Match 21
December 10th 1910.

Plymouth and District League

Saturday, December 10th 1910. SOUTHERN LEAGUE,

Southern League Champions
at St. James's Park

Exeter City had a big attraction at St. James's Park, Brighton and Hove Albion, last year's Champions of the Southern League, being the visitors. Under ordinary conditions an unusually large crowd might have been expected, but the weather had been so adverse during the week that the ground was bound to be unsuitable for good football, while throughout the morning showers fell again at frequent intervals. These unfavourable weather conditions were quite in keeping with what the Management have experienced practically all the season. The London critics gave Brighton to win today. They pointed to the fact that the City had only scored one goal in their last five League matches, and that they had failed to win a game at St.James's Park since overcoming Watford on September 17th. However, the Exeter City supporters built up their hopes on last Saturday's cup victory in Lancashire, and were expecting it to prove the turning point in the Grecians' fortunes. Brighton were third from the top, with 20 points, and Exeter third from the bottom, with eight.

Exeter made on change from last week, Bell returning to the inside left position in the place of James, while the visitors announced the same eleven as drew at Norwich. This included Wake, at centre-half,  recently secured from Darlington. The Brighton party arrived at Exeter at 1:30, and brought their advertised side, McGhie and Leeming, the old Bury back, not yet being fit.
Heavy showers fell at two o'clock, but the sun was shining again when the teams turned out. There was no water standing on the pitch, but the surface was naturally slushy and very heavy.

Evans Jones
Bassett Pratt Prideaux
Parnell Watson Hughes Bell Garside
Referee:- Mr A.E.Wood, of London.
Hastings Webb Jones Coleman Longstaff
Haworth Wake Booth
Routledge Blackman

Brighton won the toss, and Exeter had to face the sun. The visitors at once made progress, and by clever footwork forced a corner, from which Jones (Exeter) kicked to touch. Passes by the Grecians went to their opponents as often as not, and the Sussex men forced another corner. This also was cleared, and after Hughes had beaten Blackman Bell and Garside made tracks for the Brighton end. Garside ran the ball over the line, and Whiting, with the goal kick, sent clean over the Exeter line with a gigantic plunge.

Watson then burst through the defence and put in a high shot which Whiting cleared, and the City had by this time steadied themselves. Jones stopped "Bullet" Jones, his namesake, in splendid style, and Hughes took up the running for Exeter. Considering the heavy ground, play was very fast and keen. Bell and Garside made headway, and Routledge saved under pressure.

Bell put in one of his "specials" which was almost too much for Whiting, but the goalkeeper managed to save the shot. Whittaker fell full length in the sawdust around his goal in saving from "Bullet" Jones, but getting up, dodged an opponent and kicked clear. The ball went well over the half-way line and was seized upon by Hughes, who straightaway passed to Watson. The home skipper fed Parnell, who at 

once steered onward, and side stepping Routledge, finished up with a flashing high drive which hit the under part of the crossbar and fell to the back of the rigging amid great cheering. No sooner had the game been restarted than Parnell burst through again, and though hemmed in lifted across a perfect centre. Hughes was in position to meet it, but luckily for Brighton the ball glanced off his head just over the bar. A pass by Garside and further activity by Whiting showed that the City intended to keep their lead. The Brighton Jones slipped past the Exeter one, but fired yards over, and at the other end Whiting was lamed in a scrimmage, and on two occasions the Brighton goal enjoyed some luck.

Whittaker fell in dealing with a corner kick, but in the scrimmage which ensued the ball went behind. Then the City attacked again, and it was a wonder how the Brighton goal escaped. Parnell was fouled in the penalty area, but the referee ignored all appeals, then Bassett was laid out by Wake, and appeared badly hurt. However, after play had been briefly suspended the old Woolwich man was able to resume. Coleman missed a good chance from close in, and Brighton, who were now having more of the game, forced a corner which was cleared. The first half ended with the score:
There were not more than four thousand present at the restart, and the weather, therefore, had spoilt the "gate". Longstaff was bowled over with a fair shoulder charge near the line, and at the other end Garside miskicked the greasy ball, which went over the bar. The next minute, with Whiting running out, Garside shot a yard or two wide. Webb hit the advertisement hoardings with an intended centre, and Whiting again cleared the entire length of the field with one of his enormous goal-kicks.

