by Sita Dell
Bethlehem Steel defeated the Robins Dry Docks yesterday in a National League game at Todd's Field, Brooklyn, before two thousand spectators, by the score of one goal to nothing.
The contest was probably the most grueling game played in years and at the conclusion of the ninety minutes of play the players were on the verge of exhaustion.
The game was a bitter struggle from start to finish and only the excellent condition of the players on both teams made it possible to compete the struggled under the terrific heat that prevailed. In the first half Bethlehem was easily the superior and deserved a one goal lead at the interval. In the second half the Robins came back with wonderful aggressiveness and had by far the better of the play for this period. However, they were up against the firmest defense that Bethlehem has ever presented, Easton in Goal and Collier and Ferguson at fullback surpassing anything in the way of continued resistance shown by the Steel Workers in any games in recent years.
The Bethlehem halfbacks were also in first class form, particularly Campbell, but the forwards were not up to standard with the exception of Brittan, who was the outstanding forward on the field. Bethlehem's greatest mistake was the continual starving of Tommy Fleming, who seldom received despite the fact that he was always aggressive when the ball came in his direction.
The Robins had several old Bethlehem players in their lineup, including Sturch, McKelvey and Whelan. The former center forward was completely eclipsed by Campbell and only on one occasion during the game did he have an opportunity to score. That came in the closing minutes when he lifted the ball over the bar from close range. McKelvey played a clean, aggressive game at right halfback and Whelan, in goal, handled everything in masterful fashion. The shot from Brittan that beat him would have beaten any goalkeeper.
This victory places Bethlehem in a prominent position in the league table, having now won the two games played this season on foreign soil. It also indicates that on the form displayed in these two games, together with further development as the season progresses, that the Steel Workers will again be leading contenders for the National League pennant.
Robins won the toss and in the first minute Collier was called up for offside. Collier cleared effectively for Bethlehem and vigorous play continued from one end of the field to the other with neither team having an opportunity to get in a decisive shot. After twenty minutes' play, Bethlehem's halfbacks seemed to have control of the home team's forward line with the result that an attack was initiated that continued for a long time and appeared at any minute to be climaxed by a goal. However, the Robins' defense held out and play was transferred to Bethlehem's territory.
Easton had to be on the alert to save from Garside, who made a desperate effort to score with a header, but the goalkeeper rushed out and virtually lifted the ball away from his head, being injured in the effort, but continued to play and Ferguson finally cleared the ball to midfield. From there Bethlehem again took up the aggressive and after forty-one minutes' play, Murray got possession and passing beautifully to Brittan, the latter opened the scoring with a terrific drive from close range. The Robins' forwards made a desperate attack to equalize, but again Easton was in form and kicked safely with McKenna bearing down on him. On this play the goalkeeper showed great judgment because if he had attempted to handle the all he would surely have been bundled into the net. Half-time found Bethlehem pressing, but unable to add to the score.
The first few minutes of the second half, Fleming fouled McKelvey and the Robins' attack from the free kick looked dangerous, but Ferguson cleared and Bethlehem again attacked. Brittan was called up for offside and the Robins were soon at the other end but Sturch shot back, a foul against Satterwaite helped Robins, but Sturch again shot past, the ball just missing the upright. Easton was called upon to save a hard shot from Maguire, and for the next twenty minutes Bethlehem had a strenuous session of defensive work, seldom getting beyond midfield, so vigorous and determined was the Robins' attack. However, this attack only served to demonstrate the power of the Bethlehem last line of defense and try as they would, the Robins could not get a favorable position for the parting shot. At least a dozen shots went over the bar or goal line and those that did go true tot he mark were capably handled. In this prolonged attack Campbell was also a bulwark in defense, and Murray and Morrison gave one of the best defensive displays in their Bethlehem career. After thirty minutes' play the Robins' attack wore itself out and Bethlehem again became the aggressor, Murphy receiving several fine passes from Powell and Satterwaite, but the outside right was too hurried in his centers with the result that the line failed to get up in time to be effective. In the closing minutes a fine individual effort by Brittan brought applause from the crowd. He cleverly tricked two men and then just missed the upright with his parting shot. Play continued hard in midfield, but no further danger accrued to either goal and the final whistle found Bethlehem victorious by the score of one goal to none. The lineup:
Bethlehem -- Robins
Easton -- G -- Whelan
Collier -- RFB -- Ross
Ferguson -- LFB -- Brownlie
Murray - -RHB -- McKelvey
Campbell - -CHB -- Beardsworth
Morrison -- LHB -- Sundberg
Murphy -- OR -- Garside
Satterwaite -- IR -- Sturch
Powell -- CF -- McKenna
Brittan -- IL -- Maguire
Fleming -- OL -- Irvine
Goal, Brittan. Referee: Williams, Brooklyn. Linesmen for Robins, Renzulli; for Bethlehem, R. Morrison.