Match 26
10th December 1969
FA Cup 2nd Round Replay
Northampton (h)


Wednesday December 10th 1969.

Extra time (half an hour) played.

The bookmakers made Exeter City odds-on favourites to win this Cup tie and they were tipped heavily in all districts of East Devon. But although they partially failed on their own ground on Monday night the club remains optimistic. The next replay will be held at Swindon Town's ground on Monday December 15th, kick off 7.30 p.m. Both teams kept faith with their original selections, which meant that
Neal, who scored Northampton's equaliser on Saturday, still remained the substitute.
The crowd of 8,930 was Exeter's best of the season.

So after 210 minutes of football (there was an extra half an hour on Monday) it is still not decided which of the teams will travel to Brentford in the third round of the competition. Everyone was confident that the City would beat Northampton at the second attempt, and the general opinion is still that they will figure in the third round. But they will have to play much better than they did on Monday. Both the result and Exeter's performance were disappointing. The fact is that Exeter did not play as well as they did on Saturday, while the Cobblers played much better. As a football match the one on Monday was poor, to say the least. But Exeter could and should have made sure in the first half. The trouble was that they missed too many chances. The biggest culprit as regards this was Joe Gadston. He wasted two good opportunities at least in the first half, and Mitten, Wingate, and Pleat also squandered one or two. Northampton were let off lightly, and in the end they clearly made the City pay for their weakness in front of goal. Northampton were a strong side physically, and when the game had to be extended into extra time they twice came mighty close to ending the saga.


While another replay can only boost the Exeter Club's finances, it would still have been better to have seen them succeed on Monday and be sure of that trip to Brentford. In between some of Exeter's missed chances in the first half it seemed that Northampton had gone ahead after 17 minutes when Weaver headed a goal, but luckily for the City he was given offside. Shortly afterwards Weaver was helped off with a leg injury, and Neal came on to substitute for him. Early in the second half Shearing twice saved Exeter when he kept out dangerous looking shots from Large and Fairbrother. Gadston was having a poor game and it seemed he could do practically nothing right. And Pleat with his leg strapped up in the second half was little more than a passenger. With 25 minutes of play left Corr replaced Gadston in the Exeter team. Northampton, as stated above, were the stronger side in the extra 30 minutes, when Fairbrother and Kiernan both missed easy chances. When Kiernan had another effort scrambled away off the goal-line the Northampton players claimed that Parker had handled, but the referee refused all appeals for a penalty-kick. So at the final whistle there was still no score, and Exeter must have reflected on that Northampton equaliser five minutes from the end on Saturday and their own missed chances in the replay.



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