Match 41
April 8th 1911.

Plymouth and District League

Saturday, April 8th 1911.



Ex-Champions Visit St. James's Park:

This afternoon's struggle between Exeter City and Northampton, who were Champions of the Southern League two seasons ago, was expected to furnish one of the best matches of the campaign at St.James's Park.
Northampton of recent years have been a fine side in the best foot ball sense, and their games with Exeter City have always been close, and excellent exhibitions of skilful play. When Northampton arrived at Exeter they reported that Bradshaw had missed his train, and that Mr Chapman, the manager, had telegraphed to headquarters for permission to play. This was granted, but later on Bradshaw arrived, having caught a Great Western connection. The afternoon was Spring-like, and the pitch dry and in very good condition. Teams:
Whittaker Evans Coates Bassett Pratt Prideaux Parnell Watson James Bell Garside
Referee: Mr F.Bennett, of Bristol.
Thorpe Brittan Clipstone Manning Lloyd-Davies Hampson Walden Bradshaw Lessons Lewis Freeman 

Northampton came out first in dark red jerseys, and the Grecians quickly followed in their now familiar red and white stripes. The attendance was not as large as had been anticipated, about four and a half thousand being on the ground.
Early Goals
Watson won the toss and played from the St James's Road end. The Cobblers got moving straight from the kick-off, and a full blooded drive by Lessons cannoned off a defender for a fruitless corner. Bell and Garside mounted a brief attack, but back went the Cobblers, and five minutes from the start they won another corner, the award of which Whittaker disputed. From this flag kick Evans partly saved, but the ball went to Lessons, and he lifted it over the heads of everybody into the net. The visitors were invincible, and in less than four minutes after the scoring of the first goal Freeman whipped in a great shot from almost on the goal-line. It came unexpectedly but Whittaker caught it breast high. But the speed of the shot was such that the ball curled out of his hands and twisted into the back of the net for No. 2. The City were hard pressed in the exchanges which followed, and Evans cleared from beneath the crossbar. Watson was then fouled, and although Clipstone cleared the free kick, Garside and Bell made good progress down the left wing, and Thorpe had to run out of his goal to save from Bell.

Exeter Outplayed

The game was now more even, and the City appeared to be settling down. Bell dashed in and missed by inches, and twice in succession there were narrow escapes at the Northampton end, while an appeal was also made for a penalty for hands. Later on Walden got through on his own and rounded Coates. He shot well and truly for the corner of the net, and Whittaker punched the ball out for a corner, which was unproductive.At the other end James and Bell got within range, and from twenty yards out James fired in a great shot which appeared to enter the net and come out again. No goal was given, however, the referee ruling that the ball had struck the crossbar. After half an hour a third disaster befell Exeter City. They were attacking, when Lloyd-Davies plunged the ball down the field with a huge kick. The Cobblers forwards went ahead in crashing style, and Freeman fairly hurled himself at the ball to head it past Whittaker at lightning speed for the triple event. Exeter were being utterly outplayed, and the sparkling form of Northampton was loudly cheered. They ran rings round the home defence, and Exeter could do nothing right. Whittaker came to the rescue right on the stroke of half-time, saving a header from Lessons.
Never before at St. James's Park had Exeter City been so outplayed to the extent so far seen in this match. Northampton's football had been nothing but first-class all the way through, and they were by far the best team seen at Exeter this season. However, the second half opened more in the City's favour, and for about twenty minutes they forced Northampton back on defence. Bell put a centre from Parnell over the bar, and on another occasion lost the ball to Hampson as he was about to shoot. Parnell sent in a shot which Thorpe saved by the post, then Walden broke away on his own and Igave Whittaker a high shot which the goalkeeper saved.
James Scores
From a free kick to Exeter just outside the penalty line Watson secured the ball but shot wide, and midway through the second period James scored for Exeter. He and Bell worked their way in to the penalty area, and when Bell was tackled by Clipstone he transferred the ball to James, who made no mistake.
James nearly scored again with a lofty kick from about 20 yards, but the ball cleared the crossbar and dropped on top of the net. At this stage Clipstone injured his leg and retired, Lloyd-Davies going back to partner Brittan. Northampton had not been impressive during the latter part of the game, and had shown nothing like the form that was displayed before the interval. Ten minutes from the end, however, the Cobblers scored again, but this goal was in the nature of a fluke. Near the half-way line the ball rebounded off Pratt's legs to Lessons, who, with Freeman in support and practically a clear field, got to within ten yards of the goal-line. Freeman then passed inside to Lessons, who banged the ball into the bottom corner of the net with Whittaker diving full length in an attempt to save.

Last season: Northampton 3 Exeter City 2.
In 1908-09: Exeter City 2 Northampton 1.
Notes on the game 
It is now seen how Northampton
managed to draw at Newcastle in the Cup-tie, and lost the replay, also at Newcastle, only by a penalty. They are the finest team to have been here this season, and probably the finest ever seen at St. James's Park. Their judgment, speed, footwork, dash, and accuracy are alike remarkable. Exeter lost, and were beaten badly, but one cannot say that they played altogether badly. The Grecians were demoralised by those three early goals, and never recovered, although they improved a lot in the second half.

Plymouth and District League 

Exeter Reserves beat Babbacombe by a goal to nil in a Plymouth and District League match at Plainmoor this afternoon. The winning goal was scored by Cooke, from Smith's centre, after five minutes play.


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