Match 08
18th October 1913
Gillingham (a)

Plymouth and District Leaguev
Torquay Town (h)


The Grecian Forwards Feeble Display


One of the most interesting of the Southern League matches down for decision today was seen at Gillingham, where Exeter City were the visitors. The City made the journey via London, and had to pass through a good portion of pretty Kentish scenery en route.


Gillingham itself is quite a small town, but there are a very keen lot of supporters locally, their enthusiasm even going to the lengths of encouraging the "Hoppers" to play the one-back game should a visiting team be seen to having the best of things. The Gillingham backs, Mosley and Leslie, are undoubtedly clever at the "offside" tactics.


The Grecians usually get plenty of encouragement at Gillingham, chiefly because there are many West of England folk attached to the Dockyard at Chatham, a neighbouring town. There were some changes made for today's match, Harding, Marshall, Lovett, and Lee losing their places to Fort, Smith, Kirby, and Holt respectively.



Bailey; Mosley and Leslie; Mahon, Lee, and Johnson; Pinkney, Gilligan, Glen, Hakefost, and Caldwell.


Pym; Fort and Strettle; Rigby, Pratt, and Smith; Whittaker, Kirby, Brooksbank, McCann, and Holt.



Gillingham won the toss, but were at once called upon to defend, Johnson having to put the ball back to Bailey to relieve pressure. Whittaker, however, again carried play into the home quarters, his centre travelling along the ground to Kirby, who took too long in controlling the ball, and Johnson cleared with a long kick.


Gilligan then placed Pickney in possession, whereupon the winger sped away in fine style, and finishing up with a shot that struck the side of the net. The "Hoppers" were now attacking frequently, while the City defenders experienced some difficulty owing to the glare of the sun in their eyes. Despite this drawback, the Exeter forwards were often in the picture, although they did not trouble Bailey to any great extent. Pym punched away a swerving centre by Pickney, and just getting back in time to save a sharp drive by Gilligan on his knees. At the other end Exeter came very near to opening the score. Whittaker had got away, and beating Johnson, centred along the ground. Bailey fumbled the ball, which rolled over Brooksbank's feet, the unexpectedness of the opportunity being too much for the centre-forward.


A Well Deserved Goal.

Following their narrow escape the home side were seen to great advantage, their forwards being very dangerous. Pym was, however, in fine fettle, and saved several difficult shots. In striking contrast were the feeble efforts of the City forwards.

From a throw-in Hakefost obtained the ball, and working for a good position transferred to Gilligan. Strettle rushed over, but could not prevent Gilligan's shot, which struck the far post and bounced into the net well out of Pym's reach. This reverse came at the end of half an hour's play, and on the run of the game was no more than could be expected.


Lacked Concentration.

An effort by Whittaker produced a corner, which was headed out by Gilligan, and the City made one or two further attacks, but all their attempts were lacking in sting and concentration. Whittaker was the only forward with any ideas of shooting, but he received little or no support from his colleagues. Brooksbank tried a shot which was very weak, and wide of the mark, and Pym had to concede a corner from a fearsome shot by Hakefost. A free kick was given against Pratt, and a dangerous situation developed round the City goalmouth until Gilligan relieved the tension by shooting just wide of the post with a terrific ground shot. Glen, the old Tottenham Hotspur centre-forward, scored Gillingham's second goal after the interval, and the match ended with the result:-




Notes on the Game.

The defeat at Gillingham is serious, not so much because of the loss of two points compared with last season as because of the very poor form shown by the whole side, excluding Pym.


The forwards, as a line, were very weak indeed, and scarcelyever looked like scoring. Another match has, therefore, been added to the list in which Exeter this season have not got a goal. In no fewer than six of the eight they have played to date, they have failed in their attempts to beat the opposing goalkeeper. There is no need to ask where the weakness in the side lies. One should, partly excuse Whittaker from this criticism, for he suffered by receiving little or no support, and if he had had his equal in the front line, and had there been another sure shot, the City could have won. As it was, however, the vanguard threw away its chances, and gave one of the feeblest displays an Exeter front line has ever given.


