Match 08
26th September 1931
Gillingham (h)

Western League
Bristol Rovers Res. (a)

Exeter City v Gillingham

Weak Gillingham Side Beaten 4-0 at St. James's Park

Saturday, September 26th 1931.


The result of four goals to nil is very gratifying, and the points will come in very handy, but they were so easily won that as a test of the Grecians "at full strength" again after a very trying period through injuries the match was very disappointing. The City are now seventeenth in the League with six points from their first eight matches. Gillingham will have to improve a lot if they are to leave their lowly position at the foot of the Southern Section table.

The visiting halves and backs were weak in anticipation and easily beaten, and the forwards suffered badly from lack of support.

Exeter City:- Davies; Baugh and Miller; Clarke, Childs, and Barber; Armfield, Purcell, Varco, Houghton, and Doncaster.
Gillingham: Lewis; Shipley and Gellatley; Rotherham, Collins, and Jamieson; Williams, White, Watkins, Shaw, and Scott.
Referee:- Mr J.M.Wiltshire, of Sherborne.

There were six thousand spectators, and the match opened in dull but dry weather, the playing pitch being dry and fast. Clarke headed clear an early Gillingham corner, and Houghton placed a dangerous ball up the left wing, but Doncaster was too slow, and Shipley intervened. From one of several free kicks given against Gillingham for heavy charging Purcell went close with a header. Houghton was doing splendidly in the way of approach work, despite the severe treatment to which he was subjected every now and then.

Exeter scored after 26 minutes, Childs shooting high into the net from a free kick for hands five yards outside the penalty area. Shipley, who had handled, protested vainly that the offence was accidental, and Childs's shot flew into the net like a rocket, over the heads of the players in the penalty area. The City increased their lead after 33 minutes. Purcell forced Gellatley to give a corner and Armfield middled nicely from the flag. Varco jumped to head the ball, but missed it completely, but Houghton ran in and side-footed it into the net.

The interval score of 2-0 did not flatter the Grecians, who were definitely superior in all departments in front of goal, and whose combination improved as the game advanced. Exeter had one escape in the second half when a shot from White crashed against the angle of the goal, but straightaway at the other end Lewis had to save a pile-driver from Purcell, and after 23 minutes Purcell scored Exeter's third goal from Armfield's pass. There followed some more powerful Exeter attacks, and after Lewis had saved a tremendous drive from Childs he was beaten by a header from Barber, from Armfield's centre.

Western League
match at Stapleton Road.

On their chances Exeter should have been two goals up in the first 20 minutes, but Berry was responsible for there being no score. Exeter were cleverer and faster than the Rovers, and Whitlow kept the forward line moving well, but a good opportunity was wasted by Keen and another by Coombs.

Rovers Reserves: Berry; Bennett, Hill; Black, J.R.Cooper, Findlay; Smart, Dando, Durgenni, Storer, Parker.

City Reserves:- Bond; Fox, Bright; Johnson, Ditchburn, Hill; Keen, Coombs, Whitlow, Woodward, Courtney.

As is so often the case the Rovers broke away a got a lucky goal. Parker sent over a cunning centre which Bond fumbled and dropped, and Dando dribbled the ball into the net. The Rovers took encouragement from this unexpected success and bombarded the Exeter goal for several minutes. The City defence was sorely tried, and Bright almost put through his own goal, the ball going over the bar. The pace had now increased, and Smart forced a corner and scored from the flag kick, firing the ball clean across the goal into the far corner of the net, Bond misjudging it completely.
Rovers Reserves 2 City Reserves 0.

Just after the interval Bond distinguished himself by holding a terrific shot from Smart, but a minute later he was beaten by a simple one from Findlay. It must have been very discouraging to the other members of the side to have had three goals scored against them, each as the result of an error by Bond. The Rovers piled on the pressure, and Smart scored their fourth goal. In one Exeter breakaway Keen sent just wide of the upright, and just before the final whistle Whitlow skied the ball over the bar.


Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>