EVERTONONE IS EHIND CARDIFF CITY
April 2, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Tottenham Hotspurs 3, Everton 0
If Cardiff City accompany Preston North End into Division 1 next season it will be the most popular promotion for years. All football has a special affection for the club because everyone realizes that part of their downfall, years ago was their loyalty to international calls. But who goes down? That is still a question of many angles, one of which is Everton’s natural anxiety. Yet as Everton director Ernest Green said at Tottenham. “If we told Billy Barrell, of Chelsea, we were worried his reaction would certainly be “And what about me?” It is all a question of relativity through everyone appreciates Everton’s fear at not being completely clear. One thing can be said about Everton; if they were in the 55th Division they would still be trying to play football as it should be played, ball on the floor. Meanwhile Tottenham Hotspurs are getting “edgy” over their constant top-line effort during the past two seasons. Medley is out of the team through injury, and deputy Murphy maintaining his form will make I difficult for him to return. England selector H.J. Husband, paid a special visit to White Hart Lane on Saturday to see left back Willis and the sequel may be seen in the England side v. Scotland.
If the Spurs-Everton game (Spurs won 3-0) did anything, it convinced me of the necessity for a ways using the white ball when the normal ball becomes heavy and hard to see. The white ball the referee called for midway through the second half was light durable, easy to follow, and kept itself free from mud. One saw every turn of spin it took –another of its advantages.
Spurs won 3-0; 1-0 would have been more equitable. Had Referee Leafe allowed Catterick’s goal before Spurs scored, the game might have taken an entirely different course. Parker could have scored himself, but chose for the sake of greater certainty, to slip the ball to Catterick. Spurs did not appeal when Catterick lashed the ball past Ditchburn, but the goal was disallowed, ostensibly because the scorer had been offside. I am convinced the decision was not only wrong, but wrong by yards. Spurs were jittery in many phrases of this desperately fought match. They did not look like champions and Everton, with more punch in their finishing, would have created a surprise. Only when Waiters from the inside left position volleyed a grand goal did the champions-elect play confidently and completely. A spectacular, if unexpected, flying header by Murphy made it 2-0 and the third goal by Bennett, came so late as to be almost as a formality.
Catterick’s “goal” apart, Everton were very close to scoring when Fielding got one of his best angled shots on target and Ditchburn turned it one-handed for a corner. Everton fault, I thought, was that they tried too slavishly, to play orthodox football on a ground which did not lend itself to such policy. Time and again the ball was hit out to Eglington, but only rarely with sufficient speed to find him, Ramsey’s fine anticipation was not always responsible for the great number of interventions he was able to make. Eglington on this occasion was restrained and so, for the most part was Fielding. In trying so hard to work the ball from midfield positions Potts sometimes caused the move to slow up but Parker with as good a debut at inside forward as one could wish for underlined his claims for further chances. Through inexperience and the evident desire to do the right thing he may miss the occasional opportunity of taking his individualism to its logical conclusion. The half-back line is the Spurs sheet another; indeed their defence as a whole is exceptional but none worker harder than Farrell or Grant and Jones looked after Duquemin adequately. It became an increasingly tough match for Moore and Rankin, but neither deserved to be in a defence with a force goal debit. Spurs will win their championship all right but not until the firmer grounds come are they likely to be the machine again. Everton now tackle a Tranmere cup-tie at Birkenhead on Wednesday and then on Saturday evening the Wolverhampton Wanderers who have slipped so much in recent months.
RALLIED TO WIN
April 2, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 2, Sheffield United Res 1
In spite of Everton being a goal in arrears in the tenth minutes through Clinton heading into his own goal they rallied well in this Central League game at Goodison Park on Saturday to gain a narrow victory. The heavy ground hand-capped both sides, with Everton adapting themselves to the conditions. McNamara, who had a good match, made the scores level in the fifty-seventh and Hickson with a glorious first time effort in seventy-fifth minutes, decided the issue.
BLUES GOAL SACRCITY
April 2, 1951. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton’s failure to score a goal in the last 520 minutes of football had made more serious their position in the First Division and the latest defeat –down by three goals at Tottenham Hotspurs –this sent them down to fourth from bottom. The Blues still have six points to spare over Chelsea and Sheffield Wednesday, but Chelsea are only two pints, behind allowing for victories in their two matches in hand, and the Wednesday only four points behind, Aston Villa with a match in hand, are only a point behind, so Everton’s lack of penetrative power has increased the worries Goodison way. Against the Sours, Everton showed themselves to be just as clever footballers in approach and I am assured, possessed of the better ideas, but there was no striking power; no incinvenses in the penalty area. Had Everton possessed a spark of confidence and accuracy in finishing they would have won.
A 3-0 victory looks pretty conclusive on paper, but Spurs were not three goals the better side than Everton in this always entertaining duel (writes Radar).
In fact, for fully three-parts of the time Everton were equal to, if not better, than a Tottenham side which did not look anything like champions until after Walters with a volley, had given them the lead in the 55th minute. Some people though Catterick who strove on the heavy going, was onside when he cracked Parker’s pass into the net early in the second half. But the whistle had gone for offside. “There was only one real fault that could be found with this Blues display and it was the absence of penetration power so vitally needed to round off a deal of classical approach football. Many were the praises shouldered on John Willie Parker afterwards. He certainly showed progressive ideas, has a cool brain and known how to work a ball. A player of definite promise this Parker. Sagar and his full backs together with the three internationals, all stood up to the test magnificently and much of the forward work was doubtful apart from a tendency to misplace the pass to the wings. Eglington who failed with two takeble chances, one in each half, suffered particularly in the second. “All the brilliant midfield football in the world is pointless without there finishing power to round it off. That is the lesson Everton must learn.”
TRANMERE IN CUP FINAL
APRIL 5, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
Tranmere Rovers 1, Everton 0
Tranmere Rovers holders of the Liverpool senior cup for the past two years qualified to meet either Liverpool or Southport in the final by a well-merited victory against Everton, at Prenton Park last night. The only goal came after thirty-three minutes when Iceton made a low centre for Harlock to drive through from close in. Everton were never as well together as Tranmere, but in the opening half Buckle, who roamed a good deal, was out of luck when hit the bar, Saunders was a polished defender, and the youthful Donovan, at right half, also impressed. Steele, Bell, and Rosential were outstanding for Tranmere.
EVERTON’S MUST-WIN-THIS-MATCH’ TOMORROW
April 6, 1951. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton, third from bottom in the First Division, face a “must-win-this-match” engagement tomorrow when at Goodison Park they face Wolverhampton Wanderers in the final of the great day of sport. The game will not start until 3.15 p.m. so that there shall be no clashing with Aintree. Everton team selected is delayed until tomorrow morning when Eglington and Fielding are to have tests.
EVERTON’S NEED OF POINTS
April 6, 1951. The Liverpool Echo
Win Over Wolves is Vital to Secure Their Position
All-roads tomorrow will lead to Aintree where a record crowd is expected for the Grand National, but when racing is over many will wend their way back to Goodison Park to see Everton endeavour to cheer their recent spell of disappointing results at the expense of Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Blues decline has come at a very awkward time, and the meagre return of only two points from the last twelve at stake after they had taken 15 from the previous ten matches has revived fears for their future which at one time had seemed safely set at rest. Aston Villa at one period eight points behind Everton are now a point to the good with a better goal average while Huddersfield also have wiped out the leeway. Fortunately for the Blues they meet Wolves at a time when the Midlanders must be suffering some lack of confidence after eight defeats in nice successive League games. That is something unusual for the Molyneux side. Wolves at one period were strongly fancied for either the Cup or the League championship. Some folk even had a feeling they might lift the double for up to the return of the year everything seemed to be going their way. In the past three months, however they have slipped down from third position to a very modest place, yet, paradoxically enough have scored more goals than many clubs above then and given lest away. Wolves have a greater proportion of internationals and representative players on their books than most clubs, and on paper at least would seem to have the staff to have arrested their declines long before this. In one respect they have been unlucky, four of their 14 defeats to date no fewer than 13 have been by a single goal margin. Contractive when they have won they have usually done so pretty substantially. Of the Wolves forwards who lost last week to Burnley only Swinbourne retains his place. Hancock is unfit; Walker, Mullen and Broadbent are relegated to the reserves. Pye, is at inside right, and after weeks absence through injury Jimmy Dunn partners Wilshaw at left wing. Wolves; Williams; McLean, Pricthard; Russell, Shorthouse, Wright; Swift, Pye, Swinborne, Dunn, Wilshaw.
BARNSLEY RES V EVERTON RES
April 7, 1951 The Liverpool Football Echo
Barnsley; Allen; March, and Hudson, backs; Jarman, Robinson, and Jackson, half-backs; Kaye, Dunn, Grifiths, Boyle, Callaghan, forwards. Everton Res; Burnett, goal; Saunders, and Buckley, backs; Donovan, Falder, and Melville, half-backs; McNamara, Hampson, Hickson, Hold and Easthorpe, forwards. Referee; L. Leafe, Sale. Buckley and Falder repelled several Barnsley attacks and Burnett saved at the expends of a corner from Callaghan. Hampson and Hickson were associationed in well-designed attacks but Robinson and March were strong in the home defence. Allen saved well from Hampson and he later beat out an excellent effort from Hickson. Half-time; 0-0.
SAGAR PENALTY SAVE
April 9, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1
From Aintree to Goodison Park where football, after the draining of Aintree seemed tame; Everton and Wolverhampton Wanderers began to get tough with each other. Everton are still not clear of trouble but if they play as they did in this match it will not be long before they are. Yet they owed their 1-1 large to a magnificent penalty save by Sagar. I doubt whether he has ever had a better. Moore handled on the line to save a certain goal and Pye’s spot kick was fast and towards the far recesses of the goal at Sagar’s right. How he kepted it out , only he knows, and maybe he will not tell. For a forty-one year old in his twenty third season of first class football; was a wonderful piece of goalkeeping. Pye had slotted the ball with his head for the first goal, Wilshaw having delivered his centre with pin-point accuracy and Peter Farrell scarcely being able to believe the evidence of his own eyes when he jumped for joy as he saw his accurate angled shot beat Williams, Eglington having slipped a free kick to the scorer to make this unexpected shot possible. It was good football on a ground made heavy and greasy by rain and despite the murk a crowd of 32,000 had excellent value for money. Everyone was delighted with the white ball used in the second half. Williams seeing it clearly brought off a save in a hundred when getting a hand to a Parker header literally on the line.
Wolves were top-sided in attack the earnest Smith at outside who being so over-anxious he failed completely. A word of praise for the rotund McLean, a Welshman whose neatness for a man so ungainly was notable. Eglington only beat him when he really got moving in the second half, if England have a better centre half than Shorthouse they are fortunate. Jones, too, kept a grip on Swirborne, so for all the weaving and wandering of Dunn and Pye and Wilshaw the promise of Wolves attack rarely materialized. More and more still becoming evident that Everton have a player of the future in Parker. As for Fielding his centres have never been better. His artistry with the ball is almost in the Matthews class. His passes, head or foot are laid on to an inch. Everton shot well and frequently and deserved to break their months old spell “six matches-without a goal. They go to Sunderland on Saturday and may clinch their position there or against Villa at Goodison Park
BARNSLEY RES 0, EVERTON RES 0
April 9, 1951. He Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves played spiritedly at Barnsley and well deserved their point. They had an enterprising leader in Hickson and McNamara the best forward on view, and Hampson formed a dangerous wing. Kaye Barnsley’s most dangerous forward was kept in check by Buckley. Falder was an effective centre half and Burnett made an excellent save from Griffths.
