January 1, 1940
Everton’s run broken.
Everton’s long sequence of successes came to an end in their friendly game with Blackpool, who won 3-2 at Goodison Park. Yet they need not have lost had they taken their chances early on. But by the same token Blackpool missed many simple chances. In fact, the score might have been 6-6 rather than 3-2.
Dodds, the Blackpool centre-forward, should have had a gala day, in that for some reason or other T.G. Jones decided to forsake his customary role at “third back” and go out on an attacking mission which left Dodds with no centre- half-back to face. Here was his chance but he would not take it.
Time and again he was right through the Everton defence, a defence which did not quite know how to meet the new situation, and with only Sagar in front of him all he got was two goals, the other being scored by the former Everton winger Lewis, who scored the goal of the day.
Why Jones changed his tactics I cannot say. Whether it was his disgust in missing a penalty I do not know but his change of front provided Blackpool with opening the would probably not otherwise have gained.
Blackpool’s second goal would not have been scored had Jones been in his place. His desire to wander up-field left a gap down the centre which enabled the Blackpool inside forwards to sweep towards Sagar and put him in peril time and again.
It was a mistaken policy by the Welsh international. Greenhalgh and Jackson could not hope to close the door against five forwards. Everton’s play was far too close with the conditions as they were – there was no run on the ball, whereas Blackpool swung the ball about and were more direct. Three times they struck the woodwork – three times Greenhalgh saved further goals, once kicking off the line when the ball appeared to be over.
Everton should have had three or more goals in the first half hour, but having missed their way, such chances did not come their way again, although there were several opportunities put before them towards the end to augment the goals of Stevenson and Lawton.
I thought Blackpool worthy of their win, for they played a game more suitable to the conditions. Fancy passing was out of the question, yet there were many smart movements and the football excellent considering the circumstances. Watson was outstanding for Everton, and in Blackpool middle line Johnston was another grand footballer.
Sagar did his best to prevent his unbeaten record – Everton had not been beaten since he took over the captaincy.
Result: Everton 2, Blackpool 3.
Everton: Ted Sagar, George Jackson, Norman Greenhalgh, Joe Mercer, Tommy Jones, Gordon Watson, Fred Sweeney, Stan Bentham, Tommy Lawton, Alex Stevenson, Gordon Bailey.
Blackpool: Alex Roxburgh, Eric Sibley, Sammy Jones, George Farrow, Eric Hayward, Harry Johnston, Bobby Finan, George Eastham, Jock Dodds, Alex Munro, Tommy Lewis.
Referee: Mr. C.E. Taylor (Liverpool).
(Liverpool Daily Post, 01-01-1940, by ‘Stork’)