From the opening whistle of Referee Cunningham until the final blast, Bethlehem dominated in the run of the game, outplaying, outgaming and outscoring the Western finalists. Once the game was under way there was no comparison and only for the occasional breakaways, which were few and far between did the St. Louis boys have a look-in. In justice to the losers it must be said they played hard in spite of sure defeat. The regularity with which the Bethlehem goals were scored did not dampen their ardor and they were throwing every ounce of their effort into the game up to the very last.
Three times did Archie Stark, premier goal scorer of the American Soccer League, and a star of the game, penetrate the visitors' net, while his co-workers, with the exception of Granger, registered one each. The odd goal was contributed by "Whitey" McDonald.
The veteran Granger did not score, but at least two of the counters coming Bethlehem's way might be indirectly attributed to his efforts.
Defensively, Bethlehem lacked slightly at right fullback, where Joe Berryman, usually a star, did not seem to be on his game. A warning from the referee on a play in the early minutes seemed to upset the big back and he seemingly was unable to settle during the remainder of the game.
At all times the Steelmen were safely at the front. Several times they relaxed in the second half in their goal scoring efforts to diddle with the ball, but for every goal scored by the Ben Millers after the restart the Steelmen came right back and counted two.
The left wing of Mulroy and Nash presented a neat combination and but for this pair of youngsters the representatives from the West would have [TYPOGRAPHICAL ERROR HERE -- SENTENCE IS NOT COMPLETE] Whatever forward movements were experienced it was the combination of Mulroy and Nash to advance the ball on the Bethlehem goal. Mulroy, an eighteen year old youngster, performed with all the earmarks of a veteran. He was cool and slow in his play and more than once tricked and eluded Berryman to make a raid on the Steel Workers' net. However, it was Nash, his inside mate, who was responsible for both of the Ben Miller's tallies.
It was not until after eighteen minutes of play that the Ben Millers experienced their first bye kick and twenty-two minutes of play consumed before Dave Carson, the Bethlehem custodian, was called upon to handle. Towards the close of the half the visitors spurted and in their rally were decidedly dangerous for a time, but their best efforts were frustrated by two beautiful saves by Carson. Bartnett, in goal for the visitors, was a busy individual and performed nobly in spite of the seven goals chalked against him. The shots that penetrated the net were such that no human effort could have turned them back. On the other hand, he did save on drives that were well labeled.
McDonald was on the sidelines for five minutes of the game and then returned. With his return there was an immediate shift in the line-up. Granger, who played brilliantly on the forward line, went to right halfback while Jaap moved to the inside forward position, and McDonald went to the outside right. It is in the latter position that the injured Bethlehem player sent in a goal with the speed of a rifle bullet. At half time the Steel Workers were leading 3 to 0.
Bethlehem won the toss and immediately started pressing, Jaap forcing the Westerners to yield a corner after the first minute of play. On the kick Goldie headed bye. With pretty work by Mulroy and Nash, the Ben Millers broke away, but their advance was checked by the Bethlehem halfbacks, after which the Steel Workers again took the initiative and play was fast and furious in the vicinity of the Ben Miller net. After six minutes, Bethlehem had forced another corner, this time on the opposite wing and the only one which proved productive. Goldie placed perfectly, and Stark with a deft touch of the head, sent the sphere sailing into the corner of the net. The visitors had probably never before experienced such pressure, for they were an exclusively defensive team up to this time, yield the third and fourth corners at 8 and 14 minutes, respectively. Then for the first time the front liners advanced to a position to shoot, but the effort went wide of the mark.
On a play that followed shortly afterward, nineteen minutes to be exact, and which proved productive, the Bethlehem players were showered with plaudits. Down the field swept the front liners until within close vicinity, where Granger got possession. Maneuvering for position, Granger feinted cleverly in drawing in the visiting backs and then when about to be tackled, he slipped the ball to the toe of the waiting Stark, who responded with an accurate shot for the second goal. It was one of the prettiest pieces of combination witnessed in the entire game and showed the wisdom of the management in staring the veteran Granger at that position.
Once again Carson was forced to handle, this time during a scrimmage in front of the Bethlehem citadel, and again proved master of the occasion. When time ended, Bethlehem had amassed three goals and seven corner kicks, while the best the Westerners had was two corner kicks in the entire forty-five minutes of play.
The Westerners were well received by the patrons, sharing the plaudits when they took the field. However their most thunderous greeting came within two minutes of play after the re-start, when with a well organized attack, the front line swept down the field to end the movement by Nash crashing the ball into the net. The goal was scored before the Bethlehem players fully realized that the game was under way. Immediately it had its effect, for an instant later Bethlehem had a corner. Jaap sent the ball across, passing to Goldie, the latter whipping it back to Stark, who in his eagerness to score missed an open goal.
This pretty effort was followed two minutes later by another long drive by Rollo. Having sent past on several previous efforts, he was at least eighteen yards out and at a bad angle when he let drive, the ball having just enough swerve to it to carry it high into the far corner of the net and well out of the reach of Bartnett.
The Steel Workers were seemingly apparently through so far as goal scoring was concerned, for the next five or ten minutes were devoted in tricking and toying with the visitors in cleverly manipulating the ball on short passes. For a few minutes it was listless and then the Ben Millers got possession and gave Bethlehem about the busiest five minutes in the game. E. Dunn had an excellent opportunity to score from close range, but shot past. The Millers initiated another raid and on this advance a free kick was awarded when MacGregor accidentally handled. Players were massed around the goal when the ball was well placed and in the scrimmage, Nash counted his second and last goal for St. Louis.
The success seemed an inspiration to the Westerners, for they continued to press, forcing a corner which was sent bye, but an instant later were dangerous when a free kick just outside the penalty area was awarded. Allen saved with a good clearance, but it was on this play that four of the players were stretched on the field. When McDonald returned to the game he had hardly assumed the position at outside right when Goldie placed across at his toe, which he converted with a speedy shot. That was with but four minutes more to go. But Bethlehem was not yet through and it fell to Jaap to count the final tally.
Stark broke through with the ball and outmatched the speed of the backs. Down the field he went on the ball, beating every offensive player in his path. Instead of going up center he surged to the left, confusing the defense by this move. When well to the outside position and with the defense moving in that direction, he placed perfectly to Jaap at the goal mouth and uncovered. The latter took the ball with his chest and breasted it into the net. A minute later the game ended and Bethlehem after a lapse of seven years became the National soccer champions for the fifth time. The line-up:
Bethlehem (7) -- Ben Miller (2)
Carson -- G -- Barnett
Berryman -- RB -- Erbe
Allan -- LB -- Daley
McDonald -- RH -- Croak
Carnihan -- CH -- Petersen
McGregor -- LH -- Tracey
Jaap -- OR -- E. Dunn
Granger -- IR -- Worden
Stark -- CF -- Bollam
Rollo -- IL -- Nash
Goldie -- OL -- Mulroy
Goals -- Stark, 3; Rollo, Jaap, McDonald, Goldie, Nash, 2.
Referee -- Thos. Cunningham, Brooklyn.
Linesmen -- Mose Bloom, New York and Roderick O'Halloran, Brooklyn.
Time of halves, 45 minutes.