The Bethlehem Steel F. C. will carry the hopes of the soccer fans in the East in the National final to be played in St. Louis on April 10. The Steel Workers earned this right when before 3,000 fans in Kinglsey Park, Providence, R. I., they defeated the J & P Coats, of Pawtucket, R. I., 3 goals to 1 in the Eastern final of the National Challenge Cup competition.
Unable to penetrate the opposition's defense for more than one clean shot in the opening half, the Steelmen came back strong after the intermission and forced Coats to take the defensive and scored two goals within the first 22 minutes of play. Although three goals were driven into the net, Sandy Parks, of the losers, played a spectacular game, clearing at least a score of hard shots from the opposing forwards.
Seven minutes had elapsed in the second half when the Coats forward tripped Rollo. Taking the free kick 19 yards from the Threadmen's forward line, McGregor lifted the ball over the players massed in front of the Coats' goal. Stark passed up an opportunity to convert a lobbing pass into a score, giving Jaap, at outside right, the chance to beat Parks on a drive that settled in the far corner of the net.
Both teams were unable to register a tally in the opening half. Carson, however, was kept on the defensive, the opposing forwards forcing three corners on hard clearances he was forced to make. The center forwards on each eleven were closely watched. Captain Bob Perry, of the losers, directed a hard drive at Carson, which he was barely able to save. This shot coupled with one made by Visser as the period was ending, were the only real threats in the opening half.
Coats forced 10 corners compared to two for the winners. The fact that Billy Adam was closely watched by Carnihan cost the Threadmen many chances to climax combination plays with attempts for tallies. Adam had but one shot during the entire game. The pivot in the New England cup tie against Boston three weeks ago registered four of his team's five goals.
Johnny Harvey pressed down on the Bethlehem defense at least five times in the last 15 minutes of the game, but his center trio failed to keep pace with his sensational dribbling. Perfect crosses fell at the feet of the strong Bethlehem defense.
When Jaap broke the ice with his goal the opposition's defense collapsed for a few minutes. Taking advantage, Archie Stark and his forwards swept down and score again within 15 minutes. The center trapped a pass from Goldie and dribbled through to the goal mouth.
Parks blocked the attempt, but Perry on an attempted clearance was unable to keep the leather from [...]ing back into the net. Switching Drummond to inside right and dropping Lorimer back into the halfback line, Manager Hibbert made a strategic change.
It came too late in the second period, however. Drummond saved his team from a shutout when he beat Carson on a pass from Charlie McGrane. Poor work by the Coats' defense on breaking up the combination work of Rollo and Goldie game the Bethlehem team an opportunity to increase its lead to two goals again.
Perry, forced to make a hurried clearance when the Steelmen's forwards pressed, passed back to Allen. The fullback, however, lost the ball when Archie Stark beat him to it. Goldie netted during a lively scrimmage that followed.
Bethlehem -- Coats
Carson -- G -- Parks
Berryman -- RFB -- Stevenson
Allen -- LHB -- Allen
McDonald -- RHB -- Drummond
Carnihan -- CHB -- Perry
McGregor -- LHB -- McAvoy
Jaap -- OR -- Harvey
Visser -- IR -- Lorimer
Stark -- CF -- Adam
Rollo -- IL -- Sweeney
Goldie -- OL -- McGrann
Score -- Bethlehem 3; J & P Coats 1. Goals -- Jaap, Stark, Goldie. Referee -- Mose Bloom, N. Y. Linesmen -- Votalato, Providence, Grundy, Attleboro. Time of halves 45 minutes.