December 1, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton manager Cliff Britton and Billy Higgins, the player Everton have made up their minds to transfer, were in negotiation with representatives of Luton Town and Sheffield Wednesday late last night. The fee Everton ask is believed to be £6,000. Besides the chance to go to either club, Higgins, whose period of suspension for his Bogota trip ended last night, has the alterative of preferring a non-league club. Among others, Bangor City are keen to get him.
EVERTON’S BIG CHANCE
December 1, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
After their solid win against Sunderland and the good showing against Tottenham, Everton should face Aston Villa at Birmingham with increased confidence. Three points out of the previous nine away matches is not so hot, anything the Blues can bring back from Villa Park will be thankfully acclaimed Villa have not been very consistent at home thus far, though their four defeats have all been at the hands of leading clubs. Everton field the same side as last week, which means Hold gets another change to prove that his form against Sunderland was no mere flash in the pan, that the “mascot influence of Ted Sagar is there to give encouragement to the backs, and that Fielding’s promising right wing display, if again reproduced, should be a telling factor to helping to make the Blues attack a more penetrative force. Villa’s defence has been none too reliable this season and provided the Everton front line can dovetail accurate shooting with speed and good combination, they may find the chinks in the home side’s armour. Aston Villa; Hindley; Parkes, Dorsett; Powell, Martin, Moss; Gibson, Thompson, Craddock, Dixon, Smith. Everton; Sagar; Clinton, Moore; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts, Eglington.
HIGGINS JOINS BANGOR
December 1, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Billy Higgins, Everton’s former reserve forward signed for Bangor City as soon as his suspension expired at midnight last night, and makes his debut for them at Runcorn tomorrow. Yesterday Luton Town advised Everton they were sending a director to Goodison this morning with authority to sign Higgins at a fee of around £6,000 and Manager Cliff Britton motored to Bangor to interview Higgins in a two-hour talk, he put the advantage of remaining in Football league circles to the player but Higgins finally decided to take a chance on non-league football, which means that Everton get no fee, as Higgins was not retained under F.A. rule. Bangor are giving him a three year contract at maximum terms and will help him to establish a business in the Welsh town. He already has a flat there belonging to one of the club’s officials.
EVERTON’S THREE GOAL ATTACK WAS FOUGHT TO A DRAW
December 2, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Aston Villa 3, Everton 3
This looked to be Everton’s game when they had a two-goal lead, but the game took a quick change and the Villa succeeded in equalizing. Everton’s first half forward display was well above anything the Villa produced, but a penalty for hands against Everton had its effect. It gave the Villa a confidence they seemed to have lost. Still a point away from home is always acceptable. Aston Villa; Hindle, goal; Parkes and Dorsett, backs; Powell, Martin, and Moss half-backs; Gibson, Thompson, Craddock, Dixon and Smith, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Clinton and Moore, backs; Grant, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Murdoch (Sheffield). Everton played the side which gave the encouraging display last week and Villa were as advertised, which showed one change from last week – Hindle in goal for Jones. This was a crowd of 25,000. Everton’s passing was more accurate than that of the Villa and when Eglington whipped one across for Fielding the Everton winger made a left-footed shot that was blocked away by Martin. The exchanges were fast, for the Birmingham side used the quick ball to set their forwards going, and the Everton defence had to be right on its toes. A long pass by Fielding to McIntosh who had moved over to the outside left position looked full of promise until “mac” passed the ball to a Villa man instead of a colleague. Nevertheless Everton’s form this far has been quite good, and when Dorsett miskicked it meant the starting point of an action which ultimately produced a goal to Everton. Dorsett conceded a corner, and when Fielding put the ball into the Villa goalmouth Con Martin in his effort to clear, only flicked the ball up in the air for McIntosh to run in and head the ball beyond Hindle at ten minutes. In the next few minutes, Everton had to starve off a fierce onslaught by the Villa and had just that little bit of luck to help them. After two further attacks by Everton, the villa got together to seriously harass the Everton defence. When Smith collected a ball well worked for him by Thompson and Dixon, he drove hard towards the Everton goal, and Jones, in falling back, appeared to get in the flight of I and turn it into his own net. Whether the ball would have gone in it not in any case I am not prepared to say, but I will say that Jones had fallen back on to his goalline in an effort to save. Thus Everton had to start all over again, and following some heated work in front of Sagar, Potts were given an opening, but shot-outside. Gibson had a centre captured by Farrell, and Potts and Fielding got together in a fanciful bit of interpassing that proved nice to the eye but not effective against this Villa defence. The tempo had queitented down a little. Craddock a lively Villa forward was successful in winning a corner, but this, like one which followed unproved of no account. Sagar caught the second one, taken by Gibson and I noticed an unsavoured action near goal post between Smith and Clinton. It was nothing very serious, but they repeated it a little later. Smith was one of the danger points of the Villa attack, and Fielding was generally the lead up to Everton’s attack.
He once swept the ball beautifully across the Villa goalmouth, but there was no one there to take it up. I thought the Everton forwards were putting up a grand show, and Potts were close with a “scooping” effort that passed outside. One movement by Everton brought in all five forwards. It was started with Fielding, carried on by Hold, Potts and Eglington but McIntosh was too closely tackled as he was about the centre. Nevertheless, it showed the interchanging of the Everton attack, and also that the open spaces were being exploited to the full. Farrell was backing up strongly and he tried to place McIntosh. Con Martin and his colleagues took good care there were few loopholes left in their defence. The Villa goal has a lucky escape five minutes from the interval when a header by McIntosh completely beat Hindle, but Dorsett standing on the goal line near the upright kicked the ball away. The next minute proved fatal to the Birmingham side, for Potts took a Grant pass, and without hesitation slapped it into the net at 39 minutes. Sagar had to time a long, lobbing centre from Powell with the greatest caution. This is where Sagar’s experienced counted for he was able to edge the ball over the bar. With the lead restored Everton kept up the attack, but the Villa were not idle. There was not, however, the easy flow about their play there was about that of Everton. The Villa appeared to be feeling the effect of Potts’s goal, and much of their fire had left them. Half-time; Aston Villa 1, Everton 2.
The second half opened with two free kicks against the Villa. The second one, taken by Fielding from an angle was well caught by Hindle although he was surrounding by Everton players. Powell and Gibson both injured and limping, changed places, and the former tried to beat Sagar with a push stroke, which the Everton goalkeeper pounced upon on his goalline. The Everton attack was not running so smoothly now, and it was the Villa who were making most of the play, so much so that Sagar had four handling cases in the space of a few minutes.
Clinton and Craddock came into collision and the Everton full back was off only a minute and returned to play at outside right, with Fielding right half and Grant immediately behind him. Everton were holding on to their lead, but the lovely forward movements of the first half were missing. Most of their work was confined to rearguard actions although they did make several quick raids. Fielding had been a revelation at outside right. Clinton returned to his normal position, but the Villa were still settled in the Everton goal area. The Villa’s idea seemed to be to punt the ball into the Everton goal area and hope for the best, but Everton were defending like a hot of lions and as so often happens following a sustained defensive battle, Everton broke away and scored their third goal at 51 minutes. This is how it came. A clearance upfield to McIntosh, McIntosh to Eglington, Eglington in the middle to Fielding. Fielding soon got the ball under control and although he was hotly challenged by Parkes, beat him, ran on and shot that Hindle who had no chance. It was a really high-class goal. Even the Villa people admitted that Everton almost got a fourth goal when a Hold centre was kicked off the Villa goal-line by Martin. If Everton had been out to show that last week’s success was no mere flash in the pan they had undoubtedly proved it. The light was getting difficult, so that the flight of the ball was hard to follow. Gibson tried a 40 yard range shot which passed outside, and Sagar saved a header from Thompson. The Villa were awarded a penalty kick for hands against Clinton. Dorsett scored from the spot at 76 minutes. Hold almost restored Everton’s two goal lead. Hindle was well out of position, when Dorsett kicked off the goalline. At the 83rd minute a great cheer rent the air as Villa equalized. It was a quickly made goal, as most of them had been today, but it was a beautiful pass that Dixon sent through for Smith, who had cut in from the wing in anticipation, and without the slightest hesitation he crashed the ball into the Everton net, giving Sagar no chance.
Hectic Five Minutes
Prior to this Smith had very little change out of Clinton whose earlier injury might have slightly affected his play. The next five minutes promised to be hectic with both sides battling for the winner, but I must admit the odds looked to be on the Villa who were crowding everything into attack with Everton relying upon the sudden breakaway for any success they might attain. The Villa were awarded a corner and for a moment it seemed that anything might happen. Smith came over to the right wing to take it, but the ball passed out of danger. Final; Aston Villa 3, Everton 3.
EVERTON RES V BLACKPOOL RES
December 2, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Res; O’Neill, goal; Saunders and Rankin, backs; Woods, Humphreys, and Lello, half-backs; McNamara, Wainwright, Catterick, Hampson, Easthorpe, forwards. Blackpool Res; Hall, goal; Smith and Wright, backs; Proctor, Ainscough, and Fenton, half-backs; Hobson, Smith, Stephenson, McCall, and Adams, forwards. Referee; Mr. W.R.A. Lloyd (Southport). Everton were the more methodical side and in many grand moves Wainwright showed plenty of initiative. Wainwright gave Everton the lead in the 24 minute after McNamara had paved the way. Catterick was a hard worker, but was well watched by Ainscough. Half-time; Everton Res 1, Blackpool Res Nil. After the resumption Blackpool were the attacking side, Saunders and Rankin the home defenders having an extremely busy time in averting disaster. Stepheson and McCall scored for Blackpool. Final; Everton Res 1, Blackpool Res 2.
• Marine Res 3, Everton “A” 2
WINNING VEIN AND A LIFT MAY NOW BE CLOSE AT HAND
December 2, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton-By Peter Farrell
Since my last article here, Everton have not been doing too well from the point of view of collecting points, but, at least, we have endeavoured to play football all the time, and have not restored to panic playing, as often happens with a team in our position. It is not my intention to attempt to make excuses for our present position in the League table, which is rather an inglorious one, but readers will agree that Dame Fortune has not smiled too graciously on us in recent games. With ordinary luck, against both Manchester United and Spurs, we must surely have secured some points. However, perhaps Saturday’s good win over Sunderland may be just the incentive needed to our boys to get back in a winning vein and I hope by the time you read this we shall have secured a point or two from the Villa. I would like on behalf of my Everton colleagues and myself, to thank our supporters sincerely for their loyalty to us these days. I can assure you we appreciate very much the encouragement given us at our home games, and we look forward to the day, very soon hope, when not only by our play but also by holding a respectable position in the League, we will repay you all for your enthusiastic support. Furthermore to those who have been in a position to come with us to our away games at Blackpool and Wolverhampton, I say a very sincere thank you. We have been very unfortunate this season with regard to injuries but with Cyril Lello, Eddie Wainwright, Harry Catterick, Maurice Lindley and Ted Buckle all almost fit again we will all have to look to our laurels in our efforts to retain our places on the first team.
Doyen of Trainers
As you watch Harry Cooke, the Everton trainer, trotting on the field during a game to perform the duties associated with his job do you think for a moment of the marvelous service he has given Everton. Here is a man that has attended the players needs for more years than he would care to remember, and although perhaps the oldest trainer in English football, he is still as active as ever. It is good to hear Harry recall some of the deeds of the great Everton players of the past. I feel sure that if some of the incidents that happened off the field in the olden days were recalled in book form by Harry Cooke, they would bring great joy and pleasant memories to our old supporters, and prove very interesting to the younger ones. Our new medical treatment room at Goodison Park is now almost completed and should be a big asset to our club. When finished it will be equipped with every modern device for the treatment of injuries, and will rank with the finest in the country.
Though being reserve for the international, Eire and Norway at Dublin last Sunday, I was afforded an opportunity of seeing the Norwegian style of play and comparing it with our own. The Norweigians did not impress me as a really great side by any means. They started off in great style, and for the first 20 minutes delighted the crowd with their play, their interchanging of position, accurate passing and willingness to shoot at every opportunity. At the end of this period they led 2-0 and looked well on the way to an easy victory. However, Jackie Carey reduced the arrears from a penalty before the interval, and the Irish team came in the second half and as a result of great spirit and determination drew level through a grand goal from Dave Walsh. They were a shade unlucky not to win. What disappointed me most was the inability of Norway to fight back. Once the Irish lads got on top they seemed content to hold them to a draw and as a result we saw none of the glorious football of the first twenty minutes. What a great player Jackie Carey is was further emphasized by his display in this game as an emergency centre half in the absence of Con Martin through injury. He stood and shoulders over every player on the field, and proved to everyone, including the Norweigans, that he is a good now as when he made his international, debut for Ireland again Norway in 1937. Merseysiders will also be glad to hear that Tommy Eglington had a brilliant game, and along with Norway’s inside right, Bjorno shared the forward honours of the game. Peter Farrell.
December 2, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
I read recently that Everton were interested in Duncan, Ary United full back. Then came an announcement that Mr. Britton would watch the player on the following Saturday. Unfortunately a Northern-Eastern club manager made “a 200 mile dash in mid-week to foll my opposition from Everton.” It’s amazing how it always seems to be the other clubs, who go and get the player. All we get is the hackneyed phrase that the weaknesses are apparent to Mr. Britton and the board – “Ever a Blue” –Liverpool 13.
