Match 23
24th November 1969
Chesterfield (a)


Monday November 24th 1969.


Playing well above their position in the League table on Monday at Saltergate, Chesterfield, Exeter City came home pointless, beaten by a late goal which was undeserved on the run of the play. The City produced an excellent display which might have brought a better reward. There was an attendance of 7,977.

Chesterfield were strangely off form and struggled collectively for most of the game. Exeter had midfield control and played with spirit and adventure, but lacked power when they were near goal.

Chesterfield: - Stevenson; Holmes, Lumsden; Fenoughty, Bell, Phelan; Pugh, Moss, Randall, Archer, Bishop.

Exeter City:- Shearing; Crawford, Blain; Morris, Sharples, Balson; Corr, Banks, Gadston, Mitten, Pleat.

Subs: Moore (Chesterfield) Parker (City).

Exeter went a goal behind after 22 minutes, during a brief period in which Chesterfield were on top. Pugh gained possession from a throw in by Holmes, split Exeter's defence with a telling pass and Randall hammered the ball home beyond Shearing's despairing dive. Five minutes later the scores were level. Exeter ventured upfield to force a corner, and from Pleat's pin-point kick to the goalmouth the ball was flicked into the net by Gadston with a header. From then on Exeter were in control, but they failed to use it. After failing to penetrate the Chesterfield defence, Gadston hitting the bar with a dipping shot after 79 minutes, Exeter seemed content to settle for a draw and started to pass the ball back repeatedly to Shearing. This negative play gave Chesterfield a chance to recover, and it cost the City dearly. With precisely 72 seconds left Chesterfield snatched the winner. All the players with the exception of the home team's goalkeeper were in the City half of the field when Fenoughty pushed the ball ahead to Randall. He squared it across the penalty area to Archer, who beat Crawford before shooting hard into the bottom corner of the net.


Chesterfield, their two goals apart, were very poor for a team that stands second in the League table. Exeter could have, and indeed should have, taken advantage of this, but although playing attractively in midfield they seemed strangely unadventurous near goal. For all their domination few goal chances were created. And in this department Chesterfield surprisingly produced more. And to fall back on defence as they did in the last quarter of the game is a mistaken policy and as things turned out it cost Exeter two valuable points. Exeter are obviously capable of playing very good football, and if they can find a bit more bite in front of goal they should soon rise in the League Table.


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