September 1, 1950. The Evening Express
Mr. W.R. Williams, Chairman of Everton F.C., presenting benefit cheques of £750 each to Everton, players on completion of five post-war years’ service with the club. Players are Stan Bentham, Ted Falder, Jackie Grant, Ted Sagar, Alex Stevenson, Gordon, Dugdale, Norman Greenhalgh, Jack Humphreys, Gordon Watson, Maurice Lindley, Wally Fielding, George Saunders, Eddie Wainwright. Dugdale had retired through ill-health, Greenhalgh is now with Bangor City and Alex Stevenson is player-manager of Bootle F.C.. Total amount received by the players was £9,750.
EVERTON’S HAT-TRICK BID
September 1, 1950. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
West Bromwich Albion being the attraction at Goodison Park, Everton will be “flat-out,” to record a hat-trick of home wins, Albion last season completed the “double” over the Blues’ following up a 4-0 win at The Hawthorns by winning 2-1 at Goodison Park. So far Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough have fallen at Goodison by the odd goal in five and considering that despite those defeats both have this season been League leaders and are now positioned in the first five, its reflects credit on Everton. Quite apart from achievement, I am convinced by personal observation that Everton are going to be quite a power in the League this season, for there is a fine spirit of endeavour, a fighting streak which we have not seen for three years, and the little “breaks” which were wont to go against them are now going their way. Everton against the classic Middlesbrough showed that even without such penetrative forces as Wainwright and Catterick, they could still finish off their good approach with striking power. The Blues played well when they defeated Huddersfield Town, but their manner of victory over Middlesbrough was rather more impressive, for they defeated a more compact side than Huddersfield and revealed those virtues which are so essential to success –power a wing half –back and at outside forward. The Albion have secured only two point out of eight by virtue of a draw at Newcastle and a home draw with Stoke City. That is not particularly impressive an d it seems that their forward, despite the known penetrative power Dave Walsh, have not the thrust on this latest Everton “model” which in four games, had scored seven goals. Everton are playing good football in an attractive manner, and while there have been defensive errors resulting in nine goals against; it is quite plain that the Blues are a vastly better combination than at any time during the past three yards. The “work-out” at Bellefield seem to be paying dividends.
“THROSTLES” AT GOODISON
September 1, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
West Bromwich Albion, third from the bottom of the table, are tomorrow’s visitors to Goodison Park. West Bromwich have found the First Division no easy home since they gained promotion eighteen months ago. Two drawn games against Newcastle (away) and Stoke City (home) represent their only points to date. They lost the opening match of the season at Villa Park, and on Wednesday suffered a home defeat at the hands of Newcastle United. Nevertheless Albion must not be under-rated. They are a big and strong side, with a solid defence based on Vernon, their skipper and Irish international, and a sound goalkeeper in sanders, whom Liverpool once had a fancy for after he had assisted them in war-time regional games. Attack is the Albion’s weakest link, though they have a useful centre-forward in Dave Walsh, another Irish International, and a fine winger in Elliott, still going strong and getting a good crop of goals in his thirteen season at the Hawthornes. It was Elliott’s absence from the side in the last four months of last season which robbed Albion of much of their effectiveness. To fill the breach Albion signed Ron Allen from Port Vale at a big fee, but this season Allen with the return of Elliott, has filled first the inside-right position and in the last two games the outside-left berth. Albion make one change compared with the side that lost to Newcastle in mid-week, Smith coming in at inside left in place of Richardson. As Catterick and Wainwright are fit again after their recent indisposition, Everton team reverts to that of last week. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Saunders; Grant, Falder, Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Felding, Eglington. West Bromwich-Sanders; Rickably, Millard; Kennedy, Vernon, Barlow; Elliott, Williams, Walsh, Smith, Allen.
O’NEILL BRILLIANT BUT THE ALBION WERE GOOD WINNERS
September 2, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton 0, West Brom 3
West Bromwich Albion may have started a little sluggishly, but later they wore Everton down and eventually wore them out. Eglington had an outstanding first half, and so did goalkeeper O’Neill. But the Everton defence as a whole was too easily beaten by an Albion attack with its great strength on either wing. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Saunders, backs; Grant, Falder and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. West Bromwich Albion; Sanders, goal; Rickaby and Millard, backs; Kennedy, Vernon (captain) and Barlow, half-backs; Ellliott, Williams, Walsh, Smith and Allen, forwards. Referee; Mr. J.W. Bowers (Huddersfield). Albion made one change, Smith for Richardson at inside left, and Everton brought back Wainwright and Catterick in place of Hold and McIntosh respectively. The weather was perfect, and the pitch, after Wednesday’s deluge, looked greener than ever. Everton, by winning the toss, caused Albion to face the sun, kicking into the Park goal.
Walsh In Action
The alert Walsh began by chasing a ball which looked like out of the play, and making an acutely angled shot, which finished against the side netting. The shooter ended up amid the photographers, anticipating an Albion goal. After Farrell had come into the picture with a good clearance, Walsh went to great pains to beat Falder, weaving this way and that, but it was Falder who eventually came through with the ball. Next we had another glimpse at the livelier and more confident Eglington, who used his speed to beat Kennedy and Rickably before centering sweetly, Vernon just getting his head to the ball as Catterick shaped to make contact. This deflection caused the ball to finish up near the right hand corner flag, and Wainwright, returning it in the form of a centre, saw Catterick unlucky enough to head just over the bar of an open goal.
Falder, sticking out a long let at last stopped the careering Elliott, who had come from outside-right to inside-left, and his intervention led to a dangerous move by Catterick in which the Everton centre-forward centred a shade too fast to allow the speeding Eglington to slam the ball home just inside the post.
Albion’s defence had already made two notable blunders and now a third one enabled Wainwright to continue his downfield career, and offer to Eglington a sharp shooting chance. Eglington had little time in which to do damage and it was hardly surprising his shot soared too high. Quite the best shot of the game so far was to follow. It came from Allen, who, if I remember rightly, made his debut for Albion, here last back end. Albion went ahead in 11 minutes. An innocuous free kick found the head of Falder, not an Albion foreward, and the ball was soon on its way to safety. Unfortunately, the six-foot, light-haired half back, Barlow, fastened on to it, and with a low and deflected shot scored from 20 yards range. In making what appeared to be a centre Eglington spun the ball towards goal so disconcertingly that Sanders had to make a late and rather labored save round the goal angle to prevent it from entering the net. Buckle, with a magnificent left volley which was no far from the mark, also went close to the equalizer.
Great Save by O’Neill
Albion seemed a little slow in the tackle and in their general play compared with a very lively Everton, but, as usual, they were stern and quite tough. That the Albion were dangerous was evident again when Elliott turned the ball in sharply, to Walsh and that player hi a lively shot which only a truly great save by O’Neill could counter. From the corner the goalkeeper made another astonishing save from Smith, and a few seconds later when Allen drove in a high ball O’Neill mixed good goalkeeping with a semblance of good fortune when getting his fingers to it at the moment it seemed destined to pass under the bar. In making a punch-away Sanders received damage to his face, but continued to play, and it was not until Buckle was taking a corner that the game was stopped while he was given attention. He soon recovered.
An Offside “Goal.”
At last the persistent Eglington got the ball into goal, only to be given offside. Grant hit the ball fully 40 yards across field, after a throw-in, and Eglington, having moved quickly, “scored” with his left foot, when standing all alone – and that did not necessarily mean that he was offside. On the contrary the same player, with a full-blooded left foot shot missed by a fraction a moment later, and not surprisingly shook his head as he came away looking like a man fated never to score. Buckle, working in close order at the corner flag, centred a fast ball which Sanders shaped to take, but which Millard quite wisely put away for a corner with his head as a precaution. The cute Fielding, sleeves right down, seeing no one whom he could pass, tried a shot which had an element of surprise, and which Sanders went down to none too confidently.
Shaping for Equaliser
Albion’s five minutes of tremendous pressure had now ended, and Everton were shaping like a side likely to equalize. Again Eglington came into the game, to give the crowd, now 50,000 great pleasure. At the end of his perfect centre this time was a Buckle header which Saunders put away for a corner with the utmost difficulty.
O’Neill Has Agility
The other left winger Allen was playing brilliantly, too. It was he who cut and carved his way to a right-foot centre which became a shot that O’Neill did remarkably well to tip over the top. Already O’Neill had shown himself to be a goalkeeper of extraordinary agility, and one whose reflexes must be camera-shutter fast. He made a nice catch too from Elliott, and then when Millard hit a big shot from the centre circle he niggled that over the bar, too. Albion, playing with through he advantage of a fair breeze were always dangerous with corner kicks, and Allen was putting up a lot of ticklish in-swingers, every one of which was dangerous.
Half-time; -Everton 0, West Bromwich Albion 1
O’Neill got an ovation when he returned for the second half, and within a minute he was facing Smith as that forward came to within a few yards of the post to side-foot the ball in. O’Neill flung out his hand and half stopped the ball on the line, and then went on to make his grasp secure at the second attempt. In the process he received a blow to the check.
Wainwright ran the ball out, and the referee disregarded Everton’s appeal for a penalty against Barlow in the next phrase of play, following which Elliott produced such a wonderful though pass for Williams it was sacrilege he should put the ball over the bar when, by all the odds, he must have scored. At 50 minutes Albion made it 2-0, Williams was persistent when trying o hook the ball forward when standing in the region of the penalty spot; the Everton defence stood still momentarily, and Allen joyfully seized on a right foot chance o score, the ball being deflected by Sanders.
When Eglington seemed destined at last to succeed, Rickaby, standing just inside he post, thrust out his right foot to concede a corner, a cheap concession when one remembers how near the Eglington shot was to scoring. Moore was penalized for a charge on Allen when the pair of them were in the Albion inside right position, which shows that the Everton full back sensed one of Albion’s two main striking points of attack. Albion were now playing first rate stuff, relentless in tackle and pattern weaving in attack yet Sanders had to take a heavy collision with Buckle to prevent a score, and then put the ball on the face of the cross-bar from a spectacular Catterick header.
Millard A Casualty
The game developed a little bite, with some contentious free kick points, and Millard became a casualty in collision with Catterick. His trouble was a damaged right shoulder. No a great deal had been seen of Elliott for some time, but when Saunders slipped up when about to tackle him he was quick into his stride to make a strong if wide, shot at the Everton goal. Albion on top for a long time, were only in danger when Catterick made an oblique pass to Eglington, for the Irishman to hit a solid shot of great pace. Sanders met this cannon ball in a full-length save. Smith scored for Albion after 73 minutes.
The Albion, half-backs had obtained a good grip on the game, and the side as a whole were playing with tremendous confidence. It was not unexpected when Smith, and Walsh took the ball through with ease, and Smith scored with an impudent waspish shot. There was a notable slowness in centre of the Everton defence today. But for O’Neill coming out and getting his hands to Walsh’s admirably placed lob from a through pass it would have been 4-0. Albion finished up almost twice as strong as their opponents who seemed powerless to do anything about forwards like Elliott, Allen and the others. Thousands left the ground in the ten minutes before the final whistle. Final; Everton 0, West Bromwich Albion 3.
NEW WILL-TO-WIN SPIRIT TAKES OVER AT GOODISON
September 2, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Shed Defeatist Outlook
Farrell Example Inspires
It is a welcome change to see Everton in the top half of the table again. They haven’t been there so often of recent years, and though it is early yet to hoist the flags and start celebrating the prospect of a season free from anxiety, every point gained now means less worry later. Keep on with the good work. One feature which stands out more than anything else in Everton’s performances so far has been the revival of their lighting spirit. We do not have to go far back to remember when Everton seemed to have neither the ability not the desire to fight back when the tide was running against them. There seemed at times to be a “couldn’t care less” attitude of defeatism in the side, and though now and again we saw signs of better things, the promise was usually short-lived. Occasionally there appeared to be such a feeling of depression in the camp that one felt Everton were almost a beaten team before they set foot on the ground. If what we have seen so far is a reliable guide, all that appears to be a thing of the past. The Blues fought back splendidly when the tide was running against them for a period in the opening match against Huddersfield; they stuck to their guns like grim death at Newcastle – and with a little luck might have got both points –while on Wednesday against Middlesbrough, under conditions which were more than sufficient to dampen the ardour of the most courageous. Everton again proved that they have plenty of courage, grit, and that vital will-to-win spirit which makes all the difference.
A Fine Skipper
Peter Farrell takes his duties as captain very seriously. He is an inspiring example on the field, rallying his men when the pressure is at its greatest and urging them forward, close on their heels, when the tide is running in Everton’s favour. He is no mere coin-tosser and figure-head. Two years ago it seemed that the cares of captaincy were weighing a little too heavily on him. He erred by trying to do too much and great worker though he is, often attempted the impossible. Today he is getting whole-hearted backing from every member of the side, and that counts for a tremendous lot. In short, there is a new spirit abroad. Nobody is playing better than little Jackie Grant, who at one time looked as though he had parted company for good with the senior eleven. Despite his lack of inches, there is not a greater fighter or a more whole-hearted 90 minutes player than Grant; who seems to have an inexhaustible store of stamina on which to draw. He is usually going as strong at the finish as at the start. Another most encouraging feature has been improvement in the play of Eglington. I was glad to see Tommy get his two goals on Wednesday against Middlesbrough, one of them with his right foot.
Deserves to Succeed
But for the thickness of a coat of paint he might have had a hat-trick I have said for a long time that if only Eglington could gain full confidence in himself he might yet prove a tip-top winger. He was worked hard for months now to master his one-footedness, and it has already been made clear that, even though it is not to be feared unduly, his right foot shooting may yet put the wind up quite a number of goalkeepers. There are few more conscientious trainers or triers than Eglington. He deserves to succeed. Moore has come on apace, justifying all I wrote about him last season, while in O’ Neill, Everton, have unearthed a youngster who unless I am vastly mistaken, is going to reach international rank if he carries on as he has started. O’Neill is a quiet, shy lad, never speaking out of turn, and always hovering quietly in the background when the team is travelling. The big test for many youngsters who hit the high spots is whether they can “carry corn.” Many of them are spoiled by the adulation of the public and the flattery of supposed friends. If O’Neill can keep a steady had, and realize that no matter what is said about him in print he is still only one of the team, then he will go far. Manager Cliff Britton took on a big job when he came to Goodison. He has not so far spent any money worth speaking of. His only signings have been very modest ones but Mr. Britton is taking a long-term view of Everton’s requirements, and working and building up a plan which should bring good fruit in the future, so long as the club can avoid an undue list of injuries. A big crowd of players rendered hors de combat upsets anybody’s plans, particularly in the early part of the season, when a good start is half the battle. Everton still have positions where improvement could be made. Here and there are players whom one could not say were in the world-beating class, but at least all are triers to the absolute limit of their ability. Nobody could ask for more than that. We have had plenty of experience in the past of teams with any particular stars who have carried all before them by team-spirit and grit, allied to that bit of luck which every side needs over a long season. It is early yet to be dogmatic, but at least it is consoling that the Blues have got off to a better start than for the past two seasons.
HUDDERSFIELD RES V EVERTON RES
September 2, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Huddersfield; Wheeler, goal; Howe and Moran, backs; Hunter, Senior, and Lonsdale, half-backs; Womersley, Glazzard, Burke, McEvoy, and Taylor, forwards. Everton; Sagar, goal; Clinton and Rankin, backs; Lindley, Jones (T.E.), and Lello, half-backs; McNarama, Donovan, Hickson, Hampson, and Parker, forwards. Huddersfield had the early advantage, but seldom worked into scoring chances. Glazzard headed wide and Sagar held a shot from Taylor. Donovan raised Everton’s first real danger, but was checked. Parker could not find the target when he got a shooting chance. Everton had bad luck after 30 minutes when Lello had to go off with an injured leg. Sagar saved well from Burke. Half-time; Huddersfield Res 0, Everton Res 0. Full time; Huddersfield Res 1, Everton Res 0.
EVERTON, AND HEIR CROWD, IN A FADE-OUT
September 4, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 0, West Bromwich Albion 3
By Leslie Edwards
The more one sees of soccer, the more one wonders. Here we had 46,000 people hailing Everton’s bright promise of the first minutes and then becoming silent and sullen in disappointment, and finally walking out in their thousands 10 minutes before the end. Maybe West Bromwich were leading 3-0 and the game was over; maybe watching a bewitched, bewildered and bothered Everton was no fun. But if Everton had miraculously turned on the tap to recovery how many I wonder would have admitted they missed it? Streaming out in droves is spectatorship not calculated to improve morale on the field. Yet I offer no apology for Everton’s second half mediocrity which jolts many into the belief that the present eleven will not do. If defeat had been due to a little lucklessness in shooting when playing splendidly the situation would not be unpromising but weighed with the many wonderful saves young O’Neill made in the same period no one can say that West Bromwich Albion did not go even closer to goals. The disturbing thing for Everton, I thought was that once Albion took command they went on to do impudent things against a defence which had no answer to them. And this was Albion’s first with this season. To assess Everton’s strength or weakness one has to ask “Are West Bromwich Albion a really good side?” Or were they made to appear so?” Both questions may contain part of the answer. Albion this time shot well (sometimes they have not done before) and Everton (particularly in the second half) had sluggishness which almost amounted to lethargy in one line in their defence. Quite apart from this, Moore and Saunders, hard as they strove never enjoyed a minute’s peace from Allen (a Gordon-Hodgson product) and Elliott on the Albion wings. Why did the Everton attack fail? Perhaps because it was handicapped, physically compared with big men like Vernon, Barlow and Millard. Perhaps because it is still too inclined to be individual –a sharp contrast with Albion methods which insist that the man in possession is never wanting for people nearby to aid him in draught board progress. Slow starting though they were in Everton’s tearaway first 20 minutes, the winners progressed so steadily that in the end they were out on their own.
A Word on Walsh
Whatever may be said of the goals of individual brilliances I commend Walsh for his sportsmanship in applauding O’Neill’s goalkeeping for accepting the referee’s verdict without demuir, for even placing the ball for Everton free kicks and for waiting for O’Neill at the end to shake him by the hand and add his “Well done” to those of the crowd who Walsh may not have played as well as usual, but a little of the spirit he showed might well percolate elsewhere into football. O’Neill quite captivated Goodison by quick-fire saves and we may yet know him as the goalkeeper who starts his name with a blank score sheet. That he lacks polish means nothing. That will come. His quickness to size up a situation and act is his strength. Even the save tinged with a bit of good fortune was a fine one. One felt sympathy for Peter Farrell and his never-ending effort to outright sometimes which had gone drastically wrong and for the tough and earnest Grant and the willing Catterick but I am afraid Manager Cliff Britton has still to watch and worry his way to the team he wants. At the moment the Eglington rejuvenation is probably the thing which pleases him most. The goals came at 11, 60 and 73 minutes from Barlow, Allen and Smith. And now for Arsenal at Highbury on Wednesday.
JONES TAKES FALDER’S PLACE
September 4, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Former Full-Back Makes His Debut at centre-Half v. Arsenal
Everton make one change for their game against Arsenal at Highbury on Wednesday. T.E. Jones coming in at centre half in place of Falder. Jones, who is 20 years of age, is no relation to Tommy Jones, the former Everton pivot. A former full back and captain of England and Liverpool County F.A. youth side, he has recently taken over at centre half in the reserves side and had been playing exceptionally well. He has been with Everton since leaving school, and has come up through the various junior sides until, with Falder below form, he now gets his chance in the senior team. During the war, Jones played for the Army in several representative games. He stands just under 5ft 10 ½ in, and weights 11st 8lbs. elsewhere the side is unchanged, and reads;- O’Neill; Moore, Saunders; Grant, Jones (T.E), Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
Everton Reserves (v. Chesterfield, at home); Burnett; Clinton, Rankin; Bentham, Humphreys, Lindley; NcMamara, Hold, Hickson, Hampson, Parker.
Cyril Lello, tried out in Everton’s reserves game on Saturday, had to leave the field half way through the match. Here also it was a case of an old injury proving troublesome.
