Match 38
March 18th 1911.
Southern League
West Ham United (a)

Devon Senior Cup Semi-Final.
Royal Garrison Artillery (h)

Saturday, March 18th 1911.



Exeter City's centre half, Charlie Pratt, had an opportunity this afternoon of testing his skill against the amateur International centre forward, George Webb, at Upton Park. Webb of course has leaped to fame this year, and after taking a leading part in the Hammers' English Cup successes, was selected to play for England v Wales at Millwall last Monday.
West Ham have lost only one League match at home this season, that being a fortnight ago when they put in the field practically a reserve side against Northampton and lost by the odd goal only. They bargained for no such mistake this afternoon, however, for they announced that they would play their full Cup side, which was stronger than the team which drew at Exeter in November, and was the identical eleven which ousted Notts Forest, Preston North End, and Manchester United from the Association Cup, but lost, after a gallant fight, to Blackburn Rovers last week.
West Ham:- Kitchen; Rothwell, Fairman; Whiteman, Piercy, Randall; Ashton, Shea, Webb, Butcher, and Caldwell.

City: Whittaker; Evans, Coates; Bassett, Pratt, Prideaux; Parnell,James Smith, Bell, and Garside.

Referee:- Mr C. Neale, of Bristol.

The weather was bitterly cold in London, and a thin rain was falling at the start. The pitch was in a fair condition, and 7,000 spectators were present, fully confident of a home victory.
In the first minute a free kick was given against the City, and a second against Bassett for hands, but nothing came of them. Then Bell burst through for Exeter, but lost the ball to Rothwell. Prideaux was prominent in Exeter's defence, and Evans took the ball off the toes of the English International, Webb, as he was bearing in on goal, and in the next minute Webb passed to Butcher, who swung himself round, beat Evans, and fired eighteen inches over the crossbar. Shea had the next shot at goal, and West Ham were in fine form, and ruling the game at this stage.
Smith Foiled: Webb Scores
At the other end, however, Smith was foiled by Rothwell in a rare City attack, and a free kick against James was saved in wonderful style by Pratt, who jumped and headed the ball away. A minute later Shea put in a fine cross drive, which Whittaker threw himself down to and saved on the line. Before he could effectually gather the ball, however, Webb plunged in and slammed the ball into the net. It was sheer opportunism and showed the English International up in a very favourable light. Smith and Bell lost the ball when in a good position, and at the opposite end Bassett stopped Butcher just in time. Smith danced round the ball when he could have gone straight on, and Shea showed him how things should be done by a clever overhead kick, which missed by only a fraction.
There was not much difference between the teams in midfield, but around the goal the Londoners were much the smarter. The Hammers were given a free kick for an unfair charge on Ashton just outside the penalty area, and Pratt cleared with difficulty. Bell missed a chance through dallying with the ball, and a free kick was given against Smith for charging into a man after he had parted with the ball. Five minutes before half time Smith got right through despite two attempts to trip him, and flashed a great drive just over the crossbar. Coates robbed Webb in fine style, and then Butcher got the ball into the net but the point was disallowed. Bell shot behind, and at the City's end Coates tackled Webb and saved a certain goal.
West Ham United 1, Exeter City 0.
Shortly after the change of ends Webb scored again. He collected a rebound off Evans' legs and made straight for goal, giving Whittaker no chance with a direct shot from about ten yards. In the last twenty minutes Shea and Webb added further goals, and Bell replied for Exeter three minutes from time.
Final score:

Last season: West Ham 2 Exeter City 1. In 1908-09: West Ham 4 Exeter City 1.

The pitch at Upton Park suited George Webb, for he has the speed, the weight, and the dash, and being able to show that extra yard, he got the ball more often, and opened out the game with long, swinging passes to his wings. He did not neglect his inside men either, and a whole variety of short passes were given to Shea and Butcher after the defence had been drawn. Apart from all this, Webb also scored three of the four goals by which the City were beaten. West Ham eased up after their fourth goal, and the City, sticking to their game pluckily, had several opportunities in the closing few minutes, and were in some measure rewarded by a goal from Bell. Although they were badly beaten, the City proved once more that are a better side than they were before December.  Both full backs were robust in their tackling, and strong and accurate in their kicking and heading, and Coates has shown such consistent form since his promotion that the loss of Edwin Jones has not been felt. The half-backs were all hard workers, but being kept largely on the defensive they had little time to give the necessary support to their forwards, thus the front men had to do all the fetching and carrying for themselves. The City also made the mistake of playing too much to James and Parnell, as Fairman and Randall were at the top of their form.

Devon Senior Cup Semi-Final.

Exeter City Reserves made their first appearance in the semi-final of the Devon Senior Cup this afternoon at St. James's Park, where they were opposed by the Royal Garrison Artillery, Plymouth. The City were considerably handicapped by the rules of the competition, which state that no man who has played in more than two Southern League matches can take part. Duffy was therefore the only professional in the side, and the forward line included St. Luke's students, Mellors, Fisher, and Kent.

Reserves:- Wells; White, Heppell; Oliver, Duffy, Letheren; Martin, Bailey, Mellors, Kent, and Fisher.
Garrison:- Myers; Riley, Ferris; Waller, Green, Mansfield; Dillow, Daimer, Collier, Jackman, and Parson.

It was raining heavily at the start, and consequently there was a very small attendance. The bustling and rushing tactics of the soldiers were countered by the City's more scientific methods, but although there were several narrow escapes at both ends nothing had been scored when the whistle blew for half-time. The nearest thing to a goal occurred when a shot from Kent was deflected on to the post by Myers, who had played an excellent game in goal for the Garrison.
The opening feature of the second half was a splendid long shot by Mansfield, who, from just past the half-way line landed the ball into Wells' hands. Then the City resumed their attack on the R.G.A. goal, and the crowd became impatient for a goal. Then the game took a very unexpected turn, the Soldiers netting the ball instead. Wells ran out to clear, but Collier beat him for possession and rolled the leather gently into the net. This proved to be the only goal, enabling the R.G.A. to reach the final of the Cup.


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