BIG MERSEYSIDE “DERBY” AT ANFIELD.
December 1, 1939, The Liverpool Daily Post
The old Merseyside football “Derby” day spirit will be recaptured tomorrow when Liverpool and Everton meet at Anfield in their first competitive fixture of the season. This will be a Western Regional match which should produce a grand struggle. Already –at Anfield. Whereas Liverpool won the “Jubilee” game by two goals to one, Everton avenged the defeat in convincing manner a few weeks later by winning a friendly game 4-1. What of the “rubber” match? On the face of things it looks good for Liverpool, who, one again, will walk on to the field favourities. The reason is that Liverpool have been able to secure the release of seven of their Army players and so are back to their best available strength, while Everton will be without Gillick –still recovering in hospital from the burns received in his garage fire –and Mercer, Lawton and Greenhalgh all of whom will be playing for England against Scotland at Newcastle.
Upsetting The Odds.
Yet Everton seem to take an impish delight in upsetting the odds whenever they face Liverpool. They put up a great show in the last game when “from” indicated a runaway win for the Reds, and they have in their deputies players of real ability and honesty of purpose. Latest news is that Stan Bentham will be fit enough to play. This will add punch to the attack. Apart from the defence, Riley, Cooper, and Tennant, Liverpool will have out the precise team which opened the season against Sheffield United at Bramell-lane. Everton have one player at least who may set up an impassable barrier to this all-First Division Red raiding line. This is Tommy Jones, the Welsh international centre half. Jones is a brilliant pivot, and his duel with the clever Liverpool inside forwards should prove one of the outstanding features of an intriguing game. Maybe we shall miss the odd 50,000 crowd, but the football should be of the real pre-war vintage. Liverpool; Riley; Cooper, Tennant; Busby, Bush, McInnes; Nieuwenhuys, Taylor; Fagan, Balmer, Van Den Berg. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Saunders; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Davies, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes.
• Everton “B” v Klondtke tomorrow, Saturday at Goodison Park, stands 6d, Everton X1Reed; Harvey, Dugdale; Sharrett, Beardswood, Hankin; Pennington, Simmons, Cobbiam, Lyon, Bailey. Keep This Cutting As Your Programme.
December 1, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Liverpool and Everton Liverpool and Everton meet tomorrow at Anfield in competitive football for the first time since the war began. They had a previous meeting –a friendly fixture –which Everton won comfortably when everything pointed to a Liverpool success, but that will hardly go down in the record books as tom-morrow’s result will. If the match had been played a week ago, Everton would have been firm favurities. Liverpool had to readjust their side at the last minute, owing to the Army players being absent, but now, with the prospects of a full team, Liverpool undoubtedly seem the more likely to win. That is as good as reason as any for their losing remembering their contrary methods. But whichever way the match goes, there will be a ready public to see the old-time rivalry continued. Everton are undoubtedly handicapped in that Mercer and Greenhalgh will be playing for England at Newcastle, and there will be others who will be missing. Nevertheless, the Everton reserves strength has always been a feature, and if the well-known “names” do not appear one can depend on it the substitutes will be little less effective. Liverpool’s war-time record is co consistent that they must be considered favourites, but Everton will be keen to repeat a previous success this season. Liverpool; Riley; Cooper, Tennant; Busby, Bush, McInnes; Nieuwenhuys, Taylor; Fagan, Balmer, Van Den Berg. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Saunders; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Davies, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes.
• Everton “B” v Klondtke tomorrow, Saturday at Goodison Park, stands 6d, Everton X1Reed; Harvey, Dugdale; Sharrett, Beardswood, Hankin; Pennington, Simmons, Cobbiam, Lyon, Bailey. Keep This Cutting As Your Programme.
Liverpool Evening Express - Saturday 02 December 1939
Dave Murray, former Everton footballer and one of the South Africans who went to Goodison Park, is back in the city. Dave has decided to go back to South Africa, and is now waiting to sail. During recent years Dave has been in Jersey coaching, and it is was he who sent young Pat Hurel over to England to try his luck with Everton. Hurel showed distinct promise and after good service with Everton was allowed to join Warney Cresswell at Northampton. He became a regular member of the Town first team. Dave renewed an old friendship with Arthur Riley, the Liverpool goalkeeper.
EVERTON’S SHOCK TACTICS IN ANFIELD “DERBY.”
December 2, 1939. The Evening Express.
Liverpool A Goal Down In Two Minutes
Merseyside’s first regional “Derby” –at Anfield today –was a disappointment from a crowd aspect. There were no more than 3,000 spectators present at the start. Liverpool: - Riley, goal; Coop and Tennant, backs; Busby (captain), Busy, and McInnes, half-backs; Nieuwenhuys, Taylor, Fagan, Balmer, and Van Den Berg, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain) goal; Jackson and Saunders, backs; Lindley, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Davies, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. G.V. Salmon. Riley was early in action when the Everton left wing developed cleverly. He had to come out and dive to the ball to hold off Bell’s challenge. Within two minutes, Everton repeating their Anfield shock tactics, were a goal ahead. Davies was the scorer. Hesitancy on the part of the Liverpool defence made the goal possible, for Tennent and Riley moved to position and back again without launching the tackle. Davies had his first attempt blocked but followed up with Riley out of position to shoot into the far corner as Bell was coming in to lend a helping hand.
Jones Star In Defence.
Jones was the star in the Everton defence, as the Reds swarmed to the attack while making the mistake of holding the ball a trifle too long. A lovely dribble through by McInnes was ended when Jackson was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, but the free kick brought no grist to the Liverpool mill. Sagar had to go full length to save a daisy-cutter from Balmer. Liverpool were having more of the game territorially, but the Everton defence was perfect. The early form of Saunders, playing his first game with the Everton seniors, was highly encouraging, particularly his timing of tackles. Liverpool kept pegging away without being able to shake off the tenacious Everton half-backs, the dominant factor in a game producing an abundance of good football and thrills which can only be found in a Merseysiide “Derby.”
• Jack Edwards Jones played for Tranmere against Manchester United at Prenton Park.
PASS-BACK GOAL FOR EVERTON.
December 2, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Davies Transforms Tennant Effort
Fine Duels On The Wing A Feature
The sides came out two by two for the first war-time meeting in competitive football, but the Anfield ground was sparsely populated and there were not more than 3,000 to see the start. . Liverpool: - Riley, goal; Coop and Tennant, backs; Busby (captain), Busy, and McInnes, half-backs; Nieuwenhuys, Taylor, Fagan, Balmer, and Van Den Berg, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain) goal; Jackson and Saunders, backs; Lindley, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Davies, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. G.V. Salmon. Sagar was captain of the Everton side which included Bentham at inside right in place of the sixteen-year-old Simmons. A Busby pass back to Riley almost produced a goal through Bell’s pertinacity in following up. Riley only just got to the ball as the former Tranmere centre-forward stuck out his foot to shoot. Everton went ahead very early one through a mistake on the part of Tennant, and again it was a pass-back which did the damage. Riley came out as quickly as he could, but the ball rebounded from him, and Davies slipped it into an empty goal.
A free kick by Balmer was of no value, because he only got half power on his shot and when McInnes became outside left and threatened to centre from just outside the penalty area, Jackson conceded a dangerous free-kick which McInnes proceeded to put over the top. A nice move by Van Den Berg and Balmer finished with a Balmer shot that Sagar stopped low to win. Then Everton were on their way again through Boyes, who forced Taylor to handle to save further trouble. Taylor’s body stopped a Busby volley, and Liverpool were always shaping like an equaliser, though the Everton defence was resolute at the right moment. It was quite good football, and the Everton “reserves” stood up to their job splendidly. Saunders put in some throughout work when he beat Nivvy in a challenge for the ball, and the duels of Jackson and Van Den Berg were a grand feature, with neither side farming the honours. Lindley was particularly good in one run in which he used his long legs in typical Tom Jones style, and Jones incidentally was as ever, the kernel of the Everton defence.
“DERBY” GAME DRAWN
December 4, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Liverpool 2, Everton 2
Outstanding Figures At Anfield.
Everton did exceptionally well to play a drawn match with Liverpool in the first war-time competitive game between the sides. Everything was in Liverpool’s favour –they had the stronger side, the benefit of playing on their own ground –yet the reserves talent of the other’s fitted in so well there was never a great deal in it. Taking a two goals lead in the first-half, Everton might conceivably have held on for victory, but once Liverpool found the game swinging in their favour they scored twice in a minute, and in the end were going all out for the goal that would have made the match theirs. There have been many less acceptable peace-time clashes of these neighbour. Without bonus and the usual incentive to win, both sides played sternly for what honours there were to be won. In conditions that did not favour good football, 8,000 spectators were kept interested at all times.
Stevenson’s Fine Judgement.
All the goals were remarkable in their way, and none more than Stevenson’s Everton’s second. This was a triumph for quick thinking, yet there must have been hardly one person on the ground who did not see the possibility of a goal at the same time as the scorer. Riley went to the edge of the penalty box to get distance only half-bit, his clearance, and Stevenson’s got the ball under control and returned it into goal from 35 yards’ range with little compunction and all haste. Riley was only half-way back to his line when he flung up his hands, hopefully and hopelessly. Davies had previously scored when a back pass to Riley had not been made with sufficient power, and this too, was a reward for opportunism. Nieuwenhuy’s goal with a cracking shot early in the second half put some inspiration into a Liverpool that was sadly in need of it at that moment. When Tom Jones was adjudged to have tripped Fagan in the penalty area a moment later. Fagan slammed in one of those penalty-spot shots for which he has great repute. Afterwards it was mostly Liverpool, but in spite of a number of close calls Everton held out.
