Everton Independent Research Data


London Daily News - Monday 02 February 1903
A good game at Liverpool ended in a victory for Everton by one goal to none. Fine weather prevailed, and about 15,000 people were present. Everton played Bowman at centre and Rankin at outside left, while Wilkinson was absent from the United team. In the earlier stages of the game Everton had the best of the play, but towards the interval the Sheffield team attacked in dangerous fashion. However, the sides changed ends without anything having been scored. Everton applied considerable pressure during the second half. Johnson was away for a quarter of an hour owing to an injury, but the home side still kept up the attack, and after his return they scored the solitary goal of the match through Rankin.

Lancashire Evening Post - Monday 02 February 1903
Everton Reserves brought a strong team to meet Rossendale United on the latter's ground on Saturday. They had Kitchen in goal, Young in centre, and Crelly at full back. When they stepped into the enclosure they looked a much stronger lot than the home team, but the latter set about their work gamely, and had quite as much as of the play as the Toffy men. Rossendale played a smart all-round game, and their display was a great improvement on the few previous weeks. Cunliffe was very succeesful at centre. Kitchen the Everton goalkeeper, got away some hot shots and certainty saved his side from defeat. The defence of the visitors' backs was not as sound as many expected it would be, and their general play was somewhat disappointing.

February 2, 1903. The Liverpool Courier
The football attraction in Liverpool on Saturday's was the visit of Sheffield United to Goodison-park. The Blades have ever been popular in this city, and in view of the mild weather there must have been 15,000 people present when the game started. On the Everton side, Bowman and Rankin replaced Brearley and Dilly, while United were with out Wilkinson, Common, and Foulke. Teams Everton: - Whitley, goal, Henderson, and W.Balmer, backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain), and Abbott, half-backs, Sharp, Taylor, Bowman, Settle and Rankin, forwards. Sheffield United: - Lewis, goal, Thickett, and Boyle backs, Johnson, Morren, and Needham. Half-backs, Winterhalder, Bennett, Hedley, Priest, and Lipsham, forwards. Referee J.W,Bailey. The visitors started against the wind and
Sun. Johnson was immediately prominent and placed nicely to Winterhalder, who sprinted down the field in rare style until Booth successfully tackled him. The ball found its way to the Everton left wing and Rankin and Thickett had a tussle, the latter being forced over the goal line. The appeal for a corner however was unsuccessful. Then capital passing by the Everton front line gave Bowman possession. He neatly tipped the ball to Settle, who sent in a stinging shot, which went just over the bar. Winterhalder then cleverly tricked Abbott but Booth relieved, and placed to Bowman. The latter got past the backs, and parted to Sharp, who had clear course, but the latter's centre cannoned off Boyle, a corner following, and it was easily got away. The home side continued to have the better of the argument, and once Rankin beat Thickett and centred to Settle. The latter had only the goalkeeper in front, but he dallied in the most disappointing fashion, and was easily robbed before he had a chance of shooting. For once in a way the United became dangerous, the forwards exhibiting some pretty passing. Bennett spoiled a promising movement by sending the ball a little too far, enabling Whitley to come out and clear. Again Everton got away, and during a bully in the United goalmouth a rare chance of opening the score was missed. From the kick out Abbott secured and cleverly tricking three opponents, sent in a shot from long range, which could not hold, though he managed to get it away; A moment later Abbott got in another grand shot, Lewis being able only to divert the ball over the line at the expense of a fruitless corner. A diversion by the Sheffield forwards found Abbott as powerful in defence as in attack. He outwitted the tricky United men, and owing to his efforts Rankin was enabled to sprint down the wing. He centred splendidly but Boyle was in the way. Everton were now pressing vigorously, but were unable to score. Taylor from long range put in a splendid shot, which Lewis cleverly stopped. Abbott beat Winterhalder in two exciting tussles but at length the United outside left took advantage of a miskick by Henderson, and drove the ball with great force across the goalmouth. Afterwards the Everton forwards missed chances, and suddenly Priest dashed along and might easily have scored, but his shot from within the penalty area went outside. A corner followed to the visitors, and from the scrimmage the Everton goal narrowly escaped. Everton again took up the running, but there was an absence of method in their attack. At this period the Blades were quite holding their own, but a fine kick on the part of Balmer brought relief. It was only temporary for the United left wing was soon busy again, a foul against Morris enabling Everton to transfer play to the other end. They were unable, however, to make use of their opportunities, and Winterhalder led another desperate onslaught on the Everton goal, which had the narrowest possible escape. Half-time Everton nil, Sheffield United nil. On resuming Everton made tracks for their opponent's goal in fine style, but a foul brought them to a standstill. Twice the game was stopped owing to the temporary incapacitation of Johnson, who had to be attended to by the trainer. A dangerous attack by Everton ended in a fast shot from Abbott going only inches wide of the mark. Then United had a period of pressure, only to find Balmer and Henderson equal to all emergencies. Johnson left the field, and for a time the home side had matters all their own way, but there was a sad lack of method in the Everton attack. Sharp from a difficult position got in a centre, which was cleared by Boyle, and following that there was an attempt by Wolstenholme, which was quite out of range of the goal. Although Everton continued to have the better of the exchanges they could not penetrate the visiting defence. With Johnson back again the United pressed vigorously, but failed to utilise a corner, which Lipsham forced. However, they struck gallantly to their work, and Whitley only saved his charge by running out and kicking away. Persistent pressure was now maintained by Everton, and the United goal withstood a regular bombardment both by Settle, and Abbott putting in shots which deserved to score. At length the Evertonians were rewarded, for after good work by Settle, the ball went to Rankin, who cleverly hooked the ball into the net. To the finish Everton had the best of the play but could not add to their score. Final result Everton 1, Sheffield United nil.

Athletic News - Monday 02 February 1903
By Harricus
Sheffield United have treated Everton very kindly this season, for they have presented four points to the senior club on Merseyside.  The score was 2-0 at Bramell Lane, but at Goodison Park on Saturday it was reduced to 1-0, and that one goal was not obtained until sixty-four minutes’ play had progressed, and I don’t suppose the 19,000 odd spectators would on the afternoon’s display be greatly taken up with the chances of the home side against Portsmouth; but then both elevens gave one the impression that the Cup-ties were looming ahead, though considering that the players had been in special training one naturally expected to see something better than very ordinary football.  Judging from the early stages of the game there seemed to be no doubt about the ultimate result; indeed, for the best part of the first half Everton were much the superior side.  They had one failing, however; the forwards failed to make proper use of their chances, and there was no greater sinner than James Settle, who on several occasions when he at least ought to have aimed at the net sent wide, or oftener over the bar.  The two best attempts to score were made by Abbott, and in saving them Lewis put himself into the good graces of the crowd.  As the interval neared the United improved, and once with Balmer at his heels Priest got through splendidly.  Yet with an open goal he placed behind, so that the Everton forwards were not the only failures to make use of their chances, though just before the interval a fine attempt brought Whitley down, but the custodian managed to clear.  Soon after the resumption Johnson got a bad shake, and later, before he had time to recover, he received another: knockout blow,” which completely dazed him, and he had to be assisted off the field, though he afterwards returned. 
It was left to the surprise packet of the North v. South selections, the assistant-trainer local, Rankin, to obtained the goal which gave his side the two points.  The let-down might be traced back to faulty play by Morren, who when within six yards of goal seemed to lose himself.  Certainly the ball was got away, but in a half-hearted manner, and Rankin coming on the scene he put on a fine goal.  This must have been disconcerting to the United fellows, for they were holding their own hereabouts.  They failed, however, to rise to the level of at least equalizing, and so returned home without having avenged their defeat at Bramell-lane.  As I have said the game was a very ordinary one, neither team in my opinion showing form which will win a cup-tie next Saturday, but I expect the said cup-ties were being held in view by the players, though such play is hardly likely to attract 19,000 crowds every week.  Of course neither team was at full strength, for Everton brought in Bowman and Rankin, a change which did not tend to strengthen the attack, while United re-introduced Morren and Winterhalder, and travelled with three goalkeepers but Lewis was again between the posts.  Even Foulke could not have improved on his display, while the other two “called-in” men were of more strength to their side than were Everton’s pair as reserves.  It may be said that generally Everton’s defence was the best part of the team, while on the other hand United’s forwards distinguished themselves most.  Whitley in the Everton goal, stopped all the shots that came his way, but he might clear quicker, and when pressed throw the ball away at once, instead of inviting charges from the opposing forwards.  Of backs and half-backs there can be nothing but praise.  Indeed, I have yet to see Wolstenholme, Booth, and Abbott off form.  I will go so far as to say that they are the most consistent middle line in the League.  Then, again Henderson, the ex-Southampton back, seems to be developing into a fairly reliable player in his second association with the Everton club.  When I first saw him his methods were very crude, but he has gradually improved, though I would remind him to be very careful within the penalty area.  His partner, Balmer is usually sound, his left foot being very sure.
I usually like to class all the Everton half-backs together, but this week I must give an extra word to Walter Abbott, the ex-Small heath inside-left.  Since he developed into left half-back at Everton he has shown no signs of losing his scoring ability and on Saturday he put in two shots in the first half which well deserved to score.  Once, after Morren had made an ineffectual attempt to trip him, he forced his way past other opponents and finished with a shot which looked like knocking Lewis down.  The United custodian, however, managed to stay its progress and then picking the ball up, cleared.  Directly afterwards Abbott put in another hot shot, and this time Lewis just managed to tip the ball over the bar, and on each occasion the crowd sent up an enthusiastic cheer, which was meant, I suppose, both for Abbott and Lewis.  The Everton forwards were hardly up to the strength commensurate with the standing of the club.  Bowman is not so clever as either Young or Brearley but though he is lacking in polish his play is perhaps more suited to a Cup-tie struggle than the finessing of either of the players mentioned.  He lies well forward, too, and some day may be a recognized centre forward.  At present he has much to learn.  Rankin secured the goal of the match, and a good one it was, too.  That was, however, about all he did do, for though he ran well alongside the ball, he had not complete mastery of it, and I should think there is some truth in the contention that Rankin on the outside right and Rankin on the outside right and Rankin on the outside left are two different players altogether.  Still I think there is football in him that will come to the front sooner or later, even at outside left.  Settle worked hard, but not with his usual result.  Taylor ditto, but with better effect, and Sharp was a mixture.  The one man who pleased me most on the United side was A. E. Lewis, who last season “kept” for Walsall, and who formerly was an Everton reserve full-back.  He is as sharp as needles on the ball as best becomes a county cricketer and clears well, though he shows a disposition to leave his goal.  Certainly he is good enough for any team.  I should think that Everton have found more players for other clubs than any in the country – one result of having too many on their books I suppose.  Thackett and Boyle struck me as being heroes of the past, ditto Needham, though Morren for a veteran was not so bad, and Johnson appealed to me as the best defender.  The forwards were very good, even though they met with no success, their quick, low passing being much preferred to the unsystematic operations of the Everton front rank.  Winterhalder was a speedy outside right, a little timid perhaps, and Bennett was a good partner to him.  As on the right wing, so on the left, two outside men operated, and Lipsham showed up much better than on many occasions on which I have seen him.  Priest made him a dogged partner, and Hedley may be still considered a very capable centre forward who plays with intelligence and the pivot of a very capable set of forwards.  Everton; Whitley; Henderson, and Balmer; Wolstenholme, Booth, and Abbott; Sharp, Taylor, Bowman, Settle, and Rankin.  Sheffield United; Lewis; Thickett, and Boyle; Johnson, Morren, and Needham; Winterhalder, Bennett, Hedley, Priest, and Lipsham.  Referee; Mr. J.W. Bailey, Leicester. 

Athletic News - Monday 02 February 1903
By Junius
Great interest is being centred in Everton’s cup-tie with Portsmouth at Goodison Park, for which excellent arrangements have been made by the secretary and a hugh crowd is anticipated.  The Everton players have been training at Blackpool since last Wednesday and are returning to their headquarters at the Grand Hotel again today, where they intend passing the week.  The visit of Portsmouth will be simply a renewal of old acquaintances for Wilkes, Cunliffe, Cleghorn and Marshall were formerly associated with Liverpool, whilst Stringfellow and Corrin were with the Everton club before going South.  Everton gained an encouraging victory on Saturday, but the tale of the battle I leave to “Harricus.”

