SENATIONAL TEAM FACES BLUES AT GOODISON
February 1, 1946. The Evening Express
Bradford, the sensation team of the F.A. Cup, who on Wednesday rattled up eight goals against Manchester City, will tackle Everton the North League leagues at Goodison Park tomorrow, in what should be the match of the day, while allowing for Ireland’s clash with Scotland in Belfast. This will be Bradford’s second visit to Merseyside since the “old days” for Liverpool defeated them 4-1 at Anfield last October and followed that up by completing the “double” with a 2-0 win at Park-Avenue. Bradford have what may be described as an average league record, but within the last few days they have started to produce shocks. Bradford were beaten 3-1 at home by Manchester City in the Cup last Saturday, but on Wednesday went to Maine-Road and won 8-2, no fewer than seven goals being piled on during the second half. That feat should add a few thousands to tomorrows gate at Goodison, especially as A.H. Gibbons, the English amateur international forward, who scored four on Wednesday, will be leading the Yorkshire attack. Gibbons gained fame with Brentford and Tottenham Hotspur but recently went into business in Bradford and volunteered his services to the club Lucky Bradford. One young star Shackleton the inside forward tipped for international honours, will be here for the first time, for he could not play Anfield. Shackleton is the man who has been making the openings for Gibbons. Everton make two changes as compared with last Saturday’s. Rawlings coming in for Stevenson who helps Ireland and Bentham taking over at left-half for Watson. The lead of the Blues is only on goal-average from Sheffield United and Blackpool, with Newcastle United gradually creeping up. To keep their lead Everton must “cash in” on their home games, and seeing that next week Manchester City will be at Goodison they have a glorious opportunity of stealing a march on their rivals. I think Everton will win tomorrow, for Bradford are not so mobile in their attack and when the Everton forwards, start moving it means goals. This should be a grand game, and I again ask for “correct money please” at the turnstiles , for the gate may touch the 40,000 mark with the three o’clock kick-off. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Bentham; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Bradford; Farr; Hepworth, Farrell; Greenwood, Danskin, Hallard; Knott, Shackleton, A.H. Gibbins, Downie, Dix.
Everton Reserves (v. Blackburn Rovers, away); Sagar; Goulding, Purvis; Grant, Falder, Cookson; Lowe, Elliott, Birmingham, Bell, W. Long.
February 2, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
The principal attraction locally is the visit of Bradford P.A. to engage Everton, the League leaders at Goodison Park, and in view of the Yorkshire club a crushing Cup win over Manchester City a big crowd is likely to be present. The home side show two changes from a week ago, at outside right, where Rawlings returns in place of Stevenson, who is playing for Ireland, and at left half, where Bentham comes in for Watson. Bradford will field the eleven which was successful in their mid-week Cup game. Teams; Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Bentham; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Bradford; Farr; Hepworth, Farrell; Greenwood, Danskin, Hallard; Knott, Shackleton, A.H. Gibbins, Downie, Dix.
BLUES OPEN BRISKY
February 2, 1946. The Evening Express
Bradford Keeper kept Busy
Two of the best inside-right discoveries, Wainwright and Shackleton were on view at Goodison Park today where Everton opposed Bradford, Wednesday’s eight goal team. Goodison news at that Boyes, Jackson and Keenan, the former Hereford Town player, resume full time training next week. Mr. Billy McConnell, chairman of Liverpool, was in Belfast, but whether he was watching the international is a moot point. I think he had other fish to fry. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Humphreys and Bentham, half-backs; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, and Boyes, forwards. Bradford; Farr, goal; Hepworth and Farrell, backs; Greenwood, Danskin, and Hallard, half-backs; Knott, Shackleton, A.H. Gibbons, Downie, and Dix, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Wright (Macclesfield). Bradford opened straight away with a corner conceded when Humphreys kicked the ball against Greenhalgh, and then Knott burst through only for Greenhalgh to hold him up cleverly. Everton made a potent thrust when Fielding centred first time, but Farr dashed out to beat the ball up and catch it. Farr came out to take charge of a long kick by Jackson, and he was dead in position to hold a Catterick shot taken on the turn. Once again Farr did the necessary when Jackson again tried to put the Everton forwards in shooting position after Mercer had made a joyous run through. Mercer but Everton on the attack again, Farr putting behind a centre from Boyes. From this, Wainwright headed just by the far post. Fielding got Hepworth tried up in knocks and when Boyes left the ball go through his legs there as no one at hand to take advantage. Everton were serving up some glorious football, with the ball always on the floor and after fine build up work by Mercer, Fielding sending in a shot which swung beyond the far post. Fielding sent Wainwright away, outside-right, and he received the return to pull the ball past Greenwood, only to shoot inches over the top. Mercer brought cheers from the crowd for his perfect footwork, who enabled Catterick to shoot without difficulties, Farr saving and then a goal-laden low cross from Fielding was just touched behind by Danskin. The Bradford defence was being kept at full strength by the precise football of Everton, and Fielding and Catterick got Wainwright through but Farr dashed out to ruin Catterick’s aim and the ball flashed outside. The ball was continually bobbing about in front of the Bradford’s goal and it came as a diversion when Shackleton centred to the far post but Burnett confidently picked the ball off the head of Gibbins. Bentham joined in with the forwards without getting on the mark and then Mercer put Rawlings through, only for the winger to let the ball back behind his forwards. It was a case of Everton shooting in with Bradford doing nothing but defence, and a winner for Catterick caught Danskin amidst and went to safety. Farr fisted away from Rawlings before a Boyes centre went far away to the right. When Fielding shot the ball crashed against Dan skin and away to safety.
THEY DID EVERYTHING BUT SCORE AT EVERTON
February 4, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, Bradford Park Avenue 0
By Bee (Ernest Edwards)
Greatness has been thrust up Bradford Park Avenue by reason of an eightsome “reel” danced by them over Manchester City’s body in the Cup series. Their visit to Everton was, therefore in the light of a league test. Bradford were voted certain to be back in Division 1 within one year of peace. Fate played her hand in the middle of this season! However, and Saturday’s game was only the third in the last sixteen in which their team finished a game with eleven players. On what Everton saw of this multicoloured team they will go far because they have neat blending, many tricks of the back-of-the-heel, and as leader a forward Mr. Gibbons, who has the best notions of the necessities of a centre forward I call him Mr. Gibbons because of respect for him and his game, also for the sportsmanlike way in which he played. He and the galliant Greenhalgh had an ugly-looking collision, but both played on as if nothing untoward had happened.
Could Have Been Classic
Indeed this meeting of Lancashire and Yorkshire was in very essence a fine, sporting game. Given a goal or two it would have ranked as a classic. As it was both sides became the Picassors of play. They painted some lovely pictures; the framework was eminently suitable the spectators (28,000 of them) wondered if the picture had been hung upside down. Was it a picture or just a procession of passes or strokes of genius with no finality? Was everything to be hung upon the finesse, feint or forcible? Was there to be no concrete evidence from the teams great efforts.” Not at goal adorn the picture, and in some respect these players must bear the criticism that they applied too many stokes without the finality of touch that compiles a picture.
Never Farr Away
Yet that would be rather unfair to some of the players for example one has to hand out bonquets to Farr for another astonishing, refreshing goalkeeping display. Here is an enthusiast with safe-hands. His save from two yards out was quite the most astonishing thing in this first class and delightful match. And Farr with two stout backs, and a grand general in Danskin at centre half was bless with much work for half an hour. The Yorkshire side made the second half their own and a draw was the best of all results considering both sides had been faulted near goal. Burnett, having made one slip without cost kept the point and pound bonus safe by an electric one hand save. I should like to film five man in this game.
