Aston Villa’s v Everton Results 1897 – 1907

Aston Villa’s v Everton Results 1897 – 1907

ASTON VILLA 2 EVERTON 1
January 28, 1907. The Liverpool Courier.
EVERTON DOWN.
VILLA DESERVEDLY WIN.
It was hard check for Everton to be beaten at Aston Park on Saturday. Of course it is not a new experience but the league leaders to lose on that fine enclosure, but the worse of it is that this was the second occasion this season when the Villa have triumphed over Everton. On the 22nd of September the famous Birmingham contingent carried away a couple of points from Goodison Park. The score than was two to one in favour of the Villa, and singularly enough to return match ended likewise. The unfortunate part about it was that no impartial spectators could begrudge the Villa their victory. On the play it was well deserved. One could hardily imagine that the Blues were the sides, which gave such a grand exhibition the previous week against Newcastle United. Probably the hard ground affected them, but certain Villa got on more than their deserved, indeed the Villa should had three too four goals against Everton.
VILLA’S SUPERIORITY.
Owing doubtless to the cold snap, the attendance by no means realised expectations. At the same time, here was a fine crowd, and under the circumstances the people had good value for their money, more especially as the game favourably for the Villa. Conspicuous success attended the move of the home directors in chasing the left wing to Bache and Hall. To this part more than to any other two players was due the victory of the home side. But to the game itself. For the first twenty minutes or so it was a ding done struggle, with neither side able to claim much advantage. Everton were privileged to open the scoring. Bolton being the execute, following a corner taken by Hardman. For a few minutes the Blues looked like maintaining their position, but slackness on the part of the Everton defence afforded an opening to Cantwell, who had no difficulty in equalising. From this point onwards, the Villa never looked like being beaten. True they only registered another goal, but the pressure they executed was good value for at least another couple.
SCOTT BRILLIANT
While the result was national disappointing to the visiting side’s supporters, the game was admirably contests and on such a frosted ground produced many fine touches of play. Certainly the Villa were the better team. They seemed to let themselves go better than the Blues. For once Young was off form, and this had doubtless considerable influence upon the play of the whole front line. Sharp and Bolton were far ahead of the left wing, indeed the former was as conspicuous as any other on the field. Makepeace was not in happy mood, but for all that he stepped into the breach more than once in the nick of time. Taylor work as hard as ever, and Abbott was extremely useful without being brilliant. The brothers Balmer were severely a reliable as usual, but Scott although apparently at fault over the second goal, was in great form. Indeed, it is doubtful if a more reliable custodian is playing in League football. The fact that in 26 matches only as many goals have been scored against Everton speaks for itself. Teams: – Aston Villa: – George goal, Miles, and Logan, backs, Greenhalgh, Buckley, and Codling, half-backs, Millington, Cantwell, Hampton, Bache, and Hill, forwards. Everton: – Scott goal W. Balmer, and R. Balmer backs, Meakepeace, Taylor (Captain), and Abbott, half-backs, Sharp, Bolton, Young, G. Wilson, and Hardman, forwards. Referee Mr. A. J. Bailey.
EVERTON 1 ASTON VILLA 2 (Game554)
September 24, 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
THE VILLA’S TRIUMPH.
EVERTON FAIL TO SATISEY.
Everton disappointed a crowd of about 35,000 people at Goodison-park’ on Saturday when they had to acknowledge a two goals to one defeat by Aston Villa. The form exhibited on the Monday afternoon game with Notts County when the points were divided was not calculated to impress their supporters with a feeling of confidence in the side. At the same time there was the usual hope that when the Villa were met they would rise to the occasion and gave a display quite up to the high reputation which they have so long held in the football world. The conditions too, were altogether favourable for a fine exhibition of the Association game. There was a big crowd to spur on the players to their efforts, the weather was delightful, and the turf in as perfect a state as could be desired. Nevertheless Everton failed, and moreover, no one could begrudge the Villa their victory. This is only the fifth occasion upon which the famous Aston Villa has achieved success in League warfare with Everton in this city, and doubtless the triumph would be all the most welcome to then seeing that many well-known faces’ were absent from the team which, with the exception of George, discarded the claret and light blue jerseys in favour of red.
FEATURES OF THE GAME.
Each club made one change from the sides, which represented them in their proceeding games. Makepeace came in again for Booth, while Garratty had his first chance of the season for Villa as inside right. Incidentally be it mentioned that he may be said to have justified his inclusion, inasmuch as to him belonged the honour of registering the second goal, which gave his side the victory. Everton started off in a fashion which raised great hopes of success, and if only quite early on a terrific shot from Sharp’ had entered the net instead of grazing the post, there might have been a different story to tell. But this and other good efforts went astray, and the Villa finding their feet, the Everton defence had a bewilding few minutes. This culminated after play had been in progress rather less than half an hour, in Hampton scoring a lovely goal, the outcome of a delightful concerted attack in which Boden rendered his forwards excellent assistance at the critical moment. It was not at all pleasant to the Evertonians, who, despite energetic attempts, were still in a minority at the interval. Still, one remembered how the Blues have so often indulged in brilliant second half expositions, and so the crowd kept on wishing for the best. This time the Evertonians were unable to make much impression on the Villians, and when Garratty put on a second goal chiefly through a mistaken on the part of Makepeace, it was all up, as the popular saying goes, “bar the shouting” Everton, to their credit be it said, struck to their work, and great was the cheering when following a free kick, Abbott with his head directed the ball into the net. George having left his goal in a vain effort to obviate disaster. The Blues were not yet done with, and Sharp, after a grand run, gave G. Wilson the chance of a lifetime, which to the chargin of the spectators, he threw away in reckless style. Thus Everton dropped a couple of points.
HOW THEY LOST.
Faulty forward play was undoubtedly the reason of Everton’s downfall. There was a want of balance and incisiveness in their methods. Yet they had more chances of scoring than the Villa, and it was tantalising to see fine opportunities thrown away time after time especially after one or other of the line had put in capital work. How the younger Wilson failed to equalise passes one’s understanding. Still, he was not the only sinner. Bolton is not yet the Bolton of last season, and Young slipped about too much to be effective as a centre forward. Sharp was the best of the quintette. The brothers Wilson do not constitute a wing of the class of Settle and Hardman. On the halves, Makepeace was not in his happiest vain, although he put in some clever touches, but generally speaking, little fault could be found with the defence. On the Villa side, Walters and Bache formed the more effective wing. Boden and Greenhalgh were a tower of strength in the half-back line, and Howard Spencer still shows all his old judgement and resource. Teams: – Everton: – Scott, goal, W.Balmer, and Crelly, backs, Makepeace, Taylor (Captain), and Abbott half-backs, Sharp, Bolton, Young, D. Wilson. And G. Wilson, forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Spencer, and Miles, backs, Greenhalgh, Boden, and Codling, half-backs, hall, Garratty, Hampton, Bache, and Walters, forwards. Referee W. Bailey.
EVERTON 1 ASTON VILLA 2 (Game554)
September 24, 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
THE VILLA’S TRIUMPH.
EVERTON FAIL TO SATISEY.
Everton disappointed a crowd of about 35,000 people at Goodison-park’ on Saturday when they had to acknowledge a two goals to one defeat by Aston Villa. The form exhibited on the Monday afternoon game with Notts County when the points were divided was not calculated to impress their supporters with a feeling of confidence in the side. At the same time there was the usual hope that when the Villa were met they would rise to the occasion and gave a display quite up to the high reputation which they have so long held in the football world. The conditions too, were altogether favourable for a fine exhibition of the Association game. There was a big crowd to spur on the players to their efforts, the weather was delightful, and the turf in as perfect a state as could be desired. Nevertheless Everton failed, and moreover, no one could begrudge the Villa their victory. This is only the fifth occasion upon which the famous Aston Villa has achieved success in League warfare with Everton in this city, and doubtless the triumph would be all the most welcome to then seeing that many well-known faces’ were absent from the team which, with the exception of George, discarded the claret and light blue jerseys in favour of red.
FEATURES OF THE GAME.
Each club made one change from the sides, which represented them in their proceeding games. Makepeace came in again for Booth, while Garratty had his first chance of the season for Villa as inside right. Incidentally be it mentioned that he may be said to have justified his inclusion, inasmuch as to him belonged the honour of registering the second goal, which gave his side the victory. Everton started off in a fashion which raised great hopes of success, and if only quite early on a terrific shot from Sharp’ had entered the net instead of grazing the post, there might have been a different story to tell. But this and other good efforts went astray, and the Villa finding their feet, the Everton defence had a bewilding few minutes. This culminated after play had been in progress rather less than half an hour, in Hampton scoring a lovely goal, the outcome of a delightful concerted attack in which Boden rendered his forwards excellent assistance at the critical moment. It was not at all pleasant to the Evertonians, who, despite energetic attempts, were still in a minority at the interval. Still, one remembered how the Blues have so often indulged in brilliant second half expositions, and so the crowd kept on wishing for the best. This time the Evertonians were unable to make much impression on the Villians, and when Garratty put on a second goal chiefly through a mistaken on the part of Makepeace, it was all up, as the popular saying goes, “bar the shouting” Everton, to their credit be it said, struck to their work, and great was the cheering when following a free kick, Abbott with his head directed the ball into the net. George having left his goal in a vain effort to obviate disaster. The Blues were not yet done with, and Sharp, after a grand run, gave G. Wilson the chance of a lifetime, which to the chargin of the spectators, he threw away in reckless style. Thus Everton dropped a couple of points.
HOW THEY LOST.
Faulty forward play was undoubtedly the reason of Everton’s downfall. There was a want of balance and incisiveness in their methods. Yet they had more chances of scoring than the Villa, and it was tantalising to see fine opportunities thrown away time after time especially after one or other of the line had put in capital work. How the younger Wilson failed to equalise passes one’s understanding. Still, he was not the only sinner. Bolton is not yet the Bolton of last season, and Young slipped about too much to be effective as a centre forward. Sharp was the best of the quintette. The brothers Wilson do not constitute a wing of the class of Settle and Hardman. On the halves, Makepeace was not in his happiest vain, although he put in some clever touches, but generally speaking, little fault could be found with the defence. On the Villa side, Walters and Bache formed the more effective wing. Boden and Greenhalgh were a tower of strength in the half-back line, and Howard Spencer still shows all his old judgement and resource. Teams: – Everton: – Scott, goal, W.Balmer, and Crelly, backs, Makepeace, Taylor (Captain), and Abbott half-backs, Sharp, Bolton, Young, D. Wilson. And G. Wilson, forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Spencer, and Miles, backs, Greenhalgh, Boden, and Codling, half-backs, hall, Garratty, Hampton, Bache, and Walters, forwards. Referee W. Bailey.

ACCRINGTON STANLEY

EVERTON 4 ASTON VILLA 2 (Game 534)
January 29, 1906. The Liverpool Courier.
EVERTON’S BRILLIANT DISPLAY.
After a series of very disappointing exhibitions, Everton on Saturday returned to their old form, and greatly pleased their enthusiastic supporters by the brilliant game which they played against Aston Villa. Everton since the League was formed, Everton and the Villa have been stalwarts in the matter of the finer points of the Association game. However, badly either team might have been going, they have invariably risen to the occasion when in quest of the League points or cup-tie honours. Who will forget that ever memorable final at the Crystal Palace when the Villa triumphed over the “Blues” after admittedly one of the most delightful and scientific display of the Association football? Saturday’s game by no means reached this high standard, but for all that it was a perfect treat to the spectators, who to the number of 30,000 assembled to do honours to Booth and Taylor, who were enjoying a well-deserved benefit.
A FAST GAME.
With the conditions altogether favourable, everything pointed to a keenly contested trial of strength. There were those who imagined that with neither team at full strength the quality of the play for an Everton v Villa match would suffer. Notwithstanding the fact that the Villa had nothing like their full cup team, the reserve did exceptionally well, and it was only after a galliant struggle that the Birmingham players succumbed by 4 goals to 2. From the outset it was evident that a rattling pace would be sustained, and the Everton front line went off with rare dash, and in less than six minutes Settle delighted the crowd with a long shot that had Gooch in difficulties, and found the net. This was just the encouragement, which the Everton vanguard required, and the manner in which they bombarded the goal was worthy of all praise. Equally meritorious were the efforts at this trying period of the Villa defence. Gradually the visiting forwards pulled themselves together, and from a pass by Garrett Matthews scored a splendid equalising point.
FOUR GOALS IN THE SECOND HALF.
Crossing over on level terms, the issue was still pretty open. Everton however, were not long in asserting themselves and from a second corner Taylor put the finishing touch for a characteristic centre from Settle. It was on the fitness of things that one of the boncciared should give his side the lead, but for all that the credit of the goal largely rested with Settle. Not many minutes elapsed before Sharp was responsible for a third goal. At this stage Everton’s victory appeared assured but, taking advantage of a slight misunderstanding between Balmer and Makepeace, Hampton reduced the lead. This again placed the Evertonians on their mettle, and right gallantly did they respond, the honour falling to Sharp of securing a fourth point. Interest was maintained until the whistle blew, but no other goal were forthcoming, and Everton were left victors in an extremely interesting and satisfactory encounter.
GOOD PARTNER FOR SHARP.
As will be gathered the Everton side were in much better trim than has been the case for some time past. They were not like the same team that have given much recent lifeless display. In all departments there was proficiency shown that the well wishes of the club would dearly like to see distained. The forwards imparted any amount of dash into their work, and gave one the impression that they had fully make up their minds to leave nothing undone whereby to secure success. Young was the weakest of the quintet, but even he was much effective than he has been of late. Both wings were conspicuous, but the most satisfactory feature was the successful manner in which Bolton’ the recruit from Newcastle, partnered Sharp. Although on the small side he showed all the coolness and resource of a skilled player and if Saturday’s form may be taken as a sample of his ability, then Everton assuredly have at last found a suitable partner for Sharp. The half-backs division, though without Booth and Abbott, were effective throughout. Makepeace was not in his usual position still the exhibition, especially. In the second half was a treat to witness. Black was always in evidence, and as for Taylor, the veteran left no loophole for adverse criticism. Hill and Balmer were sound defenders but Scott had few demands made upon him, and for the Villa they were best served in defence. Spencer in particular playing a grand game. Cooch in goal was an excellent understudy to George. Teams: – Everton: – Scott, goal, Hill, and W.Balmer, backs, Black, Taylor (Captain), and Makepeace half-backs, Sharp, Bolton, Young, Settle, and Hardman, forwards. Aston Villa: – Cooch, goal, Spencer, and Harris, backs Pearson, Wilkes and Garraty, half-backs, Matthews, Hampton Bache, and Hall, forwards. Referee Mr. Whittaker.

