Match 17
25th November 1911
Southern League
Coventry City (Away)

Plymouth and District League
Royal Naval Barracks (a)

Saturday, November 25th 1911.

Today, at St. James's Park, Exeter City were opposed, in a Southern League match, by Coventry City, a team which was as much in need of points as the Grecians. The visitors arrived at Exeter last evening, and their management made no attempt to disguise the fact that they had brought down the strongest possible side they had available. Their only fear was in respect of the backs, where Thomson, late of Portsmouth, partnered Barnacle. Exeter, as usual, were not in such a fortunate position, although Prideaux was again in the half-back line, and Walter Whittaker returned to keep goal after a lengthy absence. It was understood that Chadwick was saving himself for Monday's replay against Merthyr, and Griffiths was at centre-half and Rutter centre-forward, while T.R.Kent, the amateur, was telegraphed for to take the inside-left berth. 

Teams :
Whittaker (W) Evans Coates Bassett Griffiths Prideaux Whittaker(E) Lockett Rutter Kent Garside

Referee: Mr H. Thompson, of London.

Holmes Jones Smith Turnbull Parkes Chaplin Bradley Tates Barnacle Thomson

The crowd was slow in turning up, and very few were present when the teams came out. Coventry kicked off and the City had a nice move spoiled by Thomson, who intercepted Lockett's pass, intended for Rutter. Coates thwarted Turnbull at the other end, the Coventry man being too slow, and Kent secured the ball and sent a lovely pass through to Garside, from whose centre Rutter headed just wide. Kent was again prominent, but his pass to Lockett was too far in front. However, the ball finally reached Whittaker, but the young winger sliced it over the goal-line and the chance was lost. Garside then broke away and passed inside to Rutter, who failed by inches with a flashing screw-shot, fired in as he turned round. The City had so far got off to a very good start, and had three times failed to score by the narrowest of margins.

Coventry Forwards Slow.

Walter Whittaker touched the ball for the first time from a long punt forward by Bradley, and in one or two rare attacks the Coventry forwards were too slow to use their openings to any advantage. Kent fired a "pile-driver" over the bar at the Coventry end, and Exeter were playing better than they had done for a long time past. Evans (Coventry) saved a rising shot from Enos Whittaker, and also fielded the one Garside took from the rebound.

Kent, dribbling through with great speed, shot wide. Rutter had a good chance of going through on his own, but preferred to pass to Kent, who was given offside. Then Exeter's Evans was beaten by Holmes, from whose centre Turnbull fired high over. Rutter failed by inches from a free kick, and Smith put yards wide from Holmes's centre. Kent was stunned in a collision with Barnacle, but quickly resumed, and almost scored with a first time drive from Lockett's pass.

Goal Disallowed for Offside.

Bassett lost the ball after E. Whittaker had worked hard to gain possession, and Griffiths in stopping Turnbull gave away the first corner of the match to Coventry. Parkes placed it nicely, but Coates cleared. Enos Whittaker was fouled by Chaplin, and lamed, but carried on, and from the free kick the visiting 'keeper ran out and punched the ball clear, over the heads of several players of both sides. From fully forty yards Bassett put in a scorching shot which Evans just managed to push over the bar, the corner being kicked upfield by Barnacle. Then, with Prideaux and Bassett failing to stop Turnbull and Smith, the leather was transferred to Holmes, who netted with an oblique shot, only to have the goal disallowed for offside. Garside injured his knee and had to retire, and with only ten men the City were hard pressed to hold the Coventry forwards, who were playing much better now than at the start. Holmes once got clean past the backs, only to put his shot over the bar. Half-time came with neither side having scored. Coventry took up the attack on resuming, Garside being off the field with a damaged knee. By aid of a free kick Exeter retaliated, and Kent had a shot charged down by Thomson. In a rush on the Exeter goal, Holmes, who was proving a handful to "Peggy" Evans, was injured. No sooner had he resumed than Enos Whittaker got away down the wing and passed to Rutter, whose subsequent pass to Lockett was close range. scooped over the bar from Enos Whittaker was once again hurt in a collision with one of the Coventry backs, and luck today was certainly against Exeter in this respect. The winger resumed, but was limping badly, and with Garside still off the field there were only three fit men in the City forward line. Offside stopped Coventry on three separate occasions, and at the other end Prideaux shot over from Kent's centre. Then Holmes was well tackled by Bassett, but the ball ran loose, Prideaux finally clearing from underneath the crossbar. Holmes was given offside from a pass by Turnbull, and with time rapidly drawing near Exeter's depleted team made valiant efforts to get a goal. They very nearly succeeded, but Kent, after being put through cleverly by Lockett and trying to steer his shot past Evans, put the ball wide from only a few yards' range amid howls of disappointment from the crowd. Enos Whittaker struck the side of the net with a fast shot, and in a further attempt was pulled up for offside. Big Walt brought off a fine save with Turnbull and Parkes trying to rush the ball through, then Holmes shot over, and Whittaker tipped over a header by Parkes. The light began to fail badly towards the end, and it was just possible to see Coates kick clear from Holmes in the City goalmouth. Just before the end Rutter was knocked out in a collision with Bradley.

Last season: Coventry 3 Exeter 2.
In 1909-10: Exeter 3 Coventry 0.

Considering the circumstances under which the City played a drawn game with Coventry, it was by no means regarded as an unsatisfactory result. The composition of the Exeter side and their hitherto poor form gave but little encouragement to expect a win, and they were unfortunate in losing the services of Garside for the greater part of the game. On the other hand Coventry fielded their strongest possible side, but on the day's form appeared a weaker combination than last season. The play, although fast and at times exciting, was not of a high order, each side showing a lack of finish in attack. Both sets of forwards missed several splendid scoring chances, the worst offender being Kent, who failed badly with an open goal before him, about ten minutes from time. On the play Exeter deserved to win, but it is a reflection on their attack that the best shot of the day was delivered by Bassett, a half-back. Prideaux has added solidity and life to the intermediate line, and Griffiths was energy itself, although centre-half is not his best position.
Coventry City's outstanding player was Holmes, a smart winger who was mostly too fast and tricky for Nolan Evans.

Plymouth and District League.

The Reserves were the first to attack, but could not get past a strong defence. Barratt then had a good chance for the Barracks, but shot wide, and A. Pym missed badly for Exeter. Yadsley scored for the Barracks, and after a round of good passing Bailey replied for the City Reserves.
Half-time: Barracks 1, City 1.
In the second half the Barracks had more of the play, and the Reserves were penned in their own territory for a long period. Hitchman and Bache were clever forwards who gave the City defence a lot of trouble. Eight minutes from the finish Yadsley gave the R.N.B. the lead, and they eventually won by two goals to one.


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