Everton Independent Research Data

 

FORMER IRISH INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL DEAD
Derry Journal - Friday 03 July 1931
We regret to announce today the death, which took place in New York of Mr. Chas, O'Hagan, a native of Buncrana.  he was well-known in Association football honours.  The older school of footballers will recall that he began his career with Derry Celtic.  He was subsequently across Channel and played for Everton, Aberdeen and Greennock Morton.  In his day Charlie O'Hagan was a popular figure, and the news of his death will be received with feelings of sincere regret by a very wide circle.  He was a brother of the late Mr. Philip O'Hagan, solicitor, and United States Consul.  

FOLKESTONE F.C. SIGNS JACK COCK ENGLAND AND MILLWALL CENTRE
Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate & Cheriton Herald - Saturday 01 August 1931
Folkestone Football Club announced tills week that it had obtained the signature of Jack Cock, the England and Millwall centre, who for the past three seasons he played for the London club and topped the list of goal-scorers each season. This signature, writes the Man in the Stand, can be regarded as the most important the Folkestone Club has secured since its revival after the war. Cock has been given a free transfer by the Millwall Club, but, to quote a London sporting writer, he is still a live force. In 1920 he played for England against Ireland, Scotland and Wales. At the time he was with the Huddersfield Club. He was transferred during the same season to Chelsea, and when he severed his connection with the Pensioners he went to Everton and then to Plymouth Argyle before joining Millwall.
OTHER CLUB'S BID
There was considerable competition for Cock's signature, three other clubs being desirious of obtaining his services.  It will be an enormous advantage for the team to take the field at the very beginning of he season with a leader  whose worth is recognized.  From a “gate” point of view too, the inclusion of Cock in the side should prove very satisfactory. 

David Murray
Hull Daily Mail -Wednesday 5 August 1931
Rochdale A.F.C. have signed David Murray, centre forward, last season with Swindon, and previously with Bristol City and Everton. He was a member of the South African team that toured England

EVERTON TRIAL GAMES
August 10 th 1931. Evening Express.
Blues giant Half-Backs
By the Pilot
Everton will hold their first practice trial games this week-end, and supporters, therefore , have an early opportunity of running the rule over the new captures. The Everton men will have a try out at Goodison Park on Saturday, and Liverpool will hold a practice match at Anfield on Monday evening. As usual the clubs have come to the arrangement whereby each takes a Saturday date, and each a midweek date. It is a splendid idea, for it enables all supporters to see the men and gives additional aid to charities. The teams for the trial will be selected at the weekly meetings of the clubs directors tomorrow evening, it is probable that the anticipated first team attackers will be opposed by the expected first team defences. Visitors to Goodison Park on Saturday will no doubt be rather astonished at the physique of the Everton half-backs. They are among the tallest and heaviest of any intermediates in the first division. It is a question, whether Everton have ever had the services of such giant halves, here are measurement of some of them.

Griffiths 6ft 1in, 11 st 10lbs
Thomson 6ft 0ins 12st 8lbs
Clark 5ft 11 and half inches, 12st 7lbs
Gee 5ft 11ins 12st
With the exception of Archer, the new player from Walsall, who will be the “midget” of the party though he is over 5ft 7 and half inches, all the remainder are boarding on 5ft 10ins. Preparation in both the Liverpool and Everton camps proceeds smoothly. Trainers Wilson and Cooke are satifield with the progress made by their charges. There have been no further casualties in either camp, and except for Riley and Aitkens of the Reds, and Coggins, of Everton, the clubs will have full teams from which to select their trial teams.

