EVERTON’S WORTHY VICTORY
December 2, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Wainwright’s Unusual Tackle and Goal
By “Bee” (Ernest Edwards).
Everton 2 (Wainwright, Eglington), Middlesbrough 1 (Fenton)
Everton desired to sign Fenton of Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough said “yes” the price was right and Fenton said “There no place like home.” He refused to pull Everton chestnuts out of the fire, and anywhere it was a far cry to Christmas. It was the man who stayed at home who scored the first goal of this game. A. Good one, angled, swift, and a shock to Everton and their 45,000 spectators. Two incidents made this win possible. Both concerned Wainwright. First he stayed from inside right to near his own goal to make an astonishing tackle on Fenton when all was lost. It is most uncommon to find an inside-right behind the stay-at-home pivot, so I marked that down as a special relief for Everton. Secondly. Wainwright was wiping his face with his handkerchief when advised to “go on the line for a while till you have recovered from a blow to his face.” At outside-right the ball was delivered and Wainwright handkerchief in hand, raced ahead, and, as if in anger and pain, lashed the ball beyond the Middlesbrough goalkeeper. His agonised visage showed joy through tears. Everton had made mountains out of molehills for an hour. Fenton had taken toll; Wainwright’s saving the set the home side ablaze with enthusiasm. The crowd also came out of their lethargy of unbelief. They cheered then on to the second goal in 60 seconds. Dodd’s massive labourer and worker dainty of step solid in appearance, served his side as ably as ever without getting a goal, yet provided by a back-heel tap, the goal Eglington took the points, pounds and pleasure. Eglington headed this goal, and candour insists I tell you, the nervy goalkeeper ought to have had it covered. That must not skim the cream from Everton’s win and well earned victory. One has to mention Everton’s early errors because continence of such faultless will hinder their progress. In forty-five minutes they flung to the winds the easiest of chances. Shooting was of a measly character. Wing men were off the target or unable to apply force from the easiest of positions. The longer they played full-out for attack, without getting a goal the less confident they became, till at one point in the second half. Middlesbrough well below their reputation came to their best and Mannion and McCabe outstanding man of the field r right half, became top dogs. The brilliance of Sagar; Watson (what a purveyor and worker), Jackson and Jones prevented the visitors leading by an unassailable margin. Much of the play was elementary, yet at its peak, the football was splendid. Everton, after overcoming crush-barrier of defenders on the goal line went on to win a welcome and meritorious victory. Now we look to the forward line to advance and support the manful efforts of Dodds. It was good to see Fielding revelling in his former type of game. I knew it would return. Farrell; the new Irish boy is the cultured academic type who must do well. He has the Makepeace stamp –and modern football has need of such artists. Referee; Mr. W. Martin of Leeds, did his work well. He is a Liverpool man. Everton; Sagar; Jackson and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones (TG) (captain), and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Middlesbrough; Nash, goal; Robinson and Stuart, backs; McCabe, Hardwick and Gordon, half-backs; Spuhler, Dews, Fenton, Mannion and Walker, forwards.
• Liverpool lost to Blackpool 3-2, Balmer and Done, and McIntosh, Blair and Mortensen for Blackpool.
• Sheffield United Reserves 0, Everton Reserves 4
Everton want Stars
Everton had representatives at Blackpool and in Scotland, on Saturday. Their intention, it is understood was the “star” players as against the up and coming product.
VICTORY AT LAST
December 2, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s long delayed victory was welcomed by Goodison supporters, but the fact that none of the last seven clubs in the table suffered defeat meant that the two points gave the Blues little upward lift. Had not the Middlesbrough goal borne a charmed life Everton would have had this game early in safe keeping, instead of having to battle until the closing stages. It was well for Nash, the Middlesbrough deputy-goalkeeper that he was so admirably covered by his colleagues. Five times the ball was cleared off the goalline by a back or half back. With any luck Everton would have run up a big lead in the first half, for the Borough’s defence had many problems set them by an Everton which looked unlike a team in the lower regions. Dodds worked and harried the visiting defence into a sense of insecurity, which should have paved the way for Everton goals. But the gods did not smile on their shooting, and after they had done everything but pilot the ball into the net, it was the Borough who first took the lead, through Fenton. It must have been nearly heart breaking to the Blues. There they were worthy of a solid lead, yet were now striving to avoid defeat. Could they do it? It did not look too hopeful after so much earlier endeavour had gone without reward. The home forwards kept the crowd on tenterhooks for a time by over-finesse and erratic shooting, but at last came Wainwright equaliser, and then Eglington’s winner, and “happy days were here again.” But one swallow doesn’t make a summer, and this solitary victory, though one hopes is to symbolic at better things to come, does not mean that the ominous clouds which have been hovering over Goodison have been discovered for good. Obvious improvements are necessary which the board air aware of. And have for some time been seeking to supply. For reasons which are patent they are not advertising who they hope to get, which only increasing competition in these talent-searching times, but if Everton can find the men they want and clubs willing to part money will not stand in their way. They have the wherewithal to big high, and “only the best” is their aim. They could have made “second best” signings before this but have refused to do so.
December 2, 1946. The Evening Express
Not only did Everton break their bad luck run, but so did Wainwright, their young inside-right, who came back into the scoring line again. Here are Radar’s comments on the success of the Blues; - “Last season Eddie Wainwright was one of the most dangerous inside forwards in the game, but this term he has not been producing the same brilliance in finishing through loss of confidence and over-anxiety Eddie Wainwright, however, should not be discouraged. Wainwright’s case is similar to that of Jack Balmer – and consider what Balmer is doing now. That Wainwright can still hit them home was proved by his splendid equaliser – a tremendous cross-drive which Nash hardly saw until it hit the net –and I hope that success will imbue Eddie with so much confidence and enable him to go on and emulate Balmer. Strange it was that Wainwright goal should follow immediately on a nose injury which caused Trainer Harry Cooke to tell him to take up the outside-left position momentarily. Everton well-merited their narrow victory over a Middlesbrough who never rose to the heights I had expected, for gone were the precise foot craft and clock-work movement to position which characterised them on the Anfield visit. Indeed Everton featured all the attractive football in a sternly-fought game. The point was that Dodds was so well watched by Hardwick that he did not have one real shot, although he was always was a menace with the ball in the air. There was no one else capable of rounding off midfield and approach play much of which was the acme of football class. Wingers Eglington –he got the winning goal, with a header off a post – and Mcllhatton were persistent raiders and great workers, but they had chances in the first half of putting Everton in an unassailable position. They did not take them. Fielding acting his normal role of provider was brilliant in footwork and accurate passing in the first half but faded out. However, despite Everton’s shot-shyness they were wretchedly unlucky on at least four occasions when defenders Stuat and Robinson kicked off the goalline with Nash beaten. The only time Fenton evaded the attentions of Sagar. Incidentally I do not agree with those who said afterwards that Sagar was at fault here. The 49,108 spectators (best attendance of the day) played their part in urging the Blues on to their victory burst of two goals in three minutes. Bentham I rated as the more effective wing half back while Jackson and Watson both turned in workmanlike performances at back in front of a reliable Sagar. This win should give Everton that little bit of confidence so necessary to success.
EVERTON AT CHELSEA
December 6, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Everton, away to Chelsea, are up against a side just as desperately in need of points as they are themselves. Few clubs, not even Newcastle have spent so much on so many players during the past twelve months or so but Chelsea as so many before them, are finding that the cheque book is not a short-cut to Soccer success. You can buy the stars, providing you have the wherewithal, put nobody can quarantine that they will produce that vital but necessary blend of which League champions and Cup winners are made. Latest newcomers to the Pensioners ranks, following the acquisition of Lawton, Winter, Goulden, Harris, Galloway, and Tommy Walker, are the Swiss international left back, Willie Steffer, who makes his second League appearance, and Paton, Celtic’s outside left, who makes his debut tomorrow. Tommy Lawton will be anxious to do well against his old club mates, and particularly his friendly “enemy” Tommy Jones, who in international in which they have met has usually, the last occasion excepted, managed to keep Lawton fairly subdued. Lawton’s bug to date is 12 goals in 15 League appearances. Apart from the return of Alec Stevenson, Everton have the same side as that which defeated Middlesbrough last week;- Teams;- Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Watson; Bentham, Jones (TG), Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, Eglington. Chelsea; Robertson; Winter, W. Steffen; Machen, Harris, Macaulay; Spence, Walker, Lawton, Gouldson, Davidson.
EVERTON AT CHELSEA
December 6, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot Notes (Don Kendall)
I shall be travelling to Stamford Bridge to see the mighty duel between the two Toms –Lawton and Jones. It should be a football treat. I met Tommy Jones, of Wales, during the week, and he is suffering from a cold again, but assured me that he would be there to put the stopper on his former room-mate. I think Jones can do it, too, while maintain my opinion that Lawton is streets ahead of any other centre-forward in the game at the moment. In the Maine-road international, Lawton had the better of the argument against Jones, but mainly because Jones had to watch three men at once. Imagine what Lawton can do with an inch of latitude. If Everton can hold Lawton and will refuse to be led astray by the “red herring” of Tommy Walker, I feel the Blues will stop their runs of non-success away from home.” Teams;- Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Watson; Bentham, Jones (TG), Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, Eglington. Chelsea; Robertson; Winter, W. Steffen; Machen, Harris, Macaulay; Spence, Walker, Lawton, Gouldson, Davidson.
EVERTON SERVE UP GRAND FOOTBALL
December 7, 1946. Evening Express
Chelsea Offset Dodds’ Goal Late On
Everton amazed London today. Their first-half display against Chelsea, at Stamford Bridge made everyone ask. “How is it they are so far down the table?” Yes, it was a flashback to the 1939 championship days, with Chelsea chasing and Everton, brilliantly led by Dodds, playing glorious football all along the floor. Dodds gave Everton the lead with almost a gift goal, for Robinson should have saved, but just after failed to score with a penalty. Chelsea came more into it during the second half, but Everton’s defence was magnificent, Jones blotting out Lawton. Mcllhatton had his greatest day in the Everton colours, but the whole team was grand. McAuley, 10 minutes from time equalised. It was Everton’s first away point since September 25. Norman Greenhalgh, the Everton captain, returned to the Blues. George Jackson went down with lumbago, so Greenhalgh came in at the strange position of right back. Greenhalgh had been out for two weeks with bruised ribs. Early morning rain and the early kick-off kept the crowd down, but about 50,000 were present to see Dodds on his first London visit in the Blues’ colours and to see 12 internationals in action –six on each side. It was a gloomy cold day with “Nobby” Fielding as Everton’s 12th man. Chelsea;- Robertson, goal; Winter and W. Steffen, backs; Machin, Harris, and Maculey, half-backs; Spence, Walker, Lawton, Goulden, and Paton, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Greenhalgh (captain), and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. F. Milner (Wolverhampton). Chelsea included their new Scottish star at outside left, Paton, who was signed only yesterday from Glasgow Celtic. Jones took no chance with Lawton’s opening thrust, calling on Sagar with confidence, and then the Blues settled down per Farrell and Mcllhatton, aided by the clever roving of Dodds, to give Chelsea some lessons in close precise manoeuvre. Eglington came through to flash one over and then Mcllhatton came to the centre to side pass the ball to Wainwright, but the big Swiss Steffan nipped in to clear. Lawton’s brilliant header from Machin’s cross flashed by the post and then after Greenhalgh had held up Paton cleverly the Blues moved in joyous fashion and had Chelsea moving all the wrong way.
Wainwright Hits Post
The ball dropped back to Wainwright, who had slipped to the inside left position, and he shot right along the ground beating everyone only to see the ball rebound from the foot of the post. Cruel luck this, but in keeping with how things run with Everton these days. Greenhalgh’s cleverly anticipated a Lawton pass to Paton and pushed the ball forward for Dodds to make a mighty back heel inside for Mcllhatton to race straight through. A fine forward shot was half stopped by Robertson, but the ball slipped under his body and the wrong side of the post. Everton were playing excellent football, and now Robertson held a swift shot from Eglington low down. Yet another spot of bad luck for Everton when Eglington let go another right foot shot which just hit the face of the far upright and flashed away. Everton were hitting high spots with a vengeance, and now Wainwright raced away from the ruck of players and shot on the run, Robertson turned the ball over the bar. Came Everton’s testing moments when Sagar pawed away a centre from Paton to Goulden, whose shot was kicked away by Farrell and that was not all, for Sagar made a great save off an equally great header from Lawton, and when Paton got through he crossed again for Sagar to tip over the bar. The corner brought yet another Lawton header and a Sagar save –all splendidly done. The quick interchange of positions move between Dodds and Mcllhatton had Chelsea sorely worried and from another of these feints Eglington sprang into the limelight again as a marksman, Robertson doing well to turn a splendid shot around the post. In 23 minutes Everton took the lead through Dodds –a lucky goal but richly deserved on the run of the play. Dodds received unmarked 25 yards from goal and he tried a speculative shot –not fast but straight. Robinson seemed to have the ball covered but it slipped through his hands and into the net. Everton almost made it two a minute later. Dodds ran through from outside-right to get everyone out of position and with Robertson drawn Stevenson jumped in and placed towards the far corner, Winter coming from nowhere to kick clear. It was then Everton’s turn for a little luck for Paton and Goulden went through by neat inter-passing and Goulden’s final shot crashed against the post and away to safety. Wainwright went away on his own to turn the ball inside to Mcllhatton, whose shot was a winner until Harris kicked it off the line. Robertson more than compensated, for his error when he flung himself to his right to save a certain goal from the foot of Wainwright, who was given his chance by Mcllhatton. Came a penalty to Everton in 40 minutes, only for Dodds to fail, Dodds had got clear through, and was in the act of shooting when Harris pulled him down. Dodd tried to place the kick slowly to the corner but Robertson flung himself across to beat the ball away. A Lawton shot flashed by the post before Sagar held a rising shot from Paton.
