EARLY SHOCK AT GOODISON
September 2, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Confused by Clever Brentford Combination
Everton 0, Brentford 2 (Wilkins, pen and McAloon)
By Bee (Ernest Edwards)
Did Roberts fall, or was he pushed? This vital question was asked early in the game on Everton’s ground on Saturday. A winger stumbling along, looking a sure scorer but off his balance would tumble after the slightest contact with Jackson. Robert’s went to earth – so did Everton’s hearts. The referee was well placed to decide. The ball was spotted, but not spot-barred, as Wilkins scored Brentford’s first goal. This was a stunning blow to the pre-war champions. It was the elixir of life Brentford, because Roberts, ex-Bristol, has been made a professional less than two days before. Brentford went from success to success. They knew in tactical grace and splendour and no team can excel their method of using the ankle-pass. Contrariwise, Everton went from good to moderate, to worse, finally making a dashing finale without result, because meantime McAloon had scored a second goal. The gulf between the teams was this; Everton took four strides in trying to make a pass; Brentford made their pass and advanced to receive a return pass. Brentford were precise and combined. Everton individualists.
Test of Height
Mcllhatton should have been better served. His call for the ball insisted on a quick return and through pass, but this he did not get. Everton’s attack lacked the fluency of its old style. They were patchy and in meeting the tall heading Smith. Catterick had to have the ball grounded; instead, most of his efforts were a test of height, in which he could never hope to combat Smith. This was not the real Everton. The penalty-hung over the whole side with the exception of Tom Jones, whose form was just what Welsh selectors Calvin Hughes and Secretary Powell needed.
The Mercer Pass
Mercer, object of most conversation in the crowd, offered the classic pass of the afternoon, worked in his own distinction style. Like others, he could not get his other passes right perhaps because some of the forwards took up foolish positions – they tended to go into the built-up areas, instead of the open spaces. No this was not Everton’s day and it will not recur if the team become more practical more connected, and more certain of the direction of their passes. Let them emulate Brentford’s go-ahead movements, especially those of the right wing, consisting of the new boy Roberts and a key man. Wilkins, with McAloon a lively force at inside-right. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Brentford; Crozier, goal; Gorman and Oliver, backs; Scott, Smith and Brown, half-backs; Hopkins, McAloon, Townsend, Wilkins, and Roberts, forwards. Referee; Mr. S.E. Law (West Bromwich).
Everton visit Villa Park tonight to play Aston Villa. The Goodison Park side shows one change –at inside right, where Livingstone, signed from Bury during the close season, comes in for Wainwright, who is unable to get leave. Teams; Burnett, Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Mcllhatton, Livingstone, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes
• Sheffield Wednesday Reserves 1, Everton Reserves 2
• Everton “A” 2 (Wright 2), Ellesmere Port 4 (Crowes 2, Powell, Percival)
• Sheffield 0, Liverpool 1, Carney.
EVERTON CHANGES V. VILLA
September 2, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Wainwright Not Available
Everton make one change for the game this evening with Aston Villa at Birmingham, Archie Livingstone playing at inside right in place of Wainwright, who is unable to get leave. Everton will have to do much better than they did against Brentford to bring anything back with them. Soccer’s infinite capacity for giving us a taste of the unexpected was again in evidence on the opening day. There won’t be many Merseyside folk this morning who can truthful say; “I told you so,” with regard to either Everton or Liverpool’s results. Brentford played the better football at Goodison, and fully deserved the points. There was method and precision in all they did. They passed to their own men, and not, as Everton so frequently did to the opposition. They were so much quicker on the ball that it became monotonous watching Everton, waiting for it to come to them, being constantly beaten for possession when a visiting player nipped in and collected it. The Blues suggested the end more than the beginning of the season, so often were they licked for speed. After the Goodison practice game I remarked on the pleasing manner in which both Everton sides kept the ball down and made their passes on the ground, hitting the ball with the instep to ensure accuracy. Unfortunately they forgot a lot of that against Brentford who had the art off to perfection. Though a bad start for the Blues and anything but what we anticipated there’s no need to be unduly upset – so long as Saturday’s lessons are learned, and I think we can count on that. It is a long time since we saw the Everton front line such a ragged unit, with little balanced team work to get the most out of individual endeavour of which there was plenty but not rightly directed. The result was that a heavy burden fell on the defence and it was well Burnett was in his best form; otherwise the deficit might have been greater. Tommy Jones also was excellent and if he seemed a trifle slow with the second goal it was solely because of a natural desire to be in two places at once when his co-defenders had gone –up-field. And no man can do that. I saw no grounds for the penalty against Jackson, but happily it made no difference to the ultimate result.
Like Spring Lambs
Mcllhatton has been speeded-up considerably. He showed ideas in darting to the open spaces – but nobody thought of putting the ball there, so it all went for nought. Brentford, with their liberal sprinkling of bald heads, were as lively as a bunch of spring lambs. They have found a promising winger in Roberts. Wilkes is a winner, Scott a great half-back and Hopkins a revelations for his age. Before the match Harry Curtis, the Londoners’ manager told me of his hopes and fears. O jokingly suggested he was seeking an “alibi.” But he didn’t need one. Harry said that this season he would be content if his club could steer a safe course round about the middle of the table, so that he could with safety try out some of his many promising youngsters. If we’re near the top we can’t do it because we shall be making a bid for honours, and if we’re near the bottom we daren’t do it. My biggest trouble is getting houses for our players. You can’t expect to sign a newcomer if he already has a home and family elsewhere and you can’t offer a house in exchange. That isn’t Brentford’s trouble alone. All clubs are suffering the same way. Tom Manley Brentford’s skipper now resting because of a pulled muscle, is one of the many players worried over housing. His wife and family live at Great Budworth, near Northwich. For the past six years they’ve hardly seen him because of his Army service. Now he’s demobbed the position is no better, for Tom is in digs down South and can’t get a house.
September 2, 1946. The Evening Express
Football’s opening day of shocks and sensations is over. Let us look ahead to the good things in store. Everton go into no state of panic over Saturday’s shattering defeat at Goodison Park at the hands of Brentford, and the only change for this evening’s clash with Aston Villa at Villa Park is the introduction of Archie Livingstone to inside right in place of Wainwright who cannot get leave. Everton’s gate on Saturday was 55,338 –on a rainy day, too.
Before the game at Goodison Park Secretary Manager Harry Curtis, of Brentford openly confessed to me that far from being optimistic he was a little pessimistic. Well, two of his star players were injured and an unknown Roberts was at outside left. However, Harry had a little pep talk with his players and it was decided that if, by first-time tackling and intrepid intervention they could prevent Everton from playing football they would win. That plan was carried out to the letter and goodness knows Brentford not only deserved their 2-0 win but should have had more goals,. Everton can thank George Burnett for keeping the score down. Anyway these seasoned Brentford players did to Everton’s key forwards exactly what Norman Greenhalgh does to Stan Mathhews. They got to the ball first and so shattered the entire Everton team structure – A simple plan, but oh so effective. Brentford got rather a lucky penalty –Jackson says he never even touched Roberts –at a time when the Everton defence was nervy and ill-at-ease – you know Jones and Burnett going for the same ball, and such like –and the effect of that goal was to make Everton press in the manner of a golfer who tops his first drive. The harder they tired the worse it became. Wing half-backs Mercer and Watson moved too far afield in an endeavour to get their forwards into action, and we saw wide gaps through which Hopkins and Roberts danced delightly. Fortunately for the Blues that Burnett was so dazzlingly brilliant; that Jackson and Greenhalgh stood firm, and that Jones gave such glimpses of his vintage form which so impressed Welsh F.A. watchers Messrs Calvin Hughes, and Herbert Powell. Tommy plays for Wales all right and so does Hopkins. Wainwright and Fielding lay too far back at times leaving the willing but Smith –overwhelmed Catterick, Mcllhatton - a good game. Jack –and Boyes too much on their own. Brentford gave Everton lessons in collaborative football and quick-actioned skill yet had Everton finished well –Wainwright was much too wild –they might have levelled it before McAloon glided home a Roberts centre which dropped over Jone’s head. Curiously enough it was Fielding. Everton’s prime creator, who was the most enterprising marksman. While not detracting from Brentford’s this was but a shadow of the real Everton, and it is form I refuse to accept. The Reserves’ Wednesday clash with Aston Villa at Goodison will be at three o’clock to enable the fans to get tea and then to Anfield’s big opening.
“BLUES” RETURN WITH POINTS FROM VILLA PARK
September 3, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Great Defence Rewarded by Goal from Boyes
Aston Villa 0, Everton 1
Everton brought off a surprise win at Villa Park last night. The Villa had enjoyed all the play in the first half, but their shooting was weak. As the Everton defence stiffened against constant attacks, the great work of such players as T.G. Jones, Mercer and others was made manifest. Villa were good up to the penalty area. Beyond that stages they fell to a standard as low as any Third Division side. Everton were all defence during this period and I do not think they had more than two shots at Rutherford, the Villa goalkeepers. But there was a reason for that; Cummings and Potts, apart from being well bound together, exploited the offside trap and many times an Everton forward was offside a yard over his half-way line. It was most annoying but certainly it had its effect. That was all that mattered to the Villa. It was 20 minutes before Everton tested the Villa goalkeeper, and the shot was not one likely to beat this safe and confident keeper.
On the balance of play, Everton should have been in arrears at the interval, but if a side will not take chances when they are offered they have only themselves to blame. This was the Villa’s second defeat and from all accounts their display on Saturday was much the same –good in midfield, poor near goal. But so were Everton until the second half, when they decided it was their turn to attack. The all-important goal came at the 50th minute. It was started from a corner kick by Mcllhatton. He sent the ball well across, the goal face and Fielding headed to Boyes, who smote it hard and true without a second delay. Rutherford touched it, but could not keep it out of the net. For a while afterwards the Birmingham side threw in all they had, but their shooting was still remiss and gradually Everton swung into something like the form we used to enjoy from them. With the slightest luck they would have added to the score, for Catterick was almost round Callaghan and with the goalkeeper out, of goal, Fielding tried a lob. It was the correct thing to do, but Rutherford, in desperation, flung his hand up and steered the ball away from goal. Smith was hurt, and this a lot of the Villa’s effectiveness vanished completely for he was the bright spot in a moderate attack. Jackson also was hurt and went on the wing. Mcllhatton and Catterick were injured, but were able to continue.
Credit to defence
It was not a brilliant game, by any means but it had plenty of bate. Perhaps Everton were just a shade lucky, but when one remembers their galliant defence when the tide was against them, surely that entitled them to much credit. In the last twenty minutes they made Villa look a fairly ordinary side. Attendance 35,000. Aston Villa; Rutherford, goal; Potts and Cummings, backs; Iverson, Callaghan, and Lowe, half-backs; Goffin, Dixon, Edwards, Parks, and Smith, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Jackson and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones, and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Livingstone, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.H. Parker, Crewe.
September 3, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton followers will be delighted to know that Tommy Eglington, the new outside-left from Shamrock Rovers, was one of the scintillating stars in the Central league victory at Hillsbrough. Club followers will be able to see Eglington for themselves tomorrow, for Tommy is certain to play in the Central League match with Aston Villa at Goodison Park, the kick-off for which has been brought forward to three o’clock. Everton Res; Sagar; Saunders, Humphreys; Bentham, Lindley, Davies; Sweeney, Livingstone, Higgins, Stevenson, Eglington.
Everton showed the football world – and the International selectors in particular – that their form against Brentford as all wrong by defeating Aston Villa 1-0 at Villa Park last night to record their third successive victory at the ground. Everton’s triumph –well deserved to the end, despite a few escapes –was watched by Messrs Arthur Drury, chairman of the International Selection Committee, and A. Oakley, his colleagues. If they accept the form shown, then Wally Fielding will retain his place against Ireland on September 28 and Joe Mercer will be recalled to left half in England’s side. Joe was the Mercer of the real vintage, and his display would have hit every headline had it not been overshadowed by the finest exhibition of centre-half play I have seen for many a day. This wads from Tommy Jones, who already is certain of his place in the Welsh team. Of course, these individuals, performances came secondary to the all-round teamwork of a side pitted against a Villa eleven with all the old traditional skill and brilliance. For 20 minutes the Villa were perfection in their approach, but the Blues concentrated on defence, and time and again blotted out shooting openings or forced the villa to let go from too long a range. Everton were fortunate when Jones headed a winner from Edwards off the line, and maybe the Villa lost a little heart, thus. Certainly they lost much of their skill when Everton began to turn on the “heat.” The Blues were well on top before half-time, and continued to beat the Villa to the ball and use it with delicious judgement. Mcllhatton, who had found Cummings too wary, suddenly found he could beat a fellow Scot with old tricks, and in 50 minutes he skated away to gain a corner, which he placed neatly to Catterick, who headed the ball across to the ideally-placed Boyes. Boyes hit it on the volley with such force, that although Rutherford got his hands to it, the ball flashed on into the net. This was high-powered football with the Blues’ combined skill smashing down the one-back trap which threatened to ruin the game. The Villa were beaten a long way from time, so that even when cramp forced Jackson to the wing Everton’s grip never relaxed. The whole Everton team played with a sprint and zealousness which thrilled, for Watson crashed right back to his best form and Greenhalgh was easily the best tackler afield. Jackson never appeared worried by the intricacies of Leslie Smith and behind them Burnett was great-so great that the Villa folk said;- “That’s the best young goalkeeper in the country.” Livingstone was not exactly happy, while Mcllhatton had a fine second half and Boyes accomplished rare things in flashes. Catterick’s and Fielding shared the forward honours, their ball control being magnificent. Yes fine victory witnessed by Chairman Mr. Bill Gibbins, Ernest green, Dickie Williams, and Jack Sharp. Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly and a host of Midlands soccer heads. Villa need not despair for any side capable of playing as they did early on must be good, while Everton have grounds for complete satisfaction.
EVERTON’S VILLA PLUM
September 3, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
An away win, no matter how obtained, is a meritorious performance but don’t think that Everton’s display at Villa Park was perfection in defence it was, but there was still a lack of punch in the forward line. Villa opened in such stylish manner that an Everton victory seemed a long way off. During the first 45 minutes the home side called to mind the pristine days when copy book football was their portion. I visualised a clear-out victory for them (Writes Stoke). Why did they fall? The answer is because of Everton’s great defence. Wales cannot look beyond T.G. Jones, for their centre half, and England will have to consider Joe Mercer. Gradually the Villa glitter became dulled and finally rushed, and eventually Everton got into the swing that made them champions. The fast half hour play saw them “cruising” through the Villa by dint of purposeful football played on the ground. I really think that if Villa had played until now that they would not have scored, so formidable was the Everton rearguard. Everton’s forwards display was poor. They got one goal, but when I tell you it was a full 20 minutes before they brought the Villa goalkeeper into action, you can perhaps gauge for yourself its weakness. True, the defence was pretty solid, but one missed those dashes through the opposition ranks and the quick shot. The goal that produced this victory was of the unstoppable sort, Rutherford did get his hands to Boyes drive but such was its power, he could not keep it out of his net.
Everton’s First Life-Member
Everton’s counting-house on a Saturday afternoon will not seen the same in future, for Herbert (Dobbie) Barker has retired and in recognition of his long services to the club has been elected its first left-member. Like many men built on simple proportions, Herbert Barker was geniality itself, always quite –spoken with an infectious chuckle which seemed to spring from deep down inside him. He was a wizard with figures and no matter how big the gate you never saw Herbert flurried or hurried. He totted up his figures and handled the cash like a human adding machine. His hobby, next to Everton, in bowls and he shares with Referee Brown the rare ability of bell-ringing.
EVERTON RES. LOSE
September 5, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 1, Aston Villa Res 2
A goalkeeping error in the final minutes and an injury to Humphreys contributed to Everton’s defeat in this Central League match at Goodison Park yesterday. Sagar after displaying international form, erred when Humphreys scored – for had come out too far. To maintain even a foothold on the wintery pitch was difficult enough. Eglington the Irish forward making his debut at Goodison pleased (writes Stork) for he showed ball control pace and ability to shoot. Villa took the lead in the 20th minute when Martin beat Sagar at close range, their second goal came in the 82nd minute. Higgins scored for Everton. Everton; Sagar; Saunders, Humphreys; Bentham, Lindley, Davies; Sweeney, Livingstone, Higgins, Stevenson, Eglington. Aston Villa; Wateman; Ashton, Guttridge; Jones, Morby, Moss; Kerr, Martin, Granham, Sterling, Houghton. Referee; Mr. H.E. Lambert.
September 5, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
For their away trip to Blackburn Rovers Everton revert to last Saturday’s forward formation Wainwright now being available. Team; Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
Everton Reserves (v. Blackpool Reserves at Goodison Park 3.15); Sagar; Saunders, Finnis; Bentham, Lindley, McPeake; Grant, Livingstone, Higgins, Stevenson, Eglington.
Despite the Everton board’s decision not to agree to Joe Mercer’s request to be placed on the transfer list the player has not changed his mind. The club gave no reason for their refusal to accede to his request. Mercer is now desirous of meeting the board to state his case.
September 5, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton directors last night considered the application for transfer put in by international half-back Joe Mercer, but as I hinted their reply is a point-blank “No” Every Blue follower will agree that the directors have acted wisely.
