Typical in every detail of spirited cup tie games, Bethlehem Steel advanced to the final round in the Eastern Division of the National Challenge Cup by bowling over a fighting and determined clan of New York Giants on Hawthorne Field, Brooklyn, on Sunday afternoon, 2 goals to 1.
More than five thousand fans turned out for the game, which had plenty of thrills, the spectators being on edge, with fast and furious playing to every minute from the opening whistle of Referee Lambie to the final toot.
Bethlehem's victory was not served up on a silver platter, for while the Steel Workers were the better soccer manipulators, the Giants with their slashing, kicking and rush system were a continual threat. Bill Highfield in goal was tested and was called upon more than once to handle parting shots, and he found two capable aides in Berryman and Allen, the minute men of the occasion, whose dashing play preserved Bethlehem's victory.
Twice when a goal seemed inevitable, Allen cut in to make a perfect clearance, with the ball at the very goal mouth and surrounded by Giant players. On another occasion, after Highfield batted down a hard drive in the goal mouth, the toe of Berryman beat t hat of a Giant to send the ball out of the danger zone.
Three goals were scored, the winning one for Bethlehem coming on a penalty kick when Moorehouse, left fullback for the Giants, heeled Stark after the latter had him beat and was going through. Each of the other two goals, one counted by Stradan and the other by Stark, were shots on which the goalie had no chance.
Brilliant soccer was intermingled occasionally by a confused brand when under the severe pressure, all science or combination was tossed to the winds. And it was in these lapses that the goals of the respective teams were threatened. Bethlehem, with field and weather conditions favorable, resorted to their usual style of play, while with the Gotham clan it was the long drives of the backs that slashed the ball into Bethlehem territory and forced the Steel Workers' defense to extend itself before relieving the pressure. Breakaways were frequent with the ball swinging from one end of the field tot he other, and shots at goal frequent.
It was a hard day on center forwards. Archie Stark was continually bottled and had little opportunity to try for goals. Once in the second half he eluded the backs and apparently had no one to beat except the goalie, but in dashing for the ball lost his footing and fell to the turf. On the other hand, Bill Carnihan played one of the best games of his career. His work was to restrict the efforts of Davy Brown, the brilliant Gotham front liner, and the Bethlehem man did his work well. He contributed most of his effectiveness to the defense, in which Allen and Berryman were stonewalls -- a little weak perhaps in their clearances, but what they lacked in this respect they more than offset by their fearless and effective tackling. With Brown well taken care of by Carnihan, Duggan was the next most dangerous man on the Giants' front line, but several opportunities that came his way were wasted in shooting by. The Giants were weak on their outside wings, both Stradan and Strong evidently unable to keep up the pace, and invariably losing the ball when on top of it.
Bethlehem's forwards worked with precision, with Goldie probably being most free. The little outside left time and again eluded the Gotham backs and it was one of his several perfect crosses that paved the way for Bethlehem's first goal. Rollo and Granger at the inside posts played hard and with reckless abandon, while Jaap was equally as flashy, but found a strong defensive barrier in Moorehouse, the Giants' left halfback.
Bethlehem won the toss and elected to play with the wind and sun in their favor. The field was dry and in excellent condition. With a rush the two teams were off with the opening whistle and the aggressive Giants lost little time in pressing.
The Steelmen seemed slow in getting going, but opened up with everything when the Giants notched the first goal. Within six minuets of play the New York fans were given an opportunity to shout their approval. A breakaway on the right, in which Duggan and Brown were prominent, carried the ball down the field, this combination evading both backs. Brown took the shot and sent a stinging drive across the goal mouth. While it looked like a cross, with Stradan free at the time, he met the ball and drove it into the net well out of the reach of Highfield. Brown's original intention was shooting for goal. Stradan just happened to be in the path of the drive and did not fail.
From then on it was a fighting Bethlehem team, hitting on all six and pressing with a determination that had to net some returns. New York played hard defensively to protect the one goal lead and was successful for a time, but after twenty minutes of play Bethlehem equalized. The speedy Goldie picked up the gall just as it was going over the goal line and followed this brilliant piece of work by placing a perfect cross. Jaap met the ball and drove it at Geudert. The latter stopped the drive but was unable to hold it and when it fell to the ground, Stark enveloped in a mass of Bethlehem and Giant players, found an opening and landed it into the net.
Not satisfied with the equalizer Bethlehem continued to press and it was about ten minutes later when the penalty kick was awarded. The ball was crossed tot he Bethlehem center forward. By a deft touch he took the ball around Moorehouse, the only player in his path and was going through when the latter brought Stark down from the rear with his heel. Referee Lambie allowed the penalty and Goldie taking the kick place the ball in the corner of the net. The fans did not take kindly to the decision and voiced their disapproval with a chorus of boos.
From then on play became more furious and in the aggressive tactics employed thereafter, free kicks were frequent. The Giants rallied in the closing minutes, but at half time Bethlehem had retained its advantage and was leading 2 goals to 1. In aggressiveness Bethlehem monopolized the bulk of the play and Geudert saved well on more than one shot that was labeled for a goal.
The second half was one that will long be remembered as probably one of the most bitterly fought cup games played on a Brooklyn field. Especially by the partisan Bethlehem rooters, who were thrilled by the determined aggressiveness of the New Yorkers. The Giants are reputed as being a game fighting team and in it to the final whistle, and they truly lived up to these characteristics. With the wind and the sun to their advantage, they furnished Bethlehem plenty of action. From this it must not be construed that the Giants were the only attacking team during this half, for Bethlehem had its share of opportunities, none of which was productive. But with the minutes of this game fast waning the Giants rallied with a fifteen minute dash that threatened to sweep away the Bethlehem advantage. It was kick and rush during this time, the backs slashing long hard drives down the field to the vicinity of Bethlehem's goal. Twice Allen turned back their drives when shots from Duggan and Brown were at the very edge of the goal mouth, and on another occasion it was a brilliant save of Berryman that kept the Steel Workers' lead intact. This pressure continued up to within five minutes of the final whistle, when the Steelmen, somewhat demoralized for a time, became better organized and again took the upper hand. Then the whistle brought to a close one of the most furious cup tie contests it has been the lot of Bethlehem to engage in.
By winning from the Giants, the Steel Workers qualified to meet J & P Coats in the final round tilt at Providence, R. I., next Sunday afternoon. The winner will engage with the winner of the Western Division in the grand final for the National honors. The latter game will most likely be played in St. Louis. The lineup:
Giants -- Bethlehem
Geudert -- G -- Highfield
Kelly -- RFB -- Berryman
Moorehouse -- LFB -- Allen
Topping -- RHB -- McDonald
Parkes -- CHB -- Carnihan
McKinney - -LHB -- MacGregor
Strong -- OR -- Jaap
Duggan -- IR -- Granger
Brown -- CF -- Stark
Philips -- IL -- Rollo
Stradan -- OL -- Goldie
Goals -- Stradan, Stark, Goldie (penalty). Referee -- George Lambie, Newton, Mass. Linesmen -- S. Day and W. Williams. Time of halves, 45 minutes