The Bethlehem soccer team annexed its first victory in the American Soccer League campaign on Labor Day afternoon, defeating Newark in the opening home game before a fair sized crowd by the score of 5 to 1.
The visitors failed to present even a threat against the well-oiled Bethlehem machine and with the locals superiority quite pronounced, the second half developed into a more or less listless struggle. The visitors presented hardly more opposition than might be expected in a good practice game and the real test on the home pitch will be seen when J & P Coats invades this city next Saturday afternoon.
The encroachment of bleachers erected for a boxing show was somewhat annoying to the patrons. However, these will be taken away and the field put back into its normal shape before the weekend. The pitch presented a beautiful greensward and partly encircled with bleachers gave the aspect of a miniature bowl.
Because of the hard game against Brooklyn on Sunday and to afford the home fans an opportunity of seeing the new acquisitions in action, the lineup of the team was drastically changed. Massie, Mulhall, Delaney, Wilson, Marshall and McClure were the newcomers who engaged in their first soccer tilt for Bethlehem on the home field and each acquitted himself quite capably.
Mayor James M. Yeakel kicked off and then from the opening whistle to the very end Bethlehem had much the better of the play. The first half presented some thrills when Bethlehem bombarded the visitors' goal but once the locals attained a lead of three goals the remainder of the game was a listless battle. So complete did Bethlehem monopolize the game in the first half that McClure, in goal, was called upon to handle only once and then on a weak attempt to score by the Newark right wing.
Bethlehem forwards bombarded the Newark goal, but it was not until after fifteen minutes of play that a shot was sent past Murdock. Finally, Bethlehem broke away and Massie brought the ball up center. He shoved a short neat pass to Stark who easily eluded the visitors' backs and carrying through , swerved the ball into the far corner of the net, well out of the reach of Murdock.
This success was followed by another goal a few minutes later and this time it was Massie who scored the first of the three goals he counted during the game. Rollo, Stark, and Massie did some pretty passing in taking the ball down the field. With the halfback line and backs tricked, it fell to Massie to take the parting shot. He had no one but Murdock to beat and had little trouble in slipping the ball past him.
Before the half ended Johnny Rollo paved the way for the third marker. Clever and tricky, the stocky left wing sent across a beautiful pass close to the goal mouth. Massie headed and his aerial floater just dropped under the cross bar and through the outstretched hands of Murdock, landing in the goal.
The only brilliant feature of Newark's play was a solo effort of Wardrop, resulting in a goal. Taking a pass from center, the Newark inside right cleverly tricked Wilson to carry through and then had clear sailing, beating McClure with an unsavable shot.
Stark registered his second goal of the game a few minutes later and then Massie scored the final, a goal again made possible by Rollo's cross. With the exception of Massie's floater, Murdock didn't have a chance with the other shots.
In only one instance did Bethlehem present a weakness. This was on corner kicks. No less than a dozen were awarded the locals and not one proved productive.
Bethlehem -- Newark
McClure -- G -- Murdock
Marshall -- RFB -- Grosz
R. Reid -- LFB -- Cairns
Delaney -- RHB -- McIntosh
McGregor -- LHB -- Nicol
Wilson -- CHB -- Jenkins
Jackson -- OR -- Wardrop
Mulhall -- IR -- Quinn
Stark -- CF -- Vasques
Massie -- IL -- Green
Rollo -- OL - -Brown
Substitutions -- W. Barrie for McGregor. Goals -- Massie, 3; Star 2, Wardrop. Referee -- James Walders, Philadelphia. Linesmen -- J. H. Carpenter and Horace Williams. Time of halves -- 45 minutes.