Division Three, 1974

PlymouthvBristolR400March 2 ~ Argyle manager Tony Waiters addresses the challenges facing the club's apprentice players in "the hard cut-throat world of professional soccer". In his "Talk-In" column he writes that "dedication and application do not mean [a] monastic existence, but self-denial is absolutely essential to gain and sustain success”.

And yet the programme's advertisers dangle the town's serial temptations in front of the club's rising stars. Lunch at the Duke of Cornwall, "table d'hote £1.30 plus VAT". They might go and blow their wages at Lawsons, "stockists of Subbuteo and many other famous football games". They could pig out on "pies, pasties, sandwiches supplied by Ron Dewdney". Or they could let it all hang at the Experience Night Club (above Bowling Centre), where, according to the ad, there is "DANCING". Try denying yourself that, recent debutant George Foster (a 17-year-old sub against Hereford ten days earlier).

They'd be well advised to deny themselves a ticket for the Settlers, "one of Britain's top folk groups", playing at Plymouth Guildhall. Putting aside the question of whether or not one of Britain's top folk groups would really need to advertise the fact that they are one of Britain's top folk groups, the advertised concert already happened on February 23. "DON'T MISS", taunts the ad, knowing full well that you already did. Yes, one of Britain's top folk groups already left town, you fool, and who knows when they'll be back to strum their stuff on the Devon coast?

On we browse, to “Second Opinion... as expressed by Reserve Team Manager KEITH BLUNT”. Now, why oh why was this column not called Bluntly Speaking? Come on, Keith! Tell it how it is! Who did the bastarding stiffs kick off the park this week? Disappointingly, Keith wants to talk about weight training. "The boys work on the leg extensions and the leg press to build up strong thighs and calf raises to keep the calves in trim."

Ah, now we know why it's not called Bluntly Speaking. There's a whole page of this stuff, and you could certainly have put Keith in the Experience Night Club with a pint at a table to make sure no young players ventured near the place. "Individual needs can be catered for by simply moving a pin to the required weight and the risk of injury is almost removed..." Ah, sorry Keith mate, got to be going. Apparently the new Subbuteo World Cup goals with coloured nets are in at Lawsons.

Targeting the fan demographic "Wife trouble Saturdays??? Bring her to enjoy... PLYMOUTH ZOO while you enjoy your game..." Plymouth Zoo closed in 1978. Shame on those wives who did not support it on match days.

Result Plymouth 1 (Provan) Rovers 0
Crowd 11,374
Plymouth Furnell, Randell, Sullivan, Hore, Provan, Saxton, Reed, Davey, Mariner, Machin, Darke
Bristol Rovers Eadie, Jacobs, Parsons, Green, Taylor, Prince (Aitken), Stephens, Stanton, Fearnley, Bannister, Jones

Ian Plenderleith

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