salt sliced a kick over his goalkeeper’s head into the net.
Half-time; Everton Res 2, Blackpool Res 1.
SO EVERTON WATCHED LIVERPOOL
February 10, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
For the second time in a fortnight, snow took a heavy toll of Saturday’s football programme. Among the matches postponed was the Blackpool v. Everton one at Blackpool owing to the dangerous state of the ground. Early on Saturday morning there was a covering of two inches of snow on the pitch but a thaw set in and washed much of the snow away but left an icy ground. Everton learned of the cancelation on arrival at their hotel in Preston. It was them decided to return to Liverpool and go to the match. Liverpool v. Charlton at Anfield Road. Just before the scheduled kick-off times all 18 First and Second Division matches in Scotland had been postponed.
THE FAVOURITE FIGURE –TWO
February 12, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s team for Saturday’s home game with Leicester City will be the same as that chosen for last week’s game with Blackpool, which was postponed owing to the condition of the pitch at Bloomfield Road. This means that there are seven changes compared with the team in the last fixture against Luton. Hickson comes back after his lay-off has been extended by a week, so that Saturday’s game will be his first for a month and Tansey also returns after a similar absence although he has had one Central League outing in the meanwhile. Donovan reverts to right back, Rea will be immediately in front of him, and Temple becomes the sixth inside left this term with the two Harrises back in their usual places on the wings. In October, Everton forced a draw at Filbert Street in a game in which Hogg netted direct from a corner kick and Fielding scored what could prove to be last goal in senior soccer. All Evertonians sincerely hope that this is not the case. John Doherty from Manchester United, was a Leicester debutant that day, but he has not been in the side in recent weeks. Nor has another signing Newman from Birmingham, who was brought in at the beginning of November to bolster up a defence which promptly conceded 14 goals in his first three games.
City have improved somewhat since then, however, winning four of their last seven matches the most recently by 6-1 against Aston Villa last Saturday. The record shot an odd feature of post-war Everton clashes with Leicester, for in all the nine meetings one side or the other has scored twice and this season’s earlier game was the fifth 2-2 draw, and the fourth in succession.
EVERTON CAN BREAK SPELL
February 14, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s followers, who have waited longer for another home victory this season than in any of their previous post-war campaign –it is now five months since the last League success at Goodison –should have the opportunity of hailing one tomorrow when Leicester City provide the opposition. Leicester hardly took to be in the same class as Luton Town, yet against the latter Everton could have won handsomely if they had been able to turn into goals even half of the chances they created. The same has happened in other matches. They surely cannot go on much longer in that vein sooner or later the ratios between chances and goals must level itself out it if does not, then they are in for a sticky time in the future. The return of Hickson and the consequent reversion to their normal positions of the Harris boys should bring about an improvement while Temple and Thomas if they add that little extra punch in finishing which could make so much difference could help towards a more virile Everton attack.
The reversion of Donovan to right back and the return of Tansey and Rea after injury reproduces the defensive formation which did so well in the early part of the season. If it similarly reproduces the solidity and confidence so marked at that period then Leicester’s chances will be correspondingly reduced. The Midlanders, however, so desperately need the points to stave off the threat of relegation that they are sure to put up a hard fight. They have been doing a good deal better lately, having registered four wins in their last six League games including one away engagement at Bolton. That apart Leicester have only one other victory to their credit in away matches when they defeated Tottenham Hotspurs, who in turn got ample revenge by knocking the Midlanders out of the cup in the third round. All the other 12 away games in which Leicester have taken part have been lost, with the concessions of 49 goals. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J.), Thomas, Hickson, Temple, Harris (B.). Leicester –Anderson; Cunningham, Balliet; Morris, King, Russell; Riley, Welsh, Hines, Walker, Hogg.
LEICESTER AT GOODISON
February 15, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton team for their First Division encounter with Leicester City at Goodison Park (3 o’clock kick-off) will be the same as the one which was chosen to play Blackpool at Bloomfield Road which was postponed owing to the pitch being unfit. Dave Hickson making his first appearance since his suspension leads the Everton attack and is sure of a rousing reception. Other players returning to the side from the one defeated by Luton Town in the last home game are Tansey, Rea and Temple. Leicester’s right winger, Riley failed to pass a fitness test yesterday and his place will be filled by McDonald. Last week the Leicester attack struck top form and registered a 6-1 victory over Aston Villa with Riley and Hogg each getting a couple of goals. Teams; Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J.), Thomas, Hickson, Temple, Harris (B.). Leicester –Anderson; Cunningham, Ballie; Morris, King, Russell; Riley, Welsh, Hines, Walker, Hogg.
EVERTON GAIN LEAD THEN LOSE IT IN THE GOODISON MUD
February 15, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan (captain) and Tansey, backs; Rea, Jones and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Temple, and Harris (B), forwards. Leicester City;- Anderson, goal; Cunningham and Ballie, backs; Morris, King, and Russell, half-backs; McDonald, Welsh, Walker, Hines, and Hogg, forwards. Referee; Mr. G.W. Pullin (Bristol). The incessant rain had resulted in a multitude of small pools being dotted over the centre of the ground from one goalmouth to the other. Half a dozen groundsmen worked with folks trying to get some of the water away right up to the team’s taking the field. The conditions had an affection the attendance, which looked like being the smallest of the season. Leicester where the attacking in the opening stages and Hogg hung his head in shame when he missed an open goal at the fourth minute after Dunlop had misfielded the greasy ball when it came over from McDonald. Hogg was certainly angled but should have done better than put the ball over the bar.
Temple should also have done much better than shoot behind from four yards after good work by the two Harris’s and Hickson had left him a cut and dried chance. The conditions were very difficult however, it was hard keeping one’s feet; the ball alternatively stuck in the mud or skidded on the slightly drier patches and no one could justifiably complain at occasions slips. Brian Harris put in a splendid right foot shot which looked as though it would just squeeze in the net, but suddenly the ball commenced to swerve and passed outside. At the 11th minute a foul by Donovan on Hogg led to Leicester going in front. Hogg himself took the free kick, half a yard outside the penalty area, lobbed it over nicely and Walsh rising high above everybody else had it in the net with a quick flick of the head before Dunlop could do a thing about it.