ASTON VILLA 4 EVERTON 0 (Game 514)
September 25, 1905. The Liverpool Courier
EVERTON’S DECISIVE DEFEAT
BITTER EXPERIENCE AT BIRMINGHAM
The outcome of Everton’s visit to Aston Villa was a great shock to the club’s vast army of supporters. There is never any disgrace in being beaten on the Villa’s ground, but invariably the struggle between the two clubs have been exceedingly close. A thrashing by four clear goals is an indignity which, the Evertonians will not forget for some time to come. Moreover, it came almost on top of an even more decisive defeat (5-0), which the Villa inflicted upon Liverpool. Thus early in the season the cupholders have taken four points out of out two clubs by the very substantial margin of nine goals to nothing. There ought to be reckoning when the return visits are paid to this city. If memory services in the long series of League encounters between Everton and the Villa, this four goals to nil is about the most pronounced which has been recorded. And the worst of it is, there was noting like such a disparity between the teams. The Villa’s first and second goals had more than an element of luck about them, but the other two were all right and let it be at once be admitted, the Villa fully earned their couple of points.
EVEN FIRST HALF.
It was a very enjoyable opening half from the point of view of the spectators. The great rivals gave of their best, and with the grand in excellent conditions the pace was terrific while the rapid changes in the fortunes of the side made the game intensely interesting. Everton if anything played rather more attractive football than the Cup holders, but the determination of the home team was always threatening danger. Quite early on Everton experienced a stroke of rank bad luck. Sharp’s pace enabled him to outwit both Windmill and Miles, and from his centre, Rankin banged in a dazzlingly shot, which had George beaten all the way. Unfortunately for Everton the Ball rebound from underpart of the crossbar andHoward Spencer in a twinkling had it cleared. The half-way line, who knows what would have happened if only that ball had bounded the way into the net. Still it all in the game, and it was Aston Villa who got the first point, when scoring from a rebound off Balmer, with Scott in a helpless position, was distinctly as lucky as Rankin’s effort had been otherwise. Up to the interval Everton fought hard to obtain an equaliser, but, though Spencer hurt his knee and had to retire, they could make no impression on the home defence.
EVERTON’S DISCOMFITURE.
The second half was in striking contrast to the earlier position of the proceedings. The Villa started off with exhilarating dash, and in the very first minute both Bache and Hall missed an open goal. Still only a few minutes claused and the home team were two goals up. This time Scott was evidently caught napping by Hampton; as a matter of fact, if he had paid more attentions Garratty’s shot and less to the centre forward the goal might have been saved. With fortune on their side the Villa after this were irresistible, while the effects of their opponents were singularly disjointed. Even when Sharp and Rankin changed places, there was little improvement and when Hampton with a brilliant effort put on a third goal, Everton’s doom was sealed. They gave occasional glimpse of their old form, but they were merely flashes in the pan. One hoped that they might reproduce a little of the magnificent display in the closing stages of the memorable semi-final replay at Nottingham, instead of which, as the saying goes, they could not raise a gallop, and their discomfiture was complete when Hall registered the fourth goal.
THE PLAYERS.
With only three points out of four games, the Everton representatives will have to look to their laurels. So far they have failed to attain their standard of last season. This will not do if the club are to maintain the position they have so long held. Although Booth is perforce standing down, the class of players at command surely ought to practice better results. Granting the ill-luck which was their portion against the Villa, the falling away in the second half was not at all pleasant for the may supporters who travlled to Birmingham to witness the game. Scott was not so successful as in previous games this season, but beyond his lack of judgement in dealing with the shot which led in the second gaol, he was not to blame for the defeat. The backs were far from safe when subjected to severe pressure, and Balmer, as also Taylor seemed to lose his temper somewhat unnecessarily, with the result that the comments of the crowd were very outspoken. The halves were singularily uneven. At times their work was excellent, but in the later stages they were unable to cope with the brilliant combination of the Villa attacking forces. The forwards were good and bad by turns. Sharp and Hardman got in some capital centres, and Settle at times was as clever as ever. Young was responsible for some smart bits of work, but Rankin is obviously unfitted for an inside position. Apart from that one shot, which certainly deserved to score, his display presented little merit. At the same time it must be remembered that he has few opportunities of gaining experience in first-class company. As for the Villa, when once their position was safe they played their typical cup tie game. The forwards have a happy knack of going for goal for all they are worth. They have two fine outside men, in Brawn and Hall, and in Hampton a centre forward who is as daring as he is resourceful. Windmill was the pick of the halves, while in view of Spencer’s injured knee, Miles was the shining light at full back. It is to be hoped that when Abbott and McLoughlin are again available, Everton will come back to their old form.
Teams: – Aston Villa: – George, goal, Spencer, and Miles, backs Pearson Leake, and Windmill half-backs, Brown, Garratty, Hampton Bache and Hall, forwards. Everton: – Scott, goal, W.Balmer, and Crelly, backs, Makepeace, Taylor (captain), and Black half-backs, Sharp, Rankin Young, Settle, and Hardman forwards. Referee Mr. Whittaker.

EVERTON RESERVES 2 RIPLEY ATHLETIC 0
September 25 1905. The Liverpool Football Echo.
There was a mere hand

ASTON VILLA 2 EVERTON 1 (Fac Game 51)
March 30, 1905. The Liverpool Courier
Fa Cup Semi-Final Replay
EVERTON UNLUCKY
Glorious weather prevailed for the replayed semi-final tie in the English Cup competition at Nottingham yesterday. Probably it was more favourable to the spectators than to the players, for the brilliant sun was bound to bother the players to some extent. Still the sunshine was very welcome after the recent visitations of rain. That exceptional interest was taken in the replay between the two such famous clubs as Everton and Aston Villa was evidenced from the numbers of people who poured into the Lace capital from all parts of the county. Speculation was rife as to the outcome of the match, the majority of people in Nottingham favouring the Villa’s chances. Still it was borne in mind that at Stoke on Saturday, when each side scored a goal, the Villa were pretty well at the top of their form, while Everton were below par. Those who were anxious to see then visit the Crystal Palace considered that Everton could play two such games consecutively out of the question. This however, was a matter to be decided on the field of play. A large number of people travelled from Liverpool by the Great Central and Miland Companies’ trains among the noted football figures being Mr.John McKenna and Tom Watson. The ground of the Nottingham Forest is well adapted for a big cup tie. There is adequate stand accommodation, and, moreover, the playing pitch could hardly be improved upon. Yesterday in spite of the rain, the ground looked its best. The Everton players arrived at Nottingham on Tuesday, but the Villa did not put in an appearance until yesterday morning. Everton relied upon the same team as last Saturday, but one change was made on the Villa side, Wilkes taking the place of Windmill, who had not been well since Saturday’s match. The Villa were the first to turn out on the field, and they were loudly cheered, and Everton five minutes later came in for an equally cordial reception. The teams were as Follows: – Everton: – L.R.Roose, goal, W.Balmer (captain), and Crelly, backs, Makepeace, Taylor, and Abbott half-backs, Sharp McDermott, Young Settle, and H.P Hardman, forwards. Aston Villa: – George goal, Spencer, and Miles, backs, Pearson, Leake, and Wilkes, half-backs Brawn, Garratty, Hampton, Bache, and Hall, forwards . The Villa won the toss and had the advantage of playing with the sun at their’s backs. Hampton passed over to the leftwing and endeavored to centre, but Crelly cleared. Everton got down on the right, and after a stoppage had occurred in order that another ball might be obtained they forced a corner. Sharp took the kick, but it came to nothing. The Villa got away, and Hampton, Bache, and Hall, were responsible for a pretty movement. Balmer however, was in fine form, and robbed his opponents. Still the Villa were the more prominent, and Hall tricked Balmer, whose mistake however, did not seriously affect his side. As moment later Balmer intercepted a hot shot and then smart tackling by Taylor, Young raced off. His career was not of long duration, and the next item of interest was Abbott being fouled. The free kick was not utilised and Hall dashed along the wing, only to be pulled up by Balmer. The stiff breeze was all against Everton. Twice Wilkes stopped rushes by the Everton left wing, and then Miles pulled up Sharp receiving from McDermott. Everton were now improving, and Young nearly got through. Miles was too good for him, and a free kick to the Villa changed the scene of hostilities. Pearson initiated a pretty move, and Bache receiving from Hall, shot yards wide. A series of thrown in near the half-way line ended in Bache shooting, Roose being forced to leave his charge, clearing nicely from Hampton. Settle next gave to Young, who, was no match for Miles. The Villa forwards broke away on the right. Brawn centred beautifully, and Hampton had a clear course, Roose cleared his shot just as the whistle blew for offside. This was the most rousing movement so far. Young forced a corner smartly from Spencer, but nothing accrued Sharp got well away on the right, but his centre was cleared, and coming down in great style, the Villa were awarded a free kick, not many yards from the Everton goal, McDermott sending clear. Resuming the attack, Taylor clean missed the ball, but Balmer cleared. The Villa were still in a dangerous mood, and Garratty scored for them after fifteen minutes’ play. The goal was the outcome of Balmer missing his kick. Garratty raced on with only Roose to beat, and he accomplished his task with ease. The point was received with unbounded delight, and on the play the Villa deserved their success. They were playing the more consistent game. Settle had a chance, but instead of passing out to the left he shot weakly at George, who cleared with ease. The Villa continued their aggressive tactics, but Sharp brought relief with a good run down the wing. Pearson was responsible for a smart clearance on the left, but Balmer cleared a centre from Brawn. Young beat Leake and forced a corner, from which Crelly sent in a high dropping shot, which just shaved the crossbar. This was a capital effort, which was deservedly applauded. A free kick to Everton was well placed in the goalmouth by Balmer, the ball, however, being headed over the line by Abbott. The Villians came down with a rush on the left, but Balmer kicked out. From the thrown-in Roose had to fist clear. Brawn was penalised for pushing Hardman, but the Villa came again, and Hardman just missed the post, while a moment later Brawn in trying to centre, sent the ball out of the ground. There was no denying that the Villa so far were the smarter side. Their halves prevented the Everton forwards getting into their stride. Moreover, one or two of the players did not forget to use their weight. Young receiving from Settle looked like scoring, but found his way parried by Spencer. The game continued to be of a fast, and exciting character, and the ball went from end to end with great speed. Roose was called upon to handle by Bache his task, however, was not a difficult one. It was quite a relief to the Everton portion of the spectators when Hardman and Settle indulged in some pretty passing. Pearson kicked into touch, and following a throw in Settle put in a grand centre, which George dealt with in masterly fashion. Away went the Villa again, and Crelly was just in the nick of time when he took the ball from the toe of Bache. A moment later Hall finished the ball the wrong side of the upright. Play slackened down somewhat, and a free kick to Everton resulted in a combined attack by the visiting forwards which Hardman ended in giving George a hot one, which he dealt with capably. Hampton was heavily grassed near the Everton goal, but soon recovered amid applause. Settle was penalised, and from the free kick a most exciting scrimmage occurred in the Everton goalmouth. Roose’s tall frame came to the rescue of his side, and when he fisted clear, surrounded by his opponents, he was loudly cheered. The Villa, however, were in a most aggressive mood, and the Everton goal had a narrow escape, the ball going over the bar by one of their own players. The corner came to nothing, and justed as Balmer had taken a free kick the whistle blew for the interval. Half-time Aston Villa 1, goal Everton nil.
The wind was stronger than it appeared to be from the press box, and the sun had played a great part in the fortune of the teams in the opening half. At the same time it must be conceded the Villa were deserving of their goal lead. They were nipper on the ball than the Evertonians, and were especially well served by the halves, who broke up all attempts at a combined game on the part of the Everton front line. After a longer interval than usual the teams were restarted at half-past four. The Villa broke away, but were soon repulsed. McDermott compelled Miles to kick out, Everton showed up better, and Hardman had bad luck in shooting past the post. Suddenly Hall dashed off and dropped the ball in the goalmouth, Hampton missed it, but Garratty seized the opportunity and scored, the Villians second goal. This success was as unexpected as it was unpalatable to the Everton contingent. Although the Blues raced away the Villa for a time were all over their opponents, and the Everton defenders seemed to off their heads, and another goal appeared likely when Abbott effected a timely clearance. The Everton forwards tried hard to change the fortune of the game, but they could do nothing right. Sharp was easily robbed, and the Villa had more of the play than their opponents Spencer was forced by Young to concede a corner, but Hardman failed to put it to account, sending the ball the wrong side of the upright. The Villa were distinctly playing a winning game. The Everton forwards were very weak in front of goal, and time after time beaten by the Villa halves, and Hampton shot over at lighting speed. Everton forced play on the left, a fruitless corner being the only reward. A moment later from a neat pass by McDermott, both Young and Settle had a grand chance of shooting but owing to a misunderstanding neither took a kick, and Taylor propelled the ball high over the bar. Then Everton put in their best attack of the day, and George repelled in brilliant style, a grand attempt by McDermott. For some time the Villa defence was hard pressed, and ultimately the goal was captured. The Everton forwards and halves played more like themselves, and after exciting exchanges in the goalmouth Sharp secured and defeated George with a beautiful shot, the ball sailing into the net just underneath the bar. This success imparted increased life into the game, each side being visited in turn. Roose saved a couple of fine shots and then Everton again hotly assailed the Villa goal, which had two or three remarkable escapes. Everton undoubtedly were making magnificent efforts to save the situation. Corner after corner fell to them as the result of splendid determination, which deserved to be rewarded. A grand attempt by Sharp led to a corner, which was followed by a another, the ball bobbing about the Villa goalmouth. No praise could be too high for the Everton men, the effort at this period of the game. They were all over the Villa and them grand efforts earned unstinted applause. The excitement was at fever heat, and it was felt that if Everton could maintain such extraordinary pressure they would be rewarded. The Villa defenders were very stubborn, and survived many trying ordeals. Hall created a temporary diversion, but Everton were soon back again, Harassing played up with splendid spirit. Following a clever piece of tackling by Balmer, Sharp forced Miles to grant a corner, from which the ball dropped in front of George. It was headed from one player to another, but into the net it could not be sent. It ever a team deserved to equalise Everton did. Luck was against them. Wilkes handled justed outside the penalty area, but Everton did not turn the free kick to advantage. Everton had all the best of the finish, but had to retire defeated. They certainly deserved to equalise on account of their wonderful exhibition during the greater portion of the second half. Result Aston Villa 2, Everton 1.
COMMENTS ON THE GAME.
Everton were decidedly unlucky to loss. They might have drawn, and might as easily have won if fortune had favoured them. Still they cannot always have the luck. In the first half their display was decidedly below par, and the ineffectiveness of the attack was mainly due, apart from the disadvantage of having to face the sun, and to contend against the vagaries of the wind to the wonderful skill and tenacity of the Villa half backs, who never allowed the forwards to enter upon any sort of combination which could be turned to profitable account. After the Villa obtained their second goal a couple of minutes from the restart. Everton looked absolutely a beaten team. Suddenly they pulled themselves together, and rarely if ever has a finer example been given of plucky determination to pull the game out of the fire. About half an hour the contest received itself into a continual bombardment of the Villa goal. Corner after corner was forced, but only tangible success was the beautiful goal which Sharp registered. Time and again the Villa defence seemed to be tied in knots, but with George closely attended by half his side, and with Leake in particular, here there, and everywhere, the ball could not be forced into the net. Although beaten Everton supporters have the satisfaction of knowing that their team in the later stages of the game made one of the most marvellous efforts to stem the tide of misfortune which has been witnessed in an important football match.

ASTON VILLA 1 EVERTON 1 (fa cup Game 50)
March 27, 1905. The Liverpool Courier
F.A.Cup Semi-Final
A HARD STRUGGLE.
Everton failed to produce their best form in their match with Aston Villa. Indeed, the admission may at once be made that they were somewhat favoured by fortune in being permitted to fight the battle over again at Nottingham next Wednesday. For once in a way, anticipation as to the classiest exhibition of football of the season were scarcely realised, Both teams have often been seen to greater advantage-especially Everton. Porbably the excitement naturally associated with a great cup struggle affected certain of the player. Of this there is no doubt, that under ordinary circumstances cool and collected players “lost their heads” at times, with the obvious result that their play suffered. At the same time the 40,000 spectators had the satisfaction of witnessing a determined contest between two teams who had made up their minds to do what lay in their power to deserve, if they could not command success. While the crowd hailed the Villa’s goal with the utmost delight, they were equally impressed by the spirit which the Evertonians displayed in endeavoring to stern the tide of adversity, and their enthusiasm was something to remember when Sharp, who it as popular a footballer as he is a cricketer, brought the scores level.
VILLA’S STRONG OPENING.
Prompt to time- in fact, shortly before the half-hour- the great rivals entered upon the fray. The Villa who not only looked, but are by far the heavier team, lost no time in settling down to serious business. There was method, too, in their movements, and the incisive nature of their attacks placed their followers in rare good humour. Roose, however, was in a happy mood on the ground, which he knows so well. Still, the run of the play was far from satisfying from an Everton point of view, and when Hampton, with a beautiful opening, crashed the ball against the upright, the followers of the “Blues” were intensely relieved. It took Everton representatives quite a long time to get into their ordinary game, but once the change occurred they fairly extended the Villa defenders. George, fortunately for his side, never faltered. He fisted out a brilliant shot from Sharp, and from the corner he again tipped the ball away as most of the spectators though it would pass under the bar. Several capital attempts were put in by the Everton forwards, but George repelled them all, and at the interval the score sheet was still untarnished.
A GOAL EACH.
As in the opening half, the Villa, after change of ends, dashed off in vigorous fashion. They made Everton look pretty small, and with the backs becoming shaky, Roose’s position was no secure. The more work he had the better the Welsh international seemed to like it. Such sustained pressure was bound to tell sooner of later, and ten minutes from the restart, the Everton citadel was captured. It was a capital goal, too, which Hall obtained. From a corner Brawn centred beautifully, and the ball coming back to him, he placed to Hall, who took full advantage of his opportunity, beating Roose all the way with an effort against which, the keeper was utterly powerless. Although the Evertonians pulled themselves together, the Villa for some time after this appeared certainties for a visit to the Crystal Palace. But the resources of the Everton attack were not yet exhausted. Sharp caught the eye as the dangerous individual, and it was from his toe that the equalising point, so sincerely welcomed arrived. He himself led up to it. His speed enabled him to race round the opposing half, and, after a grand dribble, he put across to the leftwing. Hardman returned it, and in a twinkling the teams were on an equality. The Villa protested, but Mr. Kingscott had no doubt about the legitimacy of the point. Though exciting the closing stages brought no further goals.
THE PLAYERS.
The Everton players experienced one of their “ off-day”. They were almost as much below par as they were when they ousted Liverpool from the competition. It is to be hoped that next Wednesday will find them in a different vein. Roose, in goal, could not have been improved upon; indeed, the goalkeeping of both Roose and George was a feature of the match. Spencer and Miles were a better pair of backs than Balmer and Crelly. The latter was weak and brilliant by turns, while the Everton captain at certain periods of the game seemed quite unable to do the right thing. The Everton halves, for such a trio, performed indifferently, Makepeace being the best. On the other hand, the Villa half-backs line. Leake in particular, were in splendid form. Sharp was unquestionably the pick of the Everton forwards. He afforded another instance of the faculty, which he possesses of rising to a memorable occasion. Young had some hard luck in his shooting, and on one occasion, when he was brought down with the ball at his toes, many a referee would undoubtedly have awarded a penalty. Settle was scarcely as serviceable as usual, and neither Hardman nor McDermott distinguished himself. The Villa left wing placed finely, while Bache time after time centred accurately, and now may the better team win at Nottingham.
Teams: – Everton: – Roose goal, W.Balmer (captain), and Crelly backs, Makepeace, Taylor and Abbott half-backs Sharp, McDermott, Young Settle, and Hardman forwards. Aston Villa: – George goal, Spencer, and Miles backs, Pearson, Leake, and Windmill, half-backs Brawn, Garratty, Hampton Bache, and Hall forwards. Referee Mr.Kingscott.

