Match 37
15th February 1983
Wigan (a)

One goal puts Latics up two

By Geoff Kemp

Wigan Athletic 1 Exeter City 0

Latics went up two more places and the crowd went down by another two hundred at an icy Springfield Park on Tuesday night. The win must have been cold comfort to the club as the attendance plunged to a new low of 2,764 - one of the lowest for 30 years.

Exeter helped little, scarecely producing a single follower, and contributed a similar amount to a match Wigan should have won by a much bigger scoreline. It took an early goal from Eamon O'Keefe to give them the points, and despite raining in shots from all angles O'Keefe failed to add to his tally as the night wore on.

The Wigan striker had already put the ball in the net after five minutes only to be ruled offside, but he made one count after a lightning-fast Latics move 13 minutes into the match.

Glenn played a long ball through the middle and as the Exeter defence pushed out looking for an offside John Butler chested the ball down brilliantly for O'Keefe to run on to. The Eire international left his marker trailing and slotted the ball past Bond in the Exeter goal.

After 20 minutes Exeter had the first of the two good chances they produced in the game. A corner had Roy Tunks struggling once again and Neville hammered the ball goalwards from three yards only to see it blocked on the line and cleared by a combination of John McMahon and Steve Walsh

A quarter of an hour later Latics had the ball in the net again but this time it was John Butler who was ruled offside as he brought a cross down on his knee and fired home. O'Keefe was meanwhile indulging in a little shooting practice, with a series of volleys and an Athletic overhead kick which went wide. The attempts continued as the second half progressed and O'Keefe was unlucky to see a particularly ferocious drive bounce off Bond's body with the Exeter keeper knowing little about it.

Two minutes earlier the visitors had seen their second chance of the night, and a golden opportunity it was, come to nothing. A dificult, bobbling ball allowed Rogers to beat the otherwise unbeatable Walsh, and he squared the ball to a completely unmarked Steve Neville 10 yards out. He tried to sidefoot his shot past Tunks but could only tap it tamely into the keeper's grateful hands.

It was Exeter's last convincing attack as Latics domin- ated the second half but had to be satisfied with the single goal. At the end they trooped off victorious while around them the terraces stood empty,

Wigan Athletic: Tunks, McMahon, Glenn, Cribley. Walsh, Methven, Houghton. Barrow, Butler, O'Keefe, Weston. Sub: Lowe.

Exeter City: Bond, Kirkup, Viney (Thomas), Harle Davies, McEwan, Neville, Rogers, Gibson, Delve, Pullar.

Referee: Mr. J. Lovatt (Crew):

Attendance: 2,764.



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