THE VILLA THEMSELVES AGAIN.
Athletic News - Monday 01 March 1909
Aston Villa 3, Everton 1
Aston Villa supporters have long been renowned for their loyalty, although they have shown signs of restiveness of late. Their patience, however, has been sorely taxed, and one can understand, therefore, their overwhelming delight when after a series of heartbreaking exhibitions the Villa rose to their highest level in honour of Everton’s visit. It was a brilliant game the Villa played, and their victory of 3-1 was well deserved. There was, indeed a real old-fashioned ring about the forward work, and they made the game quite safe in the opening half, and fairly held their own later. Most clubs would express a certain amount of anxiety at the absence of such a wing as Bache and Hall, but whenever the Villa have had what possibly the majority would regard as their best team of late they have suffered ignominious defeat. Whenever they have had a somewhat experimental side they have, as often as not, played good football. There was one change in the Villa eleven which has hailed with delight, and that was the substitution of Kearns for some one of the many backs who have been chosen to partner Miles this season. Kearns is a brilliant player and he justified the enterprise and judgment of the Villa directors by giving a display well in accordance with his reputation. The accomplished Buckley was away owing to ankle injuries. Everton had more owing to ankle injuries. Everton had more or less their best side, with the exception that Makepeace was away.
Happy Harry Hampton
The surface was not one calculated to produce a high class display of football, but Aston Villa showed, when Manchester United visited them, that they could rise superior to the drawbacks of a greasy surface, and they gave a display only second to that with which they obliged on the occasion of the visit of last year’s champions. Half an hour went by and then Hampton pounced on the ball as it came from a good left-footed centre by Eyre, and Scott was beaten. Bert Freeman kicked off, rushed straight down and scored within a minute of the Villa’s successes. It was a busy quarter of an hour, for before the interval arrived Hampton had headed a second goal and Walter had scored a third. In the second half the game deteriorated slightly, the hard work of ploughing through the mud telling upon the men, and the interval score represented the final result.
Everton’s Clever Forwards.
The Villa’s triumph was mainly one of leadership. Hampton was in his old form, and that explains everything. Centres which have been going begging for months were, in this game, pounced upon and made the framework of goals. The Villa attack was all along springily. Eyre and Wallace were agile and waste few centres, whilst Walters justified his inclusion by dropping his elfish tendencies and doing useful work with the ball. Reeves missed openings in a way which surprised those who have seen his brilliant goal-getting efforts for the reserves. Kearns and Miles should make a model pair of backs. Miles will be seen to more advantage now that he has a good partner. George is excellent this season. Everton were not so picturesque, but their forward work was clever, Sharp and Coleman being the best pair. Though Freeman and Young were alert and active. Harris was the keenest half-back, Balmer and Macconnachie made few mistakes and Scott was only beaten by the best of shots. Twenty thousand spectators watched this fine contest. Aston Villa;- George; Kearns, Miles; Tranter, Logan (J), Cornan; Wallace, Reeves, Hampton, Walters and Eyre. Everton; Scott; Balmer (R.), Macconanchie; Harris, Taylor, Adamson; Sharp (captain), Coleman, Freeman, Young, and White. Referee; Mr. J. Sykes, Stockport.
ASTON VILLA 3 EVERTON 1
March 1, 1909, The Liverpool Courier.
REVIVAL OF ASTON VILLA.
The Villa surprised even their own followers on Saturday by a decisive 3-1 victory over Everton. There was a time –not so long ago, either –when such a result would have been regarded as nothing out of the common. But this season the Aston Villa side seemed to have gone all to piece. Prior to their meeting with Everton they could only boast of three League success at home. Just fancy such a record in respect of the most contently successful club in the history of the league. Opinion in Birmingham appeared to be all in favour of Everton, for had not the Villa “rested” the famous leftwing, and Hall and introduced recruits from the ranks of their second division neighbours. Be that as it may, the rearranged Villa brigade rose to the occasion. It may be regarded as a compliment to the prowess of a side like Everton, at the same time at was not at all pheasant that they should reserve their best home display of the season, according to Birmingham critics, for the Goodison Park contingent. The fact is that on the day's play were well beaten, especially in the opening half.
But for hard, luck in the first few minutes of the game three might have been a different tale to tell. The Villa started off in lively fashion and then from a long punt down the field, Freeman fastened on the ball about the half-way line, but Logan for speed, and getting the better of Kearne, crashed the ball against the bar, with George helpless. Sharp met the rebound, but by this time the Villa goal was protected, and the chance of opening the game had departed. After this the game practically resolved itself into a bombardment of Scott's charge. On a ground hard underneath and slippery on top, the backs made not a few mistakes and it was unfortunate for Everton that Scott who performed valor deeds, was on his best behaviour. After half an hour Hampton scored during a scrimmage following a corner, but no sooner had this success been recorded than Everton carried the ball down, and Freeman had it planted in the corner of the net far out of the reach of George. What hope Everton supporters might have possessed were soon dispelled for up to the interval the Villa penned the Blues in their own half, Hampton and Walters adding goals. There had this been four goals registered in less than fifteen minutes. The second portion was neither as exciting nor so one-sided as the earlier 45 miutes. Everton had more of the play, but although Young and White changed places there was not sufficient life in their attack to suggest that the Villa would be deprived of victory. Once, when tested by Sharp, the Villa custodian seemed to draw the fall over the line. The referee did not think so. Three goals to two would have looked better at the same time no one could begrudge the Villa their success by the margin recorded.
