TURF MOOR DUEL
April 2, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton, like Liverpool, will be trying to stop an opposition “double” when they trot out against Burnley. Manager Cliff Britton lads of Burnley are not quite so powerful as they were when winning 3-0 at Goodison Park recently, but they still have a chance of finishing runners-up to Arsenal, and Everton will find a particularly hard task requiring something a little better than their Easter form. One must take Burnley to win, but in 25 visits to the ground Everton have been beaten only 13 times so they could spring a surprise. Everton (from) Sagar; Saunders, Hedley; Lindley, Tommy Jones, Farrell; Grant, Wainwright, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson, Higgins.
EVERTON ATTACK WAS DISJOINTED
April 3, 1948. The Evening Express
Failed to Gain Lead in the First Minute
Everton had to fight rear guard action for most of a gruelling game against Burnley at Turf Moor today. Dodds gave Everton the lead in the closing minutes. The “Toffees” almost took the lead in the first minute, Higgins striking the bar with Strong helpless. But from then onwards, Burnley were almost constantly in control, and it was only the brilliance of Sagar and their own inability to take their chances which prevented Burnley from taking a commanding first-half lead. The Everton attack was in the main a disjoined force, with Dodds well held by Brown, while Tommy Jones and Saunders did grand defensive work after the interval. Wally Fielding returned to the Everton side. He took over at inside right in place of Eddie Wainwright. The only other change in the Everton side compared with that which defeated Grimsby Town on Easter Monday was the return of George Saunders at right back, to the exclusion of Jackson. Burnley had to make a change at left-back, where Harold Maher was unable to play, thus breaking an unbroken run of 97 first team appearances. Mather broke his nose during training on Thursday and Loughan deputised. Burnley; Strong, goal; Woodruff and Longhan, backs; Attwell, Brown and Bray, half-backs; Chew, Morris, Harrison, Potts and Hays, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Hedley, backs; Lindley, Jones (TG), and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson, and Higgins, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Hartley (Bolton). Lindley enlivened the opening, in a high wind, with a glorious body swerve to hoodwink Hays and then slipped the ball through along the ground for Dodds, but Jock did not make effective contact. When Burnley went away, Jones was there in position to prevent Harrison nipping in. Away went Everton, for Lindley to hook the ball into the goalmouth, where both Brown and Woodruff, in turn, missed it, to offer Higgins a glorious chance.
Struck the Bar
Higgins took his time and beat Strong with a fierce shot, only to see the ball crack against the bar. Stevenson seized on the rebound and let go a terrific right-footer which Strong turned over the top in brilliant style. Both attacks were moving with speed and precision and there was a close call for Everton when Harrison caught the defence napping by allowing the ball to run on to Hays, but Sagar was not tested. In almost causal manner, Dodds and Stevenson filtered through a Burnley rearguard which did not seem at all sure of itself. Successive Dodds drives were charged down and then Dodds was fouled just outside the area. Tom Jones went up to try one of his specials, a perfectly directed rising shot, which Strong only managed to tip round the upright at the last moment. This was entertaining fare, and now Burnley made progress for Chew to move inside and take over from Morris, but Chew shot lacked power and was directed straight at the thankful Sagar. The 25,000 crowd roared when Potts went through solo and cracked a stinging drive a yard wide of the upright.
The Burnley attack was moving with extreme speed, but was rather inclined to overdo the short pass and it was this which negatived good work on the left and enabled Lindley to step in and take charge. Twice Woodruff went high up-field to dispossess Higgins, but in each case his final pass lacked accuracy. Then Harrison bore out to the right, tricked Hedley cleverly, and crossed a danger-laden ball. It was only Saunders sense of anticipation which enabled him to beat the in running Hays, to possession. When Everton regained the initiation Woodruff was there to foil them again, but Higgins showed the right idea with an accurate first-timer from nearly 30 yards. Strong, however, dealt with the ball cleanly and confidently. Although Burnley had rather more of the game, Strong had been a busier man than Sagar, who was receiving first rate coverage. Strong had to go into action again to turn a deceptive lob shot from Fielding round the upright, and the Burnley keeper was there again to deal with Higgins’ corner. The Potts slewed one just wide of the far post from 18 yards, with Sagar scrambling. Everton’s closet call so far came however when Potts drove in low and Morris came from nowhere and almost dispossessed Sagar as the Everton goalkeeper threw himself forward to gain control. Burnley were keeping the ball glued to the ground and serving up grand football, and Sagar had to look sharp to deal with Morris’s close range drive. Burnley would not be denied and again Sagar had to go down to frustrate Morris after Saunders had lost possession. Dodds was being closely watched by Brown, although on one occasion he surprised the Burnley man by his burst of speed and Strong had to leave his goal in double quick time.
It was still mainly a question of an offensive Burnley, and after Saunders and Hedley had both mistimed clearances, Loughan took everyone by surprise, including Sagar, with a 40-yarder all along the ground, but the ball swerved outside the post. Hesitancy on the part of the Everton defence offered Potts a clear road to goal, and he let go hard from 15 yards, only to see Sagar save magnificently at full length. Just on half-time Sagar saved the day from a Harrison header.
Half-time; Burnley 0, Everton 0.
Cool interception by Jones brought the Burnley attack to a sudden halt straight from the resumption and Jones sent Farrell away. Stevenson took over and transferred to Dodds, who flicked the ball across to grant, with Brown claiming offside. Grant went on and forced Strong to save an oblique-angle drive at the foot of the post. Then Fielding gave Grant the right of way, but grant’s attempt to “find” Dodds was intercepted by Attwell. Twice in as many minutes Potts missed excellent chances from close in. Sagar saving without trouble. There was danger again for Everton when Jones found the light ball eluding him, but Saunders came across at top speed to crack behind for an unproductive corner. Burnley continued to combine more accurately than did a rather disjointed Everton front line. A dazzling solo run by Hays looked good for Burnley, but his final pass found Morris lying well offside. Tom Jones was doing splendid work in stemming the fast-moving Burnley raiders, but still the Everton attack lacked thrust, and the best effort from the “Toffees” for some time came when Higgins flung himself at Lindley’s cross but the ball cannoned against Attwell. Still Burnley continued to force the issue, but they were amazingly remiss in front of goal. Sagar had his work cut out to deal with a puzzling lob from Bray, and than Harrison found himself through on his own, with only Sagar to beat. He looked offside and apparently assumed that the best he could do was to shoot tamely straight at Sagar.
Everton fought back, and were awarded a free kick only a yard out-side the penalty area. Strong just managed to pull down Jones’s drive as it was streaking in just under the bar. Then Strong had to go down to deal with a Dodd’s flick after Farrell had done the leading-up work. Again Dodds tried to catch Strong napping with a hook shot from Grant’s pass, but his shot lacked direction. Dodds gave Everton the lead in the 81st minute with a brilliant header from Fielding’s free kick. Final; Burnley 0, Everton 1.
EVERTON RES V. MANCHESTER UNITED RES
April 3, 1948. The Evening Express
The game developed at a hot pace, but Everton had the better of the opening exchanges. The United were certainty a sprightly side, and the home goal had a narrow shave when Cassidy headed against the crossbar. Everton made many onslaughts, but erratic shooting spoiled their chances. Just before the interval Burke drove in a low drive which Burnett saved at full length. Halt-time; Everton Res 0, Manchester United Res 0.
Everton set up many hot attacks after the interval, but Brown the United keeper was never seriously worried. The visitors nearly went ahead when Hanlon got home a beauty, but Burnett saved grandly. Final; Everton Res 1, Manchester United Res 2.
SAGAR VERSUS THE REST
April 5, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Great Display at Burnley
Burnley 0, Everton 1
Burnley have to some extent taken a leaf out of Arsenal’s “negative” book and lost friends by so doing, but that they are capable of playing top grade football was demonstrated against Everton although they suffered defeat. They provided the best football I have seen from a Burnley side for an age. Two important factors contributed to the defeat. Ted Sagar’s goalkeeping and Burnley’s inability to turn beautifully made scoring opportunities into goals. It was difficult to imagine that players who could produce such clever combination could fall down at the vital point of the game. Even Sagar should have been left helpless on nearly half-a-dozen occasions. Sagar this season has been the king of goalkeepers. His great display have been as critical as clockwork. It has not just been a match here and there, but consistency all through. His part in this unexpected Turf Moor victory cannot be minimised by the fact that the Burnley forwards were so remiss. It was a lucky win, yet at the same time I refuse to make excuses for the Burnley forwards who should have had the result safely secured at the interval. Potts, Morris and Harrison will never be forgiven for their failure to score from such simply position after the way, they had schemed and planned to make them.
The Everton attack did not function well, as might have struck a death blow to Burnley in the first five minutes when Higgins hit the crossbar. A goal then might have made all the difference as it was because a battle was of the Everton defence and the Burnley forwards. Burnley were scintillating. Near the finish, the though went through my mind that Everton might snatch a goal and sneak two points, but it didn’t seem likely in view of what had gone before. Such happenings make soccer the great game it is. Ten minutes to go with prospect of an point was gratifying to Everton, it was probably more than they expected. A free kick given against brown for a foul on Dodds did not raises hopes for Burnley had packed their goal. We had to wait for the free kick because Brown and the referee were engaged. Meantime Dodds stepped away from goal, but when Fielding sent the ball into the goalmouth the big Scot ran in to head the ball well wide of Strong. Burnley went into a frenzy after that in their endeavour to obtain the equaliser, but Everton defence stood defiant against every onslaught and they were made. Jones, Hedley and Saunders played themselves to a standstill, but such was the skill of the Burnley side that Saunders and Lindley were often running between two points with nothing to show for it. The Everton forwards were not at one. Higgins had a good game, but in the main the line was not linked-up.
EVERTON RES 1 MANCHESTER UNITED RES 2
April 5, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
The United who proved the greater opportunists, fully justified their odd goal victory in a fast game. Everton had many chances of forcing the issue but erratic shooting was their downfall. Burnett did his job well in the Everton goal, while Cassidy was the pick of the Manchester forwards Buckle and McMorran scored for the United and Pinchbeck for Everton.