Everton did not lose because the slight defensive failing in the side were more than counter-balanced by Tom Jones. Centrepiece of a half-back line which must be about the best in the county he judged the right moment to step in and carve his way through the rather tame finishing of Liverpool’s inside forwards. Well as they played up to a point bone always had the feeling that Balmer, Taylor, and Fagan were a bit overawed by Jones’s ability to stop them at the crucial moment. Jackson, not always unsuccessful to duels with Van Den Berg, certainly kicked the ball hearty enough. Stevenson and Davies were quite outstanding in the Everton front line, who apart slips did nothing to enhance its reputation. Bush out headed and out played Bell, and Busby and McInnes could afford time, to go up and use their talents to attacking endeavour. Cooper and Tennant played well, and if the Liverpool inside forwards were not so potent as usual in front of goal they graced the match with some lovely approach play. Additionally, Taylor struck the angle with a solid shot. . Liverpool: - Riley, goal; Coop and Tennant, backs; Busby (captain), Busy, and McInnes, half-backs; Nieuwenhuys, Taylor, Fagan, Balmer, and Van Den Berg, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain) goal; Jackson and Saunders, backs; Lindley, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Davies, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. G.V. Salmon.
• England beat Scotland by two goals to one at Newcastle. Tommy Lawton, converting a Stanley Matthews cross to score England’s first goal. Greenhalgh and Mercer also played for England and Caskie (St Mirren and Everton) for Scotland.
December 4, 1939. The Evening Express.
The big game of the day was at Anfield, where the old rivals Liverpool and Everton got to grips again. This time the result with a draw 2-2 draw, and no one could quibble at that. At one time it looked as if the Blues were going to keep up their fine record at Anfield, for Davies provided them with an early lead, and then came out of the most remarkable goal I have ever seen. Stevenson was the score. Riley advanced to the penalty area edge to clear and landed the ball inside the ten yards circle. Stevenson trapped it neatly and propelled it a few yards. In a flash he surprised everyone by making a long lob shot over the head of Riley –still on the edge of the area –and the ball landed true into the corner of the net. It was a brilliant example of an alert mind and accuracy over the ball. Everton kept the lead for 55 minutes, when Niewenhuys cut in to rattle the ball home with one of the terrific cross shots so characteristic of him, and then came the penalty to encourage Liverpool, who pressed almost continuously to the end without being able to break down a grand defence. It was high-powered football all through, with Everton the better team early on and Liverpool coming into their own later.
The dominant factor in the game was the Everton halfback line. Tom Jones was easily the best man on the field –the personality who consolidated the Blues’ lines and yet played with extreme coolness. Lindley proved again what a fine young proposition he is, while Watson was strong on the ball and delighted with those quick Busby-like passes, made unhesitatingly. Liverpool, well plied by Busby –the consummate artist –and McInnes would have done better had they not held the ball too close and over-dribbled. It was playing into the hands of the Everton defence. The ultra-trickiness made the Everton task much lighter. Even so, Jackson and Saunders had plenty to do. I liked the way young Saunders settled down to his work. It was his first game this season and his first ever for Everton’s first team. This lad will make the grade. Cooper had a grand second-half, and Tennant played with rare calm and correctness. Thought Fagan, Taylor, and Niewenhuys were the best home forwards. Everton had no attacker to compare with Stevenson, who was the mainspring of cute movements besides being the danger man in front of goal. Boyes made him a willing partner. Sagar had rather more work to do than Riley, but each acquitted himself splendidly. In the boardroom after the game I heard no word of complaint from anyone except on the penalty point. Mr. Ernest Green, the Everton chairman, had support from directorial colleagues in Messrs Will Gibbins and Dickie Williams and Dr. Cecil Baxter. Chairman Mr. Will Harrop, of the Reds was host in cheif. Messrs Jimmy Troop, Lawson, Martindale and George Richards, were also there, and Mr. Ronnie Williams, as usual, was making sure that no one was neglected. He has a great capacity for making everyone feel welcomes.
AINTREE TEACHER TO RETIRE
Liverpool Evening Express - Tuesday 05 December 1939
Mr. William Green, of Aintree, will at Christmas retire after 42 years continuous service as teacher at St. George’s School, Everton. He belongs to a well - known educational and sporting family and is a brother to Mr. Ernest Green, chairman of the Board of Directors of Everton Football Club. In his younger days be plaved for the old South Liverpool Football Club.
December 8, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Our Thanks to the city seniors. They could hardly have put more into the game if there had been a 50,000 crowd, £2 worth of bonus, and the usual £2 per week behind it all. It was a good draw and Everton would rightly take pride in having held the opposition at their strongest. It must be put on record that Lawton, Greenhalgh, Mercer, Cook and others were otherwise engaged. Liverpool having a reputation for contrariness, it did not surprise us greatly when Everton’s mixed bag took a two goals lead. Two simple defensive slips let in the enemy and once they fell so far behind it looked long odds against Anfield’s lot battling the match to a state of indecision. Actually they came very near winning. This would have been a rather harsh result for Everton, but there could be no mistaking the fear of the verdict once Liverpool got their teeth into the job. In many way’s it was curious match. The conditions did not favour good football, but we were provided with a great deal of unexpectedly fine moves. There was a free kick (Balmer’s) which travelled straight across field from one touchline to the other –a most uncommon sight! –some fresh goals, not the least of which was Stevenson’s unhappy return that caught Arthur Riley in anything but a goodwill frame of mind, and one too-hearty clash of rivals. Without doubt Stevenson’s goal will be remembered when all else of the first war-time competitive meeting is forgotten. “Steve” collected a half-and-half Riley clearance and Arthur had gone to the edge of the penalty box for extra distances and swept it back so quickly the goalkeeper could only wave a hand at it. Davies, who had a solid shot, and who appears to be such more likely to make a forward than a half-back (his position when he came from Chester) had slammed in the first half after a rather timid pass-back had left Riley half beaten from the start.
Fagan’s Spot Shot.
Everton still led 2-0 with half the match gone. Only when “Nivvy” got hold of the ball well and truly and scored from one of his favourite angles did Liverpool revive; another goal came in the next breath when Tom Jones was adjudged to have tripped Fagan and Fagan spot-shot his side’s second. The penalty decision caused much argument. I am told Jones did not see the justice of it. Personally, I thought it a genuine award. The 8,000 who attended will doubtless have made up their minds one way of the other by now! Having pulled the match round to this point, Liverpool set out to make a complete job of it. Only Jones’s rallying of the mixed forces of his disposal prevented the other side penetrating the defence. Jones is a Maginot in himself! The beauty of his play is its quiet effectiveness. He does not pull himself out of shape in desperate defensive stuff, but the impression one gets is that all opposing forwards dislike his nip-in and-take-when-it-pleases-me attitude. With Watson and Lindley alongside it make as all-round half back line as Everton ever had. Lindley has filled out since I last saw him a season or two ago, and is a true Crayston type nowadays. Everton’s frontispiece was not to commendable. There was Davies’s ready boot and Stevenson’s ability to set the line going, but nothing about it to suggest they would get a lot of goals. Boyes had his moments. On the other hand, Balmer, Taylor and Fagan made the game look simple until they began to overcrowd. Their approach was superb; their finishing rather ordinary, even admitting the ill-fortune of a Taylor shot that shivered the timbers. It must be mentioned here that Balmer was far from well and was playing under difficulties. Busby (stationed as P.T. Instructor not a million miles from this city) and McInnes used the comparative poorness of the Everton attack to go up and “help themselves.” Apart from the two mistakes, both of which cost the sides dearly, there was nothing wrong with the Liverpool defence. Cooper seems to have taken a new lease of life, and prompts the question. “Why was he ever left out.”
LAWTON MAY PLAY FOR EVERTON AGAINST PORT VALE.
December 5, 1939. The Evening Express.
Tommy Lawton, Everton and England centre-forward, may once again lead the Blues’ attack on Saturday, when Everton entertain Port Vale at Goodison Park in a Western Regional game. Mr. Theo Kelly, the Everton secretary, said to me today that there was a big chance of Lawton playing and so he has delayed the announcement of his team. Lawton is a present working in Leicester, but was given time off in order to play for England against Scotland on Saturday. Now, if he can get Saturday morning off, he will be able to help his own club again. Mr. Kelly state that he may also have the services of Sweeney, one of the Blues’ military boys for outside-right. Until he knows definitely the team cannot be given, but Everton are certain to be strengthened by the return from international duly of Joe Mercer and Norman Greenhalgh.
LAWTON MAY PLAY.
November 5, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
It is probable that Tommy Lawton will be in the Everton team to meet Port Vale at Goodison Park on Saturday. The side has not yet been definitely chosen, but Mr. Kelly hopes Lawton will be available. Another possible change may be made at outside right, where Sweeney, now stationed within easy distance of Liverpool, may come in for Davies. Should Sweeney play he will be the sixth youngster to make his first team debut for Everton in four weeks. Burnett and Sharp played against Chester, Johnson and Simmons against Crewe, and Saunders at Anfield. The probable Everton team is: - has decided is: Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
THEO WANTS 50,000
December 6, 1939. The Evening Express.
Mr. Theo Kelly, secretary of Everton Football Club, wants 50,000 cigarettes –for the boys in the Services. Such was the success of his collection at the recent Football league v. All British X1 match at Goodison –about 15,000 cigarettes were collected –that he has decided to have another collection on Christmas Day, when Liverpool oppose Everton at the Park. He aims at 50,000, believing, and rightly so, that the spectators will be only too pleased to give generously at the festive season. Mr. Kelly assures me that all the cigarettes will be distributed to the boys in the Merseyside area.