Everton are quite content with the way in which things are running for them, and the only change for their visit to Blackburn Rovers –surprises winners over Arsenal last night –is the return of Wainwright to inside right in place of Livingstone. Wainwright could not get leave for the Villa game. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
Everton Reserves (v. Blackpool Reserves at Goodison Park 3.15); Sagar; Saunders, Finnis; Bentham, Lindley, McPeake; Grant, Livingstone, Higgins, Stevenson, Eglington.
Everton “A” (v. Haydock, away); Birkett; Curwen, Dugdale; Edwards, Falder, J.R. Dunroe; Owen, Sharp, S. Wright, W.A. Bagaley, Lyon.
Everton Colts (v. Cyprus, at Bellefield); Charlton; Lever, Rankin; Tansey, McGrail, Street; Heath, Jameson, Quetell, Hannah, Richardson.
BLUES’ BOGEY GROUND
September 6, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Most teams have their “bogey” grounds and Ewood Park has never been one to favour Everton. Last seasons when they were heading for championship honours, they came a pursier against the Rovers, a very mediocre side. The Rovers with a strengthened team, hope to confirm that victory tomorrow, and Everton must bestir themselves to prevent them from doing so. In their two games to date the champions have not been impressive in attack. Against Brentford they were definitely poor. At the Villa on Monday, they showed improvement, but there was still a lack of punch in the forward line, and it was the defence which again took main honours. From all accounts the Rovers attack nowadays is very lively and effective, while at half-back there is a strength which will take all the wiles and schemes of the Everton forward line to break down. It can be done, however, if the Everton forwards will act on the right lines. Late on in their game with Aston Villa they got into a swing reminiscent of their immediate pre-war-days. More of that and earlier on and the outlook will be brighter. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes. Blackburn- Marks; Wightman, Crook; Whiteside, Pryde, Bell, Rogers, Butt, Smith, Glaster, Langton.
September 6, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton heartened by the mid-week win against Aston Villa, go to one of their bogy grounds –Ewood Park – to meet Blackburn Rovers. On paper this looks god for the Blues, but the Rovers won well at Arsenal on Wednesday, and so must be respected. Wainwright returns to Everton’s attack, this being the only change from Monday, and if the wing half backs play as well as in Birmingham then I think Everton will at least repeat their performance of 1939, when they drew 2-2. It is many years, however, since Everton won at Blackburn in peace football. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Boyes.
Everton entertain Blackpool at Goodison Park in the Central League.
BLACKBURN TAKE THE LEAD EARLY
September 7, 1946. The Evening Express
Everton Goal Down in 4 Minutes
Everton had to make a late change for their visit to Ewood Park today. George Jackson sustained a pulled thigh muscle against Aston Villa last Monday and had to cry off. His place was taken by half-back Jack Davies. A strong complement of Everton directors made the journey today, including Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins and Messrs W.R. Williams, F. Lake, John Sharpe, and Dr. Baxter. Blackburn has always been something of a bogey ground for the Blues, and the Rovers were confident, following their defeat of the Arsenal in midweek. Blackburn Rovers; Marks, goal; Wightman and Crooke, backs; Whiteside, Pryde, and Bell, half-backs; Rogers, Butt, Smith, Glaister, and Langton, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Davies and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. About 30,000 saw Everton turn out in white shirts and black knickers. The game was held up when referee Tlinston discovered something wrong with the goal netting at the Everton end, and Catterick kicked off for Everton nearly six minutes later. An early Everton raid ended when Fielding strayed offside. Burnett had to be on the alert to clear following a Whiteman swing kick, then Mcllhatton thrust his way through only to be dispossessed when within shooting range. In four minutes Blackburn took the lead. Rogers outwitted Greenhalgh and crossed purposely over Tom Jones’s head, for Langton to hit the ball first time into the empty net. Burnett was out of position at that moment.
EVERTON DEFENCE FAILS TO HOLD ROVERS
September 7, 1946. The Evening Express
Spirited Blackburn Forward Line
It was a disappointing Everton. With Davies unable to get the measure of the quicksilver Langton, the defence seemed all at sea, while the forwards moved as units rather than as a cohesive force. Blackburn were always faster on the ball and they had good sharp shooters. Blackburn were worthy winners by four goals to one. Everton had to make a late change, George Jackson sustained a pulled thigh muscle against Aston Villa last Monday and had to cry off. His place was taken by half-back Jack Davies. A strong complement of Everton directors made the journey today, including Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins and Messrs W.R. Williams, F. Lake, John Sharpe, and Dr. Baxter. Blackburn has always been something of a bogey ground for the Blues and the Rovers were confident, following their defeat of the Arsenal in midweek. Blackburn Rovers; Marks, goal; Wightman (captain) and Crooke, backs; Whiteside, Pryde, and Bell, half-backs; Rogers, Butt, Smith, Glaister, and Langton, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Davies and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. Plinston (Warrington). About 30,000 saw Everton turn out in white shirts and black knickers. The game was held up when referee Tlinston discovered something wrong with the goal netting at the Everton end, and Catterick kicked off for Everton nearly six minutes later. An early Everton raid ended when Fielding strayed offside. Burnett had to be on the alert to clear following a Whiteman swing kick, then Mcllhatton thrust his way through only to be dispossessed when within shooting range. In four minutes Blackburn took the lead. Rogers outwitted Greenhalgh and crossed purposely over Tom Jones’s head, for Langton to hit the ball first time into the empty net. Burnett was out of position at that moment.
Blackburn came again, Rogers out-pacing both Greenhalgh and Watson and putting the ball through to Butt, but the inside man’s shot was well off the marks. Referee Plinston smiled broadly when Boyes tried to “steal” a throw in which was Blackburn’s by right. Nine minutes later Everton squared matters with a characteristic Boyes goal. Fielding sent Boyes away to the left and the winger trickled Wightman twice, dribbled the ball into the middle and let go with a terrific left foot shot, which crashed into the top right-hand corner of the net, with Marks helpless. Boyes almost repeated the effort seconds later, but this time his shot was a foot wide of the far post. Blackburn retaliated when Smith dispossessed Jones and shot. It was only a splendid full length save by Burnett which saved the day. The Everton defence was anything but confident hereabouts. A strenuous run by Wainwright gave Catterick a perfect chance, but his shot lacked accuracy. It was a bad miss. There was certainly no lack of action in a fast game, in which the first-time shooting of the Blackburn forward line was a feature. Smith failed with a glorious chance when he headed towards his own goal by mistakes with the Everton defence spread-eagled. Only a Burnett push round the post from an injective corner prevented Langton again putting Rovers ahead. The Rovers’ goal had an escape when Boyes pushed the ball goal-wards from a Mcllhatton cross and the lead was sent over away to Fielding, whose shot went high over the bar. A high dropping centre shot by Langton caused the crowd to gasp and Burnett to leap high to turn it over the bar. The nippy Rovers’ left wing was causing Davies concern and most of the danger to Everton came from this side. Everton goal survived miraculously several times. Mcllhatton tried to forces a pass through, but was beaten by weight of numbers and the Everton attack appeared to lack driving power at this stage. Langton should have put the Rovers ahead, but he shot, straight at Burnett when away on his own. Everton couldn’t keep Langton out of the picture and he went right through the defence seconds later. His final effort was wide of the upright, however.
Half-time; Blackburn R 1, Everton 1.
Whiteside found Burnett well positioned when he tried a long range effort and Blackburn had resumed where they had left off –on the offensive. An oblique shot was kept out at full length by Burnett, who could only push it out to the feet of Smith. Smith put the ball squarely across the goal, but no one was at hand to apply the necessary shot. After 51 minutes Blackburn deservedly took the lead through Smith, who had no difficulty in heading Roger’s accurate cross beyond Burnett. Wightman, Rovers captain, was spoken to by the referee for a tackle on Boyes. The same thing happened to Bell a minute later when he tackled Fielding. Blackburn went further ahead in 59 minutes. Once again Langton was the provider. He bamboozled Davies and squared, the ball along the ground to Smith, whose half-hit shot trickled wide of Burnett into the net. Catterick went off injured at this stage. Smith scored the hat-trick when he netted Blackburn’s fourth in the 70th minute. Greenhalgh misheaded in attempting to clear, and Butt pounced on the ball, and sent in a fine dropping shot, which Burnett missed. Everton’s ten men were completely outplayed and had rarely crossed the half-way line in this half. It was learned that Catterick had injured his arm in a fall and fracture suspected. The arm is to be X-rayed. Boyes Everton’s most dangerous forwards, worked like a Trojan, and he almost added to the Blues’ account when he outstripped Whiteman. Final; Blackburn 4, Everton 1.
Everton Res v. B’pool Res
Elliott, Stevenson and Higgins added further goals for Everton. Final; Everton Res 5, B’Pool Res 0.
BLUES UNDER FIRE
September 7, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Rovers’ Darting Raids
Blackburn Rovers 4, Everton 1
A worthy Rovers’ victory. Everton never together, disjointed and uncertain. Belleved Catterick broke his arm. Blackburn Rovers; Marks, goal; Wightman (captain) and Crooke, backs; Whiteside, Pryde, and Bell, half-backs; Rogers, Butt, Smith, Glaister, and Langton, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Davies and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. Plinston (Warrington). Everton were deprived of the services of George Jackson, who pulled a muscle against the Villa on Monday. His place was taken by J. Davies, the half-back. Thus the defence which has played so long together was broken, otherwise the teams turned out as per card. Last season it was Ewood Park which created a surprise, seeing the downfall of Everton, who were at the time running for championship honours. Let us hope that there would not be a repetition. Eddie Hapgood has great hopes for his side this season. There were 30,000 present at the kick-off.
Everton in White
Everton played in white Jerseys and black trunks –entirely new to me. The opening moments were uncommonly quiet, not a sound coming from the crowd; not even when Everton struck on their left wing. It took a Glaister shot, which Burnett saved, to bring the people to life. Again Everton advanced through Boyes, who, however, shot behind. It was the Rovers’ who drew first blood, Langton scoring at the fifth minute. Rogers’s centre brought Burnett out of goal. Langton was there first, however, and sent the ball flying into the net. This early success was a great joy to the Rovers and their followers and I have to admit it was a good goal from start to finish. The joy was short-lived, for Boyes, after beating Wightman and to the surprise of all, shot and the ball swerving tremendously, went inside the post with marks holding a watching brief. Everton nearly took another when Boyes, from a difficult angle, swept the ball over the corner of the goal. Matters were more brisk, and Smith gave Burnett a hot shot to deal with. The Everton goalkeeper could not hold it and Jones completed the clearance. A second goal to Everton seemed a certainty when Wainwright made a long run in the inside left position and finally glided the ball inside to Catterick, who did not get the ball under immediate control and when he did was badly placed for a shot. Blackburn got into their stride immediately. For five minutes the Rovers were “squatters” in the Everton goal area, and eventually they broke down the Everton defence. Smith heading a second goal from Butt’s pass after 51 minutes. Whiteside was guilty of a nasty foul on Boyes, and Bell was penalised for dangerous play, almost kicking Mercer in the face. Jones shot wide from the free kick. Everton’s task became tremendous when Smith scored a third goal for the Rovers after 59 minutes. He was left unmarked in front of goal, and he had simply to tap the ball home. One could not entirely excuse the defence from blame, although one had to admit that Blackburn were full value for their lead. Blackburn did not need any encouragement to shoot for that was a feature of their play, an opening of any sort was ample justification for a shot. Some of these shots missed their way, others finished in the hands of Burnett. Whatever success there was gained by darting raids. There had been little combined movement thus far, although Langton almost smashed his way through for a double, his final efforts finishing in the side net. The Rovers goal had a narrow escape when Mcllhatton centred strongly into the goalmouth. Marks failed to contact and Boyes hooked it back into the vacant space. It was scrambled away and Fielding got hold of it only to shoot high over the bar. Davies was caught too far up field and Jones had to take stern measures to hold up Langton who a minute later, forced Burnett to sweep a high centre over his crossbar.
On His Knees
Burnett saved one on his knees, and then to prevent Langton from scoring, made a sound catch after Davies had been left behind by the Rovers winger. There was plenty of shooting and Boyes, with his right foot, delivered an in-swinger which Marks covered and caught.
Passes Go Astray
So far little had been seen of Fielding, and Wainwright and Catterick found Pryde a difficult obstacle to negotiate. Greenhalgh made a perfect tackle to check Smith and when the latter was brushing his way through he ran slap-bang into Jones and was rightly penalised. It was the old story of Everton’s passes going astray and no real punch from the inside men. Langton again showed the power of his shot when testing Burnett.
Half-time Blackburn Rovers 1, Everton 1.
The Everton forwards, while not being good, were not getting the support to which they were entitled and when Catterick had to go off injured Everton’s chances were reduced. Mcllhatton moved to centre-forward, but it was not Everton’s day. The forwards were again units instead of a combined whole. Rovers were the better balanced without being brilliant, and when Rogers and Butt got together they engineered a fourth goal. Burnett fumbled Butt’s centre, and Smith pounced on the ball to pop it into the net after 70 minutes. So much on top were Blackburn that Everton rarely crossed the half way line. I learn that Catterick’s injury was to his arm. He is to undergo an X-ray.
The Blackburn defence was in complete command and Marks had an onlooker’s task. Naturally, with only four forwards. Everton had little chance of pulling back the deficit. Fielding showed a flash of his ability, but it was not sustained. The Rovers, with such a lead, had little to fear. Final; Blackburn Rovers 4, Everton 1.
Everton Reserves v. Blackpool Reserves
Everton included their Irish capture, Eglington. Before an excellent attendance the opening stages favoured Everton. Robinson, the visitors keeper, being kept busy by Elliott, Higgins and Stevenson. After 23 minutes Everton took the lead, Stevenson giving Robinson no chance with a ground shot.
A GAME TO FORGET
September 9, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blackburn Rovers 4, Everton 1
After watching Everton’s disappointing display against Brentford at Goodison Park last week. I thought they had touched rock bottom and that it could never be so bad again. Two days later they went to Aston Villa and staged a little revival, but not wholly satisfactory. Then on Saturday I went to Ewood Park a bogy ground. I know more hopeful of the future. Well, to be frank, their display against Blackburn Rovers was their worst ever. Not one of the Everton players played anything like the team which finished last season as runners-up; and with two exceptions, it was the same team. I have cudgelled my brain to try to solve the most difficult problem I have ever tackled. The skill is there, but it is not being used in the proper way. Instead of linking up, the Everton team are playing as individuals. There seemed a lack of confidence all round, but it was forward where the failure chiefly lay. The three inside forwards, such a menace to a defence last season, now fall easy victims to the opposition. It is all so strange. Fielding, Catterick, and Wainwright have entirely lost their form. They were easy prey to the Rovers defenders. They had not more than half a dozen –I think I am liberal –shots at the Blackburn goal, and Pryde and his colleagues had no need to strain themselves. Were Blackburn Rovers so many goals better than Everton? Yes and more, for with the slightest bit of luck they would have held a three-goal lead at the interval. True their football was very ordinary but they put plenty of heart into it, shot whenever there was an opening and Langton’s goals after 5 minutes was a fine effort from Rogers’ centre. The left winger gave Davies an afternoon which he will wish to forget. Davies could do nothing with him, for he was faster. The Rovers defence was lax when Boyes was given the freedom of the city as it were and was allowed to “link” about with the ball when he should have been tackled. He thanked the Rovers’ defenders by driving a swerving shot which completely deceived Marks. Thus, the score stood one all at the interval. Everton went from bad to worse. Smith the former Manchester United centre-forward scored a “hat-trick” two of the goals being due to errors on the part of the Everton defences. Catterick met with a accident and it is feared he has broken an arm. Jackson and Humphreys are laid aside with pulled muscles and now comes this injury to Catterick, which will keep him out of the game for weeks. Strange it may seem Everton played better after Catterick had left, but at that time Blackburn were on a tight rein with the points in their safe keeping. Let us forget this match. Blackburn Rovers; Marks, goal; Wightman (captain) and Crooke, backs; Whiteside, Pryde, and Bell, half-backs; Rogers, Butt, Smith, Glaister, and Langton, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Davies and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Boyes, forwards. Referee Mr. Plinston (Warrington).
• Everton Reserves 5, Blackpool Reserves 0
• Haydock 1, Everton “A” 3
• Liverpool 7, Chelsea 4, Fagan (2), Jones (2), Liddell (2), Balmer, for Liverpool and Machine (2), Argue, and Goulden, for Chelsea.
September 9, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
For their game with Arsenal at Goodison Park on Wednesday the usual defence is on duty, but seven forwards have been provisionally chosen. Among these is Tommy Eglington the outside left signed during the close season from Shamrock Rovers, who will probably be in the final selection. Teams from; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; forwards from; Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Bentham, Livingstone, Fielding, Stevenson, Eglington.
