Hopes and Expectations

And Pre-season Friendlies

The Squad 

Pre-Season Friendlies 

As far as results go this year's pre-season build up was not as impressive as last year's, but there was again cause for optimism following a string of fine performances. All squad players had a chance to prove their worth, and even Terry Cooper himself took part in three fixtures.

28th July 1990

The first friendly was to be played at the home of one of Kevin Miller's old clubs, Falmouth. Kevin, like the rest of the 22 man squad, played one half of the game, but along with triallist goalkeeper Steve Berryman, was a virtual passenger. Despite having all the possesion in the first half, City could not use this to their advantage and led by a single goal at half time. The second half was a different story though and with Ben Rowe causing all sorts of problems, the goals began to flow. For the record Andy Wright, Brian McDermott, Tony Frankland scored one apiece while Ben Rowe netted twice in a 5-0 win.

29th July 1990

A day later, and a trip to the other half of the dominant duo in Cornish football, Newquay, who were also once graced with the presence of Kevin Miller in goal. Danny Bailey scored aft-er just nine seconds in City's opening friendly last Summer, but they proved to be far more difficult opponents this time around. City's football was nowhere near as slick as on the previous day and as such, we had to be content with a 2-0 scoreline. The goals were notched by two of the marksmen against Falmouth, Brian McDermott and Andy Wright, but the performance was a little disap pointing for the 100 plus fans who made the 80 mile journey.

Charlton Athletic
1st August 1990

The first league oppostition came in the form of Charlton Athletic, pre season opponents in 1989. This was a game in which City's approach play again impressed, but the killer touch in the penalty area was missing. Charlton led 2-0 at the interval with goals from Carl Leaburn and Andy Jones. The first came on sixteen mimutes when Robert Lee's cross was met by the head of the gangly Leaburn. Then, nine minutes later, Kevin Miller got himself into Terry Cooper's bad books by dropping a cross to the feet of Jones, and this left the Welsh international with an easy finish. Exeter's display in the second half gave more reason for encouragement for the 1,700 crowd and we pulled a goal back eight minutes after the break. Steve Neville, nippy as ever, crossed for Danny Bailey to slam home. As City were playing with one recognised striker, with Richard Young and Ben Rowe injured, the lack of penetration was perfectly understandable and it proved just too much to grab an equaliser.

Torquay United
4th August 1990

The following Saturday saw Torquay visit the Cat and Fiddle Training Ground and the supporters who journeyed to Clyst St Mary, on one of the hottest days of the year, were rewarded with two full strength sides and a very competitive game considering the weather conditions. Paul Holmes scored the opening goal for Torquay in the first half with a cracking drive, but City replied later in the half with a Tom Kelly penalty and a superb shot from Paul Batty after a corner was delivered to him on the edge of the area.

Leicester City
Monday 6th August 

Monday 6th August saw one of the most deserved testimonials in City's history. Record goalscorer Tony Kellow's long awaited benefit arrived in the form of another Second Division side Leicester City, the club against whom Tony scored a hat-trick in the 1981FA Cup run. The game followed a similar pattern to that of the previous week against Charlton with the opposition 2-0 ahead, but by no means having most of the play. Young midfielder Jason Peake scored both Leicester goals, the second being a penalty, while the Exeter consolation was netted by Mickey Tanner, finishing neatly following a cross from Scott Hiley. It was an entertaining game for the 1,697 crowd, although it would have been nice to have attracted a big First Divsion club in order to reward Tony with a bumper pay day for his efforts.

Wednesday 8th August 

Two days later, and a trek into Dorset to face another of last season's pre season opponents, Weymouth. City fielded a virtual reserve side, but ran out 3-1 winners, courtesy of two goals by Brian McDermott and a late clincher from Mark Cooper. Ex-City player Kevin Smith had given Weymouth the lead. However, for the City fans who journeyed to the game, the greatest interest came with the entrance of Gordon Hobson after the interval. He was later reported in the Express and Echo as saying how happy he was to come to Exeter because we played good football, and from his debut most would agree that he is a welcome addition to the squad.

Plymouth Argyle
10th August 1990

For nearly all of City's support, the only important friendly was the clash with Plymouth Argyle on August 10th. Despite being played on a Friday night, 3,234 turned up to see the old Devon rivals battle out a goalless draw. It was a strange game in so much as City had most of the play and more goalscoring opportunities, but Plymouth had the best two chances of the game. The easiest fell to young striker Paul Robinson in the first half when he headed over from a couple of yards out but Andy Thomas did well to create his chance when he hit the bar on 62 minutes. City came closest to scoring when Paul Batty had a shot cleared off the line just after the break, but all other opportunities were thrawted by the excellent Rhys Wilmot in the Argyle goal.

Dorchester Town 
11th August 1990

Two visits to non-league opposition followed. The next day saw another trip to Dorset, this time to the county town. Dorchester Town were playing their first game at their new stadium and 1,100 people saw them defeated 2-0 with goals from Mickey Tanner and Mark Cooper.

Tiverton Town
15th August 1990

Then, on the Wednesday, a virtually full strength team beat Tiverton 3-0, Gordon Hobson from the penalty spot, a far post header by Clive Whitehead and a superb 20 yard effort from Mark Cooper proving enough. The final warm-up encounter, against Maidstone United at the Park last Saturday, proved to be a tough encounter, but a chip from Steve Neville won the game with a quarter of an hour remaining in front of 1,003 spectators.

Maidstone United 
18th August 1990 

Photos below. 



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