EVERTON F.C. REPORT FOR TRAINING
August 5, 1947. The Evening Express
Twenty-Two of Everton’s 34 professionals reported for training at Goodison Park this afternoon. They were all fit and well after the brief summer recess, and the only first team regulars who were absent were Peter Farrell and Tommy Eglington, and Eddie Wainwright, who is still in the Army, but hopes to be released in October. The players were greeted by the new Everton chairman (Dr. Cecil Baxter), who thanked them for their past services and expressed the hope that they would have even greater success in the future. Also on hand to welcome the players was Secretary-Manager Mr. Theo Kelly, coach Jock Thomson and trainer Harry Cook. The only newcomers was Tommy Gardner, the young winger secured from Liverpool, who was introduced to his new colleagues by Jock Thomson. The players who reported were, skipper Norman Greenhalgh, Ted Sagar, George Burnett, George Jackson, Hedley, George Saunders, G. Dugdale, Stan Bentham, Ted Falder, Jack Humphreys, Tommy Jones, Maurice Lindley, Gordon Watson, Wally Boyes, Harry Catterick, Wally Fielding, Billy Higgins, Johnny Mcllhatton, Alex Stevenson, Jock Dodds, Victor Green and Tommy Gardner. Mr. Kelly told me that Everton will hold one public practice match –on Saturday, August 16. The preliminary greetings over, the players changed into training kit and went on to the playing pitch which is in marvellous condition., and got down to work under the vigilant eye of Harry Cook.
EVERTON PLAYERS IN HARNESS AGAIN
August 5, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Reporting, for training today, the Everton players were welcomed by the new chairman, Dr. Cecil Baxter, and Mr. Theo Kelly, the secretary-Manager. Most of the first team players were present, including last year’s captain, Greenhalgh. The Irishmen Farrell and Eglington, had not arrived when their colleagues began limbering up. First to sign the register was George Burnett the reserve goalkeeper. The distinction would have been Wally Fielding’s, but he arrived at the ground at 10 a.m to discover he was hours too soon. The only new face was that of Tom Gardner, outside left or right, signed from Liverpool during the close season. Tom has been one of the club’s baseball stars during the close season. Trainer Harry Cook lost no time in getting the men on to the field, where they indulged in lapping practice and organised games. The ground showed no traces of the shortness respite it has known between seasons. The turf was in excellent order with the exception of a bare patch where workman were busy laying new sods to repair the ravages wrought by the close season baseballers. The stands have been treated to a new coating of green and cream paint, and the enclosures presented a really spruce appearance. There will be a public practice match on August 16. Dr. Baxter addressing the players, thanked them for their past services and said he hoped they would do even better in the future. If they began this season as they concluded last there was no reason why they should not have a very good time. “The best of luck to you all,” he concluded.
August 14, 1947. The Evening Express
Radar’s Sport Log
Everton F.C. stage their public practice at Goodison Park on Saturday. The only new face on view will be that of Tommy Gardner, the young winger secured from across the Park. Apart from Gardner, all the players will be men with first-team experience. Gardner will be partnered by Jackie Grant in the White side which includes Harry Catterick as leader of the attack, and Wally Fielding and Tommy Eglington on the left wing. Everton announce that Norman Greenhalgh has been re-elected captain, of the first team, with Stan Bentham as his deputy. The team will be; Blues; Sagar; Jackson, Saunders; Lindley, Humphreys, Watson; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Dodds, Wainwright, Boyes
Whites; Burnett; Hedley, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (TG), Farrell; Gardner, Grant, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
EVERTON PRACTICE MTEAMS
August 14, 1947. Liverpool Echo
There is a trial match at Goodison Park on Saturday (3-15) and despite the hot weather there is sure to be a good crowd. There has been little close season news from the Everton camp, and signings have been almost non-existent, for with the exception of the winger Gardner, signed from Liverpool, there has been nothing moving except outward transfers. Norman Greenhalgh will again captain the team, and will have as his deputy Stan Bentham, a long-deferred honour for one of the greatest club players Everton have had. No matter where Stan plays he can be depended upon to do his best. He cannot do anything else for he is built that way. Everton are also making something of an experiment at inside left, where Eddie Wainwright will figure as partner to Boyes. This is not entirely new for actually Wainwright made his senior debut there in 1943, and played six games in the position that season during the absence of Alec Stevenson. Alec Stevenson is at inside-right, so that he starts again where he finished off last season. The two sides have been shuffled so that each has its proportion of probable first-teamers, the team sheet reading;- Blues; Sagar; Jackson, Saunders; Lindley, Humphreys, Watson; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Dodds, Wainwright, Boyes
Whites; Burnett; Hedley, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (TG), Farrell; Gardner, Grant, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
YOUNG-‘STARS’ SOUGHT PLACE IN THE SUN
August 16, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Goodison See Shape of Teams to come
There was a crowd of about 5,000 for Everton’s practice match at Goodison Park on a day of over powering heat. Blues; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Saunders, backs; Lindley, Humphreys, and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Dodds, Johnson and Boyes, forwards. Whites; Burnett, goal; Hedley and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones (TG), and Farrell, half-backs; Gardner, Grant, Catterick, Fielding, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. S.N. Roberts. The Goodison pitch was in excellent condition. The flame thrower treatment for the eradication of weeds seems to have been a big success. There was one change in the sides, Johnson coming in for Wainwright in the Blues eleven owing to Wainwright being unable to get leave.
Gardner, formerly of Liverpool, was the first to rouse the crowd to a show of enthusiasm when he put in a tricky run of the right –the second in a few minutes –followed by a centre which went just a little too far to result in a threat. Sagar had to be lively to tip over a hot-shot from Eglington who had paired off in some entertaining moves with Fielding. When Stevenson and Boyes sent the Blues forward line moving Jones came to the rescue in his usual calm and confident fashion. Considering the conditions there was not at any rate at the start, as much of the “after you Claude” atmosphere as one might have expected. The reserve players in particular were putting everything they had into their efforts.
As so often happens after one side had done the bulk of the pressing the opposition were first to score. The Whites mainly composed of second team players had been the dominant side for the first 20 minutes but when Boyes broke away and put over a picture centre, Dodds headed out of Burnett’s reach to give the Blues the lead. Gardner came into prominence again, and from one of his centres Catterick headed against the upright. Gardner himself being baulked of a goal from the rebound by a brilliant save by Sagar. Johnson did some good foraging work for the Blues –as Fielding did for the Whites –and Dodds –came within an ace of increasing the lead with an overhead kick after Burnett had left his goal, but Bentham was on the line to head away. Dodds and Eglington were the shooters-in-chief so far on either side, and one of Dodds’s pile-drivers roused the crowd to a moderate display of enthusiasm.
Half-time; Blues 1, Whites nil.
For the second half six changes were made in the Blues side, Jones (JA), Ireland and Dugdale constituting the defence with Falder at left half, and Owen and Higgins at inside forward. The Whites side remained unchanged. The football was entertaining enough though lacking in “bite” and the youngsters who had come in for the second spasm were soon in the picture.
