17th December 1991
FA Cup 2nd Round Replay
Swans crash out
Swansea 1-2 Exeter City
REPORT by ECHO STAFF
SWANSEA CITY'S hopes of an extended run in the FA Cup ended in miserable conditions at The Vetch last night as Evatel deservedly mode progress with a 2-1 victory in the second round replay.
Exeter's greater ambition ensured them a home third round tie against Portsmouth and a chance for manager Alan Ball to put one over on his old dub - and at the same time they denied Swans' boss Frank Burrows the chance to do the same. The memory of last weekend's 1-0 defeat in the League was enough of a spur for an Exeter side who used the experience of Steve Williams, Steve Moran and Vince Hilaire to thwart Swans' ambition. The Swans, with the ever-reliable Russell Coughlin a controlling influence in midfield, started well enough and took the game to their visitors during the opening 20 minutes.
It was Coughlin who had the first chance, seeing a fierce 20-yard drive go just wide, and then skipper Jimmy Gilligan headed narrowly wide from a John Ford cross with Exeter keeper Kevin Miller well beaten.
Exeter may have taken time to find their feet but after skipper Scott Hiley tested Roger Freestone with a long range shot in the 26th minute, they never looked back. It was 12 minutes before the interval that they achieved the vital break- through as Jonathon Brown bundled the ball home via the post after Freestone could only parry Scott Daniels' header from Hilaire's corner kick.
As the rain came down ever harder in the second half so Swansea hopes of pulling the game around slowly disap- peared, and while they enjoyed plenty of posession the delivery to Gilligan and John Williams was never up to scratch.
When Coughlin rattled a post after 70 minutes The Vetch faithful knew that it wasn't to be their team's night and, despite Brown missing a golden oppor- tunity to score a second, from the very next Exeter attack another goal had to come. Gary Marshall (photo) was the man who provided it with four minutes left, curling a right-footed shot low past Freestone after being left in acres of space by a Swansea defence who were committed to pushing ahead. Deep into injury time Keith Walker reduced the deficit with a superbly struck free kick from outside the area, but by that time it was largely academic.
Gilligan went close with a header almost on the whistle, but it would have been rough justice had the Swans managed to take the tie into extra time.