by Fred S. Nonnemacher
Three weeks ago Robins Dry Dock F. C. were guests of the Bethlehem F. C., and for the first time in the career of the Steel Workers' soccer team, administered a 3 to 2 defeat on the home grounds. The Robins on that occasion humiliated the local soccerites be eliminating them in the American Cup classic for the second time in as many years.
Despite the fact that Bethlehem had previously beaten the Robins in a National League game on the latter's home lot the merits of this victory inspired soccer prophets to point to the Brooklyn contingent as the foremost contenders for the National soccer laurels.
The first twenty-five minutes of play brought no result and then Brittan slipped through the first goal. This early success and advantage apparently inspired the Bethlehem clan to even greater effort for a few minutes later this margin of lead was increased when the home players again scored.
Robins were superior in the meeting three weeks ago and were the better team. However, on Saturday the Bethlehem clan was a quite different club and it does not take the visitors long to realize this.
While the above glowing comments have been expressed on the play of the home team, the Robins were by no means outclassed and for the most gave as good as they received. If anything, the team from greater New York appeared to be in the best physical condition and this was evidenced during a momentary letup on the part of Bethlehem late in the second half when the visitors slipped over a pair of goals and from then until the final whistle assumed a threatening attitude.
The speedy Brittan was the thorn in the side of the visitors for it was his dash and effectiveness that forced the Robins backs to concentrate their attention on him. The work of Bethune was also a source of worry to the visitors forwards and more than one well initiated movement was broken up by this halfback. Other backs that stood out prominently were Jimmy Wilson and Murray while on the forward line Joe Morrison, the new acquisition to the team, and Jimmy Wilson shared in the bulk of the aggressive work.
The visitors were not without their satellites with Renzulli, despite he three goals that got by him, the most prominent. Ratican did not play but in his stead the visitors decided on a former Bethlehem Steel Worker when Sturch assumed the position. McGuire was at his old position on the wing and these two forwards stood out most prominently with Harris and Garside sharing in the honors. McGuire was always dangerous but seldom strong on the defense and his accurate booting more than once changed the tide of the game.
Neil Clark, who in the cup game staged a brilliant performance, did not loom up as prominent in league contest.
In the first few minutes of play, Fleming missed the net from far range and a short time later Brittan's parting shot went high over the bar. Then followed a short exchange between the backs, the ball sailing to and fro in the vicinity of midfield. Bethlehem threatened with a clever movement initiated by Brittan but which counted for naught when Brownlie dashed in and cleared. Robins took possession of the ball and in a short time were in the vicinity of the Bethlehem goal. Robins missed a good opportunity to score when Beardsworth, on a free kick, drove high over the bar.
Again the Robins were forced to defend their goal in a lively mix-up in front of the net when on a pass from Wilson, Morrison centered. Brittan made a dive for the ball but barely missed it with a header. Play remained in that vicinity and about a minute later Brittan scored the first goal. His drive was a pretty shot on a pass from Morrison, twenty-five minutes after play started. Bethlehem continued to bombard the visitors goal and only the good work of Renzulli, who more than once deserted the sticks to send the ball sailing back down the field, kept them from scoring. The second goal came after a torrid scrimmage at the very mouth of the visitors' goal which ended when Morrison drove it in.
"Billy" Forrest was badly used up and showed the effects of the hard grind but nevertheless he broke into the scoring column within a few minutes after the resumption of play. Robins were first to attack the Bethlehem goal, failing twice on free kicks from near range, the last attempt Duncan saving. A cross to Fleming put him in position to try for goal but his wicked kick was saved by Renzulli. The latter was unable to hold the ball and while trying to recover it Forrest came dashing in and drove it into the net.
Undaunted by this three goal lead, the Robins continued to play fast and started several threatening movements toward the Bethlehem goal, two of which materialized into counters. Sturch drove hard for a goal, but Duncan saved, giving away a corner in clearing. Sturch finally got a shot that beat Duncan when he scored on a cross from Hosie. Again Sturch threatened when he brought the ball within close range to the Bethlehem goal but was robbed of a parting shot by Wilson. Twice after that Renzulli saved on shots from Morrison and Forrest. With about fifteen minutes more to go Robins counted when McGuire received a pass from Hosie and located the net. These two goals served as a tonic and during the remainder of the period the Robins centered an attack on the Bethlehem goal but were unable to penetrate the defense presented by the Bethlehem backs. The lineup:
Bethlehem – Robins
Duncan – G – Renzulli
Wilson – RFB – Page
Ferguson – LFB – Brownlie
Bethune – RHB – Beardsworth
Campbell – CHB – Clarke
Murray – LHB – Irvine
Morrison – IR – Garside
Wilson – OR – McGuire
Brittan – CF – Sturch
Forrest – OL – Hosie
Fleming – IL – Sweeney
Goals – Brittan, Morrison, Forrest, Sturch, McGuire. Referee – George Young, Philadelphia. Time of halves, 45 minutes.