Match 16
23rd October 1954

Southern League
Llanelly (a)

26th October 1954.
Devon Championship
Torquay (h)


Visiting 'keeper had easy task; Mackay missed:


DELAYED on the rail journey to Exeter to-day, the Southampton team did not reach St James's Park until a quarter of an hour before the kick-off.

News of the hold-up was telephoned to the ground, and arrangements were made for the train to stop specially at St. James's Park Halt.

The players changed en route. "I don't want another rush like that," said manager George Roughton, who added that the connection at Salisbury was 50 minutes late.

Due to the threat of rain and the counter attraction at the County Ground, the gate was much below last season's attendance for the corresponding match. There were no
more than 10,000 present when the teams fielded.

The line-up:-
Exeter City: Bell, Doyle B. Douglass; Mitchell, Davey, Dodgin; Callan, John, Donaldson, Ellaway, Kaile.
Southampton: Kiernan; Turner, Traynor; McLaughlin, Wilkins, Simpson: Flood, Mulgrew, Day, Walker, Hoskins. Referee: F. C. Williams, from Oxford. 

Norman Dodgin, captaining the City on his return to the side, lost the toss, and Exeter kicked off towards the St. James's Road end. The first threat came from Southampton, and clever work on the left wing ended in Hoskins centreing behind. In a flash the City were on the attack. From a throw-in on the right, Donaldson deceived the visiting defence by allowing the ball to run past him to John. The inside right chased between the backs and shot-a foot wide of the near upright as Kiernan dived hurriedly.

Accurate passing
Both teams were passing accurately and entertaining movements from end to end had featured the struggle so far. Grand work by John gave the City the first real chance. This enterprising Exeter forward harassed Wilkins and, as the half-back stumbled, John squared a perfect long pass across the field to the unmarked Kaile. The Southampton defence was wide open, but Kaile held on and his shot was blocked by Turner, who had moved across at top speed. Quick to retaliate, Southampton advanced stylishly, and Bell dived to make a thrilling point-blank save from Walker at the expense of a corner. Flood's flag kick, nicely placed, brought renewed trouble to the City, and there was an anxious passage in the goal area before the defence scrambled out of a menacing situation. Persistent work by Callan drew applause. Next, a clearance by Turner sent the Saints attacking again, and Walker was tackled only in the nick of time. Doyle dispossessed Hoskins, but Southampton were on top now and forced three corners in rapid sucession. Relief finally came when Douglass kicked lustily from the goalmouth to midfield.

Attack lacks bite
Dodgin was a sound, constructive half-back, but the City forwards were not making full use of their chances. There was not enough bite in the attack. The greater danger came from the faster and more thoughtful Southampton line, and the visiting side went ahead in the 21st minute. A corner kick from Flood was the prelude to a hot bombardment of the Exeter goal. Doyle headed Mulgrew's high shot off the line. A drive from Hoskins was blocked, but the third time proved unlucky for the City. The ball ran out to DAY, and his low shot into the corner of the net gave Bell no chance. There was no better player on view than the fair-haired McLaughlin. This active and polished half-back's work bore the hallmark of class. Yet when Ellaway did get the better of him, the movement might easily. have brought a goal. The inside-left crossed the ball. It was missed by Wilkins, and came on to John, who crashed a ten yards' drive wide of the near post. A fierce shot from Hoskins was cleanly fielded by Bell, and with the point of attack changed, Donaldson's studied pass was headed by Ellaway into Kiernan's hands. Play was held up while trainers Hanford and Gallagher came on to the field to attend two injured players, Douglass and Mulgrew. Both these victims of a midfield collision were able to resume. Faster on the ball, and keener to anticipate, Southampton were much superior to the ragged City.

Doyle to rescue
One especially good movement had the home defence running all ways, and Doyle was Exeter's saviour when he headed Mulgrew's cross-shot be hind for a corner. More good work by McLaughlin almost brought the Saints a goal, for Day was only a fraction wide as he ran in to head his colleague's centre. A minute before the interval Donaldson placed the ball back to John, whose shot hit a defender on the arm. Appeals for a penalty were turned down.

The first thrill on the restart was a solo burst by Callan. The winger beat Walker, and was making treks goalwards when Simpson obstructedand and floored him just outside "box. Donaldson took the free kick, drove past the wall of opposing players and the ball flashed on the wrong side of the far post. A second free kick, again for  a foul on Callan, brought no reward. Little was seen of Exeter's left wing. and the attack evidently suffered through the absence of Mackay. Brighter things promised when Donaldson's lobbed pass found the unmarked Kaile. The winger's centre was headed out by Wilkins and Donaldson's return was off the target.

