PAYMENTS TO EVERTON AND BURY
December 1, 1944. The Liverpool Daily Post
The Football Association are making ex-gate payments of £200 each to Bury and Everton in respect of presumed loss of gate though the transfer of their League match from Everton to Bury on September 16 to avoid a clash with England v. Wales at Liverpool the same day.
TUDOR’S BIG TASK
December 1, 1941. The Evening Express
Tudor, the heavily-built West Bromwich Albion centre-half faces his sternest task of the season in having to contend with master-goal-scorer, Tommy Lawton, of Everton, tomorrow. The clashes between these stars should constitute features of a great game which Everton simple cannot afford to lose if they are to retain a title chance. That goes also for Wrexham who, however, are a point behind Everton and three behind the leaders. A win for Everton here would revive hopes which were dashed so certainly by Crewe’s unexpected success at Goodison Park. Everton may bring back Wally Boyes, following his amazingly rapid recovery from cartilage trouble and if so Wally can be relied on to get across those centres which Lawton desires so much. Syd Rawlings, too, is another who will send them over and with the old 1939 championship trio of Bentham, Lawton and Stevenson, in operation in the inside position I think Everton will carry too may “gun” for their quick-footed, clever opponents who have an array of guest players unparalleled in the north. Wrexham; Whitelaw; Jones, Jefferson; Livingstone, Tudor, Bellis; Hancocks, Dix, Baines, Bremner, Watson. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; Rawlings, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes (or Makin).
VITAL GAME AT WREXHAM
December 1, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Huddersfield three nearest challenges for the League leadership are all away tomorrow, and of the three Everton seem to have the testiest task in tackling Wrexham at the Racecourse. Whether a win for Everton would put them back in a more favourable position would depend on what the others do, but a defeat would certainly spell the end of their championship hopes for there are only three more games after this. For that reason Everton can be counted on to put forth special afford against the Welshmen. As the Welsh side has the same stimulus to go all out for the points –a win would put them ahead of Everton who are only a point in front –this looks like being a great fight, one which may go either way with little in it at the end. Providing Lawton is in the same devastating shooting form as last week I fancy Everton victory despite the excellence of Wrexham’s defence which like Everton has suffered little change all season. Everton have Bentham at inside right his first senior game this season bar the charity match and Stan’s forcing play should divert some of the attention which otherwise might be focussed on Lawton, thus giving the latter the half-chance he needs. Half chances are sufficient for Lawton, when he is in his best shooting form. He doesn’t ask for space or time to bring the ball to his liking, as so many do. Wrexham; Whitelaw; Jones, Jefferson; Livingstone, Tudor, Bellis; Hancocks, Dix, Baines, Bremner, Watson. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; Rawlings, Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson, Boyes (or Makin).
EVERTON AT WREXHAM
December 2, 1944. The Evening Express
Everton visited Wrexham today. They had Bentham at inside right. He was making his first League appearance for the Blues this season. Wrexham;- Whitelaw, goal; Jones and Jefferson, backs; Livingstone, Tudor (West Brom), and Bellis, half-backs; Hancock, Dix, Baines, Bremner, and Pilling, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Grant, Lindley and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings (Millwall), Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.N. Brown (Ormskirk). There was a crowd of 10,000 for the kick-off. Everton’s late arrival made the game 20 minutes late starting. Play opened in lively fashion but Wrexham were the first to get to grips. A swing from the left created a lively moment for the Everton defenders before Baines relieved the situation by heading just over the bar. Everton attacked on the left wing, Lawton worked his way over to the left for a shot which was well wide. Wrexham got into their stride better, Baines opening up a chance for Dix, but Dix overran the ball. Livingstone followed with a clever piece of scheming which resulted in Hancock getting in a hard drive, which was diverted for a corner. Everton relied, Lawton, putting Boyes through, but from the wing centre Lawton was again wide of the goal. Jefferson was too high with the free kick for a foul on Livingstone.
Wrexham’s placing seemed to find their men better than Everton, but on each side good anticipation by the defenders cut up most of the attacks. Hancock got across some beautiful centres, but Burnett was constantly on the watch. Lawton was brought down just outside the penalty area, and Greenhalgh tried a shot from the kick, but the ball went into Whitelaw’s hands. Wrexham were having the better of the game before interval, relieved only by an occasional burst by Lawton, whose shots were always too high or wide of the target. Hancock’s next centre gave Baines the chance for a header, which Burnett sent over the bar. He did the same thing from Bremner’s corner effort. Maintaining pressure, Hancock was in the picture again with several good centres. When the ball went to the other end Rawlings worked a good position, but in attempting to feed the waiting Lawton sent the ball to a Wrexham defender. Just on the interval Bellis was injured and did not resume when the teams turned round, Everton quickly got away and for a moment or two the Wrexham goal was pretty well packed, but from a corner the danger was cleared when Whitelaw caught a clever header from Lawton.
Half-time; Wrexham 0, Everton 0
Wrexham’ s attacking force found the Blues defenders all at sea when Bremner put across a centre which Dix could not take Hancock stepped into the breach and put Wrexham ahead with a lovely drive. Just afterwards Bellis resumed. Everton came along again, with Lawton racing down. He put across to Stevenson, who sent the ball just wide of the upright.
WREXHAM TEST EVERTON
December 2, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Pretty Moves But Goals Scare
Wrexham;- Whitelaw, goal; Jones and Jefferson, backs; Livingstone, Tudor (West Brom), and Bellis, half-backs; Hancock, Dix, Baines, Bremner, and Pilling, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Grant, Lindley and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings (Millwall), Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.N. Brown (Ormskirk). There was a surprise in store, when the Everton side arrived at the station, for sitting in the carriage was none other than Jock Thomson, the Everton pre-war captain. Here is another item of news, I understand that on route for the station Stan Bentham stopped at runaway horse and cart. Everton started with ten men owing to the late arrival of Walter Boyes playing his first game since his operation. The game was full of good football. It may not have had the thrills but there was undeniably some excellently conceived movements, which was only to be expected with such men as Bremner, Dix, Stevenson, Boyes, Lawton and others on the field.
Goal incidents there were, and Wrexham were responsible for most of them, although in the first few minutes Lawton made two shots, the first of which he sliced outside and the second was only a tame affair because the ball had outrun him and he could only put an outstretched foot to the ball, so that Whitelaw had a simple goal. In a powerful raid by Wrexham, Baines was injured and had to leave the field for a time, then Boyes and Lawton joined hands in making an opening. Lawton finishing with a shot which was deflected from goal by a defender. Tudor was keeping a watchful eye on the England centre-forward and also when call upon, to take a free kick, but he shot high over. Dix and Bremner were putting in some magnificent work for Wrexham, clever passes enabling the winger, particularly Hancock to show up well, but the Everton defence gave nothing away although Burnett had to make two saves, really good ones at that punching over from Baines and Bremner. For a time the Welshmen operated in Everton territory, and Jackson, Greenhalgh, and Lindley had to be very sure and confident of themselves to withstand such attacks.
Rawlings swept down the right wing, and made a perfect shot to Lawton. Had the best been allowed to travel on to the Everton centre I am sure a goal would have resulted. Fortunately for Wrexham, Jones intervened to gave the situation. The game travelled on its scientific way, with neither goalkeeper being over worked because of the stubborn defences. Lawton had few opportunities of producing his famous shot because Tudor stood defiant in the middle, and if he was beaten there were other ready to bar the way. Near the interval Lawton tried a quick shot which swing away from the goal, and then Stevenson should have scored and Baines was not far off for Wrexham.
Half-time; Wrexham 0, Everton 0.
Lawton was right on the mark with a header from a Rawlings centre, but Whitelaw was very sure in his handing of Lawton’s effort. A breakaway by Wrexham produced the first goal of the day at 61 minutes. Dix should have scored in the first place, but lost his chance through hesitation. The ball however went to Hancock who took his shot quickly and smartly from outside the penalty side line to beat Burnett all over. The 10,000 spectators were not slow to show their appreciation. Wrexham goal should have fallen when Lawton slipped the ball over to Stevenson, who had only the goalkeeper before him. He tried to place his drive and the ball travelled a yard outside the upright. A good effort but not good enough. Never at any point did this game promise to produce a glut of goals. The football continued to be of good quality.
FIRST AWAY DEFEAT
December 4, 1944. The Liverpool Daily Post
Wrexham 1, Everton 0
Lawton Injured at Wrexham
With twenty minutes left of the game, Everton suffered a severe blow in their match with Wrexham at the Racecourse. At that point Lawton sustained an ankle injury which made him a passenger at outside right for the remainder of the game. Not long beforehand Wrexham had scored a goal –the only one of the match –which gave them their victory. Everton were battling hard at the time to clear that goal on their debit side and there was a possibility that they would manage it despite the strong defence Wrexham put up against them. They were however, unable to do so, and so suffered their first away defeat of the season. Wrexham deserved their narrow win, for they gave Burnett more to do than the Everton forwards give Whitelaw, but in the main it was a battle of defences, for neither set of forwards was given any rope. Lawton found Tudor a stiff obstacle that he was unable to reproduce his Crewe sharp shooting of the previous week.
Chances Not Accepted
He had one or two narrow misses but he was so well held that his shots were few and far between. He offered chances to others but they were not taken up. The first half provided some good class football. There could have been more thrills but in point of artistry the football appealed to me. Finely conceived movements were plentiful and some of the individual play showed the football mind of the performer, but the onlookers would have liked to have seen more “bite” near goal. They got it later on when the game developed a more “tousy” favour. Chances were missed and there was an inclination more to artistry than shooting. Wrexham were undeniably the more purposeful side. Early in the game Lawton demonstrated that he would need careful watching, for he made two rapid shots which foretold what would happen of he was given the slightest opening. After that Tudor paid him special attention with the result that Lawton failed to score for the first time for weeks. Dix and Bremner engineered many smart Wrexham movements but the Everton defence, like its opposite number, refused any liberties, although Burnett had to make two punch-over saves from Baines and Bremner to prevent goals, Cyril Jones saved a certain goal when he cleverly intercepted a cross by Rawlings to Lawton. Had that ball been allowed to go on, Lawton would no doubt have scored. The only goal was scored by Hancock in 51 minutes. Special prise goes to the rival defenders. They vied with each other for premier honours, Lindley was on a par with Tudor and Grant did two men’s work. Of the forwards I place Dix and Bremner top, Stevenson and Bentham found the pace of Livingstone and Bellis respectively a shade too hot or them. Boyes playing his first game since the operation five weeks ago, started well but petered out, although he saw little of the ball in the second half. Attendance 11,800. Wrexham;- Whitelaw, goal; Jones and Jefferson, backs; Livingstone, Tudor (West Brom), and Bellis, half-backs; Hancock, Dix, Baines, Bremner, and Pilling, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Grant, Lindley and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings (Millwall), Bentham, Lawton, Stevenson and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.N. Brown (Ormskirk).
• Liverpool beat Chester 6-0, Welsh, Niuwenhuys (2), Taylor, (2), Kinghour
EVERTON RESERVES 1 CARLTON 2
November 4, 1944. The Liverpool Daily Post
At Goodison Park. Booth scored first for Everton, and Atkinson equalised. Parle scored the winning point later in the game.
