Stung by trailing behind a one goal lead, the Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club flashed a determined second half rally and with shots nothing less than phenomenal took the third straight game from Fall River, National champions, before a big and enthusiastic crowd on Lehigh Field Saturday afternoon by the score of 4 to 2. Incidentally, the numerals of the victory represent the same margin by which the Steelmen defeated the Marksmen on a previous visit to Bethlehem this season.
Many phenomenal shots have been witnessed on the home field in the many years of major league soccer but hardly any to compare with the winning goal notched by Archie Stark. His effort came shortly after he had shot by with an open goal but atoned for this mistake an instant later.
The folly of playing an unfit man came near proving disastrous to Bethlehem. However, owing to the absence of Cecil Brown, the Canadian, who in two games against the New York Giants and Fall River was not scored upon, the management was forced to use Edwards. While he did make several brilliant saves in the second half he was hardly more than excess baggage for with an injured leg he lacked the agility and effectiveness he is capable of. This was apparent in the first half when through brilliant work on the part of McMeekin and McDonald, the former in particular, Edwards handled but two easy shots. On another, coming from a free kick, his efforts to save were feeble and Fall River notched the tying count.
The Steelmen were first to break into the scoring column, the opening goal coming after numerous attempts had been fluked. Granger took the ball in center and in drawing the defense passed to Stark. The latter held on to the ball just long enough to attract the defense toward him and then when bottled passed to Gillespie, who was free and easily beat Harper with his high shot into the far corner of the net.
Bethlehem continued to press with vengeance and Jaap twice shot by and was closely followed by Stark who missed a good opportunity with no one but the goalie to beat. Play swung to the other end of the field with McEachran on the ball when a foul called against McDonald gave the visitors a free kick just outside of the penalty area. McGill placed beautifully to the mouth of the net, Edwards leaving the goal to clear. Before the goalie could return to his position Harvey the speedy wing secured by Fall River from Coats, got his foot on the ball to count the equalizer.
While the first forty-five minutes provided many thrills it was in the second half that the playing became more spirited. Shortly after the restart the Bethlehem forward broke away and Stark taking t he parting shot drove bye. A short time later it was Granger who was absolutely clear, to shoot by. Both were good opportunities lost. Then Fall Rover broke away with a threatening advance to the Bethlehem net. Harvey passed to J. Reid and Edwards just tipped the ball over the cross bar to give the visitors a corner.
It was one of the only two corners for Fall River during the game but one that proved productive. Harvey whipped the ball across the goal mouth to McEachran, whose shot put his team in the lead.
The Steelmen then again took up the attack, the forwards breaking away and Stark missing an excellent opportunity when he lifted high over the cross bar from the six yard line. Bethlehem continued to press and was finally rewarded on a pass over from Goldie and then to Gillespie, the latter pushing the ball back to W. Reid who tipped it through to tie the score.
Bethlehem continued its determined attack and within five minutes were again in the lead. Stark broke away and it was then that he made his sensational shot while flat on his back.
The Steelmen were not satisfied with the one goal and through their determined efforts succeeding again in scoring and sewing up the game. The final counter came in the closing minutes of play as the result of a pretty forward movement contributed in by Goldie, Gillespie and Stark, the latter scoring the goal. The lineup:
Bethlehem -- Fall River
Edwards -- G -- Harper
McDonald -- RFB -- Tate
McMeekin -- LFB -- McGill
W. Reid -- RHB -- McPherson
Carnihan -- CHB -- Wilson
MacGregor -- LHB -- Doyle
Gillespie -- OR -- Harvey
Granger -- IR -- J. Reid
Stark -- CF -- Brittan
Jaap -- IL -- McAuley
Goldie -- OL -- McEachran
Goals: Gillespie, Harvey, McEachran, W. Reid, Stark 2. Referee: J. Hume. Time of halves, 45 minutes.