Match 51
27th April 1974
Swansea City (home)


The teams

Wilson: Blain, Crawford. Hatch, Giles. Clapham, Binney, Bowker, Wingate. Wallace. Gibson. Sub: Joy.

Millington; Evans, Thomas, Bruton, Williams. Bevan, Curtis. James, Abott, Lalley, Rees. Sub: Davis.

Ref: M. V. Sinclair (Guildford).

There was a crowd of 2,915 for this, the last Saturday league match of the season for Exeter.

EXETER CITY rounded off an historic week in the history of the club with a thoroughly-deserved 2-0 victory against Swansea City at St. James's Park this afternoon. After the shattering penalty by the Football League, the Division 4 club bounced back to take both points with goals from Fred Binney-his 31st of the season-and Keith Bowker, whose goal came from a brilliant header. Exeter were as announced. which meant that they played the side who beat Scunthorpe 4-0 earlier in the week.

Shortly before the kick-off, secretary Pat Wakeham reported that the club had now received in excess of £200 from donations from organisations and individuals in response to the club's severe fine by the Football League earlier this week.

When Swansea moved forward, Rees put his cross from the right behind. Back came Exeter, and Binney was in the Swansea danger area, but he was cut out by two defenders. Then Binney tried to put Wallace clear down the right, but the striker's pass was too strong. A Crawford free kick was just touched on by a Swansea defender, and from the corner Willington took out the ball as Binney challenged, Exeter were doing most of the early pressing, and they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Swansea area following a foul on Binney. The free kick was headed away for a corner and the Swansea defence were put under pres- sure. Eventually, the ball droped to Wingate, but his shot was off target. At the other end, a deep free kick by Bruron was taken out under the bar by Wilson.  The game was held up for Williams to have treatment on a leg injury, but he looked anything but happy when the game re-started. Gibson showed his skill and class by playing Exeter out of trouble when in his own area. It started a flowing City move, but this broke down when Blain was too long with his pass down the right. When Swansea counter-attacked, Wilson did well to touch a shot wide of the post. Some of Exeter's passing out of defence was lacking accuracy although they were still having more of the play at this early stage. Bowker took a long ball down the left and cleverly dummied inside to hit a shot just wide of the far post. Blain needed attention for a cut above his eye and then he was immediately back in action to take part in Exeter's short corner, which was cleared. Out came Millington to do well in taking out the ball as Blain was moving in one a re- bound following a Cross by Wallace. Blood was trickling down the face of Blain following his earlier knock. Gibson appeared to be used to hit long balls forward from midfield. He did this on several occasions, but so far there had been no real penetration. Bowker set Exeter going with a fine cross ball out to Wallace on the right. It ended in a corner to Exeter, and from it Wingate hit the bar with a terific shot that left Millington stranded. A minute later came another Exeter corner. Giles headed the ball on and Bowker's header was brilliantly saved by Millington. Almost immediately Swansea goalkeeper pulled out another fine save from Wingate's shot. Suddenly, in a space of a few minutes, Exeter might well nave been in the lead but for Millington, A quick break by Swansea let in James, but he drove a 20yd. shot too high. Back came Exeter with a corner from the right Gibson took it, and Binney put the ball into the net, but the referee had already blown for an infringement by Giles. James forced Wilson into diving full-length to save his shot, but still it was Exeter who were having more of the game. In the 39th minute Binney showed all his skills when he too: out two Swansea defenders and cut in from the right. He crossed towards the far post. where Bowker's header was off target. But in the 40th minute Exeter went ahead. The goal originated from the spin of the ball which went in Exeter's favour. As a result, Bowker moved forward down the left and won a throw in. Up stepped Hatch to take one of his traditional long throws: the ball was headed on by Wingate, and there was BINNEY perfectly positioned to hook the ball past Millington from close range. It was Binney's 31st goal of the season.

A long free kick by Bruton was comfortably taken out by Wilson. Bowker skilfully controlled the ball to beat two Swansea players and push Blain away. Unfortunately, the Exeter player was offside. Then Bowker had a header held by Millington. Twice Hatch tidied up with back passes to Wilson. On the other side of the field, Crawford conceded a free kick, but Swansea made nothing of it.

When Hatch made a mistake in failing to clear just outside his own area, Lalley hit a first time low shot which was only just off target as Wilson scrambled across his line. Wallace had a chance following good work by Binney and Blain, but the City player hit his angled shot off target.

Then Gibson and Hatch combined, Hatch played a fine cross ball behind the Swansea defence, but Wallace, moving in from the right, missed out with his full length header. Exeter deserved to be ahead and were continuing to have more of the game. Bowker had a shot deflected for a corner after moving inside, but the cross was headed away by Bevan. In the 65th minute, Swansea brought on sub, Davis for Rees. A Curtis lob was easily taken by Wilson, and at the other end Exeter might have in- creased their lead in the 75 minute. Binney did so well on the left and then crossed to the far post where Wallace headed wide. Then Gibson had a fierce shot blocked. Exeter were playing some good football in their build-up, using width on both sides of the pitch. There was no doubt that they deserved their lead which could have been by a bigger margin by this stage of the game. Blain was heavily brought down in the 81st minute and as a result Exeter increased their lead with a superb goal, Blain took the free kick; he hit a hard cross into the Swansea area and BOWKER scored with a brilliantly taken header that left Millington with no chance whatsoever.



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