April 7, 1951. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Another non-scoring spell was broken on Saturday when, at the 35th minute of the evening game at Goodison where Everton drew 1-1 with Wolves, Peter Farrell fired in the shot which saved the point. It was Everton’s first goal in seven games. Of the last five goals three have been scored by half-backs. Farrell and Grant. This suggests as it should, the lack of punch in the attack, and which is responsible for the fact that Everton are not yet “out of the wood.” The pleasing feature was that the other results worked out so nicely for Everton, so that the vital six point margin remains. Although the Blues have gone seven matches without a win, Neither Chelsea, nor Sheffield Wednesday cam strike that essential winning form. Still, I would prefer that Everton got completely clear by their own efforts rather than the failure of others. Everton have often played much better than they did against the Wolves on Saturday, when we had further proof of the value of the white ball. It was the first time the white ball has been introduced at either Goodison or Anfield, and I am sure that every spectator realized it’s value. It added to the enjoyment or a gloomy evening, brightened by high-standard goalkeeping and that Farrell goal, I though Wolves had the better ideas and were quicker to the ball, but that they failed to profit by fully a dozen corners was due to lack of the striking power which Everton willingly revealed in the second half. Williams had three times the work to do than that which fell to Sagar.
Sagar made some vital interventions, but touched the heights when he saved a penalty and a point at the 59th minute. This was one occasion when Everton got a little of their own luck. In the games at Chelsea, and against Derby, they had certain goals kept out by backs handling and on each occasion missed the penalties. Well, it was the other way about this time. Moore had to handle to save Swinborne’s header from going in, and Pye, whose headed goal had given Wolves the lead in 15 minutes, took the penalty. He hit the hard and true to the corner, but Ted flung himself to his right to make a wonder save, which really did bring down the house. Ted seems to take a delight in saving Wolves penalties for this was not his first in post-war football. Apart from that effort, it was quick-thinking and quick-action which enabled the Blues to save that precious point. Eglington waited no time in slipping a free kick diagonally inside so that Farrell could run on to it, and from 18 yards really flash the ball into the net all along the ground. Williams last second dive prevented Eglington and McIntosh from taking second half goals, while when the unmarked Parker headed in Fielding’s centre, Williams covering the wrong way managed to shoot back his right arm to hold the ball right on the line. I was leased to see Eric Moore being right back to top form and with Grant drew the sting of Wolves attack by subduing the dangerous Dunn-Wilshaw wing. George Rankin too, did well to keep strain “signs in the dark” all through. Tommy Jones impressed me immensely. This Swinborne is no easy centre-forward to hold, but after a bright opening, during which he would have scored, but for Sagar, Swinborne found himself quite unable to elude Jones who, unruffled and unhurried, gradually took complete command. Farrell always kept that drive and inspiring play which is such a feature of Billy Wright for Wolves but which, I thought, was missing this time. McIntosh worked like a galley slave in leading the curious Everton forward line. Potts easily was the star almost reveling in the wet conditions, while Eglington did splendidly for an hour. Then for some uncountable reason, Everton switched play continually to the right, so that the Eglington striking force was frittered away. This was a tactic error, for given a ball on to which he could run. “Eggie” had McLean “stone cold” for speed. Eglington maybe is missing Potts, for although Parker showed some nice individual touches and body movement, I think he is just that wee bit over-anxious to succeed. John Willie Parker will be all right with more experience. Fielding centres might have won the game, and while he was quick enough to make two amazing headed interventions be at times did not reveal that Fielding anticipation, which is such a feature of his make-up. That is why so many good serving passes were made to appear poor. Fielding is the type who wants to be in the play, and so is effected by idle spells on the wing which must always arise. Good game this and well handled by Referee Webb, of Leeds. The result. Well, it just about fitted, eh!
FARRELL SHOWS HOW
April 9, 1951, The Liverpool Echo
A goal and a point is always welcome especially after a spell of adverse results, so the majority of Everton supporters were reasonable satisfied their team’s performance against Wolves even though there were errors made all of which could not be attributed to the conditions (writes D.R.F).
The most disturbing feature was that once again the forwards could find no way of getting the ball into the net. They shot strongly on occasions but for most part, direction was sacrificed for power, and when efforts were on the target, Williams proved his right to be England’s goalkeeper with some grand saves. Nevertheless he has had many harder matches and the Everton attack must shoot often in their resuming games to gather in more points. The Goodison club appear almost certain to retain their senior status but the slim chances of Chelsea or Sheffield Wednesday pulling clear has to be taken into consideration. In their last nine games, the Blues have only scored five goals, and three of them have come from half-backs. It is a disturbing reflection. To my mind Everton were a trifle lucky to obtain the equalizer to Pye’s neatly headed goal for the ball appeared to be moving when Eglington took the free kick which led to Farrell’s perfectly placed drive but there could be no denying that the shot there could be no denying that the shot was worthy of success. The continued premise of Parker was one of the brightest things of the game. He was always seeking to use the ball to the best possible advantage, tackled well and best possible advantage, tackled well and came close to scoring the winner with a brilliantly saved header. Saga’s penalty save was of inestimable value to Everton’s for Wolves had they led a second time, may well have held on Pye shot was struck hard and true to Sagar’s right, but he leaped across and beat the ball away in brilliant fashion, to earn a worthy rally from the crowd. Moore had a better game than for some time and all the halves were excellent. Potts did much midfield work once more reveling in the heavy going. McLean was good all through for Wolves and the visitors intermediate line did not suffer by comparison with Everton’s. Wilshaw was their best forward but Hancock would probably have made a difference in the striking power.
EVERTON’S BIG NEED
April 13, 1951. The Liverpool Echo
It would be a satisfactory performance if Everton can bring back a point from Sunderland. While they have point in hand over Chelsea they are not yet completely out of danger. A Chelsea revival could make it a light squeeze though one hardly appears likely. Sheffield Wednesday seem to be doomed and Everton have little to fear from them, though the Wednesday once made a marvelous come back after being in almost as bad a position as they are today. Chelsea tomorrow are away to Derby County and Wednesday visit Bolton. Everton’s greatest need just now is a sharp-shooting forward or two who can round off their approach work in the only manner that counts. Sunderland’s defence is not so hot when away, but at Roker Park they have had only 20 scored against them. Everton; Sagar; Moore, Rankin; Lindley, Jones, Farrell; Grant, Potts, McIntosh, Parker, Eglington. Sunderland; Mapson; Hedley, Hudgell, Watson, Hall, Wright (A), Bingham, Kirtley, Ford, Shackleton, Reynolds.
BRILLIANT SHACKLETON GAME IS A BITTER MEMORY FOR EVERTON
April 14, 1951. The Liverpool Football Echo
Sunderland;- Mapson, goal; Hedley and Hudgell, backs; Watson, Hall and Wright (A.), half-backs; Bingham, Kirtley, Ford, Shackleton, and Reynold, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Lindley, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Potts, McIntosh, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.F. Power (York). Everton had to make changes owing to injuries and Grant was at outside right and Lindley at right half. Sunderland were without Broadis, but they had their expensive centre forward, Ford to lead them. Ford to lead them with Shackleton, one of the best ball players in the game to assist him. Jack Hedley was making his first appearance against his former clubmates since he left Goodison Park. It was an ideal day for football and the ground looked in excellent condition. Everton progressed by good football tactics but offside on two occasions held them up. There was greater driving power behind the Sunderland attack, and Shackleton was in one of his brightest moods. It was he who opened the day’s scoring at the 10th minute when he flashed through the Everton defence like a hot knife through butter to deliver the ball well outside the reach of Sagar’s left hand.
Grazed the Bar
Everton won a corner and this very neatly from Grant and Parker was unlucky with a shot which grazed the top side of the crossbar. Shackleton had another shot saved by Sagar. Sunderland were now playing the more progressive football, and finding the shots to round it off. A Watson shot was charged down and the ball fell to the feet of Kirtley who quickly sent it to the back of the net at 16 minutes. Thus Everton had a terrific task ahead of them. But worse was to follow, Bingham centred into the Everton goal mouth and Sagar caught the ball but Ford was on him like a flash. The Everton goalkeeper lost possession and the ball was in the Everton net for the third time in 21 minutes. The great difference between Sunderland and Everton was that the Roker men had the punch to finish off their exceedingly good rounds of interpassing. Everton were able to take the ball forward constructively but Mapson, so far had little to do. Shackleton value to Sunderland cannot be gauged in pounds, shinning and pence. He makes his challenges play, and they responded to his promptings cleverly. Three goals down away from home was a tremendous handicap but Everton were still full of fight. A long ball by Wright dropped into the hands of Sagar, who was challenged by Kirtley but this time the goalkeeper came out on top. In fact Everton got a free kick for the incident.
Frivolous But –
Potts was knocked out, with a body blow. Shackleton showed his complete masterly with several back heel passes and a lob over Potts head which marked him down as the supreme artist. Grant had a chance of reducing his side’s arrears and made every effort to seize, however the shot passed outside. Sunderland afford to engage in some tremendous antics particularly Shackleton but there was no denying the power of the whole Sunderland team. Lindley, Grant and McIntosh tried to praise open the Sunderland defence but Grant’s final pass, intended for McIntosh was much too strong and passed over the dead ball line. McIntosh had a shot charged down by Hudgell and when Potts had a reasonable chance he found the ball coming awkwardly to him, so that he had to work away from goal rather than towards it. It was snowing now but not heavily. The first half concluded with Grant taking a free kick which he put to an opponent’s head. Half-time; Sunderland 3, Everton nil. Sunderland continued to be complete masters of the situation and they went further ahead when Bingham shot a fourth goal in the 56th minute. Everton defended stubbornly but they found Sunderland in one of their deadliest moods. Shackleton was a joy to watch even though at times he overdid the fancy work.
Side Footed In
It was he in a way who made the fourth goal for he slipped a ball nicely through for Ford to help it along to Bingham who side-footed into the Everton net. Prior to this the Everton goal had an escape when Shackelton and Ford joined together to completely break down the Everton resistance, but Ford’s header was saved by Sagar. This produced an argument and the referee had a word or two to say to the Everton goalkeeper, but there was more to it than that for a shot by Reynolds seemed to hit something on the way to go out for a corner. Everton fought on without giving Mapson the slightest trouble. The best he had to do was to cut out a long centre from Grant and also pick up two rather tame shots by Potts. A shot by Grant knocked out Arthur Wright and this was the forerunner to a short but promising attack by Everton. There was however no finality about it. Naturally Sunderland with a four goal lead could afford to sit on the splice and this gave Everton more opportunities than they would have got had the Roker men been at full speed. The sun was now shining brightly following the snow, but by this time the game had lost much of its appeal. Ford and Bingham almost produced goal number five, and I was glad it was Bingham who had to play the final act, for Ford had been given the role. I don’t think well would have given Sagar the opportunity to save. Bingham is only a 19-year-old and his natural enthusiasm may be his undoing. Sunderland 4, Everton nil.
