Drastic treatment is being resorted to this week in conditioning Robert MacGregor, recently injured, and who is one of the brilliant trio of Bethlehem Steel halfbacks, for the engagement with Fall River on Christmas Day afternoon, although it was uncertain today whether he would be in condition to start in that game, the management was holding out hopes that he would be able to take his regular place.
MacGregor played a dashing game against New Bedford last Saturday and although he was going at top tilt to the final whistle, he went through the greater part of the contest with an injured hip and ankle. In the dressing quarters the full extent of his injuries were determined and he was laid up for repairs.
The management is loath to break up the halfback line, one of the best balanced in the league and strongest asset to the club. However, if necessary the team is fortunate in having Arthur Robertson, a halfback much in the style of MacGregor, and a player who is thoroughly familiar with the Bethlehem game and quite capable to assume the position.
There was also some doubt as to Stark and Goldie, both injured members, but this is dispensed by their display in practice this week. Although not generally known the sensational center forward of the Bethlehem team has played under wraps in his last two games. On the recent invasion to Fall River, Stark was accidentally injured, but his services were that pertinent that he was not given an opportunity to lay off. That he was none the worse for his injuries was apparent last Sunday when he established a new goal scoring record for the league by rolling up five consecutive goals against Newark.
Realizing the importance of the game and the likelihood of playing before the biggest crowd of the season, the management is anxious to field its strongest club and with MacGregor in form this will be possible. The players to oppose Fall River have been retained intact in the last several games and especially primed for the meeting with the heated New England rival.
Harold Brittan and his company of league champions come down from their home lair for three games before they return to which the clash on the Steel Field is the biggest in the repertoire. On Saturday, the champions meet Philadelphia, and Sunday exhibit their stuff against the Brooklyn Wanderers.
However, it is Bethlehem that the Fall River has aimed for and it will be this game that the most determined effort will be made to conquer. The champions have one victory over the Steel Workers this season and feel assured that if successful in this invasion their standing as league leaders is practically assured. On the other hand, a victory for Bethlehem in this and the two or three games to follow will advance the Steelmen dangerously close to first place and elevate the club as the running up contender for the league honors.
As the time for the game draws near interest becomes more paramount. In places where soccer is seldom discussed the meeting of Bethlehem and Fall River is the chief topic of discussion. Indications are that the banner crowd of the year will t urn out and arrangements have been made for the accommodations.
The probable lineup will be.
Bethlehem Steel -- Fall River
Carson -- G -- Kerr
Berryman -- RFB -- Martin
Allen -- LFB -- McGill
McDonald -- RHB -- McPherson
Carnihan -- CHB -- Fryer
MacGregor or Robertson -- LHB -- Coyle
Forrest -- OR -- Campbell
Granger or Purvis -- IR -- Croft
Stark -- CF -- Brittan
Rollo -- IL -- White or Morley
Goldie -- OL -- McKenna
Referee -- Thomas Cunningham. Kickoff -- 2:30 p.m.