Match 38
26th February 1991
Swansea City (away)


Steve Neville grabbed all the headlines with his first hat-trick for over five years as City completed a "double' over shell-shocked Swansea.

Swansea entered the match with three consecutive defeats behind them and their lowest crowd of the season witnessed the heavy defeat. Exeter were always the better side despite lacking skipper Shaun Taylor for the first time this season. Richard Dryden moved to the centre of defence with Paul Batty earning a recall in midfield. Gordon Hobson captained the side, just reward for a sequence of fine performances in "the engine room".

The first half was pretty uneventful with almost no goal mouth incidents to recall. How it all changed after the break. After 59 minutes Neville struck for the first time. Mark Cooper slung over a corner, Dryden ficked it on and Neville thumped a header past Lee Bracey.

Swansea's first shot on target had taken 52 minutes to come and then Terry Connor scarcely bothered Kevin Miller. Their best spell came after Steve Neville's opener, Jimmy Gilligan forced home a shot after Paul Raynor had been thwarted but there was little complaint when the effort was ruled out for offside. Miller did save three headers from Connor but dealt with them in the composed manner that has become normal this season.

News doubled his tally in the 78th minute. Murray Jones got away down the right and drove in a telling cross that Neville swept home first time. Ten minutes later the rejuvenated Neville notched up number three. Gary Marshall crossed and as full-back Chris Coleman and Neville competed for the ball the defender and his goalkeeper Bracey got in a muddle and allowed Neville to slam the ball home.



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