December 4, 1944. The Evening Express
The fact that Everton lost 1-0 at Wrexham could be traced to three main causes, writes my observer at a game which attracted more than 11,000 spectators and which did not end until after “dim out.” The first was that not only did Everton miss two or three perfect chances, but were strangely shot shy. The second as that Wrexham were snappier in the tackle and a shade quicker to the ball and the third was that Lawton was injured in the second half and after a spell on the wing had to go off. Lawton’s injuries was not serious and I do not think it will present his playing for the Army at Newcastle on Saturday, but it blacked out Everton’s chance of fighting back after Hancocks has scored what proved to be the winner. From the point of view of football, purely and simply Everton were the better team but Wrexham played with a keenness and endeavour which no side could have exceeded even had that side been playing for hours. It was the fighting spirit of Wrexham which carried them through to a victory they just about deserved. Yet the Everton party, comprising Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins, Directors Messrs, Ernest Green, George Evans, Tom Percy, Dick Searle, and Bot Turnbull, Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly, and post-war coach Mr. Jock Thomson –down on leave –felt that the Blues might have had a late penalty for a trip on Stevenson. Stars of the Everton side were Grant, Lindley, and Jackson, with Greenhalgh, Watson and Burnett not far behind. Bentham was rather the best forward, and Boyes faded out after a promising openings. Bremner and Dix excellent Wrexham inside forward and Tudor proved quite a stirring block to Lawton. Fine Football with defence on top.
EVERTON ‘S CHANCE GONE
December 4, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Unless Huddersfield and the others four clubs now above Everton collapse like a pricked bubble, the Goodison Park folk can say “T.T.F.N” to their hopes of this half season’s championship. All the same they’ve given everyone a good run for their money, and should finish up in a better position than in any previous season since the two championships were started.
To Wrexham goes the honours of being the first team to break Everton’s unbeaten away record, and it was done by a solitary goal. Were they worthy of their win? Yes I think so, while admitting (writes Stoke) that Everton suffered a severe blow by a injury to Lawton 20 minutes from the end of the game, or a few minutes after Wrexham had scored their them Lawton went on the wing and was virtually a passenger thus Everton’s chances of winning in that goal were meagre for there were few marksman in the Everton attack. As a point of fact, most of the honours of this game go to the rival defence. They held the whip hand most times, although the opposition forwards brought into play some canny moves, capable of finding a hole in a less confident and secure defence. I still maintain that there were enough good movements in the play to satisfy most people despite the absence of a glut of goals, Goals, know, are what most people want to see but the lack of them should not detract from the other side of the game. The first half was especially pleasing to me, for I saw Dix and Bremner indulging in the scientific side of football and Stevenson and Lawton throw the road open by canny moves, while the defenders, one and I displayed cleverness in the way they increase and countered the forwards plans. Shooting was at a premium because of the sterling defence of the rival factors. A slip either way would have proved costly, and so it went on. Thrust was met by merry, and I could not visualise a goal, not even from Lawton, who was the special bait of Tudor and right well he played him. To my’s report on Lawton’s injured ankle, is that the swelling had subsided and the general condition is much improved.
George Martin the former Hull, Everton, and Luton inside forward has been appointed manager of Luton town, for whom he has for some years been acting as coach. Martin was signed by Everton in 1928 after playing a prominent part in the knocking the Blues out of the F.A. Cup, following two drawn games, and left Goodison for Middlesbrough four years later. He was an artist at other things besides football, and gained diplomas for modelling in lead.
REVERTON INCLUDE HAYDOCK JUNIOR V. WREXHAM
December 7, 1944. The Evening Express
Fred Jones, the young forward who has been doing so well with Everton Reserves, is included among the six forwards from whom the Blues will select their team to oppose Wrexham in the Football league game at Goodison Park on Saturday. Jones is yet another of the juniors Everton secured from Haydock B and C Social, and of whom Birkett, McDonnell, and Lowe have already played for the senior side. Jones made his League debut last season, when playing at Bury but this will be his first appearance of the season, Jones is quite at home on either wing of at inside forward. Harry Catterick, who got three goals for Stockport against Tranmere last Saturday returns to lead the line, and George Makin, the local left-winger, is also back. Lawton is due to go to Bradford to play for the Army –if his ankle injury permits –and Boyes is not available. Everton followers will be pleased to know that the former captain Billy Cook, has arrived back in England after service in the Far East asks me to let the football folk know that he is ready for his return to the game. Having beaten Everton last Saturday one could not anticipate Wrexham making alterations and that has proved correct, manager Mr. Tom Williams a doubtful traveller because of foot trouble, sent me the message “No change.” Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; Rawlings, F. Jones, Bentham, Catterick, Stevenson, G. Makin. Wrexham; Whitelaw; Jones, Jefferson; Livingstone, Tudor, Bellis; Hancocks, Dix, Baines, Bremner, Pilling.
Everton Reserves; (v. Kirkby) J.A. Jones; Nelson, Adamson; Cookson, Drury, Doyle, Pye, Taylor, Booth, Wootton, Peters.
Everton Colts (v. Bebington League at Port Sunlight No 1 ground); Gardner; T. Jones, Rankin (grandson of Bruce Rankin, the former Everton player); Wilson, Tansey, Cross; Welsh, Richmond, A.N. Other, Hickson, Hartshorn.
December 7, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
As you were is still Everton’s watchword in defender for the return game with Wrexham but there are enforced changes in attack. With Lawton playing for the Army at Bradford, Catterick takes over in the middle and Makin comes in for Boyes, who is not likely to be available. At outside right Fred Jones, the promising “A” team winger, who had one outing last season may get another senior chance. Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; Rawlings, F. Jones, Bentham, Catterick, Stevenson, G. Makin. Wrexham; Whitelaw; Jones, Jefferson; Livingstone, Tudor, Bellis; Hancocks, Dix, Baines, Bremner, Pilling.
Billy Cook Returns
Billy Cook Everton’s Irish international back and former captain is now home after fifteen months in India. The heat there brought on trouble with he old head wound he received when involved along with Jock Thomson and Jimmy Cuthrie in a car crash just before the war, but that is expected to clear up with the change of climate and when he telephoned me yesterday Billy said he hopes to get back into football quickly. He has already had an invitation from one club not far from here.
WREXHAM’S RUN OF SUCCESS
December 8, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Wrexham who provide the opposition at Goodison Park tomorrow have been the outstanding ex-Third Division side in the last twelve months. They started their climb to war-time fame just about a year ago. After finishing down among the dead man in the first half season championship, they surprised everybody by topping the League Cup ten game qualifying table and were only pipped on the post by Bath City for the second half season championship a minutely inferior goal average losing them the honours. This season they were making another great championship but until Crewe upset their apple-cart –and a few others as well. While Wrexham have been fortunate thanks to Manager Tom Williams’s enterprise, in gathering round them an imposing array if guest stars, their high position is by no means entirely due to borrowed plumes. The side has borne a good sprinkling of their own men-there are five in tomorrow’s eleven –and the future is being provided by a second string which, I’m told, contains several promising youngsters. As you may know, Wrexham are one of the oldest clubs in the land. There roots go back to 1874, and all through their long career they’ve been noted for their sporting ways, they cheeriness in dark days, and the warm welcome given to visitors to their ground. They field at Goodison, the same side as that which won by the only goal last Saturday. The home team, unfortunately will be minus Lawton, on Army duty at Bradford, and Catterick who takes his place will have his work cut out to get the better of the towering Tudor, one of the heftiest centre halves in the game. Wrexham’s defence has the finesse record of any in the country. If their attack could get goals as frequently as the defence prevents them they would be high and dry at the top today. Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; Rawlings, F. Jones, Bentham, Catterick, Stevenson, G. Makin. Wrexham; Whitelaw; Jones, Jefferson; Livingstone, Tudor, Bellis; Hancocks, Dix, Baines, Bremner, Pilling
Liverpool Daily Post - Friday 08 December 1944
I wonder if anyone who has seen ” Uneasy Laughter at the Playhouse has recognised the safety net in which the heroine finally collapses. It was actually borrowed from Everton Football Club, and is known ‘‘Dixie Dean’s net.” for it was used in the season of 1927-8, when the Everton centre forward scored his record total of sixty League goals.
KEEP HIM MOVING
December 8, 1944. The Evening Express
Wrexham are fortunate in being able to field an unchanged side for the Goodison game, which that “Big” Bill Tudor, of West Bromwich Albion, will be at centre half and believe me as a stopper Tudor takes some beating. One would not describe Tudor as a mobile centre-half, but he is perfect in his positioning and has ideas which break the hearts of opposing centre forwards. The best way to outwit Tudor is the exploitation of the short, quick pass to keep him moving. Lobbing to the middle or down the centre will bring little grist to the mill, for Tudor is masterly in the air. The neat slip-through is just what the electric Catterick wants, and Everton can do it. Catterick is exceptionally fast off the mark. There is still a doubt about Catterick’s forward supporters, but apparently Stevenson and George Makin will be on the left and the right flank may include Fred Jones, the young Haydock forward who has been doing so well with the reserves. This is an all-star game, for Wrexham, boasting maybe more guest players than any club in the North are a really fine football combination who have the distinction of having taken all points played for from Red and Blues this season. Can Everton change all that? I think maybe yes. The kick-off is at 3.0.p.m. Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; Rawlings, F. Jones, Bentham, Catterick, Stevenson, G. Makin. Wrexham; Whitelaw; Jones, Jefferson; Livingstone, Tudor, Bellis; Hancocks, Dix, Baines, Bremner, Pilling
December 9, 1944. The Evening Express
Freddie Jones the young Haydock forward made his first appearance of the season for Everton, when they entertained Wrexham at Goodison Park, today. Jones was at inside-right and Catterick returned to centre forward. Wrexham introduced new guest players in Leslie Duns, the Sunderland outside right but otherwise they were as last week, when they defeated Everton at the Racecourse. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Grant, Lindley and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings (Millwall), F. Jones, Catterick, Stevenson and Makin, forwards. Wrexham; Whitelaw, goal; C. Jones and Jefferson, backs; Livingstone, Tudor (West Bromwich), and Bellis, half-backs; Duns (Sunderland), Dix, Baines, Bremner, and Pillings, forwards. Referee; Mr. D. Schofield (Oldham). Within two minutes Everton had taken the lead through Catterick. A glorious piece of work by Makin led to the goal, for after Stevenson and Watson had combined in throw in, Watson slipped the ball up the wing and Makin gave Jones the dummy by allowing the ball to pass him, then turning and chasing it. Makin brought the ball up the goal line and made a perfect short centre, to which Catterick dived to head into the near corner of the net –a grand effort and a fitting conclusion to Makin’s enterprise. Everton kept right on top, never giving Wrexham the slightest rest, and Stevenson and Catterick went through brilliantly before feeding Rawlings whose shot was charged down. The ball was pushed across to Makin, whose header hit the net support as the whistle sounded for off-side. In the next attack F. Jones came into the limelight with a magnificent shot which had Whitelaw beaten all the way, but which came back off the bar. Then Whitelaw only just managed to scramble the ball away as Rawlings was coming in to head through a bouncing ball. It was eight minutes before Wrexham launched a single attack and then Dix weaved a spell and Baines was able to dart through his shot just grazing the foot of the upright.
In eleven minutes Wrexham drew level through Bremner, with their second attack of the game. Everton had failed to point from a close-up free kick and when Wrexham raided, Baines deceived the opposition with a perfect pass to Duns, and the winger dropped his centre short to the inside-right position for Bremner to shoot at point-blank range, the speed of the shot beating Burnett although he managed to get his hand to it. This was one of the most thrilling and excellent openings one could have imagined, for it was good football served up at top pace. A brilliant run by Stevenson was ended when he was forced over the dead line, and then Wrexham almost took the lead, when Bremner put Pillings away and from the centre Baines shot in from five yards Burnett diving to make an excellent save. Dix shot over and Duns header from a corner went the same way. Everton almost regained the lead when Makin again sold the “dummy” to Jones (C.) and pushed the ball across for Catterick whose shot was charged down. Bremner ran through to the goal line and turned the ball back to Dix who was in the act of pushing the ball into the net, when Burnett played the role of full back and put the ball far into touch. The lively Baines took a shot on the half-turn which but the side netting, and Burnett in diving struck himself against the foot of the post. Burnett shoulder was damaged but he carried on.