Pym put up a great defence, and was again largely instrumental in keeping the score down. Fort, Strettle, and Pratt were at least sound, and well they needed to be, for they had a tremendous lot of work to do. For three quarters of the game they were forced to concentrate their efforts upon defence, and when they did have a chance of placing to their forwards they usually saw their passes wasted.


Need for New Forwards.

Gillingham were quite an ordinary team imbued with any amount of dash and enthusiasm. As a consequence, the game was an exceedingly fast one. In the later stages there were plenty of hard knocks given and taken on both sides, and the City players complained that the crowd behaved very badly towards them, especially when decisions were going against them.


In a nutshell, this game emphasised Exeter City's dire need of new forwards. In six games, with nine hours' play, the front rank have failed to score. A continuance of this ineptitude can only have one result, and the vexing part of it is that the dearth of good forwards happens just at a time when the Grecians were never better served in defence. The match was refereed by Mr A.W.Bussey, of Norwich.



Exeter City Reserves met Torquay Town in a Plymouth League match at St. James's Park this afternoon. Torquay brought a strong team, including Crad Evans, the old City forward, and five other locals. The Grecians made several last-minute changes in the positions of players, and at outside-left was a new amateur from Sidmouth, named Tucker, who formerly played for Chippenham Town.


Torquay commenced brightly and in their first attack were halted near the goal line by the Blackpool Evans, but they swarmed back again, and Jackman was offside in the goalmouth. Pridham tried a long shot at goal, and then Gerrish rushed forward and beat the visiting backs. The ball went out to Orr, whose intended centre was put behind. At the end of five minutes Orr got a fine centre across, and Lewis, dashing up at great speed, scored a splendid goal. Directly afterwards, a nice pass from Lewis sent Orr off again, and he slung the leather back into the goalmouth, where Tucker forced a corner off Durbin. Exeter were "all over" their opponents so far, but in a breakaway Torquay won a corner off Lagan. From the flag-kick Crad Evans headed wide, and Hancock was soon in action again. He fielded a shot from Orr, and a couple of minutes later Loram had a chance of showing his ability. Firsthe saved a fast drive from Pridham, then one from Jackman.


Crowd Displeased.

Later on Tucker, who was showing quite good form, forced another corner, and placed his flag-kick admirably. Orr met the ball with his head, but put it over the bar. Tredigo was prominent for the visitors, who were making a spirited fight of it, and Deane was in position to intercept a pass intended for Lovett. Two decisions by the referee, one for offside against Tucker, and the other for hands against Lagan, very much displeased the crowd, and play for a time was followed by a flood of loud comment. Lovett put in two fine shots for goal, and Tucker an even better one, which rebounded off the crossbar. At half-time the City led by a goal to nil.


Second Half.

Directly after the restart Lovett narrowly missed with a long shot, following which Exeter's Evans gave Hancock a rare handful. Shortly after this Gerrish scored the City's second goal with a perfectly timed header from Tucker's centre. The young winger had beaten Elliott and dropped the leather over in delightful fashion.


Torquay's Evans was fouled when making headway, and Loram, from the free-kick, handled the ball for the first time since the halftime interval. Evans was twice played offside by the City defence, then Hancock saved twice in rapid succession, and there was plenty doing to keep the crowd interested. Crad Evans scored for. Torquay, and after Lewis had narrowly failed the game concluded with the score: City Reserves 2, Torquay Town 1.

Reserves:- Loram; Harding, Goddard; Marshall, Lagan, Evans; Orr, Lovett, Gerrish, Lewis, and Tucker.

Torquay:- Hancock; Durbin, Elliott; Balmer, Deane, Dixon; Harwood, Jackman, Evans, Pridham, and Tredigo.

Referees- Mr W.Taylor, of Plymouth. Linesmen:- Messrs Singlehurst and Campbell.

The attendance was 2,000.


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