Match 47
19th April 1924
Gillingham (a)

Southern League
Torquay United Reserves (h)

Gillingham v ECFC (D 1-1)
Scorer: Lievesley
Attendance: 5000

Saturday, April 19th.


Played at Priestfield Road, Gillingham, in fine weather.

The ground was very hard, and the day was rather warm for football. There was a fairly good attendance, just over 5,000 being present with the teams appeared. Coleburne lost the toss, and Lievesley started the game against a blustery wind.

Pollard and Gallogley were injured at New Cross yesterday, and the City had to reorganise their team. Coleburne went to right back, Crompton to right half, McIntosh to centre half, and Murray to inside right. Gillingham were soon on the attack, and Bailey had to handle three times in the first minute. The "Hoppers" continued to hold the whip hand, and in fact they dominated practically all the play in the first half with their forwards combining splendidly.

Edmed and Berry showed a rare turn of speed, and crossed the ball with great accuracy. Exeter's goal had several narrow escapes, and particularly on one occasion when North hit the crossbar.

Bailey did fine work in the Exeter goal, his two saves shortly before the interval from North and Berry being outstanding. Exeter only threatened twice in the first half, and when they did Fox had little difficulty with the shots put in by Kirk and Dockray.

The game underwent a transformation in the second half, Exeter being the cleverer and more forceful side, and Kirk and Murray put in powerful shots on the Gillingham goal. Murray's promptitude at sending the ball through quickly and in the right place enabled the City to take the lead. The diminutive Scot swerved round Jones and passed inside to Lievesley, who, coming up at great speed, drove into the net for a brilliant goal.


Although Gillingham tried very hard they could not produce the form they displayed in the first half, but with only a few minutes remaining, and Exeter's victory seemingly assured, a corner was won by Berry, from which Jones equalised. Exeter played great football once they had got the measure of the ground and the home team, and Gillingham were in the end very lucky to retain a point, the final score being: Gillingham 1 Exeter City 1.

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

City: Bailey; Coleburne, and Charlton; Crompton, McIntosh, and Potter; Matthews, Kirk, Lievesley, Murray, and Dockray.


The visit to St James's Park this afternoon of Torquay United recalled the strenuous match played between the two clubs early in the season, at Plainmoor, when the Grecians succeeded by the very narrowest of margins in qualifying for the final tie of the Devon Professional Championship.

Today's fine, warm weather and hard ground were more suited to cricket than to football. Yet there was every expectation of a very keen game, with Harry Fryer and Frank Brown, both ex-Grecians, and the trainer, Charlie Pratt, another ex-Grecian, in charge of his men, and bubbling over with confidence.

The City Reserves XI included Harold Blackmore, the promising nineteen year-old from Silverton, at centre-forward, and Smith, of the R.H.A., at Topsham Barracks, as Flynn's full-back partner.

Torquay United arrived at St James's Park fresh from their Good Friday victory over Swindon Reserves at the Wiltshire County ground, and the teams lined up, as follows:

City: Pavey; Flynn, and Smith; Crawshaw, Hunter, and Lowson; Shelton, Thornton, Blackmore, Batten, and Lendon.

Torquay:- Fryer; Rice, and Drew; Hall, Miller, and Brown; Burton, Rodgerson, Scott, Kellock, and Pearson.

Referee:- Mr R.H.Bowden.

Play opened rather slowly, before 2,500 spectators, and although Burton for the United and Lendon for the City were prominent, for their respective sides, neither goal was threatened until a missed clearance by Rice, after seven minutes, led to a scramble between Shelton and Brown just outside the Torquay penalty area, and Brown was penalised for holding and pushing.

Shelton kicked the ball strongly across the face of the goal, and Thornton headed narrowly over the bar.

Hunter and Flynn earned applause for good defensive work after a miskick by Lowson had let Burton through, and with Torquay showing up well in attack Pavey was called upon to save from Scott.

Shelton beat Drew in a heading duel, and gave to Thornton, who swung the leather out to Lendon. The winger responded with a quick centre, and running smartly to the ball Thornton headed it on to the goal line and into the net, Fryer being slow in diving to save.


Excitement ran high, and Pearson skimmed the Exeter crossbar at fifteen yards' range. Torquay United, who did not deserve to be in arrears, equalised seven minutes after the City had taken the lead, and by a remarkable goal. From Burton's centre Pavey knocked the ball straight up in the air so that it dropped on the crossbar, and fell again into play, Scott following up and shooting into the net.

At half-time the score was:
City 1 United 1.

Pavey made a magnificent save from a penalty kick given against Flynn for handling. Miller, with the kick, shot hard to the right of Pavey, who sprang sideways to the bell, hitting it out nearly as far as the touch-line. Encouraged by their escape the City played well enough for fifteen minutes or so, but Torquay's half - backs and defence were resolute, and their was a marked absence of shots at the goal guarded by Harry Fryer.

Blackmore exercised the old City custodian with a powerful but futile volley from forty yards' range, and repeated the venture a moment or two later, but the range was too long.

Burton throughout the match was a source of danger to the City, his footwork being very cool, and Pavey made a brilliant save from at short range.

Three minutes before the finish Pearson received the ball in an inviting position just inside the penalty line, and shot for goal. Pavey dived to the ball and succeeded in thrusting it away, but as it rolled forward Rodgerson nipped in and netted before Pavey could regain his feet. Torquay still pressed, and Pavey saved a long shot from Kellock close to the post, and Smith kicked out a header from Scott from beneath the crossbar.

Torquay, who beat Exeter Reserves by two goals to one, thoroughly deserved their success.


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