EVERTON SURPRISE FOR ASTON VILLA
September 2, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Dunlop At His Superb Best
Aston Villa 0, Everton 1
Whoever would have expected it. Not Villa people at all events for they had remembered Everton’s dismal showing at Villa Park last season. But it was a vastly different Everton they met on Saturday and they were well worth their narrow win. They played the better football and got the all-important goal. If Everton continue in this strain they should finish well up the table. I thought that Everton played reasonably well against Manchester United a few days previously but they were infinitely better here. There was weakness at Old Trafford but none at Birmingham. Villa, having once got in arrears tried desperately hard for the equalizer but it was then that we saw the power of the Everton defence. Dunlop was faultless in the last game here he had one of his off days but on this occasion he was unbeatable. But he also had to thank those around him for their spirited defence of his goal. They had to meet some stiff opposition but stood to their guns manfully. Everton should have had a second goal when Hickson lobbed a ball into the empty Villa goalmouth straight to the head of Brian Harris. All he had to do was to nod the ball downwards. He nodded it upwards and it grazed the top of the crossbar and went over. A bad miss but as it did not cost Everton anything in the end all was well. It was a most entertaining game. The play fluctuated from one side to the other, but all through I considered that Everton played the better football.
McParland as we all know is a very dangerous forward. He knocked Manchester United out of the Cup in the final and did his best to knock Everton out at Villa Park. He shot like a Trojan and while all of his shots were not on the target, most of them were Dunlop stood defiant. One particularly good save of his from Dixon early on almost miraculous. He took a tremendous risk when he threw himself at the feet of McParland to save a certain goal. At Manchester I had cause to fault the Everton wing haves. Defensively they were quite good but there was no prompting in their play. Today they did exceedingly well, I rated Meagan one of the best-half backs on the field, and there were six good ones. Consequently the Everton forwards had an excellent service and they made full use of it. They often had the Villa in two minds as to what to do to curb this good footballing side which on the day were worthy of a bigger win than they got.
Took Chance Well
Sims in the Villa goal had not the amount of work Dunlop had but he had one or two anxious moments and had no chance with the shot that beat him. This went to the credit of Temple who took his chance like a veteran. He did not need to kill the ball, deaden it and then it up –he hit it first time and Sims was well and truly beaten. The starting point of this goal was Meagan. He gave Brian Harris a lovely through ball and the Everton winger lifted it over to Hickson who nodded it on to Temple. At times the Villa play was extremely powerful. On other occasions it was ordinary.
ASHWORTH EXCELLS FOR EVERTON #
September 2, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 5, Derby County Res 1
Apart from a brief first half period Everton were always in command –Everton’s greatest superiority was at wing half when the constructive ability of King and Farrell frequently praised out the Derby defence. At centre forward Kirby and outside left Gregory were allowed little scope, Everton’s best forward was the hard working Ashworth while Keeley and Thomas were a trustful right flank. Everton’s goals were scored by Ashworth (2), King, Thomas and Farrell (penalty) and Darwin obtaining Derby’s consolation.
AN “OSCAR” FOR DUNLOP –DEFEAT FOR THE VILLA
September 2, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
“What a turn up for the book.” Not one person in ten would have given Everton to win at Villa Park on their coupon and I frankly admit I did not fancy their chance against a side who twice thrashed them last season. Not even their good display against champions Manchester United earlier in the week encouraged me to think that they would take two points from the Villa, a most difficult team to beat on their own ground. Everton were entitled to their success for it was accomplished not by shock tactics, but through the agency of polished football which the Villa could not match. The Midlanders employed the “big boot” and while it brought them a mead of success to the shape of intense pressure of times good football succeeded in the end. It is a long time since I saw such a fast game. It was played almost at breakneck speed but never for one moment did any one of the 22 players show signs of distress. Right up to the final whistle they kept plugging their way in one of the most hectic battles it has been my pleasure to catch. No dismal moments in this game which was fought out with grim determination and enthusiasm. The Villa spectators must have been pleased although they had the unenviable sight of seeing their favourities out-footballed.
Defence In Form
How the Villa fought against that lone Temple goal at the 23rd minute. It was at times battering-ram methods and it was well that the Everton defence was in peak form. Last season against Villa Dunlop had one of his few poor games. On Saturday, however, the Cup winners who fielded all but one of their triumph at Wembley X1, saw a vastly different Dunlop –doubtful the day before because of a cold and sure throat. I am not going to individualize his many saves but one stood out in bold relief –his tip-over from Dixon’s overhead kick, the surprise of which could and would have beaten most goalkeepers. His display was worthy of an England cap which I feel sure will come his way one of these days. Such confident goalkeeping was bound to have an effect upon his colleagues who could care things to him in the knowledge that they would be ably dealt with. Dunlop was supreme on Saturday – a most defiant goalkeeper stopping everything in a manner which suggested he wanted to wipe out the memory of the corresponding game last season. Despite Dunlop’s greatness this win could not have been achieved through his save alone. It was teamwork in excel is which brought it about.
I had cause to criticize the wing half-backs at Old Trafford for their lack of service. This was corrected at Villa Park and the result was that Everton had five forwards up to were a much greater striking force. Mick Meagan the quiet young man from Cork, who is highly rated at Goodison Park by staff and colleagues alike, had a brilliant game. The pace could have bewildered him for it was intense but he was going as fast as the rest at the finish. His tackling was reliable and his construction like what I have been told it can be, and I think we are going to hear a lot about this laddie. Birch took a leaf out of his colleague’s book, so that there was all-round ability at wing half. Even then Villa were slashing their way to goal Everton never lost their praise and football not even under the greatest strain.
Not Too Lavish
Right through the piece Everton’s football was of much better quality than that of their opponents. In fact some of it was copy book stuff right out of the book. This may sound like being top lavish in my appreciation but I will say emphatically if Everton go on producing this sort of football there will be no relegation talk this season. I don’t say they will win the championship, but freedom from injury and a repeat performance week by week should see them in a reasonably good position when May comes round. I was pleased with their performance against champions, but was more pleased with the defeat of the Cup holders, for the Villa leveled more shots at the Everton defence than did Manchester United a few days previous. Let me take the goal and describe it fully for you. Meagan to Brian Harris, Harris to Hickson, who produced a neat nod to put the ball in front of Temple, who cracked it into the net without the need to “kill” the ball. A fraction’s hesitation would have brought the Villa defence down on the scorer like a ton of bricks.
Everton should have had a second goal when Birch started a movement which was carried on by Hickson on the right wing. He drew Simms over to that side of the goal and then swung perfect lob to Brian Harris, who had closed in, in anticipation. An open goal and all that was needed was a downward nod, but the young winger got the ball on top of his head and not his forehead and the ball scraped the crossbar on its way behind the goal. Such movements by Everton were frequent and looked decidedly good in comparison to the Villa’s more rampaging methods. I have chosen Dunlop for the “Oscar” in this match and I am not going to individualize further but will content myself by saying that all played their part in this fine victory. When Jones got a jab in the heel and had to go outside left for a few minutes the Villa tried to take advantage of it, but Donovan centre half and Birch (right back) stemmed the tide. Jim Harris looked a regular for the outside right position and Temple showed great improvement on his Manchester game.
September 2, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Reserves are away to Manchester United this evening whom they defeated 3-1 at Goodison last week. Everton have won two of their three reserve games in which Ashworth their debutant inside forward had scored three goals. He is being spoken of very highly. Everton Reserves; O’Neill; Sanders, Leeders; Rea, Labone, Farrell; Keeley, Thomas, Kirby, Ashworth, Williams.
EVERTON LEAVE WELL ALONE
September 3, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ian Hargreaves
Following their splendid if somewhat unexpected defeat of Aston Villa on Saturday, Everton have named the same for the return game with League champions Manchester United tomorrow. This means there will be one change from the team that lost 3-0 at Old Trafford last Wednesday. Brian Harris retaining his place on the left wing at the expense of Graham Williams. The team is Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B). Everton’s performances this season have so far been most promising and Manchester United would be the first to admit the luck was all on their side where the clubs last met. Though United’s all-round power must take them favourities to complete a double ground advantage could enable Everton to cause a major upset. Good news for Everton is that inside forward Jimmy Gauld, injured n training before the start of the season has recovered from his mishap and is back in training again.
MANCHESTER UNITED RES 2, EVERTON RES 4
September 3, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Before a crowd of 12,994, Everton Reserves brought off a glorious win at Manchester last night. They served up some brilliant football, and were three goals up inside 20 minutes. And what great goals they were. Thomas opened the scoring and after Keeley had added another with a 25 yard drive, Thomas made it three converting a centre from Williams with his head. Just before the interval a brilliant back-heeler by Thomas brought a fourth. Webster got Manchester’s first goal and their second came when Farrell put in through his own goal. The visitors gave a great all round display.
September 3, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
The first official test of the Goodison Park floodlighting system will be held this evening when directors and officials of the club and police representatives will be present. The latter are attending to satisfy themselves regarding the safely precautions for spectators which I am assured will be of the highest efficiency. The four pylons have previously been switched on individually and focused. Except for some very slight modifications everything is now ready for the first evening match against Liverpool on October 9th.
EVERTON BEAM IN –EIGHTEEN YEARS ON…
September 4, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
BY Leslie Edwards
Just eighteen years ago yesterday the lights of Liverpool and Braitian went out in a black-out which persisted until the end of the War, the switching on last night of Everton F.C’s floodlights for the first time was therefore appropriately on September 3. The light provided from their four batteries –one at each corner of the ground “is such that miles away in Wallasey and maybe in North Wales these lights stood out like beacons when they were tested about a week ago in semi-darkness. There is no doubt that Everton’s lighting is properly the best in football. When the club turn on the floodlight beam last night everyone –directors, police and players seemed wildly satisfied. Everything was tried out including the emergency lightning which runs off electricity, specially generated by the Everton club. Hundreds of small boys outside the ground sent up a cheer as the lights were switched on Everton colts aided y Trainer Harry Wright were on the pitch and voted the lighting first-class. But what would illuminated Everton (and followers of the club) better than any new lighting system would be victory tonight in the return League game against Manchester United. Last season United first team came here with a stack of Reserves and won-handsomely. But this is a different Everton an Everton with injections of youth and one which has collected more points than the skeptics imagined they would to date this season. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, and Harris (B).
ONE FROM THE CLOUDS FOR EVERTON…
September 5, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Manchester United 3
By Leslie Edwards
Everton scored three times from four chances, United scored three times from 44 chances. And a 72,000 attendance, some rain, magnificent first-half football by United and quite as magnificent second half rally by Everton and you have the guts of this palpitating match which gives Everton the distinction of being the first side this term to take a point from the League champions. The crux when United led 3-1 early in the second half. A fourth goal to them then would almost certainly have been followed by a fifth or sixth. But the goal –and the game went the other way –to Everton. It gave them fresh heart and after all the first half chasing forced on them they needed not only new-heart but new feet! The crowd many of them jammed uncomfortably and unable to move, played their part in Everton’s revival; I’ve never heard them shout harder or more enthusiasiastically. The gale of sound which sent the new Everton surging on sharpened the game; it became together rougher and there were signs that United had been joited out of their superiority complex –one which virtually lost them this point since they gave the impression that they could always win…when they chase. The occasion was made as much by the riotous second half in which Everton battled from 1-3 to 3-3 as by United’s glorious early football which showed them to be in a class of their own –and that a few degrees better than anything we see from other First Division teams.
All Great Artists
They are all great artists with the ball –and some of them without it! They juggle it lazily as though the game is child’s play. They are the best set of fainters in the business. They aim to go this way and instead, go that. Everton’s defence was left floundering so often the wonder was the game was not won beyond all doubts in the opening 45 minutes. United teed up chances after chances. They outclassed Everton so palpably there could have been none who had not written the match off as a loss. And a defeat it certainly must have been if Everton had not changed their tactics. Where they had given the impression that they were saying to United “We can match you at your own intricate style,” they cut loose and started to play the football they play when they meet rank-and-like. First Division sides. They hit the ball about where previously they had inched it in the tantalizing way of the United. The result was immediate. I am convinced the only way to beat Matt Busby’s side is NOT by challenging their supremacy as football artists, Everton learned this belatedly, but not too belatedly. They climed on their own show-strings to an honourable draw which had seemed the last result possible. I give them full marks as a team. They came from the back o’ beyond to snatch this draw and give point to their reputation as a side which can always play above normal form when they meet United.
Mass of Near Misses
The notebook of the early play is the story of a mass of near-misses by the United attack. Peg shot wide by inches. Edwards shot over. Then after Hickson had picked up J. Harris’ cute inside pass and missed target by a foot, Violett almost at outside right, came along with an extra-ordinary goal straight from a goal kick. He rounded Jones, cut inside and despite Dunlop’s out coming and a desperately narrow angle, lashed the ball in for the lead (thirteen minutes). Everton in general and Birch in particular showed signs of panic against a United in complete command; a United who weaved and patterned their way a sustained movement in which they proved that possession is nine points of the law. It surprised none when Taylor (what a great header of the ball) turned the ball squarely in such an inviting way that Berry’s little legs could hardly move quickly enough to it. He was over-eager, but produced a shot that Dunlop had no chance with.
