Match 46
4th April 1988
Stockport County (a)

Monday April 4th 1988.

Colville, Hodkinson penalty.


Half time 0-1.

Played at Edgley Park, Stockport.


By Special Correspondent

Mel Gwinnett will quickly want to forget last night's trip to Edgley Park as out of touch City stumbled to defeat. He gifted Stockport their 64th minute equaliser with a rash dash from his line. And as City were holding a valuable point Gwinnett brought down Bob Colville in the final seconds. Up stepped winger Andy Hodkinson and he comfortably sent the 'keeper the wrong way for County's winner.

There was some sympathy with Gwinnett for his final contribution as his defence disappeared leaving Colville in the clear. But there was no excusing his error after the interval when he never looked like reaching a Steve Bullock free kick.

Leading scorer Colville easily beat him to the ball and his glancing header gave him goal number 17. Twice in the first half Gwinnett had been caught the same way but Steve Harrower headed another Col- ville header from under the bar. However, Exeter were good value for their interval lead given them in the 14th minute by Darren Rowbotham. The winger won't score a simpler goal this season as he tapped Dean Edwards' pass into an empty net following a mistake by Stockport 'keeper Chris Marples. And had Scott Hiley conver- ted a superbly worked opening in the 27th minute, John Delve's side might have been celebrating a rare league double. Stockport's defence were chasing shadows as Olsson, Cooper, Rowbotham and Edwards produced a suc- cession of first time passes. The last one reached Hiley, but his angled shot drifted wide of Marples' upright. Shaun Taylor guided a free header at Marples as City looked to repeat Torquay's Easter Saturday victory over Stockport. However, it wasn't all one-way traffic and full-back Neil Bailey grazed Gwinnett's crossbar with one speculative effort, and the 'keeper enjoyed his best moment of the match when he beat away a fierce drive from substitute Dennis Cronin eight minutes from half time.

Exeter couldn't sustain their pressure after the interval and Gwinnett's costly error was the spur Stockport needed. Keith Viney earned a caution from the referee for a second foul on Hodkinson, and the Exeter skipper was subs- tituted in the 83rd minute to be replaced by Roy Carter. Hodkinson's last ditch winner completed a disappointed second half  for Exeter leaving them pointless following two Easter fixtures. 

Stockport County:- Marples; Bullock, Bailey; Pickering, Thorpe, Williams; Hodkinson, Colville, Worthington, Hartford, Hendrie.

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

Attendance 2,161.

Gwinnett will be pleased to forget the game at Stockport when he played a decisive role in both the County's goals. Exeter were leading thanks to a 14th minute goal by Rowbotham when Gwinnett came too far out of his area and could only stand and watch as Colville's shot floated yards over his head before dropping into the vacant net. And in the second half Frank Worthington, the old Leicester City forward, put Colville clean through only for Gwinnett to floor him with a hefty tackle six yards from goal. Hodkinson beat the unfortunate City 'keeper without difficulty from the 12 yards mark.



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