Plymouth and District League
City Reserves v Royal Naval Barracks
Southampton (Away) 27th April 1912
A Vital Match for the Saints:
Fight for Safety.
Saturday, April 27th 1912.
SOUTHAMPTON V EXETER CITY.
No-one would have thought before Easter that Exeter City's match at Southampton today - the last Saturday of the season, would hold issues so vital to the future of the old Champions and Cup Finalists. Southampton appeared then as safe almost as Exeter were, and like the City, they had made a creditable effort to improve their position. Since then, however, they have dropped points, and with New Brompton beating Watford twice, Norwich City, and Southampton themselves, they were faced with the necessity of beating their friends, the City, today, in order to be quite sure of passing Luton in the race to avoid relegation. The position of the last three clubs in the list this morning was as under:-
Southampton P 27 F 43 A 63 29 Pts
Luton Town P 27 F 49 A 60 28 Pts
Leyton. P 27 F 26 A 62 23 Pts
Exeter City by no means relished the idea of being opposed in such a fateful match to a club which had helped them so much at the start of their career, but there could be no doubt that they left Queen Street this morning firmly resolved to "play the game", and play to win. The management also considered that, having regard to Enos Whittaker's form last week, they had strengthened the team by substituting Parnell, and moreover, had announced that no man would be approached on the subject of re-signing for next season until after the match. They had therefore put aside any question of sentiment, and the team which set foot at the Dell today was one that gave no thought to the "Saints'" perilous position, which is, after all, as it should be. It will be remembered that when Southampton appeared at St. James's Park two days before Christmas, the most remarkable encounter of all time ensued. Brown, of Southampton, was sent off, and the City finished the game with eight men, Watson having taken Chapman's place in goal. In that match Coates met with an injury which has kept him out of the field ever since. Owing to the late running of the train, Exeter City did not arrive at the Dell until 3.20, and had to make a very quick change.
SAINTS: Knight Eastham Ireland Denby Lee McAlpine Wilcox Small Dawe Prince Blake
Referee:- Mr I.G.A.Sharpe, of Lichfield.
CITY: Pym Bassett Evans Rigby Pratt Lockett Parnell Watson Rutter Cornan Garside
The Saints played in white jerseys, and wore black armlets in sympathy for the victims of the "Titanic". The ground was very hard, and the ball had been well soaked before the start of the match. There were 5,000 people present when Lee beat Pratt with the toss, and set Exeter to face the sun.
For the second successive season Southampton just escaped relegation. As it happened Luton Town were beaten by the Cobblers at Northampton, but the Saints of course knew nothing about that during their match against Exeter City, and they exerted themselves with a will to save the club by their own efforts. The Grecians played well up to a point. It was in the all important matter of shooting that they displayed weakness. On the whole Exeter City had more, and better, chances of scoring than Southampton, but a lot of unnecessary passing as well as faulty direction of their shots, brought them to grief. Southampton won by 3-nil, and all three goals were scored before half-time. The first goal came after 25 minutes, with the crowd in an anxious and impatient mood, and the score was greeted with profound relief. Wilcox put across a fine centre, which struck the crossbar with Pym jumping for it. The ball, after hitting the bar, rebounded in the path of Blake, who was left with an easy scoring chance, which he accepted. The second was notched by Dawe, who kept behind Prince as the inside-left burst through, and the Cambridge amateur made full use of his partner's square pass, beating Pym hands down with an excellent shot, amid loud cheering. The third followed almost immediately, Small beating Pym with a fine cross-shot. The Saints were, by this goal, surely safe from any remaining worries of relegation, although the score over-represented the difference between the sides, but they were proving rare opportunists, and almost scored for the fourth time when Bassett missed the ball right on the stroke of half-time.
Exeter missed several good opportunities in the second half, although Watson twice troubled Knight, but the easiest chance of all came Southampton's way, but Prince scooped the ball over the bar.
Southampton 3-0 Exeter City
CITY RESERVES V ROYAL NAVAL BARRACKS.
Exeter City Reserves played the Barracks at St.James's Park this afternoon for four points to complete their Plymouth and District League programme. J. W. Caddy, who has played for the City "chiefs" has been transferred to the Barracks, and was at right-back in their side today. Teams :
Reserves:- Whittaker(W); Willats, Hunt; Clarke, Griffiths, Prideaux; Whittaker(E), Chapman, Bailey, Addicott, and Chatfield.
Barracks: - Cole; Caddy, Small; Baker, Cutler, McNevan; Glynn, Barratt, Burns, Hitchman, and Yabsley.
The Reserves played good football, and were the stronger of the two sides, but it was ten minutes before half-time when Bailey opened the scoring. Prideaux scored again immediately after Bailey's goal, and at the interval the City led by two to nil.
The visiting forwards were weak when in front of goal, but from a free-kick Burns received the ball from Hitchman, and scored with a good shot.
Final: City 2, R.N.Barracks 1.