EVERTON -£110 THE LOT
November 1, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton’s success this season, is as remarkable as it is pleasing. But there is one aspect of it which has a escaped everyone so far-the fact that not member of the current team cost the club more than the customary £10 paid when a young footballer turns professional. Hickson cost first £10 fee when he joined the club. As Everton sold him to Villa for £20,000 and brought him back from Huddersfield for £6,500 they show a handsome profit on the deal. Counting the profit –and what a fine stroke of business his return was –the club now have a First Division side which cost them nothing in aggregate. I can never remember a Everton team which did not contain half a dozen players whose transfer to Goodison Park cost thousands of pounds and I have been watching them since the days of “Stan Fazackereley.” The credit for Everton’s position today must go to the Board and to Coach Ian Buchan for blooding and blending the many youngsters who have made good since the Britton era but one cannot forget that the majority of the best young players on the staff were brought to the club during the Britton regime and that many of them came as a result of the scouting of Harold Pickering.
They are Content
Everton followers are content that the side is playing so well and so attractively. That Everton have a team none of whom cost more than £10 to sign suggests that the development of young local players is a good proposition. But there were times when one felt that the Everton long term plan was so long term we could hardly wait for it to fruit. Everton’s young Reserve side which has taken twenty points of twenty six at stake contains only two men –Haugley and Graham Williams –who cost anything. So the whole of the first and second team staff cost something less than £2,500-a remarkable tribute to Everton. It will be interesting to see how Everton fare tomorrow against one of the finest sides in the League, West Bromwich Albion. Albion’s victories against Manchester United and the Soviet Army (this last on TV) captivated the football public, I am sure the attendance at this match the second half of which will be under lights) will pass the 50,000 mark.
WEST BROMWICH HAVE NOT YET BEEN BEATEN IN AN AWAY GAME
November 1, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Should tomorrow’s encounter between Everton and West Bromwich provide as entertaining a game or as many goals as the Albion’s mid-week floodlit match against the Soviet Army, then Goodison Park patrons will have something to talk about. The Throstles have flattered only to deceive on some occasions in the past, when they have looked like championship contenders for a time, but failed to stick the pace. It is too early yet to put them be in that category again. So much can happen between now and the end of April. But any side which can keep hanging on to the Wolves’s tail as West Bromwich have been doing must be or more than average ability. The Albion come to Everton with the proud distinction of being the only team in the Football League with an unbeaten away record. They have won two away games – against Sheffield Wednesday and Notts Forest –and drawn at Highbury, Burnley, Chelsea and Leeds. Everton, however, have actually gathered one more away point than Albion with one additional game played due to the Goodison club’s four victories and one draw. West Bromwich’s only defeat this season was in their home engagement with Arsenal. As Everton beat the Gunners at Highbury, those who like to work out the chances from such pointers may feel optimistic of a win for Everton. As we know only too well form cannot be so easily reduced to a mathematical level. While Everton look to have a good chance of victory they might well find it more difficult than some which have already come their way.
May Be a Draw
The Throstles were on song last week when they defeated Manchester United 4-3 and a month previously when they caned Manchester City to the tune of 9-2. These were home games, however. Tomorrow’s comes under a different heading, and we must remember that just as the visitors are unbeaten away, so Everton have yet to suffer defeat at home. That looks as though the outcome might possibly be a draw. If so, it would be the fourth time Everton have forfeited a point at Goodison. Jim Sanders a war-time guest with Liverpool, is still guarding Albion’s goal, with young and clever backs as his immediate cover and a very solid intermediate line to help on the good work. Those two great half back stalwarts, Joe Kennedy and Ray Barlow are still playing in wonderful fashion, despite their long service in the Midlanders colours. The Albion forward line can be a splendid combination at its best, and Robson and Allen are two of the finest marksmen in senior football. Allen’s skill in passing and shooting is still as outstanding as ever. Unlike some players for whom big sums have been paid recent years, Albion have had excellent value for the £15,000 they paid Port Vale for Allen nearly eight years ago. Everton’s one change is the return of Brian Harris, who played for the Army on Wednesday in place of Graham Williams. Williams the former Wrexham player who has had a touch of influenza, is fit again and returns to the Albion team, Setters switching to right half in place of Dudley. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (J). West Bromwich Albion; Sanders; Howe, Williams; Setters, Kennedy, Barlow; Griffin, Robson, Allen, Kevan, Horobin.
TV TESTIMONY TO ALBION WILL HELP EVERTON
November 2, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
The usual complaint by football clubs is that television counter attractions spoils their gates. But Everton whose opponents today at Goodison Park are West Bromwich Albion can thanks TV for the biggest boost ever given to an League match. Much of West Bromwich’s victorious match against Manchester United was seen by Televiewers last Saturday and on Tuesday millions saw Albion beat the Solvet Army by six goals to five. And from all accounts, West Bromwich played so attractively there are bound to be many thousands at Goodison Park today who might otherwise have given the game a miss. As if all the boosting of Albion were not enough the game that other compelling points. Everton have not lost a League match at home and West Bromwich have yet to loss away. Add the attraction of such Albion players as Allen, Barlow, and Kennedy (to name but three) and you have some indication of the interest the match has engineered. Two seasons ago at West Bromwich, Allen, Barlow and Kennedy all played like internationals, I still maintain that Allen is a man England cannot afford to leave out. He is not a player of great size but his quality is exceptional. I recall that he made his debut for Albion at Goodison Park in a mid-week game (was it not in Everton’s last relegation year). He is now one of the quickest moving and most dangerous centre forward in contemporary football.
Everton have Brian Harris back on the left wing. There were signs on Wednesday at Anfield that Everton have regained the rhythm which characterized their play when they were winning ay Leicester and Newcastle. They have drawn two home League games meantime and it is important that they should start winning again if they are to make headway from games in hand. Today’s will be the first Goodison Park match half under natural and half under artificial lighting. It promises to be a very special affair. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B). West Bromwich Albion; Sanders; Howe, Williams; Setters, Kennedy, Barlow; Griffin, Robson, Allen, Kevan, Herobin.
EVERTON UNDER LIGHTS –JONES UNDER HANDICAP
November 2, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Offside Trap Fails and Griffin Nets
By David Prole
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan (captain), and Tansey, backs; Rea, Jones and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, and Harris (B), forwards. West Bromwich Albion; Sanders, goal; Howe and Williams, backs; Setters, Kennedy, and Barlow, half-backs; Griffin, Robson, Allen, Kevan, and Horobin, forwards. Referee; Mr. K.A. Collinge (Sale). There was nothing big crowd at Goodison for the innovation of a match to be played half under natural conditions and half under floodlighting. Long before the start nearly every seat appeared to be taken. Everton were the first to press and following a partial clearance by Howe, England’s latest right back Jones set an attack in motion and Meagan centre produced a rather gentle shot from an angle by Harris (J) which gave Sanders no difficulty. A free kick against Setters led to a duel between Howe and Harris (B) which the full back won when his opponent fell, but Hickson was quick to dispossess Howe and make a centre which passed harmlessly behind. Horobin after beating two men could not avoid colliding with a third and seemed to take a hasty blow to the month in doing so. The obstruction was Robson, his team mate but this did not lessen his disappointment for he lost the ball as well. A long header by Setters was fielded by Dunlop whose quick clearance went straight back to the visiting right half, Setters shot promptly from 30 yards and was only just too high as Dunlop dashed back. The Albion half backs were now getting a grip on midfield matters and Barlow was the starting point of a raid which led to a corner. Allen hooked this one over his head to remarkable style only to find Dunlop making a typically clean catch. The Everton forwards were getting no change at all from the Albion defence and when Hickson tried to go through alone he found Kennedy blocking his progress so well that Hickson lost both ball and balance.
Temple beat the defence completely with an overhead flick and looked a certain scorer as he followed up his own pass but Sanders advanced and just managed to baulk him of his opportunity. Albion were using Kevan as the spearhead with Allen roving to both wings, and it was a pass by Allen from inside right which enabled his colleague to shoot past Dunlop as the whistle went for offside. At the 20th minute Everton’s customary free kick tactics with an players moving up in line misfired, Griffin ran forward as Howe took kick and although two of his colleagues were inside the winger was in a perfectly lawful position and slipped the ball beyond Dunlop. Having bumped Fielding out of his path with an old fashioned shoulder charge, Setters found the inside left coming back for more and although the Albion man won the ball he took a knock on the ankle for his pains. Everton were not moving with the rhythm expected from a side in their high position. The equalizer goal at 31 minutes was similar to the one Jimmy Harris obtained against Liverpool on Wednesday. He cut in from the wing and unleashed a strong drive with his left foot. This time the ball went almost straight at the goalkeeper but Sanders failed to hold it and it flew through hit hands into the net. The Goodison roar was now in evidence for the first time as Donovan hit a free kick over the top and Temple was just foiled by Sanders as he burst through the centre. The home team were now piling on the pressure with Sanders saving a Hickson header and Temple lashing his shot wide, from long range. The Albion defence had now lost some of its poise although the attack, still looked capable of anything. Barlow with a superb piece of work not Kevan through and after Dunlop had smothered his shot the inside left and the goalkeeper were locked together on the ground in a minor wrestling match, which incensed the crowd, when the players had wiggled free the referee had a word with Kevan but no free kick was awarded. In making a back pass Jones looked as if he had strained a leg and after attention on the field he limped off to the dressing room with trainer Wright. This was after 40 minutes. Donovan moved to centre half with Rea at full back and Fielding in the half-back line. After Horobin had lobbed a pass forward to Setters the right half made an equally good one through the middle and Robson was only just deprived of a glorious goal, the ball striking the far post. Half-time; Everton 1, West Brom 1.
Jones resumed in the second half wearing a bandage on his left-thign. He moved up to the centre forward position for the kick off but for the first few minutes at least he hovered around in midfield not seeming the badly handicapped by his injury. With floodlights on Albion were quickly on the offensive and Everton’s reshuffled defence has its hand full. Kevan put one drive over the top and after Griffin had dribbled through Robson was only a foot or so wide of the post with a first time effort on the turn. Not a great deal had been seen of Allen although he had put several passes; through and Kevan had only just failed to get in a shot following several of them. Fielding conceded a free kick which Barlow pushed forward and Setters let fly with a volley which hit one player and was still going as fast as most shots when it hit a second and was prevented from getting through to Dunlop. At last Kevan got a chance to force his way down the middle and although the ball was bouncing quickly beyond him he toe-ended a shot which the oncoming Dunlop knocked up and held at the second attempt. A tackle on Donovan brought Kevan into the limelights again in less praise worthy fashion and the crowd were not slow to demonstrate their disapproval. A ground shot by Jones gave Sanders no concern while the long leg of Barlow time and again cut off passes in midfield.
Jimmy Harris raised the crowd’s hopes with a swift dash only to find Kennedy coming across at just about the same speed and booting the ball off his toes. Howe came up for a shot which hit Kevan and although Albion were still doing most of the pressing their attack was nothing like as incisive as it had been in Tuesday televised match. Dunlop twice conceded corners when saving at the foot of each post from Allen and Setters while Kevan headed just wide. Meagan was injured as the big inside forward crashed into him and there was a nasty demonstration by the crowd as the little half-back received attention. With the crowd booing Kevan every time he went near the ball Albion were still going all out for a leading goal and almost had one when Tansey nearly put into his own goal in cutting off a shot from Allen.
BURY RES V EVERTON RES
November 2, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Bury Res; Adams; Fairclough, Gallagher; Turner, Daniel, Lovie, May, Ritchie, Reid, Mercer; Everton Res; O’Neill; Sanders, Leader; Birch, Labone, Gannon; McNamara, Thomas, Kirby, Mckay, Williams. Referee; Mr. G.H. Hamblett (Preston). Everton played much the superior football and with better finishing would have taken a commanding lead in the first half-hour. Williams brought Adams to a splendid save before Everton deservedly went into the lead after 10 Minutes, Kirby scoring after a defender had kicked a header from McKay off the line. Ten minutes later McNamara helped Kirby to get a second goal. Bury at last came into the game effectively and just before the interval Ritchie beat O’Neill with a header. Just before this O’Neill had been injured in going out to catch a lob by Reid. Half-time; Bury Res 1, Everton Res 2.
ONLY A WASTE OF ELECTRICITY
November 4, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, West Bromwich Albion 1
By Leslie Edwards
This which promised to be the best of matches was the worst, rough dragging, painfully from one show of ill-temper to another and making at least one among the 52,000 present wish he were anywhere but at Goodison Park. I don’t apportion blame I leave the consciences (if any) of certain players taking part to condemn foul play the too ready use of fists, the too ready desire to retaliate. And I maintain that the crowd’s frenzied screeching and whistling only communicated itself to players who were already over-sufficiently heated. The only good thing arising from a game everyone will want to forget –unless they hope for more at West Bromwich –was that each side saved their record. Everton remained unbeaten in the League at home; Albion stayed unbeaten away. After a game fought with such lack of sportsmanship it was well there was only one injury –and that from an accident. Tom Jones in making the reverse pass which his own goalkeeper had to dive smartly to save a corner four minutes before the interval pulled a muscle and spent the whole of the second half as a half-fit centre forward. He had only nuisance value. But the re-arrangement his absence from the defence caused was more than a nuisance –Rea dropped to right back. Fielding to right half back, and Donovan became centre half.
Later after Meagan had been damaged by Kevan at that big man swooped in to nod the ball for goal. Everton made more positional changes with Meagan on the left wing. Perfidious Albion left the field to a storm of booing. If Mr. Collinge, of Sale, who decisions were so good had taken his notebook out early in the match we might have been spared some of the distasteful things which followed. Academically Mr. Collinge’s decisions were excellent, if not always popular. The trouble was that he did not impose his will on the game. It was allowed to develop go-as-you-please tendencies. And not all the wrong doing was by West Bromwich. To make the occasion doubly dissatisfying we had the first Goodison Park half and half match, with the second half under floodlights. A game played wholly in normal light is ideal; the switching on of lights before darkness has arrived produces an indeterminate effect. It was not always possible on Saturday to see the ball clearly when the lights were on. To attempt to deal with play would be almost ludicrous in the circumstances. There were flashes of brilliance from Temple, Barlow, Dunlop (what a wonderful goalkeeper he has become) and Setters and Kennedy but scarcely a move was allowed to develop logically. There was always some illogical acting cutting into it’s continually and ruining it.
