Match 00
23rd August 1913,
30th August 1913
2nd and 3rd September 1913

Pre-Season Trials and Exhibitions

EXETER CITY PRACTICE MATCHES AT ST. JAMES’S PARK:

Saturday, August 23rd: Probables v Possibles.

The Possibles beat the Probables by three goals to nil in the first of Exeter City's practice matches.

On paper, at any rate, the Probables were much the stronger side, but it more often happens than not in these practice games that the supposed weaker side comes out on top. To a large extent practice matches such as these are a farce, or at the best, a necessary evil. There is always the risk of a good man being hurt through the over‑eagerness of some youngster who is out to make an impression, and moreover, when all is said and done, practice games are only of a small value as a guide to ability.

For instance, who would be bold enough to say he could name the eleven best players in the game at St. James's Park today? The two best backs he might, but the rest of the side would be quite open to question, even including the goalkeeper.

Pym and Loram.

On today's showing Loram is a born goalkeeper. This can be seen by the way he gathers the ball and by the way he anticipates a shot. In these two respects Loram's work was the work of a master-hand ready made. To suggest, however, as has been suggested in some quarters, that he should at once supplant Pym, is ridiculous and unfair, not so much to Pym as to Loram himself. The latter has much to learn and he requires to gain the confidence which comes of experience alone. He will make a fine goalkeeper in time, but he may easily be spoilt and put off his game by a magnification of his ability. He needs to be polished up; experience in the Plymouth League will do that, and then he will come into his own in good time. Meanwhile, however, Exeter City have in Pym a custodian who was last year comparable with the best. The London critics raved about him; he never played one bad game away from home; that he did occasionally give a poor display at St James's Park was attributable more than anything else to the fact that he was over-conscious of what was expected of him. He was worried about the reputation London writers had thrust upon him. Nevertheless, Dick Pym was never other than a very valuable and, incidentally, a very lucky find for Exeter City. There can be no doubt that he should still be first choice; what time will bring about in due course is another matter.

The Improvement of Lewis.

Altogether today's practice was a very good one as practices go; and the amateurs have every reason to be pleased about it. Dilley, of the Army Service Corps, scored a goal, and Lewis got two, while Hunt played very well at back. Lewis bids fair to show vast improvement this season. He has managed to lose his former cumbersome and ungainly method, passes well (some of those he gave Holt were worthy of the first-team) and is quick and alert in front of goal. Lewis will be a useful man this season. Strettle, signed on July 25th from Chesterfield, is going to be a "classy" defender. He has the right build, nearly six feet and of splendid physique. Evans, who joined Exeter from Blackpool on June 3rd, is another fine capture. He is 24 years old, and built on similar lines to Strettle. Holt is a clever winger, there can be no doubt about that, and Marshall is a lot more useful than one had supposed. Less was seen of Lee and McCann, but Lee's speed will be a big asset, while the Scotchman, McCann, is stocky and strong on his legs, and will be a difficult man to get off the ball. Orr had few chances, and Lovett fewer still, although the last-named may just possibly prove to be one of Mr. Chadwick's very best "finds".

For next Saturday's match it would be preferable if the teams were mixed up more. The trouble with the Probables v Possibles trials is that the energy is apt to be too much on one side, and that is not the "Probable" side.
Ellis Crompton, visiting Exeter for the day, took over on the line from Mr H.F.Ford in the second half.

Teams:-

PROBABLES (RED AND WHITE) Pym; Fort and Strettle; Rigby, Lagan, and Evans; Whittaker, Kirby, Brooksbank, McCann, and Lee.
POSSIBLES (GREEN) Loram; Goddard and Hunt; Smith, Pratt, and Marshall; Holt, Lewis, Dilley, Lovett, and Orr.

********
Saturday, August 30th.

PROBABLES v POSSIBLES (FINAL TRIAL).

