LELLO IS LATEST EVERTON FORWARD DISCOVERY
March 1, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 2, Middlesbrough 1
It was some time before Everton’s half-backs got the hang of the lively Middlesbrough forwards at Goodison Park on Saturday. If anything was needed to bring Everton to the realisation that only stern methods would checkmate the sprightly Middlesbrough attack it was Spuhler’s goal after 7 minutes. It caused them to close ranks, be first into the tackle, and in this way to prevent Middlesbrough forwards from finding other loopholes. The North-Easterners at one period looked as though they would ride roughshod over a side which did not settle down quickly enough, yet I felt confident that in time the order would be reversed, and that it would be Everton who would gain the initiative. Everton bore the brunt of Middlesbrough’s drive with a calmness which was encouraging and whereas passes had gone awry they soon began to find their man. It was then the turn of the Boro defence to be bludgeoned and it was not impressive under strain Hardwick looked anything but an England player. Everton took over the initiative and were prominent until the last 15 minutes when the others threw everything they bad into securing an equalising goal.
Full of Incident
It was an attractive game because there was plenty of incident and some clever football combination. Everton were worth their win for not only did they take an early blow, they scored two goals per Lello and finally ran out winners because they had taken their chances, whereas Middlesbrough allowed them to slip by. Where Everton held away was at halfback. Farrell was a bundle of energy, excellent defence and a sixth forward on occasions, and Jones’s long ball out to the wings provided Everton with attacking opportunities. Lindley unsettled early on, became a stalwart making up a line which Mannion and company found difficult to penetrate. Behind were the ever reliable Saunders, the vastly improving Dugdale –an international in embryo –and the amazing Sagar.
Dodds could not manage a goal because of Whittaker’s superior pace, but the big Scot had a hand in Lello’s second goal. Lello took it as calmly as the oldest professional cracking it into the net without flurry. Lello’s first goal from a header was obtained after Goodfellow had pushed out efforts by Dodds and Jones from an Eglington corner. Lello has the ability of a coming inside forward, holding the ball before making the pass and having an eye for the open space. He and Farrell kept up a stream of fine passes to Eglington. Fielding also kept popping the ball to all points of the compass and Dodds, although he did not score, was a continual menace and made some grand flick passes.
March 1, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
I’m a bit too old in the touch to go into raptures and hall a unknown youngster ads a cudding international on the strength of one display, I’ve see too many promising players fade out, after so an encouraging start. But certainty Cyril Lello, Everton’s debutant inside left seems to have all that it takes to reach the top grade. He got two goals, against Middlesbrough to crown an excellent exhibition in which his ball control, deft touches, dribbling and intelligent positioning all went to stamp him as a real discovery. Time will show whether he can maintain the promise and “carry corn.” The latter is more important than many people think. I thought Everton just a trifle fortunate to get both points, and that a draw would have done more justice to Middlesbrough. Saunders and Dugdale were tip-top, Jones was in great form, and Farrell excellent but Lindley, trying hard to keep the ball down and use it to advantage, was a thrift unlucky at times. Dodds got little change out of Whittaker a very sound pivot, and Everton did not greatly shine on the wings. Mannion was in better from than a Anfield, Fenton was well held, despite his roaming tactics and Walker and Spuhler would have been a menace against a less capable defence. The latter must still be wondering where Sagar sprang from to save that grit goal which would have given Middlesbrough a point.
March 1, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Let me say a personal word of thanks to Cyril Lello, Everton’s £750 inside-left. After his grand show at Wolverhampton I tipped him as one of the finds of the season, and now you Goodison Park habitués have had your chance to confirm my opinion. Lello’s two victory goals over Middlesbrough and his general play were according to colleague Radar, the epitome of perfection. Here is Radar’s review of the game. “Lello bore out all the nice things that were said about him following the Wolverhampton success” writes Radar. “Lello left the field with the chance of the 46,364 crowd ringing in his ears. And well he deserved them. He fitted readily into the Everton plan, pleased with his shrewd distribution of the ball –always on the floor –and had the happy knack of being right in position. Lello headed the equaliser to Spuhler’s 8 minute Middlesbrough goal just after the half-hour and cracked in a fiery drive for the winner after 66 minutes with all the assurance of the seasoned veteran. “Lello’s promise and opportunism apart, however, this was mainly a victory for Everton team work, although Peter Farrell deserves special mention for one of the finest wing-half displays I have ever seen. Peter must surely rank as one of the three most accomplished left halves in the country today. His speed and energy make even Billy Wright look cumbersome, and his body swerve is a natural asset given to few players in modern football. Tom Jones although having his shake moments completely dominated Fenton, while Lindley came into the real game late on after an uninspired opening during which he found Mannion, not surprisingly a teasing problem. Sagar had an uncommonly quiet afternoon for Saunders and Dugdale were resolute defenders. The Everton attack was good and bad in patches. Dodds was given few openings by stopper’ Bell Whittaker, but he always commanded considerable attention if finding the ball running unkindly for him for the most part. Fielding was quieter than usual but at the same time was always working out choice openings for his colleagues. It was Grant’s persistence which led directly to Lello’s second goal. Eglington had an unsuccessful outing against Boro’s most effective defender right back Robinson.
March 5, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton fielding the conquerors at Wolverhampton Wanderers (4-2) and Middlesbrough (2-1), seek a hat-trick of wins when they tackle Charlton, and I see few occasions why they should not succeed. The last time Everton won at The Valley was back in their Second Division season, but as Liverpool find out today, all bad runs, like good things, come to an end in time. Lello has fitted into the Everton scheme of things as neatly as a kernel fits into a nutshell, and has added striking power to the line. Dodds has the happy knack of being able to draw attention from his smaller colleagues, so creating the vital open spaces. Everton may not be the bets team in the First Division but definitely they are one of the most serviceable sides, and having gained a point at Highbury, I do not see why they should not fare as well in south-east London. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Lindley, Tommy Jones, Farrell; Grant, Fielding, Dodds, Lello, Eglington.
BLUES IN TWON
March 5, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Everton away to Charlton can do Liverpool a good turn by taking both points from the Valley. Although Charlton –look reasonably safe, the margin between the eight clubs just above Grimsby is so slender –only three points between them –that a couple of desperate could out even Charlton in a perilous position. Recent victories over Wolves and Middlesbrough have renewed Everton’s confidence after the Fulham reverse and with Lello fitting into the attack as admirably and the weight of Dodds to the middle and Tommy Jones as pivot a Everton victory may not be out of the question. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Lindley, Tommy Jones, Farrell; Grant, Fielding, Dodds, Lello, Eglington.
LITTLE SNORING TO EVERTON
March 6, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
And P.O.W’s saw His Promise
By Leslie Edwards
Liverpool followers of football years ago used never to miss the inimitable weekly column of the writer who signed himself “Tedimus H” Yesterday “Tedimus H” junior sent me the following;-
“In 1944 when I was stationed with an R.A.F Regiment Squadron at Little Snoring, Norfolk, our station football team had a fixture with a detachment of the Eighth Army. Our opponents were in charge of an Italian prisoner of war camp, and as our squadron had provided the centre forward, all of us were marched down to watch the match. “Imagine our surprise on arriving at the camp to find that the game was being played on a cylinder pitch, right inside the prisoners recreation cage. We had as fellow spectators about 700 Italian prisoners of war, dressed in a wonderful variety of clothing and as the teams trotted on to pitch the gates were closed and manned by guards in full equipment. “The Army detachment team, which consisted of experienced players, had a good defence but not good enough to hold our tricky centre forward, who had three in the net within twenty minutes. The Italians who had not appeared to be greatly interested at the beginning were now cheering loudly and chanting “Viva, Viva Vive Lello. “The centre forward, of course was Cyril Lello, Everton’s new inside forward discovery.” Today at Charlton, Lello will make his third appearance in “big” football and a possibility is that he may repeat his prisoner of war match performance.
EVERTON’S CRAFT AT THE VALLEY
March 6, 1948. The Evening Express
Dodds’ Great Goal Opens Scoring
Everton, after Dodds had opened the scoring, held an interval lead over Charlton Athletic at the Valley today. They were the craftier side. Everton twice took the lead through Dodds, and Eglington, only to find Vaughan equalising on both occasions. Everton were the cleverer side in a fast, tense game, but Charlton were exceptionally dangerous, and but for another wonder display by Sagar would have had a nice lead. Dodds led this bright enterprising Everton with skill and enterprise. Everton won 3-2 and recorded their first-ever First Division win against Charlton Athletic at The Valley. The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee) attended the match, and the players of both teams were presented to him. Mayor news of the day was that Everton had signed on professional forms David Grifiths a 21-year-old wing half-back who has been with the club since a schoolboy.
All the Everton directors, with the exception of two, were present. This was the only ground on with Everton had never won a First Division match or gained a First Division point. Charlton had gained only one of their last 12 points. Charlton; Bartram, goal; Campbell and Lock, backs; Johnson (captain), Phipps, Revell, half-backs; Hurst, Fenton, Vaughan, Duffy, and Hobbis, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Dugdale, backs; Lindley, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Fielding, Dodds, Lello, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. F.S. Milner (Wolverhampton). Mr. W. R. (Dickie) Williams, the acting Everton chairman, and Mr. D. H. Clarke, Charlton, introduced their captains, Farrell and Johnson to the Premier. Conditions were ideal for the game, Dodds’s clever back-heel had Charlton going the wrong way and Fielding tried to burst through, being tackled before he could get in his shot. Dodds had a chance off Grant’s centre, but Campbell was first there and when Vaughan raided, Jones just contrived to deflect the shot for a corner. Vaughan proved a source of real worry with his darting, swerving run, but Dugdale came across to bar his path. The Toffees had two close-up free kicks, neither of which brought great to the mill. Jones trod on the ball to give Vaughan half a chance, but Vaughan was so surprised that he shot too quickly and well off the mark. Some glorious manoeuvring in midfield by Dodds had four men on toast before Sagar dashed out to catch Hurst’s corner. Jones’s faith in Sagar was amply justified when he back-headed when pressed for Ted was there all right. Dodd’s full-blooded shot from 25 yards struck Phillips on the head and laid him out as effectively as a Joe Louis punch. Everton’s left defensive flank got into a tangle, and away went, Hurst to cross direct to the unmarked Duffy, standing only four yards from goal. This looked all over a score, but Saunders bobbed up from nowhere to get his body in the way. Everton had a testing time, and Johnson tried to bring off a surprise with a 30-yard shot which Sagar only just managed to pull down from under the bar.
