January 28th 1911.
City v Argyle,
ARGYLE RESERVES V CITY RESERVES. Plymouth and District League.
Saturday, January 28th 1911.
City v Argyle,
A BIG CROWD
Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle renewed their rivalry at St. James' Park this afternoon. The match was the return Southern League fixture of the season, the meeting at Home Park on September 24th having resulted in a goalless draw. Since then, however, both teams have greatly improved. Like Exeter, the Argyle began the season badly, and in fact were bottom of the table at one time, but about two months. ago McCormick returned from Sheffield, and two new forwards, Dixon and Malcolm, were signed on from Fulham. The advent of these players has effected a big difference, six matches subsequently being won and only two lost, one of these being the cup match at Derby.
The Argyle's best performance was at Northampton, where they beat the Cobblers by 1-0, which was nearly as good as Exeter City's win at Swindon.
Bassett Pratt Prideaux
Parnell Watson Hughes Bell Garside
Referee: Mr F.Curtis, of Bristol.
Holden Dixon Boden Raymond Burch Baker Wilcox McCormick
The afternoon was beautifully fine, but a bright sun was sure to give a big advantage to the side which won the toss. As soon as the gates were opened the crowd began to assemble, and at 2.30 there was a good 5,000 present, although very few were sporting the Argyle colours. In fact, from all one could hear there were many fewer excursionists from Plymouth than had been expected, and it was reported that the double prices were largely responsible for this. As the time of the kick-off approached the Flower Pot side was rapidly filling up, and youngsters caused amusement by climbing up the trees which border the enclosure.
The Argyle were first out, led by Wilcox to the Band's rendering of "Auld Lang Syne", and there were then about nine thousand present, which was of course far fewer than had been anticipated, even making allowances for the Rugby attraction, Devon v Midlands, at Devonport. A roar of cheering greeted the Red and Whites, and this was renewed When Bob Watson won the toss and elected, naturally, to play with the sun at the backs of his men, from the City end.
Boden kicked off, and slipped the ball to Wilcox, but Prideaux checked Raymond and the ball went into touch. Garside beat Atterbury and cut in towards the centre, but saw his square pass intercepted by Butler. Evans coolly cleared with Dixon in attendance, and for some minutes play veered from end to end with Exeter showing slightly the better attacking ideas.
A SIMPLE GOAL
After ten minutes Plymouth took the lead with a simple goal. Jones completely missed a centre from Holden, leaving Raymond with an open goal, and he promptly took advantage of the chance. Wilcox shot wide from about 20 yards, and at the other end Hughes was given a chance after passing between Watson and Parnell, but he misjudged his position and ran the leather over the goal line. Play was becoming rough and unruly, and the players seemed to be affected by the prevailing excitement. Butler was spoken to by the referee after fouling Garside. Watson was then hurt in a collision with Atterbury, and the St. John's Ambulance men were requisitioned, the home captain being led off to the touch-line. This was a big blow to the hopes of the Grecians.
Under this handicap the City played up pluckily, and Parnell got away but screwed his shot several yards wide. Watson had been off for nearly ten minutes when he returned, but was plainly half-dazed. Bell fired over the bar in trying to lift the ball over Sutcliffe's head, and Hughes scooped the leather a foot wide after Butler had fumbled his clearance. Dixon was halted for offside, and at the Argyle end Bell miskicked as the ball came over sharply from Parnell. Hughes put in a hard grounder, which Sutcliffe, and just afterwards the Argyle goalkeeper saved headers from Bassett and Bell. After a sharp Plymouth attack had been checked by Jones, the City broke through again, and Parnell got in a shot which Sutcliffe could only fist out to Hughes, whose shot, taken as he rushed in, bounced over the bar.
Bringing Disgrace to the Game
Butler failed to clear properly with Garside close in to him, and Sutcliffe had to run out to the rescue. In the next minute the old International goalie was nearly caught napping by Watson, and then Garside fell out with McCormick, who plunged in behind the winger and brought him to the ground with a deliberate foul. Garside fell dazed and McCormick was cut over the eye. The crowd howled its disapproval, and the incident was one calculated to bring disgrace to the game. The referee had the hardest job in the world to quieten the players, and only his persuasive tact prevented an ugly scene.
Finer Points Missing:
McCormick was subjected to boos and catcalls from the crowd every time he went near the ball afterwards, and although the Argyle were by now doing most of the attacking they were usually foiled by Jones or Evans before they could get close enough to put Whittaker's goal in peril. The finer points of the game were now entirely missing, and the play was of a very scrambling order. The display of feeling between McCormick and Garside had started this off, and as the time for the interval approached Plymouth were pulled up three times for fouling. Parnell forced a corner, which he placed well, but Sutcliffe punched out, and Boden headed clear. Prideaux was pulled up for a foul against Burch, and then gave away a corner.