There was a curious incident reminiscent of that in the last game here when Dunlop ran outside the penalty area and found himself committed to a dribbling tussle with Hogg by the corner flag. Fortunately this time unlike the previous match, it cost Everton nothing more than a fruitless corner.
Everton at last began to put a bit more vim and vagour into their work, and for a time looked slightly the better team. Some of their approach moves were very well conceived, but were not always parried to finality. At last Everton’s persistence paid off at the 35th minute when Jimmy Harris leveled the scores. The opening arose when Thomas blocked an attempted clearance by Russell and the ball went out to Harris. Twice he was tackled and twice he seemed to lose control but the ball ran kindly at the finish and the outside right scored his twelfth league goal of the season with a fine left foot drive. A minute later Everton might have taken the lead when Thomas turned round and drove in a short range shot but Anderson blocked the ball away with his shins –a rather lucky escape. More than once Hogg had left Donovan toiling in the rear. When he did it again a goal seemed certain but he pulled his pass just a few inches too far back for Hines to accept what would have been the simplest of chances. For five minutes Leicester’s goal bore a charmed life. It had three very narrow escapes from Temple (twice) and Thomas. Half-time; Everton 1, Leicester City 1.
Two more chapters were added in the long list of mischances in the first five minutes of the second half when Walsh twice found himself completely clear on all opposition through long clearances. Each time he had only Dunlop to beat after taking the ball up but each time he shot wide.
Already this game could have produced a dozen goals fairly equally divided but it must be remembered that the conditions with the mud now churned up like porridge were extremely difficult. Some of the players were showing signs of weariness after the long heavy slog on the terribly heavy surface, but there was no lack of effort when Thomas put Everton in front at the 57th minute. The move had its beginning in a free kick to Leicester for a foul against Tansey. When the ball was finally cleared, Meagan helped it up the field to Thomas and the latter despite being harassed by two opponents and having to work the ball in the thick mud managed to keep control and score from eight yards. Straight from the restart Leicester tore away, and would have equalized but for Donovan kicking an effort by Walsh off the line after McDonald had only half hit an attempted shot.
Near The Target
Everton were well on top for some minutes during which a left foot shot by Jimmy Harris missed one upright by inches only and a right foot from the same player hit the other post. At last Walsh after missing so many gilt-edged openings, got the ball into the net only to have the goal disallowed for an infringement. Then Dunlop saved at point blank range from McDonald at the expense of a corner which in turn produced an equalizing goal. The corner was taken by McDonald and once again, as in the first half. Walsh rose high above everybody else to head it into the net beyond Dunlop’s outstretched hands. This was at the 66th minute. Some of the players were mud up almost to the eyebrows and none more so than Dunlop who had many times dived courageously at the feet of opponents and had lathered yards through the mud. Thomas missed an easy chance from a centre by Brian Harris.
Final; Everton 2, Leicester 2. Official attendance 23,460.
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A ONE-MAN TEAM
February 15, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
I have often heard it said that Liverpool, Preston, Blackpool and Fulham, as well as other clubs starring certain players, are one-man teams. In my opinion this is a lot of bunkum, I have yet to see the club where one member constitutes the whole team. Take Liverpool for instance or Liddlellpool as some people call them. With or without Billy they are a good side, yet I believe one of their major worries manager Phil Taylor’s, too, is making the rest of the team believe they are good enough when Billy is either injured or not playing. So often have Liverpool players read and heard the story that they are nothing without Liddell that a lot of confidence has to be instilled into the players when they take the field without him. I believe they are having the same trouble at Fulham where Johnny Haynes is the star. The neat of the team are too aware of his greatness that as a result they become more dependent on him, sometimes making the job of the opposition easier by their insistence on giving him the ball.
This a dangerous simply because it has grown in the minds of the players and can affect the team’s performances. Wolves and West Bromwich Albion are good examples of clubs who lay their game on slick combination in which every man’s part is vital. Take Billy Wright, Wolves and England. One of football’s greatest personalities. He has a record that is unsurpassed yet nobody has laid the credit for Wolves success at his feet. West Brom are in the same boat with Ronnie Allen. Their centre-forward is their side, yet you do not hear anyone say that he alone is responsible for the team’s triumphs. The players most men mentioned in connection with a one man team is the maestro himself, finally Matthew. Yet football followers fail to give credit to the rest of the Blackpool team for the manner in which they serve him the right type of ball so as they get the best out of him during a game I am sure Stan would be the first to agree with me on this point.
Leeds United this season have not been playing with the same confidence since the departure of the great John Charles to Italy, it makes you wonder that if with the same player, as they have now, Leeds would not have needed to struggle had they never known the greatness of Charles. Many soccer followers up and down the country have been lost to the game with the departure of Charles. At Elland Road, the home of Leeds United, the gates are over 100,000 down on last season. There is no one knows this better than the manager of Leeds, ex-England international inside forward Raich Carter. He is also of the opinion that it is the team that brings results not the individual. In the majority of today’s national teams the men in charge are looking for individuals who can fit in with the needs of the team. They are not seeking one man bands. The days are gone when a number of leading players were called upon to appear for their country without first playing as a team in one or two practice matches. Even in this sphere the team is greater than the man.
Arriving at Preston last Saturday prior to our game at Blackpool, the news came through that the match was postponed owing to the bad conditions of the ground. It was decided that we should take another busman’s holiday and visit Anfield to watch the all important game between the promotion hopes, Charlton Athletic and the auld enemy, the Reds. It was a most enjoyable match under such bad conditions, yet I was surprised by the shouts of some of the supporters who wouldn’t make allowances for the conditions when players made bad passes. What these spectators went I don’t really know. At times one couldn’t tell whether the ball was going to skid through or hold in the slush. I say gave credit where it is due. Both sides played better than I thought was possible.
BLACKBURN ROVERS RES V EVERTON RES
February 15, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Blackburn Reserves;- Ross, goal; Whelan and Hughes, backs; Bray, Herron, and Clayton (K.), half-backs; Swindells, Hudston, Briggs, McEvoy, and Redfearn, forwards. Everton Reserves; O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Hillsdon, backs; Birch, Labone, and Clayton, half-backs; Todd, Ashworth, Kirby, Keeley, Steel, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Berry (Timperley, Cheshire). Rain, which had fallen non-stop since early morning had turned the entire centre of the Ewood Park pitch into a small lake. Whereas the ball was sent into the middle it stopped almost dead and sent up a cloud if spray. Despite the conditions Everton got a fine opening minute chance but wasted it. Clear of the defence Kirby shot wide of the post with only Ross to beat. But the first real effort was supplied by the Rovers defenders Whelan O’Neill had to look alert to save a shot that skidded through from 30 yards. Everton went behind after 31 minutes when O’Neill was deceived by an almost casual shot by Briggs. Four minutes from the interval Briggs was presented with a second, Sanders with the ball completely under his control tried a clever back heel to the goalkeeper. The ball stuck in the mud and Briggs scored easily. Half-time; Blackburn Res 2, Everton Res nil.