That Everton escaped when Fenton glided the ball forward to Hurst was due entirely to the anticipation of Sagar, who sprang across the goal to block the shot. When Vaughan returned it, Sagar dived to save again. As if inspired by the prodigious deeds of Sagar, Everton went away in 27 minutes to take the lead through Dodds, who picked up the long ball, rounded Phipps and raced on to flick the ball into the roof of the net with his right foot as Bartram expected a left-foot shot. In 37 minutes Charlton equalised when Hurst left Dugdale standing and raced close-in, before slipping the ball back to Vaughan, to flash it high into the net. The Everton goal underwent a siege when Jones backed away from Hobbis and the deflected shot was sneaking in by the far post when Sagar dashed over to clear it, Fenton’s first-timer was going in when Dugdale kicked-it off the line. Still the ball was not cleared and Lello tried to turn it over, Sagar having to fist away to Hurst whose shot almost grazed the far post. Dodds had hard luck when Grant slipped him a square pass, but Bartram was able to bring off a fine save. Lello was fouled on the edge of the area and this led to Everton regaining the lead in 41 minutes. Dodds took the kick, and deceived Charlton by passing to his right, for Fielding to let go a glorious shot, at which Bartram flung himself. Bartram beat the ball against the post, and it skidded away to Eglington, who from 12 yards coolly placed it just inside the far post, with Bartram still on the ground. Came another wonder save by Sagar, when Vaughan flicked in a fast, rising shot, Ted getting to it right under the bar and holding it.
Half-time; Charlton 1, Everton 2.
There was a curious incident after the interval, when the referee allowed Charlton to kick-off and then realised it was Everton who should have done so, and we had it all over again. Hurst almost got through, Sagar just flicking the ball round the post, and Eglington tried to find Dodds after he had raced through from Lello’s pass. Lello shot first time Fielding’s pass and Lock, in trying to head away almost headed into his own goal and would have done so but for a diving save from Bartram. Charlton were a fast fiery side, but they lacked the forward craft of Everton. Most of their raids were of an individual character. In 58 minutes after Fielding had missed an easy opening, the Athletic drew level, Hobbins sent over a dangerous centre, which Vaughan headed into the net. Everton were soon back again, Charlton having an amazing escape when Lello’s shot struck the foot of the post after three shots had been charged down. Then Dodds missed by inches as he shot on the turn. Dodds went to outside left to middle a centre with goal written off it, but Bartram made a mighty one-handed save. Charlton forced three corners in succession and Bartram saved from Fielding. In 83 minutes Everton gained the lead for the third time through Dodds, Lello and Eglington paved the way. Eglington enabling Fielding to shoot for goal. Bartram dived and pushed it out, but Dodds was right there to say, “Thank You.” Final; Charlton 2, Everton 3.
• Everton “A” 4, Orrell 1
EVERTON RES V LEEDS RES
March 6, 1948. The Evening Express
Everton played delightful football in the initial stages, Gadsby and Dunn, the Leeds defenders being taxed to their utmost. The visitors were nevertheless a clever side and Burnett was extended on three occasions in saving great drive from Short and browning. The Blues opened their account in the 18th minute through Stevenson. In the 34th minute Leeds equalised, browning netting after Burnett had partially saved following the upright being hit. Everton continued to press, and in 42 minutes Boyes scored a second for Everton with a grand shot. Half-time; Everton Res 2, Leeds Res 1.
At the resumption Everton attacked and Hodgson, the Leeds keeper, had quite a busy time of it. At the other end Burnett saved the fine delivery from Short. Everton Reserves 2, Leeds United Res 1
EVERTON RES V LEEDS RES
March 6, 1948. The Liverpool Football Echo
In the 18th minute Stevenson gave Everton the lead. Leeds equalised in the 34th minute through Browning. Three minutes from the interval Boyes placed Everton in the lead again. Half-time; Everton Res 2, Leeds United 1.
March 8, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Sagar’s Part in Smart win
Charlton Athletic 2, Everton 3
Everton have laid the Valley bogey, for their victory over Charlton Athletic on their home ground was Everton’s first there since the clubs have met in league football. The Londoners are slipping badly, whereas Everton, by their three victories in a row, have reached a position of comparative safety. This does not mean that they can afford to take things easy, for much can happen before the season closes. It was a curious game in that there might have been a glut of goals for the chances were there, particularly in the first half, when Charlton looked like running Everton off their feet, such was the pace they put into their play. Their combination was not as good as Everton’s but one could not deny that they looked a menacing side, with their fast wingers and trustful centre forward Vaughan. Charlton should have built up a lead to deny Everton the opportunity of getting within sight of victory and would have done had not Sagar been at the top of his form. His part in this smart away win was recognised by the Charlton people, some of whom told me they had never seen better goalkeeping. The Everton defence was tested to the full during the first half, for Charlton, who had not won a League match since New Year’s Day, went all out to stop the rot which has set in at the Valley. It was Charlton’s amazing pace which made them look as through goals would follow on and for thirty minutes they had Everton on the run, but they could not find a way to beat Sagar. In Everton’s first real attacks Dodds staggered Charlton with a goal at the half-hour. That was sufficient to shake the home side’s confidence but they did not display any sign that it had and within five minutes they had equalised.
Everton More Accurate
Everton’s better-class combination was not so hurried, and was therefore more accurate and eventually it began to tell it’s tale Four minutes from the interval Eglington had restored the lead, but even the most rabid Evertonian had to admit that his side had been a shade fortunate. If however opportunities are not snapped up, one must not blame the opposition. Don’t forget that Dodds had missed one simple chance owing to the bump of the ball just as he was about to shoot. The second half saw a complete reversal of things. True Vaughan again levelled the scores at 59 minutes but after that Everton took charge and by good football eventually subdued the opposition and seven minutes from the end Dodds scored his winner after Bartram had parred a shot by Fielding only to put the ball, to the feet of the scorer. Sagar’s fielding of Fenton’s shot was only one of his many brilliant efforts and the way he darted to take a side flip by Vaughan proved his great positional sense.
There were times in the first half when I though the Charlton wingers were given too much rope for Hurst in particular was not only clever, but extremely clever in beating his man. Jones had a stiff enough task in holding the capable Vaughan. Saunders is gaining the nom de purver of Old reliable. Nothing flashy but just sound defence and that against Duffy and Hobbis. Eglington received a nose injury in the second half and was not so effective after wards. It is not likely to keep him out of the Irish team to meet Wales at Wrexham on Wednesday. Dodds got two goals but if was his presence which had an influence on Phipps who was not always sure as to how to proceed against the big Scot. Fielding produced some amazing buts throughs, and Lello, without hitting his Wolverhampton form, was quietly effective. He once hit the spright with Bartram and it was by who started the movement which brought the winning goal.
March 8, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton’s win broke two unenviable records for it meant their first-ever First Division win at Charlton and their first-ever First Division point from the ground. The game itself was something of a paradox. Everton led 2-1 t halftime because Sagar and his stubborn defenders literally defied the nippy fast-raiding if rather individustic Charlton raiders. That was a lucky lead. Later Everton showed team work and collaborative skill coupled with greater staying powers which entitled them to the victory. Both side might have scored many more goals, but taking it all through the Toffees merited full bonus against a Charlton giving, I am assured their best display of 1948. Definitely Sagar was the star transcending all. Honestly, Ted was absolutely uncanny and gave further proof that there is not a goalkeeper in the country in his class this season. One of the defensive secrets was the cute manner in which Lindley covered Tommy Jones moving to the centre to do the nimble-footed Vaughan. And Lindley’s use of the ball was as good as that of Farrell. That is pretty high praise. Saunders was the best back on the field –for sheer consistency there are few better in the First Division –while Dugdale improved after an uncertain start. There was much joyous work from the attack led so ably by Dodds, who kidded the opposition time after time, and yet always paid strict attention to the two essentials –leading the line and hitting shots. Dodds reward was two goal. Fielding was splendid and the manner in which he made ground was breath-taking. I do not think Wally has played better before his own London folk. Lello was the keen forager who had a grand second-half, and both wingers Eglington and Grant exploited the short ball effectively without being in any way spectacular. The team-work was fine, giving hopes that even leaders Arsenal may be beaten on Saturday. The third goal emphasised the team work, for Eglington, Farrell, Fielding, Lello and Dodds all had a hand in it. Eglington got the second goal to help the Blues to a total of nine in three games with majority points. Good going to delight the many Merseysiders, who were at the Valley, including Jack and Tom white, whose dance band compose entirely of Liverpool lads, still continue to vie with the best London can produce; Ken Kelly, son of Secretary Manager Theo Kelly, Mr. Bill Gibbins, junior who travelled from Northampton.
MIGHTY THEN MILD
March 8, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
If you had seen Charlton Athletic in the first half of their game with Everton you would never have given a thought to their defeat, for they played really fast and clever football, and only some good defence, particularly on the part of Ted Sagar, prevented them establishing a lead which might have been out of the reach of Everton (writes Stork). They have not won a League match since New Year’s Day. One began to wonder why if this was a true picture of their play. For 30 minutes they made full use of their fast wingers, and more than useful centre-forward Vaughan, so that Everton were forced to a defensive role and it seemed only a question of time before they would field to extreme pressure. The Charlton attack looked good for goals they should have had them; would have had then had it not been for Sagar, undeniably the best goalkeeper in Britain at the present moment. It was tough going for Everton during that half-hour, but as so often happens to a team which has been pressing insensately, they broke away and with they first real chance obtained a goal. Charlton must have wondered what was required to win a match. Everton slowly but surely came into their own.