Everton conceded a goal at eighteen minutes when they were caught (as Liverpool caught them in that famous cup-tie) with one laggard not moving up fast enough to close the offside trap. Griffin scored from an angle so narrowed one imaged; Dunlop had every degree covered. At the half hour Jimmy Harris with the wind helping him cracked in a left foot shot that swerved so violently Sanders had only the remotest chance with it. He got the knuckles of both hands to the ball without halting its cannonade power. And that was how the score line stood throughout the game’s most tempestuous period. Temple with an overhead acrobatic almost teed up for himself what would have been the goal of a lifetime (from Hickson’s prompting); Allen with a similar gambit did similarly at the other end and Robson completing Albion’s and the game’s best move hit a fine shot which struck an upright with Dunlop beaten. These highlights apart it was a match punctuated by fouling, squealing and the crowd’s inevitable criticism of Mr. Collige or West Bromwich Albion. Personality the final whistle came as a relief. I liked Meagan’s half back play Rea’s fine work as a pseudo-back Dunlop’s goalkeeping and best of all the cleaniness and competence of Albion’s grand half-backs. Barlow and the danger of Kevan whenever the slightest chance occurred. For the rest …but perhaps that is better unsaid!
KIRBY’S DOUBLE FOR EVERTON RESERVES
November 4, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Bury Res 1, Everton Res 2
Everton Reserves maintained their excellent record at Bury, but only just, despite playing much the better football. In the closing stages, Bury made an all-out effort to saved a point and O’Neill was well beaten with a shot which hit the underside of the crossbar and came out. The issue however, ought to have been decided in favour of Everton by half-time, for they were the stronger and better balanced side. All the goals were scored in the first half, Kirby getting both of Everton’s and Ritchie replying for Bury.
EVERTON SPIRIT MEANT A WELL DESERVED POINT
November 4, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By David Prole
A point from West Bromwich Albion was all that most Everton supporters felt they could hope for prior to Saturday’s game. The fact that one was obtained under the handicap of injuries to Jones and Meagan is greatly to the credit of the home team, who fought with tremendous spirit against heavy odds. In the closing stages, with Rea at full back and the intermediate line comprising Fielding Donovan and Brian Harris, the Blues did extremely well to hold out. It is not often visiting teams play more attractive football than this modern Everton. This was often the case on Saturday, however, yet the Blues hung on gallantly to the end after as valiant a display of defence as they are likely to be called upon to give all season. Albion had more of the play and infinitely more shots, yet could not grumble at their half share. Such a return is always satisfying on tour and the point preserved their record as the only team unbeaten away from home in all four divisions. Had the visitors revealed the form they displayed in Tuesday’s televised match with the Central Soviet Army side they would have won with something to spare, for even before Jones pulled a thigh muscle near the interval, Everton were well below their best and were unable to find one another with any degree of consistency. Albion on the other hand, moved the ball well from man for man, and took up position so smartly that the home rearguard was usually at full stretch.
A Gallant Fight
When Jones resumed in the second half in the forward line, where he roamed from side to side and moved reasonably freely. Everton’s task looked beyond them. For determination, however, this Goodison sides scores full marks. They tackled and chased relentlessly, and with Albion falling away somewhat from their first half standard the Blues deserved their draw. There was always the possibility that one of their breakaway raids might yield them a second goal and the Goodison roar was often in evidence as the ball neared the Albion goal. But a few even full strength attacks get much change; from Kennedy and company, and the task of the depleted Everton line was altogether too much. The game was not as good as it should have been bearing in mind the records of the contestants this season. For this the crowd must take some of the blame – or more precisely, the section of rabid Evertonians who let loose a barrage of booing at intervals throughout the second half. Various Albion players came in for their censure and the referee’s but the onus for the bite which crept into the game cannot be laid entirely on the broad shoulders of Kevan, Setters and others.
No Excuse For It.
Setters was twice badly fouled before he began to fling his compact frame into the fray with more enthusiasm than regard for others. Kevan was involved in a scramble with Dunlop which seemed a case of six of one and half a dozen of the other. No free kick was awarded either way. Kevan was later guilty of a wild tackle on Donovan, and also flattered Meagan when flying in to make a header. In the second instance there was again no award against the big inside forward. Howe brought Brian Harris down in most unceremonious fashion not becoming an England full back but regardless of offences, real and imaginary, there was no excuse for the booing of certain offenders every time they went near the ball. Evertonians were the first to condemn the derision of Hickson at Anfield on Wednesday. This time nobody had cause for complain, for Hickson, was quiet in every sense. His task against one of the finest half back lines in football today was well-nigh impossible on the service, he received. Jimmy Harris was the best Everton forward and his scoring shot was a model of power, and precision, although Sanders might well have saved it once he had his hands to it. Temple faded in the second half although he again showed a football brain which moves at lightning speed.
Dunlop at His Best
Jones broke up many raids before his injury and had considerable nuisance value afterwards. Neither Tansey nor Meagan were as good as they have been this season but Rea did extremely well, particularly as deputy full back and Fielding gave him good cover when taking over Rea’s original position. The Everton star however, was Dunlop who defied Albion with several excellent saves and all but deprived Griffin of his scoring chance, when the “all up together” free kick ruse misfired. Griffin looked to have taken the ball too far but just managed to squeeze his shot past the goalkeeper and into the far side of the net. Albion’s best performer was Barlow, whose lanky frame dominated the midfield areas. He had the ball under control at all times, and I cannot recall a single tackle, in which he failed either to keep or to win possession. The entire Albion defence was extremely sound, even under pressure apart from the one lapse by Sanders. The forward work was not on a par with that of the rearguard for Allen had a disappointing day and Horobin on the left had not the class of his colleagues. Kevan did not look like an England player but was close to scoring on several occasions with head and foot. Robson’s best work was a post-hitting drive after a glorious Albion move, but Griffin sporting the most heavily padded ankles in football always looked dangerous. Conditions at the end were as clear as at the kick-off time thanks to the floodlights and the gate of 53,679 knocked another slice off their cost. It is a pity that the louder element of spectators could not have contained themselves better and let the players get on with their job in a less turbulent atmosphere. The game would have been all the better had they done so.
CUT IT OUT
November 4, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Not content with demonstrations against Albion players while the game was in progress a certain unsavory statement of Everton “supporters” created a scene after the game, and three of the visitors complained of being kicked, fortunately not severely as they boarded their coach. No official complaints has been made to the Everton club, who have in the past been forced to post warning notices as a result of the bad behavior of some spectators. Continuance of such outbreaks can do nothing but harm to the name of Everton and the loyal well-behaved thousands who comprise 99 per cent of their followers. Jones is receiving treatment but it is too early to say how long he will be out of action, Meagan has also improved and is undergoing treatment for his injured back.
November 5, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
For the fifth Wednesday in succession there is a floodlit match on Merseyside when Everton play the Army at Goodison Park tomorrow evening (7-30). Everton include Donovan at centre half, where he did so well in the part of Saturday’s game and although the fixture is by no means as attractive as the previous floodlit matches there are several excellent players in the Army side as well as some of Everton’s promising younger element on view. Everton; O’Neill; Sanders; Leeders; Birch, Donovan, Rea; McNamara, Thomas, Kirby, Mackey, Williams. Army; Duff (Charlton); McIntosh (Falkirk), Whelan (Blackburn); Sharp (Reading), Spiers (Reading), Appleyard (Leicester). Harris (B) (Everton), Newman (Portsmouth), Curry (Newcastle), Charlton (Manchester United), Jones (C) (Swansea).
ARMY MOUNT THE GREATER FIRE-POWER
November 7, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ian Hargreaves
Everton 2, Army 3
An assorted Everton X1 containing only two regular first teamers though several others with first team experience were forced to admit defeat to the Army under the Goodison floodlights last night if not always displaying typical military precision, the Army carried out their assaults with commendable spirit and determination and in the end their superior fire power prevailed. In Charlton a young man steeped in the Old Trafford tradition they had the most dangerous marksman on the field and it was his two goals, both smashed home with venomous velocity, that turned the battle in their favour. With such skilful skirmishers as Cliff Jones and Brian Harris to probe the weaknesses in the Everton defence it was not surprising that Charlton and his fellow storm trooper, Curry were able to drive home their attacks where they would do most damage. Harris of course, knows all about Everton’s habit of advancing in the face of a free kick, and his information produced a simple goal within five minutes of the start. Harris’ free kick found Charlton onside and unmarked –and then Charlton did the rest. Then, after Everton had equalized and taken the lead with two sudden goals immediately before the interval Jones found another unguarded spot in mid-field and slid the ball into it for Charlton to shoot home.
Scarcely had Everton kicked off than they were removing the ball from their net again, Harris and Curry launched a feint on the right and Newman delivered the fatal thrust from the left. The battle had been won and lost. Everton’s performance was erratic to say the least. They produced several delightful movements –generally inspired by Rea and Thomas only to ruin them with passing so wild it was almost indicious Birch’s propensity for hitting the ball fifty and sixty yards at a time did not help to keep attacks flowing with their accustomed smoothness and poor Kirby at centre forward received not a single pass on the ground throughout. McNamara brilliant in patches still fended to hold the ball a second too long, but it was good to see him entrusted with a penalty after Nelson had fouled Kirby –and even better to see him score from it. Everton’s other goal, two minutes later was a real beauty, Rea found Thomas with a lovely through pass and Thomas beating Appleton in one stride flicked the ball past Duff in the next. The highlight of the match this but unfortunately not repeated. In view of Jones, injury which makes him an unlikely starter on Saturday, the form of Leeder and Sanders at full occasioned a good deal of interest. Both did quite well, but a special word of praise is due to Sanders, who kept the quick-silver Jones as much under control as could be expected. Neither, however, could outshine Whelan whose polished play was a feature of the Army’s victory.
NO HARDER FOR BLUES THAN BEFORE
November 8, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Although Everton have slipped a bit latterly after a splendid start to the season, they have still that excellence record of nine points from seven away matches, which a better than they have had at this stage of any previous post-war senior campaign. Tomorrow’s visit to Tottenham appears no more formidable at least on paper than some of the hurdles they have already successively mounted at Arsenal, Aston Villa, and elsewhere. There is, however, the fact that the team has had to be changed defensively owing to the injury sustained by Tommy Jones. That might slightly upset the understanding which has been established through the regularity with which the rearguard has hitherto played together this season. Donovan is not a stranger to the centre half berth where he deputized on four occasions last season, while Sanders, a well built and strong player, has impressed with his consistency in the Central League. Though he is stepping up into a far harder school he may fill the breach most satisfactorily.
Good At Home
Tottenham’s home record is quite a good one. They have won five and drawn one of their eight games at White Hart Lane scoring 26 goals to 15 in the process. Early in September they defeated Birmingham City 7-1, there but that result was flattering, for the visitors lost goalkeeper Merrick after half an hour and had to play outside right, Astall in goal. Inside left Stokes got five of the goals that day, but has not scored since in six further outings. He and Smith are join leading scorers with seven each while outside right Medwin has five to his credit. The main schemer of the ‘Spurs attack is diminutive Tommy Harmer, one of the finest ball players of modern football; a man who can spilt even the best of defences asunder with his clever passes. He will need as much, if no more watching than any of his colleagues. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Donovan, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B).
ONE TO BREAK SEQUENCE
November 9, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton usually play well at Tottenham and as this Tottenham is even more mercurial than sided which have represented this club in recent seasons. It could be that Everton will break away from their long sequence of defeats and draws. It was at White Hart Lane in the last season of the Britton era that Everton played on a veritable gluespot the best football I ever saw since them. Brian Harris at outside right on that occasion had a brilliant game. Because Tom Jones injury of the West Bromwich Albion match persists –what an innocuous looking fall, when making reverse pass, did the damage –Donovan, whose last few games at full back have been so unlike him, gets a chance at centre-half and Everton bring in at right back young Sanders for his League debut. Robb is the sort of winger who might well give the lad a nightmare of a match, but if Sanders shown his quality as well and quickly as many of the others Everton have blooded this season all should be well. Tottenham have already dropped Iley, the Sheffield United half-back, they signed at £18,000. Norman like Donovan a full back goes centre half with Ryden formerly of Accrington in the wing half position. Tottenham; Ditchburn; Baker, Hopkins; Blanchflower, Norman, Ryden; Medwin, Brooks, Smith, Harmer, Robb. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Donovan, Meagan, Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B).
PENALTY DECISION WAS BIG BLOW TO EVERTON
November 9, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Tottenham 3, Everton 1
Tottenham;- Ditchburn, goal; Baker and Hopkins, backs; Blanchflower, Norman and Ryden, half-backs; Medwin, Brooks, Smith, Harmer, and Robb, forwards. Everton;- Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea, Donovan (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Temple, Fielding, and Harris (B), forwards. Referee; Mr. C.W. Kingston (Manmouthshire). The early morning sunshine had given way to a dullest but conditions nevertheless looked good for what promised to be an attractive game. Everton as you know brought in a newcomer to League football. In Sanders, who took over the right back position to allow Donovan to take over from the injured Jones at centre half. Yesterday at Goodison Park two of Everton’s young members Rea and Kirby were given their benefit cheques. The crowd looked a good one in fact a local estimate put it down at 40,000 with many more to follow.
The first 10 minutes had provided some really classical football and most of it came from Everton. In fact, one round of passing by the Blues brought forth an ovation from the home spectators. It ended with Hickson shooting over. But prior to that there had been plenty of incident and I noticed Sanders make a timely intervention to stop Robb’s career and Tansey did likewise when the Spurs right wing promised to become dangerous. It was Hopkins who probably saved a goal when a Temple shot seemed to be beating Ditchburn, but the Spurs full back kicked away off the line. Play was twice stopped for injuries to Rea and Donovan but both were able to resume. A free kick for the Spurs saw Dunlop make a punch away clearance and then from a quick breakaway. Temple out on the right wing, but across a fast centre which Blanchflower dare not allow to go on its way, but in his injury he sliced the ball away for a corner.
The Everton goal had a narrow, squeak when Robb centred close in to the Everton goal and the ball ended the Everton defence but there was no other Tottenham forward near enough in to take advantaged. Dunlop had to move smartly when he came out to challenge Smith, and then there was a curious incident when the referee gave a free kick for Everton but on appeal Mr. Kingston went across to his linesman and changed his verdict awarding a penalty to Spurs. This was taken by Harmer who instead of lashing the ball into the net, made a slow lob and it finished safely where Harmer wanted it to be. It did not look a penalty to me and the Everton players protested but unsuccessfully, so that Everton were one down in 23 minutes, rather against the play I thought. This goal certainly upset Everton and for some minutes Tottenham were slightly on top. Not that Everton did not make an opening here and there, and strange to say it was from defence that Tottenham scored their second goal at the 30th minute.
Up Against It
Blanchflower after having diddled the opposition came through with a pass right up to Medwin, whose centre left either Brooks or Smith in an unassailable position, Donovan being nowhere to be seen in his position of centre half, having advanced far upfield with the Everton attack. Brooks unleashed a powerful drive to score one of the best goals I have seen for some time. Everton were certainly now right up against it and if Harmer had not done as much dribbling in front of the Everton goal and taken his chance with a quick shot, the Blues might have been three down. Even so, the Spurs came very near to scoring for the ball could not have been more than two or three yards out and all it needed was a touch to make good. As it was the ball passed right across the Everton goal mouth and away to safety.