NELSON 1 EVERTON RESERV

EVERTON REVIEW
October 24, 1904. The Liverpool Mercury
Fortunately for the complete success of the game between Everton and Aston Villa, the weather turned out remarkably fine, and the benefit for those deserving players- Abbott and Sharp- should be sugmented by close upon £800. Everything connected with the event passed off most effactionally, for the game was quite up to the traditions of the past when those teams have met. No doubt their unexpected defeat the previous week had nerved the Villa to greater deeds whilst on the other hand, Everton may have felt somewhat over confident as to the issue. Whatever the reason may be, is problematical, but there can be no difference of opinion as to the quality of the play which was witnessed. The visitors made the pace a hot one from the start, and a superb struggle for supremacy ensued, which although the interval figure equality, progressed more in favour of the Villa, than the home side. This 45 minutes hard battling was the central portion of the combat, around which the issue bung in the balance, and on the form exhibited by the Midlanders, it is pretty safe to assert that they played vastly superior football to what they have been displaying in their recent matches. The half-backs kept the ball moving forward with ruthless persistency, and the men in the front rank were always on the alert. Everton indeed experienced a warm time of it before the interval. Just a word or two about the goals, which with one exception, were somewhat curiously obtained. Hardman led the way, after Rankin had given George a teaser to stop, but the left winger only found the net with difficulty. Spencer tackled him, and a tussle ensued, during which, Hardman felt, and appeared to have lost the chance, but suddenly he recovered himself, and managed to hook the ball between the posts. The game continued at a great pace, the Villa working finely together, but Scott was in great trim, and saved repeatedly. Then came a penalty against Miles- a most unnecessary ruling under the circumstances, for what seemed a completely accidental case of hands- and the crowd fairly cheered when Balmer shot against George, and the goal was saved. Brawn was chiefly responsible for the equaliser, for Scott who flung himself full length to save his right winger’s drive, could only tip the ball a few yards away, and Johnson, who was close in, netted the leather, which rebounded off his breast. In the second half some loose work gave the Villa the lead, for Lockett beat Balmer and centred, where upon Crelly came across and tipped the ball back to Scott. The custodian endeavored to kick away, but sent the leather against Garratty, and it rebounded of this player, against the upright and into the net. Abbott’s equaliser was a remarkably fine shot from a free kick, but McDermott’s winning point came from a scrimmage under the bar. In comparison with what was witnessed after half-time the play in the first portion of the contest was tame, but a more exciting finish has not been seen on the ground for many a day. The Everton forwards seemed unable to shake off the attentions of the opposing half-backs, and the solid defence further in the rear in the early stages, and so dashing were the onslaught of the Villa front line, that the visitor’s were favourites for the event when they resumed operations after breathing time. When they obtained the lead, such a contingency appeared almost a certainty, but this turned out to be Everton’s opportunity, and by really fine football the home players asserted their superiority by going ahead in irresistible style for the remainder of the afternoon. In this fashion did the Everton players redeem their position, and though they cannot be judged from the same standpoint throughout, they must be credited with having given a decidedly invigorating exposition. Little fault could be found with the forwards, though McDermott was inclined to cling to the ball too long, and wander away from his customary post to the left wing. There was no necessity to do this, for Rankin was well, able to look after himself on the extreme right. The latter did not centre with that judicious accuracy that characterises the crosses from Sharp’s foot, but he shaped very promisingly, and placed the corner kick which led to the winning goal very cleverly in front of the posts. McDermott distributed some beautifully passes to both wings, and Young was likewise prominent in this respect. Settle and Hardman as usual, combined well, and beyond the inability to turn several chances to account when near goal, the forwards play all round was exceedingly creditable. In the intermediate division, Taylor at centre half bore off the honours for he got through an enormous amount of work, and was as keen at the finish as when the game started. He fairly harassed the Villa inside men, and repeatedly dispossessed them a most unexpected time. Ashworth and Abbott, were so prominent, and the former had rather more than he could successfully cope with in Bache and Lockett; but both were decidently useful, and Abbott showed no signs of a return of his previous injury. Crelly was the better of the fullbacks, his tackling being exceptionally efficient and Balmer paled by comparison. The right wing allowed the opposition more latitude than is usually the case and the Villa pair above mentioned frequently got clear away, Scott was twice beaten, but in the intervals between he effected some capital clearances. The Villa second goal was due to a mistake, but his other work was so skilful that it more than compensated for this failure. The display of the Villa was surprising considering the reports of their earlier disappointing performances, and on the form shows against Everton, they will win more matches than will be lost. Their attack was keen and vigorous and they wasted no time in shooting, Johnson, Brawn, and Garratty sending in some terrific drives, which tested the qualities of Scott to the almost. Bache was responsible for some excellent dribbling, and Lockett could have done better had he wasted less time in hesitancy as to which, way to travel when the ball was sent out to him. Though their movements were not so pleasing to witness as in the Villa days of old, there was sufficient life about the work of the forwards to have broken down the majority of League defences more than twice. Leake was prominent at centre half, and Windmill is a player of promise. One could not but admire the smart placing of the trio, and they constituted a solid reliable line, which enabled their side to offer a most stubborn resistance to Everton’s progress. Spencer is still a capable full-back, and a pattern of fairness. Whilst Miles exhibited sound defence. George had not a great deal to perform, for as already stated, the home forwards were rather remiss in shooting; but on the occasions when he was severely tested, he moved his worth in no uncertain manner. It will thus he gathered that the two combatants were most evenly matched, and Everton won simply because they rose to the occasion after being a goal in arrears, and an apparently beaten team. A continuance of this form will land them very near the championship.
ASTON VILLA 1 EVERTON 1 (Game 479)
September 13, 1904 The Liverpool Daily Post
Sharp sprained his Knee and retired early in the first half.
The remarkable popularity of the Everton team was strikingly emphasized yesterday when several thousands followers of the club travelled to Birmingham to witness the encounter between the Goodison Park brigade and Aston Villa. The weather unfortunately was wretched, the Midland capital being enveloped in a dreary drizzle, and this had a great effect on the gate, these being a very small attendance when play began. Owing to injuries and other causes, neither side was at full strength. Hardman, who is suffering from a sore throat, was unable to play, and Abbott, owing to a severely wrenched knee, was also an absentee. It had been hoped that Booth would be able to turn out, but his toe was still damaged, and Chadwick had again to do duty for him. Dilly took Hardman’s place and Makepeace appeared instead of Abbott. The enforced absentee of Evans also handicapped the Villa. Wilkes and Johnson so that neither held any great advantage so far as personnel went. Teams: – Aston Villa: – George, goal, Spencer, and Miles, backs, Noon, Gray, and Leake, half-backs, Brawn Hall, Watkins, Bache and Garratty, forwards. Everton: – Scott, goal, W.Balmer (captain), and Crelly, backs, Taylor, Chadwick, and Makepeace, half-backs, Sharp, McDermott, Young, Settle, and Dilly, forwards. Referee Mr.Nunnerley. Balmer won the toss, and the home team started in the face of a fresh breeze. After the opening exchanges, the Villa moved down strongly on the left, and Garritty, going at to speed, put in a splendid shot, which Scott fisted out. The Evertonians then advance on the right, but they were pulled up short, and a free kick to the Villians looked ominous. Spencer placed the ball splendidly, and Bache running in gave Scott a difficult task, but the latter rose to the occasion, and cleared coolly. Everton gain took up the running and Settle was about to shoot when the home skipper cleared. The home side were now, having the bulk of the attack. From a couple of free kicks Spencer placed the ball in the goalmouth, but on each occasion the Everton defence proved sound, and the danger was averted. From this point the Evertonians beaten in assert themselves strongly. Dilly raced down the wing, and passed to Settle who banged the ball in, but George intercepted and Young catching the return, spoiled a splendid chance by shooting high over the bar. It was not long, however, before the visitors resumed to the attack with renewed vigour, and a corner was forced of Milnes. This was well placed by Sharp, and after a short scrimmage in front of George, Settle, headed the ball into the net, but the referee after consulting both linemen, disallowed the point- apparently on the ground for offside. Play now became faster than ever, and Sharp on one occasion sprinted grandully down the wing. He centred well, and Young got to the ball but he shot, failed in making the centre, Sharp sprained his knee, and he had to retire from the field. In spite of this the Evertonians continued to enjoy all the best of the argument and Dilly had a open goal before him, when he shot remarkably wide. Still the Goodison park men kept pegging away and both the home backs had more than once in trouble. They were however, very ably aided by the halves, who constantly dropped back to their assistance. And so saved off defeat. Some neat dribbling by the Everton forwards ended in a good centre, but Settle was obviously offside, when he netted the ball with a low shot. The next item of interest was a break away on the inside left which, scrimmage to Garritty who sending in a clever shot, when just topped the crossbar. Then the visiting forwards once more took up the running, and McDermott from long range shot high over George’s charge. Each side being but on the defensive in rapid succession. A dangerous shot from Brawn was well cleared by Balmer and a moment later George had to deal with a difficult dropping shot from the foot of McDermott. Then Settle from a pass by Sharp who had resumed, shot in a low swift one, which was most dealt with by Spencer. Towards the interval the play slowed down considerably, and a series of long kicks, and rushes materially spoiled the quality of the football. Everton during this period were still the aggressors for the most part, but their shooting when within close range was always lacking in sting. Just before half-time Brawn made desperate efforts to rush away on the wing, but speedy through he was, Crelly so hampered him that he was unable to get in a fine shot. Then, from a run down by Garritty, Bache put in a magnificent low shot, which brought Scott to his knees, but the Irishmen cleared brilliantly. A second later Garritty put one towards the corner of the net, but Scott throwing himself prone, saved at the expense of a fruitless corner. Half-time Villa nil, Everton nil. When play was resumed there were fully 6,000 people present. The home team began to put on pressure, and in the first five minutes. Brawn sent in a glorious ground shot right from the corner flag, which the Everton custodain saved with rare skill. After this the Villians began to exert the greatest pressure, and the Everton goal was distinctly lucky in escaping capture. Time after time the forwards who were now showing improved football, attacking down on Scott’s charge, and it was only the vigilance of the custodian that averted disaster. On one occasion Noon sent in a rally terrific shot, which seemed certain to score but Chadwick managed to intercept it just under the bar. The Villa, however, maintained their attack, and they were rewarded in the very last minute of the game, Brawn scoring with a somewhat lucky shot, result Aston Villa 1 Everton nil.

ASTON VILLA 1 EVERTON 1 (Game 479)
September 13, 1904 The Liverpool Daily Post
Sharp sprained his Knee and retired early in the first half.
The remarkable popularity of the Everton team was strikingly emphasized yesterday when several thousands followers of the club travelled to Birmingham to witness the encounter between the Goodison Park brigade and Aston Villa. The weather unfortunately was wretched, the Midland capital being enveloped in a dreary drizzle, and this had a great effect on the gate, these being a very small attendance when play began. Owing to injuries and other causes, neither side was at full strength. Hardman, who is suffering from a sore throat, was unable to play, and Abbott, owing to a severely wrenched knee, was also an absentee. It had been hoped that Booth would be able to turn out, but his toe was still damaged, and Chadwick had again to do duty for him. Dilly took Hardman’s place and Makepeace appeared instead of Abbott. The enforced absentee of Evans also handicapped the Villa. Wilkes and Johnson so that neither held any great advantage so far as personnel went. Teams: – Aston Villa: – George, goal, Spencer, and Miles, backs, Noon, Gray, and Leake, half-backs, Brawn Hall, Watkins, Bache and Garratty, forwards. Everton: – Scott, goal, W.Balmer (captain), and Crelly, backs, Taylor, Chadwick, and Makepeace, half-backs, Sharp, McDermott, Young, Settle, and Dilly, forwards. Referee Mr.Nunnerley. Balmer won the toss, and the home team started in the face of a fresh breeze. After the opening exchanges, the Villa moved down strongly on the left, and Garritty, going at to speed, put in a splendid shot, which Scott fisted out. The Evertonians then advance on the right, but they were pulled up short, and a free kick to the Villians looked ominous. Spencer placed the ball splendidly, and Bache running in gave Scott a difficult task, but the latter rose to the occasion, and cleared coolly. Everton gain took up the running and Settle was about to shoot when the home skipper cleared. The home side were now, having the bulk of the attack. From a couple of free kicks Spencer placed the ball in the goalmouth, but on each occasion the Everton defence proved sound, and the danger was averted. From this point the Evertonians beaten in assert themselves strongly. Dilly raced down the wing, and passed to Settle who banged the ball in, but George intercepted and Young catching the return, spoiled a splendid chance by shooting high over the bar. It was not long, however, before the visitors resumed to the attack with renewed vigour, and a corner was forced of Milnes. This was well placed by Sharp, and after a short scrimmage in front of George, Settle, headed the ball into the net, but the referee after consulting both linemen, disallowed the point- apparently on the ground for offside. Play now became faster than ever, and Sharp on one occasion sprinted grandully down the wing. He centred well, and Young got to the ball but he shot, failed in making the centre, Sharp sprained his knee, and he had to retire from the field. In spite of this the Evertonians continued to enjoy all the best of the argument and Dilly had a open goal before him, when he shot remarkably wide. Still the Goodison park men kept pegging away and both the home backs had more than once in trouble. They were however, very ably aided by the halves, who constantly dropped back to their assistance. And so saved off defeat. Some neat dribbling by the Everton forwards ended in a good centre, but Settle was obviously offside, when he netted the ball with a low shot. The next item of interest was a break away on the inside left which, scrimmage to Garritty who sending in a clever shot, when just topped the crossbar. Then the visiting forwards once more took up the running, and McDermott from long range shot high over George’s charge. Each side being but on the defensive in rapid succession. A dangerous shot from Brawn was well cleared by Balmer and a moment later George had to deal with a difficult dropping shot from the foot of McDermott. Then Settle from a pass by Sharp who had resumed, shot in a low swift one, which was most dealt with by Spencer. Towards the interval the play slowed down considerably, and a series of long kicks, and rushes materially spoiled the quality of the football. Everton during this period were still the aggressors for the most part, but their shooting when within close range was always lacking in sting. Just before half-time Brawn made desperate efforts to rush away on the wing, but speedy through he was, Crelly so hampered him that he was unable to get in a fine shot. Then, from a run down by Garritty, Bache put in a magnificent low shot, which brought Scott to his knees, but the Irishmen cleared brilliantly. A second later Garritty put one towards the corner of the net, but Scott throwing himself prone, saved at the expense of a fruitless corner. Half-time Villa nil, Everton nil. When play was resumed there were fully 6,000 people present. The home team began to put on pressure, and in the first five minutes. Brawn sent in a glorious ground shot right from the corner flag, which the Everton custodain saved with rare skill. After this the Villians began to exert the greatest pressure, and the Everton goal was distinctly lucky in escaping capture. Time after time the forwards who were now showing improved football, attacking down on Scott’s charge, and it was only the vigilance of the custodian that averted disaster. On one occasion Noon sent in a rally terrific shot, which seemed certain to score but Chadwick managed to intercept it just under the bar. The Villa, however, maintained their attack, and they were rewarded in the very last minute of the game, Brawn scoring with a somewhat lucky shot, result Aston Villa 1 Everton nil.