ARSENAL AT GOODISON
March 12, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
A visit from Arsenal is always a star attraction whether they are doing well or ill. When they come as prospective champions as they will to Goodison, everyone wants to see them, especially if this spring weather continues, may not be far behind the record, Everton attendance of 72,569 at the recent cup-tie visit of Wolves. The record for the ground is 74,721 set up at the Liverpool-Manchester United fourth round tie on January 24. On the records of both clubs it would seen that the best Everton can hope for is a draw, but latterly Everton have been on the upgrade. They now have the confidence which comes from three successive victories, while Arsenal have been shaken a trifle by having had six goals scored against them in their last two outing –something that hasn’t happened before this season –to that the position becomes a shade more down. All the same, I can hardly visualise Arsenal being beaten. I don’t think Everton’s attack is forceful enough, unless the strain of a strenuous season is beginning to tell on the team to overcome the Arsenal’s rock-like defence. The Blues rearguard, however, looks good enough to share the points. Arsenal will be without Roper, who has a disjointed arm. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Lindley, Jones, Farrell; Grant, Fielding, Dodds, Lello, Eglington. Arsenal; Swindin; Scott, Barnes; Mcgauley, Compton (L), Mercer; Lewis, Logie, Rooke, Forbes, Compton (D).
VIRTUAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONS’ VISIT
March 12, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Arsenal odds-on favourites for the First Division championship – their position is almost unassailable – visit Goodison Park tomorrow to face Everton before what should be the fourth 70,000 attendance of the season at the ground. Everton will be out to record their fourth successive victory, and secure two more points this season against the Gunners for they forced a draw at Highbury last October. Despite the fact that several players received knocks at Charlton last week and that Tommy Jones slightly injured his left knee in the Wrexham international the Toffees will be fielding their 100 per cent, combination against a side which has made ever post a winning post this season and now stands high and almost dry with a lead of eight points over Burnley for a match more played. During the early part of the season Arsenal relied on 100 per cent defence, and the snap goal win as in their brightest days of the thirties, but in recent weeks they have become a high-powered attacking force while maintaining that brilliant defence. Everton at Highbury showed ability to break down the resistance of the Gunners, and there is no doubt that they have been showing forward craft and penetrative power in attack recently. Well nine goals in three games is highly encouraging. The Arsenal will be led by the former Evertonian, Joe Mercer, who is sure of a warm re-welcome, but their whole side bristles with stars and you will like the James-like Logie at inside-right. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Lindley, Tommy Jones, Farrell; Grant, Fielding, Dodds, Lello, Eglington.
ARSENAL HAD THE CHAMPION TOUCH
March 13, 1948. The Liverpool Football Echo
Compton (D.) In Shooting Mood
Everton 0, Arsenal 2
The Arsenal are worthy league leaders. They may have been a shade fortunate in the first half when Everton played brilliantly. The Arsenal, however once they took a goal; closed down the avenue to Everton and took a second goal in such a way that the scoring of goals seemed a simple matter. Pinchbeck found “Man-Mountain” Compton too big a barrier. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Dugdale, backs; Lindley, Humphreys, and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Fielding, Pinchbeck, Lello, and Eglington, forwards. Arsenal; Swindin, goal; Scott and Barnes, backs; Magauley, Crompton (L.) and Mercer (J) (attains), half-backs; Lewis, Logie, Brooks, Forbes and Compton (D.), forwards. Referee; Mr. T. Salmon (Stoke-on-Trent). There was another 70,000 gate at Goodison Park today. This was not unexpected for the Arsenal are one of the biggest drawing cards in football. They came as prospective League champions. Furthermore there was a Merseyside tang about their side, for it was captained by the former Everton player, Joe Mercer. There were two last-minute Everton changes; Jones’s injury sustained at Wrexham on Wednesday had not made the progress anticipated, so he stood down and Humphreys came back at centre half. Dodds, who stained a knee at Charlton a week ago, was also an absentee. So that Pinchbeck got his second chance at centre forward with the senior side. We had two noted comedians present in Tommy Trinder and Liverpool’s own Tommy Handley. The Arsenal attacked but they found a very solid Everton defence, although Rooke was only just beaten in the nick of time, so that he was unable to get in that high-powered drive for which he is famous. Fielding was at his brightest and best swinging the ball out to the wings after drawing the respective defenders. He started a movement which culminated in Lello throwing himself forward to make contact with a centre from Grant. He succeeded in getting his head to the ball and Swindin had to more fast across his goal to push the ball around the upright.
Fielding and Grant collaborated in such a manner that they completely outwitted Forbes, mercer and Barnes put unfortunately the idea came to grief just afterwards. It had been entertaining fare with plenty of excellent football. There was no doubt that some of Arsenal’s movements were top-class, but they were no better than Everton’s whose form had been extremely good. Their attack had been much more lively than that of the Arsenal, while the half-backs work of Farrell, Lindley and Humphreys gave the Arsenal forwards no rope whatever and Rooke tried to place one. Sagar watching the ball until it found a resting place outside the far post.
Referee At Fault
Down came Everton and another link-up between Grant and Fielding opened up the Londoner’s defence and it was only weight and numbers which ultimately prevented Grant from moving into a goal. The referee was sadly at fault when he pulled the game up for a foul on Fielding, who had retained his foothold, and furthermore was running through with every chance. The free kick awarded to Everton was more of a penalty than a help. Hereabouts the Arsenal goal went through a bombardment, one shot by Lello being cannoned away after Eglington had offered him a placed pass.
The Arsenal were awarded a corner on the word of the linesman, but it proved of no value. The next move was with Everton, and Eglington after dribbling his way through the Arsenal defence let go a low shot which Swindin saved. After Fielding had had another shot –he was full of them today – the Arsenal broke loose, and the very first slip that the Everton defence made proved fatal. Lindley was the first one to err when he failed to get a ball that went on to Rooke. Saunders came along to help put the stopper on things, but he made a slip, and Dennis Compton strode in with a right-footed shot, which went into the Everton goal; well wide of Sagar’s left hand. This was at 22 minutes, and I say in all truth that it was well against the run of the play.
Rooke’s “Right” Was Wrong
Mercer, who had a quiet spell for a moment had previously been very good in his passing, putting the ball just in front of his man in the way a forward likes it. The Arsenal at the moment were playing with the confidence a leading goal can give and Rooke after shooting “Right” completely missed the ball when he made his attempted shot. Just before the half-time whistle Compton (L) went over Pinchbeck’s back and was hurt temporarily, but was soon in action again.
Half-time; Everton 0, Arsenal 1
Everton had no intention of letting Arsenal have it their own way, and there immediately went into the attack in the second half. The Londoners goal had a rear squeak and only got it out by their close packing. Everton were soon back in the penalty area, and when Fielding passed the ball to the far post Pinchbeck had a golden opportunity, but he headed outside. Eglington suffered through a really bad offside decision, for there was no disputing the fact that Compton and Barnes were in front of him, so that he could not possibly have been offside.
Much of the play at this stage was confined to midfield, but I saw Compton (L.) twice take a ball which the average centre half would have left to his goalkeeper. Arsenal win their second goal, in such a nonchalant, manner that it suggested goal-scoring could be easy. It was easy the way Rooke, Compton and Lewis joined hands to defeat the Everton defence. Rooke had moved out to the left and he swung the ball right across to Lewis who mainly passed it on to Compton who hit the ball to the back of the net to give Sagar no chance. Time 60 minutes. Fielding, who had been Swindon’s greatest worry, produced a rocket shot which the Arsenal goalkeeper did well to turn over the bar. He also had to deal smartly with a header by Lello which shows that Everton were fighting out the issue tooth and nail. It was east to be seen why Arsenal are topping the League. A sterling defence and an attack which by one move could put the opposition on the wrong foot. Forbes was linking up nicely, and he gave Compton the opportunity to record a hat-trick, but Sagar was having none of that –he made a brilliant save of a smashing shot. In their first game at Highbury, Stevenson was moved to centre forward to become a nuisance to Compton and he so worried the big fellow that Compton conceded a penalty. Today Grant was moved into the centre-forward position in the hope of doing something similar and it was funny to see the wee fellow contesting the issue with his 6 ft odd rival. Rooke was given a great chance to chalk up goal number three, but the Arsenal centre-forward made no show of it whatever. Grant once got away from the Compton tentacles and Swindin had to make a last touch over the cross bar to keep his goal intact. Farrell made one long run, a pass and expected the return but it passed behind him and so the Arsenal still reigned supreme. Final; Everton 0, Arsenal 2.
ARSENAL POISE WAS UNSHAKEN BY EVERTON ATTACK
March 15, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton 0, Arsenal 2.
The term “won cleverly” fitted this Arsenal triumph before 64,000 because, without over-exerting themselves a great deal, they did sufficient to win with something to spare. The longer it went the cleaner it was that they held the extra trump cards which could have produced at will. Everton compared favourably with the so-potential League leaders in one respect –territorially. Since there is no column to cover that in the most detailed of tables the 2-0 verdict was the only one which mattered. Soon after Arsenal had started the season with a sequence of victories, captain Joe Mercer told me “we’re not really a good side, but we’re just getting there.” He might persist in that view, but no one having seen them in this match would give it much credence. It was obvious, even with centre forward Lewis on the wing, that here was the team complete and carrying that traditional quality of poise which all good Arsenal elevens possess in moments of stress. The Arsenal system dictates that the ball must not be lashed upfield haphazardly when the defensive situation is desperate. It lays it down that the man nearest the ball makes the throw-in because he happens to be on the spot, that the centre-forward who goes to the wing and earns a corner kick takes that kicks as a matter of course, because he happens to be on the spot. These may be small points but they save a wealth of wasted efforts from flagging half-backs or wingers and the principle that any player should be competent to do another’s job is sound.
