The goal scoring average of the Bethlehem Steel F. C. soared skyward on Saturday afternoon when the Steel Workers, with a rearranged lineup, found Newark easy and trounced the Jerseyites in an American Soccer League game on the Steel Field by the score of 8 goals to none.
While the Steelmen's victory was easy, it was not without a toll for shortly after the restart Bill Allen was forced to leave the field with a badly gashed knee. Medical attention was necessary and it is doubtful if he will be available to the Steelmen if they are called upon to play in the semi-final round of the National Challenge Cup competition this weekend.
While conditions overhead were ideal for the contest, the field conditions were anything but that . The pitch thawed out was left muddy, dotted with pools of water here and there, resulting in frequent spills.
Three new players make their debut in the Bethlehem lineup and all three acquitted themselves favorably. Vesser, the Holland Olympic star, proved a good mud horse and also gave evidence of a dangerous shot when anywhere near the vicinity of goal. Three times he beat Oliphant, the visitors' goalie, twice with shots that came off his boot rifle speed.
A newcomer to the halfback line was Harris, who played in Carnihan's position at center half and displayed plenty of speed and aggressiveness. The third of the trio of new players was McGraw, a goalie, who starred in his work with a headlong dive to save on a penalty kick.
The visitors were completely outclassed and the high total of scores hardly described the superiority of the Steel Workers. After gaining a substantial lead the Steel Workers relented in their efforts, particularly Archie Stark, whose shots at goal were only half hearted attempts.
Newark played the major portion of the game with only ten men. After Allen left the field early in the second half the sides were evenly balanced. Sharp, the Newark left halfback, gained the displeasure of Referee Danny Oates after fifteen minutes of play when he questioned a decision of the referee and did it in such a forceful manner that the arbiter ordered him off the field. Stark had just crashed through with Bethlehem's first goal, heading one of Goldie's perfect centers into the net. Stark claimed that the goal was scored with Bethlehem offside, but Oates ruled it legitimate and then Sharp got the gate.
A stiff gale swept down the field and Newark had this advantage, together with the sun, in the first half. So strong was the breeze that clearances or goal kicks traveled hardly more than twenty yards. Occasionally Newark would make a raid on the Bethlehem goal, but only on rare occasions and then their parting shots were well handled by McGraw.
The Steelmen, forced to battle the wind as well as the oppositions' defenses, had little difficulty in advancing toward the Newark goal. Oliphant, visitors' custodian, was a busy individual and handled many shots, but it was next to a physical impossibility to successfully take care of all that came his way. Stark opened the scoring and a few minutes later Vesser breezed one in with the speed of a rifle shot from about fifteen yards out. Stark counted again and just before the half ended. Vesser made it four to nothing in favor of Bethlehem.
With the Steelmen on the long end of the score by a comfortable margin, the second half was more or less listless. However, while devoid of exciting interest, the comedy caused by sliding and slushing on the muddy field proved quite entertaining to the spectators.
Jim Purvis boosted his individual scoring by two goals. Shortly after the restart Georgie Forrest was running wild on the right wing and it was on one of his well placed corners that Purvis headed into the net. A few minutes later Goldie centered to the goal mouth and again it was Purvis who touched the ball into the net with his boot. Forrest came through with another and then Vesser made it four for this half with a header on Forrest's center.
During the second half the Steelmen were hovering almost continually around the visitors' goal, but it was after the restart that Newark fell down miserably on two of the best opportunities of the game to score. On the only two breakaways initiated by Newark in this half, Berryman twice handled in the penalty area. On the first penalty kick, McGraw made a headlong dive across the goal mouth to save. On the kick the ball struck the upright and both penalties counted for naught. The lineup:
Newark -- Beth. Steel.
Oliphant -- G -- McGraw
Ward -- RFB -- Berryman
Fleming -- LFB -- Allen
Kirby -- RHB -- McDonald
McLeod -- CHB -- Harris
Sharp -- LHB -- MacGregor
Hutchin -- OR -- Forrest
Helm -- IR -- Purvis
Heminsly -- CF -- Stark
Beauchamp -- IL -- Vesser
Dickey -- OL -- Goldie
Goals: Stark 2; Vesser 3; Purvis 2; Forrest 1. Referee: Danny Oates, Philadelphia. Linesmen: Carson and Smith. Time of halves: 45 minutes.