This goal came at the half-hour. Viollett and Pegg jaunting along together nearly contrived a third goal. The Everton silence was painful. It looked like a rout. The Harris “B” flung over beyond the far post a free kick which Harris J. nodded across to Temple. Temple was all alone. The situation called for a cool head and a solid shot. Temple had neither. He kicked completely round the ball but he recovered his balance fast, swiveled and fairly lashed the ball in. This goal came at thirty-eight minutes, two minutes later Taylor stooped lo and made a fine header aimed wide of Dunlop’s left hand. The goalkeeper flung himself at the ball and turned it wide of the post but Whelan had taken up position there and with Dunlop literally down and out all he needed to do was tap the ball over the line. Harris B. and Blanchflower then communed in what might be termed The Nut-cracker Suite and it was a relief to see them both able to play on though Blanchflower was dazed and sent into the attack for a period of convalescence . meanwhile, Edwards dropped back to his place and Violett doubled for Edwards.
Thus United led 3-1 at the interval during which packed thousands spent time trying to sort themselves out, with the men of St. John working overtime. The game had been going fifteen minutes when Edwards and Hickson were in collision and Referee Westwood, from Stratford-on-Avon awarded a free kick against Edwards. But first he insisted on the two players shaking hands to compose their differences, Fielding with much signaling, suggested to the United defence that he was going to try to find the head of someone on the left wing; instead he lobbed the ball gently under the bar. Wood reached up fumbled it and Harris J. was there to make the score 2-3. Pegg, not for the first time disdained a ball crossed to him in such a way that it was almost criminal not to score, so Everton, sensing the glory of being the first side to get a point from United this season, found new zest and backed by a crowd who roared their encouragement (when their breath was not being squeezed out of them) went flat out for the goal which would do the trick. J. Harris in the goalmouth missed one lovely heading chance; then his namesake who played brilliantly in the second half contrived the opening from which Fielding hit one of his best shots and Wood made a splendid catch at full stretch.
A linesman’s flag was upraised moments before Fielding centred and Hickson nodded a “goal”. No doubt that Fielding was off-side. But it was as well so many Evertonians realized the flag had gone up long before the ball was in the net. Then with twelve minutes remaining Hickson who had done little, made a superb deflection of a through pass and so baffled Edwards that temple was left clear with all the time in the world to score. The scene as Everton players leaped towards him to give him their hand was memorable; so was the sight of surging crowds on the terraces. Everton had one further shot in their locker. It came from Temple, while Wood was busily trying to regain his line. Fortunately for Wood Temple’s sights were a yard or so too high. And so a satisfying thrilling match –United provided the football and Everton the will power –ended tensely in the drizzle. It was essentially a triumph for Everton team work –and fitness. Their younger side stood up to a grueling well they did remarkably well to snatch a draw when they had seemed completely beaten.
I liked Meagan’s construction the go-aheadness of the two wingers the sureness (as far as any defenders can be sure against United of Donovan and Tansey when things were going badly; the verve of Temple and Fielding’s play once Everton got their teeth into the game. But Everton had nothing to compare with the glory of Taylor the monumental; effectiveness and powers of Edwards the wizard of Whelan. Look at this match now you will I fear there glory one conclusion –United for the League again –and maybe the Cup this time.” A season ago I said they were the best club side in the World.”
EVERTON TOOK THE ALL CONQUERING MANCUNIANS DOWN A PEG
September 5, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton put to shame those who were fearful of their chances against Manchester United and justified my pre-match view that they would not be disgraced. They were anything but! It was a great performance considering they were two goals behind at the interval, and that in the first half United had played such a brilliant and precise football that it seemed an absolute certainly the visitors would win. Just think of what Everton were up against. United came with a bigger reputation than any club has enjoyed in the history of football. They not only have a tremendous belief in themselves but also the ability and the polish both individually and collectively to strike fear into the hearts of the most experienced opposition, never mind a side with such a big proportion of comparatively untried youth in its ranks. Enough to put the breeze up Everton indeed. And so it seemed to do for a time! The Blues started shakily and United looking like masters and Everton almost learners, strode through as though this was just an exhibition game. But they had reckoned without the youth and spirit of an Everton side which on this display must be amongst the fittest and most courageous in the country. When they were two goals up in half an hour thanks to Violett and Berry, United must have been metaphorically rubbing their hands and thinking what they would do with their winning bonus.
What A Transformation
A goal to Temple just before half-time did not shake United’s poise. They just hitched up their shorts and dashed away to get a third through Whelan and crush the jubilation which Everton had felt for a brief couple of minutes. But what a change in the second half! Now it was the Blues who had hitched up their pants. True, United were a bit disorganized when Blanchflower, hurt just before the break, re-appeared for the resumption at inside-left with Duncan Edwards at centre half and Violett at left-half. That however, was not the deciding factor by any means though it seemed to slightly disturb the poise and precision of the Mancunians. What disturbed them far more was Everton’s refusal to lie down and take the final count. Could it be that these impudent Evertonians did not know they were beaten? Why were they struggling so stubbornly and obstinately against the inevitable? Surely they know that class must tell? One can imagine thoughts of this nature passing through the minds of the visitors. Everton’s realistic reaction was to say. “To heck with all that. Who are these follows, anyway? There are only eleven of them the same as us. Well show em.” And show them they did. After Jimmy Harris had narrowed the margin to a single goal at the 58th minute it was United who became shaky and apprehensive who took refuge in hooting the ball into the crowd and finally pulled Blanchflower back into his normal position in an effort to regain their earlier supremacy.
The Goodison Roar
Everton swarmed down on the United goal, and after it had a couple of narrow escapes Hickson hot the ball into the net with a header off Fielding’s centre. Unfortunately for Everton a linesman’s flag had been raised a split second before the ball left Fielding’s foot, and offside washed out the “goal.” The home team were not to be denied, however. Back they came fighting like demons against a Mancunian eleven which now seemed little more than just another First Division team. Twelve minutes from the end a long pass by Meagan, an unselfish flick by Hickson, and there was Temple to send the crowd wild with delight with a great equalizer. At last we heard the old Goodison roar. That was the end of the scoring though Birch came near getting the winner in the last minute and United occasionally made the hearts of the spectators miss a beat as they staged raids which had the home rearguard defending rather desperately. We shall see few games this season in which any side makes so courageous a recovery after seeming being in no position to think of such a possibility. Everton may not have moved the ball in the second half with the same surely and precision as Manchester United had done in the first portion, they may not have looked to polished of accomplished but they the spirit and determination to fight to the bitter end and that is often what counts most in the long run. Unbelievable though it might seem to those who were not among the 72,077 people present –what a wonderful mid-week evening attendance –Everton displayed far greater determination in the second half than the opposition who with their unbeaten record and general reputation to preserve had much more at stake. Manchester United proved themselves at least partially vulnerable against opposition which puts its whole heart and soul into its task. My headline on Tuesday was Everton could deliate United’s ego if they hit top form.” How the Blues lived up to that forecast, I thank them for the memory. When any performance is so essentially a team business as this I dislike singling out individuals for more than a passing mention. The credit should go to the whole eleven. While willing to let it go at that. I would still like to make fleeting reference to the youngsters of the Blues team. A pat on the back may further help their growing confidence. Birch, Meagan and Temple, and the two Harris boys shaped, splendidly throughout. Long may they keep it up. a word also for Hickson who distributed the ball well when he got the chance and again unselfishly made a goal for Temple and for that old man of the woods who still patrols the open spaces to such good purpose, evergreen Wally Fielding architect of the vital goal which set the Blues players –and spectators –alight. And last but by no means least; thanks to the crowd. It was fine to hear the old Goodison roar in all its former full-throatiness. As I have said so often, it’s a great inspiration to the players I hope to hear it on many more occasions this season.
IN THE MONEY
September 5, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Last night’s attendance of 72,07 at Everton is the highest in the history of football at a mid-week League game and has rarely been exceeded by any club in F.A Cup replays. Exclusively internationals and Cup ties, it is the fourth highest crowd ever seen at Goodison Park. The receipts were £8,419. Everton were the first club in football ever to pay a visiting team over £1,000 as their share of the gates receipts for a League fixture. This they have done several times, and will do so again, for last night’s game.
EVERTON CAN RISE TO THE HEIGHTS-OR SLIP BACK AGAIN
September 6, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
There will be another hugh crowd at Goodison Park tomorrow, for nothing in football brings back the waverers like a spell of success such as Everton have enjoyed in the last fortnight. Solemn vows never to darken the doors of Goodison again have been cast to the winds. Many of the folk who made them cannot fight get back quickly enough.. They want to see the inside which made such a fighting recovery against the Champions, a feat which has fired the imagation of all-football folk. After the Wednesday night match I am prepared for anything from Everton. A team which can recover from a two goal deficit and take a point from Manchester United can rise to almost any heights. Neither would I be surprised if Everton tomorrow prove human and fail to live up to the rosy vista some of their supporters are fondly imagination. They will not have in this Chelsea engagement the same tremendous spur that they had against Manchester United. It is true in football, as with so many games that the lesser skilled opponent often plays above normal standards when the opposition is of the highest calbre. Without attempting to belittle Chelsea, their hardly come into the same class as Manchester United and paradoxical though it may appear that may result in Everton being less sparkling than they were on Wednesday evening. The Pensioners –whose nickname is rather a misnomer these days for they field one of the youngest teams in the country, especially in attack –have taken three points from their four opening games. They drew with Tottenham a fortnight ago have twice been beaten by Manchester City but won 5-1 against Birmingham City at Stamford Bridge last week. This latter game was hardly a fair test, for Birmingham lost goalkeeper Merrick after four minutes and had a different deputy beneath the bar in each half after his departure. Chelsea make one change, 17 years-old Jimmy Greaves returning to the inside-left berth. Greaves who made his League debut a fortnight ago, is from all accounts an exceptionally promising youngster. It will be interesting to compare him with Temple. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B). Chelsea; Matthews; Sillett, Bellett; Mortimore, Dicks, Saunders; Brabrook, McNicholl, Allen, Greaves, J. Lewis.
Junior Derby Game
Liverpool and Everton Reserves have their first junior derby meeting at Anfield tomorrow. Liverpool Res; Rudham; Campbell (r), Byrne; Wilkinson, Twentyman, Burkinshaw; Bimpson, Dickson, Arfield, Evans, Morrissey. Everton res; O’Neill; Sanders, Leeder; Rea, Labone, Farrell; Keeley, Thoms, Kirby, Ashworth, Williams.
UNITED TRIBUTE TO EVERTON RESERVES!
September 7, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Manchester United fans who came to Goodison Park on Wednesday were dismayed to find that once inside the ground they could not but a programme. Some of them complained that Everton’s was the only ground in the country where this obtained. The reason they were so anxious to have a programme was this production of a programme for any of United’s away matches entitles the spectators a ticket for a Cup-tie. The same band of Manchester United fans told people who follow Everton that they were relieved or. Wednesday that Everton had not fielded the Central League attack which faced Manchester United Reserves, at Old Trafford on Monday! Their play they said was the finest seen at Old Trafford for years. One way and another Everton coach Ian Buchan, must be well satisfied with progress in this. His second season with the club. The Everton of today are not only a considerably younger eleven than have represented the club for seasons, they have an inspired captain (Donovan) and a goalkeeper, Dunlop, who must be the envy of every other club in the land. Quietly unostentatiously, Donovan has slipped on the mantle of captain, doing his work effectively and helping to weld a rather mixed bag of youth and experience into a side with ideas, fitness and good understanding. Thousands who were not at the match on Wednesday with wants to be at Goodison Park today to see for themselves the side which surprised the experts by winning at Villa and amazed em by drawing up from 1-3 to 3-3 against the champions. A season ago, Chelsea came saw and conquered all too easily. Indeed Chelsea wished they could be meeting Everton all season! They will find a difference this afternoon. With so much in prospect – Chelsea bring with them young Greaves, a forward who is said to be a great player in the making –it would not surprise me if the attendance touched the 70,000 mark again. It will be good to have the opportunity to see little Meagan in action to see whether Temple can keep on the register to watch Donovan authoritative captaincy; and to see what the majestic-looking Sillett (no lack of aplomb here) can make of Brian Harris, whose football potential was never better than when he played brilliantly on the other wing at Tottenham two seasons ago. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Birch, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B). Chelsea; Matthews; Sillett, Bellett; Mortimore, Dicks, Saunders; Brabrook, McNicholl, Allen, Greaves, J. Lewis.
EVERTON WIN TARNISHED BY BIRCH’S INJURY
September 7, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Hickson Back On Goal Standard Again
Everton 3, Chelsea 0
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan (captain) and Tansey, backs; Birch, Jones and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, and Harris (B), forwards. Chelsea; Matthews, goal; Sillett and Bellett, backs; Mortimore, Dick, and Sanders, half-backs; Brabrook, McNichol, Allen, Greaves, and J. Lewis, forwards. Referee; Mr. R. Wood (Sunderland). A grand bit of work by Jimmy Harris and Hickson almost brought a goal to Everton in the first minute. It would have done had Temple been able to get in a shot from the six yards line but both his efforts were blocked. A long low pass by Harris (J) sent Hickson away and when Dicks passed back to Matthews, Hickson unsuccessfully challenged the latter while in possession. Seventeen-years-old Greaves, Chelsea’s latest and reputedly most promising discovery, was not seen for some time and it was McNichol, the former Newcastle and Brighton man, who looked the most dangerous in the early stages. Once again, as in earlier games Hickson showed his unselfishness by heading down a pass from Fielding in an effort to provide Temple with a goal. Hickson might well have had a go himself. Temple unfortunately found the ball coming to him at waist height, yet contrived to get in a hook shot which was only a yard off the post as Matthews scrambled across the goal on all fours. Harris (J) had a shot from 30 yards without getting anywhere near the target.