December 6, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Lawton will be able to play for Everton against Port Vale at Goodison Park on Saturday after all, but is expected to be available for regular service in subsequent matches. An alteration has also been made in the half-back line where Lindley moves over to the left wing, replacing Watson. There is nothing a miss with the latter, the change being affected so that the best use can be made of the players available. Watson is not twelfth man, and Sweeney will play for certain. The team reads:- Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Lindley; Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, and Boyes. Everton are to make an endeavour to improve on the cigarette collection idea, started at the recent international match at Goodison Park on Christmas Day. They hope to collect 50,000 flags for Merseyside units.
EVERTON –POTTERIES DUEL
December 8, 1939. Te Evening Express.
The Blues have yet to be beaten at home, while Port Vale have yet to win an away game. Port Vale have earned seven points from six matches –one fewer than Everton and two fewer than Stoke City, the league leaders. Everton will have Joe Mercer and Norman Greenhalgh back from international duty for this attractive game –kick-off 2.30 –and I expect them to win. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Lindley; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes. Port Vale; Jepson; Bowe, Scrimshaw; Hannah, Griffiths (H.), Smith; Higgins, Nolan, Griffiths (P.), Brunt, Tunnclife.
EVERTON’S STRONG SIDE.
December 8, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
It is hoped that Tommy Lawton will be available for Everton’s game with Port Vale at Goodison tomorrow, but even without him I feel that a victory is well within the range of the champions for the Hanley side are not world beaten, by any means. The Everton directors, believe in giving as many of their players at possible a run with the first team hence the reason why Lindley takes the place of Watson at left half. This enables Mercer to take up his usual position on the night. Another change is at outside right where Sweeney comes in as partner to Bentham. Jack Davies has done well in that position, but he is really a half-back. Sweeney is now engaged in the Liverpool district, so it is possible that he will be seen quite often. Greenhalgh, so that Everton will put out a strong side against the Vale. There are several very able players in the Potteries team, and they put up a good show against Liverpool up to a point, but they can hardly be considered in the championship class. Third Division sides are always out to take down seniors and for that reason Everton must have a care. They must not take too much for granted. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Lindley; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes. Port Vale; Jepson; Bowe, Scrimshaw; Hannah, Griffiths (H.), Smith; Higgins, Nolan, Griffiths (P.), Brunt, Tunnclife.
EVERTON HAMMER AWAY
December 9, 1939. The Evening Express.
Escapes For Port Vale.
Gordon Watson, Everton’s left half-back, missed his first match of the season, today, when Port Vale were the visitors to Goodison park. Lindley deputised. Greenhalgh and Mercer were back from international duty. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones, and Lindley, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Port Vale: - Jepson, goal; Rowe and Scrimshaw, backs; Smith, Griffiths (H.), and Obrey, half-backs; Higgins, Nolan, Griffiths (P.), Blunt, and Tunnichliffe, forwards. Referee Mr. S. N. Roberts. The attendance must have been the poorest of the season at Goodison Park when Bell set the ball in motion. Everton quickly took up the attack and Mercer was unfortunate to slip after cleverly outwitting Scrimshaw, the ball running out of play. Boyes led a second raid on the left but this time H. Griffiths intercepted the winger’s centre and Jepson was able to clear. Blunt and Tunnicliffe well on the visiting left and following one of their attacks, Lindley had to cross over to dispossess Obrey. Immediately afterwards, Tunnicliffe broke away again, but his left foot shot passed high and wide of the Everton goal. When Everton returned to the attack Boyes forced a corner-which was headed away by Smith. The ball was quickly returned and H. Griffiths checked Bell by quickly slipping the ball back to his goalkeeper.
Thrills In Vale Goal.
The first real thrill of the match came when Bentham centred, and both Bell and the defenders completely missed the ball. It ran on to Boyes who quickly banged it towards the net with his left foot, for Rowe to head off the goal line with Jepson out of position. The Port Vale goal had another narrow escape just afterwards, when Lindley flung himself through the air to head inches wide. Port Vale’s best effort was when Nolan weaved his way through before sending wide with a low drive from fairly long range. Everton were giving Jepson plenty to do and after the goalkeeper had scooped out a shot from Stevenson, he fisted away from Boyes. Stevenson had a gilt-edged chance when, following clever combination with Lindley, Boyes turned the ball back, but the Irish international placed outside. In 34 minutes Everton took the lead. They were awarded a free kick on the left and Lindley placed the ball into the goalmouth for Bentham to net from close range.
HALF-BACKS’ GRIP AT EVERTON
December 9, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Port Vale Attacks “Shut Up”
Smallest Gate In First Team History.
The Everton-port Vale game was played almost in camera, for there were no more than a few hundred people at Goodison Park. This was undoubtedly the lowest attendance of any match played in Everton’s first team history. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones, and Lindley, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Port Vale: - Jepson, goal; Rowe and Scrimshaw, backs; Smith, Griffiths (H.), and Obrey, half-backs; Higgins, Nolan, Griffiths (P.), Blunt, and Tunnichliffe, forwards. Referee Mr. S. N. Roberts. Mercer was the first to show his attacking power, and it would have been a success had not he stumbled over the feet of Scrimshaw, Everton held the advantage in the matter of attack for some minutes Sagar had to handle two pass-backs from his own men, just as Jepson had to do when he called for the ball from H. Griffiths. Bell, with his well-known drag effort almost squeaked his way through the Hanley team’s defence, but conditions beat him. Nolan tried a long drive from outside the eighteen yards line, but was nowhere near the target; in fact, there was little shooting of any sort today, although some of the midfield play was quite attractive. The Vale played some neat football, particularly wingman Tunnicliffe, but it was Everton who came near scoring the opening goal. It followed some good combination, and Boyes who made the show, was unfortunate to find Rowe under the bar heading away when his goalkeeper was beaten.
A Stubborn Defence.
Greenhalgh was hurt and limped for quite a while afterwards. Although Everton were giving Jepson plenty to do, it was not the sort likely to bring about his downfall, although Boyes did bring him to his full length to run a low shot found the upright. Sweeney thus far had done well in a centring sense, and although Everton were practically always on top they were finding Port Vale’s defence very stubborn. Jepson was not slow, to let his backs know that he had the backs covered, for one could hear his shout all over the place. Bell tried to brush through everything, but once again he found the conditions against his plan. Mercer had a shot, and so for that matter did Sweeney, but one could not claim there had been a lot of shooting in this game. Bentham scored for Everton after 34 minutes.
EVERTON TAKE AN EASY VICTORY
December 11, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Port Vale 1.
Port Vale No match For Goodison Side.
Port Vale were really no match for Everton before the smallest attendance ever seen at Goodison Park for a first team game, even though it took the winners an uncommonly long time to mark-up their first goal. The Vale defence was dour during the first part of the game, and they had to be, for they were constantly under pressure. Yet their goalkeeper, Jepson, was not unduly tested with the type of shot likely to beat him. Shooting was not a big feature, and Sagar’s hardest work was saving shots from his colleagues back passes. Jepson had a little more to do, for Everton were nearly always inside his penalty area, and he had once slice of luck when a shot from Boyes was entering the net, only to be kept out of Rowe, the full back. Everton should have taken the lead long before they did, but there was no disputing their great superiority. They took the lead as the result of a free kick. Bentham gliding the ball through from close range, with the goalkeeper anticipating a header from Bell, who, however, did not connect. Very soon afterwards Sweeney cracked in a hard shot from Boyes’s corner kick. It had practically been all Everton, and Port Vale did not suggest they would hit back. But they did, for in the second half they showed up in a better light, although they never really promised to be any great trouble for Sagar. Everton’s half-backs were far too good for the Vale attack which, however, perseveral in the bitter end. Mercer increased Everton’s lead through a penalty goal –the award of the spot kick did not seen to me to be justified –and then P. Griffiths scored a consolation goal for Port Vale. I think the ball actually went into the net off Greenhalgh’s foot. Mercer is playing better football than ever Jones more nonchalant than ever without impairing his great ability. Sweeney centred nicely, took his goal well, but was slow in his anticipation of what was going to happen. Greenhalgh and Jackson were not troubled until late on when Port Vale’s forwards did threaten to worry the Everton defence. Sagar had one of his easiest afternoons. Attendance 1,360. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones, and Lindley, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Port Vale: - Jepson, goal; Rowe and Scrimshaw, backs; Smith, Griffiths (H.), and Obrey, half-backs; Higgins, Nolan, Griffiths (P.), Blunt, and Tunnichliffe, forwards. Referee Mr. S. N. Roberts.
December 11, 1939. The Evening Express.
Half back strength proved the deciding factor in Everton’s victory over Port Vale at Goodison Park. Mercer, Jones, and Lindley took command of the visiting attack very early in the game, and not once did they relax their grips. Jones was the essence of coolness, and his positional play was brilliant. He did no more than was absolutely necessary jet he completely dominated the Port Vale inside forwards when the occasion arose. Mercer revelled in the collections and worked untiringly. He displayed perfect control of the ball and was equally good in attack as in defence. Lindley, who deputised for Watson –absent for the first time this season –give one of his brightest displays. Sweeney is the Third Everton right wing debutant to find the net in successive matches. Stevenson was the pick of an Everton attack which combined better than that of the visitors. Jackson and Greenhalgh were sound backs, with the result that Sagar had little work of a difficult nature.
