7th November 1992
HARTLEPOOL UTD 1, EXETER CITY 3
City's first away win of the season was just what the doctor ordered after two consecu- tive home defeats but the way in which City secured this win was just as pleasing as the result.
City were always in command against a side that were only three points behind the league leaders before the kick-off.
City striker, Steve Moran, had already gone close on two occasions when former Hartlepool player, Tom Kelly, took a right wing corner which was nodded on by Ronnie Jepson for the diminutive City for- ward to score from close range.
Four minutes into the second half and the home side equalised when Paul Cross blasted a low drive across Kevin Miller and into the far corner of the net.
But two goals in as many minutes gave City the points they so richly deserved.
The first in the 74th minute came courtesy of a great ball from Andy Cook whose through ball was flicked on by Moran for Kelly to apply the perfect finishing touch.
The second was again engineered by Cook who charged down the left flank and hit a low cross to the far post where Jepson slid in to meet the ball and make the long journey home that much sweeter.
ALTERNATIVE Report in the Fanzine
In Exile Issue 06 - Vol. 2
Author- Not Known
HARTLEPOOL 1 EXETER CITY 3
This had to be one of City's best away performances of the season, if not the best so far. Just as well really, because Hartlepool is a bloody long way away. If City could only transform their away record to home games then we would be in a much healthier league position than we are.
Anyway, to the game. Hartlepool had the better of the early exchanges in the game but failed to capitalise on it. A few good chances for Andy Saville and Paul Cross.
Exeter's first shot came after about 12 minutes from a rather ambitious volley from Kelly, which brought a chorus of jeers from the homesters. But just on 14 minutes Jepson flicked on a corner at the near post, and the unmarked Moran rammed the ball home from close range. A few shots for Miller to deal with; to one which Miller mis-kicked straight to the oncoming Southall, but for the youngster to blast over the bar - and the stand, I tend to recall.
City came out to the cheers of the faithful, and things really took off from where they left them. A lot of City pressure, but 'Pool levelled out of the blue, on the 49th minute, City failing to clear a ball. and Paul Cross drilled an angled drive into the far corner from 15 yards. City went close with more shots from Jepson and Whiston. and Miller making good saves at the other end from Honour and Olsson. But in the 75th minute, some good passing work opened up Hartlepool's defence, and our Scotch hero Tom Kelly buried a low effort from 12 yards into the far corner, to send the windswept followers into ecstasy, and my cup of Bovril into the air.
Hartlepool pressed hard, and did force some more corners from Exeter, but once again the City defence was far too strong, with good saves from Miller, and solid defending from Hiley and Cooper. Then it went from bad to worse for Hartlepool, and City were running amuck. In the end they succumbed to the inevitable, and Cook crossed from the right, and Jepson was on hand to slide the ball in. Andy Harris went close, and McGuckin was lucky to stay on after a crude two-footed tackle on Kelly.
And as always when the City are winning away from home, the final whistle seems to take ten times as long as normal to arrive, but eventually it did. To be quite honest, the best we had expected was a hard-fought draw, which I knew we were capable of, but to come away 3 - 1 victors was something rather special.
I am sorry to say that the afternoon was marred only by the ejection of Mr A Crockford (Exe Directory) who, to be fair, was totally blameless. Our Chairman has taken up the case, and has written to a certain Chief Inspector Makepeace, whose lofty title for the day was "Ground Commander". The final minutes were a formality, and there are not many times I shall get to say that this season. And Moran might have had one in the dying seconds, but it was not to be.
So, it was back to "Jackson's" for a celebratory pint of Old Peculier. XB, or whatever you fancied (the barmaid, in Roger's case). Then it was a mere four hours back in the train, with two changes at Thornaby and Darlington (beer stop), and returning to Kings Cross by 2250. To be fair to British Rail the train was 20 minutes early. The whole trip was one to tell your grandchildren about.
BEA SMITH (WDC)