So far Ditchburn had little to do, but when Fielding tried a fast low centre from an angled position the Spurs keeper dropped on the ball to kept it out. A free kick to Everton put them on the attack and Meagan shot outside. Right on the interval the Everton right wing caused trouble to the Spurs defence and Ditchburn had to throw the ball away quickly as he was challenged by Hickson. A corner to Everton taken by Brian Harris was headed into the crowd, but there was no time for the second kick to be taken. Half-time Tottenham Hotspur 2, Everton nil.
Everton were the first to show danger in the second half and when Temple put a beautiful ball up to Hickson there seemed possibilities of an Everton goal but before the centre forward could get control of the ball he, was dispossessed by Norman. Then Fielding, out in the right wing, forced Ditchburn to a good catch, and Temple was just about to shoot when he also was dispossessed at the last fraction of a second. Ditchburn also had to drop down quickly on to a Fielding centre, but then the Spurs got back to their pre-interval form and Dunlop had to edge over his crossbar an excellent shot by Brooks.
Too Many Passes
Everton had come more into the game, but there was still that lack of penetration in fact thought they were inclined to overdo the passing at times. One piece of combination by Rea, Temple and Fielding ended with the last named shooting wide. Then Brian Harris made an opening for Fielding but the Everton inside left just failed to get to the ball before he opponents. Tansy also came upfield and actually made a centre from the corner flag which Ditchburn saved. The Spurs had lost quite a lot of their pep and Everton were now doing quite a lot of attacking and Ditchburn had to save a corner kick by Fielding. I thought Sanders was having a really good game against a very was to be seen everywhere and he made one hooked shot which dangerous wing. Blanchflower passed no more than a foot outside the far post. After 20 minutes of the second half had been played the lights came on.
Fielding and Rea combined to make an opening but Fielding’s centre went to a Tottenham man. Then Temple had one of these chances which he is very quick to accept but on the occasion he had to take his shot rather rapidly and did not get full power behind it, so that Ditchburn had an easy task. A free kick to Everton was easily disposed of and then from a quick breakaway Brooks brushed his way through the Everton defence and delivered a shot which Dunlop punched away to safely. Whereas the Spurs had gone into the shell, Everton were showing a little of their fighting spirit and at the 81st minute they reduced the lead through temple. Ditchburn actually got his hands to Temple’s header, but could not hold it and the ball passed into the net. There was still a chance of an equalizer and it nearly came when Brian Harris swept across a centre which just eluded Hickson and reproduced a corner which was cleared. Right on time Smith scored a third for Spurs a header from Brook’s centre. Final; Tottenham 3, Everton 1.
I HAVE SUCCEEDED A GREAT SKIPPER
November 9, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
With the departure of my old friend Peter Farrell from the Everton camp, I have been asked to take his place as contributor to the “Football Echo” and do so with considerable pleasure. I hope my articles will be as acceptable us, those which Peter contributed for so many years and that readers will write to me, as they did to him with any suggestions they may have. When I was required to deputise as captain of Everton in the opening game of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Goodison Park it was a great thrill and a much appriceciated honour. This was nothing however, to the feeling I experienced at Leicester when Mr. Buchan informed me I had been appointed official club captain following Peter Farrell’s departure to join Tranmere Rovers as player-manager. We were all sorry to see him leave Goodison Park for we knew him to be one of the finest skippers and clubmen in Everton history. Peter was a great captain. His unswerving loyalty and unquestionable behavior on and off the field of play served as a shining example to the playing staff I am sure that all our supporters miss his presence and his untiring efforts which on so many occasions have rallied the team when all seemed lost. No doubt these qualities will prove a great asset to Peter in his new capacity at Prenton Park. At least he will not be in strange company, for there are several ex-Everton players on the Prenton staff, including his old friend and countryman Tommy Eglington. I feel certain that Tranmere followers will give him every support in this most momentous season for Third Division clubs, and all of us at Everton wish him the very best of luck. I realize only too well that the duty of the Captain of any club is not just to lead the players on to the field. There is many other responsibilities to carry out in reason to conversations between management and players and in keeping the morale of the lads on and off the field at its highest. It is my task to maintain the high standard which Peter always set. Mr. Buchan and the team will given me all the backing and assistance I require of that I am certain. I hope that as the season goes on we shall give our supporters many occasions to remember. There are no better supporters than Everton’s despite what you have read about them elsewhere.
A Good Combination
The combination of the players efforts and the supporters enthusiasm can carry the team to former heights of glory. Our game with West Brom last Saturday was another milestone for the Everton club as it was the first League match in which the second half had been played under floodlighting, although the full benefits of floodlighting are only apparent in evening matches, they proved quite adequate when the natural light began to fail during the closing stages of the game. Unfortunately this struggle between two of the leading clubs in First Division football did not turn out to be the classic encounter that had been expected. Because of injuries during the game the enforced changes which resulted in a completely reorganized half-back line, up-set the rhythm of the team and I think under the circumstances we did well to salvage a point, and maintain our unbeaten home record in the League.
EVERTON RES V HUDDERSFIELD RES
November 9, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res;- G. Griffiths, goal; Griffiths (B) and Leeder, backs; Birch (K), Billington and Gannon, half-backs; McNamara, N. Birch, Kirby, Mackay, and Gregory, forwards. Huddersfield Town Res;- Fearnley, goal; Ramsey, and Gibson, backs; Battye, Coddington, and Low, half-backs; Smith, Massie, Stepton, France, and Howard, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Ollerton (Preston). Huddersfield took the lead after three minutes following a foul by Gannon on France who went on to give Griffiths no chance. Only smart work by Griffiths and his full-backs kept Huddersfield at bay though McNamara almost scored for Everton with a good header. Everton equalized in the 23rd minute through Mackay following good work by Norman Birch. Everton gradually got on top and in the 34th minute Kirby fastened on to Mackay’s through pass to give Everton the lead. Half-time; Everton Res 2, Huddersfield Res 1.
DISPUTED PENALTY WAS TURNING POINT
November 11, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Tottenham 3, Everton 1
Everton suffered their defeat of the season when they lost 3-1 at White Hart Lane. Yet they had a complaint. They say that they consider, and so do I that the penalty scored by Harmer at the twenty-third minute should not have been. What happened was this Smith and Donovan were fighting for the ball. To me there seemed no suggested of a foul by either man. The referee at first gave a free kick to Everton but on consolation with a linesman awarded a penalty to Tottenham. This turned the game completely for us to then. Everton had been the better side. The goal undoubtedly upset then and instead of being a smooth moving side they lost their rhythm and it was Spurs who took command. It was obvious that Everton lost heart. It was only natural that Spurs should get on top and I frankly admit that the Londoner’s second goal was one of the best I have seen for a long time. It started near the Tottenham penalty area following some defensive play. Blanchflower tricked all opposition and then pushed the ball up the edge line and Medwin promptly sent it sailing ever to the far side of the field. Here stood Brooks and the outside left Robb with no one within yards of them. Dunlop was left alone figure with an impossible task. Brooks shot went in like a rocket.
Everton slowly regained some of their poise, but they never regained the standard of their first twenty minutes when they looked capable of beating Tottenham. Spurs had a dangerous forward lines, but their defence was not secure under pressure. With a 2-0 lead Spurs could afford to bring out the niceties of the game and Dunlop had to make many good saves, some of them brilliant. I suppose it is possible to be too dainty I put Everton in that class. At times they made two or three passes where one would have been sufficient. But their great need at White Hart Lane was a little more punch near goal. They did reduce the lead at the eighty first minutes when Ditchburn failed to hold Temple’s header but Spurs went two ahead again in the final minutes when Smith headed a goal. I earned later that the referee awarded the penalty decision for pushing. Well, whatever it was for it seemed a harsh decision. Certainly the incident took place inside the penalty area. You will want to know as to how young Sanders played in his first League game. I thought he did excellently, and I don’t forget he was opposed to one of the cleverest outside left in the country, Robb. Harmer could be faulted for over doing things at times in fact both sides were guilty of this fault and while I am an admirer of artistic football, the great need is for goals.
When Everton were on top their looked a good side. They were well prompted by two wing half backs who gave their forwards every support but neither of the Everton wingers were on their game. True Ditchburn was saved when Hopkins kicked a ball off the line from Temple but there was so little shooting of any account by the Everton attack. Ditchburn could well claim to have had an easy afternoon. On balance I suppose Spurs went worthy of victory. They were much more dangerous pass goal without being prolific shooters. Everton must find more punch if they are to win games.
EVERTON YOUTH WIN
November 11, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Youth 7, Bury Youth 2
Everton were much superior to Bury in the FA Youth Cup tie at Goodison Park on Saturday. They had most of the play and were quicker on the ball, and later, when Bury came more into the game, the home defence, with Labone outstanding, easily held the Bury attack. Scorers for Everton were Blair (3), Todd, Ashworth (2) and Folksman and for Bury Howarth and Gregory.
EVERTON RES LUCKY TO SAVE A POINT
November 11, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 3, Huddersfield Town Res 3
Everton were extremely lucky to salvage a point against a more spirited faster and cleverer team in the Central League game. Although lacking a skilful schemer and dangerous raider. Such as France, the visitors inside left, the Everton attack could not be blamed for a moderate display as the inside forwards were too frequently rescuing their defence. This was due to the half back line being out of touch. Indeed had not amateur goalkeeper Graham Griffiths and the full backs Griffiths and Leeder stood firm, Huddersfield would probably have won. Both Kirby and Gregory, Everton’s best forwards, scored as well as Mackay, France, Hepton and Massie scored for Huddersfield.
PENALTY AWARD TOOK THE SHINE OFF EVERTON
November 11, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Was I a penalty? If so, why? That was the question asked after Everton’s defeat at White Hart Lane, for I doubt if any of the 40,000 spectators knew why the referee had given a spot award against Everton. For myself I could seen no reason for this vital decision, especially as Mr. Kingston first awarded a free kick FOR Everton. It was not until after a consultation with a linesman, who had been flagging that the verdict was changed to a penalty kick for Tottenham. The Everton players were dumpstruck by the decision and so were a lot of people. A protest went unheard and Harmer was designated to take the kick. He stepped back then moved forward to take the kick, but stopped and came back. Dunlop had sized up that he would put the ball to his left but when Harmer strode up again he chipped the ball to Dunlop’s right and it was in the net. Harmer explained that he stopped the first time he went up to take the penalty. Why am I belabouring this drastic decision. Simply because I think Everton’s defeat centred entirely on that penalty goal. up to the scoring of it -23 minutes –Everton had played high-class football moving sweetly and making openings against a side that had no great merit about it, but that goal turned the Spurs into a team with a confidence which was not there, before. Incidentally Smith himself later said he thought it was a severe decision. The referee’s explanation after the game was that he granted a penalty because of pushing by Donovan on Smith. Now my reading of it was that it could have been for hands for if there was pushing it was six of one and half a dozen of the other. However, there it was. Everton one goal down had their confidence shaken to such an extent that the fluency simply vanished from their play. They had played football as good as any I have seen this season and Tottenham were out to vie with them in style and ability so that we saw some beautiful movements. Sometimes they were too beautiful. The passing was overdone – three moves where one would have done, but to the purist this was football of a rare vintage. The penalty incident spoiled the game for instead of there being a fairly even balance Spurs got ahead with Everton slumping badly. It was a complete turn about for Tottenham became inspired and seven minutes later had taken a further lead. Everton had lost heart; they had lost art as well and I frankly admit that I could not see them pulling this game out of the fire as they did against Manchester United. Nothing would go right for them. But there was something else which was amiss with this Everton side. There was no penetrative power in their attack. Hickson was completely in the hands of Norman, a strong progressive centre half. Two shots only from a centre forward is a poor day’s work and neither of the wingers threatened to help link up the line. Temple had one shot kicked off the line, but should never have given Hopkins the opportunity to do so. Temple, too, only half hit a shot when given an opening but he did ultimately put one past Ditchburn who actually got his hands to “Temple’s” header but allowed it to slip from his grasp. Prior to that Brooks had scored a grand goal. Blanchflower started the move in his own penalty area. He came out with the ball drew practically the whole of the Everton defence out of position and then slipped there ball up to Medwin. The winger centred and there was not an Everton soul in sight –just Robb and Brooks I felt sorry for Dunlop. He was put on the spot and had no chance with the sizzling drive which Brooks sent into the net.
Everton still seemed to be worrying over that penalty goal at least they had not, yet got back to anything like their earlier form and it was Tottenham who were sailing smoothly to a clean cut victory. At last Everton started to function more like Everton and at the 81st minute Rea found Temple’s head and despite Ditchburn’s hands Everton had scored. There was still a few minutes left for Everton to force a draw and they made a bid for it for Ditchburn had to save from Fielding and Jimmy Harris but there was still that lack of punch, Hickson might have scored when Harris drove the ball right across the Spurs goal-face if Norman had not trodden on his foot just as he was about to stab the ball over the line. The chance had gone and with only one minute to go, Smith got up to head home a centre from Brooks. Despite Everton’s fall the game had its attractions. For one thing it gave me my first glimpse of Sanders, the young right full back and he impressed me by what he did. Retied against a clever wing to Hamrer and Robb, this young steer was not overawed by his task, and made a satisfactory League debut. Meagan was not the Meagan I know he can be. He put through some fine passes, but was beaten for pace more than once. No Mick can do very much better than this. Rea got a nasty jab in the back but of the defence the laurels must go to Dunlop, who gave another powerful performance.
EVERTON TEAM TO VISIT BURY
November 12, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Everton travel to Bury today to play their Lancashire Senior Cup First round tie under floodlights at Gigg Lane this evening, kick-off 7-30. The sides to do duty for the Goodison Park club will be the Central league eleven, but there is a doubt about the goalkeeping position. O’Neill is suffering from a cold and if he should be unable to play Griffiths will deputise. The team will be; O’Neill (or Griffiths); Birch, Leeder; King, Labone, Gannon; McNamara, Thomas, Kirby, Ashworth, Gregory.
Everton’s young inside forward, Mackay is in the thirteen from whom the Western Command team to play the Irish League in Belfast tomorrow will be chosen.