I would like to suggest that Everton should leave their players in their original positions. Don’t change them around. Bring in reserve to fill positions vacant through injury or loss of form. Change Fielding and Potts about they have been hopelessly out of position so far. I am very worried, but I shall be there as always for the past 40 years. The team now as then still plays football –Orrell Park.
Anfield and Goodison crowds are often exhorted to gave a welcoming cheer to visiting teams. I should like to see another innovation adopted. Could it not be arranged for the management of our two teams to offer a few words of welcome over the speakers before the match? This is the practice at certain other grounds, such as Huddersfield and from personal experience, I can assure you such a gesture is much appreciated by the “aliens” –F. Case, Dee Street, Liverpool 6.
WELCOMED FINAL WHISTLE
December 4, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Aston Villa 3, Everton 3
Everton proved at Villa Park that their form against Sunderland was no flash. Their improvement was fully maintained with the slightest good fortune their three goals would have been considerably augmented for thrice the ball was kicked off the Villa line, and reasonably good scoring chances were missed. However, an away point is acceptance. When they were leading 3-1 inside the hour prospect looked distinctly good through the Villa were staging a blitz. Then came a penalty to upset calculations. It brought a greater belief to the Villa side Clinton had handled. The referee’s verdict, Clinton says the ball struck him on the chest and Dorsett scored from the spot. The Villa saw a possible “half” and set out to obtain it. Where Everton had been riding easily they now had to face up to intensive pressure and seven minutes from the end Smith produced the equalizer with a raking shot. So the second away victory, which looked on the cards, became a dream. In fact the last few minutes had the Everton defence anxious lest they lost all, for Villa were “fighting mad” for the winner. The final whistle never sounded nicer.
Everton forwards showed me how to make progress by scientific methods – Interchanging, using the open spaces and delivering the shots. They moved smoothly and outwitted the Villa defence by sound football tactics and when Martin flipped the ball into the air when attempting to clear, McIntosh moved in to head the first goal. There was some discussion as to whether Smith’s shot which produced the equalizer, would have gone into the net without deflection. Jones tried desperately hard to keep the ball out. Highlight of the day was Fielding’s goal which arose out of a Villa corner kick. It was a slickly-made goal, McIntosh to Eglington. Eglington to Fielding, who found a burst of speed to shake off Parkes and then shoot fiercely behind Hindle. Even Villa applauded that goal, Potts goal came from a grand shot from 18 yards. Potts should have scored earlier and later he shot against the post. Everton’s first half display was excellent. Each man knew what he had to do and did it thoroughly. Fielding’s display was in the Matthews class. He certainly was an eye-opener.
FINE DISPLAY BY WAINWRIGHT
December 4, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 1, Blackpool Res 2
Blackpool were a clever side in this Central League game at Goodison Park, especially in the second half when they scored two late goals through Stephenson and McCall. Everton had a strong side out which included Wainwright and Catterick both of whom came out of their try-out successfully. Wainwright gave a fine display and scored Everton’s goal in the 24 minute.
Everton Gates 50,000 up on Last Season
No accounting for football form, or for the form of football spectators. Here are Everton last in the table (but not for long on present form) with gates of 50,000 up on last season.
December 4, 1950. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Six goals from Everton in two games and Wainwright back on the mark for the Reserves augurs well for the future. Certainly it was disappointing to learn that Aston Villa had fought back to a 303 draw after being two down, but the performance of the Blues was of liniment. Colleague Radar writes of the game. “It looks as if Manager Cliff Britton was right for the stroke which he decided to try Wally Fielding as a right winger, for Fielding’s display against Sunderland could not have been more effective than that against the Villa in a game which Everton should have won with ease. Any doubts about Fielding’s ability as a winger were dispelled quickly by his made to measure performance. Here was a progressive Fielding, always the danger to Dicky Dorsett; a Fielding who reveled in the exploitation of the wing to wing pass with sparkling colleague Eglington; a Fielding never loath to have a pop at goal; a Fielding who played a vital in engineering the goals scored by McIntosh and Potts in the first half and who revealed alert anticipation by darting into the middle to call for and use Eglington’s pass which brought him a really great goal. There was something of the Johnny Hancocks about this wing version of the little Cockney. However, Fielding was only one member of a revitalized Everton forward line, which with kick would have scored six goals. Remember that on three occasions the ball either was headed or kicked off the goalline with Hindle beaten. McIntosh did his task well despite Con Martin and Potts was grand in creative work, while Hold, although rather quiet, always was floating into the chance taking position, while this confident attack always had good prompting from Grant and Farrell. Pleasing news of the week-end that Everton’s Wainwright and Catterick came through their Central league tests well.
EVERTON DESERVED MORE
December 4, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
“Half of loaf is better than no bread” it an old saying. No doubt it is but not if there is a full loaf there for the taking. That was the only disappointing note in Everton’s half share at Villa Park, for the loaf almost lay safely in their shopping basket 12 minutes from the end of their game with Aston Villa (write Stork). They held a two goals lead –well and truly won –when the blow in the form of a penalty goal descended upon them and turned the game completely inside out. The Villa who had been played out of the game by a much superior team so far as football was concerned came slap bang into it and with a fiery finish snapped an equalizer seven minutes from the end. Then Dorsett converted that spot kick to the back of the Everton net. I visualized that it was going to be hard work for Everton for the Villa kept prodding the ball into the Everton penalty area with more hope than good judgment. Could the Everton defence stave off such an incessant threat? That was the question I asked myself as I saw the Villa battering away. Something had to give way and it was the Everton defence to a Smith goal that hurtled into the net to pluck a point out of the fire and save Aston Villa the ignorant of a home defeat. I claim empystically that the penalty goal held up an Everton victory. Was it a penalty? Everton claim that the ball struck Clinton on the chest and not on the arm but the referee Villa Park. There was greater confidence in the side, greater penetrative power and withal a better class of football than that produced by the Villa. Everton’s first half display was excellent sweet running, thorough, with the utmost understanding one with the other, but more pleasing to me was the power of the attack. There were goals in this front line. Not just the promise that was not fulfilled as so often has been the case. There was no comparison in the style of play. Everton were methodical in all they did with the long ball to the wings being the best if all for Fielding and Eglington were capable of beating their respective challengers and with the slightest bit of luck they would have had half a dozen goals. Three times the ball was kicked off the Villa goal line and Potts hit the post. Then Smith’s first goal was buttered with luck for his shot was turned into the net by Jones, who made a desperate effort to keep it out. No blame attached to Jones for this goal. Sagar and Smith thought the ball would have gone out but Jones could not afford to take the risk of that.
McIntosh headed the first goal after Martin had flipped a ball into the air in trying to clear, and Potts rammed home a second from 18 yards but the goal of the day went to Fielding, the cleverest player on the field. A good player can play anywhere, they say. Fielding must be that, for he was brilliant on the wing, but let me tell you about his goal. It is well worth describing. The Everton defence had beaten out a corner and in three moves the ball was in the Villa net. Yes, it was as quick as that. McIntosh to Eglington and on to Fielding, harassed but not bewildered by Parkes. He kept the ball under control, shook off the challenger and moved up to deliver a shot which left Hindle standing still. A truly grand goal in which Fielding showed an amazing burst of speed to outpace Parkes. Smith was the Villa’s most dangerous forward, but so far as football skill was concerned, the game belonged to Everton, for the Midlanders put their trust in the long punt into the Everton goal area hoping it would land near a Villa man. It meant hectic work for Sagar and his men, particularly after the penalty goal. The final whistle was never more welcome with Everton very pleased with an away point which is usually all a visitor can expect from an opponent.
On The Mend
Wainwright came through his test with Everton Reserves very well. It was his first game for two months. Catterick having his second outing with the reserves after a similar absence also did well but Buckle is not likely to resume training for another week.
POTTS IS A DOUBTFUL STARTER FOR EVERTON
December 7, 1950. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Strained Leg Muscle
Harry Potts Everton’s £20,000 inside-left, must be regarded as doubtful for Saturday’s match at Goodison Park against Derby County. This is the latest chapter in the Everton story of “casualties”! It is not certain hat Potts will be out for he is under constant treatment, but the fact that he has suffered a leg injury, prevented manager Cliff Britton from announcing his team last night. This will be delayed until tomorrow, when I asked manager Cliff Britton how serious was the Potts injuries, he replied “well, I am hopeful, and you can be certain that if Potts feels that he can play, he will.” The unfortunate part is that the injury –a strained leg muscle –was not received in any match it did not happen in one of the Everton private trials, for the snow put an end to those little tactics affairs. It just happened as Potts was running in training.
The injury to Potts is offset by the fact that Eddie Wainwright is quite fit again, and that Oscar Hold, who has done so well at inside left in the last two games, can play at inside left as well as on the right. There is also Wally Fielding, who, however, may still be required for the vital outside right position for Ted Buckle is having another week of rest. Derby County will make a last minute team selection for their match with Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday. Twelve Derby players will travel to Liverpool tomorrow. Either Jack Stamps or Tommy Powell will be at inside right. Stamps played in the reserve last week-end following a knee injury, but he has now been declared fit. Team; Brown; Mozley, Parr; Ward, Oliver, Musson, Harrison, Stamps or Powell, Lee, Morris, McLaren.
RANKIN MAKES HIS DEBUT
December 8, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Blues Fourth Newcomer; Wainwright Returns to the Attack
Everton introduce another debutant to senior football tomorrow when George Rankin comes into the side against Derby County, to make the fourth Goodison players under 21 to receive his first team baptism this season. Wainwright is also included due to Potts being unfit. Rankin, who is aged 20, joined Everton straight from school in 1944 and signed professional just over two years ago. He played with Tommy Jones the present Everton centre half in the Liverpool school boys’ side and in representative youth teams. Rankin gets his chance owing to Clinton being unfit. His inclusion allows Moore to cross over to right back, which is undoubtedly his best position. Hold also switches over to inside left to accommodate Wainwright, who is making his first senior appearance for two months. Rankin has been playing extremely well in the Central League eleven all season, and has earned his big chance. Derby have been rather erratic this season and though their home record is good, when playing away they have achieved nothing which marks them out above the average. If the Blues can reproduce their form of the last few matches, then the prospects of two more points in the “kitty” look reasonably sound. Nevertheless, Everton will have to be at their best to make sure, and the defence must keep a wary eye on Lee, scorer of 13 goals to date and Stamps, who has 11 to his credit. In the corresponding game last season Stamps gave a brilliant exhibition of first time marksmanship. But for some marvelous saves by Sagar he might have had several goals. It was one of the seasons’s best displays by any centre forward against Everton. Morris, sought by Liverpool at the time he was about to leave Manchester United in the brains behind the Derby attack and still keeps popping up with an occasional goal. Goodison Park has been a fairly happy hunting ground for the County of recent years. They have won their last three games there. It is time we had a change. Everton; Sagar; Moore, Rankin; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Fielding, Wainwright, McIntosh, Hold, Eglington. Derby County; Brown; Mozley, Parr; Ward, Oliver, Musson, Harrison, Stamps, or Powell, Lee, Morris, McLaren.
EVERTON INTRODUCE A YOUNG FULL-BACK
December 9, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
A Young full back who joined Everton as an amateur straight from school in 1944 and signed professional for the Goodison Park club a little over two years ago is given his big chance today when he plays for Everton in the League match against Derby County at Goodison Park. He is George Rankin, a native of Liverpool, who is 5ft 6 ½ ins in height and weights nearly 11st. Now twenty-years-old Rankin gets this chance because Clinton is unfit and he will play at left back, thus allowing Moore over to the other rank which is perhaps Moore’s best position. Another Everton change sees the return of Wainwright as partner to Fielding on the right, Hold moving to inside left in place of Potts also unfit. This will be Wainwright’s first League appearance for two months following injury. Judging from his display for the Central League side last Saturday he seems to have made a good recovery and his shooting power should add additional threat to the County defence. Derby are undecided about their inside right position for which Stamps and Powell have been named. The kick off is at 2.15 p.m and the teams read;- Everton; Sagar; Moore, Rankin; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Fielding, Wainwright, McIntosh, Hold, Eglington. Derby County; Brown; Mozley, Parr; Ward, Oliver, Musson, Harrison, Stamps, or Powell, Lee, Morris, McLaren.
EVERTON DID EVERYTHING BUT WIN –EVEN MISSING A PENALTY
December 9, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton 1, Derby County 2
Everton were the unluckiest losers against Derby County. The County goal had a charmed life in the first half, when by good fortune, they escaped a heavy fall. Everton; Sagar, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Grant, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Fielding, Wainwright, McIntosh, Hold, and Eglington, forwards. Derby County; Brown, goal; Mozley and Parr, backs; Ward, Oliver, and Musson, half-backs; Harrison, Stamps, Lee, Morris, and McLaren, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Jackson (Leeds). Great interest was displayed in the debut of 20-year-old George Rankin, the Everton reserve full back, at Goodison Park today. Moore returned to his rightful position as right back, and Wainwright following two months absentee resumed at inside right. Hold moving over to deputise for the injured Potts. Derby struck their attacking form straight away and Grant had to pull out two defensive moves to hold up the county left wing. He was cheekiness itself when challenging Morris and beating him in the tackle for the ball. It was some minutes before Everton brought off their first attack, and it was due to misplaced header by Mozley who put Eglington in possession, but the latter’s centre was capturned by a County man before the ball reached Fielding.
