Ready for Cup Clash
Can the Bethlehem F. C. maintain the terrific stride of recent weeks in the soccer race for the National Cup and the American Cup competitions and likewise the American League race and breeze through the season for the coveted honors? That is a question uppermost in the minds of local fans and soccer critics who will no doubt turn out en masse Saturday afternoon will be treated to the thrills promised in the hostilities to be waged on the Steel Field when the Bethlehem's take on the Philadelphia F. C. in a third round of the National Cup competition.
Ninety minutes of heated play will probably decide the issue. If not it will then be a battle to the finish and until one of the two teams emerges triumphant. For cup games are never ended in a draw at the conclusion of the regulation periods and for that reason attention is called to the fact that the kickoff will be promptly at 2:15 o'clock in order to provide for whatever extra sessions may be needed.
The Phillies will come here for the National Cup classic knowing that the team will be handicapped by the absence of Capt. Carnihan, the peerless center halfback, who is still indisposed following an injury and also minus the services of Grange, forward who is ill. These absences, together with the brilliant showing made against Bethlehem when the latter were twice returned triumphant by a margin of single goal, is expected to inspire the invading clan to greater confidence.
The reason that all teams seem to play best against Bethlehem is probably inspired by the fact that the Steel Workers have long retained the reputation as being foremost in soccer ranks in this country and no victory is more sought or more cherished than one to crush the aspirations of the Bethlehem clan. Bethlehem's campaigning is hard, particularly this year with to date the locals on an even basis with the survivors of the cup classics and running a very close third for first place in the league race.
Defeat tomorrow at the hands of the Phillies would mean complete elimination, a blow far heavier than any other that could be experienced for the balance of the season and with this defeat would go not only chances for returning to Bethlehem a cup that has not adorned the Steel Workers trophy room since 1919, but also much of the prestige enjoyed by the local clan in their visits away from home.
The Phillies are not going to find Bethlehem a team that is easily forced to submit to defeat for all this week the importance of the clash and the hope of meeting some of their New England rivals later in the same competition was pounded into the players in priming them for the home tilt. Practice sessions, more often and longer, were resorted to and when the players closed show with a workout yesterday afternoon it was with a confidence [ . . . ]when they don their togs for the battle.
Weather conditions today were a bit against the locals and should the field be heavy tomorrow, the Phillies with their rushing and kicking style of play should have the advantage. Bethlehem's chief asset is its speed and passing, and weather such as today would undoubtedly be a great hindrance. However, by tomorrow the weather may brighten up and if aided by a good breeze and an occasional peep of the sun, the playing pitch should be well dried for a good fast game.
Season tickets that have been issued for the league games will not be honored tomorrow afternoon. This is because the contest is a cup tie and entirely independent of the league games.