EVERTON RES V BLACKBURN ROVERS RES
April 14, 1952. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton were much the better side, but they lost chances though erratic shooting at close quarters. O’Neill and home goalkeeper had a quite a busy time, and he did well to save two well-directed shots from Moore and Jones. In the 34th minute the visitors took the lead, Graham accepting a nice pass from Henry giving O’Neill no chance. Half-time; Everton Res nil, Blackburn Rovers Res 1.
Everton took up the offence, Hold and Hickson putting in fine efforts which would have materialized but for the brilliant goalkeeping of Johnson. In the 60th minute, Everton quite deservedly became on level terms, Hold scoring a clever goal after Bentham had paved the way.
10TH MINUTE GOAL BAD FOR BLUES
April 14, 1951. The Evening Express
Sunderland Get Two More in Quick Succession
Shocked by three Sunderland goals in 21 minutes, Everton were always fighting an uphill battle at Roker Park today. Inspired by some magnificent play from Shackleton, the Sunderland team quickly took control and never relaxed their grip. Shackleton himself began the goal trail at the 10th minute, Kirtley put on a second, six minutes later, and Ford scored a third. Bingham added a fourth after 56 minutes. The Everton forwards were never allowed to settle down by a Sunderland defence, in which a powerful half-back line was a strong point. A recurrence of an old injury meant that Wally Fielding had to vacate the outside right position and Jackie Grant moved forward to allow Maurice Lindley to take over at right half. Everton renewed acquaintance with Jackie Hedley, making his first appearance against his old club mates since his transfer early in the season. Sunderland;- Mapson, goal; Hedley and Hudgell, backs; Watson, Hall and Wright (A.), half-backs; Bingham, Kirtley, Ford, Shackleton, and Reynold, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Lindley, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Potts, McIntosh, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.F. Power (York).
A brilliant Sunderland opening almost had Everton on the collar, for straight from the kick-off the home side swept down via Shackleton and Watson and when Ford helped the ball on with a neat overhead pass, Kirtley found himself all on his own on the left. He delayed his shot sufficiently to leave too fine an angle, and Sagar was able to make a clam catch. Some of the Sunderland touches were magnificent and again Ford brought Kirtley into action with a back-header, but this time Rankin cut in and brought safety with a back pass to his goalkeeper. Everton’s first raid left Eglington with a centring chance, but he put it into the side net, and then when McIntosh was fouled, Farrell was two strong with the kick, which travelled across goal and outside. Grant’s attempt to contact a long pass from Parker was fouled by Mapson, whose clearance led to another Sunderland spate of passing which ended when Sagar caught Bingham’s centre.
Raced to Ball
McIntosh was crowded out at the last moment by Hall, and an continued Everton pressure Potts fired over the top. But for all this there was more danger in the Sunderland movement in the tenth minute they took the lead through Shackleton who raced on to the ball after good work by Wright and Reynolds, who beat Sagar with a low shot from close in. This was certainly a shock for Everton, but the Blues went straight into the attack, and after Grant had seen his centre turned away by Hedley, Potts forced a corner which nearly brought an equalizer. Eglington placed this well, and Parker, bringing the ball down, was only inches too high with his shot. shackleton’s dash was the cause of much concern to the Everton defence, and once he went in with a great shot which Sagar did exceptionally well to take low down by the post. Shackleton was in one of his brightest moods and Everton defence had a tough time repelling a series of Sunderland attacks. However, in the 16th minute their goal fell again, this time to Kirtley, after Watson had seen a shot spin high into the air, and Jones failed completely to get the ball away. Kirtley was a little fortunate in that the ball dropped at his feet, but he made no mistake from six yards out Sagar having no chance. Sagar was soon in action again, this time dealing with a centre from Bingham which looked likely to came trouble until the goalkeeper pulled it away as Ford challenged him. Ford scored a third for Sunderland after 21 minutes when Bingham put across a high ball which Sagar reached, but could not hold as the Welshman came in. Again the ball dropped in the right spot and Ford had no difficulty in piloting it into the net. A speculative shot from Eglington caused Mapson some little trouble before he got the ball away and the Sunderland goalkeeper was next called upon to catch a centre from Grant.
Everton were not direct enough in their methods and some good approach work was foiled by too close passing. Even so, Sunderland still looked the more dominant combination. Everton’s best chance came when Parker glided Eglington’s centre on to the right and Grant and Mapson had a terrific race for the ball, Grant won, but his only hope was to shoot first time. This he did but he was unable to get sufficient drag. His drive sped wide, with Mapson floundering. Grant’s claim that the ball had touched the goalkeeper went unheeded and Everton came back again, for Hall to charge down a McIntosh shot, while Moore sent a long attempt over the top. The Sunderland attack got to work again and Ford tried a first timer which Sagar confidently cleared. Half-time; Sunderland 3, Everton 0.
Everton were first to get moving as play re-started, but Eglington’s had to find a way beyond this solid Sunderland defence ended when his shot was charged down. Rankin coolly breasted the ball down when Shackleton threatened danger, but the Everton goal escaped in the next minute when Ford headed in from Eglington only to find Sagar blocking the attempt with his knee. Ford’s speed carried him into the net and he and Sagar were involved in a mix-up. While this was happening, Reynolds shot in and Moore saved a certain goal by turning the ball away for a corner. The referee had words with Sagar and Ford before the corner kick was put in by Reynolds, for the Everton goalkeeper to it from Kirtley’s head. Everton kept play in the Sunderland half for a few minutes and Potts strove hard to bring some power into the attack, only going through on his own to being Mapson to his knee with a fast grounder. After 54 minutes Sunderland went further ahead through Bingham. The winger had a simple task in netting when the ball was swept across goal by Reynolds after a burst of passing in which Shackleton had again been the leading light. Prior to this, Sagar had twice found it necessary to come out and punch away centres from both wings. When Sunderland did get away they brought a lot of danger, and in one Ford-Bingham link-up a fifth goal looked certain when the winger got clean through, but Sagar saved brilliant.
• Everton “A” 0, Liverpool “A” 0
EVERTON IN TROUBLE
April 16, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
Sunderland 4, Everton 0
Sunderland were in one of their most entrancing moods when beating Everton 4-0 at Roker Park. They won in a canter as they say in racing. Everton were never in the hunt. At times they did match good football with good football, but as I have so often had to report before there was no finality. Mapson could rarely have had an easier match, yet he was lucky to see Parker shot whizz over his crossbar immediately after Sunderland had scored. Sunderland had such complete control it soon became a question as to how many they would score. Their football was excellent –good enough to beat anything on the day –and it was obvious that after their third goal they were not out to rub it in. Had they kept up their dazzling play of the first 20 minutes they would have totted up more than four goals. Shackleton was in a feverous frame of mind in fact he was rather inclined to overdo the fancy stuff, but strange to say it all came off. As an entertainment he was in the Matthews class. Everton were fighting a losing battle almost from the kick-off. They battled along galliantly but were not smart enough to the ball. Sunderland had the game won in the first ten minutes when Shackleton bounded through like a grey-hound to place the ball wide of Sagar. Six minutes later Kirtley notched goal number two and Ford five minutes later charged Sagar, who lost his grip of the ball which dropped over the line. When Sunderland eased up Everton naturally came more into the game and Grant had a hard drive stopped by an opponent’s face, and later Mapson was content to parry another scorcher from the wee outside right and let another complete the save. Bingham a nineteen year-old winger scored Sunderland’s fourth goal following good play by Shackleton and Ford.
EVERTON MUST TAKE FIVE OF THE LAST SIX POINTS
April 16, 1951. The Liverpool Evening Express
To Keep Wednesday and Chelsea at Bay
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Eight successive matches without a goal from an Everton forward, and the improvement of Sheffield Wednesday has made the relegation clouds darker over Goodison Park than at any time in post-war football. He only goal scored in the eight games was by half-back Farrell. Everton lead has been cut down to four by Wednesday’s success at Bolton, and now the Sheffield lads have three home matches and one away to play, compared with Everton’s one at home (to Aston Villa on Saturday) and two away, including visit to the Wednesday. Chelsea’s defeat at Derby County seems to spell doom to them, although they have five matches to play –three at home and two away. If Everton win their last three games, of course, everything will be all right but Wednesday and Chelsea can reach 34 points. Chelsea have the best defensive record of the three, Everton and Wednesday being similar, but Everton have scored four goals fewer, giving Wednesday the advantage on goal average. Everton need five points out of the six to be safe and they can be obtained only with vast improvement in penetrative power, the lack of which has produced this crisis in the affairs of the Blues.
April 16, 1951. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The visit to Warney must have brought back memorials of happier days than that which Everton had on Saturday about which colleague “J.A.R” comments.
“The game was won and lost in the first 20 minutes. In that period the artistry of Shackleton and a Sunderland forward line which knew where it was going was fatal for Everton. Three goals down and facing a team which was right on top and never gave any hint of being anything was a problem the Blues never looked like solving in fact at times passed it became more and more obvious that having delivered the king blows, Sunderland were content to progress leisurely to victory and all the Everton efforts crashed against a half-back line which was so powerful defensively that the Sunderland full-backs and goalkeeper had their easier day for some time. Strangely enough, although the opening 20 minutes were bitter for Everton, it was during that time that they came nearest to making a fight of it. Harry Potts, who grafted hard throughout, and Parker went very close to notching a goal but once that was over and done with it was just a question of Sunderland coasting to victory. There were times when it seemed as though the Wearsiders would get a bag of goals, but the Everton defence was always fighting gallantly with Sagar once again showing that wonderful sense of anticipation which makes him such a grand goalkeeper. “The Everton forwards had one of their most disappointing days in which lack of direction often ended some approach work which occasionally raised hopes of better things to come. But taken all round it was a case of Sunderland having a day on which their brand of football was in the superlative class and completely justified their comfortable win.
GRIM FOR EVERTON
April 16, 1951. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have still a grim battle ahead to keep their heads above water and it may not be until the last day of the season that they will know their fate (write Stork).
The load got heavier and it will need a quick revival on their part if they are to anything, else Sheffield Wednesday’s result cause a big blow at the conclusion of Sunderland’s game at Roker Park, for it puts them within striking distance of the “Blues.” Worry and nerves are playing their party in Everton’s decline, for nothing or any pressure to cause Sunderland to realize that they had no easy test so Sunderland took the bit between their teeth and with three goals in their possession after 10 minutes the game was as good as lost to Everton. Whether it was Sunderland’s brilliance that made Everton look as poor or whether it was Everton’s poorness that made the North-Easterners look like world-beaters was a matter of opinion. I thought it was the former for Sunderland gave a copybook display of soccer which would have beaten most teams. I have never seen them play with greater skill and artistry and Shackleton was the main cause of Everton’s defeat. But he did not indulge himself until the game was safety up with three goals. It was the cheekiest display of soccer I have ever seen and it had Everton out-witted and out-manoecurved. It is easy to play from a winning hand it is when the cards are stacked against you that it needs courage and heart. Everton battled along but were always playing a losing battle and had not Sunderland eased up they might have touched double figures. Yes, they were that much on top. They eased down to half speed in the second half, but still there were no shots with one exception – a Grant effort –to cause Mapson the least worry. Everton have never before this season touched such a low standard. Not one of the forwards lived up to his best form and the runt had to be shouldered by the defence and this had a hectic time against a brilliant attack backed up by two excellent half backs in Watson and Arthur Wright, but I have no hesitation in saying that this was Shackleton’s game and day. He had the crowd laughing, he had me smiling and he had Everton at their wits and to know what was required to curve and destroy his devastating brilliance. This is a game we can well forget as far as Everton are concerned. Sagar came off the field with a pulled muscle and Jones for whom Ford seemed to not a back is a minor. Each expected to be fit for the Villa game –this must be won –at Goodison Park on Saturday.