February 2, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
Lancashire Combination (Game 20)
At Rossendale. The Everton team included Young for the first time for several weeks. Rossendale kick off against a strong wind, but Cox scored with a beautiful header. Half time Rossendale 1 Everton nil. The second half was vigorously contested, Everton trying hard to get through. After fifteen minutes Waddington in clearing, kicked the ball against Witham, and a goal resulted. Cunlpule put Rossendale ahead, and then another Rossendale player (Entwistle) was hurt. Everton equalising from a corner. Wolfe doing the damage. Everton: - Joyce, goal, R.Balmer, and W.Wildman, backs, Clark, Russell, and Makepeace, half-backs, McDonald, Boardman, Young, Wolfe, and McEwan forwards.

February 2, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
By defeating Sheffield United at Goodison Park Everton can point with satisfactory in the last that they have captured four points from the Yorkshire men this season, and this without having a goal scored against them. The earlier fixture resulted in their favour by two clear goals, but Rankin scoring the solitary goal gained during the afternoon only won the match under notice. It was not a great game, but any amount of determination was infused into the play, and hard knocks were received and given with more frequency, than normal. There can be no disputing the statement that Everton deserved to win, and there are two reasons why they were not returned victorious by more substantial margins. Firstly their forwards were inclined to daily too much when near goal, their energies being concentrated in finessing instead of shooting; pottering and fiddling about when receiving the ball from a well-crossed centre, in the hope permeably of making the chance easier instead of banging the ball at the goal space straight away. These methods of course delighted the Sheffield halves who are adepts at worrying a line of forwards adopting tactics of this character, and thus numerous openings of a rare nature were allowed to slip by unheeded. In the second place the United custodian, Lewis was in a most defiant mood, and his brilliant exhibition, which was brought about by the Everton halves not the forwards, playing him with grand driven kept the reverse down to the narrowest limit. The United brought three goalkeepers with them, but it was only at the last minute that they decided upon playing Lewis, who was not quite sound, and the ex-Everton player and Somerset cricket fully justified the confidence reposed in him. The first half of the struggle proved barren as regards scoring and not very interesting was it at any period during this moiety. Settle missed some splendid chances of giving his side the lead, but the inside left was dreadfully remiss in his shooting, and a perfect centre from Rankin placed him straight in front of Lewis, but he danced round the ball until charged off. This however, was only one of a series of similar mistakes, and it is seldom that the International fails so frequently in a match. Abbott tested Lewis with some reusing shots, but the custodian displayed excellent judgement in anticipating their coming and United crossed over with an unsullied record. They had, during the twenty minutes prior to breathing time, shown more dash and efficiency in their play, and Whitley was called upon twice in rapid succession Bennett giving him a treaser, whilst one from the left brought him full League, but he managed to throw away with half-a-dozen opponents sprawling over him. Priest ought certainly to have opened the scoring, for, following a miskick by Balmer, he ran clean through and when well within the penalty line shot outside the upright with only Whitley to beat. The second half was more in favour of Everton but nearly thirty minutes had elapsed and an exciting bully occurred near Lewis, and after the custodian had saved two or three times, the ball came to Ranking, who was waiting on the verge of the scrimmage, and the cleverly hooked the ball into the net. United rarely looked like equalising though Bennett made a sad blunder with one of the easiest chance imaginable and thus vanished the last hope of the Sheffielders. As will be already gathered the Everton defence was far in advance of the work accomplished by the forward line, and this was particularly noticeable at half-back where another stubborn exhibition was given by Booth and his partners. Abbott was the most prominent of the trio by reason of his excellent shooting, and he fairly had the measure of the Sheffield right wing. Booth and Wolstenholme completed the strongest division of the team, and it is difficult to overestimate the effect of the work of the line in its relation to the ultimate victory. Off the forwards Taylor was the most dangerous but not one of the line reached a high standard of excellence. Sharp put in a few sprints and centres, as did Rankin, but Settle was weak, and Bowman not a great success, for he was very faulty in receiving the ball from his wings, and halves. His energetic determination was however, a rendering feature of his play. At full back, Henderson again gave a good display, and in his recent games has shown such vastly improved form that his partnership with Balmer bids fair to become a lasting one. Whitley made some good clearance, but he has yet one would imagine-to show his best form with the team. Unlike Everton, the visitors were the best represented forward for their defenders, beyond the notable exception of Lewis, were only a moderate set. Some clever and intricate footwork was indulged in by the United front rank and they were always forging ahead when in possession, but they could not overcome the attentions of the Everton halves and backs and Whitley was seldom requisitioned. The advance of their forwards was usually checked and his prowess was required. Winterhalder, on the extreme right, is a speedy spinter, and occasionally he managed to elude the vigilance of Abbott and whip across an accurate centre. Bennett was a failure in the inside position-an unusual one for him-while Lipsham's best work was accomplished in the first half. Johnson was the pick of the halves, though Morren was always on the ball, but the international was more effective than his comrades. The full backs were only seen to advantage when allowed ample latitude, but Lewis was a host in himself, and his display could not have been excelled. Remarkably agile, he appeared to know intuitively the direction the ball would reach him and he was always prepared to receive it. The United should never feel the absence of the gigantic Foulkes whilst Lewis can keep goal in such fashion.

Portsmouth Evening News - Saturday 07 February 1903
About 1,300 supporters made the journey Everton to follow their favourites' fortunes in the cup tie. Accommodate them the Dockyard Excursion Committee provided t'dree special trains, the coaches provided by the London and North Western Railway Company. over whose metals most of the journey was made. Fourteen saloons were provided for private parties. The scene at the station last sight one of great animation, which reached its zenith shortly after eleven o'clock, when places amusement and refreshment had closed their doors. Nearly everybody was carrying a parcel of some sort, some neatly enclosed m bogs, and many done in paper, while others were content to crowd their pockets with comestibles. Liquid refreshments was conspicuous bulk, and m few cases elect. The enthusiasts were given happy send-off, and wishes from the large crowd of friends woo gathered at the station. A brisk trade favours was done by street vendors. The was present in due time and several individuals, not content with lung power, bad provided themselves with wooden rattles which created an ear-splitting dm. the accompaniment singing, howling, badinage, and cheers, the trams departed one by one as they filled before and after midnight, and the journey was made by the South Coast line to Kensington, where the North-Western locomotives were attaché:!. Specials are expected back about four o'clock to-morrow morning.

February 7, 1903. The Portsmouth Evening News
Pompey v. Everton
To-Day's Great Game
All attention today was concentrated on the thirty-two clubs engaged in the first round proper of the English Cup competition. Portsmouth were amongst the number, and their engagement with Everton was invested with a considerable amount of interest. When the draw was first published, the Everton people seemed to think that they had a positive gift and offered extravagant odds against Pompey; but since then their opinions match may be taken as a criterion, they approached the struggle with far less confidence than they would had it taken place a couple of months ago. Last week they had all their work cut out to beat Sheffield United at home. Rankin, their left-winger, scoring the only goal of the match a few minutes from the finish, and after Johnson, the United's half-back, had left the field injured.
Training The Team
After the game the Everton players, who had already been a week at Blackpool, returned to their salubrious training quarters for another week's rest, no fewer than 18 of their players being included in the party. Here they had been undergoing a special preparation, and the constitution of the eleven who face Pompey today was not decided upon until the last moment. Portsmouth, who during the last week or two had been showing a welcome return to form, also underwent a special course of training. In former seasons they had gone to Singleton, near Chichester, to prepare for their big fights, but on this occasion it was thought desirable for them to go North. Accordingly, a quiet nook was found for them by Mr. Blyth the popular manager-player, at Hesketh Bank, near Preston and thither they travelled immediately after their brilliant victory at Northampton last Saturday. One or two extra players were sent to train, and owing to the injury to H. Turner, and the uncertainly of C.B. Fry turning out, Burgess was telegraphed for on Monday to augment the party. The men quickly settled down in their new quarters and were reported to be very fit with the exception of Stringfellow, whose strained ankle was causing anxiety, although it was a consolation to know that Blyth, who has been playing like a youngster lately, was fit.
Pompey's Cup History
Portsmouth have yet to make a reputation as successful cup fighters, and in view of the great interest attached to today's match it is perhaps worthwhile to recall briefly what they have accomplished in past seasons. In the first season of their existence they had to go through the preminary rounds, and their first match was with Ryde, whom they thrashed decisively to the tune of 19-0. They almost made a mess of it with Cowes a fortnight later, only winning by the narrow majority of 3-2, but subsequently they defeated Swindon, 3-1, Bristol Rovers 4-0, after a drew of 1-1, and Bedminster, 2-0, but they went down very badly against Blackburn Rovers by 5-0, after 1-1 at Blackburn. By the way, it as in these matches that Houlker made his first acquaintance with Pompey. In the next season Portsmouth only played one match in the great competition, being beaten by Newton Health by 3-0; but last season they did better, beating Small Heath 2-1 away; Grimsby 2-0, home, after a draw of 1-1 away, their quietus at the hands of Derby County, to the tune of no fewer than 6-3 away, after a pointless draw at home.
What Everton Have Done
Everton, their opponents, have better record in the competition; indeed, in seasons past they made a name as formidable cup fighters, although they have never won the trophy. They twice figured in the final. In season 1892-3 they met the Wolverhampton Wanderers and received their quietus, a hard game resulting in a 1-0 victory for the Wolves. In 1896-7 Everton again figured in the final, and again put up a very hard fight, being ultimately disposed of by Aston Villa by 3-2. Since this they have not been so prominent, although in the following year -1897-8 –they got into the semi-final, when they were disposed of by Derby County by 3-1. This was the season, by the way, that Southampton made their first bold show in the Cup. In the following season they were got rid of more easily, while in 1899-1900 they were beaten by 3-0 in the first round by the Saints, who went on to the final, being knocked out by Bury by 4-0. In 1900-1 Everton and Southampton met again in the first round, and this time the toffee-man avenged their previous defeat, beating the Saints by 3-1; but they were themselves defeated in the next round by Sheffield United by 2-0. Last season they were drawn against Liverpool in the first round, and they had to meet twice before they could come to a definite decision. On the Liverpool ground the final was 2-2, but the replay Liverpool won by 2-0, and upon visiting the Dell were themselves knocked out by 4-1. This season neither Portsmouth nor Everton have been doing quite as well as in the past in their respective Leagues, and it is significant that at the present time Everton are eight points worse off than they were in the corresponding period of last year, and their goal average is decidedly show a better record than them in the Southern League, but then, how far can the two League form a true comparison of merit.
The Everton Excursions
About 1,300 Pompey supporters made the journey to Everton to follow their favourities' fortune in the cup-tie. To accommodate them from Doskyard Excursion Committee provided three special trains, the coaches being provided by the London and North Western Railway Company, over whose metals most of the journey was made. Fourteen saloons were provided for private parties. The scene at the station last night was one of great animation, which reached its zenith shortly after eleven o'clock, when the places of amusement and of refreshment had closed their doors. Nearly everybody was carrying a parcel of some sort, some neatly enclosed in bags, and many done up in paper, while others were content to crowd their pockets with cemestiblea. Liquid refreshments was conspicuous in bulk, and in few cases in effect. The enthusiasts were given a happy send-off, and wishes for success from the large crowd of friends who gathered at the station. Quite a brisk trade in Pompey favours was done by street vendors. The Pompey umbrella was present in due time and several individuals, not content with natural lung power, had provided themselves with wooden rattles which created an ear-splitting din. To the accompaniment of singing, howling, badinage, and cheers, the trains departed one by one as they filled up before and after midnight, and the journey was made by the South Coast line to Kensington, where the North-Western locomotives were attached. The specials are expected back at about four o'clock tomorrow morning.

