ROVERS’ TREBLE BID
January 1, 1943. The Evening Express
If confidence can get a side anywhere, then Tranmere Rovers will duly complete their treble of wins over Everton this season when they appear at Goodison Park tomorrow. Confidence, however, is not everything, and while I really recall the Rovers brilliant fight back on this ground on November 14 when they turned a 3-0 deficit into a 5-3 credit. I do not anticipate any further shocks. In Birkenhead they think differently, and I am assured that such is the faith in the young Rovers that about 5,000 fans are coming over to cheer on their “giant-killers.” And seeing that the Rovers are certain to have experienced players in Ashcroft, Rosenthal, and Bridges on duty, it must be admitted that Tranmere are right there with a big chance. Last Saturday it was the power of the Rovers’ defence which enabled them to withstand continuous pressure from Lawton and company in a game which stamped Everton as the superior football force. Everton’s falling, however, was lack of “punch” in attack and if that is forthcoming I think Everton will gain the day. I shall be interested in the debut of Wilf Birkett, the young Haydock lad, in goal, I have excellent reports of this lad, whose consistency with the reserves has earned him his big moment. The Rovers field perhaps their strongest side for months, and with Everton boasting four internationals we should see a great struggle with all the local “Derby” atmosphere. Everton; W. Birkett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Watson; Bentham, Mutch, Jones (Harry), Stevenson, Anderson. Tranmere Rovers; R. Yeardsley; Tunney, Owen; Hill, L. Hughes, Glidden; L. L. Ashcroft, Lamb, Bell (or Frost), Rosenthal, Bridges.
EVERTON BEAT TRANMERE
January 2, 1943. Evening Express
Birkett’s Fine Debut
Birkett, the 19 year-old Haydock player, made his football League debut when keeping goal for Everton in the return War Cup-tie against Tranmere Rovers at Goodison Park today. Everton included five internationals, Boyes, being at left half, and the Rovers had three pre-war forwards in Ashcroft, Rosenthal, and Bridges. Everton:- Burnett; Cook, Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Watson, McDonnell; Wyles, Bentham, Stevenson, T. Fowler, Grant, Lawton. Tranmere Rovers:- R. Yeardsley, goal; Tunney and Owen, backs; Hill, L. Hughes, and Glidden, half-backs; L.L. Ashcroft, Lamb, Bell, Rosenthal, and Bridge, forwards. Referee; Mr. G.H. Fell (Bolton).
The Rovers opened with characteristic liveliness, Rosenthal opening up the play magnificently and Birkett went down to save from Bridges. Everton boasted a potent left flank but they were inclined to keep the ball too close, consequently playing into the hands of a nippy defence. Greenhalgh and Mercer showed up well in checking promising Tranmere raids, but play was distinguished more for its speed than thought. Yeardsley gathered a loose ball and was promptly shouldered over by Jones, but he was able to complete his clearance. Then Boyes centred straight across the Rovers’ goal but the ball travelled too fast for Bentham. Everton were gradually assuming the role of aggressors-in-chief, but their inclination robbed them of shooting chances, and it was left to Mercer to show them the goal way with two grand shots, both of which were intercepted by Hughes.
By using more open methods the Rovers swept through for Bridges to head into the hands of Birkett. Everton took the lead in 20 minutes, and it was just that the best marksman so far, Mercer, should be the scorer. Boyes and Stevenson did the pioneer work before the ball came across to the right, for Bentham to trick Owen and push the ball inside along the floor for Mercer to come in and flash home an unstoppable 18-yarders. Mutch hit the side netting before Yeardsley pulled the ball down from the head of Jones, as Everton battled to consolidate their position. Anderson had a perfect chance presented by Stevenson, but once again delayed with his finishing and was beaten by the tackle. Yet another magnificent run by Mercer provided everything that the inside forwards wanted, but there was hesitancy before Anderson was again crowded out.
In 38 minutes Everton increased their lead through Jones, who gathered a free kick from Cook. He neatly outwitted Owen and raced through to drive into the roof of the net from 12 yards. Jones got through again immediately after, but this time his shot travelled to Yeardsley. The Rovers had a narrow escape when Bentham tried to stab home from Anderson’s centre, but the ball struck an opponent and went for a corner.
Half-time; Everton 2, Tranmere Rovers 0
The Rovers endeavoured to stage one of their rallies on resuming, and launched a series of thrilling attacks, which gave Birkett the chance to show his worth. Birkett dived to make brilliant saves, from Rosenthal and Lamb before a grand shot from Hill came off the underside of the bar. Gradually, however, Everton got on top again, and Jones was inches high with a magnificent header, and Stevenson had shots charged down. Lamb and Bell made solo raids, but both fell to the strength of Humphreys tackling. In 66 minutes Everton scored two goals within a minute. First Jones, who was providing too nippy for Hughes, neatly pushed the ball through for Mutch to place into the corner of the net, and then Jones went through and although Yeardsley parried the shot, Anderson followed up and placed into the net. From a penalty like free kick, Ashcroft penetrated the Everton barrier but the ball came back off an upright, and when Lamb centred Birkett dived to make a thrilling save.
Full Time; Everton 4, Tranmere Rovers 0.
EVERTON IN FRONT
January 4, 1943. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 4, Tranmere Rovers 0
Tranmere’s Hard Fight.
Tranmere Rovers, though not quite good enough to follow up their Christmas victories by completing the hat-trick against Everton at Goodison Park, nevertheless put up a galliant show and were not beaten anything like so easily as the result of 4-0 in Everton’s favour suggests. Everton owed their victory mainly to the excellence of Mercer, the sound goalkeeping of Birkett who stood secure most critical stage when Tranmere threatened to spring another surprise, and to fine work by Humphreys and Greenhalgh. From the stand-point of artistry Everton were the better side in the first half but they indulged in too much close passing, and frequently took three moves to accomplish what Tranmere did in one. They also lacked finishing power in front of goal, with the consequence that Yeardsley was not as busily occupied as he might have been-Mercer scored the first goal. Tranmere fought back doggedly, but the attack petered out. All the same Bell twice went close, only excellent saves by Birkett preventing a score. Then came a quick Everton breakaway which led to H. Jones getting a second goal eight minutes before the interval.
Tranmere started the second half in sparkling fashion and for a quarter of an hour or so threatened to turn the game inside out as they had done last time they were at Goodison. In the first couple of minutes Birkett had to make two brilliant full-length saves to prevent Bell and Rosenthal equalising, and a minute of so later, when he was well beaten by hill the ball struck the underside of the bar and bounced back into play –a very lucky let off for Everton. For a period it was all Tranmere, but the home side weathered the storm, and two goals to Mutch and Anderson at the sixty-sixth and sixty-seven minutes sealed the issue. Not that the interest flagged by any means for the Rovers fought back with grim determination right to the finish and frequently caused Everton moments of anxiety. Glidden hit the post with a great shot. For the winners Birkett, making his senior debut, played like a veteran all through. He judged his runs out to a nicety, caught the most difficult balls in confident fashion, and altogether gave a brilliant exhibition. Humprheys was a fine centre-half; Greenhalgh was the best of the backs, while Mercer was a source of strength in every direction. For the losers Yeardsley was not quite as sound as usual, and again there was a weakness on the wings. Ashcroft was “starved” for long stretches and Bridges had a bad day. Apart from this Tranmere were well served in all departments. Owen, as sure and solid as ever, was excellently supported by Tunney, as also was Hughes by his wing halves. Rosenthal’s dribbling and ball control were outstanding and he constantly opened up play with long sweeping passes, while Lamb once more showed his undoubtedly promise. Attendance 7,049. Everton:- Burnett; Cook, Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Watson, McDonnell; Wyles, Bentham, Stevenson, T. Fowler, Grant, Lawton. Tranmere Rovers:- R. Yeardsley, goal; Tunney and Owen, backs; Hill, L. Hughes, and Glidden, half-backs; L.L. Ashcroft, Lamb, Bell, Rosenthal, and Bridge, forwards. Referee; Mr. G.H. Fell (Bolton).
• Liverpool beat Wrexham 1-0, Dorsett scored.
EVERTON MAKE AMENDS
January 4, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
Tranmere put-up a better show than then their 4-0 defeat indicators. Tranmere for the first 15 minutes of the second half when they started with two goals down, there seemed an even chance they might repeat the sensational turn-around when they were last here. Goals to Mercer and Jones had given Everton a good interval leg-up, but Goodison supports as so often this season seen comfortable leads fritted away that there were fears in many minds when Tranmere started the second portion in such sparkling fashion that they hit the woodwork and two brilliant saves by Birkett kept the home goal from downfall. This time, however, Everton weathered the storm, and two more goals via Mutch and Anderson, put an end to any lingering hopes. Tranmere had of pulling of another fast one. Nevertheless, the visitors put on a grand show and with a little better finishing, or against a less capable goalkeeping, the tale might have been different. Birkett made a brilliant debut, playing like a veteran all through. Everything he did had the stamp of class about it, and with these youngsters like Birkett, and Lovatt on their books, Everton need have no goalkeeping worries for a long time. Mercer was the corner stone on which the Blues built their victory and with Humphreys again turning up triumps at centre half, and Boyes giving a useful exhibition the half-back line was Everton’s strong suit. Tranmere also were good in this department, Hughes played a sound game, and was well supported by his wing halves and a capable rearguard in which Owen shone in his usual resplendent fashion. I have yet to see this small but capable back play a poor game. Yeardsley and the extreme wingers were not up to par, but otherwise the whole Tranmere side acquitted itself with credit, and took a good share of the honours of the day. Everton still have forward problems and will have to be prepared to shoot and more accurate, if they are to set the better of Liverpool on Saturday. They do some attractive things in midfield, but fail when it comes to the finding touches.
January 4, 1943. The Evening Express
The meanderings of Mercer, Joe of that ilk, constituted a highlight of Everton’s 4-0 win over Tranmere Rovers at Goodison Park. We have not seen as much of Joe here as we would have liked in recent months, and it was refreshing to see him back giving a superlative display of progressive football, played with such intensity and purpose that often we found Joe say over on the other flank prompting and encouraging. Mercer was the electric force behind an Everton who easily exposed the Rovers faults and made one wonder how they –or Liverpool for that matter –came to be beaten at Tranmere over Christmas. Except for sheer energy and willingness the Rovers could in no way be compared with Everton. As a matter of fact, it was only Everton’s own old inclination to keep it too close in front of goal which saved Tranmere from a header defeat. This despite the gameness of Owen. Tunney and Glidden backed up the nimble Yeardsley. There was a lot to enjoy in this game, with Mercer readily “top of the bill,” and young amateur Humphreys a good second. It had pace, nonstop effort and an abundance of goalmouth thrills. In the early moments of either half we saw the Rovers at their best. They flung the ball about –generally it was Abe Rosenthal who sponsored these raids –and did gave promise of getting somewhere, but apart from this the Rovers were generally chasing the ball and the Everton shadows. The Rovers too, had their share of ill-luck for one splendid shot from Hill came back off the bar and a fine Ashcroft free kick struck an upright, but this was balanced by several miraculous escapes when Everton were at “tap-it-through” range.
