December 2, 1942. The Evening Express
Mr. Theo Kelly, secretary of Everton F.C., states that the Blues will help Liverpool, on Saturday in solving their full-back problems. This week, Everton have no representative match calls, and so both Billy Cook and George Jackson are available for the Goodison club. Mr. Kelly said to me that whichever of these right backs he does not require will be allowed to play for Liverpool.
EVERTON’S SIX INTERNATIONALS
December 3, 1942. The Evening Express
Six Internationals are included in Everton’s list of 15 players from which the team will be chosen to oppose Chester at Goodison Park on Saturday in the Football League. They are Tommy Lawton and Joe Mercer, of England; Alex Stevenson and Billy Cook of Ireland; Tommy Jones of Wales, and George Mutch, of Scotland. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly has out a batch of telegrams in the endeavours to bring back to the side other stars, and they will certainly being results. As I mentioned yesterday, the right back position will be filled by either Jackson or Cook, the one not needed going across the park to play for Liverpool. Among the six half-backs named Tommy Fairfoull, the 23 year-year-old player who made his debut last Saturday. Mr. Kelly states that whatever happens Fairfoull is certain to play, and I can promise you that this lad from the Reserves, who formerly played for Automac is well above the average –a footballers in every sense. Tommy is the son of Fairfoull the member of Liverpool’s Cup-final team. Alf Anderson, the Third Lanark and former Bolton Wanderers winger, returns to the team for the first time for several weeks, taking the place of young Tommy Fowler. Everton (from) Burnett; Jackson (or Cook), Greenhalgh; Bentham, Mercer, Jones (Tommy), Jones (Harry), Fairfoull; Watson, Dellow, Mutch, Lawton, Stevenson, Anderson.
Chester are certainly bringing a host of star players for this game, and curiously enough Norman Sharp the Everton forward is among them. Leslie Crompton, the versatile Arsenal player and Middlesex cricketer definitely will be at right back, and Fairbrother the young Preston North End goalkeeper, who played for Chester at Anfield, and who is freely tipped as England’s next goalkeeper, returns to the team. Fairbrother is the former Blackburn policeman, now in the Army. Harris, the clever Birmingham inside-forward; Thow, the Ary United winger; and Jimmy McIntosh, from Preston North End are others included in one of the best sides Chester have been able to field this season. Chester; Fairbrother; Crompton, McNeill; R. Dutton, Williams, Harris; J. Veacock, Astbury, McIntosh, Sharp, Thow.
STARS OF BOTH SIDES AT GOODISON
December 3, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Everton, home to Chester on Saturday will turn out a strong side, for Mercer, Lawton, and Jones (T.G.), whose appearances have been few this season are among the probables, and are as near certainties as can be. Anderson, who has not played for Everton, since the middle of September, is also included and so is Fairfoull, the ex-“A” teamer who made his debut at Crewe last week. Fairfoull did so well there that he is definitely in the side, no matter what happens. Jackson and Cook are tentatively named as partner to Greenhalgh, but one –probably Cook –will play for Liverpool to help the Anfielders out of their defensive difficulties. The side will finally be selected from; Burnett; Jackson (or Cook), Greenhalgh; Bentham, Mercer, Jones (Tommy), Jones (Harry), Fairfoull; Watson, Dellow, Mutch, Lawton, Stevenson, Anderson. Chester will not be unduly awed by Everton’s array of stars, for they will include quite a few gusts of their own, whose reputation need no embellishing. Fairbrother, of Preston North End, is again in goal, after several representative games, as Shortt is unavailable, while Les Compton, Arsenal’s star back cum-centre forward, Harris (Birmingham), Thow (Ary United), and McIntosh (Preston North End) are others of pre-war senior experience, who will assist the Cestians. For the rest, the side is made up mainly of former Chester reserves players who have won their places in war-time football by consistently good play, and the whole team is nice balanced of youth and experience. Team; Chester; Fairbrother; Crompton, McNeill; R. Dutton, Williams, Harris; J. Veacock, Astbury, McIntosh, Sharp, Thow.
December 4, 1942. The Evening Express
Everton have been experiencing quite an in-and-out spell of late; in fact it has been difficult to reconcile their form on occasions. But for some inexplicable lapses they would be bang among the leaders. I look forward to a vastly-improved display by the Blues at Goodison Park tomorrow, but their task is a stuff one, as Chester are a side of tremendous possibility’s and undoubted abilities. The success of the Blues will depend on the ability of their defence to hold those rapier-like Chester attackers to those vital opening passengers. Personally I think Everton can do it, for Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly, determined that Everton shall finish the competition in a place of glory, is hoping to include an array of international stars representative of the four countries. And they include the greatest among contemporary centre-forwards, Tommy Lawton. The very presence of lads like Lawton, Tom Jones and Joe Mercer should ensure Everton’s seventh victory –against a team which has proved something of a wartime bogey to them. Chester also bring their strongest team of the season –including Leslie Compton of Arsenal, Fairbrother of Preston, and Harris of Birmingham. This game will mark the home debut for Everton of Tommy Fairfoull, son of the former Liverpool cup-figther. The question of right back is unsettled, but either Jackson or Cook will be there, the other going over to play for Liverpool. This will be Red Cross Day for the football fans, and there will be a collection at Goodison Park, which I hope will be well supported. The money goes to aid the prisoners of war. Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Mercer, Jones (Tommy), Jones (Harry), T. Fairfoull, Watson; Dellow, Mutch, Lawton, Stevenson, Anderson. Chester; Fairbrother; Compton, McNeill; R. Dutton, Williams, Harris; J. Veacock, Astbury, McIntosh, Sharp, Thow.
CHESTER AT GOODISON.
December 4, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
The visit of Chester to Goodison promises to provide a good game, for the Cestrians are better than their record makes out, and we remember what a fine display they put up recently at Anfield. Since then they have added another guest star to their side in Leslie Compton, who along with Fairbrother, Harris, Thow and the rest of Chester’s captures, make the visitors a combination to be respected. All the same, providing Everton can turn out, the team hoped for which includes Jones (T.G.), and Mercer, they should be too strong for them, though Chester will give them a run for their money. A collection will be taken in aid of the Red Cross Prisoners of War Fund, and your generous support for the splendid cause is solicited. Teams from; Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Cook, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Mercer, Jones (Tommy), Jones (Harry), T. Fairfoull, Watson; Dellow, Mutch, Lawton, Stevenson, Anderson. Chester; Fairbrother; Compton, McNeill; R. Dutton, Williams, Harris; J. Veacock, Astbury, McIntosh, Sharp, Thow.