Half-time; Chelsea 0, Everton 1.
Two Dodds raids and a hefty shoulder charge by Jock, which sent Steffan sprawling in the mud was the prelude to strong Chelsea pressure during which Sagar saved well from Spence, and Jones kicked clear a goal laden low centre by Paton. Chelsea threw everything into the attack and Jones did well to cut out Spence after Winter had gone well forward. Everton soon got on top again, Dodds having a shot breasted down by Harris before Robertson saved from Stevenson, and then the goalkeeper saved an Eglington header pass the far post. Chelsea came through to their best game as Everton had one of those spells in which they could not get the ball away. Spence came into a picture as a menace, and Jones was only too pleased to head away one of Spence’s centres, for a corner with Lawton rampant. More Chelsea corners followed, but each time the Blues covered cleverly. For fully five minutes Everton hardly moved out of their penalty area, and yet the goal covering was perfect. At last Mcllhahton – having his greatest game for Everton – ran away to gain a corner which Harris was a little fortunate to clear. Spence was put clean through by Lawton, but shot outside with only Sagar to beat. Wainwright thrilled the crowd when he contributed a grand solo run for 25 yards, ending with a shot which Robertson saved at full length. No doubt Robertson, despite his one lapse, had saved Chelsea from a heavy score. Perfect approach by the whole Everton right wing saw first Harris kick from the feet of Dodds and Winter put the block on Stevenson when a goal seemed a certainty. With ten minutes to go Chelsea equalised – the reward of persistent pressure –Paton pushing the ball back for half-back McAuley to shoot through a crowd of players to the far corner. Final; Chelsea 1, Everton 1.
• George Saunders Everton’s young right back, who has been injured, had a run out with the third team today.
• An Everton director attended the Third Lanark v. Motherwell match at Glasgow. Chief interest, apparently was in inside forwards, and the splendid display of Mason (Third Lanark) did not go unnoticed (writes our Scottish correspondent).
EVERTON DRAW IN TOWN
December 7, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
A Storming Finish
Late Equaliser by Chelsea
Dodd’s Long Shot
Chelsea 1, Everton 1
A late goal denied Everton the victory they would most assuredly have had if they had shot a trifle better in the first half. Wainwright was brilliant, and the side showed signs of being due for a quick uplift in the table. Chelsea;- Robertson, goal; Winter and W. Steffen, backs; Machin, Harris, and Maculey, half-backs; Spence, Walker, Lawton, Goulden, and Paton, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Greenhalgh (captain), and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. F. Milner (Wolverhampton).George Jackson being a lumbago victim, Everton switched Greenhalgh to the right with Watson as partner for the Chelsea game. Two notable home debutants in the Chelsea side were Paton at outside left –he was signed from Millwall only yesterday – and Swiss fighter-pilot Willy Steffen, who has come to this country to add to his knowledge of foreign languages and soccer football. The only pre-match gossip concerned Jock McNabb, raw-boned half-back in Liverpool’s championship years. I understand that he is to go to Switzerland for health reasons.
Everton in the Sun
The Sun shone on a pitch which morning rain and turned into prospective heavy going. Everton, in white faced the sun. a long pass back to Jones to Sagar and a hit or miss Eglington shot high over the top were early points, and the best thing from Everton’s point of view was Mcllhatton’s inside run, which all but provided Wainwright with the shooting chance he wanted. Lawton, with a header which flashed very wide of the far post showed his old club that he was very much alive. There followed one of those pieces of misfortune for which Everton are ill-famed. Dodds, going up with Robertson did not connect, but the goalkeeper’s punch away came out to Wainwright whose sharp shot struck the foot of the post and came back into play.
Chronic Bad Luck
Another chronic piece of luck followed the half the length of the field run by Mcllhatton, who still had sufficient stamina to produce a shot. Robertson got down to it, but it squeezed under the body and passed not over the goal line, but for a corner. Eglington from a square pass by Mcllhatton also produced a good shot, which Robertson did not tackle any too confidently. Chelsea came into the game again with a Lawton pass to Paton, Sagar getting out quickly to win a clinch for the ball. A close call for the Everton defence arose when Sagar missed the centre for which he came out, and the ball bung in a goalmouth. For five minutes Chelsea took all the honours and Jones and Greenhalgh and company could pride themselves on having weathered the storm. It wasn’t long before Everton were still suffering all the good work of Stevenson and Mcllhatton going to waste when Eglington shot hard and well, and Robertson put the ball round the post in another grand save. Eventually the tide turned, as it had to, of course. A long and speculative Dodds’ shot caught Robertson napping and slid off his legs or through them over the line. Time 23 minutes. Range 35 yards.
Paton’s Bad Miss
Paton might well have equalised but was wild with a good chance. On the other hand, Eglington should have scored when , with Robertson out of goal, he hit the ball towards goal, but found Winter there to kick away. Dodds, with jugglery and cajolery on the right wing, had Steffen and others guessing and all told, the Everton right wing was having a field day. Dodds, thinking that Robertson might do it twice, tried another shot from ay out near the centre circle but it was too much to hope that a second gift would be made. Goulden at this stage when clean through, struck the post, with what seemed to me a certain scoring shot. Wainwright moved extraordinarily well on the sticky turf. In a fine run along the right wing, he opened up an avenue for Mcllhatton, whose shot was picked up a defender when Robertson was scrambling to shape for it.
Chelsea Keeper in Form
A Sagar save at the foot of the post when Lawton was set for a close-range big shot was good positioning. Robertson went full length rather late, and was overjoyed to see a left-foot Mcllhatton shot swing outside. Robertson, hereabouts, got the ball around the post in a grand save from Wainwright, literally hoisting himself from the mud to get up to do it.
Dodds Missed a Penalty
Five minutes before the interval Harris fouled Dodds in the penalty area, and the penalty decision was given instantly. Dodds took the kick himself, and, coming up to the ball, made one of those Alex James passes over the ball before tapping in a tame shot low down. Robertson went down to it, cleared it at the second attempt, and said, “Thanks you very much.” Steffen the Swiss, was a long way from being “Steffen the Great” on this display. Everton, with more power and a little luck in their shooting, would have been five up, not one.
Half-time; Chelsea 0, Everton 1.
Dodds, at outside left, having beaten the only opposition in sight Harris, should have done better than attempt to beat him a second time, thus throwing away a centring chance of greatest value.
Two Chances Lost
Little Alex Stevenson, who came into the game with a combined move with his partner, was a scorer but for the deflection which saved Robertson the trouble of lifting the ball from the back of the net. He shot hurriedly a moment later when by going on and in he could have made it a virtual certainty. Mcllhatton and Eglington were both playing splendid and Farrell had his moments of greatness. He showed himself to be a great stayer. Walker, with a nice header, well angled, was nearest of the Chelsea side to getting the equaliser. Chelsea were still battering away with enthusiasm and ability with the Everton defence at full strength.
Chelsea Hitting Back
Jones headed away Spence’s shot at the far post to prevent a Chelsea head getting there first, and if Spence had been anything of a shooter the game would have been square. Chelsea were swarming for minutes on end, and Everton lacked the wise defensive head to make the studied clearance rather than the panicky big kick which ended in fresh work for Sagar, and his backs. Sagar was exceptionally safe in his handling of the ball and besides making a good catch high up did other fine general services. Everton were inclined to all go back into defence, with the result that when the ball came away from their goal there was usually only one – Dodds – to work on his own. Robertson now cane out to make a brave save when Stevenson was all but through and tried to tap the ball past the goalkeeper as he came out. Spence a man who had chances to win the match could take none of them. And so the heavy plodding task of the Everton defence went on incessantly except for the occasional break away respite. For some reason the front line did not function with the same spirit and verve as in the first half. Wainwright, with a feinting run was brilliant. His hot to round it off was strong and true, but Robertson was there. Ten minutes from the end Macaulay came up to score from the rush. Lawton almost gave his side the lead with a shot which sailed over the bar. It was a storming finish with Chelsea all but getting the goal they wanted. Final; Chelsea 1, Everton 1.
• Everton “A” 0, Liverpool “A” 0
NOT TO BE RUSHED
December 7, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton’s lowly position, though naturally causing some anxiety in the Goodison boardroom, is not leading to spending in haste –to be repented at leisure. Everton have probably watched more players with serious intentions, than any other club this season. But it takes two to make a bargain, to say nothing of the player himself, as Fenton showed, and Everton’s disappointments have been many. The search still goes on, with Everton refusing to be stamped. In the absence of a sustained improvement possibly their hands may be forced later, for he threat of Second Division status could not be contemplated lightly. I hope it does not come to that however. The only time they have tasted Second Division fare the Blues got back in double-quick time. Today you have only to look at the Second Division table to see the keenness of the competition, and the odds against promotion aspirants. With the season almost at the half-way stage there were only four points difference this morning between the first eleven clubs. “It won’t be long before we’re back,” said Tottenham supporters when the Spurs went down. But they couldn’t do it in four pre-war seasons, and may not this time. Similarly with Burnley, who are now making their tenth attempt. The way down is easy. The way back is hard.
Tommy Jones says –
Today I want to stress the urgent need, if you wish to get to the top of the tree of constant practice. This is absolutely vital. I’ve heard many lads say; Why should I brother about practising when I can already outrun and outshoot any fellow I meet. “That may be true in relation to the opponents he meets in his little circumscribed world. It is when he gets into more extended competition that he finds he is not as good as he thought he was. How often do you see boys practise heading, kicking dribbling, e&c? Not very often. Instead you see them pick a couple of sides and try to kick and run all over the Universe. If there are not sufficient for this they put one poor chap in goal, and proceed to try and knock his head off. Nearly all this is wasted, when, with a little thought and patience, the time could be turned to good account. For instance, when shooting-in, instead of stopping and teeing-up the ball as it usually done make a couple of lines (the eighteen yard line can be one) parallel to the goal, about three to four yards apart. Then get someone to throw or kick the ball near the first line, the object being for you to get the ball quickly under control and shoot before you cross the second line. When you can do this with one foot, switch over to the other. When I was a boy I was strictly a one footed player. One day an old player told me to get a small rubber ball, run a piece of string through it so that it could be held in my hand, and practise kicking with it every day for five or ten minutes with my “swinger.” After a few weeks I noticed a definite improvement. Remember, before you practise, give what your are doing a little thought.
EVERTON MAIN LACK WAS CONFIDENCE
December 9, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Chelsea 1 (Macauley), Everton 1 (Dodds).
Everton’s main lack, it would seem is confidence –something not purchasable in the football market, but an almost tangible commodity in the art of getting goals. At Chelsea there was no lack of chances. It was the conversion of them which created the difficulty. And all because so many clear openings may have seemed “too good to be true” to a side which scored so rarely in its unhappiest spell. I am not suggesting the shooting was poor, or even indifferent. It was good, but not quite good though to beat a goalkeeper who apart from one serious blunder played magnificently. Thus both wingers and Wainwright had sufficient chances in the first half had to have made a Chelsea recovery, almost “impossible Mcllhatton hit a shot which passed under Robertson’s body and on the wrong side of the post. Wainwright hit the foot of the post. Eglington and Wainwright had shots saved when by all normal reckoning the goalkeeper should have had one task –the back-blending one. And Dodd’s miss from the penalty spot when he had scored from 35 yards range with an apology of a shot and it will be seen that the interval for Everton should have been the half-way stage in a solid away victory. Instead there was but the single goal separating the pair of them –and was not enough. At this point the story takes a distinct turn in Chelsea channels. If Everton have had to deflect for longer spells, than they did at Stamford Bridge it must be long ago in their history. It was an almost tidal wave of Chelsea endeavours breaking always until ten minutes from the ends on stern defence aided by inside forwards, Macauley with Everton looking capable of holding on, came up to take a simple goal, and this was no more than Chelsea deserved. That Everton will rise is more than likely Mcllhatton came to his real game with a brilliant first half, and Wainwright’s speed with the ball at his feet, was outstanding among players, many of whom are acknowledge notabilities. This former Southport boy is big, strong, and capable of walking through a defence as though it did not exist. With Dodds at his best when veering to many odd positions the Everton attack was a revelation. Only when Chelsea got a grip on the game and Everton’s rather hurried clearances were consistently picked up and returned with interest was the away side really on the collar. They seemed to lack the confidence to move the ball surely (if necessary by the short pass) to rid themselves of danger and build-up a lasting movement to take the ball to the other end. In their most testing time Jones and Sagar were great and scarcely made a mistake. It may not have been Lawton’s day but Jones kept him reasonably quiet and most of the Chelsea trouble cane from newly-acquired Paton. On a sticky wicket which churned up, Everton’s battle to create their first away victory since the first week of the season was a grand if unsuccessful effort. Given confidence and the odd strengthening links they should be nearer top than bottom in May. Chelsea;- Robertson, goal; Winter and W. Steffen, backs; Machin, Harris, and Maculey, half-backs; Spence, Walker, Lawton, Goulden, and Paton, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Greenhalgh (captain), and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. F. Milner (Wolverhampton).