Shots Rain In
When Eglington broke away on the far side the calmly swept the ball over the right, as is one of his habits these days, and Wainwright pounced on the ball immediately swept round Parr and then delivered a rising shot which Brown caught with the greatest of confidence. We had not long to wait for thrills and Everton it was who provided them. How the County goal escaped no one will ever know. Shots simply rained upon Brown’s goal but the ball just would not go in. It either hit the goalkeeper, was headed out or hit the post and I should say that this was the luckiest minute the County defence has ever experienced. It was certainly the most annoying minute so far as Everton were concerned as right from the clearance Derby went on to score. Lee broke through the Everton defence, I think he tried a shot. If he did it was a bad one, but the ball swung out to Harrison, who had moved up towards the far side of the Everton goal, and he shot into the net at 11 minutes. The ball seemed to hit Sagar on route. Everton appealed for an offside decision and it certainly looked that way to me.
Good Move –But No Goal
It was very open football, and when McIntosh tried a shot from 20 yards range he found the ball deflected for a corner kick. Quite one of the best movements of the match thus far was made by Everton. It should have produced a goal. It did not because McIntosh’s shot rattled up against the crossbar and rebounded back into play. The movement was so good that it is worth description so here it is;- Grant put a long ball to Fielding, who transferred it to Eglington, who helped along the good work with a pass to Hold, who calmly headed the ball back to the oncoming McIntosh who made his shot. Once again a quick raid following defence brought another goal. It was a quickly made point. Lee scooping the ball up on to the crossbar and when it dropped to earth Morris picked it up and promptly sent it to the back of the net. Time 28 minutes. This was indeed a heavy blow for Everton to bear for they were definitely not two goals behind in point of skill and chances. Fielding was all over the place, and when he went to outside left he sent across a centre that went straight to McIntosh’s head. The centre forward tried to direct the ball away from the goalkeeper, and was successful, but he had too much “side” on it and the ball passed inches outside the upright.
There’s Nae Luck!
Brown once swept the ball right off McIntosh’s head, and then the greatest bit of misfortune hit Everton when McIntosh got in the way of a Hold shot and prevented it going over the line. This led to a terrific tussle in front of the Derby goal, and an Eglington shot was handled by Mozley and Everton got a penalty. Surely this must produce a goal –but it did not, for Brown saved McIntosh’s spot kick. So Everton have now missed four penalties out of five this season.
Half-time; Everton Nil, Derby County 2.
The first incident of note in the second half was a header by McLaren which passed inches wide. Everton were playing with quite a lot of confidence and Fielding after beating Musson in a close dribble swept the ball over to his left wing, but it proved a no value, for no one could catch up with the ball as it passed over the touchline. Everton were still all out to reduce the deficit and Wainwright should have done so when McIntosh pushed the ball nicely across to him. True he was challenged by Oliver at the crucial moment. I have talked about Everton’s bad luck. Well Derby had a slice of it when a Morris shot hit the upright with Sagar well and truly beaten. This came following a lot of Everton pressure, but which needed greater accuracy near goal. The mist was surrounding the ground, and the flight of the ball was difficult to follow. The County seemed to be riding easily on their two goal lead, and with Everton striving hard for a goal.
Brown, who had played such a big part in the County’s success, was always a dominating figure in the Derby goal. He jumped very high to pluck the ball out of the air from the Everton tight wing. Morris found the terrier like Grant somewhat of a problem. When he lost possession. Everton’s “wee fellow” was instrumental in setting off an attack via McIntosh, who, after pulling the ball to his right foot, slewed it right across the face of the County goals.
Call For Penalty
Hold had twice put the ball behind and the crowd were now slow in letting him know about it. There was a call for a penalty when Wainwright went over an opponent’s back, but I do not think it was an occasion for the dreaded award. At 84 minutes Everton reduced the County’s lead through a goal by Wainwright, his first of the season by the way. The starting point was a throw-in by Eglington and was carried on by McIntosh who slipped the ball forward for Wainwright to run pass two defenders and shoot beyond Brown. This goal came a bit late in the day, but it spurred Everton on to greater action and they attacked with enthusiasm.
With a minute remaining Wainwright was injured, and it looked serious for all but two of the 22 players gathered round him. The injury came from a tackle, but at the moment I cannot say what the injury was. Wainwright was ultimately taken off on a stretcher. Final; Everton 1, Derby County 2. Official Attendance 37,757.
George Rankin who made his senior debut for Everton today, is the fourth member of the Rankin famly to wear Everton’s colours. His grandfather, Bruce Rankin, was on the Goodison books as a winger for several season’s early this century, his father, Billy was an amateur full back at Goodison and his uncle, George a forward had a short spell with the club. In addition George Jackson, the former Everton full back is George’s Rankin’s cousin, though the pair have never met. It was Bruce Rankin who originally persuded Harry Cooke the present Everton trainer to join the Goodison club. Billy Rankin later went to Marine, and was in their Amateur Cup final team of 1932.
BOLTON RES V EVERTON RES
December 9, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton did not maintain a good start and a fine run and centre by Barber brought the Wanderers a goal, Codd heading in, Everton did a fair share of the attacking but Elvy in the Bolton goal, was equal to all demands in a fast game. Half-time; Bolton Wanderers Res 1, Everton Res Nil. The Wanderers quickly increased their lead, Rudd scoring from 35 yards. Codd put through a third goal. Elvy went full length to save a fine attempt from Hickson, who later scored for Everton, Lelli increased Bolton’s lead, Codd had hit the bar. Full time; Bolton Res 5, Everton Res 2.
A POINT AWAY POINTS TO BETTER DAYS
November 9, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
By Peter Farrell
It was certainly very nice to return from Villa Park with a point. Some maintain we should have had two but to score a point away from home is not bad going, no matter which way the luck is running. It was a very precious point indeed and here’s hoping that we will soon leave the bottom position in the League to other clubs I can assure you it was a very happy band of Everton players who discussed the “ifs” and Butts” of this game in the bath as they washed off the Villa Park mud. There seemed a very confident air all round that there are far better days ahead for the club of whom we are very proud and out supporters in the near future. It was indeed, impressive to hear the tremendous ovation accorded Ted Sagar by Villa supporters as he took his place between the sticks prior to the start of the game, and again after the interval when he went to the far end of the ground. It was just another tribute on a visiting ground to a great sportsman. There may have been better keepers than Ted, though I doubt it, but he must be one of the greatest of club men. I hope that when the time comes for him to hang up his boots for keeps, the people of Merseyside, to whom he was given such great pleasure and enjoyment for the past twenty-one years in the colours of his one and only club during that period, will give him a send-off which he will remember for the rest of his days.
The visit of Derby County to Goodison today, brings back pleasant memories of our great Cup game with them at Derby last year. What always impresses me on my visit to the Baseball ground at Derby is the fact that there is a room specially reserved for the home players, their wives or friends and the visiting players wherein tea, sandwiches, cakes and light refreshments are supplied after a game. As far as I know they are the only First Division Club in England who cater in this way all together and they certainly deserve great credit for setting such an excellent example. It is enjoyable after a game to meet your opponents in a social way such as this, and thereby get to know more about the fellows who, week after week, along with the rest of us go to make up this great game of football. Furthermore, outside how many grounds in England do we find wives, relatives or friends of the players waiting sometimes in the cold and rain, while the players are having a bath, and getting dressed after a game.”
Well done, Derby County. Here’s hoping that your example will soon be followed by every club in England. We had a visit to Goodison during the week of our old friend Gordon Dugdale who dropped in to see the boys. What a pity Gordon had to give up the game so early in his career. When he was advised to retire, Everton not only lost a grand player and club man, but the game lost one of the finest gentlemen. He is now coach to Marine. Here’s wishing him every success, and hoping that the younger Marine players will not only follow his advice, but also his example, if so doing they will not go far wrong for “Duggie” as he was affectionately known to the lads, was always held in the highest respect no matter where he went. As Christmas draws near, I suppose we all find a special time to do some little good deed for others less fortunate than ourselves. Those whom I have in mind at the moment are the unfortunate children who will be in hospital for Christmas. I think it would be a grand idea for some of us footballers to go along to a couple of Liverpool hospitals on one or two of our free afternoons in the next week or two. We would certainly be well repaid for any inconvenience by the knowledge that our visit was bringing joy to these children. I know I am voicing the feelings of my own colleagues at Everton when I say it would be a pleasure to go and knowing most of Liverpool players as I do, I am sure I could say the same for them. Peter Farrell.
UNKINDEST BLOW OF ALL
December 11, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Derby County 2
From the beginning of the season Everton have suffered blow after blow through injuries, and just when things appeared to be righting themselves along came the worry blow of all –Wainwright’s broken leg. He had just scored a grand goal against Derby County and Everton were battling for the equalizer when it happened. It was obvious the matter was serious by the way the players gathered round him two minutes from the end of the game that should have been well within the keeping of Everton at the interval. There are occasions when a goal has a charmed life. This was one of them. I have seen a goal bombarded and come out unscathed, but this Derby goal may as well have been boarded up. Shots rained down on Brown and his colleagues in the first half and while I am prepared to admit to some good goalkeeping by Brown, he more than had his bundle of luck. I have never seen its like before for even when Hold shot colleague, McIntosh had to be in its flight to prevent the ball passing beyond every Derby man into the net. When Mozley handled in the penalty area in keeping a ball out we though Everton were to have justice for their endeavour. McIntosh’s shot, driven low down and fiercely was saved by Brown on the goal-line –a magnificent save. That was enough to break the hearts of anyone. Everton had seen their best endeavours fall in uncanny manner and must have wondered just what they had to do to land the ball into the opposition net. Twice from defensive clearance Derby County had scored from quick raids, yet here were Everton without anything to show against Derby’s two goals, one of which looked offside.
Never Gave Up
Derby must consider themselves the luckiest winners of the season. Although they took their chances well and they also had the misfortune to see a shot bump against the upright, they should have been well in arrears at the half stage. Everton never gave up the fight although the second half was far behind the first in point of skill and thrills. Six minutes from the end Wainwright raced round two Derby defenders to score a tip-top goal. There was not much time left, but Everton utilized it to the full in their galliant attempt to save a point. There was much good football in the Derby side, particularly by Morris who has taken over the mantle of Steele as ‘key man.”
Young George Rankin, twenty-years-old debutant after a nervy start settled down to play with confidence, and it seems another good youngster has been unearthed. His task was a heavy one, but he shouldered it magnificently. When Everton forwards were hitting the Derby defence for six in the first half we saw what great improvement they had made during the last few weeks, and Wainwright after an absence of two months played more like his old self with quick darting runs which often had the opposition harassed and bewildered. He had the full backing of his colleagues all of whom came into the shooting gallery to make Derby look an ordinary side and none too secure in defensive methods. I like the way Brown clutched the ball in the air, for thumped it away from the head of an oncoming forward, but he had to thank his comrades who thrice kicked off the line when he was beaten. Everton have the satisfaction of knowing that all defences cannot have such a charmed life and that more often than not such shots as they delivered will hit the target. But it is small recompense when the points go the other way.
• Everton “B” 1, Skelmersdale Utd Res 2
• Skelmersdale Utd 4, Everton “A” 3
• St Elisabeth 2 Everton “C” 7
MORE EVERTON ILL-LUCK
December 11, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Wainwright Will Be Absent for Rest of The Season
It never rains but it pours. Just when it seemed Manager Cliff Britton could relax a little in the knowledge that Everton promised to rise above adversity, and the injured list was almost clear, along comes the heaviest blow of all. Eddie Wainwright, carried off on a stretcher four minutes from the end of the game against Derby County, is suffering from two broken bones in the right leg – fibula and tibia. He will be in plaster between 10 and 12 weeks, which means that he will not play again this season, as it will take two months or more to regain complete strength and fitness after the plaster is removed. Hard as such a blow would be at any period, it could not have happened at a worse time, with the crowded Christmas programme, the cup-tie almost here, and Everton still desperately needing points to make themselves safe. As far as one could judge from the Press box, with the mist cutting down visibility, the mishaps happened in simple fashion as Musson cut across to make a tackle when Wainwright was boring through in a galliant effort to get the equalizer which his side so richly deserved. Eddie afterwards told Mr. Britton that Musson managed to block his shot, and that he Wainwright connected with Musson’s boot as well as the ball. Eddie added that it was a pure accident and absolved the Derby player from any shred of blame. Immediately he had seen Wainwright off to hospital Mr. Britton motored to Southport to break the news to the players wife, then took her to the Royle Infirmary to see Eddie before he was removed to a Sefton Park nursing home. Yesterday Mr. Britton and skipper Peter Farrell went to see him and found him as comfortable as could be expected. The report today is the same. If all goes well, Wainwright may be fit to go home in about ten days.