Main difference between the sides was in ball mastery. Apart from Owen, Tunney, and Rosenthal the ball too easily mastered these lads from Prenton, whereas the Blues always had command of the ball. Centre-half too, was an important hub and vital point. Young Jack Humphreys, from Bangor University had a brilliant game for Everton in mastering Bell and Lamb who kept well forward waiting for forager Rosenthal to open up the way for them, but Laurie Hughes had an unhappy time against Everton’s inside forwards. Laurie was all right in the air but was lacking in his ground work, and time after time failed to cope with Harry Jones’s sidestep or feint. And Mutch and Stevenson, too, often got him moving all the wrong way. Owen came in for a fine second half to almost match Tunney, who mastered Anderson throughout, and Hill and Glidden got through a tremendous amount of work trying to upset the Everton subtitles. Neither Ashcroft nor, Bridges played as convincingly as I have seen them –yes, Cook and Greenhalgh made sure of that –but Lamb worked like a Trojan in trying to open the way for Bell. Rosenthal, as I have hinted lay well back for the loose ball and apart from a rather tantalising, slowness provided the touches of football which alone came up to Everton standards. It was star-turn Mercer, whose 19-year-old brother, has I hear been wounded, who started the scoring. It was a beat any-goalkeeper-anytime 18-yards drive which did it and then Harry Jones got a second with another of the unstoppable. In the second half Jones made it possible for Mutch and Anderson to supplement in a game which proved quite a notable debut for 19-year-old Wilf Birkett from Haydock, in the Everton goal. Birkett brought off some brilliant saves which brought forth loud praises from Everton’s regular goalkeeper George Burnett, who sat by me in the stand. Birkett played in “get-rid-of-it-first-time” style and keynote of his success was his rare positional sense. Yes, Wilfred took his chance and must be marked down as another Goodison “find.” Boyes, Stevenson, and Mutch provided the neat intricacies and Bentham had a good first half in a game which argurs well for the Blues hopes in next Saturday’s cup “Derby” with Liverpool at Goodison Park. And re the “Derby” I am pleased to be able to tell you that Joe Mercer will be able to play. Yes, and Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly will make every effort to bring other stars here. It was nice to see Vice-Chairman Mr. Tom Moore again. He was in charge of the Tranmere party which included Alderman, Mr. Egan and they went home with a share in a gate approaching £500; representative of 7,400 people. Mr. Will Gibbins, the Everton chairman, and Directors Messrs George Evans, Dickie Williams, and Dick Seale were the home directors with whom I had a word.
BLUES “DERBY” CHOICE
January 6, 1943. The Evening Express
Everton have only two doubts regarding their team for the Merseyside “derby” cup qualifying match with Liverpool at Goodison Park on Saturday. This affects two positions. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly is making every effort to secure permission for international Tommy Lawton to lead the attack, and I am hopeful that those efforts will succeed. If Lawton plays Harry Jones will revert to centre-half in place of Jack Humphreys, the Llandudno lad who played in brilliantly against Tranmere Rovers. Should Lawton not be able to travel, however, Jones will continue at centre-forward, leaving Humphreys once again to fulfil the pivotal duties in what will be his first “Derby.” There are three other changes as compared with the team which conquered the Rovers. George Burnett, after missing two games, comes back to take over goalkeeping duties from young Birkett; Gordon Watson resumed at left-half for Boyes and 17-years-old Tommy Fowler will be at outside-left for Anderson. Everton Reserves visit St. Tersa’s in a County Combination match, and the Colts will be at Heswell.
Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, (H.) or J.V. Humphreys, Watson; Bentham, Mutch, Lawton (or Jones (H.), Stevenson, T. Fowler.
Everton Reserves; Birkett; Griffiths, Curwen; Tuthill, McDonnell, Cheers; Wyles, Grant, Curran, Scott-Lee, Jones.
Everton Colts; Pooke; Durham, Lewis; Highton, Webster, Langley; Bennett, Daulby, Ledingham, lane, Crancy.
GOODISON’S BIG DAY
January 8, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
Participation in the League Cup proper means so much these days that no club can afford to contemplate failure with equanimity and every point during the next few weeks will be vital. This means that the qualifying Cup-ties the third game of which is on the tapirs for tomorrow, will become increasingly keen as time goes on. Last season the Cup provided –by war standard –a very useful harvest for those who had a reasonably good run. This term with gates everywhere up at least a half and in some cases doubled, the prospects are even more enticing. Tomorrow heralds the first of the two Liverton matches and Liverpool, already the only unbeaten Merseyside club, will have all their work cut out to preserve their record at Goodison Park. After a great run of successes, Liverpool have slipped back a trifle in recent weeks, and I am not as confident regarding them as I would have been, say immediately after their brilliant display against Burnley. Latterly there hasn’t been quite the same sting in the attack while the absence of Keen has been another factor. For tomorrow’s game the Reds will include Lambert who makes his first appearance since quitting the R.A.F. Curiously enough, his last match was against Everton. This should be a real needle game, with very little in it either way. Form rather points to a Liverpool victory, but in spite of Everton’s in-and-out performances and their tantalising habit of scorning easy chances and frittering away a good lead, I have a feeding that the Blues will at least avoid defeat and possibly pull of a victory. Whoever wins there will be no complaints in the encounter produces again the thrills we have had from previous war-time “Liverton” matches. What we can do without are the little exhibitions of feeling that have sometimes been there; not frequently and not in any vicious manner, but still unwelcome and unnecessary. While every effort will be made to get the anticipated big crowd into the ground without delay, it will be a help if those who can will arrive early and tender the exact money. The Paddock will be opened for the first time this season. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, (H.) or J.V. Humphreys, Watson; Bentham, Mutch, Lawton (or Jones (H.), Stevenson, T. Fowler. Liverpool (from); Hobson; Lambert, Guttridge; Williams, Kaye, Westby, Pilling; Haycock, Fagan, Balmer, Done, Dorsett, Hulligan.
THIRD EVERTON-LIVERPOOL TEST
January 8, 1943. The Evening Express
Merseyside’s third big “Derby” game of the season between Everton and Liverpool will be staged at Goodison Park tomorrow. It will be the first “leg” of their pairing in the Cup Qualifying Competition, the return being scheduled for Anfield the following week. In the league games in September Liverpool bagged three of the four points. Mills goal giving them both points at Anfield while a brilliant rally at Goodison Park after being 3-1 down enabled them to snatch a point with a 4-4 draw. That draw was made possible by a last-minute penalty scored by Dorsett. Those two games, were matches of the highest grade and right up to pre-war “Derby” standards. Since then Liverpool have kept up their progressive ways and finished runners-up in the league championship. Everton, however, have shown improvement on those early days of the season, and while form indicates that Liverpool will demonstrate superiority, I am not at all certain that it will work out that way.
The issue in tomorrow’s game turns, in my opinion, not so much on attack as on defence. Generally speaking Liverpool are the more potent force, for if they lack some of the Everton artistry this is balanced by their remarkable striking power. Of course, if Tommy Lawton plays for the Blues –as we confidently hope he will –then the attacks work out pretty evenly. Even if Lawton is away Harry Jones will be there to lead, and Harry bagged a couple of goals in that 4-4 game remember. Still Everton have that Liverpool ‘punch” to fear. Consequently I think defence is the major factor, and in my opinion Everton have the pull here. In Burnett, Cook, and Greenhalgh the Blues have a grand defensive trio, playing with a perfect understanding between themselves and with the half-backs in front of them. Mercer is back to his dazzling best, and either Jones or Humphreys can cover a lot of ground in the “down-the-middle” region. The Reds defences will be strengthened by ray Lambert’s return, but I rate Everton’s as one of superior power. So weighting it all up this does read as a draw to me. But before we know the result we shall have 90 minutes of thrills. There is certain to be a capacity crowd for such a “date.” Capacity crowd by regulation is a third of the peacetime capacity, and so we shall be able to see up to 25,000 people and be within the law. I expect the limit. Intending spectators are asked to come as early as possible –kick-off is at three o’clock –as there is a limit on gatemen, and for the first time this season the paddock on the Bullens-road side will be open. This will please regular “Paddockites.” Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, (H.) or J.V. Humphreys, Watson; Bentham, Mutch, Lawton (or Jones (H.), Stevenson, T. Fowler. Liverpool (from); Hobson; Lambert, Guttridge; Williams, Kaye, Westby, Pilling; Haycock, Fagan, Balmer, Done, Dorsett, Hulligan.
NEW WINGER GETS A GOAL
January 9, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
Everton; Burnett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Bentham, J.V. Humphreys, and Mercer, half-backs; Jackson, Mutch (Preston), Jones (H) (West Brom), Stevenson and T. Fowler, forwards. Liverpool:- Hobson, goal; Guttridge, and Lambert, backs; Kaye, Westby and Pilling, half-backs; Shepherd, Fagan, Done, Haydock, and Hulligan, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. L. Iliffe, (R.A.F). There was quite a goodly crowd to see the first leg of the Merseyside Derby Cup-tie at Goodison Park. Both sides had to make changes, Everton found Watson unfit, so Bentham went right half and Mercer crossed over to the left. Dorsett was unable to play for Liverpool so that Shepherd who only signed professional forms a week ago made his debut in the Anfield senior eleven. Liverpool opened with a strong attack and the Everton goal area was at one point packed full of Liverpool forwards who were all out to strike a quick blow for their side, but the Everton defence prevented this. Everton’s only attack so far had been a run through by Jones, who finally put the ball behind. Bentham tried a long shot which finished well off the mark, and a corner kick taken by Jackson was wasted, but at this point Everton were doing exceedingly well, and like the Everton defence in the early minutes, the Liverpool defenders had to stand solidly in front of goal. The football was exciting and Liverpool’s speed when framing an attack often caught the Everton men napping, but neither goalkeeper thus far had a save to make. Jackson was given off-side when he appeared to be well onside. Greenhalgh cut in to cut out what promised to be a dangerous Liverpool movement. Then Shepherd was caught in the offside trap, as he was on the point of going forward for a shot.
Mutch and Hulligan.
The crowd wanted a goal, and at 18 minutes they got one, and it was an Everton goal. Everton had been pressing for some moments before it came, and then Bentham running forward, delivered a nice pass to Jackson, whose centre seemed to be flashing across the Liverpool goal; where Jones was waiting, but Mutch rushed in and cracked the ball into the top netting. This only tended to make Liverpool fight back with more determination, and Shepherd, although harassed by Humphreys managed to get in his centre, which did not appear to have any great danger, about it until Burnett misjudged its flight. He endeavoured to punch it over his bar, but did not make contact and the ball dropped at Hulligan’s feet, and he swept it into the net like lightning at 22 minutes. There was a suggestion that the ball had gone out of play before Shepherd made his centre, but the referee would not listen to an appeal. Liverpool crowded on all they knew to break down Everton’s defensive plan.
Everton goal had a narrow escape when Hulligan ran through and shot against Burnett’s legs. The ball rebounded to Haydock, who shot into goal, but the point was disallowed because of Hulligan being offside. Hobson showed his versatility when he ran out of goal and made a headily save –he actually headed the ball away. Near the interval Lambert, by a superlative tackle, took the ball from off Mutch’s toes as the latter was about to shoot.
Half-time; Everton 1, Liverpool 1.
Everton resumed with a sound attack, and Jones was almost through him in his effort to drive the ball aide, Hobson put it outside. Done, when he was through at the other end, shot against the side netting.
Liverpool took the next goal, Hulligan scoring at 63 minute, Haycock and Done between them made it possible, and when Hulligan got the ball the Everton defence seemed to stand still and allow him to go on and beat Burnett. Shepherd scored a third for Liverpool in 82 minutes. Final; Everton 1, Liverpool 3.
L’POOL WIN GOODISON “DERBY.”
