Classic Match | Leicester City 1937

For this week’s classic match we take an excerpt from Exeter City A Complete Record 1904-1990. Produced by Maurice Golesworthy, Garth Dykes and Alex Wilson, this book is considered a detailed source of reference to those interested in the history of our football club, and is available to loan from the ECFC Museum on request –

GIANTKILLERS once more – and shades of 1931 – Exeter City were the shock team of the FA Cup fourth round in 1937, when they defeated Leicester City after being a goal behind 14 minutes after the start.

There was plenty of drama in this gruelling contest which was fought out on a waterlogged pitch. And how well the mud-spattered, rain soaked Exeter players stuck to their task.

They held Leicester in a vice-like grip for most of the match and Jack Bowers, who must have remembered Exeter City from his Derby County days, had never been more subdued than in this match.

The fact he was marking England’s centre-forward did not worry Exeter’s Jack Angus one bit. [William] Brown and [Michael] Boyle were reminiscent of the old Gray-Miller partnership of days gone by.

Leicester deserved some sympathy after losing Sep Smith with the recurrence of a knee injury and this naturally put a tremendous strain on the rest of the City players.

[Danny] Liddle opened the scoring after 14 minutes, heading home from a corner by [Taffy] O’Callaghan, but [Walter] Bussey levelled the scores ten minutes later. Ten minutes from half-time, [Rod] Williams put Exeter in front and, because of the bad light, the interval was curtailed to a couple of minutes. Rain began to fall, and the ground became even more treacherous.

Angus, who had made his name in the 1931 Cup campaign, ‘policed’ Bowers relentlessly and the former England forward hardly saw the ball. Sep Smith returned, but only to limp along the left wing, unable to offer much service, and the winning goal was banged home by Williams.

Final Score: ECFC 3 LCFC 1

Exeter City: Chesters; Brown, Boyle, Clarke, Angus, Shadwell, F.Smith, Bussey, Williams, Pope, Owen.

Leicester City: McLaren; Frame, Jones, S.Smith, Sharman, Grosvenor, Davis, O’Callagham, Bowers, Liddle, Stubbs.

Referee: F.J.Lowe (Bristol)

Man of the match: Rod Williams

Attendance: 13,731

Written by: Will Barrett


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