Sad but true the Bethlehem soccer team took its third successive defeat from the New York Nationals when the Gotham booters for the second time this season invaded the home lair of the Bethlehem team on Saturday afternoon and emerged triumphant by the score or 2 to 1. As on each of the three previous occasions, the odd game having been played on the Polo Grounds, the home field of the Nats, the margin of difference in declaring the winner was a single goal.
One goal notched in the first half and another immediately after the interval clinched the game for the Nats, staving off Bethlehem's belated and determined rush in which Dick registered the lone maker for the Steelmen.
While another victory for the Nats was coveted achievement it was the more cherished since the triumphant eleven included two Bethlehem castoffs in the lineup. Ballie, a young Canadian, who was given a trial on one of the homesters' New England invasion and let out because he lacked the physique for this grade of soccer, and Johnny Henighen, an inside forward, released only the week previous, were the players. However, neither one distinguished himself by any phenomenal exploits for the main wreckers of the Nats forward line were that tried and never failing veteran, Bart McGhee, Carlson and Nelson, the latter a brace of powerful Swedes.
The Nationals won the toss and elected to play with the wind and son. However, even with the advantage of the gale the ball sung back and forth with neither team having an appreciable advantage. Hardly more than ten minutes elapsed when the Nats right wing broke away and the ball was centered. Finlayson, Bethlehem's big back went into the air to clear with his head and at the same time Nelson went high. It was hard to distinguish which of the two had met the ball and deflected it into the net but the customary handshake following the success made it plainly evident that it was Nelson who was credited with having produced.
Bethlehem then attacked but Warden and Slavin played a brilliant defensive game for the Nats. When the fullbacks were beaten Souza, visiting goalie happened to be where the shot were directed or parting shots went wide. It was during one of these attacks that Gillespie trickily eluded the defense and was through but his effort counted for naught.
Determined to equalize Bethlehem continued to press and looked dangers when a foul kick by Reid located close to the goal mouth. During the scrimmage Warden handled and Bethlehem was awarded the penalty. Dick, one of the strongest kickers on the team took the shot which the alert Souza batted down and in saving gave a corner. Just before the half ended Nelson scored but was declared off side and the goal disallowed.
The one goal advantage seemed a trifling barrier to curb the ambition of the Bethlehem team, but as it happened, it was the margin by which the game was won. Almost immediately after the kickoff and before Bethlehem had really settled down to serious business the Giants had another successful breakaway on which Bart McGhee's perfect center was converted by Nelson.
From then on up to the final whistle with but an occasional breakaway by the Nats, Bethlehem did the pressing but to no avail. Dick put his mates in the running when he went high in the air to head in on Gillespie's pass. From then on until the last whistle the Nats resorted to all legitimate defensive tactics possible were successful in frustrating Bethlehem advances. The lineup:
Souza -- G -- Fraser
Warden -- RFB -- McGregor
Donald -- LFB -- Finlayson
Gallagher -- RHB -- Reid
Slaven -- CHB -- Carnihan
Lafferty -- LHB -- Pitt
Baillie -- OR -- Gillespie
Henighen -- IR -- Jaap
Nelson -- CF -- Stark
Carlson -- IL -- Massie
McGhee -- OL -- Dick
Goals -- Nelson 2, Dick. Referee -- John Walders. Linesmen -- William Forrest and Fred Pepper. Time of halves: 45 minutes.