MERCER “LARNS EM”
December 11, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Port Vale were more easily beaten than the actual score, denotes. They should have taken a goodly lead long before the interval, for they were always on the attack, but shooting was not a feature of this game played, before the smallest crowd Everton have had at Goodison. The most outstanding thing in the whole game was Mercer’s penalty goal. It has long been said that Joe’s left foot was simply an aid to walking and running, so you can imagine out feelings when he elected to take the spot kick with his “swinger.” We all waited to see what part of the crowd -1,360 were there –the ball would land in Oh, what a surprise. The ball crashed into the back of the net. Joe said he has been waiting this chance to show that his left foot is no mere ornament. The penalty award seemed harsh treatment and hardly justifiable, but as against that there was the case of Bell being obviously on-side just about to shoot when the whistle blew him off-side A certain goal lay before him. Those two incidents balanced each other. The Vale were always triers, but it was easy to see the difference in class of the two teams. Everton’s half-back strength was too great for the Vale forwards, who never promised to score and it is just possible that they would not have done had not Phil Griffiths shot not touched Greenhalgh’s boot. Sweeney scored a debut goal and got across many good centres, but he was slow to see what was happening. Bentham scored the first goal, gliding through a free kick. Bell having led the goalkeeper into the belief that he would head the ball, but Bell failed to connect –at least with the ball. He got a bump from another head.
• Leyfield the former Everton and Doncaster Rovers player who was on loan to Chester, suffered a broken ankle in the match against Manchester City, and is in hospital there.
DIRECTOR TOM PERCY TAKES UP ARMY COMMISSION
December 12, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Tom Percy Lieutenant.
The many friends of Mr. Tom Percy director of Everton F.C. and a well known business man in Liverpool, will be interested to know that he has joined the Army. Although over military age, he has been trying since the war started to find a niche where he could do his bit in these troublesome times. He has now been granted a comparison as Lieutenant in the Roay Army Ordinance Corps, and left Liverpool yesterday to report at his headquarters today. The good wishes of Merseyside football followers will go with them. Everton’s team to meet Blackburn Rovers in the Second Round of the Lancashire Cup at Ewood Park is not yet settled, but I fancy it will be; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; from Sweeney, Davies, Bentham, Lawton, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes.
SOCCER VENUES SWITCH
December 13, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton and Liverpool have come to a new arrangement regarding the friendly matches which have been fixed between the clubs for Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Instead of Liverpool going to Goodison Park on Christmas afternoon, Everton will go to Anfield that day, and the kick-off will be at 11-30 a.m. This has been done because a morning kick-off is always avoided by Everton at Goodison Park on Christmas Day and Good Friday. Liverpool will go to Goodison Park on Boxing Day when the match will begin at 2-30. The change will, I feel certain, be welcomed for the public. It will enable the football enthusiasts to have their customary soccer treat and be home in time for the mid-day meal on Christmas Day.
CHEDGZOY JUNIOR FOR NEW BRIGHTON.
December 13, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Swansea Town have given New Brighton permission to utilise the services of Chedgzoy. Son of the famous ex-Everton player there right half-back who has been playing recently for Runcorn.
December 14, 1939. The Evening Express.
Lindley will take Mercer’s place in Everton’s team to visit Blackburn on Saturday. Mercer cannot make the journey in time. The Everton club, therefore have given permission for him to play for Chester against Bury at Chester. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, and Boyes.
The Everton “C” team will oppose Merchant Taylor’s at Goodison Park on Saturday. Everton “C”:- Canavan; Kieran, Dugdale; Hall, Bearswood, Atkins, Jones, Simmons, Cobham, Higgins, Bailey. Hall and Atkins will be making their first appearances this season with Everton. Higgins was tried last week and gave a fine display, Lyon, the captain, is standing down to let Higgins have a game in his own position.
BLACKBURN LOOKING TO EVERTON’S VISIT FOR BIGGEST GATE
December 14, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
From what I hear Blackburn Rovers are looking forward to the visit of Everton on Saturday as likely to provide the first bright spot in the depressing atmosphere which has surrounded Ewood Park of late. Interest in war-time football in Blackburn has been at a tragically low level in spite of the fact that the Rovers have had practically their full promotion team available for every match. For instance the Derby game with Burnley last Saturday drew only 1,200 people, and the same number attended the match with Bolton Wanderers.
Everton “C” Eleven.
Everton “C” will play Merchant Taylor’s at Goodison Park on Saturday (2-30), and will field a strong side. Hall and Atkins will be making their first appearance of the season, and Higgins who made his debut last week, and made a grand impression is given another chance. Team; Cavan; Kienan, Dugdale; Hall, Breadwood, Atkins, Jones, Simmons, Cobham, Higgins, Bailey.
Everton’s team v. Blackburn Rovers has now been definitely settled. Lawton is playing for Leicester and Mercer cannot get away from his military duties to make the journey to Blackpool, but will assist Chester in that friendly game with Bury. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes.
December 15, 1939. The Evening Express.
I was with Everton at Ewood Park on the last day of the real Football League competition. Everton were a goal down, but Tommy Lawton bagged a couple of goals to give the Blues a winning chance. Then came a penalty which enabled the Rovers to save a point. I then saw Liverpool beat the Rovers at Ewood by five clear goals. The Rovers tomorrow will have the assistance of Asquith, the Manchester United centre forward, whom the United have given permission to play, and it is likely that Butt, the Rovers player, who has been playing for the United, will be in the Rovers’ attack. Everton will be without Mercer, who is unable to make the journey in time, Lindley takes his place. It should be a great fight, I take Everton to win. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes. Blackburn Rovers; Robinson; Hough, Crooks; Whiteside, Pryde, Chivers; Rogers, Butt, Asquith, Higham, McShane.
December 15, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
When the season opened, Blackburn Rovers were anticipating a grand season, for hail they not granted promotion with a team that seemed worthy of holding its own in top-grade football, but then came the war and the scrapping of League football and so Blackburn’s happy prospects sank to zero. Although they have been able to turn out their full promotion side in most cases in friendlys and Regional football, their gates have been shocking, so you can well imagine that they are looking forward to the visit of Everton in the second round of the Lancashire Cup, tomorrow, for Everton provided them with their biggest gate when they went to Ewood Park in a League game in September. The Rovers are at the moment doubtful about Butt. It is said he will play for Manchester United, in which case the Rovers will have Asquith the United’s £6,000, loaned to them. Lawton is playing for Leicester and Mercer is unable to get to Blackburn in time, so that Lindley resumes at right half. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes. Blackburn Rovers; Robinson; Hough, Crooks; Whiteside, Pryde, Chivers; Rogers, Butt, Asquith, Higham, McShane.
EVERTON’S CUP BID.
December 16, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton opposed Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park for the right to meet either Liverpool or New Brighton in the semi-final of the Lancashire Senior Cup. The other semi-final pairing is Bury or Blackpool v. Oldham or Accrington. Blackburn Rovers: - Robinson, goal; Hough and Crook, backs; Whiteside, Pryde, and Chivers, half-backs; Rogers, Cahill, Asquith (Manchester United), Higham, and McShane, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Lindley, Jones, and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. H. Hartley, (Bolton). Only about 1,000 saw Everton take up the cudgels, with three well –conceived attacks, which, however, petered out in face of the challenge of Pyde. Boyes took over from Stevenson and crashed in a terrific left-foot shot, which Robinson could only beat upwards. Crook was there to turn the ball aside as it was dropping back into the net. Play was keen and producing many of the classic touches with Everton more exact in their approach. Stevenson was clever in engineering moves. Chivers sent McShane away with a fine pass, but Asquith’s subsequent shot lacked direction. Robinson had to run to it in the penalty area to hold off Bell, who was running through in an effort to take advantage of a faulty back-pass. In 12 minutes Everton went ahead, Bentham scoring after a brilliant passing movement. It was started by Watson and travelled to Boyes. Bell, Bentham, Boyes again, and then the short through pass to Bentham, to go on and score with a left foot shot into the top corner. Everton almost made it two when Robinson was drawn from goal, and Sweeney’s slow shot was trickling over the line. Robinson raced back, dived and just saved on the line.
EVERTON’S LANS, CUP-TIE
December 16, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
A Blackburn Prelimary To Possible “Derby.”
The second round Lancashire Cup-tie at Ewood did not attract the crowd it was expected to do, for when the teams came on to the field there could not have been more than 500 people present. They were however, coming in pretty fast, there was likely to be a thousand or more present. Should Everton win this game they will he called upon to meet either Liverpool of New Brighton in the next round, for here is the draw. Everton or Blackburn v. Liverpool of New Brighton; Bury or Blackpool v.Oldham or Accrington. The Rovers were disappointed that they could not play Butt, their star forward, who now works in Manchester and turned out for United, who loaned Asquith to the Rovers for the game. Blackburn Rovers: - Robinson, goal; Hough and Crook, backs; Whiteside, Pryde, and Chivers, half-backs; Rogers, Cahill, Asquith (Manchester United), Higham, and McShane, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Lindley, Jones, and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. H. Hartley, (Bolton). Everton got into their stride almost immediately and had not Bentham misjudged the run of the ball he would have been through for a goal. As it was, Pryde took possession, Rogers was work weak with a centre. Then came some purposeful football by Everton and it almost culminated in a goal. Boyes shot with great power, and Robinson only punched it up into the air, and it appeared to be dropping into goal until Cook came along and turned it out. The next time Rogers got a chance he made good use of it, and it was Jones’s head which prevented the centre from becoming really dangerous. Bentham scored for Everton.
