Match 15
27th October 1990
Fulham (away)



Exeter Citys visit to Craven Cottage was certainly not lacking in incident or controversy with first Fulham taking the lead, then City going 2-1 up before two Gordon Davies goals finally gave the home side all three points The controversy came by way of some hotly disputed refereeing decisions, including the sending off of City substitute Ben Rowe for comments he made to a linesman before he could even get on the pitch.

At five past three nobody could have predicted the drama which lay ahead, as the game got off to a quiet start and the picturesque setting of Craven Cottage was strangely quiet save for the noisy 1000 City supporters who were massed in the open' terrace behind Kevin Millers goal. Miller was the busier of the two goalkeepers during the opening quarter of an hour, although Fulham's experienced Rosenior and Davies could have made more of the chances created for them by lively wide men Cobb and Brazil. Headers from Shaun Taylor and Mark Cooper were City's only serious attempts on goal. Taylor's effort being deflected for a corner and Cooper's resulting set piece resulting in a comfortable save for keeper Stannard. After nineteen minutes, Fulham took the lead. Martin Pike's free-kick from the edge of the area found its way through the City wall, and with the unsighed Kevin Miller belatedly trying to scramble across to cover the left side of his goal, the ball brushed the inside of the post on its way into the net. Having temporarily burst into life to celebrate the goal the Craven Cottage crowd again seemed to lapse into slumber as City set about hauling themselves back into the game. A Rogers through ball put Eshelby in the clear, and his effort was smartly turned away for a comer by Stannard. But it was only a temporary respite for Fulham, as Shaun Taylor's knock down was handled in the area, and Gordon Hobson drilled home the resulting penalty to bring City back on level terms after 33 minutes. Shortly after that, Richard Dryden reaffirmed his status as City's top scorer with his sixth goal of the season to send the Exeter support into raptures. It was a quality finish by Dryden, who having picked the ball up on the edge of the area, clipped a fine lob over the keeper to ensure City enjoyed a 2-1 lead at half-time.

The second half started quietly, but as with the first, it was sparked into life with a goal for the home side. As City's  defence pushed forward to catch Gordon Davies offside, the linesman surprised everybody by keeping his flag down and the Fulham striker gratefully scurried through to place his shot coolly through Miller's legs to give his side a 54th minute equalizer. The City's players were clearly incensed, and aafter Lee Rogers had received a booking for his prolonged protests, substitute Ben Rowe received the red card for remarks made from the touchline to the linesman.  The rest of the game was littered with minor fouls and petty free-kicks, and whilst both defences were kept reasonably busy, there was little in the way of clear cut chances for either side. City's best opportunity fell to Dryden midway through the second half, but having finished so expertly to give City the earlier lead he couldn't repeat the trick, sending the ball saling over the bar with only the keeper to beat from ten yards out. With a quarter of an hour remaining after Kevin Miller had made an excellent save from Gary Brazil, it was Gordon Davies who sent City crashing to their fourth consecutive away defeat. Clumsy defending and an intelligent pass from Mark Kelly left Davies in acres of space, and he guided the ball home confidently to put his side 3-2 ahead.Once again City put everything into last ditch attempts at salvaging a point, and once again it was Mark Cooper who came closest with his injury time free lock curing inches past the Fulham goal. However, it all ended once again in defeat, and with City's last win coming on 22nd September. 



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