Match 25
16th December 1972
Gillingham (h)

16th December 1972
Football League
Exeter 3-2 Gillingham

What the papers say

Gillingham should have no com plaints about becoming Exeter's ninth victim at St. James' Park this season. Indeed the scoreline flattered Gills, and manager Andy Nelson said: "We were well beaten on the day by a better side". In short, Gillingham never looked like taking a point, never mind be coming the first team to win at Exeter this term. Keith Lindsey and Joe Jacques performed admirably at the back, but Gills were often caught out on the left flank where Scott was a constant source of trouble. Exeter ruled midfield in the first half with their non-stop running, and little was seen of Gillingham's front runners who had little of the ball. Exeter had taken the lead in the fourth minute. From Tony Scott's cross, Graham Parker rose above the Gills' defence to place his header beyond the stranded Gibson. After 65 minutes it was 2-0 when Dick Plumb made a determined run into the Gills' area and hit over a hard, low drive which top scorer Fred Binney steered past Gibson. The third goal came in the 80th minute. Scott got behind the visitors' defence to pull the ball back well for Binney to score an almost identi cal goal.
-Chatham Standard

Graham Parker celebrated his re turn after a month by grabbing a fourth minute goal. Then a double. by Fred Binney left Exeter better winners than the score suggests. Exeter did not finish their far more effective football with on-the-target shooting. They got three in the end, but it could have been a lot more. And the score tends to flatter Gil lingham because one of their goals was a "gift". Full-back Steve Stacey unhappily put a back pass wide of his keeper. The action started early. Dave Gibson stroked a pass to Tony Scott on the left and he crossed for Par ker to come racing in and head out of keeper Mike Gibson's reach. It should have been the start of a field day for Exeter. Binney missed a couple of chances, he was to make up for that later on, but so too, did other Exeter players. Gillingham had to do a lot of de fending in this half. Their only real first half effort was a long shot from David Peach. But for about 10 minutes at the start of the second half Gillingham came forward. Keeper Bob Wilson had to dive full length to stop a shot from Peach and then made a split-second save to his header. In the 65th minute Dick Plumb smashed a centre right along the ground and it was easy for Binney to pop it into the net. Some 14 minutes later Tony Mor rin sent Scott way down the wing. He beat his full back and left the Gillingham defence trailing before crossing for Binney to score again. But in the 83rd minute Stacey put the ball into his own net and then virtually on time, George Jacks crossed from the left and Damien Richardson smashed in a well placed shot.

Fred Binney, Exeter's singing. striker he goes solo in the flip side of a record the team has made banged home two more against Gillingham to bring his personal tally to 13 this season. Indeed, had Exeter cashed in on their first half chances they could have ended up with a hatful of goals. Gillingham looked woefully weak in defence, and apart from a short spell at the second half, they did not impress in attack. But Exeter probably laid on as good a performance as they have produced this season. Their football was faster, more imaginative, and more effective than Gillingham's. But Exeter manager John New man must have wondered at half time whether those missed chances were going to prove expensive as Gillingham threatened in the open ing minutes of the second half. Instead, Exeter came back once more and with Binney grabbing two goals it was all over. Of the two Gillingham goals, one was the result of Steve Stacey putting the ball into his own net. The other came virtually on the final whistle. Exeter started as if they intended to run away with the match. In the fourth minute, Dave Gibson pushed a short pass to Tony Scott who crossed with his usual pinpoint accuracy and Graham Parker headed in. After that came a crop of missed chances, with Binney, Dick Plumb, Scott, and Parker all having oppor tunities but failing to take them. At the start of the second half Gillingham improved and Exeter keeper Bob Wilson had to make two terrific saves to a shot and a header from David Peach. But in the 65th minute Stacey pushed the ball wide to Plumb, who streaked a ground pass into the middle for Binney to stab into the net. After 79 minutes Tony Morrin played the ball to Scott, who beat his man and crossed for Binney to score his second. The game was really sewn up, but then came the mistake when Stacey's back pass beat his own goalkeeper and went into the net. And in the closing seconds George. Jacks on the left found centre for ward Damien Richardson in the area. who took his chance well to score.

The crowd lustily sang "happy birthday" greetings to Exeter City manager John Newman, but while he must have been pleased enough. with his side's present of another home win, he must have been an noyed at the way Exeter missed first half chances then conceded two goals in the last seven minutes. Even so the score line does not tell the whole story. Exeter's win was a good deal more convincing than it suggests, and if some of those first half chances had been snapped up, the game would have been sewn up very early on, as Exeter laid on some fine football. They really gave Gillingham's suspect defence the runaround, while Gillingham never got going as an attacking minutes. force in the first 45 Graham Parker, back in the side after an absence of nearly a month. through injury, happily headed in a goal after only four minutes, and it should have been the starting gun to a complete runaway victory. Fred Binney, Dick Plumb, Parker and Scott all had chances or half chances and if some had been taken Gillingham would have been reeling. Nobody expects all opportunities to go in, but some of these should have done. Even so, because of Gillingham's lack of penetration power, Exeter were never in any real trouble, But there were a few anxious minutes at the start of the second half. In this spell Gillingham did stage a few raids and Bob Wilson had to dive full length to stop a sizzling drive from David Peach, then pulled off another magnificent save to a point blank range header from the same player. It was a sudden storm which did not last. Exeter came back into the game and once more took control. And this time they grabbed their chances.In the 65th minute Steve Stacey pushed a ball to Plumb, who fairly hammered the ball into the middle for Fred Binney to push into the net. Then in the 79th minute Tony Morrin sent Tony Scott away on a run down the wing and he out stripped the defence before crossing to give Binney another easy chance, but one he took. Now the game was sewn up, but Exeter were to have a couple of nasty shocks. Stacey, in giving a pass back, unfortunately put the ball into his own net just seven minutes from time. Then, virtually on time, George Jacks crossed from the left and centre-forward Damien Richardson hit a shot into the net. INDEPENDENT



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