EVERTON BEAT CHESTER
December 5, 1942. The Evening Express
Tom Jones and Joe Mercer returned to Everton’s team today against Chester at Goodison Park, where Tommy Fairfoull was making his home debut, Cook was at right back, and Harry Jones at centre forward. G. Booth was at left half for Chester in place of Harris. Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; T. Fairfoull, Jones (Tommy) and Mercer, half-backs; Bentham, Mutch (Preston), Jones (West Brom), Stevenson and Anderson (Third Lanark), forwards. Chester;- Fairbrother (Preston), goal; Compton (Arsenal) and McNeill, backs; R. Dutton, Williams (G.), and Booth (J), half-backs; Veacock (J.), Astbury, McIntosh (Preston), Sharp (Everton), and Thow (Ary United), forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Hartley (Bolton). Mutch placed behind in Everton’s opening thrust, enterprisingly led by Harry Jones and then Chester came away to provide a thrill. Thow placing fast across the goal for Burnett to dive out and clear. Delightful combination between Fairfoull and Bentham place the Chester goal in jeopardy and with the wing half-backs backing up the forwards, Chester had a worrying time before Mutch flashed a shot straight across goal. In seven minutes Everton took the lead through a magnificent shot by Harry Jones, who pulled the ball past Williams just inside the penalty area and beat Fairbrother all the way a left-foot shot into the far top corner. Chester survived Everton’s fifth corner –curiously enough all on the right –and then Fairbrother was winded when getting in the way of a point blank shot from Mutch, but he was able to continue. The enterprise of McIntosh enabled him to intercept when Tom Jones tried to feed Cook, and his quick shot passed beyond the far post. In 21 minutes Everton lost the services of Harry Jones, who was carried off with a leg injury, Bentham came inside, leaving Mutch and Fairfoull to attend to what was a potent right wing. McIntosh hit the side netting before Sharp came through with a first timer, which passed outside, went through from Stevenson to gain two corners which were easily disposed.
Harry Jones Resumes
Harry Jones returned after 15 minutes absence, at a time when Chester were getting more into their stride. Fairfoull took over from Sharp to let go an excellent shot, which Fairbrother saved low down. Everton got a grip on the proceedings again, as Fairfoull centre passing straight across goal before Fairbrother had to dive at the feet of Jones (H.) to prevent a goal. One minute before the interval Everton increased their lead through Anderson. Mercer set the attack in motion, and Stevenson ran close in before making the short pass from which Anderson drove into the roof of the net from close range.
Half-time; Everton 2, Chester 1
Everton were given a shock immediately on resuming. Astbury running in to pick up when Tom Jones slipped and score with a magnificent shot from 16 yards. For a spell Chester looked as if they might stage a recovery, but as usually Everton’s superior craft and understanding enabled them to dominate the proceedings. The Chester goal underwent many narrow escapes in a thrill packed game, shot from Mutch, Jones (H.) and Bentham being scrambled away off the goal line before Mercer came through with a magnificent shot which came back off the bar. The Blues kept it up. Fairbrother making a flying save off Stevenson, before Everton restored their two goal advantage in 62 minutes. Four forwards anticipated in the move. Anderson finally placing to the far post for Bentham to score. Then Fairbrother made a superb save at point blank range from Mutch. When Chester broke away their shooting was too hasty, although Burnett once had to come out to save from McIntosh. A combined Everton raid with Mercer slip through for a shot, which beat Fairbrother, but went behind off the foot of the post. Burnett had to dive out to save from Veacock, and repeat the feat at the expense of Thow as Chester tried to stage a rally. The keen tackling of their defence, however, was the feature of their work.
Final; Everton 3, Chester 1.
EVERTON TAKE EARLY LEAD
December 5, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
And Add To It Against Chester.
Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; T. Fairfoull, Jones (Tommy) and Mercer, half-backs; Bentham, Mutch (Preston), Jones (West Brom), Stevenson and Anderson (Third Lanark), forwards. Chester;- Fairbrother (Preston), goal; Compton (Arsenal) and McNeill, backs; R. Dutton, Williams (G.), and Booth (J), half-backs; Veacock (J.), Astbury, McIntosh (Preston), Sharp (Everton), and Thow (Ary United), forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Hartley (Bolton). Everton were disappointed not to be able to field Lawton at centre forward, but they had the assistance of both Mercer and Bentham. The first incident of note came when Mutch placed the ball just wide from a Harry Jones pass. Chester, however, were soon in the picture, and Astbury caught the Everton defence napping with a long pass to Thow, which that player immediately turned into a shot which Burnett was fortunate to save as he slipped. Mutch was twice on the mark for Everton without much luck, and then came the first goal from Harry Jones. He received the ball from Stevenson and after beating McNeill, he shot to the top left corner of the net. Fairfoull showed clever ball control and linked up well with Mutch and Bentham. The last-named was enjoying a fine turn of speed on the wing, and forced a corner in quick succession. Chester came near equalising from a Compton clearance, which beat both the Everton backs and was taken up by the speedy McIntosh, whose shot was only inches wide. A few minutes later Everton had the misfortune to lose Harry Jones, who was carried off after injuring his leg, in a tackle. For some time after this Chester was more in the picture, and Burnett was called upon to make saves from Sharp and McIntosh. Harry Jones returned just before the interval, and Everton signalised his reappearance by giving the Chester defend some anxious moments until Anderson scored a minute before half-time from a perfect chance offered him by Stevenson. Half-time; Everton 2, Chester 0.
Within a minute of the restart Chester had reduced the lead through Astbury who gave Burnett no chance. Everton pressed strongly, and Fairbrother was called upon to make excellent saves from Stevenson and Mutch. Williams and Compton were towers of strength for Chester when Bentham was putting across a series of centres that always spells danger. At the 62nd minutes Bentham put Everton further ahead after Fairbrother had parried. Harry Jones attempt. Everton pressed for long periods and fairbrother made three excellent saves from Mercer, Bentham, and H. Jones. Chester never gave up the hunt and McIntosh was near on one occasion after a brilliant run in which he beat Cook and T.G. Jones, but finished weakly. Final; Everton 3, Chester 1.
GOOD WIN BY EVERTON
December 7, 1942. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Chester 1
Defence Strong At Goodison
Everton again demonstrated that with their pre-war defenders on duty they can produce the type of football which formerly attacted record crowds to Goodison Park, and it was rather unfortunate that other factors kept the attendance down on Saturday, when they defeated Chester by 3 goals to 1. Although Lawton was posted “missing” the return of Mercer, Jones (T.G.), and Cook made a great difference to a team which has in recent weeks fallen away after taking what appeared to be a substantial lead. The strength of the halves and full backs assisted the forwards to such an extent that spectators were treated to some brilliant forward play, chiefly contributed by a new triangle-Fairfoull, Mutch, and Bentham. Four long spells they gave the Chester defence a gruelling time, and if it had been for the splendid work of Williams and Compton, coupled with some good goalkeeping from Fairbrother the home side might have registered a record goal crop. As in the game at Anfield a month ago, Chester gave a brilliant exhibition of first-class football without having much luck. McNeill was the weak link in their defence, giving away too many corners, but the headwork of both Williams and Compton was an outstanding feature.
A Speedy Centre Forward.
The scoring was opened by Jones (H.), who scored from close in after seeming to have lost touch with the ball –a fault which troubled him throughout the match –and then Chester had an innings in which McIntosh demonstrated his speed and power of shot without reward. When Jones (H.) was carried off with a leg injury, it looked as if Everton might lose their grip, but Sharp, McIntosh, and Astbury for Chester all missed chances through over dribbling, and when the home centre took his place on the wing. Everton signalised his return with a second goal from Anderson, who completed good work by Bentham and Stevenson. Chester’s only goal came immediately on the resumption, when Astbury robbed Jones (T.G.) and scored with a surprise shot. One of the best shots of the match came from Mercer, a great drive which hit the crossbar, and shortly afterwards Bentham completed the scoring, putting the ball in the net after Fairbrother had parried shots from Mutch and Jones (H.). Chester put up a good display, but the home defence carried too many guns for them. Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; T. Fairfoull, Jones (Tommy) and Mercer, half-backs; Bentham, Mutch (Preston), Jones (West Brom), Stevenson and Anderson (Third Lanark), forwards. Chester;- Fairbrother (Preston), goal; Compton (Arsenal) and McNeill, backs; R. Dutton, Williams (G.), and Booth (J), half-backs; Veacock (J.), Astbury, McIntosh (Preston), Sharp (Everton), and Thow (Ary United), forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Hartley (Bolton).