August 18, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
“C.M” went to Goodison Park and is convinced that the strength of Everton’s youngsters who were introduced into the game in the second half indicates a particularly bright future. Harry Catterick crashed back to the form he showed before breaking his arm and with Jock Dodds bang on the mark – they got two apiece in a 2-2 draw –Everton should have no centre-forward worries. Tommy garner, ex-Liverpool and the one newcomer, did splendidly while Jimmy Jones impressed when he took over from Sagar in goal.
GARDNER’S PROMISE IN TRIAL SPIN
August 18, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Star of Everton’s practice game was outside right Gardner, a third team player discarded at the end of last season by Liverpool, who gave him a free transfer. Years ago Everton said “Sorry, but we’re no place for you” to a young inside forward. The lad crossed the park and later proved one of Liverpool’s best forwards over a decade. His name was Balmer. In the case of Gardner, manager Theo Kelly had been primed to his promise, and as soon as he saw from Liverpool’s retained list that the winger had not been offered an engagement he stepped in and signed him. Practice Match form so often proves mis-leading that we must wait and see how Gardner shapes later before hailing him as a discovery. Yet, even after writing down the evidence of Saturday’s game and making all allowances for seniors who were strolling through it without effort, I am a little puzzled that Liverpool, in view of their outside right problem, should have let him go. He is nicely built for a winger, moves quickly, has ball control and the ability to get over his centres just right, and certainly seems to be a player worth persevering with. For the rest, the practice game, played under conditions anything but conductive to hectic effort, taught us little we didn’t already know. Johnson did well as deputy for Wainwright; Owen produced some strong shooting, Ireland, Hedley and Dugdale are backs of promise. Falder has the makings of a reliable half-back, Lindley has developed class and polish, and Catterick is still a lively and dangerous raider. He got both the Whites goals, with Dodds getting two beautifully taken ones for the Blues. Jones (J.A.) made some smart saves in goal, and altogether, for what the evidence is worth, Everton seen to have strength and ability in their reserve ranks. It would be hard to find two centre-halves more dissimilar in style than Tommy Jones and Jack Humphreys. Both get there equally effectively, however, one sometimes taking chances with hair-raising nonchalance, the other boring in with fire and energy. Everton are going to be faced with a problem which to choose.
EWOOD IS BLUES BOGEY GROUND
August 22, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are away to Blackburn Rovers, whose ground has been a “bogy” to them in the past. Not that; that counts a great deal. If Everton serve up football good enough the points will follow. The Blues hope to resume where they left off last season, when they were playing attractive and convincing football. Blackburn, despite their expensive signings, were relegation candidates for a long time. This season, with Manager Billy Scott at the helm and good material to work on, they look for better things. Everton can win if they’re at their best. at the least I look for a draw. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, Eglington. Blackburn Rovers; Marks; Cook, Higgins; Baldwin, Pryde, Bell; Rogers, Webber, Weir, McGorrighan, Oakes.
SHIRT-SLEEVE CROWD SEE EVERTON PICTURE GOAL
August 23, 1947. The Liverpool Football Echo
Doss and Wainwright Open Season’s Scoring
Blackburn 2, Everton 3
After 35 years Everton have at last won a League match at Ewood Park, though not without a dour struggle. The visitors were the better side in the first half and well worth their two-goal lead at the interval, in the end it took Everton all their time to hand on to the lead. The crowd at Ewood Park for the visit of Everton was more like an Old Trafford cricket crowd for the majority were minus coats and waist-coats, and had handkerchiefs as head coverings. There was only one change in the advertised sides. Tomlinson coming in for Cook at right full back. Mr. Reg Taylor, Blackburn’s secretary, told me there had been no further developments in the position of Langton, Blackburn’s international outside-left, who is on the transfer list. Langton was not present at the match. Blackburn Rovers;- Marks goal; Tomlinson and Higgins, backs; Baldwin, Pryde, and Bell, half-backs; Rogers, Webber, Weir, McGorrighan, and Oakes, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.W. Baker (Manchester). Everton, playing in white shirts and black shorts, were soon on the attack, but Fielding’s long shot caused Marks no trouble. Sagar was tested by a hot drive from Oakes, the former Queen of the South winger, in whom Everton were once interested, and then Rogers and Webber paired off in a movement which brought the first corner, though it was fruitless.
Eglington got away with a fiery sprint without getting his centre over properly, and it was left to Wainwright to try a shot from long range which veered away well off the mark. Rovers had done most of the attacking in the first ten minutes, but without causing the visiting defence any real trouble. Webber, the former Hyde Utd player was doing well at inside right, and would have done still better had his passes been a little more accurate. While Everton were shooting whenever they had an opportunity their direction was not good. Neat interception by Greenhalgh put a stop to Webber’s gallop, and then came another corner to Rovers which looked dangerous when Sagar mistimed his catch. Fortunately Farrell was on the spot to avert danger. Best bit of work to date was a grand run and centre by Dodds, who had drifted out to the left wing, but Fielding was just a trifle too slow to add the finishing touch. Dodds was again in the picture with a neat back-heel pass which gave Fielding a chance to shoot first time. Direction was again lacking however. Everton had now settled down to more constructive football, and after 20 minutes they took the lead with a beautifully worked goal. Farrell started it with a long sweeping pass to Mcllhatton, who, in turn, fed Dodds. The Everton centre-forward beat Pryde, standing right by his shoulder by his stylish ankle flick and quick turn, and then placed the ball well out of Mark’s reach. Everton nearly had a second a couple of minutes later, Dodds again being the marksman, but he failed to get hold of the ball properly while on the turn. Rovers hit back with determination, but their attack could make little impression on Everton’s rear-guard. Bentham and Farrell had the measure of the inside men, and Humphreys invariably got the better of Weir. Blackburn’s forwards were not shining as a combined force, and Everton were playing the much better football. Both Fielding and Wainwright spoiled good openings by shooting too hastily, while a fine effort by Dodds brought forth a good save from Marks. Blackburn’s best scoring efforts came from half-back Baldwin and full-back Tomlinson. Everton deservedly increased their lead at the 38th minute, again it was a Mcllhatton pass which lead to the goal, the scorer this time being Wainwright, who lobbed the ball over Mark’s head. Dodds dashed up to make sure, but the ball was over the line before he touched it.
Half-time; Blackburn Rovers 0, Everton 2
Everton started the second half as they had left off with some telling combination, and it seemed certain that at long last they were going to break the old bogey of Ewood Park, where they have not won a match (war time apart) for 35 years. Last time they won here was 1912-13 season.
Sagar had a moment of anxiety with a header from Webber and a big overhead kick by Weir. Then Oakes shot straight at him from eight yards range when all he had to do was tap the ball sideways. Blackburn could not afford to miss chances like that. Everton seemed to be taking things at this stage a little too easily and for a time the home side had the upper hand. A free kick against Humphreys should have spelled danger, instead Rogers put it tamely behind. At last Everton’s front line came to life again, Fielding twice putting in strong shots which scored only an inch or two over the angle of bar and upright and Dodds forcing Marks to make a save at the foot of the post with a stinging drive. Next time Blackburn attacked they reduced the lead. Webber was the scorer, and when he received the ball in a ruck of players he kept his head, trapped the ball neatly and flashed a quick shot past Sagar. This was at 65 minutes, and Everton after seemingly having the points in safe keeping looked as if they might have a hard fight. Within two minutes, however, Everton had restored their two goals’ lead. Dodds made an excursion to the right corner flag, dithered and dodged with two defenders until it looked as though he would never get the ball over. At last he saw an opening, drifted the ball across to Eglington, and the winger made no mistake with his shot. Straight from an Everton attack Rovers staged a raid which brought a goal to Rogers, who shot from the edge of the penalty area. This was 17 minutes from the end, and once again Everton had their backs to the wall. Rovers, realising they still had a chance, were throwing everything into attack. The home crowd, which had been remarkably silent most of the time, were now cheering themselves hoarse whenever Blackburn got within shooting range.
