ECFC v Rotherham United
ECFC 1-1 Rotherham United
Red-faced Jim seals City fate with slip
Match Report by Gordon Hines
Sunday Independant 2/12/1979.
JIMMY Giles sported more than two lovely black eyes and a disfig- ured nose after a glitter- ing advertisement for Third Division football at St. James' Park yesterday. The towering Exeter City defender also had a distinct crimson-look about his gills after nudging the ball into his own net to sal- vage a point for more than a little fortunate Rotherham. Giles broke his nose in training during the week and did remarkably well in view of his handicap against big bustling striker Dave Gwyher. But he erred for just a fraction two minutes from time after 'keeper Ian Main had dropped the ball from a Peter Nix inswinging corner. It was 18 year old, Main's only mistake throughout 90 minutes after replacing out of form Vince O'Keefe and he must have felt just as low as Giles did after the game. There was a chance for both players to clear their lines but Giles merely followed his 'keeper into the crowds' bad books by steering the ball inside an upright for his second goal on successive Saturdays. A Rotherham goal, or even two, shouldn't have mattered in the least to Exeter. For they created half a dozen chances that should have been put away instead of squandered by indecisive finishing. Peter Rogers and Peter Hatch missed two sitters in the first half, when first, Rogers was put off by a 'call' from Ian Pearson, and then Hatch failed to con- nect with only 'keeper Ray Mountford in front of him. Both chances were created with passes from John Delve and skipper John Hore that ripped the Rotherham defence to shreds. In fact, the Yorkshire side survived numerous chances before Hatch finally broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute with a goal that's unlikely to be bettered at St. James' Park for the rest of the season. He tapped the ball to the side of Paul Stancliffe; shot past the centre half and then cannoned the ball along the ground beyond Mountford. It was a pearl, capping a performance by Hatch which had class stamped all over and which hinted that manager Brian Godfrey's search for a central midfield player need go on no longer. But, the, Hatch's display wasn't the only reason why Exeter can feel happier with themselves after the disappointment of the FA Cup at Aldershot. The re-introduction of Dave Pullar helped give the midfield greater balance and some of City's moves were a joy to behold. Unfortunately, they still lacked the killer instinct in front of the posts and no matter how much one sat back and admired the skills of Rogers, Pearson, Hatch, Delve and Steve Neville, the end product was disappointing. They should have had the game all parcelled up by the interval yet the more opportunities that went begging the more confident Rotherham looked in their belief that they could hold on to a point. Hatch might have upset their thoughts with his 73rd- minute dream goal, though one goal was never going to be enough. Both sides played the ball around with some delight- ful touch football, although City must look on the result as a point lost as opposed to a point won. It was, after all, the ninth home point they've drop- ped this season. Stancliffe was the only player booked, being cautioned for an injury time foul on Rogers.