Athletic News - Monday 09 February 1903
By Tityrus
Whatever Portsmouth may have accomplished the Southern League, the incontrovertible fact remains that in the National Cup-ties they have never played up to their great reputation. ‘Tis true they have drawn with Blackburn Rovers and Derby County, but in each tie they were eventually overwhelmed. This was their mournful experience at Goodison Park; whither I hide myself in the expectation of seeing a stout struggle worthy of two great teams. But happy is he that anticipated nothing where a Cup-tie is concerned, for then disappointment will not be his portion. For a quarter of an hour at the commencement the Southerners showed maneuvering that gave the impression they would require Everton quite at the zenith their powers to overthrow them. But gradually the home eleven began to assert their supremacy. Just as this became apparent John Bell and C. B. Fry came into collision. Their legs seemed locked together, but suddenly Fry was hurled over, and was evidently injured in the right leg. After a while he limped off outside the touchline, and was tended by trainer Clayton. While he was an absentee the first goal accrued to the Evertonians, and the combined effect of the accident to the old Oxonian and the scoring of a point seemed to decide the issue.  Portsmouth never looked like winning, for Fry was never able to do either himself or his club any justice.  His association with the Fratton fraternity has been most unfortunate, for in successive matches he has been injured and there is no doubt that his last casualty contributed to the downfall of “Pompey” in an important Cup-tie.  At the same time I do not think that Portsmouth forwards would have won the day had the defence of their side remained intact, for the Everton half-backs were the masters of the situation, especially in defensive play.  The home forwards had quite a field day, and the score of 5-0 represents the run of the play under the circumstances, for Reilly had all the chance he required to distinguished himself.  Up to the interval there was always a semblance of a contest, but afterwards the game became so one0sided that interest entirely evaporated.  The play was with tactical foresight concentrated on the left wing, as Fry was the right back, with the result that Abbott and Bell piled on goals.  Several excursion trains were run from Portsmouth, and the Hampshire enthusiasts were very fond of chanting the chimes –their rallying cry- in the first quarter of an hour, but when Everton secured their third goal the Liverpudlians commenced the same vocal exercises in a satirical strain.  There may have been a question of good taste involved, but after all, the populace like their fun and when the North vanquishes the ambitious South, there may be some measures of justification.
Although the Everton right wing early gave evidence of their ability, Taylor testing Reilly with a fierce skimming drive, Portsmouth showed clever manceuuring, for their half-backs were constantly thrusting the ball forward, so neatly that the front rank could take it along in their stride.  The right wing of each team was most aggressive, and both Sharp and Marshall made centres which boded danger.  Gradually, however, the visitors deteriorated, and the home team began to make their presence felt.  Some twenty minutes had glided away when the Bell-Fry incident occurred, and Mr. Tom Kirkham marked his sense of the matter by giving a free kick against the Scottish International.  For a moment there seemed the possibility of rough play, but the referee soon had Bell and Chadwick under control.  The struggle proceeded without Fry and a shot by Booth grazing one of the Portsmouth players, a corner kick accrued.  The ball was nicely dropped near the goal, and Sharp headed into the net quite out of the reach of Reilly when the game was half an hour old.  Fry returned, but he was comparatively useless, and Everton enjoyed most of the play.  After both Sharp and Booth had shivered the timbers of the goal-posts and bar, Bell received the ball from a return by Reilly, who was drawn out, and in a mix-up he was easily beaten by Brearley –the second point being obtained seven minutes from the interval when Everton were ahead by two goals.  On reversing, the Portsmouth right again asserted themselves, when Marshall had a fine opportunity of giving his side a goal, for he was alone, unmarked, and in a nice position.  But his dalliance was fatal, and Everton once more went to the fore.  If we except a swift ground shot from the lusty foot of Brown.  “Pompey” were seldom the cause of anxiety.  The trouble was reserved for the visitors, Wilkie, at back, doing the work of two men rolled into one, although Chadwick and Houlker rendered aid many a time and oft.  Sharp shot the ball past Wilkie, and skipping round the burly back the Evertonians crossed to the left, where Settle made poor use of an opening.  But Abbott was just behind Settle, and this half-back played the role of forward.  He tickled and dribbled the ball along in artistic style, threading his way past three or four opponents with consummate ease.  At last Abbott found himself clear of all adversaries, with only Reilly to face.  He gave Reilly short shrift, for he crowned his meritorious foot craft with a delightful swift ball which rolled over the grass at a cutting pace, and in a twinkling the leather reposed in the net.  Abbott has a weakness for goal-getting, and he was cheered to the echo.  But Portsmouth rallied and Balmer kicking on to one of his opponents, Marshall took occasion to whizz in a grand drive, which Whitley, falling full length, adroitly turned round the post.  It was only a momentary spurt by “Pompey” for Sharp was as merry as a grig, and tripping lightly over the heavy turf, was a constant source of worry.  He forced a corner, which enabled Bell to add a fourth goal with a twenty-yards shot.  There were only four minutes to go, but Bell, having tasted blood, came again and from sharp’s pass put on a fifth point just at the close, Everton thus running out winners by 5-0. 
There is no denying that Everton gained a meritorious victory, even making the fullest allowance for the mishap to Charles Frey, for they were undoubtedly the better balanced team.  Once under weigh the home team were always dangerous, and their own half-backs were a great source of strength, particularly in defensive tactics.  The shooting of the forwards was overpowering, and but for the deft hand-work of Reilly “Pompey” would have fared even worse than they did –and that was quite unnecessary.  The disappointment to my mind after what I had read, was the forward line of Portsmouth.  Only the right wing rose to the demands made upon them and showed a real capacity to cope with the opposing half-backs.  Whitley had but a few shots to parry, but two of them might have beaten many a custodian with a greater reputation.  When severely hampered, and with little room to manceuvre, Balmer showed his best equalities, and I admired his accurate overhead kick in awkward positions and the way he kept the ball in play and placed to his forwards.  No doubt Henderson is improving, but owing to a kick on his left knee he had to retire for the last ten minutes.  Never has Booth been more ubiquitous and sure in obtaining the ball, while the way he nursed his forwards was beyond compare.  Moreover, he kept his eye on such a thrusting dangerous centre forward as Brown.  Wolstenholme has come back to his best, and Abbott, if bothered by Marshall and Cunliffe, was most penetrative in attack.  Neither Brearley nor Settle impressed me at all favourably and unquestionably the best of the forwards were Sharp and Bell, although some of the gilt is rubbed off the latter’s performance by the weakness of the opposition to him.  The palm must be given to Sharp, whose speed was too much for both Houlker and Wilkie.  He played the game to a nicety darting by his antagonists and middling after he had drawn the defence in really telling style.  His partner, Taylor, never ceased to work, and he is the kind of man who will persevere until he drops down from exhaustion.  There are cleverer men than Taylor, but none more plodding.
Despite the score against him Reilly acquitted himself superbly, for he repelled quite a dozen hard shots and received little assistance from the backs.  In saying this I do not wish to do any injustice to Wilkie, for he made Herculean efforts to do two men’s work, and was the most serviceable an on his side.  How Fry would have played but his mishap I cannot say, but after this had occurred I think he would have been better advised to have retired.  He was a mere spectators, and was simply in the way of his comrades.  Moreover, whatever grievances Fry had he was unwise when hopping about on one leg to court a duel with Bell, who was a sound and whole opponent.  Fry was always fair, but he gave up the unequal strife which he should never been carried on after he had been injured.  Chadwick was the half-back of his team, though Stringfellow and Houlker were useful.  The ex-Blackburn Rovers was not at his best, and his display was nothing like so good as in the North v. South match; Sharp was too fast for him.  Portsmouth relied on Steve Smith and Wheldon, the old Villa pair, on the left wing.  They gave glimpses of their quondam greatness, but no more.  Sandy brown was a thrusting centre, and always clever on the ball and threatening danger.  He was seen to most advantage in the first half-hour, for his chances were few and far between.  Marshall and Cunliffe are a fine pair, and understand each other, but the whole five were under an eclipse, for the home half-backs were always bothering them.  Everton; Whitley; Henderson, and Balmer; Wolstenholme, Booth, and Abbott; Sharp, Taylor, Brearley, Settle, and Bell.  Portsmouth; Reilly; C.B. Fry, and Wilkes; Stringfellow, Chadwick, and Houlker; Marshall, Cunliffe, Brown, Wheldon, and S. Smith.  Referee; Mr. T. Kirkham, Burslem. 

Athletic News - Monday 09 February 1903
By Junius
Robert T. Hodson
Few players have exercised such a beneficial influence on their team as Robert T. Hodson has done, since his connection with the Old Xaverians F.C, during the past six seasons.  In the Lancashire Amateur League and Cup tourney and likewise in the English Amateur Cup competition, the Old X’s have made a name for themselves and have achieved a reputation which is second to none in this district in point of ability.  It is scarcely possible to overestimate how much of this has been due to the commendable example shown by their captain- the subject of our present sketch- who has held the onerous position for two years.  Born in 1881, he was educated at the famous St. Francis Xavier’s Colleague in this city, and in 1896 during the annual Past v. Present match at that institution, his play was most favourably commented upon by the Collegians.  The consequence was that he was placed immediately in the first team in September of that year as inside left, and has never been out of the eleven since.  His versatility is most marked for he has occupied almost every position on the field, and what is more, invariably renders an excellent account of himself wherever called upon to perform.  “The best ball round player in the team” is the opinion of all who have witnessed the Old Boys during recent years for as a forward he is a capital shot, as a half he plays the combination game grandly, and has proved himself a reliable defender further behind.  He has assisted Everton Combination eleven, and has received more than one offer from prominent League clubs in Lancashire, but his sympathies are entirely with the Old boys, and all attempts to obtain his signature to a League form have been unavailing.  A rare worker, an ideal captain, and one who has the best interests of his club at heart, have combined to make Hodson a tremendous favourite with those who come within his sphere of influence. 

February 9, 1903. The Liverpool Courier
F.A Cup Round One.
The luck of the draw had favoured Everton and the Southerners appeared at Goodison park on Saturday. It was their first appearance in Liverpool, and at the team included four players who had been associated with either Everton or Liverpool the outcome of the match was decidently interesting. Both teams had undergone special training. Everton at Blackpool and Portsmouth at Hesketh Banks, Southport. The teams were only decided upon at the last moment, Brearley taking the centre forward position in the Everton team with Bell a outside left Portsmouth had the assistance of the famous amateur C.B.Fry, at back, and played Wheldon and Steve Smith on the left wing. About 3,000 supporters travelled from Portsmouth overnight, which shows the interest taken in the game in the Southern town. Unfortunately the weather turned out very wet, rain falling for some time prior to the start, but there would be fully 20,000 spectators present at the start. The Portsmouth section of the crowd treated the home supporters to their “Chimes” in the interval between the band selections. The teams were as follows: - Everton: - Whitley, goal, Henderson, and W.Balmer backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain), and Abbott, half-backs, Sharp, Taylor, Brearley, Settle, and Bell, forwards. Portsmouth: - Reilly, goal, C.B.Fry, and Wilkes, backs, Stringfellow, Chadwick, and Houlker half-backs, Marshall, Cunliffe Brown, Wheldon, and S.Smith, forwards Booth won the toss, and thereby gave his side the assistance of the wind. Brown kicked off, and the visitors right wing were soon in evidence, Abbott however, clearing with a timely kick. The Blues went down on the right wing, Wilkie pulling up Sharp, and Booth stopped Brown and Wheldon in the nick of time, as Balmer had been passed. Play was quickly taken to Portsmouth territory, where Fryer was prominent by Good defensive tactics. Sharp however, got in a splendid long low shot, which Really stopped and cleared at the second attempt. Everton continued to hold the upper hand for some time, but a foul against Booth enabled Portsmouth to relieve their lines. They were very dangerous following a quick dash to the Everton end, but unfortunately for the visitors Marshall got offside when close in. the Reds were having the best of matters at this stage, and were assisted by another free kick. Balmer cleared in grand style at close quarters, and Sharp and Taylor took up the move. The last named passed to Abbott whose shot was diverted by Fry, and when Bell centred, Sharp was offside. In a moment play was taken to the Everton half, where Henderson cleared, but a shot from Marshall was very little wide, travelling across the goalmouth, and outside. After this play ruled in midfield until the visiting right wing became dangerous. Balmer, however, accounted for their efforts, and then Sharp initiated a prolonged attack on the Portsmouth goal. From a difficult position he centred grandly, and Reilly fisted out a cleverly, but the Portsmouth custodian was soon tested by Taylor, and then by Booth with the result that the latter forced a corner, which led to more exciting play in the vicinity of the Portsmouth goalmouth. For a time he visiting left looked like making profitable progress, but the Everton defence prevailed. Bell when about to shoot, was obviously offside, but apart from this Everton were now holding their own. In an encounter between Bell and Fry, the latter came off second best, and writhed in agony on the field for some moments, during which the game was stopped, while Fry received the attentions of the Portsmouth trainer. Probably the old spot, which was injuried, two or three weeks ago had again been touched. At any rate he remained outside the field of play while being attended to by the trainer. When the game was proceeded with Everton attacked strongly, and it was marvellous how Reilly's charge escaped downfall. It was evident that the pressure could not long be withstood. The Evertonians were continually in the vicinity of the Portsmouth goal, and after Booth had forced a corner the ball came to Sharp, who successfully headed the ball into the net after little more than twenty-five minutes play. The point was received with tremendous cheering, the Portsmouth contingent of the spectators, however trying to encourage their favourities by an other chorus. The latter shooting over spoiled some clever work between Cunliffe and Marshall. Fry returned to the fray amid applause and although limping he was able to render his side useful service. A splendid shot from Sharp found Reilly on the alert, and for some time play was entirely in Everton's favour. Abbott from a throw-in, also tested the Portsmouth custodian. With a terrific shot Booth banged the ball against the crossbar. From the rebound the leather was again crashed in, and the goalkeeper fisted out, only to find the ball again returned. This time Fry was at fault and Brearley easily registered a second goal amid terrific cheering. The vocal propensities of Portsmouth enthusiasts failed to rouse the visiting side so pronounced at this period was the superiority of Everton. Brearley experienced hard line with a low ground shot, which troubled Reilly, and then from a sudden breakaway Marshall cleverly crossed to Wheldon, who called upon Whitley for the second time in the game. The Everton custodian was equal to the occasion, and Everton pressed to the interval. Half-time Everton 2 Portsmouth nil.

