Match 18
24th October 1979
Southend United (h)

ECFC 4-2 Southend 

Scorers: Forbes, Neville (pen), Bowker, Pearson
Attendance: 3,246

Match Report 1 from Sunday Mirror 25/10/1979

Southend suffer as Exeter tune up for Anfield

Exeter 4, Southend 2

EXETER, went on a goal spree to prepare for their League Cup trip to Liverpool at rain-lashed St. James Park last night, writes Graham Baker. Their four-goal romp was the ideal build-up to- wards next Tuesday's visit to Anfield for the fourth round tie.

Southend scored first when Vince O'Keefe parried a shot from John Walker and Terry Gray fired home the rebound after seven minutes. But Exeter stormed into a 3-1 lead at the inter- val with goals from Dick Forbes (22 mins) Steve Neville (penalty 32) and Keith Bowker (43). Southend struck back with Gray's second goal just 35 seconds after the interval, but Exeter secured the points with a fine goal by Ian Pearson after 75 minutes.

Match Report 2 from the Sunday Independant 

MANAGER Brian Godfrey's pre-match promise to go for goals paid off handsomely at St. James's Park last night as Exeter City completely swamped Southend. The torrential rain which persisted throughout made the game something of a lottery, but there was nothing chancy about the way Exeter tucked away their opportunities. City's clinical finishing helped them to a 4-2 victory their biggest in the league this season. Although Exeter went through a patch in the second half where their game was as sticky as the St. James's Park mud, it was generally pleasing a performance all-round and gave further evidence of City's growing consistency. "It just shows what a funny game football is," said Godfrey. 'Against Reading and Chester we just did not seem to be able to put the ball in the net, but last night we stuck it in four times against one of the best defences in the Third Division. "I thought we played well, especially in the first half, but we went through a difficult period of 25 minutes in the second half. "We were a little bit on edge, but to be fair they played well and put us under pressure."  The match might have raised a few doubts about the immediate future of goalkeeper Vince O'Keefe, who had been warned before the game that this was his last chance to prove himself. Although many people might have blamed O'Keefe for the goal which rocked Exeter after only seven minutes, Godfrey had no such reservations about his young keeper. "Conditions were extremely difficult and their goalkeeper did not hold anything all night either," said Godfrey. "I thought Vince made a good save in the first place and we were just a little bit unlucky that it was John Hore on the goal-line and not someone a little bit bigger." O'Keefe in fact made two attempts to stop John Walker's well-struck shot, but succeeded only in teeing the ball up for Terry Gray to head the ball home from just under the crossbar despite the challenge of Hore. City did not allow the early setback to upset their composure, however, and they did come back magnificently with three goals in a frantic 11-minute spell. Dick Forbes scored his first goal of the season after 23 minutes when he planted a perfect first-time shot past Mervyn Cawston after Steve Neville had set him up with a fine ball across the edge of the penalty area. Neville himself added the second goal from the penalty spot after Keith Bowker had been pulled back by Alan Moody. And inevitably it was Bowker who completed the scoring burst with a superb angled header from Peter Hatch's corner for his 10th goal of the season. At 3-1 Exeter seemed to have the game neatly sewn up, but Southend had different ideas. They stormed back with a second goal from Gray within 35 seconds of the start of the second half. Anton Otulakowski created the opportunity with a fine first-time ball which caught Exeter cold and left Gray with only O'Keefe to beat. Southend then proceeded to put City under a great deal of pressure and for a while it looked as though the visitors might yet snatch a point. But with 15 minutes to go, Exeter hit back with their now familiar free-kick routine. John Delve rolled the ball to Hatch, who struck a fierce shot which Cawston could only parry and there was Ian Pearson waiting to bang home the rebound and make the game safe.



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