Apart from this fine balance Arsenal had the day’s most outstanding figure, and possibly it is well for others that Denis Compton has played only six games all told, this season. He timed his passes with such uncanny flicks of the foot, and so rarely held the ball that no one could do much about him, and to crown it all he hit two fine shots beyond Sagar and all but went to his hat trick. Rooke “made” the first by standing pat and stubbornly beating three defenders before offering the ball to the scorer; the second was a studied and almost nonchalant, but of work in which Compton mysteriously connected with the ball for his shot as though the whole movement had been done per time-table. Everton minus both Tom Jones and Jock Dodds fought spiritedly and had a good first 20 minutes, but only Fielding was really happy against a defence in which the mountainous elder Compton brother, Leslie stood supreme. Fielding shot well and often, but was never allowed to break through close enough to make the range lethal. It was asking a lot to expect Pinchbeck and Lello or even Grant to prise a way through, and though Everton sometimes got within half off Swindin by grit and enthusiasm the odd chance or two which arose was allowed to slip away.
The Other Compton
Scott and Barnes were always a little too strong for the Everton wing forwards. With Leslie Compton so good in the air and with Mercer playing one of his best and most “heady” games and Macaulay being up to standard, anything less than a full-strength Everton front line began at a big disadvantage. Macaulay’s double Forbes, had moments of inspiration, and others in which he slowed up the line markedly. He is new to the policy which aims at direct along the floor passes and everyone working all the time. Logie was fine and it says much for Farrell and Humphries and the full backs that they were able to do so much to help their forwards and still hold a fine Arsenal attack to two goals. Sagar’s best save was a spectacular one from Lewis; Swindin too, made one of similar character from Fielding. Apart from the first twenty minutes Everton were often on the collar, and the ease with which the winners played out the last fifteen minutes suggested that they were quite confident in holding the advantage they had won for themselves.
THE OLD ARSENAL
March 15, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The passing of the years affects not the style or effectiveness of Arsenal. Watching them defeat Everton at Goodison, my mind flashed back to their golden days of the thirties when concentrated defence and the snap goal brought the Gunners their hat-trick of championships. As in the thirties, so in the forties. It is quite truthful to say that Everton looked as if they would go forward to a sound win as they battered away at Arsenal during the opening half-hour, but even on the many occasions that Leslie Compton, Scott and Barnes were outwitted, the Toffees found George Swindin in unbeatable form. Swindin seemed to take a fiendish delight to defying Fielding, who was Everton’s best marksman and certainly the finest forward in the game. Just when Everton looked all set, Ronnie Rooke survived three strong tackles and teed the ball up for Dennis Compton to sweep it into the not with that same grateful flourish he shows. When making his famous cover-drive. Everton shuddered and it was not until the second half that they regained the initiatives. A heading chance came Pinchbeck’s way, but he seemed to chance his mind is mid-air and so failed.
Arsenal were content to take Everton attack, and then, as in the manner of cool, confident masters they went away for Lewis to say, “Put this in Dennis,” to Compton and Dennis duly obliged. Two up, Arsenal never looked like losing their grip, and often became cheeky. Everton were well beaten, but there were several features about them which delighted and nothing more so than the brilliance of Maurice Lindley. While never neglecting his own duties Lindley, just as he did for Tommy Jones at Charlton, repeatedly moved inside to deal with everything in the air and so relieve Humphreys. With Farrell in his merriest vein he and Lindley completely outshone Macauley and Mercer, in fact our old friend Joe had a pretty doleful afternoon chasing the Fielding shadow. Pinchbeck did not have a happy day, but can console himself with the thought that few players have had a goal day against Leslie Compton who, in my opinion, is England’s best centre-half at the moment. Eglington never mastered Scott, while apart from Saunders opening half-an-hour the Blues’; defence –Sagar apart –was not quite so sound as usual. However, trace that to the general ability of Arsenal, who used the short pass so accurately both as a safety as well as propressive measures. Lindley, Farrell and Fielding and the fighting spirit of Grant provided balm for this Everton wound.
ARSENAL WORTHY WINNERS
March 15, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Everton’s defeat by Arsenal was not a vital matter to the Blues. Though victory would have been sweet, it was more than they could achieve against a side which never seemed to be unduly entering itself. After withstanding heavy Everton assaults in the first half the Gunners had the game well in hand in the second portion and played in that confident and rather nonchalant fashion which clubs can do only when secure in the knowledge that they have something in reserve in case of need.
Hallmark of Class
It is no disgrace to be beaten by a side of Arsenal’s calibre, and though their victory march may not be the liking of everybody they are worthy championship –to-be and we must hand it to them for team-work and all-round efficiently. Whether in defence where they closed their ranks like an oyster whenever Everton were on the assaults or in attack, where they moved upwards in line –abreast in always menacing fashion, there was the hall-mark of class in every kick. Everton’s approach-work at times, particularly in the first half was promising. Unfortunately they failed when it came to turning this into goals. Fielding and Lello apart, there was no punch in the attack. Fielding was in brilliant form, the star forward of the day and author of the finest shot, which brought forth a wonderful save by Swindin. The fact that as soon as ever he got the ball two Arsenal men swooped down on him –and sometimes three –was a measure of the respect with which Arsenal treated him. Everton had the most changes but did not taken them, whereas Dennis Compton got a couple of goals with the same affection ones that he gets his runs at cricket. The thing which struck me most about the winners was their excellent positional play both in attack ad defence. In the case of the former the men not in possession were always seeking to put themselves in a position where a pass would be most advantageous while in defence they filled like the places of a jig-saw puzzle, such man covering a colleagues in case of a affix. It is a matter of common whether, Tommy Jones and Jock Dodds both injured would have affected the ultimate result. Humphreys could not be faulted and though Pinchbeck had a baron afternoon even Dodds would have found Leslie Compton an almost an mammoth barrier.
Against so commanding pivot Everton made the mistake of lifting the ball too frequently down the middle. To do so simply made a present of it to Compton who frequently headed away from behind Pinchbeck without even the ceremony of jumping for the ball. Macauley and Mercer played splendidly, getting through a lot of work without over appearing to quarry and providing over appearing to quarry, and providing a service of telling passes.
EVERTON’S NEW PLAYER
March 16, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Thomas Joesph Clinton
By John Peel
Everton joined in the last minute, rush by securing the transfer of Thomas Joesph Clinton, a twenty-years-old wing half-back of Dundalk, the League of Eire club. Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly completed the deal for a player sought by several First Division clubs.
March 16, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Tommy Clinton, Everton’s new wing half back from Dundalk will in all probability make his debut for the club in the Central League game at Goodison Park on Saturday. Clinton will be here on Friday, after what must have been one of the fastest signings ever made by Secretary Manager Theo Kelly, of Everton. The deal was actually completed as the train was moving out of Dundalk to bring Mr. Kelly back to Dublin. The Dundalk officials and Mr. Kelly were exchanging papers through the carriage windows to complete a transfer for a player who is 21 years of age, 5ft 9 ½ ins and 11 sone 7lb. Mr. Kelly to me today, “and we have secured him as part of our plan of building for the future. The Goodison fans will like him. “
The Nottingham Forest bid to secure the transfer Everton’s centre-forward, Harry Catterick, broke down on a question of terms, but before midnight tonight –the closing time for unrestricted transfer –there may be further inquiries for the purposeful leader,. Everton have no desire to part with Catterick and neither has Harry any special desire to leave, but when he was not required for first team duty last Saturday, with Dodds injured, he expressed the opinion that maybe a change would do him good. Everton raised no objection, and they came to terms with the Forest, which was more than Forest could do with Catterick.
CATTERICK WANTS AWAY
March 16, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
But Turns Down Offer From Nottingham Forest
Following the selection of Pinchbeck to fill Everton’s centre forward position against Arsenal when Dodds was found unfit, Harry Catterick asked to go on the transfer list. He has no sqarrell with the club. It is simply that he fears that if he is not to be regarded as first reserve for Dodd’s position, he would like to try his luck somewhere else. Everton agreed to his request and on Saturday Manager Billy Walker of Notts Forest, who has had Catterick in mind for some time in his search for a centre forward, watch him play against Burnley Reserves. Satisfied with what he saw, Mr. Walker contacted Everton, agreed on the fee –which was an exceptionally reasonable – Catterick declined to sign for Notts Forest as he was required him to live in Nottingham. He would have been find at home, and possibly a job, but as all his friends and relatives are in Southport where he also had a good job and he is on regular top money with Everton, he felt he had nothing to gain in moving to the Midlanders. Catterick joined Everton from the junior side in the Manchester area in 1937, when 17, made his senior debut, in 1940, and during the war put up some good scoring performances. Last season he had the misfortunes to break his arm in the third match of the campaign and again a second time in the reserve game in the absent Everton had signed Jock Dodds.
In signing Tommy Clinton wing half-back of Dundalk (Eire) Everton beat a number of senior clubs who have been angling for his transfer. If he turns out anywhere near as good as their last Eire halt-back signing Farrell.
March 17, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton, for their visit to Sheffield United at Bramell Lane on Saturday, make one change, although this is not yet definite. Either Jock Dodds or Eddie Wainwright will be at centre-forward in place of Pinchbeck. Dodds has a knee injury, while Wainwright has just recovered from his rheumatic condition which followed the cup-tie at Fulham.
Stoke City entered the running for the transfer of Harry Catterick, the Everton centre-forward, but Catterick decided not to sign in view of the fact that he is in the running for the post of Youth Organiser in Stockport. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Lindley, Humphreys, Farrell; Grant, Fielding, Wainwright, Lello, Eglington.
March 19, 1948. The Evening Express.