GOODISON GAME TO-NIGHT
April 5, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are home this evening (kick-off 6.30) in the semi-final of the Liverpool semi-final of the Liverpool senior Cup, when Southport provide the opposition. Southport will be bringing a big contingent of supporters with them, and there is likely to be a fairly large crowd for this opening game in the long list of April evening fixtures which give the folk who work on Saturday a chance to make up for the lost time. Both teams turn out strong sides, and Everton are likely to find the sandgrounders anything but easy prey. The Haig Avenue lads are pretty confident of giving them a good run for their money and are not without hopes of springing a surprise. Everton’s only change compared with Saturday is Pinchback for Dodds. Southport make two changes. Batey standing down at his own request for Hodgson and Ball replacing Livingstone. Teams;- Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Hedley; Lindley, Jones, Farrell; Grant, Fielding, Pinchbeck, Stevenson, Higgins. Southport; Birkett; Westby, Boyle; Harrison, Turner, Hodgson; Iddon, Owens, Wyles, Ball, Goodwin. The winners tonight meet the winners of the Liverpool-Tranmere semi-final, which takes place at Anfield next Monday.
April 5, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
The first Everton-Burnley meeting this season was one to be forgotten, the second one to remember, not so much came of Everton’s victory at Turf Moor but because of Sagar’s brilliance and the Burnley forwards lamentable efforts to score goals after they had made perfect openings by perfect football. Sagar was heartache to the Burnley forwards, who seemed capable of doing anything until it came to facing up to him. He seemed to memorise them. He boarded up his goal as securely as though a wall had been built into it, and many times I saw a Burnley forward shake his head after Sagar had made a particular fine save to foil him (writes Stork). For once in a way Burnley cut out their stonewall tactics and decided to go out for goals, and their approach work was glorious. Surely such players could match their cleverness with good shooting? No, they couldn’t and that was why they lost. They should have had the game sawn up by interval time, despite Sagar’s greatness and the stern defensive quality of those immediately in front of him. I cannot find it in me to forgive such lapses. The chance they made for themselves were so simple that there should have been no doubt about goals being scored. Was it surprising that their supporters groaned to see such grit offerings scorned after the ball had been delivered to them on a silver salver Harrison, Potts and Morris should have won the game two or three over. I would have liked to read their minds as they trooped off the field, beaten and bewildered. They could not have been pleasant memories. Burnley served up the best football, I have seen from them for years –Players ran into positions as the perfect football artists should, held to a draw the man and then dispatched it to the point desired with great accuracy. Such football was deserving of goals. But what of the visitors? A wee bit lucky to win, of course but they did accept their chance –and there were mightily few –and on that score alone were entitled to be the winners. Their great strength lay in their defence, which took a battering but never wilted under extreme pressure. It may not have been super defence; it was frankly at times but it called for desperate methods against a forward line possessed of much skill. Farrell and Lindley had their hands full defending and were often chasing the ball without any hope of getting it, for it was slipped away to a given point with rare precision. The forwards were not convincing. They were not linked up and fell easy prey to Brown and company. True Higgins hit the crossbar and had a reasonably good game, but that is all that can be said about it. Now to the all-important goal scored at 80 minutes. A free kick led to a spot of brother between Brown and the referee, and while they were debating, Dodds strolled away from the goal but came streaking in when Fielding sent the ball into the goal area, and headed into the net.
April 5, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton’s was a brilliant 1-0 win at Burnley where so few teams succeed, and apparently the main reason was another epic display by Ted Sagar in goal. It is good to know that Chairman Mr. Cecil S. Baxter was with the party for his first trip since his recent illness but I am sorry to hear that director Mr. Dickie Williams is indisposed. Here’s wishing him a speedy recovery. Colleague Radar sums up the sixth away win of the Toffees as follows; “Everton’s win could be traced to another fine display by Ted Sagar, who stood out in a splendid defence which covered so well, and also to the inability of the Burnley forwards to accept the gifts which their own brilliant approach work- believe me, it was brilliant –earned for them. In the honours list also I must include George Saunders, who maintained his consistency fine work of the season, and to Tommy Jones, who faced the full power of the Burnley attack so well, especially in the second half, Hedley tackled relentlessly, but did not always make the best use of the ball and it was not until the later stages that Lindley and Farrell settled down to their normal game, for they had been too preoccupied with defensive matters. Everton’s attack did not function smoothly, for Dodds was almost completely mastered by Brown, although he hoodwinked the entire Burnley defence nine minutes from time when he moved back as Fielding went to take a free-kick; gave a signal to Fielding and then rushed in to head well wide of Strong to win the game. Generally speaking the forwards did not exactly relish the tenacious and oftimes rather vigorous tackling of Burnley, although Stevenson, and Fielding worked well. Grant had a good game, but Higgins found it hard to outwit Woodruff, whose display was one of the highlights of the game.
EVERTON HAD HARD FIGHT FOR VICTORY
April 6, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Southport 1
Everton having won their semi-final tie of the Liverpool Senior Cup, have now to wait the pleasure of Liverpool and Tranmere, who meet in the other semi-final next week. Everton’s victory was not so easily accomplished as some people had expected. In fact they had to battle strongly to prevent Southport drawing level. Southport are quite a good sound side, but in this game there was too much air ball. This was an occasion when the ball should have been kept on the ground. But all too often it was flashed into the air and so lost its value in a passing sense. All the scoring was confined to the first half, Everton taking the lead through Fielding in eleven minutes, and Pinchbeck adding to that score in thirty-one minutes. Wyles replied for Southport and so kept up his scoring sequence. Everton were without Dodds, who, I understand is suffering from an ankle strain, so that Pinchbeck was the only change in the side which had won at Burnley. This team on paper looked good enough for a solid victory. As matters turned out Everton were only able to just pull through. At times there was some good football, but on other occasions some was bad, with passes too frequently put to the wrong man. Wyles who, had a distinguished service at Goodison Park, was expected by the many Southport fans to rattle in some of his famous shots. Actually he only got two, from one of which he scored; the other being cannoned out and his inability to get to closer grips with Sagar was due in the main to Jones, who was always capable of out-heading the Southport man.
Kept at full Stretch
The second half was not nearly so good as the first, but it must be said in Southport’s favour that they kept Everton at full stretch, Wyles and Owens always being dangerous. Everton on two further occasions got the ball into the Southport net, but the points were disallowed for infringements. Pinchbeck should have added to his goal tally for he was provided with some glorious centres. However, he did not do badly. He had the experienced Turner to cope with, and the Southport captain saw the wisdom of being first to the ball. The game petered out on a dull note. There was no co-ordination anywhere. It was not from lack of trying, but the ball would not do the players bidding. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Hedley, backs; Lindley, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Fielding, Pinchbeck, Stevenson, and Higgins, forwards. Southport; Birkett, goal; Westby and Boyle, backs; Harrison, Turner (captain), and Hodgson, half-backs; Iddon, Owens, Wyles, Ball, and Goodwin, forwards.
EVERTON ‘NO CHANGE’
April 6, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The conquers of Burnley will face the F.A. Cup favourities, Manchester United, at Goodison Park on Saturday, Everton directors at their meeting last night decided a “No Change.” Eglington is still injured, and so is Dugdale, who, however, expects to be fit in about two weeks. Dugdales has had some bad luck, for after injuring one hip bone at Blackpool he injured the other at Grimsby. Everton can make preparation for a gate well exceeding the 60,000 mark, for the visit of the United has captured the enthusiasm of Merseyside. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Hedley; Lindley, Tommy Jones, Farrell; Grant, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson, Higgins.
Grant was jarred in the closing stages of last night’s exceptionally good game with Southport at Goodison, bringing Everton a 2-1 passport into the final of the Liverpool Senior Cup (their final opponents will be either Liverpool or Tranmere Rovers, who meet at Anfield next Monday evening), but in Grant manner soon shook it off. Southport missed their way in the second half, for they had plenty of good chances to draw level after the opening half had produced Everton winners from Fielding and Pinchbeck which the sure-fire Wyles had reduced. I rated Southport an exceptionally able side, and my mind immediately switched to the thought that Southport would have been bang at the top fighting had they this present-day side with the dominance of Turner and a fit Jack Westby. Make no mistake, Everton were the better side, always having that little bit in hand, but they had to fight for the £2 bonus. Highlight of the game was near the interval, when Wyles hit with his left foot a remarkable shot with the ball running away from him, but the brilliant Sagar dived to the left, and actually caught the ball in mid-air –two glorious efforts. Incidentally the way Cecil Wyles uses the short ball is an object lesson to everyone. Had Southport equalised I still think Everton could have won, but let me be one of the first to day to “Port –grand show.
Everton Reserves still have an excellent chance of finishing among the first three in the Central League. They will field a strong side the game against Huddersfield Town Reserves at Goodison Park tomorrow, kick-off 3.15 pm. Everton Res; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Clinton, Falder, Watson; Gardner, Johnson, Pinchbeck, Lello, Boyes.
EVERTON’S NARROW WIN
April 6, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Southport Not Disgraced Against Goodison Stars
Though Southport lost their Liverpool Cup semi-final at Goodison Park their tilt with Everton by no means showed the visitors in a bad light. Certainly Everton were superior in the first half-hour, and so delighted with some tricky combination that when Fielding and Pinchbeck gave them a two-goal lead one visualised a possible harvest, for they appeared to be playing well within themselves. Southport, however, refused to knuckle under. On the contrary, they fought back to such purpose that after Wyles had reduced the deficit there was little to choice between the two of then. Shinning lights in the home side were Tommy Jones, Fielding, Stevenson and Sagar, Farrell was not so prominent as usual, and the wingers did not impress but Pinchback was always a menace. Southport’s best were Boyle, Wyles, Owens, and Turner, with Birkett excellent in goal, always disposing of his clearances to the best advantage.