Pace and Heat Tell
The pace and heat of the day were beginning to tell on both sides, with Everton glad to find touch whenever danger threatened. But occasional breakaways Everton were now kept on the defensive, and only some fine work by Humphreys, Greenhalgh and Co, kept the home side in check. Final; Blackburn Rovers 2, Everton 3.
EVERTON RESERVES V DERBY RESERVES
August 23, 1947. The Evening Express
Everton opened their Central League programme at Goodison Park today under ideal conditions. T.G. Jones, the Welsh international captained the home side. Everton were the superior side in the early stages, the Derby goal having a narrow escape when Grant hit the upright. In 32 minutes Derby took the lead, Edward’s beating Burnett from McCormick’s pass. Half-time Everton Res 0, Derby Res 1. The second half saw Everton taking up the attack, and Green, who moved to the outside berth, drove in a “stringer” by the Derby keeper cleverly anticipated at the expense of a fruitless corner. In the 75th minute Everton got on level terms, Boyes beating the visitor’s goalkeeper with a hot shot. Final-Everton Res, 1, Derby County Res 1.
EVERTON SHATTER THE EWOOD SPELL
August 23, 1947. The Evening Express
Dodds’ Great Work in First Blues’ Win For 35 Years
Jock Dodds was the mastermind in Everton’s opening triumph at Ewood Park, where they succeeded in scoring their first victory for 35 years. Not since 1912-13 have Everton won a First Division match or cup-tie there. But after the first five minutes this win was never in doubt for Everton proved themselves a glorious football machine, being so exact that it was almost effortless. Dodds took the first goal and made the third for Eglington, but throughout he bewildered the Rovers defence by his artistry and clever-opening creatings. Wainwright got the second goal in a game which Everton might have won more convincingly, so finely did they play. Chairman Dr. Cecil Baxter went along to give the lads a sent-off, there being only two director absent. Mr. Harold Williams was having his first match as a director, and only this week he left hospital after an appendix operation. Everton were as selected, Stevenson going along as 12th man, but the Rovers had to make one late change, for Cook had a fractured toe, and Tomlinson, who played once against Everton last season was at right back. Blackburn Rovers;- Marks goal; Tomlinson and Higgins, backs; Baldwin, Pryde, and Bell, half-backs; Rogers, Webber, Weir, McGorrighan, and Oakes, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.W. Baker (Manchester). Jackie Oakes, the player Everton once almost signed, provided the opening thrill, for he raced past Saunders and muddled a choice ball for the in-running Weir and Webber Sagar dashed out to beat the ball away. Dodds tried to get Everton going, but after Oakes had again slipped away Humphreys dashed across to say him nay. The Rovers were rampant and only good packing kept them from looming large as marksmen.
Eventually Webber tried a header and the 45,000 spectators gasped as Humphreys ducked, but Jack knew exactly what he was doing, for the ball became a good catch for Sagar. The first corner of the game went to Rovers, but this set the Blues on the attack and Wainwright’s long shot – first real shot of the game –flashed wide. Mark’s came out to hold up Dodds, and then Pryde, who never seems to get any older was right on the spot to prevent first Dodds and then Wainwright from getting in shots. Dodds swerved away from Pryde the next time, but the ball ran rather unkindly for him, and his 18-yarder was off the mark. Some of the Everton close passing was a delight and only snap tackling by Baldwin and Bell prevented the forward machine from bringing heavy pressure to bear on Marks. Dodds slipped one through for Eglington to test Marks low down. Dodds was moving away from Pryde cleverly, and now he nipped through at outside left to make a short inviting centre which Fielding just failed to reach, and the in-running Mcllhatton could only turn it the wrong side of the post. The Bentham- Wainwright duel placed Everton on top again, and Dodds neatly edged the ball aside for Fielding to flash in a shot which missed the post by inches. If ever a goal was deserved it was that by Dodds in 20 minutes, for it came as a reward for his individual prowess as well as the superior craftsmanship of the Blues. Farrell began the movement, and he brought Mcllhatton into the picture with a choice cross to Dodds. For a split second it seemed as if Pryde must beat Dodds on the edge of the penalty area, but Dodds pulled the ball from Pryde and turned in the same movement to move forward and drive the ball low into the net with his left foot. Marks dived valiantly to a shot; he never had the ghost of a chance of reaching. Dodds was literally mobbed by his colleagues and Jock nearly made it two a minute later, when he moved to the right and his cross shot was turned around the post by Marks. The Rovers fought back hard, Rogers cutting inside to flash a shot only a foot wide.
Wainwright sent a volley high over before Humphreys defied Weir and Webber with the intensity of his intervention. Everton were much the superior side. Fielding came across the penalty line to shoot outside, then Dodds slipped the ball forward to Wainwright, who raced in at top speed. Although his shot beat Marks, it just went beyond the far post. Mcllhatton and Dodds were next prominent. Dodds turning back a quick shot, at which Marks flung himself bodily to concede a corner. Baldwin tried to show his own forwards what was needed when he raced through on his own, but Everton covered each other excellently. There was a gasp when Tomlinson moved up behind an attack and shot only inches over. Everton had no more than they deserved when they increased their lead in 38 minutes through Wainwright. Humphreys swung the ball far out to Mcllhatton, who cut through on the inside of Higgins and then edged the ball on for Wainwright to go through. Just as he was being forced over the line, he hooked the ball over Marks to land it a foot over the line. Dodds followed up to make sure, but the ball was already over.
