Not until trailing by a one goal margin did the Bethlehem Steel F. C. on Saturday on Lehigh Field play with any real aggressiveness and then too late to overcome the lead registered by J & P Coats, but enough to tie the count.
AS a result, the National champions shared the points in the American Soccer League, the last home game of the season. The final score was two goals each.
Coats had the best of the argument for about fifteen minutes in the second half, and during that period, took advantage of every opportunity to score. The champions, on the other hand, monopolized the remainder of the game and while opportunities for goals were plenty, fell down either through poor shooting or the handling of Parks.
The champions should have scored enough goals to win half a dozen games and probably would have rolled up their total to a higher number in the first half if their efforts had been directed to scoring as diligently as they were to playing with the ball.
Then again, the front line was decidedly weak at the inside positions, taken care of by Rollo and Visser, the latter the Holland Internationalist, for frequently the ball was centered with no one anywhere near to take the shot. Rollo woke up to the fact that the Steelmen needed goals in the second half and became a bit more active in this respect, but throughout the game Visser seemed lost in the going. He was willing enough, but just didn't seem to fit in with the front line combination.
In being forced to share the points, the Steelmen had no excuses. Shorts at open goals were more than once wasted by poor shooting, and only late in the second half, when rallying, did their aim become more accurate, although their drives went straight to the arms of Parks.
Overconfidence inspired by the early success in scoring may have had much to do in upsetting the usually smooth working Bethlehem machine. The game was hardly a minute old when a pretty piece of combination work by Stark and Jaap resulted in the latter locating the net. From then on the Steelmen seemed complete masters, having possession of the ball for the greater part of the remaining period, but seemingly weak in their efforts to score. As a result, the period became drawn out and play was listless.
The spurt of Coats at the restart injected a bit more pep into the fracas and from then on until the final whistle he spectators were treated to some good soccer. Immediately with the kickoff Coats started an aggressive attack and within five minutes Sweeney scored from scrimmage with a sizzling ground drive.
This unexpected rally somewhat demoralized the Bethlehem defense and for about ten minutes the spectators witnessed a lively session in Bethlehem territory. Pressing hard, the visitors forced the Steelmen to concede two corners and shortly afterwards Drummond put the spinners in the lead with a pretty shot from close range.
Awakening to the fact that they were trailing instead of leading, the Steelmen took command and then started one of the most determined attacks witnessed on the field this season. Down the field in one attack after another, swept the Bethlehem forwards, but just as often was the ball placed in front of the net, with the inside men nowhere near to send it crashing into the meshes.
Finally Goldie and Rollo assumed command at midfield and with short passes, worked their way toward the Coats' goal. Goldie shot a short pass to Rollo and the latter centered to Stark. The latter had a chance to shoot, but with the defense drawing in on him, Rollo was in a better position. Without an instant's hesitation, Stark Returned the pass and Rollo walked the ball in to shot from a few yards distance.
The Steelmen continued pressing and three or four corners were forced in the belated rally. Not any of these proved productive. Shots were rebounding off the crossbar and uprights and several headers from close range just skimmed over the top of the goal. In spire of this determined attack, the Steelmen could not locate the net for more goals and the night cap on the home lot ended in a 2-goal draw.
At times the game became rough, Coats, with its heavy team, resorting to much body checking to take the man off the ball. In disallowing what seemed to the spectators to be fouls, Referee Bloom was severely panned. He could have called a good many more to slow up the game, but his decisions as a rule were well judged and furthermore he was impartial. The score:
Bethlehem – Coats
Carson – G – Parks
Berryman – RFB – Stevenson
Allan – LFB – Allan
McDonald – RHB – Brooks
Carnihan – CHB – Perry
MacGregor – LHB – McAvoy
Jaap – OR – Harvie
Visser – IR – Drummond
Stark – CF – Hilbert
Rollo – IL – Hibbet
Goldie – OL – Sweeney
Goals – Jaap, Rollo, Sweeney, Drummond. Referee: Mose Bloom. Time of halves, 45 minutes.