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton have a chance of recording their fourth double of the season when they tackle the Blades at Bramell-Lane. Wainwright will lead the attack; Dodds has not recovered from his knee injury. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Lindley, Humphreys, Farrell; Grant, Fielding, Wainwright, Lello, Eglington.
EARLY BLOWS BUT BLUES HIT BACK
March 20, 1948. The Liverpool Football Echo
A Pass Fell Short
Gave A First Minute Goal
Sheffield United 2, Everton 1
Everton started badly, being two goals down in 13 minutes, but they recovered well, in the second half the visitors were well on top. With a little more steadiness in front of goal they would have drawn. Sheffield United; White, goal; Furniss, and Cox, backs; Jackson, Young and Brook, half-backs; Thompson, Sloan, Collindridge, Whitelum, and Jones, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Dugdale, backs; Lindley, Humphreys and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Fielding, Wainwright, Lello and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. G.S Blackhall (Wednesbury). Everton suffered an early shock at Bramell Lane, for Sheffield United were a goal up in the first minute. They got their chances when a pass back by Fielding to Dugdale fell short of the full back and Thompson nipping in quickly, offered Jones a pass which the winger hit first time, Sagar got his hands to it, but could not stop its progress. Fielding endeavoured to atone for his error with some clever work, and from a free kick near the corner flag White was glad to tip Fielding’s shot over the bar. Saunders nearly robbed Jones when the latter was again on that warpath, and a back-heel pass by Wainwright to Grant saw the latter to square pass run across the United goal without an Everton man there to apply the finishing touch.
From Free Kick
United were giving Everton’s defence some anxiety and twice Collindridge went near. Everton best effort so far was a powerful shot by Wainwright which failed. After 13 minutes Sheffield went further ahead when from a free kick Collindridge scored.
Wainwright with a glorious opportunity from a pass by Lello, shot wide from close range. Farrell reduced the lead after 40 minutes in rather fortunate fashion. Farrell found himself in possession just on the edge of the penalty area, he tried a low first-time drive which in most cases out of a 100 would have been saved, but White dived a fraction too late and the ball passed under his body.
Half-time; Sheffield United 2, Everton 1
Whitelum hit the side netting with a rasping drive, but this was all Sheffield did for some time. Everton were now calling the time and prompted by Fielding, Lello and Wainwright were having a good innings.
White was none too confident in the Sheffield goal, and after he had failed to hold a hot shot by Lello, Fielding almost snatched the equaliser Furniss being glad to tap the ball behind for an unproductive corner. Wainwright tried an angled shot, which white again was none too confident about and then in one of Sheffield’s infrequent raids Sagar fumbled a rather strong back pass from Humphreys. Fortunately Sagar recovered as Collindridge came tearing up. Sheffield defenders were finding the strong sun a bit of a trial.
In another United raid Humphreys held up Collindridge in clever fashion. Though Everton were doing plenty of attacking they could not fine a way through the United’s defence. Three times in quick succession Fielding brought White to his knees with strong shots and then Lello after beating Furness in a tussle for the ball shot wide when well placed. Everton continued to be in command with Sheffield’s efforts literally to spasmodic raids in one of which, Collindridge eluding Humphreys, flashed in a shot which Sagar glad to see past on the far side of the post. Five minutes from the end White saved a certain equaliser when he rushed out o frustrate Lello as the latter ran in to connect with a high drive by grant.
Both players collided heavily and after walking to the goalline supported by trainer Harry Cook, Lello was carried to the dressing room on a stretcher apparently suffering from a head injury. White was able to assume after receiving attention. United made another dash and Sagar had to save from Collindridge and Whitelum. Final; Sheffield United 2, Everton 1.
EVERTON RES V PRESTON RESERVES
March 20, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Everton introduced their latest Irish capture, Clinton from Dundalk, at left half. Everton were far the better side. Stevenson getting in excellent shots that were cleverly handled by Hall the Preston goalkeeper. Clinton made several promising moves. He will definitely improve when he settle down to his new company. Half-time; Everton Res nil, Preston Res nil.
Preston in the second half were a much more dangerous side, Headley and Greenhalgh having many anxious moments. Stevenson was conspicuous in many Everton raids. Full time; Everton Res nil, Preston Res nil.
• Everton “A” 2 Skelmersdale 2
EVERTON LACKED MARKSMAN
March 22, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Too Much Finesse
Sheffield United 2, Everton 1
With less finesse and more finality in front of goal Everton would have gathered a point from their visit to Bramell Lane. After suffering the shock of two goals in the first thirteen minutes they gradually retained their poise to such a degree that in the second half they were the better side. Although doing three times the amount of attacking that Sheffield did, however, they produced one third of the shots. Paradoxical thought it sounds although Everton should have drawn and might possibly have won. Sheffield came near to increasing their lead on several occasions in the later stages when for the most part they were penned in their own quarters. The difference between the two sides was that Everton having progressed so far by clever and entertaining football made the mistake of trying to continue their close passing moves right to the goalmouth instead of delivering first-time shots. United’s tactics were vastly different. They made ground by long passes and speedy dashes and all their forwards were ready to shoot whenever they got with reasonable distance of Sagar. Everton did make some little improvement in the shooting department late on, when Fielding and Lello tried hard to get on terms, but by this time White who had been uncertain earlier had recovered his confidence completely. It was White in fact, who saved one point for Sheffield in the last few minutes when he daringly dashed out and foiled Lello in the nick of time. Unfortunately the players collided so heavily that Lello had to be carried off, and it is feared that both may have sustained a fractured checkbone. An X-ray examination is to be made by Lello’s injury to-day.
Sheffield’s first goal in the first minute, was in the nature of a grit, for Dugdale just failed to reach a backward pass from Fielding and Jones had the ball in the net with a shot which gave Sagar no chance. Twelve minutes later Sloan scored from a free-kick against Humphreys, who had instinctively lifted his hands to protect his face from a fierce close-range shot. At this stage it looked as though Sheffield might run riot, for they were playing speedy and effective football, and the Everton defence. Farrell and Saunders apart was anything but confident. The longer the game went, however, the better did Everton become, and in the end Sheffield were more than a trifle fortunate to win. Farrell’s goal was also something of a gift for White dived much too late to a fairly slow ad bumping ground shot, and had the mortification of seeing it pass under his body. Everton’s best in attack were Fielding and Lello, with Wainwright only reproducing his normal form in the last half hour. Fielding was just as clever and effective as in the game against Arsenal and engineered a succession of good openings by his tricky dribbling and passing, Grant, though handicapped against big defenders was always ready to cut in, and twice went close, Saunders was the star back, for Dugdale took some time to Settle down, though he was excellent once he had done so, Farrell and Lindley took their share of the honours and Humphreys struck grimly to his task against Collindridge, who was a constant source of Manger. United were also, well served by Sloan, Jackson and Furness.
BLUES SHOULD HAVE DRAWN
March 22, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Everton were unfortunately not to bring a point back from Sheffield, though to some extent they had only themselves to blame. After surviving two goals to the home side in the early stages the Blues gradually gained, the upper had to such an extent that a draw seemed likely and a victory pointless. Either possibility might have been translated into a certainly had Everton matched their approach work with comparative ability in front of goal. As it was with far fewer chances, Sheffield United did much more shooting, and only some good work by Sagar in the closing stages prevented the home side further increasing their lead. For the first half-hour Sheffield were the better and many effective side. A grit goal in the first minute gave them extra confidence and when another came from a free kick –Humphreys had instructively lifted his hands to prevent his face from a fierce drive by Sloan –it looked as though Everton were in for a severe drubbling particularly as their own attack so far had been anything but impressive, and the defence had shown signs of shakiness. Once they had settled down, however, and began to get a grip on the game they improved considerably all round. Farrell, Fielding, and Lello were their mainsprings. The former got a goal just before half-time. White allowed an easy shot to pass beneath his body, and Fielding deserved one but did not get it, thanks to smart saves by white. Wainwright reserved his best for the later stages of the game. Early on he was well held by young Eglington sometimes made the mistake of trying to do too much, and Grant, though always venturesome, found a big barrier in Cox. The visiting defence once it had got over its initial attack of jitters would not be faulted. As Sheffield have not been beaten for three months a single goal margin was no disgrace to Everton, but they could have done much better with a little extra balance in attack. Though not a particularly good game, there was some nice football at times, most of it from the visitors after Sheffield’s first half hour of glory.
Cyril Lello injured in the last five minutes of the game at Sheffield is to have an X-ray examination today.
March 22, 1948, The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
“Everton’s defeat may be attributed to the age-old falling of inability to round off cleverly though out and accurately executed approach work” writes colleagues Radar, who travelled to Sheffield to find the main stand rebuilt following blitzing. “Fighting back after ceding two goals in the first 15 minutes. Everton’s forwards created enough chance for themselves to have won with something to spare, but these they cast aside almost wantonly. With Eglington and Grant especially remiss, and Wainwright getting little change from Young, all the clever building-up work of Fielding and Lello produced no tangible reward. It was gift to Farrell –contributing his customary whole-hearted display –to reduce the lead, Everton’s intricate midfield work constantly had the United defence bewildered in the second half but the all-essential shot was not there. Take it all round I rated Everton worthy of at least a point, although this does not condone lack of conviction before goal. Apart from Farrell, fielding and Lello I thought the side best served by Sagar, and another classic display by Saunders.
Cyril Lello, Everton’s inside-left during the closing stages of the game at Bramell-lane which the Toffees lost to Sheffield United 2-1 –rather unlucky. Lello came into collision with Fred White the United and former Everton goalkeeper, and received a blow under the left eye, being carried off with slight concussion. The eye was badly swollen on Saturday evening and Lello is to have an X-ray. Let us hope nothing is broken, for Everton can ill-afford to lose the services of the good services of this good player over Easter.