Nothing Went Right
This was not the only blow of the day for Everton. Though it has become almost monotonous to recount the Blues’ continuing misfortune in so many games, none can dispute that they were most unlucky losers. With ordinary fortune they would have had this game well won at the interval, but nothing went right for them. Not for a long time can I recall a first half so full of thrilling incidents, wonder saves near misses and rank bad luck as this. Everton twice hit the woodwork, four times almost scrapped the paint off the up right or the bar, had two “certain” goals cleared off the line, another blocked by one of their own side and to cap it all Brown made at least two saves of which he knew comparatively little. Then there were the other brilliant saves which the Derby keeper made when he might have been excused had he been beaten included among these being the full length dive to stop McIntosh penalty kick –as good a save as we have seen here this season. All this was disappointing enough but when on top of it Derby made two quick raids and snatched two simple goals then Everton’s cup of woe was overflowing even before Wainwright’s injury. I thought Sagar partially at fault with the first goal, as he appeared to make only a half hearted attempt at saving apparently confident that Harrison was offside –as he certainly seemed to be. The second showed in whose favour the luck was running when Lee’s shot rebounded from the bar right to the feet of Morris, to give him the easiest of openings. In the second half Everton still had three of four chances to each one of Derby’s but their finishing fell away badly, and likely openings were spoiled by poor shooting or heading. This was not bad luck, just bad play. Wainwright’s goal –his first and last of the season –was well taken, and though there was merit in some of the Blues approach work in the second half, it was wasted by over anxiety. Derby’s defence was a bit shaky at close but struck to its task while the attack if never so much on top as Everton’s always progressed by methodical moves and took what chances came their way.
George Rankin whose grandfather, father, uncle and a cousin (George Jackson) have figured on Everton’s books over the last 50 years seemed a little overwhelmed by the occasion, and did not distinguish himself quite as much as he might have done had he been last season. On the other hand his did nothing very wrong and improved as time went on. He will come “to hand.” It is asking a lot of a young part-timer to hit the high spots right away. Moore seemed more certain of himself at right back, Jones had Lee in a tight grip throughout and the wing halves could rarely be faulted. Wainwright helped to make the attack a much more balanced unit, which makes it all the more unfortunate that he should be laid aside in his first outing after so long an absentee. Everton can only continue to battle along dong they best, as they have all along, and hoping that the hoodoo which has dodged them so persistently will be finally dispersed.
THE TRAGEDY OF EDDIE WAINWRIGHT
December 11, 1950. The Evening Express
Another Big Blow To Everton
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
The tragedy of Eddie Wainwright, Everton’s brilliant inside-right has come as the final blow to Everton’s dismal, unending story of misfortune. It is doubtful whether Wainwright will be able to play again this season. Fortune has been playing Everton scurvy tricks ever since the season started, but never one so disheartening as on Saturday. Wainwright had just scored his first goal of the season and in his usual enthusiastic way was going through seeking that equalizer which would have brought to the Blues only half of the reward they had earned. Wainwright just inside the penalty area called for and received the square pass from Hold and, as he explained afterwards, he thought he was clear. Eddie tried a diagonal shot and put all his strength behind the shot. At the same time Musson came over to cover and Wainwright kicked Musson instead of the ball and both the tibia and fibula were broken. Eddie who was bright and cheerful at the Lourdes Nursing Home yesterday, mentioned to Manager Cliff Britton that the whole thing was purely accidental.
Nothing Goes Right
It is these accidents which are so tantalizing to this good Everton team. Nothing will go right for them. Wainwright had been out of the game for eight matches with an aggravating knee injury, and was just swinging back into the dazzling form of the true Eddie when the blow fell. Eddie was taken to the Royal Infirmary crowds of Blues supporters gathering outside Goodison Park to give him a cheering as he was driven away. Mr. Heron, the club specialist took charge of Eddie whose leg was placed in plaster and during the evening he was taken to the Lourdes Nursing Home in Greenback road where he had a comfortable night. It will be about ten weeks before the plaster can be removed but Wainwright will in all probability be able to go home in a week. The question of whether Wainwright will be able to play again this season is debatable but broken legs are not today quite as serious as they were years ago, and the splendid recovering of men like Hedley, Done Hughes, Linacre are sound ground for optimism. Wainwright will be back again to delight us as he has done so often in the past.
December 11, 1950. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Exasperating really does sum up the Everton position. It is no exaggeration to say that Everton, on the point of their actual play should be well up the league table instead of languishing at the bottom. Against clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion and now Derby County, they have played well enough to have won easily, and yet they were defeated by all four. Had Everton won by four goals against Derby it would not have been any injustice to the County. The County matched the Blues in forward craft in the first 29 minutes and always were sound in defence, but it was rank bad luck more than good play which enabled them to emerge unscathed through several stormy passages when the ball would go anywhere but into the net.
Everton attacked for 30 minutes on ends in the first half without a goal, whereas the County attacked no more than six times and got two goals. Fielding and McIntosh struck the Derby woodwork; scoring shots hit defenders and Everton players; Harold Brown in goal made some sensational saves (three in the space of a minute from McIntosh, Wainwright, and McIntosh again); three shots were kicked off the line with Brown beaten; and when Eglington’s header was going into the net, full back Mozley scooped it out with his hands. The subsequent penalty was no justice for the Blues, for it did not produce the goal they had to all intents and purposes scored. McIntosh hit the penalty accurately and with power to the right spot, but Brown, who moved just as McIntosh shot, dived to his left and not only stopped, but actually clutched the ball. This was no penalty failure, but a truly epic save. This was their fourth miss in five this season, and they have cost points. Everton had ideas much superior to those of the County, despite the early magic of Johnny Morris, and they executed them with a facility and speed, which would have brought something tangible to any side receiving only a few of the smiles of fortune instead of all the frowns.
This was a good Everton with wretched luck. When Fielding and McIntosh struck the woodwork the ball bounced to safety. When Lee struck the Everton bar the ball dropped for an easy Morris goal. When an Everton shot missed the objective it sailed safely behind, but when Stamps’ shot went awry it went not for a goal kick but curved into a diagonal pass, which Harrison contrived to get into the net from a narrow angle. You appreciate the difference? That is the way things ran against Everton and the way they have been running against Everton all the season.
Let us take George Rankin, the 20-year-old left back, who made such a highly-promising debut after the anticipated nervous opening. Rankin pleased me immensely with his coolness his positional ideas, purposeful tackling and above all, his perfect use of the ball. Every Rankin clearance was in the Johnny Carey manner, the foundation for an attack. Rankin has a bright future, but, yes, another blow for Everton, Rankin is one to go into the Army in January. Sagar was for the most part an onlooker, for his early three direct shots brought competent saves; he once ran out to win a tackle but otherwise was idle. Moore seemed affected by the sudden change back to the right. Tommy Jones obliterated Jack Lee, the England leader, and after early Morris delights. Jackie Grant mastered him. Farrell worked hard and strongly, although sacrificing a little accuracy in his haste to make the pass. Fielding was excellent again, responding willingly and cleverly to the many calls made on him by Wainwright and the diligent McIntosh. Eglington made light of Mozley opposition, and Hold was a vital unit in the pattern of attack until tiring late on, when there was a wise switch. In the first half one could have desired nothing better than Everton’s forward work, and that they did not get goals was not (emphasis on this) due to late of shooting. Why these Blues were shooting all the time and shooting well. There is ever likelihood of Harry Potts, Ted Buckle and Tommy Clinton being fit by the week-end.
EVERTON CUP TICKETS
December 14, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Application can now be made by post to Everton for seats in the stand at Boothferry Park for the third round Cup-tie against Hull City on January 6. The Yorkshire club’s decision not to make the match an all-ticket affair means that Everton will have only about 900 seats at their disposal so that the ultimate allocation will depend upon the number of applications received. Prices are 7s 6d, 6s 6d, and 5s. Applicants should enclose correct remittance and stamped addressed envelope and shareholders and members should quote their season ticket number and mark on the outside of the envelope “Shareholder” or member,” as the case may be. They should not enclose third round coupons from the season ticket book, as these may be needed in the event of a replay information as to the methods of distributing replay tickets (if any) will be given later.
EVERTON AT LEEDS ROAD
December 15, 1950. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton will be seeking their second away victory of the season when they face Huddersfield Town at Leeds Road, where last season they won 2-1 after being down at the interval. Everton have now defeated Town in three successive matches, and if they play as well as they did against Derby County last Saturday and get any sort of luck with their finishing, I think they can do so again. No one can deny the spirit and ability of Everton, who have split wide some of the best defences in football with their well-exploited moves, and who now will be meeting a team with a poor defensive record. Huddersfield have had 54 goals against them, a fact which should give further encouragement to the Blues if they need it. The trouble with Everton, at least one of the troubles is that in no two matches can they play the same team. Changes are forced on them with monotonous regularity, and every week finds a problem to be solved. Harry Potts came through today’s fitness test okay and returns to inside left. Oscar Hold reverting to inside right to resume partnership with Wally Fielding. In view of the conditions, it has been decided to give Buckle another week’s lay off. Lindley and Catterick are fit and resume to the Reserves. Huddersfield make three changes, Hunter replacing Battye at right half for his second game of the season. McEvoy taking over from Hepple, White at centre-half and Glazzard being at inside right in place of Nightingale. Huddersfield Town; Wheeler’ Gailogly, Kelly; Hunter, McEvoy, Boot; McKenna, Glazzard, Taylor, Hassell, Metcalfe. Everton; Sagar; Moore, Rankin; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts, Eglington.
BLUES AT HUDDERSFIELD
December 15, 1950. The Evening Express
Providing Everton can serve up another display like they did against Derby County last week-and if the luck which is so long overdue at last runs their way –they may bring back a welcome point from Huddersfield. The Yorkshire club has been a little better combination this season than for some year’s past, though they are not so comfortably placed that they can afford to give anything away. Their defence has conceded more goals than Everton, and still has its shaky spasms under pressure. Everton may cash in on this if they go the right way about it, and if they do then surely the Huddersfield goal cannot bear so charmed a life as Derby’s did last week. Potts passed a fitness test this morning and resumes at inside left. Hold crossing to the right flank, Buckle is being given another week’s rest. There is a considerable covering of snow on the ground. Much of it is being removed but a decision as to the fitness which is left to the referee, is not likely to be made until just before the game. No arrangement are being made for the referee to inspect the ground today. Huddersfield Town; Wheeler’ Gailogly, Kelly; Hunter, McEvoy, Boot; McKenna, Glazzard, Taylor, Hassell, Metcalfe. Everton; Sagar; Moore, Rankin; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts, Eglington.
Everton Reserves; (v. Newcastle at Goodison); O’Neill; Bentham, Saunders; Lindley, Humphreys, Lello; Gibson, Donovan, Catterick, Hampson, Parker
The fact that George Martin, manager of Newcastle United was likely to take the vacant managerial post at Aston Villa has been a well-guarded secret and few people were prepared for the announcement today of the impending move.
The former Everton player, who has proved his acumen and enterprised at St James’s Park now gets the chance to put Villa on a firmer footing. George Martin joined Everton from Hull City following his display in a twice replayed Cup-tie in January 1927 and was transferred from Goodison to Middlesbrough in 1932.
EVERTON’S ELUSIVE “MAC” KEPT THE HUDDERSFIELD TEAM GUESSING
December 16, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Huddersfield Town 1, Everton 2
Huddersfield Town; Wheeler, goal; Gallogly and Kelly, backs; Hunter, McEvoy and Book, half-backs; McKenna, Glazzard, Taylor, Hassell and Metcalfe, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Grant, Jones and Farrell, half-backs; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.H. Clough (Bolton).
The conditions at Leeds Road were better than we had been led to believe. Mr. Harry Cooke, the trainer, paid a visit to the ground on arrival at Huddersfield and soon reported that the match was “on.” The ground had been well swept and there was only a thin layer of snow on top, with patches of grass here and there, and when I walked on the pitch it yielded nicely to my tread. It would play best where there was a layer of snow. Owing to the injury to Wainwright the Everton forward line was changed. Potts came in at inside left and Hold moved over to partner Fielding who is turning out a top class winger. Otherwise the team stood. The Town had three changes Hunter came in at right half, and McEvoy was at centre half in place of Hepplewhite who broke his nose last week. Glazzard, who has been figuring at centre forward was at inside right in place of Nightingale. Mr. Cooke was in charge of the party which left Liverpool this morning but he was latter joined by the chairman Mr. W.R. Williams, director Jack Sharp and R. Searle, Manager Cliff Britton was not present. I believe he was not far away from the Huddersfield ground. The goal ends had been well sanded. Quite a few Everton supporters came along to give their side vocal encouragement to help them report last year’s victory. I estimated the attendance at the start at 10,000.