While the Villa representatives failed to exhibit the style of play, which for so long has been associated with the club, there was one thing about them which distinguished team from their opponents, and that was the dash and vim, which they imparted to their work. There was no half heartedness, though at times rather unnecessary vigour about their work, and the way they went for goal should have been a lesson to the opposing quintette, who with the exceptions already mentioned were never in the picture during the opening half. True some improvement was shown later, but the mischief had been done. The right wing was below its standard, and it is evident that something will have to be done with the left wing. White does not seen to possess the speed and dash requiste for an outside man, and one can hardly imagine Young in the position. The two men on the side who really played up to their reputations were Scott and Taylor. The backs and both Harris and Adamson improved in the second half, though taken as a whole the team proved fairly easy victims. For the Villa Byre and Walters constituted a clever wing. The defence, however, did not suggest that it would be anything great against energetic forwards. Teams : - Aston Villa: - George, goal, Kearns, and Miles, backs, Tranter, J. Logan, and Cornan, half-backs, Wallace, Reeves, Hampton, Walters, and Kyre, forwards. Everton: - Scott, goal, R. Balmer, and McConnachie, backs, Harris, Taylor, and Adamson, half-backs, Sharp (Captain), Coleman, Freeman, Young, and White, forwards. Referee J. Skyes.
EVERTON RESERVES 2 ROSSENDALE UNITED 0
March 1, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 27)
Everton reserves continue in their all conquering mood, and scored their fourth successive win by defeating Rossendale United on Saturday at Goodison Park by two goals to none. At the outside the home side demonstrated their superiority, and a sustained attack was made upon the visitors goal. For some time the United defenders managed to avert disaster until Jones seized upon a centre from Mountford and registered the first point. The second goal was also credited to Jones, who throughout shot with accuracy and precision. The feature of the game was the remarkable custodianship of Macgregor, who time after time save the downfall of his goal after his backs were hopelessly beaten. Borthwick played his best game of the season, and although some of the methods of tackling were rather unorthodox they were, nevertheless successful. Everton: - Berry, goal, Stevenson and Meunier, backs, Rafferty, Borthwick, and Clifford, half-backs, Buck, Lacey, Jones, Keary, and Mountford forwards.
EVERTON 3 NORTHERN NOMADS 0
March 6, 1909. The Liverpool Football Echo
SCOTT TAKES PENALTY, WHICH IS SAVED.
There was desolation at Goodison Park this afternoon, for King Winter regional supreme, and as the hour for starting approached the conditions became worse. In the shadow of the vast stands two or three hundred enthusiasts could be picked out, who could not sleep without their Saturday dose of football. It was decided to play half an hour each way, and when the teams appeared Crews took up the outside left position in place of Barlow, who was reported to have a damaged knee. The clubs were represented as follows: - Everton: - Scott, goal, R. Balmer and Clifford, backs, Harris, Taylor, and Makepeace, half-backs, Sharp Coleman, Freeman, Young, and Crews, forwards. Northern Nomads: - J.W.Swann, goal, Jess Jones, and C. Armstrong, backs, R. Haydon, F.W. Chapman, and J. Healey, half-backs J.G.Yuill, J. Rastall, E.Mansfield, T.C.Porters, and G.O.Salt, forwards. Referee T.E.Hargreaves. From the commencement of the game it was apparent that the proceedings were going to be little more than farcical, at the state of the ground did not allow of a safe footing for the players, who would have been better equipped for the game had they been wearing showshoes. However, they did as best they could under great difficulties, and occasionally caused great amusement to the few spectators by the involuntary antics. After sundry foundering the Blues were a penalty kick , off Jess Jones, and Scott advanced from the other end to try his prentice hand at scoring a goal from the line. Great laughter greeted his effort, which was not so bad after all, as Swann appeared to tip it over the crossbar, this had an unlucky ending from a Nomad point of view. Salt got down very nicely, and centred, Rastall capturing the leather and beating Scott, but offside beat the shooter. Freeman had what might be called a day off, for he got the ball well up the field from Young and modern long run. This was by no means thrilling, for he met with no serious opposition from either half-backs, and backs, and consequently he had nothing else to do but run right through and score very comfortable. The Blues at first did not allow their visitors much latitude, and if the Stripes wanted to have a turn with the leather they had to struggle for it. Although Everton were inclined to play it off the visitors a bit. Nomads showed no inclination to be played with; in fact they should have scored first from a very smart breakaway, but Rastall was too keen in putting in and got offside. It was certainly hard lines for Scott was beaten right enough. The other ex-Gunner soon gave the Nomads cause to think of what might not have been had it not been on account of slackness on the part of their defence, for this part alone, which enabled Coleman to go through and give Everton a further lead after the ball had hit the post. Next Swann effected a nice save from a hot shot by Freeman. Meanwhile the Nomads were by no means idle, and if their efforts did not end, successfully it was not owing to lack of endeavour. Here ended the first half. Everton 2, nomads nil, Coleman scored a third goal in the second portion, and Everton winning by three goals to nil.
AMATEURS AT GOODISON
Athletic News - Monday 08 March 1909
Owing to the arrangements for a meeting between Everton and Liverpool having proved abortive, the Goodison club managed to secure the co-operation of Mr. T. Jackson, the Northern Nomads’ secretary, who placed a strong team of amateurs in the field against the full strength of Everton. The ground was covered with snow, with an under strata of frozen substance, and the conditions were all against accurate football. Some idea of the serious character of the proceedings may be gathered from the fact that when Everton were awarded a penalty kick the attempt to convert was entrusted to Scott, their goalkeeper, who gave the opposing custodian no chance of clearing, for he shot yards over the crossbar into the grand stand. Shortly afterwards Freeman ran through the Nomads’ defence and scored cleverly, while before half-time Coleman placed a second goal to his side’s account. After the change of ends Coleman added a third, and subsequently the Nomads had many chances of reducing the lead, the nearest approach to score being a fine effort from Chapman. Everton won by three clear goals, and on the play they fully deserved their success. Comment on the game would be useless under the circumstances, for the ground was totally unfit for a correct display, and neither side was inclined to take any risks.
BLACKPOOL RESERVES 0 EVERTON RESERVES 2
March 8, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 28)
Owing to the wretched weather there were only four matches played to a finish. A start was not possible in the Liverpool v Bolton Wanderers match, but Everton managed to complete their fixture with Blackpool at the seaside town. It was not anticipated that Everton would have much difficulty in securing both points, and this proved to be the case, despite the fact that the weather conditions, and the state of the ground handicapped the visitors. Blackpool, however, put up a galliant fight and were only beaten by two goals to nil, Lacey in the first half, and Woods after the chance of ends, being the scorers. The Blues were, however, too good for the seasider's in every department, and Blackpool look like bidding good-bye to the First Division at the close of the season. Everton: - Berry, goal, Stevenson, and Meunier, backs, Rafferty, Borthwick, and Adamson half-backs, Buck, Lacey, Jones, Mountford, and Woods, forwards.
