Match 21
30th November 1935
FA Cup 1st Round
Gillingham (h)

Exeter and District League
Newton Corinthians (a)

Saturday, November 30th 1935.



A Crushing Defeat


The Gillingham party, which included Arthur Doncaster, the old City left-winger, travelled to Devon yesterday and stayed at Exmouth overnight, making the concluding easy stage of their journey to St James's Park in plenty of time for the match. Though there were plenty of early arrivals the crowd was slow in rolling up, and there was nothing like the same degree of preliminary excitement as marked the Grecians' great F. A. Cup struggles of 1931. In fact the supporters on the popular bank were very quiet and subdued. The playing pitch, softened by recent rain, was in perfect trim for the match, and the conditions were extremely good, except for a stiffish breeze which sprang up at times. There was also a threat of rain as the hour for the kick-off approached. A large contingent from Exmouth just before two o'clock helped to swell the attendance considerably, and there would have been about 5,000 spectators at a quarter past two. The turnstiles were clicking more briskly now, and there were signs of a belated rush to bring the "gate" up to fairly large proportions. The City, in their red and white stripes, appeared first to a great ovation, and between seven and eight thousand saw McLean win the toss. Gillingham, in royal blue with white knickers, looked a very smart and very fit side.


Alas for the West Country Cup hopes. Exeter City crashed to the tune of four nil at home, Baldwin's sharp-shooting giving him a "hat-trick" for Gillingham, who should have been beaten in the first half at St James's. Yeovil displayed deplorable weakness in shooting and lost to Newport (Isle of Wight) by one goal to nil. Torquay United, after a spirited fight, were the only one of the West Country teams to surmount the first round hurdle at the first attempt, just beating Dulwich Hamlet by 3 repeating their odd-goal win at Champion Hill last season. 2, thus Bristol Rovers live to fight a replay with Northampton. Their neighbours, the City, fell at home to Crystal Palace by 1 goal to nil.

The manner of Exeter's exit from this season's competition was most discreditable. Gillingham played far more purposeful and direct football, and when the opportunity arose their forwards made good use of it. Not so Exeter, who in the first half alone squandered enough
chances to have won the match. The City made one change from the side which has struck winning form in the League, Clarke replacing Risdon at right half. For Gillingham, Baldwin led the attack instead of Bond.

Gray Miller
Clarke Robinson Angus
J.Scott Dunn McCambridge McLean Hurst

Referee:- Mr S. W. Davies.

Doncaster Duncan Baldwin Watson Tadman
Hopkins Barrie Randle
Lester Rossiter

Exeter City gave their worst exhibition of the season, through sheer weakness in front of goal. They had sufficient openings to have topped even their rivals' big score but could take advantage of none of them. Making matters worse they sacrificed to a large extent collective for individual effort. Gillingham were dangerous straight from the kick off, Watson breaking through and shooting for Chesters to make a splendid save near the post. Dunn created a temporary diversion, and McCambridge headed in strongly only to find Whitelaw ready and in position to save. Generally, however, it was Gillingham who took command of the situation. The excellent understanding between their forwards and half-backs was evident, and following a sharp attack down the right wing Baldwin created a perfect opening for Tadman, which was promptly accepted. Spasmodic efforts by Exeter to equalise having failed, further pressure was exerted by the "Hoppers," and Baldwin, taking a nice pass from Doncaster in his stride, beat Chesters with a strong header into the far corner of the net. It was an amazing game, because Exeter had missed several goals and Gillingham, with fewer chances, were two goals up. In the last minute before the interval Dunn should have scored, but drove a foot wide with only Whitelaw to beat. Half-time:

Immediately after the change of ends Exeter fell further into arrears, Baldwin completing a fine triangular move initiated by Tadman, and while the Grecians continued to have more of the play their helplessness in the goal-mouth was appalling. In a last desperate attempt to remedy matters McCambridge and Hurst changed places, but there was no improvement, and in a great closing rally by Gillingham Baldwin completed his "hat trick" and Exeter's discomfiture by converting a perfect pass from Doncaster. On the scoring of Gillingham's fourth goal somebody in the crowd significantly lowered the Supporters' Club flag to half-mast! The least said about the closing stages the better. Exeter were dispirited and never likely to score. Gillingham were playing well within themselves, content in the knowledge that the tie had been worthily won long before now.

It was Exeter City's blackest day for years, and never did the home forwards promise to put a better complexion on things. Gilt-edged chances were missed by Scott and Hurst and a series of corner-kicks brought the side no tangible reward. It was a pitiful spectacle from the City's standpoint, and the home players drifted from bad to worse. Seldom has there been seen a more ineffective or hopeless exhibition. An occasional burst through by Gillingham relieved the monotony of the final moments, and Doncaster once got the ball into the net only to be ruled offside. Taking the match as a whole, rank bad finishing made the City forwards the most inept and hopeless set of players seen in a competition match for a very long time. Dunn was the one shining light in a quintette that was otherwise deadly dull and mostly uninspiring. He was, at any rate, a clever schemer and forager, even if he failed as a marksman when left with an easy chance of scoring a goal just before half-time.


Miller was a big worker in defence, but all the home half backs failed entirely.
Victory went to the side which adopted the right methods, quick and open football, although in the first half Exeter were not always as lucky as they might have been. were not Not until an hour before the kick-off was the composition of Exeter's team known. Ever since Wednesday the selectors were in doubt as to whether to play Clarke or Risdon at right half. The final decision went in favour of Clarke, whose experience was the principal factor in his inclusion. Another point which probably influenced the selectors was that Clarke, who is well acquainted with Doncaster's methods, would be better able to cope with the danger that was likely to accrue from Doncaster. On the other hand, the City, by playing Clarke, might have been taking a risk, for it is well known that the old Ladysmith Road schoolboy has had a bad knee for some time. He has not played in the first team for many weeks previously. Footnote:- Doncaster was the best winger on the field.

Exeter and District League

Conditions at Newton Abbot were far from pleasant for the East Devon League match between the Corinthians and Exeter Reserves, but despite this a good crowd was present. Ten minutes' play sufficed to show that Exeter were masters of the situation. McArdle scored from close range in that time, and a minute later Ebdon got his foot to a neat centre from Hoyle and scored the second goal. Hoyle scored Exeter's third goal, the ball going into the net off Shambrook. Subsequently the Corinthians took up the attack, Dymond scoring for them. Ebdon then got Exeter's fourth goal. Considering the heavy rain and strong wind the play was quite interesting. Early in the second half Kirk had to make several clearances, but T.Scott and McArdle scored for the City, who won by 6 goals to 1.


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