A Costly Blunder
Tied for second place instead of topping American Soccer League is the standing of the Bethlehem Steel Soccer Club, due to a costly blunder in field a team comprised almost entirely of reserves and a team that playing anything but the soccer it should be capable of playing. As a result of that defeat the cash customers are severely panning the management, the latter prevailed upon more or less by sentiment in fielding the club, in spite of many other angles to be considered. The regulars have seen quite some grueling service, many of them playing under stress of physical disability, and Newark, the ninth club in the league standing was not entirely expected to be easy meat but the reserves expected to be more capable than the form they did display. It was just the opposite. The team performed miserable while the morale of Newark, encouraged by the many Bethlehem mistakes, soared high and the team simply ran wild in the second half when it snared its three goals which meant victory. The outcome of the game was a sorry lesson for Bethlehem and one in which the loss of the two points proved quite costly. Instead of sharing first place with New Bedford today, the Steelmen are again back in second place in the league standing.
Defensive Work Especially Miserable
It is doubtful if a Bethlehem Steel team ever gave a more ragged defensive display. Simply terrible with complete lack of coordination between the halfbacks and fullbacks. And almost equally as poor was the work on the forward line, a more or less listless display throughout the entire first half when more concentrated effort might have produced enough goals to win the game in spite of the second half rally when Newark scored three goals. Newark won the game and the day's display deserved to win it.
Food for Thought
The work of the reserves against the Jerseymen provides the management with food for plenty of thought. And perhaps some drastic shaking up. Bethlehem's squad of players is one of the biggest in the league. Every man is expected to display equal merit and be available to capably relieve any regular in case of injury or other emergency. The entire aspect resolves itself into this: If the reserves are not good enough to play Newark they probably are not good enough to play for the Bethlehem team. That is the sentiment of many of the soccer followers who witnessed the game on Saturday afternoon.
The "Surprise Package"
Newark not only proved the surprise package of the American Soccer League in lifting the laurels against Bethlehem, but with the same lineup in tact returned to the Jersey jungle to bowl over New Bedford, the league leader. Apparently inspired by the victory over the Steelmen here on Saturday, Newark played as though possessed in creating the biggest sensation and most unexpected upset in soccer this season. The Jerseymen, lowly in the club standings, in fact, the last club in the percentage column, rose to heights unexpected to trim the two league leaders in the twin bill over the weekend. We doff our kellies to Newark in congratulations for this phenomenal feat.
The Veteran Cast-Off
"Billy" Hogg, Newark's outside right and a cast-off of several clubs in his long career of soccer, was the minute man for the Jersey club. Against Bethlehem, Hogg undoubtedly gave one of the best performances of his career and then again against New Bedford on Sunday. Allowed unusual freedom in roaming the right wing it was Hogg who was the thorn to the league aspirations of the Steelmen. Given two opportunities he took full advantage to make good on both occasions. Against New Bedford he also account for two of the four goals notched by his team.
Back to Form
The time-worn adage of locking the stable after the horse is stolen, applied to the Steelmen over the weekend when against Brooklyn on Sunday it was the regular outfit the club fielded and by its 4 to 1 victory over the Nat Agar tribe somewhat made amends for the demoralizing defeat of the day previous. Although smarting under the disastrous Newark setback there was some consolation in the fact that Bethlehem's victory over Brooklyn was the first time the latter club was defeated on the home grounds. And the Steelmen's victory was that decisive that it left absolutely no room for argument to the contrary. It earned the club two points the day previous. Confronted with probably the hardest schedule of any of the league teams, those two points threatened to prove a dominant factor in deciding the issue in the league race.