Match 48
12th April 1980
ECFC v Blackburn Rovers

ECFC 2-0 Blackburn Rovers
Scorers: Forbes, Neville
Attendance: 5,407

Match Report By Gordon Hines
Sunday Independant 12/04/1980

EXETER City regained their self respect yesterday. After the degrading. Easter Monday performance at Plymouth they were back on song and in favour with the fans with about as professional a performance as you could wish to see. There was no drama, no histrionics and certainly none of the lethargy which accompanied them to Home Park. Instead they showed Blackburn the back door with goals from Dick Forbes and Steve Neville in each half. And they clinically disposed of opposition who are third in the table after arriving at St. James' Park following a 15 match sequence in which they dropped only one point. Ironically that happened against City at Ewood Park in February and it showed from the very outset yes- terday that Rovers again feared Brian Godfrey's men. Both goals were minor masterpieces in their own right. Forbes struck the first from just inside the penalty box after Tony Kellow had teed up a chance in the 36th minute. Kellow, normally the goal poacher, turned Blackburn's defence one way, then the other before hitting a square pass for Forbes to mark his return to first team duty with his third goal of the season. He replaced the injured John Delve in midfield and was the real success story in a chapter of fine performances by the City team. Exeter sealed their victory in the 56th minute as the result of a superb piece of Neville artistry after Peter Rogers had carved out the chance. Neville glided past a defender and drew Jim Arnold before walloping his shot to the goalkeeper's left. Blackburn player - manager Howard Kendall took himself off shortly afterwards and introduced substitute Dennis Thorley in a bid to set Exeter a few more problems. Yet there was only one anxious moment that was quickly snuffed and out when goalkeeper Ian Main flew off his line to smother a shot from Tony Parkes. The fine build-up to that particular move proved that Blackburn are not in a false league position. Generally, however, they were no way near sharp enough to unsettle City's defence and did not have enough ammunition to fight back once Exeter had taken the lead. "There's no question that the best team won,' conceded Rover's boss Kendall. 'We were up against one of the better teams in the Third Division and I only hope they go out and do the same when Sheffield Wednesday come to Exeter.' Certainly Exeter have established a reputation this season for knocking over the top teams. And a win for them against Jackie Charlton's Wednesday in the last home game of the season in just under a fortnight certainly would help Blackburn's promotion cause. 'We shall do our best on Blackburn's behalf,' said City manager Godfrey. 'But, really on this performance we should be the team in search of promotion.'



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