• Liverpool Lost 3-1 at Burnley, Dorsett for Liverpool and McEwan (2) and Hornby for Burnley.
HAIL AND FAREWELL
December 7, 1942. The Evening Express
We had a unique afternoon at Goodison Park for we saw the smallest gate of the season there -3,200 –and yet one of the finest encounter always producing first-class football and thrills in plenty. The win was well deserved but Chester put up a gallant and attractive display against superior craftsmen to make a 100 per cent, game. It was a case of hail and farewell so far as Fairfoull was concerned, but Tommy goes to the Forces knowing that in one game he established himself as favourities and an asset with the Blues supporters. Fairfoull’s was a grand all-round display, and although overworked late on because Mutch and Cook repeatedly called on him with the short pass, he never deviated from the path of creative football. It was Everton’s half-back line which paved the way for the victory, for Mercer came back to give a truly brilliant display and, like Fairfoull, was always moving up in constant support of the attack, leaving Tommy Jones to stand in the Chester goal-path well backed up by, Cook and Greenhalgh. That defence was excellent and so Mercer and Fairfoull could concentrate all their talents –and what talents –on attack. And no wonder, we saw vast improvement in the Blues’ attacking formation. It was verily a return to Everton’s primmest endeavours for the man was always master of the ball, and it was moved with a speed, and accuracy which often had the Chester defence bewildered. I was deeply impressed by this young Chester and especially by the youngsters McNeills, Williams, Booth and Dutton –all of them under 20. Chester, take it from me, have a grand little team. But ...Everton stood out as the better team apart from about ten minutes right after the interval during which Tommy Astbury’s rocket shot cut down the lead established by Harry Jones and Anderson. It was the brilliance of Fairbrother which kept Everton’s tally down, but he was beaten again by Bentham who had a great day at outside right. I liked, for, Harry Jones’s leadership the artistry of Mutch and Stevenson and the notable return of Alf Anderson. To crown it all George Burnett played faultinessly to empathise that it was just Chester’s ill-luck that they found Everton right on top note. Sir Thomas Brocklebank, chairman; Mr. Harry Mansley, vice-chairman; and directors Tritam and Davies came with the Chester party, who may have hoped for more financial “reward” but who went home content in the knowledge that they had given a fine show and that their future is assured while Secretary –Manager Mr. Frank Brown continues his “find-em-and-make-em” plan. Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins, and Directors Mr. Dick Searle were there to make everyone at home.
“OLD FIRM” AT GOODISON
December 7, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Although Lawton, one of the chief members of the “OldFirm” was absent from the Everton team, on Saturday the return of Cook, Mercer, and Jones (T.G) was sufficient to bring a dividend in the form off a 3-1 victory over Chester, which had no “ifs” about it. For once in a way spectators had no questions about the Blues retaining their lead, and this feeling apparently spread to the forwards, with the result that we saw some delightful attacking combination work, principally from a new and most successful grouping –Bentham, Mutch, and Fairfoull –operating on the right. Chester are not easy meat nowadays, and indeed, after an early gal, it took the home side some time before they could feel definitely on top. That trinity of giants –Fairbrother, Compton , and Williams –time and again cut out many promising attacks while McIntosh, Sharp, Astbury, and Thow were enterprising raiders who kept Mercer, Jones (T.G.) and Cook on their toes. It was a pity that circumstances over which the club had no control kept many people away from the ground, for play was always fast and exciting with Chester giving as good as they got except for the finishing touches Everton’s scorers were Jones (H.), Anderson and Bentham. For Chester Astbury was the scorer.
BLUES’ NEW PRO
December 9, 1942. The Evening Express.
Everton have signed on a new professional. This is John Albert Grant, the 18-years-old inside-forward who has been one of the leading scorers for the County Combination side. Grant put pen to paper during the week-end. It is not often in these days that announced professional signings, but managements are wise in making sure of the boys of outstanding merit, so as to be prepared for the return to normal times. Grant is the boy who started with High Spen Juniors, a club operating in the prolific Durham “nursery.” Before the war Grant was brought down to Goodison Park for trials with the “B” team and did exceptionally well. Some time ago Grant came to work on Merseyside –he is a mechanic –and went to live near Goodison Park. His association with the Blues was resumed and he has made rapid strides. Grant has played in only one first team game-and that was the important occasion of the “Derby” match at Anfield this season. And he made up for lack of inches in wholehearted pluck and endeavour, Jack is only a small ‘un-built somewhat on the lines Wally Owen –but he is a diligent and knowledgeable footballer with a rare opportunist fair. The lad should do well.
Everton have doubts in their attack and half-back line for the Football League match against Chester at Sealand-road Stadium on Saturday. Both clubs will be hard hit by representative match calls, but look like getting over their difficulties all right. The Blues will have Joe Mercer and Billy Cook at Blackpool, while Chester provide Fairbrother, Compton, Veacock, and Sharp also to this game. George Jackson returns from Anfield to take over right-back duties in the Everton side and Stan Bentham drops back to right-half in place of Fairfoull, and Watson comes backs to left-half for Mercer. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly includes both Tommy Lawton and Tommy Jones in the side, but while he is hopeful he remains doubtful. Tommy Jones thinks he many have to play in a match with his R.A.F unit, but plans are changed so rapidly that he may be on parade at Chester. Anderson is not available and so young Tommy Fowler comes back to take over outside-left duties, while if Lawton cannot make the long journey from the south Curran, the former Bristol lad, will lead the attack. Shortt will once again be in goal for Chester, and there is a chance that Yates will return to lead the attack. In addition Manager Mr. Frank Brown is in touch with a wing forward of note as deputy for Veacock.
Everton Reserves will be at home to Kirkby in the County Combination, and their Colts go to Port Sunlight to tackle Richmond.
Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (T.G.), Jones (H.), Watson; Dellow, Mutch, Lawton, Curran, Stevenson, T. Fowler.
Everton Reserves; Birkett; Boyhill, Curwen; Reyonlds, McDonnell, Jones; Finch, Grant, Wyles, Lee, Lyon
Everton Colts; Pooke; Griffiths, Johnson; Durham, Webster, Rennie; Lydiate, Daulby, Schofield, Lane, Makin.
EVERTON’S STRONG SIDE
December 9, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Although they will be without Cook and Mercer for their return game with Chester, at Chester, on Saturday, Everton will still field a strong side. Compared with Everton’s two representatives in the Western Command V. R.A.F game at Blackpool, Chester are called on to provide no fewer than four –Fairbrother, Compton, Veacock, and Harris –while Sharp probably will have to travel as well. Fortunately, this won’t be as big a blow as might appear, for Shortt will be available this week for goal, Yates comes in at full back. Yates is expected on leave, while Manager Frank Brown is in negotiation for a well-known wing forward to take Veacock’s place. Chester will not announce their side until later. Everton have recalled Jackson from Liverpool to take Cook’s position and hopes to have Lawton and T.G. Jones is their side though at the moment there is a doubt about them. Fairfoull will not be available, as he is joining the Forces this week, and Everton thus lose one of their best promising debutants of the season. Teams; from; Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (T.G.), Jones (H.), Watson; Dellow, Mutch, Lawton, Curran, Stevenson, T. Fowler.
