8th November 1978
Football League Cup 4th Round
November 8 1978
Exeter City 0 Watford 2.
Football, we are always being told, is a 90 minute game, but it took just 90 seconds for Watford to shatter Exeter City's dreams of reaching the last stages of the Football League Cup for the first time in their history. Mr Hamil, the referee, had barely had time to set the game in motion before he was pointing to the penalty spot to give Watford the chance they were waiting for. Pritchett easily put the ball in Exeter's net and at the same time delivered a blow from which the City never recovered. The penalty was given against Giles for bringing down Mercer. Watford in the second half made the game safe for themselves when Jenkins, who is 6ft 4ins tall, out jumped the cluster of players round him to beat O'Keefe with a header into the top corner of the net.
City:- O'Keefe; Templeman, Giles, Roberts, Hore; Delve, Randell, Hatch; Neville, Kellow, Bowker.
Watford:- Rankin; Stirk, Booth, Bolton, Pritchett; Downes, Garner, Mayes; Blissett, Mercer, Jenkins.
Referee:- Mr A.Hamil of Wolverhampton.
Randell, who had sustained slight concussion through colliding with a Watford player, did not come out for the second half, and Holman was brought on. With two orthodox wingers in the team the City were forced to adopt a 4-2-4 formation. Had Exeter played to their strengths and used those wingers more they might have engineered the downfall of Watford quite easily, but although Neville in the first half had proved that he had the beating of the full-back time and time again he was in the second period given too little of the ball. Instead, the City for some mysterious reason persisted in playing long high balls through the middle which gave the tall defenders no trouble at all.
- Attendance 14,740, highest of the season.