4th December 1971
Exeter City 0, Brentford 1
Report By DEREK LEAN
Certainly it was mighty foggy in Exeter on Saturday, but Exeter City can hardly make this an excuse for failing to find the Brentford net. At times five or six times to be sure it was there shiningly vulnerable.
But that finishing, once again, was bad. Of course there were times when Exeter had some cruel luck, and of course Brentford were playing it mighty close at the back
Even so Exeter showed the form, did the work, and played well enough to make the openings. Then they threw away all they had worked so hard to earn.
It was dissappointing. This was game Exeter did not deserve a to lose in that their over-all per- formance was a good deal better than in previous weeks.
They produced some crisp football which was fluently linked together by some accurate and effective passing. All this made that paltry finishing all the more frustrating.
The match fell into a clear and definite pattern. Exeter made all the running for most of the first half.
They discovered that no matter how impressive Brentford's defensive record looked on paper-in their nine away matches they have conceded only six goals-the defence as a human entity could be broken down.
Barry Rowan, particularly, got behind his full-back, and John Giles, who worked so well in midfield, found gaps through which to pepper his passes.
The pattern of Exeter's offensive play was altered in the ten minutes before half-time when Brentford suddenly shook off the shackles of defence and started to come forward themselves. And when they did they looked good and dangerous.
Both John O'Mara and Bobby Ross have reason to remember Jimmy Blain as twice he robbed them of goals by clearing off the line in the nick of time.
Brentford opened the second half in the same mood. They forced a corner and from Brian Turner's kick the bustling O'Mara jumped high and headed into the corner of the net. It was a goal from the text-books, and a goal to win a match.
After that the pattern reformed t again. Brentford went back to their defensive role, and Exeter kept plugging away, still missed chances, and eventually paid the penalty.
The win put Brentford into second place in the Fourth Division, and defeat put Exeter only a goal-average distance away from the re-election one. That's how costly missed chances can be.