Humphreys; Statuesque, solid, sure full in his strips when play is held up in a pose suggesting. Alex defying the lightning, Everton have a treasure here. No showman, an artist of reliable and neat methods, mercer; Time cannot wither. He encourages the other side to “come up and see him,” and by that means draws them from his prospective pass is trying hard to make the upward and through pass to inside forwards, but this was not Wainwright’s best day. Mercer’s stride carries him far; his enthusiasm carries him further; his legs entwine the opposition. Fielding The Southerner’s best game. His first half display was the essence, of body swerve sending the opposition the wrong way. Anyone can play beside him; he open up their way. This would have been a field day for Fielding of Danskin had not held up Catterick with a rod of iron Downie Quite Downy. Shackleton has a floating kidney without a kink in it (see medical book for explanation). Tall, sweeping across field in the attack, bugging and controlling the ball worrier and a worker and certainty needed by England in the near future.
Time after time Everton swept through by the nimble Boyes or the more than usually practical Rawlings, and the crowd shaped its mouth to great the goal that must come. The ball struck bodes, legs, heads perhaps due to Bradford’s wise packing and positioning. Spectators term it “bad luck for Everton.” I remember no game equalling this in the blocking-out of goals when no chance of escapes seemed possible. It was a rub of the green, in goals parlance. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Humphreys and Bentham, half-backs; Rawlings, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, and Boyes, forwards. Bradford; Farr, goal; Hepworth and Farrell, backs; Greenwood, Danskin, and Hallard, half-backs; Knott, Shackleton, A.H. Gibbons, Downie, and Dix, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Wright (Macclesfield).
• Liverpool lost 3-0 to Leeds, Henry (2)(1 Penalty), Ainsley
• Ireland lost to Scotland 3-2, at Belfast, Stevenson playing for Ireland
• Everton Reserves lost 4-3 to Blackburn Rovers
ITS A HABIT
February 4, 1946. The Evening Express
Apparently both Liverpool and Everton have dropped into the habit of doing all the attacking and yet failing to produce the shots. At least in the space of eight days I saw Liverpool twice in the mood and Everton once. On Saturday at Goodison Park Everton should on the point pressure, have defeated Bradford by a half-a-dozen goals, but they had to be content with a goalless draw, yes not a goal from the clubs who in their immediately preceding had scored ten and eight respectably. I do not thinking Bradford attacked for 15 minutes all told, and yet they looked almost as dangerous as the Blues who progressed by some joyous building-up football, and then made those tantalising and fatal hesitations in front of goal. It is not my intention to deprive the Bradford defenders of full praise for a glorious resistance, but truth to tell the Everton forwards made the task easy for the defence. The attackers were slow to shoot, and so most of their efforts were charged down by the spilt-second intervention of legs and body. When the wingers broke through, as they did time after time, they delayed the final move until Bradford had everything covered. At other times they lobbed the ball straight into the hands of goalkeeper Farr, who must have thought this is a doddle,” Fairbrother, of Preston, was assisted similarly in the cup-ties –remember? There was no doubting that Everton deserved to win for the very delicacy of their approach work in which Wally Fielding was superb I have not seen a better display for a long time. Fielding’s one fault was that of others – he expected Wainwright to do all the scoring. Too much by far was thrust on Wainwright who drew defenders like jam attracts wasps and so he had an indifferent game. Bradford saw to that. Wainwright once had cruel luck when a winner struck Farr’s foot and bounced twice against the bat before going over, but otherwise it was the purposeful Catterick who brought most danger to bear, and three shots, taken under difficulties were excellent. How Harry got his shots in amazed me. Everton were so much in the ascendancy that both Mercer and Bentham joined in the raids gleefully, and their keen following up certainly enabled Park-avenue to strike a danger note in sudden breakaway for it left gaps. Fortunately, Jackson and Greenhalgh were prepared and adept, while Humphreys, in my opinion, had a great afternoon against the clever Gibbons and was more versatile than 37-year-old Danskin, who was content to stay with Catterick, Burnett made some fine saves, but was a spectator for long periods as Everton battered a sound but not outstanding, side I liked Downie, the darting inside left much better than Shackleton whom we saw only in flashes. There was plenty to keep the 28,000 odd spectators on their toes, but, oh for a goal. Mr. Fred Emery’s boys are such good spoilers that they may cause an upset in the cup. Quite a number of Yorkshire enthusiasts came with the team to be entertained by Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins, Dr. Cecil Baxter, Mr. George Evans, captain Tom Percy and Mr. Dick Searle, Directors Mr. Fred Lake has not been too well of late but I am pleased to hear he is progressing well.
STEVEN RETURNS ON WING
February 6, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Stevenson, who was absent from the Everton team last week, owing to being on international duty at Belfast reappears at outside right in place of Rawlings for the game with Manchester City at Goodison Park on Saturday. Altogether a dozen players have been selected from which the eleven will be finally chosen, namely; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Bentham, Watson, Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Whatever the final change is, I look forward to the home side reproducing that snap in attack displayed against Fulham, which will obtain the necessary goals for victory and secure them valuable points in their championship bid.
EVERTON FOR B.A.O.R
February 6, 1946, The Liverpool Echo
F.A. Co-Operate with the Army
Everton are among the clubs who have been invited by the F.A. and the Army authorities to send a team to play for the troops of the B.A.O.R. Mr. Theo Kelly, who was at Anfield this afternoon (writes Rangers) tells me that the provisional date for Everton’s visit is March 27. The team and officials will fly out home, and on the way back will probably play a friendly game with Fulham in London. Mr. S. F. Rous, secretary of the F.A. who is acting for the Army authorities told me by telephone today that he is now only waiting for acceptances from clubs invited before making public the full list of fixtures.
READY FOR CITY
February 6, 1946. The Evening Express
Everton will select 12 players for their match with Manchester City at Goodison Park on Saturday. Alex Stevenson returns after having captained Ireland against Scotland and takes over again at outside-right in place of Rawlings. Watson, who has been resting is included among the four half-backs. Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Bentham, Watson, Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
Everton Reserves; Birkett or Sagar; Goulding, Purvis, Grant, Falder, Cookson; Rawlings, Bell, Birmingham, Rothwell, Archer.
BUT LEAGUE IS EVERTON’S AIM
February 8, 1945. The Liverpool Echo
Manchester City at Goodison
At Goodison Park we shall liquidate our sorrow at the absence of a cup-tie in hopes of Everton’s further consolidation of their championship prospects. We can discount Bradford’s overwhelming cup win over City at anything like a reliable guide to tomorrow’s prospects. It will be a long time before Frank Swift has eight past him again. And I don’t think we shall see Everton so profligate with scoring chances as they were last week. Days when nothing goes right at the last stage of all comes to every side; but this time Stevenson’s return will give more balance to the home attack, and I don’t think defence, bar Swift, is of quite the same dour character as Bradford’s. Everton’s forwards have only twice failed to score at home this season; in fourteen League matches, during which their defence has been debited with only 13 goals strong evidence of its solidity and understanding. I shall be surprised if they do not add both points to their bag. Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Bentham, Watson, Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Manchester City; Swift; Clark, Barkas; Walsh, Walker, McDowell; Dunkley, Herd, Constantine, Smith, Pearson (or Pritchard).