The flag at Exeter City's ground was this afternoon at half-mast in memory of the late Mr Stanley Spooner, while the players wore black armlets. The teams were as advertised, the City "Probables" being pitted against the "Possibles", the latter side including Gerrish and Manaton, two new amateurs. Gerrish is employed at Sir Wilfred Peek's residence, and Manaton is an old Crediton Grammar School boy now resident in Exeter.
There was an interval for the usual team photograph before the start, and when Gerrish finally set the ball in motion ominous rumblings of thunder were audible, and there were threatenings of a heavy storm. A miskick by Lewis let the Probables through, and Goddard and Hunt were hard put to it to keep the front rank out. After a spell of midfield play, the Greens attacked on the right, and Holt put Lewis through only, however, to be pulled up for offside. Orr put in the first shot of the game, but it was an oblique grounder which gave Pym no trouble. Later on a long, ground pass from Marshall enabled Lewis to test Pym again. Pratt jumped up and headed away a drive by Kirby, but Lovett was quickly on the ball again, and Hunt was lucky to be in the way of the centre's shot. The Greens made a rapid excursion to the other end, and at the end of fifteen minutes McCann seized on the leather from Hunt's partial clearance, and put in a shot which gave Loram no earthly chance. It was a fine goal, and a shot which would have beaten any 'keeper.

Superiority of the Probables.

After this the "Probables" began to exert a marked superiority, and all Pratt's generalship was put to the test in keeping them out. Once Loram had to be quick to check a header by Lovett, then Goddard was lamed, but resumed, and Pym went on his knees to save a hard drive by Gerrish, while a fast grounder by Lewis went wide of the upright. Goddard dispossessed Whittaker in one tussle, but the Stripes quickly got the ball again, and Loram had to jump to save a shot from Kirby. At the other end Orr drove the ball across the goal-mouth, and a melee ensued from which the Probables were rather fortunate to escape. Loram saved again from Kirby, and Marshall and Pratt were constantly prominent in the Possibles' defence. Loram yet again fielded nicely from Kirby, and Pym, at the other end, cleared a header from Gerrish. The Probables continued to attack, and when they were all but through Smith volleyed the ball away. Pym punched out a dropping centre from Orr, and at half-time the score was:
PROBABLES 1-0 POSSIBLES                         
Second Half.

Soon after the restart Lovett got the ball eight yards out, and a goal looked certain, but he ballooned it over the bar. The Red and White Stripes continued to be the superior side, but one or two promising bursts were made by the Greens, and once Manaton nearly got through, while in the next minute Marshall sent in a real "pile-driver" which Pym fielded in accomplished style. A special effort by Kirby followed. He received the leather forty yards out, and raced on to bang in the hardest drive of the game. Loram saved magnificently, jumping up and tipping the ball over the bar, though it would have gone over without his help. Pratt, who was having plenty to do, cleared his lines, then Lovett at last added another goal to the Stripes' account. Evans had put the left wing in motion, and from Lee's head the leather came across to Lovett. He fell in the act of shooting, but lashed the ball into the net with a terrific cross-drive. Gerrish followed up a long pass from Marshall, but the ball was too fast for him and Pym came out and cleared. Play became more interesting and lively, and the heat was excessive, the stamina of the players according a testimonial to their fitness. Lovett was sent through by Whittaker and nearly succeeded, even though he was hemmed in by Goddard and Pratt. Lovett then scored the Probables' third goal, and Lee, rounding the opposition, got a fourth. The Possibles were now down to ten men, Goddard having retired, and McCann scored the fifth goal from Lee's pass.

Final score: Probables 5, Possibles nil.

Probables:- Pym; Fort, Strettle; Rigby, Lagan, Evans; Whittaker, Kirby, Lovett, McCann, and Lee.
Possibles:- Loram; Hunt, Goddard; Smith, Pratt, Marshall; Holt, Lewis, Gerrish, Manaton, and Orr.

Referee:- Mr W.G.Bastin.

*******
Tuesday, September 2nd.

FRIENDLY MATCH AT TIVERTON.

Exeter City sent a strong side to Tiverton this evening by way of encouraging the newly formed local Soccer club, whom they met on the Athletic Field. There was a fair attendance, but no doubt the inconvenient hour kept many away.

Tiverton: W.Carpenter; P.Ware, F.Martin; W.Hole, H.Kerslake, E.Parsons; Ruddall, Greenslade, Haddon, F.Kemble, A.Parsons.

City: Pym; Fort, Strettle; Rigby, Lagan, Evans; Whittaker, Kirby, Lovett, McCann, Lee.

The home team was rather on the weak side. Early in the game McCann got going, but was checked by Kerslake, who dribbled away to the City's end, but the ball was cleared by Strettle. Kirby and Whittaker worked through cleverly on their wing, and a corner was the outcome. Whittaker placed the ball with splendid judgment enabling Lovett to head cleanly into the net. The Exeter forwards then began to "play to the gallery", toying with the Tiverton defence, and contented themselves with giving an exhibition of football finesse. Carpenter saved several shots in very good style, but at last Kirby beat him, after some passing, with a hefty cross-shot. Kirby added a third goal from close in, and at the interval the City led by three goals to nil.

