6th October 1979
Exeter City 1, (Hatch)
Report by Gordon Hines
BIG, affable Jimmy Giles did as much as goal scorer Peter Hatch to clinch both points for ill at ease Exeter at St James' Park yesterday. For, while Hatch plundered the 28th minute winner, it was Jim who fixed it against Blackpool and former Exeter striker Tony Kellow. The fact Kellow didn't score shouldn't detract from his constant menace around City's 18-yard box. The Cornishman was a threat in every sense of the word and it needed more than orthodox methods to keep him from scoring on West Country soil for the second successive Saturday.
Kellow, of course, helped Blackpool to a draw at Home Park last weekend and was doubly keen to follow that up against the club who sold him for £125,000 almost a year ago. But Giles had the perfect answer. He talked Kellow through the game and you could sense the former Falmouth Town striker falling into the age-old trap. He answered back and so lost concentration. Giles congratulated Kellow every time he did something well. And Kellow responded in a way suggesting he thought he was having a good game. Big Jim, in the meantime, was able to clear his defensive line while Kellow was still savouring the meat of Giles' comments. Both Giles and Kellow confessed to their running verbal feud after the match. Said Giles: 'I don't. think I looked forward to a game quite so much this season. "Tony is possibly a better player than he was at Exeter, and it was satisfying to have kept him quiet in a match that was vitally important for us to win. "The fact that I was constantly talking to Tony was part tactics, but I hope people looked on my display as one of my better games this season.'
Kellow, with five goals to his name so far, admitted to taking part in the talk- about with his former Exeter room-mate. B'It was a bit like the Michael Parkinson show at times,' said Kellow. 'I wouldn't agree to losing concentration, but Jim seemed to want to do a lot of talking. Some of our exchanges are unprinta- ble!' Kellow, who confirmed he was a £175,000 Derby County target last month, didn't get a shot on target. Exeter, by the same token, didn't raise many goal-scoring attempts. But the one chance converted was sheer opportunism and the product of a well- worked free kick. Both John Delve and Hatch have scored from the same set piece in previous games this season. This time Hatch took full responsibility from Delve's short free kick. The ball flew wide of Blackpool's defensive wall and crept just inside the post beyond goalkeeper Tom McAlister. 'Blackpool's wall didn't break,' said Hatch. 'It was a situation which we have worked on in training and it was a relief to see the ball go in.' The goal apart, there wasn't a great deal to shout about. City were disciplined in defence with the talkative Giles and skipper John Hore in meticulous mood. They had their high moments in midfield without Delve, Dick Forbes or David Pullar ever dominating the match. Up front there was also a hint of Peter Rogers coming back to the form that so captivated his audience last season. He didn't score but he did have a hand in the goal when he was bundled off the ball by a Blackpool defender. The result was an indirect free kick and Hatch, with the help of Delve, made the chance count. Both sides hit the bar in the second half Exeter with a Steve Neville header. Bookings were handed out to Blackpool's Suddaby. Brian Smith and Peter Rogers was booked for Exeter.
Ref: J. E. Martin (Hampshire).