SATURDAY 27th NOVEMBER 1976
UNBEATEN RUN COMES TO AN END
Darlington 2 Exeter City 1
Darlington team: Ogley, Nattress, Cochrane, Stone, Craig, Noble, Lyons, Rowles, Ferguson, Holbrook, Wann.
Exeter City team: Key, Darke, Hooker, Hore, Saxton, Hatch, Weeks, Kellow, Robertson, Jordan, Jennings.
Scorers: Darlington: Winn, Noble. Exeter: Kellow.
Darlington added to their sound home record when they ended Exeter City's recent good run of five unbeaten league matches. Both sides opened briskly and built up their attacking moves. Darlington steadily mounted pressure and this paid dividends when they took a 25th minute lead. A half hit clearance fell to Wann who crashed in a rising shot from the edge of the area.
The Grecians were now struggling as Darlington surged forward. Only the cool play of Bobby Saxton and Peter Hatch prevented a further setback. Exeter were constantly falling foul of the referee and at times the players showed their frustrations at some of his decisions. Peter Darke almost presented Darlington with a gift goal in the second half when he headed against his own goal post.
The tempo of the match had lifted with Exeter beginning to grit their teeth, but they found it hard work against an aggressive side that gave them very little chance to settle on the ball. Two quick Darlington corners were held by Richard Key, then with three minutes remaining, Noble increased his sides lead from the penalty spot. Exeter never gave up though and were rewarded for their efforts with a consolation goal in the 89th minute as Tony Kellow found the back of the net.