Everton Reserves; Birkett; Boyhill, Curwen; Reyonlds, McDonnell, Jones; Finch, Grant, Wyles, Lee, Lyon
Everton Colts; Pooke; Griffiths, Johnson; Durham, Webster, Rennie; Lydiate, Daulby, Schofield, Lane, Makin.
THIRD “DOUBLE” BID
December 11, 1942. The Evening Express
Chester should have one of their best gates of the season when Everton go to Sealand-road tomorrow, in an attempts to record their third “double” of the season. This is an exceedingly difficult task for the Blues, taking a line through their recent form. Everton’s last three away games have brought a win at Tranmere and defeats at Bury and Crewe, and I can promise them that tomorrow’s job is of bigger proportion than either of those. Chester have lost only one game at home –and that was to Liverpool. Of course, if Everton play as well as they did at Goodison Park last week, I think they will win again, but Chester then showed us flashes of their capabilities especially just after the intervals and unless Everton’s defence is on top note the Blues might get a shock. Jackson will be at right back and Watson, Dellow, Curran, and Fowler, are others who return to the list of probables. And that list includes both Tommy Lawton and Tommy Jones if there internationals do play then I am certain Everton will win, Chester hope to include a new “guest” players, whose name will not be known until later, but he is good. Yates will probably be on duty again, and Bates and Shortt return. As at Anfield there will be a collection at this game for the Red Cross.
Chester (from); Shortt; Bates, McNeill; Dutton, Williams, Booth; Astbury, H. Iddon, Yates, McIntosh, Thow. Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tommy), Jones (Harry), Watson; Dellow, Mutch, Lawton, Curran, Stevenson, T. Fowler.
BLUES AFTER DOUBLE
December 11, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s chances of completing the double at Chester’s expense look good especially if Mr. Theo Kelly can turn out the side he is hoping to. After a fine start Chester have had a run of defeats which has landed them in a false position in the table. In meeting Liverpool, Manchester City, and Everton in succession they’ve had some stiff hurdles, and though they have put up some very fine performances, the excellence of these isn’t reflected in the “points” column. Only one point out of the last six games in a poor reward for the sort of football Chester have served up. Chester (from); Shortt; Bates, McNeill; Dutton, Williams, Booth; Astbury, H. Iddon, Yates, McIntosh, Thow. Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones (Tommy), Jones (Harry), Watson; Dellow, Mutch, Lawton, Curran, Stevenson, T. Fowler.
CHESTER V EVERTON
December 12, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Chester;- Shortt, goal; Bates and McNeill, backs; R. Dutton, William, and G. Booth, half-backs; Roberts, Astbury, Yates, McIntosh (Preston), and Thow (Ary United), forwards. Everton:- Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, H. Jones (West Brom), and Watson, half-backs; Dellow, Mutch (Preston), Curran (Bristol Rovers), Stevenson, and Fowler, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Briggs, of Cheadle. Everton were out for a double at Chester’s expense at sealand Road today, but had a big task on hand, for the Cestrians turned out a particularly strong side for the occasion. There was only a moderate attendance and those who were late missed two goals, for both sides had scored within five minutes. Chester were first to score. It was a peculiar goal in that three men had a hand in the making of it, Astbury had the first shot, drawing the ball towards the far upright. Yates tried to make sure of the ball going over the line but he failed to connect with the ball, which came back into play to McIntosh, who promptly swept it back into the net. Time three minutes. In two minutes Fowler beat two opponents in a long dribble, closed up to goal and centred to Mutch, who cracked the ball beyond the Chester goalkeeper. Short had to make another save from Fowler, and the Everton defence had to deal firmly with Chester’s fast-moving attack, and at 17 minutes the home side again took the lead as the result of a magnificent shot by Roberts. The football was hard and interesting, and although Everton had quite a fair share of the attack and several worthy shots at goal they were unable to wipe out the deficit. Short twice made excellent saves from Fowler and Curran, and Burnett from Astbury and Yates. But the best of the play was in midfield, where many of the movements were high class. Near the interval Thow was injured and had to leave the field.
Half-time; Chester 2, Everton 1
Thow did not resume, though he came out a minute or two afterwards, limping. Dellow shot outside from a good position, and Fowler, who had an excellent first half misjudged the pace of the ball as it flashed across the Chester goalmouth. Bentham’s shot passed cross the Chester goal. Burnett misfielded a shot by Roberts, but Jackson completed the clearance. Everton scored the equaliser through Mutch, who ran through the Chester defence and snapped the ball into the net at 66 minutes. The play was grim, with each side going all out to obtain what would most likely prove to be a winning goal.
Everton Res v. Kirkby
But for the brilliant goalkeeping of Mclean many goals would have come the visitors way. Five minutes from the interval Everton scored two goals through Boland. Half-time; Kirkby 0, Everton 2.
EVERTON STAY ON TO WIN
December 14, 1942. The Liverpool Daily Post
Chester 2, Everton 3
Chester’s Hard Fight
Sealand Road is not an easy ground to win on, and Chester seem to save their best for their own supporters, who I am sorry to say, do not support the side as they should. Everton found the Cestrians the same nippy side, with a strong defence and a confidence about them which did not suggest that they had not won a match for several weeks. Chester played so well in the first hour that they seemed capable of winning. Twice they were in the lead, and it was only in the last fifteen minutes that they failed to hold down Everton’s more persistent attack. They claimed strongly against the referee’s decision to disallow a goal scored by Yates, but in that I am entirely with the referee, for I had marked Yates offside before the ball entered the net. Yates was on the goal line when he tapped the ball into the net. Chester had fought gallantly for victory, so it was only natural they were disappointed to see it slip from their grasp, but Yates was definitely offside. Was there a doubt about Curran’s gal, the winner? I think not, for Stevenson received the ball from a Chester man before he scooped it back to Curran. Two goals were scored in the first five minutes one to each side. Chester leading the way with a goal by McIntosh, Mutch following on with the equaliser. McIntosh’s goal was a curious one, for when Astbury crossed the ball it struck the upright as Yates flung himself headlong at it only to miss. Out came the ball to McIntosh, who shot it back into the net. Two minutes later Fowler, neatly tricking two men, centred for Mutch to hit the ball without trapping it, and it flew to the back of the Chester net.
A Great Goal.
This meant starting all over again, and the teams battled strongly to gain the lead, and it was Chester who took it. It was one of the best goals I have seen for some time, as the ball was taken on the run from a bad angle, Roberts must have run half the length of the field before he cracked home his winner, and the ball shot over the turf into the net. Burnett went down to it, but the ball was much too fast for him. From then on it was a battle royal. Sometimes there was a shade too much vigour put into the play, but there was also some tip-top football, and Chester had their fair share of it. They had given, and were still giving Everton a good deal of trouble, but at last Mutch broke through to again equalise. Curran scored for Everton at 80 minutes to round off a hard game. Fowler had a sparkling first half, as did Stevenson and Mutch. Other forwards to catch the eye were McIntosh and Roberts. Curran found young Williams a difficulty. All six half backs played their part manfully, and it was only Everton’s better staying power which enabled them to pull it off. Chester;- Shortt, goal; Bates and McNeill, backs; R. Dutton, William, and G. Booth, half-backs; Roberts, Astbury, Yates, McIntosh (Preston), and Thow (Ary United), forwards. Everton:- Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, H. Jones (West Brom), and Watson, half-backs; Dellow, Mutch (Preston), Curran (Bristol Rovers), Stevenson, and Fowler, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Briggs, of Cheadle.