Hickson looked a little parried –and justifiably –when Sillett whipped his legs from beneath him as he tackled from behind. The resultant free kick, ended with a curling drive by Harris (B) which caused Matthews no trouble. Brian Harris had another chance following a Donovan free kick from a foul by Saunders on Temple but all Harris got for his pains was a corner. Referee spoked to Dicks following a foul by the Chelsea pivot on Hickson, which called the trainer’s presence before Hickson was able to resume. Temple has brought a refreshing willingness for first time shooting to the Everton attack and when he hit one with great power from 20 yards Matthews must have been relieved to see it flash very narrowly outside. Chelsea got away without any penalty when Hickson was floored by an elbow as he and two opponents went up for the ball together. So far there had been practically only one team in it and it was no more than Everton deserved when they took the lead through Fielding at the 18th minute although in some respects it was a fortunate one. It started with a Meagan pass, Hickson chip into the middle and then everybody momentarily stopped thinking that Fielding was offside. Fielding seemed to think so himself, but went on after a quick look round, and with Matthews advancing from goal tried to loft the ball over his head. Matthews got his hands to it but the ball fell behind him and when he and Sillett collided as the full back came across the ball trickled gently over the line. Had either defender been unimpeded the ball could have been cleared. Chelsea came near to getting an equalizer when a high ball from McNichol temporarily at inside left was headed downwards near the far post from close range and only a fine piece of anticipation by Dunlop saved the day. As so often happens straight from this let off the other side dashed away and took a goal. Once more Fielding had a share in it for it was he who slipped out the ball to Brian Harris and when the left winger crossed a beautiful centre Temple who makes no bones about having a go, hit a first time left foot shot from 20 yards which was in the net almost before Matthews could move. Four minutes later Everton again had the ball in the net when Brian Harris hooked it through following a corner by Fielding. Unfortunately for Everton the whistle had gone a couple of seconds before Harris shot for a foul against the home side. Somebody had been guilty of pushing. Meagan was serving up some great passes and Everton although not playing with quite the determination of their second half display against Manchester United were well on top. At last Greaves got away with a dribble of some forty yards and a final pass to Allen which made the Chelsea leader look a menace until Dunlop made a courageous dive and scrambled the ball away.
Another beautiful long pass by Greaves sent Lewis away only for Donovan to push him off the ball as he was about to shoot from 20 yards a fact that did not escape Mr. Wood’s notice. Another great shot by Temple from outside the penalty area looked a goal all over until Matthews finger-tipped the ball behind. Hickson was unlucky when Dicks slipped after he had been beaten by the home centre forward and Hickson trying to run around him could do no more than fall over Dicks prostrate body. We had seen very little of Chelsea in an attacking sense, but with a few chances they had, Greaves and Brabrook had given glimpses of real ability. One of Brabrook’s excursions took him to outside left where he put in a shot which was curling under the bar until Dunlop took it into safe custody. A grand movement between Birch and Harris (J) carved out an opening for Temple. Once again the 18-years old boy hit it first time. His aim however was well off the mark. A foul by Saunders on Jimmy Harris which escaped the referee’s noticed Donovan to go over and speak to Mr. Wood when play was stopped a few seconds later for a free kick to Everton for a charge by Allen on Fielding. At last, a minute before half-time came the goal for which Everton fans have been waiting since the start of the season – namely one to their hero Dave Hickson. It was not one of his best efforts for when he picked up a Harris (J) offering and forced it along the ground it looked as though the ball was going outside. Dicks cut across to intercept and Matthews came out to try and block it away, but the ball just crept inside the far post. The cheering with which it was greeted continued until the whistle went for half-time.
Half-time; Everton 3, Chelsea nil.
The first incident on the resumption was a jumping offence by Hickson which rightly resulted in referee Wood calling him over for admonition. Meagan who had an excellent game came into the picture again with some tricky work and well judged passes. The second half had been in progress only six minutes when following a melee just inside the Everton penalty area, Birch cleared the ball, and then collapsed on the ground. It obvious that he was badly and a stretcher was called for. His legs were strapped together and he was carried off. Temple was running through on his own when he was elbowed off the ball just outside the penalty area. The free kick brought no advantage to Everton. Jimmy Harris fired high over the bar when he would have done better to have pulled the ball back, to Meagan then a foul against Jones for an offence on Greaves two yards outside the penalty area saw two Chelsea shots blocked by defenders before a free kick to Everton relieved the situation. Temple, who had gone right half after Birch had been taken off, was not content with defensive duties alone and Everton despite the ten men handicap were having a good share of the play. A splendid touch-line run by Lewis and then a dart towards the middle almost brought the visitors a goal. Only another courageous dive by Dunlop saved the situation. A brilliant header by Brian Harris off a corner by Fielding was cleared off the line. A free kick against Hickson who pushed Dicks in the back rather gently relieved a ticklish situation in the Chelsea goal area, and then Allen missed a great chance of reducing the deficit when from a side flick by McNichol he shot yards outside from close range. Word came through to the Press box that Birch had been taken to hospital with a suspected fracture of the right leg. The handicap of playing a man short was beginning to tell on Everton and Chelsea were coming more into the game though their shooting left much to be desired. Everton got the ball into the net again, Hickson being the unavailing “scorer” several seconds after the whistle had gone for offside.
Dunlop made an instinctive save of a fierce drive by McNichol when he stuck his arm out and the ball cannoned to safely. Jimmy Harris did not hide his anger when brought down by Mortimer and was spoken to by the referee. The Everton goal had a narrow escape when Brabrook crossed the ball and two Chelsea forwards were unable to squeeze it in before Dunlop saved well from Lewis. Final; Everton 3, Chelsea nil. Official attendance 45,166.
GLITTERBOY OR COMIC ‘SHACK’ SHOOK THEM
September 7, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
Len Shackleton’s injury which necessitates his giving up football sees the departure from the game of one of soccer’s leading personalities. Many and varied have been the opinions of fans and critics regarding “Shack’s” performances or, as they have often been described, “his antics,” on the soccer field. Some maintained that Shackleton was an exhibitionist, and did too much clowning on the field. Others claimed that on his best days Len was one of the biggest assets a team could possess. Whichever of these opinions you held regarding “Shacks” ability, one thing is certain that Len was one of soccer’s leading personalities and a player whom spectators everywhere liked to see in action as he was so different from the average player. The mention of Shackleton as a soccer personality reminds of how few real personalities are left in the game today. There are many really great players still in action with English clubs, but very few personalities Players like Billy Wright, Billy Liddell, and Duncan Edwards are star footballers in their own right whose clubs would not exchange them for any other star in the firmament of soccer players. The fans flock to see players such as the above mentioned, knowing that they will get value for their money from the point of view of football skill and honest endeavour. But they flow through the turnstiles to watch players of the caliber of Matthews, Finney, and Shackleton knowing they will be likely to see all the tricks and capers of which such personalities are capable.
Let’s Have More
It is said that when Finney is not playing in the Preston side, the attendance figures at home games are many thousands less than normal so too with Matthews at home or away venues and Shackleton had his own brand of soccer wizardry for attracting the crowds. Such is the attraction of personalities in soccer today and the game would be better off, and even more attractive were there more of them despite what some people have to say of their detrimental effect on team play.
I apologize for bringing before your notice the brilliant display of the reserve side against Manchester United at Old Trafford last Monday as I am fully aware that the majority of Evertonians are only concerned with the deeds of the first team a point of view which is quite logical as there would be little glory for any club if the League side was struggling and the Reserves topping the Central League. Nevertheless I know there are many of you who like to know now the youngsters in the reserves are progressing. The reserves display against Matt Busby’s experienced Central league side was certainly a classic team effort and a game which at time resembled a Cup-tie. A have mentioned that the Blues 4-2 victory was a team effort but I must mention the display of Eddie Thomas who capped his brilliant performance with a hat-trick. His third goal was right out of the copybook. Receiving a pass from Ashworth following a corner Eddie eight yards out and with his back to the goal back-heeled the ball into the corner of the net to the amazement of everyone. If the reserves can continue in this vein Mr. Buchan will have no worries regarding replacements for his first team through injuries or loss of form.
Quite A Week
This has been quite a week for your truly. Against Derby County I scored from a spot kick for the Reserves. Nothing unusual about that I suppose only this was the first occasion during my career with either Shamrock Rovers or Everton that I had ever taken a spot kick. Followed this performance was putting one past Jimmy O’Neill for United’s second goal last Monday, I cannot recall ever having scored a previous “own goal” in a Blue jersey. Congratulations to the Blues on their great start to the season. The pessimists I mentioned in my opening article must now be having second thoughts. Everton proved by their display against Manchester United that they can hold their own with the best of them. How many sides can gave United a two-goal interval lead and fight back in such dramatic fashion as the Blues did this week. Keep up the good work lads.
LEADING GOAL FOR EVERTON
September 7, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Reserves “Derby” at Anfield
Liverpool Res; Rudham, goal; Campbell Byrne, backs; Wilkinson, Twentyman and Burkinshaw, half-backs; Bimpson, Dickson, Arnell, Evans and Morrissey, forwards. Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Leeder, backs; Rea, Labone, and Farrell, half-backs; Keeley, Thomas, Kirby, Ashworth, and Williams, forwards. Referee; Mr. D.W. Goddard (Leyland). A pass by Thomas was checked by Byrne who found Twentyman. The centre half flung the ball to Bimpson whose first time shot was comfortably saved by O’Neill. Morrissey had a similar effort saved but a moment later he delivered a terrific drive which O’Neill turned over for a corner. Liverpool failed to maintain their sparkling opening and Kirby shot wide for Everton from a good position. Liverpool struck back and good work by Morrissey almost let in Arnell who soon afterwards headed just wide from a corner kicks. Most of the excitement in this incident packed game was centred around the Everton goal area, Morrissey was proving a thorn in the Everton defence and from his passes Bimpson and Dickson shot hard and true but O’Neill saved. After 39 minutes Everton went ahead when a high dropping shot from Williams passed over Rudham’s head into the net. When Liverpool retaliated the ball bobbled about in the Everton goalmouth before O’Neill managed to scramble clear a low drive from Burkinshaw. Half-time; Liverpool Res nil, Everton Res 1.
NOW THEY MAY SET LONDON TAKING
September 9, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Chelsea 0
By Leslie Edwards
For their game against Arsenal at Highbury tomorrow Everton will almost certainly have to find a deputy for Birch their right half-back who was carried off on a stretcher early in the second half of the match against Chelsea. It was feared then that he had broken his right ankle. X-ray examination showed only severe bruising. It is possible that the new Everton (even minus Birch) will set London talking if they play as well against Arsenal as they did on Saturday. I rated this defeat of Chelsea as Everton’s best performance this season. It was so good there was never an obvious sign that Chelsea were at full strength and Everton badly handicapped once Birch had been carried off. Thus suggests that Chelsea may be one of the least distinguished of First Division sides. I think that they yet be shown to be true. Without Blunstone their attack is innocuous except for young Greaves, who shows great promise. The defence, mostly one of very big men was made to look slow by an Everton attack which could give away yards and still reach the ball first. Well as Everton are trained and I give Ian Buchan top marks for training the side and helping to blend it –they will not always be able the repeat these feats. The match tomorrow against Arsenal should give us a very good idea of what we may expect from this Everton. One thing is certain. They are already doing immeasurably better than most of the critics suggested they might, and I don’t mind including myself as one who could not envisage the new side as a particularly good one.
The moves which have reconstituted (and almost revolutionized) the side were the introduction of Meagan into the half back line, the signing of Hickson and the realization that Temple and the two Harrises were all worth their places. Hickson is not the Hickson of old (except when as on Saturday, he kicked unthis heels like a bad-tempered young colt) but his experience helps this line of comparative youngsters to more smoothly. There is good understanding there is ability; there is speed and (particularly from Temple) there is punch. The second view of Temple was instructive. He cracked a lovely opening goal, he showed a loose-limbed action which takes him over the ground so fast defences are surprised. Temple only faded when he had to attempt to do two men’s work following Birch’s injury. His early play was brilliant. The half-backs play of Meagan, a splendid player as sound in defence as he is busy contriving left-wing attacks, is also so enormous value to the club. He seems to stay forever, he looks like making this position his forever, in which case Fielding and Harris B. might join him to build a three-cornered football edifice of unusual character. Add wise captaincy by Donovan who does not forget the value of praise as well as criticism and the co-operation of players who seem to sense that the new order is one which has come to stay, and you get an Everton which gives cause for real optimism.
Where’s A Better?
If there is a better, or quicker English goalkeeper than Dunlop I should welcome opportunity of seeing him. Here Dunlop had little to do, but this manner of working –live, lithe decisive. Sure –was impressive. Like all good goalkeepers he demands that his co-defenders shall give him room. Let the dog see the rabbit, says Dunlop and he says it almost loudly enough for all to hear. This was a match we shall remember if only for Hickson’s first goal in the second spell with the club. The crowd rose to him for it and so did the players. It was a goal that may have good psychological effects, though Hickson today is essentially a player who seeks to produce goals for others than to take them himself. Curiously Hickson scored after Referee Wood of Sunderland –yet our further demonstration of perfect control –had wisely ignored the linesman’s flag upraised to signal a foul on Hickson as he bore through characteristically. The Chelsea goalkeeper half-deflected his shot but it maintained pace and rolled over the line. Temple with a glorious shot from a fine pass by Brian Harris had scored earlier and Fielding with a lob which Matthews could only finger as it passed overhead had caused the big Chelsea back, Sillett to turn the ball over his own goal line for the game’s opening goal. Hickson had a part in all three goals to say nothing of producing in the opening minute, the best pass of them all –a back-heeled one which led to Harris J. getting almost clean through.
