Match 18
25th October 1969
Grimsby Town (h)

First Home Defeat 


Saturday October 25th 1969.


Inconsistent Exeter City, the Jekyll and Hyde side of the Fourth Division, slumped to a home defeat this afternoon, when Grimsby, who are themselves a struggling side, beat them at St. James's Park with a goal scored twenty minutes from time. It was the City's first home defeat this season.

Exeter City:- Shearing; Crawford, ris; Parker, Sharples, Balson; Pleat, Blain, Wingate, Mitten, Walker.
Grimsby Town:- Wainman; Worthington, Mobley; Kennedy, Wigginton, Ross; Brace, Oates, Hickman, Boylen, Duncliffe.

Subs: Banks (Exeter) Walker (Grimsby).

Referee: Mr R.C.Challis of Tonbridge. Linesmen: Messrs J.F.Orpin and R.Dunford.

Exeter were immediately into their stride from the kick off, and a centre from Pleat was hammered away by the Grimsby defence. At the other end Morris gave away a corner when under pressure from Boylen. The flag kick came to Hickman, who was penalised for a foul. A good effort by Ross put Hickman through in front of goal but Shearing rose high and tipped Hickman's shot over the bar. Another corner followed, from which Worthington put the ball wide. After nine minutes the visitors nearly got a goal when Brace pounced on a defensive mistake by Exeter and centred along the ground by Hickman. Taking careful aim the Grimsby centre-forward picked his spot but was foiled by Shearing, who saved brilliantly at full length. The best move by Exeter, started from inside their own penalty area, won a corner, but Wingate was too slow to meet Pleat's centre, and Mobley cleared the Grimsby lines with plenty of time to spare. A push in the back on Wingate gave Exeter a free kick ten yards outside the Grimsby penalty area, but it ended feebly when Morris missed the ball from Mitten's pass.


Crawford forced Grimsby to give away another corner but Exeter failed to take advantage. They had another chance when Wainman turned a shot from Wingate behind, but at this stage Exeter were failing inside the Grimsby penalty area. Then there was a period of Grimsby pressure before the City made groun with Blain leading the attack. He fed Pleat, who drove hard for goal, but the rising ball was punched over by Wainman for yet another in the series of corner kicks, and again no good came from it.

At the start of the second half Brace, who was Grimsby's best forward, hooked a menacing shot over the bar, and Exeter certainly needed to improve if they were to achieve maximum success from this match. Parker went down with a leg injury but it was Grimsby who were awarded a free kick. Oates was then brought down a yard outside the City's penalty area but Oates's shot was blocked by the City defence. A long centre to the far post by Hickman dropped just over the angle of the goalposts, and Grimsby looked the more threatening side, keeping the City penned in their own half of the field. A mistake by Parker enabled Ross to go through but the Grimsby man was not accurate enough with his shot, and the chance was wasted. Another error by Parker put Grimsby on the attack again only for Duncliffe to balloon the ball yards over the bar. At the other end Pleat waited to take a corner while Ross was treated for an injury, but just as it had on earlier occasions the City's advantage fizzled out through a lack of speed and punch in front of goal. And in the 70th minute Grimsby secured the lead. Oates cut across the City penalty area, and his low shot was intercepted by Brace, who from ten yards' range swivelled round and fired the ball high into the net well out of the reach of Shearing. Four minutes later Banks was introduced as the substitute for Wingate and almost immediately Pleat went racing through but put his shot a couple of yards wide and too high. A frantic scramble developed in the Grimsby goalmouth as the Grecians tried in vain to penetrate their opponents' defence, and almost in the last minute Wainman rushed out of his area to fly-kick the ball away into touch as Banks charged in. Then followed a free kick to Exeter twenty yards out but again it yielded no dividend. With six minutes being added on by the referee on account of numerous stoppages for fouls and other incidents Sharples drove wide from a free kick.


This was a poor performance by Exeter and it cost them defeat, the first one at St James's Park this season. The best forward on the field, and the man who finally took the two points of Exeter was Stuart Brace, Grimsby's leading scorer, and one who has interested the City in the past.

  • Brace, born in Taunton 27 years ago, was formerly with the Argyle, and has also served Watford, Mansfield, and Peterborough United. He joined Grimsby about a year ago. He is just the type of forward that Exeter could do with at the moment to bolster up their goal-shy attack.



Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>