Match 30
23rd January 1991
Leyland DAF Trophy (FL Trophy)R1
Aldershot (h)


As the knockout stage of the Leyland Daf Trophy got underway, the result was far more important than the performance for Exeter. In all honesty that was probably a good thing, as the crowd of just over 2,000 were treated to a less than enthralling contest in which the visitors' rigid offside trap all too often took centre stage.

There was little enough excitement in the first half, with the City attackers continually finding themselves in offside positions as the well drilled Aldershot defence played its trump card with mind numbing frequency.

Paul Eshelby was involved in the two most notable incidents of the half, first racing away unchallenged and seeming to round the goalkeeper only to see his shot blocked, and then in the last minute of the half providing a teasing cross which the keeper failed to clear and Gary Marshall headed home at the far post.

With City leading 1-0, one might have expected Aldershot to have mounted a more serious challenge to draw level. In the event the second half was a dour struggle, with City always looking comfortable but never really looking like scoring a second goal, and the visitors always lacking the imagination to produce something threatening.

Both sides had claims for a penalty waved away by the referee in the closing stages, firstly after Richard Dryden appeared to have handled in the City area and then as the same player was brought tumbling down whilst racing towards the Aldershot goal. So City live to fight another day, and Aldershot finally exit the competition in which their first match resulted in a 10-1 defeat at the hands of Southend. Cambridge will be Exeter's next Leyland Daf opponents, and in view of the U's previous reputation as City's 'bogey team' Terry Cooper's side will have to be a good deal sharper if they are to progress into the last four of the Southern Section.



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