EVERTON FIRST TRIAL MATCH
August 12 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
By John Peel.
Everton's players make their bow, this time as representatives of the First division club again, when they hold their first public trial on Saturday. The liveliest interest is centred in their match, as the supporters of the club are anxious to see how the players shape after their long holiday. Special interest will be centred in the new players –Bocking, the former Stockport back, who promises to developed into a high class defender, and Grififths the player who did so well for Port Vale when the Staffordshire team defeated the champions at Goodison park last season. Griffiths is a lively wing forward who is likely to do well at Everton, while Clarke is a half-back who comes with a good reputation from Luton town. With Coggins not yet fully recovered from his operation, Sagar keeps goal for the League side, but a goalkeeper for the Reserves eleven is still to be chosen. The kick-off is at 3-15, and the teams are; - Blues; - Sagar; Bocking, Cresswell; McClure, Gee, Thomson; Critchley, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein. Whites; - A.N. Other; Common, Lowe; Clark, Griffiths, McPherson; Grififths, Martin, White, Webster, Rigby.

DIXIE DEAN TO CAPTAIN EVERTON
August 12 th 1931. Evening Express
Thomson as his deputy
Williams to undergo operation
By the Pilot.
Everton have appointed Dixie Dean as captain for next season and will have as his deputy Jock Thomson. It will be the first time Dean has been office skipper. Three seasons ago he led the Blues on occasions. Williams last season's captain is going to hospital today for an operation on his ankle. Williams suffered a severe ankle injury against Ireland international match last April and though there was improvement in the summer, he has complained of soreness on his leg. Saturday's trial.

Everton's new players, Clark, Phil Griffiths, will be in view in the game on Saturday, there will play for the Whites against Blues.

EVERTON SIGNED GEORGE HOLDCROFT
August 14 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Everton new goalkeeper.
Everton have engaged George Holdcroft, a goalkeeper from Darlington, owing to the illness of William Coggins, Everton were handicapped in the goalkeeping department, and the signing of Holdcroft will enable the club to place two strong sides in the field for the trial match tomorrow. Holdcroft who was born at Burslem, joined Darlington three seasons ago, having been given a free transfer by Port Vale in 1928-29. He made 29 appearances in the Darlington senior side, and 41 the following season. Last season he missed only four games a good goalkeeper, Holdcroft was watched by Everton's representatives on two or three occasions last season. Aston Villa made a bid to get his services about seven or eight months ago, but were not prepared to pay the fee that Darlington where them asking.

FIRST FOOTBALL TRIAL GAMES
August 15 th 1931. Evening Express.
Holdcroft Impresses at Goodison
Martin First to Find the Net.
The Wiles of Cunliffe
By the Pilot
Three of Everton's new players-Clark, Holdcroft, and Phil Griffiths –appeared in the first practice match of the season at Goodison Park. Teams; Blues; - Sagar, goal; Bocking and Cresswell, backs; McClure Gee, Thomson, half-backs; Critchley, Dunn, Dean (captain), Johnson, and Stein, forwards. Whites; - Holdcroft, goal; Common and Lowe, backs; Clark, Griffiths (P), and McPherson, half-backs; Griffiths (P), Cunliffe, Martin, Webster, and Rigby, forwards. Referee Mr. C. Taylor. Severe old Everton players were present at this re-union, I noticed Tommy Robson, who last season migrated to Sheffield Wednesday. The glorious stretch of new turf came in for much approbation; in fact, many wonderful whether this was Goodison Park! Some really interesting play developed, with the Blues rather the more intricate on a ground which the Old Trafford officials must have wished was their own. We saw the Johnson, Stein, Thomson trio operating with the customary smoothness, and Dunn was his enterprising self.

