30th October 1971
Reading 3-1 Exeter
Three of Exeter's four bookings were for fouls on Reading left winger Terry Bell. The strangest came three minutes from time
Exeter goalkeeper Bob Wilson pushed the ball into Bell's face as he was being bothered on the edge of the penalty box. Referee Mr. Jim Wally of Southport promptly booked him and gave a penalty that Gordon Cumming slotted in to ensure Readings third win in four matches. Reading just about deserved the points because they had the edge in midfield where skipper Barrie Wagstaff and his brother Tony worked tirelessly to get their side moving. From a Cumming corner kick goalkeeper Wilson was badly at fault in punching the ball straight into the air. Barry Wagstaff rose high above six static defenders to head his first goal of the season after 26 minutes. But on the half-time whistle Fred Binney brought Exeter level with a typical piece of honest effort. Reading buzzed effectively on the re-start and went ahead with a curious goal. John Harley caught Exeter offside trap in midstream with a through pass and Cumming looked lonely inside the penalty box. He took his time before tapping it gently past the helpless Wilson as Exeter protested.
Match Report 2.
READING 3. EXETER 1
TWO disputed goals kept Reading in the top half of the table. But they will have to do better than this if promotion is going to be anything more than a dream. Their first goal was straightforward - skipper Barrie Wagstaff headed a punched clearance from Wilson back into the net. But when Cumming scor- ed the second he was 10 yards clear of the nearest defender. The referee ruled he was onside when Harley chipped over the defence. Exeter worked hard and had their chances before Reading clinched it with a penalty-also disputed. Bell challenged as Wilson prepared to clear and the keeper pushed the ball in his face. Cumming scored from the spot and Wilson was booked. Three other Exeter men -Parker, Crawford and ex-Reading winger Rowan.
Binney scored Exeter's goal with a superb drive high into the net from 25 yards.
READING: Pratt 7-Butler Marsan . Harley 6. Flannigan 7- WAGSTAFF (8) 8. Wagstaff (T) 7 Cumming 6. Chappell 6. Harman 7. Bell 7.
EXETER: Wilson S-Crawford (inj) S. Gilles (Jim) 6. Baison 7. Blain 6-Parker 7. Merrin 6. Giles (John) 5-Rewan 5. BINNEY Wingate 6.
Sub.: Morris 5.
Ref.: J. Whalley (Southport) 5.