January 9, 1943, The Evening Express
Arthur Shepherd, Liverpool’s newest professional, who was signed on “pro” forms this week, made his senior debut today. Shepherd was called on to play outside right in the Merseyside “Derby” against Everton at Goodison Park. Shepherd is the former Townsend lane schoolboy and is now in the Royal Marines. He took the place of Haycock, who went to inside left in the absence of Dorsett. Everton, too, had changes, Watson was unfit, so Mercer went to half-back, with Bentham at right half and Jackson, outside right. Lawton could not play. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, (H.) or J.V. Humphreys, Watson; Bentham, Mutch, Lawton (or Jones (H.), Stevenson, T. Fowler. Liverpool (from); Hobson; Lambert, Guttridge; Williams, Kaye, Westby, Pilling; Haycock, Fagan, Balmer, Done, Dorsett, Hulligan. Referee; Mr. G.L. Illife (R.A.F). Shepherd was early alert and Stevenson had to double back to hold him up on the goalline. Everton showed rather greater speed to the ball, and Jones beat Westby cleverly but placed his centre behind. Shepherd and Fagan forced Everton to do some solid packing before pressure was relieved, and than Jackson gave the Reds’ defence the go-by, but his only reward was a corner. The first shot of the day was from half-back Bentham, but this was off the mark. Play was pretty even, with Everton’s wing-halves an important factor in the motive force behind the attack.
Everton took the lead in 17 minutes with the first real scoring effort of the day. Bentham was the man who began the move, for the brought the ball down and made ground beautifully before giving to Jackson. Jackson made ground before turning the ball in low, as Jones was trying to bring the ball down for a shot Mutch stepped in and crashed it into the roof of the net before Hobson had a chance. Everton came again through Jackson, before Shepherd troubled the Blues’ defence with his inward run only relieved by Greenhalgh’s hefty clearance kick. In 22 minutes Liverpool were level through Hulligan, but this was to all intents and purposes Shepherd’s goal, Shepherd struck to his task, although being forced to the line, and he curled in a centre which Burnett obviously imagined had gone behind. Anyway Burnett just stood still as the ball dropped down for the in running Hulligan to drive it home. The 20,000 people were getting plenty of thrills. Burnett twice fisted away with Done trying to connect, and on the second occasion Shepherd quickly headed in a return which, however, went over, and then Mercer came through with a shot which Hobson easily cleared.
Then came another thrill, not in Everton’s linking, for Shepherd turned the ball in to Done, whose shot was kicked aside by Burnett. Haycock quickly placed into the vacant goal, but the whistle had already sounded for offside against Hulligan. Then a unique incident took place, for with the Everton forwards racing through to make up a long hopping pass, Hobson raced to the edge of the penalty area, and headed the ball away. A goalkeeper heading is a new one, Fowler got across a magnificent centre when it looked as if the pace of the ball had beaten him, but Lambert was just able to intercept Mutch through it cost him a corner. Burnett dropped the ball over the line for a corner, and at the other end Hobson recovered when it seemed as if the bounce of the ball had beaten him. Done was off the mark with a shot and then headed beyond the far post. Since their equaliser Liverpool had been rather the more impressive side.
Half-time; Everton 1, Liverpool 1.
Everton restarted on a high note, Jones twice going dangerously near, and then Cook and Stevenson failed to make the correct use of penalty line free kicks, although Stevenson’s shot came back off a defender. Liverpool were lucky that they were not penalised for twice obstructing Jones, but gradually the Reds, operating with greater abandon, get a grip on the game. So quick were Liverpool on the ball that Everton simply could not shake them on, and any attempts by the Blues to move in unison were promptly upset by Liverpool’s speed to possession.
Humphreys stood in the breach against the fast-moving Reds although Done missed one easy chance with only Burnett to beat. In sixty one minutes Liverpool took the lead for the first time. Hulligan again being the scorer. The Liverpool inside forwards combined neatly, and with Cook hesitating Fagan slipped the ball through for Hulligan to come in and shoot into the far corner. Everton were battling hard for the equaliser, but Liverpool stuck to them like terriers, giving them not an inch in which to work. Lambert once failed to clear but managed to get in the way of Jackson’s quick shot. Liverpool practically clinched matters in 82 minutes with a third goal, from Shepherd. Humphreys had beaten away one attack but Fagan snapped up the ball and glided it forward for Shepherd to cut in from the right and surprise Everton’s slow defenders. Everton were not done with, and when they had another 18 yards free kick, Greenhalgh came up and levelled a magnificent shot, which Hobson dived to and turned around the post.
Final; Everton 1, Liverpool 3.
January 11, 1943. The Liverpool Daily Post.
Everton 1, Liverpool 3
Chances Taken at Goodison
The last Merseyside Derby game played at Goodison Park on Saturday was in no way up to the standard of previous ones, for there was little good football in it, but that was due more to the conditions rather than the lack of ability of the players. The control of the ball was a task in itself, for it played all manner of tricks and undoubtedly prevented the players indulging in those rounds of passing which has made these meetings such an attraction. Liverpool won 3-1. Not once during the whole ninety minutes can I recall a decent bit of combination. There was little cohesion, the ball being punched down, the middle with more hope than judgement that it might be netted. Yet there were many thrilling moments because of the prospect of goals. Liverpool undoubtedly created a surprise by such a decisive victory at Goodison. In my opinion two of Liverpool’s goals should have been saved, but as against that the disallowed goal which Haycock scored was considered a genuine one by many in the best position to judge. It was disallowed not because the scorer was offside, but because a colleague was, and I thought the referee was correct, but to judge an offside decision from my point of vantage away up in the stands is no easy matter. When Everton started the second half with the score one each all the advantage lay with them, but they did not utilise then; in fact, they found Liverpool defending just as well as they had done in the previous half.
It was an occasion for the swift surprise shot, but few were delivered, although Hobson had to make one or two saves. But Hobson is in grand form at the moment, and that he was only beaten once was due to the quick-thinking Mutch who rushed in and crashed the ball from Jackson’s centre to the back of the net before the goalkeeper could do anything. With the big kicking which took place, it was only natural that the points of the play changed rapidly, but in the main the defenders were masters of the situation. Liverpool’s equaliser goal will cause a controversy for many are emphatic that the ball had crossed the line before Shepherd swing it into the goal. It certainly looked like that from the stands. Burnett and others with whom spoke after the match say it did. Nevertheless the goalkeeper should have made sure of his save and argued afterwards. He made a half-hearted attempt to put the ball over the bar, but misjudged it, and the ball fell to the feet of Hulligans, who slipped it into the net.
The standard of the play, which had never reached a great height remained the same, and Everton tried hard to break down the Liverpool defence, but instead of shooting often they never altered their style and so Hobson was left off when he found have been the busiest man on the field. There was still a chance for Everton, but when Hulligan snapped up a second goal it entirely blacked out Everton’s prospects and it was Liverpool who looked the more likely side to score. Hobson by the way once raced outside his penalty area and headed the ball away as an Everton forward was pouncing down upon him. The final goal scored by Shepherd who has only been a professional a matter of days for Liverpool, again found Burnett at fault. He moved one way, and Shepherd shot to the other side of him. But let us be fair Burnett had previously suffered a head injury, and may not have been in full command of his senses. I cannot imagine him making such an error had his mind been clear. It was hard football rather than good football, and Liverpool won because they took their chances, helped by that streak of good fortune which occasional comes to the aid of a side. Young Shepherd had a good match and so did the amateur J.V. Humphreys but it was not a game to linger in the memory. It was hit and miss football, but what else could one expect. Attendance, 12,206, Receipts £1,172. Everton; Burnett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, (H.) or J.V. Humphreys, Watson; Bentham, Mutch, Lawton (or Jones (H.), Stevenson, T. Fowler. Liverpool (from); Hobson; Lambert, Guttridge; Williams, Kaye, Westby, Pilling; Haycock, Fagan, Balmer, Done, Dorsett, Hulligan. Referee; Mr. G.L. Illife (R.A.F).
LIVERPOOL WORTHY WINNERS
January 11, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
Reds Well On Way To Cup Safety
While it is early yet to venture a forecast as to how many points are likely to be needed to ensure qualification in the League Cup competition proper, Liverpool with five to their credit already must be well on the road to certain participation. Everton will have to pull up their socks. My hunch that they would get the better of Liverpool didn’t come off, for the Reds were worthy winners of a game which was spoiled by the conditions. Had things been normal this might have been as thrilling a game as the last meeting between the pair. As it was first-class football was out of the question, and though all things considered we got as good an exhibition as possible, it was nothing to write home about. Liverpool won because they were quicker to the ball, adopted the right tactics for the day, and were more ready to take risks than the losers. True, they had a slice of luck with two of their goals for Burnett was not up to his usual form, no doubt party due, with the last goal to the nasty shaking he got in the second half. Under such conditions however, it would be unfair to be unduly critic of any player, and more charitable to single out the successes. Outstanding among these was J.V. Humphreys, Everton’s centre half, who once again was the star man of the home defence. In Humphreys, Everton have found a worthy successor to Tommy Jones, and though the amateur hasn’t the polish and style of Jones he just as difficult a man to beat. Liverpool introducing Albert Shepherd into the senior team for the first time provided the youngster with a tough baptism, but he came out of it with high honours and nothing was cooler than the way he took the goal. Hulligan also played extremely well, and Liverpool’s attack all round was quicker and more forceful than Everton’s and more inclined to take a chance shot –which was the right thing under the conditions. Pilling played his best game for some time. Never showry, he was always in the right spot at the right time. Hobson too, deserve a pat on the back even though –he wasn’t called upon a great deal. This former Liverpool goalkeeper, now on Chester’s books, has developed into a brilliant custodian. He made one save of a kind I’ve never seen before. Finding an awkwardly bouncing ball, on the edge of the penalty area, not coming to hand as expected he jumped up and headed it away –an example of resource which prevented an almost certain goal. Nine out of ten goalkeepers would have turned round and dashed back when they found themselves snookered as Hobson was. The crowd of 18,206 (£1,172) a wonderful attendance considering ought to be beaten on Saturday at Anfield, when Everton will have to put up a better show to have any hope of getting their own back. If they don’t get one point at least their position is going to look rather ominous.
YOUNGSTERS STAR IN REDS “DERBY.”
January 11, 1943. The Evening Express
Young discoveries were the stars of the third of the season’s Merseyside “Derby” games, when Liverpool once again emphasised their claim to the title of Merseyside “champions” by beating old rivals Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday. The value of the coaching and graduation “schools” run by the clubs was proved by the signal success of youngsters who only a matter of months ago, were regular reserve players. Take Liverpool for instance. Arthur Shepherd signed five days previously as a professional stepped in at the last minute to play at outside-right and besides proving a constant source of worry to the Everton defence, he helped himself to a goal to prove that his scoring feats with the reserves were no mere flashes in the pan. And to Shepherd, Mick Hulligan, tall, leggy outside left who became a professional only two months ago. Mick got the other two goals. Other former “A” team lads in George Kaye, and Ray Lambert were among the Reds big successors and Pilling, the lad who won a Welsh Cup winners medal with South Liverpool proved one of the two sensational successes of the game. Let’s turn to Everton. Their outstanding personality was the amateur Jack Humphreys a Llandudno boy who was at Bangor University before joining the Army, whose display at centre-half stood out as the best of the Blues endeavours. Personally, I rated Humphreys and Pilling as the two most effective of the 22 players on parade in a “Derby” which attracted 18,200 and brought in £1,172.