• Liverpool beat Burnley 9-2, Dorsett (2), Fagan (2), Haycock, Done (3), Hulligan, and Jackson, and Bright for Burnley
THE NEW BLUES
December 14, 1942. Evening Express
Chester fans saw the new Everton on Saturday. The Blues have lost many points this season through an inability to fight back, but all that was changed at Sealand-road, where twice they were behind, and yet rallied to take the points. McIntosh scored early on, but Mutch equalised and then Roberts placed Chester in front, Everton, however, had always shaped the better side, and Mutch bagged the equaliser with 25 minutes to go. Then followed a tense battle for the decider, which came from Curran with Chester’s attack handicapped by an injury to Thow. Still, I assured that Everton were the better side, staying the course better and providing some delightful footcraft. Chester’s home products put up a gallant resistance, but were unable to prevent a superior Everton completing their third “double” of the season.
December 14, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Chester with eight “A” team players in their ranks, almost broke their unhappy sequence of defeats, they have not won a game in seven matches –for it was only in the last fifteen minutes that they wilted under Everton’s pressure. Up to then they had given as much as they had taken and the visitors had to fight desperately for their success. Like most Third Division teams, Chester set a cracking pace at the outer –a pace that is difficult to maintain in these days off “skeleton” training. I have men the same thing happens repeatedly, during war-time football. Their speed, nippiness and quickness off the play, a goal in three minutes, before Everton equalised. Lets got on to the second half Everton slowly but surely got a stronger grip on things, but they had a shock when Yates banged the ball into the net, and the referee signalled a goal. They protested that Yates was offside, and they protest was lightly upheld. The Chester people naturally claimed it was a legitimate goal, but it could not be as I saw it, for Yates was almost on the goal line when the pass was sent forward to him with only Burnett in front of him. Had the goal accounted it would have put Chester in front at a very vital point of the game. It must have taken some of the heart out of the Chester players, for from that stage Everton gained the mastery for the first time and Curran scored the winner. Some calm that Stevenson was offside when he pulled the ball back to the scorer, but did they know that Stevenson received the ball from a Chester defender, before he lobbed it over the goalkeeper to Curran? A very clever movement. At times there was a little too much vigour put into the tackling, with the result that there were a number of minor injuries. Thow, the Ary United winger receive a leg injury just on the interval, and although he resumed in the second half he was of little use, and undoubtedly upset the combination of the front line. Never the less, Chester battled nobly against this handicap, and proved themselves a smart team despite their lack of victories. As a tribute to Chester, let me say that Everton will not have a harder match for the rest of the season.
December 16, 1942. Evening Express
George Jackson, Merseyside’s most versatile player, takes over the leadership of the Everton attack in the match against Manchester City at Maine-road on Saturday. Last Saturday George was at right back, but now he takes over from Curran, as Tommy Lawton cannot secure leave to travel from the south. Internationals Billy Cook and Joe Mercer definitely returns to duty, Cook taking Jackson’s place and Mercer resuming at right half to allow Stan Bentham to go to outside right again as partner to Mutch. The remainder of the team is unchanged. Jackie Lyon, the young Everton forward from Whiston joins the Army tomorrow, and Dick Ireland went to the Army last week but Everton have a host of young players coming along. Their reserves are only a point behind the County Combination leaders, and their Colts team players, of which is 17 and their youngest 15 have now won eleven out of a dozen games and lost the either. On Saturday the reserves receive Rootes Athletic at Goodison Park and the Colts go to the Oval to tackle Port Sunlight.
Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Harry), Watson; Bentham, Mutch, Lawton, (or Jackson), Stevenson, T. Fowler.
Everton Reserves; Birkett; Griffiths, Curwen; Reynolds, McDonnell, Humphreys; Wyles, Grant, Curran, Scott-Lee, Jones
Everton Colts; Prince; Durham, Shacklock; Langley, Webster, Chapman, Lydiate, Daulby, Redingham, Lane, Makin.
COOK AND MERCER BACK FOR CITY GAME
December 16, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Everton will have Cook and Mercer back in their side for the game against Manchester City at Maine Road, on Saturday. Utility player No.1 George Jackson, still lead the attack. While Jackson hasn’t played in an many positions as a couple of seasons ago, when he figured in every department from goal to attack, and once filled five different positions in five succeeding games. Apart from the changes involved by the nature of Cook and Mercer, the rest of the side is none changed though Bentham, this time goes outside right in place of Dellow, the team is; Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Harry), Watson; Bentham, Mutch, Lawton, (or Jackson), Stevenson, T. Fowler.
BLUES AT MAINE ROAD
December 18, 1942. Evening Express
Everton still have a reasonable chance of finishing in the first half-dozen of the table. Their final games are with Manchester City at Maine-road tomorrow and at Goodison Park on Christmas afternoon. The Blues have 20 points from 16 games and if they can record a “double” over the City it would give them the chance of overtaking such as Southport, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town and others. The task is not easy, but it is one, I think within the capacity of a team which had come back to form after some curious lapses. The “double” over the quick-fire Chester proves that in attack Mutch and Stevenson are serving up rich fare, and it is mainly because of this that I expect Jackson to have a good day as leader of the line tomorrow. One thing about Jackson, he will “have a go” and he can make the half-chances into a full change. Those runs he had a outside-right did much to improve his actual ball jugglery, and with Mutch and Stevenson cutting out the work Everton may repeat last season’s victory at Maine-road over the City. The City have lost three of their eight home games. With internationals Mercer and Cook back, Everton should at least avoid defeat. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Harry), Watson; Bentham, Mutch, Jackson, Stevenson, T. Fowler.
December 18, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Everton away to Manchester City, will field a strong side, even though Lawton and T.G. Jones are absentees, and if they will take their chances in front of goal they may lay the foundations for another double to wind up this half season’s programmes. City have not been a particularly brilliant side this season, and have suffered three home defeats. Everton will be led by George Jackson at centre forward with Harry Jones again at centre half. With Cook and Mercer, available again the defence is solid enough to hold its own, and the onus will be mainly on the attack. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (Harry), Watson; Bentham, Mutch, Jackson, Stevenson, T. Fowler.
EVERTON'S 52 FIGHTERS
Liverpool Evening Express - Saturday 19 December 1942
The work of our local football officials is proved the fact that despite the repeated calls by the Services for the young players, they have the youthful element so lined up that there are always lads ready to step in to fill the gaps. Yes, and judging from the playing standard of the new Colts elevens the supply of readymade material will last for some time. Players from our clubs have certainly provided more than their share of lads -to the Forces. Tranmere Rovers must be somewhere in the century region and this week Everton's total of players actually with the fighting services was brought to 52- Liverpool's number is just over the half-century. The clubs may be justifiably proud these records. Liverpool's first-team players, of course, were called up at the outbreak of war. and there has been steady flow since then. , Everlon have now 28 players the Army, 17 players in the Royal Air Force, five players in the Royal Navy and two in the Fleet Air Arm. Their only casualty" is that Billy Reed, a pre-war junior player, Is now prisoner of war—in Italian hands. On top of these players Everton have two lads in the Police and one in the N'.F.S.
