Match 44
3rd April 1931
Gillingham (a)

Southern League
Plymouth Argyle Res. (h)

Good Friday, April 3rd 1931.

Exeter City played brilliant football at Gillingham on Friday afternoon and won by five goals to three before a crowd of 6,000. The rain came down steadily throughout the match, and the wet ball skidded violently over the slippery turf, but the Grecians mastered the conditions in wonderful style. The first half was evenly contested, Gillingham's kick and rush methods being almost as effective as Exeter's polished and precise combined moves. After 20 minutes' play Houghton finished a skilful dribble with a lovely pass to Varco, who promptly and accurately despatched the ball to Doncaster. When Doncaster's centre came across Varco scored with a great shot, giving Smith no possible chance of saving. On the stroke of half time Gillingham equalised, Collins scoring direct from a free kick with Davies unsighted by the players in front of him. When the teams changed ends the City played glorious football and in twenty minutes scored four brilliant goals. First Purcell and Varco by close passing made the opening for Doncaster to cut in from the left wing and restore Exeter's lead with a smart low shot. In the next minute Houghton scored after a characteristic solo dribble. Purcell with a beautiful header from Armfield's corner kick obtained the fourth goal, and Houghton completed the "nap hand" with a successful header from Varco's pass.

Miller Injured.

Unfortunately Charlie Miller, the City captain and left-back, was lamed just after Houghton's last goal had been scored, and in the closing minutes Scott supplied centres from which Bethell and Harbot scored. The whole of the City team shared in one of the most skilful exhibitions of football ever shown by the club, the play of the Grecians in this match ranking with the very best of their Cup performances. The team was:- Davies; Baugh, and Miller; Inglis, Ditchburn, and Barber; Armfield, Purcell, Varco, Houghton, and Doncaster.

Southern League

The Southern League championship prospects of the City Reserves were on Good Friday afternoon considerably strengthened by their victory by a goal to nil over Plymouth Argyle Reserves at St James's Park before 3,500 spectators.
City Reserves:- Jones; Gray, Shanks; Clarke, Angus, Bright; J.Gumm, McCosh, Parsons, Halliday, and Lister.

Argyle Reserves: - Stanbury; Thompson, Turner; Fellowes, Deacon, Gorman; Matthews, Sloan, Bird, Prentice, and Channon.

The deciding goal was obtained by McCosh with a spectacular long shot after nine minutes' play. Unfortunately the game was largely spoiled as a spectacle by the wild kicking of the full backs, the Plymouth pair being particularly blameworthy in this respect.


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