Match 17
10th November 1990
Leyton Orient (away)



Gordon Hobson missed his second penalty in two weeks as City fell to their fifth consecutive away defeat at Leyton Orient. The London side's winner, cc ing seven minutes from time, was enough to take Orient into fourth place in the table, but it did a great disservice to what was yet another impressive Exeter performance which went unrewarded.

Orient goalkeeper Paul Heald proved to be the difference between the two sides, and he showed his intentions early on by acrobatically turning a thundering Mark Cooper free-kick from twenty yards over the bar.

In a bright and breezy opening, both sides were eager to press forward, with Kevin Miller getting down well to an awkward freekick and seeing a firmly struck effort from Berry skid past the post. City again went agonisingly close, after a magnificent sixty yard run from Danny Bailey resulted in a perfect cross from the right which found Steve Neville unmarked inside the area, but Nevs header flew past the post with the keeper left in no man's land.

After only eleven minutes, City were forced to make a substitution when Lee Rogers sustained an injury in an awkward tackle. His replacement was Jonathan Brown, who coped well in the unaccustomed position of central-defender.

The home side were now limited mainly to speculative shots, and the reorganised City defence coped well with what pressure they were put under. At the other end. captain Shaun Taylor went close with a header narrowly wide, Steve Neville volleyed just over the bar, Paul Eshelby wasn't quite quick enough to seize on a half chance which fell his way after a corner had dropped to him on the edge of the six yard box, and City could count themselves unlucky to see a claim for handball in the Orient box waved away by the referee.

However, Barnsley ref Mr Phillips couldn't ignore a 35th minute trip on Steve Neville as the City winger headed for the by-line, and he had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Initially, there was some confusion as to who would take the kick with Tom Kelly seemingly eager, but up stepped Gordon Hobson who, having struck his effort against Grimsby too close to the goalkeeper. sent his shot low and to the keepers left. Unfortunately, there was not enough power behind it, and Barclays Young Eagle of the Month Paul Heald guessed correctly to make a fairly comfortable save.

The second half started much like the first, with a reasonable amount of attacking from both sides-but as the half wore on the game seemed somehow to be heading towards a goalless draw. Berry, Baker and Pike all forced Miller into action in the Exeter goal, while Dryden, Neville and Cooper all had shots or headers blocked, saved or cleared. Indeed Mark Cooper managed to put the ball in their Orient net after 72 minutes, but the linesman had been flagging offside and to nobody's real surprise the 'goal' was disallowed.

Orient decisive winner came only seven minutes from the end, and was a bitter blow for the creative and hard working Exeter side. It was Carter who did the damage, creating space on the left hand side and squaring intelligently for the unmarked Nugent who struck the ball from six yards past a helpless Kevin Miller.

The Leyland DAF win at Cardiff will be featured in Wednesday's programme for the game against Hereford. City's Cup exit against Cambridge and today's match will feature in next Saturday's edition of the Grecian for the Stoke game.



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