EVERTON 2 ASTON VILLA 2
March 7 1904. The Liverpool Courier
The only game of any importantance in the Liverpool district on Saturday was at Goodison park, and that was only a friendly between Everton and Aston Villa. There was only a meagre attendance at the start, nor more than 2,000 spectators being present. The teams were: – Everton: – Kitchen, goal, Gordon and Crelly, backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain), and Abbott, half-backs Sharp, Taylor, Young, McDermott, and Rankin forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Noon, and Miles backs, Wilkes, Wood, and Leake, half-backs, Clarke, Hall, Watkins, Matthews, and Lockett, forwards.
Everton kicked off, and play opened quietly, but nice passing between Young and McDermott gave the former a grand chance of scoring, but the centre’s final shot was weak. Everton, who had commenced with ten players. Were now joined by Taylor, the absentee from the advertised side being Hardman. The Everton goal was subjected to considerable pressure, but the defence prevailed, Rankin carried the ball down, and centring cleverly Young called upon George, who saved all the expense of a corner. This was well placed by Rankin, and McDermott tipping the ball forward, Young dashed in and scored. The Villa quickly retaliated, and succeeded in obtaining an equalising point Kitchen in clearing from Lockett slipped, and only placed the ball a few yards away, with the result that Watkins easily placed the leather in the net, Kitchen fisted away from Clarke and from Watkin’s pass Lockett was offside. The Villa pressed for some time, and Kitchen made an excellent save from Watkins. Young had another attack on the Villa goal, but the attempts to capture it were by no means such as to cause the visiting defence much anxiety. Booth tried his luck with a shot from thirty yards range, only to send the ball wide of the upright. The Villa quite held their own, but it was obvious that the earnestness of a serious encounter was sadly lacking. Smart work by McDermott, Young, and Taylor resulted in the latter putting in a capital shot, which George cleared splendidly. Everton now had two or three fine chances to gain the lead. Which were thrown away, and a passage in arms between Leake, and McDermott amsued the crowd, if it did stimulate the interest in the game, while there were other incidents which were provocative of laughter. Having defended for some time the Villa attack had a look in, and Kitchen fisted out from Lockett. Following this Crelly, through fiddling with the ball, presented a nice opening to Hall, whose shot, however, was very wide of the mark. Half-time Everton 1, Villa 1.
In the second half, by which time the attendance had increased to about 4,000. Everton started off with great dash, and George successfully repelled all sorts of shots. Everton however, he was beaten by a brilliant effort on the part of Taylor. The Villa improve, but their attack was not particularly strong, and as a rule, the home defenders had little difficulty in clearing. They forced a corner from which Wood placed behind, and following the Everton again got away, their shooting, however, being faulty. There was more “friendly” football, and the spectators were amused at any rate, Everton forced three successive corners without anything tangible, and then the Villa coming away Hall sent the wrong side of the upright. Play ruled pretty even, and there were cries of “play up” Taylor responding to the invitation by banging in a stinging shot, which smartly cleared, Hall equalising for the Villa, who had the best of the game to the finish. Final result Everton 2, Villa 2.

EVERTON REVIEW
January 25, 1904. The Liverpool Mercury
By their victory over Aston Villa, Everton again place themselves in the position of having more than an outside chance of the championship, and their future games will be invested with keener interest on this account. In their two most recent home matches, they have overthrown the leaders and the Villa-two clubs whose aspirations towards the premiership of the League would appear to be based on fairly substantial grounds-and as they have yet to be visited by Sheffield Wednesday, and Manchester City, each of whom is at present above them in the table of results, their outlook is decidedly, promising. Though the only vanquished the Villa by a goal to nil, there was a vastly wider difference in the actual play of the teams than the score would seem to denote. The first half was very keenly contested and there were periods in it when the visitors were forcing matters to such an extent that the ultimate triumph of Everton began to assume a very remote appearance. But the Villa forwards were exceedingly remiss when it came to a question of scoring and the best efforts thoughout the match came from the half-backs. Everton gained the winning goal three minutes after the start. Settle heading past George, after receiving a fine centre from Sharp. Then, however, the home forwards commenced initiating their opponents by dallying, and uselessly passing instead of shooting, and thus Settle’s goal won the match. Even with all this hesitancy near goal, the home forwards gave George far more work to do the Villa front line accomplished at the opposite goal, for Kitchen was rarely requisitioned after the interval, and all through had not half-a-dozen difficult shots to deal with. The inclusion of Hardman on the extreme left strengthened this portion of the attack, but the best work was seen on the other wing, where Taylor and Sharp were always a thorn in the side of their opponents. The inside players, however, spoiled much otherwise clever work by indulging in needless passing when better results must have assuredly been gained by shooting. Particularly was this the case in the second half, for the gradual drifting into this, ineffective style of forward play was not so noticeable prior to half-time, but as the game progressed these tactics became more pronounced. Taylor was the pick of the line, for he worked with relentless energy to find openings for his partner, and instead of finessing with the ball when in possession, he drove it out to the wing, and kept Sharp unceasingly on the move. The extreme winger was in fine trim, and though he found it difficult to shake off the attentions of Leake in the opening half, he had matters his own way towards the finish. Hardman was likewise seen to advantage though his centres occasionally were badly directed, and once before the interval, after beating the half, and full backs, he shot against the net what time three of his comrades were waiting anxiously for the crossing of the ball. As a centre forward, Settle did not impress one very favourably, and he has yet to exhibit at Goodison Park that form which has obtained his selection for the North team, as leader of the front rank. McDermott put in some tricky work, but although operating on the left wing, he was more assiduous in his attentions to the right extremity of the line, especially after the change of ends. A little more understanding between the inside men might have avoided many of the blunders which occurred near George for at times they were in each other’s way, with the usual unsatisfactory result. Nothing could have excelled the display given by the Everton half-back line, and each of the trio, in his own characteristic way exhibited fine form. Booth was slightly superior, if only by reason of his cool tackling and precise placing. Wolstenholme simply walked round the Villa left wing, and his kicking from all positions was remarkably accurate, whilst Abbott, though meeting a troublesome opponent in Brawn, was seldom baffled, and he was more aggressive in his tactics than the right half. Further in the rare some grand defensive work was shown by Crelly and Balmer. The former shone refulgently in tackling, never failing to check his opponents, and his returns were most judicious. Balmer was more vigorous in his defence, but he repeatedly stepped in at the precise moment for breaking up the advance of the Villa left wing, and in this respect fairly covered himself with credit. Kitchen had very little to do-one shot from Wilkes was the most awkward ball he had to deal with- but he never seemed in difficulties and the Villa forwards were generously lenient with him. The Midlanders failed, to sustain the reputation they have secured of giving a classy exposition, and judged from their form at Everton, they are as likely to win the League Championship as Liverpool are. Their best work was witnessed at half-back. Leake rendering splendid service in the first half, but he fell away considerably afterwards. Wilkes at centre was more consistent and he just about had the measure of Settle, while Pearson, on the right wing, placed a very sound game throughout. The full backs Miles and Evans defended stubbornly, and they were given ample opportunity of displaying their skill. Although the former occasionally faltered in his return, he shaped extremely well under heavy pressure, and he copied the example of his more experienced partner Evans who was at the top of his form, in very promising fashion. George keep a good goal, and it was entirely due to the Villa defence that Everton did not win by a much wider margin. In the front rank some most disappointing play was witnessed; there were occasions at rare intervals when the players moved in something like the concerned manner that had been anticipated, but every advance fizzled away before Kitchen was requisitioned. Niblo, who commenced in the centre, was a failure, and even when he changed places within Watkins, there was not much improvement noticeable. Brawn, on the extreme right, was the most dangerous player in this department, but this was counterbalanced by the exceeding feebleness of Lockett, who was practically useless. Bache worked hard, but everything came alike to his partner, who bungled with rare exceptions, the chances which came his way. Near goal the Midlanders were worse than Everton and though their halves repeatedly worked a favourable positions for them, they were utterly unable to utilise it to any appreciable extent. Three goals to nil would have been a fitter representation of the game, in Everton’s favour.
EVERTON 1 ASTON VILLA 0 (Game 464)
January 16, 1904. The Liverpool Courier
Apart from the meetings of Everton and Liverpool probably Aston Villa are the most attractive League team, which visits Goodison-park. Their appearance on Saturday came at an unusually interesting time seeing that both clubs have done very well in the League tournaments. Naturally a great crowd was attracted, the number of spectators present at the start reaching fully 25,000 . The teams were as follows: – Everton: – Kitchen, goal, W Balmer and Crelly, backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain), and Abbott, half-backs, Sharp, Taylor Settle, McDermott, and Hardman, forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Miles, and Evans, backs Pearson, Wilkes and Leake, half-backs, Brawn, Watkins, Niblo, Bache, and Lockett, forwards. Referee Mr. Shilton. The Villa kicked off, and right away Hardman was prominent with two dashing sprints down the wing in rapid succession. In each case his fine centre was driven back, by Miles. Booth was prominent with clever checking of the Villa left wing, and passing the ball to Taylor, the latter placed the leather well up the field. Sharp dashed up in great style and sending across, Settle net the ball and beautifully headed it into the net. This success, which came after three minutes play, was received with tremendous cheering. The point was well worked for, and thoroughly deserved. The Villa forwards worked their way down to the other end, but a rather scrambling attack was ended by offside. After this play was for the most part in midfield, both sets of backs being equal to all attacks. The Villa became more aggressive, their forwards and halves playing well together. However, sturdy tacklers in Wolstenholme and Abbott opposed them though the right back on one occasions missed his kick with consequences, fortunately for Everton, that were not serious. The home vanguard could make little headway, and another onslaught by the Villa resulted in Wilkes getting a grand shot, which Kitchen diverted at the expense of a corner. Lockett raced away on his own, only to be pulled off-side, and at the other end of the field, McDermott tested George with a shot. The pace continued fast, and some pretty touches were shown. Once Hardman, after clever maneuvering, was at fault in not passing back when a great chance of another goal was presented. A beautiful bit of work between Booth, Taylor, and Sharp found McDermott nicely placed, but to the disappointment of the crowd he placed over the bar. A moment later Sharp shot into George’s hands, the game at this stage being undoubtedly in Everton’s favour. A corner forced by Taylor led to some exciting exchanges in the vicinity of George’s charge. In the course of another onslaught by the home team. Sharp made an accurate centre, which Miles kicked over the goal-line. From the corner the ball came out o McDermott, whose attempt at goal was again doomed to failure. A sudden break away by the Villa ended in Lockett centering across the goalmouth, but unfortunately for him none of his colleagues could intercept the pass. Everton were at it once more, but this time shot wildly. Further pressure brought another corner, and following the flag kick Balmer from long range, banged in a terrific shot, which just went the wrong side of the upright. Smart passing by the Villa forwards followed, and Niblo was left with only Balmer, and the goalkeeper to face, but the former clipped in and cleared in grand style, Everton retaliated up the left, and Hardman sent in a fine centre which Miles in clearing put over his own line. A corner followed, but proved fruitless, and the Villa right again got down, but Booth neatly intercepted Brawn’s centre. Brawn with subsequently dangerous, and then a couple of corners forced by Hardman were fisted away by George. Half-time Everton 1 goal, Aston Villa nil. In view of the failing light the interval was unduly prolonged. The opening stage after the resumption were by no meals exciting, throw-ins being nunerous. The first real attack came from the Everton left wing, but McDermott failed in his effort to beat George. At the other end Wolstenholme neatly checked an advance and once again. Hardman was in evidence. He raced past all opposition, and finished with a great centre, which Settle just missed converting. The Villa retaliated, and Crelly being penalised for fouling Brawn, the Everton goal was endangered. The ball however, was safely got away, and the next item of interest was a fine shot from Sharp, which George diverted at the expense of a fruitless corner. Play continued to be exceedingly lively, both side putting in their best efforts. The Villa forwards were difficult to shake off, and it was fortunate for Everton that both, Balmer and Crelly were on the best behaviour. Subsequently Everton maintained a terrific onslaught on George’s charge, which escaped capture in marvellous style. The closing stages were rather tame. Everton were easy winners by one goal to nil.

EVERTON REVIEW
September 28, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
Once again the jubilation engendered by Everton’s magnificent display against Newcastle United has been followed by disappointment. The team and an unusually large number of their supporters journeyed to the Midlands on Saturday in the expectation of witnessing the discomfiture of Aston Villa. Unhappily, these fond hopes were not realised, and as the outcome of a really spirited and well-contested game, the Evertonians acknowledged defeat by three goals to one. On the face of it, this represents a serious reverse; but while points have been lost, there is some consolation in the fact that the final score was by no means as accurate reflex of the varying fortunes of the play. Indeed with a little luck, but it must be admitted with reasonable marksmanship on the part of the visiting forwards, the result might easily have been the other way. During the first half, and especially until a few minutes from the interval, Everton were distinctly the superior side. In finesse, in combination, and in all the finer features of the game, they were in advance of their old and famous antagonists. In view of this, it seems singular that the visitors were unable to pierce the Villa defence. It is strange, but none the less true, that their admirable footwork, and determination brought no fruition; simply, it must be said, owing to an almost inexplicable incapacity when the moment came to turn to real account splendid bits of play, which delighted even the Villa spectators. Having allowed so many chances to go abegging, it was not altogether surprising that when the Villa a turn did come they, by reason of none accurate shooting, should have made victory assured. Time and again the Everton forwards had the better of the Villa defence, but some of their efforts to score were ridiculously feeble, even at times when the keeper was the only player that had to be overcome. Weak and wide shooting characterised many of their efforts, and had they established themselves, as they should have done quite early in the game, probably a different tale would have to be related. The only really dangerous shot during the first half-hour came from Abbott, but unfortunately for his side, the referee was in the way of the ball, otherwise a certain goal must have accured. Then followed the first success of the Villa. Garrity, who all along had been a troublesome player to Everton halves, put the ball out to Brawn, with the result that this speedy player ran round Crelly, and swung it across to Johnson, who completely defeated Kitchen. It was a capital movement, and deserved success, while at the same time, it apparently decided the game, for from this point onwards the Everton side played like a beaten team. The second half opened in brisk fashion, and quite early on George kept out a fine shot from settle, while at the other end, and one of the best saves of the day was effected by Kitchen, who kept out a ball from Johnson that looked like beating him all the way. The Everton defence for some time had been showing signs of weakness, and the alert Villa forwards for a long period ran the rearguard off their feet. McLuckie eventually got the better of Balmer, and put on a second goal, and a third came from Wilkes, though the latter point should have been prevented, as the keeper handled the ball, but unluckily placed it into the net. A big effort was made to reduce the lead, and Young scored a clever goal, while both Settle and Hardman had no luck with capital shots. As has been suggested, the Everton forwards missed many opportunities of laying a foundation to success early on in the game, but this was not the only weakness discernible, for the backs did not strike one as being particularly safe. Balmer was occasionally easily beaten, but there were times when he and Crelly extricated their sides from difficulty. Wilstenholme and Abbott had plenty of work, on hands, and a pleasing feature in their display was the fact that they endeavored to do what the forwards should certainly have accomplished-shot at goal. Both put in rattling good shots, but levelled from long range they had little chance of defeating George. In the centre, Booth was fitful, and some of his efforts to score were decidedly feeble. The forwards did everything but find the net. Their footwork was greatly admired, and though Young showed the prevailing weakness, he kept his men well employed, and on the whole played a satisfactory game, Sharp on the extreme right was always a source of anxiety to the Villa defenders, while at the other end of the line Hardman put in a good work early on, but appeared to tire towards the finish. The Villa players, after once finding their position comparatively secure, played a most confident game, and for a time nothing could go wrong with them. McLuckie was a capable centre forwards, for he distributed the play in such a fashion that the best efforts of those on either side of him were distinctly brought out. Brawn and Niblo got in many fine runs and accurate centres, and the dash of the inside players, Johnson and Garrity, who rarely failed to take chances, stamped the forward line as capable of securing many succession. The half backs played a harassing game, and further behind Spencer showed that he has lost none of his skill. Noon was often beaten by Sharp, especially in the early stages of the game, but as played progressed he improved, and with his confreres and George formed a sound defence.

