16th April 1958
Exeter City v Shrewsbury Town
CITY OVERCOME A DOUBLE BURDEN:
SHREWSBURY BEATEN 2-1 TO EXETER AT ST JAMES'S PARK: APRIL 16th 1958
The psychological effect of a nine goals to nothing defeat on a team must be enormous. The disadvantage when that team plays its next match cannot be counted. And Exeter City had that disadvantage when they met Shrewsbury at St James's Park on Wednesday evening.
Exeter City:- Hunter; Foley, MacDonald; Packer, Oliver, Harvey; Stiffle, Hill, Calland, Mitchell, Dale.
Shrewsbury:- Crossley; Bannister, Skeech; Maloney, Wallace, Walters; Hobson, O'Donnell, Smith, Russell, Edgley.
Fifty seconds after the kick-off Exeter were suffering from another disadvantage. Shrewsbury were a goal ahead. And what a goal it was to be sure. The simplest, softest, silliest goal that skipper Mitchell can ever have given away. After taking the ball diagonally back towards his own goal he put it slowly back towards Hunter. Smith, bustling through, was right on to it, thumping it into the roof of the net to give Exeter's stranded goalkeeper no chance. That goal, together with the memory of last Saturday, no doubt, visibly affected Mitchell's play and confidence for the rest of the game, and it must have shaken the uncertain City team still further.
END OF THE WORLD SOCCER.
It must have also given the "Shrews" a shock to find themselves in front, or, at least, that is the only charitable reason for all the boredom and irritation of the following 44 minutes. It was not even end-of-the-season football that a poor Shrewsbury side and an even poorer City one dished up. It was more like end-of the-world soccer. And there was not the slighest hint of the excitement to come in the second half, and particularly the period of ten minutes towards the close. The Exeter defence began to settle into some rhythm, and Exeter at last began to fight, even though it was the fight of desperation, and to play, not exactly well, but at least as if they had seen a football before. First Stiffle in the 63rd minute crossed a knee high ball into the penalty area for Calland to hook into the net with a hefty drive that the goalkeeper never saw. Then Calland shot across the face of the goal, Mitchell shot over, and in the 83rd minute Calland pulled the ball back from the bye-line for Hill to hammer in a glorious goal.