THOMAS HAD NO LUCK
November 13, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Bury 2, Everton 0
In a game packed with incident, good football and an abundance of missed scoring chances by both sides, Everton were beaten, at Bury, last night in the first round of the Lancashire Senior Cup. The result was a fair one, for Bury always had a little more power in attack. Yet if Everton had taken their chances the game could have finished different. And if Thomas had the slightest luck Everton could have got some goals. Thomas had shots charged down and headed off the line, while after Bury had run up a two goals lead he sent a tremendous drive against the crossbar. Everton at times played much clever football but they were far too lopsides in attack. They had to depend on the enterprise of right winger McNamara for most of their attacks. On the left wing Ashworth and Gregory made little impression. Kirby led the attack with zest but not much luck. The Bury front line which included Darbyshire at inside right and Ritchie at centre forward, as an experiment in preparation for Saturday’s Cup game, at Bishop Auckland, was a forceful line. If Griffiths had not been in splendid form in goal Everton could have lost by more than two goals. Yet it was a blunder by Griffiths which cost them the first goal, after thirty-one minutes, for the goalkeeper allowed the ball, from a low shot by Reid, to escape his grip and pass into the net. Griffiths however, had no chance at all to save Reid’s second goal, after sixty-one minutes, for the Bury inside left hooked the ball into the net off a post. Attendance 1,976.
EVERTON MUST PEP UP THEIR SHOOTING TO BEAT IRMINGHAM
November 15, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Birmingham City, visitors to Goodison Park tomorrow, and reputed to be one of the toughest of sides, are not so far having a very successful season, particularly when playing away. Everton also have not been doing quite as well recently as in the early part of the campaign, and may need to improve on recent performances to get the upper hand of their Midland rivals. Everton have conceded a point to the opposition in their last three Goodison Park matches, Combined with two away defeats, over the same period this has resulted in a drop of several places in the table. The argument that their position is better than it seems because they have a couple of matches in hand over some clubs, only holds water if the outstanding games produce points. Everton could have won some of the matches they have drawn and possibly saved a point from at least one of the others, had their finishing approximated to what it was a couple of months ago, when they scored three goals in four consecutive matches. Latterly they have been limited to a goal a game, and full toil has not been taken of reasonable opportunities. This is nothing very new. It has been their weakness on many occasions in the past. Looking at the total of 42 goals conceded by Birmingham which is greater than anybody else’s debit except luckless Leicester it might appear that Everton have not much to fear tomorrow.
Twelve of Birmingham’s goals, however, were conceded in two fixtures in which they had to play the major portion of the game with a deputy goalkeeper, due to injuries to Merrick. In one instance he was carried off the field at the fourth minute. One thing which may be in Everton’s favour is that the Midlanders had a game in Spain on Wednesday and only travelled back yesterday. While I contend that highly trained professional footballers should be able to play two games a week without undue effects it is a fact that many people on the coaching and training staffs of League clubs maintain that a mid-week game often takes the keen edge off a team. With Tommy Jones still unfit Everton followers will have the chance of seeing Sanders make his home debut in a League match. He shaped promisingly in Tottenham last week. Donovan continues at centre half. I do not wish to labour unduly on recent incidents which have not done the name, of Everton any good. Though grossly exaggerated in some quarters people outside this city are not aware of that. Unfortunately they judge only on what they read. For this reason I hope there will be no repetition either during the game or after of what took place a fortnight ago. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Donovan, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B). Birmingham; Merrick; Hall, Farmer; Watts, Smith, Neal; Astall, Orritt, Brown, Murphy, Govan.
DUNLOP –KING OF HIS AREA
November 16, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Whatever Everton’s fate this season I am convinced they have in Dunlop a goalkeeper likely to keep for England ere long. Everton’s great improvement dated last season from Dunlop’s incoming; in many matches this season he has made the save or saves back to which one could trace Everton’s success. He is absolute King of his domain – I include the six yards area and a good deal of penalty box territory –and friend and foe alike know it. He times his outgoings magnificently and even when the turf is slippery and he skids his way to the ball he grasps it as though this sort of thing were child’s play. Another oddity about our Albert, is his propensity for puffing his way to brilliant saves. I have seen some hundreds of photographs of him in action and scarcely one of them has not shown him with his cheeks extended out like balloons. I must take steps to learn the secret of Puffer, Dunlop. It is strange that Dunlop took so long to convince Everton of his exceptional ability. Seasons before he went into the first team, for the first time Liverpool Central League players told me that his work against them, at Anfield, had been almost miraculous. There was an outside chance that Manager Cliff Britton would give him his chance not long afterwards but circumstances worked in favour of the man in possession.
But Beware Dunlop’s opposite number in the match at Goodison Park this afternoon Merrick, one time England goalkeeper carries more size and weight than Dunlop but it will be interesting to compare techniques, I fancy we shall be shown that Dunlop is every bit as good as his rivals. It would be rough justices if Dunlop had a great day against a Birmingham team since it was at Villa a season ago he was criticized most unfairly after one of his rare not very brilliant days. Everton have been without victory in the League so long success today is essential to their cause. But they must beware. Only three weeks ago in London when Arsenal were salling comfortably to victory they found themselves 2-1 down within the space of a couple of minutes. Any side which can win at Highbury commands respect. Birmingham bring with them the young Bangor boy, Orritt the former Wolves and Lincoln half-back Neal (a great artist) and such established players as Hall, Astall Brown and Govan. Young Sanders the Everton back who started his League career at Tottenham last Saturday, gets his first chance at home, and Donovan retain the position left open through Jones persistent injury. Win, lose or draw, I hope it is for Everton, a better and happier occasion than the visit a fortnight, ago of West Browmwich Albion. No one wants to see a repetition of that. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Donovan, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B). Birmingham; Merrick; Hall, Farmer; Watts, Smith, Neal; Astall, Orritt, Brown, Murphy, Govan.
SANDERS DOES WELL ON GOODISON DEBUT
November 16, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Murphy Goal Due To Defensive Hesitancy
Everton;- Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea, Donovan (captain), and Harris (J), half-backs; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, and Harris (B), forwards. Birmingham City; Merrick, goal; Hall, and Farmer, backs; Watts, Smith and Neal, half-backs; Astall, Orritt, Brown, Murphy, and Govan, forwards, Referee; Mr. C.A. Woan (London). Everton almost go a gift goal after two minutes when Neil, attempting to back heel the ball to Merrick, did no more than put it in the path of Temple. It was fortunate for Birmingham that Temple was badly angled and elected to centre instead of shoot, so that Smith was able to retrieve the situation with a headed clearance. The first save of any note was by Dunlop from a Govan hearder, Brown after beating three men, was crowded out, and earned only a fruitless corner for his trouble. Birmingham looked the more promise and methodical team in attack. Everton were showing clever touches but bringing them to nought by erratic passing.
Sanders Plays Safe
Sanders making his first senior home appearance, was taking no chances against the tricky and speedy Govan and twice conceded corners to be on the safe side. The visitors had five flag kicks in the first 15 minutes and from the last of them the ball bobbed up, and down a few yards from the Everton goalmouth with Birmingham having three attempts to force it over the line before Sanders booted it clear. Then, Birmingham had two escapes in quick succession. The first was when Hall kicked away from the goal line after Hickson had hit a Jimmy Harris centre first time and the second when Merrick saved at full length from Temple. So far Sanders had been shaping quite well. He was not making his clearances haphazardly but was clearly trying whenever possible, to turn them to good account.
Birmingham’s best move so far was one in which Brown, Watts and Orritt combined to work out a good shooting chance to Murphy. The latter wasted no time but his shot was yards outside. A wonderful bit of combined work by Fielding, Donovan and Meagan took the ball from one penalty area to the other, and when Hickson joined in and squared the ball for Temple a goal looked a certainly Temple but terrific power into his shot but it hit Merrick a “save” for which the goalkeeper must thank his lucky stars. Another nice bit of work by Hickson carved out a further shooting chance by Temple. His drive from 25 yards was strong and accurate but Merrick saved with a full length dive. Hickson just failed to get his head to a corner from the right and when the ball ran on to Brian Harris the latter hit a first-time shot of power but no accuracy.
A Chance Lost
Temple had a much better chance a moment later when right through with only Merrick to beat but shot into the side netting. Hickson was waiting for a pass which must have mean a goal. Birmingham took the lead at the 39th minute Astall slipped the ball to Murphy and there seemed no particular danger, for the goal was a long way off and there were three defenders to bar the way, but Donovan and Meagan with plenty of time to tackle held off until it was too late and Murphy scored with a fine angled shot. A couple of minutes later the same two Birmingham forwards almost repeated the move, but this time Donovan nippes in to dispossess Murphy before he could get in a shot.
Half-time; Everton nil, Birmingham 1.
The switching on the lights for the second half was welcomed with a cheer. Play on the far side had sometimes been difficult to follow in the fading light just before the interval. Birmingham were displaying more fight and spirit than Everton, who sadly lacked someone to support Temple as a marksman. A foul against Smith on Hickson was chipped up by Fielding over the wall of red shirted defenders, but by the time Jimmy Harris reached it he could only put it behind.
The visitors were looking far more likely to score than Everton. Their passing was more accurate and they were that little bit faster that makes such a big difference. For some minutes Everton were penned in their own quarters and their defence was anything but happy against the quick tackling opposition. When Everton raised the siege. It was largely through Sanders whose passing duet with Fielding took him as far as the edge of the penalty area only for Neal to baulk him as he was shaping up to shoot. Everton had a lucky escape from a corner by Murphy on the left when Sanders swung at the ball but missed it, and Govan just failed to accept the unexpected opportunity. Fielding headed into an untenanted net, but the ball had been well over the line before Jimmy Harris centred. Everton’s attacks were all very short lived and Birmingham more confident than at any previous period were quickly back on the offensive. Hickson with little hope of making any impression on Smith, was contenting himself with trying to provide opportunities for others, mainly Temple, and he did this well on several occasions. Dunlop made a miraculous save from a header by Orritt. It seemed certain that the ball must go in, but he flung himself across goal knocked it a foot or so in the air then caught it and completed his clearance.
MAN CITY RES V EVERTON RES
November 16, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Reserves were forced into defence against Manchester’s lively raids in the opening minutes. O’Neill saving well from Fider and Hart, Ashworth and Williams linked it effectively to put the visitors on the attack. Thomas going close at Williams centred accurately into a crowded goalmouth. A minute later Gannon hit one just over the bar. Manchester snatched a quick goal after 10 minutes through McClelland. McClelland gave O’Neill no chance from close in. Crowding to the attack. Everton were unlucky not to draw level for after Kirby had hit the Manchester woodwork with a header, Fleet saved on the line from Kirby. Half-time; Manchester City Res 1, Everton Res nil.
Despite their handicap at the absence of Leeder in the second half Everton drew level through a grand goal by Williams. However some 10 minutes later Kirkham restore Manchester lead.
THERE’S LOTS OF ROOM AT THE TOP
November 16, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
Many youngsters of today are asking if it is worthwhile to become a professional footballer, especially if they are a little doubtful whether or not they will make the grade. Broadly speaking there is still plenty of room, in football for the right type of youth. By that I mean the lad who has self confidence and determination and above all the capacity for putting up with the disappointments and the ups and downs that go with the career of a footballer. The lads who expects to get to the top and stay there in a matter of weeks is in for a shock. He would be better off in remain an amateur. It is no use a boy joining a Football league club and expecting to get into the first team on the strength of a few good outings with one of the junior teams as some think they can do. In all professions, one has to start from the beginning and football is no exception. From my own experience the hard way is the best. Having served his time in the junior sides the player who find himself in the reserves also finds it is a big step-up from what he has been accustomed to. It is then up to himself to prove he is ready for a first team chance. Sometimes that is longer coming than he anticipated, but at last the big day arrives and he is “in.”
A Good Living
From the financial point of view footballers are much better off today than ever before and can not only make a very good living from the game but in many cases put enough by to start a business when playing days are over. Others may prefer to stay in the game as coach and in doing so they are able to help younger players with their experience. So as things considered I have no hesitation in saying that the game has plenty to often youngsters today. Football like most jobs can sometimes be a hard task master full of frustration and disappointment. But there are still much compensation for the player with the right temperament who is willing to learn. He will play in foreign countries when on tour, and make friends in different parts of the world. All this does not come so easily however. The ambitious lad must be prepared to work hard taking the good with the bad but he will find it all very satisfying. There is also the thrill of play not for one’s own country if good enough to be chosen. Most games provide an incident which is the taking point over the week-end among players and supporters like the offside decision against Liverpool in the night match at Goodison Park and the penalty against Everton in the return game at Anfield. At Tottenham last Saturday the discussion was the penalty given to the Spurs after half an hour’s play at White Hart Lane. I know there was a lot of comment in the papers about it but as the incident concerned myself and the Spurs centre forward Bobby Smith, I would like to clarity a point or two. The situation which led to the penalty was a ball through to Smith just outside, the 12 yards box, for which we both went in his keenness to reach the ball first. Smith stumble against me. The referee blew his whistle gave a free kick to Everton and signaled for the game to carry on. Bobby Smith also rushed to me and apologized for the foul. Then the referee noticed the linesman flagging and after consultation to everyone’s surprise he pointed to the penalty spot. Some papers suggested I might have got my hand to the ball. This is far from the truth as it was never off the ground.
CARRYING THE TORCH FOR BETTER CONDUCT
November 18, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Birmingham City 2
By Leslie Edwards
They’re carrying the touch for better conduct among spectators at Everton. Who? The four police horses who stood sentinel, two on either side outside the players entrance after this match at Goodison Park on Saturday. No one needs reminding of the troubles of the West Bromwich game a fortnight ago. It was only natural, I suppose that precautions should be taken against the small but noisy Everton element who bring the club’s name into disrepute. Normally the Mounties job here is concerned only with getting spectators safely into the ground. Once the game starts the horses (and their riders) never see a ball kicked. Many of them are back in stables long before the end when certain Everton fans have been known to kick over the traces. These horses are carrying the torch figuratively and physically. On the outer sides of both stirrup irons they carry small but effective electric torches –while to the front red to the rear –to light their way and to-observe the rules of the road in darkness. So we were lit up in two senses on Saturday. One rabid Everton follower who shall be nameless swore as he made his way home that he would attend personally to those four Everton pylons –with an oxy acetylene cutter. He argues that Everton have not won a League match at the ground since the lights first went on-and he’s right. Indeed the only League match Everton have won since was that at Newcastle. Everton followers argue that the team has never found the form, and fitness of the period when they were playing little more than one game a week. Another floodlit match against Blackpool is due for Wednesday. One wonders whether the great drawing power of Stanley Matthews will offset the disappointment among Evertonians that their team after doing nearly everything right is now doing nearly everything wrong.
