20th October 1982
Lincoln City (a)
Two penalty goals for hat-trick man Bell
Lincoln City 4, Exeter City 1
MAURICE BURTON with THE IMPS
WITH the aid of two penalties, the Lincoln City scoring machine ground out another Impressive victory as they savaged a suspect Exeter City defence at Sincil Bank last night.
It was a personal triumph for Derek Bell, Cly's third penalty taker of the season, for he registered Lincoln's first hatrick for nearly two years, taking his tally to eight for the season. And, Bell has played in only five full matches. Since coming into the side following the transfer of Tony Cunningham, he has scored in every one which he has played barring the home win against Doncaster. City's victory was their sixth Third Division win in succession at home this season, and their 10th in senior cup matches, their last defeat at Sincil Bank being by Scunthorpe United in the Lin- colnshire Cup in August. That apart, one has to go back 26 matches to find the last blot on their home record a 3-2 home beating by Watford in the League Cup nearly a year ago. Bell's hat-trick last night was the first by a City player since Mick Harford did it in November 1980, another Devon club Torquay United being the sufferers. Last night's match had a fast, furious and completely aimless start. For the first five minutes, Exeter seemed to want to play the ball somewhere level with the roof of the stand; Lincoln were unable to get it to ground, where their superior skills were more likely to pay off. The 10th minute saw the first real threat from inco with Hobson sending a stinging shot from 20 yards straight at Bond. Exeter replied with a 30 yard free kick, from which McEwan sent the ball' flashing over the bar, and City seemed intent on giving their visitors every encouragement to settle down. Neville brought Felgate, into a low save in the 14th minute, but Exeter hardly looked good enough to trouble the Lincoln defence unduly, even though Steve Neville tried hard to impress on his return from Sheffield United. Lincoln inexorably began to exert their muscle, but it was the skills of Hobson in the 18th minute which brought the first major crack in Exeter's defence. He beat two men as he moved into the penalty area; the third, ex-Doncaster defender David Harle, could. do no more than bring him down, and the job of penalty-taker fell on the slim shoulders of Bell. His shot into the roof of the net was enough to give Bond no chance, and City were on their way. Even so, they were not at their best, and only briefly did they turn on the scintillating football of which they are capable. A brilliant goal by Gordon Hobson in the 27th minute gave Lincoln the comfort of a two-goal lead at half-time. Exeter left back Viney gave away a free-kick near the right corner flag, and when Phil Turner hit this hard towards goal, Hobson raced in to head firmly and irrevocably past Bond for his sixth goal of the season. Exeter's frustration boiled over when John Delve was booked for dissent in the 29th minute, and he was followed into the notebook of referee David Scott in the 35th minute by Neale, who seemed harshly treated after tripping Peter Rogers. In the second half Thompson, who needed four stitches in a gashed shin at half-time, was booked for dissent, and the Exeter centre half Steve Hatter had his, name taken when he fouled Peake Exeter's hopes of a second half fight back soared in one minute and were dashed the next.
With barely two minutes gone after the break, Neville was bundled off the ball and the visitors were awarded a penalty which Tony Kellow thumped firmly past Felgate to make the score 2-1. Hardly had the fans settled down after that shock to their systems than City were two goals ahead again, Hobson did the work by cutting in from the by-line and pulling the ball back, where upon Bell helped himself to his second goal of the match by side-footing it wide of Bond from close range. City missed a host of chances after that, and in spite of a lot of pressure, Bond was not seriously tested. He held a first-timer from Shipley, and another shot from Cockerill but was let off the hook by City's wild finishing in their eagerness to score more goals. Bell, with a header, was so far off target that the ball fell to Hobson, who fired high-over the bar from about 10 yards for an amazing double miss by City. On the other hand, Exeter only rarely threatened City's lead. McEwan headed inches over from a Delve free kick, and in the next minute Felgate went down to hold a low shot from Neville.. though City's massed defence behind the keeper would probably have got that one away. Exeter sent their substitute Pratt to replace Harle in the 77th minute but five minutes later Lincoln scored again. As Bell went in for a header, an Exeter hand knocked the ball away for Mr. Scott to point to the penalty spot for the third time in the match; once again Bell took the kick, and he drove the shot fiercely into the top corner to register his first hat- trick for City. While City perhaps felt they had played less well than they hoped, the result was a massive tribute to their all-round ability, and the fans were again sent home delighted, and also wondering just what this team can achieve. Bell is man of the match because of his hat-trick; any other of the remaining 10 could have taken the accolade, for everyone had their outstanding moments, and none made major errors. So it's on to Brentford, where the Third Division's top scorers (29 goals), will tangle with the meanest defence, it should be quite a match, but whatever happens, City will stay top of the table for at least another week.
HOW THEY SCORED
- BELL Lincoln, (pen.) 18 mins.
- HOBSON Lincoln 27 mins.
- KELLOW Exeter, (pen.) 47 mins.
- BELL Lincoln 48 mins.
- BELL Lincoln, pen. 82 mins.
HOW THEY LINED UP
Felgate; Carr, Neale, Cockerill, Peake, Thompson, Burke, Turner, Hobson, Bell, Shipley. Sub. Gilligan.
Bond; Kirkup, Viney, M. Rogers, Hatter,
McEwan, Harle, P. Rogers, Kellow, Delve, Neville. Sub. Pratt.
David Scott (Burnley).