• Liverpool lost 5-1 to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Westcott (4), Mullen
EVERTON RESERVES 0, BURNLEY RESERVES 2
January 9, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Burnley fully merited the victory because they proved the better opportunities in front of goal. Everton, who had the monopoly of the play, failed at close quarters through erratic shooting. Harrison and Hodge scored for Burnley
IT WILL BE ‘OUR TOUR’ CHRISTMAS FOR EVERTON TEAM
December 9, 1946. The Evening Express
Three Matches; Five Journeys
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton have made arrangements to go “on tour” for what will be one of the heaviest Christmas holiday programmes, embracing one home and two away matches in the space of four days. Already the club has everything planned to make the Christmas as merry as possible in these battle for safely days. The only worry is that with some players on essential work and others in the Services it is impossible to take the whole team away for a short period of pre-holiday special training. Without all the players together it would serve no useful purpose so it will be training at home, just as with most clubs who have players scattered in various parts and with varying jobs to do apart from football. Everton are due to play Derby County at Goodison Park on Christmas Day –it will as usual be an afternoon kick-off at Goodison –and after the match the players go to the Adelphi for their Christmas dinner. On leaving the ground they will not see it again until the following Sunday afternoon. After dinner the party travels to Manchester to spend the night and on Boxing morning they set off for Derby, there to meet the County at the Baseball Ground in the return game the same day. Following the after match meal in Derby the Blues set out by rail for Nottingham there to spend the night. Early next morning Everton will entrain for London for a night’s rest in preparation for the match with Brentford at griffin Park on the Saturday. The players will then have a free night in London and return to Merseyside on Sunday morning. Even now Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly has every meal and starting time planned, and all hotels booked. Only by that way can directors be certain that in difficult times the players’ lot is made as easy as possible. Five rail journeys; three different hotels and three matches. Yes, a pretty strenuous Yule for the Blues.
December 9, 1946. The Evening Express
Everton are slowly but surely moving away from the danger zone. The win over Middlesbrough and the highly commendable draw at Chelsea how clearly the way to safely. I say right now that if Everton maintain this form they will be in the top half of the table before they have cup worries on their mind. Do not forget that the draw at Stamford Bridge should have been a win, but there...clubs cannot expect to miss penalties and still win. The failure to score from the penalty upset shooter Jock Dodds more than anyone. Jock said afterwards that he changed his mind in the taking. He first decided to “bang it,” but, for no known reason, changed to “placing” in the act of taking it and so Robertson saved. Pity, for Dodd’s 25 yarder had squeezed through Robertson’s hands and legs to place the Blues “on velvet.” A lucky goal maybe, but so richly deserved. Not soon will London forget that first half display of Everton with its clear-cut precision and artistry on a difficult if even ground. Had Everton been three up at half-time it would have represented the true run of the game, and yet in the end a draw was the correct result, for Chelsea played storming football in the second half, when Everton felt the strain of their own-set pace and quick defensive covering. International Tommy Jones is convinced that rationing has something to do with the present-day footballers’ failure to last the pace. Other players agree while Johnny Mcllhatton is of the opinion that part time training has a lot to do with it. Maybe Johnny is right for his work only permits training two evenings a week. Tantalising thought that in their last two away games Everton have been unable to hold a 1-0 interval lead. Strain, and not lack of ability, has been the cause.
Welsh Tommy Jones knew too much of English Tommy Lawton’s trick and moves, and held him in complete check, but certainly Lawton was an ever-present danger and Jones did not dare risk a quick-run up for a corner. No, he stayed with his namesake. Chelsea missed some easy chances in the second half, a fact which was offset by the magnificent goalkeeping of Robertson, who saved many a certainty, after his one mistake. But for Robertson the Blues would have “walked it.” The fact, the wing half-backs Machin and Macauley came into the game in the second half forced Everton to become a defensive rather than an attacking side, and it was Macauley who saved the point. Dodds outshone Lawton’s creative arts, and it took Chelsea nearly half the game to “tumble” to Jock’s cute back-heels which so often sent Mcllahtton through from cute positions gained in the manner of Gillick. I only wish “Mac” had not been quite so unselfish otherwise he would have opened his scoring account with the club. This was easily the best display I have seen from Mcllhatton, who had a brilliant partner in Wainwright. Wainwright was always chief danger to Chelsea, and if ever a boy deserved a goal it was this young man who captured the heart of London. Eglington too, did well, but Stevenson, as he said later, found the going pretty tough and could not get “into” the game. Farrell again proved what a great capture he is, while Bentham’s contribution was typically Bentham – keen and purposeful. Defensively Everton could not be faulted for Sagar played as grandly as the pre-war days, and proved there is no better goalkeeper playing today. Ted is back with keeping which gives the entire defence confidence licence the happy smile on the face of Jones and the sound understanding of Greenhalgh –he did finely on the wrong flank” and Watson. Mastery of positional sense enabled Everton so long to withstand the Chelsea barrage, and we give a deserving pat on the back to all who made this such a pleasant trip for Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins, directors Messrs Ernest Green, Dick Searle and Jack Sharp, secretary-manager Theo Kelly and son Roy and ever-present loyalist Mr. Harold Williams. One fly in the ointment. Yes the Stafford train smash made the homeward trip one of six hours, but, as Everton said, “We’ve got what we went for...a point. Yes, this grand form will gain more.
ROBERTSON FOILS EVERTON
December 9, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
It was a far from sombre Everton party which faced the Chelsea nature, and the first away point since the one at Anfield did nothing to impair the partly, even if the Stafford rail smash made it an early Sunday morning home-coming (writes Contact). As one who seen all Liverpool’s matches the opportunity to watch the talked-of Everton eleven came unexpectedly. It is impossible for me to make comparison with their previous displays, but on the first half alone they must be credited as a better proposition than the record indicates. Good chances were made and accepted. Unfortunately, apart from his serious mistake with Dodds, half hit hot from 35 yards, Robertson had a magnificent day and instead of leading comfortably, Everton had only the smallest margin as a start to the second half. There followed the longest spell of defence in which the side contributed to its difficulties by not showing the confidence to move the ball out of danger by short, sure passes. In the heat of the battle this may have seemed a slow ineffective method, but come invariably led to further trouble. It would have been better policy. Perhaps it is all due to the salient fact that Everton are inclined to lack belief in themselves. Wainwright’s has quick movement with the ball on heavy ground showed him to be the equal of the best in the land. I am told that Mcllhatton and Eglington far and away better than in any game this season, and I can well believe it. Thus the front line, in the first half, at least, was almost faultless. A pity Dodds made such a hash of the penalty shot, which would have made the score two-nil. Sagar, fast returning to his pre-war best, and Jones took defensive honours, but all showed a commendable spirit and stubbornness, and it looked as though they were likely to succeed against an avalanche of work when Chelsea got the goal they deserved ten minutes from the end. As for Chelsea Lawton played well, but was too well staved for to do damage. The side has big names, but vested in glamour one does not hesitate to mark then down as ordinary on the field of play.
IRISH CLUB AND STEVENSON
December 9, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Would Like Him As Player-Manager
An approach is to be made to Everton by an Irish league club, to ascertain their reaction to a request that they should be allowed to contact Alec Stevenson, Everton’s Irish international inside forward with a view to his becoming their player-manager. The club concerned has had this idea in mind for some time, and were strengthened in the desire after their board has seen Stevenson’s brilliant display for Ireland against Scotland ten days ago. As for Stevenson himself, although he has always been happy at Goodison Park, he would be willing to take the job if – and it is a big “if” – Everton were willing to release him. At 34 years of age, he realises that his days in senior football in this country are limited, whereas in the less exacting atmosphere of the Irish League he would have a few more years as player, with a managerial chair later. One problem is that he has a flourishing business in the Bank Hall area, which claims all his spare time, but that could be overcome. It is thirteen years next month since Stevenson joined Everton from Glasgow Rangers, and he has been one of the finest inside forwards ever to wear their colours. His impishness and clever powers of dribbling have made him a firm favourite everywhere. He has been capped for Ireland fifteen times.
BLADES AT GOODISON
December 13, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s recent performances have given reasonable grounds for a certain amount of omission that they may soon start to lift themselves from their rather perilous position, and a victory against Sheffield United, visitors to Goodison Park would further strengthen that belief. While Sheffield United these days are not the all-conquering side they were a generation ago, when Billy Gillespie, Fred Tunstall. Harry Johnson and other famous Bramell Lane stars were to their prime, they are still a forceful and hard-to-beat side. Apart from Hagan and a couple of others, the Sheffield side, to-day, has no regular survivors of the post-war era. Centre-forward has been their main problem in attack, for Collindridge has not maintained his earlier promise. They have rung the changes without finding the complete solution. United will be without Shimwell, their star back, who is injured, and Latham’s also doubtful. Though United have been more prolific than Everton in the scoring line this season, they are still not exactly outstanding in this respect and the game may turn on the margin of a single goal. Everton have shown willingness enough to shoot of late even though direction may have been lacking. If they are more on the mark, with Dodds properly supplied their chances will be further enchanted. The side is the same as that which so overplayed Chelsea in the first half last week. But this time scoring openings must not be frittered away if both points are to be won. Everton; Sagar; Greenhalgh, Watson; Bentham, Jones (TG), Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, Eglington.
Sheffield United; Smith; Furness, Cox; Jackson, Latham (or Thompson), Forbes; Rickett, Brook, Nightingale, Hagan, Collindridge.
BLADES ARE KEEN AND THRUSTFUL
December 13, 1946. The Evening Express
Everton’s Task at Goodison
By Pilot (Don Kendall).
Rivalry of season 1945-46 will be renewed at Goodison Park tomorrow, when Everton once again face the might of the First Division’s fastest team, Sheffield United. Last season the United outstayed Everton to win the North championship. This game is vital to Everton, who are fighting to get away from the danger zone before the cup-ties, but just as important to title interests is Liverpool’s visit to Roker Park to meet Sunderland. The Goodison game will be unique in that it will be the first time the local fans have had a chance of seeing Norman Greenhalgh as a right back. On last week’s showing I think they will be pleased. Greenhalgh and Watson have settled down to a splendid understanding operating, behind Tommy Jones, and with Ted Sagar giving the entire defence such confidence. Believe me it is essential that there should be perfect defence to counter the swift-moving deadly raids of a Hagan-inspired United attack. I was immensely pleased with Everton’s work at Stoke and Chelsea, and am quite confident that the dismal days are behind. The Blades defence will need to be good to counter the quick inter-changing of positions of the Everton forwards, who I think will gain even better results t they will all be just a little less unselfish. Only once this season, have Everton gone three matches without defeat, but with an unchanged side, and the wingers improving with every game, I think they can do it again by winning a game which should attack at least 50,000 people. One point of import. After this game Everton have three away games out of the next four so they must win tomorrow. Everton; Sagar; Greenhalgh, Watson; Bentham, Tommy Jones, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, Eglington.
BLUE LIGHTS & BAD LIGHTS
December 14, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Dodds Well Marked
But Gives Quick Leader
Everton 2, Sheffield United 3
Sheffield’s second half rally made Everton’s fight to climb the League much more difficult. The home side had taken the honours of the first half, but they did not take the most import factor, goals whereas the United, in the second half, found their shooting boats. Everton; Sagar, goal; Greenhalgh (captain) and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones (TG), and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, and Eglington, forwards. Sheffield United;- Smith, goal; Furniss, and Cox, backs; Jackson, Thompson, and Forbes, half-backs; Rickett, Brook, Nightingale, Hagan and Collindridge, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.C. Greenwood. (London). The weather was responsible for the reduced attendance at Goodison Park for Everton’s game with Sheffield United, I should say there were 25,000 people present when the game commenced. Sheffield opened out in good style and they were exceptionally lively, but Everton’s defence weathered the attack and then took a turn to show their paces. United came again and this time Brook almost headed a goal. So far the game had been a series of switched attacks. When the ball went down the middle towards the Sheffield goal, one could not anticipate a score, for both Furness and Smith appeared to have matters well in hand. Dodds struck grimly to his task, and was able finally to squeeze the ball between Smith’s legs and into the empty net. Everton had drawn first blood, and it showed the value of Dodds following-up policy. Time 5 minutes. Dodds could well have been excused had he decided to let matters go, for there seemed very little prospect that he could beat the two men.
