Match 32
16th January 1988
Rochdale (a)


Played at Willbutt's Lane, Rochdale.

Saturday January 16th 1988.

Attendance 1,430.

Rochdale:- Welch; Smart, Stanton; Reid, Bramhall, Lomax; Harris, Simmonds, Moore, Warren, Gavin.

Exeter City:- Gwinnett; Harrower, Viney; Carter, Taylor, Olsson; Batty, Delve, Edwards, O'Connell, Collins.

City leave it too late and share points

A bit of excitement at the start and a bit at the finish but this match was a nothing sandwich. City started off in trouble when Rochdale wing man Mark Gavin started to give them the runaround. He made a couple of chances which should have finished in the net but then City got the measure of him and he faded away. So did Rochdale. On a better day than this City would have taken the points. They had the best of the chances with Dean Edwards getting a couple of them but missing the first by a mile and getting the second one on target but straight at the goalkeeper. With opportunities not turning up so often you couldn't afford to miss. chances like these. And it could have been costly but for a couple of great saves by Mel Gwinnett and some shocking shooting by Rochdale. Gwinnett made two great saves in the second half to keep out Rochdale's lone ranger Lyn Simmonds and John Moore. But he did not have a lot to do even though Rochdale spent quite a time buzzing around the City goal but never stinging. Late on City saw there were three points in their grasp and tried to walk the ball through the home defence. They nearly made it with John Delve being foiled by Rochdale's Bramhall and Brenden O'Connell going very close with a last minute flourish. But a draw was a pretty fair result if anybody deserved anything from this uninspiring performance which did nothing to bring a little cheer to a dismal afternoon. Some danger came from Eamonn Collins and Paul Batty out on the flanks and Steve Harrower moved up from full back with a positive menace to the home defence. But things inevitably went wrong in the middle despite the fact that front runner John Delve was doing all that could have been expected of him. He laid the ball off nicely to make a couple of chances but City were short of takers. Defenders Roy Carter and Shaun Taylor did well to keep Simmonds and newcomer John Moore off the score sheet but really the man who did most in defence was Harrower who put the skids under Rochdale's Gavin who has taunted and troubled most defences this season. But this time after his early efforts he was as quiet as a mouse and with him blunted so were Rochdale.



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