ASTON VILLA 3 EVERTON 1 (Game 447)
September 28, 1903. The Liverpool Courier.
This match at Birmingham attracted very great interest in view of the fine form shown of late by both teams, and with fine weather prevailing the attendance as the start numbered fully 25,000. Everton relied upon their usual side, while there was a slight alteration in the Villa eleven. The teams were: – Everton: – Kitchen, goal, W.Balmer, and Crelly, backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain), and Abbott half-backs, Sharp, McDermott, Young, Settle, and Hardman, forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Spencer, and Noon, backs, Pearson, Wood, and Wilkes, half-backs, Brawn, Garraty, McLuckie, Johnson, and Niblo, forwards. Referee Mr. Shelton. The Villa won the toss, and Young started, Everton were the first to get to close quarters, but Settle shot wide. From the goal kick the Villa went away, but Booth stopped McLuckie, and the Evertonians were soon swarming round the home goal, McDermott shooting the wrong side of the upright. Again the Evertonians returned, but Noon kicked clear for Young. Everton continued to press until offside relieved the situation. Spencer pulled Hardman up nicely and the Villa right moved off in nice style, Brawn swinging across to Niblo, who being hard pressed by Crelly, ran the ball out. The play for a time was confined to midfield and then Hardman eluding Pearson ran down and put out to Settle, who shot wide. A foul against McDermott enabled the home lot to find their way into the visitors quarters, but Johnson placed the ball over the line. Garraty and McLuckie were prominent in a desperate effort to get through Balmer, however, kicking away. Brawn receiving a long pass from McLuckie made headway, only to be pulled up by Abbott. Wilkes hard pressed by Sharp had to kick back to George, and a moment later Settle put outside. The Everton prevented the Villa forwards settling down, and Everton pressing again George only saved a long dropping shot by Young at the expense of a corner. The visiting side continued to show to advantage until Wolstenholme sent high of the bar. Spencer robbed Settle neatly just as he was about to shoot, and the Villa rattled away, only to be stopped by Abbott in clever fashion. A foul against Young relieved further pressure on the home goal, but it was only temporary, for the Evertonians playing a dashing game came on again, and the Villa were in some difficulty to keep them at bay. Garraty was penalised for tripping Settle, but from the free kick the ball was got safely away. The Villa now got down, and several nice passes enabled McLuckie to test Kitchen, who threw clear. Johnson from the rebound, fastened on the ball, but sent it wildly outside. Noon was checked for pulling up the Everton right, and a minute later Young, when in front of the goal, was pulled up for offside. Again Sharp was responsible for a good run, but George was all there, and saved Young’s shot splendidly. Spencer next cleverly checked the Everton right wing, and Pearson sending the ball forward put the Villa on the move. Smart work by Niblo took the ball well in, the visiting backs clearing easily. The Villa were now playing better, but the Everton halves prevented them getting dangerous. At last a shot from Garrity passed over the bar, and from the goal kick, play went on in the home half. Wilkes eventually relieves the situation with a well-timed kick. Once more the Villa worked down to the other end, Johnson bungling s shot from McLuckie, and the effort was foiled. A long shot by Booth was wide of the mark, and then following a fine run by Brawn, Kitchen saved splendidly. The Villa were now doing the entire pressing, and excitement ran high when Balmer intercepted a good shot from Johnson. A mistake by Pearson let the visitors in, but Spencer covered and saved the situation. At the other end a bully in the Everton goal saw Crelly head away from Garrity. Returning to the attack the ball was sent across the goal, and Johnson being well up, put it out of Kitchen’s reach into the corner of the net. This success for the Villa cans three minutes from the interval. Half-time Villa 1, Everton nil.
The Villa were distinctly fortunate in crossing over a goal to the good as Everton had most of the play. On restarting the players seemed disposed to take things somewhat more easily until Sharp livened matters with a smart run which ended in Wilkes conceding a corner. From this Sharp put the ball nicely, but Abbott headed outside. Villa again worked down, and McLuckie getting past Balmer, who fell, shot the ball against Kitchen. It went out to Brawn, who, with an open goal sent it against the side of the net. A moment later the home goal had a narrow escape, George saving from Young at the expense of a corner. Everton were trying desperately hand to equalised, but experienced no luck in front of goal. McLuckie scored a second goal for the Villa, and Wilkes added a third. Towards the finish Young scored for Everton, who lost by three goals to 1.

EVERTON REVIEW
February 16, 1903. The Liverpool Mercury
With Sharp and Settle and Spencer from a like cause, absent from the Villa ranks Garrity and Henderson were away owing to injuries, the former thus being unable to participate in his first international, so that the constitution of the combatants differed considerably from what is usually the case. These changes produced a noticeably deleterious effect on the play of the Everton team particularly in the forward division, and the ragged and inconsistent movements of the line were entirely responsible for the defeat. Only one goal was gained in the match, this being scored after about 30 minutes plays in the first half. A foul against Wolstenholme for tripping Niblo, close to the line led to the kick being nicely placed in front but Whitley came out and fisted away, before he could properly return, the ball was again in the goalmouth, and from a scrimmage, Bache hooked the ball into the net. Everton’s only attempt at scoring came just on the interval, when Taylor headed in from Bell’s centre, only, however, to find the custodian on the alert. In the second half, both goals had narrow escapes, Taylor heading against the bar, Brearley had forced a corner, while from close range Bowman, tested George with a lovely shot. Then a penalty kick was awarded the home side for Leake handling, but Abbott kicked the ball against the Villa keeper and this was the last dying effort of Everton, for the visitors nearly scored again. Whitley saving splendidly from McLuckie.
Everton were decidedly off colour, and particularly was this the case with the forwards, who display neither combination skill, not shooting ability. The two most conspicuous failures were Bowman and Brearley for the latter showed no conception of the centre forward position and appeared to be working in an entirely different groove to the remainder. Lying well up the field, on the off chance for a sudden dash past the backs, may occasionally be effective, but the Villa defenders simply smothered the Everton centre, and even when presented with a fine opening he failed to utilise the opportunity. Bowman was simply useless, and he seems to posses the facility of being able to do the wrong thing for his own side, and the right for his opponents. Repeatedly did he pass the ball to a Villa player, and a more awkward method of taking the leather from a pass than he adopts would be difficult to imagine. Taylor worked hard, but his services brought little reward for though Rankin responded well in the opening stages, he was scarcely seen after the interval. Bell had little chance given him by his partner, but he made the most of whatever came his way. The halves were not at their best, though this may to some extent be explained by the fact that the front rank almost invariably mulled the opening made for them. Abbott was the pick of the line, but Niblo frequently beat Wolstenholme, and more fouls were given against the Everton right half than one wishes to see. Balmer and Crelly defended very well, and Whitley kept a capital goal, one or two of his clearances being exceptionally smart.
The Villa did not display the quality of football usually associated with their name and reputation, and they were little in advance of the home tem in respect to the character of their attack. There was too much dribbling and finessing with the ball, and a strange indisposition to shoot which seemed at one time to create a possible division of the points at the finish. Bache was the pick of the line, but Niblo is evidently as cosmopolitan as regards position on the field, for at times he was seen dribbling down the right wing. MCLuckie was a moderate centre, but Braun was a very dangerous opponent, and he was at times a bit superior to both Abbott and Crelly. The halves were sound without being brilliant, and the same statement applies to the full backs, whilst George in goal had very little to do, but when that little includes a penalty, he deserved some credit for coming through the ordeal unscathed. Everton however, have a reputation for inconsistency to maintain, and the probability is the next week they will startle the United, of Manchester. Bearing in minds the fate of Liverpool, they will nevertheless, do well to leave nothing to chance.

ASTON VILLA 1 EVERTON 0 (Game 433)
February 16 1903. The Liverpool Courier
Walter Abbott misses his third Penalty kick of season.
League encounters between Everton and the Villa are always interesting and Saturday’s match was no exception to the rule in spite of the fact that neither side was at full strength. Everton had Sharp and Settle away playing for England, and Sheridan assisting Ireland, while Henderson was on the injured list. The Villa were with out Spencer. Noon and Garratty. Notwithstanding the unfavourable climatic conditions there were fully 15,000 spectators present at the start. Teams Everton: – Whitley, goal, W.Balmer and Crelly, backs, Wolstenholme, Booth (captain) and Abbott, half-backs, Rankin, Taylor, Brearley, Bowman, and Bell forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Shutt, and Leake, backs Pearson, Wood, and Wilkes, half-backs, Brawn, Johnson, McLuckie, Bache, and Niblo, forwards.
Everton lost the toss and had to play against a stiff breeze. The Villa were the first to become aggressive and Johnson looked like getting through when Balmer pulled him up. Everton soon retaliated, and after one capital work by the forwards and halves Rankin got in a wonderful shot, which just curled over the bar. The Villa again worked their way into their opponent’s territory, but their stay was brief, and soon Rankin electrified the crowd with a brilliant run. Both backs hung on to him as well as they could, but Rankin was not perturbed, and centring from a difficult position the pressure was so severe that a corner resulted. This led to a further onslaught by Everton, at the end of which Abbott from long range sent the wrong side of the upright. Then followed some pretty passing between Wolstenholme, and the Everton right wing, as the result of which the right half sent the ball the wrong side of the upright. Everton forced a corner, which was nicely placed by Bell. Some interesting exchanges occurred in front of George, but the custodian was not seriously troubled. In the course of pressure by the visiting side Balmer’s foresight proved valuable, and once again the home left were in evidence, only to find the Villa halves equal to the occasion. Next Rankin distinguished himself, and as he was about to get in Wilkes fouled a shot. The resulting free kick nearly brought about the downfall of the Villa goal, but Bowman’s final effort was weak. Grand work by Niblo and Bache prevented a favourable opportunity to McLuckie, who was cleverly, robbed of the ball by Crelly as the ex-Bury man was on the point of shooting. The high standard, which prevailed in the opening stage, was not maintained, but still there was no luck of incident. A couple of corners to the Villa were unproductive. Still, with the assistance of the wind, they were responsible for the bulk of the attack, the Evertonians defending vigorously. Booth at length changed the venue and from a pass by Brearley. Rankin was again in evidence. For some reason or other he was penalised by the referee, the free kick being badly utilised by the Villa. Bell was applauded for clever maneuvering, and the only play was that his final attempt was so feeble. From a foul by Booth on McLuckie the ball was well placed, but was heeded outside. Then Rankin ran down nicely, and beat Wilkes, but his centre was easily cleared McLuckie and Bache dribbled the ball cleverly, and finally it was sent out to Niblo, who was fouled by Wolstenholmwe. Again the ball was beautifully placed, and Whitley fisted out, but before he could get back Bache hooked the ball into the net, and scored for the Villa. Shortly afterwards Whitley saved smartly from Pearson, who put in a low shot from long range, and then Brearley sprinted down nicely, only to be pulled up by Leake. Everton made one or two attempts to draw level, but for the most part the finishing efforts were weak. Juast before the interval, Taylor tested George with a beautiful header, which the custodian cleared in grand fashion. Half-time Aston Villa 1, Everton nil.
The crowd must have numbered at least 20,000 when the game was resumed. Everton had the better of the opening exchanges, but once more their efforts when near goal were not to be commended. Brearley on one occasion being conspicuously at fault. A centre from Niblo forced Crelly to concede a corner, which was not turned to account. Bell tried hard to force the game, but the Villa halves struck splendidly to their work and Brawn next forced a corner off Balmer . It was not converted, and midfield play was now the order. The Everton forwards apparently had an idea of shooting, and although smart enough in midfield failed lamentably at the last moment. Brearley once tried desperately hard to make amends, but his efforts though well meant, sent the ball yards wide. Bell was too well watched to be dangerous and all round there was a sad deterioration in the Everton ranks, the spectators being quite justified in their calls of “play up Everton” A satisfactory response seemed to be forthcoming, when from a corner Taylor shot in hard. The ball however struck the crossbar and rebound into play, and a moment later Bowman tested George with a really fine effort. In the course of further play, Abbott missed a penalty Kick. As the end of the game drew near the Evertonians bombarded the Villa goal, but without avail, and the home team retired defeated. Result Aston Villa 1, Everton nil.
Everton Review

October 20, 1902. The Liverpool Mercury
Everton on Saturday somewhat be smirched their proud record, which they had been building the last few weeks. Since they started to acquire points on the 20 th September they have played such brilliant football that as the outcome of five matches, three of which were from home they scored eight out of a possible ten points. Their visit to Birmingham however, put an end to this sequence of success for Aston Villa managed to emerge from a well-contested game by the narrow margin of two goals to one. The victory was particularly gratifying to the Villa supporters seeing that it was the first that the team had gained at home this season. One has heard more than once since the season started about the decline in the ability of the team, which now does duty in the famous Birmingham club. Last Saturday’s performance, however, must to a great extent rehabilitate the side in the good opinions of their still enthusiastic followers. At times their display recalled the best days of the Villa. There might not have been quite the same science in their movements, but the old-time fire and dash of the forwards were asserted in almost irresistible fashion.
The Villa deserved their victory, as the run of the play for the most parts was in their favour. At the same time it would not have been surprising had the game resulted in an equal division of points. One of those overpowering rushes which was indulged in about a quarter of an hour before the game closed produced a clever goal for which Garrity was in the main responsible. This point was as acceptable to the twenty thousand Birmingham spectators as it was disappointing to the few hundred Liverpool football enthusiasts who had made the journey to the Midland city. Although beaten, Everton made a brave show, and they had this consolation that they participated in one of the most interesting displays which have been seen at Aston Park this season. By reason of his former association with the Villa, the crowd watched the movements of Jack Sharp with especial interest and the clever and speedy Everton outside right certainly gave them every reason to admire his deft and dexterous flashes along the wing. No members of the Everton team appeared to greater advantage than did Sharp. Time after time his wonderful turn of speed, apart from his smart command of the ball, extorted the applause of the great throng of spectators and it was no fault of his that several admirable chances were not turned to account. Rather was the non-success of Everton due to the wonderfully fine back play of Spencer and Evans, the former of whom kicked and tackled in his best international style. The Villa half-backs too, lost very few opportunities of breaking up what were on occasions undoubtedly clever combined movements on the part of the Everton forwards, and in addition, were not slow in testing the opposing custodian with shots of exceptional merit. One in particular from Noon was very smart, and it was only by adopting the method he did that a point could possibly have been scored. The ball had been bobbing about the goalmouth, which was numerically well defended, and in putting in a dropping shot over the heads of his opponents, he contributed one of the many passages in which play fell outside the stereotyped groove. The Villa front line also excelled themselves, especially in comparison to previous exhibition they have recently given. This however, is scarcely surprising, seeing that for years past the Villa have invariably been on the top of their form when meeting their old and exteemed Everton opponents. Clark in particular gave a brilliant performance at outside right, and if he could be relied upon to always reproduce his form of Saturday last he would be one of the smartest outside men in the country. Well, as Balmer played, and more than once his judicious kicking saved his side, Clark troubled him very severely.
In view of the dangerous movements which the Villa wing men executed, it must be said that the Everton defenders did well in not allowing the Villa to score more than two goals. It was through no fault on the part of Kitchen that his side were beaten. He had a lot of work to do, and he discharged his task in a highly creditable manner. Wolstenholme however, hardly suggests that right back is his real position. To J.Bell fell the distinction of registering Everton’s only goal, which was well worked for, but still this old servant of the Everton Club is beginning to realise that his turn of speed is not what it used to be. The result of this was seen in his tendency to lie as neat off-side as possible. Taking the game all through it was most enjoyable, and although Everton were the losing side, there is no reason why they of their followers should be disheartened with a reverse which even the best team in the country might easily have experienced.

ASTON VILLA 2 EVERTON 1 (Game 417)
October 20, 1902. The Liverpool Courier
Everton have been so conspicuously successful of late that their supporters did not view with anything like alarm the outcome of their visit to Birmingham on Saturday. The game possibly was more serious for the Villa than it was for Everton, because the far famed Birmingham organisation are at the present time sadly in need of points. Everton had again the advantage of the service of Booth, while on the Villa side there was but one change, Noon coming into the team vice Wilkes. The teams lined up as follows : – Everton: – Kitchen, goal Wolstenholme, and Balmer, backs, Taylor, Booth (captain), and Abbott half-backs, Sharp, Brearley, Bowman Sheridan and Bell, forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Spencer, and Evans, backs, Noon Wood, and Lecke, half-backs, Clark, Garrity, McLuckie, Bache, and Niblo, forwards. Referee R.F.Carr Capital work by Taylor put the Everton forwards in possession, and the Villa backs were kept busily employed. Sharp eventually got in a smart centre, to which, Spencer applied his head, and returning again George, had to save from a charge down by Taylor from Wood. The pace was exceptionally well strung, and slowly but surely the Everton forwards appeared to be getting the measure of the opposition half-backs. After a lengthly pressure the Villa left wing again made some progress, and following a wide pass out from Garraty to Niblo the latter was about to centre, when Wolstenholme just reached the ball, and put it outside. In a twinkling the ball was at the other end of the field, but George was not troubled. During the next two minutes it was quite evident that Everton defenders had trouble in store for them, from the Villa right wing. On one occasion Clark put in a brilliant shot which, Wolstenholme kneed out of the goal mouth. Immediately following a magnificent effort from Niblo just skimmed the bar at terrific speed. The attack however, was not sustained, and racing along the left Bell looked like slipping through, when Spencer tripped him up a couple of yards from the penalty line. Abbott placed the free kick well, but Evans headed away, and a moment later Brearley put the ball to Bowman, and it was only to be sheer luck that Evans met his man and enabled George to clear. Then McLuckie had practically an open goal, but got his toe too much wide of the ball and scooped it on the right side of the net. Some very fine passing on the part of the Everton forwards followed. Sharp finished up exceptionally tricky run by shooting hard at George, who only partially cleared. The ball went to Abbott, and the custodian was again called upon. Hereabout the Villa put forward one of the old time efforts. Persistent pressure was experienced at the Everton citadel. With a crowd of players in front of the goalmouth Noon displayed splendid judgement, putting the ball clean into the net. This success came after play had been in progress thirty-five minutes, and the supporters of the Villa gave full vent to their enthusiasm. Every inch of the ground was now contested, and conspicuous among the Everton forwards was Brearley, who on one occasion nearly scored. Following the clearance Niblo, got several times round Wolstenholme, and as once before during the game, Balmer managed to get his knee to the ball and looked like beating Kitchen all the way. A breakaway by Bell and Sheridan resulted is nothing but a fitful shot for George. Play was in midfield when the whistle blew for the interval. Half time Aston Villa 1; Everton nil.
The game was resumed in the presence of 20,000 spectators, and play opened somewhat quietly. The Villa were the first to attack by an aggressive movement. Play was taken up by Clark and Garraty. Abbott was penalised, and a free kick brought about a melee in front of Kitchen. McLuckie while on the ground almost diverted the ball into the net, and after Everton had paid a useless visit to the other end, Niblo was pulled up for offside, when in a favourable positions, and afterwards Bell put in a couple of fine centre, but they were not turned to account. Then a stoppage was occasioned owing to an injury to Wood. After a splendid run by McLuckie, Garraty, with a beautiful shot, struck the upright, and the decision of the referee in ruling him offside was not relished by the crowd. The Everton goal was now hotly assailed and it was wonderful how it missed capture on several occasions. The Villa at this period were playing for all they were worth. Kitchen twice saving marvellously when yards from the goal mouth. Suddenly the Everton right took the ball down in fine fashion, and from a misunderstanding between Leake and Evans as to who should clear Sharp dashed in and put the ball across to Bell, who judged it well, and gave George no chance with the equalising goal. Garrarty scored a second goal for the Villa tem minutes from the finish. Final result Aston Villa 2, Everton 1.