Brearley restarted before 25,000 spectators and in the first minute Everton forced a corner, which was worked away. Brown looked like going through the home defence, when Wolstenholme stopped him, in fine style, Stringfellow performing similar service against Bell a minute later. Culiffe deceived the Everton defenders by stepping over the ball and Marshall left with a clear opening delayed until Balmer charged his shot down. A corner result, but the ball was sent over the bar. The visitors were now feeling the advantage of the wind, and they gave Everton defenders plenty of work. Abbott initiated a clever movement, and Brearley getting the better of the half-backs sent out to Sharp, whose shot was lacking in direction. A couple of corners fell to the Blues and from the second Booth and Abbott shot in with terrific force. The latter missed by inches, but at this period there was no mistaking the superiority of the Evertonians, who were much smarter, on the ball than their opponents. Suddenly the visitors broke away, and wheldon was responsible for one of the best shots, sent in by Portsmouth during the day. It was a swift low shot, which brought Whitley to his knees, but the custodian was quite equal to the occasion. Play was quickly transferred to the other end and from a cross by Sharp, the ball was sent to the toe of Abbott, who cleverly beat, four opponents in turn, and scored a beautiful goal, a splendid individual effort on his part, which was deservedly cheered. A portion of the Evertonians spectators joined in singing the Portsmouth chorne, and the visitors got in one of their most telling attacks of the game. Whitley effected a very smart save from Marshall at the expense of an unproductive corner. A couple of centres from Sharp harassed the Portsmouth defenders, and then Henderson intercepting a smart effort on the part of Smith hurt his left leg, and temporally retired from participating in the game. Next Whitley at full length saved from Wheldon, and at the other end. Henderson was compelled to leave the field, but with this disadvantage Everton accounted for the bulk of the pressure. Booth went full back, and Taylor forced a corner off Wright and from this Bell shot a fourth goal for Everton from close range. The visitors were now well beaten, and another goal followed in a couple of minutes, Bell again doing the needful. Everton gaining a great victory. Final result-Everton 5, Portsmouth nil.

London Daily News - Monday 09 February 1903
About 25,000 spectators assembled, in spite of wet weather, to witness this interesting tie at Goodison Park, Liverpool. For the first fifteen minutes the play was fairly interesting, but then Everton begain to gain the upper hand, and the Portsmouth goal was subjected to some fierce onslaughts. reilly several times saving well. Fry, through injury, had to retire temporarily, and during his absence Sharp scored for Everton. With about fifteen minutes to go. Fry came back, but he was limping. Booth hit the bar with a good shot; then Brearerley scored, and Everton led at half-time by 2 goals to nil. On resuming, Portsmouth attacked, but were quickly driven back, and soon Abbott added a third goal for Everton in brilliant style. Henderson, of Everton, retired but Everton still pressing, and Bell in quick succession put two more goals. Portsmouth in the end being defeated by 5 goals to nil.

February 9, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
The Cup-tie at Goodison Park was a tussle between the old order and the new, the result being that the ancienth experienced a very rouge passage. The residues from Liverpool, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, and Everton showed a bold front for about 20 minutes after which they collapsed like a pricked bubble, and the crowds that had journeyed from the Southern naval port, whose musical chimes were wafted across the arena changed from the melodious major key of the opening performances into a mournful minor dirge and the game finished. How much of the transposition was due to an accident that befall C.B.fry half-way through the first 45, is difficult to estimate, but there can scarcely be any doubt that the occurrence upset the pre-conceived ideas of the Southerners to a great extent. Fry and Bell were running side by side in their endeavours to gain possession of the ball, when the pair collided, and Fry certainly got the worst of the encounter. By the manner the latter glared at the Everton left winger as he lay prone on the ground, he evidently imagined the affair to be an intentional ones; however, Fry was useless for the rest of the afternoon, and, as Bell scored two goals in the last ten minutes of the game, his share of the victory was a pronounced one. Portsmouth would indeed have fared no worse had they insisted on Fry retiring altogether, for he was more than useless-he became a hindrance-and three of the goals cause from the Everton left wing, against which the injured Southerner was placed. As an exhibition of football of a high standard, the game was a failure for though Portsmouth more than held their own for 20 minutes, afterwards Everton had matters all their own way, and the exchanges were too one-sided to be enjoyable. It was whilst Fry was being repaired that Everton opened the scoring, Sharp heading a centre from Bell past Reilly, and what they were unable to accomplished when the Southerners were at full strength, the home players achieved whilst their opponents were at a disadvantage. Brearley quickly added a second, which was about all he managed to do during the game, and Everton led by two clear goals at the interval. They had enjoyed the advantage of a strong breeze in the half, but on resumption Portsmouth fared better, although they could not pierce the home defence. Abbott settled the match, with brilliant individual efforts, the left half dodging four opponents before flashing the ball past Reilly, who never saw it enter the net. Although the visitors made several spasmodic efforts, and gave Whitley two fine shots to deal with, they never seemed like winning and some capital work between Cunliffe and Marshall was spoiled by weakness at the finish, the latter missing a glorious chance of scoring when Everton were only two goals ahead. Near the finish Taylor forced a corner and Bell hooked a clever ball into the net whilst a few minutes later he dashed in when his inside men were offside, and whilst the Portsmouth defenders dallied another goal was registered. Thus the Southerners, had one of the heaviest defeats of the day placed to their record, and on the play witnessed, they could scarcely grumble at the ultimate result, for they were deservedly beaten. Their attack could do nothing with the Everton defence, and their rear division with the exception of Wilkes and Reilly, was only moderate. Everton played a typical Cup-tie game, full of dash and deadlines near goal, and in matches of this nature, such methods are the most likely to achieve success. There was no better forward on the home side than Taylor for he is not averse to looking around for work, and he is a dangerous player at close quarters, Sharp was more conspicuous than in recent matches, his centre being accurate and his exhilarating sprints along the wing frequently in evidence. Settle was dreadfully weak, while Brearley though full of dash in the centre, was of little use to either wing, and Bell's performances have been already referred to. It was at half-back where Everton held a decided advantage each of the members of this line rendering excellent service. This, of course, is no new state off affairs; the Everton Halves must have become accustomed to this by now, and they broke up all semblance of combined work by the Portsmouth vanguard. Wolstenholme gave Smith and Wheldon no latitude, this pair being rendered almost useless, and it was somewhat of a coincidence that the left wing on each side was of little consequence. Booth placed and tackled finely, while Abbott was in evidence with his clever shooting propensities, and he had to face the only part of the Portsmouth attack that seemed capable of making headway. Balmer and Henderson defended well, the former although suffering from a most troublesome boil on his neck, being rarely at fault. Henderson again shaped creditably, but he received a nasty kick on his knee, which caused his retirement a quarter of an hour from the finish; in fact Everton scored their last two goals, whilst he was away. Whitley kept a capital goal, and two of his clearances in the second half were extremely fine. Little can be said favourable to Portsmouth, but it may be interesting to Liverpool people to know that three of their former players were the pick of the visiting side. Cunliffe and Marshall demonstrated a perfect understanding of each other's play on the right wing and the former was the trickiest forwards on the field. Marshall however, spoiled his work by finishing badly; in fact, this was the weakness in the Portsmouth team throughout, Brown in the centre was seldom seen after the first quarter of an hour, but prior to this he had shown that with a less resourceful half to face than Booth, he would have been awkward opponent to deal with. The one time Aston Villa left wing was very moderate and the half-backs were about on a par with them. Houlker being the most noticeable, though Chadwick got through a vast amount of quiet work. The brunt of the defence fell on Wilkie who has thinned down considerably since he left Anfield, but this stering defence shows no diminution of ability, and he had a rough task on hand, for he had to repair Fry's defects as well as attend ton his own wing. Reilly kept a good goal.

Lancashire Evening Post - Saturday 14 February 1903
There was fierce excultation in Liverpool when it became known that Everton had been drawn against Manchester United in the second round of the English Cup. The excultation was not confirmed to Anfield; it was shared at Goodison, for though Everton and it was shared at Goodison, or though Everton and Liverpool are stern rivals, they are fast friends when not opposed to each other, and now that Liverpool are no longer possible competitors of the Toffees for the Cup. Everton are anxious to wipe out the team that gave the knock to their near and now dear lamented neighbours. Liverpool, and that team is Manchester United. The draw could not have been more to the taste of vengeful Liverpudlians had it been arrnaged. They see in it the finger of fate; Nemesias is on the track; Everton, on the 21st, will vindicatew the honour of the fallen Livers. Of course, that is an assumpution; it is just possible that Manchester United may frankly, had the match taken place at manchester, I would have had my qualms; but Goodison is the venue, and "R.I.P" I believe, and hope, as a patriotic "Dicky Sam," will be the end of United next Saturday.

Lancashire Evening Post - Saturday 14 February 1903
C.B. Fry has been explaining why Portsmouth were beaten at Goodison by five goals. He has the grace to admit that the better team won, but, unless I misread him, he suggests that Everton, as a whole, were not a scrupulously fair team, and there can be no doubt whatever about the language which he applies to Bell-"shameful and cowardly conduct," or words to that effort. Now does it not strike Fry that such language would have come with more telling force from a less interested person than himself, for he was the victim? He is accuser, injury, and judge, and to expect an impartial verdict from such a combination is absurd. Further, he uses his position as a critic to get the ear of the public first; Bell is not a critic -he cannot gain the public ear to the same extent as Fry; there is a danger, therefore, that Bell's silence will be used to his condemnation; but as one who saw the whole affair i feel bound, in justice to Bell, to say that he is the wronged player, and not Fry. what are the facts? Fry says he beat Bell in a race for the ball, and that bell then deliberately and revengefully kicked him over the knee-cap. Nothing of the kind; Bell had possession of the ball, and Fry was accidentially kicked in trying to take it from him, as many a player is kicked in an exciting game, and as Henderson, one of the Everton backs, was kicked later on. If Bell's conduct was "Shameful" and cowardly," why did the referee not order him off the field? Why did he not, if the kick was the least bit unfair, give a foul? But the referee did neither, and he was right; the affair was purely accidentially, so that when it comes to a charge of "shameful and cowardly conduct," what are we to think of a man who revenges himself by an atatck in a paper on the man who beat him fair and square on the field?

