The final preliminary to the big Eastern classic was staged in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon when the Steel Workers displayed their stuff in conflict with the Philadelphia F. C. and by virtue of their 2-to-1 victory registered in the Phillies' ball park before 1,500 fans, added two more points in their race for the American Soccer League bunting.
The game was the prologue to the big scene to be enacted in Brooklyn, N. Y., next Sunday afternoon when the Steel Workers collide with Fall River in the Eastern final of the National Cup competition and usually the Phillies give the Bethlehemites a hard battle. Philadelphia fans will say that Bethlehem was fortunate to win but the version of the home talent that witnessed the game is entirely different. A one-goal margin was sufficient to bring home the bacon.
The Bethlehem players were treated to somewhat of a surprise when they entered the ball park and found that the playing pitch had been changed and laid out diagonally across the field. This materially cut down the size with the width no more than 52 1/2 feet wide which somewhat interfered with the Bethlehem style of play. However, when the Steel Workers became familiar with the conditions they quickly showed their superiority.
Sporting Bishop, a new center forward, and Chapman, a new goalie, the Phillies possibly were at their strongest this season and really gave an excellent display of soccer. In spite of this opposition, the Steel Workers seemed little perturbed and went about their stuff in the same precise and machine-like manner which brought home the flock of previous victories. As a precaution against possible injury Walter Jackson, the brilliant center forward, whose specialty seems cup games, was not pressed into service on Saturday. Jack Rattray played his position and did it well.
While at times it did appear as though the Steelmen were outplayed by the Phillies, the latter nevertheless could not overcome the precise and effective work of the Bethlehem machine. For 30 minutes the teams battled without a tally and then Bishop opened the scoring. Individually Bishop got the ball past the backs and then with only Highfield to beat, placed the sphere neatly in the net. Bethlehem had several good opportunities to score but as has been the case in a good many games this season, the shots barely missed the mark or were turned back by Chapman. The result was that the Phillies were leading at half time by the score of 1 to 0.
Bethlehem came into its own in the second half, starting off at the restart with a rush and in very short time had equalized the score. It was a few minutes after the restart that Bethlehem counted when Turner drove a torrid shot at Chapman. The latter was unable to hold the ball from the angle he was placed in and the score was tied.
Bethlehem's second and final goal resulted from a breakaway in which the ball was shot over the line by Gaw in his effort to clear, the Steel Workers scoring through Goldie.
Philadelphia -- Bethlehem
Chapman -- G -- Highfield
Rogers -- RFB -- D. Ferguson
Gaw -- LFB -- J. Ferguson
Burnett -- RHB -- McGregor
Clark -- CHB -- Carnihan
McDonald -- LHB -- Robertson
McClure -- OR -- Turner
Gibson -- IR -- A. Jackson
Bishop -- CF -- Rattray
Cox -- IL -- Maxwell
Logan -- OL -- Goldie
Final score -- Bethlehem 2, Philadelphia 1. Half-time score -- Philadelphia 1, Bethlehem, 0. Goals for Bethlehem -- Turner and Goldie; for Philadelphia, Bishop. Referee -- Ed. McCabe. Linesmen -- A. Watson and W. Kendall. Time of halves, 45 minutes.