EVERTON ON TOP
December 2, 1940. The Liverpool daily Post
Everton 2, New Brighton 1
New Brighton Lose By Odd Goal.
Everton and New Brighton, who have been putting up some big scores in recent weeks, met at Goodison Park on Saturday, but found they could not rattle home goals at will as they had done against Tranmere Rovers and others. For an hour not a single shot could be landed in the net, and it appeared likely that the game would end in a goalless draw. Everton won 2-1, and go to the top of the table. Everton held the balance of play in point of attack, but it availed them little, and New Brighton would have been perfectly satisfied to have forced a draw on a ground which has yielded few points to visiting teams. A division of the spoils would have been a smart performance, but all within the space of a minute their prospects faded right out, for Everton’s two goals came at a stage of the game which meant an uphill fight if New Brighton were going to hold their own.
A Galliant Fight.
They had fought a galliant fight. They had met all Everton’s attacks with a confidence obtained as a result of a succession of victories, but in one fleeting moment the defence which had stood up to so many challenges flastered, and so the Rakers’ winning sequence came to the end. Taken throughout there were not a lot of goal incidents; neither can it be said that the goalkeepers were a hard worked pair, which, of course, pays a tribute to the men in front of them. It was, in the main, a defensive battle, and for a long time it appeared as though the defence would prove triumphant. Both goalkeepers made splendid saves. Hawthorn from Boyes and Lovett from Frost while the woodwork once prevented Catterick from scoring. For the first goal Hawthorn parried Catterick’s drive, but Boyes collected the ball and returned it to the back of the net. Within a minute Catterick brushed through the New Brighton defence and beat Hawthorn. Hawthorn later made a lucky save when he flung out his foot to a Stevenson shot. Then came Malam’s goal, a swift goal, a gift from Lovett, who should have held Waring’s low shot, but allowed the ball to spin from his grasp and slowly run towards the goal line. Malam made sure by rushing up and tapping the ball into the net. Shortly afterwards Catterick netted, and the referee awarded a goal, but an appeal by the New Brighton players induced him to seek the advice of the linesman, after which he disallowed the goal and awarded a free kick. Catterick had handled the ball in getting it under control. Everton, keen to improve their goal average, strove hard to increase they goal crop, and Davis gave away a penalty to prevent Jone’s free kick going in. Jones took the spot kick, but sliced the ball wide of the mark. Everton claimed they should have had another penalty goal prior to that. Everton: - Lovett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Arthur, S. Simmons, Catterick, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. New Brighton: - Hawthorn, goal; Cook, and Morris, backs; Rawcliffe, Longdon, and Davis, half-backs; Dellow, Waring, Frost, Malam, and Hanson, forwards. Referee Mr. W.H. E Evans (Liverpool).
• Lawton and Mercer played for Army in England against Army in Scotland at Glasgow in front of 20,000 spectators, England winning 4-1.
EVERTON NOW SECTION LEADERS.
December 2, 1940. Evening Express.
Everton are now the leaders of the North region soccer competition, displacing Manchester City by a .13 superior goal average with equal games decided. The Goodison club share a further distinction. They are one of the two clubs who have 100 per cent home record. New Brighton put up an excellent fight against Everton at Goodison Park, and in the end were only defeated by the odd goal in three. Where Everton had a slight pull was in the combined work of the forwards and halves, which they rounded off better than did the Rakers, and this in the end brought success, though play had gone on for an hour before the first goal came. Catterick was a great leader for Everton, yet Frost, despite the watchfulness of Jones, was little inferior in his work in the visitors’ line of attack. Arthur and Boyes, the Everton winger, were in their best raiding form, even though Davis, Longdon and Rawcliffe held up many attacks splendidly. Lovett had quite as much work to do in goal as Hawthorn. Both pleased by their displays. One right-handed save by Lovett from Dellow, who was the Rakers’ best forward, bore the hallmark of excellence. The goals came from Boyes and Catterick, while Malam, who one time wore the jersey of the Goodison Park side, got the Rakers’ point.
GOAL AVERAGE WORKING OUT WELL
December 2, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Top The North League
The much-criticised goal-average system of football reckoning is not working out so badly after all. Early in the season its occasional abnormalities led some crocket to ridicule it, and to accuse the Management Committee of fathering something which was going to take all the interest out of the game. Certainly, the old League system of reckoning can’t be beaten, but equally certain, under present-day difficulties, goal average was the only avenue open, and time has shown it to be turning out quite well. Everton are not only top of the League on average, but would be top just the same under the old reckoning. Out of the 22 leading teams in the North Section, the position of only five would be changed if results were reckoned on points instead of goals. Everton went to the head of affairs by reason of a hard won 2-1 victory over New Brighton. It was a game mainly of defences and for a long time it looked as though neither side would score. Then a couple of goals to Boyes and Catterick within two minutes threatened New Brighton with the medicine they themselves have been dealing out lately, but the Rakers weathered the storm, so well that they reduced the deficit, Malam putting the finishing touch to a goal which should really be credited to Waring. While Everton did more attacking than the score suggests, they found the New Brighton defence as sound as its attack has latterly been penetrating. I thought the Rakers made a mistake when Waring concentrated sorely on defence for a long time. Prior to that the five New Brighton forwards, moving upwards as one man, had always been dangerous. With Waring handing back behind the halves, the forward line lost its chief schemer and paid the penalty. Everton should have made it
3-1, for later on Jones missed a penalty, a rare offence with him. Once more Lovett gave a grand exhibition, though he had not a great deal to do; Bentham was a dour tackler, and Stevenson and Boyes were the best wing. Simmons again was inclined to over-dribble, a fault from which Boyes, also was not entirely free. Jones was as sound as ever. Hanson, though not so electrifying as in his best Anfield days, put in a few of his old-time pile-drivers. Frost had a few chances and Waring was the brains behind the Rakers’ attack until he decided to become a half back.
