Match 42
15th April 1963
Gillingham (h)

And in the Western League
Glastonbury (a)




Barry Pierce might not have been very effective in front of goal, and has scored just four times in his 26 games. But it looks very much as if Exeter City need him back in the team after the rather depressing drawn game with Gillingham on Easter Monday. For during the City's recent run of wins and draws and no losses Pierce was the link man between the ball distributor Mitchell and the rest of the forwards. And the plan worked exceptionally well. There is nothing new in this, of course. It is a role which has in the past been, and in the present is being, adopted by some of the greatest and most famous inside forwards in English football. It was widely used by Alex James for the Arsenal, William Gillespie for Sheffield United, and Jimmy Dunn for Dixie Dean and the other forwards at Everton, and in the present season Leicester's success is largely accountable to having David Gibson as the link man. So there is no reason at all why Exeter City, with such a player as Pierce able to initiate quick attacks from behind the half way line, should not persevere with this method.

Exeter City:- Tinsley; Smyth and Patrick; Mitchell, Harvey, and Anderson; Welsh, Rees, Henderson, Carter, and Jenkins.

Gillingham:- Huddart; Hughes and Hunt; Arnott, Burgess, and Farrall; Ridley, Moss, Gibbs, Ballagher, and Pulley.

Referee:- Mr L. Callaghan of Merthyr Tydfil.

In this match there was no-one able to take over Pierce's role and the result was a shambles in the centre every time Exeter tried to attack. No-one could get the ball from Mitchell and re-distribute it, and neither could anyone make a clean break in the Gillingham defence. And seven thousand supporters went home disappointed.

  • Exeter City Reserves are having a good run, and at Glastonbury they were all over the home team and beat them by four goals to one.


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