Good For The Cup
Birmingham won by two goals to nil and were not only worth victory, but looked a most likely F.A. Cup side too. Their secret? They never give the others time to use the ball. I never saw a greater team of chivvies of the opposition with tackle after tackle on players in possession. If possession is nine points in football law –and who ll dispute it? Birmingham are half-way forwards victory. They are big long-legged fellows who refuse to give up the chase. Considering they had played a hard game in Barcelona in midweek they were remarkably fresh and fast –especially centre-forward Brown. But it was the angular Murphy who did the damage with a goal in each half. The first was due initially to a blunder between Donovan and Meagan. Murphy burst through at inside-right and with Donovan tackling contrived to produce the shot (a difficult angle too) which baffied Dunlop. A few minutes before the end Murphy did it again this time after a very good move. Again he scored from a difficult angle, this time from the left. Birmingham made mistakes but in general they had the better ideas the better speed and the better spirit. Where they were a little lucky was in not going one down after Temple had done everything he could to complete the game’s and Everton’s best move. Donovan, Meagan and Hickson (with the merest flick of a pass) contributed to this and when Temple hit the ball in viciously and it struck Merrick’s body. Birmingham were in luck’s way.
Temple first half, like Hickson’s was brilliant. He made one or two fierce long range shots and after breasting the ball down and sweeping through like a tornado hit a shot on to the wrong side of the side netting. I know of no young forward in football who looks more likely to reach international class. Temple’s running action is the most loose limbed thing in the game. It was a match of good goalkeeping with Merrick unbeaten and Dunlop responsible for an astounding save from a header by Orritt. This young Bangor (North Wales) boy got pace and direction into his strike. How Dunlop got from one side of goal to the other and edged it for a corner only he knows. Everton’s wingers both had a lean match so did Donovan whose centre half play has a distinct right hand bias and Meagan was not so commanding as usual. Young Sanders came out of his home debut with honours. He aims like Tansey at putting his clearance to construction, a good trait in any young back. The duel between Hickson and Smith was hard, but fair Smith is the man who may take over from Billy Wright in the England side. He has size and weight to add to his talent, Birmingham as a team were untiring. Their wingers moved into unaccustomed roles with facility and the Everton defence never seemed quite sure where to lay hands on them. With the that it produced only defeat for Everton (whose victories have been so few these past two months) the game was much more acceptable then the West Bromwich one. Maybe Everton will break the long spell against Blackpool. It would be a pity if they went on throwing away points after their magnificent start.
MANCHESTER CITY RES 3, EVERTON RES 1
November 18, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves had all the misfortune that was going at Manchester on Saturday . They opened with some polished football and were getting on top when an injury to Leeders, who pulled a muscle, disorganized the defence. He played on the wing for a short time but did not turn out after the interval. Despite this the Manchester goal had a charmed life when Kirby headed against the bar and on another occasion Feet took the ball practically off his toes. In fact it was anybody’s game until Manchester snatched two late goals. Kirby proved a great leader despite the fact that he failed to hit the target. None worked harder than Labone, while in goal O’Neill kept the Manchester forwards at bay with some masterly saves. Scorers for Manchester were McLelland and Kirkham (2) and for Everton Williams.
THE EARLY SEASON SHINE HAS WORN OFF EVERTON
November 18, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Six weeks ago Everton were hailed as the team of the season. With three games in hand they were not far behind Wolves and West Bromwich, and the over-optimistic were prematurely considering a possible championship achievement. What a change has came over the scene since then. With only three points added to the aggregate from the last six games Everton have slumped to ninth position, which is more in keeping with their performances during recent weeks. Football fans are fickle folk, some who so cheerfully talked of another title coming to Goodison Park are now heavy of heart and dejectedly imagining the worst, which is just as illogical and ridiculous as the earlier erection of castles in the air. As I have so often pointed out, occasional spells of either success or failure must be regarded rationally. The acid test is form over nearly nine months of a testing and trying season, not isolated periods which bring temporary glee or fleeting melancholy. Everton are now approximating to what I anticipated before the season began. They are finding their right level, and though nobody would have been more pleased than I had they continued on their almost all-conquering progress, a middle-of-the-table place is more in keeping with their form against Birmingham City. The biggest weakness at the moment is lack of finishing power. Temple, apart, who was most unlucky with some excellent efforts on Saturday –two Merrick “saves” were of the fortunate variety of which goalkeepers know little –there was nobody in the front line who ever looked dangerous.
Never In Danger
Hickson had one half hit shot kicked off the line by Hall, and a fine effort by Brian Harris was headed out in the last minute by Neal, but those instances apart the Birmingham goal was never in peril. Yet there were times when Everton’s approach work was of high standard. Well-sustained combined moves between four or five of the home men took play from one end, to the other in a manner which had there been the right finishing touch would have caused the goal to be remembered for months. Unfortunately at the vital moment either a sloppy pass, momentary hesitancy or over elaboration allowed the visiting defence to step in and put a full stop to the proceedings. There were also occasions when Everton’s defence did not look as confident and impregnable as it was earlier in the season. Dunlop was never at fault. He made one miraculous save from Orritt which caused the shooter to stand with the most comical look of amazement on his face. Sanders also shaped most promisingly considering his lack of experience and the tension under which any debutant must labour until he has found his feet and his confidence while Tansey, though not as outstanding as I have seen, was seldom in difficulties.
Needed A Tonic
It was at wing-half that Everton were not up to their usual standard and when that section of any side has an off day one can expect trouble. The first goal to Murphy arose from a combination of slowness to tackle and a defensive slip by Meagan and that was the game’s turning point. There might have been in early turning point this time in Everton’s favour, if either of the efforts by Hickson and Temple had resulted in a goal. Everton seemed as though they needed such a tonic to set them really going. When it failed to come they were unable to summon up the vital fighting spirit which is necessary to get the better of a team like Birmingham who were stronger in the tackle and quicker to the ball on almost all occasions. They disputed possession with much greater intensity than the home side, and I lost count of the times when with the chances even, it was a Birmingham man, who came out of a tackle with the ball at his feet. Their wing halves, once Neal had forgotten an early error which almost presented Everton with a gift goal, were much better pass-purveyors than the home pair, while the forward line was superior as a combined force.
Might Be Better
Hickson never looked like making any progress against the tall and forceful Smith whose obvious aim was to be first to the ball. Yet Hickson contrived as he invariably does to make up for his own lack, of shooting opportunities by serving up chances for the others. If the compliment was returned more often which was rarely if ever the case in this instance. Everton might do better in attack. Temple is a splendid marksman, with a very strong shot, but to a large extent he is an individualist of the Gauld stamp, a thrustful striker, rather than an ally in combination. Everton, however, would have looked ever less impressive without him. He alone lifted the forward line from mediocrity. This was Everton’s first home defeat, and only the second time this season they have failed to score at least one. I hope the recent lean spell is only a temporary failing away for with the heavier grounds we shall get shortly to say nothing of the complication of the F.A. Cup, the toughest part of the season has yet to come.
• Ronnie Saunders formerly of Everton, whose home used to be at Hoblyn Road Birkenhead, got five of Gillingham’s 10 cup-tie goals against Gorleston Saunders originally left Everton 18 months ago for a non-league club, but later joined up with Manager Archie Clark, who is also an ex-Evertonian at Gillingham.
MATTHEWS AT GOODISON
November 18, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Tommy Jones is making good progress following his recent knee injury, but will not be playing against Blackpool in Wednesday nights floodlit re-arranged League match. He should be all right for Saturday’s visit to Portsmouth. Dave Hickson was unable to train today, being in bed with a cold, but hopes to resume tomorrow. Manager Joe Smith tells me that unless something unforeseen happens in the meantime, Stanley Matthews is certain to stay. Durie and Garrett are under treatment for slight knocks but are expected to be fit in time, and Blackpool will probably be unchanged. I understand the Under 23 international match between England and Scotland originally fixed for March 12 at Goodison Park may be brought forward to a mid-week evening early in the New Year, probably about the middle of January.
BLACKPOOL HAVE WON FOUR CONSECUTIVE AWAY GAMES
November 19, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Tomorrow Floodlit Match at Goodison
Blackpool, visitors to Goodison Park in a re-arranged League game under floodlights tomorrow evening are one of this season’s most unpredictable sides. Their away record over the past two months is the best in the First Division, for they have won their last four games on the grounds of their opponents after losing the first three, but at home they are still something of a disappointment. the seasiders however, whatever their results, are the always an attractive side to watch though it must be a little annoying for their supporters when their home form falls so far below that they have been producing away. The star who pulls them in wherever he goes the one and only Stanley Matthews, will definitely be in action at Goodison tomorrow and if this is confirmed later by the team announcement few football fans will neglect the opportunity of seeing him in action. For some years now, it has been assumed that the season then in progress would probably be his last. “He cannot possibly go on much longer,” was the general view. But Matthews is a law unto himself in more ways than one, and here he remains still going strong in the hurly-busly of the League competition. What is even more amazing he is regarded by many good judges as a “must” for England’s party for the World Cup in Sweden next summer if the propose for his own private tour does not come to fruition.
Why He Has Lasted
One’s stock of superlatives to describe the magic and amazing skill of Matthews has long been exhausted. No player over the last 20 years has been written about so regularly and so deserved the praise showered of him. In the early days of football and occasionally between the two wars a few players continued to a later age than the Blackpool winger, but football then was not the tense and exacting business that it is in these more competitive times. One of the reasons Matthews has lasted so long apart from painstaking manner in which he keeps himself fit, has been the way in which he has kept clear of injuries. Nobody is more himble than he in getting out of the way of an opponent who decides that drawn as well as brain must be used to put a stop to his gallop. He just isn’t there to be lacked. It is always a treat to watch him even though the artistry not always be quite so much in evidence as it was a few years ago. Blackpool are by no means a one-man team. They have a well-balanced and effective forward line and although little Ernie Taylor, another wonderful ball player, has not figured in the attack lately the incoming of South African Brian Peterson has not detracted from the team’s effectiveness. Another man Everton will have to watch carefully is Jack Mudie the Scottish international who leads Blackpool’s list of scorers with nine goals Mudie who registered his 100th League goal last September keeps slotting them in with pleasing regularity, at least so far as Blackpool supporters are concerned.
Inside left David Durie comes next with six goals. This is the player whose religious principles do not allow him to play on Good Friday and Christmas Day a stand which has the admiration of many people. Another South African, outside left Bill Percy has been a reasonably regular goal score. Although his total of five is well behind that of some extreme wing marksmen, he is a very sound and useful player. Matthews of course, has never been renowned for his goal scoring. When he gets four or more in a season it is out of the ordinary. So far he has not broken his duck during this campaign and Everton naturally hope that he will not remedy this state of affairs tomorrow evening. In defence Blackpool have been reasonable sound, but now and again have slipped badly, and strangely enough always at home, Manchester City got five goals against them at Bloomfield Road a month ago and Manchester United and Burnley have each scored four there. Apart from these games, however, the Seasiders rearguard has acquitted itself creditably. Farm at one time first choice for Scotland, is an ever-present in goal. right half Jim Kelly although in one of his earlier appearances figuring at inside right, and Roy Gratrix at centre half are the only two other ever present. Hugh Kelly, who has come into the side latterly in place of Fenton at left half, has been playing well. Blackpool started the season with three away defeats but have since won away games in succession against Manchester United, Sheffield Wednesday, Notts Forest and Newcastle. Blackpool make one change from the side beaten by Burnley on Saturday, Wright replacing Garrett who has a pulled thigh muscle. Blackpool; Farm; Armfield, Wright; Kelly (J), Gratrix, Kelly (H); Matthews, Paterson, Mudie, Durie, Perry.
The goal stand at the Stanley Park end will be available to those paying at the gate as also will a few unsold tickets for the Gwladys Street stand. The turnstile will open at six o’clock. Goodison Road and Bullens stands are already fully booked. There will be plenty of paddock accommodation at 6s payable at the turnstiles.
LITTLE THINNER ON TOP; LITTLE SLOWER …
November 21, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Blackpool 0. Attendance 47,685.
By Leslie Edwards
Time marches on…and with it sadly enough, Stanley Matthews. Last night in this his first game under Goodison Park floodlights he was seen to be a little thinner on top; a little thicker round the chest; a little slower than of old, but a man opponents must respect if only for his exceptional nuisance value. You may depend on it that wherever Matthews is will be a defender who cannot stray far from him. This was the way of it now with Tansey doing a splendid job of work. But he could not stop Matthews roaming; he could not stop Matthews delivering (especially in the first half) a steam of through passes that all but undid the Everton defence. It was the oddest of matches for Matthews for more than one reason. He did not touch the ball at all during the first five minutes; he was involved in a handling offence (that is not to say that I agree he handled), he was also involved quite accidently in a collision of bodies out of which the opposition came second best. Add a lovely volleyed centre near the end (as a result of which Dunlop had to make his best save from a clever flick by Mudie and his most unlucky incursion in front of goal when Dunlop’s clearance rebounded from Matthews legs not for a goal but for a goalkick and you have the kernel of Matthews contribution to a Blackpool whose only striking power in attack would seem to be in Durie. This tall, angular young man (a Sunday school teacher who avails himself of the Football League law that none shall play on Christmas Day or Good Friday, if they have conscientious objections) headed eight in ten goal-kicks made by the trusty Farm and showed speed and positional sense which might have obtained three goals. But Peterson was not in tune with Matthews indeed, Matthews found the wet ball elusive and not coming to him in such a way as to allow him to show his brilliance.
The Right Result
A draw was a good result to a game hard-fought and most entertaining in the first half much of which was played in a light drizzle. The effect of the lights on the fine rain was to make it appear as though there was a fine mesh curtain between play and the spectator. The enmeshing of both attacks by two very good defences was even more marked and there were times in the second half when Everton attacked persistently, when it seemed unnecessary for Blackpool to possess a goalkeeper; Gratrix, Wright and company did their job so well, so effortlessly against an Everton attack which lacked Fielding, Farm was scarcely ever called on. This Everton line has youth and spirit and shooting ability but without an old hand to guide and general them they can never hope to succeed Thomas and Temple are two players of similar styles. Neither showed the ability to hold the ball and tear a defence apart in the way that Fielding can –and does. Bu none can deny that Everton were the better, if the unluckier finishers. They had two chronic pierces of misfortune both brought about by their own failings. Jimmy Harris with a wonderfully fierce free kick (for a foul by Durie) began the first movement. Farm found the power of this shot, almost knocking him backwards and not surprisingly, lost his grip on the ball. Temple was pivoting and about to shoot the ball over the lines (with Farm nowhere on the horizon), when Thomas sailed in at speed from behind and taking the ball from Temple’s feet kicked it high over the bar. As if this were not grievous enough. Temple did almost identically the same thing (except that he shot wide) in the second half after Hickson had tried to score with a header. I suppose it is natural that young players should become over-excited with such chances. But they were two expensive lessons for an Everton who have not yet won a League match since they won at Newcastle way back in mid October.