EVERTON TEAM SHEET.
December 3, 1940. The Evening Express.
Everton will be without Cook, Mercer and Lawton, all of whom will be engaged in the Army v. R.A.F, at Nottingham, and Bentham, who is not available. Jackson takes Cook’s place at full back S. Simmons goes from outside-right to right half, and the forward position is taken by W. Owen an 18-year-old amateur from Garston, who has been doing well with the Everton “A” team. It will be Owen’s first team debut. It will be the return game between the clubs, and Everton have a chance to complete their first double. They won at Haig Avenue by the only goal of the match. Everton; Lovett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; S. Simmons, Jones, Watson; Arthur, W. Owen, catterick, Stevenson, Boyes.
December 3, 1940. The Liverpool Echo.
The match between the Army and R.A.F. at Manchester on Saturday, is making holes in the teams sheets of Everton and Liverpool, both of whom will be without several Services stars in consequence. Cook, Mercer, and Lawton will not be available for Everton’s Regional League game at Goodison Park against Southport (kick-off 3 o’clock) and in addition to Bartram and Nieuwenhuys, being absent from Liverpool and Reds will also be without Jackson, recalled by Everton to tale Cooks place. Liverpool, who play Tranmere at Prenton, will not announce their side until later but Everton have chosen their subject to the usual reservations of these days. After Saturday’s match Everton have only two more home fixtures to complete the first half season’s programme. The visit of Southport hardly seems to endanger it, for the Sandgrounders so far haven’t won an away match. Never the centre of any great football enthusiasm –apart from the days when they were doing well in the Cup –the war seems to have knocked the stuffing right out of the game at Haig Avenue and the old club is fighting difficulties all along the lines. Jackson is recalled from Liverpool to replace Cook and as Bentham is also unable to play Simmons takes his place, Owen, of the second team, coming into the forwards. Everton; Lovett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Simmons, Jones, Watson; Arthur, Owen, Catterick, Stevenson, Boyes.
Everton Reserves visits St. Teresa’s Everton “A”:- O’Hara; Moneghan, Ireland; Sharratt, Finnis, Atkins; Dixon, Lindeman, Barrett, Williams, Martin.
December 6, 1940. The Evening Express.
Everton, who will have Southport as visitors, will not only be out to retain the leadership of the North section; they will be fighting to preserve a home record –all their seven games to date having been won –and to record their first “double” of the season. The Goodison club will be without Cook, Lawton, Mercer, and Bentham. The first three named will be engaged in Army and R.A.F matches, while Bentham is not available. Compared with the side that defeated New Brighton, Jackson takes Cook’s place at full back, S. Simmons, who has been doing very well at inside right, goes to right half, while the inside right berth will be occupied by W. Owens, an 18-year-old amateur of Garston, who has been showing excellent form with the “A” side. It will be Owens’ senior team debut. Southport will be seeking their first away win. Their attack may be led by Dorsett, of Wolverhampton Wanderers. In the match at Haig Avenue, Everton succeeded by the only goal of the match after a great struggle. Everton; Lovett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; S. Simmons, Jones, Watson; Arthur, W. Owen, Catterick, Stevenson, Boyes. Southport; Groves; Little, Grainger (J); Johnson, Bradford, Young; Grainger (D), Thompson, Dorsett, Deverall, Sanderson.
EVERTON LEAD CITY
December 7, 1940. Evening Express
Lawton Goal Follows Corner.
Everton had nine of their championship players in the side which opened the season at Goodison Park in the return match against Manchester City today:- Everton:- Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-back; Sumner, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Penlington, forwards. Manchester City: - Swift, goal; Sproston and Clarke, backs; Walsh, Fagan and Bray, half-backs; Emptage, Herd, Currier, Doherty and Mulrooney (Ipswich Town), forwards. Referee Mr. H. Hartley, of Bolton. Everton went close in the first minute, when Lawton cleverly outwitted Fagan and swung the ball out to Sumner. The winger's centre curling into goal almost got the better of Swift, for the goalkeeper only partially gathered it and it turned around the post for a corner. Everton launched another strong attack, and following co-operation between Stevenson and Lawton, the Irishman dashed in to drive against the crossbar from short range. There was plenty of skilful football, with Everton the more aggressive, but when Lawton attempted to head the ball down to Stevenson, Fagan intervened in the nick of time.
City's most dangerous attack in the early stages was initiated by Doherty, when sent Currier through, but Cook came to the rescue by conceding a fruitless corner. Currier broke through again but this time his shot passed wide and a similar late befell Bentham at the other end. The Everton goal had a narrow escape when Currier hooked the ball into goal from the left of the penalty area, but Sagar dashed out to clear. Hard, however, was too quick for him, and his lob over Sagar's hands was only inches wide. Everton returned to the attack again and Bentham was well placed when Clarke succeeded in checking his shot only a few yards from goal. Stevenson was the "live wire" of the Everton attack, and when he sent Sumner away the situation looked dangerous for City. The ball was returned to Mercer, who beat Clarke before forcing Swift to save full length. Bentham sent Lawton away, and the Everton leader was unlucky when his short-range shot struck Swift's foot and rebounded out of goal.