Jackson and then Lindley held up dangerous Wrexham raids, before Makin, dared through again only for the ball to run too fast for him and into Whitelaw’s hands. F. Jones had not been happy at inside forward, and after half an hour he changed places with Rawlings, thus assuming his real position. An Everton three-point attack saw Stevenson bursting through, when Jefferson came across to check the shot at the expense of a leg injury, but he was able to continue although limping badly. Makin’s corner almost swerved under the bar before Burnett ran to the edge of the penalty area to baulk Baines. In 39 minutes Wrexham took the lead with a magnificent goal by Baines, and due to Everton’s neglect to cover Wrexham’s right front attack. When the ball was swing out to Duns he was absolutely uncovered, and he had all the time in the world to centre to the far post for Baines to head into the net. There was some excitement following Pilling’s corner, when Burnett ran beyond the penalty area to kick clear, but Livingstone intercepted and lobbed the ball back into goalmonth where Greenhalgh saved a certain goal by heading clear.
Half-time; Everton 1, Wrexham 2.
Everton started the second half as determinedly as they had the first, F. Jones finding a shot bounce off Jeffferson into the hands of Whitelaw. Then C. Jones kicked away from under the bar, with Catterick close at hand. Everton equalised in 57 minutes with a splendid goal by Makin. The ball was sent up the middle to Catterick who employed the short pass to Stevenson to outwit Tudor. Stevenson unhesitatingly made a square pass for Makin to run in and score with a first-time right-foot shot which never left the ground. Everton piled on terrific pressure, all five forwards having shots charged down, and then the nimble-footed Baines sprang into the picture with a left-footed shot on the turn of the typical Lawton variety, but Burnett made a magnificent catch high up.
Greenhalgh kicked away from under the bar before Makin, having his best game this season, streaked through to place inches over the top. This was truly magnificent football, and the way the teams maintained the terrific pace was a tribute to their condition and endeavour. Two errors by Greenhalgh almost proved fatal, for it enabled Wrexham to launched an all in attack, and when Dix shot Burnett only just managed to grab the ball on the goal line. Then came Wrexham’s slice of luck, for when Catterick shot magnificently Whitelaw missed the ball, which struck his body and bounced just outside the post. Wrexham had Livingstone injured, Final; Everton 2, Wrexham 2.
December 9, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
In Goodison See-Saw Match
Picture Goal Prevents Welsh “Double.”
Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Grant, Lindley and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings (Millwall), F. Jones, Catterick, Stevenson and Makin, forwards. Wrexham; Whitelaw, goal; C. Jones and Jefferson, backs; Livingstone, Tudor (West Bromwich), and Bellis, half-backs; Duns (Sunderland), Dix, Baines, Bremner, and Pillings, forwards. Referee; Mr. D. Schofield (Oldham).
Wrexham. Who had Leslie Duns, of Sunderland, at outside right for the game against Everton at Goodison Park suffered an early reverse. Catterick heading through after two minutes following a centre from Makin, who had given the “dummy” in clever fashion to Jones. Nine minutes later, however, after Everton had twice struck the woodwork Wrexham equalised through Bremner who made no mistake when Duns put the ball over from the right. The game had started off at a cracking pace and produced some neat footwork from both sides and a spot of humour when the game was stopped while the player disposed of a wandering mongrel which had invaded the pitch. Wrexham were quicker on the ball than Everton and were always dangerous in their attacking, though Livingstone and Dix had done better then they did with two good-chances. Sandwiched between these two openings Catterick had a half chance at the other end, but delayed his shot too long and found it blocked. Baines hit the foot of the post, Burnett being hurt in attempting to save, but he soon recovered. Catterick was limping following a tackle.
Wrexham’s keen and speedie tackling was breaking up most of Everton’s attempts at combination, the visitors were repeatedly nipping in and picking up passes meant for the home forwards, while Baines was a constant thorn in the side of the Everton defence. It was Baines who put Wrexham in front at the 39th minute, when he headed in a centre from Duns, what time the Everton defence was anticipated of an offside decision. A couple of moments later Dun himself should have made it three when Dix prevented him with a grand centre. Some little time before this Jones and Rawlings had changed places in the Everton attack. Greenhalgh saved a certain goal, when Burnett had advanced of the penalty area and Livingstone picked up the ball as it cannoned back and lobbed it into the goalkeepers goal where Greenhalgh had taken position. This was the last accident of the half and Wrexham were well worthy of their lad.
Half-time; Everton 1, Wrexham 2
Everton had more of the play in the opening stages of the second half than they had in the concluding portion of the first and they got on level terms at the 57th minute, Makin was the scorer but Rawlings, Catterick, and Stevenson all had a share in making the goal, which was the outcome as a brilliant piece of combination which actually started in Everton’s own half, the ball not being touched by a Wrexham defender until it was in the back of the net. From this point onwards thrills came in quick succession, both goals having very narrow escapes. The combination of the rival sets of forwards was good, and play came in lightning fashion from one end to the other. Makin beautifully fed by Stevenson was playing his best game for Everton, but Wrexham were nipper somewhat when they had to rearrange their half back and forward lines through Livingstone pulling a muscle. Final; Everton 2, Wrexham 2.
December 11, 1944. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Wrexham 2
Goodison Game Drawn
Wrexham showed against Everton at Goodison Park that their present high position in the table is no more than a true reflection of their merited. While the 2-2 draw was a fair result, had Wrexham taken their early chances they might have won. They stolidly refused to be shaken when Everton took the lead through Catterick in two minutes and nine minutes later had got on level terms through Bremner. From then on to the interval Wrexham had the upper-hand and deserved the lead which Baines gave them at the 39th minute. Just before doing so Baines had hit the woodwork, and Livingstone and Dix had missed great chances and Everton’s goal had to withstand the greater pressure though Wrexham’s defence had by no means been without its anxious moments. The visitors superiority up to this point had been due to their extra speed, the fact that they went out to meet the ball, thus enabling them to gather passes meant for the opposition and turn defence into attack, and to the home side’s lop-sideness in the front line, where Jones (F.) failed to fit into things as anticipated and soon changed places with Rawlings. On the resumption Everton adopted Wrexham’s tactics. They speeded up their tackling and swung the ball about more freely and after Makin had equalised just on the hour, following a brilliant piece of combination by the whole forward line, the game developed into a hectic ding-dong struggle.
Play fluctuated from one end to the other in lightning fashion, with Everton having slightly the better of matters. Thrills succeeded thrill at quick intervals, both goals had a very narrow escape and right to the last kick it was anybody’s game. Twenty minutes from the finish Wrexham were handicapped when Livingstone pulled a muscle, which left him a virtual passenger on the right flank. This threw their attack out of gear, but prior to it Wrexham made a bad tactical error by completely starving Duns, who had been a big danger in the first half and had “made” both their goals. He never got a pass for thirty minutes after the restarted. For Everton, Stevenson was the brains of the attack; Makin responded splendidly to his prompting and Catterick was a persistent player. Grant worked as hard as always and the rear defence, though occasionally not kicking as surely as usual, put up a stern front Greenhalgh once saved a certain goal by heading away from the line after Burnett had left his charge. Wrexham’s best in a side which was sound all through were Bremner a grand maker of openings, Baines, a fine opportunist; Livingstone (up to his injury), Bellis and Tudor the latter, despite his bulk, was no mere “stopper” but frequently took the ball well up the field. The backs and Whitelaw did well and Duns, of Sunderland. Wrexham’s latest guest star, had a good first half. Attendance 15,965. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Grant, Lindley and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings (Millwall), F. Jones, Catterick, Stevenson and Makin, forwards. Wrexham; Whitelaw, goal; C. Jones and Jefferson, backs; Livingstone, Tudor (West Bromwich), and Bellis, half-backs; Duns (Sunderland), Dix, Baines, Bremner, and Pillings, forwards. Referee; Mr. D. Schofield (Oldham).
• Everton Reserves beat Kirkby 4-0
• Liverpool lost 3-2 to Bury, Niuwenhuys, Campbell, and Black, Burden, and Newsome, for Bury
• Mercer played for Army at Bradford, against F.A X1, draw 1-1 in front of 12,638
FIRST HOME DRAW
December 11, 1944. The Evening Express
The Goodison Park followers –there were more than 16,000 –had a new experience on Saturday for they saw Everton play their first home draw of the season, and, believe me, any other result would have been an injustice. It was a grand struggle with much of the old pre-war cup tie atmosphere about it, and what amazed was the manner in which the sides kept up a pace at times almost hectic. A match of distinct phases certainly, for there were times when I though Everton were destined to go through to a nice win, and then the pendulum swung and it was Wrexham who were shaping like winners. Honestly I think either side could have won had they accepted their chances. Both could be faulted in this respect, but otherwise here were two excellent teams with Wrexham rather more together as a side and especially once they had taken the lead through Balmer after Bremner had negative Catterick’s goal which furnished such a sensational opening. Right to the interval Wrexham were magnificent, with Bremner the creative magician. Dix a potent force and Baines giving the lie to those North Wales people who have vowed that Wrexham’s need was a centre-forward, Baines is one of the most dangerous leaders I have seen for a long time. The interval ended Wrexham’s bright run, for afterwards it was Everton’s turn to apply the heat, and fight well did it. Had it been for Tudor Everton must have won but this burly cruiserweight barred the path to victory. It was the exploitation of the short pass I advised on Friday which outwitted Tudor and enabled Makin to score a fine equaliser. The Wrexham directors present- messrs John Hughes chairman, Herbert Pritchard, Turner Williams, Madeley and Clutton –“took me to task” afterwards for showing Everton the way to beat Tudor –all quite friendly of course. When it all boils down it is simply a sturdy of football. Big centre half-backs hate that short pass like cats hate water so really it was elementary, my dear Wrexham.
Wrexham may not have a trophy to show for it but nevertheless they are the champions of 1944. No club in the country has had such a remarkable run of success, since January 1. From that date Wrexham have lost only four matches. What a tribute to the directors and to Secretary-Manager Mr. Tom Williams, who was unable to attend Saturday’s game because of illness, but who wrote to me a letter expressing disappointment at having to miss the good Everton company and the wish that his boys would “do their stuff.” All right, Tom, they did, and we also had the good game –which you hoped. From the Everton standpoint the most gratifying feature was the success of young George Makin. Let me assure George first of all that he is lucky young man in that his directors and Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly have never lost faith in his abilities. When Makin did not “come off” in earlier senor trials the club waited with him, knowing however, that he would eventually make the grade. Well, I think we can say now that the policy was fully justified. Makin had a grand game, making his first goal by joyous work and scoring the second with a cracker shot. Makin’s ball control and crossing were vastly improved, and while appreciating that the lad still had plenty to absorb in his football education, he will get to the top if he takes the praises as well as he has taken the criticisms. Catterick led the attack well, but young Fred Jones lacked experience, and Rawlings found the task of doing two jobs rather beyond him. Stevenson had some grand touches without hitting his best form. The half-back line was Everton’s strength. Grant, Lindley and Watson being superb. Jackson had a good game, but Greenhalgh left Duns to much room. Burnett was on peak goalkeeping form, despite a damaged shoulder, so was Whitelaw in a side showing admirable spirit and overcoming the handicap of the limping Jefferson and playing the second half with Livingstone a cripple on the wing. Tudor was the big man for Wrexham in all senses and the artistry of Duns, stood out a mile. I liked Bellis, and Livingstone but for delicacy of movement and ideas give me Gordon Bremner. Here gentlemen is a great ball player. Yes, a glorious afternoon’s sport, and a just result.
