In a fast and furious game on Lehigh Field on Saturday afternoon the Bethlehem Steel soccer team was forced to bow in defeat to the recently revamped New York Nationals team by the score of 2 goals to 1. All the goals were made in the first half, Bethlehem’s famous second half rally failing to materialize when the imported New York stars brilliantly checked the desperate efforts of the league champions.
Both teams played a fast game, Bethlehem starting off with an attack that augured well for an early score when, shortly after the kick off, Gillespie, the sure shot Bethlehem center forward, outwitted his opponents and with a clear field made a sizzling drive at the net. McMinn, the flashy Irish star, by a desperate dive deflected the ball from the opening and sent it shooting back up the field. Undaunted by this first check, Gillespie soon returned with the leather and kept McMinn hopping about. One drive at the net from an angle completely caught McMinn off guard, but the ball sailed bye.
Shortly afterwards the Steelmen again returned to National territory with a desperate attack. With pretty passing and beautiful footwork the oval was brought up the field. Carnihan, Bethlehem’s clever center halfback, booted the ball directly to Gillespie, who shot for the net. Again, McMinn saved a sure score, when he caught the oval. With this play the Nats carried the fight to Bethlehem.
Several corner kicks were conceded by both teams, none materializing in a counter, although one returned by Gillespie ad headed by Reid struck the goal post.
A heavy downpour of rain, which soaked the field and made the ball hard to handled, added to the difficulties of both teams. The heavy and water logged ball was directly responsible for the fist goal against the champs. An ordinary drive at the net by Henderson, headed directly for Geudert. Force of habit more than anything else caused the Bethlehem goalie to expect the oval to bounce, but to his quite evident surprise the leather slid below his hands directly into the net.
A desperate rally by Bethlehem carried the attack back to the New York side of the field. McMinn was glad to concede a corner kick and thwarted the efforts of the Bethlehem forwards to convert it into a goal. Granger, however, stopped the kick back and quickly drove it toward Gillespie who headed it into the net for the tying counter.
Again Bethlehem threatened when Carnihan made a brilliant try, the ball beating McMinn but struck the posts. A shower of shouts made McMinn call upon his backs for assistance in stopping the determined Bethlehem attack.
Quickly the tide of battle swung in the other direction. Carnihan, with brilliant footwork, saved what looked like a possible goal when he took the ball from Walker. Geudert with a high leap sent the oval over the top of the net after the sphere had seemed to beat him. The Nats were not to be stopped, however, for on the corner kick the ball dropped directly in front of McKechnie, the alert inside right, who with a deft twist of his foot, sent it spinning between the posts for the winning score.
Only once in the few remaining minutes of the half did the steelworks threaten. Gillespie found himself alone with the ball toward the close of the half. A score seemed immanent, but the slippery leather caromed off the side of his toe and went wide of its mark.
Bethlehem returned to the game wit ha desperate attack in answer to the fans’ excited pleas for the well-known second half rally. McMinn again stopped one of Gillespie’s whizzing shots by a desperate dive upon the oval. Several corner kicks and close shots were stopped by the alert McMinn. Bethlehem seemed unable to handle the wet ball as accurately as usual, but McMinn was forced to dash from side to side to stop the many drives. From then on the battle waged alternately from one end of the field to the other.
New York – Bethlehem
McMinn – G – Geudert
Warden – RFB – Reid
Clarke – LFB – Allan
Gallagher – RHB – McDonald
Slaves – CHB – Carnihan
Martyn – LHB – W. Reid
Walker – OR – O’Neil
McKechnie – IR – Stark
Henderson – CF – Gillespie
Abdullah – IL – Granger
Hutchinson – OL – Goldie
Goals: Henderson, McKechnie, Gillespie. Substitutions: Rollo for McDonald. Referee: M. Bloom. Head linesman, Williams. Time of halves, 45 minutes.