Match 03
1st September 1990
Chester City (away)



Despite the encouraging displays so far, a victory had stil not been forthcoming, but we did not have long to wait. City had an impressive record against Chester at Sealand Road, and this was to continue at their temporary home in Macclesfield with the Grecians running out winners by two goals to one. The two goalscorers for City, despite their consistent displays, are not known for their goalscoring prowess so it can only be said that Scott Hiley and Danny Bailey's respective efforts were long overdue. Scott, making his 100th league appearance, had not scored since he notched the last minute winner against Hartlepool in April 1989 while Danny's only other goal in league matches was his rocket at Peterborough eleven months ago. Chester's defence certainly had enough height but this could not do much to stop the tricky skills of Neville and Hobson. The experienced strike force were a constant threat and with able support from Clive Whitehead, Richard Dryden and Scott Hiley in particular, Exeter always seemed the more likely side to score in the opening stages. The goal came on 27 minutes, with Hiley attacking the open space in the centre of the park before unleashing a drive from the edge of the area. Later in the half Mark Cooper tried his luck from outside the box, with one cracking shot being touched wide by the fingertips of keeper Billy Stewart. The second half saw the home side press a lot stronger, but it was encouraging to see the City defence absorb the pressure without too much trouble. There were however a few scrambles in the area and a wasted opportunity that fell to centre forward Carl Dale when he cleared the crossbar with Kevin Miller off his line. Any problems that arose were largely attributable to the lively Gary Bennett, who had a shot cleared off the line, and Brian Croft. Meanwhile at the other end Gordon Hobson managed to toe-end a long ball from Steve Neville which he did well to reach and despite the lack of power in the shot, Stewart had to be alert to save. With just ten minutes remaining Danny Bailey and Tony Frankland came into the action. For Danny, this was the first league game he had not started since his arrival from Wealdstone last July, but his late goal proved to be the perfect tonic for the 200 travelling Grecians. Steve Neville created space for himself on the right flank and set the ball up perfectly for Bailey on the edge of the area. It would have been a rather poor effort to miss from there with so much time and space, but all the same, his finish could hardly have been more conclusive. Lee Rogers spoilt an otherwise flawless display by upending Gary Bennett in the penalty area, leaving Graham Abel with the opportunity to score from the spot.

However, there was only just time for City to kick off before the final whistle heralded the club's first win back in the Third Division.



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