In 35 minutes Everton took the lead. The goal followed a corner taken by Penlington. The ball ran to Stevenson, who tried a low drive from 25 yards range. His shot was beaten down, but Lawton swung around and drove the ball into the net from the penalty spot. Stevenson almost headed a second goal for Everton after he had weaved his way through the City defence. He placed the ball out of the goalkeeper's reach only to see it roll past the far upright.
Half-Time; Everton 1, Manchester City 0.
GOODISON PARK DUEL
December 7, 1940. The Evening Express.
Southport Brisk Opening.
Everton: Lovett; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; S. Simmons, Jones, and Watson, half-backs; Arthur, W. Owen, Catterick, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Southport: - Groves, goal; Little, and Grainger (J), backs; Harrison, Bradford, and Young, half-backs; Grainger (D), Thompson, Harker, Sanderson, and Howard, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Hartley (Bolton). Southport started briskly and a promising move by Sanderson and Howard ended when Jones intercepted a good centre by the Southport winger. Southport repeated the tactics on the other wing, but Lovett came out to clear a centre from Grainger (D), with Thompson in an ideal position. Southport were next penalised just outside their penalty area, but Jones’s shot just went wide of the Southport post. There was a thrilling incident in the Southport goal, when Arthur sent in a dropping shot and Groves fisted away. The ball fell at the feet of Catterick. A terrific return by the Everton centre forward knocked the Southport goalkeeper to his knees, and the ball went out, this time to Stevenson. He crashed the ball towards the goal, but in a flash Groves was up to push it over the bar. Southport missed a glorious chance when Harker took advantage of a miskick by Jones and with only Lovett to beat from short range sent the ball over the bar.
Everton’s reply to this was a neat move by Stevenson, who made a forward raid which ended with a cross shot by Arthur, Groves getting cleverly down to it at the foot of the post. Harker next provided Everton with a shock, when he tried a low drive. Lovett dived at it and turned the ball round the post. This was truly a goalkeeper’s day, for at the other end Groves fisted out a terrific shot from Catterick, and then Little intercepted an equally strong return from Boyes. Hesitancy by the Southport defence nearly let in Catterick, who was allowed to go through on his own, but he was robbed by Groves, who, the next minute, went down to a header from Catterick.
SOUTHPORT MAKE A GOOD FIGHT
December 9, 1940. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Southport 1
Everton Prevail by Odd Goal
Everton did not beat Southport so readily as was generally anticipated. In fact, Southport should have scored two goals before Everton had opened their day’s account. Everton were undoubtedly the superior side so far as skill was conceded, but they were met by a team full of determination though greatly inferior in the finer points of the game. Everton won 2-1. Southport did not have Dorsett, the Wolves forward, to help them as they expected, but the other “guest artists” strove valiantly to check the league leaders, and had Harker scored with two simple chances, Everton would have had to fight hard for their victory. Everton delivered plenty of shots, but ran up against a goalkeeper who was bang on the top of his form, otherwise Southport would have been several goals in arrear, for Catterick ultimately beat down Groves’s great defence. He had denied Catterick, Boyes, and Jones, who each crashed in terrific drive before he finally had to submit to a picture goal by Catterick. This reserve Everton forward was undoubtedly a worthy deputy to Lawton, and the manner in which he scored his first goal classed him as a brainy player. He received the ball just outside the penalty line, lured Groves out, then cleverly scooped the ball over the goalkeeper’s head, then ran round him and tapped the ball into the net. That was after 35 minutes. Eight minutes later Catterick, by his persistency, brushed aside several challengers before he again beat Groves with a swift shot.
Harker Misses Chances.
Earlier Harker had outwitted Jones and was left with all the goal before him, but misfired. He was also sadly at fault a second time when he had “cleared” the Everton defence. Harker did make amends in the last three minutes, when he cracked in a grand shot which left Lovett helpless. For the last ten minutes Southport were left with ten men, Groves damaging his left arm in collision with Catterick and J. Grainger went into goal, where he did uncommonly well. Southport had fought bravely against the strong Everton defence, and their rearguard had stood up boldly to the Everton attack, which, of course, was without Lawton and Bentham. The Stevenson-Boyes wing was the best, even though Boyes was inclined to over-dribble. He once made a shot which Groves “fingered” over the bar. Groves was the big man of the match so far as Southport was concerned. Had it not been for him Everton would have totted up a big goal crop. Everton: Lovett; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; S. Simmons, Jones, and Watson, half-backs; Arthur, W. Owen, Catterick, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Southport: - Groves, goal; Little, and Grainger (J), backs; Harrison, Bradford, and Young, half-backs; Grainger (D), Thompson, Harker, Sanderson, and Howard, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Hartley (Bolton).
• R.A.F X1 beat The Army X1 4-2, in front of 6,000 spectators, at Maine Road, Manchester, Lawton and Cook (penalty) scored for the Army
December 9, 1940. Evening Express.
