Match 21
3rd November 1979
Grimsby Town (h)

Exeter City 1
Grimsby Town 2
Ford, Drinkell

Att. 4,356

Match Report by Gordon Hines
Sunday Independent 4/11/1979 

22 year old former Perry Street League striker Andy Bell was drafted into the squad as Exeter City manager Brian Godfrey threatened to ring the changes last night. Godfrey had to sit through a strangely inept Exeter performance which had nothing to do with their midweek Liverpool exertions but everything to do with players not doing the elementary things right. The introduction of Bell - probably as substitute - at Southend tomorrow night is an indication that City's strike force is in for an overhaul unless they come up with the goods at Roots Hall. I doubt, though, that Bell would have got much change out of Grimsby yesterday, especially as strikers are often only as good as the service they receive. With Jan Pearson out for the next three games with a hip injury, Peter Rogers was promoted from the substitute's bench and played as well as anyone - when he had the ball. Exeter's midfield weaved more patterns than you find in your average Women's Own, with the result the forwards didn't have a chance when the ball was eventually played up to them. The one exception was an early pass from skipper John Hore in the second minute that produced a chance which haunted Keith Bowker for the rest of the game. Rogers, with one instead of a mass of Grimsby defenders to beat, slipped around Clive Wigginton and his first time ball put Bowker in the clear before his shot was saved by goalkeeper Nigel Batch. Exeter, in fact, started the game like greyhounds chasing a lame hare but were rocked back on their heels when Tony Ford hit the ball wide of Vince O'Keefe in the ninth minute after the City goalkeeper was involved in an almighty mix-up with Hore. Grimsby struck back in the second half, yet Exeter not only drew level against the run of play, but should have gone ahead. Dick Forbes struck the equaliser after 69 minutes and 90 seconds later provided the cross which Steve Neville should have scored from. Bowker headed the ball across goal, but Neville wasn't decisive enough with his header from two yards and Batch pushed the ball over the bar. Both teams made subsequent substitutions, with Roy Ireland taking over in midfield from the injured John Delve and Gary Liddell replacing goal scorer Ford. It was Liddell who made the greatest impact when he dummied centre half Giles and lashed a shot against O'Keefe's palms. At first it seemed Peter Hatch must clear the rebound. But he dallied sufficiently for striker Kevin Drinkell to get a toe-end to the ball and score on the far post. It was a gross error. But to highlight Hatch and the combined mistake between Hore and O'Keefe for the first goal would be to hide City's shortcomings.



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