GOAL FOR HICKSON
April 19, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 1, Sheffield Wed Res 0
A goal by Hickson after seven minutes play gave Everton Reserves victory in their Central League game at Goodison Park, where defences were for the most part on top. In the first half Everton had the better of matters despite the loss of Falder for fifth teen minutes with an eye injury. He returned after bandaged and carried on. Hickson and Cummings tested Morton on occasions who proved sound, while Swift Seemley and Kenny were a good defensive trio for Wednesday. The visitors made a late rally in which Burnett made several good saves, Saunders and Falder also defending well.
WEDNESDAY 2 POINTS BEHIND EVERTON CAMBLE?
April 19, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
When Sheffield Wednesday’s £34,000 life-saver, Jack Sewell scored the winning goal against Derby County, at Hillsbrough, Sheffield last night he hoisted his team two points further from relegation and a bare two points behind Everton (same number of matches played). As Chelsea lost 2-1 at Huddersfield and seemed doomed, the remainder of the relegation battle is now virtually between Everton and Sheffield Wednesday. Wednesday have two home games (one against Everton and an away match) to play. Everton end the season with one home match (Villa on Saturday) and two away engagements.
Everton’s minimum target is to beat Aston Villa on Saturday. Even that might not assure their safety. Fortunately Fielding who was out of the team at Sunderland is in training and so is Ted Buckley. Manager Cliff Britton has been experimenting in practice games and may take a chance on an unusual combination for the Villa match. Having complete control on the playing side the Britton shoulders have carried tremendous responsibility during the past three seasons. Now comes the climax to it all, and the man still has a balanced and commonsense outlook on what may or may not happen. Especially for his sake do I hope that Everton will contrive somehow to keep their status. An Everton shareholders send me a “Want” advertisement asking for an attendance of 80,000 (ground record) at Goodison Park on Saturday. He wants them to emulate the Hampden and Spion kop roar “Shoot” Everton-forwards, he says have not scored a goal since February 28 -720 minutes of abortive effort.
A GRIM OUTLOOK
April 10, 1951. The Liverpool Echo
Blues’ Precarious Plight
Sheffield Wednesday Still Cutting Down Everton’s Points Advantage
Everton’s position becomes increasingly precarious and after Sheffield Wednesday’s win last night it show obvious that the Blues are going to have a hard job to retain their First Division membership. The Sheffield club now only two points behind the Blues for the same number of matches played, have to play two home games and one away, compared with Everton’s one home and two away. The last match of the season is against Everton at Sheffield and though the position may change in Everton’s advantage in the meantime at the moment seems likely that this final game may decide which of the two sides goes down. If so Everton’s changes will not be so bright for while they have been slipping, the Sheffield club has been doing much better. Aston Villa also have been showing considerable improvement recently and have taken 12 points from their last eight games which hardly encourages great hopes when Everton meet them at Goodison Park on Saturday. Everton simply have to win this game to give them a real chance of escape but it won’t be easy. The following lines, covering the last eight matches of the three clubs most vitally concerned show how Everton have been slipping back into grave danger, while their nearest rivals have been climbing the ladder.
Everton; p 8, won 0, drawn 3, lost 5, for 1, against 15, points 3
Sheff Wed; played 8; won 3, drawn 2, lost 3, for 12, against 13, points 8
Aston Villa; played 8, won 5, drawn 2, lost 1, for 15, against 11, points 12
It is a dismal prospect but hope is not dead though recent performances by Everton have given little encouragement to supports undue-optimistic. The decline in the last two months is all the harder to bear because just prior to its commencement the side, though not brilliant had been playing well enough to encourage the belief that it would finish in a reasonably respectable position.
Everton Extraordinary General Meeting
An Extraordinary General meeting of the Everton shareholders Association takes place on Thursday evening next April 28. Many prominent members of the association are concerned at the precarious position of the Blues and are expected to take this opportunity of airing their views.
BLUES MUST BEAT VILLA
April 20, 1951. The Liverpool Echo
Otherwise Relegation Threat Will Become Still More Ominous
Everton must strike a real show of freedom tomorrow when they face Aston Villa at Goodison Park. If they don’t and Sheffield Wednesday beat Blackpool at Hillsbrough –which is not beyond the bounds of possibility –then Everton’s already parious plight will become even more desperate. While the position at the foot of the table is decidedly intriguing we should have felt much happier had Everton not been one of the clubs so vitally concerned. Aston Villa will come here tomorrow just as desperately anxious for victory as the Blues for should Everton beat them as we hope they will, Villa would then be on the same points total, though with a considerably better goal average. Much will depend, of course on what Sheffield Wednesday do. Normally they wouldn’t appear to have a particularly good chance against Blackpool, despite their recent improved form, but with Wembley their next engagement the Seasiders are not likely to take any undue risks, whereas Wednesday will be fighting tooth and nail.
Ifs and Buts
Not long ago Everton had eight points in hand over the Yorkshire club. That margin has been whittled to two. What it will be by five o’clock tomorrow is anybody’s guess. Looking on the bright side if Everton win and Wednesday lose we shall be able to breathe a little more freely. Yet even then Everton will not be clear. We may still have to wait for their game against Sheffield Wednesday on May 5 to settle the issue. Unfortunately Everton’s goal average is inferior to Sheffield’s and considerably worse than Aston Villa’s. we shall know better now things stand after tomorrow’s game but Everton will have to play much better than of late to take even a point from the Villa whose many team changes in the past couple of matches have revived and versatile the side tremendously. The Blues greatest weaknesses of late has been their shocking inability to do the right thing in the shooting box. One goal in eight games, and that from a half-back would ruin any side’s hopes. There is far too much lateral passing and not enough determined assign when within striking distance.
Clutching at a Straw
If Everton cannot work out their own salvation by getting helpful points from their three remaining matches there is still the prospect that they may be rescued by the failings of either Villa or Wednesday. This is rather like the drowning man clutching at a straw but these days we are glad to grasp anything which encourages hopes. There is likely to be a big crowd at Goodison tomorrow and I thrust that whatever sort of show Everton put up every spectator will cheer them on to the last gasp. Let the players see that you are behind them in their herculean task. It makes a big difference. Cheer until you are on the point of bursting and save your criticism, if any is needed until after the final whistle. Everton; Sagar; Moore, Rankin; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Buckle, Hold, McIntosh, Potts, Eglington. Aston Villa; Rutherford; Parkes, Aidis; Blanchflower, Moss (F), Dorsett, Smith (H.), Thompson, Walsh, Dixon, Goffin. Fielding is unfit.
FIRST MINUTE SHOCK FOR EVERTON
April 21, 1951. The Evening Express
Dixon Goal, Then McIntosh Squares
Smith Scores Winning Goal For Villa in Second Half
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton took a step nearer the Second Division when in their final home draw of the season they were defeated by Aston Villa at Goodison Park today. They were a goal down in the first minute, but fought back magnificently for McIntosh to equalize, only to see Villa snatch victory in the second half. This game never rose to any standard in real constructive football and for the most part was a desperate scramble, all players being affected by jitters. Six representatives of senior Football circles were at the game, played under perfect conditions, apart from a rather strong wind which aided the Villa in the first half. Everton; Sagar, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Grant, Jones and Farrell, half-backs; Buckle, Hold, McIntosh, Potts and Eglington, forwards. Aston Villa; Rutherford, goal; Parkes, and Aldis, backs; Branchflower, Moss (F.), and Dorsett, half-backs; Smith, Thompson, Walsh, Dixon and Goffin, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.L. Overton of Derby.
The Villa attacked from the off’ Goffin forcing Moore to turn the ball to touch and from the throw-in Goffin made the short forward pass which gave Dixon the right of way to goal. Dixon moved close in before beating Sagar comfortably, for this was one of those positions where the goalkeeper had no chance whatever. Everton got the jitters and away came the Villa for Smith to centre low, Sagar going down to concede a corner. One brief Everton raid through Buckle failed to upset Aldis but then the ball dropped back from a sharp Villa attack and Dorsett stepped in with a shot which I could see swerving into the net when Farrell dashed across and headed it behind. Moore was the next to conceded a corner as the Villa tried to pile on the pressure and as Walsh was looking decidedly menacing the Hold-Buckle link-up saw Buckle more inside for a left foot shot which really sizzled over the top, but in the next raid Everton were all square. Hold had to come away from goal to gain possession of a ball which seemed to be floating away from him, but he mastered it and then drove it low into the goalmouth. Parkes and Moss failed to intercept – I thought there was some slackness here –and the ball steered through for McIntosh to struck it home from short range with his right foot. What an opening! And added to all the excitement my telephone went into inactivity for as spell. Everton anxiety was demonstrated when we saw two players going for the ball and neither getting it, but the team was playing with rare spurt and no little ability. Walsh should have regained the lead when the high bouncing ball bobbed over Jones but his shot crashed against the side netting. Eglington and Potts won Everton’s first corner, and this should have brough Everton an indirect free kick for Dixon obviously obstructed Potts leaping to Eglington’s cross. The speed of Thompson almost proved too much for Grant who was trying to master the ball in his own goal area but the Grant tenacity pulled him through and then Rutherford caught from under the bar Buckle’s centre.