EVERTON BOGGED IN MUD
February 17, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Leicester City 2
By Ian Hargreaves
Everton’s long suffering supporters were confident of the return of centre forward David Hickson on Saturday would bring the club their first League victory at Goodison since September. They were doomed to disappointment for Hickson together with most of his colleagues could never extricate himself from the all embracing more, and played but a minor role in a match ending appropriately in a draw. With the centre of the field churning up into a quagmire within minutes of the start one would have thought more use might have been made of the comparatively dry strips round the edge. But perversely Everton’s flimsy little forwards seemed to prefer mud larking in midfield where they slithered about like ants in a pool of treacle. So it was that Jimmy Harris slashing spurts of speed and venomous shooting were largely wasted and that most uncertain Leicester defence, prone to panic under pressure, conceded no more than two goals; Cunningham (twice) and Ballie gave goalkeeper Anderson valuable aid in repulsing the shots Everton did manage to produce, otherwise they were rarely in difficulty. Why Temple who obviously has the making of a class footballer and Thomas persisted in tactics more appropriate to a bowling green has me baffled. They must have encountered muddy grounds many times before.
An Object Lesson
Let us hope they have learned something from object lesson provided Derek Hines the burly Leicester inside left who swung the ball about to the best advantage and continually caught the home defence on the wrong foot. Normally a centre forward Hines seemed perfectly at home in his new position and was the inspiration of the attack worthy of better things than Leicester’s League position suggests, it has achieved. Derek Hogg on the left wing looked as elusive as ever; driving skipper Dan Donovan to near desperation and Walsh at inside right, if apparently quite incapable of putting the ball in the net with his foot and more success with his head scoring twice thereby. They lack of outstanding individuals in the present Everton team has seldom been more clearly illustrated for if there was competence in most positioned was mostly anonymous. Hickson understandably was subdued and with Jimmy Harris much neglected there was only Dunlop to catch the eye. Otherwise looked remarkably alike, though Jones was usually to be found in the thick of the fray.
Dunlop at least is never dull. His stocky frame quivers with vitality, his hair fairly bristles with defiance at the sight of in approaching forward. His excursions from goal, right or wrong are made swiftly, decisively his intentions conveyed unmistakably to colleague by the most uncompromising word or gesture. There may be safer goalkeepers –certainly there are many more polished –but I have seen none who arouses greater interest or inspires more confidence. For Dunlop has personality and it is players with personality – notably at wing half –that Everton need so badly if they are to achieve the success they seek. After an amazing miss by Hogg from about ten yards. Leicester took the lead in the tenth minute when Hogg was fouled and Walsh headed home the winger’s free kick. There followed two errors by Brian Harris and a fine save by Anderson before Harris (J) equalized at the third attempt in the 35th minute. Somewhat unexpectedly Thomas put Everton in front from Meagan’s pass after eight minutes of the second half, but justice was done when Walsh who had previous failed to score on at least three occasions when faced with only Dunlop to beat, headed in a corner by McDonald. So the honours were evenly shared and we were left to podder why a club with such a magnificent ground is so incapable of winning there.
O’NEIL KEPT THE SCORE DOWN
February 17, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blackburn Res 3, Everton Res 0
Briggs holder of the Second Division scoring record with seven goals in a match for Blackburn Rovers was the chief reason Everton Reserves lost this Central League game at Ewood Park on Saturday. Briggs scored twice in the ten minute before the interval and his header near the finish seemed likely to complete his hat-trick when Hudson turned it into the net. On a water logged pitch the stronger Rovers had the bulk of the play, but alert goalkeeping by O’Neill kept the score down.
EVERTON STILL TARRED WITH THE SAME BRUSH
February 17, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
The above illuminating but disheartening line indicates the results of the last eleven League matches played by Everton at Goodison Park. They cover a period of exactly five months, the longest post-war run without a home victory in League engagements. Unless there is a big improvement in the remaining Goodison Park fixtures Everton are likely to finish the season with fewer home points they got when relegated at the end of the 1950-51 season. On that occasion they won seven matches and drew five, giving a point return of 19 against 15 so far this winter. In other words they need five more from their six remaining home engagements to beat their total in the last relegation season. On recent Goodison Park display that appears about the limit to expect. They have yet to entertain Newcastle, Preston, Portsmouth, Leeds United, Tottenham Hotspurs, and Manchester City. Three of these are among the eight top clubs of the First Division, while Newcastle, Leeds and Portsmouth are desperate for points to keep away from relegation. But for their good start to the season Everton would be in a similar struggling position today. So far they have won only three League games before their own supporters, which is a sad state of affairs considering the optimistic hopes which were encouraged when they got off to so lively a start in August. Though I ventured then to suggest that we should take that only indication with a grain of salt, and wait until we saw what happened on the heavy grounds, I confess that I did not envisage such a disastrous collapse. The simplest way for me to deal with their display against Leicester City, and one which would avoid repetition of what I have been saying so often and for so long would be to refer you to what I wrote after the Luton game and leave it at that.
