29th August 1992
Stoke City (h)
City 2 Stoke City 2
In Exile Issue 06 - Vol. 2 (In the sixth edition of In Exile from the 1992-93 season)
Fanzine Report by Dave Manlove
After the previous Tuesday's superb result at Birmingham, I was looking forward to this game with high expectations and was not to be disappointed.
The only surprise in the City line-up was the inclusion of Gary Chapman in place of Tuesday's hero Eamonn Dolan, presumably due to injury, although he was included in the line-up in the Friday edition of the Express & Echo. Chapman was promoted from the subs bench and Toby Redwood took his place.
City started brightly and looked confident and motivated (a change from the Rotherham game) as they dominated the opening exchanges. Their pressure was rewarded early on with a well taken goal from Ronnie Jepson, who dispossessed a Stoke defender, cut inside another and calmly slotted the ball with his left foot between the keeper and the near post. From what have seen of Jepson so far I have been very impressed. He has shown a touch and awareness which promises much for the rest of the season.
The rest of the first half followed with City still threatening, only to be undone by a fluke goal from Mark Stein. He picked the ball up on Stoke's left wing and swung in a cross with his left foot which caught the wind and floated over Big Kev into the far corner.
If City were stunned by this, more was to follow shortly after when Stein put Stoke 2-1 up with a lob tha: looked blatantly offside. Even the referee looked shocked at his linesman's decision. With City thrown out of their stride, Stoke started to get into the game, with Biggins and Stein especially looking a class act.
Half time came with many around me thinking it was going to be one of those days again.
City started the second half well with Tom Kelly having a header cleared off the line with the Stoke keeper nowhere. Steve Williams replaced Eamonn Collins and immediately produced a fine ball inside the Stoke full back, who in turn brought down John Hodge inside the area, only for the ref to refuse claims for what was a definite penalty.
More City frustration followed as firstly Steve Williams got himself booked (now there's a surprise!) and Ronnie Jepson missed a good chance. In between this, Stoke had Sandford sent off for a second bookable offence. City finally got what they wanted with an equaliser from close range by Andy Harris in the last minute.
Although being somewhat biased, their performance had deserved three points and Stoke can think themselves lucky to pick up a point in a thoroughly enjoyable game. It was a pity that it was not seen by a bigger crowd, since it would have brought back confidence after the performances against Rotherham and Blackpool.
Williams (for Collins, 58 mins), Redwood.
Sinclair; Butler, Harbey, Cranson, Overson, Sandford, Foley, Devlin, Stein, Biggins, Russell,
Subs: Kevan, Shaw.
Referee: Paul Scoble (Portsmouth)
Exeter City: Hiley, Williams.
Stoke: Sandford, Foley, Stein
Sent Off: Sandford (Stoke)