Match 49
4th April 1986
Rochdale (h)

Tony Kellow (pen.), Gary Jackson


By Trina Lake

TONY KELLOW'S sixth penalty of the season and Gary Jackson's first-ever League goal moved Exeter City into the top half of the Fourth Division last night for the first time since the opening day of the season.

City's match-winning duo struck within 10 minutes of each other in the first half. But Rochdale, who had Ronnie Hildersley sent off in the last minute, came back so strongly in a frantic second half that it was all hands to the pump in City's defence at times. That certainly didn't please City manager Colin Appleton, especially in front of home supporters, and he ordered the players in for an unexpected training session this morning to sort a few things out before three tough away games in the next 10 days.

But that couldn't dampen Jackson's soaring spirits after his long-overdue goal. The all-effort midfielder has never had a problem getting into good scoring positions, but has always lacked the finishing touch that is until the 27th minute of last night's game. "The lads tell me the first one is always the hardest. It's a weight off my shoul- ders to have got it at last," he admitted. Jackson has looked a lot sharper since his return to the side after being dropped for five games. "The manager says he was resting me. I wasn't happy about that, but I think I've done better since I've come back," he said. Jackson may have taken his first step on the goalscoring trail, but Kellow has worn an impressive path before him. His 17th-minute thunderbolt from the spot was his 10th of the season, his 109th in the league for City, and his 142nd in Third and Fourth Division appearances for four clubs. He got his chance to top up the tally when Warren ward was fouled by David Grant. Keith Viney, City's man of the match, almost increased their lead with a wicked 30- yard shot from well- a rehearsed free-kick. Goalkeeper David Redfearn finger-tipped the ball round the post, but was left completely helpless when Jackson moved in for the kill six minutes later. Rochdale's cavalry charge out of defence in search of an offside decision was beaten by a deft header through by Martin Ling, and Jack- son, surprised that Redfern didn't come to meet him, calmly waited for the ball to drop and thrashed it home in great style. City were well in control by that stage, but a 44th-minute shot from Ling, blocked by Joe Cooke, was their only other serious threat to the Rochdale goal in this dominant period. They were forced into desperate defence at the start of the second half. Rochdale intelligently brought speedy, skilful wingers David Thompson and Hildersley into the game more often and exposed a few gaps in City's usually reliable defences. City were giving the ball away with uncomfortable frequency, resorting to panic clearances when there was no need. The lively Hildersley had a useful shot well saved by Shaw and headed against the post, Viney cut out a dangerous cross from Thompson and cleared off the line from Paul Heaton, Shaw denied Taylor and Jim McNichol thwarted Ronnie Moore as Rochdale seized the initiative. Hildersley got his marching orders for two bookable offences in the last three minutes. He first had his name taken for dissent and was dismissed by Dennis deliberately Hedges for elbowing Steve Harrower,

Exeter City: Shaw, Harrower, Viney, McNichol, McCaffery, Marker, Ling, Jackson, Ward, Keough, Kellow. Sub Crawford.

Rochdale: Redfern, Johnson, Grant, Heaton, Cooke, Measham, Thompson, Taylor, Moore, Hildersley, McCluskie. Sub Ashworth.

Attendance: 1,713.





Allowed tags: <p>, <a>, <em>, <strong>, <ul>, <ol>, <li>