Tommy Fairfoull, the young Everton ballback. wrote the following before he left to join the Services; Before leaving Liverpool I would like to express my gratitude for your appreciative notes my display against Chester. would also like to thank Mr. Kelly and his board of directors for giving that opportunity. The advice on tactics, tendered so kindly by Mr. Harry Cooke and Jock Thomson, found most helpful. With best wishes for the continued success of the Everton Football dub." Thanks, Tommy.
December 19, 1942. Evening Express
City’s Six Goals Margin
Mercer was unable to play for Everton against Manchester City at Maine-road today. Bentham went to right half, Dellow coming in at outside right. Anderson was at outside left. Swift made one of his rare appearances in the City goal, and Cox, of the Spurs, was inside left. Manchester City;- Swift, goal; Clark and Kenny, backs; Robinson, Eastwood and Walsh, half-backs; King, Williamson, Currier, Cox and D. Stuart, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (H.) (West Brom), and Watson, half-backs; Dellow, Mutch (Preston), Jackson, Stevenson and Anderson, forwards. Referee; Mr. Percy Snape (Swinton). Everton were the first to attack, and in the first real effort, started by Mutch and Dellow, a fruitless corner resulted. Three minutes after the start slackness in the visitors defence gave City the lead. A centre by Stuart was partially cleared, and King quickly seized his opportunity to score from close range. This was certainly a surprise for Everton and the City made strong attempts to force home another attack, Walsh shooting wide. Williamson in the next minute was foiled by Jones, but another corner fell to the City. Burnett punched it away for King to return the ball to the goalmouth for yet another corner. Everton were finding the speed of the City forwards very unsettling, and before they had a chance to get into their stride, City had scored a second goal in the eight minute.
Currier beat Burnett with an over head kick from a pass by Williamson. Everton’s reply was a couple of shots by Mutch and a corner which Anderson placed behind. Everton improved and twice tried to set Dellow in motion. A snap shot by Stevenson was on the mark, and a sudden breakaway by the City left wing was effectively dealt with. Offside against Currier again gave Everton a chance, but Jackson was outnumbered when he tried to get through, his pass to Dellow being too late to be of any use. The City came again and Stuart put in a high shot from the wing which Burnett failed to hold, and the ball passed into the net as Cook tried to kick away. Mutch forced Swift to make a couple of brilliant saves. His first was from short range, and as Mutch caught the rebound Swift again punched clear. Burnett made a save even more brilliant than that accomplished by Swift, when he turned over the bar headed by Currier. Many passes went astray in the Everton forwards efforts to make amends, and even when Dellow seemed all set for scoring a goal he shot struck a defender. King, who had previously missed a good chance of scoring, converted a pass by Currier to make Manchester’s total four a few minutes before the interval.
Half-time; Manchester City 4, Everton 0
Things continued to go badly for Everton in the second half and within three minutes of the restart they were another goal down. Robinson driving the ball home through a crowd of players. A minute later further evidence of Everton’s ill-luck was shown when a shot by Jackson hit Swift in the leg and rebound to safety. Jackson beat Clark near the corner flag, but his centre fell short and was clear easily. A sixth goal came to the City when Burnett, after saving from Williamson, was beaten by Currier. A consolation goal came in the 22nd minute when Mutch, who had been Everton’s best forward, reduced the lead with a cross shot. Final; Manchester City 7, Everton 1
MANCHESTER C V EVERTON
December 19, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Manchester City;- Swift, goal; Clark and Kenny, backs; Robinson, Eastwood and Walsh, half-backs; King, Williamson, Currier, Cox and D. Stuart, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (H.) (West Brom), and Watson, half-backs; Dellow, Mutch (Preston), Jackson, Stevenson and Anderson, forwards. Referee; Mr. Percy Snape (Swinton). Both teams made changes, and Frank Swift made one of his few appearances for the City. Mercer was unable to make the trip, so that the Everton side had to be slightly reorganised. There was only a small crowd, not more than a couple of thousand. After Mutch and Dellow had shown a nice combined idea. Manchester City got their teeth into the match. Within twenty minutes they had taken a three goal lead. They had better command of the ball, for their passes went to the right man, whereas those of Everton more often than not went to the opposition. The goal scoring started in five minutes when King rushed into the goalmouth to beat Burnett from short range. In another five minutes H. Jones scooped the ball high into the air, and Currier taking a chance with an overhead kick landed the ball in the net. At twenty minutes the City went further ahead when Stuart, straight from a corner, landed the ball just under the bar. Greenhalgh made an effort to head away, but the ball had undoubtedly crossed the line. Mutch had two shots at the City goal, and Swift was fortunate to get his big body in the way of a drive, but a more remarkable save was that by Burnett who leapt up into the air like a frog to get away a header by Currier. Manchester adapted themselves better to the conditions. Everton were inclined to keep the ball too close, with the result that the City defenders were able to cut out any sort of combination Everton attempted. At 42 minutes the City went further ahead with a goal by King, who just previously had missed from an easy position.
Half-time; Manchester City 4, Everton 0
The second half was only three minutes old when City carried their score to five goals, a shot by Robinson passing beyond Burnett. Currier got the ball into the net to make the sixth goal after Burnett had saved from Williamson and Stuart. Mutch scored for Everton after a nice round of passing between the forwards. Final; Manchester City 7, Everton 1
Everton Res v Rootes Ath
Within five minutes Everton had scored through Grant and Jones. Curran and Wilde added further goals. Half-time; Everton 4, Rootes Ath 0. Final; Everton “A” 7, Rootes Ath nil.
December 21, 1942. The Liverpool Daily Post
Manchester City 7, Everton 1
City Win by 7-1 at Maine Road
Maine Road has never been a good ground for Everton, where they have suffered many defeats, but none so heavy as the one Manchester City inflicted upon them on Saturday. The City scored seven goals to one, and had their victory been even greater it would not have been surprising, for the City were by far the superior side. The great factor in their win was that they adapted themselves better to the conditions. They played the open game, whereas Everton stuck to their closing-quarter tactics, which was folly in the circumstances. Manchester too, were the more enthusiastic side. They were nippier in every respect, and played really good-class football, particularly in the first half, when they outplayed Everton as I have not seen them outplayed for a long time. There was hesitancy in the Everton defence which was not encouraging, and when the City took the lead in five minutes one saw the possibilities of a large Manchester score. King started the goal rout through a really bad defensive lapses on the part of Everton, and when Currier scored goal No. 2 at ten minutes, the prospect of Everton pulling the game out of the fire became almost hopeless. They were not playing like a side which could stage a recovery. The third goal came at twenty-two minutes, when Stuart scored direct from the corner flag. Greenhalgh, made an effort to save, but the ball had passed over the line before he got his head to it. So far Swift, in the City goal had an easy passage Mutch had two shots that were wide of the mark, and then the City goalkeeper was perhaps fortunate when he got his hugh body in the way of a drive. Before the interval the City had gone further ahead through a fourth goal by King. With such a lead, it was only natural that there would be an easing off by the Manchester players. Nevertheless, they scored a fifth goal in 48 minutes through Robinson and a sixth in 55 minutes through Currier. It was only too obvious that Everton had been outplayed and outclassed. Mutch got a consolation goal at 69 minutes, and then Manchester completed the day with a seventh at 84 minute to give them an easy win. Manchester City;- Swift, goal; Clark and Kenny, backs; Robinson, Eastwood and Walsh, half-backs; King, Williamson, Currier, Cox and D. Stuart, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, Jones (H.) (West Brom), and Watson, half-backs; Dellow, Mutch (Preston), Jackson, Stevenson and Anderson, forwards. Referee; Mr. Percy Snape (Swinton).