Art On The Altar
Yet this was not a memorable “Derby.” For those who like their thrills thick and fast it was 100 per cent, but to the lovers of craft and subtlety this was not an outstanding game, for art was sacrificed on the alter of speed, tenacity and intrepid intervention. There were moments when I feared we would drift into a lot of pretty fouling, but fortunately in Mr. Iliffe, of the R.A.F we had a referee who quickly showed that he would have none of it. Yes, I know some criticised Mr. Iliffe for using the whistle too much, but I thought his handling of the game above criticism. Liverpool claimed that Haycock’s shot in the first half which reached the net should have counted (if was ruled out because Hulligan definitely was offside) and Everton claimed that Hulligan’s second goal was off-side. But in my opinion Mr. Iliffe was correct in both instances. I commend to Burnett the “better be sure than sorry “ thought after that first Liverpool goal, Shepherd centred right from the goalline, and the ball swerved. Obviously Burnett watching the ball closely, thought it had swerved behind the line and so when it dropped in front of the posts he made no effort to grab it, and Hulligan, coming in like a streak of lightning, rammed it home. Burnett expected a goal-kick, but Liverpool got a goal, and once on terms the Reds got on top of an Everton who had been superior up to that point, and who had taken a lead through George Mutch after some neat Bentham-Jackson combination. It was in the second round that Fagan, the creator, made choice goals for Hulligan and Shepherd by perfect passing, although the Reds were helped by Everton hesitancy and lack of enterprise in quick covering. Everton lost primarily because they adopted the wrong tactics. It was not a day for attempts at close collaborative football. The ball needed moving about –and speedily at that –while alertness to possession was essential. Liverpool had these attributes whereas Everton apart from the opening twenty minutes and just after the interval pursued their traditional keep-it-close methods and so made the task of the Liverpool defenders all the easier. Mercer and Bentham started well enough with their usual progressive football, but later they were forced more on defence and we saw Keye and Pilling looming large as the dominant forces. On the day Liverpool were the better side and well deserving of their win. That win might have been more convincing had not Humphreys played such a “blinder” in closing the down-the-middle-road to the Liverpool attackers. In the same way Hobson would not have had such a comfortable alteration had not Kaye and Pilling smothered by the wonder tackling the potentialities of Mutch and Stevenson. And behind them, Gutteridge and Lambert took charge of the Blues wingmen, and Westby settled down to consistency in defence after a shaky opening. Cook and Greenhalgh suffered through slowness in recovery and covering, but shouldered a lot of extra work readily when mercer and Bentham found themselves more than occupied by the nippiness of Haycock and the ball-manipulation and cute brain-flashes of Fagan who stood alone from a purely football standpoint. Mutch was Everton’s most troublesome attacker, but later he too, found the accuracy and power of the Liverpool tackling too much. Liverpool as a matter of fact, gave Everton a lesson in the value of first time, wholehearted tackle. To sum it up Liverpool revealed a greater willingness to “have a go” and so they gained their fifth point from the Blues this season and still lead our Merseyside war Cup qualifiers. The attendance was most gratifying and augurs well for next Saturday’s Anfield return. As usual, Everton chairman, Mr. Will Gibbins played the host well, and afterwards sportingly paid tribute to Liverpool, whom he agreed were worthy of their win.
January 14, 1943, The Liverpool Echo
Lawton and Birkett In Cup-Tie side
Everton make several changes in their side to meet Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday in the return League Cup-tie. Birkett the Haydock youngster who made such a brilliant debut when playing against Tranmere a fortnight ago gets another chance to show his goalkeeping capabilities, and if he performs as well again Everton will be more than satisfied. Mercer crosses over to right half, which allows Bentham to go outside right, and Jackson who is thus displaced, takes over from Fowler at outside left. In the half-back line J.V. Humpreys another Stewart of recent matches, continues at centre half, while there is good news regarding the leadership of the attack. Tommy Lawton has written to Mr. Kelly saying he can play, and his inclusion should make a vast difference to the Everton front line, which lacks a strong first time shooter when Lawton is absent. Everton will make their final selection from Birkett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Curwen, Jones (H.), Bentham, Mutch, Lawton, Stevenson, Jackson.
Everton Reserves (v. Randle); Castle; Griffiths, Cheers; Wykes, McDonnell, Lewis, Dellow, Grant, Curran, Lee, Fowler.
Everton colts; Rennie; Reynolds, Webster, Langley; Lydiate, Daulby, Scholefield, Lane, Makin.
LAWTON ANFIELD DERBY CERTAINTY
January 14, 1943. The Evening Express
Tommy Lawton, England’s centre forward, and one of the finest leaders in football definitely will play for Everton against Liverpool in the return War Cup “Derby” at Anfield on Saturday. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly, has received notification from Lawton’s commanding officer that the international has been granted leave to play. This is great news for the Everton enthusiasts and, for that matter, for the Anfielders, for Lawton is also a great favourite with the Kopites who know an outstanding player when the see him. The inclusion of Lawton, will certainly enhance Everton’s chances of success at a time when points are a vital necessity to the Goodison Park club. The Blues have only two out of six Cup points, and with seven matches to go they must get ten to be safe. And their programme is a stiff one embracing, as it does, this game at Anfield and home and away matches with Manchester United, Southport and Chester. Everton will include three players from the Reserves team, and the only doubt is at half-back, where four players are named.
Birkett’s First “Derby.”
The three reserves are Wilf Birkett, George Curwen and Jack Humphreys. Birkett, the 19-year-old goalkeeper from Haydock, its brought back in place of Burnett. This will be Birkett’s first “Derby” game, and his second with the Everton first team. Birkett made his debut last Saturday week, when he played against Tranmere Rovers, at Goodison Park, and he was unbeaten after an encouraging display. Birkett only joined the Blues last Augest, when he participated in the trials. Curwen is the former Fleetwood player, now in the N.F.S in Liverpool, who sprang into prominence last season. Curwen gave a brilliant display in that 2-2 draw with Blackpool and he played in both the War Cup matches with West Bromwich Albion. Curwen has not played for the first team this season, but has been playing left back for the Reserves, whom he captains. It is worth noting that ever since Curwen took over the captaincy of the Reserves the side has not been defeated. Humphreys is the Llandudno lad from Bangor University, now in the Army, who gave such brilliant display’s as centre half against both Tranmere Rovers and Liverpool. Apart from the return of Lawton, there will be two more changes in attack. George Jackson, the full back who has helped Liverpool several times this season –and for which Liverpool are deeply grateful –will go to outside left in place of Fowler, and this will allow Stan Bentham to move up to outside right again as partner to Mutch. Harry Jones is named among the half-backs and Joe Mercer is also there, while Cook and Greenhalgh remain at full back. Yes, an interesting team of distinct possibilities. Everton (from); Birkett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Curwen, Harry Jones; Bentham, Mutch, Lawton, Stevenson, Jackson.
Everton Reserves will receive Randle, the “crack” Runcorn side in a Liverpool County Combination match at Goodison Park, and their Colts will visit Birkenhead A.T.C.
Everton Reserves (v. Randle); Castle; Griffiths, Cheers; Wykes, McDonnell, Lewis, Dellow, Grant, Curran, Lee, Fowler.
Everton Colts; Prince; Durham, Rennie; Reynolds, Webster, Langley; Lydiate, Daulby, Scholefield, Lane, Makin.
Everton will be out to complete a “double” over Randle, at Goodison Park-they won 3-0 at Runcorn to be the only club to win there.
RETURN “LIVERTON” GAME
January 15, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
Tomorrow’s meeting of Liverpool and Everton, at Anfield, of the return qualifying League Cup tie holds promise of a hard game with plenty of the old-time atmosphere. The fact that nearly 20,000 people turned up last week at Goodison, on such a day was amazing, and showed how interest in war time soccer is increasing. Everton must win at Anfield tomorrow to gave them an average of a point a game in the qualifying series and anything less them that would put them too near the danger line to be comfortable. Whether they can do so is another matter.
New Methods Need.
Although I had a feeling Everton would pull it off last week, the task proved beyond them. With the charges which have been made in the side and particularly the inclusion of Lawton at centre forward, their chances tomorrow are brighter –providing they alter there methods. Their tip-tapping and close passing gets nowhere. The not-always-remembered motto that “only goals count” may be a trifle one, but it is full of truth and without the finishing touch of a goal all the thrills and furbelows in midfield aren’t worth tippence when the final reckoning is made. True, they’re nice to watch, and Everton, even at their worst usually produce a fair amount of football that is entertaining to see, for which, particularly in these days, were are grateful but we also want to see them among the Cup qualifiers, and they must get goals to ensure that.
Burnett On Loan
With Birkett playing in goal for the Blues, Everton have been able to do a good turn to Manchester United, who were stuck for a goalkeeper. They have loan Burnett who plays at Maine Road tomorrow in the Cup-tie against Blackpool. Liverpool; (from); Hobson; Cuttridge, Lambert; Williams, Kaye, Keen, Pilling; Balmer, Fagan, Done, Eastham, Haydock, Hulligan. Everton (from); Birkett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Curwen, Jones (H.); Bentham, Mutch, Lawton, Stevenson, Jackson.
VITAL CUP GAME FOR EVERTON
January 15, 1943. The Evening Express
Everton face their most important Merseyside “Derby” game of the war period tomorrow when they go to Anfield to oppose Liverpool in their return War Qualifying Competition game. Should Everton fail to win, their position will give rise to deep concern. Last season it is true, Everton opposed Liverpool in the Cup proper, but those two ties were of no greater importance to the Blues than this meeting. The game might easily decide Everton’s Cup fate for 1943. So far the Blues have secured only two points from the three of the ten qualifying games. That, candidly, is not good enough to land them a place in the leading 32 of the 54 clubs battling for qualification, Liverpool on the other hand, have five points from their three games, and even if they are defeated tomorrow they can still claim more than a point a match which is the safety margin. Liverpool will go out on the field, carefree, whereas Everton will be alive to the fact that another defeat might blast all their hopes. Of course I hasten to point out that an Everton defeat tomorrow will not mean finis to cup hopes, but it will mean a desperate battle in their remaining six games –against excellent opposition. No, tomorrow is the day when Everton must effect a turn in the tide of fortune. They cannot afford to drop any more points at this stage.
Value of Lawton
The one man who may make all the difference to the Blues in a game which should bring an attendance even exceeding the 22,370 who paid to see Liverpool beat Southport in November is Lawton. There is no greater match-winner in present-day football than Lawton. When I made my weekly pools forecast I had no definite news regarding the appearance of Lawton and gave Liverpool to win. In this case of fancy second thoughts will be best and that Everton, with Lawton and with that vital urge for points, will turn last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat into a victory. I appreciate that one player does not make a team but Everton with Lawton are an entirely different proposition to Everton without Lawton. One must allow that despite their good win last Saturday we did not see the best of Liverpool. They missed the penetrative power of Dorsett, who, however, may be back this time, and if Everton can move the ball to man and position just a shade quicker, they might upset a defence which can be drawn out of position. However, if Everton again allow Liverpool to take the initiative when it comes to going to possession or to the tackle then they will be courting disaster. Everton need to speed it up on a ground where they have always done well, in fact, for years Anfield has been a home-from-home to them. Liverpool will only be seeking their first cup “double” but their sixth of the season, and must start out as favourities if only for the reason that they have twice defeated and drawn with Everton this season. Harry Eastham comes to make one of his rare appearances for the Reds, who still have doubts regarding the constitution of their team in all departments except gal. Everton’s doubts effect the half-backs line only. Birkett, of Haydock will be in goal for his first “Derby.” Burnett goes to Maine-road to play for Manchester United against Blackpool. Once again I ask that intending spectators will get to the ground as early as possible to help the limited staff of stewards. The kick-off is at three o’clock. Liverpool; (from); Hobson; Cuttridge, Lambert; Williams, Kaye, Keen, Pilling; Balmer, Fagan, Done, Eastham, Haydock, Hulligan. Everton (from); Birkett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Curwen, Jones (H.); Bentham, Mutch, Lawton, Stevenson, Jackson.
THRILLS IN GOAL.