A FEW CRITICISMS
The result was a complete surprise after seeing Everton so superior in the first half, especially so as they accomplished a feat which no other team, this season, had been able to perform at Goodison park, and that with ten players only. Their form in the second half was a revelation, and Everton although beaten, have the satisfaction of knowing that they were overcome on their merits. The home forwards played a capital game, Settle being the best of the bunch, and the inside left has rarely given such an effective exhibition as he did in this match. His work was full of dash, and his passing excellent whilst his deft touches in opening out the game were beautifully executed. Young gave a capital display; but Sharp was not attended to with as much assiduity as might have been done, and the right winger, ought certainly to have been oftener utilised. The halves played a grand game, particularly Booth and Abbott, and after their splendid efforts it was somewhat hard luck to suffer defeat. The backs were good though they suffered from occasional lapses, and the same may be said of Kitchen, who evidently found a difficulty in retaining the slippery sphere. To the Villa great praise is due for their plucky and sportsmanlike efforts in accomplishing what at one time appeared a lost cause. Of their forwards, Bache and Garrirty were far ahead, the former being the leader in many dangerous moves; but Clark is a recruit of the right stamp, and his speed alone would make him a troublesome opponents to deal with. As on the home side, the halves were in fine trim, and Crabtree at full back was irreproachable. But George fairly carried off the honours of the game, and his clearances in the first half particularly were astounding. He saved when defeat appeared a certainly, and better custodianship has rarely been seen on the Everton ground.
EVERTON 2 ASTON VILLA 3 (Game 392)
December 26 1901. The Liverpool Mercury
Marriott retired hurt after 10 minutes, Villa down to ten men.
After a splendidly contested game full of exciting incidents, which fluctuated in wonderful fashion, first favouring one team and then veering completely round to the other side. Aston Villa succeeded in inflicting upon Everton the first home defeat of the latter this season, close upon 20,000 spectators witnessed the encounter, and they were awarded by a most interesting struggle, which ended in a plucky victory for the midlanders. Pincky in this respect-last the winners had to battle through 80 minutes of the allotted period with only ten men, their outside left, Marriott, having to leave the field shortly after the start. As far as can be ascertained, this player sprained himself in racing down the touchline during the first incurison into the home territory, and for the rest of the game the Villa played four forwards. In the first half Everton were simply all over their opponents, and the fact that they only led at the interval by a goal was due to the splendid goalkeeping of George whose brilliant work earned the encomiums of friend and foe alike. In the first minute he fisted out a high shot from Taylor, and saved a stinging ground drive from Sharp. But this was only a prelude of what was to come. A breakaway by the visitors enabled Bache to shoot strongly, but Kitchen coolly kicked away, and a moment later McLuckie made a miserable attempt to convert a nice centre from Clark, who was operating on the extreme right. Everton went down in fine style, and beautifully served by their halves, a fusillade was opened on the Villa goal. Abbott sent in a terrific shot, which George saved at full length; but the ball came out only a few yards, and Taylor dashed in to find the custodian on the alert for his effort, which he wonderfully cleared. Another burst on the home left gave Settle possession, and the latter racing close in, banged the leather straight into goal, but George again astonished the crowd by a superb save. This pressure, however, could not last long unrewarded and after Bache had broken away alone without avail the Everton left wing bore down once more, and Settle drove with great force against the crossbar. Taylor was ready, as usual, for the rebound, and this time he got the ball into the net, thus giving his side the lead after 25 minutes play. The Villa right wing made a couple of creditable efforts, but Balmer smartly cleared Clark’s centre, and Kitchen was equal to the second attempt. Close on the interval Wolstenholmes came near to giving his side another point, for a beautiful shot from his foot his the crossbar. Thus after repeatedly pressing throughout this half, Everton held the advantage by a goal, and they were playing in such a style that the game seemed already won. What really did happen after the interval was therefore all the more surprising. The Villa commenced with rare spirit, and early demonstrated what was about to occur. In the first minute Clarke missed a perfect opening from a corner, and a few minutes afterwards Abbott slipped in clearing near the posts and the Villa outside right was nearly through. Bache worked beautifully past the halves, and with a fine shot hit the upright. Kitchen fell in trying to reach the ball, which came out to Garrirty and the latter easily equalised. Two corners were then forced by Bell, which proved futile, but the Villa were quickly back again, and Clark beating Eccles sent across a grand centre, which was badly mulled by Bache. Everton were forced to act on the defensive for some time, but eventually they returned to the attack, and a splendid shot from Abbott was cleared by George. The custodian and Crabtree defended stubbornly, and the Villa forwards receiving from one of their returns raced down on the left, but Kitchen caught Bache’s final shot and threw away. Then Bell sprinted beautifully along touch, and centred to Taylor, who once more netted the ball, though the referee only allowed the point after consulting both linemen. Scarcely had a restart been made when Bache again test Kitchen, who only clear partially and the leather coming out to Wood, the centre half with a tremendous drive equalised a second time. Worse for Everton was to follow, for Garrity rushed through and whilst Balmer was attempting to clear the ball aquirmed backwards and almost caught Kitchen napping. In fact the custodian could only just throw away, and Clark who was waiting, had the ball at his toes, and the Villa were ahead. Everton were practically beaten now, for only a few minutes remained for play, and though the home team made a great effort in the last minute they could not overcome the defence and fell by 3 goals to 2.
Everton: – Kitchen, goal, Balmer, and Eccles backs, Wolstenholmes, Booth (captain), and Abbott half-backs, Sharp, Taylor. Young, Settle, and Bell, forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Shutt, and Crabtree, backs, Perry, Wood, and Wilkes, half-backs, Clark, Garrirty, McLuckie, Bache, and Marriott forwards. Referee Mr.A.J.Barker .

EVERTON REVIEW
September 31 1901. The Liverpool Mercury
Games between Everton and Villa no matter how the teams had previously fared, have always been productive of capital sport, but the contest on Saturday could scarcely come under such category, though the issue was of the closest possible character. Changes in the respective teams would undoubtedly exercise a district and deterrent influence, but though on other occasions they availed nothing, there was the exception on Saturday, as the player rarely brought out the nicer points of the game. It was more by reasons of sheer determination and persistent go-aheadedness than by claim and incisive method that interest was sustained, and the lack of steadying influence in the team was never more forcibly demonstrated. The remark more aptly applies to the display of the respective forwards and halfbacks, who expended an amount of energy, unfortunately misdirected, sufficient to carry then through a couple of stern contests. Racing after the ball consequently upon ill judged and ill-timed passing was frequently noticeable during the game, and individual elements was once again in the ascendencing. The Villa supporters viewed the contest with many misgiving, owing to the poor form displayed by their favourites. In addition to the repeated changes on the side, but early on in the game, their doubts gave place to bright hopes as the van set a terrific pace, and gave the visitors defenders many anxious moments. High class back play, in which Balmer was always prominent, frustrated all attempts at scoring, and following a period off midfield work, in which, neither side could claim much advantage, the Everton players cut out the pace, and by better finishing touches, were the more a dangerous side. Still there was not a plethors of these, but what came to George required his best efforts, and his demonstrated that he was a custodian of more than ordinary merit. As in the opening portion of the first half. Villa maintained a heavy pressure immediately after the resumption, when the Everton forwards followed with a magnificent bombardment, which fully merited a tangible point. After twenty minutes play Abbott met the ball, following upon a free kick against noon, and with effort rarely equalised on the football field, scored a magnificent goal. Despite all attempts by the Villa, the visiting defence kept their charge intact until the closing minutes of play, when the referee, after apparently passing unheeded a claim for a goal, consulted the linesmen, and pointed to the centre. Rache put in the ball, and it was contended that Muir was over the line on clearing. The Referee was at a good position for judging the appeal, and one could not come not come to any other conclusion than that clamoring of the crowd had more than an ordinary bearing upon his decision for certainly the linesmen were not sufficiently well up to be thoroughly satisfield upon the point. The decision was received with very bad grace, and it was some minutes or so, before the players took up their places when followed a most untoward incident, that fortunately rarely occurs even in these days of high pressure football. Watson charged Lloyd in a manner more forcibly than gentlemanly, when the latter retaliated by kicking his opponent, and of course aid the extreme penalty. It was an impleasant hard fought game. Coming to the teams, and dealing with the Everton forwards, much interest was of course, centred in the new recruits, Young and Roche, it is setting a big task to young players, to face the trails of a stern League battle before a most critical crowd away from home, and under such conditions they can claim some consideration. The post of centre forward is one, which is filled often badly, occasionally well. Young struck a medium vein, in many respects is satisfactory, for frequent association alone will enable him to overcome that nervousness, which was so noticeable during the game. He was a trifle slow at recovery, and occasionally weak in passing, but he did not do at all badly, for first attempts, and coming trials will be awaited with interest. Roche display a penchant for lying too far up the field, and often the smooth working of the line as a whole was discounted in conjunction with Taylor the play on this wing was not up to its usual effective standard and it was unfortunate that the inside must have bestowed so much attention to his opponents as to necessitate free kick being given against his side for the outcome of one of these was the equalizing goal to the Villa. Bell was unquestionably the most resourceful stylish and efficient forwards on the field, and it goes without saying that had proper support been extended to him, his side must have returned victory by a comfortable margin. His command of the ball was excellent, and when it is remembered that he often received it under difficulties, and turned almost impossible chances of good account, the value of his services cannot be over estimated. Settle took matters somewhat leisurely, so that the general play of the line took more of a spasmodic turn than the steady concerted action. Changes in the Villa front line also gave anxiety to the home supporters, but whatever then, other shortcomings were overcome obstacles by sheer hardwork. The activity, which they displayed often, gave than an advantage, which unfortunately they did not understand how to use by the second half, four out of the quintet were if various time officiating as centre forward, so that one can readily imagine the fitful nature of the play. During the early stages, the ex-Evertonian Banks together with Templeton gave the Everton backs considerable trouble, and occasionally Bache was prominent, but as a rule they were kept well in check, and much improved methods is necessary to emulate the old prestige of the Villa attack. Half-backs play under the circumstances recounted above was no light task, and it was gratifying to find that Wolstenholmes who has now fully recovered, played a sound game throughout. Booth was often prominent when his side was hard pressed, but the value of his efforts would be materially increased it, he directed his attention more to correct placing of the ball than as was often the case, wild passing. Abbott got through his share with great share of the work with great credit, and his efforts that brought about the downfall of the Villa goal was nothing short of brilliant. On the Villa side, Wood and Wilkes put on much good work, and at full back the speed of Noon, and the capable play of Crabtree often saved George from disaster. Balmer was never in difficulties, his tackling and strong kicking, combined on the occasion with more than ordinary stamped him as the best back on the field. Watson did fairly well, and the respective custodians under pressure got through their task with great credit. To-day the first round of the Lancashire Senior Cup competition. Everton are drawn against white Star Wanderers.
ASTON VILLA 1 EVERTON 1 (Game 379)
September 30 1901. The Liverpool Courier
Llody order off for kicking Abbott.
On Saturday Everton played practically their first away match of the season. Anfield road can scarcely been regarded as foreign territory. Two men for the first time carried the Everton colours in a League engagement. Young at centre forward and Roche at outside right. Wolstenholmes moreover occupied his old position of right half back for the first time this season. from the Villa, Johnson. Garrity, and Miller were absentees. Bache was tried in the centre forward position, and Murray had his first League engagement at the inside right. At 3-30 the teams faced each other as follows: –
Everton: – Muir goal, Balmer, and Watson, backs, Wolstenholmes, Booth (captain), and Abbott, half-backs, Roche Taylor, Young, Settle, and Bell, forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Noon, and Crabtree, backs, Perason, Wood, and Wilkes, half-starts, Lloyd, Murray, Bache Banks, and Templeton, forwards.
The Everton players were the first to appear, and a crowd of some 15,000 people, who cheered more heartily when the Villa bounded on the enclosure, welcome them. The wind blew pretty strongly across the ground, Everton won the toss, and immediately the ball was set going. Wilkes placed nicely across the field to Templeton, and Murray when in a capital position to testing Muir was beaten in the race for possession by Balmer. This was the signal for a spirited attack on the visitors goal, and one touch from Banks, followed by a neat centre by Lloyd, set the Everton rearguard extended to their best efforts. Booth supplemented a strong punt by Abbott, with the resulting play veered to the other end, when Wolstenholmes got his wing well in play. A free kick was given against Everton, but no tangible advantage occurred. Banks and Wilkes changed the venue and a brilliant run down and a cross by Templeton was missed, when Muir would have had little chance of saving. Lloyd recovered himself, only to find Booth’s head in the way of a good shot. During the next few minutes play was in midfield without much advantage to either side, Young made headway, but was upset by Woods and on the ball coming to Taylor, a rather weak shot was sent over the line. In a twinkling the ball was at the other end, and Banks under difficulties put in a magnificent shot which but the bottom of the upright. The game continued to be heatedly and smartly contested, and the Villa forwards held more than a slight lead in the operations. Eventually a capital move by Everton looked scoring a point. The ball had been placed to Bell, who transferred to Young, and a deft side pass by Taylor results in a swift rounded of shots at George, the custodian having to throw himself full length, and to concede a corner to save his charge. It was a clever save under the circumstances, if a lucky one. At this stage the Evertonians were gradually getting the better of the opponents. The only outcome however, was a few minutes play was a corner kick by Bell, which thoroughly well placed, was successfully negotiated by Noon. Booth next had a shot, which went the way of the rest, and Everton continued to have the best of the argument. The game continued interesting, but more by reason of sheer determination to gain ground, than in shooting at goal. Muir saved from Lloyd just as the whistle blew for the interval. Half time Everton nil; Aston Villa nil.
When the second half was commencement there were fully 20,000 persons. Everton were at the Villa end, when Bell shot wide of the mark. Immediately afterwards Muir had twice to save, the second time from a corner kick. The ball travelled from end to end with a great rapidity, and on several occasions, Balmer and Banks had assages at arms. Twenty minutes from the restart Noon got penalised. The free kick was taken by Booth, and after Crabtree had headed out of goal. Abbott met the ball in the air and scored a brilliant goal. The Villa rearranges their fist line and just before the finish. Bache shot in Muir saved,. But was evidently over the line, at the time, for the point was given against Everton, the referee consulting with the linesmen, Lloyd was ordered offthe field for kicking. Abbott just before time. Final result Aston Villa 1 goal Everton 1.
EVERTON REVIEW
January 14 1901. The Liverpool Mercury
League teams hailing from Birmingham and district are not deriving much satisfactory from Everton, this season, and, as a matter of fact they have not distinguished themselves against Liverpool. It has been so customary to expatiate upon the excellencies of the Midland clubs that the present state of affairs attracts attention simply on account of the novelty of the situation. Last season Everton presented the Wolves with four points, and forfeitrf three to West Bromwich and the Villa respectively, the Goodison Park team being beaten at home by each of the three clubs mentioned. But the transformation has been complete. Already have three points been extracted from the Wolves, and the victory gained over the Villa on Saturday placed them in the proud position of having gained four points from last year’s champions. West Bromwich have also been vanquished, so that the Everton team can point to one meritorious achievement as a result of their labours. Their most recent success showed them in a more favourable light than for some considerable time past, and it may safely be asserted that a continuance of similar form would quickly dispel the dissatisfied feelings, which have been aroused by their numerous previous failures. In the first half-hour of the opening moiety, there was displayed an excellent standard of football, in which the home players showed to the utmost advantage. The methods adopted were those that have been so conspicuously wanting in earlier struggle. Ample skill was interspersed with dash and vigour, the two elements being most judiciously combined to such an extent that the Villa were decidedly overplayed. The pace was very fast and the shooting was crisp and incisive, the result being that the Villa defence was sorely harassed, and George was called upon to preform prodigies of valour between the uprights. In spite of his grand work, Everton twice found the net, and a third was prevented simply because the custodian could not get out of the way of a tremendous short drive from Turner. There followed for a quarter of an hour prior to the interval a toning down process, and the Villa from a mistake by Watson diminished the home teams lead by a goal. In the concluding half the visitors had more of the play, but seldom appeared likely to score. They displayed clever footwork at times, but they lacked vigour, and it was here where they were beaten. The strongest part of the Everton team was at halfback where some very fine work was shown. On the right wing Wolstenholmes attended to Smith and Co, with brotherly assiduity, and so pressing were his attentions that the speedy left winger could rarely get close enough to trouble Muir or the backs. Garrirty was literally helpless against him, but the speedy Smith brought out all his resource and rarely was he beaten. A fine goal was a fitting addition to his display throughout the game. Booth also demonstrated considerable improvement, and Abbott stuck tenaciously to the opposing wing, whilst the whole trio lent every assistance to their front rank. In this latter branch of the teams the left wing bore off the honours of attack. The most dangerous forwards was Turner, who was both tricky and speedy, and his centre were judged to a nicety. His partner Settle emerged from his habitual secturation, and gave several evidence of his innate ability whilst the goal he obtained was the result of a beautiful bit of trickery which fairly puzzled Evans. Sharp indulged in a few sprints, but Taylor was not at his best, and the right wing did not attain its usual efficient standard. Little fault could be found with the backs, for Balmer kicked and Tackled most sturdily, and Watson only made one blunder, which unfortunately cost his side a goal. Muir had little to do throughout the game until the last ten minutes, when he cleared a couple of ‘’headers” that might easily have been forgiven had he failed to negotiate them. Coming to the Villa, one cannot fail to be struck by the signs of decadence in the front rank, and at halfback. For pretty tapping and deft pediputation the Villa forwards have long been acknowledged experts, but they seem unable to stand the rushes of a less skilful, but more energetic side. In front of goal their efforts were as feeble as in midfield, they were so enticingly efficient and weak finishing touches much previous good work. The forwards did not combined satisfactorily and the play was by no means evenly distributed. Towards the end Smith became rather aggressive, but taken as a body the front rank was not a success. The halves were erratic and often beaten, and the recourse to fouls, to which decaying skill ever lends itself was often apparent. The backs were fairly sound, and kicked with judgement, but George was the one player that saved his side from a heavy reverse. In a tremendous scrimmage under the Villa bar just before time he lay under a mass of struggling friends and foes, but in some occult manner succeeded in getting the ball away, and emerged without, apparently, having lost any of his embonpoint in the tussle. The victory comes to Everton at an opportune period, and with an arduous League match, and equally exacting cup tie in immediate store for them, the success over the Villa should give them confidence for their coming engagements. Saturday next should provide a game well worth witnessing.
EVERTON 2 ASTON VILLA 1 (Game 362)
January 14 1901. The Liverpool Mercury
As is usual when these teams meet, there was a large gathering of local enthusiasts at Goodison Park on Saturday, fully 18,000 being present during the progress of the game. Both sides were full strength, and at 2-45 they lined out as follows: – Everton: – Muir, goal, Balmer, and Watson, backs, Wolstenholmes, Booth, and Abbott, halfbacks, Sharp, Taylor, Proudfoot, Settle (captain), and Turner, forwards. Aston Villa: – George goal, Spencer and Evans, backs, Wilkes, Cowan, and Crabtree, halfbacks, Athersmith, Devey, Johnson, Garrirty, and Smith, forwards. The game opened at a brisk pace, with Everton holding a lead in the operations, and after seventeen minutes play, a smart pass from Sharp to Settle resulted in the latter scoring a clever goal. Later Turner almost defeated George with a swift low shot, and then Athersmith and Devey were busy on the visitors right, but there was no defeating the home defenders, and play was quickly at the other end again. George effected some smart saves under pressure. Smith subsequently got well down, but could exact no quarter from Balmer, and a subsequently attempt to get within shooting range was checked by Wolstenholmes. Returning again Turner forced a corner off Spencer, and Wolstenholmes rushing up, scored with a fast shot, the visiting custodian having no chance of saving. The Villa then put on pressure, and Garrirty scored close in goal. Nothing further occurred up to half-time, when the score stood Everton 2 goals Aston Villa 1. The second half opened with the visitors forcing Muir’s position, but the keeper got a capital shot away, from Garrirty, and immediately afterwards Turner was only a trifle wide with a fine shot across the goalmouth. Then followed a stubborn pressure on the Villa goal, corner succeeding corners, until Johnson fastened on the ball and removed play to the other end. Still play favoured the home side until ten minutes from time, when the Villa pulled themselves together, with the result that the Everton goal was subjected to a severe pressure. Muir defended splendidly, and a rush or Proudfoot, supplemented by a smart movement on the left, brought about a melee in from of the Villa goal, which was again saved by George, though surrounded by a host of opponents. During the last few minutes, Everton put on further pressure, but there was no change in the scoring, and Everton won by 2 goals to 1.