The Biggest Handicap
Despite the reorganization of both the attack and defence all I said a fortnight ago applies with equal force today. The one big handicap which is dogging Everton these days is the inability of the forward line to cash in on the simplest of chances. Even if they were blind folded I doubt whether it would be possible for some of them to miss gilt-edged opportunities from close range with any more frequency that they have been doing of late. In my Friday’s pre-match summary-up I said it could hardly be possible for them once more to waste so many openings as in the previous home games. I was wrong. Not only was it possible, but that was just what they did. Fortunately for Everton, Leicester were equally erratic. Indeed if all the goals which were there for the taking had been scored the result might have been somewhere nearer 6-6 rather than 2-2, which incidentally is the sixth time in the last seven meetings between the two clubs that the score has been identical. This in itself must be somewhere near a record. I do not propose to analyze too deeply the misses or pass strictures put the culprits. This was a day on which mistakes were bound to occur, though there was little or no excuse for some of those from such close range, that the ball could almost have been wafted over the line with a fan. The conditions were shocking with the sodden pitch, on which the ground staff had been engaged forcing pool’s of water right to the time of kick-off churning up during the incessant rain until the top surface was just a couple of inches of cloying mud everywhere except in the four triangular corners. Considering all this there was some very good midfield football from both teams. After the first twenty minutes, which were a bit on the somber side, the spectators and plenty of incident and goalmouth tussels to keep them interested. Though the attendance of 23,461 was the smallest of the season, it was not too bad in view of the day and the recent disappointing displays served up by the Blues. Everton might have done better if they had cut out more of their close-passing. They always looked much more dangerous when they lifted the ball out of the mud and tried to switch play by cross field moves. Unfortunately they did not do it often enough. Yet it was very early obvious that any effort to make progress by short ground passing was doomed to failure when the ball was braked to such extent that if required an almost superhuman effort to propel it more than a few yards. Leicester had the right idea, though even they occasionally came a cropper and lost chances through the same adherence to tactics which are all right under firm conditions but were totally unsuited to those ruling this time. Most of the day’s crop of passes were from anything between four and twelve yards sometimes with an open goal yawning ahead, and on other occasions with only the goalkeeper to beat. With all the desire in the world to be charitable and making every possible allowance for the difficulty of the surface, it is hard to condone such errors from professional footballers who spend so much time in shooting practice. In between these slips, however, there were a few really good efforts, notably a couple in one minute from Jimmy Harris who almost scraped one upright with a left foot rocket-like effort and then hit the other upright with an equally powerful right foot shot. had either of these registered Everton would have ended their win-less sequence for they came when the Blues were a goal ahead and were enjoying one of their longest spells of superiority.
An Equitable Result
Walsh got both Leicester’s at the 11th and 66th minute and each was the result of an almost identical header, the first off a free kick by a foul by Donovan on Hogg and the second off a corner after Dunlop had made a splendid save all point-blank range against McDonald. In between these two goals Jimmy Harris and Thomas had scored for Everton. Harris’s goal was extremely well taken with a splendid left foot drive though he was a trifle lucky in managing to keep command of the situation after twice looking as though he would be dispossessed. It was Meagan’s long upward pass which led to Thomas getting the other, and here also the score did well to retain control in spite of the harassing attentions of two opponents. It only Everton had been able to shoot some of their many easier chances the result would have been much more pressing. But against that we must remember the same proviso applies to Leicester and on balance the misses were about equal which gives a reasonably equitable result all round. Dunlop and Jones were the heroes of Everton defensively. The former, covered from head to foot with mud within a few minutes of the start of each half made many excellent saves and courageous dives and if he occasionally had a bit of luck he deserved it for his pluck. Donovan found Hogg too big a problem most of the time, but was always striving hard to retrieve the position when passed. Tansey started a little in certainly, understandable after his absence, and the wing halves were not always as commanding as we have seen their in other games, though Meagan’s distribution considering the circumstances was often top-class. Hickson had a very quiet day. One brilliant shot and half a dozen neat passes were his major contributions; Jimmy Harris was the most dangerous looking forward not for the first time this season. Neither Temple nor Thomas relished the sticky conditions and the latter still lacks that little bit of speed in the take-off which can make so much difference. Leicester looked a better side than one had anticipated in view of their lowly position. Hogg and Walsh were outstanding despite some shocking misses by the latter, while the intermediate line seemed stronger and more effective than Everton’s. Anderson with less to do than Dunlop, also distinguished himself.
Everton will play Fortune the Dutch club who are the current cup-holders, under floodlights at Goodison Park on Wednesday, February 26. Reserved tickets are available place 8s. Racing Club de Paris who were due on that date, are unable to make the trip.
LOWLY NEWCASTLE WILL NOT BE EASY MEAT
February 21, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Tackle The Home Bogey Again
It is becoming more than a trifle monotonous to keep constantly referring to Everton’s failure to win a League match at Goodison Park and the fact that their last home League victory is now so deeply buried in the past that only constant repetition reminds as of the date of it. Tomorrow Everton have on opportunity to remedy this sad state of affairs, after eleven unsuccessful attempts have produced eight drawn games and three defeats, a sad commentary on their fall from earlier grace. Newcastle United who are the visitors to Goodison Park tomorrow are a struggling side with the fear of relegation too close to actually for comfort. That unfortunately for Everton is no guarantee of a home victory. Some recent visitors to Goodison Park notably Leicester City, Aston Villa and Sheffield Wednesday have been in the same precarious position yet have gone away with either one or both points. The fact that Newcastle are in such a lowly position may not be very helpful to Everton’s cause. We know from experience that the danger of relegation sometimes spurs clubs on to redouble their efforts and finally escape. Sheffield Wednesday now seemingly firmly entrenched at the bottom gave a good example of this some thirty years or so ago when at Easter they were a much worse plight than they are today, yet finished around the middle of the table. They hardly seem likely to do that this season but Newcastle strike me as a side with possibilities of rising higher than they are at the moment. Any team which can win away as often as the Geordies –only they have five away victories to their credit –must have something good about them somewhere. The same of course could apply to Everton whose away record also embraces five wins, two draws and seven defeats –exactly the same return as Newcastle. Indeed the records of both clubs are alike to a very marked degree for both have also won only three times at home. But whether Everton have suffered only three defeats at Goodison, Newcastle have had no fewer than eight reverses at St. James Park.
A Tough Problem
It must be something of a problem to Newcastle to sort this queer business out, and their new manager will have something to wrestle with. Since the departure of Vic Reeble to West Ham last October, Newcastle have alternated between Bill Curry and Len White as leaders of the attack both of whom have been scoring reasonably frequently. The contributions from the remainder of the team however, with the exception of outsiders left Bob Mitchell have left a good deal to be desired. Mitchell has scored ten in League and Cup matches which seems good going for an extreme winger though four have been from penalty awards Curry has also scored ten in 18 outings, and while 13 in 19 League and Cup games. Newcastle have a switched their side round considerably this season, both in attack and defence, although Ron Simpson has been a fixture in goal except when injured. For a club which has been one of the biggest spenders in the transfer market in post-war years Newcastle have hardly had the success anticipated, apart from their Cup Final victories. Their spending has only served in emphasize the old saying that you cannot guarantee fortune in football by the cheque book route. Yesterday Newcastle signed Alf Bottom, York City’s inside forward at a fee of around £5,000 and he is in the visitors team tomorrow. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Temple, Harris (B). Newcastle UTD; Mitchell (S.); McKinney, McMicheal; Scoular, Stokoe, Franks; Tait, Eastham, Curry, Bottom, Mitchell (R.).