SPOKE TO SOON?
September 4, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
“You spoke too soon,” said a friend on Saturday night after reading what I had written about Everton’s new fighting spirit and lining it up with what he had seen earlier in the day against West Bromwich at Goodison Park. In saying that it was one of those games when the ball ran badly for Everton I am stating a fact, not trying to soften the blow. Had the Blues either scored first or leveled up Barlow’s rather fortunate opening goal for Albion – it struck Falder and was deflected out of O’Neill’s reach – they might well have won. But nothing went right for them, Eglington, playing in his 150th senior game gave the finest exhibition I have ever seen from him. His shooting was strong and accurate, his centres first-class and if ever a man deserved a goal he did. Even when he did get the ball into the net offside by a colleague washed out the “goal.”
Blotted Their Copybook
It was a splendid first half, with Everton showing more and better shooting than I recall in any game in which I saw them last season, which made it all the more regrettable that they should so blot their copybook in the second portion. After Allen had put Albion two up all the “suffering” seemed to go, out of them. They failed to fight for the ball as they have been doing, and appeared well beaten even before Smith got Albion’s third, despite Catterick heading against the bar and a great save by Sanders from Eglington. This defeat is all the more disappointing because it is bound to lessen the confidence which was just beginning to be born. But it has its lessons –providing they are heeded and the errors remedied Wainwright often held the ball too long and tried to do too much against defenders who were so quick on the tackle hat individualism could hardly pay. His passes also were frequently at fault. Buckle is not physically strong enough to bore his way through, so should make greater use of the open spaces and try to “lose” opposition that way. Individuals apart, however, the biggest drawback was that by failing to be first to the ball Everton surrendered the initiative to the opposition. Once the Albion got the bit between their teeth hey never let up. They were a well-balanced side all through, with speed and punch on the wings and a fine half back line.
EVERTON HALF-BACK MAKES FIRST TEAM DEBUT
September 4, 1950. The Evening Express
T.E Jones as Pivot for the Highbury Game
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Tommy E. Jones the 20-year-old Liverpool-born graduate of the Everton junior teams, will make his Football League debut when he takes the place of Falder in the team to oppose Arsenal at Highbury on Wednesday. This is the only change from the tam which lost to West Bromwich, and is the conclusion of a remarkable advance to fame. Jones went to join Everton’s junior teams, when he left St. Margret’s (Anfield) school, and played right back in their teams up to joining the Army. While in the Services, Tommy played right back for the British Army. He was released at the back end of last season, and started this season as a junior full-back. A fortnight ago Manager Cliff Britton decided to experiment with Jones at centre-half in the “A” team. He did so well that last Wednesday he was given his first run in the Central League team and did much to enable them to draw at Manchester City. Last Saturday Jones played at centre half in the reserves at Huddersfield and again did so well that he has gained this rapid promotion. It will be a stern test facing the young West –countryman Goring at majestic Highbury. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Saunders; Grant, Jones (T.E), Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
Everton Reserves entertain Chesterfield at Goodison Park on Wednesday in a Central League match. Everton Reserves; Burnett; Clinton, Rankin; Bentham, Humphreys, Lindley; McNamara, Hold, Hickson, Hampson, Parker.
Everton are to take another sample of the Weybridge, luck this week, when they make their first trip to the south to face Arsenal at Highbury on Wednesday. The Blues are changing their London headquarters for this season but even their own hotel cannot accommodate then this mid-week and so the club is going off to Oatlands Park, Weybridge, where Liverpool stayed for last season’s F.A Cup final. This will be Everton’s third visit to Oatlands in post-war seasons; Manager Cliff Britton has decided to bring the players back to Liverpool on Thursday for a little work before going to Stoke on Saturday. Everton were training at Goodison Park this morning and set out for the south tomorrow.
Everton disappointed keenly in losing by three clear goals to West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park, thus losing their unbeaten, home record and for the first time failing to give their followers a goal over which to shout. This was not the fault of Eglington, Fielding or Buckle, but the goalkeeper Sanders, impish ill-luck of near misses and the fact that Wainwright was ruled offside when Eglington did flash the ball into the net. Defensive hesitancy in face of a fast moving, hard hitting Albion attack was not the reason why Everton did not win, but certainly was the reason the Blues lost. Allen never should have been left unmarked. Albion’s opening goal was a shade lucky, for Barlow’s shot was deflected into the net off Farrell’s leg. Still, it needed luck to bring about the downfall of Jimmy O’Neill, who really did hit the high spots in goalkeeping to become something of a hero against goal-thirsty forwards. Farrell did a great rallying act in his customary manner, but still Everton lost heart, too quickly, and the game was Albion’s from the 49th minute. Everton played some glorious football in the first half with Fielding the chief architect and Eglington the most dangerous forward of the game and Buckle (too often neglected) the men likely to get the goals. Neither Catterick not Wainwright hit their true form, and so the whole side suffered late on when even little Grant lost some of his verve. Next to O’Neill, Moore was the most reliable defender, for Falder found Walsh fat too elusive and unpredictable in yet another Merseyside epic, which so easily could have been another win for Everton. For long periods they were the better side, but many others will find it equally difficult to defy this penetrative, lively and rather attractive Albion of the open ways.
BIG NIGHT FOR YOUNG EVERTON PLAYER
September 5, 1950. Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
A young Liverpool-born player, T.E. Jones, is given his big chance to make his mark in League football when he plays for Everton in the match against Arsenal at Highbury, tomorrow evening. Only 20 years old, Jones has been with the Goodison Park Club since he was fourteen, but until a fortnight ago was considered to be solely a full back the position he filled for the British Army in several representative matches. At Goodison Park, Mr. Cliff Britton experimented by including Jones at centre half in a junior game and he did so well that after two trials in the Central League side he has now been chosen to replace Falder in the first team tomorrow. The Everton team is otherwise unchanged and will be;- Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Saunders; Grant, Jones (T.E), Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
BLUES MEET LEADERS
September 5, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Everton have a hard task in front of them in meeting Arsenal at Highbury. Arsenal have started off in good fashion, and though one still hears the allegations of “old age” concerning their line-out, the fact remains that these players of long experience are more than holding their own. In four of their five games so far Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in defence. The only side to pierce their defence is Tottenham. The “Spurs” got a couple of goals in a drawn game at Highbury ten days ago. That does not look too encouraging for Everton who must not give up the ghost so readily as they did against West Bromwich Albion if they are to retain hopes of getting even a point. Too often in the past Everton have flattered only to deceive. I hope that is not going to be their failing again. Their displays against Newcastle and Middlesbrough showed them up in a new light and led to anticipation of a revived and reinvigorated Everton. Unfortunately, after a splendid first half they collapsed almost like a pricked balloon in the last half-hour on Saturday. Manager Cliff Britton still has problems to solve, and in more than one position. On Saturday’s showing the Blues chances at Arsenal do not seem particularly bright. First step an effort to stiffen the defence is the incoming of Tommy Jones at centre half in place of Falder. If the present Tommy Jones does anywhere near so well as his namesake and predecessor, Everton will be happy. Jones started this season in the “A” team as a full back, so his promotion has been exceptionally swift. Arsenal will not chosen their team until tomorrow morning. Roper, Forbes, and Swindin omitted from Saturday’s match because of injuries are making good recoveries and manager Tom Whittaker said this morning there is a fair chance of them being fit for the game against Arsenal, Reg Lewis is still doubtful. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Saunders; Grant, Jones (T.E), Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
BLUES WILL BE AT HIGHBURY
September 5, 1950. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton’s only point from two away matches was that won at Newcastle United, while their only slip up at home was on Saturday against West Bromwich Albion. Now in comes Tommy Jones to follow in the wake of a namesake, after having had only two Central League matches. Jones has the making of a first-class and if he can hold the young and trustful Goring he will have established himself. It will be something of an ordeal for young Jones but the lad has the spirit and the skill so should succeed. The remainder of the team is unchanged and the Everton party again visit Oatlands, Weybridge which brought them quite a spot of luck in their last season’s F.A Cup ties in London. Everton have not won at Highbury in post war football. In fact, have gained only one point there in that period. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Saunders; Grant, Jones (T.E), Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
GAMBLE BY EVERTON
September 6, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton, at Arsenal, are gambling on the success of Tom Jones 2nd, a young man of scant experience who is chosen, to fill Falder’s place at centre-half. It may seen foolish to ask so inexperienced a player to face an Arsenal tip-top best, be if, but if daring experiments are not tried how are the up-and-coming to break into the game, except by waiting for injured men’s boots. Take the example of O’Neill. He came into the side, suffered an avalanche’s of goals at Middlesbrough, yet remain there, doing well because he has earned the club’s confidence and is improving match after match. It is not too much to hope that Jones will do similarly, but this is a particularly difficult game for a debut. After Everton team had arrived at Weybridge there was a telephone message for Moore, informing him that his father was ill, requesting him to return home and arrangement were made for the player to catch an early train. The only reserve Everton had with party was McIntosh, so Mr. Cliff Britton sent a message for Clinton to join the party.
CLINTON IN EVERTON TEAM
September 6, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Moore Recalled to His Father’s Bedside
Everton have had to make a forced change in their defence for tonight’s game against Arsenal at Highbury, owing to Eric Moore having been recalled to St. Helens to the bedside of his father, seriously hurt in a accident at his work yesterday. Moore left Weybridge, where the Everton team are staying, shortly after arriving there last evening, caught the midnight train to Manchester, and was met by a car which rushed him to the hospital. “Meantime, Manager Cliff Britton had contacted Goodison and arranged for Clinton to fill the vacancy, as the only reserve at Weybridge was centre-forward McIntosh. Clinton’s inclusion means that Everton have four Irishmen in their side. This Dublin-born player, won joined the club from Dundalk two years ago, made four senior appearances for Everton in 1948-49 season. Arsenal will chosen their side from the following thirteen players. Platt or Swindin; Scott, Barnes; Shaw, Forbes, Compton (L), Mercer; Cox, Logie, Goring, Lishman, McPherson.
EVERTON LOSE MATCH;
September 7, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Arsenal 2, Everton 1
Everton lost this match at Highbury last evening, but found a centre half and it may be even more important than two points. The name, Tom Jones II, aged 20, and on the Everton staff as a youngster before going to the Army and making the grade there too. Jones played so well that 39,000 spectators noted him and gave him unstinted applause and when he left the field injured for a minute or two in the second half they rose to him as he came off. No fault of his Everton lost, so narrowly. He read the play of Arsenal’s famous inside three so accurately, he might have been playing his 200th League game and not his first. This was a great and most promising introduction. Arsenal with wind and rain in plenty behind them led 2-0 at the interval, and looked set for consolidation. It did not happen that way, and Everton with an inspired goal from Farrell two minutes from the end, jolted some of the complacency out of the rather cocksure Arsenal defence.
Arsenal’s two goals were aggravating to Everton because neither was clear cut. O’Neill a series of blunders with the greasy ball and a first minute knick, blundered with a not too difficult centre by Cox and the ball rolled over the line. Platt twice mishandled the ball similarly, but it was just his luck that no toll was taken. Everton, suffering this ten minute blow, went to 37 minutes without further arrears and then Jones and Clinton sandwiched and uprooted Lishman and Barnes scored from the penalty spot. Not only did Everton come out of the game with great credit –it must be remembered that Clinton came in place of Moore –they allowed us a tremendous half back line, with Grant doing astonishing work all over the field and Farrell being equally brilliant in his tackling and provision for the front line.
Arsenal Not Impressive
If Everton’s attack had been more punishing particularly in the second half they must have got better than a 2-1 beating. As it was Fielding and Eglington, while making a lot of progress developed a too slavish you-to-me system which gave Arsenal their cue. Clinton and Saunders even allowing for a blunderous first half, improved, and Arsenal for all their field advantage in the early part of the game were not impressive. They have an aged look in the rear. As League leaders Arsenal impressed few in a game which was largely ruined by a spinning slippery ball and which had its most enlivening sixty seconds mid-way through the second half, when to the accompaniment of a tremendous roar. Everton refused to be sent back from the Arsenal goal, in an astonishing sustained pressure that would not be denied. Arsenal; Swindon, goal; Barnes and Smith, backs; Forbes, Compton and Mercer (captain), half-backs; McPherson, Logie, Goring, Lishman, and Roper, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Clinton and Saunders, backs; Grant, Jones (T.E.), and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Eglington, forwards.
EVERTON RESERVES IN SCORING MOOD
September 7, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton Res 6, Chesterfield Res 2
After being a goal down following a penalty at eleven minutes in their Central League game at Goodison Park last night, Everton Reserves scored five goals in the first half, here of them coming in the space of ten minutes. Everton were far superior to the visitors, especially at half-backs. Hickson led the Everton forward well and received excellent support from Hold. Everton’s goals were scored by Hold (2), Hickson (2), Parker and McNamara. Blakey and Costello scored for Chesterfield.
EVERTON’S GOOD FIGHT AT HIGHBURY
September 7, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
T.E. Jones’s Fine Debut
Everton will not readily forget this Arsenal match (writes Contact). It produced no material reward but many tantalizing experiences which clubs do not expect when things run normally. But probably more important than everything which went wrong was the extra-ordinary success of young Jones. A 20-year-old, and a former Liverpool school. He played so well and in a polished way that nothing of any importance came down the Arsenal middle to endanger Everton unduly. The 39,000 people who watched this intuitive reading of Arsenal’s attack not only made their pleasure known, but rose to him when he left the field injured for a few moments near the end. That he should damage a knee cap which swivels in a manner which is new, at least to manager Cliff Britton, and that he should therefore, be doubtful for Saturday’s was yet another aggravation for Everton on this trip. They begun by presenting Arsenal with a goal; yet I do not blame O’Neill for blundering with ball from Cox. The wind was high, O’Neill had started the game with a knock and the ball pointed by the rain was most elusive. Indeed Platt made similar mistakes and neither was costly. Blow number two was a penalty in which Clinton and Jones were involved. In that first half-hour Everton took a lot of Arsenal pressure, but not very convincing pressure. Joe Mercer’s side were not so good on the night, thought their undoubted experience and their undoubted physical assets allowed them to stroll two up as though in no danger of a challenge. Finally Everton with wind and rain to back them, got a goal through Farrell two minutes from the end. Coming five minutes earlier it might have had move damaging consequences, but two minutes was not long enough for Everton to redress themselves, for some early fallings, and the all-time ineffectiveness of their forwards to complete had won chances from attack well carried through to that point. That Farrell should score was appropriate. He led a half-back line which outdid Arsenal in most respects. Eglington something of a “head man” in the present Everton set-up winged well, but he and Fielding inclined to be slavish in their attention to each other. Everton had one uncommon sustained attack of more than a minute which was the most thrilling phrase of the whole match. The crowd cheered every clearance of Arsenal, but the ball was sent back relentlessly and remained in the danger zone as though drawn there by a magnet. Grant and Wainwright almost rushed the ball in, and so on the score of luck this near miss balanced the Goring header which Grant had headed away from the goalline.
TOMMY E. JONES MADE A FINE FIRST TEAM DEBUT
September 7, 1950. The Evening Express
Arsenal Had All The Breaks Against Everton
Everton’s “give youth its fling” policy seems to have produced another diamond. Disappointed through everyone was and rightly, at the undeserved defeat at Highbury, there was –more- than a measure of consolation in the rich promise revealed by young Tommy Jones in the first senior outing. For a youngster to appear at the Arsenal H.Q, is always a test, but when he is appearing in his first even league game –and that after only two games with the reserves –it becomes a real ordeal. But Jones responded magnificently, to the call Manager Cliff Britton made on him. Even that shock goal to the Gunners after 13 minutes, when O’Neill helped the greasy ball into his own net, and not perturb this cool strong tackling youngster, whose positional play was an object lesson and who almost completely snuffed out the dashing Goring.
In fact, it would be almost impossible for a player to make a more encouraging debut than Jones did in a game which saw all the breaks going in Arsenals favour. They won the toss and set Everton to face driving wind and almost incessant heavy rain; they scored that “gift” goal, they increased their lead from a Barnes penalty, and while giving them marks to the traditional defensive covering it must be said that there were more than a few occasions when it was sheer good fortune rather than sound judgment which brought them through. Thus, it was that the Arsenal’s goal remained intact until Farrell bored through to beat Platt three minutes from time. The greasy ball clearly worried O’Neill in the first half, but he need not worry about that unfortunate slip. To err is human after all Everton’s strength lay in their solidity at half-back, where Farrell and Grant did great work. The forwards contributed some delightful pattern weaving without producing the necessary punch to shatter that Arsenal defensive barrier and I thought Eglington was again the No 1 danger man hard though Catterick worked and cunningly as Fielding achemed. Credit goes to Saunders for a grand second half while Clinton deputizing for Moore, worked wholeheartedly throughout. There was general agreement that a draw would by no means have fluttered Everton. Jones suffered a rap on the knee cap ten minutes from the end, but was able to return after attention and it is hoped he will be fit for the game at Stoke on Saturday.
IN THE POTTERIES
September 8, 1950. The Liverpool Evening Express.
By Pilot (Don Kendall).
Everton, who drew at Newcasle but lost at Newcastle and Arsenal now face Stoke City, who last week defeated Derby 4-1 following it up with a 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday. That emphasizes that the City have got over their indifferent start, and with Roy Brown the former centre-half the forwards with such cute please and slash the Potters have become quite a good side, Stoke has not been a particularly fortunate ground for the Blues, but it they can reproduced a little of the brilliant foot ball served at Highbury on Wednesday, they may bring back a point. A little of the shooting shown against Huddersfield should do the trick, for the defensive be good enough to tackle Stoke forward problem.
EVERTON AT STOKE
September 8, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Everton Chance’s at Stoke
Everton have a chance of registering their first away win of the season against Stoke City at the Victoria ground. Stoke have been beaten at home twice already by Newcastle and Huddersfield, by the odd goal in each case, but last week showed improvement when they shocked Derby County with a 4-1 victory. Everton recovered much of their fighting spirit in Wednesday’s game against Arsenal at Highbury, but again the luck was against them. O’Neill who played brilliantly in all three matches in which I had previously seen him, blotted his copybook against the Gunners. In the long run hat may prove helpful to the lad. One learns by experience, and if the experience is sometimes bitter, the lessons extracted from it can be sweet if probably applied. Everton will have to struggle hard for whatever they get against Stoke for the Potters, having narrowly escaped relegation last season, are not anxious to go through the same procedure again, and will be doubly keen to make up their recent home lapses. Owing to the unfortunate death of Eric Moore’s father, following an accident at work, Clinton continues in Moore’s place at right back, while Lindley comes in at centre half, T.E. Jones not having recovered from the knee injury received at Highbury. Team;- Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Saunders; Grant, Lindley, Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
WHAT ODDS AGAINST SOCCER ODDITY?
September 9, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Praising Smith, the West Bromwich forward, for his work against Everton at Goodison Park, the Birmingham Mail added; “The Liverpool Press gave him full makes for a keen, enthusiastic display, and one writer’s description of his goal was unconsciously subtle. He wrote; “It was not unexpected when Smith and Walsh took the ball through with ease and Smith scored with an impudent, waspish shot. The West Bromwich scorer’s colleagues are probably still puzzling over the meaning of the expression, but they were highly amused by its coincidence with ract, as Smith received a wasp sting just before the match started and it is extremely unlikely that the author of the phrase ‘impudent waspish shot knew anything about it.” I hereby confirm that when I used the words, complained of, as they say in court, I had not the vaguest notion Smith had been stung. The shot was impudent I thought, because it was hit almost contemptuously down a fine angle when another player was better placed to receive a pass and score. It was waspish because it had both sting and venom. What puzzled me (and should puzzle West Bromwich players) is how many millions to one it must be against this coincidence. First a player must be stung (and by a wasp, not a bee). Secondly he must score, thirdly the third party (the writer) must not know anything about the sting; fourthly he must be a reporter of football who likes variation on the well worth themes of fierce, stinging and unstoppable shots. I should rate chances against all these trying up as they did, at least 10,000,000 to one.