Lancashire Evening Post - Monday 16 February 1903
The Villa on Saturday gave an evidence that their previous week's form against Sunderland was rot a flash in the pan, when they beat Everton at Goodison Park. Matches between Everton and the Villa are generally associated with play of, the highest standard; but the game on Saturday was rather disappointing. The game was fought with interest, and the result was uncertain up to the last minute; but science, singularly enough, was almost entirely absent. On the play the Mersey men were unfortunate lose both points.

February 16 1903. The Liverpool Courier
Walter Abbott misses his third Penalty kick of season.
League encounters between Everton and the Villa are always interesting and Saturday's match was no exception to the rule in spite of the fact that neither side was at full strength. Everton had Sharp and Settle away playing for England, and Sheridan assisting Ireland, while Henderson was on the injured list. The Villa were with out Spencer. Noon and Garratty. Notwithstanding the unfavourable climatic conditions there were fully 15,000 spectators present at the start. Teams Everton: - Whitley, goal, W.Balmer and Crelly, backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain) and Abbott, half-backs, Rankin, Taylor, Brearley, Bowman, and Bell forwards. Aston Villa: - George, goal, Shutt, and Leake, backs Pearson, Wood, and Wilkes, half-backs, Brawn, Johnson, McLuckie, Bache, and Niblo, forwards.
Everton lost the toss and had to play against a stiff breeze. The Villa were the first to become aggressive and Johnson looked like getting through when Balmer pulled him up. Everton soon retaliated, and after one capital work by the forwards and halves Rankin got in a wonderful shot, which just curled over the bar. The Villa again worked their way into their opponent's territory, but their stay was brief, and soon Rankin electrified the crowd with a brilliant run. Both backs hung on to him as well as they could, but Rankin was not perturbed, and centring from a difficult position the pressure was so severe that a corner resulted. This led to a further onslaught by Everton, at the end of which Abbott from long range sent the wrong side of the upright. Then followed some pretty passing between Wolstenholme, and the Everton right wing, as the result of which the right half sent the ball the wrong side of the upright. Everton forced a corner, which was nicely placed by Bell. Some interesting exchanges occurred in front of George, but the custodian was not seriously troubled. In the course of pressure by the visiting side Balmer's foresight proved valuable, and once again the home left were in evidence, only to find the Villa halves equal to the occasion. Next Rankin distinguished himself, and as he was about to get in Wilkes fouled a shot. The resulting free kick nearly brought about the downfall of the Villa goal, but Bowman's final effort was weak. Grand work by Niblo and Bache prevented a favourable opportunity to McLuckie, who was cleverly, robbed of the ball by Crelly as the ex-Bury man was on the point of shooting. The high standard, which prevailed in the opening stage, was not maintained, but still there was no luck of incident. A couple of corners to the Villa were unproductive. Still, with the assistance of the wind, they were responsible for the bulk of the attack, the Evertonians defending vigorously. Booth at length changed the venue and from a pass by Brearley. Rankin was again in evidence. For some reason or other he was penalised by the referee, the free kick being badly utilised by the Villa. Bell was applauded for clever maneuvering, and the only play was that his final attempt was so feeble. From a foul by Booth on McLuckie the ball was well placed, but was heeded outside. Then Rankin ran down nicely, and beat Wilkes, but his centre was easily cleared McLuckie and Bache dribbled the ball cleverly, and finally it was sent out to Niblo, who was fouled by Wolstenholmwe. Again the ball was beautifully placed, and Whitley fisted out, but before he could get back Bache hooked the ball into the net, and scored for the Villa. Shortly afterwards Whitley saved smartly from Pearson, who put in a low shot from long range, and then Brearley sprinted down nicely, only to be pulled up by Leake. Everton made one or two attempts to draw level, but for the most part the finishing efforts were weak. Juast before the interval, Taylor tested George with a beautiful header, which the custodian cleared in grand fashion. Half-time Aston Villa 1, Everton nil. The crowd must have numbered at least 20,000 when the game was resumed. Everton had the better of the opening exchanges, but once more their efforts when near goal were not to be commended. Brearley on one occasion being conspicuously at fault. A centre from Niblo forced Crelly to concede a corner, which was not turned to account. Bell tried hard to force the game, but the Villa halves struck splendidly to their work and Brawn next forced a corner off Balmer . It was not converted, and midfield play was now the order. The Everton forwards apparently had an idea of shooting, and although smart enough in midfield failed lamentably at the last moment. Brearley once tried desperately hard to make amends, but his efforts though well meant, sent the ball yards wide. Bell was too well watched to be dangerous and all round there was a sad deterioration in the Everton ranks, the spectators being quite justified in their calls of “play up Everton” A satisfactory response seemed to be forthcoming, when from a corner Taylor shot in hard. The ball however struck the crossbar and rebound into play, and a moment later Bowman tested George with a really fine effort. In the course of further play, Abbott missed a penalty Kick . As the end of the game drew near the Evertonians bombarded the Villa goal, but without avail, and the home team retired defeated. Result Aston Villa 1, Everton nil.

Athletic News - Monday 16 February 1903
W Muir Dundee F.C.
One of the features of the present Scottish team has been the remarkable from shown by Dundee.  Last year they were second from the bottom of the League table, but this season they look like finishing runners-up.  Dundee improvement has been all-round but if it could be said that one member of the team was responsible more than any another for the increased success of team that honour would undoubtedly be Muir, their excellent custodian.  His League record so far is splendid and certainly speaks volumes for his skill.  In 20 First Division League matches he has had scored against him only 12 goals- Muir has come rapidly to the front.  He began his career in the mining village of Glenbuck, Ayrshire, in 1886, and the same year he was “capped” by the Scottish Junior Association against England.  The distinction, as in the case of Templeton (Aston Villa), Nick Smith, and Alick Smith (Rangers), Bobby Walker (Hearts), and others, brought him under the notice of the senior organizations, and that same year he joined Third Lanark.  He next played a season with Kilmarnock, after which he was transferred to Everton.  Muir played five years in England, but at the beginning of the present season he returned to Scotland.  Dundee were the lucky club to secure his services and the Northern Executive never made a better bargain.  Standing six feet, lithe, active, and with a long reach, he is the bean-ideal of a goalkeeper.  Cool to a fault, he never becomes flurried under the circumstances.  “Billy” as he is popular known, is of a most assuming disposition and it is giving away no secret to state that he is “ear-marked” for honors this year –probably at Sheffield, who knows?

Athletic News - Monday 16 February 1903
By Tityrus
Quite in accord with traditors of Association football Ireland made a gallant fight against England at Wolverhampton on Saturday, and quite in unison with history and custom the Erin succumbed to the superior forces of their ancient enemy.  Year after year the Hibernians bound into the arena full of hope that the hour of their triumph will come- but it is not yet.  The officials of the Irish executive hardly seemed to think that the day had arrived when they would make a break in the long series of English successes.   They were doleful when one spoke to them in the early morning, and naturally they were disappointed at the absence of Shanks, the centre, who preferred to assist Woolwich Arsenal seeing that Gooing had sustained an accident in the National Cup-ties.  Under these circumstances Sloane, of the Dublin Bohemians completed the team by playing inside left, while Sheridan went centre.  There was, too, a notable absentee on the side of England, for Garrity, of Aston Villa, was on the injured list, and so at the last minute Sharp, of Everton, was given his cap, to the joy of all who know his honest work.  The match, as a whole was interesting for an hour, but during the last thirty minutes the visitors to the Molineux grounds, were well beaten, the pace slackened and it became merely a question of how many goals the Saxons would register, and the Celts would bemoan.  England won by 4-0 and after due consideration, I think they deserved every point.  And yet there was a time when Ireland must have caused a sense of uneasiness to their foemen.  England- Baddley (Wolves); Spencer (Aston Villa), and Molyneux (Southampton); Johnson (Sheffield United), Holford (Stoke), and Hadley (West Brom); Davis(Sheff Wed), Sharp (Everton), Woodward (Tottenham), Settle (Everton), and Lockett (Stoke).  Ireland;- Scott (Linfield); McCracken (Distillery), and McMillian (Distillery); Darling (Linfield), A. Goodall (Derby), and Milne (Linfield); Campbell (Cliftonville), Maxwell (Linfield), Sheridan (Everton), Sloane (Bohemians), and Kirwan (Tottenham). 

Athletic News - Monday 16 February 1903
By Junius
Everton gave a disappointing display against the Villa at Goodison Park, and as was the case last season were vanquished on their own ground by the narrow margin of a goal. Neither side showed much of the finer points of the game, but whilst the contest was stubbornly fought there was a total lack of those elements which a have tendency to make the play attractive. Compulsory alterations in the Everton team  owing to the International match accounted for the ragged performance of the home forwards, for it was only rarely that they gave George a shot that required attention, and the first half the interval had nearly approached ere Taylor headed a fine centre from Bell into goal only to find the custodian well on the alert.
The goal which won the match was only obtained after much labour on the part of the Villa, but in the meantime any amount of moderate play had been seen, for neither side showed much inclination to shoot, and midfield was the scene of a vast amount of aimless meandering.  From a foul against Wolstenholme, who brought Niblo down illegally just as the Villa left-winger was about to centre, the ball was placed in the goal-mouth, but Whitley rushed out and fisted away. He could not relieve the pressure entirely, and Bache obtaining possession from a scrimmage near the posts, booked the ball over the players and just under the cross-bar into the net. It was immediately after this reverse that Everton made their only decent attempt at scoring during the half, and Taylor applying his head at the correct moment to a centre from Bell, the Villa custodian effected a fine clearance. Taylor did head a corner kick against the cross-bar, and George saved brilliantly from Bowman at close range. The chance of the match, however, was lost when Abbott failed to convert a penalty. This was given against Leake for presumably handling a centre from Rankin, but the left half kicked the ball against George, and thus a golden opportunity was lost.  The Villa might easily have added to their total, for Whitley knocked down a shot from McLuckie, who was almost under the bar, but the goal already gained was sufficient for their needs.
Everton were undoubtedly Seen at their worst in the forward line, and their half-backs could not get them going in anything like a concerted fashion. The inclusion of Bowman at inside-left, as partner to Bell, was somewhat disastrous, for the lengthy Scot seemed utterly unable to gauge the pace of the ball, and his movements were very clumsy. He always seemed just a couple of yards too late for the ball. As a consequence the left-wing was practically relieved of its sting, though Bell did exceptionally well with the chances he did get, but even his finishing touches were execrably weak.  Brearley was of little use in the centre; his forte—that of scoring when presented with half a chance—was singularly wanting, and once more the honours of the forward line were carried off by Taylor. Rankin opened with some lovely sprints, but in the second half he faded from view. Wolstenholme, at half, was by no means a success against Niblo, too many fouls entering into his play, and Abbott again bore off the palm in the intermediate line for sterling work. But the missing of the penalty detracted somewhat from the otherwise capital character of  his work, and I believe this failure makes the third consecutive inability to find the net from such a source. Booth was not up to his usual standard, and the condition of affairs which I have repeatedly maintained, would occur was actually witnessed, namely, that when the Everton halves were a bit off colour the opposition would have a roaring time. Balmer and Crelley  defended grandly, though the latter had his hands full with Brawn, but he rarely came off second best. Whitley kept the best goal I have seen since he joined the League team, and a clearance from McLuckie was a very smart effort.
I was considerable disappointed in the play of the Midlanders, which lacked that style and vim one has become accustomed to expect.  Their forwards showed more dash than those of the home side, but there was too much overhead passing between the members of the front line to make their attack a success, and that precise footwork along the turf was never in evidence. Bache was a sterling worker, and Brawn required some checking when well under weigh, but the others were only moderate, and Niblo spoiled his play by a tendency to roam all over the field.  The halve were more efficient. Wilkes getting the better of Rankin in the second half, but the whole line displayed an average amount of capacity which proved invulnerable to the ragged attacks of the home forwards. Shutt defended capitally, but George had very few shots to stop, though two of these header, namely  from Taylor just before the interval, and the penalty from Abbott, might very easily have beaten a less resourceful custodian.  Everton; Whitley; Balmer, and Crelley; Wolstenholme, Booth, and Abbott; Rankin, Taylor, Brearley, Bowman, and Bell.  Aston Villa; George; Shutt, and Leake; Pearson, Wood, and Wilkes; Brawn, Johnson, McLuckie, Bache, and Niblo.  Referee; R.S. Carr, London. 