The players all tested the feel of the ground when they came out, Everton played in white Jerseys. Huddersfield struck an attacking role straight away but there was nothing dangerous in their advance, which was soon cut short by Rankin and later Jones. There was much more in the first Everton move which found McIntosh standing on his own just outside the penalty area. While standing still, he shot just outside the far upright. Up came Huddersfield but once again they fell victims to the Everton defence. McIntosh and Eglington tried to outwit the Town defence by an interchange of passes. It broke down, but not before the ball went out to the right wing and returned into the goalmouth, where it was speedily cleared. The next few moments were anxious ones for Everton for a Glazzard shot struck Rankin and passed out for a corner. This was cleared but it led to a strong attack on the Everton goal without any Huddersfield man being able to get in a final blow. A quick raid by the Town left wing had the crowd roaring but the winger put the ball behind. Everton had played with the utmost confidence and at 10 minutes they opened the score with a goal by McIntosh. He took up perfect position to receive Hold’s centre, after Potts and Eglington had cut out the initial work and with his right foot drove the ball well wide of the Town goalkeeper. This was indeed a fine start for Everton, whose defence again shut down the goal path to Taylor, who was just beaten in the air by Jones. The Yorkshiremen replied and Hassell and Taylor both shot outside when they were reasonably well placed. Sagar carefully watched both efforts pass into the “beyond” ever-alert in case of anything untoward happening. Metcalfe centred close in but the Everton defence stood defiant and Sagar look good care to get his body behind a fast drive by Metcalfe. The Town were pressing hard, and when a centre came over from the right the Town roared as Moore killed the ball and left it for Sagar. That move looked more risky than it was. Huddersfield were all out for an equalizer but Metcalfe pulled his corner kick too far back to be of use to his collesgues. After a spell of defence Eglington set the Everton machine going and Potts carried on the good work, so that Hold, could make a tip-top header which Wheeler punched away from the angle of the post. Everton may not have been so persistent with their attacks, but when they did move up they did so with better goal making efforts than their rivals who were more cluttered up when facing the Everton goal. A free kick by Metcalfe was placed bang across the Everton goalmouth but the ball eluded everyone – friend and foe alike. Following another Everton attack the ball was swept up the middle, but Farrell stepped in and calmly put the ball back to Sagar, with Taylor hot on his heels. The next time the Town came down, Taylor kicked right over the ball just as he was about to about to shoot. He lost the ball recovered it, and won a corner. This was taken by McKenna, and Grant had to kick off the line to prevent the equalizer. Sagar made the next save and a very good one it was from Glazzard’s header. Little had been seen of Fielding so far, but he and Hold tried to make a way for another blow of the Town defence, but Fielding passed back to Hold instead of centring first time. All things considered, the game had been interesting. Naturally there were some alight errors in the form of missed kicks and missed passes, but these things had to be allowed under the conditions. McIntosh was giving McEvoy the run around, for the Town pivot never knew where “Mac” would turn up. Sagar saved a curling ball from Hunter. Grant in clearing slowed the ball over his own deadball line, but the corner, although cleared led to a staunch attack by Hudderfield. He conceded yet another flag kick, Eglington disposed of this. The tensions, however was not cleared until Hassell had headed into Sagar’s arms. And so ended the story of the first half.
Half-time –Huddersfield nil, Everton 1.
The first move in the second half was a splendid dribble by Fielding, following by a perfect glancing pass to Hold, but the inside right put the ball to a place Fielding had just vacated. The Town’s answer was an attack by their left wing, but Moore and Grant took charge of that, and then a McIntosh centre from the right wing saw Wheeler make a catch just as he was challenged by Hold.
Huddersfield had altered their tactics. They now exploited the long cross-field pass, and this kept them in the Everton half, but well away from Sagar, at least for a time. However, the Everton goalkeeper had to act smartly to grasp a half volleyed lob from Taylor, who had been “placed” by McKenna. The first casualty of the match came five minutes after the interval, but it was nothing serious. The Town, at this point, were putting in all they knew to obtain the equalizer, and it came at the 54th minute. Sagar had saved well from Glazzard but the ball went out to Metcalfe who returned a fast centre across the Everton goalmouth, and Glazzard got his compensation when he slapped the ball beyond Sagar from short range. Huddersfield were putting in some hot work, but they had not been able to do any damaged in fact the lead was restored to Everton by McIntosh four minutes later, following good work by Farrell and Eglington. Farrell pushed the ball right out to his Irish colleague, who promptly sent the ball right across to McIntosh who had run out to the right. “Mac” hit the ball for the far side of the goal, and it went in off the inside of the far post –not like last week when the ball would have come out. Hassell had a big drive which passed outside the post and then Hold when he saw Wheelers coming out of his goal, tried to lob the ball over his head, but got too much lift under it and the ball went over. Nevertheless it was a good effort, for had the ball dropped short Wheeler could not have done anything about it. Hold and Potts joined hands –or should it be feet –in an effort to bring a third goal but the former’s shot was of the tame order and Wheeler had no difficulty in saving. McEvoy was glad to pass back to his goalkeeper when he saw McIntosh loom up, and he utilized this move again to get himself out of trouble. Hold was deliberate when he headed to McIntosh but the Everton leader was crowded out. Farrell preferred to give away a corner rather than anything more important when he failed in front of Taylor and the plan succeeded, for the corner was speedily cleared and Everton were at the other end, where a McIntosh shot taken on the run, had no beef behind it and Wheeler saved. Rankin was playing with all the confidence in the world against McKenna. Twice Sagar parried close-in angular shots from Metcalfe when Huddersfield were testing the Everton defence but when the Town wing came down a third time he flashed his shot into the side netting. Potts was limping and went outside right, Fielding taking over at inside left. Metcalfe was the danger spot to Everton and from one of his shots Sagar came out and punched clear but before he could get back McKenna had a crack at goal only to find Farrell blocking his shot and clearing. McIntosh was surprised when he found a Town man speak up behind him and dispose of him as he was thinking what he should do with the ball.
Shot , But-
Potts could not reach a far-flung centre but Moore had a shot at goal. It was not, however the type to beat Wheeler. I should say that Sagar, was the hero of the match.
Final; Huddersfield Town 1, Everton 2.
TWO GOALS FROM TWO CHANCES
December 18, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Huddersfield Town 1, Everton 2
Results are governed by goals, not near misses or good goalkeeping. Did we not have a glowing example of that last week when Derby won at Goodison Park? I am ready to admit that Huddersfield had by far the greater proportion of attack, but that they were only able to gather in a single goal pays tribute to the Everton defence and the heart-breaking display of Sagar in the Everton goal had much to do with the side’s second away win of the season. For long periods Huddersfield attacked incessantly but it was a cluttered-up attack rather than an open advance adopted by Everton, which had by far greater merit and greater scoring potentialities. Furthermore Huddersfield’s best forward, Metcalfe, was inclined to shoot from difficult angles when a pass would have been of greater value. Sagar positioned himself for those fiery shots and treated them in the manner of a first class goalkeeper. Metcalfe was the strong man in the Huddersfield attack, one man Everton had most to fear especially in the last fifteen minutes when he tried to save the game off his own bat. Huddersfield got their goal because Metcalfe offered the chance to Glazzard instead of trying to squeeze in a shot which would no doubt have been smothered by the exhilarating Sagar. Metcalfe did not learn his lesson and Sagar was thankful that he continued to attempt to score from fine angles. In saying that I do not wish to detract from the grand saves the veteran goalkeeper made at the crucial stage of the game.
With 435 games behind him Sagar is still one of the ablest goalkeepers in the land. He is more mellow these days; not quite so spectacular, but more straight-forward and certainly as confident as ever. How was victory accomplished against a side which was battling strongly for the points with all the vigour and power at their command? Everton did it because they kept the play at “long range” on the snow-topped pitch which did not lend itself to close football. Everton’s first goal was a fair example of what could be done by positioning. Eglington and Hold had drawn the defence right away from its goal so that when Hold sent his centre across field the ball landed at McIntosh’s feet free from interference and he shot the ball home before Wheeler had time to move. The second goal was of a similar nature with Farrell and Eglington the striking point. McIntosh had once again taken up sound position and again his right foot did the trick. Two chances two goals but very good goals of the Derby County vintage. Glazzard’s goal came after Sagar had saved his initial shot, which was pushed out to Metcalfe and before the Everton goalkeeper could get back into position Glazzard had picked up the return and swept it into the net. Fielding got a knock on the knee in the first half which slowed him down and Potts had a recurrence of his pulled muscle which had him limping on the wings in the second half.
• Everton Res v Newcastle United Reserves (Postponed)
December 18, 1950. The Liverpool Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton’s second away victory of the season and their first “double” was not achieved over Huddersfield Town at Leeds-road on Saturday without penalty. Harry Potts has again strained the muscle in his right thigh and had to play outside right during the second half.
The hope that Potts will be fit for the Christmas festival is shared by Manager Cliff Britton and Potts. Apart from a slight knock to Fielding there are no other injuries.
Let us deal with the sweeter things first, and pay tribute to yet another great performance by football’s “Peter Pan” –Edward Sagar. Read what colleague Radar has to say of Everton’s happy journey into Yorkshire. “The report of the Hull City emissary who was at Leeds road to see Everton’s latest success over Town, will undoubtedly contain views which will give Player-Manager Raich Carter ample food for thought. His number one observation will be to the effect that Ted Sagar is still, in his 41st year, one of the greatest goalkeepers in the game. Under such conditions this was one of the finest displays of goalkeeping I have ever seen,’ was his remark to me after the game. Believe me, Sagar was magnificent, and the feature of this sporting game, so efficiently controlled by Referee Clough, of Bolton. What left a nice taste in the month was the way in which Geoff Taylor, the Town leader, raced forward at the final whistle to join the Everton players in shaking Sagar by the hand. It was a grand spontaneous gesture from one of the losers to the man who had done most in preventing Huddersfield from saving a point. Faultless anticipation perfect handling, and everything accomplished with the minimum of fuss were the features of Sagar’s work. “Other things which Manager Carter will be told are that this Everton side is imbued with a grand fighting spirit; and the team knows how to adapt itself to unusual conditions; and that their football is worthy of a place in the top half of the table. Huddersfield enjoyed the balance of attack, but their forwards repeatedly held to the ball long enough to give the Everton defenders ample time to cover. In contrast, Everton swept long passes into the open spaces, and continually had McEvoy and his colleagues floundering. Mainspring of a lively efficient forward machine was Jimmy McIntosh who reveled in the conditions, scored both goals and almost made it three. No slave to the middle of the field he always was McEvoy’s master. Hold and Potts were energetic aides, while Eglington constituted a constant threat, and Fielding, although not quite as prominent as he has been as a winger, was a diligent worker. “Farrell was an inspiring captain and outstanding half-back and F.A Selector, Mr. Joe Richards, of Barnsley, who came to watch Metcalfe, must have been impressed by Tommy Jones, who gave Taylor no chance to shine. Grant’s tremendous energy always was in evidence, and Moore played well against Metcalfe, Town’s No 1 danger man. The fact that Irish international McKenna had such a poor game pays tribute to the continued promise of young Rankin.”
THE EVERTON SAGA
December 18, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
At last I have the opportunity of recording an Everton victory. I have waited a long time for the pleasure and as it came at a most opportune time when points are the desperate need it was all the more pleasing. I have seen Everton play better and lose, but the circumstances of their win at Huddersfield, where the conditions were treacherous once the top know had been trodden down, for the underneath ice offered little foothold were full of merit. True, it was the same for both teams, so it became a question of tactics, the need for the right methods to master the conditions. The “open road” was the one preferred to Everton, and it paid better dividends than the closer play of the “town.” On balance of attack Huddersfield had the whip hand, but it played into the hands of the Everton defenders who shut down the goal path with one exception to the rampant Huddersfield attack (write Stork). The Everton defence had to be on top of its job for the Yorkshiremen put in all they had in their efforts to break it down, but it proved equal to the demands. It was one of the oldest players in the game who was the shining light. For of all his 435 games Sagar has never done anything better than this. Cool calm, and collected he stopped shot after shot in thwart Huddersfield, particularly Metcalfe, who will not forget the Everton veteran for many a long day. There was nothing spectators about Sagar at Leeds Road. He did everything in a straight-forward manner as a goalkeeper of his vast experience should do and his positional sense was uncanny and bewildered to Metcalfe who in my opinion should have been the error of his way with angular shooting and offered the chance to others better placed. An inward pass such as he gave to Glazzard to score would have been of much greater value, for Sagar cut down Metcalfe’s shooting space to inches. Such a good player as Metcalfe should have known better after he had seen how Sagar was treating his cross shot. It was indoubtedly Sagar’s day put goalkeepers do not win matches. This is the forwards job and it was difficult to see how Everton could counteract the strong efforts of their rivals. Yet they did it because they kept the play more open and so tore apart the Huddersfield defence to make better openings with half the endeavour the “Town” had put into their work. Instead of running head long into the defence Everton drew it out of position and then supplied the ammunition for McIntosh to fire. “Mac” got two goals and both came in the same manner with the Town defence “miles” away from him. It had been drawn to the left while McIntosh quietly moved over to the right knowing that the ball would eventually come to him. That was sound football ethics and completely bamboozled the Yorkshire defences. Huddersfield rarely draw the Everton defence into a false move for they did not exploit the open spaces so were mostly covered when they reached the Everton penalty area. Even their goal scored by Glazzard had a trace of luck about it for Sagar had saved magnificently to push the ball out to Metcalfe whose quick return to the scorer left Sagar no time to recover. It was hard going for the Everton defence, but it stood its ground, challenging and relisting when the Town were striving might and main to obtain the equalizer, but it was than we saw the might of Sagar and the strength of Jones and Farrell. The Irishman bubbled over with enthusiasm. Here there are everywhere, Jones was inclined to be lured away by Taylor, which might have been dangerous had another Huddersfield man moved into the centre. Otherwise Jones played excellently. With Fielding nursing a knee injury and Potts limping on the wing with a recurrence of the pulled thigh muscle –it saw him run off for a bandage –Everton naturally lost some of their forward striking power, but the defence just buckled up its ball and said; “They shall not pass,” but it is Sagar’s name which will ring in Huddersfield for some time to come.