Cunliffe's Cleverness.
The Whites were not idle, and Cunliffe twice displaced undoubted ingenuity in his partnership with Griffiths (T). It was mainly to Cunliffe that the Whites took the lead in seven minutes through Martin. Cunliffe's clever and deceptive pass gave Griffiths (T) the opportunity to feed an unmarked Martin, who had no difficulty in beating Sagar. Clark was a big success in the engineering of several well-advanced moves, and Bocking was another to elicit applause for good defensive work. The Blues drew level in 14 minutes, Dunn creeping towards goal from Dean's header and which feinting for a centre quickly placed the ball between Holdcroft's leg into the net. The crowd liked Holdcroft. He cut out a header from Critchley in masterly fashion, and when the same player got through following Dean's manceuvres. Critchley was again frustrated on the edge of the penalty area by the enterprising man from Darlington. Cunliffe was showing up as one of the outstanding men of the trial, but it was left to Martin to restore the Whites' lead in 29 minutes. He gave the dummy before netting with a shot, which gave Sagar no chance. I learn that Hunter Hart is next season in full charge of the Central League team. The Everton directors could not have made better choice. Martin had to leave the field with a leg injury. Cunliffe had been the outstanding man in the first half, but all the new comers had done-well. Griffiths made Cunliffe an exceedingly useful partner, and I liked the constructive work of Clark. Bocking confirmed the favourable impression he created at Preston. Half-time Blues 1, Whites 2.

Only Half time reported.

EX-EVERTON PLAYER IN COURT
August 15 th 1931. Evening Express.
John O'Donnell, aged 28, Dean-Street, Blackpool, professional footballer, formerly of Everton F.C., was remanded on bail at the Liverpool Police Court today, accused of being in charge of a motor-car while under the influence of drink, and of driving dangerously. Inspector F. Borrows, prosecuting, said that at 8.40 last evening O'Donnell was driving a motor-car, which collided with the rear of a motor-lorry in Walton-road. O'Donnell was noticed to be driving in a zig-zag manner, and when a policeman approached he noticed a strong smell of drink. When told he would be arrested, O'Donnell, it is stated, said; “You can do as you like. I will go with you.” At the bridewell a doctor certified him to be under the influence of drink. When formerly charged, he said, “No, I don't think so.”

BLUES WEALTH OF PLAYERS.
August 17 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury.
Reserves make first team work.
By “Bee.”
Everton took £442 for charity on Saturday at their first trial game, a game revealing much reserve team talent for Hunter Hart, the new man in charge, to work on. The Reserve team at one point had a lead of 4-1, and Goodison Park habitues (to the number of 13,000) set up a loud and long call to further effort on the part of the young leaders. It was than that Dean, the new captain, who had done much passing and got no result for his labours, did two things characteristic of the man. He made a telling first-time drive with the left foot, and later just as neatly and quickly took another goal, through a truly smashing shot. Dunn scored on time, so that the game was drawn 5-5.

The scoring.
It is a result condemns and does not condone, yet it is a result that makes goalmaking an assured factor for first and second teams. Which is all to the good of the spectators of the modern age, who never seen to tire of bug scores. The scorers were; Martin (2), Dean (2), Dunn (2), Phil Griffiths (2), Johnson and Cunliffe. The special feature of the day was the display of Phil Griffiths, the enlivening and lively outside right of the Reserve side. He careered through at will, ably served by a lanky young lad from Adlington, who scored the neatest goal of the day with a glide-header. Griffiths is stout in his challenge and sure in his shot. Martin retired through thigh injury. Fryer taking a place in the attack, and Webster becoming centre forward. Clark of Luton, impressed by his dour yet subtle work at half-back, and Rigby had a field day at outside left, being well served by McPherson, to whom these games produce just the right atmosphere and pace.

Holdcroft Impresses.
Holdencroft, signed forty-eight hours before, a tall Darlington youth, showed special faculty for getting to the high centres and cross shots. He was beaten early on by a ball that went between his legs. Afterwards he was without fault and his daring saves led him to the main applause of the afternoon. Holdcroft, however, did not take all the goalkeeping prizes; Sagar began with an error, paid nought for his fault, and wound up with honour, glory and a slight injury –his style of play suggests injury. Of the first team members there is little to be said except that the half-back line was not so satisfying as it might have been. Thomson was best. I though Dunn hit the ball harder than usual and that Johnson developed the upward pass to a nicety. At back Cresswell revealed his sense of touch and construction, and Bocking, playing a similar type of game, revealed a classy style without pace in its rumour; indeed it looked as if Everton's first team defence will consist of “two of a kind.” Result Blues 5, Whites 5

Blues; - Sagar, goal; Bocking and Cresswell backs; McClure, Gee, and Thomson, half-backs; Critchley, Dunn, Dean (captain), Johnson, and Stein, forwards. Whites; - Holdcroft, goal; Common and Lowe, backs; Clark, Griffiths, and McPherson, half-backs; Griffiths, Cunliffe, Martin, Webster and Rigby, forwards.