Athletic News - Monday 15 March 1909
Sunderland 2 Everton 0
By Tom Tiddler.
Being relieved of further anxiety regarding the Cup, Sunderland gave something like their best form in the return engagement at Roker on Saturday with Everton, and fully merited the points. It was not until late on that the magnificent defence Everton put up was broken down, but in the last eight minutes Brown netted twice in his best style and enabled the locals to gain a couple of points on last season’s result. Fully 10,000 spectators were present, and they could not have been otherwise than highly pleased at this display given by both teams. Everton were at full strength, but Sunderland lacked the services of Hogg their captain, who had to stand down owing to an injured ankle. Low filled the vacancy, and thus in three consecutive games occupied three different positions in the team.
Sharp Has Hard Luck
Thomson won the toss and his side had the advantage of a slight breeze. Both teams settled down early to a capital exposition, and the play was evenly distributed, although Scott was much more often tested than Roose. Still it was the home goal that had the narrowest scape, Sharp striking the crosspiece with a beauty. “Honours even” at the interval fairly represented the proceedings. Sunderland shaped in promising style on resuming and Scott’s qualities were thoroughly tested, but he came out of the ordeal with flying colours. Five fruitless corners were taken and then Everton broke away again, Coleman put in a fine cross shot and, as Roose was clearing Freeman charged him from behind, causing the custodian to drop the ball as it fell. Freeman kicked into the net, but luckily for Sunderland the referee had seen the incident, and he blew his whistle just before the centre shot. Sunderland’s response was heavy pressure at the top end, and then followed another exciting incident. The ball came out to Freeman near the centre line and he at once raced off with it. He was challenged all the way, but held on until within a few yards of Roose, when he shot. Roose, however, gathered the ball quickly and cleared.
At last Sunderland’s persistency was rewarded, for eight minutes from the close a fine bit of play by Thomson gave Brown a chance of scoring from outside the penalty line. Taking careful aim, Brown drove swifty along the ground, just inside the post – a really fine goal, and deservedly cheered. Seven minutes later came the second point. Tait placed the ball into the centre, near the penalty line, close to where Brown and Holley happened to be. There was a slight hesitation on the part of both as to which should shoot, and then Brown settled the matter by scoring a similar goal to that of the first. The ball had just been restarted when the trial whistle sounded. The game was one of the cleanest and best seen at Roker this season. Only some two or three free kicks for fouls had to be awarded. Certainly there was plenty of honest charging, and doubtless some of the players received a few hard knocks. Yet on the whole, there was nothing to cavil at and both sides are to be commended for their display.
A Great Half-Back Line.
In the second half was pace was faster, and this was where Sunderland shone and eventually proved the conquerors. Brown was particularly noticeable for fine work, and was much too fast for Taylor; Mordue shared the honours of the attack with the centre. Low also gave a further proof of his versatility. Special praise must be accorded the half-backs, who were simply great. Roose was unbeaten, though frequently tested, and of a good pair of backs Milton was the most effective. Sharp and Coleman were the most prominent on the losing side, the centring of the former being a noteworthy feature. Freeman is an opportunist of the Shepherd type – a most dangerous man to encounter – and only a sterling defence kept him out. Young helped Barlow along well, but the amateur was rather weak. Harris bore off the honours in the middle line, though it should not be forgotten that Holley’s wandered about too much. Balmer played a cool and clever game, and the keeping by Scott was nothing short of brilliant, for practically all shots were alike to him. Sunderland; L.R. Roose; Forster, Milton; Tait, Thomson (Captain), Jarvie; Mordue, Low, Brown, Holley and Bridgett. Everton; Scott; Balmer, Macconnachie; Harris, Taylor, Makapeace; Sharp (Captain), Coleman, Freeman, Young, and G.H. Barlow. Referee; Mr. J.T. Howcroft, Bolton.
SUNDERLAND 2 EVERTON 0
March 15 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
CLEAN GAME AT SUNDERLAND.
With Sunderland downiest after their grimious disappointment, and having nothing particularly at stake in the League, it was generally felt that Everton would prevail in the return League fixture at Roker Park last Saturday. For once in a way anticipations failed to materialise. Sunderland played with an earnestness, which deserved success, although the couple of goals which, fell to them did not accrue until the closing stages of the match. No one would begrudge the Wearsiders the spoils of victory which, on the whole were certainly theirs. Not only was the play interesting but it was commendably free from anything in the nature of bad fouls. Indeed, as Mr. J.T.Howcroft State to a “Courier” representative after the game, he never wished to referee in two cleaner games than those in which he has officiated this season between Everton and Sunderland at Goodison Park and Roker Park. This is as it should be. Unquestionably the players can do a lot to help the wielders of the whistle.
It is certainly worthy of note, -that whole-hearted player, John Taylor, reminded one of it-but Saturday's defeat was the first which the side that represented Everton on Saturday has sustained this season. With the amateur back again the team was identical with that which at Middlesbrough on the 18 th September participated in that remarkable unbeaten “away” record. However, Sunderland proved their masters. Nothing was scored in the first half of the game and this was not due to lack of opportunity. In the first minute Sunderland should have been a goal to the good, for owing to MaConnachie slipping, Mordue was presented with an open goal. Instead of tapping the ball past Scott he shot at random high over the bar. Many good attempts were forthcoming from the forwards on both sides, but some was more praiseworthy than a first effort on the part of Sharp, who crashed the ball against the upright, with at he redoubtable Roose absolutely beaten. Everton held their own in the opening half, but subsequently it must be admitted that they had to play second fiddle to their opponents. For a period of fully ten minutes Scott was peppered with shots from all quarters, and right worthily did he guard the breach. Freeman once had the ball in the net, only to find the point disallowed for interference with the goalkeeper, and when everyone though that a goalless draw would be the issue Brown, receiving from Thomson placed the ball just inside the upright with Scott unsighted. Then just on time Brown added another, and Everton discomfiture was complete.