Hull City were represented at the match. They were looking at the Everton side with their forthcoming Cup-tie in view. There representative will have a lot to say to Raich Carter about the power of Sagar the non-stop work of Farrell, the speed of Eglington, the positional geniue of McIntosh and the defensive spirit of the young Everton backs.
Everton’s ill-luck regarding injuries continues. The pulled muscle which Potts has been nursing lately went back on him at Huddersfield and he is a rather doubtful starter for the holiday games.
EVERTON HAVE SOME STILL FIXTURES AHEAD OF THEM
December 22, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
The holiday programme presents a stiff task for some of them, and particularly Everton, whose need is greatest of all. If the Blues can continue in the manner they have been performing of late, however, they might provide some welcome Yuletide cheer for their anxious followers. Two points from Newcastle United would be a fine start, but they will want some getting, for the Magpies are right at the peak of their form just now. We can largely ignore their freakish debacle at White Hart Lane. Everton will be dwarfed physically in several positions. It is up to the home side to see that they are not dwarfed in point of skill and fighting spirit. The Christmas Day game at Goodison Park, when Burnley are the visitors will be another fixture which will test Everton’s capacity pretty severely for Burnley though not outstanding in attack are among the best defensive sides in the County. It takes a long and a strong effort to make much impression on their rearguard. As Potts passed his fitness test this morning the Blues team tomorrow is unchanged, namely;- Everton; Sagar; Moore, Rankin; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts, Eglington. Newcastle; Fairbrother; Cowell, Batty; Harvey, Breenan, Crows, Walker, Taylor, Robledon, Hannah, Mitchell.
Lindley and Clinton now fit again, are in the Everton Reserves side to meet West Bromwich (away); team; O’Neill; Clinton, Saunders; Bentham, Lindley, Lello; Gibson, Hampson, Hickson, Parker, Easthorpe.
NEWCASTLE AT GOODISON
December 22, 1950. The Liverpool Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Newcastle United, the championship challengers from Tyneside, visit Goodison Park to meet Everton. There could be few better attractions for Goodison than this brilliant Newcastle United, who, have been in the first three throughout the season and who boast so many English, Scottish and Irish stars. One absentee will be Jack Milburn, who has groin trouble, but the Goodisonites will be able to see once again. Liverpool-born and ex-Everton inside forward George Hannah, who partners the Scot Mitchell on the left wing. Taylor and Walker comprise the right wing and this is one of the deadliest combinations in the First Division, as the Anfield people appreciate. Recently Newcastle United went to Anfield and recovered from a Liddell penalty to win 4-2. From indicates another profitable Merseeyside journey for the United, but Everton are on the flood tide of a revival. We saw it when they defeated Sunderland and since then they have drawn at Villa, been beaten unluckily by Derby County at home, and won at Huddersfield. Five points out of eight is good going, and I fancy that record will be improved today. Everton were good enough to secure a point when they went to Newcastle United, and so should do better at home. Everton will be unchanged, Potts having come through his test, successfully this morning. Everton; Sagar; Moore, Rankin; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts, Eglington. Newcastle; Fairbrother; Cowell, Batty; Harvey, Breenan, Crows, Walker, Taylor, Robledon, Hannah, Mitchell.
EVERTON MAKE CHRISTMAS MERRY FOR GOAL-STARVED SUPPORTERS
December 23, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton 3, Newcastle United 1
Everton were nothing short of brilliant for 45 minutes and then, forsaking their aggression, they allowed the initiative to pass to Newcastle, who went nearer to getting a draw than a margin of three goals to one suggests. While Everton employed the positive approach, they always had the game in hand. Only when they willingly reverted to negative principles did Newcastle become really dangerous. A fine start to a Christmas programme which may see Everton clear of all their League worries. Everton; Sagar, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Grant, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts and Eglington, forwards. Newcastle United;- Fairbrother, goal; Cowell and Batty, backs; Harvey, Brannan and Crowe, half-backs; Walker, Taylor, Robledo, Hannah and Mitchell, forwards. Referee; Mr. R.A. Mortimer (Huddersfield). It was a dull, dismal Goodison Park which greeted the crowd of not more than 40,000. Two thrills came in the opening minutes, first when Potts found Hold with an ideal through pass, and second when Mitchell careered along slipping the ball as he went, to make a square pass right across goal. In the first place Hold over ran the ball, in the case of the threat from Mitchell, Farrell at full stretch turned the ball away from goal at the crucial moment. Everton moved at times with splendid understanding and never more than when Fielding picked up Hold’s very prompt return pass and threatened to score, or at least to centre dangerous. Unfortunately, Batty cut out this threat at the expense of an injury. A moment later the persistent Eglington coming far in hit a fierce centre from which Hold made a telling spiteful shot which Brennan took to his chest like a boxer absorbing a punch. Then Fielding working to almost outside left, got Eglington centring again to force another corner and make the Everton supporters’ life a joy when for so long it has been almost a disaster. Robledon and Mitchell worked a corner-kick ruse so quickly that Everton defence was surprised to fine Mitchell in possession and half way towards goal before they could realize it. From this arose a second corner, and a catch by Sagar from Mitchell’s cross which was tentative to say the least.
Everton went ahead at 18 minutes, Hold with his customary flair for the piercing run, was in place to pick up a beautiful 30 yards through pass from Grant, and out-paced the defence to hit the ball beyond the out coming Fairbrother. It was a lovely shot, a grand goal, and one which promised that Everton would not this time win the match territorially, but that they would get something tangible for their pressure. Hold took a blow in a challenge to Brennan, when trying to get goal number two, and Everton were to uproarious the Newcastle defence became more than a little jittery. Yet at this point Sagar was knocking down and then picking up a first rate header by Robledon from a Mitchell centre. Moreover he was doing it literally on the goalline. Potts might have scored had he selected a quick shot, but he turned the ball out to Eglington, whose centre Fielding presented to Potts for a shot which bumped only a matter of feet outside the post. Everton’s joy day went a stage further when young Rankin came into the offensive with the lead in a goal scored by Potts at 24 minutes. This one was due to sheer persistence. Twice Hold seemed to be crowded out, but he went on fighting Brennan for the ball, and once he had got it he left Brennan and Crowe confounded with a short pass to Potts from which that player did all that was necessary.
Fielding Makes It Three
A moment later, the score by the process of hopping over the ball and changing direction, turned and made a first-rate shot which Fairbrother saved only with difficult. Everton’s third goal at 32 minutes went to Fielding, it was most astonishing in its directness in that it started with a free kick by Mitchell, Sagar held this, threw the ball to Fielding, standing not far outside the penalty area, for Fielding to go on to make his pass to McIntosh, just over the half-way line, and then pick up the return pass and travel on so close to goal that although Fairbrother half-stopped his shot the ball had so much pace on it, it careered on and over the lines.
Sagar, who scarcely got hold of his punch on a centre, followed the ball on and made a second one, and Newcastle must have wondered how Everton could stand so low in the how Everton could stand so low in the table and so high in to-day’s estimation. Newcastle got no more than they deserved when Taylor scored for them at 40 minutes. First he made a beautiful through pass to Hannah who must have scored but for Jones getting his body to a shot at almost point-blank range. But the ball hung in the Everton goalmouth and Taylor with a shot which struck the inside of the post competed the attack with a well deserved goal. Hannah with yet another good pass from little Taylor, hit a roaring shot over the bar, and there were signs of a Newcastle revival.
Half-time; Everton 3, Newcastle United 1.
Eglington started the second half with a quick thrust from a Hold pass, but having lost the ball temporarily he did well to go and challenge the mountainous Brennan before sprawling and appealing for a penalty which did not come. Newcastle were within an ace of going 4-1 down when McIntosh found Pott’s nicely-judged pass just right for a header but Fairbrother stood firm. Everton were still inclined to fall back and allow an avalanche of Newcastle effort to all but swamp them, and one wondered just how long Newcastle could go with the ball in front of the Everton goal without producing the issue –narrowing factor. Farrell, with a lovely feint, got McIntosh and Fielding lined up for a goal, but Fielding was well offside at the vital moment. Fairbrother was one man on the field at least who realized his side had chances of surviving. The Everton defence, with young Rankin playing like a veteran, was doing its part nobly. Eglington not finding as many up as he would like for a centre hit the ball in the form of a shot and a fine angle chance was created for McIntosh but he too hit the ball hard across goal, and in the end Newcastle greatest danger came from the cleverly-screwed angle shot by Fielding which topped the bar.
Gone off The Boil
The mist came down now on Newcastle chance, but there was not sufficient to dim our view of the usual errant dog comedy, the intruder arriving just as Fairbrother. Eglington and company made for a long through pass. Robledo was kicked on the head when forcing a corner, which looked to me more like a goal kick, and now the game had rather gone off the boil, especially from the Everton point view, although Rankin and Jones continued to show a bold and sure front to Newcastle. Sagar, whose work had been awkward rather than severe, now brought off a first-rate, save from Hannah at the expense of a corner and another useful save from Harvey a moment later. He also made a good catch of a surprise shot from Mitchell which was travelling fast when it hit the referee, and changed direction markedly to come right on the target.
Hold Is Persistent
A fine run by Hannah in which he came right round the defence at outside right deserved a better fate than for the ball to be put our of play when a first-rate centre was expected. Hold kept getting himself offside, but equally he was the one man penetrative enough to make himself a great nuisance to the Newcastle defence. Fairbrother, for some reason found unusual difficulty in clearing a ball from hand with McIntosh jigging this way and that to stop him and then McIntosh headed in strongly but the ball either hit a defender or a post. Sagar was a bit fortunate when trying to let the ball pass over the dead ball line to find Robledo on the wrong end of the decision, in that a doubtful goal kick was given. First stoppage was for attention to Walker, but he was soon able to resume. McIntosh got in front of an Eglington right foot shot, but Fairbrother had this one covered and then Robledon, who had an unhappy afternoon against Jones and company suffered a leg blow for which his only reward was a free kick. The last ten minutes was wholly Newcastle, but Everton covered up so well, the inspiring Newcastle goal never came. Final; Everton 3, Newcastle United 1.
• West Bromwich Albion Reserves 0, Everton Reserves 0
NEARLY SIX POINTS OUT OF SIX
December 27, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Burnley 1, Everton 1
Everton have had a very enjoyable Christmas. They took five points out of a possible six, and with the slightest bit of luck it would have been six out of six. A shot by Eglington had Strong well and truly beaten yesterday, when the ball struck the inside of the upright and rebounded straight into his hands. Considering the conditions –the ground was an ice-rink- the football was attractive and interesting and all the time Everton tried to play good football. They had to do much defensive work in the second half but they stood their ground to thwart the Burnley forwards time and again. Everton had to fight against a goal in nine minutes by McEvoy but an equalizer by Eglington after 32 minutes was well worthy of their efforts. Jones played a big part in Everton’s half share, and Eglington was the spearhead of their attack his speed being too much for Woodruff. Strong had to save on numerous occasions, and so did Sagar, but the shots which came Sagar’s way were not of the kind to bring about the downfall it was a grand effort to take a point from Turf Moor, a ground which yields to a visitor.
Everton played so well against Burnley at Goodison Park on Christmas Day the wonder was they did not win by six goals instead of one. McIntosh was the scorer, but Burnley were under tremendous pressure for long spells and when Potts made a header from a corner spectators behind the goal were swore the ball was over the line, via the crossbar before it hit Mather and rebounded to safetly. Nothing can dim, even at this distance. Everton’s first 45 minutes against Newcastle United on Saturday (writes Leslie Edwards) Hold came along with a beautiful leading goal; Potts added his burden to the Newcastle load and the Fielding point was unforgettable.
Mitchell of Newcastle hit a free kick! Sagar held it threw the ball to Fielding. Although there was only one quick pass and return pass between that player and McIntosh the ball went from one end of the field to the other and into the net in a twinkling. Fairbrother got his hands to the shot, but it was hit so hard he could not stay its course. Later Newcastle got nearer 3-2 then the score indicates but only because Everton had worn themselves out in their incessant first half barrage. The best Everton we have seen for seasons.
