19th February 1977
SATURDAY 19th FEBRUARY 1977
CITY MAINTAIN PROMOTION PUSH
Rochdale 1 Exeter City 2
Rochdale team: Poole, Hallows, Lacey, Banton (Mullington), Summerscales, O'Laughlin, Helliwell, Cooper, Mountford,
Exeter City team: Key, Templeman, Hore, Weeks, Saxton, Hatch, Hodge, Kellow, Robertson, Beer, Jennings.
Scorers: Rochdale: Whelan. Exeter: Weeks, Beer.
Exeter City continued their promotion thrust with a deserved victory at Rochdale, where a poor crowd of just over 1,500 saw the Grecians at their penetrating best. After surviving a shaky opening, City never looked back, particularly after Graham Weeks had scored in the 35th minute. With better shooting they might have won more convincingly and saved themselves the anxiety of seeing Rochdale equalising from the penalty spot.
The Spotland pitch churned up badly and both sides had difficulty in keeping their feet. Perhaps against the run of play, Exeter went ahead. Tony Kellow beat a couple of defenders and chipped over a low centre for Weeks to drive the ball against the goalkeeper, but he made no mistake with the rebound. Having scored, Exeter now began to play with a huge amount of confidence and really had Rochdale on the run for the rest of the first half.
City continued to be well on top after the interval and had it not been for the goalkeeping of Poole they would have had the game sewn up. Exeter were shocked in the 72nd minute though when Mullington was brought down by Peter Hatch and Whelan equalised with the penalty. Within two minutes, however, justice was done when Alan Beer raced onto a through ball and rolled it into the net for the winning goal.