5 November 1983
Port Vale (h)
Vale relief showed.
Exeter City 1-1 Port Vale
5th November 1983
ANYONE could be forgiven for thinking Port Vale had at least reached a cup final from the way they left the field at Exeter City on Saturday, wreathed in smiles.
Their first away point of the season was just as precious as any cup thrill to the hard- working Vale players. Skipper Wayne Cegielski summed up the feelings when he said: "We just hope that this result means we have turned the corner and we can progress from here."
Chief coach. Mr. John Rudge, in charge of the side with Manager John McGrath away on a scouting trip, was equally delighted. Mr. Rudge said: "You should never be happy unless you have won, but really we must be pleased with this result because it is a basis from which we can work. Confidence has been low, but I am sure today's performance will have boosted everyone at the club."
The longer Saturday's game at Exeter went on, the more self-assured Vale became. Terry Armstrong gave them a great start with his fine 23rd-minute goal, but they only managed to hang on to that lead for 10 minutes. Exeter' player-manager, Gerry Francis. the ex-England captain, hit a superb volley from 20 yards to equalise. The finishing of the rest of the side was atrocious and they squandered chance after chance to win the game. Vale's young goalkeeper, Chris Pearce, made a couple of tremendous saves to keep his side in the game and the visitors almost sneaked all three points at the death when John Ridley sent in a spectacular overhead kick that looked a goal all the way until Exeter's Mark O'Connor (in photo) somehow managed to head the bullet-like shot off the line.
Team in Second photo.