Misfortune heaps up on Everton. Having discovered T.E. Jones they lose him for the match today, his kneecap trouble of the Highbury game not having cleared. Maurice Lindley, who is well suited to centre half-back play is introduced in his place. Other wise the side is unchanged Eric Moore cannot play because his father died yesterday as the result of injuries when he fell from scaffolding at his work-place in St. Helens. Everton’s position is still uncomfortable. They do well to a point, but there is too little conviction in the most important aspect of forward play. No club can prospect, be their approaches ever so artistic they are prepared to his shots with courage and accuracy. Sooner (we hope) or later, club and players will get better breaks (though in football, as in most other things, the breaks you get are largely those you earn) and sailing will be smoother.
MASTERLY SAVES BY HEROD BARRED EVERTON’S LIVELY ATTACK AT STOKE
September 9, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Stoke City 2, Everton 0
A snap goal before Everton were quite settled was always in danger of losing its value, and would have done had not Herod made some superlative saves Everton played grand football without getting a just reward Stoke’s second goal clinched matters. Stoke City;- Herod, goal; Watkin and McCue, backs; Sellar, Mountford (F.), Kirton, Ormston, Bowyer, Brown, Johnston, and Oscroft, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Clinton and Saunders, backs; Grant, Lindley and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee; Mr. C. Smith (Huddersfield). Eglington and Fielding looked like carving their way through the Stoke defence, but Fielding was just a shade slow in making his return pass to his colleague, Sellars intercepting. Straight from the Stoke took the lead and Brown’s part was quite a big one. He flipped the ball as it came from behind him through the middle and Johnston dashed through and swept the ball into the net at three minutes. This naturally put the City people in good heart. It was early enough however, for Everton to retrieve the position if they had the ability. Fielding lobbed one over the Stoke crossbar but the whistle had sounded previously for a foul. Wainwright then was rightly given off-side and Catterick put one over the bar.
Everton were definitely on the attack, with some really good movements. The City defence, however, was very quick and they made several interception that cut down Everton’s progress. It was end to end sort of football and Stoke once again came through and Ormston sent over a centre that Oscroft turned round the post. He might, and perhaps should have done better with this chance, which was a really good one.
Stoke were very quick in framing attacks simply because they utilized the long pass out to the wings. Everton were a little more deliberate in their passing movements, and when Watkin made a slip Eglington was quick to take the opening and from long range he banged home a very hot drive which Herod saved. This was my first view of Everton since the practice, and what I had seen thus far, so far as the forwards were concerned, had pleased me, for there was the desire to shoot, which at one time was absent. It was fluctuating football, for no sooner was play at one end than it was transferred to the other, and Brown was only a matter of inches off connecting with a cross by Ormston.
Left Wing Plan
Ormston put one into the side netting, and this was followed by a short spell of midfield play until Bowyer tried to exploit Ormston, who, however, in trying to pass Saunders, found himself beaten and the ball going over the line. So far little had been seen of the Everton right wing, for it seemed that the plan was to stand on the Eglington wing at least for a time Brown was somewhat unorthodox in his play but none the less effective. Neither goalkeeper had been unduly worried up to this stage, but Herod had to be on his toes when Catterick and Mountford indulged in a short sharp duel Everton winning a corner. This was fruitless, but Eglington’s centre to Buckle almost brought about the desired result, for it was only in the last fraction of a second half Herod was able, to rush across his goalline and keep out a shot from Catterick which was just sneaking inside his upright. Everton’s approach work was undoubtedly a shade better than that of their opponents, but they found the Stoke defence a hard nut to crack. They did get the ball in the net but Catterick was offside. It had been very entertaining football, and Everton were having quite a good share of it, but they could not just hit the target after having sighted the goal. Following a spell of attack by Everton, Stoke came into the picture again with a shot by Brown which was cannoned away. Oscroft took up the challenge with another shot which produced a corner.
A very staunch Stoke man sitting alongside me said that Everton’s approach work was better than that of his side. Furthermore, the wing halves were backing up strongly and finally. Wainwright of whom little had been seen, came through with a great shot that Herod turned over his crossbar. The corner kick was taken by Buckle. The ball travelled almost crossbar-high, but Herod leapt up and made an almost-perfect catch. A spate of mis-passes crept into Stoke’s play, and it was noticeable that most of Herod’s goal kicks found an Everton man’s head. Was this due to good positioning? Kirton tried to show his forwards how to do it, but his long shot was well wide of the mark. Fielding was having a great time, and Lindley than his feet, but the real state of the game can be judged by the fact that O’Neill had little or nothing to do, whereas Herod had to make several masterly saves.
Escape for Herod
Bowyer plied Oscroft, who put a dangerous-looking ball into the Everton goal area, but little Grant rose to enormous heights to get his head to it and clear. Farrell, who was as usual working like two men, pushed a pass up the middle to Catterick who was distinctly unfortunate, for having got free of the backs the ball bounced awkwardly for him and he lost a possible chance. O’Neill had to go down to make a save from Oscroft, and then Wainwright scooped a ball into the Stoke goal, and it actually struck the outside edge of the upright as it passed out of play. A near squeak for Herod, who later made a save at the expense of a corner, from which Catterick headed outside. Just on the interval Bowyer and Johnston made a run down the left wing, with the latter trying a shot which did not find its billet.
Half-time; Stoke 1, Everton nil.
Everton started the second half with two shots. The first one, by Fielding went over the bar, the second, by Eglington, flashed outside. Lindley and Brown came into collision as they both went up for the ball, and the Everton man came off worst, and had to go off with a damaged eye. Clinton went centre half and Grant right full back. It was only natural that Stoke during Lindley’s absence had the major portion of attack, but they were unable to beat the Everton defence. In fact, the equalizer appeared on the horizon when Eglington raced through and shot high over the bar. There was a very hot few minutes in front of the Everton goal when O’Neill saved from Oscroft. He had not got rid of the ball before Brown came down on him, but the Everton goalkeeper retained possession. What actually happened I could not see clearly, but the position was clarified when Everton were granted a free kick. Herod again stood between Everton and an equalizing goal. Eglington simply left Watkin standing, and finished with a perfect length centre which Catterick took on his forehead. The Everton leader put amazing power behind his header and Herod was just in the nick of time in edging the ball over his crossbar. Hereabouts Lindley returned, just in time to participate in driving off a strong Stoke attack and Saunders headed away with O’Neill out of position. Herod made another top-class save from a Wainwright header. He just got his finger-tips to the ball as it seemed to be travelling inside the upright. At 72 minutes the Everton defence yielded a second goal, and it was again Brown who supplied the pass which enabled Johnston to burst through and ram home a terrific shot which no goalkeeper on earth could have stopped. Farrell and Eglington tried to open a way for Catterick who however, could not reach the ball before it went dead. O’Neill had to save from Ormston and when Fielding sent Catterick off the Everton centre-forward seemed to have the measure of Watkins, but he came down just as he reached the penalty area.
Everton Not Done
Clinton introduced an uncommon method of defence when he chested the ball down to his goalkeeper. Everton were far from done, with and Herod was again the shinning light in the Stoke defence when he kept out a header from Fielding. Oscroft had a grand opportunity of nodding goal number three, but was a shade tender in his effort. He might also have had a shot instead of passing to Brown right across the field. Ormston who is by rights on outside left, moved over towards his original position to deliver a quick fire shot which O’Neill turned over his bar. A rattling good shot and a rattling good save. Final; Stoke City 2, Everton 0.
WHAT’S THIS! EVERTON TOO CLEAN AND SPORTING
September 9, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
As a supporter of Everton for years, I’ve come to the conclusion they will always be hovering around the bottom of the league unless they adapt more robust play, like the teams that have been down here this season. They are too clean and sporting for present day soccer. That’s how England were beaten at Rio. My opinion is shared by many others –True Blue.
“I agree with you up to a point. More robust and fighting spirit, yes, but let them keep their reputation for clean and sporting play. All these attributes can go hand-in-hand, for a team can be robust and clean at the same time. If that’s what you mean, I’m with you. In their Newcastle and Middlesbrough matches Everton did show us a new spirit. Unfortunately, if fizzled out against West Bromwich.
EVERTON RES V STOKE RES
September 9, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton Reserves;- Burnett, goal; Bentham and Rankin, backs; Donovan, Falder and Wood, half-backs; McNamara, Hold, McIntosh, Hampson, and Parker, forwards. Stoke City Res;- Clegg, goal; Mould, and Meakin, backs; Hampson, Jones, and Jackson, half-backs; Hughes, Beckett, Clarke, Coblin and Allan, forwards. Referee; Mr. C. B. Broome, (Blackpool). Everton were much the superior side in the initial stages and in the 16th minute Hold placed them ahead with a long-range shot. Stoke replied in vigorous manner, Beckett having extremely hard line with a fine header. McIntosh increased the home lead in the 36th and 39th minutes with two fine solo efforts. Hampson and Hold added further goals for Everton. Half-time; Everton Res 5, Stoke City Res 0. Final; Everton Res 5, Stoke City Res 2.
• Everton “A” 6, Marine Res 1
• L.C Widnes 1, Everton “B” 4
KING HEROD OF STOKE
September 11, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
His Many Saves
Stoke City 2, Everton 0
Everton came off at Stoke wondering what manner of shot or header was required to beat Herod, the most defiant goalkeeper I have seen this season. He made at least a dozen saves bordering on the miraculous; I believe he is a cricketer. That may account for his wonderful hands which never failed him. Had he been beaten four times no one could have quibbled. Everton had to recover the shock of a three minute goal and were able to do so and fight back in a way which was heartening. This was my first view of them, and they pleased more than a little. I have often critiscised their lack of punch near goal in the past, but that could not be leveled at them at the Victoria ground.
Home spectators frankly admitted that Everton’s football was the superior. But it was annoying to think that such endeavour went without reward. City were lively, faster, perhaps, but not the better tacticians. Wainwright in particular, will not forget Herod. He saw his glorious efforts finger-tipped outside the woodwork or caught in mid-air in a way which suggested a slip fielder. Catterick and Fielding also had a crack at goal, but Herod dealt with them just as confidently. No wonder he received a great reception as he left the field.
O’Neill did not have half, the work of his vis-à-vis. He made several top-class saves but he had nothing like Herod to cope with. What he had to do was from long range. Herod saved from close quarters. He was a wee bit lucky when he turned a shot just outside the ball actually scraping the outside edge of the upright as it passed. That was about the only lucky moment for Herod in a brilliant day’s work. However a goalkeeper is an integral part of a team. His job is to save shots Herod fulfilled his mission to the letter. Now to the goals, Brown the coloured centre forward, may he unorthodox but he had ideas and as nuisance value could not have been bettered. He flipped a ball to Johnston who came up and smashed the ball into the net as O’Neill came out. The second goal was also a pass from Brown to Johnston who rammed the ball in from close in. Lindley was off the field for a time with a cut eyebrow sustained in a collision with Brown. He returned to the fray with two stitches in his eyelid.
DOUBTFULS UNLIMITED V. THE ARSENAL
September 11, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Everton Manager, Cliff Britton awaits the match against Arsenal, at Goodison Park on Wednesday, with anxiousness. He wants his side to show the world they did not get what they deserved at Highbury or at Stoke on Saturday. If Everton beat Arsenal he will be particularly pleased. But first he has a tangle of injured and doubtful to sort out. Maurice Lindley at Stoke suffered a cut over the eye necessitating two stitches (he returned to the field to play well) and Eglington and Clinton both received knocks. Add the possibility that T.E. Jones may not be ready and the possibility that Eric Moore may not be disposed to play after his father’s death and you have a position which causes manager to collect gret hairs faster than their team collects points.
September 11, 1950. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Writing of Everton’s latest adventure Radar comments; “Stoke 2, Everton 4. This is what the score would have been had the result justified the way this game really went. And just as easily could Eddie Wainwright’s bag have been four goals. That neither Everton nor Wainwright had anything tangible to show for their effort was almost solely due to the remarkable goalkeeping of Dennis Herod. An inspired Herod repeatedly foiled the quick on-the-mark Everton forwards. Miraculous is the only word to describe saves from Wainwright’s drive midway through the first half, and from two great headers later on. There were other equally superb saves from Eglington, Catterick and Fielding, but there was one Wainwright volley which left even Herod helpless only for the ball to edge against the post and glance behind. That is just how things are running for an Everton who must be wondering why the fates are so unkind to them. Believe me, they were superior to a Stoke force whose work was characterisied by desperation. I except from this the two goals by Scottish Johnston (the first in two minutes) and which emanated from clever side flicks by Brown, whose speed and easy control gave Lindley a triving time. Praise is due to Everton for the manner in which they fought back after that heart-breaking opening blow. No one can say Everton did not finish well in this game, but their luck simply was not in. O’Neill’s goalkeeping was excellent but Clinton and Saunders were rather too easily drawn out of position, and there was a tendency at times to panic in the entire defensive set-up. “Farrell continues to play floorless football, and Grant’s only failing was a tendency to misplace his passes. The forwards were clever and lively with Catterick ever hard-working; Fielding playing whily and linking effectively with the quick-raiding Eglington. Wainwright was the dangerous opportunist and Buckle although not conspicuous popped up every now and then to embarrass the hard-pressed City defence. If Everton continue with this form those goals simply must come.”
September 11, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
If it hadn’t been for Stoke goalkeeper, Herod. Everton would have won handsomely. Of course they would, but why do you think they pay Herod £12 per week? To let them in? He is just as important a cog in the Stoke machine as the centre forward whose job is to score goals. Herod’s job was to keep em out and this he did in no half measure (writes Stork). It was as inspired display. We get them on the part of a goalkeeper now and again – we have seen them at Goodison Park and Anfield alike and will see them again. Herod stood adamant to everything the Everton forwards leveled at him and it was plenty. They talk of a jockey having beautiful hands. Herod had two beauties on Saturday. They never failed him whether it was a header put wide of him or whether it was a rasping shot which he sent spinning over the bar. That is why Everton lost to Stoke City on Saturday. Prior to my visit to the Potteries I had seen half a dozen games but this was my first view of Everton since the practice game and I was pleased with what I saw. I had heard a lot about their fighting quality; their good football and their new desire to shoot. They had to fight against a goal in three minutes and did it in heartening fashion. They progressed by sound combination and had the finish to make Herod the most outstanding player on the field. Wainwright will view this game as one of the unluckiest of his career, for he seemed to have Herod beaten at least three times with head and foot only to see the goalkeeper make wonder saves when it did not seem possible. It must have been a heartbreaking experience to see one’s best efforts foiled time and again, Catterick and Fielding suffered a like fate when they came to grips with Herod but the true sportsman was ready to acknowledge Herod’s greatness. Everton’s football was better than that of Stoke, who progressed by the “open road,” rather than the scientific path and while it brought the desired result, the Stoke people were quick to acknowledge Everton’s superior craft. Sprightly forwards were ably backed up by strong wing-half support and they moved sweetly to their objective whereas Stoke were hurried and more bustling. Each method had something to commend it but when one recalls what Herod had to do in comparison to O’Neill one can easily gather as to which method paid best. Which was the more attractive? Everton’s without a doubt and he irony of it all was that it did not get its just reward. It was worth goals and would have had them had not Herod been in such dazzling form. Stoke is not one of Everton’s happy hunting grounds, I cannot recall them ever winning at the Victoria ground. This was one time when they would have won with the slightest bit of luck.
Manager Cliff Britton is awaiting medical reports on four players before deciding the Everton team to meet Arsenal at Goodison Park on Wednesday, Eglington and Clinton, having treatment for minor knocks, are expected to be fit. T.E. Jones is making good progress, but Lindley is a doubtful starter following a cut eye. Eric Moore may require release following his recent bereavement.
EVERTON, ARSENAL DOUBTS
September 12, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Both Everton and Arsenal have team doubts for the return League fixtures at Goodison Park tomorrow. Clinton and Eglington, who received minor knocks in the game at Stoke are expected to be fit to take their places in the Everton team but Lindley who suffered a cut over the eye, is doubtful. Arsenal’s injured include Smith (knee) and MacPherson groin) and Lewis. Smith and MacPherson are reported to be making good progress but Lewis is rather doubtful.
September 12, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Hold Takes Catterick’s Place
T.E.Jones Now Fit Again
Returns to Centre-Half Against Arsenal
Manager Cliff Britton anxious to bring more punch into the Everton attack down the middle is introducing Oscar Hold as leader of the forwards against Arsenal at Goodison Park tomorrow in place of Catterick. This will be Hold’s third senior game since he joined Everton from Chelmsford last February. He led the attack against Stoke City at Stoke on March 16 last, and was inside-right against Middlesbrough at Goodison Park a fortnight ago. Hold had scored seven goals in four central League appearances this season, made up of three against West Bromwich reserves and two each against Chesterfield and Stoke City. In all these games he figured at inside right. The only other change in the team is that Tommy Jones the second, who made a promising debut against Arsenal at Highbury last Wednesday, but had to miss the following game at Stoke owing to a knee injury is now fit again and returns to the pivotal position. Arsenal will not decide on their forward line later, MaPherson having recovered from a groin injury, is included in the probables and final choice for outside left rests between him and Roper. In the Arsenal defence Smith comes in at left back with Barnes crossing over to the other flank. Elsewhere the Gunners’ side is the same as that which was defeated by Middlesbrough at Ayresome Park on Saturday. With their last three games producing not a single point, and only one goal in Everton’s favour to seven by the opposition, it behoves the Blues to get maximum points from this encounter if they are to prevent themselves slipping further down the table and making the task of recovery still harder. Apart from injuries, Everton have not had the best of fortune in recent games. The ball has not been running for them, but no allowance is made for that in the league table, where only goals count and bad luck brings no rebate.
A Well-Balanced Team
Although Arsenal were toppled from their position as League leaders by Middlesbrough on Saturday, they are a side of such balance and solidity that one would hesitate to say that they may not before long have put themselves back on the pinnacle. Platt has been doing well in goal following the injury to Swindon, and, with Forbes back in the intermediate line, the Arsenal rearguard at least on paper had all its old look of efficiently. It has kept a clean sheet in four of the seven games played so far, and has been debited with only five goals all told. The compares very favourably with Everton’s position where 16 goals already have been forfeited, and the attack has failed to find the net in three of their seven fixtures. Apart from the games at Middlesbrough and the second half of the match against West Bromwich Albion. Everton have this season displayed a fighting spirit which has deserved better reward than they have got. If they can reproduce this tomorrow, and bring virile finishing to round off their approach work, they may lay the foundation of recovery. Arsenal, however, are never an easy side to beat. Everton will have to pull something really good out of the bag to make sure of both points. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Saunders; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Hold, Fielding, Eglington. Arsenal; Platt; Barnes, Smith; Forbes, L. Compton, Mercer; Cox, Logie, Goring, Lishman, McPherson, or Roper.
CUP WINNERS AT GOODISON TOMORROW
September 12, 1950. The Evening Express
Hold Leads Attack
T.E. Jones Returns
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Merseyside tomorrow evening extends a welcome to the 1950 F.A. Cup-winners, Arsenal, who will be on parade at Goodison Park against Everton and seeking their first “double” of the season. Everton make two changes from the team which lost at Stoke, for Tommy E. Jones has recovered from his knee injury and takes the place of the injured, Lindley and Oscar Hold, former Notts County and Chelmsford player, takes over leadership of the attack. This will be Hold’s third first team appearance, but his first at centre forward. Hold has been scoring freely with the Reserves and was in the first team which defeated Middlesbrough here. Arsenal have doubts about their attack and either McPherson or Roper will be outside left. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Saunders; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Hold, Fielding, Eglington. Arsenal; Platt; Barnes, Smith; Forbes, L. Compton, Mercer; Cox, Logie, Goring, Lishman, McPherson, or Roper.