Half-time; Blackburn Rovers 0, Everton 2
As in the first half, so in the second. Oakes provided the opening thrill when he swerved away from Saunders and levelled a short centre, at which Webber flung himself, but the ball went outside. Sagar fisted away a high dropping ball from Oakes and when Weir worried the ball from Humphreys, Oakes went on unchallenged, but Sagar snapped up his shot well. Wainwright raced through on his own, only to find Marks in position. Baldwin again joined his forwards and his shot took Humphreys right in the face. Rovers were showing more endeavour than in the opening period, but Everton still maintained a greater artistry and Fielding almost joined the scores with one of his typical quick 20-yard shots, which Marks just edged over the top. “Nobby” had another goal chance just after, but this time was not quite so near. Sagar dashed out to kick away from Weir and then caught a hook shot from McCorrighan. Eglington whipped the ball inside for Dodds to crash in a mighty right foot effort, which Marks just managed to edge away. In 65 minutes Rovers produced a nice surprise with a goal from Webber, who pulled the ball cleverly and toed it all along the ground from just inside the penalty area. The Everton defence for a moment had got into a tangle, but in 2 minutes -67 to be exact –Everton were leading through Eglington, although Tommy was the first to race over and shake the hand of the magician behind the goal –Dodds. It was a picture goal, for Dodds received the ball at outside right – yes, at outside right just inside the Rovers half. For 20 yards Dodds went down the touchline, and then he moved inside as Pryde went to him. Dodds showed amazing control and moved this way and that, to bewilder Pryde almost on the goal-line, and then crashed low, for Eglington to drive the ball home with his right. Great work, Dodds. Rovers again fought back to gain a goal. There was no apparent danger when Rogers cut in from the wing and hit a terrific left foot shot. Sagar got to the ball, but the force was such that he could only turn it into the top of the net. Final; Blackburn Rovers 2, Everton 3
Eng. Electric v. Everton “A”
After 30 minutes’ play there was no score. Owens of Everton, played excellent football. Everton did not come up to the standard expected of them. Half-time; English Electric 0, Everton “A” 0
FOOTBALL CHIEFS TALK OF THE NEW SEASON
August 23, 1947. The Evening Express
League President’s Plea for Local Players and Restricted Transfer
As Told to Pilot
Mr. William C.Cuff, President of the Football League and England’s leading figure in the legislative field, is convinced that the League, and football generally, is going from success to success, and that the season opening today will be one of the greatest in the 60 years’ history of the competition –the finest in the football world. The president, and the two new chairmen of Merseyside First Division clubs, Dr. Cecil S.Baxter (Everton) and Councillor S. Ronnie Williams (Liverpool) gave me their own views on the new season for readers of The Evening Express.
Mr. Cuff said; “I think the game will attract a greater proportion of the public than ever before, and while the League was prepared to arrange its fixtures in accordance with prevailing trade conditions, the public will get entertainment never equalled in history. All the prospects are highly promising, for the standard of play itself should go on improving. “I want the football public to shut their ears to sensational stories which are circulated about this great game, and which can only do harm. Our League has functioned since 1888 with the minimum of complaint and interference, and while there must always be sensation-seekers, the game is best left alone and people should not attach any credence to much that they hear. “
With regard to suggestions that the transfer system should be changed to give players more than accrued-shares of benefit following transfer, the president emphasised that every opportunity and encouragement should be given to local junior talent. “We would get more local spirit and atmosphere into the game by playing local lads than by importing the players of the here-today –and-gone-tomorrow type,” said Mr. Cuff. “What I would like to see is an effort made to place restrictions on open transfers, so that a player could not be transferred during the playing season. We must do all we can to stop players migrating from one club to another, and any additional grants to players would not help in that cause. The future success of football lies in the limitless opportunity to the local player.” On the point our eight Merseyside area clubs are agreed, and I am with them all the way.”
Dr. Cecil S. Baxter, Everton’s leader, strikes a justifiably optimistic note regarding the hopes of the grand old Blues of Goodison. “All football executives must, naturally, be hopeful at the start of the season,” said Dr. Baxter. “The element of luck always enters at a most important sector. Last season Everton, after an indifferent start, never lost heart and kept playing our traditional football. Accidents were frequent during that period, but the players never panicked although obviously they lost some confidence. “The second part of last season was much brighter, and if the start had been better I think we would have been challenging for honours I am, therefore, of the opinion that we will have a successful season as the co-operation of staff and players is a very pleasant one. Well, at any rate, here is hoping for a bright and successful season.”
EVERTON HELD BLACKBURN’S LATE ATATCK
August 25, 1947. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blackburn Rovers 2, Everton 3
Though they made their task more difficult than it needed have been through slacking off somewhat in the second half, Everton were worthy winners. At this was the first time they had won at Ewood since 1912-13, the victory was not out of turn. Goals by Dodds and Wainwright put Everton two up at half-time. Both came from passes by Mcllhatton, and Dodds has rarely scored a neater one. Wainwright’s success came from quick thinking and a lob which left the advancing goalkeeper helpless.
Soon on Top
Everton had delighted the crowd with some nice football in the first half. Slow to settle down, once they had done so there was no argument has to which was the better side. Blackburn tried desperately hard and territorially shared honours, but there was little combination or finality about their work. Early in the second half Everton fell victim of their old sin. They began to take liberties and play as through their lead was impregnable. Even a goal to Webber did not jolt them out of their complacency. Within two minutes, following a brilliant centre by Dodds from near the corner flag, Eglington restored the two goal lead.
Blackburn realise that they had a fighting chance of saving a point. What is more they almost did so; Rogers further reduced the lead and in the final twenty minutes, when the Rovers were throwing all they had into attack, Everton were decidedly on the collar. The defence became ragged and the forwards were pegged down in occasional breakaways. Luckily Blackburn were still unable to produce shots of power, and direction, and although Sagar made some smart saves he had nothing of really great difficulty. The value of this victory should not be over emphasised, Blackburn are still a poor side too individualistic in attack and not as strong as they used to be in defence. Everton were best served by Greenhalgh, Bentham, Farrell, Dodds, Wainwright, and Mcllhatton and of these the best contribution apart from the goals came from the wing halves, the mainspring of Everton’s first half superiority and resolute defenders when the tide was running against them. Saunders started shakily, settled down to a steady display, and then felt the heat of the day in the last gruelling struggle. Fielding’s anxiety to shoot at every opportunity led him astray in direction too often. Dodds shot less frequently but more accurately and with much power. Blackburn Rovers;- Marks goal; Tomlinson and Higgins, backs; Baldwin, Pryde, and Bell, half-backs; Rogers, Webber, Weir, McGorrighan, and Oakes, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.W. Baker (Manchester).
• English Electric 0, Everton “A” 1
• Liverpool 3 (Stubbins 2, Liddell), Preston 1 (McIntosh)
TOM JONES HOLDS DERBY RESERVES
August 25, 1947. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton reserves 1, Derby Reserves 1
Everton Reserves were fortunate to collect a point! Derby were the more constructive side. Tommy Jones, Welsh international, who captained the Everton team, held up many dangerous raids. Edwards scored for Derby and Boyes for Everton.
BRAIN NOT BRAWN
August 25, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Chairman Dr. Cecil Baxter agreed with me at half-time when I expressed the view that it was not so much that Everton had gained a winning lead as the manner in which they had gained it. Throughout there was a joyous understanding between men and departments and a willingness not only to do one’s own job thoroughly, but to shoulder any additional task readily. Crisp, clean and clever, that summed up Everton whose victory was built up on the solid foundation of a brilliant half-back line, and the masterly play of Jock Dodds. What a great investment Dodds is proving. You will be delighted to know that the defence gave the lie to those who wondered whether it would prove good enough –it stood up to the Rovers’ storming rally magnificently –while Everton’s five forwards with more brain than brawn fully satisfied my craving for the constructive arts of the game. But....the thing which stamped this Everton as a side of tremendous potentialities was their ability to get a quick goal when it was most needed. That characteristic helped Liverpool to their triumph last term, and that the Blues have it now was proved by the fact that within two minutes of dropping a goal they had wiped it out with a dream goal. Those are the ultra-important things which blaze the way to high honours. Dodds, Wainwright and Eglington got the goals.
EVERTON HOME ON WEDNESDAY
August 25, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
On Wednesday the fans will be making a bee-line for Goodison Park, where Manchester City, straight from their victory over Wolves, will be the attraction. Everton supporters will be keen to see how Eddie McMorran, one time apple of Everton’s eye in a transfer sense, measures up by comparison with Jock Dodds, to say nothing of Clarke, the former Cardiff City winger, in interest six months ago.
