Match 23
Saturday, December 24th 1910.
Swindon Town v Exeter City

City Reserves v Oreston Rovers.

Saturday, December 24th 1910. SOUTHERN LEAGUE.
Swindon Town v Exeter City


Exeter City appeared at Swindon today, opposed to the side which last year got into the Semi-Final of the National Cup, and this year looks like winning the Southern League. Only one side, namely Crystal Palace, have, during the present campaign, picked up even a point at the Railway centre, and that was on the first Saturday in September, when the result was a no-score draw. On paper, therefore, despite the City's good form in the last two matches, today's encounter looked an easy thing for the probable Champions.

Up to the last moment the composition of Exeter's side was doubtful, as Bob Watson's knee was damaged against Norwich, and he has done very little training this week. It was eventually decided to play James at inside-right. Swindon picked Rushton for centre-forward in place of Burkinshaw.

Kay Walker
Tout Bannister Silto
Jefferson Fleming Rushton Wheatcroft Lamb

Referee:- Mr J.Holmes, of Derby.

Garside Bell Hughes James Parnell Prideaux Pratt Bassett
Jones Evans

There was a drizzling rain at Swindon all the morning, and the crowd, in consequence, was not up to holiday dimensions, while the pitch was heavy and slippery. Whittaker lost the toss, and Hughes set the ball rolling towards the town end. Exeter were the first to mount an attack, but Swindon soon broke away on the left wing, the move ending with Evans kicking out for a corner, which was cleared. Swindon came again, and Whittaker picked up long shot from a Wheatcroft, whilst subsequently Bannister shot over the bar. Jones headed out a dangerous looking centre by Lamb, and Parnell and Bell took play to the other end, Walker sending into touch. Fleming replied with a forward movement initiated by Rushton, but Jefferson's pass to the centre was too strong, and the ball went behind. Bell got moving from Whittaker's goal kick, but Bannister checked him in midfield. The Grecians were awarded a free kick, which was taken by Evans. He swung the ball to within twelve yards of the goal, but Kay came over and beat Garside for possession. Rushton was cleverly robbed by Pratt, and play remained in midfield, with throw-ins being frequent near the centre line. Wheatcroft had a shot and a header saved by Whittaker, and Swindon continued to press, Wheatcroft this time sending behind.

A quarter of an hour from the start the ball was swept out to the right wing by James, and Parnell left Walker standing. He put across a deadly centre, and Bell, rushing in, beat Skiller to the wide with a beautiful shot. With Exeter gaining this early lead Swindon replied in desperate earnest, but Lamb was a weakness in their attack. Bassett got the ball from Wheatcroft in expert fashion just when he was preparing for a shot, and Exeter transferred play to the Swindon end, where the home backs were subjected to great pressure. A free kick to the Railwaymen brought them no material advantage, and the Exeter forwards were beginning to swing the ball about in splendid fashion. Jefferson got moving on the right but finished weakly, and Fleming shot behind following a free kick for hands against James. Tout placed a free kick right into the City goalmouth, but Pratt got the ball away and Parnell ran to the other end, Walker kicking to touch near the corner flag. Garside cleverly tricked Tout, but centred badly and Kay cleared. A minute later Bell struck the post with a fast drive and the ball rebounded to James, who missed a fine chance. Exeter were putting up a fine performance all round, and their play was a revelation to the Swindon crowd. Walker was fouled by Parnell, and Wheatcroft got possession from the free kick, only to put the ball behind yet again, to the accompaniment of derisive cheers from the home supporters, who by no means relished the indifferent play of their team.

Parnell once more had the beating of Walker, and Skiller ran out and kicked the ball away. Garside and Bell were showing some beautiful combination on the left, and Skiller had to be alert to save a hefty shot from Bell. Then Evans cleared from Lamb, but Silto shot behind from easy range. From the goal kick Bell passed nicely out to Garside, but the winger kicked too far forward, and in following up he was penalised for impeding Skiller. Play returned to the Exeter end, and almost in the goalmouth Bell robbed Rushton following a good centre by Jefferson. Fleming missed a glorious chance for Swindon, and was later fouled just outside the penalty area. Bannister took the kick, but sent the ball yards wide of the posts.
Half-time: -

Exeter resumed at a fast pace, Garside getting through in the first minute and swinging in a good centre, which Walker cleared. The City attacked again on the left, but Bell shot behind when he might, with advantage, have passed out to Parnell. Swindon were awarded a free kick in midfield, and the ball was swung out to Lamb, who dropped it into the goalmouth, but Pratt got to it first and cleared his lines. Jones headed away a great drive by Tout, and seconds later a shot from Lamb was saved by Whittaker. Swindon were now attacking more, and the changing of positions by Fleming and Wheatcroft brought about a noticeable improvement. A dangerous run by Lamb was halted by Evans, and Jones assisted in the clearance. Following a free kick two yards outside the penalty area Fleming fired over the bar. In the face of relentless Swindon pressure Exeter were putting up a true stonewall defence, though numerous free kicks and corners were conceded, and Hughes was cautioned by the referee for a foul on Tout. However, the Exonians appeared to have plenty of life left in them still, and they stubbornly resisted all the efforts of the Swindon forwards to get on equal terms. The City players were ironically applauded for several times kicking the ball out of bounds, but it paid, and the end came with the score remaining:


Last season: Swindon 3 Exeter City 1. In 1908-09:  Swindon 2 Exeter City 1.