The Everton people suffered a big scare when Jones allowed a ball to go by him and on to Sagar. There was a Sheffield man waiting for that chance and the Everton goal had a rather lucky escape. At 10 minutes Watson was injured and had to be carried off with an injured right leg. For a time the game was exceptionally quiet, most of the play being confined to midfield but Everton with their ten men, were enjoying a fair share of the play. Hagan was a will-f-the-wisp for the United, for he could be seen at every point her-danger threatened or in a position to developed an attack immediately. Nearest approach to a second goal was made by Tommy Jones, who from 40 yards range, put in a high powered drive which the goalkeeper was fortunate to sight, let alone save. Watson returned and went on the left wing. Everton should have gone further ahead when Stevenson sailed forward until it became a duel between himself and goalkeeper Smith. I thought he should have gone on with the ball. He might have tried a lob, off which he is so fond, but he preferred the “beef trust” method, and the ball sailed wide.
Tommy Jones Touch.
Tommy Jones artistry brought forth a reception; with the neatest of touches he got out of difficulties in a manner which stamped him as a master-mind. Collindridge, who had taken over the centre-forward position problem tried to find a hole in the Everton defence. It was a fine effort, and brought out a useful save by Sagar. Dodds was “spreading” the ball judiciously; one pass to Mcllhatton might have set the Scot aflame had he not just at the moment suffered an injury. He had to leave the field with what looked to me to be a groin injury. Farrell, who had gone to left full back, was very sound in his tackling and so for that matter were all the Everton defenders. Mcllhatton returned after a few minutes with his left thigh strapped up. Everton were worth their lead, and when Stevenson tried to hook a ball away it slashed into the crowd, and there was a laugh all round the ground.
Made Crowd Gasp
Sagar in touching away a fast cross drive from Rickett did not get fully behind the ball, and there was a gasp when the ball spun away just missing the far post.
Half-time; Everton 1, Sheffield United nil.
There was an escape for Everton in the first minute of the second half. Collindridge had worked his way close and Sagar had to do a diving act to prevent the United winger scoring. The equaliser was not long delayed. Following a corner there was a lengthy tussle in front of the Everton goalmouth and Collindrige was able to make amends by popping the ball into the net at 50 minutes. There was been no interval, owing to the fear of falling light. Everton, when they got a free kick, remembered Tommy Jones’s great effort in the first half. He was called on again to take one from 25 yards’ range, and although the United ranged themselves in front of goal; Jones’s shot struck one of the wall. Smith got his hands to the ball, but he could not keep it out of the net. So Everton were ahead again at 53 minutes. The thrills continued, and Sagar ran outside his penalty area to kick clear but he only screwed the ball over to Rickett who promptly sent it back into the goalmouth. But United were not on their best shooting form, or a goal mist have been the result.
Only Inches Off
It was difficult to follow the game when play was in the goal areas, but I saw Nightingale make a shot which was only inches off the mark. When Wainwright was brought down, Jones obliged with another free kick, but on this occasion his shot went over. The United were now showing up in a better light, and Jackson made a fine opening for Brook, who was able to shoot past Sagar. Thus matters were all square once more at 67 minutes. Eglington was offered a grand opening only to shoot wide, and Nightingale in an hurry stepped over the ball with a goal on the horizon. It was a rare tussle at this stage to get that winging goal. Furniss was up among his forwards, and he reproduced a corner, from which Collingridge scored at 85 minutes. The next minute saw Dodds head into the hands of Smith. Final; Everton 2, Sheffield United 3.
PRESTON RESERVES V EVERTON RESERVES
December 14, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Preston were a goal ahead in the first 30 seconds. Scarcely an Everton player had touched the ball when Dainty, the North End leader, accepted a beautiful pass from Anderson to put the ball past Burnett as and where he liked. The ball would not move on the ground, which was sudden, and the players could not keep their feet. Burnett was conspicuous with a number of grand saves.
Half-time; Preston N.E. Res 1, Everton Reserves nil. Fielding equalised after 60 minutes. Preston Res 1, Everton Res 1.
EVERTON BEATEN AFTER LEADING TWICE
December 14, 1946. The Evening Express
United’s Hectic Finish Brings Reward
It was a gruelling ding-dong battle between Everton and Sheffield United. Despite being disorganised by a leg injury to Gordon Watson which caused him to play throughout the second half at outside left. Everton fought with abundant spirit and twice held the lead only to be pegged back by a lively Sheffield forward line. Everton defended brilliantly under handicap with Tom Jones the shining light while Dodds was an effective spearhead and a continuous source of worry to the United defenders. Everton missed several easy chances in the closing stages. Sheffield were without the services of centre-half Latham, who travelled with the team but was declared unfit owing to a pulled muscle. Thompson deputised United were also without Shimwell, Furniss coming in at right full back. Everton were unchanged from the team which forced a draw at Chelsea last week and Greenhalgh therefore made his first appearance at right back before the Goodison spectators. The in element weather restricted the attendance to around the 30,000 mark. Everton; Sagar, goal; Greenhalgh (captain) and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones (TG), and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, and Eglington, forwards. Sheffield United;- Smith, goal; Furniss, and Cox, backs; Jackson, Thompson, and Forbes, half-backs; Rickett, Brook, Nightingale, Hagan and Collindridge, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.C. Greenwood. (London). Sheffield’s first raid features a neat back-heel by Brook which sent Rickett away, but the ball trickled harmlessly behind without Sagar bring troubled. Then Rickett tricked Watson, and crossed accurately for Brooks, who had moved into the centre to glance a header just wide of the far upright. In five minutes all against the run of play Everton went ahead, and it was the great pertinacity of Jock Dodds which enabled them to do so. Dodds chased a long ball down the field, hustled Thompson when the United centre-half appeared to have the ball well covered, then pushed the ball into the empty net with his right foot as Smith came out to narrow the angle. This was a great effort on Dodd’s part and truly indicative of his great value to Everton.
Wainwright, who had fallen back to left half during Watson’s absence, was twice applauded for brilliant defensive work. Then a slip by Wainwright in the penalty area let in Brooks, but his shot was lofted well over the top. There was danger for United every time Dodds went into action, yet again he moved forward “on the off chance” this time earning a corner which brought no trouble for Smith. Despite their handicap Everton were giving as good as they got and, after Smith had saved from Bentham. Tom Jones caused the crowd to gasp with a glorious free kick from the centre circle which Smith was only able to turn over the top at the last moment. Visibility was now so poor that from the Press box it was difficult to make out the opposite side of the field. Hereabouts Watson returned limping badly and took up the left wing berth, Eglington moving to inside left. Stevenson missed a great chance of increasing Everton’s lead when a Dodd’s pass was placed down the middle by Wainwright. Stevenson had no one to beat but Smith. However, in trying to place the ball, he only succeeded in screwing it wide of the left-hand post. With Hagan the prime schemer United were always dangerous, but Jones, and Wainwright produced some superb defensive work, Jones in particular saving dangerous situation in his characteristically unruffled way. Collindridge cut in and shot on the turn only to find Sagar perfectly positioned to clear without extreme difficulty. It was an eventful struggle and if not one marked by classical football for the conditions were all against intricate footwork, the ball playing tricks on the mud-bound, slippery turf. Everton suffered another blow when Mcllhatton was injured and had to leave the field. As Mcllhatton returned the Everton goal escaped narrowly when Sagar mishandled a fast centre-cum-shot from Brook.
Half-time; Everton 1, Sheffield United 0
Referee Greenwood decided to dispense with an interval in view of the bad visibility and the teams turned straight round. Everton moved straight to the attack and Dodds and Eglington collaborated to offer Stevenson the chance to head just wide of the upright. Away went United and hesitancy by Greenhalgh let in Nightingale but he was unable to produce the effective shot. Stevenson lobbed in a centre which seemed as if it was made for Dodds head, but goalkeeper Smith was able to punch clear. Sheffield drew level after 52 minutes. They forced a corner on the right and Rickett placed a short ball to Hagan. Hagan dribbled forward and, following a scrimmage in front of the Everton goal, Collindridge placed beyond Sagar from close in. United were not on level terms for long, however, for four minutes later Everton regained their advantage.
Everton Restore Lead
From a free kick ten yards outside the Sheffield area Jones hit a glorious shot all along the floor to which Smith drived. He touched the ball but was unable to prevent it passing over the line. This was a fitting reward for Jones who was playing an inspired game. United moved nicely on the left when Collindridge took Forbes’ cute pass in his stride and pushed the ball inside for Nightingale, who tried to smash his way through a glut of Everton defenders without success. Again Nightingale came into the picture with a storming left-foot drive which was narrowly off the target. Time and time again Tom Jones stemmed the sprightly United raiders. Sagar pulled down a deceptive swerving corner from Collindridge. However United once again drew level when brook moved into the centre, held off all challengers and accurately steered the ball into the right hand corner of the net wide of Sagar. This success came in the 68th minute. There was every prospect of another Dodds’ goal when he moved out to the right, beat Thompson, but then elected to try and do the same thing again, instead of crossing the ball with the United defence wide open. With six minutes to go Sheffield went ahead, Collindridge heading past Sagar from a corner taken by Rickett. In the next minute Dodds headed Stevenson’s pass into the arms of Smith. Final; Everton 2, Sheffield United 3.
EVERTON LOST HEROICALLY
December 16, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Forwards Still Need Driving Force
By Ernest Edwards (Bee)
Everton 2 (Dodds, T. Jones), Sheffield United 3 (Collindringe 2, Brooks)
Scientists say that penicillin wilts after constant use –the resistance power of germs makes it innocuous Everton’s penicillin was the signing of Dodds. As games progress resistance to Dodds increases until he loses some of his strength (notably each second half. Dodds got his customary goal, a single-handled and early effort against a goalkeeper advancing and a full-back who had apparently, got the ball away from the threat of Dodds. United took the game to equality through Collinsdridge, only to find Tom Jones score with a free kick after he had been baulked in a shot from a third-the-length-of-the field by Smith’s grand save. Brook, with a perfectly-engineered goal brought the scorers level again, and near the end Furness (a full back remember) advanced forced a corner and Collindridge bundled the victory goal beyond the harassed defence. So Sheffield outplayed during the opening half wore down the home after and 30,000 spectators went home to advance their reasons there on. No one could doubt the joy and abandon with which Sheffield took the spoils in the second half. They played most curiously indifferent football –exquisite towards goals and near goal they aped the Handleyisms. After you Collindridge” No after you Brook.” The Sheffield Nightingale did not sing in Goodison square. Hagan did more with the ball than a Stevenson Dodds or Wainwright tolled into one. He roamed mainly to inside right, and there was delight in his craftsmanship and footwork. He and his kind could not “chance” a goal in the late stages they changed their boots and notions of the necessaties of attack. That was why they came to with.
For the Losers
I do not remember anything to equal Everton’s endeavour when Watson left through injury, returned and was a limp outside left for the rest of the game. The team was changed from stem to near-stern, yet each man strove with a gallantry that made defeat galling and provided them with boggiest. Although excuse for beaten teams is not part of my creed, here was a case for consolation. All did well against adversity; none better than Jones. In the latter’s case, however, one is troubled to find new words to suit his defence, his manipulation of the ball at all heights and ranges, and his general artistry. I name all for honourable mention and conclude with a keen survey of the goals –list and ask; “Dodds has scored in every game but one since he joined. He and Jones get goals. Whence other scorers? It is overdue for other’s to take their share. Also it is difficult to find anyone placed for accepting a Dodd’s pass when he is on the trail. He is alone on an attacking island. The remainder of the line is not lined-up. With which I conclude, having enjoyed a feast of football on a muddy ground. Yes, Everton were heroic. Their need is reasonable fortune and a forward line which shall in every link, become a driving force. Everton; Sagar, goal; Greenhalgh (captain) and Watson, backs; Bentham, Jones (TG), and Farrell, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, and Eglington, forwards. Sheffield United;- Smith, goal; Furniss, and Cox, backs; Jackson, Thompson, and Forbes, half-backs; Rickett, Brook, Nightingale, Hagan and Collindridge, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.C. Greenwood. (London).
• Liverpool beat Sunderland 4-1, Balmer, Liddell, Nieuwenhuys, Stubbins, and Davis for Sunderland.
