1 May 1993.
Exeter City 1 Huddersfield 2.
Saturday 1 May 1993.
Referee - Keith Burge (Tonypandy).
Attendance : 3271
Town recover well from skipper Jackson's slip.
Superb double for Cooper seals win against old club
by DOUGLAS THOMSON
MARK COOPER wreaked havoc on his return to St James' Park to bring relief for Town skipper Peter Jackson and worry for his old club. The midfielder, on loan from Fulham until the end of the season, lashed home two superb goals, and could have had a hat trick as Town claimed the points from a generally scrappy encounter. Cooper opened the scoring after 15 minutes only to see Jackson gift Exeter an equaliser with a badly misjudged back-pass seven min- utes later. But he struck again with 13 minutes remaining to bring delight to Town's travelling army of fans, who gave the team a ticker-tape welcome and a standing ovation at the end. It was well deserved, particularly since Town clinched their seventh away success of the league campaign after having to reshuffle at half-time following the loss through injury of midfielder Gary Barnett and striker Iwan Roberts. While Town guaranteed their Second Division survival with victory over Hull City in the previous game, Exeter needed a win on Saturday to move clear of the danger zone. And the pressure told as the home side appeared jittery against a Town team looking calm and confident and which controlled large parts of the game. The Leeds Road side carved out their first chance after just 20 seconds, when Dunn fired over after Barnett's cross had eluded Iffy Onuora, and Roberts then glanced a header wide before Town made their early breakthrough. Neil Parsley, who put in another solid display at right-back, initiated the move with a neat flick to Dunn. He slid the ball inside the penalty area to Cooper, who advanced past two defenders before picking his spot from 10 yards out. Town stepped on the gas, with Roberts lashing one effort across the face of goal and Dunn heading wide from Simon Charlton's centre, before the home side levelled against the run of play. Although being pursued by Stuart Storer, Jackson seemed in command when he intercepted industrious midfielder Danny Bailey's long upfield punt. The centreback sold goalkeeper Tim Clarke woefully short with his back-pass, however, and his only real mistake of the match was ruthlessly punished as for- mer Bolton man Storer nipped in to push the ball past Clarke and fire home from a narrow angle. Exeter had their best spells either side of the interval, and midfielder Jason Minett, on loan from Norwich, fired wide on the turn before Storer's close-range effort was blocked by substi- tute Mitchell, whose solid 45 minutes' work was spoiled only by a booking for a bla- tant bodycheck on the striker. Storer should have done better with a couple of further chances, but it was Town who looked the more dangerous as the second half wore on, and Cooper who eventually sealed the points. This time he applied the clinical finishing touch from just inside the box after being set-up by Onuora, whose penalty-area persistence saw him beat two men and poke the ball to his col- league after appearing to lose possession. Heads dropped among the home players and Cooper's 30-yard free-kick was pawed away by Kevin Miller before Onoura headed just over from Starbuck's cross as Town emphasised their superiority.
Miller, White, Cooper (D), Bailey, Daniels, Whiston, Bond, Minett (Moran, 78mins), Jepson (McIntyre, 74mins), Storer, Hodge.
Clarke, Parsley, Charlton, Robinson, Cooper (M), Jackson, Barnett (Mitchell, 45mins), O'Regan, Roberts (Starbuck, 45mins), Onuora, Dunn.
Exeter: Storer 22mins. -
Town: Cooper 15, 77.
Attendance - 3,271.
Town man-of-the-match- Mark Cooper.