Match 28 |
Southampton v ECFC | 10th September 1925
FA Cup

Southern League

Southampton 5-0 ECFC 
FA Cup Round 1
Match abandoned after 77 minutes due to fog.

Excepting only in the choice of ground, Exeter City could not have wished to oppose Southampton today in the First Round of the F. A. Cup competition, under happier auspices. The Grecians had played through a record series of thirteen League and Cup games without a defeat, and their record shows that the team has settled down in very effective fashion after an indifferent opening. The "Saints" are placed ninth in the Second League, and the City occupy the seventh position in the Southern Section of Division III.

From an Article in the newspaper reviewing the game and players written on Boxing Day 

Who's Who of the Southampton Team
A fortnight today, and Exeter City will be fighting at the Dell their most spectacular and important engagement in recent years, the big First Round F. A. Cup-tie with Southampton. The following are the players Exeter are likely to meet.
THOMAS ALLEN, long, lean, and lanky, but agile, alert, and able. He is regarded as one of the best custodians the club has had. Born at Moseley, Staffordshire, on May 1st 1897, and graduated first with Wednesbury Old Park and then Bilston United before signing up with Sunderland in 1919. Struck the Southern trail for Southampton the following year, and has never been dropped because of loss of form. Height 6 ft 1 in., weight 11 st 6 lbs.
THOMAS ROBERT PARKER, one of the most popular players in the side, and thought by many to be a right-back worthy of International hon ours. Fearless, dashing, remarkably fast, and possesses boundless energy. Parker was born at Pear Tree Green, Hampshire, in 1897, and progressed to the "Saints" by way of Sholing Athletic and Woolston St Mary's. Did not cost the club a penny, and is a teetollar and a non-smoker. He is a shipwright by trade. Ht 5ft llin. Wt 13st.
FREDERICK TITMUSS. Returned to the left back position just before Christmas after missing eight matches through injury. Titmuss is a Hertfordshire man, from Hitchin, whose junior clubs were Pirton and Luton Alliance. Saw service in France, where he was discovered by Bert Lee, the "Saints'" trainer. Took up his quarters at the Dell on demobilsation and made such a rapid rise to the top flight that he was "capped" for England in March 1922. Cool and resourceful, and kicks an excellent length from all angles. Ht 5ft 9in. Wt 12st 10lb.
FREDERICK ALBERT SHELLEY, a model of consistency if ever there was one, he was absent from the "Saints" middle line on November 15th last for the first time since May 1921, having appeared in no fewer than 141 consecutive matches. Another Hampshire man who has had no other senior club, he first donned the Southampton jersey in 1919, and the times he has been off-form could be counted on the fingers of a one-armed man. Fast and a great defender, but does not help his forwards as much as he might. Ht 5ft 9ins., Wt 12st.
ALASTAIR KENYON CAMPBELL, the tallest pivot in professional soccer,
Saturday January 10th. At the Dell, Southampton. and also noticeable on the field because he sports a moustache. Of Scottish extraction but born in Southampton in 1890, and made his debut with the Hampshire County Cricket Club and the "Saints" in the same year. After assisted Glossop as an amateur for many years, and served as an Officer during the war, at the end of which he signed professional forms for Southampton. Director of a local firm of fruit importers, and accustomed to reducing the opposing Second Division forwards to impotency. Ht 6ft 5ins. Wt 12st 61b.
GEORGE HARKUS, the present left half is a Novocastrian, who was first brought to the front by Aston Villa, who secured him from Scotswood in March 1922. The "Villans" failed to discern his possibilities and in May 1923 he went to Southampton for a mere "song." Harkus has paid particular attention to the attacking side of the game, and plies his forwards with passes along the "carpet," while being also a strong defensive factor. Ht 5ft 9in., wt 12st. 61b.
WILLIAM HENDERSON used to be a moderate centre forward, but has been converted into a first-class outside-right. Hails from Carlisle, and served his football apprenticeship with Carlisle United, to whom the Arsenal paid a big fee for his transfer in 1921. Allowed to depart to Luton Town in March 1923, and took his kit to Southampton during the following November. A very fast winger. Ht 5ft 8in. Wt 11st.21b.
ARTHUR DOMINY is yet another native of Hampshire, who, like Parker, comes from Woolston. He is Southampton's senior player in terms of service, having joined in 1913. He was installed straight away at inside-right, and has been there ever since. Has scored well over a century of goals for the club, as well as being a fine schemer. He will be 31 years old in February. Ht 5ft 7ins. Wt llst.
WILLIAM ERNEST RAWLINGS is a native of Andover who met with a great deal of success on the running track before the war. Then served for a long period "Over There" and whilst in France won the "1914 Star" and three Army football medals. Entered the "Saints" ranks in 1919, and has been their regular centre-forward ever since. Capped in 1922 by England, and is a "goalkeeper's nightmare." Ht 5ft 10in. Wt 12st.
ERNEST CLIFFORD PRICE played at inside-left for Coalville Swifts, Leicester City, and Halifax Town before his transfer to Southampton in December 1923. A quiet, unassuming player who never sparkles but does a lot of useful work.
JAMES CARR, the only Scot, and the lightest man in the side. He was born at Glasgow, but has played nearly all his football this side of the border, starting with Watford in 1913, then Portsmouth, Reading, and to Southampton in August 1923. Height 5ft 7ins. Wt 10st 61b.