• Everton “A” 2, Burscough 1
• Preston Reserves 1, Everton Reserves 1
INJURIES BATTER BLUES
December 16, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Radar, commenting on Everton’s third home defeat of the season, writes; “Never can there have been a more appropriate illustration of fate conspiring to deal a knock-out blow at a time when a club is down than in the Everton-Sheffield match. This is how it went. United were all over Everton in the preliminary phases; inspired by Tom Jones, defence holds out; Everton break away and core through Dodds in five minutes – a striking example of the big Scot’s persistence; five minutes later the first blow to Everton, for Greenhalgh falls on Watson in a tackle and Watson is carried off with a brushed heel; Watson returns after 15 minutes but only to hobble at outside-left causing a rearrangement of the Everton team; shortly before halt-time comes the second blow of Mcllhatton pulls a muscle and leaves the field for seven minutes. There you have the kind of trouble which always seen to combine to prevent the awaited Everton revival. Yet over and above it all one must be candid and say that Everton should have won inspite of the misfortunates. The forwards had chances to have made certain of the points had they revealed more steadiness in front of goal, in particular it was a luckless afternoon for Stevenson, for he missed two “sitters” one just before the interval and another just before Collindridge headed the decider six minutes from time. Mcllhatton missed a glorious chance from Dodds back-heel, but in his case there was some measure of excuse. Even Dodds, easily the outstanding Everton forward, failed when he headed a Stevenson lob pass into the hands of Smith. These chances must not be missed and the impression I have gained from recent matches is that Everton have a slavish desire to push the through to Dodds irrespective of whether or not he is in a favourable position to receive the pass. Dodds is working like a Trojan but cannot b expected to score every goal. “Also the wing forwards must take the responsibility of shooting when the slightest opportunity presents itself. “The wonder display of Tom Jones – I think the best of countless brilliant performances I have enjoyed from this master centre half –was the feature of Everton’s display. Jones’s, who got the second goal, was supported splendidly by Wainwright, who made a great success of left half, and wholehearted Bentham. They constituted a relentless trio of tacklers who gave the lively United forwards little space in which to work. Greenhalgh and Farrell covered themselves with mud and glory. Shot often, hard and accurately must be Everton’s motto.” Gordon Watson Everton’s left-half back, who is suffering from a bruised ankle, may be fit to play against Preston North End on Saturday, but Johnny Mcllhatton the Scottish outside-right, who pulled a muscle, may not be fit for the Christmas matches. Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly said today that he will not know anything definite until after the receipt of the medical reports.
EVERTPN PRAY FOR SPOT OF LUCK
December 20, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Everton, away to Preston, hope that for once they may enjoy the lucky breaks. They have had plenty of the other kind, and a glimpse of fortune’s smiles instead of frowns would not come out of turn. The return of Saunders, which allows Greenhalgh to resume his natural position, brings back the former defensive formation, and the return of Wally Boyes will be welcomed by many. Boyes may be getting into the sere and yellow from the age angle, but in his earlier games this season he was still going strong when others were feeling the strain. Few clubs have been so badly hit by injuries and Mcllhatton’s mishap, which takes Stevenson to the outside right position, is only one of an almost heartbreaking sequences. Teams; Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones, Farrell; Stevenson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, Boyes. Preston; Fairbrother; Beattie (A), Scott; Shankley, Williams, Hamilton; Finney, Garth, McIntosh, Beattie (R), Wharton.
December 20, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Features of Everton’s all-important clash with Preston should be the duels between Norman Greenhalgh and the new England star, Tommy Finney, and Tommy Jones and the boy who may lead Scotland at Wembley-McIntosh. Greenhalgh was always capable of holding Stan Matthews and it will be interesting to see if he can subdue Stan’s successor as effectively. McIntosh I shall be seeing for the first time, but I am assured that he is fast, elusive and versatile. Tommy Jones is sound enough to keep this young player in check, with any luck. Luck, yes that reminds me that Everton’s run of ill-luck seems never-ending, but there must be a change one day.” On form one cannot hold out much hope for the Blues for Preston are playing great football these days, but I have a feeling that the reversion to four of last season’s forwards –Fielding goes back to the ground where he made his Everton debut –will bring some reward. The return of opportunist Boyes should add finishing power, while Stevenson’s craft enables him to make up for lack of speed at outside right. Teams; Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Bentham, Jones, Farrell; Stevenson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, Boyes. Preston; Fairbrother; Beattie (A), Scott; Shankley, Williams, Hamilton; Finney, Garth, McIntosh, Beattie (R), Wharton.
Saturday 21 December 1946. The Western Morning News
Trial is being given to Trowsdale, an Army player, who has played for Everton “A” at outside-left for City against Bristol and District League Selected X1
EVERTON ARE UNLUCKY AGAIN
December 21, 1956. The Evening Express
Second Half Revival Brings No Goals
Both Teams Score from First Half Penalty Kicks.
Everton put up a wonderful right at Deepdale against Preston North End after being two goals down in 35 minutes, a penalty goal just before the interval seeming to give them heart and ability. From being a poor and uncertain team they became a first-class football combination, with Wainwright individual raiding the feature. Wainwright was unfortunate in not scoring among the goals. I could not recognised the Everton in the first half with the combination which kept the Preston penned in for long periods after the interval. Alex Stevenson, Everton’s Irish international, was suffering from a sight cold, but half an hour before the match he reported fit. Preston North End won 16 out of the 22 games played. The ground had been sanded liberty and was better than it appeared from the stand. Boyes returned to the Everton team for the first time since Sept 7. There were plenty of Everton supporters present among the 24,000. Preston N.E.; Fairbrother, goal; Beattie (A), and Scott, backs; Williams, Hamilton and Hamilton, half-backs; Finney, Garth, McIntosh (captain), Beattie (R), and Wharton, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones and Farrell, back-backs; Stevenson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Williams (Bolton). Fielding and Wainwright came into the picture, Fielding no doubt anxious got to work on the ground on which he made his Football League debut last season. Everton fell to the Williams’ barrier and Jones held up McIntosh’s initial run. Boyes and Wainwright went through by clever passing, and just as Boyes was dashing in for a shot, Williams handled five yards outside the penalty area, but Jones placed his free kick over the top. Away came North End, propelled by the ever assertive Shankley, and Wharton tried a header which slipped pass the far post.
Goal in 13 Minutes
The Everton half-backs took time to get into their game, leaving Preston to force the pace, and an exceptionally good and attractive pace. Finney weaved his way past three opponents but was unable to overtake Greenhalgh, and then Sagar saved high from Hamilton, who finished thorough with a 20-yarder. Preston took the lead in 13 minutes with a splendid goal made by Shankley, but taken by Bobby Beattie. Shankley made it easy for N.E with a glorious first time pass taken on the volley from the half-way line in the way of Matt Busby, which shot straight along the floor to the outside position, where McIntosh came wide to take it. McIntosh ran to the line and centred accurately for the in-running Beattie to head into the corner of the net. Preston should have been two up when McIntosh had all the goal to aim at after Jones had his legs rapped, but Sagar was right in position to save. Jones carried on after attention and when Fielding pick up a back header from Dodds and rattle the Preston crossbar with a lofty shot from just outside the penalty area, which had Fairbrother beaten all the way. The players found it extremely difficulty to keep their feet on the greasy ground; in fact turning with the ball was almost impossibility. Greenhalgh was keeping a tight watch on Finney and the fact that Tommy Jones three times held up McIntosh seemed to gave Everton good heart. They stepped into the game with some attractive play, with Fielding the mainspring. Wainwright was pulled up for off-side when he looked a certain scorer and then Fielding and Boyes went through with grand inter-passing, Fielding’s final shot seeming to strike a post and flash outside.
In 32 minutes Preston were two up, Wharton was fouled practically under the post as he dashed through a low centre from Finney, and from the penalty Finney placed the ball slowly a foot wide of Sagar to increase the lead. This was one penalty which should have been saved. Everton had not been two goals the worse side, but in the first half hour had delivered precious few shots and their defence was too easily beaten for speed by the North End attack. Dodds tried to bore through, though Williams disposed of him rather easily, in fact Dodds was finding it extremely difficult to manipulate the ball in these conditions. Wainwright tried to revive Everton’s chances with a speculative shot which, however, was yard too high. Everton were being beaten at all parts of the game now except so far as the inside left was concerned, and here Fielding was playing brilliantly and at left back, where Greenhalgh was complete master of the Finney-Garth. Greenhalgh saved a certain goal by a brilliant tackle of McIntosh after Jones had mis-kicked. Everton reduced the lead one minute from the interval with a penalty taken by Tommy Jones. Boyes and Fielding got Preston going the wrong way and when the it was lobbed into the centre Dodds back-headed it for Wainwright to dash in and he was about to put the ball into the net when Scott came from behind and bundled him over. Jones scored convincingly from the spot to bring Everton back into the game which they had appeared to have lost already.
Half-time; Preston North End 2, Everton 1
Everton came right back into the game again on resuming, Boyes centring across the face of the Preston goal before Wainwright crashed back like the form which took him to stardom last season. Wainwright weaved his way past three opponents and Williams was thankful to concede a corner. Everton were now going to the ball instead of waiting for it to come to them and so they were always getting first at it. Farrell and Bentham made sure that the forwards had plenty of material on which to work and for fully 10 minutes Everton penned North End into their own penalty area. Jones came up for a corner kick and made strong appeals for a penalty for being pushed but the referee remained adamant and then Jones was just headed off in the nick of time by Andy Beattie and Fairbrother as he was going through.
Everton were exploiting Wainwright as the spearhead in the manner I like to see, and after Greenhalgh had made a glorious last minute tackle off McIntosh, and Sagar had saved a header from McIntosh, Stevenson slipped the ball forward for Wainwright to dash through on his own and flash a left foot shot inches over the top. One could hardly recognise this revived Everton as the team which were so easily beaten in the first half. Everton still continued to do most of the attacking but the Preston defence was excellent and North End were always dangerous when they raced away to long clearance kicks. Boyes cut in with a shot which Fairbrother saved low down and twice Fairbrother had to run out to intercept as Everton were sneaking through for the equaliser they deserved on the second half showing. It was unfortunate for them that the ball ran so unkindly in the penalty area. Jones, Saunders, and Greenhalgh were playing magnificently in killing attempted. Preston raids before they reached the penalty area, and then Farrell came across with a mighty tackle to hold up Finney as the international was running through. Wainwright dashed in to meet a centre from Stevenson, but the ball flashed the wrong side of the post as he was unceremoniously bundled along the floor. Everton had a corner in the last second to bring hope, but the ball went behind and Everton went out fighting. Final; Preston 2, Everton 1.
Everton Res v. Bolton Res
The teams turned straight round and Everton, after several fast raids again took the lead with a swift shot by Higgins. Barrass equalised for Bolton. Final; Everton Res 2, Bolton Res 2.
PILOT LOOKS BACK AT 1946
December 21, 1946. The Evening Express
Everton opened the season in none too happy a style following mercer’s pre-season transfer request and the fact that one of the two new Irish international stars, Peter Farrell, arrived with a cracked bone in the ankle received when training. From the outset Everton were among the strugglers, but when centre-forward Catterick broke his arm at Blackburn it was almost a fatal blow. For week’s Everton scoured the county for a ready-, made centre-forward and eventually did a brilliant stroke of business by signing Jock Dodds from Shamrock Rovers and Blackpool for £7,750. Dodds gave Everton new hope, and with one of the finest young inside-rights Wainwright, recovered from long injury received in an Army game, the clouds began to disperse. Our leading clubs have helped materially in internationals, for Liverpool have provided Wales with Sidlow and Lambert, and Scotland with Liddell, while Everton have had Fielding playing for England, Jones for Wales, and Stevenson, Farrell and Eglington playing for Ireland.
NO POINTS FOR EVERTON
December 21, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Preston Too Lively
Honours to Blue Defence
Preston 2, Everton 1
Heavy clouds are hanging over Everton. Their loss to Preston makes their burden heavier than ever. Preston were the more lively side but I do not forget that Fielding twice hit the woodwork, so that a matter of inches only, stood between them and victory. The honours went to the Everton defence. Preston N.E.; Fairbrother, goal; Beattie (A), and Scott, backs; Williams, Hamilton and Hamilton, half-backs; Finney, Garth, McIntosh (captain), Beattie (R), and Wharton, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones and Farrell, back-backs; Stevenson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Williams (Bolton). Everton were at Deepdale today in search of important points, and with the object of bringing more drive into the forward line they made changes in their attack. There was a last-minute doubt as to whether Stevenson would be fit owing to a heavy cold, but he decided to play. The ground was hard and had been well sanded. The treacherous conditions would deprive the game of some of its finer point. Intricate football was out of the question.
Watch on Dodds
The first real note was a header by Wharton. He got his chance through a mis-header by Jones. While there was a distinct danger, Sagar seemed to have the position well covered, only to find the ball swinging outside. Everton were doing their best to put Dodds in possession, but Williams kept a sharp look out on Everton’s burly leader. So that Fairbrother played the first ten minutes without having a call made upon him. Finney tripped both Greenhalgh and Farrell to open the way for his inside man, but they did not take up the challenge. It was not long before the first goal of the day arrived –at the end of the 13th minute. The making of it was entirely due to McIntosh, who veered over to the right wing and centred with such accuracy that R. Beattie, who was coming up hotfoot, was able to make a perfect header in which Sagar had to answer. North End would have had a second goal had McIntosh not delayed his effort. He was right through, but that little hesitancy on the part enabled Sagar to position himself for the save. There had been little danger to the Preston defence from the Everton forwards to this point.
