Match 45
12th April 1924
Gillingham (h)

ECFC 2-1 Gillingham 
Scorers: Coleburne, Matthews (pen)
Attendance: 4000

Saturday, April 12th, at St James's Park.

Attendance 4,000.

Referee: Mr E.Tolfree, of Southampton.

CITY:- Bailey; Pollard, and Charlton; Coleburne, Crompton, and Potter; Matthews, Kirk, Lievesley, Gallogley, and Dockray.

GILLINGHAM:- Fox; Butler, and Hendrie; Jones, Henderson, and Read; Edmed, Williams, North, Hall, and Berry.

Result: Exeter City 2 Gillingham 1.

Scorers: Coleburne and Matthews (penalty) for Exeter City;
Hall for Gillingham.


Exeter City gave Lievesley a second game in the centre-forward berth, in recognition of his promising play at Charlton on Monday evening. With the exception that "Darkie" Potter appeared at left half in place of Gilchrist, who is absent on account of the tragic death of his brother, the team was at full strength. The only one of Gillingham's forwards known to St James's Park
habituees is Tommy Hall. Most notable among the new faces is North, formerly of Sheffield United and the Arsenal. Both the wingers are amateurs, and Edmed, a local junior, was today given his first run in senior football. The weather conditions were just about the limit, a gale from the North-west with heavy bursts of hail and rain.

Gillingham won the toss and defended the St James's Road end with the wind behind them.

Exeter opened the game rather shakily and allowed the visitors too much scope. Six minutes after the start Edmed swung the ball across to Berry, who eluded Coleburne's challenge and just missed the goal with a cross-shot that left Bailey helpless. Then Bailey saved a direct drive from Edmed. The Gillingham half-backs were at work industriously, supplying their forwards with plenty of the ball, and so far Exeter had not been seen as an attacking force. After ten minutes Hall and North took the ball clean through at speed, and Hall beat Bailey with a well directed shot which entered the goal close to the post. From the restart Lievesley placed the City on the attack, but Kirk shot wide from a good scoring position.

The gale of wind was upsetting the pattern of play, and Exeter were guilty of playing the ball in the air too often. The defence of Gillingham very steady, but Matthews and Lievesley almost put the finishing touch to a capital movement, Fox finally coming out and falling on the ball.


Midway through the first half Kirk and Lievesley emulated the earlier feat of Hall and North in coaxing the ball through all the opposition. Fox was compelled to advance, but Lievesley failed to find the net, and the ball went over the top.

The Exeter backs were inclined to overkick the ball, but after forty minutes Lievesley drove fiercely for the Gillingham goal. His low shot struck the foot of the upright, and the ball rebounded for nearly thirty yards. Coleburne met it right-footed, and with a lovely "first-timer" banged it into the net well wide of Fox.


After the interval Exeter were far more aggressive, and settled down to produce some lively football. Lievesley hit the upright for the second time in the match. Gillingham, however, were far from a spent force, their passing being very accurate.

At three-quarter time the scores were still level, but the City took the lead through a penalty for a foul on Dockray. Matthews, who has never missed from the "spot," took the kick and scored. Fox got his hands to the rising ball but could not prevent it entering the net.

After this the City failed to make any impression on the Hoppers' defence. Lievesley worked hard in the centre, and Dockray's skill was seen to advantage, particularly in the second half. Edmed, who made his first appearance in League football, was Gillingham's best forward.

It was, however, football under difficulties, with a vengeance. The gale won, and to criticise any player on such a day would not be fair.


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