EVERTON GET SIX IN CUP-TIE
December 18, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blackburn Rovers 0 Everton 6
Blackburn Rovers Outclassed.
Everton had little difficulty in beating Blackburn Rovers in their second-round Lancashire Cup-tie at Ewood Park. They scored a six clear goals victory and the result in no way flattered them. They were always the superior force. Blackburn have usually given Everton a lot of trouble at Ewood Park, but they were no trouble in this game, for Everton soon got on top and with the exception of a moment here and there remained on top. Everton will now have to meet in the next round the winners of the Liverpool and New Brighton tie at Goodison Park, when it is hoped that there will be an increase in interest and attendance. There were only 2,000 people to see the Blackburn game, where they had expected 5,000 or 6,000. Jones is becoming somewhat of a goal scorer. If he carries on he may end up the season’s top scorer. Up to now he has seven goals to his credit. Some he would like to forget, for they were scored against his own side, one from the penalty spot and the other from a free kick well outside the penalty area. The other scorers were Bentham, Bell (2), and Boyes and the victory was a complete as nay I have seen. The Rovers were very poor. It may have been that they were made to look poor be the cleverness of the Everton side. At all events they failed to produce what they have always produced against Everton; so much so that they have an excellent record against the champions at Ewood Park. And don’t let us forgot that Everton were playing at least three reserves, but this is no way impaired their ability. Blackburn Rovers: - Robinson, goal; Hough and Crook, backs; Whiteside, Pryde, and Chivers, half-backs; Rogers, Cahill, Asquith (Manchester United), Higham, and McShane, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Lindley, Jones, and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. H. Hartley, (Bolton).
• Mercer played for Chester against Bury, and Jones (JE) for Tranmere against Rochdale.
EVERTON MARCH ON.
December 18, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton are marching on towards the capture of another trophy. They now stand as favourities for the Lancashire Cup following their brilliant 6-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Saturday, their first win at the ground for about 40 years. The champions oppose either Liverpool or New Brighton, the Rakers at Rake-Lane on January 13. If Liverpool get through –as I expect then will then there will be almost a “limit” crowd at Goodison Park when the local rivals get to grips. Mr. Fred Hargreaves, secretary of the Lancashire F.A., when he told me of the draw, at Blackburn said, “I wish Everton and Liverpool had missed each other until the final. What a final that would have meant on Merseyside. He is right, It is more than 30 years ago since the Blues and Reds fought out the Lancashire Senior Cup. “It was only a sixpenny gate, “Mr. Hargreaves recalled, “but the receipts were nearly £500.”
Not many good Blackburn friends do not regard me as a good mascot to the Rovers. The last time I was at the ground Liverpool beat the Rovers 5-0, and then Everton whipped them by six goals. Mr. Walter Templest, Mr. Reg Taylor, and all help to make you welcome. The Rovers are finding it difficult to carry on. Only 2,300 spectators saw Everton’s scintillating display, but that was a 100 per cent increase on the previous home attendance. What a pity more people could not see that glorious exhibition of football, Everton made football look the simplest thing. Precision in positional play and anticipation, and the delicacy of ball touch were the prime factors against a team that never shaped in a winning light and which quickly lost heart against the ingenious Blues. It was the general Everton team work that counted. Sagar, Greenhalgh, Jackson, Jones –easily pick of the whole 22 –Watson producing a Busby accuracy in his first-time passes, Stevenson and Boyes were outstanding. By mentioned these names I do not reflect on the others. All were grand. Messrs Ernest Green (chairman), Will Gibbins and Theo Kelly (secretary) must have been thankful that they brought along some of their youngsters –Burnett, Hill, Sharp, and Simmons –to see the game. Seeing such an exhibition must have done them a world of good. The goals were scored by Bentham, Bell (2), Jones (2) per penalty and free kick, and Boyes.
EVERTON F.C. EFFORT FOR MEN IN LONELY HOME FRONT OUTPOSTS.
December 18, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Books, Playing Cards, and Games Wanted
Sports folk of Merseyside have an opportunity to do a good turn for men of the Forces engaged on anti-aircraft dutys in these parts, thanks to the imitative of Mr. Theo Kelly, secretary of Everton F.C. Mr. Kelly’s appealing for books, of all descriptions, playing Cards, and games such as darts, draughts, and chess, to help the men while away their spare time. Many of them are stationed in lonely spots miles from the nearest town and the long hours of off-time hang heavily on their hands these black-out nights. Will you help them to pass it pleasantly? As soon as you have finished this column please put down the Echo, for a moment and rummage through your libraries to see what you can spare. You won’t miss a few books and they lighten the task of men who are making sacrifices on our behalf. If you have a pack off cards to throw in as well, so much the better. They needn’t be new. If you have cards, but no books send the cards. The same with suitable games of any description. Send them to Mr. Theo Kelly, secretary, of Everton Football Club, Goodison Park, Liverpool 4. Or, if you prefer you can take them up on match days and leave them at the club office. Maybe you would prefer to help on the good work with a monetary contribution. It would be very welcome. All such donations will be acknowledged by the club. Mr. Kelly scheme has the approval of the chairman of the West Lancashire Torrential Association. Colonel McKaig who has present his co-operation in the distribution of the proceeds of this appeal. Now, friends please let you contribution be a substantial one. I should imagine there are few homes in which this message is read which cannot spare at least one book. It won’t take you a couple minutes. Please do it now while you think of it. As for playing cards I am sure that golf clubs, Billiards, clubs and social organisations of all descriptions can raise a large number of packs among them. May I appeal to secretaries and others to send along what they can spare? Don’t leave it to somebody else to supply the need. The area to be covered is a wide one so you can’t send too many. I thank you all in anticipation, for I am sure the response will be a good one.
Everton’s Cup Win.
The way Tommy Jones is going on he will be the season’s top scorer, for his two goals against Blackburn Rovers in the Lancashire Cup-tie at Ewood Park brought his total of goals for the season up to seven. Some have been “for” and some against, but his latest two were grand goals which the goalkeeper never saw. By their victory Everton have qualified to entertain the winners of the tie between Liverpool and New Brighton at Goodison Park in the next round. Blackburn has never been a happy hunting ground for Everton, but on Saturday they were far and away too good for the Rovers, and their six clear goal victory was in no way flattering. If Everton’s football was not satisfying, I don’t know what the public want, even though it showed up the Rovers display in a bad light. Jones was invincible. The more I see of him, the more I consider he is the best centre half-back of any time. He was so confident, so correct and so dominating that he seemed capable of playing the whole of the Rovers team himself. But he had no need to do that, for he had willing helpers in Lindley, Watson, Greenhalgh, and Jackson around him, while the attack kept so much on top of Blackburn that they were mostly centred upon checking the sequence of goals.
LAWTON AND MERCER BACK IN EVERTON TEAM.
December 19, 1939. Evening Express.
Two English internationals return to Everton’s team to face Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Saturday. They are Joe Mercer, England’s latest captain, and Tommy Lawton. Mercer was unable to play at Blackburn because he could not secure release from duties in time to travel, while Lawton was completing an engagement at Leicester and helped the local City to draw with Luton Town. It is expected that both will be able to play regularity during the Christmas holiday games –unless there are international calls. Sweeney has obtained permission to play as Torry Gillick’s deputy, and so the side shows only two changes from the Ewood Park team. Gillick by the way is progressing excellently, following his accident. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
LAWTON RETURNS TO THE EVERTON FOLD.
December 19, 1939.The Liverpool Echo
Everton will have the services of Tommy Lawton in all their games home and away from now on until such time as he is called up for military service. Lawton has given up his job at Leicester and returned to Liverpool where he took up a fresh position yesterday. He will lead the Everton attack against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Saturday. As the Blues, with two exception, will field their championship side there ought to be a record war-time crowd over at Birkenhead. The Everton team reads; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
Manager Tom Bromilow will be sorry to lose the services of Lawton. Attendances at Leicester have been at a very low ebb since the war, but they bucked up considerably with the inclusion of the Everton and England centre forward. The gate has doubled itself in his two appearances at Filbert Street. Curiously enough, though he has scored five goals for them in three games. Lawton has not yet been on the winning side for Leicester.
TRANMERE SIDE V EVERTON.
December 20, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Tranmere Rovers will have the assistance of two Everton players for their match against Everton at Prenton on Saturday. Bell, will appear at inside right, while Jones as usual will be at full back. In addition there will be two newcomers making their home debut in Williams, the Wrexham winger, and J.K. Hassall, the Welsh amateur international goalkeeper. Tranmere are expecting their biggest attendance of the season. Tranmere: J.K. Hassall; Jones, Owen; Davies, W.B. Price, Byrom; Williams, Bell, Sloan, Bridges, Bellis.
JOCK THOMSON SPENDS ARMY LEAVE IN DUNDEE
December 21 1939 Dundee Evening Telegraph
Jock Thomson, Everton's international footballer and former Dens Park popular half-back, is on Army leave and is spending: a few days in Dundee. A sergeant-instructor, his present headquarters are at Aldershot, but he expects to be transferred to Aberdeen soon. Looking very fit. Jock might be persuaded to turn out for a game on Saturday with a club in the district
December 21, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton, owing to international calls, have to make changes for the Boxing Day match against Liverpool at Goodison Park. Bell will lead the attack instead of Lawton and Lindley will take over the centre half berth for Tom Jones. The vacancy at right half will be filled by Maurice Hill, a young player who has graduated through the “A” team. Everton will be at full strength for the match against Liverpool at Anfield on Christmas morning.