Plenty of Thrills
There was a lot of unnecessary high kicking but this was the thrill of the occasion as both teams were inclined to operate a little hurriedly. There were plenty of thrills, and it was only Moss quick back-heel from Rankin’s free kick which prevented Eglington and Hold from getting through. The Villa had three shots charged down when their first raiding kept the Everton defence in a state of jitters and then Rutherford saved by the post when Hold headed in. that the Villa were as nervous as Everton was proved when Moss passed back from 20 yards, and placed high over the head of Rutherford ten yards wide of the goal. It was just one of those “let’s get rid off it” safety moves, and it brought Everton a corner which as just one of those “let’s get rid of it” safety moves, and it brought Everton a corner which they gave away through infringement. Only the legs of Moss saved the Villa when from Farrells quick centre, Potts tried a first-time left foot shot. The Everton defence was not as reliable as usually, but quick covering enabled it to close loopholes. A free kick in the Everton penalty area taken by Moore actually started a Villa attack. When the ball was whipped across Rankin gained possession, and ran half the length of the field only to pass direct to Blanchflower. This was certainty a game of endeavour and error. An Everton throw-in saw Aldis whip the ball across to Thompson who received the return pass from Dixon, and shot a foot over the top. Everton were finding it difficult to beat down the Villa resistance although McIntosh’s goal had broken the 8-match no-scoring spell by the forwards. Buckle suddenly collapsed, as Dorsett was going to take a throw-in but was able to resume limping after attention. The occasions with the vital issues at stake made for scrambling play and not often have I seen so many errors by first class players. Half-time; Everton 1, Aston Villa 1
Blues’ Better Ideas
Everton reopened with the best move of the match, Hold and Buckle combing accurately, and although the ball bobbed about a lot following the centre no-one could get it to his liking for a shot. Potts gathered quickly from Farrell’s throw-in and from 35 yards trial a shot all along the floor, Rutherford saving low down. Everton so far in this half, had been playing with better ideas and confidence. They were more considered in their work than they had been in the first half. But now there was a slackness in defence and Dixon’s quick centre looked to be dangerous unto Farrell scrambled it away as Thompson ran in. Twice in the space of seconds Everton trapped the ball for the benefit of the opposition and so Thompson was able to bore his way through; get assistance from Smith and provide Dixon with a shot which was not of sufficient direction to produce anything tangible. Buckle passed on a quick centre by McIntosh for the benefit of Eglington but Parkes just managed to stick out a foot to save. Moore and Dixon ran together to a ball which dropped awkwardly for Everton and I thought the Moore his toe to it to make it a shot of power which Sagar saved near the post under difficulties. Goffin come to outside right to offer one for the Villa which had passed straight through to be cleared and then bursting pass Aldis to centre hard and low, Rutherford dashing out to lose his cap but win the ball. Goffin pushed the ball back for Dorsett to fire across the face of the Everton goal with the crowd groaning. Everton should have taken the lead when Eglington ran through at centre forward and when Rutherford ran out to pushed the ball to his left for McIntosh to gain possession. Rutherford was on the floor and out of the game when McIntosh centre towards the vacant goal but it was Parkes who saved the Villa with a hefty clearance before an Everton foot could get it. McIntosh made a commendable try when from 15 yards he shot just over the bar. It was good to see a shot in this scrambling game. With 25 minutes to go, Buckle jumped to head the ball over Aldie and cut his left cheek before crashing to the ground. Buckle wasted no time but ran around the ground and into the dressing room for treatment. The persistence of Thompson enabled him to withstand these challenges but even then his shot was of the mark. Buckle returned after being away six minutes and in time to see Smith give Villa the lead in 67 minutes. Coffin slipped the ball across beyond Everton defenders and Smith was able to step in and score with a short range toe-ended right foot shot before Sagar had a possible chance of saving or a defender of intervener. Potts tried to pull the game out of the fire again when he ran through with a right foot shot, but Rutherford saved magnificently at full length. Goffin next slipped the ball to Thompson who was through on his own to make a low right foot shot but Sagar went full length to save when everything seemed lost. Thousands of people were streaming out of the ground long before the final whistle went. Official attendance 45,245. Final; Everton 1, Aston Villa 2
• Chelsea 1, Liverpool 0
• Sheffield Wednesday 2, Blackpool 1
EVERTON MADE A FIGHT OF IT BUT VILLA GOT VITAL GOALS
April 21, 1951. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton 1, Aston Villa 2
Everton recovered the again of being a goal down in the first minute but in the second half, Smith got the goal which decided the game and went a long way in deciding Everton’s relegation fate. Everton; Sagar, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Grant, Jones and Farrell, half-backs; Buckle, Hold, McIntosh, Potts and Eglington, forwards. Aston Villa; Rutherford, goal; Parkes, and Aldis, backs; Branchflower, Moss (F.), and Dorsett, half-backs; Smith, Thompson, Walsh, Dixon and Goffin, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.L. Overton of Derby. Villa won the toss and decided to defend the Park end goal. This meant that Everton faced not only the music but some tantailainingly strong sunshine.
From a Throw-In
The start was sensational. The game had scarcely kicked off before Villa were in front. In Villa’s first attack there was a throw-in on the left wing. Goffin took it, the ball drifted over all Everton heads to Walsh who passed it on to Dixon who was then running paralled with the goal line. In vain did Sagar and company try to close down the avenue against a shut down am impossible angle for Dixon to find a chance and the ball hit the side netting of the bar side of goal. Besides the sunshine at their backs Villa also had the wind and Everton were on the collar almost continually. A vicious kick by Dorsett seemed likely to produce a second goal until Jones and Thompson coming across the ball together got in its lone of flight and saved Sagar the indignity of having to receive it from the back of the net.
Everton Hit back
In further Everton indecision Grant headed away when the lively little Thompson was in danger of snatching a goal. Everton’s first real move came when Hold chased after a through ball, and finding himself out-numbered, placed a tentative sort of pass to Buckle. The move ended when Buckle came in and delivered a left foot shot of tremendous power which sailed just over the bar. However at five minutes Everton equalized. Hold picking up a part clearance and although badly angled, centered to get the ball across the goal face to the vicinity of McIntosh. A Villa defender landed the ball against Eglington in the intended clearance and the Everton centre forward was quick to pick up the rebound and make a goal of it.
Caused a Gasp
Hold was given offside after heading into the waiting hands of Rutherford and in view of the disastrous effect of being a goal down in one minutes Everton were playing confidently and competently. It was struggling straggling football with many mistakes and a great deal of safety play. The crowd groaned when Buckle volleyed an Eglington corner kick wildly yards from goal but this sort of direct shooting was the only thing possible and had the finishing been right Buckle would have been acclaimed. The game had degenerated from quite good football in the first five minutes to most indifferent stuff. The only enliving thing came when Hold attempted to back heel a goal from free kick near the centre line.
A cleverly obtained free kick at outside the penalty box by Goffin provided Dorsett with an opportunity to make one of his characteristically fierce shots, but the ball rose too sharply and in any event it was slightly wide of the goal angle. Villa now to be slightly on top and even Parkes came up to join the shooters. Thompson started and finished the game’s best move which was simple direct and dangerous. It finished with the little man hitting a first rate shot only slightly off target. Half-time; Everton 1, Aston Villa 1. Hold shot wide from what the Villa considered was an offside position early in the second half, he shooter having been given his chance by cutely angled McIntosh offering. Then Potts, who found himself free of all opposition went on to make a low shot which Rutherford fielded cleanly and well.
He also picked up a back header from McIntosh when Eglington threatened to snatch a surprise goal. Dixon ripped the ball right across the face of the Everton goal in a square pass after beating Grant but no one was up to apply the shot. Thompson was playing particularly well, indeed he was about the only player about whom one could say this. Villa were most luckless not to score when Smith (H.) put over a sharp centre which Goffin, who had come right over from outside left hit hard towards goal. Sagar stretched out both arms and the ball struck them, otherwise it must have been a goal. Again Goffin offered Thompson and Walsh a lateral pass when they were only a few yards from goal but neither could make contact.
Quite the most spectacular shot o all came from McIntosh who pivoted quickly and hit a surprise bracket shot just over the bar. To describe the football as mode-rate is an understatement, but remembering the gusty wind and the dry ground and the importance of the issue I suppose it was hardly surprising it was so patchy. Aldis and Buckle bumped heads in collision and Buckle seemed to have the more severe head injury.
It looked as though he would resume immediately but on second thoughts Trainer Cooke evidentially advised him to leave the field. Then occurred one of the most gallant things I have ever seen at a ground for years, Buckle with a sponge held to his damaged check, or eye, sprinted round the Stanley Park goal from the far side of the ground, obviously because he knew that his absence could mean the difference between winning and losing the game. Yet few in the crowd assessed this gesture at its proper value. Farrell got to grips in a tackle with Thompson to prevent that player closing in to shoot at lethal range, one of the best tackles of the day. Ironally Buckle had just come back when Villa took the lead. Dorsett provided the centre, Dixon the flick of the head which took the ball on its way at outside right and Smith did the rest. In the next phrase of play Potts was making a first rate long distance drive and Rutherford was seizing the ball and maintaining his grip as through it were a tennis ball he was handling.
Villa on Top
Walsh, beating Jones, Moore and Sagar to a through ball lobbed the ball a few feet wide when the odds were that he would make it 3-1. Potts shot again, but Rutherford duly made the catch without trouble. Some of Villa’s football now became really good, and Sagar had to bring off a full length save to prevent another goal from Thompson. Sagar, limping a bit, chased to the edge of his penalty box to poke the ball to safety when Thompson was shaping to return it into the goalmouth. Everton were now at their lowest ebb and the crowd became derisive although the chance of a draw was still there if they could take it. Final; Everton 1, Aston Villa 2; Official attendance 45,254.
BLACKPOOL RES V EVERTON RES
March 21, 1951. The Liverpool Football Echo
Blackpool Res;- Hall, goal; Prith and J. Wright, backs; Proctor, Crossland, and Robinson, half-backs; W. Wright, Withers, McIntosh, Slater and Wardle, forwards. Everton Res; Burnett, goal; Sutherland, and Lindsay, backs; Donovan, Falder, and Melville, half-backs; Gibson, Parker, Catterick, Cummings, and Easthorpe, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.T. Jenkins, (Manchester). Everton almost took the lead in the game’s first second, when Cummings was beaten to a lose ball by Hall with only a fraction to spare. Afterwards with one or two spasmodic raids it was all Blackpool. They kept up a steady pressure on the visitors goal, and tested Burnett with shots from many angles. Slater and McIntosh came near to scoring on a few occasions. Half-time; Blackpool Reserves nil, Everton Reserves nil. Blackpool made a determined start after the interval and McIntosh scored at the end of a grand solo run. For the first five minutes of the half, not an Everton player entered Blackpool’s territory. A second Blackpool goal came when a high ball was gathered by Burnett standing on the line and before he could clear was bundled into the net by McIntosh.
SCRAPS FROM THE WRECKAGE
April 23, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton 1, Aston Villa 2
Out of the wreckage of the Everton defeat against Villa –the worst game I have seen this season – emerge a few credit notes. One, to 45,000 spectators, mostly Evertonians, for giving both sides such fair treatment. Two, to both teams for playing a vital game so cleanly that referee Leslie Overtons job was simple. Three, to Ted Buckle for being the only in juryed player I have seen who sprinted half-way round the ground to the dressing room so that he could be back in the game as quickly as possible. Four toiled the small and frequently vociferous rabid follower of Everton who elected not to stay behind after the game to hurl insult in the direction of the directors box.
Everton position has gone from bad to worse, but theirs is the tiniest evident through which they may squeeze to safety. They must win on Saturday at Derby, Sheffield Wednesday are at Tottenham in a match of tops and tails and it would not surprise me if Tottenham were still unable to find the necessary points to clinch their League championship. Little can be said in extenuation of Everton’s “crime” in being beaten at Goodison Park by Villa by two goals to one. The better team won the better team was the only team to show more than thirty seconds of consecutive football movement. Even that came only a short spell at the start and at the finish Everton’s rally to offset that astonishing Dixon goal in the first minute was really the sum total of their day’s work. In the last half hour at least they were no cases for a doctor of football but were almost pathological in the complete absence of confidence to do anything right.
They reached the stage when one dared attempt any individual and at which no one was capable of putting the elementary pass to the wings. Not only was nothing co-ordinated, there was no one to calm the panic and aim co-ordination. This is one of Everton’s worries. They are all eager (none more than Peter Farrell whose example in every other way) is inspiring their progress is by fits and starts with none bringing a ball down and figuratively saying to the rest of them; “Why the flurry?” Well do better if we panic less and think a little more.” Dixon’s goal before the kick-off whistle had scarcely died away was a damaging blow but having got on terms Everton looked good for a revival. Instead the nonchalant could-not-care-less Villa took up the game and should have won it long before little Smith brought the ball down quickly and shot adequately for that leading goal. In both Parkes and Dorsett Villa had players especially valuable in a match of this kind. Villa tender to play a more normal game than Everton –both sides I admit played badly by any Division I standard –and the difference was so marked Villa were able to win “pulling-up”. There is little Everton can do now except to face their remaining games determined that they will give priority to the notion that the game must be tackled calmly and not in a spirit of panic. The situation is as depressing as it could be, but football can produce some strange twists. On the face of things Sheffield Wednesday not only seem likely to escape, but deserve to do so.