CUNLIFFE A STAR IN THE MAKING
August 17 th 1931. Evening Express.
And he did not cost Everton a penny!
Trail match successes
By the Pilot.
Everton's first practice game revealed a star in the making. And the player did not cost them a penny! The player was Cunliffe, the young outside right from Adlington. He was the success of the trial. He possesses a natural body swerve; “the dummy” like am old timer. His passes are well timed, and rarely have I seen a youngster so eager to seize the opportunity for a quick glide down the middle to the benefit of the centre-forward. I liked Cunliffe because he did not try good football in an effort to give us a show. He will go far, he remainders me of Buchan-liked forward. His display goes to show what proper skill means to a footballer. Cunliffe was a part-time professional at Everton last season. He continues at his work in the North-during the week, and journeyed each week-end for his game with means-mostly in the “A” team. He had no real training, but still as the promise, which prompted the directors to make him a full time professional this season. A week in strict training has performed wonders with this tall lean youngster.

High Standard.
The general standard of play in the match in which ten goals were scored, was high, even though several of the players were not going all out. The new players did well while keeping something up their sleeves. Holdcroft an agile goalkeeper, who realises essential it, is to keep the body behind the ball when fielding. His general play is good.

EVERTON'S SECOND TRIAL.
August 19 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
By John Peel
For their second and final trial game at Goodison Park, this evening (kick-off 6-45), Everton have selected the following teams; Blues; Sagar; Bocking, Cresswell; Clark, Gee, Thomson; Griffiths (P), Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein. Whites; Holdcroft; Common Parker; Britton, Griffiths (T), Archer; Critchley, Cunliffe, Webster, Fryer, Rigby. P. Griffiths and Clarke were in the White's side in Saturday's game, Archer, the new half-back from Walsall will make his first appearance in to-nights trial.

ARCHER'S DEBUT AT GOODISON PARK
August 19 th 1931. Evening Express.
Final trial tonight.
By the Pilot
Everton have made several interesting changes for their final trial game at Goodison Park tonight. Chief among which is that inclusion of Archer, the new half-back from Walsall at left half-back for the Whites. Archer has been described to me as a player reminiscent of Tommy Bromilow and Harry Makepeace. If he is as good as either all will be satisfied. The directors have made significant move in the selection of the teams. Clark and Phil Griffiths, two of this season's newcomers, who appeared in the Reserve side on Saturday, have been promoted to the Blues, or first team. Clark will take the place of McClure, at right half and Phil Griffiths will take Critchley's place at outside right. Critchley, will appear for the Whites, but McClure will not be on view. Martin who pulled a thigh muscle on Saturday, will not be on view, so Webster will lead the Whites attack. Blues; Sagar; Bocking Cresswell; Clark, Gee, Thomson; Griffiths (P), Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein. Whites; Holdcrofth; Common, Parker; Britton, Griffiths (T), Archer; Critchley, Cunliffe, Webster, Fryer, Rigby.

EVERTON'S SIX GOALS.
August 20 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
No Response from the Reserve side.
By “Bee.”
Everton's second trial game led to a rout of the Reserves side by 6 goals to nothing. The most noteworthy feature of the play was the outbreak and outburst of Dunn as a goal-getter, in which category he has not always been a success. He took four of the six, Dean and Johnson getting the others. The team varied a little in their make-up from Saturday issue, and the absence of McPherson and Martin was felt by a side that had looked wealthy in reserve talent. One more reason why one should not take too seriously a trial game. Last night's affair had its pleasantries, no accidents save a jar to Stein's leg, and a crop of goals that suited the 9,000 spectators (£164). Dunn started the goal-ball rolling very easily, and the game was so one-sided that it soon lost much of its point the inferiority complex surrounding the defeated side.