However, Preston had their lucky moments when Fielding took a pass from Dodds and shot from long range. Fairbrother was beaten and was fortunate to see the ball strike the crossbar and travel over. An awkward position, developed when Sagar and Jones left things to each other. It looked particularly dangerous, but Jones ultimately cleared. Fielding tried another long shot which was, I think, the correct thing to do on such a day. He went very close with his effort. Then there came a penalty goal for Preston. Preston went down their right wing, through Finney, who centred across the face of the goalmouth with Wharton coming in at top speed in his effort to get a shot home. He was brought down rather heavily, and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. This was taken by Finney, who shot into the net at 32 minutes. For a couple of minutes after this things became rather grim, and the referee had a few words to say to the Everton captain, Greenhalgh.
Defence Kept Busy
There was no denying Preston were the better side, Wharton, from rather long range, made a beautiful shot which was only just wide of the target. Everton defence had much to do for the North End forwards were a lively lot. With one minute remaining of the first half, Fielding and Boyes, the Everton left flank, got the Preston defence in knot. The ball finally went over to Wainwright, who moved up to take what appeared an easy goal, when he was pushed in the back by Scott. There was no other verdict but a penalty. This was taken by Jones, who scored.
Half-time; Preston 2, Everton 1
Everton having seen the effect of Preston’s open football in the first half, decided to take a leaf out of their book when play was resumed. For fully ten minutes they had the North End defence battened down in their own quarters. But there was one thing missing – the shot. There were times when the ball was bandled about in front of Fairbrother yet not once was he called upon to save.
Dodds got few chances because Williams struck to him like a long-lost brother. McIntosh, whom I was seeing for the first time led the Preston forwards with enterprise. He did not stay put, but went out to the wings when need demanded and so had the effect of upsetting the Everton defensive plan. Nevertheless Everton stood to their guns, and despite Preston’s progressive play, Sagar had only a few saves to make. All things considered, it was hardly a good play for football –the game had been interesting. Wainwright, forced a corner, and Jones, as usual, came into the goalmouth to add his height and weight. He was there for Stevenson’s corner kick, and complained bitterly to the referee afterwards that he had been pushed in the back. It certainly looked that way to me.
Preston were undeniably the more likely side to score, although Wainwright once rushed through the North End defence, he had to take his shot hurriedly and there was barely a yard of daylight between the ball and the crossbar as if flashed over. Ranger’s pen boys, who were here to see this game, had little to shout about. They must have had their hearts in their months whenever the Preston attack advanced in search of another goal. Hamilton was well off the mark with a free kick from 20 yards range. It would be unfair to judge any player’s form on a day like this and I feel sure that we did not see the best of Finney claimed by Preston to be superior to Matthews. He is a grand ball player without doubt, but on the slippery ground the player had their difficulties.
Nearly an Equalised.
Preston were not showing their form of the first half, but had not Bentham stepped in at the right moment Finney might readily scored a third goal. A cross field pass from Stevenson to Boyes ended with the left winger hitting the ball hard and true and Fairbrother had to go down to his knees to prevent an equalise. Light was falling and play become a little difficult to follow, but lighter was bad that I could not see Sagar make a grand save from a free kick by Shankley. Wainwright drive at a ball which crossed the Preston goalmouth but he failed to make contact. Near the end Beattie, and Fairbrother came into collision and a full back had to receive attention. Strange to say Everton had just as much in the Preston goal area much as in the first half than Preston had. Final; Preston 2, Everton 1.
SHOTLESS EVERTON NOT UNLUCKY
December 23, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Preston N.E 2, Everton 1
It is acknowledged that football is a man’s game, and that knocks and bumps are an inevitable part of it, but there are occasions when conditions prevent players from throwing themselves; whole-heartedly into a match for fear of a broken limn. Such were the conditions at Deepdale on Saturday, where the ground was cast-iron hard. For some weeks now we have been taking about the ill-luck which has been dogging Everton’s footsteps, and while I admit that several of their games have been lost by misfortune, I am not going to shy that was the case at Preston. The side which adapted itself the better to the conditions was the one most likely to succeed, and that side was Preston. To hold and work the ball was out of the question and North End wisely kept it on the move, and by so doing “cornered” the first half and scored two goals. It was well for them they dug themselves in for Everton put up a magnificent battle in the second half, in the course of which Sagar had but one shot to deal with. Why did not Everton get goals.” That is a pertinent question, for it is true to say that Everton were in the Preston area for 70 per cent time.
The answer is not difficult to seek. There was not a forward capable of producing a shot, and all the pressure in the world goes for naught if there is no shot to round it off. All very well to say Everton were on top, but it does not mean a thing if goals do not arise from the endeavours. Everton stormed the Preston goal area for lengthily spells, yet did not look like scoring. The one bit of bad luck Everton had came when Fielding struck the crossbar in the first half and the penalty against Saunders for an alleged trip on Wharton that denied by the Everton back was not nearly so flagrant as the two pushes in the back on Jones when he came up for a corner kicks. In the main the rival defences were superior o the respective attacks, as is only natural on frost-bound turf. Though it is admitted that Williams and Jones kept Dodds and McIntosh subdued goals shot have come through others. The changed Everton forward line had any amount of ability in framing attacks, but it fell down badly at the most vital point of all. Everton’s best forwards were Fielding and Wainwright, although Boyes came into his game late on. Stevenson played under the handicap of a heavy cold. The defence did all that was asked of them. They were the real heroes when Preston were at their brightest. The scoring started at 13 minutes when Beattie rushed in to head a McIntosh centre beyond Sagar, a well made goal. Then Finney scored from a penalty. It was also a penalty which brought Everton their goal, Wainwright being pushed in the back and Jones scoring from the spot one minute from half-time. Preston N.E.; Fairbrother, goal; Beattie (A), and Scott, backs; Williams, Hamilton and Hamilton, half-backs; Finney, Garth, McIntosh (captain), Beattie (R), and Wharton, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones and Farrell, back-backs; Stevenson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Williams (Bolton).
• Liverpool beat Aston Villa 4-1, Stubbins, Nieuwenhuys, Balmer (2) and Dorsett for Villa.
EVERTON SCHEME TO FOSTER JUNIOR TALENT
December 23, 1946. The Evening Express
Development of Bellefield
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton are launching an ambitious scheme to help in the further development of junior talent involving the establishment at Bellefield, West Derby of a junior training centre second to none in the country. The object is to have sufficient accommodation not only to train and coach players, but to make it possible to put ten teams into the field each Saturday –five home and five away. Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly says that the plan is in the “infant” stage at the moment, but is convinced that by the development of Bellefield Everton can found a nursery capable of filling all their needs. “Some of the greatest Everton stars have cost us nothing,” said Mr. Kelly,” and in these days of prohibitive transfer fees my directors feel that we must go all out to produce our own players. “The blue-print stage has been reached for improvements at the spacious Bellefield ground –used by our “A” and “B” teams –to provide good dressing rooms, a clubhouse, and three playing pitches. We shall dispense with the bowling green for this purpose. As soon as we get permission we shall forge ahead with the work. This is a great idea –an idea which has grown out of Mr. Kelly’s industrious work among the juniors. This work has been going on since the late summer. Practical every Sunday afternoon, Mr. Kelly is at Bellefield putting juniors through their paces in private trials. There is much sorting and “weeding out” to be done, but that the work has been worth the whole is proved by the fact that seven Everton juniors were in the Liverpool F.A Youth team which defeated Manchester 4-3 after extra time on Saturday. Yes and after the match Everton signed on S, Miller the inside-left of the team who has been playing with Leyland-road (Southport). Two of the greatest successes of the F.A. side were Everton players –J.E. Jones and George Hannah. Several other clubs representatives were disappointed when Everton stepped in to sign Miller. The Everton club is convinced that their success in the future lies in the full encouragement of youth, and particularly in these lads who will soon be known as “The Boys of Bellefield.”
COST NOTHING –PRICELESS
December 23, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Among Everton’s stars in an exciting game at Deepdale were four who coast the club nothing, but who, on this showing are priceless. I refer to George Saunders 23-year-old back, Eddie Wainwright, Wally Fielding and Stan Bentham. Saunders came back with a really brilliant display and I was delighted that he gave us examples of full-blooded kicking as well as those finely-made constructive clearances. On the showing Saunders is a great back with a grand career stretching before him. Wainwright was back to his last season’s form with those deadly, thrilling cuts through and grand use of the ball, while Fielding not only was the fountain of so many good attacks, but was the best marksman in the game, striking the woodwork twice with fine efforts. Bentham worked excellently with Saunders and Wainwright having got over the early shocks when Preston were brilliant. Turning to those players who cost transfer fees, the absolutely perfect display of Norman Greenhalgh stood out with like a beacon light. This was Norman’s best for the season, completely subduing Tom Finney, who had about as thankless a day as Matthews generally gets against Greenhalgh. Farrell I like better every time I see him –so strong in the tackle; so quick to intervene; so assiduous in his creative arts. Tommy Jones had another fine day – he got Everton’s goal from a penalty – once he had used himself to the frost bound ground, and Sagar could be faulted only in relation to the penalty goal by Finney, which was so simple and easy that Sagar seemed nonplussed. The Blues suffered in attack in that Dodds could not operate on the “going” at all, and Stevenson was right out of it because of ground and body chill. Boyes also was handicapped by the going, but was better than the other two. It was no disgrace to be beaten by the odd goal by this quick-fire, delicious Preston side, which became so bewildered and harassed once Everton took heart and staged a revival which deserved to succeed. So indifferent in the first half, Everton became a 100 per cent, attacking force later, but the ill-luck persisted and so we had another tragedy of defeat. As Mr. Fred Howarth, secretary of the Football League, said to me afterwards, “Everton’s play belies their position, and on that form they are certain to move upwards.” We think so too, and by the we I mean Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins and Messrs Ernest Green, Dickie Williams, Dick Searle and Jack Sharp (directors) who, with Mr. Kelly, agreed with me after that Everton’s position on field play is false. Naturally delighted at their win; Mr. Jim Taylor, chairman of the North End and his deputy, Mr. Nat Buck, were sorry that it had to be Everton. “In the end we were thankful to retain both points,” said Mr. Taylor,” for Everton did finely in the second half.” Yes, it was Preston who wasted time and kicked out late on I could not blame them for that.
PLAYERS AND RIGHT OF APPEAL
December 23, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Whether a player has the right to appeal to a referee for a decision is to be tested by Tommy Jones, Everton’s Welsh international entre half. Jones is to write to Mr. Stanley F. Rous, secretary of the F.A on the matter. The decision was taken by Jones after Saturday’s game with Preston North End at Deepdale, which the Blues lost rather undeservedly 2-1 to make their League position more uncomfortable. On Friday the F.A. circular asked players not to question referees about, decisions given. “Twice” Jones appealed for fouls on Saturday and received two talks from Referee J. Williams, of Bolton. When I was called to Mr. Williams,” said Jones, “he asked me if I had read the papers that morning, and warmed me that if I appealed again I would be sent off. My contention is that the F.A. allow players the right to appeal, but I am writing to Mr. Rous to get his ruling. I did not dispute any decisions, because no decision were given. All I asked was for decisions, which is an entirely different things.” The football world will be keenly interested in the F.A. opinion, and I know Mr. Rous will go out of his way to clarity the position. Everton played so well in the second half, under the handicap of having Stevenson indisposed that I do not think there is any cause for immediate concern – provided the side raises to the heights and points over the Christmas games.
December 23, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Frost-bitten playing pitches are the footballers nightmares. Snowbound or rain-sodden grounds are not feared for falls do not bring the risk of a broken limb or painful bruises. Deepdale, although heavily sanded was concrete hard, which made accurate ball play well-night impossible (writes Stork). It was obvious that there would not be a welter of goals with players slipping about, unable to control themselves on the slippery turf, but there were occasions when there was no excuse for missed chances. But Everton did not miss them. They rarely attempted a shot, and that despite then dominate in the second half. I have written of Everton’s ill-luck until it has become threadbare. I am not going to drag in any hard luck stories this time with perhaps one exception when Fielding hit the cross-bar. You cannot win matches without shots; they are the essentials of the game and never at anytime did Everton look like pulling back the goals scored by Beattie and Finney. I have gone through my notes with a fine teeth comb to find a record of Dodds having one single shot at goal. His bulk was against him and he was “pocketed” by Williams so efficiently that he could not produce those flicks, &c, to his wings, what had Fairbrother to do? Very little I can tell you, which shows the lack of mainly about the Everton forwards. The inside work of Wainwright and Fielding was top-class, but that was not enough to shoot holes in the North End defence. George Saunders is emphatic that he did not foul Wharton to produce a penalty but the referee is solo judge of that as he was when Jones was twice pulled in the back, and despite appeal received no recompense. If one was a penalty surely were the others. The defence was supreme, Finney got no change out of Greenhalgh, McIntosh was stiffed by Jones, and the little Sagar had to do he did well. Everton were galliant but only goals win matches. Everton hope to have an unchanged side for the home game with Derby County on Christmas Day. For the away game at Derby (Boxing Day) and Brentford (Saturday) they will take fifteen players, choice being made just before the matches, according to fitness &c.
