Match 47
12th April 1958
Northampton Town v Exeter City

And in the Southern League
Tonbridge v Exeter City Reserves


  • On October 16th 1948 Notts County beat Exeter City 9-0, with goals by Sewell (4), Hold (1), and Lawton (4).

But now another score-line goes into the City's Black File, 9-nil, by Northampton Town on April 12th 1958. And apart from listing the goalscorers, Tabbutt (3), Hawkings (1), Woan (3), Mills (2) there is so little to be said about this latest game except the obvious. Exeter City were overwhelmed, bemused, baffled, completely played out, all that, and a lot more. But this must of course be known from taking one glance at the score, because this was a defeat for which there were no excuses and no extenuating circumstances at all.

Northampton:- Elvy; Claypole, Patterson; Yeoman, Gale, Smith; Mills, Tabbutt, Hawkings, Woan, Fowler.

Exeter City: Hunter; Foley, MacDonald; Mitchell, Oliver, Harvey; Stiffle, Hill, Calland, Rees, Dale.

The "Cobblers," a strong and confident team, running bang into form over Easter, and playing with all the self-assurance in the world, started as if they knew they were going to win.

Every man in the team wanted to get on with the game, wanted to help his team-mates out of any difficulties, wanted the ball, wanted it, and then knew there would be somebody else moving into position, and also wanting and calling for the ball. So the City were only white-shirted shadows chasing futilely the maroon-coloured Northampton masters. No Exeter player, barring one, did well. Some fought ferociously, like Mitchell for instance. Some did not. The one exception was goalkeeper George Hunter, who was not in any way to be faulted for any of the goals. Not one goal was scored from a range greater than fifteen yards, and most of them were hammered in from far closer than that. With Yeoman and Smith coming through unmolested to spray out their endless of accurate passes Northampton's attack consisted for practically the whole of the game of seven men.

And with hardly a second's breather no defence on earth could have held out for very long. The City's just cracked more quickly and more often than others might have done. By the time the Cobblers were heading into their second batch of five, the Exeter defence was so demoralised that Hunter was often faced with three Northampton forwards, all just waiting for the ball before slamming in another goal. And it was only by bare inches that Northampton failed to get into double figures. The City's attacking shots? Two from Hill, one blocked on the line and one saved by Elvy, and one from Harvey. That was the lot!


Hundreds of spectators swarmed on to the field at close of play to congratulate Northampton after their biggest win since the war. For them it was a marvellous afternoon. But just what can be said for Exeter City? Nothing, apart from the obvious. That is that they were massacred by a team which was completely in command for practically every second of the ninety minutes. The City's forward line was obviously hardly ever seen in action, and the defence on the other hand was continually in action, and was constantly being bewildered by the pace, skill, and subtlety of the Northampton attack.

Southern League 
Tonbridge v Exeter City Reserves 

There was no football at St James's Park today, for Exeter City Reserves also had to travel. Their Southern League match, against Tonbridge on the latter's ground was drawn 1-1, Cleverly scoring for Exeter in the second half after Leonard had given the home side the lead before the interval.


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