Almost A Full Gale
Birch’s injury came about unexpectedly and when the Chelsea centre forward Allen was near at hand. It seemed that Birch trod on the ball and pitched forward. It is a relief to know there are no broken bones. Though Chelsea might well have made this the signal for an all-out recovery no such thing happened and Everton held their lead and had a little in reserve. In difficult conditions, nearly a full gale must have been swingling the ball disconcertingly between the great stands –they never looked like losing their lead. But most of the entertainment of the match had come in the first half. The second half was something of an anti-climax. Greaves was the only Chelsea forward who played really well. Some of his passes were beautifully judged. If he tried once or twice to dribble the Everton defence single-handed who can blame him.” The others alongside made no use of the chance he made for them.
REA WILL STEP INTO THE BREACH AGAINST ARSENAL AT HIGHBURY
September 9, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Though the injury which Ken Birch suffered against Chelsea means the first change of the season in Everton’s defence when they meet Arsenal at Highbury tomorrow, there is consolation in two factors having a bearing on the matter. First is that the X-ray examination of Birch, contrary to the fears of first entertained disclosed no broken bone, but only severe bruising of the ankle. The seconds is that Kenny Rea has fully recovered from his pre-season groin injury and is available to step into the breach. This is the only change compared with Saturday, so that the team reads;- Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B). The injury to Birch was most unfortunate but looking at it from a detracted point of view, if Everton are to suffer such handicaps as undoubtedly they must a the season progressed be blows will be few less severely if it falls upon men in the intermediate line, where the club’s strength is greatest both numerically and individually. Today’s news about Birch is that he will be out for at least a week. A fortnight ago contemplation of this Highbury visit would have made Everton supporters decidedly fearful. Today the outlook is infinitely more optimistic and a date with the powerful Gunners strikes no apprehensive note.
To say that Everton performances in the first fortnight have been better than anticipated is a big understatement. To take seven points from five such stiff matches which some good judges felt would produce no more than three at the outside, is the most encouraging start we have known at Goodison for many a long days. The youngsters drafted into the side –Birch, Meagan, and Temple –have done exceptionally well, as also have the two Harris boys, who though possessed of greater experience than the others can hardly yet be labeled as over-burdened with years of senior football. While the victory over Chelsea could hardly be classed in the same category as that splendid fight back against Manchester United. It was in many respects equally as meritorious; bearing in mind that for 40 minutes they had to battle along with only 10 men and that the star forward of the day, young Derek Temple was pulled back into the intermediate line. There were some onlookers who questioned the wisdom of this latter move. They wondered why Fielding was not chosen. I think Ian Buchan was right. At Fieldings age it would have been asking too much to expect him to do the backwards and forwards chasing that a wing-half must put in to be of full value –Temple was more fitted for the job, and right well he proved it.
Never in Doubt
In the first half Everton were as much on top of Chelsea as Manchester United had been in command of the Blues on the previous Wednesday evening. We had heard so much of the skill and promise of Chelsea’s young stars that most people expected. Everton to be struggling a bit. It was Chelsea who were to struggling and struggling. They were never together as a combined unit in anything like the impressive and fluent fashion of the home team. Though Everton did have a bit of luck with their first goal when Fielding’s lob could have been cleared before it crossed the line had not Sillett and Matthews baulked one another, there was no doubt about the Goodison teams all round superiority. What pleased me most was the eagerness of all the forwards and to lesser degree the wing halves to have a shot whenever the opportunity presented itself. Temple has set the tempo, the Harrises have followed suit, and even Fielding never one for rashness, has caught the good habit. Hickson got comparatively few chances and still seems more concerned about making goals for others than talking them himself but he too, was never reluctant when he was the man best positioned to make the effort. Dave’s goal just before the interval was cheered to the echo for a full minute. There has not been a more popular one on this ground for some seasons. And unless I am mistaken there will be a fair number following in its wake. Hickson’s value to Everton greater than has appeared on the surface so far, and certainly more than his one goal in five games indicates. Like Billy Liddell across the Park he takes such a lot of watching that the chances for the men alongside him are more frequent than would otherwise be the case. Hickson takes the weigh off the others, splits the defence with his wandererings and with two men on his track most of the time, the open spaces, for the rest are more abundant than they used to be. Now that they are hitting the ball hard and cutting out their former me-to-you-and back again tactics, Everton may well set up one of their best scoring performances in First Division post war seasons. Hickson is still receiving some very unceremonious treatment but to far has kept his temper well within bounds. Once or twice he lashed out, but the patience of Job would hardly have been armour against some of the tackling and fouls he had to suffer. While I hate to see anybody having a go, whatever the provocation one must realize that there comes a time when the victim feels that turning the often cheek is an overrated pastime. Hickson might with advantage cut out his bull-a-la-gate charges on the goalkeeper. They rarely bring any benefit to his side and are undoubtedly a cause of resentment. We saw that in the early stages of the Wolves game and it happened again in the first five minutes on Saturday.
When Meagan was preferred to Farrell at the start of the season I felt Everton had bobbed. Nobody can say with certainty what would have happened had Farrell been playing to date but I willingly admit I was wrong. Meagan has exceeded my most hopeful expectations. He was the star half back on the field on Saturday, is improving with every game and so long as he can continue overcome the hand cap of his rather slight frame he looks as though he is going to be one of the finds of the season. I said of Temple last season that he seemed have what it takes to reach the top. He has confirmed that opinion while Birch in to the of his injury, old excellent work. That essential link-up between defence and attack which depends so much on the wing halves was really tip-top. Temple’s goal was a brilliant first-time left foot shot –more evidence of the value of quick shooting and less tip tapping-while Hickson’s though not so outstanding was a well-taken opportunity and evidence of the score’s quick thinking. No side can be judged on one days display but on the evidence this game produced Chelsea are a very ordinary side. they are inclined to be jittery in defence under pressure while their young forwards still have much to learn though it was clear from their occasion flashes that Greaves and Brabrook have undoubted promise I cannot say the same about Allen.
Everton reserves are also going great guns, and their victory over Liverpool Reserves in the junior derby at Anfield was a meritorious performance . At the same time, it was a so rather a flattering one for they were by no means as much in command as the final 4-0 result seems to indicate. Kirby got hat-trick for Everton, whose other goal was scored by Williams. O’Neill was in his most consistent form with his most consistent form in the Everton goal and make many excellent save particularly from Morrissey who was Liverpool best forward and Arnell.
For tonight Central League match against Wolves at Goodison Park ( p.m) Everton include Gauld at inside right. This his first appearance since his pre-season injury. Ashworth drops out to make room for him. Everton res; O’Neill; Sanders, Leeder; King, Labone, Farrell; Keeley, Gauld, Kirby, Thomas, Williams.
BUSY TIME FOR O’NEILL
September 10, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 2, Wolves Res 3
Everton Reserves run of four successive wins was ended last night when Wolves beat them 3-2 at Goodison Park. Four of the goals came in the last 12 minutes. Hooper started the spate when he scored from a penalty to equalize a 14th minute goal by Thomas, and four minutes later Horne put the visitors ahead when he converted a cross by Hooper. In the 84th minute Dwyer punched a Keeley corner into his own net and it appeared as if Everton might salvage a point, but three minutes from the end Stobart nipped in and pushed a low ball from Horne past O’Neill. Everton were disappointing after their recent successes, only some sterling defence by full backs Sanders and Leeder and centre half Labone keeping the Wolves at bay in the second half. O’Neill was the busier of the two goalkeepers and he made some grand saves. Jimmy Gauld playing his first game since his close season injury, was obviously out of practice, and a knock on the head just before the interval forced him to spend most of the second half on the wing.
BLUES’ CHANCES HAVE NOT BEEN AFFECTED
September 10, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s chance against Arsenal at Highbury this evening (kick-off 7.30) are by no means lessened because of the enforced change in defence due to the injury to Birch. While Birch is a stronger tackler than Rea to my mind the latter has the advantage in better distribution and constructive work, so that what Everton lose on the swings they may recover on the roundabout and break about even on the deal –possibly even a little to the good if the flow of the game s gives them most territorial advantage. The Gunners suffered their first defeat of the season at Blackpool on Saturday losing by the only goal of the match. Prior to that they had won at Sunderland and West Bromwich and beaten by Luton at Highbury. The return game with the Albion in London was drawn. In Dennis Evans, Arsenal have a former Ellesmere Port player as captain and one who from all accounts, is proving a worthy successor to the Gunners’ former skipper from the same “nursery” our old friend and former Evertonian favourite, Joe Mercer. Evans, who is 25 years of age, is of eight sons of a widowed mother, Mrs. A. Evans of Aylesford Road, Old Swan, Liverpool. He landed at Arsenal instead of Everton through the agency of Joe Mercer, who when he heard of the promise of Evans, at once put the late Tom Whitaker on his track. Evans learned the game originally while t St. Owswald’s School, and he and his seven brothers all played in Liverpool minor football at one time or another. He made his debut in Arsenal’s first team just four years ago. David Herd, son of Alec Herd, the former Manchester City and Stockport County player, now a regular in the Gunners attack, is another who might have landed on Merseyside. Arsenal signed him after Liverpool who had been on his track for some time declined to pay what Stockport were asking. Certainly it was a stiff fee for a `17-years-old but it seems to have been worth it.” Vic Groves after being handicapped by cartilage trouble last season, is now back to his best and showing the form Arsenal expected when they paid L:eyton orient around £20,000 for him two years ago in a double purchase which also took right back Charlton to the palatial halls of Highbury. Cliff Holton the man who doesn’t mind where he plays so long as he is the team is now figuring at right half’ Bill Dodgin is back at centre-half after missing the first three games of the season through injury, while the perky little Joe Haverty who delighted the Goodison crowd when he made his debut against Everton a couple of seasons or so ago is winging his way in his own imitable and often amusing fashion. Amusing that is to his team’s supporters. It is not always so funny to the man who has the job of trying to keep him quiet. Tonight that task falls to the Eire colleague Don Donovan. Everton do not remember their last visit to Highbury with much pleasure. They lost 2-0 on a pitch which was a veritable quagmire at the start but from which the pools of water disappeared amazingly quickly once the game had started. Everton’s experience could be much happier this time. A point is not beyond their capabilities-if they produce the form of their last few games. It could even be a better reward –though that may be a little bit too optimistic –if the run of the ball is in their favour. Arsenal; Kelsey; Charlton, Evans; Holton, Dodgin, Bowen; Clayton, Herd, Groves, Bloomfield, Haverty. Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B)
FIELDING’S GOAL IN LAST MINUTE DOES THE TRICK
September 11, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Win at Highbury
Arsenal 2, Everton 3
Despite the handicap of having to play the last forty minutes with Jimmy Harris a limping passenger on the wing, Everton got a magnificent victory against Arsenal before 42,010 spectators, thanks to a last minute goal by Wally Fielding, the oldest man on the field. For some time before this it looked as though Everton would do well to save a point for Arsenal, although they had the wind against them, had been piling on pressure for long periods in the second half and once they had got on level terms it was a question whether Everton defence would be able to withstand these assaults. The Everton goal certainly had many narrow escapes and was also saved more than once by the kindness of the Arsenal forwards whose finishing at times was puerile. As the minutes ticked away with Everton still hanging on grimly it seemed that they would get only a point. Then with only two minutes remaining Haverty missed the chance of the evening to give his side the lead. He was clean through after a brilliant run in which he beat four men in succession. He had plenty of time to make his final shot but he delayed so long Dunlop was able to dash out and put his shot away for a corner. From this Everton dashed away in a counter assault, and Fielding picking up the ball near the centre circle, emulated Haverty with a cunning dribble. He rounded Dodgin and Holton and then, as Kelsey advanced fired the ball into the net off the inside of the post. It was a great finish and though Everton were perhaps a trifle fortunate to have withstood Arsenal’s second half attacks they deserved the points on the basis of their fighting spirit as well as their first half superiority.
As for the first half superiority it was almost as pronounced for half an hour as it had been against Chelsea on Saturday. During this period Everton played some beautiful football. There always seemed to be one more blue-shirted player than those in red and the possessors of the blue garb were moving into the open spaces with precision and finding each other with some passes which left Arsenal defenders chasing shadows. Despite having a strong wind against them, Everton always looked the more dangerous. Had not Temple rodden on the ball or Hickson shot narrowly outside Everton might have been two up in the first ten minutes. As it was hey had to wait till the 26th minute before taking the lead. They did so with a remarkable goal, when Jimmy Harris was fouled close to the touch line and about ten yards from the corner flag he took the free kick and rattled the ball into the goalmouth like a rocket, Harris had shaped up as though to lob across a centre but seeing the Arsenal defence move up and Kelsey advance from goal he changed his mind –and took the whole defence by surprise. Arsenal part from one effort by Harvery; did not have a shot until Clayton tested Dunlop at the half hour with a splendid shot which the Everton goalkeeper fielded magnificently.
At the 36th minute following a corner by Fielding Brian Harris hit the foot of the post and the ball rebounded to Hickson, who taking deliberate aim, but it in the back of the net before Kelsey could move. Two up was a comfortable position for Everton, but within a minute Groves had reduced the lead with a strong cross drive. Hickson tore away on a lone dash down the middle and after beating three opponents was most unlucky to find his attempted lob over Kelsey’s head finger-tipped to safety by the goalkeeper. With the second half only five minutes old, Jimmy Harris had to receive attention, and though he returned after being off for five minutes he was little more than a passenger for the rest of the game. Twenty minutes from the finish and following a sustained melee in front of the Everton goal during which Dunlop’s charge had many escapes, Groves forced the ball over the line from what seemed suspiciously like an offside position. He was almost leaning on the goalpost. From this point to the finish it was a case of all hands to defence of the Everton goal against Arsenal’s repeated assaults until Fielding snatched a dramatic victory.