Everton touched bed-rock at Ewood-Park, on Saturday. I did not think they fail below the form they displayed against Brentford, but I was to suffer something worse at Blackburn. I think it was the poorest exhibition I have seen them put up. At all events I never want to see such another, for it was most depressing. I would not have taken a super team to beat the Rovers, for, although they won so handsomely, judged on the score card, their football could not be rated much above moderate. That was the annoying part of it. A half-normal Everton would have beaten them, for there was no great skill in the Rovers play, and their success was gained more by honest endeavour than skilful football (writes Stork). I was hopeful of their chances after the way they played in the last half hour of their game at Villa Park, for there was something like the old rhythm about them, but never once did they produce the swing and zip of the last few seasons. But all the blame must not be assigned to one section of the team, for there were weaknesses in defence. The experiment of playing Davies at right back was anything but a success, for the half back had a harrying time against the nippy Langton and that of course, meant others had to shoulder an additional burden. Nor was Burnett sure of himself –two of Blackburn’s goal should never have been. I name Greenhalgh as the most dependable player of the team, with Jones a good second but the most amazing thing of all is the fall from grace of the forwards.
NEW MOVE TO AVERT SOCCER STRIKE THREAT
September 9, 1945. The Post and Express. (Notes only)
W.C Cuff, president of the Football league is to meet officials of the Ministry of Labour Industrial Relations department tomorrow as the first step towards finding an amicable solution of the threatened strike by Soccer players.
The matter is considered urgent as the Players Union Committee meets in Manchester on Thursday to consider replies from members to a postal ballot on the wages question, some of which, it is understood favour strike action if the players demands are not conceded. Chief of these is for a maximum wage of £12 instead of £10, and large gates at opening matches this season may stiffen the Players attitude.
The £10 wage was granted by the League earlier this year, and the question of a further increase was turned down by them a fortnight ago on the ground that there had been no subsequent change in conditions. The League then refused a meeting with the union, whose Thursday gathering will discuss further action.
LET’S FORGET IT
September 9, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The least said the better about Everton’s display at Ewood Park (writes Radar). It was a disappointment journey for Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins and his colleagues, for at no time did the Blues play together as a team, and they were well and truly beaten by a virile Blackburn force which was always a yard quicker on the ball; transformed defence into attack like lightning and specialised in paid, first-time shooting. It was a disastrous day for half-back Jack Davies, introduced at right back at the last minute in place of the injured Jackson, for he was led a merry dance by Langton, shinning light of the Rover’s attack. Pryde and company quickly sized up Everton’s defensive weakness, and piled the rampant Langton with acceptable passes at each and every opportunity. Tom Jones found Jack Smith –he almost went to Anfield once – a worrying opponent with whom he was never able fully to cope. Smith well merited his hat-trick after Langton’s opener had been equalised by Boyes. That the Everton forward line was never able to get going effectively was due to the fact that Fielding and Wainwright were more shadows of the brilliant inside forwards we saw last season. Fielding and Wainwright will come back make no mistake about that, for loss of form is, in my opinion, purely temporary. Boyes was the most potent factor in Everton’s disjointed forward line, although Mcllhatton was always trying hard to find an opening, and he showed nice positional sense when he went centre forward, after Catterick injury. Mercer – overworked because of the weakness behind him – did yeoman work until he tired, and Greenhalgh was a sturdy defender.
FAMOUS CLUB’S VISIT
September 10, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The new Arsenal, with new faces, will be on Merseyside tomorrow night, against Everton at Goodison Park. It is one of the tit-bits of another splendid mid-week programme. No matter that Arsenal have yet to gain their first win of the season, there is a glamour and appeal about the Highbury club which makes any visit from them an event out of the ordinary. And never have Arsenal put up an indifferent display at Goodison – one of their favourite grounds. Arsenal are going through a rebuilding stage at the moment, for the majority of their 1939 stars are missing, and newcomers are only in a settling-down stage. True, there will be the ever-youthful Cliff Bastin, Leslie Compton, the new England leader, Reg Lewis, possibly Welsh star Bryn Jones, and of course, the former Tranmere Rovers Irish international, Sloan, who almost became an Everton player but expressed a preference for London. So far Arsenal have gained only one point – their draw with Sunderland – for they went down 6-1 at Wolverhampton and then lost at home to Blackburn Rovers 3-1. Considering Everton’s 4-1 fall at Blackburn, that makes form work out pretty evenly, so we should see a keen, last struggle. Everton’s team may not be known, until just before the game, for Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly does not know whether Eddie Wainwright will be available and a deputy has to be found for the injured Catterick. However, the Blues select from seven forwards including Tommy Eglington, the new outside-left from shamrock Rovers, whom everyone is anxious to meet and greet. I fancy Everton will win, but they will have to play better than at Blackburn. A repeat of the second half display at Villa Park will suit. Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; (from) Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Bentham, Livingstone, Fielding, Stevenson, Eglington.
ARSENAL HERE TOMORROW
September 10, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Arsenal, once the most glamorous side in Soccer, but now a bit the worse for war-time wear, will be at Goodison Park tomorrow evening, for the first time for nearly eight years. In those far-off fays, Eddie Hapgood, Ted Drake, Cliff Bastin, Bryn Jones, and Wilf Copping were in their prime. Hapgood fellow-townsman from Bristol of Cliff Britton, Phil Taylor, and Ronnie Dix, has since donned the material mantle. Bryn Jones hasn’t made a first team appearance yet this season, and injury has cut short Ted Drake’s career. Bastin now “Boy” no longer, is still on the active list, but the Arsenal of today brings new names and faces to Soccer’s shop window. Drury, formerly of Sheffield Wednesday, is still at Highbury, but is not in tomorrow’s team. Another notable absentee is Walter Sloan, the former Tranmere Irish international, who was injured in the first match of the season. It must be a long time since Arsenal’s started any peace-time season so badly as they have done this one. Wolves “soaked” them in the opening game, Blackburn Rovers won last Wednesday at Highbury, and a drawn game there against Sunderland on Saturday brought Arsenal’s lone point to date. The war has played havoc with Manager George Allison’s once bright array of talented stars, and he is faced with the task of building up a new Arsenal, rendered more difficult because of everybody’s reluctance to part with players. A Scot for whom he is believed to have a fancy is George Paterson the Glasgow Celtic and Scottish international half-back, who “guested” for a short while for Tranmere a couple of season’s ago. Star of the present Gunners’ eleven is Dr. Kevin O’Flanagan, probably the finest all round athletic Ireland has ever produced, and one of the few men to represent his country at Soccer and Rugby. Unfortunately, he got a knock on the knee on Saturday which keeps him out of tomorrow’s team. Leslie Compton, holding the distinction of having played for England at both full back and outside right, and who has often led the Arsenal attack, appears now in a new role at centre half. The big strapping amateur Bernard Joy takes over at left back. He is the biggest back in football today, built on Holley-like lines, but more so. Laurie Scott, England’s right back, is his partner, and behind the pair is an ex-miner in George Swindin, who commanded a record fee for a goalkeeper when the Gunners took him from Bradford City ten years ago. Everton follower’s get a chance to compare Lewis with Tom Lawton, for the former leads the visiting attack. He was a disappointment in the Maine Road international. Alan Smith, the outside right, a 22-year-old from Newcastle way, is a newcomer to Highbury. He was signed at the end of last season after playing in two trial games and is said to be full of promise. Bastin, you will note, is at right half. Team; Everton; Burnett; Jackson, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; (from) Mcllhatton, Wainwright, Bentham, Livingstone, Fielding, Stevenson, Eglington. Arsenal; Swindon; Scott, Joy; Bastin, Compton (L), Waller, Nelson, McPherson, Lewis, Logie, Smith (A.).
The fact that Alec Stevenson, one of the greatest servants Everton have ever had, cannot command automatic first-team selection has led many clubs to watch him this season though so far their interest has not led any of them to make a definite approach to Everton. In any case, I should imagine Everton’s reply would not be encouraging. Wee Alec is too valuable a player to let go, despite his age, in these days of shortage of inside forwards, while Stevenson himself with a good business in the city is hardly likely to want a move.
September 11, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
There was no further development at last night’s Everton board meeting regarding Joe Mercer’s application to go on the transfer list. The player himself is still anxious for an opportunity to see the board personally. The placing by Newcastle of Albert Stubbins on the open-to-transfer list was not known when the Everton directors met last night, but will undoubtedly be discussed by them after this evening’s match. Obvious in view of Catterick’s injury, Everton have anxiety about their leadership, and will be more than usually interested in the price that Newcastle fix for Stubbins.
Two telephones nearly fused this morning, the one in my office and the one at Goodison Park. Constant succession of inquirers wanted to know time of Everton kick-off for today’s Arsenal game, as morning papers (apart from the “Daily Post”) gave it as 3.15. This should have been 6.15.
ARSENAL’S VAIN RALLY AT GOODISON APRK
September 12, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 3, Arsenal 2
Some years ago Manchester City, having changed into their shorts in taxis, rushed on to the Goodison ground and scored a runaway victory over Everton. The Arsenal had some difficulty in reaching the ground last night, owing to train derailment and many thought this was a bad omen. They need not have worried, for the Arsenal are not the bright side of pre-war days. Much of their glory disappeared with the departure of such players as James Hulme, Roberts and Hapgood, and their places have not adequately been filled. It was a decidedly poor Highbury side which struck their flag to Everton, yet they might well have equalised in the last five minutes when they played their best football.
Everton’s trouble had been the forward line, which had lost its punch, and confidence. Changes had to be made and these undoubtedly were all to the good. Don’t think that all is well, but there was definitely more combination in the side. Stevenson’s return to link up with the new Irish laddie, Eglington was a happy stroke, for wee Alec can still weld a line that had become higgledy-piggledy. He holds the ball, he slips it out to the open spaces and if his colleagues sense what he is about they move into those spaces. That is what they have not been doing. Furthermore, with the more forceful attack it took a lot of defensive work off the shoulders of those behind so that they, the wing-halves, could supply their wants in the form of passes. They were more constructional last night than in any of their other games this season. Thus there was more swing about their play. They had to fight against an Arsenal goal scored at 23 minutes, and they fought, not with desperation but methodically until they finally had the measure of the Arsenal. Bentham equalising six minutes later. Before the interval Swindin had saved from Watson, and had seen a Stevenson drive against the crossbar. I never despaired about Everton; they were playing a good class of football, and it only needed accurate shooting to assure them of victory, for the Everton defence, after that first goal was capable of looking after the best the Arsenal could do. Well, within a minute and a half of resuming Livingstone scored immediately after a free kick to the Arsenal. The Arsenal people were not satisfied with their side, for they had resumed with many positional changes, but they were still ably dealt with by Everton. Mcllhatton gave Joy a harassing time, the Scot showing his best form so far. He produced more tricks, had the pace of the big amateur, and was well piled. He should his gratification by responding virally. When Livingstone got his second goal and Everton’s third, he was actually surrounded by Arsenal players, yet he managed to get in his shot, Swindin being completely taken by surprise. Everton were so much on top afterwards that it became a battle between the Everton forwards, Swindin and the versatile Leslie Compton.
Five Ferocious Minutes
Swindin was very sound in all he did during this period. Stevenson shot against his body, Bentham tested him and more Everton goals seemed assured until at long last Lewis got the chance he had waited for. Bringing his left foot into action of a Lawton, he crashed the ball into the net with five minutes to go. And what minutes they were. They seemed like hours, for the Arsenal were flat out for the equaliser, without a doubt their was a fighting finish. Eglington made a successful debut without pulling up trees. He took some time to understand Stevenson (still one of the cutest inside forwards in the game). Bentham worker, kept contact, so that the line moved as a line. Mercer was a great prompter with ground passes, likewise Watson and Jones, who locked up the middle of the ground to the Arsenal inside forwards with two exceptions, it was a slip by “T.G” that brought the Arsenal their first goal. Another debutant Saunders gave an impressive display at right back. He is not a mere “plugger” of the ball; he uses it, and his tacking was sound in every way. Greenhalgh and he were excellent. Of the Arsenal side I liked best Logie, Crompton, Lewis, Scott and Swindin. Attendance, 40,093. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Bentham, Livingstone, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Arsenal; Swindin, goal; Scott and B. Joy, backs; Bastin, Compton (L), and Waller, half-backs; Nelson, McPehrson, Lewis, Logie, and Smith, forwards. Referee; Mr. G.C. Appleyard ( Rotherham).
• Liverpool lost 5-0 at Manchester United, Pearson (3), Rowley, Mitten
MANCHESTER CITY RES 2 EVERTON RES 0
September 12, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
There were few thrills in this game at Manchester last light. The forwards on both sides were mediocre, but Everton were stronger in defence, where Sagar in goal was outstanding. Demmill gave Manchester the lead after nine minutes, and twelve minutes from the end he added the second goal.
A GOOD SHOW
September 12, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Goodison Park supporters last night saw a game that was rich in Soccer art, crowned with an odd-goal victory to Everton. There was plenty of skilful football, thrilling goalmouth accidents, excellent shooting – with Everton for once scorning embroidery and going for goal by the shortest route – and some fine goalkeeping. Nobody could grumble at the fare. The pace was fast without being breaking, the issue was in doubt to the last and either side always looked as likely to score as the other. It was a David and Goliath business, with Everton’s tiny forwards never coloured against Arsenal’s big defenders when the ball was in the air. When it was on the ground the boot was often on the other leg, with the Everton midgets waiting round the slower moving Arsenal giants. Every goal was a good one with Livingstone’s second and Lewis’s last choice examples of opportunism and first time marksmanship. Alec Stevenson is still worth his place in any First Division side. To let him go –which Everton in any case are not likely to do – would be a big mistake. Good inside men are worth their weight in clothing coupons these days. In Saunders Everton have a youngster of promise who will soon made the admirable Jackson play hard for his place. He times his tackles beautifully, keeps a cool head, and positions himself well. Eglington likewise made a creditable debut, and looks a good future prospects. As an emergency centre-forward Livingstone filled the bill very well. He does not hesitate to shoot, which he can do equally strongly with either foot, and only on the score of physique can he be said to have any real shortcomings. He was at a disadvantage against such a towering centre-half as Compton, who hardly had to jump at all to clear any ball in the air. Arsenal had chances to draw level in the second half, but wanted them. Their own goal also had narrow escapes and but for Swindin Everton’s margin would have been more convincing. This was more like the Everton of old, though the lack of height and weight in the attack, is still painfully evident against such a hefty defence as Arsenal’s. It was a tribute to Everton’s skill that they overcame the disadvantage so well. Had they kept the ball on the ground more they would have done even better.
EVERTON AND LIVERPOOL WELL UP IN THE QUEUE FOR STUBBINS
September 12, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Everton board discussed the question at last night’s meeting. Mr. Will Gibbins, the chairman, was non-committal when I spoke to him afterwards “We are interested and will contact Newcastle to ascertain their price,” he said. Beyond that he refused to go.
BLUES FIRST HOME WIN
September 12, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton are not likely to make any team changes for Saturday’s match at Goodison Park says Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly following last night’s opening home win –a tasty 3-2 success over Arsenal which hardly reflects the extent of Everton’s superiority. So two of the “old hands” and three of the new will continue, and if they delight as much as they did the mid-periods of last night’s mixed offering of football charm and error everyone will be satisfied. Everton’s was not a perfect display by any means, but must have been a vast improvement on the Blackburn showing. Yet at the outset with so many passes going astray and Arsenal –travel weary after their long journey –were seen to be much faster on the ball.
It looked at times as if the Blues had an inferiority complex, but when Reg Lewis nodded one home –a simple nod, too – the goal seemed to act like a drug to Everton. From a lethargic force they became alive and alert. There was the old 1939, well show em, demeanour there again, and when Stan Bentham nicely levelled the score five minutes later it meant the end of Arsenal domination and spirit. For long periods it was the old Everton we have so long admired, and with Archie Livingstone proving such a deadly shot –two goals in 11 minutes early in the second half – the Gunners became but a ghost of their glorious past and a pretty wan ghost at that. With Stevenson and Bentham acting as creators – and at times spearheads –the attack moved with a new rhythm, and no doubt Mcllhatton will now feel much more at home in English football after the run-around he gave Bernard Joy. “Mac” was more versatile than Eglington’s whose debut, however, pleased me for he cut out thrills to give direct service. Apart from those early moments and the last five minutes during which Lewis scored a glorious second goal from 20 yards, little was seen of the Arsenal attack so masterly was Tom Jones in covering the whole centre field of operations. No doubting that Tommy is back to his brightest and best. Greenhalgh, too, had a fine game, while Dixie Dean’s sound recommendation –George Saunders –(remember I warned you about him four weeks ago) had an encouraging debut, George tackles well, especially from behind, while as a kicker he is essentially a range-finder rather than a “booter.” Mercer had an unhappy game with passes so persistently, reaching the opposition, and Burnett was for the most part a spectator. As a matter of fact the only two direct efforts sent to Burnett scored. For fully 25 minutes in the second half it was a case of Everton shooting in, but then we saw the bets of goalkeeper Swindin and the gallanty of Leslie Compton, whose heart must have been broken by the lack of co-ordination and ideas of his team. Not a win to crow about by any means because Arsenal are a poor side, but a pleasing success nevertheless, and 40,093 people went home happy.
