Back in his home town where he learned soccer, Harry Ratican, the star center forward of the Bethlehem champions, not only played sensationally in the opening game on the tour to St. Louis but in the second game on Saturday when Innisfalls was defeated 3 to 0 kept the champions' slate clean from defeat for this season when in the last few seconds for play he bounced the ball into the net for the tieing tally. The score was 1 to 1.
The champions invaded the middle west at the invitation of the St. Louis Soccer Association and on Saturday were pitted against the Innisfalls, leaders in the St. Louis Soccer League race. The contest was the first of a three game series and resulted in a victory for the Bethlehem team, winning by the score of 3 goals to 0, in the first half the champions were held to one goal.
This victory resulted in a monster crowd turning out for the second contest played yesterday afternoon when the champions tried conclusions with the pick of all the St. Louis players. The locals presented a strong combination and were headed for a victory when the closing seconds of play Ratican again featured by scoring the lone and tieing tally for the champions.
In the contest on Saturday, Ratican who two years ago was recruited from the St. Louis ranks counted two of Bethlehem's tallies, while Bob Millar, the veteran who only a few weeks ago again appeared on the field sporting a Bethlehem uniform was responsible for the other goal. The game had progressed at a no score rate for 22 minutes, when Ratican from a difficult angle, kicked the inaugural goal. When he started his kick he had his back to the goal posts, but managed to clear the oval safely. The second count came within the first four minutes of the second half when Millar kicked the ball into the net from a point 20 yards from the touchline. It was a rifle shot that goal keeper Barnett failed to touch. Twenty minutes later Ratican tallied the third and final goal of the contest.
Fleming was also in line to register a tally but a wonderful save by Barnett averted the count. Late in the second half a penalty kick was awarded Bethlehem and Tommy was selected to make the try. His shot went rather straight and Barnett cleared the ball nicely.
The play of Fletcher at half back; Ratican and Millar at forwards, and Ferguson at full back was especially noteworthy. Palazes, a Spaniard, at half back, played an excellent game for St. Louis. Archdeacon had several shots at goal, but his efforts were not true to the mark.
Bethlehem probably figured in its first game in which a substitute was allowed to take the place of a man injured in play. During the first half Schweppe, one of the stars of Innisfalls, collided with Fletcher and had his nose broken. Following an early agreement with the champions a substitute was permitted to take his place. The permission of substitutes is being strongly agitated and agreement made before the game indicates that the champions are as much in favor of a ruling to this effect as the many other players and officials that have voiced their opinion in its favor. The lineup:
Innisfalls -- Position -- Bethlehem
Bartnett -- goal -- Duncan
Holland -- L. F. B. -- Ferguson
O'Neill -- R. F. B. -- Wilson
Palazes -- L. H. B. -- Kirkpatrick
Schweppe -- C. H. B. -- Fletcher
Szpanski -- R. H. B. -- Butler
Archdeacon -- O. L. -- Fleming
Bergin -- I. L. -- Millar
Menendez -- C. F. -- Ratican
Fink -- I. R. -- Forrest
Schimmel -- O. R. -- McKelvey
Goals -- Ratican, 2; Millar. Time of halves -- 45 minutes. Referee -- Kavanaugh.
Harry Ratican, hero of the opening contest, was the Charlie Brickley of soccer in the game against the St. Louis All-Stars and his toe in the closing minute of play transformed a defeat into the first draw of the season for the champions. With a goal scored in the opening period, St. Louis recovered her stride and met Bethlehem in her own style, short passes and tricky play. Five thousand fans were calling for the whistle to blow and end the game with a victory for St. Louis when out from a maze of players flashed Ratican carefully dribbling the ball. He tore down from center of the field and during a scrimmage in front of the goal made the try. Although not in an excellent position he apparently realized that no time was to be lost and with a dull thud his toe connected with the oval. The shot was true and in an instant the 5000 cheering fans were quieted for Harry's shot gave Bethlehem the point which gained the tie.
It was a nip and tuck duel. Bethlehem displayed a dazzling attack for the first twenty minutes and goal keeper McGarry sent back many kicks directed at the net. He received considerable aid from Joe Lancaster and Tate and Murphy also stopped the rushes of Bethlehem.
Even the renowned Bob Millar was unable to send a shot against the net. Bob dribbled, kicked and tired everything. It was this sort of game during the first half. St. Louis showed all that she had and after about 35 minutes of action a corner kick was awarded to St. Louis.
Emmett Mulvey stood on the outside line, carefully placed the ball while a group of home players were elbow to elbow with Bethlehem. St. Louis was down there to send the ball between the posts. Bethlehem was there to send it out of danger. Mulvey kicked and a dozen or more athletes leaped to reach the ball. A mite of an athlete landed in front when Joe Kennedy hurled above all of his rivals and sent the ball past Duncan with a bound of his head.
The Bethlehem shots were stopped during the remainder of the half. With the intermission Bethlehem came back fresh, but each journey down the field was stopped. Ratican, Forrest, McKelvey, Graham and Millar passed and dribbled, but without scoring. Minute after minute passed with both sides playing the same sort of game. Manager Sheridan, of Bethlehem, on the side lines, looked at his watch and saw where there remained but sixty seconds to play. Then came Ratican's famous kick and the tie for the Bethlehem team.
The game was featured by aggressive play on both sides. There were frequent spills and fouls, but no one was injured. Tommy Fleming [. . . ]ed today and Bethlehem showed a [. . .]ged forward line.
The final game will be played Wednesday afternoon.
St. Louis -- Positions -- Bethlehem
McGarry -- goal -- Duncan
Brady -- L. F. B. -- Wilson
Lancaster -- R. F. B. -- Fletcher
J. Miller -- L. H. B. -- Morrison
Zarchel -- C. H. B. -- Kirkpatrick
Murphy -- R. H. B. -- Butler
Mulvey -- O. L. -- R. Millar
Bechtold -- I. L. -- Graham
Kennedy -- C. -- Ratican
Mulligan -- I. R. -- Forrest
McHenry -- O. R> -- McKelvey
Goals -- Kennedy, Ratican. Time of halves, 45 minutes. Referee -- Kavanaugh.