THAT SINKING FEELING
April 23, 1951. The Liverpool Echo
Some of Everton’s Players Seem to Have Thrown the Towel in
Readers old enough to cast their minds back to 1914 may remember that famous temperance poster which illustrated the gradual decline from dignity to disaster of an eminent citizen who cultivated a taste for strong drink. That old poster flashed through my mind at Goodison on Saturday as Aston Villa drove another nail into Everton’s coffin, for during the past couple of months we have been witnessing an analogolis decline of one of football’s wealthiest sides until similar disaster stares’ it in the face! Those who seek extenuating circumstances can point out that Everton have had a certain amount of misfortune. There was Wainwright’s broke leg –though the had not been playing particularly well for some time before that mishap – and Lello’s knee injury, pins a fair crop of injuries in the early part of the season and some others more recently. Enforced changes certainly destroyed the understanding and promise which marked the side around Christmas when the same team was fielded for several successive games, but there is far more to it than that.
Even when the Blues were at their best the team was never thoroughly convincing as I pointed out on numerous occasions. There have been weaknesses not only this season but several winters. Time and again has this column referred to the writing on the wall, until from fear that too much reiteration might destroy the value of criticism and discourage the players. I decided almost through sheer despondence to let things take their own course. Often in the past few years this column was deplored the fact that the fallings of others rather than any virtues of their own was the only hope of Everton’s salvation. So it has proved more than once. The vital point today is whether history will repeat itself. This time the fallings of only one side –Sheffield Wednesday –can be of any help to the Blues. Though Everton can still help themselves by success complete or partial in their two remaining games after Saturday’s dismal display hope must be at a very low ebb.
The most disappointment aspect of the Villa defeat was that most of the players seemed to throw in the sponge long before the end. Time was when Everton with all their shortcomings at least had some fighting spirit. Whether it was just plain panic or something worse I can’t know, but certainly there wasn’t enough tenacity for courage on Saturday to send the spectators away with even the slight consolation that the Blues had gone down fighting. Farrell set a great example and Potts ran himself almost to a standstill, but most of the rest seemed as inform of purpose and tackling in determination as though it made no difference whether they won or lost.
I should hate to think that there was any spirit of indifference about the side, yet, willy-nilly that thought was forced to one’s mind ridiculous though it might seem.
Ifs and Buts
There are too many ifs and buts surrounding the two remaining games of Everton and the Wednesday to enter into discussion about them now, but the outlook at Goodison is grimmer today than ever it has been since the war. The iron of despair is beginning to eat into the souls of even the club’s most loyal supporters. If the side scrapes through as I sincerely hope will be the case there must be quick and decisive action to ensure that supporters do not have to suffer yet another and fifth season of relegation jitters. Should the worse come to the worst and the Second Division be our portion next winter, action will be even more necessary, for the present playing staff hardly looks good enough to maintain even a mid-way position in the lower sphere. It certainly holds out no promise of a quick return to the higher division.
EVERTON’S FESTIVAL GAME OFF
April 23, 1951. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s festive game with the Racing Club of Brussels, on May 12 has been cancelled, supporters who have already booked seats can have their money back on returning the tickets.
April 23, 1951. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The disappointment of the Goodison defeat was intensified by the fact that at halt-time everything seemed to favour an Everton success. The Villa were merely an ordinary side, showing maybe not all good ideas as Everton occasionally pulled out. The spirit of endeavour failed too quickly in Everton but not quite as quickly as the Goodison “roar” which fed away much too quickly and was supplanted by some harsh criticisms which did no one any good. The players fell the position acutely. Why when Smith hit the winning goal with more than 20 minutes to go, Farrell held his head with both hands an action which told its own story of the feeling of the players. The Blues tried hard enough (possibly to hard) but their trouble was that they too readily lost faith in themselves and their fortune. That affected what ability there was and the imitative was passed to a team which had been quite content to allow Everton to force the pace. The anguish of Peter Farrell the skipper, who believe me, really is upset by any Everton failure (think have been relieved by the shouts of one sportsman in the stand who as the team came off called “hard luck” Peter, it’s not your fault. How true, Farrell’s was an display in the fame of adversely. How true it was too of Ted Sagar, who had not the slightest chance of saving either Dixon or Smith’s goals, and who saved two other certainties. How true it was of Harry Potts who although maybe not quite as assertive in midfield was the main striking force, two late-on shots being well worth goals despite their distance. McIntosh and Grant worked zealously without getting very far except that “Mac” promptly cracked home his one real chance. Defensively (except in goal) Everton hit a new low, and even when they had the ball they failed to use it properly. I think Moore was upset by his opening weak touch clearance which brought the throw-in to make the Dixon goal, but neither he, Jones nor Rankin ever got to real grips with the task on hand. Everton had the better ideas and did more of the attacking but they fell away in ability, spirit and endeavour after an hour, and it became a veritable “doddle” to the Villa late on. I take heart that against Derby and the Wednesday, Everton are absolutely bound to do much better than this so there remains plenty of getting hope that the worst may yet be avoided.
EVERTON BOARD FACES OPPOSITION
April 25, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
While Everton are hanging by a hair-thick thread to Division 1 status, moves are being made, I hear to change the composition of the board of directors. Three directors, Mr. Norman Coffey, Mr. Fred Lake, and Mr. Dick Searle are due for re-election at the annual meeting late in the year and signs are that two at least. Mr. Coffey and Mr. Lake, will be opposed. The shareholders Association, of which not all shareholders are members is to meet tomorrow evening and it is possible that new nominations may be disclosed then. Meanwhile Everton must win at Derby to have a reasonable chance of escaping Division 2. The odds against their staying up are probably not so great as many imagine, although one has had the boldness to name it to me as 20-1. I confess that Everton fooled me in their mid-season spell. They were playing so well, against good teams (one recalls how easily they won at Anfield) the chances of their being connected however remotely with relegation seemed laughable. There was then no clear indications (as there had been when Cliff Britton took over three seasons ago) that the side were hooked for Division 2 unless new measures were adopted.
EVERTON MAKE SWEEPING CHANGES FOR VITAL GAME
April 27, 1951. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have made some sweeping changes for their vital match with Derby County at the Baseball ground tomorrow. Sagar retains his place in goal and the half back line is unaltered, but there will be an entirely new defence. Saunders who has not been in the first team since last September returns to partner Lindsay, the former Glasgow Rangers full back, who has made two appearances for Everton since his arrived last month. A new face is introduced in the forward line, where David Gibson makes his senior debut. He joined Everton in September 1948 as an amateur and turned professional in August. Has been playing well in the Central League side. He was a former Liverpool County F.A. Youth team player. Moore twisted his knee in the Central League match with Manchester City Reserves at Goodison Park last Wednesday. This ends a run of 33 matches in succession. Fielding while making progress is still unfit. Parker returns to inside left so that Potts can move over to partner Gibson. Catterick will lead the attack. Derby County; Brown; Mozlay, Revell; Mays, Oliver, Musson; Harrison, Stamps, Lee, Parry, McLaren. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Lindsay; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Gibson, Potts, Catterick, Parker, Eglington. Everton Reserves (v. Bolton Wanderers Reserves at Goodison Park);- Leyland; Clinton, Rankin; Donovan, Falder, Furphy; McNamara, Hold, McIntosh, Cummins, Buckle.
EVERTON TEAM CHANGES AND DEBUTANT
April 27, 1951. The Evening Express
Alterations Affect Six Positions
20-Year-Old Gibson on Wing
Everton make team changes involving six positions, and include a 20-year-old debutant at outside right, in their line-up for tomorrow’s critical battle against relegation with Derby County at the Baseball Ground, Derby. The newcomer to league football is David Gibson, local-born product of the Liverpool County F.A. Youth side –he was a member of the team which won the England Youth Competition in 1949- and who signed professional in August last year. Gibson, who is 5ft 11ins and weights 11st played his earlier football with St. Sylvester’s Evening Institution. Possessing a powerful shot and a good turn of speed, he has been showing up well in the Central League side recently. Ted Sagar came through a test on his injured leg successfully at Goodison this morning, while George Saunders and Jack Lindsay (who will be making his third senor appearance since he was signed from Glasgow Rangers) comprise a completely new back division. The half-back line remains undisturbed, but there are four changes, one positional in attack. Gibson takes over from Buckle, Potts switches to inside right in place of Hold. Catterick replaces McIntosh, and Parker reappears at inside left. Fielding is still on the injured list. Three clubs are concerned with the relegation struggle, for Sheffield Wednesday and Chelsea are in dire straits as Everton, and they also have away engagements tomorrow. The Wednesday, as a matter of fact, are at White Hart Lane facing Tottenham Hotspur, who still need to clinch their first ever championship while Chelsea will be at Fulham in a local “Derby.” Each side has two games to play and Chelsea are two points behind their rivals with goal-average going against Everton, who are level on points with Wednesday. I think Everton have a pretty good chance of escaping provided the players show more “fight” than in recent games.
Three Out of 18
Everton have gained only three out of the last 18 points as the result of draws with Charlton, the Wednesday and Wolves. They have gone nine successive matches without a victory and only two goals (one from a half-back and one from a forward). This is one of Everton’s worst periods in history, but the worst may be over and tomorrow and the following Saturday we hope to see the old spirit of the Blues revived to bring about the escape. The County are a strong, penetrative force who will be seeking to complete the “double” over Everton. The Blues scored a sensational cup triumph at the ground last season and will be trying for their fifth away victory of the season. Whatever happens tomorrow the final verdict will not be known until May 5. Derby County make two changes from the team which drew 2-2 with Portsmouth. McLaren, who has been on the injured list with a pulled leg muscle returns to outside left in place of Revell, who is switched to left-back in the exclusion of Parr. Teams; Derby County; Brown; Mozlay, Revell; Mays, Oliver, Musson; Harrison, Stamps, Lee, Parry, McLaren. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Lindsay; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Gibson, Potts, Catterick, Parker, Eglington. Everton Reserves (v. Bolton Wanderers Reserves at Goodison Park);- Leyland; Clinton, Rankin; Donovan, Falder, Furphy; McNamara, Hold, McIntosh, Cummins, Buckle.
April 27, 1951. The Liverpool Echo
The extraordinary meeting of the Everton F.C Shareholders Association last night was carried through with the utmost calm. The general feeling was one of sympathy for the club in its present state. The meeting unanimously agreed that the name of the following three members should go forward as nominees for the vacancies on the Everton board;- Mr. T.C. Nuttall, general produce merchant; Mr. V. J. Winfield, secretary manager of the Seamen’s Home and Mr. Jack Taylor, timber importer. In the event of the Everton board being prepared to consider only one nomination the meeting decided by ballot that Mr. Nuttall should be the nominee. Mr. Jack Taylor (chairman) aid a letter had been sent to Mr. W.R. Williams (chairman of the Everton Board) asking if the board would consider filling any vacancy from a shown list of candidates submitted by the association. In his reply Mr. Williams said the board welcomed the suggestion and would be pleased to receive a short list of three nominees as soon as possible. When the chairman invited discussion and suggested that the three nominees might express their news, Mr. Nuttall said he thought the less said the better would be the best policy in the interest of the club. The club in undoubtedly passing through a crisis he commented and I feel it would it become us at shareholders and as members of this association to add anything to the crisis, I think we ought to convey to the club and to the players in particular our very best wishes for the two remaining matches. Recrimation of any sort at this time will not help. You will have your opportunity of saying anything in the way of criticism at the annual meeting. Mr. Winfield said that what they had fought for in the past they were still fighting for today and he thought they were getting nearer to this point when they would have the recognition they had been seeking. Mr. Jack Taylor said they were a one for the good of Everton Football Club and they wanted to build up harmony in the club.
