Match 20
6th November 1985
Rochdale (a)

Harrower goal wins vital point

Rochdale 1, Exeter City 1

EXETER CITY grabbed a vital point away from home at a rain-soaked Spotland last night. In atrocious conditions at times with heavy hail- stones falling Exeter fought for a full 90 minutes to contain a Rochdale side with an unbeaten home record. Up until midway through the second half, it looked as if the Devon side would rob Rochdale of that record.

As it was, City had to be content with one point but it was a point they can be proud of winning. After a shaky start and two fine saves by visiting keeper, John Shaw, City settled down to master the slippery pitch and take control of the midfield which Rochdale almost gladly handed to them. Tony Kellow was only inches wide with a long range attempt in the 27th minute and ten minutes later he again shaved the crossbar after McNicholl and Alan Crawford linked well on the right. In the second half, Roch- dale almost took the lead when Ian McMahon forced a splendid save from Shaw with a shot from 35 yards out. It was this attempt which suddenly seemed to wake City up and force them to step up a gear and put concerted pressure on the Rochdale defence. Martin Ling saw his header go just over the crossbar and then Aidan McCaffrey forced Rochdale keeper Dave Redfern to pull off a fine save. Two minutes later, Steve Harrower capitalised on a mistake by the Rochdale skipper, Joe Cooke who, instead of clearing the ball cleanly, put his full-back, Dave Grant in trouble. Harrower raced into the centre, dummied past two Rochdale defenders and slid the ball through the mud into the back of the net. Three minutes later, Rochdale almost equalised when Shaw was forced to tip over the bar a Keith Hicks' shot from 20 yards. Then, in the 70th minute, Rochdale grabbed grabbed their equaliser when McCaffrey handled the ball right in front of his own goal. Rochdale's Steve Taylor made no mistake from the penalty spot. Five minutes later, Rochdale's Dave Redfern made the most important save of the match. Alan Crawford picked up a loose ball which the Rochdale defence had failed to clear and looked certain to score from ten yards out. But the Rochdale keeper managed to get a leg in the way of Crawford's attempt. In the end, City went on the defensive, more then satisfied with an away point in a match which will no doubt be remembered more for the atrocious conditions than the quality of football.

Attendance: 1.243.

Star players:
ROCHDALE Steve Taylor,



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