21st September 1991
POSH 1-1 EXETER CITY
by Melvin Black at London Road.
IT was fortunate from Anglia TV's point of view that only a few minutes footage was required for yesterday's 'Goals' programme. Even so, it must have been difficult for the editors to pinpoint enough highlights to fill in the time for their focal match. It's unlikely that the film will figure prominently in the archives, but some strange decisions by Southend referee David Axcell and his linesmen might keep Jeremy Beadle going for a few weeks on 'You're Been Framed'. The benefits of action replays were certainly required to illuminate the penalties awarded to each side inside the opening 21 minutes, and some of the offside decisions were borderline to say the least, most notably when Garry Kimble ran through to score early in the second half. But while they were constantly in the picture, much to the annoyance of a frustrated home crowd, they could hardly be blamed for the scrappy fayre and the lack of quality.
The sad statistics though continue to mount as Posh continue their slide to-. wards the third division's departure lounge. It's now six games without a win and just four points collected from a possible 18, much to the annoyance of a frustrated home crowd, they could hardly be blamed for the scrappy fayre and the lack of quality. And it's now approaching nine hours since Posh managed a goal from open play, and event longer since a recognised striker found the target. Posh had to rely on a. Mick Halsall penalty on Saturday for a third consecutive home stalemate, and there were few indications that the goal famine would end even against an Exeter side arriving with the worst defensive record in the division. In fairness, Alan Ball's team have improved since leaking 14 goals in the opening three games and are now unbeaten in five matches, but even so they still looked a very ordinary third division outfit. But at the moment Posh are a side lacking confidence and conviction in the opposition penalty area, a factor not assisted, in the least by the gener ally poor quality of delivery at vital times. There were odd half chances brought more from pressure than cre- utivity, but few indications that better days in front of goal are around the corner. And Posh are fast running out of permutations the pairing of Ken Charlery and Pat Gavin was the fourth tried by manager Chris Turner this season. We are forced to wait a little longer to whether Paul Culpin will do the trick he was ruled out at the weekend by a calf strain. One wonders what the outcome might have heen but for a brilliant penalty save from Fred Barber after only ten minutes. He dived to his left to block Paul Wimbleton's spot kick after Noel Lake had been accused of a handling offence. Eleven minutes later it was 1-1 in penalties but 1-0 to Posh with industrious skipper Halsall burying his effort into the roof of the net after Exeter skipper Tom Kelly had heen adjudged to have fouled Charlery. Halsall almost had a second just before the break, his checky 25-yarder having goalkeeper Kevin Miller back pedalling and at full stretch to push the ball over the bar. But nine minutes into the second half Wimbleton made amends for his penalty miss by guiding a left foot shot wide of the diving Barber after being given too much room just inside the penalty area. It was one of the few moments Exeter enjoyed against the Posh defence, but at the end of the day it probably provided an accurate reflection of the proceedings, Posh might have tilted the game hack in their favour in the 67th minute when David Robinson powered in a clear header on goal from Halsall's free kick, hut goalkeeper Miller somehow managed to claw the ball out. It all points to a long hard winter unless Posh can discover the answer to their goal scoring problem. But those players generally cost money and that's a commodity that is rare at London Road these days as goals.
Barber, Luke, Butterworth, Halsall, Robinson, Welsh, Sterling, Cooper (sub Ebdon 78), Gavin, Charlery, Kimble (sub McInerney 69)
Miller, Hiley, Cook, Williams, Daniels, Whiston, Hodge (sub Moran 74), Wimbledon, Dolan, Kelly, Chapman. Sub not used Brown.
Halsall, 21 mins
Wimbleton, 54 mins
Referee D. Axcell (Southend)
Booking Robinson (Posh)