For the home game with Manchester United on Saturday, Everton will field the same side as defeated Burnley, viz; Sagar; Saunders, Hedley; Lindley, Jones, Farrell; Grant, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson, Higgins.
Everton Reserves have a home game with Huddersfield tomorrow (3.15), when their side reads; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Clinton, Falder, Watson; Gardner, Johnson, Pinchbeck, Lello, Boyes.
CUP FINALISTS AT GOODISON
April 9, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The visit of Manchester United, the F.A. finalists, to Goodison Park; where Matt Busby’s brilliant footballers will oppose the power of Everton and find it, I think just a little too good for them. Granted Everton looked an indifferent side when opposing Stoke City and Grimsby Town but they crashed back in their best form last week when they won at Burnley who won at Blackpool in midweek. Everton generally play better against tough opposition and are encouraged by the fact that earlier in the season they forced a 2-2 draw at Maine-road with United. One important point in Everton favour is that whereas they have been resting since Monday the United had a terrific “Derby” with City at Maine-road as recently as Wednesday. That match and the fact that Pearson, Cockburn and Delaney will be at Hampden, indicates that here is the golden chance for Everton to cash in on points and bonus, in what should prove to be the finest games seen on Merseyside this season. Rest assured that it will be 100 per cent football. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Hedley; Lindley, Jones, Farrell; Grant, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson, Higgins.
UNITED TOOK NO CHANCES
April 10, 1948. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Missed Dozens!
Yet Win Easily Everton 2, Man Utd 0
Everton won easily against United’s shadow team, it took a long time, but in the end the goal crop could easily have been doubled. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Hedley, backs; Lindley, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson and Higgins, forwards. Manchester United;- Crompton, goal; Ball and Aston, backs; Anderson, Chilton, and Lowre, half-backs; Buckle, Morris, Burke, Cassidy and Mitten, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Williams (Bolton). Much of the glamour was taken from this game owing to Manchester having to field five reserves players. This was brought about through Pearson, Delaney, and Cockburn being on international duty at Hampden Park. The other changes were due to injury, Ball coming in for Carey and Cassidy for Rowley. Cassidy is a school-teacher in the Manchester area. Ball is from Wigan from whom the United signed him only six weeks ago. There was no change in the Everton side. I should say there were 50,000 at the start with the prospect of many more to follow. The opening phases were interesting if for no other reason than we saw the Cup final team playing nice football despite the absence of their famous players. It was no better than that of Everton who produced movements of equal skill.
“Pile-Driver” By Jones
Everton opened through the agency of their left wing, and Higgins having beaten Ball, swept the ball into the Manchester goalmouth without anything tangible accruing. Then came the United. They were soon sent back to their own quarters and Stevenson was brought down. The free kick by Jones did not bring the desired result. Although the Welshman’s second effort was a pile-driver which whizzled outside the crossbar. Buckle judged the bounce of the ball better than Hedley so that he was able to gather it and produce a corner from which Aston, who had come right up field, made a shot which was well wide of the mark. Stevenson with a beautiful pass to his right winger Grant almost caught Crompton napping. Grant’s centre – it may have been a shooting effort –was touched in flight by a Mancunian and Crompton had to move smartly across his goal to get his right hand to a ball that would undoubtedly have gone into the net.
The United then had a few minutes during which they tested the Everton hole, although when Buckle rushed down his wing and made a centre – I am sure he meant it for a shot – it should have brought Manchester a goal. Cassidy, who had come careering up at top pace, from only a few yards out, dragged the ball goalwards instead of getting it in his instep. Fielding was dead on the mark with a fast shot that Crompton parried and finally cleared. The Everton inside-right, from the other side of the goal, tried an angular shot, but this time his effort lacked direction. For a time play was confined to midfield, but at long last Dodds received a long ball up the middle from Stevenson and elected to shoot without hesitation. It was good-tactics even through his shot failed to land in the place desired –the back of the net.
Hot One From Burke
Burke had an opening made for him by his left wing colleagues, and he hit a tremendous ball. It was so hot that Sagar could not hold it, but he turned it away from the goal, where the clearance was made. Lowrie a progressive half-back, a second or two later came forward to help along his attack, but he scooped the over. Jones and Hedley had a tussle with Buckle and it was obvious that the Manchester man would, sooner or later, fall a victim to numbers. Dodds placed himself out of reach of Chilton, but his team mates could not find him. Burke was an exceedingly lively little fellow, and no chances could be taken with him. Once, when the ball passed too high, to be collected by Everton defenders, Burke nipped in and slashed in a fast shot which struck Sagar and went for a corner. Crompton, in taking a leaf out of Frank Swift’s book when he tried to throw the ball out to his winger, only succeeded in presenting the ball to an Everton player. This led to a short sharp attack on the Manchester goal. Fielding delivered a ball right across the goal face, Higgins scooped it back into the goalmouth for Crompton to make a save.
The United defence under pressure was liable to mis-kick and this sort of thing against Blackpool would cost them a cup winners medal. Near the interval Mitten forced Sagar to make a grand save. He swept the ball into the clear just as it was swinging under the bar. Mitten twice put across good centres which were not utilised as they should have been, yet one always had to realise that the Everton defence was a very sound affair. Just on time Buckle veered into the middle and, with his left foot, sent the ball into the crowd. Higgins made a square pass, but his colleagues had run on in anticipation of the ball coming behind them.
Half-time; -Everton 0, Manchester United 0.
After Jones had twice stepped in to cut out the Manchester attacks Everton took over and the United goal was under pressure. Stevenson shot behind, and Jones put a free-kick right in front of Dodds whose attempt to turn it into the net narrowly failed.
A Dodds “Special”
Everton were undoubtedly putting more wim into their attack and Stevenson was through again but this time failed to get hold of the ball properly so that Crompton, instead of having a fiery drive to deal with had a trickling sort of affair that caused him to anxiety. Stevenson was again in the limelight when he edged the ball through to Dodds who, with the side of his foot, gave Crompton a quick shot to cope with. Fielding collecting the ball on the right wing, ran forward a few yards then made a perfect centre to Dodds who stopped the ball into the net at lightning speed, giving Crompton no chance whatever. A few minutes later Dodds made another drive but this time Crompton was alive to the situation. Everton were now completely in charge. Fielding offered another perfect pass to his inside colleagues but Stevenson was brushed inside just as he was about to shoot. A free kick followed closely on this, and again Jones shot wide. Manchester made an attack, but there was little real danger in it, and more to the point was an Everton left wing drive which saw Dodds pull back a ball to the oncoming Stevenson. Once again, just as the little Irishman was about to shoot, he was successfully challenged. The only call Sagar had made upon him was a long effort by Aston. Everton got the ball into the Manchester net a second time, but the goal did not count for Dodds, the shooter, was obviously offside. The lead up to this had been first-class, and Dodds’s final lob over the oncoming Crompton was worth a goal. There had been much more shooting in this half, and Dodds came along with another terrific shot which unfortunately for Crompton was not on the right line. The United gave me the impression that they were not taking any chances, and it is a long time since I saw Morris so ineffective.
Two “Near Misses.”
A three-piece “suite” by Everton ended when Stevenson swept the ball high over the Manchester crossbar. Then Jones had the hardest, of luck after Crompton had made a handed save from Higgins. Fielding forced Crompton to another save and the corner brought added pressure on the United defence. However, Higgin’s low shot was cannoned away. It was one-way traffic now, and Farrell after a long dribble gave the ball to Dodds who slipped it to Stevenson who shot outside. At 82 minutes Grant centred into goal, and Chilton severely hampered by Harris, headed away to the oncoming Stevenson, who put every bit of beef he possessed into his shot and Compton was left standing still. Final; Everton 2, Manchester United 0. Attendance 44,092.
• Skelmersdale 3, Everton “A” 0
SHEFF UNITED RES V EVERTON RES
April 10, 1948. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton showed more method from the start. Smith (J.) made a brilliant save from Lello and United went on to snatch the lead through Smith. Pinchbeck equalised in 35 minutes. Just afterwards Boyes gave Everton the lead with a fine goal. Half-time; Sheffield United Res 1, Everton Reserves 2.
An infringement caused Johnson to retake a penalty kick, but his second attempt was cleverly stopped by Smith. Although Everton put on considerable pressure after this setback the United defence held out. Full time; Sheffield United Reserves 1, Everton Reserves 2.
EVERTON FOUND MANCHESTER ANYTHING BUT UNITED
April 12, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ernest Edwards (“Bee”)
Everton 2 (Dodds, Stevenson), Manchester United 0
Manchester United’s visit to Everton led to fears for their standing as “outstanding team of the year.” They had done so many brilliant Cup things the severest opposition that this city had come to the conclusion they were the perfect attacking team. They were not United at Everton; they were untied (a paltry change of lettering) and untidy. As final day draws near, clubs in the Wembley frame are not in the habit of producing all their goods in all their League games. Here five stars were missing and the effect was seen when early on United were showing off the fashions of the absent friends such as Carey, Delaney, Pearson. They did not tie up the loose ends, especially when school master Cassidy clogged the easiest of chances. Finally, he went to outside right to let Buckley come inward and make a vast improvement on a side far below normal standard.
Farrell’s Object Lesson
It was too late. Everton’s side will not allow people to ponder over grit-chances. Everton strode out in second half to improve the standard of play and give the public of 44,000 joyous spells. Not before time did the Everton machine work smoothly, and Captain Farrell went prancing off at the pace he shows when racing to take a throw-in –some picture that run as a waste of energy –rather do I take it as an object lesson to those, philanderers who throw in at leisure when the sharp well-constructed throw-in can be so advantageous. It was in the second half, most notably that Fielding levelled in those swirling, swerving roundabout runs, in which his complete control and cuddling of the ball make him an outstanding forager. He inspired the side just as Stevenson had done in the first-half work. Fielding is not a selfish player, yet there was one moment when he made the most memorable single effort of the afternoon and had he squared the ball the goal would have been memorable.
