Fall River, Alias Bethlehem
Why is it that rivalry between Fall River and the Bethlehem F. C. seems more bitter and far more pronounced than any other soccer team in the league or in fact in either of the cup competitions? That is the query propounded by soccer fans not only in Bethlehem but throughout the country in general. To have and to hold is one thing and to have and to lose is another. Therein probably lies the solution. To be relieved of high class talent seeking berths in other climes has been the experience of the Bethlehem F. C. in the last several years. For various reasons, mainly of which the chances of victory seem more certain players cast their lot with clubs that apparently are conceded to have the best chances. For this reason probably three quarters of the Fall River team, or the nucleus of the undefeated eleven of this season, is comprised of players that formerly sported the Bethlehem colors. That is the reason that the rivalry is at edge for each team is confident in itself that the club these players represent is the stronger of the two. No less than seven former Bethlehemites are included in the personnel of the Fall River club and in all likelihood every one of these seven players will be in the lineup when the New England booters invade the lair of the local clan to decide the issue of supremacy on Saturday afternoon. Bethlehem has appeared in many grueling contests since soccer had its inception in this city but it is doubtful if ever the rivalry was as keen or the interest as great as that attending the game to be waged on the steel lot this weekend. The terrific pace of cup play is forecast to look mild when these two teams tee off for the kick off.
Another Factor To Stimulate Rivalry
The fact that the former Bethlehemites are going to wage battle against some of their old teammates is but one of the many contributing factors to the intense rivalry existing. Another dominant element is the reception of the Steel Workers on their visit to Fall River. Not that the spectators are violent in their reception but almost to a man are imbued with loyalty to their home team and this is emphatically reflected in their cheering and "razzing" throughout the game. No one can blame the Fall River fans for being loyal and after all the "razzing" reception of the so called gallery gods is but one of the many elements that contribute to the development of the sport. And Fall River has the support of the enthusiasts for with Bethlehem as an attraction on the home lot the attendance figures always creep up into the neighborhood of ten thousand. Bethlehem's banner game of the season to date will be the Saturday afternoon encounter for with victory will come the spoils of first place in the league standings.
Who is Who On Fall River Club?
Some may as "Who's Who" on the Fall River team and in response to this query we will count off the former Bethlehemites who are campaigning with the Massachusetts outfit this season. The latest acquisition by Harold Brittan & Co., were Findley Kerr, goal keeper, and Tom Raeside, center halfback, both of whom sported the colors of the Steel Workers last season. Then there's "Dugie" Campbell, outside right; "Bill" Collier, a back; Fred Morley an inside right, and "Bill" Lorimer, a back. Last but not least Harold Brittan, regarded as the foremost center forward in the country who in recognition of his merit and thorough knowledge of the sport was made captain and manager of the Fall River clan. While most interest will center in the comparative merits of Walter Jackson and Harold Brittan as center forwards respectively, there will be plenty of other opportunity for a similar comparison among the individuals of the present Bethlehem team and the former Bethlehem players. To guard against a wrong impression that the players who have cast their lot with Fall River are cast-offs of the Bethlehem team, let it be understood that with the close of each season the contracts expire and all soccer players become free agents. It is for them to decide whether they wish to return to their old club or seek new berths and practically every former Bethlehemite with Fall River left here of their own volition.