A Bethlehem soccer team fought a valiant but losing battle before thirteen thousand spectators on Sunday afternoon before finally submitting to Fall River in the replay round of the Eastern final, United States competition, losing 3 to 2.
Bethlehem, advancing to the final round for the first time in the last several years, is now out of the competition while Fall River, the conqueror, meets Cleveland Bruells, winner of the western division, in the first game of the series in the grand final at the Polo Grounds, New York, next Sunday afternoon.
The severe handicap and stress under which Bethlehem was playing became apparent once the game got under way. The absence of Bill Carnihan, center halfback, necessitated a complete reorganization and threw the entire team off balance.
After the greater par of the first half had been played and in which Fall River predominated, several drastic changes were made in the Bethlehem team in hopes of more unity functioning. Finlayson went to center halfback and Reid in his position at right half. Gibson, starting at right half, went to fullback.
On the forward line Archie Stark, lame in both legs, but nevertheless always dangerous and good enough to score two goals, and Tommy Gillespie, almost as bad off, played under severe duress. In the second half Rollo replaced Gillespie and the team seemed to take on a new lease of life and several times before the end of the whistle threatened to pull the game out of fire. However, the toll of the game the week previous when Bethlehem missed a penalty and later the winning goal was disallowed, was too great a handicap to overcome.
All three goals notched by Fall River came from weak clearances in front of the goal mouth, while Bethlehems two tallies were the result of a concentrated attack in which the forwards carried the ball right down the field to allow Stark to score. The lineup:
Fall River (3) Bethlehem (2)
Reder G Fraser
McGill RFB Finlayson
R. McAuley LHB McGregor
McPherson RHB Gibson
Priestley CHB Reid
Ballantyne LHB Pitt
McCabe OR Gillespie
Nilsen IR Jaap
Patenaude CF Stark
J. McAuley IL Massie
White OL Dick
Goals: Gonzales, Priestley, Ballantyne, Stark 2. Substitutions: Gonzales for McGille, Rollo for Gillespie. Corners, Bethlehem 3, Fall River 2. Free kicks, Bethlehem 16, Fall River 15. Saves, Fraser 26, Reder 13. Time of halves, 45 minutes.