Weak handling of the ball by McClure in goal, the outstanding and only weakness of the Bethlehem team came near proving costly to the local booters in their semi-final round National Cup game against the New York Giants at Dexter Park, Brooklyn, on Sunday afternoon. A late minute rush enabled Bethlehem to equalize the score 2 goals each.
In contrast to his work was the brilliant performance of Brown, the Giants custodian, who handled far more shots than McClure and in the manner that created for him the distinction of the outstanding defensive player on the field.
Field conditions were such that probably a game of this importance should not have been played. The melting snow converted the playing pitch into a quagmire and the contest developed into an affair that was not really a test of merit where skill and cleverness is vitally essential, but rather a struggle in which grit and stamina were the most effective weapons. Playing ankle deep in mud the final whistle found the players on the verge of exhaustion and prompted the cup committee to dispense with the extra time to decide the issue.
Goalie Brown threatened to jeopardize his mates when he came to blows with Tommy Gillespie. Had Referee Creighton followed the usual procedure in such cases both players would have been banished. Without any provocation Brown took a kick at Gillespie after the latter had legally jostled the Giant goalie in his attempt to clear. Gillespie responded with a right and left to the chin and Brown went down in the mud. Referee warned both players and then allowed them to continue.
The Giants, with the advantage in the first half of playing down hill, made the most of it, although O’Brien’s shot should have been handled by McClure and were leading at halftime, 1 to 0. They shot ahead right after the restart when McClure again made only a feeble effort to save on what appeared an easy drive. The turning point came after a half hour of play when Creighton finally detected the use of hands and awarded Bethlehem a spot kick. A short time later the score was equalized. Brown saved on what appeared to be a winning goal for Bethlehem, getting in the path of a wicked shot from the boot of Gillespie. With such forced did Gillespie drive that the ball bounding off the body of the Giant goalie, caromed to the corner flag.
Bethlehem had the better of it in corners, getting four to two in the first half and three to none in the second. Shamus O’Brien, the Giants’ inside left, earned the laurel wreath for goal scoring on his side, as he accounted for both tallies. Marshall and Jaap turned in a goal apiece for Bethlehem.
Giants (2) – Bethlehem (2)
J. Brown – G – McClure
Glover – RFB – Marshall
Moorhouse – LFB – H. Reid
Cameron – RHB – W. Reid
Herd – CHB – Carnihan
McKenny – LHB – MacGregor
Findlay – OR – Gillespie
Ballantyne – IR – Jaap
Stevens – CF – Stark
O’Brien – IL – Massie
D. Brown – OL – Rollo
Goals: O’Brien 2, Marshall, Jaap. Referee, C. E. Creighton. Linesmen, Sid Day and Sam Craig. Time of halves, 45 minutes.