28th March 1992
Birmingham C (h)
Blues seemingly determined to make life tough
Exeter City 2 Birmingham City 1
Birmingham City manager Terry Cooper's spell over his old club was finally broken by a late penalty from Steve Moran. Six minutes from time. Blues assistant boss lan Atkins toppled Vince Hilaire and the veteran Moran (photo) took his season's tally to 20 with his second goal of the game. The victory avenged three previous cup and league reverses by Blues this season and ended an unbeaten sequence of seven games for Cooper's side. "I thought we looked comfortable throughout the second half. but we just threw the game away, it was as simple as that." Cooper said. Blues started well, with David Rennie impressive, but surprisingly fell behind after 15 minutes when Moran robbed Paul Mardon and ran on to beat Kevin Dearden. As combat intensified. Exeter's Andy Cook departed to have four stitches inserted in a cut over his left eye. Halfway through his ten-minute absence Blues equalised when lan Rodgerson's 24th-minute free-kick slipped through the hands of "keeper Kevin Miller for Martin Hicks to nod his second goal of the season. Blues reshuffled at the interval. Mardon succumbing to a toe injury, and, when former Exeter goal-ace Darran Rowbotham took a knock on the ankle. Cooper introduced new 6ft 5in striker Mark Sale. But their control was slipping away. Hilaire and substitute Gary Marshall were posing a growing wing threat, and the raids were thwarted by Scott Hiley who twice saved Exeter from conceding a late equaliser.
Scorers: Moran (15 mins, 1-0), Hicks (24) mins. 1-1). Moran (pen 84 mins, 2-1).
EXETER CITY (4-4-2): Miller, Hiley, Daniels. Whiston, Cook; Hilaire, Brown, Williams, Wim- bleton (Marshall, 66); Moran. Thompstone. Sub (unused): Morris.
BIRMINGHAM CITY (4-4-2): Dearden; Clarkson, Hicks. Mardon (Atkins, 46), Matthewson; Rodgerson, Rennie, Frain, Gleghorn: Rowbotham (Sale, 57), Sturridge.
Referee: J Deakin (South Wales).
Bookings: Exeter Brown, Hilaire (both fouls). Birmingham Mardon (foul). Williams (dissent).
Blues Man of the Match: David Rennie.