ASTON VILLA 1 EVERTON 2 (Game 343)
September 17 1900. The Liverpool Mercury
Fully representative teams of these clubs as will be seen from the list of players, took the field at Aston Park on Saturday, when 30,000 spectators assembled to witness what pointed towards a keen and exciting game. At 3-30 the sides took up their position as follows : – Everton; – Muir goal, Balmer, and Watson backs, Wolstenholmes, Booth and Abbott halfbacks Sharp, McDonald Proudfoot, Settle (captain), and Turner, forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Spencer, and Evans, backs, Bowman, Cowan, and Crabtree halfbacks, Athersmith Decey, Garrirty, Johnson, and Smith, forwards. The Villa had the sun behind them, and at once forced the pace, Johnson early putting in a clinking shot to Muir. Sharp changed the venue, but the Villa continued to be aggressive, and the Everton custodian had to negotiate shots from Smith and Johnson, both of which gave him considerable trouble. Garrirty eventually put through but offside spoiled his effort Breaking away. Settle was placed in possession, and eluding the backs, sent in a clever shot, which completely took the Villa custodian by surprise. This success came close upon half an hour’s play, and Everton retained their lead of one goal to nil up to the interval. The second half opened at a furious pace, and the home side were evidently determined to get upon even terms. However, they encountered most stubborn opposition from Muir and his backs, though on two occasions they exercised but little judgement in attempting to improve simple openings. A clever shot at the other end by McDonald called for a supreme effort by George, and once again the Villa settled down in the Everton quarters. Getting away on the right, a fine centre was misjudged by George, and Turner being in close attendance scored an easy fashion. This second reverse fairly roused the Villa, and for a long period they hovered round the Everton goal. Shot after shot was kept out, but eventually Devey met a partial save from Muir, and reduced the lead. With but few exceptions, the home side were having most of the play, but could not get the better of a strengthened defence, and experienced their first defeat of the season by two goals to one.

EVERTON REVIEW
January 18 1900. The Liverpool Mercury
Since the Villa removed to their new quarters at Aston, visits of the Everton team to the headquarters of the midland club have not borne gratifying results. Last season and the one before saw Everton defeated on each occasion by three goals to nil, but on Saturday there was every indication of the ‘’Blues” making amends for these failures, and by no mean limited margin. They gave a far more skillful exposition at all. Points of the game, and particularly was this manifest arriving the forwards whose display was generally admitted to be faultless with but one exception, and that in occasional faulty finishing up touches. At the end of nine minutes play Everton had opened their accout after magnificent passing between the centre and left wing, and though facing a brisk breeze, they more than held their own up to the interval. On resuming they were seen to even greater advantage, and with a little luck must have piled on goals, but so watched were Spence, and George, combined with none more faulty shooting, that they failed to increase their lead. A quarter of an hour off time Athersmith headed into the net, and the game finish one goal each. Both sides adopted almost identical tactics, and the Villa spectators were ready to admit that their favourities were fairly beaten at their own game. Supporters of the home club, judging by their warm appreciation of good play are certainly exceptions to the general run. They do not, as in many centres of general run. They do not as many centre of general the football world. Simply pay their nimble sixpence to see their side win. They go to see good play, and are not slow to appreciate excellent, no matter from what side it emanates. The frequent applause meted out to the Everton team when they brought out prominently the nicer points of the game almost led one to image that the contest was at Goodison Park, especially when the splendid bout of passing reterest so above culminated in Taylor opening the scoring. The contest was thus rendered all the more enjoyable by the impartial conduct of the spectators, and are would like to see this spirit extended to visitors on numberous other enclosures. As stated above, the Everton forwards play a surpassingly good game and though it would appear somewhat unfair to single out players for special mention, criticism on this branch of play would be incomplete without a passing notice of the work by Proudfoot who played an ideal centre for game. The half backs too, were very resourceful, and there was scarcely an occasion where a wild pass or loose tackling was noticeable. At full back both Balmer and Eccles got through their work creditably, and the capital turn of speed possessed by the latter player served him in good stead against Smith and Wheldon the speedy Villa left wing, Muir in goal was always reliable, and it was a pity after successfully keeping out his opponents during determined rushes, that his charge fell as the result of the ball rebounding from the upright. Owing to the vigilance of the Everton trio the Villa forwards were only on odd occasions seen in those dangerous movements which have been witnessed on other enclosure than their own. Like their opponents, they had fairly easy chances of scoring and he greatly delinquent in this respect were Wheldon. Blythe struck most tenaciously to Garrirty, the Villa centre, and this enhinged the concerted movements that have been too prominent in late matches and taking the line as a whole they were much below the opposing quintet. Cowan at centre half gave a disappointing performance, but the work of Spencer at right full back was the brightest feature in the display of his side. For clean kicking, accurate tackling, combined with sound judgement and gentlemanly play, he had no superior on the field, and but for his efforts Everton must have secured a prounced victory with the advent of the Cup tie fever one naturally anticipates much progress in the compeition by the Everton Club, and with a view to keeping the players in the best of conditions, they leave for Lytham today for a course of special training.
N VILLA 1 EVERTON 1 (Game 328)
January 15 1900. The Liverpool Mercury
The return engagement between these clubs took placed at Villa Park on Saturday, where there was a crowd of some 16,000 spectators. The Everton team was under the sole charge of Mr.Molyneux, and was represented by exactly the same eleven that defeated Newcastle United on the previous Saturday. Devey and Evans were absentees on the side of the Villa, and at 2-45 the sides turned out as follows: -Everton: – Muir, goal Eccles, and Balmer, backs, Wolstenholmes, Blyth, and Abbott, halfbacks, Sharp, Taylor (captain), Proudfoot, Settle, and Gray forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Spencer, and Crabtree, backs, Noon Cowan, and Wilkes, halfbacks Athersmith, Johnson, Garrity, Wheldon and Smith forwards. The ground had been liberally sprinkled with sand, but was still on the heavy side, and the Villa having won the toss, had the assistance’s of a slight breeze. The Villa opened well, and a swinging shot from Athersmith looked like taking effect when Wolstenholmes had the better of a tussle with Garrity and cleared. Settle and gray were then conspicuous by smart play but falling back, Johnson dispossessed the former player, and racing on finishing up with but a poor shot. At the other end, Everton forwards were putting in several fine touches of play, but their efforts only brought about a couple of fruitless corner kicks. A splendid sprint by Smith-the Villa left winger- was the next item, and it looked odds on Garrity converting his centre, when Eccles met the shot, luckily tipping it over the bar. So far play was evenly contested, both sets of backs being kept fully employed. Eventually Proudfoot led on a movement which Settle and Gray improved upon, and repassing the ball was placed accuralty to Taylor who gave George no chance of saving the shot. This success was loudly cheered, and on play being resumed the pace became very hot. Several determined raids were made by the Villa front rank, but they held in check by Balmer and Eccles. Wheldon however missed a fine chance in scoring by wide shooting, and at the other end of the line Athersmith was also at fault with a poor centre. Meanwhile the Everton forwards had quite as much of the play, which so far as their tactics were concerted was greatly admired. Nothing further however was scored, upto the interval, when Everton led by a goal to nil. On resuming, Sharp sent in a beautiful shot, which first missed entering the corner of the net and for some few minutes the Everton van were hovering round the home goal. Settle on one occasion threated his way through the backs only to place the ball too far forward than taking his shot. Several spirited attacks by the Villa were ably dealt with, and general play ruled in favour of the visitors. The forwards at times toyed with the home halves, only to meet with resistance from Spencer and had they not fallen back to play a defensive game 15 minutes from the finish they might have finally secured better results. A determined raid and a pass from the Villa left wing enabled Athersmith to head through. Result Everton 1 goal, Aston Villa nil.
EVERTON REVIEW
September 18 1899. The Liverpool Mercury
EVERTON REVIEW
September 18 1899. The Liverpool Mercury
To be defeat in their first trio of League games is an unusual experience for the Everton club, and one which furnishes food for reflection on the curiosities of football, and Everton have or are at least supposed to possess a superior team to that which did duty last year, but if judged by results, a vastly different state of affairs is witnessed. Each of the three teams that has taken full points from Goodison Park eleven this season, failed to extract more than one the previous year, for the cup holders were beaten, a draw was record in the Villa match, and this was likewise the result of the visit to Newcastle. A better style of play has been witnessed but the result have been worse than was ever anticipated and not a point yet grace Everton’s name in the League table, where from the same source last season four were secured. To a certain extent however the spectators must have been satisfied with the display of the Evertonians, for, if not producing the much needed points, the play all round has been of a higher level, and productive of the amount of healthy interest, in which the average spectators delights. Had the points followed likewise, the satisfaction would have been of course more prounced, but these are bound to come if the team maintain the same standard as that exhibited against the Villa. By again selecting the same team to do duty against the champions as that which was defeated in the two previous games, the selection committee deserve commendation, for it is only right that the men should have a fair chances o showing what they are really capable of accomplishing in concert. Injuries to Muir and Settle at Newcastle compelled the substitution of Kitchen and Proudfoot respectively whilst on the Villa side Evans resumed in place of Aston. The game itself was much better contested in the first half than in the second, both sides appearing to tire after the interval. The Everton forwards were seen to considerable advantage in the initial moiety working the ball down in capital style, and exhibiting more combined effort than in any previous games this season. here however, their skill vanished. And instead of crowning their attempts with a rousing shot at goal they failed completely either being dispossessed when attempting an extra pass where a shot would have been more effective, or shooting anywhere except in the vicinity of George and on two district occasions was a practically open goal place before them, only to find the ball sent yards wide. Had the Everton forwards shown any degree of accuracy in front of the posts they must have been credited with three goals at the interval instead of one. It was a district disappointment to the majority of the spectators to find clever work in midfield nullified by utter feebleness in front of goal. The Villa front rank did not exhibit their usual smartness they failed into the method of over passing, and though their cleverness in this respect often elicited admiration, there was not the same advantage gained by these manceurves as is seen when the midlanders are in a happy mood. They often had the ball taken from them, and with a more efficient halfbacks division in opposition would have often been in sore straits. For a long time Athersmith could do nothing with Molyneux, but given half a chance, the right winger made the most of his opportunity. In contring judiciously, so as to give his inside men the best possible opening for a goal. Athersmith has no superior, and the manner in which he placed the ball straight to the cranium of Wheldon, who put on the first goal, was really fine. He also led up to the second point, though here feeble defence on the part of Taylor and Molyneux lent considerable assistance to the final accomplishment. Smith rarely got a chance in the first half owing to the indefatigable attentions of Wolstenholmes, but in the second he obliged with some sprinting and extremely clever centres. The outside wingers were the pick of the Villa forward line. As a body they were inferior to the Everton van, but in this important respect they were vastly ahead, namely in provoking danger when near goal. The Everton halves were not satisfactory, for though little fault could be found with Wolstenholmes who had the felicity of contributing the finest shot of the day-one which deserved to score-Boyle and Taylor might easily have afforded their front rank more assistance, their passes being illjudged, and occasioning too much difficulty in pouncing upon them top those in front. Here the Villa held a district advantage Crabtree, Cowan and Bowman rendering excellent service though the former, in the first half particularly had his hands full with young Sharp. Further behind, Balmer and Molyneux shaped well, the latter tackling in splendid style the greater part of the game, and it was unfortunate that he failed to check Garrity from butting in the shot which won the match. Otherwise little fault could be found with either of the backs whilst Kitchen was a success between the upright the manner in which he stopped one shot from Devey in the second half being really fine. Everton are indeed fortunate in possessing two such reliable custodians as Muir and Kitchen. The Villa defence was likewise sound, Spencer overshadowing his partner Evans by his all-round skill, tackling and returning most cleverly. George had practically nothing to do in goal beyond stopping a couple of shots possessing little sting and appeared only too glad to get a touch of the ball by running out to prevent it from going behind the line. A draw game would have been a fitter representation of the run of the play, and Everton deserve some little commiseration for their hard luck. They like their rivals at Anfield cannot yet boast a point, but wily nilly, one or other will be compelled next weekend to change the elegant cypher which graces their name to something more substantial.

