Match 34
24th January 1970
Hartlepool (h)

Hartlepool- Hit For Six 


Saturday January 24th 1970.


Hard-shooting Bruce Walker was recalled to outside-left by Exeter City for the club's important Fourth Division match at St James's Park this afternoon against Hartlepool. The team selectors when bringing back Walker had obviously taken the heavy conditions of the ground into account. Exeter also had their new goalkeeper Bob Wilson making his debut after his transfer from Cardiff City last Tuesday. The visitors, who were called Hartlepools United until last year, when they dropped from the Third Division into the Fourth, were unbeaten in "away" matches since the end of October, and fielded an unchanged team for the sixth successive match. The team was skippered by the former Exeter City professional, 21 years old Alan Goad, who was at left half. A crowd of about four thousand was present at the start.

Exeter City: Wilson; Crawford, Blain; Parker, Sharples, Balson; Pleat, Banks, Gadston, Mitten, Walker.

Hartlepool:- Smith; Bircumshaw, Dobbing; White, Gill, Goad; Young, Blowman, Bell, Trail, Kirk.

Subs: Morris (Exeter) McCluskey (Hartlepool).
Referee:- Mr M.V.Sinclair of Guildford.
Linesmen: Messrs G.D.Helier and V.A.Lewis.

A corner followed a free kick to Exeter, but Hartlepool doubled back and cleared. The City defence did likewise at their end of the field, and then made ground with a well constructed counter attack which was rewarded with a goal in the sixth minute. Pleat was brought down twenty yards from goal and out on the left side of the field. He took the free kick himself in the shape of short a ground pass to Mitten, who lobbed the ball into the middle. Banks met the centre perfectly with his head to score in the top corner. Three minutes later the City increased their lead. It came from a penalty, but the credit for the goal belonged to Banks. By his well known tenacity and sheer persistence he robbed Goad just inside the visitors' penalty area, and moved forward only to be brought down in the goal area when he looked certain to score. Mr Sinclair consulted his linesman before pointing to the "spot" and Mitten with the kick made no mistake.


After Wilson had first dived on the ball to prevent Blowman scoring and then moved to his right to save from Bell the City broke away to register their third goal in the 34th minute. This time the scorer was Joe Gadston, who swept a centre from Walker into the net in grand style after the visitors had failed to clear a free kick from Crawford. A minute after scoring his goal Gadston was fractionally high with a ferocious volley, and then Smith saved well from Banks.

Exeter City 3 Hartlepool 0.

With the pitch now churned up into a morass Crawford recovered his legs after sliding full length to stop Kirk on the touchline. Then Wilson came out to smother a shot from Bircumshaw but Blowman raced in to gain possession, and his swift shot was kicked off the goal line by Sharples.


With the second half five minutes old Exeter struck again. Crawford advanced upfield and found Banks, who shook off Dobbing's tackle and raced through the mud to beat Smith with a crashing shot. There was no holding the City now, and amid a tumult of cheering from all sides of the ground they added the fifth goal, and again it was Banks who scored it. Pleat engineered this goal with a fine dribble down the right wing, beating two men and planting a perfect centre on to the head of Banks, who was able to pick his spot to complete the "hat trick."

A tremendous drive from Parker was somehow kept out, and then Walker just failed to set himself up for one of his left-footed "specials." The City defence then escaped after a misunderstanding, and when they moved away upfield Mitten had his legs whipped from under him by a vicious foul from Bircumshaw. Mitten continued after treatment by the trainer on the field. Wilson made a good save from a corner kick at the City end, Walker completing the clearance. In the 70th minute Hartlepool, who had been thoroughly out-thought, out-fought, and out-played, brought on their substitute, McCluskey, for White. And Exeter went further ahead with a sixth goal five minutes later when Gill accidentally scored in his own net.

Attendance 4,341.


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