9th November 1985
SUPER CITY ARE TOPS
Exeter 1 Chester 3
SHARP-SHOOTING Chester extended their unbeaten away run to seven games and powered to the top of the Fourth Division with a hard-earned win at lowly Easter on Saturday, writes a correspondent.
Dreadful defensive blunders by Exeter handed Chester victory on a plate after they had survived a barrage of early pressure. Two goals from Peter Houghton and one from Rick Greenough were enough to clinch the three points and lift Chester clear on goal difference at the top of the table. They even allowed themselves the luxury of a missed penalty by Stuart Rimmer, whose pace caused Exeter problems, but he was not his usual bubbly self in front of goal. Chester had a nightmare start to the match, going behind in just 70 seconds after Wakeley Gage had been robbed on the left touchline. Martin Ling eventually forced the ball over the line from close range after Exeter had hit the bar and Ray Cashley had par- ried a follow-up shot. Cashley made two more useful stops from Ling as Exeter piled on the pressure. Against the run of play, Chester snatched an equaliser out of nothing. Greenough put in a hopeful long shot from the right and Exeter goalie John Shaw glanced behind him to check his angles and as he did so the ball rolled past him and into the net. Seven minutes later Chester were in front. Rimmer's speed took him clear of Exeter's defence and he sent in a low cross from the right, which Houghton flicked coolly past the leaden-footed Shaw. The busy Houghton was sent crashing in the Exeter area, but with the last kick of the first-half Rimmer put the penalty too close to Shaw and he saved low to his right. Chester, who had been harried and hustled out of their attacking stride for most of the opening 45 minutes, got to grips with the game far better after the break. They looked sharper in all departments, but needed a gift-wrapped goal to make the game safe in the 71st minute. Exeter substitute Ray Pratt played the ball into the path of Houghton with his first touch and Chester's star man cracked an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net from 20 yards.
Shaw, Harrower, Viney, McNichol, Impey, Marker, Ling, McCaffery, Kellow, Keough, Crawford. Sub: Pratt.
Chester: Cashley, Abel, Lane, Greenough, Gage, Coy, Kelly, Rimmer, Houghton, Bennett. Sub: Speight.
Referee: H. Taylor, Oadby.