since 1878

Exeter City (0) 1 - 1 (1) Ipswich Town

League Cup 1st Round, 1st Leg 1998-99

Tuesday, August 11, 1998

Referee: P Rejer

Manager: Unknown

St James Park

Attendance: 3,233

Manager: George Burley

Match Number: 2749


 Matt Holland 






















Match Report

Late equaliser setback for Town

Exeter City played more like a typical Third Division team in the second half of this Worthington Cup tie, and as a result they have given themselves hope for the return at Portman Road next Tuesday night.

Exeter played their more illustrious visitors far too much respect and the Blues were good value for their 13th minute lead through Matt Holland in an opening period in which Mark Venus had added to the club's penalty take crisis by fluffing his second minute attempt.

But Holland's cracking header from a well flighted Bobby Petta free-kick was just the tonic the visitors needed and they stroked the ball around for much of the first half with a rather timid looking home side chasing shadows.

But after the interval it was a different story with the West Country outfit looking more powerful and with more hunger for a giant killing act throughout their team. They abandoned their 5-3-2 formation to go more at the First Division visitors and the home fans in the 3234 crowd erupted when in the 90th minute John Richardson powered home the equaliser with a venomous right foot effort.

The loss of midfield play maker Kieron Dyer after 48 minutes certainly helped to knock Town off their stride and, as in the 0-0 draw at Grimsby on Sunday, it was a case of them defending too deeply and going into their shell in the second half.

But while their are qualms about the Blues' second-half show, this is a result that sets things up nicely for the return on Suffolk soil next Tuesday. Town should have far too much in their armoury for a Exeter side that dipped so dramatically down the Third Division table over the second half of last season.

Goalscorer Matt Holland was the pick of the Town side last night. He struck in the 13th minute. David Johnson was fouled by John Gittens and from Petta's free-kick Holland, the Player of the Year last season, launched himself to get in a cracking header that gave Ashley Bayes no chance.

Later in the half Holland was unlucky not to get a second goal. In the 31st minute Petta fed Johnson and from his cross Holland let fly with a superb left footer that Bayes stopped brilliantly.

A dramatic moment indeed but there was great early drama too with that penalty miss by Venus.

What a catalogue of disasters penalty taking is becoming and the Blues have now missed four on the trot through Johnson, Mathie, Dyer and now Venus.

Jason Rees played a bad ball back and keeper Bayes brought down Johnson. Up stepped Venus for his first Town spot kick and he cracked it to the left of the Exeter keeper who brought off a cracking save.

Exeter's leveller in the 90th minute came after Mowbray had fouled substitute Steve Flack. Rees took the free kick and Flack headed down for Richardson to fire home.

Petta looked lively in the first half and also had some blistering turns of speed in the second. Richard Naylor, given a go upfront with James Scowcroft still injured and Alex Mathie not 100 per cent after a virus worked hard.

Penalty miss culprit Venus got through loads of good work at the back.

Action Timetable

Result: Exeter 1, Ipswich Town 1

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