Everton played splendidly throughout but particularly in the first half, when their combination and surety of passing was a revelation. Meagan had another great game and Rea coming in for injured Birch also did well. The backs were splendid throughout, none doing better on either side than Donovan. Temple was not quite so outstanding as in recent matches yet might have got his name on the scoring list but for a miraculous save by Kelsey. Hickson led the line splendidly once again, subjugating self for the welfare of his side, while Fielding never tried, and was not only the architect of victory but of many Everton moves.
THIS WAS ONE OF THE FINEST GOALS FIELDING HAS SCORED
September 11, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Wally Fielding has not scored a big total of goals during his eleven years with Everton, but as a rule those he has obtained have been popped into the net at a very vital stage. None, however, has been more vital or opportune than, the one he got in the last minute against Arsenal at Highbury, last night. It not only gave Everton both points, but put them in such a position in the League table that many people are still rubbing their eyes with amazement. This was a splendid victory, and though there were some onlookers who reckoned Everton were a trifle fortunate to my mind, they deserved it for their first half superiority and grim and determined defence when Arsenal were hammering them sorely in the second half. Once again Everton had to fight for the last 40 minutes against the handicap of injury. Unlike the Chelsea game, when the injured Birch took no further part in the match after the 50th minute. Everton were not this time quite so unfortunate. Jimmy Harris was able to continue after five minutes absence but he was little more than a limping passenger, and his inability to take a full part in the Blues combined moves meant that some of the fluency and striking power of the front line evaporated.
All Out Attack
Under such circumstances was not surprising they had their backs to the wall. Indeed, it would have been surprising had it been otherwise, for Arsenal sensing that a point at least was within their grasp, and possibly two, concentrated everything on desperate all out attacks on the visiting goal. It was then that Everton’s defence won its medals. Every man played his part nobly but none more than skipper Donovan, who has rarely had a better game. Tansy did just as well, Jones was a solid rock in the middle, and Meagan and Rea lent their aid in a manner which made it clear that these two youngsters can hold their own just as well when the tide is running against them as when their team is on top. In the first half Everton had taken the lead through a Jimmy Harris free kick at the 26th minute. He took the whole Arsenal defence by surprise by ramming home a terrific shot into the roof of the net, from a very narrow angle and fully 25 yard out when everybody expected him to lob the ball into the middle. Ten minutes later Hickson had put Everton two up when he carefully picked his spot and beat Kelsey with a fine shot of the rebound when Brian Harris had hit the foot of the post. Everton joy at this lead was short-lived for within a minute Groves had reduced the lead, Dunlop having no chance with his fierce cross drive. It was after the change round and Jimmy Harris’s injury that Arsenal turned on the heat and Everton’s defence acquitted itself so well. They might have had to admit defeat had Arsenal’s shooting not been so woefully erratic. Twice Haverty missed simple chances, one only a minute before Fielding’s winner while Bloomfield and Herd fired yards wide when it seemed much easier to score. At last at the 70th minute after a long drawn out scramble in front of the visiting goal, Groves forced the ball over the line from what looked suspicious like an offside position. Arsenal could have won this game had they taken their chances. They had more of the play in the second half than Everton had in the first portion, but they rarely looked like cashing in.
Everton, as in their previous matches, were a team in the fullest sense of the word. Some of their first half combination was superlative, and even afterwards, despite their handicap they had occasional periods when they moved the ball more precisely and looked more dangerous than the opposition. Everyone weighed in splendidly, when it was a case of all hands to the pumps, and the defence was full of courage. In attack Temple was not so outstanding as he was against Chelsea and though Hickson still sought to provide him with scoring chances, he had only two reasonable openings. The first he lofted high over the bar, the second brought forth a miraculous save by Kelsey. Harris (J) was a lively raider up to his mishap but Brian Harris was below form, and missed a couple of gilt-edged chance through over-eagerness. Fielding had splendid first half faded a bit for a time later, but showed that he possessed a restore of strength when he got the winning goal. Arsenal must polish up their finishing if they are to keep up their reputation. They were well below average standard while their defence, Kelsey apart, was not always without blemish.
THE LAST OF THE OLD SCHOOL AT EVERTON…
September 12, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
BY Leslie Edwards
Football in Liverpool lost a personality yesterday in the death, after a long illness of Ernest Green, a director and former Chairman of Everton F.C. He was seventy-five and had been a director of Everton for more than forty-three years. A retired schoolmaster and a man who was occasionally bitting sometimes a little better Mr. Green worked in close co-operation with Manager Cliff Britton until a crisis early in 1956 led to Mr. Britton departing and Mr. Green resigning as Chairman. The vacancy which will now occur on the Everton board may be exceptionally hotly contested. Mr. Green was a master for many years at Arnot Street School. Many young players from that school later joined Everton and Liverpool as first class football. Mr. Green never sought headmastership; he was content to remain a master and to spend most of his spare time at sport. He was a great sprinter and once beat the great American crack Duffy off a mark. His love of Everton may have cost him a suspension. ‘When in 1940 authority asked “Is Joe Mercer available to play for England” his reply was “No.” So Mercer played for Everton and Mr. Green suffered a period of suspension which always rankled. When he was asked if Mercer was available he supposed that Everton were being given the option to play him, if they wished to.
A rather jaunty seventy-five year-old Mr. Green was a strong and sometimes dominant personality. He was not afraid to speak his mind and at least one of his on-the-record pronouncement at an annual meeting created consternation… He had a fund of stories about Everton, mostly of the old Everton and a facility for recalling detail. When Everton were due to tour Germany in the summer of 1939 he wrote the then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain for advice as to whether Everton should make the trip. The answer was a courteous “I do not think it would be advisable.” Mr. Green was a contemporary and sometimes an adversary of the late Mr. Will Cuff during the eventful between –Wars seasons when Everton had so much success, mainly through W.R. Dean. Mr. Green was never tired of recalling his Mr. Cuff had once said “The ideal Committee is one of three members, with two of them permanently absent.” He never tired, either of decrying the effect of alcohol –“quickens the hearts action, that’s all” – though in his earlier days he used to enjoy a drink. Mr. Green was one of the old school of football directors –a fast disappearing class. He knew the game; had played it and after so many years of inside experience in football knew every move on the board.
EVERTON’S NO-COST TEAM HAD GIVEN CLUB ITS BEST POST-WAR START
September 12, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
The Everton team which has given the Goodison Park club its best ever start to any post-war First Division season has not only not cost a penny in transfer fees, but actually shows them a profit, which must be a record in modern football. True, Dave Hickson invalved them an out-lay of around £6,500 when they signed him for the second time –he was without fee on the first occasion –but against that they received £20,000 when he was transferred to Aston Villa two years ago, so that they are in on the double deal to the tune of £13,500. Everton are therefore very much in pocket, financially, so far as their present team is concerned after allowing for the very moderate sum they paid Bradford City for Graham Williams, who played in the first two games, and the donations they have subsequently handed over to the amateur clubs from whom some of the other players were recruited. Never before since the last war have Everton taken nine points from their first six games in the First Division and only once during their three years spell in the Second Division did they equal this return. That was in 1953-54, when they also had nine in the kitty after six games had been played. Their nearest approach in the senior division was in the first season after they won promotion. They reached nine points that year after playing their seventh game. Their worst start was in 1948-49 when the first 16 engagements brought only eight point, double figures being reached by a victory in the 17th fixture. Last winter eight had been gathered in, after the completion of 13 matches following which the next game produced the shock 5-2 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The Man at the Helm
Naturally everybody connected with the club is well pleased at this excellent start, and particularly Mr. Ian Buchan, the chief coach. Though not carrying the title of manager, Mr. Buchan in certain respects has more responsibility than officials who do carry that label. He has unfettered scope in choosing the team, has the courage of his convictions and has adopted the wise though not so easy policy of not being swayed by past reputations. At the start there were some misgivings in certain places regarding one or two of his decisions. Results have proved him right and will, I hope, continue to do so. He is doing a first-class job and those who prophesied that sooner or later Everton would have to employ an ex-professional player as manager are beginning to revise their ideas. It is no secret that many professional managers were hoping Everton would strike a sticky patch, when the club appointed Mr. Buchan after the departure of Mr. Cliff Britton. The new set-up was not to their liking. They felt, possibly not without justification that it struck at the roots of their power in the football world. Now that it is working out so well maybe a few other boards will wonder whether after all, the Goodison club has not hit upon something worth copying.
EVERTON SURPRISE HIM, TOO
September 13, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
As You See It
Sir- I read with interest the comments about Everton in yesterday’s Daily Post, and respectfully add mine. I too, have been agreeably surprised at Everton’s excellent start to the season. I is due in the main, I think to the preference of Harris at outside right. He is a go-ahead winger, but as yet cannot centre the ball correctly. The second factor is the return of Dave Hickson. His wanderings are leaving the route to goal open for Temple. The one disappointment in the side is the outside-left position. Everton who have already shared tax-free gates worth more than £30,000 (over 310,000 have watched them in their first six matches) should spend say half that amount on Grainger who is unhappy at Sunderland. Then I think Everton would be really on the road back to their pre-War greatness.
G.B. Miller, 1 Daffodi Road, Liverpool 15.
EVERTON SHOULD ADD TO THEIR LAURELS AGAINST SUNDERLAND
September 13, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
After such a splendid start as Everton have made they must be favourities against Sunderland at Goodison Park tomorrow, for the Wearsiders so far have done little to indicate that a real revival is near at hand. This game, which should attract a big crowd in view of Everton’s dramatic win at Highbury, provides a marked contrast in team building ideas. On the one hand we have the home club leading a side which actually shows them to be a pocket thanks to the Hickson deal, in its cost to them, whereas Sunderland have become known as the “Bank of England” team of season due to their expensive excursions into the transfer market. Just what this cost Sunderland in pre-war years nobody but the club can say, but it must be somewhere around £250,000. Against that, of course there have been occasional departures from Roker which have reduced the total outlay. The final net sum however must be an extremely substantial one. While it is true that star while it is true that star signings increase attendances, and that a fair proportion of the expenditure is regained in this way, that applies only when the team concerned is having a reasonable measure of success, if they start doing badly the gates soon dwindle to somewhere near the old level. Sunderland are the best judges whether their system has been the right one for their own particular needs. But to the ordinary onlookers it seems a trifle doubtful to say the least. Too many stars can sometimes be a headache and recent disclosures of the contravention of League rules by the Roker club, with the penalties which have followed in their train, must have made other clubs, thankful that they adopted different methods of endeavouring to ensure success.
Quite apart from this, which must have been a most worrying time for all connected with the club. Sunderland’s position in the League tables in post war seasons hardly seems to have justified their big outlaw. Twice they have narrowly missed relegation finishing in 20th place, each time, and on three other occasions have been in the bottom half of the chart. Only twice, when they were third and fourth respectively have they finished above the eight position. Not a very brilliant record. Sunderland have started the season disastrously. They lost 0-1 at home to Arsenal in the opening game, and then suffered defeats by 1-4 and 0-5 respectively in away games against Leicester City and Wolves, since then they have improved somewhat. They won the next game 3-2 against Leicester at Roker Park, drew at home with Aston Villa last Saturday and got a point from Bolton Wanderers at Burnden Park on Wednesday night. Seven goals for and 15 against is not very encouraging, however. Of the goals on the credit side 21-years-old Alan O’Neill who has taken Len Shackleton’s place at inside left since the latter entered enforced retirement through long-standing ankle trouble has scored three and outside-left John Goodchild a miner and part time professional has got a couple.
HICKSON SENDS EVERTON OFF TO A FLYING START
September 14, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Meagan Helps with First League Goal
Everton 3, Sunderland 1
Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan (captain) and Tansey, backs; Rea, Jones and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding and Harris (B), forwards. Sunderland; Bollands, goal; Hedley and McDonald, backs; Anderson, Aitken, and Elliott, half-backs; Bingham, Revie, Fleming, O’Neill, and Goodchild, forwards. Referee; Mr. T. Jepson (Mansfield). The game opened sensationally for Everton were a goal up in the first minute. The move started with a quick throw-in y Meagan, a centre which Aitken headed away and then Fielding fastened on the ball, lobbed it into the middle and Hickson dashing forward, flicked it out of Bolland’s reach just as he was tackled and brought to earth. Everton were finding one another with pleasing accuracy and it was no surprise when they went further ahead at the seventh minute. Once again a quick throw-in as the starting point of the move. Jimmy Harris took the throw, put the ball back fully twenty yards to Donovan, just inside the Sunderland half. Donovan lofted a high centre to which Hickson was again first, once more side-footing the ball out of Bolland’s reach. The Sunderland goalkeeper was rather slow coming out. A couple of minutes later Hickson looked as if he would make it a hat trick, but he turned in towards Aitken, instead of away from him, and was dispossessed. Apart from a couple of raids which came to an early demise, Sunderland had hardly been out of their own half until at the `14th minute, a shot by Fleming struck Jones and rebounded to Anderson who brought Dunlop to his knees with a fierce cross drive. O’Neill then had a shooting chance but passed to Goodchild who was tackled and baulked by Rea. Rea was injured, resuming after attention.