That there were weak spots in the Everton side cannot be gainsaid. Young especially in the second half was feeble in the extreme. It was one of the popular “off” days. Then MaConnachie for a player of his resource and ability was undoubtedly much off colour. The consequence was that Makepeace had an unenviable task in dealing with Sunderland's smart right wing. MaConnachie started badly, and he never seemed to get over that initial mistake, which ought to have lead to a goal. With Young below form, it was natural that the visiting right wing stood on prominently. Freeman was ever ready to take advantage of an opening, and both Sharp and Coleman apart from clever passing did not fail to trouble Roose. Both Harris and Balmer performed creditably, and Scott although beaten twice, kept a wonderfully good goal. Without being great, the Sunderland side well balanced but no one contributed more to their success, than did Thomson, the Scottish International centre-half. Teams: - Sunderland: - Roose goal, Forester, and Milton, backs, Tait, Thomson (Captain), and Jarvie, half-backs, Mordue, Low, Brown, Holley, and Bridgetts, forwards. Everton: - Scott, goal, R. Balmer, and McConnachie, backs Harris Taylor, and Makepeace, half-backs, Sharp (Captain), Coleman Freeman Young, and Barlow, forwards. Referee J.T.Howcroft.
EVERTON RESERVES 5 ACCRINGTON STANLEY 1
March 15, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 29)
By defeating Accrington Stanley at Goodison Park on Saturday, by 5 goals to 1. Everton further strengthened their position in the Lancashire Combination and recorded their sixth successive victory. It was not until the second half of the game that the home side showed their superiority, as before that period Accrington played a fine game, and were rather unlucky to be a goal behind at half-time. Hewitt the visitors goalkeeper, was in fine form, and along with the backs and halves proved equal an any attack made by the Everton forwards. However, after the interval Everton had matters much their own way. Berry having hardly anything to do, thanks to the fine defensive play of Stevenson and Meunier. Jones the Everton pivot, helped himself to four of the five goals registered (one from a penalty) and now credited himself with 31 goals in the Combination fixtures this season. Carter the Accrington left back put through his own goal, but made amends later by notching the visitors only point from a penalty kick. Everton: - Everton: - Berry, goal, Stevenson, and Meunier, backs, Rafferty, Borthwick, and Adamson half-backs, Buck, Lacey, Jones, Mountford, and Dawson, forwards. Accrington Stanley: - Hewitt, goal, Hampden, and Carter, backs, Rigby, Bradshaw, and Briggs, half-backs, Whittaker, Dempsey, Williams, Baldwin, and Bradley, forwards.
CAPS FOR EVERTONIANS
March 15, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Freeman scored for England against Wales at the Forest ground, England winning by two goals to nil. Scott, Lacey and Harris, played for Ireland against Scotland, losing by four goals to nil at Ibrox in front of 20,000 spectators.
EVERTON 3 CHELSEA 2
March 20, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
FINE GAME AT EVERTON.
FREEMAN'S REMARKABLE RECORD.
33st LEAGUE GOAL AND FOURTH “HAT-TRICK.”
Interest to a large extent has departed from the First League tournament, but so long as such football is served up, as was the case on Saturday between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park there will always be something to attract spectators. Unquestionably it was one of the brightest and most enjoyable games seen at the Everton headquarters this season. It was clean, too throughout and the only regrettable feature was in injury to Makepeace, which caused him to leave the field about 20 minutes before the finish. Quite by accident Makepeace in falling injured his thumb, and left the field in evident pain. In view of his absence Everton did remarkably well to finish with a victory by three goals to two over opponents who undoubtedly gave a clever exposition of the Association code.
The match will long be remembered on account of it having been the medium of Freeman creating a record in the history of First League football. Hitherto Raybould in palmy days with Liverpool, made his name famous by scoring 31 goals during a season . On Saturday Freeman went one better. Not only did he accomplish the “hat-trick” for the fourth time since September, but he brought his aggregate to 33. His first success came early in the game. MaConnachie, who gave one of his finest exhibitions, placed the ball well forward. White helped it on, and Freeman supplied the finishing touch from long range. Chelsea by beautiful combined work fought every inch of the ground, but their equalising goal was the outcome of a somewhat doubtful Penalty kick, doubtful as to whether the offence was committed within the penalty area –given against Balmer for a foul on Windridge. Hilsdon it was who took the penalty, and gave no chance to Berry, who was deputising for Scott. In a few moments Freeman after grand work by Sharp and Coleman gave his side the lead, only a matters to be again equalised by Windridges, whose shot might have been saved by a custodian of the class of Scott. In the second half there was little indeed to choose between the sides, and it was a compliment to the dexterily of Chelsea's left wing. Fairgrey and Windridge that Makepeace changed places with Rafferty. As will be gathered, the only goal fell to Freeman, who from Coleman's pass hooked the ball into the net in grand style.
While Freeman was responsible for the whole of the scoring, he was admirably supported, the only weak spot in the line being Barlow, who quite failed to come up to the standard of his colleagues. Sharp and Coleman constituted a sparkling wing, and White was throughout clever and resourceful. Of the half-backs Taylor stood out prominent, for it was mainly due to his untiring efforts that Hilsdon was rendered comparatively ineffective. Rafferty was quite unable to deal with such a capable wing as Fairgrey and Windridge, and it was a good move on the part of Sharp to bring Makepeace to the other side of the field. Both MaConnachie and Balmer were in fine fettle, the former playing a game, which was infinitely superior to that which, the displayed the previous week against Sunderland. Berry improved upon his initial appearance with the League team a few weeks ago at Bury, and showed every sign of being a capable substitute for the Irish international custodian. Teams: - Everton: - Berry, goal R. Balmer, and McConnachie, backs, Rafferty, Taylor and Makepeace, half-backs, Sharp (Captain), Coleman, Freeman White, and Barlow, forwards. Chelsea: - Whitley, goal, Walton, and Cameron, backs, Henderson, Warren, and Birnie, half-backs, Brown, Bridgeman Hilsdon, Windridge, and Fairgrey, forwards. Referee F. Heath.
THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SOCCER
Athletic News - Monday 22 March 1909
Nor must we overlook the fact that amongst the aristocrats Everton are retaining their exalted position. It may be that Everton have lost the championship of the League because they have adhered to the rules of the Football Association. That is a matter we leave readers to decide for themselves, but the executive of the club are anxious to be runners-up the next distinction to being the winners. The Lancashire club strove manfully to overcome Chelsea. Everton scored thrice at Stamford Bridge, but they only obtained one point. On Saturday they shot another three and annexed all the good conduct marks. For this they were very largely indebted to Bert Freeman, who scored all the goals, and not only strengthened his position as the chief scorer this season, but he roused much enthusiasm among the spectators by passing Raybould’s record for Liverpool, some years ago. This was 31, and it is believed to stand alone as a personal triumph in modern football of the First Division. Whether that be so or not we cannot say beyond all doubt, because football facts in the matter of goal-scoring are not official. They are more or less mythical. But it is an assured fact that Freeman has now obtained 33 goals for Everton, and we cannot recall such a performance in his class.
For the sake of those students of statistics, with their insatiable appetite, we append the details of Freeman’s figures;-
Sept 2 ..v. Woolwich 2 goals
Sept 5…v. Bristol City 2 goals
Sept 19..v. Middleborough 1 goal
Sept 26.. v. Manchester City 1 goal*
Oct 10….v. Bury 2 goals*
Oct 17….v. Sheffield United 3 goals
Oct 24….v. Aston Villa 1 goal*
Oct 31….v. Nottingham Forest 1 goal
Nov 7…..v. Sunderland 3 goals*
Nov 14…v. Chelsea 2 goals
Nov 21…v. Blackburn Rovers 1 goal*
Nov 28…v. Bradford City 1 goal
Dec 5….v. Manchester United 2 goals*
Dec 12…v. Sheffield Wednesday 1 goal*
Jan 2…v. Bristol City 2 goals*
Feb 13..v. Bury 1 goal
Feb 20…v. Sheffield United 3 goals*
Feb 27…v. Aston Villa 1 goal
Mar 20…v Chelsea 3 goals*
Grand Total 33- * At Goodison Park
A little examination will show that Freeman has scored 19 goals at Goodison Park and 14 on other enclosures. Four times during the campaign has he obtained three goals in a match-and two of these triumphs have been in the last two matches at Everton-a rich atonement for the comparative ineffectiveness he suffered between December 19 and February 13. Seldom, if ever, has there been a more pronounced ovation accorded to a player than to Freeman on Saturday when he shot his thirty-second goal and surpassed Raybould’s record. Surely such an array of achievements must convince the Selection Committee that their duty is plainly indicated. England has not a superior centre to Freeman at the present time.
EVERTON’S FINE WIN
Athletic News - Monday 22 March 1909
Darwen were badly beaten by Everton’s smart team at home, in a peculiar game. The first half was all in favour of the home side, who played clever and determined football, but in the second half Everton was just a shade the better side. The victory was due to the poor work of Darwen’s front line in front of goal, and to Everton’s smart acceptance of the comparatively few chances that came their way. The half-backs on both sides were very resolute and clever in placing, and of the two forward divisions the visitors’ was the most dangerous.
FREEMAN THE MARKSMAN.
Athletic News - Monday 22 March 1909
Everton 3, Chelsea 2
If ever a football match was won by one player that distinction belongs to Freeman, the fusilier, the centre forward of Everton. He was responsible for the enduring of Chelsea. The story of this struggle concerns this sturdy youth, who has been in more than the technical sense the central figure in so many of the triumphs of those who wear the ultramarine blue on Mersey side.
Honours Easy To The Interval.
I’ll tell in simple language how Everton, excelled. Their eleven was not of the best, but the Lancastrians soon put the Metropolitans on the defensive through the evolutions of such finished exponents as Coleman and Sharp, but Freeman was once wide of the goal and White was once above it. Still there was evidence of honourable intentions in these efforts and Bridgeman responded with a full-booted drive which the boy Berry did well to stop. Such a ball might have knocked a policeman off his feet, and they are usually fashioned so as to give a grip of the universe. But Bert Freeman was soon bustling about. There used to be a patriotic song, about the time that the Eastern question was so acute in the seventies, in which we were told that John Bull was always at home when wanted and ready to answer a call. Now that just the peculiarity of Freeman. “He’s always there,” said a perfervid patron. And he was. Coleman seeing him “there,” about 18 yards from goal, made a neat little pass to the centre. Cameron rushed in to intercept the transfer, but Freeman was too quick in his movements, and with a shot like an arrow from a yeoman’s yew bow the ball was sent to rest at the back of the net. Ten minutes had gone when this thrilling drive gave Everton’s a lead. Hilsdon is, I suppose, Freeman’s rival, and the West Ham youth, who is developing in athletic physique, was prominent for several dashing dribbles. Taking a lovely centre by Brawn, Hilsdon was merely inches outside the post, and trying again he forced a lightning drive on to the shins of Berry. Then Robert Balmer was adjusted guilty of tripping Windridge just in the angle of the penalty area, and Hilsdon equalized the record from the dreaded mark. This was not to the liking of Everton and Sharp, following a thrown-in, neatly left Birnie behind by taking an inward course. The Everton captain passed with perfect precision to Coleman, who just tapped the ball to Freeman, who with extraordinary rapidity of movement whipped round and whizzled a shot into the netting, 35 minutes from the start, and six minutes , after the penalty goal. I do not remember that I ever heard such prolonged cheering for any point. Not only was the execution pretty and faultless from the first touch to the last, but this was Freeman’s thirty-second goal –a total which is believed to be an individual record for any player in the First Division. The sustained applause was a tribute and a testimonial to Freeman’s powers and personal popularity. But Windridge, with a swerving gait, deceived everybody, and instead of trusting to any comrade made a surprise shot which hit the post on the inside towards the top and the ball bounded at a tangent into the goal on the other side –and that within a minute of Everton’s last point. Thus at the interval the score was still level.