Saints superior
Southampton were the City's superiors in speed and skill. The visiting players met the ball and so got possession nine times out of ten against an altogether too dilatory City. Only in spasms were the City really in the game. In one of these fitful bursts Callan crossed a nicely judged centre, and Ellaway's header was not a lot wide. Then the left wing got going and Kaile's centre went to Callan, whowas tackled before getting in his shot. Exeter's attack continued to be be of low standard, and hopes of an equallising goal faded to zero long before the finish, Kiernan, in the Southampton goal had not had a difficult shot in all the afternoon. Just before the end. Southampton's attack advanced dangerously, and Bell did well to hold  your a stinging cross-drive from Day, who had temporarily moved out to the right-wing position.

The City'e goal-keeper distinguished himself again by davinhigh cross-shot from Mulgrew.



Most of the good football came from Southampton. But the match was far from being a good one. It started promisingly, but faded out. As a team, the City were much slower than the opposition. Southampton deserved their victory. They were superior not only in speed but in finesse. Mackay was sadly missed from the Exeter front rank; the line badly needed a craftsman. The best player on the field was McLaughlin, the Southampton right half.

Southern League 


QUICKLY adapting themselves to the greasy conditions, Llanelly were soon attacking strongly, but the Exeter City Re services defence, with Harvey prominent, put up a stubborn defence.
A grand movement initiated by Walton and carried on by Anderson almost brought Exeter first blood, but Doyle's shot went inches over the bar. Exeter were now calling the tune, and a brilliant centre from McClel land was headed just over the bar by Doyle with the home 'keeper out of position. When Llanelly got to the other end Hunkin had to dive to the feet of Evans to prevent a score. A centre from Howells was well cut out by Hunkin, but Exeter were doing most of the pressing, with Anderson and Doyle continually prominent. In the 17th minute WILLIAMS, however, in trying to clear a centre from Love, sent the ball into his own net to put Llanelly ahead. Houlton's foot work and accurate passing was frequently in evidence, but his forwards nulified his good work by keeping the ball too close. Millar put the ball into the Exeter net and the goal was disallowed. In the 36th minute LOVE headed in a centre from O'Driscoll. Two minutes later MILLAR headed another, and within five minutes LOVE had made a total four.

Half time:
Llanelly 4-0 City Reserves 
Exeter made team changes at half time, and Walton, who had gone centre-forward, came near to scoring on three occasions.

17 Year Old is Star of Exeter's Victory
Tuesday October 26th 1954.
The Devon Professional Championship.

A goal in each half brought Exeter City their first Devon Professional Championship final victory since the war, and the belated honour was well deserved, at St. James's Park, on Tuesday evening. This match in fact was in connection with last season's competition, which was not completed due to an overcrowded fixture list.

Bell B. Doyle Douglass Setters Davey Mitchell
Callan John Donaldson Anderson Kaile

Thomas Dougan Sandys Collins Shaw Norman McGuinness Lewis Anderton Towers

Exeter had the steadier defence, and against the strong, resourceful full-back partnership of Douglass and Doyle, the Torquay attack (less that gifted schemer Donald Mills) could make little impression. There was no inside forward capable of supplying a defence splitting pass and the visiting vanguard was almost a one man affair in the person of Ron Shaw. Shaw tried his hardest, and his long, penetrating centres did bring occasional trouble, notably in the second half. The star of the match, however, was 17 years old Maurice Setters, the City's right half-back, who made his name in local soccer as a right winger with Crediton, and who was a late "stand-in" for Exeter City's player-manager Norman Dodgin. Determination enabled Setters to come out on top in nearly every close tackle. In possession he impressed as a player with sound ideas, for he was always striving to make his passes into the open spaces. Slow covering by the Torquay defence preceded the first goal, in the fifth minute. Anderson slipped a quick pass through the middle and John took full advantage of hesitancy by the opposition to beat Hayes with a low cross shot into the far corner. Torquay reprisals almost succeeded when Dougan crashed a drive just over the bar, and as the interval drew near Sandys scored, but his goal was disallowed for offside. One of the biggest thrills after the interval was a 30 yards' free kick from Shaw which Bell turned over the bar. It was followed soon afterwards by the City's second goal, scored by Callan with a low left-footed shot from Donaldson's perfect pass.
EXETER CITY 2 TORQUAY UNITED 0 Attendance 2,000.

Yeovil v City Reserves 

At Yeovil on Thursday, October 28th, Yeovil Town beat Exeter City Reserves by 3 goals to 1 in the first round (second leg) of the Southern League Cup competition.


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