The oft postponed game due to field and weather conditions between the Bethlehem F. C. and Philadelphia F. C. was played off on Saturday afternoon on the Steel field but failed to proved any unusual thrills except the finished work of the locals. In fact the ease with which the Bethlehems disposed of their Quaker City rivals made the game lack keen competition. Bethlehem won by the score of 5 goals to 1.
Overhead conditions were ideal and the ground conditions were likewise fairly good. The field, somewhat heavy, had a tendency to slow the life of the ball when on the turf. However, it did not detract from the brilliant and clever footwork and combination play of the home team players who seemed more engaged in passing and dribbling than really trying to roll up a big count. By winning on Saturday, the Bethlehems tied with Pawtucket for first place in the American Soccer League race.
At times the Bethlehem passing and combination play made the Philadelphia clan look foolish and in this style of play the home clan seemed to delight.
Of the ninety minutes of hostilities it might be said that no more than three minutes of this time, if that much, did the Phillies even threaten.
When the Phillie forwards did manage to get by Carnihan, which was very seldom, it was the redoubtable Ferguson who checked the advance. However, this brilliant youngster was tricked once and Philadelphia made the best of the opportunity by scoring the lone goal. After play had been centered in the visitors' territory Philadelphia started an aggressive move in which a pretty cross to Andrews got the ball beyond the halfback line. The speedy Andrews headed for goal with Ferguson in his path and closing in on him. Instead of rushing the Bethlehem fullback, Andrews neatly tricked him and then advanced to closer range with Highfield the only object to counteract his final parting. Slowly and deliberately Andrews placed and aimed and then drove the ball into a far corner of the net with Highfield completely beat.
The game was barely started before McNiven taking a pass from Goldie [...]ed over the bar. An instant later it was again Goldie, whose speed completely foiled the visitors' defense and carried the ball down into the vicinity of the goal. Goldie crossed to Campbell who was in position to take a shot, but Rattray was still better located and he fed the ball to him. The latter crashed it into the net from close range, the success coming after three minutes of playing. A pair of corner kicks followed which Bethlehem failed to convert into tallies and then in an instant later McNiven slipped by the fullback and from fifteen yard range crashed Bethlehem's second tally into the net.
Satisfied with this lead, Bethlehem from then on to the closing minutes of play, seemed content to devote their efforts in practice and for a half hour most of the play centered around midfield with the locals giving a pretty display of passing, dribbling and combination work. It was during this repartee that the Phillie forwards got possession and started down the field Ruiz received the ball no more than five yards out with an excellent opportunity to score but while placing for the parting drive the sphere was taken away from him. Again it was Ruiz who had a chance and this time he shot but Highfield made the play that proved the most brilliant saving of the day.
This threatening attitude seemed to have an effect on the Bethlehems for in less than two minutes before the half ended they scored twice. Rattray counted his second tally on a corner kick from Campbell and almost immediately afterward, McNiven single-handedly dribbled down the field, working his way through the entire visiting defense and then scored. The session ended with Bethlehem leading four goals to none.
Had the Bethlehems' aim in scoring after the restart been as accurate as the passing, the score would have accounted to no less the triple total of what Bethlehem garnered in the opening half. Not that the shots were wild in the extreme, but many of them seemed to lack only in clearing to the side or grazing the uprights. It was an entire forward line threat that assumed the offensive for Bethlehem with no one individual trying his luck at scoring but shots rained from the toe of practically every man in this line. For the first thirty minutes the visitors' forward line were about as [...] as they ever had been during this entire period of play centered in the vicinity of their citadel. Only once prior to the time that Andrews go through to score did Philadelphia manage to get the ball beyond midfield and then only for a brief spell. After counting McNiven came back and scored his third and Bethlehem's fifth goal of the afternoon. The lineup:
Phillies -- Bethlehem
Ness -- G -- Highfield
McGhee -- RFB -- Young
Rooney -- LFB -- Ferguson
Rundle -- RHB -- McFarlane
Rogers -- CHB -- Carnihan
Kirkpatrick -- LHB -- Terris
Andrews -- OR -- Campbell
[Joe] Morrison -- IR -- Rattray
Ruiz -- CF -- McNiven
Pracht -- IL -- Maxwell
Brown -- OL -- Goldie
Goals made for Beth.: McNiven 3, Rattray 2; for Philadelphia, Andrews. Referee, John Walders, Philadelphia. Linesmen, McDonald and Faulds. Time of halves, 45 minutes.