Everton (Christmas Day); Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
Everton (Boxing Day); Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Hill, Lindley, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson, Boyes.
Merseyside must view Tuesday’s Red Cross Fund international at Wolverhampton with missed feelings. There will be prominent gratification at the selection of four players from Everton and one from Liverpool, but it is going to detract from the interest in the local “Derby” at Goodison Park, the same day when Everton oppose Liverpool. Arthur Riley will be marked absence from the Reds team and the real regulars of the Everton team these days; Mercer, Jones and Lawton will be away. Willie Cook will also be engaged in the international but of course, he has not been playing for Everton for some weeks. Personally I like the local players to be honoured but only 13 clubs are represented in the game and Everton have to provide no fewer than four.
Mr. Theo Kelly the Everton secretary, who is always anxious to give anyone a helping hand, makes another appeal to local sportsmen. He is in touch with the military units stationed in the district and is anxious to get reading matter for distribution among the troops. Anyone having books or magazines to spare should sent them to Mr. Kelly at Goodison Park. In addition he makes a strange request. He states he can through the Services make good use of plants and seeds of the kitchen garden type. I leave it to you.
Everton’s young players are certainty being given ample opportunity of showing the club supporters just what they can do. With the Blues running no reserve team this season the “B” and “C” teams have a chance of using the Goodison Park ground, and two Bootle J.O.C League matches, have been arranged for them there during the Christmas holidays. On Saturday the “C” team opposes St. Andrews (Clubmoor) and on Christmas Day will face Litherland. The Saturday team is: Kearns; Ireland, Dugdale; Sherratt, Bearswood, Hankin; Jones, Higgins, Cobham, Lyon, Penlington. The only change for Christmas Day is the inclusion of Bailey at outside left for Penlington.
December 22, 1939. The Evening Express.
Everton have a great opportunity of becoming joint leaders of the Western Region. They are only a point behind Stoke City –with a match in hand –and if they win at Tranmere they must, at least share position number one, no matter what the Manchester clubs, also on the 10 point, marks, do. The champions will be back to practically full power –only three of the championship side marked “absent” –and I think they can succeed. Tranmere have yet to gain their first Regional point. The Rovers will have the aid of two Everton players, “Bunny” Bell –returning to the scene of his nine goals-a-match triumph and the soccer “preparatory school” –and Jack Jones, the English international back. The experience of the Everton side should prove too good for the young men of Tranmere. Lawton and Mercer return to the Blues, while Bell and Martin is the one Tranmere change. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Tranmere Rovers; J.K. Hassell; Jones, Owen; Davies, W.B. price, Byrsom; Williams, Bell, Sloan, Bridges, Bellis.
ROVERS MUST WAIT.
December 22, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Tranmere Rovers are anticipating a big gate for their match with Everton, at Prenton Park, tomorrow, and I am afraid that is all they will get for it is hardly likely that a side which has so far failed to win a single point in regional football will pick out Everton to break their “duck.” However, as the age off miracles is not past, the Rovers have a grand opportunity to spring the biggest surprise of the season by beating the League champions, and should they do so –it is not outside the realm of possibility –they will hit the headlines good and hard. Everton are playing good football at the moment, and with their full championship side, available with two exceptions, how can one hope for a Tranmere victory? The Rovers came to a decision immediately League football ceased and regional football came into being that they would rely on “home product” rather than utilise the “guest artists,” as so many clubs are doing at the moment. A commendable attitude I admit, but one which has cost them dearly, for as you know, they are the only team in the country without a single point behind their name. For this came they have decided to accept Everton’s offer of Bunny Bell, who made his name at Prenton. They have had the services of Jack Jones for some time so there is a distinctly Everton favour about the side.
Everton’s half-back line has time and again emphasised where the real strength of a team lies, and I know no better trio than Mercer, Jones, and Watson. This is where the Rovers may find their hopes dashed to-the ground, for many forward lines have split their sides trying to crash their way through this formable barrier. Should the Rovers forwards break through this line, there is still trouble ahead for Jackson and Greenhalgh are “National” defenders, while Ted Sagar will do his utmost to see that his captain’s unbeaten certificate is not besmirched. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Tranmere Rovers; J.K. Hassell; Jones, Owen; Davies, W.B. price, Byrsom; Williams, Bell, Sloan, Bridges, Bellis.
December 23, 1939. The Daily Post
Tranmere Rovers expect one of their best gates today when Everton pay a visit to Prenton. The Rovers have yet to win a game and the prospect of success today does not appear bright, but no doubt the Rovers will make a special effort. The Rovers are relying on their own players and have not made a habit of utilising the services of guests from other clubs, but on this occasion Bell, formerly of Tranmere and now with Everton, is to lead the attack. Jack Jones, of Everton, however, had been playing with them for some time and he will again turn out. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Tranmere Rovers; J.K. Hassell; Jones, Owen; Davies, W.B. price, Byrsom; Williams, Bell, Sloan, Bridges, Bellis.
T.G. Jones the Everton centre half, who was chosen to play in the All-British Eleven at Wolverhampton on Boxing Day in the Red Cross Fund international match has with drawn as he cannot get to Wolverhampton in time. Instead of Jones will play for Everton against Liverpool.
EVERTON AT PRENTON.
December 23, 1939. The Evening Express.
Tranmere Rovers had to make two late changes against Everton at Prenton Park, today, Anderson coming in at right-half for Davies who went to outside right for Williams. The visit of the champions to Birkenhead proved a rare attraction and there were about 4,000 spectators at the start. Tranmere Rovers: - J.K. Hassell, goal; Jones (J.E) (Everton) and Owen, backs; Anderson, W.B. Price and Byrom, half-backs; Davies, Bell (Everton), Sloan, Bridges, Bellis, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (T.G) and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. G. Salmon (Stoke). Bell, playing against his own team, gave Everton an early fright with a neat run, but he crashed on the Tom Jones barrier. Mercer set the Everton machine in motion, and Boyes’ quickly shot passed just beyond the far post. Next, Lawton back-heeled cleverly for Stevenson to shoot inches wide. Rovers should have taken the lead within five minutes, when Sagar pushed out a centre from Bellis to the feet of Davies, who, from two yards, placed far across the goal. Neat combination between Sweeney and Bentham saw Sweeney cut in to place a right-foot shot only inches over the top. It was excellent football, with Everton’s artistry countered by the quick tackling of the Rovers.
Good Work By Sweeney
Bentham shot outside after further good work by Sweeney, and then Stevenson was put through, but “topped” his final shot. Then Hassell had to run out to hold up Stevenson, who was coming through to take over Mercer’s perfectly-placed pass. Stevenson tried to hook through from Sweeney’s pass, but the ball struck Price’s back and ran to safety. The next thrill came at the other end, where Bellis shot first time and Sagar turned the ball on to the bar. Davies hit the return first time but Watson was there to intervene. Sagar saved well from Davies and Bridges.
Caskie May Play in “Derby” Match.
Everton are making efforts to get Jimmy Caskie, the Scottish international winger, to play for Everton against Liverpool at Goodison Park on Boxing Day. Limbley will take the place of Watson at left-half.
BUNNY BELL LEADS TRANMERE AGAIN
December 25, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Both Rovers And Everton Miss Chances.
Tranmere Rovers: - J.K. Hassell, goal; Jones (J.E) (Everton) and Owen, backs; Anderson, W.B. Price and Byrom, half-backs; Davies, Bell (Everton), Sloan, Bridges, Bellis, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (T.G) and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. G. Salmon (Stoke).
There was an excellent crowd for Everton’s visit to Prenton Park, where the home side are without a point. I understand that Everton are trying to get Caskie down for their game with Liverpool at Goodison Park on Tuesday. He is available if he can fit in with the travelling arrangements. There will definitely be a change in the Everton team for that day, for Lindley will take the place of Watson at left half. Everton, started off with some clever football, and with ordinary luck should have had a goal, but it was the Rovers who should have drawn first blood. Bellis shot, and so close was this to a goal that Sagar had to edge the ball away from his crossbar. Thus left Davies with a gilt-edged chance of close in, but he shot wide. Sweeney and Bentham, with the nice inter-passing run, got through the Rovers’ defence, and a good scorned assured, but Sweeney got under the ball and lifted it an inch or so over the crossbar. Bentham went close a little later, but just outside of the penalty area, although there was no great power behind the ball. The Rovers were mainly concerned at this point with the defence of their goal. Following a clearance by Sagar they slipped clean through, and Stevenson was given a great chance by Bentham, but the little Irishman did not get the ball right. He seemed to stub ground and the ball at the one moment. Even so, Halsall had to treat with great care the spinning ball. The Rovers tackled with speed and accuracy. Bell was keen to get a goal against his colleagues but he found the Everton defence too good for him, although his ideas had they fructified would have been decidedly useful. When Sweeney made a choice inward pass to Stevenson that should have made a goal, but Stevenson was too nonchalant in making his shot. More excitement came at the other end where Bellis once again lifted the ball on to the face of the crossbar, Sagar eventually edging it away from goal. Sagar had to make a clean catch from Bridges.