He Missed The Dog
Blackpool have no lights of their own and maybe were a little handicapped. They have a fine defence, but with respect one cannot see how they have won their last four away games. At the outset Thomas was Everton’s best and most persistent shooter, Farm (who later dived in vain to secure a stray dog which found its way on to the pitch) fielded his first well hit shot and then Thomas got a corner with a shot deflected. Thomas with a shot deflected Thomas shot through the ruck which might well have beaten Farm brought from that scot a one-handed save which can only be described as superb Dunlop, with an almost equally good save from Perry’s header, had the crowd roaring again. Then Wright who had a splendid match headed from the goal-line a header by Thomas. Dunlop with a full stretch save gave away a corner when Mudie drove in a free kick given against Donovan for handling. There followed the incident in which Thomas spoiled Temple and then a left foot drive by Jimmy Harris which Farm put adequately over the bar. Sanders closed the half with the most timely of tackles on the flying Perry and if that South African has had a more moderate match I have to see it. Sanders played him admirably if the boy has a fault it is that when he has won the ball in a tackle he is too prone to try to make a long constructive pass, where a shorter one would be more accurate.
The Durie Danger
King, who was making his home League debut got a second half knock, but was able to continued. By this time it was a game almost completely lacking in the excitements which had made the first half entertaining. It was a long-drawn battle in midfield with too many passes by each side missing their marks. Blackpool can never be the force they were until they find some shooters. Durie is their only danger man. Perry usually good for a goal, was so well held by Sanders he ceased to count. Matthews except for infrequent proof of his skill was too often a spectator. Defensively Blackpool are a different story I liked Gratrix and his speed I liked Wright. Everton’s attack had more punch than Blackpool’s but without the experience of Fielding you don’t get the best of boys as Thomas and Temple. No one I fear would travel far to see these Blackpool “lights” but if only because it gave us one more opportunity to see Magical Matthews in action again, this was a worthwhile occasion. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Donovan (captain), and Rea, half-backs; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Thomas, Harris (B), forwards. Blackpool; Farm, goal; Armfield, and Wright, backs; Kelly (J), Gratrix, and Kelly (HJ), half-backs; Matthews, Peterson, Mudie, Durie, and Perry, forwards. Referee; Mr. L.J. Tirebuck, (Halifax).
EVERTON’S WASTEFULNESS COSTS THEM ANOTHER HOME POINT
November 21, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s habit of drawing their home matches is tending towards the monotonous. The concession of a point to Blackpool last night was the fourth home draw in the last five Goodison Park games, but at least it was an improvement over their display against Birmingham City. The pity of it was that if the Blues had taken their chances they could have won by two or three goals, and a victory is what they badly need just now to restore their warning confidence. They are not the side they were a couple of months ago. Then they oozed confidence, moved finely, shot often and surprised everybody by the high class of football they served up. Now, for no apparent reason for the changes in the side have been few and the incoming men have usually done well, they have lost the keen edge of their play. Yet their still could have won handsomely had not those simple chances been allowed to go begging. Sooner or later however, the luck will level itself, and then we should see that long awaited victory added to the list. They have now played seven games without one and conceded six points in the last five Goodison matches. The man who took the eye most last night was 21-years-old Alan Sanders as beautifully built a lad as I have seen for a long time and a player who, on this showing is destined to make a name for himself. Only once did he put a foot wrong, and then it was a comparatively insignificant affair of a misdirected pass. He played as well as I have seen any newcomer for a long time, and considering this was only his third senior game he earned top marks.
It seems remarkable that a youngster of such promise should have been allowed to leave Manchester City on a free transfer but all clubs make occasional errors of this nature. City seem to have boobed here all right. Dunlop was also in his best form, Donovan shaped well once he had taken the measure of Mudie and King, another player of very limited experience like Sanders, had no reason to look back on his home League debut with any but satisfactory feelings. It was in the forward line that Everton were most remiss. If Thomas’s two splendid efforts in the early minutes had gone in instead of producing first class saves from Farm, the story would have been very different. Hickson was again reduced to make openings for others rather than get goals himself, and for the same reason as in previous games, namely, that he was up against a solid and determined it centre half and rarely got the right type of passes. Brian Harris was disappointing and Temple never hit the ball in the manner we saw from him earlier in the season. The goalless first half produced fast exciting and excellent football with the advantage fluctuating almost every other minute and both goalkeepers being called upon to save some powerful shots. Everton displayed shooting far in advance of what they had done the previous Saturday against Birmingham. Everton’s lively opening was much to the liking of the crowd of 47,665, but Blackpool were not long in taking up the challenge and it was Dunlop’s turn to make two saves from Perry which equally Farm’s earlier ones. Everton missed a good chance of going ahead when Brian Harris shot outside from 12 yards and the Blackpool goal had another escape when Wright cleared Thomas’s header, following a corner off the line. Everton missed yet another chances when a tremendous free kick by Jimmy Harris hit Farm on the chest and rebounded to Thomas who shot over the bar from four yards while the Blackpool goalkeeper was hurryingly scramming to his feet. This was a real let-off for Blackpool, the worst miss of the match.
Matthews Below Par
There was another almost as bad in the second half, when Temple shot outside from six yards. This half was nearly all Everton for long stretches, but they had lost their shooting boots by this time, and Farm was not called upon anything like so often as he had been in the first portion. It was 25 minutes before Blackpool had a shot after the change round and then Duries effort caused Dunlop no worry. It was the only one of any note that the visitors had during this half, and Dunlop had little to do to earn his money. Blackpool, in short, while sound and solid in defence were nothing to write home about in attack and Stanley Matthews failed to live up to expectations. For long periods he never got a pass for some obscure reason off which only Blackpool are aware but even when he took up his old wandering habits in order to get into the game it was not the Matthews we used to see. Once or twice he give flashes of his former brilliance, but they were so rare that they served only to emphasize that this was one of his off-days –or nights. Tansy shaped very well against him, but was fortunate in opposing Matthews when he was so much below what even nowadays he can accomplish at his best.
November 21, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are having six days at Blackpool next week, in the hope it will put them back on their former pedestal. They leave on Monday and travel back on Saturday morning for the home game with Sheffield Wednesday.
ALDERMAN JOHN BRADDOCK MAY BE EVERTON DIRECTOR
November 22, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
From time immemorial Everton F.C’s directorial seats have been sought by every type of sportsman. The annual meeting became renowned for their part-animosity. Today a new name is prospected in the directorial world. It concerns a famous figure in political City Council and Trades Union circles. Owing to the death of Mr. Ernest Green a new director must be appointed either by co-option for election. Many are called few are chosen, but I understand that the latest vacancy will all things being equal, fall upon the broad shoulders of Alderman John Braddock. Whether the decision to nominate Alderman Braddock will be a unanlous one remains to be seen. It may be felt in some quarters that there are others with prior claims to the vacancy. If an election is fought it is likely to be a tempestuous one –with no punches pulled.
Everton’s team for the match at Portsmouth –where they fit-contains Meagan, now have had little success since the war. He comes back to his normal position at left half back and Rea reverse to the right. Otherwise the side is unchanged from that which drew with Blackpool. Portsmouth have Peter Harris back on the right wing after a fortnight’s absence due to a strained leg muscle. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea,. Donovan, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Thomas, Harris (B). Portsmouth; Uprichard; Gunter, Wilson; Albury, Rutter, Dickinson; Harris, Gordon, Dougan, Mansell, and Henderson.
November 23, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Leslie Edwards
Everton have gambled on an eleven minus Fielding at Portsmouth. They obviously think that but for the over-eagerness first of Thomas then of Temple against Blackpool on Wednesday victory would have been theirs and I am sure they are right. Fielding is fit and travels as twelfth man. Perhaps that is the safest Everton position in any match in which they and Portsmouth are involved. No side in the land has had such success against Everton home and away, as Portsmouth in season since the War and some of the margins of their wins here at Portsmouth have been prodigious. Oddly the impression is given that there is no love lost between these clubs. One of Everton’s least successful signings was of the oddly named Juliussen from Portsmouth. He never touched the form at Goodison Park he had showed down South. This will be a game of the Harrises. There will be Jimmy and Brian of Everton and Peter on the Portsmouth right wing. The Portsmouth Harris has been a consistent menace to Everton with many goals to his credit as the result of his storming winging. It will be interesting to see how the young Everton back Sanders does here. He made many new friends by his handling on Wednesday of Percy of Blackpool who was made to look ordinary. This match is also a great test for Thomas and Temple. With Meagan back they should get better service, Everton victory for two reasons. They want to revenge themselves for heavy beatings in the past they want to pick up two points for the first time since that win at Newcastle on October 12. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea,. Donovan, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Thomas, Harris (B). Portsmouth; Uprichard; Gunter, Wilson; Albury, Rutter, Dickinson; Harris, Gordon, Dougan, Mansell, and Henderson.
HECTIC START AND THEN THRILLING FINISH
November 23, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Portsmouth 3, Everton 2
Portsmouth;- Uprichard, goal; Gunter and Wilson, backs; Albury, Rutter and Dickinson (captain), half-backs; Harris (P), Gordon, Dougan, Mansell, and Henderson, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea,. Donovan (captain), Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Thomas, and Harris (B), forwards. Referee; Mr. P.J. Smyth (London). Meagan returned to the Everton side with Rea moving to right half back. The weather was cold and Sunny and, happily for Everton, Tansey had recovered from the heavy cold which troubled him yesterday. Thirteen Everton players will be going to Blackpool next week for special training. The game had scarcely started when Hickson and Rutter collided accidentally and Hickson went down – happily not hurt. Everton went ahead in exactly two minutes through Temple. The ball went upfield from a Dunlop clearance and Harris (J) on the right made little ground before putting the ball far upfield to Temple who breasted it down, and shot into the far side of the net in the same movement. Thirty seconds later Mansell in an impossible scoring position as it seemed, hit in a shot which Donovan inadvertently deflected just enough to cause the ball to cross the line at the far post to the utmost dismay of Dunlop. The crowds cheers had not died away when the big Irishman Dougan shooting from far out and with no special pace, hit the post, the ball rebounding over the line to give Pompey a 2-1 lead with the game less than five minutes old. Harris (J) with a centre which Uprichard took well almost on the line, almost produced another goal immediately the game started.
Signs of Toughness
Much of the football from both sides was good, though there were signs of toughness about it. One of Harris (J)’s long pass centres was an embarrassment to Uprichard but broadly speaking Pompey were mostly on top. Sanders came in for the crowd’s displeasure and from a free kick against him Mansell drove a shot wide. The big gangling Dougan was quite a handful for Donovan, Temple who pitched on the cinder track, was left lying there while the game proceeded the referee having signaled Harry Wright to go to his aid. Temple not only fell awkwardly but on hard shale and looked thoroughly shaked but he was fit to resume after attention, just after Harris (J) had shot wide from a fine angle, after some good approach play by Tansey and Thomas.
Tansy and Sanders between them did well indeed when Peter Harris was clean through and they had to tackle him from behind without incurring a penalty. How they did it only they and the referee know. Dunlop saved from Henderson when a moment earlier he had to watch a header by Dougan flash inches wide the chance coming from a left-wing corner. Thomas was having a good innings in defence and in attack, but Everton’s finishing did not match the accuracy of their approaches. Harris (J) with a low header and Gordon, for Portsmouth both made gallant efforts to score. Everton were luckless when a good run by Harris (J) led to Thomas centering and Hickson nodding the ball hard in the vicinity of the far post. This spectator move deserved success. In the event the ball flew wide by a mere foot or two.
Out of Luck
Considering the progress they were allowed to make down the right wing it was odd Everton had not drawn level. Portsmouth were the most dangerous finishers. Uprichard was equal to Harris (B)’s right foot shot after a fine move with Hickson and all told Everton were more in the game now than at any other stages. Temple after a good feinting run and after some splendid efforts by Brian Harris and Rea, shot over when challenged close in. Temple and Thomas were both playing brilliantly, if rather unluckily. Half-time; Portsmouth 2, Everton 1
Mansell hit the bar and Dougan shot the rebound high over at the outset of the second half. Sanders clever reading of the play probably shaved Everton another goal when he nipped in with the most timely of tackles on Henderson.
Dunlop came to the edge of the penalty area in pursuit of Dougan after punching away and then Hickson with a long shot, when tackled, all but leveled the scores. The ball just missed the bar by inches. An occasional toughness still entered the game. Portsmouth now seemed to have recovered from Everton’s period of pressure late in the first half. Rea nearly put through his own goal when getting to a corner list ahead of Mansell but 13 minutes after the restart Pompey made it 3-1. Gordon got the goal after pivoting full circle and shooting the ball low between Dunlop and the near post.
Everton claimed that Gordon was offside and Donovan and Hickson both made strong appeals, Hickson’s being so strong the referee had words with him in the centre before the game was restarted. By this time the game was getting a bit out of hand Pompey would have made it 4-1 if Gordon had been luckier with a shot close in. He drifted the ball onto the bar from whence it rebound away to be headed clear. Portsmouth were right on top but fortunately the temper of the game had not increased. Yet the referee spoke to Young Sanders for a foul on Henderson whom the back had held like a rugby player. It was totally unexpected that 29 minutes after the interval when Brian Harris lashed in a shot which Uprichard could not hold and Thomas drifted in to score as he pleased. This put Everton in with a chance and ensured that a game which was frizzling out in Portsmouth’s favour blossomed into a battle again. Final; Portsmouth 3, Everton 2.
RESERVES READY AND ABLE
November 23, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
On top of the First Division and going strong for the championship are Wolverhampton Wanderers, but we still have our hopes at Goodison Park, though the results in the past few games have not been to our liking. Prior to the Asian flu epidemic Everton’s record was excellent and critic were naming us as the surprise team of the season. Since then we have failed to recapture the rhythm which marked our previous play, so the big question in the mind of Evertonians is whether we will maintain our challenge for the leadership of the First Division. I wish I could give the answer but I am no prophet, and like everyone else will have to wait with fingers crossed until May. Whatever happens in the meantime, I do know that the spirit and morale of the players at present in the first team could not be better. Our reserves are playing a big part in no uncertain manner by their very fine performance in the Central League. I am sure that Mr. Buchan must be happy in knowing that Everton have such capable reserves ready to step in for any player in case of loss of form or injury.
It is a very heavily sign in any club to have the reserve team playing well, as it serves to keep first teamers right on their toes to maintained their places in the League side. In the Everton team against Blackpool last Wednesday, there were five players who were in the reserves earlier in the season namely Sanders, Rea, King, Thomas, and Brian Harris and there are a few more in the Central League side at the moment, who wouldn’t let seniors down if called upon. What a difference those youngsters must find when they are promoted to the first team.
