Match 20
13th November 2004
FA Cup 1st Round
Grimsby T (h)

13th November 2004 

FA Cup 1st Round

Grimsby T (h)

by Nick Southwood (London Exiles)

Last Saturday travelled down to sunny Exeter for the first round FA Cup game against Football league visitors, Grimsby Town.

This was the first time have seen Exeter play Grimsby, due to the fact that for most of the last decade they have been one (or more usually two) divisions higher. Apparently, in 1990 when Exeter won the Division Four championship it was Grimsby who were second. Anyhow, set off from home to catch the usual 0712 to London, arriving at Paddington at 0830. Nice and early for the 0933 know, but taking later trains only adds an element of risk to the day as the later trains usually run late. I had a mostly nice cup of filterless coffee, the last mouthful of which was almost pure coffee grounds - hmmm yummy. Our travel leader arrived at 0900 to collect the tickets, however the automated ticket machine decided to make a complete dogs dinner of it and printed all the tickets using a combination of blur, smudge or half page printing. The laughing ticket man managed to sort through it all eventually though and the 14 of us boarded the 0933 to the Westcountry. The journey down was spent playing cards (in my case badly).

We arrived in Exeter at about 1220, slightly later than normal due to a diversion around the site of the Reading crash last weekend. We ambled over to the Great Western for a drink and by happy chance they had the Spurs-Arsenal game on. I'd arranged to meet my mate Rob and he turned up in time to join us on the train to St James' Park

At the Centre Spot they also had the footy on, although the score had somehow jumped from 1-2 to 3-4! The lots for the forthcoming Supporters' Club auction were on display. Highlights include Roberto Carlos' Real Madrid shirt, signed Manchester United, FC Porto and England memorabilia. There was also lots of lots of a non-football kind, tickets for BBC Television's Question of Sport being a good example.

And off to the ground. There was a goodly attendance but i was a little disappointed with the Grimsby turnout, maybe only 150 or so. After a minutes silence following the sudden passing of the Exeter City FC Stadium Safety Officer. Malcolm Thompson, the
game got under way.

Exeter lined up: Martin Rice, Scott Hiley, Santos Gaia, Gary Sawyer, Alex Jeannin, Andy Taylor, Kwame Ampadu, Danny Clay, Les Afful, Sean Devine and Steve Flack.

Pretty much our best starting eleven allowing for injury to Chris Todd, Glenn Cronin and Barry McConnell. City were attacking the away end and so were playing into the setting sun. I wish, at times like that, the big bank was sponsored by Ray Ban or someone similar. Exeter were wearing the new centenary strip. The Conference had not allowed the club to wear it for a league game, but the FA had okayed it for the Cup. So City were resplendent in black and gold and Grimsby wore their yellow change kit. City began the game brightly. We took the lead after only six minutes, Santos Gaia heading home Andy Taylor's pin point cross. That was his 7th goal of the season, not bad from centre back. Grimsby didn't really figure, and seemed more intent on battering City's players. However, the Referee kept his cards firmly in his pocket. The worst culprit was their number 9, Michael Reddy (formerly of Sunderland). Not long before half time the Mariners keeper made an excellent save to keep them in the game, a full stretch tip round the post. The second half began and the sun finally dipped below the horizon so not glaring into the brightness for Grimsby's keeper. City were again on top, although in this half the ref began to flash his yellow card about, Afful and Flack getting booked for City and Reddy for Grimsby. Then there was a flash point, Jeannin and Reddy involved in some stern tackling for which the ref gave Reddy a talking to. Then with about 20 minutes to go Reddy kicked the ball away and picked up his second yellow. Cheerio then!

Once they were down to 10 men Grimsby tried to grab a share of the scores. They came close on one occasion but Rice made a fantastic save to keep it at 1-0. Late on Dean Moxey replaced Afful and City progressed into the 2nd Round. After the game was a bit of a dash to catch the early train back to London. was home by 2200, which is pretty normal. The draw for the second round on Sunday saw us facing a home game against Doncaster Rovers, probably a tougher test. If we get to the magical third round we will deserve it.



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