HAVE A GO
February 8, 1946, The Evening Express
Manchester City, definitely are one of the finest football combinations I have seen this season. In the first half against Liverpool at Anfield on October 27, the City gave a perfect exhibition of fast, penetrative football, and banged on five goals before half-time to complete a “double” over the Reds. I shall not readily forget the precision of the City that day or the wonder shooting of Pearson the guest from Grimsby Town who, incidentally, may play again tomorrow. Everton will not have forgotten the great goal scored by Pearson for Grimsby Town against them here on December 15. The lad needs watching. Prior to their sensational 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bradford in the Cup; the city had played nine matches without a single defeat – a splendid run, proving that they will take a deal of beating tomorrow at a ground where they generally do well. Everton will have Alex Stevenson back to draw defenders off Wainwright and this should ensure that there is no repetition of the crowding among the inside-forwards we saw against Bradford a week ago. Everton could have beaten Bradford had they the urge to “have a go” and I feel confident they can break down the resistance of even Frank Swift and his experienced colleagues if they will shoot at every opportunity. Everton’s only affects, the half-backs line, where Watson joins the trio of last week, but the City will have the youngster, Walker, an Eccles lad, at centre-half, with Constantine – once fancied by the Blues – at centre forward. The match is at three o’clock and should be one of the best of the season. Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Bentham, Watson, Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Manchester City; Swift; Clark, Barkas; Walsh, Walker, McDowell; Dunkley, Herd, Constantine, Smith, Pearson (or Pritchard).
“Boys ‘ Eye” View of Good Everton Win
February 11, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 4, Manchester City 1
By Bee (Ernest Edwards)
And anything you say will be taken down and used in evidence against you.” That is the court warning. It is implied here because the writer was not in critical mood at Everton. He queued with boys of seven and twelve for the “boys ‘Pen,” to judge the future Everton enthusiasts. Boys from Warrington and Prescott Grammar School, boys of the tenderest of ages – one of seven, who confessed this was his second season, of football following! He came from Broad green with his friend David Bird – they would be home by six o’clock (if they caught two connections) but their parents knew they had been under cover and in good company. Here were the Everton enthusiasts of 1955. They showed great knowledge of the game, knew every inch of the players. Stevenson and Boyes were their heroes.
Tucked away in the far corner of Bullens Road Stand the boys have not the best of views. Sunshine and haze make the top goal-area shadowy – as I found when broadcasting from nearby. My view of the game was such I must plead guilty to having no more than a misty and, maybe, musty view of the happening at the town end goal. So my criticism must “not be used in evidence against me. “It is uncommon to find five goals, scored and not one will be remembered for future “Do you remember” series. They were not goals made of dynamite; rather they were at their source, faults by defences. Yet there were many fine splashes of colour in midfield, although Fielding did not find his twinkling feet till the second half. It was the openwork that appealed most. Rounds of passing ensured the game being interesting and instructive, had Manchester City showed (mainly through herd and Pritchard and Dunkley) they could have shocked Everton if they had the right notion of how to deliver the telling shot, once the avenue appeared.
A Blank Wall
In the first half hour, England’s goalkeeper with sleeves rolled up for action he sensed was coming his way, made many of his grabs and catches; he saved his side in that time. He is so massive of build and hand grip that forwards seeing him in goal fail to see an opening in that goal area; he blots out their view and they appear to be playing against a closed shop marked “open on Sunday.” Swift is a remarkable fellow – agile where other big men are ambling; reaching, without a leap, where others would need to spring to the eight foot high mark. In front of him the veteran Barkes, neat but slow; Walker at centre half-back – new and nervy about his promotion – here was the reason for Everton getting goals. This was the secret of Everton’s margin. Yet at three-quarter time with a deficit of 3-1 Manchester City attacked with a vigour that threatened to change the face of the scoreboard. Manchester City promised much; then fulfilment did not arrive because they were incompetent in front of goal and because they met a defence of solidity backed up by Humphreys and others.
Filling The Breach
Everton were a curiously mixed bag, Bentham made into a forward again through Wainwright’s absence, formed a nice partnership with Stevenson, but lacked pace and staying power. Bell always willing to tilt himself against all pivots showed his brain was still functioning if his feet did not keep time with his thoughts. He is always getting goals. Not a showman; he just delivers the goods when Catterick is absent through illness. Can a centre do more? Stevenson has for years been an inside forward, foraging to make plain the path of his partner in the open spaces. Now he finds himself in wide open spaces and revels in his new found task to him it is a simple task. From the Boy’s Pen I was able to see his judgement and his method of putting drag on a pass – sure indication of the artist in him. Mercer set the machinery in motion time and again if not always finding his man – when being on this way if stands out so boldly; when others do it, it is taken nem com. Odd is it not? Football is odd; and this critique must be old if only by reason of the bad angle at which I was placed and by the noise of the multitude around me. Still it was a win without debate. Attendance 40,000. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Humphreys and Watson, half-backs; Stevenson, Bentham, Bell, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Manchester City; Swift, goal; Clarke, and Barkas, backs; Walsh, Walker, and McDowell, half-backs; Dunkley, Herd, Constantine, Smith, and Pritchard, forwards. Referee; Mr. H. Nattrass (Sunderland).
• Liverpool lost 2-1 against Manchester United. Balmer for Liverpool and Smith (2), Delaney shot a penalty kick over the bar for Manchester United.
• Everton Reserves lost 2-1 to Manchester City Reserves
February 11, 1946. The Evening Express
In truth Everton are being helped along in their title but by a builder in more senses than one – Wally Fielding. Wally is a builder in private life, and now he has been released from the Army under the “B” scheme – like Jack Balmer – and is not only providing the much-needed homes, but is giving his Everton colleagues an abundance of the right material on which to build. I say definitely that there is no better inside-left playing today, and against Manchester City Fielding outshone everyone. Let me emphasise right away that the Blues’ win was no one-man win, in fact, the recent success of Everton has been due directly to the wonderful team-spirit and “all-for-one” dressing room complex. The days of the “one-man-team” have passed for ever at Goodison Park. They are club men. Take Bob bell as an example. Bob was called on at a late hour to take the place of flu victim Catterick and although he has not been playing centre-forward much of late he dropped into the scheme of things magnificently, and not only led the line splendidly, but banged a couple of goals. Tommy Trinder would say of Everton “you Lucky People” for, having helped reduce the bank overdraft by transferring Lawton, they still have two such grand centre-forwards as Catterick and Bell with the youngsters. Charlies Birmingham and Stanley Wright still on the “apprentice” stage. Stan Bentham’s display at inside-right was another example of the willingness to play any role so long as it helps Everton. Stan has been playing wing half, but he went back into the attack to show us a few things and make Stevenson a fine partner. Stevenson delighted me with the ease and cheekiness with which he discharged his duties. Sam Barkas know not which way to turn. And Boyes was at his dazzling best, for he was the direct Wally we like so much never hesitating to give Fielding or Watson the return ball they needed when they moved to position. Hence Everton’s potency. That Everton did not score ten goals was due to Swift alone. All right, so Frank may be a little lucky at times, but fortune only favours the brave and the able, and Swift definitely is without peer in the game. Mark you, Swift had to be good for he never had such cover as the Everton defence gave to Burnett. Humphreys I thought had one of the best day’s days against Constantine, whom Everton once fancied, and whose headed goal should have been saved. Otherwise Burnett was okay and rose to the occasions when the City, in their brightest moments, managed to outwit Humphreys, Jackson and Greenhalgh. The last minute interventions of this trio were invaluable at a time when Everton began to “fiddle.” Watson came back with a fine all-round display, and was better than Mercer because he passed with greater accuracy. Joe had one of those tantalising days when he kept getting possession only to find his passes gliding away to an opponent. I refer to the second half in particular. This was a match full of good football, and referee Mr. Harry Nattrass who handled the game so cleverly, said to me afterwards. “That is the best exhibition of football I have seen this season, and it was a joy to referee. A nice tribute from England’s best referee. Mr. George Martin, manager of Luton Town and former Everton inside forward was at the game and he assures me that in Billington he has the best centre-forward in the County. George’s need is a first class inside forward. Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins and his colleagues were happy at the thought that at last Merseyside has topped the 40,000 gate mark this season for a match other than local “Derby” or holiday. The gate was 41,600, which is the best yet for a Saturday League match –“Derby” excluded. Another sign of the boom. Everton are player spotting, I missed familiar faces at Goodison Park again on Saturday. Everton were “scouting” and had representatives in Ireland at the Celtic-Distillery match.