Everton have not only increased their lead at the head of the North Section, but are now the only club in the regional competition with a 100 per cent record for home matches. The game between Everton and Southport, at Goodison Park, provided a contrast of styles, and on the general run of the play the 2-1 margin in favour of the home team did not represent their superiority. In football craft Everton were always the masters, but there was one man, between them and a big score. It was Groves, the Southport goalkeeper, who, until 15 minutes from the close, when he left the field with a suspected fractured wrist played brilliantly. His saves were spectators against a bombardment by an Everton line which was quick to shoot after moves which were invariably fast and well schemed. Along with Little and J. Grainger, the full backs, who did well under pressure, he formed Southport’s busiest trio in a game which never lacked entertainment. Southport were robust in their style but replying too much on long-distant passing, yet they had their chances. They were usually lost through hesitancy in front of goal, with the result that Jackson, Greenhalgh, and Jones had little difficulty in breaking up attacks. Only Harker, the Southport leader, seemed to know the way in and when he notched Southport’s only goal five minutes from the end, he deserved it. Catterick, the Everton centre-forward, was on the top of his form, and he never tired in his efforts to record a hat-trick-and came close to it many times. Everton’s two youngsters, Arthur and W. Owen on the right wing, are a promising pair. The diminutive Owen, who raids in the Stevenson style, was a constant source of trouble to the Southport defence. The scorers were Catterick (2) for Everton, and Harker for Southport.
December 9, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Prior to their visit to Goodison Park, Southport’s record was such that a solid Everton victory was anticipated, but at the end of the ninety minutes, Everton could only lay claim to a goal margin, a none too satisfying result in these days of goal average. The game should have provided Everton with a nice left in their percentage, but Southport battled so valiantly that they did what most clubs have been unable to do at Goodison hold them to a goal margin. The features of the game were the goalkeeping of the Southport goalkeeper, groves, and Everton’s scorer, Catterick, Groves time and again, stood between the Everton forwards and success. He stopped some particularly hot shots in fact, he was confidence personal. However, where Groves was damaged in collision with Catterick and had to leave the field more Everton goals seemed probable, but Grainger, as substitute, did his work well; in fact, Southport showed their fighting quality by snatching a goal in the last few minutes. Harker scoring with a fast drive. In the main the Southport attack was admirably handled by the Everton defence, in which Simmons played his part. The forward line, however, was unbalanced. The left wing was naturally the more progressive, but Boyes must cut some of his “jinking.” He was robbed more than once through his desire to do too much. Catterick’s is a grand deputy for Lawton, quick off the mark, he knows where the goal lies.
EVERTON AT PRENTON
December 10, 1940. The Evening Express.
Everton will pay their second visit to the season to Prenton Park on Saturday. They were there a fortnight ago and won 9-0. Saturday’s game will also be a North Regional fixture. Everton will field their strongest side, Sagar will resume in goal –he will be on leave –Cook, Mercer, and Lawton will be back from duty in the Army v R.A.F games, and Bentham is also available. The Goodison Park side, therefore, will be:- Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Arthur, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Mr. R.S. Trueman, the chairman of Tranmere Rovers, has wired Griffiths, Rosenthal and T.B. Jones in the hope that they will be able to obtain leave to take part in the game. Pending any re-play, the Rovers have chosen 14 players, and these include a left winger, Moore, who is a professional player belonging to Grimsby Town, and who is now in this district. The Rovers chosen are:- W.R. Teasdale; A. Wishart, Owen, Anderson (E), Gibbons, W.B. Price, R. Hodgson; L.L. Ashcroft, Davies, Griffiths, Rosenthal, T.B. Jones, R.A. King, Moore.
TRANMERE ROVERS’ CHANCE OF REVENGE
December 10, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s Ten Champions For Prenton Park
With one exception Everton will play their full championship side against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Saturday including seven internationals. Sagar returns to the side, having been recently moved nearly home so that the only absence from the victors of eleven of 1938-39 is Torry Gillick. Sagar’ s likely to be available (when he has been for some little time). This array of talent ought to robust even the most lukewarm supporter. A fortnight ago Everton treated the Prenton followers to an exhibition of the finer arts of the game. After popping on five goals in the first half hour they indulged in individually and pattern weaving proportions to the full and though they added four further goals they didn’t attempt to rub it in. While I doubt weather in their own hearts they contemplate victory. Tranmere are determined this time that Everton shall not have it so much their own way, and will be all out to maintain their recent improvement. At the moment the Rovers announce fourteen probables from which the side will be chosen. Rosenthal is included though the chances are not bright so far as he is concerned, and there is a new borrowing in prospect in the inclusion of Moore of Grimsby Town.
LEADERS AT PRENTON
December 13, 1940. Evening Express
Everton will pay their second visit to Prenton Park in the space of three weeks. Their first meeting with Tranmere Rovers gave them a big victory, and with their strongest side available on this occasion they expect to complete the second “double” of the season. Compared with the side that beat Southport last week, the Blues will have Sagar, back in goal –he will be on leave –while Cook, Lawton and Mercer resume after duty with an Army X1. Bentham too, is available. While Everton should complete a “double” the Rovers will be greatly encouraged by the victory over Liverpool last week, and the Blues task will be stiff one. The Rovers attack has not yet been definitely decided on, but the final choice will be from six players. These include Moore, the Grimsby Town player, who is in the district. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Arthur, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Tranmere Rovers (from) W.R. Teasdale; A. Wishart, Owen, Anderson (E); Gibbons, W.B. Price, R. Hodgson, L.L. Ashcroft, Davies, R.A. King, Moore, B. Jones, Griffiths.
