9th November 1988
Exeter 1-0 Scarborough
Report by Trina Lake
ANOTHER stunning goal from the Darran Rowbotham collection ended both Exeter City's worrying mini slump and Scar- borough's designs on topping Division 4 at St James Park last night. The Welsh striker hit a spectacular 86th minute winner to take his goal tally this season to six. He has developed a talent for breathtaking strikes and last night's was certainly up to his impressive standards. Rowbotham, capable of tantalising delicacy and finesse, relied on full blooded power to sink Scarborough with a thunderbolt from his lethal right foot. He cut in from the left and unleashed a swerving 30 yard drive. Goalkeeper Kevin Blackwell seemed to have it covered but the ball's late change of flight left him clutching air as it rocketed into the back of the net. If all this sounds like a long winded way to describe one goal it's because there was precious little else to say about an otherwise drab contest. City manager Terry Cooper had to admit that it wasn't much of a spectacle but was more than content with the three points that lifted the club back up from 19th to 14th in the table. "It's nice when you don't play well and still win. We played far better against Crewe and got nothing so I'll settle for this," he said. He was particularly pleased at the way his side stuck to their task for the full 90 minutes with none of the lapses in concentration that have cost them so dear in recent weeks. "We saw it through tonight and that's all I've been asking. I thought Lee Rogers and Shaun Taylor were absolutley magnificent and I'm pleased that I've had the right sort of reaction from all the players after giving them some stick," he added. The defence gave an unadventurous Scarborough side few sights of goal and Mark Jones made a tidy home debut in midfield but there was none of the flowing football that had become City's trademark under Cooper. Scarborough defended efficiently in depth and relied on breaks and set pieces to threaten City. And they probably came closest to scoring in a first half that City dominated territorially. Mel Gwinnett saved from Craig Short at a free kick and Graham Withey headed off the line from Tommy Graham following a corner. Apart from a ninth minute save to deny Steve Harrower, Scarborough goalkeeper had little to do but field countless back passes from his defenders. It didn't look like being City's night, typified by a 40th minute incident involving Steve Neville. He played a neat one-two with Rowbotham on the edge of the penalty area to go clear but stood on the ball with only Blackwell to beat from 10 yards. The groans that drew were echoed throughout the second half as City repeatedly failed to penetrate a resolute Scarborough defence with Scott Hiley's 65th minute powerful run but weak finish the nearest thing to real excitement. Lively Scarborough striker Steve Norris briefly escaped the attentions of Taylor and Rogers but couldn't get in a telling shot and the game seemed to have 0-0 written all over it until Rowbotham's little bit of late magic. His goal ended a six-hour famine and stopped the rot after three sucessive defeats.
Exeter City: Gwinnett, Banks, Jones, Rogers, Taylor, Withey, (Langley 75), Rowbotham, Hiley, Batty, Neville, Harrower Sub (not used) Viney.
Scarborough: Blackwell, Kamara, Thompson, Short, Richards, Benny- worth, Brotherston (Olsson 62), Cook, Norris, Brook, Graham. Sub (not used) McJannet.