Liverpool and Everton replay their Lancashire Senior Cup first round tie at Anfield on Wednesday February 20, at three o’clock.
EVERTON’S FINE DISPLAY
February 11, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
But for some clever saves by both goalkeepers and some fortunate escapes, the latter mainly experienced by Manchester City, there would have been an even bigger feast of goals at Goodison than we had. It was a game productive of much good football, especially in the first half, plenty of swift movements, and enough thrills to satisfy everybody. Bar one fairly lengthily period in the second half, when City threatened to make a fight for the points. Everton were always the more go-ahead side though there was again a taint of the old tendency to try the extra move inside the penalty area which so often proves fatal. They might have had more goals but for that Yes why worry? They won comfortably in the end, so we can forward it, retaining instead the memory of their grand approach work. When the forwards go to up five abreast, with the wing halves backing them strongly, the best defence in the land is in for a rough passage. Stevenson, Everton’s Peter pan, was delightful. He paired off in brilliant fashion with Bentham, who shone better than for some time because he got the right sort of passes, but faded out in the closing stages. Fielding was again a joy by his delicious ball control. Boyes celebrated his return as a full timer in sprightly manner, and ell filled Catterick’s shoes adequately. Mercer and Watson saw to it that the line was well supplied and supported, and if a few passes did go astray later on when the heavy ground was taking toll of the stamina of even the strongest – well, we can forget that too. The Everton defence all season has been so solid that I sometimes think we take it too much for granted. Once more it lived up to its usual high standard and if Burnett was at fault with City’s goal, his many brilliant saves more than washed it out. City covered the ground with fewer moves than Everton preferring the long sweeping pass to “working” the ball and in the first half, through with far fewer openings, their were quicker to shoot than the Blues. Later when doing more of the attack they produced less shots, and at no time were they ever together as a concerned attacking line in the balanced way Everton were. Centre half Williams is built in the same mould as Williams of Preston, and shows plenty of promise even if he a few mistakes; but Sam Barkas is not the Barkas of old, though his positioning sense is as strong as ever. Swift showed us that even the most brilliant goalkeepers are not infallible. In between his numerous wonderful saves – saves which would have been impossible to a man of lesser built or reach – there were two of three incidents where he “fumbled” in a manner strangely un-Swift-like. The goals were by Bentham (a canny “Tishy” effort), Boyes, and Bell (two), with Constantine for City. Among the visitors to Goodison was George Martin, the former Hull, Everton and Middlesbrough forward, now managing Luton Town. George has had a lot of trouble of late, having lost three relative by death in five months.
February 13, 1946. The Evening Express
Everton will select from 12 players when they go to Maine-road for the return game with Manchester City. Catterick has recovered from influenza and will be at centre forward in place of Bell, and Wainwright returns to inside right in place of Bentham. Bentham is included among the four half-backs from which final selection will be made. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; (from); Mercer, Humphreys, Watson, Bentham; Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes
Everton Reserves –Sagar; Goulding, A.N. Other, Cookson, Falder, Archer; Rawlings, Elliott, Bell, Lindeman, Makin.
EVERTON TO SIGN OWEN
February 14, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Everton are today completing the transfer of Arthur Owen, Tranmere Rovers former first team full back who has been given a free transfer by the Birkenhead club. Though getting on in football years, and a bit on the small side. Owen is still a stalwart defender, and will appear in Everton’s Central League side on Saturday. During the war Owens rendered great services to Tranmere and played several games as a guest with Liverpool, always putting up a solid show. He joined the Rovers from Hoylake ten years ago and was demobbed this week in his return from Australia with the R.A.F.
Another “full-timer” was added to Everton’s staff yesterday, when William Keenan the former Hereford Town outside left, signed on the dotted line.
ROUND IT OFF, BLUES!
February 15, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Everton, away to Manchester City, can further consolidate their bid for the leadership if they serve up the class football of last week, plus a little more purposeful finishing. They may not overhaul Sheffield United yet, for the Blades, who have a point in hand, look good enough to win against Grimsby, but to take advantage of any possible slips by the Bramall Lane side Everton must take sure of things themselves. It won’t be easy for every League game now takes on a knife-edge keenness, through the desire of the opposition to upset so highly –placed a side. Their artistry in attack and solidity in defence may enable them to achieve the double as City’s expense –Swift permitting. Many a time has Swift stood between City and defeat. Well as Bentham and Bell played last week, Wainwright and Catterick will bring added force to the Everton front line, which means that the Maine Road defence is in for another hard game. Everton (from); Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson, Bentham; Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes
Manchester City; Swift; Clark, Barkas; Walsh, Sproston, McDowell; Dunkley, Herd, Constantine, Smith, Pearson.
EVERTON AT MAINE ROAD
February 16, 1946. The Evening Express
One point behind the leaders, Everton were strengthened by the return of Catterick and Wainwright to the attack while Watson was at left half. Manchester experimented with international defender Sproston at centre-half. Pearson, Grimsby Town forward, was at outside left. Manchester City; Swift, goal; Clark and Barkas, backs; Walsh, Sproston and McDowell, half-backs; Dunkley, Herd, Constantine, Smith, and Pearson (Grimsby Town), forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Humphreys, and Watson, half-backs; Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. Harry Nattrass (Sunderland). Greenhalgh won the toss and in the first minute he cleverly side-stepped Pearson to clear Manchester’s opening attack. The home forwards were persistent and after Herd shot wide, Burnett ran out to clear from Smith. Fielding was tackled in Everton’s first raid. Then Swift had to save from Wainwright when Catterick had sent him through. Fielding again got the line moving and Boyes eventually lost possession after a tussle with Clark and Walsh. There were plenty of thrills, and in 11 minutes Everton took the lead. It was a beautifully planned goal, Wainwright collected Stevenson’s short pass to move across the goal and fire in a 20-yards drive with the City defence wide open. Manchester were not idle. A high shot from Herd was punched over the bar by Burnett, who also made a well-timed punch right off Smith’s head in the goalmouth.
EVERTON R. MAN C. R
February 16, 1946. The Evening Express
At Goodison Park today. Lindeman, who has just returned from overseas, was included in the Everton team. Everton were early dangerous, Wilson being called upon to deal with two good shots from Makin and Elliott. After ten minutes Everton took the lead, Linderman giving the keeper no chance from close range. The City, nevertheless were always dangerous, Sagar saving two good shots from Dean and Bootle. The City deservedly equalised, Robinson’s scoring a fine goal.