Grant was the instigator of both goals and Dodds damaged his sore toe converting the first chance while Stevenson cracked the second in with all the venom he can show when his lungs are not emptied –a popular goal. The work of Saunders had touched my heart, Hedley has a variable second half and under the Lindley tired one could always sense fundamental theory that this ball must be delivered to one of them, a feature in which Tom Jones cancelled when he made that half-flung foot (not a full swing, with a free kick to place the ball with consummate care and surety. Higgins has not played better and Chilton (once on Liverpool’s books as an amateur) played most effectively. Ball, Wigan debutante, shaped quite well. Compton made good saves his best from one of his own side. Mitten had the flair for doing next things and Burke was bewitching in his switching notions as Rowley’s deputy. Everton’s victory unmistakable and effectively taken, put an end any ideas that Manchester might copy Preston and Villa by winning the Cup and League in the same season. A word in your ear Manchester United, Wolves fell between both stools in 1939.
EASY FOR EVERTON
April 12, 1948 The Liverpool Echo
The last time Manchester United played at Goodison Park they put up such a brilliant display of football that they became known as the “team of all the talent,” and they have justified themselves by reaching the Cup final and holding second place in the League to Arsenal. Naturally, one could not expect then to product such wizard football against Everton, for they were without five of their regular team members; a big slice out of eleven. It was good so watch, but a crowd desired some shooting to clinch off the attractive field play, and Manchester were unable to supply it, principally because of the Everton defence and their own lack of shooting effort. it is futile to attempt to say what would have happened had they been fully represented with no Wembley visit in the offing, I think we would have seen something vastly different (writes Stork). It took 50-odd minutes to manufacture one, and it came to the side which had looked more likely to score it, for Everton had shot and shot again, whereas the United were without ammunition. Dodds took the chance well from Grant’s cross and later Stevenson ran in on a Fielding centre to send the ball crashing to the back of the net. Two goals were sufficient, but it might easily have been more so much were Everton in command.
THEY SHOWED WAY
April 12, 1948. The Evening Express
If ever a side showed a victory way to cap success it was Everton, who by brilliant right wing play exposed a United weakness on the left defensive flank. Fielding and Grant gave us a joyous sample of the sort of thing. Matthews and Mortensen could serve up at Wembley if they agree that the short accurate pass is exploited as persistently and as perfectly as did Wally and Jackie. Aston was bewildered, and while he must have missed the cover of Cockburn, I spotted a definite weaknesses, and came away with the feeling that for all United’s forward power they have not the answer to Blackpool’s right wing. Everton might have beaten this skeleton United by six goals, but their only fault was a tendency to squander chances. The Dodds and Stevenson goals were luscious fruits of brilliant right wing work, and Higgin’s penetrative left wing play, and the sheer perky skill of Dodds should have produced other goals. This was glorious Everton forward play with Stevenson still the subtle master. United had their moments and their chances, but once Lindley and Farrell went to meet the ball and make such grand use of it United had “had it,” Defensively Everton were immaculate with Jones cool and purposeful, Saunders the best back on the field, followed a short head away by the stern Hedley, and with Sagar more often than not a spectator. Let us judge not United’s cup chance on this, but ...my faith in Blackpool is stronger following the game. Everton should add to bonus “receipts” on Wednesday against Chelsea at Goodison if they play as well as they did in the second half against United.
CHELSEA AT GOODISON
April 13, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Chelsea are the visitors to Goodison Park tomorrow evening, and though there is nothing vital at stake for either side, there is likely to be another big attendance, for the mid-week enthusiasts get few chances of seeing a senior game. Everton should carry on in their recent winning win, for the Pensioner’s away record is very poor, and their form latterly has not encouraged hopes of a striking revival. They have won only two away engagements and but for some good performances might today be in the same boat as their Charlton neighbours, with anxious eyes on those below them. Everton will not choose their side until this evening.
CHELSEA AT GOODISON
April 14, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Play Unchanged X1
By John Peel
Although they visit of Chelsea to Goodison Park this evening to play their rearranged league fixtures with Everton is by no means as vital a meeting as might have been the case a week or two ago, and a Chelsea without a Lawton has not the same drawing power, I expect a big crowd to be present for the 6.30 kick-off. Chelsea, like Everton have shown improved form of late, which has lifted them away from the relegation area. For this game Everton play the same eleven which beat Manchester United namely;- Sagar; Saunders, Hedley; Lindley, Jones (T.G), Farrell; Grant, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson, Higgins.
EVERTON FAIL AT HOME
April 15, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Walker was Chelsea’s Inspiration
Everton 2, Chelsea 3
The early minutes of each half in this game at Goodison Park provided the highlights, for it was during those periods that the goals were made and scored in the first quarter of an hour Chelsea produced skill which was worthy of goals, and they took them. The second goal scored by Walker was the best I have seen this season. Chelsea opened with a flurry and a lot of football skill, and in 5 minutes had taken the lead through Bentley, whose first shot was cannoned out, but gathering the rebound immediately he sent the ball hurting underneath the crossbar near the angle of the post . Sagar had no chance whatever. At the 8th minute came the goal which delighted everyone. The foundation of it started at the half-way line, and it was carried through to finality by five Chelsea men, without an Everton player getting in contact with the ball. Even the most rapid supporter could not but admit that it was a grand goal, and the movement well-worthy of its reward. Walker applied the finishing touch. Walker in fact was the inspiration of the Chelsea side, which was full of ideas and methods. The Everton forwards did not quite it in with the scheme of things. They vied with Chelsea on occasions in lovely combination, but the only forward to call upon the Chelsea goalkeeper was Higgins.
The former centre-forward has filled the outside-left berth with distinction in his last few games, and it was right that he should have the honours of scoring the next two goals. But before the interval Dodds had made all opening for Stevenson which the Irishman should have accepted. It was nice football fare, but it was amazing how often Everton passes went to the wrong side. Furthermore there was a lot of miskicking and even Jones fell into the error. Everton showed renewed vigour after the interval and had the Chelsea defence upset by the determination of their onslaughts and Higgins rushed in to accept a swift cross from Grant to ram the ball into the net. Medhurst was calmly waiting for the ball to drop in his hands when up came Higgins to take him completely by surprise. That was at 49 minutes. Two minutes later Chelsea scored a third goal through Billington. But there was still plenty of time for Everton to pull the game out of the fire, and at 65 minutes Higgins unleashed a right-footed shot which flew into the net, what time Medhurst had rushed across his goal with not the slightest chance of making contact. The Everton people could see a possible draw, if not victory but despite all their endeavour they could not break down the Chelsea defence again. Fielding shot against Lewis and Dodds tried to put Higgins through again, but it was all to no purpose. The Chelsea defence defied all calls upon it. Walker was the most valuable member of the Chelsea side. He did things with the greater of ease, and sometimes surprised his own colleagues. Harris kept a watchful eye on Dodds. I liked Billington, but I also liked Grant, Fielding and the Everton half-backs.
April 15, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton were beaten at Goodison Park by Chelsea 3-2 for their third home defeat in the last five games. A point might have been saved, but that would have been an injustice to Chelsea, whose forward work was of the old traditional Everton vintage. All right, Everton did again lack finishing power, and did fritter away gilt-edged chances, but there was that classic stamp about the Walker inspired Chelsea attack which made this a thing of joy. Going through each Everton player individually and one could find few who touched their real form apart from Higgins, Lindley, Jones, and to a lesser degree, Grant. Even Sagar made mistakes, not that the fact that his only three direct shots beat him influence me in passing judgement. No goalkeeper could have stopped the scoring shots. Fielding would have been good, but was never given the chance by the relentless Macauley. Chelsea were two up in eight minutes, Bentley driving home in five and then Walker getting one in eight after one of the finest close-passing movements I have seen for months. It was perfect, with Walker starting it and finishing it. That was precision football. The always-dangerous Billy Higgins reduced the lead with an opportunist header –he always promised such things –early in the second half but a slow hesitant Everton defence and Walker gave Billington a clear-cut opening for a third. Higgins was there again to bring back hope for the Toffees with a mighty 20 yarder with his right foot which Medhurst hardly saw but much hard attacking failed to bring that vital equaliser against a Chelsea I rate as a fine, mobile, understanding combination who will make a hit next season. Walker, Billington –one of the best centre-forwards I have seen since 1939 – and Bentley and Campbell. Good investments, take it from me. This was a mere shadow Everton when faced with the delicacy of Chelsea approach and rarely have I seen them mis-use the ball so often. The Toffees took knocks in plenty and so there may be doubts about the side for Saturday’s visit to Preston, when I hope Everton will go to the ball instead of waiting for it –generally on the wrong side of the opponent. Before the game Chairman Dr. Cecil S. Baxter presented the players concerned their Liverpool Senior Cup runners-up medals won last season, but Secretary Manager Theo Kelly was not there to supervise for he had other business on hand. This was a good and exciting games, and although Everton lost to a better side I admired their fighting spirit shown in the second half. Only a defiant Chelsea beat them.
EVERTON’S IRISH TOUR
April 16, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Everton F.C. are touring Ireland from May 9 to 19. They will play at Dundalk, on May 9, and other matches will probably be played at Waterford, Cork, Limerick, and Dublin.
EVERTON AT DEEPDALE
April 16, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Everton pay a visit to Preston, who have slipped somewhat from their high estate and will have to fight hard to equally for fourth place taken money. After playing almost unchanged all season until their sixth round cup-tie defeat. Preston latterly have been making experiment with a view to past season’s requirements. Though they have gained only one point from their last six matches they have doubtless learned much and are wise to sample their reserve at this stage, rather than wait until necessity force their hand. Everton from; Sagar; Saunders, Hedley; Lindley, Jones, Farrell; Grant, Wainwright, Fielding, Dodds, Stevenson, Higgins. Preston; Hall; Watson, Scott; Heron, Waters, Dougall; Finney, McLaren, McIntosh, Hannah, Maclure.
The announcement that Everton are to have a week’s tour of Ireland in May is premature. They have been approached, but nothing is definite yet.