ARGYLE 1-0 CITY
The sun had gone behind clouds when the game restarted. Watson and Hughes smuggled the ball past Wilcox, and sent it out to Parnell, who was beaten by Atterbury. The Plymouth left-back again got the better of both Watson and Parnell, and sent Dixon away. Exeter could do very little right at this stage, and it came as no surprise when Boden got hold of a fast ball from McCormick with the City defence hesitating, and scored with a tremendous drive which gave Whittaker no chance. This was only two minutes after the commencement of the second half, but Exeter already appeared a beaten team. The defence was uncertain, and the Argyle forwards were playing well up to Jones and Evans. Burch was held up near the goal area by Prideaux, and Boden put in another shot, but this was over the bar. The Pilgrims did not hesitate to try shots from all angles and distances, and this undoubtedly the correct game for them to play. Jones stopped Dixon close to goal, but gave a corner in doing so, and from the flag kick Boden jumped up and headed a third goal. It was surely all over now bar the shouting, although the game had still a matter of 25 minutes still to run, and the City kept trying. Bell was brought down in the penalty area, but the referee gave a corner instead of a penalty, and a free kick against McCormick met with no better fate than the ball going over the bar. At last, with about fifteen minutes left, the City scored. Parnell got through on the left, and Sutcliffe fell in pushing away the winger's shot. Bell and Hughes rushed in towards the ball, and Hughes rammed it home. Boden fired inches over with a rasping drive, and Bell had a shot charged down at the Plymouth end. The aspect of the game had changed since Exeter's goal, and the City were at last having a fair share of it. Bell dashed through and hit the crossbar, the ball bouncing over into the crowd, and Watson put another shot in which was only a shade too high. Atterbury played a fine game in the concluding stages, holding up Hughes and Bell several times. Dixon, who had changed places with Holden, got through and forced a corner for Plymouth, but the whistle went for the end of the game before the kick could be taken.
ARGYLE 3-1 CITY
Last season: Argyle 4 City 2.
In 1908-09: City 2 Argyle 1.
If this is to be the sort of game that passes for a so-called Devon Derby, then the less said about double prices the better. It was one of those encounters, where shady tactics, roughness, and bad feeling, predominated, and the spectators had poor value for their money. There was scarcely a quarter of an hour's football throughout the whole 90 minutes. The undesirable methods employed found their climax in the McCormick and Garside incident, and while it is not suggested that the Grecians were never to blame, Plymouth Argyle were the principal and more flagrant offenders.
Mr Curtis had a thankless task, and he did well to keep control of the game to the extent he did. From the very start players seemed to lose their heads, and before long they were all thinking more about retaliation than football.
The Argyle deserved their victory, because their defence was more sound, and their speed and quick thinking enabled them to snap up whatever chances that came their way. The defence was much speedier than it was thought to be before the game, and possessed more in the way of strategy than Exeter's. The City's halves and backs kicked and tackled well, but had no fixed plan of campaign. Watson, although knocked out in the first half, worked with his customary amount of energy, but was badly supported, and the forwards as a line gave a very unsatisfactory exhibition. Boden, although not in his correct position, played well as leader of the Plymouth forwards, and Holden and Dixon were a powerful wing. It was a bad day for Exeter City, and a bad day for those of the crowd of nine thousand present who went to see football as it can, and
should, be played.
ARGYLE RESERVES V CITY RESERVES. Plymouth and District League.
There were about 800 spectators at Home Park when the Argyle kicked off. Wood gained a corner off Heppell, and White kicked out from under the crossbar a great shot by Walker. Play was fast and furious, the exchanges being fairly even. In an Exeter attack Cooke broke clean through the defence, only to send the ball wide, and Maxsted headed over from a corner. Cooke was injured following a tussle with Black, and had to leave the field. Exeter were awarded a penalty for a foul by Rider on Smith, but the kick, taken by White, was brilliantly saved by Sammells. Just before half-time one of the Exeter backs handled in the penalty area, and the Argyle took the lead from the spot kick, Worden scoring.
Argyle Reserves 1-0!City Reserves
A couple of minutes after the restart Caddy burst clean through on his own and beat Wells easily, thus putting the Argyle two goals to the good. Exeter retaliated, and Sammells had to punch away a centre from Whittaker. Cooke was again injured in a collision with Black, but was able to resume after attention from the trainer. In another Plymouth attack flashed the ball past the post, and Griffiths (Argyle) tested Wells with a long shot. Exeter were kept well on the defensive in the closing stages, and Wells was beaten by Walker, but White cleared off the line.
Argyle Reserves 2-0, Exeter Reserves