The mighty Fall River soccer team, top club in the second half of the American Soccer League, again tasted the sting of defeat at the hands of the Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club on Saturday afternoon when the Steelmen played before more than three thousand fans on their newly adopted home grounds in Philadelphia vanquished the Marksmen by the score of 2 goals to 0. In winning the Steelmen displayed the same championship form witnessed in their last half dozen games.
Victory for the Steelmen was garnered in a game featured by the sensational work of the goalies. In the first half "Jimmy" Douglas, American born custodian of Olympic fame, protected his team from a far more humiliating setback by his brilliant work in front of the net.
Bethlehem almost constantly attacked in the opening forth-five minutes of play, forcing corner after corner of which only one was indirectly responsible for one of the two goals.
The Steelmen's crack forward line with Johnny Rollo at inside left in place of Jaap, who was injured, functioned with the precision of a well oiled machine. Attack after attack was initiated in which the dashing play of Tom Gillespie, at outside right, and Archie Stark, center forward, was outstanding. Down one wing and then the other the Steelmen fairly dazzled the Fall River defensive in distributing the play.
On the defense Douglas stood out as a Gibraltar. The one-time Newark sandlotter turned back a barrage of well labeled shots while on others on which he might have been beaten, the Steelmen's aim erred only by inches. Goal tending honors were exclusively Douglas' in the first half but after the restart it was the brilliant work of Dave Edwards which held the Steelmen's victory secure. Among the many other saves of Edwards was the perfect handing of a penalty kick.
The Steelmen were one up at the end of the first half, the one marker coming as a result of a corner kick. Gillespie's center was blocked at goal. However, Fall River was unable to clear and Gillespie getting up in time to engage in the scrimmage was about five yards to the side when he drove for the net. The ball deflected off McPherson and rolled into the net.
Fall River immediately launched an attack and in advancing to the Bethlehem goal Carnihan handled the ball in the penalty area. McEachran took the kick but Edwards guessed with the sure shooting Fall River outside right and handled perfect on the effort.
The Steelmen's second goal was scored by Archie Stark after thirty minutes of play in the second half. Following up on a pass on which Wilson, the Marksmen's center half shoved back to Douglas to clear, Stark beat the Fall River goalie to the ball and tapped it into the net.
Several times in the second half Edwards jumped up and stretching over the heads of the players struggled in front of the goal, sent the sphere ten yards up the field. He also made many spectacular saves, on one off Campbell [. . . ]ing the ball high over his head, inches from the goal.
Except for an occasional run by Harvey, the champions' forwards found it difficult to close in on Bethlehem's goal in the first half. Once Brittan, from ten years, shot wide. Later Harvey retained the ball when tackled by two Bethlehem backs but W. Reid punted to safety.
The Fall River team rallied in fine style in the second half. However, punts to the forwards were generally low and although well directed, somewhat slow, so that Bethlehem intercepted many of them.
Bethlehem -- Fall River
Edwards -- G -- Douglas
H. Reid -- RFB -- Macauley
McMeekin -- LFB -- McGill
W. Reid -- RHB -- McPherson
Carnihan -- CHB -- Wilson
MacGregor -- LHB -- Coyle
Gillespie -- OR -- Harvey
Granger -- IR -- Campbell
Stark -- CF -- Brittan
Rollo -- IL -- Pitt
Goldie -- OL -- McEachran
Score -- Bethlehem, 2; Fall River 0. Goals: Gillespie, Stark. Referee: Jack Dempsey of New York. Linesmen: Arthur Watson and George Young, Philadelphia Referees' Association. Substitutions: Graham for Pitt. Time of halves, 45 minutes.
The Bethlehem Steel Soccer team improved its chances in the American Soccer League race and advanced to second place in the club standing by defeating Providence on Sunday afternoon by the score of 3 to 1. The victory was the sixth straight for the Steelmen and two straight over the weekend in which Fall River was bowled over in the Saturday game. In the two games the Steelmen totaled five goals against one for the opponents.
The game at Providence was played on a treacherous pitch made so by heavy rain which fell since early morning. A drizzling rain fell during the game. At half time Bethlehem had Providence one up in spite of the fact that it was during the first half that the New Englands played their best. The goal was scored five minutes before the interval when Gillespie took advantage of a kick by Gibson and slipped the leather into the net.
Soon after the restart Bethlehem increased its lead to two goals. Providence took a new lease on life, but after scoring one goal, a fast shot by Finlayson, the Fletchermen subsided again and were unable to overcome the Bethlehem lead. The Steel team in the late minutes of the game presented a brilliant counter attack which brought a third goal, one by Goldie. Jackson was the other Bethlehem scorer.
The work of Edwards in goal for Bethlehem was one of the features of the game.
Bethlehem -- Providence
Edwards -- G -- Kennaway
H. Reid -- RFB -- Almer
McMeekin -- LFB -- Gibson
W. Reid -- RHB -- Bardell
Carnihan -- CHB -- Finlayson
Robertson -- LHB -- Campbell
Gillespie -- OR -- Beattie
Jackson -- IR -- Auld
Stark -- CF -- Stromwall
Rollo -- IL -- Dick
Goldie -- OL -- Florie
Goals -- Bethlehem: Gillespie, Jackson, Goldie. Providence: Finlayson. Substitutions -- Providence: Brooks for Stromwall, Tickle for Beattie. Referee: Bethune, Pawtucket. Linesmen: White and Boyce. Time of halves, 45 minutes.