21st November 1992
Chester City (h)
1st TEAM REPORT
EXETER CITY 2, CHESTER 0.
This was City's third consecutive victory and it owed much to the confidence and skill of top scorer John Hodge who scored his seventh of the season and laid on the second for Eamonn Dolan.
True, Chester have sacked Harry McNally and are struggling in the bottom four of the divi- sion, but they still had to be broke down and City showed the patience necessary to com- plete the job in hand. The first half saw City struggle, against Chester's large defenders, to make any headway and the result was a dour first 45 minutes.
City could have been caught in the closing stages of the half when Stuart Rimmer burst through only to be robbed by an excellent tackle by Peter Whiston as he shaped to shoot past Kevin Miller.
But City hit back and Chester goalkeeper John Keeley twice had to be quick off his line after Hodge had first looked to have released Ronnie Jepson and then Steve Moran almost got on the end of Hodge's penetrating cross.
City substituted Dolan for the injured Steve Moran during the interval and he was set up by Hodge after just 10 minutes of the second half.
The diminutive winger cut in from the right flank to lay the ball off to Dolan who had his
first shot blocked and couldn't believe his luck as he beat Keeley with his second effort only to see Roger Preece clear the ball off the line.
City piled on the pressure and Sean Garnett deflected Jepson's drive over the bar and Whiston headed wide of the target.
Keeley was in constant action and had to save well from Jepson but Miller in the City goal was called in to action just once in the second half when he made a brilliant save from David Pugh's thunderous drive. The goals had to come and finally in the 69th minute the inevitable happened.
Hodge played a quick one-two with Jepson on the right of the area and cut inside to unleash a terrific right foot drive that flew past a help- less Keeley and into the roof of the net.
Eleven minutes later and the game was safe as Dolan was left celebrating his first league goal at St. James' Park after Hodge had once again slipped his marker to make headway down the right and wing over an inch perfect cross for Dolan to side foot home from close range.
Seven minutes later Hodge was replaced by Andy Harris after turning over on his ankle but he went off to deserved rapturous applause.