JONES AND DODDS PLAY
March 23, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Wainwright at Outside Right Against Grimsby on Friday
Everton make two changes involving three positions for their away game with Grimsby Town on Good Friday. Tommy Jones returns to centre half in place of Jack Humphreys. Wainwright goes outside right instead of Grant, leaving the middle open for the return of Jock Dodds. Happily the X-ray examination of Cyril Lello following his facial injury at Bramell Lane dislocated no fracture, and he is expected to be fit to take his place alongside Eglington. Players and officials leave tomorrow morning, and stay at Cleethorpes until Friday. Grant, Hedley and Higgins will accompany the part. Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Lindley, Jones, Farrell; Wainwright, Fielding, Dodds, Lello, Eglington.
EVERTON VISIT CLEETHORPES
March 23, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton players leave Liverpool tomorrow for Cleethorpes as a pre-Easter tonic. The sea air should do the lads a world of good in readiness for their three-games-in-four days programme. Everton are due to play Grimsby Town at Cleethorpes on Friday –they won there in the F.A. Cup third round tie 4-1 –and then return to entertain Stoke City at Goodison Park on the Saturday. On Monday Grimsby Town will be seen at Goodison Park. Tommy Jones and Dodds return to Everton’s team and Wainwright will be at outside-right. In addition to the following team, Grant Hedley and Higgins travel as reserves. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Dugdale; Lindley, Jones, Farrell; Wainwright, Fielding, Dodds, Lello, Eglington.
March 27, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
And The Grimsby Supporters
Grimsby Town 3, Everton 0
Failure of Everton to repeat their decisive Cup victory at Grimsby gave Grimsby Town their first home win since September 17. Playing fast and clever football in the first half, Grimsby never looked a foot-of-the-table team, and secured all three goals within 21 minutes of the start. Sagar was given a busy time, but Tweedy did not have a difficult shot to save all afternoon. The Everton defence frequently appeared shaky following a setback in the fifth minute, when Blemkinsopp opened Grimsby’s account in surprising fashion by scoring direct from a 40-yard free kick after Lindley had handled. Sagar, unsighted, scarcely moved before the ball was in the net. Twelve minutes later outside-left Pearson who recently asked for transfer, increased the lead when a shot from Briggs had cannoned off Saunders to his fleet. Everton’s fate was sealed when the same player scored again inside 4 minutes after Briggs had beaten Saunders. Although this ended the scoring, Grimsby maintained their pace until the interval, bewildering the Everton defence and their own supporters. The second half was tame and at slower pace. Everton’ s best spell came immediately after the resumption when for a brief 10 minutes they had the better of matters, and Lello their best forward, twice shot inches over the bar. Galley allowed Dodds little scope, Dugdale, Jones and Lindley were the pick of the Everton defence. Everton play Stoke City at Goodison Park today. Grimsby Town; Tweedy, goal; Moody and Fisher, backs; Whitfield, Galley and Blenkinsopp, half-backs; Johnson, Clifton, Briggs, Reeves and Pearson, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Dugdale, backs; Lindley, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Wainwright, Fielding, Dodds, Lello and Eglington, forwards.
STOKE WIN IN LAST THREE MINUTES
March 27, 1948. The Liverpool Football Echo
After Game of Missed Chances
Everton 0, Stoke City 1
Everton; Sagar, goal; Saunders and Hedley, backs; Lindley, Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; grant, Fielding, Dodds, Lello and Higgins, forwards. Stoke;- Herod, goal; Mould and Meakin, backs; Mountford (F.), Franklin, and Sellar, half-backs; Mountford (G.), Makin, Peppitt, McAllden, and Baker, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.C. Hall (Chester). There was an excellent crowd and it was a brilliant day, although there was a wind which would make accuracy a problem. Everton were the first to strike their attack and Meakin was only too glad to put the ball into touch to prevent Fielding gathering it and making further trouble for his co-defenders. Stoke’s reply was a nice move by McAlinden who made a late pass out to Baker, who returned the compliment and the Irish international tried to put the ball through to Peppitt. An Everton half back saw what was about to happen and steeped in to cut the idea.
The ball, a new one, was very lively, but Fielding showed his command of it by the uncanny way he brought it down to boot and then distributed it as good as any salesman. Dodds, with a neat side flick opened the way for Lello but the inside left had not quite cottoned on the idea and the Stoke defence was able to close down any further avenue. The sun was a bother to Everton and particularly to Jones when he went to head away a long punt by Stoke. He did make contact, the ball passing behind him and going on to Peppitt.
The Stoke centre forward will never receive a better opportunity than this to beat Sagar, but he made a lamentable effort –the ball passing a yard or two wide of the upright. Lindley stepped in to check a dangerous looking Stoke attack and then Lello and Higgins linked up in a movement which had class written all over it. The winger’s final centre however, was readily cleared by Franklin.
Stoke’s Near Miss
The players soon realised that air ball would be of no value because of the swirling wind, so they wisely kept the ball to earth, and by these methods there were some really nice combined movements. Dodds tried to beat his way through but the next incident concerned Stoke and it almost brought a goal. Jones again got too much under a high ball and Peppitt was right on the job for the shot, which was passing wide until Baker slipped in flung his foot at the ball and sent it sizzling just outside the Everton upright. Back came Everton and Dodds a continual menace, tried to make openings with clever little movements, side flick or a back heel, but the Stoke defence was not to be caught by intricate manoeuvres, Meakin had to receive attention for a blow in the face.
An Off-Side “Goal”
Everton did manage to get the ball into the net at the half-hour, but Higgins was obviously off-side. Certainty he took his header with every confidence, and left Herod with no chance. The off-side verdict was a just one. Sellars and Mountford were slightly injured in collisions and Higgins from a long range sent a ball hurting goalwards. It might easily have gone into the Stoke net had not Herod fingered it on to his cross bar and over. Farrell came bounding through in that enthusiastic manner of his, and made a shot which passed outside but it was so close that Herod deemed it necessary to move across the goal in case of eventualities. Everton took two quick corners neither of which produced anything of value. Dodds was allowing Franklin to run round and rob him of passes.
Following this I saw one of the most sporting antics seen on the football ground for a long time. Baker was knocked out and collapsed in the penalty area. Play went on but as soon as Saunders got the opportunity, he tipped the ball out of play. A free kick taken by Jones brought a superb catch by Herod. Stoke were still attacking to the idea that keeping the ball on the floor was the best means of progression and Peppitt was proving himself more than an ordinary centre forward. Dodds found the ball running awkwardly for him, but he tried a shot. When Lello came into the shooting gallery he gave Herod a warm handful.
Lindley Shapes Well
Lindley was having a particularly good game. He always tried to use the ball to advantage. So far I had seen little of the debutant Makin. He made one shot which did not reach Sagar. He tried another, but again the ball finished in the crowd. All things considered the hard ground, the swirling wind, one could not grumble at the characters of the football produced by both sides. Near the interval a forward pass by Fielding to Dodds looked like being constructive until the big Sent trod on the ball after he had got by Franlkin.
Half-time; Everton 0, Stoke City 0.
The first incident of note in the second half was a chance by McAlinden which hit the side netting. He had picked up the ball from a Jones headway.
Dodds But Of Luck
Dodds was having an unlucky day. Nothing seemed to go right for him. He got in the way of Grant, who was moving goalwards with a promise of something to follow and later the big Scot scooped a ball up over the goalkeeper’s head. It passed right across the goalmouth, bumped up against the far upright rebounding into play. There was certainly more thrills in this half, and Sagar was cooliness itself when catching a high ball as Peppit came rushing down on him. Herod also showed his ability when he took a long cross from Higgins and went to complete a save. Then came a second piece of misfortune for Dodds. His positioned himself admirable for Fielding centre, and he nodded the ball well away from Herod but again the woodwork intervened the ball hitting the crossbar.
Defences In Charge
Higgins lashed one over, and then Sagar had to dart across his goal line to keep out a shot by George Mountford. Sagar caught a touchline centre from Baker, and when the Everton right wing moved into position, the height of Sellars and Meakin proved too much for Grant. H. Mountford saw one of his shots go well wide of the target but in the main the defence were in charge. Mountford (G.) nicely placed by Sellars, swung a ball right across the Everton goal-face, but it was much too high for anybody and it passed harmlessly out of play. Hedley was having a good game, and one little touch of his, when he “scissored” a ball to Sagar completely bamboozled Mountford and at the same time got himself out of an awkward situation. The best things for some minutes was Herod’s catch from Fielding corner. He made this in fact of strong opposition for he was surrounded by friend and foe alike.
Lello beat two men but his centre struck a Stoke men and was deflected for a corner. Once again the flag kick proved non-productive due to a foul by Jones who had come up. Dodds worked his way out to the wing, and although severely hampered got across a centre. Lello could not get in his shot, so he offered one to Grant, but the little man stubbed his shot, which had no power behind and Herod picked it up with ease. With three minutes to go the Stoke left wing put in a high powered attack which the ball being sent right across the field, too high for two Everton defenders too high for Makin but just right for George Mountford who was left with a glorious opening which he took with clarity. Right on time a pass back by Farrell put Sagar in difficulties when Peppitt rushed in and for a second or two he and Sagar were jumbled together on the ground but Sagar had the ball. Final; Everton 0, Stoke City 1.
STOKE RES V EVERTON RES
March 27, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Although Stoke had most of the attacking Everton scored in thirty minutes through Pinchbeck. He received a pass from Stevenson, and shot through a crowd of players to beat Jepson. Play was spoiled by the high wind. Half-time; Stoke City Res 0, Everton Res 1.
The attack of both sides in the second half broke down through weak finishings. Ormston for Stoke, was twice at fault and Johnson should have scored from close quarters but lifted the ball high over.
Runcorn v Everton “A”
Runcorn had slightly the better of the game in the first half. Jakemen being prominent with individual work. Everton were quick and fast, Bentham and Swain causing trouble for the home defence. Half-time; Runcorn 0, Everton “A” 0
STOKE WON DUEL IN THE SUN
March 29, 1949. The Liverpool Daily Post
First Goodison Victory for 42 Years
By Ernest Edwards (“Bee”)
Everton 0, Stoke City 1(G. Mountford).