The Blues have now lost three matches in succession after their hopeful start and have scored only once in 270 minutes of football. Yet Everton are showing that urge to shoot which in the end must bring its own reward. I have a feeling that Everton will register their second post-war win over the Gunners. In post-war football Arsenal have gained 14 of the 18 points played for the Blues gaining a 3-2 win at Goodison Park in 1946-47, a 1-1 draw at Highbury through Wainwright penalty in 1947-48 and a goal-less draw at Goodison in 1948-49. Joe Mercer, the Highbury skipper will be returning to the scene where he made his name before going south. Everton will err if they try too often to carve out a path down the middle, where big Leslie Compton stands defiant, and their victory was seems to be on the full exhibition of Buckle and Eglington with due regard to the cross-field pass. Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday when they failed to retain a good lead at Ayresome Park against Middlesbrough, who beat Everton 4-0, but lost at Goodison 3-2. Arsenal’s two other away games have brought full points –from Chelsea and Burnley. This should be a grand tense struggle, starring at six o’clock. It will be watched by Liverpool, who are at Everton’s ground on Saturday.
IT’S THAT TEAM AGAIN
September 13, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
The visit of Arsenal to this city is enough to cause palpitation, especially after their Cup final triumph, when they come as they do this evening, to an Everton who have lost their last three games –one of them at Highbury –the needle becomes sharp indeed. And the impending meeting of Everton and Liverpool at Goodison does nothing to lull the situation. Manager Cliff Britton of Everton is banking on Oscar Hold to improve Everton’s forward punch and is playing the former Chelmsford forward at centre-forward in place of Catterick. Hold may find, as Catterick may have find, that a solo mission against Leslie Compton is no sinecure, especially if passed come “in the air” Everton’s work, at Stoke was good, I am told, and the idea seems to be general that they may make this second Arsenal tilt pay for the first, when Arsenal won by Scottish goals and the bare margin whatever happens it will be good to see the Mercer figure emerging again, from the Goodison club on Saturday. The name Mercer stands good in the City, even if he sometimes is “the you nor” on the Soccor field. It will be good to see T.E Jones and his first home appearance in League football. This is the young man who impressed London, at Highbury, by his fine centre-half. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Saunders; Grant, Jones, Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Hold, Fielding, Eglington. Arsenal; Platt; Barnes, Smith; Forbes, L. Compton, Mercer; Cox, Logie, Goring, Lishman, McPherson, or Roper.
HIGGINS TO COME HOME
September 14, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Billy Higgins, former Everton footballer, plans to return to England on October 4 with his wife and two children after completing arrangements for the cancellation of his contract with the Millionarios club. Both Higgins and the club officials said there are “no hard feelings,” explaining the only reason for the return was that Mrs Higgins does not like Colombia. She said it was difficult for her to get used to new people, a new language and new ways. Higgins arrived in Bogota in May, A.P.
SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
September 14, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Arsenal 1
By Leslie Edwards
Something for everyone in this match. A draw for Everton to add to three vexatious defeats; a useful point for Joe Mercer and company, and sufficient near-misses and bar and post-shaking incident to compensate 47,000 people for football sometimes lacking in continuity. But I do not suggest the players could do more in controlling a ball which hung and veered about unpredictably in a gusty wind. It was a match of phrases, and Everton with the first all their own might readily have put themselves so far in front that Arsenal could not have caught them. This early luster, with Hold making Arsenal’s defensive slips tell, surprised everyone and should have produced more than Hold’s headed goal at seven minutes. The scorer nodded the ball downwards and between Smith’s outstretched legs from an Eglington centre; within minutes Hold as trying to return the centring compliment to Eglington who had gone “inside” and Swindin could only stand and stare and hope for the best. And the best it was from an Arsenal standpoint, with Eglington and Wainwright so hampering each other that neither got a goal. Then it became Arsenal’s turn, Roper’s shot which swerved so violently that O’Neill could not get his body behind it was patted away, but O’Neill only best the incoming Lisham to it by flicking the ball aside with finger tips. And he made many other first rate saves. A persistent and more o-ordinated and confident Arsenal equalized at 25 minutes when Jones blundered and the elusive Goring with only a chick of space to shoot at cracked the ball home. Everton survived a confident but unrewarded appeal for a penalty in this half.
The pendulum swung equitably in the second half and leaders pretty nearly balanced at the end. We had Compton twice staving off Buckle, with Swindin “not at home.” Barnes heading a header from the line; a left-foot shot from that dynamo Forbes which O’Neill not only saved but held a searing drive from Buckle, which nearly parted the bar and finally a Roper special which found the inside of the post, yet came back to play. All considered it was good value for money, though the first half had its sombra almost somnolent moments and the fire one associates with matches against Arsenal seemed absent. One reason Everton’s attack functioned smoothly was because Fielding was at his best. He came into the picture, too, with a tilt against a giant who seemed amiable enough last night, Leslie Compton and though Compton suffered the little man had to take his medicine from an unsuspected dispensary. Arsenal at their best, looked even better than Everton, but Logie and McPherson though playing well tried to walk the ball through. This was fatal. Roper’s more direct methods and Forbes all-round excellence served Arsenal better. And just when we were beginning to think a trace of slowness was writing rude things on that Joe Mercer wall, he burst into life again with as beautiful a “dummy” as he ever made. I am afraid it cannot be said that T. E. Jones played nearly so well as at Highbury but he is not the first centre half to be drawn out of position by an Arsenal attack and he was no alone in not always judging the flight or bound of the ball. Grant and Farrell, who maintain such a high standard of performance and enthusiasm were both good and Clinton and Saunders had some rugged and useful full back play to their credit. Hold succeeded in putting life into the attack, especially in the first half but in the air the ball as always Compton’s. The best back of them all, I thought was Wally Barnes, who seems to be playing better than ever. The Arsenal may not be quite as virile as they were but tactically they don’t miss a trick. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Clinton and Saunders, backs; Grant, Jones (T.E.) and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Buckle, Wainwright, Hold, Fielding, and Eglington, forwards. Arsenal; Swindin, goal; Barnes and Smith, backs; Forbes, Compton and Mercer (captain), half-backs; McPherson, Logie, Goring, Lishman, and Forbes, forwards.
EVERTON JOLTED ARSENAL OUT OF THEIR NONCHALANCE
September 14, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
It Might Have Been Two
Everton did reasonably well to get a point from the Gunners, yet with luck it might have been two. If only Eglington had accepted that “sitter” which would have put the Blues two up I think Everton would have won, even though Arsenal for long stretches played well within themselves and gave the impression that the possibly of defeat had never entered their heads. In the first end the visitors had to fight tooth and nail to keep Everton from snatching the winning goal. The Blues had hard luck when Barnes headed Wainwright’s effort off the line and again when Buckle hit the bar with the best shot of the evening though this last “rub of the green” was balanced by Roper’s woodwork effort. It was a game full of splendid football –up to a point. Where it lacked its crowning glory was in the finishing. The forwards either tried one move too many and suffered the penalty of defensive interception, or else blazed away too hurriedly and sacrificed accuracy in the effort to make a hole in the net. Arsenal were well satisfied with their point. Everton had to be. The most pleasing feature of the home side’s display as the evidence that they have regained their fighting spirit. In the last quarter of an hour they jolted the Gunners right out of their earlier nonchalant –at times almost contemptuous –outlook. For sheer hard work and honest endeavour none did better than Farrell. He was the starting point of Hold’s goal in seven minutes, which was wiped out by Goring when Jones slipped up and O’Neill maybe advanced a little too much , leaving the Arsenal leader just enough room to squeeze the ball in from an awkward angle.
Confidence Will Come
Tommy Jones has a long way to go yet before he reaches the stature of his namesake. While he did some good things, he was also guilty of rather more errors than were comfortable. He must not be discouraged by that. Confidence will come with experience. It is a terrific test for any young debutant to face such a star studded forward line as Arsenal’s. Clinton shone against the Gunners most effective flank but Saunders had his shaky moments. In attack Fielding was in his brightest form, distributing the ball brilliantly and Wainwright showed considerable improvement over previous games. It was a pity that after so good a display Fielding should have been involved in an incident which left Compton writhing on the ground from a kick on the shin. While quite possibly extremely accidental. It unfortunately gave more than a few people a somewhat different impression. Against that is the fact that the referee who was right on the spot, gave no foul which seems to settle the question of “intent.” Buckle was very in-and-out, Eglington started as though he would give as another great exhibition and then fell away, and Hold, though a genuine trier, sadly lacks speed and shooting power. With all their faults however, this was a step in the right direction for Everton. While there is much lost ground yet to be recovered so long as they can stick to their task and show this fighting spirit there is no need for pessimism. But the side badly lacks height and weights in several positions. Arsenal must have had an average advantage of a couple of inches and nearly a stone in weight. Skipper Joe Mercer is still a great player, and I have rarely seen Barnes show up to better advantage.
HIGGINS COMING HOME
September 14, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
A letter to hand this morning from Billy Higgins tells me that as he has been unable to have his contract with the Millionarios Club rectified, he is coming home. He will fly from Bogota to New York with his wife and two children, and complete the rest of the journey by steamer. As I announced some weeks ago, Higgins found that his original contract which was in Spanish, included several clauses of which he had not been advised, and which he would not have accepted had they been interpreted to him. Another contributing factor is that his wife, Scots lass from Glasgow has never really settled down. “What with high prices and other things, it has been a real headache,” says Higgins. His first task on reaching England will be to apply to the F.A. to lift his suspension. He has a better case than any other player who went to Bogota, as he was on Everton’s transfer list when he accepted the Millionarios club’s offer, and though Everton did at the last minute offer him terms for this season, that was largely a tactical move. I don’t think that the Football League will put any obstacle in Higgins’s way if the F.A Cup, reinstate him, but should that unlikely event happen. I can tell the players now that Tommy Jones is ready to sign him for Pwilhli, so he needn’t worry once he is in the clear with the F.A. His real place, however, is with a Football league side. Who that will be partly rests with Everton. It might even be Everton again, if they are prepared to forgive and forget –and they might do worse, for the lad by now has learned his lesson.
LIVERPOOL ARE FAVOURITIES FOR THE 85TH ‘DERBY’ GAME TOMORROW
September 15, 1950. The Evening Express
Everton Hope to Break Game A Luckless Spell
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
Three points more from a match less played and after a seven days rest, Liverpool go out at Goodison Park tomorrow as firm favourities to win the 85th “Derby” against Everton. Everton have not won for four matches and had a stern Wednesday test. That briefly is the picture, but …Merseyside “Derby” games usually knock all soundness out of reasoning. In only one post-war match have Everton gained full bonus, and that was four years go. Now they face a Liverpool seeking their first away win of the season, and with a team strengthened by the return of Scottish international Billy Liddell. Recent non-success has not brought on Everton a complex that nothing will go right with them to master what they do, for against Arsenal on Wednesday the Blues showed a fighting spirit and craft which would defeatless accomplished defensive combinations, I grant that Everton were luckless in many respects, but things cannot run against them, and it would held to tradition were the Blues to really hit the high spots at the expense of their neighbours. There is something magical about these local clashes which inspires both players and spectators making for occasions which stand in memory no matter what the result. Going though every point of this clash one must come to the conclusion that the scales are weighed down in favour of Liverpool, except that they have not won away. On the point of experience Liverpool have a tremendous pull in a match which has a real local touch, for there are so many players not only born locally but who have graduated through the junior ranks of the clubs. Everton are relying on young backs in Moore, who returns after missing three games and Clinton who goes over to the left while Jack Humphreys becomes the fourth centre half to play this season. Jones has not regained complete confidence following that Highbury injury and Lindley, Catterick and McIntosh are unfit. While this may produce yet another draw, common sense induces a vote for a Liverpool victory in what should be another classic. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Clinton; Grant, Humphreys, Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Hold, Fielding, Eglington. Liverpool; Sidlow; Lambert, Spicer; Jones, Hughes, Paisley; Payne, Taylor, Stubbins, Balmer, Liddell.
EVERTON MAKE THREE CHANGES V LIVERPOOL
September 15, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
85th “Derby” Game
Reds Start Favourities, But Blues Could Shock Them
Manager Cliff Britton has made three changes –one a positional alteration –in the Everton side to meet Liverpool in the 85th “derby” game at Goodison Park tomorrow. As Moore is now available following his recent bereavement, Clinton is moved over to left full back in preference to Saunders, while at centre half Humphreys returns for Jones, who has not yet regained his full confidence following his injury at Highbury last week. Hold continued to lead the attack in which choice was in any case restricted owing to Catterick having stomach trouble and McIntosh a pulled muscle. Humphreys has been laid up for some time with a leg injury, but has since had an outing with the Central League side. Falder is at centre-half in the reserve eleven to oppose Liverpool at Anfield tomorrow morning.
A Close Thing?
Cup-ties apart, the season’s Soccer programme produce nothing of greater interest than any meeting of Everton and Liverpool, and tomorrow’s pairing promises to produce another game in keeping with the many excellent tussles which these old rivals have served up of recent years. We can forget right away that Liverpool are well up the top half of the League table and Everton are again too close to the bottom for comfort. These “derby” games are a law unto themselves. During their long history we have had innumerable examples of form going all haywire when the twain meet, and the very fact that Liverpool have had the better of the argument in post-war seasons means that the time of an Everton “revival” is gradually coming nearer. Will tomorrow mark the occasion? It might do so quite easily for if the Blues fight as they did against Stoke last Saturday and Arsenal on Wednesday, and Liverpool play no better than they did against Derby County, a win for Everton is quite on the cards. But Liverpool folk reckon the Reds hold the triumph card in the return of Billy Liddell. There is no need to glid the lily by stressing Liddell’s match-winning capabilities. He will however, be up against a young and speedy back who will contest every inch of ground, so that Liddell may not have it all his own way.
Reward Will Come
A year ago one would have said that Liverpool’s team spirit and greater power in attack would swing the verdict in their favour. Today, Everton have a better fighting spirit than at any time for the past two years. True, it hasn’t brought them much tangible reward yet, but that must come before long if they go on as they have started. Everton will not yield the honours to Liverpool without a stern battle I know the easy way out is to forecast a draw, which may satisfy both camps of my “impartially.” While this game may easily end that way, I have a feeling that Liverpool’s defence is just a big too strong for the Blues’ forwards, and that if Liddell and Stubbins are at their best, and get the right support from their inside men, the Anfielders will have that little extra pull which will given them victory. Everton have shown us some excellent midfield stuff this season, and a new desire to shoot at every possible opportunity, but they still lack punch down the middle and have a weakness at outside right which does not increase their chances.
Keep The Gangways Clean
Yet they have promised so much in earlier games, without just completing the job, that surely the run of the ball cannot continue against them much longer. Should they strike their brightest and best tomorrow then my tip for Liverpool may come badly unstuck. We haven’t long to wait to know the answer. This game may well set up a new attendance record at Goodison Park High-Water mark at the moment is the 78,299 which saw the “derby” two years ago, and paid £5,814 for the privilege. The gates at Goodison will be opened at 1.30 and though ample arrangement are in hand to deal with the crowds without congestion, it will help considerably if those who can will arrive as early as possible, and, one they are inside, keep the gangways free for later comers. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Clinton; Grant, Humphreys, Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Hold, Fielding, Eglington. Aston Villa; Sidlow; Lambert, Spicer; Jones, Hughes, Paisley; Payne, Taylor, Stubbins, Balmer, Liddell.
For those who are free on Saturday morning there is Central League “derby” at Anfield between the clubs’ second strings. Kick-off for this I 11 o’clock. Liverpool; Ashcroft; Shepherd, Parr; Fagan, Cadden, Christie; Glazzard, Baron, Watkinson, Haigh, Brierley. Everton; Burnett; Saunders, Rankin; Cross, Falder, Melville; McNamara, Donovan, Hickson, Hampson, Parker.
SHAPE OF ‘DERBY’ TO COME
September 16, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Behind the office doors marked “Manager” at Goodison Park and Anfield sit taciturn fellows not keen on saying anything “for the record.” That is why, when I spoken to them last night, they gently, but firmly, steered the conversation away from what, might or might no happen in the eighty-fifth Football League meeting of their clubs at Goodison Park (3.15) today. What Messrs Kay and Britton have thought and talked about in conference with their players is another story. Fortunately individual form-at-a-glance for this match is something of an open book. The only form likely to be unreliable is that supplied by the respective League table records ignore that for a start! It is certain for instance that this will be a game contested in the new sporting spirit which has characterized recent games in the series. The entry of the gladiators two by two, now really means something. There were times when players entering the field shoulder to shoulder took advantage of the opportunity to tell each other just how far they were going to kick each other over the park that afternoon. It is certain too, that O’Neill and others who will be making their Everton v. Liverpool bow will look upon the serried thousands (about 80 of them) and will get the feeling that they would rather be at home helping with the Saturday shopping than showing themselves off to a multitude half of which at least is eagerly awaiting their first sign of nerves.
Shades of W.R.
Certain, also is it that O’Neill will be compensated by knowing that by the accident of birth he happens to be keeping goal against Stubbins (fit to play for Old Etonians) and not someone like William Ralph Dean, who had only to make a few quick pattering strides towards a ball in the air to make brave goalkeepers tremble. Another inevitability today is that Jack Balmer of Liverpool will come out to cries of “Good old Jack-kay.” Whether Jack-kay remains Jack-kay or suddenly fails from graces and becomes plain-Barm-mer or worse depends upon whether he is getting goals or missing them. It is a safe bet than followers of Liverpool will not appreciate what he does however much Evertonians alongside them begin to worthy when he has the ball. I predict we shall see Nobby Fielding (sleeves well down over the hands and shoulders hunched) jog-trotting about plying his almost unique variety of passes –with bits of spin and undercut administered to make the ball arrive at Eglington’s feet “just right.” We shall have Jack Humphreys standing on no ceremony and coughing his orders” with the authority which marks him out as a born captain. And Willie Liddell with those billiard table legs of his will be chasing up and down and if necessary “going inside” o hit a shot which O’Neill may never have seen the like –that is if he catches sight of it at all.
At some stage we shall have hardy Bob Paisley handling. He always does. Also he will inch a few strides up the line before his throw-ins. The Everton crowd will demonstrate against this ruse, but whether he gains a yard or two or three makes no matter. It is the quickness of the throw, not its placement which deceives. Wainwright will have at least one thrilling burst of individualism after which he will toss his long lank hair back into place; Eglington will assuredly try to win his speed test against Lambert though looking much the older will put spry feet forward and even if he is winning the race Eglington may not always pass his man. And the Everton crowd will not be particularly happy about half. And so to other inevitabilities of football between Everton and Liverpool –arguments on the terraces, in the pubs; mascot canned music, the official “proey,” the running commentary of Kay; the poker-face of Britton. What is not inevitable? The result I wouldn’t know a thing about that until 4.55 or thereabouts. Everton; O’Neill; Moore, Clinton; Grant, Humphreys, Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Hold, Fielding, Eglington. Aston Villa; Sidlow; Lambert, Spicer; Jones, Hughes, Paisley; Payne, Taylor, Stubbins, Balmer, Liddell.
LIVERPOOL GOT THE GOALS WHILE EVERTON RIED PRETTY STUFF
September 16,1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton 1, Liverpool 3
Not as exciting a “derby” game as some I have seen. Academically there was much to command it, but goal thrills were few. Liverpool took their chances, Everton refused theirs and played a little too close.
Everton’ O’Neill, goal; Moore and Clinton, backs; Grant, Humphreys, and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Buckle, Wainwright, Hold, Fielding, and Eglington, forwards. Liverpool; Sidlow, goal; Lambert, and Spicer, backs; Jones, Hughes, and Paisley, half-backs; Payne, Taylor, Stubbins, Balmer, and Liddell, forwards. Rferee; Mr. A. C. Denham (Preston). A local “derby” is something entirely different to any other League game. There is an atmosphere about it, and when the teams came out in their usual pairings they received a great ovation.
