25th October 1988
Leyton Orient (a)
OCTOBER 25th 1988
LEYTON ORIENT 4 EXETER CITY 0
Having seen Carlisle, I expected City outclass higher than a average away support for our night match at Leyton Oriont. It was when trying, and failing, to make an exact head-count for The Exe Directory, that I noticed we had a few more than usual, but a mid-week turn-out of about 130 surpassed all expectations. Despite the larger than usual numbers we were pretty quiet, but once again outsang the home fans all 3,700 of them. The biggest thorn in City's side was the referee, many of the travellers wasted their vocal chords by vonting abuse at this pathetic figure. However, City had dominated the openin exchanges, even more than at Burnley. This made Alan Hull's opener even more depressing. A corner was flicked onto the strikor with tho receding hairline, and he had room to swing an elephant, let alone a cat, as he scored with ease. With two minutes left of the sent off for half Richard Cooper was sent aiming a blow at an opponent. More abuse for the ref and more frustration for the travellers, who were by now tearing their hair out in frustration. So much so, in fact, that there were soon 130 Alan Hull lookalikes on the Coronation Gardens terrace !
The second-half saw a very disjointed City, having lost Dryden, Hiley (who was injured) and now Cooper, since the Carlisle spectacular three days earlier. Once Kevin Dickenson struck the second on the hour, a powerful 25 yarder that beat Gwinnett all ends up, few could imagine City repeating a rescue act a la last September. It was all one way traffic now, with Alan Comfort and Ian Juryeff adding to our misery with further goals. I couldn't explain the latter's effort, even if I wanted to, as I was sitting in a police hut at the time. Before I am branded a hooligan and you boycott all future aditions of The Exe Directory, let me explain. Basically, one idiot who shall remain nameless (Jason Webster), threw a banger which exploded at the foot of a very disconsolato Mitch (he of the mumbles). Both were ejected by the watching 'Wapping'. Now why was Mitch thrown out, as ho had not done anything ? I shouted this question to the officer concerned, admittedly in a pretty unfriendly manner (by now Mitch was being lead out of our enclosure). To cut a long story short, one other policeman took offence to my protestations, so I followed the two 'offenders' towards the police hut. Later another City fan joined us. It can't have been a pleasant sight for Terry Cooper to see four Exeter fans frog-marched by police past the manager's bench. I am not complaining against Webster's ejection, people who throw bangers are obviously evil misfits of society, and they should be locked up for life. However, had a situation such as Mitch's ejection occurred during a visit by Wolves or Cardiff, I very much doubt the police would have merely had a verbal protest to contend with.
OCTOBER 25th-LEYTON ORIENT
This fixture looked set to provide one of City's biggest away followings of the season. However, the League computer has kindly made this a Tuesday night match, so any plans for a Saturday trip to London have had to be shelved.
Our last League visit was in September 1987, but I very much doubt that you will need reminding of that match. However if you are suffering from amnesia, read the 'Dickie Delves' article elsewhere in the magazine. Less memorable was the F.A Cup tle two months later, a 2-0 defeat signalling the end of our hopes for another year. The 'East East East London' side reached the Fourth Round of the competition, with a crowd of 19,000, plus a Match of the Day audience witnessing their 2-1 defeat by the Clough Kids at Brisbane Road.
Orient have been very consistent since relegation from the Third in 1985. A settled side and League placings of 5th, 7th and 8th will surely bring some reward in the near future.
In their Second Division days, Orient were always seen as a small club, now they are one of the big guns of the Fourth. Last season's average crowd was a very respectable 3,932, particularly impressive considering the absence of South-East derbies and the close proximity of Tottenham and West Ham.