Being accustomed to the shouts of the usual few thousand at Central League games, some must find the atmosphere amid the roar of 40,000 fanatical fans rather frightening. I called in the Blackpool dressing room after the game on Wednesday to collect some autograph books which I had left earlier. Some of the Blackpool players were discussing the match with their trainer, and the name of Jimmy Tansey came into the conversation. George Farm had nothing but praise for Everton’s full back, and the way he played Stanley Matthews. Farm said; “I have yet, to see Stan have a good game at Goodison Park when Tansey is playing full back. Jimmy Kelly, the Blackpool right half, voiced his opinion in the same way.
Down the years so much has been written about Stanley Matthews I felt I must say a word or two about this great man of football. I remember a few years back; I had the pleasure of playing against the maestro himself. It is an experience I shall never forget, I was not long in the first team, and was keen to do well. Matthews did not speak to me during the game, and as he was near to the tunnel entrance when the final whistle went, he just nodded to me and went to the dressing room. Over a year later, I was standing just inside the players entrance at Goodison Park when Stanley Matthews came over to me. “Hello, Don,” he said,” how are you getting along?” I never dreamt that such a great footballer would remember me. Little acts like those, give you some idea of the type of fellow he is on and off the field.
EVERTON RES V SHEFF WED RES
November 23, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Reserves; O’Neill, goal; Bentham and Griffiths, backs; King, Jones, and Haughey, half-backs; McNamara, McKay, Llewellyn, Ashworth and Williams, forwards. Sheffield Wednesday Reserves; Ryalls, goal; Staniforth and Bingley, backs; Whitham, McEvoy and Gibson, half-backs; Greensmith, McAngerney (J), Broadbent, Young and Cargill, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Smith (Bresston, Derbyshire). The visitors were dangerous in the early minutes when Greensmith twice went close, while only good defensive work by Jones prevented Broadbent and Young from scoring. Over ten minutes went by before Williams produced a shot for Everton, but drove too high. Everton, however, gradually warmed up and after Haughey had gone close with worthy attempts, McKay put Everton ahead after 39 minutes’ play. Four minutes later, the Wednesday broke away for Young to equalize with an acutely angled drive. Half-time; Everton Res 1, Sheffield Wed Res 1.
WHEN EVERTON BECOME ALL TO APPEALING…
November 25, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton maintain that the crux of this match came in the 58th minute when Portsmouth made the score 3-1. That goal led to protests by the Everton captain, Donovan and, after the ball had been re-centred by Hickson. Both apparently, suggested that the scorer, Gordon, had been offside. No doubt that Gordon looked offside. When I went to the referee’s dressing room after the match, he had gone. “Wise man!” said someone. But opportunity arose for me to speak to Mr. P.J. Smyth of London on the train to London. Thus (despite the disgust of Everton coach, Ian Buchan, that any Pressman travelling with Everton should have the effrontery to speak to the referee!) I can report the referee’s personal view of the decision. “I allowed Gordon to go on because in my view, he was onside when the ball was last played,” he said, and added “I made the decision; the linesman well placed to flag if Gordon had been offside did not do so.” Football is full of inequalities. They are part of the game. You are on the wrong end of the decision this week; on the right end the week after. Everton are sometimes a very appealing club, but in the wrong way. They may argue with some justice, that Gordon was offside, but who can say that if this goal had been disallowed Everton would have gone on to get the draw their lively, if not always well finished football deserved. The referee’s decision is final. Once Donovan had protested it was foolish of anyone else to take the matter further…
It was a hard entertaining match; sometimes a little hot-tempered with a storming start (three –and very nearly four –goals in the opening four minutes) and a floodlit finish in which Everton made it 3-2 and had Portsmouth anxious for the final whistle. But as has been customary with so many of Everton’s matches, post-war against Portsmouth, it produced no comfort for us. More important than the continuance of Portsmouth as Everton’s special bogey team is the fact that Everton have not won a League match since mid-October. The signs of tiredness in the team make next week’s rest and recuperation well timed. Meagan, in particular, played like a man who needed re-vitalizing. The team as a whole have had a very busy season; the Blackpool rest may be the prelude to victory against Sheffield Wednesday at Goodison Park next Saturday. Everton’s and the game’s opening goal at two minutes showed Temple at his finest. He breasted down a long high pass from Jimmy Harris and shot the ball across the line at the far side of goal with a grace that made this brilliant goal look easily obtained…within a couple of minutes Portsmouth had gone to 2-1 with goals which were streaky and virtually out of the blue. First Mansell scored from an impossible angle-Sanders inadvertently causing the deflection which so completely bamboozled Dunlop and let the ball trickle over the line at the far post. Then Dougan 6ft 2in of the Irish enthusiasm and football artistry hit a low shot, through the ruck, to find the star post and from there over the line. Shorn of their lead so suddenly Everton were shocked, too, but they continued to play well up to a point and with better striking power must have succeeded Jimmy Harris missed at least one reasonable chance; Hickson coming in fast guided a header just outside the post when just inside would have given him a spectacular goal. But once Hickson, with a clever job had missed by inches Portsmouth really got their teeth into the match and Dunlop and the harassed Sanders (whose harmless foul were more the result of inexperience than anything else) with Donovan and Tansey had to battle a deal to keep Everton in the game with a chance. The Gordon goal (Everton claimed he had run back yards and even then was still yards offside) did nothing to improve the game’s fieryness. It served to make Everton play harder than ever and for the final ten minutes, at least, they were in command and within sight of an equalizer. The Portsmouth centre-forward Dougan, is a taller edition of Pongo Waring and may yet develop to be as great a player. For a big man he is deceptively fast and deceptively dainty. Donovan had to hold on grimly to prevent his bursting through. Peter Harris is not the player he was but with Dickinson still a great half back Portsmouth are useful and at times capable of inspired football.
The Everton men who did best, I thought were Temple and Thomas and Brian Harris in the attack and Tansey and Dunlop in defence. Thomas scarcely put a ball wrong. He may not have the experience and ability to fill Fielding’s role, but he could scarcely have done more in this match. Temple had a fine first half. But for Dunlop and Tansey Portsmouth would have had the match beyond all doubt (and beyond Everton protest) long before the end. It is a question whether Everton can afford to leave out, if fit, players of the calibre and experience of Fielding and Jones. Donovan improved after an ordinary start and was playing well at the end, but too many Portsmouth attacks developed down the middle. The main fault in the Everton attack was the lack of a player to take hold of the line and make it work as a line. There was enthusiasm and some good combined play and the attack certainly should have scored more than twice but a man of Fielding’s style was needed. Everton’s second goal came as a result of a fine Brian Harris shot which Uprichard could not take to hand. Thomas drifted in to take a veritable gift…but then his general play well merited his getting on the register.
CONVINCING WIN FOR EVERTON RES
November 25, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 5, Sheffield Wednesday Res 1
A second half transformation helped Everton Reserves to a convincing win which, however, was not easily obtained against a team boasting even after this reverse the best Central League defensive record. After being lucky to turn round level at 1-1, Everton subsequently made better use subsequently made better use of their wingers and inside forwards McKay and Ashworth who scored two goals each decided the issue by converting half chances. The Wednesday fell away as an attacking force against Everton’s sound defence in which centre half Jones was outstanding while left half Haughey normally an inside forward revealed promise. McNamara scored Everton’s other goal with Young replying for the Wednesday.
ANOTHER BREAK GOES AGAINST EVERTON
November 25, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton returned from Portsmouth, nursing a grievance and another defeat by Portsmouth. They argued that when Portsmouth forward Gordon got his side’s third goal mid-way through the second half to make the score 3-1 he got it from a palpably offside position. Everton captain, Donovan, appealed to referee Smyth of London as soon as the goal was signaled. The referee would not consult a linesman. He told me afterwards that he was himself in a position to judge and that in any event, there had been no signal. Before the game could be re-started Hickson had words with the referee who appeared to admonish him. Whether or not the disallowance of this goal would have enabled Everton to get a draw is imponderable but they considered it would and Dunlop, at least was “furious” that Everton should be on the receiving end, recently, of so many disgusted decisions. It is necessary of course for players and others to appreciate that these decisions (and similar ones which favour them! Are part of the game. No side gets a preponderance of good or bad luck in these matters taken over a season. In daring to ask Referee Smyth for his view on the point in dispute I came in for some opprobrium by Ian Buchan, the Everton Coach, who fought it disgusting that anyone of the Everton party –even a journalist –should discuss the matter with Mr. Smyth when they were thrown together in the train returning to London. Mr. Buchan might apply such attempted stricuper elsewhere –with profit! There are usually two sides to any football argument and we always seek to present both.
Signs of Tiredness
Everton’s rest and recuperation week at Blackpool, starting today is well timed. There are signs of tiredness or staleness in more than one quarter and little wonder in view of the heavy programme the players have faced since the start of the season. But at Portsmouth, Everton played far in advancing of their form of the Birmingham and Blackpool matches. After taking the lead with a gorgeous goal by young Temple-they conceded two in two minutes, rather unluckly, in that Mansell’s eye-of-a-needle “angle” shot was deflected just sufficiently to turn the ball over the line and the massive Dougan’s long low ground shot struck the inside of the far post and went at no great pace over the line.
Everton played well enough in the 20 minutes before the interval when they had their recovered from the shock of Portsmouth’s opening but their finishing was a little unlucky and a little lacking in power. Jimmy Harris might have done better of some well made chances. Hickson with a fast header, was only inches wide. It was after Everton had held on throughout Portsmouth’s fierce second-half rally that Gordon coming back to take possession, scored the goal which put his side 3-1 up. Then after Thomas had taken a gift chance which came to him when Uprichard could not hold Brian Harris’s shot, Everton had Portsmouth on the collar for the remainder of the match. It was hard entertaining if not always good tempered football and Portsmouth’s 3-2 win suggests that they are still Everton’s greatest bogey.
It seems that the experience and ability of Jones and Fielding are waste if they are not available to this Everton team which includes so many fine young players who would benefit, considerably by playing alongside older hands. Thomas and Temple seem to me to be two of the finest inside forward prospects in the game but they each need Fielding’s prompting. Sanders was not so good opposed to Henderson as he had been against Percy of Blackpool, but he too is a fine player in prospect. Here it was Tansey and Donovan (opposed to a great Irishman, Dougan) who did most of the defensive chores Brian Harris had a good match, too, but Meagan’s form was nowhere near his best. Disregarding this defeat, one sees signs of a reborn of Everton confidence in many directions.
DON’T LEAVE IT TOO LATE, EVERTON!
November 26, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Everton started off the present soccer season in a manner which led many of their followers to believe that their favourities were going to make things really hot in the battle for the First Division championship honours. And I must admit that Everton’s grand start tended to justify their followers belief. The Goodison Park side fulfilled their opening dozen League fixtures by capturing 18 of the possible 24 points at stake by winning seven times and drawing on four occasions, the one game lost being to the League champions Manchester United, 3-0 at Old Trafford. From October 26, however, there has been an unexpected falling off in Everton’s success and only two points have been gathered in from their last six League engagements –from drawn games at home with West Bromwich Albion (1-1) and Blackpool (0-0), the other four matches being lost to Preston N.E (3-1), Tottenham H (3-1) and Portsmouth (3-2) all away and Birmingham C (2-0) at Goodison Park.
Failure to win home matches has had much to do with Everton’s decline in the table for they have not been victorious in a League game before their own supporters since defeating Sunderland 3-2 on September 14. Of the five home games played since then four have been drawn and the other lost. Unless the team can get quickly back into winning ways they may find themselves in a relegation tussle before the season draws to its close. When Jones returns to the centre half position again I am confident that the team can avoid such a state of affairs developing and I expect them to prove this by keeping both points at Goodison Park next Saturday when Sheffield Wednesday provide the opposition.
EVERTON DROP DON DONOVAN
November 27, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have dropped Don Donovan, their recently appointed captain, for the home game with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday. This is the second time this season that Everton have dropped their captain. They omitted Peter Farrell, now with Tranmere Rovers in the opening match of the campaign. Now Donovan suffers the same fate and rather unluckily for he does so largely because he was called upon in an emergency to fill the centre half berth when Jones was injured early this month. While Donovan has been acting as pivot in the last four games his deputy at right back 21-years-old Alan Sanders has been turning in such good displays that Mr. Ian Buchan who selects the Everton team, felt he could not omit the younger man. Mr. Buchan conveyed his decision to Donovan this morning at Blackpool where the Everton players are having a week’s special training and relaxation. Donovan while naturally disappointed, took it well and said that his aim now would be to fight his way back to the team. This is the only change from the team which lost at Portsmouth last week. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Thomas, Harris (B)
Everton have signed two of their amateurs on professional forms, David Todd a 17-years-old outside right, is to be a full time professional and Norman Birch an 19-years-old inside forward is taking up a part-time engagement. He is no relation to Ken Birch the wing half. Both lads are former Liverpool Institute boys. Two young Evertonians have been selected to play in the Welsh Youth international trial at Rhyl next month. They are 16-years-old Graham Griffiths a promising goalkeeper from Mold, who played for Liverpool County F.A at the Northern Counties championship last week and Brian Godfrey aged 17, a native of Flint.
WELL EVERTON BE REVITALISED AND RESTORED TO FORM BY BLACKPOOL’S BREEZES?
November 29, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
The Blues Sadly Need A Victory To Revive Confidence
The Blues badly need a victory to restore not only their own confidence, but also that of their supporters, who have been disappointed to watch them gradually falling away from the high standard they displayed at the start of the season. Everton should come back reinvigorated and refreshed after a week of Blackpool’s tonic breezes and the comfort of their luxurious hotel, though the benefits may not be immediately discernible. Many managers and trainers and they ought to know best, are of opinion that there is a sort of delayed action about such trips and that the advantages, are only felt very gradually over the following month or so. while that may be correct, Everton are in need of a quick improvement in results if their steady slide down the table is not only to be checked, but if the mounting apprehension of some of their followers regarding the future is to be similarly arrested. Sheffield Wednesday, whose ups and downs throughout their long career have fluctuated more violently than those of most clubs, are again experiencing a lean time. They have so far taken only 12 points from 18 matches –eleven of them as the result of home wins or draws. Their away record is dismal in the extreme. They started the season with an outbreak of flu which caused their first two fixtures to be postponed, and never seem to have got back on an even keel since.
Solitary Away Point
Eight of their nine away games have resulted in defeat the only point savaged from the wreck of their hopes being when they fought a goalless draw at Newcastle United at St. James’s Park. Four of their away defeats however, have been by a single goal margin only including the remarkable game at Bolton earlier this month when they lost by the odd goal of nine. Altogether the Sheffield club has scored only ten goals in these nine matches on opponent’s ground, and have had 23 registered against them. On the face of it this would seen, to indicate that the chances are Everton will return to a winning vein tomorrow, it offer happens, however, that sides upon whom the spectre if relegation is beginning to throw a shadow are not so easy to defeat as would appear probable. Sheffield Wednesday have made many changes in their constitution during recent weeks after playing their first five games with a virtually unchanged eleven. They have now called upon the services of no fewer than 25 of their staff to fulfill their 18 engagements, which is only two short of the number utilized during the whole of last season.