EVERTON AT TRANMERE
December 13, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Not only were Tranmere cock-a-hoop over the victory against Liverpool, but it caused them to look upon Everton’s visit tomorrow with much more confidence. All the game I cannot visualise anything but a Tranmere defeat. Though they sometimes disappoint when the task seems easiest, I don’t think Everton, will prove me false this time, though I don’t anticipate so heavy a victory as the recent 9-0 verdict. The Rovers are keen to keep the margin within reasonable proportions, and they are a determined lot. No matter how badly things may be going, they fight on to the bitter end, and there is plenty of spirit as well as ability in the side. Everton mustn’t make the mistake of thinking the game is won before it is begun. If they went to ease up, the time is when they are well in the lead, not when the goal-sheet hasn’t a mark on it. I was disappointed at the attendance at Prenton for the former meeting of these two, through there were certain reasons for it. There ought to be a better turn-up tomorrow for a team which includes seven internationals and ten of its championship side. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Arthur, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes. Tranmere Rovers (from) W.R. Teasdale; A. Wishart, Owen, Anderson (E); Gibbons, W.B. Price, R. Hodgson, L.L. Ashcroft, Davies, R.A. King, Moore, B. Jones, Griffiths.
EVERTON AT PRENTON
December 14, 1940. The Evening Express
Tranmere’s Brisk Opening
Tranmere and Everton played their return North Regional game at Prenton Park, today. Tranmere Rovers: - W.R. Teasdale, goal; A. Wishart and Owen, backs; Gibbons, W.B.Price, and E. Anderson, half-backs; L.L. Ashcroft, Davies, Moore (Grimsby Town), R. Hodgson, and Griffiths, forwards. Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Arthur, Bentham, Lawton, Simmons, and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. E. Plinston (Warrington). The Rovers started in brisk fashion, and when Davies started a movement Sagar had to leave his goal to dive at the feet of Hodgson. Sagar was in action again a moment later when he fielded a centre from Ashcroft. The first Everton raids on the home goal occurred when Lawton broke through, but Teasdale smartly saved his drive. Teasdale fumbled a rousing drive from Boyes, but managed to recover the ball in time as Lawton came running in.
Everton “A” v. St. Teresa’s
St Teresa’s were the first to attack, Coffey sending in a shot that O’Hara dealt with. Play was transferred to the other end and McGrane had to save from Newstead.
FIRST MINUTE THRILLS
December 14, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Tranmere and Everton played their return North Regional game at Prenton Park, today. Tranmere Rovers:- W.R. Teasdale, goal; A. Wishart and Owen, backs; Gibbons, W.B.Price, and E. Anderson, half-backs; L.L. Ashcroft, Davies, Moore (Grimsby Town), R. Hodgson, and Griffiths, forwards. Everton:- Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Arthur, Bentham, Lawton, Simmons, and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. E. Plinston (Warrington).
There was a first minute thrill when harassed by Davies, Jones put the ball back to the advancing Sagar, but he was a trifle wide with the pass, and for a moment it looked as though the Everton ‘keeper might be beaten, but he gained possession with Hodgson rushing up to apply the finishing touch. A moment later Sagar was again in action, and he made a competent and clean catch from a high centre by Ashcroft. Everton’s reply was of definite order, Lawton, well out on the left racing ahead to finish with a low drive which Teasdale gathered and cleared. The exchanges were fast and interesting, with Tranmere in contrast to the first games, between the two sides, showing up quite well. For quite a spell the ball hung in the Everton quarters, but there was no serious threat of a goal, Cook and Greenhalgh keeping Sagar idle.
EIGHT GOALS FOR EVERTON.
December 16, 1940. The Liverpool Daily Post
Tranmere Rovers 2, Everton 8
Leaders Too Good For Tranmere
Everton confirmed their superiority over Tranmere Rovers by inflicting another decisive defeat upon them, the score being 8-2. While the visitors to Prenton were the superior and cleverer side, the score was flattering, for the game was not a one-sided affair, and three of the visitors goals were the outcome of goalkeeping lapses. Teasdale’s fault on each occasion was that of pushing the ball back in front of goal when dealing with shots he could not hold. In the first quarter of an hour the Rovers did more of the attacking, and it was against the run of the play when Everton too the lead through a typical opportunist goal by Lawton, who was a very thrustful leader despite the close attention paid him by Price. This young Heswall amateur fared quite well against the international leader, who had to put in all he knew to get reward in the shape of two goals. Bentham was also clever, but all three of his goals were gifts, Simmons, Boyes and Cook (penalty) were the other Everton marksmen, Jones as usual, was outstanding at half-back, while Cook impressed further in the rear. Except in the early stages Sagar had little to do. Wishart gave a sound display in the Rovers defence, and in the attack, which was not well supported. Ashcroft and Hodgson did best, Griffiths goal the Rovers two goals. Tranmere and Everton played their return North Regional game at Prenton Park, today. Tranmere Rovers: - W.R. Teasdale, goal; A. Wishart and Owen, backs; Gibbons, W.B.Price, and E. Anderson, half-backs; L.L. Ashcroft, Davies, Moore (Grimsby Town), R. Hodgson, and Griffiths, forwards. Everton: - Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Arthur, Bentham, Lawton, Simmons, and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. E. Plinston (Warrington).
• Gillick scored for Rangers against Partick Thistle, 4-1.
December 16, 1940. The Evening Express
Everton maintain their position as leaders in the North Regional league by reason of another decisive victory of eight goals to two over Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park. In the first quarter of an hour, Tranmere played well enough to suggest that they might make a big fight of the issue, and it was against the run of the play when Lawton gave the Everton the lead with a snap goal. After this the Rovers were mainly concerned with defence. At the same time, Everton’s margin of victory flattered them, as three of their goals were “gifts.” Lawton was a powerful leader, although W.B. Price, the young Heswall player, at centre half for the Rovers, fared quite well against him. Jones and Mercer were strong half-backs, while Cook gave a polished display at back. For Tranmere, A. Wishart did well against Everton’s left wing, and in the home attack, which was poorly supported L. Ashcroft and R. Hodgson were always prominent. Lawton (2), Bentham (3), Simmons, Boyes, and Cook (Penalty) scored for Everton, and Grififths (2), and the Rovers.
