War time matches

Everton v Oldham Athletic 2-3 (War time, League match)

Saturday, October 2 – 1915
Match: Lancashire Section, principal tournament, at Goodison Park, kick-off 15:30.
Everton – Oldham Athletic 2-3 (0-1).
Attendance: 15,000.
Referee: Mr. W. Chadwick.
Everton (2-3-5): Frank Mitchell, Bob Thompson, Jock Macconachie, Tom Fleetwood (C), Billy Wareing, Alan Grenyer; Sam Chedgzoy, Billy Kirsopp, Frank Jefferis, Joe Clennell, James Roberts.
Oldham Athletic (2-3-5): Ted Taylor; Goodwin, Hugh Lester; Hugh Moffat, Charlie Roberts, Lashbrook; Gee, Elliot Pilkington, Cashmore, Wolstenholme, Burtenshaw.
The goals: 0-1 Wolstenholme, 0-2 Cashmore, 0-3 Cashmore, 1-3 Jefferis, 2-3 Clennell.

The score of three goals to two by which, after a strenuous struggle in which every inch of ground was contested. Oldham Athletic succeeded in defeating Everton at Goodison Park was just about representative of a determined and always interesting game.

Everton might very well have effected a draw, for at times they exerted terrific pressure on the defence but the Liverpool Balmoral custodian Taylor, who had charge of the Oldham goal, gave a display of guardianship which will hardly be surpassed this season.

His appearance was of a welcome character from the sentimental point of view to the home supporters, but beyond that he proved a distinct thorn in the side of the Everton partisans, shot after shot being repelled by the cleanest of clearances. That his sterling work was at the same time appreciated by a sportsmanlike crowd was shown in the hearty round of applause, which greeted him when he took up his position for the second, half.

Hopes were that Donnachie would turn out for the club of his choice against his old confreres, but this was not possible, and of a truth it may be said that Taylor supplied quite enough of the local opposing element for one afternoon. Oldham had some difficulty with their forward line, but rearranged as it was it was effective enough, and the quintette were always making for Mitchell, who again deputising for Fern, did all that could be expected of any custodian.

Bright football
Despite the unpleasant conditions, which were in marked contrast to those of preceding weeks, there was still a capital attendance, the fifteen thousands mark being again reached. If the weather was of the uncomfortable order, however, there was ample food for enthusiasm, and any physical discomfort experienced was well compensated for by a resolute, clean display of fast football.

The burly Charles Roberts, who came in for his usual amount of attention from the crowd, was speedily in evidence, and his bustling breaking up of a number of attacks by the home forwards, followed up in nearly every case with artistic feeding of his own front rank, were responsible for a number of early ominous raids on the home goal, where Thompson distinguished himself with a series of pretty and clever clearances.

The home wings were well plied with work, but the finishing efforts were generally faulty, though Taylor had once or twice to be particularly active. Jefferis, who made a very welcome reappearance in the Everton ranks, was always going well for goal, and he worked hard for an opening, but Roberts showed him in dogged fashion and he was given comparatively little scope.

The only goal of the first half was initiated by what at first looked like a weak pass by Gee, but the movement was skillfully and speedily developed with the result that after a period of short range maneuvering in front of Mitchell, Wolstenholmes got hold and crashed in a shot which gave the home goalkeeper no chance.

This solitary success – a success which was thoroughly well engineered and carried through –represented all the scoring of the first half.

The second portion was brimful of incident, Everton went to business for all they were worth to secure the equaliser, but Oldham were equally vigorous in seeing that they did not lose what grip of affairs they had secured, their defenders playing with all the energy at their command.

Roberts was always a conspicuous figure, and he several times, after lending effective assistance close in goal, sent his forwards along in most approved fashion, filling the function of centre-half, in fact, to the very letter.

Oldham when they attacked made no half-hearted effort of the business, and ultimately Cashmore beat Mitchell for the second time, the home goalkeeper yet again having no chance with a subsequent further effort from the same player.

Everton’s chances thus seemed to have vanished altogether, but there came a welcome burst, and the home forwards took complete command of the game. It seemed as though the revival was too belated, for Taylor, assisted by a defence whose determination never flagged, was always on hand.

Ultimately, however, the persistent attempts of the Blues were rewarded when Jefferis had the satisfaction of scoring a fine goal, and later, when Clennell got through for a second time, it seemed as though the game, would yet be pulled out of the fire.

The hopes of the home side were materially damped when the referee failed to see a corner given by the visiting defence, and more so when the official’s gaze was turned in another direction all the time the linesman was energetically appealing for the concession.

The crowd showed their emphatic resentment of the lapse on the part of the official, but the disapproval vigorously expressed as it was brought nothing, and so in the end Everton had to retire defeated, as stated by the odd goal in five.

A well matched pair
It was distinctly hard on the home side that they were unable to obtain a division of the points, but Oldham must at the same time be recorded full credit for their victory. They worked hard and ungrudgingly to a man, and two players may be singled out among the eleven for their effective work, those two are Taylor and Roberts.

In goal the activity of the former was remarkable, whilst Roberts brought into play all the attributes of the experienced exponents, as well as all the true form of the ideal centre-half.

On the home side Thompson proved a clever defender, and Jefferis appearance was in every way successful. Chedgzoy was too well covered to shine as brightly as his wont, and indeed, the home forwards throughout found themselves confronted by a bustling energetic defence that gave them no quarter.

To sum up, there was no really weak spot on either side, and the players furnished an exhibition of football which was always enjoyable to watch, and in which the whole-hearted enthusiasm of the contestants were always in distinct evidence.
(Liverpool Courier, 04-10-1915)

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