POMPEY AT GOODISON
September 13, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Every schoolboy football fan knows of the romantic rise of Charlton from the Third to the First Division in three seasons, but not so many know that Portsmouth, visitors to Goodison Park tomorrow, run them a good second. Portsmouth had only four seasons in the Southern Section before getting into the Second Division, and another three saw them in their present company, from which they have never since been parted, though the dividing line has been close on several occasions. Actually Portsmouth spent fewer years in the Southern Section than Charlton. The man who really placed Pompey on the Soccer map was John McCartney. Soon after they got to the First Division he went to manage Luton Town, and Jack Tinn, the present chief has worthily carried on the McCarthy traditions, finally achieving one ambition when Portsmouth won the cup just before the war. He has another ambition – to guide his club to the championship. They have never been in the running so far, but he lives in hope. Like everyone else, Portsmouth have suffered the ravages of time during seven years of war, and the side which took the F.A. Cup home in triumph in 1939, when their victory over Wolves was one of the biggest surprises in Final history, has been cut to pieces. Portsmouth have never had the same galaxy of star names as grace some First Division sides, but they have always been good fighters and tough opponents, and Everton will have to put their best foot forward. Pompey folk, these days must be sighting for a return of the happy days when Weddle was hitting them into the net, for they haven’t scored goal in their last three games all of which have been lost. It is well that the defence is pretty sound, with Flewin, whom we saw in the international at Anfield a couple of years ago, still at centre-half. McAlinden has returned from his temporary sojourn with Shamrock Rovers. Everton with the same team as defeated Arsenal, must try to keep the ball on the ground more than on Wednesday, to counteract their lack of inches in attack. If Saunders does as well again he will satisfy, and now he’s broken the ice. Eglington can build up what promised to be a fine left-wing pairing with his fellow countryman. Livingstone’s further progress at centre forward will be watched with interest. Everton; Burnett; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Mcllhatton, Bentham, Livingston, Stevenson, Eglington. Portsmouth; Walker; Rookes, Ferrier; Dickinson, Flewin, Wharton; Nutley, Reid, Frogatt, McAlinden, Parker.
Manager Theo Kelly of Everton, did not return to Goodison today, after his effort to sign Stubbins, (who signed for Liverpool). It is understood that he is at present inquiring elsewhere over a “star” signing.
September 13, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Portsmouth, last peace-time winners of the F.A. Cup, return to Merseyside tomorrow for the outstanding tie. In another grand football “card.” They will be the visitors to Everton. Livingstone’s shooting made him into a worthy successor to the injured Catterick at centre-forward, and the enthusiasm of Bentham and Stevenson was boundless. Portsmouth have not made two impressive an opening, but we can always rely on Mr. Jack Tinn’s lads to provide a high standard of football, and the game should reach a high level. Everton; Burnett; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Watson; Mcllhatton, Bentham, Livingston, Stevenson, Eglington. Portsmouth; Walker; Rookes, Ferrier; Dickinson, Flewin, Wharton; Nutley, Reid, Frogatt, McAlinden, Parker.
• Liverpool Combination Match tomorrow (Saturday) at Bellefield, West Derby. Everton v South Liverpool Reserves Kick-off 3.15. Admission 3d.
• Football league Match, Tomorrow (Saturday) at Goodison Park. Everton v. Portsmouth, Kick-off 3-15 pm. Admission Stands 2/6, paddock 2/-, Ground 1/3 and H.M. Forces (in Uniform) 9d.
NO SPARKLE, FEW THRILLS
September 14, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Bentham Gets Decider
Everton 1, Portsmouth 0
No great excitement in this game, which lacked shooting apart from a few moments early on. A Bentham goal proved the decider. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Bentham, Livingstone, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Portsmouth; Walker, goal; Rookes and Ferrier, backs; Dickinson, Flewin, and Wharton, half-backs; Hutley, Reid, Froggatt, McAllinden, and Parker, forwards. Referee; Mr. T. Strainge (Bristol). The kick-off was early at Goodison Park, so as to allow Portsmouth to catch the 5.25 train home. Even with the five minutes extra there is every possibility that they will have to chase to the station in taxis unchanged and get into their civvies in the train. There was a magnificent crowd to see attractive visitors, and at the same time give another once over to the Everton team which beat Arsenal here on Wednesday. There was no change in either side, but Manager Theo Kelly was not present, being away on other business.
Representatives of the Irish F.A. were visitors, their mission being to watch the Irish left wing players Stevenson and Eglington, with a view to forthcoming internationals. Reid made one fast drive which Burnett turned on to his crossbar. An excellent shot and a magnificent save. There had been other happenings before this, for the Everton goal had to undergo a hot minute when Portsmouth seemed particularly dangerous. The Pompey goal also had an escape when TG Jones tried a long shot, which walker seemed to go to a shade too late, and appeared likely to fall back into his goal with the ball in his arms.
There was a quiet spell, with play mainly confined to midfield, but there were other moments that were somewhat hectic when Rookes handled the ball and got away with a corner instead of a foul. From this Jones nodded the ball over to Mcllhatton, who in turn headed into Walker’s hands. As the goalkeeper was clearing he collided with Livingstone and both were hurt and had to receive attention. McAllinden, when he did get a takeable ball, made full use of it, and had it not been for Jones, Burnett would have been busy handling a ferocious drive. The Everton centre half however, blocked the shot away.
Walker to the Rescue
Bentham and Mcllhaton linked up in a movement which had the Portsmouth defence all at sea, but goalkeeper Walker saved them once again. The Portsmouth goalkeeper rushed out to Bentham’s feet just as the latter was about to shoot. One of the best players on view thus far was Reid. He was the mainspring of the Portsmouth attack and his darts through to goal always looked as though they might bring him some reward. Nutley after twice beating Greenhalgh, let the ball career away from him and so a nice idea went astray but the outside right had shown his capabilities. Just before the interval Mcllhatton and Livingstone changed places, but it was Portsmouth who were attacking when the interval arrived.
Half-time; Everton 0, Portsmouth 0.
Everton suggested a more spirited style by the manner in which they opened the second half, but it was not sustained. T.G. Jones miskicked to let in Reid, who made a nice pass to Frogratt, but Jones took the ball from off the centre forward’s foot. Then we had our first big cheer for Everton had scored. Mercer started the movement when he took a short run forward and slipped the ball through to Bentham. The latter was not given any great scope, but did get in his shot, which was deflected out of the reach of Walker by Dickenson, the Portsmouth right half. It curled slowly over walker’s head and dropped over the line. Time 50 minutes.
Livingstone, who had been feeling the effects of his first half collision again went to outside right. Parker had found Saunders a bar to his progress this far, but the Portsmouth winger had the better of this young back and then slammed the ball over the crossbar. His chance, for Saunders nipped in to take the ball from under his noses, and got an ovation for his work. Jones was holding the Portsmouth inside men in a very tight grip, and Everton were somewhat handicapped through Livingstone limping on the wing.
Parker, who had taken over the role of a wandering forward, brought out one of the best saves Burnett ever made. Frogatt side-tapped the ball to his colleague, who put everything he had into his shot, and it required the best Burnett had to turn the ball over the crossbar. Froggatt should have produced the equaliser when he had only Burnett to beat from a few yards out but he shot straight at the goalkeeper, who was thankful of the opportunity to push the ball out. It was still a scrappy sort of game, for there was little combined effort in it. What there was belonged to Portsmouth, whose one great fault was their lack of shooting. In fact there had been little shooting at all today. Everton had a bright patch, and when Mcllhatton glided the ball over to colleague Stevenson and Eglington there was a fine opening for a goal, but Stevenson stubbed his toe in the turf. Final; Everton 1, Portsmouth 0.
Bury Res v Everton Res
The Everton defenders were sorely tried and Sagar fisted clear following an exciting passage. In a dramatic two minutes spell, Everton hit back and Wainwright scored twice, to put Everton in front. Final; Bury Res 1, Everton Res 2.
BENTHAM OPENS THE EVERTON SCORE
September 14, 1946. The Evening Express
Mcllhatton Takes Over as leader
A hard fast game with plenty of good football. Everton’s strength at half-back proved an important factor. The forward line, although somewhat disorganised in the second half owing to Livingstone’s injury had shown up well. Burnett twice saved Everton with brilliant saves while Saunders gave a particularly workmanlike display at full back. With the 5.15 kick-off the Portsmouth party expected a buried dash to Lime-Street station to catch the 5.20 train to London after the game. Everton’s secretary-Manager Mr. Theo Kelly, was not at the game. He is still up north negotiating for players. George Jackson told me before the match that his injury is mending nicely, and that he expects to be fit for next Saturday. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Bentham, Livingstone, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Portsmouth; Walker, goal; Rookes and Ferrier, backs; Dickinson, Flewin, and Wharton, half-backs; Hutley, Reid, Froggatt, McAllinden, and Parker, forwards. Referee; Mr. T. Strainge (Bristol).
30,000 at Start
The game started five minutes early before over 30,000 spectators, and Portsmouth made early ground when Froggatt forced his way through and sent Nutley away. Watson was on hand, however, to clear a threatening situation. Portsmouth kept up the pressure and a surging centre by Nutley dropped on the far end of the bar with Burnett not knowing quite what to do. Everton replied on the right when Ferrier nipped in to prevent Mcllhatton getting in his shot, and then a long range free kick by Tommy Jones almost beat walker who got his hands to the ball at the last moment. From his clearance kick Eglington squared the ball across, the goalmouth to see Mcllhatton blaze wildly over the bar. Up to this stage Portsmouth had revealed considerably greater speed on the ball, but Portsmouth goal survived miraculously. Portsmouth came again and Reid let go a glorious right foot shot from 30 yards only for Burnett to save in equally great style. Burnett managed to get his finger to the ball at full length and deflect it over the line for a corner which, however came to nothing.
Everton were not finding their men accurately, yet Livingstone picked up a ball down the middle and shot without delay to give Walker a nasty moment. Mercer had to move over to the left to keep out Reid, and then when Everton moved in something like their old rhythmic style they found Walker well positioned. Mercer caused a roar when he tried to trap Mcllhatton’s pass first time and missed the ball completely. Saunders was prominent both with timely clearances and neat touches, while Mercer several times sent his forwards away with perfect down the middle passes. In clearing a corner both Walker and Livingstone were temporarily knocked out. They resumed after attention. A long Stevenson cross to Mcllhatton gave Everton a chance, but the Scot was crowded out. Livingstone went off for a couple of minutes then Mcllhatton outwitted both Wharton and Ferrier, but Bentham was unable to reach his pass. Bentham experienced the hardest of luck when he received the ball from Mcllhatton and his shot was edged across the line for a corner. When Portsmouth returned to the attack Reid’s shot from close in was well off the target.
Half-time; Everton 0, Portsmouth 0
Everton attacked on resuming, but when Bentham tried to hook Mercer’s pass over to Mcllhatton he only succeeded in putting the ball over the line for a goal kick. Reid tried to bore his way through, but weight of numbers proved his undoing. Bentham gave Everton the lead after 49 minutes. He fastened on to Mcllhatton’s short pass and his shot appeared to strike a defender before going over the line with Walker out of position. Mcllhatton took over the centre forward role with Livingstone, limping, going on the wing. Everton seemed to be encouraged by their success, and Walker was given some anxious moments. Portsmouth fought back and Burnett was called to catch cleanly a header from Reid. Wharlton was Portsmouth’s saviour when he stepped in to prevent Stevenson seizing a short Bentham pass. Burnett “brought the house down” with a miracle save from Froggatt. Saunders continued to please, and Tom Jones stopped Froggatt when he looked dangerous. Mercer went through brilliantly only to misplace his pass to Livingstone while Bentham forced a corner which was cleared by Flewin. When the Everton defence stood till Nutley had a great chance of equalising. His first shot was pushed back to him by Burnett after which Nutley cracked the ball high over the bar. The Portsmouth goal had a remarkable escape when Mcllhatton tricked Ferrier and put the ball squared but Stevenson and Eglington were unable to reach it. Final; Everton 1, Portsmouth 0.
Bury Res v Everton Res
SEPTEMBER 14, 1946. The Evening Express
At Bury. Everton Reserves who had strengthened their attack by the inclusion of Wainwright and Boyes, found worthy opposition at Gigg Lane, where the Bury formation, by strong open play brought persistent danger to the Everton goal. Both Meaney and Livesey missed openings before the latter opened the scoring for Bury in the 23rd minute. Although Higgins put through for Everton the goal was disallowed for offside. Final; Bury Res 1, Everton Res 2
Watch for an ultra-important Everton signing. Unsuccessful in the quest for Stubbins, Secretary Manager- Theo Kelly did not return to Liverpool, but headed for Edinburgh. There may be early developments, for Everton never allow anything to stand in their way when they want something (writes Pilot).
Willie Whyte, the Scottish boxer was among Everton trailists recently, and created quite a fair impression too. Willie, however, prefers fighting to football.
THE COST OF A DEFLECTION
September 16, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton’s Only Goal
Everton 1, Portsmouth 0
I wonder what the Irish Football Association representatives though of the Everton left wing they had come to see with a view to the forthcoming international. Stevenson and Eglington did reasonably well but an injury to Livingstone early in the game disoragnised the line and all too often Stevenson had to stray to other parts of the ground. It was the injury to Livingstone which made this game hard for Everton where otherwise it would have been comparatively easy. It robbed the forward line of its full power, but, more, it threw additional work on the defenders who thus found it harder to introduce their normal attacking ideas. Is it good policy for an injured player to remain on the field? I know players rendered unfit have come along with a goal –remember the Arsenal goalkeeper, Moss –but that is a rarity. It is a long time since I sat through so quiet a game. Had Portsmouth’s shooting been an a par with their approach work they would have won. They used the ball beautifully up to the penalty box. Then fell before the might of T.G. Jones and company. It needed shots to round off good work, and there were only two really good ones from them Burnett saved splendidly on both occasions. The goal which beat Portsmouth bore the elements of luck. Walker had Bentham’s shot nicely covered when Dickenson rushed up in desperation and deflection the ball. It curled over the goalkeeper’s head and dropped over the line. Mcllhatton who went centre forward when Livingstone went to the wing put plenty of life and construction into his play and Flewin found it hard to held him in check. Not an Jones, who kept a tight grip on Froggart, a more than ordinary centre forward. On defences alone Everton were worth their win. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones and Watson, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Bentham, Livingstone, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Portsmouth; Walker, goal; Rookes and Ferrier, backs; Dickinson, Flewin, and Wharton, half-backs; Hutley, Reid, Froggatt, McAllinden, and Parker, forwards. Referee; Mr. T. Strainge (Bristol).
• Liverpool beat Bolton 3-1, Nieuwenhuys, Stubbins and Balmer for Liverpool and Woodward for Bolton.
DAILY POST SPORTS EDITOR
September 16, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Mr. Leslie Edwards, has been appointed Sports Editor of the Daily Post. Mr. Edwards who trained under his father, Mr. Ernest Edwards (“Bee”) has recently been demobilised from the Army. He has youth, zeal, and all-round ability. He is well known in the sporting world, is himself a keen sportsman, and an able writer, and can bring an informed and critical mind to bear on all sporting topics. His appointment is part of the policy of the Daily Post in giving only the best possible service to its readers.
EVERTON A BIT LUCKY
September 16, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Everton were a trifle fortunate to get both points from Portsmouth in a game which was anything but sparkling and which was characterised by paucity of shooting from both sides. There were less than six months of note, and with two Burnett made brilliant saves. Everton lacked punch in attack. They showed some nice work at times in an individual sense, but little to write home about from the team angle. To some extent that was due to Livingstone’s injury which banished him to the wing as a virtual passengers. Mcllhatton taking over the leadership. Everton’s lack of height and weight in the forward line was again heavily emphasised against the strapping Portsmouth defenders. As against Arsenal the ball was too often in the air to give the Blues’ attackers any chance. When Everton remedied this in the second half they showed to better purpose. If they had taken the ball up to the Portsmouth rearguard on the ground, slipping it ahead at the right moment, it might have paid them better. While a draw would have done better justice all round, Everton deserved for excellent defence. The goal by Bentham which brought the points was a lucky one, being deflected out of walker’s reach by a half back. Everton’s forwards frequently failed to respond to the prompting of their halves of whom Mercer was always seeking to engineer openings but rarely getting the reward he deserved. Saunders did well, without being as prominent as on Wednesday; Jones and Greenhalgh were the essence of coolness and co-ordination, and Eglington. If not particularly conspicuous did not refer by comparison with his forward colleagues. Stevenson was the brains of the line. But the man who thrilled the crowd most was Reid. Pompey’s big inside right. First half he looked likely to win the match on his own. His great shot in the early stages was as good as any Tommy Lawton his served up here. Burnett’s swallow-dive save of it justified the over-worked adjective “miraculous. “
Wait For It
Mr. Theo Kelly, Everton’s secretary-manager, had nothing to report today after his week-end northern scouting visit. But things are moving and it may not be long before Everton pull off a deal which will be ample compensation for their disappointment over Stubbins.
LET IT BE SOON
September 16, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Lucky for Everton that the management is alive to the vital need of a tip-top centre forward for, following the injury to Catterick the converted leader, Archie Livingstone, was injured in Saturday’s game against Portsmouth at Goodison Park, and won by Bentham’s deflected goal. (Writes Radar).
