26th April 1972
Exeter City 0, Workington 2.
This was a weak and woeful performance from Exeter, and their supporters will not shed too many tears overmuch the passing of the football season. There is one more League match left at St. James' Park, and it is to be hoped it produces a lot more than this uninspiring effort.
But, of course, that is merely to present the picture from Exeter's point of view. The other side of the coin revealed a Workington performance that sparkled in comparison with Exeter's tarnished display.
After the first few minutes when Exeter produced their best football of the evening-it was a period too short to relish with much enthusiasm one spectator commented: There is nothing to this Workington side." He was certainly too precipitant in his verdict and watched on to eat his words.
Certainly in this opening spell Exeter had a couple of good chances, and they failed to take them. They were to regret passing over what turned out to be precious opportunities, because Workington suddenly hit Exeter with two goals in seven minutes and from then on the game was won.
One of the Workington goals came from sloppy defensive work and the other was one of those shots out of the blue, a good 30 yard effort, which comes every so often in football.
Exeter struggled to get back into the game, but there was so much wrong that to enumerate all the faults would be to recite a sad story.
Their passing at times was terri- bly inaccurate and there was a tendency for the forwards to bunch together like holiday traffic on the Exeter by-pass-they were there, but there was little move- ment or progress.
And most of all, there was a failure to link together moves of any fluency. Their approach work was as jerky as a learner seeking to control the clutch.
But to get back to what might have been, Campbell Crawford set up a chance early on when he chipped a ball forward for Joe Gadston, who ran intelligently to reach the pass. But Gadston's shot went over the top.
Minutes later Crawford instigated another chance with a cross which found John Wingate perfectly positioned, but he headed wide of the mark. And Workington very quickly rubbed home the message about gift horses.
Bob Wilson cleared to Dave Gibson who, under pressure slipped the ball back to Jimmy Blain. He was disposessed by Alan Tyrer who went away on his own and firmly stroked the ball past Wilson into the net.
That was in the 15th minute and in the 22nd Workington brought the ball out of defence into midfield for John Martin to cross to Tommy Spratt.
He was some 30 yards out and hammered a drive at the Exeter goal. Maybe Wilson misjudged the shot or maybe it was just one of those long shots that come off from time to time,
There were moments Fred Binney had a shot cleared off the line and Wingate headed one over the top but Workington looked in little danger of surrendering their points.