Liddell Shoots Wide
The game started on time with Everton kicking into the Park goal, and when Taylor found Liddell there was a buzz of excitement, but the Liverpool winger shot hopelessly outside. Liddell came again with a long “heady” pass, intended for Stubbins, but the Liverpool leader was beaten by Humphreys. Then followed a long kick by Lambert which passed over Stubbins and which Humphreys allowed to travel along to his goalkeeper. The Everton folk had their turn when Fielding made a short-sharp dribble before finally dispatching the ball to Hold who, however, was too well covered to make any use of it. Payne was responsible for a good length centre hat Humphreys kicked clear, and then came the first stoppage, for an injury to Payne. This produced a free kick, which passed into history without doing any damage to the Everton defence. A back pass by an Everton man to his goalkeeper produced a corner to Liverpool, but young O’Neill got the ball away as it travelled towards the far post. Sidlow’s first call came after ten minutes play. He had to touch on a ball from Buckle, Wainwright picked up the clearance and tried a high powered shot which however, passed outside.
Hereabouts Everton were testing the Liverpool defence with some good-class football, and only an offside decision prevent Everton at least from getting in a shot. Eglington and Hold got themselves into a little tangle and this allowed Hughes to stand in and take the ball. Everton were now having a shade better of the play, although Sidlow were never under fire. Moore once read Paisley’s mind so perfectly that he moved into the right place for the pass he knew was destined for Liddell, and so the anticipated Liverpool attack was cut down very speedily. Everton were rather prone to get into offside positions and when Wainwright pushed a ball through the referee caught both Hold and Fielding in the trap. So far, there was nothing between the two clubs, but I did not think it was quite as exciting as some “derby” games, I have seen although there was some excellently conceived play. So far he respective defence had coped capably. Stubbins after being beaten in his race for the ball by Clinton managed to recover possession and cleverly kept the ball in play. Payne gave him full backing, and between them they engineered an opening from which Stubbins shot outside. It was nevertheless a nice movement. Liverpool were now in testing mood, and Clinton had to be very sound in his pass-back to O’Neill, for Stubbins was slap-bang on top of him.
Too Much Room
A quick change of position by Stubbins and Liddell ended with the Scot scooping the ball outside. I thought that the Everton defence gave Stubbins much too much room in which to set himself to deliver the ball to Liddell. Hold and Hughes had a little contest between themselves with the Liverpool man gaining the verdict. At this point Everton were attacking strongly and Buckle won a corner. He took it himself, and his in-swinger was so close that it hit the upright. An inch in his favour and a goal must have come, for I saw no one there who could have denied him. Eglington must be one of the fastest footballers in the game, but he found Lambert just as fleet of foot, and so far the Irishman had taken little change out of the Welsh international.
A Grand Goal
All this game needed was a goal. It would have brought a more electrifying atmosphere. This does not mean that the football was poor, it was not for there was some top-class passing. I had hardly dictated these words than Liverpool should come along with a goal at the 28th minute, and a grand goal it was too. It was started by Payne, who planted the ball right to Stubbins’s head, and the auburn-haired Liverpool leader nodded it safely home, to the joy of the Liverpool followers. The game had hardly restarted when Fielding dashed through and drove a shot fiercely for the Liverpool net, but Sidlow moved across his goal and punched the ball out. I thought Moore was in particularly good form. To emphasise this fact I have only to tell you that Liddell, so far had been well held. Liverpool, having tasted the sweets of a goal were keen to add another to their tally, and Stubbins after suggesting that he might pass the ball out to Liddell, quickly swerved into the middle and shot, but the ball was intercepted in transit to the Everton goal. Fielding and Eglington was the wing that created most trouble for Liverpool. The former, in particular as in grand form, and he looked after his colleague like a mother looks after here babe, so that between them they often had Liverpool’s defences spread-eagled without achieving a goal. Spicer twice brought down Buckle, and on the second occasion bringing free kick to Everton from which Grant shot a foot over the bar. One round of passing was greatly appreciated and it seemed with Grant pushing the ball through to Wainwright, but Hughes got his foot there first. Liverpool had not the finesse of Everton but when it came to accepting chances they were bang on the job and when Liddell crossed the ball Balmer’s head was there to direct it beyond O’Neill and into the net at 40 minutes.
Then followed a hot two minutes in front of the Everton goal, which was fortunate to escape further capitulation. Wainwright and Buckle did their utmost to tear asunder the Liverpool defence. They passed ad repassed in the hope that the opening would come but it never did. With half a minute to go to the interval Liddell once again supplied the centre which enabled Balmer to slip in goal number three, side-footing the ball along the ground, leaving O’Neill helpless.
Half-time; Everton 0, Liverpool 3
Everton opened the second half with a round of passing that was nice as a spectacle but that is all. It came tumbling down before Liverpool’s strong defence, and Jones must have run 20 yards with the ball without being tackled to ultimately slip it to Taylor who in turn helped it along to Liddell. The ball came to the Scot just as he likes it, but instead of hitting it home in his usual manner he put it back to Taylor, who had not expected such a happening.
It was hereabouts that Clinton completely missed connecting with the ball, ad things looked desperate for the Everton defence but it managed to extricate itself from a difficult position. Liverpool were now playing with the confidence that three goals lead can give, and Stubbins made another grand header from Payne’s centre and there was only a coating of paint between the ball and the upright as it passed outside. It is worthy of note that the frame work of Stubbins hader was made by six Liverpool men without an Everton man getting in touch with the ball.
Calling The Tune
Liverpool were right on top now, and when Payne cut in a fourth goal seemed to be on the cards, but O’Neill parried the ball which came out to Stubbins who tried to improve on Payne’s work, but he shot straight at the goalkeeper. Sidlow had to save a lobbed header, but it was Liverpool who were calling the tune now. What is more they were doing it with some considerable ease, and when Payne sent a long cross ball beyond the Everton goal Liddell came up to make a header that had the fierceness of a shot about it. But the ball passed outside. The Blues were inclined to keep the ball too close. They had done this in the first half, and the result was that the Liverpool defence stepped in time and again to cut attacks down at the roots.
Buckle kicked right round the ball but this did not hold up the Everton attack for the ball went out to Eglington who shot hard at goal but had a shade too much lift in his effort. After O’Neill had punched out a centre by Liddell, Everton, moved forward by academic football only to see the final pass go astray. When Everton were awarded a penalty kick for a foul by Spicer on Hold, who was definitely elbowed off, a goal seemed assured for the Blues, but Wainwright, who took the spot kick, made a hopeless attempts, lashing the ball at least four yards outside the upright. O’Neill dealt very confidently with a shot by Stubbins, which gave one the impression that it would pass over the bar. The ball seemed to dip in the last second, and O’Neill found it necessary to turn it over the bar.
Stubbins was unlucky when he tried to dribble his way through to what would have been a neat goal. He maneuvered the ball exceedingly well, but when it came to the business of shooting he slipped up and lost possession. Hughes once stopped the ball six yards from his own goal, his through pass, however, set the Liverpool machinery in motion, and it cut through the Everton ranks like a knife through butter. The only poor thing about it from the Liverpool point of view was that it finished on a tame note – no shot to follow.
Nearly A Fourth
Liverpool had an opportunity of marking up a fourth goal when, when Taylor collected the ball over on the far side of the goal. Admittedly the angle was a poor one, but Goring had scored from a similar position earlier in the week. Taylor’s shot swirled right across the goal face and away to safety. Liverpool did not seem to be stressing the point, three goals lead was ample as the Everton forwards never really promised to break down the Liverpool defence. Fielding did have one good shot which went soaring over the bar, so close in fact I though Sidlow had helped it over, but such was not the case. Almost on time Eglington scored for Everton just after Sidlow had saved from Buckle. This was a goal out of the blue. Final; Everton 1, Liverpool 3.
“LIVERTON” GAMES SET A HIGH STANDARD OF SPORTSMANSHIP
September 16, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Old-Time Bitter Rivalry Replaced By A New Spirit
Opinions vary greatly as to what constitutes the greatest change in football over the past generation. Some will vote for the new offside rule, others the numbering of players. Many would support the gradual switch-over from the more leisurely style of the old to the speedy progression of modern sides. And so we could go on, getting no nearer a definite conclusion as to nay one vital aspect of the game which stands out more than another.
Those matters are generalities. When we get down to the particular I think one item which most folk will agree deserves special commendation is the greatly improved spirit which characterizes local “derby” games between Everton and Liverpool. This has its beginning in the suggestion by Ernest Edwards, many years ago, that the teams should come out side-by-side. A simple thing, and a humble beginning, but it set the pointer. We have progressed a lot since then. Today there is a warm feeling of friendship between the boardrooms of both clubs and both sets of players. That is as it should be. The old bitter rivarely and win-at-all-costs spirit; belongs to an age in which sportsmanship was not so tolerant as it is today. Not that either Everton or Liverpool give anything away when they meet one another. Far from it. The old desire to win is a keep as ever in both camps- in the boardrooms as well as dressing-rooms, but the underlying spirit is different. Last year when Liverpool were doing so well and Everton were beset by anxiety. Liverpool directors and players were always keen to know how Everton had got on. Their pleasure when the Blues had won, or their disappointment when they had lost, was perfectly genuine, Liverpool like to be above Everton – just as Everton would prefer always to be in front of the Reds –but neither likes to see their neighbours having a tough struggle.
The Right Spirit
In these games of local rivalry both sides want to win by good, clean, wholesome football. Not only do they endeavour to play that way themselves but they are willing to let the other fellows do it as well which wasn’t always the case. Even today, of course, players are only human and occasionally we have have rare instances when one has temporarily lost sight of the standard which has been set up during past years and “had a go” in a manner which has not been in keeping with the general turned. I remember one incident at Anfield some years back which rather blotted the record. These lapses however, have been few and far between and if not forgotten by spectators do not weaken the claim that “Liverton” games in post-war years have set an extremely high standard of sportsmanship. I trust that by the time these notes are read, and the 85th Football League game between the pair has become a matter of history, there will be no occasion to recast that statement.
Reviving memories for all who have seen past struggles between the sides. It does not include war time matches of which there were many. Indeed, it was a wartime match which produced one of the most exciting finishes of all in “Liverton” history. That was at Anfield in August 1943, when Everton were two goals ahead with only ten minutes to go. Jim McIntosh at the time on Preston North End’s books and playing for Everton as a guest at centre forward had scored both Everton goals, and if anything looked signed, sealed and settled this game did for the Blues. Bu Manager George Kay never gives up. He sent a message on to the field for Cyril Done, and Don Welsh to switch places, and hey presto, the Blues were hit by a tornado that swept them off their feet. In the last eight minutes Liverpool notched five goals. Balmer and Liddell set the Kop alight by getting one each to level the scores, and then Welsh got a hat-trick. I’ve heard some cheering from the Koppites during my time, but never such a sustained roar as this day. For eight solid minutes they never let up. Most of them must have been gasping for breath when the final whistle went. Our “derby” games abound with incidents of note but all I have space for today is to summaries some of the major aspects of the meetings over the years. One days if ever we get back to freedom of newsprint, I should like run a series reviewing some of these old-time games. Maybe it will come some day.
Highlights of the Past
Honour of the longest unbeaten sequence in the series rest with Everton, who won eight and drew six of 14 games between 1899 and 1907. Liverpool’s longest unbeaten run was immediately after the first World War, when they won five and drew three. Most goals in a single game were scored at Anfield on February 11, 1933, when Liverpool won 7-4. The order of scoring in this game was Dean (Everton), Barton (Liverpool), Hanson (Liverpool), Morrison (Liverpool), and Johnson (Everton) in the first half and Taylor (Liverpool), Barton (Liverpool), Dean (Everton), Roberts (Liverpool), Baron (Liverpool), and Stein (Everton) in the second half. Everton’s biggest win at Anfield is 5-0 on October 3, 1914. Liverpool’s biggest win at Goodison Park has been by 3 goals to nil in 192-21 and 1947-48. They won 4-2 in 1907-08. Biggest home victories are Everton’s 5-0 on April 9, 1909, and Liverpool’s 6-0 on September, 1935.
Some Tight Games
Everton have won 17 games by the odd goal (nine of them at Anfield) and Liverpool 11 (six at Goodison). There have been 10 goalless draws, five on each ground. From 1934 to 1937 Liverpool played four matches at Goodison without scoring a goal. English played centre in the first two of these games, and Howe in the last two. Liverpool scored in only two of the eight meetings between 1907 and 1910, but nevertheless collected seven goals. Since football was resumed after the second war Everton have scored in only three of the eight matches, a “singleton” each time. Curiously enough each of these goals was unusual. Liverpool claimed for a free kick when Wainwright scored in 1947 at Goodison-Dodd’s goal at Goodison in 1948 came from a penalty, and last season (at Anfield) Farrell gave Everton a shock lead by scoring in the first minute. Against Everton’s three post-war goals, Liverpool have scored 11, divided between Fagan (3), Balmer, Stubbins, and Baron (2 each), Liddell, and Brierley.
DOUBLY TRUE; LIVERPOOL WERE MATCHLESS
September 18, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Everton 1, Liverpool 3
By Leslie Edwards
This match was won and lost in the no-man’s land of soccer, and fittingly Military Medalist W.H. Jones at right half-back was the most at home there at Goodison Park. That he had on his left the phlegmatic England centre half, Laurie Hughes, and still further on his left the effervescing Bob Paisley meant that Liverpool’s intermediate line was truly back-breaking. Only when Fielding and Wainwright took on the role of extra defenders did Everton hold the avalanche or art and craft and punch which threatened them from the start. When these two Everton forwards dared to go forward Jones and Paisley were crowned kings of the open spaces –and did they use them. Jones is no showman, but even his self effacing style could not keep from our constant notice his command of all situations. He volleyed or half volleyed his passes on slippery turf or headed them of merely nudged the ball through so accurately, and so persistently one rates this as the best of all his games. Hughes never beaten, if sometimes caused to play for safely and Paisley (who did not handle once by the way) were little less brilliant.
The wonder was Liverpool did not win 6-1. Three up (Stubbins and Balmer, two) at the interval, they might have scored offender in the second half if they had wanted to make a bigger meal of friends and neighbours. This disinclination to “rub it in” might have been costly. There was the penalty award, which Wainwright used so wastefully, not even getting the ball on the target frame; there was the late goal by Eglington which gave the football world a wrong notion of what happened. Well, the 71,000 present have no illusions and some of them began to voice their anxiety about the Everton crisis. In rating Liverpool on this form, we are liable to place them too high. But they cannot do more than win by a wholly satisfying display in which they were the proverbial mile ahead. All the goals moves were well worked and completed, though it can be argued that O’Neill might have saved Balmer’s downwards header. Tracing the goals further back than the head or foot contact one sensed that in all cases the scorer stood all alone unhampered and unhurried and perfectly placed to make the move of his choice in his own time.
Sharp and True
Liverpool as I saw them, played with the greater conviction. Their passing was sharp and true. They understood one another and moves into position as though puppets in the hands of an expert. Many of Everton’s passes were so tentative and without speed they never reached the mark. One gained the impression that Everton progressed laboriously and laterally until Liverpool came to grips with them at the business end of the field. Everton’s attack travelled pedestrianly at great effort; Liverpool’s in two or three and thrusting passes were there in a thrice. It was good football to watch but in its stages Everton were dead but would not lie down. For this we had to thank the unrelenting efforts of Farrell. Surely no captain does more than he to get his side out of the rut? Buckle too, was noticed making Spicer life a nuisance, though many of the big Buckle shots were not timed correctly. Fielding was best in the first half and so was Wainwright. As they fell from prominence so did Liverpool rise. It needed no inspired moments from Liddell (still doubtful whether he was fit at noon) to carry Liverpool. Liddell almost sat this one out,” still did enough to belong to a forward line which could scarcely be faulted.
In such circumstances anyone at centre half in the Everton side had no sinecure. This time it was the turn of Jack Humphreys who played well, but the defence was at fault three times in its covering and all the gallantry of Farrell, Grant and Humphreys counted for little when goals fattened the debit column. Summing up in a sentence, it might be said that Liverpool last Saturday were match-less. But Everton as ever, continued on the receiving end without giving way to ill temper. And the Anfield cry is still “Good old Jack-kay).”
LIVERPOOL RES 2, EVERTON RES 0
September 18, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
A goal ahead in two minutes through Baron, Liverpool Reserves had an easy win over Everton Reserves in the Central League game at Anfield on Saturday morning. The Liverpool half-backs subdued the small Everton forwards and Ashcroft in goal, was rarely brought into action. McLeod added the second goal after 33 minutes and in a goalless second half Watkinson and Glazzard missed easy chances of further increasing their lead.
• Everton “B” 4, Formby Res 0
FEW DERBY THRILLS
September 18, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
No Argument About It
Liverpool’s Superiority Against Blues Was Never in Doubt
Well, that was one “Liverton” game about which there can be no argument. You don’t need to be a fervent Anfield loyalist to admit there was really only one team in it, and that if they’d tried harder. Liverpool might have won with a much more convincing margin. The Reds were too good for a jaded and disappointing Everton who, although they produced some nice touches in the first half, rarely looked like getting a goal. They did get one in the last minute, but only because the Liverpool defence stood still and Sidlow watched the ball into the net. It almost seemed as though the Reds, taking pity on Everton’s plight, were content to make them a consolation gift to soften the bitterness of defeat. The Blues flattered to deceive once again. Some of their approach moves were really first class, yet at the last hurdle they either made a faulty pass, a poor shot, or else by their too close passing fell victims to Liverpool’s excellent defensive covering and timely interceptions. Fielding worked like a Trojan distributing the ball brilliantly, but one man doesn’t make a forward line. The rest of his colleagues were much below par. Wainwright too often was an auxiliary half-cum-full-back. Hold was a disappointment even after making allowance for his woeful lack of support, and Buckle’s frequent passes to the opposition took the shine off the little bit of good work that he otherwise did. He suffers through being on his wrong wing. In many respects it was a disappointing “derby” for it sadly lacked the thrills and concentrated excitement we have come to expect from these games. That, I think, was partly due to the fact that Liverpool, like Arsenal on the previous Wednesday, always seemed to be playing with plenty in hand.
How They Differed
The efforts of the two sides could be compared to an ancient “flivver” taking a hill alongside a modern eight-cylinder car. One strains and rattles as though the bottom will drop out of it, obviously pulling to its very last ounce; the other purrs along gently with hardly a tremor and always suggests that if anything more is called for the effort will come without undue exertion. Liverpool gave me the latter impression. Even with Liddell playing only a half speed their attack always looked much the complete and balanced machine. Stubbins had another grand game; Balmer confounded those critics who keep asking why he is picked –I hope they noticed how he was always on the right spot at the right time – and Payne was more effective than in recent games. I don’t blame the Everton defence too much. I thought both young backs did quite well and that Humphreys, faced with the three interchanging inside forwards whose passing was extremely accurate, did as much as anybody could have expected. As for O’Neill, short of wings and spring-heeled attachments he hadn’t a chance of saving any of the three goals. Where the Everton rearguard fell below Liverpool’s was in its covering of colleagues. The Reds effectively blocked the middle. Everton too often in the first half hailed to follow an opponent into the open space, so that the scorers were never harassed Farrell played with his usual wholeheartedness and did many good things, always trying to infuse some fire into the attack and invariably being where he was most needed in defence, and Grant, though not so prominent as he has been could not be seriously faulted. The main Everton weakness was in attack. All the pretty approach work goes for nothing without a goal, and it was in that final vital aspect that Everton were so lacking. Apart from the fact that much of their passing was too close, even at their best the forwards never had the guile to get to grips with Sidlow or the finishing power to make him earn his wage packet. Towards the finish one could not even give then full marks for hard work and endeavour. They seemed to give up the ghost half-way through the second half when the Reds, content with their lead, played as though this was just a practice match. Manager Cliff Britton has another road of worry on his shoulders. One point from the last ten played for puts the Blues in the danger zone. There is plenty of time yet of course, but we have seen from past experience how hard it is for a struggling side to get clear of trouble, especially when the luck is running against them, as it has been for Everton in several matches this season. Full marks go to Liverpool’s defence for a fine display in which Hughes was again outstanding, the wing-halves brilliant alike in defence and attack and the backs solid and reliable. Lambert displayed unexpected speed in coping with Eglington, who was Everton’s next best forward after Fielding. As for Wainwright’s penalty miss, the least said the better. Not that it was likely to have affected the issue had he scored, but at least it might have given the Blues encouragement to make a better fight of it in the last half-hour instead of folding up so dispiritedly.