Parker Titmuss
Shelley Campbell Harkus
Henderson Dominy Rawlings Price Carr

Referee: Mr A.J.Bissex, of Midsomer Norton.
Linesmen : Messrs H.S.Stokes and J.Leavey.

Compton Lievesley Davis Kirk Matthews Potter Crompton Pullan Charlton Pollard
Exeter City.

Leaving Queen Street station at 2.30 o'clock yesterday afternoon the Grecians stayed overnight at the Star Hotel, Southampton. They attended a performance at the Hippodrome in the evening. A large party of supporters followed the team this morning aboard the 7.25 train and sporting the white and blue favours which represent the City's colours for the day. The Dell was in better condition than at any time for the past two months, and there was a great crowd. Even before the teams came out it was difficult to get a good view of the playing pitch from the corners. Close on a thousand Exonians travelled by railway and quite a few more came by road. At Southampton the story was that throughout their long and glorious Cup career the Saints had never been able to beat any team going by the name of "City," but they I were out to break the record this afternoon at Exeter's expense.

The Grecians were first out, and received a tremendous reception, cheers ringing out from all parts of the ground. Not to be outdone, the Southampton supporters gave their favourites an even noisier welcome. The crowd numbered about fifteen thousand when Charlton beat Campbell in the toss for choice of ends.

Southampton started with great dash but Charlton repulsed them, and the City made tracks for the Saints' territory, but the marking was very keen. Henderson eluded Charlton and centred for Pollard to clear. Dominy next got on to the ball, but Charlton headed clear from his centre. The Grecians were in danger two minutes later when Carr ran the ball speedily up the left wing and centred, but once again Charlton kicked out. The first corner of the match fell to the home side, who were doing all the pressing in these stages. Another run by Dominy was checked by Pollard, and the ball went to Crompton and then to Compton, who forced a corner. In trying to reach the ball from the flag kick Matthews handled. Titmuss took the free kick, and Crompton pumped it straight back to the vicinity of the Southampton goal, but Davis and Lievesley both failed to follow up. When Southampton made ground again Price fed Henderson with an ideal pass, along the carpet and between the City backs, but the move broke down through Henderson shooting over the bar and wide.

Southampton were straining every nerve to secure an early score, but found the Exeter backs very hard to beat. Bailey held a fierce shot from Henderson close to the upright, and then Charlton missed his kick in the goalmouth, and Dominy was in like a flash to fire the ball into the net from about five yards' range. It was a very costly mistake by the Exeter skipper.
Nothing daunted the City worked their way down and won a corner, but this was cleared without difficulty. In the next Exeter attack Lievesley skimmed the bar with a fine shot, this being the only time so far that the Southampton defence had been really threatened. Southampton, however, got a second goal in the 21st minute, and it followed a quick run through by Henderson from the half-way line, the ensuing centre being missed by Rawlings but netted by Price. At this point a fog was settling on the ground and visibility was very poor. From a free-kick Lievesley passed to Davis, whose shot was too high, and apart from Lievesley very little had been seen of the Exeter forwards. At the other end Charlton dispossessed Rawlings. Following a centre from Matthews and a weak clearance by Titmuss an exciting struggle developed in the Southampton penalty area, but it was culminated by Allen, who dived into the ruck of players and got possession of the ball. Then the Saints got their third goal, well deserved. Price beat Pollard and Crompton in midfield and sent a long pass to Carr, who beat Charlton for pace and crossed to Dominy. The veteran inside right made no mistake with his shot to the bottom corner of the net, and in the very next minute the fourth goal was scored, this time from a penalty. Pollard handled the ball in trying to clear from Henderson, and Parker beat Bailey easily enough from the "spot."

The City, despite the mounting tally of goals against them, kept pegging away, and Matthews raced past Harkus and gave to Kirk, who headed the ball over the bar. In staving off another Exeter attack Allen left his goal and dribbled the ball almost to the half - way line, thinking, presumably, that with a four-goal lead the time had arrived when the Saints could indulge in a little "fancy" play.  The interval was signalled with the score
Southampton 4 Exeter 0.

Exeter started off with a rush and Davis forced a corner, which was safely gathered by Allen. The weather conditions had considerably deteriorated since the interval, and it was impossible to follow the play on the far side of the field, and on one or two occasions the referee had to go to the linesman to ascertain what had happened. For several minutes play remained in Southampton's territory, but the Grecians had no luck when it came to shooting, and Parker was playing very clever football in the home rearguard. The Saints got away again, and the City goal was in dire peril from Carr, but his centre across the goalmouth was missed by Price and Rawlings. Further pressure by Southampton resulted in the fifth goal being scored, but it was impossible by now to see what had happened. Henderson ran over to shake hands with Price, so it was presumed that Price had netted the ball.

