Battling the elements for more than a week, the labors of the large force of men on Lehigh Field, the home grounds of the Bethlehem soccer team, were rewarded late yesterday afternoon when the last vestiges of ice was removed and the pitch put in playable condition for the game against J & P Coats here on Saturday afternoon.
Last Wednesday a force of men were put to work in an effort to clear the ice covered pitch, in hopes of playing New Bedford. However, the efforts were unsuccessful and the game cancelled. Weather conditions were more favorable this week and the rise in temperature yesterday was what was needed to make the labors successful. In clearing the field, tons of sand, large quantities of salt and many gallons of gasoline, together with several harrows were used.
Unless conditions should be such that a heavy snow is experience last in the week, the game against J & P Coats will be played as scheduled and incidentally, it will be the second last game to be played at home, in four weeks. In meeting the Coats, the league leaders and national champions clash with a team that has recently been strengthened by the acquisition of several stars.
Outstanding in the record of the Coats’ team this year is its strong defense. Although low in the club standing the thread makers are high as a defensive club, ranking third, next to Bethlehem and Boston, in the number of goals scored against them.
Recently the defensive department of the thread makers was further strengthened by the acquisition of Tate, a back, who for several seasons starred with Fall River. The halfback line, too, is fairly strong, particularly at center half with Perry, a dashing player in that position.
Lacking in effectiveness on the forward line the management of the Coats’ team believes that the problem is solved by the recent acquisition of Rock, a center forward, fast and elusive and a dangerous shot. Rock was one of the most promising of the younger players in Scottish football for two years when his exploits attracted the attention of Sam Marks, Fall River manager. The latter brought him to this country but for some reason or other let his find go and Philadelphia immediately signed him. A transfer was then negotiated in which Rock went to Coats.
With the new center forward in the pivot position, Coats presents a formidable forward line. This is specially true of the right wing, a dangerous combination, fast and clever, when Curtis and Harvey play in those positions. The new men give the thread makers a well balanced team and Bethlehem is assured a hard battle in the Saturday game.
The announcement that Stark and Gillespie will be in their positions on the forward line is self evident that the management will field its strongest club. Jaap and Goldie are practically sure of the outside wings while Forrest will most likely pair off with Stark at inside right.
The game will be started at 2:30 o’clock, with referee Mose Boom in charge.