Match 03
16th August 1969
Darlington (h)

Darlington Strike Again After Exeter Level 


Saturday August 16th 1969. 


There was another point-less' afternoon for Exeter City today, when they were beaten by Darlington at St James's Park in front of a crowd of 5,125.

Exeter City:- Shearing; Crawford, Blain; Morris, Newman, Parker; Corr, Giles, Banks, Mitten, Walker.

Darlington:- Moor; Wright, Baxter;
Sproates, Jacques, Horner; Gauden, O'Neill, Melling, Hale, Kirk.
Subs: Wingate (Exeter) Carr (Darlington).

: Mr H.W.Ellis of Goole.

O'Neill scored both of Darlington's goals, one in each half, the winner coming ten minutes from the finish. Ten minutes earlier Steve Morris, making his debut for the City, had equalised. Altogether it was a didappointing performance by Exeter, although a late goal was almost scored by Wingate, who came on as a substitute, replacing Corr. Darlington had two new players in their side, the former Torquay full back Bob Baxter and left half Horner, who was a £2,000 purchase from Middlesbrough. Darlington immediately from the kick-off attacked on the right and a header from O'Neill flashed narrowly wide with Shearing beaten. Walker tried to get Exeter moving but pushed the ball out of play on the left, level with the visitors' penalty line. A free kick to the City was cleared by Moor at the second attempt. After five minutes the City won their first corner, which came to nothing. Giles tried to put Mitten through but his pass was too strong and the ball ran out of play over the goal-line. Up came Newman, dribbling through on his own, but his shot was easily saved.


Moor saved from Giles, who had a second shot blocked after a clever combined move by Corr and Banks. A hurried back-pass by Newman was pushed round the post for a corner by Shearing. It was not cleared and Parker in the end had to hammer the ball away from off his own goal-line. In the 15th minute the Quakers went ahead. The Exeter defence failed to clear a bouncing ball and Gauden seized possession to set up an easy chance for O'Neill, who scored with a low shot. At the interval the score was
Exeter City 0 Darlington 1.


The City forced a corner in the opening seconds of the restart but the kick was a very poor one from Corr. Shearing had to rush out of his goal to get a back pass from Blain and then Crawford was penalised for a foul. A low centre by Walker was whipped away by Darlington and at the other end a timely tackle by Newman stopped Kirk. Mitten was brought down heavily when dribbling through on the right wing and needed treatment. The resultant free kick was nodded away by Darlington for a corner, which was cleared. Then Walker was outnumbered and crowded off the ball as he tried to battle his way through. When the visitors broke away Gauden was flagged offside. Giles chased a long clearance without success and when play reverted to the City end Shearing saved well from Gauden. Mitten and Walker had shots blocked in quick succession, and at this stage Exeter were on top. In the 70th minute they equalised. Newman made the goal with a probing advance down the centre and played the ball through to Morris on the right of the Darlington penalty area. Exeter's debutant, with enough time to pick his spot, scored with a well placed drive out of the reach of the goalkeeper.


Immediately afterwards Corr went off and was replaced by Wingate. It took a hard and well-timed tackle by Newman to stop Darlington, and a corner resulted. This came to nothing, and Exeter advanced by means of a series of good passes, and Moor had to save from Banks. Blain cleared off the goal-line following a mistake by Shearing. Ten minutes from the end Darlington went ahead again. After a brilliant move which split the Exeter defence O'Neill chested the ball down and beat Shearing with a shot which found the top corner of the net. Banks then had a shot cleared and Wingate was just wide with a header. Another of the latter's headers was cleared and then Moor palmed away a third one from the City substitute, who was leading the attack with Banks now on the right wing.



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