A change contemplated in the lineup of the forward line of the Bethlehem soccer team for the game here against Providence on Saturday afternoon may see Archie Stark, premier goal scorer, and center forward, play the position at inside right for the first time since joining the club.
IF the change is made it will be a strategically move on the part of the management, which it is believed will increase the goal scoring possibilities of the club. If Stark is shifted to the inside position, Dave Gillespie, the outside right, who is also familiar with the center position, will play center.
Inside right is Stark's original position, having played the wing when with Indiana Flooring and before he came to Bethlehem. However, the need of a center after Walter Jackson went back to Scotland was imperative and in the emergency Stark was changed to that position. He immediately made good and for that reason has been retained there.
However, Gillespie convinced the management that he is a dangerous shot, especially when in the vicinity of the goal. Also that by playing him at center it might have a tendency to distribute more evenly the opposing defense and allow Stark more freedom. In recent games the slogan of visiting combinations has seemingly been to "watch Stark." The result is that the high scoring center is usually bottled with little opportunity of making a shot.
Should the change meet with the success anticipated, Stark would probably be kept at the inside right position, playing center only in the event of Gillespie being indisposed. This shift in positions on the event of the hard game with Providence will undoubtedly meet with the approval of the fans. In playing center, Stark has more than once displayed his versatility on the forward line, maneuvering in the different front line positions in raids on the visitors' goal. It is an experiment that seems very logical and one that should increase the scoring possibilities of the club.
While Bethlehem defeated Providence in the first meeting this season and defeated the clam diggers on their home loam, the local clan are not by any means avenged for the disaster Providence created to the league championship aspirations of Bethlehem last season.
It may not generally be known that providence accomplished last year what no other soccer club was able to in all the years of soccer in Bethlehem. Sam Fletcher brought his Providence crew to Bethlehem on two occasions for league games last year, and on each returned home with a victory. His club was the first to score two victories on a Bethlehem team playing at home. Incidentally, it might be of interest as well as a tribute to the playing merit of the Fletcherites to recall that three games were played last year between these two clubs and that Providence made a clean sweep of the series. It was the loss of those six points that played havoc with the championship aspirations of the Bethlehem team.
The return of Whitey McDonald after an absence of several weeks will be welcome to the club. McDonald, out with an injured thigh, is reported ready for service and more than likely will be back in his regular position to complete the brilliant trio with Bill Carnihan and Robert MacGregor.
Other than the contemplated changes in the positions involving Stark and Gillespie, the management is still in a quandary for choice of the other forwards. At the club house it was announced that the front line will be selected from among Jaap, Granger, Forrest and Goldie.
Jock Ferguson will celebrate one of his periodic returns to active service. For the day the veteran player and trainer will lay aside his first aid kit to do service in Billy Allen's position at left fullback. Ferguson will pair off with Jim Barrie, the other back, leaving Eadie and Allen for the Sunday struggle at Fall River. It is possible that owing to the distance to be covered after the game here on Saturday during the brief space of time intervening the Fall River clash on Sunday, that a vanguard of players to be used in that game will get an earlier start than the rest of the squad.