Match 31
27th December 1969
Bradford City (a)

3rd January 1970
Torquay U (a)


Saturday December 27th

Bradford 2 Exeter City 1.

The City failed to maintain their early defensive composure at the Bradford Park Avenue ground and they could not complain about their narrow defeat. It was a case of too much being left to too few. From first to last, a much too heavy load of responsibility was thrust upon their middle and rear members in efforts to contain a desperate opposition. The City players soon realised that on a surface like a skating rink skilful football would be largely a speculative affair. For it was impossible to maintain anything like a secure foothold, and Bradford produced more dash than science to begin with. It all came to nothing, however, against a compact City defence, for nearly all the shooting was ill-directed. In addition, the City repeatedly laid a cunning offside trap and into it Bradford mostly fell. Needless to say the crowd did not like it very much.


Although the City had to concentrate largely on defence there were a few forceful raids by both wingers, Pleat and Walker both winning a corner or two without any shot being forthcoming. The crowd, which numbered four thousand, waited in vain for a sign of any worthwhile marksmanship, and everything pointed to this remaining a game to be decided by one goal, and only one. Far and away the best shot of the opening twenty minutes, in fact the only one of real note in that period, was the one contributed by Dolan for Bradford, a low, hard, and accurate drive from 35 yards, only to find Shearing in good form. Early in the second half, and just when it looked as though the City would have no particular difficulty in coasting to a draw they were brought rudely to earth through an entirely unexpected 54th minute goal to Bradford. This came when Tewley, always the chief source of trouble to Exeter, moved into their penalty area before Thom fastened on to a pass from him and surprised Shearing by the power of a first-time shot, which entered the net between the goalkeeper's right hand and the post.
Bradford made victory just about certain with a second goal which was added by Woolmer 22 minutes from the finish. After this the City forwards became more active than previously, and following a storming raid on the left Pleat found the net.

Teams :
Bradford : Hardie; Brodie, Roberts; Carr, Dolan, Atkinson; Tewley, Saville, Woolmer, Beanland, Thom.
Exeter City: Shearing; Crawford, Blain; Parker, Sharples, Balson; Pleat, Gadston, Wingate, Mitten, Walker.

Subs:- Brannan (Bradford) and Morris (Exeter City).
Referee: Mr C.T.Fallon, of Blackpool.

Devon Rivals

Saturday January 3rd 1970.

Torquay United 3 Exeter City 1.

This friendly match at Plainmoor, Torquay, gave Exeter City a good opportunity to try out two players who have had long absences due to injuries. There were 2000 spectators.

Player-manager John Newman, who has played only one league game since the end of August, thanks to an achilles tendon strain, came on in the second half as the substitute, and felt no untoward reaction. John Giles, who has been out of action since early in November, also turned out in the second period and celebrated his return to football by scoring Exeter's goal. Binney scored all three for Torquay.

Torquay: Donnelly; Smyth, Kitchener; Benson, Young, Dunne;  E.Welsh, A.Welsh, Binney, Mitchinson, Potter.

City: Shearing; Crawford, Blain; Parker, Sharples, Balson; Pleat, Gadston, Wingate, Mitten, Walker.

In the Second half:- Morris, Newman, and Giles substituted for Crawford, Sharples, and Mitten.


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