February 16, 1903, the Liverpool Mercury
Lancashire Combination (Game 21)
These teams met at Alkincoates Ground, before a moderate gate. Trawden played with the wind, and in 30 minutes Blackshaw scored. Until half time nothing more was achieved. In the second half Everton attacked vigorous. Trawden defending equally well. Everton in 30 minutes equalised, shortly after sending in two quick shots. Trawden roused themselves but proved unequal. Goal scorers were Young Makepeace, and Dixon, Everton 3 Trawden 1. Everton: - Kitchen goal, Clark and R Balmer backs, Chadwick, Russell, Makepeace, half-backs, Dilly, Boardman, Young, Dixon, and McEwan forwards.

Jack, Sharp and Jimmy Settle played for England and Sheridan for Ireland at the Molineus Ground Wolverhampton, in front of 16,000 spectators England winning by 4 goals to nil, and Jack Sharp scoring a brace of goals during the second half of the match.

February 16, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
With Sharp and Settle and Spencer from a like cause, absent from the Villa ranks Garrity and Henderson were away owing to injuries, the former thus being unable to participate in his first international, so that the constitution of the combatants differed considerably from what is usually the case. These changes produced a noticeably deleterious effect on the play of the Everton team particularly in the forward division, and the ragged and inconsistent movements of the line were entirely responsible for the defeat. Only one goal was gained in the match, this being scored after about 30 minutes plays in the first half. A foul against Wolstenholme for tripping Niblo, close to the line led to the kick being nicely placed in front but Whitley came out and fisted away, before he could properly return, the ball was again in the goalmouth, and from a scrimmage, Bache hooked the ball into the net. Everton's only attempt at scoring came just on the interval, when Taylor headed in from Bell's centre, only, however, to find the custodian on the alert. In the second half, both goals had narrow escapes, Taylor heading against the bar, Brearley had forced a corner, while from close range Bowman, tested George with a lovely shot. Then a penalty kick was awarded the home side for Leake handling, but Abbott kicked the ball against the Villa keeper and this was the last dying effort of Everton, for the visitors nearly scored again. Whitley saving splendidly from McLuckie.
Everton were decidedly off colour, and particularly was this the case with the forwards, who display neither combination skill, not shooting ability. The two most conspicuous failures were Bowman and Brearley for the latter showed no conception of the centre forward position and appeared to be working in an entirely different groove to the remainder. Lying well up the field, on the off chance for a sudden dash past the backs, may occasionally be effective, but the Villa defenders simply smothered the Everton centre, and even when presented with a fine opening he failed to utilise the opportunity. Bowman was simply useless, and he seems to posses the facility of being able to do the wrong thing for his own side, and the right for his opponents. Repeatedly did he pass the ball to a Villa player, and a more awkward method of taking the leather from a pass than he adopts would be difficult to imagine. Taylor worked hard, but his services brought little reward for though Rankin responded well in the opening stages, he was scarcely seen after the interval. Bell had little chance given him by his partner, but he made the most of whatever came his way. The halves were not at their best, though this may to some extent be explained by the fact that the front rank almost invariably mulled the opening made for them. Abbott was the pick of the line, but Niblo frequently beat Wolstenholme, and more fouls were given against the Everton right half than one wishes to see. Balmer and Crelly defended very well, and Whitley kept a capital goal, one or two of his clearances being exceptionally smart.
The Villa did not display the quality of football usually associated with their name and reputation, and they were little in advance of the home tem in respect to the character of their attack. There was too much dribbling and finessing with the ball, and a strange indisposition to shoot which seemed at one time to create a possible division of the points at the finish. Bache was the pick of the line, but Niblo is evidently as cosmopolitan as regards position on the field, for at times he was seen dribbling down the right wing. MCLuckie was a moderate centre, but Braun was a very dangerous opponent, and he was at times a bit superior to both Abbott and Crelly. The halves were sound without being brilliant, and the same statement applies to the full backs, whilst George in goal had very little to do, but when that little includes a penalty, he deserved some credit for coming through the ordeal unscathed. Everton however, have a reputation for inconsistency to maintain, and the probability is the next week they will startle the United, of Manchester. Bearing in minds the fate of Liverpool, they will nevertheless, do well to leave nothing to chance.

Burnley Gazette - Wednesday 18 February 1903
Everton Reserves visted Colne on Saturday, to meet the Trawden Foresters, and a fair "gate" assembled at Alkincoates. After the kick-off the Everton right atatcked, but Crawtree drove them off. Then Nunnick passed to the left, and from a capital centre Watkins got well placed, the referee rulled him off-side. Lever next got off finely, but Balmer captured him and cleared. Again the Everton right broke away, and Hilby tested the home defence. Russell had a grand opening, but he shot over the crossbar. Lever got going, and passed to Parkinson, who centred splendidly, and Blackshaw piloted the leather into the Everton net. This success made Trawden renew their efforts and they pressed severely, and repeatedly endamgered Kitchen's charge. Subsequently Wildman cleared his lines, and the vsiitors' left initiated an atatck, which proved futile. Next exchanges followed between Watkins and Nunnick, which enabled the latter to centre, and Kitchen dropped on his knees to save from Blackshaw. hard afterwards Savage shot in well, and from a clearance the Everton right got close in, Hilby missing an easy chance. Then Parkinson shot splendidly. Half-time arrived with Trawden leading by 1 goal to nil. On the resumption the visitors went in with a dash, and McEwan sent in a fin shot, which the Trawden goalkeeper threw away smartly. The visitors showed greatly improved combination, and the home defence had a lively time of it. Everton at length equalised, and later on registered two more goals. The Foresters failed to add to their score, and were thus defeated by 3 goals to 1.

Lancashire Evening Post - Saturday 21 February 1903
By John Lewis
Mr. H. Wright, one of Everton's directors " as gone to Vienna to arrange a tour by his Toffees" in Austria-Hungary as a wind-up to the season. The Germans and Magyars play very fair football, so that sport will be combined with pelasure. Mr. Wright is seeing to the "cof" Of course, it is not necessary to speak German or Magyar in order,to play football; a broken leg or a barked shin is perfectly understood football language all the world over, and I daresay there will be a mutual exchange of the "language of shins" the freemasonry of football, by which it makes its presence felt wherever it is played. The tour must necessarily be a brief one, for the English Cup Final - to be won by Everton -is precious near the end of the "legitimate," and Everton cannot afford to be suspeneded next season for playing during the close time.

Lancashire Evening Post-Saturday 21 February 1903
By John Lewis
The Fry-cum-Bell controversy has been raging at Liverpool during the week. Fry, it will be remembered, charged Bell with "Shameful and cowardly conduct." in getting the ball from him during the Portsmouth Cup-tie with Everton allaging that Bell deliberately kicked him; but Fry has got very little sympathy in Liverpool at any rate, and I note that my view of the affair is pretty generally shared, viz, that the kick was purely accidential, and that had it even been malicious Fry ought not to have used his position as a critic to draw attention to his own allaged wrongs. Neither as player nor critic has Fryer, I venture to say, improved his reputation by his controversy with Everton; beforehand Liverpool poeple took him as a player by repute and as a critic by his writings, but his display at Goodison as a player was exceedingly moderate, after every allowance has been made for his injury, and his critcism of Bell was in such bad taste that Mr. Fryer is now generally voted a very much over-rated person in both capacities. Perhaps when his club and his editor think the same thing, he will meet his proper fate in football.

Dundee Evening Post-Saturday February 21 1903
Willie Muir was born in the village of Glenbuck, Ayrshire. As the duckling takes to the water so did he to goalkeeping, and when but a youth he had earned more than local fame in the ranks of his village club. In 1896 the Scottish Junior Association selected him to keep goal against England, and right well did he justify their choice, as he assisted in defeating the Saxon by 4 goals to 0. 3d L.R.V., being in want of a class custodian, induced the Glenbuck youth to play a series of trials for them, but, terms not being satisfactory, he threw in his lot with Kilmarnock, and quickly made a name for himself in senior football.
Everton, ever on the lookout for promising talent, approached Kilmarnock for Muir's transfer, and after much negotiating secured bis services, but not until they had parted with a substantial sum, which helped to refill the depleted coffers of the Kilmarnock Club. Shortly after joining Everton Muir was called on to fill the place left vacant by Hillman's departure to Dundee, and the task set the young Scot was a severe one. But he came through the ordeal with flying colours, and proved to the Evertonians that he was worthy successor to the burly Jack. For five seasons he guarded the citadel at Goodison Park, and during that period earned golden opinions by the consistency of his work, until one afternoon about the middle of last season he had the misfortune to be beaten four times by Notts Forest at Nottingham. This was a sad blow to Willie, and the Directors in their wisdom decided to substitute Kitchen, who, by the way, has since been dropped. Muir was annoyed that his many brilliant performances were lost sight of and his career blighted by one indifferent display, and he in no uncertain manner told the Directors what he thought of them, thus widening the breach that existed. When the Everton team were on tour in this district last April, a epresentative of the Dundee Club approached the Everton secretary for Muir's transfer, and was informed he could get it for HIS APPEAL TO THE LEAGUE. On learning this, Muir appealed to the League, and at a special meeting held in Manchester his case was adjudicated on. The Everton delegate, in eloquent terms, appealed to the League to uphold his committee's decision. But Muir had a rod in pickle for him by producing an agreement signed by the Everton secretary guaranteeing him a benefit and weekly wage of five pounds for two years, and as the Football Association had decreed that no player could be paid more than four pounds per week the matter seemed serious for the Everton Club, until Muir informed the League that he had foregone his claim to the terms of the agreement, and had accepted four pounds a week for the last season, thus losing a sum of .£52. On hearing this the League at once ordered Everton to place him on the transfer list at ,£lOO. The Dundee Directors, with commendable promptitude, at once wired to Muir to come and see them with a view to arranging terms, and he came on from Liverpool without delay. The wisdom of their haste was apparent when a wire was received by a prominent Dundonian from a leading Scottish League Club offering Muir splendid terms, but he would not listen to their overtures, and adhibited his signature to the necessary forms for Dundee, much to the gratification of the Directors and supporters of the club, who looked forward to seeing their custodian rank one of the leading goalkeepers in the country, a hope that has been more than realised, Willie by his marvellous record this season has proved that he is second to none, and should be thoroughly tested at Ibrox to-day and display his usual form the highest honours are likely conferred him, the game will watched by the International Selection Committee.