February 18, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Manchester City 1, Everton 3
Manchester City Well Thrashed
Manchester football followers went into raptures over Everton’s brilliant football at Maine Road even though it meant they had to endure the sight of seeing their own side completely outplayed and out-manoeuvred. The City have many times proved themselves a “bogey” team to the Merseyside clubs, but in this instance the boot was on the other foot, and Everton laid the “bogey” to rest by dint of good football which brought praise from all sides. Everton played football that was not only a joy to the eye but an effective means of tearing the City defence to ribbons. The perfectly made pass, the ball on the floor and the player there ready to receive it and move up into the challenger’s position. I repeatedly heard the remark. Beautiful football.” This coming from City partisans was praise indeed, yet Everton deserved it, all for they were scintillating, the complete football team all in one accord. Manchester opened with gusto, and one visualised a titanic struggle for supremacy, but once Everton got into rhyme they brought harmony with not even a trace of a false note. It would have been a warped mind which refused to acknowledge Everton’s art and craft. Everything they did carried the ball mark the work of the skilled craftsman; when it was a safely move or a preparation for attack it was done with a confidence and the knowledge that it was the correct thing for the occasion. Where the City were struggling making hard labour of it, football science simply flowed from the feet of the Everton players, and they made things look easy so much so that the City were bewildered by their rivals artistry.
A Magnificent Goal
The wisdom of the quick pass into the right spot was never more obvious than when Stevenson slipped the ball into the open space for Wainwright to cut through to score a magnificent goal. Time eleven minutes and seven minutes later Stevenson, finding himself “tied-up” adroitly put the ball back to Mercer. The England captain went off on one of his long winding dribbles. Four times he was challenged yet retained possession of the ball, and finally found himself in front of the City goal it was a goal we dream about but seldom see, although it is not uncommon to Mercer. Now for the second stanza. Not quite so spectators, for the City were more tenacious and for a time promised a heap of trouble by their more fiery methods. It robbed Everton of its lustre, for they were farced to pay more attention to defence. The City got a goal through the one mistake Burnett made throughout the game, and it set the City alight. They started to play better and the Everton defence was often hard-pressed. There was no relief until Catterick scored ten minutes from the end. Everton had won a magnificent victory. The City had not the skill of Everton. They were made to look moderate by a team which had all the football moves up its sleeve and exploited they when need required. The spasmodic raid of Manchester could not match up with the studied football of their conquerors. Attendance 31,401. Manchester City; Swift, goal; Clark and Barkas, backs; Walsh, Sproston and McDowell, half-backs; Dunkley, Herd, Constantine, Smith, and Pearson (Grimsby Town), forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Humphreys, and Watson, half-backs; Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. Harry Nattrass (Sunderland).
• Liverpool lost 5-0 to Manchester United, Hanlon (2), Rowley (2), Wrigglesworth.
• Everton Reserves lost 3-2 at home to Manchester City
February 18, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Manchester City were never a match for Everton at Maine-road; in fact they were made to look paltry, for their football was just a series of darting attack. They wanted the tonic of a goal to bring them to real life and Everton “gave” them one. Writes Stork.
They were heartened by it, and for a time sounded the Everton defence pretty severely, Everton had taken all the honours through their grand football. I don’t expect to see anything better than Everton produced in the first half, for they were dazzling. They arrested moves which had the City floundering with the hope of stemming the waves which continually beat against their defensive wall. Yet, for all their magnificence, Everton could only mark up two goals for 45 minutes of perfect football. There were some near misses, some saves by swift and others, and a half-fit centre forward, for Catterick had not thrown off the effects of his influence germ. Had Harry been “A1” it would have made a difference. Two goals however, seemed good enough to account for the City, for they had been out played by a team which is playing football as good as any club in the county. The Manchester people enjoyed it. In every phase of the game Everton held the whip hand, particularly in their constructional ideas, the ball going from man to man with precision like accuracy. Just don’t think for one moment that the City had not tested Burnett. They had and very severely. Twice he had thumped the ball over his barn in classical style. His one slip cost Everton a goal, but that can be forgotten in the memory of the wonderful saves he made prior to it and afterwards. There was no weak link in Everton’s chain. They dovetailed one with the other perfectly so that things flowed along smoothly. By comparison the City were just a hard working side.
February 18, 1946. The Evening Express
Several people telephoned me during the week-end to emphasise that Everton, on their 3-1 victory over Manchester City at Maine-road –their fourth “double” -are the greatest team in the country, I can picture it all, and especially Mercer’s goal which seems to have set the Irwell on fire. At half-time 25,000 Manchester fans stood up and cheered Everton! The Blues were that good. Everton apparently played perfection football with the wing half-back’s Mercer and Watson, linking up so well with the forwards that it was almost a seven-point attack all the time. This mode of procedure can be adopted with confidence when there are such strong defenders as Humphreys – playing better than ever Jackson and Greenhalgh to handle sudden breakaways by the opposition. A team playing this way must have complete confidence, understanding and team spirit. Everton have just these qualities, and so still remain in second place one point behind Sheffield United. Wainwright – handicapped by injury late on – Fielding and Catterick bewildered the City defence by their precision passing and the wily Stevenson and Boyes on the wings so cleverly drew defenders out of possession that had it not been for good defence Everton would have won more convincingly. Wainwright and Mercer got first-half goals, and after Constantine had reduced after Burnett had partially cleared, Catterick came through to thank Fielding and Boyes for his scoring chance. The City played excellently throughout, but were still much second best against this great Everton. Keep it up Blues.
LIVERTON DUEL; CHAPTER 3
February 19, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Liverpool and Everton have another set-to Anfield tomorrow (kick-off 3pm), in an effort to settle their Lancashire Cup (first round) argument. The first game at Goodison last September was notable for Liverpool’s great recovery after being three down at the interval. Up to them Everton had played such brilliant football that the Reds chances looked negiable, but they came right back as Everton came to a standstill in the second half. The return game at Anfield also being drawn after extra time the third meeting being necessary. On form there looks only one possible outcome, and that isn’t a win for Liverpool. You never can tell. The Reds have a habit of upsetting the odds when least expected and against Everton in particular there is always the chance of their pulling something special out of the bag. Everton are now liable to be knocked off their perch by Liverpool’s fighting tactics – assuming the Reds serve up their old-time five – than by a more stylish side, but if Everton can repeat their form of recent games I’m afraid Liverpool have “had it.” The Blues chose their side from fourteen probables among whom Wainwright is not named, owing to inability to get leave. Catterick also is doubtful, and the rest are all right. Liverpool will not decide their side until this evening’s board meeting. Everton; (from)- Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Grant, Humphreys, Watson; Rawlings, Stevenson, Catterick, Bell, Fielding, Boyes.
LIVERPOOL DIRECTORS MEET TONIGHT
February 19, 1946. The Evening Express
Liverpool directors when they meet this evening will discuss the position of goalkeepers, and for their information I can tell them that Everton would be ready to co-operate regarding Wilf Birkett, the brilliant young Haydock lad who has had so much experience. Possibly Liverpool will not wish to go across the park for the solution of their pressing problem, but they could go father and fare worse. Everton will be willing to lend the helping, and would be prepared to transfer Birkett in time to enable him to play for Liverpool against Everton at Anfield in the Liverpool Senior Cup reply tomorrow. Birkett was deputy to Burnett in Everton’s league team and then with Burnett so consistent was allowed to play as a guest with Southport. Wrexham and other clubs until recalled for the Central League team this season. Then Ted Sagar returned from the war and so went into the Reserves. With Jones available for the “A” team and Lovatt due home for demobilisation Everton are well off for first class goalkeepers, and so could afford to allow Birkett to go –at a reasonable figure. Everton have no wish to part with any player, but Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly assures me that his directors would extend the helping hand. Anyway, it is up to Liverpool if their fancy lies that way.