The Winning Goal
The first half had furnished football of the most interesting character, and there was a glorious tussle for supremacy in the second period –Fairgray and Sharp leading most of the raids and making good use of the ball. Still, it was Freeman who decided the issue, for he took a centre from the right and with a hook volley forced the ball in a furious oblique flight beyond Whitley’s reach into the goal. This was like conjuring, and an old campaigner said the trick was like Halse’s shot which removed Everton from the English Cup ties. Chelsea were not content to accept defeat as a foregone conclusion. They persevered mightily and Windridge shivered the cross bar, while Hilsdon, with an overhead kick, tried to astonish Berry. Makepeace was injured and had to retire fifteen minutes from the finish. White was put to half back but Chelsea never despaired, and I must say that Windridge ought to have equalized once again. On the other hand can anybody deny that Barlow frittered away two goals by not turning into the net two accurate long passes from Sharp? Any first class outside left should have done the deed. In this manner were Chelsea overthrown.
The Scorer of the Season
A more interesting League match I have not seen this season, the issue hanging on a threat to the very last. The general standard of play was excellent, and there was a spice of individualism which endowed the contest with cleverness. When we remember that Scott, Val Harris, and Young were absentees and that Chelsea were in full panoply, the win appears most meritorious. But Freeman, as we have seen was the man who did. An extra ordinary player, he obtained his three goals with shots which Whitley could never touch. It is all very well to criticize Freeman and say that he cannot do this and that. It is more just to take him for what he can do and form an estimate of his ability in that way. His fatal facility within shooting range is unrivalled because he requires so little room in which to move, and he has the quickness of a cat. Moreover his shooting is so well directed and so swift that the goalkeeper is reduced to helplessness. His sudden bursts of speed give him positions, and these obtained he never loses either his self-possession or sight of the goal. Freeman keeps the backs occupied and the centre half-back as well. Now a pivot who requires the attention of three opponents is not only a force in himself, but he thereby opens the game for others. Freeman can deliver a fair shoulder charge as well as any man now playing. But he can take one and is not very easily “removed” as the “Invincible” would have said. An honest player, with a penchant for net-ball, he is worthy of the highest honours. His critics are a dwindling band and they should remember that a goal covers a multitude of sins. Sharp was excellent, and took his grueling like a man. Indirectly he was responsible for two goals, and his play was stamped with the hall-mark of class. He appeared quite sound on his legs, Coleman and White were alike excellent, but Barlow, if striving and successful in midfield, finished feebly, and was weak near goal. Rafferty was a rover, and in the second half changed places with Makepeace. At times he showed skill in defence, but the company was too good for him, Taylor played until the last gasp, and slashed the ball to Barlow over and over again. Makepeace was excellent too. The backs were fairly reliable. Some folks blamed Berry for the second goal. I do not, and I am not sure that Scott would have fared any better. He fields the ball like a recruit from the Rugby game. There is no reason why he should not become a useful custodian. This was only his second match in the League, and it should be remembered that Rome was not built in three hours.
BITS OF NEW CHELSEA
Chelsea had their good points, but there are not well balanced considering that the costliness and the ambition of the club. It was just as well that such a safe man as Whitley was in goal; for I did not think that Cameron and Walton were beyond criticism in their judgement when to dash in and tackle, while their returns were often haphazard. Walton is regaining confidence and some of his defensive work in the goalmouth was timely. Warren was the only half-back of any outstanding merit, for the wing men were easily passed. Brawn was more often at fault than successful and he delayed centres until he was covered by Macconnachie. Bridgeman occasionally made a delightful pass. Both Hilsdon and Windridge were astute and able in leading attacks. Indeed, both internationals played well, but their laxity near goal is a serious matter, seeing that such responsibility rests of them. They ought to be among the best marksmen in the country. Fairgray is a little wonder. Everton; Berry; Balmer (R.), Macconnachie; Rafferty, Taylor, Makepeace; Sharp (captain), Coleman, Freeman, White and G.H. Barlow. Chelsea;- Whitley; Walton, Cameron; Kennedy, Warren, Birnie; Brawn, Bridgeman, Hilsdon, Windridge, and Fairgray. Referee; Mr. F. health, Birmingham.
DARWEN 0 EVERTON RESERVES 4
March 22 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 30)
Everton credited themselves with their seventh successive victory on Saturday, when they defeated Darwen by four goals to nil. So for this year Everton have taken part in 12 games and have dropped only four points, while the goals average for these matches stands at 40 goals against 10. This is the kind of form that secures championship honours, and Everton may be relied upon by “get there” now. At Darwen on Saturday the team played with refreshing energy, and though there was not a great deal between the sides in the first half, the blues showed their superiority afterwards. Young scored the only goal of the first half, while Jones, Mountford and Crews did the needful after the change of ends. Everton: - Mercer, goal, Strettell, and Meunier backs, Adamson, Borthwick, and Clifford, half-backs Buck, Jones, Young, Mountford, and Crews, forwards.
CAPS FOR IRISH EVERTONIANS
March 22 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Ireland have cut a sorry figure in this season's international. England at Bradford beat them, by Scotland at Glasgow, and on Saturday at Belfast Wales won by three goals to two. Everton contributed their usual share to Ireland Scott, Harris and Lacey playing.