Holdcroft's Resource.
Yet in their goal the Whites had Holdcroft, who again showed great resource, leaving his goal and stopping a riot of goals. His catching was good, his fielding clean and sure, and his notion of positioning excellent. At the other end Sagar did best early on, when the Reserve side was doing much attacking. Bocking had a hard row with Rigby in the later stages of play, and Cresswell sauntered through a game that did not reveal the right wing pair against him in a favourable light, Cunliffe not being able to produce the neatness nor gaining of ground that had been features of the Adlington boy's work at the week-end. Clark, put into the first team, reveled in his game and was as competent in defence as he had been in attack. He links up with his forwards, and is not shy to use his full-back when he can clear by that method from a collection of players. Without being the “star” he was in the opening game, Phil Griffiths did many bright things and paid Dunn for his coaching and his placed passes. Dean erred with one pass, showed pace when needed, and proved the artist where length and strength were concerned.

Johnson and Stein.
Johnson and Stein went through with ease, and the whole team after a while gave themselves up to neatness rather than practicability, but underlying all their work there was understanding and ground passing which, if continued without excess, should produce success and pleasantry for the onlookers. On the losing side Griffiths was a staunch helpmate in defence and attack. Parker, of Adlington, was a strong player without special success, and the forward line was ragged. Result Blues 6, Whites 0.

Blues; - Sagar, goal; Bocking and Cresswell, backs; Clark, Gee, and Thomson, half-backs; Griffiths, Dunn, Dean, Johnson and Stein, forwards. Whites; - Holdcroft, goal; Common and Parker, backs; Britton, Griffiths (T), and Archer, half-backs; Critchley, Cunliffe, Webster, Fryer, and Rigby, forwards.

At Goodison Park
By John Peel
The new turf at Goodison park had a real test last night, when the second practice game of the Everton Club was played. Despite the deluge of the afternoon, the ground looked in splendid condition and seemed perfectly drained. What a change from the mud of last season! As to the game, Dunn was a sheer delight by his clever meanceuvring, and the Scottish international rounded off his work by getting four goals. His play and the goalkeeping of Holdcroft were features. Practice games are not a real test, but the Blues' side on duty in this trial might well be chosen for the opening League game.

EVERTON WILL DO WELL
August 20 th 1931. Evening Express
Science allied to marksmanship
Lessons of the Trial Game.
By the Pilot.
Everton will do well in the First Division this season. Their trial games have revealed the fact that even if they do not win the championship, they will be among the cleverest sides in the competition. Last night's final trial produced an abundance of good constructive football, allied to good marksmanship. The Blues won by six goals to nil, and I shall be surprised if the directors make any alteration in the team for the opening match against Birmingham. The side was workmanlike in all phases. I could defect flaws, it is true. There was a slight tendency to slow recovery on the part of the defence.

Skill in all Ranks.
However, there is football skill in all ranks, and the forwards work was gratifying. Dunn proved the outstanding figure, for not only did he introduce guile and artistry into his work, but crowned a wonderful display by scoring four goals. Phil Griffiths, playing for the first time as Dunne's partner, revealed astonishing strength in his tackle, and once he had settled down, got his centres across well, and much to the benefit of Dean, who headed a brilliant goal from one of them. Griffiths (P.), by the way, plays a quiet unobtrusive game, but still he has plenty of zeal. He is quit off the field, and is becoming known as the club hiker. He delights in a lonely tramp across the country, and at the moment is favouring the Hoylake district. Dean shot with his old-time deadliness, and his heading was superb. Johnson, Stein, and Thomson played with their customary triangular skill; Johnson got the reminding goal. Construction was the keynote of the intermediates, and in this respect none did better than Clark. When he speeds up in recovery he should be a great asset. Gee was subtle yet tenacious and Thomson a dour, well-equipped player.