We know Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly was away scouting and every Everton follower will wish him luck in his quest. With a first-class leader Everton may recapture some of the old spirit and enthusiasm we knew of old, but which we saw only in brief patches on Saturday. There were however, features about Everton’s display which gave rise to hopefulness in the shape of things to come. Not the least of these was another grand display by George Saunders at right back and who, apparently had done so well against Arsenal. Saunders rivalled Tommy Jones in coolness; always had Parker tightly held; placed his clearance kicks to the utmost advantage and was never afraid to utilise the short pass to mercer –all attributes which stamp him as being of the true Everton mould. Then again it was grand to see the firm understanding established quickly between Stevenson and Eglington. These two little Irishmen were always a menace to the Portsmouth defence, and conjured up visions of the famous Stevenson-Coulter wing of pre-war days. Added to that were the progressive ideas revealed by Mcllhatton when he took over the centre-forward role after Livingstone injury. One of the main features in the success in a game in which there was little to choose between the sides was the constructive superiority of the Everton half-backs and Mercer in particularly had an outstanding day, while Tommy Jones was so good that only once throughout the game did Froggatt elude him, and then Froggatt brought out the best in Burnett with a grand rising shot. That was the second occasion on which Burnett’s brilliance saved Everton, for Reid once broke through and let got a terrific shot from 30 yards at which Burnett hurled himself, and just succeeded in edging it around the post.
September 17, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Mr. Theo Kelly, secretary-manager of Everton F.C., has returned from a mission which was not completed when Stubbins signed for Liverpool. An Everton newcomer for the Anfield match would be close.
LAWTON ON EVERTON “SECRETS”
September 17, 1946. The Liverpool
No football book has been awaited with such eagerness by Merseyside Soccer fans as Tommy Lawton’s which under the title of “Football is My Business” is out at last, many months after the date orinally intended. It is an absorbing book, taking the readers behind the scenes of many famous matches, some of which Merseyside fans have seen themselves and it discloses one of the “secrets” of Everton’s championship success in 1938-39. Lawton attributes that success largely to the special training undertaken at Harrogate, and particularly the six-a-side training inaugurated by Theo Kelly and Harry Cooke. Tommy maintain that this is ideal preparation for forwards and half-backs for the quick moving style of modern football. As nobody was allowed to dribble for fear of an injury, it meant that the players had to make quick first time passes at a much faster pace than normal. It is to this training that Lawton attributes the speed and immaculate combination which was sp distinctive a feature of the Everton side of those days. He tells with gusto the story of his arrival in this city. He caught a car in Dale Street and asked to be put off near Goodison Park. “Are you Tommy Lawton?” asked the conductor. Flattered at being recognised, Tommy said he was. “Well you’ll never be as good as Dixie Dean” was the uncompromising rejoiner). “As soon as he saw me,” writes Lawton “Dean put his arm around my shoulder and said; “Youngster you’ve come here to take my place. Anything I can do for you I will.” This book deals fully with Lawton’s career from the day he joined Burnley’s office staff at 16 to the end of last season. Publishers are Sporting Handbooks, 13 Bedford Square, London (9s 6d).
NORMAN SHARP TO WREXHAM
September 17, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Norman Sharp, the Everton inside-forward was yesterday transferred to Wrexham, and he will make his debut against Chester tomorrow.
EVERTON F.C.’S SEARCH IN SCOTLAND
September 17, 1946. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
The Scottish tour of Secretary-manager Mr. Theo Kelly, of Everton, in search of a centre-forward, took him to Dunfermline Athletic v. Airdrie match at East End Park, Dunfermline, last Saturday. Centre-forwards playing were Seaton for the Athletic and Flavell, of Airdrie, who scored two and made two of Airdrie’s five goals. This is the information to hand from my Scottish colleague (J.D. McC.,), who states that there are plenty of other centre-forwards in Scotland who would suit Everton’s requirements if the Blues can induce the Clubs to part. In Scotland Everton’s name has been linked with Arneson, South African centre-forward, of Glasgow Rangers, who played for the first team on Saturday, and who travelled to England with Bob Priday, of Liverpool; Gordon Smith, high-priced star of Hibernian who, although a winger, is equally at home as leader, and who is the most-sought player north of the Tweed; Juliussen, brilliant leader of Dundee, whose four goals on Saturday brought his season to 13 and who once helped Huddersfield Town; and even Thornton, the Rangers and Scotland No 1. Choice. Any of these would suit Everton admirably, and if one could be secured before Saturday’s “Derby” then so much the better and so much bigger the crowd.
EVERTON F.C’S PROBLEM
September 17, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Merseyside football enthusiasts are asking one question these days ; Are Everton going to sign a centre forward? Perhaps after this evening’s meeting of the club directorate we shall get news one way or the other. The fact that Everton were in the last two for the signing of Albert Stubbins, shows that the Blues are prepared to go to the limits of their purse to secure the right man, and this has the Goodison fans “agog” Also the news that Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly dashed from Tyneside to Scotland at the week-end brought out the old argument, “where there is smoke there must be fire.” Well, Mr. Kelly was back at his desk yesterday morning catching up on his work when the telephones were not buzzing. When I asked him if there was news of a centre-forward, he replied; “I have nothing to report” I was not disappointed, for I expected nothing, seeing that the directors must be the first to get the news of the trip. Even after tonight’s meeting it might not be diplomatic to say anything, for even the slightest hint brings other clubs poste haste after any player they think is “for sale” It’s almost as bad as house-hunting. No, I think the best is to wait patiently, just as in the case of Liverpool.
Of course, Everton are in no state of desperation, for they have taken six out of ten points for which they have played. Trouble is that injuries to vital players have come at the wrong time. To lose two centre-forwards in the space of 15 days is terrific. Archie Livingstone received such a bump on the head in the game against Portsmonth that he was still dazed yesterday morning. However Archie should soon be right again, and I have good news regarding Peter Farrell and Harry Catterick. Mr. Kelly says both are making fine progress, and he anticipate that both will be fit about the same time –approximately a fortnight. Farrell has been nursing an ankle injury ever since he arrived from Ireland, but it is responding to treatment well, and as Dixie used to say in the cup winning season; “It won’t be long now.” Just a reminder that grand stand ticket for Saturday’s Liverpool v. Everton “Derby” at Anfield will be on sale tomorrow –at Anfield and Jack Sharp’s. Early application is essential for there are only 6,500 seats available. Teams for the match will be chosen this evening and will appear in tomorrow’s Evening Express.
September 17, 1946, The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Wrexham have made a notable capture in face of keen competition –and particularly from Chester – of Norman Sharp, the 26-year-old inside left, of Everton. Sharp will make his debut for Wrexham tomorrow when they visit Chester. Curiously enough, during the war years Sharp made many guest appearances for Chester and did so well that the Cestrians fancied him for a full time engagement. However, Secretary-Manager Tom Williams of Wrexham and his vice-chairman, Mr. Tom Williams went to Everton yesterday and completed the deal. Sharp should do Wrexham a lot of good. I have watched Norman’s career ever since he played for Liverpool Schoolboys, and as a matter of fact, was partly responsible for his joining Everton, as an amateur when he left school 12 years ago. While in the Army, Sharp played several representative matches, in the South and now goes to a club which boasts the proud record of having three teams –first, reserve, and “A” teams, none of which has yet suffered defeat.
EVERTON’S ‘DERBY’ EXPECTATION
September 18, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton expect to include a new star centre forward against Liverpool at Anfield in the Merseyside “Derby” on Saturday, as I hinted in yesterday’s Evening Express. This is the inference to be drawn from the team announced for the centre-forward position is left vacant. The remainder of the team is unchanged but I expect a player from Scotland will be there to oppose a Liverpool who will play the side which won so brilliantly at Bolton. Joe Mercer, the Blues international half back, had his interview with the club directors last night with regard to his recent request to be placed on the transfer list and afterwards Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly said; “We had a very nice chat and everyone was very happy at the finish.” That obviously means that Mercer, as he always assured me, is still an Evertonian and will remain one. I think we can forget all about transfers so far as Joe is concerned. Liverpool; Sidlow; Lambert, Ramsden; Taylor, Hughes, Paisley; Nieuwenhuys, Jones (W.H.), Stubbins, Balmer, Liddell. Everton; Burnett; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (T.G.), Watson; Mcllhatton, Bentham, A.N. Other, Stevenson, Eglington.
Everton’s official attendance for the Portsmouth game was 47,999.
September 18, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Liverpool have selected the same team which defeated Bolton Wanderers last week for the Derby game at Anfield, on Saturday. it is;- Liverpool; Sidlow; Lambert, Ramsden; Taylor, Hughes, Paisley; Nieuwenhuys, Jones (W.H.), Stubbins, Balmer, Liddell. The fact that the centre forward position has been left open by Everton is rather significant. The inference is that they have something up their sleeve “a new Star” to lead the side. Otherwise the team is unchanged from that of Saturday last;- Everton; Burnett; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (T.G.), Watson; Mcllhatton, Bentham, A.N. Other, Stevenson, Eglington.
Mercer to Stay
So Joe Mercer is not to leave Everton after all. He met the directors last night regarding his request to be placed on the transfer list and after the whole matter had been discussed all differences were settled. Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly said; “We had a very nice chat and everyone was very happy at the finish. Mercer said “I am glad that it is all over. The directors told me that i would end my playing days with Everton. That is how I want it, for the Goodison club was my first and only love.”
EVERTON’S NEW LEADER
September 19, 1946. Evening Express
Juliussen, of Dundee, May sign
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton F.C., secretary-manager Mr. Theo Kelly, is expected to secure the transfer of Juliussen, centre forward of Dundee, and scorer of 13 goals this season. This is the news I have received today from a Scottish colleague. If signed, Juliussen will lead the Everton attack in the “Derby” on Saturday. Juliussen is one of the most prolific goal scorers in Scotland, tremendously fast, dashing, and fancied by more than one English club. Juliussen played many times for Huddersfield, but preferred to return to Dundee.
JOINT SOCCER TALKS
September 19, 1946. The Evening Express
Under a strike threat by the players if their demands for increased fees were not met, the Football League Management Committee and members of the executive of the players Union met in conference today at Manchester through the mediation of the Ministry of Labour. Players of every senior club, except those associated with Sheffield Wednesday, had given the Union the mandate to take whatever action they considered necessary to enforce the demand for an increase in the maximum rate of pay from £10 to £12 a week during the season and from £8 to £10 during the summer. The players Union also require a full-time professional to receive a minimum of £7 per week in winter and £5 per week in summer, and part time professionals to receive £5 and £3 respectively. Another request was that players contracts should be of 52 weeks, terminating in August each year, that players should receive a modified share of benefits for war time service, and 100 per cent of the accrued share of benefit on transfer. The players were represented by Jimmy Guthrie (Portsmouth), chairman, Bobby Stuart (Middlesbrough), Joe Mercer (Everton), Norman Low (Newport), and Frank Broome (Derby County), with Mr. Jimmy Fay, the Union secretary. All that Mr. Fay would say in regard to this afternoons meeting was; “We are going in to hear what the League Management Committee have to offer and then we shall decide what action if any, we feel is necessary to take.”
September 19, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot Log’s (Don Kendall)
The record attendance for all the Merseyside “Derby” series will be at Anfield on Saturday, especially if Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly, of Everton, succeeds in his mission in Scotland to secure a star centre forward to face the Reds. It is my opinion that Mr. Kelly will be successful, and that Anfield will see two new leaders for the first time –Albert Stubbins, and ...one of the greatest goal-scorers in Scottish football. The Anfield officials are alive to the gate position, and are making every possible arrangement to house the thrill-seekers. To this end they have with the consent of the Lord Mayor (Alderman Luke Hogan) and the Watch Committee, decided to dispense, as from now, with their private parking ground at the rear of the Lake-Street stand. This will allow the formation or orderly queues straight from the turnstiles and avoid congestion. It is a club sacrifice – financially – in the cause of the public. By the Lord Mayor’s proclamation side streets off Anfield-road will be available for car parking while the spacious parks in Utting-avenue and off Oakfield-road are still available. Anfield road will be closed to vehicular traffic, all approach being made from Walton-Lane. All stand tickets will have been sold by Saturday, but if the club can count on the full co-operation of the public a crowd of 70,000 could be housed in comfort and safely. That co-operation, however, is an essential. Here are a few simple ideas which, if put into operation by all, will ensure that all who wish can see the game in comfort.
(1) Get to the ground early (2) Tender correct money at the turnstiles, co-operating with your neighbour if possible. (3) Once inside the ground move as far from the entrances as possible before selecting your “spec”; (4) Leave all feeding lanes and passages clear; (5) Obey orders of the police and officials at once for they are there to help you and not hinder; (6) keep uppermost in your mind that just as you want to see the game comfortably so does the other fellow. And now to the boys. While other turnstiles will open at one o’clock the boy’s pen will be open at 12; 30 pm, and it is essential that all boys shall proceed at once to their own pen – the best positioned spot in the ground – and stay there. Failure to observe this rule will lead to the transfer of the “pen” to a more remote part of the ground. So, you lads, make sure the present “pen” remains yours.
ALL SET FOR TATANIC STRUGGLE
September 20, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Blues Still Minus Leader
The first “all-in” promotion- and- relegation derby game between Everton and Liverpool for seven years is due tomorrow at Anfield, with the home debut of Stubbins as an additional magnet to a game which already is packed with attraction. If the weather is reasonably decent the “house full” notices (speaking figuratively) will get an airing, but should the present shocking conditions continue, the crowd is not likely to tax the accommodation. The optimist who rushes in with prophecies where Liverton games are concerned is running the risk of having to eat his words. Safest way with these “old firm” clashes is to wait and see. Anything can happen, such is the electric tension and keen desire of either side to beat their rivals. Even at the risk of putting my foot in it, however, let me say at the outset that I fancy Liverpool to win. It is now extremely unlikely that Everton will get the new man they are after in time. Negotiations have not broken down, but they are not yet at the “dotted line” stage. Who will lead the attack may not be known until just before the match. Livingstone is doubtful, but will have a test tomorrow morning.
Struggle For Mastery
Even with Jackson absent the Everton defence is still tops, thanks to the way Saunders has filled the breach, but the attack has not yet achieved the fire, swing and rhythmic combination that we expect. Experiments and reshuffling have not remedied matters and that little extra punch and bite which makes all the difference is still lacking. The game is likely to resolve itself into a struggle for mastery between Liverpool’s speedy and forceful forwards and the Everton defence. I yield to nobody in admiration for Tommy Jones. In my view he’s the finest centre half football has ever produced a master of artistry, skill and everything that makes the game worth watching. But Tommy will have to watch his step tomorrow and may have to gallop a little more than normal to hold Stubbins in check. Saunders will also have a big test against Billy Liddell. It will be his stiffest so far. If he comes out with honours even Everton need have no further worry. Nivvy and Greenhalgh are old contestants, knowing every move on the board.
I pin my faith in a Liverpool victory, not on any one man, but the fire and speed and determination of the Reds. If they can reproduce the same rip-roaring sparkling stuff that they did in the first half against Chelsea then the Everton defence is in for a hot time. I cannot see Everton serving up that kind of football. It is not in their make up to start with. They favour the more studious type of game, working the ball to advantage, whereas Liverpool, and now more especially with Stubbins, will be all for making a bee-line for goal. It should be a great game, full of thrills, and so long as it is fought out in the fine sporting spirit which characterised the war-time meetings I don’t care two hoots which side wins. Just a final reminder that you can all do your bit towards ensuring comfort and safety for everybody by coming early, tendering the exact money, moving to the centre and not closing the entrances, and obeying the requests of police and stewards. Teams; Liverpool; Sidlow; Lambert, Ramsden; Taylor, Hughes, Paisley; Nieuwenhuys, Jones (W.H.), Stubbins, Balmer, Liddell. Everton; Burnett; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (T.G.), Watson; Mcllhatton, Bentham, A.N. Other, Stevenson, Eglington.
If the gates are closed at Anfield those who can’t get in could do worse than cross the Park for the reserve “derby” at Goodison. There is an entrance in Bullens Road to the Paddock.
DIXIE DEAN “OFFSIDE”
September 20, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Bill (Dixie Dean, the former Everton and England leader, was last night the centre place of an inquiry by Chester F.A. as a result of his playing for Northgate Athletic, a local amateur side in a cup-tie. The club was fined £2 and advised that Dean must not play again until the County F.A had investigated. Football rule is that former professionals cannot play in amateur leagues until restated as amateurs.
