That the Bethlehem team is game and full of fight up to the final whistle was indicated in the clash with the St. Louis All-Stars yesterday afternoon when in the closing minute of play, with defeat staring the players in the face, it was averted by Bethlehem scoring the tieing tally. What hurt the St. Louisians more than to acknowledge the draw forced by the visitors was the fact that the victory was accomplished through the sterling efforts of Ratican, a former St. Louis boy, who today is picked by soccer experts as one of the greatest players that ever booted the ball. Harry is an American-born player, having learned the game in St. Louis. Before he came to Bethlehem, three years ago, he was a member of the strong St. Leo team in that city.
In meeting the All-Stars the champions were surprised not only with the appearance of a former Bethlehem player being pitted against them but with the style of play adopted by the picked team. Within a few minutes after play started it was readily noticed that the selected aggregation was schooled along the lines of the Bethlehem style of play, and for this reason probably more than any other, the champions were worried throughout when their repeated efforts to score were blocked. Joe Lancaster was the former Bethlehem man in the All-Star line-up, plying right fullback, who apparently drilled the St. Louis players along the style of his former teammates. Lancaster, before he came to Bethlehem early in the season, played with the Benn Millers in the Middle West. He showed wonderful possibilities but was unequal to the ability of the regular Bethlehem players and for this reason was not used in any of the big games. Only once did he represent Bethlehem in a contest and that was an exhibition affair staged for the benefit of the soldiers at Camp Crane, Allentown. Joe perhaps was a bit peeved because he did not make the regular squad and late in November secured his release from Bethlehem and returned to St. Louis. It was probably through his agitation that the St. Louis Soccer Association decided on the guarantee to bring the champions there in hopes that the line of dope brought back with Lancaster would be sufficient for an All-Star aggregation to cope with the champions and be the first team to lower their colors. In this they came mighty near being successful and only through the efforts of Ratican was the defeat averted. Accounts of the game say that the visitors were repeatedly thwarted in their style of playing and that Brady and Lancaster were the stars of the home team. These two players kept Bethlehem from scoring by hurrying their shots.
It is quite likely that Lancaster will again appear with the All-Star aggregation in the final game against the champions on New Year Day.
Another former Bethlehem player and conceded to be among the best ever developed in St. Louis, returned home. He is "Bull" Brannigan, who left the local team practically for the same reason as Lancaster. Brannigan was here for about a week and when he was not immediately accepted as a regular, he became peeved and moved on to the Merchant Shipbuilders. Playing there for a short time he effected his release and later played with the Morse Dry Docks team. Only recently he returned to St. Louis and since there was punished by the American Football Association for an infraction of the rules. It would be no surprise if this difficulty was adjusted and Brannigan appeared in the line-up against Bethlehem on New Year Day.
The all-star picked Shipyard League association football team lowered the colors of the crack Merchant A eleven, 3 goals to 1, in the return benefit game on the latter's field at the Harriman Shipyard, Bristol, yesterday, before a good crowd. The victors' points were registered in the first 20 minutes' play by Matt Barrett and Jimmy Wilson, both of the Merchant B team. The goal for the A team was scored in the second half by Duggon, from a penalty kick awarded against Dick Spalding for hands.
[OTHER MATERIAL NOT RELATED TO BETHLEHEM IGNORED]