EVERTON 3 NOTTINGHAM FOREST 3
March 25 1909. The Liverpool Courier
In the ordinary course of events, Nottingham Forest should have played the return League fixture with Everton at Goodison road on the 6 th March. On that day the Foresters were engaged in an English Cup tie, and an arrangement was come to whereby the Nottingham team visited Liverpool yesterday. It was unfortunate for them from the point of view of making up the “average gate” and also for intending spectators that the weather should have been so entirely unpropitious. Throughout the game, rain poured down with pitiless severity, the consequence being that the pitch for the most part became something like a quagmire, and the scientific football, as it is known was rendered quite out of the question. The wonder was that 3,000 spectators braved the rainstorm. The match ended in a draw of three goals each. On the run of the proceedings throughout the full ninety minutes this was perhaps a fair result. Yet the game had interesting variations, the main points being that considering the wretched conditions it was wonderfully well contested. At the outset Everton looked like overwhelming the opponents, both Sharp and Harris troubling Linacre not a little. Then the Foresters with long passing on the part of halves and forwards and big kicking by defenders forced the pace in great style. From a centre by Spouncer there was a jumble in cut of Scott, and the ball was in the net apparently from Morrison, after cannoning off an Everton defender. A second goal soon fell to the vigorous Foresters, who seemed to revel in the mud, and other chances of defeating Scott were allowed to pass, chiefly owing to the state of the ground, and in a leaser degree to the agility of the custodian. Coleman revived Everton hopes, when by a great individual effort, he got between the backs, drew Linacre out of his goal, and had the ball in the net, during which time goalkeeper and scorer had fallen together in the mud. Nottingham Forest led by two goals to one at the interval. The second half started in a manner, which suggested that Everton really meant business. Right away Linacre effected a brilliant clearance from white, and when the custodian tipped a shot of Freeman's against the crossbar it was a very narrow escape for the Forest. However, Forest were enabled to increase their lead by means of a penalty kick taken by West. It was West who, according to the referee, was unfairly brought down within the penalty area by McConnachie. The referee, of course, was on the spot, but there were not a few spectators who had another opinion as to the justice of the decision. However, it was perhaps this point which brought out Everton's best. Freeman after Linacre had saved, hooked the ball over the goalkeeper ‘s head into the net in beautiful fashion, and later Coleman from Taylor's pass equalised the score with a magnificent shot, which Linacre made a galliant attempt to save. Nothing more was scored and the final was Everton 3 goals Nottingham Forest 3 goals. Considering the conditions, the play on both sides was distinctly a tribute to the staying powers of both teams. Although Freeman unhanced his record by a brilliant goal, Coleman was probably the pick of the Everton front line, although White and Mountford formed a really capable wing. Taylor again proved what a marvel he is, and Adamson deputised for Makepeace with excellent judgement. Both MaConnachie and Balmer made mistakes at times –who could expect otherwise? But as a whole the defence was good. The Nottingham eleven were to be commended for the readiness with which they adopted themselves to circumstances, and even the drenched spectators thanked both them, and their opponents for an attractive exhibition under untoward circumstances. The teams were: - Everton: - Scott, goal, R. Balmer, and MaConnachie, backs, Harris, Taylor, and Adamson half-backs, Sharp (Captain), Coleman, Freeman, White, and Mountford forwards. Nottingham Forest: - Linacre, goal, Dudley, and Gibson, backs, Hughes Wolfe, and Armstrong, half-backs, Hooper, Morrison, West, Morris, and Spouncer, forwards. Referee Mr. H. S. Bamlett.
Northampton Mercury-Friday 26 March 1909
The devotional part of the meeting was led by Mr. Hodge, of the London Missionary Society, and an old Liverpool and Everton player.
EVERTON RESERVES 1 MANCHESTER UNITED RESERVES 0
March 26, 1908. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 31)
This rearranged fixture was contested at Goodison –park last evening, before about 3,000 spectators. Everton scored their eight successive victory by beating the United Reserves by one goal to nil. From the commencement the home team had the major portion of the attack, but found the defence strong. Wilcox diverting a hot shot from Young over the bar, and just afterwards Woods netted from an offside position. Berry saved grandly from Whiteside and Payne respectively, and just on the interval Buck brought Wilcox to his knees with a stinging shot. On changing ends Manchester opened strongly, but could not get through Everton's defence, and upon the homesters getting well away. Young struck the crossbar. After midfield play, Buck put past Wilson. The game up to the finish was all in Everton's favour but there was no further score. The game was of a rather uninteresting character, the forwards display of both sides being poor. Jones for once being off colour. It being a defenders day, it would be inopportune to single any of the players for special mention. Wilcox no doubt ably dealt with many good shots, whilst Berry was well covered by Stevenson and Meunier. Teams: - Everton: - Berry, goal, Stevenson and Meunier, backs, Rafferty, Borthwick, and Clifford half-backs Buck, Lacey, Jones Young and Woods, forwards. Manchester United: - Wilcox, goal, Donnelly, and Hulme, backs, Whiteside Currie and Thomson, half-backs Payne, Bannister, McGullaway, Christie, and Ford, forwards.
F.A. HEAR EVIDENCE IN THE CASE
March 27, 1909. Nottingham Evening Post
In obedience to a summons, R.F. Turner and several Leicester Fosse officials attended a special meeting of the F.A. at Sheffield today prior to the semi-final tie between United of Newcastle and Manchester, in regard to a complaint laid against Turner by Everton. It will be remembered that Everton entered into negotiations with the Fosse for the transfer of Turner, and all prelinaries had been satisfactorily completed when, it is alleged Turner demanded more than the £10 allowed for signing a professional form. Everton thereupon laid the facts before the F.A. Evidence was taken, and Turner, accompanied by the officials of his club, was able to return to Leicester in time to take his place in the Fosse team against Aston Villa. No official statement was forthcoming at the end of the meeting, and the only information vouch-safed to the Leicester club was that the decision of the F.A. would be forwarded to them in due course.
JONES RARE RECORD
Athletic News - Monday 29 March 1909
By only sharing the points with Blackburn Rovers Reserves, 1-1, at Goodison Park the Everton second team somewhat spoiled their chances of again securing the championship of the Lancashire Cobination. Young, who played centre forward for the home side, scored the first, but an equalizer came from Wombwell, who defeated Berry with a splendid drive. Jones has scored 32 goals and Mountford 12 this season, but they were not in the team on Saturday.
