31st October 1992
Grecians slump back to early season form
Match Report by David Hutchings
EXETER CITY 1, FULHAM 2
EXETER crashed to their third home League defeat and a return to their early season form. They opened the game playing bright, attacking football. But then they fell prey to two goals from Sean Farrell in just 12 minutes. And Farrell could have netted his hat-trick in the second half when he hit the post. City might have staged a revival when they got one back through John Hodge before half time. But in contrast to the pulsating first half, the second 45 minutes was drab fare indeed. City should have been two up within 10 minutes after carving out two excellent chances. In the sixth minute Tom Kelly fired just wide from the edge of the box after running on to an intelligently taken, quick free-kick by Ronnie Jepson. Three minutes later Richard Evans dinked a lovely ball to Hodge just inside the box. With a delightful piece of skill the winger tapped the ball over Glen Thomas' head, ran round the defender but then hurried his shot and hit it straight at the keeper. But then the Fulham flood-gates opened. The Londoners began to get to the ball ahead of Exeter and displayed a good range of ideas when they got there. After 17 minutes John Marshall went on a good run down the right, crossed well and Farrell had the simple task of side- footing it home. Twelve minutes later there was a near carbon copy repeat. Gary Brazil made a brilliant run down the right leaving City defenders trailing in his wake. He got into the box, drilled in a low cross and Farrell gratefully pounced for his second with a fierce drive past Kevin Miller. The keeper couldn't be faulted for either of the goals. And he saved City from a worse hiding during a torrid spell mid-way through the first half. First he made a great save from Junior Lewis' close range effort. Then he dived to palm away a rocketing 20-yarder from Brazil and later blocked a volley from Jeff Eckhardt. City got the goal they needed before half-time. The Fulham keeper flapped at Andy Cook's cross as he came under pressure from Jepson. The ball fell loose to Hodge and he cracked a low, first time shot between the keeper and the post. In the second half Fulham could have made it three when Farrell hit the woodwork after a penetrating run by Simon Morgan. Alan Ball brought Kevin Bond and Steve Moran on for Andy Harris and Evans in the 64th minute but they made little difference. City's best chance to equalise came when Steve Williams cracked a 74th minute shot straight at the keeper.
Moran (for Evans, 64 mins),
Bond (for Harris, 64).
Stannard, Morgan, Pike, Eckhardt, Nebbeling, Hails, Marshall, Farrell, Brazil, Lewis.
Subs: not used.
Referee: David Frampton (Poole)
Bookings: Farrell, Pike (Fulham)
Match Report 2 from a later match day programme
Two goals in the first 28 minutes left City with a mountain that they found too steep to scale and although they pulled a goal back before the interval they didn't do enough in the second period to rescue a point.
City opened brightly enough with Tom Kelly shooting narrowly wide from the edge of the box and John Hodge shoot ing straight at 'keeper after a delightful piece of individual skill had put him into a great position.
But two goals in a 12 minute spell from Sean Farrell threw them out of their stride.
The first came in the 16th minute when the Fulham striker sidefooted the ball home after John Marshall had provided the perfect cross and the second in the 28th minute came after wood work by Gary Brazil again left him with the sim ple task of applying the finishing touch.
Eight minutes later City replied with John Hodge cracking the ball home, first time, after Stannard had flapped at Andy Cook's cross whilst under pressure from Ronnie Jepson.