by Sita Dell
The one goal victory gained by Bethlehem in the closing minutes of the game with New York yesterday at the New York oval places the local team in a very secure position at the top of the league table. New York was considered by many to be the most serious contender for the pennant.
The field was anything but ideal and the worst that the Bethlehem team has played on in the last seven years. The pitch was a veritable sea of mud, with the mire no less than six inches deep over two-thirds of the playing pitch with the remainder covered with water. Under these conditions it was a matter of staying power that proved the dominant factor, and it was the Bethlehem clan that seemed to be in the better physical condition.
There was little chance for any scientific football, but in spite of the conditions, the game was remarkably well played. The style was more or less rush and kick, and several times the ball traveled no more than a yard when struck squarely.
The goal that decided the issue came in the last two minutes of play and was the result of a nice cross from Rattray. McNiven, the big center forward, met the ball at twelve-yard range and drove it into the net with remarkable power. Guedert, the goal keeper, had no possible chance to stop it, for the ball traveled away from him, rising to the corner of the net with great speed, and completely out of range of the custodian.
In the first half the Steel Workers had much the better of the game and on at least four occasions were very unfortunate to not locate the net. Campbell missed the upright from six yards' range with no one to beat but Guedert, and McNiven also had a similar try on which he should have located the net.
Rattray hit the upright twice with the goal keeper beaten. Undaunted by these misfortunes, Bethlehem continued to press and the ball was practically continually in New York territory. In a scrimmage in front of the goal, Campbell finally located the net, but the referee called the point off and awarded Bethlehem a penalty kick, claiming that a New York player had fouled a Bethlehem player previously to the ball going into the net. McNiven took the penalty and sent it over the bar.
Ten minutes before half time Goldie was severely injured and had to be carried from the field. He carried the ball down the left wing on a clever solo effort and after he shot, he came in contact with the foot of Page, who slid in to block the parting shot. He came out in the second half, but was practically helpless, limping along the line at outside right. Campbell took his position at outside left and played one of the best games of his career.
In the second half New York started off with a rush and for some time the Bethlehem defense was put to a severe test and all their defenders acquitted themselves well. The halfbacks covered the defense in great style and very ably succeeded in thwarting the determined attacks of the New Yorkers. Highfield gave one of the best displays of goal keeping ever witnessed in New York,, saving several desperate attempts on the part of the New York forwards to dent the net. Ferguson and Young were also at their best and contributed materially to the all-around excellence of the defense.
The Bethlehem forward line seemed to be demoralized in team work when Goldie was injured, and the efforts seemed to be more of individual nature. However, every man worked hard and deserved great credit in the victory. In the closing minutes of play Bethlehem again took the game in hand and with clever football, carried the ball into New York territory and continued to attack until the ball was safely in the net, through the brilliant shot of McNiven. Again in the very last second of play, Bethlehem was unfortunate not to again score. On a pass from Campbell, McNiven centering a long cross shot completely beat Guedert, but the whistle sounded before it reached the net.
For New York, Kelly, Guedert and the brothers Stark, and McGhee were best. The lineup:
New York -- Bethlehem
Geudert -- G -- Highfield
Kelly -- RFB -- Young
Page -- LFB -- Ferguson
T. Stark -- RHB -- McFarlane
Philip -- CHB -- Carnihan
Burnett -- LHB -- Terris
McAuslan -- OR -- Campbell
A. Stark -- IR -- Rattray
Mitchell -- CF -- McNiven
Hardy -- IL -- Maxwell
McGhee -- OL -- Goldie
Goal: McNiven, Bethlehem. Referee, W. A. Welch, Boston. Linesmen, J. Cunningham and R. McMahon. Time of halves, 45 minutes.