EVERTON TOO GOOD
December 10, 1940. The Liverpool Echo.
Once more Everton were too good for Tranmere, though this time the Rovers made a much better fight of it. In fact, for the first twenty minutes, with the advantage of a strong wind, they did nearly all the pressing, and it was against the run of play when Lawton opened the score. Thereafter, however, the ultimate result was never in doubt, and it was only a question of how many Everton would score. That they got eight was mainly due to defensive lapses by Tranmere. Three of the goals were gifts which came from partial saves by Teasdale; one by Bentham was to my mind well offside, while Boye’s point was almost as “jammy.” While there was no disputing Everton’s undoubted superiority, which showed itself in grand footwork by Mercer, Jones, and Simmons, and the all-round excellence of their teamwork, Tranmere were not so subdued as the score suggests. Hodgson was always a source of danger, his shooting being strong and well on the mark; Ashcroft was a grand little winger, while in defence Price and Wishart gave excellent displays, Griffiths got Tranmere’s two goals, which meant that Everton’s lead at the head of the table is now whittled down to a decimal part of a goal.
December 17, 1940. The Evening Express
A victory for Everton will mean more than the retention of the leadership –that is providing the goals against are kept to a minimum –it will mean the preservation of a 100 per cent home record. Owing to the fact that Cook, Lawton and Mercer will be engaged in a Services match, Everton have had to make team changes. Jackson will take Cook’s place at right full back, Bentham moves from inside right to Mercer’s position at right half and Catterick once again leads the attack in place of Lawton. The Blues’ attack has not been decided on. Six players are chosen. These include Johnson, who is in the Army and who, before the war, played for the Central league and “A” team, and last season assisted the seniors in a match against Tranmere Rovers, and S. Simmons, who has given many bright displays for the Services this season. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones, Watson; (from); Arthur, Johnson, S. Simmons, Catterick, Stevenson, Boyes.
December 17, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Everton will be without Cook, Lawton and Mercer for their game with Preston North End at Goodison Park on Saturday, as these players have been chosen for an Army representative game at Blackpool. This match may have a big bearing on the first half season’s championship, for Preston are running third to Everton’s leadership though they have considerable leeway to make up on goal average. Everton, who have won all their eight games at Goodison Park, will be particularly keen to win on Saturday, for this is their last home match of the present series. Jackson is recalled from Liverpool to take Cook’s place, Bentham appears at right back, and Catterick again deputises for Lawton. Johnson, included in the six provisional forwards, is a former “A” team player who made a few Central league appearance before the war. Team; - Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones, Watson; forwards from Arthur, Johnson, Simmons, Catterick, Stevenson, and Boyes.
EVERTON’S TITLE RACE
December 20, 1940. The Evening Express.
With only eight days to go to complete the first half of the football season, the fight for top place in the North Regional Competition is a long way from being decided. Everton and Manchester City are at the moment running neck and neck, with Preston N.E. and Chesterfield close on their heels. Tomorrow’s game will play vital parts in the struggle. Especially is this the case at Goodison, for Everton meet one of their chief rivals –Preston North End. The Goodison brigade have a double incentive to win, for in addition to their fight for the championship, they hold the distinction of being the only club in the Northern Section with a 100 per cent home record. Everton will be without the services of Cook, Mercer, and Lawton, who will be engaged in Army football, but they will, nevertheless have an exceptionally strong side, with Catterick again leading the attack. Preston N.E. have lost one two of their seven away games and have scored 16 goals against 13, so that Everton have a big test on hand. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones, Watson; (from) Arthur, Johnson, S. Simmons, Stevenson, Boyes.
RACE FOR TOPMOST PLACE
December 21, 1940. The Liverpool Daily Post
Three weeks ago Everton deposed Manchester City from the leading position in the Northern Section table. As a result of today’s Regional games the scales may swing again. Last Saturday Manchester City defeated Stockport County 9-1, and now on their own ground against the same opponents should win with ease. Everton on the other hand, will find in Preston North End rivals of much sterner quality. Everton, however, will make a bold bid to retain their position, even though Lawton, Mercer, and Cook are not available. The kick-off at Goodison Park is at 3 o’clock, and the teams are; Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones, Watson; (forwards) Arthur, or Johnson, Simmons, Catterick, Stevenson, Boyes. Preston: - Fairbrother; Gallimore, Scott; Finch, Smith, Mansley; Finney, Beattle (R), Dougal, Mutch, Wharton.
PRESTON AT GOODISON
December 21, 1940. The Evening Express.
Preston N.E. were Everton’s opponents at Goodison Park today. Everton:- Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Johnson, S. Simmons, Catterick, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Preston North End:- Fairbrother, goal; Gallimore and Scott, backs; Shankly, Smith, and Mansley, half-backs; Finney, Mutch, Dougal, Beattie, and Wharton, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Twist (Westhouhton). Everton were the first to attack, but Johnson was dispossessed and play went to the Everton end, where Wharton finished off a movement by hitting the side net. Johnson was in the picture with a neat run, but the Preston defence cleared the danger. The Everton goal had a narrow escape when Sagar failed to get to the ball, but Jones was there to save it going into the net. Catterick next tried a move but Fairbrother came out and beat him to the ball. Preston were soon on the attack again and Finney tried a long shot but it went high over the bar. Everton were awarded a free kick but nothing came of it, and then Finney had a chance all on his own. The shot, however, went across the goal. Both teams fought hard. Johnson was given a chance, his shot was well directed but there was not sufficient power behind it.
