Match 49
15th April 1974
Bury (home)

Exeter City 0, Bury 3
Report by DEREK LEAN

While holidaymakers, faces glowing from the spring sunshine, returned from the countryside and moors, Exeter City manager John Newman last night pondered an Easter programme which had brought more in the nature of austere mid-winter gloom to Exeter.

To be sure, Exeter's Easter balance of payments makes unhappy reading. From their three games they obtained only one point, not a single goal, and rubbing salt into the wound of being so soundly beaten by Bury was the fact that attendance of 2,992 was the lowest of the season. No doubt supporters were reflecting over their Bank Holiday half-pints that Exeter's fortunes have dramatically changed in a fickle season of inconsistency. From hopes of promotion glory the position has changed so that Exeter might slip dangerously near the other end of the table.

It was another poor performance especially in the second half. Caustic critical words serve little purpose but suffice to say that apart from a few moments of early action, this was mainly an artless and aimless display by Exeter, a performance peppered with mistakes, lacking in drive and determination, seemingly without plan, shaky in construction and in the end plain and pedestrian in the extreme. But there were early hopes that it might have been different. Fred Binney did pretty well to control a difficult ball, turn and try a shot, but goalkeeper John Forrest held the ball. Forrest deserves the congratulations of his side for two brilliant saves to really fierce shots by Tony Morrin and John Wingate. Minutes later as Binney broke away on his own it looked as if he must score, but Forrest stuck out his leg and the ball richochetted off for a corner. 

Unfortunately this sort of action was over all too soon. Although Exeter had a territorial advantage - throughout the first half, the fire went from the belly of their attack. Once more it was weak, as on Saturday in the Lincoln game, and about as effective at trying to saw through wood with a razor blade. 


The first Bury goal when it came was against the run of play and certainly took the wind out of Exeter's sails. It stemmed from a corner which at first looked as if it would pass without trouble, but when John Murray lobbed the ball back into the goalmouth Dave Holt climbed well and headed the ball into the net. In the 61st minute there was no let-up in Exeter's misfortunes. A fine run by Brian Williams brought danger but Bob Wilson seemed to have Derek Spence's shot covered. Instead, in trying to block the ball, centre half Jimmy Giles deflected it into his own net. Now Bury, their promotion hopes soaring, were in full com- mand, and they nearly scored again when Spence hit the upright with a header. Two minutes from full time Spence returned the compliment for Williams as he ended a fine run with a judicious pass and Williams took the easiest of chances to score.



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