Sunderland had their second shot when Fleming tried one of his specials from twenty yards which had power but not direction. Anderson and Elliott spranged wing half position from the start. Possibly Sunderland idea was that the younger Anderson would be better able to cope with Temple while the more experienced. Elliott endeavoured to keep an eye on Fielding. The referee spoke to Anderson for a foul on Hickson and after Bingham had put in a high dropping shot which Dunlop caught confidently, Hickson charged Bollands without being able to loosen the goalkeeper’s hold on the ball. The best shot so far was a pile-driver from Goodchild. The ball rebounded from Dunlop’s chest but before Goodchild could follow up Dunlop had thrown himself forward to complete the save. A minute later O’Neill looked certain to reduce the lead when he went right through on his own after Meagan had slipped but when he tried to dribble round the advancing Dunlop the Everton goalkeeper courageously flung himself right on his feet to save the situation. Everton now seemed to be taking things too easily, and Sunderland were coming more into the game. Only a courageous dive by Dunlop at the feet of O’Neill saved a ticklish situation. At last Everton raised the siege and only a magnificent diving save by Bollands, prevented Hickson, completing his hat-trick with a fine header. When Sunderland staged another raid at the 38th minute it looked as though left back McDonald who was in the Everton penalty area was going to impede Revie when the pair went for a loose ball together. McDonald drew back however and when Revie unleashed a fierce drive the ball had so much power behind it that although Dunlop caught it in both hands it squirmed out of his grasp and fall behind him. Just as it was crossing the line O’Neill added the finishing touched, but as I am sure it would have gone in, in any case before Dunlop could have recovered the credit should go to Revie. By this time Sunderland were having as much of the game as Everton, who twice in quick succession were pulled up for offside. Temple was having no luck with his shooting. Three times he had only half hit the ball. Half-time; Everton 2, Sunderland 1.
Sunderland had brightened up their ideas to such good purpose that they kept Everton penned in their own half. Hickson who had served up some delicious passes earlier now offered a chance to Temple who failed once again to hit the ball properly.
The Everton goal had an amazing escape when Revie took the ball almost to the bye line and then passed it across the face of the goal where Jones, Fleming, Tansey and Goodchild in succession all missed connecting by inches. Finally Donovan hooked it away almost off the line. At last Everton got their teeth into the game again and after some clever short passing around the Sunderland penalty area, during which three shots were blocked by defenders. Meagan scored Everton’s third with a splendid shot at the 72nd minute. What looked suspiciously like a penalty when McDonald appeared to handle a Fielding centre escape the referee’s attention. Three minutes from the finish Brian Harris was through on his own when he was brought down by Hedley. The referee immediately awarded a penalty despite Hedley’s protests. It seemed to me a harsh decision but Jones missed the spot kick, Bolland’s diving to turn the ball behind. Final; Everton 3, Sunderland 1.
SALUTE TO THE BOYS IN BLUE
September 14, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
On behalf of all who have the Everton club at heart, I salute the boys in blue, who through their brilliance and fitness, have got the Toffees off to such a magnificent start. In previous years when Everton were experiencing a good run, I was always a little wary in praising the side for fear I might be accused of boasting since I was in the team myself. With no fears of such an accusation at present I am only too glad to pay tribute to the present side, who have gladdened the hearts of all Evertonians and brought those thousands of lukey arm supporters flocking through the turnstiles once again. I need hardly remind you that this morning the Blues enjoyed an exaited League position will nine points out of a possible twelve but I should like to emphasize not so much the points tally as the standard of football displayed. The points have been won by high-class football allied to a great team spirit.
Change of Face.
What a remarkable transformation has taken place in the view of the critics. Only four weeks ago we were being reminded that Everton could do well to keep out of the bottom two places in the League table. Now the same folk are taking in terms of the Blues challenging for the championship. The season is young yet, but whatever happens nothing can detract from the fact that the lads have made their best start to a season for many a long year. If is the hope of all of us that they will keep up the good work.
In paying my tribute to the lads, I must not forget to mention the part played in the Blue’s present success by chief coach Ian Buchan ably assisted by Harry Wright. Very often when a side enjoys a run of success the back room boys are apt to be overlooked. Both Mr. Buchan and Harry Wright have played a very important part in tactics and in getting the lads into such excellent shape. I was rather disappointed at being omitted from the Everton side at the start of the season, but is a comloring thought to see that such a grand young player as Mick Meagan has taken my place. Mick has come up the hard way through the junior sides and like a number of present day wing halves he was formerly an inside forward. Last season Mick showed consistently brilliant form in the Reserves and it was obvious that before long the Dublin lad would be staking a claim for inclusion in the first team. Good luck to you Mick, you have got all the attributes it takes to make a great attacking wing half back. What great satisfaction it must have been for the lads to walk off the Highbury ground last Tuesday having beaten the mighty Arsenal on their own ground for the first time for many years.
Now For Portsmouth
When a side finally lays such a long standing bogy as this success tastes very sweet indeed, I am sure with this win behind the lads they will be eagerly looking forward to a repeat act when Everton meet Portsmouth as it’s about time the Blues laid that bogy. The flag flew at half mast over Goodison Park last Wednesday morning indicating the passing of an Everton director of long standing, the late Mr. Ernest Green, whose connection with the club went back over a period of 40 years. Mr. Green was held in great respect , not only by his fellow directors but by all with whom he came into contact in football. What a pity he didn’t live to see the switch-on of the Goodison floodlights.
BARNSLEY RES V EVERTON RES
September 14, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Barnsley Res;- Leeson, goal; Thomas (L) and Walters, backs; Price, Hopkins, and Houghton, half-backs; Edgar, Hockey, Hirst, Holmes, and Dunn, forwards. Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Leeder, backs; King, Labone and Farrell, half-backs; Keeley, Thomas (E), Kirby, Ashworth, and Williams, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Morle (Nottingham). Hopkins checked Ashworth and then Leeson collected a shot from Keeley who was deputing for McNamara. Keeley could not quite reach the loose ball when Leeson dropped a shot from Williams. The Barnsley goalkeeper made a fine save from Farrell from close range and then came an odd incident when Barnsley were awarded an indirect free kick on the six-yard line. All the Everton players lined up in the goalmouth to block the four shots which followed. Barnsley during most of the attacking took the lead in the fortieth minute. Holmes sent in a long shot from the left to touch line and it was helped into the net by Labone. From then until the interval Everton were on the defensive. Half-time; Barnsley Reserves 1, Everton Reserves nil.
ON WHAT A PITY…
September 16, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Sunderland 1 (Attendance 45,000)
By Leslie Edwards
A very fine match almost spoiled by the last-minute incident in which the Sunderland half-back Elliott was so badly concussed he was out for an appreciable time after being taken off by stretcher. The collision between Hickson and Elliott came in front of the main grand stand. It came after Referee T. Jepson of Mansfield, had given a free-kick against Sunderland as Hickson was boring through. Hickson went on veered slight right, and came into collision with Elliott, who fell like a heavyweight knocked cold. Even the Sunderland goalkeeper Bolland’s left his post to join in the general conversation near the centre line. Then a few seconds, after the game was re-started time was up and Hickson and Sunderland centre half Aitken left the field chatting after a handshake. It was at this moment that the Everton trainer, Harry Wright took Hickson’s arm and said a few words –presumably on the fatuity of argument…This was the tense ending of a match which had been wonderfully well contested, a match which took Everton to co-top place in the First Division for the first time for many moons and one which produced in a half-gate, such entertaining play (stacks of shots and headers and plenty of good goalkeeping) there was never a moment when interest flagged. And Everton deserved victory if not by a 3-1 margin which gives no hint, of Sunderland’s nearness to goals after Everton (and Hickson) had taken two in the first seven minutes. I forecast more success, for Everton and not a little for a Sunderland side which has everything except the luck to win. Revie among others, was brilliant. There was such football skill about Sunderland in all departments that one cannot understand their present position. I doubt whether many of the 45,000 present (suffering heavy shower’s) realized how difficult ball control was in the gusting wind which swirled between Everton’s stands. The standard of football in the circumstances was extra-ordinarily high and so was the goalkeeping-Dunlop’s contribution being a succession of fast, decisive executions in which almost miraculously he always timed his skidding dive to perfection. Dunlop has the stickiest pair of goalkeeping hands in the business. But this was Hickson’s match. He opened with a goal in the first minute and did it again six minutes later and was more than once later on nodding terms with a hat-trick. It was Meagan’s who completed the Everton bag with a fine shot which just found the inside of the far post and it was Meagan whose cute through pass enabled Fielding to cross the ball from which Hickson shinned the ball in for the opening goal. His victory roll was a complete somersault. The bold Donovan still captaining the side well, added his force to the attack from which Hickson scored his second. It was from his centre the Hickson, nodded the ball towards goal against a wind which caused the ball to hang. Bolland’s and Aitken were foxed by the flight, but Hickson, sensing the position, quickly, nipped in between both of them, and gently that a goal the effect of which all but raised the Goodison Park roof-tops. Bollands and Dunlop both performed prodigiously –the Sunderland goalkeeper notably against Brian Harris’ grand header –before Revie who had fairly got his teeth into the match by this time, produced a hard-hit angled shot which Dunlop only half-fielded. The ball dropped behind him on to the goal line and had not crossed it before O’Neill danced in to apply the coup.
Meagan’s goal restored Everton’s lead to two (and so much needed confidence) when Sunderland looked likely to make their combined operations pay handsome dividends. It was a remarkable second half for many reasons, not least that Tom Jones failed was a penalty given against the old Everton back, Jack Hedley for a foul on Brian Harris. I thought the award a bit harsh and so evidently did Hedley. After Jones had aimed left and Bollands had put the ball away for a corner –a first-rate save Referee Jepson whistled the game to a stop and spoke to Hedley who had plainly been continuing his protests. From People in a better position to see what happened I gather that Referee Jepson missed a flagrant handling offence inside the penalty area by a Sunderland back. Following this it was Hickson’s turn to protest but he did it judiciously and once the referee had over-ruled him he sensibly played on. Fielding more than one tried to tee up a hat-trick goal for Hickson and Hickson, unselfish as ever, occasionally tried to tee up a scoring chance for young Temple. If Bollands had not been in such form Everton must have won much more convincingly. Two other odd things. When a Sunderland back attempted a full-blooded clearance and succeeded in kneeing the ball almost as far as he would have kicked it everyone it seemed of the 45,000 exclaimed in unison “Knee…” the other oddity came when Brian Harris (how well he is playing) trying to kick clear near his own penalty area and only succeeded in turning the ball on to his own head from which it flew straight at his own goal. A good job Dunlop is so live. He also had to be sharp to a Meagan header just after that player had shot his goal. If Meagan had scored at both ends within a minute he would have broken records.
Moved With Precision
Everton moved with splendid precision with some fine rounds of passing. They were quicker than Sunderland who looked rather clumsy, but surprised many of us by the excellence of their play. Fleming found nothing going right. Revie was good as ever; Bingham was as good a right winger as we shall ever see. I liked the tough little back McDonald too, and young O’Neill, though he must learn not to try to dribble goalkeepers –especially Dunlop. Fielding has started a new lease of life and so have Everton. They have spirit determinations plains. Rea took a knock and played on, Hickson linked the line effectiveness and the line, repaid him by working most impressively with punch not only in one spot but everywhere. Everton can stay top of they persist in their desire to play good football…a thousand pities that last minute incident blemished all the good that had gone before. Happily Elliott who is nothing if not tough revived in time to go home with the rest of the side.
BARNSLEY RES V EVERTON RES
September 16, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Barnsley Res 1, Everton Res 1
Everton Reserves never really got going at Barnsley. For a short spell at the start they worried the home defence and were unlucky when one or two shots were stopped on the line. Afterwards they fell out of the game. Keeley and Ashworth were the liveliest members of an attack, which did not kept together. Farrell and Leeder were the pick of the defence. A shot by Holmes was helped into the net by Everton’s Labone in the fortieth minute. Everton equalized came from Williams in the eighty fourth minute.
EVERTON MUST TAKE CARE NOT TO BECOME TOO CONFIDENT
September 16, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
If self confidence is the first foundation of Soccer success, as we are so often told, then we can expect Everton to maintain a satisfactory position in the League table, for just now they have plenty. The thing to guard against is an excess of this attribute. Now and again self confidence can be punctured badly, as Bolton Wanderers, showed Manchester United. There was a period against Sunderland when Everton seemed to take too much for granted. Not long after they became two up in seven minutes, thanks to a couple of almost identical and smartly taken goals by Hickson, who was far quicker in the uptake than the visiting defenders one could sense that Everton seemed to regard the game as already won. As it turned out they were right, but is unwise to make such an assumption too early in any match. Sometimes it is risky to assumed it even at a very late period. The effect was that Sunderland, who had hardly been coloured on the map in the early stages started to hit back and cut down considerably the effectiveness of Everton’s earlier and sparkling combined play. After Revie and O’Neill between them had reduced the lead seven minutes before the interval when the slippery ball squirmed out of Dunlop’s grasp. Sunderland at last began to look something like a team with prospects. There were periods in the second half when it seemed that they might get on level terms and Everton, how minus their first half fluency and poise, and temporarily lacking the close linkup between forwards and half backs, had their hands full defensively. It was at this stage that Donovan and Dunlop were towers of strength. Dunlop reminds me of Ted Sagar in the manner he commands the territory around his goal.
