Match 01
9th August 1969
Wrexham (a)


Saturday August 9th 1969. 


Exeter City failed to make an impressive start to the new season at the Racecourse Ground this afternoon, when they were soundly beaten 30 by Wrexham in their opening Division IV match. A goal down at half-time Exeter were in further trouble in the second half when they lost two more goals, one of which was a penalty for hand-ball by Crawford.

WREXHAM: - Gaskell; Ingle, Birmingham; Davis, May, Evans; Griffiths, Park, Smith, Purdie, Kinsey.
Sub: Mason.

EXETER CITY:- Shearing; Crawford, Blain; Parker, Newman, Balson; Pleat, Banks, Wingate, Giles, Walker.
Sub: Mitten.

REFEREE: Mr E.D. Raby of Leeds.

Little was seen of Exeter as an attacking force. They moved forward a little more in the closing stages, but Wrexham's goalkeeper had a quiet afternoon. He was really extended only once, when Walker drove in a good shot as the loose ball was flung off the goal-line. The City made one late change because Morrin was suffering from influenza. Crawford was at right back with Blain switching over to the left back position. Both Giles and Walker made their debuts for Exeter. Wrexham had two newcomers in their side, the former Manchester United goalkeeper Dave Gaskell and inside-forward Bobby Park, a Scot who has had four seasons with Aston Villa. There were a few City supporters among the crowd, including one who had hitch-hiked all the way from Exeter overnight.


Balson broke up the first move and fed Pleat, whose forward pass was too strong. When Crawford centred Walker completely miskicked. In the opening two minutes Parker needed treatment after being struck in the face by the ball, but resumed to clear the Wrexham attack, whoch looked like developing into a dangerous move. Then Purdie fired over the crossbar from Ingle's centre. Gaskell only just managed to stop a back pass from Ingle as Giles rushed in, and at the other end Shearing had to move smartly to stop Griffiths. In the next minute the City goalkeeper dealt confidently with the Welsh side's first corner. A second followed, and with every Exeter player in his own penalty area May moved up by his header went over the bar.

A rapid advance by Wrexham almost proved decisive. Kinsey went down the middle and tried to pass to Purdie, but the ball rebounded off an Exeter player to Kinsey again, whose cross shot was saved cleverly by Shearing. In the seventeenth minute Walker was clear on the left, but wasted a good opportunity with a weak and badly directed centre. And a minute later Wrexham went ahead. Evans found Purdie with a good through ball and the inside-forward beat Newman and Balson before sliding the ball low past Shearing. Purdie was on the look-out for another goal within three minutes, but this time his header went over the bar. But the home side almost went further ahead in the 25th minute when a header by Smith from a free-kick was only an inch or so wide. The outstretched leg of Shearing saved Exeter in the 30th minute when Purdie's shot following a corner hit the goalkeeper's knee. Shearing was then applauded by the crowd for his sportsmanship when he kicked the ball into touch on the half-way line with Smith lying injured in the City half of the field.

The City almost equalised three minutes later when Gaskell failed to hold a hard cross-shot from Walker. May cleared the loose ball from about a yard in front of the goal line and under the crossbar. This was Gaskell's first real test so far, because at this stage of the game little had been seen of the Exeter forwards, and Wrexham, who were quicker to the ball, moved forward with more regularity. Exeter's trainer had to come on to the field to attend to Walker, who had been brought down by Ingle. Exeter made ground with a series of throw-ins but it was not long before Wrexham were coming forward again and Shearing waved from Griffiths. A corner to Wrexham ended with May being penalised for a foul.
Half-time Wrexham 1 Exeter City 0.

In the 53rd minute there was further trouble for the City when Evans increased Wrexham's lead, cracking the ball first-time past Shearing from 25 yards. Ten minutes later a long kick into the City penalty area was handled by Crawford and Griffiths scored his side's third goal resultant penalty. from the Kinsey and Purdie missed easy chances for Wrexham in the closing few minutes.
Attendance 6,300.


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