• Liverpool beat Tranmere Rovers 6-2. Dorsett (5, 1 Penalty), Done and for Tranmere Bell, and Cox.
December 21, 1942. The Evening Express
I got quite a shock when I learned that Everton were four down to Manchester City at Maine road for here was a game I thought the Blues could draw, but the looked-for revival never came and the City won 7-1 at finish. Everton seemed to have the heart knocked out of them in the first eight minutes, when the City got two goals and with Williamson, of the Rangers, weaving his spells the Everton defence was too easily drawn out of position and collapsed. True, it was one of those days when nothing come off for the Blues for when they did make their thrusts they found international Frank Swift in super-form. It was not until the City were six up that Mutch easily Everton’s best forward, got the consolation goal the occasion goal. This was City’s biggest win of the season, and Everton’s worst defeat. The clubs meet again at Goodison Park on Christmas afternoon. Tommy Lawton will be there to lead the Everton attack. Tommy is certain of a warm re-welcome after scoring triumphs with Alderman and innumerable representative sides.
December 21, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
I was asked after the match now I was going to explain away Everton’s latest clash at Maine Road, the scene of many other debacles? Well, it is not so difficult as it would appear to be First and foremost the tactics they employed were not suited to the prevailing conditions. The ground did not land itself to close passing and excessive dribbling, as was indulged in by Everton, but an occasion for making the “ball do the work,” as the City did. Secondly they met a side which was vastly superior in every way, more cohesion, greater speed off the mark, quicker tackling and the better shots, as their seven goals denote. It is not severe criticism to say that Everton were outplayed and outclassed by a more lively and enthusiastic team. The City have had an invariable season, and with their “made-up” team were not expected to give Everton and its team of stars such a severe drubbing, for 7-1 is a whale of a beating, even in these days of freaky scorers. There is no doubt that the City are one of Everton’s “bogey” teams. I wonder why they should be. It is often claimed that the advantage goes to the man who gets in the first blow. Well the City delivered three damaging ones in twenty minutes, and Everton were as good as beaten, for the way they were playing four goals were beyond them; the way City were performing suggested further goals, and they got them. The Everton defence was not all it should have been, for at least two of the first three goals were the result of faulty and slack defensive measures and Everton never recovered. There was no great fight left in them, and the City cut and carved their way to four further goals; it might have been more, to which Everton replied with a consolation goal by Mutch. It was not Everton’s day by any means. They could not gather their forces to hit back at the City’s early lead. It needed a determined assault, a powerful assault and a solid defence to deprive the City of these advantages, and not one of those three things was forthcoming, hence the City’s easy victory.
• Everton “A” game against Carlton at Goodison Park has been rearranged because their opponents for Saturday Liverpool University and Napiers –have had to cry off.
December 23, 1942. The Evening Express
Mutch, and Harry Jones find it impossible to travel from Preston for Everton’s match will Manchester City at Goodison Park on Christmas Day, but they, with Dellow, will be able to play at Tranmere Rovers on Saturday, when Joe Mercer will be an absentee. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly is having a few worries regarding his team, but there is an odds-on chance that Tommy Lawton, the England, leader, will be up for both games. Mr. Kelly is waiting word, Lawton’s reappearance will make our Yule festival from the soccer standpoint. Cecil Wykes and Jack Grant are included in the team for the City game-yes, Wyles first game of the season –and J.V. Humphreys and McDonnell are included among the 14 from which the side will be selected. Wyles, Grant, Humphreys, McDonnell, play for the Reserves on Saturday, but may get their tag shaken on Christmas Day. The Reserves play Carlton in the George Mahon Cup at Goodison Park on Saturday when the Colts got to New Ferry to tackle St. John’s. Everton (from); Burnett; Cook, Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Watson, McDonnell; Wyles, Bentham, Stevenson, T. Fowler, Grant, Lawton.
Everton Reserves; (from); Birkett; Griffiths, Curwen; Reynolds, Humphreys, McDonnell, Jones; Chapman, Wyles, Grant, Curran, Boland, Lee.
LAWTON AT GOODISON
December 23, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Tommy Lawton, home on leave over Christmas will make a welcome reappearance in Everton’s side at Goodison Park on Christmas Day in the restart match against Manchester City. Everton have something to wipe off the slate after their crushing defeat at Maine road last week, and with Lawton in the side their chances of turning the table will be greatly emphanced. Owing to Service travel restrictions Mutch and Harry Jones are unable to play and several “A” team members are included among the probables. Mercer will play on Friday, but will not be available for the first of the League Cup qualifying games on Saturday when Everton start their Cup quest with a visit to Tranmere Rovers. Mutch and Harry Jones, however, will be able to play. The team for Manchester’s visit on Christmas Day will be chosen from; Everton (from); Burnett; Cook, Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Watson, McDonnell; Wyles, Bentham, Stevenson, T. Fowler, Grant, Lawton.
On Boxing Day Everton Reserves play Chalton in the first round of the George Mahon Cup at Goodison Park. Team from; Birkett; Griffiths, Curwen; Reynolds, Humphreys, McDonnell, Jones; Chapman, Wyles, Grant, Curran, Boland, Lee.
“B” team (v. St. John’s New Ferry); Pooke; Dobson, Rennie; Cassidy, Baxter, Langley; Lytiate, Daulby, Schofield, Lane, Makin.
RETURN OF “DIXIE” DEAN
December 24, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
“Dixie Dean, home on leave from the Army, will lead Tranmere Rovers attack against Liverpool to tomorrow and against Everton on Boxing Day. Thus the peculiar twists of war-time Soccer provide another curiosity. Not only does the most famous centre forward of the past decade return to the ground where he first found fame, but plays against the club for which he was so long a leading light. It is nearly twenty years since Dean first made his debut in league football, for Tranmere, and eighteen years next march since he was transferred to Everton. He will be 36 next month, but that he is still a power was shown when he got eight goals in a recent Army game against fairly strong opposition. His appearance at Tranmere is sure to draw a big crowd for Dean still retains his hold on the public’s affections, in spite of the pasting of the years.
Everton are home on Christmas Day to Manchester City, and with Lawton and Mercer back the Blues may well get their revenge for last week’s heavy defeat. The team will be chosen from; Burnett; Cook, Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Watson, McDonnell; Wyles, Bentham, Stevenson, T. Fowler, Grant, Lawton. On Boxing Day, Everton visit Tranmere Rovers for their first Cup game and while this looks like providing them with a couple of points the Rovers have other ideas. The team for this game will be chosen from the same probables as tomorrow, plus Mutch and Harry Jones, but minus Mercer.