Joe Mercer’s Plans
Joe Mercer, the Everton half-back and England captain will be available for Everton for the Christmas holiday matches. If fit, Tommy Lawton will return to Everton’s team on Saturday.
WREXHAM’S FINE DISPLAY
December 11, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Had they taken their first-half chances against Everton at Goodison Park, Wrexham might have completed the double. As it was they had to be content with a draw, which, under all the circumstances was the fairest result . had either side won the other would have counted themselves unfortunate for while Wrexham were top dogs in the first half Everton had the balanced of play in a thrilling second half, which kept the 15,965 spectators on tenterhooks right to the last kick. A goal of to the opposition in the first two minutes would upset many sides, but it never caused Wrexham a qualm and after Bremner had equalised Baines gave them a well-deserved interval lead. Everton took a leaf out of their rivals book in the second half in speeding up their tackling, going for the ball instead of waiting for it and opening up play by more sweeping passes. Makin’s equalising goal just before the hour, was the finishing touch to a brilliant bit of Everton combination which took the ball from one end of the field to the other without a Wrexham man touching it. It was the finest move of the day. From that point on it was a terrific ding-dong struggle. Play veered from one goal mouth to the other in such lightning fashion that centre-stand spectators almost developed a team neck. Both goals had narrow escapes and Greenhalgh saved a “cert” by heading away on the line. Wrexham were thrown out of gear when Livingstone pulled a muscle and was a passenger for the last twenty minutes, but before this they had made a bad mistake by starving Duns right out of the game. He “made both their goals yet never got a pass for half an hour in the second period. Stevenson was the power behind Everton’s attack and Makin responded splendid to his copybook passes but F. Jones was plainly in need of more experience. Grant was the best of the halves, and the backs though not always kicking crisply or surely held their own in the long run well aided by Lindley. Bremner was Wrexham’s brightest star with Baines a fine opportunists and a constant worry in the opposition, Tudor despite his bulk, is more than a mere “stopper” and Jefferson and Jones were solid at full back.
December 12, 1944. The Liverpool Daily Post
Mercer the England captain, will be available to play for Everton during the Christmas holiday games. If fit, he doubt Lawton will be in the Everton side on Saturday.
KEEPING THEM OUT
Liverpool Evening Express - Tuesday 12 December 1944
I have received a long letter from Ted Everton's English international goalkeeper, popularly known to his colleagues The Boss,” and who is in the Middle East alter good work in the Italian campaign. Ted getting plenty of football, and is vital member the Corinthians team now touring in. Africa. Ted gained the headlines for his George Kaye Is Fit For Duty displays Tel Aviv and Sarafand.' With Ted are Mannion, the brilliant Middlesbrough inside-forward, Mee, son of George Mee, the former Derby County left winger; Burrows, of Sheffield Wednesday; and Ware and Mecabe, of Middlesbrough. Seasonal greetings come from Ted to all his Merseyside friends and congratulations to his Everton colleagues on their good first half of the season. From the Middle East come also greetings from Mr. Harold Pickering, who looked after Everton's Reserves up to the outbreak of war, and from Major Bobby Littler, the popular Merseyside sportsman, who was the Cheshire and Neston wicketkeeper, and footballer with Liverpool Ramblers They send greetings to all friends
DEATH OF BILLY WILDMAN
December 12, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Old-stagers will regret to hear of the death of Billy Wildman who had some seasons as a full back with Everton forty years or so ago. He also played for West Ham and after giving up the game was in business in Lower Breck Road.
December 14, 1944. The Evening Express
Efforts have been made to make a sensation out of the fact that Tommy Jones, football’s prince of centre-half, and the Welsh international captain, has not been in Everton’s team for the past two matches. Obviously the sensational seekers have not had either the interests of Everton or the player at hear, and I think it time the true position was given Jones damaged an ankle –seriously on April 22 –and although the ankle has progressed favourably Jones has not felt the confidence in it to permit his playing centre-half with the necessity of power in the tackle. That and the fact that Maurice Lindley had been playing so well that he could not possibly be moved are the reasons why “T.G.” has not been Everton’s pivot this season. Tommy, however had three games –one at outside-left and the other at inside-right –but on the last appearance faded out after a good start because of that ankle trouble. Jones was unfit to take over half-back duties, but told me a couple of days ago that he felt certain that by continually playing, and giving the ankle a chance to strengthen and give himself the necessary confidence, he can get right back to peak conditions. In other words Tommy said. Give me a game where and I’ll soon be all right.” Tommy told Secretary, Mr. Theo Kelly of this, and when it comes to action commend me to Mr. Kelly . Today’s announcement is that Tommy Jones is being brought back for Saturday’s match with Stockport County at Goodison Park –at inside right as link between Tommy Lawton and Syd Rawlings. The only other change is Lawton, returning for Catterick at centre forward, for the defence remains unchanged again –high tribute to is consistency and brilliance. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; Rawlings, Tommy Jones, Lawton, Stevenson, G. Makin.
Everton Reserves (v. Marine at Crosby); Melrose; McDonnell, Adamson; Melling, Rees, Doyle; F. Jones, Astley, Booth, Wootton, Anders.
Everton Colts (v. Wigan Mining Colleage, at Orrell-lane, kick-off 3.15 p.m.); J.A. Jones; Vizard, Lever; Tansey, Cookson, Cross; Pye, Taylor, Pottage, Hannan (G.), Peters.
December 14, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
In Everton’s Attack
Tommy Jones, Everton Welsh international after being out of the Blues side for the past three weeks, is restored to inside right for the game against Stockport County at Goodison Park on Saturday. This the position “T.G.” himself is at the moment, he is still chary of taking the constant tackling risks, which centre-half would involve. That is why he didn’t play in the middle when Lindley was injured against Crewe. His tear is understandable for he has had recurring slight ankle trouble for a long time, not long since the Anfield match, which was more serious. His earlier concerns was not helped by the fact that medical advice differed, leaving him in two minds about an operation. He described against one, gave the limb a good rest, and for some time now has been wanting to get back to the game regularly. It he can reproduce that form he did against Manchester City, even thought he didn’t give much help to the defence in times of stress, his place should be assured. His brilliant passes alerted Rawlings to almost international class, and laid the foundation of Everton’s solid victory against a side which early on has threatened to upset the odds. Catterick that day got three goals –and missed some easy ones. On Saturday, Everton will have Lawton in the middle, should the same chances be there I shall not be surprised if he gets a bagful. Elsewhere in the side there is no change from last week, the entire defence, this making its ninth successive unchanged appearance. Actually the last three defenders and Grant have appeared in every game this season, Lindley has missed only one, and Watson two. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; Rawlings, Tommy Jones, Lawton, Stevenson, G. Makin.
December 15, 1944. The Evening Express
Everton occupy the home front and rejoice in the fact for the ninth game in succession they play an unchanged defence. Not since Leslie Doyle, deputised for Watson against Tranmere Rovers on October 14 have the Blues had to make a defensive change, and since then they have conceded only 11 goals. Opposition at Goodison Park tomorrow will be furnished by the go-ahead Stockport County team which ran Liverpool to two goals in the Anfield “curtain-raiser.” Chief point of interest will be the reappearance of Welsh international centre half Tommy Jones to inside right alongside England’s Lawton and Ireland’s Stevenson. If Jones plays as well as he did against Manchester City, he should make the position, his own Stockport, on form, should go away empty, for they have been beaten in six out of eight away games and 57 goals against does not indicate the defensive skill needed to hold up the masterly Lawton, who will receive a warm welcome back following injury. Although Lawton is not the leading goalscorer in League matches, he is the season’s highest goal-getter just the same and should finish top of the list. Stockport are a workmanlike side relying on speed to possession and strength in the tackle, but the class of Everton should decide a game starting at 3 o’clock. Harry Catterick may lead the County. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; Rawlings, Tommy Jones, Lawton, Stevenson, G. Makin. Stockport County; Gage (or Crompton); Redfern, Lewin; Gleave, Wilson, Lievesley; McCulloch, Watters, Catterick, Hill, Ireland, Gee (or Shaw). There will be a collection at the match for the Christmas Fund of the Limbless Ex-servicemen’s Association.
STOCKPORT VISIT GOODISON
December 15, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Though some of the interest obviously goes out of Everton’s game against Stockport at Goodison tomorrow because of their eclipse in the championship race, the home side will be all out to improve their final placing by a solid victory. And that they ought to be able to do, for with Lawton at centre forward and Tommy Jones at inside right, to say nothing of “Wes Alec” there should be enough striking force and craft in the attack to overwhelm the none too secure Stockport defence, which has been debited with 57 goals so far, including eight by Wrexham and five each by Crewe and Chester. Everton, however, should not be led into over-confident mood by the apparent simplicity of that task. That way danger has, as we have seen before. The only time to take it easy is when the margin is unassailable. There has however, been such a fine fighting spirit in the side this season and, consequently all round team work and honest endeavour, that I can’t see Stockport taking anything with them. Stockport have six guest in their side, including Maurice Hill, of Everton, who is now working in the mines. The others are Gage (Fulham), Lewin (Bradford City), Lievesley (Crystal Palace), Ireland (Reading) and Gee (Birmingham)-no relation to Charlie Gee. Right half Gleave has only been home a month after repatriation as a P.O.W. Though Stockport do not name Catterick, he is making the journey and if Everton do not want him for any last minute vacancy he will definitely play for the visitors. A collection will be taken at Goodison tomorrow in aid of the Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association to be devoted to their Christmas comforts (and your generous support is solicited). Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; Rawlings, Tommy Jones, Lawton, Stevenson, G. Makin. Stockport County; Gage (or Crompton); Redfern, Lewin; Gleave, Wilson, Lievesley; McCulloch, Watters, Catterick, Hill, Ireland, Gee (or Shaw).
December 16, 1944. The Evening Express
Great Opening Goal
Stockport County not only arrived late for today’s match with Everton at Goodison Park but were three players short. They had to borrow from Everton, Catterick to lead the attack and Bentham to play left back in addition they enlisted the services of a soldier, Michael Murphy, who had come to watch the game as a spectator. Murphy, who played at outside right, was a South Liverpool reserve player before the war, but this was his first war-time club game. Hill, the County inside right, only came out of the miners at 12.30 today having gone on the 4 a.m. shift, Cleave, a repatriated prisoner-of-war was at centre half. Everton were unchanged. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Grant, Lindley, and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings (MIllwall), Tommy Jones, Lawton (captain), Stevenson and G. Makin, forwards. Stockport County;- Gage (Fulham), goal; Redfearn, and Bentham (Everton), backs; Wilson, Cleave, and McCulloch, half-backs; M. Murphy (Spectator), Hill (Everton), Catterick (Everton), Gee (Birmingham), and Shaw, forwards. Referee; Mr. S Chatfield (Stoke-on-Trent). Stockport were the first in the news with a corner kick nicely placed by Murphy of which Lindley took charge. The Everton left wing operated nicely but Jones scored the first time shot opportunity and when the County raided Lindley got Everton out of trouble. Jones and Stevenson combined magnificently to get Makin away, and when the ball was pushed back to Stevenson he shot first time only for Bentham to head away. Grant twice got Rawlings away with delightful passes, and from the second centre Lawton was inches over the top with his header.