Plenty of Courage
When he comes out there is rarely –even the slightest fear that the ball will not be his. When courage of another sort is demanded, he has it in abundance. Several times he ran out and dived at the feet of oncoming forwards when the slightest hesitation would have been fatal. He saved at least two certain goals in that fashion, as well, as other ticklish situations. A goalkeeper of Dunlop’s capacity obviously gives considerable confidence to the defenders in front of him and Donovan and Tansey are showing any amount of that quality this season. So is Jones though he found Fleming a handful at times, despite the fact that the Scot seems a little ponderous these days, and on Saturday did not shoot as he used to. Despite their earnest efforts and some very close misses, Sunderland could not break down Everton’s resistance, and after looking likely at one period to surrender a point, the home side made sure of bagging them both, when Meagan hit the best goal of the day 18 minutes from the end. It was a beautifully placed shot from just outside the penalty area which Bollands had no hope of stopping. The more I see of Meagan the more I marvel that this season is the first time we have seen him in the senior side. he is 23 has been with the club, five years; and now looks as though batting injuries, he is going to be a fixture for years. I cannot recall Everton introducing any wing half of such promise since they gave us a sight of the man Meagan has displaced Peter Farrell.
Tommy Jones does not often fail with a penalty. Up to last season he has missed only one during his career. He failed with two last winter and on Saturday three minutes from the end, Bolland’s foiled him after Hedley had brought Brian Harris down. It was certainly a very heavy charge by the former Evertonians but to me it seemed rather a severe decision. Apparently Hedley was of the same mind for he chunnered about it to the referee to such length that he had his name taken. Jones miss was of no real consequence, for the game was well won by them. Sunderland had shot their bolt long before and Everton, once more move showing their wonderful fitness and ability to keep going to the bitter end, had again taken over the initiative. On this occasion it was the bitter end literally as well as figuratively for in the last minute Hickson went into Elliott like a bulldozer demolishing condemned property and laid out the Sunderland man as though he had been pole axed. Elliott was carried off on a stretcher suffering from concussion and even when the Sunderland coach left Goodison 45 minutes later he was still very dazed and shaken. Hickson also had to receive attention, but quickly recovered.
FILM FOR TV
September 17, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton F.C. players were filmed for television when training yesterday and expressed the wish that the fee should go to charity.
September 18, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton will again be unchanged on Saturday when they are way to Luton Town, the team being; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea, Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B).
Birch carried off ten days ago with an ankle injury, is back in training and may be fit to have a run in the Central league side on Saturday.
A READER TAKES UP THE CUDGELS ON BEHALF OF DAVE HICKSON
November 19, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
During a temporary lull in the mid-week Soccer proceedings I have been endeavouring to polish off a batch of readers’ letters which has accumulated in the past ten days.
From W.T. Radcliffe of Conister, Alder Road, Prescot, who wishes to put forward his own interception of the last minute incident at Goodison Park last week. As this column is always open to those who wish to join issue with me, I am giving his letter at length. He writes;-
“This is the first letter I have ever addressed to you, I must write to say I simply cannot stomach your committee mis-reporting of the Elliott. Hickson incident last week. The exact reverse of your report is the real truth or else all those around me in the Members’ Stand are blind. “A Sunderland player tripped Hickson and the referee immediately whistled and walked towards the offender. His back was then towards Hickson who staggered on trying to keep his balance and Elliott who was also racing up at the same moment –and also behind the referee –could not check his momentum. “Elliott who was moving fast, overenlanded towards the staggering Hickson and when Elliott felt towards him, and almost certainly slightly behind Hickson the Everton player’s right heel was moving in an upward arc and caught the unfortunate Sunderland player, apparently on the head. I am certain that the staggering Hickson’s heel did the damage.
“Let me emphasize the main point that a player still staggering from one foul tackle couldn’t “bulldozer” a rabbit never mind a player coming towards him at twice the speed. Your subsequent homily was therefore merely nauseating. “Finally let me disabuse you of any notion that I am a rabid Hickson fan, but he has always had my sympathy. I witnessed the Bolton semi-final and the Barrass treatment to say nothing on the mayhem he suffered once at Maine Road. A League match and the gusting treatment he received both from the referee and his opponents in the cup-tie at Hillsborough. “Yet, despite that sympathy I was unreservedly glad to see him go on the score that the good name of the club was greater than any individual player. The incident did occur and too frequently to be bearable. To blame or not to blame I felt that an end to those incidents at any price was preferable and Hickson paid that price. “Despite my misgiving I am now glad that Hickson is back but he has no chance of re-establishing himself if you so badly miss-report such incidents. Your comments sheer imagination.”
The Only One
Mr. Radcliffe’s letter is the only one I have had on this topic apart from a very brief note from Mr. F. Kewn of 5 Henschel Street, Liverpool 5. I would not have mentioned the matter at all, but for his desire to put things right, for I believe in Hickson’s own benefit, that the least said about such things the better. The writer hardly does me justice. I have written of Hickson’s undoubted ability on scores of occasions and have taken his part in no uncertain fashion when he has had to suffer harshly but from players and referees, as it happened far too often in the past. It has been noticeable again this season. I also am glad Dave is back, He has made a wonderful difference to the attack. It would not be the same without him. I am not entering into any discussion of the pros and cons of Saturday’s incident; now. Neither do I purpose to give Elliott’s version which was told to me by Sunderland officials not that of an impartial witness, a director of a Yorkshire club who was present. Although I listen to all sides I use my own eyes and form my opinion on their evidence not somebody else’s interpretation. If I started doing the latter I’d soon be dizzy. Ne let the matter die a natural death.
SO PRIVATE HARRIS BECOMES AIRBORNE
September 21, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton’s outside left. No 23361550 Private Harris, B of the R.A.S.C, Aldershot becomes airborne next week. He will fly from London Airport on Friday to Everton’s home match against Blackpool. Everton have sensibly arranged air transport for their young outside left so as to avoid the tiredness of seven-hour journeys on days before home matches –and that is not taking into account the additional travelling Brian Harris has been having through a glut of mid-week matches in the early part of the season. The feature of the First Division season so far has been the success of clubs which had seemed likely to be no more than moderate and the failure of teams whose prospects had seemed brightest. Two in the former category, Everton and Luton meet today at Luton and Everton may get clear leadership of their League if they can find again their inspired form of Highbury and Villa Park. The team spirit and fighting ability of Everton has been a feature of their play and is the highest tribute that can be paid in the coaching of Ian Buchan. Luton’s small ground and lumped pitch is very difficult for visiting teas when the mid-winter mud thickest. At this stage of the season it offers a more reasonable surface and Everton with Dunlop riving the other excellent goalkeeper Baynham should at least escape defeat. The Everton trainer Harry Wright joined them from Luton, so Ian Buchan and the Everton captain Don Donovan will have the benefit of his inside advice when they make their tactical plans. Teams; Everton; Dunlop; Donovan, Tansey; Rea,. Jones, Meagan; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding, Harris (B). Luton; Baynham; Dunne, McNally; Grove, Owen, Pearce; Cullen, Turner, Morton, Brown, McLeod.
LATE GOAL BY FIELDING GRABS POINTS FOR THE LUES
September 21, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Luton 0, Everton 1
Luton Town;- Baynham, goal; Dunne and McNually, backs; Groves, Owen and Pearce, half-backs; Cullen, Turner, Morton, Brown and McLeod, forwards. Everton; Dunlop, goal; Donovan (captain) and Tansey, backs; Rea, Jones and Meagan, half-backs; Harris (J), Temple, Hickson, Fielding and Harris (B), forwards. Referee; Mr. G. McCann (Sheffield). Everton were unchanged, Luton played in their half-back line Perace the former Cheshire League player, whose conversion from a forward to a half-back has been the great tactical success at Luton this season. With a lively ball on a ground which slopes markedly from the side to another. Everton were not happy in the early moments in which they conceded four corner kicks.
One of them was taken twice. It was the timely tackle by Jones on Morton which prevented that player from scoring off the fourth attempt. Owen having come far upfield to provide Morton with the pass. Everton’s best move and the games best move so far came when Meagan drifted over to the right to link up with Harris (J) in a perfect right-wing by movement which ended with Meagan sliding the ball forward and inviting his partner to go ahead and score. Harris shot by was low and true but Baynham made a brilliant stop and then recovered in time to snatch the ball from the feet of the incoming Temple. Right out of the blue and from a good 25 yards, Morton produced a low surprise shot of which Dunlop stopped at the foot of the post when a goal seemed certain. Then he shook off the bodily attention of Cullen. A moment later Peace, from almost equally far out, drove the ball in even harder and it smacked the bar and bounded away to be cleared. Owen, who got the full force of the ball in the face, recovered quickly and disclaimed the trainer’s sponge.
Luton On top
Owen was beating Hickson fairly frequently in the air, and in general a game which started quietly now became rousing. Groves put the ball away for a safety first corner rather than let in Temple, but this was one of Everton’s rare attacks and Luton were clearly on top. Once again Harris (J) enjoyed a shooting chance, this time after a lot of hard labour on the left wing by Meagan and Harris (B) but it was a difficult chance from an awkward angle and he shot wide. Temple, intervening cleverly as _Baynham went to pick up the ball from a throw-in beat the goalkeeper to it but was crowded out. Everton now started to play some pretty and effective football, but without a lot of punch. The Luton defence was inclined to panic a little and McNally gave Everton a corner to prevent Harris (J) running on to a pass from Tansey. Harris (B) headed wide from the corner kick. Hickson’s backwards nod to Harris (J) was an invitation to score and his low shot had Baynham at full stretch to make a good save. Tansy was now beating Cullen too frequently for the crowd’s liking. Harris (J) and Hickson brought the ball up from near one of their own corner flags to the other end of the field in a smooth duet. Hickson finally skid the ball forward for Harris to go on and crack in a shot. Unfortunately he weaved to the left to dribble and finally had to hit it with his left foot. The shot flew wide when Everton must have anticipated the finish of a picture goal.
Pearce who was having a good game did extraordinarily well to hold off Temple who that very fast moving forward to reached to pick up a through ball which should not have been his. Dunne joined the Luton shooter but like most of the others today, he was off target. The last ten minutes before the interval were quite the most critical for Everton. First Dunne shooting from far out to deceived Dunlop the ball being hooked off the line miraculously by Donovan.
Half-time; Luton Town nil, Everton nil
Turner started the second half by shooting from the closest range and Donovan was of tremendous assistance to his side in moments of crisis. Everton’s defence closed down by force of numbers of many Luton, attacks, and all through the piece Meagan’s use of the ball and general play, stamped him in absolutely top class. Hickson with a right-foot volley from a right wing centre by Rea, almost surprised Baynham who had to go to the far post to see this swerving shot pass a yard or two outside. The finishing of both sides left a lot to be desired. A Cullen corner kick slid along the face of the bar, Everton had gone off the boil a bit but Fielding’s play was as bright as ever and to miracle was that better use was no made of it. A glorious cross field pass from Fielding to Harris (J) found Harris (B) coming inside and arising a shot in such a way for Baynham seemed certain to be beaten.
Day’s Best Save
He had judged the situation well, however, and his save well was the day’s best. Temple who mishit the ball from a reasonable opening, early in the second half cracked in a full blooded shot which beat the upright by only a foot or two. Alan Brown from a back heel-pass by Morton smacked a lovely shot just too high Everton’s good defence was not in a position to hold the Luton attack almost impudently, Jones, Tansey, Donovan and Meagan all however, their authority. The only opening Luton running prise resulted in Brown sending a shot to the right of Dunlop but Dunlop dived full length to save dramatically –Referee McCabe running like a hare after awarding free kicks started the crowd and players and was rather more demonstrative than good judge should be. At 83 minutes Meagan working on the touchline slid through a glorious pass to Fielding who turned and shot into the far corner of the net almost in the same movement. The direction rather than the pace of the ball, was the thing that did the damage. Hickson got his foot up rather high when Owen was heading. No damage was done and the pair shock hands quite happily. Everton had some testing moments in the last three minutes when Jones assured and making some valuable headers. Final; Luton nil, Everton 1.
EVERTON RES V SHEFF UNITED RES
September 21, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Res;- O’Neill, goal; Sanders and Leeder, backs; King, Labone, and Farrell, half-backs; McNamara, Thomas, Kirby, McKay, and Williams, forwards. Sheff United Res;- Burgin, goal; Wood, and Smith, backs; Mason, Barrass, and Hewitt, Lewis, Turner, Priest, Cox, and Rose, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Freeman (Preston). Everton conducted non-stop attacks and the wonder was that a goal was delayed until 10 minutes. Thomas took up a through pass from Kirby and drove past the advancing Burgin from 18 yards. Sheffield had the misfortune to lose Burgin who damaged his arm. His place was taken by Mason, who fumbled a shot from Kirby and only succeeded in saving at the second attempt. Everton added a second through McKay, Burgin returned but went to outside left and shortly after this Everton scored again through McNamara who headed into the net from a perfect Williams centre Sheffield reduced the lead just on half time through Lewis. Everton Res 3, Sheffield United Res 1.
WHEN A TWELFTH MAN IS ONLY A BOY…
September 23, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Luton Town 0, Everton 1
By Leslie Edwards
No position on the football field is a sinecure, but there is one, off-field, which comes near to it –twelfth man’s. He not only draws £17 top money for the week, but a bonus, too, if his side has won. Thus he has £21 to pick up on pay day. I mention that figure because there are two young Everton players, both in their ‘teens, who have each picked up £21 for twelfth man duties in recent weeks. The idea behind their being given the plum position is to get them keen and playing even harder to find their niche permanently in the first team. But Brian Labone, the young schoolboy who has just turned professional (twelfth man at Highbury) and Alec Ashworth (twelfth man on Saturday at Luton) have still a long way to go-and know it –and must have no illusions that money is so easy to come by in the hurty burly of League soccer. Meanwhile, they go back from the plush comfort of life with the first team, to the harder chores of second and third team work where they must learn that you have to do more than shift skips and towel a few illustrious football backs before you can quality to pick up £21 every week!
