The Bethlehem soccer team continued its victorious stride in the new Eastern Soccer League and, incidentally, remained at the top of the circuit by winning both games over the weekend. On Saturday afternoon, on the home grounds, the local booters severely trounced Newark by the score of 5 to 1 and on Sunday journeyed to New York to defeat the Celtics, at Astoria, L. I., by the score of 4 to 0.
The outcome of these two games in which Bethlehem outplayed their rivals indicates convincingly that the relative merit of the team, with the Hakoah's and Giants, is far above that of the other league members but the other clubs are busying themselves in securing new talent and devoting their every effort to developing a strength equal to cope with the three outstanding clubs.
Newark had the veteran goalie, Murdock, to thank for escaping one of the most humiliating defeats ever recorded in American soccer. The frail-looking Murdock, a veteran of many grueling soccer league battles, was probably never before seen better than his sensational performance of goal t ending on Saturday afternoon. It was impossible to keep track of all the well-directed shots, a variety of headers from close range or rifle drives from the boot, either handled successfully or deflected to the side of the net by the Jersey goalie.
The five goals that Bethlehem did sneak past the visitors' goalie were of the unsavable type, one the result of a penalty and another an easy chance off the boot of Wilson, Bethlehem halfback due to a misunderstanding with the defense.
Willie Reid, back with his teammates after a forced absence for close to two months, took the shot and placed the ball high in the far corner, well out of Murdock's reach, to notch the first Bethlehem goal. An instant later Massie, after a movement down the left wing centered. Murdock came out of goal to clear but the dashing Gillespie beat him to the ball and shot it into the open goal.
Only once were the visitors really dangerous and then only for an instant but took full advantage of this opportunity to evade a shut-out. From kickoff the ball was maneuvered down the center of the field and then to the surprise of the Bethlehem adherents the ball was in the net on a shot from Conn.
After the restart Bethlehem predominating even more than in the first forty-five minutes of play. Favored somewhat by the wind the play was almost exclusively in Newark territory with Murdock the busiest man on the field by virtue of frustrating the locals' scoring efforts. Many of Bethlehem's shots were half-hearted attempts, but just as many were labeled, with determined effort.
Wilson, Bethlehem center, playing in place of the veteran, Bill Carnihan, at center halfback, slipped the ball down the center from about thirty yards out. The sphere went skimming along the ground with apparently more momentum than was believed. Murdock practically stood idle while the ball rolled into the net, expecting, no doubt, the Newark back to clear.
The second counter to be notched in [...] a drive that would have beaten any goalie. All afternoon, Walter Jackson was pecking away at the net, his kicks or headers well directed but he could not drive the ball past Murdock. Finally, in the closing minutes he got his head to a hard cross from the right wing and deflecting the ball into the net. Bethlehem outclassed the visitors at every stage of the game. The lineup:
Bethlehem -- Newark
Edwards -- G -- Murdock
J. Barrie -- RFB -- Muir
Allan -- LFB -- Cairns
W. Reid -- RHB - -J. Forrest
Wilson - -CHB -- McBride
MacGregor -- LHB -- Green
Gillespie -- OR -- A. Forrest
Mulhall -- IR -- Hill
Jackson -- CF -- Wall
Massie -- IL -- Conn
McGrillen -- OL -- Brown
Goals, Conn, Wilson, Mulhall, Jackson, Gillespie and Reid (penalty). Referee, Fred Pepper. Linesmen: H. A> Williams and W. Forrest. Time of halves, 45 minutes.
At the very start of the game it was apparent that the New York Celtics were no match for the Bethlehem booters by the continual progress of the Bethlehem forwards and seldom was the team on the defense. Dave Edwards, goalie, had very little to do in the first half and even less after the restart. In justice to the Celtics they played a hard and determined game but possessed neither the skill or experience of the precise Bethlehem machine.
In the first half Bethlehem piled on three goals. In the second half one more was notched. Archie Star, Bethlehem center, scored twice while Gillespie and Jaap each notched one of the other two goals. The lineup:
Celtic -- Bethlehem
Guedert -- G -- Edwards
Wilson -- RFB -- Marshall
Smith -- LFB -- H. Reid
O'Neil -- RHB -- Delaney
Terris -- CHB -- Wilson
Cominsky -- LHB -- Robertson
McAustin -- OR -- Gillespie
Reid -- IR -- Jaap
Millar -- CF -- Stark
Herd -- IL -- Massie
Main -- OL -- Rollo
Goals : Stark 2, Gillespie, Jaap. Referee: Mose Bloom. Time of halves, 45 minutes.