February 23, 1903. The Liverpool Courier
Fa Cup Round Two
Unfortunately for the complete success of the match at Goodison Park on Saturday miserable weather prevailed. Rain fell for some hours prior to the start, and continued until almost half time. The ground was in a very bad state and good football under the circumstances was out of the question. At the last moment changes were made in both team. Sharp, Settle, and Henderson were absent from Everton. Rankin Makepeace and Crelly being introduced. On the United side Stafford was the most noted absentee. Taylor arrived at the ground only just in time to turn out, for he had missed his connection at Preston, while travelling from Blackpool, and chartered a special to take him from Burscough Junction to Aintree. The “gate” was a splendid one considering the miserable weather, fully 12,000 spectators being present when the teams faced as follows: - Everton: - Whitley goal, W.Balmer, and Crelly, backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain), and Abbott, half-backs, Rankin, Taylor, Brearley Makepeace, and Bell, forwards. Manchester United: - Birchenough, goal, Rothwell, and Read, backs, Downie, Griffiths, and Cartwright, half-backs, Street, Pegg, Peddie Smith, and Hurst, forwards. Referee John Lewis. Peddie kicked off for the United, and the visitors went down on the right wing. Abbott clearing in fine style. Brearley took up the running, but he failed to pass the halves, and United returned to the attack. Play settled down in the Everton half for some minutes without however, the visitors becoming dangerous. Brearley passed out to Bell in pretty fashion, but the outside man succumbed to numbers, and the visitors goal escaped, Booth had a shot at the United goal from long range, the ball going a couple of feet over the bar, while Abbott was the next player to try his luck, a long low shot travelling a few feet wide. A fine bit of work by Taylor saw Read beaten, but Rankin was robbed in the nick of time by Rothwell. The visitors failed to properly clear their lines, and the ball going out to Abbott that player banged the ball into the net from long rang. This success which came after eight minutes play, was loudly cheered. The visitors responded with a spirited attack Crelly getting in one very clever clearance, and assisted by a free kick, Everton again resumed the attack. They failed to pass the backs, however, and the visitors by fine combination endangered the home goal. They were soon driven back, and during a rush on the Manchester goal, Makepeace was hurt, and the game was stopped for a couple of minutes. He soon resumed, however, and Wolstenholme forced a corner off Cartwright. This was worked away, and the visitors took play a few yards from the home goal, where both Balmer and Wolsenholme were conspicuous by clever defensive work. Everton again attacked strongly, and Birchenough had to save from Makepeace. Then the United rushed down to the other end, where Whitley slipped, but recovered himself in splendid style, and cleared amid terrific applause. The Second Leagues, however were by no means done with. They played the rush and long kick game to perfection, and Dowie from long range got in a terrific shot, which Whitley saved splendidly. The pressure was at last relieved by Street sending wide, but a moment later Balmer had to kick out a good shot from Griffiths. This was followed by very severe pressure on the home goal. Whitley saved a fine high shot from Peddie, then another from Pegg while a moment later Smith when in front shot wide. It must be confessed that the Everton goal had a very lucky escape. For some time Everton were unable to clear their lines, the United forwards playing very well indeed under such conditions. At length Brearley got away, but he was too well watched to get in a shot at Birchenoug. On the slippery ground, and especially in a cup tie, it was anybody's game. Certainly the visitors played for all they were worthy, and endangered the Everton goal. Street was penalised for charging Whitley after he had saved. The Manchester players never lagged and gave the Everton defence plenty of trouble, the sloppy ground being all in favour of their methods. Smith was applauded for some tricky work, and a splendid attempt by Pegg was only lacking in direction. At the other end Brearley got in a fine centre, which Birchenough cleared, but a moment later Booth forced a corner which was badly utilised. The United still continued to put in all they knew, and their vigorous though not too scientific onslaught kept the game lively for the spectators. A rare attack by Everton only brought out the resourcefulness of Birchenough and his backs, but the pressure was bound to be rewarded, and just on half-time Taylor scored a second goal with a brilliant shot which gave the custodian no chance of intercepting. Half-time Everton 2, Manchester United nil. By the time the game was resumed there had been a remarkable change in the weather. The rain had stopped and the sun shone brilliantly. The spectators, who now numbered fully 15,000, greatly enjoyed the improved conditions. The interval was rather longer than usual, this evidently having been caused through the Manchester players putting on Blue and white striped jerseys of the pronounced red jerseys they had previously worm. The opening exchanges were contested in midfield. United were handicapped by having to face the sun. The first move of note came from Manchester, Hurst running down on his wing in promising style, but Balmer stopped his career. Bell tried to get away, but Rothwell forced him to send the ball over the line. A moment later Makepeace was at fault with a bad pass and in a move by the United front rank Peddie was prominent, Abbott stopping his career. Then Everton paid a visit to the other end, without, however troubling the Manchester custodian. A fine run by Street and Pegg followed, Crelly on two occasions clearing in clever fashion. Next Bell centred to Brearley in fine style, the centre was very much at fault in his shot, which was very wide. A little later Taylor called upon Birchenough with a long shot while directly afterwards Abbott sent close with one of his expressed. The United were penned in their own quarter for some time. On one occasion, from a long kick by Crelly, Rothwell nearly sent the ball into his own goal, but at length the visitors got away, mainly through the good dribbling of Peddie and Whitley saved grandly from pegg. The latter however, was offside, but the free kick did not enable Everton to make headway. Pegg sent in a very awkward curling shot, which Whitley knocked out a few yards, and Balmer conceded a corner. This led to three more in quick success. With some difficulty Everton cleared their lines and Makepeace had a clear course, when fouled by Rothwell within the penalty area and from the ensuing penalty kick , Booth easily placed the ball into the net. Right from the restart Manchester got down and Hurst shot into the net just as the whistle sounded for offside. Then Everton pressed again, but without result. In the last few minutes United attacked, and just before the whistle sounded, Griffiths scored with a fine shot. Result, Everton 3 Manchester United 1.

February 23, 1903. Evening Telegraph
Willie Muir was born in the village of Glenbuck, Ayrshire. As the duckling taken to the after so did he to goalkeeping, and when but a youth he had earned more than local fame in the ranks of the village club, in 1896 the Scottish Junior Association selected him to keep goal against England and right well did he justify their choices, and he assisted in defeating the Saxon by 4 goals to 0.
3d L.R.V. having in want of a class custodian, induced the Glenbuck youth to play a series of trials for them, but, terms not being satisfactory, he threw in his lot with Kilmarnock, and quickly made a name for himself in senior football.
He Goes South
Everton ever on the lookout for promising talent, approached Kilnarnock for Muir's transfer , and after much negotiating secured his services, but not until they had parted with a substantial sum, which helped to fulfill the depleted coffers of the Kilmarnock Club. Shortly after joining Everton, Muir was called on to fill the place left vacant by Hillman's departure to Dundee, and the task of the young Scot was a severe one. But he came through the ordeal with flying colours and proved to the Evertonians that he was a worthy successor to the burly Jack. For five seasons he guarded the citadel at Goodison Park, and during that period earned golden opinions by the consistency of his work, until one afternoon about the middle of last season he had the misfortune to be beaten four times by Notts Forest at Nottingham. This was a sad blow to Willie, and the Directors in their wisdom decided to substitute Kitchen who, by the way, has since been dropped. Muir was annoyed that his many brilliant performances were lost sight of and his career blighted by one indifferent display, and he in no uncertain manner told the Directors what he thought of them, thus widening the breach that existed. When the Everton team were in tour in this district last April, a representative of the Dundee Club approached the Everton secretary for Muir's transfer, and was informed he could get it for £300.
His Appeal To The League
On learning, this, Muir appealed to the League, and at a special meeting held in Manchester his case was adjudicated on. The Everton delegate, in eloquent terms, appalled to the League to uphold his committee's decision. But Muir had a red in pickle for the Everton secretary guaranteeing him a benefit and a weekly wage of five pounds for two years, and as the Football Association had decreed that no player could be paid more than four pounds per week the matter seemed serious for the Everton Club, until Muir informed the League that he had foregone his claim to the terms of the agreement, and had accepted four pounds a week for the last season, thus losing a sum of £52. On hearing this the League at once ordered Everton to place him on the transfer last at £100. The Dundee Directors, with commendable promptitude at once wired to Muir to come and see them with a view to arranging terms. The wisdom of their haste was apparent when a wire was received by a prominent Dundonian from a leading Scottish League Club offering Muir splendid terms, but he would not listen to their over starts and adhibuted his signature to the necessary forms for Dundee, much to the gratification of the Directors and supporters of the club, who looked forward to seeing their custodian rank as one of the leading goalkeepers in the county, a hope that he been more than realized, as Willie by his marvelous record this season has proved that he is second to none and should be thoroughly tested at Ibrox today and display his usual form the lightest honours are likely to be conferred on him. As the game will be watched by the International Selection Committee.

February 23, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
Unfortunately for the complete success of the Cup tie at Goodison Park, rain fell in torrent at noon, and continued up to the close of the first half of the game. So far in the ties the elements have been most unfavourable, but it speaks well for the provision for shelter made by the local club that there should have been an attendance of 15,000- a great proportion of whom witnessed the contest in comparative comfort. There was something akin to consternation in the Everton camp shortly before the advertised time for starting as it was then found that one of the players had failed to entrain at Preston, but enterprise in the way of chartering a special train had overcome the difficulty and Taylor reached the ground in good time to join his comrades. The constitution of the home side was not fully representative of the club's resources, for everyone connected with local football knows what the absence of Settle and Sharp means to the prospects of the Everton Club. Still, there are capable reverses at command, and it was generally anticipated that the “Blues” would be sufficiently strong to qualify for the third round. On the United side the most noticeable absentee was Stafford, the right full back, and the players were not without hope of repeating their performance against Liverpool.
Under the prevailing conditions, it was not at all a bad game. At the outset it was quite apparent that the United were bent upon putting their whole efforts into the fray, and the manner in which, they cut out the pace and bounced into what might aptly be described as a winning stride, quite took the fancy of the crowd. Following upon their first mishap, when after eight minutes play, Abbott gave his side the lead, they played up in most determined fashion, and gave one the impression that they did not know defeat. In fact, the forwards showed better footwork than did the home quintet, and had they and the interval arrived got upon even terms none could honestly begrudge them their success. After indulging in a long spell of close play, only to find that their efforts were in vain against, the watchful Everton half-backs, they opened out and adapted their tactics to the surrounding conditions to such effect that none would have been surprised had they even overhauled the lead of their opponents. Indeed, Whitley on two occasions had a most anxious time, and there was another when an unfortunate slip on the part of Hurst, might have placed an altogether different complexion upon the game.
An interesting first half was followed by a dull 30 minutes play in the second portion, and it was then quite apparent that the United players were suffering from the effects of the heavy strain they brought to bear earlier on. Still with a deficit of two goals, they commenced the second half in plucky fashion, and where the attack failed the defence came to the rescue, and kept out their opponents on several occasions. A penalty kick placed the visitors further in arrears, but still they played up spiritedly, and it was a fitting conclusion to the game that the margin against them should have been reduced. It can be safely stated that they had none of the luck that was hovering about, and that the score recorded against them was not in accordance with the general run of the play. Taking a line through the whole of the team there were fewer irrequalities than obtained in the opposing side; and though none were particularly brilliant there was an evenness and a general distribution of the work that with the least luck might have completely turned the balance in their favour. They played better football than at Clayton in the first round, when they discomfited the Liverpool brigade and their general work was a surprise to many who witnessed the contest. So far as Everton display was concerned beyond securing a victory there was little cause for jubilation. A more ragged and disjointed exhibition of forward play could scarcely be imagined, and but for the indomitable efforts of the half-backs the result would have been awful to contemplate. The mission of the centre forward appeared to be lie just within the limit of offside and on the whole he accomplished that part of the work to a nicely. As far as attention to his wings was concerned, that seemed altogether out of the question, with the result that there were few of those flashes down the field which are associated with the methods of the team, and these gave place to individual efforts, which were of little avail. Brearley stood out prominently as the weakest forward in the line. Rankin was little removed, and none did better work than Makepeace. Of the visiting forwards Smith at inside left, contributed most useful work, and had the least lattude been allowed him he would have a most difficult opponent to contend with. Peddie did fairly well in keeping his wings together, and all along the line there was a swing about the movements that gave much interest to the game.
As already stated, Everton strength lay at half-back and no exception could be taken to the display of any of the trio. Abbott was ever watchful, and rarely indeed did be allow quarter while in front of goal his shooting was most dangerous, probably by reason of its unexpectedness. Booth played a sound game in the centre, and Wolstenholme completed a trio against whom the cleverest forwards would have had great difficulty in carrying out their methods of attack. The half-back display by the United also reached a high standard, for, in addition to giving close attention to the movements of the Everton van, they invariably placed well to their own forwards, and like the home trio, were not slow to test the custodian when the ball was within range. Back play compared favourably, though Balmer was at times somewhat unsteady, while in goal, Whitley had plenty of chances to show his worthy, and he brought off several smart saves. The gate receipts amounted to over £560.

Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Monday 23 February 1903
Taylor, the Everton player, had quite an exciting experience on Saturday. Owing to a mistake by a railway official at Preston the whole of the Everton team had a near escape of being left there, but Taylor and Young actually were. Young was merely a reserve, but Taylor was much upset, although not more so than one or two of the Everton directors, who were tapping" each conceivable station the missing Taylor might touch. They offered $5 to stop an express at Kirkdale without success. However, Taylor proceeded on his own, and duly arrived at Burscough—a station about 14 miles from Liverpool. .There he was in fix, for trains only run about each two hours. He inquired for motor cars, and even asked for supply of wings, and the railway officials grew quite sympathetic when they knew who he was, the result being that a train consisting an engine and one carriage was fitted up and sent off post haste Taylor being charged ,£3 14s. He arrived at the dressing-room breathless, Sheridan in the meantime having stripped ready for the fray. Taylor was perfectly satisfied at being in time, and showed his appreciation by scoring the second goal.

