Match 25
24th November 1979
FA Cup Round 1
Aldershot (a)


By David Oakley


ALDERSHOT paved the way for another cup run when they overwhelmed unpredicatable Exeter with their biggest win of the season in the first round of the FA Cup at the Recreation Ground on Saturday. And Aldershot boss Tommy McAnearney remarked: "We played well up to 3-0 and then fell apart. The team relaxed and the lads began to play individually.
"They must remember the game is for 90 minutes. When I was taught, the only possible. excuse for relaxing was at 6-0. If we had kept up the pressure we would have scored six." Exeter manager Brian Godfrey was even more annoyed and said: "My prediction that one team would win heavily was right. We either play rubbish or brilliant and the former was correct today. Striker lan Pearson stood out in a bad team."

Aldershol took the lead in the 32nd minute when Malcolm Crosby powered home a 20-yard drive into the left-hand corner of the net. It was Alex McGregor, who had a marvellous game, who set up the goal, when his cross deflected off Andy Needham for Crosby to let fly. A minute later the solid Joe Jopling efficiently nodded. home from three yards, when McGregor's 12-yard drive was deflected high in the Exeter six-yard box. Jopling. quick to pounce, snapped up the ball. placing it firmly in the net.

Godfrey commented: "Neither side looked good until the half-hour when Aldershot scored the two goals. They were both defensive errors. "The first our goalkeeper. should have held and the second was bad marking. They gave Aldershot confidence, and they started to produce some good football."

The third goal, in the 52nd minute, was masterful as Mick French cleverly sent Needham down the wing. Sending a man the wrong way Needham accu- rately crossed for Murray Brodie to head in for his seventh goal of the season. Exeter's only glory was in the 60th minute when they pulled a goal back. Steve Neville slotted home from three yards past the helpless Glen Johnson, after Pearson had centred. But their minor come-back was soon to be extinguished as Jimmy Giles, the ex-Aldershot star, rounded off a nightmare game by scoring an own goal, in the 75th minute. Giles, who was last at the Recreation Ground in 1971 when he played for Shots, tried to clear a centre-cum-shot from Brodie, but instead nodded it past his own goalkeeper, Vince O'Keefe. The big centre-half had been booked earlier for a foul on French in the 64th minute. Wingman McGregor looked in a higher class, as he took Exeter left-back Peter Hatch to the cleaners. In the 36th minute he shuffled past a defender and sent right-back Peter Scott down the wing. Scott's centre found Needham's head, and his attempt went just too high, over the bar. In the 50th minute McGregor's deceptive footwork took him past three men, and his 40-yard run gave him a chance at goal. But his weak shot was comfortably held by O'Keefe.

French was also in form. when he neatly sent left-back Alan Wooler down the wing Woder centred to find the brisk French in the six-yard box and his bullet-like header skimmed past the upright. Needham was another strength up front, with his quick acceleration and alert reactions. And Brodie was brilliant as usual Mac said: "Andy, Murray, Mick and Alex played well, but I want team work not indivi-" dual performances." Crosby came off in the 78th minute, replaced by Aidie Green. He had sustained a slight thigh injury in training the day before and it had been aggravated.

Johnson, Scott, Wooler, Dixon, Bennett, Jopling, Crosby (Green 78m.). Brodie, French, Needham. McGregor.

O'Keefe, Mitchell. Hatch, Hore. Giles, Roberts, Neville. Pearson, Bowker, Delve, Forbes (Rogers 57m).

Referee: Leslie Burden (Corfe Mullen).

Att: 4,846.



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