JONES PUT THROUGH OWN GOAL
April 17, 1948. The Liverpool Football Echo
In Bid To Turn Shot
Preston 3, Everton nil
Preston’s first half display was excellent. They introduced the best type of football, yet were fortunate when Jones put through his own goal. The Everton attack was easily held by the North End defence, in which Hall, the goalkeeper was uncertain. Preston; Hall, goal; Walton and Scott, backs; Horton, Waters, and Dougall, half-backs; Finney, McLaren and McIntosh, Hannah, and McClure, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Hedley, backs; Lindley, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Wainwright, Pinchbeck, Fielding and Higgins, forwards. Referee; Mr. W. Prescott (Southport). Although there was nothing vital in the game, the meetings of Everton and Preston North End have always been an attraction. Attendance was about 28,000. Preston opened with a strong, attack, and McIntosh receiving a nice through-pass was beaten by Jones, but the ball rebounded and Mac got it again. He was finally dispossessed and the attack ended. Everton took up the attack, and Higgins shot outside. Grant was only just beaten as he dashed in to deliver a short-range shot. There had been quite a lot of excitement during these few moments, but the next one produced a goal for Preston. Finney concluded one his dangerous runs with a perfect cross into the Everton goalmouth and Hannah, with the side of his head, gilded the ball to the far side of the goal. Preston produced some lovely football, and McClure actually netted again for the North End following a lovely movement, but the referee ruled off-side.
Hall in the Preston goal did not convince me by his handling of a rather simple shot, but he did get the ball away to safely. Preston were playing the top class football they kept the ball to the turf and found their men with rare accuracy. When next Hall was called upon he must have again given his supporters the shivers, for he dropped Saunders’s free kick and was fortunate not to have to pay for his uncertainty. Fielding showed the Preston people that Finney was not the only one who could control the ball with ease and grace. He beat two men and placed the ball nicely for Pinchbeck, who however, was challenged successfully by Waters. Sagar had to make a catch from McLaren and then held one in a tight grip from McClure’s short-range shot. Hall dropped a ball once more and was lucky to get away with only a corner against him. Yet in the next few minutes he calmly strode out to pick a ball right off the head of Pinchbeck in a most confident manner.
There was any amount of punch behind Wainwright’s drive. Unfortunately it sped an inch or two over Pinchbeck was having a hard task against Walters. Finney once stood with the ball as his toe for more than 15 seconds with two Everton players standing stationary in front of him. The England player eventually got the ball away to his colleagues, and Everton were once more fastened down to defence. There was a lot of good stuff in this game, and Saunders, with his sure tackling often upset the balance of the Preston left wing. But it was Jones’s power down the middle which had the greatest effect of curbing a very lively and clever Preston forward line. Scott, the North-End full back made a long clearance which was picked up by Hannah and passed along to McLaren, who with a full-blooded drive, brought out a fine save by Sagar. Everton were dangerous when on the move, but the North End were much the more artistic. A long shot by Horton looked as of it would just squeeze inside the far upright, but Sagar run like a hare across his goal to turn the ball round the post.
Wainwright was went right-down as he was heading for goal with his foot almost at the ready for the shot, Jones put the free kick a yard outside. Then came misfortune for Everton in that Jones put through his own goal in an effort to turn a Finney shot away. Finney had cleverly beaten all opposition in his run almost to the goal line. He then hooked the ball into the goalmouth and Jones throwing at the ball, turned it into his own net, leaving Sagar helpless. It was rank bad luck for the Welsh international who had played such a sterling part in subduing many Preston attacks. Everton concluded the half by attacking the North End goal without, however, giving Hill much anxiety.
Half-time; Preston North End 2, Everton nil.
Long, long Dribble
Everton set put on their second half campaign with a strong attack and the North End goal was lucky not to take a tumble. First Pinchbeck tried a flick to beat Hall and then Higgins followed suit with a side tap which was crowded out. It was not long, however, before Preston were back on the attack and McIntosh showed a fine burst of speed and he looked all over a scorer until he was challenged by Jones. He was injured in this affair, but immediately he had recovered he made a magnificent dribble for nearly half the length of the field. It ended with Sagar making a close-in save. Saunders got an ovation when he gave McIntosh the “dummy” when the North End forward looked dangerous. Finney, showing Matthews-like dribbling ability was pushed by Hedley in the penalty area and from the spot kick Walton scored a third goal. Time 55 minutes. A free kick against Everton ended through an infringement in the goalmouth and from this Everton carried play into North End quarters and Wainwright from just outside the penalty area, shot wide. Jones and Lindley along with Grant were all limping. Final; Preston NE 3, Everton 0.
• Everton “A” 2, Formby 4
EVERTON RES V WEST BROMWICH RES
April 17, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
West Bromwich were the first to become dangerous. Walsh skimming the cross-bar with a fine drive. Everton made several raids, Eglington putting in yeoman work without fruitful results. In the thirtieth minutes Saunders gave the Albion the lead with a simple goal. Half-time; Everton Res 0, West Bromwich Albion Res 1. After the resumption, Everton proved a different side, and in consequence the Albion defence had an arduous time of it. In the 55th minute Everton deservedly because on level terms, Johnson netting a splendid goal. Final time; Everton Res 1, West Bromwich Albion Res 2.
EVERTON –IT WAS NOT THEIR DAY
T. Jones Heads Through Own Goal
Everton ran into a chapter of misfortunates at Deepdale against Preston N.E., who were three goals up in 55 minutes to end a run of non-success; in fact this was their first victory in seven games. All the Preston goals were of a lucky nature but particularly the second which Tommy Jones scored for them, and the third was from a penalty which ought never to have been awarded. Apart from Wainwright there was no really consistent, Everton forward. Everton were forced to make late changes, for Dodds was unfit and Pinchbeck came in at centre-forward, while Stevenson was rested. Wainwright taking inside right, Fielding crossing to inside left. Preston; Hall, goal; Walton and Scott, backs; Horton, Waters, and Dougall, half-backs; Finney, McLaren and McIntosh, Hannah, and McClure, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Hedley, backs; Lindley, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Wainwright, Pinchbeck, Fielding and Higgins, forwards. Referee; Mr. W. Prescott (Southport). There was an early shock for Everton for within four minutes Preston were a goal up through Hannan. Curiously enough Everton had been cutting out the running and had taken a corner, but the first time that Tom Finney, last week’s hero of Hampden, touched the ball it brought a goal. Finney slipped the ball across towards the edge of the goal area, and Sagar mistakenly ran out to his right. Hannah leapt almost backwards and headed the ball slowly just inside the far post. It was only the vigilance of Jones which prevented Finney from making a second goal on the quick decision of a linesman, which caused the referee to rule out McClure’s winning shot after some grand interpassing with Hannah. Hall just got down to a header from Wainwright, and pushed the ball out to Grant, who, however could do no more than return it to the hands of Hall. Apart from Waters, the Preston defence did not inspire confidence and after McClure’s angle shot had been well saved by Sagar, Wainwright raced past Scott and slipped the ball inside, where Hall dashed out to block the ball but not hold it. Grant was on the spot to flick it towards goal, but Walton dashed over to head the ball around the post just as it was entering the net –a narrow squeak for North End. Lindley wasted a close-up free kick and Pinchbeck wasted an easy headed chance off Higgins’ centre weakly allowing Hall to take the ball from him. Generally Preston were the more assertive side, their South left-wing of Hannah and McClure being particularly good, McClure just placing over the top before McIntosh went through with a full-blooded 18 yarder which Sagar saved well. Wainwright and Grant were a magnificent wing, while Pinchbeck contributed some useful touches, and one inside pass to give Higgins the right of way, but Higgins shot straight at Hall. There had been plenty of good constructive football with Everton never looking as dangerous as the North End, although definitely the chances had been theirs.
Dangerous North End
North End continued the more dangerous side, although there was every promise that Wainwright would pull one out of the bag. Ill-used corners came to N.E’s aid and Jones failed to hit the mark with a close-up free kick. In 38 minutes North End were two up with a lucky goal, the scorer being Tommy Jones. Finney weaved his way through brilliantly by body swerve and clever control, and he flicked the ball back from the goal line towards McIntosh. Jones dived to head the ball for a corner, but unfortunately for him the header flashed into the corner of the net. This knocked some of the heart out of Everton who, although pressing strongly towards the interval, failed to trouble Hall.
Half-time; Preston N.E. 2, Everton 0
Everton resume as if they really meant business. Higgins was exploited diligently and, after he had seen two shots charged down, he whipped the ball inside for Pinchbeck to head through a crowd of players. Hall was almost Sagar-like in his leap and catch. Eventually the N.E half-backs regained their-grip and Preston resumed their first-half superiority. McIntosh running fully thirty-yards but being baulked by the out-running Sagar. Wainwright and the wingers were giving N.E any amount of trouble but few shooting chances occurred. Then Everton suffered another unlucky set-back at the 55th minute. Finney ran through and the linesman was flagging for offside, Hedley tackled Finney who fell over and to the surprise of everyone the referee gave a penalty. Farrell and the Everton players asked Mr. Prescott to consult his linesman but this he refused to do and Walton made it three-up with the penalty. Even the North End supporters sportingly said, “That was never a penalty.” This clearly was not Everton’s day for Wainwright, Pinchbeck and then Higgins all had shots strike Hall on the arms or body in the space of a minute.
Higgins hot one over the top and then out inside for a low shot which Hall saved rather luckily ], but really there was no rhythm about this Everton attack, everything being all too individual. North End made no use of a close up free kick but Sagar, had to make another last minute leap to turn McLaren’s shot around the post. Wainwright still battled on gallantly but with little luck, and Everton were becoming rather easy prey to the quick-tackling North End. Final; Preston 3, Everton 0.