THE STAKES WERE HIGH AND EVERTON PLAYED THEIR CARDS WELL
April 28, 1951. The Liverpool Football Echo
Derby County 0, Everton 1
Everton lived to fight another day. They broke a 20 years record by winning at Derby but more important they only need a point at Sheffield next week to remain in the First Division. They thoroughly deserved their victory at the Baseball ground in fact, the County were lucky to get off with such a narrow defeat. Derby County; Brown, goal; Morley and Revell, backs; May, Oliver and Musson, half-backs; Harrison, Stamp, Lee, Parry and Mclean, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Lindsay, backs; Grant, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Gibson, Potts, Catterick, Parker, and Eglington, forwards. Referee. Mr. H. Jackson (Leeds). Everton were today embroiled in a vital relegation battle with Derby County at the Baseball Ground, which has yielded the Merseysiders little success during the last twenty off years. Not since 1927 and 28 have Everton won here in a League game, although they won here in a cup tier last year. In the hope of bringing greater striking power and more determination into the side, many alterations were made in the team and a new face introduced into the forward line, David Gibson, the former Liverpool youth team forward who was been showing good form in the Central League side. He is ideally built for the job in age, height and weight, but it is a testy game for a debutant. The ground looked more like New Brighton beach with its heavy covering of sand, and only in the corners was any grass visible. It was a nice day with a zip in the air but with the going on the firm side accurate centres would be problematical.
The crowd had increased to 2,000 by the start and they saw Parker run through and give Brown a simple pick-up. This was offset when Derby bounder down and Lee, by lobbing the ball over Jones head, gave Parry a glorious opportunity. The inside left nodded the ball down to his feet and as Sagar moved over to cover, Parry flipped the ball over the bar. It was a close call. The ball was full of life, but Catterick managed to get it across to Gibson who, however was too strong in his header which was captured by a Derby defender as Potts followed up. Musson was sound in defensive tactics when he headed back to Oliver and just as sure in attack when he lobbed the ball up to McLaren whose centre was nodded away for a corner. A free kick against Everton saw Stamps shot a blocked by a strong Everton defensive line and when the Derby left wing looked dangerous, Saunders stepped in to make a successive tackle. Saunders later but a clearance right into the hand of Brown. Catterick only half hit his shot when he seemed well placed and Oliver was able to take it and clear. Gibson although lucky to get a second chance did well with it and linked up with Potts. Lee made a hook shot which finished in the side netting. Considering the flighty ball the players were using it well and there were some attractive movements, even if the goal incidents were few. This was due to a measure to the stout work of the respective defenders. The only real effort at goal had been Parry’s flip-over. Potts had ago, but his shot finished well off the mark. A quick throw in by Catterick was the starting point of an Everton action which culminated in Eglington having a shot blocked but he regained possession and Potts tried a snap volley which soared over the bar –in good effort. Derby took a corner which produced some hot work in front of Sagar until the goalkeeper finally disposed of the danger. McLaren was limping around as he had a pulled muscle. Grant was in the thick of the fray, and once again he cleared when there was obvious danger from a Stamp short pass intended for Lee. Sagar had to push away a fine centre from Harrison as he was challenged. This was one of the best movements of the match so far. Another came on top of this when Farrell pushed through a perfect pass to Catterick who swept the ball out to Gibson, whose centre dropped behind the crossbar. Jones was keeping a tight hold on Lee; in fact the defences of both sides had been master of the opposition attacks. Sagar had to be careful when Harrison dropped one right under his cross-bar. Stamps was close at hand, but Sagar edged the ball over his bar and caught the corner kick. Lee almost dispossessed him. Everton were given a foul when Stamp bowled over Farrell. Derby had an escape when Potts crossed the ball from the right and Catterick brought Brown into action. That was an unlucky moment for Everton. They might have taken the lead in the next minute when Catterick headed into the goalmouth and Gibson shot outside from close in. The youngster put his hands to his head in despair but his colleague went across to pat him on the back as a token of encouragement. It was rank bad luck for a boy having his first game with his senior colleagues. Half-time; Derby County nil, Everton nil.
Interval Pep Talk
Gibson must have had further encouragement during the interval for he immediately came along with a top-class centre which Brown had to treat with the utmost care. Brown was in action half a minute later when he saved a header by Eglington, if anything, Everton had slightly the better of matters they certainly had this half. Derby were being a little too fiddling near goal. They worked an opening and then wanted to repeat it missing the substance for the shadow. Time and again they made one pass too many. Stamps made a bad header which Sagar caught but for one with such a reputation for a shot, he was slow in making up his mind. Derby were now attacking without promising any real danger, for the Everton defence stood on guard with every confidence. Derby won a corner which was caught and cleared by Sagar but the County still kept the pressure. Sagar was feeling the strain of his pulled muscle for he entrusted a goal-kick to Lindsay. Two minutes after hour goalkeeper Brown made a fatal error. He was falling back after catching an Eglington centre and being afraid of carrying the ball with him he threw it away. Potts raced in and hooked the ball behind him for one of the most important goals Everton have scored this season. I think Everton deserved the lead for they had given Brown more to do than Derby had given Sagar and I don’t there lucky escape when Revell kicked off the line. Sagar made two good catches despite his limp. Everton encouraged by their success kept on the attack. Lee went on to the wing and Harrison moved to centre forward but it was Everton who were attacking and Brown was lucky to get away with it when he fumbled a shot by Potts. Had he not been covered he would have fallen again. The ball came out but it was such a surprise that it eluded two Everton men who had come up for action. Parker and Catterick were injured and had to receive treatment and when Stamps shot obliquely Sagar saved at the second attempt. The best shot of the day was that of Catterick and it took Brown all his goalkeeping power to turn it out. The Everton defence was defending stoutly. Twice Gibson got himself offside but there was definitely more spirit about the newly formed Everton side. The new defence had not yielded an inch to Derby and Sagar cut out a corner from the left to hold up matters. Parker sent Gibson off, and the youngster went down like a flash but Brown rushed out to clear. He almost conceded a corner in doing so, for he travelled well out of his penalty area. He got out of his difficulty by kicking into touch. Final; Derby County nil, Everton nil.
POTTS’ GOAL GIVES EVERTON VICTORY
April 28, 1951. The Evening Express
Blues’ Battle Against Derby For Vital Points
Following a humdrum first half, Everton made a more spirited attack on resuming in their game with Derby County today and Potts scored at the 62 minute. Potts side footed ball into the net after Brown had dropped it. Everton defence was magnificent, Saunders and Lindsay were brilliant full backs and Jones kept a strict hold on Lee. Potts goal gave Everton two vital points, Everton winning 1-0.
Everton who had been much more the forceful side immediately prior to the interval, went straight to the attack again and Gibson lofted a perfect ball into the middle. Brown and Catterick went up to it simultaneously but the Derby keeper won the day. It was Brown who defied Everton again soon afterwards for he went down low to take a canny Eglington header, which was right on the target to his chest. Again Everton went to work with a will, but Gibson was slow to make use of Potts diagonal pass. Even so, Brown had to take a short centre to his body, close to the upright. It was good to see Everton now moving quickly to the ball. A brief period of County pressure came to nothing, and even when Lee for once got the better of Jones, be made poor use of this ball. Sagar dealt easily with a Stamps back-header and there was little fire about the Derby attack. A lob by Stamps into the goalmouth worried Sagar into conceding a corner but he dealt with McLaren in swinger, comfortably in a game which had lapsed back to its earlier mediocrity although Derby were definitely in command at this juncture. Gradually Everton swung into action again and successes came their way in the 62nd minute a short lob underneath the bar saw Potts challenge Brown for possession. Brown hustled as he was unable to force the ball away and Potts calmly side footed it into the net from two yards. Potts was mobbed by his colleagues and Everton tried hard to supplement their advantage in the next few minutes. They might have done so, when Catterick went on the goal path but Musson came across with a clearance. Then it was Derby’s turn to turn on the heat, for a spell but a grand Everton defence stood firm. Parker had to call for attention when he took the full weight of Stamps’ boot – unintentional of course – but he soon recovered, as also did Catterick after falling heavily when tackled by Oliver. Over-anxiety and the fact that the ball did not run any way kindly caused Gibson and Parker in turn to miss a simple chance of making it two, when Potts swept the ball into the goal area from far out on the right. After Gibson had failed to connect Parker’s short-range drive, it was charged down by Brown. A rather lucky save. A Catterick-Eglington duet almost produced further reward, for Catterick got the better of Oliver and then hit a vicious right foot drive which Brown did well to turn around at full stretch. Sagar was limping markedly at this point and was not taking the goal-kick. Final; Derby C. 0, Everton 1.
EVERTON RES V BOLTON RES
APRIL 28, 1951. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Res;- Leyland, goal; Clinton and Rankin, backs; Donovan, Falder, and Furphy, half-backs; McNamara, Hold, McIntosh, Cummins and Buckle, forwards. Bolton Wanderers Res; Elvy, goal; Banks (R) and Banks (T), backs; Bell, Gillies and Bingley, half-backs; Hughes, Sheridan, Higham, Neill and Smith, forwards. Referee. Mr. H. Freeman (Preston). Everton were strongly represented at Goodison Park, today with McIntosh leading their attack. Bolton were much the better side in the initial stages with Leyland saving capital shots from Sheridan and Higham. Everton took the lead, Buckle scoring with a shot that had Elvy well beaten. Everton now held a monopoly of the day with McIntosh and Buckle having extremely hard lines in not increasing the lead. Half-time; Everton Reserves 1, Bolton Wanderers Reserves nil. Everton took up the offensive the Bolton goalkeeper shinning with two fine saves from McIntosh and McNamara. The visitors were certainly outplayed, and when they did attack Falder was found quite capable of dealing with the situation. McIntosh increased the home lead. Final; Everton Reserves 3, Bolton Wanderers Reserves nil.