Everton took the lead in nine minutes, Jones robbed McCulloch, drew Cleave and slipped the ball through magnificently for Lawton to score with a wonderful right foot shot, which swung away from Gage into the far corner. Lawton made a special point of running back to shaken hands with Jones for the perfect pass. Catterick gave Jackson the “dummy” and enabled Shaw to cut in dangerously, but Greenhalgh came across with the winning tackle at the expense of a corner, from which Burnett made a tricky double save off Gee. Next Burnett saved a long shot from Hill, who, of course, is a another Everton player at present playing as a guest with the County. Gage sprang into the limelight by punching away a centre from Rawlings, with Lawton, rampant, and then he was cheered when he flicked over the top a magnificent shot from Lawton taken on the turn, and which would have beaten 99 out of a hundred goalkeepers. Stevenson ran clean through from Jones’s pass, but in trying to drive the ball into the net with only Gage to beat, placed outside.
In the next minute Lawton missed the chance of a life-time when he screwed the ball outside with only Gage to beat. Everton were missing easy opportunities. They were shaken out of their complacency when McCulloch from a free kick just outside the penalty area, and crashed the ball against the bar and over. There was a curious complex about the Everton forwards once they got into the goal area. They seemed well content to engineering attacks, but once at near they finishing touch they lacked bite, so that the County escaped time after time, when goals seemed certain. In 37 minutes Everton increased their lead when Stevenson ran through and scored with a shot which avert in off the far post, thus breaking a long period of missed chances.
Half-time; Everton 2, Stockport County 0
Catterick reopened with an excellent effort, which Burnett saved at point blank range, and when Stevenson went right through, Redfern saved a certain goal with a splendid tackle. Gage turned around the post a surprise shot by Makin, and then caught a centre by Makin, then caught a cute back-header by Lawton. Everton increased their lead in 59 minutes when Watson came into the picture, following goals to England and Ireland in the persons of Lawton and Stevenson. Then he got Rawlings through, first effort rebounded from a bunch of players, Tommy Jones, but a headed shot, on the turn into the roof of the net.
Everton were four up in 62 minutes when from Burnett’s goal kick, Jones headed the ball forward for Lawton to race past Cleave and Cleave ran out in an effort to save what looked a certainty from the word “go.” Catterick pushed through a lovely pass for Gee, but Burnett came out to dive at the forward’s feet and then Burnett dived out again to take change of a dangerous centre from Shaw. Gage fisted away a splendid cross shot by Rawlings, and was on the spot when Stevenson hit a first time shot. Stevenson scored a fifth for Everton in 82 minutes after good work by Lawton. Makin scored Everton’s sixth in 86 minutes.
December 16, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Gives Everton The Goals
Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Grant, Lindley, and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings (MIllwall), Tommy Jones, Lawton (captain), Stevenson and G. Makin, forwards. Stockport County;- Gage (Fulham), goal; Redfearn, and Bentham (Everton), backs; Wilson, Cleave, and McCulloch, half-backs; M. Murphy (Spectator), Hill (Everton), Catterick (Everton), Gee (Birmingham), and Shaw, forwards. Referee; Mr. S Chatfield (Stoke-on-Trent). Stockport arrived at Goodison Park with only nine players. Everton lent them Bentham, who played in the unusual position of left full back and the visitors completed their side by playing Michael Murphy, who had pre-war experience with South Liverpool. Murphy who is a soldier had come to the match as a spectator and was signed on amateur forms only ten minutes before he took the field. Everton delighted the crowd with brilliant footwork and stylish play notably from Stevenson and Jones and Jackson also joined in with a slothful back-heel almost on top of his own goal. There was punch as well as foolish in the home side, as Lawton proved when he picked up a through pass from Jones and scored with an unstoppable shot from 20 yards range after nine minutes. Lawton had just amazed the spectators by the height of his leap when attempting a header. Jones and Rawlings missed easy chances, of putting Everton further ahead, and when Stockport forced attacks in which Catterick, Hill and Shaw were prominent. Lawton hit a lightning drive on the turf which Gage tipped over the bar in brilliant style and Stevenson and Lawton just failed to hit the ball properly when they had only Gage to beat. After Murphy had put in a neat bit of work to the visitors, McCulloch hit the Everton bar with a terrific long distance free kick, and another Everton attack petered out because nobody would essay a final shot. Stockport fought back with plenty of spirit, but without making much impression on the home defence, in which Jackson was outstanding. A more started by Jones (T.G.) in Everton’s own half led to goal No 2, Stevenson being the scorer after Grant and Lawton had taken a hand. Stevenson shot cannoned in off the foot of the post. For some minutes the Stockport defence was subjected to a gruelling, but Everton’s proneness for trying to walk the ball in only led to their further frustrations.
Half-time; Everton 2, Stockport 0
Though Stockport continued to battle gamely they were plainly out-classed, by Everton added two further goals. Jones got the first when he met a rebound after Rawling had struck the post following a grand solo run, and Lawton got the other immediately following an assault by Stockport on the Everton goal. Jones flicked a header to Lawton’s feet only just inside the Stockport half, and the home centre forward ran on to score with one of his typical drives. Catterick was a gallant tryer in the Stockport attack, but their one, as a whole lacked cohesion. Stevenson continued to delight the crowd with his canny touches, and Makin twice went near with his first time drives. Stevenson scored Everton’s fifth goal- 82 minutes. Makin scored a sixth goal for Everton the ball being deflected by Readfern out of Gage reach, 86 minutes.
December 18, 1944. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 6, Stockport County 1
Some Clever Play at Goodison
Everton defeated Stockport County 6-1 at Goodison Park before 8,699 spectators, and the extent of their victory fells it’s own tale of a game that was too one sided to be really thrilling though it produced some brilliant football at times from the home side. Everton indeed were even more superior then the score suggest. That they did not win by a greater margin was due to their desire to “walk” the ball in when a shot would have been more advantageous and when they did shoot to inaccuracy in direction on many occasions when a goal seemed simple. Stockport deserve credit for they plucky way they fought back against heavy odds. They started at a disadvantage for they arrived two men short yet they never gave up trying. Everton loaned them Bentham, who did as well as could be expected under difficult conditions in the usual position of left back, and the side was completed by Murphy a pre-war South Liverpool player, now in the Army, who had come as a spectator. Considering his war-time games have been limited to Army unit matches Murphy gave quite a good display, and certainly did not let his side down.
A Lawton Special
Everton started their goal trek with a typical Lawton special, after nine minutes, the outcome of a beautiful up-the-middle pass by Jones, and thereafter the goals came thus; Stevenson (35 minutes); after a neat passing movement by Jones, Grant and Lawton. Jones (59 minutes), when he met a rebound after Rawlings had hit the post; Lawton (62 minutes), again from a pass by Jones-Stevenson (82 minutes); from Lawton’s pass and Makin (86 minutes), the ball being deflected out of Gage’s reach by striking Redfearn’s foot. Catterick scored for Stockport in the last minute, following a free kick taken by McCulloch, who earlier on had hit two rasping free kick’s which came within an ace of scoring. Everton’s intricate footwork and combination gave the visitors defence a gruelling time, and only the good work or Redfearn, Gage, and McCulloch kept the score to reasonable proportions. So tied to defence were the Stockport halves that they could seldom give adequate support in their front line, yet when they did have a spell of attacking Stockport always snapped and none did better than Catterick a lively dangerous leader. Hill and Shaw also tried hard, though the former faded but in the closing stages –not surprising seeing he had been working in the mines from 4 a.m. to midday. Gage made only one errors and could not be blamed for his side’s defeat. Stevenson delighted the spectators with his subtlety and trickiness, Lawton was good without being in his best shooting form and Jones satisfied at inside right. The half-back line was the foundation of success and though the rear defence was rarely extended Jackson again gave a fine display. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Grant, Lindley, and Watson, half-backs; Rawlings (MIllwall), Tommy Jones, Lawton (captain), Stevenson and G. Makin, forwards. Stockport County;- Gage (Fulham), goal; Redfearn, and Bentham (Everton), backs; Wilson, Cleave, and McCulloch, half-backs; M. Murphy (Spectator), Hill (Everton), Catterick (Everton), Gee (Birmingham), and Shaw, forwards. Referee; Mr. S Chatfield (Stoke-on-Trent).
• Liverpool won 5-1 against Tranmere, Welsh (4) (1 penalty), Campbell and Hanson for Tranmere.
MARINE 3 EVERTON RESERVES 2
December 18, 1944. The Liverpool Daily Post
Each side at Crosby had a casualty and Veacock retiring late in the game, had scored the winning goal, Birtles and Edwards obtained Marine’s opening goals and Ashley netted twice for Everton.
MERCER TYPIFIES 1944 SPIRIT OF EVERTON.
December 18, 1944. The Evening Express
Everton are almost certain to win the Merseyside title” for the first half of the football season, being how one point above Wrexham with only one game to go in a championship which looks in the bag” for Huddersfield Town. Everton’s forwards running ever since August has been due, directly to the splendid spirit engendered in the team under the guidance of the directors, secretary and through the captain, Tommy Lawton. Any attempts to upset that team spirit have been futile and no greater example of the 1944 spirit of Everton could be imagined than that of Joe Mercer, captain of England, who is coming on leave this week, and who will be available for the Christmas three games in four days programme. Mercer spoke to Mr. Theo Kelly, the club secretary, on the telephone and said he appreciated that so brilliantly has the club half-back line of Grant, Lindley, and Watson been playing that it would be a shame to change the formation. “There will be no need to change the half-back line just because I am home,” said Joe in his characteristically sporting way, “because I will play in any position the club wants. Whenever I can be of the best use to suit me,” That typifies the greatness of Joe Mercer, and shows just why England made him her football leader. It was just the same with Tommy Jones, the Welsh captain who only 10 days ago and to Mr. Kelly; “Only continuous use of my ankle will make me really fit again, so play me I do not brother where you play me so long as I get the games I need.” Many other Everton players have readily gone out of real position to suit the requirements of the moment thus giving further proof that for sheer team spirit there is no club happier than the Blues of Goodison Park. You will see it all for yourselves again over Christmas when Everton will have more stars available than there are places available. The tact of Mr. Kelly and the club mindedness of the players will solve the problems.
The Kelly Touch
Had it not been for the quick thinking and industry of Mr. Theo Kelly we might not have had any match at all at Goodison Park last Saturday when Everton beat Stockport County pulling up 6-1. When the County arrived three players short it was Mr. Kelly who took command, and helped the worried Stockport officials out of their difficulties Stan Bentham and Harry Catterick changed dressing-rooms, and then Mr. Kelly induced a soldier friend to go outside the ground to find Mike Murphy the ex-South Liverpool reserve, to make up the County side, it was Kelly who got the necessary registration forms for Murphy to sign and who in the end dashed to the microphone to announce the team changes. It was the typical “Kelly touch.” The game itself gave me all much delight for its delicacy of movement and construction, even allowing for its one sidedness, Everton provided the football and the County the pluck, and I could criticise the Blues on only one point. Far too often they refused to carry their attacks through to finality and so dashed the hopes of the 8,960 spectators who had expected goals. However, we can always forgive kind kindedness, and it would have been unkind to a galliant County to pile on the agony. The Blues might easily have scored twenty goals, and, as it was the fact that they did not get more than doubles by Lawton and Stevenson and “singletons” by Tommy Jones and Makin (helped by Redfearn) was because of the brilliance of Gage, the young Fulham goalkeeper who so took the Liverpool eye when he was at Anfield early in the season. One save off a 15-yards pile-driver from that deadly Lawton right foot was sensational. The best goal was the first and borne of the perfect link-up between Jones and Lawton ending with a grand right foot cross-shot by the captain as the ball was running away from him. The combination between Jones, Lawton, and Stevenson was all too much for ex-prisoner of war Cleve, while Everton had alert wingers in Rawlings and Makin. The County defence stood up to continuous pressure bravely and Redfearn and Bentham were excellent in the first season with Stockport quite a star in the making McCulloch is destined for big time in football. The Everton defence was sound all through without having to be at top pressure, and Watson and Grant were excellent. As a matter of fact I made Grant the best player of the 22. I would gamble that Grant touched the ball six times to everyone else’s once. Grant thrived on work, and was pleased me was the fact that Grant had mastered the art of construction. Rarely a ball was wasted. Yes, a complete victory in which Everton passed the half-century mark in goals this season.