REDS’ COMPLETE VICTORY
September 18, 1950. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
I Liverpool’s first away win of the season –at Everton’s expense on Saturday –emphasized that the Reds will be challenging for honours again this season, but it still left Everton with problems. This Liverpool combination was complete in ideas, individual ability, combined skill and execution, but the Everton picture was not bright. In my opinion, the grandest feature of Saturday’s play from an Everton standpoint was that Ted Falder showed once again the form which last season enabled him to be one of the most discussed young centre-half-backs in the First Division. Falder played not at Goodison Park, but at Anfield in the Central League game, where he showed that erstwhile agility and command which seemed to have escaped him in his first team matches this season. I think the rest from the more arduous first team duties have worked the oracle with Falder and that he will be proving that his form of last season was no mere flash in the pan. It was unfortunate for Jack Humphreys that he should be recalled to face such a live effective attacking force as that of the Stubbins moulded Liverpool line, but that is the luck of the game. It was unfortunate, too, for Hold that he should find Hughes in such devastating form, so that for all his striving he could not come into the picture.
After such a complete victory as that of Liverpool, which brooked no argument or excuses, one naturally searches for something in the way of consolation for the losers, and the one thing can console the Blues to a certain extent is that much of their labored, insipid play must have been a legacy of their match with Arsenal on the Wednesday. Liverpool you see, had no mid-week match, and so always looked the fresher, livelier side. The Liverpool directors and officials were quite convinced that the mid-week game affected the Blues Alderman S. Ronald Williams said to me; “It was the mid-week match with Tottenham which took some of the snap out of our boys against Derby County, and Everton must have felt the strain of their mid-week game.” That voiced the entire Liverpool view after this match, which was one-sided that the usual thrills with which we always associate a “Derby” game were missing. In place of thrills we had joyous Liverpool football with ease and grace of movement; movement to the right spot by man or ball; and with their mastery being emphasized by the amount of time they always appeared to have in which to take control of the ball and use it. Possibly the “spirit of Goodison” entered into Liverpool, for they played football always on the ground in the traditional way of Goodison. Any tendency to put the ball into the air was on Everton’s part and not Liverpool’s. The old familiar “long ball up the middle” was superseded by craftsmanship and football which bore, the stamp of exactitude and efficiently.
Liverpool’s goals came in the space of 18 minutes in the first half, and afterwards the Reds played with such supreme confidence that they jog-trotted through the second half without ever losing their grip. One could excuse them for riding easily, and also for so cheekily concentrating at times on making for Jack Balmer the hat-trick which still eluded him. The manner in which Balmer’s colleagues tried to get him that goal tickled the fancy of the spectators more than somewhat in a game in which Liverpool forced seven corners to four by Everton, and with seven free kicks against Everton and nine against Liverpool. There was not an intentional foul or offence, and apart from one offside decision against Fielding, with which I disagreed, I thought Mr. Denham referred exceptionally well Liverpool protests against the award of that penalty in the second half as a mere formality, for no one seriously thought it anything but a penalty. There were 27 minutes remaining when it came, and must have given Everton a glimmering hope of recovery, but Wainwright side-footed it not inside the post but well outside. Not like Wainwright to miss penalties. The consolation goal to Everton in the last minute was a little lucky, for obviously Tommy Eglington tried to centre. Yet he hardly got hold of the ball properly which popped up over Sidlow, who had advanced to take the centre, and landed in the net.
The Right Spot
Apart from the leadership of Stubbins there was charm in the creative skill of Phil Taylor; the accuracy of the Payne and Liddell crossing, while if ever a man always was in the right position at the right moment it was Balmer. What a “nose” for finding the open and vital spaces! It was all a question of the mind working so quickly that the body followed automatically. Few have that Balmer anticipatory genius. Jones and Paisley never gave Fielding or Wainwright that real operative room, although Fielding always was manocurving for the right place to which to pass or the chance for a shot. Fielding, as a matter of fact, shot more than any other Everton forward. Buckle did some cute things in flashes, although he and Wainwright did not combine as well as they can blame for that being on the shoulders of Paisley and Spicer. Hold was not a successfully leader, and the striking power of the Everton line was killed in the main by the Lambert subjection of all Eglington’s attempts to burst down the wing. Eglington had to seek other and inside ways, and still gained honours by his delicate use the streaking cross-field pass. Yet Eglington could not get his own way so far as individual raiding was concerned. Lambert saw to that. Grant and Farrell covered a lot of ground in chasing the Liverpool shadows, and did well, but the defence never revolved efficiently around a Humphreys who, I thought, gave Stubbins a little too much room (or did Stubbins take it?). Moore and Clinton made mistakes, but still I thought they did well against this grand attack and will settle down all right. O’Neill compensated for any slowness on, two occasions by some clearance which were vitally important. Everton occasionally operated some cute movements, but generally speaking this was their poorest Goodison display of the season. Still, never forget that Everton were dazzled by the sheer brilliance of this Liverpool. Grand show Liverpool.
September 20, 1950. The Evening Express
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Cyrill Lello, the Everton half-back, came out of a Liverpool nursing home yesterday following an operation for a cartilage trouble. Lello injured his knee midway through last season, and the injury recurred during pre-season training. Some weeks ago Lello had a try out at Huddersfield, but broke down before the interval. Harry Catterick, who has had stomach trouble, and Jimmy McIntosh, who had a pulled muscle, are now back in training again, but Hold is suffering a poisoned toe.
September 20, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Cyril Lello, Everton’s half-backs, whose absence all this season has been a sore blow to the Blues, is now on the first stage or recovery after his cartilage operation. He left the nursing home yesterday and if all goes well from now on he may be able to start training again towards the middle of next month. Hold is in bed suffering from a poisoned foot, which has led to swelling in the groin, but Catterick (stomach trouble) and McIntosh (pulled thigh muscle) yesterday resumed training and should be available for consideration for Saturday’s home game against Portsmouth, who field the side that beat Stoke 5-1 last week.
GOODISON OUTLOOK IS GRIM
September 22, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Early Improvement Vital to Avoid Another Anti-Relegation Fight
The outlook at Goodison Park these days is rather grim, and Everton, home to Portsmouth tomorrow, badly need both points to save themselves from slipping further down the table. After showing promise of better things in some of their earlier games it has now become increasingly obvious that the side, as constituted recently is not good enough. As I am discussing the position at length in tomorrow’s football edition, I do not propose to expatiate on it here. Suffice it to say that many loyal Evertonians are greatly perturbed at the possibilities of yet another desperate and anxious struggle against the spectre of relegation. Perhaps it is too early to take so pessimistic a view yet we know from sad experience that a poor start needs a tremendous lot of pulling up. It would not be so bad if the team’s showing in recent games had been more convincing. While granting that they have had no luck, and have suffered a fair number of injuries –the absence of Lello all season has been a big blow –one cannot avoid the conclusion that there are too many weaknesses in the team to give really solid-grounds for hope of a quick and decisive improvement. New blood is an urgent necessity. The players are all doing their best, and can do no more. In most games there has been a better fighting spirit. That, however, is not sufficient in itself. Something more is needed. The primary requirements are a more effective attack and greater solidity and covering in defence. The Blues will find Portsmouth redoubtable opponents. Although Pompey themselves have not started too well, they are a big and strong side, and in most cases their men, position for position have telling heights and weight advantage against Everton’s small and lightly-built players, who are so often right out of it when the ball is in the air. Just one word to the crowd; Please give the players all the encouragement you can. Never mind if they don’t come up to standard. You won’t help by barracking.” Say what you like when the game is over, but while it is on let the lads see that you are solidity behind them. It helps a lot. Portsmouth have had to make two late changes. Butler has received another injury in training, and Leather takes his place, while Hindmarsh comes in for Stephen, also injured. Mr. Cliff Britton is in a quandary concerning his teams, for he is unable to call on the services of either Wainwright or Fielding. Wainwright is troubled with his knee and Fielding is nursing an ankle injury. Hold is still confined to bed with a poisoned toe. The announcement of the team will not be made until tomorrow morning after a fitness test concerning other injured players. Portsmouth; Leather; Hindmarsh, Ferrier; Scoular, Flewin, Dickinson; Harris, Reid, Clarke, Phillips, Froggatt.
IT’S A LONG PARK THAT HAS NO TURNING
September 23, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
St. Swithin, who invented the tag, “It never rains but what if Pours,” was right. Everton with trouble enough already have Wainwright, Fielding, and Hold injured; McIntosh doubtful, Lewis, one of their Reserves centre-half’s nursing an ankle injury. No wonder they feel their turn for a break is overdue. Possibly the upward trend will come when they least expect it –Perhaps Today? That Portsmouth fixture is one Everton would like to sit out, but somehow the club has to find an eleven to perform at Goodison Park this afternoon and how is that to be done? McIntosh had a fitness test this morning, if that goes well the club can run the line through one of their problems. But what of the other inside forward positions? It may be decided that Peter Farrell should take his inspiring heart and enthusiasm to a place up front. It may be that Buckle will be asked to move inside to accommodate a new winger, in which case the young local boy, Tony McNamara, would “join the band” as winger. This would be his shot for a lad who joined Everton only at the early part of this season, and graduated from the “A” team. Portsmouth with their Reid, Scoular, Dickinson, and Harris and Froggatt, look the eleven complete, combining ability; physique and a robustness which has come to the associated with them. No one can say how a much –changed Everton will fare. We do ask that they should do more than they have in recent weeks to make the front more and shot a telling one. Their good approaches demands it, without some conviction in finishing all spade-work, however artistic is useless.
POMPEY GET 2 IN 3 MINUTES
September 23, 1950. The Evening Express
Everton Dash Not Long Maintained
By Pilot (Don Kendall)
Everton hard hit by injuries fielded an improvised team against the champions, Portsmouth, at Goodison Park today, the skipper Farrell, moving to inside-right and Lindley coming in at left-half. Catterick resumed at centre-forward with Mcintosh at inside-left. Everton obviously are determined to gain additional strength, and they had three representatives at Sealand Road Stadium today watching the Chester v. Gateshead match. Portsmouth introduced Maurice Leather in goal for his Football League debut in place of the injured Butler. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Clinton, backs; Grant, Falder, and Lindley, half-backs; Buckle, Farrell (captain), Catterick, McIntosh and Eglington, forwards. Portsmouth; Leather, goal; Hindmarsh and Ferrier, backs; Scoular, Flewin, and Dickinson, half-backs; Harris, Reid, Clarke, Phillips, and Froggatt, forwards. Referee; Mr. W.R. Rodgers (Birmingham).
Portsmouth opened in the style of champions, only a quick intervention by Clinton preventing Reid from bursting through and Pompey’s quick and accurate passing had Everton bothered somewhat. Catterick tried to bore through, but was brought down by Flewin just outside the penalty area. Buckle took the free kick, but Catterick’s flying header was just from just under the bar, off the mark. Clinton hesitiated and so enabled Harris to go through and flash the ball over the alert Froggatt, who hooked it in rather cleverly from the line, O’Neill pulling the ball down. A Buckle centre provided Catterick with a hard chance as he seemed to be covered by Flewin, but Catterick leapt over him and forced Leather to make his first league save, and quite a good one too.
Everton kept it up and from Farrell’s neat headed pass Flewin weakly conceded a corner. In the next minute he did exactly the same thing on the other flank. Everton had settled down to really good progressive football at a speed which left Pompey a little gasping and now Eglington came on the inside of Hindmarsh to crack a right foot shot which really whistled inches over the top –a brilliant effort.
Everton came again to force a free kick on the right to which Lindley came up to leap, and he was just off the mark. A grand tackle by Lindley prevented Reid from getting in his shot but the precision of Harris’s pass to Reid in the next moment gave no one the slight chance of intervening. Reid went on to hit one with his right foot, O’Neill doing magnificently in getting down to it to take it on his chest and grab the ball before clearing. Tommy Eglington through he would try out the reliability Leather and he lobbed a high ball which Leather came out to catch. Catterick covered up in anticipation and when Leather failed to hold properly, Catterick got the ball from him and was about to shoot into the net but his legs were kicked from under him. The referee however, waved play on and with Catterick lying injured Harris whipping the ball over for Froggatt to run through with a header, which flashed over the top. Catterick was able to resume after attention, although limping slightly. Buckle took over Falder’s pass to outwit Froggatt and Dickinson, and slip the ball inside for McIntosh to make a distance right-foot shot which however sailed over. The goalkick went to Buckle who, after receiving a helping hand from Catterick and Farrell, let go a right foot shot, which sailed past the far post. The “new look” Everton was moving with more grace and accuracy than anyone could have anticipated and Eglington enterprisingly went to outside right to give Buckle and Farrell a helping hand, but his centre went astray. Still it was unexpectedness of the move and this willing co-operation which pleased. Everton received a two goal in three minutes shock, starting at the 20th minute, when Pompey went ahead, and before they had got over the shock Portsmouth were two up. The first emanated from Portsmouth’s first corner, which Froggatt swung in cleverly for O’Neill to leap over the punch of players and fist out. The ball travelled straight back to Froggatt, who immediately centred short to the enterprising Clarke, who had moved to the near post.
GLOOM AT GOODISON AS PORTSMOUTH GO ‘NAP’ ONCE AGAIN
September 23, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton 1, Portsmouth 5.
The clouds are getting black out Goodison way. Portsmouth were much too good for Everton whose best was seen in the first twenty minutes. After that Pompey took command to record their eighth successive victory over Everton. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Moore and Clinton, backs; Grant, Falder, and Lindley, half-backs; Buckle, Farrell (captain), Catterick, McIntosh and Eglington, forwards. Portsmouth; Leather, goal; Hindmarsh and Ferrier, backs; Scoular, Flewin, and Dickinson, half-backs; Harris, Reid, Clarke, Phillips, and Froggatt, forwards. Referee; Mr. W.R. Rodgers (Birmingham).
Everton’s trouble had come all at once and the injuries to Fielding and Wainwright were a tremendous blow. Mr. Britton had been set a problem which was solved only a couple of hours before the game was scheduled to start. Farrell was brought into the forward line again in place of Wainwright, and McIntosh, after an early morning fitness test, came in for Fielding. Falder was preferred to Humphreys at centre-half, and Lindley took over Farrell’s position at left half. The Portsmouth team were as advertised so we saw two of the youngest goalkeepers in action in leather and Everton’s young Irishman O’Neill.
Portsmouth, champions in the last two seasons, are making a bid for the hat-trick, so that Everton’s task was a tremendous one, particularly so as Pompey have just struck their best form. There was another grand crowd, and Portsmouth were soon in the vicinity of the Everton goal. Nothing, however, came to O’Neill, although danger was pretty obvious. It was some minutes before Everton got out of the grip of the Pompey attack to launch one on their own account, and a centre from the right was just a shade too fast for Catterick who flung himself head-long in an effort to get his forehead to the ball.
Back came Pompey, and when Moore faltered, Froggatt seized upon the opportunity to lob in a centre-cum-shot, which O’Neill confidently caught under his crossbar. The Blues were not idle by any means, and Catterick cleverly beat Flewin but young Leather was there to keep the ball out of the net. He was there again when Buckle put across a dangerous ball.
The Pompey defence in the next few minutes did not shape at all confidently, for they gave away two quick corners, and when Eglington beat Hindmarsh he gave the impression that he would centre, but instead he tried a right-foot shot, and there was very little space between the ball and the crossbar as it flew over. It was the surprise of the shot that might have brought about the downfall of Portsmouth. The next few minutes saw Everton in command, without, however, causing Leather any heartburning. Reid is noted for his big shot, and it was plain to be seen that his colleagues were going to give him every opportunity to exploit it. But for some time the big fellow was so closely watched that he got few opportunities. At last one came, and although he only half-hit the ball O’Neill had to get his body behind the ball to make certain that it did not slip through to the back of the net.
Everton on the Attack
McIntosh headed over, and when Catterick raced through Leather failed to make a clean catch, and was fortunate to see Ferrier cover up the error, and clear. Buckle made a spectacular dribble during which he beat two men before offering McIntosh a pass, McIntosh let loose a hard drive, but it passed wide as did another Buckle shot half a minute later. Froggatt tried to “jink” his way past Moore, failed in his effort, but the throw-in which followed, was the starting point of a Portsmouth goal at 20 minutes. Froggatt threw in to Phillips, who put it back again to Froggatt, whose centre was punched out by O’Neill; but the ball went back to Froggatt who immediately lifted it back into the Everton goalmouth, where Clarke was stationed, and with a flick of his foot the Pompey centre glided the ball into the Everton net. Three minutes later Pompey were two goals up. Strange to relate, they had fewer shots at goal than Everton. Clarke it was who did the initial work, which he passed on to Harris who, after taking the ball along the goal-line, slipped it across to Phillips, who was standing in an unchallengeable position. He drove fiercely for goal and although Lindley tried to kick it out, he was not successful. Although this goal, was a double body-blow, Everton did not collapse as a result. Buckle fired a shot over the bar, and Leather had to turn one over the bar from Grant. This was going at a rare pace, and the youthful Leather did well to get it away.
Nearly A Third
Portsmouth should have had a third goal after Clarke had worked an opening for himself. All he had to do was find a true line for his shot, but he shot outside. When Farrell shot Leather threw himself at the ball and rolled over “roly-poly” fashion before bringing the save to completion. Grant had a strong drive blocked by Dickinson, and when Buckle centred underneath the bar it seemed that Leather might be deceived by the flight of the ball, but he apparently knew what he was doing for he made a good catch. Everton’s luck was right out. Another shot went swirling over the crossbar, and when Eglington almost went down on his knees to make a header he found Leather a bar to success. With two minutes remaining to the interval, Everton went all out to retrieve themselves but the Portsmouth defence defied all their efforts. Half-time; Everton 0, Portsmouth 2
Everton started their search for goals with a quick advance and a shot by Farrell which was unfortunately off the mark but it did not stop. Everton from maintaining their attack, Eglington with a shuffle of his feet, back-healed the ball cleverly to open a way, which fell down at the final centre.
A Classical Save
O’Neill brought off a masterly save from a header by Phillips, which seemed to be beating him all to pieces. The young Irishman showed fine agility and keen eyes and hands to make a classical save. However, a third Pompey goal was not long delayed and it was a grand pass which put Phillips through to score it, at 48 minutes. Thus Everton’s task was a tremendous one. A fight against three goals was a heavy burden, but when McIntosh tried a shot it went wide –very wide –and I did not like the manner in which the crowd greeted the Everton man’s effort. One thing that had to be admired, and that was Everton’s fighting spirit. They never gave up the ghost and Buckle was unfortunate to see a really worthwhile shot strike Flewin and go for a corner. Again Portsmouth prized open the Everton defence, and Clarke put a ball out to Froggatt who returned it right across field to where Harris was standing. Here was goal number four – thought most people –but the Portsmouth outside right scooped the ball over. This must have been more difficult to have to put it into the net. Grant, Catterick and Eglington lifted up the hearts of their supporters when they carved an opening which was full of promise when the ball finally came to the Irishman. But once again the ball passed wide. Leather showed that he could use his brain when he tipped a ball away from Buckle, and then collected it to clear. But at this point Portsmouth were well in command.
