3rd April 1972
Exeter City 3, Bury 2.
Report by DEREK LEAN
EXETER borrowed some swashbuckling soccer, normally only paraded for those special cup tie occasions, to sweep Bury off their feet and to bring a sudden sparkle to what has been tarnished and dull.
It was a transformation par-excellence; a comeback in the best dramatic traditions. It also gave Exeter their fifth point in three games and that must just about blow the clouds of re-election worries away from the Easter skies. But to get back to this remarkable game, Exeter produced one of the smartest about-turns as ever pleased a drill sergeant. There they were, two goals down after just 18 minutes to a Bury side looming giant-like in their control and command. Bury, of course, went into the game with seven goals from their previous two week- end matches, staging their own late promotion bid.
They hit Exeter with the sort of power football, full of skill and confidence, that is bound to bring results. Exeter went into the dressing-room at the interval still trailing by two goals, but one felt as if the worst was over. There had been signs that Bury had taken the kettle off the boil.
Exeter, on the other hand, had just lit the gas, and they tore into Bury like a sudden storm that nobody had expected.
When the game ended they were the undoubted and deserved victors with the tireless and tenacious Fred Binney adding a hat- trick to his goal-getting achievements and being carried off the field by a crowd of grateful youngsters.
What happened? It was a combination of Exeter matching goal-getting effectiveness to determination and of Bury paying heavily for easing up that little bit. But that is only part of the picture.
Exeter won this match because they showed the fight, the determination, the effort and the skill to break down Bury's defence and take their chances.
But they still had setbacks. Barry Rowan blasted a penalty kick wide of the post just when a goal would have brought Exeter back on terms.
The big thing was that Exeter stuck to the task and so thick and fast came the flurries of Exeter attacks that the goals were bound to come. In the end, they might have won by an even bigger margin, although the partisan might have conveniently forgotten a couple of occasions when Bury threw away chances.
In the fourth minute Bury took. the lead when George Jones picked up a loose ball and ham- mered it into the net. Then in the 18th minute, Murray took a very quick free kick which floated. over the heads of the the Exeter defenders to George Hemstead, who stabbed a shot into the net.
The Exeter goals started in the 51st minute. Joe Gadston had a crack at goal. The ball was cleared but only as far as Alan Banks who pushed it back to Gadston. His cross was smartly headed home by Binney. Ten minutes later Rowan made up for that lamentable penalty miss with a great pass to Banks, who in turn flicked it across the goal for Binney to head in his second.
After that it was really all go. Dave Gibson was working prodigiously in midfield and Alan Banks was chasing his heart out. But for all the near misses, the close shaves, and the goalkeeping of Mr. Forrest, time was ticking away. Then, six minutes from the end, Banks's determination brought the chance that mattered.
He and Binney chased a Gibson pass, Binney fastened on to the ball, and into the net it went.