A BLANK DAY AT BLACKBURN
Athletic News - Monday 29 March 1909
If results go for anything, Blackburn Rovers and Everton must be written down as teams pretty well equal in merit, for booth in their matches this season the result has been a draw. There was an entire has been a draw. There was an entire absence of exciting football as Ewood Park on Saturday, and there was but little that could fairly be considered interesting. There appeared to be some prospect of a bright, sparkling game from the way in which the Rovers opened the play, but they flattered only to deceive, for their finishing work was poor in the extreme. Aikenhead had the disposition to finesse when prompt decision was imperative, Ellis Crompton was unfortunate in his effort to work a way through, and Latheron was not wearing his shooting boots. And it was because of these short-comings on the part of the three inside men that the several smart centres by Garbutt were not turned to account. The only dangerous shot up to the interval was one from White, by which he endeavoured to crown an attack from the Everton right. He got the ball at comparatively close quarters, and he whipped it in at a terrific pace. Ashcroft, fortunately for his side, happened to be straight in the line of fire, or he would easily have been beaten. The second half was a repetition of the first, with the important exception that the attacks were not so frequent. Jones did much better after the interval, and succeeded in beating the Rovers back several times, but only to see his centres go a begging. Neither set of forwards really looked like scoring at any point of the game, which proved to be one of the tamest seen at Ewood Park for a long time.
Everton’s Strong Defence
Scott had little to do in the Everton goal, and was quite equal to the demands made upon him. The defensive play of Balmer and Macconnachie was one of the redeeming features of the match. They tackled with splendid judgment, and their kicking was clear and powerful. Harris was good at half-back, and so was Taylor, but Adamson found Garbutt hard to hold. Not one of the five forwards did himself justice. Freeman worked hard for openings, and twice almost got through, but he was a long way behind his best form. Coleman was the most effective of the five, with White next but Jones and Mountford were only moderate. Ashcroft made no mistake, and Cowell was quite the equal of the backs on the other side, both in his safe and confidence returns, and in his masterly tackling. Sutie’s kicking was strong, but, especially after the interval, his tackling was often timed with bad judgment. Bradshaw showed the soundest play of any half-back on the field, and Garbutt and Latheron were easily the pick of a moderate forward line. Blackburn Rovers; Ashcroft; Cowell, Suttie; Ferguson, Chapman, Bradshaw; Garbutt, Latheron, Crompton (E.), Aitkenhead, and Anthony. Everton; Scott; Balmer, Macconnachie; Harris, Taylor, Adamson; Jones, Coleman, Freeman, White, and Mountford. Referee; Mr. H. Politt, Manchester.
BLACKBURN ROVERS 0 EVERTON 0 (Game 656)
March 29, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
In their return League fixture at Ewood Park on Saturday neither Everton nor Blackburn Rovers were able to score. This was in marked contrast to their game earlier in the season at Goodison road. On that occasion, when Everton had credited themselves with four goals they looked like winning easily, but the Rovers stuck to their work in gallant style and actually shared the points. Then there was any amount of dash on the part of the forwards on Saturday the front line of both teams did not deserve a goal, so weak for the most part were they as regarded finishing efforts. Under these circumstances, with the defence prevailing over the attack, one can understand that the game was uninteresting suggestive, in fact, of end of the season football.
The character of the contest was such as to call for nothing in the nature of detailed description. There was pretty football at times, but there was an almost entire absence of the earnestness, which one expects to be associated with a game in which League points are at stake. The Rovers certainly enjoyed the bulk of the pressure during the first half, though, as already suggested their forwards only occasionally caused Scott any anxiety. The shooting was feeble indeed and Balmer and MaCoonachie without being brilliant, were equal to all the calls upon them. Perhaps their best effort came from White, who following a free kick against Chapman for his too close attention to Freeman, put in a grand oblique shoot which Ashcroft as grandly saved. In the second half there was little if any improvement, and few were disappointed when a tame game ended with honours easy.
Everton had Sharp and Barlow away injured, and it cannot be said that their deputies, Jones and Mountford distinguished themselves. They were earnest enough, but somehow or other they seemed unable to reproduce their form with the reserves. White was the must prominent of the line Freeman being too closely shadowed by Chapman to have much chance of adding to his record. The defence was sound, without being exceptionally clever, and not one of the players gave a finer exhibition than Jack Taylor, who is a veritable marvel. The Rovers like Everton, were best represented by their defence, the forwards failing time after time to turn openings to account. Cowell was the better back, and Chapman was to be commended from the Rovers point of view for the watchful eye he kept on Freeman's movements. Teams: - Blackburn Rovers: - Ashcroft goal, Cowell, and Swife, backs, Ferguson, Chapman, and Bradshaw, half-backs, Garbutt, Latheron, B Crompton, Aitkenhead, and Anthony, forwards. Everton: - Scott goal, R. Balmer, and MaConnachie, backs, Harris, Taylor (Captain), and Adamson, half-backs Jones Coleman, Freeman, White, and Moutford, forwards. Referee H. Politt.
EVERTON RESERVES 1 BLACKBURN ROVERS RESERVES 1
March 29, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
Lancashire Combination Division One (Game 32)
After scoring eight consective wins Everton only managed to draw with Blackburn Rovers Reserves at Goodison Park. No doubt the homesters felt the loss of Jones and Mountford for the deputies were not so trustful or clever. The first half proved pointless, and although the Blues were attacking almost continually they could not penetrate the Rovers rearguard. Murray the custodian being the great stumbling block, for he saved shots from all sorts of angles in a very smart fashion. Resuming after the interval Everton took the lead within a minute's play, for Young hooked the ball into the net from a corner. The equaliser came from the foot of Woodward, who completely deceived Berry with a long dropping shot, and this finished the scoring. The homesters were best represented by Borthwick. Meunier and Stevenson, while of the visitors Wombwell, Murray and Pearson most filled the eye. Everton: - Berry, goal, Stevenson, and Meunier, backs, Rafferty, Borthwick, and Clifford half-backs, Buck, Lacey, Young, Crews, and Woods, forwards.
R.F. TURNER AND EVERTON
March 29, 1909. The Liverpool Courier.
On Saturday, at Sheffield R.F. Turner and several Leicester Fosse officials attended a meeting of the Football Association commission in regard to the complaint of Everton Football Club against Turner, had negotiated with Leicester Fose for the transfer of Turner, and preliminaries had been completed when Turner, it was alleged demanded more than the legal £10, for signing. Everton laid their case before the Football Association evidence but Turner was able to return to Leicester in time to play against Aston Villa. No official announcement of the decision was given out at the end of the meeting.