Defence sound.
The defence was sound without being brilliant, but the goalkeeping on both sides was excellent. Everton have made a capture in Holdcroft. Some of his full length saves were magnificent, Sagar, too, was at the top of his form. Archer, making his first appearance, was another who tended to science rather than bustle. Parker, the Adlington boy, kicked well at back for the Whites, who were best served by Rigby in attack. The club's supporters had an opportunity of seeing one of football's new laws put into operations. There was some heated argument among the spectators when Clark was penalised for a foul throw and the referee awarded a thrown-in to the Whites instead of the old-time free kick. The referee was quite correct for nowadays, a free kick can only be awarded if the player taking the throw-in plays the ball a second time before it has been played by another player. Despite the cloudburst a few hours before the trial there was not a drop of water on the new turf, which “Played” excellently. After the match there was scarcely a mark to be seen. This must have been a source of gratification to the directors.

Sports Pie

• Billy Coggins, the Everton goalkeeper, is making steady progress following his operation for appendicitis, but is not yet fit enough to take his holiday in the West.

• Jack McDonald, the former Everton full back, who has been at New Brighton for two seasons, has signed for Connahs Quay. Connahs Quay now have seven professionals signed for next season.

TEAM CHOSEN FOR BIRMINGHAM
August 21 st 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
The Everton team chosen last night to meet Birmingham City at Goodison Park, is in accordance with expectations, with Coggins not yet recovered from his operation for appendicitis, Sagar is in goal, Bocking who play in the concluding game last season retains the position which doubtless Williams would have occupied, but for an operation for a foot injury. Clark the sturdily built right half, from Luton town makes his debut for the Blues, at right half, and Phil Griffiths secured from Port Vale is preferred to Critchley at outside right.

THE SOCCER STAR WHO WORKED IN A MILL
August 28 th 1931. Evening Express.
When his chance came he took it.
Archie Clarke
The remarkable story of a talented young footballer when working in a mill, seemed destined to remain “undiscovered”….. Until one day his great chance came along. He took it –and now everybody knowns him as Archie Clark, Everton's new half-back, from Luton Town.

By the Pilot
Clark has had one of the most sensational rises to football fame known since the war. Within the space of a few weeks he sprang from the obscurity of junior football in Kent to be sought by such a famous club as the Arsenal. This is how it happened. Clark was working in a paper mill in Aylesford, Kent, and played week-end football with the juniors. He was a local player of distinction, but thoughts of ever becoming a professional did not enter his head. He was content with his Saturday afternoon game. The time came, however, when trade at the paper mill curtailed working days to three a week. Still he continued in his employment, the only change being that he had more time for his pet pastime –football.

Enter a stranger.
His surprise may be imagined when, after a game, he was approached by a total stranger. “How would you like a trial with Brentford? He was asked. That question opened up a new career, for this fairhaired youth. The paper mill had little to offer, so he took the momentous decision of signing a London Combination form for the Griffin Park club. He has never regretted taking the step. His first match was against Fulham Reserves, at craven Cottage, and he had the satisfaction of returning home a member of the winning team by two goals to nil. Clark was something of a sensation in that game. Well, to put it in his own words, “Nothing could go wrong that day. It was a day a young player dreams about.” Clark's display set the seal upon his success. Brendford signed him on Football league forms, and he sprang into prominence right away.

Scouts on the trail.
So good was his form in Third Division matches that in a short apace the scouts of the First Division clubs were watching him. Experience with expert players brought Clark along apace, and in seven weeks Arsenal officials travelled down to Brentford, a cheque for £1,000 was passed over, and Clark became a First Division player. Clark had few opportunities to displace the regular men of the Arsenal, and so he moved to Luton Town. This added experience has enabled him to become a First Division player once again and to figure in another big transfer deal. Clark already shows promise of being an asset to Everton, and there are indications that he will soon conquer further fields.