ROCK BOTTOM EVERTON SEEK POWER TO RISE TO SAFETY
April 28, 1951. The Liverpool Football Echo
No one could be more sorry than I that Everton are in such dire straits but the writing has been on the wall for some considerable time, I am no pessimist but prefer to rely on hard facts rather than wishful thinking. I have followed the fortunes of the Everton club for many years now. I have participated in their successes but now seem destined to partake of their better sweets. While others have been lauding their ability I have been closely studying their form and even when they were enjoying their highly successful run round about Christmas I could still pin-point obvious weaknesses. I am not talking after the race, for I think you will agree that my match comments have hinted that danger lay ahead. I am the first to admit that some of Everton’s football has been of first-water class and that they lost matches they should have won, but “ifs and buts” in football, as in any other sport, are of no account when the final reckoning has to be made. What is the good of clever midfield play if it is not rounded off by goals –the very essence of football? Preston went down when playing good football. Everton themselves took the drop in 1929-30 with a good team –s good in fact that they came back with a bound to win the championship, the First Division title and lift the F.A Cup in three successive seasons. There is a great deal of luck in football but luck will not carry you through all the time. You have got to help yourself for no one is going to lend a helping hand in these days of stern competition. You cannot tell the spectator that you cannot get players when other clubs are making signings. That just does not hold water. Everton supporters have been a very patent crowd hoping the title would turn and at Christmas time it certainly looked as though all their worries and troubles were over. But they have returned a hundred fold. Other clubs are suffering an Ike fate. Take Wolves, Chelsea, Charlton and others. They are finding the road full of bumps and holes. That is still poor consolation.
When Manager Cliff Britton took over the outlook was grim. He saved the situation by stiffening up a really slack defence. But the promised improvement did not materialize for Everton have been hovering round the bottom of the table even since just scraping through by the skin of their teeth. Now they have reached rock bottom, and are involved in a death in safety struggle. C can they pull out the points which will be necessary today at Derby and in next week’s vital tussle at Hillsborough. True they have had their ill-luck in the matter of injuries. It was a heavy blow when Wainwright had his leg broken even though he was not playing well at the time. He was always good for a goal whereas his front line colleagues were innocuous near goal. Lello’s injury was another hard knock while injuries to such as Fielding and Buckle did not help matters. What has been done to strengthen weak positions? Manager Cliff Britton has signed McIntosh, worth his weight in gold that first season. Ted Buckle and Harry Potts. The former Burnley by was a grand stroke of business and he has fully justified the £20,000 which changed hands. No player could have striven harder to bring some “pep” into the Everton attack than Potts who plays until he drops. So much for the forwards. Now what about those immediately behind them. The half back line is the key line in any team. My idea of a successful midfield line is two constructive wing halves with the modern “stopper” in the middle. Both Grant and Farrell are two great workers, tireless to a degree, but no super passers of the ball.
Leaves a Gap
Farrell takes a lot out of himself to carrying the ball through instead of making the ball do the work and incidentally, leaving a gap should his final pass go wrong. Yet, if all the team were endowed with the Farrell spirit I don’t think Everton would be where they are. Eric Moore looked an England “cap” last season but has lost his form, and Rankin is still in the learning stages. I have no comment to make about Ted Sagar –a great goalkeeper and a great clubman. The chief business of the Everton F.C Shareholders Association meeting on Thursday night was the selection of three nominees for any vacancies on the Everton Board. Wisely the meeting refrained from criticism of the club’s position for no good purpose would have been served at this vital stage. There was general sympathy with the club and players in this crisis, and the hope was expressed that they would pull out of their perilous position. Mr. Nuttall one of the three who had been nominated to the Everton Board and “Recriminations of any sort at this time will not help. The three association members who will go forward as nominees are Mr. T.C. Nuttall, Mr. W.J. Winfield and Mr. J. Taylor.
NOW FOR ANOTHER FINAL
April 30, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
Derby County 0, Everton 1
The relegation battle is on in full blast. It concerns Everton and Sheffield Wednesday and goal average will settle it in Wednesday’s favour unless Everton can force a draw next Saturday. This should not be beyond them if they show the spirit and determination that brought success at Derby. The Hillsborough game will be more tense than any cup final. The responsibility which rests upon the heads of all players is tremendous. A slip here or a miss there may prove tragic and in games of the character it is often a slip which means success and failure. The Derby game was poor so far as football was concerned. For Everton it was a case of keeping a clean sheet for Derby just another game with nothing at stake. The much-changed Everton team did a fine job of work. Honesty of purpose was their strong point. We have seen them give up the ghost on occasions, but not this time. They will not go down for the want of trying and should have benefitted from their success here in a game that could easily have produced a more convincing verdict. Brown had many more shots to deal with than. Sagar and he was fortunate when he was well beaten by an Eglington shot which was trying straight for the net until Revell kicked off the line. Everton claimed the ball had been over a linesman said so too, but the referee ruled otherwise. Young Gibson nearly provided the best story of the match this afterwards. He took up fine position for Catterick’s pass but to his anxiety lashed the ball a foot outside. He soon got over this failure and in the second half was playing better than ever. Everton football, while not reaching the heights was better than that of Derby County, who have gone back a lot since I last saw them, but in fairness to Derby I must explain that they were playing with four forwards for 80 minutes through McLaren pulling a muscle.
The Everton defence thus had its task made easier, but it was the spirit that the team put into their work that was most pleasing. They never stopped trying and ultimately it produced the desired effect –a goal two minutes after the hour. A goal that may be worth its weight in gold in the final reckoning. Brown was off balance when he caught an Eglington shot and realizing the danger he threw the ball out a few yards. Revel could not get to it, but Potts did and hooked the ball over Brown’s head. Brown retrieved himself later with two good save from Eglington and Catterick but the damage had been done Everton were in the lead and never looked like losing it, for although Sagar was limping in goal he was well able to save anything while Derby delivered. Nevertheless the final whistle was never more welcome and all that was required was the Wednesday result.
EVERTON MUST DRAW
April 30, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
With only a week to go before League soccer ends and the stage is cleared for the big Festival fortnight of football most of the honours and penalties have been settled. The two big prizes of the year fell on Saturday to Newcastle (F.A Cup) and Tottenham, who ensured their first League championship with a 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday. Everton visit Sheffield, and if the Wednesday win and Chelsea secure their fourth successive victory, by beating Bolton at Stamford Bridge all three sides will finish level with 32 points. In all probability goal average would then mean Chelsea escaping relegation. Everton must get a point at Hillsbrough to escape.
April 30, 1951. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves 3, Bolton Wanderers Reserves 0
Everton wound up their home fixtures with a win over the Wanderers. Buckle and McNamara were the best forwards and Elvy in the Bolton goal have a good display. Everton scorers were Buckle. McIntosh and Cummins.
April 30, 1951. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton must have had plenty of confidence, too, at Derby. Without it they could not have scored such a grand success about which Radar comments as follows. How the former Burnley player, Potts fought to gain that goal. He was for me the man of the hour. He covered an astonishing amount of ground, was always probing his way through and trying to coax his line into smooth action, and yet still was able to pop up among his defensive colleagues when danger threatened. Yes Potts was truly magnificent and worth every penny, and more, of the £20,000 Everton paid for him. “Yet despite Potts, one could not honestly pay that the “new look.” Everton attack really “clicked.” Catterick harassed Oliver constantly and only a super save by Brown prevented him from supplementing the Potts goal, while Eglington was unlucky on two occasions, once in each half, not to score. The nonchalant Parker need his body swerve cleverly without revealing undue penetrative power and the debutant Gibson showed that he is made of the right stuff by his refusal to be put off the stroke by that near interval miss. “Gibson has progressive ideas and knows how to cross a ball and I certainly think he is star material in the making. What are especially encouraging however was the definite evidence of a greater solidity in defence. From the start Saunders had the measure of Mclaren who eventually hurt his leg, and Lindsay impressed us tremendously. “Cool methodical and tricking as excellent length, he looked the complete defender, and in goal Sagar was as comfortable as ever with what work he was called on to do. All three half-backs played their part nobly; Jones was always the master of Jack Lee. Farrell played his usual tireless captain’s role and the Grant bulldog spirit has never been more in evidence. “Let there be no mistake about it, this Everton was full value for both points, and with a little look, would have won more convincingly.
ONE POINT FOR SAFETY
April 30, 1951. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Must Draw Against Wednesday To Retain Senior Status
Familiarity we are told breeds contempt, but there will be nothing contemptuous about the attitude of Everton’s followers to their club’s one remaining game despite their familiarly with weeks of anxiety. They realize it is going to be the toughest assignment any Everton team has had for years. So too, do the Goodison players though after the win at Derby there I a feeling in the camp that the luck has turned just in time. Saturday results clarified the position to Everton’s advantage, despite Chelsea’s victory. There is no need for a dreary dissertation on all the various probabilities and possibilities. Everything boils down to the stark fact that Everton must get at least one point against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. To preserve their senior status. A victory would be nice but a draw will suffice. Past remarks in this column about Everton’s adverse goal average are borne out by present facts. A few more goals for and a few less against and the Blues today would be safe, with the points already in hand. Instead we now have to wait with what patience we can muster for another six days to alternate hope and fear. Saturday’s game is the most important Everton have faced for a generation. To repeat what was stated here last Friday regarding the Derby fixture. Everton can give joy at Sheffield if there is the right approach the will to win and a determination to fight to the last gasp and shoot like demons. Without these attributes all else is dross in the present state of affairs. “Our players will be making a great effort and will give everything they have said Manager Cliff Britton when I spoke with him last evening. So too, will Sheffield Wednesday who have just as much a stake. It will be a terrific battle. “Battle may be as appropriate word on neither side can afford to stand too much on ceremony. Everton will go to Buxton on Thursday. At the moment the only player under treatment is Ted Sagar. So at Derby suffered a recurrence of the thigh muscle strain which was bothered him for the past fortnight. It returned when he tried to add a few extra yards to his kicks. There is no reason however to anticipate that he will not be completely fit again before the week-end.
An election for places on the Everton board appears to be certain. A nomination has been already lodged at the club by the Shareholders Association on behalf of Mr. T.C Nuttall one of them vice presidents and a life-long Everton fan, who some years ago pulled than any association nomination, sever done. He should proved a very strong candidate. There may be other nominations from another source before the list cipses tomorrow. The retiring directors are Messrs R.E. Searle, F. Lake and N. Coffey. The shareholders Association today finds itself in a stronger position than for many years and it would appear that their support will go a long way towards swaying election in favour of whichever candidates they decide to support. At the moment no decision has been made on this point.
Blues New Spirit
Fighting spirit will be as big an asset to Everton as good football against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday writes Stork, and I am anticipating seeing it from this newly constitution. Everton side which was good enough to lay a 20 years “bogey” at the Baseball ground on Saturday. The best story of the game would have been a Gibson goal. How near he came to providing me with it. A foot the other way and he would have written his name among those who had scored in their debut match. He should have scored –he knew he should have scored, for he immediately put his hands to his head in despair. What an experience for a young lad playing in the first team for the first time in a game of great importance I was glad to see his colleagues run across to him to sympathies and encourage him. Fortunately that miss did not matter for Potts came along with a goal at the 62 minute and all was well. Gibson instead of losing his nerve became better and better and look like solving a very difficult problem for Manager Britton.
Not A Great Game
It was not a great game of football but from Merseyside’s point of view it had all the merits of an Everton victory for Derby were lucky when an Eglington shot was streaking into the Derby net when Revell popped up from nowhere to kick the ball out. The linesman thought the ball had crossed the line so did Everton but the most important person the referee did not think so. Then, there was Brown’s master save from Catterick and his save near the foot of the post from Eglington. Sagar had nothing of the sort to save for the Derby shots were mostly of the long distance type, except one from Parry early on, which rose over the bar. The victory was important but what was just as important was the spirit of the side. Everton in some of their recent games have lost heart too easily and handed over the initiative to the opposition. They did not and anything but a beating to Derby County, who were challenging and challenged most successfully most times.