9th August 2003
Exeter 1-1 Halifax
|Exeter were denied a winning start to life in the Nationwide Conference as Lewis Killeen grabbed a late equaliser for Halifax at St James Park.
The Grecians put the misery of last season's relegation behind them as they took a first-half lead through Steve Flack, but Killeen pounced with five minutes to go to secure a share of the spoils for Halifax.
Both sides struggled to create chances in the early stages but Exeter goalkeeper James Bittner, signed from Chippenham in midweek, did well to save with his feet from Jon Cullen in the 21st minute.
The deadlock was broken three minutes later when Exeter won a free-kick on the left and Kwame Ampadu's cross was headed home by Steve Flack.
Halifax lost Darren Hockenhull to injury just before the break and almost conceded a second goal three minutes after the restart.
Gareth Sheldon was brought down by Mark Monington on the edge of the area and dusted himself down to take the free-kick which hit the woodwork.
That let-off proved even more valuable for Halifax in the 85th minute when Killeen headed the equaliser following Cullen's corner from the right.
Exeter: Bittner, McConnell, Hiley, Todd, Jeannin, Coppinger, Cronin, Ampadu, Sheldon, Flack, Moor. Subs: Rice, Thomas, Gaia, Canham, Afful.
Halifax: Davies, Sandwith, Garnett, Monington, Hockenhull, Mallon, Bushell, Cameron, Elam, Killeen, Cullen. Subs: Midgley, Quinn, Parke, Danny Hudson, McAuley.
Referee: R Desmond (Swindon)
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