EVERTON LEAD-THEN BOTTOM FINDS THE TARGET
February 22, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan (captain), and Tansey, backs; Rea, Jones and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Temple, and Harris (B.), forwards. Newcastle United;- Mitchell (S.), goal; McKinney and McMicheal, backs; Scoular, Stokoe, and Franks, half-backs; Tait, Eastham, Curray, Bottom, and Mitchell (R.), forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Holland (Barnsley). It was a miserable sort of day and this no doubt could reflected itself in the size of the attendance, which was quite small. Newcastle who brought in their new man from York, Bottom kicked off with Everton defending the Gwladys Street goal. Everton struck an encouraging note when they went down their wing and was only just beaten by goalkeeper Mitchell. Jimmy Harris then came along with a centre which went to a Newcastle man and Newcastle reply was a long shot by full back McKinney went high over the crossbar. When McKinney put another long ball towards the Everton goal, Dunlop appeared to misjudge its flight. The ball ran however, to an Everton man who cleared. Dunlop had to receive attention for a slight injury then Donovan opened the way for Everton with a sweeping pass out to Harris (B.) following when Thomas might have done little better with his attempted shot. Everton had been in command for some minutes and Harris (J.) made yet another pass which brought trouble to the United goal. It resulted in Simpson punching away a Brian Harris centre as Dave Hickson went up. So far the most distinguished man on the Newcastle side was keeper Mitchell.
The power of Bottom’s shot was seen when he worked his way to inside right and cracked in a hefty drive, which fortunately for Dunlop was well off the mark. Bottom tried a second time but Dunlop turned the ball over the bar. It was now Newcastle’s turn to hold the whip hand for a spell and Everton defence had to work hard. A centre by Jimmy Harris brought a save from Mitchell as he was challenged by Hickson. He might have saved himself the trouble for the whistle had gone for an infringement. Rea put a ball through the middle but the defence had read his intentions and were ready for the occasion. Bobby Mitchell who had little chance, once dribbled towards the middle but was off the line with his final pass. Stoke interned in the nick of time to prevent Hickson going through. The Everton goal had an escape when Meagan put a ball back and Eastham was just about to cut in when Jones swept the ball practically from off his toe away for a corner. All things considered if had been quite a good half. The players had mastered the heavy conditions exceeding well and the spectators had plenty of thrills even though their great need was a goal –to Everton of course. Bottom and Mitchell (R.) made on opening which might have produced a goal but there was no one up to accept the wingers ass. Thomas very nearly kept the ball in play and rounded his man, but with a packed Newcastle goalmouth there was little prospect of his short inside pass getting through. Just on time Meagan made an excellent run on the left and his centre eventually reached Thomas who slapped it into the net without the slightest hesitation to give Everton the lead. Half-time; Everton 1, Newcatsle United 2.
Everton were soon on the job in the second half, and Mitchell had to cut out a fast cross. Newcastle staged a quick breakaway in which Bobby Mitchell played a leading part. He dribbled his way though at the 47th minute and pass on a nice ball for Bottom to crack into the Everton net. Bottom had always been shaping as if he might score a goal given for his chances, but he had much to thank Mitchell for giving him such a grand opening, and the North Easterners were encouraged by their goal. Mitchell tried to worm his way through again and he was successful in winning a corner. It was quite a good length flag kick, but it was an Everton man who collected it. Mitchell saved his side further damage when first he took a ball from the right then when he threw himself at a short range shot which struck his body and passed to safely. Bottom took a pass from Mitchell and slashed the ball against the upright. It rebounded to Tait whose angular shot seemed to hit the underside of the crossbar and pass across the field.
Thomas made an opening for Brian Harris but the Everton outside-left had to take the shot with his right foot and the ball whipped outside. After Everton had enjoyed a spell of attack Newcastle broke away from the chains and Tait racing down his wing the ball under complete control, hacked it over to Bottom, who was left with the simple task of putting it into the net at the 62nd minute. Newcastle were now playing stronger than ever and through Everton were quite capable of framing attacks there was still the lack of finality near goal. Everton, however, had no pretentions of quitting their cause and had not Mitchell been in great form, Thomas header would have beaten him. He also stopped a left foot shot by Hickson. Final; Everton 1, Newcastle United 2. Official Attendance 22,448.
SOCCER IS OUR PROPERTY NO LONGER. IT BELONGS TO THE WORLD AND WE SHOULD FOLLOW THEIR LEAD REGARDING SUBSTITUTES AND CHARGING OF GOALKEERS
February 22, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
We Are Out Of Step With Continentals
By Don Donovan
With the Cup Final just around the corner the old argument of whether or not there should be substitutes for the match at Wembley has cropped up again. Last season’s Final between Aston Villa and Manchester United comes to mind, and the thought of what might have been if United had not suffered that sixth minute injury to goalkeeper Ray Wood. The game as a spectacle was ruined. Club and supporters can gain little satisfaction from such a victory and I believe the majority of soccer followers are firmly behind the introduction of substitutes. It must surely be only a question of time, I am convinced for the substitute rule to come into operation. Regarding injuries to goalkeepers it is strange that of all the European countries, only the British Isles refuse to adopt the system which prohibits the challenging of goalkeepers.