Everton’s victory at Ewood Park was certainly not out of turn, seeing it was before the first World War that they last won there in a peace-time League game. Up to half-time Everton were much the better side, and but for over-hasty shooting would have held a more solid lead. In the second half, however, they fell into their old dangerous habit of taking things too easy on the assumption that the match was already won, so that the Rovers came neat to saving a point. None did better than the wing halves, Bentham and Farrell, who backed up their forwards well when Everton were on top and held their own in defence the position were reverted. Dodds opening goal was a masterly bit of work in the manner in which he “killed” a pass from Mcllhatton, got Pryde running the wrong way with a canny sideways flick and then steered the ball to the only spot where Marks could not reach it. Dodds “made” the third goal, scored by Eglington in between two by Blackburn, Wainwright got the other Everton goal with a canny lob over the goalkeeper’s head. While Everton were worthy winners, more compact than Rovers in attack and defence and with stylish ideas of progressive, it would be a mistake to place too much reliance on this victory. Blackburn are still a poor side. Their attack had little balance or combination and the defence which was their saving grace last season was none too sound under pressure. Weir could make nothing of Humphreys who repeatedly broke up the Rovers attacks, sometimes in rather unceremonious fashion. Humphreys does not stand on the order of his going, but gets “stuck in” with rugged earnestness and a determination. Everton will strike far sterner problems than this, but no side can do more than win. The Blues might have done so more convincingly had they not rested on the oars just a little too soon.
DIVISION 2 CHAMPIONS AT GOODISON
August 26, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Everton followers will take more than usual interest in McMorran in view of the efforts the Goodison board made to sign him last season. We have seen him once before, for the Irish League against the Football League but the skating-ring pitch that day was no fit medium for any player to show his skill. Not that the hard grounds just now are much more fitted for it, anyhow though the way in which Everton brought the ball to earth and kept it there in the Blackburn game showed that air-ball” and hard kicking are not necessarily evils of baked grounds. In defence City have England’s greatest goalkeeper for a generation. On and off the field there are few more likeable personalities than Frank Swift. Full back Bert Sporston is still going strong with Westwood as his partner while Joe Fagan a former Earlestown Bohemian player, is earning high praise at right half. Scottish international Andy Black remembered for his Chester war-time guesting is one of the stars of the visiting forward line, which has a high-powered look about it which may test the Blues defence to the full. Everton hope to field the same side as Saturday. The only doubt is whether Wainwright can get leave. Everton (from); Sagar; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, (or Stevenson), Dodds, Fielding, Eglington. Manchester City; Swift; Sproston, Westwood; Fagan, McDowell, Emptage; Wharton, Black, McMorran, Smith, Clarke.
‘SKY BLUES’ AT GOODISON TOMORROW
August 26, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The first of the Merseyside v. Cottonopolis “Derby” games will be staged tomorrow evening to the delight of the mid-week sports fans who cannot get to the week-end games. Everton make their home debut against newly promoted Manchester City. The Blues and the Reds opened the season with a grand “double” and 90 minutes’ reproduction of Saturday’s best form could bring another duel success. Everton want to play as well as they did in the first half at Blackburn, let all be warned, however, that the City invariably did well at Goodison before being relegated. There will be 50,000 at Goodison to welcome back the “sky blues” of Manchester with their all-star high-priced attack, featuring here players in whom Everton at one time had interest –Clarke, former Cardiff City outside-left, Eddie McMorran, Irish centre-forward and Andy Black, Scottish international inside-right. And to this galaxy of stars the incomparable Frank Swift and Everton’s eleven of skilled 100 per cent, triers, and you will appreciate that this is a Royal “dish” to set before, the most discerning. Everton (from); Sagar; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, (or Stevenson), Dodds, Fielding, Eglington. Manchester City; Swift; Sproston, Westwood; Fagan, McDowell, Emptage; Wharton, Black, McMorran, Smith, Clarke.
LOCAL JUNIORS GET THEIR CHANCE
August 27, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton’s policy of the intensive development of local junior talent as an offset to the payment of large transfer fees is being proceeded with on even wider scales than ever this season. Up to now approximately 175 juniors have been given trials by Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly and his staff. Every night Mr. Kelly is out with the youngsters, grading them and testing them to ensure that no lad with football in him is refused a real chance of developing his talents. The line of least resistance is to pay out money to secure the finished article and so save the time and trouble of bringing along juniors,” said Mr. Kelly, “but the line of best results is to cultivate the players in your own area. Everton have been following this plan for some seasons and of the 33 professionals signed on today transfer fees were paid for only eight. No club has a better record.” Everton apart from their Football League and Central League teams, will run this season two clubs in the county Combination and one in the Bootle J.O.C League, and indications are that they will do well in all spheres, because the local lad is being given the chance to make good. I saw a sample of Everton made juniors last season, and know what they can do at Goodison with the boy of the right mind and earnestness.
50,000 GOODISON FANS WERE DISAPPOINTED
August 28, 1947. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Win Drab Game
Everton 1, Manchester City 0
Great things were expected from the meeting of Everton and Manchester City last night, and 53,000 people flocked into Goodison Park in anticipation. They were disappointed. Highlights were saved until the final minutes, and the long yearned for goal came after many sights. Fielding, six minutes from the end scored a peach of a goal –the one bright spot in an otherwise drab game. Previous to the goal Everton made a concerted attack on the City goal which was luck not to fall considering four Everton forwards shot only to find their way barred. Just before that the City had enjoyed a hectic spell in front of the Everton goal, which only escaped by a fraction. Shots were few and far between and neither goalkeeper had much to do. Passes went anywhere but where they were intended and the game did not rise to any heights. In the main the defence were in command, and the high price City forwards. Clarke, McMorran and Wardle did not look like “stars.” All seemed unable to make accurate passes, but Manchester’s general scheming was superior to Everton’s. But Farrell, Bentham and Humphreys in defence and Dodds and Eglington in attack were Everton’s best. the great moment of the game – the goal and the Fielding drive which was good enough to beat Frank Swift came from Farrell’s perfect pass to Fielding, who veered over to the right and unleashed a drive from twenty-five yards out which flew into the rigging leaving Swift helpless. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Stevenson, Dodds, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Manchester City; Swift, goal; Sproston and Westwood, backs; Fagan, McDowell, and Emptage, half-backs; Wharton, Black, McMorran, Smith and Clarke, forwards.
• Liverpool lost 2-0 at home against Manchester United. Morris and Pearson for United.
MAN CITY RES 3 EVERTON RES 2
August 28, 1947. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves were unfortunate to lose. City obtained a two-goal lead through Walsh and Wilson in the first half. On resuming Herd added a third. Everton rallied strongly and only some brilliant goalkeeping by Thurlow saved Manchester although Lindley and Boyes (penalty) beat him.