Harris Makes It Four
They would have had a fourth goal had not Clinton covered up his goalkeeper when Harris headed for the far side of the goal. It was one-way traffic here-abouts, and it all lead to the Everton goalmouth. At 72 minutes Harris chalked up goal No 4 following good work by Scoular and Reid the winger finally lobbing the ball into the Everton goal. At this point Portsmouth were complete masters, although Leather conceded a corner, Buckle putting the flag-kick outside. It was a dismal sight, with the Everton supporters leaving the ground in hundreds. Those who left did not even have the consolation of seeing an Everton goal scored at 80 minutes. Farrell and Eglington made the opening, the latter I think tried to score on his own, but his shot appeared to be travelling, right across the goal face when Catterick came up to slap it into the net from short range. Everton came again, now full of endeavour, but they could not produce another opening from which they could score a second goal. The goal had the effect of bringing the Everton supporters to life. They had been far from encouraging. Farrell was responsible for a header that Leather failed to hold but he made a good recovery by falling down on the ball. Moore came into the attack with a shot. True it was off the mark, and Pompey, who had been on the defence for some minutes, renewed their attack. With a minute remaining, Clarke scored a fifth goal to Portsmouth after O’Neill had saved from Harris. Final; Everton 1, Portsmouth 5. Official Attendance 40,281.
• South Liverpool Res 3, Everton “A” nil.
September 23, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Everton’s Precarious Plight
Danger Looms Ahead At Goodison
New Blood Needed to save the Blues’ Prestige
Judging from my post-bag during the past fortnight, considerable disquiet is felt by many staunch and loyal Evertonians regarding the club’s lowly position. Manager Cliff Britton, although as anxious as anybody and considerably more perturbed than most, assures me that the board and himself are doing all they can to remedy the position. In the article below I have endeavored to state the case for both sides, fairly and impartially. Unless there is a very quick and decided change for the better at Goodison Park, it looks as though Everton’s supporters are doomed to yet another season of anxiety regarding the club’s continued tenure of its First Division status. In a few matches at the start of the campaign the Blues gave welcome signs of a better fighting spirit. Recent displays, however, have been disappointing and none more so than that against the traditional foe from across the park. This fact hurt loyal Evertonians more than any other reverse this season. They have had to play second fiddle to Liverpool so much since the war that they are getting a little upset about it. When Manager Cliff Britton took over the reins two years ago hopes were bright that before long Everton would be restored to the high position which should be theirs by right of wealth and traditions. They realized that as he had to start almost from rock-bottom immediate results could not be expected. They were prepared to be satisfied if he could arrest the seemingly inevitable decline into the Second Division. That he did, and all rejoiced at his achievement. With one hurdle successfully negotiated the club’s supporters looked for still better things the following year. Up to a point they were again rewarded for Everton got to the semi-final of the F.A. Cup. But their position in the League table was again fraught with great anxiety, and it was not until the last fortnight or so that the spectre of relegation was finally banished. Today the position of Everton is as precarious as it was at this time last season and in the absence of a quick and decisive improvement, it may soon be almost as desperate as it was two years ago. Not to mince matters, it must be abundantly clear now to all connected with the club that the present side is nowhere near good enough. I have refrained in the past few weeks from unduly stressing its weaknesses. In an effort to back Mr. Britton’s endeavours to put more confidence and spirit into the players I have avoided adverse criticism as much as possible hoping that some satisfactory solution might be found.
Not The Policy
I have felt for some time that Everton’s long-term policy of producing their own young material, admirable thought it is, is not the one best suited to their immediate requirements. Undoubtedly they have a few promising young players, and T.E. Jones, Hickson, McNamara, and one or two others may make the top grade in due course, while O’Neill. Moore, and to a slightly lesser degree Clinton have already proved their worth. But the time to blood young players is when the team is winning not struggling. Everton’s great need at the moment is three or four first class men of experience who can come into the side at once and make their presence felt by football of the finest vintage. In short, something like we had in the old days from Dean, Cliff Britton himself, Lawton, Coulter, Stevenson, Mercer, Tommy Jones, and a host others whose memory only makes today’s comparison’s bitter when we think of how low the club has sunk. My sympathies are with the players, I am not blaming them unduly for the club’s precarious position. It would be easy to enumerate the obvious weaknesses, but I don’t intend to do so. I am concerned only with the prestige and good name of Everton, and have no desire to pillory individual players or discourage them. Those who have never been quite good enough, as well as those who have temporarily lost their form, must themselves be as well aware of their shortcoming as those who regularly watch them. That is why I am going to rub it in by naming individuals. To do so might do more harm than good, which is the last thing I want to do. It is nearly, twelve months now since a number of shareholders requisitioned an extraordinary general meeting and called on the directors for an account of their stewardship. Men of standing and influence went to that meeting intending to train their big guns on the board. They were forestalled. The shots were never fired for the directors put up Mr. Cliff Britton to conduct the case for the defence. He did it so brilliantly that at the end of the evening a vote of confidence in him was carried with acclamation.
I have the greatest respect and admiration to Mr. Britton. He was a brilliant player in his day, he did great things as a manager at Burnley, and bearing in mind the task which confronted him when he came to Goodison Park, his achievement in saving the club when relegation looked a certainty was a notable one. But I am afraid that if those shareholders who so readily supported the motion of confidence a year ago were asked to vote again today, they would not raise their hands with the same quick eagerness. In the long run, I think the majority still would do so, for Mr. Britton is still well liked and respected, but it is no good attempting to hide the fact that there is much disappointment abroad and that even the most patient and considerable of the club’s followers are beginning to get restive. Having said that now let me put the case to you as it appears to Mr. Britton, based upon several conversations I have had with him since the season started. In effect, they do not add greatly to what he said at the shareholders meeting a year ago. On that occasion he stressed that “panic buying” would not solve Everton’s problems. That is still his view today, and I think most folk would agree with the word “panic.” He also asked for patience and encouragement for the players. He still does. Twelve months ago he told the meeting that football had ceased to be a game, that players must work at it and concentrate on their job. He has carried that belief into practical effect. He still strips and goes on the practice field himself in an effort to help every individual player and get the best out of him.
That, however, is not enough. The best of which some of them are capable –and every single player is conscientiously pulling out all he can –still falls below the high standard which present-day football demands. Where most supporters have been disappointed is that no star players have been signed during the past two years. Both Britton and the board have intimated several times that money will not stand in their way. Yet supporters are still waiting to see newcomers.
We all know the difficulties which beset managers who seek to make big signings. Everton have made it clear, and all honour to them for it, that they will never resort to “under the counter” methods. But during the past year or so many players have changed clubs and are to-day giving excellent service in their new spheres. The vast majority of these signings must have been straight-forward affairs. Yet Everton’s name has not been associated with one yet. By the same token, much money has been spent by other clubs on players who have failed to make the grade. Some have passed on elsewhere since their first move and are still falling short of expectations, really big fees have been made for many players in the last six months but in no case were the holding clubs prepared to part. In one or two instances, where business might possibly have been done, there were other reasons why nothing eventuated, some due to the player’s domestic concerns. Not once, but several times, I have tried to persuade the club to take its supporters into their confidence. I have pleaded that if only they would let the public know even a little portion of what has been attempted, it would allay unrest and give them greater confidence. I know this is not possible in every case, but at least it could be done in some instances. The club, however, takes the view that such matters are confidential. In certain cases they feel that publication might upset their own players; in others that it would not be fair to the club which has been approached. That may be so in some instances. I fail to see any valid reason, though where a club has circulated its desire to entertain offers for a certain player, who subsequently does move elsewhere. Any player who would lesson his effort for Everton because the club had made a bid for someone else occupying the same position is not a loyalist at heart. The right type of player would be more likely to redouble his efforts in an attempt to prove that he was still worth his place. These are matters of domestic policy, on which the board and manager access to information not available to anybody else, and on which they have the last word. There is no doubt, however, that this policy leads to much criticism that could be forestalled. That does not seem to worry the board unduly. They have become hardened to criticism these last few years!
One further point which should be emphasized is that the team this season has been without Lello, and that stalwarts such as Dugdale, Hedley –on a matter of principle – and Tommy Jones have been lost to the club in the past six months. A number of old players have also had to be replaced, such as Boyes, Greenhalgh, Jackson, Watson, and Stevenson, and others who failed to make the grade, such as Corr, McCormick, Juliussen and Pinchbeck have also left gaps to be filled. Mr. Britton has not had an easy task. All will grant him that. But with all desire in the world to recognize present-day difficulties, most folk are almost beginning to despair of Everton over making notable signings.
One last word. Mr. Britton more than anybody else, knows that his reputation depends on results. He is not under-estimating the magnitude of his task, but he is tackling it in his own way, and given time to develop his ideas, he is confident that in due course he can restore Everton to its old position of eminence.
TEAMS EYE OVER EVERTON, TAKE THEIR MEASURE AND PLAY ACCORDINGLY
September 23, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Surely it is time that Mr. Britton and the Everton directors saw something which has been as obvious as a sore thumb to thousands of Everton supporters for a long time. The present Everton team is just not good enough and it is not improving. It is not worthy of the traditions of the club. We know all the excuses; they have been trundled out so often. The war, the break in players training because of conscription, the extra requirement of players and their wives, and the higher transfer fees. The situation is the same for all clubs and still here we are in what has been the usual position for the past five years, in the bottom six of the table. Another thing that is obvious is that the team is too small. The good or even the medium “big un” will beat the good “little un” all the time. After having seen all but five of Everton’s games each season for the last five seasons, it has been interesting to see the opposing team sizing up Everton in the first 15 to 20 minutes and then play within themselves for the rest of the match. Regrettably, the club only constructive criticism I have is to go out and buy some new players now before it is too late. Nurseries are a grand idea and results will come in due course, but Everton’s is taking a long time to produce a winning team –R.R. Knowles, Birkenhead.
After witnessing the first and second team games last Saturday, we think it about time Everton supporters raised their voices in protest at the type of play and players that represent Everton. Whilst we fully appreciate the difficulties that beset football clubs today, we do feel that after two years Mr. Britton has very little to show for his labours, either in the standard of play of the teams or in the class of players coming forward. It would seem that the club has neither a short term policy of signing ready-made players or a long-term policy of developing young players if last Saturday’s games are any criterion –Four Unhappy Blues
Regarding Everton’s new fighting spirit; they have only taken a point or points this season when they have scored first. Once the opposition get a goal they seen to have “had it.” Your faith in Eglington has justified itself, but he and Fielding are the only forwards in the Blues line who are really worth their places. I hate to say that Everton already have that Second Division look. Surely it’s time they brought out the cheque book? –R. G. Bennett, Bromborough.
I cannot understand anyone being surprised at the present position of Everton, or expecting any improvement to take place. It is now fairly obvious that we can say good-bye to any thoughts of continued successes at Goodison Park. Mr. Britton has proved an adept at shuffling the old pack of players, but no new deal in players arises to give the club’s supporters even a glimpse of hope for the future. The Everton followers have been most long suffering, but I think it is time it was realized by all concerned that Mr. Britton has reached the full limits of what he can do with the present players and he must start looking beyond Goodison Park if he is to build any sort of a worthy Everton- Wallasey Fan.
I don’t agree that the sides of 40 years ago would not live in present day football. In 1905 Everton were second in the league, in 1906 winners of the F.A Cup, in 1907 Cup finalists, in 1909 second in the League, in 1910 semi-finalists and in 1912 again second in the League. In those early periods the late Jack Sharp played and he could have caught pigeons. There is nothing wrong with the present team. They are doing their best. A little pep near goal is all that is wanted and a slice of luck and they will pull through.
Then we will again be able to say, “Come to the School of Science,” _W.O. Hirschell Street.
BURY RES V. EVERTON RES
September 23, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Bury Res; Evans, goal; Malley, and Price, backs; Dale, Keetley, and Jackson, half-backs; Inglis, Martland, Massart, Wardle, and Steele, forwards. Everton Res;- Burnett, goal; Jones and Rankin, backs; Cross, Humphreys, and Melville, half-backs; Harris (J.A), Donovan, Hickson, Hampson and Parker, forwards. Referee; Mr. G. Oderton (Preston). The visitors defence had a strenuous job in holding the lively Bury attack and Massart and Inglis came near scoring with shots which just cleared the bar. When Donovan did break clear his centre was headed outside by Hickson. Hampson got in a rousing shot which Evans vey effectly caught and cleared. Following a clever run and centre by Parker, Keetley made a remarkable clearance tipping the ball away as Evans, the Bury goalkeeper made a desperate attempt to gain possession. After 38 minutes then home side were ahead, Massart scoring following a pass by Steele. Half-time; Bury Res 1, Everton Res 0.
THIS IS WHAT IT WAS LIKE, MR. BRITTON
September 25, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
By Leslie Edwards
Dear Mr. Cliff Britton, -You were not at Goodison Park on Saturday. I understand your scouting visit elsewhere was fruitless. The Everton director who watched a Gateshead player at Chester was almost as disappointed over his mission. No doubt having read that Portsmouth beat Everton by five goals to one, you were disappointed and dismayed. My point in writing is to tell you that although in the end, no one had any doubt that Portsmouth were five goals to one about Saturday’s Everton which should not go unrecorded. The main one, I think was for twenty minutes at least, they were as good an Everton as we have seen this season, playing well enough to get the Portsmouth defence worried if not beaten. Indeed, when they stood two goals down at the interval they had right to consider themselves a little unlucky. Zooming shots by Eglington, McIntosh and others had been on or close to the target and Catterick, challenging young leather, the Portsmouth goalkeeper, in that young man’s only moment of indecision, was a scorer, but for getting his legs tangled with Leather’s.
Hay and Havoc
As you know well, nothing is more disheartening to a side to deserve goals without getting them. Moreover, here we had an excellent Portsmouth team (team means more in their case than most others) scoring twice and going on to make hay and havoc among your defence which hitherto had seemed adequate in all its work save its positioning. Eventually Catterick scored a consolation goal, but there is little consolation in a goal when the others have five. Be that as it may, your forwards scored once, and deserved at least one other. No one who saw this match can blame your players for want of effort; effort and spirit was there at all times. So unhappily, was the impression that there willing players were sometimes caught in two minds. Their indecision seemed to weight with them. It was almost as though they wanted to do something but feared to venture on it, lest it failed and they laid themselves open to reproach. Your side as I saw them looked to me like…I was almost going to write eleven good men and true, but that is not strictly true… an eleven fighting like fury to make a success of the match, and deserving early rewards, but one getting them. Hardly surprising they looked baffled and bewildered against a Portsmouth who brimmed with confidence, speed, physique and ideas.
Moore, you will be pleased to hear faced the damaging Froggatt bravely and well, Clinton had moments of great value but Harris speed was out of Clinton’s world, as it often is again other full backs. The tall and lathy Lindley played his part nobly and so did Grant, but the time as a whole was lacking in strategy. People were surprised that when things ran ill McIntosh was not moved to centre-forward. It was a big task for him to try to chase up and down the inside forward run at his time of life. It was a big task for Catterick, outnumbered as he so often was to do much when the ball came his way and he stood alone before a phalanx of Portsmouth defenders. Eglington was your best forward, Farrell was and is your best friend, since you could not have done more had you played yourself to inspire or encourage your players. His reward unhappily was a kick on the face. Everyone is saying “Everton must sign players but what players are purchasable and whether they are worth the money asked is for you and your club. We know you are trying to get them we know you started the season with a potential £20,000 buy which did not come off there have been other negotiations that could never come off, because Everton F,C., are just not given to that sort of thing. It is all very perplexing to you and frustrating to your following, I agree that a few goals and a few wins could wonders. But how? When?
P.S. –Young Leather, ex-R.A.O.C aged 20 and playing in his first Divison 1 game proved himself completely. Despite his almost comic knock-kneedness, he is the longest dead-ball kicker in the business.
NOTHING GOES RIGHT
September 25, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
Did you really expect Everton to beat Portsmouth at Goodison Park on Saturday? If you did you were in the majority, for apart from Pompey being “double” champions they have been Everton’s “bogey” team since 1946-47. Furthermore, Everton’s form in recent weeks – Arsenal apart –has been far from convincing (writes Stork). Portsmouth were a strong go-a-head team which never seemed in a hurry were able to tot up five goals after they had been on the defensive for the first 20 minutes. In practically till their games Everton have played quite well for the first half hour but a goal against plucks the heart out of them, and they become easy prey to me opposition. It was tragic to see each and every Everton men doing his utmost to avert disaster and yet get so little recompension for his labour. They had not the cohesion of Portsmouth. But the laid truth was that they were up against better craftsmen; a better team as a team a team with a confidence in itself, whereas Everton’s confidence is in rags and tatters as a result of their recent experience. When you are down it is hard to be normal. Over-anxiety to do the right thing often causes you to do the wrong one and the fear of making a mistake is right in the forefront of your mind. That is one of Everton’s burdens at the present time. They see their best efforts come tumbling down, by a miss pass or a near miss, or perhaps a goalkeeper’s fine save, but all these things are part and parcel of the game of football. If Everton could only get a goal or two early on –and they have sometimes deserved them –things might be different, but the fact remains that they are not getting any of the breaks –the underdog rarely does. I am not trying to make excuses for their Portsmouth defeat for they were well and truly beaten and the score was in no way flattering to “Pompey.” What can be done about Everton’s desperate position? Mr. Britton has shuffled his pack until it is threadbare, without finding the winning hand. True, he had his aces trumped when Wainwright and Fielding had to cry off through injury at the last moment but even that fact not console the defeat weary supporter. All he asks is “What are they going to do?” and the answer is not easy to find.
Everton cannot wait for the young talent which is coming along. The need is now, for it is obvious that the present playing staff is not up to requirements. Portsmouth showed it up by the easy way they cut through to take five goals; it could easily have been more and the southerners did not have to over-exert themselves to obtain their victory. They were not so dominant as Liverpool had been, but a 5-1 defeat speaks for itself. The “Pompey” half back line snuffled out the Everton attack once they had taken the lead and their forwards –five in a line –overpowered the Everton defence. It is small consolation to say that Everton should have had goals during their bright spell. They did not get them, so their chance was gone, for Portsmouth got the “bit between their teeth” and tripped along merrily to their convincing victory. Everton battled along to the end, but much of the fight had gone out of them long before the final whistle; in fact Portsmouth’s two goals in three minutes was the knock-out blow to Everton. Something has got to be done. Shall we wait until we have the result of the angling before casting judgment? The splendid sequence shots in this morning Daily Post gave a close up view of the incident in which Everton claimed they should have had a penalty when Catterick was brought down by Leather. This exclusive Daily Post Monday photographic feature regularly gives a selection of the highlights of the home games. Today’s pictures pin-pointed the main Goodison controversy in most helpful fashion.
Wainwright (knee injury) and Fielding (ankle) are expected to be fit for Everton’s away game against Chelsea on Saturday. Lello is making steady progress and may be able to play in about three weeks.
THE POSITION OF EVERTON
September 25, 1950. The Evening Express
Pilot’s Log (Don Kendall)
The seriousness of Everton’s position is exaggerated by the fact that they have now played two more games at home than away, and it is going to take a tremendous effort to get away from the 21st position. The team which lost 5-1 at Goodison Park on Saturday definitely needs strengthening, but I am certain that criticisms leveled by some spectators late on were engendered more by disappointment at defeat than against the abilities of management or players. The man who pays his pennies is entitled to say something after three successive home defeats, but it is not all lack of football skill. Some skill is there, but for some unknown reason the little things continue to run against Everton in an aggravating manner.
There was one incident in the Portsmouth game which I am certain had a direct bearing on the result. Tommy Eglington quite wisely decided to try out the young goalkeeper Maurice Leather with a nigh lobbed ball, and, as Eglington anticipated, it worried Leather. In trying to make a catch, Leather allowed the ball to strike his chest and bounce off. Catterick immediately made his challenge and, in his anxiety to clear, Leather brought down Catterick. The question of intent does not matter; people present expected a penalty. The referee immediately signaled to the teams, “no foul,” and Portsmouth, gratified at their escape, went away to snatch two goals in three minutes to start their victory march. The referee is the sole judge of fact, but the Portsmouth players thought it was a penalty, and so did I. Not a minute before the incident, I turned to the Portsmouth representative sitting beside me and said; “Everton are playing so well that I think you are going to be beaten.” And he agreed. In a flash it was all changed.
