28th February 1981
CUP WEEK SCARE: ROBERTS INJURED
Exeter City 2 (Kellow, Hatch)
Report by Gordon Hines
Defensive Tower block Phil Roberts today begins a fitness battle to make the Exeter City side for Saturday's FA Cup quarter final against Spurs at White Hart Lane. For Roberts hobbled out of yesterday's match, midway through the second half with a recurring groin strain
over-stretching for the ball. Roberts- he missed the previous game at Charlton with the same injury-knew the score immediately on hitting the deck He made straight for the dressing room, before sponge man Alan Beer had barely reached him, and he said afterwards It's in exactly the same place as before, at the top of the groin. I can't describe how I feel with the Spurs game only six days away, but I be having intensive treatment this week. I came off straight away. To have gone on would have made the injury much worse, and definitely ruled out my chances next Saturday?Manager Godfrey didn't hide his displeasure with the way in which Roberts was forced into a situation where he was at pains to Udy up another defender's mistake. Instead of doing the sim ple thing we tried to be too Clever, rapped Godfrey. The same happened a little later in the game when John Delve was injured. 'Someone else played him into all sorts of difficulty when the simple ball was de manded. Delve, unlike Roberts, survived the 90 minutes and there's no question of him fighting a race against time to get fit for Spurs. I'm not too worried about Roberts either, said Godfrey, He'll be there, if I know him.
The Spurs match tended, yesterday to dominate City's thinking yesterday. They
stormed into a 2-0 lead in 40 minutes through Tony Kellow and Peter Harch, but then seemed to just want to cruise through the remainder of the game and mistake followed mistake, not to mention injury after injury. Consequently Millwall were allowed to crawl into the picture instead of being dead and buried and City bad to thank Keeper Len Bond for keeping their score sheet again. Bond made two saves of the highest calibre, ond a double stop in the first half from Austin Hayes and the other, after the interval, from Millwall player-manager Peter Anderson. Hayes was the constant source of danger to City's defence for the simple o that he didn't operate from just one platform. He darted in, out, and all over the place in a game which vindicated the £60,000 Millwall paid Southampton for his services only recently. The Lions, though, had no one to make use of the space Hayes created along both channels because their final ball into the goalmouth had that dreadful air about it. City, on the other hand, pumped a whole series of killer passes into the Millwall penalty box, yet had no one was able to get on the end. Ian Pearson might have had a hat trick and also missed with a close range header from Delve's late corner. Substitute Ray Pratt revived memories of the John Jackson of old when he forced the veteran keeper to push away a stinging drive in the 74th minute. And there was a shot early in the second half from left back John Sparrow which deserved a goal but missed the target by the width of his old Chelsea shirt. In the end, Exeter had to rely on those two early goals from Kellow and Hatch. Kellow struck his 26th of the season after Dick Forbes and Hatch had set things up on the left of the penalty area in the 21st minute. Kellow suddenly became free when Hatch played the ball forward, and his left footed shot was too well placed for Jackson to even think of saving. Hatch's goal was also well taken, nine minutes later, when Peter Rogers crossed behind Kellow and Pearson as they swooped in for the kill. Intentionally or not, Rogers found Hatch patrolling the edge of the penalty area and the midfielder shot with his unorthodox right foot to confuse Jackson. Anderson was booked for arguing that Rogers had fouled full back David Martin before setting up the Hatch goal. And Anderson's team mate Paul Roberts was also booked in the second half for bringing a dazzling solo run by Peter Rogers to an abrupt halt. It just wasn't Millwall's day although Exeter know they will have to play with a lot more style and discipline if they're to take that big London scalp.
Bond, M. Rogers, Sparrow, Forbes. L.Roberts, P. Roberts, Pearson,P. Rogers Kellow, Delve, Hatch, Pratt (Sub).
Referee M. Robinson (Sutton Coldfield).