December 24, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton have two away games out of three, and immediately following tomorrow afternoon’s clash with Derby County at Goodison Park the club goes on tour, taking with them the following 14 players.’ Sagar; Saunders, Greenhalgh, Watson, Bentham, Tommy Jones, Humphreys, Farrell, Stevenson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, Boyes, Eglington. From these will the side be selected, to, we hope, delight you by beating a star-studded county. I was not over-impressed by Derby when I saw them but they are a side to be feared. County were among the strugglers and although they are by no means comfortable, so these two games should produce great struggles. On Saturday Everton face another side in the danger zone –Brentford –and so it will be gathered that any points secured in these games will be of double value.
THE EVERTON OF OLD
December 27, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 4, Derby County 1
No Christmas Day present received by the Everton players was more welcome than everything they got from Derby County at Goodison. For forty-five minutes they kept us on tender-hooks, playing good, but goalless football. Then a Wainwright goal at forty-six minutes galvanised Everton into a complete team whipped through the Derby defence with a joyous grace that reminded us of the old Everton. When two minutes later Boyes scored from a penalty shot, Everton set their seal on the match and further goals from Dodds and Wainwright only confirm their superiority. Wainwright’s goal enabled them to shed over self doutness and gave them belief in themselves. The half-backs work was top-class and Saunders, after a poor start, played himself in to curb the sprightly Powell. Jones despite an early ankle injury was the rock on which the County attack was split and Carter found the tenacious Farrell a stumbling block, although it was he who scored his side ‘s orphan goal. The form of the reserve, Johnson, deputising for Stevenson was very encouraging. His second half display was faultless and Dodds worrying tactics flung wide the door for others. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Jones and Farrell, half-backs; Johnson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, and Boyes, forwards. Derby County; Grant, goal; Mazley and Howe, backs; Dillions, Leufy, and Musson, half-backs; Broome, Carter, Morrison, Stamps, and Powell, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Baker, Crewe. Attendance 32,925.
• Liverpool lost 2-1 at Stoke, Stubbins and Steele (2) for Stokes.
TWO SUPRISIED AT DERBY
December 27, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
The Spectators and Everton
Derby County 5, Everton 1
Derby County supporters are accustomed to surprises but the biggest of the season was presented yesterday when Doherty turned out in place of Stamps. Questioned after the match, Doherty would not say anything about his proposed transfer from Huddersfield. Fielding gave the visitors the lead at sixteen minutes, but Doherty justifying an enthusiastic reception, equalised nine minutes later. Soon after, at twenty-nine minutes he got the lead by tapping in a loose, bouncing ball. Harrison next increased Derby’s score with two goals at thirty-ninth and fortieth minutes. After the interval Derby scored again, and Everton’s defenders were very hard pressed. Live wire of the Everton side was Wainwright who gallantly pressed home attacks which Howe and Masson found difficulty in repelling. The young inside right did the lion’s share of the work and he developed fine partnership with Johnson. Many times this two-man combination pushed through Derby’s defenders and Wainwright looked like scoring with a stinging shot which Grant gained squarely on the chest. Derby County;- Grant, goal; Mozley and Howe, backs; Dillion, Leuty, and Musson, half-backs; Harrison, Carter, Morrison, Doherty, and Ward, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys and Farrell, half-backs; Johnson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Baker (Crewe).
• Liverpool beat Stoke 2-0. Nieuwenhuys, Stubbins.
December 27, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
When I saw the Derby Officials at Goodison Park on Christmas Day they told me that Peter Doherty had gone to Huddersfield with the intention of signing his transfer papers so you can imagine the surprise there was at Derby yesterday when the Irish international turned out for the County (writes Stork). Furthermore he helped Derby to avenge their Goodison defeat by striking two of the County five goals. Everton had played so well in the first game that there seemed a possibility that they might at least snatch a drew from the Baseball Ground, but it was not to be, so the Everton position is as it was –desperate. The Jones received an ankle injury at Goodison Park and was unable to play in the return and it is problematic whether he will be available at Brentford tomorrow.
Chance For Revenge
Everton are due at Griffin Park for the return encounter with Brentford, who shock the confidence of Everton right at the start of the season by winning the opening game at Goodison Park. Since then Brentford have struck lean patches so that the threat of relegation assumes concrete shape. They will fight tooth and nail for a home success.
December 27, 1946. The Evening Express
Across at Goodison Park on Wednesday we were kept on tenterhooks by Everton for 45 minutes against Derby County, but when Wainwright (2), Boyes (penalty), and Dodds took Everton to their most convincing win of the season. Peter Doherty, who was to have signed for Huddersfield Town, came back into the County side for yesterday’s return at the Baseball Ground, and got two of the “nap” hand County’s winning 5-1. Everton were without Tommy Jones. Stars of the two games I saw were Wainwright, Tommy Jones, and Saunders, of the Blues.
Everton Visit Brentford
Everton’s task is rather more difficult, for they pay their third visit to the season to London –to face Brentford at the compact Griffin Park. And in this instance it is Brentford who are out for the “double” for they won 2-0 at Goodison Park on the opening day of the season. Everton will I think record their first win of the season in London, for Brentford have fallen away since their bright opening here. The Blues lost at Charlton 4-1 and then were held to a 1-1 draw at Chelsea. Brentford are almost as indifferent before their own supporters as Sunderland, for they have lost five matches at griffin Park. Everton contrive to play good football but are not finishing as well as one could wish, but with a little tightening up in defence and the eagerly awaited luck in shooting, Everton should make this a happy conclusion to their tour. Brentford’ Crozier; Gorman, Munro; Macauley, Smith, Wilkins; Hopkins, McDonald, Townsend, (or Blakeman), Patterson, Smith (A.).
• Everton Reserves v Sheffield United, at Goodison
• Everton “A” v St.Phillips Bellefield.
December 28, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Fred Geary’s presentation to Villa of the ball with which they won the F.A. Cup Final in 1897 has set tongues wagging and opens flowing. You can’t curb fans of other days. Their memories, too, seem photographic. Thus one who signs himself “Old Curmudgeon,” writes;-
“In to-day’s post you say that Fred Geary is now seventy, to which I would add, And then some! You say he played for Everton in the eighties. That is quite correct. He was centre in the line; Latta, Brady, Geary, Chadwick and Milward in the championship year 1888-89 (was 1891); total 29 points. From 1888 to 1946 is fifty-eight years. By your reckoning therefore, Fred played on the Sandon ground at the age of twelve. Think again, old man. I am seventh-two and I know Fred can give me six or eight years. Well, we must have a laugh sometimes, and I have had one to-night at your expense – a good humoured one, of course. I hope Fred has many years ahead of him, even if he is an octogenarian.” To which I can only plead guilty. Perhaps Mr. Geary himself will tell us not how old, but how young he is?
Another correspondent, Mr. E.H. Holford, of Osanaston Road, Birkenhead (one of the golfing Holfords?) recalls being taken from school at Buxton to see the F.A. Cup final, at Fallowfield, between Everton and the Wolves. Mr. Holford says he thinks Wolves won and his memory is “stumped” only for one position in the Everton team – left back. He names the side as Jardine; Howarth, - Boyle, Holt, Stewart; Latta, Bell, Geary, Chadwick and Milward.
EVERTON AGAIN SHOT-SHY
December 28, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Late Rally Gains Point
Wainwright Saves the Day
Brentford 1, Everton 1
A well-won point. But Everton had to fight desperately hard to obtain it. Brentford;- Crozier, goal; Gorman and Munro, backs; Macauley, Smith and Patterson, half-backs; Hopkins, McDonald, Blakeman, Wilkins, and Smith (A.), forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Farrell, half-backs; Johnson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. S.E. Law (West Bromwich). Everton and Brentford were in search of vital points, and there was every indication if a stern tussle at Griffin Park. It was hoped that T. G. Jones could be sufficiently improved to play, but his ankle while showing considerable improvement as still a little doubtful. It was therefore deemed advisable to give him a further rest. It is with regret that I inform you that Harry Catterick has again broken his arm –the one he broke earlier is the season. He sustained the injury in the reserve game last Saturday.
Dodds Early in Action
Brentford had two changes, and when the game started there would be about 25,000 people represent. By the way, Everton’s Cup-tie tickets are on sale as from today. Everton were soon at grips with the Brentford defence, and Smith was only just in time to prevent Dodds setting on a ball just outside the penalty area. Brentford then took up the running and Humphreys had to put in a determined tackle to hold off Blakeman. Then Sagar had a frolic with Hopkins, who attempted to force the goalkeeper to lose possession. The exchanges, so far, were even for each goal was visited in turn, but the first real shot was credited to Brentford, Sagar having save a powerful shot by McDonald. The ground was sticky, and the ball required plenty of boot. Wainwright opened the way for Fielding, who curled in a centre obviously intended for Dodds, but Crozier tripped out a goal, caught the ball and cleared.
Sagar Has No Chance
At this point Everton were operating near the Brentford penalty area, but Smith. Gorman and Munro provided a solid barrier to any advantage made by Everton. Boyes headed into the centre, but gain Crozier had seen what was going to happen. Brentford were not idle, and when McDonald crashed into Sagar and dispossessed him it was well that Bentham was handy. However, a Brentford goal was not long delayed, for Hopkins after touching the ball round Greenhalgh, closed in to give Sagar no chance after 14 minutes play. For the next few minutes Brentford swarmed around the Everton goal and Sagar had to catch a dangerous centre from Hopkins. The game was 20 minutes old and Crozier was still waiting to display his ability. The Brentford defence was equal to any demands of the Everton forwards and there were few. What hope Patterson had to beating Sagar with a tame header, I cannot imagine. The former Tranmere Rovers guest star should have known better. Having weathered the heavy Brentford storm, the Everton attack moved up to become a menace for the first time, and Fielding was only inches wide with a great display. A few more of that sort with a little lower trajectory and Crozier would not be so complacent. Sagar had to field a high ball which he did in cricket fashion, Johnson gave Crozier no chance of making contact for he spooned the ball high over the bar. McDonald headed outside and there was no denying that Brentford were working to better purpose than Everton. McDonald was put clean through and only stern tackling by Saunders prevented a second goal. The ball came out to Hopkins, who tried to break the net, instead of which he sent the ball scuttling into the crowd.
A free kick for Everton, taken by Dodds, saw the ball go out to Boyes who was just too late to make contact. The ball would have required just a tap to make a goal. Frankly, Everton had to play second fiddle to a much more enthusiastic Brentford who were full of life. Neat the interval, Munro made a square back pass to Crozier who had to dive on the ball to keep Dodds from collecting it. Dodds was just wide with a shot taken outside the penalty area.
Half-time; Brentford 1, Everton 0.
The football was far from top class –at least not what we expect from two first division sides. An equaliser seemed possible in the first minute of the second half when Wainwright put Johnson through and Crozier had to make a smash save. Everton were sounding the Brentford defence with best spell of football so far seen, and Wainwright tried a 20-yards drive which passed just outside. Johnson hooked the ball into Crozier’s hands. Everton appealed strongly just afterwards for a penalty for hands against Patterson, but all they got was a free kick taken from outside. The incident actually took place well inside the area –that was rank bad luck for Everton.
Everton Hit Back.
There was no denying Everton’s superiority now and when Dodds pulled back a ball for Wainwright the inside man shot well, only to see Crozier bring off a capital save. Brentford had done nothing but defend for fifteen minutes, and in their only advance they were held up without any great difficulty. Everton staged a number of promising rallies, but found the Brentford stubborn and defiant. Boyes got the forwards together to overcome the opposing defence, and Dodds with a flick header, was only inches wide. It was great try nevertheless. Everton were crowding on all they knew in order to get that equaliser and Johnson had one fierce shot changed down which looked certain to score. This was a story of two halves, for Brentford had petered out in an astonishing manner yet were still good enough to thwart the Everton forwards. On the fourth excursion into Everton’s goal area Wilkins headed a free kick into Sagar’s hands. At long last came the equaliser Farrell started a movement which was carried on by Fielding, whose final pass was fired into the net after 77 minutes by Wainwright, a deserved success. Final; Brentford 1, Everton 1. Attendance 29,050.
• Harry Catterick, Everton’s reserve centre-forward, has broken his arm for the second time this season.
EVERTON RES V SHEFFIELD WEDS RES
December 28, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton, who hoped to accomplish the double, immediately took up the attack, Higgins having hard luck with a header which hit the woodwork. As the game continued, the visitors took a hand in the play, Burnett having defend his charge with good shots from Briscoe and Ibbotson. Everton were definitely the superiors side but in spite of their continued raids, found Searson, the Wednesday keeper, equal to all shots, which came his way. Half-time; Everton Res nil, Sheffield Wednesday Res nil.