Let me hasten to explain that it was more Portsmouth’s undoubted ability than the run of the ball which eventually decided an issue which became one-sided, but just as I am so certain of Portsmouth’s complete mastery of the last hour, so am I certain of Everton slight superiority in the first 20 minutes. During that period. Everton showed ideas accuracy of passing and movement and quite a shooting flair. The only thing that shooting did was to prove that Pompey’s manager –Mr. Bob Jackson acted quite rightly in giving rapid promotion to 20-year-old Leather. Leather’s greatest achievement was in the second half, when Eglington (always Everton’s most dangerous forward) raced to the centre-forward position to go down and head Buckle’s centre towards the corner. Leather dived across to make a save which proved to all that the lad is a discovery. Manager Jackson mentioned that Leather, only the previous week was playing in the Pompey “A” team, and that the lad could crash right into First Division football with such success shows he has the right temperament as well as ability. While writing of goalkeepers, it must be emphasized that Jimmy O’Neill was in no way to blame for the fact that five went by him. It was his misfortune not his fault.
Here we had two sides with the spirit of endeavour, anxious to play attractively. What then, was the reason for Pompey’s five goals and Everton Catterick’s “ewe lamb” you may ask?” Well, Portsmouth had a definite pull towing Half-back, where Scoular and Dickinson were more successfully than Grant and Lindley, and Clarke was a better-equipped and knowledgeable leader than Catterick hard as Harry tried to overcome the lack of that Fielding-Wainwright support. Paradoxically as it may seem, the successful return of Falder to centre-half reacted against Everton, for he so held the centre that Clarke went a-roving to such purpose that he made three goals and scored two. From the Everton viewpoint it would have been better had Clarke kept to his own charted ground, instead of so repeatedly racing away, drawing the defence out of position so that =yawning gaps were created, and then pinpointing his passes to the right spots. Farrell early on tried to be the engineer of the Everton attacks, but became so anxious when goals went against them that he tried to do too much work and so his own play suffered. The sense of responsibility proved quite a handicap to Farrell and the inside-left position was more than a handicap to Jimmy McIntosh who never settled down. Eglington had to operate solo, and that, was “right up the street” of Hindmarsh, and Buckle’s good field play and control was for once not crowned with the Buckle degree of accuracy in finishing. Falder showed definite signs of having recaptured his good form of last season, but Grant lacked a little of his usual sparkle, and Lindley tended to fade out, although he often forced Reid to seek strange territory for success. Any deficiencies Clinton had in covering vacant spots, was compensated to a degree by his thoughtful use of the ball, yet he did not fare quite so well against Harris as did Moore against Froggatt, who, in my opinion. Still is England’s finest outside left. While one seeks the little things for consolation, one still cannot get away from the cold, stark fact that this Everton side, as a combination, had many defects, and is below First Division warranty. The position of the Blues is serious. Deadly serious.
TWAIN DO MEET
September 26, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
And Everton Join In to Further Cement Good Relations
In the good (or bad) old days, when Liverpool and Everton supporters just about as well as oil and water, any Everton director who might have had the courage to attend a Liverpool F.C., gathering would have been asking for trouble. Happily the times have changed and commonsense and tolerance have taken the place of the old bitterness. Concrete evidence of this was given at Liverpool’s dinner to their shareholders last night, when Mr. Ernest Green senior director and ex-chairman of Everton, came along specially to propose the continued success and prosperity of Liverpool. And a rattling good job he made of it. While welcoming the new spirit of friendliness, however Mr. Green debunked the idea that there might be nay “sloppy sentiment” about it. Each club is still as keen as ever to beat the other and finish higher in the table.” He said. This is as it should be. Mr. Green, in a racy and entertaining speech, which included many interesting anecdotes, attributed much of the former bitterness to the fact that in the old days too many people were bad losers. Instancing the recent game between the two clubs, he said that Everton were good sporting losers and Liverpool very modest winners.
EVERTON SUPPORTERS WORRIED
September 29, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
By John Peel
Showing only one point from their last half dozen matches, four of which have been played at Goodison Park, and only six points out of a possible twenty that have been at stake this season, it is only to be expected that Everton supporters are becoming worried to the club future. Many loyal followers have submitted suggested Everton teams to me which they consider might bring an improvement in fortunes. I world, however, remind these amateur team selects that the men at the helm at Goodison Park know everything there is to knew about the game and what is required to gain success from a playing point, and that every effort will be made to put Everton back into a position more in keeping with the known Everton standard. Taken all round it must be admitted by even the most severe critics of this side that the team play much good football and that no matter how bad things go against them the players never throw over the finer points of play in an endeavour to succeed. A little good fortune in the near future and fewer injuries to players will, I am sure, see an improvement in results with a consequent rise in the League table.
For their visit to Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea tomorrow the Everton team shows a number of changes from the eleven beaten 5-1 by Portsmouth at Goodison Park last week. Wanwright and Fielding, both fit again, return to the attack and Farrell drops back to left half-back, with Lindley moving to centre-half in place of Falder. In addition, Moore and Clinton switch positions at full back. The team; O’Neill; Clinton, Moore; Grant, Lindley, Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
EVERTON’S TASK AT CHELSEA
September 29, 1950. The Liverpool Echo
A Point Would Help
Everton’s rather depressing outlook is not brightened when one looks at the fixtures which face the Blues during the next couple of months, but a return to the earlier season determination might possibly put a new complexion on affairs. Tomorrow the Blues are opposed to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and if Everton could pull off a victory it would be doubly useful by keeping Chelsea pegged down in the bottom position. At the moment, the Pensioners are two points behind Everton, with a game in hand and a slightly better goal average. Chelsea’s only victory this season was in the opening game of the campaign, against Sheffield Wednesday. They have suffered six defeats in their last seven outings, and since beating Sheffield Wednesday their attack has never found the net more than once in any match. In four of them they have been goalless. Everton deserve a spot of luck. Nothing has gone right for them this season, and some quite promising play in the first half of several matches has brought them no tangible reward. One or two victories would be a godsend, not only because of the valuable points but for the great value this would be in increasing the side’s confidence. It will be very stern opposition that awaits them tomorrow, and under all the circumstances Everton will do well if they come back with a point, their chances of this are enhanced by the absence of Harris from the Chelsea defence. Chelsea;- Medhurst; Bathgate, Willemse; Armstrong, Saunders, Mitchell; Gray, Bowie, Bentley, Dickson, Campbell. Everton; O’Neill; Clinton, Moore; Grant, Lindley, Farrell; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding, Eglington.
• Everton Res v Burnley Res at Goodison Park
• Everton Colts v. Longsview Rovers at Bellefield
• Everton “D” v. Maghull at Bellefield
• Bootle Res v Everton “A”
EVERTON IN TOWN
September 30, 1950. The Liverpool Daily Post
Chelsea and Everton, the two bottom clubs in the premier division, meet at Stamford Bridge and the struggle for the points is sure to be of a stern character. Everton have made changes in all sections of their team except goal, and if Wainwright and Fielding who return to the attack following injury, touch their best form the Chelsea defenders will have much to worry about. The Goodison side’s intermediate line, with Lindley as Pivot, and Farrell back at left half, should be strong enough to present Bentley and his co-forwards giving too much trouble for O’Neill. Chelsea have brought in Saunders at centre half back instead of their captain Harris, who has a slight strain.
CHELSEA DILLIED AND DALLIED –BUT FOUND THE EVERTON GOAL
September 2, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
Chelsea 2, Everton 1
Poor football quite in keeping with the position of the two clubs. It was a blow to Everton when Wainwright failed with a penalty spot. Chelsea; Medhurst, goal; Bathgate and Willemse, backs; Armstrong, Saunders and Mitchell, half-backs; Gray, Bowie, Bentley (captain), Dickson and Campbell, forwards. Everton; O’Neill, goal; Clinton and Moore, backs; Grant, Lindley, and Farrell (captain), half-backs; Buckle, Wainwright, Catterick, Fielding and Eglington, forwards. Referee;- Mr. F.L. Overton (Derby). The two bottom dogs of the division were at Stamford Bridge today, both seeking precious points. Everton have collected five points from ten games, whereas Chelsea have picked up one from their nine games. London has not been a happy hunting ground for Everton. I cannot recall them winning in Town since they defeated Charlton nearly a couple of seasons ago. The great hope today was that the tide would turn, and bring relief to the Goodison Park club. There were several positional changes in the Everton side. The two young backs, Clinton and Moore changed places and Lindley moved back to centre half, and of course, Wainwright and Fielding returned to the attack. Chelsea also had home alterations. Saunders was at centre half in place of Harris and Mitchell returned to left half, Bentley captained the side for the first time in his career.
Mr. Britton was not in the Everton party which suggests that he is out looking at a player, or players. Rain commenced to fall just prior to the start, but the ground looked in good condition. The attendance was only moderate. Everton played in white, and Chelsea kicked-off. The Pensioners were off like a pack of greyhounds, and Clinton, rather than take any risks against Campbell calmly put the ball into touch. The throw-in led to a further attack on the Everton goal, and Mitchell put a centre-cum-shot over the Everton crossbar, but there was no danger, for the ball travelled high. After Everton had paid a quick visit to the Chelsea goal area, a long ball out to Gray set the Chelsea right wing in motion, but Bowie did not make the best of Gray’s pass; in fact, he gave it to an Everton man. Chelsea came again, and Bentley moved out to the right wing, and centred to Campbell, but the outside left’s shot was headed away. There was still danger until Gray completely kicked over the ball from a reasonably good shooting position. Dickson was surprised by a late tackle by Grant. He thought he had all the time in the world to settle the ball and do his stuff. The only ball Medhurst had to worry about was a back pass by Bathgate, rather strong for the occasion. With ten minute having gone by O’Neill had nothing to worry about, despite the fact that Chelsea were more often on the attack than Everton. So far there had been few thrills, and one could well see how Chelsea were such poor goal scorers. They missed the substance for the shadow, in that they finessed too much. There was one occasion when the ball trickled from one player to another and was then finally flung wide of the Everton goal. Clinton, after dribbling round two opponents made a canny pass which set the Everton attack on the move, but Eglington, who was at the time at centre forward, could not catch up with the ball, which passed to a Chelsea man. Eglington when doing a “double shuffle” in his effort to get Armstrong on the wrong foot trod on the ball, and so the chance of bursting through was gone. Later, Eglington handled the ball, and the referee wisely allowed play to go on so as not to make Chelsea the suffering party. There had been few really good movements, which rather suggested over-anxiety by the two teams. O’Neill allowed a long, slow ball to slip through his hands and bump up against his chest. It was fortunate there was no Chelsea man in close proximity otherwise he may have paid dearly for the slip. The Chelsea crowd were annoyed at the way some players dillied and dallied and then made a faulty pass. Fielding slipped a ball out to Eglington, who returned it to the middle, but a Chelsea man was there to take it. The Everton goal had an amazing escape at the half-hour. Campbell went over to the right to centre, and O’Neill did not get a strong enough punch in his clearance, and the ball dropped down in front of him. There were two Chelsea men close at hand, but neither could apply the necessary touch to put the ball into the net, and finally Farrell booted the ball off the goal-line. O’Neill later retrieved himself when he flung himself sideways to turn the ball outside. At last we had a glimpse of Everton in an attacking mod, and Fielding, who was playing at outside left, whipped the ball into the Chelsea goalmouth, and Catterick almost sneaked the ball through until Medhurst and Bathgate got together to save the situation.
Clinton was having a fine game and from one of his clearances lifted the ball into the Chelsea goalmouth. Medhurst failed to gather, but was let off without debit to himself. The game had come to life and Everton actually had the ball in the net, but Catterick who placed it here was obviously offside, The movement leading up to this was the best of the day so far. Grant started it and Wainwright carried it on to slip the ball out to Buckle, who pushed it through for Catterick to finish off an excellent movement. Everton were now testing the Chelsea defence, which did not impress me. Willemse made a hasty and wretched clearance. This was followed by an injury to Clinton who cut his right eye in a collision. Everton were fighting hard and Medhurst had to throw himself on to a ball to prevent Catterick getting possession. He lost the ball, but the result was a goalkick. A free kick against Everton proved of no value, for Chelsea simply refused to shoot. All they thought about was to pass. Bowie made a good length centre, which should have produced a better result than it did. Lindley headed away, but the ball was soon back in the Everton goalmouth, and with about a minute to go, Chelsea ultimately scored. Gray was the man who made the opportunity possible, for his centre was so well placed that Campbell was certain to score. The outside left got his head to the ball and it passed into the Everton net. O’Neill saved a free kick by Bentley. Half-time; Chelsea 1, Everton 0.
Everton drove off a Chelsea attack in the first moment of the second half, and then proceeded to take a corner followed good play by Fielding and Eglington. This failed to produce anything but, at 49 minutes, Everton had drawn level through Eglington who took up a pass from Farrell, nodded the ball down in front of him, and with his trusty left foot, sent the ball spinning well wide of Medhurst’s left hand. Everton almost got a second when Eglington corner landed so nicely that Wainwright made a neat header, but the Chelsea goal line was absolutely packed, and the ball was ultimately scrambled away. It was more by good luck than good management. Everton were now full of encouragement and decidedly more active, and the Chelsea defence was none too sure under pressure.
Over the Bar
Buckle was a certain scorer until Saunders flipped the ball over his bar in goalkeeper-like fashion, to bring a penalty against his side. Wainwright was called upon to take the kick, but shot straight at Medhurst, who turned the ball away. This was the second time that Wainwright had failed with a penalty shot – and how a goal was needed at this moment. It would have had a terrific effect on Chelsea and Everton alike. There was no doubt that Everton were now testing the Pensioners, for they were playing with added confidence. Chelsea were still prone to stick to the short-passing game, which had little chance of succeeding. One minute after the hour, Chelsea had regained the lead with a shot from Gray. Campbell provided the centre, and I thought Bentley should have collected the ball, but it went by him and on to the unmarked Gray. His shot passed under O’Neill body’s as he dived for it. The next few minutes belonged to Chelsea and one dragging ball dropped just over the angle of the woodwork. A promising Everton attack came to an end when Buckle shot just outside with Medhurst keeping a watchful eye on the ball in case of eventuality. Moore cut in to clear a dangerous centre by Campbell. Bowie and Campbell joined up to outwit Clinton but the latter finally missed the return. More annoying to his supporters was Campbell’s miss from inside the penalty area. This was one of the best openings of the game, yet the Chelsea winger slashed the ball high over the bar. The Chelsea goal had an escape when Wainwright screwed the ball back and Mitchell in desperation, lifted the ball over the bar for a corner. Bentley missed a similar chance to Campbell. All that was needed was a little steadiness, but this was not apparent in the football to-day. Final; Chelsea 2, Everton 1.
GOODISON IS PAYING HEED TO
September 30, 1950. The Liverpool Football Echo
The Writing On The Wall
Lay Off Everton pending Results –Blows While They’re Down Don’t Help
Nine-tenths of this week’s heavy post-bag has been composed of letters from Everton supporters, but, for the reasons given below, I am not putting them in print. The vast majority add nothing to what I said last week. They only discuss the same depressing problems in different words, and offer no ready-made solutions. To give these letters many of which are very strong and forthright in tone, savours too much to me of hitting the club when it is down. It would not help Everton in their present parlous plight, and I am sure that all those with the club’s best interests at heart wish only to help, not hinder, however, much they may feel relieved at having let off steam.
I have discussed all angles of the problem at considerable length with Mr. W.R. Williams the club’s chairman, and Manager Cliff Britton. Both are seriously perturbed and have enumerated though unfortunately not for publication, the many efforts which have been made. If I could make public what know, you would realize that there has been no false feeling of complacency, no willful shutting of directorial or managerial eyes to the writing on the wall. I have offered the freedom of this column to the club to make any official statement they wish, but the suggestion was courteously but firmly turned down. I was informed, however, that Everton are alive to their peril and for some time had been redoubling their efforts to remedy the position. I know that many folk are saying they have awakened to the danger too late, and that they are now seeking to lock the stable door after the horse has been stolen. I am assured that this is not so. Whether or not more energetic measures in the past would have prevented the present sad state of affairs is another matter. There are many who think they would. But you cannot bludgeon unwilling clubs into parting, or players into choosing Everton if they have other ideas in mind.
Don’t Rub It In
My only aim in writing as I did last week was to bring to the notice of the board the growing feeling of unrest and disappointment in the ranks of the shareholders and supporters. Having achieved that object, I feel that it would be unfair, and perhaps actually harmful, to “rub it in” any more at the present moment. Let us see what the board and Mr. Britton can accomplished in the next few weeks. One or two players who would have put some “stiffening” into the Blues, both in defence and attack, have recently changed their clubs. Doubtless there will be other moves in the near future. Surely it is not too much to hope that some will see the men concerned throwing in their lot with Goodison Park. At one time players used to regard it as an honour to be invited to join Everton, just as they do today with Arsenal. Everton can offer them the same wages, bonuses, and everything else that is legal that any other club can. We hear a lot these days about alleged inducements, yet I have still to be convinced that these are involved in more than a very small proportion of transfers. The risk is too great.
The Vital Need
Suppose we leave it, there for the time being and see what the future holds? Never fear, I shall return to the matter in due course if the effort seems to be slackening off when an occasional victory lightens the immediate threat. One or two wins will not save Everton from further trouble in the future. Anybody who thinks that is only burying his head in the sand. It may give the players more confidence for a time but the vital need is new blood.
While on this subject of letters, will readers kindly keep them as brief as possible? I get so many that it takes a tremendous time wading through them. When some enthusiastic fans let their feelings run to the length of four of five foolscap sheets it becomes rather an embarrassment.
“Open Space” Game
One long letter this week, however, ranks for special consideration. It comes from Mr. P. L. Gray, of 97 Everton Road, and it is so full of sound commonsense that I am giving the bulk of it here, Mr. Gray writes;-
“It seems to me professional football to-day is not being played as it should. The most effective style is the open space game. A big fault is that it is nearly always left to the man with the ball to create the openings, whereas it should be the other way round. The players not in possession should do it. When a man receives the ball, or better still, while it is travelling towards him, his colleagues should be running to the open spaces where they can be in a position to receive a clear pass. Then when the man with the ball has parted it, he himself should immediately dash for the open space to provide an opening for the player who now has possession, and so on.
“There should be that smooth rhythmic action which is such a delight to watch and such a headache to defenders, who find themselves running round in circles. Their attention naturally is fixed mainly on the man with the ball. They are not thinking so much about the other players, who keep bobbing up in the most unexpected places, repeatedly taking them by surprise. When a defender is taken by surprise it is easier to beat him.
Timing is the Secret
“The secret is timing chiefly by the players not in possession. A player should begin his run to the open spaces while the ball is travelling towards a colleague, and should get there at the same time instant the ball reaches the other man, so that it can be passed on without delay. If the man with the ball has to wait until a colleague runs to an open space he is more likely to be robbed. “The open space game makes football look easy. The most effective style of play in any sport always does. By so playing, it is much easier to pierce a defence. Manchester United have been playing in this manner for the past few seasons and their record speaks for itself. Everton also played this way last time they won the league championship. The three inside men (Bentham, Lawton and Stevenson) realized the value of the open space game. Between them they served up some brilliant stuff, and Lawton scored more goals than he has done in any other season since. Of course, he was then at the peak of his form, but even so, the main reason, he found the net so often was because the attack adopted this style.
“My guess is that the guiding genius behind the scenes was Theo Kelly who always preached the open space game and exhorted the team to play it. Everton supporters will remember the many brilliant displays given by the team at that time. They were a delight to watch. The “Blues” were a great draw all over the country, for their scintillating football. “Everton to-day need someone to beat the drum, and preach the gospel of the open space game. Then we will get results. The bowed heads will be lifted, the smiles will break out, the crowd will roar, and the old Everton glory will return.”
Thanks Mr. Gray, I wish I had a fiver for every time I’ve preached the same gospel, it is the foundation of success. Where I don’t agree with you is when you say that Everton to-day have abandoned those principles. Far from it. They certainly have not got the knack of it off to the same polished extent as the prewar championship side, but within their limits they have been trying their best, and sometimes have done it well for part of the game.