EVERTON TEAM CHANGE V. BLACKPOOL
August 28, 1928. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton, for their match with Blackpool at Goodison Park on Saturday field the team which won at Blackburn, which means the return of Wainwright to inside right in place of Stevenson as compared with the side which defeated Manchester City 1-0 at Goodison Park last evening. All good things come to an end as Manchester City found at Goodison Park. The City had some amazing lucky escapes – three “winners charged down in the space of 30 seconds, for instance – before Wally Fielding decided to take a hand. Remember how Wally won the match when making his Goodison debut with a surprise shot from distance? Well, he did it again to delight 5,822 spectators who had almost given up hope of ever seeing a goal. Maybe it was the “We want a goal” chant of the boys, pen which did it, but certainly Fielding went floating away to the open space to make a loose ball his. A dart to the right and then “wham” he let go with his right foot from 25 yards, and Frank Swift was powerless. Frank said to me afterwards that he never even saw the shot until it was too late, and Wharton piped in “And mine just before might have won the game too.” Agreed. Wharton’s was a splendid effort which, however, went a yard too high. Maybe it gave Fielding an idea, and if so, then more praise to “Nobby” for being so quick to take a hint. This goal will go down in memory, for it set the seal on a hard-won success. For an hour the game was dominated by the six half-backs, but whereas Dodds could take McDowell away on false trials McMorran never once got the better of Humphreys. To me Bentham, Farrell, Humphreys, Fagan and Emptage were 100 per cent. Stevenson gave us lessons in construction and shooting and Mcllhatton and Eglington were unselfish winger. Grand game by Saunders and also by Greenhalgh to a lesser degree, while Sagar improves with the years and defied the City time after time. Curiously enough Ted’s best save was off a ball which skidded off Jack Humphreys’ head –a thrilling one-handed affair. Mr. Herbert Powell, secretary of the Football Association of Wales, was present to take another look at Jack Humphreys and also bring for jack his first international cap of a special new design. It will be the first of many for the Humphreys’ bottom drawer,” keep it up, Blues, the outlook is good.
Blackpool’s team to meet Everton on Saturday will be; Wallace; Shimwell, Stuart; Farrow, Hayward, Kelly; Matthews, Buchan, Mortensen, McKnight, McCormick.
IT WASN’T EVERTON’S BEST
August 28, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Everton managed to beat Manchester City in a game which, like the minute cut which masquerades as the week-end joint, contained very little meat. The youngsters in the Goodison boy’s pen had nearly yelled themselves hoarse chanting “we want a goal” before Wally Fielding obliged seven minutes from the finish. Previously it had looked as though neither side would get the ball into the net in a month of Sundays. Everton were a trifle fortunate to get both points. A draw would have done greater justice all round. It was not a thrilling game, for there were few shots of real note, though in fairly frequent spells of comparative silence the dull thud of red-shirted bodies whacking into blue shirted ones, of vice-verse at least told a tale of hearty endeavour. In between we got occasional flashes of real combination, but only up to a point, for the majority of efforts broke down before reaching the finality of a shot, some time through clever interception, though more often through some strange momentary attack of colour-blindness, which made players of either side unable to distinguish between blue and red shirts. Far too often passes meant for players of one colour were put straight to the fact of those wearing another. There were only two brief exciting, interludes, both just before Fielding scored. The first was when it took Sagar all his time to tip a Humphreys back-header over the bar for a corner from which Saunders kicked away Clarke’s header of the line, and the second when Everton rained in four shots in as many seconds and all were luckily scrambled away.
Apart from these efforts, I counted seven shots by Everton on the mark and four by City. The best were one by Stevenson –what time the crowd was calling on the referee to stop play because Greenhalgh had been injured –and one by Dodds which made Swift dive full-length, both in the first half. McMorran did nothing last night to make any Goodison Park follower regret Everton’s failure to sign him. Though McMorran very obviously was desperately keen to justify himself, he has a long way to go yet, if this was a fair sample before he comes up to average First Division standard. Clarke, another of City’s expensive captures has also some way to travel. He missed two fairly easy chances though mot making a first-time shot, and did not show either the ball control or positioning ability I expected. Alec Stevenson may have been the oldest forward on the field, but there wasn’t one to beat him, for skill and canniness. While the bounding ball isn’t best suited to Dodds, who likes condition’s so that he can “work” it while well under control. He showed many stylish touches and was always seeking to keep the ball on the ground. As a matter of fact, considering all things both sides did that reasonably well. It took Mcllhatton some time to produce his best. on a couple of occasions he was pilloried a little when he was blameless for he had done the right thing but nobody else had tumbled to it, and towards the end he showed that he has the right stuff in him. Farrell save another grand display, with Bentham not far behind. Saunders and Greenhalgh did all they were called on to do in capable manner and Humphreys again was rugged and relentless in his policing of the middle. Everton have not quite reached the finency and cohesion we saw from them at the tail end of last season. Individually there was no failure. It was just that the final flourish was missing and for that apart from certain short comings of their own to erratic passing City’s keen interception and quick tackling was mainly the cause. Wainwright will be available for Saturday’s home game against Blackpool, the side thus being the same as won at Blackburn. Sagar; Saunder, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, Eglington. Blackpool’s forward line is shuffled, Willie Buchan the £10,000 scot from Glasgow Celtic, comes in as Matthews new partner, and there will be a new left wing of McKnight and McCormick the latter an outside left signed from Glasgow Rangers during the summer. English international Harry Johnston will miss his second game this season through a leg injury, Kelly deputising. Blackpool; Wallace; Shimwell, Stuart; Farrow, Hayward, Kelly; Matthews, Buchan, Mortensen, McKnight, McCormick.
THE STANLEYS COME TO GOODISON
August 29, 1947. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The two Stanley’s descend on Merseyside tomorrow in the hope of preventing Everton from opening the season with a hat-trick of wins. They are Stanley Matthews, England’s outside-right, and Stanley Mortensen, the international “bombshell, stars of Blackpool’s line-up. Everton’s splendid start with wins over Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City, and the fact that the one-and-only Matthews will be on view makes a 60,000 gate a Goodison Park possibility. So far the Blues have borne out exactly what I expected of them, and I see no reason why they should not win again. No back plays Matthews better than Norman Greenhalgh, who can be relied on to stay closer than a twin brother to Stan. If Humphreys can subdue Mortensen as effectively as he has done Weir and McMorran, then Everton should come out to top against a side lacking Johnson, but introduction the Scots McCormick and Buchan and whose record shows a win over Chelsea and a defeat at Huddersfield. Wainwright returns to Everton’s team, this being the only change for what should be one of the great games of the day. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, Eglington. Blackpool; Wallace; Shimwell, Stuart; Farrow, Hayward, Kelly; Matthews, Buchan, Mortensen, McKnight, McCormick.
Everton “A” play Burscough at Bellefield, and Everton Reserves visit Blackburn Res.
BLACKPOOL AT GOODISON
August 29, 1947. The Liverpool Echo
Greenhalgh Has Anti-Stanley Plan
With Stanley Mathews in their side, Blackpool will be a big box-office draw at Goodison Park tomorrow. Everton have Wainwright in place of Stevenson, thus revealing to the formation which won at Blackburn, Blackpool may prove as tough a nut to crack as Manchester City though the Seasiders’ defeat at Huddersfield seems to show that they are subject to off days the same as anybody else. The former Stoke wizard has rarely distinction himself against Greenhalgh. Everton’s skipper has how own ideas of putting the stopper on Stanley, mainly by endeavouring to get to the ball first and always keeping his eye on it. It looks like being another big duel between the pair of them. The juggling of Matthews’s educated feet is a delight to watch when he is at his best, and he and Mortensen will make a dangerous pair if they once get out of grip, of the defence. Humphreys can be safely left to keep an eye on the middle Stanley and Saunders will have the job of watching McCormick. Blackpool’s recent signing from Glasgow Rangers, who supplants Jim McIntosh. Blackpool will miss Harry Johnston, English international, who is not fit after last week’s injury. Right full back Shimwell is the former Sheffield United player who sought pastures new because the Yorkshire club would not relax their long-standing ban on players taking over a licensed house. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, Eglington. Blackpool; Wallace; Shimwell, Stuart; Farrow, Hayward, Kelly; Matthews, Buchan, Mortensen, McKnight, McCormick.