I knew it would not be long before the clubs with money to burn would be sounding Everton regarding Eddie Wainwright, their brilliant young inside-right. A few days ago a mysterious telephone call was put through to my home. The speaker would give no name, but left the message – I was not at home – to the effect “Watch for news of Wainwright.” The curious feature was that not an hour before a southern club contacted me, and asked did I think Everton would be interested in a ---- (I must keep the figure secret) offer for Wainwright. I told them I did not think Everton would gave a thought to ten times the sum mentioned. I got into touch with Mr. Kelly, who said; “We know nothing whatever about any inquiry for Wainwright and you can take it as certain that we shall never listen to any offer for him.” That was the reply I expected, and give prominence to this matter to set at rest any fears on the part of Everton followers that the Blues would contemplate parting with any of their present first team stars.
Tomorrow we congregate at Anfield again for the fifth Merseyside “Derby” of the season with Reds and Blues make a third attempt to settle their Lancashire senior Cup first-round tie. This tie began as far back as Wednesday, September 19, when at Goodison Park, Everton were leading 3-0 at half-time but failed to stem Liverpool’s second half rally, and the Reds crashed through to a 3-3 draw. That was the final game with Everton of Gillick and Caskie. Off we went to Anfield the following Wednesday there to see Balmer gave Liverpool the lead from a penalty. Late on Makin levelled the scores and so into extra time. No further goals were secured and instead of going into a “play-to-a-finish” period it was decided to call it a day and arrange another replay. Now we get it with Liverpool at the moment having no idea whom they will play, although Liddell is certain, I think it is on the cards that young Charlie Ashcroft, the young Chorley lad, may get his chance in goal following a fine display with the Reserves on Saturday and that Billy Watkinson, the new centre-forward from Prescot-cables, may be tried. It is not certain that Watkinson can get off. It will surprise me if the directors do not take some experiments in the hope of turning the tide, and whatever the side it should prove interesting. Everton directors will not select their team until this evening, but Mr. Kelly gives a list of players from whom the eleven will be chosen. Liverpool have a knack of upsetting the odds against their rivals, and no matter how they play against other clubs, they can always rise to the occasion when they trot out with the Blues. The winners are due to meet Bolton Wanderers in the second round, but whether that match still goes on will be decided tomorrow week when there will be a full meeting of the Lancashire F.A Council at Bolton. Mr. Fred Hargreaves, secretary of the F.A who has been indisposed for a fortnight, but who is making good progress, says that the eight clubs still concerned in the senior Cup will be invited to attend. Everton; (from)- Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Grant, Humphreys, Watson; Rawlings, Stevenson, Catterick, Bell, Fielding, Boyes.
February 20, 1946. The Evening Express
Everton make no change in the team which won at Manchester City, for their important visit to Newcastle United on Saturday. Wainwright, Catterick, Mercer and Watson, all of whom were rested for today’s game with Liverpool will be back on duty for the match which will have a direct bearing on the League North Championship. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes
The Everton v Newcastle United, Central League match at Goodison Park will start at 2.30 pm to enable the United to catch their homeward train. Everton Reserves; Sagar; Curwen, Owen (A.); E. Goulding, Falder, and Davies (J.W); Rawlings, Elliott, Bell, E.J. Rothwell, Makin or Bailey
LIVERPOOL THROUGH IN LANCS CUP
February 21, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Liverpool 4, Everton 0
The truism that there is nothing certain in football except uncertainty was again proved in they Lancashire Cup-tie (first round replay) between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield yesterday, when 20,000 spectators saw the home side win comfortably 4-0. On current form this looked a “good thing” for Everton, but Liverpool have a happy knack of striking their best against their neighbours from over the park, and their recast side with every man in his proper position smoke the visitors hip and thigh. In fairness to Everton it must be remembered that they were without Mercer, and Watson, who were rested and Catterick and Wainwright, who were not available, and that in two cases their places were not very satisfactorily filled, but this does not detract from the virtue of the winners performance. While this defeat means little to Everton, victory may mean a great deal to Liverpool, for its psychological value, after a run of non-successes, will be a great help as a confidence-builder. The home side started off in such earnest and resolute fashion, serving up speedy and well-combined football that it was no surprise, but only a just reward, when they took the lead through Liddell at the 20th minute. Though doing four-fifths of the attacking, this was the extent of their advantage up to half-time, but three goals inside ten minutes, half-way through the second half put the issue beyond all doubt. Fagan, Balmer, and Taylor were all scorers, and only for over-hasty shooting when well placed, in which Balmer was the greatest offender; Liverpool would have won even more convincingly.
Ashcroft’s Good Debut
The man in the home side on whom most attention focussed was Ashcroft, a nineteen-year-old goalkeeper making his senior debut. He can be well pleased with his performer. He made some brilliant saves, particularly in the second half, when Everton for a spell, looked as though they might make a flight of it. But it was only a fleeting threat, for they rarely produced anything even remotely like their form of recent weeks. On top of his spectacular saves, Ashcroft throughout handled the ball coolly and confidently, knew what to do with it, and in spite of an injured ankle kicked a good length. Fagan was the star of the home attack. Without putting the effort into his work that he has had to do on other occasions, he gave a delightful display, and demonstrated to the full his flair for drawing opponents out of position and then making the telling pass. Taylor and Balmer fitted well into the scheme of things, and Liddell, though only breaking even with Jackson in their many tussles, was always dangerous. Hughes had the measure of Bell all the time. Paisley was the best wing-half and the backs took their share in the day’s honours. Everton minus the close link-up in attack between forwards and wing half-backs, and weak in the centre and at outside-right, never got moving in really concepted fashion, despite the guile of Stevenson and Fielding and their efforts to hold the ball in anticipation of an opening. One could not fault the Everton rearguard, for Burnett was deceived by the swerve of Liddell’s shot when it struck a wind-pocket and having no chance with the others, sandwiched in between some excellent saves, none better than from a point-blank terrific drive by Fagan late on. There was a short period in the second half when tempers became rather frayed, and three players were spoken to by the referee, who did not have a very happy day. Otherwise it was an enjoyable game despite the queer tricks played by the swirling wind, which frequently made the ball “hang” in the air and rendered accurate judgement difficult. Liverpool; Ashcroft, goal; Harley and Ramsden, backs; Kaye, Hughes and Paisley, half-backs; Nieuwenhuys, Taylor, Fagan, Balmer, and Liddell, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Grant, Humphreys and Bentham, half-backs; Rawlings, Stevenson, Bell, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. Williams (Of Bolton).