• Christmas Day Preston Reserves 2, Everton 2
• Boxing Day, Everton Reserves 1, Preston Reserves 0
EVERTON SPRANG A MONDAY SURPRISE
December 27, 1950. The Burnley Express and News
Everton 1, Burnley 0
The initial Christmas meeting of Burnley and Everton on Monday provided many of the Claret supporters with a mild shock. It was not the result disappointing though that happened to be, but for a near bottom of the League side the Goodison men were a revelation in speed, skill and accuracy in passing. If they maintain this form they will shake many teams in an inevitable climb up the table. There is a vast difference between the play of Everton and Burnley’s other lowly Christmas opponents, Sheffield Wednesday. Everton are a purposeful side with the stamp of top of the League class in the approach play. They caused the Clarets plenty of worry during long spells of severe pressure during the first half when they were faster on the ball and thought quicker. Everton executed their moves at top speed, changing the direction of the advance and always quick to appreciate the value of the open space. They also sought an opening in the Clarets defence but despite their mobility these were few and far between.
Seldom have the Burnley backs and halves covered so magnificently –it was a tribute not only to Mr. Hill, but to Mr. Britton who is evidently trying to instill the principles of effective fluid defence with success at Goodison. (Incidentally this was the fourth game in succession from which Everton have taken full points). Burnley’s defensive play deserved a point. the match had two distinct phases. Everton dominated from the point of view of territorial advantage in the first half when, however, there was always the chance that Burnley might score from a breakaway. Still Holden almost translated this possibility into terms of reality when he broke through, veered left and his low drive for the far corner beat Sagar but just missed the post.
After half time Burnley came more into the picture as an attacking force and had more of the play than Everton, who had their share of defence. Here again the danger arose that the Blues might find a sudden way through the elastic barrier and score a goal. They succeeded where Burnley failed, partly because their inside forwards were more of a Claret’s pair and partly because they had more luck.
For instance Mcintosh, the home leader, had two chances at his scoring shot. The first which came from Mather’s failure to clear direct, was charged down, and the second at close range was diverted into the net off Tommy Cumming’s shoulder when Strong had the original line of fire covered. This was tough luck indeed for Burnley. The marking on both sides was keen and the tackling hard but fair, with some exciting individual duels developing, particularly near the touchline, where the outside men found that they were being tackled not only by the backs but by the opposing wingers – a style adopted by each team. Holden had another fine game for the Clarets although devoid of support and shooting luck. McLLroy received a bang on his nose (Injured on Saturday) in the opening minutes and in great pain was held up by two Evertonians, who had to leave when play became close. The injury had an effect on his form. It was not until midway through the second half that Billy Morris showed his true skill and increased Holden’s ability as a potential menace to the Everton goal. The home wing halves took some shaking off.
Burnley supporters were greatly interested in Harry Potts. Well, he fits into the Everton scheme of attack to no mean purpose –and that is not being derogatory –to Reg Attwell, who acted as “watchdog” to the ex-Claret, following and foiling in some fine battles of wits and skill. There were alternate periods when each of the two had their moments of supremacy and then Potts sent a rocket-header against the Burnley bar to set the crowd roaring. This came during Everton’s first half pressure when, despite their brilliance they seldom had Strong in direct action. One of the goalkeeper’s most anxious seconds was in dealing with a 40-yard oblique drive from Jones which swerved in the last arc of flight. Potts who had been dominated by Attwell in the latter part of the pre-interval period, prompted several raids soon after the resumption, showing judgment in the long ball to Eglington who caused Woodruff more trouble than most wingers this season. Chew and Hays worked tremendously hard on the Burnley wings and Sagar saved a header from the outside left and knew little about a terrific left foot volley from Chew which flew just wide. Everton enjoyed the run of the ball better on the hard ground and this was demonstrated in many instances of which they took full advantage. After the McIntosh goal, Burnley tried hard for an equalizer. Cummings three times dribbling through in attacking style without being able to turn the ground gained to an opportunity for his forwards. Bray and Attwell joined in the attack and once Morris put Holden through with a glorious pass. The leader took it in his stride but his first time drive went inches wide, Mather tried a burst through and another Holden shot landed on top of the bar. The all-out attack brought no result, however, and this was the first match this season in which Everton had not conceded a goal. Everton; Sagar, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Grant, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts and Eglington. Burnley; Strong, goal; Woodruff, and Mathers, backs; Attwell, Cummings, and Bray, half-backs; Chew, Morris, Holden, Mcllroy and Hays, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Gibson (Manchester), Attendance; 40,863.
• Thanks to Kjell Hanssen for sending these Burnley Express reports
HOLDEN INJURY MEANT NEW ATTACK
December 27, 1950. The Burnley Express and News
Clarets’ Early Lead Lost –With a Point
Burnley 1 (1) Everton (1) 1
As I saw It by Sportsman
Burnley’s point tally was brought to 50 per cent of the possible total by the home draw in the return encounter with Everton yesterday. The pattern of play in this match was pretty well the same as that of Monday –only in reverse –and Everton could be pleased in collecting their fifth point from three Christmas fixtures. There was an initial surprise and disappointment for the home spectators before the kick-off when it was announced that Billy Holden would not be playing. His knee injury sustained against Arsenal was aggravated at Goodison Park in the closing minutes of the game, and Jack Chew was moved to lead the attack with Roy Stephenson coming in on the right, Everton were unchanged
Whatever chargin there may have been felt at the dropping of a home point, particularly after an early lead had indicated a few more goals, the Burnley crowd could hardly have felt that their visit to Turf Moor had been in vain. Ground conditions rendered foothold precarious after keen night frost, and under these difficulties play proved entertaining and not without highlights of endeavour. Naturally moves were often brought to a summary conclusion by the ball running further than a player intended, and there were many throws-in. That both teams tried to play football and did not resort to the mere rudiments of unscience kicking in which fond hope sunshine judgment
Both teams are to be congratulated on their determination to overcome the conditions. Again, covering took a prominent part in the success or failure of the moves of the rival forwards with similar defensive systems or defence in depth, it was hardly to be expected that a goal not would eventuate in time of either time. Burnley had most of the play but their finishing lost its polish because of the lack of understanding at a vital stage of attack. Stephenson developed the weakness of being out of position too often. It may have been due to his enthusiasm for the through pass but in running in he left too even a space on the wing which was the point at which the ball invariably arrived
Chew strove nobly to fulfill the ask of leadership so unexpectedly placed on his shoulders. Apart from lively work in the centre, he moved out to the wings judiciously and even managed to win a few high passes down the centre from the faller Jones. However, he had little opportunity to reveal his vital shooting power, and although in position, Everton saw that he was rarely in possession anywhere near the six yard line, Sagar dealt effectively with those from longer range. Mcllroy continues to delight with those gems of foot-sparkle which battle defenders as much as they amaze the terraces. He was his bright self in the first half, quickly emphasizing that his knock yesterday had brought in its train neither diminished confidence or reduced efficiently.
Some of his work on the touchline could only be classified as brilliant and the remodeled attack could have made better use of it had they had the requisite harmony in understanding. He and Hays have found a happy agreement in working and the winger again played a strong game throughout, allowing little to escape him in engineering a forward move. Morris missed Chew on his right, but did his best to turn Stepheson’s willing liveliness in a more concrete design for attack. Behind and standing as sponsors to many of Burnley’s raids were Bray and Attwell. The latter was again in great form, particularly in the first half, and his duties were not simplified by the fact that his opposing inside man and erstwhile colleague, Harry Potts, was in devastating mood.
Seldom in recent months before he joining Everton has Potts been such a potent factor to a team’s forward power. He was behind 70 per cent of his side’s more dangerous raids, passing here, prompting there, moving into the open space to anticipate or check and build up anew. And, by the way, an Everton player with whom I was in conversation after the game put down his team’s recent revival to the way the ex-Claret had settled down in his new quarters. Certainly he seems to “fit in” with the Goodison scheme. He kept as far away from Attwell as possible and his loose forward type of play always found him popping into action where least expected. He provided the opening for the Everton equalizer, just as Chew prompted Burnley’s in the first 10 minutes.
Chew moved out to the right and received from Morris. He “dribbed” the ball away from Rankin towards the touchline, beat his man and then swung it across, Mcllroy diving to head through. The Everton goal came from a similar move, Potts beating Woodruff on the left and sending over for Eglington to first time it past Strong with outstretched foot. Cummings held an active watch on McIntosh and commanded the middle after an early miskick. Later he put his team in trouble with an unnecessary “hands” and the Burnley goal had an amazing escape. Potts received the pass, sent in Eglington, whose cross-shot hit the inside of the post and rebounded across the goalmouth line into the hands of Strong just as a melee was developing. This was luck all right. If the efforts of the Burnley attack had received smiles of Fortune they would have won. Mcllroy rushed in to hit a centre from Hays just past with the crowd roaring “Goal” Chew placed narrowly wide from Mather and then Stepheson hit the side net.
In the dominating stages of Burnley’s pressure periods the defence rendered terrific support. There were minutes when Strong was the only occupant of the Clarets half of the field with Strong and Mather putting the ball back into the Everton penalty area. In three attacks Mather proved the prop on which the forwards leaned with back passes. Woodruff had –for him –an unhappy game and obviously did not relish the slippery conditions. Strong experienced a few spasms of concentrated action in which his anticipation prevented him from calling the spectacular to his aid. He was not as busy as Sagar, who also fielded Burnley’s shots like a magnet. A feature of the second half was the way in which the Burnley forwards kept a continual positional switch in operation in an attempt to confuse the Everton defence. Instinctive covering on the well-known “Britton plan” sealed the way in face of Burnley’s original reoraganiastion due to Holden’s injury. A lone possessing a better working understanding might have succeeded – although it is problematical. Conditions favoured defence and Everton made the most of them.
Footnote;- Both these matches were fought out in an excellent manner indicative of the sporting spirit existing between the two clubs. Burnley; Strong, goal; Woodruff and Mather, backs; Attwell, Cummings and Bray, half-backs; Stepheson, Morris, Chew, Mcllroy and Hays, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Grant, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Gibson (Manchester). Attendance 38,444.
• Thanks to Kjell Hanssen for sending these Burnley Express reports
EVERTON FIVE POINTS
December 27, 1950. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The honours went to Everton who gave visible proof of their ability to finish in the upper half of the table by taking five out of the six points and taking them into a position sixth from bottom – and on points gained too. From the start of the season we have known that the rewards gained by the Blues have not been in keeping with their play. During the holiday there was a change. Everton played well enough for five points and received them. This revival bringing seven points out of the last eight seems to be an old Everton custom at Christmas, for it was at Christmas last season that they turned the corner and never looked back. The change of fortune comes, too, at the right moment from the point of view of the F.A. Cup in which they visit Hull City who were limited to one Christmas point.
The Irish boys got on the goals standard at Turf Moor yesterday where Everton were well worth their 1-1 draw for after Mcllroy had given Burnley the lead, Tommy Eglington equalized. Both are Irishmen. Eglington was unfortunate in the second half when his shot hit the inside of a post and bounced back into the arms of goalkeeper Strong. At Goodison Park on Christmas Day, Everton counted only a McIntosh second half shot, through I thought “Mac” onside when he netted earlier. What is more no Everton player ever will be convinced that a Potts header did not enter the net. The ball at terrific pace struck the underside of the bar, bounced again the head of full-back Mather who was standing well inside the goal, bounced out, striking the underside of the bar again as it did so Everton had attacked so long and so well, with Fielding again the mainspring that I though Burnley lucky not to be well beaten by the interval. McIntosh won the game in 69 minutes when he had one shot charged down and then did the trick at the second “bite.” Against Newcastle Everton positively scintillated and all within 14 minutes Hold, Potts and Fielding had scored to place the side well on the road to their 3-1 victory. It was the manner of victory as much as the victory itself which delighted.
EVERTON’S HAPPY CHRISTMAS
December 27, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Blues Seem To Have Turned the Corner at Last
They say you can’t judge a horse by its nose or a book by its cover, but the position of a football side in the League table if not always an absolutely reliable guide, is usually indicative of the general trend and Everton’s rise in the chart over the Christmas holiday is concrete and encouraging evidence of their recent improvement. It had become a little monotonous to refer so often to their ill-luck. To those who had not seen the games the reiteration might have savored of “white washing.” That was far from being the case. Now Everton are showing by results that those who had faith in them were not such bad judges after all. The one man more than any other who consistently stuck to that belief was Manager Cliff Britton. Even when my own faith was somewhat undermined I always found him convinced that better times were not far around the corner. Five points from three Christmas games have taken a load of worry of his shoulders. Though the Blues are not yet out of the wood, at least we can now see more than a bit of daylight. It is not only that the points are so valuable. The psychological effect on the players of their recent successes must be almost incalculable. No longer will they feel that nothing will go right.
In the first halves of both the Newcastle and Burnley games, Everton played almost like a championship side. If they were just a trifle inspiring in the second portions, that was understandable after setting such a terrific pace. While the farthest thought from my mind is to appear at all grudging in praise, now that the attack is showing punch and ideas I hope we shall see the defence cut out that occasion tendency to back away from oncoming forwards. Hesitancy in going into the tackle was the only blemish on their brilliant holiday displays at Goodison Park. I didn’t see them at Turf Moor yesterday. Stork tells you all about that below.
