Match 44
26th March 1988
Crewe Alexandra (a)

29th March 1988
South West Counties League
Swansea (a)


Played at Gresty Road, Crewe.

Saturday March 26th 1988.

Attendance 1,665.

Crewe Alexandra:- Greygoose; Parker, Macowat; Murphy, Billing, Gage; Cutler, Morton, Eli, Milligan, Wakenshaw.

Exeter City:- Gwinnett; Harrower, Viney; Massey, Taylor, Cooper; Hiley, Olsson, Harris, O'Connell, Rowbotham.

Crewe fans react by staying away.

Match report
by Roy Pateman

CREWE Alexandra fans reacted to the sale of defender John Pemberton last week by staying away from Saturday's goalless draw with visiting Exeter City. Only 1,665 fans turned up at Gresty Road to produce the lowest home League gate of the season so far. Crewe's previous smallest home crowd was the 1,617 for the Freight Rover tie against Bury and Saturday's stay-away was noted by assistant manager Pat Slack. In charge while manager Dario Gradi enjoys a ski-ing holiday, Slack said: "I can understand the supporters' frustration -we are also frustrated. "We would have loved to keep David Platt and John Pemberton and would have had a strong side with them here today. But we have to play with the 13 fit players we have. "Every week we are watching two or three games and we know where we are going next season and what we are looking for, if it is available. "A lot of hard work has to be done in the few remaining games and I am full of praise for the tremendous support I have had from the players. "The spirit is the dressing room is absolutely phenomenal - one of the best I have ever known anywhere. The players realise that the crowd pay their money and have a right to criticise, but it needs to be constructive and not the demolishing silly criticism we get from some sections. "I was disappointed today as we did enough in the first half to have won. If Geoff Parker had put that early chance away it would have sealed it as we had them rocking."

Unfortunately for Alex. when Terry Milligan did release the teenager in the seventh minute. Parker, who had been scoring for Altrincham until recalled from his loan spell, missed his opportunity. But a goal seemed imminent as lan Macowat produced a cross for Neil Norton. whose close range header struck City skipper Keith Viney in the face and went for a corner. Then Rob Wakenshaw's cross was met by Parker who headed just wide. Terry Milligan's 24th minute corner was headed for goal by Chris Cutler but rebounded off Richard Cooper and and Olsson for another flag kick. Alex players thought they had broken the deadlock in the 58th minute when Aiden Murphy powered a header beyond the grasp of keeper Mel Gwinnett only for Viney to clear on the line. Inspired by Viney, a swarmed back and in the closing 10 minutes created three clear-cut chances only to find Dean Greygoose in top form.





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