LIVERPOOL WIN GIVES NEW HOPE
February 1, 1946. The Evening Express
Liverpool’s team reversal proved such an overwhelming success against Everton at Anfield yesterday that the directors have, wisely, decided to field the same team against Sunderland at Anfield on Saturday
Liverpool’s victory was their third over Everton this season and took them through to meet Bolton Wanderers in the second round of the Lancashire Cup. This means that the Reds having strike their colours to the Blues this season. The latest was a victory which I know the Everton folk did not mind. All the Everton officials present under chairman Mr. W.C. Gibbins were agreed that “this win will do Liverpool a world of good.” Agreed. One most not over exaggerate the merits of the win for Everton were but a shadow of their real selves, with little or no real thrust in attack; clever midfield work yes; but never operating without that rhythm which has been such a characteristic. One of the reasons for this, of course, was that improved Liverpool display built up on a grand half back of Kay, Hughes and Paisley. Hughes blotted Bell out of it, so that “Bunny” did not have one shot at goal while Paisley was like a terrier and Kaye although so often bewildered by the game’s most delightful player. Fielding’s proved the main motive force behind a fast penetrative attack. Behind the three Harley and Ramsden played with a new born confidence. My contention that Liddell is twice the player on the left that he so on the right was confirmed beyond argument and there were indications that Taylor and Nieuwenhuys will get back that old understanding which proved so potent. Nieuwenhuys and Greenhalgh had their usual “moments” in a game of hard, but never questionable football. That a spectator threw some curlers late on which, stuck Nieuwenhuys on the head is deplored. The police had to be called after this their second job of the afternoon, for they found it necessary to conduct a robust sailor off the ground twice. Fagan led the Liverpool attack brainily and well while Balmer was the eager marksman who did not have the best of luck. It was a glorious Liddell goal which placed Liverpool on the road to the win which so brightened Chairman Mr. Billy McConnell and colleagues. This was an unstoppable 18 yarder taken on the run. In the second half the Reds had a three in ten minutes spell with Fagan and Balmer scoring off the same post before Taylor screwed one in.
Fielding’s is the player who took Liverpool’s fancy. After the match Liverpool folk were loud in their praises of the London lad who is so amazingly strong on the ball and so difficult to dispossess. Fielding often tired Liverpool up into knots and had there been readier response to his work earlier on Liverpool may not have won. Bell was suffering from bruised ribs and while Stevenson was excellent in midfield, he lacked a deadly shot. The wingers too often invited the close tackle and fell victim to it, but Boyes had a goal look whenever he cut inside. Humphreys was the “giant” the lad who came through time after time to break up menacing raids by the quickness of his intervention; intrepidity of tackle and lustiness of clearance kick. Humphreys seems to improve with every game. The rest of the Everton defence –Burnett apart –did not appear quite so “keyed up,” but I think Liverpool’s cunning forward work had a lot to do with that. Burnett made half-a-dozen superb saves. This was a game, thoroughly enjoyed of 20,877 spectators what a gate for a Lancashire Cup-tie –and by the many visitors including Mr. Harry Mausley, vice-chairman of Chester, the two Chief Constables –Mr. T. Griffiths (Chester) and Mr. T. Bell (Bootle) and Mr. J.R. Bishop, Liverpool, prosecuting solicitor who believed it or not, was seeing his first Association game. I am a Rugby follower, said Mr. Bishop, but I though it a splendid game, for it had everything.” Mr. Gordon Hunt led he Southport party.
BLUES AT NEWSCASTLE
February 22, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Everton face their stiffest task for many months in opposing Newcastle United, at St. James’s Park, where the Novocastrians have only been beaten once in a League or Cup game this season, when Burnley won there last September. Their home goal average is impressive (56 for and 16 against), and in auburn-haired Stubbins they have a centre forward who will take a deal of curbing. His bag is 35 goals in 23 League games. Humphreys, however, is so worthily filling the centre half berth that Everton will not be unduly perturbed and certainly not upset by their mid-week defeat. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
Everton central League follows should note that tomorrow’s game starts at 2.30.
• Liverpool who signed Sidlow today, before tryed to sign Swift of Manchester City and them tryed to sign Ted Sagar of Everton, only to get another firm refusal.
EVERTON R. V. NEWCASTLE RES
February 23, 1946. The Evening Express
At Goodison in the early stages, play was even with the ‘Blues the more dangerous near goal. Rushton, the United right winger, put in splendid work. The Newcastle goal had two narrow escapes when Bell and Elliott got home good shots, which were well cleared. After 23 minutes Newcastle took the lead, Donaldson giving Sagar no chance from 10 yards’ range. The visitors were the superior side and increased their lead with a shot from Brown.
Half-time; Everton Res 0, Newcastle Res 2.
EVERTON’S FINE DISPLAY
February 25, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Newcastle United 1, Everton 3
Everton are establishing themselves as one of the best footballing teams in the Country, for whenever I go their display is greeted on all sides as the best seen on the ground this season. For a beaten club to admit such a thing tells of the sportsmanship of the majority of clubs. At St. James’s Park on Saturday Everton provided all the frills and artistry of the game to secure their victory where most had expected defeat, and it was a grand and glorious victory. They had not only a strong Newcastle side to beat. The elements were such – there was a high wind that it was likely to make football difficult, but Everton overcame them by keeping the ball low. The United did not master the wind so effectively, and never at any time could they match up with Everton where skill was concerned. Even when the United were hitting the Everton side hard, the latter never forgot their football. They went on their way calmly in spite of the powerful drive of the United during the first twenty minutes and their decisions was obviously to meet whatever the opposition was capable of with the best type of football. During those twenty minutes the United swept through like a tornado beating against the defensive well incessantly, but having taken the strain, although dropping a goal, Everton got together in their “swingful” way and gradually got a grip of the game and relevel the United of their initiative. Newcastle were not minus skill, put they had not so much as Everton, who produced all the moves known to the game to bring off this sound win. The value of two clever inside forwards and constructive wing half was never more manifest as in this game. That was where Everton held the whip hand. Wainwright, Fielding, Watson and Mercer were much superior to their counterparts in the United team. Stubbins was the one danger to the Everton goal but he alone could not break down the Everton defence and that was what he was expected to do for he got little or no help from his inside colleagues or wing half-backs. He had to play a lone hand and played it well, but was always liable to fall against Humphreys and his co-defenders. I felt sorry for Stubbins a fine centre forward.
No Weak Link
There was no weak link in the Everton chain. It was chessboard football and the envy of the Newcastle people, who were unstinting in their praise. Newcastle scored in six minutes through Hale, Everton seemed up against it but within five minutes Catterick ran through the Newcastle defence to score, although the half-stubbed his shot. At 35 minutes Catterick slipped the ball for Wainwright, to come up and leave goalkeeper King helpless. It was a satisfactory position to be in at half-time, but Everton were not content to rest on their oars. Another goal was needed to seal the issue and within three minutes of the restart Wainwright scored again following a movement in which six Everton men participated before Wainwright finally slapped the ball against the far upright for it to rebound to the back of the net. From then on Everton never put a foot wrong and were handsome victors. Attendance 61,500. Newcastle United; King, goal; Cowell and Corbett, backs; Harvey, Smith and Crowe, half-backs; Milburn, Woodburn, Stubins, Wayman, and Hair, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Humphreys, and Watson, half-backs; Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. F. Walton.
• Everton Reserves lost 2-3 at home to Newcastle.