EVERTON'S RETURN
August 29 th 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
By John Peel.
Everton's who regained their position in the First Division after one season in the Second well be warmly welcomed back to the fold when they meet Birmingham the Cup finalists, at Goodison Park today. The Everton team, includes Griffiths, the former Port Vale right-winger, and Clark, the new half-back from Luton Town. Birmingham are playing G.H. Smithies, the Northern Nomads amateur centre-forward, who formerly assisted Preston North End. Bradford appears at inside-left. At right half Stoker is preferred to Cringan. The kick off is at 3-15, and I hope to see Dean the new captain, lead Everton to victory. The teams are; Everton; - Sagar, goal; Bocking and Cresswell; Clark, Gee, Thomson; Griffiths, Dunn, Dean, Johnson, Stein. Birmingham City; - Hibbs; Liddell, Barkas; Stoker, Morrall, Leslie, Briggs, Crosbie, G.H. Snithies, Bradford, Curtis.

Birmingham have surrendered may points at the Everton ground. On only three occasions have they gained maximum points there –in 1905-06, and 1928-29, and two seasons ago. In all Everton and Birmingham have met under League auspices on seventeen occasions at Goodison Park, Everton securing 27 points against Birmingham's seven. The results of the last nine meetings at Goodison Park, have been (Everton's score reading first) 2-1, 2-1, 2-0, 2-1, 2-2, 3-1, 5-2, 0-2, 2-4.

EVERTON 3 BIRMINGHAM CITY 2 (Game 3095 –over-all)-(Div 1 3053)
August 31 st 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Dunn gets a Hat-Trick.
But Everton do not impress
A Disputed Goal.
Everton, on their return to the First Division, won their first game, when they beat Birmingham by the odd goal in five at Goodison Park. Early impressions are not always a reliable index of the future, but a successful-start should inspire confidence. Saturday's win, however, was not altogether convincing. Without doubt Everton were the better side, but a more decisive victory over Birmingham was expected, and to that extent Everton's narrow margin was somewhat disappointing. Much of the play was good, especially early on, when Everton were at their best, and seemed certain to win with ease. They lost their initial impetus, however, and much of the second half display was ragged and lacking in tone. The outstanding feature was the performance of Dunn, who by scoring Everton's three goals, got his first hat-trick in League football.

Game Deteriorates .
It was following a goal by Briggs at 40 minutes, which reduced Everton's lead to 2-1, that the game deteriorated. Vigerous and prolonged protests came from the Everton players when Briggs scored, but the referee waved aside all claims for offside, and Birmingham's goal was allowed to stand. At 61 minutes Curtis equalised, and for some time it looked as though the game would end in a draw. Twelve minutes from the end Dunn fastened on the ball as it came from Dean, and a fast drive made Everton's success complete. Birmingham tried hard to save a point, and Sagar's most enacting work came in the closing stages when he made splendid saves from Briggs and Smithies. Everton's success was due mainly to the advantage they held in the middle line, where Thomson, Gee, and Clark made a trio that was constructive in attack and effective in defence. This was particularly noticeable early on when the Everton forwards were provided with the ball accurately and without hesitation. By comparison, Birmingham's middle line is poor. Not only were the halves deficient in defence, but the forwards got little of the ball unless they foraged for themselves.

Bocking Impressed.
In defence Everton were sound and reliable, Bocking made a good impression with strong resolute work, while Cresswell was cool and effective. Sagar had not a great deal to do, but he played a safe game more so than Hibbs, who was curiously uncertain at times and more than once missed the ball completely. While the forward work on the Everton side has often been better, it was not without good points. Johnson worked very hard to provide openings, but Dean was the opportunist –alert and resourceful. Forced to work in confined space, Dean was less prominent than usual, but he put in some fine passes and was particularly effective with his head. Griffiths gave a spirited display and had a good knowledge of the goal region. The best on the Birmingham side were Barkas, Morrall, Briggs and Liddell. Teams; - Everton; - Sagar, goal; Bocking and Cresswell, backs; Clark, Gee and Thomson, half-backs; Griffiths, Dunn, Dean (captain), Johnson and Stein, forwards. Birmingham; - Hibbs, goal; Liddell, and Barkas, backs; Stoker, Morrall, and Leslie, half-backs; Briggs, Crosbie, Smithies, Bradford and Curtis, forwards .