EVERTON SCORE NINE GOALS AT TRANMERE
December 27, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Tranmere Rovers 2, Everton 9
Whatever else spectators at war time football have to complain about, they certainty cannot have a grumble regarding the number of goals scored. On Saturday Everton, who the previous week scored six goals at Blackburn, gave another demonstration of their away power by scoring nine no the Tranmere ground. The Rovers replied with two. The away win League who beat Burslem in a second Division match in 1892 by ten clear goals. Everton’s smashing success coincided with the return of Lawton their England centre forward. He scored four times. Bell, by arrangement played for Tranmere, his former club, instead of Everton and secured both his side’s goals. After Everton scored their ninth goal, Sagar the goalkeeper was called on to take a penalty kick. After running the length of the field he had the shot saved. The ball was swept away to the other end and Sagar got back only just in time to prevent Tranmere scoring. The order of scoring was T.G. Jones, Stevenson, Lawton (two great drives), Bentham, Lawton, Bentham, Mercer, Lawton. For Tranmere Bell (2). Tranmere Rovers: - J.K. Hassell, goal; Jones (J.E) (Everton) and Owen, backs; Anderson, W.B. Price and Byrom, half-backs; Davies, Bell (Everton), Sloan, Bridges, Bellis, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones (T.G) and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. G. Salmon (Stoke).
CHRISTMAS DAY GAME
December 27, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Liverpool 2, Everton 3.
Everton beat Liverpool with virtually the last kick of the match on Christmas Day at Anfield of the match on Christmas Day at Anfield. It was a worthy success though belated because Liverpool had taken a 2 goals lead and looked unlikely to concede goals Peace or pre-war time, there could not have been a more interesting match. Fagan got 2 glorious goals; Lawton, Jones, (Penalty), and Sweeney the young Northwich boy, did the scoring for Everton. For three parts of the game it was the science of football. Once Everton saw their chance of recovery it might have been a vital cup-tie. The sensational ending was in keeping with the thrills of the later period. Liverpool: - Kemp, goal; Cooper and Ramsden, backs; Busby, Halsall, and Rogers, half-backs; Niuuewenhuys, Fagan, Done, Carney, and Van den Berg, forwards. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards.
EVERTON COMPLETE THE DOUBLE.
December 27, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Liverpool 1
The Everton and Liverpool return friendly did not produce the good football nor the thrills of the first meeting. It may be that the players were feeling the strain of three games in four days. There were patches of good combination, but taken throughout the play never reached that high standard usually associated with Merseyside “Derby” games. Both teams showed changes and the experimental line of Liverpool’s attack did not quite fill the bill. Nieuwenhuys at inside right started the game on the top note in that he was a keen shooter, and Sagar had to make at least two excellent saves from the South African. But that was almost the extent of the Liverpool shooting and Everton’s attack was not a great deal better in this respect so that most of the play was confined to midfield and goal incidents were few and far between. Everton won because they took their chances and the scorer, Boyes, who took a goal in each half, had to be complimented on being in the right place at the right moment.
Busby Shows The Way.
Liverpool had the opportunities for making a draw, for they had two penalty kicks awarded, but only one of them found the net. Eastham (S.) took the first one, and decided that power of boot would serve him best. It failed him, for Sagar made a save under his bar. Busby took the second one, and he showed how penalties should be taken. He relied upon, the placed shot, the one which gives a goalkeeper no chance. He strolled up to the ball without any flurry and piloted it right away from Sagar, who had no chance whatever. Everton: - Sagar, (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Hill, Jones (T.G), and Lindley, half-backs; Simmons, Bentham, Bell, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Liverpool: - Kemp, goal; Tennant and Ramsden, backs; Busby, Bush and Eastham (S.), half-backs; Leadbetter, Niuwenhuys, Done, L. Carney and Van Den Berg, forwards. Attendance 8,572
BIGGER SOCCER GATES THE NEED.
December 27, 1939. The Evening Express.
“Some football clubs will be forced to close down unless there is general all-round improvement in attendances at matches” This was the warning issued during the Christmas holiday games. Mr. W. Harvey Webb, director of Liverpool Football Club made the comment to me at Anfield on Christmas morning when Everton beat Liverpool 3-2 in a dramatic game, and followed it up yesterday by winning 2-1 at Goodison Park to record their third win of the season over the Reds. About 6,500 people turned up to see the first game, for Mr. Webb said that clubs could not carry on with that measure of support. At Goodison Park there were nearly 8,000 spectators and the two matches brought in approximately £800. The matches were on share terms. Mr. Ernest Green, chairman of Everton, however, mentioned at Goodison Park yesterday that the receipts of these two splendid friendlies were sufficient to enable the club to carry on.
The Christmas morning game was as thrilling as any Cup-tie. It looked Liverpool’s day when they took a two goals lead per brilliant Fagan goals, but with about half-an-hour to go the Blues went to their work with rare zest. Tommy Jones went up into attack in an effort to pull the game around. Lawton scored and then Jones equalised from a penalty. It was keen, pulsating football, and in the last second’s Sweeney headed the winner for Everton –and was “mobbed” by his colleagues. The Goodison game suffered by comparison. While the enthusiasm was there, much of the constructive skill was lacking. Liverpool were unfortunate to lose. Boyes, always scintillating gave Everton a two goals lead, and right on time Busby reduced the margin from a penalty. Outstanding were Tom Jones, Jackson, Sagar –he made a fine save of Eastham’s penalty shot –and Stevenson’s, for Everton and Bush, Tennent, Ramsden, Busby, Nieuwenhuys and Carney for the losers. Everton are becoming “away” specialists. They have won their last three away games, and scored 18 goals in the proceeds!
EVERTON’S HOLIDAY DOUBLE AGAINST REDS.
December 27, 1939. The Liverpool Echo.
Had anyone six months ago prep healed the time would come when a Christmas gate between Everton and Liverpool would be regarded as satisfactory. If it touched 8,000 spectators, we should like little Audrey, have laughed and laughed and laughed. War has caused a read judgment of values. Today 8,000 gates opens up visits of hope to clubs that normally would sniff at anything below 25,000. Everton and Liverpool have done reasonally well from their holiday games. A gross gate of about £800 from the two friendly matches is a welcome addition to depleted coffers. If either club could rely on a thriller return from each home match neither would grumble. Unfortunately, they can’t. Liverpool and Everton supporters, usually the most loyal of any in the country are not backing up their teams in the Regional competition as anticipated. By comparison with London teams attendances here have fallen 50 per cent lower. The mixture of the ex-Third and First Division clubs cannot be the reason, for the Southern regions are in the same boat. It is strange state of affairs when clubs of the standing of the city’s two seniors should be receiving a bigger “cut” from away gates at Third Division grounds than they are getting from their own home matches, but such has sometimes been the case this season. The seriousness of the position was indicated by a remark made to me by a Liverpool director. In the absence of some improvement in the second half of the season, he hinted that the club might have to consider very seriously the advisability of continuing in war time football. So far the public has failed to responded to the many arguments advanced in favour of Regional football. Or to the undoubted fact that the competition is producing some excellent games. Maybe the possibility that they may lose the chance of seeing football altogether will bring realisation of the fact that without adequate support no club can keep its door open indefinitely. For the next couple of months both Everton and Liverpool will pad out their Regional programme with alternate friendly fixtures. I hope both classes of games will be sufficiently supported to course the clubs will at least make ends meet at the conclusion of the season. If they do that they will be well satisfied. Neither is anxious so do any more.
Art Of Penalty Taking.
So many penalty kicks are missed these days through the taker’s desire to tear away the back netting that it was a joy to see Matt Busby score Liverpool’s only goal in their second friendly meeting at Goodison Park yesterday. I never did see the necessasity for the all-power shot when a nicely placed shot would do just as well. Busby strolled up to the ball as though it was that an ordinary free-kick to be placed to a certain spot, and he put it just where he wanted it, where Sagar was not. S. Eastham had taken one some minutes before, but he banked on strength and the ball flew straight above Sagar’s head, the goalkeeper making a grand save. That was the difference. Eastham gave Sagar a chance, Busby give him none. This return game was not nearly so good as the one on Christmas morning. There was not the high standard of football about it. Plenty of endeavour, yes, but little else. For fifteen minutes Liverpool promised a lot with Nieuwenhuy’s hot shooting, but gradually the game became rather dull and “draggy.” Everton scored their first goal through Boyes just before the interval, while at the hour Boyes again beat down the Liverpool defence after Kemp had saved from Bell, and was unable to recover to be ready for the rebound.
Both teams showed changes and perhaps the welter of football which the majority of the players had indulged in over the week-end was responsible for the moderate play. Two men stood out, both half-backs. Busby and Jones did everything known to the football handbook, and when Jackson had to retire with a damaged the Jones then took on two men’s work and did it well. Van Den Berg had a poor game. Jackson was his master. Leadbetter did uncommonly well in the first half, giving Greenhalgh many anxious moments. Done was blotted out by Jones, but he need not worry about that, for the Welshman has suffered out many other centre forwards of international reputation. Bush, without producing the skill of Jones kept the Bell on a light vein.
It was well worth getting up early to see what the city seniors provided in the way of Christmas gifts at Anfield. There has rarely been a more satisfying match from them –in the nature of a stocking full of “goodness” with no variety missed. The goals were good, the general play all through from both sides was excellent, and the finale in which Everton snatched a third and winning goal after being down two-nil, was the rounding-off of a memorable meeting. While the sides were plainly playing pure football as well as they knew how the game did not warm up to any extent. Fagan juggled with head and feet to score a truly remarkable individual goal, and then when he glided in a Van Den Berg centre in the second half it look as good as over. It was only when Everton scored that they seemed to sense their chances of recovery. Lawton, Tom Jones (a penalty) and the young Northwich winger Sweeney added their quote and once again Liverpool had suffered the might of their neighbourly rivals. The match was worth anyone’s money, for Tom Jones’s almost uncanny centre half back play and for characteristic displays by Busby and Cooper. It was not Cooper’s fault that Everton’s rally succeeded, nor was it Busby’s that the front line did not get goals. Both “Nivvy” and Van Den Berg were very much below their normal standard, however, and well as Carney played, the lack of wing power was too great a handicap. Particularly was this so in view of the fact that Jones had alongside Mercer and Watson.