January 16, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
Anfield’s Derby Cup Tie Excitement
Liverpool;- Hobson, goal; Bush and Guttridge, backs; Kaye, Charlesworth (Grimsby), and Pilling, half-backs; Hall, Eastham, Balmer, Done, and Hulligan, forwards. Everton;- Birkett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, and Curwen, half-backs; Bentham, Mutch (Preston), Lawton, Stevenson and Jackson, forwards. Referee –Mr. G. Twist. Liverpool had a great difficulty in getting their team together for the second leg of their cup-tie with Everton at Anfield. They had seven changes and included Charlesworth the Grimsby Town centre half, who has been playing with Manchester City this season. Balmer made a belated appearance, as did Eastham. Everton also had to reorganise, Curwen coming in at left half so as to release Bentham for outside right. Jackson switching over to the other flank. There was an excellent crowd present –I should say 18,000 to 20,000 before the teams made their appearance. This was something like a local Derby. The crowd was on its toes, and there was electricity in the air, and when Everton started as if they meant to wipe out Liverpool’s victory in the early moments, the crowd simply tingled. But the first real danger move was made when Done beat Humphries and swept across a fast centre which evaded everybody, and ultimately struck Balmer and went away for a goal-kick. It was a narrow squeak. Then it was Hobson’s turn to show what he could do, and he made a remarkably fine save from a Lawton header when he was only a yard away from the Everton centre forward. Done once again rushed the Everton defence, but did not managed to find a hole in it. Everton attacked with a strength which beat down even the solid defence of the Anfielders, and Hobson brought off a magnificent save from Lawton, who hit the ball with all his might.
He made another superlative save almost in the next minute when Mutch tried a quick shot. The ball was heading straight for the net when Hobson caught it under the bar. Mercer kicked out when there appeared a prospect of a Liverpool goal. This was one of the most exciting 15 minutes have seen. Each goal had its fill of thrills and Birkett with the first real shot he had to contend with, dealt with the situation ably. One man sitting next to me said; it is a good as any pre-war football, and I had to agreed. So far Everton had the better of matters, and Hobson was one of the outstanding figures of the game, for he had plenty of work to do. Nevertheless the Everton forwards missed chances. There was one occasion when three of them, had scoring chances had they all missed. Humphreys was holding down the middle from Liverpool’s attack with great confidence, and he once stepped in and by pretty footwork sliddled two Anfield attackers in the simplest manner,
Everton after having had all the play were a goal down in 23 minutes. Done centred well in front of the Everton goal, and Birkett made a frantic effort to grab the ball as it passed in front of him, but he missed it, and Balmer completed the issue with a fast shot to which Birkett had no answer. This was indeed a staggering blow for the Evertonians, and it only goes to prove the advantage of the quick thrust and the fast shot. Liverpool netted the ball a second time, Hall shooting beyond Birkett, but the point was disallowed for an infringement.
Hobson was in his most inspired form. No one could accuse Everton of not shooting today, and had it not been for Hobson they would have been a number of goals to the good instead of one in arrear. The way Everton were pressing suggested a goal and it came at 36 minutes when Bentham made an acute inward pass, which Lawton took in his stride and shots with the ferocity of a gun, Hobson actually got his hands to it, but he could only edge it an inch or two out of its direction. This was not good enough to carry it out of goal. Hulligan tested Birkett, who in this his first. Derby game showed up well, in there was no disputing Everton superiority in this half.
Half-time; Liverpool 1, Everton 1.
While there was not the lustre, there were still plenty of football thrills in the second half. Everton were still the dominating side, but their shooting was it always what it might have been. Mercer was playing as though as an international game and Curwen was very little behind. Everton attacked, persistently, and Liverpool were more of a defensive unit, than anything else. But what a defence unit! Bush, at full back was an eye on perfect clam, and methodical and even out in to take a ball labelled for Lawton. Hobson with not quite so much to do, was very sure in his handling of anything that was delivered at him. Birkett was also a confident young goalkeeper. Done was only just held off in the rack of time by Mercer in one of Liverpool’s few sallies. At 88 minutes Liverpool took the lead, Done scoring with a free kick. A solider jumped the wall and aimed down at Cook and was taken off by the police.
Final; Liverpool 2, Everton 1.
Everton Reserves v. Randles
After 25 minutes Dellow gave Everton the lead, and Wyles, Grant (2, 1 a penalty) added further goals. Half-time; Everton “A” 4, Randles 0
HONSON DEFIES EVERTON
January 16, 1943. The Evening Express
Three reserve players had their first taste of Merseyside “Derby” when they appeared in the Liverpool v. Everton War-Cup game at Anfield today. They were Hall, a Liverpool “A” team discovery, and Birkett and Curwen, of Everton. Liverpool had to make several changes, Charlesworth of Grimsby Town and Manchester City, being at centre-half for the first time, with Bush at right back and Balmer leading the attack. Liverpool;- Hobson, goal; Bush and Guttridge, backs; Kaye, Charlesworth (Grimsby), and Pilling, half-backs; Hall, Eastham, Balmer, Done, and Hulligan, forwards. Everton;- Birkett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, and Curwen, half-backs; Bentham, Mutch (Preston), Lawton, Stevenson and Jackson, forwards. Referee –Mr. G. Twist. (Weathoughton). Everton made the initial play, but after Mutch had been frustrated. Done race away at outside-left and middle a nice ball, which Balmer, however, failed to gather, and it went behind. Pilling held up Mutch before Lawton burst clear from Stevenson’s pass to gain the first corner of the day. This almost brought a goal, but Hobson grabbled Lawton’s header and then fell on the ball as Lawton tried to scramble it through. Lawton came away to the right to give Charlseworth the go-by, before Mutch to carried on the good work, his final shot made under difficulties, hitting the side netting.
Everton were making the pace, but Liverpool were responding well, and Cook eagerly fed Birkett when menaced by Hulligan. Kaye and Pilling were doing brilliant work in holding up the Everton inside forwards, their tackling being as quick as it was effective. Hobson finally gathered Jackson’s corner before Cook kicked away from Done’s header. Away went Everton for Lawton to he put through with a peach of a pass from Mutch, and it looked all over a goal, but Hobson dived to his left to hold the Lawton shot. Everton were soon back again, and from Jackson’s centre Mutch took one on the volley, but Hobson flung himself out to save in brilliant style. Then came some testing moments for the Blues’ defence, when Balmer was placed onside through the ball striking an opponent, but Birkett answered his first call magnificently, diving to fist the ball away. Some grand work by Curwen paved the way for a Jackson raid, but just as Bentham was coming through, Charlesworth dashed in to head behind for a corner and receive a minor injury in the process. It was Hobson again who took command as Stevenson’s corner curled into the goalmouth. Mutch and Bentham fed a joyous Everton raid, but after Lawton had been baulked of his header through Charlesworth’s intervention, Jackson and Stevenson had shots charged down. This was grand stuff, producing more actual ball play than last week’s game at Goodison, and with everything being done at top speed.
Hobson was proving the big man of the game, for he took charge of another corner and then dived to save a cross shot from Lawton. Everton were having more of the game, but the Liverpool defence was standing up well, being astonishingly quick in recovery. In 23 minutes Liverpool took the lead all against the run of the play. Pilling took a quick throw-in and got Done away at outside left, Done centred quickly and although Birkett dived to the ball he could only push it out, and after a fall just failed to gather. Balmer coolly drove into the corner with Birkett out of position. Soon after Hulligan dribbled through, but the whistle had gone for offside. It was curious Liverpool should be in front after playing a purely defensive role for the major portion. Everton were soon back again, only to find themselves defied by Hobson, who went full length to turn aside a pile-driver from Stevenson which would have beaten nine goalkeepers out of ten. Hobson pulled down a surprise shot from Mutch as Everton continued to pile on the pressure without tangible reward. Charlesworth seemed to be effected by the blow on the head received early in the game, and twice had to receive attention, but still continued to keep a tight rein on Lawton, particularly with the ball in the air. In 37 minutes Everton drew level, thanks to their enterprise in seizing on Liverpool’s first defensive error. Birkett had made a flying save from Hulligan, and the ball was swept to the other end when an attempt was made to pass the ball back to relieve pressure. Bentham saw, the move and jumped through quickly to place inside for Lawton to whip the ball into the far corner of the net in a flash. Hobson had no chance with this one, and there was no denying that the equaliser was richly deserved. Stevenson’s speed caught Liverpool on one leg, but his shot flashed by the far post, and Lawton also placed inches wide. Stevenson beat four men in the space of a yard, but Lawton shot too quickly and so lacked accuracy.
Half-time Liverpool 1, Everton 1.
On resuming, Everton came more into the picture as an attacking force but without producing any direct shooting. Everton continued the more methodical side. Stevenson glazing the bat with a magnificent effort, before Mutch dribbled through, only to be forced off the mark. It was exactly an hour when Liverpool gained their first corner, but this brought nothing and Birkett neatly intercepted a centre from Hall before he twice ran out to pick up. Stevenson took over with a quick shot after some inspiring work by Mercer, but once again the ball flew inches over the top. The trend of the game was reflected by the fact that the only actual shot delivered by Liverpool had been Balmer’s scoring effort. Charlesworth saved a certain goal by a great intervention when Lawton was shaping for his shot. Everton should have taken the lead after a three-prong raid, which left Lawton unchallenged just inside the penalty area, but the international shot too quickly and Hobson was able to save.
Hall at last got the Reds attacking moving as a potent force, but Birkett pulled down his centre, and when the Reds came again Cook came across with a fine intervention to relieve a tense moment. The pace never slackened, but Everton were inclined to fall back more on defence with the object of making sure of at least one vital point. Liverpool had a penalty line free kick, which Done shot outside, and then came Liverpool’s second direct shot –from Done, which Birkett held condently. There was an incident eight minutes from time when a solider ran on the field from the “Kop” and attacked Cook for no reason whatever. The solider was removed by five policeman. Four minutes from time Done gave Liverpool the lead from a free kick given for a foul on Hall.
Final; Liverpool 2, Everton 1.
Everton “A”v. Randle
Everton took the lead in 25 minutes when Grant centred for Dellow to score. Five minutes later Wyles added a second goal, which was followed by a third from Grant. Seven minutes from the interval Grant scored Everton’s fourth from a penalty kick. Half-time; Everton “A” 4, Randle 0.
January 18, 1943. The Liverpool Daily Post
Liverpool 2, Everton 1
Everton Forwards Foiled
Debit to Hobson
Liverpool had difficulty in getting a team together for their second Derby game with Everton in the War League Cup-tie at Anfied, and they had to call in the aid of the Grimsby centre half-back, Charlesworth, and an “A” team youngster at outside right, yet they brought off a great victory over the strong Everton team, which included Lawton. The defeat had placed Everton near the foot of the table, and they will have to struggle desperately, for they cannot expect a lot from their two meetings with Manchester United –their next two matches. I think that everyone agreed that Everton were unfortunate not to have won. Even the home directors admitted that, for they had 70 per cent of the play, and in the first half smashed in shot after shot, only to see Hobson the Liverpool goalkeeper bring off inspiring saves. By his magnificent work, Hobson made it possible for his side to win. Had he faltered when Everton were bounding the Liverpool defence, the Blues would have built up a winning lead. His first half display was equal to anything I have seen. No matter now the shots came to him, Hobson stood defiant, Mutch, Lawton, and Stevenson sent in strong drives but he held them all. When Hobson’s charge ultimately fell, it was to a perfectly made goal by Bentham and Lawton, the latter shooting with terrific force to the far side of the goal. Even then Hobson got his hand to the ball but he could not turn it enough to direct it round the upright. It was a great day for Hobson.
Everton’s Fine Play.
