Match 38
21st February 1970
Grimsby (a)


Saturday February 21st 1970.

Grimsby 2 Exeter City 0.

It was heavy going at Blundell Park today for Grimsby Town and Exeter City after 12 hours of incessant rain, and the wings were the obvious and only places for reasonable ball control. After Grimsby had opened up with some good foraging on the right Banks broke up the move and got the City in motion with some smart control before slipping a nice pass out to Wingate. The centre-forward, who was on the right flank, centred the ball into the penalty "box" where Morris only just failed to squirm his way between the Grimsby backs to try a shot. Exeter were then up against it for some time, for Grimsby, with the strong wind at their backs, and playing with more drive and urgency than they have for some time, pinned them on the defensive.


Threatening on both flanks Grimsby forced the City into giving away free kicks to hold them off, and following one of them they took the lead in the eighth minute. Boylen was brought down just on the edge of the penalty area. Ross took the free kick, and Lewis met the head high centre to ned the ball smartly into the back of the net. Banks showed great resourcefulness and coolness in a tight corner when Grimsby maintained their fierce pressure. He calmly dribbled his way out of trouble, and in the next minute was up with Wingate and Mitten getting in a header which however gave Wainman no bother. The Mariners were soon down at the other end again, and Brace broke through only to shoot narrowly over the bar from 15 yards. Then Lewis beat Wilson with a fierce shot but the ball rebounded off the angle of the crossbar and upright.


Exeter City, a goal down, simply had to abandon their defensive and negative policy, and for the first time their front squad were in the game with some purpose. Banks, who tested Wainman with a hefty drive from 25 yards, was the instigator of most of Exeter's moves, but although they were beginning to have a greater share of the game Exeter were nevertheless not producing anything much to worry the home defence. There was one occasion, however, when Mitten put in a very good centre and Duncliffe just got his head to the ball to rob Giles as the Exeter player moved in. Grimsby, however, continued to be the more dangerous side, and the Exeter goal had a remarkable escape in the 30th minute. From a move started by Oates, Lewis and Brace combined with a bout of passing which completely split the City defence. Lewis in the end miskicked his shot but even so the ball would have gone into the net had it not struck Sharples on the leg as he tore across to cover. It was only a mere glance but sufficient to divert it wide of the goal. With the approach of half-time the Mariners appeared to be firmly in control, for Exeter's front line had so far revealed little in the way of craft in their building of moves to give the Grimsby defence any real trouble.

Grimsby 1 Exeter City 0.

Throughout the first 45 minutes Wilson had given a competent display between the Exeter posts despite being almost continually under a lot of pressure. Only once did he fumble a centre, but Grimsby gained no advantage as Lewis had pushed the goalkeeper when trying to obtain possession of the ball. Exeter went quickly into action, however, when the second half began, and Gadston hit the top of the bar with a good shot from 25 yards. Then Banks, who throughout the game had been the only Exeter forward to trouble the Grimsby rear guard, got away on the right, cut along the base line, and from a narrow angle tried to slip the ball wide of Wainman from close range, but the goalkeeper dropped to the turf quickly to smother the shot. The Mariners were soon back on the offensive, however, and only some heroic work by the City rear guard enabled them to keep their hopes alive. Less and less was seen of the City attack as the Grimsby men tightened their grip on the game. They should have increased their lead when Hickman, unmarked, collected the ball in front of goal but was so long in controlling it that Wilson had time to come out and smother the shot. Then Boylen headed wide after Wilson had come out and missed the ball from a corner kick. Fifteen minutes from time the City brought on Corr to replace Morris. Boylen scored Grimsby's second goal after 89 minutes.

The official attendance was 2,767.

Grimsby Town: - Wainman; Worthington, Duncliffe; Kennedy, Rathbone, Ross; Brace, Oates, Hickman, Lewis, Boylen.
Exeter City: Wilson; Blain, Balson;
Morris, Sharples, Parker; Giles, Banks, Wingate, Gadston, Mitten.

Subs: Wigginton (Grimsby) Corr (Exeter).
Referee:- Mr R.M.Judson of West Kirby.


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