December 28, 1942. The Liverpool Daily Post
Tranmere Rovers 2, Everton 1
Double Over Seniors
Tranmere Rovers had the most successful Christmas of any Merseyside club, and it was a big feather in their cap to defeat Liverpool and Everton on successive days. They were better value for the victory over Liverpool than the one over Everton. Allowing all that however, Tranmere earned praise for a very fine performance. Their win over Everton was undoubtedly the better achievement for apart from the fact that the visitors had Watson in goal, Boyes taking his place at left half, Everton had a very strong side, including six of the pre-war championship team. Though Everton served up the more polished and precise football it availed them little against a side which fought doggedly for every yard of ground. After a fairly even first half it was nearly all Everton in the second portion, yet do what they could the visitors were unable to get the better of Tranmere’s galliant defence, in which inside forwards and sometimes even wing forwards lent a hand. Everton repeatedly cut the Tranmere defence by neat midfield passing, yet found the home halves so speedy in recovery that they were always there in time of danger, and the home goal was so tightly packed that three out of every four Everton shots were blocked.
When they did manage to get any through to Yearsdley they found the young Tranmere goalkeeper in brilliant form. Three times he saved what seemed certain goals, while on two other occasions Tranmere were helped when Wyles missed glorious chances by failing to take first time shots from close range. Tranmere’s concentration on defence this half meant that their attacks, which were few and far between were usually only three-forward affairs and did not cause Everton much trouble. Even so they got a goal from one of them, Frost finishing off a neat pass by Jackson by sterring the ball past Watson just as he (Frost) was in the ac of failing. This was after eighteen minutes in the second half. Tranmere’ first goal had come at the same period of the first half, Jackson converting a pass from Bell.
Eight minutes from the end a long spell of heavy pressure by Everton saw Lawton reduce the lead with a header from a corner, but the equalising goal was more than they could manage, and actually the game finished with Tranmere enjoying a little revival, which threatened to bring yet another goal. The winners were well served by Yeardsley. Owen, Rosenthal, and Lamb, the wing halves were sound, but there was weakness on the extreme wings, where Tranmere’s two young players could not lift the heavy ball properly for their centres, and also down the middle, where Frost was subdued by Jones (H.). Everton’s best were Jackson, Bentham, Stevenson and Fowler. Lawton opened up play with Fowler. Lawton opened up play with grand passes to both wings, but did not receive a really good one in return all through the gad one in return all through the game and was invariably crowded out. Watson did well in goal. Tranmere Rovers; Yeardsley, goal; Radcliffe, and Owen, backs; Hill, Hughe, half-backs; Radcliffe, and Owen, backs; Hill, Hughes, and Glidden, half-backs; Bell, Lamb, Frost, Rosenthal, Jackson. Everton; Watson; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones (H.)(West Brom), and Boyes, half-backs; Wyles, Mutch (Preston), Lawton, Stevenson, and Fowler, forwards. Referee; Mr. F.W. Wort (Kent).
Everton v. Manchester City
December 28, 1942. Evening Express.
Against Manchester City at Goodison Park on Friday we saw some forward work delicious and crowned with fine goals. Everton won 6-3. It was only when the defence tired the City had a brief look-in during which they took chances. Lawton got three Everton goals, and Stevenson, Grant –a fast improving inside forward –and Wyles got the others. The centre-half display of Humphreys took my eye in an entertaining game attracting 12,000 people.
Tranmere v Everton
Everton were severely handicapped by the non-arrival of Burnett, and half-backs Watson went into goal to give a commendable display in a game in which Everton were always the more impressive side, but in which they missed chances. Honours went to the Rovers defence, for after Jackson and Frost had given them the lead, they threw everything into defence, and it was not until eight minutes from time that Lawton succeeded in breaking down the barrier.
TRANMERE’S FINE ACHIEVEMENT
December 28, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
The win against Everton was the more meritorious, for Everton had six of the pre-war championship side, plus and Harry Jones, and even if half back Watson was in goal and Boyes at left half; that was no handicap, for both played well. Tranmere won because they refused to be overawed by reputations. They never gave Everton room to shoot or a moment to breaths, Allied to their keen and resolute tackling there was such speed in recovery that a defender, though once beaten, kept popping up again before Everton with their close passing, had worked the ball to their liking. When the visitors did see the goal clearly enough for a shot they found Yeardsley saving brilliantly. Though Everton played the prettier and more skilful football, it availed them nothing against such a dour and rugged defence, which fought tenaciously for every yard of ground and got in the way of three shots out of four. Jackson and Frost were Tranmere’s scorers, one each half, and Lawton who never got a decent pass all afternoon, notched Everton’s from a corner eight minutes from time. Though Everton did four-fifths of the attacking in the second portion, these galliant Tranmere lads still had it in them to stage a miniature revival in the last few minutes which nearly yielded another goal. In the first half they had quite as much of the play as the visitors. If only they could keep position a little better, make the ball do more of the work, and had the benefit of a couple of old heads in attack and defence, they might make a lot of sides sit up. Rosenthal, Yeardsley, Owen and Lamb were outstanding in both games, with Glidden, Radcliffe and Hughes not far behind. The chief weakness is on the wing and down the middle. The wingers, both mere boys had hardly the strength to centre the heavy ball after a hit of sprinting. Time and increased stamina will remedy that. On Saturday a crowd being 11,088 and receipts being a record.
V Manchester City
Everton returned the compliment on Manchester City, and to some extent wiped out that 7-1 defeat of a week ago in the return game on Christmas Day with the slightest bit of luck they would have won more handsomely than the City had done, for Grant missed two simple chances and Stevenson also missed from an easy position. Nevertheless they were well on top of the City, who could not get the ball moving as they done at Maine Road, where they were a top class team. It was Everton who this time took the initiative and Lawton’s presence made all the difference. He was in grand form, and scored three of his side’s six goals, the remainder coming from Stevenson, Grant, and Wyles. There was just one period half-way through the second half when City promised to be a danger, and they scored two goals through slack defence.
December 31, 1941. The Liverpool Echo
Birkett Gets Chance In Goal.
Everton will give a trial to Birkett their “A” team goalkeeper, in the return qualifying cup-tie with Tranmere Rovers, at Goodison Park on Saturday. Birkett, a 19-years-old produce of the Haydock C and B team in the Prescot League has been with Everton less than six months only signing for the Goodison club at the start of this season after showing excellent form in private trials. Promotion is certainly quick for good youngsters these days. He has maintained his promise in the reserves team for when he had appeared in every game this season. In 14 matches he has only 16 goals scored against him. Though Everton have a most capable custodian in Burnett in view of the approach of the Cup-ties proper, it was felt advisable that Birkett should have some experience in bigger matches in case he may later have to deputies for Burnett, hence his inclusion on Saturday. Compared with the side which lost at Prenton, Cook returns to full back in place of Jackson. Mercer resumes at right half and enables Bentham to go outside right, Anderson comes in as partner to Stevenson and Harry Jones, from when the Amateur Humphreys takes over at centre half, once again leads the attack. On paper this side looks good enough to reverse last week’s result, but nothing is certain where one has to reckon with Tranmere’s determined youngsters, and I shall be prepared for anything. Team; Everton; Birkett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Watson; Bentham, Mutch, Jones (H.), Stevenson, Anderson.
Everton Reserves; (v. Randle at Runcorn); Castle; Griffiths, Curwen; Tutill (or Cheers), McDonnell, Jones; Wyles, Grant, Curran, Lee, Fowler.
Everton Colt “B” (v. Prenton Villa)- Prince; Durham, Langlan; Cassidy, Webster, Rowan; Lydick, Daulby, Schofield, Lane, Craney.