The unexpected has again occurred, and just when everyone expected a victory (for Swindon) there came a defeat. The inclusion of Rushton for Burkinshaw proved a great mistake, for while the whole of the home side men were off colour, there were plenty of chances missed which an opportunist like Burkinshaw would have made better use of. Nevertheless, the City deserved their win, and with a little more good fortune it would have been by more than the one goal, scored by in tackling, and decidedly quicker on the ball; indeed, at times it seemed as if there were two Exeter players to Swindon's one, for in nearly every case, wherever the ball went there was an Exeter player to receive it. In addition, the City had to take the field without Watson, their captain and most experienced player. The goal that won the match was the result of firstly, a skilful bit of dribbling by Parnell and Bell that beat the defence, secondly, a well placed centre by Parnell, and thirdly, an equally well placed shot by Bell beyond the reach of the goalkeeper. The second half was a battle between the City defence and the home attack, and Exeter were determined to hold their lead. Whittaker made one extraordinary save from Lamb, yet it was Skiller who was the more occupied of the two goalkeepers, so well did Evans and Jones uphold the Exeter rearguard.

PLYMOUTH AND DISTRICT LEAGUE. City Reserves v Oreston Rovers.


Exeter City Reserves this afternoon met Oreston in drenching rain at St. James's Park. An exciting tussle was anticipated, as a victory for either team meant that team occupying the top place in the League table.
There were three changes in the Exeter side, Oliver, Drew and Martin coming in for Letheren, Cooke, and James respectively. There were none in the Rovers team.

RESERVES:- Wells; Coates, White; Duffy, Griffiths, Oliver; Whittaker, Smith, Maxsted, Martin, and Drew.

Santilo; Elliott, Kingwell; Cooms, Bustin, A. Ellis; Rogers, Davis, Whear, Truscott, and H.Ellis.

Despite the weather there was a good crowd present when Whear kicked off towards the St. James's Road end of the ground. Martin and Drew were soon prominent in an attack, but were kept out by Kingwell. Martin forced a corner, from which, after an exciting moment or two in front of goal Drew headed just over. Then Elliott cleared to touch from Drew's In driving rain Oreston got through to the City end for the first time, and Wells ran out to clear from Triscott. The Rovers persisted, and clever combined play by Whear, Davis and Rogers ended with Whear opening the scoring, a long shot beating Wells, who had advanced too far from his goal. Martin gave Maxsted a good chance, but the soldier put in a weak shot that went wide. The City continued aggressive, and at times a score seemed imminent, but the Oreston defence was good, and the City attack could hardly be described as brilliant.
Oreston Rovers 1, City Reserves nil.
During the interval the band played Christmas hymns and carols. The announcement made from the "Football Express" box that the City were leading at Swindon was received with loud cheering. Just after the restart Whittaker injured his ankle, but was able to carry on. The City at once became dangerous, and in the course of a strong attack Maxsted hit the crossbar with a terrific drive. After a spell of midfield play, in the course of which several free kicks were given for fouls, Griffiths passed to Martin, who put the ball out to Drew. The winger stumbled, but Martin came up and passed to Maxsted, who dribbled past the backs and returned to ball for Martin to put the finishing touch to a really splendid goal, amid louse applause.
The City tried hard to obtain the lead in the closing stages, and Maxsted and Whittaker were unlucky with shots that went too high. The Oreston goalkeeper and backs maintained a stout defence, and the game ended with the score:- City 1 goal, Oreston Rovers 1.
The clubs are therefore still level with sixteen points each, although Exeter have played two more matches than the Rovers.

Definitely Arranged for the Burnley Ground.

The Exeter City and Burnley cup-tie on January 14th will be played at Turf Moor, Burnley. The City directors have, after diligent efforts to get the tie played at Exeter, failed in their mission.
Plans were prepared with the object in view of lengthening the City playing field, but even when the pitch was slanted and both goals put back to the utmost limits, the ground was still three yards short. The directors, furthermore, could not agree to pay the price which was asked by the owner of the adjoining field, and in fact, they had regarded this, right from the start, as prohibitive. It is true that there is no match being played on that date nearer to Burnley than Manchester, but it is very unlikely that the gate for the Exeter match, under the most auspicious circumstances, will be in excess of £300. As Burnley are under no obligation the gate will of course be shared in the normal way.


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