29th August 1978
Football League Cup 2nd Round
Blackburn Rovers (h)
Exeter City v Blackburn Rovers
August 29 1978.
Once upon a time there was a famous Cup-tie at St James's Park. It was a long time ago, in 1928, to be precise, over 50 years back in history, between Exeter City of the 3rd Division South, and Blackburn Rovers of the First Division and one of the strongest teams in England. The "Grecians" of those far off days managed to draw the with their redoubtable adversaries from Lancashire, but on the following Thursday at Blackburn, although still on equal terms at the end of 90 minutes' play they finally had to admit defeat, when facing the storm of wind, sleet, and snow which blew in their faces during the most of the 30 minutes added in accordance with the F. A. rule which states "extra time to be played in replays of cup matches if the teams are level after 90 minutes." With the help of the wintry conditions (the wind having unaccountably changed its course in the home team's favour during the extra period) the Rovers were able to get two more goals to put Exeter out of the competition. Blackburn, who then went on to win the cup, as they had done on several other previous occasions, were generous enough to admit that of all the teams they played that year Exeter were the hardest to beat. This season's League Cup Competition (second round) brought the same teams into conflict again, it being the first competitive meeting of them since the occasion referred to, but Blackburn Rovers, now in the second division, have lost their old glory, and this time there was none of the wild excitement which greeted those old Rovers players when they came up o came up out of the tunnel on to the St James's Park pitch. This time Exeter played better r football than Blackburn, and after a hard and exciting game, were the winners by 2 goals to 1.
Exeter City:- O'Keefe; Templeman, Giles, Roberts, Hore; Hodge, Randell, Delve; Bowker, Kellow, Hatch.
Blackburn:- Butcher; Hird, Fowler, Keeley, Bailey; Gregson, Waddington, Fazackerley; Garner, Radford, Aston. Referee:- Mr D.V.Reeves of Uxbridge. Linesmen:- Messrs T.K.Mitchell and L.P.Radford.
It was a well deserved victory for Exeter in front of a crowd of just over four thousand spectators, and the result of a disciplined and determined performance by all the team. Blackburn, who hardly ever threatened the City defence before the interval, showed more urgency afterwards, but for most of the time it was Exeter who dictated the game, which bubbled over into an exciting finale in the last fifteen minutes. With a quarter of an hour to go the teams were still deadlocked, and nothing had been scored. Opportunities had been missed by both sides, the most by Exeter, but the supporters sensed that a goal was on way, and the City responded by taking the lead. Within the space of its another minute though Blackburn were level again, but from then on the City put Blackburn under even more pressure, and the deserved second and winning goal, by Delve, came after 81 minutes. Bowker got the City's first goal goal and Gregory replied for the Rovers.