The victorious glide of J & P Coats in the opening games in the American Soccer League was severely jolted when the Threadmakers invaded Bethlehem on Saturday afternoon and after ninety minutes of hostility on the former Steel Field were a badly licked aggregation of soccer players. Bethlehem swamped the visitors by the score of 5 to 0.
There was no comparison between the two teams. Perhaps for the first fifteen minutes of play, Coats annoyed the locals quite a little, but from then on the superiority of Bethlehem became more pronounced.
Another Alex Jackson was visualized in Alex Massie, late of the Bury, first division, Scottish League club. Massie, a new acquisition this season, is rapidly becoming acclimated to the American style and promises to play an important role on the Bethlehem front line.
While Massie's play captivated the spectators they could not lose sight of the brilliant work of the four other forwards, each forming an important cog in the attack and functioned with machine-like precision. Bethlehem had five sharp shooters on the forward line, every one a dangerous shot and this undoubtedly helped disorganize the visitors' defense.
For fifteen minutes Coats gave as good as they received but was unable to stand up under the killing pace carried on under a broiling sun. The first few minutes of the game saw plenty of action, in which both goals were viciously attacked. The play swung from one end of the field to the other, with both Kerr and Edwards forced to do some brilliant handling.
Finally, Bethlehem broke through. It was after thirteen minutes of play when Tom Gillespie, speedy right wing, broke away and carried the ball down the field. His lightning-like center went directly in front of the goal mouth, where Massie's first time shot missed. IN a flash the new acquisition recovered and from in the midst of a crowd of players crashed the ball into the net. Coats retaliated with a threatening breakaway and forced a corner at the expense of J. Barrie. McKenna's kick was well placed, but Carnihan came from nowhere and booted the ball out of danger.
There was still a lot of fight in Coats but most of the visitors' efforts were directed to defensive tactics. Thirty minutes elapsed when Bethlehem increased its lead and this time it was Gillespie who notched the goal. Getting a pass from Jaap in the vicinity of midfield, Gillespie by sheer speed outsped both Tate and Martin and then with Kerr alone in his path cut loose with an unsavable drive. Just before the half ended Coats spurted with another attack, in which Edwards made a sensational save on McKenna's drive, although forced to give a corner. In the first half Bethlehem forced eight corner kicks against three for the visitors.
The restart witnessed almost a completely transformed Coats team. The fight was gone and the morale seemingly hopelessly lacking. On the other hand, Bethlehem's superiority became quite pronounced and so busy were the visitors in massing their strength in hopes of perfecting a defense that only once was Edwards forced to handle anything that resembled a dangerous shot.
Fifteen minutes had elapsed when Massie slipped a beautiful pass up center to Stark, and the later was through, but just as he was about to shoot, his speed threw him off balance and his drive went by. An instant later Massie, Rollo and Jaap engineered a pretty passing movement, Jaap getting the parting shot, which he crashed into the net. Fifteen minutes later Gillespie sent across a rifle pass to the goal mouth which Massie converted into a marker with a nice shot and a few minutes later Jaap counted his second for the game with a left foot drive, the ball crashing against the upright and then caroming into the net. Apparently satisfied that victory was secure Bethlehem more or less toyed with the visitors in the listless closing minutes of play. The lineup:
Bethlehem -- Coats
Edwards -- G -- Kerr
J. Barrie -- RFB -- Tate
Allan -- LFB -- Martin
W. Barrie -- RHB -- Perry
Carnihan -- CHB -- Wilson
MacGregor -- LHB -- McAvoy
Gillespie -- OR -- Somerville
Jaap -- IR -- Kennedy
Stark -- CF -- Adam
Massie - -IL -- Morley
Rollo -- OL - -McKenna
Goals: Massie 2, Jaap 2, Gillespie 1. Substitutions, for Bethlehem, Delaney for J. Barrie, Marshall for Allan; for Coats, Oliver for Morley, Barlow for Somerville. Referee, J. H. Carpenter. Linesmen, Samford and Williams. Time of halves, 45 minutes.