Match 20
8th November 1969
Brentford (h)


Saturday November 8th 1969.


Twice in the lead, with goals by Pleat and Mitten, Exeter City were held to a division of the points by promotion-chasing Brentford at St James's Park this afternoon before a crowd of 4,897 spectators.

City: Shearing; Crawford, Blain; Giles, Sharples, Balson; Corr, Banks, Gadston, Mitten, Pleat.

Brentford:- Brodie; Hawley, Renwick; Nelmes, Gelson, Higginson; Neilson, Fenton, Baker, Ross, Mansley.

Subs: Morris (Exeter) Jones (Brentford).

: Mr W.B.Castle of Sedgeley.
Linesmen: Messrs D.G.Ball and E.A.Read.

Exeter City, with the new centre-forward from Bristol Rovers, Joe Gadston, leading the attack, won a corner in the opening minute, but Brentford cleared. Then followed a free kick to Exeter, which was headed behind by Renwick for another corner. The flag kick this time was pushed back to Crawford, who passed to Banks, and that player's glancing header was saved by Brodie. And in the fifth minute the City gave their supporters something to cheer when they took the lead with a brilliant goal. Pleat gathered a pass from Corr, pushed it wide of three defenders, out-paced them, and rounded all this off with a beautifully judged cross shot which sailed into the opposite corner of the net just below the cross-bar. All the credit for this spectacular goal must go to Pleat, and to him alone. It was a worthy effort indeed. Five minutes later Gadston had an easy chance when Banks teed the ball up for him literally, near the penalty spot. But he fluffed his kick and directed the ball straight at Brodie, who saved comfortably.


At the other end Brentford gained a corner, from which Mansley hit the side net. In the sixteenth minute the "Bees" equalised. Following a corner the ball went to Renwick, whose shot was pushed upwards by Shearing. Then it dropped under the bar, and Blain, standing on the goal-line, attempted to head it away, but only succeeded in sending it into the net. Four minutes later however the City took the lead for the second time in the match. Corr's centre from the right wing was met by Gadston, whose first-time shot rattled the crossbar. From the rebound Mitten dived forward horizontally to direct the leather into the net. A spell of pressure by Brentford followed, during which the ball was scrambled clear by the City defence at least three times. Giles was fouled in one of these skirmishes and went down heavily. Both trainers came on to attend to him, and then a stretcher was called for. The crowd was silent as Giles, wrapped in a blanket, was carried off the field, Morris (sub) appearing before the stretcher bearers had reached the tunnel. The player was taken straight away to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for x-rays on the lower part of his leg. The second half was practically dominated by Brentford, and it was no surprise when they levelled the score, seven minutes after the change of ends. Renwick was again the scorer, sending a blistering drive into the net through a crowd of players of both sides.


Played in drizzling rain on a muddy pitch it was an entertaining game in the first half but deteriorated after the interval. Joe Gadston, the City's new centre-forward, made a steady debut, but ought to have scored once in the first half. However, it was from the rebound of a shot by him that Mitten got Exeter's second goal.



It seemed certain yesterday, Wednesday, that John Giles will miss the City's first round F. A. Cup-tie against Fulham at St. James's Park, on Saturday. After regaining his place in the City team he finished up in the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital last Saturday, when it was feared that he had broken his leg playing against Brentford. Luckily though, the x-ray revealed only bad bruising, and all followers of Exeter City will naturally wish him a speedy recovery. It was the day after his 22nd birthday when the accident happened.

John Newman, the player-manager, who has also had his share of bumps and bruises this season, has been carrying out special exercises at Saint Luke's College for three weeks in order to try to speed up his recovery, while Alan Banks is not yet fully fit, and Graham Parker is serving a suspension following several "bookings." And Joe Gadston, Exeter's new centre-forward, also cannot play against Fulham because it is less than fourteen days (the minimum period required by the Football Association) since he signed the transfer forms.


The news from Craven Cottage is that Cliff Jones is doubtful. He has been out of action for a couple of weeks but played in a "friendly" at the Cottage, which was a benefit match for George Cohen, the former English international back, and in this game pulled a muscle. Otherwise Fulham should have their full team, the one which will include Johnny Haynes, available. Grandstand tickets are selling well from St. James's Park, and can be obtained from the club offices for 9s.0d. during office hours. Whilst they are fortunate in having the most attractive Cup-tie of the day at St. James's Park on Saturday there is no doubt that Exeter City will have to pull out all the stops if they are to reach the second round at Fulham's expense. For it is only eighteen months since the London club was playing in the First Division, and their side will in all probability include as many as ten men with experience in the top class of the League. Fulham are one of only three clubs to have dropped from the First to the Third Division in consecutive seasons (the others were Bradford Park Avenue and Northampton) but they now seem to have recovered and have succeeded in stopping the rot. It is not often that the Exeter City supporters have an opportunity of seeing international stars in action, so there is no doubt at all that everyone's eyes will be on Johnny Haynes at the week-end. With fifty-six appearances for England to his credit Johnny Haynes is the second most capped English International ever to turn out at the City ground, or rather, he will be. Last season Bobby Charlton was there. Haynes made his debut with Fulham nearly seventeen years ago and has now played over six hundred League and Cup games for them. Although the local supporters are naturally anxious that he does not play havoc with the City defence they are at the same time looking forward to being treated to an immaculate display of ball control on Saturday by a man famous for his slide-rule passes. The last time Fulham had a good run in the F.A.Cup was in the 1961-2 season, when they reached the semi finals of the competition before losing to Burnley in a replay, and Haynes is the only member of the present Fulham side who figured in those Cup games. The last time Fulham played at St James's Park was in season 1931-2 when they won the championship of the 3rd Division (South). On that occasion they beat Exeter by 3 goals to 0, all scored by Newton, the centre-forward.



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