31st August 1976
League Cup 2
Norwich City (h)
TUESDAY 31st AUGUST 1976
EXETER SHOW GREAT SPIRIT
Football League Cup Round Two
Exeter City 1 Norwich City 3
Exeter City team: Key, Templeman, Hooker, Hore, Saxton (Clapham), Hatch, Hodge, Kellow, Morrin, Beer, Jordan.
Norwich City team: Keelan, Ryan, Sullivan, Powell, Forbes, Steele, Grapes, MacDougall, Boyer, Suggett, Peters.
Exeter City: Kellow.
Norwich City: Boyer, Grapes, MacDougall.
Despite conceding a penalty, losing Bobby Saxton with a pulled muscle, and then having Bobby Hodge injured, but continuing to play, Exeter City showed a healthy disregard for Norwich City's position and reputation and gave them a game to remember.
City found themselves with a mountain to climb when they were two goals down after 34 minutes, but they pulled one back before the interval. Then through sheer persistence and spirit the Grecians took the second half honours by forcing the Canaries mainly into a secondary role. Perhaps had the run of the ball been kinder, then Exeter may have earned a replay.
Norwich obviously showed their stature in flashes of fluent, faultless football, particularly in the first half, but equally they showed weaknesses which has given them a disappointing start to the season in the First Division. While Exeter played well, it must be said that they also missed a couple of chances that might have changed the course of the cup tie.
Norwich took the lead after just six minutes from the penalty spot through Ted MacDougall, after Alan Hooker had handled a shot from Steele, with Richard Key well beaten. City went 2-0 down after 34 minutes. A corner was not cleared properly by the Exeter defence, and Steve Grapes took advantage to hammer the ball into the net.
A minute before the half-time break Tony Kellow gave City some hope, scoring after receiving a pass from Peter Hatch. Despite City's valiant efforts the tie was all over three minutes from the end when Phil Boyer raced away to score the third goal for Norwich.