SAGAR UNDER TEST
December 21, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Preston Show Cleverness
Everton:- Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Johnson, S. Simmons, Catterick, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Preston North End:- Fairbrother, goal; Gallimore and Scott, backs; Shankly, Smith, and Mansley, half-backs; Finney, Mutch, Dougal, Beattie, and Wharton, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Twist (Westhouhton). Preston North End brought an attractive team for their match with Everton at Goodison Park, and it was a pity there was so small an attendance to see what promised to be a high class game of football, for there were international galore in the two sides. Everton started with a thrust on their right wing, but they did not call upon Fairbrother, whereas Preston, when they made an advance tested Sagar, who made a save with his foot, and later misjudged the flight of a Wharton centre and Jones had to save his colleague. Even at this early stage, Preston showed what a really clever side they are, for they made openings by canny moves and passes and Dougal had the opportunity of drawing first blood when he was left with an opening the like of which he rarely misses, but this time he got too much trajectory on his effort, the ball flying high over the crossbar. So far Everton had been mainly on the defence, and it looked awkward when Finney, who was obviously offside, was allowed to proceed and made straight for goal, fortunately for Everton his shot misfired. Johnson had an opportunity when he collected a pass from Stevenson and delivered a shot which, however, did not bear the necessary power so that Fairbrother had an easy task. Everton were only getting into their normal swing, and at one point they promised to break down the North end defence, which however, refused to yield.
EVERTON’S FIRST FALL.
December 23, 1940. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Preston North End 3
Preston Win at Goodison Park
Preston North End, who have had a highly successful time lately, having registered five wins and three draws in consecutive matches, struck Everton a severe blow by administering their first home defeat and a check to their championship bid. North End won 3-0. Preston, with their strong team, played remarkably fine football and were full value for the victory. They displaced perfect combined football with that little added zest, which Everton lacked in fact, the North End treated this game almost in the light of a Cup-tie. Notwithstanding that the Everton defence was able to hold their bright and fast moving forwards almost to the interval when a risky back pass by Jones saw Mutch scoop the ball away from Sagar’s hands and centre right to the waiting Dougal, who powerfully cracked the ball into the net. It was a lucky goal, but only goes to prove the keenness of the visitors.
They scored two further goals in the second half through Wharton and Dougal, and what is more, always gave the impression that they would score when they made an advance. They outplayed Everton at their own game, their forwards being such more effective than their opponents. It was unfortunate that Everton should be without such men as Lawton and Mercer for so important a task, for it cannot but he admitted that they were badly missed try how hard the deputise did. Johnson and Simmons had not the experience against the strong North End defenders, and for once in a way their own defence was not so well knit as usual. It was an interesting game, for there was so much skill displayed and another big point was that there was not a “guest artist” in either side. Preston’s wing men, Finney and Wharton, were much more impressive than Johnson and Boyes, and Dougal was ever on the alert for the main chance. Everton: - Sagar (captain), goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Johnson, S. Simmons, Catterick, Stevenson, and Boyes, forwards. Preston North End: - Fairbrother, goal; Gallimore and Scott, backs; Shankly, Smith, and Mansley, half-backs; Finney, Mutch, Dougal, Beattie, and Wharton, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Twist (Westhouhton).
EVERTON LOSE HOME RECORD.
December 23, 1940. The Evening Express
Everton’s record of being unbeaten at home this season came to an end on Saturday, when Preston North End lowered their colours in a 3-0 victory. So good was Preston’s display that it was only the sound defensive play of Sagar and his full backs, Jackson and Greenhalgh which kept down the score. Preston’s fast, incisive forward work, backed up by scheming halves and a sound defence, was a delight to watch. In contrast Everton’s forwards lacked cohesion and their sporadic attacks usually broke down well out of the Preston danger area. Catterick, the Everton leader, and Stevenson tried desperately to develop methodical attacks, but they were too rare to the effective. Catterick was the only real danger man in the Everton line to give Fairbrother, in the Preston goal, any trouble. He gave the Preston man plenty of shots to deal with, particularly in the first half. Preston’s goals were scored by Dougal (2), and Wharton.
EVERTON SLIP UP
December 23, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have for the moment lost their place, via the Preston defeat –their first at Goodison Park this season-for they are now second to Manchester City in the League table. Preston North End’s victory was convincing and impressive, and fully justified for they were a better side on the day’s play. They were surprisingly proficient in their attacking methods against Everton’s rather spasmodic form. Yet it was a fluky goal which gave the North End the lead, Jones made a weak back-pass which Sagar could only half grasp and Mutch got hold of the ball and pushed it over for Dougal to do the necessary. Dougal scored another goal, and Wharton’s had a semblance of good fortune about it. But taken throughout there was no question which was the better side. Everton’s defence for once in a way was not as solid as usual, but that is not surprising against an attack which was always moving smoothly and efficiently Mutch made the best of the young winger, Finney, while Wharton was also a sprightly wingman. Everton lacked the experience in their forward line, and while Catterick tried hard he got little or no chance from centre half Smith. Preston played as through the Cup hung on the result of this game; they were quicker on the ball –Everton waited for it –and were keener in their methods, Fairbrother their new goalkeeper, did what he had to do confidently; in fact one could –safely say that Preston are a good all round side e-no weaknesses anywhere.