In the second half the professionals gave the spectators a fast and clever exhibition of high-class football. Carpenter was the busiest man on the field, being fairly bombarded with shots, and he brought off some brilliant saves. Goals, however, were scored by McCann, Lovett, and Kirby (2), the final score being Exeter City 7 goals, Tiverton nil.

NOTES FROM TIVERTON

The new Tiverton Association club has between thirty and forty players to choose from, and more than one of the old Rugby team will be trying the newer game. This season teams will be entered in both the East Devon and Tiverton and District (Junior) League, and also for the East Devon, Football Express, and McGahey cups. The pitch in the Athletic Field is ideal for football, and Mr Tom Ford, the club president, has kindly provided a set of jerseys in the club colours of black and amber.

The visit of the Exeter City club to Tiverton was a greatly appreciated help. Despite the awkwardness of the hour for the game, over seven hundred Tivertonians and others from the district put in an appearance, and the club derived useful financial benefit. It would be useless to judge the form of the new players from that exhibition. The amateurs were overawed by the distinguished company in which they were, and merely served as accessories in, as an example, McCann's cleverness, Kirby's ferocious shooting, or Whittaker's dribbling. However, Carpenter was given a chance of displaying his ability in goal, and on several occasions he was distinctly smart, and delighted the home team's followers. He will not often be opposed to a forward line of the calibre of Kirby and company. Against Exeter City there were too many light youngsters in the side, and these will, for League football, have to give way to the more dashing and robust talent available.

Wednesday, September 3rd.

FRIENDLY: CITY RESERVES v 33RD BRIGADE.

The Exeter City Reserves played their first match of the season at St. James's Park this afternoon, the opposition being provided by the 33rd Brigade stationed at Topsham Barracks. The City side included the brothers Budd, of Alphington, and Dovell, a former Newton schoolboy. Harding, the ex-Chelsea back, was making his first appearance in the Grecian colours.
Reserves: Loram; Harding, F.Budd; Smith, Pratt, Marshall;Trowbridge, Dovell, Brooksbank, W.Budd, and Orr.
33rd Brigade: Shedd; Edwards, Cottrell; Dodds, Morrison, Smart; Deal, Price, Lieut Purchas, Topliss, and Cowell.

Referee: Mr O. F. Passmore.

The kick-off was at 4.30. The game commenced with an abundance of high kicking from both sides, but Shedd had to be smart to get rid of the ball when W.Budd attempted to charge him. The Brigade subsequently made headway, and did not hesitate to use their weight. Once Loram had to punch out from Purchas, and later Budd cleared almost from the goal-line. A pass by Marshall enabled Orr to get across a good centre, but Edwards nipped in and cleared. Purchas beat F.Budd and went through on his own, but shot wide. Brooksbank failed with a cross shot from twenty yards out, and afterwards headed wide from W.Budd's pass. Orr did some clever work on the Exeter left wing, but the City were generally put off their game by the soldiers' bustling and roughness. The first corner fell to the City Reserves, Orr placed it finely, and Shedd saved from Pratt. Purchas was pulled up for offside following a free-kick to the Brigade, and at the other end W.Budd failed badly with Shedd out of his goal. The Brigade were more than holding their own, and Harding's strong kicking and Smith's vigorous tackling were invaluable in the City defence.However, the Reserves took the lead shortly before the interval, Dovell converting a pass by Trowbridge.
In the second half Pratt scored with a rousing shot, then F.Budd put through his own goal to credit the Brigade with a score.

Final: City Reserves 2 goals, 33rd Brigade 1.

TIVERTON ATHLETIC v EXETER CITY.

After the match at Tiverton yesterday the Exeter City team was entertained to a tea at Harris's Restaurant. Mr T. H. Ford, the President of the Tiverton club, was in the chair, and Mr McGahey was also present.

Mr Ford remarked that good Rugby football used to be played in Tiverton, and he did not see why good Association football should not be seen in the old town. He spoke on the excellence of the ground, and said from what he had seen that day he thought the new Association club would do well.
Mr McGahey agreed that the ground was one of the best in the county, and that some of the players in the new club showed great promise. The display made by Carpenter, the goalkeeper, has been the subject of much favourable comment

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