Picking the stars from clubs comprising the Delaware Shipyard League, Philadelphia soccer enthusiasts on Saturday afternoon augmented a team to face the Bethlehem champions in an exhibition contest that managed to earn a draw, the game ending with one goal scored apiece.
The result of the game was no surprise to the local crowd and while to the Quaker City fans the tie ending is virtually a victory, the followers of Bethlehem are well satisfied with the showing of Manager Sheridan's protégés, especially those acquainted with the conditions under which the game was played. The field selected for the contest was Third and Lehigh streets, Philadelphia, affording a playing space short and very narrow, in fact, the field barely complying with the minimum playing space allowed for organized football. These handicaps interfered greatly with the Steel Workers' style of playing. The shipbuilders, however, presented a wonderful opposition and it took the combined efforts of every member of the championship aggregation to hold them in check. Players that represented the team have make their mark in the soccer world in previous contests and have lost little if any of their former ability.
Jimmy Campbell, who returned to the game after several months' lay-off due to injury, played a good game, although his showing was not near that of previous performances. Several more weeks with strenuous practice will be required before this sterling forward will be able to give the team the best. Several other shifts were necessary in the Bethlehem lineup and with the exception of probably five or six of the eleven players, the remainder were placed in strange positions. This was especially evident at the center forward position, Harry Ratican and Jimmy Easton both being unable to take part in the game. As a result Bob Millar, whose passing from inside left has always been a valuable asset to the team, assumed the burdens of playing center forward. Despite this change his work was marvelous and opened the eyes of the Philadelphia fans. Fletcher, who during the absence of Campbell played center halfback, was shifted back to his old position at center halfback. The match attracted close to 1,000 spectators.
The shipbuilders were first to score, Graham, the inside right, sending the ball into the net after 35 minutes' play. The tying point was scored by Bob Millar from a corner kick in the first five minutes of the second half. Millar played center forward and his skill in shifting about among the opposing players, retaining the ball after side-stepping tackles, opened the eyes of many of the spectators to the prowess of the player. He is always in position, is speedy, shifty and an ideal team worker; in fact, the entire collection of Steel Workers have developed team play so well that when they punt the ball it is not often that a teammate fails to secure it. This was shown in the second half, especially at the start after the score was tie, when Bethlehem for a time outplayed the picked eleven.
The picked team's goal was well registered after Napier, at the center of the field, punted over to Jimmy Wilson, who dashed up the side of the field, outsprinting Ferguson, advancing to the 15-yard line, then centering across the field, where Nolan and Graham were. In a scrimmage at the 12-yard line, Graham got free of the visiting backs and, facing goal, quickly booted the ball into the net, Duncan having no chance to stop the drive.
The Bethlehem goal was a fine testimonial to team work. It resulted from a corner kick. McKelvey punted from the corner flag to Pepper, who stood in the center of the field, 30 yards away from goal. He caught the ball on his boot and sent it forward, high in the air, toward goal. Millar, surrounded by home team players, stood five yards in front of goal, and as the ball descended he touched it with his toe and, turning slightly, skimmed it beyond Alf Pearce's reach into goal.
Another feature was a remarkable save by Duncan in the middle of the second half. At that time the shipyard players advanced several times close to goal and in another rally Pooley, from 10 yards away, sent the ball with terrific force at goal. Duncan threw himself across the goal and managed to prevent a score.
Wilson again was active and another center gave Pooley a chance and resulted in Duncan's spectacular save. A foul against Butler resulted in Pooley shooting over the top of goal. A pass to McGhee resulted in a drive which Duncan stopped. In turn Bethlehem advanced, and Fleming had a fine chance, but Pearce stopped it at the edge of goal for a corner. Bethlehem gained 3 corner kicks in the concluding minutes.
Picked Team -- Bethlehem
Alf Pearce (Hog Island) -- G -- Duncan
McLoughlin (New York) -- RFB -- Wilson
Howley (Pusey & Jones) -- LFB -- Ferguson
Rodgers (New York) -- RHB -- Fletcher
Napier (Harlan) -- CHB -- Campbell
Fullerton (New York) -- LHB -- Butler
J. Wilson (Merchant B) -- OR -- McKelvey
Graham (Merchant B) -- CF -- Millar
J. McGhee -- IL -- Forrest
P. Pooley (Pusey & Jones) -- OL -- Fleming
Score -- Shipyard League 1, Bethlehem 1. Goals -- Graham, Millar. Referee -- George Young. Linesmen, Jas. Walder and Bobby Morrison. 45-minute halves.