Portsmouth v ECFC
Reserves v Portsmouth
Portsmouth 2-0 ECFC
Gaskell Injured : City Lose Both Points
Graham, (pictured) formerly of Stockport County, made his debut in Exeter City's intermediate line at left half-back, and Watson (pictured), his initial apperance between the sticks. It was hoped that Watson's greater experience might help materially to stem the avalanche of goals that has come Exeter's way of late.
Robson. Probert. Abbott. Wilson. Maitland. Martin. Bishop. Stringfellow. Buddery. Hoten. Beedie.
Referee:- Mr R.C. Wilding, if Southampton.
Watson. Gaskell. Pollard. Rigby. Mitton. Graham. Newman. Green (A.V). Vowles. Williams. Dockray.
The weather turned out wet about mid-day, and the spectators assembled at Fratton Park in a steady downpour. By the time the players appeared there were about 12 000 in the ground. Martin won the toss and Vowles kicked off against the wind and rain. Pompey made headway from the start, and Bishop snapped up an opening by Stringfellow and sent in a ground shot that hit the side netting. Pollard headed out a long free kick taken by Martin, and clever footwork by the Pompey inside forwards maintained the pressure. Watson had his first taste of action, saving in grand style a fierce drive from Stringfellow. The veteran Portsmouth forward tried another from a difficult angle a moment later, and Watson again was safe.
A brief halt was necessary on account of Mitton up in a collision, then Watson cleared his lines with a huge kick. being shaken Play had been in progress for five minutes before Exeter crossed the half-way line, and then a smart run by Newman got them there, but Martin successfully intervened and prevented Green from his attempt at getting in a shot.
Rigby plied Newman with a lovely pass, but the linesman put up his flag for offside, and the referee halted play. Probert back passed to Robson when Dockray broke clear, and both sides at this stage were playing methodical football, with Portsmouth mounting most of the attacks, but being unable to find an effective way of getting past the Exeter backs. Graham was also conspicuous for one or two neat passes, and Rigby was at his best. At half-time there was no score.
The closing stages of the first half were marked by the rather unusual occurrence of a goalkeeper being penalised for hand-ball. It happened to Watson, who punched out a centre from Beedie, and followed the ball beyond the panalty area, handling it again to stop a drive from Stringfellow. The free-kick, which Stringfellow took, was then saved by Watson legitimately.
Gaskell had gone lame just before the interval, and when Exeter re-appeared Graham was at right back, Williams left half, and the injured Gaskell on the left wing, with Dockray inside.
Exeter Defence Beaten at Last.
Rain had ceased when play was resumed, following the half-time interval. After Pollard had stemmed a Portsmouth rush Vowles put Dockray through skilfully, but the winger was pulled up for being offside. The opening goal was scored by Portsmouth seven minutes after the re-start, and was the direct result of a mistake on the right side of the City's defence, Rigby and Graham both taking a share of the blame. Beedie got clear away with the ball, and from his centre Stringfellow beat Watson at short range. Exeter City's dogged defence was beaten at last. The City then made progress to the Pompey end, and "hands" against Martin outside the corner of the penalty area resulted in Green sending in a ground shot, which was turned aside, and Dockray, cutting in, drove the ball into the crowd behind the goal. Another chance was missed when Newman whipped the ball across, and it went to Gaskell, who fired it against the roof of the grand stand. Portsmouth broke through again and Watson gathered a shot from Stringfellow. Dockray put the ball over the bar with the goal at his mercy, then with a quarter of an hour remaining Portsmouth scored. The ball was transferred from Stringfellow to Bee die, who beat Watson with a low shot into the corner of the rigging.
Notes on the Game.
The City deserve credit for a dogged defensive game. They were handicapped throughout the second half on account of the injury sustained by Gaskell, who remained on the field, but was only a passenger, and the team was disorganised through the changing of positions of Williams, Graham, and Dockray. Mitton played a great game at centre half, and Dockray, Watson, and Pollard were all in fine fettle. The Grecians had a big share of the play in the second half, and with five forwards might well have drawn.
CITY RESERVES v PORTSMOUTH RESERVES
At St James's Park. Portsmouth Reserves were today's vicitors in a Southern League match. The City included four local amateurs on account of a heavy injury list.
Fryer; MacKechnie, Ralph; Siddall, Glanville, and Davis; Edge, Camble, J. Green, W.Hill, and Congdon.
Newton; Cooper, McWilliams; Adams, Harwood, and Robinson; Blyth, Edwards, Mackie, Watson, and Philpeir.
The Pompey forwards got clear straight away, and Edwards passed to Mackie, who breasted the ball and rushed it into the net. Green and Glanville, of the City, collided in heading the ball. The two men were both taken off, and resumed after treatment.
Mackie scored for Portsmouth after Fryer had punched out from a fierce drive by Watson. When Exeter broke away Cooper obtained the ball and back passed to Newton, but the ball was beyond the reach of the goalkeeper and rolled into the net. Siddall put Exeter on equal terms in the second half, shooting hard into the net after several shots had missed.
Final: City 2 Portsmouth 2.