12th October 1991
Exeter City 4 Darlington 1
IT'S THE STEVE MORAN SHOW
WORDS BY PHILIP KNOWLES, PICTURES BY CHRIS HOWES
After only two minutes Steve Williams pulled a corner back for Paul Wimbleton to shoot across the face of the goal. Vince Hilaire was a constant threat to Darlington with both skill and pace, particularly highlighted in the third minute when he picked up a loose ball and calmly skipped over three tackles from Darlington's midfield but foun nobody up in support. City deservedly went in front after 12 minutes. Tom Kelly sent a superb free kick in to the right hand side of the box, Scott Daniels headed back across goal and Steve Moran came sliding in on his knees to head home at the far post. Two minutes later Moran scored a second. Wimbleton crossed from the left and little Moran out-jumped the defence to place the ball firmly in the back of the net. It was nearly three on 24 minutes when a terrible back pass from Mick Tait bounced over Prudhoe's head an on to the crossbar with Moran lurking nearby.
Andy Cook picked up a pass after 34 minutes and sent a first class cross in from the left to the near post which Moran headed narrowly wide. But two minutes later the deficit was reduced. Cork ran through the City defence and as Cook cleared the danger with a seemingly perfect tackle, Cork went down and the referee awarded a penalty. Ellison made no mistake from the spot.
A seemingly one sided contest was now evenly balanced for the remainder of the first half. On 59 minutes Scott Hiley, who otherwise played well, failed to produce a good clearance and presented Ellison with a chance to level the scores, but amazingly he managed to miss the target from close range. After 60 minutes Steve Moran completed a hat-trick following a mistake in The Quakers defence. They failed to stop a ball running diagonally across the goal and it was the unmarked Moran who got on the end of it to coolly shoot underneath Prudhoe. If the jubilant Exeter fans were on their feet then they most certainly were after 80 minutes when Moran got his fourth. Just prior to this Darlington's Jim Willis was dismissed for a second bookable offence shortly after City's Hilaire had been fortunate to stay on the field for an off the ball incident. The final goal followed a cross from the left and softly touched the ball past the 'keeper into the gaping net. The win pushed City into eighth place in the Third Division. Well done lads, keep it up.
Match Report 2
FOUR-GOAL MORAN STEALS THE SHOW
Exeter City 4
Press Report from the Express and Echo
FORMER England Under 21 International Steve Moran sent Exeter City to their biggest win of the season with a four goal blast against struggling Darlington at St James Park yesterday. The 30 year old striker scored twice in two minutes early in the first half with headers, and brought his tally for the term to seven with right foot strikes, in the 60th and 80th minutes. Ironically, Moran had been confined to the substitute stakes for the previous three matches, and only got his place back through an injury to Eamonn Dolan, who aggravated an Achilles tendon strain at Hull last week. The former Southampton star certainly made the most of another chance, however, by grabbing his first ever four goal haul. Division new boys Darlington, who have slumped to fifth from bottom after a bright start, could have taken the lead inside 20 seconds as David Cork intercepted an under hit back pass from Peter Whiston. Moran, just off target, with a third minute header from a Steve Williams centre, opened his account in the 12th minute from a move long practised on the training ground. Skipper Tom Kelly swung in a free kick, Scott Daniels headed towards the far post, and Moran went in to net with a simple header. Two minutes later, he repeated the feat as Paul Wimbleton broke free on the left and sent in a perfect cross. City almost increased the lead in the 24th minute when Darlington player Mick Tait lofted a back pass from way out on the left and the ball bounced over keeper Mark Prudhoe and on to the crossbar. Moran went close with a diving header from Andy Cook's cross shortly before Darlington hit back with a goal out of the blue in 35 minutes. Cork, clean through, went down under Andy Cook's challenge and despite repeated City protests 17 year old Ellison confidently swept in the penalty. Immediately City - or rather Moran - made Darlington's day. Hiley's innocuous low pass into the area was snapped up by Moran as Darlington dithered, and the striker hit a right foot shot well wide of Prudhoe. Five minutes later, Darlington's Andy Toman should have pulled one back but curled his drive too far beyond City keeper Kevin Miller and on to an upright. Moran, though, soon grabbed the centre stage again. In 77 minutes, Darlington centre back Jim Willett was sent off for lunging at the City striker near the touchline and two minutes later Moran forced a fine save from Prudhoe. However, within another minute the striker escaped the Darlington defence once again and gleefully toe-poked in his fourth.
Exeter City :
Miller. Hiley. Cook. Williams. Daniels. Whiston. Hilaire. Wimbleton. Moran. Chapman. Kelly.
Subs:not used Brown and Hodge.
Prudhoe, Clark, Cook, Willett, Smith, Gill, Hamilton, Toman, Ellison, Cork, Tait. Subs: Tucker (for Cork 37 mins), Coatsworth.
Referee: John Deakin (South Wales)