A MATCH-OF-THE-YEAR TOMORROW
September 20, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
There have been 77 Merseyside Football League “Derby” matches, but to my mind the greatest of all will be staged at Anfield tomorrow when a Stubbins-re-informed Liverpool entertains Everton, who may be featuring a new centre-forward from Scotland. With the return of peace football, the greatest sports boom in history is on, and this will be reflected at Anfield in the play and the crowd. I death fully with crowd matters in yesterday’s Log but before turning to the game I do want to reiterate that it is only by the complete co-operation of each and every one that all can enjoy absolute comfort. I appeal to you to do your part. Liverpool Passenger Transport Department is doing all in its power to ensure ample service to and from the ground, and they will be helped if you get there few minutes earlier, yes, and before you go home tonight make sure you have that correct money all ready in the waistcoat pocket. Now to the game. While I hope we shall see a high-scoring draw, I have a feeling that Liverpool will record their first Anfield win over the Blues since 1936-37. Oh yes, the Reds won war-time matches, but they do not count in records although having a bearing on the game. The League records are similar each having secured six points, but the Reds have been rather more convincing as witness their victories at Sheffield United and Bolton. The home debut of Albert Stubbins provides an attraction in itself, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Tommy Jones will be in his grimmest mood to blot out Albert just as he always contrives to blot out Tom Lawton in international games. Laurie Hughes, sheet-anchor of the Reds’ defence will we hope, face an entirely new Everton leader, and if Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly gets the player he wants then Laurie will have his hands full. Two danger men in the attacks – while appreciating the prowess of all the others –are Liddell and Stevenson. Never have I known either play an indifferent game in a “Derby.” Young George Saunders faces a stern test in having to oppose flying Liddell while the whimsical “Stevie” will give us a true assessment of Phil Taylor’s abilities as a right-half. Personally I think Phil is great and Stevenson will show whether I am right or wrong. Teams; Liverpool; Sidlow; Lambert, Ramsden; Taylor, Hughes, Paisley; Nieuwenhuys, Jones (W.H.), Stubbins, Balmer, Liddell. Everton; Burnett; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (T.G.), Watson; Mcllhatton, Bentham, A.N. Other, Stevenson, Eglington.
FOR “LIVERTON” MATCH
September 21, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
New Parking Places
By Leslie Edwards
A new Order signed by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool for the regulation of traffic and queuing to the vicinity of Liverpool Football ground issued by way of public advertisement comes in time for the great “derby” game today between Everton and Liverpool at Anfield. Liverpool F.C., private parking ground near the main entrance has been closed as there was insufficient room for both queues and vehicles. Under the new order private motorists will be allowed to park on the east sides of four roads not hitherto open to them for parking during matches Lothair Road. Alroy Road Sybil Road and Copingsby Road all facing Anfield Road. Liverpool Corporation Passengers Transport Department will use all available vehicles to augment the normal services on the routes leading to Anfield and adjacent areas.
Rumours and Juliussen
Everton’s “A.N. Other of centre forward today will not be Albert Edwards of Dundee. Mr. George Anderson said yesterday. “There is no truth about our being in negotiation with Everton, we certainly had inquiries about Juliussen and others, but our policy is definite – we do not intend to transfer any of our players.
REORGANISED EVERTON’S FIRE WORE DOWN LIVERPOOL
September 21, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Jones (TG) and Saunders Brilliant in Draw
Both Goals Escape; Stubbins Tricky, But held
‘Keepers Have Good Day
Liverpool Nil, Everton Nil,
This most sought-after Derby game, while producing some nice football, did not stir the crowd as anticipated. Anfield lives on its goals, and there were none to applaud. Saunders was one of the outstanding mastered. Liddell, Jones (TG), looked after Stubbins who did not look like £13,000 today. Balmer was the only Liverpool man to shoot with anything likely to beat a goalkeeper. Everton’s re-organised side played well. They might have won in the second half. Liverpool; Sidlow, goal; Lambert and Ramsden, backs; Taylor, Hughes and Paisley, half-backs; Nieuwenhuys, Jones (WH), Stubbins, Balmer and Liddell, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones (TG) and Bentham, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Higgins, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.C. Denham (Ashton-on-Ribble). The official attendance was 49,838. Never have I known a “Derby” game, which has tickled the public fancy so much as this one –the first home appearance of Albert Stubbins, Liverpool’s £13,000 forwards, and the hopes that Everton would “pull one out of the bag” added to the interest. The promises was not fulfilled, and Everton received a further blow this morning when Gordon Watson reported himself not fit – groin trouble. The Goodison team had to be reorganised. Higgins who signed as a professional in March this year took over the important post of centre forwards –a tremendous task for a lad who has had only one or two senior games. Bentham dropped back into Watson’s position, and Fielding moved to inside right (his natural position) as partner to Mcllhatton.
Test of Nerves
Derby games are a best of nerves for both players and spectators alike. Five of the Everton side have had previous experience of a full derby games –Stevenson, Mercer, Greenhalgh, Jones and Bentham. Liverpool pre-war derby players are Balmer, Nieuwenhuys and Taylor. Everyone wished the newcomers a happy game. Lord Mayor and Lady Maypress Calderman and Mrs. Luke Hogan were cheered as they took their place in the stands. Everton’s fire in their first move astonished the Kopites who saw the premise of an early goal after Liverpool won the toss.
Everton were repulsed momentarily but came again. Stevenson tried to put Mcllhatton through but the winger screwed his centre behind from the goal-line. Paisley tripped Fielding. Jones took the kick, lobbed the ball well into the goalmouth and Hughes and Higgins went for the ball together. Higgins beat his taller rival and headed into the waiting hands of Sidlow under the crossbar. So far Liverpool had been forced to defend in front of goal, and when Saunders came through to offer his forwards an upward pass there was definite danger for Liverpool, until Sidlow came out and picked up before either Mcllhatton or Fielding could make contact. At last Liverpool broke through and Liddell went on to make a centre-cum-shot which went over the Everton crossbar.
Waiting for Stubbins
All were on the watch to see what Stubbins would do when he got his first chance. He shot, but the ball was cannoned out, but in the next moment he opened the way for Balmer by that old trick of allowing the ball to pass through his legs and to his inside right. Balmer may not have been ready but he did get in his shot, and although it had not its customary fire, Burnett paid it the greatest attention. Liverpool now got into something like their usual style and Nivvy with a sweeping pass to Liddell found Saunders making a sterling tackle to hold down the Scottish international. The first real blow thus far was credit to Liverpool when Balmer, following good work by Nivvy, slash in a powerful drive which Burnett could not hold. The ball seemed to bump against his chest and level outside for a corner.
Liverpool were still hovering round the Everton goal, but from a big clearance, Lambert had to step in to prevent Eglington becoming a danger. Stubbins found the terrier like Bentham a proposition and was finally beaten by the Goodison Park utility man. After beating two men by a body feint and dribble, Balmer made a faulty pass, and Jones sent his attack on the move again. Again Balmer moved forward, and no Everton man appeared to pay any attention to him so that he was able to get in his final shot which pulled wide. It is uncommon to see Hughes beaten in the air but twice Higgins got the better of him. The duels between Liddell and Saunders were tasty, and the Everton man more often than not came out the victor. This Derby game had no terrors for him. Liddell had one great opportunity of striking a blow for Liverpool, but he screwed the ball outside the post with the right foot. He does not often do this with such chances. For a short spell Everton defence was sorely tried, and Burnett made several saves. Sidlow showed no anxiety when the Everton right wing crashed through withy Fielding finally shooting without great power. He had not had half as much to do as Burnett, who was at his brightest when making a flying save from Balmer. Balmer put everything he had behind that drive, and it was no easy save. Again play was transferred and Stevenson, after Higgins had found the ball running awkwardly crashed it wide of the target – a good opportunity missed.
Stubbins had tried several tricks against TG Jones but thus far none had come off for Jones was inspired but this is not uncommon for him. Those behind each goal had their full share of thrill. When Fielding found himself right in front of the Liverpool goal there was every reason to anticipate a score, but the inside right failed to get in a full blooded drive. Even so Sidlow had to be smart to turn the ball out side. For a few moments Everton called the tune and Jones went up to see what he could do with a corner kick, but he could do little. Stubbins finding his way down the middle blocked, wisely pushed the ball over to Balmer, who attempted to carve his way through, but was out-numbered. Mercer dribbled among the forwards, but he was not allowed to shoot. Stubbins and Balmer collaborated once more, but Jones stood defiant Liddell also fell against this solid barrier. One minute from half-time, with the crowd still yearning for a goal. Bentham tore through and the ball reached Mcllhatton, who moved forward a step or two then shot with his right foot. Sidlow swept the ball over his bar with his left hand. Had the ball not bounced badly for Stubbins I felt confident he would have scored a few seconds before half time. He had to take a chance, half-time. He had to take a chance, but there was very little daylight between the ball and the upright as it crashed outside. He had previously missed a chance from five yards out.
Half-time; -Liverpool 0, Everton 0.
The wisdom of Stubbins was seen in the first half-minute of the second half. Burnett left his goal to kick away. The ball week to Stubbins a long way out, but without hesitation he let fly for goal knowing that Burnett was not at home. That he did not succeed was due to Everton’s covering tactics.
Balmer, who had been Liverpool’s only shooter, put one over the bar. Liverpool got a corner kick to which they were not entitled. A neat movement between the Everton inside forwards almost brought a goal. Stevenson from the centre forward position dashed through the Liverpool defence and shot. Sidlow parried the ball, which went out to Higgins who, in his anxiety, put wide. That was an escape, just as Everton escaped when Taylor cracked in a fast drive from long range, which Burnett could only turn aside. The danger was still there, for the ball hit the referee and this helped the Everton defence for Stevenson was able to nip in and clear.
It was a bonny tussle, but it is a long time since I saw Liddell so securely held –a great tribute to Saunders. True, the Scot had not seen a lot of the ball, but when he did Saunders beat him. There was another near-goal when Jones went into the Liverpool goalmouth for a corner kick and Sidlow only partially cleared the Welshman’s header. It was sufficient to prevent a goal, but it was a very near thing. Eglington had few chances, but when one came he did his best to make full use of it, but Lambert stepped in the way of his shot which hit his thigh and went to safety. The Everton defence was supreme against anything the Liverpool forwards could produce, and Jones was not alone in his great work. He had Spartan in Greenhalgh and Saunders. At any moment Liverpool might break loose. They were playing towards their favourite goal, the Kop.
Stubbins well watched, tried one of his snap shots, but stubbed the ground and the ball trickled towards Burnett. The last quarter of an hour had seen little shooting, and the only time the Kop had any need to enthuse was when Balmer calmly headed into Burnett’s hands. The Liverpool goal was fortunate when Stevenson shot from eight yards, but struck a bunch of players, Sidlow was well covered. Higgins showed a nice touch when he lobbed the ball over Ramsden’s head, went round him and shot over the bar. Liverpool were uncommonly quiet, and Everton had taken command. Liddell was hurt in a tackle with Saunders and limped for a while. I was astonished at the lack of Liverpool spirit at this point, for it is at moment like this that they usually blaze up.
Liverpool had gone completely into their shell, consequently Everton rather dominated matters, although Jones (W.H.) did get in a header which caused the Everton defence some concern. Liddell was hurt again. When he resumed and tried a shot he was jarred off the mark. When full time arrived Everton were attacking strongly, but this, the first post-war Derby, must go down as a goalless draw. Final; Liverpool 0, Everton 0.
EVERTON RES V. LIVERPOOL RES
September 21, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
There was an excellent attendance in the junior local “Derby” game at Goodison. Wright led the home attack in place of Higgins. Liverpool were early dangerous, Sagar having to save excellent shots from Watkinson and Done. The visitors were certainly the predominant side, but Sagar saved several drives. Liverpool in spite of their continued attacks, could not beat home defence. Sagar brought off several more fine saves. The unexpected happened. Everton taking the lead in the 24th minute. Wright scoring from a Boyes centre. Two minutes from the interval Liverpool equalised through Watkinson. Half-time; Everton Res 1, Liverpool Res 1. On resuming Everton attacked and Ashcroft had several anxious moments. A feature of the game was the fine display of the Liverpool halves, Bush and Kaye putting in yeoman work. Liverpool were within an ace of taking the lead. Sagar saving brilliantly from Done. Final; Everton R, 1, Liverpool 1.
U.G.D St. Helens v. Everton “A”
At St. Helens. Everton were the cleverer side, McPeake scoring after 20 minutes. The home team had a chance but shot over. Before the interval McCauley, Falder and Lyons scored goals for Everton. Half-time; U.G.D (St. Helens) 0, Everton “A” 4.
September 21, 1946. The Evening Express
‘Derby Match Thrills
The most orderly crowd for years gathered at Anfield today for the first of the peace time Merseyside Derby’s between Liverpool and Everton. It seemed that everyone had responded to the appeal to ensure the comfort of all. There was plenty of room for everyone. Injuries to Watson and Wainwright forced Everton to make changes, and Fielding came in at inside-right. Bentham going into the half-back line. Billie Higgins, a local ex-naval boy, led the Everton forwards for his first Derby game. Billy Fagan, the Liverpool captain hopes to be fit for next Saturday, and Everton’s injured Jackson and Humphreys, are making such fine improvement that they should be fit again in a few days. . Liverpool; Sidlow, goal; Lambert and Ramsden, backs; Taylor, Hughes and Paisley, half-backs; Nieuwenhuys, Jones (WH), Stubbins, Balmer and Liddell, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones (TG) and Bentham, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Higgins, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.C. Denham (Ashton-on-Ribble). Everton were first into their stride to the roar of 50,000 after Saunders had held up Liddell, but Higgins’s attempted back heel pass to Mcllhatton went astray. Lambert nipped in when Everton made their next burst – on the left, and then came Mcllhatton to turn the ball behind as he was tackled. The Everton inside forwards, Stevenson and Fielding, were playing brilliant football, and keeping Liverpool penned in for seven minutes.
A Cool Save
Paisley fouled Fielding and from Tommy Jones’ free kick Higgins headed in but Sidlow made a safe and cool catch. Saunders beating Liddell, came up to glide through a ball which Sidlow had covered. At last came Liverpool, only for Liddell’s centre to shoot behind as he was tackled. It was exactly eight minutes before Stubbins touched the ball in play and then his shot was parried by Tommy Jones. However the effort seemed to inspire Liverpool and Bill Jones glided one over for Balmer to hit first time Burnett getting his chest behind it. Tommy Jones delighted the crowd with the cool manner in which he outwitted Stubbins and then Stubbins had his own back by cleverly moving past Greenhalgh. Liverpool almost took the lead when Balmer let go one of his 18-yard specials, for although Burnett dived and retorted it, the ball squirmed under his body to roll inches past the post. The corner produced one of the most amazing misses I have seen on a football field. Nieuwenhuys’s header off Liddell’s kick was going like a bullet when Tom Jones headed it away and Balmer pushed it back into the goalmouth right to the feet of Stubbins.
A Bad Miss
Stubbins was only two yards from goal, with no one within three yards of him, but he completely missed the ball when he attempted his shot, and Burnett picked it up gleefully. The Liverpool wing half backs were playing excellent football, featuring the first time tackle to counter the delightful footwork of Fielding and Stevenson. Stevenson gave Hughes the dummy and raced through, only for Sidlow to dash out and clear the danger. Saunders twice outwitted Liddell, to the consternation of the Reds fans and delight of the Blues. Taylor engineered a strong Liverpool attack, which ended with Liddell having an easy opening from six yards, but he shot too quickly and blindly and Burnett was not troubled. The Everton tackling simply had to be good to hold up this high-powered Liverpool attack, which had understanding and speed in approach, but little accuracy in finishing. Stubbins had two good shots intercepted before he forced Burnett to save low-down, and then Burnett dashed out to save a close up centre from Nieuwenhuys. Mcllhatton raced past three opponents to provide Fielding with a cramped shooting chance and Sidlow covered the one vital spot. Burnett had to leap high to turn Nieuwenhuys’s dropping centre over the top for Liverpool’s fifth corner.
Everton’s First Corner
Everton’s first corner came after 28 minutes. Tommy Jones came up for this, to head in magnificently, but his fellow Welshman, Sidlow, was well prepared. The ball came back to Stubbins, but before he could get in his shot Burnett pounced on the ball. Balmer was the most dangerous of the Liverpool forwards and now he let go a mighty cross shot, for which Burnett dived to turn away. This second let-off encouraged Everton to launched dangerous attacks, Higgins and Stevenson having shots charged down before Stevenson slipped through to place just beyond the far post. This was grand football, played at top speed in splendid spirit. Only the brilliance of Sidlow prevented Everton taking the lead when Fielding shot, after great work by Mcllhatton and Eglington. A daring leap and one-hand fist-away turned the ball round the post.
ANFIELD MATCH WAS MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING –NOTHING
September 23, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
But Jones and Hughes made it Worth while
By Ernest Edwards (“Bee).
Liverpool 0, Everton 0
One-nought produces two points and victory, two noughts produce no victory but a talking point. The cardinal fact was that 50,000 people hoped to see goals and went away empty-handed. Yet there was much to learn from this further meeting of Liverpool and Everton. Lack of connection was the dominating fault of both; of ill-directed passing and effort there was abundance. The faults left little but the partisan argument that one or other deserved to win. Mr. Verdict is;- “Just right; neither side deserved to lose.” Destiny had seen fit to bring in a number of young men who had not known a Merseyside battle. OCTU they fire bullets inches from cadets to give them the feel of battle. In this game some of the younger generation were shell-shocked by the atmosphere, the pace and the urge to play a hero’s part. They were so hurried they forgot to address their missive in legible manner, and two stalwarts postmen with Welsh names Tom Jones and Laurie Hughes, redirected their efforts to the dead-letter office. Two walls of defence with but a single thought –to say to forwards without balance; “You shall not pass.” Having told of Jones and Hughes holding up the middle portion of the field one has to make recognition of some goalkeeping feats. Burnett half-gripped a Balmer shot and the crowd gasped and waited, almost as long as they had to wait the verdict from the referee at the Hawthorne fight on this ground, before the ball swung round the post. Afterwards he showed his stoutest and best with efforts by Nieuwenhuys and Balmer. Sidlow became jealous. He cut out the swerving shot by Mcllhatton, he edged a Fielding effort as the only means of stopping its course into goal. The goalkeepers came out of this game with medals highly polished. Yet all the forwards were off target” when the task was easiest.
