Brentford v ECFC 17.09.79
You're not good enough - Bees
Brentford...0 Exeter... 2
match report by COUN GRANT.
BRENTFORD'S bid to join the third division leaders failed miserably against struggling Exeter City at Griffin Park on Monday night. And if ever they needed proof that they're just not good enough to make a promotion push at present then this game provided the evidence. Exeter arrived at Brentford with a woeful away league record of three successive defeats - conceding 12 goals in the process- and with a 5-1 hammering at Millwall on Saturday still fresh in their minds. But they stunned the home crowd with two goals inside the first 20 minutes. Danny Salman failed to stop Keith Bowker wriggling his way through for City's opening goal on 15 minutes. And then keeper Len Bond could have been faulted when Steve Neville was allowed to curl ex-QPR man John Delve's tapped free kick round the defensive wall and into the net from 20 yards. But, defensive lapses apart, it really was the Bees predictable play going forward and a lack of punch up front that led to their downfall. The fact that central defenders Jim McNichol and Pat Kruse caused Exeter their biggest scare of the first half by both hitting the bar within a minute told the story of the home attack. And up front the gamble of playing Lee Holmes with a stitched knee failed to pay off, which meant he had to be substituted in the second- half, while Doug Allder again failed to make any impression on the wing.
That left Steve Phillips to wage his own battle up front and, try as he did, he couldn't find a way through on his own. Not surprisingly it was only when McNichol joined the attack in the last 15 minutes that Brentford loo- ked as though they might grab something from the game. In a hectic finale City 'keeper Vince O' Keefe produced a brilliant double save from Phillips and McNichol. Then, when he was beaten, first Tony Mitchell and then Richard Forbes cleared off the line almost inevitably from McNichol. Brentford boss Bill Dodgin said afterwards: "We played desperate stuff and didn't put our game together at all until the last 20 minutes.