EVERTON V WEST BROM RES
April 17, 1948. The Evening Express
The Albion were sadly dangerous and a good effort by Walsh just skimmed the upright. Everton then charged the aspect, Eglington placing across a good centre, but it was not taken advantage of. The visitors went ahead in the 30th minute; Saunders getting a simple goal after Burnett had partially saved. Half-time; Everton Res 0, West Brom Res 1. Everton took the effective right from the restart and Heath, the Albion keeper came out of the fray with flying colours. In the 55th minute Johnson equalised, the keeper not having a chance.
April 19, 1948, The Liverpool Daily Post
No Bonus For Best Goalkeeper
Preston North End 3, Everton 0
Everton were never in the game with a winning look, and Preston, who have been going through a learn patch, won comfortably. It could not be claimed that they were terrific shooters, but their approach work was immaculate, and they came through fine Everton defence with an ease that was disconcerting. Everton struck a low level particularly in regard to the forwards. At times Everton produced flashes of good football but there was nothing at the end of it. That was the pity of it. A few all-aimed shots would have had the North End goalkeeper in a worse state of nerves than he was. It is a long time since I saw a goalkeeper so uncertain, so obviously without confidence.
The injury to Gooch the regular goalkeeper, has been a serious blow and from all accounts there is a danger that he may have to give up the game. Not only has he dislocated a shoulder but tore important fibres. So disnery was Hall his colleagues were scared to leave things to him. They took balls that should have been left to him. Hall was saved by an Everton attack that was not together nor had a shot in its locker. Several good movements petered out where the Preston defence challenged. There was no “bite”. What is more there was little co-operation –one with the other. By comparison Preston’s forwards were would beaters, judged on the way they cut through and had they shot half, as well as they played when approaching their objective they must have run up a nice tally. Sagar’s had to make some grand saves and could imagine North End wishing that they had him between the sticks. I thought the North End’s first half was a pattern of accuracy with Finney swerving, and wheedling his way through to present passes that should have been turned to account. He made the first goal at five minutes by delivering a ball up to that Hannah could side head it into the net. He it was who carved and cut his way through and then put a ball back with speed and in trying to clear Jones had the mortification of seeing it swish into his own net. The third goal, from the penalty spot (Walton scored) was brought about through a foul on Finney so he had a hand in all three goals.
April 19, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
I saw one of the most nervous goalkeepers ever on Saturday, and he was in the Preston goal. It was well for him that Everton let him off so lightly, otherwise there may have been a debacle at Deepdale. This was an occasion for a forward to take any sort of chance with a shot, knowing that the keeper was unreliable and might fail to please under attack (writes Stork). North End moved the ball about with accuracy, often catching the wing half-backs on the wrong foot, and it was left to Jones, Saunders and Hedley to bear the brunt –not forgetting Sagar of course. They came through by the simple expedient of drawing the man and making the correct transfer. Finney is second only to Matthews in his control of the ball and his body swerve. I am not putting him on the same level as the great Stanley, but he is a grand footballer. He is one of the two cheeky chappiest of the game. He slipped through the Everton defence by his body swerves and made openings which should have brought goals. His name can be linked with each of the three goals scored –the first a perfect lob for Hannah to slide the ball with the side of the head into the net, the second an intended back pass which Jones unfortunately turned into his own goal; and for the third, he it was who was fouled to provide the penalty for Walton. The second half was not so good, for Preston left their swing in the dressing-room. And became more of a “booting” team than the finest things they had been previously. With the ball on the floor, they were worth, watching, but not afterwards. It was not Everton’s day. They never promised to beat the Preston defence and were slow into the tackle, which allowed Preston a freedom of movement which should never have been. Consequently heavy work fell on the rearguard. And they could not shoulder the whole of the burden and get away with it.
April 19, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Preston’s youngsters certainty showed Everton the way home on Saturday, and the win was well deserved despite the rather streaky type of goals, one of which was inadvertently scored by Tommy Jones and another from a penalty which should not have been awarded. Hannah, who got the first goal was with Albion Rovers and definitely is a star of the future. Preston were the better-balanced side although Hall was a lucky goalkeeper on several occasions. Everton lacked cohesive skill and while Higgins and Grant had their good moments –all too brief –only Wainwright and Sagar really gave genuine hope that Everton would accomplish anything. It was one of those days when things invariably ran Preston’s way. Let’s forget this Toffees display, but not the pleasure of the trip or much magical Preston football.
‘DERBY’ DAY AT ANFIELD
April 20, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
It is Derby Day again tomorrow. Liverpool and Everton renew their 56 year-old rivalry with their 80th Football League duel, and the venue is Anfield, where the Toffees have won more matches than they have lost, but where Liverpool will be out to record their third “double,” of the season. The directors of both clubs meet this evening to select their teams for a game which should attract more than 55,000 spectators and with no seats booked; every intending stand spectator has the same chance. One thing is certain, and it is that Liverpool will have their injured internationals Phil Taylor and Albert Stubbins, back on duty. Indications are that they will revert to the side which, apart from enforced changes, has enable them to go eight games without defeat and drop only two points. Everton have injuries which will await today’s medical report, but I have little doubt that the Toffee’s will include the man who always is a “bogy” to the Reds –Alex Stevenson. Liverpool won 3-0 at Goodison after that much-debated Wainwright goal had been disallowed, and are favourities against an inconsistent Everton, who play brilliantly one day and then disappoint the next. Victory for either side will make them fancies to win the local championship –the honour of finishing higher in the League –and in which Liverpool lead by a point at the moment. My personal view is that the game will end in a draw and that we shall have 90 minutes of concentrated thrills. Ken Brierley will be having his first game in the series. Go early to ensure seeing the match in comfort and keep these feeding lanes clear, please.
THE “DERBY” GAME
April 20, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Teams Not Chosen But Stubbins and Taylor “Probables.”
What is there about a “Derby” game that makes such an appeal? No matter the position of the two teams they have a bigger drawing power than any other fixture during the season, and the fact that the next meeting is in the evening will not have the slightest effect. Actually I anticipate a tremendous crowd at Anfield tomorrow night, and one of your difficulties is going to be transport. The Passengers Transport authorise inform me that there will be no extra trams or buses for the occasion owing to the fact that every available vehicle will be fully engaged on peak hour services. You will, however be catered for after the game for the usual service will be provided. As neither of the clubs has as yet announced their team for the game it is difficult to make a clear-cut review of the match. Several players suffered slight injury last week-end, and not before the medical report has been submitted will be teams to chosen. You may depend the strongest available teams will be chosen, for, although there is nothing vital at stake, the game will be fought out as though the result were a championship affair. Albert Stubbins, and Phil Taylor, who were injured in the inter-League game at Preston last week, are the big Liverpool doubt. The injuries have been yielding to treatment and it is hoped that they will be fit to take they will be fit to take their place in which case the team will be the same as that which did so well prior to the Manchester City match “I think “ I you will find Stubbins and Taylor back in the team. Three of the Everton players received leg injuries at Preston and much will depend upon how they progress. Jones, Grant and Lindley all came off the field limping. However their is the old saying “put a blue jersey and a red jersey in opposition and you will get a game.” Well, that is usually true and tomorrow’s game is likely to be just as thrilling as any of its predecessors. Taken on their League positions this should be one of the closest games of the long series, but Merseyside “Derby” games do not work out that way. At Goodison Park in September, Liverpool came and conquered by three goals to nil, so they will be all out to register a “double”. The Anfielders have definitely been on the upgrade during the last month or so, although they missed their way against Manchester City last Saturday. Everton following the defeat of Manchester United have lost to Chelsea and Preston North End in successive weeks, and if they are to prevent the Anfielders from registering that double they will have to produce something better than they produced at Deepdale, where they ran up against a Preston team which got back to its best form after a particularly lean spell.
“DERBY” MATCH WAS FIT FOR A KING
April 12, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Liverpool 4, Everton 0
This was football fit not only for our Lord Mayor and 55,000 of his citizen’s, but for a king. Disregard (and followers of Everton will have no difficulty in so doing) Liverpool’s three goals in as many minutes when the match was all but over, and you still have the most sporting and altogether estimable meeting of the clubs for twenty years. Fanfare for the winners, please, and one even if in minor key, for the manner in which Everton took what intimately became something of a thrashing. These goals were pearls beyond price in the making and scoring, Sagar stood up well, to No 1 at 14 minutes – Stubbins. After these sandwiched between the 80th and 83rd minutes this almost supernatural goal-minder sat on his haunches for a few moments as though bemused by the intensity of the barrage. Liddell clearing through at 80 minutes, brought the ball up to the post and then astonishingly slotted it home in a space which must have looked as small as the slit in a child’s money-box. A minute later he was clean away again and Briersley neatly drifted the ball beyond Sagar with a lethal flick of the head. At eight three minutes Balmer brought the ball down from a Brierly corner to make a drive which (unlike some of his fierce first half one’s) had the twin merits of place, and direction, Sagar, the hero who had kept out shot and shell from friends (notably Farrell) and foe (notably Brierley). Fagan, Stubbins, and Paisley was down out and thoroughly dismayed. For eighty minutes, in which the far superior Liverpool forwards ranged about him fiercely, he had been beaten only by a Stubbins flick turned far beyond the goalkeepers clutches after a Taylor-Stubbins-Balmer-Stubbins move a crisp as a stick of celary. They were all truly beautiful goals mostly of the kind one can see’ coming” long before the ball is in its last resting place.
No use pretending this game had a four-goal margin look until the thing happened. There was merely the Stubbins goal-between them for so long it looked like being a tight squeeze, with the possibility, if not probability that Everton would snatch a levelling goal. They have a way of succeeding at Anfield. Maybe I am inclined to over-emphasise the joy of the match. If I do it is probably because it seemed to me that here, for once, two teams set out to play hard fair football, to put on a model display of how the game can be played at best. They succeeded. The only serious injury came when Lindley, and Saunders bumped heads and needed attentions. Where there was so much artistry, so much keen, clean endeavour, it is not easy by name outstanding units. Certainty home of the Everton forwards can be included because switched or in normal position they were not good enough “on the day” against a defence which gave nothing away.