EVERTON-LIVERPOOL TEST AT ANFIELD
December 24, 1940. The Evening Express.
There will be three Everton v. Liverpool soccer tests in the next 18 days –one in the North Regional competition and the others in the first round of the Lancashire Senior Cup. The first of the games, which will be at Anfield, is the feature of the Regional “card” for tomorrow, when several clubs will be doubly engaged following the cancellation of the Boxing Day fixtures, and the other two games will be on January 4 again at Anfield and January 11 at Goodison Park. The result of the match tomorrow is vital to Everton’s chances for the championship. As a result of the defeat by Preston, Everton have lost the leadership and are now .45 behind Manchester City, who again occupy the leading place. The Blues task is a big one, for Liverpool, in eight home games, have been beaten only once –by Manchester City. On the other hand, Everton in eight away games, have only been beaten twice and have won three times. It should be a great struggle. The kick-off is at 11-15. Everton will have Cook, Mercer and Lawton back, after duty for the Army X1. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Arthur, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
December 24, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Christmas Day football this year introduces something out of the ordinary, for in a number cases clubs are playing one another twice, morning on one ground, afternoon on the other. Liverpool and Everton, however, are content with the one game, for no useful purpose would have been served by duplication within the same confined area. Liverpool hopes of having several of their pre-war regulars available for this match has not materialised. All the same they will be capable of giving the champions a stern tussle and if Bartram is in form it will take the best that is in Lawton and his colleagues to get the ball past him. Once more Everton turn out practically their championship side, the only absentee being Torry Gillick, for whom Arthur deputises. Liverpool still have the services of their only naval representative, Jim Harley, who will have an Evertonian as partner at full back. The kick-off is at 11-15, and the teams will be:- Liverpool (from); Bartram; Harley, Jackson; Stuart, Lambert, Turner, Chiverton, Spicer; Nieuwenhuys, Paisley, Carnery, Fagan, Polk, Liddell. Everton; Sagar; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Arthur, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes.
SUCCESS OF LIVERPOOL
December 27, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Liverpool 3, Everton 1
Everton Score First.
It took Liverpool just two minutes to switch over a victory line against Everton in the Christmas Day match at Anfield. Led by a Bentham goal after 65 minutes they scored themselves at the 70th and 71 minutes, and then went on to complete the job with another five minutes from time. Liverpool were worth their win, if only for the way they fought back when Everton had appeared to have broken the long goalless spell with every chance of maintaining their lead. For long spells both defences were in command, Everton’s particularly so. The Jones link-up with the attack and his fellow half-backs was so superb that he was able to sweep the ball from defence into attack almost at will. It was in the early part of the game that Lewis was remiss with good chances and Lawton could not get on the target with his big shots.
Liverpool may have been a bit patchy in the half-back line, but their defence was sure and the forwards never slackened up. Liddell had a fine game, and Niewenhuys was another enlivening factor. His goal from a planted pass by Liddell was even better than Bentham’s and Carey’s dribble-round-the-goalkeeper point, plus his second was a nice reminder of his return after many months. There were 4,000 spectators. Liverpool:- Bartram, goal; Harley and Stuart, backs; Lambert, Turner, and Spicer, half-backs; Paisley, Carney, Nieuwenhuys, Polk, and Liddell, forwards. Everton:- Sagar, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Jackson, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Arthur, Bentham, Lawton, Simmons, and Lewis, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.Phillips.
December 27, 1940. The Evening Express.
Liverpool’s sensational 3-1 victory over Everton at Anfield on Christmas Day was well deserved. It came following a goalless first half in which Everton’s forward superiority promised to see them through. Everton’s opening score 20 minutes after the resumption when Bentham beat Bartram with a terrific long shot was no surprise, for the Everton line had to this stage been moving with perfect precision and well served from behind. Then there came the Liverpool revival and three goals in 20 minutes. Each goal was the reward of sound understanding between the Liverpool forwards, who added determination to craft. It was too much for the Everton defence which could not cope with the quick incisive movements of Nieuwenhuys, Liddle and Carney in particular. The latter who is now an officer in the Army heralded his return to the side with two clever goals. There was, too, a grand duel between Nieuwenhuys and Jones, the Everton centre half, who until those closing minutes was the master of defence. His connecting work with the men in front was a delight to watch. In the Liverpool defence Bartram in goal and Stuart at full back were right on top of their form. The scorers were for Liverpool Nieuwenhuys and Carney (2), and for Everton Bentham. The attendance was about 5,000.
Everton game with New Brighton has been cancelled; meanwhile Rovers will have the assistance of the Everton players, Greenhalgh, Stevenson, T.G. Jones, and Bentham.
LOST THEIR GRIP
December 27, 1940. The Liverpool Echo
Everton seemed to have the “Derby” game at Anfield in their grip when, at the 70th and 71st minute Liverpool switched the lead with a fine goals from Nivvy and Len Carney. Later Carney made it 3-1, so the first round honours in the battle of the local big-wigs went in Anfield’s favour. Most notable was Tom Jones’s display on the beaten side. It was no fault of his that three were put past Sagar. What impressed most was the way Tom linked up with forwards and fellow half-backs. He turns defence into attack more speedily and surely than any other defender playing. Liddell was a Liverpool star turn, and Nivvy’s bright leadership added to the sting. Tom Lawton’s big shots were not on the target this time, and Lewis missed a couple of good chances. Simmons again gave indications of the tip-topper he may turn out and the lads of the village on both sides stood their ground with the better known players splendidly.