Blackman was playing a fine game in Brighton's defence, except that some of his methods did not meet with the crowd's approval, but he was eluded by Hughes, who sent a fast drive over the bar by about five yards. Then Whiting saved a header from Bell, and a minute later a centre from Garside was headed into the net by Watson, following a free kick taken by Prideaux. At last the City were in form with a vengeance, and the cheering and and waving of hats were like old times. Bell was fouled twenty yards out, and the free kick had to be taken twice, but it came to nought. Rain came pelting down now, and Pratt was injured, but resumed. Then a Brighton cantre was stopped by Evans, and Edwin Jones volleyed the leather over on to the railway line. Blackman took a deliberate kick at Garside after the winger had beaten him, and the whistle went at once for the free kick, which Whiting stopped in the mud. The straits to which Brighton were reduced was shown again directly afterwards, when Blackman once more wilfully fouled Garside in flagrant fashion, for which he was cautioned by the referee.

Bullet Jones put the ball into an unguarded net with Whittaker on the ground, but was ruled offside, and two or three minutes later the Brighton Jones incurred the displeasure of the referee by fouling Prideaux. Whiting saved a flying drive from Pratt, and in the next minute Wake, the new centre-half, scored for Brighton from a free kick. He received the ball from Hastings and put it well out of Whittaker's reach.

The game now became very rough, and Brighton plainly did not like the licking they seemed to be in for. Garside was preparing to shoot when Whiting came out and barged into him, and both men were hurt. Brighton for a minute or so played the one back game, Blackman moving up to the half back line, and Bell was pulled up for offside. Every ruse on the board these Champions tried in order to draw level, but the City defence was behaving gallantly. Whiting allowed the ball to roll into the net after the whistle had gone, and to the surprise of the crowd the referee gave a foul against Garside.

Last season: Brighton 1, Exeter City 0. In 1908-09: Exeter City 1, Brighton 0.

Brighton could do nothing right on the heavy going, and if they had been beaten 3-1, or 3-0, such a score would have by no means been an exaggeration of Exeter City's superiority. The Brightonians gave altogether a discreditable performance for Southern League champions, and their tactics in the last 20 minutes were of the most unsportsmanlike character. Blackman, for instance, who has gained representative honours this season, and who has been spoken of as a candidate for a position in the English International team, was easily beaten by Garside, and after the Brighton back had perpetrated two bad fouls on Garside the referee administered to him a deserved caution. Parnell's goal was a splendid single-handed effort, while Watson's header was brilliantly judged. If the slightest luck had been their way Exeter would have crossed over with a material lead, and in the second half they had quite as much of the game as before. Exeter excelled themselves against last season's champions, and there was not a weak spot in the eleven, and if two men must be singled out it should perhaps be Garside and Parnell. Routledge was the weakest man on Brighton's side in the first half, and Blackman had a tremendous amount of work to do. Until he started fouling the Southern League back was quite up to reputation. Bullet Jones was finely held by Pratt, and showed that he didn't like it at all. But none of the Brighton side liked their licking, for it was apparent in everything they did, especially in the second half.

Plymouth and District League 
This Plymouth League match was to have been played at the Brick fields today, but the Exeter club was advised this morning that the ground was under water, and the fixture therefore stands adjourned.
Rumours were prevalent in the city this morning that the Exeter City Directors had completed negotiations for the purchase of the field at the back of St. James's Park, and that the work of extending the pitch was to be commenced on Monday in preparation for the Cup tie against Burnley on January 14th. This afternoon, however, the Directors, in answer to enquiries, stated emphatically that nothing definite had yet been arranged; in fact they only wished it were otherwise. Thus "Dame Rumour" has once more overstepped the mark.


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