Sagar and Paisley
Some will name Sagar for the great goalkeeping; others Paisley for a display of stamina and splendid use of the ball. Nor must it be forgotten that Lambert was in his most stubborn mood that Taylor toughed peak form and that Hughes played as well as a Jones at centre half and Jones in that unutentation as was of his headed and kicked a ball with almost 100 per cent accuracy. Liverpool as a side have played better this season only at Preston they were greater. Hedley had a fine spell against Liddell, we began to think he had his measure then Liddell set the game alight in a peculiarly forceful way. But one cannot vault Hedley’s value to his side, nor Jones nor Farrell, nor Lindley. If there was one nostalgic moment last night it came after 10 minutes when I was seen that once and for all little Alec Stevenson is slowing to the point in which he cannot do what he did so effective for so long. If this proves his last Derby, it can always be said that he went out gracefully as one of the most memories matches against his rivals.
REDS IN EXCELSIS
April 22, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The return to duty following injury of Jock Dodds is the one probable team move for the week-end so far as Everton and Liverpool are concerned. The constitution of the all-triumphant Liverpool side’- nine games with a defeat –depends on medical report. Everton will be at home to Portsmouth in endeavour to catch a Liverpool, who, by their wonder 4-0 win at Anfield last evening demonstrated their superiority to an extent which might have been doubled but for the sheer brilliance of Ted Sagar, the greatest goalkeeper in Britain. I express that opinion while remembering that the cool, almost causal Cyril Sidlow had conceded only one goal in ten successive games. Yet Cyril would be among the first to say to Ted. “You’re tops.” Sagar saved Everton from complete annulations during the first half of a game which pleased the palate because of its good football; thrilling goals, and sportsmanship. If you would like to know, there were nine fouls recorded against Liverpool, and seven against Everton. That in a “Derby” redounds to the credit of both clubs. This was real football in the spirit of sport. Billy Liddell and Jack Hedley exchanged a handshake before the game, and confirmed that handshake at the end. These gestures reflected the whole trend of the struggle. Liverpool look like finishing higher than Everton, and after this game no one, would deny them their right, for here was a streamlined side whose brilliance was, to an extent dimmed by the score. But for Sagar, Liverpool would have called “game-and-rubber” before half-time, and yet Liverpool must be the first to admit that for fully 25 minutes of the second half they were a worried, but never bewildered combination, facing a fighting Everton who worked the forward switch effectively without ever getting a definite terror-laden thrust at Sidlow. Came the shock of three goals in three minutes per Liddell (what a right foot flick that was of Balmer to make the chance); Brierley (his first-ever for Liverpool following that Taylor-Balmer-Liddell link-up), and Balmer (toe ended following a corner, and Farrell’s “bringing it down”) to supplement Stubbins rather fortunate lob –he meant to shoot –in 14 minutes, which just sneaked through. Yes a grand “Derby”, but not good forward work by Everton, who have Fielding in bed at the moment, but mighty work from a Liverpool attack (inspired by Jack Balmer, who, if ever man did played a real captain’s part. And the grafting of Fagan was as valuable to Liverpool as was the striking force of Liddell, Balmer, Stubbins, and Brierly. Yes, a great attack which so occupied the attentions of Lindley. Tommy Jones and Farrell that the three had no time to serve the ball to their forwards as they desired, I rated Tommy Jones and Laurie Hughes grand, centre half-backs, and while Lindley may not have struck his best, Farrell was as good as either Taylor or Paisley and I can think of no higher praise. There was little to choose between the backs, who all did well in a game giving Liverpool the “double” over the Toffees and seven points out of the last eight.
POMPEY AT GOODISON
April 23, 1948, The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s recent displays have been anything but encouraging for they have lost three games in succession. There has been a slump in their attack, which is crumble up to a point but a thing of threads and patches when it comes to delivering a shot. From they have suffered misfortune to the shape of injuries but the truth is that there is no power in the line, without which no club can hope for success. At home to Portsmouth they have another stern back ahead, for Pompey have been showing good form in recent times. The southern team has run up the table with a series of wins and draws, and it will take a big pull on the part of Everton to put a check on them. The Goodison defenders have had a shoulder the bruise of the opposition with little or no respite. They are entrusted to a break and only attacking forwards can give it to them. I move that the Everton forwards can find their shooting boots against “Pompey” otherwise another home defeat may be they portion. Portsmouth will be represented by the side which drew with Arsenal on Wednesday.
PORTSMOUTH LEAD IN FIRST HALF
April 24, 1948. The Evening Express
Pompey’s 2nd League Win at Goodison
Julissen, Harris Goals
Everton had three team changes for their last League home game of the season against Portsmouth at Goodison Park today. Injuries caused the club to bring in veteran George Jackson for Saunders at right back, Grant for Lindley at right half, and Watson for Farrell at left half. Portsmouth had one change, Harris appearing for Horace at outside right. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Hedley, backs; Grant, Jones (TG), and Watson, half-backs; Higgins, Wainwright, Dodds, Lello and Eglington, forwards. Portsmouth; Butler, goal; Rookes and Ferrier, backs; Scoular, Flewin and Dickinson, half-backs; Harris, Reid, Juliussen, Phillips, and Parker, forwards. Referee; Mr. W.F. Hauwell (West Wickham). Neither side displayed much constructive football in the early stages but Eglington endeavoured to enthuse sparkle into the game with two fine efforts along the wing. His first produced a beautiful centre, with which Wainwright running in at top speed, just failed to connect. Then he tried a shot himself from long range, but Butler had little difficulty in saving. When Portsmouth earned a corner at the other end, Sagar beat Juliussen for possession to relieve a dangerous situation for the Toffees. Dodds, Wainwright and Higgins combined craftily to leave the Portsmouth defenders standing, but Higgins’s shot was saved in grand style by Butler.
Everton were doing most of the attacking, but their efforts lacked the final punch, and it was left to Tommy Jones, taking a free kick from fairly close range, to cause Butler to make his best save so far. Jones’s shot, one of great power, was going right for the corner of the net, but Butler came across to save in grand style. Eglington next had a good opportunity of testing Butler again, but he sliced his shot and the ball went wide. The Toffees’ defence kept the Portsmouth forwards fairly subdued but when Parker got through on the left he shot wide and when Juliussen managed to round Tommy Jones, he, too, was off the mark. Against the run of play, Portsmouth took the lead after 35 minutes. Parker caught the Everton defence wide open and have Juliussen a perfect pass in an unmarked position, Juliussen moved over to the right, warded off Eglington, and beat Sagar with a well directed shot into the corner of the net. Just before the interval, both sides had the ball in the net within a minute, only to be disallowed for off side. First Wainwright took over from Higgins to put the ball into the net, but Higgins was ruled offside by the referee. Immediately afterwards, Portsmouth took play to the other end of the field, and a terrific shot from Parker entered the net, but the referee adjudged Parker offside. Half-time; Everton 0, Portsmouth 1.
Portsmouth showed more confidence in the second half and there were some anxious moments in the Everton goalmouth when Harris got in a dangerous centre. The threat was only relieved when Jackson made a hefty clearance. Portsmouth were menacing again and Julissen beat Tommy Jones, only to fire over the bar. At the other end the Everton forwards strove energetically, if not methodically, for the equaliser, and Higgins narrowly failed to beat Butler in a thrilling race for possession. Then Lello came through with a had drive which went just the wrong side of the upright.
Appeal For Penalty
With the Everton players appealing for a penalty, the referee awarded the Toffee a free kick a few inches outside the penalty area. Dodds took the kick, but with a line of Portsmouth players blocking the route to goal, shot over. Juliussen at the other end, found himself with only Sagar to beat, but the Everton keeper came out to narrow the angle and saved at full length. When Higgins gave the rest of the Everton forwards a chance to equalise with a choice centre, none of his colleagues were there to take advantage of it. Harris put Portsmouth two goals ahead with seven minutes to go. Final; Everton 0, Portsmouth 2. Official Attendance 18,089. This is Portsmouth’s second League win at Goodison Park.
SAGAR TO THE RESCUE
April 24, 1948. The Liverpool Football Echo
Saves Against Pompey
Everton 0, Portsmouth 2
Before the smallest attendance at Goodison this season (18,089) Everton suffered their fourth successive defeat. Portsmouth deserved their victory in a game which can best be described as moderate. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Hedley, backs; Grant, Jones (TG), and Watson, half-backs; Higgins, Wainwright, Dodds, Lello and Eglington, forwards. Portsmouth; Butler, goal; Rookes and Ferrier, backs; Scoular, Flewin and Dickinson, half-backs; Harris, Reid, Juliussen, Phillips, and Parker, forwards. Referee; Mr. W.F. Hauwell (West Wickham). Jackson came in for Saunders, who received an eye injury. Grant deputised for Lindley at left-back and Watson took the place of Farrell who injured his thign. Portsmouth had one change at outside right where Harris came in for Horace. Dodds utilised one of his many tricks to bamboozle the Portsmouth defence, but the movement petered out. When Everton attacked the second time, Lello held on the ball much too long and was finally dispossessed.
Applause for Higgins.
Hereabouts came the best shot of the match so far and had not Butler been so sound in the Portsmouth goal, Higgins’s left foot drive would have beaten him. Higgins produced a round of applause for the way he made three lobs to beat three oncoming opponents, but he eventually found the ball bumping between his feet, so that he could not get it away to the point desired. Everton were awarded free kick for a foul on Dodds two inches out-side the penalty area. Jones came up to take it and such was the power of his drive that Butler was very content to concede a corner by putting the ball outside. Everton were the more progressive side and for a time Portsmouth were fastened down to their own half.
Dodds had a shot cannoned out and then Portsmouth once again ran into that great fault of over dribbling, refusing to part, at the right moment. Parker for instance should have had one ball into the goalmouth without any hesitation. At 35 minutes Portsmouth opened the score. Jones and Phillips engaged in a duel and the Everton man stumbled, leaving Phillips in possession. The Pompey inside left made a neat pass to Juliusen who worked the ball over to his right foot and then scored with a grand shot.