Trouble It Causes
We know the trouble such charging brings in its wake. Players get excited, join in a spot of shirt pulling and a lot of unsportsmanlike conduct and before you know where you are the match becomes a real brawl. It can happen so easily. For instance there is the recent “Battle of Belfast,” between Ireland and Italy, when the Italians too exception to the challenging of their goalkeeper by the Irish forwards. What should have been a thrilling feast of soccer, from two talented sides, quickly deteriorated into a battle royal. For =once, I am in agreement with the Continental outlook. I play my football the strong way, inasmuch as I tackle hard and expect to be tackled hard, providing the tackle is fair I have not the slightest compunction in putting a man on the grass if it is necessary, and I admire the man who can give as much as he takes but I don’t think a goalkeeper is in such a favourable position. I believe in letting him get on with his task in peace, thereby enabling the supporters to enjoy the game without tear of it turning into an unequal struggle. The British Isles should follow the Continental lead, especially in view of the World Cup matches in June. Soccer is no longer our own personal game. It belongs to the world, and I think that is a point worth remembering. Our match last Saturday against Leicester City was the ninth we have drawn at home this season. We are fast becoming the experts of the First Division. The game was notable for its missed chances, by both teams. If all of the openings had been accepted we may have seen a cricket score. The conditions were all against good football, although I though the Leicester forward adapted themselves better than our lads. They played a more open game, and made our defence cover quite a lot of ground.
STOKE CITY RES V EVERTON RES
February 22, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Stoke C Res; Robertson, goal; Ward (T.), and Harrison, backs; Ward (D.), Andrews, and Rayner, half-backs; Thursfield, Bentley, Bullock, Hutchinson, and Oscroft, forwards. Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Sanders, and Hillsdon, backs; Birch, Labone, and Clayton, half-backs; Steele, Ashworth, Hood, Fielding, and Godfrey, forwards. Both goals had early escapes, Steel went close for the visitors and Oscroft shot wide after a good run. Labone and Bullock were having a rare duel in the middle but the young centre forward was allowed little scope. It was Bullock, however, who made the opening goal for when challenged he gave Hutchinson a chance to put Stoke in front after 15 minutes. Everton had chance to equalize when Hood was left with an opening but he passed instead of shooting and the defence recovered. Sanders saved a stinging drive from Oscroft then the visitors gradually got on top without being able to break down a resolute defence. Stoke were now pressing and Birch was forced to concede a corner, but Ward shot wide from a good position. Oscroft gave the visitors defence a harassing time, but O’Neill was in brilliant form. Everton set up a series of attacks just before the interval, but many corners failed to bring success. Half-time Stoke City Res 1, Everton Res 1nil. #
TOP BILLING FOR BOTTOM
February 24, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Newcastle United 2
By Leslie Edwards
A few disgruntled followers of Everton remained, after thousands of others had gone home, to make a mild demonstration in the direction of Everton directors’ box. Their lay, one gathered, was “Why can’t we have some new players?” Everton’s further defeat, plus the immediate success of Newcastle’s £5,000 York City signing, Bottom prompted an inquiry which will not go unanswered (in the most tangible way) by a club who really must do something to stop their steady downward slide. That there are good, effective players available to discerning. First Division clubs is beyond doubt; otherwise how could Everton’s opponents on this occasion produce, out of the hat, a Third Division man to snatch points which may well be Newcastle’s safety margin at the season’s end? I had heard a great deal of Bottom and his Cup exploits with York City, until Saturday I had never even set eyes on him. Few players, have or will have a better debut. He scored twice (and but for a finger-tip save by Dunlop he would have had his hat-trick); he gave the attack the punch. It lost with the outgoing of such as Keeble and White. Bottom is a sturdily-built man well suited to the mud, plugging conditions in which Everton’s rather lightly framed players looked outclassed physically. He had the aplomb of a man who had played in this class of football all his left, he had the uncommon knack of strolling about with the ball, unhurriedly and then uncorking unexpectedly, some astute low shot aimed not at goal, but at the furthest reach of Dunlop.
Newcastle’s victory I thought deserved. Their defence read Everton intentions well covered splendidly and had, in Scoular a player capable of picking up the ball in the centre of the field and using it judiciously. Some of his far flung passes to the other wing were a trifle strong, but who can blame him for punching the ball on a pitch whose mud become such a brake on all except the most determined passes? Everton scored first –right on the interval –and, for once we thought they were going to break the spell. But Newcastle’s counter came so quickly after the interval that Everton seemed to lose heart and sense of direction with so many passes there was almost an invitation to the others to go in and make the match chief’s. At the sixty-first minute they did so and if Thomas clean through down the left, was unlucky not to level the scores when goalkeeper Mitchell threw himself at his feet. Newcastle might argue with justification that they had been even unluckier at the other end and never more so then when a shot by Bottom struck the goal-frame. Thomas’s goal was an excellent one, manufactured initially all down the left wing touchline by Meagan and carried on by a square pass by Temple so that the scorer was left only the task of hooking the ball home. This he did with his left foot.
When Mitchell Wandered
Bottom’s first goal came when one imagined the mercurial Mitchell, on the left, was safe in the care of Donovan. It was then Mitchell came inside halted, changed direction and then, slid forward a pass so perfect that the scorer could scarcely fail. Another of Newcastle’s rather mercurial forwards, Eastham had a hand in the winning goal, since it was his run which put Tait through down the right in such a way that he had only to cross the ball to the waiting Bottom to guarantee a goal. This he did when other less talented wingers might have elected to shoot through a fine angle. That Newcastle United a club so low in the table, were able to come to Everton and win, suggests that Everton’s present position is their true one. The question is what is to be done to put them right. Whatever move is made I hope it will bring to the team players of height, and weight the sort of players of whom Newcastle have many; the sort whose size is half the battle in stamina-testing conditions such as Saturday’s. To my way of thinking Everton attempted too much down the wings, where the going was firmest. The Newcastle defence, with attacks nearly always on the outside covered up like Arsenal of old and Stokoe was dominant in the air again a Hickson whose one shot was half hit. Yet Hickson did well enough in his general play and in spreading the ball about him. The Everton wing half-backs Meagan and Rea are not big men and were not suited to the going. They received little help from Temple who is too young and too immature physically to be able to last a grueling game of this kind. The story about Thomas was different. He kept going remarkably and was perhaps the game’s outstanding forward after Newcastle’s two goal man. One could go far before finding two such goalkeepers as Mitchell, a Scot and Dunlop. They played superbly courageously and it was no fault of Dunlop’s that Everton conceded two goals. Jones’ work against Curry the nephew of the old Liverpool half-back, Tom Scott was so good Curry was scarcely ever in the picture. I think drier grounds would help Everton but who can guarantee them at this time of the year? The team needs more size and more experience. The need for a player of Scoular’s vast experience was shown clearly. And Newcastle also had in Stokoe, Franks and McMicheal other excellent defenders who often brushed light Everton players out of possession. Everton directors have been spending a great deal of time scouting players; one hopes the eyes are now filled with first class material before our’s are filled with tears.
