26th January 1980
ECFC v Chesterfield
ECFC 1-2 Chesterfield
Match Report by Gordon Hines
Sunday Independant 27/1/1980
EXETER City learnt a few home truths yesterday, not least being that manager Brian Godfrey must introduce more physical strength into his side to counter heavy conditions. Even some established members of the team have to think more about their game when confronted with big and skilful combinations like Chesterfield. For there were times, especially in the opening 45 minutes, when this appeared a contest be- tween men and boys. Chesterfield ignored the sticky conditions to run and play football which made them the most effective side to play at St James' Park this season. Exeter, by contrast, never looked as though only two points separated the teams in the top half of the table. As manager Godfrey conceded afterwards: The first half was practically over before we realised what a pointless exercise it all was to constantly try and work the ball through the muddy middle.' And even when Exeter came more into the match after the interval, there wasn't the pace, power or imagination to unhinge Chesterfield's towering defence. Peter Hatch did, once, to equalise in the 57th minute when he conned everyone into believing he would cross the ball, and tore at the Chesterfield defence instead. Suddenly he was in the clear, and his cross-shot whistled into the net off 'keeper Mark Kendall's outstretched legs. That goal should have put City into the lead, for Steve Neville missed with a penalty a couple of minutes before half time after Peter Rogers had been chopped down by Bill Green. But Kendall, on loan to Chesterfield from Spurs dived to his left, and then saved Phil Roberts' follow-up shot with his body. Chesterfield were a goal up through leading marksman Ernie Moss in the 13th minute. He side-footed the ball in for his 14th of the season after Ian Main had pushed away a cross from Phil Walker. Main was also beaten by a drive from winger Alan Birch but the ball can- noned back into play off the underside of the crossbar. Hatch's equaliser gave a hint of better things to come from Exeter, and it certainly didn't look as though they would surren- der both points. But their defence was caught out six minutes from time when not everyone pushed out to play offside from Andy Kowalski's free kick. Left back Martyn Rogers was all at sea and winger Andy Crawford was able to steal a few yards and head the ball from one side of goal into the far corner. The fact that Birch was booked for a tackle on Dave Pullar in the second half was only a miner blemish on Chesterfield's performance. They taught City a few lessons which, hopefully, will have been absorbed by the time Millwall line up at St James' Park next Saturday.
Main Rogers(M) Hatch Hore Giles Roberts (P) Neville Rogers(P) Bowker Delve Pullar
Ref: R. S. Lewis (Great Bookham).