Stoke won the “Duel in the sun” after both sides had battled against a gale, dry ground and a light ball. Water, water, water everywhere yet none to pour on the parched and thirsty turf that spectators might see good football. Stoke showed floor-polish football. Everton sank in attack and thus come near the relegation zone. Stoke merit censure for their inconclusiveness. Their finishing was as flimsy and futile. It was not until the game died its unnatural death that the goal came by means of astute work on the left, with a sweeping centre across the face of goal to which no Everton man could stretch a leg. This provided Mountford (G.) with a simple chance. It might have been a Cup Final goal, so relieved were the Stoke players; They leaped joyously; shook each other by the hand, and when three minutes later the excellent referee; Mr. A.C. Hall, of Chester, bade us go home, they congratulated each other upon the breaking of a 42-year-old record at the most opportune time. Stoke last season challenged Liverpool for championship medals until well into June. Now they played a stylish type of game. Their gross misses near goal were probably due to nerves. One still marvels at professors being able to manipulate the ball towards goal, and then, being unable to do the simple things of football life.
Mantle of Mathews.
The mantle of Matthews is worn by George Mountford, who apes some of Stanley’s tricks without being able to swerve his body, like a Nautch dancer, to the confusion of the toe, Mountford thus becomes an eccentric, which word fit. Fielding in the days when the ball is light and uncontrollable. Farrell dashes and eats up space to force attack, and in that manner I would counsel his –comrades to study his precept. Other Everton players have the fetish for manipulating as surgeons, but the operation often breaks down. Elaboration cost Everton a lot in this quaint game for, paradoxically, Sagar was not gainfully employed and Herod and his stout backs had a stern time. In the improving second half, Dodds, gripped unmercifully by Neil Franklin, slid away from that grip and first struck the upright and later from a Fielding centre headed against the crossbar. Truth was Dodds was the only player in a much altered side (through injuries) to suggest a home goal and what is one among so many keen and clever defenders and a Sellares in a non-stop effort? Lello had a curious match, heading well to goal when offside and making one shot of power, and direction, otherwise he was hard to find; whereas Lindley gave a serviceable and stylish display, as did each one in his line, without getting completion of the raid through lack of forward ability. The difference between the two attacking lines was marked, and a victory was earmarked for Stoke in 15 minutes without being accomplished till three minutes from time. Having in the course of my writings, made reference to music at Everton’s ground I must confess the microphonic changes for announcements and recordings are vastly improved. Indeed the microphone on Saturday was Everton’s best player.
STOKE CITY RESERVES 0, EVERTON RESERVES 2
March 29, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves triumphed over Stoke City Reserves against the run of the play, principally because of the opportunism of Pinchback who scored a disputed goal after half-an-hour and added a second goal in a breakaway in the last minute. Greenhalgh took the honours in Everton’s defence, and Pinchbeck and Catterick (until the latter was injured) were stars in an attack which showed neat approach work.
GRIMSBY AT GOODISON
March 29, 1948. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton to Make Late Choice
By Leslie Edwards
Grimsby Town centre-forward Robson, once came to Goodison Park and scored the four goals which virtually put Everton in the Second Division. Today, when the sides meet again at the same ground, there may be no four goal scorer and there is little chance of Grimsby putting Everton in the discard, well as Grimsby played against them last Friday. Everton will make their team choice known when those who suffered knocks on Saturday have been tested.
EVERTON LACK SPARKLE
March 29, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Bar a couple of attempts by Dodds which hit the woodwork and a good one by Lello, Everton really looked like scoring. The attack certainly put in the lot of work, but it got them nowhere. Dodds was unable to turn matters to his benefit on the rare occasions, he accepted from the grim of Franlkin. Grant as usual showed fighting spirit and ability to worry the defence and something more than that to required these days. Higgins showed up fairly well, all things considered and the left Fielding and Lello as the two most dangerous forwards. As a combined striking force, however the line left much to be desired. The defence made a few mistakes in the first half, mainly to the troublesome sun and then got well on top, until a one marking left George Mountford with an unimpeded chance to beat Sagar from short-range in the last few minutes. Hedley making only his fourth senior appearance of the season gave a polished performance, showing coolness and cohesion at all times. Lindley was constructive, the defence played their parts with blemish.
March 29, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Fact is that Everton stopped playing too soon. When the Toffee saw the City kicking out to save a point they seemed to be deluded into thinking the game was over, and so the defence was caught on one leg by Stoke’s sudden spring to-life attack three minutes from time, and George Mountford won the game, although almost making a hash of his shot. This was a mixed Everton display, for Saunders and Fielding opened splendidly only to lose touch, Billy Higgins and Jack Hedley did exceptionally well-Higgins unexpected bursts always looked like bringing victory –Lindley and Farrell had far too much covering-up to do; Tommy Jones never was happy against the nimble Peppitt, although stirving hard to maintain his poise and coolness; and Jock Dodds must have gone home to Blackpool thinking that the gods are dead against him. Jock had a luckless afternoon and I felt sorry for him when two great efforts beat Herod but came back off the woodwork. Jock was always a potential match winner and the best forward on the field. Grant was the worrier, but Lello found control difficult. Sagar was completely blameless, but one of the reasons for the defeat was too much air-ball on a day when conditions demanded football along the floor. Stoke enterprise was rewarded, and on this showing they will steer clear, but I bet Neil Franklin will be delighted if Scotland do not select Dodds for the Hampden international for he could make little of the burly Scot.
EVERTON MAKE FIVE CHANGES
March 29, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Return Game With Grimsby
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton, seeking their first Easter-tide goal and point, made no fewer than five changes mainly because of injury for their return game with Grimsby Town at Goodison Park today. In addition, Grimsby had five programmes changes, and were seeking a double at the expense of the Blues, for they won 3-0 at Blundell Park on Good Friday. Everton had Saunders, Fielding and Lello on the injured list, to Jackson made his first appearance of the season –at right back. Wainwright went to inside right and Stevenson retuned to inside left following some brilliant displays with the Central League side. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Hedley, backs; Lindley, Tommy Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, and Higgins, forwards. Grimsby Town; Tweedy, goal; Moody and Fisher, backs; Whitfield, Galley, and Blenkinsopp, Johnson, Clinton, Briggs, Reeve and Pearson, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.E. Ellis (Halifax). There was a bright opening per Higgins, who got away with “hands” to slip past Moody and enable Stevenson to worry the Town defence. No shot was forthcoming and away went the leggy Pearson to place across the Everton goal with no-one there to do the needful. Encouraged by the enthusiastic crowd, Everton sprang to the attack, Dodds shooing at point-blank range; but Tweedy, one of the evergreens among goalkeepers, was in perfect position. Grant and Wainwright got Dodds through again and a full-blooded right foot drive was sailing home when Tweedy flung himself across goal, to turn it around the post.
HALF-BACK SCORERS IN THE GOODISON BATTLE
March 29, 1948.The Liverpool Echo
Keeper The Heroes
Sagar Tweedy “Specials”
Everton Line’s Liveliness
Everton 3, Grimsby Town 1
Two points well and truly earned, but not without some anxiety. Tweedy time and again saved the Town when everything appeared lost, yet I am not unmindful of two Sagar saves which will live long in the memory. Everton; Sagar, goal; Jackson and Hedley, backs; Lindley, Tommy Jones and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Grant, Wainwright, Dodds, Stevenson, and Higgins, forwards. Grimsby Town; Tweedy, goal; Moody and Fisher, backs; Whitfield, Galley, and Blenkinsopp, Johnson, Clinton, Briggs, Reeve and Pearson, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.E. Ellis (Halifax). The holiday games had taken toll of Everton and Grimsby Town, so that there were wholesale changes for their game at Goodison Park today. Some years ago Grimsby came here and a young man, named Robson scored four goals, which had a lot to do with Everton’s relegation. Everton’s position today is not quite so serious, but they cannot afford to drop any points, especially these at home.
Everton launched an attack immediately. Stevenson was early in the picture when he tried a shot which was cannoned out. Shortly afterwards Tweedy, who must be one of the oldest goalkeepers in the game saved a header by Grant. Tweedy was also in the right place when Dodds broke through, which shows that his anticipation and his eye are still as keen as ever. He was not to be given any rest. Dodds made another fine shot which Tweedy turned round the post. So far Grimsby had made only one advance and it was cut short by an offside decision. Wainwright and Dodds linked up to put the Grimsby goal in difficulties but Tweedy had no great concern about Dodds final header. The Town at last framed an attack, but it petered out and back came Everton. Dodds offered Stevenson a chance to shoot. The little Irishman took it, but sent the ball flying over the bar. No liberties could be taken with Grimsby, however, A defensive slip almost left in Pearson of the dynamic spot, had taken the wise precaution of running out and kicking clear. Tweedy was again called to duty to challenge Dodds, and a corner resulted. Jones came up for this and his header produced a second corner. A third corner was to follow, and from this, taken by Higgins, Jones nodded the opening goal at 14 minutes. An Everton clearance was cannoned out of play and Grant by his worrying tactics near the goal-line saw both Dodds and Wainwright taking shots which did not get through because of the goalmouth packed defence.
Crafty Cross-Field Pass
Stevenson when everybody though he was moving up for a shot got the Grimsby defence right out of position by a crafty cross-field pass to Grant. The little fellow returned the ball to the goalmouth, but an offside decision ruined everything. Briggs moved over to the right to try and capture a fast-running ball and, although he made contact, he sliced his shot into the crowd. After Dodds had a long shot of the mark, Briggs did succeed in putting the ball into the Everton net but he was offside. A foul against Jones did not bring Grimsby any reward for the free kick was blotted out.