THE RIGHT SPIRIT
December 18, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Wainwright will be available for Everton for the Boxing Day game against Liverpool and Mercer has told Mr. Theo Kelly he is willing to play anywhere. That’s the right spirit, and a nice gesture from England’s captain to the grand work of Grant. Many a less modest player than Joe would have said “I want to be in my own place or nowhere.”
Footballers lives today are arduous affairs. They are carrying the strain of the doubts harness of football on top of either Services duties or on essential job. If any who saw Mauries Hill fade out in the closing stages of the game between Everton and Stockport, at Goodison, were inclined thereby to criticism, they should know that Hill had been working below ground in Cleck Face Colliery from 4 a.m, to nearly midday –not exactly the right preparation for ninety minutes, hard craft against a side as much on top as Everton were. And the Blues were on top even more than the score suggests. If they had been a little more accurate with their shooting and had shot oftener, instead of sometimes trying to “walk” the ball in they would have reached double figures. Having said that it seems paradoxical to say Stockport were not a bad side, yet that is so they just lacked the essential link-up between overworked halves and forwards which were to individualistic. They never seriously extended the Everton rearguard, yet they might have done, had they been able to hit off a better combined outlook. As it was Everton went on to a 6-1 victory through Lawton (2), Stevenson (2), Jones and Makin, with Catterick getting Stockport’s singleton a minute from time. Everton’s superiority gave them the chance to indulge their penchant for trickiness, in which none excelled more than Stevenson. Lawton was a virile and forceful leader, unselfish to a degree, yet not as powerful in his shooting as usual, though his goals were both “snortars,” and Tommy Jones, while not up to the standard of his first venture at inside right, nevertheless gave satisfaction. This time he showed more concern to help the defence when necessary. The foundation of Everton’s victory was their solid half back line, which never put a foot wrong throughout and Jackson gave a brilliant display at full back. Makin came to his best when he elected to try his powers of marksmanship in the second half. In the first portion he had alaviably put the ball in the middle when a shot would have paid better. Stockport started off on the wrong foot, being short of a team on arrival. Fortunately Catterick, who had travelled with them, was not needed by Everton, and Bentham was on the spot to take over at left back, where he did as well as could be expected under onerous conditions. Michael Murphy pre-war South Liverpool player, who had one come as a spectator was pressed into service and held his own as well as most of the visitors.
December 19, 1944. The Evening Express
Maybe I never was a mathematician, but certainty a digit beat me a few days ago. My reckoning of the goal scorers brought Tommy Lawton the Everton captain, out on top, but actually Tommy did not become England’s leading goal-getter of the season until last Saturday’s match with Stockport County. The two goals Lawton scored that day took him to the top. So far as League goals are concerned Whitelum, of Sunderland, and Joe Payne, of Chelsea lead with 27 goals apiece, and with McCormick of Gateshead, third with 26. Now Lawton had scored only 14 League goals, but of the 16 matches in which Lawton has played this season only eight have been League games. On other occasions “Nodder” has been goal-scoring for international and representative sides. In those games Lawton has scored a further 14 goals, bringing his total to 28, so that Lawton is the country’s champion scorer. It is interesting to note that Don Welsh, deputy for Lawton in the recent Army game is Liverpool’s leading goal-getter with 12 goals, and Nieuwenhuys scored with six. Alex Stevenson is second on Everton’s list with eight.
December 19, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Since I gave the full list of all Liverpool’s war time guest artists several readers have asked for similar details regarding Everton, so here goes.
Details below show that Everton’s total is much less than Liverpool’s being 37 against 31. To a big extents this is due to the fact that in the early war days Liverpool’s own players were moved too far away to be available, whereas for a long time Everton had a big proportion of their pre-war stars to call on. Liverpool had actually had thirty different guess before Everton used any outside help. Even when their own players dwindled Everton kept off guests for some time. They had disobeyed half the Shakespearian injunction-neither a borrower nor a lender be –by loaning some of their players elsewhere but it was not until they played Chester on September 13, 1941 that they utilised other clubs players. Then it was practically forced on them, for that day Sagar, Mercer, Stevenson, and T.G. Jones were impounded,” for a Service game, game, so Everton introduced Anderson, (Third Lanark) and Jones (West Brom), along with a Burscough trialist named Seddon. Whereas Liverpool have been forced to use guest in every positions, Everton have had none at full back, and only one in goal and at right half. In cases anybody thinks he has spotted a mistake in the list below, which show no borrowing for outside left, let me forestall him by pointing out that the first game any guest played governs the position in which he figures. For instance. McIntosh’s first Everton appearance was at centre forward, so that although he played all next season as outside left, he isn’t counted there.
Williams (c. Palace)
Centre Halves (3)
Carey (Manchester United), Keen (Derby County), Low (Newcastle)
Left Halves (4);
Pryde (Blackburn), Jones (S.) (Blackpool), Scott-Lee (Manchester United), Hallard (Bradford)
Outside Rights (11);
Anderson (Third Lanark), McKlisip (Glasgow Rangers), Dellow and Ashcroft (Tranmere), Dunkley (Stoke), Turner (Chester), Smith (Hamilton Acds), Roberts (Bury), Hall (Liverpool), *Rodgers (Swansea), Rawlings (Millwall)
Inside Right (4);
Livingstone (Bury), Mutch *(Preston), Rosenthal (Tranmere), Astbury (Chester)
Centre Forward (8)
(s) Jones (West Brom), Curran (Bristol Rovers), Chapman (Oldham), * Waring (Accrington), Urmston (Bury), McIntosh (Preston), * Murray (Bradford City), Boothway (Manchester City).
Outside Left (5)
*Soo (Stoke); * Beattie (Preston), Higham (Middlesbrough), Peters (Doncaster), Glidden (Reading)
There are eight internationals and on a seasonal bests the number of guests has been 1939-40 and 1940-41 nil; 1941-42 six; 1942-43 16, 1943-44 13; 1944-45 2; A guest counted in one season is not counted again if he carries on next season.
While Liverpool have had four guests with over 50 appearances, Everton have none, reaching that figure. Nearest approaching has been McIntosh (46) , Harry Jones (44), and Anderson (43). Like Liverpool, Everton have not neglected to give every opportunity to their own promising youngsters. Burnett, Birkett, Grant, Makin, Lindley, Wainwright, Wyles, Humphreys, McDonnell, Lyon, and many others have been given all possible scope to make good, and several are today recognised first teamers. All the club has done in the league-lend business has been to maintain, when borrowing have been necessary, the right balance between borrowed stars and young players.
December 21, 1944. The Evening Express
Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly, of Everton, is able to announce 14 names from which the Blues will choose their holiday teams, and, believe me, there are some outstanding stars among them with a warm welcome due to England’s captain, Joe Mercer, on his return. Joe is included in the attack, leaving the defence and half-backs line undisturbed this being as Joe’s own request, Eddie Wainwright comes back for the first time for some weeks, and in fact, Everton must be feeling pretty happy about their prospects. Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; Rawlings, Bentham, Wainwright, Tommy Jones, Lawton, Stevenson, Mercer, G. Makin.
Everton’s games- Saturday Stockport (a); Monday Tranmere Rovers (h); Tuesday, Liverpool (h).
December 22, 1944. The Evening Express
Not only can Everton make certain of leading the seven Merseyside clubs by winning at Stockport but they can also make certain of returning the best away record any of the North league clubs. At the moment Huddersfield have the better away record with seven wins and two draws, whereas Everton have seven wins, one draw and one defeat. Well, a win at Edgerley Park will change all that, and candidly I think Everton can pull it off. The Blues take an all star complement of players with Joe Mercer, of England, backs for one of his rare spells with his own club. Everton have named 14 players for their three holiday games, and whichever formation Secretary Mr. Kelly decides on for tomorrow I think it will being them victory and maybe enable them to step above Aston Villa. Everton; Burnett, Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; (from); Rawlings, Wainwright, Bentham, Tommy Jones, Lawton, Stevenson, Mercer, G. Makin.
REDS “DERBY” TEAM HOPES BRIGHTER
December 23, 1944. The Evening express
Liverpool have late hopes that some of their leading stars may be available for the Boxing Day match at Goodison Park against Everton following the welcome surprise in Billy Liddell’s arrival, I shall not be surprised if Liverpool, in the end, are able to have out a really representative eleven to face Everton’s formidable eleven. All arrangements have been made to accommodate a big crowd, but I advise intending spectators to set out early to avoid transport congestion. That goes for people over on the Wirral side who will be making their way to Prenton park for the second Liverpool Cup semi-final between Tranmere Rovers and Southport. The meeting of the Blues and Reds will be the fourth this season, and Everton have yet to record a win. Liverpool won the pre-season charity game at Goodison Park 5-2, followed that up by winning there again 2-0, and then they held Everton to a goalless draw at Anfield.
EVERTON SCORE SEVEN
December 23, 1944. The Evening Express
Three for Jones
Everton had Joe Mercer at inside left at Stockport this afternoon. Stockport County; Gage (Fulham), goal; Redfearn, and Lewin (Bradford City), backs; Lievesley (Crystal Palace), Morris and McCulloch, half-backs; Watters, Hill (Everton), Catterick (Everton), Gee (Birmingham), and Cochrane, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Grant, Lindley and Watson, half-backs; Wainwright, Jones (T.G.), Lawton (captain), Mercer, and Makin, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Holt (Rochdale). Catterick soon placed Stockport on the attack, but Grant made two timely interceptions to relieve the situation. Everton playing grand football, soon tested the Stockport defence and Lewin cleverly dispossessed Wainwright when Stockport had an anxious moments. At the other end McCulloch opened up a Stockport raid, but Burnett cleared. The Stockport defence was in a mix-up and Wainwright had a shot charged away for a corner. From this, taken by Wainwright, Tommy Jones taking advantage of hesitancy by the Stockport backs, crashed the ball up into the roof of the net to give Everton the lead after 13 minutes. Catterick went near to equalising when running on to a pass from Lievesley, is cross shot grazing the foot of the post. Stockport had no luck with their finishing, but Burnett was fortunate to get to the ball when Hill flicked it in from Cochran’s good pass. Everton’s second goal came after 25 minutes, Lewin attempted to turn the ball back to his goalkeeper, but Wainwright sensed the move and turned the ball into an empty net.
Tommy Jones scored a third for Everton after 28 minutes. Mercer planted the ball to him perfectly, and he swept on to finish with an unstoppable ground shot. Stockport did not deserve to be three behind. While not as good as Everton, their passing was very effective, Gage picked a header from Lawton, and in reply Hill grazed the visitors’ bar from 40 yards. Makin in a sudden Everton raid, turned the ball over to Wainwright who had time to place his shot to register a fourth goal in the 40th minute
After this Lewin was injured and retired.