TWO GOALS IN A MINUTE SHOOT BLACKPOOL INTO A LEAD
August 30, 1947. The Evening Express
Blackpool Surprise at Goodison
After Wainwright had Given Everton the Lead
Blackpool started Everton and a 60,000 crowd at Goodison Park today, when they replied to Everton’s leading goal in the 34 minute with two goals in 60 seconds, scored just on the interval. Eddie Wainwright, Everton’s most trustful forward, had the Blues ahead with a brilliant individual goal and Everton seemed to have the measure of Blackpool. Then in the 43rd minute Stan Mortenson, always a brilliant opportunist, levelled the scores from McKnight pass, and straight from the restart McKnight went through and gave Blackpool their lead with a shot which went in off the post. Everton strove mightily to get on level terms in the second half, but found the Blackpool defence resolute and firm. Both goals escaped miraculously in turn. Eddie Wainwright returned to the Everton team. He took the place of Stevenson, and this was the only change from the side which did duty against Manchester City. Blackpool surprisingly defeated by Huddersfield in mid-week, made three changes in their forward line. Buchan displace Munro, McKnight took the place of Dick at inside left and McCormick was introduced on the left wing vice McIntosh. Blackpool were also without their captain, Harry Johnstone, for whom Kelly deputised at left half. With perfect weather and the visit of such stars as Stan Matthews and Stan Mortensen, there must have been nearly 60,000 present at the start. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Blackpool; Wallace, goal; Shimwell and Stuart, backs; Farorw, Hayward, and Kelly, half-backs; Matthews, Buchan, Mortensen, McKnight, and McCormick, forwards. Referee; Mr. R. Duerden (Lancaster). Blackpool made early strides when Kelly intercepted Wainwright’s pass for Mcllhatton and sent Mortensen away. He flicked a short pass to McCormick and it was well for Everton that Humphreys was on the spot to intercept the return pass. Blackpool were spiritedly and the first big thrill came when Sagar had to go full length to parry a Mortensen snap shot. Twice Hayward dispossessed Dodds. Then when the Blackpool pivot completely misjudged the bounces of the lively ball Dodds let go from fully 30 yards only to see Wallace turn the ball around the post. Everton should have taken the lead when Eglington, getting the break on the bounce of the ball, went through on his own, but he shot inches wide of the post. Everton were now warming up to their work and successive offside decisions against Mcllhatton were by no means to the crowd’s liking. The Everton defenders were finding the glare of the sun a great discomfort, though Humphreys was doing mighty work to keep the elusive Mortensen in check. Mortensen caused the crowd to gasp when he ran on to a choice pass from McKnight and unleashed a glorious rising drive which flashed inches over the cross-bar. When Blackpool returned to the attack we had our first glimpse of the Matthews wizardry. He rounded Greenhalgh and crossed the ball square close to Sagar. Again it was Humphreys who came to the rescue. When Everton were awarded a free kick for a foul on Eglington, who was in his brightest mood, the ball went clear to Bentham, whose long-range effort was well wide of the mark. Again Matthews came into the picture, and yet again it was Humphreys who nipped his work in the bud. The Blackpool forwards revealed neat, precise inter-passing ideas, but thus far the Everton defence had stood form, if sometimes aided by a slice of good fortune. McKnight, however, should have done better than slew the ball wide of the post when allowed to go on unchallenged. When Everton did make ground they found the Blackpool rearguard tackling relentlessly, and Hayward was giving Dodds little scope. A free kick to Blackpool on the left saw Farrell head clear but only to the feet of Farrow, who forced Sagar to save high up with a powerful first time drive. Then Sagar earned applause for a brilliant one-handed catch from Mortensen’s lobbed centre. The best Everton move of the match followed a lovely back heel by Dodds to put Fielding in possession. Fielding in turn whipped the ball across to Mcllhatton, who outwitted Stuart and then placed low across the face of the goal, Fielding, standing eight yards out, lofting the ball high over the bar. Dodds and Wainwright collaborated cleverly and Dodds brought Wallace to his knees with a fierce grounder. Wallace misfielded the ball and Mcllhatton, who had cut in to the centre headed in from low down, but only succeeded in placing the ball back into Wallace’s hands.
After Dodds had shot hard and low in to the side netting from an oblique angle, Blackpool went away again. Sagar dived low to a Farrow grounder but did not appear to touch the ball. The Everton goalkeeper seemed surprised when referee Duerden awarded a corner. The hugh crowd were thirsting for a goal and they had their desire in the 34th minute, when Everton took the lead. It was a cleverly-judged pass by Fielding which paved the way. Mcllhatton transferred to Wainwright, who ran up to and along the goal-line, beating two Blackpool defenders, cut inside and edged the ball into the small space between Wallace and the goalpost for a great goal. A free kick to Everton just outside the penalty area almost brought a second goal but Eglington was penalised when he went forward to take possession of Dodds canny forward pass. Then came a sensational two goals in 60 seconds spell by Blackpool. In the 43rd minute McKnight went through and squared the ball for the alert Mortensen to speed in and crack the ball into the back of the net in a flash. Almost straight from the kick-off McKnight went straight through on his own, caught the somewhat rattled Everton defence in two minds and flicked the ball past Sagar against the left-hand post, from which it trickled quietly over the line. This was a remarkable and unexpected turn round.
Half-Time; Everton 1, Blackpool 2.
Blackpool resumed with great dash and Sagar had to move quick to beat Mortensen to possession. Dodds pushed forward a glorious through pass for Fielding, who was well off the mark, however, with his first-time effort. After another Matthews effort which dazzled the Everton defence but brought no tangible result Everton indulged in a long spell of pressure in an attempt to break down the Blackpool defensive barrier. Fielding and Wainwright had shots charged down in turn and then Wainwright tried a powerful drive which flashed across the face of the goal. A certain amount of “bite” crept into the game and several players were spoken to by the referee.
Matthew’s Move Failed
After Fielding had been attended to for a leg injury, Matthews was just unable to connect with an accurate across from McCormick. Then Matthews rounded Greenhalgh and brought Sagar into action, the Everton goalkeeper cleverly intercepting a low pass intended for Mortensen. Dodds tried to break through solo but founded Hayward beating him to possession. The game was being fought out at a terrific pace, attention switching from end to end with extraordinary rapidity. Everton were fighting with might and main to draw level, but the Blackpool defence stood firm. It was only a last second catch by Wallace, however, which prevented Dodds getting his head to a Mcllhatton corner in the centre of the goal. There was a remarkable escape for Everton when Mortensen drove the ball against the post and Sagar, with an acrobatic leap sideways, just managed to pounce on the ball with the Blackpool forwards rampant. Everton advanced again for Dodds to send Mcllhatton away. Dodds moved into position and shot first time from Mcllhatton’s cross, but the ball cannoned against Wallace – which was fortunate for Blackpool. Then Everton became inaccurate in their passing. Wainwright failing badly when he tried to flick the ball through to the waiting Dodds. The Blackpool forwards were always dangerous when on the move, and the Everton defence could not find a counter to the magic of Matthews. Twice within a minute Everton came within an inch of equalising. In the first instance, only a last minute tackle by Shimwell prevented Eglington taking possession of Dodds forward pass. Final; Everton 1, Blackpool 2.
