When critics selected the Merchant team as the main contenders for the championship honors they were wisely picked, and indications are that this organization of players will be the thorn to the aspirations of the other clubs. They were by no means taken cheaply by the Bethlehem players and it is seldom that the latter players were put to such a test. The visitors played a brilliant dashing game from the first whistle to the end and were at all times dangerous. The game was the second round in the National Cup Competition, Bethlehem having defeated New York Ship in the First Round.
Bethlehem won the toss and elected to play with a strong wind behind them, and it was early seen that both teams were on edge for the contest, the ball traveling fast up and down the field. Easton was hurt one minute from the start, but soon resumed although apparently in great pain. A rush by the visitors ended in Hyslop shooting wide, and in the next minute Butler missed the upright with a fast drive. Fleming shot over the bar and Forrest was called up for off-side. Pearce came into the limelight with a beautiful save from Easton, and the Shipbuilders' right wing broke away and was not stopped until Ferguson conceded a corner. A scrimmage ensued in front of Bethlehem's goal and to the astonishment of the fans the ball rolled into the net beyond Duncan's reach. This early success gave the visitors more dash than ever and the defense had a strenuous time stopping the desperate rushes of the visitors' forwards. However, the champions soon settled down to their game and Pearce was called upon to save shots from Butler, Easton and Forrest which he did cleverly and it looked as if nothing would get past him. After repeated attempts McKelvey tied the score for Bethlehem with a shot that gave Pearce no chance.
This success seemed to be all that was necessary to bring the champions back to form and despite the brilliant work of the visitors' fullbacks, Pearce
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good for Bethlehem but Kirkpatrick's shot was blocked and the visitors' forward bore down on the Bethlehem defense. Ferguson cleared and Easton shot past from long range. A corner off Small looked good but Easton headed past, Duggan and Heminsley broke away but Fletcher cleared and Kirkpatrick shot over the bar.
The visitors were again dangerous but Heminsley was called up for off-side. A good shot by McKelvey was cleverly saved by Pearce and a nice movement by the visitors' forward ended in Dugan just missing the upright. Another shot from McKelvey was well handled by Pearce and an off-side against Coursey spoiled a good chance. The visitors continued to attack and a misunderstanding with the Bethlehem defense game Heminsley a good opening. He tied the score with a fast cross shot in 22 minutes.
Both teams were now playing with desperation for the wining goal and the ball traveled fast up and down the field with both goals repeatedly in danger. Pearce had the greatest amount of work to do and it seemed as if nothing would get past him and despite desperate efforts of the Steel Workers to score, the whistle sounded with the game still a deadlock.
Campbell again won the toss in the extra periods of 15 minutes each and the Steel Workers were soon making tracks for Pearce. Offside against McKelvey held up Bethlehem but not for long, and Pearce was forced to handle from Fleming and Forrest. After seven minutes of play a penalty was awarded against the Shipbuilders for handling in the penalty area, the offense similar to the one awarded against Fletcher. Fleming too the kick and Pearce had no chance with the shot. This goal was a great inspiration to Bethlehem but nothing seemed to dampen the enthusiasm of the visitors, and they played with great dash and determination. No further scoring took place and the teams turned around with the champions leading by the odd goal in seven.
Bethlehem was now playing against the wind and they seemed to tire more rapidly than the visitors who were playing with an abandon that see3med at any moment to be crowed with success. But the Steel Workers asserted themselves and carried the ball in the direction of Pearce. Todd and Small were given too much freedom of action and their long kicks kept the ball hovering around the Bethlehem goal and only brilliant work on the part of the Bethlehem fullbacks prevented them from scoring the equalizing goal. With two minutes to go, the Bethlehem halfbacks broke up the attack and Pepper and Easton carried the ball down the field, but Forrest's parting shot went wide and the final whistle found the ball in midfield with Bethlehem leading by one goal.
Merchants -- Bethlehem
Pearce -- G -- Duncan
Todd -- RFB -- Fletcher
Small -- LFB -- Ferguson
Mathews -- RHB -- Kirkpatrick
McKay -- CHB -- Campbell
Wilson -- LHB -- Pepper
Burnett -- OR -- McKelvey
Hyslop -- IR -- Butler
Cruisey -- CF -- Easton
Heminsley -- IL -- Forrest
Dugan -- OL -- Fleming
Goals -- Hyslop, Dugan, Heminsley, McKelvey, Easton, Butler, Fleming. Referee -- John Walders, Philadelphia. Linesmen -- Morrison, Bethlehem; Maxwell, Merchants. Time -- Two 45-minute periods and two periods of 15 minutes each.