H-T-Stockport 0, Everton 4.
After ten minutes of the second half, Lawton scored, a typical goal, gliding past McCulloch and Gee, who had taken up the full back position, and shooting a brilliant fifth goal. Lewin resumed for Stockport at outside left, and Everton had many spells on the defensive. The main difference between the two teams was that Everton could take their chances and Stockport could not. Stockport had hard luck when Catterick was put out-side, but with an open goal he hit the underside of the bar. As the ball bounced down Burnett facing his own net, hooked the ball over his head, for it to be cleared. It was the best game seen at Edgerley Park this season. Lawton and Jones scored additional goals for Everton. Final; Stockport 0, Everton 7.
STOCKPORT V EVERTON
December 23 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Stockport County; Gage (Fulham), goal; Redfearn, and Lewin (Bradford City), backs; Lievesley (Crystal Palace), Morris and McCulloch, half-backs; Watters, Hill (Everton), Catterick (Everton), Gee (Birmingham), and Cochrane, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Grant, Lindley and Watson, half-backs; Wainwright, Jones (T.G.), Lawton (captain), Mercer, and Makin, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Holt (Rochdale). The international trio in Everton’s forward line attracted one of the largest gates to Edergely Park today and the 8,000 spectators were soon treated to some delightful football by the visiting side. Lawton was prominent, and it was only by a fluke Stockport defence prevented a score. Everton took the lead after 13 minutes when Jones scored after a terrific drive from from a corner kick by Wainwright. After this the Everton goal underwent several escapes. Greenhalgh almost screwed the ball into his own net with Burnett well out, but Jackson kicked the ball away. Then Burnett had to go full length to save from Catterick in two occasions. After 25 minutes Wainwright taking advantage of Lewin’s bad pass to his goalkeeper, edged in between the Stockport players and scored a neat goal. Everton’s second goal came in 25 minutes and Jones scored a third after a pass by Mercer. Stockport’s luck was dead out when in front of goal, after Cochrane had several times got the visiting defence in a tangle. After forty minutes Wainwright scored Everton’s fourth goal after a centre from the left wing.
Half-time; Stockport County nil, Everton 4.
After ten minutes in the second half Everton went further ahead when following a free kick, Lawton took the ball in his stride and crashed it into the net to score a picture goal. Stockport still tried very hard but were beaten by a superior football. The home goal was seriously threatened when Mercer raced away on his own but his shot was wide. Everton had luck when Catterick hit underneath the bar with a terrific shot. Lawton and Jones added goals within two minutes of each other and the score after 82 minutes was Stockport nil, Everton y. Final; Stockport County 0, Everton 7.
A LIDDELL RALLY
December 27, 1944. The Liverpool Daily Post
How Liverpool Saved The Game
Everton 2, Liverpool 2
Neither Everton nor Liverpool could bring the first leg of their Liverpool Senior Cup semi-final to a definite conclusion, for at the call of time the score was 2-2. Both sides showed many changes and let it be said they provided quite a good game with matters even for quite a while. But when Hughes was injured and had to go to outside right, Everton got a grip on things and scored two goals close on half-time. Liverpool did not seem to have their usual punch down the middle, yet there were many goal incidents in the Everton goalmouth, just as there were in the Liverpool goal area, but the respective forwards were not aggressive, partly because the rival defence kept a steady hand on them. At 40 minutes a fine movement by Stevenson and Jones put Wainwright through to a goal and shortly afterwards another nice movement on the Everton right enabled Stevenson to increase the lead.
Everton had a goal disallowed for a foul on Hobson, and almost in the first minute of the second half Jones had another goal disallowed from what I considered a perfect header. I could see nothing wrong with it whatever. As this point Everton were calling the tune, and McIntosh hit the upright, but Liverpool then decided to change the formation of their attack and brought in Liddell to centre forward. This produced greater driving power and at 75 minutes a free kick taken by Nieuwenhuys enabled Liddell to clash the ball into the net before anyone realised what was happening. Two minutes later, Liddell had scored again. This time Burnett was at fault for he advanced too far, out of his goal, and the ball went over his head and into the net. It was now anyone’s game, and Liverpool were playing in such a manner that they looked like snatching it from the fire, but the Everton defence stood firm. It had been good fare without rising to any great heights. McIntosh was uncommonly quiet, and Humphreys just returned from Holland was palpably out of touch with the wingers duties. Jones was always a danger with his height and shooting power, but Stevenson and Wainwright were the engineers of most of the Everton attack. It was Jones, however, who provided both chances which produced the goals. Everton certainly seemed to have a just cause, for a penalty Gulliver handled. It was a fine feat on Liverpool’s part to pull back a two goal lead and almost pull it off. Niuwenhuys when he went to centre half back gave a brilliant performance and Liddle at centre forward was dynamic. His speed often had the Everton defenders guessing but I considered that Jackson and Greenhalgh along with Lindley and Grant had a fine match. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Grant, Lindley and Watson, half-backs; Humphreys, Wainwright, Jones (T.G.), Stevenson and McIntosh (Preston), forwards. Liverpool; Hobson, goal; Seddon and Gulliver, backs; Kaye, Hughes and Spicer, half-backs; Liddell, Nieuwenhuys, Rawcliffe, Taylor and Paterson, forwards. Referee. Mr. J. Pillings, (Liverpool). Attendance 36,810
• Everton lost at home 4-2 to Tranmere, Lawton (2), and Wyles (2) , Glidden for Tranmere
• Liverpool beat Southport 4-1, Liddell (2), Taylor and Kinghorn and Coates for Southport
• Tommy Lawton scored seven goals at Shrewsbury
December 27, 1944. The Evening Express
The football fare during the holidays has been excellent, rising in a crescendo to another cut-and-thrust game at Goodison yesterday –a game which will be discussed and argued for months and in which Everton, for the second time in 24 hours threw away a two goal lead. I was one of those left wondering why the picture goal of the day –a glorious header by Tommy Jones early in the second half –was not allowed, why Liverpool’s goal was allowed, seeing that Burnett as held, and why Everton did not get a late-on penalty for handling. The picture of the Jones goal stands in my mind’s eye in bold relief. A peach of a centre by Humphries –just back from Holland –to Jones, positioned beyond the penalty spot with three players putting him onside and no player within four yards of him. The header was so fighted that Alf Hobson had no chance despite a gallant effort. Everton had another goal disallowed when Nieuwenhuys turned through a shot by Humphreys. Jones obstructed Hobson that time just as Burnett was obstructed when a Liddell, half-centre half-shot dropped over Burnett for the equaliser. The disallowance of the Jones goal broke the heart of Everton, and enabled Liverpool to stage one of those characteristic rallies for which they are famed against the Blues. Everton can be deemed unlucky on the point of the goal, but that ill-luck was balanced by the fact that Laurie Hughes so injured his side after 27 minutes that he had to go outside right. Nieuwenhuys, the most alert forward dropping back to centre half to play a wonder game and by grand captaincy inspire his team to the revival. It was the assertive Nieuwenhuys who smashed up Everton as an attacking machine, and set his side on the forward march so brilliantly led by Billy Liddell, who moved to the centre and by darting here and there drew the Blues defence completely out of position. Wainwright and Stevenson after fine work by Jones had given Everton a winning lead at half-time and it was a free kick taken by Nieuwenhuys with an adroit side pass to Liddell which brought their first set-back. Liddell cracked the ball into the roof of the net with his right foot. This was a repetition of a goal scored by Taylor at Southport on Monday, when Liverpool gained a Cup points by winning 4-1, Liddell-at centre forward –getting two and Kingshorn the other. At that same hour Everton were showing how easily they can become upset by scarifying a two goal lead –obtained by Lawton –at home to Tranmere Rovers, so that the “go-get-em” Rovers went on to a 4-2 win they deserved richly. The Rovers speed to the open space and unorthodox positioning ripped open the Blues defence time and again. Wyles scoring twice, Glidden and Hanson –a grand free kick –adding to Everton’s tale of woe. This was the second time in two seasons that the Rovers have turned the table on Everton at Goodison Park. Last term it was 5-3 after being three down. Bravo to the Rovers giants among whom were Owen, Anderson, Butler, Wyles, Williamson, and Glidden, not forgetting Ernie Richards back last week after five years service overseas, who stepped in at centre half at the last minute to master Lawton. Richards is one of the Rovers original Colts. Of course, Tranmere should never had a chance, for Lawton missed at least four open goals in the first half alone. However to return to the “Derby” game, I was immensely impressed by Tommy Jones fine leadership of the Everton attack. Tommy was luckless but a rare trier and ever-present menace. The half back play of both sides was superb and curiously enough both attacks were rather topsided, only Liddell and Taylor –for half the game –showing potentialities in the Reds line and Stevenson being the man who completed the menacing due to the Reds. Wainwright was mastered by Spicer –a grand game by Spicer and his first for many months –as completely as McIntosh was mastered by Seddon. Seddon had a great game, and now I hope the lad is preserved with in the first team when Harley is not available. As a matter of fact there was much good back play, for Jackson, Gulliver and Greenhalgh were in rare fettle in a game which showed Liverpool as the better side for 25 minutes, then Everton dominance for 45 minutes, only for the game to veer again to Liverpool after McIntosh had struck a post. The astonishing thing to say mind was the cracker pace kept up throughout –by players finishing a difficult three matches in four days, period. Whew and without training.
LEDDELL FILLS THE BILL
December 27, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Yesterday’s Goodison Derby was a fitting wiry-up. The successive of thrills more than compensated for occasional spells when the game got a trifle scrappy and disjointed and Liverpool’s great fighting finish against a two-goal deficit and an injury to Hughes earned them a worthy draw. Highlights were Liddell’s forceful second-half leadership Nieuwenhuys’s sterling display as a deputy centre half, the canny way. To amy Jones made Everton’s goals for Wainwright and Stevenson, and the excellent work of Greenhalgh, Lindley, Grant, Stevenson, Taylor, and Gulliver. As for debatable points, Everton’s goal in the first minute of the second half was disallowed for offside against Stevenson, not Jones, and Referee Jim Phillips, who handled the game admirably, not me wise to the fact that Gulliver did not handle in the penalty area, as it seemed from the stand but that the ball hit him between chest and shoulder. I thought the disallowing of Humphreys’s goal justified because Hobson had been impeded, but it seemed to me that Burnett was just as much interfered with when Liddle’s lob got home to make the scores level. The referee was always right on top of the play, however, and in a far better position to the dogmatic than those away in the stands. The crowd of 36,810 proved again that “Liverton” Derbies still draw the folk as compellingly as ever, and the result leaves the return leg to the ideal position for another thriller.
Four players taking part in the Merseyside holiday games were back from recent service in North-West Europe –namely Harley and Spicer, of Liverpool, Humphreys (Everton), and Cartwright (Tranmere).
December 28, 1944. The Evening Express
Everton’s defence will be unchanged for the War cup game with Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park on Saturday, but no fewer than nine players are included in an attack again lacking Lawton who scored seven goals at Shrewsbury on Tuesday. However, Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly hopes that Joe Mercer will have recovered from indisposition to play, and if so I expect Joe would be at inside right, for Tommy Jones did so well against Liverpool at centre forward that I cannot picture his being moved. Jimmy McIntosh may be available again, and I should like to see big Max linking up with Stevenson again. Syd Rawlings is still suffering from an ankle injury, but Eddie Wainwright did so well at outside right against Stockport that he could hold down the job commendably. Sharp, Bentham, and Makin are also included in the team sheet. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; (from) Rawlings, Sharp, Bentham, Wainwright, Mercer, Tommy Jones, Stevenson, McIntosh, Makin.