• Secretary-Manager Mr. Theo Kelly was a notably absentee from Goodison Park, today. Probably a talent-sporting mission claimed his attentions.
GOODISON SHOCKED BY BLACKPOOL “DOUBLE”
August 30, 1947. The Liverpool Football Echo
Lead Wiped Out
Everton 1, Blackpool 2
A brilliant goal by Wainwright was offset by two quick Blackpool goals. Towards the end the visitors were complete masters, indulging themselves in the niceties of soccer. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Blackpool; Wallace, goal; Shimwell and Stuart, backs; Farrow, Hayward, and Kelly, half-backs; Matthews, Buchan, Mortensen, McKnight, and McCormick, forwards. Referee; Mr. R. Duerden (Lancaster). It was again like a mid-summer’s day at Goodison Park, but the game had such an attracting look about it that there was an even bigger crowd than on Wednesday, and I estimated the crowd at the start at fully 60,000 people. Hardly had the game opened than Bentham was on the injured list. He received a blow in the face, and the game was held up for a few minutes. Some excellent football was seen from the start and it did not all come from Blackpool. Mortensen made a hook shot which might have caught many less alert goalkeepers than Sagar, who made a good save. Mortensen was through again when he was brought down by Humphreys and many thought a penalty might have been awarded.
A Flying Save
Everton had to face a glaring sun, but it was Blackpool with their backs to the sun, who made the first real defensive slip which might have proved costly. Shimwell sliced his clearance, the ball went straight to Dodds, who in Lawton-like fashion, drove in a fierce shot which Wallace saved by “flying” across his goal-line. When Hayward made a faulty clearance it opened the way to a possible Everton goal. Eglington was left with only the goalkeeper to beat. He took the ball into the penalty area, hit it strongly, but the ball struck the net support. Two offside decisions given against Mcllhatton greatly annoyed him. I thought the first one was fully justified, but not the second.
Stan Matthews was finding the combination of Farrell. Greenhalgh and Humphreys a bar to any great success, but when he did receive an opportunity he made full use of it, offering his inside forward a “possible.” Mortensen vied with Dodds in making the second-best shooting effort so far, but in his case the goalkeeper was not called upon, the ball skimming over the cross-bar. Wainwright, who brought much more drive into the Everton attack, made two fiery shots, both of which were unfortunately cannoned out.
Sagar is Busy
Farrow brought out a good save from Sagar, who also made a driving save to keep out one by Mortensen. The Everton goalkeeper next cut out a nasty-looking cross from Buchan, despite being harassed by a Blackpool man. Taken all round Everton had more shots, and one pretty movement by Dodds when he back-heeled a ball to Fielding spilt the Blackpool defence wide open. When a slow shot by Dodds was only half saved by Wallace, the ball came out to Mcllhatton, but the Everton outside right was too close to the goalkeeper to get any power behind his shot. At this stage Everton were playing with such rhythm and determination that they appeared to be the side most likely to score. They did at 34 minutes and it was a goal make entirely by one man, Wainwright. He collected the ball just inside the penalty area, wheeled his way round the defenders in a nonchalant manner until he finally found himself close in to goal. Wallace in all probability expected Wainwright to make a pass, and was entirely missed by the hooked shot which defeated him.
The Everton defence had obtained a complete mastery of the Blackpool attack and for some moments Everton turned on such pressure that the Blackpool defence was often at its wits end as to how to deal with the many awkward situations which confronted it. Mcllhatton had a shot, others tried their luck, but it seemed that Wainwright’s goal would be the only one in the first half. Dodds, against his former colleagues, was pulling out all the tricks, he knows, and when Everton were awarded a free kick, Dodds himself decided to take it. Haywood and company naturally expected a “blinder,” but Jock neatly tapped the ball towards the left wing, which should have done better with the opportunity. Almost straight from this Blackpool moved forward and McKnight made a pass which Mortensen “killed” instantly and then swept the ball into the net at 43 minutes. One minute later Blackpool had taken the lead. A ball had come up from the rear and was slipped further forward by Mortensen to McKnight, whose final effort struck the inside of the post on its journey to the back of the net.
Half-time – Everton 1, Blackpool 2
Mortensen made an electric run in the first minute of the second half but he was not able to reach a finishing point because of the Everton defence. We had not seen Matthews and his jugglery in this game, but suddenly he came to life and with wonderful control carried the ball through the Everton defence. His dribbling act undoubtedly pleased the public, but it gained his side little or nothing. Eglington made one of his flashing runs, but his final pass finished behind Dodds instead of in front of him.
Six Players Warned
Then came a period during which six players were warned in turn. I would not say there was any nastiness in the game, but the referee perhaps knew more than I did. Fielding was injured and had to leave the field for a spell, and during his absence Blackpool came back into the game. Mcllhatton made a number of nice runs, only to be dispossessed at the vital moment. Matthews tried another of his wizardry acts, but after beating a couple of Everton men fell a victim to Eglington. Blackpool at last rain into the form that made them famous during the war years. Their football was a joy and their passing almost machine-like.
A Near Thing
They seemed to score a certain goal when Mortensen took up a pass from Buchan but shot against the inside of the upright. I though the ball was in, even before Sagar clutched it. The Everton goalkeeper juggled with the ball and finally got it away, But I was still of the opinion that it was a goal until the referee waved play on. The consensus of opinion round about was the same as mine, but the referee is the only man to decide and he was on the spot his decision must be accepted. Blackpool had got such a grip of things at this state that Everton were practically on the defensive the whole time. There was one exception, when Mcllhatton swung over a long pass which Dodds seemed to knee to the goalkeeper. Blackpool had much more method, and at times they made Everton look moderate by their intriguing footwork. In one raid Wallace was hurt in a challenge against Dodds. Wainwright and Dodds changed places in the hope that the former’s speed would enable him to outwit the Blackpool defence. Final; Everton 1, Blackpool 2.
BLACKBURN RESERVES V EVERTON RESERVES
August 30, 1947. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Reserves opened the more briskly and gained a lead over Blackburn Reserves in 15 minutes through Boyes. There was, however, little punch in the football generally through Burnett had to deal with a strong drive from Wheeler. A quick thrust by Grant carried danger to the Rovers, but his centre travelled too far. Half-time; Blackburn Reserves 0, Everton Reserves 1.
Godwin equalised smartly in the 17th minute. Hayhurst the Blackburn keeper, safely disposed of a grand low drive by Boyes and at the other end Godwin only narrowly failed to score from a faulty back pass by Jones. Grant restored Everton’s lead in the 61st minute when Holliday missed his kick. Final; Blackburn Reserves 1, Everton Reserves 2.