by Fred S. Nonnemacher
It was a weird day Saturday and this soccer playing pitch proved weird grounds but not exactly a weird game was that played for in spite of the fact that ground conditions played havoc with good football, Bethlehem F. C. and New York F. C. waged an intensive battle on the Steel Field concluding the ninety minutes of hostilities in a three goal deadlock. The game was an American League contest. Bethlehem's one point lead in the flag race was not in the least impaired.
The Bethlehem team lined up with Tom Maxwell, the former Third Lanark in the lineup, assuming the position formerly occupied by Grainger.
With the visitors was McKelvey, a former Bethlehem player, who was assigned to a forward position. New York the most dangerous rival and comprising a makeup of star exponents, was prepared for a hard fight and it was regretted that the game could not be staged on a dry and fast pitch. With Archie Stark and Bart McGhee on the Gotham forward line, the New Yorkers were at all times dangerous and the few opportunities these players had to carry the ball into Bethlehem territory they seldom failed to take advantage of. On the other hand Bethlehem had the ball at the very mouth of the visitors' net several times with the goal unprotected but in finishing, shot wide of the mark. These shots, however, were excusable for it was with great difficulty that nay of the forwards or in fact any other player could connect solidly with the wet and slippery ball.
In the very first minute of play Bethlehem threatened and almost as quickly New York carried up the field and ended the movement with a shot that went dangerously close to the mark. Play continued for ten minutes before the first goal was scored. McGhee, the flashy little forward, dribbled prettily toward the Bethlehem goal and shaking off the opposing backs finished with a hard shot. Highfield, who covered the position in the absence of Kerr, the latter recently recovered from a recent siege of illness, stopped the shot but in doing so fell to the ground and the wet ball slipped from his grasp. McKelvey was in the vicinity. He rushed in and crashed the ball into the net before the goalie had regained his feet.
This lead the visitors held for the next twenty minutes when the Bethlehems scored the equalizer. On a pass from Terrace, McNiven gained possession and then with a display of pretty football carried the ball through, beating the fullbacks. When near the goal and covered he passed to Campbell, who scored with a shot that completely beat Geudert. A minute later McNiven missed an excellent opportunity when he kicked wild with an open goal.
It was not long afterward when the visitors again forged into the lead. This came with no more than five minutes remaining for play. The goal was counted on a cross shot from McGhee which Highfield again got his hands on but failed to hold it. Rattray in the closing minute counted the equalizer. The players were engaged in a torrid scrimmage within the eighteen yard range when out from the maze of mud bespattered players the ball shot true to the mark, sailing into the net from the boot of Rattray.
There was no let up at the restart with both teams fighting hard to gain the necessary goal advantage. Likewise, the visitors with the wind to their advantage appeared far more aggressive and for the first half hour the pay frequently shifted from one end of the field to the other. Towards the close Bethlehem again did most of the attacking and frequently threatened but failed to convert the winning counter. On one occasion when Geudert in his effort to save was unable to get rid of the ball he fell to the ground in front of the net. The ball was bounced by Referee Young at the very mouth of the goal but to no avail to Bethlehem for a strong kick carried it out of the danger zone.
Then came a rather unexpected surprise for the home club. With hardly more than ten minutes to go, New York got the ball in the vicinity of the Bethlehem net and in a twinkling Archie Stark finding an opening and in a position to kick, crashed the ball past Highfield.
This lead seemed to inspire the Bethlehems to greater effort for following the goal they attacked with a greater vigor and determination. Almost continually the ball was kept dangerously close to scoring when finally Goldie, the brilliant Bethlehem forward, who early in the game took several chances to score, kicked the ball toward the goal. The ball sailed high and Geudert made an effort to divert it with his hands but was unsuccessful and the equalizing goal landed in the corner of the net.
Bethlehem -- New York
Highfield -- G -- Geudert
Young -- RFB -- Kelly
Ferguson -- LFB -- Page
McFarlane -- RHB -- T. Stark
Carnihan -- CHB -- Phillips
Terris -- LHB -- Meyerdeicks
Campbell -- OR -- McKelvey
Rattray -- IR -- A. Stark
McNiven -- CF -- Mitchell
Maxwell -- IL -- Hardy
Goldie -- OL -- McGhee
Goals: Campbell, Rattray, Goldie, McKelvey, A. Stark, McGhee. Referee, George Young, Philadelphia. Linesmen, J. H. Carpenter, H. Williams. Two forty-five minute halves.