EVERTON 1 ASTON VILLA 2 (Game 309)
September 18 1899. The Liverpool Mercury
The visit of the Villa to the Liverpool district is always productive of a stir in football circles, and that of Saturday was no exception to the rule, for the attendance at Goodison park numbered close upon 30,000. On the home side there were two enforced changes owing to injuries at Newcastle to Muir and Settle, and places were thus vacant fort Kitchen and Proudfoot while in the Villa team, Evans displaced Aston at full back. At four o’clock the teams faced as follows: – Everton: – Muir, goal, Balmer, and Molyneux backs, Wolstenholmes, Boyle, and Taylor (captain), halfbacks, Sharp, Proudfoot, Toman, Abbott, and Gee. Forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Evans, and Spencer, backs, Bowman, Cowan, and Crabtree, halfbacks, Athersmith, Devey, Garrity, Wheldon, and Smith, forwards. Everton won the toss, and the first item of any moment came from the home right. Proudfoot eventually running the ball over the line, and from the goal kick, Smith forced a corner to no advantage two similar concessions to Everton immediately afterwards also proving of no avail. A few minutes later Gee was ruled offside when in fine position for scoring, and following some clever passing between the Villa inside men and halfbacks. Wheldon sent in a dropping shot which only just missed the mark. Then followed some fine concerted play by the Everton forwards which culminated in Abbott having a clear opening to score, but failing badly, the Villa signalised their escape by bearing strongly down in Kitchen’s charge, the custodian having twice to leave his post in order to kick out shots from the left wing. A further ended by Athersmith centering splendidly, and Wheldon getting his head to the ball put it to the keeper, who got it away; but the appeal the referee allowed a goal after consulting one of the linesman who, however, was not in a position to give accurate judgement on this point. There was evidently a doubt about the legality of the point, but unfortunately the defending side did not get the benefit of it which, apparently they well deserved. Play slackened considerably though on one occasion Gee raced down splendidly and Toman was only a trifle wide with the shot. For some time the Everton forwards put plenty of dash into their play and the Villa backs and custodian were kept fully extended to their best form. Success was however denied them until close on the arrival of the interval when Toman took a pass from Proudfoot after a splendid run by Sharp, and racing round the opposing backs equalised, the score at the change of ends being Everton 1 goal, Aston Villa 1. On resuming; play again favoured Everton and George was fortunate in saving a splendid shot from Toman. Pressure was steadily levelled on the Villa goal though there was no defeating the backs, who covered each other in splendid fashion, Spencer in particular showing capital judgement in this respect. It was not until the second half was well advanced that the visiting forwards were anything like in a dangerous mood, and then they were invariably thwarted by the fine tackling and clean kicking of Balmer and Molyneux. The halfbacks however, were not over resourceful-a defect which lost the side considerable headway, and possibly a goal-and following several failures to score close in, the Villa replied with a spurt on the right wing which led to Garrity obtaining a leading point. Gee put in many splendid centres, but they went begging, and later on the whole side struggled hard to get upon equal terms, but the Villa were not inclined to leave anything to chance and directed all their emergies towards covering their goal. No further scoring was forthcoming, and on the play the Villa were lucky in receiving a victory.

EVERTON 1 ASTON VILLA 1 (Game 304)
April 17 1899. The Liverpool Mercury
The return League engagement between these clubs took place at Goodison Park on Saturday, and as the result of the game had an important bearing upon the chances of Liverpool for premier honours, it was only to be expected that a big crowd would patronise the event. There would be quite 20,000 spectators present when the sides took the field, but owing to enforced changes on the ranks of the home side, there were few to be found who were at all confident of the local club gaining full points. The forwards line was again reconstructed, and Taylor was drafted into the halfback line while Turner of the combination team, filled Eccles position at right full back the latter suffering from a severe sprain to the ankle. The Villa directorate were fully alive to the importance of securing victory, and with the exception of Johnson and Devey, placed their full strength in the field, and when preliminaries were adjusted, the players took up their positions as follows: -Everton: – Muir, goal, Turner (e) and Molyneux, backs, Wolstenholmes, Boyle and Taylor (captain) halfbacks, Schofield, Proudfoot, Oldham Chadwick, and Gee forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Spencer, and Evans, backs, Bowman, Cowan, and Crabtree, halfbacks, Athersmith, Garrity, Leigh, Wheldon, and Smith, forwards. Everton won the toss, and had the assistances of a stiffest breeze that blew from end to end. At the outset the home forwards had most of the play, and their left wing were particularly busy in their attentions to George, but when favorably placed, final shots went wide of the mark. One capital effort by Chadwick, however, was only a trifle to high, and after sustaining a prolonged attack, the Villa forwards got under weigh, only to be eventually accquated for by Wolstenholmes and Boyle both of whom put in some very fine tackling work. However, Cowan managed to get in a parting shot, but like his opponents he was wide of the mark, and in returning again, Athersmith dropped the ball beautifully into the goalmouth where Muir brought off a magnificent save when surrounded by the inside men. Garrity was next in evidence with a well directed shot, and then the Everton van took up the running, but as a rule they could exact, but little quarter from the Villa defenders, who, by reason of the faulty passing of their opponents had plenty of opportunities of forcibly clearing. Breaking away again, Leigh tested Muir with a clinkling shot, which was ably dealt with, and following further pressure by Everton, the interval arrived without any score. With the wind now assisting the visitors play for some time was located in the home half, but, owing to the fine defence of Molyneux and Turner, Muir was not troubled. A movement to the other end resulting in Taylor putting in a shot, which George got away with difficulty. After play had been in progress some seven minutes, Smith opened the scoring account for the Villa from a corner kick, the ball having previously rebounded from the crossbar as the result of a shot from Wheldon. Getting to work again, play settled down in close proximity to the Everton goal, but a long pass out by Oldham brought successful results. The ball went to Gee, who sped along the wing, and centring accurately, Oldham met the ball, and breasted it through without giving George a chance of clearing. With the scores level, much excitement prevailed, and the pace was increased considerably. Still the Villa had slightly the best of matters, and on several occasions Muir had to deal with difficult shots, which he negotiated in clever fashion. Smith was particularly dangerous with his accurate centre, though on many occasions Wolstenholmes, who all though had played a most resourceful game, foiled him. At the other end of the Villa line, Athersmith owing to the vigilance of Taylor failed to be at all dangerous, and after a long spell of defence, the Evertonians again took up the running, out, as before were weak when within range of the Villa goal. No further scoring took place, and the game resulted in a draw of one goal each.

ASTON VILLA 3 EVERTON 0 (Game 290)
December 19 1898. The Liverpool Mercury
The Visit of Everton to the headquarters of Aston Villa product no small stir as at the commencement of the game there would be quite 20,000 spectators present, while towards the interval the ground appeared to be conformably packed. The Everton team, with the exception of Bell, who displayed Oldham in the centre, was the same that defeated Stoke at home last Saturday, while the Villa were short of Aston Villa and James Cowan the absence of this pair giving rise to much doubt to the ability of the Villa to continue its triumphant at Aston Park. At 2-15 the sides, under the guidance of Mr.Barker (Hanley) took the field as follows: -Everton: – Muir goal, Balmer (w), and Molyneux goals, Boyle, Owen, (captain), and Hughes, halfbacks, Taylor, Proudfoot Bell, Chadwick, and Gee forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal Sharp (b), and Evans, backs, Bowman, Wilkes, and Crabtree, halfbacks, Athersmith, Devey, Johnson, Wheldon, and Smith forwards. The Villa commenced operations with a determined attack on the Everton goal, and in the first few minutes Balmer and Molyneux were found plenty of work. Smith tested Muir with a clever low shot that was ably dealt with and a long pressure ended in Boyle and Taylor making tracks to the Villa end, where Evans was prominent on more than one occasions a preventing a parting shot at George. The stay in the Villa half was however, of short duration and breaking away again the home left had the better of a tussle with Balmer, with the result that Wheldon put in a swift shot at Muir who was again called upon by Athersmith, both shots being cleared in business like fashion. Bowman then had an excellent chance of opening the scoring account but kicking wildly over the bar, and from the goalkick Chadwick and Gee improved matters for the visitors though the latter subsequently failed to utlised a fairly easy chance. The home forwards, were however, much the better lot and frequently covered the ground with the greatest of ease by means of Sharp and accurate passing all alone the line. Final; efforts were not so accurate, and consequently the Everton goal survived many dangerous onslaughts. George was then called upon though he was never seriously hampered and following another breakaway by the Villa right the ball was centred beautifully and Wheldon headed the ball into the net quite out of Muir’s reach. Nothing further of moment transpired up to half time, when Villa held the lead by 1 goal to nil. Immediately on resuming the Evertonians put new life into their work and were exceedingly unlucky in not getting upon equal terms with their opponents. Gradually the Villians again asserted themselves, and settled down to a really brilliant exhibition of the passing game, which was hugely appreciated by the crowd. Time after time the Everton goal was threatened, but nothing could have been finer than the display of Muir, who kept out all kinds of shots in his own inimitable fashion. Eventually Devey headed a second goal from a corner kick taken by Smith, and for some time afterwards the efforts of the visitors seemed to be exclusively confined to keeping the Villa forwards from getting in a parting shot. A centre from Athersmith resulted in Johnson beating Muir for the third time, but this point should never have been allowed, as it was undoubtedly offside. It was only on odds occasions that the visitors were seen to any advantage, and during one of their attacks the ball was apparently in the net when George fisted out, and on this occasion also the referee decided favourably to the Villa. No other points was scored and a one-side game ended favourably to the Villa by 3 goals to nil.
EVERTON 2 ASTON VILLA 1 (Game 258)
December 27 1897. The Liverpool Mercury
The return League engagement between Everton and Aston Villa was decided at Goodison Park on Christmas Day, and at the commencement of operations there would be quite 25,000 spectators present. The first contest between the teams at Birmingham, some few weeks back resulted favorably to the Villa by three goals to nil, but since that occasion the Evertonians have made rapid strides and most local followers anticipated a reversal of the previous result. Owing to the late arrival of Mr. Strawson, the referee, the start was delayed for some quarter of an hour, but eventually one of the linesman took the whistle, and an old Bootleite in the person of Jamieson was pressed into service on the line. The sides turned out as follows: – Everton: – Muir, goal, Meechan, and Storrier, backs, Stewart (captain), Holt, and Robertson, halfbacks, Taylor, Bell (j), Bell (l), Chadwick, and Drivers, forwards. Aston Villa: – Whitehouse, goal, Sharp (b), and Evans, backs, Chatt, James Cowan, and Crabtree, halfbacks, Athersmith, Harvey, Devey, Whelson, and John Cowan, forwards. Everton opened the play, and after Chadwick and Drivers had moved dangerous down the left, Cowan and Wheldon replied for the Villa, and Devey was in possession in front of Muir. His shot struck the crossbar, and after this narrow escape the Everton forwards buckled to their work, and often within dangerous shooting ranges. Sharp and Evans were kept fully extended, but at length relied came from a foul charge by J.Bell, and operations for a time settled down in the home end. Storrier was, however, in great form, and allowed no quarter whatever to the Villa forwards. Taylor was subsequently penalised for offside, after J.Bell had made an excellent opening, but returning again the home left looked like getting through, when B.Sharp fouled Drivers close in. the free kick was entrusted to Robertson, who drove in low and fast, the ball gliding off an opponent into the net, this success being greeted with tremendous cheering. On resuming the pace was forced to a tremendous pitch, and each goal had considerable pressure. On one occasion Meechan missed the ball altogether, and Wheldon was left in a capital position to score, but shot high over the bar, and later James Cowan finished with a low shot, which Muir easily saved. At the other end, some very exciting passing was witnessed and Whitehouse kicking out of goal as the result of a header from Sharp. A free kick, splendidly placed by Stewart, was cleared out of goal by Evans, who was apparently over the line, but no notice was taken of an appeal, though a few moments later success came as the result of a fine movement, on the part of J.Bell, Taylor and Chadwick, the last named meeting the ball accurately and driving it hard into the net. The Everton forwards continued to be more aggressive in their movements, but a breakaway by the Villa left looked threatening until Storrier crossed over and cleared outside. From a corner Meechan made a fine attempt to head into the net, put placed over the bar, and nothing further took place upon the interval, Everton leading by two goals to nil. On resuming Everton opened well, for within a few minutes J.Bell put on a capital shot after receiving the ball from Driver, and fortunately for Whitehouse managed to cleared. Directly afterwards Storrier was pressed and Athersmith passed to Harvey, who placed the ball wide. Villa now having the better of the tussle, and at length the Everton goal was pressed, as Chatt passed to Wheldon who directed the ball into the net, and finally took Muir by surprise. Everton looked like forging further ahead directly afterwards, for Taylor had a capital chance from a free kick against Evans, but mulled it, and once again the Villa led up to a persistent attack. The ball was put into the net, but it had been fouled in its course, and the point was disallowed. Following this the Villa put on heavy pressure, and the movements of the forwards were extremely dangerous, but they failed to score, and Everton won a hard game by 2 goals to 1.

ASTON VILLA 3 EVERTON 0 (Game 253)

November 15 1897. The Liverpool Mercury

The first of the season’s League game between these clubs was played at Birmingham on Saturday, and though the weather was most unfavorable there were quite 10,000 spectators present at the commencement of the game. The Everton team underwent further changes, and prospects of their success were rather of a gloomy character L.Bell was still out of the team, and his position was occupied by Cameron, while J.Bell took up the outside left position as partner to Drivers. Storrier reappeared, and Muir was again in goal, while the only noticeable absentee on the home side was Spencer. At 2-45 the sides faced as follows: – Everton: – Muir, goal, Barker, and Storrier, backs, Boyle (captain), Holt, and Robertson, halfbacks, Taylor, Williams, Cameron, Drivers, and J.Bell, forwards. Aston Villa: – George, goal, Sharp (b), and Evans, backs Chatt, Cowan (James), Crabtree, halfbacks, Athersmith, Devey, Sharp (j), Wheldon, and Cowan (John), forwards. The Villa opened play, and for some time they held a strong position in the Everton half of the field. Storrier and Barker were kept constantly employed, the latter players twice keeping out John Cowan when scoring seemed a certainly, and it was not until Bell had run strongly down the left and transferred the play to the other end that the Everton defenders had relief. Taylor also made tracks towards the Villa goal, but there was no passing the two backs, who were exceptionally smart in effecting clearances. J. Sharp then left the field as the result of a collision with Storrier. Still, Taylor managed to put in one splendid effort, and the ball only just skimmed the bar; but from the goal kick Athersmith made play on the right, and Storrier was unlucky enough to handle the ball within the twelve yards limits. Wheldon took the penalty kick and opened the scoring account. A further return by the Villa right wing resulted in Wheldon again scoring from a capital pass by Athersmith both goals having been obtained within 15 minutes from the start. The visitors now infused considerably more dash into their play, but attempts at combinations were on a rule of a very elementary character, and the Villa halves had little difficulty in keeping them back. Comeron eventually tested George with a splendid high shot, which was cleverly saved, and following this the Villa forwards for a lengthy period were busy testing the capabilities of Muir. The custodian was at his best, and when the interval arrived nothing further had been scored, the Villa crossing over with a lead of two goals to none. On resuming, the Villa had the better of the opening exchanges, and following one of many visits to the Everton end, Wheldon only missed the mark by the merest shave. Eventually broke the monotony with a fine run and centre, and for some time after this Villa backs were constantly on the defensive, and they might easily have been beaten more than once had the final touches of the Everton forwards been of all accurate. The whole of the Villa forwards then broke away in a fine combined movement and J.Sharp finished up with a strong low shot which, Muir handled to the ground, but was not able to prevent it passing into the net, after this the game was evenly contested, and no other points being scored, the Villa won by 3 goals to nil.