Match 26
29th December 1990
Shrewsbury (away)



Three days on, and City bounced back from that disappointment to eam their first away point for three months with a battling 2-2 draw at Shrewsbury. In truth, it was a poor overall performance for most of the game from the City side, but they more than made up for it with superb showing in the last twenty minutes which was enough to secure the draw and might well have resulted in an Exeter win. The first twenty minutes of play from both sides however were certainly not up to a similar standard. Gary Shaw managed a couple of wayward long range shots on the Exeter goal, and Kevin Miller had one or two crosses to deal with, but otherwise there was little to keep the small crowd interested City's only real opportunity came midway through the first-hall, when a well struck effort from Gordon Hobson took a deflection from Kevin Summerfield and flashed narrowly past the post to bring about the game's first corner. But alas, City could make noting of that, and were soon back on the defensive as first Shaan Taylor's clearance and then a splendid full length save from Kevin Miller prevented Shrewsbury from taking the lead

With five minutes left of the first half though, the home side got their goal when a free-kick from the right evaded the City defence and was driven home by the unmarked Micky Heathcote who had found both time and space at the far post

Both side's wasted good scoring chances before the interval. Trevor Morgan putting Gordon Hobson in the clear for City but his shot was well saved by Shrewsbury keeper Hughes, and Asa Hartford volleying wide when Exeter seemed certain to go further behind.

The second half brought more opportunities for both sides, Mark Blake and Asa Hartford should have e done better wit shots from inside the area, whilst Trevor Morgan completely mis-kicked as a corner from the right dropped at his feet and Gordon Owen's decermined run resulted in a firm shot which was well gathered by Ken Hughes.

Shortly after that Owen effort it was 2-0 to the homesters. Tom Kelly getting caught in possession and Gary Shaw's accurate cross presenting the easiest of chances for Dean Spink to head into the open net

After 69 minutes, Terry Cooper replaced Trevor Morgan with Paul Eshelby, and he didn't have to wait long for the switch to pay dividends. In fact, the goal was purely down to the skill and vision of Gary Marshall, who drifted in from the left and beat several hesitant Shrewsbury defenders before hitting a perfect right foot shot from twenty yards which left the keeper with no chance and curled just inside the left hand post

This stunning goal inspired Exeter, and amazingly with eleven minutes remaining it was followed by a strike of equal quality from Mark Cooper. Gordon Hobson's shot hit a defender and fell nicely for Cooper, and the City manager's son took the bal on his chest and crashed an unstoppable volley beyond Hughes and into the top right hand corner of the Shrewsbury net

As City piled on the pressure, roared on by the 350 travelling Grecians behind the home side's goal, both Richard Dryden's shot and Shaun Taylor's header skimmed inches away from providing Exeter with a memorable lace winner, In the event the final whistle came with the sides level at 2-2, and the relief and delight at such a stirring come back was evident amongst the City players and their loyal supporters alike.



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