Match 06
1st September 1992
Brighton & Hove Albion (h)

Exeter City 2 
Chapman, 27 Jepson, 45
Brighton 3
Foster, 10 Cotterill, 31 Wilkinson, 85

Half time: 2-2
Crowd: 3,035

Plymouth Argyle assistant manager John McGovern left St James's Park 15 minutes from the end of Exeter City's Division 2 clash with Brighton last night and will have been shocked to learn that Argyle's old enemies had eventually lost. McGovern departed with City, having twice recovered from goals against-the-run- of-play, camped in the Brighton half. And the Seagulls hadn't remotely troubled Exeter goalkeeper Kevin Miller since the interval. But with four minutes remaining, the City rearguard produced their third defensive disaster and Darron Wilkinson capitalised to snatch an unlikely 3-2 victory for the visitors. Injuries permitting, Ball may be sorely tempted to revert to a sweeper system after City were caught playing the dangerous offside game. It cost them dear when the ball was prodded back over the outrushing defence and Wilkinson, on trial at the Goldstone Ground from Diadora League Wokingham, had the time and composure to neatly lob a helpless Miller from 25 yards. Twice City had to haul themselves back into the contest when marking was neglected. The familiar headband of Steve Foster, Brighton skipper in 1983 when they reached the FA Cup final and dropped out of the First Division, was unchallenged by marker Peter Whiston from the visitor's first corner and he scored with ease. However, after 27 minutes Exeter were back on terms after Gary Chivers had scrambled Gary Chapman's cross away from Jepson. John Hodge took the resulting corner, Whiston flicked on at the near post and Chapman headed his first goal of the season. But as City relaxed, Brighton quickly hit back. John Crumplin, crossed from the right and on-loan Wimbledon striker Steve Cotterill was unchaperoned to nod the rebound past a prostrate Miller after a brilliant reflex save had denied his first effort. On the stroke of half  time City were level again. Collins drilled in a low cross that was missed by Hodge and Chivers but not by the hard-working Jepson, who sidefooted past Mark Beeney from eight yards. The first 40 minutes of the second-half belonged to City. Hiley's pass was headed into Beeney's arms by Chapman, Hodge's low centre curled just beyond the dive of the luckless Chapman and then Hodge's far post effort was palmed behind by Beeney. A Harris header was again well stopped and then Beeney Beeney clawed another effort from the midfielder from under the crossbar. Foster cleared a Hodge ball off Jepson's toes before Wilkinson was gifted his chance. There was still time for Hodge to win yet another corner but Beeney kept out Jepson's diving header.

Referee: Keith Burge (Tonypandy)
G. Beale
B. Bishop

Exeter City 

1.Kevin Miller
2 Scott Hiley
3 David Cooper
4 Tom Kelly
Jon Brown
6 Peter Whiston
7 Eamonn Collins
8 Andy Harris
9 Ronnie Jepson
10 Gary Chapman
11 John Hodge
Steve Williams (Collins 72)
Toby Redwood

1 Mark Beeney
2 Gary Chivers
3 lan Chapman
4 Darron Wilkinson
5 John Crumplin
6 Steve Foster
7 John Robinson
8 Paul Moulden
9 Steve Cotterill
10 Robert Codner
11 Clive Walker
Simon Funnell
Matthew Edwards (Walker 58)

Match Report 2 
from the Western Morning News

A TRIO of defensive howlers cost Exeter City three precious Division 2 points and the unbeaten record they were beginning to compile as Brighton won 3-2 at St James's Park last night. The Seagulls sneaked their opening away success of the season having been thoroughly hammered for the bulk of their first trip to Exeter in 26 years, writes Ed Hogg. Under normal circumstances City boss Alan Ball would have been furious at the number of chances that Exeter failed to take. But his wrath was deflected by his outfit's fragile rearguard action. "Totally unprofessional," was the thrust of Ball's post-match summing-up. "We have conceded three goals at home and the goals we conceded were down to a lack of professionalism and reponsibility. That is awful." Former England central defender Steve Foster was the first to take advantage after 10 minutes when Exeter skipper Peter Whiston failed to remember his manager's principal instruction and allowed Foster a free header. Gary Chapman equalised but City left back David Cooper then allowed John Crumplin room to cross for the unmarked Steve Cotterill to beat Kevin Miller at the second attempt. Ronnie Jepson's second goal in three days squared things up again and with Brighton barely able to advance into the home side's territory after the break, Ball was expecting at least a point. But he hadn't accounted for the ineffectual operation of an unplanned offside trap that allowed Darron Wilkinson to lob Brighton's 86th minute winner. "Brighton had settled for a draw and I wouldn't have been unhappy with 2-2 because we could have gone away, put a few things right and built on it," said Ball. "We had loads of chances but it doesn't make any difference if you dominate if players can't do what I would call the horrible things like marking, tackling, getting the ball clear and basically doing a job of work. "I'm very, very disappointed with quite a few players, especially my defenders. There wasn't a lot wrong with the performance football-wise but I have got to keep trying to get it between their ears that they must concentrate and not get caught."


Paul F



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