The opponent of the Bethlehem Steel soccer team in the New Year’s day engagement here will be no other than New Bedford, on of the three soccer clubs to annex major honors in the campaigning the previous season. Bethlehem won the National championship, Fall River made it three straight for the league champions, and New Bedford was winner of the cup competition fostered by the league and incidentally the H. E. Lewis cup. Another significant feature is that New Bedford playing this season has been consistent and the New Englanders are high in the league standing as one of the most dangerous contenders.
With a clash between champions local fans are assured a royal treat for rivalry between these two clubs is at fever point. This has been glaringly evident in the engagements between the two teams this season when due to hard playing players of both team have suffered physically.
Two weeks ago Bethlehem journeyed to New Bedford where the team won a hard 3 to 1 victory. The game was not without its toll for it was in this contest that Archie Stark was injured and forced to retire and Tom Gillespie, Bethlehem’s center forward, faced the same ill fortune.
Both Gillespie and Stark will be back in harness for the invasion of the New Bedford clan this weekend and both can be expected to play their hardest in the holiday entertainment. With few exceptions New Bedford is expected to lineup with the same team that gave the champions a hard fight. One change likely is the inclusion of Hunter, a new acquisition, at a back in place of Gibson.
Since Bethlehem journeyed to New Bedford the club has also added another new player in Emerson, a center forward, fresh from the Scottish junior ranks. Stevens has been playing a strong game for New Bedford at center forward but Emerson will no doubt alternate with Stevens, one of the best goal scorers in the circuit.
Work was started today in getting the pitch into condition and by tonight it is expected to have the snow and ice completely cleared. If that is possible and with a slight drop in the temperature the pitch should be hard and fast for the New Year Day game.