Veterans of Variety
Let us hand the veterans their medals. First Stevenson as leading man, with curt, cutting interventions, shots at awkward angles and a pipping Irish voice calling for more work. Then Bentham with his strong raids and well-timed interventions; Mercer the propelling force whose leggy raids and first class judgement add to much to Everton’s make-up. On the same side, a welcome and well done to Saunders of Bidston, a back with rosy countenance and beautiful physical frame, whose keen-eyed tackling and sure delivery of the ball made him a readymade success and whose task was made the easier because Liddell got a knock early on and in consequence, gave a limp performances, quite unlike his customary one. Maybe this was cause and effect with Saunders, but he cruised down the river of attack at other times this season in similar excellent manner. Fielding a month ago was playing for England. A week ago he was twelfth man and was told that time was on his side and that his pure craftsmanship would bring him back to his proper football station. In short, he was not to worry at the change of team-sheet. Brought in at inside right instead of inside left, he gave a refreshing display and showed his loss of form was temporary. He made the sweetest cross-field of the day –a bright shaft in the sky dark with clouds of missed passes. I am dealing with Everton thus early because they were guests. Led by the keen endeavour of Greenhalgh, and with Higgins enjoying bright interludes, and Eglington and Mcllhatton skirting the wings with vigour. Everton followers were reasonably happy. The day of these youngsters will come when they have learned to live down the fulsome praise showered on them by unthinking folk who want to make stars shine before their appointed time. No one had a word to say about the referee, Mr. A.C. Denham, of Ashton, and I can give no higher praise. Albert Stubbins forethought the referee’s offside decision and so doing lost the greatest chance to win the game. The newcomers played as if he felt the weight of £13,000 upon his feet. He could have shot a goal and then looked round to see the referee’s verdict. Generally speaking the public look upon this method as a waste of time and a bit of showmanship –but you see now how wise it is to score first and look for the verdict afterwards. Stubbins did so many bright things that we shall always be glad to have his relief from the drab, stereotyped methods common to so many of our players. His shooting has strength and direction, but one felt the whole Anfield attack had been blunted by its early experiences when they came near taking the lead three times. As they brighten a diamond by the use of spirit so Anfield’s attacks needs “spirit” and stamina. Jones was below par, Nieuwenhuys and Balmer did not go through to the end of the task. After first-half displays they do not appear to read the words “To be continued.”
Sidlow has given rare confidence to the defence and Stubbins will weld the forward line in due course, Sidlow’s calm assurance and cleanliness of action mark him as outstanding; indeed I gather they would like him back at Wolverhampton. At his side the careful Lambert and the man of careless rapture –arms outstretched, legs aflying and broad chest breaking its way to man and ball -Ramsden is the name! Phil Taylor has lost the remembrance of his troubled months of February and March, and is playing delicious football. Hughes has been named in the honours list, and there remains but the constancy of Paisley, a snappy non-stop worker with a hugh throw-in and a fund of resistance. All this and no goals, too. “It was not such a bad match,” said one. “I thought it the best local derby game we have seen,” said Liverpool’s earnest chairman, Mr. William McConnell. It would have been a good match if the forwards and half-backs of both sides could have made their passes with the precision shown by goalkeepers Sidlow and Burnett – therefore, I beg leave to inform you (consistent with my sense of right and duty) this was entertaining football, but a mere shadow of the standard we have seen in the best of these battles. It is up to the players to perfect the greatest of arts –the pass that reaches its right destination. I speak in sympathy, not in criticism. Liverpool; Sidlow, goal; Lambert and Ramsden, backs; Taylor, Hughes and Paisley, half-backs; Nieuwenhuys, Jones (WH), Stubbins, Balmer and Liddell, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones (TG) and Bentham, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Higgins, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. A.C. Denham (Ashton-on-Ribble).
THE RESERVES TOO
September 23, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Reserves 1, Liverpool Reserves 1
The junior derby at Goodison Park provided a hard and thrilling match, and a 1-1 division of the points. Sagar played a great game in the Everton goal and saved his side on numerous occasions. Wright netted in the 23rd minute for Everton. Watkinson equalising in the 43rd minute
• U.G.D St. Helens 1, Everton “A” 6
EVERTON STARS AT HOLLEY PARK TO-NIGHT
September 23, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Co-Operation Did It
Most Orderly Derby Match
But Few Thrills
Everton, always ready to help any good cause, are sending a strong side to play South Liverpool tonight (kick-off 6 o’clock) for the benefit of goalkeeper Roper and George Jones, South’s inside forward. These two players have served South well ever since 1935, and deserve the best the club can do for them. As Everton include several first-team stars, there ought to be a record gate at Holly Park. Teams;- Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Finnis; Bentham, Falder, Davies; Grant, Livingstone, Higgins, Fielding, Eglington. South Liverpool; Hobson; Parker, Morris; Beaumont, Bates, Thomas; Powell, Frost, Martin, Dowker, Lewis.
Praise Where Due
Having criticised crowd control measures for the Chelsea match at Anfield, I must in fairness give praise when it is due, and it is due in full measure for the arrangements on Saturday. Apart from the tardiness of the decision to issue stand tickets, everything possible under the existing system was done to ensure orderliness. Thanks to the splendid co-operation of spectators, things went wonderfully well. Mr. Theo Kelly, secretary-manager of Everton was among those to pay a warm tribute to the manner in which Liverpool had arranged matters. It was again noteworthy that several of the gates were closed before the attendance reached 50,000 –whereas the ground has previously housed 61,000. I’m not quarrelling with that. The Club very wisely is taking no chances. But I think that underlines my previous contention that a Hampden penning system would pay for itself in the long run. And also allow more folk to see big matches. A last word of thanks to the man who “sweated blood” to handle the 6,000 odd tickets. Jack Rouse was at Anfield fifteen hours a day last week and did a great job of work, almost single-handled without once getting ruffled. All that was wrong with his first real peace-time “Derby” was its lack of goals. A couple would have set players as well as spectators alight. The respective defences were so much in command that scoring chances were few –and most of them were muffed. Best attempt was Balmer’s red-hot shot in the first half, which called forth a magnificent save from Burnett. Balmer was Liverpool’s marksman-in-chief for Stubbins rarely got a shooting chance, so tightly did Tommy Jones hold him in check. Waiting for the whistle which never sounded robbed him of one opening which duly taken might have entirely altered the whole game.
Stubbins Will Do
Stubbins, though caught in the Jones vice, still did enough to let us see that he is the brainy type, not the bull-at-a-gate variety. He served up some delightfully neat touches was unlucky to see some powerful shots, particularly in the first half strike defenders instead of reaching their billet, and provided his inside men with some brilliant passes. When his partners have established an understanding with him. Stubbins looks like being as much a provider of goals for others as a notcher of them himself. If he had received as many passes as he made –and of the same open-space variety –he might have celebrated his derby debut more strikingly. Liverpool had their chances in the first half, but wasted them by poor finishing – Balmer’s shots apart. The Reds should have been in front at the interval but after that they failed to maintain their territorial supremacy and rather to the surprise of some folk, it was Everton who stuck the pace better and were going strongest at the time when it counts most. But the Blues were just as remiss in front of goal as Liverpool, though in slightly different manner. Liverpool did shoot when they got within range, and powerfully though with poor direction. Everton until they could see the whites of Sidlow’s eyes, by which time somebody nipped in to rob them of the chance. I’m tired of always having to say the same thing about Tommy Jones. Perhaps one day he will have a bad game and give me a rest from paving tribute to his brilliant artistry and consistency. Laurie Hughes, with his totally different styles, was just as effective and just as big barrier to Higgins as Jones was to Stubbins. Higgins did quite well, all things considered. Pity he isn’t a bit bigger. He has the undercarriage of a full back, with sturdy legs and thighs, but suffers the drawback of the Everton line as a whole –lack of height. Next to Jones, star Evertonian was Saunders, 24-year-old recommendation of Bill dean, who was on the Goodison books as an amateur pre-war. Saunders has come to stay. Both defences were sure and solid. No need to mention others individually, for all did well and share in the honours of a hard, clean, and very sporting game, which, if lacking somewhat in high-powered thrills had much of interest, and was a model in all respects of what derby days should be.
EVERTON ASK FOR DONE
September 23, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Board to Consider
Everton F.C who have been searching for some time for a centre-forward and have had disappointments over Stubbins and in Scotland have asked Liverpool whether they would be prepared to transfer Cyril Done to Goodison Park. Tentative feelers were put out by Everton officials at the Liverton derby on Saturday, and the matter will be fully discussed by the Liverpool board tomorrow evening. The inquiries did not get to the stage of mentioning any figure, which is one of the points the Liverpool directors will have to consider, as well as whether they can afford to let the player go in any case. Everton have been tapping many sources to their efforts to sign a new leader since Catterick’s injury. They might do much worse than take Done – providing Liverpool are agreeable.
TRUBITE TO LOYALISTS
September 23, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Merseyside pays tribute to two grand sportsman tonight when at Holly Park, Garston, South Liverpool entertain Everton in a benefit match in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Liverpool (alderman Luke Hogan) and football “heads” of the city. The match – starting at 6 o’clock – is for the benefit of two loyal servants of South Liverpool –Roper, the goalkeeper, and George Jones, the inside-forward. Both joined South in 1935 –Roper from Tranmere Rovers and Jones from Garston Woodcutters –and are deserving of a real bumper. Everton is combining to that end and Referee Bill Evans, of Liverpool, has already given his fee to the benefit fund. Everton are co-operating by taking along a number of their star Football League players. South are resting Tommy Jones in view of their hard programme during the next week –three away matches in the space of five days –but otherwise play a full first team. Everton’s team will include Tommy Eglington, Wally Fielding, Ted Sagar, Stan Bentham, George Jackson and Archie Livingstone, all top-line personalities. Everton; Sagar; Jackson, Finnis; Bentham, Falder, Davies; Grant, Livingstone, Higgins, Fielding, Eglington. South Liverpool; Hobson; Parker, Morris; Beaumont, Bates, Thomas; Powell, Frost, Martin, Dowker, Lewis.
Tommy Jones, of Everton, at Anfield on Saturday, strengthened his claims to being the greatest ever centre half-back in football. Maybe in the “old days” there were pivots as good, but I am confident in the assertion that there never has been a better. Tommy’s display in this latest “Derby” in which artistry and good sportsmanship so simply compensated for lack of goals, stood out like a beacon light – the quintessence of defensive perfection and constructive skill. I wish it could have been possible for every school and youth player to see the Jones we thrilled to in this game, for it was the model of centre-half play featuring grace, brains and yet, withal thoroughness. Liverpool were the better side in the first half when Balmer as the most potent factor in attack on the field, but just as luckless as ever. Liverpool then cut through Everton with fast, open methods, but gradually Everton got the upper hand, and with Mercer and Bentham completely blotting out Jones and Balmer with Liddell so easily mastered by George Saunders, a 23-year-old sensation discovery, and Nieuwenhuys never getting a pass because Stubbins preferred the right foot for the sweeping wing pass, the Blues took command. Everton were much the better side in the second half and almost won it with a Stevenson’s shot which beat Sidlow, but Lambert was right there on the goal line to boot away gleefully.
Sidlow, to my mind, is one of the finest investments Liverpool have ever made. A treasure for£4,000. Why he is worth treble if only for the confidence he inspires. Sidlow has the goalkeeper’s mind and ability. Not for Cyril the spectacular saves, No, the Sidlow method is to make as many saves as possible look easy. Not in any degree less successful was Burnett, who obviously knew that any Liverpool shooting would be a terrific power and so he ensured every time that his body was behind the shot. Now to Saunders, Everton’s new right back with the sure tackle, the accurate kick and the Tom Jones, creative brain. Before the season opened I warmed you that Everton expected a lot of Saunders and now you know for yourselves what a great discover is this Birkenhead lad recommended by Billy Dean. If Saunders assured me that his football motto is “never was a ball” I would agree with him. Not for Saunders the wild get-it-away-at-any-price kicks. Saunders is a ball user in every sense. I hope Saunders can take the praises he so richly deserved, and will remember that if he keeps his “head” as balanced as his play then he cannot miss. Congratulations to Everton on yet another fine local discovery. The other local lad, Billy Higgins, found Merseysider Laurie Hughes a tremendous stumbling block, but tried desperately hard, and had a keen “note” for the open space. I thought all wing half-backs – Taylor, Paisley, Mercer, and Bentham –were splendid but Everton had a pull forward where Stevenson and Fielding delighted with their ball jugglery. Mcllhatton is, obviously now getting right into the swing of the faster English game and was the pick of the four wingers, and Eglington will make his mark especially when he is quicker to use the short ball to his inside-partner. I think the Reds should have exploited Nieuwenhuys more, but the attack generally became unsettled, and Bill Jones was not exactly happy at inside-right. Greenhalgh and Ramsden were bulwarks in defence in a game carrying little fault; some excellent football; the minimum of fouls; but not quite the old crowd-created atmosphere.
EVERTON INQUIRY FOR DONE
September 24, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Since the injury to Catterick Everton F.C., have been worried about their centre-forward position, and a number of sources have been tapped. It appears that the Goodison Park Club have now approached Liverpool to inquire if the Anfield Club would prepared to part with Cyril Done. The matter will be discussed by the Anfield board this evening.
S. LIVERPOOL LOSE
September 24, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Score Flatters Everton
Although Everton won this benefit match with South Liverpool at Holly Park by 3-1, the score rather flattered the winners, for South produced a late-on rally which severely tested the Everton defence. The first half, particularly the first half-hour, enabled the South people to see the best type of football –the ball on the ground and the player running into position, followed by the all-important factor, the shot. It seemed that Everton would run up a heavy score, for they had the South penned in their own half for a long spell, but behind it all Everton gave the impression that they were travelling on a tight rein. They scored in ten minutes through Fielding, who was one of the main shooters at this stage, but nine minutes later Powell had equalised. Lewis made the opening for his centre was only pushed along to Powell by Birkett, and the outside right hit the ball with tremendous power to equalise.
From then South found they were in the game with a chance and they made openings for themselves, but they failed to accept them. Grant at the hour put Everton ahead, and later Higgins made it 3-1. It was not the score which counted however it was the game and I feel sure the 5,200 people present thoroughly enjoyed the fare. The game was for two former South Liverpool players W. Rober, their goalkeeper and George Jones who served the club so well for a matter of ten years. The lord Mayor (Alderman Luke Hogan) presented cheques of £100 each to the players concerned, and made a happy speech, to which both players relied. Teams; South Liverpool; Hobson, goal; Parker and Felton, backs; Beaumont, Bates and Thomas, half-backs; Powell, Urmson, Martin, Dowker, and C. Lewis, forwards. Everton; W. Birkett, goal; Jackson and Finnis, backs; Bentham, Edwards and McPeake, half-backs; Owen, Grant, Higgins, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. W.H. E. Evans, Liverpool.
September 24, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton directors, when they gather this evening for their weekly meeting, will, no doubt, discuss the centre-forward problem which remains unsolved by excursion into the transfer market. I wonder has Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly the solution to the matter? I have a feeling that one of the players to get the Blues out of all their centre-forward troubles is already on the books. Names, Eddie Wainwright and Billy Higgins. As a matter of fact, I doubt whether there is a centre forward anywhere offering a better prospect than Wainwright, who has goals in both feet. I mean of course, centre-forwards who could be secured. Wainwright had has the build, the virtily, and the ability to develop into an ideal leader, and with Stevenson and Fielding ready to hold down the two inside forward positions, the Blues would not be weakening one position to strengthen another. The unfortunate part is that Wainwright is still in the Army stationed in the north-cast, and so his availability depends on duties. Army service –and Wainwright will not be demobilised for some time – naturally prevents football training, but Wainwright is getting plenty of Army football. Last Thursday he played in a unit match and had the ill-luck to be injured. It was not serious but sufficient to keep him out of the “Derby” game. In my opinion Higgins is going to prove a natural leader. Billy’s work against Liverpool – and especially the might of brilliant Hughes – was most impressive for he had shrewd ideas, and a keen sense of finding the open space. Wainwright may not be for fit for a couple of weeks, but while Everton have Wainwright, Higgins, Catterick – making fine progress towards, fitness and Livingstone, they need not worry about spending money. With regard to Done, of Liverpool, I now have big doubts whether Everton will even make an official inquiry. None has been made so far. On Monday, September 9, I spoke to officials about the possibility of a Done move to Goodison Park and Everton have been “alive” to the point ever since. The only move made was that Mr. Kelly mentioned it to Manager George Kay last Saturday. “It was just an inquiry between manager and manager,” said Mr. Kelly, “but now that the matter has been divulged I doubt very much whether my directors will even consider pursing it. I can tell you definitely that the Everton directors have never mentioned Done, I am not rushing to spend money when we have players like Higgins already on our books.’ And with that I am in entire agreement.