On the face of things Ian Buchan and company will not be wanting to disturb their side for a few seasons yet. It has youth; it has talent it has understanding and (praise be!) It has the willingness to work as a team. They were saying in Luton on Saturday that they have never seen Wally Fielding look so fit and play so hard as he did in a match in which he snatched the goal seven minutes from the end. Maybe the fact that Mr. Fielding senior and Wally’s sister were among spectators inspired him.
The game was goal-less, and looked like remaining so, when Fielding turned to take the choice pass little Meagan served up so acceptably. Fielding was challenged, lost by his balance and falling, poked out a trusty toe-end to send the ball low just inside the post and quite out of reach of Baynham who had earlier made some brilliant saves. Everton had to survive a hectic last few minutes in which the solidity of Jones on the ground and in the air was as notable as the propensity of forwards to back and help in the crisis. Everton just about deserved their win. Their only fault was their failure to take chances. Temple, who had moments of inspiration, did not always succeed in getting full power on the ball and Harris J. and others who enjoyed chances were not always accurate in using them. It was a hard game in sultry heat and Everton, whose record is that they have lost only once –at Old Trafford –gave further confirmation that they are a vastly different and better side than a year ago. Luton, who had hopes of topping the table on Saturday night were in command only in the first ten minutes or so and Everton’s pretty, well-contrived midfield play needed only goals to give them a clear superiority. They did well to get Fielding’s from a less promising opening than many earlier ones which had gone for nought. There were two outstanding half-backs –Meagan of Everton and Pearce of Luton. Meagan scarcely put a foot wrong and maintained his stamina wonderfully in difficult conditions. His control of the ball, his neatness in distributing it his wonderful pass from which Fielding scored, impressed everyone. Pearce, who was once on Liverpool’s books, was signed by Luton from Winsford. Only since being made a half-back has he found his real place. He is one of the best and most powerful young half-backs, I have seen this season. His first half shot which nearly shattered the bar above a Dunlop completely unable to do anything about it was a tremendous thing. On a ground at which on looking is much more intimate than at Goodison Park or Anfield it was a pleasure to see the close-quarter combat between Donovan against McLeod and Tansey against Cullen, a winger who once attracted Liverpool. Donovan’s hooking of the ball and general play was first-class. His best contribution was the hook with which he removed the ball from the goal-line after Dunlop had failed to judge the flight of a free kick. This was no Dunlop’s gala, but he cannot always play brilliantly and everyone on a football field is fallible. It says much for him that in spite of a blemish or two in his play Luton still went goal-less.
Hickson was a calmer, more phlegmatic (and therefore, better) Hickson than a week ago. His battle with Owen went all Owen’s way initially but I noticed that when Hickson really wanted to get there first in the air he usually managed it. Referee McCabe, whose hareing runs after giving free kicks, were such a remarked feature (a good referee should only be heard, occasionally and never seen!) Had cause to give a warning to Fielding, whose line, I gather, was that Referee McCabe was not noticing where Cullen was wiping his boots. Fielding, with his cajoling of the ball (and of opponents), his long, spot-on presses to far flung places and his ability to disguise his intentions, had a wonderful match, for a man who is figuratively the daddy of them all. Everton’s spirit and speed and spike on the wings (where both Harrises added to their fame) is one reason why the line is so progressive this season. Rea, like Meagan, did his prompting work well and Everton moved as though they had all been playing together for seasons –the surest sign of perfect understanding. I congratulate Ian Buchan on the fitness of his team and on the spirit he is getting from them; I congratulate the club on solving their difficulties in one, as it were, by the simple expedient of signing Hickson. Blackpool and Matthews next Saturday should attract to Everton yet another immense gate and I have more than a little confidence that the new Everton will once again surprise and delight their following.
WILLIAMS’ GREAT DAY
September 23, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 6, Sheffield United Res 1
Minus their goalkeeper Burgin for three-parts of the game –he was the victim of an arm injury-Sheffield United Reserves had incessantly to fill defensive role at Goodison Park. Even so Everton were clearly the better side and would have won comfortably in any case. As it was they scored six times, and the woodwork twice, and had half-a-dozen near misses. Some of Everton’s football was brilliant and Williams had a great day at outside left. All the forwards scored – Thomas (2), Kirby, McKay, Williams and McNamara. Sheffield’s goal came through Lewis.
MEAGAN IS THE MAN FOR EIRE
September 23, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Blunder of the week-end? The failure of the Republic of Eire to recognize that Everton have the man to fill the left-half position in their national team –Mick Meagan, a bundle of energy and coal competence whose work in the Everton team which won at Luton by a goal seven minutes from the end, was characteristically brilliant. There’s not much of Meagan, but oh, how good it is. One wonders how this tough little fellow has spent enough seasons at Goodison Park to rare a benefit without being truly “discovered” until the Buchan era. The other great success at Luton was Fielding, whose father and sister swelled the under 20,000 attendance to Daily Duncan’s ground. I wish the Luton facilities were as satisfying as Duncan’s football in his playing days. The best thing about Luton is the team is Liverpool lad Pearce, who has blossomed since being used as a half-back. Originally a forward he was once on books at Anfield and was signed by Luton from Winsford. But to reverted to Fielding. He has never been fitter, he has never played harder. People in London asked; Why the transformation?” My answer was that Fielding is now a happier than ever at Goodison Park. There was a time when he could almost depend on not being in the side for the opening match of any season. I myself, that a correspondent of mine was more than anyone else instrumental in helping to get Fielding back where he belonged. It was Meagan and Fielding the two smallest men on the field, who engineered the goal which gave Everton their third away victory, seven minutes from the end, a hard game in sultry conditions was threatening to remain goal less when Meagan slid the most glorious of passes through for Fielding. There were tackless at hand and they moved fast, but as Fielding turned and faced goal he contrived to get the end of his boot to the ball as he over balanced the result being a shot so well, directed that he excellent Baynham could do nothing about it. The final few minutes was a testing for Everton and Jones was conspicuously firm and unyielding at that point. Earlier Donovan against Mcleod and Tansey against Cullen, the winger once scouted by Liverpool had been the means of clamping down on the Luton wings. Brown formerly Blackpool had no sort of match and neither did Turner. Donovan also did his side great service when hooking the ball off the goal-line after Dunlop (erring for once) had misjudged the flight of a long lob. Pearce produced the best Luton shot. It struck the bar, a whacking blow, and was away from it before Dunlop could even began to reach for it. Everton might well have won the game more handsomely and sooner if they had shot better. Temple found the ball running against him on occasion and so did Harris J. Nevertheless these two moved well together more than once. Harris B. too, had his moments. Everton played the better football and impressed everyone with their spirit and ability; some of their work was delightful. There is a willingness everywhere to help out other departments when need arises. Director Tom Nuttall would rather had great joy in seeing for success. Unfortunately his health prevents him from travelling. To get home to Liverpool on Saturday evening Everton arranged for the Merseyside Express to be sopped at Leighton Buzzard – the first time in my knowledge this has been done. To while away the wailing moments at Leighton Buzzard there was a makeshift game of cricket –on the platform. And directors Cyril Balmforth, Jack Sharp and Fred Micklesfield must have been a good deal hotter at the end of it than any Everton player at the end of the Luton game! Hickson’s linking of the Everton attack was again a feature. He played more quietly this week and his play is all the better for it and the duel between him and Owen went one way only until Hickson decided that the moment was opportune to rise a little higher. With a game against Blackpool at Goodison next Saturday Everton may expect another crowd of near 70,000 proportions. It is a my to see the side doing, so well and especially when their season had seemed likely to be so indifferent.
EVERTON F.C. HAVE EIGHT PLAYERS DOWN WITH INFLUENZA
September 24, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Saturday’s Game Against Blackpool My Be Off
First Team Depleted
The influenza epidemic has struck Everton Football Club and it is likely that permission to postpone Saturday’s match with Blackpool at Goodison Park will be spilght from the Football league. Seven first team men are affected –Dunlop, Donovan, Tansey, Jones, Meagan, Temple, and Hickson as well as Birch, who has missed the last three games through injury. Five went down yesterday and Jones, Hickson and Dunlop were sent home as soon as they arrived for training this morning. The only first team men fit at the moment are Fielding, Rea, Jimmy Harris, and Brian Harris the latter being in the Army at Aldershot. Arrangements have been made for him to fly from London on Friday for the game. The Everton board will review the position at this evening meeting. Everton are due to visit Wolverhampton Wanderers in a Central league game tomorrow.
Once it starts one never knows where it will end; “Said Ian Buchan, the chief coach. But as matters are at the moment it will be impossible for us to fulfill our game on Saturday. This is the second fixture involving a Merseyside senior club to be endangered by flu. Rotherham were unable to raise a team to meet Liverpool on September 11 and the game was put back to November 27.
BUT WILL THEY BE FIT FOR FOOTBALL?
September 25, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
It seems incredible that eight of the Everton players who were so full of life (and good football) at Luton on Saturday were laid low yesterday…but that’s Asian ‘flue and Everton were not the first club to be affected so suddenly. The epidemic which started mildly, in a football sense, at Sheffield Wednesday now has a general spread which suggests that there may be a good number of postponements in Saturday’s Football league programme. Everton are wisely taking no action for a few days. But the danger to their match against Blackpool at Goodison Park is that players who may have recovered may still not be fit to play by then. Indeed it would be almost miraculous if Meagan, Temple, Tansey, and Donovan, the four worst affected of the players reported themselves fit for League football on Saturday. And that is making no allowance for any delayed-action ‘flu casualties this, or any future morning. Were Everton to get the match postponed the question of an alternative date would be a problem. Everton would want it under lights. Blackpool, though, have said they will not play under lights until they have lights of their own. Everton have informed the Football league and Blackpool of the position, and will take no further action until tomorrow. Choice of the Central League team to meet Wolverhampton today will be made when the players report this morning.
EVERTON MATCH VERY DOUBTFUL
September 26, 1957. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Though the eight Everton first team players suffering from influenza are progressing, the dismal prospect is that Saturday’s home league game against Blackpool (Stanley Matthews and all that) will be off. It is feared that Everton will be forced, this morning to ask the Football League to order postponement because they are not in a position to field a representative side. There were plans to put on at Goodison Park an alternative figure, if the first team game were off, but these have produced no result.
‘FLU HITS FIT AND FRAIL ALIKE
November 28, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
By Peter Farrell
The life of a soccer manager is a worrying enough one for the individual concerned at the best of times. Recently, however, managers have an additional problem with which to cope, namely, the ‘flu virus. Not that this is uncommon to professional footballers but never before have I known so many players in one club to be confined to bed with it, as has been the experience at Everton this week. There are many other clubs almost as badly, hit as the Blues in this respect and managers and those in charge of team selection are almost afraid to check the roll call at grounds these morning for fear they find more of their lads absent and confined to bed with a dose of the flu. Some people are amazed at the number of professional footballer who have contracted the virus, in view of the fact that footballers are so well trained and at peak fitness, a factor which should stand them in good stead in avoiding the flu. On the other hand, I am told by people who understand these things a lot better than I that athletes or footballers, who are at such a high peak of physical fitness are more likely to pick up germs than the ordinary individual. Whatever way you view the mater football clubs in common with the rest of the public will be very pleased when the epidemic is finished as Everton’s sick list this week has been more like a doctor’s. Turning to a more pleasant picture it must be very gratifying to all Evertonians to see the lads continuing in the winning vein. Their latest triumph at Luton was another great performance as not many sides return from the Kenilworth Road ground with two points. When the Blues started the season so well there were many who said “Wait and see, is only a flash in the pan.” Those folk must grow” he having second thoughts, as the Blues victories to date have been gained in an accomplished manner against some of the best teams in the country. it is a long time since both our premier sides in Liverpool occupied such healthy positions in the League tables at the same time as Liverpool are also doing great stuff in their bid for promotion despite their stiff away programme of recent weeks. During last Saturday’s reserve game against Sheffield United I was continually shouting encouragement to the lads, during the course of the game. Some of the fans in the paddock seem to take exception to hearing my voice on the field. Several times I heard remarks such as “Keep your mouth shut Farrell –and let the kids play their own game.” I wonder what these people think I am trying to do? Put the youngsters off their game or what? Far from it. I consider it part of my duty as captain, no matter what team I am in to help my team mates with vocal advice or to point out to them what they are doing wrong during the course of the game. The lads appreciate this, and realize I am only doing my duty. I know it is only a small minitory of the fans who don’t seem to realise this, so I would like to put their minds at ease by informing them that I shall continue in such, a way as long as I am captain of an Everton side. In conclusion, I would like to pay a tribute to the Tranmere Rovers supporters. I was sitting in the stand at Gigg lane among quite a large section of Tranmere supporters when Bury inflicted that 8-2 defeat on the Birkenhead side. The Tranmere fans had plenty of reasons that night for being really disappointed with the side, yet I never heard a complaint of a severe criticism of their team from them. One the other hand they were in the best of spirits right to the end of the game. A typical remark as they left Gigg Lane was. Was, “We will still be there, on Saturday cheering the lads on” Well done, you Birkenhead folk your loyalty deserves reward.
INQUIRY FOR FARRELL
September 30, 1957. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have received an inquiry from a Third Division Northern club regarding Peter Farrell who has been out of the first team this season. They have given the inquiring club permission to talk the matter over with Farrell, and will leave the decision with the player himself. If Farrell is interested, Everton will be accommodating regarding the fee.