Match 29 |
Southampton v ECFC | 14th January 1925.
FA Cup

Southampton 3-1 ECFC
FA Cup Round 1 "Replayed"


Replayed First Round Cup-tie. Wednesday, January 14th.

Whilst Southampton people were inclined to think that to-day's first round F.A.Cup-tie with Exeter City was little more than the matter of how many goals the "Saints" would win by, the Grecians were of the opinion that they had a great chance of springing a big surprise on their doughty Second Division opponents. 
Heavy rain had made the ground at the Dell very soft and sloppy, and it looked as though rain would continue to fall throughout the afternoon.
By order of the F. A., the kick-off was again fixed for 2.30 p.m. Neither team made any change, and both the Saints and Grecians had a chance of showing their powers all over again on level terms. The City players travelled on Tuesday and stayed overnight at the South African Hotel, and according to Mr Mavin everybody was ready for the fray, and as "fresh as paint." Campbell won the toss this time, and Davis kicked off against the wind and rain. Keen play marked the opening exchanges, and the City had more than their share of it. Parker and Shelley were both obliged to kick to touch. Harkus was knocked out in a collision with Pollard, and after treatment behind the goal line failed to revive him he was carried off the field. A free-kick to Southampton just outside Exeter's penalty line almost led to a goal. Kirk mistimed the ball and sent it straight to Dominy, who was on it like a flash and shot narrowly past the post. A rousing cheer greeted the return of Harkus. The Saints became very aggressive now, and Charlton made a couple of fine clearances under pressure. Bailey saved well from Shelley, and Henderson cut in but sent the ball over the angle of the goal.

Campbell dribbled through cleverly and shot, for Bailey to make a good save from the dangerous low ball. Away went the City to the other end, and Titmuss fouled Compton. From the free - kick Potter lofted the ball into the goalmouth for Allen to jump and save, and in a second attempt Matthews drove the ball hard across the face of the goal, Compton, with a header, sending behind. Good attacking moves by Southampton were spoiled through Price and Rawlings being over-eager, shooting hurriedly and wide of the posts. So far there was little to choose between the teams, though in Dominy the Saints had the cleverest forward on the field. Ten minutes before the interval the Saints took the lead in a
fortunate manner. A forward pass placed Henderson offside, but with the line sman flagging Mr Bissex allowed him to proceed, and from his centre Price booted the ball in from close range. A minute later the Saints had scored again. Rawlings forced his way past the backs and shot, Bailey fisting the ball away, to his right. Carr middled the ball accurately, and Rawlings headed it in. This double reverse was very hard luck on Exeter, but they fought back in determined fashion, a header from Lievesley and a hot drive from Kirk giving Allen something to think about.
The Grecians had shown greatly improved form as compared with last Saturday, and were somewhat unfortunate to be in arrears at the interval, especially as the first goal should have been allowed. Exeter were very aggressive when play was resumed, and kicking into touch was resorted to by Parker and Titmuss, hard and often. Following a corner Potter headed for goal, and Allen made a great save, pulling the ball down from under the bar, right on the line. In the next minute the Southampton goal had another narrow escape, Allen saving from Lievesley at point-blank range. Compton was badly fouled by Parker, near the penalty area, and the resultant free kick from Compton was saved by Allen after the ball had stuck Campbell in its flight. Exeter were making a splendid fight, and Southampton were by no means resting on their oars, despite their substantial lead. Kirk won the applause of the crowd by galloping through and crossing the ball neatly, but Titmuss intercepted and cleared. At long last the Saints broke away, a good shot by Henderson and a header by Rawlings being saved by Bailey. Play now centred in midfield, and then with seventeen minutes to so Southampton scored again. Crompton misplaced his pass, the ball going straight to Campbell, and the Saints' skipper lost no time in setting up a counter-attack, Dominy forging ahead to beat Bailey with a swift shot. Three goals down, the Grecians simply refused to accept defeat, and ten minutes before the close their persistence was rewarded. Kirk got the better of Campbell in a sharp tackle and speedily made tracks for goal. He shot from what seemed an impossible angle, but Allen was evidently taken by surprise, and the ball was over the line before Davis ran it into the net. Five minutes from the finish Charlton was injured and went off, but returned in the closing few moments. Final score:
Southampton 3 Exeter City 1.


Spectators at the match on Saturday saw very little of the play, but had the satisfaction of putting in an appearance at a game that proved almost unique in the annals of the competition. Fog knocked on the head in very startling fashion the fundamental sudden death principle underlying the tournament, and gave the shaken City team a chance of showing their real mettle at a second meeting. Cup matches have been stopped before on account of fog, it is true, but it is doubtful if there is any precedent of a game being abandoned only twelve minutes from time when as many as five goals separated the teams. On the face of it Southampton experienced very hard lines. They had earned their right to enter the Second Round. Those twelve minutes would have been of precious little use to the Grecians with such a score against them. On the day's play there is no question that Southampton were far and away the better side, and it is the essence of the F. A. Cup Competition that the day's play is the only thing that counts. So the Grecians were very fortunate to get a second chance. The same City team opposed the same Southampton team again in the replay, and in a wonderfully fine game on a wet ground the Saints scraped home much more narrowly than the score of 3-1 suggests. Dominy and Allen, super footballers both, won them the match. The veteran inside right deserves a better partner than Henderson, who must be one of the most erratic wingers in the League. Tom Allen is a "prince of goalkeepers," as Exeter City will testify.


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