London Daily News - Monday 23 February 1903
Wretched weather prevailed at Goodison Park, but for all that some twelve thousand people assmebled to witness the game. Everton at once attacked, and play had only been in progress ten minutes when Abbott opened the scoring for them. The United then got away, and Whitley was several times tested, but he was equal to all emergencies. Everton gradually worked their way down again, and, with a brillianty worked their way down again, and, with a brilliant shot, Taylor added a second goal. Everton leading at half-time by two goals to nil. After change of ends Everton continued to have the better of the exchanges and from a penalty Makepeace put on a third point. Just before the finish Manchester United go through. Everton thus won by three goals to one.

Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Monday 23 February 1903
This match was played in wet weather at Goodison Park, before some 12,000 people. The United kicked off, but Everton attacked, and ten minutea from the start Abbott scored for them. The United played rigorous kick and rush game, but failed, and just on the interval Taylor increased Everton's score. The opening stages the half very tame. Makepeace fouled Rothwell within the penalty area, and, Booth taking the kick, put Everton three goals ahead.The United tried hard to get through, but the home backs were too strong for them until just on the finish, when the United scored, and reduced the defeat to 3 goals to 1.

Ex Everton Player Eddie Hughes 1898-99

Athletic News - Monday 23 February 1903
By Harricus
Having disposed of one Liverpool club in the first round, Manchester United were set the task of endeavoring to lower the colours of the other First league club in the rival commercial city, but unfortunately for their chance of success they were asked to perform the operation at Goodison Park, where one of the Cup favourities, Portsmouth had dropped five goals in the first round.  Of course, with Everton losing at home on the previous Saturday, there was hope expressed in Manchester that the United might equal Aston Villa’s performance, though the wretched display of the team at Blackpool had rather damped the ardour of many of their supporters.  At this was the only tie in Lancashire, a hugh crowd was expected at Goodison Park, but the rain simply poured down on Saturday morning, and at noon, when people should have been making preparation to attended at Goodison Park, it was worst; indeed, there were many who were skeptical about the match being played.  Mr. John Lewis, however, is not a fine weather referee, and if a man almost 50 years of age can stand the rain as we had it when the game starred there is no reason why players specially prepared for the occasion should not do so.  As it happened it turned out fine after half-time, and under the circumstances an attendance of 15,000 must be considered satisfactory.
When after about seven minutes’ play Walter Abbott opened Everton’s account with a long shot which was the cause of Birchenough losing control of his legs, there was a sort of feeling that “class will tell,” and a few more goals were anticipated, but never was a crowd more deceived, and I don’t think my assertion will be disputed that up to the interval the United gave a better account of themselves than the home team.  They showed the better football and played a proper following up game, which is the one likely to be most successful on a ground showing pools of water.  By the way, one of the goal areas was protected by a cart-sheet, which was a capital idea on someone’s part.  It must, therefore, be considered hard luck on the United that just on the interval –the game could not hardly have been restarted, in fact – a second point should have been recorded against them.  Taylor got the ball in a splendid position, and after taking stock of the rigging in that manner which is peculiar to him on such occasions, he aimed straight and true at the net.  The teams presented a pretty contrast in colours, the one in red and the other in blue, but after the interval the United donned blue and white stripes.  It was an unlucky prove, for they never came up to the standard set when sporting red shirts.  For a long time, play was of the quiet order.  Then the Mancestrians obtained four successive corners and from the breakaway following on these Makepeace had a clear course, when Rothwell pulled him up in a manner which necessitated the granting of a penalty kick.  Booth took this with admirable judgment.  He made no attempts to knock the life out of Birchenough or cause repairs to the net, but after he had taken the kick Mr. Lewis pointed to the centre on the field, and that was all that Booth wanted.  The United never really gave up, and once Hurst found the net simultaneously with the whistle blowing for offside, a decision which was questioned.  However, just before the whistle blew Griffiths scored the first Cup-tie goal against Everton, so that of the four points registered three of them came from the half-backs.
To say that I was astonished at the display of the United, is merely putting it mildly, for I had been a witness of their very moderate display at Blackpool the previous Saturday.  Of course, the team had been entirely reconstructed, for writing from memory Hurst was the only forward who retained the position held at Blackpool.  Cartwright was drafted in at half-back, and Read was Rothwell’s partner at back.  The changes forward were due partially to the ineligibility of Bell, and Arkesden but they were never missed, indeed, after what I saw of them the previous week the team was “strengthened by their absence.” Although the score was 2-0 against them in the first half they were, in my opinion a better side than their opponents, the forward play being particularly good, and had they only been able to score, I should have expected them winning.  They could not, however, maintain the pace which they themselves set, hence their downfall.  The worrying tactics of such half-backs as Wolstenholme, Booth, and Abbott at their best must dishearten the well-meant intentions of any forward line under International caliber.  Thus, though defeated they have no occasion to be ashamed of it, indeed such form as they displayed in the first half every Saturday would have played them on a footing with Manchester City and Small Heath for First Division honours.  The two reserve men, Street and Smith gave a capital display forward.  Street is a speedy outside-right and Smith possesses a control over the ball which is an essential qualification for an inside man.  Pegg was a rare hard-working partner for Street, and Peddie displayed a knowledge of the game which is naturally expected of him, though one did not see many shots from his boots.  The half-backs were pretty successful, Downie being the best of the three, while Griffths in the first half got through a great amount of work in the way of breaking up the combination of the home forwards.  Rothwell was the better back, displaying good, sound football, and Birchenough could only be blamed for the first goal if blame had to be found with him.
The uncertainly of the composition of the Everton eleven- which was only selected thirty minutes before the match- may have had some effect on the play of the team on the whole.  The business-like activity of their opponents may have upset their notions of how the game should have run, for we did not see the real Everton until after the United had played themselves down.  Not only was the selection of the team left to the last –Sharp suffering from a cold and Settle from an International injury- but Taylor missed his train at Preston and had to charter a special from Burscough to Aintree in order to get to the match.  The victory was in a sense a tribute to local talent, for Whitley, Balmer, Crelley, Rankin, Brearley, and Makepeace are all products of the district.  Makepeace was a surprise selection, for he has not figured in class football so much as to warrant a Cup-tie selection over other better-known men.  He is well-known in the local cricket world, having had a trial at Old Trafford last season, in fact; and next season he will be the professional to the Wavertree Club.  He is rather on the small side as compared with his colleagues, but he was not the worst forward.  That distinction, I think, belongs to Bruce Rankin, whose great speed did not avail his side much advantage.  Certainly Rankin and Makepeace are not to be compared with Sharp and Settle.  The two veterans of the team, the only Scotsmen, brother “sons of the Rock,” and brother internationals, were a credit to the fame of the old Dumbarton club.  In a weak movement I was induced to suggest that John William Bell might gave way to younger men.  I have modified that opinion.  His trick of rushing in past the backs was played well on Saturday.  Many’s the goal he has obtained or caused to be obtained, from these self-same dashes.  Brother Taylor was like-wise successful, thought I will say that he did not treat Rankin as he would have done Sharp.  Perhaps the apparent lack of confidence was justified.  The real strength on the team lay in the half-backs, for ad=after all, the forwards were not at their best, and it is not a newly-formed opinion of mine that Wolstenholme, Booth, and Abbott are the best trio possessed by any club.  There was a suggestion that Abbott should play centre-forward on Saturday.  He did as well where he was, for he opened the scoring as he did on the last occasion I was at Everton.  On the many pairs of backs tried by Everton this season Balmer and Crelley are the best, though Balmer was none too sure on Saturday.  Everton; Whitley; Balmer, Crelley; Wolstenholme, Booth and Abbott; Rankin, Taylor, Brearley, Makepeace and Bell.  Manchester United; Birchenough; Rothwell, and read; Downie, Griffiths, and Cartwright; Street, Pegg, Peddie, Smith, and Hurst.  Referee; J. Lewis, Blackburn. 

Nottingham Evening Post - Tuesday 24 February 1903
John Barlow, the Tottenham Hotspur forward has been transfered to Reading. He went south originally from Everton to Reading and after playing two seasons for the Berkshire men, was induced to join Tottenham. He is 26 years old.

February 25, 1903. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination (Game 22)
Played at Goodison Park yesterday in able weather rain falling throughout. Everton won the toss, and Padiham started against the wind. The Visitors opened with a promising attack, Wolfe clearing well from his quarter, and Everton took up the running. Sheridan scoring with a fine hot shot at ten minutes. Young dribbled cleverly. Wolfe from half back had three shots, which each being charged down. Young next made the visiting custodian to his knees with a fine shot, a fruitless corner resulting. McEwan brought the goalkeeper to go outside, put a high shot resulted, and Young very cleverly secured possession and tipped the ball into the net before he could get back. Assisted by a couple of free kicks, they put on pressure, Clark however played a capital game at left back. McEwan made a fine run, finishing with a grand shot, to the corner of the goal, which was splendidly saved. Padiham forced a corner, which with difficulty was cleared and Kitchen twice had to handle. Then Everton took up the running and Dilly struck the post with a beauty. McEwan banged the ball in again, but the custodian scraped it out, the goal having a narrow escape. A fine run by Wofle was only saved at the second attempt. From a corner Sheridan headed a third goal and Everton lead at half time by 3 goals to nil.
Everton pressed on resuming and Dilly, Sheridan and McEwan had shots, which went wide. Wolfe grazed the bar, and from the goal kick by the custodian the ball cannoned off Boardman into the net fine work by Young and Sheridan leading upto this goal, and from the kick off Sheridan added a fifth point. The visitors after defending for a long time placing pressure at Kitchen who saved twice. Everton attacked McEwan Sheridan and Young each sending in shots. Dilly's shooting was at fault. From a free kick by Boardman, the ball was going in, when Dilly foolishly helped it on its way resulted that the goal was disallowed for offside. Each goal afterwards had a narrow escape, but there were no further goals and Everton won by 5 goals to nil.

Leeds Mercury - Saturday 28 February 1903
A change in the England team to play at Portsmouth on Monday is announced. Settle has not recovered sufficiently from his injury play, and Bache, of Aston Villa, will fill the vacancy inside left. Garratty, Aston Villa, is doubtful, and his substitute Humphreys, Notts County. Abbott, the Everton half back, will also go with the team as reserve.

Lancashire Evening Post - Saturday 28 February 1903
So strongly the Goodison directorate think about their team playing at Miilwail that a special meeting on Tuesday night they decided to offer Millwall terms to come North—one-half the gate and a benefit match at Millwall later on. I scarcely think the offer will be accepted, for Millwall stand to share as much bigger sum in the semi-final and final than Evcrton can offer them, and it is not altogether a matter of £ s. d. with the Southern club, who want to win the trophy quite much to secure the cash. It would be bad policy and a derogation from their own dignity for the Dockers accept the offer. Somehow Everton have never been happy in their Cup-tie efforts down South. Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur have both knocked them out in previous years—precedents which not heighten their joy at the prospect the trip to London next Saturday. After to-day they will proceed to within easy distance of London —I won't mention names, lest come zealous Cockney should tempted to “queer their pitch” in. the interests of Millwall. They are overtrained, if anything, and against Manchester United showed symptoms of staleness; their training is to be eased, and they are to get acclimatized and used to their surroundings during the week, just as Portsmouth did when they visited the North. Settle will probably be able play, having recovered from his injury received in the Wolverhampton match. Moral and lung, and, if necessary, physical support will lent to the Toffies by a couple of train loads of excursionists.

Nottingham Evening Post - Saturday 28 February 1903
At Goodison Park, in wet weather, before 10,000 people. Sagar started for Bury, but Everton had the best of the game. From a grand centre by Bell, Sharp headed on the wrong side of the post. Each side afterwards pressed, and both custodians were called on, but no scoring was doone for some time. Then Sharp scored for Everton and Clarke added another. Half-time;- Everton 2, Bury, none.




February 1903