Two Offside Goals
We had the uncommon sight of two offside goals in two minutes. The first was when Wainwright rushed through and shot against Butler. Higgins capturing the rebound and popping the ball into the net, but the whistle had gone for offside. With their next attack Parker moved in to connect up with a pass from the right, his shot hitting the top netting. At first it opened that the referee had signalled goal, but the linesman flagged and it was no goal. Gordon Watson made one of the best shots of the day, but Butler made a very confidence save.
Half-time; Everton nil, Portsmouth 1.
Everton opened the second half with plenty of vim, and Higgins with a nice centre saw Dodds stretch out his legs to the ball, but it went the wrong way for the Everton centre. Harris hit a low shot which sped just outside the upright. Phillips was a great engineer for Portsmouth and Sagar was once again in the picture when repelling one of Reid’s specials.
Only Inches Off
A free kick against Portsmouth saw Butler turn a long shot by Jones over the bar. There was plenty of incidents, and Lello was only inches off the mark with a shot which curled outside. Jones faltered and let in Juliessen but the Portsmouth centre did not make full use of his advantage. Portsmouth were undeniably the more constructive side. There was a palpable case of hands against Portsmouth, and it seemed to me that it took place in the penalty area but the referee pointed to a spot six inches outside the penalty line. Dodds who took the free kick shot over. Portsmouth came down, Jones was beaten by Julissen and it was left to Sagar to save the situation yet again.
Everton were putting plenty of endeavour in their efforts to produce an equaliser, but the Pompey defence was dour and the Everton scoring efforts few and far between.
Harris tested Sagar with a corner kick which curled in and the Everton goalkeeper had to make two snatches at the ball before he completed the save. It produced a second corner but this time the danger was soon cleared. Harris took advantage of a misunderstanding to run and deliver a low shot which Sagar saved, Juliussen went over to the outside right berth, and then lobbed the ball into the goalmouth. A goal followed almost immediately. The play had been over on the Portsmouth net, and in a scrambling affair Harris drove the ball into the net at 82 minutes. Final; Everton 0, Portsmouth 2.
• Barnsley Res 1, Everton Res 2
EVERTON HAD NO PUNCH
April 26, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Portsmouth 2
There was an end-of-the-season feeling about at Goodison Park, where Portsmouth were the visitors, for there was as much interest in the progress of the Cup Final as there was in what was taking place on the field. We were kept in touch with Wembley proceedings through a hand radio set in the stand. There was little to enthuse about this match, particularly in the second half for the football was poor and at times lifeless. The first half had at least been entertaining for there was much good in it, at least sufficient to keep the attention, but what good play there was came mainly from Portsmouth, whose approach work was excellent. Everton were earnest enough, but without any set plan to beat a dour defence which yielded to no man. Yet they had their share of the attack but one never got the feeling that a goal was likely to accrue from their advances. The forwards fell easy prey to the opposition after they had worked it way up, sometimes by capital movements. Everton have lost their shooting power, and without a shot matches cannot be won. Butler had one or two saves to make, but not nearly enough considering the times he Everton forwards were encamped around the Pompey goal area.
Not could Portsmouth lay claim to being prolific marksmen, for they were prone to over-elaboration which usually ended in failure. Their link-up was much better than that of Everton, their inside forwards being not only lever ball players but assertive, if some want over-indulgent in their possession of the ball. Often a pass would have brought a result, keeping the ball to themselves and trying to work a way through a defence single handed meant their undoing. However, at 36 minutes Phillips and Jones engaged in a tackle and the Pompey forward. One of the best came out with the ball. He transferred it to Juliussen who moved to the right before delivering a drive which went bouncing into the net. That goal stood the test until ten minutes from the end when Harris picked up a cross from the left and drove a low ball beyond Sagar. But between the goals there was a lot of destitory football. The second half was without incidents typical of this part of the season. Jones, Lello and Higgins forced Butler to save but no one really expected Everton to score for there was no drive among the forwards. They could and did reach the penalty area time and again but once there the Portsmouth defence took charge. The lively ball caused players to misjudge its flight and bounce but in the main it was football with an end-of-season flavour.
EVERTON’S BAD PATCH
April 26, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
A few week ago Liverpool were going through a testing period. They just could not produce a winning team. The mantle seems to have fallen on Everton, who have struck a bad patch, which nothing seems to go right for them. They have lost four games in a row- two of them at home –and their supporters are distinctly worried about the lack of forward thrust. Goals are the hearty’s blood of football; the one thing the fans desired to see, no matter now they come. They have had the opportunities of cheering two from four games. Now they sighed for one against Portsmouth at Goodison Park on Saturday. They rarely looked like getting one, for there was no punch in their attack. End of the season games are often like that –no fire, no enthusiasm and the smallest League crowd – 18,089 –went home anything but satisfied with what they saw writes Stork. Portsmouth were undoubtedly the better side. They were more constructional, more progressive and infinitely faster on the ball then Everton. What has happened to the Everton attack. Have the forwards lost a belief in themselves, it would appear to be so, particularly when it came to delivering a shot. Four and a half hours, and not a single goal on the credit tide does not make pleasant reading; nor does the fact that the defence has yielded nine goals in the same period.
TONIGHTS’S RESERVE DERBY
April 27, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Everton and Liverpool Reserves have an important engagement this evening at Goodison Park (7 o’clock) when they play their rearranged Central League game. At the moment they are running almost neck-and-neck for fourth place in the table. Liverpool have a two-point advantage for the same number of matches played so that a victory to Everton makes them level with one more game to go. Both attacks have been heavy scorers. Everton included Harry Cooke, grandson of the trainer at inside left. Young Harry not yet 21, demobbed six months ago from the R.A.F has been showing fine form in the “A” team for which he is top score, and made his Central League debut at Barnsley last Saturday. Another player making his reserve debut at home is McNamara a 17-year-old right winger, signed at the start of the season from St. Matthews. Everton Reserves; Burnett; Jones (TE), Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Watson; A. McNamara, Johnson, Pinchbeck, W.H. Cooke, Boyes. Liverpool Reserves; Crossley; Shepherd (J), McDonald; Williams (R); Eatsdale, Spicer, Eatsham; Baron, Shannon, Polk, Hulligan.
Blues To Tour
Tomorrow evening Everton’s senior side will play Huddersfield at Leeds Road in a rearranged League game. Though there is nothing vital at stage for either, Everton will be anxious to end their recent run of failures and may succeed to the extent of a division of points. There are doubts about several of their players however, the team being chosen from the following thirteen. Sagar; Saunders, or Jackson, Hedley; Grant, Jones (TG), Farrell; Higgins, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, or Lello, Eglington. Following the Huddersfield game, players and official’s journey to Workington, where on Thursday evening they meet a Cumberland F.A side drawn from the Barrow, Carlisle and Workington clubs.
April 28, 1948. The Evening Express
Everton gained their 3-1 won at Huddersfield Town last night so comfortably that they could afford, two missed chances and could see a penalty saved against them in the 20th minute before there had been any score. The match was a personal triumph for Jock Dodds who recorded his second hat-trick in two months. His previous one was on February 23 at Wolverhampton. Stevenson’s genius made Dodds his first goal ten minutes after the penalty kick had failed. The centre forward them took advantage of an ill-placed reverse pass by defenders to score his second goal after 66 minutes and added the third when he showed fine speed to seize Wainwright’s through pass in 73 minutes. The Everton forwards always had greater method and purpose, and Saunders and Lindley did great work for their side by completely mastering the Dorherty-Metcalfe wing. Glazzard obtained Huddersfield’s goal, heading through from Hayes’s free kick after 68 minutes.
April 29, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
During the past fifteen years Huddersfield Town has other regretted the free transfer they gave Jock Dodds when a raw-boned youngster, in his teens which allowed him to go to Sheffield United, and they looked at him with longing again last night, when his hat-trick at Leeds Road brought Everton s welcome win after four defeats. The Blues were much the better side, both in attack and defence, with Tommy Jones dominating the centre of the field and breaking up nearly all the Town’s attack so that Sagar was rarely troubled. Eddie Wainwright had a penalty kick saved.
Peter’s Farrell’s Future
Rumours in sport grow quicker than the weeds in my garden, which is saying something. Latest going the rounds is that Peter Farrell, Everton’s brilliant young Irish half-back is giving up football to enter the priesthood. Farrell has got so tired of being asked about it that he has requested me to dent it on his behalf. His only preparation at the moment for the future is to study for quantity surveying of which he had some experience in Ireland. He hopes to be with Everton for many years yet.
EVERTON TOO GOOD
April 30, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Cumbrians Were Delighted
13 Sheep Killed
Cumberland 3, Everton 4
Ten thousands Cumbrians, the majority of whom have for the time being deserted soccer for Rugby League because they are offered nothing better than non-League standards at Workington last night had their enthusiasm rekindly to gave Everton a vociferous welcome and to cheer loud and often their artistry and their guile. The Cumberland selectors had to go to Carlisle United for Broadis and four other players to Barrow for three others and three were borrowed from Workington’s North-Eastern League side. But as a team they knit together remarkably well, and considering that Everton were never really extended at any time, the Cumberians gave quite a good account of themselves. Everton on their way through Yorkshire by coach, ran into a flock of sheep, killing thirteen of them and were delayed almost an hour.
Lello’s goals for Everton, five minutes after the start following a pass through the middle by Jones, which had the Cumberland defence in a tangle. Cumberland, however, partly recovered to hit back, Lindley scoring, but there was panic again in their defence when Dodds, Stevenson, and Lello challenged, and after thirty minutes Stevenson taking a final pass from Dodds made three opponents run the wrong way and shot past Scott. Rodgers established equality for the second time soon after the restart, but the Stevenson and Lello magic again came into evidence, and the former put Everton in the lead again. McIntosh shot through his own goal to put Everton further ahead, but it was left to Broadis to score perhaps the finest goal of the match four minutes from the end. Cumberians will remember Everton for their blackboard attacks. Their performance gave Cumberians one of their best sporting thrills of the season.