Match Report: Exeter City v Coventry City Saturday 4th December 1926

This match report comes from the Western Morning News published on Monday 6th December 1926 and also from the Devon and Exeter Gazette published on the same day. The report related to the game between Exeter City and Coventry City played at St James Park on Saturday 4th December 1926, in a Division 3 (South) encounter.



Displaying remarkable speed and precision on a heavy ground Exeter City gave a brilliant exhibition of football in their home match with, Coventry City, and won by eight goals to one. The score against the Midlanders might easily hare been much heavier. Apart from the goals, Compton twice struck the post with Newton beaten, the Exonians failed to profit from a penalty awarded for foul by Gay Compton – Newton saved Charlton’s shot splendidly – and the home forwards, Blackmore especially, often shot straight at Newton when faced with open goal.


Dent opened the scoring in four minutes, this being his first Football League goal for Exeter, and Blackmore and Compton added other points before half an hour bad elapsed. In the second half the same three forwards scored again, and in the same order. Then, in fading light, Purcell helped himself to a brace. Sandwiched between these last goals by Exeter was a clever point by Heathcote, who headed in neatly from corner well placed by Ferguson. Twenty minutes before the finish, and when Exeter led five clear goals, Randle, the Coventry right back, fell heavily in trying to check Compton, and had the misfortune to dislocate shoulder, so that he bad to retire from the game. Coventry were very well served in goal, and had a bright forward line, but the halves and backs were lacking method, and appeared slow in comparison with the nimble Exonians, who lost no time in demonstrating the big difference in the quality of the teams.


Combining smartly in all departments the Exeter men were always taking open positions, and using the ball the best advantage on the short road to the Coventry goal. The home defence was as sound ‘cell. The halves—with Garratt on the left flank place Potter, injured—tackled strongly and played aggressive football, giving their forwards all possible support. McDevitt, ‘at ins .de-right. the only Exeter forward not included in the list of scorers, was the genius of the game. Never flurried, always scheming, and varyiwx bis play with great skill, did more than any his colleagues towards demoralizing the Coventry rearguard. received splendid openings from McDevitt, and Purcell, too, wa perfectly catered for in the matter of feeding. Exeter were brilliant, balanced combination, and tho 6,000 spectators attended the game as an excellent augury for next Saturdays cup match with Northampton the same ground.


The “Observer” wrote this in the Gazette:-


Thus did the Grecians make history. It was a grand day from our point of view, and I hope many more are in store for us. I must congratulate Mr. A. S. Attwood, of Newport, for the splendid manner in which he controlled the game. I do not think made single mistake. It also stands to the Now for the Cup-tie. A reproduction of Saturday’s form will give the Grecians victory. No chances must taken, and 90-minute all-in fight will bring success. I hope East Devon soccerites will roll up in force. The kick-off will be at 2.15.

The teams lined up as follows:-
Exeter City. Bailey, Pollard, Charlton, Pullan, Pool, Garratt, Purcell, McDevitt, Blackmore, Dent, and Compton.
Coventry City. James Newton, Jock Ramage, John Randle, James Gay, William Brown, John G Gardiner, William Dailey, Robert Ferguson, James Heathcote, John Dunn and Frederick Herbert.

Final Result: Exeter City 8  (Dent 2, Compton 2, Purcell 2, Blackmore 2) Coventry City 1 (Heathcote).
Att: 5747

This remains Exeter City’s record win in a league match.

Previous match reports for games between these 2 teams can be read at:-

1927 –
1928 –


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