September 24, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The immense value of sport, and football in particular to the nation was emphasised by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool (Alderman Luke Hogan) last night, when he attended the South Liverpool –Everton match at Holly Park for the benefit of Bill Roper and George Jones, who have just completed 11 years services with the club. Despite rain just before the kick-off there were 5,200 spectators – Everton won 3-1 – and each player received at the hands of the Lord Mayor a cheque for £100 – a small but deserving tribute to two excellent servants. South Liverpool chairman (Mr. H. D. Arrowsmith) and his colleagues have not entertained so many football “heads” for a long time, for Mr. Will Gibbins led the Everton party, all of whom were impressed by the splendid improvement which had been made at Holly Park and which so impressed me during the baseball season. Some Third Division clubs must envy ‘South’ on the compactness of their enclosure which with any luck should one day house a football League club. The game itself was highly entertaining with Everton revelling those expected, extra touches of craft. Fielding gave Everton the lead, but Powell scored a good equaliser before the interval, and Grant and Higgins scored for the Blues in the second half.
EVERTON’S CUP TEAM
September 25, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
For their Lancashire Cup-tie with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park tomorrow, Everton will, with one or two exceptions field their first team – the only alterations being Lindley at right half and Livingstone at inside left. Blackburn Rovers bring in Holliday at right back and Godwin at centre forward, Rogers resumes at outside right, and Guest another pre-war winger will be outside left. Blackburn Rovers; Marks; Holliday, Cook; Whiteside, Pryde, Bell; Rogers, Butt, Godwin, Glaister, Guest. Everton; Burnett; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Lindley, Jones, Bentham, Mcllhatton, Fielding, Higgins, Livingstone, Eglington.
For their away match with Huddersfield on Saturday the same team that shared the honours with Liverpool at Anfield will do duty. Burnett; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones (TG), Bentham; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Higgins, Stevenson, Eglington.
Everton Men Chosen
When I saw the Irish representatives at Goodison Park a week or so ago, I knew their visit was not for the good of their health. They were giving the once-over to Everton’s Irish wing Stevenson and Eglington. They must have been satisfied with what they saw, for the pair have been chosen to play for Eire against England at Dublin on Monday.
EVERTON DRAW AT EWOOD PARK
September 27, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Blackburn Rovers 1, Everton 1.
Everton will not often shoot as frequently for as little result as they did in their drawn Lancashire Cup first round tie against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park, yesterday. Most of their shooting was ill-managed, but scene of it was good, and they had the mortification of netting the ball three times for a single goal to count. Twice following a goalless first half “goals” by Livingstone and Higgins were disallowed for off-side – in the second instance after Rovers had pressed the referee to consult a signalling linesman – and then the Rovers ironically snatched the lead through Godwin. Not until the Rovers had lost left half Bell injured did Everton again reward for their striving but successful marksman, Livingstone also should have won the match immediately afterwards, when the Rovers were further depleted to nine men.
Everton Wing Power.
Everton had centre-half Humphreys a hobbling makeshift forward in the second half but they ought to have won despite this. In a game that fell sharply from its early promise they retained the better semblance of method with decidedly stronger striking power along the flanks. Both Mcllhatton and Eglington were clever and trustful. The sharp-shooting of Eglington was a first-half feature. But generally Everton’s defence got through its work with rather less fuss than that of the Rovers. Pryde was resolute even when his team structure and method were crumbing. Blackburn Rovers; Marks, goal; Holliday (K.) and Cook, backs; Whiteside, Pryde (captain), and Dell, half-backs; Rogers, Butt, Godwin, Glaister, and Wallace, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Lindley, Humphreys and Bentham, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Grant, Higgins, Livingstone, and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. J. McCann (Preston).
September 27, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
Huddersfield Town was a name to be conjured with at one time in their history, for did they not win the First Division championship three years in succession. They were glorious years, but for some seasons now they have fallen from grace. At the moment they are at the foot of the table with only two points appended to their name. It would, therefore, appear that Everton should book a victory there tomorrow. They can win if they can deliver the shots. The skill is there and all that is wanted is someone to round off the work with a shot of power and accuracy. The Town will be desperate for points so it behoves Everton not to take anything for granted. To beat Derby County 5-2was a performance, and if they can recover that form they may spring another surprise. Football is full of shocks and surprises, but I will be started if Huddersfield bring about the defeat of Everton, who are almost fool-proof in defence these days. Everton; Burnett; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Bentham; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Higgins, Stevenson, Eglington.
SKILL TO COUNT
September 27, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Everton may not have a tremendous amount of thrust in their attack these days but I have a feeling that their skill can take them to a win at Leeds-road against Huddersfield Town tomorrow. Lack of inches maybe is the reason for the missing power, but if Everton will concentrate on keeping the ball on the floor it will offset any Town defensive height. I shall be there to tell you the story in the football edition, and because of Everton’s defensive completeness think I shall have a pleasing task. Huddersfield’s only victory was when bearing powerful Derby County at Leeds-road, and then they scored five goals in the process. On Wednesday Town held Sunderland to a goalless draw, so it is sticking out a mile that they have a pretty strong defence. Well, let Everton match that with on-the-ground skill. After the game Alex Stevenson and Tommy Eglington will dash across to Dublin ready for a tilt at England. Everton; Burnett; Saunders, Greenhalgh; Mercer, Jones, Bentham; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Higgins, Stevenson, Eglington.
SURPRISES IN “TOWN”
September 28, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
Lucky Goal Beats Blues
Hesford The Hero
Huddersfield 1, Everton 0
A game of halves – Everton better in the first, Huddersfield in the second. A lucky goal defeated Everton, but it was a goalkeeper’s day, and Hesford saved the Town. Huddersfield;- Hesford (captain), goal; Bailey and Simpson, (J), backs; Barker, Briggs, and Boot, half-backs; Bateman, Glazzard, Price, Tompkin and McShane, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones, Bentham, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Higgins, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.W. Baker, (Manchester). Attendance 19,208. Huddersfield Town are somewhat in the doldrums at the moment. The settling down process has not settled in. They have accomplished one of two smart things, but they are still an uncertain quantity. The sun was cross-wise, so there was no advantage to either side. Everton were unchanged, but the Town had a half-back alteration, Boot coming in at left half and Baker crossing over. There were two exciting goalmouth incidents in the first two minutes. The first when Price slipped the ball over to Glazzard – offside in my opinion – and Burnett had to run out to clear. Everton’s reply produced a shot from Stevenson and Hesford failed to grab the ball firmly and needed a colleague’s cover to complete the clearance.
The first five minutes belonged to Everton who were particularly assertive on the right wing. Mcllhatton beat Boot and Simpson and from his work Fielding shot behind, Stevenson, when nicely placed, hooked the ball behind. So far the Everton defence had capably held off any Huddersfield advance until McShane put across a fast centre. The ball passed too far in front of Price. Burnett dashed out to hold off Glazzard, but he made a sad mistake when he trapped the ball to keep it in play and found himself out of goal and Glazzard in possession. Glazzard swept the ball into the middle, but several Ton players failed to reach it. Huddersfield had a few nasty moments when Higgins was put through, but Hesford proved equal to the task by smothering Higgin’s first shot.
For some minutes Huddersfield sounded the Everton defence and Burnett had to save from Tompkin. Hesford had saved his side under pressure, but he will never do better work than when he dived at Higgins’s feet, saved from Stevenson and then Eglington in the space of seconds. Everton, at this point were harassing the Town defence, but there was an occasion when McShane was out clear on his own with trouble brewing for Burnett until Saunders barred his way. A free kick, taken by Jones, saw Hesford only just keeping the ball out. Bateman shot over the Everton crossbar, and Glazzard hooked in a shot to Burnett’s hands. If anything Everton were playing the better football, for they kept the ball on the turf, whereas Huddersfield favoured the long pass and the quick thrust forward.
T.G. Jones and his counterpart Briggs were defending magnificently. Higgins hooked one onto the top netting and Bentham tried a snap drive which finished a long way off the mark. When Bateman wriggled his way through to the centre of the penalty line he was a distinct menace. Burnett found his shot fairly hot. Saunders made a magnificent tackle to check Tompkin, and then Stevenson and Mercer got together to give Mcllhatton a chance to shoot Hesford saving.
Half-time –Huddersfield nil, Everton nil.
Higgins was hurt in a collision almost immediately the second half opened, but he resumed after a slight delay. After Jones had repelled the Town attacks, Stevenson essayed a “possible.” Huddersfield had been doing well at this point, and Burnett distinguished himself by rushing out and kicking clear to prevent Price getting in his shot. Burnett came into the limelight again when he caught a ball under his bar with Price standing alongside him. Hesford just previously had dived at the feet of Higgins to prevent what seemed a certain goal –excellent goal-keeping. Huddersfield were now playing with great determination and fire, and when Price headed in the ball was only kept out by Mercer’s hands. The referee consulted his linesmen before awarding a penalty. Boot took the kick, but must have shot ten yards wide with it. If a team will not take those kind of chances it does not deserve to win. After an Everton visit to Hesford – very safe this man – Glazzard had a shot deflected for a corner by Bentham. Then came a lucky goal to Huddserfield at 67 minutes. The ball was going safely, we thought to Burnett out of goal on the left, when to everyone’s dismay, he failed to pick it up and Glazzard swept the ball into the net. Everton were suffering from lack of inches and lbs, in the forward line and in this half had never threatened to score. Fielding made a valiant effort and only just failed. He tried to lob the ball over Hesford and actually did but it just curled outside. Hesford dived to punch away a strong shot by Mcllhatton. The Town keeper again saved from the Scot. Huddersfield Town 1, Everton nil.
EVERTON R. V. HUDDERSFIELD R.
September 28, 1946. The Liverpool Football Echo
In spite of the Blues constant efforts they could not force home their advantage. They had a grand chance of taking the lead, but Johnson failed from three yards. In the forty-third minute Huddersfield took the lead Poole beating Sagar after the keep had partly saved. Half-time; Everton Res 0, Huddersfield Res 1. Full Time; Everton Res 1, Huddersfield Town 2.
HUDDERSFIELD V EVERTON
September 28, 1946. The Evening Express
Everton’s first visit to Yorkshire attracted a fine attendance at Leeds road, where things had not been running well for Town. Huddersfield made two changes Barker going to right half and Boot coming at left half. George Jackson, who travelled with Everton as 12th man had a telephone message from his wife just before the game saying his boy had been taken to hospital with scarlet fever. . Huddersfield;- Hesford (captain), goal; Bailey and Simpson, (J), backs; Barker, Briggs, and Boot, half-backs; Bateman, Glazzard, Price, Tompkin and McShane, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones, Bentham, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Higgins, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.W. Baker, (Manchester). The first thrill came when Glazzard was allowed to go through from a doubtful position, but Burnett dashed out to pick up confidently, and away went Everton, for Stevenson to let go from outside the penalty area. Hesford to stop it, and pounced on the ball when it moved out of his grasp. Town came again, and Saunders pushed the ball back to Burnett, when Price was looming dangerous.
EVERTON OUT OF LUCK
September 30, 1946. The Liverpool Daily Post
Freak Goal Defeat
Huddersfield Town 1, Everton 0
Everton were desperately unlucky to be beaten by the goal which gave Huddersfield their second victory. The mistake which cost the match showed the need for a defender to clear his lines instantly. Everton made Huddersfield look a moderate side in the first “45” but when the small forwards bumped against big fellows like Briggs and Boot to mention but two, they were brushed aside like debris before a bulldoze. The Town are fortunate in having a first-class goalkeeper in Hesford, nowadays captain of the side, for it was he who blotted out the Everton forwards when they looked good for goals – in the first half. All the football skill in the world, however, will not produce a victory without shots to round it off and this is where Everton fell down.”
For forty-five minutes, Huddersfield were made to look fourth raters without being made to pay for their poorness. They were more spirited in the second half; that is not to say their football was any better, but they put more vim –sometimes a little too much – into the game. They bustled their way through and had one hectic spell when the Everton goal looked like falling. It produced a penalty award against Everton when Bentham handled out an effort by Price. The referee could not have seen that Price had handled just previously; at all events he talked the matter over with the linesman before he finally said “spot kick.” I have seen many penalties missed, but this one by Boot was a shocking business –he drove the ball ten yards wide. Gloom was turned to joy when with the ball running straight to Burnett hands Glazzard rushed in and kicked the ball out of the goalkeeper’s hands and then went on to score. Prior to and after that Burnett was the essence of security but the damage had been done. . Huddersfield;- Hesford (captain), goal; Bailey and Simpson, (J), backs; Barker, Briggs, and Boot, half-backs; Bateman, Glazzard, Price, Tompkin and McShane, forwards. Everton; Burnett, goal; Saunders and Greenhalgh (captain), backs; Mercer, Jones, Bentham, half-backs; Mcllhatton, Fielding, Higgins, Stevenson and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. E.W. Baker, (Manchester).
• Everton Reserves 1, Huddersfield 2
• Everton “A” 2 Earle 0
• Liverpool 2 Leeds United 0, Balmer and Nieuwenhuys. Stubbins penalty saved by John Hodgson, the shot was so powerful it fractured the goalkeeper’s arm.
WOT, NO FORWARD
September 30, 1946. The Liverpool Echo
When I saw Hesford, the Huddersfield goalkeeper and captain, come on to the field at Leeds Road, Huddersfield, rolling up his sleeves it started me thinking. Who have him the notion that he was to have a busy afternoon. Everton’s goal scoring record this season could not convince him that the Everton forward line was a line of shooters, for in their seven League games to date only six goals have been registered. No doubt he took the line that prevention was better than cure, and for a time his reasoning was justified, for Everton kept him busy, but never terrified. Nevertheless it was he who kept the game warm for Huddersfield for he did make some snappy saves, but he was excused on at least three occasions when he should have been left helpless. Ever since the season opened I have viewed the Everton forward line with misgiving – it lacked height and weight. In ability it had much to command it, but that is not enough against the big half-backs –centre half back, particularly – which are holding the middle these days. Everton made the Town look paltry, for they played clever football with one thing missing – the most important thing, unfortunately – punch near goal. Without that all the good football doesn’t mean a thing. This was demonstrated to the full on Saturday. It is all very well to say that Everton were the better side, but if the other chaps get the goals it is little satisfaction. Huddersfield were poor, distinctly poor, yet they secured the points. Why? Because the Everton forwards lacked finish; the height and weight to offset the inches and poundage of the opposition defenders. Town got a penalty through Bentham –not Mercer; fisting out a certain goal, but Boot shot the widest penalty I have ever seen –ten yards off the mark. The first essential of a defender is to clear his lines. When a slowly moving ball was tolling its quiet way to Burnett’s hands with TG Jones holding a watching brief, Glazzard swept in and scooped it out of the goalkeeper’s hands and “walked” it into the net.
OFF THE MARK
September 30, 1946. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Problems in Attack
Soundness in defence is the foundation on which Merseyside leading clubs, Everton and Liverpool, can build up their main hopes of success this season. In attack there is still ample room for improvement –Everton in weight, Liverpool in understanding. Believe me, lack of punch cost Everton the game at Huddserfield, whose 1-0 win was a little on the lucky side. Granted that the Blues made the brilliant Hesford work overtime, but attacks were rather too easily brushed aside by the relentless spoilers in the Town’s rearguard. I have a fixed feeling that had Billy Higgins not been so badly dazed early in the second half that Everton would still have won at Leeds-road for they gave a moderate Town lessons in football craft and subtle approach. Higgins was so badly bumped that he was dizzy on the homeward journey. As five sound forwards could not crown excellent first half attacks with a goal, they had little afterwards when that number was reduced to four. Everton should have clinched it before the interval, and it was ironic that the game’s best forward, Stevenson should miss the easiest chance – a clean cut opening such as Stubbins missed at Anfield the previous week. Huddersfield adopted purely negative tactics, with each defender concerned simply in passing the ball back to Hesford to kick up and clear. Incidentally I think you can look to Town to being in the transfer market again. Neither Director D. Parker nor Manager Davie Steele were among the 19,208 spectators, being away scouting.
The Huddersfield forwards were of the worrying, terrier type who could never match Everton’s craft or ideas, but I liked the way Price bustled the steady Jones, who, today, goes to another “treatment” on the hand he injured in the spring. These “treatments” are periodical and not series. The Blues had an escape when Boot fired ten yards wide from a penalty which Everton said should not have been awarded because Price punched the ball in hence their protest. The winning goal was something of a tragedy, for Jones allowed a loose ball to run through to Burnett. Before Burnett could pick up, Glazzard had run around Jones to gain possession and slip the ball through. A faster ball and it would have been no goal. The Everton defensive make-up was excellent, with Saunders again doing well, if not being as dominant as at Anfield, and Greenhalgh, Mercer, and Bentham being vital cogs. Fielding gradually is getting back to his best – he had cruel luck with one late lob – and Eglington’s fiery crosses will bring goals. Mcllhatton had a splendid game, and has now settled down to English pace and pep. “Mac” almost saved a point in the last seconds with a might swerving shot which Hesford put away as much by good luck as good judgement for he just made a “blind” dive. Definitely the better football side lost a match which should have brought a comfortable victory. Chairman Mr. Will Gibbins, Directors Messrs George Evans, and Jack Sharp, and Secretary-Manager Theo Kelly travelled, as we all had a warm welcome from Mr. Phil Wood, chairman of Town who would not miss Everton despite an attack of influenza.