Everton were worthy of goals. They played fine football, and for most of the game had Liverpool on the defensive, but Liverpool scored two goals with less than a quarter of an hour the chances that Everton had. Everton were not free from faults, for there were chances of which full advantage should have been taken. It was one of the best Derby games I have seen for years, well up to the standard of pre-war League meetings between the pair. Liverpool fought it out desperately with their superior opponents, and once again showed what fighting quality was worth. They scored their first goal all against the run of the play when Balmer scored at 23 minutes after the Liverpool defence had almost been hurried out of the game by Everton’s storming attacks, but these Liverpool lads never gave up, and in the last few minutes they produced a fighting finish, which earned them victory. A free kick a few minutes from the end saw the ball planted on the side line of the penalty area with Done coming up to take the kick. He hit the ball low and it curled just inside the upright. Birkett going down too late for the ball. He may have been unsighted. Lawton brought a sparkle into the Everton attack, and the half-backs, Mercer –he was at his best –Humphreys and Curwen –a grand player this –gave assistance both in attack and defence, while Greenhalgh and Cook were always well up to their task. Birkett did all he had to do well. Liverpool’s attack was spasmodic. Only rarely did they break down, Everton’s defensive plans, but the remainder of the side did glorious work when the tide was running high against them. Bush by the calm and cool interventions, killed many promising Everton attacks and Guttridge, Pilling and Kayes were prodigious workers at a time when it was more needed. Charlesworth was good in the air, and too many passes to Lawton were delivered in that fashion. There was only one black spot in the game. A solider jumped the spion Kop wall and ran on the field and attempted to strike at Cook, who had done nothing to warrant such an action. No doubt it was the excitement of the moment which caused the Service man to lose control or himself. He was taken off the field by the police. Attendance 20,400 Receipts £1,330. Liverpool;- Hobson, goal; Bush and Guttridge, backs; Kaye, Charlesworth (Grimsby), and Pilling, half-backs; Hall, Eastham, Balmer, Done, and Hulligan, forwards. Everton;- Birkett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, and Curwen, half-backs; Bentham, Mutch (Preston), Lawton, Stevenson and Jackson, forwards. Referee –Mr. G. Twist. (Weathoughton).
January 18, 1942. The Liverpool Echo
Top-Notchers in Lowly Places
Luck has been dead against Everton since they started on the Cup tourney. They were a trifle unlucky to lose at Tranmere and a heap unlucky to be beaten at Anfield. On the balance of play against Liverpool they were well worthy of a solid win. One man more than any other prevented them getting their deserts, and that was Hobson, who must well nigh have broken the hearts of Everton’s attackers by his brilliant saves in the first half.
While placing on record Everton’s ill-luck one must not forget the goalkeeper is as much a part of the side as anybody else, and is there to make brilliant saves –if and when he can. Also that Liverpool had to recast their team at the last minute, and had two “A” teamers on the wings, whereas Everton had six of their pre-war championship side. The best football certainly came from Everton, if you judge from the viewpoint of artistic combination and individualism. But there are many varieties of football, some more effective than others, and oppose to Everton’s classier play, Liverpool produced a directness, team spirit and solidity in defence which stood them in good stead. Liverpool believe the quickest way between two points is a straight line, and if the two points are at oppose ends of the field, consider a hefty booting and a lively chase may possibly pay better dividends than more dainty progression. That belief led to the Reds first goal, which was well against the run of play, and though Lawton equalised before the interval, Liverpool’s tactics brought them the winner. When Done took a badly-angled free kick, outside the penalty area four minutes from time, the chances of his scoring direct seemed slender, but once again the theory came off chiefly I think, because Birkett was unsignalled and only saw the ball too late. It was a grand game, particularly in the first half, packed with thrills and excitement from start to finish, and fought out at a rattling pace, while the 20,400 spectators kept up a continuous barrage of cheers and barracking that carried one back to pre-war days. We missed the oranges –for obvious reasons –but one laddie in Khak did his best to recall old times by invading the pitch and attempting to start a spot of bother. His period in the limelight was brief but hectic. Cook, and Greenhalgh in lesser degree had to run the Kop gauntlet in the second half, but not for any sins of the moment as far as I saw. It must have been for Auld Lang Syne’s sake. Everton contributed in their own defeat by always putting the ball to Lawton right in the air, where the tall Charlesworth got it away nine times out of ten. He played a grand game in spite “muzzy” for a long period after a head injury. So also did Kaye and Pilling, while Bush was a revelation at right back. Balmer who had not played for eight weeks was not thoroughly fit, so one can understand had disappointing show. Done was his usual fiery and wholehearted self, and Hall did well, but it was the defence which took the chief honours for the galliant way is stood to its guns during Everton’s periods of superiority. Mercer and Lawton made valiant efforts to pull the game out of the fire for Everton, but the latter was too well “policed” to have much chance. Stevenson and Mutch had some grand shots nullified by Hobson, the wingers were good, and so was the defence. Humphreys again putting up a fine show, though not quite so outstanding as the previous weeks. Thus another “Liveton” Derby goes down to history, and one can hope that the result will not mean that Everton go down with it in qualifying Cup series.
January 18, 1942. The Evening Express
If ever a team deserved two points it was Everton at Anfield. And nobody admitted this was freely than the Liverpool officials and players. The Anfield folk were, of course delighted that they preserved their unbeaten home record and chalked up another win over their neighbours, but their sense of sportsmanship insisted on glowing tributes to the galliant lovers. I have no fears for Everton’s future. After that first-half display when they outpaced, out-manoeuvred, and yet did not out-goal the Reds, I am convinced that they can rise to the occasion and take full toll of Manchester United, Chester and Southport, each of whom they have to face twice. A team capable of playing as well as Everton did in that 45 minutes cannot fail. True that Liverpool were sadly weakened in attack owing to last-minutes disappointments, but let me hasten to say that it was the fighting spirit so characteristic of the Reds this season which finally took them to victory. Liverpool’s tenacious finish was typical of them, of a hundred to one shot, gave them the game after Everton had enjoyed three parts of the play. Football is like that. On balance of pressure Everton should have won by two or three goals. Their first-half display deserved a winning margin. The run of the ball was often against them, however, and they were up against a defence which gave not the slightest chance. Of course, Everton must not lay all the blame at the foot of Done Fortune. If ever a man had the opportunity to win the game it was sure-fire Tommy Lawton. Once in each half Lawton was through with only Hobson to beat. Both times he placed straight into Hobson’s arms. There were other minor goal-mouth errors, but these two chances stand out in bold relief. .
The opening half provided one of the best offerings of football I have seen for a long time, with Everton operating with a grace and speed which kept Liverpool continuously “on the collar.” Ten Liverpool players found themselves playing second fiddle, but one stood in the beach in smiling defiance of the menacing Blues. That man was Alf Hobson, the goalkeeper Liverpool allowed to go to Chester, but who may become an Anfield “prodigal” if Hobson feels that way about it. Hobson gave the perfects display saving fully a dozen shots which would have beaten most goalkeepers, diving, catching and turning aside high-powered shots from all angles. It is no exaggeration to say that Hobson won the game for Liverpool, and he deserved the ovation at the finish. His was an heroic display. Balmer gave Liverpool the lead in 23 minutes when BIrkett, the ball out for him to drive home but Lawton equalised soon after, and we had to wait until four minutes from time for the decider. Cyril Done ran over to take an 18 yards free kick on the right facing the Kop, and although his colleagues entreated him to job into the goalmouth Done replied. No, I going to have to go.” And he did. There was one narrow path to goal and he fired along it. Birkett seemed to have the ball covered, but it turned off on a piece of loose turf and went into the net at a curious tangent. The change of direction beat Birkett and so Everton lost to a goal which to them was a real tragedy.
The Hall Mark.
The Liverpool team sheet showed as many changes as Hilter’s defence lines, but the curious side refused to knuckle down under to the superior Everton, who helped Liverpool fight back by concentrating on retaining a single point late on and so failing back on defence. Consequently Liverpool were able to have their share of attacking, and 21-year-old Hall was able to repeat his first half high standard to make a quite notable “Derby” debut. His work bore the “Hall” mark of good football and he is a lad who should do well. Another comparative newcomer, George Curwen, had a grand day for Everton at left half, although he, like the irrepressible Mercer, who fought to the last second, had to transfer a lot of work to the backs in the all-important mission of trying to carve out the forward openings. Fortunately for Everton Cook and Greenhalgh were brilliant and especially in their kicking. It was always clean and constructive. Birkett’s anticipation was good. Humphreys showed up well again, although I must say that Jack Balmer was playing under a severe handicap. Jack was not quite fit, but turned out to help Liverpool out of a hole. His goal was worth it, and Done did some grand grafting at inside-left, while Eastham’s cunning did much to pull the Everton defence out of position. The Everton inside forwards were excellent for fully an hour, during which time the Reds did not even gain a corner, and had to thank Kaye, Pilling and Bush for offering a sure shields to Hobson. Charlesworth and Guttridge also did well in a defence, which just had to be good to keep out an Everton whose luck was right out. The game was marred for the majority of the 20,400 spectators, who paid £1,330 by the unwarrantable attacks on Billy Cook, the Evertonians. Apart from the would be interfence by an over-enthusiastic solider, who was removed by the police, there was repeated childish booing of Cook, and comments which made the never-to-be-forgotten orange throwing at Anfield appear like good sportsmanship. I shudder to think what distinguished guests at Anfield thought of Anfield’s sportsmanship after this display by folk who I presume pride themselves on the loyalty to Liverpool, but who are surely bringing a grand club into disrepute. Cook gave a model exhibition of sporting back play and the barrackers may feel rather ashamed of themselves when I tell you that Cook made an appeal to the police to allow the interfering soldier to go back to his place. That my friends, was act of a person totally undeserving of the treatment meted out of him by the spectators this season. I can only assume that Cook baiting has become a mental disease with, happily a small minority. I can assure Cook as I have already done personally that the Liverpool officials and followers generally are as incensed at the treatment as the Evertonians. This was a clean sporting encounter played with characteristic, keenness and reversely, and grandly handled by Mr. George Twist, of Westhoughton, whose firm control and quick decisions contributed in no small way to yet another glorious “Derby.”
EVERTON’S ONE CHANGE
January 20, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
The Everton team for the visit at Manchester United at Maine Road on Saturday, shows only one change from that which lost at Anfield; Lawton is not able to play and Harry Jones takes his place at centre forward. Birkett retains his place in goal, while Mercer fortunately is again available and remains at right half, with Humphreys and Curwen as the partner in the middle line. This will be a vital match for Everton if they can bring a point back it will be very welcome for every point from for it is vital. Birkett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Curwen; Bentham, Mutch, Jones (H.), Stevenson, Jackson.
January 20, 1943. The Evening Express
Everton will make only one change for their League War Cup qualifying match against Manchester United at Maine-road on Saturday. This is the return to centre forward of Harry Jones in place of Tommy Lawton, who has gone off week-end leave. Everton played so well at Anfield last Saturday –despite the defeat –that Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly is acting wisely in retaining the side as far as possible. The Blues football during the first half last Saturday was good enough for anything. Birkett will be playing in his first away game for the club and it is worth noting that Jack Humphreys, who retains the centre half position made his first team debut at the Maine Road ground, but ....as a wing half. Everton; Birkett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Curwen, Bentham, Mutch, Jones (Harry), Stevenson, Jackson.
EVERTON PLAYER DIES IN ACTION
January 21, 1943. The Liverpool Evening Express
Everton have received notification that Alfred Penlington, their 21 years-old inside forward, has been killed in action with the Royal Air Force. Penlington played several games with the first team, but was primarily a reserve team player, Penlington lived at 49,Clivedon-road, Lache Estate, Chester.
BLUES HOPES BRIGHTER
January 22, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
After the excellent stuff they served up at Anfield last week, one’s hopes are brighter that Everton may bring at least a point back from their visit to Manchester United. A couple would be better and may not be beyond them they reproduced the same sparkle and combination as at Anfield. Apart from the absence of Lawton for whom Harry Jones disputises the side will be as against Liverpool, with Birkett who was in no way to blame for last week’s defeat again getting concrete evidence of Everton’s belief in him –a belief in which I share. Everton; Birkett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Curwen; Bentham, Mutch, Jones (H), Stevenson, Jackson.