Everton’s Happy Xmas
On Christmas night, burglars paid a visit to the Burnley F.C office and walked off with several typewriters and a number of linen tablecloths. The following day Everton went to Turf Moor and walked off with one point to complete a very happy Goodson Park Christmas. Only those who went to see the game could imagine what the pitch was like. It was a patch of ice so that mistakes had to be forgiven and credit given to all the providing such an entertaining display with the conditions all against football of any sort, I tested the ground prior to the game, and it would not have surprised me if the referee had cancelled the match. I am glad he didn’t for we would have had a journey for nothing but as it turned out we saw a rasping good game, and a near win for Everton in the last minute when a McIntosh header almost squeezed inside the angle of the post. Strong making a capital save with his finger tips. Then there was Hold’s shot which struck a Burnley player’s foot and curled into Strong’s hands when he was right out of position. The pressure Burnley brought to bear was a sound test for Everton’s young defence, but it stood its ground splendidly to save a point. Everton played the same team in all three matches and no doubt there will be many tired muscles for the next few days but they were in high feather on the journey home in the knowledge that the tension has been eased if not completely erased. Potts worked like a Trojan against his former colleagues and one of his shots knocked out Bray as though he had been hit by Joe Louis. Potts “made” Eglington’s goal, but it was to the defence that I would award premier laurels for this half share. Woodruff could not match the speed of Eglington who had him “jittery” and the Irishman was the best forward, but not far behind him were Potts and McIntosh. Jones was a grand worker and Rankin, after a hesitant start settled down to confident kicking and intervention. The great handicap to all defenders was to turn so that the advantage was almost always with the attacker.
EVERTON TO STAY AT HOME
December 28, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Trainer Harry Cooke’s First Blank Day Since Season Opened
Left by the board to make their own decision as to whether they would go away for special cup-tie training or stay at home Everton’s players have expressed an overwhelming preference for the latter course. By so done they have followed the general practice of recent year’s although on a couple of occasions there has been a break for away ties the last time being a short spell at Buxton prior to the semi-final against Liverpool at Maine Road. For the first time this season manager Cliff Britton is able to sit back and more or less let the Everton side pick itself for Saturday’s game. Undisturbed by my problems about injured players or worries about positions which require strengthening. Although the players had a well-earned rest yesterday after the holiday programme, in previous weeks there have always been two or three attending on their day-off for treatment of some kind. Yesterday the only members of the Goodison staff on the premises were those who came up for a game of snooker. It was the first day this season that Trainer Harry Cooke’s services had not been required.
EVERTON TEAM UNCHANGED
December 28, 1950. Evening Express
The Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton, for their visit to West Bromwich Albion at Hawthorns on Saturday, will, for the fifth successive match, play an unchanged team. This team has taken seven points out of the last eight. Buckle and Clinton are now fit and they have a run with the Central League side against Huddersfield Town at Goodison Park.
Everton; Sagar; Moore, Rankin; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts, Eglington
Everton Reserves; Burnett; Clinton, Saunders; Donovan, Lindley, Lello; Buckle, Hampson, Catterick, Parker, Easthope.
December 29, 1950. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton, unbeaten for four successive games, will be at the Hawthorns trying to prevent the Albion from being the first team this season to complete the “double” over them, and will take heart from the fact that they are playing unchanged for the fifth successive match. Albion, who were the first team to win at Goodison this season.
LIFE FOR EVERTON
December 29, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Everton, with 10 points from their last seven games have a good chance of lifting themselves still higher in the table at the expense of West Bromwich Albion’ at the Hawthornes. The Blues these days are a vastly different combination from that which lost 0-3 to the Throstles at Goodison early in September. The long lane of successive defeats and ill-luck has at last produced a turning and a consequent accession of confidence right throughout the team whereas the Albion lately have not been particularly outstanding. They have taken nine points from their last 12 matches. While an Everton victory is quite on the cards if they play as they did against Newcastle and Burnley, a draw would not be a bad performance, for Albion’s defence is pretty good on its own ground. The Blues, however, are a fair way yet from being so secure that the possibility of relegation is entirely banished and they must aim at maximum points. Everton have shown splendid form in all departments. Their young defenders playing with verve and reliability the wing halves are doing their stuff and an eye-opener in the attack has been the magnificent winging of Fielding. With Eglington shinning as never before and the rest of the forwards pulling their weight to the last ounce, the transformation has been short of amazing. Everton; Sagar; Moore, Rankin; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts, Eglington
FIVE ON THE RUN
December 30, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Unbeaten in their last four League matches Everton visit West Bromwich Albion with greater confidence than might otherwise have been the case and followers of the Goodison club’s fortune are hoping their favourities will return with a least a point. While Everton play an unchanged side for the fifth successive time their opponents make two changes. Sanders being recalled to goal in place of Heath, and Wilcox comes in at inside right in place of the transferred Walsh.
EVERTON SOON LEARNED THE BEST WAY TO PLAY WITH A SNOWBALL
December 30, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
West Brom 0, Everton 1
A goal headed by Eglington three minutes after the start of the second half decided the issue. Everton have now taken nine points from the last ten. The goal was engineered by Potts, among others, and Everton were fully worth their win. Sagar made a number of first-rate saves, one of them a specially good one, and the side as a whole played well enough to justify the belief that they must stand a very bright cup chance. West Brom;- Sanders, goal; Rickaby, and Millard, backs; Dudley, Vernon and Barlow, half-backs; Allen, Wilcox, Richardson, Ryan and Lee, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Moore and Rankin, backs; Grant, Jones, and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Fielding, Hold, McIntosh, Potts and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.W. Bowers (Huddersfield).
The referee did not arrive until mid-day, and no one was in the ground an hour before kick-off. However, when the decision to play was made, spectators rolled in, and there must have been 20,000 at the start. Trainer Harry Cooke had been up before the game began to inspect the pitch, and found it iron-hard underneath but cushioned by an inch of snow. Everton played in white, which had its advantage and its disadvantage, and Albion were minus Dave Walsh, for whom, I am informed, Villa paid no less than £25,000. The first few minutes’ play showed that though the snow made the ground playable, the football would be freakish. The ball bounced erratically and needed a lot of controlling. It was a sketchy start, in which Albion did most without ever finding the telling shot. keeping a foothold was difficult, and timing a ball which hung in the snow was a problem. Sagar’s only real work for ten minutes was to catch a centre from Allen, and although Hold hot a blow in the face in contact with Barlow he carried on without needing the trainer’s attention. Everton were dangerous in the few raids they made, being more direct, and after Hold and McIntosh had got Eglington going, he won a corner, from which the ball went straight downfield for the lively Richardson to centre it dangerously near the crossbar. In the conditions, much of Everton’s passing was good, but there was a big element of luck about the game as a whole. McIntosh made one particularly good quick, lobbed pass for Eglington, but again Eglington could not produce the centre, when everything suggested he would.
Lost His Foothold
Sagar did exceptionally well to catch and hold a Lee centre and maintain his grip, when falling on the well-sanded goal area. Direct from a poor goal-kick by Sanders, Fielding put up a pass which Potts forward, and although Albion appealed for a handling offence, Potts was allowed to go on. Unhappily, he lost his foothold when his prospects looked brightest. There was no doubt about the force of Lee’s left foot shot at this point, and Sagar did well to catch it, when his body could not be behind the ball. Potts and Eglington worked a clever short corner kick ruse with Potts going close to the kicker, and then instead of turning the ball back to Eglington, dummying his way inside and pulling the ball back, for Eglington to run in and shoot. Hold completely kicked over the ball when fairly well placed, and then with a second chance failed to get in his pass. Everton were much more in the game than they had been at the start. Hold did better when electing to go clean through and it was sheer good fortune. Albion were able to crowd him out when his penetrative run looked like succeeding. Jones was quick in recovery, but when he and Richardson tangled, the Everton player, skidded yards on the hard portion of the ground which marked the penalty confines. Sagar was soon doing what he had done two or three times before, but this time Lee’s centre came dangerous near to entering the net at the far angle, and Sagar was forced to give away a corner. At last Everton produced a shot of note. McIntosh cutely and sharply turned the ball with his left foot to find Eglington, who was able to come in and hit a fierce drive, which Sanders collected at full stretch, a yard or two in front of goal. Another good shot came from Dudley and Sagar did brilliantly to turn this one over the top, especially as he knew that in doing so he must pitch heavily on his right shoulder. Ryan, with a tentative sort of header, bounced the ball so high in front of Sagar there was a danger it would pass over the goalkeeper’s head, but in any event Sagar was wide of goal. Fielding, in trying to tap the ball back to Moore, set up an Albion attack which ended in Ryan shooting over the bar.
When Moore, coming to the half-way line, tried to find Hold with a through pass he had to hit the ball firmly and it travelled to the goalline gathering a belt of snow as it went only to roll over the line by inches as Hold dashed up. A Fielding free kick then led to another cross shot by Eglington, but perhaps it would have been better if he had elected instead to pull the ball back squarely, as Sanders dealt with this one quite nonchalanity. The Everton attack moved more collectively than Albion’s, and it was only their misfortune that the ground should cause them to be denied so often, when things were developing so well. Allen, striding over Rankin, went ahead and with the best cross-field pass of the day, spread-eagled the defence for Lee to measure his shot and angle with all the time in the world, but he could do no better than hit the side netting with a shot which swerved appreciably. More than a hint of snow or sleet arrived and found its way under the eaves of the stand, but it was not sufficient to threaten the game. An odd occurrence came when the referee stood between Ryan and a ball he should have got by yards, and “charged” him out of possession.
Wilcox, with Everton players draped round him, bodied his way through and made a creditable left foot shot, which was no wider than one would expect in the circumstances. McIntosh found it hard to move on the treacherous ground, and there were times when Jones and Rankin were beaten by the eccentric bounce of the ball, but generally Everton were slightly the better side with the ball mostly on the ground and progressing with great certainty towards goal. Half-time; West Bromwich Albion nil, Everton nil.
Moore worked a useful goal-kick against Lee in the first minute of the second half when the chance were that Lee would win a corner. Albion began this half as though they really meant business, and after an Allen corner the Everton defence needed to line up solidity against a volley of shots. Sagar was soon showing his ability again, this time from Allen whose lob he caught when badly hampered. Three minutes of the half had gone when Potts came through at inside left and instead of crossing the ball early, edged it towards the goal-line and centred it when the ball was literally on the line and when Rickably was engaged in tackling him. Sanders connected with his punch, but not truly enough to make the ball travel more than a few yards from goal, and high in the air. As it dropped, Eglington who had run into position nodded it very deliberately into the empty net. A well taken goal and a well-made one. The crowd by his time was in the neighbourhood of 25,000. The semblance of snow had now disappeared. Rankin was having a good game, and that he was determined to place the ball to advantage was well demonstrated by his display of annoyous when passing it inaccurately for once.
The Sagar Bounce
The ball had now collected an appreciable amount of snow and Sagar and company were forced to bounce it three of four times before taking goal-kicks. McIntosh’s first shot was a chancy one, far out, but as it caught the ground before it arrived in front of Sanders there was the odd chance that the freak bounce would prove the goalkeeper’s undoing. Nothing of the sort happened. Lee’s low shot spun away from Sagar’s body, but he regained possession at the second attempt and all was well. The game went on despite an injury to Dudley, who came into collision with Potts and not until McIntosh had put the ball out of play did the referee stop the game and call on the trainer –the first real injury of the match. Everton were now playing with what wind there was, and they came more and more into the picture. Lee succeeded in jockeying Moore out of position and passing the ball but Sagar was there for an easy easy catch.
Vernon showed some lovely touches in duels with McIntosh, but Eglington was a constant menace and Barlow did well to breast down a looping centre, though Sanders was standing immediately behind and looked a bit exasperated that his co-defenders’s should undertake this risk. The pertinacity of Fielding was solely responsible for the shooting chance that McIntosh enjoyed and he hit a good right foot shot close up the upright, which Sanders did well to turn round the post. The Everton defence covered up so well that Albion’s rather ragged approaches never meant much. But at this stage Everton seemed to be a bit anxious and went into their shell to concentrate on defence, and the initiative passed to Albion for the first time. Sagar pulled down a long ball from Lee when standing on the goal-line – a ticklish job – and there was a point when 21 or the 22 players were in the Everton half. Sagar, still keeping them out with aplomb took a Dudley shot beautifully but the crowd which had been so dispirited was now roaring their side into some action, and Ryan lashed in a shot which Sagar punched away when almost in the horizontal position. When McIntosh charged down a clearance from an Eglington corner, Potts fastened on the ball quickly and screwed in a shot which had the necessary element of surprise, but carried no sting. McIntosh and Fielding in a classic cross-field move, conjured up a delicious chance for Eglington, who took the bouncing ball well, and went on to make a shot which Sanders did well to push away. The Everton pattern of play, especially about now was excellent and Eglington’s speed was used to the full. Everton sat on the splice successfully in the last five minutes in which they had move than one scoring chance, McIntosh making a good long distance shot on the run in the last few minutes. Final; West Bromwich A. Nil, Everton 1.
• Everton Res v Huddersfield Res (Postponed)
• Everton “A” v. Haydock C and B (Postponed)