EVERTON’S HARD BATTLE AT BRENTFORD
December 28, 1946. The Evening Express
But Play Disappointing
Everton put up another great second half fight when facing Brentford’s goal lead at Griffin Park and pinned Brentford in for long periods. This was in direct contrast to the first half, when the football was as poor as anything I have ever seen in First Division. Wainwright and Johnson had the cruellest luck, while Everton should have had a penalty when Patterson handled, but the referee ruled the offence a foot outside the area. Tommy Jones, Everton’s Welsh international centre-half, was not fit enough to play, and so the team was the same as that at Derby, with Humphreys at centre-half. Greenhalgh was not at his fittest, but turned up. This was Everton’s third visit of the season to London and they were seeking their first win at the expense of danger zone companions. Brentford;- Crozier, goal; Gorman and Munro, backs; Macauley, Smith and Patterson, half-backs; Hopkins, McDonald, Blakeman, Wilkins, and Smith (A.), forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Farrell, half-backs; Johnson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. S.E. Law (West Bromwich). Everton opened well, Munro having to dash across to hold up Johnson, and then Humphreys twice nipped in with timely headers to keep Bateman in check. The game lacked anticipation and sparkle but Farrell improved matters with neat construction before Sagar saved low down from Wilkins. Crozier came out to field a centre, from Farrell, with Dodds dashing in, and then Sagar ran out to punch away overhead from Blakeman. Wainwright got the ball off a tackle against Patterson, but Smith (G) raced over to take a shot on his body to concede the first corner of the day. Everton had an escape when McDonald charged the ball out of the hands of the advancing Sagar, but Everton covered well and Bentham booted clear.
Home Side Lead
Belief was only temporary, however, for back came Brentford to take the lead in 16 minutes through Hopkins. Macauley slipped through a lovely pass on the inside of Greenhalgh, who was slow in turning to hook it away. In the spilt second Hopkins seized on the ball to bang it into the roof of the net from short range. Brentford kept up the pressure against an mainspired Everton, and only good covering prevented McDonald from making it two.
For the opening half an hour Everton had been most disappointing, showing little method or marked skill. Then they almost equalised after fine work between the three inside forwards, for after Fielding’s first drive had been charged down, he took Wainwright’s short pass, and the rising shot must have taken some of the whitewash off the bar. Sagar leapt across to make a safe catch off Wilkins, but Wilkins should have scored when Humphreys mis-headed backwards and he had all the goal at which to shoot. The shot passed the far post. The Blues were held in the grip of the Brentford half-backs, who still had plenty of time to give full support to their own forwards with crisp passes and full-blooded shots. Saunders saved a certainty with a find tackle at the expense of Wilkins, but Everton should have equalised following a close-up free kick which Dodds glided forward to Boyes. Boyes was a fraction of a second too late in trying to connect. This was more like a Third Division game with more endeavour than football artistry. Yes, on the first half showing, two poor sides.
Half-time; Brentford 1, Everton 0.
Whether Everton were given a “pep talk” during the interval or not, they certainly reopened the game has a real team. Fielding had a shot intercepted. Then Wainwright slipped through to turn the ball inside to the in-running Johnson. He took his shot first time and although Crozier fell the shot went straight into his arms. Dodds beat three men without being able to gain shooting space, while Wainwright flashed one outside, Johnson forced Crozier to save low down. Yes a much brighter Everton. Paterson seemed to handle inside the area, but despite Everton’s penalty appeal the Referee gave a free kick outside the area. This proved no danger, but than Wainwright picked up a square pass from Dodds to fire in a terrific point blank shot which struck Crozier in the chest.
Everton were staging another of their rallies and apart from three isolated raids the Blues were doing all the attacking. A grand header by Wainwright flashed into the side netting and the Blues put on pressure. Wainwright got his well earned reward with an equaliser, in 77 minutes. The game had dissolved into a sterm test between the forceful Everton forwards and the rugged Brentford defence. Final; Brentford 1, Everton 1.
Everton Res v Sheff Wed Res
Everton raided the visitors quarters immediately after the interval. Grant going close with a fine drive. Everton succeeded in finding the net through, Stevenson but was ruled off-side. Higgins scored for Everton. Final; Everton Res 1, Sheffield Wed Res 0.
WAINWRIGHT WAS THE EVERTON HERO
December 30, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Brentford 1, Everton 1
To have been beaten at griffin Park would have been calamlous for Brentford are about as poor a side as I have seen this season. Yet they held a nice lead at the half-stage and were definitely on top. Actually, the first half resembled a match in the Third Division, with the finer points missing and giving way to hearty endeavour. The second half was a complete reversal of things, for Brentford petered out to nothing and in the main it was the Brentford defence versus the Everton forwards. Despite all the pressure one could not get confident.
(Unfortunately I need a new imagine of the match report, un-readable)
Brentford;- Crozier, goal; Gorman and Munro, backs; Macauley, Smith and Patterson, half-backs; Hopkins, McDonald, Blakeman, Wilkins, and Smith (A.), forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Bentham, Humphreys, and Farrell, half-backs; Johnson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. S.E. Law (West Bromwich).
• Liverpool lost 2-1 to Sheffield United, Stubbins and Forbes and Nightingale for Sheffield.
A POOR GAME
December 30, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
I have seen Everton in every kind of mood over the years, but never have I seen them so poor as in the first half of the game with Brentford. Had I sauntered into the ground without knowing the names of the two teams performing, I would not have believed that I was watching a First Division match. Yes, sir, it was as bad as that (writes Stork). The play was as devoid of good movements as the present day sausage is devoid of meat. Of vigour there was plenty of skill not nearly enough, and the main reason why Brentford were a goal ahead was due entirely to hearty endeavour. Butley and enthusiasm gave Brentford an interval lead. They should have had more than one goal, for they attacked throughout. True without any great method, but the fact remained that they had scored, whereas Everton were goalless and with little promise of scoring, there was a definite change of front –a get together plan, whereby some co-ordination would be brought into their play. If Brentford had continued on the lines that had kept Everton a purely defensive unit I could see no signs of the equaliser but for some reason or other they simply faded right out of the picture in the second stanza. Where they had been the driving force they were now just a hard defending side which had handed over the imitative to their rivals. Everton seized the chance to take command, and they were just as dominant and Brentford had been in the first half. But with all their attack we had to wait what seemed an age for a goal. Would it ever come? I should have via the penalty spot when Paterson handled, but it was left to the limping Wainwright to ease the tension thirteen minutes from the end. Brentford came again, but the Everton defence stood solid against all further calls. A point had been saved, worthily save, although no one could be satisfied with Everton’s display. They fought back which was something; but their football was not of the Everton vintage. Wainwright stood out like a beacon as the best footballer on the field. Jack Dodds went further than that when he told me he was the best inside forward he had ever seen. He is without doubt a grand player.
EVERTON’S FIGHTING SPIRIT
December 30, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The fighting spirit of Everton to overcome handicaps has eased the growing tension that the Goodison Park side would be concerned in the battle against relegation. After Christmas experiences I am convinced that with 20 matches still to play, the Blues will not be struggling. Battered by injuries and illness these big-hearted Everton players are pulling 100 per cent, for their club, and such endeavour will take them to a secure position long before we become really concerned with relegation matters. The League position does not look good it is true, but this is only “half-way House.” There will be time to worry if Everton are in the same position at Easter not New Year. Hardships have not come singly as you will appreciate when I say that before the match with Brentford at Griffin Park on Saturday, Everton had Tommy Jones doubtful; Norman Greenhalgh with a severely bruised right leg which was so bad that Secretary Manager Theo Kelly had decided on Gordon Watson playing left-back; and Jock Dodds with a strained thigh muscle. Humphreys was there to play in place of Jones and Dodds never had any doubt in his mind about turning out. Watson became a sudden victim of influenza, and, unhesitatingly Greenhalgh decided to play. Norman’s action is typical of this Everton spirit. I saw his leg, and how he lasted 90 minutes of tough football stamps him as a sporting hero. Add to these troubles, the fact that both Wainwright and Johnson suffered during the game injuries of such nature that they could have been excused had they limped to the dressing-room and you will realise the spirit of these boys. Wainwright and Johnson just refused to give way to pain. They battled on just as all these Blues will keep on battling away to ease the minds of their supporters. Everton themselves are not in the least bit perturbed at the lowly position, and after these examples of such sacrifice on behalf of the club neither have. That spirit must succeed.
Wait and See
It is quite possible in view of the many injuries and illnesses that not until just before the kick-off for Wednesday’s match with Aston Villa at Goodison Park, Everton be able to announce their team. It is a question of wait and see, although Mr. Kelly is of the opinion that Jones, Wainwright and Johnson will be all right, while Watson is making splendid progress. And if Everton can play as well as they did in the second half at Brentford, when they staged another revival to snatch a 1-1 draw as good as a win any day, they will beat the Villa. It is strange that in the two holiday games in which I saw Everton they staged second half transformations. Against Derby here the Blues were indifferent in the first half and 100 per cent effective later. For 45 minutes at Griffin Park Everton were disappointing. Yet from being a team heading for defeat they suddenly sprang to left and leaving out the last five minutes absolutely penned in the Bees, who were saved only by fine defence. Wainwright’s equaliser after grand work by Humphreys and Farrell was fitting reward for the finest player of the 22, and whom Dodds described to me afterwards as “the best inside forward in the world,” The first half of this game was so poor that I am going to forget all about it. It was almost unbelievable. Later it was thrilling and attractive fare, with Everton much more inspiring and operating with such ease and grace that I knew they would not be beaten. Main reason was the attacking plan adopted by Wainwright and Fielding, which drove back Macauley and Paterson, the Brentford wing half-backs who had been attackers early on. Once Eddie and Nobby turned on the “heat” neither Macauley nor Paterson had time to think of attack. There is no doubt that Fielding has come right back to his brilliant best of last season. The little Cockney has been given time to get used to the greater speed of peacetime football and now revels in it. Albert Johnson the Northwich boy, has seized his chance in grand manner. Here is a lad who will develop into a class outside right, for he knows the value of the short ball inside and the flashing centre. The Blues half-back line with Farrell, yes a great player this Farrell –outstanding and Humphreys a strong man in defence while lacking the constructive charm of Jones. Bentham was fine foil to Wainwright and behind him George Saunders again did splendidly. Greenhalgh played excellent under the handicap and Sagar was there with all his old time confidence. Boyes was not exactly happy but Dodds worried Brentford to distraction and his cute moves made shooting room for others much in the Stubbins way. Chairman Will Gibbins, colleagues Messrs Ernest Green, and Dick Searle, not forgetting Mr. Kelly and the lads were lightly pleased at the one point to conclude a happy tour in which the presentation spoon for the bets wisecrack has been going the rounds merrily. Now to the Villa.
SPORTS’ WELCOME TO 1947
December 31, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton have a grand chance tomorrow of recording their first “double” of the season when they entertain Aston Villa at Goodison Park in the star item of a feast of New Year’s . The Goodison Park game which should attract 50,000 people at least, here we have a game which promises to be rich and rare in its football artistry from these two old rivals, who have done more than any others throughout the years to make football the great game it is today. With two league games this week –the Blues receive Blackburn Rovers at Goodison on Saturday - Everton have a fine chance of racing to a position in the top of the bottom half of the League and I have sufficient confidence in them to think they can do it. On Sept 2 Everton went to Villa Park and won by Boyes snap goal. After having held the classic Villa for half the game, Everton then slipped into their rhyumic movement to take their only away win so far. The Villa have had a mixed existence since then, but faring much better away than at home and their 2-1 win at Middlesbrough last Saturday stamps them as a side to fear. However that 4-1 defeat at the hands of Liverpool at Anfield shows they have defensive flaws which should enable Everton to get on top and stay there. Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly is unable to announce and definite team at the moment because so many players have injuries, but I have high hopes that Tommy Jones will be fit to resume and that Wainwright, Johnson and Greenhalgh will have recovered from their leg injuries. The Villa have been making many forward changes and with a fair measure of success, although they did drop three points to Huddersfield in the two Christmas games. I Look forward eagerly to a grand game tomorrow and expect Everton to go through to their seventh win of the season. There is a possibility that Mcllhatton may be fit to resume at outside right, while Mr. Kelly, said to me; “I think Jones and Greenhalgh will be okay.” Final selection will be made just before the match from 14 players. The kick-off is 2; 30 pm. Everton (from); Sagar; Saunders, Greenhalgh, Watson; Bentham, Tommy Jones, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Johnson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, Boyes. Aston Villa; Rutherford; Callaghan, Cummings; Moss (a), Moss (f), Lowe; Edwards, Martin, Parkes, Dorsett, Smith.
December 31, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Villa’s team for tomorrow has two changes compared with that which played at Anfield. Callaghan who has been with the Midland side for over sixteen season is at right full back in place of Potts, and Moss, son of the old Villa centre half, plays with his older brother in the intermediate line. Iverson still being unfit after the injury received at Anfield. Everton’s need for points is becoming such that they cannot afford to lose home games, and victory against Aston Villa is vital. Unfortunately their crop of injuries seen never-ending, though there is good reason for hoping that both Jones and Greenhalgh may have recovered in time to turn out. Mcllhatton is also named among the fourteen probables from which final selection will be made. Everton (from); Sagar; Saunders, Greenhalgh, Watson; Bentham, Tommy Jones, Humphreys, Farrell; Mcllhatton, Johnson, Wainwright, Dodds, Fielding, Boyes. Aston Villa; Rutherford; Callaghan, Cummings; Moss (a), Moss (f), Lowe; Edwards, Martin, Parkes, Dorsett, Smith.