LEEDS UNITED RESERVES 1 EVERTON RESERVES 5
August 31 st 1931. Liverpool Post and Mercury
Central League (Game 1)
Everton Reserves defeated Leeds United by five goals to 1 at Leeds. Everton were superior all round. Their forwards being particularly clever in passing and shooting, they were well supported by halves, who were also sound defensive play. White was an able leader and scored twice, the other goals for Everton being secured by Webster, Martin and Griffiths. Hornby scored the goal for Leeds. Everton Reserves; - Holdcroft, goal; Common and Lowe, backs; McClure, TP Griffiths and McPherson, half-backs; Critchley, Martin, White, Webster and Rigby, forwards.

Smell Mex 3 Everton “A” 4
Liverpool County Combination.
The Goodison “A” men were better in all departments in this match at Whitby on Saturday. Freeman and Burley put Shell in front in 15 minutes, but Everton replied through Cunliffe. Mercer then crowned a move with a fine goal for Everton. Everton monopolshed play in the second half, during which they scored through Leyfield, a clever left winger, Davies and Worrell

EVERTON WIN BUT REVEAL A FAULT
August 31 st 1931. Evening Express.
Successful return to Div 1.
Clark another Fleetwood.
Dunn the Hatter.
By the Pilot.
Everton, by beating Birmingham 3 goals to 2, made a successful return to the First Division, and while they impressed me as likely to develop into one of the cleverest sides in the country, the match revealed a weakness that needs attention. There is a need for better understanding between the backs and half-backs. At times wide gaps were left between the backs and half backs and this gave the Birmingham wing men too much latitude. At the same time, the individual work of these players was good. In fact, Archie Clark, the new half back from Luton Town, was the outstanding man of the match, he is obviously one of the best captures Everton have made for years. As I left the ground a Goodison Park old-timer “ remarked to me; “Clark is the best right half Everton have had since the days of Tom Fleetwood.” I remember Fleetwood? Other praise will be superfluous. Clark was convincing. He did play hard and he adhere to the tenets of football. I liked his thoughtful maneuver; his quickness to weigh up a situation, and his persistence in keeping the ball low. It has been said that one cannot judge on a single game, there are qualities in Clark, which cannot be denied.

Scout's Lucky day
It is curious that luck played a part of Clark capture. I understand that Everton official went to watch a player in a club opposing Luton Town last campaign. That player did not impress him, but he came with good accounts of Clark. It must have been that “scouts” lucky day. Everton deserved their success by the odd goal in five. Their movements were smoother, more subtle and better conhesion than those of the Midlanders. From a purely constructive point of view, Everton were a hugh success, and it will be ranking among the cleverest combinations in the country. It was a personal triumph for Jimmy Dunn, who revealed unsuspected success as a marksman, and bagged his first half-back for the Blues. His shooting was unerring, and his general football skilful and bewilding.

Dean's value.
Dean had a really good match. He was content with the spadework, keeping his wings well supplied and making priceless flicks and moves for the benefit his colleagues. Johnson, Stein and Thomson constituted an excellent wing, with Johnson, a hard working schemer with the quick pass. He had excellent aptitude for sweeping back to help the defence, he was better than Griffiths, who seemed to allow his nervousness to make him over-anxious. I liked much of his work and he will do well given time to settle down. Gee had a splendid first half, but contributed less in the second half, which consequently, Cresswell was the outstanding, Sagar made brilliant saves during Birmingham's flight back. Birmingham could consider themselves lucky in getting their first goal, I though it was five yards offside when he received the vital pass. I think everyone but the referee believed Curtis was offside, even a linesman, but he was not consulted though “flagging.”

 

 

 

 

August 1931