Before the ball was set in motion Mr Bissex consulted both the linesmen as to whether play should continue, and it was decided to carry on. Southampton were now having all the play, and in saving at 

point-blank range Bailey was injured, and attended to by the City half back, Dick Jones, who was acting as trainer for the day. The goalkeeper quickly resumed, and made a great save from one of the Southampton forwards. Attempts by the Exeter forwards to carry the

game to Southampton fell through because of weak passing. Carr went up the wing like an express train and slipped the ball through to Rawlings, whose shot was weak and badly directed, but a header from the Southampton leader was of better quality, and Bailey saved on the goal-line.


The Grecians won a corner, but Matthews's flag kick was headed clear by the towering Campbell. The evening mist grew thicker than ever, and as a spectacle the match was becoming a farce.

In a belated attack by the City a shot from Crompton struck the side netting, and a fast raid by Southampton only resulted in a goal kick to Exeter. Thirteen minutes before time the referee again had a consultation with the linesmen and called the players off the field, the score then being Southampton 5 Exeter City nil.
The match will be replayed on Wednesday next.

The sensational finish was not at all to the liking of the crowd. Thousands of people stood about in the hope that it would be possible for the teams to take the field again. Southampton's big lead had been built up by mistakes on the part of the City defence and smart finishing by their own forwards. But the game should have been stopped at half-time, for in the second half it was impossible to see across the field, and matters became absolutely farcical.

The official attendance was 15,507, receipts £1,283.

The match at the Dell on Wednesday next will kick off at 2.30 p.m.

Southern League 

Exeter City Reserves' home Southern League encounter with Mid Rhondda was of more than usual interest by reason of the fact that the visiting team included two ex-Grecians in Billy Richards, their player-manager, and Jack Feebery, who has also played for Bolton and Brighton. The weather was dry, but fog hung over the ground. Blackmore set the ball in motion and immediately it was kicked into touch by one of the Rhondda half-backs. Then Vallis made ground on the right and middled the ball to Baron, but good covering by the City defence was responsible for breaking up the move. At the other end a left footed shot by Blackmore swerved across the goalmouth and Newman rushed in, but his return ball was cleared by Feebery. Five minutes later a centre from Newman was met by Blackmore, who drove hard for goal, but Brown was safe. The Welshmen were aggressive for a period and won a corner, but from Stevenson's flag kick Beevor shot high over the bar. Shelton and Blackmore missed narrowly for the Reserves, and Feebery, showing all his old-time skill and coolness, averted two fast moves by the City and got his own forwards going. Baron gained possession and ran through on his own to beat Pavey with a well placed shot to give the Welshmen the lead. Half-time City Reserves 0 Mid Rhondda 1.

The crowd were not cheered when the news of the half-time score at Southampton came through; four-nil to the Saints. On the resumption Blackmore narrowly missed heading a goal from Newman,'s centre. A thick fog now over-hung the ground, and it was impossible to discern the players. Baron scored another goal for the visitors, and in an Exeter raid Shelton struck the cross-bar. There was much jubilation when it was learned that the Cup - tie at Southampton had been abandoned. Rhondda added a third goal through Stevenson, and eventually the Grecians succeeded in reducing the lead, a shot by Appleyard going into the net off Blackmore.
City Reserves 1-3 Mid-Rhondda 3.

Teams: -
RESERVES:- Pavey; Coleburne, Flynn; Appleyard, Lowton, Crawshaw; Newman, Smelt, Blackmore, Murray, Shelton.

MID RHONDDA:- Brown; Graham, Feebery; Richards, Rose, Beevor; Vallis, McLaughlin, Baron, Dent, Stevenson.
REFEREE: Mr R. A. Bowden.


Exeter City are lucky to have a chance to fight another day. They were five goals in arrears at Southampton when the referee, after a brief consultation with his linesmen, abandoned the game on account of fog. Only ten minutes remained for play, and the crowd did not take kindly to the referee's decision. They invaded the pitch, and called loudly to the referee to finish the match. He responded by coming out on to the field again, but after studying the visibility confirmed his decision. Southampton, fore and aft, were much too speedy for Exeter, who struggled gallantly but who never appeared to have anything more than the slightest chance of success. They did not have the best of luck, however, and Southampton's first goal was gift. Charlton, the City's left back, missed his kick in the goalmouth, Dominy scoring easily. This disaster was followed by some brilliant forward play on the part of Southampton. Price beat Bailey with a splendidly placed shot and then Carr rounded off a sparkling wing run with an absolutely perfect centre from which Dominy scored the third goal.
Parker netted from a penalty kick to give Southampton a lead of four goals at half time, and Price added the fifth half way through the second half. The City were occasionally dangerous, but they were given no time in which to work, Campbell and his colleagues tackling smartly and with great resolution. When tested Allen was always safe. Pullan and Pollard were the most conspicuous of Exeter's defence.


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