• Liverpool draw 2-2 with Sunderland, Liddell and Balmer for Liverpool and Housam, White for Sunderland
February 25, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Newcastle are one of the heaviest home scorers in the country, and really fancied their shape against Everton, but high-class football prevailed, and Newcastle people were the first to admit it. They were most generous in their praise of Everton’s football artistry. “You showed us something today” was the popular comment (Writes Stork). I am not given to undue flattery, but have to admit that such football is worthy of the whole collection of adjective. It was grand to see Everton mastering the wind by their carpet football; it was even grander to see them hit back after taking an early tumble; never diverting from their plan to keep the ball on the “floor” the only place where it was under complete control. Why did not Newcastle follow suit? They had not the clever players like Everton. They had a good centre forward but without backing the best centre forward in the world is reduced to the mediocre. The way the United opened up gave me the jitters for they almost rushed Everton off their feet. For fifteen minutes they promised a heap of trouble, scored a goal –a lucky one through the only error Everton’s defence was guilty of –and made things very uncomfortable for the Merseysiders. Then came the equaliser via Catterick and Everton immediately spring to life; and then their swinging ways, played football which outwitted Newcastle and finally snuffed them out. There was still a danger, for the United had a fair amount of attack, yet did look so dangerous as their opponents when they moved off, Wainwright playing under a handicap of a stripped up leg. Fielding played as good as always –Watson and Mercer particularly in the second half always seemed to do the right things. Let me make a comparison although I know it is odious. Everton were a strong formed shots, Newcastle’s shot with many faulty limbs and it finally bulked under the strain. Wayman and Woodburn were no help to Studdins nor were Harvey and Crowe, to Stubbins was forced to play “solo.” He did his best; a praise-worthy best in the circumstances. With the right backing Studdins would have been a match to Everton. All the shooting had to come cross his boots if there were to be any shots at all. It was asking too much of him to shoulder such a burden. we Everton man was called upon to pit himself against an entire defence; each had a backing and ultimately Wainwright was sent through to score goal No 2. There was still some string left in the United’s tail and Everton did not feel secure. One more goal was their quest, Wainwright got it shortly after the interval, and that was the end of Newcastle. It was a great win for good work, football ability, plus tackles which had a final purpose to beat both the United and the elements.
February 25, 1946. The Evening Express
Everton’s great run of success has caught the public fancy, and scores of Liverpool supporters waited on to find out how the Blues were faring at Newcastle. When I told them Everton were leading 3-1 they went away happy. And that proved the final score to record one of the Everton’s grandest wins of the season. Newcastle had not lost at St. James’s Park since September and were a goal ahead in seven minutes. There is, however no holding Everton at the moment and they set about their task with a will and confidence so characteristic of them. Caterrick equalised with a beauty and after Fielding had given them the lead Wainwright crashed in with a third to clinch the deal. My Tyneside observer assures me that Everton are far and away the best team they have seen at Newcastle since the rich days of pre-war and adds, “I do not see how the championship can elude them.” I have the answer to that one. Little lapses like those against Bradford and the continued success of the leaders, Sheffield United, can deny the Blues. The United did a great job at Blackpool, where they won 2-1 after being a goal down, and so hold to their one-point lead. These two clubs are now out on their own. The United are due to play Liverpool twice early next month, so perhaps the Reds will help the Blues to the title. Everton’s ability to spot the Newcastle habit of repeatedly feeding Stubbins, and the “blacking-out,” of Stubbins laid the foundations for the victory if a real team in every sense. The Everton half-backs were brilliant in front of a defence which made no error, and the forwards had craft, versatility and striking power. The Unite played well, but Everton played better and yesterday’s long journey home for the Blues must have been a quite a bright affair. Keep it up, Everton.
EVERTON’S BID FOR CHAMPIONSHIP
February 27, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
During the past few weeks the struggle for the championship of the Football League North has developed into a tussle between Yorkshire and Lancashire. Sheffield United representing the former and Everton the latter. Both have been displaying excellent form and recording capital successes and it would appear that a slip by either would result in the honours going to the other. The Goodison Park side’s football has been earning well-warranted praise, even from opponents and if they maintained such form, and the players escape injury during the remaining games, I think they have an excellent chance of capturing the championship. On Saturday their entertain Newcastle United at Goodison Park, when a big crowd is expected to be presented. The Everton team selected by the board last night shows no changes and I anticipate the side accomplishing the “double” at their rivals’ expense. Whom they overcame in no uncertain manner at St. James’s Park. The team is; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
February 27, 1946. The Evening Express
Everton will be unchanged and consequently at full strength for the important match with Newcastle United at Goodison Park on Saturday. Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Humphreys, Watson; Stevenson, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
The directors of Everton and Liverpool, Merseyside’s premier clubs, friends and we of the Press were honoured yesterday when we were entertained to luncheon by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool (Alderman Luke Hogan). – a function unique in the history of the Town Hall. Yes, in 1932, the two clubs were entertained to dinner by then Lord Mayor, Alderman James C. Cross, and a year later the Lord Mayor (the late Alderman A. Gates) feted Everton on their Wembley homecoming, but yesterday was the first time the key men of these great clubs had been guests at a Town Hall luncheon. And no better function has ever been held there or so much wisdom uttered so earnestly and sincerely. The personality of the Lord Mayor dominated the friendly atmosphere and he paid football a great compliment when he said, and rightly, “Football has been a definite contribution to the winning of the war. The Everton and Liverpool clubs kept the game going in the war years for the entertainment of the citizens and to uplift the morale of the hundreds of thousands of boys who passed through this city. That morale, built up by harmless amusement, played a great part in the victory.” “The sportsmanship of football can be fully appreciated by the lull which follows immediately when any player in injured. Everyone straightaway hopes for his speedy recovery, and the cheer which greets the injured player when he returns to the field is one of the greatest things of all.” The Lord Mayor referred to his own “football team” – the Council – and of which the citizens were the directors, and to which he made many humorous allusions. Mr. W.C. Gibbins, chairman of Everton, and Mr. W.H. McConnell, chairman of Liverpool responded, and assured the Lord Mayor that the clubs would do everything they could to help the city and its organisations. Mr. McConnell expressed the hope that Everton would win the League championship and that Liverpool could do Everton a good turn by taking four points from Sheffield United. “I hope that those who follow in the Lord Mayoral chair will never forget what football does for the City,” he added. Alderman Alexandra Critchley and Mr. R. K. Milne proposed the toast of the Press, to which Mr. Ernest Edwards replied and the two chairmen supported by Councillor Issac Robinson, hon, secretary of the Liverpool County F.A., proposal the health of the Lord Mayor with the generosity it deserved. This was an excellent affair – just a grand tribute from a grand fellow to a grand game. Thanks, my Lord Mayor, on behalf of football.
MORE GOODISON FULL-TIMERS
February 28, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Gordon Watson and Jack Davies are today signing full time agreement with Everton. This brings the total of Everton’s full-time players to twelve, of whom six are first –teamers – namely, Jackson, Mercer, Bentham, Stevenson, Boyes, and new Watson.
Reserves v. Newcastle, away)-Sagar; Hedley, Purvis; Grant, Falder, Davies; Owen, Bell, Woodward, or Spendlove, Lyon, Keenan.
“A” team (v. Earlestown, at Bellefield, Mahon cup-tie)- J.A. Jones; Gouldng, J. Wright; Hill, Farrer, Cookson; Lowe, Elliott, Birmingham, Rothwell, A.N. Other.
February 28, 1946. The Evening Express
Everton are certain to play a trialists at centre-forward for their Central league visit to Newcastle on Saturday. This will be either Woodward or Spendlove, two lads whom the Blues have been waiting to slip in. Young Hedley, the north-eastern full back, returns to active service Everton “A” will appear at Bellefield against Earlestown in one of the two Mahon Cup games of the day and will have Tommy Elliott at inside right. Everton Reserves; Sagar; Hedley, Purvis; Grant, Falder, Davies; Owen, Bell, Woodward or Spendlove, Lyon, Keenan.
Everton “A”; J.A. Jones; Goulding, J. Wright; Hill, Farrar, Cookson; Lowe, Elliott, Birmingham, Rothwell, A.N. Other.