Christmas Day Attraction Gone Aglimmering
Soccer fans who were looking forward with keen anticipation to the big holiday clash scheduled on the Bethlehem Steel field on Christmas Day will be disappointed to know that due to circumstances arising in the game between the Robins Dry Docks and Erie F. C., staged on Harrison Field, Harrison, N. J., yesterday afternoon, the game for Bethlehem will have to be postponed for a week later. The Robins-Erie clash was the fourth round in the National Cup competition and ended with the scored tied at one goal each. A tie game was the only condition to prevent the Robins from coming here on Christmas Day since games in the National Cups are given precedence over all other soccer contests and since this was the result, Robins and Erie will meet again next Sunday at Todd's Field, Brooklyn, N. Y., in the replay. However, only another tie game can prevent the Robins from being here on New Year's Day to meet Bethlehem in a fourth round American Cup game.
Moster Crowd Saw a Real Cup Battle
A big crowd showed up in striking contrast to the mere corporal's guard that turns out to witness the games of the steel Workers, irrespective of the caliber of the opposition. Bethlehem has been honored with the soccer championship of the United States on four occasions in the past six years but despite this glowing tribute brought home by the Bethlehem aggregation, together with the fact that the Bethlehem Steel field was the scene of some of the greatest soccer tilts staged in this country, the largest attendance at a home game was but a little more than half of the 9,000 who turned out to see the Robins-Erie clash. As a rule, the attendance hovers in the hundreds with a few exceptions, one of which was the game between Bethlehem Steel and Brooklyn Celtics in the final round of the National Cup at Lehigh field, when 6,000 turned out to see the game. It was believed that with Bethlehem proving greatly superior to all other opponents during the years the championship was annexed, that the rudiments of the game were devoid of any spectacular or brilliant playing and that once the ability of the team was reduced to an equal of their opponents local interest would be greatly stimulated. This, however, has appeared to have had little effect on the enthusiasm of the sporting inclined in Bethlehem, for this year, with contenders proving equal to the home clan, there has been little difference noted in the usual number of fans in attendance. It is hoped by those who have fostered soccer in Bethlehem for years, giving this city the distinction of supporting one of the first big soccer teams in the country, that spirit and interest will be developed similar to that indicated in the Robins-Erie game, when 9,000 persons turned out to cheer their respective favorites to victory.
Former Steel Workers With the Robins
Five former Steel Workers were in the Robins' lineup and all of the acquitted themselves well, with Neil Clark being the most prominent with clever defensive work when the pressure was the hardest. The other Bethlehemites were Sundberg, McKelvey, Sturch and Ratican. The latter was responsible for the Robins' only goal, scoring by the display of aggressiveness that has made him famous. The ball was dropped between the fullbacks and Ratican rushed in and breasted the ball into the net, with both fullbacks desperately attempting to hold him off.
Bethlehemites Also Sported Erie Colors
The game was virtually a clash between former Bethlehem players for a like number of those included with the Robins' lineup sported the colors of the Erie F. C. Blakey, Heminsley, Archie Stark and Brown were with the Steel Workers on the tour of Scandinavian countries, while Ford was one of the first players to be identified with a big Bethlehem team. It was six years ago that Ford's name appeared in the Bethlehem lineup, and at that time was considered one of the greatest outside lefts in the country. The tying of the Erie's was made by Heminsley in the closing minutes of play.