Match 16
3rd November 1990
Grimsby Town (h)

3rd November 1990


In a virtual re-run of the Tranmere game two weeks earlier, City found themselves held to a goal-less draw in a game at the Park which was very much there to be won. With a fine performance by Grimsby keeper Steve Sherwood, including a penalty save and some alert stops to thwart City, Exeter piled on the pressure but the goal simply wouldn't come.

One of the visitors best chances came very early on in the first half, with top marksman Neil Woods narrowly missing a left wing cross before a grateful Scott Hiley put the ball behind for a corner.

Having seen a couple of penalty appeals waved away, once for a foul on Steve Neville and then for the apparent use of a hand in clearing a header from fit again Gary Marshall, City were third time lucky after Steve Neville had been felled in the box by Andy Tilson. Gordon Hobson's penalty kick was struck to Sherwood's left, but the experienced keeper guessed correctly to make a fine save and deny a sixth goal of the season to City's former Grimsby marksman.

City kept pressing forward purposefully, with Scott Hiley's shot being deflected for a corner and Sherwood producing remarkable reflex saves to deny Steve Neville on two separate occasions.

The Exeter defence was very much in command at the back, with the alert Dryden and Hiley both making timely interceptions as Grimsby forwards were well placed in the City area. However, it was Exeter who continued to make the better chances, with Gary Marshall sending in a poor cross whilst clean through and shortly before half-time the busy winger put the ball over the bar from six yards out.

That was to be the last action for Marshall, who seconds before the break was carried off with an injured knee. He was replace at half-time by Tom Kelly whose 53rd minute interception allowed him to send Richard Dryden clear only for his cross to be put wide by Gordon Hobson from close range.

City kept up the offensive, with Kevin Miller only called into action occasionally to deal with long through balls or to collect crosses. Lee Rogers twice came close to scoring his first goal in senior football after an Eshelby run had torn the Grimsby defence apart, but his first shot was blocked and his second effort well saved by Sherwood.

As the game drew to a close the City attack, roared on by the noisy Cowshed supporters, came ever closer to breaking the deadlock. An excellent flick by Hobson left Dryden in space, but his finishing was not up to the standard shown earlier in the season and the chance was wasted. Shaun Taylor sent one header across the face of goal and saw another brilliantly saved by Sherwood, as City enjoy the bulk of possession and a string of free-kicks or corners.

But yet again, it just wasn't to be City's day, and Grimsby were grateful for the point which was enough to take them to the top of the table. Terry Cooper later commented that City won't play like that and lose this season, and you've got to admit, he had a point!



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