They have tried three different players each at right full back and left half, which seem to have been the problem spots in defence. The right wing has been subject to comparatively few changes, although during the last four matches they have switched Alan Finney over to the outside left berth and brought in Williamson as partner to Albert Quixall. Four players have figured at centre forward and outside left and three in the inside left berth. Some of these changes of course, have been forced upon Manager Eric Taylor by injuries and disposition. Keith Ellis the team’s leading scorer with six goals. Unfortunately, he is not always available now, as he joined the R.A.F two months ago. Laterely Roy Shiner has taken over in the middle, Quixall who has missed four games due to injury, has scored five goals and Redfern, Froggatt, who has made only seven appearances has scored four, the same total as inside forward McAnearney.
One feels sympathy for Don Donovan in being omitted from the Everton team. Don like the other Eire lads who have been on the club’s books in post-war seasons, is a loyal clubman. Had he remained at right back and someone else been brought at centre half when Jones was injured he might be in the side today. He made no bones about stepping into the pivotal breach, however, and now due to Sanders consistent form, finds himself minus a senior place. He has shown the right spirit in expressing his determination to fight his way back, however, and when I had a telephone conversation with him yesterday he had no complaints. On the contrary, he expressed the view that it is better for the club that there should be the keenest possible competition for all senior places. Nobody will quarrel with that but not all players take kindly to being relegated to the second team. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Thomas, Harris (B).
November 30, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
The warning lights for Everton today is that Sheffield Wednesday not only beat Arsenal a week ago, but played so well against the Italian club, Juventus, that people who saw the match on Television thought that they were worth a draw after being 1-3 down. As a result of that match Wednesday come to Goodison Park minus their centre-forward Shiner, and full back Martin, both of them injured. Young Ellis takes Shiner’s place and Staniforth, the former Stockport, Huddersfield and England player, gets his fourth first team game this season. Everton have gone so long without a League victory, their steady fall in the table after such a brilliant start causes anxiety.
Tom Jones Back
But whether their relegation of captain and centre half, Don Donovan, to the reserve side will help to swing the side into a winning one is open to some doubt. Tom Jones return is welcome but one would have thought that in a side of such youthfulness Donovan’s presence somewhere would have been essential. After a week’s rest at Blackpool Everton may be revitalized. With such good Wednesday forwards as Quixall, Finney, Froggatt and Wilkinson about the Everton defence will be hard-pressed, Finney is the young winger whose centres produced so many goals for the ill-fated Dooley. Everton; Dunlop; Sanders, Tansey; Rea,. Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Thomas, Harris (B). Sheffield Wednesday; McIntosh; Staniforth, Curtis; McAnearney, T O’Donnell, Hill; Wilkinson, Quixall, Ellis, Froggatt and Finney.
FINNEY SCORES DIRECT FROM A CORNER KICK
November 30, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Wednesday Shocked By 2-Minute Temple Goal
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Sanders and Tansey, backs; Rea, Jones (captain), and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Thomas, and Harris (B), forwards. Sheffield Wednesday; McIntosh, goal; Staniforth and Curtis, backs; McAearney (T), O’Donnell, and Hill, half-backs; Wilkinson, Quixall, Ellis, Froggatt and Finney, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.H. Mann (Worcester). The game started with the floodlights full on, and there were two splendid shots in the first minutes from the rival centre forwards. Hickson beat two men and delivered a low drive which McIntosh had to be wary in handling, then Wednesday worked their way through and Ellis the young R.A.F boy hit a shot which flashed across the face of the goal and outside. The cheers had hardly died down when Everton were a goal up. Tansey took a quick throw in, Thomas hooked the ball forward to Temple and from an almost impossible angle Temple hooked it into the net in two minutes. Wednesday did not let this quick goal upset them and for some minutes penned Everton in their own half. When Everton broke this strang-hold Temple’s persistence induced O’Donnell to concede a corner which instead of being of use to Everton was the starting point of an attack by Wednesday, which looked dangerous. Until Ellis put through by Quixall found his shot hitting Jones on the leg. Everton’s inside forwards were lacking in anticipation when Jimmy Harris sent Hickson away in the outside right position, Hickson crossed a low centre but there was not an Everton man within ten yards of it in the middle. The lanky Ellis was proving quite a handful for Tommy Jones on his return after missing the last four games while Quixall was giving Meagan plenty to think about.
Hickson made a galliant effort jumping at least a foot higher than O’Donnell to get in a header, but it swerved outside. There were three free kicks in quick succession, two of them to Everton for comparatively minor infringements. The pace had been very fast with both sides going to the ball at top speed, and each tackling grimly. Wednesday’s shooting continued to be erratic and twice Froggatt was wide when he had time to steady himself. Dunlop did not stand on ceremony when Rea fiddled about too close to goal for his liking. The goalkeeper pushed him off the ball and picked it up to clear. When Quixall and McAneaney paired off together the Everton defence retreated so far that they were able to take the ball up from the half-way line to the penalty area. Then McAnearney’s shot topped the bar. The home goal had a narrow escape when Wilkinson rounded Tansey. He slipped the ball past Jones and Dunlop but there was nobody up to take advantage and Sanders cleared. At the 31st minute Everton conceded a corner when Sanders harassed by Ellis put the ball behind and this led to the unusual sight of a goal being scored direct from a corner. Finney took the flag kick and delivered an in-swinger which would have gone in an inch or so below the bar had it been left alone. Dunlop trying to edge it over the bar, could so no more than to help it on its way into the net. A nice move between Hickson, Harris (B), Meagan and Temple produced an opening which might have led to a goal had not Jimmy Harris in his eagerness, run into an offside position. Everton’s forward line had lost some of its early verve and was slow going to the ball. Even when in possession their chances of another goal seemed slim. It was Everton’s goal which had the next narrow escape. Tommy Jones kicking off the goal line after Wilkinson had headed over Dunlop. Everton enjoyed a spell of ascendency for some minutes but Wednesday’s defenders tackled with great determination and nobody could get in a shot to test McIntosh. Right on half time Quixall delivered a fierce shot from a free kick after Jones had brought down Ellis which Dunlop punched away with both fists. Half-time; Everton 1, Sheffield Wednesday 1.
Wednesday’s goal had a narrow escape immediately on resuming when Thomas and Hickson each found the ball bouncing so awkwardly that they could not squeeze it in from close range. O’Donnell kicking away from Hickson’s toe at the last spilt second. Hickson did well to get in a back header when strongly challenged. Meagan next shot outside then Temple was almost though until the ball ran awkwardly for him.
Hickson sent Brian Harris away with a lovely pass but the winger tamely lobbed the ball into the middle instead of having a shot. Hickson put in a splendid run in which he twice survived tackles after being thrown off balance and then, looking up, crossed a beautiful low ball to Temple. The latter passed it on to Harris (B) who was far too slow when a first time shot was called for. Harris was not a one in this. Too many of the Everton forwards wanted to fiddle about and get the ball to their liking. Thomas did get the ball into the net, but the whistle had gone for offside. When Hickson got one of the few passes of the type he likes, he hit a rattling shot but it was a yard off the mark. Brian Harris had another great chance for a first time shot but once again tried to get it to his best foot and the chance went begging. There was an unusual incident when Dunlop, endeavouring to put a goal-kick to Sanders so that he could take the return and play out of hand, partially slipped and put the ball behind for a corner. Following this Dunlop made two splendid saves in quick succession from Froggatt and Ellis. Then came Sheffield’s turn for an escape when Jimmy Harris missed from six yards. Everton piled on strong pressure but Wednesday’s defence stood firm. Some of the referee’s decisions had been puzzling and Sanders apparently took exception to one for he was called over for a word of warning.
GOOD LUCK ALAN, BUT I’M AFTER YOUR PLACE!
November 30, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Don Donovan
My article last week turned out to be a prophetic one. In it I referred to the capable reserves we have at Goodison Park who are ready to step into the first team if a senior player’s loss of form or injury led to a vacancy. Well the blow has fallen – and under me! I should fail to speak the truth if I did not say it was disappointed at being omitted from an team for today’s game against Sheffield Wednesday, but I have taken the matter, I hope in the right spirit. Alan Sanders has been playing extremely well at right back, and I realize that Mr. Ian Buchan, our chief coach, could had drop him on the form he has shown there while I have been deputizing for Tommy Jones at centre half. It was not a very pleasant decision (for Mr. Buchan to take, but it had to be made, and my natural disappointment has not blinded me to the fact have not been quite at my best once or twice lately.
Not Crumbling, But…
While I am not grumbling, I am not resigning myself tamely to the position. To my mind, it is all to the good that there should be keen competition in every club for first team places and while wishing Alan good luck in the future and bearing him nothing but the friendliest of feeling, I am equally determined to try to win my place back. If I succeed I know that in his turn Alan will bear no ill will either. It is going to be a friendly contest, but we shall both be trying our best, Alan to remain where he is, and me to shift him. I am grateful to Mr. Buchan for the tactful way in which he conveyed his decision to me at Blackpool on Wednesday morning. He softened the blow as much as possible and I in turn, assured him that there were no hard feelings on my part.
An Old Custom
It is an old Everton custom that after mid-week fixtures and before the cup-ties start, the players go for a week’s “pep” holiday, which we have just spent at Blackpool. Some of the football public don’t seem to understand the reason for such a trip. They say that if a team is not doing so well then the sea breezes won’t make them play any better, but I know from experience what a tonic they can be. Of course, it is true that a team that is not playing too well may be turned into a good side by a few days at the seaside, but the point is after a heavy programme the break gives players fresh enthusiasm. Do not expect Everton’s week away to result immediately in big victories. The Tonic does not work like that, but in a week or two you will notice the players who seemed tired have found a new zip. The team spirit will become more determined, yet more relaxed and the players will fine the form they have lost. The hotel we stayed at has it’s own masseur, heat ray equipment and an indoor swimming pool. Every morning after training we went for a five minutes swim instead of having the usual hot baths at Goodison. There was also a nine holes golf course and we played there most afternoons. We concentrated on ball practice and although we couldn’t stage a full practice game we had a six-a-side match most mornings on the beach. It was a change from our usual games at Goodison and the lads enjoyed it. No matter how the Blues play at Pompey we don’t appear to dispel the hoodoo that hangs over us. Last Saturday we may have taken at least one point providing the luck had been with us. The first goal which was passing outside the upright was unlucky deflected by Alan Sanders out of Albert Dunlop’s reach. The second was a half hit ball by centre forward Dougan which hit the base of the upright with Albert unsighted. Then came the last goal when Jimmy Dickinson received the ball at least three Portsmouth forwards were offside in my opinion and they were in the same position when he put the ball into the six yards box. Yes, that hoodoo still persists. Maybe we shall be luckier when the Portsmouth lads come to Goodison later in the season.
BURNLEY RES V EVERTON RES
November 30, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Burnley Res; Blacklaw, goal; Marshall and Scott, backs; Calvert, Appleby and Miller, half-backs; Meredith, Robson, Pointer, Connelly, and Towers, forwards. Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Donovan and Griffiths, backs; King, Labone and Haughey, half-backs; McNamara, Mackey, Llewellyn, Ashworth and Williams, forwards, Referee; Mr. G.D. Swinton (Stafford).
If Everton had been as quick to shoot as Burnley, they would have been at least one goal up by half-time. As it was poor finishing marred a methodical attack which gave them several opportunities. The best effort was a hard shot from Ashworth which Blacklaw just held. Solo efforts by the Burnley forwards worries O’Neill at times, but generally the visitors defence was able to cope with the Burnley forwards. Williams and McNamara worked hard on the Everton wings.
Half-time; Burnley res nil, Everton Res nil.
The game livened up considerably and within three minutes Pointer put Burnley ahead with a close range shot from a goalmouth scramble. In the 64th minute McNamara equalized with a 25-yards drive, following constant Everton pressure. Pointer scored a second goal for Burnley. Final; Burnley Res 2, Everton res 1.
November 30, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s decline since they defeated Newcastle United at St James’s Park seven weeks ago has been one of Soccer’s minor mysteries, though it is anything but a minor matter so far as the Goodison Club is concerned. The Blues started the season so well, and played such attractive and stylish football, that the recession which has recently taken place is all the more puzzling. Some football followers have the queerest ideas and the more fanatical they are about one team to the exclusion of admitting the possibility of good in any others the more curious and unbalanced do these ideas become. For instance one fervent Evertonian, who regularly bombards me with letters, seldom complimentary accused me this week of “rubbing your hands with glee because the Blues are doing badly and making your prophecies of last august come nearer being true. How wrong he is. My job is far easier and much pleasanter when both Everton and Liverpool are winning. I’m a kindly soul by nature and would far rather hand out bonquets –so long as they have been justly earned –than fling brick balls especially when people with whom I am personally acquainted are on the receiving end.
I wrote what I did about Everton before the season commenced because it was my honest opinion. It was paradoxical though it may sound a pleasure to be proved wrong in the early weeks and I can answer my correspondent with equal honestly that I should be happier today if the Blues were still making me appear a rotten prophet. Unfortunately they have declined considerably from their earlier pinnacle. Since the victory at Newcastle they have taken only four points from a possible 15, with an adverse goal average of eight and 15 against. This return is most disappointing even allowing for doubtful decisions which have cost points in a couple of matches. My joy will be great if today’s game has ended this learn spell and becomes the starting point of another richly productive period.
It is not that the club has been badly hit by injuries. On the contrary they have been more fortunate in this respect than the vast majority of clubs. Although the outbreak of influenza did cause the postponement of one match at the end of September they were able to turn out an unchanged side when the programme was resumed and took three points from the following two away games. It is difficult to put one’s finger on any one thing, as the biggest contributory –cause of the decline. There have been several factors of fairly equal effect. One is the inability of the forward line to score goals in reasonable ratio to the amount of attacking work and approach maneuvering.
Dave Hickson after a brief productive spell had brought him six goals in six games has failed to score in his last eight outings and Temple has not entirely full filled the scoring promise which he showed in the earlier part of the season. Fielding of course, was never renowned as a marksman and although Thomas has now taken the place, it is too early yet to say how far he will add to the striking efficiently of the front line. Whatever may be gained in this respect may be partly offset by the fact that Thomas is not the type of welding player that Fielding is. He is more of a thruster and strikes which means that the front line as at present constituted may eventfully be found of lack somebody who can hold it together, spilt the opposing defence and them put the ball in the spot where the most damaging use can be made of it.