Match 51
30th April 1991
Shrewsbury (h)

4th April 1991
Shrewsbury (h) Abandoned at HT


Exeter City 3 Shrewsbury 0

TRINA LAKE watches Exeter City finish the job they started three weeks ago.

EXETER CITY last night delivered a severe blow to Shrewsbury Town's hopes of avoiding relegation. A comprehensive defeat leaves John Bond's side hovering over the trapdoor to Division with just three games left to save themselves from the drop. Goals from top scorer Steve Neville, Shaun Taylor and Darren Boughey finished the job that City had started so effectively before the first attempt to complete this fixture was washed out at half time just over three weeks ago. City, at full strength and far more determined than they were against Southend three days earlier, face another side haunted by relegation on Saturday. And manager Terry Cooper pledged that anything less than all out effort against Fulham in City's last competitive home game of the season. "We have a duty now to Crewe, Rotherham and Shrewsbury to give our best against Fulham. As long as the players give 100 per cent I don't mind about the result," he said. Cooper, highly critical of City's performance against Southend, was pretty unimpressed by their first half display last night but admitted: "I thought the second half was very good. We probably could have won even more comfortably than we did. The back four played well and I thought Shaun Taylor was magnificent." There can't have been many in City's lowest league crowd of the season who would argue about the poor quality of the opening 45 minutes, or at least the first 42. Both sides attempted constructive football but with no penetration until a Richard Dryden free kick three minutes before the break deceived the Shrewsbury defence and left Neville clear to control the ball and lift it past goalkeeper Ken Hughes from the edge of the six yard box for his 13th goal of the season. The most memorable moment before that was the tannoy announcer's mistaken assumption that a 14th minute Taylor header had dropped under rather than over the bar. His acclamation was cut short by howls of derision but the cheers rang out loud and long when Taylor did get on the scoresheet after 63 minutes. Boughey, taking the corners with Mark Cooper's painful leg injury forcing him off in the first half, delivered a pin-point centre and his skipper met it with the perfect header. That took Taylor's goal tally for the season to four while Boughey got his first in six games since his loan move from Stoke with seven minutes of the game remaining. Fit-again midfielder Gordon Hobson had a shot blocked but the ball ran to Neville who chipped it up towards the far post where Boughey beat substitute Murray Jones for the decisive touch.

Exeter City: Miller, Hiley, Brown, Dryden, Taylor, Cooper (Kelly 40), Rowbotham (Jones 82), Hobson, Boughey, Neville, Marshall

Shrewsbury: Hughes, Blake, Worsley, Burton, Heathcote, Lynch, Summerfield, O'Toole, Griffiths, Taylor, Lyne. Subs: Wimbleton, Spink

Haley (25, foul) Heathcote (63 dissent).

Attendance: 2.763

4th April 1991
Shrewsbury (h) 
Abandoned at half-time. 


EXETER CITY 1 SHREWSBURY 0 (abandoned at half time) by TRINA LAKE

GARY MARSHALL had quite an afternoon at rain-soaked St James's Park on Saturday. The 26-year-old winger scored a great goal to give Exeter City a 38th minute lead against Shrewsbury Town only for it to be wiped out when the match was abandoned.

Marshall had the consolation of winning the club's Grand National sweepstake and by a strange twist of fate he scored just as Seagram was crossing the line at Aintree. "I suppose that's something but I'm disappointed because the goal would have made it a career-best total of five for the season for me" he said.
The match was abandoned at half time because the pitch was waterlogged. Tonypandy referee Keith Burge had little choice but to call it off with surface water covering much of the pitch. Torrential rain had been falling since lunch- time and although St James's Park was playable at kick off time, conditions deteriorated rapidly Puddles became larger and the players found it increasingly difficult to show any control. There were noises of discontent from the crowd when it was announced that the game was off But neither manager argued with the referee's decision. City boss Terry Cooper said: "I understand the frustration of the supporters but I thought he should have called it off before we scored because nobody could run with the ball. Sometimes it skidded through and sometimes it stuck. Nobody knew what the hell they were doing. "The ref had to start the gameHe couldn't have called it off at three o'clock but it deteriorated very quickly

"We've got major problems with our pitch because the water just lies on top. It's got nowhere to go." Shrewsbury manager John Bond was relieved that his side get another crack at City. "I'm glad to get off the hook. There was only one team going to win it today and it wasn't us. We didn't adjust to the conditions at all well," he said afterwards.

"I thought the referee did well to keep it going as long as he did but in the end he had no option. He had to start the game. The ground was hard and there were only a few wet patches. Nobody dreamed it would get as bad as it did" he added. City had certainly adapted the better and should have been ahead in the 34th minute after great work by Steve Neville He did brilliantly to get to the byline and pull the ball back for Mark Cooper but with time, space and the goal gaping in front of him, the manager's son flicked a first time right foot shot over the bar from six yards when he would surely have scored if he had taken it on his left. The goal that separated the sides after those mistake-ridden 45 minutes of play was superbly worked Darran Rowbotham fed the ball to Neville who in turn released the lively Darren Boughey on the right of the penalty area. The City winger chipped up a lovely cross and Marshall timed his run to perfection, meeting it with a header that gave goalkeeper Ken Hughes no chance. Those were the highlights of a game saturated with slip-ups as the rain hammered down Collapsed drains under the pitch mean that surface water takes a considerable amount of-time to disperse

It stopped raining soon after Mr Burge's de- cision to abandon the game but an hour later there were still huge puddles lying all over the pitch. 



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