Everton “A” (v. St Teresa at Goodison). Castles; Griffiths, Wyles; McDonnell, Lewis, Dellow, Grant, Curran, Scott-Lee, Fowler.
GO TO IT BLUES
January 22, 1943. The Evening Express.
If Everton play as well against Manchester United as they did in the first half against Liverpool and bring just a little more accuracy to bear in finishing they might easily create a surprise. I do not assert that they will but the form of Everton last Saturday was good enough for anything, and it was mainly super goalkeeping which defied them. We know Everton can play good football and if they will play with the zest and enthusiasm they showed in the “Derby” games the United may be in for a shock. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly’s decision not to make chops and chances in the side should go a long way towards giving the players just the confidence they need, I feel certain that the Blues have only to retain their confidence to become once again a real power in Northern circles. The players can forget that the United have proved rather a bogy to them in wartime football for all bogies can be laid. Perhaps Everton may profit from a little United over confidence seeing that the Manchurians will enter the game with chests out following their three points return from two games with Blackpool. And over-confidence can be fatal against a side like Everton. The Blues will have Harry Jones leading the attack again in place of Lawton, and with judicious feeding Harry will get goals. The defence, I am convinced will be a match for Jack Smith and company in a game which should produce some excellent football. I can assure the Everton players that all Merseyside looks to them to “go to it.” A win tomorrow may prove their salvation. Everton; Birkett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Curwen, Bentham, Mutch, Jones (Harry), Stevenson, Jackson.
• Tomorrow at Goodison Park, George Mahon Cup Competition; Everton Reserves v St Teresa’s kick-off 3 p.m. Admission 6d; 2d.
Everton A. v. St. Teresa's
Liverpool Evening Express - Saturday 23 January 1943
After pressure by St. Teresa's, Curran opened Everton's account from a pass by Fowler. Ten minutes later Curran increased the lead, and within a minute Pickstock reduced the arrears. Dellow added two more for Everton before Pickstock netted second for the visitors. Later Grant scored Everton's fifth goal. Half-time; Everton “A” 5, St. Teresa's 2. Result Everton A. 7, St. Teresa's 2.
GREAT EVERTON RESERVES
Liverpool Evening Express - Saturday 23 January 1943
Everton Reserves brought off their best victory of the season by defeating Randle 9—0 at Goodison. No other side in the Combination, including Liverpool, the champions, can boast such success over Randle. Incidentally, it was a double for the Blues, and the nine goals brought their total goals past the century mark—and gave them the advantage in goal average over the Reds should they need it. Wyles and Grant were again among the goals.
MANCHESTER U. V. EVERTON
January 23, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
Manchester United; King, goal; Roughton and Porter, backs; Warner, Carey, and Whalley, half-backs; Bryant, Buchan, Smith, Morris, and Bellis, forwards. Everton; Birkett, goal; Cook (captain), and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Humphreys, and Curwen, half-backs; Bentham, Mutch, H. Jones, Stevenson and Jackson, forwards. Everton started off on a bright note and H. Jones had a rare opportunity to score in the early moments when Mercer centred the ball to his head almost under the bar, but the centre forward turned it round the woodwork. Through Bellis, United put the Everton defence in a quandary until Birkett put out the winger’s shot. Mutch was hurt, probably by a punch from King, who was making a save. This was a near thing for the United, for a goal might easily have come from it. Everton were playing the better type of football, and shaped more like getting goals than the United, who were inclined to hugh the ball when a wider pass would have served a better purpose. At 14 minutes Everton took the lead through Bentham, who was put through by a Jones pass. Bentham simply ran forward, and shot wide of the advancing goalkeeper. Jackson tried a lone one which King saved, and then Warner, with a first class opening, misfired. At twenty minutes Everton went further ahead, this time through Jones, who scored at a short range from Mutch’s centre, but it was Mercer who laid the foundations to this goal by his strong, forceful dribble, during which he beat three men. Bryant was badly at fault from a good shooting angle; in fact shooting was one of the United’s greatest troubles. Everton continued to be the superior side, there being more methods in their work, and at thirty minutes their took a three goal lead when Jones headed beyond King to score one of the nicest goals I have seen for some time. The Manchester players claimed a penalty award and it looked as though they were justified, but the referee thought otherwise. Birkett made a good save from Bellis.
Half-time; Manchester United nil, Everton 3
United resumed in better form, and Birkett had to make a series of nice saves. Everton defence had to put in some solid work, and then Everton from one of their breakways became four up. Goalkeeper King made a save from Stevenson, but his handling of the ball was none too sure, and when Jones tackled him he lost possession, and the ball was in the net before you could say knife. One of Birkett’s best saves was made from Buchan. He had to throw himself right across goal to make the save and received the applause of the crowd. Final; Manchester United 1, Everton 4.
Everton Res v. St. Teresa’s
Everton soon led through Curran who 5 minutes later added a second. Pickstock reduced the margin, but Dellow added 2 further goals for Everton. Pickstock scored again for the visitors, and Grant a fifth for Everton. Final; Everton “A” 7, St Teresa’s 2.
FINE WIN BY EVERTON
January 25, 1943. The Liverpool Daily Post
Hat-Trick For H. Jones
Much of Everton’s Cup tension was reduced when they defeated Manchester United by four goals to one at Maine Road. Points were vital to Everton and the way they set out to get them was distinctly encouraging. They got on top of the United almost from the outset, and having scored two goals in twenty minutes they had the United on the collar for most of the first half. There was more method in Everton’s play, while Manchester were inclined to hold the ball instead of keeping the play open, which should have been the case against a half-back line of Everton’s strength. In the second half the United did show some improvement, but there was still that lack of finish and an uncertainty that prevented them from taking goals which were there for taking despite the fine work of Birkett to the Everton goal. The first half had been all Everton, and after Bentham had led off with a goal at fourteen minutes, Jones obtained a second at twenty minutes and a third at thirty five minutes. With such a lead they could have rested on their oars, but this might have been folly, for when the United resumed they did so in a manner which encouraged the home crowd, because there was much more aggressiveness than there had been during the first period. Nevertheless Everton had one or two break always, and from one of them, Jones got his hat-trick and it was not until three minutes from the end that united got a consolation goal through Smith. Much of Everton’s success was due to Mercer, Humphreys and Curwen in the half-back line, although one could not help but give praise to Bentham, Mutch, Jones and Stevenson. But it was an all-round win, a win in the true team spirit and these two points will be of immense value to Everton in their efforts to quality for the Cup competition proper. Manchester United; King, goal; Roughton and Porter, backs; Warner, Carey, and Whalley, half-backs; Bryant, Buchan, Smith, Morris, and Bellis, forwards. Everton; Birkett, goal; Cook (captain), and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, Humphreys, and Curwen, half-backs; Bentham, Mutch, H. Jones, Stevenson and Jackson, forwards.
• Liverpool beat Southport 3-1, Dorsett, Hulligan (2), and Rawlings for Southport
January 25, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have still a hard road to travel, but with three home games in their fixtures, I fancy we will see them in the Cup draw. There was grave speculation as to the outcome of their match with Manchester, conquerors of Blackpool the week previous. But there was also the memory of their fine display against Liverpool at Blackpool at Anfield. And very soon they had the United safety in their pocket, and proved beyond doubt that they were in a false mark near the foot of the table. Playing good-class football they defeated the United on their merits. They were the more skilful side and instead of waiting for the ball they sought it. They have been “second” in many of their games; this time they were first, and the advantage was most noticeable. With such sharp and cutting tackling they broke up their opponents efforts to such an extent that there was little method about them, and by the interval Everton had built up a lead that was beyond the United’s grasp. That is not to say that Manchester did not have any chance; they had, but rather failed with them or saw Birkett defy them. The young amateur did great work when it was most needed in the second half, and he made splendid saves, one from Buchan being equal to any which Hobson made a week ago. but it was as a team that Everton won. Each man played for the other in this vital game, and it must pay great triumph to the half-back line. Mercer, Humphreys, and Curwen were a powerful trio. They were the rock on which the attack was wrenched. Harry Jones with three goals –a hat-trick- naturally takes the forward honours. His second goal was a peach of a header, his first the outcome of a brilliant dribble by Mercer, and his third the reward of following up goalkeeper King, formerly an Everton player, being knocked out of possession. He had a hand in the opening goal, for it was from his neat push through pass that Bentham was able to run through the defence and beat King. The United put up a fighting finish and scored three minutes from the end, but even when attacking there was not the science in their play to compare with that of Everton, good winners everywhere and a much relieved side as a reward for a smart away victory.
January 25, 1943. The Evening Express
Harry Jones Everton’s versatile “guest” player from West Bromwich Albion, gave his best-ever display at centre-forward when scoring the “hat-trick” in the Blues, deserving and convincing 4-1 win over Manchester United. Stan Bentham got the first goal early on, and after Jones had followed quickly with a second Jones made it three before the interval with a goal in a hundred. Jones flung himself through the air to reach a centre and head the ball home. The Blues went on to make it four up through Jones, and it was not until the closing minutes that Smith reduced the lead with an unstoppable shot. Outstanding features of Everton’s exhibition were the magnificence of the half-backs and the wonder work of the three reserve team lads, Wilf Birkett, George Curwen, and Jack Humphreys. Burly jack Smith never was happy against Humphreys until near the end; Curwen was tireless and effective, and Birkett gave his best exhibition of goalkeeping so far with the chiefs, his positional sense and judgement in leaving goal being excellent. And the seasoned lads like Mercer, Stevenson, Mutch and the backs reached top form to complete a real team victory which will restore complete confidence to the Blues.
January 26, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
After the good win at Maine Road on Saturday Everton were not likely to make any change in their side for the return game at Goodison Park this week, but changes these days are frequently forced on clubs through circumstances beyond their control, and they have to cut their coats according to their cloth. Fortunately as far as things are at the moment, Everton anticipate being able to play an unchanged side on Saturday. If they do, it will be the first time for two years that they have had the same team, but in two consecutive games. After last Saturday’s victory, Everton supporters ran hopes for the completion of the “double” with increased confidence. What they did away ought not to be beyond accomplishment at home and a win would make Everton’s qualification prospect very much brighter. It would being their average up to a point a game and Goodison folk thereafter would breathe more easily. Team; Birkett; Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Curwen; Bentham, Mutch, Jones (H.), Stevenson, Jackson.
References to J.V. Humphrey’s association with Everton were made at the annual meeting of Llandudno F.C. when the members passed a resolution expressing their congratulations to him. Humphrey’s who has put up some splendid displays for Everton in recent weeks learned his football at Friar’s County School, Bangor, played for Llandudno while still at schoolboy, and actually his only competitive Soccer before joining Everton was with Llandudno F.C, who are proud to see one of their members doing so well in the highest sphere.
• Burnett will play for Tranmere Rovers against Chester, at Chester on Saturday. Everton have helped Tranmere with a goalkeeper, for Lovett played for Rovers for several games a couple of seasons ago, while Hill, of course is also a Goodison park player.
EVERTON’S NOVEL TEAM POSITION
January 26, 1943. The Evening Express
Everton, for the first time for two seasons, will field an unchanged team on Saturday, when they entertain Manchester United at Goodison Park in the second “leg” of their League War cup qualifying Competition tie. The nearest approach to an unchanged side previously this season was last week, when Harry Jones for Tom Lawton at centre forward was the only alteration. Secretary Mr. Theo Kelly’s decision to give the team beaten at Liverpool –with the exception of that one change –the chance to visit Manchester United was fully justified. The team rose to the heights, and in 90 minutes put an entirely different complexion on Everton’s hopes of qualifying. And after such a grand victory –the Blues won 4-1 –it was only to be expected that the same side would tackle the United again. One of the most gratying features of the Manchester win was the manner in which the junior members of the team seized their chance to make good. Birkett, Curwen and Humphreys all played in a manner which delighted the officials and their order colleague alike. If these youngsters keep their heads, as well as they use their feet, there is no reason why they should not establish themselves as Everton first team regulars.
