Match 50
5th May 1989
Colchester U (a)


Colchester U 4-0 Exeter City

by Special Correspondent

EXETER CITY kissed goodbye to what was virtually their last chance of a place in the Fourth Division's promotion play off with scarcely a whimper last night. They were thumped 4-0 by a Colchester side who were bottom of the Football League until a week ago. And Exeter could have no complaints about the margin of the victory, Colchester's best for two years. Now city's slender play off hopes rest on Wrexham failing to pick up a single point from their remaining three games.

But the city's own ambitions were eclipsed by more pressing matters at Layer Road, where Colchester were bidding to secure their Football League status for another year. Watched by the largest League attendance at the Essex ground for nine years 5,256 Exeter were up against it from the fifth minute when they fell behind to a Mario Walsh goal. The former Torquay front runner drilled a shot past keeper Dave Walter for his 15th goal of the season after defender Shaun Taylor had blocked a long range effort from Mark Radford.

Exeter lived dangerously in defence, with Walter mishandling a number of shots and crosses, but it took until the 40th minute for Colchester to increase their lead. This time Clive Stafford produced a defence splitting pass which left former Arsenal man Ian Allinson to stroke the ball home from 15 yards. Only once in the first half did the visitors really threaten to score, and then Steve Neville's shot on the turn was well saved by young Colchester keeper Mark Walton. But with substitutes Carl Harris and Chris Banks replacing Chris Vinnicombe and Brian McDermott, Exeter were a livelier proposition after the interval. Their continued pressure, however, produced scarcely a shot on target and Colchester eventually shook free their shackles to score another two goals in the final seven minutes. First 17-year-old trainee John Pollard beat Walter with a 20 yard shot, just six minutes after coming on as substitute for his first taste of senior soccer.

And skipper Tony English made it 4-0 just seconds from the end with a forceful shot after Walsh sent him clear of the defence. At the other end, striker Darran Rowbotham was twice thwarted by keeper Walton as Exeter sought a consolation goal in the dying minutes. The Welshman dived full length to divert a goalbound free kick, and then save Rowbotham's penalty after the keeper had pushed Richard Young in an attempt to

reach the resulting corner. That penalty miss summed up the city performance, leav- ing manager Terry Cooper to remark: "we were absolutely murdered. The better team on the day won by a mile."

Walton, Daniels, Stafford, Radford (sub Pollard 77 mins), Hetzke, Hill, Wilkins, English. Scott (sub Warner 67 mins), Walsh, Allinson.

Walter, Vinnicombe, (sub Harris half time), Dryden, Rogers, Taylor, McDermott (sub Banks half time), Rowbotham, Benjamin, Young. Neville, Hiley.

Attendance: 5,256.

Jim Ashworth of North Luffenham.

Radford (Colchester),
Vinnicombe (Exeter) both for fouls.

Big Jock's close to achieving a miracle

JOCK Wallace has almost performed a miracle- and saved Colchester United from the GM Vauxhall Conference League. United took another huge step to safety with a 4-0 win over Exeter at Layer Road. The club's biggest crowd for nine years watched goals from Mario Walsh, Ian Allinson, Kelly Pollard, and Tony English clinch a great victory. Keeper Mark Walton added to the joy by saving a penalty. At one stage Colchester looked certain to take the big drop-but now appear safe thanks to Wallace.

Colchester (2) 4
Walsh, Allinson, Pollard, English
Exeter (0) 0
Jock's got 'em going

From the Daily Record 

JOCK WALLACE is poised to pull off a Houdini-style survival act with Colchester. The Division Four stragglers - who have been rooted near the bottom for most of the season - grabbed a vital 4-0 romp over Exeted last night. In front of their biggest home crowd in nine years - 5,256

Wallace's men never looked back from fourth minute goal. They are still second bottom - five points clear of bottom club Darlington who have a game in hand.

Report 2 from Exe-Directory 

The noise level at Scarborough was, needless to say, non existent in the home end, but this game was in complete contrast. A win was vital for Colchester's hopes of staying in the League and their fans were determined to give them every bit of vocal encouragement to do so. The terracing in the away end is very pagan, consisting of wooden steps, and was the butt of many jokes from the travelling support. The real jokers on the night though were the City players who were a disgrace to their club. Commitment and the will to win are a vital ingredient to any footballer, but none of this was shown. Of course, Terry voiced his disapproval to the press after the game. City again conceded an early goal. On five minutes, Shaun Taylor gifted the ball to ex-Torquay striker Mario Walsh and he fired home. To be fair to City they had the best of the first half, but only one noteworthy effort, a turn and shot in the penalty area by Steve Neville, was forthcoming. Colchester scored again shortly before the break, lan Allinson running clear to score, and they received a tumultuous reception as they left the field at half-time. Most of the second period was pretty uninspiring, only Darran Rowbotham looked dangerous, although he was the villain late on when the Colchester keeper, fellow Welshman Mark Walton, saved his penalty. By then it didn't matter much though. Seventeen year old John Pollard had scored within six minutes of his debut (he came on as substitute after 77 minutes) with a rasping drive from outside the area. Shortly after the penalty Tony English scored the fourth. It was all very embarrassing to watch. However, looking back on it, it was nice to see the expressions of relief on the faces of the Colchester fans as they invaded the pitch at the end of the game. They had been in danger from the start of t the season, but at last it looked as though they had done enough to ensure safety. A large group of their fans came over to applaud the 100 City fans in the away end. One thing is for sure, it wasn't to show their admiration at our loyalty and vocal support, as it was our worst showing all season. Hardly a song was mustered in the second half, a rarity at an Exeter City away game. That result proved to be enough to ensure United's survival as the following day Darlington were thrashed 5-1 at Scunthorpe. It set me thinking that even though the Vauxhall Conference is booming in stature and strength, it is the ultimate footballing nightmare for the fan of any Fourth Division club.


Paul F



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