Looking At Bakes
Two Everton directors watched the match between Bradford City and Tranmere Rovers, applying a close scrutiny to twenty-one-years old Martin Bakes, Bradford City’s outside-left who asked for a transfer weeks ago. Afterwards they had an extended talk with Bradford City officials. It was from Bradford City that Everton also recruited Welsh outside left Graham Williams. Bradford City have stated that they are unwilling to part with bakes, who us insistent in his desire to move into higher grade football. Other clubs who watched him on Saturday besides Everton were Manchester United, Sundelrand, Burnley, Leeds United, Leicester City, Fulham and Stoke City.
STOKE CITY RES 2 EVERTON RES 0
February 24, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton reserves would have done better if they had followed the example of Stoke’s second string and used the long ball in the mud. It paid better dividends for the home side who always looked more dangerous. Due to their faulty tactics little was seen of Everton in the first half. Brightest feature of the Everton attack was the clever wing play of Godfrey, while in defence Labone foiled Stoke of a more pronounced victory Hutchinson the Stoke inside left scored both his side’s goals in the 13th and 65th minutes.
DEMONSTRATION AFTER LATEST EVERTON HOME DEFEAT
February 24, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
There was a mild demonstration in front of the directors box at Goodison Park after Everton’s defeat by Newcastle United on Saturday, and while it was only a half-hearted affair I saw no justification for it whatever, for, taken by and large the game had been an interesting one under conditions which were severe on the players legs. I know it is hard to see your own side beaten on its own ground but such sights do no good at all. I suppose I was as disappointed as most that Everton lost, but I saw some good football and that is what I went there to see. True Goodison patrols have waited a long time to see their side win a home League –since September 14 –but surely the handful of spectators who saw fit to cat –call had value for money. Such actions do not bring the necessary results. I am afraid it was only a few hot-heads at least I hope so, for there was no real justification for it –only defeat. It was indeed a nasty blow especially so as Newcastle are so lowly placed and one naturally thought that the time had came when the tide must surely turn. That home win looked like coming in the first half for Everton had started brightly and were playing reasonably well on a “glue-pot.” Merseyside clubs seem to be destined to run up against goalkeepers who have an inspired match. Mitchell joined the list by a grand display when saving at least four times when he could well have been beaten.
Top Class Display
He was Newcastle’s big man of the first half when he defied the best Everton could level at him. His handling of the greasy ball was top-class and his anticipation undoubtedly prevented Everton running up a score which have been well out of the reach of Newcastle who were playing down to their lowly position in the League table. This was only a shadow of the Newcastle team of old and for that matter the present Everton is far from the pre-war Everton. There is however, no great point in going back into history. Everton are dropping down the table. They are not in immediate danger at the moment but their position gives cause for alarm. They made such a startling start to the season that there were many who were thinking in terms of a championship. Unfortunately the rot has set in. It is hardly conceivable to think they have won only four League games at Goodison Park, but it is the true fact and on their present form there seems no indication that things are on the mend. They flatter only to deceive. I saw them whip Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park on Boxing Day and really thought the corner had been turned but they have sadly deteriorated since then and I find it difficult to put my finger in the cause. No one can fault them for not trying and giving of their best which unfortunately is not good enough and I am not surprised to learn that the directors are searching for players in the hope of stabilizing matters. Will buying power prove the key to success. It does not always but there is need of greater striking power in the front line. There were chances against Newcastle which should have been taken despite the magnificence of Mitchell, but the need to take just that one step more which has so often proved fatal was very prevalent on Saturday.
When Thomas got his goal –a well-made affair starting at Meagan and being carried on by Temple –I thought Everton had come to the end of their long spell of non success. They say the best time to get a leading goal is just before the interval. Well, Everton had that advantage but it did not give them the dominance expected. They certainly started off the second half nicely but with further saves by Mitchell they seemed to lose belief in themselves and it was Newcastle who started to play the better football. Their attack which had been well handled by the Everton defence ultimately got on top and prospect of Everton getting two home points deteriorated. Where they had been first to the attack they now became second to Newcastle whose half back line began to function with more purpose. They saw a possible victory where none was present at one time and two minutes after the interval Bobby Mitchell who had open pretty well, held swept through the middle slipped the ball over to Bottom signed two days previously from York City, who slapped the ball home giving Dunlop no chance. This was the signal for Newcastle. They had stood up to the best Everton could give, pulled back a goal deficit and then started to play the best football. They were unlucky not to go ahead when Bottom always eager to shoot, hit the woodwork. From the rebound Tait cracked the ball along the crossbar and out of danger. But Newcastle had now got their teeth into the game and Tait unmarked raced away on the right and sweetly pulled the ball over to Bottom who had the easy of task of tapping the ball into the empty net. Dunlop having gone over to cover Tait’s centre. Bottom’s striking power in what Newcastle have been seeking for some time and it had justly be said that he made a highly successful debut. He had other attempts to add to the goal crop. The game was far from lost however, and be it said, in Everton’s favour that they fought on gallantly, if not always effectively.
Mitchell had foiled and the Everton forwards at one time or other, but I thought Thomas’s header had the beating of him. He made yet another wonderful save, however, and was it any wonder that he received a pat on the back, from his colleagues. He had kept the game warm for Newcastle when it looked like going stoner cold on them and he maintained his brilliance right to the end. Everton’s goal had several escapes before the end. Curry once got the ball beyond Dunlop who had made a despairing drive but the ball ran across the goal face and was cleared. When Everton opened the season I was astonished at their play; but at the same time my mind went to the dismal days of December, January and February when the ground would be heavy, for I realized there was a physical frailty about the team. There are several very prompting young footballers in the side but there is the great need of a man who can bang them in. Until that need is fulfilled Everton will be battling.
AS YOU SEE IT
February 26, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Which Was The Best Everton?