The Rovers name eight forwards but will have Bill Cartwright their 6th centre-half who war-wounded in the neck on “D” Day ready with Len Kieran on his left. Tranmere Rovers (from); Butler; Anderson, Owen; Steele, Cartwright, Kieran; Lee, Glidden, Wyles, Williamson (S.), Hanson, Tunney, Hornby, Powell.
Further to the negotiations between Everton and South Liverpool for the joint use of Holly Park, Garston, Mr. Arthur Joynson, secretary of the South writes to say that the club shareholders will be the first to know when anything concrete has been done, and that before any public statement is made.
Everton Reserves (v. Napiers); Melrose; McDonnell, Adamson; Ashley, Rees, Doyle; Birmingham, Wootton, Booth, Cross, Anders.
Everton Colts (v. Stork, at Orrell-lane 3.15 p.m); J.A. Jones; T. Jones, Rankin; Tansey, Cookson, Street; Walsh, Taylor, Pottage, G. Hannah, Hartshorne.
EVERTRON’S GLUT OF FORWARDS
December 28, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Everton with their defence unchanged for the return game with Tranmere at Prenton, find themselves with nine probables forwards, though Mercer is doubtful Lawton is not available team (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; (from) Rawlings, Sharp, Bentham, Wainwright, Mercer, Tommy Jones, Stevenson, McIntosh, Makin.
EVERTON GAME AGAINST TRANMERE
December 29, 1944. The Evening Express
Tranmere Rovers will be making a bid for a hat-trick of wins when they entertain Everton at Prenton Park tomorrow. My opinion is that the attempt will fail, in fact I am pretty confident that Everton will win and gain the first cup points. Of course, if the Everton defence allows itself to become as rattled against the wiles of Glidden and Wyles as on Christmas Day, then the Rovers will complete a “double,” but such things rarely happen twice in a week. Despite Lawton’s absence there will be plenty of power in Everton’s attack, but the forwards will be helping the Rovers cause if they keep the ball two close against such nippy tacklers as Cartwright, Anderson, and Owen. If Mercer is fit, I hope Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly will play him at inside-right, so making an all international inside forward trio for Tommy Jones is almost certain to lead the line. Tranmere know, after Monday that Everton can be thrown completely out of their stride by quick movement to the unorthodox position, and it should be a rare battle of wilts and skill. Tranmere Rovers (from); Butler; Anderson, Owen; Steele, Cartwright, Kieran; Lee, Glidden, Wyles, Stuart, Williamson, Hanson, Hornby, Richards, Powell. Everton; (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; (from) Rawlings, Sharp, Bentham, Wainwright, Mercer, Tommy Jones, Stevenson, McIntosh, Makin.
The Everton Reserves v Napiers match at Goodison Park tomorrow has been postponed.
• Humphreys playing for Chester
December 29, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
“Tell’em what we did to Everton! Is the Birkenhead saying of the moment but Tranmere enthusiasts had better soft-pedal, is a trifle until they see what happens in tomorrow’s return encounter at Prenton Park. If the Rovers complete the double them they can let it go fortissimo. All the same it was a fine performances to win at Goodison as Everton were the first to acknowledge, and nothing can rob Rovers of the glory of that. I have since also had a nice tribute to Tranmere from Southport’s honorary manager who especially remarked on their wholeheartedness and fighting spirit. Those have long been Tranmere attributes. Win or lose, they always seem imbued with the fighting fervour which Ted Robbins infuses into his Welsh sides, though I have to confess that when I have see them I have some times felt a little less exuberant energy and a trifle better positional play would have brought them better dividends. What of tomorrow’s game? Can Everton wipe out the “stigma” of the Christmas Day Defeat? If they play as well as they did at times in the Boxing Day game against Liverpool the answer is in the affirmative, but they will have to be constantly on the top line against Tranmere’s keen tackling, defenders and bustling forwards who go all out every time, and are apt to knock “classy” sides like Everton off their balance. Whichever way it goes this should be a tip-top game. Teams from; Tranmere Rovers (from); Butler; Anderson, Owen; Steele, Cartwright, Kieran; Lee, Glidden, Wyles, Stuart, Williamson, Hanson, Hornby, Richards, Powell. Everton; (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Grant, Lindley, Watson; (from) Rawlings, Sharp, Bentham, Wainwright, Mercer, Tommy Jones, Stevenson, McIntosh, Makin.
EVERTON AT PRENTON
December 30, 1944. The Evening Express
There was a big crowd at Prenton Park, today, for the game between Tranmere Rovers and Everton. More than 6,000 were present at the kick-off. The Rovers had to make a late change owing to the non-appearance of Steele, and the Everton half-backs, Tunney, was introduced in his place. Tranmere Rovers;- Butler, goal; Anderson and Owen, backs; Tunney, Cartwright, and Kieran, half-backs; Lee, Glidden, Wyles, Williamson (S.), Hanson, forwards. Everton;- Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Grant, Lindley and Watson, half-backs; Wainwright, Mercer (captain), Jones (T,G.), Stevenson and McIntosh (Preston), forwards. Referee; Mr. W. Whalley (Blackpool). From the kick-off Everton moved up the right through Wainwright and Mercer, the former finally crossing the ball for Mercer to close in and make a strong cross-shot, which Butler beat down before gathering and clearing. The Rovers responded on their right wing, but a misplaced centre by Lee was easily dealt with by Greenhalgh. The home side once again and Glidden tried his luck from just outside the penalty area, but the ball swing wipe. At the third minute the Everton goal had a lucky escape from downhill. A centre by Hanson was headed further across the face of the goal by Wyles and Burnett, who advanced was beaten to the ball by Glidden, who flicked it past the goalkeeper, but the ball hit the outside of the upright of the goal to pass outside. Shortly afterwards the Rovers forced a corner on the left and from this Glidden made a first time drive but was again just wide. A quick round of passing between Mercer, Stevenson and McIntosh threatened trouble for the home defence, until McIntosh put his intended centre, behind. A long clearance by Greenhalgh saw Jones clear of the opposition, but he was overtaken by Cartwright and a threatening situation for the home goal was relieved without a shot being delivered. Almost immediately Wainwright found himself unmarked and in front of goal, but his shot was saved by Bulter.
The game had been going seven minutes when Everton took the lead, Stevenson opened the way for McIntosh and, from his centre towards the far side of the goal, Tommy Jones jumped up to hand a clever point. There was a thrill for the large crowd when Stevenson made a perfect up-the-middle pass for Tommy Jones to close in unchallenged on goal, Butler came out to meet him and affected a daring save by diving at the feet of the oncoming Everton leader. The Rovers kept pegging away, and although their football may not have been as intricate as that of the visitors, there was no mistaking the directness of their efforts. This was evidenced when Hanson swung the ball into the middle, and Glidden attempting a first time drive, rushed the ball, which looked like drifting clear, but Wyles nipped in to make a shot which Burnett saved on his knees. It was an interesting struggle between two sides who did not spare themselves and the it was constantly changing, each in turn being threatened, however the necessary finish was not forthcoming. Everton should have gone further ahead when Mercer swung the ball in from the right to McIntosh, well in the middle and only Butler in front, McIntosh, however, got too much on the ball and it went sailing over the bar. The Rovers respondent with a attack on the left, from a good centre by Hanson, Glidden had a chance, but sliced high and wide. The home side were full of energy and they gave the Everton defence many anxious moments. Greenhalgh and Jackson, aided by Lindley, provided effective cover for Burnett and was not seriously troubled.
The first real shot of note for the home players was from Kieran, who shot from 35 yards and Burnett had to field an awkward shot which bounded just short of him, before he clearances. Mercer’s was the mastermind of many of Everton’s attacks, and his solo runs frequently the home defence running the wrong way but he did not find his colleagues responding well. Just before the interval a good combination movement ended in Glidden testing Burnett who saved smartly.
Half-time; Tranmere Rovers 0, Everton 1
ROVERS’ DEFENCE SHINES
December 30, 1944. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Held Down at Tranmere
Tranmere Rovers;- Butler, goal; Anderson and Owen, backs; Tunney, Cartwright, and Kieran, half-backs; Lee, Glidden, Wyles, Williamson (S.), Hanson, forwards. Everton;- Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh, backs; Grant, Lindley and Watson, half-backs; Wainwright, Mercer (captain), Jones (T,G.), Stevenson and McIntosh (Preston), forwards. Referee; Mr. W. Whalley (Blackpool). The Everton team who had an old score to wipe out, fielded their advertised side, and the only alteration in the Rovers team was Tunney for Steele. This looked like being the biggest gate of the season at Prenton Park and 8,000 people saw some thrilling incidents early on. In the first minute Everton broke through, and Mercer ran the ball to the goalline, before he made his angular shot which Butler had no difficulty in saving. Play was transferred to the other end, immediately and here the Everton goal had a narrow escape. It was in fact, lucky not to fall, for when Hanson centred and Wyles got the ball along to Glidden the inside man neatly flicked the ball Burnett and it struck the outside of the upright. It was a near thing. There was another a minute later, when Glidden shot a foot outside from a corner. The ball had to be stronger worked to be moved. At the seventh minute Everton opened the score. Jones headed through a McIntosh centre. He should have had another goal later, when he dribbled clean through the Rovers defence. With Butler lying on the ground, a goal seemed a certainty, but the Rovers goalkeeper brought off a great save, much in the surprise of all. So far the football had been quite entertaining, and the Rovers showed good tactics in the way they swung the ball about, but they met a stubborn Everton defence, although Burnett had to make a save from Williamson. there was plenty of incident, and when Wainwright offered McIntosh a gilt-edged chance the Preston man shot over the bar with a right foot. Stevenson was a foot of f the mark. In fact, Everton had quite a number of chances, but the Rovers defence proved itself alive to all occasions. The ground was against intricate football for many good passes because bad ones on that account. Kieran tried a long shot which brought Burnett to his knees, and Owen played a remarkably good defensive game against Mercer and Wainwright. The latter was as a matter of fact not so good as usual, although he was well plied with passes. Jones and Mercer were both pulled up for offside and Glidden and Lee combined nicely with a shot by Glidden, as the culminating point. McIntosh following a nice movement shot inches outside the upright.
Half-time; Tranmere Rovers 0, Everton 1
Early in the second half, Everton exploited a more open game and had the Rovers defence in a tangle, and but for a magnificent one-handed save by Butler they would have scored. Stevenson dribbled his way beyond at least three defenders, and then shot to the far side of the goal. A goal seemed a certainty, but Butler threw out his right arm and kept the ball out, a really great save. Mercer was put through to a good scoring position by Jones, but the England and captain shot wide. Gidden with a canny pass to Lee, opened the way for a dangerous Rovers attack, but Lee has a penchant for bringing the ball back instead of taking it forward which cost him time and place. Even though he was able to get across his centre, the Everton defence had closed the ranks and s checked any possibility of breaking through. All things considered, the football had been entertaining with its, full measure of thrills, mostly in the Tranmere goalmouth and Jones from close in had a shot deflected for a corner. Butler had to go down to keep out a swerving Stevenson shot. Despite a Everton’s attack they could still boast only one goal, and this was in a great measure to the Rovers stubborn defence. At 75 minutes Mercer pressed his way through and made an opening from which Jones scored a second for Everton.