15th August 1992
More bookings as Exeter crash.
EXETER CITY 0
ROTHERHAM UNITED 2
TWO goals in the space of a minute sent Alan Ball's new look side crashing to defeat. Rotherham's two big strikers Tony Cunningham and Shaun Goater had menaced City's continental-style defence throughout the game. Goater struck on the hour to slam home the rebound from a free-kick from 12 yards out. And then almost straight from the kick off Cunningham side-footed in a tempting low cross from Dean Barrick which evaded Exeter's stand-in keeper Vince O'Keefe. Newly promoted Rotherham dominated the Grecians for long stretches of the match. And two misses from a lack-lustre Steve Moran mid-way through the first half proved costly. City's £60,000 capture from Preston, Ronnie Jepson, had a busy debut up front and set up both of Moran's chances. In the 23rd minute he chested down a lovely ball into the path of the striker. But Moran took too long teeing up his shot and Nicky Law got in a vital tackle. Fifteen minutes later Jepson played a pin-point pass to Moran who shot wide of keeper Billy Mercer but wide of the upright as well. Rotherham had given City an early warning of their intentions when they got the ball in the net after five minutes. But it was disallowed for a foul by Cunningham on O'Keefe - playing just one match in place of the suspended Kevin Miller. Ball decided to play another new face, Kevin Bond, at sweeper and he helped the defence deal with Rotherham adequately for the rest of the first half. But after going ahead Rotherham never looked like surrendering their lead. Indeed the Yorkshire side could have gone further ahead. In a carbon copy of their second goal Barrick provided a cross for Goater but he blasted the ball over the bar and Chris Wilder drew a fine save from O'Keefe. Jepson turned in a good performance on his debut and could have grabbed a conso- lation goal for Exeter in the dying minutes. He took a neat header from Bond but shot just over from 12 yards. City were short on ideas in midfield with new signing Eamonn Collins struggling to make his mark. He was one of three City players booked in the week the club appeared before an FA disciplinary hearing for their poor misconduct record last season.
O'Keefe. Hiley. Cooper. Bond. Brown. Whiston. Collins. Harris. Moran. Jepson. Kelly
Mercer, Wilder, Hutchings, Banks, Johnson, Law, Goodwin, Todd, Cunningham, Goater (Page 81 mins), Barrick.
Referee: Michael Pierce (Portsmouth)
Bookings: Harris, Cooper, Collins, (Exeter); Todd (Rotherham)
Match Report 2
All the pre-season work and promise was lost in one minute of madness of this opening Second Division fixture at St.James Park.
Rotherham, newly promoted from the old Fourth Division, were a strong and well organised side but they should have been two goals in arrears in the first half. The impressive Ronnie Jepson set up 'Steve Moran in the 23rd minute when he chested the ball down into the diminutive strikers path but he hesitated and Rotherham defender Nicky Law got in a saving tackle. Fifteen minutes later the former Preston man played a pin-point pass to Moran but he shot wide of 'keeper Billy Mercer and the post.
City were made to pay dearly for these missed opportunities as Shaun Goater seized on the rebound from a free-kick to hammer the ball past Vince O'Keefe from 12 yards. Almost straight from the kick-off Tony Cunningham side-footed home Dean Barrick's cross to complete the day's scoring and send Rotherham home happy with three points.