His Third Club
George Burnett the Everton goalkeeper who, for the time being at least, has been superseded in goal by the 19-year-old Haydock miner, Wilf Birkett will play for Tranmere Rovers on Saturday when the Rovers go to Sealand-road for the return with Chester to whom they lost 6-1 on Saturday. This will be Burnett’s third club this season for after a long run with Everton he played for Manchester United against Blackpool ten day’s ago.
Liverpool Evening Express - Wednesday 27 January 1943
Everton Reserves include two newcomers from the Royal Navy in their team to oppose Kirkby Penny-lane on Saturday. They are Veale, former Kingstonians goalkeeper, and Trotter, right-winger who has had trials with Wolves and Arsenal. Everton Reserves: Veale; Griffiths, Cheers; Wyles, McDonnell, Lewis; Trotter, Grant, Curran. Scott-Lee, Fowler. Everton Colts (v. Shaftesbury B.C.): Prince; Durham, Lewis; Reynolds. Webster Rennie; Lydiate, Daulby, Scholfield. Lane, Makin.
J G JONES
Liverpool Evening Express - Thursday 28 January 1943
Acting Able-Seaman Jack Gordon Jones, 21-year-old brother of Tommy Jones, R.A.F., the Everton Welsh international centre-half and captain, reported missing at sea. His mother, Mrs. Jones, of Windsor-street, Pen-yuan-street, Connahs Quay, would be glad of any information.
EVERTON FACE VITAL GAME
January 29, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
Tomorrow’s return game between Everton and Manchester United at Goodsion Park may decide Everton’s fate in the Cup qualifying series. If Everton win –and after there away victory last week that seems very firm, they will have averaged a point a game, and as the four remaining fixtures with Chester and Southport ought to produce at least the same average, they would almost certainly be safe. On the other hand, if they drop a point tomorrow the top of the picking it up in the last four games won’t be easy. The ex-Third Division clubs are a different proposition these days. For that season Everton must put their best foot forward, not dilly-fally in front of goal or fritter away the change if they got one. Every point is vital and they want to aim at something a little than just scrapping into the competition proper by the skin of their teenth. They have the chance during the next weeks. It’s up to the players to take it. The ability is there, and a strong pull should do it. For the first time for two seasons Everton may turn out the same side two Saturday’s running. Providing the defence is as strong as last week, and the attack again produce the sparkle and deciveness in front of goal that it did at Maine Road, then I think we can anticipate the Blues Cup double and breathe a little easier over their prospects. United make several changes. They hope to have Breedon back in goal, Griffiths returns at full back which lets Porter at centre half, while Carey resumes his proper place in the forwards. Everton; Birkett, Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Curwen; Bentham, Mutch, Jones (H.), Stevenson, Jackson. Manchester United (from); Breedon (or Scales); Roughton, Griffiths, Kirkman; Whalley, Porter, Whalley, Bryant, Carey, Smith, Pearson, Bellis.
January 29, 1943. The Evening Express
Everton find themselves in the novel position –so far as the last two seasons are concerned –of being able to field an unchanged side. This is wartime in something to talk about. On the other hand, the United are hoping to bring back to inside-left Pearson, the lad who did the damage against Blackpool. I shall be anxious to get another look at Everton’s three stalwarts who are make sure that opportunity is not going to knock their doo in vain. Birkett, Humphreys, and Curwen have proved hugh successes, and their youthful fire and enthusiasm allied to the more considered machinations and good advice of their more experienced colleagues has made Everton into a real fighting force. Everton, at the moment are a nice blend of energy and skill, and if they finish with the same accuracy as they showed a week ago I think they will be “out of the wood” so far as non-qualification goes. I would warn them, however, that the United have a liking for the Goodison park turf. Last season they came here to beat Everton, after having lost at home and in September they were two goals down here to Everton but fought back to gain a point. Still, they meet an Everton with a new complex tomorrow and I doubt their ability to stop the Blues revival. Here is a game with all the pre-war glamour which should attract 15,000 at least –kick-off at 3.0 p.m. Everton; Birkett, Cook, Greenhalgh; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, Curwen; Bentham, Mutch, Jones (H.), Stevenson, Jackson. Manchester United (from); king; Roughton, Porter; Warner, Carey, Whalley; Bryant, Buchan, Smith, Pearson, Bellis.
January 30, 1943. The Liverpool Echo
Smith’s Contribution To United Score
Everton; W. Birkett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, and Curwen, half-backs; Bentham, Mutch (Preston), Jones (H.) (West Bromwich), Stevenson and Jones (J.E.), forwards. Manchester United; Scales (Manchester City), goal; Roughton and Kirkman (Burnley), backs; Warner, Porter, and Whalley, half-backs; Bryant, Buchan (Blackpool), Smith, Pearson and Bellis, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Billington (Blackpool). Manchester United took the lead in their return Cup-tie with Everton at Goodison Park today when the game had been in progress twenty minutes and there was no gainsaying that the visitors were worthy of their lead. Pearson was the scorer, but real working of the goal came from Buchan, who dashed through like lightning when Humphreys slipped and failed to effect his clearance. Everton goal had more than one narrow escape, particularly when Pearson in the first five minutes had the easiest of chances from six yards range with only Birkett to beat and plenty of time to do it. Birkett made a couple of grand saves from Smith and Buchan, and against all the Everton had done little attacking apart from one spell in which Harry Jones, Mutch and Stevenson had shots charged down, and J.E. Jones had tried a long shot which had little hope of succeeding. Manchester swinging the ball about freely from wing to wing, frequently had the home defence in a tangle but their finishing was not as good as their approach work. Smith twice missed easy chances. Scales had a grand save from Mutch, and he had to be lively to cover a ball from Stevenson, which swung just outside. A typical Mercer dribble ended with the half-back putting across a picture centre to Harry Jones, whose header was only a feet ever the angle of the bar. Off-side cut short two of Everton’s most promising moves. Buchan who had been very prominent all alone, swung a fast one which was not far off the mark. Jones (J.E.) was just unable to squeeze the ball in from a difficult angle. Bellis cracked a beauty up against the upright, while Warner had a pop which was only inches over the bar. Mutch missed the ball completely when well placed with a pass from Bentham. United still playing grand combined football, had another spell of attack in which Bellis got the ball into the net, but the point was disallowed for offside against Smith.
United were further ahead through Smith at the 38th minute, and only brilliant save by Birkett prevented the visitors going still further in front. United were playing brilliant football and were well worthy of their lead which would have been much greater had they taken all their chances.
Half-time; Everton 0, Manchester United 2.
A bad mistake by Greenhalgh let United in for goal No. 3 in the first minute of the resumption, Smith again being the score, while Buchan, after a great run by Bellis made the score 4-0 at the 57th minute. Everton forced three corners in quick succession but when they did get a chance their finishing was poor. United goal had a number of narrow escapes yet actually it was the visitors who scored. Smith completing the nap hand with a brilliant solo goal at the 70th minute.
Final; Everton 0, Manchester United 5.
January 30, 1943. The Evening Express
United’s Five Goals Margin
Jack Jones, the Everton full back, was called on at the last minute to play outside left in place of Jackson, in the War Cup match against Manchester United at Goodison Park today. The United included the Blackpool star, Buchan they had Scales, of Manchester City, in goal, and Kirkman, of Burnley, at right back. Everton; W. Birkett, goal; Cook (captain) and Greenhalgh, backs; Mercer, J.V. Humphreys, and Curwen, half-backs; Bentham, Mutch (Preston), Jones (H.) (West Bromwich), Stevenson and Jones (J.E.), forwards. Manchester United; Scales (Manchester City), goal; Roughton and Kirkman (Burnley), backs; Warner, Porter, and Whalley, half-backs; Bryant, Buchan (Blackpool), Smith, Pearson and Bellis, forwards. Referee; Mr. A. Billington (Blackpool).The Blues tried to develop play on the right, but Carey twice broke up some nice passing movements, and when Bellis broke through he forced Mercer to concede a corner. From this Bryant came in with a “first timer” but Curwen charged the ball down to relieve a tense situation. Buchan swung out a beautiful pass which Bellis took in his stride, and from the centre Smith nodded the ball down to give Pearson a chance in a thousand. Pearson seemed surprised at his good luck, for he failed to control the ball and weakly placed by the far post, with only Birkett opposing him. Scales beat away a centre from Jones (J.) and followed it up to grab the ball before Stevenson could take advantage.
Birkett’s Grand Save
Everton forced a corner, from which Mutch had a shot charged down, and then the United went away again, thanks to the enterprise of Warner, and Smith went on to place to the far corner, but Birkett dived out to make a splendid save and he was there to dash out and clear as Bellis came in to take his chance. So far the United had revealed the better ideas and neater combination, but Humphreys was once again proving a great stumbling block to them. Jones (H.) was an enterprising leader, but it was Stevenson who enabled Mutch to try a quick shot on the turn, Scales diving to turn it around the post. Everton kept it up and Harry Jones, Mutch and Stevenson each had shots charged down in turn. In 21 minutes the United took the lead, when for the first time, Humphreys was beaten. Humphreys had been drawn to the wing by Buchan, and failed to intercept, so that the Scot opened the way for Bryant to place high into the goal mouth. Birkett flung himself out to clear but the ball ran loose, straight to the foot of Pearson, who promptly placed into the net. The United kept it up, and Birkett dashed out to take the ball off the feet of Smith a yard from goal. Mercer ran through to centre quickly but Harry Jones’ header flashed inches over the top. The United forwards continued to play fast, penetrative football, and Birkett did well to save from Smith.
Everton Attack Strongly.
Everton begin to throw everything into attack, and Scales was lucky to turn around the post a shot from Jack Jones. Everton got two corners in succession, but the United packed their goal, and the United were back again hammering at the Everton goal. Bellis who had been having a field day, got the ball into the net but the whistle had gone for offside.
United Two ahead
In 37 minutes the United were two up. Smith running through unchallenged from Warner’s pass to place into the net. It was only Birkett’s enterprise in dashing out which prevented Smith from getting through again just after. The Everton attack was out of gear and never approached the United’s brilliance and there were many loopholes in defence.
Half-time; Everton 0, Manchester United 2.
Within a minute of the resumption the United were three up. Greenhalgh made a faulty clearance, and Bryant went to the line before centring to the far post. Smith was right on the spot to head just over the line. Little was seen of the Everton attack, although Stevenson tried to break through on his own, only to be headed off by Carey. The United forwards continued to give the spectators a football treat, and it was only a mighty save by Birkett which denied Smith another goal. The Everton half-backs were so occupied by the United forwards that they had little time to open up the way for their own attackers.
Lead of Four.
In 57 minutes the United made it four, when Bellis worked in along the penalty line and slipped the ball across for Buchan to score at easy. The goal seems to be the signal for Everton to show more enterprise, and Scales just managed to turn aside a shot from Jones, while Mutch placed high and wide from short range. Jones (H.) placed low across the face of the United goal; but Mutch was unable to reach the ball, and when Jones repeated the effort the ball moved too fast for the in-running Mercer. Everton were now throwing everything into attack, but they received a shock in 72 minutes when Smith went through to survive two tackles and complete the “nap” hand for the United. The United had a narrow escape when two players flung themselves at a shot from Mutch before Kirkman, in trying to relieve, almost placed through his own goal. Everton kept battling back without getting any luck in the goal area, all five forwards having shot charged down in the space of a minute, before Kirkman kicked the ball off the goal line.
Final; Everton 0, Manchester United 5.