Sir-The sad, decline of Everton was the topic at a gathering of old-timers, and after the inquest the conversation embarked on a happier note. Time was bridged when we travelled back to the earlier days of this famous club. The question was which was the best Everton of all times? Some plumped for 1897 when Villa beat Everton 3-2 in that famous cup-final in Diamond Jubilee year. I plumped for 1905-6 -7 when they fell between two finals and got nothing. They brought the Cup to Liverpool for the first time in 1906, and participated in three semi-finals and two finals. With your kind permission I would like to charge on the 1904-05 season. In this season Everton and Newcastle waged a terrific struggle for the League Championship, running neck and neck all through the year. In the meantime Newcastle had reached the final, and were awaiting the winner of the other semi-final Aston Villa or Everton at Stoke. The replay took place on the following Wednesday at the Notts Forest ground and I was there to see it. What a thriller, Villa were leading 2-1 in the second half but there was only one team in it. Everton had fifteen corners and eventually got the ball over the line for an equalizer, only for Joe Bache the Villa inside-left to last it out again. But the referee Mr. E.B Harrower, gave a corner in vain did Everton players swarm round him. In a week’s periodical many years after W.C George the Villa goalkeeper admitted the ball was over the line. Villa went on to win the Cup, beating Newcastle 2-0. Success in the Cup had left Everton with six League matches to play in April and Newcastle seven. Now according to my diary, Everton had finished their League programme with a lead of three points, leaving Newcastle to play Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough on April 26 and 29 both away matches. And remember in those days all matches had to finish in April. They won these matches by the respective scores of 3-1 and 3-0 and snatched the championship in a sensational finish. Now I will describe how Everton lost the championship through fog. On Saturday November 26, 1904 Everton were beating Woolwich Arsenal 3-1 when the referee called a halt six minutes from time. This of course meant a replay which took place on April 22 1905 and Everton were beaten 2-1, so they fell between two stools. In my opinion the 1904-05 eleven were the finish team to wear the Blue of Everton and I am very well aware of the Dixie Dean days when they brought of their famous treble of 1931-2-3. The late Mr. Jack Sharp, one of the finest outside rights to ever grace Goodison said it was Everton’s dark year, and in a conversation I had with the late Harry Makepeace he said it was one of Everton’s best ever teams. L.R Roose, Balmer and Crelly, Makepeace, Taylor and Abbott; Sharp, McDermott, Young, Settle, and H.P Hardman, the present Manchester United chairman. –J. Derrick 80 Edge Lane, Liverpool 7.
AS YOU SEE IT
February 27, 1958. The Liverpool Daily Post
Fielding’s Advocate Again…
Sir- what’s wrong with Everton? I think the answer to the above has been fairly obvious ever since Wily Wally Fielding left the Goodison scene. Sharpshooters Everton have never had since Wainwright fractured his leg and now, with the passing of Fielding we have nobody to make the chances for very few but some winning goals. Furthermore when the season opened Fielding himself wasn’t a bad hand at goal-scoring. I had visions of him being the leading scorer as well as leading goal purveyor. It is said Fielding wants to retire. If he does, I shall be very sorry to see him go, but at the moment he is making odd appearances in the Reserves team and even in the ‘A’ team, in which latter he actually scored two goals in one match. It seems so silly that he should perform in lower sphere when the first team is in such dire straits. It also seems a great pity that Peter Farrell and Tommy Eglington were allowed to go. Everton with due respect to Donovan and Jones, lack an inspiring captain. Eglington could also still be useful on the left. He knew where the goal was until his right foot came into operation. Still I suppose we shall have to go on living in hopes and with our dreams of the Dean days, those of us who remember with respect to the Busby Babes what good football really was. –A.J. Higgins 3 Kaigh Avenue, Great Crosby, Liverpool 23.
Everton’s Oldest Supporter
Sir-A reader of your column mentions the name of Harold Hardman who played for Everton around 1906. What your correspondent says about him is true. He stood about 5ft 4ins and had a little round face, with black hair. I remember the forward line in the cup in 1906, against Newcastle United at Crystal Palace when Everton won 2-1. The Everton team of that day was Billy Scott; Billy Balmer, Jack Crelly; Harry Makepeace, Jack Taylor and Walter Abbott; Jack Sharp, Joe Bolton, Sandy Young, Jimmy Settle, and Harold Hardman. Liverpool won the championship the same year with this team. San Hardy; Alf West, Billy Dunlop; Alex Raisebeck, Parry and Wilson; Arthur Goddard, Robinson, Jack Parkinson, Sammy Raybould, and Cox. Do any of your readers remember the late George Robey kicking off at Anfield or playing as an amateur for Millwall? Also is there a reader who remembers the late Johnny Best playing in goal for Everton about 1902 and who did he sign for after leaving Goodison Park? Before the Everton v. Manchester City Wembley final in 1933 I drove through the night to London and met the late Frank Swift in trouble on the road. He had travelled with friends from Fleetwood. He signed for Manchester City next season. I must be the oldest supporter of Everton. I was born 100 yards from Anfield Road when Everton played there. I still travel away with the club in good times and bad and you will never find me criticizing club or player. J.C. Sharratt 75 Stalmine Road, Liverpool 9.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR BLUES
February 28, 1958. The Liverpool Echo
Everton away to Burnley, hope that the changes in their team will bring victory after the recent succession of disappointments. I sincerely trust that hope is realized. Unfortunately I am beginning to lose a bit of my faith in the Blues recovery prospects. I have been saying for several weeks that they surely cannot continue to carve out scoring chances so often and miss then so disappointingly and so inexcusably. Yet they keep on doing it and as the old saying has it, hopes deferred maketh the heart sick. Not that my heart has reached that stage, but I am beginning to wonder whether, having severely discounted Everton’s prospects before the season started, I have not been a little too tolerant of their later failings. Football judgments should not be formed in too big a hurry but Everton have had plenty of time. Now time is beginning to run out of them. We shall have a better idea after we see what they achieve –or don’t achieve –at Burnley. My fear that the heavy grounds would take toll has unfortunately been proved well founded, and if the going is testing at Turf Moor tomorrow, which seems likely we may have to wait a little longer before hailing another Everton victory. In my opinion Albert Dunlop is unfortunate to find himself out of the team but if O’Neill can reproduced his form of two or three seasons back he can hold the fort equally well. The return of Fielding brings to the front line the experience it has been lacking so sadly of late, but the state of the pitch may not be exactly the best for the Everton veteran. A point would be quite a good performance, all things considered I hope it will be forthcoming. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Thomas, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B).