A Sagar Special
The Grimsby people must have thought the equaliser was about to be produced when the Town left wing got the Everton defence on the wrong foot. The ball passed right in front of goal and Briggs wisely allowed Clinton who was much better placed to come in and fire a thunderbolt shot which would have scored 99 times out of 100 but Sagar brought off one of his special saves. A free kick against Grimsby was the final incident of the half.
Half-time; Everton 1, Grimsby Town 0.
Everton got off the mark very quickly in the second half, and Stevenson’s through pass to Wainwright almost produced a second goal. Hedley sent a ball well up into the goal-mouth and many though Dodds was offside. He was not and tried a left over Tweedy’s head, but the tall goalkeeper caught the ball over his head. Then came Grimsby equaliser the ball came over from the left to Blenkinsopp, the half back hit it on the volley and it went into the net like a rocket. But for Sagar Grimsby would have been ahead for his save of Briggs was nothing short of a miraculous, for he fling sideways and with an outstretched hand turned the ball aside.
Almost A Gift
Galley almost presented Everton with a gift goal when he scooped the ball over his own cross bar. Tweedy was still a thorn in the Everton side. He made saves when everything seemed lost. The much close work prevented both sides from taking goals for they would persist in tip-tapping when a shot was the thing. There was much more life in the game now. Dodds tried to dribble through the whole of the Grimsby defence and almost did it. The Town were glad to concede a corner. Everton’s pressure had been such that it was only a matter of time before a goal would com. Dodds tried a shot, the ball want speeding near the front of the Grimsby goal, and can to Higgins, who headed it home at 67 minutes. Tweedy foiled Grant and Farrell ran himself and the ball into difficulties but got away with it eventually. Tweedy was Grimsby’s big man today, but for him there could very easily have been a riot of goals. Grimsby went very near to scoring a second when the ball passed backwards and forwards in front of the Everton goal before it was finally dispatched. Wainwright should have put the issue beyond doubt. He was put through and then tried to dribble beyond Tweedy.
Galley and Dodds had some grim tussles but it was Tweedy again who saved Grimsby. A free kick against Grimsby two minutes form the end and Grant pilot the ball into the Towners net. Final; Everton 3, Grimsby Town 1. Attendance 37,926.
EVERTON BEST IN BRIGHT SECOND HALF
March 30, 1948 The Liverpool Daily Post
By Ernest Edwards (“Bee)
Everton 3 (Jones, Higgins, Grant), Grimsby Town 1 (Blenkinsipp)
Everton’s Easter holiday feast ended with a victory that virtually hammered the last nail into Grimsby Town’s First Division coffin, and at the same time hoisted the winners out of a rut of clubs struggling to maintained seniority. This game was a struggle, too, for although it ended on a satisfying note, it was no more than all square at three-quarter time. One goal can turn a game from sombre character to an enlivening and enlightening duel in this test. Everton took a lead through the forward march of Tom Jones when corner kicks were being taken. Jones has height and a Dean facility for rising to abnormal heights and nodding them in. This was what happened after Everton had set up a resolute and fierce opening stanza in which the sun and wind were helpmates to their fine endeavour. The first half was not exactly a pattern of play, and it needed a shock to the Everton system to get them going again. They were playing as if there was no necessity to strain after goals. At that moment Blenkinsopp, sometimes a forward, now appearing at left half-back, drove in a fabulous shot the range and angle of which appeared to be safe for “just over the bar.” The ball dipped the merest trifle and entered the top corner of the net -a really remarkable goal. This started Everton into action and in the end they won, in spite of galliant Tweedy, by a margin that did not do them injustice. Higgins rushing forward headed a goal from close in, and after winging flight the bust little Grant on the other flank, raced up to take a further headed goal. So the 37,000 spectators went home to talk of a welcome win, deserved, hard to obtain and revealing certain features that must be chronicled.
Enter The G.O.M.
There were cheers for the announcer when he told the gathering Wainwright had returned to action. Further cheers when the news Stevenson at No 10 was made. The public know their heroes and Stevenson’s inclusion, after months of hibernating, meant that at least the ball would be cuddled, cajoled and controlled with art and scientific forethought for the pass-to- come. In addition to Stevenson, of the old brigade, George Jackson, old faithful, came to the defence to add great endeavour in a quite excellent game. These boys of the old brigade were always in the picture. Wainwright appeared to tire, as earlier in the season, but Dodds added lustre to a game, the second half of which was worth all the first half and the Everton v. Stoke into the bargain. There was devil in the Everton attack and although it eased off after the first quarter of an hour of incessant driving force it came back in the last twenty minutes since the Blenkinsopp blow had been survived. Dodds has his detractors –they talk of him missing easy chances, forgetting to remember his good deeds when he drawn three defenders from their lair and opens wide the gates for others to pass through in triumph. In addition, this big, joyous centre adds colour to the proceedings and if he sometimes sacrifices practicability to produce the unorthodox dribble or jugglery, I for one, forgive him. Football would be dull without a Dodds.
Other joys were produced by the consistently force of Farrell, Jones and Lindley, two of far-teaching heights, the Irishman adding big thighs to delicate working of the ball. Each looks before he leapt and looks before he passes that is a dominating feature of Everton’s present half-back line, recalling the style and strength of a former line, such as Makepeace, Taylor and Abbott. Everton forwards were not always trustworthy after the acceptable pass had been delivered to them on a plate yet considering the many changes forced on the side, the display of the second half was excellent, although there were missed chances. Tweedy has lost his hair without losing his penchant for cutting out corners of catching with solid grip cannon-ball shots. His display was outstanding for the surprise saves and clean defence. The rest of the Grimsby side played as if sentenced to the Second Division. Earnest and may times cunning in their subtlety , they played without conviction and without a belief that their tide will ever turn. Referee Ellis and his aides, Messrs E. Jenkins and Haworth did their work without fault.
EVERTON BREAK THE ICE
March 30, 1948. The Liverpool Echo
Two months ago it hardly looked possible that we should regard the points secured from an Everton victory as more then valuable, for the club seemed unlikely to be concerned with any of the vital issues of the season. Such is the narrow margin as the bottom of the table, however, that even a brief run of failure may make any club’s position. If not exactly dangerous at least disputation. Fortunately Everton got back to winning ways at Grimsby’s expense yesterday, giving an better show than they did against Stoke. The attack had much more punch, and but, for great goalkeeping by Tweedy their victory would have been more convincing. Yet all the narrow squeaks were not on one side. Two splendid saves by Sagar prevented Grimsby getting in front at the most vital stage. Though Everton were promptly have had enough in hand to overcome the deficit, the psychological effect on both sides might have changed the entire run of the game. Dodds set the pace at the start, his powerful shooting in the opening minutes showed he was out for “blood” and throughout the game he was always a source of danger. Frequently he did serve in one move to spilt open the defence than we sometimes see from half a dozen complicated manecurve. He also provided some picture passes –of which better you should have been made. Once Tommy Jones had given Everton an early lead following a corner the Blues slacked off for a time as though they felt the game was as good as won. This might have cost them dearly, for after Blenkinsopp had equalised shortly after the resumption with the best shot of the day, Grimsby enjoyed a brief but hectic spell when they were as good as if not slightly better than their opponents. This was the vital period when Sagar made his best saves at the time. Fortunately Everton saw the light, pulled up their socks in good time and goals by Higgins and Grant but the game beyond doubt. In having to call on veterans like Jackson and Stevenson Everton were more forceful and balanced than they have been for some time. Both these old servants proved themselves still capable of going through a gruelling 90 minutes with all their old reliability. Hedley and Saunders again put in a good day’s work. Farrell and Jones impressed in their customary manner, but Grant, through shinning in some effectiveness was remiss in front of goal. As so often happens with lowly sides, nothing would go right for Grimsby. They served up some quite good football, and were not without marksmen.
March 30, 1948. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Merseyside had only three wins o cheer yesterday and certainly the sweetest was Everton’s 3-1 success over fighting Grimsby Town at Goodison Park –a hard won, but thoroughly deserved victory. Had it not been for George Tweedy, the Town goalkeeper, Everton would have had a “packet”. It is remarkable how the seasoned goalkeepers of the day are proving the stars of the game. Despite Everton’s superior tactics and neater exploitation there was much about Grimsby to admire and there was one period in the second half when it appeared as if the Mariners would snatch a shock win. This followed immediately on a wonder goal by the industrious Blenkinsopp, who cracked it home from 25 yards from a corner. The persistence of Tommy Jones is going up for corners had brought just reward when big Tommy nodded one home from Higgin’s cross, and Everton looked set for victory. That Grimsby rally, however, shook a defence too easily drawn out of position yet quick enough and cute enough to cover and recover. But for speedy recovery Everton must have scarified goals to the wandering, weaving Pearson and the tall, alert Briggs. However, the phase passed and slowly but surely, the Everton machine wore down even Tweedy so that wingers Higgins and Grant were able to ram home winning goals. There were many features one could pick out of the curious mixture of good football and uncertainty. Apart from Tweedy and the diligence of Blenkinsopp one could select the charm and craft of Alex Stevenson, who so subtly used the short ball by the long swinging pass to the wings. We could single out the delightful leadership of Dodds, who moved this way and that to create some choice openings despite the ever-present hemming in of Tom Galley. If ever a player deserved a goal it was Dodds. The expert wing play of Jackie Grant; the straightforward and strong work of Higgins; the dominance and ball use of Lindley; the fine defensive work of Jack Hedley. All those things were good, but for me I rate the display of Peter Farrell as the highlight. Playing harder at the finish than even his terrific start. Farrell was a player of prodigious energy and skill with hardly a wasted pass; the willingness and ability to burst through; the amazing power of dropping back to fill a gap. It was all in the Farrell make-up. Wainwright’s cuteness in finding the open spot maybe was not fully appreciated because of times the pass took so long to come to him, while Tommy Jones worked quietly and with confidence, knowing that he had full backing of his wing colleagues and backs. George Jackson returned after a long absence to delight everyone, while Sagar came through with two typical saves in rather a quiet afternoon.