9th November 1991
Stoke City (home)
PHILIP KNOWLES WATCHES CITY v STOKE CITY
PICTURES BY CHRIS HOWES
Exeter City 0 Stoke City 0
In City's last home match they showed the early domination, pinning Stoke into their own half. Both Steve Williams, who gave another quality performance in midfield, and Paul Wimbleton combined well to set up Steve Moran, but he hit a weak shot that Jason Kearton had no problem holding. The talented teenage goalkeeper on loan from Everton was to have a generally impressive match.
The visitors' Vince Overson had to leave the field after just 15 minutes, requiring stitches to a cut above the left eye following a clash of heads with Gary Chapman. On 19 minutes Chapman should have been more selfish and had a shot, but he chose to square to Moran, who then passed to Vince Hilaire whose shot was easily saved by Kearton.
Scott Hiley and Hilaire were impressive on City's right flank and caused The Potters many problems. New boy Mark Stein and Wayne Biggins combined well but Stein fluffed the chance for the visitors after 20 minutes. The match continued end to end in the 30th minute Moran went close for Exeter and seconds later Peter Whiston needed to be sharp to clear danger at the other end when Kevin Miller could not hold a shot from Carl Beeston.
Moran was unlucky in the 36th minute when skipper Tom Kelly chipped the ball over the defence. Moran's rasper was parried by Kearton but scrambled away at the second attempt.
Half time was a sad time with a large number of Stoke 'supporters' storming the pitch culminating in some disgraceful scenes of hot drinks and spit being rained upon Alan Ball. To their credit the home supporters stayed the right side of the barrier and avoided a potentially lethal confrontation.
The second half seemed affected by these scenes and was a drab affair in comparison to the excellent first half) with the action confined mainly to the midfield it was late on when Moran fired a Williams pass into the side netting. Miller needed to save from a Stein header. On 76 minutes it looked as if we may have a dramatic ending to the game. Williams gained possession in midfield and sent a defence splitting pass as Moran ran through and squared the ball to Eamonn Dolan, who had replaced Chapman after 63 minutes, for his first appearance following an Achilles injury. He raced into the 6 yard box and was clearly pulled back by Overson but referee Mike Pierce from Portsmouth showed contempt at Dolan's appeal for a penalty. A goal-less draw then to highlight the continued problem City are currently having in front of goal. Two away matches at Colchester and Birmingham were also to prove devoid of goals for The Grecians despite some clear chances.
Miller. Hiley. Brown. Williams. Daniels. Whiston. Hilaire. Wimbleton. Moran. Chapman. Kelly. Subs: Hodge (Hilaire, 75), Dolan (Chapman, 64)
Stoke City: Kearton; Butler, Sandford, Kevan, Overson, Kennedy, Cranson, Beeston, Stein, Biggins, Fowler; subs., Ellis, Ware.
Referee Mr ME Pierce (Portsmouth)
Bookings: Brown, Williams, Kelly (Exeter); Sandford, Kennedy, Stein (Stoke).