Match 30
28th January 1989
Rochdale (h)

Saturday 28th January 1989
Division Four
Exeter City 5 Rochdale 1
Attendance: 2,428

Steve Neville was in inspired form as Exeter City climbed to seventh place on the Fourth Division with their biggest win if the season. They eventually ripped a poor Rochdale side to shreds after a shaky start, with Neville proving that when he is on song, there is hardly a player in the Division to match him. Rochdale created the better early chances and should have been in front earlier than they were after Chris Beaumont netted in the 21st minute. City equalised in the 24th minute when a cross from Carl Harris was flicked on by Shaun Taylor and Keith Smith arrived at the far post to score from close range. City then went in front after 39th minutes when Neville sent over a fine cross for Harris to head against the crossbar and Darran Rowbotham slotted home the rebound. After that City were in complete control and made it 3-1 in the 71st minute when Smith's pass was clipped over the Rochdale keeper by Neville.

Neville returned the favour eight minutes later, pulling the ball back from the bye-line for the hard working Steve Tupling, whose shot was forced over the line by Smith. Rochdale were in tatters and it was no surprise when they conceded a fifth as Chris Banks set up Tupling to smash home a shot from 15-yards.

City team: Dave Walter, Chris Banks, Steve Tupling, Lee Rogers, Shaun Taylor, Richard Cooper, Darran Rowbotham, Keith Smith, Chris Vinnicombe, Steve Neville, Carl Harris (Martin Parker).

Rochdale team: Welch, Copeland, Armitage, Smart, Sutton, O'Shaughnessy (Alford), Edmonds, Smith, Beaumont, Windridge (Lomax), Frain.

Match report 2

28th JANUARY 1989 


Five goal displays from Exeter City occur about as regularly as an eclipse of the sun, so the 2,500 who braved the grotty weather could consider it an afternoon well spent.

We didn't look set for a big win in the opening stages though. Rochdale were far superior, with Frain and Edmonds both going close, before the inevitable happened when Chris Beaumont headed in a corner. City showed great character in fighting back to equalise just three minutes later. A corner from Carl Harris was flicked on by Shaun Taylor and Keith Smith headed home. This was Smith's first full league game, he was previously with non league Alfreton Town of course. On 38 minutes Exeter took the lead when Harris headed against the bar and his fellow Welshman Rowbotham knocked the rebound in. City could count themselves slightly fortunate to find themselves in front at the break, but the second-half was a different story. Exeter dominated throughout, with Neville particularly dangerous, indeed it was our assistant manager who scored the third goal with twenty minutes left. Keith Smith was again involved, his cross was coolly slotted home. Nine minutes later Neville pulled the ball back to Tupling, whose mis-hit shot was controlled by action man Smith, who gleefully stabbed the ball past the Rovers custodian. City get plenty of threes and fours nowadays so it made a nice change to see a fifth goal go in. The all important goal was scored by Steve Tupling, his first for the club, from the edge of the area. So City's first five goal haul for nearly four and a half years, and if any Smart Alecs write in reminding me that we scored more at Torrington in pre-season, then the punishment could be severe.



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