In what was probably the greatest soccer contest ever staged in Bethlehem, the Steel Workers on Saturday, November 23d, defeated the Merchant Shipbuilding team "A" by the score of four goals to three. Both teams were tied at the end of the regulation period and two extra periods of fifteen minutes each were necessary to decide the contest, the Steel Workers scoring the winning goal in the first fifteen-minute period. The visitors played a brilliant, dashing game from the first whistle, and the Steel Workers have seldom, if ever, been put to such a test.
Bethlehem won the toss and selected to play with a strong wind behind them. It was early seen that both teams were on edge for the contest, the ball traveling fast up and down the field. Easton was hurt one minute from the start, but soon resumed, although apparently in great pain. A rush by the visitors ended by Hyslop shooting wide and in the next minute Butler missed the upright with a fast drive. Fleming shot over the bar and Forrest was called up for offside. Pearce came into the limelight with a beautiful save from Easton and the Shipbuilders' right wing broke away and were not stopped until Ferguson conceded a corner. A scrimmage ensued in front of Bethlehem's goal, and to the astonishment of the fans the ball rolled into the net beyond Duncan's reach. This early success gave the visitors more dash than ever and the defense had a strenuous time stopping the desperate rushes of the visitors' forwards. However, the champions soon settled down to their game and Pearce was called upon to save shots from Butler, Easton and Forrest, which he did cleverly. It looked as if nothing would get past him, but after repeated attempts, McKelvey tied the score for Bethlehem with a shot that gave Pearce no chance. This success seemed to be all that was necessary to bring the champions back to form, and despite the brilliant work of the visitor's fullbacks, Pearce again became the center of attention and Easton scored the most brilliant goal of the game from the eighteen-yard line. Pearce was helpless with the shot, and the score stood two goals to one. The visitors were anything but disheartened and continued to play with great dash, but the Bethlehem defense had settled down to their game and the champions were soon making tracks for Pearce. Forrest forced Todd to concede a corner. Fleming took the kick and, placing beautifully, Butler headed the ball into the net for the Steel Workers' third goal. Time, 42 minutes. Despite this reverse, the Shipbuilders carried the ball to Bethlehem territory, and in a mix-up inside the Bethlehem penalty area, Fletcher handled, and a penalty was awarded the visitors. Duggan took the kick and made the score 3 to 2. No further scoring took place, and half time found both teams battling at midfield.
The Steel Workers were now playing against the wind, but forced a corner off Todd in the first minutes. Small cleared, but Wilson was forced to concede another corner. Offside against Easton spoiled a good opening. A foul off McKay looked good for Bethlehem, but Kirkpatrick's shot was blocked and the visitors' forward bore down on the Bethlehem defense. Ferguson cleared and Easton shot past from long range. A corner off Small looked good, but Easton headed past. Duggan and Heminsley broke away, but Fletcher cleared and Kirkpatrick shot over the bar. The visitors again looked dangerous, but Heminsley was called up for offside. A good shot by McKelvey was cleverly saved by Pearce and a nice movement by the visitors' forward line ended in Duggan just missing the upright. Another shot from McKelvey was well handled by Pearce and offside against Coursey spoiled a good chance. The visitors continued to attack, and a misunderstanding with the Bethlehem defense gave Heminsley a good opening and he tied the score with a fast cross shot. Time, 22 minutes. Both teams were now playing with desperation for the winning goal and the ball traveled fast up and down the field and both goals were repeatedly in danger. Pearce had the greatest amount of work to do, and it seemed as if nothing would get past him. Despite desperate efforts of the Steel Workers to score, the whistle sounded with the game still a deadlock. Score, Bethlehem, 3; Merchant A., 3.
Campbell again won the toss in the extra periods of fifteen minutes each and the Steel Workers were soon making tracks for Pearce. Offside against McKelvey held up Bethlehem, but not for long, and Pearce was forced to handle from Fleming and Forrest. After seven minutes of play a penalty was awarded against the Shipbuilders for handling in the penalty area. The offense was similar to the one awarded against Fletcher. Fleming took the kick and Pearce had no chance with the shot. This goal was a great inspiration to Bethlehem, but nothing seemed to dampen the enthusiasm of the visitors, and they played with great dash and determination. No further scoring took place and the teams turned around with the champions leading by the odd goal in seven. Bethlehem was no playing against the wind, and they seemed to tire more rapidly than the visitors, who were playing with an abandon that seemed at any moment to be crowned with success. But the Steel Workers asserted themselves and carried the ball in the direction of Pearce. Todd and Small were given too much freedom of action, and their long kicks kept the ball hovering around the Bethlehem goal, and only brilliant work on the part of the Bethlehem fullbacks prevented them from scoring the equalizing goal. With two minutes to go the Bethlehem halfbacks broke up the attack and Pepper and Easton carried the ball down the field, but Forrest's parting shot went wide and the whistle found the ball in midfield.
Merchant. -- Bethlehem.
Pearce -- G -- Duncan
Todd -- R.F.B. -- Fletcher
Small -- L.F.B. -- Ferguson
Mathews -- R.H.B. -- Kirkpatrick
McKay -- C.H.B. -- Campbell
Wilson -- L.H.B. -- Pepper
Burnett -- O.R. -- McKelvey
Hyslop -- I. R. -- Butler
Coursey -- C. F. -- Easton
Heminsley -- I.L. -- Forrest
Dugan -- O.L. -- Fleming
Goals -- McKelvey, Butler, Easton, Fleming, Hyslop, Heminsley, Dugan. Linesmen -- Morrison, Bethlehem; Maxwell, Merchant Ship. Referee -- Walters, Philadelphia.