Everton’s easy win

Monday, February 19 – 1945
Ever since Bobby Jones broke his leg against Liverpool, ill-luck has dogged Southport in nearly all their games against this city’s senior sides. Their visit to Goodison Park on Saturday was no exception, for after half an hour play Laurie Hodgson, their left-half and former Tranmere player, pulled a muscle so badly that for all practical proposes Southport thereafter had only ten men. Hodgson being just a passenger at outside left. Up to this, Southport had been as good as Everton.

Indeed for the first 20 minutes they were the better side. They played throughout combined football, sent the ball on the ground, were always faster to it than the opposition and looked as though if they could keep it up they might win. During this period Everton seemed content solely to keep Southport from scoring. Their attack was not functioning with either understanding or power, which may be made Southport look better than they really were. But once Everton had taken the lead, which they did after 33 minutes when Cec Wyles scored with a grand header from Jack Grant’s centre, the game underwent a change partly due to the tonic effect of the lead, but mainly because of Southport’s handicap.

Hodgson was off the field when this first goal was scored. Had he remained fit, Everton would have had a much sterner fight. Instead the longer the game went the more pronounced was their superiority until finally, when the overworked Southport defence caved in, one almost had visions of another debacle similar to the result at Anfield.

Fine Second Half.
Everton scored five goals in the second half and might have had more had it not been for Birkett’s fine saves and their own occasional slackness. Alex Stevenson got the second from a backward pass by Wyles. Syd Rawlings the third when he finished of a brilliant piece of combination in which all five Everton forwards took part when he followed with one from a penalty after Chiverton had brought down Stevenson; while, finally Wyles and Stan Bentham added one each.

Though Norman Sharp was the only home forward not to score, he was one of the day’s outstanding successes, giving a tip-top display at outside left. Wilf Birkett could not be blamed for Southport’s defeat, and George Curwen put up a fine show at right back until run off his feet in the closing stages. He twice saved certain goals by getting the ball away off the line. Southport’s defence was bewildered by the swift combination and ball control of the Everton forwards while their attack was thrown right out of gear after Hodgson’s injury.

Denis Massam did not live up to his reputation and was rarely seen. Everton’s rear-guard was sound throughout, with Maurice Lindley shining at centre half and Jack Grant and Gordon Watson being grand line in defence and attack, Stevenson was the brains of the attack. Bentham an indefatigable forager. Wyles a lively leader, and Rawlings vied with Sharp for his sparkling wing play.

Attendance 10,085.
(Liverpool Daily Post, 19-02-1945)


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