by Fred S. Nonnemacher
Non-skid shoes would have been a most welcome acquisition to the 22 exponents of soccer who entertained a small crowd on an ice-patched playing pitch in an American Soccer League game staged on the Steel Field on Saturday afternoon. Bethlehem F. C. slid its way to a three goal to none victory over the Brooklyn Wanderers, a newcomer to soccer circles this year.
The margin of the score hardly reveals the superiority of the Bethlehem team who were most constantly banging away at the visitors' net with no less than half a dozen scrimmages at the very mouth of the goal which failed to materialize counters. T his was due to the slippery and treacherous condition of the field which in spite of the work of a large force was dotted here and there with ice patches.
There was little chance for any organized work for frequently when a forward movement was initiated it was readily broken, not by any superb defense but rather by the uncertain footing. As a result the game was minus many of the thrills expected but proved to be a highly amusing entertainment.
The visitors were no class for the Bethlehemites who almost constantly were in the Brooklyn territory. In the opening minutes of play Brooklyn came within scoring range but their finishing on two or three occasions was weak and easily cleared by Highfield.
On the other hand, Thompson, the visitors goalkeeper, was the busiest man on the field and likewise the most brilliant among his clan. With the exception of the three goals that got by him he seemed to have an uncanny insight as to where to be and he experienced few idle moments in 90 minutes of play, frustrating well directed efforts to convert shots into goals. This Thompson fellow was sat upon, kicked and rushed but still he stuck doggedly to the task and turned back no less than half a dozen goals that seemed inevitable.
Bethlehem took the field with several drastic changes in the lineup. McCourt, the inside right, was a newcomer to the Bethlehem ranks; Highfield, although a member of the club, broke into the lineup at goal for the first time this season, and Jimmy Easton, the veteran war horse and general utility man with the club, was at center forward. Cox, also a recent addition to the team, was included among the halfbacks.
This combination proved plenty strong enough to cope with the visitors and although unable to pile up a bigger score due to the uncertain footing when shooting for goal, were never really in danger of being scored upon.
In the first half Bethlehem was able to locate the net only once and that opportunity came within the first 10 minutes of play. The success came on a pass from Raeside to Easton, the latter looping a high one toward the goal which barely passed under the crossbar. Thompson, the visitors' custodian, was caught out of position and had no chance with the shot. However, after that he stopped them from all angles.
Within a few minutes after the restart Bethlehem again scored when McCort converted a pass from Easton into a goal. A few minutes later McCort directed another shot at goal which barely missed. Easton tallied the third and last, the score resulting due to the aggressiveness of the Bethlehem center forward. Satisfied with the three-goal lead, Bethlehem players contented themselves in easing along to the final whistle. The superiority of the home clan in this period was well evident by the half-dozen or more corner kicks awarded to them in this half.
The Bethlehem team left yesterday morning for Fall River, Mass., where they were scheduled to appear in an exhibition game. The lineup:
Bethlehem -- Brooklyn
Highfield -- G -- Thompson
Young -- RFB -- Hudano
Ferguson -- LFB -- Robertson
Rattray -- RHB -- Gullian
Raeside -- CHB -- Moore
Cox -- LHB -- Peat
Campbell -- OR -- Ague
McCourt -- IR -- Lawrence
Easton -- CF -- Rew
Grainger -- IL -- Baird
Goldie -- OL -- Dorward
Goals -- Easton, 2; McCourt. Linesmen -- Faulds, Bethlehem; Taylor, Brooklyn. Referee -- J. H. Carpenter. Time -- two 45-minue halves.