10th April 1992
Stockport C (a)
JIMBO'S JOY NIGHT!
Stockport 4 (1)
Gannon 2, 81, 89 (pen), Preece 90
Exeter City 1(1)
Report by Steve Bellis
WHAT a feeling! Stockport County Just 90 minutes away from the twin towers. The only twin towers I have ever seen before were at Blackpool after I had had one too many drinks, resulting in one too many towers. Yet as I write this I have a feeling of trepidation, tinged with just a little constipation. County, do, of course, have a one goal lead before the tie with Burnley kicks off, but it is a 'twiggy' lead, in other words very slim. I would settle for the scoreline achieved last Friday in a riproaring climax at Edgeley Park in the game with Exeter City. This was a strange game that exploded into life after just two minutes- Jim Gannon heading - home his 17th of the season from the traditional Peter Ward corner.
Alan Ball, the man who talks like Pinky or Perky, urged his Grecians' on and within six minutes it was 1-1. John Hodge sliding in at the far post after some good work by Steve Moran and Tom Kelly, who looked a little like Tom Jones, but played rather better. Then the game died and we might as well have all gone to the Royal Oak for an hour, because Exeter were more intent on boring the fans than boring any holes in the County defence. However, goals can be like 'little Gems' at Edgeley Park these days. You don't see one for ages and then three arrive all at once and you are so stunned you miss two of them. This was exactly the case last Friday. The game re-awoke in the 81st minute - David Frain majestically beat the Exeter offside trap-which was about as effective as a chocolate mouse trap -and he then beat the keeper Kevin Miller, who in turn decided that Frainy would look better in the mud, so he threw him there. It should have been a penalty but the ball bundled along to Jimbo who crashed home County's second and his 18th of the season. The referee, Mr Bell, signalled the goal and then booked keeper Miller to the delight of the County crowd and the misery of squeaky Bally.
We were just sitting down again, when Chris Beaumont raced into the box, turned and ended up on his bottom. Another penalty, we cried. Another penalty Mr Bell, who I was beginning to grow very fond of agreed! Jim stepped up - he was on a hat-trick, we were on pins, but keeper Miller was on his toes and he sprang like a Vietnamise pot bellied cat to his left to save Jim's effort. Ah well! we all cried, but seconds later it was keeper Miller who was tearful. You see, the Exeter keeper wasn't over keen on our lovable striker Andy Preece, so he tried to kick him. Mr linesman was not happy and he waved his flag like an epileptic frog stranded on a desert island, who has just spotted a ship. Mr Bell trotted over and after the briefest of discussions, he showed Mr Miller his red one, and sent him off. And then ordered another penalty. Jim, in almost disbelief, stepped up again, and with only a stand-in keeper to beat crashed the ball home. Jim wheeled away in delight, but Mr Bell soon wiped the grin of Jimbo's gob, by ordering the penalty to be retaken. Apparently Kevin Francis had stood inside the box. What do you expect, I cried - he's got size 14 boots. So, in a complete daze, Jim was stood by the spot again. He had seen this spot so many times it's a wonder he didn't reach for the acne cream. Jim made no mistake and it was 3-1. At last we could sit down- but no. We were soon up again like a hyperactive Zebedee, when more good work from Chris Beaumont resulted in a Preece goal. So it finished 4-1 and we all had a smashing night.