NOTED WELSH FOOTBALLER FINED
Liverpool Evening Express - Thursday 28 December 1939
Thomas Georpe Jones, the Welsh international and Everton footballer, whose address was given as Penyllan-street, Connah’s Quay, was fined 10s. at Northop Police Court, today, for not having the front lamp of his motor-car screened with a regulation mask. Police Constable Jones (Northop) said that when he examined the lamps on the evening of December 3 he found that they were covered with a thick cloth with holes cut in the centres. The reflector was not darkened, while the bumpers and running-boards were not painted white. Jones was alleged to have told the constable that painted the bumpers and running boards white on the previous day, and the rain had washed off the paint. Jones did not appear, but in a letter expressed regret for the offence, and stated that he was under the impression that his light conformed to law.
CASKIE MAY PLAY FOR EVERTON V. BLACKPOOL.
December 28, 1939. Evening Express.
Jimmy Caskie, Everton’s Scottish international winger, is hoping to make his first appearance of the season with the Blues on Saturday, when Everton entertain Blackpool at Goodison Park in a friendly game. Caskie, one of the most dazzing personalities in football –and I think the smallest of all contemporary players –endeavoured to get down for Tuesday’s match against Liverpool, but Boxing Day not being a holiday in Scotland he had to work. Mr. Theo Kelly, Everton’s secretary has been in touch with Jimmy again, and the chance that he can play on Saturday are bright. Saturday will also mark the debut of another young Everton player in the person of Bailey. Bailey will play outside-left in place of Wally Boyes, who is going to his native Sheffield for the week-end, and he will prove well worthy watching. He has everything it takes to make the first class winger. Lawton, Mercer, and Watson return to the team, the probable selection being; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Caskie, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Bailey.
CASKIE MAY PLAY
December 28, 1939. The Liverpool Echo
Both Everton and Liverpool are following this wise policy. The opportunity occurs under circumstances far more favourable than normally. Crowds are smaller there is nothing vital at stake and the youngsters can go in and do their best without undue qualms about the consequences. Bailey get his chance because Walter Boyes, the Blues’ regular winger is taking a week-end off to visit his home in Sheffield. There is a possibility that Everton may have Caskie in the side to meet Blackpool. His appearance is subjected to being able to get away from Scotland, where he is working as a draughtsman. Mr. Theo Kelly is hopeful this can be managed in view of the Scottish New Year holiday. Caskie’s inclusion should help Saturday’s gate considerably. The little Scot from St. Johnstone pleased the Goodison supporters vastly on his three home appearances forwards the end of last season, and had things gone normally would soon have established himself a big favourite with the crowd. Lawton returns to lead the attack after his international appearance and Mercer returns to right half, so that the probable team reads;- Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Caskie, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Bailey.
December 29, 1939. Evening Express.
There will be a galaxy of football talent at Goodison Park tomorrow when Blackpool come to oppose the champions. This is a return “friendly” for the clubs met in the first war-time match, and Blackpool won 2-1 at Bloomfield road. Blackpool will include several internationals while Everton, of course, have a side studded with stars. It should prove a keen, thrilling duel, for even in friendly matches the players are in deadly earnest. One of the highlights should be the duel between Eph. Dodds, the seasiders Scottish international centre-forward, and Tommy Jones, of Wales. It will be a test between the cool skill of Jones and the viritily of Dodds. Another big attraction will be the appearance of Jimmy Caskie, Everton’s Scottish international who since the war, has been playing brilliantly for St. Mirren. Caskie is a great little player, who would be a regular in Everton’s first team, but for the consistency of Boyes and Gillick. Sixteen year old Bailey the “B” team boy, gets his first big chance as deputy to Boyes at outside left. Boyes is going to his Sheffield home for the week-end. I regard Bailey as a most promising lad, and believe him capable of seizing his opportunity. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Caskie, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Bailey.
BLACKPOOL AT GOODISON PARK
December 30, 1939. The Liverpool Daily Post.
The chief attraction is the visit of Blackpool to Goodison Park, where the appearance of Caskie, the Scottish player, in the Everton ranks would be welcomed. There are hopes that he will be able to play, but nothing definite was known last night. Lawton returns and the home team will also include a 16 year old player in Bailey, who gets his chance in the absence of Boyes, who is visiting his home and will play for Sheffield Wednesday against Halifax. Blackpool have an interesting side and are likely to test Everton to the full. The kick-off is at 2-15. Teams. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Caskie (or Sweeney), Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Bailey. Blackpool; Roxburgh; Sibley, Jones (S.); Farrow, Hayward, Johnston; Finan; Eastham, Dodds, Blair, Munro.
• Saunders loaned to Anfield for the game against Crewe on New Day days.
• Everton meet Southport in a friendly at Haig Avenue. The team will be the same as that which plays Blackpool today except that Boyes will be at outside left instead of Bailey and Sweeney will play at outside right.
SOCCER IN MID-WEEK.
December 30, 1939. Evening Express
The ruling of the Football League that there is no ban on mid-week football comes as a welcome surprise to the clubs who, like everyone else, were under the impression that only Saturday and holiday games were allowed. The matter arose following several postponements of matches, in the south last week. No one could fathom when the matches would be played because the southern clubs begin on new Regional competitions as soon as the “A” and “B” south sections are finished on February 3. Some games will be played off on Monday. Now that Secretary Mr. Fred Howarth has refuted the suggestion that the League had banned mid-week football, no doubt the majority of clubs with matches “on hand” will re-arrange them for evening later in the season.
Jones –Super Pivot.
During last season the discussion arose as to the three best centre-halfbacks in football. I placed them in this order; Atkinson (Bolton Wanderers), Tom Jones (Everton), and Cullis (Wolverhampton Wanderers). This order needs revision. Without any fear of contradiction, Tommy Jones now stands out as the kingdom of them all. His form this season is sensational. The remarkable thing is that he is so highly-effective and yet so cool. He seems to amble a game and yet in the air or on the ground is almost an impassable barrier. Tommy is coming to the front as a goal scorer, too. He has taken over Willie Cook’s job as penalty taker, and has yet to fail with a spot- kick. He is deadly with those penalty line free-kicks. As Jones is playing at the moment I doubt whether there has ever been a better centre-half –and I am not forgetting such as Frank Barson.
With Mr. Ernest Green, chairman of the Everton F.C, I went to Walton Hospital yesterday to see Torry Gillick, Everton’s international winger, who six months ago was burned when his garage caught fire. Despite all his troubles Torry can still smile. He looks great, but is heavily bandaged on his arms, and I am sorry to say, must undergo skin grafting operations before he can leave hospital. The fact that Everton scored the “friendly double” over Liverpool cheered Torry no ends and when I said, “Well Liverpool will beat you one day,” he replied “Yes, but we shall be here to see it, We’ll all be dead.”! Great clubman is Torry. He contends that Joe Mercer and Stan Bentham are the best direct colleagues any player could have. “The best right half and the best inside-right in football,” was how Torry described them to me. I was delighted to see Torry looking so well; and now I wish him the best of luck in his operation, and a speedy recovery so that he can “watch the buses and trams go by” as he wishes. And all football enthusiasts on Merseyside, I know, join me in that wish.
EVERTON MISS PENALTY
December 30, 1939. The Evening Express.
Then Blackpool Go Ahead.
Everton and Blackpool played on a snow-covered ground in their friendly match at Goodison park today. Unfortunately Caskie could not make the journey from Scotland. It is expected that he will be available next Saturday, when Everton oppose Manchester United in a regional match. Sweeney appeared for him today. Everton: - Sagar, (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Sweeney, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, and Bailey, forwards. Blackpool: - Roxburgh, goal; Sibley and Jones (S.), backs; Farrow, Hayward, and Johnston, half-backs; Finan, Eastham, Dodds, Munro, and Lewis, forwards. Referee Mr. C.E. Taylor. There were no more than 2,000 spectators at the start to see players adopting the wrong tactics in keeping the ball too close. The ball would not run on the snow, and the task of the defenders was made easy. Munroe placed outside before Bentham went through on his own, only to miss goal direction and find himself crowded out. Next Roxburgh had to be nippy to come out to hold up the menacing Lawton. Sweeney provided an opening for Stevenson whose right foot shot crashed inches outside the post. Dodds had a shot deflected to Lewis, who centred first time for Dodds to head on to the bar and over. Splendid combination between Sweeney and Stevenson resulted in Bentham coming in at top pace with a shot which Roxburgh saved at full length. Everton had a glorious chance of taking the lead when bailey worried Sibley into a faulty back pass and Bentham was left with only Roxburgh to beat. Bentham took his chance first time, but inches wide of the mark. Everton were having more of the game and the neat touches of Sweeney were a feature. Dodds was performing better against Tom Jones than any centre forward for weeks past, and he was again unfortunate with another header, which came back off the post, with Sagar well beaten. After 14 minutes Bentham was going through when he was brought down, and Everton were awarded a penalty. Tom Jones took the kick, but he shot straight at Roxburgh, who beat the ball away. Blackpool swept straight to the other end to take the lead through Dodds in 15 minutes. First, Stevenson lost control, then Tom Jones sailed in his interception of the through-pass. Dodds raced ahead, and although his first effort was blocked by Sagar, he regained possession to place into the far corner.